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Are you a Herb a Phobic  RSS feed

 
Posts: 202
Location: Zone 5b - 6a, Missouri Ozarks
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No more back and forth for me on this subject.  We are not going to agree completely and that's OK with me. 
 
pollinator
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Rebecca Dane wrote:
My sister in Ocala Florida had Devils Claw growing wild in her yard.  She gave me a couple of the seeds for decorative value.  They look like some sort of wierd devilish insect.  Interesting to know this plant is medicinal and is good for aches and pains.  I am going to take one of teh seeds and try to grow it next spring.



There are several plants called "Devil's Claw" which may or may not be the herb mentioned above.  We  have a native Devi's Claw here in TX but it is not as far as I can tell the same as the one mentioned before in the thread.

Latin names are vital when using herbs.  Common names vary from region to region and often several very different plants will share the same common name. 
 
pollinator
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I don't like the tone I originally took in this comment, and another commenter beat me to the punch anyhow, so I've replaced my original text with the following:

I mostly agree that herbs are safer, but IMHO that is because (with some exceptions like tobacco) the attitude that leads one to use herbs is more realistic and healthy than the attitude that leads one to use drugs.

I might say: advertising kills quite a few people, and it seems to have more opportunities to do so via synthetic drugs than via herbs.
 
Jamie Jackson
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Yes you are right about that. 
 
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http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2011/01/deadly-medicine-201101?currentPage=all

Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves?
 
Jamie Jackson
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Travis have you seen the movie "the constant Gardner"?  It's about clinical trials held in Africa and what happens to people who start having side effects.  Suddenly they are no longer in the trials whether they need the medications or not. 
 
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John Rushton, I'd love to hear your recipes for uses of garlic. If it can help get rid of sinus infections I need to know it, and anything that can clean up a cut is gold for a klutz like me. I just got some aloe plants and spread them around the house for that reason and because I've heard its GREAT for digestion and such.

My wife was just mentioning Parsley is a good diuretic.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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chickenbone watt wrote:anything that can clean up a cut is gold for a klutz like me.



Same here!

There's a silver lining to my skin condition: My hands are always so inflamed that infections never seem to take hold in cuts there. I don't recommend trying to replicate this, but it works.

Honey is an excellent antimicrobial agent.

Oswego tea/bee balm can be good for this purpose. So can thyme, for very similar reasons.

Yarrow is a styptic, i.e. it can be used to stop bleeding. Its Latin name is Achilleum, after the Greek hero: it is said to bring courage, perhaps because having some on hand on the way into battle lessened the fear of bleeding to death.

As to aloe: the Korean grocer in the next neighborhood over sells a variety of soft drinks with chunks of aloe floating in them. I bought some years ago: it's pretty tasty.
 
Mother Tree
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Ludi Ludi wrote:
There are several plants called "Devil's Claw" which may or may not be the herb mentioned above.  We  have a native Devi's Claw here in TX but it is not as far as I can tell the same as the one mentioned before in the thread.

Latin names are vital when using herbs.  Common names vary from region to region and often several very different plants will share the same common name. 



The one I was referring to is Harpagophytum procumbens, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harpagophytum and is widely available in Europe from 'health shops'  for controlling pain in joints. 
 
steward
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As other people have discussed, I take advantage of 'modern' medicine and  herbal medicine.
Extreme example, but I contracted MRSA (basically what is known as a 'superbug') while in hospital for (non-lifestyle related) surgery.
Luckily for me, there was one antibiotic that would still treat the resistant bacteria, or I would have been toast.
I wasn't considering the ethical ifs and buts of the pharmaceutical industry, that's for sure!
I don't have any chronic health issues, so don't have to choose how to medicate myself.
Garlic, honey, herbs, fermented things, lots of fruit and veggies and water is my medicine.
The only actual 'medicine' I use is the tea-tree oil (meleluca alternifolia) my mum distills . The doctors wouldn't let me take it for the MRSA, but they also intimated that it might well be effective. It certainly does a number on bacterial and fungal infections. Safe, if unpleasant, internally too.
BTW, tea-tree's very effective against mastitis and organic farmers here use it in the teat wash of their dairy herds.
 
                                  
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:I mostly agree that herbs are safer, but IMHO that is because (with some exceptions like tobacco) the attitude that leads one to use herbs is more realistic and healthy than the attitude that leads one to use drugs.



I guess the question is what is meant by "safer".

Are herbs less potent than isolated and dosed pharmaceuticals? Yes, of course: that's the whole point of identifying, isolating, and formulating a pharmaceutical product. This means that fatally overdosing on an herb may be more difficult than on a pharmaceutical. It also means it is harder to identify the culprit in cases of overdosed herbs; also, the spectrum of chemicals involved may make the symptoms even more unpredictable than for a pharmaceutical agent in the notoriously complex human body.

In my own experience your concluding sentence is actually not true, and this is probably where my difference in attitude comes from. More on this in a minute.

I might say: advertising kills quite a few people, and it seems to have more opportunities to do so via synthetic drugs than via herbs.



Bit of a tangent: i don't think "synthetic drugs" is a very useful term in this discussion. Pharmaceuticals can be derived from natural sources and "synthetic", just like "organic", has become loaded with all sorts of emotional baggage that distracts from the actual semantic implication.

Anyway, where i grew up, herbal and other alternative medicine MLM (multilevel marketing) companies are a dime a dozen and represent some of the most powerful economic entitities. These are grassroots commercial interests that have a huge agenda to convince people that modern medicine is the enemy to more completely serve their own fiscal interests. This rhetoric is particularly effective with the poorer or less educated segment of the population, who may not have been exposed to critical thinking (e.g. "scientific method") skills and also have (understandably) a desire to avoid expensive medical care that makes them willing to believe in such things without due dilligence. It's all the more insidious that they can become [s]pushers[/s] vendors themselves.

This situation is exacerbated by the complete lack of regulation of these products. Consider that these are large companies with a mass-produced product implied to have medicinal properties that have no onus of proof of effectiveness nor quality control. It's big pharma without any checks or balances whatsoever, and with politicians in the pocket to preserve that status. It's terrifying.

It tends to be polarizing. I agree with the comments that responsible and moderate use of everything we intake is the key. Unfortunately, there's no economic interests served in promoting moderation besides public health, so it's not a common advertising message.

If i came across as polarized in my previous post, it's because the original post was worded like one of the flyers by the ravenous MLM hordes i've encountered so often.
 
Tyler Ludens
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chickenbone watt wrote:
If it can help get rid of sinus infections I need to know it



I cured a sinus infection yesterday by irrigating the sinus with an infusion of oregano.  Like a miracle cure! 
 
Tyler Ludens
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:

I mostly agree that herbs are safer, but IMHO that is because (with some exceptions like tobacco) the attitude that leads one to use herbs is more realistic and healthy than the attitude that leads one to use drugs.



I'm not sure about what attitude leads one to use drugs....An attitude of going to the doctor to find out what is wrong with one and get better?    I tried to cure my disorders with herbs but it didn't work.  Does that mean I have a bad attitude?  I guess I'm just not sure about the "attitude" thing...

 
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Location: Norman, OK
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Chickenbone Watt:  I would be happy to share a few garlic recipes. 

The antiseptic tincture is Dr. Christopher's formula called "X-Ceptic".  It consists of equal parts of the following (by weight):  oak bark, goldenseal root, myrrh, comfrey, garlic,and cayenne, tinctured in straight grain alcohol.  It is an extremely potent topical liniment for cuts and wounds, antiseptic, astringent, styptic, and vulnerary in properties.

The basic cold and flu remedy is a recipe known by a number of names such as "super five", "super tonic", and the like.  It is equal parts of cayenne, garlic, ginger, onion, and horseradish steeped in apple cider vinegar.  Steep for at least two weeks, strain off and press, and store in dark glass.  The vinegar can corrode rubber, I am finding out.  Keep the pressed solids in the freezer for adding to chili, if you care to.  I take it by the ounce when I feel a cold coming on, or any other infection such as a sinus infection.  I take an ounce every 15-30 minutes until I feel well again, which usually only takes an hour or two unless the infection is deeply set.  A friend of mine insists that if you take an ounce or two the first time around you only need doses of about one dropper afterwords to finish the job.  I can't vouch for that personally.  I never want to be without this preparation.  It's not as potent as the Anti-Plague formula given below, but it is much cheaper and easier to produce and is very potent and well-rounded in it's own right.

As for the most powerful one I have mentioned, the Dr. Christopher Anti-Plague formula, the recipe is very complicated and would require quoting the entirety of at least three pages of text.  It can be found in full in a pamphlet called "The Cold Sheet Treatment and Anti-Plague Recipe" by Dr. John R. Christopher, published by Christopher Publishing.  The finished product can be purchased as well.  I did in fact make my own, and it took at least a full dedicated day plus some. 

To make a short version, you first use apple cider vinegar to extract garlic juice from minced garlic, and using a mathematical formula measuring the volume of vinegar added initially against the total volume of fluid present after pressing off the tincture, you come to a ration of 8 parts vinegar to two parts garlic juice.  This is then combined with a 7th power decoction of the following herbs.  A 7th power decoction means the herbs are simmered over the stove over low heat for thirty minutes, strained and pressed off, and then simmered down to 1/4 the original volume.

The herbs are:
2 parts comfrey root
1 part wormwood
1 part lobelia herb or seed
1 part marshmallow root
1 part white oak bark or husk
1 part mullein leaf
1 part scullcap
1 part uva-ursi, hydrangea, or gravel root

combine the above ingredients with 5 parts warmed raw honey and 5 parts USP grade vegetable glycerine.

You see, extremely complicated.  Completing it in a timely manner before ingredients begin to go off requires having multiple large pots simmering on the stove all afternoon, fancy arithmetics, loads of effort spent in pressing large amounts of herb, and it gets pricey too.  It may be worthwhile to buy it pre-made even if you do have the capacity to make it yourself.  But once you have it one way or another, it really is invaluable, and it can work very well.  It is what I used on my most recent sinus infection, and finished it off in a matter of hours, using tablespoon doses every half hour or so, after two weeks of misery. 

The comfrey root is very controversial to advocate ingesting, and anyone with a troubled liver would be wise to think very carefully about how they feel on the matter, and if they choose to do so, should provide liver support concurrently.  It's never given me a problem though.

Another garlic preparation worth knowing about is a garlic foot paste.  Minced garlic mixed 50/50 with petroleum jelly can be spread on the soles of the feet, not extending to the sides of the foot (not sure why, that's just how I was taught), and covered with cotton and finally an old sock.  I have seen this work overnight on some potentially very serious respiratory infection.  Petroleum jelly is nasty stuff.  I would love to know if anyone has experience with an alternative.  I was taught it was essential to use in place of natural carrier oils because it is the only one that is not absorbed into the skin leaving the garlic only.  Minced garlic without a carrier oil used in this way, especially kept on overnight, can cause a bad chemical burn.  This property has been used advantageously, btw, to treat warts.  Chemically corrosive and anti-fungal at the same time!
 
pollinator
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thanks for those posts john
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Pouletic wrote:I guess the question is what is meant by "safer"...where i grew up, herbal and other alternative medicine MLM (multilevel marketing) companies are a dime a dozen and represent some of the most powerful economic entitities. These are grassroots commercial interests that have a huge agenda to convince people that modern medicine is the enemy to more completely serve their own fiscal interests.



Like the tobacco industry, I would count this as one of the cases where people's attitudes toward herbs are unrealistic and unhealthy. I can definitely see market pressures on the flow of information (in this case, more marketing than advertising; sorry if I was imprecise earlier) causing a lot of harm in this case.

Pouletic wrote:Are herbs less potent than isolated and dosed pharmaceuticals?



Of course, usually. But some natural substances are intentionally made much less potent by processing, and good thing, too! Botox is an extreme example. I wasn't really speaking to this, though, so much as the attitude of the person using a remedy: the attitude that more is better can cause an overdose, no matter how small a dose is offered.
 
                            
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I'm not a herb-a-phobic, but I'm researching different herbs and took an herbalism course online.  My latest thing is Balm of Gilead.  This is the time of year to gather cottonwood buds needed to make it, so I have a small batch brewing, so to speak.  I was kind of surprised that no one mentioned it.
Garlic has helped many people, but did nothing for my BRL.  He ate it on everything I served him and carried it with him constantly for use.  My sister bought bags of herbs, etc from the local health food store, denied herself food that she loved, tried to 'tow the line'.  After 5 years, she finally admitted that she didn't feel any better than what she had before, just a lot poorer $$-wise.  On the other hand, I know more than one person that got better just getting off prescription drugs, including my husband.  I guess the bottom line is that you know your body better than anyone else, and if what you're doing is working, then yahoo!  Success!
I had hoped that organic  ACV would control my blood pressure so I could get off the 2 pres drugs, but my gut couldn't handle it.  Same with cinnamon and peppers, real or in capsule form.  I had a bleeding ulcer years ago, so I aim for gen--tle.

Thanks everyone for their posts!
 
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I've just recently got into herbal medicine and my favorite remedy so far is drinking a cup of chamomile tea before bed to help me sleep. I definitely prefer herbs over conventional medicine, but thats just my opinion. Thousands of people die every year from pharmaceuticals so I don't see how its any less safe to take herbs. No, I'm not trying to sell anything though I doubt people selling herbs are making that much money anyways.

I've always been against conventional medicine way before it was cool to do so. And I do take issue with the FDA and their history of trying to discredit alternative medicine. We live in an Age of Corporate Science and Dominance that does its best to deceive and manipulate the public. Big Pharma is one of the worst perpetrators.

Pouletic- No, I'm not a MLM but where do you see alternative medicine being successfully marketed? I thought Big Pharma always suppressed that kind of thing. I have never seen an ad on TV, radio, or internet for a natural health product.
 
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Tyler Ludens wrote:I have to admit I have not been all that successful medicating with herbs.  I have high blood pressure and take medication for that, and I have bipolar depression and take an anti-depressant for that.    I have tried diet and herbs for both conditions with very little success.

Peppers tend to be good sources of magnesium, responsible for over 300 processes in the human body, magnesium deficiency and heart/blood/circulatory issues are very connected. Magnesium is one of the first minerals that gets removed from the soil when irresponsible farming methods are used, its hard to care about the soil every piece of your food came from but in lieu a magnesium supplement can help restore deficiency. You can find lotion/bath crystals/magnesium rich foods like leafy greens, cayenne pepper. I have read (but never done this myself) that cayenne pepper can stop a heart attack, mostly in part of the high magnesium content. I wouldn't be surprised if bone broth was a good source but not positive.
 
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