Smilax ornate / Smilax spp.

Sarsaparilla_Smilaxofficinalis_SmilaxChina_Photo05

MDidea. (2013). Botanical Description:Sarsaparilla,Smilax Medica,Smilax China. Retrieved from: http://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper08802.html

Botanical Name: Smilax ornate / Smilax spp.
Common name: Sarsaparilla (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
Family: Smilacaceae (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
Parts used: Root & rhizome (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

History/Folklore: Amazonian natives used the root for menopause and to enhance the “virility of men” (Bone, 2003, p. 398). The genus Smilax contains a range of species, with Smilax ornata, S. aristolochiifolia and S. medica medically interchangeable (Bone, 2003, p. 397). The herb has a wide range of traditional use including skin disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, syphilis, leprosy (conjunction) and as a tonic and flavouring agent (Bone, 2003, p. 398).

Constituents: Saponins: sarasapogenin, smilagenin, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

 

Actions

  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584; Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Depurative (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Indications

  • Psoriasis (Bone, 2003, p. 397; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Chronic skin disorders (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Bone, 2003, p. 397; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • 3-6mL liquid extract (1:2)/day
  • 20-40mL liquid extract (1:2)/week

(Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Cautions & Contraindications: None known (Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Interactions: May increase absorption of digitalis glycosides (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

Curcuma longa

turmeric-info0
HowStuffWorks. (2014). Tumeric. Retrieved from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/turmeric-info.htm

Turmeric-Root-and-Powder-1024x666
Christie, D. (2014). Top 5 Benefits of Tumeric. Retrieved from: http://www.harboursidefitness.com.au/blog-post/top-5-benefits-of-turmeric/

Botanical Name: Curcuma longa
Common name: Tumeric, Indian saffron, jianghuang (Chinese), shati (Sanskrit) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900)
Family: Zingeberaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901)
Parts used: root and rhizome Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901)

Quality: Pungent, bitter, astringent, heating (Pole, 2006, p. 282). In Ayurvedic medicine the herb is used to dry damp and move stagnation in the blood (Pole, 2006, p. 282).

History/Folklore: Native to India and South-East Asia, Tumeric has been recorded in medical texts dating back to 600BC (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900).

Constituents: Essential oil (sesquiterpene ketones, zingiberene, phellandrene, sabinene, cineole and borneol); Yellow pigments “diarylheptanoids” or “curcuminoids” (incl. curcumin) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901).

Yellow pigment curcumin has been shown to influence transcription factors, cytokines, growth factors, kinases and other enzymes (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900).

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 902-903; Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Anti-platelet (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 903; Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Antioxidant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 904; Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Hepatoprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 904-905)
  • Nephroprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 904-905)
  • Neuroprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 905)
  • Cardioprotective and vasoprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 905)
  • Hypolipidaemia (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 905-906)
  • Antibacterial (Pole, 2006, p. 282; Zorotchian Moghadamtousi, Abdul Kadir, Hassandarvish, Tajik, Abubakar & Zandi, 2014, p. 2)
  • Antimicrobial (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 906-907)
  • Antiparasitic (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 907)
  • Antiviral (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, pp. 2-3)
  • Antiparasitic (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, p. 2)
  • Antitumor (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 908)
  • Anti-depressant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 909)
  • Radioprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
  • Antiallergic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
  • Emmenagogue (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Blood tonic (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Carminative (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Alterative (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Vulunary (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • Anti-carcinogenic (Pole, 2006, p. 282)
  • TCM specific: blood and qi tonifier with analgesic properties (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 900).

Indications

  • Cancer prevention (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 907)
  • Cystic fibrosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 909)
  • HIV/AIDS (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
    • One human trial exhibited an increase in CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
    • Another human trial showed relief of HIV-associated chronic diarrhoea (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 910)
  • Eye disorders (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 911)
  • Genetic diseases (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 911)
  • Alzehimer’s disease (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 916)
  • Skin conditions (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 916)
  • Candida (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, p. 7)
  • Helicobacter pylori (Zorotchian Moghadamtousi et al., 2014, p. 8)

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:1): 5-14mL/day
  • 4g powdered tumeric mixed with water/1-2 day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 901)

Cautions

  • Doses > 15g/day should not be administered long term or in conjunction with anti-platelet or anti-coagulant medication (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • Individuals complaining of hair loss (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • Women trying to conceive (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • Pregnancy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 918)

Contraindications

  • Biliary tract obstruction (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 917)
  • In Ayurvedic medicine the herb is contraindicated in high vāta and pitta (Pole, 2006, p. 283).
  • Acute jaundice and hepatitis (Pole, 2006, p. 283).

Combinations

  • For liver congestion: combine with kutki, bhumiamalaki and pippali (Pole, 2006, p. 283)
  • Small amounts of long/black pepper enhances anti-inflammatory activity of turmeric (Pole, 2006, p. 283)
  • For congestion of the lower abdomen and menstrual imbalance: combine with guggulu, mustaka and purnarnava (Pole, 2006, p. 283)

Interactions: Turmeric may potentiate effects of anti-platelet or anticoagulant medications (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 918).

Zanthoxylum clava-herculus /Z.americana

Zanthoxylum_americanum
Barra, A. (1999). Prickly Ash Zanthoxylum spp.. Retrieved from: http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail403.php

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum clava-herculus /Z.americana
Common name: Prickley Ash
Family: Rutaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
Parts used: Bark, Berry (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

Constituents: Alkaloids; coumarins; resin; tannins; and volatile oil (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

Actions

  • Circulatory Stimulant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 233)
  • Tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Sialogogue (Bone, 2003, p. 379; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 104)

 

Indications

  • Rheumatism (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Chronic skin disorders (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Poor circulation (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Leg cramps (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Varicose veins (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Varicose ulcers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Gastric distension (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Loss of sensitivity in injured nerves (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Haemorrhoids (Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Raynaud’s Syndrome (Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Hypotension (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 233)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Tincture (1:5 in 60%): 2-4mL/tds
  • Infusion: 102tsp/1 cup water/tds

 

Cautions

  • Causes a tingling sensation in oral cavity when taken in liquid form, which may give patients a chocking or panicked reaction (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 104)

 

Contraindications

  • Contraindicated in hypertension (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 233)
  • Individuals on anticoagulant therapy (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

Viola odorata

224_Viola_odorata

Image I

Viola-odorata

Image II

Botanical Name: Viola odorata
Common name: Sweet Violet (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)
Family: Violaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)
Parts used: Leaf, Flower, Root (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594; Weiss, 2001, p. 202).

 

Constituents

  • Phenolic glycosides: including glaultherin and salicylic acid methy ester.
  • Saponins: Myrosin and violin
  • Flavenoids: Rutin, violarutin
  • Odoratine
  • Mucilage

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)

 

Actions

  • Expectorant (Weiss, 2001, p. 202)
  • Alterative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)

 

Indications

  • Bronchitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594; Weiss, 2001, p. 202)
  • Upper respiratory catarrh (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)
  • Skin conditions (in combinations) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 1-2mL/tds
  • Infusion: 1tsp/1cup water/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

None reported (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 594)

 

REFERENCE
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Weiss, R. (2001). Weiss’s Herbal Medicine (classic edition). New York: Thieme.

Image I: Lindmen, C. (1926). Bilder ur Nordens Flora. Retrieved from: http://caliban.mpipz.mpg.de/lindman/index.html

Image II: Gibbons, B. (2013). Sweet Violet (Viola odorata) – A Sweet Herb Indeed. Retrieved from: http://www.thehomeherbalist.com/sweet-violet-viola-odorata-a-sweet-herb-indeed/

Thuja occidentalis

thuja-occidentalis

Botanical Name: Thuja occidentalis
Common name: Thuja, Arborvitae, White cedar, Western Hemlock (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
Family: Cupressaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
Parts used: Young twigs (Hoffmann, 2990, p. 237)

 

Constituents

  • Volatile oil (thujane)
  • Flavenoid glycoside
  • Mucilage
  • Tannin

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

 

Actions

  • Antiviral (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 169)
  • Expectorant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Stimulant (smooth muscle) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Astringent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Emmenagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Antifungal (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

 

Indications

  • Bronchial catarrh (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Provides systemic stimulation in “heart weakness” (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • May help with delayed menstruation as it has a specific reflex action on the uterus (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Ordinary incontinence due to loss of muscle tone (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588).
  • Psoriasis and rheumatism (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Abnormal growths of the skin & mucus membranes (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

o   Warts (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

o   Ulcers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

o   Bed sores (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

  • Ringworm (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Thrush (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Conditions of the blood (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Cancer: claimed to demonstrate abortive influence over incipient cancer and retard process (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

 

Preparation & Dosage

Infusion: 1 tsp/1 cup water/tds

Tincture: (1:5 in 60%) 1-2mL tds

 

Cautions

  • Should be avoided when cough is due to over stimulation (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Produces a sensation of tingling when applied in external preparations to open wounds, therefore it is usually best to dilute with water or prepare as an ointment (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)
  • Due to active constituent Thujone, large doses may be toxic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588).

 

Contradictions:

Contraindicated in pregnancy due to stimulating effect on the uterus (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

 

Combinations

Combined with Senega, Grindelia or Lobelia in pulmonary conditions (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 237).

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image I: Chauhan, Y. (2012). Thuja Occidentalis – Homeopathic Remedy. Retrieved from: http://drypchauhan.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/thuja-occidentalis-homeopathic-remedy/

Iris versicolour

irisver

Image I

image2

Image II

 

Botanical Name: Iris versicolour
Common name: Blue flag (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
Family: Iridaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
Parts used: Rhizome (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).

 

Constituents

  • Volatile oil: ‘Furfual’
  • Iridin (irisin)
  • Salic and isophthalic acids

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Actions

  • Cholagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Heaptic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Laxative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Anti-inflammatory

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Indications

  • Skin diseases (eczema, psoriasis, herpes, scrophulous skin conditions) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Hepatic congestion (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Chronic hepatitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Rheumatic conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Enlarged thyroid gland (goitre) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).
  • Uterine fibroids (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5): 1mL/tds

Decoction: 1tsp dried herb/1cup of water/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 561)

 

Contradictions

None known (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 561)

 

Combinations

Combines with Echinachea angustifolia or Arctium lappa and Rumex crispus (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 183).

 

REFERENCE
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image I: Holoweb. (n.d.). Iris versicolor poisoning. Retrieved from: http://www.holoweb.com/cannon/wildiris.htm

Image II: Egbert, J. (n.d.). Iris versicolor poisoning. Retrieved from: http://www.holoweb.com/cannon/wildiris.htm

Galium aparine

cleavers

Image I

Galium_aparine,_Cleavers,I_SOP1475-1

Image II

Botanical Name: Galium aparine
Common name: Cleavers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)
Family: Rubiacae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)
Parts used: Aerial Parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)

Constituents

  • Plant acids: caffeic, p-coumaric, gallic, p-hydroxybenzoic, salicyclic and citric acid
  • Coumarins
  • Iridoids: asperuloside and rubichloric acid
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)

 

Actions

  • Diuretic
  • Alterative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Tonic
  • Astringent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)

 

Indications

  • Lymphatic tonic: used from problems of lymphatic system such as swollen glands, tonsillitis and adenoid trouble (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).
  • Useful in dry skin conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)
  • Cystitis and other urinary tract conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).
  • Dropsy (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).
  • Renal obstructions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).
  • Bladder stone (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).
  • Ecezma (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).
  • Psoriasis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5): 4-8mL/tds

Infusion: 2-3tsp/1 cup water/tds

Succus: to be used straightaway to prevent fermentation

 

Cautions & Contradictions

No side effects reported (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552)

 

Combinations

Often combined with urinary demulcents for urinary tract infections (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552).

 

REFERENCE
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image I: Wilhelm, O. (1885). Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz. Retrieved from: http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/thome/band4/tafel_091_small.jpg

Image II: Pollock, S. (2011). Galium aparine L. Retrieved from: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Galium+aparine&guide=Trees