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Herbs & Plants

San Qi

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Botanical Name : Panax pseudo-ginseng
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Panax
Subgenus: Panax
Section: Pseudoginseng
Species: P. pseudoginseng
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms : Panax notoginseng

Other Possible Synonyms:Aralia quinquefolia var. notoginseng[G] P. notoginseng[G] P. pseudo-ginseng notoginseng[HORTIPLEX] P. pseudoginseng var. notoginseng[G] (From various places across the web, may not be 100% correct.)

Common Name :San Qi, Pseudoginseng, Nepal ginseng, and Himalayan ginseng.

 Habitat:Woodland, Dappled Shade, Shady Edge, Deep Shade. Forests and shrubberies, 2100 – 4300 metres in Central Nepal in the Himalayas, E. Asia – China to the Himalayas and Burma.Notoginseng grows naturally in China and Japan.

 

Description:
Perennial growing to 1.2m at a slow rate. . The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female   organs).

The herb is a perennial with dark green leaves branching from a stem with a red cluster of berries in the middle. It is both cultivated and gathered from wild forests, with wild plants being the most valuable. The Chinese refer to it as “three-seven root” because the plant has three branches with seven leaves each. It is also said that the root should be harvested between three and seven years after planting it…...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation :

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It requires moist soil.  Requires a moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland.

Propagation
Seed – sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer.

Edible Uses
Drink; Tea.
The roots are chewed, used as a flavouring in liqueurs or made into a tea.

. This is the form used medicinally in China. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus.

Medicinal Uses
Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Antiphlogistic; Antiseptic; Astringent; Cardiotonic; Diuretic; Haemostatic; Hypoglycaemic.   San Qi is a fairly recent newcomer to Chinese herbalism, the first recorded usage dating from the sixteenth century. Nevertheless, it has attained an importance as a tonic medicine that supports the function of the adrenal glands, in particular the production of corticosteroids and male sex hormones. It also helps to improve blood flow through the coronary arteries, thus finding use as a treatment for arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and angina.

The roots are said to be analgesic,antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, cardiotonic, diuretic, haemostatic,hypoglycaemic , antiphlogistic, astringent, discutient, hypoglycaemic, styptic, tonic and vulnerary. They are used in the treatment of contused wounds, soft tissue injuries and all kinds of bleeding, both internal and external, like haematuria, nose bleeds, haematemesis, uterine bleeding etc. They are also used in the treatment of coronary heart disease and angina pectoris. The roots can be applied externally as a poultice in order to help speed the healing of wounds and bruises.

The root is harvested before flowering or after the seed has ripened. It is usually dried for later use.

*stop bleeding – transform blood stasis – int. & ext. bleeding

*-can stop bleeding without causing blood stasis

*-traumatic injuries – alleviate pain, reduce swelling

The roots are also used both internally and externally in the treatment of nosebleeds, haemorrhages from the lungs, digestive tract and uterus, and injuries. The roots are harvested in the autumn, preferably from plants 6 – 7 years old, and can be used fresh or dried.

The flowers are used to treat vertigo and dizziness.

The purple-red san-qi ginseng flower is valued for its ability to improve and maintain the circulation of Blood and Qi. According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, san-qi ginseng flower is Sweet and Cool and pacifies the Liver.

Orally, panax pseudoginseng is used as a hemostatic, for vomiting and coughing up blood, blood in the urine or stool, nosebleed, and hemorrhagic disease. It is also used to relieve pain, and to reduce swelling, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure. Panax pseudoginseng is also used for angina, dizziness, and acute sore throat.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners have called notoginseng “the miracle root for the preservation of life.”Research is showing that Notoginseng exerts a number of beneficial effects on several physiological functions, including the nervous, immune, and cardiovascular systems. It is widely used in Asia for angina, to help lower cholesterol and triglycerides, and to expand coronary arteries in order to promote blood circulation and prevent blood clots.

Internally it is used for coronary heart disease and angina(roots), dizziness, and vertigo (Flowers).  Internally and externally it is used for nosebleed, and hemorrhage from lungs, digestive tract, uterus, or injuries (roots).  It was used extensively by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War to increase recovery rates from gunshot wounds.  Used in the herbal combination PC-SPES’.a compound of 8 herbs used for prostate cancer.  It is one of the most valuable Chinese herbs for traumas and injuries because of its ginseng-like tonic properties and its strong hemostatic action in acute conditions. It will effectively dissolve blood clots when taken internally and works very well for most abnormal bleeding when combined with the ashes of human hair.  Its healing, astringent properties increase when combined with comfrey root.  Like the other ginsengs, it may be taken as a blood and energy tonic and is regarded by some as equally effective.  It is considered preferable for younger people because it moves the chi more than the common American or Oriental ginsengs.  It also strengthens the heart and improves athletic performance, making it a preferred tonic for the purposes of sports medicine

According to Ron Teeguarden, master herbalist and author of Radiant Health: The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs (Warner Books, 1998), Notoginseng is also considered one of the most powerful blood tonics known to man. It is used in Chinese medicine to assist coagulation of the blood, stop bleeding, and to dilate the coronary artery and increase coronary blood flow, thus providing more blood to the heart muscle. The herb also reduces cardiac load, lowers arterial pressure, and improves micro-circulation in and around damaged heart tissue.

The herb is sweet and slightly bitter in flavour, slightly warm in nature, and acts on the heart, liver and spleen channels. Being sweet for mildness, warm for clearing, it acts heart and liver channels and blood division for resolving blood stasis and improving blood circulation. When the stasis is resolved and the blood returned back to the vessels, the bleeding without retaining blood stasis, it is an important herb to stop bleeding and alleviate pain. The herb is often used to treat various kinds of bleeding and pains due to blood stasis.

Indication:
1. The herb powder can be orally taken, 2-3 times a day, 3g each time, to treat haematemesis, hemafecia, metrorrhagia and metrostaxis and other kinds of bleeding, with a better effect for bleeding with blood stasis. To treat haematemensis, hemafecia caused by ulcer of the digestive tract, the herb can be used in combination with hyacinth bletilla and cuttle bone.

2 . To treat traumatic ecchymosis and swelling pain, the herb can be orally taken or externally applied or used in combination with other herbs for removing blood stasis and alleviating pain. To treat obstruction of the heart channel by blood stasis and colic due to obstruction of Qi in the chest, the herb is often used in combination with ginseng for supplementing Qi, clearing the channels, removing blood stasis and alleviating pain.

Dosage and Administration: 1-3g. The herb powder is orally taken in form of infusion with hot boiled water.

Click to learn more about San Qi

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://www.tonshen.com/product/healthtea/sanqi_t.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Panax+pseudoginseng+notoginseng
http://tcm.health-info.org/Herbology.Materia.Medica/sanqi-properties.htm
http://www.mdidea.com/products/new/new081.html
http://www.tcmtreatment.com/herbs/0-sanqi.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panax_pseudoginseng

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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Categories
Herbs & Plants

Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara Sagrada)

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Bnical Name :Rhamnus cathartica
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Rosales
Family: Rhamnaceae
Genus: Rhamnus
Subgenus: Frangula

Synonyms : Cervispina cathartica (L.) Moench,  Frangula purshiana, Rhamnus purshianus

Common Name: Cascara Buckthorn, Cascara, Bearberry, and in the Chinook Jargon, Chittam or Chitticum; Common Buckthorn

Habitat: Cascara sagrada is native to  Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.  It grows in fen peat, scrub, hedges, ash and oak woods, on calcareous often dry soils.
Parts Used:Dried aged bark

Description:

Cascara sagrada is a small deciduous tree that grows from 15-20 feet in height. It has pubescent stems covered with reddish-brown bark and often gray lichen. The tree bears dark green elliptic to oblong-ovate leaves with prominent veins and toothed margins. The leaves are rounded at the base and have somewhat hairy undersides. Short-stemmed clusters of small, greenish-white flowers grow from the upper leaf axils; they eventually produce black, pea-sized drupes that are poisonous.

CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The bark is brownish to silver-grey with light splotching. The leaves are deciduous, alternate, clustered near the ends of twigs; they are oval, 5–15 cm long and 2–5 cm broad with a 0.6–2 cm petiole, dark shiny green on top, fuzzy and paler green below. The flowers are tiny, 4–5 mm diameter, with five greenish yellow petals; the flowering season is brief, disappearing by early summer. The fruit is a berry 6–10 mm diameter, bright red at first, quickly maturing deep purple or black, and containing three seeds.

It grows in moist, acidic soils in the shady side of clearings or in the marginal forest understory, near the edges of mixed deciduous-coniferous forests. It typically grows as a second-generation tree after alders have colonized a barren plot of land.

Cultivation:
Succeeds in any reasonably good soil. Prefers a dry or moist calcareous soil in sun or light dappled shade. This species is hardy to at least -15°c. Plants regenerate well after cutting or burning but young plants are rather prone to frost damage when grown in an exposed position. Plants are resistant to cattle grazing but young plants can be damaged by rabbits. Plants have a very shallow root system. This species often bears the aecidospore stage of ‘crown rust’ of oats so it should not be grown near cereals. The species in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus. A good bee plant and a main food plant for the brimstone butterfly. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.

Propagation :
Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame. Stored seed will require 1 – 2 months stratification at 5°c and should be sown as early in the year as possible in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, and grow them on in the greenhouse or cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year’s growth, autumn in a frame. Layering in early spring.

Medicinal Uses:Constipation, Colon Disorders, Liver Problems, Poor Digestion, Colitis, Hemorrhoids, Skin Problems.
The dried, aged bark of this tree has been used continually for at least 1,000 years by both native and immigrant Americans as a laxative natural medicine, commercially called “Cascara Sagrada“, but old timers call it “chitticum bark”.

Cascara is a very effective laxative, containing hydroxymethyl anthraquinones that cause peristalsis of the large intestine, emodin and other rhamnoid glycosides. It has been used as such by many First Nations groups. For example, Cascara bark tea was drunk as a laxative by Nuxalk, Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-hulth, and Kwakwakawakw, and a decoction of the inner bark and water was used as a remedy for dysentery. The bark is often aged before use so it will be less likely to cause nausea. First introduced to Europe in 1877, about 3 million pounds of the bark is harvested annually for use in commercial laxatives.  Squaxin used a Cascara infusion to wash sores–sometimes people chewed the bark and then spit it on sores. The bark has also been used to treat heart strain, internal strains, and biliousness. Skagit people burn the bark and mix the charcoal with grease to rub on swellings, and also have employed the bark in a green dye for mountain goat wool. Makah eat the fresh berries in July and August. Internally used for chronic constipation, colitis, digestive complaints, hemorrhoids, liver problems, and jaundice.  It is a medium-strength laxative and somewhat weaker than Rhubarb root and Senna leaf.   Externally used to deter nail biting.

Cascara Sagrada means “sacred bark” in Spanish. The much more pertinent name chitticum means “shit come” in Chinook Jargon; chittam comes from the Chinook Jargon phrase chittam stick = “laxative tree” which is similarly from the English word “shit”.

The bark is harvested mostly from wild trees; over-harvesting in the middle 1900s eliminated mature trees near many settled areas. Once stripped from the tree, the bark is aged for about 1 year to make its effect milder. Fresh cut, dried bark causes vomiting and violent diarrhea.

Short term side effects of Cascara Sagrada herb:
A medline search did not reveal any significant short term cascara sagrada side effects as long as it is not used for more than a week or two at a time without a break. It is best to avoid cascara sagrada if you have a chronic intestinal condition such as ulcerative colitis, or diverticular disease.

Long term cascara sagrada side effects:
When cascara sagrada or other anthraquinone containing plants are used for prolonged periods, potentially serious side effects can occur. These cascara sagrada side effects may include cramping in the abdomen and loss of body fluids. Dark pigmentation in the colon can occur and this is called melanosis coli.

Cascara Sagrada Research Update:
Colon cleansing regimens. A clinical study in 1200 patients.
Gastrointest Radiol. 1982;7(4):383-9
The purgative effect of bisacodyl, anthraquinone glycosides ( Cascara sagrada ), and sodium picosulfate, alone or in combination with a saline purge and a tap water enema, was studied in 1200 patients. The cleansing effect was scored with regard to retained fecal residue evident on double-contrast studies of the colon. The combination of a contact laxative and a saline purge produced good cleansing effect in 52%-80% of the patients. With an additional tap water enema given 1 hour before the colon examination, however, 96% of the colons were clean. The taste and the effects of the cleansing systems were tolerated favorably by more than 90% of the patients. However, 17% reported restriction in work capacity on the day of bowel cleansing.

Other Uses:
Dye; Hedge; Hedge; Wood.

A green dye is obtained from the immature fruit. Mixed with gum arabic and limewater, it makes a green pigment used in watercolour painting. Yellow, orange and brownish dyes can also be obtained. The colours are rich but fugitive. A yellow dye is obtained from the bark. It has been used to colour paper and maps. Often grown as an informal hedge, it is also amenable to trimming. Wood – hard, handsome with a marble-like grain. Used for small turnery.

Known Hazards: The fruit is purgative but not seriously poisonous. Other parts of the plant may also be poisonous. Adverse effects: Diarrhoea, weakness. Urine may turn dark yellow or red which is harmless. Possible body potassium loss if used for more than 10 consecutive days

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/Rhamnus_purshiana
http://www.raysahelian.com/cascarasagrada.html
http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/herbs_cascara_sagrada.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rhamnus+cathartica

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Hepatitis

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Knowing the ABCs of this liver disorder can save your life. Though some hepatitis viruses cause an acute but temporary flulike illness, others can produce a chronic, festering liver infection. Natural therapies are designed to protect the liver and boost your immune system.
Symptoms:-

Fatigue.
Fever.
Loss of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting.
Aching muscles or joints.
Abdominal discomfort, pain, or swelling.
Jaundice (yellowish tinge of skin and whites of eyes).
Dark urine and pale stools.

When to Call Your Doctor :
If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis, either through contaminated food or water or by sexual contact with an infected person.
If you develop lingering flulike symptoms. During its acute phase, viral hepatitis so closely resembles the flu that it is frequently misdiagnosed.
If you develop jaundice or other symptoms of hepatitis.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is :
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Of the two forms — acute and chronic — the first is the easier to treat. Hepatitis can be caused by any of six viruses, called A, B, C, D, E, and G. Hepatitis A, the most common, is highly contagious; it produces acute flulike symptoms but usually no long-lasting damage. Hepatitis B and C, on the other hand, can linger for years, often causing few or no symptoms but in some cases leading to irreversible liver scarring (cirrhosis) or liver cancer. Types D, E, and G are rare. All forms of hepatitis attack the liver, impairing its ability to process sugars and carbohydrates, to secrete fat-digesting bile, and to rid the body of toxins and waste. But the chronic forms are the most dangerous because they may ultimately lead to liver failure.

What Causes It:
Whether contracted through contaminated food or water (type A), or through blood transfusions, infected hypodermic needles, or sexual intercourse (types B and C), hepatitis is most often caused by a viral infection. Certain medications, toxic chemicals, or years of alcohol abuse can also result in hepatitis. Rarely, an autoimmune dysfunction — in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues — is to blame. And sometimes, no cause can be determined.

How Supplements Can Help :
Conventional medicines have achieved only limited success in treating hepatitis, particularly the more dangerous chronic form. The natural therapies listed in the chart are designed to protect and strengthen the liver and boost general immunity. They should be used together, along with conventional drugs, until symptoms of acute hepatitis subside. Benefits may be noticed within a week. For chronic disease, take them long term.

What Else You Can Do :
Watch what you eat and drink when traveling in areas where sanitation is poor and disease rates high. Have only bottled water and cooked foods.
Refrain from alcohol, especially during and for a month after an acute illness, or until your doctor says your liver function tests are normal.
Make sure disposable or sterilized needles are used during acupuncture, body piercing, tattooing, and similar procedures.
Vaccines against both hepatitis A and hepatitis B are available. Ask your doctor if you should have one or both.

Supplement Recommendations:-

Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Milk Thistle
Licorice
Lipotropic Combination
Alpha-lipoic Acid
Dandelion Root

Vitamin C
Dosage: 1,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin E
Dosage: 400 IU a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Milk Thistle
Dosage: 150 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 70% silymarin.

Licorice
Dosage: 200 mg 3 times a day for a maximum of 10 days.
Comments: Standardized to contain 22% glycyrrhizin or glycyrrhizinic acid; can raise blood pressure. Don’t use DGL form.

Lipotropic Combination
Dosage: 2 pills twice a day.
Comments: Should contain milk thistle, choline, inositol, and other ingredients.

Alpha-lipoic Acid
Dosage: 200 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Can be taken with or without food.

Dandelion Root
Dosage: 500 mg standardized extract twice a day.
Comments: May be contained in lipotropic combination formulas.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)