THE JKL HERBAL /SUPPLEMENT REFERENCE GUIDE


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Reprinted with permission from the book From Magic to Medicine                  Herb Price List | Alphabetical Herb List

Scroll down for herbs beginning with the letter "A" ... change letters above.

ABSINTHE:

Also called ... "le Fee certe" and the "green fairy". A potent, green elixir with a narcotic like effect. It was banned in Europe for nearly a century because it was thought to cause hallucinations, convulsions and psychoses. Trendy in the late 1800's when it was the drink of choice for poets, authors and many famous Impressionist painters. It is a combination of alcohol (70%) and thujone (from the herb wormwood). Thujone interferes with the neural synapses in the brain. Created in 1772 (in Switzerland), Absinthe originally contained 260 parts per billion of thujone, however, current formulas only contain 10 parts per billion.

ACONITE:

Also called ... "Fu-Tzu" and "Monkshood". This is an extremely powerful and potentially toxic herb. It has a reputation as and effective stimulant for the kidneys and spleen. Also, it has been used to treat general weakness, cancer, malaise, poor circulation and heart disease. The toxic ingredient in aconite (aconitine) affects the central nervous system. Respiration can be inhibited even when used in small amounts and larger amounts can result in heart failure. The novice herb user should be wary.

ALFALFA (Medicago sativa)

Found world wide but originally native to the Near East. It is traditionally used as a nutrient to increase vitality.

Contemporary herbalists support age old views that alfalfa alkalizes and detoxifies the body and liver; acts as a diuretic; eases inflammation; lowers cholesterol; balances hormones; and contains an antifungal agent. Good for anemia; bleeding-related disorders; bone and joint disorders; colon and digestive disorders; skin disorders; and ulcers.

It should be noted that scientific research shows no evidence that it is effective for ulcers, asthma, hay fever, or as a promoter of menstruation. However, alfalfa seeds do contain chemicals that promote menstruation.

A source for vitamin A and beneficial in reducing fevers. It is useful as a blood purifier and also contains a fluoride compound that can aid in the prevention of tooth decay.

Studies suggest that it neutralizes and moves carcinogens out of the intestines.

Animal studies indicate that the leaves reduce blood cholesterol levels and plaque on artery walls.

To use prepare medical infusions from 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried leaves in a cup of boiling water and allow to steep for 10 to 20 minutes. If taken in the form of a capsule ... 1-3 grams can be taken three times daily.

CAUTION: The seeds can cause miscarriage. Also, do not give to children under the age of 2.

Studies have noted a link between consumption of high doses of Alfalfa with the onset, or aggravation of, existing Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Those diagnosed with Lupus should avoid alfalfa products entirely

Should be used in fresh, raw form to provide vitamins.

ALLSPICE (Pimenta officinalis)

Also known as Pimento, Jamaican pepper, clove pepper.

The allspice tree is native to Central America and the Caribbean ... it is cultivated in South America.

The berries of this botanical contain an oil that soothes indigestion and toothache pain. It is used in Jamaica as a tea for menstrual cramps, colds and upset stomachs. Costa Ricans use it for diabetes and flatulence while Guatemalans apply the crushed berries to bruises, sore muscles and joints

The chemical component of allspice that is responsible for it's healing powers is eugenol. It is a pain reliever which dentists use as a local anesthetic for teeth and gums. It is the active ingredient in the toothache remedies Numzident and Benzodent.

To lessen toothaches apply the oil to the painful area one drop at a time using a sterile cotton swab.

To relieve muscle aches apply a poultice by mixing allspice powder with water to make a paste that is then spread onto a clean cloth.

Mix 1 tablespoon with a cup of hot water for use as a mouthwash against bad breath.

CAUTIONS:

Do not swallow the oil because as little as one drop can cause nausea and vomiting. If you have sensitive skin then topical use can cause irritation.

The active ingredient in allspice has both cancer causing and cancer fighting properties so anyone with a high risk of cancer should avoid it.

ALMOND (Prunus Amygdalus)

... Soothes irritated surfaces. Purported to help in the prevention of heart disease. Decreases cholesterol in the clear portion of blood when used as a substitute for saturated fats.

ALOE (Aloe Barbadensis)

Excellent remedy for piles and hemorrhoids (when applied externally). When taken internally it cleans out the colon and gives regular bowel movement.

When taken internally it is said to be effective in treating stomach ulcers ... It improves absorption of nutrients ... and one source describes it as a gentle laxative. Another source says that it is the least recommended of the laxative herbs because it's action is so drastic.

When applied externally it heals wounds and burns ... stimulates cell regeneration. It is an astringent, antifungal, emollient, and has antiviral and antibacterial properties too. Is said to be effective for AIDS and skin disorders.

The active ingredient in aloe is allantoin, when the clear gel is applied to a wound it dries into a natural bandage that promotes healing and prevents infection. Another chemical in it is being studied as a weapon against tumors and it is being studied for it's potential to prevent both Aids and cancer.

CAUTION: If stinging or rashes occur ... do not use. Often causes severe intestinal cramps when taken internally, in general should not be taken internally.

AMERICAN GINSENG (Penax quinquefolium)

Considered to be a restorative and relaxant ... protects against stress and ulcers, helps relieve fatigue and reduce inflammation, promotes liver functioning and is a natural tranquilizer and fever reducer.

ANGELICA

See "Dong quoi" for more information.

There are two kinds of angelica, the first being the European variety which is used for respiratory complaints and the second which is the Chinese variety which is used for gynecological health and stimulation of the immunity system (see dong quoi).

The European variety is used to relieve complaints due to the flu and other respiratory complaints. German studies show that the oil relaxes the windpipe (trachea).

CAUTION: Do not harvest your own in the wild. It is easy to confuse angelica with water hemlock that is extremely poisonous. Also, fresh angelica roots are poisonous and must be dried to make them safe.

Angelica contains chemicals called psoralens that can cause a skin rash in sensitive people when they are ingested.

Pregnant women or diabetics should not use angelica; it has a tendency to elevate blood sugar levels

ANISE

Seeds are used to stimulate milk production in mothers ... good for menopausal symptoms.

Effective for indigestion and respiratory infections.

Anise is categorized as a "galactogogue" which is a word that the ancient Greeks used to mean, "to bring milk". Breast feeding mothers may use to stimulate production of milk.

ARNICA

Promotes healing of sprains and bruises when applied externally as a paste or ointment ... reduces pain.

Also called ... "leopard's bane", "wolf's bane", and "mountain tobacco". When used externally as a tincture of salve it promotes healing. The tincture is very powerful and should be diluted prior to use because it can cause blistering and inflammation. The dilute tincture can be helpful in inflammation of the mouth and throat

Sometimes used as a small pill that is placed under the tongue to dissolve for the same benefits as above

APPLES

Apples are effective against many forms of diarrhea because they contain the chemical pectin. This is the same pectate found in Kaopectate. It's interesting to note that apples are also effective against constipation due to their high fiber content.

Many doctors also recommend foods like apples that are high in fiber for controlling diabetes. Studies have shown that pectin is effective at controlling blood sugar levels.

Pectin has also been shown to bind with certain cancer causing agents in the colon to speed their elimination from the body according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

According to the National Public Health Institute of Helsinki ... people who ate an apple a day lowered their risk of stoke over those who did not.

Other studies suggest that the pectin in apples help to eliminate heavy toxins from the body like mercury and lead.

Apple juice (with pulp) can reduce acid crystal deposits from around body joints to relieve arthritis. Fermented apple juice seems to work best. An arthritis juice mixture can be made by separately juicing 10 apples, 6 plumbs, ½ cup of cherries (pitted) ... then combine with 4 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 cup of water.

CAUTION: Apple seeds contain high levels of cyanide and should be avoided. A half a cup of these seeds will kill an average adult and much less is required for a child.

Contradictorily, people with diabetes are often told they should avoid apples because they raise blood glucose levels.

ARTICHOKE

An astringent which oxidizes skin ... combats high cholesterol ... aids digestion. Artichoke will ... 1) Detoxify the liver ... 2) Regenerate liver cells ... 3) Stimulate the manufacture of new liver cells to replace old ones.

Stimulates bile production. Used to treat: chronic albuminuria, jaundice, dyspepsia, and postoperative anemia. Lowers blood levels of triglycerides (fats) and cholesterol.

RECIPE: 1) Cut off stem ...discard. 2) Cut off top section (including claws) ... discard. 3) Steam for 45 min. 4) Peal leaves ... eat soft bits on underside of leaves. 5) Eat the tender, edible parts working your way to the heart ... 6) Use common butter knife to scrape out "hairy stuff" ... discard ... eat heart. 7) Mix together olive oil, lemon juice ... use for dipping.

ASPARAGUS: (Asparagus Asparagus Officianalis)

Used for the following: 1. Promotion of fertility, 2. Reduction of menstrual cramping, increased milk production, 3. Powerful diuretic, 4. Production of new red blood cells, 5. Soothes joint pain and swelling caused by arthritis of rheumatism. Caution: Since it increases urine output it would not be wise to use it when kidneys are inflamed.

ASTRAGALUS (Astragalus membranaceus)

In the family of peas. Also called Huang Qi ... Locoweed ... Milk Vetch ... Chinese Astragalus. The roots are used to aid digestion and the adrenal glands. Good for colds, flu, and immunity related problems like AIDS, tumors and cancers.

The Chinese consider this to be a highly prized health-promoting medicinal plant and is typically used to increase resistance to disease and infections. It is often given to people who are receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

It increases the manufacture of interferon by the body and increases resistance to viral conditions like AIDS, hepatitis and cancer by increasing NK and T cell functioning.

Promotes sweating and healing ... also provides increased energy (metabolism). Used by athletes for reserve of energy in the arms and legs. Also used to keep the body warm in cold climates. It is sometimes taken with ginseng as an energizer.

Recent research has shown it to be beneficial in healing burns and abscesses and boosting the immunity system. The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston found that certain compounds in the plant might boost T-cells in Sufferers of AIDS or cancer.

Chinese healers often use astragalus in a blend of other herbs and foods (like soups) because it is effective against a wide range of illnesses like colds, arthritis, diarrhea, asthma and nervousness. You can cook the roots directly into soups.

CAUTION: Should not be taken if a fever is present.

Some people report loose stool or abdominal bloating. If you have unpleasant symptoms then cut back on the dosage or discontinue use.



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