Diseases of the Cardiovascular System

Herbs For Diseases Of The Cardiovascular System Formulas For Cardiovascular Conditions 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 patients are on conventional medication. Doses can be adjusted upwards if changes of less than 20% have been observed per week. The doses of conventional medicines may need to be reviewed 1 to 2 weeks after beginning treatment with herbs. It is assumed that conventional medicines will be used for diagnosed cardiac disease, whenever good evidence exists for efficacy. In most cases these formulas provide adjunctive care. The formulas below can be made as per the recipe or adapted from other recipes according to patient needs. They are formulated to allow substitution. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Astragalus: Immune-enhancing, tonic, cardiotonic, nephroprotective, diuretic, hypotensive; 1 part. Bugleweed: Cardioactive, diuretic, reduced heart rate, sedative, thyroxine antagonist; 1 part. Motherwort: Sedative, antispasmodic, cardiac tonic; 1 part. Ginkgo: PAF inhibitor, antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, cognitive enhancer; 1 part. Dandelion Read more […]

St Mary’s thistle: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

St Mary’s thistle has hepatoprotective activity and has been shown to reduce the hepatotoxic effects of a variety of environmental toxins and medicines, such as paracetamol, erythromycin, carbon tetrachloride and death cap mushrooms. • It has direct and indirect antioxidant activity, accelerates the regeneration of hepatocytes after liver damage, has significant gastroprotective and nephroprotective activity, anti-inflammatory and antihistamine activity according to in vitro and animal studies. • Numerous clinical studies have investigated its effects in a variety of liver diseases. However, a recent review concluded that current data are still insufficient to recommend the herb in chronic liver diseases. • In clinical practice, it is used to treat dyspepsia, toxic liver damage, as supportive therapy in chronic liver diseases and hypercholesterolaemia. • Preliminary evidence suggests a possible role as adjunctive therapy with cisplatin and as a skin cancer preventative agent when applied topically. Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions What will this herb do for me? St Mary’s thistle may improve digestion, particularly of fatty foods, and afford protection against the toxic effects Read more […]

St Mary’s thistle: Clinical Use. Dosage

DYSPEPSIA Although St Mary’s thistle has been most commonly investigated for its effects as a hepatoprotective agent, it is commonly used to treat dyspeptic complaints, such as loss of appetite, poor digestion and upper gastrointestinal discomfort. Animal studies have identified a dose-dependent increase in bile flow and bile salt secretion for silymarin, achieved by stimulating the synthesis of bile salts. Commission E approves the use of crude milk thistle preparations for dyspeptic complaints. TOXIC LIVER DAMAGE Mushroom poisoning (Amanita phalloides) One of the best documented uses of milk thistle is in the treatment of poisoning by the mushroom Amanita phalloides (death cap). Nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and severe diarrhea usually occur 8-12 hours after ingestion with extensive hepatic necrosis occurring 1-2 days later. A mortality rate of 20-30% has been observed but can be as high as 50% in children under 10 years of age. Several clinical studies have shown silybin (20-50 mg/kg/day IV) to protect against hepatotoxicity when administered within 48 hours. One report of pooled data from 452 case reports of A. phalloides poisoning showed a highly significant difference in mortality in favour of silybin. Environmental Read more […]

St Mary’s thistle: Background. Actions

Common Name St Mary’s thistle Other Names Carduus marianus, cardo bianco, cardo de burro, chandon marie, holy thistle, lady’s milk, lady’s thistle, Mariendistel, Marian thistle, Mary thistle, milk thistle, silybum, true thistle Botanical Name / Family Silybum marianum (family [Compositae] Asteraceae) Plant Part Used Ripe seed Chemical Components The major active constituents are the flavolignans, collectively named ‘silymarin’. The principal components of silymarin are silybin, isosilybin, silychristin and silydianin. Silybin makes up approximately 50% of silymarin and is regarded as one of the most biologically active constituents. There is also a fixed oil comprising linoleic, oleic and palmitic acids, tocopherol and sterols, including cholesterol, campesterol, stigmasterol and sitosterol. Historical Note St Mary’s thistle has a long history of traditional use since ancient times. Over the centuries, it has been touted as a remedy for snake bite, melancholy, liver conditions and promoting lactation. The name ‘milk thistle‘ derives from its characteristic spiked leaves with white veins, which according to legend, were believed to carry the milk of the Virgin Mary. St Mary’s thistle:  Main Actions Most Read more […]