Category Archives: herbs

soursop natural cure for cancer

Soursop

Soursop has a huge benefit in the prevention and cure of cancer.

soursop natural cure for cancerFor prevention, it is advisable to eat or drink fruit juice.  For healing, boil 10 pieces of old soursop leaves (dark green) into 3 cups of boiling water and continue to evaporate and water is left 1 cup only. Give the one cup of water to patients 2 times per day . After drinking, the body feels the effects of heat, similar to the effects of chemotherapy. Some patients have seen results within 2 weeks in reducing their cancers.

Soursop leaves are natures chemotherapy but  even more powerful because soursop leaves as herbal material only kill cells that grow abnormally and allow cells to grow normally. While synthetic chemical chemotherapy has the effect of killing some normal cells.

 

Astragalus-canadensis-Canadian-Milk-Vetch-flowers-01

Milk Vetch

milk vetchThe astragalus (Milk Vetch) plant is frequently used in Chinese medicine. There are a large number of varieties of the astragalus plant, but two are important in Chinese medicine: Astragalus membranaceus andAstragalus mongholicus. Other names for astragalus include bei qi, huang qi, ogi, hwanggi, locoweed and milk vetch.

A large genus of about 3,000 species of herbs and small shrubs, belonging to the legume family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. The genus is native to temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Milk vetch contains fatty oil, vitamin A, alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, tannins, proteins, amino acids, elements like selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron, magnesium, chromium, calcium, and so on. Seeds are rich in oil, which accounts for about 5% of the seed weight and contains at least 14 kinds of fatty acids, including heptenoic acid, myristic acid, pentadecanoic acid, hexadecanoic acid (palmitic acid), oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, linoleyl acid, arachidic acid, lignoceric acid, behenic acid, and more. And the unsaturated fatty acids account for about 40% in total acids. Besides, it still contains β-sitosterol, many amino acids, etc.

Queen’s delight Herbal Information

Queen’s delight (Stillingia sylvatica) is a plant. The root is used as medicine.

Despite serious safety concerns, people take queen’s delight to treat liver disease,gallbladder disorders, skin diseases, constipation, bronchitis, and hoarseness (laryngitis). It is also used to cause vomiting and as a “blood purifier.”

Some people apply queen’s delight directly to the affected area to treat skin diseases and hemorrhoids.

Stillingia is of value in the treatment of chronic exudative skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and is specifically indicated where there is lymphatic involvement. Treatment is likely to be fairly long-term. It is also used to treat bronchitic congestion and laryngitis, especially when accompanied by loss of voice (laryngismus stridulus); it may also be used to treat croup when the cough is harsh (the herb helps promote the flow of saliva). It will help to relieve constipation and, as an astringent, it is particularly of benefit for haemorrhoids.

Stillingia is a perennial in the family Euphorbiaceae, growing up to 1.5m tall in acid and sandy soils in the southern United States of Florida, Virginia and Texas. It has alternate leathery, sessile leaves and a terminal spike of yellow flowers. The fruit is a three-lobed capsule. The root is unearthed after flowering in July.

The genus is named after Dr. Benjamin Stillingfleet. The leaves have spots on them reminiscent of the lesions of syphilis, and this may have inspired people to use this herb to treat syphilis. It was also used to help people detoxify after being treated with mercury for syphilis.

Parts Used: Root, fresh root.

Properties:

  • alterative: an agent capable of favorably altering or changing unhealthy conditions of the body and tending to restore normal bodily function, usually by improving nutrition in small doses
  • antispasmodic
  • astringent
  • cathartic
  • circulatory
  • dermatological agent
  • diaphoretic
  • diuretic: an agent that increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system
  • emetic: an agent that causes vomiting in large doses
  • expectorant: an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages
  • laxative: an agent promoting evacuation of the bowels; a mild purgative
  • purgative in large doses
  • sialagogue: an agent that stimulates the secretion of saliva
  • stimulant
  • tonic: an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being

Uses:

  • Acne
  • Boils
  • Bronchitis
  • Constipation
  • Cough
  • Cutaneous eruptions
  • Dermatitis
  • Eczema
  • Enlarged Lymph
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Laryngiti
  • Laryngismus stridulus
  • Leukorrhea
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatism
  • Scrofula
  • Smoker’s cough
  • Syphilis

How is it taken:

Tea, Tincture, Capsules.

  • Dried root: 1-2g or by decoction
  • Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, 0.5-2ml
  • Tincture: 1:5 in 45% alcohol, 1-4ml

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil, diterpene esters (prostatin, gnidilatin), alkaloid (stillingine), cyanogenic glycosides, calcium oxalate, tannin, resin (sylvacrol). Volatile oil (up to 4%), acrid resin (sylvacrol), acrid fixed oil, tannins (10-12%), calcium oxalate, cyanogenic glycosides, starch

Side effects and risk

Large doses are emetic and purgative. Avoid during pregnancy, and avoid using fresh root. Large doses of Stillingia can irritate the skin and mucous membranes, and it is a powerful sternutatory herb. It can also be cathartic and emetic and should always be used with care. It should not be stored for more than two years. Stillingia was once thought to be a reliable cure for syphilis (which it is not), the decoction being used to treat continuing pain and ulceration after mercurial treatment.

Other Names

  • Queen’s root, yawroot, cockup hat, marcory, silver root, silver leaf, pavil

yellow dock root

Yellow Dock Root

images (6)Researchers believe Yellow Dock herbal extract usage may inhibit several types of bacteria including salmonella, escherichia and staphylococcus because the herb contains several antimicrobial agents. Organic Yellow Dock Root is widely regarded as a powerful astringent, detoxifier, and purifier. When flushing out your endocrine organs, you need an effective supplement that is safe and also provides time-proven benefits.

Yellow Dock Root, also known as Rumex crispus, Curly Dock, Yellow Dock, Sour Dock, Narrow Dock, sometimes as “narrow-leaved dock” and ambiguously as “garden patience”, is a perennial flowering plant in the family Polygonaceae, native to Europe and Western Asia. The mature plant is a reddish brown colour, and produces a stalk that grows to about 1 m high. It has smooth leaves shooting off from a largebasal rosette, with distinctive waved or curled edges. On the stalk flowers and seeds are produced in clusters on branched stems, with the largest cluster being found at the apex. The seeds are shiny, brown and encased in the calyx of the flower that produced them. This casing enables the seeds to float on water and get caught in wool and animal fur, and this helps the seeds to spread to new locations. The root-structure is a large, yellow, forking taproot. Curled Dock grows in roadsides, all types of fields, and low-maintenance crops. It prefers rich, moist and heavy soils

The leaves of the plant can be boiled and eaten as a vegetable, but the root is the part of the plant with medicinal properties. Yellow dock supplements are available as capsules, tea, tincture, and dried bulk herb.

Some ready-made preparations are available that combine yellow dock with other cleansing herbs such as burdock and red clover.

Historically the herb has been used for external applications such as a poultice for boils and burns, as it can reduce irritation and inflammation. It is a natural remedy for the sting inflicted by nettles.

The health benefits of yellow dock root include:

  • Reducing vaginal / feminine oder.
  • Yellow dock root extract can be a useful remedy for those who regularly suffer from yeast or urinary tract infections.
  • Removing toxins from the blood. It can be used to help with conditions such as anemia.
  • Cleansing the digestive system.
  • Encouraging production of bile to help to break down fats in the system.
  • Improving flow and production of digestive juices.
  • Assist with water retention, constipation, and the removal of toxins from the body.
  • It has a high iron content and is readily absorbed into the blood stream.
  • Yellow dock herb helps to improve the functioning of some of the major organs of the body such as the liver by removing toxins and other waste products. It can be used as part of a liver detoxifying regime. In the nineteenth century, yellow dock was recommended for jaundice sufferers.
  • Yellow dock reduces inflammation in the digestive system, which will help to keep it functioning properly.
  • Removal of toxins can help with some related symptoms such as headaches and mental fatigue. Conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can also benefit from the use of yellow dock herb.
  • Yellow dock tea has some expectorant properties and therefore can relieve symptoms of colds and other bronchial disorders.
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of yellow dock herb can help with arthritis and rheumatism.

Nutrients in Yellow Dock Root:

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Oxalates
  • Tannins
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C


WARNINGS

  • The leaves should be avoided as they are toxic and if consumed, can lead to death.
  • Pregnant women should not use yellow dock root without medical supervision.
  • Some users may find that yellow dock causes diarrhea. This is due to the detoxifying effect working too quickly. If users experience any pain, vomiting, or nausea, a qualified medical practitioner should be consulted
  • Those who are on medication for controlling calcium in the blood or taking a diuretic should avoid using yellow dock. Those who have kidney or liver problems should not take yellow dock, as it may aggravate existing conditions.
  • Excess use can lead to calcium deficiency in the blood. Symptoms such as confusion, fatigue, seizures, and mouth numbness should be reported to a medical professional.

Dosage

Yellow Dock Dosage for Consumption: Three cups of (750 ml) of extracted yellow dock may be drunk each day. A tea can be made by boiling 1 – 2 teaspoons (5 – 10 grams) of root in two cups (500 ml) of water (or 1 ounce dried root in 1 – pint of water 9) for ten minutes. 6 Yellow Duck tea tastes bitter sweet. 15 Also, a tincture of yellow dock, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon (1 – 2 ml) three times per day can be used. 6 “Syrup can be made by boiling 1/2 lb. of the crushed root in 1 pint of syrup and is taken in teaspoon of doses 3 or 4 times a day.” Besides consumption use, yellow dock can be used as an ointment made with the root simmered in oil and applied to skin ulcers, hard tumors, and eruptive skin diseases.

goldenseal-photo

Goldenseal Review

goldenseal-photoThis popular North American herb grows wild in moist mountainous woodland areas. Its long history of use among North Americans flourished after the Civil War as it was an ingredient in many patent medicines. It has been collected to the point of near extinction. Its supplies are diminishing making herbal supplements costly. It is used in many combination formulas and is reported to enhance the potency of other herbs. Preparations have been marketed for the treatment of menstrual disorders, urinary infections, rheumatic and muscular pain and as an antispasmodic. The active ingredients are the alkaloids hydrastine and berberine. Similar in action, they destroy many types of bacterial and viral infections. These alkaloids can also reduce gastric inflammation and relieve congestion. Berberine is a bitter that aids digestion and that has a sedative action on the central nervous system. It works wonders in combination with Echinacea, particularly at the onset of cold and flu symptoms, especially coughs and sore throats. Goldenseal, Echinacea and Zinc lozenges should be in every medicine cabinet. It is a cure-all type of herb that strengthens the immune system, acts as an antibiotic, has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, potentiates insulin, and cleanses vital organs. It promotes the functioning capacity of the heart, the lymphatic and respiratory system, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, and the colon. Taken internally, it increases digestive secretions, astringes the mucous membranes that line the gut, and checks inflammation. It also aids digestion by promoting the production of saliva, bile, and other digestive enzymes. In addition it may control heavy menstrual and postpartum bleeding by means of its astringent action. As a dilute infusion, it can be used as an eyewash and as a mouthwash for gum disease, and canker sores. It is also an effective wash or douche for yeast infections. External applications have been used in the treatment of skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, athlete’s foot, herpes, and ringworm. Part Used: Whole root. Available in bulk, capsules, and tincture. Common Use: Treatment of any infection, inflammation and congestion of lungs, throat and sinuses. Famous for use in treatment of cold and flu. A potent remedy for disorders of the stomach and intestines such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, ulcers, and gastritis and internal parasites. Care: Perennial. Grows best in humid regions with rich humus soil and in shady areas. Cautions: The use of very large doses can or extended use is not suggested. Not for use during pregnancy or by children under two. Children and older adults should take smaller doses.

Research

  • Few studies have been published on goldenseal’s safety and effectiveness, and there is little scientific evidence to support using it for any health problem.
  • Clinical studies on a compound found in goldenseal, berberine, suggest that the compound may be beneficial for certain infections—such as those that cause some types of diarrhea, as well as some eye infections. However, goldenseal preparations contain only a small amount of berberine, so it is difficult to extend the evidence about the effectiveness of berberine to goldenseal.
  • NCCAM is funding research on goldenseal, including studies of antibacterial mechanisms and potential cholesterol-lowering effects. NCCAM is also funding development of research-grade goldenseal, to facilitate clinical studies.

History of Goldenseal

Western knowledge of goldenseal begins about 200 years ago. Benjamin Smith Barton’s Essays Towards a Materia Medica of the United States (published in three parts from 1798 to 1804) is one of the first sources of information on goldenseal. In the first part of his Essays in 1798 he observed that the Cherokee used it as a folk cancer remedy, which is also one of the earliest observations of the occurrence and treatment of cancer among American Indian groups. An important historical use of goldenseal root is as an eye wash for various eye problems, such as conjunctivitis. In the third part of his Essays (1804), Barton notes use as a bitter tonic (in “spirituous infusion”) and as a wash for eye inflammations in a cold water infusion. “The Hydrastis is a popular remedy in some parts of the United States, ” he observed nearly two hundred years ago. Use of goldenseal arises from American Indian usage. The Cherokee used the roots as a wash for local inflammations, a decoction for general debility, dyspepsia, and to improve appetite. The Iroquois used a decoction of the root for whooping cough, diarrhea, liver disease, fever, sour stomach, flatulence, pneumonia, and, with whiskey, for heart trouble. By the late 1700s, it was popularly used as a bitter stomach digestive (to help stimulate digestion and improve appetite), to treat skin inflammations, and those of the eyes. It was also used for inflammation of the mucous membranes of the throat and digestive system. It’s popularity as an “herbal antibiotic” has continued to the present day, despite the fact that there has been little scientific research on the plant. Those who know it by reputation, however, swear by its use. Unfortunately, one aspect of goldenseal that has driven the market in recent years is the notion that goldenseal will somehow affect the outcome of urinalysis for drug testing. This practice is a part of American folk culture, evolving from a novel by pharmacist John Uri Lloyd. Stringtown on the Pike, the most popular of his eight novels, was published in 1900. In the plot goldenseal bitters are erroneously mistaken for strychnine in a chemical test by an “expert” chemical witness in a murder trial. The accused murderer is convicted on the testimony, though the stomach of the deceased did not contain strychnine at all, but goldenseal, from the victim’s morning habit of drinking digestive bitters. As a result, goldenseal became a part of American folklore associated with chemical testing errors. It has been used on occasions in this century to an attempt to mask the use of morphine in race horses (without success). Because of the practice of ingesting goldenseal to affect the outcome of drug testing, some drug testing labs are now testing for presence of goldenseal in urinalysis. If this use of goldenseal subsided, it would return to a more rational place in herbal medicine as an antiinflammatory and antibiotic.

The Goldenseal Trade

Since herbs began to become popular again, from the 1970s onward, goldenseal has been among the most popular Native American herbs. It has been estimated that upwards of 250,000 pounds of goldenseal root is sold each year. Since herbs have made the jump from the health and natural food market to the mass market in the 1990s, goldenseal demand has increased dramatically. Most goldenseal is wild-harvested. Since demand has skyrocketed (and supplies dwindle) the price of goldenseal skyrockets too. On the wholesale level, in the early 1990s, goldenseal root could be purchased for as little as $8.00 to $11.00 a pound when purchasing large quantities. Last year it shot up to over $30.00 a pound. Now wholesale prices of goldenseal have topped $100.00 a pound. Botanists know the plant as Hydrastis canadensis. It is a member of the buttercup family that occurs in rich woods in the eastern deciduous forest. Goldenseal occurs from Vermont to Minnesota, south to Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas. As early as 1884, John Uri Lloyd and Curtis Gates Lloyd noted dramatic declines in wild populations, to an extent as a result of root harvest, but more so as the result of habitat loss through deforestation. While over-harvesting has been blamed for supply shortages, the Lloyd brothers paint a complex picture of economic and social reasons for periodic shortages providing arguments indicating that decrease in areas or populations is not necessarily accompanied by a decreased supply. They noted that historically, poorer classes of people collected the roots during times of economic hardship. Being a minor commodity, factors would arise that would consume the entire supply in one season, causing shortages and a rise in price (such as we see today). The following season, a glut in the market would occur, and prices would drop. Collectors, they note, then turn their attention to other substances or pursuits. The price then stabilizes, but stocks are exhausted, and then, as the Lloyds put it, “history repeats itself.” This same pattern actually occurred with Echinacea angustifolia wild-harvested roots in the 1996 season. Roots started out at a price of upwards of $30.00 per pound. More root was harvested then could be sold, and the price dropped to as low as $12.00 per pound. It’s a matter of supply and demand. Given the market scarcity of goldenseal coupled with high prices, some have said that goldenseal is becoming “endangered.” Unfortunately, the word “endangered” which should be reserved for species in imminent danger of extinction, is thrown about as an ambiguous word applied to any plant for which there are conservation concerns. According to Chris Robbins, a biologist formerly with TRAFFIC North America, an arm of the World Wildlife Fund, the term endangered is over-used and inappropriately used in many contexts. Robbins notes that for plant materials entering commercial trade, to determine its status of how it is surviving, especially if a wild-harvested species, you have to look at numerous variables. You have to look at the extent in international and domestic trade. You need a series of data on the volume in trade, along with distribution, status in cultivation, and in the wild, of course, how does the plant reproduce, and other ecological and biological factors that might have an impact on its capacity to survive. The World Wildlife’s Fund TRAFFIC North America is actively involved in monitoring and policing the United States activity in the international trade of plants under the provisions of an international treaty known as CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). The U.S. is a signatory nation. CITES (signed by over 160 countries) is the international treaty which controls trade in natural objects with commercial value. Animal or plant parts in CITES Appendix 1, such as elephant ivory, are illegal in international trade. The international trade of American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is regulated under the provisions of CITES which regulates trade through permit requirements for imports, exports, and re-exports of listed species. American Ginseng is listed in CITES Appendix II, controlling and monitoring its trade “in order to avoid utilization incompatible with [its] survival.” Harvest and commerce are regulated and restricted both jointly and separately by state agencies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the United States Department of Agriculture. In the case of plants like American ginseng, this creates a paper trail to help better determine trade statistics, and develop biological data on the plant. WWF’s TRAFFIC North America formally petitioned the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in 1997 to propose goldenseal under the provisions of the CITES treaty as an “Appendix II” listing, after finding that over 20,000 lbs of goldenseal were exported between 1990 and June, 1996. The petition was passed which meant from September 18, 1997 on, goldenseal exports are regulated under the CITES treaty. Goldenseal is not endangered. However, the large increase in demand, has highlighted the need for more information on the plant’s distribution, biology, reproduction, and ultimately the need to develop commercially cultivated supplies of the herb to provide a growing domestic and international market.

Yohimbe

Yohimbe Information

yohimbine  YohimbeYohimbe is used to arouse sexual excitement, for erectile dysfunction (ED), sexual problems caused by medications for depression called selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and general sexual problems in both men and women. It is also used for athletic performance, weight loss, exhaustion, chest pain, high blood pressure, low blood pressure that occurs when standing up, diabetic nerve pain, and for depression along with certain other medications. There is evidence from many studies that the active ingredient, yohimbine, can improve sexual problems associated with this class of medications used for depression. However, this benefit has not been described specifically for the yohimbe bark

If you suffer from low libido, yohimbine may help you regain sexual interest. However, the research for this use is limited and of poor quality, so NIH advises that more study is necessary before the agency makes a recommendation for this use. Existing studies focus on yohimbine hydrochloride, with women taking 5.4 mg three times daily to increase libido, according to NIH. Yohimbine increases blood flow to your genital region via your nervous system, according to Dr. Ray Sahelian of Los Angeles, nationally known medical writer and author of “Natural Sex Boosters.”

The exact mechanism by which yohimbine helps sexual function is not clear. Two effects of yohimbine that likely contribute to its improvement of sexual function are:

Blocking of presynaptic alpha-2 adrenergic receptors These are the receptors that the neurotransmitter norepinephrine uses as it moves through nerve cells to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system. When these receptors are blocked, the parasympathetic nervous system will dominate. One of the effects of the parasympathetic system is to increase blood flow to the penis. This aids the development and maintenance of an erection.

Side Effects

Yohimbine has significant side effects, such as anxiety reactions. According to the Mayo Clinic, yohimbine can be dangerous if used in excessive amounts. Higher doses of oral yohimbine may create numerous side effects, such as rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, overstimulation, insomnia and/or sleeplessness. Some effects in rare cases were panic attacks, hallucinations, headaches, dizziness, and skin flushing. More serious adverse effects may include seizures and renal failure. Yohimbine should not be consumed by anyone with liver, kidney, heart disease, or a psychological disorder. The therapeutic index of yohimbine is quite low; the range between an effective dose and a dangerous dose is very narrow.  This may also lead to precipitation of panic disorder type reactions. Yohimbine in combination with modafinil is frequently associated with nausea, dangerous acute rapid heart beat, and acute increased blood pressure. Yohimbine exhibits some degree of MAOI activity while modafinil has been shown to increase levels of various monamines, and therefore could result in severe risk of dangerous side effects.

Source: Yohimbe is the name of an evergreen tree that is found in Zaire, Cameroon, and Gabon. The bark of yohimbe contains a chemical called yohimbine, which is used to make medicine.


White Willow Bark Information

White willow bark is one of the oldest home analgesics, dating back to 500 b.c. in China. Modern research confirms old-time wisdom, showing it helps back, osteoarthritic and nerve pains. Willow bark contains apigenin, salicin and salicylic acid, which provide anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-neuralgic actions. At the end of a four-week study of 210 individuals suffering from back pain, reported in the American Journal of Medicine in 2000, 39 percent of those who had received 240 mg of salicin daily were essentially pain-free, compared to 6 percent of those given a placebo.

White willow bark is an anti-inflammatory agent and a pain reliever, perfect for PMS. The problem with aspirin is that it is about as tough on your stomach as it is on pain. Aspirin damages the sensitive lining of your stomach, especially when your stomach is empty. On the other hand, natural remedies like wild willow are much gentler on your body. Specifically, the salicin in wild willow bark is metabolized to salicylic acid after it hits your stomach. So, you avoid the pain of the acid interacting directly with your stomach lining.


Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, white willow bark also works well with other herbs.  Wild yam, black cohosh and damiana have all been proven to complement wild willow bark’s natural wonders, as each of these herbs act as a soothing anti-inflammatory as well.

Individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip also are helped. Willow bark can be purchased as standardized extracts and teas. If you have access to white willow and wish to make your own, collect bark from a twig (never the main trunk). Use about 2 teaspoons of bark to a cup of water, boil, simmer for 10 minutes and cool slightly. Because salicin concentration is low and widely variable in willow bark, you may need several cups to obtain the equivalent of two standard aspirin tablets. A word of caution: Willow should not be given to children, due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome, nor used by individuals with aspirin allergies, bleeding disorders, or liver or kidney disease. Willow may interact adversely with blood-thinning medications and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Also, willow tends not to irritate the stomach in the short term, but long-term use can be problematic.

velvet deer antler

Velvet Deer Antler

Deer antlers grow at incredible speed and, after several weeks, as the antlers reach their final size, the cartilage within them gradually converts into bone. In the final process, the antler’s blood supply and nerves are lost. When the antlers have fully hardened, the stags rub them against trees or rocks to remove the skin that remains. As a result of this rubbing, the deer develop sharp bony weapons for combat against threats to their harem of females during the autumn rut or mating season.

Each Spring the antler cycle begins anew and the skin around the pedicle expands and grows, initiating new antler growth. The hard antler from the previous season is cast off and the growth of the new season’s velvet crop begins. It is then that the velvet is harvested for its medicinal and performance qualities.

When the velvet deer antler has been removed, it is allowed to cool on tilted racks just before being frozen. It is then ready to be processed. If it is removed at the right time, while still in the cartilaginous state, almost all of the antler can be used for medicinal purposes.

The use of velvet antler was scientifically supported in compliance with FDA regulations for its beneficial effects in treating arthritis. Other therapeutically valuable actions include immune stimulation, antiaging, protective and rejuvenating effects, and beneficial effects in blood and circulation.   A recent study used 2 to 6 capsules containing 215 mg of deer velvet per day.

Benefits Of Velvet Deer Antler

Reports from the Orient, Russia, and New Zealand indicate that velvet deer antler has been used for centuries to control blood pressure, increase hemoglobin levels, increase lung efficiency, improve recuperation from exertion, improve muscle tone and glandular functions, sharpen mental alertness, relieve the inflammation of arthritis, and heal stomach ulcers.

Chinese herbal doctors use deer antler as a balancing agent for the endocrine system and in the treatment of penile erection dysfunction in men. Oriental physicians claim it is especially beneficial for men suffering from enlarged prostate glands and watery semen. Oddly enough, velvet deer antler has also been used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. It contains both male and female hormones In addition to cartilage components, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and, in particular, IGF-1 (insulin- like growth factor)

How Much Deer Antler Velvet Should I Take

It is critical that one takes a minimum of 500 mgs daily to achieve optimal effect & benefit.  Note:  1 milligram = 1,000,000 Nano grams.  Many Igf-1 and deer antler velvet products use Nano grams as their measure, which ultimately misleads the customer to see high ingredient content.  If a measure of Nano grams is noted in the ingredient content there is only trace elements of said ingredient.  This in turn will not yield optimal results.  500 mgs is the optimal daily dose for best results. Contraindications have not yet been identified with deer velvet. Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.

History Of Medicinal Use

The first documented evidence of the use of velvet deer antler as a medicine was found on a silk scroll recovered from a Han tomb in the Human Province in China. The scroll is believed to be about 2,000 years old and recommends medical treatments and prescriptions for 52 different diseases using deer antler.

Velvet deer antler product called Pantocrine is manufactured by a Russian state pharmaceutical company to assist in the treatment of many different medical conditions (in hospitals) in which post-operative recovery of patients is a key factor. Velvet deer antler has become an elite medicinal food in Asia, New Zealand, and Korea – the world’s largest consumer of the product.

Oriental Medicine

The most important animal in oriental medicine is the deer because it is the animal with the most Yang energy. Dr. Peter Yoon of Seoul, Korea claims that velvet deer antler is especially important in increasing the quality and quantity of blood production in the treatment of kidney disorders, anemia, high blood pressure, and even the elevation of low blood pressure.

Dr. Yoon and other doctors use velvet deer antler to treat impotence in men. Dr. Lee Sangin of Kyung Hee University in South Korea uses velvet deer antler to treat infertility in women and for liver problems and high cholesterol in both sexes. The medicinal use of velvet deer antler has been going on for 2,000 years, but it is only recently that scientific evidence has been developed to document its health benefits.

Growth Hormone Factors

In scientific studies analyzing the medical properties of velvet doer antler, Dr. Peter Fennessy, General Manager of the Invermay Research Center in pncOtago, New Zealand found that antler extracts improved cell growth and also produced anti-tumor and anti-viral effects. During an investigation into the factors that make antlers grow, the fInvermay group measured a natural hormone factor called “Insulin-like Growth Factor-1″ or “IGF-1″ High levels of IGF-1 were found in deer blood during the antler growth period as well as IGF-1 receptors in the antlers. Dr. Fennessey’s team also discovered that the IGF-1 and IGF-2 (a related hormone) promoted growth in laboratory cell lines from mice.’


When we are young, we have a relatively healthy concentration of human growth hormone. In our teenage years, most of us are slim and lean, with low body fat and good musculature. The reason human growth hormone generates lean body mass is its influence on IGF-1. As we age, our growth hormone levels decrease along with IGF-1, which causes muscular atrophy. Velvet deer antler is a natural source of growth factors, which can improve muscular development.

Accelerated Wound Healing

Scientists can only speculate about Dr. Fennessey’s findings, which may explain (to some degree) the anabolic properties of velvet deer antler. If there are high concentrations of hormone like substances in blood, tissues, and bone, accelerated tissue repair after trauma such as intense exercise can be induced by velvet deer antler. But the most important consideration is the cartilaginous concentration of the antler itself. Researchers such as Dr. John F. Prudden discovered (more than 35 years ago) that cartilage contains an element called N-Acetyl-Glucosamine, which has been demonstrated to accelerate wound healing significantly.2~5

Cartilage also contains glycosaminoglycans, the up-regulators of cartilage production and turnover.6-7 It is also a very powerful regulator. of synoviocytes, which regulate the integrity of the joint fluid.8-9 Perhaps this is the primary reason that arthritics are helped so much by shark cartilage and velvet deer antler.

In 1974, two Russian doctors found that Pantocrine (the Soviet version of velvet deer antler) improved the performance of average, healthy sportsmen (athletes). Unadministered athletes on the exercise cycle performed 15 kg/m of dynamic work, whereas those given Pantocrine increased dramatically to 74 kg/m of dynamic work. This is truly a remarkable increase in performance. Another Russian scientist, Dr. Taney, showed in 1964 that the mental capacity of young men (as indicated by a mathematical test) improved significantly following the administration of velvet deer antler.10

Another ingredient found in velvet deer antler cartilage is Chondroitin Sulfate A, an extremely powerful anti-inflammatory agent shown by Dr. Lester Morrison (over 10 years ago) to reverse atherosclerosis and dramatically improve circulation. Dr. Morrison conducted a six year study demonstrating that Chondroitin Sulfate A reduces the incidence of fatal heart attacks and strokes by more than 400%!

Modulating The Immune System

One of the most important discoveries about cartilage in the last 30 years comes from the work of Dr. Arthur Johnson of the University of Minnesota in Duluth. Dr. Johnson discovered that cartilage contains a small molecular weight protein which has the unique ability to modulate the immune system. This means that, if the immune system is depressed, this particular protein can dramatically improve it. And, if the immune system is overactive, it can reduce its activity until it reaches the normal range. Velvet deer antler has been shown to be capable of modulating the immune system.

Dr. Koltun’s Findings

For twelve years, Dr. Arkady Koltun, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Medical Committee for the Russian Bodybuilding Federation, conducted research into anabolic agents that can improve performance, strength, and musculature in Russian athletes. In studies with Russian kayakers, weigh/lifters, bodybuilders, and power lifters, Dr. Koltun found that velvet deer antle is myotropic (increases muscular strength). He also found that it has powerful neurotropic (nerve strengthening) properties and is beneficial in treating infectious diseases, fatigue, and hypertension.

Dr. Koltun revealed that Pantocrine has induced significant increases in endurance in his athletes. After using Pantocrlne in the pre-Olympic festival in Russia, two of Dr. Koltuns’ top kayakers and a world-recordholder in canoeing achieved remarkably improved results. These sportsmen not only stabilized their racing time one week before competition, but dramatically increased their speed in rowing. All received gold medals and established new world records. Dr. Koltun went on to describe an interesting phenomenon that occurs in athletes that are overtrained, even in young athletes. He explained that when athletes train too hard they develop an electrolyte imbalance in the heart muscle, in which there is a loss of recovery and endurance. He calls this condition “Myocardial Dystrophy”and explained that electrocardiograms show dysphasic and extreme negative T-wave readings, which is an image of ventricular repolarization of the cardiac ventricles.

Improving Recovery Time

Dr. Koltun contends that sportsmen (and women) with myocardial dystrophy have a problem with myocardial repolarization and that this, in turn, significantly limits their performance. But there is a good prognosis for them if they lay off their training activity for two weeks. When Pantocrine was given along with inosine and vitamin B-6, he was able to decrease the time of recovery to ten days. In other words, the athletes’ recovery time was dramatically reduced. This allowed the athletes to participate in many competitions, with short recuperation periods in between.

Dr. Koltun also mentioned that one of the most significant attributes of velvet deer antler is the discovery of Dr. Ivan Kinia, who co-authored several studies from the Siberian institution known as Blagoveshemska in 1989. It was shown that among the main bioactive substances in deer antler are the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, which are especially effective in people who suffer from arthritis.

Toxicology

Toxicity studies of deer antler powder in rats demonstrated no mortality or adverse events on a short term basis.

Deer antlers are the only mammalian bone structures to regenerate completely every year. Deer antler velvet is the epidermis covering the inner structure of the growing bone and cartilage, which develops into antlers.  This tissue grows each spring on male Cervus sp . (North American elk and red deer) and should be removed by a veterinarian or certified farmer. The ethics, including use of local anesthetics, and procedures of harvesting antler velvet have been reported.  Velvet yield depends on several factors, including season, parasites, or injury.  After removal of the deer velvet, it is collected and then frozen or dried prior to its manufacture into various “medicinal” forms including powders, extracts, teas, capsules, and tablets. Each part of elk velvet contains varying compounds, but the deer antler velvet contains the largest concentrations of those found to be beneficial. (Antler also has been sold by the slice). Heating during processing may reduce or destroy the purported beneficial effects of velvet antler. Various preparation methods, including freeze-drying and non-heat-producing methods have been reported.

Ten dogs were examined before and after injections of deer antler extract. While heart rate, general cardiac output, pulse pressure, and arterial pressure were not effected, stroke volume was consistently increased in a significant manner during observation of the animals under study. Talk about a virility factor! In babies and young children, velvet deer antler has been known to strengthen a faint heart sound and a weak pulse as well as elevating low blood pressure (Chang 1986). Indeed, when researchers in China added velvet deer antler to the diet of mice, there was an invigorating effect. Protein and RNA levels were increased in the rodents’ livers, offering strong evidence that their overall liver function was increased in a positive manner (Wang 1990). Velvet deer antler may also be able to ease the degeneration of connective tissue as the body grows older. Research has shown that disorders of sugar metabolism have an important role in rheumatic and degenerative joint diseases. Usually, corticosteroids as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are given to arthritis patients. However, there are side effects that accompany these drugs, including ulcers and immune impairment. Yet, Z.Q. Zhang published evidence in 1994 that deer antler has strong anti-inflammatory tendencies–without the negative side effects of traditional anti-arthritis medicine! German research has also supported that key components such as glucosamine sulfate, glucuronic acid, and glycosarninoglycan in deer antler have an anti-inflammatory effect on cartilage and body tissue (Setnik 1001). More arthritis research is needed, but the evidence is intriguing. Antler extracts may one day become accepted in the West as an alternative treatment for degenerative joint and cartilage conditions. Aging does not have to be dreaded. Velvet deer antler is a potent anti-aging medicine that I have begun to recommend to clients. I’ll provide further updates in a future report. If you start using velvet deer antler, please let me know how it has helped you. Write to me in care of the Journal of Longevity Research.

valerian root

Valerian Information

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)  is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep (insomnia). It is frequently combined with hops, lemon balm, or other herbs that also cause drowsiness. Some people who are trying to withdraw from the use of “sleeping pills” use valerian to help them sleep after they have tapered the dose of the sleeping pill. There is some scientific evidence that valerian works for sleep disorders, although not all studies are positive. 

Valerian seems to act like a sedative on the brain and nervous system.works as an antispasmodic, relieving menstrual cramps by relaxing smooth muscles. It is quite effective for cramps, particularly when taken in fairly large doses, especially when blended with cramp bark (50-50). This time-honored herb is of additional benefit as it is an excellent nervine and helps allay emotional stress and nervousness which sometimes occur before the menstrual cycle.

How to take Valerian

Valerian is usually taken an hour before bedtime. It takes about two to three weeks to work and shouldn’t be used for more than three months at a time. Side effects of valerian may include mild indigestion, headache, palpitations, and dizziness. Although valerian tea and liquid extracts are available, most people don’t like the smell of valerian and prefer taking the capsule form.

Valerian shouldn’t be taken with many medications, especially those that depress the central nervous system, such as sedatives and antihistamines. Valerian shouldn’t be taken with alcohol, before or after surgery, or by people with liver disease. It should not be used before driving or operating machinery.

Valerian is also used for conditions connected to anxiety and psychological stress including nervous asthma, hysterical states, excitability, fear of illness (hypochondria), headaches, migraine, and stomach upset.

Dosage: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the tincture; it may be taken in 1/2 teaspoon doses every 2-3 hours until cramping subsides.

What is the history behind it?

For thousands of years, the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Indians have used valerian as a mild sedative. The origin of the word “pew” is said to come from the foul odor of the valerian root, which a first century AD Roman physician, Dioscorides, called phu. In the mid-1800s in the United States, the Shakers began growing valerian and other herbs to market to doctors and pharmacists in America and Europe. Valerian is sometimes used to flavor foods and drinks such as root beer.


Valerian side effects & risks

  • Lactating mothers and pregnant women should not take Valerian root in tea or supplement form.
  • Those suffering from liver disease should not take this herb.
  • Valerian root should not be consumed in tandem or alongside antianxiety medication.
  • Valerian root should not be consumed along with sedatives or anesthesia.
  • Valerian root should never be had with alcohol or drugs.
  • Infants and young children should not be given this herb.
  • If prescribed other medications, a doctor should be consulted to the use and intake of Valerian root by a patient.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Valerian might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking valerian along with some medications that are broken down by the liver can increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking valerian, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some medications changed by the liver include:

  • lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • itraconazole (Sporanox)
  • fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • triazolam (Halcion)

Common names:

All-Heal, Amantilla, Baldrian, Baldrianwurzel, Belgium Valerian, Common Valerian, Fragrant Valerian, Garden Heliotrope, Garden Valerian, Grande Valériane, Guérit Tout, Herbe à la Femme Meurtrie, Herbe aux Chats, Herbe aux Coupures, Herbe de Notre-Dame, Herbe de Saint-Georges, Herbe du Loup, Indian Valerian, Mexican Valerian, Pacific Valerian, Rhizome de Valériane, Tagar, Tagar-Ganthoda, Tagara, Valeriana, Valeriana angustifolia, Valeriana edulis, Valeriana jatamansii, Valeriana officinalis, Valeriana Pseudofficinalis, Valeriana Rhizome, Valeriana sitchensis, Valeriana wallichii, Valerianae Radix, Valeriane, Valériane, Valériane à Petites Feuilles, Valériane Africaine, Valériane Celtique, Valériane Commune, Valériane de Belgique, Valériane des Collines, Valériane Dioïque, Valériane du Jardin, Valériane Indienne, Valériane Mexicaine, Valériane Officinale, Valériane Sauvage.

St John Wort

St. John’s Wort Information

St. John’s wort is a plant with yellow flowers that has been used for centuries for health purposes, such as for depression and anxiety. This fact sheet answers some frequently asked questions about St. John’s wort and depression, and summarizes what the science says about its effectiveness and the research being done.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), when taken long-term, functions as an antidepressant herb without the adverse side effects often associated with pharmaceutical drugs. Take up to 1 tsp of the liquid tincture 2-3 x daily. Start taking the herb a week before the onset of menstruation, so it has time to begin working.

Additional categories of herbs which are crucial to the treatment of premenstrual syndrome include liver-regulating herbs, blood tonifying herbs, and vital energy herbs.

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a long-living plant with yellow flowers whose medicinal uses were first recorded in ancient Greece. It contains many chemical compounds. Some are believed to be the active ingredients that produce the herb’s effects, including the compounds hypericin and hyperforin.

How these compounds actually work is not yet fully understood, but several theories have been suggested. Preliminary studies suggest that St. John’s wort might work by preventing nerve cells in the brain from reabsorbing the chemical messenger serotonin, or by reducing levels of a protein involved in the body’s immune system functioning.

St. John’s wort has been used over the centuries for mental conditions, nerve pain, and a wide variety of other health conditions. Today, St. John’s wort is used for anxiety, mild to moderate depression, and sleep disorders.

St. Johns wort appears to boost levels of the brain chemical serotonin, which effects the emotions. The herb seems so promising as a natural antidepressant that the National Institutes of Health(NIH) in Washington, D.C,. began a major study in 1997 to investigate its effectiveness.

St. John’s wort doesn’t appear to interact with most conventional drugs (except for antidepressants), many older people on complex medication regimens may be able to benefit from it.

In Germany, where doctors routinely prescribe herbal remedies, St. John’s wort is the most common form of antidepressant, more widely used than the drugs Prozac or Zoloft because it has far fewer side effects.

The herb is even being investigated as a treatment for panic attacks and general anxiety.


Relieve mild to moderate depression

Careful analysis of 23 different studies of St. John’s wort concluded that the herb works as well as antidepressant drugs. And it helps promote sound sleep,

St. John’s wort is particularly beneficial for those who suffer fatigue, low energy, or insomnia as a result of depression. Many studies have found St. John’s wort as effective as conventional antidepressants in relieving severe depression in adults.

The herb may also aid in treating depressive elements of chronic fatigue syndrome and seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD or “wintertime blues”), a type of depression linked to the shortage of daylight in the fall and winter.

In Europe, St. John’s wort is widely prescribed for depression. In the United States, there is public interest in St. John’s wort as a treatment for depression, but it is not a prescription medicine.

Scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of St. John’s wort for depression is inconsistent. An analysis of the results of 37 clinical trials concluded that St. John’s wort may have only minimal beneficial effects on major depression. However, the analysis also found that St. John’s wort may benefit people with minor depression; these benefits may be similar to those from standard antidepressants. Overall, St. John’s wort appeared to produce fewer side effects than some standard antidepressants.

One of the studies included in the analysis was cofunded by NCCAM and two other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the National Institute of Mental Health and the Office of Dietary Supplements. This study found that St. John’s wort was no more effective than placebo in treating major depression of moderate severity. However, the antidepressant sertraline, used in one arm of the study, also showed little difference from placebo.

Shatavari Roots

Shatavari Information

Shatavari, or shatawari, comes from the Ayurvedic tradition of healing. Shatavari is a traditional Ayurvedic antispasmodic; an aphrodisiac, demulcent, digestive, diuretic, galactogogue, and is often used for infertility and for women’s health.  Also known as “hundred husbands” for its beneficial effects in women and reproductive function, shatavari is also very popular as a galactogogue in India and China. Shatavari is considered to rejuvenate female function and is used for infertility. One older study found that shatavari “increased the weight of mammary tissue and milk yield in estrogen-primed rats” while inhibiting involution of glandular tissue and maintaining milk secretion, while another found shatavari to increase milk production in buffaloes. In contrast, a more recent human study reached the conclusion that it had no real effect (baseline prolactin levels in both groups declined at the same postpartum rate) even though the mothers using shatavari had a greater decrease in necessary supplemental milk for their babies at the end of the study than did mothers who took a placebo.  Shatavari is also know as: Asparagus racemosus, Catavari, Satavari, Shaqaqule Hindi, Songga Langit.

Shatavari contains  beneficial steroidal saponins & glycosides (shatavarin, sarasapogenin, diosgenin), isoflavones, mucilage, alkaloids, asparagamine, sistosterol.

The name Shatavari is from an Indian word meaning “a woman who has a hundred husbands”. It is used as a menstrual regulator, to help prevent miscarriage, for menopausal symptoms with hot flushes, irritability, irregular memory and dryness, for lactation, loss of libido, infertility, as an aphrodisiac, and for the female reproductive organs Shatavari is also used as a tonic for circulatory, digestive and respiratory organs, ulcers, bronchial infections, diarrhoea, rheumatism, diabetes, bleeding ulcers, gastritis, Crohn’s disease, dysentery with bleeding, dry cough, sore throat, inflammation in the lungs due to dryness and heat, male fertility and impotence, building body mass and muscle tissue, nourishing the blood, the immune system, calming the nerves, and insomnia. Externally it is used to treat stiffness in the joints.  The root, rhizomes and stem all have healing properties.


It is often used as  infusion or a tincture. The fresh root is often candied or made into preserves to give it a sugary sweet flavor.

Precautions

Consult with a physician before using if pregnant or nursing.

Raspberry leaf

Raspberry leaf Information

Raspberry leaf (Rubus species) is a member of the Rosaceae family. The leaves are rich in the important minerals calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Raspberry leaves have been regarded as a universal herb for women. They have been introduced to young girls beginning their menses as a welcome ritual to help them through their changes. Raspberry leaves can help alleviate menstrual cramps, reduce erratic food cravings, and curb excessive bleeding.

Raspberry leaf tea has long been used to increase fertility. Pregnant women in China, Europe, and North and South America have all used this herb as a tea for a wide range of female health concerns. Even pregnant cats have been known to seek out the leaves and eat them!

When used during pregnancy, raspberry leaves help to relieve morning sickness, prevent spotting, and improve blood quality thus preventing anemia.

Besides being consumed regularly during pregnancy, women often drink raspberry tea during labor. This is because raspberry leaves contain an alkaloid called fragarine, which is said to make labor easier due to its effectiveness as a tonic for the pelvic muscles and uterus.

When taken after birthing, raspberry tea facilitates placental delivery, helps decrease uterine swelling, and helps prevent postpartum bleeding. Drinking raspberry tea until the time of birthing is so nutritious, it helps to ensure that the colostrum (the first breast milk) will be especially rich. However, it is not used excessively during lactation due to its astringent properties that can decrease milk supply.

When menopausal women use raspberry leaf, it helps promote healthy uterine tone and minimize hot flashes.

Henry Box, an English Quaker herbalist, said, “A tea made from red raspberry leaves is the best gift God gave to women.” Now, that might be exaggerating things a bit, but it does show great appreciation for such a versatile herb.


pine pollen

Pine Pollen Information

Pine pollen is one of nature’s super foods and contains a variety of different nutrients including a variety of nutrients that are beneficial for delaying the aging process. Pine pollen also has an abundance of phytoandrogen, a component that provides high levels of nourishment and restores optimum hormone levels. When you add pine pollen to your daily diet thee will no longer be any need for supplements. Scientific analysis of pollen has shown that it is made up of about 40% protein, with more than half of the protein load made of free amino acids which are readily absorbed by the body. Pollen has 5 to 7 times more protein than beef with no heavy animal fats which provides a much safer source of protein.

Pine Pollen is a food. It is not a drug. It enables your body to heal itself in the most proficient way with proper nutrition.

There are many good reasons to develop the habit of consuming pine pollen—it is proven to be nature’s most potent supplement for many different reasons. It is definitely a product that will improve your overall health using the most potent and nutritious plant known to man. There are many health benefits a person can derive from the consumption of pine pollen, a product that has been in use throughout most of the world for centuries. However, if you are seeking to increase the level of testosterone in your body, pine pollen tincture is the best form of the product.

Pine Pollen is a tonic medicine, meaning that it can be used over a course of time, without it having toxic effects on your body. It is also adaptogenic so it will cater to exactly what your body needs and treat any areas of distress. As a nutritive, Pine Pollen can be consumed in large amounts to derive any of the wide range of vitamins and minerals it contains, such as Vitamins A B-Carotene, B1, B2, B3, B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. Its host of minerals include Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, and Zinc. Oh, and another plus: Pine Pollen contains over twenty amino acids and all eight essential amino acids! Do you know what this means? It is a complete protein!

For those who choose to include pine pollen in their daily diets, the benefits can be substantial.

Pine Pollen Benefits

Some of the benefits of pine pollen include the following:

  • Promotion of longevity due to presence of anti-aging components
  • Improvement in vitality and stamina
  • Increase in levels of testosterone in males
  • Increase in the male sperm count
  • Prevention and reversal of the effects of Andropause
  • Balance in the ratio of Estrogen to Testosterone levels in both men and women
  • Prevention of prostate disease
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
  • Promotion of liver cell activity in order to help with detoxification and rehabilitation
  • Regulation of body metabolism
  • Improvement of overall health due to boosts in the immune system

The ability of pine pollen to eliminate sexual dysfunction is one that is especially important to men and is the result of an increase in the androgen levels. While this is something that will naturally occur during the aging process, it can also occur in younger men as well and thus result in impotence. As long as there are no health issues that are causing the impotence, adding pine pollen to the diet can certainly improve the male’s sexual function as well as his ability to produce healthy sperm cells.

Pine Pollen is rich in vitamins and minerals

As a nutritive, Pine Pollen can be consumed in large amounts to derive any of the wide range of vitamins and minerals it contains, such as Vitamins A B-Carotene, B1, B2, B3, B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. Its host of minerals include Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Phosphorous, Potassium, Selenium, Silicon, Sodium, and Zinc. Oh, and another plus: Pine Pollen contains over twenty amino acids and all eight essential amino acids!

Not only is Pine Pollen ultra-rich in vitamins and minerals, while also being a medicine you can take on an on-going basis, but Pine Pollen enhances an array of bodily functions while assisting in preventing degenerative conditions as well. Pine Pollen has the potential to increase immune and endocrine function, reduce sensitivity to pain, lower cholesterol, stimulate liver regeneration; it is an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal effects and anti-tumor.

Weight Loss

As people age weight loss becomes more difficult, usually because of an ineffective metabolism. When the metabolism is working at peak performance it is much easier for you to lose weight, but it often slows down as we grow older —sometimes this is because we are no longer as active as we once were, but this is not always the case. Consumption of pine pollen can help with weight management as well as weight loss, both of which are essential components in maintaining optimum health and helping reduce the potential for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes among other health concerns.

In order to improve your overall health it is necessary to choose a product that has an abundance of those nutrients that have the proven ability to improve your health in many different ways. You can only accomplish that when you consume a food that includes potent amounts of those nutrients that are proven to completely improve a person’s overall health. Adding pine pollen to your every day diet will help you not only feel healthier and more energetic but will also improve your general health and help prevent a number of illnesses and health conditions.

Pine pollen contains over 200 bioactive nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help unlock peak physical and mental health. Pine Pollen has been a staple in Chinese and Korean medicine for more than 2,000 years and has been shown to restore energy, eliminate signs of aging, battle fatigue, and build a strong immune system.

Pine Pollen can be consumed daily to help restore a healthy endocrine system and balance androgen and estrogen levels.

There are many good reasons to develop the habit of consuming pine pollen—it is proven to be nature’s most potent supplement for many different reasons. It is definitely a product that will improve your overall health using the most potent and nutritious plant known to man. There are many health benefits a person can derive from the consumption of pine pollen, a product that has been in use throughout most of the world for centuries. However, if you are seeking to increase the level of testosterone in your body, pine pollen tincture is the best form of the product.

If you are seeking to improve your overall health, you certainly want to consume pine pollen powder in either its raw form or in the form of capsules you can purchase in a health food store. However, if you are only seeking to increase your testosterone level, the best thing you can consume is pine pollen tincture which consists of pine pollen powder combined with alcohol in specific concentrations in order to meet individual needs.

Low Testosterone

While most people equate low testosterone levels with impotence or sterility, the truth is that low testosterone levels are responsible for many other health problems as well. Another misconception is that only males possess this hormone. While testosterone is certainly the male hormone, it is also present in females as well. When men and women do not possess sufficient levels of testosterone, it can cause many different health problems that are not even closely related to sexual dysfunction. In fact, sexual dysfunction is a minor complication when you place it side by side with some of the other health problems people with low testosterone levels might experience.


There are many reasons men and women may suffer from low testosterone levels, but in men the contributing factors seem to be age and diet. Somewhere between age 30 and 40 the testosterone levels in men begins to diminish. Many foods we eat contain high levels of phyto-estrogen, a component that actually lowers the testosterone level in men and women. For men that means they are not only battling declining testosterone levels because they are getting older, but they have the additional problem of consuming foods that lower those levels even more.

One of the most important things to remember is that low testosterone levels will cause many different problems up to and including the following:
•    Increases cholesterol
•    Increases the rate of aging and/or causes premature aging
•    Causes irregularities in blood sugar levels
•    Contributes to loss of tissue and bone
•    Reduces the energy level
•    Contributes to weight gain and increased estradiol in males (a factor that leads to the development of prostate cancer)
•    Reduces vitality and contributes to reduced bone mass in women

According to testing conducted on hormones, research proves that the most aggressive males are those who suffer from low testosterone levels. These low testosterone levels are also very likely to cause men to also become withdrawn and absent emotionally while men who possess normal testosterone levels tend to be calmer, more sociable and have the desire to be caring and sharing individuals.

Both men and women who get into the habit of coming pine pollen tincture or pine pollen powder will find the problem is much less severe if not non-existent.  Pine pollen allows people to enjoy life without the problems they suffered because of low levels of testosterone.

Traditional properties:

Androgenic: stimulates anabolic endocrine activity.

Nutritive/Tonic: Western/Asian herbalism terms for herbal adaptogens, meaning it has no toxicity over long term use.

Aphrodisiac:promotes a healthy and high libido.

Lung tonic: boosts the immune system and beautifies the skin which are both controlled by the Lung organ system in Asian medicine.

Kidney tonic: very rejuvenative to the brain, hair, bones and endocrine system which are controlled by the Kidney organ system in Asian medicine.

Liver tonic: stimulates liver regeneration and regulates bile secretion which are controlled by the Liver organ system in Asian medicine.

Heart tonic: increases cardiovascular endurance, raises blood levels of Superoxide Dismutase and lowers cholesterol.

Spleen tonic: Nourishes the muscles and increases metabolism which are both governed by the Spleen organ system in Asian medicine.

Pine pollen powder has been used extensively in traditional cultures throughout Asia. The earliest mention of pine tree pollen’s medicinal use is in Chinese herbalism from the classic text “The Pandects of Materia Medica” by Shen Nong. The benefits of pine pollen have also been used by the Koreans where it is sold in boxes much like baking soda or other baking ingredients. It is used in food for it’s amazing mineralization and adaptogenic properties.

To date there is no information about pine pollen powder’s history of use in Western herbalism, Native American herbalism or Ayurvedic herbalism. All of these systems have used pine nuts medicinally (which are mildly androgenic) and Native American herbalism uses the inner bark of pine trees as a food and medicine as well.

Has anyone else ever heard of pine pollen being a natural source of testosterone? I had a conversation with someone at a local health store recently who made that claim. Having never heard of it, I decided to google “Pine pollen testosterone.”

I found sites that also make this claim. One of them, which does not sell any pine pollen (ruling out a conflict of interest) said:

“Pine pollen contains extremely high levels of steroid like substances. The most potent of these are the brassinosteroids.” It goes on to claim that pine pollen ” contains significant amounts of bio-active DHEA, androsterone, and testosterone” and that the “total amount of testosterone in the pine species P. tabulaeformis is 27 nanograms per 0.1 grams of dry weight.”

Raw pine pollen is the richest seedbed of testosterone derived from plants; since it is the male sperm of pine trees, it fosters plush growth in all living creatures, from trees and plants, to animals, to humans. Some experts claim that pine pollen is an ingredient in certain pharmaceuticals designed to treat low testosterone levels in both men and women.

Low testosterone in either gender may cause an increase in bad cholesterol levels, premature aging, tissue and bone loss, highs and lows in blood sugar levels, decreased levels of aerobic energy, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. In men, low testosterone may increase their chances for developing prostate cancer due to the simultaneous increase in estradiol in the body.

The reasons for low testosterone in either sex are varied. For men, the largest contributing factors are nutritional intake and age. In their 30s and 40s, males typically experience andropause, a term coined in the late 1960s, meaning male menopause, or a decline in the synthesis of androgenic hormones, especially testosterone. Nutrition-related onset of lower testosterone levels in both men and women is typically due to an over consumption of foods with too much phyto-estrogen for the body.

Pine pollen can provide the opportunity for endocrine hormonal balance, i.e. the ratio of testosterone to estrogen, within humans, thus reversing the troubling effects associated with the imbalances that cause quality of life to decrease. This is done mainly through the phyto-androgens in pine pollen, including androstenedione, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and androsterone. The conditions of diabetes, high cholesterol and fatigue have all been improved through the biological and nutritional mechanisms provided by routine consumption of pine pollen.

Raw, natural pine pollen is considered part of a nutritional program aimed at boosting energy and vitality during the aging process, and as such, consumers may experience an overhaul of their entire physiological system. Pine pollen is not a medicine, per se; however, some men use this nutrient-dense natural substance to successfully increase sperm count through more balanced hormones.

Outside of a stronger sexual libido due to more testosterone in men, pine pollen advocates tout skin rejuvenation, improved immune systems and other anti-aging benefits of continued supplementation. Some elements within pine pollen even work to detoxify cells by breaking down toxins in the body.

Many consumers wonder about endocrine shutdown with pine pollen. Endocrine shutdown occurs when the glands atrophy due to the fact that they are not being used. If the gland detects enough of a certain hormone, it will cease production, and eventually atrophy or shrink. This can happen with overuse of steroids or man-made hormones because these are molecularly identical to those that the body produces. Pine pollen’s molecular structure, i.e. the androgens, is not identical to that of the body; however, it is similar enough to produce beneficial health effects, without the risk of gland cessation of production.

Pine pollen is easily absorbed by the body when taken in powder or tincture form. If the powder taste is not palatable, pine pollen can be mixed in drinks. The tincture form is considered more potent and uses organic grape alcohol as its liquid base.

Pine pollen is produced by pine trees in the hundreds of millions of tons every year.

But the fascinating thing about it is that it has testosterone in it, an extremely natural form identical to the testosterone in our bodies.

There are two ways you can take pine pollen as a natural supplement to increase testosterone.

The Chinese have used it for at least 3,000 years for helping male vitality and libido and reproductive problems.

The method they used for supplementing naturally was simply to take it as a food.

You see, pine pollen is actually a very potent food source loaded with protein, vitamins and enzymes.

Consuming it regularly in the diet will begin to naturally raise testosterone levels and tone the reproductive system.

Another method for taking pine pollen as a natural supplement to raise testosterone is to use an alcoholic tincture you take orally.

All you do is hold the tincture dosage in your mouth for about 30 seconds to 1 minute and then swallow it.

Consuming it this way, the supplement goes right through the mucus membranes of the mouth and the throat into the bloodstream, bypassing the stomach where it may have been destroyed.

Men with low testosterone will see an increase in testosterone levels in about 20 to 30 minutes along with a noticeable upsurge of vitality as the supplement begins to correct testosterone imbalances almost right away.

peppermint

Peppermint Information

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita). While peppermint is often used to flavor foods, it can also be helpful for the relief of bloating, gastrointestinal upset and headaches. Drinking peppermint tea can help relieve indigestion and eliminate gas, which contributes to bloating. Peppermint oil is also used for irritable bowel syndrome and could prove helpful with PMS-related bowel conditions. Additionally, rubbing peppermint oil on temples relaxes muscles and helps soothes headaches.

Peppermint is a famous antispasmodic for digestive cramps, while its essential oil is used as a local topical anesthetic in commercial ointments (Solarcaine and Ben-Gay, for example).

Germany’s Commission E authorizes use of oral peppermint oil for treating colicky pain in the digestive tract of adults. However, peppermint oil shouldn’t be used for colic in newborn babies, as it can cause jaundice.


Researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia report that peppermint activates an “anti-pain” channel in the colon. This contributes to relief of pain from inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

“Our research shows that peppermint acts through a specific anti-pain channel called TRPM8 to reduce pain-sensing fibers, particularly those activated by mustard and chili,” Dr. Stuart Brierley said in a university news release.

“This is potentially the first step in determining a new type of mainstream clinical treatment for irritable bowel syndrome. This is a debilitating condition and affects many people on a daily basis, particularly women who are twice as likely to experience irritable bowel syndrome,” Brierley added.

Peppermint is often recommended by alternative medicine practitioners as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.

Common Benefits
  • Results from several studies suggest that peppermint oil may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
  • A few studies have found that peppermint oil, in combination with caraway oil, may help relieve indigestion, but this evidence is preliminary.
  • Although there are some promising results, there is no clear-cut evidence to support the use of peppermint oil for other health conditions.

Several double-blind studies of individuals with irritable bowel syndrome demonstrate peppermint can significantly relieve painful abdominal cramps, bloating and flatulence. In the largest study, reported in the Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers administered either enteric-coated peppermint oil or a placebo to 110 individuals three to four times daily, 15 to 30 minutes before meals, for four weeks. The study found peppermint significantly reduced abdominal discomfort.

Take a 0.2- to 0.4-ml enteric-coated peppermint capsule three times daily. (Enteric coating prevents stomach upset.) For mild stomach discomfort, try a tea from fresh or dried peppermint leaves. The menthol in peppermint relaxes the muscles. Its antispasmodic and analgesic effects also can help relieve headaches, possibly including migraines, when applied to the forehead or temples—dilute about 3 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.

Peppermint is also known as: Mentha piperita, Bo He.


oil of oregano

Oregano Oil Information

Oregano oil has potent antioxidant activities and thereby wonderful to be taken together with colon cleansing treatment as it helps to neutralize free radicals that are present in the colon. Being a very strong anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent, Oregano oil is effective in fighting off potentially fatal overgrowth of bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E-coli) and Salmonella enteric. Oregano oil also contains anti-parasitic activity that can aid to eliminate intestinal parasites and can fight pain and inflammation. Oregano oil, also called Oreganol, prevents fungal growth in the colon through its powerful anti-fungal property. When the colon is being cleansed, the body’s internal system may become fragile, oil of Oregano helps to strengthen the immune system to fight or prevent colds. It also enhances the digestive system helping to prevent diarrhea, food poisoning and other digestive problems too.

What are the Benefits of Oil of Oregano?

The ancient Greeks were one of the first people to recognize this oil for its health benefits and medicinal qualities. It is known to be a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic oil that can reduce pain and inflammation and effectively fight off infections.

Oil of Oregano has been shown to be effective against Candida and yeast infections.  Including Candida brought on by mold infestations.  Many foods that actually nourish candida/yeast infection. The biggest villains are sugar and white flour products, refined foods, and commercially processed meats, which are full of hormones.

Some of the specific benefits of Oil of Oregano are:

  • Destroying organisms that contribute to skin infections and digestive problems.
  • Strengthening the immune system.
  • Increasing joint and muscle flexibility.
  • Improving respiratory health.

Research

Numerous university studies have shown that Oil of Oregano is a highly potent purifier that provides many benefits for human health. It is a natural substance that is extracted from wild oregano plants, and two key compounds found in it are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds have significant effects on harmful micro-organisms that cause many illnesses in humans.  Studies conducted by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., have shown that the wild, mountain-grown oregano used by North American Herb & Spice is an excellent anti-fungal agent, completely killing Candida albicans in concentrations as minimal as 0.25 mg/ml. It also is much safer to use than popular anti-fungal drugs on the market. Further studies are pending.

A University of Tennessee study also shows the Oregano oil has power anti-fungal properties

Types of Oregano

It is important not to confuse Oil of Oregano with common oregano that is used as a spice for cooking. Common oregano is typically Origanum Marjoram, while Oil of Oregano is derived from Origanum Vulgare.

Oil of Oregano can be purchased as either a liquid or as capsules/tablets. In both forms, it is important to verify that the oil is derived from the proper potent oregano plant, and that the carvacrol concentration is at least 70%.

Always take Oregano oil within the stated normal dosage requirements. High doses of Oregano oil are toxic to the liver. Take Oregano oil under the guidance of your doctor to be safe. Due to the many benefits and germ-fighting powers, it is not just sensible but very advantageous to include oregano oil supplements in your diet while you get your colon cleansed.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects are minimal. However, allergic reactions to oreganol oil and even a sensitivity to plants in the Labiatae family (thyme, basil, hyssop, marjoram, mint, sage) can occur. Stop taking oregano oil (and any form of oregano) if signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction develop.

Kava Bowl

Kava Information

Kava Kava (piper methysticum) is native to the islands of South Pacific, the root of the kava plant has been used as a social and ceremonial drink with an alcohol-like effect for centuries. Kava is known for its tranquilizing qualities and is often used to treat anxiety. Kava has also been used to treat conditions such as insomnia, epilepsy, psychosis, depression, migraines, muscle pain and menstrual discomfort. In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about kava’s safety for human consumption. Talk to your health care provider before beginning use of kava supplements


How to Take Kava Kava:

Kava kava is available in the form of beverages, extracts, capsules, tablets and topical solutions.

Dosage Guidelines for Kava Kava:

In 2002, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about kava’s safety for human consumption. Talk to your health care provider before beginning use of kava supplements.  Dosage guidelines recommend not exceeding 250 mg of the supplement within a 24-hour period.

Who Shouldn’t Take Kava Kava:

Kava kava is not recommended for:

  • pregnant or nursing women
  • children under age 18
  • people with liver disease, liver problems, or those taking drugs that affect the liver
  • people taking prescription monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)

Medication Interactions With Kava Kava:

You should not mix alcohol with kava kava. Kava kava has the potential to interact with drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, drowsiness may occur if combined withbenzodiazepines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Risks Associated with Kava Kava:



Side effects are rare but may include drowsiness, headache, stomach upset, dizziness and sensitivity to ultraviolet light sources.  A consumer advisory was released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on March 25th, 2002 warning that kava-containing dietary supplements may be associated with severe liver injury. The advisory was based on reports from a number of countries including Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada and the UK where at least 25 cases of liver toxicity were reported. In addition, many countries have instituted bans on the sale of products containing kava kava.
  • Kava has been reported to cause liver damage, including hepatitis and liver failure (which can cause death).
  • Kava has been associated with several cases of dystonia (abnormal muscle spasm or involuntary muscle movements). Kava may interact with several drugs, including drugs used for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Long-term and/or heavy use of kava may result in scaly, yellowed skin.
  • Avoid driving and operating heavy machinery while taking kava because the herb has been reported to cause drowsiness.
  • Tell your health care providers about any complementary and alternative practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.


Fibromyalgia Remedies

Herbs and Supplements for Fibromyalgia

Managing the symptoms of fibromyalgia or related ailments is not easy. So, many patients turn to alternative therapies for relief of pain and sleep problems. They may use Chinese herbs or over-the-counter supplements such as 5-HTP, melatonin, and SAM-e.

Because so many people — not just those with fibromyalgia – are using alternative therapies, Congress has formed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). It is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and it helps appraise alternative treatments, including supplements, and define their effectiveness. This organization is now creating safe guidelines to help people choose appropriate alternative therapies that may help their symptoms without making them ill.

Coping with Fibromyalgia

Because of a multifaceted treatment approach that involves medications and lifestyle strategies, the prognosis for people with fibromyalgia is better than ever before. But first, a doctor needs to make an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia.

Are Herbs and Supplements for Fibromyalgia Safe and Effective?

Some preliminary studies indicate that some medicinal herbs and natural supplements may help treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. Other studies of herbs and natural supplements, though, are less positive. If you want to take a natural approach to treating fibromyalgia, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the therapies you consider. The herbs and natural supplements described in this article are just some of the alternative therapies that may have an impact on fibromyalgia.

How Does 5-HTP Help Fibromyalgia Pain?

5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a building block of serotonin. Serotonin is a powerful brain chemical, and serotonin levels play a significant role in fibromyalgia pain. Serotonin levels are also associated with depression and sleep.

For those with fibromyalgia, 5-HTP may help to increase deep sleep and reduce pain. In one study published in the Alternative Medicine Review, researchers reported that supplementation with 5-HTP may improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fibromyalgia pains. However, there are some contradictory studies that show no benefit with 5-HTP.

5-HTP is usually well tolerated. But in the late 1980s, the supplement was associated with a serious condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. It’s thought that a contaminant in 5-HTP led to the condition, which causes flu-like symptoms, severe muscle pain, and burning rashes.

Can Melatonin Help Relieve Sleep Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia?

Melatonin is a natural hormone that’s available as an over-the-counter supplement. It is sometimes used to induce drowsiness and improve sleep patterns. Some preliminary findings show that melatonin may be effective in treating fibromyalgia pain. Most patients with fibromyalgia have sleep problems and fatigue, and it’s thought that melatonin may help relieve these symptoms.

Melatonin is generally regarded as safe with few to no side effects. Due to the risk of daytime sleepiness, though, anyone taking melatonin should use caution when driving until they know how it affects them.

Is St. John’s Wort a Helpful Fibromyalgia Herb?

There’s no specific evidence that St. John’s wort is helpful in treating fibromyalgia. However, this herb is often used in treating depression, and depression is commonly associated with fibromyalgia. There are several studies that show St. John’s wort is more effective than placebo and as effective as older antidepressants called tricyclics in the short-term treatment of mild or moderate depression. Other studies show St. John’s wort is as effective as selective SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft in treating depression. St John’s wort is usually well tolerated. The most common side effects are stomach upset, skin reactions, and fatigue. St. John’s wort should not be mixed with antidepressants and can cause interactions with many types of drugs. If you’re on medication, check with your doctor before taking St. John’s wort or any supplement. In addition, be careful about taking St. John’s wort with other drugs, including antidepressants, as it could make you ill.


How Can SAM-e Help Fibromyalgia Pain and Depression?

It’s not known exactly how SAM-e works in the body. Some feel this natural supplement increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, two brain neurotransmitters. Although some researchers believe that SAM-e may alter mood and increase restful sleep, current studies do not appear to show any benefit of SAM-e over placebo in reducing the number of tender points or in alleviating depression with fibromyalgia. Additional study is needed to confirm these findings.

Can L-carnitine Help Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

The studies are limited, but it’s thought that L-carnitine may give some pain relief and treat other symptoms in people with fibromyalgia. In one study, researchers evaluated the effectiveness of L-carnitine in 102 patients with fibromyalgia. Results showed significantly greater symptom improvements in the group that took L-carnitine than in the group that took a placebo. The researchers concluded that while more studies are warranted, L-carnitine may provide pain relief and improvement in the general and mental health of patients with fibromyalgia.

What About the Effect of Probiotics on Digestive Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia?

Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain potentially beneficial bacteria or yeasts. They may assist with the breakdown and proper absorption of food and help improve digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome – a common symptom of fibromyalgia. Some of the ways probiotics are used include:

  • treating diarrhea
  • preventing and treating infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract
  • treating irritable bowel syndrome

Side effects of taking probiotics are usually mild and include gas or bloating.

There are other herbs and natural supplements that people say have helpedmanage fibromyalgia symptoms. They include echinacea, black cohosh, cayenne, lavender, milk thistle, and B vitamins. Nevertheless, there are no definitive studies on the efficacy of these natural therapies.

How Can I Know Which Herb or Natural Supplement Will Help my Fibromyalgia?

Before taking any herb or supplement for fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects or herb-drug interactions. Herbal therapies are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems. In addition, some herbs have sedative or blood-thinning qualities, which may dangerously interact with anti-inflammatory painkillers or other pain medications. Others may cause stomach upset if taken in large doses.

Evening Primrose Oil

Evening Primrose Information

 EPO is used to relieve PMS symptoms and some arthritis-related conditions, although there is not a lot of scientific evidence about using EPO for those conditions. The strongest evidence for EPO is for treating eczema. Evening primrose is a wildflower that grows throughout the U.S. Although Native Americans used the seeds for food and made poultices from the whole plant to heal bruises, evening primrose oil (EPO) has only recently been used as medicine. European settlers took the root back to England and Germany, where it was eaten as food. Evening primrose oil is found in the plant’s seeds and is high in the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Essential fatty acids — such as omega-6, found in EPO, and omega-3, found in fish oil — are used as building blocks for a number of molecules in the body. Your body needs a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for good health. In addition to evening primrose oil, GLA is found in borage oil and black currant oil.

Plant Description:

A circle of leaves grows close to the ground around evening primrose stems after the first year it is planted. Flowers bloom after sunset, June through September, or on overcast days during the second year. The leaves grow on both sides of the stem at alternating levels. This monograph focuses on the seed from which the oil is extracted.

What’s It Made Of?:

Evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds and prepared as medicine using a chemical called hexane. The seeds have up to 25% essential fatty acids including linoleic acid (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Both LA and GLA belong to the omega-6 family of fatty acids. The body needs a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) to stay healthy. Most North Americans get too much omega-6 fatty acids in their diet. However, there are different types of omega-6 fatty acids. Some are more healthy, such as those found in evening primrose oil. Other sources of GLA include spirulina (a blue-green algae), borage, hemp, and black currant oils.

Medicinal Uses and Indications:

EPO is used mostly to relieve the itchiness causes by certain skin conditions, such as eczema and dermatitis. It is also used to ease breast tenderness from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or other causes. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) Many women throughout the world take Evening primrose oil (EPO) to reduce symptoms of PMS, although there isn’ t any real scientific evidence that it works. In one review of 10 studies that used EPO to treat PMS, only two were well designed. Both of those studies found that EPO had no effect on PMS symptoms. Better studies are needed to know for sure. Eczema Eczema symptoms include redness and scaling in addition to itching. More than 30 human studies report the benefits of EPO for eczema and dermatitis. A study of 1,207 patients found that EPO helped relieve symptoms from skin conditions, including itching, crusting, edema (fluid, swelling), and redness. EPO can be used in children and adults with skin conditions. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) Although a few studies have found that people with RA who took EPO felt better, the studies were hampered by poor design and high drop-out rates. Also, there wasn’ t any evidence that taking EPO actually helped slow down the joint damage that happens with RA. Rheumatoid arthritis should be treated with conventional medications, to slow down or stop permanent joint damage. Raynaud’ s phenomenon One small study suggests that taking EPO may help reduce symptoms in some people with Raynaud’ s phenomenon. But the study found no difference in hand temperature between people who took EPO and those who took placebo. More studies are needed. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a nerve condition where people with diabetes have numbness, tingling, pain, burning, or lack of sensation in their feet and legs. Two studies have found that GLA may help reduce symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Breast pain Although there is not a lot of scientific evidence, Evening primrose oil (EPO) is widely used to treat breast pain (mastalgia) in a number of European countries. A few studies have found that EPO seemed to help, but they have not been well-designed studies. Other studies show no benefit. Menopausal symptoms Although EPO has gotten popular for treating hot flashes, there is no scientific evidence that it actually helps.

Many midwives suggest evening primrose oil for their pregnant patients, since this herb can help the cervix thin and dilate and prep it for labor. You can take evening primrose oil capsules, or rub the oil onto your cervix during the last weeks of pregnancy. You can even insert the capsules into your vagina. But be sure to talk to your practitioner before trying evening primrose oil — women with placenta previashould stay away from the herb. There are other herbs — like red raspberry leaf and black cohosh — that also can induce labor naturally. However, no studies have been done to establish their safety. In fact, reports have suggested that some may even cause harm to a fetus — so don’t use any herbs without getting the green light from your doctor or midwife first.

Available Forms:

EPO is available as an oil or in capsules. EPO products should be kept in the refrigerator and out of direct sunlight to prevent the oil from becoming rancid. Generally, high-quality oil will be certified as organic by a reputable third party, packaged in light-resistant containers, refrigerated, and marked with a freshness date. EPO should be standardized to contain 8% gamma-linolenic acid.

How to Take It:

The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, contain components that can trigger side effects and that can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care, under the supervision of a health care provider qualified in the field of botanical medicine. Adult Take 2 – 8 grams of EPO daily, standardized to contain 8% GLA. Ask your health care provider to help you determine the right dose for you.

Precautions:

EPO is generally safe when used in recommended dosages. Reported side effects are rare and mild, and include nausea, stomach pain, and headache. Stomach pain and loose stools may mean that the dose is too high. Don’ t use omega-6 supplements, including GLA and EPO, if you have epilepsy or another seizure disorder because there have been reports of these supplements bringing on seizures. Don’ t take EPO if you have bleeding problems or a blood disorder. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should ask their doctors before taking EPO.

Risks

If you are currently being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use EPO without first talking to your health care provider. Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants) – EPO may raise the risk of bleeding, especially if you take blood-thinners such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), and clopidogrel (Plavix). Blood pressure medications – EPO may lower blood pressure in some people, although researchers aren’ t sure. If you take medications to treat high blood pressure, ask your doctor before taking EPO. Phenothizines – People who take a class of medications called phenothiazines to treat schizophrenia should not take EPO because it may increase the risk of seizures. Medications to control seizures – EPO may lower the threshold for seizures, so people who are prone to seizures should not take it. Antidepressants – It’ s possible, although researchers aren’ t sure, that EPO may interact with some antidepressants, including selective serotonin uptake inhibitors such as:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

Alternative Names:

Oenothera biennis; Sun drop

Dong Quai Information

Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) is one of the most powerful females tonic and fertility herbs. Dong Quai tonifies and strengthens the uterus by regulating hormonal control, improving uterine tone, and improving the timing of the menstrual cycle.

This Chinese herb made from the root of a carrot-like plant is often referred to as the “female ginseng” because of its use as an overall tonic for women’s health in Chinese medicine. Dong quai has developed a reputation for helping with fatigue and premenstrual irritability. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) root has been used for more than a thousand years as a spice, tonic, and medicine in China, Korea, and Japan. It is still used often in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), where it is usually combined with other herbs. In TCM it is used most often to treat women’s reproductive problems, such as dysmenorrhea or painful menstruation, and to improve circulation. Dong quai is sometimes called the “female ginseng.” Although there are few scientific studies on dong quai, it is sometimes suggested to relieve cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, infrequent periods, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopausal symptoms.

Menopausal symptoms

Some women report relief of symptoms such as hot flashes when taking dong quai. Researchers aren’t sure whether dong quai has estrogen-like effects or if it blocks estrogens in the body, and the studies so far have been conflicting.

Other Benefits

Dong quai has also been suggested for these conditions, although there isn’ t good scientific evidence:

  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
  • Heart disease — One study suggested that a combination of dong quai, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), and astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) decreased symptoms of chest pain in a small group of people with heart disease.
  • High blood pressure
  • Premature ejaculation — as one ingredient in a cream applied topically

Dong Quai works by promoting blood flow to the pelvis where it will stimulate an absent or scanty period. It also nourishes the blood (it is in nearly all Chinese herbal blood-building formulas). Treats iron deficiency and anemia. One of the best uses is it helps women who are not menstruating to invite there menstruation back. The increased circulation also helps to strengthen and balance the uterus. In rat studies it has been show to help build the uterus lining.

Dong Quai also has a relaxing effect on both the uterus and the nervous system. This can be helpful in situations such as PMS and cramping during your period. It’s relaxing effects are just as powerful as well known herbs lavender, chamomile, or valerian root.

Risks

Anticoagulants (blood-thinners) – Dong quai may make the effects of these drugs, including warfarin (Coumadin), stronger, and raise the risk of bleeding. The same is true of using dong quai with the herbs listed below. Talk to your doctor before taking dong quai with any of the following:

  • Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
  • Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis)
  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Hormone medications – There is little research on using dong quai with hormone medications, such as estrogens, progesterones, oral contraceptives, tamoxifen, or raloxifene (Evista). But, because dong quai may have estrogen-like effects, you should not take it with hormone medications except under your doctor’s supervision.

St. John’s wort – Both dong quai and St. John’s wort can increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Talk to your doctor before taking them together.

Common Names:

Angelica sinensis; Chinese angelica; Danggui; Tan kue bai zhi; Tang kuei


Dandelion Information

Women who suffer from bloating may try dandelion root to ease the discomfort, according to a medical expert.

Dr Sarah Brewer, a GP from Guernsey, told the Telegraph that there are many causes of bloating, which means there are many solutions.

“Mild diuretics such as dandelion root can help,” said Dr Brewer.  “A supplement of magnesium is also very helpful”

Dandelion root is an ingredient in some weight loss pills, such as Adios, which aids slimming by acting on the body’s metabolism.

All parts of the dandelion are used for food and medicine, the roots are roasted and used in herbal decoctions, the leaves and crowns for salads and cooked greens, the flowers for making dandelion wine, and the juice to cure warts and blisters. A complex array of nutrients and phytochemicals are the source of dandelion’s many valuable medicinal properties. Dandelion leaves provide vitamins A and C, (the vitamin A content is higher than that of carrots)

Dandelion flowers are one of the best sources of lecithin, a nutrient that elevates the brains acetylcholine and may play a role in boosting memory and mental focus. Lecithin is also good for liver problems. Dandelion root taraxacin, a hepatic stimulant, insulin, as sugar, lacvulin, choline (a basic constituent of lecithin), phytosterols, (which prevent the body from accumulating cholesterol), and potash, (a diuretic). The dandelion plant is also great source of bone-building nutrients, boron, calcium and silicon

The benefits of dandelion, the common weed known as: Taraxacum officinale, are wide. From the prevention of breast cancer to the help of eczema-like skin problems, this common weed is a miracle plant that shouldn’t be ignored.

Dandelions pop up in lawns and fields throughout the world. They are everywhere! Children the world round have spent many an hour blowing the seed heads and counting the puffs to determine the time. However, due to its medicinal propertiesthe dandelion is not seen as a weed to get rid of but rather a herb to cultivate. It is cultivated in China, France and Germany.

Dandelions are interesting plants. Their yellow flowers close up tight when rain is soon to fall and there are a number of variations in leaf characteristics. Some are darker green and slightly furry, with rounded serrations, some are brilliant green, less hardy in hot weather, with sharply-indented longer leaves, but all have the same medicinal value.

In Italy and other European countries well know the benefits of dandelions, and you will see women bent in the fields in spring picking the tender dandelions for salads. And for those growing this herb for herbal medicines the plant is harvested fordandelion tea and tinctures in the early summer before the plant blooms.Dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale), an excellent diuretic, helps eliminate excess water from the system, relieving the symptoms of bloating. The leaf contains natural potassium so does not deplete potassium in the system as do synthetic diuretics.

Dosage: 1 cup 2-3 x daily; tinctures and capsules also available. Note: Although dandelion may relieve the symptoms of bloating, it is important to take an herb such as vitex which will simultaneously be working on a deeper level to rebalance the hormones.