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).

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Stellaria media

common

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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

Ulmus rubra

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Botanical Name: Ulmus rubra
Common name: Slippery Elm (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
Family: Ulmaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
Parts used: Inner bark (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)

Constituents: Mulcilage (galactose, methyl-3 galactose, rhamnose and galacturonic acid residue) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)

 

Actions

  • Demulcent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Emollient (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Astringent (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)

 

Traditional Indications & History

Native to Eastern Canada and Eastern and Central US, found mostly in Appalachian Mountains (Abrams, Basch, Catapang, Costa, Flanagan, Hashmi, Isaac, Smith, Ulbricht, Weissner & Woods, 2013, p.1). The name refers to the consistency of the inner bark when it is chewed or mixed with water (Abrams et al., 2013, p.1). Used traditionally by Native American Healers to treat irritated skin and mucus membranes (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2). Ground inner bark was often added to milk as a nutrient for infants and the chronically ill (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2). Poultices were also made from the bark and applied to bruises, minor burns and abrasions (Abrams et al., 2013, p.2).

 

Indications (contemporary)

  • Throat irritation (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2)
  • Gastritis (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Colitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Ulcers (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Nappy rash (topical) (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2)
  • Diarrhoea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)

In contemporary herbal medicine the herb is used as an ingredient in a number of lozenges to sooth throat irritation (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 2).

Seen as simultaneously soothing and astringing the intestinal lining (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591).

 

Preparation & Dosage

  • Decocotion: (1:8) ½ cup/tds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Poultice (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)
  • Capsules & Tablets: 200-500mg tablets of capsules/tid-qid (Abrams et al., 2013, p. 3)

 

Cautions

May slow the absorption of orally administed drugs (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 591)

 

Contradictions

Known allergy (Abrams et al., 2013, p.4).

 

Interactions

One of four primary ingredients in the herbal cancer remedy Essiac® (Abrams et al., 2013, p.1).

 

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

Abrams, T., Basch, E., Catapang, M., Costa, D., Flanagan, K., Hashmi, S., Isaac, R., Smith, M., Ulbricht, C., Weissner, W., & Woods, J. (2013). Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra, Ulmus fulva). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from: http://www.naturalstandard.com/index-abstract.asp?create-abstract=slipperyelm.asp&title=Slippery%20elm

All Images: USDA. (2009). Flora of USA and Canada. Retrieved from: http://luirig.altervista.org/schedenam/fnam.php?taxon=Ulmus+rubra

Althea officinale

892px-Althaea_officinalis_—_Flora_Batava_—_Volume_v4

Image I

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Image II

Botanical Name: Althea officinale
Common name: Marshmallow (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 25)
Family: Malvaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
Parts used: Root and Leaf (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

Constituents

  • Mucilage
  • Pectin
  • Asparagine
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

 

Actions

  • Demulcent
  • Emollient
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Expectorant

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)

 

Indications

Root: Primarily used in the digestive system, indicated in inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastritis, peptic ulceration and colitus (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526).

 

Leaf: Most commonly used in the urinary and respiratory systems

Urinary: cystitis, urethritis and urinary gravel

Respiratory: bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, coughs and inflammation of mouth and throat. (Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 526-527)

 

Topical use:

  • Applied externally as an ingredient in drawing ointments
  • An emollient for varicose veins and ulcers
  • Wounds, burns, scalds, bedsores, abscesses and boils

(Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 526-526).

 

The herb has also shown antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Proteus vulgaris and Staphylococcus (Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 526-527).

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5 in 25%): 1-4mL tds

Cold Infusion: infuse 2-4g in 1 cup water overnight

Syrup: 1-10mL

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 527)

Poultice

 

Cautions

May delay absorption of other drugs taken at the same time (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526).

 

Combinations

Combined with Comfrey in ulcerative conditions.

For bronchitis combines well with Liquorice and White Horehound.

(Hoffmann, 1990, p. 214)

 

REFERENCE
Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livvingstone/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: Sepp, C. (1822). Flora Batava, Volume 4. Retrieved from: www.BioLib.de

Image II: McAllister, M. (2011). (6) Seasonal Materia Medica Profile: Marsh mallow. Retrieved from: http://rbgeherbaljournal.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/seasonal-materia-medica-profile-marsh.html

Sambucus nigra

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Hubpages. (2014). Gathering and Using Elderflowers to Make Lotions for Beautiful Skin and Healing Salves. Retrieved from: http://hubpages.com/hub/Gathering-and-Using-Elderflowers-to-Make-Lotions-for-Beautiful-Skin-and-Healing-Salves

sambucus-nigra-flower

Landscape Architect’s Pages. Sambucus nigra. (2011). Retrieved from: http://hubpages.com/hub/Gathering-and-Using-Elderflowers-to-Make-Lotions-for-Beautiful-Skin-and-Healing-Salves

Botanical Name: Sambucus nigra
Common name: Elder, Black Elder, Common Elder (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 400)
Family: Caprifoliaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580)
Parts used: Flower, berry, leaf (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580)

Constituents

FLOWER

  • Triterpenes: ursolic acid, oleanolic acid,a- and b-amyrin, sterols
  • Fixed oils: linolenic and palmitic acids
  • Phenolic acids
  • Pectin

LEAF

  • Triterpenes
  • Cyanogenetic glycosides: incl. sambunigrin
  • Flavonoids: kaempferol, quercetin and quercetin glycosides
  • Fatty acids
  • Alkanes
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580)

 

Actions

LEAF

  • Purgative
  • Expectorant
  • Diuretic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Emollient
  • Vulnerary

FLOWER

  • Diaphoretic
  • Anticatarrhal
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral

Increases cytokin production, strengthens cells membranes, thus preventing virus penetration.

BERRY

  • Diaphoretic
  • Diuretic
  • Laxative
  • Antirheumatic

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580)

 

Indications

LEAF

Used topically for bruises, sprains and wounds

FLOWER

Colds and influenza

Catarrhal inflammation of upper respiratory tract

Hay fever and sinusitis

BERRY

Similar properties to the flower with added effectiveness in rheumatism (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580)

 

Preparation & Dosage

Elderflower tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 2-4mL/tds

Infusion: 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons of fresh blossoms. Infuse for 10 mins and drink hot/tds.

Juice: Boil fresh berries in water for 2-3mins. Express juice. Add 1 part honey to 10parts juice. Bring to boil. One glass diluted with hot water/ bds

Ointment: Heat 3 parts fresh elder leaves with 6 parts melted vasoline until leaves are crisp. Strain and store.

(Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 580-581)

 

Cautions & Contradictions:

No side effects reported (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580). Tolerated in pregnancy in dietary amounts (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 402).

 

Combinations

Combined in an infusion with St John’s wort and Soap wort root has been seen to exhibit antiviral activity against influenza in in vitro and in vivo. It has also shown to exhibit antiviral activity against herpres simplex type-I in vitro (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 580).

 

REFERENCE

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

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