Citrus in Traditional Medicine

Citrus in traditional Asiatic medicine In a comparative study of the use of herbal drugs in the traditional medicines of India and Europe, Pun () found a marked similarity between the drugs used in the two continents. He attributed this not only to the similarity of the vegetation in the two areas, but also to the influence that traditional Indian medicine, in particular the Atherveda, one of the most ancient repositories of human knowledge, had on Egypt, Greece and Rome. He listed the principal uses of a small number of these drugs, including bitter orange peel, which in India is used as an aromatic, stomachic, tonic, astringent and carminative agent, and lemon, which is used as a flavouring and for its carminative and stomachic effects. In the Valmiki-Ramayana, written after the Vedas and one of the most sacred of all religious books which enumerates the virtues of the medicinal plants that Lord Rama (Vishnu) met during his fourteen-year journey around different parts of India, Karnick and Hocking () identified and listed fifty of these drugs with their use as described in the Ayurvedica (or native Indian) system of medicine. The immature fruit of Citrus aurantifolia (Christm) Swingle was used as an fortifier, Read more […]

Chamomile: Traditional Use and Therapeutic Indications

Traditional Use Chamomile has been known for centuries and is well established in therapy. In traditional folk medicine it is found in the form of chamomile tea, which is drunk internally in cases of painful gastric and intestinal complaints connected with convulsions such as diarrhea and flatulence, but also with inflammatory gastric and intestinal diseases such as gastritis and enteritis. Externally chamomile is applied in the form of hot compresses to badly healing wounds, such as for a hip bath with abscesses, furuncles, hemorrhoids, and female diseases; as a rinse of the mouth with inflammations of the oral cavity and the cavity of the pharynx; as chamomile steam inhalation for the treatment of acne vulgaris and for the inhalation with nasal catarrhs and bronchitis; and as an additive to baby baths. In Roman countries it is quite common to use chamomile tea even in restaurants or bars and finally even in the form of a concentrated espresso. This is also a good way of fighting against an upset stomach due to a sumptuous meal, plenty of alcohol, or nicotine. In this case it is not easy to draw a line and find out where the limit to luxury is. Clinic and practice Preliminary remark The suitability of the empirical Read more […]

Artemisia Herba-Alba

The genus Artemisia is a member of the large and evolutionary advanced plant family Asteraceae (Compositae). More than 300 different species comprise this diverse genus which is mainly found in arid and semi-arid areas of Europe, America, North Africa as well as in Asia. Artemisia species are widely used as medicinal plants in folk medicine. Some species such as Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia annua or Artemisia vulgaris have even been incorporated into the pharmacopoeias of several European and Asian countries. Sesquiterpene lactones are among the most prominent natural products found in Artemisia species and are largely responsible for the importance of these plants in medicine and pharmacy. For example, the antimalarial effect of the long known Chinese medicinal plant Qing Hao (Artemisia annua) is due to the sesquiterpene lactone artemisinin which is active against Plasmodium falciparum (). Another sesquiterpene lactone, absinthin, is the bitter tasting principle found in Artemisia absinthium formerly used to produce an alcolohic beverage called “absinth”. In addition to sesquiterpene lactones volatile terpenoids that constitute the so called essential oils are also characteristic metabolites of Artemisia species. Read more […]

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as pelvic pain lasting more than 6 months. Some authors add the additional criteria that the pain be noncyclic. It is one of the most common presenting complaints in gynecologic practice, affecting as many as one in seven American women. Chronic pelvic pain comprises up to 10% of outpatient gynecologic visits, accounts for 20% of laparoscopies, and results in 12% (75,000 / year) of all hysterectomies performed annually in the United States. Estimated annual direct medical costs for outpatient visits for chronic pelvic pain in the United States among women 18 to 50 years old is estimated to be $881.5 million. It is often an extremely frustrating condition for both patient and care provider because in many cases an etiology cannot be identified and there is no apparent pathology. Treatment of presumed underlying conditions is frequently ineffective, and the “pain itself becomes the illness.” Because the cause often cannot be identified, chronic pelvic pain is frequently attributed to psychogenic causes. Although these may play a role in chronic pelvic pain for some women with lack of an identifiable cause, this does not necessarily equate with a psychosomatic origin for this complaint. Common Read more […]

20th Century Usage In Diarrhoea

Of the modern authors, Weiss discusses the use of tormentil at length and recommends it highly. He gives a description which refers to Potentilla erecta and considers it the best astringent in chronic enterocolitis, summer diarrhoea, paratyphoid diarrhoea, acute and sub-acute enteritis and colitis although less useful in chronic cases of colitis. He recommends a good pinch of powder (500 mg) several times a day. Weiss also recommends one cup several times a day of a decoction prepared with 1-3 tablespoons of rhizome, steeped for 15 minutes in 500 mL water. He advises use with a carminative such as chamomile Matricaria recutita, lemon balm Melissa officinalis or peppermint Mentha piperita. Weiss considers the tincture less effective but gives a dose of 30-50 drops several times a day in peppermint tea. He gives a formula of tinctures of tormentil 30 mL, Atropa belladonna leaf 5 mL and carminative tincture 15 mL, 30 drops three times a day. The final dose of Atropa belladonna should be calculated before considering use of this formula. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia gives the main actions as astringent and anti-haemorrhagic and recommends it for ulcerative colitis and diarrhoea, including acute diarrhoea and diarrhoea Read more […]

Vervain Of The Americas

Where later writers have included any of the older indications, they are likely to have come from Culpeper. This includes Dioscorides’ indication for jaundice in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, and references to lung conditions (Robinson 1868), but these are negligible compared to the importance of the descriptions by Coffin and Cook of the American Verbena hastata. Take vervain’s use in gynecology: Cook discusses vervain as a relaxant tonic with mild laxative effects indicated in recent obstructions of the menses, from which is derived an emmenogogue action and an indication of amenorrhoea (Priest & Priest, Bartram, Hoffmann), which has nothing to do with Culpeper’s original assertion, that vervain is a sympathetic remedy for the womb correcting all cold diseases of that organ. The relaxant effect becomes an anti-spasmodic action, useful in gall-bladder inflammation [British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, Hoffmann), acute spasms of bronchitis and pertussis as well as dysmenorrhoea (Priest & Priest), seizures (Hoffmann) muscle spasm, neuritis and ear neuralgia (Menzies-Trull) and labour pains (Coffin). None of these writers mentions abdominal colic cited by the old Byzantine writers, or repeats Parkinson’s ‘all inward Read more […]

Nelumbo nucifera

Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. (Nymphaeaceae) Sacred Lotus, East Indian Lotus, Oriental Lotus Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn. is an aquatic plant that grows in shallow waters. Leaves are green, round, 30-60 cm across and with long petiole. Flowers are pink, white or red, 10-30 cm and solitary. Fruits are non-edible and non-fleshy. Origin Native to tropical and temperate Asia, Australia and Eastern Europe. Phytoconstituents Nuciferin, nornuciferin, nelumboroside A & B, nelumstemine, dotriacontane, ricinoleic, roemerin, liensinine, neferine, lotusine, liriodenine, asimilobin, pronuciferine and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses The leaves are used to treat sunstroke, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, dizziness and vomiting of blood. The plant is used as an antidote for mushroom poisoning and for smallpox. In Ayurveda, the plant is used to treat cholera, diarrhoea, worm infestation, vomiting, exhaustion and intermittent fever. The fruits are used in decoction for agitation, fever, heart and haematemesis while the stamens are used to “purify the heart, permeate the kidneys, strengthen virility, to blacken the hair, for haemoptysis and spermatorrhoea”. They are also used to treat premature ejaculation, as astringent for bleeding, Read more […]

Lonicera japonica

Lonicera japonica Thunb. (Caprifoliaceae) Japanese Honeysuckle, Jin Yin Hua Lonicera japonica Thunb. is a climbing shrub having tomen-tose young leaves and stems. Leaves are simple, opposite and exstipulate. Blade is elliptic, 3-8 cm by 2-3 cm, truncate at base, obtuse and chartaceous. Flowers are axillary, white, and turns yellow upon maturity. Fruits are globose and black. Origin A native of East Asia, widely cultivated and naturalised throughout the world. Phytoconstituents Linalool, luteolin, geraniol, aromadendrene, eugenol, loniceroside A, B, C, L-phenylalaninosecologanin, (Z)-aldosecologanin, (E)-aldosecologanin and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses In China, the flowers are used for influenza, boils and carbuncle. In Malaysia, decoctions of dried flowers are used for cooling, flu, fever, headache, and boils. Distilled flowers are used to produce a medicine for treating postprandial stomachaches. Flower tea is prescribed to treat fever, sore throat, mouth sores, headache, conjunctivitis, keratitis, corneal ulcers, breast infections, muscle and joint pain, stomach problems, diarrhoea, and painful urination. They are used in the treatment of arthritis and inflammation. Flower buds are used in infusions Read more […]

Ricinus communis

Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae) Castor Oil Plant, Castor Bean Ricinus communis L. is an erect herb, growing up to 3.6 m high, having pinkish succulent stem and large alternate palmate leaves that are green or reddish brown. Leaves are lobed, consisting of 6-8 radiating leaflets with serrated edges and prominent central veins. Flowers are green, pink or red and inconspicuous, with no petals. The fruits are capsular, with three lobes, prickly and green, containing three seeds. Origin Native to Africa, naturalised throughout tropics and subtropics. Phytoconstituents Ricin, ricinoleic acid, ricinine, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, o-coumaric acids, syringic acid, cinnamic acids, stigmasterol, fucosterol and others. Traditional Medicinal Uses Its leaf poultice is applied to boils and sores in India; to treat headaches and fever in Hawaii. The leaves and roots are used in a decoction for anal prolapse, arthritis, constipation, facial palsy, lymphadenopathy, strabismus, uteral prolapse, cough, and also as a discutient and expectorant. The heated leaves are applied to gout and swellings as well. The leaves and oil are used for dermatological purposes in Nigeria. Its seeds are used to treat abscesses and skin eruptions, Read more […]

Diseases of the Digestive System

Herbs For Gastrointestinal Disorders Formulas For Gastrointestinal Conditions The formulas below are indicated for gingivitis, stomatitis, and periodontal disease; food allergy gastritis and enteritis; gastritis and vomiting; immune-mediated inflammatory bowel disease; internal parasites (coccidia, giardia, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms); chronic active hepatitis and cholangiohepatitis; and acute and chronic pancreatitis. Strategy Implement appropriate lifestyle changes and appropriate diet. Monitor patients regularly, particularly if herbs are used as the sole treatment for early cases or if the animals are on conventional medication. Doses can be adjusted upwards if no changes of 20% per week have been observed. Doses of conventional medicines may need to be reviewed 1 to 2 weeks after commencing treatment with herbs. These formulas can be made as per the recipe or adapted from other recipes according to patient needs. They are formulated to allow substitution. Gingivitis and periodontal disease and stomatitis Implement dental prophylaxis and teeth cleaning. Use vulnery (wound healing), antiinflammatory, and antimicrobial herbs, and consider immune-supporting herbs. Improve peripheral circulation Read more […]