Herbs
  Herbal Monograph – Bailcal Skullcap (Skullcap)  

Bailcal Skullcap (Skullcap)

Used more extensively in Asia than in the Americas or Europe, Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) contains active flavonoids, chemicals that have a wide range of effects in the body. The flavonoids in Skullcap are known to counteract inflammation, which is the body's response to irritation, injury, or infection. Inflammation usually includes pain, redness, and swelling in the area of the damage and it can occur within body tissues as well as on the surface of the skin. Thus most of the therapeutic actions of Skullcap are because of the reduction of inflammation it causes.

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  Black Cohosh  

Black Cohosh

Numerous studies have demonstrated the acute and chronic benefits of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), including the relief of menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and insomnia, as well as possible reductions in the risk of osteoporosis. However, a significant number of women never seek treatment, or will refuse or discontinue the use of HRT due to the risks, medical contraindications, or a general reluctance to use ‘unnatural’ exogenous equine (horse) hormones. The concern about HRT and breast cancer appears justified, as a significant increase in breast cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke has been demonstrated among long-term estrogen users. Thus, many women are actively seeking alternative approaches, including botanical dietary supplements such as Black Cohosh, to manage their menopausal symptoms1.

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  Bupleurum  

Bupleurum

Bupleurum (Bupleurum falcatum, Bupleurum fruticescens) has been widely used for over 2,000 years in Asia and is today used n Australia, Japan and China mainly to treat hepatitis, cirrhosis, and other inflammatory and neurological conditions associated with stress. Traditional uses include treatment for deafness, dizziness, diabetes, wounds and vomiting. The root of Bupleurum is an important ingredient in xiao-chai-hu-tan/sho-saiko-to (also known as Minor Bupleurum Decoction), a combination of nine herbs, including ginseng, ginger, and licorice, which is used in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbal medicine for hepatitis and cirrhosis.

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  Herbal Monograph – Cinnamon  

Cinnamon

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum, synonym C. zeylanicum) is a small evergreen tree 10-15m tall, belonging to the family Lauraceae, native to Sri Lanka and Southern India. The bark is widely used as a spice. It is of a golden-yellow colour, with the characteristic odour of cinnamon and has a very hot aromatic taste. The characteristic taste and scent come from cinnamic aldehyde or cinnamaldehyde garnered by the absorption of oxygen. As cinnamon ages it darkens in colour and develops resinous compounds. The name cinnamon comes from Greek kinnámomon, from Phoenicia and akin to Hebrew qinnâmôn, itself ultimately from a Malaysian language, cf. Malay and Indonesian kayu manis "sweet wood".
Today, cinnamon is used all over the world and is found particularly in baked foods such as buns, breads and donuts. It is ironic that the disease these foods causes (gut bacterial overgrowth, diabetes and high blood pressure) are the three diseases most commonly treated by cinnamon.

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  Herbal Monograph – Echinacea  

Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the western world and was the top-selling herb in the United States in 2002.[1, 2] Market statistics for 2000 indicate that $58.4 million was spent on Echinacea products in the United States at “mass market” outlets.[2] Echinacea is approved in Germany for oral use to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections and for topical use to treat wounds.[3] There are more than 800 Echinacea-containing products and phytopharmaceuticals available in the market.[4] The composition of all herbal medicine can differ, depending on the location where the herb is grown, season harvested, method extracted, and the way it was stored. In addition, the variation in composition of Echinacea preparations sold in the market is due to the use of different species of Echinacea or part of the plant used. The following review summarises the clinical effectiveness for Echinacea, particularly for infections and also provides the correct dosage to use and parts of the plant.

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  Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)  

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

The extracts of the leaves of Ginkgo biloba have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for about 5000 years for various health disorders including memory and concentration problems, confusion, depression, anxiety, dizziness, tinnitus, and headache.
The mechanisms of action of Ginkgo biloba are thought to work by increasing blood supply and dilating blood vessels which reduces blood thickness, modifies neurotransmitter systems in the brain, and reduces free radicals.

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  Herbal Monograph – Golden Seal  

Golden Seal

Few other herbs can boast the impressive anti-microbial, anti-allergic activity and mucus reducing effects of Golden Seal (Hydrastis canadensis). The generic name of the plant, Hydrastis, is derived from two Greek words signifying water and to accomplish. It is probable this name was derived because of the beneficial effects of the mucus membranes and their ability to reduce allergies.

 

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  Herbal Monograph – Guarana (Paullinia cupana)  

Guarana (Paullinia cupana)

The Guarana plant is a woody climber that can reach 10 metres in height, although usually it adopts a shrubby habit, growing to a maximum 2 to 3 metres in height.
Cultivation of Guarana, dates back to pre-Columbian times to the Indian people, who were the first inhabitants of the Amazon. Botanists believe that plants found today are the remains of this cultivation, and currently grown by the indigenous Maués and Andira tribes from the 'lower Amazon'.

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  Gotu Kola  

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola(also known as Centella asiatica and Hydrocotyle asiatica) is a perennial, herbaceous creeper with kidney-shaped leaves, found in India, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, South Africa, Australia, China, and Japan. Gotu Kola prefers to grow in shady, moist, or marshy areas. Interestingly, Gotu Kola has a long history of use in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for conditions such as poor circulation.

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  Hawthorn  

Hawthorn

Hawthorn (Latin: Crataegus species) is a common, thorny shrub that grows up to five feet on hillsides and in sunny wooded areas of North America, Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. The Hawthorn plant produces small berries, called haws (hence the name ‘Hawthorn’), which sprout each May after the flowers of the Hawthorn plant bloom. Hawthorn berries are usually red when ripe, but may be much darker, which indicates higher levels of the main active and health promoting ingredients (the bioflavones).

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  Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)  

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Horsetail is an ancient “seed-free” vascular plant distinguished in part by the regular alternation of whorled appendages at successive nodes and highly reduced leaves. While there are many beneficial medicinal effects related to Horsetail (see the review below), it is its ability to improve the hair, skin and nails that makes this plant in the herbal medicine world famous.

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  Herbal Monograph – Milk Thistle  

Milk Thistle

Herbal drugs have been used traditionally by physicians, herbalists and folk healers worldwide for the prevention and treatment of liver disease. Among medicinal plants, milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for upper gastrointestinal disturbances, for diseases of the liver and the gall bladder, as well as for menstrual disorders, varicose veins and other indications.

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  Perilla  

Perilla

Perilla is a genus a herb that is a member of the mint family, Lamiaceae. Perilla lives and grows in mild climates throughout the world although it is mainly grown in India and East Asia. In North America, Perilla is increasingly commonly called by its Japanese name, shiso, and in Nepal and parts of India, it is called silam. The leaves of Perilla resemble stinging nettle leaves, and it’s essential oils produce a strong taste that is comparable to mint or fennel. It is considered rich in minerals and vitamins, and has very important anti-inflammatory properties and immune modulatory actions which are thought to help preserve and sterilize foods.

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  Herbal Monograph – Passiflora (Passion Flower)  

Passiflora (Passion Flower)

Passiflora comprises of about 500 different species however; the largest family is the Passion flower family. The species of this genus are distributed in the warm temperate and tropical regions of the World however; they are rare in Asia, Australia, and tropical Africa. Several species are grown in the tropics for their edible fruits, the most widely grown being Passiflora edulis Sims (Passion fruit or purple granadilla we all enjoy to eat!). Many other species are grown outdoors in the warmer parts of the world or in the glasshouses for their exotic flowers.

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  Herbal Monograph – Schizandra  

Schizandra

Schizandra (Botanical Name: Schisandra Chinensis) is a woody vine with clusters of red berries that is found in northern and northeastern China and adjacent regions in Russia and Korea. It is also native to East Asia and its dried fruit is used medicinally. The berries of Schizandra chinensis are given the name wu wei zi in Chinese (五味子; pinyin: wǔ wèi zi), which translates as "five flavour fruit", due to the fact that they possess all five basic flavours in Chinese herbal medicine: salty, sweet, sour, pungent (spicy), and bitter.

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  Siberian Ginseng  

Siberian Ginseng

There are two main types of Ginseng, Asian Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) which is native to the Northern China and South Korea areas, and North American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Other types of Ginseng include Korean red Ginseng, and Siberian Ginseng (Eleutheroccocus senticosus) named after its natural habitat in Siberia. It thrives in the cold climate and its general habitat includes coniferous mountain forests and foots of cliffs. The Siberian variety of Ginseng is technically not a kind of Ginseng at all; but it produces similar physiological effects in the body. Thus it is in reality is a ‘pseudo’ Ginseng.

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Sweet Wormwood (Artemesia annua)

Malaria is the number one infectious disease in the world today. It is far more deadly than AIDS and the Flu. About 40% of the world's population is at risk of malaria infection. Each year, more than 250 million people experience a malarial illness, and over 2 million individuals (mostly African children) die. In patients with severe and complicated diseases, the mortality rate is between 20 and 50%1. This shocking reality is largely due to the emergence of drug resistant strains of the agent responsible for malaria, called Plasmodium falciparum which modern medicine is currently failing to treat.

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  Turmeric (Curcuma longa)  

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Both Eastern and Westernern medicine hold the medicinal properties of turmeric in high regard, and recent scientific studies have revealed a wide range of pharmacological and clinical activities. Turmeric possesses a unique combination of properties such as its antioxidant, digestive, anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, cholesterol-lowering and potential anti-cancer effects which all contribute to making turmeric an important herb for the prevention and treatment of many diseases.

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  Herbal Monograph – Valerian  

Valerian

Valerian is a traditional herbal sleep remedy that is proven to improve sleep quality and quantity. Research that has focused on evaluations of sleep patterns, particularly sleep latency (how long it takes to go to sleep) in self-described poor sleepers, show that Valerian improves subjective experiences of sleep when taken nightly over one to two week periods. It also appears to be a safe sedative/hypnotic choice in patients with mild to moderate insomnia.

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