Martin Jaeger

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since Nov 29, 2017
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Recent posts by Martin Jaeger

Nathanael Szobody wrote:There are ways of describing treatment in a research sort of way: "This is how traditional healers of Bolivia treat boils..." a collection of testimonials really. As you indicate, it would really have to be indexed regionally as well.

Well if you like anecdotal evidence, maybe my Stomach Bitters recipe would be of interest:
2 Teaspoon Wormwood leaf (Artemisia absinthium), or Santonica flowers (Artemisia cina) if you can find it
1 Teaspoon Quassia bark or powder (Q. amara)
1 Teaspoon Colombo root (Cocculus palmatus)
1 Teaspoon Gentian root (Gentiana lutea)
1 Teaspoon Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale)
1/2 Teaspoon Goldenseal powder (Hydrastis canadensis)

Get a stainless steel or enamelware saucepan with tight fitting lid, add in 1 cup distilled water, 1/4 cup alcohol (try to use a clear sort like vodka), plus the Quassia, Colombo, & Gentian. Bring to boil, add in the Wormwood leaf or flowers, Comfrey, and Goldenseal. Stir well, lid it, remove from heat, and let set til it cools down some. Strain it until the solution is tan color, but not cloudy....if you do not have a vacuum filtration system ( this will take some time and effort. When finished, bottle and keep in the fridge or freezer. Dosage is two to four teaspoons before breaksfast. Washing it down with Ginger tea helps kill the awful taste, and seems to add to the effect. I am using this to cut down on my use of Lomotil that is used to treat IBS-D. After about three months of use, I have gone from using 30 Lomotil tablets per month to 30 tablets every 2 to 2 1/2 months. I have reduced the occurrence of diarrhea and cramps from five times a week, to 1 to 2 times a week. Significant improvement.
3 years ago

Nathanael Szobody wrote:Thanks Martin,

By far the most useful website there is
Just the shear number of plants they have is unlike anything I've seen--and they include African one as well.

What's lacking is the ability to search the same information by ailment. On the one hand, I would like to search a plant in my yard and see what it treats. That's what this website is good for. On the other hand, I'd like to search an ailment and get a list of the herbs that treat it to see if I have any. That's what I haven't found yet. It would also be nice to narrow search results by continent. . .

Glad something was useful. Have you combed through all the links contained in each of the links I sent? I noticed some of these databases have a lot of links to other sites. Another brief search turned up:,-herbs-supplements.aspx
3 years ago

Nathanael Szobody wrote:

Martin Jaeger wrote:Some years ago I came across mention of Shroea robusta in some Ayurvedic medicine book at the UC Berkeley. The resin was given as a cure for the cracks that form in heels, and for psoriasis. About six months ago the ridges of my heels began to fissure, and the best a podiatrist could suggest was surgery. I managed to track down S. robusta resin about a month later, and began application twice daily. The cracks disappeared about three weeks ago, and so far have not returned. Consider this anecdotal evidence.

Now that's precisely the sort of thing I'm looking for; some concrete testimonial. Now we can just collect lots of such anecdotes and index them to and make them searchable.

Xisca Nicolas wrote:How strange they do not work.... Do they work for local people? Or else why do they use them!?

Much of the ancient knowledge has been lost. People just pop antibiotic pills sold in the market for any given ailment. People try a lot of tree roots and leaves, but most of the remedies are just hearsay, so it's a shot in the dark. A few people have real experience, but in Africa it's all about secrecy...

I have since found some databases you might be interested in:
Note this was a quick search, and I put no effort into filtering, so removing the 'wheat' from the 'chaff' is up to you.
3 years ago
Some years ago I came across mention of Shroea robusta in some Ayurvedic medicine book at the UC Berkeley. The resin was given as a cure for the cracks that form in heels, and for psoriasis. About six months ago the ridges of my heels began to fissure, and the best a podiatrist could suggest was surgery. I managed to track down S. robusta resin about a month later, and began application twice daily. The cracks disappeared about three weeks ago, and so far have not returned. Consider this anecdotal evidence.
3 years ago

steve bossie wrote:

Martin Jaeger wrote:

Nicole Alderman wrote:I'm glad I saw this, because a few days back I'd asked about using it externally as a poultice for an injured knee that just wasn't getting better. I'd already made one poultice out of one leaf and some stem, only to find out that even external use was considered dangerous for pregnant women. So I ended up not doing any more poultices, out of concern for my baby's forming liver.

It's good to know that the domesticated varieties don't have the toxin in their leaves/stems.

Question, is there an easy way to tell the difference between the wild and the blocking varieties? I was gifted some comfrey root, but wasn't told what type it was. Thanks!

All Symphytum species have some toxicity; S. officinale just has the least amount. In all species the poisonous component is concentrated in the root. If you use S. officinale with a little common sense, you will not have a problem. All this controversy started because a guy in Australia decided to self-medicate using Comfrey, and could not be bothered to research it enough to know what he was doing. Basically he brewed up a cup of Comfrey tea, using couple teaspoons of the root each time, and drunk two or three cups every day, day after day, week after week, month after month, until the  pyrrolizidine alkaloids (symphytine, echimidine, symglandine and lycopsamine) built up enough to poison his liver. I don't recall how many months that took to kill him...I'd guess six months to a year. So then the Aussie equivalent of our FDA banned Comfrey as a deadly substance, and not to be outdone, our beloved FDA tried to do the same. It would seem neither understands that everything has an overdose potential, and everything that has a good effect also has a bad effect. Chug a big bottle of Bacardi 151 Rum, and you die. Take too many AMA-sponsored, FDA-approved, doctor-prescribed sleeping pills, and you die. Anyway, using comfrey leaf poultice, salve, etc., is not dangerous. Comfrey leaf tea is not dangerous if taken sensibly. Comfrey root should only be used by a actual herbalist that knows what he is doing.

martin, the s. uplandica bocking 4/14 varieties are the ones that were bred to not have toxins in the leaves not the true comfrey. see susan weeds quote above.

I retired some years ago, and have not kept current with the literature, so I have no idea if this hybrid (S.uplandica blocking 4/14) is really PA-free. I can tell you that when I was practicing, the Symphytum x uplandicum & another Symphytum sp. (I don't recall the name) were well known to have the most toxicity, and only the S. officinale was considered fit for use in herbal practice. A brief Google search turns up:
3 years ago
40 some years ago I worked for a diner called 'The Greasy Spoon' just outside Louisville, KY. This is the recipe for the potato soup:

3 lb. red or white potatoes (washed but unpeeled) and cut into 1'' cubes
1 lb. Idaho russet potatoes (peeled) and cut in half
1 stick butter (1/4 lb)
1 quart Half & Half
1 bunch chives, diced fine.
20 fresh parsley leaves, chiffonade-cut
1/4 package of cream cheese.
level teaspoon of smoked paprika
In large non-stick pot (with lid) put in the potatoes, add enough water to cover them, and boil til tender. Drain in colander. Set the cubed potatoes aside. Make mashed potatoes using the russet potatoes, with some of the butter and Half & Half. Dump that into the pot, along with the cubed potatoes, and remaining Half & half. In skillet melt the remaining butter, add in the chives, lid it, and remove from heat (the goal is to wilt the chives without browning the butter). When the chives are ready, dump the chives and butter into the pot, add in the parsley,add in the cream cheese, gently stir it up, and heat to a gentle simmer. Stir in the paprika, lid it, and remove from heat. Let stand to room temperature, as it tastes better when reheated.

3 years ago

Dave Millersuraj wrote:Hi guys,

I have been trying to quit smoking since the past 4 months. I smoke atleast 20 cigarettes a day. The maximum that I have been without smoking is 1 week, but after that the urge gets unbearable. I am aware about champix, but I am afraid to try it due to the side effects. Please help guys.

The first step to stop smoking is to want to stop more than you want to continue...a lot more. Until you get to that point, nothing can or will change. Willpower plays a key role in breaking any habit, and nicotine addiction is a most powerful habit. You can make breaking this addiction less painful though.  I quit about 15 years ago. My method was gradual, nearly painless, as far as withdrawal goes, but very inconvenient (in that lies its strength). It requires you to go out of your way, take the longer tiresome route, and be more stubborn than the habit. If you decide to try it you will need:
1. kinnikinnik herbal tobacco. About 8 oz.
2.Cigarette rolling machine
3. 2 boxes of empty cigarette tubes /w filters (enough for about 400 cigs)
4. Two cartons of whatever brand of cigarettes you most like.
5 One box of loose tobacco

Here are links you can look over:

The process begins with you opening one carton of cigs, and divide the packs into two even piles. First pile you chain smoke until you feel sick. First pack of the second pile: for every 5 cigarettes you smoke you have to roll and smoke one kinnikinnik cig. Second pack: for every 4 cigs you smoke you have to smoke 1 kinnikinnik. Third pack: for every 3 cigs you smoke you have to smoke 1 kinnikinnik. This process continues until you are smoking 1 kinnikinnik for every cig. Continue doing this until you have smoked the very last cigarette. Stage two begins.

Mix three parts loose tobacco to one part kinnikinnik, and roll out enough cigs to fill up three empty packs of cigs. When those are gone, mix two part tobacco to one part kinnikinnik, and roll those up to fill three empty packs. When those are gone, mix equal parts tobacco and kinnikinnik to fill up six empty cigarette packs. When that is gone mix two parts kinnikinnik to one part tobacco, and roll up enough cigs to fill three empty packs.  If you stick with this method you will reach a point where you are smoking only kinnikinnik. As it takes about three months for the nicotine hold to break, you will continue to smoke the kinnikinnik for that long. After which, you should be able to quit smoking entirely.
3 years ago

Jarret Hynd wrote:Would have liked to try some, but unfortunately after a brief search I can't find any sellers offering less than $25-30/pound. If I order 20kg worth I might be able to get it for $15/pound, but I have no intentions of starting up a tea shop

Always amuses me how when anything goes north of the border, even something like dried leaves, the price goes up 150-200%.

I have no idea why you need such quantity, but Penn Herbs sells a pound for $13:
and it seems they do Canadian orders:
3 years ago

Jared Gardener wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations for dissolving and passing gallstones?

Chichorium intyybus/Chickory root~ 1 teaspoon
Taraxacum officinale/Dandelion root~2 teaspoon
Combine and steep in one cup boiling water. Drink half cup twice a day.

Eat lots of Artichoke, and parsley. Drink Hyssop tea once a day.
3 years ago

Anonymous wrote:I am looking into herbs that help with kidney stones & would like to hear from others about this.

Herbs to help dissolve the stones you have:
Betula alba/Whiter Birch~ infusion of 1 tbsp young leaf in half cup water; twice a day.
Rosa canina/Briar Hips~ infusion. Remove seed from hips. 2 tbsp in one cup boiling water, cool; drink over the course of the day.
Solidago spp./Goldenrod~decoction of flowering tops. 1 tbsp in 1 cup water; drunk over the course of the day.
Eupatorium purpureum/Joe-pye weed~ infusion. 1 oz dried root in pint of water. Drink 1oz every three hours.
Pimpinella saxifraga/Burnet-saxifrage~ Cold extract. Soak half teaspoon dried root powder in one cup water for 12 hours; take 1/3 cup three time a day.
Polygonum aviculare/Knotweed~Infusion of 2 tbsp. flowering herb in 1 cup water; taken over the course of the day.

Preventive against recurrence:
Kidney bean broth. One cup hot drunk before bed. Its effect can be increased by making it with as much fresh Basil as you can stand.
Pomegranate juice. One cup for breakfast.
Cucumber salad. Eat as often as you can.
Agathosma betulina/Buchu~ Tea made as all tea is, with 1 teaspoon herb powder in one cup water; drunk once a day.
3 years ago