The Herbal Medicine Chest
I have added this page, not because I want you to rush out and use these herbs. If you decide that Natural Medicine is the way forward for you then the best thing to do is go and seek the advice of an experienced medical herbalist.
I chose to study herbal medicine, by myself, for myself.
Each person is unique and only you can really understand your body.
The intention of putting these herbs on here is that these are just the ones I have used. The ones that helped me and maybe could help you too.
I have studied the properties of each one and I would encourage you to be interested in the actions of any natural remedies that you pick for yourself or that you are prescribed. Perhaps it would be worth being more than interested but actually studying the herbs in a little more detail.
Doing this means that you can be in control.
This way you are informed and therefore understand the impact of any treatments.
There are many, many more herbs that would work equally as well.
The bonus is that there is nothing in them that is not natural. Nothing man made with difficult side effects.
As always, please remember that whenever taking any medications whether they be synthetic or natural remedies please always consult with your doctor. Keep a good relationship with the practitioner so that you can work together to find the best solution to treat your symptoms.
Also, it is important to remember that some remedies may be contra-indicated in case of pregnancy or certain pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure or heart conditions.
This was one of the first herbs I used. We are all exposed to chemicals everyday. Some of them our bodies will manage to cope with whereas some of them will stay in our bodies and eventually our liver and other organs will object and start to rebel. Our body will eventually say enough is enough and its time to have a clear out.
Milk thistle was an excellent liver support while I was detoxing my body of heavy metals and nasty chemicals.
Cleavers is edible and medicinal, it has been used for centuries as an alternative medicine by indigenous peoples on many continents. Using the plant as a vegetable has a slimming effect on the body. Cleavers has a long history of use as an alternative medicine and is still used widely by modern herbalists. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of a wide range of ailments. The dried or fresh herb is alterative, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, aperient, astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, tonic and vulnerary. A valuable diuretic, it is often taken to treat skin problems such as seborrhoea, eczema and psoriasis, and as a general detoxifying agent in serious illnesses such as cancer. The plant contains organic acids, flavonoids, tannins, fatty acids, glycoside asperuloside, gallotannic acid and citric acid. It has a mild laxative effect and stimulates the lymphatic system and has shown benefit in skin related problems. The fresh plant or juice is used as a medicinal poultice for wounds, ulcers and many other skin problems. An infusion of the herb has shown of benefit in the treatment of glandular fever, tonsilitis, hepatitis and cystitis. The infusion is also used to treat liver, bladder and urinary problems. The plant contains the valuable constituent asperuloside, a substance that is converted into prostaglandins by the body. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels. Much more scientific research is being done on the plant it is of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica)
Gotu Kola does many things. Its a valuable herb for the Lupus sufferer because of its many and varied virtues.
Its actions include - Adaptogen, alterative, de-toxifier, powerful blood tonic and a relaxant to the central nervous system.
These actions are not all-inclusive of its actions but I chose to list these in particular as these are all vital to the healing of a person with auto immune disorders.
Espeically so with Lupus DILE it is important to detox, it is also extremely important to keep the nervous system healthy.
The adaptogen properties of the herb help the Lupus sufferer as they cope with stress. Anyone suffering with Lupus or indeed anyone caring for a sufferer will know how vital it is to keep stress to a minimum.
Natural substances in the form of plant medicines offer a gentle alternative to fast-acting synthetic chemical medicine in releasing the body's own source of energy to sustain the immune system.
Adaptogens are concerned with the therapeutic action of the whole plant which is considered to be greater than the sum of its parts. They may affect many different kinds of cels, whereas a chemical drug has a direct action upon a particular tissue or system.
Aaptogens are extremely powerful supportive agents against stress and its effects, initiating processes of regeneration of tissues and fluids.
Actually, the bit that I find so lovely about Gotu Kola is that it really does have a marvellous effect on the mature skin. It helps eliminate fine lines and wrinkles by boosting the production of collagen. Extra bonus!!
The flavonoids present in the flowers are helpful for high blood pressure, especially if associated with hardening of the arteries. It is a calming remedy, helpful in upper respiratory tract catarrh and colds, and it makes a relaxing bed-time drink. It is considered a specific remedy for easing face pain due to sinus infection. Suitable for children.
Seek advice if taking digoxin. High blood pressure should always be monitored by a healthcare professional.
Arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, sinusitis, catarrh, poor sleep, relaxant.
Passionflower is used for sleep problems (insomnia), gastrointestinal (GI) upset related to anxiety or nervousness, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal.
Passionflower is also used for seizures, hysteria, asthma, symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness and excitability, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, and pain relief.
In 1569, Spanish explorers discovered passionflower in Peru. They believed the flowers symbolized Christ’s passion and indicated his approval for their exploration. Passionflower is found in combination herbal products used as a sedative for promoting calmness and relaxation. Other herbs contained in these products include German chamomile, hops, kava, skullcap, and valerian.
I use hops within my blood pressure mix along with Lime flowers and Passion flower. It is an excellent anti-hypertension mix. Hops promote sleep and help calm nervous anxiety. The problem with Lupus is that the symptoms are so many that it is scary. It can cause anxiety to have all these varied symptoms. Any herb that can help keep anxiety to a minimum will be helpful to a sufferer.
For sufferers with large responsibilities, there will inevitably be anxieties. I always felt that I was too tired to care for my large family properly so this mix helped me to sleep which in turn helped to cope with the anxieties of everyday life.
Withania has traditionally been used to reduce STRESS and FATIGUE. Research suggests that it may help offset the physiological effects of ongoing STRESS (e.g. lowered IMMUNITY) by reducing circulating levels of STRESS hormones such as cortisol.
Its ability to enhance energy levels may be partially due to its iron content, and its documented ability to stimulate the production of red blood cells. These effects make it especially useful when anaemia or low iron levels are contributing to FATIGUE problems.
Withania has also traditionally been considered a tonic for the brain and memory, so is ideal for use by students and others who need to perform at their mental peak, especially under STRESSful circumstances.
Withania is rarely used alone, and is usually taken with other herbs. For example, to promote mental alertness it may be combined with memory tonics such as Brahmi, Ginkgo and Lemon balm. For STRESS-related FATIGUE, combining it with Siberian ginseng, Schizandra, Licorice, and Gotu kola may be more appropriate.
Withania is also sometimes incorporated into a multi-herbal tonic that works synergistically to support the functioning of all the body organs. Other herbs that are typically included in a blend like this include remedies for the digestive system (e.g. Globe artichoke and Ginger), immune system (astragalus), cardiovascular system (ginkgo and hawthorn), and nervous system (Siberian ginseng and Gotu kola).
This spice can be used to help treat inflammation. This is why I have it in my herbal medicine chest! I often used to get rheumatoid kind of pain and this saved me having to take painkillers.
It is also claimed that turmeric protects against liver diseases, stimulates the gallbladder and circulatory systems, reduces cholesterol levels, dissolves blood clots, helps stop external and internal bleeding, and relieves painful menstruation and angina.
Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric, has been found to be an antioxidant. These antioxidents can protect the body from free radicals, which can cause cancers in the body.
Early studies have shown that Curcumin can interfere with the development, growth and spread of cancers.
Care should be taken as with any other herb that you consult with a practitioner and with your GP. Prolonged used could cause problems and so should be used with caution. Particularly in people with blood disorders and those susceptible to kidney or gall stones.
The thing I love about Motherwort is this : "Drink Motherwort tea and live to be a constant source of astonishment and frustration to waiting heirs" A great quote isn't it?
It comes from Bartrams Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. This book is a treasure when beginning to study herbal medicine for yourself.
Well at least it is one that is extremely comprehensive when it comes to introducing herbs to the lay person.
Motherwort is a wonderful herb in helping to keep the body systems in good health.
An amazing herb. Most of us can easily grow this in our gardens too.
A Historical quote John Evenlyn rites,"Balm is sovereign for the brain. It strengthens the memory and powerfully chases way melancholy".
The thing is that it is a very good and effective anti-depressent. The reason why? At the same time as being anti-depressant it is also a nerve relaxant and a mild sedative.
Its further actions are many. Antispasmodic, antihistamine, strongly anti-viral, anti stress, anti flatulent, febrifuge (reduces temperature) and has a heart sedating effect.
It is also antibacterial especially against myco-bacterium phlei and streptococcus haemolytics.
The herb strengthens the brain in its resistance to shock and stress helps alleviate restlessness and fidgety limbs. Helps to cope with anxiety neurosis.