Herbal Remedies

04/04/16
Bushmans Tobacco - Camphor Bush
camphor tobacco
Bushman's Tobacco is also known as the Camphor Bush due to the fact that it contains a naturally occuring goodie known as champhor. It's sort of like menthol, having a minty, head opening aroma that stings and sooths the nostrils.

04/04/16
Ginger - Zingiber officinale
ginger plant
Ginger root has a use in alternative healing dating back to at least the ancient Chinese. The best way to prepare it is to create what's called a decoction. It's done by cooking the roots for an extended period of time.

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Echinacea purpurea

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Medicinal use

Medicinal properties and applications: snake bites, wounds, bronchitis, burns, boils, skin cancer, ear infections, viral and bacterial infections, immuno-stimulant, works with endocannabinoid system, blood cleanser, anti-toxin, pneumonia, sinuses, ulcers, cancer, aging, anti-inflammatory, the common cold, flu. [1,2,3]


Facts


Echinacea is one of the most thoroughly researched herbal medicines on the planet. For those of you who think that holistic medicine is hog-wash and that there is no way plants can be medicine, I suggest looking into phytochemistry. No longer can people mindlessly chant the mantra that "there is no scientific evidence to support medicinal plants", because there is an entire branch of chemistry dedicated to studying pharmacological alkaloids that these herbs create. On this page, I'll discuss the scientific facts regarding the use of this herb, the Native American applications of it, a personal experience I had with the herb many years ago, and much more.


In the Native American culture, the use of medicinal plants is nothing new. They observed that these gifts worked, without any need for scientific inquiry. Fortunately modern phytochemistry can disprove all of the bias haters out there. The Native Americans used Echiancea as a remedy for snakebites, and skin wounds.[3 (Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 58)] They also used it for, burns, boils, skin cancer, and ear infections by using raw material which was boiled into a decoction.[1 (Rain 1990 138) ] When dried and steeped, it was considered a strong blood cleanser, anti-toxin, good for pneumonia, sinuses, ulcers, cancer, and aging.[1 (Rain 1990 138) ]


Wikipedia mentioned on their page that Echinacea works with the humans endocannabinoid system, but for some odd reason it was removed. This statement was also sourced to multiple academic resources, so we know it's not hog-wash. why was it removed and do I sense a conspiracy? It can be verified from other academic sources from many locations as well. If you hear or read somewhere, that there is no scientific evidence behind something, I promise you it's b.s. most of the time, and that there IS scientific evidence behind whatever it is.


Research indicates that Echinacea stimulates the immune system, which helps the body fight bacterial and viral infections.[3(Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 58)] Like I said though, some people out there will claim there has been no scientific inquiry into things when it's simply not true. A doctor known as Dr. Tyler suggest using it in a tincture for bronchitis.[3 (Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 214)] A medical doctor by the name of David Edelberg suggest among other herbs, taking two capsules of it three times a day for colds.[3 (Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 245)] Rosemary Gladstar, an herbalist and author of several books, suggest using it to ward off the flu during the first onset of symptoms.[3 (Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 308)] She goes on to explain that it works best when used for short duration of time, and is not for long term use.[3 (Gottlieb, Dollemore 1995 308)]


It's not like people are using herbs like Echincea for no reason. There's a reason these plants have been prized as medicine. There's also a reason we have a branch of chemistry dedicated to studying them. Echinacea fights viruses, and boost the immune system, especially when dealing with the flu, yeast infections, herpes, and inflammatory diseases.[2 (Swerdlow 2000 327) ] It helps keep bacteria from entering uninfected cells.[2(Swerdlow 2000 327)] It contains Polysaccharides, which stimulate the immune system by activating phagocytes, like spleen cells and white blood cells, which literally consume microbes that are bad for us.[(Swerdlow 2000 327)]


"The Native Americans also used it to treat enlarged glands, colds, headaches, and throat infections. Way back in the 19th century it was being utilized as a blood cleanser. A phytochemical called Chiocoric acid may inhibit the enzyme intregrase which is thought to decrease viral reproduction. It's used in over 200 preparations in German culture." [2 (Swerdlow 2000 355)] If you take the time to do further research from academic resources, you'll notice so much factual information regarding the medicinal application of this herb that it's mind boggling. In some cases, you'll find a few bias b.s. studies that attempt to discredit all of the morally conducted studies done by those who seek to share this remedy with the world.


Review


                The first time I experienced the healing potential of the Echinacea plant was many many years ago when a friend and I had an incident with food poison at an UN-disclosed location in my home town to grab a bite to eat with my friend. Later on that evening I starting feeling very ill. I was very ill for hours, having hot and cold flashes, vomiting, an intense fever and headache, and a general feeling of misery. It was the worst kind of sick I had ever encountered in my life, much worse than the flu or common cold.


Finally, hours later that evening the same buddy of mine that I went to the restaurant with stopped by, who also had food poisoning from the same location. I was handed a green tea drink from the local gas station. This green tea blend had the root from both the purpurea and angustifolia species. Around twenty minutes later, after slamming the drink a feeling of nausea was setting in hard. I fought this feeling as long as I could. Finally, I wasn't able to hold it any longer. I finally threw up one last time and after that I was all better.


A huge weight was lifted and I felt like I was finally beginning to recover after about eight hours of misery. The symptoms of illness had completely stopped. After this experience, I was a believer in this remedy. I know from experience that this plant works. Placebo? No, placebo is a term used by bias individuals who don't know what they are talking about.


I have used it ever since. From my experiences, I believe it works best when either taken with food in capsule form or "toss 'n washed", or brewed into a tea. If you make it into a tea I suggest adding a drop of oil so that it doesn't boil over, and cooking it with the lid on so volatile alkaloids are not evaporated. I would lower the temperature as soon as it begins to boil.


I think Echinacea may be even more effective when combined with green tea because of green tea's anti-oxidant powers. From my experiences with this plant and research I think that it's for emergency use only. Using it when the onset of a severe flu, or the common cold sets in is a good example of this. Daily use is not necessary and from my experiences with the herb will lead to the in-effectiveness of the herb. Personally, I take it every now and then but not everyday. From my experience, it works best like this.


Precautions:

In order to reduce harm, and give corrupt law makers no reason to have this remedy outlawed, I've compiled some precautions for the general public. There is no evidence that I'm aware of that it can be harmful to pregnant women, yet most herbs are not suggested for use by women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.[3] If you are breastfeeding, it may be a good idea not to use it. Again there is no evidence that i'm aware of that this could be dangerous, but sense we do not know, it's probably a good idea in general to be careful what you use in these circumstances. In very rare cases, some people have allergic reactions to it. If you are allergic to anything in the daisy family avoid use.


Phytochemical Constituents: polysaccharides, caffeic acid derivatives (including cichoric acid), alkamides, and glycoproteins, to name a few.[4]


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INFORMATION PROVIDED ON OUR WEBSITE IS FOR BOTANICAL/CULTURAL RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY! ANY REFERENCES ABOUT THE USE OR EFFECTS OF THESE NATURAL HEALING HERBS IS BASED ON TRADITIONAL USE OR SHAMANIC PRACTICES. ALL PRODUCTS ARE SOLD FOR ETHNOBOTANICAL RESEARCH (NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION)! STATEMENTS AND ITEMS ARE NOT EVALUATED OR APPROVED BY THE FDA. CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER BEFORE USE.

Similar interest:
Elephant Head, Buchu leaf, Morning Glories, White Willow, & Fenugreek.

References:

[1] Rain, Mary Summer. Earthway. New York: Pocket, 1990. Print.


[2] Swerdlow, Joel L. Nature's Medicine: Plants That Heal. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2000. Print.


[3] Gottlieb, B., & Dollemore, D. (1995). New choices in natural healing: Over 1,800 of the best self-help remedies from the world of alternative medicine. Emmaus, Penn.: Rodale Press.


[4] (2014, July 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:34, July 28, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Echinacea&oldid=617242986


[4] Phytochemistry. (2014, May 21). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:34, July 28, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Phytochemistry&oldid=609573698


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