Qing Hao

“Qing Hao”

Common Name: Qing Hao

Latin Binomial: Artemsia annua

Part Used: Aerial parts

Qualities: Used in TCM to clear damp heat


  • Artemisinin
  • Essential oils – including camphene, beta-camphene, isoartemisia ketone, 1-camphor, beta-caryophyllene, beta-pipene
  • Sesquiterpenoids – artemisinin (main constituent)
  • Flavonoids
  • Coumatins
  • Proteins – including beta-glalctosidease and beta-glucosidase
  • Steroids – including B-sitosterol and stigmasterol
  • Polysaccharides – found to induce cancer cell apoptosis


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial – Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Bordetella bronchiseptica, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Micrococcus flavus, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella typhimurium, Sarcina lutea, Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus mutans
  • Antimalarial
  • Antiprotozoa
  • Antiparasitic – Buhner says Qing Hao is specific for parasitic infections in the blood, liver and (to some extent) the GIT
  • Antiviral – EBV, CMV, HIV, Herpesviridae family
  • Bitter Tonic
  • Febrifuge / antipyretic
  • Analgesic
  • Immunomodulatory – reduces inflammation
  • Anticancer – (artemisinin inhibits NF-kappaB and this inhibits pro inflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha and IL-6 and these anti-inflammatory actions contrite to anticancer mechanisms + polysaccharide content boost immune function and initiate cell apoptosis of cancer cells)


  • Microbial infections – including Babesia and Lyme and others that involve gastrointestinal tract
  • Parasite infection
  • Viral infections (CMV, Herpes simplex viruses, HIV etc)
  • Fevers
  • Poor digestion
  • Lupus and other autoimmune conditions
  • Osteoarthritis – for anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to manage pain, stiffness and functional limitations (hip and knee)
  • Traditional – used to treat malaria and associated fever

Contraindications / Cautions:

Avoid in pregnancy

Dose: 20 – 50 ml weekly 1:2

Best to be taken in cycles / pulsed – e.g. take for four weeks and then stop for four weeks (i.e. take bi-monthly) OR take for one week on and then one week off.


Mexican Valerian

“Mexican Valerian”

Indigenous to Mexico, this herbal medicine has been used traditionally for its sedative effects. It has also been used by Native Americans for tapeworm infestations, haemorrhages and topically for drawing out boils and for swollen joints.

Mexican Valerian has similar properties to Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), although it contains a higher concentration of iridoid esters and a larger valtrate-isovaltrate content.

Common Name: Mexican Valerian

Latin Binomial: Valeriana edulis

Part Used: Root



  • Iridoid esters – valepotriates
  • Isovalerenic acid and borne derivatives (roots/rhizomes)

Mexican Valerian contains 3% – 8% iridoid esters compared to 0.5% – 2% in Valerian (Valeriana officinalis).


  • Mild sedative
  • Hypnotic
  • Anxiolytic
  • Spasmolytic
  • Anti-cancer
  • Antimycobacterial


  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Panic attacks
  • Excitability
  • Emotional stress
  • Chemoprevention (due to presence of valepotriates)
  • Bacterial infections (e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosis)

Contraindications and Cautions:

Can promote tiredness and drowsiness in higher doses. Beware if operating machinery etc.

Safety has not been established in pregnancy and breastfeeding so is therefore contraindicated.

Caution taking with central nervous system depressant medications

Dose: 10ml – 30ml per week 1:2 LE


Passion Flower – sleep and anxiety



Magnolia is native to China and is an ancient genus, with fossilised specimens of plant belonging to the Magnoliacea family being found that date back to 95 million years ago. It is has be said that the Magnolia plant appeared before bees and that the flowers evolved to encourage pollination by beetles.

Common Name: Magnolia

Latin Binomial: Magnolia officinalis

Part Used: Bark



Neoligans – including magnolia, honokiol, 4-O-methylhonokiol, obovatol (main constituents)

  • Flavonoids
  • Alkaloids
  • Flavonoids
  • Coumarins
  • Terpenoids


  • Antidepressant
  • Anti-anxiety – via modulation of GABAergic system and both GABAA and GABA benzodiazepine receptors
  • Anti-atherosclerotic
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-obesity
  • Antioxidant
  • Cardioprotective
  • Neuroprotective
  • Anti-spasmodic

Constituent 4-O-methylhonokiol has been found to exert anxiolytic effects through the modulation of GABAergic transmission – via GABA benzodiazepine receptor-activates channel opening, therefore increasing the availability of GABA receptors to GABA (or benzodiazepines) by influencing GABA receptor subunits.


  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders – especially those involving anxiety & disturbed sleep
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cancer prevention and as an adjunct cancer Tx
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Cardioprotection – for those at high risk of CVD

TCM & Japanese traditional medicine: Traditionally used to remove congestive feelings in the abdomen and chest, strengthen the stomach, dispel abdominal pain, cause a sedating effect by inhibiting the rise in Chi, improve microcirculation of the blood, and act as an antitussive and mucolytic. It was also used in the treatment of neurosis, anxiety and depression.

Contraindications and Cautions: Not recommended for use in pregnancy or lactation (due to lack of safety data)

Interactions: Include, antiplatelet medications, anticoagulant medications, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, CNS depressants and alcohol

Dose: 25 t0 75ml per week 1:2 LE


Holy basil for anxiety and depression in perimenopause/menopause

Sleep disorders – combine with other herbal medicines that are indicated to treat insomnia and Magnolia will act to ‘potentiate’ the sleep mix

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


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


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


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


  • 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.


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.


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.


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


Combine with Horopito for fungal infections



Botanical Name: Lomatium dissectum

Other Names: Biscuit Root, Fern-leafed Lomatium, Desert Parsley, Indian Parsnip, Cough Root, Indian Balsam, Caluks, Doza, Tohza

Properties: Mildly resinous. Tastes a little like celery.


  • Furanocoumarins
  • Flavonoids
  • Ichthyotoxic tetronic acids


  • Analgesic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Expectorant
  • Immunostimulant
  • Mucus Membrane Tonic
  • Phytotoxic
  • Stomachic
  • Tonic


  • Asthma
  • Bacterial infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Colds
  • Cough
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection
  • Dermatological infections
  • Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)
  • Gastrointestinal tract infection
  • Gingivitis
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Impetigo (School Sores)
  • Influenza
  • Periodontal disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)
  • Shigellosis
  • Sinusitis
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Vaginitis (Bacterial)
  • Viral encephalitis
  • Warts (topical)

Safety & Contraindications:

Avoid in pregnancy and lactation due to lack of safety data.

Theoretical interaction with anticoagulant medications.


15 – 40 mL weekly 1:2 LE



Botanical name: Isodon rubescens

Botanical Family: Lamiaceae

Part Used: Aerial part of plant

Other Names: Chinese sage bush, Shan Xiang Can, Liu You Ling, Dong Ling Cao

Properties: Slightly cold, sweet but bitter to taste


  • Diterpenoids – i.e. ponicidin and oridonin
  • Triterpenoids – i.e. oleanoilic acid, ursolic acid
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids
  • Volatile oils


  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-tumour
  • Immunomodulator
  • Digestive
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory


  • Bacterial infections – Gram + (Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus albus, Staphylococcus aureus)
  • Cancer treatment adjunct and chemoprevention
  • Cough
  • Gingivitis
  • Pharyngitis
  • Sore throat
  • Tonsillitis
  • Stomach pains

Dose: 30 mL to 70 mL week 1:2 LE


Rabdosia is considered to be a safe herbal medicine, according to the scientific literature.

Safety in Pregnancy and Lactation:

Safety in pregnancy and lactation has not been established, therefore use is not recommended.



Although this New zealand herbal medicine PoSSESSES Anti-microbial properties, Just like Mauka honey, the liquid extract of manuka is made using the aerial pLant parts and, therefore, exhibits many other properties and uses.

Latin Binomial: Leptospermum scoparium

Part Used: Aerial parts

Weekly Dose: 20 – 60 mL per week (1:2)


  • flavonoids
  • triterpene acids – unsolicited acid acetate
  • tannins e.g. ellagic acid
  • volatile oils


  • Anti-bacterial (via bactericidal activity and growth inhibition)
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-ulcer
  • Astringent
  • Anxiolytic (larger doses)
  • Spasmolytic
  • Mucus membrane tonic

A herb with anti-microbial properties with mucus membrane tonic action. It’s anti-microbial action is strong & broad acting) and is especially useful against gram positive bacteria. Manuka is also useful for any GIT disturbance that has a spasmodic quality or involvement with the nervous system – i.e. IBS


  • Gastrointestinal: colic, IBS, peptic ulcers, gingivitis, GIT infections, dyspepsia, infectious diarrhoea
  • Respiratory: Laryngitis, tonsilitis, sinusitis, URTI, oral thrush
  • Immune: Infections – bacterial & fungal. Fever, colds i.e. any infection involving mucus membranes, UTI (urinary tract infections)
  • Skin: Fungal infections (topical + internally), ulcers (topical), poor healing wounds (topical), tinea, thrush, cold sores
  • Anxiety
  • Dysmenorrhoea (spasmodic)
  • Spasmodic bladder conditions


  • Enterococcus spp.
  • Staphylcoccus spp. (incl. MRSA)
  • Streptococcus spp.
  • Listeria monocytogenes


  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Shigella spp.
  • Escherichia coli


  • Aspergillus niger
  • Aspergillus ochraceus
  • Candida albicans
  • Candida tropicalis
  • Fusarium culmorum
  • Malassezia furfur
  • Trichosporan mucoides
  • Trichophyton spp.


Prescribe as a mouthwash for gingivitis or mouth ulcers with myrrh, calendula or marshmallow

Cold sore topical preparation with Lemon Balm

NOTE: Makes a good alternative to Golden Seal – with it’s mucus membrane tonic action.




A herb native to Zew Zealand. A popular Maori remedy that was used to treat oral thrush and parasitic infection – such as ringworm.

Latin Binomial: Pseudowintera colorata

Part Used: Leaf

Weekly Dose: 10 – 30 mL of 1:2

Properties: Hot & Peppery


  • Analgesic
  • Antiallergy
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Astringent
  • Circulatory stimulant
  • Gastroprotective
  • Insecticidal
  • Nutritive
  • Rubefacient
  • Antioxidant

Pronounced effect as an anti fungal  on the GI system, respiratory system, genitourinary tract and the skin (topically).


  • Parasitic infection
  • Candida
  • Thrush – oral/systemic
  • Fungal skin conditions
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Respiratory tract conditions – e.g. coughs/colds/asthma
  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Chilblains, intermittent claudication, Raynaud’s syndrome
  • Topically for muscle/joint inflammation
  • Toothache

Can be used as an insect repellent.


  • Gram positive: Bacillus subtilis, Staphlycoccus aureuso
  • Gram negative: Escherichia coli, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Salmonella choleraesuis


Candida albicans, Candida krusei, Candida lipolytica, Candida tropicalis, Candida utilis, Cryptococcus neoformans, Penicillium marneffei, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Trichophyton mentgraphytes, Trichophyton rubrum


Prescribe internally & externally for fungal infections

Combine with Holy Basil & Echinacea in candida infections 



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


  • Protopine is the main alkaloid


  • 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


  • 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.


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


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


Part Used: Fruit

Key Actions:

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


  • 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.


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