Herbs Medicine a List of Herbs A-E

Adhatoda

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Adhatoda is an herb that originates from India and is used in the treatment of asthma, acute and chronic bronchitis and excess catarrh. It is also beneficial for postpartum (after pregnancy) haemorrhage, returning the uterus to normal size after pregnancy and topically for gingivitis and bleeding gums.

Contraindications: pregnancy except birth. 


Agrimony

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Agrimony is a beneficial herb for treating the digestive system, such as diarrhoea especially with children. It helps to ease irritations and infections of the intestinal tract and relieve acid reflux of the stomach. Agrimony tightens tissues especially within the bladder thus easing bladder incontinence and can be used safely in children for easing bedwetting problems. Agrimony is also useful for haemorrhoids when taken internally and externally and venous insufficiency (an inability for the veins in the leg to pump blood back to the heart).


Contraindications
: none known. 

Albizia

Albizia has a long history in treating the allergenic person, such as allergenic rhinitis (itchy nose), allergenic asthma, eczema, hayfever, hives, itchy skin and other forms of allergic reactions. This herb also has antifungal, antibacterial properties enabling Albizia to be an effective remedy for infections. It can also relax smooth muscle, especially of the respiratory tract easing coughing and the tight chest feeling associated with asthma. Albizia may also have some benefits in lowering cholesterol. Traditionally Albiza was also used to treat leprosy, eczema, paralysis, gum inflammation and worm infestation.

Contraindications: none known.

This herb is used in our AllerCare Herbal Blend.

Albizia - may protect against histamine release which causes symptoms of allergenic reactions in the body 1. Albizia may protect against the negative effect of antigens on the body 1. Albizia may reduce the level of allergy induced antibodies and mast cell degranulation 1,2. Clinical studies have shown that Albizia may be useful in the treatment of asthma, weeping eczema and allergic rhinitis 1. Traditionally Albizia is used for asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, hives and itchy skin.

References:
1. Tripathi, R M et al: J Ethnopharmacol 1, 385 (1979)
2. Tripathi, R M et al: J Ethnopharmacol 1, 397 (1979)

Alfalfa

Alfalfa is commonly known as alfalfa sprouts which are used for human consumption or lucerne hay which is used as food for livestock. Alfalfa is a nutrient rich food which is very good for people suffering debilitated states such as chronic fatigue syndrome or cancer. Alfalfa also contains isoflavones which have mild oestrogenic effects on the body thus making alfalfa beneficial for menopausal symptoms. Alfalfa has also been used to increase the amount of breast milk produced by a lactating mother, reduce fluid retention, cleanse the blood and reduce the pain of arthritis. Traditionally Alfalfa was also used as a cure for all inflammations including arthritis, gout and rheumatism. It was also very popular as a blood purifier and a bitter tonic.

Contraindications: best avoided in oestrogen sensitive cancers.

Andrographis

Andrographis is another wonderful herb from India and has become popular in the treatment of colds and flu’s. Research shows that it can reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms and also help to prevent them occurring. Andrographis can enhance immune function and is very beneficial in all acute and chronic infections whether viral, bacterial or parasitic. This herb is also used to destroy intestinal worms, reduce acne, increase bile production by the liver (bile is required to break down fat) and it has the ability to protect the liver against toxins and improve its overall function. Andrographis is also useful for digestive weakness, flatulence and immune support in the case of asthma. Traditionally Andrographis was also used for loss of appetite, bowel complaints in children, dysentery, nerve pain, urinary infection with difficult and painful urination, and general debility.

Contraindications: best avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy, use cautiously with immunosuppressant drugs.

This herb is used in our Liver Stress Herbal Blend.

Andrographis;

- May protect your liver from the damage caused by some toxic substances including carbon tetrachloride and paracetamol 1,2. Andrographis increases bile flow, bile salts and bile acid 3. Andrographis has been shown to protect the liver against chemically induced hepatitis 4 and may also be beneficial in the treatment of infective hepatitis 5. Traditionally Andrographis is used for sluggish liver, liver disorders, fatigue, gastro-intestinal complaints and immune dysfunction. 

- May help to prevent the common cold and may reduce the duration and severity of the symptoms of the common cold 6. Andrographis may kill the herpes simplex type 1 virus 7. Andrographis may protect against and reduce the severity of bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections and assist in reducing the associated fever 8, 9. Traditionally Andrographis is used for fever, influenza, acute or chronic cough, urinary infection and sore throat.

References:
1. Kapil, A., et al.  Antihepatotoxic effects of major diterpenoid constituents of Andrographis paniculata.  Biochem Pharmacol.  46(1):182-185, 1993.
2. Trivedi, N. P., et al.  Hepatoprotective effect of andrographolide against hexachlorocyclohexane-induced oxidative injury.  Integr Cancer Ther.  6(3):271-280, 2007.
3. Shukla, B et al:planta Medica 58 , 146 (1992)
4. Handa, S S and Sharma, A: Ind J Med Res 92, 284 (1990)
5. Kapoor LD: CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants, Boca Raton, Fla, 1990, CRC press
6 Caceres, D. D., et al.  Prevention of common colds with Andrographis paniculata dried extract.  A pilot double blind trial.  Phytomedicine.  4(2):101-104, 1997.
7. Wiart, C., et al.  Antiviral properties of ent-labdene diterpenes of Andrographis paniculata nees, inhibitors of herpes simplex virus type 1.  Phytother Res.  19(12):1069-1070, 2005.
8. Melchior J et al: Phytother Res 14(5):333-338, 2000
9. Chopra RN et al: Chopra’s indigenous drugs of India, ed 2, Calcutta, 1958, reprinted 1982, Academic Publishers.

Angelica

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Angelica is very useful for digestive weakness, flatulence, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), low stomach acid secretions and anorexia. This herb is also used to help with the convalescence of patients with debilitating illnesses especially where the patient has been feeling cold or chilly. Angelica may also be of benefit in acute bronchitis, pleurisy, Buerger’s disease, in fever management where the condition has been long term and is also used in children with respiratory ailments such as asthma.


Contraindications
: may cause photosensitivity in some individuals so is best to avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. To be used with caution in people who suffer peptic ulcers and gastro-oesophageal reflux. 

This herb is used in our Digestive Support Herbal Blend.

Angelica - traditionally Angelica has been used to stimulate the secretion of digestive acids and bile, reducing flatulence and dyspepsia, relieving intestinal inflammation and gastro-intestinal ulcers and has been used in the treatment of anorexia 1,2.

References:
1. Barnaulov OD, Kumkov AV, Khalikova NA et al. Rastitel’Nye Resursy 1977; 13 (4):661-669.
2. Glatzel, H.  Treatment of dyspeptic disorders with spice extracts:  Practical use of a new therapeutic principle.  Hippokrates.  40(23):916-919, 1969.

Aniseed

Aniseed is renowned for its wonderful taste and calming effect on the digestive system. Aniseed is extremely beneficial for intestinal colic, flatulence, flatulent colic, infantile colic and dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain). Aniseed also benefits acute or chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, gastrointestinal candidiasis or parasites and helps improve the quality and quantity of beneficial bowel flora. Aniseed can also be used when a woman has difficulty expressing milk, whooping cough and spasmodic cough.

Contraindications: caution in gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Arnica

Arnica is beneficial when used topically for osteoarthritis, bruises, sprains, varicose veins, venous insufficiency, muscle pain and inflamed insect bites.

Contraindications: not for internal use.

Artemisia Annua

See Chinese Wormwood.

Astragalus

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Astragalus is a well known Chinese herb for balancing the immune system. It is also used as a tonic to improve the body after infections, surgery and or after long term disease processes. It promotes increased activity of the immune system encouraging the body to fight off viruses. However Astragalus should not be taken during an acute cold or flu attack. It is best used to improve or restore the immune system. Astragalus is also beneficial for night sweats, fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, post-viral syndrome, mild congestive cardiac failure, bronchial inflammation, organ prolapse, HIV/AIDS and angina. One exceptional quality of Astragalus is that it improves the efficiency of chemotherapy drugs or radiotherapy in the treatment of cancer, and thus improving the prognosis for the patient. Traditionally Astragalus was also used as a tonic for qi, blood and spleen, recovering from the loss of blood, fatigue linked to decreased appetite, anaemia, and fluid retention.


Contraindications
: not advisable in acute (early stages) infections. Use cautiously with immunosuppressive drugs. 

This herb is used in our Kidney Support Herbal Blend, Immune Boost Herbal Blend and Dieback Support Herbal Blend.

Astragalus;

- May help to prevent the glomerulonephritis form of nephritis (kidney inflammation)1. Astragalus may significantly reduce mortality and renal tubular necrosis (premature cell death) in chemically induced renal failure 2. Astragalus increases the urine output in humans by 64% and sodium excretion by 14.5% 3. Traditionally Astragalus is used to treat chronic inflammation of the kidneys, to promote urination, decrease fluid retention and to protect the kidneys.

- May be effective in assisting in the treatment for colon cancer, liver cancer and stomach cancer 4, 5, 6. Astragalus may reduce inflammation 7.  Astragalus may inhibit many viruses due to Astragalan B, which binds to cholesterol on the outer membranes of viruses, destabilising their defences and thereby allowing the body’s immune system to attack the now weakened virus 8. Astragalus may help to protect the body against infection by the viruses that cause the common cold.  It may reduce the incidence of the common cold and shorten the duration of the common cold 9. Astragalus may inhibit the herpes simplex virus type 1 10. Astragalus may help to prevent influenza (due to the Astragalan B content of Astragalus). Astragalus may stimulate the body’s production of white blood cells, natural killer lymphocytes cells and enhance the activity of phagocytes 9, 11.

- Is a prized herb in traditional Chinese medicine and is classified an adaptogen (benefits the whole body). Astragalus has been shown to protect the liver damage caused by a wide variety of toxins 1 Astragalus may also increase the production and function of white blood cells 12, 13.

References:
1. Li, S., et al.  Preparation and suppressive effect of Astragalus polysaccharide in glomerulonephritis rats.  Int Immunopharmacol.  7(1):23-28, 2007.
2. Wang, Y J et al:clin J Nephrol 4, 217 (1988)in abst Chin Med 3, 41 (1989).

3. Chang, H and But P: Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica; Vol 2, World Scientific, Singapore (1987).

4. Tin, M. M., et al.  Astragalus saponins induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells and tumor xenograft.  Carcinogenesis.  2006.
5. Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  30:145-149, 1990.
6. Sun, J. Y., et al.  Inhibition of the growth of human gastric carcinoma in vivo and in vitro by swainsonine.  Phytomedicine.  2006.
7. Shon, Y. H., et al.  Protective effect of Astragali radix extract on interleukin 1beta-induced inflammation in human amnion.  Phytother Res.  17(9):1016-1020, 2003.
8. Bone, K., et al.  The herbal treatment of viral infections:  recent developments - part 1.  Mediherb Professional Newsletter.  April 1991.
9. Bone, K.  How to Prescribe Herbal Medicines.  MediHerb Pty Ltd.  1992:18.
10. Sun, Y., et al.  [Experimental study of the effect of Astragalus membranaceus against herpes simplex virus type 1.]  Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao.  24(1):57-58, 2004.
11. Chang, H. M., But, P. H. (editors).  Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica.  Volume 2.  World Sci, Singapore.  1987:1320.
12. Zhang, Z. L., et al.  Hepatoprotective effects of astragalus root.  Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  30(2):145-149, 1990.
13. Chang, H. M., But, P. H. (editors).  Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica.  Volume 2.  World Sci, Singapore.  1987:1320.


B

Bacopa

See Brahmi.

Baical Skullcap

Baical Skullcap is an anti-allergy herb making it extremely useful in allergenic illnesses such as asthma, hay fever, dermatitis, eczema and hives. Baical skullcap is also of great benefit for acute infections especially those affecting the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. It is useful in treating high blood pressure, restless foetus, preventing diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage), high fevers, cough with thick mucus, pneumonia, infections including bronchitis, common cold, dysentery and scarlet fever as well as nausea, vomiting, jaundice and hepatitis. Baical Skullcap is also used as an adjuvant therapy (increases chances of a cure) in treating cancer. Traditionally Baical Skullcap was also used for clearing heat and draining damp heat, painful urination and carbuncles.

Contraindications: best avoided in the first trimester of pregnancy.

This herb is used in our Candida Support Herbal Blend and AllerCare Herbal Blend.

Baical Skullcap;

- Has been used for centuries in China as an immune stimulant. Studies have shown that the baicalein content of skullcap inhibits and destroys candida albicans and other types of detrimental fungi 1.

- May reduce the body’s immune response to allergies 2,3. Baical Skullcap may protect against histamine release (causes symptoms of allergies) 4. Baical Skullcap has shown to have anti inflammatory properties and has demonstrated activity similar to prednisolone 5. Traditionally Baical Skullcap is used for allergenic conditions such as hayfever asthma, hives, eczema and allergic rhinitis.

References:
1. Yang, D., et al.  [Antifungal activity in vitro of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi upon cutaneous and ungual pathogenic fungi]. Ann Pharm Fr.  53(3):138-141, 1995.
2. Kimura, Y et al: Biochim Biophys Acta 922, 278 (1987)
3. Kimura, Y et al: Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 34, 2279 (1986)
4. Li, Z et al: Chin J Integ Trad West Med 9, 698 (1989) in Abst Chin Med 3, 395 (1989)
5. Chen, C P et al: Planta Medica 61, 150 (1995)

Baptisia or Wild Indigo

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Baptisia or Wild Indigo is renowned for its lymphatic cleansing properties making it very beneficial for enlarged lymph glands and tonsillitis. Baptisia is also immune enhancing making it extremely useful for acute and chronic infections especially of the respiratory tract such as pneumonia, the common cold and influenza. Baptisia is also beneficial for septic conditions, furunculosis, mouth ulcers periodontal disease and gingivitis. Traditionally Baptisia was also used for typhoid conditions and inflammation of the stomach.


Contraindications
: none known at recommended doses. 


Barberry

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Barberry is very beneficial in the treatment of poor liver function, gallstones, gall bladder dysfunction, gall bladder inflammation, improving bile secretions (bile breaks down fat) and dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain). Barberry is also used for peptic ulcer and gastritis (especially those caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria), Giardia and acute gastrointestinal infection with diarrhoea. Barbary is also used as an adjuvant therapy (increased chances of cure) for the treatment of non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Barberry also improves the quality and amount of good bacteria in the gut, it reduces nausea and improves thrombocytopenia (low platelet levels) and topically can be used for acne, lip sores and mouth ulcers. Traditionally Barberry was also used to treat sore throat, ulcerated gums and stomach, cholera, kidney stones, burning of the urinary tract and malaria.

Contraindications: best avoided during pregnancy and lactation.  

This herb is used in our Liver Stress Herbal Blend and Candida Support Herbal Blend.

Barberry;

- May be beneficial in stimulating the production and flow of bile and alleviate jaundice 5. Barberry may reduce gallbladder inflammation and the risk of gallstones 1. Traditionally Barberry is used for digestive liver insufficiency, gallstones, inflammation of the gallbladder or bile duct, gallbladder dysfunction and jaundice.

- Berberine one of the active components found in the Barberry has demonstrated anti-fungal properties in particular the inhibition of proliferation of Candida albicans 2,3.

References:
1. Kapoor LD: CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants, Boca Raton, Fla, 1990, CRC press
2. Mahajan, V. M., et al.  Antimycotic activity of berberine sulphate:  an alkaloid from an Indian medicinal herb.  Sabouraudia.  20(1):79-81, 1982.
3. Murray, Michael T.  The Healing Power of Herbs (2nd Edition).  Prima Publishing, Rocklin, California, USA.  1993:165.

Bearberry or Uva-Ursi

Bearberry or Uva-Ursi is a wonderful herb for the urinary tract system. It is extremely beneficial for acute and chronic urinary tract infections, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), inflammation of the urethra, painful urination, acute prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate) and kidney and bladder stones. Traditionally bearberry was also used for bedwetting, excessive mucus and bloody discharge in the urine and chronic gonorrhoea.

Contraindications: pregnancy, lactation, kidney disease and children less than 12 years of age. Take Bearberry separately from mineral supplements and vitamin B1.

This herb is used in our Kidney Support Herbal Blend.

Bearberry - may prevent kidney stone formation 1. Bearberry may reduce inflammation or infectious conditions of the lower urinary tract especially cystitis ,2,3. Traditionally Bearberry is used for inflammatory diseases of the kidneys and bladder, excessive urination, excessive mucous and bloody discharges in the urine, urinary stones, painful urination, feeble circulation and lack of innervation and tone of the urinary tract.

References:
1. Grases F, Melero G, Costa-Bauzá A, Prieto R, March JG. Urolithiasis and phytotheraphy. Int Urol Nephrol. 1994;26(5):507-11.
2. Blumenthal M et al, eds: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: therapeutic guide to herbal medicines, Austin, 1998, American Botanical Council.
3. Scientific Community of the European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy (ESCOP): ESCOP monographs Uvae ursi folium. European Scientific Cooperation on Phytotheraphy, ESCOP Secretariat, Arygle House, Gandy Street, Exeter Devon, EX4 3LS, United Kingdom, June 1997.

Bilberry

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Bilberry is a fruit similar to the blueberry and has always had an affiliation with eyesight and circulation. British fighter pilots in World War II used to take bilberry jam to improve their night vision. Bilberry is very beneficial for disorders of the eye such as macular degeneration, eye strain, inflammation of the retina, inability to see in clear bright light, night blindness and glaucoma. It has the ability to improve blood flow through the small capillaries throughout the body. This makes bilberry very beneficial for diabetic or hypertensive retinopathy (damage to the retina in the eye), capillary fragility, bleeding gums, haemorrhoids, improving blood flow to lower limbs, varicose veins, venous insufficiency (an inability for the veins to pump blood back to the heart) especially after surgery, nosebleeds, Raynaud’s syndrome, and spider veins. It is also very beneficial to promote healing especially after surgery, painful periods, acute diarrhoea and has the ability due to its anti oxidant qualities to slow down mental ageing. Bilberry can be used topically as a treatment for mild inflammation of the mouth and throat. Traditionally Bilberry was also used for scurvy, urinary complaints, vaginal discharges and to dry up breast milk.

Contraindications: none expected at recommended doses.

This herb is used in our Intestinal Support Herbal Blend.

Bilberry - may accelerate the healing of peptic ulcers and may help to prevent peptic ulcers including gastric ulcers (due to the anthocyanosides in Bilberry and their ability to strengthen the blood vessels that supply the digestive tract and possibly also by enhancing the defensive mechanisms of the gastric mucosa) 1. Bilberry possesses antimicrobial compounds against salmonella and staphylococcus 2. Bilberry may have inhibitory effect on H. Pylori growth 3. Traditionally Bilberry was used to treat diarrhoea, dyspepsia, gastro-intestinal infections and inflammation.

References:
1. Magistretti, M. J., et al.  Antiulcer activity of an anthocyanidin from Vaccinium myrtillus.  Arzneimittelforschung.  38(5):686-690, 1988.
2. Puupponen-Pimia R et al, Bioactive berry compounds-novel tools against human pathogens, Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2005 Apr;67(1):8-18.  Epub 2004  Dec 2.
3. Chatterjee A et al, Inhibition of Helicobacter pylori in vitro by various berry extracts, with enhanced susceptibility to clarithromycin, Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Oct;265(1-2):19-26.

Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh has a long history of use for muscular aches and pains, neuralgia (nerve pain), sciatica, muscle cramps and any inflammatory condition like rheumatism or arthritis. Black Cohosh has the ability to modulate oestrogen, making it very beneficial for menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and depression, premenstrual syndrome, ovarian dysfunction, ovarian insufficiency, ovarian pain, female infertility, amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual period),and period pain. Black Cohosh also lowers blood pressure in persons afflicted with hypertension and lowers total serum cholesterol levels. Black Cohosh is also used by herbalists to prepare the uterus for labour (in late pregnancy) and can also assist with tinnitus (ringing in ears) and whooping cough. Traditionally Black Cohosh was also used for chorea (involuntary movement disorder).

Contraindications: during pregnancy (except the last few weeks to assist with birth), controversial in breast cancer.

Bladderwrack

Bladderwrack is seaweed that has the ability to stimulate thyroid function making it very beneficial for hypothyroidism (under-active caused by iodine deficiency) and obesity that is associated with poor thyroid activity. Bladderwrack is an extremely good source of iodine. Iodine deficiency is quite common in most westernised countries throughout the world due to our Western diet. Bladderwrack can also help with osteoarthritis that is caused by obesity. Traditionally Bladderwrack was also used for rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis and lymphadenoid goitre.

Contraindications: hyperthyroidism (over active), caution during pregnancy and lactation.

Bladderwrack - contains high amounts of iodine and therefore has a positive role in thyroid conditions resulting from iodine deficiencies 1,2.

References:
1. Konno N et al: J Clin Endocrinol Metab 78 (2): 393-397, 1994
2. de Smet PAGM et al, editors: Adverse effects of herbal drugs, Berlin 1997, Springer-Verlag

Brahmi or Bacopa

Brahmi, also known as Bacopa is a traditional Ayurvedic herb used for over 5000 years by millions of people on the Indian sub continent as a brain tonic to improve memory (especially medium and long-term), assist with learning and concentration and for the treatment of cognitive disorders of ageing such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Brahmi is also beneficial in the treatment of ADHD, insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, under-active thyroid and the strengthening of blood vessels in the brain. Traditionally Brahmi was also used for nervous breakdown and exhaustion, insanity, loss of voice, urinary incontinence (particularly accompanied by constipation), a tonic for diseases of the skin, nervous system and blood as well as to promote longevity.

Contraindications: may aggravate gastro oesophageal reflux.

This herb is used in our Cortisol Calm Herbal Blend.

Bacopa;

- Has shown to have a stimulating effect on the thyroid gland by stimulating the production of thyroid hormone T4 by 41% without enhancing hepatic lipid perioxidation 1.

- Has the ability to increase the body’s production of acetylcholine which is reduced by excess cortisol 2. Acetylcholine is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain and is required for alertness, attention, concentration, coordination, motivation, learning, and memory. A deficiency is often seen in depression, dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome, insomnia and constipation.

References:
1. Kar A, Panda S, Bharti S: relative efficiency of three medicinal plant extracts in the alteration of thyroid hormone concentrations in male mice. J. Enthnophar. 2002 Jul,: 81 (2): 281-5.
2. Bhattacharya, S. K., et al.  Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus.  Phytother Res.  14(3):174-179, 2000.

Bugleweed

Bugleweed is in a sense the opposite of bladderwrack as it lowers thyroid function, making it extremely beneficial in cases of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) especially Graves’ disease and its associated symptoms such as tachycardia and rapid pulse; it also acts as a mild sedative. Traditionally Bugleweed was also used for nervous tachycardia and thyrotoxicosis with difficult breathing.

Contraindications: hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid), pregnancy and lactation.

Bupleurum

Bupleurum which originated from China is one of the most widely used herbs for liver conditions. If you suffer from anger, irritability, anxiety, depression, or you find that you ‘sigh’ a lot, have pain under the right rib cage ,suffer from gritty sore eyes, have a sour taste, or muscular aches and pains, then Bupleurum may help to overcome these signs and symptoms. It is also of great benefit in autoimmune diseases (especially those involving the liver or kidneys), hepatitis, liver damage, nausea, chronic inflammatory disorders, poor digestive liver function, oestrogen excess, premenstrual syndrome, painful or irregular menstruation, influenza, common cold, chronic cough and prolapsed uterus (in combination with Astragalus). Traditionally Bupleurum was also used in the treatment of malaria, alternating chills and fever and epigastric pain.

Contraindications: gastro-oesophageal reflux.

This herb is used in our Liver Stress Herbal Blend and Dieback Support Herbal Blend.

Bupleurum;

- May help to prevent cirrhosis of the liver 1. Bupleurum may be useful for the treatment of chronic active hepatitis, hepatitis B and the inflammation associated with hepatitis which can cause liver damage 2 3 4. Bupleurum has been shown to markedly inhibit the acute and chronic toxic effects of many liver toxins 5. Bupleurum may benefit poor liver function 6. Traditionally Bupleurum is used as a tonic to restore gastro-intestinal and liver function and liver enlargement.

- Has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine as a tonic to help protect the liver and improve its function. It is believed that the activity of a compound called saikosaponin found in Bupleurum helps protect the liver from toxic substances 7.

References:
1. Abe, H., et al.  Protective effect of saikosaponin-d isolated from Bupleurum falcatum L. on CCl4-induced liver injury in the rat.  Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol.  320(3):266-271, 1982.
2. Okumuru, M., et al.  A multicenter, randomized controlled clinical trial of Sho-saiko-to in chronic active hepatitis.  Gastroenterology Japan.  24(6):715-719, 1989.
3. Tajiri, H., et al.  Effect of sho-saiko-to (xia-chai-hu-tang) on HbeAg clearance in children with chronic hepatitis B virus infection and with sustained liver disease.  Am J Chin Med.  19(2):121-129, 1991.

4. Chiang, L. C., et al.  Cytotoxicity and anti-hepatitis B virus activities of saikosaponins from Bupleurum species.  Planta Medica.  69(8):705-709, 2003.

5. Tang, W and Eisenbrand, G: Chinese Drugs of Plant Origin, Springer Verlag, Berlin (1992)

6. Mills S, Bone K: Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy: Modern Herbal Medicine, Edinburgh, 2000, Churchill Livingstone.
7. Abe H, Orita M, Konishi H et al. Journal Pharm Pharmacology 1985; 37 (8): 555–559

Burdock

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Burdock is traditionally renowned to have the ability to enhance the four elimination organs of the body (bowel, kidneys, lungs & skin) hence its reputation for being a blood cleanser. This makes Burdock very beneficial for chronic skin disorders including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea and furunculosis. Due to its ability to enhance elimination of the kidneys, it is also very beneficial for gout and rheumatism. Traditionally Burdock was also used in the treatment of cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), anorexia, leprosy, boils and styes.


Contraindications
: none known.


Butchers Broom

Butcher’s Broom is a wonderful herb that has an affiliation with the venous system in the body. It is used internally to treat venous insufficiency (an inability of the veins to pump blood back to the heart), varicose veins, haemorrhoids, varicose ulcers, spider veins, capillary fragility and to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. It is not only limited to the venous system but is also very beneficial in swollen lymph glands, premenstrual syndrome, restless leg syndrome, leg cramps, night cramps and easy bruising. Externally it is useful for the treatment of haemorrhoids. Traditionally Butchers Broom has also been used as an appetite stimulant and a diuretic.

Contraindications: may cause gastro-oesophageal reflux.

C

Calendula

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Calendula has a long history in helping to ease damaged or ulcerated mucous membranes of the gastro intestinal tract like gastric and duodenal ulcers, gum disease and throat infections. Calendula is also used to treat enlarged lymph glands, painful periods, sebaceous cysts that promote acne. Externally calendula is one of the best herbs for cleaning wounds. By placing this herbal extract on external cuts, abrasions etc these wounds heal in half the time when compared to other healing agents. Topically Calendula can be used for the treatment of mouth ulcers, cold sores, minor burns, inflamed skin, nappy rash, haemorrhoids, varicose ulcers, eczema, acne and insect bites. Traditionally calendula was also used for nosebleeds, fever, varicose veins, and enlargement of the spleen or liver, topically for eczema, haemorrhoids, vaginal discharges, conjunctivitis, and cracked nipples.


Contraindications
: avoid in known allergy to Calendula. 

This herb is used in our Intestinal Support Herbal Blend.

Calendula - may assist in the repair of damaged and inflamed intestinal mucosa 1, 2. Calendula may assist with the repair of gastric and duodenal ulcers 2. Traditionally Calendula has been used for wound healing and inflammation.

References:
1. Goldman ll:Klin Med 52(4):142-143, 1974
2. British Herbal Medicines Assoication’s Scientific Commeittee: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Bournemouth, 1983, BHMA.

Cascara

Cascara is a potent laxative making it valuable in the treatment of constipation, haemorrhoids or anal fissure (due to softening of the stool) and tension headaches that are linked to constipation. Cascara is also used where there is flatulence and abdominal fullness as a result of constipation, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), coated tongue, itching of the skin and loss of appetite. Traditionally cascara was also used for loss of tone in the rectum, rheumatism, chronic disease of the liver and biliary catarrh with jaundice.

Contraindications: for short-term use only, use with caution in pregnancy, lactation, irritable bowel syndrome and gastrointestinal inflammation. Caution in children. Contraindicated with symptoms of diarrhoea or with Digoxin.

Cats Claw

Cats Claw is a wonderful herb from South America and is renowned for its immune enhancing qualities. Cats Claw is very beneficial in treating poor and chronic immunity, re-occurring infections and also helping with convalescing and debilitating states. Cats claw has shown some benefits in improving the immune system in sufferers of HIV and AIDS, is used as an adjuvant therapy (increases the chances of a cure) in cancer, is beneficial for the treatment of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases and immune support in asthma or Lyme’s disease. Traditionally Cats Claw was also used for all inflammatory conditions, gastric ulcers, diabetes, asthma, as a general tonic and was one of the most powerful plants the Ashaninka priests exclusively used to eliminate disturbances in communication between the body and spirit.

Contraindications: pregnancy, use cautiously with immunosuppressive drugs.

This herb is used in our Inflammatory Support Herbal Blend, Immune Boost Herbal Blend and Intestinal Cleanse Herbal Blend.

Cats Claw;

- May have anti-inflammatory effects due to cat’s claws potent antioxidant effects and due its ability to inhibit tumour necrosis factor-alpha (inflammatory signalling molecule) 1. Cat’s Claw may alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis 2. Cat’s Claw may inhibit the activation of a potent inflammatory marker called nuclear factor-kappa B 3.

- May stimulate the apoptosis (cell death) of colon cancer cells 4. Cats Claw may inhibit some types of detrimental bacteria 5. Cats Claw may inhibit the dengue virus that causes dengue fever 6. Cats Claw may reduce inflammation (due to its antioxidant effects and due to its ability to inhibit tumour necrosis factor-alpha) and assist with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, cystitis and gastritis 7, 11. Cats Claw may facilitate the survival of white blood cells 8. Cats Claw may enhance the ability of phagocytes to destroy antigens 9. Cats Claw is suitable as an adjuvant (improving the effectiveness of traditional cancer treatment) 10, 11. Cats Claw may be beneficial for people suffering from a poor immune system with a tendency towards infections 12. Cats Claw may prevent or offer relief to viral infections 13. Traditionally Cats Claw is used in the treatment of cancer, poor immune function and inflammatory diseases.

- Cat’s Claw may inhibit the progression and alleviate the symptoms of the common cold, dengue virus that causes dengue fever and influenza 14,15. There are also some anecdotal reports that indicate Cat’s Claw may alleviate the symptoms of some cases of Ross River virus.

- Is used for its antimicrobial activity against enterobacteriaceae, S. mutans and staphylococcus spp. bacteria 16. Cats Claw is beneficial for people who have a weak immune system and are prone to infections 17. Cat’s Claw may inhibit listeria monocytogenes 18. Traditionally Cats Claw has been used for inflammatory conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract, diarrhoea, fungal, parasitic and viral infections.

References:
1. Aguilar, J. L., et al.  Anti-inflammatory activity of two different extracts of Uncaria tomentosa (Rubiaceae).  Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  81(2):271-276, 2002.
2. Mur, E., et al.  Randomized double blind trial of an extract from the pentacyclic alkaloid-chemotype of Uncaria tomentosa for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.  Journal of Rheumatology.  29(4):678-681, 2002.
3. Akesson, C., et al.  An extract of Uncaria tomentosa inhibiting cell division and NF-kappaB activity without inducing cell death.  Int Immunopharmacol .  3(13-14):1889-1900, 2003.
4. Jo, K. J., et al.  Methanolic extracts of uncaria Rhynchophylla induce cytotoxicity and apoptosis in HT-29 human colon carcinoma cells.  Plant Foods Hum Nutr.  2008.
5. Garcia, R., et al.  Antimicrobial activity of isopteropodine.  Z Naturforsch.  60(5-6):385-388, 2005.
6. Reis, S. R., et al.  Immunomodulating and antiviral activities of Uncaria tomentosa on human monocytes infected with Dengue Virus-2.  Int Immunopharmacol.  8(3):468-476, 2008.
7. Aguilar, J. L., et al.  Anti-inflammatory activity of two different extracts of Uncaria tomentosa (Rubiaceae).  Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  81(2):271-276, 2002.
8. Akesson, C. H., et al.  C-Med 100, a hot water extract of Uncaria tomentosa, prolongs lymphocyte survival in vivo.  Phytomedicine.  10(1):23-33, 2003.
9. Wagner, K., et al.  The alkaloids of Uncaria tomentosa and their phagocytosis-increasing effect.  Planta Medica.  5:419-423, 1985.
10. Obregon Vilches Lida E: Cats Claw: Uncaria genus. Botanical chemical and pharmacological studies of Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianensis Lima, 1995, Instituto de Fitoterapia Americano.
11. Keplinger K et al: J Ethnopharmacol 64:23, 1999.
12. Laus G, Brossner D, Keplinger K: Phytochemistry 45(4):855, 1997.
13. Kynock SR, Lloyd GK, cited in Reinhard KH. J Altern Complement Med 1999; 5(2): 143- 151.
14. Starbuck, J. J.  3 attacking herbs that naturally tame the fierce cold season.  Better Nutrition.  61(1):50-54, 1999.
15. Reis, S. R., et al.  Immunomodulating and antiviral activities of Uncaria tomentosa on human monocytes infected with Dengue Virus-2.  Int Immunopharmacol.  8(3):468-476, 2008.
16. Ccahuana-Vasquez RA, Santos SS, Koga-Ito CY, Jorge AO. Braz Oral Res. 2007 Jan-Mar;21(1):46-50
17. Laus G, Brossner D, Kelpinger K: Phytochemistry 45(4):855, 1997
18. Eberlin, S., et al.  Uncaria tomentosa extract increases the number of myeloid progenitor cells in the bone marrow of mice infected with listeria monocytogenes.  Int Immunopharmacol.  5(7-8):1235-1246, 2005.

Chamomile

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Chamomile is one of the most common herbs used throughout the world, and has been used to treat gastrointestinal problems such as flatulence, flatulent colic, gastrointestinal colic, upset stomach (nausea, bloating, and cramps), gastrointestinal inflammation and diarrhoea. Chamomile can also be used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, food sensitivities, teething, infantile colic, gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastro oesophageal reflux, period pain and amenorrhoea (absence of menstruation). Chamomile also has a calming effect making it very beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, nervous dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), restlessness, nervous headaches and is especially good for children as it calms without making them drowsy. Chamomile is also used to ease period pain, menopausal tension and teething pain as well as travel sickness. Externally chamomile can be used to promote wound healing, soothe and repair haemorrhoids, eczema, mouth ulcers, mastitis, leg ulcers, sunburn and burns, cleanse the pores of the skin and reduce puffy eye. Traditionally chamomile was also used for rheumatic and neuralgic pain, infantile convulsions, catarrhal conditions of the nose, ears and eyes, earache and to promote sweating.


Contraindications
: avoid in known allergy. 

This herb is used in our Intestinal Support Herbal Blend, Cortisol Calm Herbal Blend and AllerCare Herbal Blend.

Chamomile;

- May alleviate spasms of the gastro-intestinal tract as well as inflammatory diseases of the gastro-intestinal tract, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence and bloating 1,2. Traditionally Chamomile has been used for flatulence, nervous dyspepsia, and diarrhoea, nervous disorders of the stomach, colic, reflux and catarrhal conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract.

- May reduce the amount of histamine released in allergic reactions 3.

References:
1. British Herbal Medicine Association: British herbal compendium, Bournemouth, 1992, BHMA.
2. Patzelt-Wenczler R, Ponce-Poschl E: Eur J Med Res 5(4):171-175, 2000.
3. Miller T, Wittstock U, Lindequis U et al. Planta Med 1996; 62 (1): 60-61.

Chaste Tree or Vitex

Chaste tree has been used widely in assisting with menstrual problems especially breast pain. It helps with pre-menstrual problems, lack of menstrual cycle and for women who have severe symptoms in the second half of the month, like headaches, mood swings and stomach cramps. Chaste tree is very beneficial in treating latent hyperprolactinaemia (infertility in both sexes, low libido in both sexes, oestrogen or androgen deficiency, delayed puberty, absent or erratic menstruation), erratic ovulation, acne in both males and females, relative oestrogen excess, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cystic hyperplasia of the endometrium, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, oligomenorrhoea (light or absent menstruation), Polymenorrhoea (frequent periods), menorrhagia (abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period), metrorrhagia (spotting between periods), and amenorrhoea ( absence of menstrual period). Chaste tree also displays benefits in treating benign breast growths, benign prostate hyperplasia, ovarian cysts (follicular), painful ovulation, may improve sleep due to dopamine deficiency, premenstrual like symptoms associated with menopause, postnatal depression, threatened miscarriage, improving the flow of breast milk and to decrease excessive libido in men. A studywasperformed in September 2000 identifying the effectiveness of chaste tree. The study revealed that after 3 cycles, 93% of patients reported a significant decrease or even cessation of premenstrual tension complaints such as irritability, breast tenderness with fluid retention, cramps and relief of headaches. Traditionally Chaste Tree was also used for impotence, sexual melancholy, and sexual irritability with nervousness, melancholy or mild dementia.

Contraindications: Best not taken in conjunction with progestogenic drugs, the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy. May aggravate painful periods not associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Chinese Wormwood or Artemisia Annua

Chinese Wormwood is used to treat malaria (but is not a preventative), intestinal parasites and systemic lupus erythematous. Low doses of Chinese Wormwood stimulate the immune system, whilst high doses suppress the immune system.

Contraindications: pregnancy

This herb is used in our Intestinal Cleanse Herbal Blend.

Chinese Wormwood - Is used for its potential ability to facilitate the elimination of intestinal parasites 1. Chinese Wormwood may be an effective treatment against malaria (due to the artemisinin content of Wormwood) 2. Chinese Wormwood may inhibit the parasite clonorchis sinensi 3,  pneumocystis carinii 4, leishmania major 5, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus faecalis, klebsiella spp, enterobacter spp, shigella dysenteriae, e.coli, serratia marcescens and proteus spp 6. Traditionally Chinese Wormwood was used to facilitate the elimination of roundworms, threadworms, parasites and detrimental bacteria. Chinese Wormwood was also used to treat cramping and abdominal pain, liver disorders and persistent diarrhoea and constipation.

References:
1. al-Waili, N. S.  Artemisia herba-alba extract for treating enterobius vermicularis infection.  Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg.  82(4):626, 1988.
2. Balint, G. A., et al.  Artemisinin and its derivatives: an important new class of antimalarial agents.  Pharmacol Ther.  90(2-3):261-265, 2001.
3. Tang, W and Eisenbrand, G: Chinese Drugs of Plant Origin, Springer Verlag, Berlin (1992)
4. Merali, S and Meshnick S R: Antimicrob Agents Chemother 35, 1225 (1991)
5. Yang D M and Liew, F Y:Parasitol 106, 7 (1993)
6. Klayman D L et al: J Nat Prod 47, 715 (1984)

Cinnamon

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Cinnamon has traditionally been used as a spice for thousands of years and is extremely beneficial in lowering elevated blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Cinnamon is very beneficial in the treatment of type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome or syndrome X and insulin resistance. Cinnamon has traditionally been used as a herb to warm a cold digestive system and is very beneficial in the treatment of flatulent colic, dyspepsia, (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), digestive weakness, anorexia, cold hands and feet, uterine haemorrhage, menorrhagia (abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period), nausea and diarrhoea as well as treating the common cold. Traditionally the Chinese have also used cinnamon for poor appetite, low vitality, under performing kidneys, as well as for angina, palpitations, fevers, rheumatic and arthritic complaints.

Contraindications: caution in pregnancy, gastro-oesophageal reflux, patients on antidiabetic and cholesterol lowering drugs. Take Cinnamon separately from mineral supplements and vitamin B1.

This herb is used in our Digestive Support Herbal Blend and Candida Support Herbal Blend.

Cinnamon;

- Is used to relieve bloating, flatulence, dyspeptic conditions, loss of appetite nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and mild spasmodic conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract 1, 2. Traditionally Cinnamon was also used for colic and infantile diarrhoea.

- Studies have shown that cinnamon may inhibit the growth of Candida albicans various detrimental yeasts and moulds 3

References:
1. British Herbal Medicine Association’s scientific Committee: British herbal pharmacopeia Bournemouth 1983 BHMA. 
2. Felter HW, Lloyd JU: King’s American Dispensary, ed 18, rev 3 Portland, 1905, reprinted 1983 Eclectic Medical Publications.
3. Quale, J. M., et al.  In vitro activity of Cinnamomum zeylanicum against azole resistant and sensitive candida species and a pilot study of cinnamon for oral candidiasis.  Am J Chin Med.  24(2):103-109, 1996.

Clivers or Cleavers

Clivers has traditionally been used in the treatment of chronic skin disorders including dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and acne. Clivers is also used for enlarged or inflamed lymph glands, kidney stones and dysuria (painful urination). Clivers is also known as a diuretic (increasing urination) and a blood purifier making it very useful for removing toxins from the body and flushing poisons from the kidneys. Traditionally Clivers was also used in the treatment of cancer.

Contraindications: none known.

Codonopsis

Codonopsis is a Chinese herb that is primarily known as a tonic which means it improves the overall function of the body in a similar way to Korean ginseng but with less warming action. Codonopsis is very beneficial in treating anaemia that is due to deficient red blood cell production, fatigue, loss of appetite, shortness of breath associated with a chronic cough or heart palpitation, coronary heart disease, anorexia, debilitating states, convalescing, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and as an adjuvant therapy (increases chances of a cure) in treating cancer. Traditionally Codonopsis was also used for tired limbs, diarrhoea, vomiting, symptoms of prolapse of the uterus, stomach and anus, reinforcing qi and invigorating the functions of the spleen and lungs.

Contraindications: none known.

Coleus

Coleus is a wonderful herb that comes from India that has many valuable health benefits. It improves the overall function of an under active thyroid making it very beneficial in assisting with weight loss and metabolic syndrome or syndrome X. Coleus has the ability to increase muscle mass while decreasing fat mass. Coleus is very beneficial to the cardiovascular system due to its ability to lower blood pressure, improve mild congestive heart failure, prevent heart attacks (due to its anti platelet action) as well as reducing fat mass. Coleus is also very helpful to the respiratory system making it beneficial in the treatment of asthma, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Coleus is also beneficial in improving digestive weakness, low stomach acid, psoriasis and osteopenia (low bone mineral density). An alcohol free preparation applied topically to the eye is beneficial in the treatment of glaucoma.

Contraindications: caution in patients taking medication, especially blood pressure lowering and anti-platelet drugs. Contraindicated in hypotension (low blood pressure) and peptic ulcer.

Coleus - Studies have shown that the active components forskolin found in coleus may assist in the treatment of hypothyroidism by stimulating the production and release of thyroid stimulating hormone TSH 1,2.

References:
 1. Ealey PA, Kohn LD, Marshall NJ, Ekins PP: Forskolin stimulation of naphthylamidase in guinea pig thyroid secretions with a chemical bioassay: Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 1985 Mar; 108 (3):367-371
2. Brandi, ML. et al:Acta Endocrinol 107, 225 (1984)

Cordyceps

This herb is used in our Immune Boost Herbal Blend.

Cordyceps - also known as caterpillar fungus is a edible parasitic fungus that grows in high altitude in the plateaus of China Nepal and Tibet. Cordyceps may enhance the function of natural killer cell lymphocytes and enhance the ability of macrophages to function as phagocytes 1,2. Cordyceps may also counteract the negative effects of University’s drugs on T helper cells and may also increase the production of T-helper cells 3.

References:
1. Liu, C., et al.  [Effects of Cordyceps sinensis (CS) on in vitro natural killer cells].  Chung Kuo Chung Hsi I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih.  12(5):267-9, 259, 1992.
2. Koh, J. H., et al.  Activation of macrophages and the intestinal immune system by an orally administered decoction from cultured mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis.  Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.  66(2):407-411, 2002.
3. Chen, G. Z., et al.  Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on murine T-lymphocytes subsets. Chinese Med J.  104(1):4-11, 1991.

Corn Silk

Corn Silk has been used to treat various urinary conditions and is a diuretic (increases urine flow) this makes corn silk very important in treating urinary tract infections, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), dysuria (painful urination), acute and chronic prostatitis, enuresis (bedwetting), improving kidney function and kidney stones. In Chinese medicine corn silk is used to decrease fluid retention. Traditionally Corn Silk was also used for prostatitis, gonorrhoea and bladder disorders in children.

Contraindications: none known.

This herb is used in our Kidney Support Herbal Blend.

Corn Silk - may stimulate urination and improve kidney function 1,2. Corn Silk may improve kidney glomerular function rate 3. Traditionally Corn Silk is used for inflammation of the kidney’s and urethra, urinary tract infections, bed wetting and urinary stones. 

References:
1. Bensky D, Gamble A: Chinese herbal medicine meteria medica, Seattle, 1986 Eastland Press.
2. Dharma AP: Indonesia medicinal plants, Jakarta, 1987, Balai Pustaka. 
3. Velazquez DV, Xavier HS, Batista JE, de Castro-Chaves C. Zea mays L. extracts modify glomerular function  and potassium urinary excretion in conscious rats. Phytomedicine. 2005 May;12(5):363-9.

Corydalis

Corydalis is very beneficial in the management of pain especially visceral pain, irritable bowel syndrome, period pain and tension headaches. Corydalis is a hypnotic and sedative herb making it beneficial for insomnia, anxiety and emotional stress. Corydalis is also useful for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, palpitations, chronic prostatitis and enlarged prostate.

Contraindications: pregnancy.

Cramp Bark

As the name suggests Cramp Bark is very beneficial in relieving muscle spasms and cramps which makes it very beneficial in the treatment of painful periods caused by muscle spasms, miscarriage (threatened or repeated), muscle spasm and pain, endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, lowering blood pressure and tension headache. Cramp bark is also beneficial in preparing the uterus for labour (in late pregnancy), lowering blood pressure, chronic prostatitis and enlarged prostate. Traditionally Cramp Bark was also used for convulsions during pregnancy, a tonic to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, bedwetting, asthma, angina and heart palpitations.

Contraindications: none known.

Crataeva

Crataeva is a wonderful bladder tonic that tones and improves its function. This makes it very useful for any urinary problems including chronic and acute urinary tract infections, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), kidney or bladder stones, atonic bladder (full bladder that does not empty), enlarged prostate (with difficult urination), incontinence and bedwetting. Traditionally Crataeva was also used to treat small joint disease, intestinal and hepatic infestation, snakebite and osteomyelitis (infection of the bone or bone marrow).

Contraindications: none known.

D

Damiana

Damiana is primarily a nerve tonic used to help with anxiety, depression and nervous dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain). Damiana is somewhat of an aphrodisiac and is used to enhance the libido and sexual frigidity of both men and women when stress or nervous exhaustion is the known cause. Damiana is also a mild laxative and is used to ease constipation or a slow bowel, especially when caused by nervous origin. Traditionally Damiana was also used for irritation of the urinary mucous membranes, renal catarrh, muscular debility, some menstrual disorders, childbirth, inflammation of the testicles, sterility and diabetes.

Contraindications: none known.

Dandelion Leaf

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Dandelion Leaf is used by herbalists as a diuretic and to improve liver bile secretions, making it useful in the treatment of fluid retention, liver insufficiency, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), constipation, oliguria (diminished urine output), fluid retention, gallstones, high blood pressure, cystitis (painful urination) and gout. Dandelion Leaf contains much nutritional value and is particularly high in iron, beta-carotene, minerals, proteins, choline, insulin and pectin. Traditionally Dandelion Leaf was used by the American Indians as a tonic for the body.


Contraindications
: no major issues identified. 

Dandelion Root

Dandelion Root has been used by herbalists for centuries as a herb for liver problems. It is used to help restore liver and gall bladder functions and is very beneficial in the treatment of jaundice. Dandelion Root also helps to ease bloating, flatulent colic, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain) and general upset stomach feelings, constipation, anorexia, gallstones and inflammation of the gall bladder. Dandelion Root is a bitter herb that is useful in stimulating the whole digestive process and is also used to treat chronic skin disorders and rheumatism. Traditionally Dandelion Root was also used for sluggish or enlarged liver or spleen, uterine obstruction, and heartburn.

Contraindications: no major issues identified.

This herb is used in our Liver Stress Herbal Blend and Dieback Support Herbal Blend.

Dandelion Root - may stimulate the flow of bile by causing an increase in bile production in the liver and increasing the flow of bile to the gallbladder 1 2. Dandelion Root may restore hepatic and biliary function, relieve jaundice and alleviate and prevent gallstones 3 4. Traditionally Dandelion Root is used to treat inflammation of the gallbladder and bile ducts, gallstones, jaundice and liver enlargement. 

Has been prized by Western Herbalists for centuries as a herb to cleanse the liver and remove toxins from the body. Studies have shown that Dandelion Root does enhance the function of the liver 5.

References:
1. Chabrot, E., et al.  Therapeutic agents in bile secretion.  Ann Med.  37:131-142, 1935.
2. Faber, K. The dandelion Taraxacum officinale.  Pharmazie.  13:423-436, 1958.
3. British Herbal Medicine Association’s scientific Committee: British herbal pharmacopeia Bournemouth 1983 BHMA. 
4. Felter HW, Lloyd JU: King’s American Dispensary, ed 18, rev 3 Portland, 1905, reprinted 1983 Eclectic Medical Publications.
5. Kroeber, L.  Pharmacology of inulin drugs and their therapeutic use.  II.  Cichorium intybus;  taraxacum officinale.  Pharmazie.  5:122-127, 1950.

Dan Shen

Dan Shen is a wonderful herb from China and is of major benefit for the cardiovascular system. It is used in the treatment of angina, impaired peripheral circulation, cerebrovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart palpitations, cardiomyopathy (deterioration of the heart muscle), to prevent heart attacks and for Buerger’s disease. Dan Shen is also beneficial in acute and chronic liver disease making it very beneficial for the treatment of hepatitis, acne, skin disorders, diabetic neuropathy, pulmonary fibrosis, autoimmune disorders, pancreatitis, scleroderma and is also useful in promoting the healing of fractures and other injuries. Dan Shen is also used as an adjuvant treatment (increases chances of cure) for lymphoma.

Contraindications: pregnancy, in conjunction with anticoagulant or anti-platelet drugs.

Devils Claw

Devils Claw has a long herbal use in helping rheumatic and other joint diseases especially inflammation of the connective tissues such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, gout, myalgia (muscle pain), lower back pain, fibrositis and tendonitis (tennis or golfer’s elbow). It is also used for dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain) and to increase appetite, thereby making it beneficial in the treatment of anorexia. Topically Devils Claw can be used on any skin lesions such as wounds or ulcers. Traditionally Devils Claw was also used in the treatment of fibrositis, lumbago, digestive disorders, fevers, allergic reactions, and as pain relief especially after childbirth.

Contraindications: caution in peptic ulcer.

This herb is used in our Inflammatory Support Herbal Blend.

Devils Claw - is a native perennial herb found in Africa that studies have shown has potent anti-inflammatory effects including inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis 1, 2, 3, 4. Studies have shown that Devils Claw decreases inflammatory markers Cox 1, COX 2 and LOX metabolites as well as prostaglandin E2 and excess nitric oxide production 1,3.

References:
1. Benito, P. B., et al.  Effects of some iridoids from plant origin on arachidonic acid metabolism in cellular systems.  Planta Medica.  66(4):324-328, 2000.
2. Baghdikian, B., et al.  An analytical study, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of Harpagophytum procumbens and Harpagophytum zeyheri.  Planta Medica.  63(2):171-176, 1997.
3. Jang, M. H., et al.  Harpagophytum procumbens suppresses lipopolysaccharide-stimulated expressions of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase in fibroblast cell line L929.  J Pharmacol Sci.  93(3):367-371, 2003.
4. Lanhers, M. C., et al.  Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of an aqueous extract of Harpagophytum procumbens.  Planta Medica.  58(2):117-123, 1992.

Dong Quai

Dong Quai is the premier female herb and is used by herbalist for painful, irregular or scanty menstrual periods especially when accompanied by cramping and nervous tension as well as amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual bleeding). It is also used for menopausal symptoms especially to ease hot flushes, irritability & melancholy as well as endometriosis and debility (especially debility caused by breastfeeding). Dong Quai is very beneficial for the cardiovascular system and is used to treat impaired peripheral circulation, anaemia, cerebrovascular disease, angina, Buerger’s disease, cardiac arrhythmias and palpitations. It is also used in chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, constipation, abdominal pain, swelling and bruising, tinnitus, blurred vision, and as a douche for infertility. Traditionally Dong Quai is used to strengthen the heart, lung and liver meridians, lubricating the bowel, invigorating and harmonising the blood and for the treatment of boils.

Contraindications: pregnancy (first-trimester), caution with Warfarin, acute infections and heavy menstruation.

E

Echinacea

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Echinacea is synonymous with the immune system and is renowned for improving its overall function. Echinacea is helpful in treating and preventing upper respiratory tract infections, infections in general, sinus, chronic bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, conjunctivitis, ear infections, bronchial asthma, tonsillitis, abscesses, colds and flu. Echinacea is extremely beneficial in enhancing the immune response in healthy individuals, adjuvant therapy (increases chances of cure) for cancer, chronic infections, swollen lymph glands, splenic enlargement and to slow immunological ageing. Echinacea is not just for the immune system it is also very beneficial for skin conditions such as ulcers, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, herpes, boils, mouth ulcers, shingles, and cellulitis. In the gastrointestinal tract Echinacea is useful in controlling the overgrowth of bacteria, parasites, fungal infections or worms. Topically Echinacea liquid works well on mouth ulcers. Traditionally Echinacea was also used to treat boils, carbuncles, snake bites, insect bites, gangrene, diarrhoea, dysentery, scarlet fever, smallpox, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrhoea, syphilis, mastitis, glandular inflammation and pain associated with cancer.


Contraindications
: avoid in known allergy, use cautiously with immunosuppressive drugs. 

This herb is used in our Immune Boost Herbal Blend.

Echinacea - may accelerate the recovery from many types of bacterial & viral diseases and may help to prevent many types of bacterial & viral diseases 1. Echinacea may prevent the recurrence of infection by candida albicans 2. Echinacea may suppress many viruses including the cold, flu and herpes simplex viruses 3. Echinacea has been regarded as a valuable adjunct (improving the effectiveness of traditional treatment) to the treatment of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), due to its ability to stimulate the immune system 4. Echinacea may be useful for the treatment of cancer (due to its effect on NK lymphocytes, its ability to stimulate tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and due to its ability to activate macrophages) 5. Echinacea may stimulate the production of NK lymphocytes in leukaemia patients and prolong their life span 6. Echinacea may increase serum white blood cell counts when they are lower than normal 7. Traditionally Echinacea is used for fevers, influenza, measles, chicken pox, smallpox, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, abscesses, boils, eczema, wounds and glandular inflammation.

References:
1. Bone, K.  How to Prescribe Herbal Medicines.  MediHerb Pty Ltd.  1992:69.
2. Merali, S., et al.  Antifungal and anti-inflammatory activity of the genus echinacea.  Pharmaceutical Biology.  41.(6):412-420, 2003.
3. Sicha, J., et al.  Substances in the echinaceae family which are potential antiviral agents and immunostimulants.  Cesk Farm.  38(9):424-428, 1989.
4. See, D. M., et al.  In vitro effects of Echinacea and Ginseng on natural killer and antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity in healthy subjects and chronic fatigue syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients.  Immunopharmacology.  35(3):229-235, 1997.
5. Voaden, D. J., et al.  Tumor-inhibitors III.  Identification and synthesis of an oncolytic hydrocarbon from American coneflower roots.  Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.  15(6):619-623, 1972.
6. Currier, N. L., et al.  Echinacea purpurea and melatonin augment natural-killer cells in leukemic mice and prolong life span.  J Altern Complement Med.  7(3):241-251, 2001.
7. Cundell, D. R., et al.  The effect of aerial parts of Echinacea on the circulating white cell levels and selected immune functions of the aging male Sprague-Dawley rat.  Int Immunopharmacol.  3(7):1041-1048, 2003.

Elderflower

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Elderflower is very beneficial in the treatment of the common cold, influenza, acute sinus, acute infections with fever, acute bronchitis, sore throat, pleurisy and the measles. Elderflower is also very helpful in the treatment of asthma, chronic sinusitis, hay fever, ear infection, laryngitis, pharyngitis, sinus headache, measles and catarrhal deafness. Traditionally Elderflower was also used in any condition requiring fever management and promoting sweating. It was used topically for inflammation of the eyes, skin disorders, wounds and burns.


Contraindications
: none known. 

Elderflower - may prevent the replication of all three strains of the influenza viruses that cause the flu 1, 2. Studies have shown that Elderberry may prevent the influenza viruses from entering your cells, by disabling its ‘spikes’ which puncture normal healthy cells. With these spikes disabled the virus is unable to spread and this may minimise the symptoms of the influenza.

References:
1. Burge, B., et al.  The effect of Sambucol on flu-like symptoms in chimpanzees: prophylactic and symptom-dependent treatment.  International Zoo News.  46(1):16-19, 1999.
2. Zakay-Rones, Z., et al.  Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus nigra) during an outbreak of influenza in Panama.  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.  1(4):361-369, 1995.

Elecampane

Elecampane is a wonderful herb used by herbalists for respiratory complaints and is very beneficial in acute and chronic bronchitis, the common cold, influenza, whooping cough, pneumonia, lower respiratory catarrh, emphysema, asthma, bronchial asthma, cough and bronchiectasis. Traditionally Elecampane was also used to help irritating coughs in children, tuberculosis, to strengthen a patient suffering from chronic disorders of the respiratory tract, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), night sweats and internally and externally for skin conditions.

Contraindications: avoid in known allergy.

Eyebright

Eyebright is an excellent herb for the catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract especially acute and chronic sinus, sinus headache, excessive nasal mucus production, ear infection, hay fever, pharyngitis (sore throat), conjunctivitis, catarrhal headaches, common cold, sneezing, middle ear problems, sore throat, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) and the catarrhal phase of the measles. Traditionally Eyebright was also used for weakness of the eyes and eyesight disorders as well as catarrhal conditions of the intestinal tract and epilepsy.

Contraindications: do not apply herbal tinctures or extract directly to the eye.

Herbs should always be prescribed by a Qualified Herbalist who has the knowledge in treating disease. In some instances certain herbs can have contraindications in use, so it is important they are administered by a Certified Practitioner trained in Herbal Medicine.