Paeonia lactiflora

Paeonia_lactiflora_White_Wings

Peony, White Wings. Retrieved from: http://www.insideiris.com/feature_plants/3573/Peony__White_Wings

Botanical Name: Paeonia lactiflora
Common name: White Peony, Paonia (Bone, 2003, p. 458), Bai shae (Chinese) (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)
Family: Paeoniaceae (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
Parts used: Root (Bone, 2003, p. 458)

Quality: Neutral, cool tendency (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)

Constituents: Paeoniflorin (a glucoside with cagelike monoterpene structure) (Bone, 2003, p. 458)

Actions

  • Sapsmolytic (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Skeletal muscle relaxant (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Anti-convulsant (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone, 2003, p. 458; Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)
  • Sedative (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)
  • In vitro research shows active constituent paeoniflorin to inhibit testosterone synthesis in ovaries but not in adrenal glands (Bone, 2003, p. 459)
  • TCM specific: tonifies blood, tonifies and nourishes jing, harmonizes and tonifies liver, relieves pain, descend yang, cools blood, moves and regulates qi and relieves spasm (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)

 

Indications

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Infertility (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Dysmenorrhoea (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Skeletal muscle cramps and spasm (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Fibroids (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Angina (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Epilepsy (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Enhance memory (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • Anti-platelet (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:2): 4.5-8.5mL/day or 30-60mL/day (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • 10-15g/day (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)

Contraindications: In TCM the herb in contraindicated in fullness and distension in the chest, cold deficiency and diarrhoea (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 777)

 

Combinations:

  • For dysmenorrhoea combine with licorice (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • For skeletal muscle cramps and spasm combine with licorice (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • For fibroids, combine with Paeonia suffructicosa, Poria cocos, Cinnamomum cassia and Prunus persica (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • For angina combine with Stervia rebaudiana and ginsenosides (Bone, 2003, p. 458)
  • For epilepsy combine with licorice and fossilized mammalian tooth (Bone, 2003, p. 458)

 

Interactions:

  • Use with caution in combination with barbiturates and sedatives (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)
  • Use with cation in combination with anti-coagulants and anti-platelet medications (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 776)
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Piper methysticum

kava-piper_methysticum1

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)

Albizia lebbeck

normal_00523-Albizia-lebbeck

Botanical Name: Albizia lebbeck
Common name: Albizia, Pit shirish shirisha (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)
Family: Fabaceae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)
Parts used: Leaves and stem bark(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)

 

Constituents

Chemical components are poorly understood, however reported to contain:

  • Albiziasaponins A, B and C
  • Epicatechin
  • Procyanidins
  • Stigmastadine

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)

 

Actions

  • Mast cell stabilisation (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)
  • Alters neurotransmitter activity (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)
  • Anticonvulsant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)
  • Memory enhancement (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)
  • Antifungal (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)
  • Antispasmodic (smooth muscle) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)
  • Immunostimulant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)

 

Indiactions

Succus from leaves is traditionally used to treat night blindness and the bark and seeds to treat diarrhoea, dysentery and haemorrhoids (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191).In ayurvedic medicine the herb is used to treat bronchitis, asthma, allergy and inflammation (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191).

 

Albizia has not being significantly investigated for medicinal use, indications are based on in vitro and in vivo evidence and historical and thereapeutic use:

  • Potentially useful for amnesia due to memory enhancing action (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190).
  • Allergic rhinitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)
  • Athsma (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)
  • Potentially useful for allergic conditions due to mast cell stabilising action (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190)

 

Preparation & Dosage

Liquid extract: (1:2) 3.5-8.5mL/day

Dried herb: 3-6g/day

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 191)

 

Cautions & Contradicitions

Animal studies have shown albizia to significantly reduce male fertility (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 190).

 

REFERENCE
Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2010). Herbs & Natural Supplements: An Evidence based Guide (3rd ed.). Chatswood NSW: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Images: USDA, NRCS. (2009). Flora of USA and Canada. Retrieved from: http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Albizia+lebbeck