What’s a: Hypnotic Herb?

An herb that acts to induce a deep, healing state of sleep

Hypnotic herbs:

  • California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulu)
  • Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

GARGLE

A gargle is an herbal infusion, decoction or diluted tincture that is used to treat sore throat. It works by stimulating circulation in the throat area, while soothing and healing inflamed tissue. Herbal gargles are usually prepared using herbs that have an astringent (drying) effect, acting to tighten the mucous membranes of the throat and mouth Gargles also kill and get rid of germ from the mouth and throat.

Synonym: Mouthwash

This video shows you how to prepare an herbal gargle as a natural remedy for sore throat.

References

  1. Absorption and tissue distribution of curcumin in rats
  2. Ann McIntyre (1995), The Complete Women’s Herbal
  3. David Hoffman (2013), Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies
  4. German Commission E, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1993
  5. Rosemary Gladstar (2014), Herbs for Common Ailments: How to Make and Use Herbal Remedies for Home Health Care

FREE RADICAL

Each human cell is made up of atoms, which contain electrons and protons. In the healthy human cell, atoms contain an equal number of electrons and protons. The electrons occur in pairs, and form an outer layer surrounding the protons.

When the atom loses one of its electrons, this creates an unstable molecule with an unpaired electron. This unstable molecule is called a free radical. The free radical tries to re-stabilize itself by attacking stable, neighboring molecules and “stealing” an electron to replace the one it lost. The molecule that is attacked and loses an electron, in turn, becomes a free radical itself.

The result is a chain reaction that affects an increasing number of neighboring molecules. This chain reaction is called oxidative stress, which is believed to cause chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes and heart disease.

Free radicals form normally in the body through metabolism. However, certain environmental factors can cause an excess of free radicals, such as pollution, cigarette smoke and radiation. Internal factors such as stress can also create excess free radicals.

Oxidation can be prevented by anti-oxidation, which is achieved by molecules called antioxidants. An antioxidant works by donating an electron of its own to a free radical, thereby neutralizing the free radical and stopping the chain reaction of oxidation.

Video: Free Radicals & Antioxidants Explained

This health video explains how free radicals form, how the damage they cause contributes to cancer, heart disease, inflammation, neural disorders, diabetes and the symptoms of aging. It also shows how antioxidants neutralize free radical, helping to prevent or reverse the harmful health conditions they cause.

References

  1. Absorption and tissue distribution of curcumin in rats
  2. Ann McIntyre (1995), The Complete Women’s Herbal
  3. David Hoffman (2013), Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies
  4. Experimental Cardiology Journal: Fibrinolytic effects of Ginkgo biloba extract
  5. Naturalpedia: Fibrinolytic Activity
  6. Japanese Heart Journal: Onion, garlic, and experimental atherosclerosis
  7. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine: Effect of ingestion of raw garlic on serum cholesterol level, clotting time and fibrinolytic activity in normal subjects
  8. Rosemary Gladstar (2014), Herbs for Common Ailments: How to Make and Use Herbal Remedies for Home Health Care

ESTROGENIC

An estrogenic herb is rich in phytoestrogens and has potent estrogen-like properties. They help regulate hormonal imbalances in women, and are commonly used to alleviate menopausal symptoms. Clinical research shows that these herbs are highly estrogenic:

  • Chasteberry (Vitex agnuscastus)
  • Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis)
  • Hops (Humulus lupulus)
  • Red clover (Trifolium pretense)
  • Soybeans (Glycine max)

In this video, Beyond 50s interviews herbalist and author Susun Weed on estrogenic herbs and their combinations to treat women with menopause.

DETOXICANT

A detoxicant herb supports the body’s organ systems in the elimination of waste materials and toxins. These include the intestinal tract, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin and the lymphatic system.

Detoxification is a process of inner cleansing. It is safer and most effective when conducted over a period of 4 to 6 weeks.

A detoxicant is different from an antitoxin in that it helps the liver eliminate any toxin, while an anti-toxin targets specific toxins.

Detoxifying Herbs:

  • Astragalus (Astragalus propinquus)
  • Burdock (Arctium lappa)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
  • Ginseng (Panax ginseng)
  • Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium)
  • Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
  • Schizandra (Schizandra chinensis)
  • Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

This video discusses cleansing herbs that are great for detoxification, as well as how to use them in herbal remedies.

CARMINATIVE

An herb that acts to relieve flatulence (bloating) in the intestinal tract, and helps expel gas. Carminative herbs ease abdominal cramping and help expel gas from the digestive tract.

They also promote normal peristalsis and improve weak digestion resulting from nervousness, anxiety or depression.

Carminative Herbs:

  • Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
  • Caraway (Carum carvi)
  • Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

In this video, herbalist David Hoffmann explains the herbal actions of carminative and anti-infective herbs.

References
  1. Absorption and tissue distribution of curcumin in rats
  2. Ann McIntyre (1995), The Complete Women’s Herbal
  3. David Hoffman (2013), Holistic Herbal: A Safe and Practical Guide to Making and Using Herbal Remedies
  4. Food Science and Nutrition, 2012. Bioavailability of Micronutrients from Plant Foods: An Update
  5. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, 2008. Influence of food acidulants and antioxidant spices on the bioaccessibility of beta-carotene from selected vegetables
  6. Pharmacokinetics: Bioavailability; University of Lausanne.
  7. Rosemary Gladstar (2014), Herbs for Common Ailments: How to Make and Use Herbal Remedies for Home Health Care
  8. Varro E. Tyler, Herbs Affecting the Central Nervous System