Herbs Medicine a List of Herbs L-P

Lavender

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Lavender is a very calming herb and is useful in the treatment of restlessness, insomnia, anxiety, depression, tension headache, to improve mood, excitability, nervous stomach irritations, flatulent colic, intestinal colic, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), irritable bowel syndrome and rheumatism. Topically Lavender can be placed in a bath to improve circulatory disorders. It can also be used topically to treat most type of burns (including sunburn), rheumatism, muscular pains, neuralgia (nerve pain), cold sores, insect bites, head lice, halitosis (bad breath), vaginal discharge and anal fissure. Lavender Oil tones and revitalises the skin and it is useful for all types of skin problems. It also acts as an insect repellent and is very useful in reducing the pain associated with insect bites and stings. Traditionally Lavender was also used as a stimulant for children and as a gargle for sore throat and loss of voice.


Contraindications:
none known.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is useful in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, irritability, depression, nervous breakdown, infantile colic, flatulence, flatulent colic, intestinal colic, nervous dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), fever, common cold, influenza, irritable bowel syndrome and for lowering the thyroid stimulating hormone. Topically Lemon Balm is used to treat herpes infections. Traditionally Lemon Balm was also used to increase sweating in feverish conditions and painful menstruation.

Contraindications: none known.

Liquorice

Liquorice is a favourite herb among many herbalists and is used to treat peptic ulcer, gastritis, gastro-oesophageal reflux, adrenal depletion, physical stress, Addison’s disease, withdrawal from corticosteroid drugs, polycystic ovarian syndrome, period pain, female infertility and female androgen (sex hormone) excess. Liquorice is also used in the treatment of acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma, cough, upper respiratory catarrh, constipation, inflammatory conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation of the urinary tract, acute or recurring cystitis (inflammation of the bladder) and muscle cramps. Topically liquorice is used for eczema, dermatitis, herpes, acne, mouth ulcers and melasma (increased melanin pigmentation). Traditionally Liquorice was also used for palpitations, arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), painful spasms in the legs and as a mild laxative.

Contraindications: high blood pressure, hypokalemia (low potassium levels), oedema, congestive heart failure, Caution in the elderly and those with cardiac, renal or hepatic disease and with digoxin, diuretics or laxatives and pregnancy.

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

Liquorice;

- May help improve the treatment of Leaky Gut Syndrome 1. Liquorice may assist in the treatment of peptic, duodenal and gastric ulcers due to its ability to inhibit inflammation 2. Traditionally Liquorice has been used for reducing irritation of the mucous membranes of the urinary, respiratory and digestive tracts, stomach pain, painful spasms in the digestive tract, colic, chronic gastritis and ulcers.

- Studies have shown that licorice may be useful in the treatment of allergies due to the glycyrrhizin content of licorice increasing the effectiveness of cortisol against allergies and inhibiting various endogenous enzymes involved in the  inflammation associated with allergies. 3 In Japan for the past 60 years a glycyrrhizin preparation under the name of Stronger Neo-Minophagen C (SNMC) has been used clinically as an  anti-allergenic agent.

References:
1. Martin, S.  Intestinal permeability.  BioMed Newsletter.  11, 1995.
2. Aly, A. M., et al.  Licorice: a possible anti-inflammatory and anti-ulcer drug.  AAPS PharmSciTech.  6(1):E74-E82, 2005.
3. Shibata, S. A drug over the millennia: pharmacognosy, chemistry, and pharmacology of licorice. Yakugaku Zasshi. 120(10):849-862, 2000.

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Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow Root has a soothing action on the gastrointestinal tract making it very beneficial for gastro-oesophageal reflux, peptic ulcer, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and constipation. It is also beneficial in the treatment of asthma, acute or chronic bronchitis, dry cough, respiratory tract catarrh, cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), dysuria (painful urination) and to improve beneficial bowel flora. Topically Marshmallow is beneficial in the treatment of varicose veins, wounds, burns, ulcers, boils, abscess, furunculosis and as a gargle for a sore throat and loss of voice. Traditionally Marshmallow was also used for pneumonia, retention of urine, kidney infection, diarrhoea and acute dysentery.

Contraindications: none known.

This herb is used in our Intestinal Support Herbal Blend.

Marshmallow - may alleviate irritation to the gastric mucosa of the digestive tract 1. Marshmallow Root may alleviate gastric or peptic ulcers 2. Traditionally Marshmallow Root was use to treat diseases of the mucous membranes of the intestines, gastro-intestinal irritation and inflammation especially gastric or duodenal ulcers.

References:
1. Bisset N G, ed: Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmoceuticals, Stuttgart, 1994, Medpharm Scientific Publishers
2. Schmidgall J, Schnetz E, Hensel A: Planta Med 66(1):48-53, 2000.

Meadowsweet

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Meadowsweet has an anti-acid affect making it beneficial in the treatment of hyperacidity of the stomach, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), peptic ulcer, gastritis, gastro-oesophageal reflux, gastrointestinal inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea. Meadowsweet is also used in the treatment of cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra), dysuria (painful urination), inflammation of the cervix, inflammation of the vagina, leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge), arthritis, rheumatism, myalgia (muscle pain), fever and the common cold. Topically Meadowsweet is used in cervical dysplasia and to protect and repair the mucus of the vagina and cervix. Traditionally Meadowsweet was also used in the treatment of joint pain.


Contraindications:
none known.

This herb is used in our Digestive Support Herbal Blend.

Meadowsweet - is used for gastric disorders requiring repair or protection of the gastric mucosa (ulceration and gastritis) 1 Traditionally Meadowsweet is taken internally to relieve gastro-intestinal problems associated with flatulence, indigestion, gastric reflux (heartburn) and to balance stomach acid levels.

References:
1. Barnaulov OD, Kumkov AV, Khalikova NA et al. Rastitel’Nye Resursy 1977; 13 (4):661-669.

Milk Thistle

See St Mary’s Thistle.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina, tachycardia, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), cardiac hypertrophy (thickening of the heart muscle wall), nervous excitability and epilepsy. Traditionally Mistletoe was also used for hypertensive headache and chorea (abnormal involuntary movement disorder).

Contraindications: none known.

Mistletoe - studies have shown that mistletoe may stimulate the production of white blood cells 1 and the body’s natural killer cells and T-helper cells 2 all of which are required by your body to fight viral attacks such as the cold and flu.

References:
1. Huber, R., et al.  Mistletoe treatment induces GM-CSF- and IL-5 production by PBMC and increases blood granulocyte- and eosinophil counts: a placebo controlled randomized study in healthy subjects. Eur J Med Res. 10(10):411-418, 2005.
2. Dohmen, W., et al. Cellular immunomodulation and safety of standardized aqueous mistletoe extract PS76A2 in tumor patients treated for 48 weeks. Anticancer Research.  24(2C):1231-1237, 2004.

Maitake Mushroom

This herb is used in our Immune Boost Herbal Blend.

Maitake Mushroom - is a Japanese mushroom also known as dancing mushroom or hen of the woods. Studies have shown that Maitake Mushroom may improve and stimulate various aspects of the immune system 1. Maitake Mushroom may activate the activity of macrophages, natural killer cell lymphocytes and suppress several types of viruses 1, 2, 3, 4.

References:
1. Chen, G. Z., et al.  Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on murine T-lymphocytes subsets. Chinese Med J.  104(1):4-11, 1991.
2. Kodama N., et al.  Effects of D-fraction, a polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa on tumor growth involve activation of NK cells. Biol Pharm Bull. 25(12):1647-1650, 2002.
3. Kubo, K., et al.  Modification of cellular immune responses in experimental autoimmune hepatitis in mice by maitake (Grifola frondosa). Mycoscience. 39:351-360, 1998.
4. Mayell, M.  Maitake extracts and their therapeutic potential - a review. Alternative Medicine Review.  6(1):48-60, 2001.

Mullein

Mullein is primarily used by herbalists in the treatment of respiratory disorders, making it very beneficial in the treatment of acute and chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, tracheitis (infection of the trachea), tonsillitis, lower respiratory catarrh, cough, common cold, influenza and sore throat. Mullein can also be useful in the treatment of peptic ulcers, diarrhoea and topically for wounds, haemorrhoids, and earache. Traditionally Mullein was also used for intestinal bleeding, dysentery, tuberculosis and as a poultice for a sore throat and the mumps.

Contraindications: none known.

N

Nettle Leaf

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Nettle Leaf is used in the treatment of chronic skin conditions especially eczema, dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, hay fever, hives, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory conditions, uterine or gastrointestinal bleeding, acne, nosebleeds, the prevention and treatment of kidney stones, internal blood loss and blood in the stool. Topically Nettle can be used in the treatment of nosebleeds, burns, wounds and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Traditionally Nettle Leaf was also used in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, bronchial or asthmatic conditions and bladder stones. Topically it was used for relieving joint pain.


Contraindications:
rare allergic reactions may occur.

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

Nettle Leaf;

- May be useful for the treatment of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as it appears to reduce levels of interleukin 1 and tumour necrosis factor (inflammatory signalling molecules), which when in excess are strongly implicated in the development and progression of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis 1, 2

- Has a long history in helping improve immune function and as a general tonic. Human studies have shown that nettle was equivalent to or better than anti allergy medication in relieving allergenic rhinitis. 3 Nettle has also been shown to inhibit several inflammatory events that cause seasonal allergies including functioning as a histamine H1 receptor antagonist, inhibition of mast cell tryptase preventing degranulation and the release of pro-inflammatory mediators. Nettle also inhibits prostaglandin formation by the inhibition of Cox-1 and Cox-2.4

References:
1. Klingelhoefer, S., et al. Antirheumatic effect of IDS 23, a stinging nettle leaf extract, on in vitro expression of T helper cytokines.  J Rheumatol.  26(12):2517-2522, 1999.
2. Chrubasik, S., et al.  Evidence for antirheumatic effectiveness of Herba Urticae in acute arthritis:  a pilot study.  Phytomedicine.  4:105-108, 1997.
3. Mittman, P. et al.  Randomized, double-blind study of freeze-dried Urtica diocia in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.  Planta Medica.  56(1):44-47, 1990.

4. Roschek, B., et al.  Nettle extract (Urtica dioica) affects key receptors and enzymes associated with allergic rhinitis.  Phytotherapy Research.  23(7):920-926, 2009.

O

Oat Seed

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Oat Seed is a nerve tonic used for the treatment of mild depression, debility, convalescence, nervous exhaustion, feverish conditions, insomnia, sleep maintenance, and menopausal relief, especially from symptoms affecting the nervous system. It is also used for support during drug withdrawal and nervous system support during nicotine withdrawal. Traditionally Oat Seed was also used as a tonic for the heart and improving the energy of the heart, feeble states of the heart muscle and spermatorrhoea (involuntary loss of semen in men).


Contraindications:
none known.

Olive Leaf

Olive Leaf is used in the treatment of hypertension, angina, gout, fluid retention, infections, common cold, influenza and fever. Traditionally Olive Leaf was also used to protect against viruses, coughs, retrovirus, bacteria and protozoa, stomach-aches resulting from acidity, as a liver stimulant and to promote menstrual flow. Topically it was used for snakebite and mouth ulcers.

Contraindications: none known.

This herb is used in our Intestinal Cleanse Herbal Blend and AllerCare Herbal Blend.

Olive Leaf;

- Studies have shown that olive leaf increases blood levels of the thyroid hormone T3 in people suffering from hypothyroidism 1.

- Has traditionally been used to treat fevers, cough, cold and flu 2, 3, 4. Olive Leaf has an anti-microbial action and may inhibit many types of detrimental bacteria 5, candida albicans 6, micro-organisms 7.

- Traditionally olive leaf is used to improve immune function which may help reduce allergenic reactions.

References:
1. Al-Qarawi, A A, et al. effects of free dried extract of Olea europaea on the pituitary-thyroid axis in rats. Phytotherapy Research. 16 (3):286-287, 2002
.

2. Miller AG, Morris M: plaints of Dhofar. The southern region of Omar. Traditional, economic and medicinal uses, Diwan of Royal Court Sultanate of Omar, 1988, the office of the adviser the conservation of the environment
3. Grieve M: a modern herbal, New York, 1971, Dover publications.
4. Felter HW, Lloyd JU: King's American dispensary, ed 18 Rev 3, Portland, 1905, reprinted 1983, Eclectic medical publications.
5. Juven, et al. Studies on the mechanism of the antimicrobial action of oleuropein. Journal of applied bacteriology. 35:559–567, 1972.
6. Markin, D., et al.  In vitro antimicrobial activity of olive leaves.  Mycoses.  46(3-4):132-136, 2003.
7. Sudjana AN, D'Orazio C, Ryan V, Rasool N, Ng J, Islam N, Riley TV, Hammer KA. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2009 May;33(5):461-3. Epub 2009 Jan 9.

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape is used for chronic skin disorders such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, acne and for anorexia. Topically Oregon Grape can be used to treat psoriasis and acne. Traditionally Oregon Grape was also used for leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge), constitutional syphilis, syphilitic dyscrasia, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), liver disorders, gastritis and to improve bile flow.

Contraindications: none known.

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Paeonia

Paeonia is a herb used by many herbalists in the treatment of women’s hormonal issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, fibroids, oestrogen excess, androgen (sex and adrenal hormones) excess, adenomyosis (endometriosis of the uterine muscle), period pain, menstrual irregularity, leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge) and menorrhagia (excess menstrual bleeding). Paeonia is also used to improve memory, concentration and mental performance, leg cramps, migraine headaches, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease and angina.

Contraindications: none known.

Pasque Flower

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

The Pasque Flower is used to treat any painful or inflamed condition of the male or female reproductive tract such as period pain, ovarian pain, epididymitis (pain and inflammation of the epididymis which is located on the testicles) and orchitis (testicular pain and inflammation). Pasque Flower can also be used in the treatment of insomnia, hyperactivity and tension headaches. Traditionally Pasque Flower was also used to treat skin eruptions and boils.


Contraindications:
pregnancy and lactation, use with caution in children.

Passionflower

Passionflower is used to treat anxiety, sleep onset insomnia, disturbed sleep, hyperactivity, restlessness, irritability, tension headaches, nervous tachycardia and nervous symptoms resulting from menstrual disturbances. It also has the ability to achieve mild sedation in healthy individuals. Passionflower is also beneficial in treating period pain, asthma, epilepsy, whooping cough, neuralgic pain (nerve pain), cardiac insufficiency and as an adjuvant therapy (increases the chances of a cure) in opiate withdrawal. Traditionally Passionflower was also used to treat hysteria, tetanus and chorea (abnormal involuntary movement disorder). Topically it was used in the treatment of burns, scalds, haemorrhoids, painful ulcers and toothache.

Contraindications: none known.

Pau D'Arco

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

Pau D'Arco;

- Is a potent immune stimulating herb that has traditionally been used for Candida overgrowth. Studies have shown Pau D’Arco kills or suppresses many types of detrimental fungi including Candida albicans 1, 2.

- Is used for its ability to kill or suppress escherichia coli 3 and helicobacter pylori 4. Pau D’Arco may assist in suppressing or killing parasites 5. Traditionally Pau D’Arco was used for the treatment of dysentery, intestinal inflammation, stomach ulcers, ulcer pain and malaria.

References:
1. Guiraud, P., et al.  Comparison of antibacterial and antifungal activities of lapachol and beta-lapachone.  Planta Medica.  60(4):373-374, 1994
2. Portillo, A., et al.  Antifungal activity of Paraguayan plants used in traditional medicine.  Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  76(1):93-98, 2001.
3. Anesini, C., et al.  Screening of plants used in Argentine folk medicine for antimicrobial activity.  Journal of Ethnopharmacology.  39(2):119-128, 1993.
4. Park, B. S., et al.  Antibacterial activity of Tabebuia impetiginosa Martius ex DC (Taheebo) against helicobacter pylori.  Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 105(1-2):255-262, 2006.

5. Mills S, Bone K: Principles and practice of Phytotheraphy: Modern Herbal Medicine, Edinburgh, 2000, Churchill Livingstone.

Peppermint

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Peppermint is a very beneficial herb used in the treatment of digestive disorders such as dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), intestinal colic, flatulence, flatulent colic, infantile colic, irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, nausea, vomiting and morning sickness. Peppermint can also be used in the treatment of gall bladder dysfunction, gallstones, common cold, influenza, fever, nervous conditions, period pain, upper respiratory catarrh, sinus headache and to inhibit lactation (secretion of breast milk). Topically Peppermint can be used for tension headaches, pruritus (itchy skin), osteoarthritis and the essential oil is very good in the treatment of sinus and neuralgia (nerve pain). Traditionally Peppermint was also used to treat hysteria, stomach cramps and as a poultice for an upset stomach and headaches.


Contraindications:
gastro-oesophageal reflux.

This herb is used in our Digestive Support Herbal Blend.

Peppermint - has traditionally been used to improve various aspects of the digestive system such as flatulence, diarrhoea, bloating, reflux and indigestion 1, 2.

References:
1. May, B., et al.  Efficacy of a fixed peppermint/caraway oil combination in non-ulcer dyspepsia.  Arzneimittelforschung.  46(12):1149-1153, 1996.
2. Thompson Coon, J., et al.  Systematic review: herbal medicinal products for non-ulcer dyspepsia.  Aliment Pharmacol Ther.  16(10):1689-1699, 2002.

Poke Root

Poke Root is used in the treatment of lymphadenitis (enlarged lymph glands), tonsillitis, laryngitis (loss of voice), chronic upper respiratory catarrh, mumps, mastitis, mammary abscess, chronic skin disorders such as dermatitis or eczema and as a possible treatment for uterine and breast cancers. Topically Poke Root has been used for the treatment of tinea, acne, mastitis and skin irritation or infection. Traditionally Poke Root was also used for the treatment of swollen and painful ovaries, chronic rheumatism and topically for scabies.

Contraindications: use cautiously and do not exceed the recommended dose. Contraindicated in pregnancy, lactation, lymphocytic leukaemia and gastrointestinal irritation. Do not apply to broken skin and avoid concurrent use with immunosuppressive drugs.

Polygonum Cuspidatum or Giant Knotweed

Polygonum Cuspidatum is a potent antioxidant containing resveratrol (the anti oxidant that gives red wine its health benefits) which can be used to slow the ageing process, prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. It can also be used in the treatment of osteoarthritis, constipation, leucopenia (decreased number of circulating white blood cells), tonsillitis, rheumatoid arthritis and metabolic syndrome or syndrome X.

Contraindications: none known.

Polygonum Multiflorum

Greg Newson - Vitality & Wellness Centre

Polygonum Multiflorum is also a potent antioxidant which can be used to slow the ageing process and also treat fatigue associated with insomnia, neurasthenia (chronic fatigue, irritability, generalised muscle aches and pains, poor memory and concentration), debility in the elderly, to strengthen connective tissue, osteoarthritis, high cholesterol levels, tinnitus (ringing in ears), blurred vision, dizziness and possibly of benefit for nervous system diseases such as epilepsy, schizophrenia and neuritis (inflammation of the peripheral nervous system).

Contraindications: none known.

Prickly Ash

Prickly Ash is used primarily by herbalists in circulatory problems such as impaired peripheral circulation, intermittent claudication (poor blood flow to legs), Reynard syndrome, Buerger’s disease, cerebrovascular disease, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, leg cramps, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, restless leg syndrome and neuralgia (nerve pain). Traditionally Prickly Ash was also used in the treatment of cold hands and feet, complaints arising from bad circulation, constipation, dyspepsia (heartburn, bloating, upset stomach, burping and/or stomach pain), nasal catarrh and pharyngitis (sore and inflamed throat).

Contraindications: none known.

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.