Asparagus racemosa

Asparagus racemosus-1

Prasad, S. R. (n.d.). ASPARAGUS (Shatavari) as Multi target Drug in Women. Retrieved from: http://technoayurveda.com/Shatavari.html

Botanical Name: Asparagus racemosa
Common name: Shatavari, Wild Asparagus, Satavar (Hindi), Satavari (Sanskrit) (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
Family: Liliaceae (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
Parts used: Root (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
Quality: Bitter, sweet, cooling (Pole, 2006, p. 217)

History: Shatavari is regarded in Ayurvedic medicine as part of the rasayana group, which translates to the path that primordial tissue takes (Bone, 2003, p. 410). Australian aboriginals used shatavari topically in a wash for scabies, ulceration and chicken pox (Bone, 2003, p. 410).

Constituents: Steroidal saponins (incl. shatavarin I); alkaloids (incl. pyrrolizidine alkaloid ‘asparagamine A’); and mucilage (Bone, 2003, p. 410).

Actions

  • Tonic (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Galactagogue (Bone, 2003, p. 409; (\Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Sexual tonic (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Female reproductive tonic (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Adaptogen (Bone, 2003, p. 409; Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Sapsmolytic (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Antidiarrheal (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Diuretic (Bone, 2003, p. 409; Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Aphrodisiac (Bone, 2003, p. 409; Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Immunosuppressant (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Immunomodulator (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Nervine (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Demulcent (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Anti-bacterial (Pole, 2006, p. 217)

Indications

  • Promote conception (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Sexual debility (Both male and female) (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Infertility (Bone, 2003, p. 409; Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Impotence (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Promote lactation (Bone, 2003, p. 409; Pole, 2006, p. 217)
  • Menopause (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Promote appetite in children (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Infections (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Diarrhea (Bone, 2003, p. 409)
  • Colic (Pole, 2006, p. 217)

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:2): 4.5-8.5mL/day or 30-60mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 409)

Contraindications

  • Acute lung congestion (Pole, 2006, p. 218)
  • High kapha and/or āma (Pole, 2006, p. 218)

Combinations: Combine with Ashwagandha for a uterine tonic or to promote fertility in both male and females (Pole, 2006, p. 218)

Interactions: None known (Bone, 2003, p. 409)

Trigonella foenum-graecum

trigonella_foenum-graecum

Schoepke, T. (n.d.). Pískavice řecké seno Trigonella foenum-graecum (Fabaceae). Retrieved from: http://www.okhelp.cz/images/botanika/kohler/img/index.php?img=trigonella_foenum-graecum.jpg&txt=P%C3%ADskavice+%C5%99eck%C3%A9+seno+Trigonella+foenum-graecum+%28Fabaceae%29

Botanical Name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Common name: Fenugreek, Methi (Hindi), Methika (Sanskrit) (Pole, 2006, p. 177)
Family: Fabaceae (Natural Standard, 2014)
Parts used: Seed (Bone, 2003, p. 210)

Quality: Warming, pungent, nourishing (Pole, 2006, p. 177)

Constituents: Saponins (incl. diogenin); coumarins; flavonoids (incl. quercetin, lilyn and kaempferol); and alkaloids (incl. trigonellin, lecithin and mucilage) (Pole, 2006, p. 177).

Actions

  • Appetite stimulant (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Galactagogue (Bone, 2003, p. 210; Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Demulcent (Bone, 2003, p. 210; Pole, 2006, p. 177)
  • Hypoglycemic (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Bulk laxative (Pole, 2006, p. 177)
  • Aphrodisiac (Pole, 2006, p. 177)

TCM: Yang tonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 171)

Ayurvedic specific: Appetite builder, digestive, Encourages vāta to decend, mild laxative, allieviates vāta and kapha, allieviates symptoms of diabetes (Pole, 2006, p. 177)

 

Indications

  • Diabetes mellitus type 2 (A grade evidence) (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Diabetes mellitus type 1 (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Loss of appetite (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Dyspepsia (Bone, 2003, p. 210; Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Gastritis (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Debility (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Preventing athereosclerosis (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Promoting lactation (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Obesity (Natural Standard, 2014; Pole, 2006, p. 177)

Ayurvedia specific: Used to treat constipation, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity (Pole, 2006, p. 177)

TCM specific: Yang deficiency marked by pain and coldness of the lower abdomen, hernia, weakness and edema of the legs caused by cold damp (Bone, 2003, p. 212).

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:2): 2.0-4.5mL/day or 15-30mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 211)
  • Tincture (1:3 in 45%): 3-30mL/day

 

Cautions

  • High doses not recommended in Hypothyroidism (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Excessive external use may cause skin reactions (Bone, 2003, p. 211)
  • Allergic reactions have been recorded for both internal and external use (Bone, 2003, p. 211)

 

Contraindications: In Ayurvedic medicine the herb is contraindicated in high pitta (Pole, 2006, p. 178)

Combinations: For bloating and constipation combine with fennel, cumin and coriander (Pole, 2006, p. 178)

Interactions:

  • May increase risk of bleeding when used in conjunction with warfarin (Bone, 2003, p. 210)
  • Associated with inhibiting iron absorption (Bone, 2003, p. 211)

Glycyrrhiza glabra

3eb270
Mharr. (2008). PlantFiles: Picture #7 of Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Retrieved from: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/186125/

Botanical Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Common name: Licorice, licorice root, yashimadhu (Sanskrit), ganco (Chinese), Kanzo (Japanese) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
Family: Leguminosae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650)
Parts used: Root and stolen (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650)

History/Folklore: Use of licorice root dates back to 2500BC, found referenced on Assyrian clay and Egyptian papyri. The herb is also used extensively in both Auyrvedia and Traditional Chinese Medicine (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 650).

Constituents: Triterpenoid saponins (notably: glycyrrhizin); Glycyrrhetic acid; flavonoids (incl. liquiritigenin glycosides); chalchones (incl. isoliquiritin); isoflavonoids (incl. glabridin, glabrone and formononetin); sterols; coumrains; fatty acids; phenolics; and arabinogalactans (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 721)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-allergic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651)
  • Anti-ulcer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 651)
  • Anti-viral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Antibacterial (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652)
  • Expectorant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-tussive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Antioxidant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652)
  • Anticancer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 652; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Neuroprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 653)
  • Antidepressant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 653)
  • Hepatoprotective (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 653-654; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Anti-platelet (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Immunomodulatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Adrenal tonic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Demulcent (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Mild laxative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Spasmolytic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)

 

Indications

  • Peptic ulcer (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Gastritis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Dyspepsia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Dermatitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 654)
  • Allergies (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Viral Infections (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Respiratory tract infection (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Chronic stress (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Polycystic ovary disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 730)
  • Complications of diabeties (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 655)
  • Menopause (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 655-656)
  • Weight loss (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Addison’s disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 730)
  • Hypercholesterolaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Depression (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • Urinary tract inflammation (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Adrenal insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)
  • Viral Hepatitis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 731)
  • HIV/AIDS (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 731)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Decoction: 3-12g/day
  • Liquid extract (1:1): 2-6mL/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 719)

 

Cautions

  • Adverse reactions have been recorded at doses > 100-400mg/day (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 656)
  • High doses over a long period of time may lead to increased blood pressure, therefore caution should be taken in individuals with hypertension (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 656-658)
  • Caution to be taken in men with a history of impotence, infertility or decreased libido due to potential ability to reduce testosterone (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 658)

 

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 567; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Cholestatic liver disease and cirrhosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Hypokalaemia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)
  • Severe kidney insufficiency (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 733)

 

Interactions:

  • Anti-hypertensives (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 657)
  • Digoxin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 657)
  • May potentate effects of diuretics and laxatives (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 734)

Avena sativa

wheat-sativum-oats

Martin, A. (1858). Wheat & Oats. Retrieved from: http://www.reusableart.com/v/food/wheat-sativum-oats.jpg.html?g2_imageViewsIndex=1

Botanical Name: Avena sativa
Common name: Oats
Family: Poaceae (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 704)
Parts used: The whole flowering plant including straw and seed (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 704)

Constituents:

  • Beta-glucan
  • Triterpenoid saponins: incl. avenacosides A and B
  • Phenolic compounds: incl. avenanthramides A, B and C
  • Alkaloids: indol alkaloid, gramine, trigonelline, avenine
  • Sterol (avenasterol)
  • Flavonoids
  • Starch
  • Phytates
  • Protein (including gluten)
  • Coumarins
  • Nutrients: silicic acid, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, zinc
  • Vitamins: a, B-complex, C, E and K

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 704)

 

Actions:

  • Lipid lowering
  • Anti-atherogenic
  • Anti-hypertensive
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Laxative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 705)
  • Sedative
  • Emollient (Heinrich, Barnes, Gibbons & Williamson, 2012, p. 285)
  • Nervine tonic
  • Anti-depressant
  • Nutritive
  • Demulcent
  • Vulnerary (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219)

 

History: Avena sativa is a widely distributes cereal crop.

 

Indications

  • Hyperlipidaemia (Braun & Cohen, 2010, pp. 705- 706)
  • Hypertension (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 706)
  • Blood sugar regulation (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 706)
  • Atopic dermatitis (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 707)
  • Ecezma, Pruritus and dry skin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 707; Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 285)

In vitro studies of avenanthramides demonstrate significant inhibition of TNF-alpha-induced NF-kappaB activity and sebseqent reduction of interlukin-8 release.

 

Hoffmann describes Avena sativa as a remedy for “feeding” the nervous system when under stress. Considered specific in nervous debility, exhaustion and general debility (1990, p. 219).

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Bath preparations for eczema or itchy or dry skin: boill 500g of shredded straw in 2L water for 0.5hour. Strain the liquid before adding to the bath (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219; Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 285)
  • Tinctures for sedative properties (Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 285)
  • Fluid extract: 3-5mL/tds (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219).

 

Cautions & Contradictions: May cause irritation in individuals with coeliac disease (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 708)

 

Interactions: Theoretically may interefere with antihypertensives, lipid-lowering medications, insulin and diabetic medication (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 707).

 

Combinations: For depression may be combined with Skullcap and Lady’s Slipper (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 219).

Zea Mays

Web

Thomas, M. (n.d.). Ear Of Corn. Retrieved from: http://www.michellethomas.com/Ear-of-Corn

Botanical Name: Zea Mays
Common name: Cornsilk
Family: Poaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
Parts used: Stigma from female flower (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
 

Constituents: Saponins; Allantonin; Sterols (notably b-sterol and stigmasterol); Alkaloid: hordening; Vitamins C and K; Cryptoxanthin; Anthocyanins and Plant acids (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

 

Actions:

  • Diuretic
  • Demulcent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Antioxidant
  • Potential neuroprotective (Hasanudin, Hashim & Mustafa, 2012, p. 9708)

 

Traditional Use: Used traditionally by Chinese for prostate problems and by Native American’s for urinary infections, malaria and cardiovascular ailments (Hasanudin et al., 2012, p. 9698).

 

Indications

  • Irritation of the urinary system
  • Cystitis
  • Urethritis
  • Prostatitis
  • Catarrhal cystitis
  • Lithiasis (stones)
  • Gonorrhea
  • Dropsy (edema)

(Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 596-597)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

Tincture (1:5 in 25%): 5-10mL/tds

Infusion: 2-4 tsp/1 cup water/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597)

 

Cautions & Contradictions: No side effects have been reported (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 597; Hasanudin et al., 2012, p. 9708)

 

Combinations: For cystitis, may be combined with Couchgrass, Bearberry or Yarrow (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 193).

Elytrygia repens

elytrigia-repens=couch-grass

wendys.cz (n.d.). Couch Grass – Elytrigia repens. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/e/elytrigia-repens=couch-grass.php

 

Botanical Name:  Elytrygia repens/Elymus repens/Agropyron repens

Common name: Couch grass

Family: Poaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 546)

Parts used: Rhizome, root and stem (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Constituents: Carbohydrates: triticin, insitol, mannitol and mucilage; Volatile oil (mainly agropyrene); and Flavonoids (inlc. tricin)

 

Actions:

  • Diuretic
  • Demulcent
  • Antimicrobial

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 546)

 

Traditional Indications:

  • Urinary Tract Infections (cystitis)
  • Urethritis
  • Prostatitis
  • Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy
  • Kidney stones and gravel

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 546)

Clinical Research has demonstrated antibiotic activity of agropyrene constituent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 546).

 

Preparation & Dosage:

Tincture: 1-4mL/tds (1:5 in 40%)

Decoction: 2 tsp rhizome/1 cup water/tds

 

Cautions & Contradictions:

  • Avoid in combination with potassium-depleting diuretics (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 546)

 

Combinations:

  • For cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis combine with Buchu, Bearbarry or Yarrow.
  • May be combined with Hydrangea for prostate problems (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 193)

Tussilago farfara

1320px-Tussilago_farfara_whole

Botanical Name: Tussilago farfara
Common name: Coltsfoot (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)
Family: Asteraceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)
Parts used: Dried flower, leaf (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)

 

Constituents

  • Flavonoids: rutin, hyperoside, isoquercetin
  • Mucilage
  • Inulin
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: including senkirkine and tussilagine
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anticatarrhal
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antitussive
  • Expectorant
  • Demulcent
  • Diuretic
  • Immunostimulant

(Heinrich et al., 2010, p. 235; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)

 

Indications

  • Irritating or spasmodic coughs
  • Whooping cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Laryngitis
  • Asthma

(Heinrich et al., 2010, p. 235; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Fresh boiled leaves can be applied to boils, abscesses and suppurating ulcers
  • Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 2-4mL/tds
  • Infusion: 1-2tsp dried herb/1 cup water/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

  • The pyrrolizidine alkaloids have shown hepatotoxic activity in rats, fed daily in high doses, however appear not to cause damage in human chromosomes in vitro (Heinrich et al., 2010, p. 235).
  • Not recommended for long periods of time (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 590).

 

Combinations

For coughs, Coltsfoot is often combines with White Horehound and Mullein (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 192)

 

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

Heinrich, M., Barnes, J., Gibbons, S., & Williamson, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Image: Lenes, K. (2007). File:Tussilago farfara whole.png. Retrieved from: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tussilago_farfara_whole.png

Verbascum thapsus

HBC-AS09-mullein2-DC

Botanical Name: Verbascum thapsus
Common name: Mullein (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)
Family: Scrophulariaceae (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)
Parts used: Dried leaf, flower (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)

 

Constituents

  • Flavonoids
  • Mucilage
  • Saponins
  • Tannins
  • Volatile oil

(Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Demulcent
  • Expectorant
  • Vulnerary

(Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)

 

Indications

  • Specific for bronchitis characterised by “hard cough” with soreness (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)
  • Inflammation of the trachea (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)
  • Pain associated with ear aches (external) (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592; Scully, Ulbricht & Weissner, 2013)

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 2.5-5mL/tds

Infusion: 2tsp dried leaf/1 cup water/tds

(Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

No side effect have been reported (Hoffmann, 2013, p. 592)

 

Combinations

Bronchitis: Combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot and Lobelia (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 217)

 

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

Scully, L., Ulbricht, C., & Weissner, W. (2013). Mullein (Verbascum thapsus). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalstandard.com/databases/herbssupplements/mullein.asp?

Image: Cavagnaro, D. (2009). Herb to Know: Mullein (Verbascum thapsus). Retrieved from: http://www.motherearthliving.com/plant-profile/herb-to-know-mullein-verbascum-thapsus.aspx#axzz2z83NDBPI

Symphytum officinale

Symphytum_officinale1

Image I

Symphytum_officinale3

Image II

Botanical Name: Symphytum officinale
Common name: Comfrey (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)
Family: Boraginaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)
Parts used: Root, rhizome and leaf(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)

Constituents

  • Allantoin
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids: Echimindine, Symphytine, Lycopsamine and Symlandine (in fresh young leaves and root)
  • Phenolic acids: Rosmarinic, Chlorogenic, Caffeic and Lithospermic
  • Mucilage
  • Choline
  • Asparagine
  • Volatile oil
  • Tannins
  • Steroidal saponins
  • Triterpenes

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)

 

Actions

  • Vulnerary
  • Demulcent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Expectorant

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)

 

Indications

  • Wound healing (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)
  • Fosters proper scar formation (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)
  • External ulcers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)
  • Fractures (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)
  • Chronic varicose ulcers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Compress
  • Poultice
  • Ointment (5-20% dried herb)

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)

 

Commission E recommends that the daily does does not exceed 100mg (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586)

 

Cautions

  • In deep wounds comfrey can cause tissue to form over wound before deeper healing in finished resulting in abscesses (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586).

 

Contradictions

  • Due to the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids comfrey is not indicated for oral use
  • Currently banned in Australia and New Zealand (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 586).
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are potentially toxic to lungs and liver and may cause acute liver failure, cirrhosis, pneumonitis or pulmonary hypertension. Animals stuide show that they are potentially carcinogenic and hepatotoxic (Altamirano, Gratz & Wolnick, 2005, Abstract)

 

REFERENCE
Altamirano, J. C., Gratz, S. R., & Wolnick, K. A. (2005). Investigation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and their N-oxides in commercial comfrey-containing products and botanical materials by liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Journal of AOAC International, 88(2), 406-412. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15859063?dopt=Abstract

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

Images: Balagizi, I., Cihyoka, A., & Mapatano, S. (n.d.). Prelude Medicinal Plants Database. Retrieved from: www.africamuseum.be/collections/external/prelude/view_plant?pi=12117

Stellaria media

common

Image I

th_Chickweed_01

Image II

Botanical Name: Stellaria media
Common name: Chickweed (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585), star chickweed, starweed, satinflower, starwort, stellaria, winterweed (Heinrich, Barnes, Gibbons & Williamson, 2012, p. 310).
Family: Caryophyllaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
Parts used: Aerial parts: leaves, stems and flowers (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 310)

Constituents

  • Saponin glycosides
  • Coumarines & Hydroxycoumarines
  • Flavonoids
  • Carboxylic acids
  • Triterpenoids
  • Vitamin C

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)

 

Actions

INTERNAL USE

  • Antitussive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 310)
  • Expectorant (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 310)
  • Demulcent (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 310; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)

EXTERNAL USE

  • Vulnerary (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Emollient (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Cooling demulcent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Mild laxative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)
  • Mild diuretic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)

 

Indications

  • Reduces itching and irritation (topical) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Eczema, psoriasis, rashes, burns (topical) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Rheumatism (internal) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)
  • Bronchial phlegm and bronchitis (internal) (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)

 

Preparation

  • Tincture
  • Ingredient in ointment or cream

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)

  • Poultice
  • Infusion
  • Succus
  • Added to bath water

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)

 

Dosage

  • Infusion: 1-5g tsp dried herb/tds
  • Tincture: (1:5) 2-10mL/tds

(Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)

 

Cautions

  • Pregnancy: likely safe when consumed in dietary amounts (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)
  • Skin allergic reactions can occur with topical use (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 311)

 

Contradictions

No side effects or drug interactions have been reported (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 585)

 

Combinations

Combines with Marshmallow in preparation of an ointment (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 191)

 

REFERENCE
Heinrich, M., Barnes, J., Gibbons, S., & Williamson, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

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 II: Geissal, H. (2004). Problem Weeds in Cereals. Retrieved from: http://www.crsbooks.net/agscience/weeds.html

Image II: Baumann, L. (2011). Plant of The Month. Retrieved from: http://www.smmtc.org/plantofthemonth/plant_of_the_month_201102_Chickweed.php