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Herbs in healing.

 by Richard Lawler




Baroness Barbara Young presents the diabetes prevention certifiate to Richard Lawler




Folklore

Many plants share a similaris simularum that means they have a signature in that some part of the plant resembles a part of the body that they often help heal.

Runes

Often of wood and used in rituals and for charming and divination. Runes are also used for activating Herbs.

Rhodiola enhances fitness and well-being under stressful conditions

A placebo-controlled, Russian clinical study showed that an extract of Rhodiola rosea enhanced physical fitness, improved neuro-motor test responses, reduced mental fatigue, and improved general well being in a group of healthy foreign medical students undergoing a stressful examination period.

The of 40 study participants, all Indian men between the ages of 17 and 19, were randomly assigned to take either placebo or Rhodiola extract at a dose of 50 mg twice daily.

The most significant differences between groups were seen in physical fitness, mental fatigue, neuro-motor tests, and well being; no significant differences were observed in results of correction tests or tapping speed tests. No adverse events were reported.

As the dose of Rhodiola employed in this study was lower than that used in previous studies, the researchers concluded, "...the study drug gave significant results compared to the placebo group but that the dose level probably was suboptimal." According to the authors, the majority of earlier studies on the anti-fatigue and performance-enhancing effects of Rhodiola utilised single doses more than three times higher than the dose used in their study. When used in psychiatric practice for the treatment of asthenic syndromes (weakness and debility), doses 15 times as high are used for periods of one to two months. Spasov AA, Wikman GK, Mandrikov VB, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine 2000; 7(2): 85-89.




Oolong tea helps in the treatment of stubborn atopic dermatitis
An open Japanese study suggests that consumption of oolong tea (Camellia sinensis) helps speed clearance of recalcitrant atopic dermatitis lesions. The 118 study participants continued their usual dermatologic treatments but also drank oolong tea (10 g steeped in 1000 mL water a day, divided into three doses). Beneficial results were noted after one to two weeks, and 74 (63%) of the participants showed marked to moderate improvement of lesions after one month. After 6 months, 64 patients (54%) still demonstrated a good response to treatment. The study builds on animal research showing that oral administration of green, black, or oolong tea suppressed allergic skin reactions. Uehara M, Sugiura J, Sakurai K. A trial of oolong tea in the managem.

Eleuthero improves lipid metabolism, physical fitness, and immune function
A Polish study in healthy volunteers showed that eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) was more effective than echinacea in improving parameters of cardiovascular health, fitness, and immune function after 30 days of treatment. The 50 study participants were randomly divided into two groups and treated with the eleuthero preparation Taigutan (a 1:1 ethanol extract at a dose of 25 drops three times daily) or the echinacea product Echinacin Madaus (40 drops three times daily) for 30 days. The eleuthero group had statistically significant reductions in levels of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, free fatty acids, triglycerides, and glucose compared with the echinacea group. There was also a statistically significant difference in immune system function among those taking eleuthero, as demonstrated by tests of phagocytic activity and spontaneous blastic transformation of lymphocytes, but only insignificant changes in numbers of lymphocytes able to stimulate cytokine production. In addition, spirometric tests of physical fitness were performed on 20 randomly selected participants. Those taking eleuthero showed statistically significant increases in maximal oxygen uptake after 30 days of treatment, compared with no change in the echinacea group. Szolomicki S, Samchowiec L, Wójcicki, et al. The influence of active components of Eleutherococcus on cellular defense and physical fitness in man.
Phytotherapy Research 2000; 14: 30-35.

Burdock is any of a group of biennial thistles in the genus Arctium, family Asteraceae. Common Burdock (A. minus) grows wild throughout most of North America, Europe and Asia.
Plants of the genus Arctium have dark green leaves that can grow up to 18" (45 cm) long. They are generally large, coarse and ovate, with the lower ones being heart-shaped. They are woolly underneath. The leafstalks are generally hollow. Arctium species generally flower from July through October.
The prickly heads of these Old World plants are noted for easily catching on to fur and clothing, thus providing an excellent mechanism for seed dispersal. Burrs cause local irritation and can possibly cause intestinal hairballs in pets. However, most animals avoid ingesting these plants.
A large number of species have been placed in genus Arctium at one time or another, but most of them are now classified in the related genus Cousinia. The precise limits between Arctium and Cousinia are hard to define; there is an exact correlation between their molecular phylogeny. The burdocks are sometimes confused with the cockleburs (genus Xanthium) and rhubarb (genus Rheum).
The roots of burdock, among other plants, are eaten by the larva of the Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli). The plant is used as a food plant by other Lepidoptera including Brown-tail, Coleophora paripennella, Coleophora peribenanderi, The Gothic, Lime-speck Pug and Scalloped Hazel.

Burdock Scientific classification
Kingdom Plantae  
Division:  Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida 
Order Asterales
Family Asteraceae
Genus: Arctium


Ddandelion is a short plant, usually with a yellow flower head and notched leaves. A dandelion flower head consists of many tiny flowers. The dandelion is native to Europe and Asia, and has spread to many other places. The dandelion is also known by its generic name Taraxacum. In Northern areas and places where the dandelion is not native, it reproduces asexually.

Dandelion :   Scientific Classification
Dandelion       
       
Scientific classification   
Kingdom Plantae
Division  Magnoliophyta  
Class Magnoliopsida  
Order:   Asterales   
Family Asteraceae 
Genus: Taraxacum


Elder (Elderflower) (Sambucus nigra)
Also known as common elder.
The use of herbal remedies, including the herb elder (elderflower) (also known as common elder), classified as Sambucus nigra, are popular as an alternative to standard Western allopathic medicine for a variety of problems, including herpes simplex (fever blisters), rheumatic problems as well as to soothe the respiratory tract.
Sambucus nigra is an effective remedy for various ailments, and this natural holistic approach to health is becoming more and more popular, but should NOT replace conventional medicine or prescription drugs.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a herbaceous flowering plant native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best known member of the nettle genus Urtica.
The taxonomy of stinging nettles in the genus Urtica has been confused, and older sources are likely to use a variety of systematic names for these plants. Formerly, more species were recognised than are now accepted. However, there are at least five clear subspecies, some formerly classified as separate species:
    U. dioica subsp. dioica (European stinging nettle). Europe, Asia, northern Africa.
    U. dioica subsp. afghanica. Southwestern and central Asia.
    U. dioica subsp. gansuensis. Eastern Asia (China).
    U. dioica subsp. gracilis (Ait.) Selander (American stinging nettle). North America.
    U. dioica subsp. holosericea (Nutt.) Thorne (hairy nettle). North America.
Other species names formerly accepted as distinct by some authors but now regarded as synonyms of U. dioica include U. breweri, U. californica, U. cardiophylla, U. lyalli, U. major, U. procera, U. serra, U. strigosissima, U. trachycarpa, and U. viridis. Other vernacular names include tall nettle, slender nettle, California nettle, jaggy nettle, burning weed, and bull nettle (a name shared by Cnidoscolus texanus and Solanum carolinense).
 

Young European stinging nettle
Stinging nettles are an herbaceous perennial, growing to 1-2 m tall in the summer and dying down to the ground in winter. It has very distinctively yellow, widely spreading roots. The soft green leaves are 3-15 cm long, with a strongly serrated margin, a cordate base and an acuminate tip. Both the leaves and the stems are covered with brittle, hollow, silky hairs that were formerly thought to contain formic acid as a defence against grazing animals. Recent research has revealed the cause of the sting to be from three chemicals - a histamine that irritates the skin, acetylcholine which causes a burning sensation and serotonin, that encourages the other two chemicals (Elliott 1997). Bare skin brushing up against a stinging nettle plant tends to break the delicate defensive hairs and release the trio of chemicals, usually resulting in a temporary and painful skin rash similar to poison ivy, though the nettles rash and duration are much weaker. It is possible to evade the sting by touching the middle of the leaf or by stroking in the same direction as the hairs.
Stinging nettles are abundant in northern Europe and much of Asia, usually found in the countryside. It is less gregarious in southern Europe and north Africa, where it is restricted by its need for moist soil. In North America it is widely distributed in Canada and the United States, where it is found in every province and state except for Hawaii and South Carolina[citation needed], and also can be found in northernmost Mexico. In North America the stinging nettle is far less common than in northern Europe. The European subspecies has been introduced into North America as well as South America.
In the UK stinging nettles have a strong association with human habitation and buildings. The presence of nettles may indicate that a building has been long abandoned. Human and animal waste may be responsible for elevated levels of phosphate in the soil, providing an ideal environment for stinging nettles. This seems particularly evident in Scotland where the sites of crofts razed to the ground during the Highland Clearances can still be identified.

Stinging nettle Urtica dioica subsp. dioica Scientific classification
       Kingdom:        Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class:  Magnoliopsida
Order Rosales 
Family Urticaceae
Genus Urtica
Species: U. dioica


D
etail of flowering stinging nettle.
Stinging nettle has many uses. It is used by many different cultures for a wide variety of purposes in herbal medicine. Cooking, crushing or chopping disables the stinging hairs. Stinging nettle leaves are tasty and high in nutrients. The young leaves are edible and make a very good pot-herb. The leaves are also dried and may be then be used to make a tisane, as can also be done with the nettle's flowers.
Nettle stems contain a bast fibre which has been traditionally used for the same purposes as linen, and is produced by a similar retting process.
Several folk remedies exist for the sting, with disputed effectiveness:

  1. Juice from the crushed leaf of dock (Rumex spp.), which commonly grows in association with nettles,   rubbed into the area helps.
  2. Both species of Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis and Impatiens pallida) can and have been used as preventatives and palliatives for Stinging Nettle rash. To do so, one can take the whole plant, crush it into a ball, and rub it onto the exposed area, or one can crush some jewelweed stems in a container, and then use a cotton ball to soak up the juice. The anti-inflammatory/fungicidal chemical in this plant is 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone.[1]
  3. Rubbing the underside of a fern leaf (which contains its spore pods or sori) on the afflicted area.
  4. Urinating on the affected area, as the ammoniac content of urine helps counteract the sting (Thiselton-Dyer 1889)
  5.  Immediately rubbing mud on the affected area and allow it to dry before brushing it clean.
  6.  Even quickly washing the affected area can help.
  7. A simple piece of ice can help relieve itchiness
Urtica dioica from Thomé, Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885
In England the stinging nettle is the only common stinging plant, and has found a place in several figures of speech in the English language. To "nettle" someone is to annoy them. Shakespeare's Hotspur urges that "out of this nettle, danger, we grasp this flower, safety" (Henry IV, part 1, Act II Scene 3). The common figure of speech "to grasp the nettle" probably originated as a condensation of this quotation. It means to face up to or take on a problem that has been ignored or deferred. The metaphor refers to the fact that if a nettle leaf is grasped firmly rather than brushed against, it does not sting so readily, because the hairs are crushed down flat and do not penetrate the skin so easily. However the sting of nettles has been recommended to relieve the pain of rheumatism as the effects of the sting can last up to twelve hours. The stinging feeling becomes a warm feeling on the area treated so helping the pain of the rheumatism to subside.

Trees

Charms talismans and incense have been used to help health and bring rewards.

Compound in Panax pseudoginseng demonstrates antioxidant activity, Trilinolein, a compound isolated from the Chinese herb Sanchi (Panax pseudoginseng), demonstrated concentration-dependent antioxidant effects in enhanced chemiluminescence tests for oxygen free radical scavenging effects. The researchers speculate that sanchi's antioxidant activity may provide scientific support for its traditional use in treating circulatory system disorders. Results of an earlier study in rats showed that trilinolein suppressed cardiac arrhythmias during ischemia (oxygen deprivation) and reperfusion and protected the heart muscle from injury due to ischemia. Chan P, Tomlinson B. Antioxidant effects of Chinese traditional medicine: focus on trilinolein isolated from the Chinese herb sanchi (Panax pseudoginseng).         J Clin Pharmacol 2000; 40: 457-461.   
       


    Useful books: "Zodiac" Richard J Lawler with Dilys Gate
                         "Old English Herbal" Rohde.

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