You are on page 1of 41

Introduction to Herbs

An herb is a plant whose properties allow its use as a medicine. Most of the
herbs we use today as seasoning were originally medicines. They served for
centuries as the principle medicines of the times. They were kept in
pharmacies in dried form for availability all year.

Do Herbs Work for Medicines?

They have been human medicine for all of our history and are still the main
medicine for much of the world. Some are well researched and proven
effective; others have been around for hundreds of years and stand on
empirical evidence.

Herbs do work; however, you must have the right herb for the right situation,
for the right body, at the right time.

Many people incorrectly assure that remedies used for centuries must be safe.
Unfortunately, we have learns in recent years that many traditional herbs have
dangerous, and even fatal, side effects.

Herbal remedies may be natural, but that doesn't make them safe and we
need to be well informed about the optimum dosage as well as about possible
side effects and what are called "contra-indications" in the medical profession.
After all, before a doctor prescribes a drug to you, he will refer to your medical
history and question you about your life style.

Most common herbs are safe as food. However, many contain potent chemical
constituents that can harm if used carelessly, and some of the most virulent of
poisons come from plants, (egg: poison hemlock and night shade) which can
be deadly although they are sold as herbs.

1
There is also the fact that for every substance in the world, there is someone
who is allergic to it. So all herbs should be used with caution and respect.

Risks of Herbs

. Lack of control on over dosage and purity.

. Medical interactions

* If given in conjunction with drugs, there is danger of summation where the


herb and drug have similar action and add together to make overdose.

* Herbal remedy may cause adverse drug interaction when used in


combination with various prescriptions (egg: dangerously low blood pressure
may result from the combination of an herbal remedy that lowers blood
pressure together with prescription medicine that have the same effect.

. Residues of herb in food room farm animals (egg: eggs, milk, and meat).

. An herbal remedy may cause harm which is unanticipated due to lack of full
understanding of its composition and biochemical effects.

Some available well researched remedies:

. Allergies (Hay fever)

. Cardiovascular (cholesterol, circulation,heart palpitations, high blood


pressure, low blood pressure, water retention)

. Children's health (colic, teething)

. Cleansing and Digestion (Bowel disease, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence,


gastritis, indigestion, haemorroids, liver support, stomach disorders, ulcers)

. Immune (cough syrups, flus and colds)

2
. Infections (antiseptic, bladder infection)

. Joints and Muscles (anti-inflammatory, muscle pain and spasm)

. Nasal and respiratory (asthma, sinusitis, sore throat)

. Skin (acne, dry skin, Eczema and psoriasis, sunburn)

And from the best researched herbs

1. Garlic: helps to lower high blood pressure

Aids in cancer prevention

2. Hawthorn: aids the heart pumping action

Slow a rapid heart rate and strengthen a failing heart

3. Ephedrine: decongestant

Bronchodilator in asthma

4. Licorice: antiviral

Treatment of gastrointestinal ulceration

5. Aloe Vera: for burns

6. Boswell: for arthritis and joint injuries

7. Chamomile: for digestive problems

8. Coffee: for pain relief

9. Hibiscus: for hypertension

Finally, herbs won't replace pharmaceuticals, but the research shows that
for many conditions herbs work well, are cheaper than drugs and cause fewer

3
side effects. Herbs aren't quite main stream, but they are moving in that
direction. Patients are interested in them, and doctors are increasingly familiar
with herb research.

Hypertension

Hypertension is considered an epidemic that is spreading throughout the


whole world .If it is uncontrolled it causes serious complications that may lead
to malfunctioning of vital organs which can cause death. It is known as the
Silent Killer. Studies have showed that 90% of people are at risk of
developing stage | hypertension. According to statistics, men are at greater
risk of developing hyper tension. Women are at higher risk after menopause,
as the estrogen levels are reduced.

Hypertension, commonly referred to as "high blood pressure", is a medical


condition where the blood pressure is chronically elevated.

Blood pressure is the force applied against the walls of the arteries as the
heart pumps blood through the body. The pressure is determined by the force
and amount of blood pumped and the size and flexibility of the arteries.

Hypertension can be classified as either essential or secondary. Essential


hypertension is the term used when no specific medical cause can be found to
explain a patient's condition. Secondary hypertension means that the high
blood pressure is a result of (i.e. secondary to) another condition, such as
kidney disease or certain tumors.

Normal blood pressure is agreed to be less than 120/80 mmHg, while those
who have blood pressure between 120/80 mmHg to 139/89 mmHg are defined
as "prehypertensive". Prehypertension is not a disease category; rather, it is a
designation chosen to identify individuals at high risk of developing

4
hypertension. Some organizations consider the blood pressure of value
115/75 mm Hg should be the gold standard.

There are two stages of hypertension, the first stage is when blood pressure
reading lies between 140/90 and 159/99. and the second stage is when the
reading exceeds 160/100.

There are certain groups of patients that blood pressure shouldn't exceed
certain levels , like in diabetic patients the blood pressure shouldn't be more
than 130/80.

Signs and symptoms

Hypertension is usually found incidentally - "case finding" - by healthcare


professionals. It normally produces no symptoms. This is why every
healthcare professional visit should include measurement of blood pressure
using a sphygmomanometer.

Malignant hypertension (or accelerated hypertension) is distinct as a late


phase in the condition, and may present with headaches, blurred vision and
end-organ damage.

It is recognised that stressful situations can increase the blood pressure;

Hypertension is often confused with mental tension, stress and anxiety. While
chronic anxiety is associated with poor outcomes in people with hypertension,
it alone does not cause it.

5
Etiology of Essential Hypertension

Environment

A number of environmental factors have been implicated in the development


of hypertension, including salt intake, obesity, occupation, alcohol intake,
family size, stimulant intake, excessive noise exposure, crowding and
smoking.

Salt Sensitivity

Sodium is the environmental factor that has received the greatest attention. It
is to be noted that approximately 60% of the essential hypertension population
is responsive to sodium intake.

Role of Renin

Renin is an enzyme secreted by the juxtaglomerular cells of the kidney and


linked with aldosterone in a negative feedback loop. The range of plasma
renin activities observed in hypertensive subjects is broader than in
normotensive individuals. In consequence, some hypertensive patients have
been defined as having low-renin and others as having high-renin essential
hypertension.

Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance and/or hyperinsulinemia have been suggested as being


responsible for the increased arterial pressure in some patients with
hypertension. This feature is now widely recognized as part of syndrome X, or
the metabolic syndrome.

Genetics

Hypertension is one of the most common complex genetic disorders, with


genetic heritability averaging 30%. Data supporting this view emerge from

6
animal studies as well as in population studies in humans. Most of these
studies support the concept that the inheritance is probably multifactorial or
that a number of different genetic defects each have an elevated blood
pressure as one of their phenotypic expressions.

More than 50 genes have been examined in association studies with


hypertension, and the number is constantly growing.

Other Etiologies

There are some anecdotal or transient causes of high blood pressure. These
are not to be confused with the disease called hypertension in which there is
an intrinsic physiopathological mechanism.

Etiology of Secondary Hypertension

Only in a small minority of patients with elevated arterial pressure can a


specific cause be identified. These individuals will probably have an endocrine
or renal defect that if corrected would bring blood pressure back to normal
values.

- Renal Hypertension

Hypertension produced by diseases of the kidney. A simple explanation for


renal vascular hypertension is that decreased perfusion of renal tissue due to
stenosis of a main or branch renal artery activates the renin-angiotensin
system.

- Adrenal Hypertension

Hypertension is a feature of a variety of adrenal cortical abnormalities. In


primary aldosteronism there is a clear relationship between the aldosterone-
induced sodium retention and the hypertension.

7
In patients with pheochromocytoma increased secretion of catecholamines
such as epinephrine and norepinephrine by a tumor (most often located in the
adrenal medulla) causes excessive stimulation of [adrenergic receptors],
which results in peripheral vasoconstriction and cardiac stimulation. This
diagnosis is confirmed by demonstrating increased urinary excretion of
epinephrine and norepinephrine and/or their metabolites (vanillylmandelic
acid).

- Hypercalcemia

- Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which people repeatedly stop breathing for short
periods of time (10-30 seconds) during their sleep. This condition is often
associated with obesity, although it can have other causes such as airway
obstruction or disorders of the central nervous system. These individuals have
a higher incidence of hypertension. The mechanism of hypertension may be
related to sympathetic activation and hormonal changes associated with
repeated periods of apnea-induced hypoxia and hypercapnea, and from stress
associated with the loss of sleep.

- Stress

Emotional stress leads to activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which


causes increased release of norepinephrine from sympathetic nerves in the
heart and blood vessels, leading to increased cardiac output and increased
systemic vascular resistance. Furthermore, the adrenal medulla secretes
more catecholamines (epinephrine and norepinephrine). Activation of the
sympathetic nervous system increases circulating angiotensin II, aldosterone,
and vasopressin, which can increase systemic vascular resistance. Prolonged

8
elevation of angiotensin II and catecholamines can lead to cardiac and
vascular hypertrophy, both of which can contribute to a sustained increase in
blood pressure.

- Hyper- or hypothyroidism

Excessive thyroid hormone induces systemic vasoconstriction, an increase in


blood volume, and increased cardiac activity, all of which can lead to
hypertension. It is less clear why some patients with hypothyroidism develop
hypertension, but it may be related to decreased tissue metabolism reducing
the release of vasodilator metabolites, thereby producing vasoconstriction and
increased systemic vascular resistance.

-Preeclampsia

This is a condition that sometimes develops during the third trimester of


pregnancy that causes hypertension due to increased blood volume and
tachycardia. The former increases cardiac output by the Frank-Starling
mechanism.

-Coarctation of the Aorta

Coarctation, or narrowing of the aorta (typically just distal to the left subclavian
artery), is a congenital defect that obstructs aortic outflow leading to elevated
pressures proximal to the coarctation (i.e., elevated arterial pressures in the
head and arms). Distal pressures, however, are not necessarily reduced as
would be expected from the hemodynamics associated with a stenosis. The
reason for this is that reduced systemic blood flow, and in particular reduced
renal blood flow, leads to an increase in the release of 9ennin and an
activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This in turn elevates
blood volume and arterial pressure. Although the aortic arch and carotid sinus

9
baroreceptors are exposed to higher than normal pressures, the baroreceptor
reflex in blunted due to structural changes in the walls of vessels where the
baroreceptors are located. Also, baroreceptors become desensitized to
chronic elevation in pressure and become "reset" to the higher pressure.

-Diet

Certain medications, especially NSAIDS (Motrin/ibupofen) and steroids can


cause hypertension. Ingestion of imported licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can
cause secondary hypoaldosteronism, which itself is a cause of hypertension.

-Age

Over time, the number of collagen fibers in artery and arteriole walls
increases, making blood vessels stiffer. With the reduced elasticity comes a
smaller cross-sectional area in systole, and so a raised mean arterial blood
pressure.

Routine tests

Tests are undertaken to identify possible causes of secondary hypertension,


and seek evidence for end-organ damage to the heart itself or the eyes
(retina) and kidneys. Diabetes and raised cholesterol levels being additional
risk factors for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Blood tests commonly performed include:

• Creatinine (renal function) – to identify both underlying renal disease as a


cause of hypertension and conversely hypertension causing onset of
kidney damage. Also a baseline for later monitoring the possible side-
effects of certain antihypertensive drugs.

• Electrolytes (sodium, potassium)


10
• Glucose – to identify diabetes mellitus

• Cholesterol

Additional tests often include:

• Testing of urine samples for proteinuria – again to pick up underlying kidney


disease or evidence of hypertensive renal damage.

• Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) – for evidence of the heart being under


strain from working against a high blood pressure. Also may show resulting
thickening of the heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy) or of the
occurrence of previous silent cardiac disease (either subtle electrical
conduction disruption or even a myocardial infarction).

• Chest X-ray – again for signs of cardiac enlargement or evidence of cardiac


failure.

Complications of hypertension

Complications of Hypertension are serious,Hypertension causes damage of


vital organs and the consequences may be fatal. Some of these problems:

• hypertensive heart disease

• heart attacks

• congestive heart failure

• blood vessel damage (arteriosclerosis)

• aortic dissection

• kidney failure

• stroke

• brain damage

11
• loss of vision

• Bone weakening

• Other complications

Treatment of Hypertension

First: life style modification

Changes in lifestyle are recommended even if chemical drugs are being


used. These modifications include weight loss, stopping smoking and
alcohol, increasing daily calcium intake, exercising ,reducing sodium
intake, changing diet into what's known as the DASH diet , and trying not
to be subjected to environmental stressors (e.g. loud noise ) and
emotional stress.

Second: medications

There are many drugs used to control hypertension , like ACE inhibitors ,
ARBs, alpha blockers, beta blockers, calcium channel blockers,
Diuretics……..etc. The choice of medicine is differs from one patient to
another according to patient's condition and history. Usually more than
one drug are administered to control hypertension.

Some of the herbs used in treatment of hypertension in folk medicine in Egypt:

12
Marjoram

‫مردقوش ـ مرقوش برى ـ مردكوش ـ مرزنجوش ـ العترة‬

Origanum vulgare

Simple description:

Fresh leaves of oregano: left a yellow-coloured cultivar (gold marjoram or gold


oregano), right regular oregano.
English name:Marjoram

Arabic name:‫مردقوش ـ مرقوش برى ـ مردكوش ـ مرزنجوش ـ العترة‬

latin name: Origanum vulgare, Fam:Lamiaceae.

The name Origanum is derived from the greek oros gonos,which means
‘joy of mountain’.The Romans introduced the plant to Britian,mainly as a
preserving and disinfectant herb.

Used plant part

The dried herb is often more flavourful than the fresh leaves.

Origin

Egypt,India,North America,Iran,Midetteranean area.

Main constituents:

1- The essential oil (max. 4%) may contain variable amounts of the two
phenols, carvacrol and thymol.

13
2- variety of monoterpene hydrocarbons (limonene, terpinene, ocimene,
caryophyllene, β-bisabolene and p-cymene) and monoterpene alcohols
(linalool, 4-terpineol) are reported.

3- Rosmarinic acid

Uses:

1-it was proved by the scientific researches that this plant has a great anti-
oxidant activity which has a great effect in the treatment of arthritis and this is
attributed to the presence of the Rosmarinic acid which has anti-viral and
antibacterial effect..so it’s recommended to drink it as tea daily or take it with
salade or any other food like pizza.

Also the anti oxidantant activity of this plant helps in preventing glaucoma.

2-treating the flatulence.

3-used for the pains of stomach.

4-emmenagogue.

5-can be used externally on the nose to treat coryza.

6- carminative , cholagogue ,antiseptic and dental anesthetic.

7-it was proved by researches that extracts of this herb have a great effect as
a stimulant for the immune system so can be used to treat
depression(psychologically).

Herbal therapy:the herb has weak antispasmodic properities and can be used
to help in the digestion also helpful for cold and flu and nervous tension.

14
flower therapy:collecting the flower during early summer and potentise using
the sun method.Mrjoram can be used for soothing the nerves.

The uses of it’s essential oil:

• Marjoram is highly effective for the respiratory system, encouraging


deeper breathing in conditions such as asthma and bronchitis
• Helps to clear the head where there is catarrh and sinusitis
• Excellent for arthritis and rheumatism for alleviating pain, coldness and
stiffness
• Marjoram is recommended for relieving constipation, flatulence, stomach
cramps and indigestion
• Regulates the heart and reduces high blood pressure and palpitations.
Useful for alleviating painful and irregular menstruation.

According to a review in the journal Evidence-Based Alternative and


Complementary Medicine published in June 2005, the essential oil of
marjoram is known to reduce anxiety and fatigue (as documented in studies
published in Japanese). The British Journal of Nutrition reported in March
2005 that consuming a salad served with an oil and vinegar dressing flavored
with marjoram offers the equivalent antioxidant power of 200 milligrams of
vitamin C. Contemporary scientific research, however, has not examined the
traditional uses of marjoram in herbal healing.
The traditional uses of marjoram include preventing spasms in the digestive
tract, relieving dry cough, relieving pain on bruises, lumbago, and sprains,
breaking up congestion caused by coughs and colds, and encouraging
lactation in nursing mothers

Special Precautions

15
• Avoid during pregnancy(due to its ability to promote menstruation)
although adverse effects are extremely unlikely.
• Women who experience heavy menstruation should avoid marjoram.
• The herb is not recommended for infants and small children.

Toxicity:researches indicated that this herb is safe till 5gm/1kg of the body
weight-the continous use of this herb for two monthes cause no troubles for
kidney or liver which indicate the safety of the continous use of this herb.

Purslane‫بذر الرجلة‬
( ).Portulaca oleracea L

.English name:Purslane.
:Arabic name .
.Latin name:Portulaca oleracea L.
.Official name:Little Hogweed.
.Family:Portulacaceae.
.Part use:Herb,,juice,and seeds.

Description

.The purslane family includes several fleshy plants.

.P. oleracea is a herbaceous, succulent, annual weed. Purslane grows 10 to


30 cm tall and has reddishbrown stems, alternate wedge-shaped leaves, and
clusters of yellow flowers containing 4 to 6 petals that bloom in summer.

.Its numerous seeds are black, shiny, and rough.

.The plant prefers sandy soil.

.Golden purslane (P. sativa) is a similar, related species to purslane, with

16
yellow leaves, but is a larger plant and is not weedy.

.Chemical compound:

1-P. oleracea contains many biologically active compounds and is a source of


many nutrients.

2-Some of the biologically active include free oxalic acids, alkaloids, omega-3
fatty acids, coumarins,flavonoids, cardiac glycosides,andanthraquinone
glycosides.

3-It has high contents of Omega-3 fatty acids and protein.

4- It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin C, and some vitamin B and


carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesium, calcium,
potassium and iron.

:Medical uses .
1-Ti contain mora Omega-3 fatty acid so ti aid the body in the production of
compound that effect blood pressure,clottin ,the immune system,prevent
inflammation,lower cholesterol(LDL),prevent certain cancers and control
coronary spasms.
2-Ti have positive effect on the brain and may aid in such condition as
depression,bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's
disease,autism,schizophrenia,attention deficit disorder,hyperactivity and
magrain.
3-Ti used in constipation and inflammation of the urinary system.
4-The fresh juice is used in the treatment of coughs and sores.
5-The leaves are poulticed and applied to burns, both they and the plant juice
are particularly effective in the skin disease and insect stings.
6-A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of stomach aches and
headaches.

17
7-Purslane is beneficial in urinary and digestive problems, has antifungal and
antimicrobial effects, is high in vitamins and minerals, and has been used as
food source.

8-Purslane appears among a list of herbs considered to help benefit


conditions such as osteoporosis and psoriasis.

9-Purslane herb has also been used as a purgative, cardiac tonic, emollient,
muscle relaxant, and in anti-inflammatory and diuretic treatments.

Special precautions:

. Avoid use during pregnancy.

. Purslane is said to be safe, even in high dosages, however, individual with


history of kidney should use purslane with caution as it may increase kidney
filtration,urine production,

and possibly cause a stone to move.

. Purslane injection induces powerful contractions of the uterus, but oral


purslane is said to weaken uterine contractions.

Doum palm ‫الدوم‬

(Corypha thebaica L.)

Taxonomy

Current name: Hyphaene thebaica

Authority: (L.) Mart.

Family: Arecaceae

18
Synonym(s)

Corypha thebaica L.

Hyphaene guineense Schum. & Thonn.


Common names
(Amharic) : zembaba
(Arabic) : dom
(English) : doum palm, Egyptian doum palm, gingerbread palm
(Swahili) : mkoma
(Tigrigna) : arkobkobai, kambash
Plant part used : the fruit pulp,Hypocotyl,leaves of palm.

Botanic description
Hyphaene thebaica is a deciduous palm 10-17 m high, with a girth of 90 cm.
Trunk is Y-shaped, and the tree is easily recognizable by the dichotomy of its
stem forming up to 16 crowns. Bole fairly smooth but clearly showing the scars
of the fallen leaves. Bark dark grey. Leaves 120 x 180 cm, fan shaped, in tufts
at the ends of branches with the blade divided into segments about 60 cm
long, margins entire; leaf stalk about 60 cm long, armed with curved thorns;
petiole more than 1 m long, sheathing at the base with numerous upwardly
curving hooks. Male and female flowers on separate trees. The inflorescence
is similar in both sexes, up to 1.2 m long, with short branches at irregular
intervals and 2-3 spikes arising from each branch. Male flowers shortly
stalked, solitary in pits of the spadix, spathe-bracts encircling the spadix,
pointed. Branches of female spadices stouter, in the fruiting stage marked by
densely tomentose cushions after the fall of the fruit. The female palm
produces woody fruits that persist on the tree for a long time. They are 6-10 x

19
6-8 cm, smooth, rectangular to cubical, with rounded edges, shiny brown
when ripe, about 120 g each when fresh, 60 g when dry, each containing a
single seed. Seeds 2-3.5 x 3 cm, ivory in colour, trunkate at base, apex
obtuse. Hyphaene is derived from the Greek word ‘hyphaino’ (web), referring
to the fibres from the leaves, which are used for weaving.

Nature of doum palm :

palm tree with oval fruits: an Egyptian palm

tree with egg-shaped fruits that have a gingery taste.

Origin :
The doum palm (Hyphaene thebaica, ÇáÏæã in Arabic) is a type of palm
tree, also called gingerbread tree, with edible oval fruit,

originally native to the Nile valley

It was considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians and the stone was
found in many pharaoh's tombs.
Active constituents and Uses:

1- Hyphaene thebaica Mart. (Palmae) fruit, when investigated chemically, proved


to contain alkaloid (S), reducing sugars and
glucosides. The aqueous extract stimulated the contractions of frog's heart
and rat intestine but inhibited uterine contractions in
rats. On the arterial blood pressure, the extract proved to be capable of
lowering the blood pressure both in normotensive and hypertensive
anaesthetised dogs. The mechanism of its hypotensive action proved to be
through ganglionic blockage. The extract had no diuretic effect in rabbits and

20
was devoid of oestrogenic and androgenic properties when tested on uterine
and seminal vesicle weights of ovariectomized and castrated rats.

2- A comparison of different fractions of the fruit of Hyphaene thebaica


(Doum) was performed in order to investigate their effects on serum
cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins: HDL (high density lipoprotein)
cholesterol and Non-HDL cholesterol in normal rats. Female Sprague-Dawely
rats were treated orally with different fractions of the Doum plant. We used
atorvastatin and a natural extract of Monascus purpureus as references. The
total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, Non-HDL cholesterol and triglycerides were
estimated. Three fractions of the Doum plant exhibited a highly significant
decrease in serum cholesterol and Non-HDL cholesterol. One fraction
exhibited a highly significant decrease in cholesterol level but with only a
moderately significant effect in decreasing the Non-HDL level. Decreasing
Non-HDL, especially LDL, cholesterol, can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis
and subsequent cardiovascular diseases. The natural, safe and non-toxic
Doum plant could be of great merit for use as a hypocholesterolemic drug.

Table 9-20: Nutritional Composition of Indian Doum Palm Mesocarp,


Hyphaene dichotoma (young fruit)

Energy Cal/100 g 406 Fiber (%) 50.07

21
Water (%) 0 Ash (%) 7.69

Protein (%) 9.26 Calcium (mg/100g) 268

Fat (%) 7.21 Phosphorus (mg/100g) 224

Carbohydrate (%) 75.81 Iron (mg/100g) 38.241

Note: 1. High iron value probably due to soil type.

Source: Bonde et al. 1990

Hyphaene thebaica provide fibres from pounded leaf petioles from which
fibres are manually separated and used for cordage, strings or raw fibres for
binding and the manufacture of domestic articles and handicrafts.

Functional uses:
Food: The covering of the fruit is edible and can either be pounded to form a
powder or cut off in slices; the powder is often dried then added to food as a
flavouring agent. Young shoots produce tasty palm cabbage; the hypocotyl is
edible, and so are the immature seeds if well prepared.
Fodder: Trees are browsed to a limited extent by livestock, especially in dry
periods.
Fuel: Palms are occasionally used for firewood and charcoal; leaves may also
be used as fuel.
Fibre: Leaves are probably the most important part of the palm, providing the
raw material used in basketry, making mats, brooms, coarse textiles, ropes,
thatching and string. Root fibres obtained after 2-3 days of soaking and

22
beating of the roots are used for making fishing nets.
Timber: Wood can be cut using an axe, but is difficult to saw due to the many
fibres that constitute the wood. Timber from the male palm is said to be better
than that from the female, as it is borer and termite proof, decorative and
durable. It is often used for construction, providing supports and rafters for
houses, water ducts and wheels, railway sleepers, planks, fence posts and raft
construction.
Tannin or dyestuff: Dried bark is used to produce a black dye for leatherwear.
Alcohol: In Turkana, Kenya, the powder made from the outer covering of the
fruit is added to water and milk and left to stand to make a mild alcoholic drink;
in other countries, the terminal meristem is tapped for making palm wine.
Medicine: Roots are used in the treatment of bilharzia, while fruit pulp is
chewed to control hypertension. Sore eyes in livestock are treated using
charcoal from the seed kernel.
Other products: The hard seed inside the fruit, known as ‘vegetable ivory’, is
used to make buttons and small carvings, and as artificial pearls. Ashes from
the stipes of trees can be used as a substitute for salt.
Services:
rosion control: Doum palm is grown on river banks to stabilize them.

Olive leaves

Arabic name: zaytoun

Botanical: Oleo Europaea

Family: Oleaceae

Synonyms: Olea Oleaster, Olea lancifolia, Olea gallica, Olivier

23
Part used: the oil of the fruit, leaves, bark.

Habitat: Asia Minor and Syria.Cultivated in Mediterranean countries,Chile and


Peru,and South Australia.

Description:Olea Europea is a small,ever green tree,overaging 20 feet or


more in height.It has many thin branches with opposite branchlets and shortly
stalked,opposite lanceolate leaves ,acute,entire and smooth,pale green above
and silvery below.The bark is pale grey and the flowers numerous,small and
creamy white in colour.

The dark purple fruit is a drupe, ovoid and often pointed,the fleshy part filled
with oil.The thick,bony stone has a blunt keel down one side. The thick, bony
stone has a blunt keel down one side.

Official olive soap is made from olive oil and sodium hydroxide.

Costituents:

. Tannins

. Bitter water-soluble glucoside called aleuropein.

Seed: glycerides of oleic, palmitic, stearic and linoleic acid.

Medicinal actions and uses:

The leaves are astringent and antiseptic.Internally,a decoction of 2 handsful


boiled in a quart of water until reduced to half a pint has been used in the
levant in obstinate fevers.Both leaves and bark have valuable febrifugal
qualities.

24
The oil is a nourishing demulcent and laxative.Externally,it relieves pruritis,the
effects of stings or burns,and is a good vehicle for liniments.With alcohol it is a
good hair tonic.

As a lubricant it is valuable in skin,muscular,joint,kidney and chest


complaints,or abdominal chill,typhoid and scarlet fevers,plague and
dropsies.adaelicate babies absorb its nourishing properties well through the
skin.Its value in worms and gall stones is uncertain.

Internally,it is a laxative and disperser of acids and a mechanical antidote to


irritant poisons.It is often used in enemas.It is the best fat for cooking,and a
valuable article of diet for both sick and healthy of all ages.It can easily be
taken with milk,orange or lemon juice.

Contraindications:

1. locally on the eyes due to its irritating effect on the surface(empirical)

2. bile stones due to risk to inducing biliary colic(speculative)by its cholagogue


effect(empirical)

Dosage:as a laxative ,1 to 2 fluid ounces.

Adulterants: cotton seed,rape,sesame,arachis and poppy seed oils are the


many adulterants found.

Na7'wa Hendi

Ajowan or Ajowain is called na7'wa hendi in Egypt.

COMMON NAME: Ajowan, Ajwain, Yamani, Bishop's Weed, Arjowan,


Ajowain, Wild Celery Seed

25
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Trachyspermum ammi, Carum ajowan, Ptychotis ajowan,
Trachyspermum copticum, Ammi Coptium

FAMILY NAME: Apiaceae (Umbrella, Carrot)

INDIGENOUS COUNTRY: Possibly Egypt

COUNTRY OF PRODUCTION: Primarily India

HISTORY INFORMATION: It was used in WWII as an antiseptic because of its


high thymol content, but now synthetics have taken its place. Sometimes it is
still used in cheap perfumes or soap. Ajowan is not an important spice, its
usage is limited to Central and South Asia. It is historically used in Ayurvedic
Medicine and Indian cooking. Ajowan is an ingredient in Indian Curry and the
Bengali spice mixture called panch phoron. Seeds can be obtained from
Indian food stores. Medicinally it is used in India to relieve spastic bowel,
flatulence, dyspepsia. It is effective against diseases of the digestive tract and
cholera.

GENERAL INFORMATION: The seeds resemble caraway and taste like


pepper with anise and thyme. They can be mislabeled as linage or celery
seed. Iowan is not grown in the United States. There does seem to be an
American cousin naturalized after its arrival from Asia: this plant is called
Bishop's Weed, Bishop's Lace or Bishop's Flower (Ammo magus). This plant
is not to be confused with Gout's Weed or Bishop's Weed (Aegopodium
podagraia) which has a rich herbal history. The Bishop's Weed noted here is a
wild flower growing in the southern United States. Bishop's Weed is the
South's answer to Queen Ann's Lace which likes cooler temperatures. They
are very similar in appearance. There is no herbal reference to Bishop's Weed

26
as there is for Queen Ann's Lace. Science is investigating Bishop's Weed to
see if it might fight cancer. Ammi visnaga, an essential oil coming from N.
Africa and utilized for asthma, is closely related to Ajowan.

DESCRIPTION OF PLANT: An annual herb growing to 2 feet with bright green


foliage bearing an umbrella flowering stem producing caraway-like seeds.
There is little herbal reference in United States and Europe.

PARTS PROCESSED: Seeds primarily. A secondary oil is made from the


leaves.

PROCESSING METHODS: Steam distilled from the seeds. Steam distilled


from the leaves.

COLOR RANGE: Yellow orange or reddish.

CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Class: Phenol. High in thymol, as much as


50%; alpha-pinene, p-cymene, limonene, gamma-terpines

PHYSICAL ACTIONS AND USES: Antiseptic, carminative, germicide. Used for


spastic bowel, flatulence, dyspepsia, stimulating the circulation system and
appetite, sinus congestion, deep-seated congestion and stagnation in both
respiratory and digestive tracts. Used to warm, improve circulation, promote
sleep and soothe sore and tight muscles.

APPLICATIONS: Bath (fixed oil may be needed), inhalation, gargle, massage,


tea.

WARNINGS\CONTRAINDICATIONS: No formal testing. Use with caution. It


can irritate the skin.

27
Cumin

English name: cumin.

Latin name: Cuminum cyminum. family: umbelliferae

Description: small annual growing to 30 cm ,has long narrow leaves , clusters of pink or
white flowers and small oblong rigid fruits.

Habitat & cultivation : cumin native to Egypt & widely cultivated in southern Europe & as
. The seeds are gathered when ripe in late Summer.

Part used : seeds.

constituents: cumin seeds contain 2-5 % volatile oil which consistof 25-35%
aldehyde, pinene and alpha-terpinied.

They also contain flavonoids ( including apigenin).

It contains 2.5 % essential oil which used in perfumery & for flavouring
beverages.

History & folklore : a popular spice & medicinal herb in ancient Egypt. Cumin
was used for illness Of the digestive system, for chest conditions, coughs, as
a pain killer, & to treat rotten teeth. The herb is mentioned in the old testament
.In cookery: cumin is an ingredient found in many Chinese ,Indian & middle
eastern recipes , especially carries 7 pickles .

28
Medicinal action & uses:

Cumin like its close relatives, caraway ( carum carvi ) & anise ( pimpinella

Anisum) ,relieves flatulence , bloating & stimulates the entire digestive


process. It reduces abdominal gases & distention & relaxes the gut.

In Indian herbal medicine: cumin is used for insomnia , colds & fevers
.It may be mixed into a paste with onion juice . It has been applied to
scorpion stings . The seeds are also taken to improve breast milk
production .It is also stomachic , astringent &useful in diarrhea &
dyspepsia , improve appetite & taste . Cumin is considered iron rich
plant source .

Adulteration :

Cumin is hotter to the taste, lighter in color & larger than caraway .(cumin can be
adulterated with caraway).

Interaction & precaution : cumin is hypoglycemic herb ,& for those plants , the
hypoglycemic activity has been confirmed for an extract or an identified constituent.These
herbs are usually administrated in non insulin dependent diabetes . Insulin dependent
diabetes must monitor their blood sugar carefully to prevent hyperglycemic & hypoglycem
episodes . The combined effect of hypoglycemic herbs with insulin treatment may lower
blood sugar levels & could potentially result in insulin shock.

29
Celery

(Apium graveolens)

Fami
ly:Apiaceae

origin: native to the coasts of western and northern Europe, most commonly
in ditches and saltmarshes
Destribution: It grows to 1 m tall, with pinnate to bipinnate leaves with
rhombic leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white,
2-3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad
ovoid to globose, 1.5-2 mm long and wide
History : Known to the Ancient Greeks, celery has been found in deposits
dating to the 9th century BC at Kastanas, as well as at 7th century BC Heraion
onSamos.

Cultivation:In North America, commercial production of celery is dominated


by a variety called Pascal celery. Gardeners can grow a range of cultivars,
many of which differ little from the wild species .They are ranged under two
classes, white and red; the white cultivars being generally the best flavoured,
and the most crisp and tender

Main Constituents:
Celery seeds contain several substances including volatile oils , flavonoids ,
coumarins , and linoleic acid.
Medicinal uses 11-
The whole plant is gently stimulant, nourishing, and restorative

30
it can be liquefied, with the juice taken for joint and urinary tract inflammations,
such as rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, or for nervous urethritis, exhaustion

2-The seeds, harvested after the plant flowers in its second year, are the
basis for a homeopathic extract used as a diuretic. The extract is believed to
help clear toxins from the system, so are especially good for gout, where uric
acid crystals collect in the joints, and arthritis. They are also used as a mild
digestive stimulant. The extract can be combined with almond or sunflower oil,
and massaged into arthritic joints or for painful gout in the feet or toes.

3-
The root is an effective diuretic and has been taken for urinary stones and
gravel. It also acts as a bitter digestive remedy and liver stimulant. A tincture
can be used as a diuretic in hypertension and urinary disorders, as a
component in arthritic remedies, or as a kidney energy stimulant and cleanser.

4-Celery roots, fruits (seeds), and aerial parts, are used ethnomedically to
treat mild anxiety and agitation, loss of appetite, fatigue, cough, and as an
anthelmintics

How to Take It

Pediatric

There are no known scientific reports on the pediatric use of celery seed.
Therefore, it is not currently recommended for medicinal purposes in children.

Adult
Celery seed oil capsules or tablets: One to two capsules or tablets three times
a day, as directed by your health care provider. Celery seed extract: 1/4 to 1/2

31
tsp three times a day, or as directed by your health care provider. (Always take
with plenty of juice or with water at mealtime, unless instructed otherwise.)
Whole celery seeds: Prepare a tea by pouring boiling water over one teaspoon
(1 to 3 g) of freshly crushed seeds. Let it steep for 10 to 20 minutes before
drinking. Drink three times a day.

Precautions

1-Pregnant women should not use celery seed because it may uterine
bleeding and cause muscle contractions in the uterus.

2-People with active kidney inflammation should also avoid this herb.
Although uncommon, allergic reactions (even anaphylaxis) to celery seed may
develop in people who handle or ingest celery. In fact, some individuals who
are allergic to birch pollen may also be allergic to celery seed.
3-Active compounds in celery stems and seeds can cause the skin to become
highly sensitive to UV rays (called photodermatitis). For this reason, people
taking celery seed should use sunscreen or sunblock lotions to protect their
skin from the sun.

4-Celery seeds should not be taken from a garden packet. Most seeds sold
for these purposes have been treated with chemicals and should not be taken
internally.

Possible Interactions

There are no known scientific reports of interactions between celery seed and
conventional medications. However, given that celery seed is an herb with
diuretic effects, people taking prescription diuretics (such as furosemide or

32
hydrochlorothiazide) should not take this herb without first consulting a
healthcare provider.

Similarly, celery contains properties that may thin the blood, thus making it
somewhat of a concern to take with blood thinning medications such as
warfarin or aspirin. If you take warfarin in particular you should not use celery
seed without first consulting your healthcare provider.

Henna

Lawsonia inermis

(l.alba lam)

Lythraceae

Synonym; law Sonia alba lam

Common names: henna, alkanna

African names: Arabic; enah

Eng:henna ,egyption priven,cypress shrub.

Constituent:

1-naphthoquinones such as Lawson ,a 2 hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinones , are


the major constituent of the leaves .

2-the plant also contain resin and hennatannin.

3-the plant is noted as source of dye for hairs,feet,and as a cosmetic colorant.

Distribution: scarcely in dry deciduous forests, widely cultivated as a hedge


plant.

33
The plant: a glabrous much _branched deciduous shrub with 4-gonous lateral
branches often ending in spines; leaves simple , opposite ,entire , lancelate ,

Petioles very short or absent ;flowers white, or rose-colored, fragrant ,in large
terminal pyramidal panicled cymes , stamens 8 ,in 4 pairs inserted on the
calyx tube ; globose capsule ,tipped with the style and supported by the
persistent calyx, seeds numerous ,smooth , pyramidal .

History folklore:

henna has been used for thousands of years in North Africa and Asia as red
dye and a scent. Mummies were wrapped in henna –dyed cloth in ancient
Egypt .in Arabia and India, the leaves have traditionally been used to make a
pigment for dying intricate linear patterns on the fingers, palms and feet. The
leaves have also been used to dye not only human hair but the manes and
.tails of horses

Part used; roots, leaves, flowers, seeds .

Properties and uses:

1-the roots are bitter, refrigerant, depurative, diuretic, emmenagogue ,


abortifacient and trichogenous.

2- and are useful in burning sensation , dipsia ,leprosy, skin disease,


strangury , amenorrhoea ,dysmenorrhoea, and premature greying of hair .

3-The leaves are bitter , astringent, acrid , refrigerant vulnerary , diuretic ,


emetic, expectorant , anodyne , anti inflammatory, constipating , depurative
,liver tonic ,haematinic, styptic, febrifuge and trichogenous .

34
4-They are useful in wounds, ulcer ,strangury , cough , bronchitis, vitiated
conditions of kapha rheumatalgia , inflammations, diarrhea.

Medicinal, actions &use:

1- henna leaves are commonly taken as a gargle for sore throat, and as
infusion or decoction for diarrhoea and dysentery.

2-The leaves are a stringent, prevent hemorrhaging and strongly promote


menstrual flow.

3- A decoction of the bark is used to treat liver problems .

4-applied in the form of a plaster, henna treats fungal infections, acne and
boils.

Dosage (henna);3 gm powdered leaf ,internally , for amoeba and ulcers

Contraindications: hazard and side effect for proper therapeutic dosage

Tannin may cause stomach problem.

henna leaf is avoided during pregnancy (may cause abortifacients).

Hibiscus

Classification

Kingdom :plantae

Division: magnoliophyta

Class :magnoliopsida

Order: malvales

35
Family: Malvaceae

Genus: hibiscus

Species: syriacus

English names : Hibiscus , Rose mallow

Uses of hibiscus:

In treatment of hypertension

Pharmacological activity:

1-acidic phosphate stimulation

2-Alkaline phosphate inhibition

3-Antifsh activity

4-Antiestrogenic effect

5-Antifungal activity

6-Anti pyretic effect

7-Anti spasmodic activity

8-Menstruation induction effect

9-Anti viral activity

Active constituents:

Apigendin f1

Aracidic acid lf

36
Behenic acid lf

Citric acid f1

Hibiscus mucilage R1,lf1166

Malvilic acid, lf

Different uses of hibiscus:

In china: hot water extract of flower is taken orally as an emmenagogue

In japan: decoction of fresh leave is taken orally as antacid

In Kuwait: flower are taken orallyas antidiarheal

In Malysia: extract of root is taken orally as fever and venereal diseases

And infusion of hot water extract is taken orally as an expectorant

And water extract of bark is taken orally as emmenagogue.

37
Remedy 1

Remedy 1 was purchased from a merchant in smouha, it is composed of:

Hibiscus 28.3%

Sweet marjoram 15%

Borassus 37.7%

Purslane 18.9%

Method of dispensing:

Infusion of one tea spoonful twice daily (first time before breakfast and the
other at night)

Comment

The components of this remedy, mainly contains volatile oils and tannins,
which are extractable through infusion methods, but they also contain other
constituents ,such as falvonoids, which are extractable through decoction
method.

We recommend this remedy to be taken together with chemical drugs


prescribed by physician, but this must be under supervision of the physician,
besides the patient must be aware of the components and precautions of each
drug.

38
This remedy is not recommended for:

• Pregnant women.
• Women with heavy menstruation.
• People suffering from kidney diseases.
• People that develop allergies to any of the constituents.

Remedy 2:

It was purchased from a merchant in Mansheya,it is composed of:

Doum palm

Sweet marjoram

Olive

Celery

Henna leaves

Cumin

Nakhwa hindy (Ajowain)

Method of dispensing:

Decoction or a spoonful with honey twice daily

(one before breakfast and the other at night)

Comment:

The components of this remedy includes: volatile oils, tannins, flavonoids,


glycosides and alkaloids.

39
We do not recommend this remedy to be taken as a decoction as volatile oils
will be lost. It is better to be taken with honey to avoid this loss.

We recommend it to be taken together with chemical drugs prescribeb by a


physician and under his supervision.

The patient has an important role in treatment, he should do investigations


and measure his blood pressure frequently. He should avoid stress and be
aware of the precautions to avoid any complications.

This remedy is not recommended for:

. pregnant women

. women with heavy menstruation

. people suffering inflammation or diseases of the kidney

. people having bile stones

. diabetic people who are insulin dependant

. people suffering allergy to any of the constituents

40
References:

Introduction of herbs-- (www.wikipedia.com--www.herbaldiary.com)

Marjoram--www.khayma.com

www.Wikipedia.org

http://essentialblend.com/marjoram.htm

Hypertension introduction:

Health.allrefer.com

En.wikipedia.com

www.lifeclinic.com

www.abouthypertension.info

www.cvphysiology.com

www.cardiologychannel.com

kidney.niddk.nih.gov

www.nlm.nih.gov

www.webmd.com

www.wrongdiagnosis.com

Nottingham university website

41