nervine

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwaghanda is a well rounded, non-stimulating tonic herb. It's useful for strengthening a weak system caused by overstimulation and exhaustion. A perfect herb for...

Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)

Schisandra is known commonly as the "5 flavor berry". In Chinese medicine, it's used to tone all 5 flavors. In western herbal medicine, it's used just as vaguely, to tone the...

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

rosemary-rosemarinus-officinalis.jpg

Rosemary Summary:

Plants have ingenious ways of spreading their seeds around the world.

One of the most successful is the rosemary shrub.

It's desirable flavor, and useful medicinal qualities have enticed humans to carry its seeds along with them from Europe as they spread to all corners of the earth.

The majority of rosemary around the world is used for its desirable culinary quality, however, there are plenty of good medicinal uses of the plant as well.

It's used primarily as a nervine, circulatory stimulant, and digestive.

It stimulates blood flow to the body and the brain and has the benefits of promoting mental clarity, and moving other herbs deeper into the peripheral blood system.

The volatile oils contained in its leaves stimulate digestion and soothe upset stomachs.

Here's everything I know about rosemary.

 

+ Indications

  • Flatulent dyspepsia
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sciatica
  • Neuralgia
  • Balding
  • Muscle Aches & Pains

+ Contraindications

None noted.

Herbal Actions:

  • Antidepressant
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antispasmodic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Nervine Stimulant
  • Nootropic
  • Rubefacient
  • Carminative
 

How Is Rosemary Used?

Rosemary is popular in cooking. It's used medicinally to increase bloodflow to the brain, reduce nerve pain, and improve digestion. The essential oil is used topically to promote bloodflow and stimulate the hair follicles involved with premature balding.

 

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Leaf & twigs

Family Name

  • Lamiaceae

Distribution

  • Originally from Mediterranean, but has since spread all over the world.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Volatile oil (borneol, camphene, camphor, linalool)
  • Apigenin
  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Carnosol & Carnosolic acid
  • Rosmaricine

Common Names

  • Rosemary
  • Roosmaryn (Afrikaans)
  • Rozmarinë (Albania)
  • Ikleel al-Jabal (Arabic)
  • Rozmarin (Bulgaria)
  • Romarin (France/Germany)
  • Mannenro (Japan)
  • Alecrim (Portugal)
  • Mi Die Xiang (China)

CYP450

  • CYP1A2
  • CYP3A4
  • CYP2C9
  • Also P-gp

Quality

  • Warm, Acrid

Pregnancy

  • Caution advised during pregnancy.

Taste

  • Sweet, Acrid, Slightly Bitter

Duration of Use

  • Long term use is acceptable.
 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research

 

Botanical Info:

Rosemary is a mamber of the mint family, which is one of the largest plant families. It contains roughly 236 different genera, and 6900-7200 different species.

The Rosmarinus genus contains 4 different species, the one most commonly used as medicine is Rosmarinus officinalis, though the other species also have some use in the regions in which it grows.

It's hardy to colder climates, but grows primarily in the Mediterranean. It's also highly drought-resistant, and can survive without water for very long periods of time.

 

Clinical Applications Of Rosemary:

Rosemary is most useful as a circulatory stimulant, nervine stimulant, carminative and digestive.

It's used to treat cognitive conditions involving poor bloodflow like Alzheimer's disease, syncope, and headaches. it's also used as a nootropic and for increasing blood flow to the follicles of the hair to support hair growth. The essential oil is especially useful here for addressing symptoms of premature balding. It's also an excellent nervine used for conditions like neuralgia, sciatica, and depression when associated with debility or concussion.

Its digestive properties make it useful for addressing flatulence, indigestion, dyspepsia, and recovery from intestinal tract infection.

 

Cautions:

Caution advised if pregnant.

 

Products Containing Rosemary:

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Whole Dried Rosemary Leaf

Simply Organic

1.23-Ounce Container Filled With Organic Rosemary Leaves

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Rosemary Essential Oil (1 ounce)

NOW Solutions

28mL Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil

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Thought Flow

Harmonic Arts

A herbal blend to support healthy cognition.

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Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated November 2018)

 

Recent Blog Posts:

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

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California Poppy Summary

California poppy is a relative of the opium poppy that gives us morphine. This particular member contains a different set of alkaloids with similar, but milder effects.

California Poppy is the official state flower for California but grows throughout the Southern parts of the United States.

It's primary uses — both in modern herbal medicine and traditional herbal medicine — is for treating anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia. It's one of the most potent herbal sedatives available.

 

+ Indications

  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia (Sleep onset and Sleep maintenance)
  • Migraine headaches
  • Skin ulcers (Topically)
  • Substance Abuse

+ Contraindications

May interact with benzodiazepines or other sedatives (additive). Caution Advised.

Herbal Actions:

  • Analgesic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anxiolytic
  • Nervine
 

How Is California Poppy Used?

California poppy is used for its sedative and analgesic effects. It contains a set of alkaloids similar to morphine, though not as strong. It can be used both internally for anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, as well as topically for skin irritations and ulcers.

 

Herb Details

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Aerial parts

Family Name

  • Papaveraceae

Distribution

  • Southern parts of The United States of America

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Constituents of Interest

  • Eschscholtzine
  • Californidine
  • Sanguinarine
  • Chelerythrine

Common Names

  • California Poppy
  • Kaliforniese papawer (Afrikaans)
  • Pavot de Californie (France)

CYP450

  • CYP3A4
  • CYP2C9
  • CYP2C19
  • CYP2D6
  • CYP1A2

Pregnancy

  • No adverse effects expected.

Taste

  • Bitter

Duration of Use

  • May be used long term.
 

Botanical Information

California poppy is a member of the Papaveraceae family. This family contains roughly 42 genera and about 775 different species. The Eschscholzia genus itself contains about 12 different species.

The species, Eschscholzia californica, is very diverse, as it has been extensively bred commercially and by hobbyists as an ornamental garden flower.

 

Research Overview:

Still compiling research

 

Clinical Applications Of California Poppy

California poppy extract enhances GABA binding and is an opioid receptor agonist. It's been shown to displace fluorazepam from the benzodiazepam receptor. This is likely the main mechanism of action for California Poppy's sedative, and analgesic effects.

 

Caution

  • May possess additive interaction with benzodiazepines.
 

Author:

Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated November 2018)

 

Recent Blog Posts:

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

Gotu kola has been used for thousands of years, mainly in the Ayurvedic medical system of India. It improves mitochondrial function, and is a popular addition to nootropic...

Lion's Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

lions-mane-mushroom-hericium.jpg

Lion's Mane Summary

Lion's mane is a medicinal fungus with a characteristic "shaggy" appearance — resembling that of a lions mane.

The fungus prefers temperate forests in North America, Europe, and Asia.

The medicinal benefits of lions mane primarily involve the nervous system and its interaction with nerve growth factor,

It's also a popular culinary ingredient with a flavor resembling 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.

 

+ 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

Herbal Actions:

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

How Is Lion's Mane Used?

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.

 

Herb Details: Lion's Mane

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Fungus

Family Name

  • Hericiaceae

Distribution

  • North America, Europe, Russia, Mountainous regions of Asia

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Constituents of Interest

  • Hericnones
  • Erinacines
  • Lactones
  • Polysaccharides

Common Names

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

Pregnancy

  • Safe during pregnancy.

Duration of Use

  • Long term use acceptable.
 

Mycological Information

lions-mane-mushroom.jpg

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

 

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.

 

Author:

Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated November 2018)

 
 

Recent Blog Posts:

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

lavender lavandula angustifolia

Lavender Summary

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 flavoring and aromatic agent for household products.

Medicinally lavender is best known for its ability to promote 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.

Lavender essential oil can be used as a topical agent for insect bites, rashes, and infection.

 

+ 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

Herbal Actions:

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

What is Lavander Used For?

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.

 

Herb Details: Lavender

Weekly Dose

Part Used

  • Leaves and flowers

Family Name

  • Lamiaceae

Distribution

  • Mediterranean and Southern Europe
    Northern and Eastern Africa

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Constituents of Interest

  • Monoterpene Alcohols
  • Athocyanins

Common Names

  • Lavender
  • Laventelit (Finland)
  • English Lavender

Pregnancy

No adverse reactions expected.

Duration of Use

  • This herb is generally regarded as safe for long term use.
 

Botanical Information

Lavender is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). In the genus Lavandula, there are approximately 47 species — most of which are 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.

 

Clinical Applications Of Lavender:

Lavender is useful topically for female conditions including dysmenorrhoea and PMS due to it's antispasmodic 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.

 

Author:

Justin Cooke, BHSc

The Sunlight Experiment

(Updated May 2019)

 

Recent Blog Posts:

Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

Damiana is best known as an aphrodisiac. Additionally, it can be used as an effective antianxiety, and mild sedative. Topically is posesses antimicrobial and...

Rosewood (Aniba roseodora)

Rosewood essential oil is highly valued for its aroma, and use for correcting skin conditions. Unfortunatly this herb is associated with a large degree of environmental...

Chinese Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis)

Skullcap is one of the best nervines on earth. The Chinese variety still has these nervine qualities, but is the best species for its anti-allergic, and antinflammatory...

Kava (Piper methysticum)

Kava kava is a calming herb that can also improve focus and concentration. This makes it perfect for work related stress, public speaking, and social axiety at work or school...

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)

Passionflower has many uses, and comes in many different varieties. It's main uses are for anxiety-related disorders of all kinds. 

Catuaba (Trichilia catigua)

There are many plants in the Amazon rainforest that go by the common name catuaba. The Sunlight Experiment prefers the Trichilia catigua species for most conditions...