Anxiety Disorders: Supplements With Possible Efficacy

In addition to supplements discussed above, a few other compounds may also have some efficacy in treating symptoms of anxiety. However, since the data that supports the use of the following supplements is extremely limited, clinicians should proceed with caution, and consider the use of the compounds discussed in this section as experimental. St. John’s Wort As described in site, St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an herb that exists in many species throughout the world, and it is widely used as an antidepressant. It is available in a variety of preparations, including capsules, liquid, oils, and raw herb to be brewed as tea. St. John’s Wort contains a plethora of active ingredients, including flavonoids, naphthodianthrones, phloroglucinols, phenolic acids, terpenes, and xanthones. These exert a variety of psychoactive effects, and several of these are described below. Of all herbal supplements, St. John’s Wort is the one that has been researched most extensively and there is strong support for its efficacy in reducing depressive symptoms. The use of St. John’s Wort as an anxiolytic is more recent, but a few studies suggest that is may be effective. Davidson and Connor (2001) reported case studies of patients Read more […]

Ginger (Zingiber Officinale)

Medical Uses Ginger is used for nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, and inflammation. It may help to prevent cancer. Historical Uses Greek bakers imported ginger from the Orient to make gingerbread. Spanish mariners brought ginger to the New World. Growth Ginger is cultivated in tropical climates. Ginger: Part Used • The knotted and branched rhizome (an underground stem) called the root. Major Chemical Compounds • Volatile oils, particularly zingiberene, bisabolene, gingerols, and shogaols • Niacin • Vitamin A Ginger: Clinical Uses Ginger is used for nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, and inflammation. It also has anticancer effects. Ginger has been shown to relieve nausea and vomiting during pregnancy without adverse effects. It is approved by the German Commission E and the World Health Organization (WHO) for “prevention of motion sickness.” WHO also has approved ginger for postoperative nausea, pernicious vomiting in pregnancy, and seasickness, whereas the German Commission E approved ginger only for dyspepsia and does not recommend its use during pregnancy. Mechanism of Action Ginger does not influence the inner ear or the oculomotor system; apparently it exerts its antiemetic effect Read more […]

Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgaris)

Medical Uses Traditionally, fennel has been used mainly to aid digestion, relieve stomach spasms, loosen coughs, freshen breath, and promote the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers. Fennel water has been given to infants to relieve colic. Fennel syrup and fennel honey have been used for upper respiratory infections in children. Historical Uses Fennel was a sacred herb in medieval times, and bunches of fennel were hung on doors to prevent the effects of witchcraft. Ancient Greeks thought that fennel gave them courage. The Greek meaning of fennel is “to grow thin”. In folklore, fennel seeds were used to promote milk flow, help calm colicky babies, suppress appetite, and aid digestion. Fennel has been used in India to aid digestion and freshen breath after eating. Growth Fennel is easy to grow from seed; it prefers warm soil with plenty of sun. Fennel: Part Used • Seeds Major Chemical Compounds • Volatile oil • Essential fatty acids • Flavonoids • Beta carotene • Vitamin C • Calcium • Iron Fennel: Clinical Uses Traditionally, fennel has been used mainly to aid digestion, relieve stomach spasms, loosen coughs, freshen breath, and promote the flow of breast milk in nursing Read more […]

Ailanthus altissima

Ailanthus species (Simaroubaceae) have a history of use in traditional medicine, particularly for the treatment of dysentery, A. altissima is particularly noted as an antibacterial, anthelmintic, amoebicide and insecticide (); A. excelsa () is noted as a specific for respiratory problems and A. malabarica is noted for the treatment of dyspepsia, bronchitis, opthalmia and snake bite. Ailanthus altissima: Distribution and Importance A. altissima Mill. Swingle. (Syn. A. glandulosa Desf.) originated in China, where it has been used in traditional medicine for enteritic infections of various origins (American Herbal Pharmacology Delegation 1975). Throughout the Far East, various parts of A. altissima are considered to be medicinal, with the use of either the fruits or bark of either root or stem for dysentery and various other gastric and intestinal upsets. Trees harvested for medicinal purposes are usually felled in the spring or autumn, and the bark is removed and dried in the sun. It is normally used to make aqueous extracts which are bitter, astringent and cooling. Bark extract has also been used to treat anaemia and as a taeniafuge, but does not have vermifuge properties. Leaves are toxic to domestic animals, causing Read more […]

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

Milk Thistle: Medical Uses Milk thistle improves liver function tests and helps to counteract mushroom (Amanita phalloides) poisoning if taken within 24 hours after ingestion of the mushroom. It can also be used for chemical-induced liver damage, cirrhosis, and viral hepatitis. Historical Uses Milk thistle has been used traditionally for liver complaints. Growth A member of the aster family, milk thistle is native to southern and western Europe and some parts of the U.S. Part Used • Fruits, known as achenes () Major Chemical Compounds • Silymarin • Silibinin Milk Thistle: Clinical Uses Milk thistle improves liver function tests and reverses mushroom (Amanita phalloides) poisoning if given within 24 hours after ingestion of the mushroom. It can also be used for chemical-induced liver damage, cirrhosis, and viral hepatitis. Silibinin may be useful in prostate cancer. It is approved by the German Commission E for dyspepsia, liver damage, and liver disease. Mechanism of Action This herb has antioxidant, hepatoprotective, and hepatorestorative properties. It also increases the gluthione content of liver, inhibits leukotrienes, and stimulates protein synthesis. Silibinin, an antioxidant in milk thistle, Read more […]

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Peppermint: Medical Uses Peppermint is used for colds, fevers, and gastrointestinal complaints. Historical Uses Peppermint has been used historically for indigestion, colic, and fevers. Growth This perennial aromatic herb of the mint family can be grown as a houseplant or in an herb garden. It spreads easily in a garden. Part Used • Leaves Major Chemical Compounds • Volatile oil made up of menthol, menthone, and menthyl acetate Clinical Uses Peppermint is given for colds, fevers, and gastrointestinal complaints. Peppermint oil capsules have improved symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Mechanism of Action This herb has carmative (gas-relieving) and antispasmodic effects because it blocks calcium and decreases hypercontractility of intestinal smooth muscle. Menthol has a choleretic effect. Peppermint: Dosage Tea (infusion): 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water, steeped for 5 minutes. Cover the cup to prevent volatile oils from escaping. Drink three times daily. Side Effects Peppermint may cause hypersensitivity reactions and contact dermatitis. Contraindications • Peppermint is contraindicated in patients with gallstones. • Peppermint may reduce or negate the Read more […]

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Turmeric: Medical Uses Turmeric inhibits cancer, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and lowers cholesterol levels. It may be used for stomach upset, acne, dermatitis, infections, dandruff, gastritis, gingivitis, herpes, inflammation, sunburn, and psoriasis. Historical Uses Turmeric was used internally to regulate blood sugar in diabetics and to prevent colon cancer. It was applied topically as a paste to reduce canker sores and cold sores. It was also used as a yellow dye for the robes of Buddist monks. Turmeric is also known as Indian saffron or yellow ginger. Crowth A member of the ginger family, turmeric is a perennial plant cultivated in tropical regions of Asia. Part Used • Root Major Chemical Compounds • Curcumin • Volatile oils • Tumerone • Atlantone and zingiberone sugars • Resins • Proteins • Vitamins and minerals. Turmeric: Clinical Uses Turmeric inhibits cancer, has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and lowers cholesterol levels. It is approved by the German Commission E and the World Health Organization for dyspepsia. It is also used for acne, dermatitis, infections, dandruff, gastritis, gingivitis, herpes, inflammation, sunburn, and psoriasis. Read more […]

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow: Medical Uses Yarrow encourages perspiration, appetite, and strength. Historical Uses Yarrow was called “soldiers’ woundwort” because the leaves were taken onto the battlefield and applied to stop wounds from bleeding. Yarrow compresses were used for hemorrhoids. In folklore, fresh yarrow root was used as an anesthetic for surgery. Fresh roots or leaves were also mashed in whiskey and used for toothache. Growth Yarrow grows wild in meadows and on roadsides in North America. The flower heads grow in clusters of different-colored varieties of white, yellow, orange, and bright red. White yarrow is the variety most often used medicinally. Yarrow repels ants, flies, Japanese beetles, and termites. Part Used • Flowers (whole white flower heads) Major Chemical Compounds • Tannins • Volatile oils • Flavonoids • Vitamins (ascorbic acid, folic acid) • Coumarins Yarrow: Clinical Uses Yarrow encourages perspiration, appetite, and strength. It is approved by the German Commission E for loss of appetite and dyspepsia and externally for psychosomatic cramps of the female pelvis. Mechanism of Action The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of yarrow may result from its flavonoid Read more […]

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion: Medical Uses Dandelion root is used most often for liver disease and to increase bile flow. The root is also used as a coffee substitute. The leaves are used primarily for their diuretic effect and for adolescent acne. Historical Uses Dandelion first appeared in the 10th century in Arabian medicine and has been used as a diuretic, a treatment for anemia, a blood tonic, a mild laxative, and an appetite stimulant. Europeans used dandelion to treat diabetes. It is reported that dandelion is more nutritious than spinach. It may have antiviral properties that help prevent herpes. It also has been used to treat premenstrual syndrome and hepatitis. It is also called lion’s tooth and wild endive. Growth Dandelions grow in lawns and fields throughout the spring and summer in the northern hemisphere and are usually considered weeds. The plant has “lion-toothed” leaves and a bright yellow upright flower. Parts Used • Leaves • Roots • All parts are edible Major Chemical Compounds • Chicoric acid • Monocaffeytartaric acid • Taraxacin (bitter) • Taraxacerin • Sesquiterpene lactones • Phytosterols • Iron • Vitamins A, B, and C One ounce of fresh dandelion leaves Read more […]

GASTRIC SECRETION INHIBITORS

GASTRIC SECRETION INHIBITORS act at some stage in the control process to inhibit the enzymic or gastric acid secretions of the stomach, with the latter being a major therapeutic target. The neuronal, hormonal and paracrine control of gastric acid secretion from the parietal cells of the gastric mucosa is complex. The pathways involved include acetylcholine via the parasympathetic innervation of the stomach, the hormone gastrin. the paracrine agent histamine and possibly the paracrine hormone gastrin-releasing peptide. Anticholinergic agents have not proved very valuable in the long-run, having a limited ability to reduce acid secretion at doses that can be tolerated in view of widespread side-effects. Some more recently developed agents show gastric-selectivity (they are Mrcholinoceptor-preferring ligands, which may be the reason for their selectivity), e.g. pirenzepine and telenzepine: see muscarinic cholinoceptor antagonists. Gastrin receptor antagonists and gastrin-releasing peptide antagonists have now been developed for experimental use, but it is not yet clear if either will be useful clinically. See BOMBESIN RECEPTOR ANTAGONISTS; CHOLECYSTOKININ RECEPTOR ANTAGONISTS. Histamine H2-receptor antagonists Read more […]