Atropa belladonna

atropa_belladonna_np

Mosquin, D. (2005). Solanaceae | Atropa belladonna L. | 34604-0433-1999. Retrieved from: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/potd/2005/10/atropa_belladonna.php

Botanical Name: Atropa belladonna
Common name: Deadly Nightshade, Belladonna
Family: Solonaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 122)
Parts used: Whole Plant (Grieve, 1971, p. 582)

Poisionous properties are associated with the green part of the plant, however the berries have shown to be toxic to children (Grieve, 1971, p. 583)

 

History/Folklore: The herb is traditionally used as a poison (Natural Standard, 2014).

The juice of the berry causes pupils to dilate, and was used traditionally to afford a striking appearance in women (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 123)

“As an antidote to Opium, Atropine may be injected subcutaneously, and it has also been used in poisoning… It has no action on the voluntary muscles, but the nerve endings in involuntary muscles are paralysed by large doses, the paralysis finally affecting the central nervous system, causing excitement and delirium.” (Grieve, n.d.)

 

Constituents: Tropane Alkaloids: incl. hyoscine (also known as scopolamine) and hyoscyamine (Natural Standard, 2014).

Atropine has a reported half-life of several hours and is rarely detectable in the plasma after 24 hours (Natural Standard, 2014).

 

Actions

  • Narcotic (Grieve, 1971, p. 583)
  • Powerful Respiratory Spasmolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 241)
  • Anticholinergic (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Indications

  • Airway obstruction (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Autonomic nervous system disturbance (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Headache (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Menopause (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Eye disease (Grieve, n.d.)
  • Antidote to opium (Grieve, n.d.)

Has been investigated for the treatment of asthma and Parkinson’s (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Used homeopathically (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Doses up to 1.5mg/day are traditionally considered safe (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Bruised, fresh leaves are used to ease pain and inflammation when applied topically (Grieve, 1971, p. 583)

 

Cautions & Contraindications

  • Symptoms of belladonna overdose include confusion, agitation, hallucination, tachycardia, dry mouth, dilated pupils and other anticholinergic effects. Consumption of the herb can result in death (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Elderly patients (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Children (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Individuals with cardiac disease, due to cardiac effects (hypertension, tachycardia, arrhythmias) (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Gastrointestinal tract disease such as ulcers, esophageal reflux, hiatal hernia, obstructive gastrointestinal disease, constipation, ileus or atony, colitis, ileostomy or colostomy, as anticholinergic effects may delay gastric emptying and decrease esophageal pressure (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Neuromuscular disorders, as belladonna may cause neuromuscular blockade resulting in weakness or paralysis (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Fever (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Interactions

  • Anticholinergic agents (antihistamines, phenothiazines, and tricyclic antidepressants) as belladonna may increase the anticholinergic effects (Natural Standard, 2014)

Dioscorea villosa

Wild-Yam-Root-Picture-300x225

Prime Health Channel. (2014). Wild Yam. Retrieved from: http://www.primehealthchannel.com/wild-yam.html

Botanical Name: Dioscorea villosa
Common name: Wild Yam (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
Family: Dioscorea (Bone, 2003, p. 464)
Parts used: Root and rhizome (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 1024)

History/Folklore: Once the herb was used as a source of diosgenin used to produce artifical progesterone in the manufacturing of contraceptive hormones (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 1024). It is to be noted that the conversion of diogensin needed to produce progesterone cannot occur in the human body and therefore Wild Yam is not a source of progesterone (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 1024).

 

Constituents: Diosgensin, dioscin, dioscorin, vitamin C, beta-carotene, Vitamins B1 and B3, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc and polyphenols (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 1024).

 

Actions

  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543; Bone, 2003, p. 464)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Cholagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 1024)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)

 

Indications

  • Intestinal colic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Bilous colic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Diverticulitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Dysmenorrhea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Neuralgic dysmenorrheal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Ovarian neuralgia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Ovarian and uterus pain (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Acute phase of rheumatoid arthritis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543; Bone, 2003, p. 464)
  • Pains of pregnancy and associated nausea and vomiting (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 543)
  • Alleviation of menopausal symptoms (Bone, 2003, p. 464)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Decoction of dried root (2-3g/tds)
  • 1:5 Tincture (2-10mL/tds) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 1025)
  • 3-6mL liquid extract (1:2)/day or 20-40mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 464)

 

Cautions: Due to saponin content, may cause irritation of gastric mucosa (Bone, 2003, p. 464)

 

Combinations:

  • For intestinal colic: combines with Acorus calamus, Matricaria chamomilla and Zinziber officinale.
  • For rheumatoid arthritis: combines with Actaea racemosa (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 241)

Zingiber officinalis

1
Harvest Newsletter. (2011). Grow Local Ginger. Retrieved from: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs033/1106770492400/archive/1107516061313.html

Botanical Name: Zingiber officinalis
Common name: Ginger
Family: Zinziberaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)
Parts used: rhizome (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)

History/Folklore: Medicinal use of ginger is recorded in early Sanskrit and Chinese texts as well as in Ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic medical literature (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578).

Constituents: Essential oil (incl. zingiberene, sesquiphellandrene and β-bisabolene); gingerols and shogoals (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 579)

Actions

  • Carminative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Antiemetic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)
  • Peripheral circulatory stimulant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Spasmolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Anti-platelet (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 578, 582)
  • Diaphoretic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578: Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Digestive stimulant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)
  • Anti-ulcer (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 581)
  • Anti-microbial (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 583)
  • Antiparasitic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 583)
  • Anti-tumor (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)
  • Rubefacient (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Emmenagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Cholagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)

 

Indications

  • Motion sickness (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Morning sickness (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)
  • Post-operative and drug induced nausea (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 578-579)
  • Osteoarthritis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 579)
  • Dysmenorrhoea (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 570)
  • Gastroparesis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 579)
  • Chilbains (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Stimulate appetite (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Chemotherapy-induce nausea (Ryan, Heckler, Roscoe, Dakhil, Kirshner, Flynn, Hickok & Morrow, 2011)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Fresh rhizome: 500-1000mg/tds
  • Dried rhizome: 500mg/2-4 times a day
  • Liquid extract (1:2): 0.7-3mL/day
  • Tincture (1:5): 1.7-7.5ml/day (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 579)

 

Cautions

  • May enhance bioavailability of other medications (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 579)
  • May cause heart burn (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 579)
  • May have a blood thinning effect (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 578)
  • Some sources say it is unsuitable for morning sickness and results are conflicting (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 591; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)
  • Treatment during pregnancy should not exceed a daily dose of 2g of dried ginger (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 591)
  • Inhibits thromboxane synthase and acts as a prostaglandin agonist (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)

 

Contraindications:

  • Gallstones (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 591)

Interactions:

  • Increases bioavilability of other drugs by increasing absorption from GI tract and/or protecting the drug from metabolized by the liver’s first phase (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 591).
  • In Individuals already taking blood thinning medication, daily dose of ginger should not exceed 4g (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 591)
  • May increase bleeding when combined with other anti-coagulants (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 591)

Taraxacum officinale (folia)

Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale (folia)

Common name: Dandelion leaf

Family: Asteraceae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 376)

Parts used: This monograph focuses on the leaf

 

Constituents:

  • Minerals (notably potassium and including iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, choline, selenium, calcium, boron and silicon)
  • Vitamins A, C, D and B complex
  • Triterpenes
  • Flavonoid glycosides (incl. quercetin glycosides)
  • Phenolic acids (incl. chicoric acid or “decaffeoyltartaric acid”)
  • Phytosterols
  • Sugars
  • Mucilage

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 376)

 

Actions:

  • Diuretic

Has diuretic activity comparable to that of medication “frusenide”, without causing potassium loss due to the herbs high potassium content (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 376).

  • Liver tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 587)
  • Cholagogue

In an early experimental study, dandelion leaf decoction, administered as injection was reported to increase bile secretion (Bone, 2003, p. 174)

 

Folklore: Native America’s used Dandelion leaf as a tonic (Braun & Cohen, 2003, p. 174)

 

Indications

  • Cystits

In a double blind randomised control trial on 57 women, commercial preparation Uva-E (dandelion leaf and bearberry) found to significantly reduce the frequency and reoccurance of cyctitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 377)

  • Water retention related to heart problems (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 587)

In traditional Western medicine, dandelion leaf indication is similar to that of the root, however is seen as less potent in all cases apart from its diuretic activity.

German commission E supports using dandelion leaf to treat conditions such as:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Dyspepsia
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Disturbed bile flow (in combination with dandelion root)

(Braun & Cohen, 2003, p. 175)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Infusion: 4-10g dried herb/tds
  • Fluid extract (25%): 4-10mL/tds
  • Fresh juice: 10-20mL/tds

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 377)

 

Cautions & Contradictions: May result in contact dermatitis in individuals with allergy to Asteraceae family of latex (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 377; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 588)

Interactions: Avoid in individuals using quinolene antibiotics (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 377-378)

Combinations: Combines with Arctostaphylos (Bearberry) for Cystitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 377)

Andrographis paniculata

fleurandrographis2

Botanical Name: Andrographis paniculata

Common name: Chiretta, King of Bitters, Kalmegh (Bengali, Hindi), Kirata (Sanskrit), chuan xin lian (Chinese) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

Family: Acanthaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 361)

Parts used: Whole herb (including root) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Constituents

  • Diterpenoid lactones (“andrographolides”): Algycones and Glucosides
  • Diterpene dimmers
  • Flavonoids
  • Xanathones (root)

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Actions

  • Bitter tonic
  • Choleretic
  • Immunostimulant
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Antipyretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antiplatelet
  • Antioxidant

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

History

Used medicinally in Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine and throughout South-East Asia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

In Chinese medicine the herb is considered bitter and cold (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

Traditional thereaputic use includes

  • Loss of appetite
  • Atonic dyspepsia
  • Flatulence
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Bowel complaints in children
  • Sluggish liver
  • Diabetes
  • General debility
  • Convalescence after fevers
  • Respiratory and skin infections

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Indications (contemporary)

  • Bacterial and viral infections
    • Common cold
    • Acute sinusitis
    • Pharyngotonsillitis
    • Enteric evidence
  • Prevention of urinary tract infections
  • Prophylaxis of common cold
  • Familial Mediterranean fever
  • Ulcerative colitis

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360).

 

Preparation

  • Decoction (dried or fresh herb)
  • Infusion
  • Fluid extract
  • Tablet or capsule
  • Succus (leaf juice)

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Dosage

Preventative dose (adult): 2-3g or equivalent per day

During infection: 6g/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 360)

 

Cautions

High doses may cause gastric discomfort, loss of appetite and vomiting (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 370)

 

Contradictions:

  • Pregnancy, notably early pregnancy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 369)
  • States of hyperacidity (i.e. duodenal ulcers or gastrointestinal reflux) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 369).

 

Combinations

As Andrographis is considered “cold”, is it traditionally combined with warming herbs such as ginger, Astragalus and tulsi (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 361).

 

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

Image: Imbert, P. (2011). Andrographis, Between tradition and modernity. Retrieved from: http://www.entretiens-internationaux.mc/andrographis-between-tradition-and-modernity-61.html

Allium sativum

Nolan_Allium_sativum

Botanical Name: Allium sativum
Common name: Garlic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
Family: Liliaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
Parts used: bulb (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

Constituents

  • Organosulfur compounds: including ‘alliin’ (which is converted to allicin in presence of enzyme allinase)
  • Enzyme allinase
  • Minerals
  • Flavenoids

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

 

Actions

  • Anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-fungal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Basch, Bryan, Conquer, Hammerness, Hashmi, Hasskarl, Isaac, Ladak, LeBlanc, Nummy, Pelikhov, Smith, Seamon, Grimes Serrano, Spencer, Gruenwald, Ulbricht, Vora & Windsor, 2013)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Hypocholestermic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Cholagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Hypotensive (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

 

Indications

  • Alopecia areata (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Bacteria, viruses and parasites of the alimentary canal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526).
  • Gastritis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Helicobactor pylori infection (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Supports development of natural flora while simultaneously killing pathogenic organisms (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 187)
  • Benign Breast Disease (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Cancer (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Gastric cancer prevention (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Cardiovascular disease (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Basch et al., 2013)
  • Angina (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Atherosceroisis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Basch et al., 2013)
  • Hyperlipidaemia (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Hypertension (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Reduces serum cholesterol (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Reduces triglyceride levels (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Raises HLDL levels (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Active inhibitor of platelet aggregating factor (PAF) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Prevents pre-oxidation of fats (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Chronic venous ulcers (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Cystic fibrosis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Common cold (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Dental conditions (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Heavy metal/lead toxicity (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Hepatitis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Infections and conditions of the respiratory system
  • Chronic Bronchitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Respiratory catarrh (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Recurrent colds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Influenza (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Upper respiratory tract Infection (Basch et al., 2013).
  • Whooping cough (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Bronchial asthma (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Mosquito repellent (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Otitis media (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Parasitic infection (Basch et al., 2013; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Sickle cell anaemia (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Systemic sclerosis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Tick repellent (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Warts (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Preventative medicine in most infectious conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Garlic oil capsule: 1-3/tds
  • Garlic powder: 600-900mg/day
  • Prophylaxis: 1 clove/sd
  • Acute infection: 1 clove/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

 

Cautions & Contradictions:

  • High doses may irritate gastric mucosa (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Thereapeutic doses may potentiate activity of anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic medication (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Caution is advised both before and after surgical procedures (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • To be administer with caution in individuals with bleeding disorders or taking anticoagulents (Basch et al., 2013).
  • To be administer with caution in individuals with thyroid disorders or taking thyroid medication (Basch et al., 2013).
  • May interefere with breastfeeding (Basch et al., 2013).

 

REFERENCE
Basch, E., Basch, S., Bryan, J., Conquer, J., Hammerness, P., Hashmi, S., Hasskarl, J., Isaac, R., Ladak, A., LeBlanc, Y., Nummy, K., Pelikhov, G., Smith, M., Seamon, E., Grimes Serrano, J., Spencer, A., Gruenwald, J., Ulbricht, C., Vora, M., & Windsor, R. (2013). Garlic (Allium sativum). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalstandard.com.ezproxy.think.edu.au/databases/herbssupplements/garlic.asp?#

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

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

Image I: Nolan, K. (n.d.). Royal Botanical Gardens & Domain Trust. Retrieved from: http://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/education/art_and_illustration/botanica/artist/Kate_Nolan?SQ_DESIGN_NAME=printer_friendly

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