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 […]

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 […]

Cervical Dysplasia: Discussion Of Botanicals

Blood Root The blood-red color of the sap from the roots of blood root led to its traditional use as a blood purifier. It was used as an emmenagogue, in the treatment of respiratory conditions, as a strong emetic, and for the treatment of fungal infections and ulcers. By the eighteenth century, blood root was used topically to treat indolent chancres and tumors as an ingredient in the popular “black salve,” an escharotic treatment that was used topically for the treatment of tumors. Extracts of sanguinarine, an alkaloid from the herb, have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiviral, antiproliferative, and apoptotic activities, and are under active research for the treatment of cancer. Sanguinarine, an alkaloid compound fund in blood root, is a potent inhibitor of NF-kappa B activation.’ Sanguinarine is an ingredient in dental hygiene products, for example, toothpaste, used for its antiplaque activity and in the treatment of gingivitis. There is controversy over the safety of its use in dental products, with contradictory research over whether it may cause malignant cell change and lead to the development of leukoplakia. Most studies have concluded that the extract is safe for dental Read more […]

Wormwood: Broad Consensus

The Arabic writers mention varieties of absinthium from their own experience. Serapio says the best comes from the Indians, Ibn Sina prefers those from Armenia and the mountains of Turkey and speaks too of one from lordan ‘which smells nicely”. They mainly repeat the commendations of the ancient writers. Serapio includes its use for abscesses of the liver and stomach, repeats Galen’s lack of effect on phlegm in the stomach and Dioscorides’ warning about the juice as harmful to the stomach. He cites Mabix on opening obstructions, loosening the belly and curing jaundice because of its heat. It is Ibn Sina who talks about the dual properties of the plant and explains this effect; it stops (at least the one from lordan) diarrhoea thanks to an earth element in it and purges and opens up blockages thanks to the volatile element. Ibn Sina is ambiguous about taking the juice; wormwood, he says, is ‘a fantastic and lovely herb to repair appetite when taken as a broth and/or as a squeezed juice during ten days, each day 3 obols (1800 mg). As wine it strengthens the stomach and renders other benefits, or the herb, especially taken as a squeezed juice during ten days, each day 3 dirhams (8.925 g) helps jaundice and dropsy”. Yet Read more […]

External Use As An Astringent

Before moving to current practice, we can trace long usage of tormentil as an astringent in external remedies. Dioscorides advises the decoction of root, boiled down to one third, held in the mouth to relieve toothache, used as a rinse to control putrid humours in the mouth and as a gargle for hoarseness of the trachea. These are also given by Dodoens, who suggests the root and the leaf together. Dioscorides then gives a long list of indications and recommends a preparation of boiled root, ground up in vinegar to keep shingles in check, restrain herpes, disperse scrophulous swellings in glands, indurations, swellings, aneurysms, abscesses, erysipelas, fleshy excrescences in fingers, callous lumps and mange. Galen recommends pentaphyllum to dry wounds. Apuleius advises the juice of the herb bruised and mixed with egg yolk, rubbed on painful feet to take away the pain in 3 days. This usage also is given by Dalechamps and Bauhin, and reappears as a balm for the feet in Gloucestershire. The Salernitan herbal refers to tormentil, which resembles cinquefoil, and recommends the juice of the root placed inside a fistula and the juice mixed with white wine applied for fleck in the eye. Turner finds it similar to bistort Polygonum 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 […]

Green tea: Uses. Dosage

Clinical Use Evidence is largely based on epidemiological studies with few clinical studies available. CANCER PREVENTION Epidemiological studies have generally shown a decreased occurrence of cancer in those individuals who drink green tea regularly, although this has not been observed in all studies. A 2003 prospective cohort study using 13-year follow-up data found increased green tea consumption was associated with an apparent delay of cancer onset and death, and all cause deaths. A phase 2 RCT evaluated the effects of green tea on oxidative DNA damage in 143 heavy smokers over 4 months and found a significant reduction in damage as evaluated from urine and plasma. A small, controlled, pilot study concluded with similar results when cells from the oral mucosa of smokers showed much less oxidative damage when compared with controls. These trials indicate that green tea may be effective in reducing cancer in smokers, but much larger trials are needed. In contrast, a 2001 prospective study in Japan found no association between green tea consumption and cancer incidence. CANCER TREATMENT Overall, the current evidence does not support the use of green tea as a cancer treatment; however, there are some exceptions, Read more […]


AMOEBICIDAL AGENTS (antiamoebic agents; amoebicides) are used to treat or prevent infections caused by amoebic microorganisms, which are small unicellular organisms that prefer damp environments. Although now classified as part of the kingdom Protista, phylum Rhizopoda, amoebae were originally classified as Protozoa. Consequently, the term antiamoebic agent tends to be used as synonymous with ANTIPROTOZOAL AGENT, and a number of agents are effective against both. One genus of amoebae responsible for a number of diseases are the Entamoeba, found particularly in the gastrointestinal tract of humans. E. histolytica invades and destroys the tissues of the gut wall causing amoebic dysentery and ulceration of the gut wall. Infection of the liver by this species causes amoebic hepatitis. E. gingivalis, found within the spaces between the teeth, is associated with periodontal disease and gingivitis. In practice, treatment of amoebiasis can be divided into treatment of bowel lumen amoebiasis, and tissue-invading amoebiasis. The bowel lumen infection, which is usually asymptomatic, may be in trophozoites form (non-infective) or in cysts form (infective); and treatment is directed at eradicating cysts with a luminal amoebicide Read more […]

Myrrh: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

Myrrh has been used since ancient times in a variety of forms as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic medicine. • It has been used as a topical preparation to reduce inflammation and enhance wound healing — in vivo evidence suggests the anti-inflammatory activity of one of the main constituents is stronger than hydrocortisone and local anaesthetic activity is likely. • Preliminary evidence suggests that it may be a useful treatment in gingivitis and periodontal disease. • The preparation known as guggulipid, which comes from Commiphora species, may have lipid-lowering effects according to clinical studies; however, evidence is contradictory and further research is required to confirm this. • Myrrh is not to be used in pregnancy and may interact with a number of medications when used orally. Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions What will this herb do for me? Traditionally, the herb has been used as a mouthwash or topical paint to relieve symptoms of mouth ulcers, sore throats and gum disease. It has also been used as a topical application for inflamed skin conditions and wounds. Scientific research confirms antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and local anaesthetic effects Read more […]

Myrrh: Other Uses. Dosage

TRADITIONAL INDICATIONS Myrrh has been used in TCM, Tibetan medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, Middle Eastern medicine and in Europe; therefore, it has numerous traditional indications. Myrrh has been used to treat infections, respiratory conditions, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, pharyngitis, respiratory catarrh, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, menopausal symptoms, wounds and haemorrhoids. It has also been used to treat arthritis and as an embalming agent. PARASITIC DISEASES Schistosomiasis Schistosomiasis is an important trematode infection affecting over 200 million people in the tropics and subtropics. After malaria, it is the next most important parasitic disease with chronic infection causing significant morbidity. Currently, the drug praziquantel is often recommended, but it does not affect the immature stage and may not abort an early infection. Additionally, a drug-resistant strain has developed. Due to these factors, there is great interest in discovering alternative treatments. One clinical study involving 204 patients with schistosomiasis produced impressive results with a 3 day oral dose regimen producing a cure rate of 92%. Re-treatment of non-responders increased the overall cure rate to 98%. A field study produced Read more […]