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 […]

Garlic: Contraindications. Practice Points. FAQ

Contraindications and Precautions Patients with bleeding abnormalities should avoid therapeutic doses of garlic. Although usual dietary intakes are likely to be safe prior to major surgery, suspend the use of high-dose garlic supplements 1 week before, as garlic may increase bleeding risk. If being used as part of a topical application, a test patch is advised before more widespread application. Pregnancy Use Garlic is not recommended at doses greater than usual dietary intakes. Practice Points / Patient Counselling • Garlic is both a food and a therapeutic medicine capable of significant and varied pharmacological activity. • It has antioxidant, antimicrobial, antiplatelet, antithrombotic, antihypertensive, lipid-lowering, anti-atherosclerotic and vasoprotective activity. • It also enhances microcirculation and may have hypoglycaemic, anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant activity. • Garlic is used as a treatment for many common infections, to reduce the incidence of colds, improve peripheral circulation and manage hyperlipidaemia and hypertension. • Increased consumption of garlic has been associated with a decreased risk of stomach and colorectal cancer, according to a review of the Read more […]

Horse chestnut: Background. Actions

Historical Note The horse chestnut tree is commonly found in ornamental gardens throughout Europe, growing up to 35 metres in height. The seeds are not edible due to the presence of alkaloid saponins, but both the dried seeds and bark of the horse chestnut tree have been used medicinally since the 1 6th century. The seeds are also used for the children’s game ‘conkers’ and were used to produce acetone during World Wars I and II. In modern times, a dry extract referred to as horse chestnut seed extract (HCSE) is standardised to contain 1 6-21 % triterpene glycosides (anhydrous escin). HCSE has been extensively researched for its beneficial effects and is commonly used by general practitioners in Germany for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. Homoeopathic preparations of both the leaf and seed are also used for treating haemorrhoids, lower back pain, and varicose veins and the buds and flower are used to make the Bach flower remedies chestnut bud and white chestnut. The active component escin is also used intravenously and topically in cosmetics. Other Names Aescule, buckeye, chestnut, Castano de Indias, graine de marronier d’inde, escine, eschilo, hestekastanje, hippocastani semen, marron europeen, marronnier, Read more […]