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Registered: 02/08/06
Posts: 651
Loc: EU
Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants * 1
    #5458369 - 03/30/06 08:45 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

my intrest in ethnobotany goes far beyond entehogens and divine plants, it also covers other plant-human relationships such as medicinal plants, wich also sparks another intrest ethnopharmacology. Anyways, I will present a few plants that I either cultivate or harvest from the wild and use frequently myself. Feel free to tell about medicinal plants you like, grows, use or are intrested in.

The first plant I want to introduce, to those not allready familiar with it, is the Arctic root or Rhodiola rosea wich is its latin name

I borrowed that picture from google search tho,

This plant grows wild in my area but its fairly easy to cultivate. I have grown it a few times with seeds collected in the wild. I will collect seeds this year and do more cultivation experiments with it.

More information on this specie from wikipedia

Rhodiola rosea is a plant in the family Crassulaceae that grows in cold regions of the world. These include much of the Arctic, the mountains of Central Asia, the Rocky Mountains, and mountainous parts of Europe, such as the Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathian Mountains, British Isles, Scandinavia and Iceland.

Rhodiola rosea is effective for improving mood and alleviating depression. Russian research shows that it improves both physical and mental performance, reduces fatigue, and prevents high altitude sickness. In one study, the Rhodiola rosea group decreased proofreading errors by 88% while the control group increased proofreading errors by 84%. Rhodiola rosea's effects are attributed to its ability to optimise serotonin and dopamine levels and to its influence on opioid peptides such as beta-endorphins.

The stimulant substances involved are referred to as adaptogens.

In Russia, Rhodiola rosea, also known as Arctic root or golden root, has been used for centuries to cope with the cold Siberian climate and stressful life.

Adaptogens were discovered in 1947 by the Russian scientist Dr. Nicolai Lazarev, who in fact coined the name "adaptogen". Dr. Lazarev was also the mentor of Dr. Israel I. Brekhman, who conducted extensive research on adaptogenic herbs. Dr Brekhman's first major focus was the now well known Panax Ginseng, also called Korean or Chinese Ginseng. This worked, but unfortunately it has a few drawbacks that have since become evident. It sometimes has side effects such as causing constipation and over-excitement in people for which it is too stimulating. Dr. Brekhman soon moved on to other herbs and became recognized as the world's leading expert on adaptogens. Since then, hundreds of experimental and clinical studies on adaptogens have been done - most of them in Russia and Germany. Most of these studies have shown the outstanding stress-protective and immune system enhancing capacities of adaptogens. Adaptogens may have some of the benefits of synthetic stimulants but without common drawbacks of stimulants.

Earlier finds in adaptogens
Panax Ginseng
American Ginseng
Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng

Recommendet reading about this specie
Rhodiola rosea: A Phytomedicinal Overview
Rhodiola rosea: A Possible Plant Adaptogen
RHODIOLA ROSEA - Anti-Aging Medicine of 21st Century

I will later talk about a few other species.

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Registered: 12/04/04
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Re: Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants [Re: giz]
    #5458527 - 03/30/06 09:52 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

heres a plant that's kinda special to me:

Balsamina Impatiens balfourii AKA Jewelweed.

These things are fun because the seed pods explode when disturbed and spread the seeds up to several meters away.
the seeds can be eaten and taste somewhat like chestnut.

Its medicinal value lies in its sap that is a very powerfull remedy for nettle stings and insect bites.

theres nettles aplenty over here so i had ample oppertunity to test that and it sure does work wonders in that department.

-Know ye not that ye are gods?-
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Re: Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants [Re: Vertigo6911]
    #5458882 - 03/30/06 11:54 AM (15 years, 5 months ago)

i think Rhodiola rosea doesnt grow in north america. although a Rhodiola spcies does grow in north america its not rosea. This is what i was told, ill see what i can find for a reference.

And Moses Said "Let my mushrooms grow!"

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Re: Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants [Re: the man]
    #5516291 - 04/14/06 04:52 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

a bunch of good information:

Research taken from the

'Journal of Natural Medicine'


Acupuncture better than penicillin (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997)
Acupuncture is a more effective treatment for conjuctivitis than penicillin, researchers have discovered.

Aesculus hippocastanum (Volume III Issue 2 - Summer 1999)
A review of the scientific and clinical studies and traditional information is presented by Michelle Morgan & Kerry Bone and they list the therapeutic indications as, varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, haemorrhoids, oedema of the lower limbs and localised oedema such as in carpal tunnel
syndrome, asthma and bronchitis and topically for haematoma, non penetrating wounds and painful joints, ligaments and tendons. A study is reported where a preparation of Aesculus administered intravenously significantly reduced the incidence of deep venous thrombosis following surgery in a controlled trial of 4,176 patients with thrombosis, lung infarction or lung embolism. Mediherb Professional Review 65, Oct. 1998.

AIDS. (Volume IV Issue 1 - Spring 2000) M.Norland has published a homoeopathic proving of the Aids nosode. The themes exposed are loss of protection, estrangement, rejection, contamination and self loathing. Helios Books September 1999

AIDS/HIV and steroids. (Volume VI Issue 4 - Summer 2003) What the doctors don`t tell you, Feb 2003, 13 (11) 1-4. The author of this article, Dr Mohammed Ali-Bayati, is a toxicologist and pathologist who has researched AIDS and subsequently published a book ("Get all the facts; HIV does not cause AIDS" - available via www.toxihealth.com) in which he shares much evidence that AIDS is caused by steroids, prescription drugs and malnutrition, not HIV.

Alcohol gets a clean bill of health. (Volume VI Issue 4 - Summer 2003) Gass, R. BJU Int. 2002 90 (7) 649-654. A survey reported in the New England Journal of Medicine involved 38,077 health care professionals who were CVD-free at the outset. They were followed up every 4 years for the next 12 years to see what effect alcohol had on myocardial infarction incidence. Drinking 3-7 days a week had a substantial beneficial effect compared to drinking less than once a week. Furthermore the amount per day had a positive correlation, with an average of 30g daily conferring a significant protection compared to just 10g daily. Alcohol consumed with meals seemed to have no such positive effects. Meanwhile a study has been carried out to assess the effects of various lifestyle factors in benign prostatic hyperplasia in a sample of 882 men. Again, alcohol showed a protective effect, though coffee and to a lesser extent cigarettes led to increased BPH incidence.

Alcohol intake and diabetes ? the dosage is crucial. (Volume VII Issue 3 - Summer/Autumn 2004) Ann. Intern. Med. 2004, 140 (3) 211-19. It is now well known that heavy alcohol consumption can predispose to diabetes (by up to 43% compared to moderate drinking). However, recent research shows that 1-3 drinks a day can reduce diabetes incidence by 33% - 56% and diabetes-related heart disease by 34% - 55% compared to no alcohol consumption at all.

Allium sativum (Garlic) (Volume IV Issue 2 - Summer/Autumn 2000) has been shown to inhibit heliobacter pylori in standard laboratory methods Ohta R et al Antimicrobial agents and Chemotherapy 43 (7) 1811 1999 and it has also been reviewed for its anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties. Milner J.A. Nutrition Reviews 54 (11) 582 1996. Lambert?s Nutrition Bites 8 (2) 2000.

Alternative Antibiotics (Volume IV Issue 1 - Spring 2000) P. Thomas PROOF! 3 (4) 2 1999 Pat. Thomas reviews the availability of natural antibiotics drawing from herbal, homoeopathic and other sources and also discusses the misuse of conventional antibiotics their side effects and the effects of the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals.

Althaea officinalis can lighten skin. (Volume VII Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 2003-2004) Biology and Pharmacology Bulletin, 2002, 25(2) 229-34. A Japanese study has discovered that althaea interferes with melanocyte cell activity, thereby leading to a lightening of the skin.

Aristolochia prohibition ? sense or spin? (Volume VI Issue 1 - Summer 2002) Anthony Lyman-Dixon, Herbs, VOL27, no 1 2002. Aristolochia, currently a herb being looked at by the MCA, was picked on in 1994 by the media among accusations of possible side effects. It is a genus of about 300 species, 6 of which have been used as medicine for many hundreds of years. It has been praised by all the usual names of antiquity (Pliny, Dioscorides etc) and was popular in the medieval ages as a carminative. Species differentiation is not easy throughout the ages, and it appears that Red Madder was what the doctors were often mistakenly using in days of yore. Aristolochia clematis or langa (Birthwort) is used today as a stimulant, emmenagogue, diaphoretic, oxytocic and immuno-stimulant. So what?s the fuss? In 1972 70 Belgian women were proved to have severe renal failure after taking an adulterated Chinese slimming powder (its not clear what else was in the powder). It was also suspected of causing 1546 cases of renal failure in the Danube region in the 1960s ? though doses are not clear. The truth (or the closest to it) would appear to come from modern and ancient sources. Aristolochic acid is an anti-tumour constituent now used in chemotherapy. Similarly, Dioscorides quoted its healing properties as good for ?ye asthma, ye ricket, ye spleen?and with iris and honey it doth emarginate the rotten, and cleanse foul ulcers and fillup the hollow?. (The medieval surgeon Fingard recommended it like this for inoperable cancers). Dioscorides ends by warning it is ?poisonous?. As traditional herbalists, the long-term, massive intake of a herb with side effects ? whether in its single constituent in chemotherapy or as a whole herb ? goes against the natural common sense that nature was good enough to bestow us with.

Artemisia annua against breast cancer (Volume VI Issue 2 - Autumn 2002) British Naturopathic Journal 2002, 19 (1) 14. Researchers in the University of Washington have been using artemisinin ? a constituent of artemisia ? to combat breast cancer. ?Virtually all? the breast cancer cells (presumably in vitro) were killed off within 16 hours. The same constituent is used to kill parasites, and works by interfering in the high iron content in the parasites. As breast cancer cells also have a high iron content, it seems as if the same action applies.

Artemisinin`s effect on cancer. (Volume VI Issue 4 - Summer 2003) Lifesciences 2001, 70 (1) 49-56. Research on this constituent of Artemisia annua (wormwood) has been reported before. In this study leukaemia cells were exposed to artemisinin. 75% of the cells were dead after 8 hours and 100% had died within 16 hours. Artemisinin combines with iron in cells to form free radicals which then do the damage. Cancer cells are up to 1000% higher in iron than healthy cells, which is why they die when normal cells are virtually unaffected.

Asthma: A Natural Protocol (Volume V Issue 1 - Spring 2001) M Chevaz. Nutrit, Pract 2(2) 39 2000, Greenfiles 14(4) 37 2000 Asthma incidence has increased by over 29% in the last 12 years and this article describes a natural approach. Magnesium and vitamin B6 are both involved in smooth muscle relaxation which reduces bronchiospasm and histamine response. Excess caffeine and alcohol consumption and prescription diuretics reduce cellular Magnesium. Coleus forskolli has been used in Auyvedic medicine has been used to treat respiratory disorders. Ginkgo biloba has long been used to treat lung disorders and it has been demonstrated that terpinoids in the plant can affect microcirculation and reduce inflammation. Other constituents improve capillary integrity and strengthen collagen tissues.

Babies, Children and Food Allergy. (Volume IV Issue 2 - Summer/Autumn 2000) Reports suggest that the prevalence of food allergy in children is about 4-8% and food related complaints to affect as many as 28% of children. Janice Joneja discusses the factors associated with childhood food allergy and offers practical advice on how to prevent its occurrence Optimum Nutrition 13(2) 22 2000

Berberine`s effect on the cardiovascular system. (Volume VII Issue 2 - Spring 2004) Cardiovascular drug review 2001, 19 (3) 234-44. Tests carried out at the Chinese University of Hong Kong have shown that berberine helps prevent irregular heartbeat and possibly failure. It also increases contraction force, prolongs ventricular activity and dilates blood vessels.

Bilirubin`s antioxidant role. (Volume VI Issue 4 - Summer 2003) British Naturopathic Journal 2002, 19 (4) 91. Researchers at the John Hopkins school of medicine have discovered that the waste product bilirubin has remarkable anti-oxidative properties. While excessive levels in the blood lead to jaundice, slightly raised levels are a good health indicator. Every glutathione molecule, an important cellular antioxidant, can consume one oxidant molecule while each bilirubin molecule can tackle an amazing 10,000 oxidant molecules.

Bitters (Volume IV Issue 1 - Spring 2000) Kerry Bone Aust. J. Med. Herb. 11 (2) 61 1999. Greenfiles 13(4) 20 1999, reviews research on the mechanism of action of bitters in enhancing digestive function. Two main mechanisms appear to be a) a reflex action from the bitter taste buds and b) a direct action on the stomach lining, although further research is needed to understand fully how bitters act. The article discusses indications and contraindications and the best way to prescribe bitters.

Borago for oral health. (Volume VII Issue 2 - Spring 2004) Prostaglandins, leukotrienes and EFAs 2003, 68, 213-8. In a recent study, 24 people with peridontitis were given either fish oil, borage oil, borage and fish oils or a placebo. There was no improvement in the placebo group after 12 weeks, little improvement in the groups taking fish oil but significant improvement in the borage group with reduction of gingivitis and depth of pockets around teeth.

Bone loss (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997) A major Australian study has found that a high sodium intake causes calcium loss which in turn reduces bone density. Post-menopausal women who halved their salt intake were as protected from further bone loss as if they had increased their calcium intake.

Boswellia serrata (Volume III Issue 3 & 4 - Autumn/Winter 1999-2000) is reviewed by Kerry Bone in Mediherb Professional Review No. 69 June 1999. The herb is anti- inflammatory and anti- arthritic and is indicated in many inflammatory states such as inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis etc. Boswellia combines well with other herbs and there are no expected adverse reactions or known contraindications. Greenfiles Summer 1999.

Boswellia serrata in chronic colitis. (Volume VI Issue 2 - Autumn 2002) I.Gupta et al. Planta Medica 2001, 67 9 (5) 391-5. In this small study, 20 patients were given 900mg of boswellia daily, while 10 controls were given sulphasalazine, an allopathic drug. After 6 weeks, 90% of the boswellia group and 60% of the control group showed improvement. More interestingly, 78% of the boswellia group went into remission, as did 67% of the other group ? thus proving that symptomatic prescribing usually affords only transient improvement, regardless of the medicine involved.

Bread additive, common, is linked to behavioural problems. (Volume VII Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 2003-2004) J. Paediatr. & Child Health, 1/0/02. Calcium propionate is a common additive to bread, used to stop bread going mouldy in plastic wrapping. It is also found in some cheeses, dried fruits and fruit juices. An Australian study put 27 children with attention and behavioural problems on an eliminative diet. Their symptoms decreased by two thirds. When the children were put on bread containing calcium propionate, their behavioural problems returned to levels before the trial.

Breastfeeding and allergic rhinitis. (Volume VI Issue 2 - Autumn 2002) Minouni Bloch et al. Acta Paediatr. 2002, 91 (30) 275-9. A meta - analysis of various studies in the USA has shown that breastfeeding in the first three months of life protects the baby from allergic rhinitis. Obviously breastfeeding is normally the preferred natural form of feeding. Whilst the physical pathway by which allergic rhinitis is guarded against by breastfeeding remains unclear, the emotional pathway is clearer, as ?allergic rhinitis? translates in emotional pathology into ?a hostile over-reaction arising from fear and inner crying?. Clearly the intimacy of breastfeeding would guard against such an outlook.

Breastfeeding and childbirth significance for breast cancer. (Volume VI Issue 3 - Winter/Spring 2002-2003) Lancet 2002 360 (9328) 187-95. A meta-analysis of 47 studies in 30 countries was undertaken to assess the impact of breastfeeding and childbirth on breast cancer. It showed that these were significant, with cancer patients having fewer childbirths and less breastfeeding time. The risk of breast cancer drops by 4.3% for every 12 months of breastfeeding and by 7% for each birth. It was estimated that if developed countries had childbirth and breastfeeding patterns like 3rd world countries, then breast cancer would decrease from 6.3 to 2.7 in 100 women. Breastfeeding alone would account for nearly two thirds of this reduction.

Canola and olive oils can both reduce fat (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997)
Canola (rapeseed) oil and olive oil are equally effective in helping reduce fat levels in the blood. Researchers found there was little between the two oils when they tested both on people with hyperlipoproteinemia, a disorder which creates an excess of fats and fatty substances in the blood. In addition, 22 patients with high cholesterol participated in a cross-over study comprising two consecutive three-week treatment periods, consisting of a diet prepared with either of the oils. Total blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and the ratio between low density and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol decreased to the same extent on the two diets tested, even after adjustments were made for body weight.

Chewing gum releases mercury in fillings. (Volume VII Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 2003-2004) Epidemiology, 1/07/02, S160. A Swedish study compared a small group of 17 regular gum chewers with a control group and found that their blood had double the amount of mercury and breath and urine samples contained three times that of the control group. The more fillings each member had, the more mercury was detected. This confirms the findings of a previous study that was specifically using nicotine gum. It is not clear whether the results are the effects of the act of chewing, or some property of the gum.

Cholesterol Lowering (Volume V Issue 1 - Spring 2001) Uffe Ravnskov WDDTY 11(9) 2000. This is a critical review of the evidence that cholesterol and coronary heart disease are correlated. The original evidence suggesting that total fat intake and death rates from CHD is weak if the data from all 22 countries is included rather than the 6 that were selected. For example Finland has a CHD death rate that is 7 times higher than that of Mexico although the fat consumption is the same. Studies now indicate that fat is not the causal factor. Cholesterol lowering drugs called Statins inhibit the production of cholesterol, by as much as 20-30 per cent. However the statins have been shown to inhibit production of mevalonic acid which is a precursor of cholesterol ,but they also affect smooth muscle and thromboxane which could explain the benefits of the drug which are independent of cholesterol levels.

Cimicifuga racemosa (Volume III Issue 3 & 4 - Autumn/Winter 1999-2000) is reviewed by Steven Foster Herbalgram No. 45, 35 Winter 1999. This herb has been used in herbal medicine to treat menopausal symptoms for many years. It is now known that the herb does not possess any oestrogenic activity nor does it suppress luteinising hormone. Greenfiles Summer 1999.

Clinical Application of Selected South African Medicinal Plants. (Volume V Issue 3 - Autumn 2001) Nigel Gericke . Aust J. Med Herb 13(1) 3 2001. Greenfiles 15(3) 21 2001. This is a report of a talk given at the 4th International Conference on Phytotherapeutics at Kurrajong in February 2001. Sceletium tortuosum. This herb elevates mood and decreases anxiety and tension, with no reported severe adverse reactions. Case histories describe the use for severe depression, post natal depression and personality disorder. Sceletium also helps to reduce addictions to smoking and alcohol. Sutherlandia frutescens. This adaptogenic herb is used as an immune modulatory tonic in AIDS, TB and cancer. It also is of use for digestive problems, anxiety and depression. Sutherlandia is having a significant impact on the quality of life of many AIDS patients (Gericke Ibid, 13(1) 17 2001.) Warburgia sulutaris. The pepperbark tree is a natural antimicrobial and is used to treat yeast, fungal, bacterial and protozoal infections. Siphonochilus aethiopicus. Is a rare member of the ginger family and is regarded as Africa?s natural anti ? inflammatory. It is used for fevers, asthma, sore throats, sinusitis and thrush.

Coenzyme Q10 for Parkinsons. (Volume VI Issue 3 - Winter/Spring 2002-2003) BMJ 2002, 325 (7369) 851 J. Hopkins. Patients with Parkinsons have impaired mitochondrial function ? and therefore lowered energy levels. As coenzyme Q10 is found mainly in mitochondria, it is involved in the conversion of energy from nutrients, and as tissue concentrations fall with age, a study was undertaken to assess the effectiveness of supplemented coenzyme Q10 in Parkinsons patients. It was shown to have a significant improvement over a placebo group., with the highest dosage - 1200mg four times a day ? being most effective.

Controlled trial of feverfew preparation (Volume I Issue 2 - Autumn/Winter 1997-1998) de Weerdt C J et al. Phytomedicine 1996, 33(3), 225-230. 50 Patients in a thorough trial in a hospital outpatient department - the product, capsules of an extract containing the equivalent to 500 micrograms of parthenolide, exemplifies the drug-approach to a herb, by attempting to tightly control a single constituent. It is no surprise that it was ineffective. The whole herb is needed, as empirical evidence has shown.

Cow?s Milk and Diabetes (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997)
Cow's milk may be a trigger factor in the development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (Type l), a disorder in which the body attacks and destroys its own insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Researchers at the University of Rome and St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London discovered that some diabetics' immune cells are primed to attack a cow's-milk protein that happens to resemble proteins on the surface of the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. This unwanted immune response could be the result of susceptible infants being introduced to cow's milk early in life.

Cranberry juice can potentiate warfarin. (Volume VII Issue 3 - Summer/Autumn 2004) BMJ 2003, 327 (7429) 1454. Reports have come through the yellow card scheme suggesting excess bleeding can occur when warfarin patients consume cranberry juice. It is thought that the flavanoids in the drink inhibit the action of P450 enzymes which metabolise warfarin ? so the drug remains active in the system for longer than usual.

Crataegus - more than a purely physical relationship. (Volume VII Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 2003-2004) Phytotherapy Res. 2002, 16 (1) 48-54. In a small randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, patients with mild hypertension were given either hawthorn, magnesium, both or a placebo. The hawthorn group had the greatest effect in lowering diastolic blood pressure. Furthermore, the participants reported experiencing less anxiety.

Curcumin`s anti-cancer effect. (Volume VI Issue 3 - Winter/Spring 2002-2003) Cancer 2002, 95 (6) 1206-14, H.Hidaka et al. Whilst the use of Curcuma in cancer patients has been well documented, the exact influence it has on cancer cells has not. Research on the effects of curcumin (the yellow pigment in turmeric) on human cancer cells has shown that it greatly reduces the expression of two materials by those cells. The first was interleukin-8 (IL8), a chemokine that interferes with human neutrophil activity. It reduces the neutrophils` ability to release enzymes and express surface adhesion molecules, thereby clearly compromising their effectiveness. The second was nuclear factor xb (NF xb), which is involved in cell reproduction, with pathologically high levels of NF xb being linked to cancer. Curcumin was shown to reduce significantly levels of both IL8 and NF xb, thus explaining its effectiveness.

Cynara scolymus - Artichoke leaf extract relieves the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. (Volume V Issue 4 - Winter/Spring 2001-2002) Walker A F and Marakis G. Phytotherapy Research 15, 58 2001: IBS is a complaint affecting 22% of the population. This study used volunteers reporting at least 3 IBS symptoms (n = 279) and each used 2 capsules of the extract (320mg per capsule) 3 times daily for 6 weeks. Physicians and patients assessed symptoms on a 5 point scale at baseline, after 3 and 6 weeks. The overall effectiveness was significant.

Dental hygiene and CVD - Link between. (Volume VI Issue 4 - Summer 2003) M. Larkin, Lancet 2002, 360 (9327) 147. Periodontal disease and heart disease both involve inflammatory changes brought about by the same organisms - chlamydia pneumoniae, porphyromonas gingivalis and actinobacillus actinomycetencomitans. Peridonitis is associated with increased thickness of the carotid artery - implying involvement in atheroma. It has also been observed that peridontal treatment improves endothelial function. Whilst the exact route the pathogens take from the mouth to the heart remains unclear, it is apparent that the link is undeniable.

Diabetes, herbal management of. (Volume VII Issue 3 - Summer/Autumn 2004) Medical Herbalism, 13 (2) 1, 3-9, 20. This article looks at the root pathologies of type II diabetes ? pancreatic disturbance, liver disturbance and insulin resistance (ie blood insulin levels would be normal, with normal pancreatic and hepatic functions were it not for a depressed ability of the body?s cells to use insulin). In such cases the following herbs are believed to be of benefit without interfering with pancreatic/hepatic function: Panax quinquefolius:Grifola spp (fungi), Momardica charantia, Ocimum spp, Cinnamomum cassia

Diabetes - Type 2. The dangers of new drugs. (Volume V Issue 3 - Autumn 2001) Clive Couldwell WDDTY 12(6) 1 2001. Type 2 diabetes is non insulin dependent diabetes and is the more common type, occurring when the body produces insufficient insulin to meet it?s needs, or when the cells of the body have become resistant to insulin?s effects. Type 2 symptoms, when they are present include frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, tingling in the hands and feet, impotence in men and the absence of periods in women. This type of diabetes can be safely and effectively treated by diet and lifestyle changes. However the introduction of oral hypoglycaemic drugs have largely replaced dietary control because it is easier. This review details the trials that have been carried out and concludes that the majority of diabetics who take oral hypoglycaemics could get along with only mild dietary changes and avoid the risk of premature heart disease. The dangers of these drugs are also discussed in some detail. Natural treatments that are reviewed include supplementation with Vit. E , garlic, onion, fenugreek seeds, dandelion root, Jerusalem artichokes and burdock root, cinnamon and American ginseng.

Dietary omega- 3 fatty acids and coronary atherosclerosis. (Volume III Issue 3 & 4 - Autumn/Winter 1999-2000) A trial is reported in which participants were given fish oil concentrate (55% EPA & DHA) or a placebo, 6g. daily for three months and 3g. daily for twenty one months. At the conclusion of the trial 36 in the placebo group showed mild progression, 5 showed moderate progression and 7 mild regression. In the fish oil group 35 showed mild progression, 4 showed moderate progression, 14 showed mild regression and 2 moderate regression. The conclusions are that dietary intake of omega ? 3 fatty acids modestly mitigates the course of coronary atherosclerosis in humans. Schacky, c. et al Ann. Intern. Med. 130(7) 554 1999. Greenfiles Summer 1999

Douching - Potential hazards of. (Volume VI Issue 3 - Winter/Spring 2002-2003) Obstet. ynacol. 2002 100 (4) 765-72, Ness, R.B. et al. A recent study has shown an increased risk of bacterial vaginosis linked to the habit of douching monthly or more often. The mechanism seems to be due to disrupted vaginal flora. Levels of lactobacilli (which produce the antibacterial hydrogen peroxide) fall, thereby causing susceptibility to pathological internal and external bacteria.

Drug-Herb interactions (Volume III Issue 2 - Summer 1999)
A recent report lists some known or potential interactions. Feverfew, garlic, ginger and ginseng may alter bleeding time and should not be used with Warfarin. Echinacea if used beyond 8 weeks could cause hepatotoxicity(!) and should not be used with other known hepatotoxic drugs. It should not be given with immunosuppressants. Ginseng may cause headache and manic episodes in patients on phenelzene sulphate, it may also affect blood glucose levels and should not be given in diabetes. Valarian should not be used with barbiturates. Evening primrose and borage should not be given with anti-convulsants. Miller L.G. Arch. Int. Med. 158 20 1998

Dysbiosis and psychiatric imbalances. (Volume VII Issue 3 - Summer/Autumn 2004) CAM 2004, 3 (10) 39-44. The link between unhealthy gut flora and conditions such as autism, schizophrenia and ADHD is now well established. The authour, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride, has found gut dysbiosis in almost 100% of mothers whose children have such psychiatric conditions ? confirming that the child inherits its intestinal flora from the mother. We are reminded that breast feeding is important in establishing and maintaining healthy flora. Dysbiosis leads to poor assimilation of nutrients and fermentation of foods with toxins being released into the blood and thence the nervous system and brain. For instance gluten and casein, in the presence of dysbiosis, create peptides called gluteomorphin and casomorphin, which are chemically similar to opiates. They are found in the urine of patients with schizophrenia, autism, depression and rheumatoid arthritis.

Echinacea: What makes it work? (Volume III Issue 1- Spring 1999) Kerry Bone . Brit. J. Phyt. 5(1) 3 1998.reviews the active constituents and pharmacology of Echinacea, and critically discusses the importance of polysaccharides to the activity of Echinacea preparations. Traditional ethanolic extracts do not rely on polysaccharides for their activity, since they contain insignificant amounts of polysaccharides. Ethanolic extracts do contain Lipophilic alkylamides and polar caffeic acid derivatives which appear to be largely responsible for the immunostimulatory activity. However in aqueous extracts, expressed juice, and in the powdered herb, polysaccharides may also be implicated.

Echinacea (Volume I Issue 3- Spring 1998) When should it be used? Bone K Eur. J. Herbal Med 3 no. 3, 13-17, Winter 1997-8. Tabulates 63 conditions, many chronic, for which Eclectics used E. angustifolia radix. Argues strongly that misunderstanding of the immune system has led to a recent rush of papers recommending only short courses of treatment. Phagocytic activity remains higher than normal while the herb is given and remains above normal for a few days on stopping. It returns to the normal level thereafter, without a depleting effect. Also argues that the German Commission E monograph is overcautious in its warnings against use in tuberculosis, leukaemia, collagen disorders, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, HIV infection and other auto-immune disease. Author?s experience and reasoning favours use in these conditions. Echinacea works best as a preventative.

Effect of a proprietary herbal (Reumalex or Ligvites ) on the relief of chronic arthritic pain (Volume I Issue 2 - Autumn/Winter 1997-1998) Mills S.Y. et al Br. J Rheumatol. 1996, 35, 874-8
82 ambulant patients in a controlled trial. Pain scores at monthly intervals starting 2 months before treatment, plus several other measurements showed a mild analgesic effect in stable arthritics, but no associated improvement in mobility and function scores were seen.
Comment: Illustrates the difficulty in getting an OTC product to meet the needs of a wide population, confirming that individual treatment is preferable.

Electromagnetic pollution and brain disorders. (Volume VII Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 2003-2004) Scientists in Israel have discovered tiny calcite crystals in the pineal gland. The crystals generate a small electrical charge and could therefore be affected by interaction with electromagnetic fields, such as mobile phones or microwaves (Powerwatch UK, p9). Meanwhile, in The Ecologist (1/11/02, p36) Mark Purdey, an organic farmer, has postulated a theory that BSE is developed by consuming organophosphates which leach copper from the brain, thereby leading to an excess of manganese which binds with prions (transmittable mutant proteins) and causes the lesions seen in BSE. Further, he says that electromagnetic fields would increase the brain cells` propensity to store manganese and lode copper. Nerve cells abnormally low in copper store electricity instead of allowing it to pass along the nerve. At a critical level, the stored electricity will have to discharge, destroying the cell.The most common site for clusters of CJD incidence is around airports - areas high in artificial electromagnetic fields - thereby lending weight to the theory.

Fibromyalgia and Toxic Overload. (Volume V Issue 2 - Summer 2001) Lynn Toohey Nutri Notes 6(2) 2001. Fibromyalgia refers to muscle and joint pain that persists for no discernible reason. It is described as a syndrome characterised by widespread musculoskeletal pain and has previously been described by different names such as fibrositis, myofacial pain, myofascitis etc. This article discusses the possible causes and theories of FM including pollution from bonfires ( produces more dioxin than the much feared commercial incinerator) contaminated water supplies, fallout. Drugs excreted by people and livestock contaminate our water supplies. No wonder then at the increase in syndromes such as FM. The article also discusses the use of nutritional supplements and herbs such as Valeriana officianalis, Scutellaria laterifolia, Passiflora incarnata, Zingiber officianalis, Salix alba etc. and tissue concentrates. Anthocyanidins at a dose of 80mg per day have been shown to aid sleep disturbance in FM patients. Edwards A.M. et.al. J. Nutritional and Environmental Medicine 10, 189 2000

Folic acid and neural tube defects. (Volume VII Issue 2 - Spring 2004) BMJ 2003, 326 (7398) 1054. An American epidemiologist has estimated that up to 350,000 deaths in the UK over the last decade could have been avoided if the government had reacted to information concerning the importance of folic acid in avoiding neural tube defects by adding it to flour. Folic acid is also protective against CVD, strokes, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Its action is thought to be largely due to its ability to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine which is associated with CVD.

Foot?and?mouth disease (Volume V Issue 2 - Summer 2001) Slaughterhouse flu. Steven Ransom WDDTY 12(1) 2001. No one can doubt the profound effect that FMD, portrayed by the graphic images appearing in the media of mass slaughter and burning, is having on this Nation. The facts however about this crisis are very different from what we are told. Abigail Woods is a vet and researcher at Manchester University and in writing in The Times (1-3-2001) states that ?FMD is as serious to animals as bad flu is to human beings?. In fact FMD rarely kills the animals that catch it and most will recover in two weeks and the animals would develop immunity to the virus. The instant slaughter policy harks back to early 20th century thinking that eventually persuaded the continent and the rest of the world to follow suit. We instituted the policy and we have to live with the results of the policy. The case against mass slaughter is presented.
Karin Mont, Homoeopath and chairperson of the HMA, has written an article (photocopies available) on the homoeopathic use of Borax 30 which was useful in containing the 1967 outbreak. Borax is the chief non-biological prophylactic remedy in the control of FMD and works by reducing the susceptibility to infection. The recommended dose is 10 drops of the liquid form of Borax 30 in 30 gallons of drinking water.

Gastrointestinal Support Plan: (Volume IV Issue 1 - Spring 2000) Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair. Helen Kimber (Editor) in Nutri Notes 4 (6) 1999. Remove refers to the elimination of pathogens and parasites using herbs such as Picrasma excelsa, Artemesia annua, Hydrastis canadensis, Juglans nigra, gentiana lutea and allium sativum. It also refers to the removal of foods from the diet to which a person may be intolerant. Replace refers to the replacement of digestive factors whose secretion may be limited including hydrochloric acid, gastric, pancreatic and intestinal enzymes and bile. This can be accomplished using supplements and herbs such as althea officianalis , ulmus rubra. Reinoculate refers to the introduction of probiotics to balance the gut microflora, and Repair to support for regeneration of the mucosa using supplements.

Ginkgo biloba (Volume IV Issue 2 - Summer/Autumn 2000) has been shown to increase the pain free walking distance in patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease. In this placebo controlled, double blind, multicentre study, patients were randomised to receive either a ginkgo biloba extract (120 mg.) daily or a placebo daily for 24 weeks. Significant increases in performance were observed over the placebo group. Peters .H et al VASA 27 106 1998. Lambert?s Nutrition bites 8 (2) 2000

Ginkgo biloba (Volume IV Issue 3 - Winter 2000) extracts have been tested in the treatment of dementia. The latest drugs for the treatment of dementia in Alzheimer?s disease belong to the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor group. The disease manifests with a deficiency of Acetylcholine, leading to a reduction of neurotransmission. Inhibitors of cholinesterase will maintain acetylcholine levels and improve cognitive performance. A special extract of ginkgo biloba EGb 761, shows multiple pharmacological effects on the cerebral neurones, including improvement of glucose metabolism, stabilisation of plasma membranes, antioxidant effects and platelet activating factor antagonism. The extract was found to increase acetylcholine synthesis and release and increase cholinergenic receptors. The symptoms of dementia were delayed for similar periods of time and similar response rates were obtained with both acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and the ginkgo extract. Wettstein A. Phytomedicine 6 393 2000. T. Alexeeff Aust J Med Herbalism 12(2) 59 2000

Gingko Clinical Studies. (Volume VI Issue 1 - Summer 2002) Kerry Bone. British Journal of Phytotherapy, 5 (4) 2002. A trial in Munich has shown the efficacy of a single dose of Gingko in cognitive function. 20 participants took either a placebo or Gingko in 120mg, 240mg and 360mg doses with 7 day wash-out periods in between. The order of the six administrations was random. In cognitive assessments conducted 1 hr, 2.5hrs and 6hrs after administration, significant improvements (especially ?speed of attention?) were noted with the 240mg and 360mg doses, appearing 2.5 hours after admin and still being efficient after 6 hrs. So now you know what to take at your next exam. Another trial provided further proof of Gingko?s efficacy in sustained use for chronic underfunctioning in the elderly. A study on healthy, middle-aged volunteers combined Gingko with Panax ginseng over a 12 week period. Cognitive function ? especially working and long term memory ? was improved by 7.5% on average and was still in evidence two weeks after the end of the study. Dosage is not given, but it was daily in the morning.

Gingko biloba (Volume VI Issue 2 - Autumn 2002) seems to be attracting much attention recently, not all of it positive. An article by A. S. Granger in ?Age and Ageing? (2001, 30 (6) 523-5) describes two cases where two patients had well-controlled epilepsy, had both suffered recurrent seizures within two weeks of taking 120mg daily of gingko (though whether whole herb or extract is not clear) and both remained free of seizures having stopped taking gingko. Another article in ?The Journal of Pharmacotherapy?, (Lucinda Miller and Barton Freeman, 2002, 2 (2) 57-63) describes a case where a 78 year-old man was admitted to hospital with headache, confusion and right-sided weakness after having a fall five days previously. The fall had resulted in eccymosis over the left eye orbit. He had been on lisinopril ? an allopathic vasodilator and hypotensive ? and 50mg TDA of gingko. Again, whether whole herb or extract is not clear. It was suggested that the gingko was responsible for, or predisposed the patient to a subdural haematoma ? though the fall itself might well have been a factor. A third article by Susan Wolf in ?The Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism? (2001, 13 (3) 97-105) collates data from various trials on gingko and examines the results. She concludes that there is overwhelming evidence that gingko is indicated in cerebral insufficiency (which we know) but also that there may be a risk of bleeding if anticoagulants are being used or if there are insufficient nutrients in the blood for proper clotting. Herein lies the crux of the issue. Herbalists are trained to take into account allopathic drugs when prescribing, and will also (as primary treatment) be concerned with the state of the blood ? after all, if the blood is pure, there shouldn?t be any reason for disease to manifest. The nature of clinical trials is such that these individual nuances can?t be taken into account ? if only because of time restrictions. However, it is worth considering the anticoagulant action of gingko if other anticoagulants are being used, and further considering the possibility of gingko being contra-indicated in epilepsy ? presumably because of its main action of increasing blood supply to the brain. A fourth article relating to gingko gives a little light relief. It may or may not have come about due to the current interest in gingko! The article is reported in ?The Modern Phytotherapist? (2002 6 (3) 22-4) by the experienced and authoritative Kerry Bone, where colchicine was found in gingko samples. Blood was taken from 5 pregnant women and was found to contain colchicine. Gingko biloba ? for no obvious reason ? was then tested and was also found to contain colchicine. Colchicine is an allopathic drug, being taken from the autumn crocus (colchicum autumnale). It?s like finding digitalis in a sample of dandelion root ? clearly not likely. Kerry Bone ? very kindly assuming that colchicine was found in the Gingko at all ? estimated that the mothers-to-be would have had to consume 40 tablets a day to achieve such blood levels (leaving little time to get pregnant in the first place). Furthermore, the levels of colchicine reported would have apparently been enough to kill the unborn children. Apparently the farce got into the press (tabloids presumably), where one Professor Ernst was quoted as saying the alleged risk from gingko ?was a disaster waiting to happen?another catastrophe like thalidomide?. Whereupon he was strapped back into his jacket.

Ginkgo for glaucoma. (Volume VII Issue 2 - Spring 2004) Ophthalmology 2003, 110, 359-64. A study involving a group of patients with glaucoma and failing eyesight dosed 40mg of ginkgo three times a day for 4 weeks followed by 8 weeks rest followed by 4 weeks on placebo. During the ginkgo test, eyesight improved by 24%.

Glycyrrhiza glabra (Liquorice): safe as candy? (Volume V Issue 3 - Autumn 2001) Pat Thomas PROOF! 6(2) 12 2001. Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is one of the most extensively investigated remedies, contains many chemical constituents including glycerrhizin. Studies have shown that this herb can heal ulcers, help with menstrual irregularities and is anti ? inflammatory, expectorant and decongestant. In Japan it is used to reduce testosterone levels in women with ovarian cysts and to increase fertility. In China it is second only to Panax ginseng as the most prescribed herb. Recent studies have demonstrated free radical scavenging properties that inhibit the oxidation of LDL. Glycerrhizin has also been shown to have immune ? stimulating properties. However adverse effects have been documented including an acquired mineralocorticoid excess syndrome, characterised by sodium retention, potassium loss and suppression of the renin ? angiotensin - aldosterone system. It has also been associated with elevated blood pressure, water retention, abdominal pain, amenorrhoea , headaches, muscle weakness and heart failure. It seems that the evidence for the adverse effects mostly comes from case studies and not trials. One case is reported of a woman with hypertension who was drinking 3 L of liquorice tea daily. It took two months before her blood pressure normalised after stopping the tea. Liquorice consumption has been studied by Finnish researches and in pregnant women consuming at least 500mg weekly more than doubled the risk of delivery before 38 weeks. The vast majority of overdose cases involve huge amounts of extract or concentrates which suggests what all traditional herbalists know, that is - herbs are very safe in the right hands! The whole herb in the correct dosage will minimise any adverse effects of glycyrrhizin.

Glycyrrhiza in the fight against SARS. (Volume VII Issue 2 - Spring 2004) Lancet 2003, 361 (9374). A new coronavirus has been found in patients with SARS. A study was carried out to test various drugs and glycrrhizin - a component of glycyrrhiza - in combating replication of samples of the virus from two patients. Glycyrrhizin came out on top in selectivity with an index of 67 compared to 5 and 12 for two of the drugs. It was also shown to inhibit absorption and penetration of the virus, which is the first step in the replication process.

Gymnema sylvestre in diabetes. (Volume VI Issue 4 - Summer 2003) K. Bone, Mod. Phytotherapist 2002, 7 (1) 7-11. As well as the usual herbs for diabetes, Bone details gymnema (Gurmar), an Indian herb whose leaves are chewed. It reduces the need for insulin and reduces blood sugar levels. One study showed that insulin-dependant diabetics reduced insulin intake by an average of 50% on a water soluble gymnema extract. Cholesterol and triglyceride levels also fell. Trials have also suggested that it can help to restore damaged pancreatic tissue. In addition to this, gymnema disrupts sugar absorption in the small intestine, thereby sparing the pancreas extra work and being of help in weight loss for those who tend towards a sweet tooth. As if all this weren`t enough, it also anaethetises the sweet taste buds in the mouth, thereby making it easier for the patient to kick an emotionally-based sugar craving. Gymnema is available from the Herbal Apothecary.

Haemachromotosis (Volume III Issue 3 & 4 - Autumn/Winter 1999-2000) Yvonne Tait & Janice Harper in Aust. J Med. Herbalism 11(1) 41 1999. A 37 yrs. old female presented with haemachromotosis. The conventional medical procedure involved blood letting to the extent of 800 ml.weekly at one stage of her treatment. The herbal and dietary treatment is recorded over several months and comprised of liver cleansing and anti-viral herbal medicines and succeeded in improving blood quality, showing a reduction in serum ferritin, trans ferrin and iron levels and a much improved quality of life.

Healing Honey (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997) Manuka honey may be an easy and cheap way to treat chronic leg ulceration, report New Zealand clinicians. In a pilot study involving ten patients (and 11 ulcers), a single daily application of a thin smear of honey for 8 weeks resulted in significant healing (over 25% of surface area) in four ulcers. There was no change in six ulcers, and one grew in size. The authors note, however, that despite honey acting as a bactericide in vitro, there was little change in the bacterial flora of the ulcers during the study.

Herbal Liquid Comparison Testing (Volume III Issue 1- Spring 1999) Brett. G. Constable Modern Phytotherapist 4(2) 1998. This is a research study in which different extracts were analysed. The active constituents varied showing a wide disparity. The important factors are the levels of constituent in the raw material, the extraction conditions and the extraction technique used.

Herbal tea stops colic (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997)
A herbal tea preparation stopped infantile colic in 57 per cent of children given the treatment.
Researchers tested the tea on 33 infants, while another 35 were given a placebo. The tea helped clear the problem in 19 cases, although the placebo was effective in nine, or 26 per cent, of cases.

HIV transmission and breastfeeding in Cote d?Ivoire (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997)
Results indicate that the risk of transmission through breastfeeding does not disappear after the first few weeks of life, but continues throughout the entire breastfeeding period.

Homoeopathic treatment of otitis media (Volume III Issue 2 - Summer 1999)
A recent study of 130 children between the ages of 6 months and 11 years were observed for duration of pain, fever and recurrence. The majority were given single remedies (Acon., Apis.,Bell., Caps., Cham., Kali-bi., Lach., Lyc., Merc.sol., Puls., Sil.), while 28 received allopathic remedies such as nasal drops, antibiotics, secretolytics and/or antipyretics. The average time of treatments was
four days for the homoeopathic and ten days for the allopathic. In the homoeopathic group patients suffered pain from infection for two days, while in the allopathic group, pain lasted three days. 70.7% of the homoeopathic group had no recurrence of infection within one year, compared with 56.5% in the allopathic group. A large proportion (43.5%) in the latter group had a maximum of six recurrences after one year. Five children in the homoeopathic group did not respond to their treatment and were given antibiotics. This confirms earlier research (Lancet, 2 883 1981) that conventional treatments do no better than placebo in shortening the lengths of illness. Patients not given antibiotics had fewer recurrences than those given the drugs. Friese K.H. et.al. Int. J. Clin. Pharm.& Therap. 35, 296,1997. Proof! 2(2) 10 1998

HRT - Risks Tripled (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997). Three smaller studies of the effects of HRT showed that women who take HRT are three times more likely to have a venous thrombo-embolism and twice as likely to develop a pulmonary embolism. The first of the studies was carried out by researchers at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Oxford, and their findings were backed by a US study. The results were published in The Lancet (October 12), where the risk is described as small.

Hypericum perforatum (Volume III Issue 2 - Summer 1999). The mechanism of action of hypericum was investigated by using a standardised extract containing 900 mcg hypericin . The extract was found to inhibit the uptake of all three neurotransmitters, serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine, but had only weak monoamine oxidase activity. Muller W., et al., Pharmacopsychiatry 30 (5) 102, 1997
A case study is reported in this paper concerning some side effects observed with a 35 year old woman who experienced increased photosensitivity and temporary nerve damage whilst taking hypericum . Photoactive hypericins when exposed to light produce compounds that cause cell damage, particularly to the myelin sheath around the nerve cells producing neurological symptoms. Bove, G.M. Lancet 352, 1121, 1998

Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) (Volume IV Issue 2 - Summer/Autumn 2000) is reviewed by Samantha Christie, Lambert?s Nutrition Bites (8) 9 2000. The review considers the chemical constituents, physiological activities and applications and compares the various clinical studies on human patients. A review of the benefits, adverse effects, drug interactions and safety of St.John?s Wort is given by Michael McIntyre, JACM, 6 (2) 2000

Hypericum perforatum ? Drug Interactions and Implications for other Hepatic Herbs. (Volume V Issue 3 - Autumn 2001) Simone Werbeloff Aust.J. Med Herb 13(2) 59 2001. The popularity of this herb is largely due to it?s anti-depressant activity, which has been shown by meta analysis to be at least as effective as mainstream allopathic drugs without the side effects. One component hypericin has been shown to interact with different types of medications often rendering them less effective and potentially a safety risk. The mechanism appears to be due to the competing activity on Phase one detoxification and on the transport protein P ? glycoprotein. This review considers the interaction of Hypericum and a number of conventional drugs and the possibility of other herbs interacting in a similar manner on the detoxification pathways. Silybum marinum, Schizandra chinensis, Glycyrrhiza glabra and Curcuma longa are discussed.

Hypericum perforatum (St John?s Wort) extract and chronic pain. (Volume V Issue 4 - Winter/Spring 2001-2002) Sindrop S H, Marsden C, Bach F W, Gram L F, Jensen TS. Pain 91, 361 2000. Medical herbalists frequently prescribe Hypericum to ease nerve pain and reduce peripheral neurological inflammation. In diabetes, nerve pain is experienced in the feet, as well as numbness and tingling and is associated with poor blood sugar control. An extract of Hypericum perforatum , providing 2700 mcg of hypericin was used against a placebo in a crossover trial among a group of mixed aetiology polyneuropathy patients (18 diabetics and 29 non-diabetics). All patients were taken off existing pain relieving drugs for 1 week, then, after a further week to establish baseline levels, they were randomised to treatment. One week separated the treatments as a washout period. Up to six tablets of paracetamol(500mg.) was available as relief medication during all study phases. Response was assessed using 4 criteria (1) ratings of specific pain phenomena, (2) number of paracetamol used each day if needed, (3) patient?s evaluation of pain relief and(4) preference for treatment at the end of the study period. Side effects were noted by the patients. Although there was a trend towards a lower pain score in those using the extract, the individual pain ratings compared to placebo was not significantly changed. The authors concluded that the extract has no effect on pain in polyneuropathy. There may have been too much variation and the study period of 5 weeks too short.

Hypericum perforatum - Clinical trials (Volume VI Issue 1 - Summer 2002) Kerry Bone Journal of Phytotherapy 5 (4) 2002. Results of a study in Munich have again shown Hypericum?s efficacy as an anti-depressive. It equalled fluoxetine (Prozac) in terms of anti-depressive effect, with almost half the side-effects. More interestingly, two separate double-blind, placebo controlled studies in a clinic in Sofia, Bulgaria, showed Hypericum to be effective in vivo against oral and genital herpes. A wide range of symptoms were evaluated during the 90 days trials (number of lesions, pain rating, frequency of attacks etc). Hypericum was approximately twice as effective as placebo in one trial and 50% more so in the other trial. The authors of the report expressed surprise as in vitro trials of Hypericum and herpes had shown that hypericin (the anti-viral constituent thought responsible for its effect on herpes) was active only in sunlight (administration in Sofia was oral, not topical). It concluded the effect on herpes may have been anti-viral, or perhaps due to anti-depressive or some other immuno-modulatory action.

lead - Insidious Exposure in Children. (Volume V Issue 3 - Autumn 2001) Lynn Toohey (Editor) Nutri Notes 6(3) 2001. Lead toxicity is increasing in staggering proportions and is having the most profound effect on children, as lead is more concentrated in their systems. Children also suffer more pronounced damage because lead affects the developing brain. Lead may suppress neurone clusters and stunt the mapping of sensory nerves. The insidious hidden sources of lead include drinking water, foods, old pottery, cans, computer screens, cosmetics, hair dyes, cigarettes, pesticides, contaminated liver, air pollution, house dust, newsprint and contaminated soil etc. Lead has been tied to learning disabilities and juvenile delinquency even with low lead exposure. Lead inactivates many enzymes and proteins, displaces calcium in the bones and zinc and copper from other protein binding sites. Certain nutrients are used to combat the effects of lead exposure including Vit B12, Vit B6, choline, betaine , Mg , Mo , Vit C, Ca, Zn, and lipoic acid. Silybum marianum and silymarin are also discussed in this review as is hair mineral analysis.

Leaky Gut Syndrome. (Volume V Issue 2 - Summer 2001) Samantha Christie Nutrition Bites 10 12 2001 This review considers new dietary and herbal approaches to treatment of leaky gut. A number of factors may be involved in the development of the syndrome including inflammation and deterioration of the gut wall. The commonest causes of damage are infectious agents such as viral, bacterial and protozoal infection, alcohol and NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Leaky gut can be detected by an oral challenge with a mixture of mannitol and lactulose or polyethylene glycol and measuring the size of the molecules in the urine after the challenge. Treatment is described using the 3 stage approach of (1) remove the cause (2) improve gut function (3) Heal the gut. The treatments employ fructo-oligosaccharides, L- glutamine, anthocyanidins, Vitamin A, Lactobaccilus acidophilus, allium sativum and carduus marianus.

Link between nutrition and female hair loss. (Volume VII Issue 3 - Summer/Autumn 2004) Nutrit. Pract. 2003, 4 (2) 12-16. Several studies have shown a link between female hair loss and low serum ferritin levels. Oral administration of iron and L-lysine has proved to be effective in treating this condition.

Lycopus europeus and Lycopus virginicus (Volume III Issue 3 & 4 - Autumn/Winter 1999-2000) are discussed by Peter Stevenson .The paper gives a useful overview of the biochemistry of the thyroid gland and the use of these herbs in treating hyperthyroidism. Written by an undergraduate of herbal medicine and not subject to peer review it is recommended reading for our students. Aust. J Med. Herbalism 11(1) 22 1999.

Magnesium. A review of its clinical application in diabetes, asthma and migraine (Part 1). (Volume V Issue 4 - Winter/Spring 2001-2002) George Marakis PhD Nutrition Bites Issue 11 8 2001: This article considers the possibility of Mg deficiency in certain diseases and presents evidence for the potential therapeutic value of Mg supplementation in diabetes, asthma and migraine. Mg is an intracellular ion and exerts its effects inside cells. Although serum levels are used to assess Mg status, red blood cells can be abnormally low despite normal serum levels and rbc levels are a better indicator of body status. Because of food processing practices and the normal western diet, dietary intakes of Mg are sub-optimal and this results in Ca/Mg ratios of more than 4:1. This can have the effect of releasing catecholamines which lower the tissue Mg level and favour the excess production of vaso-constrictive and platelet aggravating factors. The article discusses the effects of Mg on non-insulin dependent diabetes, asthma and migraine headaches.

Mahonia aquifolium ointment in patients with psoriasis (Volume I Issue 2 - Autumn/Winter 1997-1998) Weisenauer M and Ludtke R Phytomedicine 1996, 3 (3), 231-235. 82 patients given 10% ointment for one side of the bdy and placebo ointment for the other, 2-3 times daily, bandaged at night, averaging four weeks. 61% of the patient and 64% of clinicians reported no change, yet the patients recorded significant improvement. A further analysis confirmed this. Four patients had a discomforting reaction.
Comment: This shows the ointment works for some patients, that 4 weeks will give evidence that it is. As usual the trial was criticised, this one for insufficiently precise measurements of the improvement seen.

Measles? report (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997) A recent study in Guinea-Bissau, Africa, found that teenagers who had measles as young children were less likely to be allergic to the house-dust mite than teenagers who hadn't had the disease. This has lead some doctors to suggest that having childhood infections actually strengthens the immune system. Here's Health January 1997.

ME / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Volume IV Issue 3 - Winter 2000) is a condition that is being treated more frequently by Herbal practitioners. Two articles will be of interest. John Graham discusses the possible abnormalities in the biochemistry and body ecology. Changes in bowel flora, blood lipids, blood and urine amino acids and sometimes abnormal urinary metabolites are frequently found along with low body potassium, magnesium and excessive generation of muscle lactate. The role of viruses, mycoplasmas, protozoa, mitochondrial membrane malfunction and electromagnetic fields is discussed.
Treatments include the use of coenzyme Q10, antioxidants, aminoacids, DHEA, fructo-oligosaccharides, and antiviral therapies. Allium cepa, Allium sativa, and Aloe vera as well as some common foodstuffs provide glyconutrients that are beneficial. Aust J Med Herbalism 12(1) 5 2000
Gary Ozarko discusses some selected cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome treated by different herbal practitioners.
Four very interesting and different cases are presented and it is well worth reading to gain insights about how different practitioners approach these cases. Aust J Med Herbalism 12(1) 11 2000

ME: natural ways to restore energy. (Volume V Issue 1 - Spring 2001) Pat Thomas Proof 5(1) 2 2000 This is an in-depth report of ME or chronic fatigue syndrome . It considers the potential causes such as viruses, stress, depression, adrenal insufficiency, candida albicans, hypothyroid, hypoglycaemia etc. The viral connection is well established and retroviruses are a strong candidate. Treatments using diet and detoxification, supplements, herbs (Glycyrrhiza glabra, Hydrastis Canadensis, Phytolacca decandra), TCM, massage and homoeopathy are discussed. Sarah Myhill Interaction 34 2000, Greenfiles 14(4) 39 2000 Dr Myhill, the medical advisor to Action for ME, outlines research findings and gives practical guidelines for management of ME.

Mellisa officinalis - Mental effects of melissa are dose specific. (Volume VI Issue 3 - Winter/Spring 2002-2003) Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2002, 72 953-64. A study at the University of Northumberland looked at the effects of different doses of melissa officinalis on 20 healthy volunteers using a standardised product called pharmaton SA. Its calming qualities were greatest in lower doses (300mg), whilst increased attention resulted from 600mg ? but then reduced over 900mg.

Mentha pulegium Toxicity (Pennyroyal) (Volume I Issue 2 - Autumn/Winter 1997-1998) Measurement of toxic metabolite levels in two cases and Review of literature. Anderson IB et al Annals of Internal Medicine 1996, 124, 726-734 An overview - cases at San Francisco Poisons Centre plus references over a 90 year period: nearly all oil abuse or accidental overdose.
Comment: a cautionary summary for those who use this oil.

Milk, danger of, consumption for babies. (Volume VII Issue 2 - Spring 2004) Br. Naturopathic J. 2003, 20 (1) 30. The case of a 5 month-old baby who died after receiving milk powder in cereal is discussed. When pregnant mothers - presumably sensitive to dairy products - consume appreciable amounts of milk, in excess of 30 antigenic milk proteins trigger the production of various antibodies in the gut which then cross the gut mucosa, then the placental barrier, contaminating the foetus thereby making the baby vulnerable to reactions to dairy products.

MMR debate continues. (Volume VII Issue 1 - Autumn/Winter 2003-2004) Sunday Express, 06/10/02.This article claims that a 13 year old boy who has suffered violent seizures since being vaccinated with the MMR vaccine, still has the vaccine both in his intestine and also in that part of the brain that is responsible for the seizures.

Natural Progesterone: (Volume IV Issue 1 - Spring 2000) advocated by John Lee who postulates that menopausal symptoms are due to progesterone not oestrogen deficiency. Creams containing natural progesterone have flooded the market with much hype. It now transpires that the progesterone used is not natural at all but is derived from Discorea villosa by chemical synthesis. The efficacy of the creams as a treatment for menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis is also questioned. P. Thomas PROOF! 3 (4) 10 1999

Oils and bronchitis (Volume I Issue 1 - Spring/Summer 1997) Eucalyptus oil and menthol-containing ointment can help treat respiratory tract infections.

Olive Tree as Food, Medicine and Antibiotic. (Volume V Issue 2 - Summer 2001) David Potterton Br. Naturopathic J. 17(3) 54 2000. Greenfiles 14(4) 21 2000. The olive tree (Olea europoea) is being used as a leaf extract to treat a wide variety of infections. Oleuropin is a bitter constituent of olives, which is thought to protect the tree from disease and insect invasion, but it is normally removed during processing olives for consumption. An active constituent called calcium elenolate was isolated from oleuropin and was shown to inhibit the growth of every virus, bacterium, fungus and protozoan associated with human disease, in vitro. Calcium elenolate, however, binds strongly to proteins and becomes inactivated, but it was discovered that the d- isomer of elenolic acid does remain active in the blood stream. This product is now available as d- lenolate and the extract is found to prevent pathogenic bacteria from multiplying, to prevent viral reproduction and to inhibit production of reverse transcriptases in retroviruses.

Origanum vulgare (Volume IV Issue 2 - Summer/Autumn 2000) is reviewed by Kathi Kelville Amer. Herb Assoc. Newsletter 15 (4) 1999. This is one of the most antibacterial and antifungal herbs. The essential oil Carvacrol is about 1.5 times more powerful than thymol and twenty times that of phenol and has been shown to kill 30 species of bacteria . It also inhibits candida, E. coli and pseudomonas aeruginosa. Greenfiles 14 (1) 2000.

Osteoporosis (Volume III Issue 2 - Summer 1999) This review paper considers the causes of osteoporosis, including risk factors and explores both the prevention and nutritional treatment approaches as revealed in the literature. Risk factors for both women and men are collated and current nutritional strategies are discussed. The research findings on the role of Ca, Mg, B, Zn, Mn, Cu, K, Vit D, Vit K, are discussed as well as weight bearing exercise, and dietary factors such as excess protein, heavy metals, phytates and caffeine. S.Christie, Lamberts Nutrition Bites, 6, 12, 1999.

Oxygen therapies (Volume IV Issue 3 - Winter 2000) are reviewed by Simon Best WDDTY 11(7) 1 2000. These therapies involve the use of ozone, hydrogen peroxide and hyperbaric oxygen and have been used to treat cancer, heart disease, AID

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Re: Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants [Re: giz]
    #5518901 - 04/15/06 02:19 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

awesome to see some herbalism happening here.. though the scientific stuff is a bit much for me to chew on, i have been researching holistic and folk remedies for a few years now.. some of my fav's

echinacea purpurea - purple cone flower - great for acute infections, ive been taught to drink a one oz bottle of it over the course of a day, at first signs of any cold or flu issue

taraxacum offinicalies - dandelion!! i love this little plant, its amazing how nature puts what we need most right around us in greatest abundance, and ppl are just trying to kill it off! this plant is great liver cleaneser, you can any part of the plant the entire time its growing.. the spring leaves, and leaves anytime are bitter and very good for you, this one speaks of digestions all around! the bitter flavor we sometimes get from wild foods really sparks digestion flowing, you can mix the leaves in salad, you can also dip the flowers in egg batter and fry them up, yum! the roots are the real medicine here though.. harvest them in the fall when the rest of the plant starts dying back, you can dry them and use them for tea threw the winter, or tincture them and use as a digestive "tonic"

burdock! dont know the botanical name for this one but its one of my favorites! again its the root that i focus on most, harvested from first year plants in the fall... an amazing food!

so many to choose from.. i am really into wildcrafting all the medicine i need but am learning to grow some as well.. practically all the polypore mushrooms (ones w/ pores on the bottom, they look like a smooth surface, no gills) are medicinal... i believe there are no known poisonous species of polypore mushrooms so its a safe group to start with... some of my favs..

inonotus obliquus - chaga!! oh man what a great tea this makes! people use it as a cancer preventative and treatment.. its an immune builder, you can use it w/ acute symptoms but really its for building immune system when you are healthy, as a tonic..

tramates versicolor - turkey tail, another fav... look them up in an ID book, they grow in 49/50 states and are very abundant! make a great tea and really help the body'd immune system grow, also used for cancer..

fomitopsis pinicola - red belted polypore... another great one, this one is used as a digestive tonic along with the tinder polypore, fomes fomentarius..

so many plants to choose from hard to pick a few to share.. ill try to get some pics :smile: thanks for starting the thread

"listening for the secret.. searching for the sound.."

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Re: Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants [Re: Vertigo6911]
    #5518908 - 04/15/06 02:21 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

btw, beautiful pic of jewel weed!!! i love this plant, as well as the nettles it helps :wink:

the nettle stings are actually used medicinal for people w/ arthritis... when actually embraced rather then pushed away the stinging eventually subsides but a numbing feeling happens.. this numbing feeling is unusual in the fact that you have full use of your limbs/fingers/etc while not feeling any of the pain, hence the use in arthritic conditions..

jewel weed i think is also used for poison ivy.. and commonly grows near these plants

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Re: Ethnobotany - Medicinal Plants [Re: mattymonkey]
    #5519061 - 04/15/06 03:05 PM (15 years, 5 months ago)

dandelion is an amazing plant. check out all its medicinal qualities or refer to my documentary when im done.

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