Capsicum minimum

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Watson, K. (2013). Chili Pepper Botanical Printable. Retrieved from: http://thegraphicsfairy.com/chili-pepper-botanical-printable/

Botanical Name: Capsicum minimum
Common name: Cayenne (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
Family: Solonaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
Parts used: Fruit (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)

Constituents: Capsaicinoids (incl. capsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin); carotenoids (incl. capsanthin, capsorubin and carotene; and Steroidal saponins (“capsicidins”) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)

Actions

  • Stimulant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 247)
  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Anti-catarrhal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Sialalgogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Rubefacient (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Antimicrobial (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Antiseptic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 247)
  • Local anesthetic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)

As a local anaesthetic, Cayenne only blocks impulses to nerve C fibers (strictly related to pain) therefore it does not interfe with temperature, touch and pressure (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536).

Cayenne blocks transmission of pain and itching by nerve fibers in skin and topically relieves pain by depleting local supplies of substance P (neurotransmitter) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536).

 

Indications

  • Flatulent dyspepsia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Colic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Insufficient peripheral circulation (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Debility (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Lumbago and rheumatic pains (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Laryngitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536)
  • Painful skin disorders, such as: psoriasis, pruritus or shingles (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)
  • Arthritis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)
  • Cluster headache (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)
  • Phantom limb pains (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)
  • Vasomotor rhinitis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)
  • GI infections (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 202)

In TCM the herb is used as an anticonvulsant and is indicated in epilepsy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 43)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Tincture (1:5 in 25%): 0.25-1mL/tds
  • Infusion: 0.5-1tsp/1 cup water. Infuse for 10mins. Drink when needed.

 

Cautions: The specific action Cayenne has on vansiloid receptors may creates an illusion of pain and burning, however tissue damage is not concurrent in these sensations and no harm results (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 43, 104)

 

Combinations

  • Combines with Myrrh in a gargle for laryngitis or as an antiseptic wash (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 536).
  • High doses may cause tachecardia and hypertension in certain individuals (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • May aggravate gastrointestinal reflux (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Caution to be taken in individuals with bleeding disorders (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Interactions

  • May react with anticoagulant and anti-platelet medication (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • May inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes (Natural Standard, 2014)
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Piper methysticum

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Nature Pacific PTY LTD. (2004). Kava Kava. Retrieved from: http://www.naturepacific.com/contents/en-us/d59_kava.html

Botanical Name: Piper methysticum
Common name: Kava Kava
Family: Piperaceae
Parts used: Rhizome

 

Folklore and traditional use: Kava kava root prepared as a beverage has a long history of use in welcoming ceremonies in the Pacific Islands (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 246).

Kava kava has been used both medicinally and ceremoniallyy in the Pacific region (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456).

  • In Fiji it is used to treat bladder and kidney disease, as a diuretic, for coughs, colds and a sore throat.
  • In Samoa the root is used to treat gonorrhea.
  • In Hawaii it use to be used to treat skin disorders, to sooth nerves, induce sleep, to treat general debility, colds and chills.
  • In traditional Polynesian medicine it was used topically to treat skin disease, leprosy.
  • In Western herbal medicine, kava was indicated in a range of genitourinary tract ailments, such as gonorrhea, vaginitis and nocturnal incontinence.
  • The Eclectics recommended kava for neuralgia, toothache, earache, ocular pain, dizziness, despondency, anorexia, dyspepsia, intestinal catarrh, hemorrhoids and renal colic.

(Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)

 

Constituents:

  • Resin containing 6-stytly-4-methoxy-alpha-pyrone derivatives also known as ‘kava lactones’ or ‘kava pyrones’ including:
    • kavain
    • Dehydrokavain (DHK)
    • Methysticin
    • Dihydromethysticin
    • Yangonin
    • Desmethoxyyangonin
  • Flavonoids (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 457)

 

Actions

  • Anxiolytic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456; Bone, 2003, p. 291)
  • Hypnotic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Mild sedative (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Skeletal muscle relaxant (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Local anesthetic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Mild analgesic (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Relaxing nervine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Antifungal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Anticonvulsant (Bone, 2003, p. 291)

 

Indications

  • General Anxiety Disorder (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 246)
  • Nervous tension (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Restlessness (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Mild depression (of non-psychotic origin) (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Menopausal Symptoms (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 456)
  • Insomnia (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 247)
  • Hoffmann suggests that kava is good for anxiety without dampening alertness (administered at a normal therapeutic dose) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Comparable to benzodiazepines in the treatment of anxiety, without the side effects (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573) this also suggests kava kava’s benefit in the withdrawal of benzodiazepine drugs (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 247).
  • Does not impair reaction time, and appears to improve concentration (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)

 

Preparation & Dosage: Commission E recommends preparations equivalent to 20-120mg of kavalactones/tds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)

 

Cautions

  • A side effect of over consumption referred to as “kava dermopathy”, manifests as a skin rash, non-inflammatory dryness and scaling of skin. This is most often seen with heavy, long-term consumers. However this was also observed in clinical trials with doses of 300-800mg of isolated constituent dihydromethystici (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573).
  • Hepatotoxicity has been reported, leading to restrictions in availability in some countries (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)
  • Caution to be taken in elderly individuals with Parkinson’s disease due to potential dopamine antagonism (Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 452)
  • Liver conditions (Bone, 2003, p. 291)

 

Contradictions:

According to Commission E Kava kava is contraindicated in:

  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation
  • Endogenous depression

(Bone & Mills, 2010, p. 462)

 

Interactions: May increase effects of substances that act upon the central nervous system (alcohol, barbiturates, psycopharmaceutical agents) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 573)