Holy Basil

Holy Basil is known as ‘Queen of Herbs’ in India and has been used medicinally and grown there for over 3,000 years. Holy Basil is a powerful panacea and herbal medicine that is often employed to promote longevity due to its action on mood and to encourage energy and vitality. Ayurvedic medicine considers Holy Basil an ‘elixir of life’.

Common Name: Holy Basil

Latin Binomial: Ocimum tenuiflorum

Part Used: Leaf

Qualities:

A herbal medicine for those who feel helpless and without hope – especially due to illness or chronic conditions.

Constituents:

  • Ocimumoside A and B (antioxidant and adaptogenic activity + central monoamine and HPA-axis modulation)

Actions:

  • Adaptogen
  • Anxiolytic
  • Antidepressant
  • Antioxidant
  • Anticancer
  • Chemopreventative
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Cardioprotective
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Hypolipidaemia
  • Immunomodulator
  • Neuroprotective

Indications:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Immune dysfunction associated with stress or chronic illness
  • Sleep issues
  • Poor memory and cognition
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Can increase mental clarity and improve cognitive function
  • Convalescence
  • Enhances mood and motivation – may help shift perspective towards wellness and restore hope during illness
  • Metabolic conditions – e.g. diabetes, insulin resistance, diabetes
  • Fungal infections
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cardiac disease
  • Hepatic disease/steatosis
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Cancer adjunct to radiotherapy

Traditionally: Used for many ailments (as a panacea) such as common colds, bronchitis, fever, headaches, fatigue, inflammation, skin conditions, heart disease, poisoning and malaria.

Contraindications:

Not recommended to use Holy Basil in either pregnancy or lactation due to a lack of evidence regarding its safety in these areas.

Holy Basil may act as a male contraceptive in large doses.

This herbal medicine has an extremely high safety profile.

Interactions:

Caution with coprescription with other medications that are metabolised via cytochrome P450 enzymes as Holy Basil has been shown (in vitro) to modulate these enzymes.

Dosage:

1:2 LE 20 – 50ml weekly

TREATMENT TIME FRAMES: It may take 2 months to see full effect when using as adaptogen for stress, anxiety or depression

Combinations:

Combine with Horopito for fungal infections

Fumitory

“Fumitory”

Fumaria Officinalis illustration

Primarily used for colic of the upper digestive tract & gallbladder.

 

Common Name: Fumitory

Botanical Name: Fumaria officinalis

Dose: 15 – 40 mL 1:2 weekly

Part Used: Aerial Parts

Constituents:

  • Protopine is the main alkaloid

Actions:

  • Cholagugue
  • Amphicholeretic (it can increase or decrease bile flow activity – modulates)
  • Spasmolytic
  • Potential anti-bacterial activity against Gram-positive organisms, Bacillus anthracis
    and Staphylococcus

Secondary actions:

  • Alterative 
  • Laxative
  • Digestive tonic

Indications:

  • Gallbladder colic
  • Dysregulation of the gallbladder
  • Dysregulation of smooth muscle sphincters
  • Biliary colic
  • Reflux 
  • Liver insufficiency 
  • Has been used as a cream for topical application in conjunctivitis according to the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP)

Eczema – and management of other chronic skin disorders. The juice of the plant was used for these uses.


COMBINATIONS/DOSING:

Use as a simple for biliary colic – take as needed in drop dose. 

Combine with other chol/chols – such as Turmeric, Barberry, Oregon Grape, Danelion root, St. Mary’s thistle and Blue flag.


Good safety profile – can be used long term


REFERENCES:

Wood, M. The book of herbal wisdom.

Babaeimarzangou, S.S., Aghajanshakeri, S., Anousheh, D. & Mikaili, P.

(2015). Ethno-botanical, Bioactivities and Medicinal Mysteries of Fumaria officinalis (Common Fumitory). J Pharm Biomed Sci | Vol. 05 No. 11 | 857–862

Bradley PR editor. British Herbal Compendium. Fumitory – Fumariae
herba. Bournemouth: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1992.
pp. 102–4

 

 

Bitter Melon

“Bitter Melon”

Bitter Melon illustration

Common Name: Bitter Melon

Botanical Name: Momordica charatia

Family: 

Part Used: Fruit


Key Actions:

  • Andi-diabetic
  • Anti-obesity
  • Hypocholesterolaemia
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiparasitic
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Anti-viral
  • Emmenagogue
  • Immunomodulator
  • Vulnerary

Indications:

  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Atherosclerosis prevention
  • Diabetic complications
  • Dyslipidaemia
  • Obesity

Preserves and protects pancreatic beta cells

Can prevent against many diabetic complications

Secondary Indications:

  • Bacterial infections
    • gram positive bacteria & gram negative
  • CancerTx adjunct
  • Fungal infectons – esp candida
  • Gastric Ulcer prevention
  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Parasitic infections
  • Psoriasis
  • Viral infections
  • Worms (traditionally)
  • Wound healing – topically

EXTREMELY BITTER TASTING LIQUID — Combine with cinnamon liquid extract and nigella.

REFERENCES:

Information obtained from Optimal Rx Herbal Dispensary update webinar and tech sheet.

Blessed Thistle

“Blessed Thistle”

Centaurea_benedicta_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-043.jpg

Traditionally used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion and enhance appetite. This herb is included in Essiac tea.

Historically, this herb has been used as a ‘cure’ for the plague and malaria – a ‘cure-all’ tonic herb. 

Local to Mediterranean areas in Southern Europe. 


Botanical Name: Cnicus benedictus

Common Name: Blessed Thistle, bitter thistle, holy thistle, St. Benedict thistle

Family: Compositae. Asteraceae

Part Used: Aerial Parts – leafs, flowers and seeds


Constituents

  • Sesquiterpenen lactone glycosides
    • cnicin (bitter)
    • salonitenolide
    • absinthin
  • Triterpenoids
    • a-amyrenone
    • a-amyrin acetate
    • a-amyrine
    • multiflorenol acetate
  • Lignans
    • trachelogenin, artigenin
    • nortacheloside
  • Flavonoids & polyenes
    • Tannins
  • Essential & volatile oils
    • p-cymene
    • fenchon
    • citral 
    • cinnamaldehyde

Actions:

  • Mild diuretic
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Digestive tonic
  • Gastric Stimulant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-viral — Blessed thistle exhibited no antiviral activity against herpes, influenza or polio viruses in vitro. Lignans found in blessed thistle are under investigation as anti-HIV agents
  • Anti-pyretic
  • Diaphoretic
  • Emmenagogue (trad.)
  • Anti-tumor — Cnicin and arctigenin exhibited cytotoxic activity against some tumor cell lines including leukemia (HL-60), hepatomas and sarcomas. Arctigenin also induced differentiation in mouse myeloid leukemia cell lines.

 

Cnicin and the essential oil of blessed thistle were mildly antibacterialin vitro against Bacillus subtilis, Brucella species, Escherichia coli, Proteus species, Psedomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus faecalis; other studies demonstrated no activity against Klebsiella, Pseudemonas, S. aureus, S.tyhpi, or yeast

 


Indications:

  • TRADITIONAL: Dysmennorhoea
  • Dyspepsia
  • Reduced appetite
  • Flatulence
  • Bloating
  • Indigestion

Safety – Cautions & Contraindications:

Avoid in pregnancy & lactation due to traditional use as an emmenagogue.


Dose:

1:1 PPC Fresh Tincture

30 drops t.d.s. (before meals as gastric stimulant)


References:

Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinkmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.

 

Kemper, K.J. (1999)/ Blessed Thistle Monograph. Centre for Holistic Paediatric Education & Research

Origano

“Origano”

origanum-vulgare-var-genuinum-common-marjorum-var-english-school.jpg

Botanical Name: Origanum vulgare

Common Names: Origano

Family: Lamiaceae

Parts Used: Leaves


Constituents:

  • Carvacrol (phenol)
  • Thymol
  • Rosmarinic acid

Actions:

  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Nervous system tonic
  • Vagotonic
  • Digestive
  • Anti-spasmodic

Dose: 

1:2 PPC Fresh Tincture

20 – 40 drops t.d.s.


 

 

Petasites

“Petasites”

PetasitesHybridus.jpg
Found in wet, damp, marshy ground – near water.

Used throughout history to treat fevers, the plague and skin wounds. It is found in Europe and in some parts of Asia and North America.

The name butter bur apparently comes from the fact that it’s large leaves were used to wrap fresh butter in the cellars of American pioneer farms.


Botanial Name: Petasites hybridus 

Common Names: Butterbur, Blatterdock, Bog Rhubarb, Butter-dock, Sweet Coltsfoot

Family: Asteraceae (Senecioneae)

Part Used: Rhizomes, roots and leaves can be used. Roots have stronger anti-spasmodic effects. Japanese use as a vegetable – young shoots. Leaves – collected during time of growth


Qualities:

Large leaves. Love moisture.


Emotional/Energetics: 


Constituents:

  • Petasin
    • reduce spasms in smooth muscle & vascular walls
    • Inhibit leukotriene synthesis 
  • Isopetasin 
    • Positive impact on prostaglandin synthesis 
  • Volatile oil
  • Flavonoids
  • Tannins
  • Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (highest in stalks – lowest in the leaves)

Actions:

  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anodyne
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Neuroprotective
  • Cardiotonic (traditional)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffman)
  • Diuretic (Hoffman)

 

  • May improve lung ventilation
  • Possible impact on normalising blood lipids
  • Possible support of antioxidant pathways in liver — glutathione reductase, peroxidase & transferases 
  • May reduce vasoconstriction via blocking calcium-gated channels in vasculature.

Noted to induce formation of peptidoleukotrienes released from macrophages.

May also reduce release of histamine and leukotrienes from Mast Cells.


Indications:

  • Chronic asthma (anti-spasmodic)
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic obstructive bronchitis
  • Allergic airway disease
  • Migraine prevention
  • Prevention of gastric ulcers
  • Irritable bladder
  • Urinary tract spasm relief 
  • Kidney stone disorders
  • Obstruction of bile flow
  • Intestinal colic
  • Menstrual cramping/dysmennorhoea
  • Allergic hyperactivity
  • SMOOTH MUSCLE SPASM
  • ‘DIFFICULT TYPES OF PAIN’ – terminal cancer/bone metastasis (Weiss) – may reduce the need for other pharmaceutical sedatives/anodynes

COMMISSION E (leaves ) – Nervous  cramp-like states, pain, colic, headaches & as an appetite stimulant. Supportive therapy for spastic pain in the urinary tract.

Seems specific for pain of the vasculature — smooth muscle spasms in HOLLOW ORGANS – e.g. bronchi, uterus, bladder.


Safety – Cautions & Contraindications:

In rats — reduction in testosterone production 

Alkaloids may be toxic to liver & carcinogenic in animals. STICK TO LOW DOSE.

Possible interaction with pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory agents.

CONTRAINDICATED IN PREGNANCY & LACTATION

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Dose:

Migraine prevention – daily dose 4 to 6 months – then see if dose frequency can be reduced. If migraines return – step up dose slightly.

PPC 1:2 Fresh Tincture

1 to 2 drops t.d.s.

Infusion: 1 teaspoon or root in 1 cup water – bring to boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 x day.

USE LEAVES EXTERNALLY AS A WOUND DRESSING


Combinations:

MIGRAINES: Feverfew, turmeric & St John’s Wort

VASCULAR INFLAMMATION: Horsechestnut, Angelica & Dan Shen

ACUTE SPASTIC COUGH: Thyme, Fennel


References:

Hoffman, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal.

Oliff, H. (2002). Butterbur Monograph. HerbClip. American Botanical Council

Stansbury, J. (2012). Petasites for pain and inflammation. Naturopathic Doctor News and Review.

Pleurisy Root

“Pleurisy Root”

15145266246_4f20feac83_b.jpg

Native Americans used this herb internally and applied externally for bronchial and pulmonary diseases – such as fever and pneumonia. 


 

Latin Binomial: Asclepias tuberosa

Common Names: Pleurisy root, Butterfly Weed

Family: Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed)

Plant Part Used: Root


Qualities:


Energetics/Emotional:


Actions:

  • Diaphoretic
  • Expectorant
  • Lung tonic (traditional)

Indications: 

  • Respiratory disorders
    • Catarrhal
    • Chronic
    • Inflammatory 
    • e.g. those due to common cold, flu, pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis
  • Fever with cough 

Well suited to people who get a cold and it settles in the chest and becomes chronic.

May be a feeling of tightness in the chest that impacts the heart – they may feel like it is a problem with the heart… 

Brings up phlegm in chronic lung cases.


Cautions/Contraindications:

None known


Dose:

10 – 20 mL weekly 1:2 LE

Drop dose – 3 to 5 drops t.d.s.

Teasel

“Teasel”

ebot6741.jpg

Pulls bacteria out of the tissues

TCM uses a plant similar to Teasel for the ability to maintain the meridian of the liver and essence of kidneys.

“It will restore what is broken”


Latin Binomial: Dipsacus sylvestris

Common Names: Teasel

Part Used: Root. biennial.

Native to Europe – but introduced to the Americas. A similar species is used in TCM.

Emotional/Energetic – People who jump in without thinking – bull-headed – and suffer the consequences. IRIDOLOGY – Silk type/lymphatic. Dried out — lack of vitality due to injury. A loss of purpose & helplessness.


Actions:

  • Warms cells and muscles (Wood) – inviting bacteria into bloodstream so that it can then detox. 
  • Tonic
  • For joints that have been torn, stretched or wrenched (Wood)
  • TCM – tonification of kidney essence and liver blood — responsible for strength of joints & tendons. Deficient kidney essence = lower back and knees compromised — weak, stiff, ache. Liver blood deficient = muscles & tendons are not nourished, tightening and become injured easy.
  • Promotes circulation of the blood – removing pain & stiffness in areas that are bruised.

Indications:

Detoxifying and strengthening to the immune system. 

  • Lyme and stealth infections – chronic inflammation & destruction of muscles & joints
  • Muscle pain and inflammation – chronic and limiting movement – torn, stiff & sore
  • The ‘deterioration of structure’ (Wood)
  • Sciatica 
  • Take in conjunction with antibiotics

SPECIFIC – Large, bulky people who have thrown joints out – increased momentum. Chronic inflammation of muscles – limiting movement and increased pain.

“For people who had a use, but lost it. They stepped of the path”

– William LeSassier.

TCM – The root of Dipsacus japonica, i similar plant to Teasel, is considered a medicine for kidney jing (essence). “Restore what is broken”.


Caution: Risk of herx when using this herb in Lyme/Chronic pathogenic stealth infections is very strong. Must go low and slow! Herx usually shows up around week 2 into treatment (Wood).


DROP DOSE: Slowly increase.

Wood suggests to only use  one to three drops – 1 to 3 times a day.

He says that even this may be too much for chronic cases.

 

PPC HERB DOSE:

DAY ONE: Start with only one drop in the morning.  

DAY TWO: Start with one drop in the morning and add one drop in the afternoon.  

DAY THREE: Start with one drop in the morning, one drop in the afternoon and add one drop at night.  

DAY FOUR: Start with 2 drops in the morning, one drop in afternoon & one drop at night.

DAY FIVE: Start with 2 drops in morning, two drops in afternoon and one drop at night.

Continue this process until 9 drops are achieved.  


Combinations:

Burdock, Boneset & Dandelion – Lyme


 

References:

Wood, M. (1997). The Book of Herbal Wisdom.

Red Root

‘Red Root’

ceanothus-americanus-red-root-illustration.jpg

Common names for Red Root include Redshank, Mountain Lilac, Buckbrush, Snow Brush, and Desert Buckthorn.

It’s botanical name is Ceanothus americanus.

Modern day use of this herb was influenced by American Indian use. The Cherokee Indians used the root as a digestive tonic, and the Iroquois made a strong decoction from the astringent leaves to stop diarrhea. They also used the root to improve blood flow and to treat colds.

Allopathic medicine discovered it in 1835 – used it as a anti-hemorrhagic astringent – to stop bleeding during operations.

During the Civil War – used to treat ‘Ague Cake’ – swollen spleen associated with malaria and intermittent fever.


Botanical Name: Ceanothus americanus 

Botanical Family: Rhamnaceae 

Part Used: Root or inner bark of the root. Roots are covered in little nodules — representative of it’s use on the lymphatic nodes.

Qualities: Neutral — warming, sweet to taste. Leaves taste similar to black tea (was used for this purpose during the Revolution)

Dosage: 15 – 40 mL/week 1:2 LE


Emotional/Energetics: Symptoms worse in damp cold weather. Tongue is swollen – dirty white coating. Slow, frail pulse. Cold extremities. Excess damp (spleen). Stagnant.

‘For people who cannot think their way out of a problem’ – ‘When the spleen is strong… the imagination flourishes. Life is happy, well-adjusted, vibrant and meaningful’ Wood.


Constituents: 

  • Betulin, Betulinic acid (triterpenes), Bacteriohopanetrol 
  • Ceanothic acid, Ceanothenic acid, Ceanothine (alkaloid), Ceanothamine
  • Americane 
  • Integerressine, Integerreine, Integerrine
  • Methyl salicylate
  • Flavonoids, flavonoids glycosides, flavonoids, dihydroflavonols
  • High amount of tannins
  • Iron, protein, copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium
  • Nitrogen

Actions:

  • Alterative
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Astringent
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Blood coagulant
  • Haemostatic
  • Expectorant
  • Lymphatic stimulant/tonic
  • Spleen tonic
  • Mucus membrane tonic
  • Hepatic stimulant/tonic
  • Mild hypotensive

Ceanothus_americanus


Indications:

  • Mouth ulcers/tooth abscess
  • Asthma, bronchitis, cough, pharyngitis, sinusitis, tonsilitis
  • Blood – red blood cell clumping
  • Menorrhagia
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pelvic Congestion
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fibrocystic breasts
  • Mastitis
  • Headache – THICK FRONTAL – after fatty meals)
  • Liver stagnation
  • Lymphatic stagnation
  • Splenitis/mild splenomegaly
  • Lymphatic congestion – weakness & bogginess
  • Swollen glands
  • Swollen sore throat
  • Swollen prostate
  • Oedema
  • Bacterial & viral infections
  • EBV Glandular fever
  • Loss of appetite

American eclectic medicine. Used by Native Americans as wash for injured legs/feet and used powdered bark for sores caused by venereal disease.Infusions of the root were used for mouth issues, bowel and stomach issues and for flu type symptoms. 

Indicated for clanged spleen and enlarged liver. STAGNATION.

SPECIFIC – Swollen spleen accompanied with melancholia 


SAFETY: Safe within dosage ranges – both short & long term.

CONTRAINDICATED IN PREGNANCY . Limited research for pregnancy and lactation, so not recommended.

DO NOT USE in people with coagulation disorders.

May also lower blood pressure – so caution for people with already lowered BP

AVOID USING WITH THESE PHARMACEUTICALS: coagulants or anti-coagulants.


Dose:

1:2 LE  15 – 40 mL week

Wood suggests drop doses to be effective – even in lowest homeopathic potency.

3 drops 3 x day


Combinations:

Lymph/Spleen – Calendula


ceanothus-americanus-14375c00-3ef2-4083-b79b-d0f8e6f8eb0-resize-750.jpeg

Wood, M. (1997). The book of herbal wisdom.

Adhatoda

“Adhatoda”

Justica adhatoda

Adhatoda is native to Asia where is is widely used in Siddha, Ayurvedic and Unani  medicine.

The juice expressed from the leaves and the decoction of the leaves and roots are useful in asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic coughs.


Botanical Name: Justicia adhatoda / Adhatoda vasica

Family: Acanthaceae

Part Used: Leaves. Smells like strong tea and the leaves are bitter. Small evergreen bush with 10-15 cm long lanceolate leaves. 

Grows on the plains of India, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaysia and the lower Himalayan ranges.

Qualities: Drying. Bitter to taste (Thomsen)


 

Constituents:

  • Essential oil
  • Alkaloids – vasicine considered the main active constituent

Actions:

  • Anti-asthmatic
  • Anti-spasmodic (specifically Respiratory Tract)
  • Bronchodilator (mild)
  • Anti-tussive (Bone)
  • Expectorant (Relaxing)
  • Mucolytic
  • Oxytocic
  • Anti-inflammatory & Anti-oxiadant (Bone)
  • SECONDARY ACTIONS – Hepatoprotective (also potential enzyme inducer in phase 1 and 2), protection against radioactivity, 

220px-Justicia_adhatoda_1

Indications:

  • Bronchitis – both acute and chronic, especially indicated if mucous is thick and tenacious
  • Cough (combine with echinacea and Eleuthero)
  • Asthma
  • Respiratory mucus – e.g. upper respiratory tract infection
  • Emphysema
  • Gingivitis – locally applied 2 times daily (3 weeks in literature)
  • To assist with uterine contraction or for post-partum haemorrhage
  • Fever – traditional use

MAJOR INDICATION: Relief of bronchitis & cough

Constituent – VASICINE – been seen, in animal studies, to inhibit antigen induced mast-cell degranulation & histamine release (Bone).

Powder made into poultice has been used for rheumatic joints, urticaria & neuralgia


Contraindications:

During pregnancy – except at delivery.

Professional supervision recommended for during lactation.

Discontinue 7 days before general anaesthesia.

In large doses has been reported to cause diarrhoea and vomiting


Dose:

LE 1:2  10 – 25 ml per week

Dry herb: 0.5 – 1.5 g per day


Combinations:

Combines well with Baical Skullcap & Eyebright for allergies

Combine with Licorice and Marshmallow for soothing respiratory tract.

Asthma or COPD – Grindelia, Euphorbia, Elecampane