• DRUG-old Dutch word drogge meaning ‘to dry’. • 25% of all prescription drugs still derived from trees, shrubs, or herbs. • Some from plant extracts;others are synthesized to mimic a natural plant compund

• ‘ The WHO notes that 119 plantderived pharmaceutical medicines, about 74% are used in modern medicine in ways that correlated directly w/ their traditional uses as plant medicines by native cultures. ’

• ‘The scope of herbal medicine ranges from mild –acting plant medicines such as chamomile & peppermint to very potent ones such as foxglove (from w/c digitalis derived).

• HERB- as used in herbal medicine (aka as botanical medicine, or in Europe, as phytotherapy or phytomedicine), means a plant or plant part that is used to make medicine, food flavors (spices), or aromatic oils for soaps & fragrances.

Herb can be:
• • • • • • • Leaf Flower Stem Seed Root Fruit Bark • Or any other plant part used for its medicinal, food flavoring or fragrant property.

• ‘ There are an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 plants on earth today (the number varies depending on whether subspecies are included). Only about 5,000 of these have been extensively studied for their medicinal applications’

• ‘Considering that 121 prescription drugs come from onlt 90 species of plants, & that 74% of these were discovered ff. up native folklore claims ’-Dr. Farnsworth

• Herbs contain large # of naturally occurring chemicals that have biological activity. • For past 150 years, chemists & pharmacists have been isolating & purifying the ‘active’ compunds from plants to produce reliable pharmaceutical drugs.

• Digoxin-foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) • Reserpine-indian snakeroot (Rauwolfia serpentina) • Colchicine- autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) • Morphine- opium poppy (Papaver somniafera)

Accdg to Dr. Andrew Weil
• …because herbs & plants use an indirect route to the bloodstream & target organs, their effects are usually slower in onset & less dramatic than those of purified drugs administered by more drug routes. ‘Drs & pts accustomed to the rapid, intense effects of synthetic meds may become impatient w/ botanicals for this reason’.

• Adverse effects can occur if an inadequate dose, a low- quality herb, or the wrong herb is prescribed for the patient.

• Pharmaceutical research find out how & why the active ingredients of herbs work; this effect is reffered as herb’s action.

The qualities of herbs w/c make them beneficial in treating the human body, include:
• Adaptogenic: inc. Resistance & resilience to stress, enabling the body to adapt around the problem
& avoid reaching collapse. Also work by supporting the adrenal glands. • Alternative: restore proper funtioning of the body, increasing health & vitality. • Antihelmintic: destroy or expel intestinal worms • Anti-inflammatory: soothe inflammations or reduce the inflammatory response of the tissue directly.

• Antimicrobial- destroy or resist pathogens.
• Antispasmodic- ease cramps in smooth & skeletal muscles. Alleviate muscular tension & can ease psychological tension as well. • Astringent- have binding action on mucous membranes, skin & other tissue. They reduce irritation & inflammation & creating a barrier against infection that is helpful to wounds & burns.

• Bitter: have a special role in preventive med. The taste triggers a sensory response in the CNS leading to a range of responses, including: stimulating appetite & the flow of digestive juices; aiding the liver’s detoxification work; increasing bile flow; & motivating gut self- repair mechanisms.

• Carminative: soothe the gut wall; reduce any inflammation that might be present; & ease griping pains & help w/ the removal of gas from the digestive tract. • Demulcent: rich in mucilage & soothe & protect irritated or inflammed tissue. They reduce irritation down the whole length of the bowel, reduce sensitivity to potentially corrosive gastric acids, help prevent diarrhea, & reduce muscle spasms that cause colic.

• Diuretic: inc. Production & elimination of urine. Help eliminate waste & support the whole process of inner cleansing. • Emmenagogue: stimulate menstrual flow & activity. Remedy that affects the female reproductive system. • Expectorant: stimulate removal of mucous from the lungs.
– Stimulating expectorants ‘irritate ’ the bronchioles causing expulsion of material. – Relaxing expectorants- soothes bronchial spasm & loosen mucuous secretions, helping in dry, irritating coughs.

• Hepatic: aid the liver. They tone the liver & in some cases increase the flow of bile. • Hypotensive: lower elevated BP. • Laxative: promote bowel movements. • Nervine: helps the nervous system & subdivided into 3 grps:
– Nervine tonics: strengthen & restore the nervous system. – Nervine relaxants: ease anxiety & tension by soothing both body & mind. – Nervine stimulants- directly stimulate nerve activity.

• Stimulating: quicken & invigorate the physiological & metabolic activity of the body. • Tonic: nurture & enliven. They are used frequently in Traditional Chinese Medicine & Ayurvedic Medicine, often as a preventative measure. Tonic herbs like ginseng build vital energy, or qi.

Herbs in Many Forms

How to Make an Herb Tea?
• Infusions: simplest method. Both fresh or dried herbs may be used. • Decoctions: for hard & woody herbs, ginger root & cinnamon bark.

• Whole herbs: plants or plant parts that are dried & then either cut or powdered. They can be used as teas or for a variety of products at home. • Teas: come in either loose or teabag form. teas are consumed for 3 reasons: 1. as alternatives to caffeinated tea or coffee

2. as a component to meal strictly for the flavor ( peppermint, spearmint, rosehips, lemon grass, anise) 3. For their mild medicinal effects ( peppermint & chamomile for upset stomach or to improve digestion, chamomile or hops as a night time sleep aid or insomnia remedy, cinnamon tea as a home remedy for diarrhea)

• Capsules & Tablets: offer consumers convenience & in some cases, the bonus of not having to taste the herbs, many of w/c have undesirable flavor profiles, from the intensely bitter due to the presence of certain alkaloids (goldenseal root) to highly astringent due to the presence of tannins (oak bark)

Extracts & Tinctures: offer advantage of high concentration in low weight & space. They are also quickly assimilated compared to tablets, w/c take more time to disintegrate & ingest. - almost always contain alcohol.

• Alcohol is used for 2 reasons:
1. Solvent to extract the various non-watersoluble compounds from an herb 2. As a preservative to maintain shelf life

Tinctures usually contain more alcohol tahn extracts (sometimes up to 70% alcohol, depending on the particular herb & manufacturer).

Essential Oils: usually distilled from various parts of medicinal & aromatic plants. Salves, Balms, & Ointments: made w/ vegetable oil or petroleum jelly. These products often contain the ff. herbs: aloe, marigold, chamomile, St. John’s Wort, comfrey & gotu kola.

Different Systems of Herbology

Traditional Chinese Medicine



The Herbal Medicine Chest

Each of the ff. 25 herbal meds has a long history of use:

Aloe Vera(Aloe vera)

• Widely used ingredient in cosmetics (hand lotions, shaving creams, etc) • Aloe gel is used externally on the skin primarily for its emollient (skin softening) property. • Aloe latex (leaf)-recognized as a safe & effective laxative ingredient by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) as well as a # of European countries. • Antrquinone- containing-need to be used for the short- term only & during pregnancy or lactation.

Aloe Vera(Aloe vera)
• Long term use or misuse may also cause an electrolyte imbalance, resulting in depletion of potassium salts & thus may adverely effect heart function.
• *keep in mind that these warnings are for aloe latex used as laxative, not the aloe gel or juice commonly consumed by health enthusiasts for “inner cleansing”

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
Red pepper

• Most useful of the systemic stimulants • It stimulates blood flow, strengthening the heartbeat& metabolic rate. • It is helpful specifically for the circulatory & digestive systems. • Maybe used in flatulent dyspepsia( imperfect or painful digestion) & colic. • Also used if there is insufficient peripheral circulation, leading to cold hands & feet & possibly chilblains (a form of cold injury char. by redness & blistering)

Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
• Also useful for debility as well as for warding off colds. • Externally, it is used in problems like lumbago (a dull aching pain in the lumbar region) & rheumatic pains.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutica)

• Used in many cultures for its pleasant-tasting tea, consumed after dinner beverage to help digestion • In Europe, it is noted as a digestive aid,mild sedative & for its anti-inflammatory property, esp. in over the cpunter preparations for oral hygiene & skin creams. • In Germany, it is licensed as an over the counter drug for internal use against GI spasms & inflammatory dses of the GIT

Chamomile (Matricaria recutica)
• Externally, the extract is approved for skin dses of the mouth & gums, for inflammation of the mucous membranes of the throat & airways & as an external bath & rinse for inflamed conditions of anal & genital regions.

Chasteberry (Vitex agnuscastus)

• Herb that addresses various hormonal imbalances in women. • Helps restore a normal estrogenprgesterone balance. • Indicated for irregular or painful menstruation, premenstrual syndrome & other disorders related to hormone function. • Also beneficial to menopausal changes relieving symptoms such as hot flashes. • May be used to aid the body regaining a natural balance after the use of birth control pills.

Chasteberry (Vitex agnuscastus)
• Also treats fibroid cyst that occur in smooth muscle tissue or body cavities. • May also be of value in treating endometriosis • Can also help control acne in teenagers, both among young men & women.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia)
Purple Coneflower

• For external wound healing & anti-inflammatory • Seeds-immunostimulating properties, relieving the common cold & flus • Oral dosage- recurrent infections of the respiratory & urinary tracts, tuberculosis, leukosis, connective tissue dse, multiple sclerosis • Liquid preparation-have immune stimulating activity when administered both orally & parenterally; increase # of WBC & splenocytes

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia)
Purple Coneflower

• Also enhance the activity of granulocytes & phagocytes

Ephedra/ Mahuang (Ephedra sineca)

• Used for asthma & hay fever-like conditions in China • Stem- contain 2 primary alkaloids: ephedrine& pseudoephedrine w/c are now approved for use in over the counter decongestant & bronchial drugs • Ephedrine has marked peripheral vasoconstricting action • Pseudoephedrine is a bronchodilator, approved for use in asthma & certain allergy medicines

Ephedra/ Mahuang (Ephedra sineca)

• Its extract increase energy & reduce appetite • Both ephedrine & pseudoephedrine have CNS stimulating properties, ephedrine more active.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

• Formerly employed as a remedy for difficulties associated w/ young women’s menstrual cycle • Leaf extract for migraine prevention as long as the product contain a minimum of 0.2% pathenolide a substance identified as primary active component. • Early herbal literature also attributes anti-rheumatic properties but not confirmed in 20th century research.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

• Most well recognized medicinal herb • Antibiotic & antiviral • Use in helping clear congested lungs; for coughs & bronchitis; preventive measure for the common cold & flus • For intestinal worms;dysentery, sinus congestion, certain ulcers, gout & rheumatism • Has even chemopreventive propertieshelping prevent certain cancers • Slightly lowers BP, aiding in thinning the blood & reducing platelet aggregation

Ginger ( Zingiber officinalis)

• Increase digestion & the activity of other herbs • For past 10 yrs it is best known as anti-nausea, anti-motion sickness • Many studies confirmed ginger’s ability to act on the gastrointestinal system & allay nausea. • Ginger also known to have cardiotonic properties • Has been used in traditional med for migraine relief

Ginger ( Zingiber officinalis)

• Fresh ginger juice has been applied topically in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a burn remedy

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

• Oldest living trees on earth • For the tx of cerebral dysfunction • As a supportive tx for hearing loss due to cervical syndrome & for peripheral arterial circulatory disturbances such as intermittent claudication • Leaf & extracts used for heart & eye dses & accidents involving brain trauma

Ginseng (Panax ginseng, Oriental ginseng ;Panax quinquefolius, American ginseng

• Is a powerful adaptogen • Has antioxidant, antihepatotoxic & hypoglycemic effects • May lower blood cholesterol & stimulate a range of immune system & endocrine responses • If abused side effects can occur: headaches, skin problems, & other rxns.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)

• • •

Tonic remedy that stimulates the immune response, & is directly antimicrobial itself Because of its bitter taste in can help in digestive problems from peptic ulcers to colitis; helps in loss of appetite & the alkaloids stimulate production & secretion of digestive juices Berberine-alkaloid responsible for antimicrobial property Goldenseal also been usednduring labor to help contractions. Helpful in eczema, ringworm, itching, earache & conjunctivitis

Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacantha)

• Effects on the cardiovascular system • One of the primary heart tonics in traditional med • Fruit & leafknown for their cardiotonic, sedative & hypotensive activities • Dec. BP w/ exertion; inc. contractility & blood flow to coronary muscle; dec heart rate & O2 use of myocardium

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

• Licensed for use in states of unrest & anxiety as well as sleep disorders due to its calming & sleep inducing properties • Aid in nervous tension, excitability, restlessness & sleep disturbances & stimulate appetite

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

• Have effects on the endocrine system, liver & other organs • Constituents called triterpenesmetabolized in the body into molecules that have a similar structure to the adrenal cortex hormones w/c is the basis for its anti-inflammatory action. • Used in the tx of hepatitis& cirrhosis • Inhibits growth of several DNA& RNA viruses, inactivating herpes simplex virus particles irreversibly

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

• Used as tx for peptic ulcer & gastritis & relief of abdominal colic • Used for bronchitis & cough • Affects electrolyte balance w/ extended use of large doses • Can cause Na retention thus raising BP • Has constituents that counter this but it is best to avoid licorice in cases of HPN or kidney dse or during pregnancy

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

• Used in Europe as a liver tonic & current phytotherapy indicates its use in a whole range of liver & gallbladder conditions including hepatitis & cirrhosis • “is undoubtedly the best documented pharmaceutical agent for the tx of liver dses”

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

• Used as spring tonic & detoxifying remedy • If used regularly over the long term can be successful in cases of rheumatism & arthritis • Lectin(plant protein)- found in nettles leaf stimulates the proliferation of human lymphocytes • Use as tx of allergic rhinitis (hayfever) • Indicated for the cases of childhood eczema • Has been used as a safe diuretic

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)

• Use for its mild sedative properties • Use in state of “nervous unrest” • Together w/ hawthorn often used as antispasmodics for digestive spasms in gastritis & colitis • Pharmacological studies indicate antispasmodic, sedative, anxiolytic & hypotensive activity of passion flower extracts

Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

• Remedy for digestive disorders • Peppermint oil approved as drug for upper GIT cramps & spastic conditions of bile ducts, catarrh (inflammation mucous membrane) of upper respiratory area & inflammation of oral mucosa • Also approved for irritable bowel syndrome • Also has antimicrobial property • Peppermint oil is approved by ESCOP for gallbladder inflammation& gallstones & skin conds such as pruritus & urticaria

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

• • • • • •

Used as anti-inflammatory, wound healing nervine, valued for its mild sedative & pain reducing properties Been used to treat neuralgia, anxiety, tension & similar problems Will also ease fibrositis, sciatica, & rheumatic pain Use in aid menopausal changes triggering irritability & anxiety Tx for depression Tx for virus infection from influenza to HIV As a lotion it will speed the healing of wouds & bruises, varicose veins& mild burns Oil useful for healing sunburn

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens)

• Acts to tone & strengthen the male reproductive system • Most effective in benign prostatic hypertrophy • Help in cases of prostatitis if combined w/ echinacea & bearberry

Senna (Cassia angustifolia)

• It is a laxative • Long term use or misuse can result in dependency & electrolyte loss
• *not be used during pregnancy or lactation unless professionally supervised

Siberian Ginseng or Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

• One of the best adaptogen • Used for chronic gastritis, diabetis & atherosclerosis • Speeds postoperative recovery • Used as tx of cancer, easing the stress response that aggravate metastasis • Reduces the cytotoxicity of antineoplastic drugs & narcotic effects of sedatives

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

• Used for state of “excitation” & “difficulty in falling asleep owing to nervousness” • Other uses include nervous heart conds, children’s anorexia caused by excitement, trembling & stomach complaints

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

• Use as astringent • May also be used wherever there is bleeding, both internally & externally • Useful in easing hemorrhoids • Use as tx of bruises & inflammed swellings & varicose veins • Stops diarrhea & aid in the tx of dysentery

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