Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Agrimony Herb Uses

Agrimony Herb Uses and Medicinal Properties

Agrimony is not commonly used today, but has its place in traditional herbal medicine. This herb is safe for use for minor ailments in most healthy people. Like most herb simples, the uses to which it is put are remarkably varied. The English use it to make a delicious "spring" or "diet" drink for purifying the blood. It is considered especially useful as a tonic for aiding recovery from winter colds, fevers, and diarrhea. Agrimony contains tannin and a volatile essential oil.

As Agrimony also possesses an astringent action, it is frequently used in alternative medicine as an herbal mouthwash and gargle ingredient, and is applied externally in the form of a lotion to minor sores and ulcers. Agrimony has also been recommended, as a strong decoction, to cure sores, blemishes, and pimples.

Ginseng - Properties

Ginseng herb has a long history of use as an alternative medicine going back over 5,000 years, and appears on several continents (origin unknown), it is and was used extensively in Native American medicine. The root is adaptogen, cardiotonic, demulcent, panacea, sedative, sialagogue, stimulant, tonic and stomachic. Ginseng has been studied over the past 30 years in many countries, it’s remarkable ability to help the body adapt to mental and emotional stress, fatigue, heat, cold, and even hunger is confirmed and documented! The major constituents in Ginseng are Triterpenoid saponins, Ginsenosides (at least 29 have been identified), Acetylenic compounds, Panaxans, and Sesquiterpenes. Taken over an extended period it is used to increase mental and ph
ysical performance. It is medicinal and therapeutic for the whole body. A very powerful medicinal herb, it both stimulates and relaxes the nervous system, encourages the secretion of hormones, improves stamina, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels and increases resistance to disease. The ginsenosides that produce these effects are very similar to the body’s own natural stress hormones. It is used in the treatment of debility associated with old age or illness, lack of appetite, insomnia, stress, shock and chronic illness. Ginseng also increases immune function, resistance to infection, and supports liver function. The leaf is emetic and expectorant. The root is candied and used as a an edible medicinal kind of candy.Ginseng stimulates and increases endocrine activity in the body. Promotes a mild increase in metabolic activity and relaxes heart and artery movements. Stimulates the medulla centers and relaxes the central nervous system.

CAUTION: Don't take Ginseng and Ginseng mixtures with Coffee as it will accelerate the caffeine effects on the body and can cause diarrhea.

Ginseng is said to be highly good for the metabolism, and promotes general well being. It has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, but this seems to be totally based on the fact that it relaxes the overly tense person a bit. If you suffer from back pain or TMJ adding this to a tea of Catnip and slippery elm may help. It is also presumably useable as an ingredient in a meade or magewine.

The roots are called Jin-chen by the natives of China, meaning 'like a man,' in reference to their looking like the human form. The American Indian name for the plant, garantoquen, has (strangely) the same meaning and uses, seeing how each race had no knowledge of the existence of the other. The American Indians attributed much magic power to Ginseng. The Seminole Indians using it as a Love Medicine, rubbed it on the body and clothes to bring back a divorced wife.

This seems to vary, some say 1000 mg. a day, others more or less! I just break off a small piece of the dried root (aspirin size) and swallow it with the daily vitamin.

Ginseng - Panax Quinquefolium

Perennial herb, native to Eastern N. America found from Maine to Georgia, west to Oklahoma and Minnesota, growing in rich soils in cool woods. Cultivation: Ginseng requires a deep moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland, growing well on north-facing slopes and in deep cool woodland areas. Seeds should be sown in a shady position in a cold frame or greenhouse, and spend least their first winter there. Plant into their permanent positions in late summer or early spring. It has a large, thick, fleshy, whitish, root, growing 3 to 4 inches in length, specimens have been found twice this size. Most roots are spindle shaped with smaller appendages. The stem is simple and erect, on average about 1 to 2 foot high, bearing three to five large, palmate, leaves in a whorl atop the stem, each leaf is long stalked, divided into five finely-toothed, short petiole, leaflets, and a single, terminal umbel, with a few small, yellowish or light green flowers which grow on a short stalk from the center of the whorl of leaves. The fruit is a cluster of bright red berries. Flowers bloom in June and July. Gather the roots in Fall after the berries or seeds have fallen away. Dry for later herb use. The wild supply is quickly being diminished due to over harvesting for export to china and other countries, in some areas it is illegal to harvest during certain months of the year.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Centella asiatica

This plant and its preparation have been in use since ancient times especially in the Ayurvedic medical system of India and in the folk medicine of China and Madagascar. The outstanding importance of the usage of this plant in the tradition medicine of India is implicated by its Indian name "Brahmi" which means 'bringing knowledge to the supreme reality" and it has long been used for its medicinal properties and as and aid to meditation. It is recomended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most important medicinal plant species to be conserved and cultivated. In Malaysia, although it has been used by our traditional healers in their herbal remedies, but its popularity is confined more as traditional vegetable or 'ulam' especially among the Malay communities rather than a medicinal plant.
Centella asiatica or the local name 'pegaga' grows wildly under a wide range of conditions, some races prefer light shade, while other do well in open sunny areas. Some even grow under more harch conditions like on stone walls. In the wild, most of these plant are found in wet or moist surroundings like swamps, along the margins of lakes, ponds and have also been seen growing in paddy fields.
Pegaga easily propagated asexually by using rhizomes/runners with at least 2 nodes. Although the plant can be grown in full sun but most of their races prefer at least light shade and moist soil. Growth is favoured in sandy loam with high organic matter. Harvesting can be recomended after 60 days of planting. The whole plant is normally harvest when the reach full size.

Uses of Aloe vera

Medicinal uses

Aloe vera (syn. A. barbadensis) is commonly used externally to treat various skin conditions such as cuts, burns and eczema. It is alleged that sap from Aloe vera eases pain and reduces inflammation. Scientific evidence on the effects of Aloe vera sap on wound healing is contradictory. A study performed in the 1990s showed that the healing of a moderate to severe burn was sped up by six days when covering the wound on a regular basis with aloe vera gel, compared to the healing of the wound covered in a gauze bandage. In contrast, another study suggested wounds to which Aloe vera gel was applied were significantly slower to heal.

Many cosmetic companies add sap or other derivatives from Aloe vera to products such as makeup, moisturisers, soaps, sunscreens, shampoos and lotions. Aloe gel is alleged to be useful for dry skin conditions, especially eczema around the eyes and sensitive facial skin. In addition, it has been used for treating fungal infections such as ringworm.

An article published in the British Journal of General Practice suggests that Aloe Vera is particularly good at treating long suffers of athlete's foot. The topical application of Aloe vera is not an effective preventative for radiation-induced injuries. Whether or not it promotes wound healing is unclear, and even though there are some promising results, clinical effectiveness of oral or topical Aloe vera remains unclear at present.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Aloe vera

The local name is known as 'Lidah Buaya'. Due to its exceptional healing properties, Aloe Vera is also known as "the little of the desert", "the plant of immortality", "the first aid plant" and "the miracle plant". Its also one of the most imporant crude drug history and is still extensively used in modern medicine. It contains the same painkilling and antiinflammatory compound as in Aspirin. Aloe vera is also a nutrient-rich-plant, containing more than 200 active-components, vitamins, minerals, assential amino acids, enzymes and other plant chemicals which is said to gently strengthen, sustain and encourage cellular activity in body.

This plant is very tolerant to drought and therefore doed not need much watering especially when grown in the open. Aloe vera requires well-drained soils and does very poorly in clayey soils. It is propagated through separation of the suckers. Harvesting is carried out after 6 month. Harvesting begin from the bottom leaves, which are the broadest and the largest. The rest of the plant is left until the leaves mature in thickness and size for the subsequent harvest.

Uses of Tongkat Ali

It has become popular for its testosterone-enhancing properties. Because of that, it is included in certain herbal supplements for bodybuilders. Historically, it has been used by the folk medicine in its countries of origin as a libido enhancer and to treat various sexual dysfunctions. Numerous scientific studies performed by Malaysian Universities, including University Science Malaysia (USM) have confirmed its effects on enhancing sexual characteristics in animal models.Currently, it is being researched for its possibilities as an anti-cancer supplement.

In Southeast Asia it is used as a post partum medication, as well as for its antimalarial, antipyretic, antiulcer, cytotoxic and aphrodisiac properties.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine published the results of a scientific study in 2003, which showed that Eurycoma longifolia caused increased muscle strength and size when compared to a placebo.

In Sabah and Kalimantan, a decoction of the bark is drunk to relieve pain in the bones, and a decoction of the leaves is used for washing itches. In Vietnam, people use the flowers and fruits as a medicine for treating dysentery. The Malays also use the paste of the plant to relieve headache, stomachache, pain caused by syphilis, and many other general pains. In Riau, where the author carried out research, people living in the surrounding forests drink a decoction of the root or stem to cure malaria.

One of the most unique uses for E. longifolia is that of the Sakai ethnic group in Sumatra who use the plant as an amulet to protect people from the smallpox virus.

Eurycoma longifolia

Locally, this plant owes its popularity for its aphrodiasiac claims. Allthough traditionally the roots are used used for this purpose and because of its great local demand, the stem and even its leave have become common items in medicine stalls. This plant very famous in Malaysia. The local name is Tongkat Ali. It also widely used as a tonic and it is sometimes referred to as the 'Malaysian Ginseng'.
Plant Habitat
This plant is inhabit the understorey of lowland forest and its geographical distribution covers Malaysian, Burma, Indochina, Sumatra, Borneo and the Philippines.
Plant growth habit/cultivation
Tongkat Ali is propagated through seeds. The seeds are sown in the nursery, under shade and high humidity. Seedlings begin to sprout out after a period of about one month. The seedlings should be kept in the nursery for at least 6 month before field transfer to enhance establishment of the plant. Tongkat Ali plants can be harvest after a period of 4 years.