Herbs and other alternative aids
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This is just basic information on a few herbs and alternatives you might find helpful. Do check out the herbs thoroughly with other sources, before committing yourself to their use, and make note of any and all contradictions. Herbs are natural, but this does not mean, harmless in all cases. They are the basis for just about every drug that is still natural in form and they are the base line origin of even the synthetics, so treat them the same as you would any other medicine and become aware of their proper uses, and dosages.
Mexican Damiana: Turnera aphrosidisiaca
As the latin name suggests, yes it's an aphrodisiac. It contains plant hormones, testosterone in particular, and is therefore useful in conditions where such would be applied: Sexual stimulation, strengthening of the reproductive organs and treats inflammation of the testicles.
Other uses: fatigue, hot flashes, panic attacks, menopause, obesity, prostate problems, headaches and is an over all energy tonic. It makes a wonderful tasty tea and smells great.
Vitamins/Minerals: A, B, C and E, cobalt, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
Not to be used by pregnant persons. It can stimulate muscular contractions. To be used with care, or avoided, if you are diabetic, as it has unpredictable effects on blood sugar levels, it may increase or decrease blood sugar.
Fenugreek: Trigonella foenum-graecum:
Known since before Socrates, this little yellow seed has been used for ailments both inside and out. The seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes them good for: Joint issues, infections of all kinds, hay fever, ulcers and other stomach irritations. It has a mucilage substance( read jelly like )so when boiled, it soothes the gastrointestinal lining, throat, and skin.
Since it draws water to itself, it works as both a laxative and diuretic, lowers blood sugar levels, by slowing down food processing and helping to prevent after meal spikes. It can help lower bad cholesterol and clean the body of wastes, helps prevent kidney stones, ease boils and other such skin irruption's. External uses: poultice of semi boiled seeds can be applied to glandular swellings and nerve pain.
They also contain a fairly large amount of plant hormones...Estrogen's.
Vitamins B-1-2-5-6-9-12 also A and D. Minerals: biotin, iron, lecithin, choline, inositaol, naiacin, phosphates, protein and PABA.
Now despite how
this sounds like a spoonful of a jellyfish.. it is actually quite tasty
and not at all slimy.
Not to be used
by persons with a history of breast cancer, or who are on birth control
Yerba Mate: Ilex paraguayenisis
as the name suggests. Another Power herb for invigorating the mind,
endurance and mental stimulation.
It's known as an adaptogen, and will make most any other herb you put it with, work better..why is unknown..but it does seem to help.
Good for: PMS, Hay fever, headaches, obesity, panic attacks and over all stress. It is a fairly tasty tea and mixes well with others without overpowering them.
Vitamins/Minerals: Caffeine ( with that list...! Is this a surprise to anyone.?..) but much kinder to you than what you typically get in soda or coffee...chlorophyll, iron, B5, C and E.
Not to be used by pregnant persons, or while nursing. Not to be given to a child under 2.
Chickweed: Stellaria media
So named because they grow low to the ground, and are favored by chicks of all kinds. And they are smart little birdies.. look at this list of what this herb, that smells and looks like you just mowed the lawn, can do.
Obesity, asthma, aging, blood disorders, chemical sensitivity, colitis, constipation, a diuretic, gastric intestinal disorders, pleurisy and other lung and respiratory problems. Skin diseases and wound treatment: Makes a soothing addition to the bath water:
Vitamins/Minerals: B6-12, C, D, biotin, choline, copper, iodine, phosphorus, potash salts, rutin, silicon and sodium.
No known contradictions.
Siberian Ginseng: Eleutherococcus senticosis
Treats or aids: chemical sensitivity by making you better able to tolerate them. Likewise with noise, fumes, vibrations and climatic changes.
It is antioxidant and an adaptogen, which just means it helps the body with the damage caused by the " fight or flight response" kicked off by stress. It also in turn helps heal the damages that such stress creates:
Ulcers, pre-mature aging, senility, cholesterol, diabetes, immune system issues, menopause and impotence. Vitamins/Minerals: calcium, iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamin, Vit: A, B12, and E.
No known contradictions.
Psyllium: Plantago psyllium
This one you have taken, if you have used any one of a dozen bulk laxatives on the current day market.
But here are a few things you may not know about it. It lowers cholesterol, removes toxins from the intestines, and despite what all the commercial's for the other guys are saying against it, It can relieve gas.
( If you get gas after taking it, you have A: taken too much and/or B: failed to drink lots of water with it.. )
A diuretic, treats hemorrhoids, high blood pressure, obesity, diverticulitits ( where pockets of matter gather in the intestines ) and will help get rid of worms and other parasites. Vitamins/Minerals: calcium, iodine, potassium, sulfur, vitamins C, K and T ( yes there is one called T )
Limitations: As noted above take with plenty of water
Thyme: Thymus vulgaris
Yes I mean the one in your kitchen cupboard. It can heal sinus, lung and respiratory ills. PMS, Migraines, asthma, colds/flu/colic, indigestion, gas, herpes and heart burn and more.
External: Kills parasites such as crabs and lice.
Can help get rid of fungal infections like icky toe nails and athletes foot. And just as a note, it will also suppress mold and mildew on surfaces when added to wash water.
Vitamins/Minerals: fluorine, iodine, iron, all the Bs, C and D.
Avoid touching the raw oil of the plant, some people will break out in a rash from contact.
Catnip: Nepeta cataria
Yep the stuff the cat gets goofy over is exactly what I mean. Catnip sold for pets however, is often contaminated with other plant products. It should not be used for human consumption. This is one that is best used fresh in any event. The plant is hardy, easy to grow, and needs little care, it's also pretty :) ( Keeping yours or the neighbors cat from eating it or rolling in it, is a bit of a problem, but a wire cage over the plant can help )
Uses are: anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness, upset stomach, flatulence and excess acid. Make a strong cup to aid in sleep. And yes if you make the cup strong enough, you will get as goofy as your cat, but I don't recommend making it that strong...the next day hangover is killer..! Moderation in all things.
Vitamins/Minerals: no information available
Women who are pregnant, nursing, or who have pelvic inflammatory disease, should not use catnip. It is not advised for children. Do not use with Tricyclic antidepressants, or other sedative medications, as the medications effect may be increased.
Mugwort: Artemisia vulgaris
I know odd sounding name isn't it? But odd or not it can do a great many things for you. Internal: promotes appetite ( good after an illness to get back on track ) is a light purgative ( read laxative ) aid to digestion and will regulate bile production in the stomach.
External usage: Here where this really shines ... as a bath additive. Been on your feet all day and your legs and back are trying to sue you for abuse? Make a strong pot of this and add it to the bath water and you will feel better...very soon.
Used in a dream pillow it can aid in sleep and as it says...dreams...
Vitamins/Minerals: information not available.
Do not use internally to excess, can cause symptoms of poisoning
Parsley: Petroselinum sativum
Do I mean that
green stuff they decorate the plate with at restaurants? You bet, what
we toss out we should eat...sometimes in preference
Help to prevent T-cell lymphoma for one ( type of cancer ). Eliminate toxins in the liver, treat allergies, asthma, bladder infections, congestive heart failure, *( yeah you read that right, CHF ) PMS, parasites, arthritis, gout, indigestion's, kidney and bladder issues, jaundice, prostate problems, obesity, gallstones, respiratory problems, and is a breath sweetener...which you have heard before I am sure.
Vitamins/Minerals: calcium, chlorophyll, copper, iron, vit: A, B1, B2, C.
Do not consume if pregnant, can induce labor.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan): Griffonia simplicifolia
Which is a supplement that is manufactured from the seeds of an African plant (Griffonia simplicifolia). 5-HTP is said to be converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. It is suggested highly that you read up on this in detail, before committing to a treatment regime, as the jury is still out on this one.
If you are
taking prescription antidepressants, do not take 5-HTP as it may raise
your serotonin levels too high
St. John's Wort: Hypericum perforatum
St. John's Wort helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. Believed to involve inhibition of serotonin reuptake, meaning its action, is much like the conventional selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or commonly used antidepressants.
Vitamin information: Not available.
be taken with conventional antidepressants.
Echinacea: Echinacea purpurea
Immunostimulatory effects ( meaning it boosts the immune system ) and anti-inflammatory properties. Bactericidal and wound healing has been effected with it. Echinacea is considered one of the best blood purifiers and is an effective antibiotic. Most common use, to aid the healing of or avoid the common cold or flu.
Vitamins/Minerals: polysaccharides, polyacetylenes, betain, glycoside, sesquiterpenes and caryophylene. It also contains copper, iron, tannins, protein, fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and E.
Should not be used by anyone who is known to be allergic to ragweed or daises.
Skullcap: Scutellaria lateriflora
Is used as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, febrifuge, nervine and a sedative. Also used for, nervous headaches, neuralgia, pain, and inducing sleep. ( I suggest you take this one in a caplet form, it's not very tasty )
Should not be taken with anticonvulsants such as, carbamazepine, phenytoin, and valproic acid. Barbiturates such as, phenobarbital. Benzodiazepines such as, alprazolam and diazepam. Drugs for insomnia such as, Lunesta, Rozerem, Sonata, and zolpidem. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, amoxapine, doxepin, and nortriptyline. Use of skullcap with these medications, can increase the effects of the other drugs.
Vitamin information: Not available.
Should not be used by pregnant women, since it may induce a miscarriage
Valerian root: Valeriana officinalis
as an anti-convulsant, sedative, migraine treatment and pain reliever.
Most common use, to help cure insomnia.
Vitamin information: Not available.
Should not be taken with, lorazepam, anti epileptics, or barbiturates.
Ginkgo Biloba (Ginkgo Biloba Leaf)
To improve short and long term memory, increases reaction time and improves mental clarity. It is believed ginkgo can do this by the simple fact of how it increases blood flow to the brain. Also is an antioxidant and use shows a marked reduction of cholesterol plaque in the blood vessels. Shown to improve degenerative eye conditions and hearing loss in the elderly.
Vitamins/Minerals: flavonoids and terpene lactones, including ginkgolides A, B, and C, bilobalide, quercetin, and kaempferol.
be taken to excess, due to the risk of stroke, if taken in high doses.
Grapeseed Extract : Vitis vinifera
First and foremost, it's an antioxidant. It is also an anti-inflammatory and an anti carcinogenic ( cancer prevention ). Helps treat heart disease, viruses, varicose veins, diabetic retinopathy, and cell damage caused by toxic chemicals. Full details on its chemical actions, here.
Vitamins/Minerals: Vitamin E, flavonoids, linoleic acid, condensed tannins, pycnogenols, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins.
Should not be taken with anti platelet or anti coagulant drugs (Heparin, Warfarin, aspirin etc.) the effects of the drugs may be increased, with possible excess bleeding as a result.
Its use in
pregnancy, or children, has not been established.
Mineral and vitamin supplements that might help: