TheTop10 - Health - Internet - Music - Shopping - Travel - WWW - How to be a Millionaire !
HEALTH - HERBS - ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE - Page 1
Agar-agar (or agar), produced from several species of sea greens, is ususally sold as a light grey powder or as sun-dried flakes. It's a good substitute to animal gelatin as a gelling agent to make jellies.
Also called kanten and Japanese gelatin, this tasteless dried seaweed acts as a setting agent. It is marketed throughout Asia in the form of blocks, powder or strands.
Agar is a very valuable weight loss tool. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and iodine, it adds bulk to meals without increasing calories, and so helps to curb appetite. That is, the two most common weight-loss methods without ingestion of artificial substances are to eat as little as possible, which is very difficult to do, or to use as many calorie-free ingredients for cooking as possible so that hunger is satiated.
The Japanese have been using the second method for centuries, and, as a consequence, only 5 percent of Japanese are overweight compared to more than 50 percent of Americans. Calorie-free cooking ingredients include mushrooms and sea vegetables, which the Japanese eat in large quantities. Agar helps the body eliminate bad cholesterol as more than 70 percent of its weight is dietary fiber.
Agar may be prepared using water, vegetable stock, or vegatable or fruit juice. Add 2 teaspoons of agar to 600 ml (1 pint) of liquid. Bring the mixture to the boil and allow it to simmer for 3 minutes. Use it in sweet and savoury jellies and moulds. Agar can be substituted for gelatin but has stronger setting properties so less of it is required.
Agar agar produces a firm, clear jelly and has mildly laxative properties. It will set at room temperature after about an hour - although it is advisable to store dishes gelled with agar agar in the fridge as it is a high protein food.
Medicinal Action and Uses: 'Agar-Agar is widely used as a treatment for constipation, but is usually employed with Cascara when atony of the intestinal muscles is present. It does not increase peristaltic action. Its therapeutic value depends on the ability of the dry Agar to absorb and retain moisture. Its action is mechanical and analogous to that of the cellulose of vegetable foods, aiding the regularity of the bowel movements. It is sometimes used as an adulterant of jams and jellies.'
'Dosage and Preparations: It is usually administered in small shreds mixed with fruit, milk or any convenient vehicle. It is not wise to give it in powder, as this gives rise to irritation in some cases. ½ to 1 ounce may be taken at a time. 1 ounce to a pint of boiling water makes a suitable jelly for invalids and may be flavoured with lemon.'
'Other Species: Ceylon Agar-Agar, or Agal Agal, which is the native name of Gracillaria lichenoides, is largely used in the East for making soups and jellies.'
Other Names : Gelidiella acerosa
Bee pollen is just that, pollen collected by beekeepers from the supplies that bees have extracted from flowers of certain plants.
Bee pollen is well known for its nearly complete nutrient content and its remarkable ability to provide energy. Respect for Bee Plloen is ancient in Chinese medicine.
Bee pollen contains nearly all of the B complex vitamins, vitamins C, A, E, folic acid, and carotenoids. It contains a wide variety of minerals and trace elements, along with essential fatty acids.
It is also extremely rich in rutin (vitamin P), vital to strengthening capillaries and blood cell walls. Bee pollen targets the entire body, but is a special boost to the reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. It is antibiotic, astringent, relaxant, tonic, and nutritive. It helps to correct and stabilize our body chemistry.
Bee pollen speeds healing, revitalizes the body's many systems, and helps protect the cells in our body from free radical damage - a major cause of cancer. It helps those who bruise easily, due to its rutin content, helps strengthen the heart, helps fight anemia, and helps to regulate high blood pressure by regulating blood flow.
It is often used by athletes to increase endurance and strength. Taking bee pollen can actually help those with allergies overcome them.
Many people who use bee pollen regularly, especially the elderly, claim to have better physical and mental health, suggesting that it may be a very effective tonic for aging systems.
Bee pollen has been used to boost the active compounds in many herbs, such as gotu kola, ginseng, and schizandra. It is also used in compounds to treat burns, anti-aging formulas, allergies, anemia, chronic fatigue, impotence, infertility, kidney problems, menopause, and prostate troubles.
One study, conducted by Dr. Peter Hernuss at the University of Vienna's Womans Clinic, showed that Bee Pollen significantly reduced the usual side effects of both radium and cobalt-60 radiotherapy in 25 women treated for inoperable uterine cancer. As compared to the women who did not receive Bee Pollen, the Bee Pollen women had half as much nausea, 80% less loss of appetite, 50% less sleep, urinary, and rectal disorders, and 30% less general malaise and weakness after the treatment.
In a Yugoslav paper, 'Therapeutic Effects of Melbrosin in Irradiation of Diseases,' [Melbrosin is a Swedish preparation of bee pollen, royal jelly, and honey.] '. . . 84 female patients were separated from a group of tumor-dose irradiated patients who suffered from gynacological carcinoma and who showed clear signs of X-ray disease: fatigue, lack of dynamism, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, unconsciousness, insomnia, heat and perspiration strokes, tachycardia, increased temperature, etc. . . . After taking the preparation [Melbrosin], 30.5 percent . . . had no sign of fatigue; 66.7 percent felt light fatigue; only 2.8 percent still complained of severe fatigue; 38.9 percent no longer suffered from anorexia; 41.6 percent exhibited light anorexia; 8.3 percent moderate anorexia; 44.4 percent suffered no longer of nausea; in 50 percent, nausea was reduced to the mildest form; in only 5.6 percent did the intensity remain unchanged. Great improvement was also achieved in psycho and neurovegetative complaints. . . . it was possible to conclude that improvement was obtained in 88.8 percent of the cases. . . '
From Yuogslav, by Prof. Dr. Izet Osmanagic, University of Sarajevo, 'Reduced Sexual Potency:' 'Summary: . . . forty patients were examined. Eighty percent suffered from relative or absolute reproductive impotence and some from reduced capacity for intercourse. . . .1. An improvement in the general state of health and subjective condition. 2. An increase in sexual activity. 3. Improved sperm production . . . obvious proof of the positive effects of the preparation in cases of reduced sexual and procreative potency.'
A joint Swedish/German study of 212 male patients using twelve different urologists, showed improvement in a variety of sexual dysfunction and chronic prostatitis.
Using Cernilton, a Swedish pollen preparation, Dr. Gosta Leander of Stockholm reported in 'A Memorandum Concerning a Statistical Evaluation of the Results of a Clinical Investigation of Cernilton,' stating, '. . . it can be confirmed that a statistically highly significant effect of the compound could be demonstrated in prostatovesiculitis, estimated on the basis of a double-blind control study of 93 patients, 50 of whom received the compound, and 43 of whom received the placebo. A 92 percent ascertained improvement was confirmed in the group given the compound. The effects of the compound found during the course of this study has been established as statistically highly significant.'
Egyptian scientists, F.A. Soliman and A. Soliman, in 'The Gonad Stimulating Potency of Date Palm Pollen Grains,' from the French journal Experientia, 'Several investigators have extracted estrogenic materials from palm kernels and date pollen grains. . . . a gonad-stimulating principle was extracted from pollens. . . . combined activity of the two hormones present in 1 gram of pollen is close to 10 I.U.'
From Yugoslavia, L. Pokrajcic and I. Osmanagic, entitled, 'The Treatment With Melbrosin of Dysmenorrhea in Adolescence.' [Melbrosin is a bee pollen/royal jelly compound.] One hundred and twenty 15 to 20 year old girls were included in this study which showed good results on 'patients with underdeveloped constitutions and irregular mentstrual cycles.'
From Yugoslavia, Endocrinological Department of the University Clinic for Women at the Medical Faculty in Sarajevo, in 'A Clinical Testing of The Effect of the Preparation Melbrosin on Women Suffering from Climacteric Syndrome,' '. . . it may be said that in addition to causes of menopausal disturbances in general, this treatment offers justifiable indications that the preparation should be used in the treatment of all patients subjected to irradiation.'
'A two-year study conducted by former Russian Olympic coach, Remi Korchemny . . . this study confirms is that bee pollen actually does improve the crucial recovery power of athletes after stressed performance.'
'A study reported by Aerospace Medicine & Life Sciences proved that the average daily consumption of food falls by 15 to 20 percent when bee pollen is a regular item on the menu.'
Dr. Lars-Erik Essen, M.D., . . . dermatologist of Halsinborg, Sweden, says, 'Through transcutaneous nutrition, bee pollen exerts a profound biological effect. It seems to prevent premature aging of the cells and stimulates growth of new skin tissue. It offers effective protection against dehydration and injects new life into dry cells. It smooths away wrinkles and stimulates a life-giving blood supply to all skin cells.'
G. Liebold, a holistic physician and psychologist of Karlsruhe, Germany, in Bee Pollen: Valuable Good Nutriment & Remedy, 'Bee pollen should be used as prophylaxis and therapeutical treatment against all the disease of modern civilization. . . . Bee pollen is an excellent prophylaxis and therapeutical treatment against all the precocious symptoms of old age. It should be considered a universal geriatric treatment in the form of a natural remedy.'
Bladderwrack is widely used commercially as a thickening agent in foods and pharmaceuticals.
Kloss, author of 'Back to Eden,' describes the medicinal properties of bladderwrack thus: 'The best remedy for obesity. Good for all glandular afflictions, goiter, and scrofula. Has an excellent effect on the kidneys.'
Grieve, below, recommends it both internally and externally for rheumatic pain as well.
Bladderwrack contains relatively large amounts of iodine, which is necessary for normal thyroid function.
Current scientific studies of bladderwrack, of which there are quite a few, indicate that the high fucoidan content of this plant, because of its verified immune and inflammatory balancing effects, appears to be responsible for some of the observed beneficial optimizing of thyroid function.
Bladderwrack also contains alginic acid, a dietary fiber which relieves constipation and diarrhea. The antacid Gaviscon®, composed of magnesium carbonate and sodium alginate, the sodium salt of alginic acid, has been shown to be effective relief for heartburn.
Test tube and animal studies have shown alginic acid to help heal wounds, lower the unwelcome LDL cholesterol level, and have antiviural and antibacterial action in the body. Similar studies have shown Bladderwrack's other major element, fucoidan, to have similar effects.
Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'It has alterative properties, has been used in scrofula, and is thought by some authorities to reduce obesity through stimulating the thyroid gland.'
'The charcoal derived from Kelp has been used in the treatment of goitre and scrofulous swellings under the name of Æthiops vegetabilis or vegetable ethiops, introduced by Dr. Russell in 1750, who also used a jelly for similar purposes, both internally and externally. He was also successful in dispersing scrofulous tumours by rubbing in the mucus of the vesicles of Bladderwrack, afterwards washing the parts with sea-water. The charcoal was also helpful in goitre. The iodine from other sources led to the neglect of kelp products.'
'In 1862 Dr. Duchesne-Duparc found while experimenting in cases of chronic psoriasis, that weight was reduced without injuring health, and used the drug with success for the latter purpose. Dr. Godfroy experimented on himself, losing five and a quarter pounds in a week after taking before three meals a day an extract made into pills containing 25 grams (3.75 grains). The bromine and iodine stimulated the absorbent glands to increased activity, without causing an atrophied wasting of the glands. Later experiments of Hunt and Seidell indicated that the result is brought about by stimulation of the thyroid gland.'
'Sea-pod liniment, is the expressed juice and decoction of fresh seaweed as dispensed by sea-side chemists for rheumatism, and the extract, taken continuously in pills or fluid form is reputed to relieve rheumatic pains as well as to diminish fat without harm.'
'Sea-pod essence is good for rubbing into sprains and bruises, or for applying on wet lint under oiled silk, as a compress, changed as often as hot or dry. It may be preceded by fomentations of the hot decoction.'
'Fucus or Seaweed wine, from grapes and dried Fucus, has been praised as a remedy in diseases of the hip and other joints and bones in children.'
'For external application to enlarged or hardened glands, the bruised weed may be applied as a cold poultice.'
'Dosage: Of charcoal, 10 grains to 2 drachms.'
'Of extract, 3 to 10 grains, in pills, massed with powdered Liquorice or Marshmallow roots, to reduce swelling and obesity'.
'Of liquid extract, 1 to 2 fluid drachms. It is the basis of many advertised nostrums. Sodium and potassium iodides are often added to supplement the small proportion of iodine. It is used in mixture form, generally with alkali iodides and sometimes in combination with Liquor Thyroidei.'
'Of decoction, 2 fluid ounces, three times daily.'
'Of infusion, 1 wineglassful.'
'Solid extract may be dissolved in diluted alcohol and mixed with syrup.'
'(All doses for combating obesity are gradually increased.)'
'Of fluid extract, 10 minims.'
'The Alginic acid obtained from seaweed is used to form an organic compound with iron, which is sold under the trade name of Algiron or Alginoid Iron. It contains about 11 per cent. of iron and is given in doses of 2 to 10 decigrams (3 to 15 grains).'
'Fucol is a trade name for a cod-liver oil substitute, said to be obtained from roasted Bladderwrack with a bland oil. It is green in colour, and resembles coffee in odour and taste.'
'Fucusin tablets are recommended in obesity.'
British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1911: 'Bladder-wrack has been used to reduce glandular swellings, but is now employed principally as an 'antifat,' forming the basis of most advertised nostrums of this nature. It has been stated to influence the activity of the thyroid gland to a greater extent than any other iodine compound for the proportion of iodine present.'
'For the preparation of pills the solid Extractum Fuci is suitable. The liquid extract is used in mixture form, generally with alkali iodides, and sometimes in combination with Liquor Thyroidei, another remedy which increases metabolism and hence diminishes weight. The alginic acid obtained from seaweed is used to form an organic compound with iron, which is sold under the trade-name Algiron, or Alginoid Iron. It contains about 11 per cent. of iron, and is given in doses of 2 to 10 decigrams (3 to 15 grains).'
Greg Kelly, N.D.:
Dr. Kelly's extensive bibliography of contemporary bladderwrack research articles is available on:
'The historical uses of Fucus vesiculosus were primarily as an agent to enhance thyroid function in cases of goiter and as an aid in weight loss for obesity. This remains the primary use of this plant today in natural medicine.'
'Typically, the credit for its activity in thyroid conditions has been given to its high content of iodine; however, the high fucose content of this plant, because of its immune and inflammatory balancing effects, appears to be responsible for some of the observed benefits on optimizing thyroid function in blood type O's.'
'If you are a blood type O and plan on consuming bladderwrack as an aid to metabolism and thyroid health, this plant generally works very slowly. A minimum of 3 months is probably warranted, but in many instances best results are produced when bladderwrack is consumed regularly at a low dose for about 1 year.'
Other Names : Fucus vesiculosus
Japanese Sweet Flag: Acorus gramineus, a type of calamus, called 'the closest thing to Viagra that nature has to offer.'
This herb has traditionally been smoked, eaten, or brewed into a tea or decoction.
The Cree say that they can take Calamus root and 'travel great distances without touching the ground'.
Active constituents: Monoterpene hydrocarbons, sequestrine ketones, (trans- or Alpha) Asarone (2,4,5-trimethoxy-1-propenylbenzene), and Beta-asarone (cis- isomer) contained in the roots essential oils.
It is used in the Phillipines for rheumatism and memory problems. In Korea, it is an ingredient in a type of moonshine called Immortals' Booze. Research in China has shown the essential oil in this rhizome to be sedating and neuroprotectant.
Sweet flag has been used in Asia for at least the last 2000 years for a number of beneficial reasons. The ancient Chinese used it to lessen swelling and for constipation. In India, Ayurvedic medicinal practice has used the magical root to cure fevers, for asthma and bronchitis, and as an all around sedative. The root was also used by the ancient Greeks and included in the traditional remedies of many other European cultures.
During the middle ages calamus was an admixture in several of the ancient, psychoactive, 'witches flying ointments', often being mixed with solanacious herbs.
The root was also well-known in Biblical times and mentioned in Exodus 30: 22-25 as one of the ingredients of the 'holy anointing oil'.
The Cree Indians of Northern Alberta use calamus for a number of medicinal reasons including: as an analgesic for the relief of toothache or headache, for oral hygiene to cleanse and disinfect the teeth, the fight the effects of exhaustion or fatigue, and to help cure/prevent a hangover.
Other Native tribes used it to treat a cough, made a decoction as a carminative and as an infusion for cholic.
The Sioux used the whole plant, making aromatic garlands from the leaves and using the root as a tea for bowel pains, or rubbed the chewed root on the skin for a general illness cure.
Calamus was also known to many early American settlers and used for a number of folk remedies. Walt Whitman even wrote poetry about his beloved herb in 'Leaves of Grass'.
Calamus was also widely used by Canadian trappers working for the Hudson Bay Company, using it as a stimulant, chewing a small piece whenever tired.
The unpeeled, dried rhizome was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia until 1916 and in the National Formulary until 1950, for medicinal use on humans.
Today the FDA defines calamus as 'not intended for human consumption.' This is due to the fact that massive doses of isolated beta-Asarone given to lab rats over extended time periods have proven to be carcinogenic. We therefore list this herb only in sacramental herbs and extracts, not teas and smokes, and recommend its use only as a sacred incense.
'Dr. David Soriano, associate professor of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, is hoping the government takes a closer look at a popular aquatic garden plant.
Soriano recently presented a paper at the 50th Southeastern Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Raleigh , N.C. The paper, titled 'Isolation of beta-Asarone from Acorus gramineus Variegatas and Synthesis via a Phase-Transfer Catalyzed Wittig Reaction,' was drafted with collaboration from four students.
'This aquatic plant (Acorus gramineus), a dwarf variety of Sweet Flag, is available from many American greenhouses and is a popular component of many backyard ponds,' Soriano explains. 'However, this plant metabolite, beta-Asarone, is a powerful central nervous system stimulant.'
A metabolite is simply a biochemical produced by an organism as a result of its natural chemistry, explains Soriano. Most reactions in live forms are produced by enzyme catalysts. For example, cocaine is a metabolite which is formed in coca leaves. If a plant produces cocaine it follows that it must have the enzymes present to produce that substance. The enzymes are themselves produced by the genes in the organism.
'The actual point of my talk,' says Soriano, 'is that this plant should be considered as a controlled substance like marijuana and opium plants. The plant can be grown and the rhizome chewed on to gain the effects of stimulation.'
Other Names : Acorus gramineus; Shi Chang
Used as an infusion, decoction, extract, tincture and smoke.
Damiana was used ritually, shamanically and medically by the Mayas and Aztecs.
Damiana is held in high repute by Mexican herbalists, particulary as an aphrodisiac, prescribed as a thick decoction before bedtime.
Damiana is smoked by some instead of tobacco.
The leaves contain the antimicrobial hydroquinone arbutin, various volatile oils which also have an antimicrobial action, and flavonoids.
Damiana extracts have been shown, in the test tube, to bind to progesterone receptors, which may explain its reputation as a nerve tonic, mood elevator and aphrodisiac for both men and women.
Damiana makes a fragrant, sparkling tea with a delicious aroma and an agreeable bitter taste. Its aromatic leaves are sometimes used to flavor liqueurs.
King's 1898 Dispensatory: 'This drug has been almost eulogized for its positive aphrodisiac effects, acting energetically upon the genito-urinary organs of both sexes, removing impotence in the one, and frigidity in the other, whether due to abuses or age. Many physicians who have tried it, deny its possession of such virtues, but the friends of the drug attribute their failures to the use of the spurious articles. It will very likely be found to possess laxative, tonic, and diuretic properties only; and the aphrodisiac effects following its use, no more prove that these belong to it, than the same effects, that not unfrequently appear after the employment of many other agents prove that such agents possess similar excitant virtues.'
'Upon the system at large, it exerts a tonic influence, and is useful in some cases of chronic cystic and renal catarrh. It relieves irritation of the urinary mucous membranes, improves digestion, and overcomes constipation in some instances. In respiratory disorders, it may be employed to relieve irritation and cough, and, by its tonic properties, to cheek hypersecretion from the broncho-pulmonic membranes.'
'The dose of the fluid extract is from ½ fluid drachm to ½ fluid ounce; specific damiana, 5 to 60 drops.'
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): 'A mild nerve tonic claimed to be valuable in the treatment of sexual impotence. Some of our physicians praise it highly for its influence in sexual neurasthenia, and it is said to correct frigidity in the female.'
'It had long enjoyed a local reputation as a stimulant tonic of the sexual apparatus among the natives of Mexico, before it attracted the attention of the profession. Besides its peculiar action on the sexual appetite and function, it is a general tonic, somewhat cathartic, and is slightly cholagogue.'
'The midwives and women of loose morals of Western Mexico also attribute emmenagogue properties to it.'
'Dr. Reid uses Damiana in all conditions where a general tonic is needed, especially if there be enfeeblement of the central nervous system. He esteems it most highly, prescribing it constantly for this purpose.'
'It is valuable in renal and cystic catarrh and in general irritation of the urinary passages, through its influence in soothing irritation of mucous membranes.'
'This latter property renders it valuable in the treatment of respiratory disorders, especially those accompanied with profuse secretion.'
'In the line of the action of this remedy in its influence upon the reproductive organs, Dr. Reid mentions dysmenorrhea, headache, at the menstrual epoch, bad complexion, rough or discolored patches on the skin with acne, especially of a severe type, depending upon uterine irritation. Eruption resembling eczema, from insufficient menstruation.'
'Dr. Watkins gives as its further indications, delayed or suppressed menstruation in young girls, irregularity at the beginning of menstruation, amenorrhea in very young girls. It will certainly allay sensitiveness of the sympathetic nervous system to irritations caused by disorders of the womb and ovaries. The remedy must be given in full doses, to accomplish these results. From five to ten grains of the extract is necessary three or four times a day, and persisted in. The writer has been using it as suggested, and has been very well satisfied with it.'
'In one most severe case of acne, with discoloration of the skin, due to uterine irritation, the results were satisfactory, both to the patient and physician. I am satisfied that it relieves hyperesthesia of the sympathetic nervous system and prevents many of the results of reflex irritation from uterine or ovarian disorder.'
Other Names : Turnera diffusa
Used as a tea, decoction, extract, capsule or food additive.
The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs recommends Eleuthero root 'As tonic for invigoration and fortification in times of fatigue and debility or declining capacity for work and concentration, also during convalescence. Contraindications: High blood pressure.'
'Daily dosage: 2 - 3 g of root; equivalent preparations. Mode of Administration: Powdered or cut root for teas, as well as aqueous-alcoholic extracts for internal use. Duration of Administration: Generally up to 3 months. A repeated course is feasible.'
'Actions: In various stress models, e.g., immobilization test and coldness test, the endurance of rodents was enhanced. With healthy volunteers, the lymphocyte count, especially that of T-lymphocytes, increased following intake of fluidextracts.'
'Siberian ginseng' is actually not ginseng per se, but has very similar properties and is therefore used in the same way as ginseng.
Eleuthero is a proven stress fighter. Taking the herb has been shown to boost the body's capacity to handle stresses ranging from heat exposure to extreme exertion. Eleuthero also has been shown to boost disease resistance and overall energy level.
In a remarkable series of Russian studies in the 1960s,100 healthy adults, ages 19 to 72, given Eleuthero, increased their ability to perform physical labor, withstand motion sickness, and work with speed and precision despite being surrounded by noise. They could also proofread documents more accurately than those who had not been given Eleuthero, and more readily adapted heat, high altitudes, and low-oxygen environments.
Eleuthero's eleutherosides and complex polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules) function as an adaptogen. Eleuthero optimizes the adrenal secretion of stress-fighting hormones. Eleuthero has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. There is little doubt that Eleuthero can heighten mental alertness and improve concentration. It may be helpful in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Eleuthero has been shown to improve the muscular use of oxygen, enabling longer aerobic exercise and quicker recovery. It can relieve chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
Chinese herbal tradition has Eleuthero as a defense against colds and flu. A recent Russian study of 13,000 auto workers given Eleuthero one winter showed that participants developed 40% fewer respiratory tract infections than they had in previous winters.
Eleuthero also helps the liver detoxify harmful toxins. Animal studies have shown hepatoprotective action against chemotherapeutic agents, ethanol, sodium barbital, and tetanus toxoid. Russia studies have confirmed that the use of eleuthero for people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer alleviates side effects and helps bone marrow recover more quickly.
Eleuthero may increase male and female fertility and reduce male impotence. Some studies show increased sperm count, and some animal studies indicate that the herb boosts testosterone levels.
Eleuthero's hormone modulation may help with mentrual problems and menopausal symptoms.
Exercise induced increase of blood coagulation is reversed by A 20-day course of Eleuthrococcus tincture or by new preparations Elton and Leveton containing, respectively, eleutherosids and ecdisten [Article in Russian] Azizov 1997
Pre-surgical preparation with vitamins, Eleutherococcus, sodium oxybutyrate, retabolil, splenin, curantyl, heparin, panangin, sulfalen and trichopol reduced post-operative complications in a study with 414 cancer patients Starosel'skii 1991
T lymphocytes were increased (mainly helper/inducer type, but also cytotoxic and natural killer cells) by 10 ml of ethanolic Eleutherococcus preparation, 3 times daily for 4 weeks in a study with 36 healthy people. No side effects after 6 months Bohn 1987
Recovery from children's dysentery was quicker when Eleuterococcus was added to monomycin in a study of 100 cases [Article in Russian] Vereshchagin 1978
'Complementary Naturopathic Medicine for Periodontitis'--a clinical trial involving Siberian Ginseng at ClinicalTrials.gov
Other Names : Eleutherococcus senticosus: Acanthopanax senticosus , Siberian Ginseng; Ci Wu Jia
Also called Brindel Berry, Uppagi, Gamboge and Malabar Tamarind. It contains an alkaloid called Hydroxy Citric Acid which helps in controlling the formation of fat in the body. It also helps in digestion and has antiseptic properties.
Garcinia Cambogia has been used for thousands of years in the Orient as a food supplement. It is used as an appetite suppressant and to inhibit the absorption and synthesis of fat, cholesterol and triglycerides. In other words, it is a dietary aid.
Garcinia cambogia extract is the calcium salt of hydroxy citric acid, obtained from water extract of Garcinia cambogia fruit . It is non-toxic, tasteless, odorless powder and found to be an effective herbal medicine for controlling obesity and cholesterol by inhibiting lipogenesis in our body.
Hydroxycitric acid (HCA) is a fruit extract with a chemical composition similar to citric acid (the primary acid in oranges and other citrus fruits). Preliminary research, based on laboratory experiments and animal research, suggests that HCA may be a useful weight loss aid. HCA has been demonstrated in the laboratory (but not yet in clinical trials with people) to reduce the conversion of carbohydrates into stored fat by inhibiting certain enzyme processes. Animal research indicates that HCA suppresses appetite and induces weight loss. One case report found that eating 1 gram of the fruit containing HCA before each meal resulted in the loss of 1 pound per day. However, much more research in human populations is needed to determine the effectiveness of HCA as a weight loss aid.
Optimal levels of HCA ingestion remain unknown. Dieters often take 250-500 mg of HCA three times per day (before each meal) as a weight loss aid, though these amounts are far below the levels used in animal research (figured on a per-pound body weight basis). The effectiveness of HCA is enhanced when used in conjuncture with a low-fat diet, because HCA does nothing to reduce the caloric effects of dietary fat.
Other Names : Garcinia cambogia ; Garcinia hanburyi ; Brindel Berry, Uppagi, Gamboge , Malabar Tamarind
24% Flavonoglycosides 6% Terpine Lactones
Used as an infusion, decoction, food additive and supplement.
Medicinal use of Ginkgo leaf tea is ancient in Chinese herbal medicine. It helps clear the mind and improve the power of concentration.
Modern clinical trials have demonstrated the usefulness of ginkgo in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, age-related cognitive decline and depression.
Ginkgo's flavone glycosides and terpene lactones do indeed increase circulation to the brain and other parts of the body as well as exerting a protective action on nerve cells.
The unique terpene lactone components found in ginkgo are known as ginkgolides and bilobalide. Ginkgolides apparently improve circulation and inhibit platelet-activating factor. Bilobalide protects the cells of the nervous system. Recent animal studies indicate that bilobalide may help regenerate damaged nerve cells.
One double blind study found that ginkgo could help people with macular degeneration, an oxidation-related disorder causing decreased or lost vision.
Ginkgo’s antioxidant activity in the brain and central nervous system may help prevent age-related declines in brain function. The brain and central nervous system are particularly susceptible to free radical attack. Free radical damage, that is, oxidation damage, in the brain is widely accepted as being a contributing factor in many disorders associated with aging, including Alzheimer’s disease.
The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs recommends a dry extract from the dried leaf of Ginkgo biloba for '(a) symptomatic treatment of disturbed performance in organic brain syndrome within the regimen of a therapeutic concept in cases of demential syndromes with the following principal symptoms: Memory deficits, disturbances in concentration, depressive emotional condition, dizziness, tinnitus, and headache.'
'(b) Improvement of pain-free walking distance in peripheral arterial occlusive disease in Stage II of Fontaine (intermittent claudication) in a regimen of physical therapeutic measures, in particular walking exercise. (c) Vertigo and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) of vascular and involutional origin.'
'The following pharmacological effects have been established experimentally:
'Investigations with this extract as specified above showed no effects which were either mutagenic, carcinogenic, or toxic to reproduction.'
'Daily dosages: Indication (a): 120 - 240 mg native dry extract in 2 or 3 doses. Indications (b) and (c): 120 - 160 mg native dry extract in 2 or 3 doses. Mode of Administration: In liquid or solid pharmaceutical forms, for oral intake. Duration of Administration: Indication (a): Length of administration should be judged according to the severity of symptoms and should extend at least 8 weeks in the case of chronic illness. Administration for more than 3 months should be reviewed as to justification for continued administration.'
Ginkgo biloba extract with carboxymethyl-beta-1,3-glucan applied to skin for 2 weeks reduced dermatitis from various allergens for 22 women in double blind study Castelli 1998
Ginkgo leaf extract, avg 209 mg/day, offset sexual dysfunction caused by serotonin reuptake inhibitors, 91% for 33 women and 76% for 30 men Cohen 1998
Alzheimer's therapy study ought to include ginkgo, antioxidants, hormones, etc.; a review Doraiswamy 1998
Literature review indicates ginkgo biloba provides statistically significant but clinically modest improvement in cognitive function for early dementia Flint 1998
Ginkgo biloba special extract EGb 761--an anti-dementia drug [Article in German] Horr 1998
111 patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease and claudication given 3 pills/day of EGb 761 for 24 wk had walking distance increase to 153m vs 127 for placebo Peters 1998
Preliminary lab and clinical data support use of herbals such as ginseng, ginkgo biloba and garlic, and nutritional supplements to slow aging Rattan 1998
Analysis (by GC/MS) and characterization of quercetin and kaempferol in urine following ingestion of Ginkgo biloba tablets Watson 1998
Review indicates good evidence for the efficacy of St John's wort for depression and for ginkgo in the treatment of memory impairment caused by dementia Wong 1998
After six-weeks treatment, increase in ECG first degree AV-blocks and abnormalities of repolarization for imipramine but a significant reduction for hypericum in double blind study with 209 depression patients Czekalla 1997
Modest improvements in cognitive tests by 202 mild to severely demented patients taking EGb 761 for a year Le Bars 1997
240 mg/day of Ginkgo extract EGb 761 (Tebonin forte) to 20 Alzheimer's patients improved SKT score by 3 points while placebo group deteriorated by 0.8. Maurer 1997
320 mg/day EGb 761 (n = 8) compared to placebo (n = 7) for 5 days before cardiopulmonary bypass reduced thiobarbituric acid-reactive species, decrease of DMSO/ascorbyl radicals, myoglobin leakage and ventricular myosin leakage. Final outcome comparable Pietri 1997
Urine collected for 3 days after Ginkgo biloba leaves taken contains metabolites that account for less than 30% of the flavonoids ingested Pietta 1997
64 healthy adults given Ginkgo biloba/ginseng combination at 80, 160, or 320 mg bid for 90 days had improved heart rate and cognition Wesnes 1997
24 week, randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study with parallel-group comparison of 60 patients with peripheral arterial occlusive disease using EGb 761 at 120 mg/d found longer walking distances in the treatment group [Article in German] Blume 1996
18 claudication patients randomized in a double blind cross-over study with GB-8 at 120 mg/day for 3 months showed improved concentration and memory but unchanged walking distance, peripheral blood pressure, and leg pain [Article in Danish] Drabaek 1996
Placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind trial with 40 moderate dementia patients found that Ginkgo EGb 4 days per week for 4 weeks improved condition [Article in German] Haase 1996
216 Alzheimer's and multi-infarct dementia patients in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 240 mg EGb 761 for 24 weeks found benefit with the 156 patients who completed the study Kanowski 1996
New Clinical Drug Eval. Unit (NCDEU) review of natural psychotropics, highlighting Hypericum, Valerian, Ginkgo and Ginseng Cott 1995
55 ischaemic stroke patients in placebo controlled trial found no benefit for Ginkgo extract at 160 mg/day although 40 trials by others have shown usefulness for chronic cerebral ischaemia Garg 1995
Meta analysis of 11 placebo controlled randomized double blind trials in patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency indicates Ginkgo benefit [Article in German] Hopfenmuller 1994
900 mg of hypericum per day for 4 weeks benefited seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Martinez 1994
43 patients with high cholersterol (230-390) had modest lowering by garlic-ginkgo combination compared with placebo Kenzelmann 1993
72 outpatients with cerebral insufficiency in a double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled study for 24 weeks with EGb 761 found improved short-term memory [Article in German] Grassel 1992
Meta-analysis of 5 placebo controlled trials with EGb 761 for patients with peripheral arterial disease found improved walking distances [Article in German] Schneider 1992
31 memory impaired patients in a 6-month double-blind, placebo controlled trial with 120 mg/d Ginkgo extract (tanakan) showed benefit for cognitive function Rai 1991
60 inpatients with cerebral insufficiency in a double-blind study for 6 weeks with 160 mg/d Ginkgo extract had small progressive improvements after 4 weeks [Article in German] Eckmann 1990
For 70 patients with vertiginous syndrome of undetermined origin, in a 3-month double blind trial, 47% of the treatment group had symptoms eliminated vs. 18% of the placebo group [Article in French] Haguenauer 1986
103 tinnitus patients in a 13 month trial found benefit with Ginkgo vs. placebo [Article in French] Meyer 1986
166 patients with cerebral disorders due to ageing in a double-blind, placebo controlled trial had benefit after 3 or more months [Article in French] Taillandier 1986
A 6-month double-blind randomised clinical trial with 79 patients with peripheral arteriopathy showed benefit for Ginkgo extract (rokan) Bauer 1984
Used as a tea, decoction, extract, tincture, food additive and supplement.
Many Native American tribes used American ginseng, Panax quinquefolia. Medicinal uses ranged from digestive disorders to sexual problems.
The Chinese began to use American ginseng after it was imported during the 1700s. The traditional applications in China are somewhat different from those for Panax ginseng (Asian ginseng), American ginseng being considered a better stomachic.
The type and ratio of ginsenosides are somewhat different in American and Asian ginseng, but not radically different. Pharmacologically, ginseng is nonspecific in its effects and is capable of a normalizing action irrespective of the pathological situation.
Ginseng's ginsenosides are believed to increase energy, counter the effects of stress, and enhance intellectual and physical performance. Thirteen ginsenosides have been identified in Asian ginseng. Ginsenosides Rgl and Rbl have received the most attention.
Other constituents include the panaxans, which help lower blood sugar, and the polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules), which support immune function.
Numerous double-blind studies have confirmed Chinese tradition, objectively demonstrating Asian ginseng's ability to lower blood sugar, reduce fatigue and stress, and support the normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the hormonal stress system of the body.
Ginseng's support of the brain's production of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) appears to improve mental performance, learning, and memory and sensory awareness, exactly as Chinese tradition has always maintained.
The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs, reflecting the opinion of modern scientific herbalism, recommends Ginseng root [Panax ginseng] 'As tonic for invigoration and fortification in times of fatigue and debility, for declining capacity for work and concentration, also during convalescence.'
'Daily dosage: 1 - 2 g of root; equivalent preparations. Mode of Administration: Cut root for teas, powder and galenical preparations for internal use. Duration of Administration: Generally up to 3 months. A repeated course is feasible.'
'Action: In various stress models, e.g., an immobilization test and the coldness test, the resistance of laboratory test animals (rodents) was increased.'
Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'In China, both varieties [Asian Panax ginseng & American Panax quinquefolia] are used particularly for dyspepsia, vomiting and nervous disorders. A decoction of ½ oz. of the root, boiled in tea or soup and taken every morning, is commonly held a remedy for consumption and other diseases.'
'In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.'
King's 1898 Dispensatory: [Panax quinquefolia] 'A mild tonic and stimulant. Useful in loss of appetite, slight nervous debility, and weak stomach. Continued for some length of time, for its temporary administration gives but little benefit, it is a very important remedy in nervous dyspepsia, and in mental exhaustion from overwork. It gives fairly good results in nervous prostration, and in cerebral anemia.'
'By some, it is considered useful in asthma, gravel, convulsions, paralysis, to invigorate the virile powers, etc. It gives fairly good results in atonic laryngitis, bronchitis, and some relief in phthisis, being a secondary remedy for these complaints. Dose, of the powder, from 10 to 60 grains; of the infusion, from 2 to 4 fluid ounces; specific panax, 5 to 60 drops.'
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): [Panax quinquefolia] 'This agent is an important article of commerce in China, being a general domestic remedy and highly prized. It is a mild sedative and tonic to the nerve centers, improving their tone, if persisted in, and increasing the capillary circulation of the brain. It is given in cerebral anemia, and if combined with other tonics is capable of doing some good. It is also prescribed in the failure of digestion incident to nervous prostration and general nerve irritation.'
64 neurasthenia patients given Ginkgo biloba/ginseng combination at 80, 160, or 320 mg bid for 90 days had improved heart rate and cognition Wesnes 1997
Quality-of-life assessed by an 11-item questionnaire, improved 6.4 points with vitamins and 11.9 points with vitamins plus ginseng in a 4 month, randomized, double-blind study with 625 patients Caso Marasco 1996
Spermatozoa number and motility and plasma testosterone, DHT, FSH and LH levels increased in men taking ginseng while PRL decreased in a study with 66 patients Salvati 1996
Antibody titre after flu vaccination was increased from 171 to 272 and number of flu cases dropped from 42 to 15 in the group taking 100 mg Ginsana for 12 weeks in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind investigation of 227 people Scaglione 1996
Erectile dysfunction patients had greater improvement with ginseng than placebo or trazodone in a trial with 90 men Choi 1995
Digoxin treatment of cardiac function was enhanced by red ginseng in a trial with 45 patients [Article in Chinese] Ding 1995
Cancer incidence was lower among ginseng users. Level was lowest for red ginseng (0.20), followed by white ginseng powder (0.30), fresh ginseng extract (0.37) and white ginseng extract (0.57) Yun 1995
200 precancerous patients treated with Hua-sheng-ping (Chrysanthemum morifolium, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Panax notoginseng) had 95.5% effective rate compared with 57% in the control group [Article in Chinese] Yu 1993
Systolic blood pressure of 10 adults decreased with large-dose (120 mg ginkgo biloba +200 mg ginseng) or half that dose. Diastolic blood pressure and heart rate decreased only in the high dosage group. Platelet aggregation is reduced by both doses Kiesewetter 1992
Exercise work load and maximal oxygen consumption were increased by ginseng in a double-blind, crossover study with 50 men taking, for 6 weeks, a preparation of ginseng extract, dimethylaminoethanol bitartrate, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements Pieralisi 1991
Angina improvement by Shenshao Tongguan Pian (saponins from Ginseng & Paeoniae, etc) in a randomized double blind trial of 565 cases of coronary heart disease [Article in Chinese] Hu 1990
Immune parameters were improved in 20 healthy volunteers taking 100 mg of aqueous or standardized extracts twice daily for 8 weeks Scaglione 1990
Among 905 consecutive cancer patients , the odds ratio of cancer in relation to ginseng intake was 0.56. Ginseng extract and powder were more effective than fresh sliced ginseng, the juice, or tea Yun 1990
Senility and coronary benefit was seen with 358 people (50-85 yr old) taking ginseng saponin at 150 mg/d for 2 months [Article in Chinese] Zhao 1990
Blood alcohol was 35% lower in men taking ginseng extract (3 g/65 kg body weight) along with alcohol (72 g/65 kg body weight) Lee 1987
Improvements in attention (cancellation test), processing (mental arithmetic, logical deduction), integrated sensory-motor function (choice reaction time) and auditory reaction time in 16 men taking 100 mg Korean ginseng twice a day for 12 weeks D'Angelo 1986
Total cholesterol, triglyceride and NEFA decreased while HDL (healthy) cholesterol increased in patients taking red ginseng powder. Platelet adhesiveness was also reduced Yamamoto 1983
Observational Studies/Case Reports
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulation for complications due to continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis decreased the frequency and duration of dialysis Wei 1999
Systolic blood pressure was decreased by 8 weeks of 4.5 g/d red ginseng in a study of 26 hypertensive patients Han 1998
In smokers, 1.8 gm of red ginseng provided nearly as much antioxidant protection of DNA as 200 IU vitamin E Lee 1998
Dietary recall study of 4634 older people indicates lower cancer incidence among ginseng users Yun 1998
Gastric cancer risk decrease by ginseng has been reported in case-control and cohort studies Ahn 1997
Left ventricular diastolic function was improved by total saponins of Panax notoginseng in hypertensive patients [Article in Chinese] Feng 1997
Non-insulin-dependent diabetics had some improvements with 8 weeks of ginseng (100 or 200 mg) over placebo in a trial with 36 newly diagnosed patients Sotaniemi 1995
Other Names : American White , Panax quinquefolium , Xi Yang Shen
Used as an infusion, decoction and tincture.
Guaranine (which is nearly identical to caffeine) and the closely related alkaloids theobromine and theophylline, make up the primary active agents in guaraná. Caffeine's effects (and hence those of guaranine) are well known and include stimulating the central nervous system, increasing metabolic rate, and having a mild diuretic effect.
The indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest used crushed guaraná seed as a beverage and a medicine. Guaraná was said to treat diarrhea, decrease fatigue, reduce hunger, and to help arthritis. It also has a history of use in treating hangovers from alcohol abuse and headaches related to menstruation.
Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'Nervine, tonic, slightly narcotic stimulant, aphrodisiac febrifuge. A beverage is made from the guaran sticks, by grating half a tablespoonful into sugar and water and drinking it like tea. The Brazilian miners drink this constantly and believe it to be a preventive of many diseases, as well as a most refreshing beverage. Their habit in travelling is to carry the stick or a lump of it in their pockets, with a palate bone or scale of a large fish with which to grate it. P. Cupana is also a favourite national diet drink, the seeds are mixed with Cassava and water, and left to ferment until almost putrid, and in this state it is the favourite drink of the Orinoco Indians. From the tannin it contains it is useful for mild forms of leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, etc., but its chief use in Europe and America is for headache, especially if of a rheumatic nature.'
'It is a gentle excitant and serviceable where the brain is irritated or depressed by mental exertion, or where there is fatigue or exhaustion from hot weather. It has the same chemical composition as caffeine, theine and cocaine, and the same physiological action. Its benefit is for nervous headache or the distress that accompanies menstruation, or exhaustion following dissipation. It is not recommended for chronic headache or in cases where it is not desirable to increase the temperature, or excite the heart or increase arterial tension.'
'Dosage: Powder, 10 grains to 1/2 drachm. Fluid extract of Guarana, U.S.P., 30 minims sweetened with one teaspoonful of syrup in water three times a day.'
'As a strong diuretic 7 ½ grains can be taken daily and in 24 hours it has been known to increase urine from 27 oz. to 107 oz.'
'Tincture of Guarana, B.P.C., for sick headaches, 1 to 2 fluid drachms in water.'
King's 1898 Dispensatory: 'It is very probable that from the tannin contained in guarana, it has effected recovery from diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, etc., of a very mild form; but as we have more prompt and efficient articles for these affections, in which this agent was at first so loudly heralded, it is no longer employed therapeutically, except chiefly for the relief of certain forms of headache.'
'Like coffee and tea, it appears to be a gentle excitant, and is serviceable in cases where the brain becomes irritated or depressed by mental over-exertion, and when there is a sensation of fatigue or exhaustion during very warm seasons, as it has practically the same chemical composition as caffeine and theine, we find it has likewise precisely the same physiological action.'
'It is chiefly in nervous headache, in the cephalalgia sometimes accompanying menstruation and that following a course of dissipation, in which the most benefit is derived from it. Its use appears to be contraindicated in most cases of neuralgia, neuralgic headache, and chronic headache, and in all cases in which it is not desirable to excite the heart, increase arterial tension, or increase the temperature.'
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): 'In its influence it is a tonic and mild nerve stimulant and sedative. Gaurelle, who first called attention to it, mentioned it as a most useful tonic in protracted convalescence. He had great confidence in it in persistent diarrheas, especially those of phthisis. Others have used it successfully in chronic diarrheas.'
'Therapy: The fluid extract of this agent, given in doses of from ten to thirty minims, has been used specifically in the treatment of headaches, other than those due to actual disease of the stomach, as from catarrh or ulceration or cancer. In many forms of headache, and especially the form due to functional gastric derangement, known as 'sick headache' it is certainly a serviceable agent.'
Other Names : Paullinia cupana
Horny Goat Weed
Used as a tea, decoction, extract, tincture, dietary supplement and soup vegetable.
The Chinese consider horny goat weed a premier libido-lifter for men and women, and top aid to erectile function in men. The plant has long been employed to restore sexual fire, boost erectile function, allay fatigue and even alleviate menopausal discomfort.
It is indeed a bit magical that the flower of this natural sexual aid does indeed look like a horny goat.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences recommends the regular use of Horny Goat Weed to slow the aging process, as it improves the overall quality of life as well.
By stimulating the production of androgen (sexual) hormones, Horny Goat Weed stimulates sexual activity in both men and women, increases sperm production, stimulates the sensory nerves, and increases sexual desire. It's aphrodisiac effects has been verified in both animal and human research.
No negative effect on estrogen production has been found. It has traditionally been used for men suffering from impotence and low sperm count. It has also been prescribed for women suffering decreased sexual motivation.
There is also strong evidence, some of it referenced below, that Epimedium is helpful for heart, liver and osteopathic problems.
In a study of 65 patients, the plasma level of adrenocorticotrophin and corticosterone decreased and lymphocyte proliferative reaction was reduced after treatment with Epimedium brevicornum when compared with the control group. [Article in Chinese] Cai 1998
Epimedium compound granules lower blood lipids, has anti-oxidant activity and adjust the balance between prostacyctin I2 and thromboxane A2 in patients with kidney deficiency syndrome of ischemic cardio-cerebral vascular diseases. [Article in Chinese] Tan 1998
Levels of both sIL-2R and IL-6 in patients with end-stage renal failure undergoing hemodialysis could be restored to normal after treatment with Epimedium sagittatum. [Article in Chinese] Chen 1995
In this study Epimedium Sagittatum had sexual potentiation effect and improved the quality of life in the patients of chronic renal failure with regular hemodialysis. Interleukin 2 activity of peripheral blood monocytes stimulated by PHA was increased significantly. [Article in Chinese] Liao 1995
Clinical observations on 36 cases of viral myocarditis treated with Epimedium grandiflorum Moor and vitamin C. [no abstract] Zhu 1984
The MeOH extract of Epimedium sagittatum was found to show neurite outgrowth activity on cultured PC12h cells. Bioassay-guided fractionation of the MeOH extract yielded six prenylated flavonol glycosides, ikarisoside A, icarisid II, epimedoside A, icariin, epimedin B, and epimedokoreanoside-I. Kuroda 2000
The in vitro study (cultured osteoclasts) showed that the Epimedium leptorrhizum inhibited the osteoclastic resorption of bone. The in vivo investigation on rats demonstrated that both the Epimedium and estradiol were able to increase mineral content and promote bone formation. Yu 1999
A review of pharmacological study on Epimedium grandiflorum Morr and its active constituents. [no abstract] Wang 1998
Icariin, an monomer purified from Epimedium Koreanum, induced differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemic cell (HL-60) by reducing NBT and elevating the cAMP/cGMP ratio. [Article in Chinese] Zhao 1997
Icarin, an antihepatotoxic flavonol glycoside from Epimedium koreanum has been isolated and has significantly reduced the level of glutamic pyruvic transaminase and sorbitol dehydrogenase release from CCl4-intoxicated rat hepatocytes. [Article in Chinese] Lee 1995
The enhancement of fibrinolytic ability of stimulated Epimedium koreanum stimulated murine macrophages showed rapid fibrinolysis, as measured by the fibrin-coated plate method. The activity of stimulated macrophages was approximately 2.8 fold that of the control. [Article in Chinese] Shan 1992
The results of a study on DNA synthesis of bone marrow cells of 'yang deficiency' animal model showed that after the treatment with Epimedium sagittatum polysaccharides, the cell multiplication rate was increased by 72% and DNA synthesis rate increased by 68%. [Article in Chinese] Liu 1991
Experimental assessments were made on the anti-HSV-II action of 500 herbs by determinations of the virus inhibition logarithm (VIL). The most effective herbs (VIL greater than or equal to 4.00) included Epimedium sagittatum. Zheng 1989
Other Names : Epimedium grandiflorum; Epimedium macranthum , Yin Yang Huo
Kava Kava Fiji Root
Kava is the traditional sacramental brew of Polynesia, and has been shown to medically effective in elevating mood and reducing stress.
Kava is mildly narcotic and produces mild euphoric changes characterized by elevated mood, fluent and lively speech and increased sense of sound. Kava is the most relaxing botanical herb with exception of the opium poppy.
The 1997 Commission E on Phytotherapy and Herbal Substances of the German Federal Institute for Drugs recommends Kava kava rhizome for 'Conditions of nervous anxiety, stress, and restlessness.'
'Contraindications: Pregnancy, nursing, endogenous depression. Side Effects: None known. Note: Extended continuous intake can cause a temporary yellow discoloration of skin, hair and nails. In this case, further application of this drug must be discontinued. In rare cases, allergic skin reactions can occur. Also, accommodative disturbances, such as enlargement of the pupils and disturbances of the oculomotor equilibrium, have been described.'
'Daily dosage: Herb and preparations equivalent to 60 - 120 mg kava pyrones. Mode of Administration: Comminuted rhizome and other galenical preparations for oral use. Duration of Administration: Not more than 3 months without medical advice.'
'Even when administered within its prescribed dosages, this herb may adversely affect motor reflexes and judgment for driving and/or operating heavy machinery. Actions: Anti-anxiety. In animal experiments a potentiation of narcosis (sedation), anticonvulsive, antispasmodic, and central muscular relaxant effects were described.'
Several rhizome components and lactones have been isolated in the kava root. Of the fifteen lactones isolated from kava, there are six major lactones (kavalactones) known to provide psychoactive activity: kawain, methysticin, demethoxy-yangonin, dihydrokawain, dihydomethysicin, and yongonin.
All kavalactones are physiologically active, though it is the fat-soluble kavalactones derived from kava resin that have the greatest effect on the central nervous system. Kava also has a direct effect on muscle tension similar to tranquilizers. The activity of the kava rhizome is related to several arylethylene pyrones similar in structure to myristicin, which is found in nutmeg.
Kava is a diuretic and an anti-inflammatory, thus useful for gout, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, cystitis and prostatitis.
It is an effective local anesthetic and pain reliever when applied externally as a liniment. The relaxed state and sharpening of senses also contribute to an aphrodisiac effect.
To prepare one quart of Kava drink:
1) Place 1 oz of powdered Kava root in the blender.
2) Add one pint of cool milk, fruit juice, coconut milk, soy milk or water.
3) Blend at medium speed for five minutes, creating an emulsion.
4) Strain with a very fine strainer or cheesecloth.
5) Pour the remaining pint of cool liquid through the strained powder.
6) Press the strained powder to wring out the remaining liquid.
7) Add whatever flavorings you like - bananas, cocoa, honey, coconut, strawberries, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla - and blend one more time. Kava really needs flavorings - really.
8) Enjoy! Kava is a first-rate sedative, muscle relaxant, analgesic and mood enhancer - but don't be surprised if your lips and tongue go numb! Kava is a powerful local anesthetic with potency similar to that of cocaine and procaine.
9) Since kavalactones are destroyed by heat, and are slowly released in cool liquid, pouring the strained powder back into the blend to sit in the fridge overnight will make a stronger drink, which will, of course, need to be strained again. Keeps for days in the fridge.
10) To make a yet stronger kava drink, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of liquid lecithin or coconut milk to the original blend of powder and liquid. Some of the kavalactones are more oil-soluble than water-soluble. Milk, with natural fats, is actually a better medium for kava than water.
Although liver damage appears to be, as the FDA puts it, 'rare,' the FDA believes consumers should be informed of this potential risk. Kava-containing products have been associated with a few liver-related injuries. Given these reports, persons who have liver disease or liver problems, or persons who are taking drugs that can affect the liver, should consult a physician before using kava. Consumers who use kava and who experience signs of illness associated with liver disease should also consult their physician.
Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal': 'The effect on the nerve centres is at first stimulating, then depressing.... The irritant action and insolubility of the resin has lessened its use as a local anesthetic, but for over 125 years Kava root has been found valuable in the treatment of gonorrhoea both acute and chronic, vaginitis, leucorrhoea, nocturnal incontinence and other ailments of the genitourinary tract. It resembles pepper in local action. A 20 per cent oil of Kava resin in oil of Sandalwood, called gonosan, is used internally for gonorrhoea.'
'Being a local anaesthetic it relieves pain and has an aphrodisiac effect; it has also an antiseptic effect on the urine. The capsules contain 0.3 gram; two to four can be given several times per day. As Kava is a strong diuretic it is useful for gout, rheumatism, bronchial and other ailments, resulting from heart trouble.'
'Dosages: Fluid extract, ½ to 1 drachm. Powdered root, 1 drachm. Solid extract, 1 to 15 grains.'
King's 1898 Dispensatory: 'The root of Piper methysticum has a pleasant, somewhat lilac odor, and a slightly pungent, bitter and astringent taste, which augments the salivary discharge. It has marked general and local anaesthetic properties.'
'It has been employed as a pleasant remedy in bronchitis, rheumatism, gout, gonorrhoea, and gleet, and has also been recommended as a powerful sudorific. It appears to exert its influence more especially upon diseased mucous membranes, and may be found useful in chronic catarrhal affections of various organs, and in chronic inflammation of the neck of the bladder.'
'The action of the root varies, according to the amount taken; in small doses, it is tonic and stimulant; while in large doses it produces an intoxication, which, unlike that from alcohol, is of a reserved, drowsy character, and attended with confused dreams.'
'It exerts a special stimulation upon the central nervous system, differing essentially from ethylic intoxication; and, as its taste is agreeable, one soon becomes a proselyte to it. It has a very powerful action upon aqueous diuresis, and may be classed among the most efficient diuretics.'
'It is of undoubted efficiency in acute vaginitis or urethritis, allaying the inflammation, causing the pain during micturition to disappear, when dysuria is present, and suppressing the mucopurulent catarrh from the vesico-urethral mucous membrane. It has, over other blennostatic agents, the marked advantages of being pleasant to take, of augmenting the appetite, of occasioning neither diarrhoea nor constipation, of alleviating or entirely subduing pain during urination, of completely changing the character of the discharge, and of effecting the cure in a very short time—10 or 12 days.'
'It is a remedy for nocturnal incontinence of urine in the young and old, when due most largely to muscular weakness.'
'Piper methysticum has been successfully employed in atonic dyspepsia and in neuralgic or spasmodic dysmenorrhoea. Prof. Webster (Dynam. Therap.) regards it as our most reliable remedy for neuralgia, particularly of the parts supplied by the fifth cranial nerve, as in dental neuralgia (when not due to exposure of the dental pulp), neuralgic affections of the eyes, ears, etc., and in reflex neuralgias in other parts of the body, as gastric and intestinal neuralgia, abdominal neuroses, from prostatic, urethral, or testicular disorders, and pectoral pain due reflexly to nervous dyspepsia. He also suggests its employment in renal colic. Piper methysticum has proved useful in dropsy, intestinal catarrh, and in hemorrhoids.'
'Sixty or 70 grains of the scraped root, macerated for about 5 minutes in a quart of water, may be taken in the course of 24 hours, repeating this quantity daily, as long as required. The dose of the fluid extract of the root is from 15 to 90 minims, in a glass of water, repeating the dose every 3 or 4 hours; specific piper methysticum, 5 to 30 minims.'
'Specific Indications and Uses: Neuralgia, particularly of the trifacial nerve; toothache; earache; ocular pain; reflex neuralgia; anorexia; dizziness and despondency; gonorrhoea; chronic catarrhal inflammations; vesical irritation; painful micturition; dysuria.'
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): 'It increases the tone and power of the sexual and urinary apparatus, and improves the general health and vigor of the patient. It is a mild but efficient diuretic, stimulating both the excretion and the secretion of the urinary constituents. It is of much value in catarrh of the bladder, in old and enfeebled cases relieving the symptoms promptly; in some eases restoring the strength and tone of the urinary organs. It relieves painful urination, overcomes strangury, and increases the power to expel the urine.'
'It increases the appetite actively, and improves digestion and assimilation to a satisfactory extent with a large percentage of the patients taking it, and may be given for this purpose in gastric atonicity. In some cases, in which the author has prescribed it, the agent has induced an almost inordinate appetite. It stimulates the entire function of digestion, in certain cases, to a satisfactory degree, correcting torpidity and functional inactivity of the glandular organs of the entire intestinal tract, increasing the peristaltic action of the intestines, overcoming constipation, and inducing normal and satisfactory bowel movement. It is curative in intestinal catarrh and in hemorrhoids.'
Other Names : Piper methysticum
Maca has been called nature's gift to the bedroom - energy and sexual function rolled into one delicious root - you will feel an immediate effect. Maca is a legendary aphrodisiac, impotence remedy and nutrative food-tonic.
Our Maca makes a delicious, full-bodied tea. It comes in a loose powder form, and has always been used as a substitute for flour – great in cookie and brownie recipes. It's also delicious as an additive in milk shakes and fruit smoothies. Naturally, it can also be encapsulated.
The outstanding benefits include increased energy, enhanced stamina, mental clarity, increased athletic endurance and hormonal balancing. It helps with male and female impotence difficulties, erectile dysfunction, menopause, perimenopause and menstrual symptoms, and it exhibits powerful aphrodisiacal effects.
The fertility powers of maca are prized by couples in the Peruvian highlands, where this high-altitude root crop has been used for these purposes for more than 3,000 years. Men and women who fail to conceive a child eat maca on a regular basis until conception occurs.
The sweet root contains substantial amounts of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, vitamin B1, B2, B12, C, E, riboflavin, thiamin and ascorbic acid.
In 1961, Dr. Gloria Chacon de Popovici, a biologist in Lima, Peru, published her studies when her research scientifically demonstrated the increased fertility in animals using maca. A chemical analysis shows the presence of biologically active aromatics which have unique aphrodisiac properties. Analysis of maca properties indicates that the effects on fertility are a direct result of glucosinolates found in maca. Dr. Chacon discovered the four alkaloids present in maca that are responsible for maca's reputed positive effect on hormonal balancing issues such as hot flashes, memory problems, fatigue, mood swings and male impotence.
Women with menstrual irregularities have experienced greater consistency, while women with hot flashes, mood swings and most associated perimenopause and menopause symptoms have diminished dramatically.
Men have had substantial improvement with impotence, fatigue, erection stamina and an over all improved general life out look. It's richness in sterols makes it an alternative for anabolic steroids for body builders.
Maca is, incredibly, the world's highest altitude food crop. Maca has an exceptionally high food value, the highest of any crop grown by the native Andeans. Its nutritive value resembles that of other cereal grains such as maize, rice and wheat. It has 59% carbohydrates, 10.2% protein, 8.5% fiber and 2.2% lipids.
It contains at least five times more protein, four times more fiber and less fat than a potato. It contains two of the three (Linoleic and Oleic) essential fatty acids, 18 amino acids, including seven of the nine essential amino acids.
It has a variety of vitamins and minerals, and per U.S. Percentage of Daily Value, is high in copper, (100 percent), iron (23%) and calcium (18%). It is low calorie, low cholesterol, low sodium, low fat and high in protein.
Gary F. Gordon, M.D., former president of the American College for the Advancement of Medicine, now Founder and President of the International College of Advanced Longevity Medicine, located in Chicago, Illinois, bases his appreciation of maca on his own experience of it and states that maca improves the quality of life in the area of sexuality.
Henry Camponile, M.D., of St. Petersburg, Florida states that his first menopausal patient 'started to feel better four days after she began taking Maca', and finds that it promotes energy unlike any other herb he has used.
Dr. Richard Brown, M.D. author of STOP DEPRESSION NOW, says that Maca holds great promise for the health and well being of men and women.
Dr.Mark Smith , M.D. has said 'I have noticed a significant level of more balanced energy, stamina & endurance markedly during cardio vascular workouts using maca'.
Since maca is not replacing hormones it is fine to start using the herb at any time and to stop without any danger to the body. It is advisable not to use it continuously but to alternate periods of taking the herb with periods of rest from the herb to maximize the body's response to MACA. For example, stay on 90 - 120 days and off 30 days might be a good rest period for the body.
Maca provides the ingredients to support menopausal health. The herb works through the hypothalamus and pituitary to help insure balanced and healthy hormone levels in the body. Many men and women notice the difference within a week! Maca helps promote sexual functioning, insures vaginal lubrication, and, in general, brings about all the benefits of healthy, balanced hormone levels in
Other Names : Lepidium meyenii
Used as a nutritional supplement or food additive.
Morinda is prized for both its beauty and its medicinal value in many parts of the world. This wandering plant is native to Malaysia, Australia, and Polynesia, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful plants in the islands. Morinda has also been cultivated in India, the Philippines, and throughout Southeast Asia.
Ancient manuscripts cite morinda as an ingredient in numerous health preparations. Morinda's historical uses have targeted the digestive, intestinal, respiratory and immune systems. It is particularly useful for supporting the nervous and skeletal systems, especially painful joints, and for skin health. Nearly all parts of the plant are used.
Neil Solomon, M.D., Ph.D.: Author of : NONI Juice:The Tropical Fruit with 101 Medicinal Uses:
'Noni can be taken together with all other medications - there are almost no negative interactions. In some situations, noni can allow other medications to act more efficiently. You should tell your health professional that you are taking noni, as your physician might want to decrease the dose of the medication prescribed. This often reduces the side effects from the original medication. Reported side effects were minimal. Less than 5 percent experienced minor belching, loose stools, allergy, or developed a mild rash. The belching disappeared when the dose was decreased. The rash and loose stools cleared within 72 hours after stopping treatment. Noni has been reported safe for pregnant and/or nursing mothers.'
'Overview of Noni's Primary Applications'
'According to Steven Hall, M.D., of the state of Washington, another physician whom I interviewed and who is a noni juicer: 'Not only does noni provide many benefits on its own, but it also increases the effectiveness of other treatments.' He has found that 'noni is incredible because it offers help to people who could not be helped by traditional medical science.'
'Increased effectiveness and an alternative treatment to drugs are just two of the reasons that noni is such a valuable herb. Hall's results were consistent with the previously reported positive response from 78 percent of noni users. Noni also has the following characteristics:
'Noni works synergistically with other food supplements and/or medications.'
'Noni probably helps with prevention, and works optimally in conjunction with other antioxidants.'
'Noni helps animals heal faster.'
'Dr. Schechter, director of the Natural Healing Institute in California, reports that there has been a wealth of information supporting the traditional uses and health benefits of noni. His work supports what the Kahunas (traditional healers in Hawaii) have known and used beneficially for thousands of years. He confirmed in an interview that the positive results obtained by physicians using noni were consistent with the results obtained by naturopathic clinicians. Dr. Schechter has treated hundreds of patients with noni and has been very impressed with the variety of illnesses that responded to noni.'
'The following gives a synopsis of some important data concerning Dr. Schechter's clinical investigations:
'Noni stimulates the production of T-cells in the immune system. T-cells play a pivotal role in fighting disease.'
'Noni acts to enhance the immune system involving macrophages and/or lymphocytes, which are a vital part of your body's natural defenses.'
'Noni has been shown to combat many types of bacteria.'
'Noni has unique anti-pain effects.'
'Noni inhibits precancer function and the growth of cancer tumors by allowing abnormal cells to function more normally.'
'Dr. Schechter states, 'As a clinical therapist, I have seen noni generate significant, even profound, therapeutic benefits for both prevention and self-help of a wide range of health problems.'
'From Dr. Schechter's list and from the information provided by the other professionals with whom I communicated, I have determined the primary application categories, which are discussed in the following overview. Though there are many other valuable uses of noni, as the charts show, only those with the most support have been included.'
'Actually, noni has over a hundred primary and secondary applications. This booklet will focus mainly on the primary uses. Noni is invaluable as a healing herb because of the following functions, which will all be discussed in more detail:
'Increases body energy.
Acts as anti-inflammatory and anti-histaminic agent.
Has antibacterial properties that can protect against digestive and heart damage.
Works with melatonin and serotonin to help regulate sleep, temperature and mood cycles. Inhibits precancer function and growth of cancer tumors.'
'The following table contains statistical analysis of the data, including both primary and secondary applications, that I obtained from surveying more than 50 doctors and other health professionals who had taken noni and/or given it to over 10,000 patients. It depicts the number of people who drank noni juice for 23 different conditions, the percentage that were helped, and the primary active components (PAC) believed to be involved. It is my belief that although the PAC is the major component, it is the total blend of all natural ingredients that result in noni's optimal health benefits.'
'Conditions helped with Noni: # of users: % helped: probable active Noni compound:
Allergy, decreased symptons 948 84% Xeronine
Anti-Aging, Look Better 148 78% Terpene
Arthritis, Lessened symptoms 719 81% Terpene
Breathing, Improved 2,854 77% Xeronine
Cancer, Lessened symptoms 889 65% Xeronine
Depression, Lessened symptoms 807 77% Xeronine
Diabetes, Types I and II 2,773 84% Scopoletin
Digestion Improved 1,593 89% Xeronine
Energy Increased 8,327 92% Xeronine
Fuzzy thinking, helped clear 373 88% Xeronine
Heart Disease, Decreased symptoms 1,123 80% Xeronine
High Blood Pressure, Decreased 938 85% Scopoletin
Kidney Health Improved 2,372 67% Xeronine
Mental Acuity, Increased Alertness 2,983 72% Xeronine
Muscle, Increased Body-building 816 71% Protein
Obesity, Lost excess weight 2,841 75% Xeronine
Pain, including headaches, decreased 4,231 88% Xeronine
Sexuality, Enhanced enjoyment 1,608 87% Xeronine
Sleep, Improved 1,231 73% Xeronine
Smoking, Stopped 452 58% Xeronine
Stress, Helped cope with 4,113 72% Xeronine
Stroke 1,019 57% Xeronine
Well Being, Increased feeling of 4,561 80% Xeronine"
Morinda contains healthful phytonutrients that are unique to the Morinda plant. It also contains appreciable amounts of the precursor of xeronine which works at the molecular level to repair damaged cells.
Many people using morinda have reported that it is helping to clear type II diabetes and arthritis.
Many users of Morinda report that it is amazingly effective but that it works gradually over a period of several months. About 25% of Morinda users report benefits within a few weeks. About half report benefits within 2 months.
The fruit powder can be encapsulated, or stirred into tea.
Sources: 'Discover the Secrets of Morinda' in Sunshine Horizons (November 1996). Noni, Morinda citrifolia and officinalis Handout by Dr. DeAnna Hatch.
The Ocean-Going Noni, or Indian Mulberry And Some of Its 'Colorful' Relatives Handout by Julia F. Morton.
'Some Chemical Constituents of Morinda Citrifolia' by Oscar Levand and Harold O. Larson.
'Morinda Citrifolia L.-Use in Indigenous Samoan Medicine' by Alexandra Dittmar (Hawthorn Press, 1993).
Chinese Herbal Medicine, Materia Medica by Dan Bensky and Andrew Gamble (Seattle, WA: Eastland Press, 1993).
Chinese Medicinal Herbs by Wee Yeow Chin and Hsuan Keng (Sebastpol, CA: CRCS Publications, 1992).
Generally safe for appropriate consumption.
American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) Safety & Labeling Guidelines SubCommittee
Bensky, D. and A. Gamble. 1986. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Seattle: Eastland Press, Inc.
Other Names : Morinda officinalis; Noni; Ba Ji Tian
Effectively used as a thick boiled alcohol decoction (tincture), not as a tea.
Muira puma has a long history in Amazonia as an aphrodisiac, and as a tonic for the nervous and gastrointestinal systems. Muira puama is also helpful with rheumatic problems.
In 1925, a pharamacological study was published on muira puama which indicated it effectiveness in treating disorders of the nervous system and sexual impotency which indicated that 'permanent effect is produced in locomotor ataxia, neuralgias of long standing, chronic rheumatism, and partial paralysis.'
The active bark constituents are not water soluble, nor are they broken down in the digestive process. For human consumption, Muira puama's unque chemistry is, literally, best boiled in booze – for at least 20 minutes.
The contemporary British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recommends Muira puama for dysentery and impotence. It has been in the Brazilian Pharmacopeia since the 1950's.
Two recent human trials in France have shown 'a dynamic effect' on men experiencing erectile dysfunction and loss of sexual desire.
Other Names : Ptychopetalum olacoides
Used as an infusion, decoction, extract and tincture.
The dried roots of certain South and Central American Smilax species are the source of sarsaparilla, which has been used medicinally, but is now used mainly in confectionary and soft drinks. The following species are sources of sarsaparilla (Pereira 1842, Trease & Evans 1966, Wallis 1967):
Smilax aristolochiaefolia Miller -- yields Vera Cruz or Mexican sarsaparillas
Smilax febrifuga Kunth -- yields Guayaquil sarsaparilla
Smilax medica Schldl. & Cham. -- yields Vera Cruz or Mexican sarsaparilla
Smilax officinalis Kunth -- yields Jamaica, Lima, and Honduras sarsaparillas
Smilax ornata Lemaire -- yields Jamaica or Costa Rica sarsaparilla
Smilax regelii Killip & C. Morton -- yields Honduras sarsaparilla
Smilax siphilitica Willd.-- yields Brazilian sarsaparilla
The starch-rich root can be dried and ground into a powder that is used in making cakes, puddings, sweet drinks, jelly and soups. Genuine root beer is made from the roots. Sarsaparilla's saponins facilitate the body's absorption of other drugs and phytochemicals. The saponins are used by the body to synthesize hormones. Sarsaparilla has a noticeable aphrodisiac effect, thus explaining the popularity of old-time root beer in the saloons.
Sarsaparilla is a medicinal herb of ancient Native American application. It has been used for sexual impotence, rheumatism, skin ailment, urinary problems and as a tonic for physical weakness.
It was shown clinically in 1942 to dramatically improve psoriasis. It is also useful for acne, rashes and hives. It's anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective effects have been shown in rats, and improvement of appetite and digestion as well as diuretic actions in humans has also been documented.
Sarsaparilla has demonstrated the ability to attack and neutralize microbes in the blood stream. In the 1950's, the antibiotic properties of sarsaparilla were documented. Its effective use as an adjuvant for the treatment of leprosy was documented in a human trial in 1959. Sarsaparilla was used by the Chinese in the treatment of syphilis. Recent clinical observations in China demonstrated that slow-acting sarsasparilla is effective, according to blood tests, in about 90% of acute cases and 50% of chronic cases.
Sarsaparilla is also known for stimulating the breathing of asthmatics and the congested.
Grieve's classic 'A Modern Herbal;': 'This plant derived its name from being exported to Europe through Jamaica. The word Sarsaparilla comes from the Spanish Sarza, meaning a bramble, and parilla, a vine, in allusion to the thorny stems of the plant.'
'Jamaica Sarsaparilla was introduced in the middle of the sixteenth century as a remedy for syphilis, and later came to be used for other chronic diseases, specially rheumatism. It is a mild gastric irritant due to its saponin content.'
'The smoke of Sarsaparilla was recommended for asthma. It is also very useful as a tonic, alterative, diaphoretic and diuretic. Its active principle is a crystalline body, Parillin or Smilacin.'
'Preparations and Dosages: Powdered root, ½ to 1 drachm. Fluid extract, U.S.P., ½ to 1 drachm. Fluid extract, B.P., 2 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 10 to 20 grains. Compound solution, 2 to 8 drachms. Compound syrup, U.S.P., 4 drachms.'
'... if alcohol is added to the infusions of the root it will greatly increase their medicinal qualities.'
'Medicinal Action and Uses: Alterative, tonic. Used in chronic skin diseases, rheumatism, passive dropsy.'
'Dosages: Powder, 20 grains. Infusion or syrup, 4 fluid ounces.'
King's 1898 Dispensatory: 'Sarsaparilla is generally considered as an alterative, though stated by some to possess diuretic, diaphoretic, and emetic properties. Its mode of action, however, is not well understood, as it effects normal changes in the system without any appreciable change in the operation of the various organs.'
'The diseases in which it has been more particularly recommended, are inveterate syphilis, pseudo-syphilis, mercurio-syphilis, and struma in all its forms. It has been used in several chronic diseases, as of the skin, as herpes (best associated with sodium sulphite), rheumatic affections (with potassium iodide), passive general dropsy, gonorrhoeal rheumatism, and other depraved conditions of the system where an alterative is required.'
'The decoction, made acid with nitric acid, is serviceable in syphilitic sore throats, and, acidulated with hydrochloric acid, is of some value in chronic hepatic disorders, with torpor.'
'Dose of sarsaparilla, in powder, 30 grains, 3 or 4 times a day; of the infusion or syrup, 4 fluid ounces. Some believe sarsaparilla to contain an active cardiac-sedative principle.'
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): 'This agent is an active eliminant, possessing diuretic and alterative properties to a marked degree. It has long been a popular remedy for the treatment of blood dyscrasias, but is nearly always given in combination with other well known specific alteratives. In combination with potassium iodide, stillingia, corydalis, phytolacca, podophyllum, or other alteratives, it has been given in scrofula and secondary syphilis, and especially in cutaneous diseases depending upon blood dyscrasia, and in rheumatic and gouty conditions, with inactive kidneys irritated from the presence of large quantities of uric acid and the urates. It is not at present in general use.'
Other Names : Smilax officinalis; Smilax ornata
Used as a tea, decoction and food supplement.
Suma has long been used 'for all things' in Brazil – and is, in fact, called 'Brazilian Ginseng.' It has been used as a general tonic, a rejuvenant for convalescents and an aphrodisiac.
Russian Olympic athletes claim that Suma is a muscle and endurance builder without the negative side effects of steroids. Much of Suma's chemistry is unique – it appears to enhance the body's use of oxygen on the cellular level.
Suma's saponins have been clinically demonstrated to inhibit cancer cell growth and to help regulate blood sugar levels. Two Japanese patents for Suma pfaffosides and pfaffic acid derivatives as antitumor agents have been granted. A 1995 U.S. Patent application demonstrated increased hemoglobin levels during sickle cell treatment. Numerous other Suma-based patents have been filed in both France, Japan, Russia and the USA relating to Suma's anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, and aphrodisiac effects.
Other Names : Pfaffia paniculata
Tribulus terrestris has traditionally been used as a mood-enhancing smoke, tea (infusion) or decoction (thick, boiled tea).
The plant grows in many tropical and moderate areas of the world. Many different cultures have used it for a number of purposes. For example, the Greeks used Tribulus terrestris as a diuretic and a mood-enhancer.
Indians used it as a diuretic, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. The Chinese used it for a variety of liver, kidney, and cardiovascular diseases. The people of Bulgaria used Tribulus terrestris as a sex enhancer and to treat infertility. Recently, eastern European athletes and strength champions have used it as well.
Tribulus terrestris is a testosterone enhancer. Studies show that it works very well when stacked with DHEA and androstenedione. It increased testosterone levels in a different way, however, than either DHEA or andro do. Instead of being a testosterone precursor, it leads to the production of the luteinizing hormone (LH). When LH levels are increased, the natural production of testosterone also increases. LH is a hormone that also deals with sex drive. Now one can understand why it has been used to increase fertility and help with impotence. Laboratory animal studies found that Tribulus terrestris increased sperm count as well as motility levels after taking it for 30 days.
This is a good supplement for men and women to increase their sex drive. Most experts recommend experimenting with 750 to 1,250 mg per day, divided among meals. As for side effects, about one in ten people have associated some gastrointestinal upset with taking Tribulus terrestris. Taking food with it can minimize these effects if you are that one in ten.
Related to syrian rue and seeds reported to contain similar alkaloids, ie; beta-carboline alkaloids such as harmaline, though there is little direct phytochemical studies of Australian species. Used in Ayurveda, sometimes in combination with Mucuna or cowhage, plant and dried spiny fruit are esteemed as cooloing, demulcent, diuretic, tonic and aphrodisiac.
The Chinese have used Tribulus for over 400 years. In the West we became aware of Tribulus in 1982 following research by the Chemical Pharmaceutical institute in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Tribulus Terrestris is an herb commonly known as 'Puncture Vine' or Caltrop fruit, grown in various parts of the world and used medicinally for it virilizing effects. Studies have shown a better than 50% increase in testosterone levels when taking the Tribulus herb.
When scientists began studying the remarkable curative power of Tribulus, they discovered that it significantly elevates the level of several hormones: Testosterone; Luteinizing Hormone (LH is a gonad stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Estradiol. A significant benefit of Tribulus is the stimulation of hormone production to a balanced level, without over stimulating the secretion of hormones.
The liver is a major synthesizer of hormones. The hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, so a herb such as Tribulus that has a stimulating effect on the liver will have a major influence on cholesterol and other products of the liver. Tribulus' role as a liver tonic is very important - breaking down the cholesterol and fats that inhibit healthy liver function. The cholesterol and fats are converted to hormones and energy resulting in increased performance and stamina. This role of improving liver function, stamina and endurance is particularly beneficial to athletes and bodybuilders.
The increase in testosterone levels by Tribulus will promote protein synthesis, positive nitrogen balance as well as faster recuperation and recovery from muscular stress. Tribulus therefore has a positive effect on strength and stamina.
No adverse effects to the central nervous or cardiovascular systems were noted in any of the clinical studies; no toxicity and no deviations in blood count occurred. No known negative effects presently exist when Tribulus is used as a dietary supplement. Tribulus exhibits a mild diuretic effect.
Other Names : Puncture Vine ; Bai Ji Li
Velvet Bean Powder
Mucuna pruriens, commonly known as velvet bean or cowitch, is used as a minor food crop and medicinal bean in India, West Africa, and Central America. Toasted ground seeds are used as a coffee substitute. It is regarded as anodyne, antidotal, diuretic, nervine, psychedelic, and powerfully aphrodisiac.
It is used as a tea, a strong decoction and a smoke.
According to Ayurveda, this herb is a powerful nervine tonic and aphrodisiac, applicable to the treatment of disorders of the male or female reproductive tract, and the spasms associated with Parkinson's or Bell's Palsy.
A clinical study confirmed the efficacy of the seeds in the management of Parkinson's disease by virtue of their L-Dopa content, the precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine.(1) Mucuna pruriens, recognized as an aphrodisiac in Ayurveda, has been shown to increase testosterone levels (2), leading to deposition of protein in the muscles and increased muscle mass and strength(3). It is also known to enhance mental alertness and improve coordination(4). Isolated chemicals include bufotenine and DMT.
1. Manyam, B.V., et. al. (1995) J. of Alternative and Comp. Med., 1 (3) 249-255.
2. Amin, K.M.Y. (1996) Fitoterapia, 67:53-58.
3. Bhasin, S., et. al. (1996) New England J. of Med., 335, 1-7.
4. Singh, R.H. et al. (1989) J. Res. Ayur. Siddha, 1(1):1-6.
In 1937, 31 years after levodopa was synthesized in Switzerland, Indian scientists isolated levodopa from Mucuna pruriens beans. At the time, the importance of levodopa was unappreciated in India and the West. In 1967, following the establishment of the role of levodopa in Parkinson disease, a screening of 1000 species of 135 plant families revealed that only plants from the Mucuna family contained sufficient levodopa to consider commercial development.
Recently Dr. Bela Manyam, Professor of Neurology at the Scott & White Clinic, Temple Texas, part of the Texas A & M Medical School, a National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence, treated Parkinson patients with a powder made from the whole bean of Mucuna pruriens. Mucuna pruriens is a legume, and as a legume it's a rich source of tocopherol, or Vitamin 'E.' Vitamin 'E' has a variety of beneficial effects.
Because of it's bulk, Mucuna pruriens acts as a laxative, aiding digestion and counter-acting, in part, the constipation associated with Parkinson disease. Finally, Mucuna pruriens, like other plant extracts, may contain other, as yet unidentified anti-Parkinson drugs. Dr. Manyam and associates prepared a formulation of Mucuna pruriens and studied it in Parkinson disease.
Other Names : Kapi Kacchu ; Mucuna pruriens
Yohimbe has aphrodisiac, stimulant, and tonic properties. It dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. This enlarges blood vessels, particularly in the sexual organs.
It also elevates mood and reduces depression and anxiety.
Yohimbe is a tall evergreen forest tree, reaching a height of 90 feet and width of 40 feet, native to Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, and the Congo. West Africans have used yohimbe for centuries by making a bitter tea from bark shavings. The resultant stamina was used for both love and war.
Male members of some tribes would take yohimbe as part of marriage and mating rituals and during special week-long fertility celebrations when sexual relations were expected. Yohimbe gained a reputation for increasing libido as well as improving male sexual performance by enhancing the size and staying power of erections. Modern double-blind trials have confirmed yohimbe's ability to help with erectile dysfunction.
Yohimbine, demonstrably, does some interesting things. It blocks alpha-2 adrenergic receptors, thus increasing the level of epinephrine and norepinephrine in the blood. Yohimbine also dilates blood vessels and inhibits monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO metabolizes serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. By inhibiting this, MAOIs increase levels of those neurotransmitters. Phenelzine (Nardil) and tranycypromine (Parnate) are two popularly prescribed antidepressant MAOIs. Yohimbe is, apparently, another.
Other Names : Corynanthe yohimbe ; Pausinystalia yohimbe
FREE - Download a truly timesaving tool: In seconds, place a search box right in your browser without taking any space from the browsing window. Use 7MetaSearch.com, proven by surveys to consistently find the most relevant sites faster. One-Click SiteDetails™ gives you the address, phone number, traffic ranking, age, link popularity on any site you're viewing in your browser. Click the button below to learn more about 7FaSSt Search™