The seeds of the African Dream Herb tree are used as an oneirogen by the indigenous shamans who live in south Africa..
Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
Frankincense is prized for its essential oils which are believed to be medicinal and energetic. Oils are also used in the production of cosmetics and perfumes. Clinical aromatherapy uses it for skin diseases, respiratory and urinary tract infections, rheumatism, and even syphilis.
People who think that holistic medicine is bogus folk lore are simply not
educated on the matter. The truth is even the big pharmaceutical companies know of its benefits. There is a branch of chemistry called Phytochemistry. This class of chemistry literally
researchers complex classes of phytochemicals that plants produce in accordance to the
schematics programmed into their DNA(Deoxyribonucleic acid). They are often referred to as constituents, and have their own pharmacological benefits.
While the plant contains a wide range of complex organic chemicals, the main active
ingredients are thought to be specific alkaloids and steroidal lactones. These include
tropine and cuscohygrine. Tropine is found in belladonna, Datura stramonium, and
Hyoscyamus niger (henbane) too. Because of this, great caution should be taken when using this
plant, and any of its relatives.
Anahygrine, chlorogenic acid (leaf), beta-sisterol, cysteine (berries),
cuscohygrine, pseudotropine, iron, scopoletin, somniferinine, somniferiene, tropanol,
withanine, withaferin A ( hints the scientific name withania ), withananine, withanolides,
A-Y, Anaferine. Because these chemicals are in such a small dosage within the plant, it makes them safe. This is why free-based substances are far more dangerous.
This plant is of tremendous value in Ayurvedic medicine. It's prized for its
anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-stress, antioxidant, mind-boosting, immune boosting and
general rejuvenating abilities. It's used for arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, tumors,
tuberculosis, asthma, leukemia, bronchitis, backaches, fibromyalgia, menstrual problems,
hiccups, and chronic liver disease.
Ashwaganhda is well known as an adatogen. Adaptogens are well known for their
ability to assist the body in coping with stress. Sense stress is harmful to the brain and
body, this may be the secret to its nootropic effects. Nootropics are plants or
substances that improve mental cognition and performance. It's one of a large number of herbs used today
as a natural nootropic.
Ashwagandha root, leaves, and berries are all used for
different things. It's been observed that the root can be used to be fight against aging. It probably does this
using its adaptogenic properties which help the body reduce stress and cortisol. The root
shows promise in sexual potency ( aphrodisiac properties ), memory, mood, and
The Root is almost always made into decoctions in herbal medicine. A decoction is
made by boiling the root material for an extended period of time. This helps to release
plant oils and other essential phytochemicals. It's very important that the roots are crushed or powdered to help with the extraction process. Barks are made using the same
preparation method. Both can be made into a tincture as well though. I'll talk more about
Ashwagandha leaves are generally made into a tea or tincture. They are typically
combined with the root. Both seem to have the same type of properties for the most part.
The chemical constituents in the leaves and roots are slightly different as seen above.
Different parts of the plant contain different concentrations of certain alkaloids.
Is it possible that Ashwagandha root may contain beneficial microbes that aid the
human microbiome? If you're unfamiliar with the human microbiome, then I suggest this video by the University Of
California TV. The human microbiome is an ecosystem of beneficial bacteria that mostly
reside in our gut. Lack of certain bacteria have been linked to certain medical conditions
Tinctures are made by soaking the plant material in high proof liquor like
everclear for a minimum of one month. From there, the resulting extract can be filtered
through a cheese cloth and stored in glass tincture bottles with droppers. Ashwagandha
contains a lot of phytochemical constituents. This method will ensure that you capture and
preserve the most alkaloids possible.
A dosage of 300-500 mg is usually suggested. This is for root that's in a powder form. It's always better to take too little than it is to take too much. Speak with a professional health care provider before use. There are holistic practitioners in the United States that are licensed. I would suggest doing your research before trying the first one. Dosages may also vary from user to user and depend on the severity of the symoptoms, or which symoptoms you're attempting to deal with.
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