Vitex agnus castus

Vitex_agnus-castus

Bauer, F. (1831). Vitex agnus-castus. Retrieved from: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/scientific-resources/natural-resources/homeopathy/database/index.jsp?row=&img=2&action=browse&searchterm=&remedy=&remcode=30

Botanical Name: Vitex agnus castus
Common name: Chaste tree, vitex, Monk’s pepper (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 220)
Family: Labiatae (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 220)
Parts used: ripe fruits (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 220)

History/Folklore: The herb has being used traditionally for gynaecological conditions such as promoting menstruation (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 220). The berries have long been considered a symbol of chastity, and were used in the Middle ages to suppress sexual excitability and was used by wonks to suppress libido (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489). The Eclectics used the herb as a galactagogue, emmenagogue, to ‘repress the sexual passions’, for impotence, sexual melancholia, sexual irritability, melancholia and mild dementia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489).

Constituents: Essential oil (incl. monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, sabinene, cineole, β-caryophyllene & trans-β-farnesence); Flavonoids (incl. methoxylated flavones such as casticin, eupatorin and penduletin) and other flavonoids incl. vitexin and orientin; iridoid glycosides (incl. aucubin and agnuside); diterpenes (incl. rotundifuran, vitexilactone, vitetrifolin B and C and viteagnusins A-I) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 491)

Actions

  • Prolactin inhibitor (Braun & Cohen, 2007, pp. 220-221; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)
  • Dopamine agonist (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)
  • Oestrogen-receptor binding (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 221)
  • Increases progesterone levels (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 221)
    • By enhancingcorpus luteal development via dopaminergic activity on the anterior pituitary (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)
  • Opioid receptor (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 221)
    • Vitex works on the μ-opiate receptor, which is the primary action site for β-endorphon (in vivo), a peptide which assists in regulating the menstrual cycle through inhibition of the hyperthalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 221)
  • Galactagogue (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 595)
  • Antitumor (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 493)
  • Antimicrobial (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 493)
  • Uterine tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 595)

Indications

  • Premenstrual syndrome (Braun & Cohen, 2007, pp. 221-222; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)
  • Mastalgia (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 222)
  • Menstrual cycle irregularities (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 222; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)
  • Poor lactation (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 222; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)
  • Fertility disorders (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 222)
  • Acne vulgaris (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
  • Menopausal symptoms (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
  • Help expel placenta after birth (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
  • Fibroids (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
  • Premature ovarian failure (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
  • Cystic hyperplasia of the endometrium (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 489)

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:2): 1.0-2.5mL/day or 6-18mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 143)
  • Tincture (1:5 in 60%): 2.5mL/tds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

Cautions

  • Traditionally not recommended in pregnancy (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)

Contraindications

  • Oestrogen or progesterone sensitive tumors (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)

Interactions

  • May have an antagonistic reaction on dopamine receptor antagonists (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
  • Oral contraceptives may interfere with the effectiveness of Vitex (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 223)
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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).

Filipendula ulmaria

tumblr_mgqkkr58l61qgzqeto1_1280

Systematica (2013). Filipendula ulmaria (L.) Maxim. [as Spiraea ulmaria L.]. Retrieved from: http://www.systematica.org/post/41370444569/filipendula-ulmaria-l-maxim-as-spiraea

1600px-Filipendula_ulmaria_(flowers)

Hillewaert, H. (2008). Meadowsweet at Kampenhout, Belgium. Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Filipendula_ulmaria_%28flowers%29.jpg

Botanical Name: Filipendula ulmaria
Common name: Medowsweet (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)
Family: Rosaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 743).
Parts used: Aerial parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)

History/Folklore:

  • One of the three herbs most sacred to the Druids (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742).
  • One of 50 ingredients in drink ‘Save’ mentioned in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742).
  • Salic acid (from which acetylsalicyclic is derived) was extracted from its flowerbud playing an important role in the development of aspirin (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742).

Constituents: Flavonoids (incl. rutin, glycosides of quercetin and kaempferol glycosides); hydrolysable tannins (notably rugosin-D); phenolic glycosides (incl. spiraein); and essential oil (containing salicylaldehyde, phenylethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol and methylsalicylate) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 743).

Actions

  • Anti-ulcer (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 742, 743)
  • Antacid (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Diuretic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Mild urinary antiseptic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Astringent (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Anti-thrombotic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Anti-coagulant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 691)
  • Antibacterial (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Antimicrobial (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • Immunomodulatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 743)
  • Hepatoprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 691)
  • Gastroprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 691)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 691)

Indications

  • Cervical dysplasia (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 742, 744)
  • Acne (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 691)
  • Wound healing (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)

Traditional indicatons

  • Disorders of the upper GI tract (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Flatulence (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Dyspepsia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Indigestion (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Gastric reflux (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)
  • Hyperacidity (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)
  • Gastric ulcers (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Diarrhoea (notably in children) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Cystitis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Kidney stones (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742)
  • Gout and rheumatic disease (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)
  • Fever (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 742; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Infusion: 12-18g dried herb/day
  • Liquid extract (1:1): 4.5-18mL/day
  • Tincture (1:5): 6-12ml/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 742-743)

Cautions

  • Constipation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • Iron deficient anemia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • Malnutrition (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • Long term use of high doses not advised (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • Due to presence of salicylates, caution is to be taken in individuals with salicylate sensitivity or glucose-6-phosphate deficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 550)
  • Bleeding disorders, due to anticoagulant activity (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • Caution to be taken in children under 15 years old (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 745)

Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)

Interactions:

  • Presence of tannins may interfere with absorption of metal ions, thiamine and alkaloids. It is recommended the herb to be taken at least 2hrs away from other minteral supplementation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)
  • May theoretically potentiate effects of anticoagulant drugs (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 744)

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus_officinalis_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-258

Image: Köhler, F. (1897). Rosmarinus officinalis. Retrieved from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary#mediaviewer/File:Rosmarinus_officinalis_-_K%C3%B6hler%E2%80%93s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-258.jpg

Botanical Name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Common name: Rosemary
Family: Lamiaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
Parts used: Leaf, twig (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)

Constituents:

  • Volatile oil (Borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, limonene, linalool)
  • Flavonoids (apigenin, diosmentin, diosmin, luteolin)
  • Rosmarinic and other phenolic acid
  • Diterpenes (including carnosol, carnosolic acid and rosmariquinone)
  • Rosmaricine
  • Triterpenes (including ursolic acid and oleanolic acid)

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)

 

Actions

  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 316)
  • Antidepressant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Rubefacient (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Antimicrobial (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Emmenagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Hepatoprotective (Bone, 2003, p. 389; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317)
  • Circulatory Stimulant (Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Antioxidant (Bone, 2003, p. 389; Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 316)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 316)

 

Indications

  • Increased mental concentration (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317)
  • Stomach upset accompanied by psychological tension (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Enhancing detoxification phase I and II of the liver (Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Flatulent dyspepsia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Headache or depression associated with debility (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Muscular pain (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Sciatica (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Neuralgia (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577; Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Premature baldness (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 577)
  • Alopecia (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317)
  • Gastric headache (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 578)
  • Atherosclerosis prevention (Bone, 2003, p. 389)
  • Impaired hepatic and biliary function (Bone, 2003, p. 389)

 

Preparation & Dosage: Liquid extract (1:2): 2.0-4.5mL/day or 15-30mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 390)

Cautions: Rosemary should not be taken with meals or iron supplements in individuals with iron deficiency due to the potential interference of iron absorption (Bone, 2003, p. 389)

Combinations

  • For alopecia: combine with thyme, lavender and cedarwood (Braun & Cohen, 2005, p. 317).
  • For depression: combine with Skullcap, Kola and Oats (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 229)

Camellia sinensis

green-tea
Cocoon Apothecary. (2014). Camellia Oil. Retrieved from: http://www.cocoonapothecary.com/pages/Camellia-Oil.html

Botanical Name: Camellia sinensis
Common name: Green Tea, Matsu-cha, Green sencha tea, Japanese tea, Chienese tea (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
Family: Theaceae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
Parts used: Leaf (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)

Quality: Cold, bitter and sweet (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 122)

History/Folklore: Green tea is the unfermented product of black tea. In Chinese medicine Green Tea has a cooling effect, where as its fermented product black tea has a warming effect (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 122)

Constituents:

  • Polyphenols (Inlc. Catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, proanthocyanidins. Notably: epigallocatechin gallate).
  • Caffeine (about 3%)
  • Small amounts of common methyl-xanthines, theobromine and theophylline
  • Tannin, oxalic acid, trace elements and vitamins.

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)

 

Actions

  • Chemoprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
  • Antiproliferative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
  • Antimicrobial (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
  • Antiviral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 573)
  • Anticarcinogenic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 573)
  • Antihypertensive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 573)
  • Neuroprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 573)

 

Indications

  • Cancer prevention (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 574-755)
  • Cancer treatment (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 575)
  • Cardiovascuar protections (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 575-576)
  • Dental carriers and gingivitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 576)
  • Sunburn protection (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 576)
  • Weight loss (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 576)
  • Liver disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 576-567)
  • Colitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577)
  • Dementia/cognitive impairment (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577)
  • Beta-thalassaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577)
  • Renal failure (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577)
  • Urinary stones (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577)
  • Diabetes (via reducing serum glucose/improving kidney function) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577)
  • Genital warts (topical) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 577; Gross, 2009)
  • Seasonal allergic rhinitis (Maeda-Yamamoto, Ema, Monobe, Shibuichi, Shinoda, Yamamotto & Fujisawa, 2009)
  • Revovery from alcohol abuse (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 122)

 

Dosage & Preparation:
Genital and perianal warts: 15% strength Polyphenon E ointment applied to infected area/tds (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 578; Gross, 2009).
Tea: 3-9g/day (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 122)

 

Cautions

  • In large amounts may cause CNS stimulation due to caffeine content (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 578)
  • Excessive intake will increase adverse effects due to caffeine content, therefore the herb is not recommended for people with hypertension, arrhythmias, severe liver disease, anxiety disorder or insomnia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 578)
  • Contraindicated in cold or spleen deficiency in TCM (Hempen & Fischer, 2007, p. 123)

 

Interactions:

  • Has shown to have antagonistic reaction with anti-coagulants (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 578)
  • Potential to reduce iron absorption due to tannin content (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 578)
  • May potentate effects of diretics due to caffeine content (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 572)
  • May theoretically decrease effects of CNS depressants due to caffeine content (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 578)

Olea europea

215_Olea_europaea_L
Masclef, A. (1981). Atlas des plantes de France. Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:215_Olea_europaea_L.jpg

Botanical Name: Olea europea
Common name: Olive leaf (Bone, 2003, p. 352
Family: Oleaceae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 710)
Parts used: Leaf (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 710)

Constituents:

  • Phenolic compounds: notably oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol and tyrosol
  • Rutin, Luteolin, Catechin and Apigenin
  • Nutrients: selenium, chromium, iron, zinc, vitamin C, beta-carotene.

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 710)

Actions

  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 710; Bone, 2003, p. 352)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 710)
  • Anti-thrombotic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 711)
  • Antimicrobial (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 711)
  • Antiviral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 711)
  • Anti-hypertensive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 711)
  • Bitter tonic (Bone, 2003, p. 352)

 

Indications

  • Hypertension (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 713; Bone, 2003, p. 352)
  • Angina pectoris (Bone, 2003, p. 352)
  • Gout and fluid retention (Bone, 2003, p. 352)

Traditional indications include coughs, obstinate and intermittent fever, angina, stomachaches associated with acidity, mouth ulcers and snakebites (Bone, 2003, p. 352)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • 5-7.0mL liquid extract (1:2)/day
  • 25-50mL liquid extract (1:2)/week

Cautions & Contraindications: Allergy to plants of the Oleaceae family (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 715)

Interactions: May have additive effects when used in conjunction with Hypoglycaemic and hypotensive agents (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 715)

Capsicum minimum

Botanical-Chili-Plant-Printable-GraphicsFairy-sm-664x1024
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)