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)

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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)

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)

Galega officinalis

Goat_s_Rue_-_Galega_officinalis-4132

Wild About Britian. (2011). Goat’s Rue-Galega officinalis. Retrieved from: http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/pictures/showphoto.php/photo/104660/size/big

Botanical Name: Galega officinalis
Common name: Goat’s Rue, French Lilac, Italian fitch, Professor-weed (Natural Standard, 2014)
Family: Leguminosae (Bone, 2003, p. 243)
Parts used: Aerial Parts (Bone, 2003, p. 243)

History/Folklore: Native to the Middle East (Natural Standard, 2014)

Constituents: Alkaloid: galegine (Bone, 2003, p. 243)

Actions

  • Hypoglycemic (Bone, 2003, p. 243; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 522)
  • Galactagogue (Bone, 2003, p. 243; Natural Standard, 2014; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 522)
  • Antidiabetic (Bone, 2003, p. 243)
  • Antiplatelet (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Diuretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552; Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 552; Natural Standard, 2014)

Indications

  • Non-insulin dependent diabeties mellitus (Bone, 2003, p. 243)
  • Improving lactation (Bone, 2003, p. 243; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 522)
  • Assisting weight loss (Bone, 2003, p. 243)

Preparation & Dosage:

  • 5-8.5mL liquid extract (1:2)/day
  • 30-60mL liquid extract (1:2)/week

(Bone, 2003, p. 243)

Cautions & Contraindications: None known (Bone, 2003, p. 243). Should not replace insulin therapy and should be monitored in the treatment of diabeties (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 522)

Interactions: May interact with antiplatelet and hypoglycaemic medication (Natural Standard, 2014)

Coleus forskohlii

Coleus

Wall, M. (2014). Coleus. Retrieved from: http://www.truestarhealth.com/Notes/2071003.html

Botanical Name: Coleus forskohlii
Common name: Coleus (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
Family: Labiatae (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
Parts used: Root (Bone, 2003, p. 156)

Constituents: Forskolin (Bone, 2003, p. 156)

Actions

  • Hypotensive (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Antiplatelet (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Broncho-spasmolytic (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Spasmolytic (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Cardiotonic (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Digestive stimulant (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Aromatic digestive (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Galactagogue (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Indications

  • Congestive heart disease (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Asthma (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Glaucoma (topical) (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Hypertension (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Ischemic heart disease (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Thrombosis (relating to platelet activity) (Bone, 2003, p. 156)
  • Depression & Schizophrenia (Natural Standard, 2014)
  • Erectile dysfunction (Natural Standard, 2014)

 

Preparation & Dosage

3-6mL liquid extract (1:1)/day

40-90mL liquid extract (1:1)/week

4-6 drops liquid extract (1:1) prepared in water/saline for an eye bath (allow alcohol to evaporate before administered)

(Bone, 2003, p. 156)

 

Cautions: Peptic ulcer (Bone, 2003, p. 156)

 

Contraindications: Contraindicated in hypotension (Bone, 2003, p. 156)

Verbena officinalis

x123771866949c6168dbdeb5

Laboratorio d’erbe Sauro. (2014). Vervain – Verbena – (Verbena officinalis). Retrieved from: http://www.erboristeriasauro.it/vervain-verbena-verbena-officinalis-.html

Botanical Name: Verbena officinalis
Common name: Vervain (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238)
Family: Verbenaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
Parts used: Ariel parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592).

Constituents: Iridoids (verbenin, verbenalin, bastatoside); Essential oil; Mucilage (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)

 

Folklore: Used in Ayurvedic medicine as a contraceptive and in Italian folk medicine for rheumatic pain and wounds (Natural Standard, 2014).

 

Actions

  • Nervine tonic (Bone, 2003, p. 453; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)
  • Sedative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592; Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Hypotensive (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Galactagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 592)
  • Astringent (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Mild antidepressant (Bone, 2003, p. 453)

 

Indications

  • Depression (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593; Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Early stages of fevers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)
  • Caries and gum disease (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)
  • Infantile colic (in combination) (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Anorexia (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Gastrointestinal irritation (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Jaundice (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Epilepsy (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Nervous breakdown (Bone, 2003, p. 453)
  • Promotion of lactation (Bone, 2003, p. 453)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Infusion: 1-3 tsp dreid herb/1 cup boiling water/tds
  • Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 2.5-5mL/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 93)

 

Cautions & Contradictions: None known (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 593)

 

Combinations:

  • For depression may be combines with Skullcap, Oats and Lady’s slipper (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 238).
  • For infantile colic may be combined with lemon balm, chamomile, licorice and fennel (Bone, 2003, p. 453)

Silybum marianum

silybum-marianum-flower

Botanical Name: Silybum marianum

Common name: St Mary’s Thistle, Milk thistle (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861)

Family: Asteraceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861)

Parts used: Leaf and seed (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861)

 

Constituents

  • Flavonoligans (collectively known as “silymarin”)
  • Fixed oil

(Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 861-862).

 

Actions

  • Hepatoprotective (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Hepatic trophorestorative (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Antioxidant (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Choleretic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Galactagogue (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Potential anti-cancer and antitumor properties (Bone & Mills, 2013, pp. 866-867).

 

Indications (traditional)

  • Seeds: traditionally used in Germany for: Jaundice; Hepatic and bilary conditions; Hepatitis and Haemorrhoids
  • Fresh root and seeds used to break and expel gallstones
  • Dropsy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).
  • Chemopreventative and anti-photocarcinogenic (Katiyar, 2005, Abstract)

 

Indications (contemporary)

  • Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic liver disease
  • Insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes
  • Haemochromatosis
  • Beta-thalasseamia and thalassemia major
  • Promote lactation in nursing mothers
  • Hepatoprotective in chemotherapy

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 861).

  • Research suggests potential for Silybum to inhibit tumor growth (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 867).
  • Skin cancer prevention (Katiyar, 2005, Abstract)
  • Prostate Cancer (Thelen, Jarry, Ringer & Wutke, 2004, Abstract).

 

Preparation

  • Dried seed decoction
  • Liquid extract
  • Tablet or capsule

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862)

 

Dosage

  • 4-9g/day seed
  • 4-9mL/day liquid extract (1:1)
  • 3-4 tablets of 200mg of extract/day

(Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862)

 

Cautions & Contradictions

Considered to be a safe herb (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862)

 

Combinations

Absorption of active constituent silymarin is enhanced by lecithin (therefore lectin supplement is often recommended to be taken simultaneously) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 862).

 

REFERENCE

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

Katiyar, S. (2005). Silymarin and skin cancer prevention: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects (Review). International Journal of Oncology. 26(1), 169-176. DOI: 10.3892/ijo.26.1.169

Thelen, P., Jarry, H., Ringer, R. H., & Wutke, W. (2004). Silibinin Down-Regulates Prostate Epithelium-Derived Ets Transcription Factor in LNCaP Prostate Cancer Cells. Planta Medica, 70(5), 397-400. DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-818965

Image: Landscape Architect’s Pages. (2009). Silybum marianum. Retrieved from: http://davisla.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/plant-of-the-week-silybum-marianum/