Codonopsis (Codonopsis pilosa)

Codonopsis, also known as "poor mans ginseng" is a popular herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It's used to treat cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, fatigue, and...

Chickweed (Stellaria medica)

Chickweed-cover.jpg

Chickweed Overview:

Chickweed is a small herbaceous plant found growing throughout North America and Europe. It has naturalised on nearly every continent, and thrives in colder climates.

Although there is not much modern research involving chickweed, it has rich traditional references.

Chickweed was used internally for lung infections and irritations, and topically for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. It's mainly used as a succas, or consumed whole in fresh form.

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+ Indications

  • Constipation
  • Asthma
  • Lung disease
  • Obesity
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Skin ulcers
  • Insect bites
  • Gout

+ Contraindications

  • Skin irritation and allergies may occur from topical application.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Demulcent
  • Refrigerant
  • Emollient
  • Antibacterial
  • Antitussive
  • Expectorant
 

Main Uses:

Chickweed is used internally for lung conditions, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, or asthma. Topically, it's made into creams and salves for skin irritations. This can include psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers, or rashes. It's also consumed as a food in many Northern climates where it grows naturally.

 

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Aerial Parts

Family Name

  • Caryophyllaceae

Distribution

  • Found on every continent on earth except Antarctica

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Constituents of Interest

  • Carotenoids
  • Linalool
  • Caryophyllene
  • Borneol

Common Names

  • Chickweed
  • Starweed
  • Alsine Media
  • Passerina
  • Mouse Ear Star
  • Satinflower
  • Starwort
  • Stellaria
  • Winterweed

CYP450

  • Unknown

Quality

  • Cold

Pregnancy

  • No adverse effects expected.

Taste

  • Unknown

Duration of Use

  • May be used long term.
 

Botanical Info:

Chickweed is known for its creeping nature, and ability to grow in very cold weather. It's even been found growing underneath the snow in mountainous regions of North America.

Chickweed is a member of the Caryophyllaceae family, which contains as many as 2625 species distributed into 81 genera. The stellaria genera itself contains between 90 and 120 different species.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Chickweed:

There is little research on chickweed, however, it was shown to have high levels of carotenoids, as well as well-known antibacterial volatile oil compounds like caryophyllene, menthol, and linalool. Additionally, chickweed contains saponins, which are thought to have a soothing effect on the skin. These are likely the mechanisms behind chickweeds popularity as an ointment for skin inflammation and infection. For this application chickweed is generally used as a fresh succas, or made into salves, oils, and creams.

The traditional use for lung conditions is thought to be due to the saponin content, which is well known to have mucus membrane irritant effects, promoting the excretion of excess mucus.

 

Cautions:

None noted.

 
 

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Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre)

gymnema.jpg

Gymnema Overview:

Gymnema is known as "the sugar destroyer" because after chewing the leaves, the tongue is no longer able to taste sweet flavours. It's been used for thousands of years in India for treating conditions involving "sweet urine". This is a common symptom of diabetes as sugar diffuses intot he urinary tract. Old methods of diagnosis involved tasting the urine to identify a sweet taste.

Gymnema offers a variety of unique benefits towards conditions like diabetes, including changes to the pancreatic beta-cells, responsible for releasing insulin into the blood. Gymnema is also a diuretic, helping to clear glucose from the blood through urine (in combination with plenty of water of course). Finally, gymnema leaves inhibit the sweet sensation on the taste buds, maing food taste blnd and dull, which can be used to reduce the cravings for sweet (high sugar) foods responsible for maintaining the pathophysiology of diabetes and metabolic syndromes like PCOS, and metabolic syndrome.

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+ Indications

  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Tooth infection
  • PCOS
  • Hypertriglyceridemia

+ Contraindications

  • Caution advised with hypoglycemic drugs

+ Mechanisms

  • Inreases the number of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas
  • Decreases the perception of sweet taste on the taste buds
  • Inhibits peripheral utilization of glucose by somatotrophin and corticotrophin.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Antidiabetic
  • Hypocholesterolemic
  • Suppresses Sweet Taste
  • Diuretic
  • Refridgerant
  • Astringent
 

Main Uses:

Gymnema is mainly used to treat metabolic conditions like diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It's also used for dental carries, and poor digestion.

 

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Leaves

Family Name

  • Apocynaceae

Distribution

  • Southeast Asia

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Constituents of Interest

  • Gymnemic acids
  • Gymnemasaponins
  • Gurmarin
  • Betaine

Common Names

  • Gymnema
  • The Sugar Destroyer
  • Gurmar

CYP450

  • CYP3A4
  • CYP2C9
  • CYP1A2
  • CYP2D6

Quality

  • Unknown

Pregnancy

  • No adverse effects expected.

Taste

  • Dull (Blocks sweet receptors on the tongue)

Duration of Use

  • Suitable for long term use.
 

Botanical Info:

Gymnema is a member of the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family of plants. It was formerly included in the milkweed (Asclepiadaceae) family, however, this has since beenchanged to a subfamily category. The Apocynaceae family now contains 5 subfamilies (Apocynoideae, Asclepiadoideae, Periplocoideae, Rauvolfioideae, and Secamonoideae). It contains 5100 species, and 366 genera. There are roughly 50 different species of Gymnema, many of which are used interchangeably.

Many plants in the Apocynaceae family are trees preferring tropical environments, however, some will also grow in deserts.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Gymnema:

Gymnema is mainly used for metabolic conditions including hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, metabolic syndrome, PCOS, hypertriglyceridemia, and both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It's diuretic, and increases the number of pancreatic beta cells. Additionally, it eliminates the ability to taste sweetness after cheing the leaves, helping to gradually reduce cravings and prevent high sugar intake in habituated individuals.

 

Cautions:

High saponins may cause gastrointestinal upset, caution advised with high doses.

Caution advised if taking hypoglyemic medication due to agonistic interaction.

 
 

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Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

reishi-ganoderma-lucidum.jpg

Reishi Overview:

Reishi is a medicinal forest-grown fungus. It's highly revered in tradtional medical systems across Asia for its powerful immune-enhancing and longevity promoting benefits.

Medicinal mushrooms are notorious for their complex immunological benefits involving bidirectional changes to various immune processes. Reishi is no different, and is often thought to be the most significant medicinal mushroom species of all. It's popular for prevention and treatment of many immune-related conditions including cancer, autoimmunity, underactive immune function, and both acute and chronic infections.

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+ Indications

  • High cholesterol
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • High blood pressure
  • Food sensitivities
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies
  • Viral infection (including HIV and herpes simplex virus)
  • Neuralgia
  • Bronchitis and asthma

+ Contraindications

  • Caution advised in combination with ACE inhibitory medictions

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Adaptogen
  • Immunomodulator
  • Analgesic
  • Muscle relaxant
  • Nervine Relaxant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Pulmonary trophorestorative
  • Cardiotonic
  • Chemoprotective
  • Anti-Cancer
  • Antiviral
  • Antibacterial
 

Main Uses:

Reishi has many uses, however, the main uses involve the immune system. It has the unique ability to both stimulate and inhibit immune function, making it useful for nearly any type of immune dysfunction. It's used as a supportive treatment for cancer therapy and infection to increase the bodies immune response, as well as with autoimmune conditions to reduce overactive immune sensitivity.

Reishi is also used for chronic anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity. In traditional Chinese medicine, it's popular for treating lung conditions such as wheezing, excessive phlem production, and chronic coughing.

 

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Fruiting body, Spores, Mycelium

Family Name

  • Ganodermataceae

Distribution

  • Asia, Europe, and North America

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Constituents of Interest

  • beta-glucans
  • Ergosterol

Common Names

  • Reishi
  • Ling Zhi
  • Saiwai-Take
  • Kishiban

CYP450

  • Unknown

Quality

  • Neutral

Pregnancy

  • No adverse reactions expected.

Taste

  • Bitter

Duration of Use

  • Suitable for long term use.
 

Mycological Info:

There are about 80 different species of Ganoderma, many of which are used as medicine to varying degrees. The Ganodermataceae contains 8 genera and roughly 300 different species.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Reishi:

Reishi is used as a supportive agent for cancer, autoimmune conditions, cardiovascular dysfunctions, respiratory dysfunctions, viral and bacterial infection, and hypertension. It's rarely used on its own, but makes for a great addition to herbal formulations.

 

Cautions:

Caution advised in combination with ACE inhibitor medications due to potential drug interactions.

 
 

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Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

lions-mane-mushroom.jpg

Lion's Mane Overview:

Lion's Mane is a medicinal fungus with a characteristic "fuzzy" appearance resembling that of a lions mane, or perhaps the head of a mop. It's found in temperate forests in North America, Europe, and Asia. The medicinal benefits of this fungus mainly involve the nervous system. It's also a popular culinary species with a falvour resembing that of lobster.

In recent years lion's mane has caught the eye of the nootropic industry for its ability to upregulate nerve growth factor.

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+ Indications

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Bacterial infection
  • Cancer (supportive)
  • Cognitive decline
  • Dementia
  • Diabetes
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • Fatigue
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Gastritis
  • Hepatobiliary disease
  • Inflammation
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Wounds (topically)

+ Contraindications

  • Bleeding disorders
  • Surgery (discontinue 2 weeks prior to surgery)
  • May interact with anticoagulant medications

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Nootropic
  • Immunomodulator
  • Nervine
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticancer
  • Antioxidant
  • Cardioprotective
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Antidiabetic
 

Main Uses:

Lion's mane is mainly used for neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and multiple sclerosis. It's also popular as a nootropic agent for supporting optimal cognitive function long term.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

3-8 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

20-60 mL

 

Part Used

Fungus

Family Name

Hericiaceae

Distribution

North America, Europe, Russia, Mountainous regions of Asia

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Constituents of Interest

  • Hericenones
  • Erinacines
  • Lactones
  • Polysaccharides

Common Names

  • Lion's Mane
  • Monkey's Head
  • Hedgehog Fungus
  • Pom Pom
  • Houtou (China)
  • Shishigashira (China)
  • Yamabushitake (Japan)
 

Mycological Info:

The Hericiaceae family of fungi are saprophytic, and normally grow in cooler, mountainous regions across the globe. It contains a number of species used medicinally and nutritionally.

Hericium spp. has characteristic "tooth" structures on its fruiting body, giving it a hair appearance.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Lion's Mane:

Lion's mane has many uses, but the most well-known is as a neuroprotective, and nootropic benefits. It's useful for neurodegenerative disorders including multipple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease.

Other uses include depression and anxiety, cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal infection, and fatigue.

 

Cautions:

Caution advised with any blood clotting conditions or medications due to possible agonistic interactions.

 
 

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Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

Rhodiola-herb.jpg

Rhodiola Overview:

Rhodiola was made famous by some earlier research done by Russian scientists in the 1960's. Although a lot of this research still hasn't been released to the public, there has been a lot fo new studies put forward to make up for this loss.

Rhodiola is well revered as an adaptogen for treating fatigue, cognitive decline, depression, and for athletic enhancement. It's considered to be a mild stimulant, though it doesn't produce the "wired" feeling many other stimulants produce. It increases energy levels and makes us more tolerant to stressful situations.

Although there is still a lot of research lacking, we know that Rhodiola can reduce cortisol levels in the body after exposure to stress, however, the details on how this interaction exists is still not well understood. There is also a great deal of confusion around which chemicals are active in the herb, some studies showing the rosavins, others tyrosol and the rhodiolasides. A result from this confusion and dispute is a wide range of differentiation between the "standardised doses" of this herb. Each manufacturer tends to have a preference for one chemical group over the other in their products.

+ Indications

  • Age-related cognitive decline
  • Altitude sickness
  • Athletic performance enhancement
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic heart failure (CHF)
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • HIV
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia (Sleep maintenance)
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Poor appetite
  • Poor concentration
  • Substance abuse

+ Contraindications

None noted.

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Adaptogen
  • CNS Stimulant (mild)
  • Antidepressant
  • Cardioprotective
  • Nootropic
 

Main Uses:

Rhodiola rosea is mainly used for its adaptogenic qualities, especially those specific to lowering cortisol levels. It's reliable for improving fatigue in debilitated or chronically fatigued people, as well as those experiencing generalised adaptive disorder, depression, or acute periods of extreme stress. Its a popular nootropic additive for increasing focus and mental endurance and is popular among athletes for increasing physical endurance as well.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 2:1

2.5-6 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 2:1

20-40 mL

 

Part Used

Rhoot/Rhizome

Family Name

Crassulaceae

Distribution

Northern Climates of North America, Asia, and Europe

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Constituents of Interest

  • Rosavin
  • Tyrosol
  • Salidroside
  • Rhodiolaside

Common Names

  • Rhodiola
  • Rose Root
  • Arctic Root
  • Golden Root
  • King's Crown
 

Botanical Info:

Although Rhodiola rosea is the preferred species used, their are a number of species used in various indigenous medical systems such as Rhodiola alterna, Rhodiola brevipetiolata, Rhodiola crenulata, Rhodiola kirilowii, Rhodiola quadrifida, Rhodiola sachalinensis, and Rhodiola sacra.

The Crassulaceae family contains 34 genera, and 1400 species. Most of the plants in this family can be found in cooler climates.

Another medicinal species in this family is Kalanchoe.

 

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Rhodiola:

Rhodiola serves as a reliable adaptogen with little to no side effects noted in any of the studies listed. It's useful for those suffering from high stress conditions, chronically fatigued, or depressed. Its also useful for increasing athletic performance in athletes, and reducing the chances of being affected by altitude sickness when travelling above 2500 metres.

 

Cautions:

Caution when using Rhodiola with mania as the mental stimulation may produce negative side effects.

 
 
 

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Iris (Iris versicolor)

iris-versicolor.jpg

Iris Overview:

Iris is a misunderstood herb in many circles. It contains a set of constituents that are known to trigger nausea and vomiting. Ironically, in small doses iris is useful for treating nausea however. Iris has mild laxative qualities, which is though to be due to a combination between its potent bitter constituents stimulating the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder, and an ability to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. It's especially active on the liver, where it's used to treat poor digestion, liver dysfunction, and to treat skin conditions.

Other species sometimes used includes Iris caroliniana & Iris virginica.

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+ Indications

  • Diabetes
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Eczema
  • Endometriosis
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Pancreatic dysfunctions
  • Poor digestion
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Skin conditions
  • Supporting weight loss
  • Urinary tract infections

+ Contraindications

  • Avoid high doses
  • Mucus membrane irritation (IBS, IBD, etc)
  • Diarrhea

+ Mechanisms

  • Thought to stimulate parasympathetic nervous system
  • Iridin thought to induce laxative action due to irritating properties on mucus membranes

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Bitter
  • Pancreatic trophorestorative
  • Alterative
  • Antinflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Lymphatic
  • Hepatic
  • Laxative (mild)
  • Diuretic
  • Choleretic
  • Cholagogue
 

Main Uses:

Iris is used to treat skin conditions through the liver by improving elimination pathways and preventing excessive elimination and irritation through the skin. It's useful for acne, psoriasis, eczema, and rashes.

Other common uses of iris is for urinary tract infection, hypothyroidism, lymphadenopathy, and menstrual irregularities.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

3-6 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

20-40 mL

 

Part Used

Root/Rhizome

Family Name

Iridaceae

Distribution

North America

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Constituents of Interest

  • Furfural
  • Irisin
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Oleo-resin, beta-sitosterols
  • Beta-sitosterols

Common Names

  • Iris
  • Blue Flag
  • Sweet Flag
  • Poison Flag
  • Harlequin Blueflag
 

Botanical Info:

Iris is native to North America, and is common around marshes, streams, and lakes.

The Iridaceae family is named specifically after the irises, and refers to the rainbow due to the many colors of irises available. This family contains 66 different genera, and approximatly 2244 different species. Some of the other famous members of this family include Crocus spp., and Gladioli spp.

 

Research Overview:

still compiling research.

Level Of Research:

Clinical Applications Of Iris:

Iris has recently seen a peak in interest in the past few years, however, is still not a commonly used herb due to the presence of significant side effects. Iris is contraindicated in anything but small doses due to the mucus membrane irritant and nauseating side effects. In small doses however, iris is useful for stimulating bile secretion, promoting movement in the bowels, stimulating the pancreas, and treating skin conditions arising from liver congestion.

 

Cautions:

Some of the constituents in fresh iris root can cause a burning sensation in the mouth and throat along with diarrhea and abdominal burning. It's considered an emetic, and mucus membrane irritant in higher doses. Use cautiously and only in smaller doses.

 
 

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Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)

frankincense resin and oil

Frankincense Overview:

Frankincense has been a valuable herb for a long time. It was so valuable at the time, it was one of the three precious gifts given to Jesus at his birth along with Myrhh, and gold. The value of frankincense comes from its powerful medicinal actions, which we now understand to be through antiseptic and antinflammatory actions. In the past, however, these medicinal actions were not well understood, but the wide range of conditions antinflammatories can treat made it a bit of a panaceae of its time. On top of this, the rich volatile oil content made frankincense an excellent source of incense for celebrations and ceremonies.

Frankincense is incredibly hardy, growing out of rock faces in the scortching Somali sun, often going months without water.

 

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+ Indications

  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Crohn's disease
  • Diverticulitis
  • General inflammation
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lymphoma
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
  • Ulcerative colitis

+ Contraindications

None noted.

+ Mechanisms

  • 5-LOX inhibitor
  • Mild COX inhibitor

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Antioxidant
  • Antinflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Carminative
  • Vulnerary
  • Emmenagogue
 

Main Uses:

The main use for frankincense internally is for its potent antinflammatory effects. It works mainly as a 5-LOX inhibitor, which differentiates it from COX inhibitors like Aspirin, Salix alba, or Curcuma longa. Frankincense is best used for conditions like osteoarthritis and vascular/neural inflammation, and in combination with COX inhibitors for inflammatory bowel disease or hyperpermeability of the gastrointestinal lining.

Topically frankincense is used in salves or as a linement for wounds and infection. The essential oil is inhaled for asthma, lung infeciton, or as a mild sedative.

 

Weekly Dose

Weekly Dose

(Powdered Extract)

  • 2100-3500 mg

Part Used

  • Resin

Family Name

  • Burseraceae

Distribution

  • Middle East

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Constituents of Interest

  • Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA):
  • Alpha-boswellic acid
  • 3-acetyl-ß-boswellic acid
  • Pinene

Common Names

  • Frankincense
  • Olibanum
  • Boswellia
  • Sallaki (Sanskrit)

CYP450

  • CYP3A4
  • CYP1A2
  • CYP2C9

Quality

  • Unknown

Pregnancy

  • Unknown

Taste

  • Slightly minty, bitter

Duration of Use

  • Suitable for long term use.
 

Botanical Info:

Frankincense is a member of the Burseraceae family of plants, which includes 17-19 different genera and 540 species. This family is characterised by a nonallergenic resin produced in nearly all plant tissue as well as flaking bark patterns.

The Boswellia genus contains roughly 30 different species. The main species used today is Boswellia serrata, although Boswellia carteri is also used in some parts of the world. Biblical frankincense is believed to have been Boswellia sacra.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Frankincense:

Frankincense is useful for most forms of inflammation, including inflammatory bowel conditions, oasteoarthritis, and vascular inflammation. It's aromatic component makes it reliable for relieving flatulence, bloating, and indigestion.

 

Cautions:

Some allergies have been reported.

 

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Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

horse chestnut leaf and seed

Horse Chestnut Overview:

Horsechestnut is a large tree with a long histroy of use for treating vascular conditions like varicose veins and other forms of poor vascular tone. Its common name originated from a belief that horsechestnut seeds were able to relieve panting horses.

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+ Indications

  • Poor vascular tone
  • Vericose veins
  • Burst blod vessels
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Phelbitis
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Frostbite
  • Leg ulcers
  • Chronic venous insufficiency

+ Contraindications

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast feeding
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Anticoagulant medication use

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Astringent
  • Antinflammatory
  • Decongestant
  • Antioxidant
  • Antirheumatic
  • Analgesic
  • Expectorant
  • Vasoprotective
 

Main Uses:

Horsechestnut is manly used for its astringent and antinflammatory activity specific to the vascular system. It's also used for fluid accumulation, chest pain, rheumatism, neuralgia, hemorrhoids, and sinus congestion.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

2-5 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

15-35 mL

 

Part Used

Seed

Family Name

Sapindaceae

Distribution

Europe & North America

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Constituents of Interest

  • Aescin

Common Names

  • Horsechestnut
  • Conker Tree
  • Atkestanesi
  • Buckeye
  • Eschilo
 

Botanical Info:

Horsechestnut is a large tree, growing up to 39 meters tall.

The Sapindaceae family of plants contains 138 genera, and 1858 different species. The Aesculus genus contains 13-19 different species. Other famous members of the Sapindacea family include maple (Acer spp.), lychee (Litchi chinensis), longan (Dimocarpus longan), Guarana (Paulinia cupana) Ackee (Blighia sapida).

 

Research Overview:

still compiling research

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Horse Chestnut:

Horsechestnut is a reliable vascular tonic, suitable for most forms of vascular insufficiency or fluid retention. Varicose veins, spider veins, burst blood vessels, and peripheral vascular and arterial insufficiency are all indicated for use wth horsechestnut internally.

 

Cautions:

The esculin may be toxic in higher doses. Many horsechestnut extracts will remove this component to improve safety.

Do not use horsechestnut in combination with pregnancy or breastfeeding.

 
 

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Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

lavender lavandula angustifolia

Lavender Overview

Lavender is one of the most famous herbs known to man. It's cultivated on a massive scale throughout Europe and North America, and is a popular flavouring and aromatic agent for household products.

Medicinally lavender is best known for its ability to pomote sleep. It's often sold as aromatherapy, in salves and creams, and incense for this purpose. Lavender is also great for internal use, where it interacts with the GABA system to produce relaxation and sleep.

Levender essential oil is common as a topical agent for insect bites, rashes, and infection.

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+ Indications

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Anxiety
  • Bacterial infections
  • Bloating
  • Cognitive dysfunciton
  • Colic
  • Depression mild
  • Dysbiosis
  • Dysmenorrhoea
  • Fungal infection
  • Headaches
  • Insect bites
  • Insomnia
  • Irritable bowel syndrome IBS
  • Pain management
  • Parasitic infection
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Rheumatism
  • Sympathetic nervous dominance

+ Contraindications

  • Pharmaceutical sedatives

Main Herbal Actions:

  • Analgesic (mild)
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anticonvulsant
  • Antidepressant
  • Antifungal
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiolytic
  • Antiparasitic
  • Carminative
  • Nervine Relaxant
  • Neuroprotective
  • Antispasmodic
 

Main Uses:

Lavender is mainly used in topical applications for rashes, skin irritations, mild infections, sunburn, and insect bites. Internally it's mainly used for anxiety-related conditions, GIT inflammation and discomfort, and insomnia.

 

Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

2-5 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

15-30 mL

 

Part Used

Lavandula angustifolia

Family Name

Lamiaceae

Distribution

Mediterranean and Southern Europe

Northern and Eastern Africa

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Constituents of Interest

  • Monoterpene Alcohols
  • Anthocyanins

Common Names

  • Lavender
  • Laventelit (Finland)
  • English Lavender
 

Botanical Info:

Lavender is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). In the genus Lavandula there are approximatly 47 species. Most of these perennials, or small shrubs. There are a number of lavenders used medicinally.

  • Lavandula angustifolia (English Lavender)
  • Lavandula stoechas (French Lavender)
  • Lavendula dentata (Spanish Lavender)

This list is disputed by many taxonomists, suggesting that French lavender may be Lavandula stoechas or Lavandula dentata, and that Spanish lavender could be either Lavandula dentata, or Lavandula lanata, or Lavandula dentata.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research.

Level Of Research:

 

Clinical Applications Of Lavender:

Lavender is useful topically for female conditions including dysmenorrhoea and PMS due to its antispasmoduc and analgesic effects. It's also useful topically for its antifungal and antibacterial effects. Internally lavender can be used for gastrointestinal complaints, including bloating, flatulence, and colic.

Lavender is a reliable nervine for its GABAergic activity. Additionally it has been shown to reverse the stimulating effects induced by caffeine, and inhibits acetylcholine release.

 

Cautions:

Lavender has been proven to be a very safe herb with a low incidence of adverse effects.

Avoid use with pharmaceutical sedatives due to the possibility of agonistic synergy.

 
 

Monograph Coming Soon

 

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