The use of eucalyptus oils in consumer products

Insect repellents As noted in the introduction, Eucalyptus citriodora oil has been used as a ‘natural’ insect repellent. Depending on the product formulation it is used in, Lemon Eucalyptus (known as Quwenling in China) is up to four or five times more effective and longer-lasting than citronella oil (from Cymbopogon nardus), one of the best known natural insect repellents. p-Menthane-3,8-diol is the main active component of Quwenling and this can be isolated and used as a highly effective insect repellent. Eucalyptus citriodora oil contains up to 80–90 per cent citronellal, along with geraniol, both of which are known to have insect repellent activity but tend to dilute the much higher activity of the p-menthane-3,8-diol. The Mosi-guard Natural insect repellent spray produced by MASTA in the UK contains ‘Extract of Lemon Eucalyptus’ and claims on the label: Approved and recommended by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Field trials have shown effective protection for 6 h after a single application in mosquito infected areas. Also protects against many other biting insects. Mosi-guard Natural is made from a natural and renewable resource. It is kind to your skin and has no adverse effects Read more […]

Traditional Uses of Neem

The therapeutic efficacy of neem must have been known to man since antiquity as a result of constant experimentation with nature. Ancient man observed the unique features of this tree: a bitter taste, non-poisonous to man, but deleterious to lower forms of life. This might have resulted in its use as a medicine in various cultures, particularly in the Indian subcontinent and later on in other parts of the world. Ayurveda The word neem is derived from Sanskrit Nimba, which means “to bestow health”; the various Sanskrit synonyms of neem signify the pharmacological and therapeutic effects of the tree. It has been nicknamed Neta — a leader of medicinal plants, Pichumarda — antileprotic, Ravisambba — sun ray-like effects in providing health, Arishta — resistant to insects, Sbeetal — cooling (cools the human system by giving relief in diseases caused by hotness, such as skin diseases and fevers), and Krimighana — anthelmintic. It was considered light in digestion, hot in effect, cold in property. In earlier times, patients with incurable diseases were advised to make neem their way of life. They were to spend most of the day under the shade of this tree. They were to drink infusions of various parts of Read more […]

Botanical Treatment Of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Effective botanical treatment of chronic pelvic pain requires a clear understanding of possible etiologies and the appropriate treatment of the underlying cause of the pain. For patients with diagnosed gynecologic conditions associated with pelvic pain, readers are referred to the relevant chapters in this textbook, such as, dysmenorrhea, interstitial cystitis, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, and so forth. Treatments discussed in the following may be used as adjunct palliative therapies for pain, inflammation, and concomitant symptoms in these conditions. In the absence of a clearly identified pathology, the practitioner can approach treatment symptomatically via specific botanical treatments for pain reduction, and attempt to address mechanisms that may be associated with CPP, for example, inflammation. One theory of chronic pelvic pain that was popular among physicians in the early-and mid-twentieth century, and that is still considered a possibility, is that of pelvic congestion syndrome. Women with this syndrome, which is poorly defined, are thought to exhibit many of the symptoms associated with CPP, including aching and dragging sensations in the lower back, lower abdomen, and pelvis, dysmenorrhea, and dyspareunia. Read more […]

Rheumatic Disorders And Gout

Internal usage of root of tormentil for arthritic conditions goes back to Dioscorides, who advises a decoction of the root, reduced to one third, drunk for suffering in the joints and hip ailments. Beck usefully translates the Greek as ‘hip disease’ rather than draw inferences about the meaning of the words. This advice is repeated by Turner, Parkinson and Culpeper but yet it is not a common modern usage. Hip ailments is given by Turner as pain in the hucklebone called sciatica, under his entry for root of ‘the herb five leaf. Culpeper recommends the juice of the leaves and roots applied to sciatica, and states that it is effective against ruptures and bursting, bruises and falls both outward and inward. The entry in Culpeper is word for word from Parkinson, who refers to sciatica as hipgout. A recent review of five herbals found that the only Rosaceae recommended for rheumatic disorders were Potentilla species, given by Adam Lonitzer (Lonicerus) in 1557 andlacob Theodor (Tabernaemontanus) in 1588 for pain. The corresponding modern terms given by the authors are ‘polyarthritis’ and ‘gout of the feet’. The 1656 edition of Culpeper includes a tantalizing sentence that is not included in the modern edition. It is copied Read more […]

Artemisia vulgaris

Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris Family: Asteraceae Part used: leaves, flowering tops Artemisia vulgaris L. is a vigorous, hardy, woody perennial found throughout Europe, although it is less common in the north. It is a commonplace weed in disturbed ground and waste places, where it forms dense stands. It is an aggressive weed in Canada, where it has spread rapidly as it propagates easily from small fragments of rhizome. The Flora of Turkey (Davis 1975) gives 22 Artemisia species, including Artemisia absinthium, Artemisia vulgaris, Artemisia santonicum and Artemisia abrotanum. Erect, branched, ribbed reddish stems (50-180 cm high) bear alternate, stalked, pinnately lobed leaves, which are smooth and green on the upper side and white and downy beneath. Upper leaves are unstalked, entire and lanceolate. Dense, tapering panicles of inconspicuous, oval, rayless, reddish flowerheads (2-3 mm across) occur in July to September. Both leaves and flowerheads are very variable. Other species used Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus, southernwood Artemisia abrotanum. A study in Italy of 14 wild Artemisia species found similar volatile oils in all but wide variation in concentration. Artemisia abrotanum was the only species 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 […]

Burdock In Earlier Texts

These authors show that the concept of an alterative action for greater burdock can be traced back as far as Quincy, but the plant was known to the Ancients, so what does Culpeper have to report on its medicinal virtues if the term ‘alterative’ was unknown to him? Actually, Culpeper does write of cleansing medicines. In his Key to Galen and Hypocrates, their Method of Physic (1669) he contrasts the more gentle Greek ‘rhytics’ (actually misspelled from the Greek ‘rhyptikos’) for external use with the internally administered cathartics. These topical cleansers are of an earthy quality, although they may be hot or cold, and sweet, salty or bitter to the taste. Taken orally, the cathartics purge certain humours from the body as they themselves are voided. Similarly, when applied topically, the rhyptics cleanse foul ulcers by carrying away discharge or thick matter as they themselves are removed. Culpeper distinguishes this cleansing action from the effect of topical discussive medicines which, by their heat when laid on, attempt to thin and disperse an aggregation of matter such as fluid or blood. Other cleansing medicines are designed to remove damaged flesh to facilitate healing. Before the application of cleansing medicines, Read more […]

Diseases of the Musculoskeletal System

Herbs For Diseases Of The Musculoskeletal System Disorders of the musculoskeletal system — including arthritis, hip and elbow dysplasia, ligament conditions such as anterior cruciate / luxating patellas, and spinal arthritis / spondylosis — generally present as altered gait or lameness caused by pain. These conditions benefit from physical therapies including acupuncture, chiropractics, physiotherapy, and massage, as well as weight reduction where appropriate. Chondroprotective agents should always be considered and conventional antiinflammatory agents should be considered for acute injuries. Alternatives to nonsteroidal antiinflammatories are often sought because of concerns over side effects of medications including continued degeneration of joints and gastrointestinal, hepatic, or renal effects. Musculoskeletal conditions affect the whole body. Pain in one area leads to biomechanical changes elsewhere due to shifts in weight bearing and movement. The whole body must be evaluated, not just the affected limb or back. Frequently, muscle spasm, trigger points, myofascial pain, and joint pain are detected elsewhere in the body. Similarly, herbalists take a systemic approach to treating musculoskeletal disorders. Read more […]

Agrimonia eupatoria

Agrimony Family: Rosaceae Part used: aerial parts Agrimonia eupatoria L. is a hardy, herbaceous perennial found throughout Europe in grassland and verges. The Flora of Turkey gives two Agrimonia species, including Agrimonia eupatoria. Erect, reddish, pubescent stems (50-150 cm high) bear alternate, pinnate, toothed leaves with velvety undersides with small pairs between larger pairs. There is a basal rosette of leaves. Bright yellow flowers with five small petals occur on long, slender spikes from June to September. Small, cone-shaped fruits are enclosed in a characteristic bristled calyx-tube. The hooked bristles enable widespread dispersal of seeds on animal fur. It also spreads vegetatively by stout, woody, deep-lying rhizomes. Other species used fragrant agrimony Agrimonia procera Wallr. syn. Agrimonia odorata, which is a larger plant with leaves green on both sides, pale yellow flowers and bell-shaped fruits. It has similar constituents but is scented. Agrimonia pilosa is used in China (WHO 1989). Quality Collect during or shortly before flowering (BHMA 1983). The Eupatorion Of Dioscorides Dioscorides (IV 41) describes agrimony under the title ‘eupatorion’, by which name it was known until the Linnaean Read more […]

Figwort: Use In Arthritis?

Recent research has led to recommendations for increased use in inflammatory disease, especially in arthritis. This recommendation relies on the iridoid glycoside content. Iridoids are found in many Scrophularia species and an iridoid of special interest in Scrophularia species is harpagoside. This is amongst the active constituents of devil’s claw Harpagophytum procumbens, widely used in arthritis to reduce pain and inflammation. The use of Harpagophytum procumbens is of conservation concern because it is collected in the wild in the Namibian desert. Sesterhenn et al (2007) propose that Scrophularia nodosa could be a useful substitute as they found that the concentration of harpagoside in the leaves is similar to that in tubers of Harpagophytum procumbens. Faivre (2007) argues that the high concentration of harpagoside in a standardized fluid extract prepared from fresh plant material alongside the aucubin found in Scrophularia species but not in Harpagophytum procumbens, and the associated phenolic acids such as ver-bascoside, make Scrophularia nodosa a significant herb in the treatment of functional and arthritic joint disease. Faivre (2007) claims that it is very well tolerated and particularly useful in exacerbations Read more […]