Hopking's Herbal -OPQ- A concise list of herbs, actions and uses
Hopking's Herbal > O P Q <
Hopking's Herbal - O P Q
All these herbs are available from Herbactive Botanicals as:
1. Organic tinctures made according to the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia
2. Organic alcohol-free concentrated tinctures
215. Ocymum basilicum (Basil leaf) - antispasmodic, carminative, galactagogue, mild sedative, stomachic, antibacterial, vermifuge, anti-depressant, adrenal stimulant. Uses: nervous irritability, milk for nursing mothers, nausea, vomiting. Recovery after hysterectomy.
216. Ocymum sanctum (Sacred/Holy Basil leaf and tops) - Adaptogenic, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, hypoglycemic, immune supporting, metabolic enhancer. Uses: Stress, anxiety, mild depression, irritability, inflammation (cox-2 inhibitor), minor pain, anti-oxidant support, mental focus, sports performance enhancement, endurance, blood-sugar level maintenance, cortisol level maintenance, sport injury recovery, arthritis/bursitis.
[Oestrogenic Herbs: Pimpin. Trill. Cimic. Sambuc. Angel sin. Evening prim. Foen. Hum. Glyc. Salvia. Smilax. Aletris. (Do not use with breast abnormal cell formation, uterine abnormal cell formation, growths, fibroids, endometriosis, cysts; any oestrogen dependent abnormal cell formations). See also HRT.]
217. Oldenlandia diffusa (Bai Hua She She Cao, whole herb) Chinese Herb - anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis, lymphatitis, acute gastro-enteritis, septicaemia, pneumonia, urinary tract infection, tonsillitis, appendicitis, abnormal cell formation in GIT; sweet, bitter, cold; HE LIV SP. C/I pregnancy.
218. Olea europaea L (Oleaceae) (Olive Tree Leaf) - oleuropein has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-viral activity. Antioxidant. Lowers BP. Hypoglycaemic. Reduces fever. Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, heart disease, high blood pressure, herpes virus, Candida (thrush). The most valuable known constituents of the Olive leaf (1) are: flavonoid pigments, choline, abundant triterpenic derivatives (3 to 4%) including oleanolic acid, and above all iridoids, of which one, oleuropeoside, acts on the smooth musculature. The hypotensive action of the leaves of the Olive Tree is due to the oleuropeoside mentioned above. This activity has been confirmed by many famous researchers: Leclerc(4), De Nunno and Capretti(5), Balensard(6) and Petrov(7) can be mentioned among others. Besides this major action, it has been shown that the Olive leaf is endowed with hypoglycaemic properties (8). The Olive leaf is also diuretic(3); it has been demonstrated that the diuresis is not caused by the water absorbed with Olive leaf in an infusion, as it is manifested only after ingestion of the powder(6). Finally it has been proven that oleuropeoside is coronary-dilatory, anti-arrhythmic and spasmolytic (7). It would therefore be worth using Olive leaves in cases of: - Moderate hypertension, as well as when the following properties are indicated: mild diuretic and hypoglycemic. Bibliography Paris R.R. et Moyse H., in 'Matiere Medicale', T3, P. 27, Masson Ed., Paris, 1971. Panizzi L., Scarfati M., Gazz. Chim. Ital., 1960, 90, 1449; 1965, 95, 1279 Mazet M., Gas. Med. de France, 1.1 1938. Leclerc H., Revue de Phytotherapie, 1944, 48, 3. De Nunno et Capretti, Produits pharmaceutiques, 1951, 7, 733. Balensard J. et Delphant J., Revue de Phytotherapie, 1953, 17, Petrov V. et Manolov P., Arzneim Forsch., 1972, 22, 9, 1476. Jardou P., Th. Doct. Pharm., Strasbourg, 1938.
219. Paeonia lactiflora (Peony root, Bai Shou Yao) Chinese Herb - nourishes blood, dysmenorrhoea, leucorrhoea, uterine bleeding; muscle spasm (LIV<>ST), menstrual dysfunction, liver problems, cramps; bitter, sour, cool. LIV SP.
220. Panax ginseng (Ginseng root, Chinese/Korean Ginseng, Ren Shen) Chinese Herb - tonic to lungs and spleen, nourishes vital fluids; aphrodisiac; shock, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, diabetes, fatigue; regulates blood pressure and blood sugar; promotes secretion of sexual hormones in men and women, increases blood production (tonifies qi); sweet, neutral; SP LU HE.
221. Panax notoginseng (Notoginseng root, San Qi) Chinese Herb - haemostatic, analgesic, circulatory stimulant, dissolves clots, thrombosis, traumatic haemorrhage, coronary heart disease, angina; sweet, slightly bitter, warm; LIV ST. C/I pregnancy. Ext.: heals without leaving clots and scars. NB: best herb for serious bleeding - can be used safely in large doses; bleeding - serious.
222. Panax quinquefolium (American Ginseng root) - diabetes (type 2), high blood pressure, infertility, sex drive, stress. Memory loss, depression, Cushing’s disease; mental efficiency, stamina, immune system, for fatigue and stress, increases appetite, RA, headaches, colds, coughs, cystitis, menopause symptoms;
223. Papaver somniferum (Poppy, dried empty capsules, Ying Su Ke) Chinese Herb - astringent to lungs and large intestine, analgesic, anti-tussive; diarrhoea, abdominal pain, stomach ache, pain anywhere; chronic cough, asthma; prolapse of rectum; sour, neutral; LU KI LI.
224. Parietaria diffusa (Pellitory of the Wall flowering herb) - diuretic, demulcent; cystitis, pyelitis, kidney stones. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-10ml.
225. Passiflora incarnata (Passion Flower) - sedative, hypnotic, anti-spasmodic; insomnia, Parkinson’s, seizures, epilepsy, hysteria, neuralgic, shingles.
226. Paullinia cupana (Guarana seed) - nervine tonic, narcotic stimulant (slight), aphrodisiac, febrifuge, headaches, depression, fatigue, mental sag. C/I HBP, constipation.
227. Pausinystalia yehimbe (Corynanthe, Yehimbe) - impaired seminal vesicles, reduced sperm motility, decreases pelvic blood supply. Dilates blood vessels including those in the genitalia - increased blood flow routed to the penis for better erections. It does not affect ejaculatory time. Female aphrodisiac as well. Effective weight loss agent - increases thermogenesis and helps obese people to lose body mass. It blocks alpha-2 adrenoreceptors in peripheral tissue which effects thermogenesis for weight-reducing purposes. Chemistry: The active constituents are yohimbine, yohimbilene and ajmaline, all indole-based alkaloids. The major alkaloid yohimbine can also appear as a hydrochloride. This makes it easy to assimilate through the mucous membranes in the nose or sublingually under the tongue. Yohimbine and yohimbilene must react with the hydrochloric acid in the digestive juices to become soluble and be assimilated by the body. Yohimbine hydrochloride is also known as quebrachine. Quebrachine can be found in the evergreen Quebacho tree that grows throughout South America. It is used primarily to reduce fever. Yohimbe bark, strychnine and methyl testosterone are combined in the medical preparations known as afrodex and potensanforte. They are considered limited in their medical effectiveness. Yohimbine is also found in Alchornea floribunda, an African plant that is a member of the spurge family. The root bark is usually macerated and powdered. Primary effects: Yohimbe acts both as a central nervous system stimulant. Yohimbe is a sympatho-mimetic indole type alkaloid with cholinergic adrenergic blocking properties. It also inhibits serotonin. Overdose: The first effects are a lethargic weakness of the limbs and a vague restlessness. Chills and warm spinal shivers may also be felt, along with slight dizziness and nausea. Then the effects produce a relaxed, somewhat inebriated mental and physical feeling accompanied by slight auditory and visual hallucinations. Spinal ganglia are then affected, causing erection of the sex organs. These effects last from two to four hours. Take the tonic for potency, men Herbal V and women, Herbal VW.
228. Petasites vulgaris (Butterbur root & leaf) Medicinal Action and Uses: anti-spasmodic, diuretic, diaphoretic, analgesic, cardiotonic. Butterbur root is medicinally employed as a heart stimulant, acting both as a cardiac tonic and also as a diuretic. It has been in use as a remedy in fevers, asthma, colds and urinary complaints, a decoction being taken warm in wineglassful doses, frequently repeated. Gerard writes of the Butterbur: 'The roots dried and beaten to powder and drunk in wine is a sovereign medicine against the plague and pestilent fevers, because it provoketh sweat and driveth from the heart all venim and evill heate; it killeth worms. The powder of the roots cureth all naughty filthy ulcers, if it be strewed therein.'
Culpepper says: 'It is a great strengthener of the heart and cheerer of the vital spirits: . . . if the powder thereof be taken in wine, it also resisteth the force of any other poison . . . the decoction of the root in wine is singularly good for those that wheeze much or are short-winded.... The powder of the root taketh away all spots and blemishes of the skin.' Constituents: Contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids (notably senecione), sesquiterpene lactones, a volatile oil, pectin, mucilage, and inulin (in the root). Medicinal Uses: It has been used mainly to treat chest problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and whooping cough. Butterbur helps to strengthen digestion, in particular where indigestion results from obstructed bile flow. It not only eases spasms in muscles, but has a pain-relieving effect too. It can also be used for fevers. This herb has also been given for inflammation of the urinary tract, and the fresh leaves can be used externally as a poultice to treat wounds and skin eruptions. Currently, the primary therapeutic uses for butterbur are for prophylactic treatment of migraines, and as an antispasmodic agent for chronic cough or asthma. It has also been used successfully in preventing gastric ulcers, and in treating patients with irritable bladder and urinary tract spasms. Clinical Studies: Migraine Headache: Two clinical studies using 50 mg of a standardized Petasites extract twice daily for 12 weeks demonstrated its effectiveness as a prophylactic treatment for migraines. Both studies were double-blind, placebo controlled, and involved a total of 128 patients. The results of the two studies showed a significant reduction (as much as 60%) in frequency of migraine attacks compared to placebo. Other improvements in the Petasites group included a reduction in the number of days with migraines per month, a decrease in migraine-associated symptoms, and diminished duration and intensity of pain. No adverse reactions were reported in either study. Butterbur extract's high degree of efficacy and excellent tolerability accentuates its value in the prophylactic treatment of migraines. Asthma/Bronchitis: Various parts of the butterbur plant have been used for centuries to treat bronchial asthma and whooping cough, and in folk medicine the leaves of the plant were used as a mucus-reducing cough remedy. Butterbur's ostensible effectiveness in treating upper respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis is attributed to the antispasmodic properties of the petasin constituent. The plant's anti-inflammatory action would also help calm the reactive airways seen in both asthma and bronchitis.2 A Polish clinical study conducted in 1998 examined the influence of Petasites on lung ventilation and bronchial reactivity in patients suffering from asthma or chronic obstructive bronchitis. The study included three test groups and two control groups. Test Group A exhibited an improvement in forced expiratory volume (FEV1) three hours after an oral dose of 600 mg Petasites extract. Group B experienced a significant decrease in bronchial reactivity two hours after receiving an oral dose of 600 mg Petasites extract. Group C patients were treated for 14 days and received 600 mg of the extract three times daily. Some patients (n=10) were also given corticosteroids due to disease severity. All three groups exhibited a decrease in bronchial reactivity, but the patients in Group C who received no corticosteroids had the most pronounced results. These results indicate Petasites might be helpful in improving lung ventilation in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive bronchitis.
Gastrointestinal Disorders: Butterbur's use as an antispasmodic for gastrointestinal conditions dates back to the Middle Ages. The leaves and rhizomes were used to treat spasms of the digestive tract associated with colic, plague, and bile flow obstruction. A German study conducted in 1993 found ethanolic extracts of Petasites hybridus blocked ethanol-induced gastric damage and reduced ulcerations of the small intestine caused by indomethacin, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat arthritic conditions. The results of this study were attributed to inhibition of lipoxygenase activity and leukotriene biosynthesis.
Seasonal Allergies: A recent study published in the January 19 2002 issue of the British Medical Journal was a randomized controlled trial comparing the herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus) to the antihistamine cetrizine in patients with seasonal allergies. One hundred and twenty five patients from four outpatient clinics in Switzerland and Germany participated with 61 receiving butterbur and 64 receiving cetrizine. After two weeks, the groups were comparable on measures such as physical and emotional functioning and physician assessment of the symptom severity and overall improvement.
Dosage: Decoction: Put a tsp of the root in a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times a day. Tincture: Take 1-2ml 3 times a day.
Toxicity: In view of its toxic alkaloid content, do not take butterbur internally. The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids; in isolation these are toxic to the liver. Extracts are commercially available in which the pyrrolizidine alkaloids have been removed. There are no known interactions with either pharmaceutical or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents; however, use of Petasites extracts during pregnancy and lactation is contraindicated. References: Concise Book of Herbs. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1996; ISBN: 0-7894-10672
229. Petroselinum crispum (Parsley root) - diuretic, emmenagogue, carminative. For excess water, stimulates menstrual flow, functional amenorrhoea, flatulence, myalgia (fibromyalgia).
230. Peumus boldo (Boldo leaves) - cholagogue, hepatic, sedative, diuretic, anti-septic; gallstones & inflammatory, pain in gall bladder, cholecystitis. Dose: 1:10 60% 0.5-2 ml.
231. Pfaffia paniculata (Suma root) - nerve and glandular restorative, anti-tumour, anti-melanoma. Adaptogen - to achieve more perfect endocrine balance. Used to strengthen the immune system against the progress of malignancy. Restorative after illness (convalescence). Infertility. Menopausal and menstrual symptoms. To minimise the side-effects of the Pill. Do not use in pregnancy. To restore acid-alkali balance, thus facilitating blood-flow to cells and neutralising toxins. Osteomyelitis, high blood uric acid (arthritis, gout), PMT, high blood cholesterol. Rich source of vitamins and mineral nutrients. Contains Germanium. Keynote: hormonal balance. (Bartram)
232. Phellodendron amurense (Cork Tree bark, Huang Bai) Chinese Herb - anti-pyretic: drying, refrigerant; detoxification; damp-heat excess: diarrhoea, jaundice, urination painful (cystitis), dark leucorrhoea, vaginal swelling and pain, arthritic and rheumatic pain; skin diseases; yin deficiency; nocturnal emissions; dysentery, enteritis, cystitis, urethritis, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, diarrhoea, acute urinary infection, eczema, detoxification; bitter, cold; KI BL LI.
Phyllitis scolopendrium - see Asplenium.
233. Phragmites communis (Reed Grass roots, rhizome and stem, Lu Gen) Chinese Herb - high fever with thirst and fidget, demulcent, refrigerant to stomach and lungs, cough with thick dark phlegm (excess lung heat), vomiting, urinary infection with blood; sweet, cold; LU ST.
234. Phytolacca decandra (Poke root) - anti-rheumatic, stimulant, anti-catarrhal, purgative, emetic (lge dose). Infections of respiratory tract, removes catarrh, cleanses lymphatics, tonsillitis, laryngitis, swollen glands, mumps, mastitis, chronic arthritis. Ext. scabies, mastitis. C/I pregnancy. Lymph
235. Picrasma excelsor (Quassia stem-wood) - bitter tonic, orexigenic, sialagogue, anthelmintic. Increases appetite, anorexia nervosa, atonic dyspepsia, nematode infestation, anthelmintic, threadworms (enema). Ext.: lice (may be used with Tansy). See Lice
235. Picrorrhiza kurrooa or P. scrophulariaeflora (Picrorrhiza, Chinese Figwort, root and
Rhizome, Hu Huang Lian. Ayurvedic – Katuki) Chinese Herb - Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (ringworm). Choleretic. Hepatitis. Urinary tract infection. Uses: jaundice (improves bile flow), sudden liver infections caused by a virus (acute viral hepatitis), fever, allergy. Stimulates the immune system, kills cancer cells, relieves inflammation. Eczema and vitiligo. Also used for digestive problems including indigestion, constipation, and chronic diarrhea. HE, LIV, ST, LI. Bitter, Cold.
236. Pimenta officinalis (Allspice) - carminative, digestive stimulant; flatulence, dyspeptic pain. Wind
237. Pimpinella anisum (Aniseed) - expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, parasiticide; bronchial catarrh, griping, intestinal colic, flatus, irritable cough. Ext.: oil for scabies, lice.
238. Pinellia ternata (Processed Pinellia tuber, Fa Ban Xia) Chinese Herb - expectorant, anti-emetic, drying, prevents hardening of spleen; cough with profuse phlegm, nausea and vomiting; pungent, warm; SP, ST.
239. Piper methysticum (Kava Kava root) - anti-microbial, diuretic, spasmolytic, sedative, carminative; cystitis, urethritis, RA; cardiac stimulant, pulse depressant, hypnotic, narcotic, euphoric, induces dreamless sleep, tranquillizer, appetite stimulant, urinary anti-septic; enhances mental ability; relaxes skeletal muscles (Weiss 298). N/A
240. Piscidia erythrina (Jamaican Dogwood root bark) - sedative, anodyne; neuralgia, migraine, insomnia, nervous tension, ovarian & uterine pain. Sleep
241. Plantago lanceolata (Ribwort/Plantain leaves) - vulnerary, diuretic, weak anti-haemorrhagic, haematuria, haemorrhoids (specific); allergies. Dose 1:5 45% 2-4ml. NB. It is under Venus and will cure all diseases under Mars - Culpeper.
242. Plantago psyllium (Psyllium seed) - demulcent, laxative. Specific: IBS and mucus colitis, chronic diarrhoea. ColonCleanse Powder
243. Podophyllum peltanum L - (Berberis family, Berberidaceae; American Mandrake, May Apple, root or rhizome). Schedule III herb. Slow acting purgative, hepatic, hydragogue (increases watery evacuation of the bowel), cholagogue, alterative, emetic, anti-neoplastic (abnormal cell formation, esp. ovarian), oedema. Ointment for external abnormal cell formations 20% Podophyllum in Benzoin tincture. Powder - dusting powder for malignant ulceration. Tincture BPC 1934: dose 0.3-4ml tds. (<28ml/wk)(Bartram). A powerful laxative due to the resin in the root. Useful cytostatic (prevents growth and proliferation of cells, i.e. anti-abnormal cell formation). Particularly effective for ovarian abnormal cell formation. Also used to treat warts. (Weiss). Anti-bilious, cathartic, hydragogue, purgative. A medicine of most extensive service; its greatest power lies in its action upon the liver and bowels. It is a gastro-intestinal irritant, a powerful hepatic and intestinal stimulant. In congested states of the liver, it is employed with the greatest benefit, and for all hepatic complaints it is eminently suitable, and the beneficial results can hardly be exaggerated. Large doses - nausea and vomiting, inflammation of stomach and intestines (can be fatal). Moderate doses - drastic purgative with cholagogue action. It is a powerful medicine exercising an influence on every part of the system, stimulating the glands to healthy action. It is highly valuable in dropsy (oedema), biliousness, dyspepsia, liver and other disorders. Best action by the use of small doses frequently given, acting admirably upon all the secretions, removing obstructions, and producing a healthy condition of all the organs in the system, and in skin diseases. Tincture root 5-30 drops tds. (<21ml/wk) (Grieve). Powerful cathartic, choleretic, sialagogue, topical irritant. Warts and corns - externally. Constipation - small doses. Specific for perianal warts topically. Combine with Tarax rad. C/I Pregnancy. It should not be taken if there is any debility. Dose LE 1:1 90% 0.3-0.7 ml. (FE 6-10ml/wk). BHP. Warts: Tincture (90%) - the greater part distilled, then pour this into water acidified with hydrochloric acid - the resin is precipitated and may be collected and dried. Apply to warts (Grieve,p.513). Wart Lotion.
244. Polygala senega (Senega, Snake root) - expectorant, diaphoretic, sialagogue, emetic; bronchitic asthma to increase expectoration, chronic bronchitis, pharyngitis (gargle). Dose: BPC 1968 1:5 60% 2-4ml.
245. Polygala tenuifolia (Chinese Senega root, Yuan Zhi) Chinese Herb - insomnia, fidget, palpitation, forgetfulness, neurasthenia, nocturnal emission, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, ulcer, boils, expectorant; bitter warm; LU HE KID. One of the best herbs for enhancing the secretion of nerve growth factor [NGF] in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous systems - a crucial protein for the growth, maintenance, and survival of the neurons; essential in stimulating axonal regeneration. InflammationLess
246. Polygonum bistorta (Bistort root) - astringent, anti-catarrhal; diarrhoea, mucus colitis, IBS, anti-haemorrhagic, nasal catarrh, demulcent, anti-inflammatory; cystitis. Ext.: pharyngitis (gargle), stomatitis (mouth wash), anal fissure (ointment). Dose: 1:5 25% 1-3ml.Take a tonic for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
247. Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed, Hu Zhang) – less potent cytokine cascade inhibition; bartonella infection; protects endothelial integrity; reduces brain inflammation.
248. Polygonum hydropiper (Water Pepper, Smartweed, tops) - stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, amenorrhoea; epilepsy, gout, ulcers, damp diseases (vertigo, lethargy, strokes, migraine).
249. Polygonum multiflorum (Fleece flower root, He Shou Wu) Chinese Herb - tonic to liver and kidneys, nourishes blood and semen, arteriosclerosis, premature greying of hair, aching back/knees, lumbago, insomnia, nourish blood, lymph gland swelling, palpitation, dizziness, abscesses and ulcers; bitter, sour, slightly warm; LIV KID. Take Haer!Haer! (women), HaerMore Men Tonic
250. Populus candicans (Balm of Gilead winter leaf buds) - stimulating expectorant, anti-septic, anti-irritant, vulnerary; chronic bronchitis, upper respiratory tract - acute and chronic affections, sore throats, coughs, laryngitis and loss of voice; respiratory affections - children. Ext.: rheumatics, RA, myalgia (fibromyalgia), gout, dry skin, psoriasis.
251. Populus tremuloides (White Poplar bark) - anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, astringent, anodyne, cholagogue; arthritis with pain and swelling, muscular rheumatism, cystitis, anorexia, with stomach or liver disorders, common cold. For arthritic pain take PainLess.
252. Poria cocos (Tuckahoe, Indian Bread root fungus Fu Ling) - Sweet or no taste, Neutral. LU SP HE BL. Resolves dampness (diuretic), reinforces the spleen and stomach; pacifies the heart (sedative). Uses: oedema, dropsy, oliguria; diarrhoea, abdominal distention; insomnia, palpitation. Lowers blood sugar. C/I prolapse.
253. Potentilla tormentilla (Tormentil rhizome) - astringent, anti-haemorrhagic; vulnerary, diarrhoea; colitis, ulcers, ulcerative colitis, IBS. Ext.: Gargle for mouth, gums, ulcers; haemorrhoids (lotion), styptic. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-4ml.
254. Primula veris (Cowslip flowers) - sedative, anti-spasmodic, hypnotic, expectorant, diuretic (mild); stress and tension, insomnia, anxiety, nervous excitability, hysteria, restlessness, irritability, colds and coughs.
255. Prunus serotina (Wild Cherry bark) - antitussive, expectorant, sedative; irritable cough, bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, nervous dyspepsia, cough - irritable and persistent. Dose: BPC 1949 2-4ml. Syrup BPC 1973 2.5-10ml.
256. Psoralea corylifolia (Psoralea fruit, Bu Gu Zhi) Chinese Herb. To reinforce the kidney yang, (vital function); astringent; impotence, nocturnal emission, urination frequent, Chronic (5am) diarrhoea due to asthenia of spleen and kidney yang; pungent, bitter, very warm; KI SP. Pharm: anti-bacterial, dilates coronary artery, increases the heart rate, anti-tumour, can cause the skin to produce new pigment locally (use for vitaligo and psoriasis), helps uterine bleeding.
257. Pueraria lobata (Kudzu Vine Root, Ge Gen) Chinese Herb - diaphoretic; to relieve pain in the neck and back; to relieve thirst for febrile conditions; to promote eruption of measles; hypertension (mild); common cold with neck and back pain; febrile diseases, diabetes, hypertensive headache and coronary heart diseases; measles, colds, neck pain, HBP; sweet, pungent, cool; SP ST. Pharm: increased circulation of the brain and periphery; lowers blood sugar (hypoglycaemic); treats acute deafness; used for the curing of alcoholism - controls and suppresses the appetite for alcohol within a week and completely gone in 2-4 weeks, Bell’s palsy, Lyme disease, abnormal cell formation (esp. breast and uterine abnormal cell formation) and fibrocystic breasts, congestive heart failure, glaucoma, heart attack,
258. Pulmonaria officinalis (Lungwort leaves) - demulcent, expectorant, astringent, vulnerary; anti-haemorrhagic, coughs, bronchitis with upper respiratory catarrh, laryngitis, nasal catarrh, haemorrhoids; diarrhoea in children, piles. Ext.: wounds. For breathing problems and mild asthma, take Breath Tonic
259. Quercus robur (Oak inner bark) - astringent, diarrhoea - acute (specific), anti-septic, haemorrhages, haemorrhoids, pharyngitis, Ext: skin lotion (burns), tonsillitis (gargle). For diarrhea problems, take Move Less Tonic.
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General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.
Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.
A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.
A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.
Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.
The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.
From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK
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