Category: Herbal Medicine-Articles

Herbal Medicine For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By , August 4, 2009

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder is which a person is overcome with fatigue. A type of fatigue that is not relieved with rest, instead as time goes on and can impact your ability to perform your daily activities.

Typically to receive the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome the fatigue has to last for more then six months. The fatigue is not the only symptom a person can experience.

Other symptoms that are associated with chronic fatigue syndrome include muscle aches and pains, joint pain, headaches, memory problems, problems sleeping, tender lymph nodes and a sore throat.

Diagnosis of this disease is often difficult, one because we have no idea of what causes it and two because it is a hard diagnosis for people to accept.

The people who suffer the most from chronic fatigue syndrome range in age from their 40s to their 50s and mostly it seems to affect women.

Though it is not known if this is because women are more likely to report it then men, or it is really more dominant in women.

Being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome leaves many people looking for treatment options to help alleviate the symptoms and treat the condition.

There are more and more people turning to herbal medicines to help them as they strive to live a more holistic life. It is important that you talk with your doctor before beginning any herbal medicine as that they may interact with other medications you could be taking.

Here is a list of herbal medicines that can be taken to help alleviate your symptoms. Keep in mind that this in no way replaces medical advice.

Herbs overall are safe and they are used frequently to strengthen the body and tone the body systems. Herbs can be used as dried extracts in the form of teas, capsules or powders, glycerides and tinctures.

1. Ginseng is an herb that is used by many to help boost energy levels. To get the full benefit of ginseng you will want to consume anywhere from 100-300 mg twice a day.

2. Licorice is an herb that is used to stimulate adrenal glands. You will need about 200 mg possible 400 mg three times day for only 6 weeks. Do not use licorice if you currently suffer from high blood pressure, heart failure or edema.

3. Echinacea is an herb that is used to stimulate the immune system. Taking 200 mg twice a day can help improve immune function.

4. Pau D arco is another herb that is used to strengthen the immune system. This is taken as an extract, using one tsp in a full cup water and you drink it two or three times a day. Again if you are taking any blood thinning medications this includes aspirin then you will only want to use this herbal medicine for 1 week.

5. Astragalus also known as huang qi is another herbal medicine that is used to boost the immune system. Alternating this with Echinacea will help increase the benefits.

You may notice that many of these herbal medicine focus on boosting the immune system. This is because we are not sure if chronic fatigue syndrome is due to a weak immune system, or due to a viral infection.

Therefore increasing the strength of the immune system can help decrease symptoms.

Want quality information on herbal pain relief and herbal medicine? Check out for more details.

Aids – Herbal Medicines for Aids

By , August 2, 2009

AIDS is a short hand term we have for describing someone with a very weakened defenses system. In 1980 and 1981, doctors in Los Angeles and New York became alarmed about the possibility of a new disease when they noticed that some of their homosexual patients had contracted rare forms of cancer and pneumonia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified the new disease—now known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)—in June 1981. AIDS is believed to be caused by HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, which is mainly transmitted in one of three ways: in semen during sexual intercourse, from mother to fetus during pregnancy or delivery, and by the use of a syringe infected with the virus. HIV invades a person’s white blood cells and disables the body’s immune system.

A damaged immune system is not only more vulnerable to HIV, but also to the attacks of other infections. It won’t always have the strength to fight off things that wouldn’t have bothered it before.

As time goes by, a person who has been infected with HIV is likely to become ill more and more often until, usually several years after infection, they become ill with one of a number of particularly severe illnesses. It is at this point that they are said to have AIDS – when they first become seriously ill, or when the number of immune system cells left in their body drops below a particular point.

Different countries have slightly different ways of defining the point at which a person is said to have AIDS rather than HIV.

Herbal medicine

Herbal medicine is the most ancient form of health care known to man. Herbs have been used in all cultures since history records were recorded. Herbal medicine has such an extraordinary influence that numerous alternative medicine therapies treat their patients with herbal remedies, including naturopathy, orthomolecular medicine, and ayurveda. Approximately 25 percent of all prescription drugs are derived from trees, shrubs, or herbs.

By using herbs in their complete form, the body’s healing process utilizes a balance of ingredients provided by nature. The World Health Organization estimates that of 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about 74 percent are used in modern medicine. Much debate has circulated as to whether or not pharmaceutical companies should extract the potent ingredients from the herbs and synthesize their own man-made herbs, or prescribe herbs in their purest form.

Aloe vera has historically been known for assisting the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, and for its properties of soothing, cleansing and helping the body to maintain healthy tissues. This plant has a reputation of facilitating digestion, aiding blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as kidney, liver and gall bladder functions. Aloe contains at least three anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach, small intestine and colon. It naturally alkalizes digestive juices to prevent overacidity – a common cause of digestive complaints.

Herbal medicine is also known as botanical medicine (in Europe it is known as phytotherapy or phytomedicine). An herb is a part of a plant that can be used for healing purposes (as a potion or remedy). An herb can be a leaf, a flower, a stem, a seed, a root, a fruit, bark, or any other plant part that can treat wounds, abrasions, cuts, and a number of other conditions. There are an estimated 250,000 to 500,000 plants on earth today.

Herbs contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals that have biological activity. Herbs work in a similar fashion to antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs, and that is why there has been such a stirring furor about the pros and cons of both. In this debate, both drugs and herbs have been compared many times over. Herbal medicine is the most beneficial when it is used to cure chronic, ongoing diseases.

Herbal Medicine: Roots, Shoots, Leaves and Flowers

By , July 31, 2009

Transcript of an interview with Medical Herbalist Susan Siegenthaler, director and founder of Wildcrafted Herbal Products

Susan Siegenthaler is a Medical Herbalist with over 25 years of clinical experience in private practice. She also has qualifications as a Medical Aromatherapist and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with Honours in Biology.

Susan is a long-standing member of Australia’s largest Natural Therapies Association (ATMS – Australian Traditional Medicine Society) and is the founder of Wildcrafted Herbal Products, a company specialising in making therapeutic herbal products and a large, handmade range of therapeutic grade natural and organic skin care products.

A local reporter caught up with her recently to ask her a few questions about her beginnings as a herbalist and how starting as a herbalist lead to her being involved in running a company and producing unique range of products.

Interviewer: Susan, please tell us a bit about the beginnings of your carrier as a herbalist?

Susan: Well, after graduating in 1978 as a Herbalist from the Dorothy Hall College and studying Herbal Medicine with Denis Stewart, I started my first clinic on the northern beaches of Sydney. It was a small clinic, tucked away in an arcade in Newport and with virtually no money for advertising or experience in how to run and manage a business, I opened the doors, and luckily for me, the patients started coming.

Interviewer: So, what does a herbalist actually do?

Susan: As a Herbalist, basically you find out what the problems are that the patient is experiencing and once a disease pattern has been identified, a herbalist will use a mixture of herbal extracts that will help to address the disease pattern, and all going well, the patient will start to get better.

Interviewer: Okay, so you mix up individualized herbal extracts to treat your patient, and if I understand the process correctly, no two mixes are the same – so how does that lead to starting a company making herbal products?

Susan: Yes, that is a little strange, but you see what started to happen was that I would see a patient and make them up a particular mixture for their problem. They would go away, use it up and come back to get a second or third lot of their particular mixture from me. What started to happen though, was that suddenly people whom I’ve never seen as patients before would walk into my clinic with an empty bottle of herbs and say that their friend gave them what was left in the bottle because their friend had been ‘cured’. They would say to me “my friend knew I sufferd from a similar problem and gave me what was left, suggesting it might help too”. They would happily tell me what a big difference it had made for them and ask if they could get some more.

This is not how it’s supposed to work, but it started to happen on an every increasing basis and started to take a lot of time away from my seeing patients.

Interviewer: So you ended up spending too much time mixing up herbs instead of seeing patients?

Susan: That’s right, it started to restrict me from seeing patients and instead I was in the dispensary mixing up the same formulas over and over again.

Interviewer: Is that how Wildcrafted Herbal Products come about?

Susan: No, not at that stage. What I did do was I started to think about the basic formulas I was making time and time again and tried to streamline this in order to save time.

What I started to do was to make up basic mixtures. For example, I’d make up a Lung mixture that formed the basis of treating most of the common Lung problems such as bronchitis, asthma, coughs, colds, etc., and to these basic mixtures I could then easily and quickly add additional herbs that would make the basic mix more patient specific. In this way, I could save myself quite a lot of time and focus on seeing patients rather than making up herbal mixtures.

Interviewer: So how did Wildcrafted Herbal Products come about?

Well, in the beginning my system of the basic herbal mixtures worked okay, but after a while even that wasn’t keeping me out of the dispensary long enough, so I re-examined the basic formulas to see if I could make them specific enough to address various problems within a particular range – so for example, I developed a Cough & Colds compound that anyone with a cold could take and get good results.

Similarly, I developed the Female Compound that would address most common menstrual problems experienced by women.

Over time I developed quite a few off-the-self formulas that seemed to get very good results, to the point where people from all over Australia and even New Zealand were ordering my creams and compounds.

Interviewer: You just said creams, how do creams come into it?

Susan: The creams were an adjunct to the herbal mixtures which people took internally. For instance, someone might have presented with Arthritis and I would give them a herbal mixture that they took internally, but I would also give them a cream to rub onto the painful and inflamed joints.

Or someone may have had a car accident and still had deep bruising and tender muscles and joints for which I would give them the Analgeze Cream, which works really well on these types of residual aches and pains.

Another patient might present with haemorrhoids for which they would get a herbal mix to take internally that addressed the underlying health problems which resulted in them getting haemorrhoids in the first place, plus I’d give them a cream to apply directly to the haemorrhoids to get rid of them more quickly.

In this way I was able to help a lot more people without spending most of my day in the dispensary making up herbal creams and compounds. And that was how Wildcrafted Herbal Products come into existence, because I had to put some sort of label on the bottles and jars that identified them as coming from my business.

Interviewer: How did that lead to your range of natural and organic skin and personal care products?

That primarily originated with my female patients, members of my family and myself. You see, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s the only type of skin or personal care products that were easily available were the ones you bought at the local chemist or the department stores, you know, the high profile cosmetic brands. Problem was, my own skin did not react well to them and many of my female patients presented to me with skin problems after using some of these brands.

I had made products for myself and my family for a while and as more patients with skin sensitivities and irritations presented to me I suggested I’d make them a moisturiser that they could use instead and see how they go.

At first I’d make these for nothing and give them to my patients to try – after a while, when I started to get good feedback, I followed the same principles with the skin care range as I had done with my herbal compounds.

Interviewer: How did you come up with the formulations for the skin care range?

Well, that was actually both reasonably easy and quite difficult. You see as a medical herbalist, you know how the skin works, you understand the physiology behind it and know how herbs and essential oils can influence the functions of the skin. So, if you know all that, then it is relatively easy to develop effective skin care products.

But to develop a range of products that can easily and safely be sold to the general public is an entirely different ball game.

Interviewer: Why is that?

Because now you are no longer dealing with people you know, patients, family members, but you are making products that anyone can use. You don’t know if these people have underlying health problems that may or may not be related to their skin problem. They may have allergies to even the most natural of substances, etc. All these things have to be considered and taken into account when making up the formulations.

At the same time you don’t want to make a ‘wishy-washy’ product that does little or nothing other then moisturise the skin. The products I was making for myself, my friends, patients and my family worked more like therapeutic creams rather than just a simple moisturiser and I did not want to lose that quality.

Interviewer: So how did you over come this challenge?

There were several things that helped. You see, I’ve always been a Hippy at heart and as such I prefer to use natural products, natural fibre clothing and I was always into health foods. So if there was a natural version of a product, I would prefer to use it and if not, I’d make a natural version of it for myself.

What helped me a lot was that my patients were quite willing to try my products as I was not charging them and they were very happy to give me feedback, make comments and give me ideas.

After a few years the skin care products I was making had been used on hundreds of patients, friends and members of my family, and they had shown themselves to be safe and effective. By then I knew what would work and what wouldn’t.

Also my knowledge as a herbalist gave me the understanding not just of the human body, it’s organs and their functions, but also the insight into the plants that I was using to treat my patients. That was a vital key to the development and formulations of the products.

You see there are herbs and essential oils you would never use on an individual unless you had in-depth knowledge of their condition. On the other hand there are herbs and essential oils that are totally safe and extremely effective.

The ‘secret’ is to know how herbs and essential oils complement each other and how they work synergistically to affect a range of different skin problems, while at the same time remain safe and effective to use without causing any unforeseen problems.

In a commercial sense it’s the difference between products that smell and feel nice but do very little, and products that are actually effective, safe, and smell & feel great – it’s a huge difference not easily achieved.

Interviewer: So what came then? You now knew the products were safe, effective and totally natural, how did you go to that next step of running a company?

Susan: I registered the business name Wildcrafted Herbal Products pretty much from the beginning, but it was by no means a company, if by company you mean a big multi-story building with lots of staff and all that – in fact it still isn’t that and if I have anything to do with it, it never will be.

Interviewer: So where do you see the company?

Susan: My husband, Danny and I have a vision for our business to always be in touch with its roots. That is the individual person who uses our products. All our products are handmade from the ground up and that will never change, no matter how big the customer base gets.

Interviewer: How are you going to achieve that?

Susan: We’re doing it now, by offering all our products directly to customers via our web site. That way, we have the opportunity to get to know every single customer no matter where they live and they can get to know us. This is one of the things that makes Wildcrafted totally unique.

I’ll give you an example. We have people ringing us from the US, Canada and of course from within Australia who can and do talk to us in detail about their particular skin problem and whether we could suggest something. The advantage for them is that when they ring they are talking to either Danny, who is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, or myself, which means they are not talking to an 18 year old sales assistant that doesn’t know anything or wait in a phone cue with no guarantee of ending up being able to talk to someone who has half a clue.

Instead, they can actually speak with one of the owners who’s qualifications and knowledge cannot be met by a shop assistant or department store sales person. And let me tell you these people appreciate that.

Interviewer: Considering you’re selling your products all over the World, how do you manage to maintain making them by hand from the ground up?

Susan: It sounds much more difficult than it is, although I’m not going to get into the details of how we do it. The key is to be organised and have an effective, efficient work plan and knowing our customers. With that in place, it’s not as difficult as you might imagine.

Thanks for talking to me Susan and I would like to take this opportunity to wish both you and Danny all the best with your business.

Danny Siegenthaler is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and together with his wife Susan, a medical herbalist and Aromatherapist, they have created Wildcrafted Herbal Products online where you can order their handmade Natural and Organic Skin Care Products.

© Wildcrafted Herbal Products 2008

Diet Herbal Medicine

By , July 29, 2009

Why buy those expensive powders or shakes manufactured by the big pharmaceutical companies when there is a natural herbal equivalent available that works just as well. When you really look at it, weight loss really comes down to a healthy diet combined with regular exercise. Herbal supplements are there to help you to stimulate your system to burn off extra calories and to suppress your appetite.

Diet herbal medicine basically involves the different herbs that are helpful for weight loss, and so if you are struggling with your weight and trying to find an effective and successful way to shed those extra pounds, diet herbal medicine is definitely something you should consider.

Diet Herbal Medicine

When it comes to diet herbal medicine, there are a few herbs in particular that have been recognized as being effective for weight loss. Green tea is one herb that is used for weight loss and green tea is finding its way into more and more weight loss supplements these days, for good reason.

Green tea is an incredibly valuable asset in the quest to lose weight and is definitely not just another fad. Green tea has been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries now and besides weight loss it has also proven to help with a variety of other health ailments as well. It helps by increasing your energy and metabolism, controlling your appetite, burning fat safely and effectively, lowering cholesterol, increasing thermogenesis, strengthening your immune system and more.

St. John’s Wort is another of the most commonly used herbs in weight management and it is also a tonic that helps to strengthen the nervous system. This herb works by ensuring a steady supply of the neurotransmitters that are necessary for proper function of the human body. Oat straw is another herb that will be useful to you here, and when taken regularly it can not only help you to shed body fat but also to feel healthier and happier in general.

Although there are a lot of mixed messages surrounding the use of diet herbal medicine, they can really be incredible allies in your fight against fat. Especially when used in conjunction with other weight loss techniques, namely eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise, you will not only be able to lose those unwanted pounds but just as importantly keep it off in the future.

Herbs can be incredibly useful in your fight against fat but remember that you should work together with a doctor or even better an herbalist in this situation so that you can get the best possible results and make sure that you are not putting yourself at any risk. Even though herbs are natural they are still a form of medicine and so you need to be cautious and take the proper dosage amounts.

Isn’t it about time we all start to listen to what modern medicine is saying about our problems of obesity and start to control the route cause of the problem, namely our poor diets and lack of exercise? Diet herbal medicines are only a helping hand not the magic potion to solve your problem.

Authors Biography: Paul Courtney contributes articles to various publications pertaining to Alternative Medicine, Herbal Medicine and is the main contributor to

Herbal Medicines – How To Use Them Safely

By , July 28, 2009

Herbal medicines and herb treatments are now widely used throughout the world. A large number of people take them on a daily basis for almost every sort of ailment or condition you could imagine. Large scale herbal pharmacies have sprung up in towns and cities and newspapers and magazine adverts promote these products widely.

But are herbal medicines safe?

Recent press reports have given significant cause for concern although – to be fair – the vast majority of those who take this kind of complementary herbal treatment do so with no adverse effects of any kind.

If you are thinking about using herbs to improve your health then follow these simple guidelines to make sure that you and your family remain safe.

Firstly – remember that herbal medicines are still medicines at the end of the day. Many of our most powerful modern drugs are derived from plants originally so it’s no great surprise that extracts of those plants also have the active chemicals in them. You need to think about how the herbs might react in your system and also about how they might work with or against any other drugs you are taking.

Secondly – some of us are at more risk than others of developing serious adverse effects. Taking herb based medication is not recommended if you are pregnant (particularly in the early stages of pregnancy but also later in the pathway), breast feeding or in young children. Recent research now shows that the elderly are also at risk from problems related to this type of complementary medicine approach.

If you are due to have a surgical operation then tell your surgeon and your anesthetic doctor what you are taking. Some of these natural products can interact with anesthetic drugs and cause major problems with breathing or with heart rhythm. Others can prolong the bleeding time and make blood loss more of a problem during surgery.

People with liver or kidney diseases are particularly at risk from problems related to so called natural healthcare products. There have been several reported deaths due to liver failure in people who have taken chinese type plant based remedies. Other research has found high levels of western drugs included in some chinese health preparations but with no indication of this on the packaging.

If you want to stay safe when using this kind of therapy you need to look carefully at the product packaging. The health regulatory authorities now closely monitor all medicinal products – including those of a natural type. Look out for the Product License (PL) or the Traditional Herbal Registration number on the box or packet. If these numbers are present then it indicates that the contents have been passed as suitable for health use.

In general if you are thinking about using herb based medication for health purposes you should be certain to seek an consultation from a qualified herbalist before you start your treatment. You wouldn’t dose yourself up with normal medication without getting advice from a doctor and you really need to apply the same principles to herb treatments too.

Gordon Cameron is a family doctor in Scotland. He has a special interest in how to lower blood pressure. He also writes articles about low blood pressure problems

Does Chinese Herbal Medicine Works ?

By , July 26, 2009

Dr. Ting Hung-Leung, Hong Kong’s deputy director for Traditional Chinese Medicine, commented: “The problem in 1997 was we had over 7,000 practitioners of herbal and Traditional Chinese Medicine and anyone could call themselves TCM practitioners.” Now rigid licensing and educational standards have made the study more acceptable to Western standards.

As a result, Chinese herbal medicine and clinics offering acupuncture treatment are opening up in many American medical schools and the ancient treatments are being tested in laboratories for effectiveness. Researchers and patients alike are surprised at the results.

Did you know that emphysema can even be treated by Chinese herbal therapy? First, patients should consider what their diets include. Do’s include: protein (fish, eggs, lean meats), nuts, seeds, legumes, fiber-rich vegetables and soy. Don’ts include: complex carbohydrates, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, simple sugars and things ending in “-ose.”

Never skip meals, but rather eat small meals throughout the day and have a small snack before bed. The most important Chinese herbal remedy is brewer’s yeast, which stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Chromium picolinate is also necessary for optimal insulin activity. Pacreatin and proteolytic enzymes aid in digestion. Zinc helps control appropriate insulin release. Glutamine will reduce sugar cravings. Many people with hypoglycemia are found to be lacking certain essentials: manganese and vitamin C with bioflavonoids.

Doctors also recommend herbal teas with burdock, dandelion or licorice to stabilize blood sugar levels. Ohiopogon is a powerful tonic that strengthens the lungs and heart and should be taken twice daily, 6 grams at a time. Check with a specialist to see what options are best for you.

“I think acceptance by the mainstream medicine is getting better and better,”said Che Chun Tao, professor and director of the School of Chinese Medicine at Chinese University. “I can tell you, before 1997 there were no doctors in hospitals who were willing to touch any herbal materials in clinical trials, but now there’s quite a number of clinical trials going on and there’s better acceptance from medical doctors.

I believe a combination of traditional Chinese medicine together with western medicine is needed for treating serious diseases and it’s important to offer a choice for patients and the general public,” he said. Currently, clinical trials for Chinese herbal extracts are being tested all around the world to cure some of the world’s most serious diseases.

“If you are taking herbs without experiencing any results after a week or two, then perhaps your formula needs to be changed, unhealthy foods eliminated from your diet, or other changes made,” says Jiang Wind Xiao, one Chinese herbal exhibitor.

“If you are being told to take herbs for long periods of time without seeing any benefits, or are experiencing side effects, then perhaps you need to see another practitioner.” Pharmaceuticals should still be used for emergencies, but for long term care Chinese herbal remedies work best.

A whole world of information about chinese herbal medicine eagerly awaits you from Mike Selvon portal. We appreciate your feedback at our oriental medicine blog.

A Crash Course In Herbal Medicines

By , July 24, 2009

The use of herbal medicines is gaining more and more popularity nowadays, as people have started looking for alternatives to conventional drugs. Perhaps the use of herbs for curative purposes is most common in Europe, where even the term “apothecary” is still used in Germany. In the United States, the use of herbal medicine is also rising, as many people now prefer them over chemically-produced prescription drugs. In fact, there is now a growing community of medical doctors that allow and even recommend herbal medicine to their patients, either as a stand-alone cure or taken together with conventional medical treatment.

You can also take herbal medicines on your own, although it is widely recommended that you first consult a physician before ingesting any type of medication. You also have to be aware of the different types of herbs and their general uses. Nowadays a lot of people still indulge in self-medication without being fully aware of the proper use and dosage of such medicines. Acquiring an adequate knowledge about herbal medicines will allow you to get the most out of their curative properties without negative consequences.

Here are some of the most common therapeutic actions of herbal medicines:

Diuretic Herbal Therapy – Herbalists have always believed that water is the most important nutrient for life. They believe that a water balance exists in the body, and problems can result if this balance is disturbed. It is believed that by careful regulation of the body’s water, symptoms such as hypoglycemia can be alleviated. Some herbs that are believed to possess water-balancing properties include dandelions, horsetail, and juniper berries.

Perspiration Herbal Therapy – Perspiring is actually an age-old remedy that was used to get rid of illnesses and infections like cold and flu. Usually, perspiration is achieved by drinking hot herbal teas. Sometimes, a hot bath is also recommended, which is followed by resting in bed covered by warm blankets. Herbs like cayenne, peppermint and ginger are among the common herbs used to induce perspiration.

Stimulation Herbal Therapy – Herbalists believe that most illnesses come from a sluggish flow of energy, which includes lymph, blood, nutrients, nerves, and even body waste products. This flow of energy needs to be stimulated in order that health may be restored to the body. Some herbs that are believed to stimulate this flow of energy include black pepper, ginger, and cloves.

Tranquilization Herbal Therapy – Symptoms like irritability, nervousness, or insomnia are often cured by using herbs that are believed to possess natural tranquilizing properties. These soothing herbs can soothe and lubricate joints and bones, calm the muscles and nervous system, and relieve pain. Herbs that are regarded as natural tranquilizers include marshmallow root, oats, and valerian.

Tonification Herbal Therapy – A herbalist will usually recommend tonification for a patient who’s feeling run down or weak. Sometimes it also works for patients recovering from a serious health condition. Tonification works by improving nutritional deficiencies in the body. A lot of herbs are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals, so certain herbs will be helpful for certain patients. Herbs that are considered natural tonifiers include alfalfa, goldenseal, and seaweed.

Azlan Irda is the co-founder of which provides high-quality herbal medicines at great prices. Get more information about herbal medicines when you visit our site.

Herbal Medicines What is Old is New Again

By , July 22, 2009

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries all around the world. Relegated to the status of folk medicine for years by the medical establishment, herbal medicines are experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to the dangerous side effects of many of today’s pharmaceutical drugs.

Herbal medicine has three traditional forms. Western herbalism began in Europe, and crossed over to North America with the European settlers. Some Native American influences can be found in some of its lore. Chinese medicine is herb-based, and breaks everything into yin or yang… cooling herbs or heating herbs are prescribed for illnesses that either cause the body to be cold or hot. Rounding out the herbal medicine trio is Ayurvedic medicine from India. With a history 5,000 years in the making, Ayurvedic medicine is based on balancing any imbalance found in the body.

Today, more people are turning back to herbal medicines, finding them more effective and gentler than pharmaceuticals. The entire pharmaceutical industry is based upon herbs and the medicines derived from them. Most of today’s medicines however are made from synthetic compounds rather than those derived directly from plants.

Herbs are also whole foods. They offer nutrition, minerals and vitamins along with medicinal compounds. Herbs can be taken fresh as food, or made into teas, tisanes, tinctures, syrups, drops, poultices, salves, creams or dried and put in capsules. Depending on your illness, some methods of taking the herbs will work better than others.

Still other herbs are taken as supplements. An example would be alfalfa tablets, which can supply you with vitamin K (it helps your blood clot), among other nutrients. Supplements can be found at health food stores both in your local area and online. When buying supplements, look at the herbs for freshness. Any herb that is dried should still be a fresh green color, not brownish. If the color has deteriorated, it means the herb was dried using a method that removed nutrients from the herb.

If you are on pharmaceutical medications, please check with your physician or a certified herbalist before adding herbal medicines or supplements. Some herbs will interact with pharmaceutical medications and cause reactions or will counteract your regular medication. For instance, if you are prescribed blood thinners for a health condition, taking the aforementioned alfalfa supplement would be ill-advised, since vitamin K promotes clotting.

It is important to remember that just because herbal medicine is natural doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you. If you are not familiar with an herb and its effects, consult with a certified herbalist. Herbs need to be taken appropriately so you don’t overdose or end up with an effect you didn’t count on. Like any other medicine it is important to follow instructions for any herb.

Herbal medicines are a good way to treat quite a few illnesses and deficiencies. Do your homework and read about an herb and its actions before taking it. And before mixing herbs or adding a new herb, it doesn’t hurt to consult an expert. Herbs have a lot to offer and can greatly benefit your health when taken appropriately.

Complementary and alternative medicine is the combined use of medical practices and products that aren’t a part of conventional medicine. Many are using the CAM approach in hopes that they can prevent disease and live a more enhanced quality of life.

Tired of the cost and side effects of traditional medicine?
Get your Free Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Report and take control of your health care. Many CAM techniques focus on prevention. Stay well and cheat the medical establishment out of money.

Raising the Echinacea Herb In Your Herb Garden For Use In Herbal Medicine

By , July 20, 2009

First, let’s get the pronunciation right, it is pronounced eh-kin-AY-sha. The echinacea herb is very important to grow in your herb garden for use in herbal medicine. By adding the echinacea herb to your herb garden not only will you be able to use it in your herbal medicine regime but you also gain a beautiful flowering herb.

It is mostly found in the Northern Plains and has been used by Native Americans for its healing power in herbal medicine. The Indians used the mashed roots on everything from wounds to snakebites. It was used as a mouthwash to help with painful teeth and gums. They brewed Echinacea herbs as teas for colds and other maladies, like measles and arthritis. The Indians prized this herb for its value in herbal medicine. They thought that the echinacea herb was a blood purifier.

As herbal medicine, the echinacea herb is useful in all its parts. It is a daisy like flower with a rich purple hue. This herb will outshine any other flowers in your herb garden. Monarch Butterflies will flock to your herb garden when you have included the Echinacea herb. The best time to dig up the plant is in the fall but be aware that it takes three years for the herb to be useful in herbal medicine.

In the later part of the 1990′s there were scads of studies that showed the usefulness of the echinacea herb for colds and flu. But there have also been studies that claim it as worthless. You will have to try it to see how it affects you.

The echinacea herb is a stimulant for the immune system. The herb boosts the ability of macrophages (infection fighting white blood cells) to fight off invading germs. When taking the echinacea herb as part of your herbal medicine regime, infections cased by viruses, bacteria and fungus will heal much faster than without it.

Typically the root is used in herbal medicine. If you eat the fresh root, you should get a numbing or tingling of the tongue. It will also increase the flow of saliva in your mouth. This is entirely normal and should cease in about 15 minutes. The echinacea herb is best used in its fresh state. So you see echinacea is important to add to your herb garden. When you plant echinacea in your herb garden you will be adding one more natural plant to use in your arsenal of herbal medicine.

With the echinacea herb the most commonly used in herbal medicine is the E. augustifolia. However, E. purpurea and E; pallida can be just as useful in herbal medicine if prepared correctly.

Another way to get the benefits from the echinacea herb is to make a tincture, (look for my article on How To Make Tinctures). In a glass of fruit juice add up to 30 drops in the juice and take it three times a day. Adjust the dosage if you become nauseas. And, as in all things in life, you can get “to much of a good thing”. If you take the echinacea herb over too long a period of time, you will over stimulate your immune system. So, take a break when your symptoms start to dissipate.

There are some people that should not use echinacea in their herbal medicine routine. No one with auto-immune disease should take the herb since it could potentially aggravate that disease. And people with HIV should not take echinacea because by stimulating the immune system you may also stimulate the virus. It is most important to always check with your doctor before starting any herbal medicine regime.

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

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About the Author
Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at and

About the Author
Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at,, and

Herbal Medicine For A Modern World

By , July 18, 2009

Using herbs to benefit from its medicinal or therapeutic value is commonly known as herbal medicine. Chemical substances contained in the herbal plants can be induced to act upon the body of the person consuming it.

Humanity has known of this form of healthcare based on herbs since ancient times. History is replete with details of cultures benefiting from herbal medicines. It played a vital role in the progress of modern civilization. The early primitive men discovered that the herbs provide not only a cure but also food, shelter and clothing.

Many of the common drugs used by us today are derived from herbs. According to various sources at least one basic ingredient from plant materials form part of some of the prescription drugs available in the United States.

According to WHO – World Health Organization – nearly 80 percent of the worlds population or 4 billion people currently use some aspects of herbal medicine in their health care process. The common element in Native American Indian medicine, traditional oriental medicine, naturopathic, homeopathic and Ayurvedic medicines is herbal medicine.

Today, for the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma, pain, and other problems, a large proportion of commercial medications use substances derived from plants. To treat symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems, Epedrine is used. This is an active ingredient in ephedra, a traditional Chinese herb.

The foxglove plant is another example pointing towards the use of herbal extraction by modern medicine. The leaf from this plant is powdered to stimulate cardiac digitalis and provide relief to a large number of heart patients.

Traditional Chinese Herbalism, Ayurvedic Herbalism and Western Herbalism are some of the various systems of herbal medicine prevalent today. Ayurvedic and Chinese Herbalism developed into a successful system to treat various health disorders. Western Herbalism is yet to achieve this level of advancement and remains a system of folk medicine.

Some of the herbs used in Ayurveda are successful in reducing diabetes and cholesterol. In recent years, there is a growth in the use of herbal medicines due to the success stories of St. John’s Wort, which replaced Prozac to treat mild depression. In the United States, the popularity of Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba is rising due to is curing effects.

Herbal medicines can be marketed in US only as food supplements. Without FDA approval, herb manufacturers or distributors cannot make specific health claims.

Lucy Bartlett is a proud contributing author. Find more articles here. For more info visit Herbal Medicine or Holistic Health.

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