DIURETICS are used to reduce fluid in the body by increasing the excretion of electrolytes by the kidney — so increasing urine production. They have an extensive use. Reducing oedema is, in itself, of benefit in some disorders, and diuretics may be used in acute pulmonary oedema, congestive heart failure, some liver and kidney disease, glaucoma and in certain electrolyte disturbances, such as hypercalcaemia and hyperkalcaemia. The commonest use of diuretics is in antihypertensive therapy, where their action of reducing oedema is of value in reducing the load on the heart, which then — over some days or weeks — gives way to a beneficial reduction in blood pressure (that seems associated with vasodilator action). See ANTIHYPERTENSIVE AGENTS. In relation to their specific actions and uses, diuretics can be divided into a number of distinct classes. Osmotic diuretics (e.g. mannitol, urea) are inert compounds that are secreted into the proximal tubules of the kidney, and are not reabsorbed, so carry salts and water with them into the urine. Loop diuretics (e.g. ethacrynic acid, bumetanide, frusemide) have a vigorous action on the ascending tubules of the loop of Henle (inhibiting resorption of sodium and water, Read more [...]

Botanical Treatment Of Hypertension In Pregnancy

Improperly treated pregnancy hypertensive disorders can have dire consequences to the mother and baby. It is not recommended that pregnant women attempt self-medication for pregnancy hypertension, nor that this be done by inexperienced practitioners. The best treatment is obstetric medical care accompanied, when appropriate, by prudent use of herbal medicines as adjunct therapy, under the guidance of an herbalist, nat-uropath, or midwife trained in the use of botanical medicines in pregnancy. Although popular for the treatment of hypertension in the nonpregnant population, herbal diuretics such as dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale) are not appropriate for the treatment of pregnancy hypertensive disorders, and may potentially cause exacerbation. The herbs discussed in the following are those commonly used for treating gestational and chronic hypertension that are considered generally safe for use during pregnancy. Botanical treatment for preeclampsia is not recommended and has not been investigated. Cramp Bark and Black Haw Cramp bark and black haw have been used by midwives as part of herbal antihypertensive protocol for gestational hypertension. Traditionally, they have been used as mus-culoskeletal relaxants Read more [...]

Ferula assafoetida

Common Names Pakistan Anjadana Bangladesh Hing England Asafetida India Hing Croatia Asafetida India Hingu Finland Asafetida India Ingu Germany Asafetida India Inguva Guyana Asafetida Afghanistan Kama I anguza Iceland Asafetida Pakistan Kama I anguza Lithuania Asafetida India Kayam Netherlands Asafetida Laos Ma ha hing Poland Asafetida France Merde du diable Russia Asafetida Mozambique Mvuje Spain Asafetida Tanzania Mvuje Sweden Asafetida Zaire Mvuje United States Asafetida Hungary Ordoggyoker France Asafetide India Perungayam Estonia Asafootida India Perunkaya Germany Asafotida Sri Lanka Perunkayan Germany Asant Finland Pirunpaska France Assa Foetida Finland Pirunpihka Italy Assafetida India Raamathan China A-wei Iran Rechina fena Greece Aza Netherlands Sagapeen United States Devil’s dung Turkey Setan bokosu Iceland Djoflatao Turkey Seytan tersi Latvia Driveldrikis Myanmar Sheingho Netherlands Duivelsdrek Tibet Shing-kun Denmark Dyvelsdrak Germany Stinkasant Norway Dyvelsdrekk United States Stinking Read more [...]

Drugs That Stimulate Sexual Behavior

Various clinically used or experimental drugs enhance sexual interest or potency as a side effect in humans. Levodopa Levodopa (L-dopa) is a natural intermediate in the biosynthesis of catecholamines in the brain and peripheral adrenergic nerve terminals. In the biologic sequence of events it is converted to dopamine, which in turn serves as a substrate of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine. Levodopa is used successfully in the treatment of Parkinson’s syndrome, a disease characterized by dopamine deficiency. When levodopa is administered to an individual with this syndrome, the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are ameliorated, presumably because the drug is converted to dopamine and thereby counteracts the deficiency. Individuals treated with levodopa, especially older men, have been observed to experience a sexual rejuvenation. This effect has led to the belief that levodopa stimulates sexual powers. Consequently, studies with younger men complaining of decreased erectile ability have shown that levodopa increases libido and the incidence of penile erections. Overall, however, these effects are short lived and do not reflect continued satisfactory sexual function and potency. Thus, levodopa is not a true aphrodisiac. Read more [...]

Diseases of the Urogenital System

Herbs For Diseases Of The Urogenital System Prescription For Nephritis Strategy Treat conventionally until the patient is stable in acute conditions. Treat the underlying etiology if known  (infectious, immune complexes, etc.). Consider ACE inhibitors and conventional renal support, appropriate diet therapy, and thromboxane and PAF inhibitors. Use alcohol or glycetract tinctures for best results; alternatively, use teas. Astragalus: Immune enhancing, cardiotonic, diuretic, hypotensive; 1 part. Dong guai: Blood tonic, circulatory stimulant, vasodilator; 1 part. Siberian ginseng: Immune modulating, adaptogen; 1 part. Hawthorn: Hypotensive, vasodilator, antioxidant, cardiotonic; 1 part. Ginkgo: Inhibits platelet activating factor, antioxidant, circulatory stimulant; 1 part. For tinctures, give 1 ml per 10 pounds twice daily in food. For teas, give one-fourth cup per 10 pounds twice daily in food. Consider using Cordyceps as well: Dried herb, 25 to 100 mg / kg divided daily if extracted and dried; triple or quadruple dose for unprocessed herb; tincture, 1:2 to 1:3: 0.5 to 2 mL per 10 kg (20 pounds) divided daily and diluted or combined with other herbs. Chinese herbal formulas including Rehmannia Read more [...]

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 [...]

Diseases of the Blood and Lymph

Herbs For Diseases Of The Blood And Lymph: Anemia And Chylothorax When herbalists think of chronic disease they often think of blood cleansers and blood purifiers; however, veterinarians and doctors immediately argue there is no such thing (apart from dialysis and chelation). Nevertheless, alteratives and depuratives are terms that were common in the early veterinary literature until the mid 1900s, and were defined as drugs that effected “gradual change and corrected the morbid condition of organs”. Herbalists still know them as blood cleansers and blood purifiers. These herbs improve metabolic processes and waste elimination, so they are often mild in action and may have laxative, cholagogue, or diuretic action. This is how they improve general health and it illustrates how these herbs may be thought of as cleansing or purifying. Herbs that have traditionally been used as alteratives include Burdock, Neem, Oregon grape, Barberry, Gotu kola, Fumitory, Cleavers, Blue flag, Yellow dock, Sarsaparilla, Red clover, and Heartsease. Alteratives should be considered in a formula for any chronic condition as a means of improving overall health from a traditional perspective. Blood tonics are another traditional category Read more [...]

Herb-Drug Interactions: Cannabis

Cannabis sativa L. (Cannabaceae) Synonym(s) and related species Bhang, Dagga, Ganja, Hashish, Indian hemp, Marihuana, Marijuana. Cannabis indica Lam. Constituents Cannabis herb contains a wide range of cannabinoids, which are the major active compounds. The main psychoactive constituent is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; dronabinol), and it is the cause of many of the pharmacological effects elicited by the consumption of cannabis. However, other cannabinoids, which do not possess psychoactive properties, such as cannabidiol, cannabinol (a decomposition product of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol), cannabigerol and cannabichromene, are increasingly being investigated for their pharmacological and therapeutic properties. Cannabinoids are often found in the plant as their acid metabolites, e.g. ll-nor-9-carboxy-delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol acid and others, especially if the plant has been grown in a cooler climate. These decarboxylate to the parent cannabinoid at high temperatures, such as during smoking. Most medicinal cannabis products have been heat treated to ensure that the cannabinoids are present only in the non-acid form. Use and indications Cannabis has no current established use in herbal Read more [...]

Ginkgo biloba

In Europe, leaf preparations of Ginkgo biloba L. (Ginkgoaceae) were used for the treatment of circulatory disorders in the 1960s, and they are now a popular herbal remedy with a reputation for alleviating memory problems. In Iran, Ginkgo biloba has been used traditionally to improve memory associated with blood circulation abnormalities. The use of Ginkgo biloba in TCM dates back for centuries, and the Pharmacopoeia of the People’s Republic of China (2005) includes G biloba seeds as a remedy for cough and asthma and to reduce leukorrhoea and urination. There has been extensive research to determine any pharmacological basis which might explain the reputed effects of Ginkgo biloba on memory, and a number of clinical studies have also been conducted. Much of this research has used a standardised extract of Ginkgo biloba known as EGb 761, which contains flavonoid glycosides and terpenoid lactones amongst various other constituents. This extract has shown a variety of activities relevant to improving cognitive function, particularly neurodegenerative-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, thus indicating that the extract may have a number of different modes of action. EGb 761 has shown favourable effects on Read more [...]


CALCIUM-CHANNEL BLOCKERS are agents that literally block or close any of the many types of calcium channels. However, in common usage the term is mainly used to describe a class of drugs finding increasing application in therapeutics (also called calcium antagonists or calcium-entry blockers) typified by the dihydropyridines (DHPs). In a more general usage of the term, there are many different classes of calcium-channel blockers, and many types of calcium channels. See CALCIUM-CHANNEL ACTIVATORS. First, in the cell membrane, the voltage-gated calcium channels are of at least six types — termed L, N, T, P, Q, R — that may be differentiated by electrophysiological, molecular cloning and pharmacological criteria. The L- and N-channels are high-voltage activated, voltage-dependent and undoubtedly of great importance in normal physiology; L mainly in smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscle (and some neurons), but N only in neurons. T-channels are important in repetitive activity in cardiac SA node of the heart, neurons and some endocrine cells. The remainder have been found more recently in neurons. These channels are products of different genes, but they all share great structural similarity — both with respect to Read more [...]