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Herbs & Plants

American ginseng

 

Botanical Name: Panax quinquefolius
Family: Araliaceae ( ivy family)
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Panax
Species: P. quinquefolius
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Aralia quinquefolia. Five Fingers. Tartar Root. Red Berry. Man’s Health

Common Name: American  ginseng

Habitat :American ginseng is native to eastern North America, though it is also cultivated in places such as China,Korea and Japan. The plant grows in rich woods throughout eastern and central North America, especially along the mountains from Quebec and Ontario, south to Georgia.
Description:
American ginseng is a smooth herbaceous perennial herb, with a large, fleshy, very slow-growing root, 2 to 3 inches in length (occasionally twice this size) and from 1/2 to 1 inch in thickness. Its main portion is spindle-shaped and heavily annulated (ringed growth), with a roundish summit, often with a slight terminal, projecting point. At the lower end of this straight portion, there is a narrower continuation, turned obliquely outward in the opposite direction and a very small branch is occasionally borne in the fork between the two. Some small rootlets exist upon the lower portion. The colour ranges from a pale yellow to a brownish colour. It has a mucilaginous sweetness, approaching that of liquorice, accompanied with some degree of bitterness and a slight aromatic warmth, with little or no smell. The stem is simple and erect, about a foot high, bearing three leaves, each divided into five finely-toothed leaflets, and a single, terminal umbel, with a few small, yellowish flowers. The fruit is a cluster of bright red berrles….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Cultivation: On account of the growing scarcity of the American Ginseng plant, experiments have been made by the State of Pennsylvania to determine whether it can be grown profitably, resulting in the conclusion that in five years, starting with seeds and one year plants (or sooner if a start were made with older plants), an acre of ground would yield a profit of 1,500 dollars, without allowance for rental, but many precautions are necessary for success. The cultivated plants produced larger roots than those of the wild plant.

In 1912 it was estimated that the acreage of cultivated Ginseng in the United States was about 150 acres, and it is calculated that to supply China with twenty million dollars’ worth of dry root would require the American growers to plant 1,000 acres annually for five years, before this estimated annual supply could be sold. The cultivation of Ginseng would therefore appear to offer a rich field to American agriculture. It presents, however, considerable difficulty, owing to the great care and special methods required and to the fact that it is a very slow-growing crop, so that rapid returns can hardly be anticipated, and it is doubtful if its cultivation can be carried on profitably except by specialists in the crop. None the less, the percentage returns for the industrious, patient and painstaking farmer are large, and the demand for a fine article for export is not at all likely to be exceeded by the supply.

Part Used: The Root.

Chemical Constituents: Like Panax ginseng, American ginseng contains dammarane-type ginsenosides, or saponins, as the major biologically active constituents. Dammarane-type ginsenosides include two classifications: 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PPD) and 20(S)-protopanaxatriol (PPT). American ginseng contains high levels of Rb1, Rd (PPD classification), and Re (PPT classification) ginsenosides—higher than that of P. ginseng in one study.

A large amount of starch and gum, some resin, a very small amount of volatile oil and the peculiar sweetish body, Panaquilon. This occurs as a yellow powder, precipitating with water a white, amorphous substance, which has been called Panacon.

Medicinal uses:
American ginseng or Panax quinquefolius is commonly used as Chinese or herbal medicine. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.

A tincture has been prepared from the genuine Chinese or American root, dried and coarsely powdered, covered with five times its weight of alcohol and allowed to stand, well-stoppered, in a dark, cool place, being shaken twice a day. The tincture, poured off and filtered, has a clear, light-lemon colour, an odour like the root and a taste at first bitter, then dulcamarous and an acid reaction.

There is no evidence that American ginseng is effective in those infected with the common cold. The effect of preventive use is not clear. When used preventively it makes no difference on the rate of infections. It also appears to have no effect on how bad the infections are. There is tentative evidence that it may lessen the length of sickness when used preventively.

For detail medicinal uses you may click & see 
Cautions: : Individuals requiring anti-coagulant therapy such as warfarin should avoid use of American ginseng. Not recommended for individuals with impaired liver or renal function. It is not recommended in those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Other adverse effects include: headaches, anxiety, trouble sleeping and an upset stomach.

Recent studies have shown that through the many cultivated procedures that American ginseng is grown, fungal molds, pesticides, and various metals and residues have contaminated the crop. Though these contaminating effects are not considerably substantial, they do pose health concerns that lead to neurological problems, intoxication, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_ginseng
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/g/ginsen15.html

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Herbs & Plants

Eleutherococcus senticosus

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Botanical Name : Eleutherococcus senticosus
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Species: E. senticosus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Common Name :E. senticosus ,Siberian Ginseng or eleuthero

Habitat ; Eleutherococcus senticosus is native to  E. Asia – China, Japan, Siberia.  It grows in the mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming small undergrowth or groups in thickets and edges. Sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland.

Description:
Eleutherococcus senticosus  is a deciduous shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphroditic and are pollinated by insects.

click to see the pictures…>.....(1)….(2).…...(3)……..(4)..

Cultivation:
Prefers a light warm open loamy humus-rich soil and a position sheltered from north and east winds. Prefers a well-drained soil and full sun. (A surprising report, this species is a woodland plant and we would expect it to prefer shade) Tolerates urban pollution and poor soils. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c if they are sheltered from cold winds. A highly polymorphic species. Siberian ginseng is cultivated as a medicinal plant in Russia and China.
Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. It can be slow to germinate. Stored seed requires 6 months warm followed by 3 months cold stratification and can be very slow to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least the first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of ripe wood of the current season’s growth, 15 – 30cm long in a cold frame. Root cuttings in late winter. Division of suckers in the dormant season

Edible Uses: Tea….Young leaves and buds – cooked. The dried leaves are used as a tea substitute.

Chemical constituents:
The major constituents of E. senticosus are ciwujianoside A-E, eleutheroside B (syringin), eleutherosides A-M, friedelin, and isofraxidin

Medicinal Uses:
E. senticosus is an adaptogen that has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean. E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins that are lipophilic and that can fit into hormone receptors.  Extracts of E. senticosus have been shown to have a variety of biological effects in vitro or in animal models:

*Increased endurance/anti-fatigue
memory/learning improvement

*Anti-inflammatory

*Immunogenic

Chinese herbology, Eleutherococcus senticosis is used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant-like effects in rats

There has been much research into Siberian ginseng in Russia since the 1950s, although the exact method by which it stimulates stamina and resistance to stress is not yet understood.  Siberian ginseng seems to have a general tonic effect on the body, in particular on the adrenal glands, helping the body to withstand heat, cold, infection, other physical stresses and radiation.  It has even been given to astronauts to counter the effects of weightlessness.  Athletes have experienced as much as a 9% improvement in stamina when taking Siberian ginseng.  Siberian ginseng is given to improve mental resilience, for example, during exams, and to reduce the effects of physical stress, for example during athletic training.  Siberian ginseng is most effective in the treatment of prolonged exhaustion and debility, resulting from overwork and long-term stress.  The herb also stimulates immune resistance and can be taken in convalescence to aid recovery from chronic illness.  As a general tonic, Siberian ginseng helps both to prevent infection and to maintain well-being.  It is also used in treatments for impotence.  Eleuthero root happens to be anti-yeast and immune supportive.

Interactions and side effects:
*People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus because it may reduce their need for medication.

*E. senticosus will enhance the effectiveness of mycin class antibiotics.

*E. senticosus, when purchased from non-GMP sources, has occasionally been adulterated with Periploca graeca, which can potentiate digoxin or similar drugs; however, this is not an interaction of E. senticosus

Known Hazards :  Caution if high blood pressure. Avoid coffee. 6 weeks maximum use. Avoid during pregnancy. Unsuitable for children. High doses may cause drowsiness, anxiety, irritability, mastalgia and uterine bleeding. Possible blood pressure increases and irregular heart beats. Effects of antidiabetic drugs, sedatives and anticoagulants may be potentiated.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://people.tribe.net/chachicorrigan/blog/c393b499-e8cc-4589-a27f-12ebf5d50217
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleutherococcus_senticosus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm
http://www.imagejuicy.com/images/plants/e/eleutherococcus/1/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Eleutherococcus+senticosus

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Herbs & Plants

Eleuthero

Botanical Name:Eleutherococcus senticosus (formerly Acanthopanax senticosus)
Family :Araliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Genus: Eleutherococcus
Species: E. senticosus

Habitat:It is native to Northeastern Asia. Eleuthero is a shrub that grows in Siberia, China, Korea, and Japan.In Chinese medicine it is known as cì wu jia
Common names: Siberian ginseng, Ci wu jia, Touch-me-not, Devil’s shrub,devil’s shrub, devil’s root, touch-me-not

Description :The herb grows in mixed and coniferous mountain forests, forming low undergrowth or is found in groups in thickets and edges. E. senticosus is sometimes found in oak groves at the foot of cliffs, very rarely in high forest riparian woodland. Its native habitat is East Asia, China, Japan and Russia. E. senticosus is broadly tolerant of soils, growing in sandy, loamy and heavy clay soils with acid, neutral or alkaline chemistry and including soils of low nutritional value. It can tolerate sun or dappled shade and some degree of pollution. E. senticosus is a decidious shrub growing to 2m at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone 3. It flowers in July in most habitats. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insect.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The dried root and other underground parts of the plant are used in herbal remedies for a variety of conditions. It is a distant relative of true (Panax) ginseng (which includes Asian ginseng and American ginseng), but it does not belong to the Panax group of herbs. Previously sold in the United States as “Siberian ginseng,” a 2002 United States law forbade the “ginseng” label, and the name “eleuthero” is now more commonly used.

Active Constituents:The constituents in eleuthero that have been most studied are the eleutherosides.1 Seven primary eleutherosides have been identified, with most of the research attention focusing on eleutherosides B and E.2 Eleuthero also contains complex polysaccharides (complex sugar molecules).3 These constituents may play a critical role in eleuthero’s ability to support immune function.

Eleuthero is an “adaptogen” (an agent that helps the body adapt to stress). It is thought to help support adrenal gland function when the body is challenged by stress

Medicinal Uses:
E. senticosus is an adaptogen which has a wide range of health benefits attributed to its use. Currently, most of the research to support the medicinal use of E. senticosus is in Russian or Korean. E. senticosus contains eleutherosides, triterpenoid saponins which are lipophilic and which can fit into hormone receptors. Supporters of E. senticosus as medicine claim it possesses a variety of medicinal properties, such as:

*increased endurance

*memory improvement

*anti-inflammatory

*immunogenic

*chemoprotective

*radiological protection

Eleutherococcus senticosis is more tonifying than the true Ginsengs (Panax sp.) It is neutral energetically and so is appropriate for daily use. Taken regularly, it enhances immune function, decreases cortisol levels and inflammatory response, and it promotes improved cognitive and physical performance. In human studies Eleuthero has been successfully used to treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation, angina, hypercholesterolemia, and neurasthenia with headache, insomnia, and poor appetite.

The major constituents of E. senticosus are Ciwujianoside A-E, Eleutheroside B (Syringin), Eleutherosides A-M, Friedelin and Isofraxidin.[2][unreliable source?] Most of the active constituents in E. senticosus are triterpenoid saponins. Though all terpenoid compounds have bioactivity in mammals, it is the triterpenes that are most important to the adaptogenic effect. The majority of known triterpenoid compounds in E. senticosus are found as saponin glycosides which refers to the attachment of various sugar molecules to the triterpene unit. These sugars are usually cleaved off in the gut by bacteria, allowing the aglycone (triterpene) to be absorbed. Saponin glycosides have the characteristic of reducing surface tension of water and will strip the lipids. This allows them insert into cell membranes (Attele et al., 1999) and modify the composition, influence membrane fluidity,[8] and potentially affect signaling by many ligands and cofactors.

Eleutherococcus senticosus has been shown to have significant antidepressant effects in rats

Although not as popular as Asian ginseng, eleuthero use dates back 2,000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. Referred to as ci wu jia in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections, colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality. In Russia, eleuthero was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase performance and quality of life and to decrease infections.

In more modern times, eleuthero has been used to increase stamina and endurance in Soviet Olympic athletes. Russian explorers, divers, sailors, and miners also used eleuthero to prevent stress-related illness. After the Chernobyl accident, many Russian and Ukrainian citizens were given eleuthero to counteract the effects of radiation.

Eleuthero has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that eleuthero improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle.6 This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recover from workouts more quickly. Preliminary research from Russia indicates it may be effective for this purpose. Other trials have been inconclusive8 or have shown no beneficial effect.

Eleuthero may also support the body by helping the liver detoxify harmful toxins. It has shown a protective action in animal studies against chemicals such as ethanol, sodium barbital, tetanus toxoid, and chemotherapeutic agents. According to a test tube study eleuthero also helps protect the body during radiation exposure. Preliminary research in Russia has suggested that eleuthero may help alleviate side effects and help the bone marrow recover more quickly in people undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer.

Eleuthero may be useful as a preventive measure during the cold and flu season. However, it has not yet been specifically studied for this purpose. Preliminary evidence also suggests that eleuthero may prove valuable in the long-term management of various diseases of the immune system, including HIV infection and chronic fatigue syndrome. Healthy people taking teaspoons (10 ml) of tincture three times daily have been shown to have increased numbers of the immune cells (T4 lymphocytes) that have been found to decrease during HIV-infection and AIDS.13 Further human clinical trials are needed to confirm that eleuthero may be helpful for this disease.

Dosages: Dried, powdered root and rhizomes, 2–3 grams per day, are commonly used.14 Alternatively, 300–400 mg per day of concentrated solid extract standardized on eleutherosides B and E can be used, as can alcohol-based extracts, 8–10 ml in two to three divided dosages. Historically, eleuthero is taken continuously for six to eight weeks, followed by a one- to two-week break before resuming.

Side Effects:Reported side effects have been minimal with use of eleuthero.15 Mild, transient diarrhea has been reported in a very small number of users. Eleuthero may cause insomnia in some people if taken too close to bedtime. Eleuthero is not recommended for people with uncontrolled high blood pressure. There are no known reasons to avoid eleuthero during pregnancy and breast-feeding. However, pregnant or breast-feeding women should be aware that some products may be adulterated with herbs that should not be taken in pregnancy, such as Asian ginseng. Only eleuthero from a trusted source should be used.

In one case report, a person taking eleuthero with digoxin developed dangerously high serum digoxin levels.16 Although a clear relationship could not be established, it is wise for someone taking digoxin to seek the advise of a doctor before taking eleuthero.

Drug interactions:
Certain medicines may interact with eleuthero. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.

*People with medicated high blood pressure should consult their doctor before taking E. senticosus as it may reduce their need for medication.

*E. senticosus may cause light sleep in some people, principally those who are “wired”. Users are recommended not to take it in the evening.

*E. senticosus will enhance the effectiveness of mycin class antibiotics.

*E. senticosus when purchased from non-GMP sources has occasionally been adulterated with Periploca graeca which can potentiate digoxin or similar drugs: however this is not an interaction of E. senticosus

You may click to learn more about Eleuthero->………………………….(1).(2)..(3)

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleutherococcus_senticosus
http://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/eleuthero/hn-herb_eleuthero
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3x_Siberian_Ginseng.asp

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Ayurvedic Healthy Tips

Herbal Power of Ashwagandha

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Herbal Power  of  Ashwagandha is standardized to contain the highest percentage of Withanolides (8%), the active compounds in Withania Somnifera that is responsible for the adaptogenic & tonic effects. Most Ashwagandha in the market contains <5% Withanolides.

Ashwagandha–Rejuvenating Tonifier

The name Ashwagandha is from the Sanskrit language and is a combination of the word ashva, meaning horse, and gandha, meaning smell. The root has a strong aroma that is described as “horse-like”. In Ayurvedic, Indian, and Unani medicine, ashwagandha is described as “Indian ginseng“.

Traditional Use of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha has been used throughout India for thousands of years as a rejuvenating tonifier (rasayana in Ayurvedic herbalism). It was widely used to support vitality in people of all ages, including children, and to enhance reproductive function in both men and women. Traditionally, this herb has been used as an aphrodisiac, liver tonic, anti-inflammatory agent, and astringent. The results of clinical trials indicate that ashwagandha has anti-aging, immunomodulatory, antidepressive, and other therapeutic effects.

..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Pharmacological Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha contains several active constituents including alkaloids (isopelletierine, anaferine), steroidal lactones (withanolides, withaferins), and saponins. Withanolides serve as hormone precursors that can convert into human physiologic hormones as necessary. Preliminary animal evidence suggests ashwagandha may have a variety of pharmacological effects including analgesic, antipyretic, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.

Ashwagandha– Powerful Adaptogen
The high stress levels of our society have a profound impact on well-being, impacting our bodies and health in ways that are continually being revealed by new research. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is widely used in modern Western herbalism as an adaptogen—a substance that can help our bodies healthfully adapt to physiological and psychological stress, thus increasing resistance to stressors. Adaptogenic botanicals are increasingly important in today’s society, where high stress levels negatively impact many different body systems. Many health practitioners believe adaptogens are just as important to our health as better-known nutrients and botanicals, such as antioxidants. Research suggests the mechanism of action of adaptogens may include modulation of the pituitary-hypothalamus-adrenal gland axis. They increase resistance against external stressors, have a balancing effect and stabilize normal body functions.

Ashwagandha: Anti-Stressor

Ashwagandha has been shown to increase stress resistance, improve memory-related performance, and protect against stress induced responses such as anxiety, and physiological imbalances, according to numerous animal studies and several human studies. Some researchers think ashwagandha has a so-called “anti-stressor” effect. Preliminary evidence suggests ashwagandha might suppress stress-induced increases of dopamine receptors in the corpus striatum of the brain. A comparison of the anxiety-reducing and antidepressive actions of ashwagandha with those of the benzodiazepine lorazepam was made in mice. Mice treated with both agents exhibited a reduction in brain concentrations of a marker of clinical anxiety. In addition, ashwagandha exhibited an antidepressive effect. The results of similar studies support the use of ashwagandha as an anti-stress adaptogen. In a rat model of chronic stress, the stress-reducing activities of extracts from ashwagandha were compared with those of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). Both agents reduced the number and severity of chronic stress–induced ulcers, reversed the chronic stress–induced inhibition of male sexual behavior, and inhibited the adverse effects of chronic stress on the retention of learned tasks. Well-controlled clinical studies are needed to further confirm ashwagandha’s benefits for humans.

Ashwagandha: Anti-Aging herb

The anti-aging effects of Ashwagandha were shown in a double-blind clinical trial in which 101 healthy men aged 50–59 years received a dosage of 3 grams Ashwagandha for 1 year. Specifically, significant improvements in hemoglobin, red blood cell counts, hair melanin concentrations, and serum cholesterol concentrations were observed.

Click to learn more about Ashwagandha

Source:/www.ayurvediccure.com

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