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Delphinium staphisagria

Botanical Name : Delphinium staphisagria
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus:     Delphinium
Species: D. staphisagria
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:     Ranunculales

Synonym: Lousewort.

Common Names: Lice-Bane or Stavesacre.

Habitat:Delphinium staphisagria grows throughout the Mediterranean.(Asia Minor and Europe.)

Description:
Delphinium staphisagria   is  a stoutly-stemmed, hairy biennial plant with hairy stem and large (up to 6″) hairy palmate leaves, composed of five to seven oblong lobes, which have frequently one or two acute indentures on their sides. The flowers are mauve-blue to blue, short-spurred, and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) across, occurring in racemes. The plant grows to a height of 4–5 feet.The dark-colored, wrinkled seeds of D. staphisagria are characteristically quite large (~5×6 mm), and it is likely that the species name, which translates to “wild raisin”  is based on their appearance. This name-derivation seems to have been arrived at independently by a modern horticulturalist, David Bassett, who also gives a detailed account of his experiences in growing this species. All parts of this plant are highly toxic and should not be ingested in any quantity.

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Cultivation:
The seeds of this species should be sown in April, where the plants are intended to remain and require no special treatment, growing in almost any soil or situation, but the plants are most luxuriant when given a deep, yellow loam, well enriched with rotted manure and fairly moist. They should be thinned to a distance of 2 feet apart.

Medicinal Uses:
Part Used:  The dried, ripe seeds. Shake the seeds out of the pods on trays and spread them out to dry in the sun. Then pack away in airtight boxes or tins. The dried, ripe seeds are brown when fresh, changing to a dull, earthy colour on keeping. In shape they are irregularly quadrangular, one side being curved and larger than the others, and the surface of the seed is wrinkled and pitted. They average about 6 mm. (nearly 1/4 inch) long and rather less in width, ten weighing about 6 grains. The seed coat is nearly tasteless, but the endosperm is oily and has a bitter and acrid taste. The seeds have no marked collour.

Chemical Constituents: The chief constituents of Stavesacre seeds are from 20 to 25 per cent of alkaloidal matter, which consists chiefly of the bitter, acrid, crystalline, alkaloid Delphinine, an irritant poison, and a second crystalline alkaloid named Delphisine, and the amorphous alkaloid Delphinoidine. Less important are staphisagroine, of which traces only are present, and staphisagrine, which appears to be a mixture of the first three elements.

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Traditional Uses:
As noted above, preparations made from D. staphisagria (apparently principally from the seeds) were used as a pediculicide throughout the last two millennia. Maud Grieve, in her famous Herbal, written in 1931, refers to stavesacre as being a “vermifuge” and “vermin-destroying”, as well as to its parasiticidal properties. She also mentions that it is “violently emetic and cathartic”.

Vermifuge and vermin-destroying. Stavesacre seeds are extremely poisonous and are only used as a parasiticide to kill pediculi, chiefly in the form of the official ointment, the expressed oil, the powdered seeds, or an acid aqueous extract containing the alkaloids.

These seeds are so violently emetic and cathartic that they are rarely given internally, though the powdered seeds have been given as a purge for dropsy, in very small quantities at first and increased till the effect is produced. The dose at first should not exceed 2 or 3 grains, given in powder or decoction, but the administration of the drug must always be accompanied by great caution, as staphisagrine paralyses the motor nerves like curare.

The seeds are used as an external application to some cutaneous eruptions, the decoction, applied with a linen rag, being effectual in curing the itch. It is made by boiling the seeds in water.

Delphinine has also been employed similarly to aconite, both internally and externally, for neuralgia. It resembles aconite in causing slowness of pulse and respiration, paralysis of the spinal cord and death from asphyxia. By depressing the action of the spinal cord it arrests the convulsions caused by strychnine.

Homeopathy:
Introduced into homeopathy by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Leipzig, 1817. Hahnemann’s fellow provers were: Cubitz, Franz, Gross, Gutmann, Hartmann, Haymel, Herrman, Kumer, Langhammer, Staph, Teuthorn.

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/Delphinium_staphisagria
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/stavas90.html

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Cinchona

Botanical Name :Cinchona succirubra (PAVON.)
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Cinchonoideae
Tribe: Cinchoneae
Genus: Cinchona
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Synonyms: Quinaquina officinalis, Quinaquina lancifolia, Quinaquina coccinea

Common names:Cinchona, Quinine bark, quina, quinine, kinakina, China bark, cinchona bark, yellow cinchona, red cinchona, Peruvian bark, Jesuit’s bark, quina-quina, calisaya bark, fever tree.  Lojabark

Habitat :Cinchona is native to the tropical Andes forests of western South America. They are medicinal plants, known as sources for quinine and other compounds.All cinchonas are indigenous to the eastern slopes of the Amazonian area of the Andes, where they grow from 1,500-3,000 meters in elevation on either side of the equator (from Colombia to Bolivia). They can also be found in the northern part of the Andes (on the eastern slopes of the central and western ranges). They are now widely cultivated in many tropical countries for their commercial value, although they are not indigenous to those areas.It is the national tree of Ecuador and Peru.

Description:
The Cinchona plants are large shrubs or small trees with evergreen foliage, growing 5–15 m (16–49 ft) in height. The leaves are opposite, rounded to lanceolate and 10–40 cm long.The flowers are white, pink or red, produced in terminal panicles. The fruit is a small capsule containing numerous seeds.The genus Cinchona contains about forty species of trees.
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Chemical Constituents:
The main plant chemicals found in quinine bark include: aricine, caffeic acid, cinchofulvic acid, cincholic acid, cinchonain, cinchonidine, cinchonine, cinchophyllamine, cinchotannic acid, cinchotine, conquinamine, cuscamidine, cuscamine, cusconidine, cusconine, epicatechin, javanine, paricine, proanthocyanidins, quinacimine, quinamine, quinic acid, quinicine, quinine, quininidine, quinovic acid, quinovin, and sucirubine.

Medicinal Uses:
The medicinal properties of the cinchona tree were originally discovered by the Quechua peoples of Peru and Bolivia, and long cultivated by them as a muscle relaxant to halt shivering due to low temperatures. The Jesuit Brother Agostino Salumbrino (1561–1642), an apothecary by training and who lived in Lima, observed the Quechua using the quinine-containing bark of the cinchona tree for that purpose. While its effect in treating malaria (and hence malaria-induced shivering) was entirely unrelated to its effect in controlling shivering from cold, it was nevertheless the correct medicine for malaria. The use of the “fever tree” bark was introduced into European medicine by Jesuit missionaries (Jesuit’s bark). Jesuit Barnabé de Cobo (1582–1657), who explored Mexico and Peru, is credited with taking cinchona bark to Europe. He brought the bark from Lima to Spain, and afterwards to Rome and other parts of Italy, in 1632. After Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Jesuit missionaries were the first to bring the Jesuit’s bark cinchona compound to Europe in 1632. To maintain their monopoly on cinchona bark, Peru and surrounding countries began outlawing the export of cinchona seeds and saplings beginning in the early 19th century.

The indigenous people of Peru have taken cinchona for many centuries, and it is still a well-used remedy for fevers, digestive problems, and infections. Cinchona, and in particular quinine, were the principal remedies for malaria until World War I. From the 1960s on, resistance of the malarial parasite to the synthetic drug chloroquine led to quinine?s use once again in preventing and treating malaria. Quinine is also used to treat other acute feverish conditions. As a bitter tonic, cinchona stimulates saliva, digestive secretions, and the appetite, and improves weak digestive functions. It is useful as a gargle for sore, infected throats. The herb is used in herbal medicine for cramps, especially night cramps. It also relieves arthritis. In India, cinchona is used to treat sciatica and dysentery, as well as problems associated with an imbalance in kapha. Edgar Cayce primarily recommended calisaya as a blood purifier and aid to digestion. There is also a distinct action of quieting the heart, reducing palpitations and normalizing the function.

Cinchona has been thoroughly researched, and its pharmacological actions are well established. Quinine is both strongly antimalarial and antibacterial. Like the other alkaloids, it is antispasmodic. The bitter constituents in cinchona, including the alkaloids and quinovin, produce a reflex stimulation of the digestion as a whole, increasing stomach secretions. Quinidine is known to reduce heart rate and improve irregularity of heartbeat.

Meanwhile, also in the 19th century, the plant’s seeds and cuttings were smuggled out for new cultivation at cinchona plantations in colonial regions of tropical Asia, notably by the British to the British Raj and Ceylon (present day India and Sri Lanka), and by the Dutch to Java in the Dutch East Indies (present day Indonesia).

As a medicinal herb, cinchona bark is also known as Jesuit’s bark or Peruvian bark. The bark is stripped from the tree, dried, and powdered for medicinal uses. The bark is medicinally active, containing a variety of alkaloids including the antimalarial compound quinine and the antiarrhythmic quinidine. Currently, their use is largely superseded by more effective modern medicines

Main Preparation Method: decoction
Main Actions (in order):
antimalarial, bitter digestive aid, antiparasitic, antispasmodic, febrifuge (reduces fever)

Main Uses:
1.for malaria
2.as a bitter digestive aid to stimulate digestive juices
3.for nocturnal leg cramps
4.for intestinal parasites and protozoa
5.for arrhythmia and other heart conditions

Properties/Actions Documented by Research:
anti-arrhythmic, antimalarial, antiparasitic, antiprotozoal, antispasmodic, bitter digestive aid, cardiotonic (tones, balances, strengthens the heart)

Other Properties/Actions Documented by Traditional Use:
amebicide, analgesic (pain-reliever), antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, astringent, digestive stimulant, febrifuge (reduces fever), insecticide, nervine (balances/calms nerves), neurasthenic (reduces nerve pain)

Known Hazards: : It contains quinine alkaloids that are toxic in large doses. Do not exceed

Homeopathy:
The birth of homeopathy was based on cinchona bark testing. The founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, when translating William Cullen’s Materia medica, noticed Cullen had written that Peruvian bark was known to cure intermittent fevers.[10] Hahnemann took daily a large, rather than homeopathic, dose of Peruvian bark. After two weeks, he said he felt malaria-like symptoms. This idea of “like cures like” was the starting point of his writings on homeopathy. Hahnemann’s symptoms are believed to be the result of a hypersensitivity to cinchona bark on his part

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Other Uses:
Cinchona species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the engrailed, the commander, and members of the genus Endoclita, including E. damor, E. purpurescens and E. sericeus.

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/Cinchona
http://www.rain-tree.com/quinine.htm#.UdCq9L7D92Y

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

Homeopathy – The Higher Purposes of our Existence

When we experience a state of perfect health our bodies do not cry out for help through the expression of symptoms, nor do our thoughts and emotions weigh us down with negativity. Our experience becomes one of pure joy in the perfect pleasure of being. This is the optimal state for us to carry out our life-purpose unhampered by the restraints of ill-health. It is our true inheritance to achieve this state which then allows for spirit to shine through us and guide us on our path. Achieving this state of health and harmony removes many obstacles to the recognition of our true selves, and with this recognition comes a sense of connection to something greater. It gives new meaning to our lives and transforms the routine of daily living into a grand adventure.

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How can homeopathy help us to get in touch with spirit and assist in our personal evolution? Symptoms carry the clues to restoring balance and reconnecting with spirit. Homeopathy asserts that symptoms are actually expressions of the life force attempting to correct the imbalance, which is essentially dynamic in nature. Rather than seeking to oppose these symptoms through suppressive treatment, nature is encouraged in its struggle to overcome the diseased state and the organism is stimulated to increase its reaction by a remedy capable of strengthening the healing response. The increased stimulus allows the life energy to react more powerfully and overcome the disease.
Gently stimulating the life energy in this way tunes up the organism like the living, healthy instrument that it is capable of being. It is a refinement of the life force which then resonates on higher frequencies. These refined
frequencies resonate with and attract impulses from spirit which enhance per sonal awareness and growth.

Homeopathy does not take the place of doing your own inner work. It does, however, prepare the bodily temple by re balancing energies and fine-tuning the organism to such a degree as to render the path to total consciousness free of physical, emotional and mental obstacles.

Homeopathy is the only western medical system that recognizes the existence of the ‘spirit-like life force’ and its true significance in health and disease states. It is known that disease is primarily a dynamic, or energetic disturbance. It is known that symptoms are the organism’s reaction to the disturbance in an attempt to heal itself and restore balance. It is also known that left to its own devices in chronic disease states, the organism is a
somewhat inefficient healer.

Intervention is usually necessary to resolve the  situation. If there is a need for intervention, it should be as safe, gentle  and effective as possible using the least amount of remedial substance to effect a healing response. There is no better, more efficient method than homeopathy to achieve the desired result.

What is homeopathy?
As homeopathic remedies are person specific, and doses are generally small, the Society of Homeopaths said the protesters should not have any reaction to their overdoses, unless somebody had symptoms linked to their remedy.

Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine. It was first proposed by Samual Hahnemann (1755 – 1843), a German physician in 1796. He proposed that patients could be treated with heavily diluted preparations of products which are thought to cause effects similar to their signs and symptoms.

Homeopathic medications are prepared by succession – a form of serial dilution with shaking by forceful striking after each dilution. It is assumed that this process makes the treatment more effective. The whole process is called potentization. Sometimes dilution continues until there is none of the original substance left.

Homeopaths use aspects of the patient’s physical and psychological state, as well as their symptoms when recommending remedies. Repertories (reference books) are consulted and a remedy is selected.

In the vast majority of cases homeopathic remedies are considered as safe. There have been some cases of arsenic toxicity. Although most homeopaths work alongside mainstream medicine, there have been cases where patients have been advised not to take proven treatments for some serious diseases (Malaria Advice Risks Lives, BBC).

Homeopathic treatments are recognized by the National Health Service (NHS), UK, which spends billions each year on it.

Difference between alternative medicine and orthodox medicine:-
There are many interpretations. Put simply, orthodox treatments/medicine has been proven through well organized clinical trials, in which the treatment is compared with either another medication or a placebo (or both). Alternative medicines have not been proven, either because trials found no difference compared to a placebo, or proper trials have not yet been carried out.

Imagine that people claimed that placing a flag at the bottom of the garden helped get rid of flu faster – until proven, this would be an alternative treatment. However, if a proper clinical trial were carried out with a large group of people in several centers, comparing the use of the flag with a placebo, and it was found that the flag was significantly more effective and did not have serious side-effects, the flag treatment would become orthodox medicine as soon as the authorities studied the results of the trials and approved its use.

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*Homeopathy :
*Homeopathy DOA :
*HOMEOPATHY: Placebo or Legit?  :
*NEW!! Workshops for 2010!!  :

Reources:

Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine

Medicine News Today:Jan.30. 2010

 

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Arnica

Botanical Name: Arnica montana
Family:    Asteraceae
Genus:    Arnica
Species:    A. montana
Kingdom:    Plantae
Order:    Asterales

Synonyms: Mountain Tobacco. Leopard’s Bane.
Parts Used:
Root, flowers.
Habitat:
Arnica montana is widespread across most of Europe. It is absent from the British Isles and the Italian and Balkan Peninsulas. Arnica montana grows in nutrient-poor siliceous meadows up to nearly 3,000 metres (9,800 ft). It is rare overall, but may be locally abundant. It is becoming rarer, particularly in the north of its distribution, largely due to increasingly intensive agriculture. In more upland regions, it may also be found on nutrient-poor moors and heaths.

Description:   Arnica montana has tall stems, 20–60 cm (7.9–23.6 in) high, supporting usually a single flower head. Most of the leaves are in a basal rosette, but one or two pairs may be found on the stem and are, unusually for composites, opposite. The flower heads are yellow, approximately 5 cm (2.0 in) in diameter, and appear from May to August.

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Botanical Description :  Arnica is a genus with about 30 perennial, herbaceous species, belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The genus name Arnica may be derived from the Latin arna, “lamb”, in reference to the soft, hairy leaves.

This circumboreal and montane genus occurs mostly in the temperate regions of western North America, while two are native to Eurasia (A. angustifolia and A. montana).

Arnica used to be included in the tribe Senecioneae, because it has a pappus of fine bristles. This was soon questioned and Nordenstam (1977) placed it tentatively in tribe Heliantheae s.l. This arrangement also became uncertain because of the sesquiterpene lactone chemistry in certain species. Lately Arnica was placed in an unresolved clade together with Madiinae, Eupatorieae, Heliantheae s.s. and Pectidinae.

Several species, such as Arnica montana and Arnica chamissonis contain helenalin, a sesquiterpene lactone that is a major ingredient in anti-inflammatory preparations (mostly against bruises).

Arnica species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Bucculatrix arnicella.
Cultivation: Arnica thrives in a mixture of loam, peat, and sand. It may be propagated by root division or from seed. Divide in spring. Sow in early spring in a cold frame, and plant out in May.

The flowers are collected entire and dried, but the receptacles are sometimes removed as they are liable to be attacked by insects.

The root is collected in autumn after the leaves have died down.

Constituents: A bitter yellow crystalline principle, Arnicin, and a volatile oil. Tannin and phulin are also present. The flowers are said to contain more Arnicin than the rhizome, but no tannin.

Medicinal Action and Uses:

Arnica promotes the healing of wounds contracted through blows, punctures, falls and cuts. It is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, relieves pain from injuries and promotes tissue regeneration. One can clean wounds, abscesses, boils and ulcers with diluted Arnica tinctures and dress them with a compress soaked in the same solution. For contusions, sprains, bruises, bursitis, arthritis and inflammation of the lymphatic vessels, apply packs of diluted Arnica tincture. To relieve headaches and visual disturbances due to concussion, apply such compresses around the head and neck. To prepare packs and washes, dilute one tablespoon of Arnica tincture in a cup of boiled water (or where sensitivity is suspected, double the water). The tincture made from the flowers is only used externally, whereas the tincture made from the roots is used internally for cases of hematoma and inflammation of the veins. Arnica also improves the circulation. Arnica flowers are sometimes adulterated with other composite flowers, especially Calendula officinalis, Inula brittanica, Kragapogon pratensis, and Scorzonera humilis. For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tincture has brought great relief. Arnica has been shown to be an immuno-stimulant, as both the sesquiterpene lactone helenalin and the polysaccharide fraction stimulate phagocytosis. Sesquiterpene lactones are known to have anti-inflammatory activity and their biological effects appear to be mediated through immunological processes. As helenalin is one of the most active, this might help account for the use of Arnica for pain and inflammation.

Arnica has been used for heart problems (as it contains a cardiotonic substance), to improve circulation, to reduce cholesterol and to stimulate the central nervous system. But the internal use should only be done under supervision. It displays astonishing stimulating, decongesting and relaxing properties. The heart is both stimulated in deficient conditions and relieved in excess ones, depending on the case presented.

For sprains and strains, arnica promotes healing and has an antibacterial action; causes reabsorption of internal bleeding in bruises and sprains. Apply as a cream to the affected area, or soak a pad in diluted tincture and use as a compress. Take homeopathic Arnica 6x every 1-2 hours. Do not use on broken skin; use only homeopathic Arnica internally.

Clearing heat in the sense of both deficiency heat and fire toxin is one of its strengths. In Yin deficiency syndromes with either low fever or hot flushes, it matches up well with the likes of hawthorn, rehmannia, mistletoe and valerian.

Arnica montana is sometimes grown in herb gardens and historically has been used as medicine. It has been used in herbal medicine for centuries.  A systematic review of homeopathic A. montana concluded that there are no rigorous clinical trials that support the claim that it is efficacious beyond a placebo effect.

The roots contain derivatives of thymol, which are used as fungicides and preservatives and may have some anti-inflammatory effect. When used topically in a gel at 50% concentration, A. montana was found to have the same effect when compared to a 5% ibuprofen gel for treating the symptoms of hand osteoarthritis.

A scientific study by FDA funded dermatologists found that the application of topical A. montana had no better effect than a placebo in the treatment of laser-induced bruising


Used externally this herb reduces inflammation and pain of bruises, aches, and sprains. While usage it must be kept in mind that internal application of this herb has a toxic effect on the heart and causes very high blood pressure.

In countries where Arnica is indigenous, it has long been a popular remedy. In the North American colonies the flowers are used in preference to the rhizome. They have a discutient property. The tincture is used for external application to sprains, bruises, and wounds, and as a paint for chilblains when the skin is unbroken. Repeated applications may produce severe inflammation. It is seldom used internally, because of its irritant effect on the stomach. Its action is stimulant and diuretic, and it is chiefly used in low fevers and paralytie affections.

Arnica flowers are sometimes adulterated with other composite flowers, especially Calendula officinalis, Inula brittanica, Kragapogon pratensis, and Scorzonera humilis.

A homoeopathic tincture, X6, has been used successfully in the treatment of epilepsy; also for seasickness, 3 X before sailing, and every hour on board till comfortable.

In homeopathic arnica in form of tincture or globules is very commonly used to releave the pain of any kind of wound.

For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tineture has brought great relief. Applied to the scalp it will make the hair grow.

Known Hazards:  Arnica montana contains the toxin helenalin, which can be poisonous if large amounts of the plant are eaten. It produces severe gastroenteritis and internal bleeding of the digestive tract if enough material is ingested. Contact with the plant  may also cause skin irritation.

Great care must be exercised though, as some people are particularly sensitive to the plant and many severe cases of poisoning have resulted from its use, especially if taken internally.

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:

http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/herbal-encyclopedia/index.html

en.wikipedia.org and botanical.com

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

 

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Homeopathy

 

Homeopathy is a alternative approach of medicine based on the belief that natural substance, prepared in a very special method use most often in small amounts, restore health. According to these beliefs, in order for a remedy to be effective, it must cause in a healthy person the same symptoms being treated in the patient. The Greek words homoios(means similar) and pathos(means suffering) joining together it has become Homeopathy.

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In this system of medicine, they use highly diluted doses from the plant,minerals and animal kingdoms to stimulate natural defence in the body.Basically, Homeopathic treatment is a symptom based treatment.The theory of Homeopathy was developed by the Saxon physician Samuel Hahnemann during 1755 – 1843 and first published in 1796. One may go to this link to learn more.

In my opinion,extensive research work should be done on Homeopathic Medicine so that we can get the best benefit from it. This type of medicine will be very much cost effective and common man can use this for their general illness.It will be a great help for the poor ,particularly, in the third world where many people cannot afford to have square meal a day.

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