Smilax ornate / Smilax spp.

Sarsaparilla_Smilaxofficinalis_SmilaxChina_Photo05

MDidea. (2013). Botanical Description:Sarsaparilla,Smilax Medica,Smilax China. Retrieved from: http://www.mdidea.com/products/proper/proper08802.html

Botanical Name: Smilax ornate / Smilax spp.
Common name: Sarsaparilla (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
Family: Smilacaceae (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
Parts used: Root & rhizome (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

History/Folklore: Amazonian natives used the root for menopause and to enhance the “virility of men” (Bone, 2003, p. 398). The genus Smilax contains a range of species, with Smilax ornata, S. aristolochiifolia and S. medica medically interchangeable (Bone, 2003, p. 397). The herb has a wide range of traditional use including skin disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, syphilis, leprosy (conjunction) and as a tonic and flavouring agent (Bone, 2003, p. 398).

Constituents: Saponins: sarasapogenin, smilagenin, β-sitosterol and stigmasterol (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

 

Actions

  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584; Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Depurative (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Indications

  • Psoriasis (Bone, 2003, p. 397; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)
  • Chronic skin disorders (Bone, 2003, p. 397)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Bone, 2003, p. 397; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • 3-6mL liquid extract (1:2)/day
  • 20-40mL liquid extract (1:2)/week

(Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Cautions & Contraindications: None known (Bone, 2003, p. 397)

 

Interactions: May increase absorption of digitalis glycosides (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 584)

Phytolacca decandra/P. americana

Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

Image I

phytolaque 2-1

Image II

Botanical Name: Phytolacca decandra/P. americana
Common name: Poke Root, Poke Weed (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
Family: Phytolacceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 796)
Parts used: Berries, leaves, roots(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)

Constituents

  • Tripenoid saponins: Phytolaccosides, esculentosides, phytolaccasaponins
  • Algycone: Phytolaccagenin
  • Sterols

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 796)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Lymphatic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Depurative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Immunostimulant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Anti-rheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Anti-catarrhal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Emetic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Expectorant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)

 

Indications

  • Depurative for skin conditions acting primarily via the lymphatic system (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Inflammatory conditions of the respiratory and reproductive systems (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Skin irritation or infection (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Female reproductive conditions (notably mastitis, mammary abscess and uterine cancer) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)
  • Infections of the upper respiratory tract (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Lymphatic problems (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Long standing rheumatism and arthritis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Neurolagia and lumbargo (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Tonsilitis and parotitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Mastitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Ovaritis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Enlarged thyroid (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Poultice (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Lotion or ointment (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Decoction: 0.2g of dried root/day
  • Tincture: (1:5) 0.15-0.7mL/day

For use up to 6 months

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 795)

 

Cautions

  • Care must be taken as it is a strong herb, powerful emetic and purgative in large doses (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 572)
  • Liquid extracts and fresh herb has the potential to cause poisoning due to presence of high levels of PWM (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 796)
  • Large doses of liquid extracts have shown to impair liver function in animal studies (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 796)
  • Saponins may cause irritation of gastric mucus membranes (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 797)

 

Contradictions

  • Contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation
  • Lymphatic leukaemia
  • Children

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 797)

 

Combinations

For lymphatic problems, may be combined with Galium aparine or Iris versicolour (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 225)

 

REFERENCE
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.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image I: Miranda, K. (2012). American Society of Botanical Artists. Retrieved from: http://www.asba-art.org/member-gallery/kathie-miranda

Image II: IDS. (n.d.). La phytolaque. Retrieved from: http://isaisons.free.fr/phytolaque.htm

Urtica dioica/Urens folia

nettle

Image I

Stinging Nettle- home

Image II

Botanical Name: Urtica dioica/Urens folia
Common name: Nettle (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
Family: Urticaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 761)
Parts used: Leaf and root (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 761)

Constituents

LEAF

  • Flavonol glycosides
  • Sterols
  • Scoplentin
  • Chlorophyll
  • Carotenoids (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 761)
  • Histamine (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 218).

ROOT

  • Sterols and steryl glycosides
  • Ligans
  • Phenylpropanes
  • Coumarin scopoletin (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 761)

 

Actions

LEAF

  • Anti-inflammatory (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Antirheumatic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Anti-allergic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Depurative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Styptic (haemostatic) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Counter-irritant (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Astringent (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 218).
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 218).
  • Tonic (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 218).

ROOT

  • Antiprostatic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 761, 762)

 

Indications (traditional)

  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery
  • Internal bleeding
  • Chronic diseases of the colon
  • Chronic skin diseases

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)

 

Indications

LEAF

  • Allergic rhinitis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)
  • Osteoarthritis (internal and external) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)

ROOT

  • Symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Liquid extract (1:2): 3-6mL/day (herb) 4-9mL/day (root)
  • Tincture (1:5): 7-14mL/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 760)

  • Infusion (leaf): 1-3tsp/1 cup water/tds (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 218)

Not thought to possess risk in pregnancy, is compatible with breastfeeding (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 768)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

Nettle stings are due to the presence of histamine and serotonin induced by nettle hair, however no reaction is expected from ingesting the extracted leaf. Unprocessed dried leaves may cause allergic reaction with topical application (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 768).

 

Interactions

Combines well with Figwort and Burdock in the treatment of eczema (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 218).

 

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

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image I: Galens Garden. (2014). Nettles-Urtica dioica. Retrieved from: http://www.herbs-and-homoeopathy.co.uk/nettles-urtica-dioica/

Image II: Homolka, K. (2011). Urtica dioica (Stinging Nettles). Retrieved from: http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2011/homolka_kail/