Comfrey's use dates back centuries to at least the time of the ancient Greeks. During the Middle Ages comfrey was a widely cultivated herb found extensively in the gardens of monasteries. Throughout the 1700's and 1800's comfrey was also a popular herb grown in many gardens across Europe as well as America. Sometime during the late 1970's however research revealed that comfrey when taken internally can cause severe liver damage so it has lost popularity and internal use is even banned in many countries. Applications in the from of ointments, poultices, or creams are still considered safe though. Comfrey can still be found growing wild in central Europe, and the eastern United States as well as a few western states.
Saw palmetto is a very popular herb with men over 40. It is often used to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and it’s symptoms, like painful urination and the need to urinate frequently. Another popular use of this herb is to treat male pattern baldness by reducing the body’s levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Too much DHT is believed to be what causes hair loss.
Dr. Michael Uzik, ND. works with Arizona Naturopathic Physicians in Tucson AZ treats a wide range of conditions, including HIV, cancer, MS, chrones, etc. using nutritional IVs, mistletoe, ambrozile (oleander), copper reduction therapy for anti-angiogenesis, chelation, diet, herbs, heavy metal detox, etc. He is also an ND for Southern AZ AIDS Foundation. He only sees patients if they are under the care of an oncologist. 520-546-2321.
Stachytarpheta cayennensis Blue snakeweed Extracts of the plant are used to ease the symptoms of malaria. The boiled juice or a tea made from the leaves or the whole plant is taken to relieve fever and other symptoms. It is also used for dysentery, pain, and liver disorders. A tea of the leaves is taken to help control diabetes in Peru and other areas. Laboratory tests indicate that the plant has anti-inflammatory properties.
Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin Jr, C. M. (2007, December). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161(12), 1,140–1,146. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/571638
Ginger is a very popular herb used in cooking, its native to Asia and has been used for over 4,400 years. During ancient times it was used by Indian, Chinese, and Arab medicines. It was so highly prized during the Middle Ages that they thought it actually came from the Garden of Eden. Today you can find ginger being used to treat problems associated with motion sickness. Teas are also made from the root to cure a number of ailments. The Greeks and Romans are probably the first to introduce ginger to Europe at least 2,000 years ago. This probably happened due to trading through the Arabian Peninsula.
Digitalis lanata Digitalis or foxglove It came into use in treating cardiac disease in late 18th century England in spite of its high toxicity.a Its use has been almost entirely replaced by the pharmaceutical derivative Digoxin, which has a shorter half-life in the body, and whose toxicity is therefore more easily managed. Digoxin is used as an antiarrhythmic agent and inotrope.
Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.
A critical question is often asked: Why pursue the phenotypic reversion of malignancy? Surely it is better to look for more efficient methods of killing tumor cells? Tumors are remarkable creatures, possessed of manifold means to defeat the arsenal of therapeutics arrayed against them. Among other things, the genomic instability of tumors gives them a persistent evolutionary advantage, ensuring the survival of stronger, fitter, more aggressive cells that will go on to populate the body of their host. The approaches that have been taken show that it is possible to revert the malignant phenotype by the correction of environmental cues and by the normalization of signal transduction pathways even as the genome remains malignant and unstable. In this sense, the microenvironment can be dominant over the malignant genotype. It is of course preferable to eradicate the tumor altogether, but aggressive chemotherapy to eradicate a tumor often kills the host. The malleable nature of tumors would indicate that multiple approaches may be necessary. This raises the possibility of the long-term management of some cancers as a chronic condition in which the malignant potential of the tumor cells is constrained, perhaps for the lifetime of the patient.
There are 100 medicinal herbs in the National Library of Medicine Herb Garden. Some are more commonly known herbs and they can be used to improve many aspects of your life. As always, do not begin any course of treatment, herbal or otherwise, without first consulting your doctor or other healthcare provider. Make sure you discuss with your health practitioner any medications you take, as herbs can have harmful interactions with others drugs!
Ground cinnamon is very safe, the volatile oils can however cause a skin rash. Small amounts of coumarin can be found in Cassia and other cinnamons, generally only large doses of this compound will cause blood-thinning and liver problems, but it's something to be aware of. Also if you're planning on having surgery you should stop the use of cinnamon at least one week before going in as it has a blood thinning effect. You should also take care to monitor your blood sugar to avoid an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
Herbal medicine is also a mainstay of naturopathic physicians (NDs or NMDs) who use natural approaches to promote wellness and treat disease. Naturopaths typically cannot prescribe pharmaceuticals, and not all practitioners have attended a four-year naturopathic medical school, so prospective patients should ask about training. You can locate a practitioner via the website of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. While some MDs and DOs (osteopathic physicians) are learning about herbs and other natural remedies, it is unlikely that herbal medicine was included in their formal training.
Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.
Magnesium deficiency is not uncommon in people with diabetes, and it can worsen high blood sugar and insulin resistance. Some studies suggest that supplementing with magnesium may improve insulin function and lower blood sugar levels, but other studies have shown no benefit. Have your doctor check you for deficiency before supplementing with magnesium. These are signs that you’re not getting enough magnesium.
Some times when capsaicin is applied to the skin it can cause a burning, stinging, redness and even a rash. Most often this rash is more irritation than anything and well get better after the first few uses. If the rash persists though you should stop the use as you may have an allergy towards capsaicin. Also capsaicin should never be applied to broken skin. Remember to where gloves if you're working with a higher concentration and don't touch your face, if you don't where gloves be sure to thoroughly wash your hands before making contact with your face.
Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.
^ Kamin W., Maydannik V., Malek F.A., Kieser M.; Maydannik; Malek; Kieser (2010). "Efficacy and tolerability of EPs 7630 in children and adolescents with acute bronchitis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial with a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides roots". International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 48 (3): 184–191. doi:10.5414/cpp48184. PMID 20197012.
Maine Whole Health in Portland Maine is run by Alan N.Weiner, DO, CCN. Alan N.Weiner is certified in clinical nutrition and has experience in treating cancer with a variety of alternative modalities. Devra Krassner, ND also works at the clinic. They guide you in bridging conventional and complementary cancer therapies. They use diet and nutrition programs to enhance the immune system, detoxification, IVs, supplements, homeopathy, herbal and botanical medicine, a complete mind/body approach - Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), and guided imagery. - 207-828-5645 http://www.mainewholehealth.com/.
Also known as pot marigold or poet's marigold, calendula is different than the common marigold that's usually seen in gardens. Unlike the common marigold calendula is edible and has very little scent. During medieval time in England the calendula herb was commonly used in stews, syrups, and breads. Calendula is also rather easy to start from seed and is able to adapt to many growing conditions making it an ideal herb to grow. The herb is found in many gardens all over the world for subarctic to tropic regions. Now let's take a look at the key medicinal uses that make calendula such a prized herb to have.
The pharmaceutical cartel is so threatened by this treatment that the US government filed twelve patents on the use of antineoplaston even though Dr. Burzynski already had filed his own patents many years earlier. Dr. Burzynski is still trying to get his treatments approved by the FDA, but it is currently not approved. A film has been made documenting his remarkable discoveries in cancer treatment, and his battle against the Texas Medical Board and the US FDA (see trailers below).
Kava has been used by the people of the Pacific islands for hundreds of years as a natural anti-anxiety treatment. It has a very calming effect and puts most people in a good mood. It has also been used as a diuretic and to treat urinary problems, arthritis, asthma and upset stomach. It is very popular in Germany and often prescribed as the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders.