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)

Harpagophytum procumbens

harpagofito

HIPERnatural.COM. (2014). HARPAGOFITO. Retrieved from: http://www.hipernatural.com/es/pltharpagofito.html

Botanical Name: Harpagophytum procumbens
Common name: Devil’s Claw (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557)
Family: Pedaliaceae (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 510)
Parts used: Rhizome (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557), secondary root tuber (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)

History/Folklore: Native to Kalahari region of South Africa (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509). In South African traditional medicine, the herb is used in pregnancy to relieve pain and as a postpartum (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514).

Constituents: Iridoid glycosides (incl. harpagide, harpagoside and procumbide); flavonoids (kaempferol and luteolin glycosides); phenolic acids (cholorogenic and cinnamic acid); quinone (harpagoquinone; triterpenes; oleanolic and ursolic acids derivatives; esters and sugars (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557)

 

Actions

  • Anti-inflammatory (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Anodyne (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557)
  • Analgesic (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Bitter (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Anti-arrhythmia (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)

Indications

  • Arthritis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557)
  • Endometriosis (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Muscle pain (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Fever (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Allergic reactions (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)
  • Wound, ulcers, boils (topical) (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 509)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Tincture (1:5 in 40%): 1-2mL/tds
  • Decoction: 0.5 tsp/cup water/tds
  • 5g/day (for loss of appetite 1.5g/day)

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 557)

 

Cautions

  • Oesophageal reflux and states of hyperacidity (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514)
  • Pregnancy (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514)

 

Contraindications: Gastric or duodenal ulcers (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514)

Interactions:

  • Moderate inhibitory effect towards cytochrome P450 enzyme: CYP 2C8, CYP 2C9, CYP 2C19 and CYP 3A4 (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514)
  • May potentiate effects of Warfarin (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514)
  • May theoretically interact with anti-arrhythmic drugs (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 514)

Leonurus cardiaca

show_image
UniProt Consortium (2014). SPECIES Leonurus japonicus (Chinese motherwort) (Leonurus artemisia). Retrieved from: hengduan.huh.harvard.edu

Botanical Name: Leonurus cardiaca
Common name: Motherwort (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
Family: Lamiaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
Parts used: Aerial parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)

Constituents: Iridoids (incl. leonuride); labdane diterpenes (incl. leocardin); flavonoids (incl. apigenin, kaempferol, and quercetin glucosides); caffeic acid; alkaloids (incl. tachydrine, betonicine, turicin, leonurine); tannins; and volatile oil (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562).

Actions

  • Nervine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Emmenagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Cardiotonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Hypotensive (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Anti-arrhythmic (Bone, 2003, p. 331)

 

Indications

  • Delayed or suppressed menstruation (esp. when related to anxiety and tension) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562).
  • Congestive amenorrhea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Dysmenorrhoea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • False labor pains (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Menopausal symptoms (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Tachycardia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562; Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Anxiety and tension (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Insomnia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Anemic nervousness (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Cardiac weakness following infection (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Hyperthyroidism (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Neuralgia (Bone, 2003, p. 331)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Liquid extract (1:2):2,0-3.5mL/day or 15-25mL/week (Bone, 2003, p. 331)
  • Tincture (1:5 in 40%): 1-4mL/tds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)
  • Infusion: 1-2tsp/1cup water/tds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)

 

Contraindications

  • Pregnancy (Bone, 2003, p. 331)

 

Interactions: May interfere with cardiovascular medications (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 562)

Zanthoxylum clava-herculus /Z.americana

Zanthoxylum_americanum
Barra, A. (1999). Prickly Ash Zanthoxylum spp.. Retrieved from: http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail403.php

Botanical Name: Zanthoxylum clava-herculus /Z.americana
Common name: Prickley Ash
Family: Rutaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
Parts used: Bark, Berry (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

Constituents: Alkaloids; coumarins; resin; tannins; and volatile oil (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

Actions

  • Circulatory Stimulant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 233)
  • Tonic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Alterative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Antirheumatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Sialogogue (Bone, 2003, p. 379; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 104)

 

Indications

  • Rheumatism (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Chronic skin disorders (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Poor circulation (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Leg cramps (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Varicose veins (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596; Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Varicose ulcers (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Gastric distension (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Loss of sensitivity in injured nerves (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)
  • Haemorrhoids (Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Raynaud’s Syndrome (Bone, 2003, p. 379)
  • Hypotension (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 233)

 

Dosage & Preparation:

  • Tincture (1:5 in 60%): 2-4mL/tds
  • Infusion: 102tsp/1 cup water/tds

 

Cautions

  • Causes a tingling sensation in oral cavity when taken in liquid form, which may give patients a chocking or panicked reaction (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 104)

 

Contraindications

  • Contraindicated in hypertension (Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 233)
  • Individuals on anticoagulant therapy (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 596)

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)

Melissa officinalis

Melissa-Officinalis

Phytome. (n.d.). Melissa officinalis. Retrieved from: http://phytoguide.com/2010/11/homey-bee-herb/melissa-officinalis/

Botanical Name: Melissa officinalis
Common name: Lemon balm
Family: Lameaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
Parts used: Aerial Parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)

Constituents: Volatile oil: neral and geranial; Caryophyllene oxide; Terpenes; Low concentration of flavonoids (incl. luteolin-7-glucoside and rhamazin); Polyphenolics (incl. protocatechuic acid, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid and tannins); and Triterpenic acids (incl. ursolic and pomolic acids) (Hoffmann, 2003, 567)

 

Actions

  • Carminative (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Nervine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567; Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Antidepressant (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Diaphorietic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Antimicrobial (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Hepatic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 567)
  • Anxiolytic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Sedative (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Antiviral (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Anti-inflammatory (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)
  • Analgesic (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 646)

 

Indications

  • Anxiety

A small double blind Randomised control trial (RCT) found Melissa to reduce stress. In combination Melissa has been studies for it’s effects on acute anxiety, while there shows potential for further research, results are inconclusive (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 647)

  • Herpes Simplex Virus

Clinical human trials demonstrated that topical application of Melissa officinalis has show effective in the treatment of symptoms associated with the herpes simplex virus (Gaby, 2006, p. 99).

  • Dementia

In one clinical trial Melissa topical application and aromatherapy was found to reduce symptoms associated with dementia in the elderly, notably aggregation (Ballard, O’Brian, Reichelt & Perry, 2002, Abstract).

  • Alzheimer’s disease

A radomised, double-blind control trial, found Melissa officinalis to reduce associated symptoms in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, notably reducing agitation and improving cognition (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 647)

  • Insomnia
  • Gastro intestinal complains of nervous origin (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 647)

 

Preparation & Dosage:

  • Fresh herb: 1.5-4.5g/tds
  • Infusion: 1.5-4.5g/150mL hot water
  • Fluid extract (1:1): 6-12mL/day
  • Ointment: 700mg of ointment to be applied four times a day for herpes simplex infection (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 648).

 

Cautions & Contradictions: Contraindicated in Hypothyroidism (Braun & Cohen, 2010, p. 648)

 

Combinations:

  • For digestive complaints combine with Hops, Chamomile or Medowsweat.
  • For stress combine with Lavender and Lime Blossom (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 177)

Inula helenium

Inula_helenium_ENBLA03

Botanical Name: Inula helenium
Common name: Elecampane (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560
Family: Asteraceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)
Parts used: Rhizome (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Constituents

  • Sesquiterpene lactones: incl. lactone (“helenalin”) and isoalantolacetone
  • Polysaccharides (mainly inulin)
  • Sterols
  • Resin (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)
  • Volatile oil
  • Bitter principal (Weiss, 2001, p. 205)

 

Actions

  • Expectorant
  • Antitussive
  • Diaphoretic
  • Hepatic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Bitter

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Mucliage has relaxing effect while essential oils bring about stimulation, allowing the herb to both sooth the irritation and promote expectoration (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560).

It is shown to be both strengthening and cleansing to pulmonary mucus membranes (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Indications

  • Irritating bronchial coughs
  • In conditions with copious catarrh
  • Bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma and bronchial asthma
  • Tuberculosis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)
  • Particularly useful in bronchial conditions when appetite is reduced, as the bitter principal will help to stimulate appetite (Weiss, 2001, p. 205)

 

Preparation & Dosage

Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 1-2mL/tds

Infusion: 1tsp shredded root/1cup water. Drink hot as possible

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Contradictions: Known allergy to members of Asteraecae family (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 560)

 

Combinations: For respiratory problems, Elecampane combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot, Pleurisy Root and Yarrow (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 198)

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

Weiss, R. (2001). Weiss’s Herbal Medicine (classic edition). New York: Thieme.

Image: Blasutto, E., (2007). Giardino Botanico delle Alpi Orientali. Retrieved from: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Inula_helenium_ENBLA03.jpeg