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Specific Herbs

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: I'm not much of a gardener.  But, I wanted to learn by starting with herbs - like fennel. I know fennel works because when my nurse grandmother used to give me licorice candy it settled my stomach down. I think licorice's active ingredient is fennel so why not forgo the sugar of candy and just use fennel?
 I'm not sure how or when to use the fennel to settle a tummy ache? Do you just plant the thing and then when you have an upset stomach just grab a leaf or branch and start chewing the leaf/branch?  I read something about fennel seeds. Do you let the fennel plant grow to a certain level and then it suddenly produces seeds you pick out and eat for stomach aches?  I'd very much appreciate your help.

I suggest you research at: http://herbgardening.com  they will have the answers you seek.

QUESTION: Two days ago I orally took a couple of capsules of Butchers Broom to try to help the mild hemorrhoids I've had the last few months. That day I had some loose stools that were a little out of the ordinary but I thought might happen since Butchers Broom is a mild laxative. The next day my stools were still a bit loose and I decided to not take any more of the herb until my BMs were back to normal. Then, last night, I woke up in the middle of the night and had to rush to the toilet. At first I passed mostly gas but then I had, horrible, painful intestinal cramping with what felt like more solid/normal BMs after a lot of fierce pushing on my body's part (I wasn't consciously trying to do anything). The pain was so great though I thought I might vomit. Needless to say I have not taken any more butchers broom and probably won't until I can figure out if I've had an allergic reaction or if it was coincidental with a stomach bug or what. If you have any more information on Butcher's Broom and who should or should not use it and how to safely use it I would greatly appreciate it!

ANSWER: Butcher's broom should be avoided if you have high blood pressure. It is not used much in today's world, but there is some evidence that it does help with varicose veins. It is only mildly laxative. You may have contracted some type of stomach flu. Avoid the Butcher's broom for now. Drink plenty of water and if possible drink infusions of Dandelion root or Star anise, sweeten only with a bit of honey and drink 3xs day.

QUESTION:  What is the most effective way to consume garlic for the most health benefits?  I have tried taking garlic, mincing it, and putting it in warm water to let the nutrients seep into the water and then drink it.  I have also tried raw garlic where I mince it up, let it sit 20 mins, then take spoon of garlic, eat it while flushing it down with water so I don’t taste it.  Does it matter?  Would garlic effect or cancel out the dandelion root and/or aloe vera?

ANSWER: As to Garlic the fresher the better. Include it as a condiment in all your meals if possible. It will not cancel out the others.

QUESTION: I am pondering taking Graviola as a supplement for the health benefits.  I read it is an extremely potent anti oxidant, but calms you down.  I was also reading that ATP found in food and supplements can cancel out the effects.  Is this true?  Would that mean I would have to disregard my green tea and other greens such as spinach and cabbage for the graviola to work effectively?

ANSWER: Taking Graviola may help, but continue with your greens.

QUESTION: May I ask you for  your opinion on soy products as an alternative to dairy products? I'm approaching menopause and have included soy yoghurt in my diet for the estrogen content.

ANSWER: Unless a person is allergic to soy or there exists some other medical reason not to use soy products, then in my professional opinion, soy is far better than dairy. Dairy products stagnate the system, they are not easily digestible, some are constipating and in general, they slow down absorption, which is the normal assimilation by the tissues of the products of digestion.

QUESTION: I am trying to locate information on Kava Kava, but have had no luck.  I have started using it and it is very effective for me, however I am unsure whether it effects birth control?  Thank you!

ANSWER: There is some evidence that Kava may be beneficial for the management of anxiety and stress. There are though no conclusive studies about birth control and Kava, but I can tell you this: Kava has been reported to cause severe liver damage, including hepatitis and liver failure.

Kava has been associated with several cases of dystonia (abnormal muscle spasm or involuntary muscle movements).   Kava may also interact with several drugs, and long-term or heavy use of Kava may result in dry, scaly and yellowed skin. Is it safe? Yes, in moderation and in small dosages, but check with your doctor first.

QUESTION: I take burdock root capsules and just bought a new bottle. I left it out in the car in the winter so it may have frozen. Will that cause any problems with condensation or the properties of the pill?

ANSWER: When buying capsules in a bottle one never knows the true shelf life, that is why I always suggest extracts and tinctures as the way to go.  My suggestion: Throw it away.  Go to your nearest herbal shop and buy the extract. Fifteen drops in a glass of warm water or tea 2xs day. Warmth activates the herbs faster.

QUESTION: I am getting mixed advice on the web regarding Comfrey root vs. leaf taken internally and I would love a straight answer.  Many sites say YES root/NO Leaf internally.  Others say just the opposite.  I am recovering from a non-union fracture but also want to take some with hot water for a bronchial problem.

ANSWER: Comfrey has been used to treat bronchial illness, but I certainly would not suggest it be taken internally.

Its best used is for bruises, sprains and broken bones as a compress. If applied immediately it can reduce swelling and the severity of the injury. 

For a bronchial problem I would suggest Elecampane or Thyme. to an infusion of Green tea add 15 drops extract of Elecampane and 10 drops extract of Thyme. Sweeten only with honey and drink as needed. 

External treatment should be 10 drops essential oil of Thyme and 5 drops essential oil of Eucalyptus diluted into 2 teaspoons of sunflower oil. Massage in circular motions over the chest and back 2xs day.

QUESTION: Does yerba mansa contain salicylic acid?  My daughter suffers from severe sinus polyps, aspirin allergy (anaphylactic) and asthma (Sampter's triad). We have been to countless doctors and tried many many medicines, surgery, diet, herbs etc.... Yerba mansa has been recommended by a friend to reduce the swelling and constant infection. I am very cautious what she takes and can not find specific information about this herb and it's salicylic acid content.

ANSWER: Although Yerba Mansa has been around for centuries, science is finally catching up. Yerba Mansa is beneficial for treating inflammation of the mucous membranes swollen gums and it also helps with a sore throat. The strong peppery roots of Anemopsis californica, Yerba Mansa were prepared as an infusion to act as a decongestant. This plant was sometimes combined with mugwort or tarragon to create a more comprehensive action.

Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica), is considered by some herbalists to have many properties similar to Goldenseal though it is not related botanically or chemically  It is used for slowly healing boggy conditions of the mouth, intestinal and urinary tracts and lungs. It is astringent to the connective tissues that form the membrane structure, but it stimulates better fluid transport, helping to remove the exudates that prevent repair of the irritation that began the whole mess.  Mouth, gum and throat sores are helped by the herb, as are ulcers of the stomach and duodenum.  Use ¼  teaspoon of either tincture in water, a standard infusion, 2-3 oz or 2 #00 capsules, 2-3 times a day.  It is also used for bleeding gums and herpes simplex.  As a diuretic, yerba mansa stimulates the excretion of nitrogenous acids, especially uric acid, which can aid many types of joint problems. It is also substantially aspirin-like in its anti-inflammatory effects. After extensive research I cannot find that Yerba Mansa contains salicylic acid anywhere, I must assume it does not.  

Common herbs that contain it are listed below: 

Betula lenta (Sweet Birch)
Betula pendula (White birch)
Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
Gaultheria procumbens (Wintergreen)
Populus balsamifera (Balsam Poplar)
Populus nigra (Black Poplar)
Populus candicans (Balm Of Gilead)
Salix alba (White Willow)
Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw) 

I suggest you also research vegetables and fruits that contain salicylic acid.

QUESTION: Enjoy the site!  My question is can an individual take horsetail over a long period of time.  I was taking it when I broke my metatarsal bone and it seemed to also have an effect as a diuretic.

ANSWER: Horsetail is a diuretic.  The answer to your question lies in each individual's presenting symptoms and imbalance. More often than not, the course of treatment using alternative medicines or remedies for a primary disorder is typically 30 to 90 days, with the later part used to secure and consolidate the progress achieved. The determination to continue with additional courses of therapy will depend on the degree of relief obtained and the desired end result. 

QUESTION: Please  let  me  know   what  are  these  herbs (pauwolfia)  (saga) (artemia)   (phamvus)

ANSWER: The names you mentioned must be mis-spelled. Artemisa is actually mugwort or common wormwood, and Rauwolfia is Indian snakeroot.  The other two, you must provide me with an accurate spelling

QUESTION: I am hesitant to take horse chestnut internally but is it safe to use it externally without fear of side effects?  I have heard that what you put on your skin goes into the body as well.  I have some spider veins I want to treat with a horse chestnut skin cream.  Thanks

ANSWER: Good to hear from you.  When properly processed, horse chestnut seed extract contains little or no esculin and is considered generally safe when used for short periods of time. However, the extract can cause some side effects, including itching, nausea, or gastrointestinal upset.  You should be okay to treat your problem for 2-4 weeks. Then stop for 2 weeks before doing it again

QUESTION: I would like to know is there any difference in the action of red peony root and white peony root as far as PCOS and hirsutism are concerned.

ANSWER: White peony supplements while red peony disperses. Red peony has the ability to drain excess. White peony can clear liver heat, but its function is weaker than red peony. White peony helps with cramps and abdominal pain and with night sweating. Red peony also vitalizes the blood and acts as a tonic. Both red peony and white can purge heat and cool the blood, and are indicated for diseases caused by heat in the blood and blood stagnation. But white peony produces a better effect in purging heat and cooling the blood, while red peony is more effective in activating blood circulation and removing blood stagnation, it has a weaker action in cooling the blood.

QUESTION: As an experienced herbalist, I need your advice.  Can I mix these herbs together: alfalfa sarsaparilla licorice astragalus, bupleurum, Asian ginseng, rehmannia. Schisandra, ashwagandha, bacopa and sage

ANSWER: You can mix whichever herbs you may want, but towards what end? You failed to describe what you are trying to do.  Or rather what ailment you are trying to treat. You also fail to say in what amounts and in what form these ingredients are to be mixed and how.  Sorry, I cannot help any further without more information.

QUESTION: What are the various use of mistletoe in curative herbal treatment?

ANSWER: Mistletoe can be highly toxic, in particular the berries and should be used only under professional supervision.  It has been shown that European mistletoe does stimulate the immune system and inhibits tumors; it is used to lower blood pressure, ease anxiety and promote sleep. The extract has been used to treat cancer.  Having said that I again wish to remind you that it is highly toxic and should not be used except under supervision by a medical professional.

QUESTION: I was just wanting to double-check if it is OK to take cordyceps & ashwugandha simultaneously.....Just wanted to double-check & be on the safe side.

ANSWER: In general, the answer is yes. But everything depends on what you are taking them for, in which manner (herb, powder, pills, tincture or extract), at what dosage and at what frequency.

QUESTION: I have been taking 100mg of Rhodiola a day for at least 9 years and am doing fabulous on it.  Recently I read some info on “Maca” and it’s benefits and am wondering if I can take a low dosage of 500mg of Maca (info says if taking daily and long term that you should only do 500mg of Maca a day) with my 100mg of Rhodiola???  Your expertise is greatly appreciated!

ANSWER: You do not mention why you are taking Rhodiola, nor why you want to take Maca, therefore it is really not possible to answer in full.  Generally it’s okay to take both. Maca is a great plant for treating impotence in men.  Remember extracts work better and faster than any pill ever could.

QUESTION: I am interested in taking acai berries for general health and to aid weight loss. Could you tell me if it safe to do so as I am currently taking tablets for raised blood pressure and cholesterol control. My daughter would also like to take the acai berries but is on anti-depressants. Our pharmisist was unable to advise us and suggested we asked a herbalist.

ANSWER: Acai berry juice is very safe and there no indication that of any side effects, except if you suffer from pollen allergies.

To be on the safe side you should always obtain 100% Acai berry juice and not the "mixed with other fruits juices" kind.

QUESTION: I was wondering if it was safe to open up 250mg capsules of guarana and mix them in water to drink. And how many.

ANSWER: Yes it would be safe, depending on the dosage. As to how many that would depend on your weight and any other health issues you may have. Keep in mind that Guarana has a caffeine content equivalent to, or more than, most energy drinks.  Therefore use with good judgment, as too much will alter your heartbeat and circulation. I really do not suggest it, but if you must do it, then start with one capsule and see how you feel.

QUESTION: Do you know the usage of black seeds and remedies of it, and do herbalists, know usage of all herbs or just certain kinds or what?

ANSWER: Most herbalist have a general knowledge of all alternative forms of treatment., but they tend to specialize in one to three areas. Personally, I specialize in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Aromatherapy, Western herbalism, Exotic remedies and Acupressure.

Black Seed, or Black Cumin seed (Nigella Sativa) has been used to treat many ailments for over 1,500 years. It has been used to treat nausea, vomiting, hypertension, diabetes, loss of hair, headaches and as a tonic for the immune system.  It is perhaps most effective as a tonic for the immune system, providing support for the body's defense system.

QUESTION:   I was wondering if you are familiar with  the product Efalex? I have a low platelet condition level, I am currently taking Omega-3 and it’s fine no effect on the platelets it's been 3 weeks. I am taking it for better concentration.

 Efalex has additional oils, I would like to kindly ask what is your 
 opinion on this and if it's fine in relation to my platelet condition.
Thanks a lot

ANSWER:  My personal research with Efalex is that there are no side effects. If you are planning to take Efalex 50+, please make sure that you ask your practitioner since it contains other substances that may raise concern if the amount taken contraindicates your current meds.

As to a low platelet count:

Supplement daily with a good multi-vitamin, multi-mineral containing all 22 amino acids. Add 1,000mg Vit. C 1x day, 3 capsules of Acidophilus 2xs day and 3 capsules Siberian ginseng 3xs day.

Drink infusions of Dandelion and Peony root in equal parts. Add 5 drops extract or tincture of Licorice root and drink 4 or 5xs day. Sweeten only with honey. By the way, Licorice is a very important herb in this process.

Massaging the abdominal with essential oils of Tea tree 10 drops and Bergamot 5 drops, diluted in 2 tablespoons of Sesame oil, will also help stimulate production of blood cells.

I hope this helps.

QUESTION: I keep reading that Goldenseal root should not be used for more than 2
weeks. Can you comment on how long you may safely use Goldenseal?

ANSWER: Great question.  During the severe phase of an illness you may use for 7 to 10 days, but no
more.  Do not use Goldenseal if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or suffer from diabetes. Goldenseal may sometimes cause drowsiness so limit your driving. Finally, do not use goldenseal if you have a history of heart problems, glaucoma, or stroke. If it causes nausea or diarrhea, stop taking it immediately.

Goldenseal is best used in extract or tincture, these work better and faster. Use 10 drops in an infusion of Dandelion or Green tea 2-3xs day. Sweeten only with a bit of honey.

QUESTION: I am interested in taking Passion Flower for peri-menopause and anxiety issues, but read at Mountain Rose Herbs, “Passionflower is also a source of chrysin, a chemical that helps the body release testosterone. Chrysin stimulates the production of testosterone, and may aggravate conditions caused by excessive testosterone (baldness and prostate problems in men, unusual aggression, hair growth, and skin problems in men and women) so this should be evaluated before consuming too much Passionflower.” I have not seen reference made to Passion Flower causing elevated testosterone levels anywhere else.
             I do have a slightly elevated testosterone level and some facial hair growth (not good for a female) and was wondering if I should avoid using, and if it does have a significant effect on testosterone levels? What is your view on taking PassionFlower for hormonal rebalancing, in addition to other herbs, such as Red Clover, Chaste Tree, Wild Yam, Ashwagandha, Black Cohosh and Kudzu?  

ANSWER: Native Americans used Passionflower to "lift the spirits", or as a tonic, not for hormonal imbalance.  As for it calming effects, it is milder than Valerian, but works just as well.
             Chrysin both lowers anxiety and keeps the body from breaking down testosterone; it also interacts with an enzyme that acts to transform testosterone molecules into estrogen molecules.It keeps testosterone from being transformed into estrogen by blocking some of the receptors on cells that cause them to respond to estrogen.  In a recent study, Chrysin was administered to four groups of mice both orally and via injection to examine Chrysin's effect on serum estrogen levels. The results showed that chrysin had no effect on estrogen levels. Re:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysin

I still would suggest to use only in moderation. I suggest an extract or tincture of Passionflower, 5 drops in an infusion of Dandelion or Green tea once a day. Sweeten honey with a bit of honey. Do not take passionflower if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.



QUESTION: I want to use organic horseradish for repeating topical application. In your opinion, would you get the most out of horseradish through an oil infusion or through putting it in vinegar or alcohol and then rubbing it on. I am new to making such things, by the way, but really want to try this.

ANSWER: Welcome to the entertaining world of making your own herbal products, and thank you for your question. I am not sure where you are applying the horseradish extract and why, but if it is for increasing circulation over painful joints and sore muscles, or for a congested chest, you'll get most from alcohol, usually a40-50% alcohol such as vodka or brandy; 2nd best is a vinegar extract. Wash your hands after rubbing into skin before you wipe your eyes, touch your nose, or touch any sensitive skin. It won't harm but will sting like crazy for a few minutes. Cold water washes it off the quickest.

QUESTION: what do you know about K2?

ANSWER: Vitamin K2 is a fat soluble vitamin needed for healthy blood clotting, from the German Koagulation. It is made from bacteria present in human digestive flora. Plants make K1.
          It is uncommon for humans to be deficient in K since it is widespread in food, and we recycle what we have in circulation. The main source is green leafy vegetables.
                Deficiency signs include easy bruising, nosebleeds, blood loss in urine or stool, heavy menstrual periods, and other signs that we aren't clotting. The common blood thinning drugs in the warfarin group antagonize the effects of Vitamin K, and so a daily dose of around 100mcg (75-120mcg) is often recommended for patients on coumadin and related blood thinners. It is ridiculous that people on blood thinners are told not to eat leafy green vegetables. They need greens and eating a healthy diet ought to be standard, while blood clotting function can easily be measured so that adjustments in medication ensure overall health. Infants are particularly vulnerable to a lack of K, hence the routine injection of vitamin K at birth, a practice which may not be necessary when mothers' intake of vitamin K is 90mcg a day.
          Because Vitamin K also plays a role in bone density, preventing osteoporosis may be as simple as eating organic greens daily, especially as we lay down bone in adulthood before perimenopause and beyond.


QUESTION: I had a couple of questions about the herbal supplement sea buckthorn oil. Is it safe to take this on a daily basis, and are there any know interactions with other drugs, specifically birth control pills?

ANSWER: Sea Buckthorn oil (from the berries of Hippophae rhamnoides) is rich in antioxidant vitamin E and OPC's (oligomeric procyanidins). There is no major safety issue known or expected from the literature for taking it daily to improve skin conditions and counteract radiation burns. Like other antioxidant supplements with an oil base, its use in chronic or acute gall bladder problems (for instance inflammation or stones) requires caution, low dose, or avoidance if it triggers problems (unlikely at normal therapeutic doses but possible). There is no reason to expect it to interfere with oral contraceptives but that has not been specifically studied. I'd say, give it a try for six months and let me know what it does for you.

QUESTION: While I was searching information concerning tinctura Gingo bilobae I many times met Your name as a renown herbalist with large experience in this field. I would be very grateful if You would spend a while answering my small question. With my low blood pressure and continuously cold palms and feet, I decided to take tinctura ginko bilobae (5:1) because the other ethanol free tablets, here in Poland, are made from extract with acetone as dissolvent. So, as I am not happy with long term use of ethanol I thought that if it make sense to heat my tinctura to make ethanol evaporate? The problem is whether all active chemicals will be still there to help me?

ANSWER: Evaporating off the ethanol alcohol of herb tinctures including a 5:1 Ginkgo biloba product, will remove most but not all the ethanol. It will leave most, if not all, the active constituents intact, so if this method is working for you, continue in confidence. If, however, the potential blood thinning properties of Ginkgo do not seem to improve your circulation, another cardiovascular herb that you might consider adding is Hawthorn (Crataegus species), many of which are on the market in alcohol-free forms, and without acetone as a solvent. Let me know what you find?

QUESTION: Thank You for Your kind reply. I completely forgot that Crataegus could be a good alternative for Gingo as a blood circulation support. I tried crataegus tea and then I tried product which is mixture of: intactum hippocastani, tinctura ginko bilobae, crataegi tinctura, intactum visci, tinctura arnicae. After more than 3 weeks of use I feel wonderful and my blood pressure is almost ideal as never before as it require only 3ml up to 4 times a day. I am very grateful for Your advice.

QUESTION: I have a question regarding the herb Fo-ti. My mother was diagnosed with kidney cancer about 5 years ago, and when she went into surgery, they found they had to remove the entire kidney. So, needless to say, she functions with only one; however, the remaining kidney never took over for the absent kidney (as we were advised would happen within weeks), and it functions at only around 65%. She does have some narrowing of the urethra as well, which her doctor attributes to NSAIDs. I listen to The Barefoot Doctor (Stephen Russell) on Hay House Radio (hayhouseradio.com), and every so often he has a holistic dr. on the show. He mentioned Fo-ti for strengthening the kidney, helping to remove toxins from the body and cleansing. I did a little of my own research, and found that it is also being looked at as a hopeful medicine for lowering cholesterol and treating  hypoglycemia. This is why I’m interested in Fo-ti for my mother. If it has any hope of helping strengthen her remaining kidney, I’ll give it to her, and the rest of the things it might do would just be added bonus; however, with the background I’ve presented, I want to make sure it’s safe for her to take. Thank you for your help.

ANSWER: I honor your dedication to your mother. She is lucky to have you acting as her advocate. Fo ti, Polygonum multiflorum, is a vine that grows well in many habitats. I have it twining around the gazebo surrounding my outdoor hot tub. It is the root that is used.
           The thing is, is it used for what in Asian systems of medicine is called kidney function but really refers to how the body handles water in different tissues and organs including the kidneys. It builds blood, but that refers to quality not volume, and it does lower serum cholesterol. We really think of fo ti as an adaptogen, or herb to help us adapt to long term stress. It might be useful for your mother, but to improve the function of her remaining kidney I suggest you consider an herb from the Ayurvedic tradition of India, called
Crataeva nurvala. This is not to be confused with the herb of North America, Europe, and Asia, Crataegus oxyacantha or other Crataegus species, often used for cardiovascular and digestive benefits. 
           The conservative dose of Crataeva is 2 grams two times a day, but with your mother's history, less is more. Start at half doses for a week, see how she gets along on that, inform her doctors she is trying an herb for kidney function, and if all is well, increase to full dose and continue to monitor all her vital functions. There is good safety data but as far as I know, none for people with your mother's exact history. Investigate, gather all the best data, and make sure you buy whichever herb for kidney health that you choose from a reputable herb dealer.

QUESTION:  I have an important question concerning triphala.  I have been experiencing severe constipation for over a year now -- laxatives and miralax to no real avail. Thanks to my no bowel movements I have acid reflux / heartburn issues.  I purchased triphala ( from planetary herbals) and I’ve been taking it as directed 2x daily ( morn and night) and I’m on my 3rd day with it - and all I’m getting is very loose watery stools that isn’t even quantitative ... no real healthy bowel movement - that are at least of healthy size and shape.  I was wondering if I should stop using or reduce my dosage?   I’m doing this as a last ditch effort before I’m going for endometriosis diagnostic surgery ( I’m beginning to think I have bowel endo).  I appreciate any input you could give me about triphala.

ANSWER:  Please read my download, on how to clean out the bowel, and every organ and system of the body, and achieve total health for yourself. 
We manufacture, a 25 yr tested high fiber, with triphela, herbal blend, named, Life Force Fiber Food, see our download, pamphlet.  Read the info, and order our Life Force, and do the lifestyle change, and you will have a healthy bowel.

:  What is ganoderma?  and how is it used ? and what is it used for?

ANSWER:  Ganoderma is another name for the Reishi mushroom and it has been known in the orient as a mushroom with remarkable curative abilities.  It was used mostly as a rejuvenation agent and improved the user's immune system, general energy, vitality, mental accuity, longevity and reproductive energies.  They were dried and crushed and used as a tea or in food.  Today we usually use it in capsule form but extracts are added to drinks such as coffee with good results.  Hope this helps. 

QUESTION:  I am taking a formula for stress/anxiety that includes 50mg's of skullcap extract.  Is this herb helpful/harmful and does it cause liver damage?

ANSWER:  If you are concerned about the skullcap, don’t take it, everyday, use it 6 days a week, and three weeks on, three weeks off. Also, some people react differently, so you will have to watch your body, and see if it is reactive to the skullcap.  Some people and research has reported side effects, on some people, but at that dose if you aren’t taking too much of it, and not taking it too often, and give your body a rest, then you will find, it to be OK.  Or just switch formulas, to one that has not skullcap in it, or very little in it.  Our formula, Essence Of Peace, has only, a small amount, 2% in the blend, and is very effective for the nervous system.

QUESTION:  I have purchased some "valerian root" and some "Silene Capsensis - African Dream Root or Undlela ziimhlophe" and my question is. What is the dosage for taking these? I do not plan on taking them both at the same time. I will take one for a week or two and then I will take the other but I don't know how much to take for one dosage. I know both can be consumed as a tea but how much of the herb do I use in how much water? If you could answer that for me that would be great.

ANSWER:   Use as suggested and with caution, also use valerian, on an alternate nite, from when you use the Dream Root. Use one to three capsules, of the valerian, 1/2 hr before bed, or one cup of the tea.


QUESTION:  Please could you tell me if there is much difference in uses (and possible side effects) between dandelion and nettle?

:  Personally, nettle has been a user friendly herb, and I have not had averse any type of reaction from it, in its dried form, ( fresh, stinging nettle, another story!!)  Dandelion, for some, have taken too much of it for too long, and have had toxic side effects from the alkaloids, and other chemicals that are found in the plant, and can be damaging to the liver and or kidney.  Again, over use and abuse is what causes this, so moderation in all things, and use it one month on, one month off at suggested doses, never exceeding what is considered safe on dosage.

: I am taking 150mgms Thyroxine daily for hypothyroidism is it OK to take Devil's claw with this?

ANSWER: It may not be a good idea to take the devils claw with the thyroxine. I have read that some of the constituents in devils claw are contraindicated with some of the thyroid meds. Could you use turmeric, astragalus, or schizandra  instead? It is safer if you are using it for arthritis.

QUESTION:     I was referred to your website from Mountain Rose Herbs. My question concerns organic clove oil.  I normally boil 12ozs of water with 6 cloves when I make my Matcha green tea. Instead of using cloves,  How many drops of clove oil should I substitute to that 12ozs of tea? Or more specifically what is the dilution ratio when using clove oil? Thank you.

ANSWER: I am not sure what brand of oil you are using, so experiment a little. Try10 drops per 20 oz of the tea, and see if it is too strong or not.

QUESTION: I would like to know if it is safe to open up a capsule that has herbs in it, like the ingredients listed below and take it with food, if you are not able to swallow it whole:  Proprietary blend 1540 mg Dandelion root, Taraxacum officinale, Burdock root, Arctium lappa, Yellow Dock root, Rumex crispus, Purple Coneflower powder, Echinacea purpurea, Red Clover blossom, Trifolium pratense,  Aloe Vera (as extract) Sarsaparilla root, Smilax officinalis, Licorice root, Glycyrhiza glabr, Atlanitic Kelp powder, Ascophyllum nodosum, Turmeric, Cayenne Capsicum fructescens.  Will opening the capsule make it less effective?

ANSWER: Of course the safety of the product depends on who manufactures it, quality of herbs, and the reason you are taking the blend, if your body likes it or not. The formula you mention, looks OK, but cannot say. It is my opinion as an herbalist, it is always better to take in a tea or liquid, so taking it out of the capsule may even work better for you, Again, I caution you on why you are taking it, and is best to consult with your local herbalist, or Dr, who is in consultant of the your care, along with you.

QUESTION: I purchased some vitex, chasteberry, and I am afraid to take worried about side effects and what it could do to my health. Is it a safe herb or should I be concerned?

ANSWER: If you are taking it for hormonal balance and vitality  as a woman, you are fine. Take it as suggested on the label, make sure it is a good quality, reputable brand. It is generally known to be free of adverse side effects at the regular dosage. Pay attention to how your body feels.

QUESTION: I am a 19 year old male and recently purchased a bag of pure USDA approved Maca Root powder.  I was researching different herbs that would help me with some mild depression and extremely low energy that I have been dealing with the past few months and i stumbled upon Maca.  I was extremely impressed with the supposed benefits of the herb especially that there is no known medicines or conditions that would be effected by Maca.  That’s important to me because I take medicine for both asthma and acid reflux. With that said I have a few questions for you.  Is maca safe for someone my age to take and if so how should I take it ( how much, how often, how long etc.) and will it have any long term effect or dependence?  I was also wandering how much of the benefits that are advertised about maca true?  Is it really a super food?  I appreciate you taking the time to read this and hopefully for responding.

ANSWER: In my experience, there are no known, side effects if taken as suggested and not to excess. It may very well, be a herb that can help you attain your health goals. I suggest using it for 30 days straight, then use it 6 days a week, after that, to get the body to use its natural rhythms in replacing and renewal of vital forces.

QUESTION: Do you know if marshmallow root powder and slippery elm--will delay, or minimize the absorption of vitamins and nutrients when taken with food (oatmeal preferably)? Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you. Blessings...

ANSWER: There are many ideas about slippery elm, and marshmallow, and nutrients.  I can tell you in the old days, a mother who died in child birth and left the baby behind, the baby was kept alive on slippery elm gruel. It is mucilogenic, and high in B vitamins, and iron, and is very good for the digestion and the body over all. Marshmallow is not quite as good, with similar properties, but still very good also.  As with all things being moderate is good, and if you do that, you should be fine.

QUESTION: Hi, do you know how much progesterone I can expect to get from any particular amount of a good quality powdered vitex? 

ANSWER: I do not know how much progesterone you will get from a good quality vitex.  You could Wikipedia, and see what that says, or contact the Herb Research Foundation, they may have some info on that as well.

QUESTION:  I have a couple of questions about herbal supplements. Is it safe to take licorice root for an extended period of time? It is being used to help treat a stomach ulcer. Also is it safe to take fenugreek seed for an extended period of time? Those two herbs are not being taken together.

ANSWER:  Fenugreek is a pretty safe herb. Licorice is usually OK, in small amounts, for 3 weeks to 6 weeks at a time, as long as you don’t have blood sugar issues.  Aloe vera juice is one of the best ulcer supports, also slippery elm bark and if you use it with licorice, it will make it work better, licorice used in a blend as a support rather than main ingredients.  It is best for the body. It is safer used this way.

QUESTION: I have been reading and hearing a lot about a certain herb, Pueraria mirifica root, and was wondering if it was safe to take? Supposedly it has a lot of health benefits. Any input you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER; I personally have not used this herb. It does have some effect on the estrogen, and has been used traditionally for breast enhancement.  I cannot recommend something I have never used, I have heard a lot about it, but that is it.  One cautionary note, is that if you already have hormonal or female issues, make sure you research it very well first before using it.

: Hi, just wanted to know ,what is the different between black currant oil and evening primrose oil?

ANSWER:  The difference in the two herbs, primrose and the black currant are as follows: 
- black currant is a wonderful anti inflammatory, helps the body to make prostaglandins, which is for inflammation and pain , associated with arthritis.  It has been used for anti aging, and the properties associated with maintaining a healthy skeleton and brain, heart
- evening primrose though good for many things, especially tender breasts, PMS, all things associated with premenstrual syndrome, and over all reproductive health of the woman
- used extensively for degenerative diseases, like MS, Parkinsons, etc, as protection to the nerve endings, essential fatty acids, help protect the brain, and nerve endings

:  A friend has recommended Rhodiola rosea extract to me - I have heart palpitations sometimes - is it okay to take this remedy with that condition?

ANSWER:  In my experience, it should be alright. It depends why you are taking it, and how much you are going to take of it?   I found you have to be more careful with it, if you have blood sugar issues, than heart palpitations, unless you have the palpitations due to sugar imbalance.

QUESTION:  I was told my blood sugar is a bit high (although another doc said it was fine!!) but my doctor did not say palpitations due to blood sugar imbalance - said it was stress.  I do have an ectopic beat occasionally but this doesn’t cause any real problems. What would be contraindications of taking Rhodiola if blood sugar is in balance?

 ANSWER: The rodeola, is  a rich herb and is high in glycosides, and other chemicals, which for a person with overloaded pancreas, and insulin resisitance ( most of us in the country have it, due to the high sugar content , corn syrup in our foods, processed foods, we have this syndrome.  The rodeola is one herb to watch in taking and can cause some water retention and tiredness.  It is a wonderful herb, and should be used carefully, when you have the low or high blood sugar, syndrome.

QUESTION: Hi, I have a couple of questions about herbal supplements. Is it safe to take licorice root for an extended period of time? It is being used to help treat a stomach ulcer. Also is it safe to take fenugreek seed for an extended period of time? Those two herbs are not being taken together.

ANSWER: Fenugreek is a pretty safe herb. Licorice is usually OK, in small amounts, for 3 weeks to 6 weeks at a time, as long as you don't have blood sugar or high blood pressure issues. Aloe vera juice is one of the best ulcer supports, also slippery elm bark and if you use it with licorice, it will make it work better, licorice used in a blend as a support rather than main ingredient, is best for the body. It is safer used this way.

QUESTION: I am interested in your thoughts on a vine which would grown in the Birmingham, AL area of the southern part of USA which would have been boiled and the tea from this drunk to relieve pain during childbirth.

ANSWER: Following is the information you requested on the "childbirth Vine", called squawvine.
If you would like to order the herb, or have any other questions, please  let us know.

Scientific Name: Mitchella repens
Family: Rubiaceae

Parts Used: Berries, aerial parts
Active Compounds: saponins, tannins, glycosides
Background: As you may guess from the name of this herb, it has its roots in Native American medicine. Women were often given squaw vine to help induce childbirth. However, it has also been used to treat other ailments such as edema, sleep problems, and joint pain.  In modern times, squaw vine is still used to help women get through childbirth safely and quickly. It's also taken for menstrual trouble. In addition to its many women's health remedies, squaw vine can also be used to treat diarrhea and inflammation of the large intestine.

Applications: Stimulant/Astringent
Squaw vine is primarily used to treat women's health issues.
Childbirth: Squaw vine is used to help quicken childbirth.
Menstruation: Squaw fine is used to slow heavy bleeding during menses. It strengthens the walls of the uterus and helps regulate the period.
Rheumatism: Squaw vine can be used to reduce joint pain from rheumatism.
Intestine: Squaw vine can be used to treat diarrhea and intestinal inflammation.
Description: Squaw vine is an evergreen herb that is native to the United States. It has green leaves, white flowers, and red berries. The parts of the plant used for medicinal purposes are harvested during the summer.
Dosage: As an infusion, take 1 cup 3 times daily.
As a tincture, take 1-2 ml with water daily.
Safety:  There is no negative safety information available for this herb. Consult your health care provider before beginning use of any herb

QUESTION: Just wondering if you are familiar with St. Paul's Wort, also known as Siegesbeckia orientalis L., or Xi Xian Cao. It is an ingredient in a lot of topical stretch mark remedies. I am making my own stretch mark cream with a cocoa butter base. I would like to add this herb, but need to know if it is safe for pregnant or nursing mothers.  Also, how much to use for approx. 4oz cocoa butter? There is an 5:1 Extract Powder and also whole herbs available. Research for this herb is incredibly difficult to find. Perhaps I may pick your brain. If this herb is not something you would suggest, which herbs would be effective in both preventing and fading stretch marks? Thank you so much for your time...

ANSWER:  Although, this is an excellent herb in Chinese medicine, because there really isn't a lot of research on its actual properties for pregnant women's skin, I would suggest you err on the side of safety, and do not use it , until you find out more information.  There are so many other topicals available that would be helpful to you, and not have to worry about, I would choose one of them instead.  I make a salve for this from , honey, beeswax, neem oil, apricot oil, shea butter , cocoa butter, and castor oil. ( Herbal Healing Salve).  You could add the essential oil of neroli, in just a tiny amount, like 10 drops per 4 oz of salve, also calendula herb as well.  This I am comfortable with, and know will help and not harm.

QUESTION: Is it known if the herb lemongrass will cause an increase in estrogen or has any hormonal activity? 

ANSWER:  Thank you for the inquiry. There is some research stating that certain volatile oils in some plants, one of the possible being Lemon Grass can affect the hormonal levels, in males and perhaps females.
There are plenty of other herbal formulas to choose from if you are interested.


QUESTION: What is the difference between mathake and maitake?  Thank you for your time in this matter..

ANSWER:  Mathake (Teminalia catappa) is a tropical herb (leaves and bark) that has been used traditionally in the South Pacific, for fungal related conditions.  It may be potentially beneficial for overall immune support, liver detoxification and antioxidant support.  Mathake is wildcrafted in Fiji and has been shown to be of benefit for microbial balancing. 
             Maitake is a mushroom. Laboratory studies have shown that maitake extract can inhibit the growth of tumors and stimulate the immune system of cancerous mice. Human clinical studies of patients with breast and colorectal cancers are under way in the United States. In China, sixty-three patients with lung, stomach, or liver cancers or leukemia who took four capsules of maitake extract three times daily before meals for one to three months showed an ``anticancer'' effect. Reports that maitake extracts may help AIDS patients fight Kaposi's sarcoma and other symptoms are preliminary and require further studies.

QUESTION: I started taking an herbal supplement that I researched on the internet called "ClearPores" www.clearpores.com. I've been suffering from adult acne for a long time, so I looked for this herbal solution. Although it seems safe (and I have done some research on it), I am still interested in a second opinion in terms of side effects.  I am taking a high dose of herbs with the recommended 3 capsules a day of the following: 1500 mg of Dandelion root, Taraxacum officinale, Burdock root, Arctium lappa, Yellow Dock root,
Rumex crispus, Purple Coneflower powder, Echinacea purpurea, Red Clover blossom, Trifolium pratense, Sarsaparilla root, Smilax officinalis, Licorice root, Glycyrhiza glabr, Atlanitic Kelp powder, Ascophyllum nodosum, Cayenne Capsicum fructescens.
            Side effects?  Around the same time that I started taking the pills, I also experienced cramping and irregular spotting/bleeding. Could this be related? My other thought is that the spotting could be a cause of the fact that I have been eating less, more stressed and sleeping less within the same period of time.  Any clarity you could provide to me would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Most of the herbs there are for cleansing and de-toxing the liver, so they look fine. The cayenne could be responsible for the cramping, unless it is female related. Then I'd look at the red clover. This might account for the spotting as well. Red clover is a woman's tonic, so if your reproductive or endocrine is off balance, you may be experiencing it coming back into balance. The only other thing that might be suspect is the licorice root. Some say it shouldn't be taken for long periods of time. I'm not sure how long you've been taking it and the doses don't actually seem high to me. You said 1500 mg. is that for the entire formula? The amount in 1 capsule or all 3 together?  As with any medication, if you experience side effects, you should always stop the formula immediately, or at least back off the dosage. You could have a sensitive system or a number of other factors. Always listen to your body. If it's showing signs of distress, then obviously something's not right.  Hope this helps a little.

Can you give me some information regarding Palo Azul and its function?  I know it is a bark and can be brewed like a tea.  What does it do in the body? 

ANSWER: From what I can find on it, and there isn't much, it's a source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium, supposedly from South America. A Japanese company is planning to market it. If it were me, I'd stick with good old dandelion root.

QUESTION: I am trying to get information on the herb Croton -its origin and uses.  My mother has taken it for years under the name of Copalquin, the Spanish name for it, apparently for all kinds of ailments.  Could you please help?

Croton is a pungent, unpleasant-smelling herb that is exceedingly irritant and purgative. Expectorant, external irritant to erupt  abscesses and boils. Croton oil is the strongest of all purgatives. It is used internally in minute amounts for constipation, dysentery, biliary colic, intestinal obstructions, food poisoning, malaria, and mastitis. Externally for warts, dermatitis, abscesses and boils (seeds, often after oil extraction to reduce toxicity). It is carcinogenic and even 1 ml can be toxic. It is a very dangerous herb and although used in minute amounts in homeopathy, I certainly wouldn't recommend it for anyone who is not under the care of a certified homeopath or naturopath.

QUESTION: I am writing you this letter just to get some information about the medicine that I am having at the moment. I am not too sure about it and my GP doesn’t know much about herbal medicines. I was on Dothepian (150mg a day) for 4 years but recently I managed to give up the medicine and go on to herbal medicines. I started with sedonium for 2 weeks on its own while having only 25mg of dothepian but now I have stopped dothepian completely and have gone on to St. John wort (300mg 3 times a day) with one night dose of sedonium (2 tablets). I have had these from Holland and Barratt. It seems to be working but I am not sure if its safe to take both the medicines together and what are the long term effects of the medicine . Is the effectiveness of the medicines going to wear off ? I need to get the answer to these questions. Please help me out if you can.

ANSWER: Sedonium is nothing more than valerian which is a nervine and will help relax you and let you sleep. That with the St. John's Wort should not cause you any issues. Not quite sure why you are taking them. St. John's Wort is usually used for anxiety or depression. I'd be careful about taking too much of the valerian. Like any sedative, it can be abused.

QUESTION: Hi:  I got all excited when I discovered Horse Chestnut and went ahead and ordered it for pain I'm experiencing in my legs.  Then my balloon was burst when I read on Sloan Kettering's herb web site that it is "an unsafe herb," in the judgment of the FDA.  Not that they have such a stellar reputation these days.
         I also ordered and have taken Andrew Lessman's "Circulation and Vein Support" with the main ingredient (I think) being diosmin.  Can't say after taking two a day for two weeks that anything has changed.  What say you on these subjects?  Many thanks

ANSWER: Diosmin is a naturally occurring flavanoid glycoside that can be isolated from various plant sources or derived from the flavonoids hesperidin. Diosmin was first isolated in 1925 from Scrophularia nodosa, and first introduced as a therapeutic agent in 1969. Diosmin is considered to be a vascular-protecting agent used to treat chronic venous insufficiency, hemorrhoids, lymphedema, and varicose veins. As a flavonoid, diosmin also exhibits anti-inflammatory, free-radical scavenging, and antimutagenic properties.
           My problem with things like this is, those chemicals are in the plants for a reason. And what makes herbs so wonderful is the entire plant working together, not bits and pieces of it extracted. So, that said, my opinion is that I don't support extracts from plants, but prefer the whole plant or herb to be used.
       As for the FDA, don't get me started. They would have us believe all herbs are bad for us, but Vioxx and Nutra Sweet are just fine. I think that's enough about the validity of the FDA and their views on herbs. Horse chestnut is toxic however, and should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified alternative health care professional

QUESTION: I am currently taking 3 100mgs of hawthorne extract 2x a day.  I took a cholesterol test yesterday and the results showed my bad cholesterol was lowered from 171 to 143, but my good cholesterol also dropped from 58 to 36. Does hawthorne extract do that?  Marie Quinones

ANSWER: I'm not aware of Hawthorn having that effect. Are you sure you are eating correctly? Good cholesterol comes from the Omega Fatty Acids so fish oil, Omega 3, Omega 6 will all help boost it. Congrats on your low cholesterol though!

QUESTION: I currently take Cardizem, Imitrex and Wellutrin.  I just ought a cleansing program called Internal Sweep.  The ingredients are all natural, but I would like to know if it is safe for me to be mixing this stuff with my prescriptions.  It has things such as buchu leaf, burdock root, alfalfa, althaea powder, chickweed leaf, slippery elm, guar gum, Irish moss, fenugreek seed, prickly ash, etc.  Please let me know.  Thanks. 

ANSWER: I never recommend mixing herbs and prescription medications. Check with your doctor or pharmacist.

QUESTION: I've read from various sources that by taking Gotu Kola, not only does it improve healing, but that it can also prevent or minimize scarring. What is your opinion? I've also read that by taking Gotu Kola, it can help existing scars, but it wasn't clear on how. Do you know how it is effective for existing scars?
For example, make them less noticeable, more softer or smooth, or what? Can it make some scars disappear? I've been taking one 500 mg. capsule daily. Is that sufficient? I've read somewhere that you shouldn't take Gotu Kola for 6 weeks consecutively. Is that true? If so, how should someone do it if they want to take it on a continuing basis?

ANSWER: Gotu Kola is best known for its wound healing abilities. The herb acts to help maintain the skin and underlying connective tissues. One study showed a decrease in joint pain, skin hardening and immobility of the fingers. It is also very good for circulation.  The typical dosage is up to 8 400-500 mg capsules per day, divided into 3 doses. Or you can take the capsules, open them, pour out the powder and mix it with equal parts of aloe vera and put on the skin externally.

QUESTION: I recently bought Herb Farm organic echinacea which was distilled from the root in alcohol.  I mixed it with yellow dock and marshmallow as a tincture. It caused visual and auditory halluninations that have lasted for two weeks so far.   The echinacea was on sale at Whole Foods market.  It was taken
three times.  None of these herbs  have caused that reaction before.  Could it be the combination, is echinacea known to do this, could it be contaminated tincture, and what can be done to stop it?  Thank you.

ANSWER: My first suggestion is to get to a doctor and get a blood test to see if you have any toxicity.. Unless you are a qualified herbalist or medical professional, mixing your own tinctures can be very dangerous. Also, always verify the products you are using, and only buy from a reputable dealer. I only use certified organic herbs in my formulations. If you buy something out of a bin, God only knows what's in it. It could also be a reaction to the alcohol, as alcohol poisoning can have those effects, but lasting two weeks, unless you are continuing to take it, doesn't really make sense.
I'm not aware of echinacea causing this type of problem, but again, if it was sprayed with some chemical, who knows.
Make sure you haven't been poisoned and then my suggestion would be a liver de-tox blend of milk thistle, dandelion root and burdock root. You can get it on my website at
www.allgoodegifts.com in the Apothecary.

I am researching the sources for Milk Thistle and discovered that many extracts are based on alcohol. Isn't it bad for the liver? And are there any specific brands of Milk Thistle supplements that you could recommend? Also, which kind of preparation is better - should the extract be boiled in a water before taking or just added to the water or juice? What about other herbs such as Hawthorne.

ANSWER: Milk thistle is my favorite herb for the liver. It has powerful antioxidant properties and helps fight the damaging effects of free radicals. It is said to stimulate liver function and rebuild liver cells. The tinctures, though made with alcohol aren't bad for the liver. There's only 1 or 2 ounces of alcohol in a typical tincture bottle and that's about the same as a shot. You'd have to drink the whole bottle and lots of them to come close to hurting your liver, so that shouldn't be a concern. Alcohol is one of the best menstrum for extracting the properties of the herbs. That's why it's used so often. You can also use vinegar or vegetable glycerin, which comes from coconuts if you want something with no alcohol at all.
Tinctures are taken in a little juice or water. No boiling necessary. I take mine right under the tongue, undiluted! Or you can take them in a tea. If you do, make sure that they have been ground or pulverized to release the active ingredients. Otherwise they won't combine with the water.
Recommendations? Sure, mine! I make several delicious teas as well as a liver tonic tincture. Or I can make a custom formula for you if you have something particular you are trying to address. I can also make a tincture with no alcohol, but those take 4-6 weeks. You can find my products on my website at www.allgoodegifts.com

Do you have any information on the health benefits (eating) of coconut oil? There seems to be a lot of confusing information on this subject?

I don't know what the confusion would be. Coconut oil is very good for the skin as well as the body.

Coconut oil is one of the best for helping with high cholesterol. It is very nutritious and useful. It is a saturated fat that is better for cooking because it is stable at high temperatures. It can also help prevent and fight disease and illness. It helps regulate blood sugar and raises metabolic rates and has also been demonstrated to help with Crohn's Disease and IBS, acting as an anti-inflammatory in the digestive tract. It has antimicrobial properties to promote intestinal health.

Externally, it is exceptional for keeping the skin young and healthy. It helps protect against free-radical formation in the skin cells. All in all, it's a great oil and should be a part of a healthy eating regimen. You do
need to be cautious, however and ensure that the coconut oil you are using is a high-quality, virgin coconut oil, organic, unrefined, with no chemicals, bleaching, deodorization, hydrogenation or GMO. Make sure it is
from traditional palms, not hybrids and that it is from fresh coconuts, not the dried "copra" used in some of the cheaper brands. Your health food store should be a good source.

Can you take astragalus while taking aloe tablets for sinus and green tea for weight loss. Plus taking Armour Thyroid once daily and Cytomel twice daily for thyroid. I also take St Johns' Wort once in the am.

ANSWER: I'm not aware of any adverse interactions between astragalus and the other herbs you mentioned.

QUESTION: I have been trying to find this answer but cannot. I have high blood pressure and right now I am on a beta blocker medication, I also take hawthorn, gotu kola, also flax and fish oil capsules, I would like to know if the hawthorn or gotu kola counteract the beta blocker blood pressure medicine?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, I can't comment on the drug interactions between prescription medications and Herbs. I don't usually advocate doing both. The herbs you are taking are great for the heart, but your medical practitioner or pharmacist will have to advise you about drug interactions with the beta blocker.

QUESTION: Is too much green tea bad for you. For example 10 cups a day? I've been taking dried wolfberry as an antioxidant, is this appropriate?

ANSWER: Green Tea is a wonderful antioxidant and most natural health practitioners suggest all of our hot beverages be green tea rather than something else like coffee. There's nothing in it that will hurt you so drink as much as you like. The more, the better!
         Wolfberry’s value to human health was explored in China thousands of years ago.  It has been cited by several ancient Chinese Medica since the Tang Dynasty (1000-1400 A. D) for its multiple health benefits, such as: nourishing the Yin (Yin-Yang theory is the fundamental theory of Chinese Traditional Medicine.  Yin represents the material part of the body and Yang represents the energy and function of the body), strengthening the eyes, liver and kidney and nourishing the blood.   Wolfberry fruits are used in many herbal formulas to maintain overall health when suffering from chronic conditions, such as weariness of the loins and legs, dizziness and ringing in the ear, visual degeneration, headaches, insomnia, chronic liver diseases, diabetes, tuberculosis, and hypertension.  Ancient people used wolfberry fruit to make tea, soup, stew and wine or chewed them like raisins.  Scientists in modern China have extensively studied wolfberry fruits, their nutrients and their medical benefits.  They have further substantiated the ancient medical applications such as: maintain healthy immune system (including specific and non-specific immune response), improving eye conditions, support healthy liver function,  maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar.  Wolfberry is also an excellent herb for anti-oxidant and anti-aging.

QUESTION: I'm looking for an herb or supplement called something like Arralgus  or Arallgarus, or it may be spelled differently.  It's used to boost the immune system and I have heard it is helpful in fighting the effects of Hep C and a very damaged liver, poor immune system, low platelets an anemia.  Any info you can provide would be helpful.  If you can just give me the correct spelling I can take it from there.

ANSWER: The herb you're referring to is Astragalus and it is a wonderfully energizing and tonic herb. Excellent for building the immune system and energizing the entire body, particularly the spleen and lungs.

I am a 49 year old white female   I smoke about 2 packs of menthol a day (which I know is terrible)  and have been on 50mg of cozaar (prescription drug )a day for high blood pressure for about 2 years and I have recently in the past two weeks started also taking (2)1200mg of odor free Garlic coated pills, (1)Estroven gel cap,(1) 1000mg Bee Pollen tablet,(2) 500mg Evening Primrose oil gel caps, (2) 750mg Glucosamine with 600mg Chondroitin Complex , (2) womens ultra Mega vitamin with iron and (1) over the counter diuretic  a day  Please tell me if all this mixed together taken at different times of the day is dangerous Plus I am addicted to BC powders

ANSWER: I'm not an authority on prescription medications at all. The best source of information for you would be your pharmacist or medical professional, though none of the herbs you've listed are purported to cause problems for people with high blood pressure.

QUESTION: I was told about an oriental remedy recommended for tendonitis called "Cow Head", but I can not find it anywhere. I was told it can be had at an oriental grocery. Have you heard of this?

ANSWER: I looked everywhere and can't find a reference for this. If you know of an oriental grocery store, I would go and speak to them. I'm not well versed in oriental herbs. They have lots of herbs that we don't use and sometimes, call common herbs by very different names.  On the other hand, if you want to stay "local", Cayenne, Devil's Claw and Turmeric are all helpful with tendonitis.

QUESTION: Can you send any info on a herb from India called TA? It is purported to benefit the heart, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and reverse hardening of the arteries.  Any info would be greatly appreciated such as sources of where to order.  Thank you for your time

ANSWER: TA is an Ayurvedic herb called Terminalia Arjuna.I hadn't heard of it before you asked about it, but apparently, it is used as a blood tonic and seems to be very helpful for those suffering from high blood pressure.  Here is a website where you can purchase it.

QUESTION:  I really enjoy the taste of Sorrel, either wood sorrel growing wild locally or my own cultivated buckle head sorrel. I tend to eat it raw either on its own or in a salad. My question is, is it healthy to eat it frequently or should I only have it as a treat, given the acidity of it?

ANSWER: You may be an herbalist in the making! I used to drive my poor mother nuts because I was always chewing on some weed or grass from the fields! Sorrel is wonderful and unless you are experiencing problems with it, is safe to eat every day. Sorrel soup is wonderful and in your salad it is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as a diuretic. Here's a recipe from the Herbalpedia for you to try. Enjoy!

Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup minced shallots
16 baby zucchini with blossoms attached if
24 thin green beans
2 cups vegetable stock
¾ cup good quality dry white wine
½ cup fresh corn kernels
4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and quartered
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound fresh fettuccine
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
¾ cup julienne sorrel, loosely packed
Parmesan cheese
Fill a large pot with water and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bring to a
boil. Heat the remaining ½ cup olive oil in a sate pan over moderate heat.
Add the garlic and shallots, and cook for 1 minute without browning. Add the
zucchini and beans, and sauté for a few seconds, then remove vegetables and
deglaze the pan with the stock and wine. Reduce by a third over high heat,
about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the corn, tomatoes, and butter and continue
cooking for another minute. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water
until it is just al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Place the pasta in a large
serving bowl along with the feta. Add the vegetables and toss together.
Correct the seasoning and add the sorrel. Sprinkle grated or shaved Parmesan
over the top and serve immediately. Serves 4

It just occurred to me that you are not talking about French Sorrel, which is the leaf used most in cooking and salads. If you are talking about wood sorrel, the tiny clover like leaves that have a sour taste to them, then you should be careful about ingesting too much of it, as it can cause problems for those with a tendency to rheumatism, arthritis, gout, kidney stones or hyperacidity should take especial caution if including this plant in their diet since it can aggravate their condition.
          Sorry about the confusion. I guess I should start using the botanical names from now on!

QUESTION: I'm looking for an herb or supplement called something like Arralgus  or Arallgarus, or it may be spelled differently.  It's used to boost the immune system and I have heard it is helpful in fighting the effects of Hep C and a very damaged liver, poor immune system, low platelets an anemia.  Any info you can provide would be helpful.  If you can just give me the correct spelling I can take it from there.

ANSWER: The herb you're referring to is Astragalus and it is a wonderfully energizing and tonic herb. Excellent for building the immune system and energizing the entire body, particularly the spleen and lungs.

QUESTION: I've been reading some articles on Vitamin B17. Some said that it prevents and cures cancer, others said that it does nothing for our health and is considered toxic. Some articles said that you require 7 - 15 apricot seeds a day as a recommended dosage as they contained the highest dose, while the same article advised that 3 apples was also a recommended sufficient dosage. I'd think 3 apples are a lot easier to eat and acquire than 7 apricot seeds. What are your views about all this, Please advise.

ANSWER: Amygdalin (Laetrile/ Vitamin B17) is particularly prevalent in the seeds of those fruits in the Prunus Rosacea family (bitter almond, apricot,
blackthorn, cherry, nectarine, peach and plum.) IT is found in natural foods which contain nitriloside and has been used and studied extensively for well over 100 years. It is also contained in grasses, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, linseed, apple seeds, and many other foods that, generally, have been deleted from the menus of modern civilization. Fruit kernels or seeds generally have other nutrients as well, some protein, unsaturated fatty protein, unsaturated fatty acids, and various minerals. The most common source of B17 is the apricot kernel and is present in about a 2-3 percent levels of concentration within the seed kernel.
            I guess my question would be what are you trying to accomplish? There is no one thing, one supplement, one magic pill that will cure our ills. It is a matter of healthy living, healthy eating, exercise, de-stressing and a positive mental attitude. As for apricot seeds, first you have to break them out of that hard shell. (or pay a fortune to get them already extracted). Doesn't sound practical to me. If you are eating a healthy diet of quality, organic, fresh, living foods, you should be getting this anyway.  The whole Vitamin B17 issue is highly controversial and there's much out there on it. I tend to stay away from those who recommend one "cure all" and then set about writing books and producing products that profit them in the long run.

QUESTION: I am looking for a root herb called Chachana sometimes listed as Chachanas. I believe this is the Spanish name.  I have tried surfing the net but did not get anywhere.  I do not know what it is used for.  If you have any clues as where I could look etc., I would appreciate it. I want it for religious purposes.

ANSWER:  Sorry, I've had no luck with this either. Most of the references I found were Hindu related. I would suggest if this is for religious purposes, that you contact your spiritual advisor and ask them where you might find it, or if it goes by some other name.  Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

QUESTION:  Is it safe to mix hawthorn berry with bilberry?

ANSWER:  That depends on what you're trying to achieve. And what your condition is. Bilberry should be taken in frequent low doses rather than occasional high doses. Don't take bilberry tea for more than a month at a time. If blood appears in the urine, stop taking it immediately. hope that helps.

QUESTION:  I will be going to my natural store this week.  I have heard of the many benefits of lemon balm.  Do you know where I should look in the natural store? I know they have tablets and teas, but, do they sell any other products with lemon balm, like creams or shampoos, etc. I have been healing myself with herbs and natural remedies for a long time. I used to have a wheat allergy, but now I can actually eat breads, etc.

ANSWER:  Lemon Balm is mainly used for it's tranquilizing properties. That's not to say you won't find it in other things such as personal care items, but this particular herb is probably limited to teas and capsules.
          If it is the scent you're looking for, you can purchase the essential oil. Remember that it does cause sun sensitivity in some people so do a patch test if you intend to use it on your skin.

QUESTION: I have been using Kira St.John's Wort over the last six months to treat chronic mild depression (after being on Prozac for many years and gradually reducing the dose until finally stopping.)  I am having great results with Kira One a day tablets, (standardized to 900ug hypericine).   I feel that it is really working for me, and my depression seems like a fading memory. I feel like I have my life back.  However, I have noticed a horrible side effect, a definite thinning and loss of head hair and a change to the texture and feel of the remaining hair.  I am loathe to stop taking SJW.  I have been told that Saw Palmetto can reduce the hair side effects,  but can I take it in conjunction with SJW or would I have to take it alone?  Would the Saw Palmetto exacerbate my depression symptoms?  I hope you can help with this as I do not know who else to ask

ANSWER: So glad to hear of your success with St. John's Wort.  I find no contraindications for taking Saw Palmetto with St. John's Wort. Saw Palmetto actually reduces hair growth instead of encouraging it. Is your diet healthy? Loss of hair is almost always connected to the diet in some way. Hair loss in women can also be triggered by hormonal changes. Make sure everything is fine in that department as well.

I was wondering if echinacea is a stimulant. I have to avoid stimulants because I have occasional episodes of supra-ventricular tachycardia (rapid heart beat) and I'm taking 100mg of Atenolol (beta-blocker) daily as a prophylactic.

Echinacea is not classified as a stimulant in the normal sense. It does "stimulate" the immune system, but not in the same way you're thinking with reference to rapid heartbeat. Before taking any herbal medication, especially if you are taking prescription meds, please consult your medical practitioner. The drug interactions between herbs and medication can sometimes be severe, so check with your doctor


I suppose if you eat several slices a day for an extended period of time, it could, but don't try to use it as an excuse. Poppy seeds don't really have enough of the chemical in them to cause a positive on a urine test. I spent 20 years in the Navy, and believe me, when people have tried the excuse, a medical professional can very quickly dispel the rumor. How about a nice slice of banana bread instead?

I live in Sydney, Australia and found this very interesting site on herbs. My question is: Does Dandelion and Alfalfa tea assist in taking more calcium to the bones by reducing calcium lost through urination? If yes, how does this work as I have read that Dandelion is diuretic.

Interesting question. First, you're assuming that just because Dandelion is a diuretic, that it depletes calcium stores. It doesn't. Diuretics as a rule assist the kidneys and the liver in the detoxification processes in the body.  Also, Dandelion is, in itself, a rich source of not only calcium, but potassium as well. So when you ingest it, you're adding calcium to your system. Plus, dandelion contains the mineral boron, which helps raise estrogen levels in the blood, which in turn helps preserve bone. Another interesting note, if you're taking it with alfalfa, you are adding vitamin K2, which clinical studies in Japan have found links with the vitamin D in the system to increase the formation of new bone! Pretty neat, huh! So keep drinking that tea!

I have a patient who has Dandelion growing on her property. How many cups (250ml) would she need to take to get the benefit of increasing her calcium levels at a good level for the formation of new bone.
I am also personally interested and I suspect that my sister may have decreased bone density due to taking prednisone for rheumatoid arthritis. She has ceased this  horrible drug now but was on very high doses.

While Dandelion greens are a great source of calcium, if you are looking to rebuild bone, they are not the best choice. (Although they can't hurt!) To rebuild bone and fight the effects of Osteoporosis, I recommend the following:
- Eat a low-protein, low-fat diet
- Reduce the amount of dairy you consume. Don't rely on dairy products as source of your calcium
- Reduce your intake of substances know to rob the body of calcium. This would include anything with caffeine in it, carbonated beverages, alcohol, salt and sugar
- Eat a diet rich in dark-green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, (try sesame seeds - they are   very high in digestible calcium), tofu, molasses and seaweeds
- Find an exercise program you like and will stick with. Resistance type exercises are the
  best for rebuilding bones. Yoga, walking and weight lifting and free weights are some of the   best.
- Take calcium supplements with magnesium in them. 1000 - 1500 mg a day.
- Loss of estrogen contributes to osteoporosis. Nourish and support the endocrine system with
  the following herbs: licorice, wild yam, sassafras, sarsaparilla, vitex, ginger, dandelion   root and dong quai.

I need to take some type of diuretic for swelling after having lymph nodes removed 10 years ago, I thought dandelion leaf would be a good one but can I take it even though my blood pressure isn't high?  It runs consistently 120 over 70.

Yes, you should be able to take dandelion in a tea form with no problems. The diuretic properties are well-documented, plus it provides calcium, Vit C and Potassium.

I taking Dhea I'm 47 yrs, and  I heard it had some good benefits talking this herb. I think I going though  pre-menopause and I'm taking black cohosh for hot flashes. I haven't started my period in two months I heard red cover and vitex chaste tree are good for period to start.  Also is DHEA good for the brain? I go to school at night and study too and have tests and I don't test well. I don't want to take the synthetic HRT because I heard how it's not good.  Please let me know what good herbs good for me for pre-menopause or
menopause and for your period. I exercise three times a week and try to eat right. So taking all these herbs  will it hurt me.

ANSWER: First, DHEA is not an herb. It is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body. There is a treatment called DHEA therapy, but the DHEA is synthetic and produced in a lab, usually using wild yam. If you're looking for an herb, I would suggest wild yam instead of the synthetics. If the herbs are taken in moderate amounts, they should not hurt you. However, as with anything, you should always listen to your body.  If you have an undesirable reaction to any herb, you should stop taking it immediately. We've covered menopause extensively in the Ask the Herbalist section so check out the Archives. There's a wealth of information there.

If your taking lasix, can you take flax oil with rosemary each tablespoon supplies Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B-6, Rosemary/ascorbic acid?

ANSWER:  Not being a doctor, I can't advise you on taking herbal preparations with prescription medications. You would need to speak with a pharmacist or your doctor about that.. Lasix is used for several things, what are you taking it for?  I'd need more information to suggest and herbal treatment and then only with the consent of a medical professional. 

I have been under a tremendous amt of stress lately, and I've been having PVCs and intermittent tachycardia (fast heart rate). All diagnostic tests show a normal functioning heart.  My doc is trying a beta
blocker to try and normalize the heart rate.  My question is: Is it safe to take the Hawthorn herb along with the Beta Blocker?  The BB is Toprol x-tended release. I'm hoping to eventually stop the Beta blocker.  I've been taking the Beta blocker for 1 week.

In answer to your question " . . .is it safe to take the Hawthorn herb along with the Beta Blocker?" I would refer you back to your physician. Never, never mix herbs and prescription medications without consulting a professional as there can be serious complications that may occur with drug interactions. And never stop taking any prescribed medication without your doctor's knowledge and approval.
As for Hawthorn, is it a heart stimulant. It may help the heart in several ways: by opening the coronary arteries, improving the heart's blood supply or increasing the heart's pumping force. It may eliminate some types of heart-rhythm disturbances. It is traditionally used in Europe for heart weakness, irregular heartbeat, hardening of the arteries, artery spasms and angina.
Large amounts of hawthorn may cause sedation and/or a significant drop in blood pressure, possibly resulting in faintness. Children and pregnant or nursing mothers should not use hawthorn.

I've heard a lot about Aloe Vera.  I owuld like to take it internally as a
supplement on a daily basis.  I have seen it in a grocery store but there
are no indications of where it came from, plant name, etc.  Would it be safe
to use - say cut a piece off the leaf, extract the juice and take

ANSWER: For taking Aloe Vera internally, check the health food stores for aloe
juice. The ingredients should be on the label. Aloe has laxative properties,
so I certainly wouldn't advise taking it internally without the guidance of
a health professional. It can cause cramping. It is not safe for pregnant
women or nursing mothers to take.

As for pulling a leaf off and extracting the juice, I think you'd be better
off to get the juice from your local health food store. Make sure you get
the juice and not the gel.

  My question is this:
You have in your archives a question about Drachasha being sold as a cannabis substitute. As a "substitute" they mean something that can be smoked that will have some of the same effects as cannabis but not contain any form of cannabis, therefore being legal. I too have received this solicitation and would like to know if the following alleged ingredients are Safe, or in fact are they really herbs. For all I know they are just made up words.

The alleged ingredients include Drachasha, Chavana Prash,Trikatu, Black Seed Herb, Hybrid Flowering Turnera Diffusa, Capillaris Herba, Angelica Root, Wild Dagga mature leaf matter, Haritaki, Shatavari, Labdunum, Neroli,
Unicorn Root, Papaver Rhoes, Dendrobian stems, Calea Zacalechichi buddings, Rue, Amla, Salvia Divinorum, Crocus Sativa, Lotus and Gokshura cuttings.

They are allegedly core refined, ratio enhanced resins, essences, flower-tops and oils in ratio extractment ranging from 8.5 to 1 to 100 to 1 concentrations I have double checked all the spellings and they are correct as presented to me.

ANSWER:  I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you, we have been on vacation for the past 10 days and getting back in the grove and catching up on emails is a enormouse task.
It sounds like you are talking about "Kathmandu Temple Kiff", a pipe-smoking product/substitute for marjuana. 

The ingredients listed include:
Chavana Prash
Black Seed Herb
Hybrid Flowering Turnera Diffusa
Capillaris Herba
Angelica Root
Wild Dagga mature leaf matter
Unicorn Root
Papaver Rhoes
Dendrobian stems
Calea Zacalechichi buddings
Salvia Divinorum
Crocus Sativa

This is a a confusing mix of common, Ayurvedic and Latin names and terms for plant and plant parts among other things. Many of the herbs listed were traditionally used for gastric and abdominal disorders, constipation, flatulence, colic, hysteria, blood sugar control and reduce cravings for
sweets, aid kidney and bowel dysfunction and female productive issues and as an aphrodisiac, but who knows what a would happen to someone that smoked this concoction.

One of the ingredients Salvia Divinorum is a known psychoactive plant used in Mexico and is probably one of the active constituents which could get you high. It would be much simpler to buy the plant Salvia Divinorum and grow and use it yourself.  It is not illegal to grow or use it.  That being said I will also say that smoking is bad for your health and I am not a fan of using plants for recreational drugs.  I do know agents that sell this plant legally as a member of the Salvia family and then you can do whatever you want with it.

Hopes this helps

  Recently, I Was Advised to Take Wolfberry For Kidney/Bladder Issues. What Information Can You Give me On Lycium Barbarum L. ?

  Chinese Plant Name: Gou qi zi (Lycium fruit, Wolfberry)
Latin Name:Lycium chinensis or L. barbarum
Suggested Medicinal Uses: antihepatatoxin, hypoglycemic agent, antioxident, nutritive

Possible Uses: Nourishes and tonifies TCM liver and kidney.  Used for deficient liver and kidney (spots in eyes, floaters, excessive tearing, poor or cloudy vision, poor night vision and dizziness)  Fruit is rich in flavinoids and cartinoids.  It has alot to do with effect on eyes. Prevention of further degeneration of cateracts, diabetic retinapathy,macular degeneration, peripheral nueropathy, cold feet, poor circulation tofeet and toes. Spider viens in legs. Not real strong but does help to regenerate liver cells.

Suggested Dose:
Tea 2 t berries, 12 0z water, decoct 15 min, steep 1 hr
Alcohol Extract1:  60-90 drops  up to 4 times a day
Contraindications: Allergies to Nightshade family of plants, loose stools, diarrhea
Additional:  Can be cooked in rice to make a desert.  The brighter the fruit the better the quality and smooth is better than wrinkled.  

  I have been using goldenseal for sinus inflammation/infection for a while in combination with a Chinese herb.. A recent blood test showed elevation of the liver enzyme SGPT (ALT), Any chance the goldenseal would be the culprit. I've read it's actually a liver tonic and should NOT cause liver problems. Am I correct?

ANSWER:  Long term use of goldenseal can cause liver and kidney problems and inhibit B vitamin absorption according to some sources.

It is contraindicated in Hepatitis, its a strong bitter and increases the flow of bile from the liver.  It is very stimulating to the liver not protecting like Milk Thistle.

I am wondering what the Chinese herb is also, and why you are taking this combination?

  What is chippewa pine extract? I recently went to an Amish Dr. who after a long examination period suggested I take it. however I cannot find it anywhere I look. None of my herb books have a clue what it is, and since I was asked to take it I would like to know what it does.
If you could let me know something I would appreciate it.

ANSWER:  CHIPPEWA PINE ~ an outstanding natural source of Vitamin C given to us by the Canadian Indians (Iroquois and Chippewa) to repair connective tissue and prevent the effects of premature aging. Prevent colds and flu. Elimination of all the "free radicals" (poisons that can build up from body functions that cause illness and premature aging).

Here is a site that sells it http://www.stakich.com/chippewapine.htm
and another
Chippewa Pine
Chippewa Pine is used to affect rapid body repair in cases of injury, strengthen fragile capillaries, repair blood vessels which cause varicose veins, prevent bruising too easily, increase connective tissue and skin flexibility, tighten loose teeth, restore gum health, prevent skin wrinkling, neutralize poisons and prevent infections. We now know the compounds that we call free radicals are neutralized and eliminated, as well as, prevented by Chippewa Pine. Premature aging and deterioration in old age can be laid at the doorstep of these free radicals. When cells divide abnormally, our immune system may not recognize the new cells and their altered protein as our own and attack them. These auto-immune reactions (the body fighting itself) are at the heart of some of the baffling conditions that are labeled "lupus", "osteoarthritis", or some form of "allergy" or other catch all labels.
One of the proven ways to counteract this is to give the body enough natural Vitamin C and its correlative factors (rutin, hesperidian, bioflavanoids) which occur in nature with it.
Natural source of Vitamin C, colds, flu, repair connective tissue, elimination of "free radicals", if you like pycnogenol, you'll love this

Pycnogenol (C) is made from French Marine Pine Bark.

Why does he want you to take this there maybe another herb, supplement that would work for you.

1974 How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine & Crafts. Dover Publications, Inc., New York. Unabridged reprint of "Uses of Plants by the Chippewa Indians" in the 44th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1926-1927. pp.275-397. 1928. Subject matter is mostly medicine.

  I was wondering what sort of shelf life most herbs have,  I was given a
bunch in large glass mason jars they are about 1 year old.  Also in most of
the books I have been reading I notice when showing you how to make a syrup
or tincture or other things I haven't notice an expiration for those either.
Is there a rule of thumb or a way to tell?  Any advice is appreciated!

ANSWER:  In general this answer varies depending on the plant or plant part and whether you are looking for the aromatic qualities of the plant which quickly dissipate after picking, chopping or powdering.  Herbs that are whole last longer than chopped or powdered herbs.  If herbs are best prepared fresh, such as Dandelion or Echinacea their shelf life is only a matter of days when refrigerated and should be prepared almost immediately after wildcrafting or picking them for best results.

Here is a rough idea:

Delicate plant parts like flowers or flower parts usually 6 months, sometimes less.
Leaves, stems or aerial parts 6 - 12 months (probably can be stretched if store properly)
Berries, Woody parts, such as barks, twigs and roots, can last over a year easily sometimes many years.

Many nuts can only last a short time because their oils go rancid.

Storing herbs is usually the key to keeping them fresh, keep them in an air tight container, such as in an amber glass jar with a lid or in a darken closest out of the light in clear glass, the temperature should not be to cold or hot.  

Some dry herbs can be frozen to preserve freshness.

Only chop or powder your herbs when you are ready to use them.

The other interesting thing about this answer is if you ask 12 herbalists the same question you'll get 13 answers.  HA! HA!

So the best answer is us your herbs as soon as possible unless they are prepared in an alcohol, glycerin or oil extract.

Alcohol stores easily 5 years
Glycerin 3 years
Oil 3 years if prepared and stored well, one note if prepared from fresh material it can easily mold if the water content is not completely removed.

Was wondering how to take this herb and whats the recommended dosage? Also where to buy it?

ANSWER:  A Suggested Dosage:
    Tea 2 t berries, 12 0z h2o, decoct 15 min, steep 1 hr
    Alcohol Extract (Tincture) 60-90 drops up to 4 times a day
    It can also be eaten as a fruit or cooked in dishes such as rice

  Have you heard of the herb " lung wort " or "lung wart" if so what is it 
used for .

ANSWER:  Downloaded from the Herbalpedia CD-ROM

Lungwort, Latin Named: Pulmonaria officinalis

Medicinal: Lungwort has been used primarily for lung problems, especially in cases of bronchitis and laryngitis and to reduce bronchial congestion. The silica it contains restores the elasticity of lungs, and made it an appropriate remedy when tuberculosis was common. It is used for cough, irritated throat, bleeding from the lungs, and dysentery. An astringent, lungwort treats diarrhea and hemorrhoids. As a poultice, it helps enlarged thyroid, burns and tumors and reduces swelling and inflammation from injuries and bruises. Its properties are similar to those in comfrey. Both contain allantoin, which promotes wound-healing action. A yin tonic and a well-known Russian folk medicine.  Wort means plant so Lungwort means Lung plant.

  I read in Prevention Magazine that Gotu Kola is being researched and found to be helpful in everyday stress. Do you know anything about this, and how many milligrams a day should be taken?

ANSWER:  Gotu Kola, Latin Named:  Centella asiatica is an excellent plant with many uses.  It increases circulation to the brain helping with memory and clarity of thought.  It is also good for skin conditions that are inflamed, or damaged such as burns, wounds or skin diseases.  It is good for autoimmune, muscle and connective tissue and can be used for Lupus, Arthritis, Muscle and Structure issues of the heart and the list goes on.

Manufacturer's suggested doses are usually on the bottle.

A generic suggestion for an alcohol extract is usually 1/2 a teaspoon (20-30 drops) three times a day.  Teas would need to be made from a freshly dried good quality herb source.

Are there any medical properties to this and any precaution= s?

ANSWER:  This is a download from the Health World Online Website www.healthy.net

Questions and Answers about Stevia
© David Richard
(Excerpted with permission from Stevia Rebaudiana: Nature's Sweet Secret <http://www.healthy.net/books/bk_shoppingCart.asp?ItemNumber=1890612006>, Blue Heron Press)

Q) What is Stevia?
A) Stevia Rebaudiana is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family which grows wild as a small shrub in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. The glycosides in its leaves, including up to 10% Stevioside, account for its incredible sweetness, making it unique among the nearly 300 species of Stevia plants.
There are indications that Stevia (or Ca-he-he) has been used to sweeten a native beverage called mate since Pre-Columbian times. However, a Natural Scientist names Antonio Bertoni first recorded its usage by native tribes in 1887.
Q) How much Stevia is used around the world?
A) Exact numbers are unavailable at this time. However, as an indication, Japanese consumers used the equivalent of 700 metric tonnes of Stevia leaves in 1987 alone. This number does not include other major consuming countries such as Brazil and the whole of South America; South Korea, China and the whole of the Pacific Rim; as well as Europe, Australia and North America. I would also assume that the Japanese figure has increased since 1987.
Q) What is the FDA's position on Stevia?
A) The FDA's position on Stevia is somewhat ambiguous. In 1991, citing a preliminary mutagenicity study, the FDA issued an import alert which effectively blocked the importation and sale of Stevia in this country. Ironically, this was the year that a follow-up study found flaws in the first study and seriously questioned its results.
In September of 1995, the FDA revised its import alert to allow Stevia and its extracts to be imported as a food supplement but not as a sweetener. Yet, it defines Stevia as an unapproved food additive, not affirmed as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) in the United States. The following is a portion of this revised alert:
"If Stevia is to be used in a dietary supplement for a technical effect, such as use as a sweetener or flavoring agent, and is labeled as such, it is considered an unsafe food additive. However, in the absence of labeling specifying that stevia is being or will be used for technical effect, use of stevia as a dietary ingredient in a dietary supplement is not subject to the food additive provisions of FD & C ACT."
In my opinion, this revision represents a political compromise between the artificial sweetener and sugar lobbyists and the Natural Food Industry and its representatives, as mediated by the FDA.
Q) Where is Stevia cultivated?
A) Mainly in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan and China. There are other growers scattered across the Pacific Rim. Stevia is also being cultivated in Southern Ontario and Mexico. Surprisingly, it has been successfully grown in California and the South of England as well.
Q) How has Stevia been used in food applications?
A) First, as a prepackaged replacement for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Second, it has been used in various food products, including the Japanese sugar-free versions of Wrigley's gums, Beatrice Foods yogurts and even diet Coke. It has also been used in Japanese style pickles, dried seafoods, fish meat products, vegetables and seafoods boiled down with soy sauce, confectioneries and a host of other products. Whether it will reach into food applications such as these in the U.S. market depend largely on the FDA's regulatory position and health industry efforts to re-classify Stevia as a GRAS (generally recognized as substance.
Q) Is Stevia safe?
A) See chapter 6 for a detailed discussion. In general, Stevia is an all-natural herbal product with centuries of safe usage by native Indians in Paraguay. It has been thoroughly tested in dozens of tests around the world and found to be completely non-toxic. It has also been consumed safely in massive quantities (Thousands of tonnes annually) for the past twenty years. Although one group of studies, perform 1985 through 1987, found one ofthe metabolises of steviosides, called Steviol, to be mutagenic towards a particular strain of Salmonella bacteria, there is serious doubt as to whether this study is applicable to human metabolism of Stevia. In fact, the methodology used to measure the mutagenicity in this test was flawed according to a follow-up piece of research which also seriously questioned the validity of the results. For myself, I intend to use the product with both confidence in nature and respect for the healthy moderation and balance which nature teaches us.
Q) Can Stevia replace sugar in the diet?
A) Yes. Refined sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in the diet. At worst, it has been implicated in numerous degenerative diseases. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar and has none of sugar's unhealthy drawbacks.
Q) How sweet is Stevia?
A) The crude Stevia leaves and herbal powder (green) are reported to be 10-15 times sweeter than table sugar The refined extracts of Stevia called steviosides (a white powder, 85-95% Steviosides) claim to be 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar. My experience is that the herbal powder is very sweet while the refined extract is incredibly sweet and needs to be diluted to be properly used. Both products have a slight bitter aftertaste, also characteristic of licorice.
Q) Can Stevia replace artificial sweeteners in the diet?
A) Yes! I do not believe that humans should consume anything artificial in their diets. Stevia offers a safe, all-natural, alternative to these "toxic time-bombs." And industrial usage in Japan proves that this substitution is both practical and economical.
Q) How many calories are in Stevia?
A) Virtually none. And the refined Stevia extracts are considered to be non-caloric.
Q) Will Stevia raise my blood sugar levels?
A) Not at all. In fact, according to some research, it may actually lower blood sugar levels. However, this research has yet to be confirmed and contradictory results make any conclusions premature.
Q) Can I use Stevia if I am diabetic?
A) Diabetes is a medical condition which should be monitored and treated by a qualified physician or health care practitioner. However, Stevia can be a part of a healthy diet for anyone with blood sugar problems since it does not raise blood sugar levels. If in doubt, ask your doctor. However, if they do say no, ask them politely for the current research to support their opinion.
Q) Can I combine Stevia with other sweeteners?
A) Most certainly. However, sweeteners in general should be used in moderation in a balanced healthy diet. And refined and artificial sweeteners should be avoided altogether.
Q) Will Stevia harm my teeth?
A) Apparently not. Two tests conducted by Purdue University's Dental Science Research Group have concluded that Stevioside is both fluo-ride compatible and "significantly" inhibits the development of plaque, thus Stevia may actually help to prevent cavities.
Q) Can Stevia be used in cooking and baking?
A) Absolutely! Industrial research in Japan has shown that Stevia and Stevioside extracts are extremely heat stable in a variety of everyday cooking and baking situations.
Q) Does Stevia contain vitamins and minerals?
A) Raw herbal Stevia contains nearly one hundred identified phytonutrients and volatile oils, including trace amounts of Rutin (from the Callus) and B-Sitosterol (from the leaves). However, in the quantities typically consumed, the nutritive benefits will be negligible. The extracts of Stevia, being more refined, will contain far fewer of these phytonutrients and volatile oils.
Q) How are Stevia extracts prepared?
A) Extracts of Stevia leaves can be prepared by a number of methods some of which are patented. One researcher states: "Production of Stevioside involves water extraction from the dried leaves, followed by clarification and crystalization processes. Most commercial processes consist of water extraction, decoloration, and purification using ion-exchange resins, electrolytic techniques, or precipitating agents."
Q) Can I make my own Stevia Extract?
A) Yes. A liquid extract can be made from the whole Stevia leaves or from the green herbal Stevia powder. Simply combine a measured portion of Stevia leaves or herbal powder with pure USP grain alcohol (Brand, or Scotch will also do) and let the mixture sit for 24 hours. Filter the liquid from the leaves or powder residue and dilute to taste using pure water. Note that the alcohol content can be reduced by very slowly heating (not boiling) the extract and allowing the alcohol to evaporate off. A pure water extract can be similarly prepared, but will not extract quite as much of the sweet glycosides as will the alcohol. Either liquid extract can be cooked down and concentrated into a syrup.
Q) What is the replacement factor for Stevia herbal powder and extract in terms of common table sugar?
A) Since Stevia is 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar, this is a fair, if approximate, replacement factor. Since the crude herb may vary in strength, some experimentation may be necessary. The high stevioside extracts are between 200-300 times sweeter than sugar and should be used sparingly. Unfortunately, FDA labelling guidelines may prevent manufacturers from providing a specific replacement factor.
Q) What cant I do with Stevia?
A) Stevia does not caramelize as sugar does. Meringues may also be difficult since Stevia does not brown or crystalize as sugar does.
Q) Will Stevia change the color of my food?
A) The green herbal powder may impart a slight amount of color to your food, depending on how much you use in your recipe. If you are concerned about color, I would suggest that you use the white powdered extract or a similar "clear" liquid extract of Stevia.
Q) Where can I buy Stevia herbal powder and extract?
A) At your local natural food store. As Stevia gains consumer acceptance, it may also begin to appear in supermarkets and grocery stores, but probably only in its refined form.
Q) What is the future of Stevia?
A) Very bright, as long as the gene stock of the Native Paraguay Stevia Rebaudiana species is preserved in the wild. Overharvesting and foreign transplantation has depleted this stock which contains the greatest possible gene diversity, essential to the strength and continuance of the species.

I recently visited a health food store and the clerk insisted that I by liquid Chlorophyll. What are the physical benefits and possible side effects? I am currently taking an oral antibiotic for my skin, can I still use the chlorophyll?

ANSWER:  If anyone insists that I buy something I question their intent, or knowledge.  I am glad you also were not pressured into buying but wanted to question first.  An educated consumer is a powerful one. 

If you check the Internet, Chlorophyll is billed as a Panacea (cure all).  When I see this from print or hear this in the spoken word it is hard to believe, nothing is a cure all.

Here is what I can tell you.  Chlorophyll is the energy building machine of plants, it is what makes them green, it uses carbon dioxide, water and sunlight to create the energy of plants keeping them alive.  Chlorophyl consists of the elements, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Magnesium, Oxygen combined in a multiple ring structure with an organic chemical attached looking like a tail.  It has the Magnesium at the center.  As you can see from the elements in the molecular structure of Chlorophyll, the "chloro" in chlorophyll does not mean that it contains the element chlorine. The chloro portion of the word is from the Greek chloros, which means yellowish green. The name of the element chlorine comes from the same Greek word source. Chlorine is a yellowish green gas.

In animals another chemical called Heme is very similar to Chlorophyll when Heme is combined with proteins it becomes Hemoglobin which carries the oxygen in our blood.  The difference between Heme and Chlorophyll is Heme has Iron at its center and Chlorophyll has Magnesium.

Every plant we eat that is green has Chlorophyll so in general I can say its consumption is safe.

This is a download from the following URL. It lists some sources and use for Chlorophyll.


Green Foods- The Magic Of Chlorophyll
The healing benefits of green foods has been recognized throughout history. Many indigenous peoples and all mammals except humans live primarily on grasses and green plants in times of disease. To better understand this healing power we need to understand how chlorophyll affects the body. Lets begin with the history surrounding the use of chlorophyll.
Studies back in 1911 discovered that there was a similarity between chlorophyll and hemoglobin (red blood cells) in human blood. Their molecular structure is identical except that hemoglobin is attached to the metallic ion of iron and with chlorophyll the metallic ion is magnesium. This structural similarity explains why these two vital substances are at the center of life. Chlorophyll is the blood of the plant. The therapeutic uses of chlorophyll are unknown but mans observation of animals has been instrumental in the us of many medicinal plants. One example is your cat or dog eating grass.

Some of the properties and actions of chlorophyll include:
Stops bacterial growth in wounds, and the growth of fungi and yeasts in the intestinal tract.
Eliminates bad breath and body odor.
Removes drug deposits and counteracts all toxins-deactivates many known carcinogens.
Halts tooth decay and gum infections.
Anti- inflammatory:-counteracts the following:
Sore throat, pyorrhea, gingivitis, ulcers, inflammatory bowel , skin inflammations, arthritis, and pancreatitis.
Builds blood, renews tissues, promotes healthy intestinal flora, improves liver function, activates enzymes to produce vitamins e, k and a.
Chlorophyll has also been beneficial in treating anemia, high blood pressure, relieving nervousness and as a mild diuretic. This mainly due to its magnesium content.
Lets look at some food sources of chlorophyll. Of course all green leafy vegetables like chard, kale, collard, mustard, spinach, alfalfa and sea vegetables. Leaf lettuce, broccoli, green beans are also good sources. However over the years there have been other sources that are now available that you might not recognize.
Lets begin with the micro algae. These would include spirulina, chlorella and blue green algae. These are primitive organisms that were among the first life forms on the planet. Encoded in their rna/dna are over three and one-half billions years of life. Micro algae exist on the edge of the plant and animal kingdom. They not only contain chlorophyll but proteins, beta carotene and nucleic acids. These nucleic acids are known to benefit cellular renewal and to reverse aging.
Spirulina is nurturing, tonifying, and helpful in overcoming deficiencies. It also offers cleansing action on the body. It is a complete source of protein and is rich in a the essential fatty acid gla (gamma linolenic acid).
Its properties include: slightly salty flavor, cooling, nutritive, detoxifies the kidneys and liver, builds blood, cleanses arteries, enhances intestinal flora and inhibits opportunistic bacteria, fungi and yeasts.
Spirulina has been used in the treatment of: anemia, hepatitis, gastritis, diabetes, obesity, hypoglycemia, malnourishment, and skin conditions.
Chlorella is another well known algae but has a much different nutrient profile than spirulina. It's uses are similar to spirulina but there are some differences. Chlorella has the ability to bind with heavy metals, pesticides and know carcinogens like (pcb's) and carry them safely out of the body. The cell walls have the ability to activate the immune system and shows anti tumor properties. Some of the major uses of chlorella are for improving growth patterns in children, healing injuries, chemical sensitivities, nervousness, seizures, multiple sclerosis, immune deficiency, and all blood sugar disorders.
Blue green algae is another popular form of chlorophyll. This is found usually in the wild and one source is the klamath lake in oregon. Wild blue green algae is bitter, cooling, mildly diuretic, a neurostimulant, an antidepressant and a relaxant. It has been used to treat obesity, drug addiction, alzheimer's, arthritis, and similar conditions mentioned above.
One other algae worth mentioning is dunaliella. This algae is the source of many beta carotene products currently on the market.
Another source of chlorophyll would be cereal grasses. Mainly wheat grass and barley grass being the most popular. Lets examine these two grasses.
They are both similar in action except that barley grass is easier to digest. These are made by extracting the juice of the wheat and barley grass and then freeze dried into a powder. In addition to their high nutrient content they offer unique digestive enzymes not available in other foods. The anti-oxidant enzyme sod(superoxide dismutase) is present and is used by the body to slow aging and to promote cellular regeneration. Cereal grasses have been shown to benefit the following conditions: arthritis, burns, cancer, constipation, emphysema, gangrene, hypertension, hemorrhoids, ulcers, pms, and heavy metal toxicity.
As you can see there are numerous ways to get chlorophyll into your body. Liquid chlorophyll is usually made from organic alfalfa. This form is usually diluted with water and drank once or twice a day. It has a pleasant taste.
If you are considering the use of chlorophyll it is important to assess your body. Many of these chlorophyll rich substances come in formulas or by themselves. They can be taken for preventive measures and therapeutically. Be sure to consult with an authoritative source or heath care practitioner. There is not much in the literature about toxicity of too much chlorophyll. However with observation of the use with animals and humans there have not been any reported cases of toxicity. Be sure the source is clean and chemical free.
David hawkins is owner of mother earth foods and has been a practicing herbalist for over 20 years. He is available as a lecturer and for private consultations at therapy, health and fitness. You can send comments and questions to david hawkins 1638 19th st. Parkersburg, wv 26101 or email www.motherearthworks.com

  I recently used a massage lotion that contains myrrh on a client that is 6 months pregnant. Is there anything to worry about?

ANSWER:  Myrrh is contraindicated in pregnancy when taken internally it can cause increased white blood counts and constipation, it is a strong herb.

As an external agent, it increases blood flow to areas it is applied; because it causes irritation.  The answer you need is how much, myrrh was in the lotion you used and what does the manufacturer of the lotion say about its use in pregnancy.  I cannot believe there was a lot of myrrh in the lotion, it is a fairly non-soluble herb.

The most critical part of a pregnancy is the first trimester, which you client is beyond at 6 months of gestation.  Are these your concerns or your clients?

My suggestion would be to use a non-infused massage oil on pregnant clients, just as a general precaution.

What do you know about Haelan?

ANSWER: Haelan, a fermented soy supplementation is a superior method of providing the body with the useful characteristics of soy. Haelan is a concentrated, specially fermented soy beverage developed in China during the early 1980s as a hospital nutrition supplement.   It is rich in anti-cancer nutrients including the two main isoflavones genistein and daidzein (there are seven other known isoflavones differing slightly in molecular structure), and protease inhibitors (these prevent the mutation of healthy cells into cancerous cells). It also is rich in proteins, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, C, D, E, and K. Haelan is an FDA approved food category product.

A patented low temperature fermentation process and other "trade secrets" pre-digest the soybean making it more absorbable. Remarkably, starches and sugars from the soybean are eliminated in this painstaking fermentation process.  This is a crucially significant point, as cancer loves sugars and starches.  There is absolutely no yeast present in the final product.  The soybean is then hydrolyzed, or broken down to smaller molecules that become bio-active free form amino acids and isoflavones.   Finally the substance is nitrogenated.

These last two steps are vital to the effectiveness of the product.  When in the free form, the isoflavones are more readily used by cells since they are no longer attached to other compounds such as proteins.  Cancer cells require high levels of nitrogen.  The nitrogenation process of Haelan is a pivotal step because the nitrogen molecule attached to the isoflavones during nitrogenation acts as "bait" to delude cancer cells into ingesting not only the nitrogen but also the anti-cancer agents.  Soy powders, drinks and tofu do not produce the same health benefits as Haelan.  Not only do they lack the concentration of isoflavones, protein, vitamins, selenium, anti-oxidants and protease-inhibitors found in Haelan, they also do not have the bound nitrogen molecule that baits the cancer cells to ingest nutrients that can ultimately diminish the cancers ability to survive.

  I'm fortunate to have a Gingko Biloba tree growing in
my front yard, and seeing that it is Autumn in Australia, I've begun to collect the leaves just
before they're about to drop. Firstly, have I done it right? Secondly, now what do I do?  
Could you please supply a recipe for preparing gingko leaves into an effective formulation.

Gather Ginkgo leaves just as they are yellowing on the tree.   Then dry completely, I usually spread them out on a sheet then gather up the sheet and daily shake the leaves and spread them out again.  You want them crisp, so you can powder them. It may take a week or more for them to dry.  A blender takes a little time but it is a usable grinder.  Weigh the resultant ground Ginkgo leaves and calculate for a 1 to 4 or 5 menstrum recipe.  The ratio is grams of herb to mils of menstrum.  You want a fairly high alcohol percentage 60-70 percent which is 120-130 proof as your final menstrum product.  I usually use grain alcohol and dilute it to this percentage with distilled water.  You must account for the 5 percent water in the grain alcohol when calculating.  Add ground leaves to menstrum and let sit for 4-8 weeks.  Shake the jar daily and use a clear glass while in this step of the processing.  Once the time is up, strain and/or press the Ginkgo from the liquid. The liquid resultant is a strong alcohol extract.  Which we call in the States a tincture store it in a darkened glass container I usually use amber glass.  You can also simply wrap a clear glass jar with a dark paper to keep the light out which shortens shelf life of the product.   We in the state give minimum shelf life estimates of 3-5 years, but most extracts last literally forever if store properly.

   I was wondering if there was a time-limit for taking Paxill.  I was recently told that you should not take it for more than three months but my Uncle's doctor has had him on it for over a year.  Is there a time duration regarding this medication? If so, could you please let me know?  Thanking you in advance for any information regarding time limits imposed on this drug, would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:  I usually only answer questions on Medicinal Herbs, I am not a pharmacist.  Here is what I know and can provide.  According to the John Hopkins Drug Site, the usual course is 6 months to a year.   Under physician concurrence longer time frames maybe used.

Here is that URL http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/19689/11711/214184.html?rbrand=Paxil

This is a download from the same site


Paroxetine Hydrochloride            
Brand Names: Paxil
Available in: Tablets, oral suspension

Drug Class: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant Not available as Generic Not available over-the-counter 

Side Effects

Serious: Muscle pain or fatigue, lightheadedness or fainting, rash, agitation or irritability, severe drowsiness, dilated pupils, severe dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, trembling, severe nausea or vomiting. Call your doctor immediately.

Common: Insomnia, dizziness, sexual dysfunction, unusual fatigue, loss of initiative, nausea or vomiting, constipation, difficulty urinating, headache, trembling.

Less Common: Decreased sexual desire, blurred vision, increased or decreased appetite, weight gain or loss, heartbeat irregularities, change in sense of taste. Also tingling, prickling, or burning feeling.

Principal Uses    
To treat symptoms of major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.    
How the Drug Works    
Paroxetine affects levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that is thought to be linked to mood, emotions, and mental state.    
Adults: To start, 20 mg once a day, usually taken in the morning; dose may be gradually increased by your doctor to 50 mg a day. Older adults: To start, 10 mg once a day; may be gradually increased by your doctor to 40 mg a day.    
Onset of Effect    
From 1 to 4 weeks.    
Duration of Action    
Dietary Advice    
This drug can be taken without regard to diet.    
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.    
If You Miss a Dose    
Take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.    
Stopping the Drug    
Take as prescribed for the full treatment period even if you begin to feel better before the scheduled end of therapy. The decision to stop taking the drug should be made in consultation with your doctor. Dosage should be gradually tapered over 1 to 2 weeks.    
Prolonged Use    
Usual course of therapy for depression lasts 6 months to 1 year; some patients may benefit from additional therapy.    
Over 60: Adverse reactions may be more likely and more severe in older patients. A lower dose may be warranted. 
Driving and Hazardous Work: Use caution when driving or engaging in hazardous work until you determine how the medicine affects you. 
Alcohol: Avoid alcohol.
Pregnancy: Adequate studies of paroxetine use during pregnancy have not been done. Before you take paroxetine, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. 
Breast Feeding: Paroxetine passes into breast milk; caution is advised. Consult your doctor for advice. 
Infants and Children: The safety and effectiveness of the use of paroxetine in children have not been established. 
Special Concerns: Take paroxetine at least 6 hours before bedtime to prevent insomnia, unless it causes drowsiness.    
Symptoms: Agitation or irritability, severe drowsiness, dilated pupils, severe dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, trembling, severe nausea and vomiting.  What to Do: Call your doctor, emergency medical services (EMS), or the nearest poison control center immediately.    
Drug Interactions    
Paroxetine and MAO inhibitors should not be used within 14 days of each other. Very serious side effects such as myoclonus (uncontrolled muscle spasms), hyperthermia (excessive rise in body temperature), and extreme stiffness may result. Tryptophan, warfarin, sumatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, and zolmitriptan may also interact with paroxetine; consult your doctor for advice.    
Food Interactions    
No known food interactions.    
Disease Interactions    
Caution is advised when taking paroxetine. Consult your doctor if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or a seizure disorder. Use of paroxetine may cause complications in patients with liver or kidney disease, since these organs work together to remove the drug from the body.    

  Why do herbs work better in combination than alone?

ANSWER:  Because science is proving what Herbalists have known for milleniums, using a single silver bullet approach to healthcare is not as effective and the synergy attained when adding the power of more than one plant.  1+1 usually equals 2, but synergy means the combination of more than one element adds up to more than their individual sums.

Synergy combination of individual components means
1+1 = 3 or 4 or 5 not 2

  How do I make valerian extract from fresh grated root? Would refluxing the root in strong ethanol work?

  Extracting Fresh Herbs is more difficult than most believe.

You need to know what concentration of water is in the fresh plant and what percentage of final alcohol you want in the product

Normally you want the alcohol in Valerian Extract Products fairly high, 55-65%
Using Ethyl Alcohol which is 5% water and 95% alcohol is best.

You also need to know what concentration you are extracting too, normally fresh plants are extracted to a 1:2 ratio (grams to milliters)

Here is an example

Suppose you have 1 pound of Valerian Root converting this to grams you have 454 times 1 equals 454 grams.

Starting with 454 grams in a 1:2 ratio your product would theoretically be 908 milliters of extract (actually yields can have a loss of 25%, which is liquid still held in the marc aftering pressing)

Assuming you want a 55% alcohol final product .55 times 908 equals 528 mls of alcohol but Ethyl Alcohol is 5% water.

So you need 528/.95 = 556 mils of grain alcohol from the bottle

Now you need to calculate the number of mils of distilled water to be added.

The fresh root already has some amount of water in it, probably 80% water so of the 454 grams of Valerian root .8 times 454 equals 363 mils of water (assuming 1:1 density of water)

If the final product is suppose to be 908 mils and we know we have 28 mils of water coming from the Ethyl alcohol (556-528) and we have 363 mils of water coming from the fresh plant and we are using 528 mils alcohol then we don't need to add any mils of distilled water  ( because 908 minus 528 minus 28 minus 363 equals negative 11).  We can't add a negative number.  But we will assume some water loss between harvesting the roots, garbling (cleaning anything out that is not Valerian Root), washing and drying them previous to adding the menstrum (water and alcohol preparation) we will forget the negative 11 mils of water.

So here is what we have to mix

1 pound Valerian Root
556 mils grain alcohol from bottle

I would add everything to a blender and mash until the root is liquified.  Let the whole thing set for 4-8 weeks or longer then strain off the solids and/or press out the marc.  The marc is what is left after the liquid is drained off.  The liquid recovered is extract of Valerian.

If you do not want to go through this process we sell extracts of valerian root prebottled with dropper and directions for use.

  Hi, is there herb extract called Horny Goat Weed, if so, what is it used

ANSWER:  Yes, there is an herb with this common name.

Here is what I can tell you about this plant

Chinese Pin Yin English named: Yin yan huo
Common Name:  “lustful sheep plant” or  “stinking lascivious goat plant”
Latin Name: Epimidium macranthum  or E. grandiflorium

It has been used for Male Impotence, lowserm count and/or motility, frequent urination, pre-ejactulation, low back pain, pain in knees, male infertility, cold in the kidneys.  It is a popular Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) herb for men who need help keeping their penis up and woody.   It is intended for short term use only.  A little helps to much can burns out your urinary tract including your kidneys and adrenals leading to worse problems.

Suggested use is

As a Tea 1/2 teaspoon to 8 oz water, steep 45 min, drink 4 oz up to three times a day

As an Alcohol Extract drink 10-15 drops twice a day in juice, water or tea.

Some Contraindications: Are excessive signs of heat in the body, Prostatitis, or already excessive libido.

Excessive us can cause: dizziness, vomiting, dry mouth and nosebleeds along with problems in the urinary tract such as kidneys and adrenals.

Additional: Sheep and goats eat it and then mount anything they find!  This herb is rarely if ever used alone but combined in a formula to support the whole person.   It can sometimes be found in a liqueur in Chinatown.  Not to be used for more than 2-3 weeks at a time.   

Are there any precautions to taking Holy Basil?

Holy Basil, Latin Named: Ocimum sanctum, Has no contraindications that I am aware of, it is a food/culinary herb in many places in the world.

One Caution Found is Theoretical: Though no uterine stimulant has ever been identified, given its pervasive multicultural use as a menstruation promoter and labor inducer, pregnant women should probably limit their consumption to culinary amounts. As with most essential oils do not use Basil essential oil externally or internally during pregnancy.

  I would like some information on kava.  I have been reading a lot about kava and I have a lot of trouble with anxiety.  I am currently taking Valium for this problem, but I would like to try kava.  Can I take kava while I am taking Valium?  I know I read about not taking Xanax, but it didn't say anything about Valium.

  As to form I would suggest an alcohol tincture of Kava, one made from dried root is better then fresh.  If you were to make an infusion (a tea); it should be given reasonable time to sit in solution to improve solubility.  Use 1-2 teaspoons of freshly ground root to  8 ounces of water decoct (boil) 15-20 minutes then use a blender to thoroughly crush the Kava and mix with the water.  Let steep (cool) for at least one hour, overnight would be good.  A suggested use would be 4 ounces of the tea up to 4 times a day.

There are also capsules and pills available.

Kava Kava, Latin Named:  Piper methysticum is appropriately used for anxiety and as an antispasmodic.  It is also used for Urinary pain and for irritation of the urinary tract such as interstitial cystitis.  It is used in combination with other herbs for Fibromyalgia.

Some Contraindications include: Long term use may cause bizarre skin lesions and plating and can produce cognitive problems.  Avoid use when taking barbiturates and alcohol (will potentiate the sedating effects). May interfere with driving or motor skills because of the sedating effect. There is a strong potential for herb-drug interaction with antihistamines, antispasmodics, etc.  Plants picked to young may cause gastric upset. Kava can be psychologically addicting

From the Natural Pharmacist Website, www.tnp.com

Safety Issues    

When used appropriately, Kava appears to be safe. Animal studies have shown that dosages of up to 4 times that of normal cause no problems at all, and 13 times the normal dosage causes only mild problems in rats.   A study of 4,049 people who took a rather low dose of Kava (70 mg of kavalactones daily) for 7 weeks found side effects in 1.5% of cases. These were mostly mild gastrointestinal complaints and allergic rashes.  A 4-week study of 3,029 individuals given 240 mg of kavalactones daily showed a 2.3% incidence of basically the same side effects.  However, long-term use (months to years) of Kava in excess of 400 mg kavalactones per day can create a distinctive generalized dry, scaly rash called "Kava dermopathy."  It disappears promptly when the Kava use stops.  One case report suggests that a Kava product might have caused liver inflammation in a 39-year-old woman.  However, because the product was not analyzed, it isn't clear whether Kava itself or a contaminant was responsible; the authors also could
not rule out other causes of liver inflammation. Kava does not appear to produce mental cloudiness.  Nonetheless, we wouldn't recommend driving after using Kava until you discover how strongly it affects you. It makes some people quite drowsy.  Contrary to many reports in the media, there is no evidence that Kava actually improves mental function. Two studies are commonly cited as if to prove this, but actually there was only one study performed: It was described in two separate articles.  This tiny study found that Kava does not impair mental function; however, it doesn't show that Kava improves it. A slight improvement was seen on a couple of tests, but it was statistically insignificant (too small to mean anything).  High doses of Kava are known to cause inebriation. For this reason, there is some concern that it could become an herb of abuse. There have been reports of young people trying to get high by taking products they thought contained Kava. One of these products, fX, turned out to contain dangerou
s drugs but no Kava at all. European physicians have not reported any problems with Kava addiction.   One study suggests that Kava does not amplify the effects of alcohol.  However, there is a case report indicating that Kava can increase the effects of other sedatives.  For this reason, Kava should not be taken with alcohol, prescription tranquilizers or sedatives, or other depressant drugs. Kava should also not be combined with antipsychotic drugs or drugs used for Parkinson;s disease, due to the risk of increased problems with movement.  The German Commission E monograph warns against the use of Kava during pregnancy and nursing.  Safety in young children and those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.   

Transitioning from Medications        

If you're taking Xanax or other drugs in the benzodiazepine family, switching to Kava will be very difficult. You must seek a doctor's supervision, because withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening. Additionally, if you are taking Xanax on an "as needed" basis to stop acute panic attacks, Kava cannot be expected to have the same rapidity of action. It is easier to make the switch from milder Antianxiety drugs, such as BuSpar, and antidepressants. Nonetheless, a doctor's supervision is still strongly advised.   
Interactions You Should Know About        

If you are taking  Medications for insomnia or anxiety such as benzodiazepines; do not take Kava in addition to them.  Antipsychotic drugs: Kava might increase the risk of a particular side effect consisting of sudden abnormal movements, called a dystonic reaction.  Levodopa for Parkinson's disease: Kava might reduce its effectiveness.  

For the Benzodiazepine Family of Drugs the following Applies:

·Kava - Possible Dangerous Interaction
·Other Sedative Herbs - Possible Increased Action of Drug
·Melatonin - May Be Helpful for Discontinuing Benzodiazepine Sleeping Pills
This family of medications is used to treat anxiety and insomnia.

Benzodiazepine drugs include

alprazolam (Xanax)
chlordiazepoxide hydrochloride (Libritabs, Librium, Lipoxide, Mitran, Reposans-10)
clonazepam (Klonopin)
clorazepate dipotassium (Gen-Xene, Tranxene-T, Tranxene-SD)
diazepam (Diastat, Valium, Valrelease)
estazolam (ProSom)
flurazepam hydrochloride (Dalmane, Durapam)
halazepam (Paxipam)
lorazepam (Ativan)
oxazepam (Serax)
quazepam (Doral)
temazepam (Restoril)
triazolam (Halcion)
and others

Possible Dangerous Interaction  One report suggests that the combination of kava and benzodiazepine drugs can lead to excessive sedation.1

Other Sedative Herbs
Possible Increased Action of Drug  It may not be wise to combine benzodiazepines with any herb that produces a sedative effect, such as ashwagandha, calendula, catnip, hops, lady's slipper, lemon balm, passionflower, sassafras, skullcap, valerian, or yerba mansa, due to the possibility that the sedative effects may be amplified.2–5

May Be Helpful for Discontinuing Benzodiazepine Sleeping Pills  Many people who take conventional sleeping pills (most of which are in the benzodiazepine family) find it difficult to quit. If you try to stop taking your medication, you may experience severe insomnia or interrupted sleep. A double-blind placebo-controlled study of 34 individuals who regularly used such medications found that melatonin at a dose of 2 mg nightly (controlled-release formulation) could help them discontinue the use of the drugs.6

Warning: It can be dangerous to stop using benzodiazepines if you have taken them for a while. Consult your physician before trying melatonin to help you stop taking them.


1. Almeida JC and Grimsley EW. Coma from the health food stores: Interaction between kava and alprazolam. Ann Intern Med 125(11): 940–941, 1996.

2. Brinker F. Herb contraindications and drug interactions, 2nd ed. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1998: 32, 33, 49, 84, 110, 134.

3. Speroni E, et al. Sedative effects of crude extract of Passiflora incarnata after oral administration. Phytother Res 10: S92–94, 1996.

4. Speroni E, Minghetti A. Neuropharmacological activity of extracts from Passiflora incarnata. Planta Med 54: 488–491, 1988.

5. Aoyagi N, Kimura R, Murata T. Studies on Passiflora incarnata dry extract. I. Isolation of maltol and pharmacological action of maltol and ethyl maltol. Chem Pharm Bull 22: 1008–1013, 1974.

6. Garfinkel D, Zisapel N, Wainstein J, et al. Facilitation of benzodiazepine discontinuation by melatonin: a new clinical approach. Arch Intern Med 159: 2456–2460, 1999.

I would like to know if Saw Palimetto has any side effects for someone taking it for prostrate problems

ANSWER:  Saw palmetto appears to be safe, mostly side-effect free. The most common complain is GI upset so take with food if you have a easily upset stomach.  The indians of Florida ate this berry as a food crop for hundreds of years, it is very nutritrive. There are no known drug interactions.
The General Warning given is safety for those with severe kidney or liver disease has not been established, but this is a general warning given for many products.

  I read that I should avoid using Gotu Kola if I am pregnant. Can you tell me
why? Unfortunately, I have been drinking a hot morning drink that has Gotu Kola
in it for the past 5 months. After what I read last night I have obviously

ANSWER:  From the Botanical Safety Handbook the reason given is it could increase fetal heart rate causing the fetus to go into distress, Gotu Kola, Latin Name: Centella asiatica is not recommended during pregnancy for this reason.

As a side note if the Gotu Kola you were consuming was part of a formula your were probably not getting very much, secondly it has been recommended that Gotu Kola be processed fresh because it is most effective then.  So if the product was a tea or a pill you were probably getting a product which used dry Gotu Kola, possibly as inert as dirt (clean dirt).

I was taking a fenugreek supplement for approx. 2 weeks during the first month of my pregnancy, before I knew that I was pregnant. I have been reading that fenugreek should not be taken during pregnancy. I am in my 3rd month now, and everything seems normal. Could the supplement have harmed the baby in any way?

ANSWER: The caution on  this herb refers to the herbs ability to be a uterine stimulant which could lead to spontaneous abortion of a fetus, since you have stopped taking it you and the baby should be okay. 

If you are going to breast feed this is a great herb to increase milk production and help your uterus return to normal.  Keep it in mind for that time period after you give birth to your child.

I take Red Panax Ginseng Extract daily for energy. I am taking 10 c.c. oral liquid extra strength 5000mg. Is this safe to take on a daily basis? Could there be any side effects.

ANSWER:  Red Ginseng, Chinese Ginseng, Red Chinese Ginseng, Latin Name Panax Ginseng

There are actually three different herbs commonly called ginseng: 1.) Chinese, Asian or Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng), 2.) American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), and 3.) Siberian "ginseng" (Eleutherococcus senticosus). The latter herb is actually not a Ginseng at all and is not in the Ginseng family directly but its actions are similar.

Chinese Ginseng is a perennial herb which grows a taproot resembling the human body.  It is sometimes called manroot.  It can be found growing in northern China, Korea, and Russia.

Dried, unprocessed ginseng root is called "White Ginseng," and steamed, heat-dried root is "Red Ginseng."

Most Herbalists believe that each form red or white has its own particular use and benefits.

Ginseng is widely regarded by the public as a stimulant (or as you said for energy), but Herbalist who utilize it with their clients disagree with this singular description.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Chinese Ginseng is used to strengthen digestion and respiratory systems, calm the spirit, and finally increase overall energy. It was generally considered an old mans herb, to strengthen the dibilitated or ill. 

A Russian scientist, named Brekhman, coined the category of herbs called Adaptogens which help the body deal with and recover from stress in all forms.  Helping the body return to balance.  Ginseng is considered by modern day Herbalists as an Adaptogen.

Chinese Ginseng is relatively safe, in short and long term use.  This has been confirmed with studies done on mice, rats, chickens and pigs no toxicity was observed and use for thousands of years in Asia.

There are very few side effects.  Unconfirmed reports suggest that excessive doses of Chinese Ginseng can cause insomnia, hypertension, increased heart rate.  But one adulterant in some Ginseng products is Caffeine, whether some of these cases were actually caused by caffeine mixed in with the Ginseng product remains unclear. Allergic reaction is possible as it is with anything else.  An article published by JAMA in 1979 claimed that Ginseng can cause addiction, hypertension, nervousness, sleeplessness, diarrhea, and hypersexuality but this report has been since regarded as inaccurate.

The general warning you will see is safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established. Interestingly, Chinese tradition supports the idea that Ginseng should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers.    
Here are some suggested herb-drug interactions you should know about.         

If you are taking Drugs processed by an enzyme called "CYP 3A4" Ginseng might interfere. Ask your physician or pharmacist whether you are taking any medications of this type.  There has been a suggested problem with Ginseng use with MAO inhibitor drugs or digitalis. Insulin or oral diabetes drugs should be used with caution when combined with Ginseng because of its ability to reduce blood sugar levels leading to hypoglycemia.Coumadin (warfarin) is a blooding thinning agent and  Ginseng might decrease its effect. It has also been suggested that Flu vaccines might work better when combined with Ginseng use.   

  My mom starting taking Hawthorne to alleviate "spells" of high blood pressure probably caused by anxiety (of course there's more to it, but for the sake of simplicity...) Her last blood work showed slightly elevated serum potassium levels. I read that some conventional blood pressure medicine slows potassium loss, does Hawthorne have this effect, too?

ANSWER:  If a diuretic is given for High Blood Pressure it can reduce potassium levels, as far as I known Hawthorn has not been shown to elevate or reduce potassium levels but everyone is different one way to find out is take her off the Hawthorn.

Hawthorn is a berry and should be considered food for the heart.

RO  My question is : Why  is rosemary  harmful  during pregancy? Is it ok to eat rosemary when pregnant?

ANSWER:    Rosemary, Latin Name: Rosmarinus officinalis is a very strong herb when used medicinally it has warming and drying energies, but most of the culinary herbs can be used during pregnancy in culinary amounts including Rosemary.

  Are there serious side effects to taking Horse Chestnut Herb

ANSWER:  This information comes from the Natural Pharmacist Website.  www.tnp.com

Whole Horse Chestnut is classified as an unsafe herb by the FDA.  Eating the nuts or drinking a tea made from the leaves can cause horse chestnut poisoning, the symptoms of which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, headache, breakdown of red blood cells, convulsions, and circulatory and respiratory failure possibly leading to death.

However, many manufacturers typically remove the most toxic constituent (esculin) and standardize the quantity of another constituent of escin.  To prevent stomach irritation caused by another ingredient of horse chestnut, the extract is supplied in a controlled-release product, which reduces the incidence of irritation to below 1%, even at higher doses.  Properly prepared Horse Chestnut products appear to be quite safe.

After decades of wide usage in Germany, there have been no reports of serious harmful effects, and even mild reported reactions have been few in number.

In animal studies, Horse Chestnut and its principal ingredient escin have been found to be very safe, producing no measurable effects when taken at dosages seven times higher than normal.  Dogs and rats have been treated for 34 weeks with this herb without harmful effects.  Studies in pregnant rats and rabbits found no injury to embryos at doses up to 10 times the human dose, and only questionable effects at 30 times the dose.  However, individuals with severe kidney problems should avoid horse chestnut.  In addition, injectable forms of horse chestnut can be toxic to the liver.  Horse chestnut should not be combined with anticoagulant or "blood-thinning" drugs, as it may amplify their effect.  The safety of horse chestnut in young children and pregnant or nursing women has not been established. However, 13 pregnant women were given horse chestnut in a controlled study without noticeable harm.

Interactions You Should Know About: If you are taking aspirin, Trental (pentoxifylline), or anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin) or heparin, do not use Horse Chestnut except under medical supervision.

Risks and Side Effects: The saponins in horse chestnut extract are irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. This is the rationale for the use of controlled release products, which reduce incidence of irritation to below 1%, even at higher doses [Diehm, 1996]. Calf cramps and pruritis are occasionally reported. Pulse and blood pressure are not affected, even in long-term treatment.

Keep in mind that whole horse chestnut is classified as an unsafe herb by the FDA. Poisoning by ingestion of the nuts or a tea made from the leaves and twigs is characterized by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, headache, hemolysis, convulsions, and circulatory and respiratory failure possibly leading to death [Chandler, 1993]. However, typical European standardized extract formulations remove the most toxic substances (i.e., esculin) and standardize the quantity of escin.

Acute oral toxicity of HCSE and escin has been studied in several animal species. The "no effect" dose is approximately 8 times higher than the recommended human dose. Chronic administration in rats and dogs failed to show embryotoxicity or teratogenicity. Mutagenic and carcinogenic studies have not been published [Hansel et al., 1992].

Use of oral HCSE in patients with renal or hepatic dysfunction should be approached with caution, as renal toxicity after high-dose oral escin has been reported [Grasso and Corvaglia, 1976]. In addition, acute renal failure has occurred in patients receiving intravenous escin at doses greater than 20 mg to prevent and treat post-surgical edema [Reynolds, 1989]. Drugs that displace escin from plasma-protein&#8211;binding sites may also increase its nephrotoxic potential [Rothkopf et al., 1977].

Hepatotoxicity as well as shock has been reported in a patient receiving an intramuscular injection of an HCSE product [Takegoshi et al., 1986], but there are no reports of such events involving oral HCSE products.

Two trials reported use of HCSE in pregnancy-related varicose veins with good tolerability. However, no formal safety evaluations have been reported, thus compression stockings should be recommended for pregnant women before HCSE.
Drug Interactions: none are known.

Since horse chestnut contains coumarins, interference with anticoagulant therapy is a possibility. In addition, escin is known to bind to plasma proteins and may thus compete with or displace drugs which are highly protein-bound.
Additional Cautions for Self-Treatment: 
Phlebitis can cause symptoms similar to ordinary CVI, but requires treatment by a physician. Typical early CVI ("varicose veins") may be appropriately self-treated with HCSE after examination by a physician.

I am currently taking Black Cohosh to alleviate menopausal hot flushes.   I have only been taking for about one week.   I am experiencing a pain in my kidneys which might be coincidental.  Can you confirm if there would be such a side effect from use of Black Cohosh and if so is there an
alternative.   I do not want to take traditional medication. 

ANSWER: Black cohosh, Latin Named Cimicifuga racemosa seldom produces any side effects.   The number one side effect for everything including food and beverage is occasional mild gastrointestinal distress and Black Cohosh can cause this so take it with food to avoid this possibility.

Animal studies with mega doses of the herb for long periods which equate to a decades use in humans showed no adverse actions or long term safety concerns.

Black Cohosh has been shown to slightly lower Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar in some animal studies.

Form and preparation is always important when taking a herb, I would shy away from standardized preparations and look for a more whole plant extract.  A fresh herb extract is more effective than dry and so I would use a alcohol based extract.  Pills and teas may not be as effective.

Black Cohosh is appropriately used for Muscular Pain and Muscular Athritus, Fibromyalgia, Uterine Pain and Depression and other issues associated with menses, PMS or menopause such as Hot Flashes.  Black Cohosh has been shown as effective as ERT or HRT, when combined with Hawthorn to protect the heart and other herbs to protect the Bones along with Calcium.

The general warning you will see for most herbs, supplements and drugs is safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, and individuals with severe renal or liver disease has not been established.

Read my other answers online about this herb.

i would like to know how safety are the herbs such
as burdock root, ywllow dock root, dandelion root, and milk thistle. i have skin
problems, and bowel movement problem.your input would be

ANSWER:  As with many herbs comprehensive safety studies have not been done on the herbs you have mentioned, here is what I can come up with quickly.

Yellow Dock root, Latin Named: Rumex crispus does contain Oxalic Acid which for those prone to kidney stones, gout or arthritis could cause problems.  For those prone to diarrhea caution should be observed and introduction of use gradual, start low and build up dose.

For Burdock root, Latin Named: Arctium lappa it is eaten as a common food in Japan.  A safety scare of Burdock poisoning by JAMA was subsequently withdrawn because the poisoning was linked to another source not commonly found in the plant, that chemical was atropine.  Burdock root is safely consumed.

Dandelion root, Latin Name: Taraxacum officionale is believed to be quite safe  It is on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list.  It is used quite often as a food flavoring and beverage substitute for coffee.  One caution which has been seen in recent press is for those with bile duct obstruction or gallbladder problems caution should be observed, but this is a general warning no basis in an actual case which has occurred purely theoretical.

Milk Thistle, Latin Named: Silybum marianum is believed to possess very little toxicity. High dose, extended Animal studies have not shown any negative effects.  Possible mild gastrointestinal disturbance is possible but this is the number one side effect of just about anything including food and drink.  Milk Thistle is used as a food by some cultures.  No drug interaction are known, except the positive effect of protecting your liver from OTC and prescription drugs that may damage it. 

The general warning you will see for most herbs, supplements and drugs is safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, and individuals with severe renal or liver disease has not been established.

I was just wondering if taking valarian root will cause any side effects???

ANSWER: Safety Issues on Valerian

Valerian is on the FDA's GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list.

Enormous amounts of Valerian need to be given to test animals to affect any serious adverse actions.

Some testing done with Valerian and Scullcap mixtures have resulted in liver problems for subjects, but a known adulterant for Scullcap named Germander causes this problem and probably was the culprit.

One known general problem is possible mild gastrointestinal (GI) distress, but this is the most widely known side effect for anything including food and drink

You will see general warnings, which are common sense, that persons using Valerian or other sedatives should not drive or use mechanical equipment but again these are general warning individual response to this herb will vary.

Some test subjects using Valerion demonstrated it does not appear to cause longterm impairment of driving ability just a short couple hours of reduced attention ability and others produced no morning drowsiness when it was taken at night.

There have been no reported drug interactions with valerian. A 1995 study found no interaction between alcohol and valerian as measured by concentration, attentiveness, reaction time, and driving performance, but again general warnings and common sense says two sedatives, alcohol and Valerian might combine to work synergistically.

However, Valerian extracts could compound actions of other sedative or CNS depressants

Another general warning would be:  Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.    
Interactions which could be possible include:

Avoid using prescription meds for insomnia or anxiety and using Valerian in combination, one class of these type of drugs are benzodiazepines.

Read my other answers online about Valerian.

Can capsules of the ground root of echinacea "go bad" after a certain amount of time if they are stored in a cool, dry place?

ANSWERS:  Once an herb is ground it is completely exposed to the air, which decreases potency, the same is true for your Echinacea root capsule.  The simple consumer at home test of potency is open a capsule and put the contents in your mouth if your tongue tingles the Echinacea is still active.  I must say the dry form of Echinacea is not the most effective.  This simple at home test works with all forms of the plant from fresh, dry to alcohol extract, my preferred medicinal form.  So to tell if the product you bought is as good as eating dirt or the active herb, try it on anything you purchase immediately.

I purchased a caffeine free weight loss tea just to try.  I read the label and noticed nothing unusual.  My son and I tried the tea and within a couple of hours we had an almost automatic attack of diarrhea.  Re-reading the label I noted Senna Leaves, Malva Leaveas, Stevia Leaves and Panax Ginseng (all in small print at the bottom of the label).  I am not familiar with anything except the Ginseng.  Will extended use of this tea cause problems? 

ANSWER:  Senna is the culprit, it causes you to void yourself.  It is an herbal purgative and used in many laxative formulas both natural and chemical based.  I would suggest discontinuing the tea.  This herb can cause bowel dependence robbing your body of its own ability to go to the bathroom at regular times and make you a habitual laxative user.  Many people become addicted and need it or other chemical laxatives to go everyday.  This is not a good or healthy thing.

I feel it is not ethical for manufacturers to put this and other ingredients in a weightloss product, please read my other answers online about this and weightloss.

The stevia is an herbal sweetener and a great sugar substitute when used by itself.

Without the Latin Name I cannot be sure what Malva is, but I will assume it is, Common Mallow, Latin Named: Malva sylvestris which is a demulcent, moistening and probably in there to keep things soft and flowing so the Senna is more effective in getting everything out of you.  Malva is not as effective a Marshmallow, Latin Named: Althea officinalis another demulcent.

Currently I am using evening primrose oil 500 mg soft gel two times daily for PMS. I
am starting to use it 2 weeks before my menstruation and stopping on the first day of  my period. I would like to know if there are possible side effect of it. Recently I have  some gastro problems and when I visited my gastroenterologist he diagnosed reflux. I  was wondering if the fatty acid in the primrose oil increase the acidity in my stomach  or causes any other side effects in my body.

ANSWER:  I have not seen that listed as a side effect or adverse action anywhere for EPO, the most common side effect for just about anything including food and drink is GI upset.  Gastric reflux is normally associate with a sphincter problem at the top of the stomach for some reason it doesn't close either it is lazy, or not working properly because of chemical messenger or physical problem. 

Sometimes the Gastric Reflux is associated with the foods you eat or the amount of foods you eat or if you lay down just after eating.  If you feel there is a relationship between the EPO and your GI upset try taking the supplement just before a meal so there is something in your stomach.

One possibility to connect Gastric Reflux and EPO is EPO is a good antispasmodic to the GI tract making it good for IBD and IBS in some cases.  If this relaxing effect is working on the lower esophageal sphincter (which holds food and acid in the stomach not letting it get back up the way it came), EPO could be the cause.  I am on guessing with this one nothing is documented in testing or current writing that I am aware of with this relationship.

Have you been tested for Gastric Reflux or is you physician guessing this could be the cause?

To determine if the EPO is the cause stop taking it and see if your issues clear up.

I am taking papaya extract for digestive problems. Can papaya also cause dizziness or other side effects?

ANSWER: Maybe papaya is not the correct answer for your digestive problems.

I am not sure I have enough information to make this leap but since Papaya can act as a hypotensive (lowers blood pressure) dizziness could be a side effect.

It would depend on what product you are taking, what species was extracted, what part was extracted, extraction process, what your dosage is, many factors which are not elaborated on in your question.


Are there dangerous  drug interactions with hawthorne?

ANSWER:   Hawthorn, Latin Named Crataegus oxycanthoides, C. monogyna, is considered a food herb and can be taken in large quantities for long periods of times.  It is recommended as food for the heart and circulation systems a tonic
Germany's Commission E lists no known risks, contraindications, or drug interactions with hawthorn.
In animal studies mice and rats have been given huge doses with little toxicity noticed.
The most common side effects is mild stomach upset, an occasional allergic skin rash is rare.
Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver, heart, or kidney disease has not been established.
Possible potentiation of digitaloides & beta blockers


ANSWER: The advantage to the herbal antimicrobials is they usually work on both so you don't have to know the pathogen.

Some examples that are both antiviral and antibacterial:

Isatis or Woad
Oregon Grape Root
Red Root

Some more well know to be antiviral

Lemon Balm
St Johnswort
Fresh Ginger

Some have specific actions and/or complementary actions, the knowledge of a qualified herbalist comes into play in choosing one with right actions and energetics for the person.

Is the cold/flu

Cold, hot, moist or dry.

Is the herb specific to mucus membranes, upper respiratory, lungs or GI?

All must be considered before a recommendation is made.

I was wondering if quercus alba (oak) can be used as an antiseptic?

ANSWER:  White Oak, Latin Named Quercus alba is a great styptic, antiinflammatory, astringent and mild antibacterial

Some constituents of Oak are antiseptic such as:

IODINE in stems 2 - 6 ppm
GALLIC-ACID in the Bark MIC=1,000 ug/ml
ASCORBIC-ACID Bark 127 ppm

But this is not what this herb is normally used for.

I like to know about aloe vera interaction with drugs.  I tried many web sites to know if there is any interaction before I start my tonic drink.

Could you please help me in view some of the research articles, if any on the subject.

ANSWER:   A site from the UK which lists Aloe Vera articles and books is

It is a commercial site and its intention is to sell products but there is a good list of papers and books there

In General:

No specific side effects or adverse actions are know.  General warnings are given, such as no FDA safety values are established for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease.  As with anything else consultation with your healthcare provider is advised.  

Their are some who are allergic to Aloe when used externally or internally so start slow.  The most common side effect of drugs, herbs, supplements and foods is upset stomach.

For wound healing the gel applied topically could cause a stinging for the first 20-30 minutes but should subside after continued use.

Research for internal use of Aloe gel to lower sugar levesl is being evaluated, if this proves scientifically true (it has been used for this traditionally) warnings will be given for those prone to Hypoglycemia or diabetics to monitor blood sugar levels when using it internally.

Since Aloe vera is a gel and coats the linings of the GI tract and helps with constipation moving food and feces through the body quicker, it could also reduce the time medications are in the GI tract, reducing their absorption/assimilation into the body.

Search the US National Institute of Health Website http://search.nih.gov/ for the many papers, research and information on the use of Aloe Vera

From Jim Duke on the USDA website

Dr. Duke's
Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases at


What  are the adverse reactions/dangers to using skullcap?

ANSWER:   Skullcap, Scullcap, Latin Named: Scutellaria lateriflora, is appropriately used for relaxing due to nervous exhaustion, spasm, tremors, anxiety, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, or for those that cannot sit still.

Contraindications/Side Effects/Adverse Reactions:  Today not much testing has been done on this herb, so no problems have been established or related.   The problems associated (hepatotoxin) with this plant have actually been the blame of Germander and adulterant found in many commercial sources and products which are labeled as Scullcap.  Scullcap has not been associated with this problem. 

Safety in young children, pregnant women or nursing moms, or those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.

Common sense would suggest not taking this herb and driving or using machinery or mixing this herb with OTC or prescription medications which do the same thing or there may be potentiation or synergistic actions between them.

I am trying to locate information on an herb called cassia sophera.  We are collecting information as part of a project for a homeopathic college.  I am finding much info on cassia without the sophera as the last part of the name.  I know the cassia has something to do with cinnamon.  Any ideas would be very helpful.

ANSWER:   This is not cinnamon, this is more related to senna.

Common Name: Cacay,  Kasamarda(india)
Latin Named: Cassia sophera, Senna sophera
Family: fabaceae
Country of origin: Guam
Ailments used for: fever, headache, pneumonia

These is considered a vegetable crop.

In homeopathic remedies it has been used for Arthritis: Pain knee joint, worse by movement, better initial movement, continous pain in joints worse while rising from seat, pain in heels worse by movement.

Could you tell me a little about guarana??????  is it a dangerous herb??? >>

ANSWER:  Guarana is used to speed you up like the caffeine in coffee and tea, inappropriate use can overtax your adrenal glands, for some addiction is possible and withdrawal symptomology unpleasant.

In my opinion it is inappropriately used in diet formulas, keep you awake formulas or as a recreational drug.

  Hello, is there one brand of Kava Kava that is recommended? There are so many on the market. Do you personally recommend one?  

ANSWER:    I am not sure exactly what you mean, whether you are talking about form such as pill, tincture or tea or actually company.  And I am not sure in this forum I should promote one company over another there are many high quality brands, and the way to tell is look at the company's label, look for information such as the herbs common and Latin name, what part of the plant was used, was it processed fresh or dry, what ratio of herb to menstrum was utilized, such as 1:2 or 1:5, what is the suggested dose and frequency of use, what are the ingredients, the companies information, location, phone, email, website, are there any safety or contraindications listed, what is the source of the herb, wildcrafted, grown without chemicals or organic.  What percentage of alcohol was used.

As to form I would suggest an alcohol tincture one made from dried root is better then fresh.  If you were to make an infusion (a tea); it should be given reasonable time to sit in solution to improve solubility.  Use 1-2 teaspoons of freshly ground root to  8 ounces of water decoct (boil) 15-20 minutes then use a blender to thoroughly crush the Kava and mix with the water.  Let steep (cool) for at least one hour, overnight would be good.  A suggested use would be 4 ounces of the tea up to 4 times a day.

There are also capsules and pills available.

Kava Kava, Latin Named:  Piper methysticum is appropriately used for anxiety and as an antispasmodic.  It is also used for Urinary pain and for irritation of the urinary tract such as interstitial cystitis.  It is used in combination with other herbs for Fibromyalgia.

Some Contraindications include: Long term use may cause bizarre skin lesions and plating and can produce cognitive problems.  Avoid use when taking barbiturates and alcohol (will potentiate the sedating effects). May interfere with driving or motor skills because of the sedating effect. There is a strong potential for herb-drug interaction with antihistamines, antispasmodics, etc.  Plants picked to young may cause gastric upset. Kava is psychologically addicting

From the Natural Pharmacist Website, www.tnp.com

Safety Issues     

When used appropriately, Kava appears to be safe. Animal studies have shown that dosages of up to 4 times that of normal cause no problems at all, and 13 times the normal dosage causes only mild problems in rats.   A study of 4,049 people who took a rather low dose of Kava (70 mg of kavalactones daily) for 7 weeks found side effects in 1.5% of cases. These were mostly mild gastrointestinal complaints and allergic rashes.  A 4-week study of 3,029 individuals given 240 mg of kavalactones daily showed a 2.3% incidence of basically the same side effects.  However, long-term use (months to years) of Kava in excess of 400 mg kavalactones per day can create a distinctive generalized dry, scaly rash called "Kava dermopathy."  It disappears promptly when the Kava use stops.  One case report suggests that a Kava product might have caused liver inflammation in a 39-year-old woman.  However, because the product was not analyzed, it isn't clear whether Kava itself or a contaminant was responsible; the authors also could not rule out other causes of liver inflammation. Kava does not appear to produce mental cloudiness.  Nonetheless, we wouldn't recommend driving after using Kava until you discover how strongly it affects you. It makes some people quite drowsy.  Contrary to many reports in the media, there is no evidence that Kava actually improves mental function. Two studies are commonly cited as if to prove this, but actually there was only one study performed: It was described in two separate articles.  This tiny study found that Kava does not impair mental function; however, it doesn't show that Kava improves it. A slight improvement was seen on a couple of tests, but it was statistically insignificant (too small to mean anything).  High doses of Kava are known to cause inebriation. For this reason, there is some concern that it could become an herb of abuse. There have been reports of young people trying to get high by taking products they thought contained Kava. One of these products, fX, turned out to con
tain dangerous drugs but no Kava at all. European physicians have not reported any problems with Kava addiction.   One study suggests that Kava does not amplify the effects of alcohol.  However, there is a case report indicating that Kava can increase the effects of other sedatives.  For this reason, Kava should not be taken with alcohol, prescription tranquilizers or sedatives, or other depressant drugs. Kava should also not be combined with antipsychotic drugs or drugs used for Parkinson;s disease, due to the risk of increased problems with movement.  The German Commission E monograph warns against the use of Kava during pregnancy and nursing.  Safety in young children and those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.    

Transitioning from Medications         

If you're taking Xanax or other drugs in the benzodiazepine family, switching to Kava will be very difficult. You must seek a doctor's supervision, because withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening. Additionally, if you are taking Xanax on an "as needed" basis to stop acute panic attacks, Kava cannot be expected to have the same rapidity of action. It is easier to make the switch from milder Antianxiety drugs, such as BuSpar, and antidepressants. Nonetheless, a doctor's supervision is still strongly advised.    
Interactions You Should Know About         

If you are taking  Medications for insomnia or anxiety such as benzodiazepines; do not take Kava in addition to them.  Antipsychotic drugs: Kava might increase the risk of a particular side effect consisting of sudden abnormal movements, called a dystonic reaction.  Levodopa for Parkinson's disease: Kava might reduce its effectiveness.   

If you cannot find a quality source in your area we would be glad to talk to you about the brands we carry in our store, please call we mail order everyday.

have there been any studies regarding the use of St.. john's wort for children suffering post-traumatic stress syndrome ( or as an alternative to Prozac anti-depressants currently being prescribed for children)? I have grave concerns for the developing brain chemistry and the Prozac or clone chemicals alteration of same.  any direction you can point me to would be greatly appreciated. I thank you for your time and attention.

ANSWER:   St Johnswort has been tested as effective as Prozac for mild to moderate depression in adults.  I don't know of any studies of the herbs use an children, but would say if prozac is being used for them, St Johnswort might be a better choice.   Camomile and Catnip are also two great children herbs for settling nerves and tummies, when upset or with cold and flu.  You might want to start with them.

QUESTION: In my training as a herbalist, i've learned that st john's wort oil is & has been used internally for depression.  lately, however, some of the herbalists i respect (one being terry willard of wild rose herbs) says not to take it internally.  others are concerned with the possibility of bacterial contamination/botulism.  what is your feeling on this issue? 

My choice would be a fresh or freshly dry alcohol tincture of the flower tops not the oil for internal use.  SJW is great as a nervine for depression but it is also good for nerve damage or trauma, for this case I would combine a treatment of oil on the outside as a rub into the affected area and the tincture inside as a double whammy.  The oil is also a great Vulnerary for wounds, externally. 

hello there, i am trying to find out some info. on how to take chaste tree berries for acne. i have a load of the berries that were given to me, but i dont have any info on how to prepare them and take them. any thing you can give me on this would be greatly appreciated.............

ANSWER: If the berries are fresh simply dry them for future use.

Chaste Tree, Latin Name:  Vitex agnus-castus

This herb does not contain phytoestrogens  but works via the endocrine system balancing other hormones produced by the pituitary gland such as FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (lutenizing hormone).  It is appropriately used for elevated estrogen and normal to low progesterone OR normal estrogen and low progesterone hormone levels.

It should be taken in small amounts for a long time to see full effect.

Suggested Dosage: For a tea would be 1-2 teaspoons of freshly ground berry steep covered in 8 oonces of water for at least an hour take 1-2 C early in day for best results.  To make an ethyl alcohol extract use a ratio of 1 part by weight berries to 5 parts by volume alcohol, grind the berries then added them to the alcohol let is sit for 4-8 weeks then strain the berries out.   You should use a 120 proof alcohol, a suggested dose would be 60-90 drops 1-2x day prior to lunch.

Best results are achieved when this herb is best taken in the morning once at or before breakfast and again at mid morning before lunch.  A small amount long term is better than a lot short term.

Contraindication is pregnancy.

Can vitex and dong quai be taken by a nursing mother? Menstrual periods may resume before completely weaning a child. Could these herbs be harmful if they pass on to the milk to the child? Would they help with menstrual discomfort?

ANSWER: Chaste Tree Berry, Latin Named Vitex agnus-castus is appropriately used for all cases where either there is high Estrogen and normal or low Progesterone or nornal Estrogen and low Progesterone levels.  This plant does not work as others as a Plant Phytoestrogen and does not contain them, instead it works via the pituitary gland affecting the Folical Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Lutenizing Hormone (LH) and suppresses the release of prolactin.  Prolactin is one hormone which rise during pregnancy and post birth to help nursing mothers.  In general there have been no safety studies of this herb but it widespread use in Germany without reported effects indicates some level of assumed safeness.   The most quoted contraindications are nursing mothers and pregnancy, but no studies for these conditions or for infants and children exist.  As to whether it gets into the milk again there is no evidence available but I would predict it does, at the very least because it effects on prolactin it would probably effect mil
k production.  This herb is used for menopause and in PMS situations for the correct client profile.

Dong Quai, Dong Qui, Dang Quai, Dang Qui, Tangkuei Latin Named: Angelica sinesis is great for stuck or stagnant blood, it moves blood and produces regularity in menses such as amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea.  It has been suggested as a anti menopausal agent.   In general the herb seems to be nontoxic, side effects are rare and mostly fall in the catergories of most drugs, supplements, herbs and foods leading to possibly upset stomach.  Two skin problems have been theorized which are increased sensitivety too the sun and rashes.  Because Dong Quai moves blood it is also possibly contra indicated when on blood thinning agents and prior to surgery.  Safety for infants, young children, nursing mothers, pregnant women has not been established.  Better blood moving herbs are contraindicated during pregnancy or preconception. There was one possible case which has been reported where the herb was being used by a nursing mother and the mother's and infant's blood pressure was elevated.  But, one case does not establish
a problem only suggests a possible one, hypertension can be caused by many factors. Again, little evidence exist as to whether it enters the milk of nursing mothers my feelings are I would suggest that it also enters the milk, I try to mostly err on the side of caution.  This herb is usually used in combination and its efficacy is proven there more than as a single herb protocol treatment.  The most famous combination using this herb in China is as one part of of the 4 herbs in Women&#8217;s 4 Herb Tea w/ Ligusticum, White Peony, & Rehmannia.

My suggestion would be wait and see what happens, many nursing mothers do not go back to having a menses and sometimes the problems they had prior to being pregnant with PMS clear up.

Finally there may be other herbs which may better fit your picture but without all the information, this is all I can do for now.


QUESTION: Can I have full details of this herbal plant. Understand its leaves, bark and
roots are very effective for treatment of many diseases. What is it most
effective for (cure)? Does any of its parts need to be mixed with other herbs
to product stronger effect?

ANSWER: It is a good question you ask about the plant Named Du Zhong (in Pin Yin
Chinese English), Tu Chung otherwise know to us as Eucommia, Latin Name:
Eucommia ulmoides which means Elm like.  Eucomia bark is used effectively as
a tea to lower blood pressure, help with low back know for its use to reduces absorption of cholesterol which it
does so marginally well.

I would recommend a book on Chinese herbs called Chinese Herbal Medicine:
Materia Medica by Bensky and Gamble as a good resource material on this plant. We carry both the herb and the book in our store if you cannot find it locally and mail order every day. 

I would appreciate receiving nutritional data on pumpkin(seed) as well as
recommended dosage.

It is a good question you ask about Pumpkin seed, internationally known
ethnobotanist Jim Duke recommends their daily use in your diet to combat
Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy (BPH) along with Evening Primrose, Nettle,
Pygeum, Saw Palmetto in a peanut butter type spread which he coins as Prosnut
Butter, see below.

Prosnut Butter TM, a combination of foods made into a peanut-like butter,
embracing the most important traditional phytomedicinal approaches to BPH.
The butter would be comprised of, in decreasing order of relative abundance,
ground pumpkin, cucumber, and watermelon seeds (agricultural byproducts), saw
palmetto fruit and seed (edible palm), brazilnuts, sunflower, ground carob,
peanuts, almonds, sesame, soybean, flaxseed, and walnut, leaving out the
poppyseed. Spiked with a little zinc picolinate, this could be a tasty
sandwich spread, an ounce of which would give you the suggested quantity of
alanine, glycine, glutamic acid, not to mention the EFA's, and sitosterol,
and whatever it is in saw palmetto that increases urinary flow and ease of
micturition, while reducing residual urine and frequency of urination. The
brazilnuts and sunflowerseed could provide the recommnded dose of 200 ug
selenomethionine. Licorice like saw palmetto contains compounds that prevent
the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestost

From the same man comes the USDA's phytochemical and ethnobotanical database
which listes chemical constituents and activities for a given plant:

Chemicals in: Cucurbita pepo L. (Cucurbitaceae) -- Pumpkin

ALANINE Fruit 280 - 3,333 ppm Seed 11,580 - 12,441 ppm
ALPHA-LINOLENIC-ACID Flower 20 - 410 ppm Fruit 30 - 357 ppm Seed 1,810 -
1,945 ppm
ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL Fruit 10 - 119 ppm
ALUMINUM Seed 11 ppm;
ARACHIDIC-ACID Seed 200 ppm;
ARGININE Fruit 370 - 6,429 ppm Seed 40,330 - 43,328 ppm
ASCORBIC-ACID Flower 280 - 5,773 ppm Fruit 90 - 1,071 ppm
ASH Flower 4,800 - 98,970 ppm Fruit 7,500 - 95,238 ppm Seed 47,530 - 70,000
ASPARTIC-ACID Fruit 1,020 - 12,143 ppm Seed 24,770 - 26,612 ppm
BETA-CAROTENE Flower 12 - 240 ppm Fruit 9.6 - 114 ppm Seed 2 - 2.5 ppm
BORON Fruit 1 ppm;
CALCIUM Flower 390 - 8,041 ppm Fruit 210 - 2,500 ppm Seed 418 - 474 ppm
CARBOHYDRATES Flower 32,800 - 676,290 ppm Fruit 65,000 - 773,809 ppm Seed
178,100 - 191,341 ppm
CHROMIUM Seed 17 ppm;
COBALT Seed 143 ppm;
COPPER Seed 14 - 15 ppm
CUCURBITIN Seed 16,600 - 66,300 ppm
CYSTINE Fruit 30 - 700 ppm Seed 3,010 - 3,234 ppm
FAT Flower 700 - 14,430 ppm Fruit 1,000 - 11,905 ppm Seed 384,500 - 520,000
FIBER Flower 6,300 - 130,000 ppm Fruit 11,000 - 130,952 ppm Seed 19,690 -
26,538 ppm
GABA Seed:
GLUTAMIC-ACID Fruit 1,840 - 35,000 ppm Seed 43,150 - 46,358 ppm
GLYCINE Fruit 270 - 8,000 ppm Seed 17,960 - 19,295 ppm
GLYOXALIC-ACID Juice 200 ppm;
GUANOSINE Sprout Seedling:
HISTIDINE Fruit 140 - 1,905 ppm Seed 6,810 - 7,316 ppm
IRON Flower 7 - 144 ppm Seed 86 - 172 ppm
ISOLEUCINE Fruit 310 - 3,690 ppm Seed 12,640 - 13,580 ppm
KILOCALORIES Flower 150 - 3,092 /kg Fruit 220 - 3,095 /kg Seed 2,730 - 5,812
LAURIC-ACID Flower 10 - 205 ppm Fruit 10 - 119 ppm Seed 440 - 472 ppm
LECITHIN Seed 4,000 ppm;
LEUCINE Fruit 460 - 5,476 ppm Seed 20,790 - 22,336 ppm
LINOLEIC Flower 20 - 410 ppm Fruit 20 - 238 ppm Seed 209,040 - 222,411 ppm
LUPEOL Flower:
LUTEIN Flower:
LYSINE Fruit 470 - 6,429 ppm Seed 18,330 - 19,693 ppm
MAGNESIUM Flower 240 - 4,950 ppm Fruit 120 - 1,429 ppm Seed 5,140 - 5,748 ppm
MANGANESE Seed 40 ppm;
MANNITOL Fruit 150,000 - 200,000 ppm
METHIONINE Fruit 110 - 1,310 ppm Seed 5,510 - 5,920 ppm
MUFA Flower 90 - 1,855 ppm Fruit 130 - 1,548 ppm Seed 142,580 - 153,180 ppm
MYRISTIC-ACID Flower 50 - 1,030 ppm Fruit 60 - 714 ppm Seed 200 - 559 ppm
NIACIN Flower 7 - 142 ppm Fruit 71 - 6 ppm Seed 14 - 22 ppm
OLEIC-ACID Flower 40 - 825 ppm Fruit 60 - 714 ppm Seed 141,460 - 151,977 ppm
OXALIC-ACID Juice 400 ppm;
PALMITIC-ACID Flower 260 - 5,360 ppm Fruit 370 - 4,405 ppm Seed 56,120 -
60,292 ppm
PALMITOLEIC-ACID Flower 50 - 1,030 ppm Fruit 60 - 714 ppm Seed 990 - 1,064
PHENYLALANINE Fruit 300 - 3,810 ppm Seed 12,220 - 13,128 ppm
PHOSPHORUS Flower 490 - 10,100 ppm Fruit 440 - 5,238 ppm Seed 10,600 - 12,982
PHYTIC-ACID Seed 15,000 - 22,000 ppm
PHYTOSTEROLS Fruit 120 - 1,428 ppm
POTASSIUM Flower 1,730 - 35,670 ppm Fruit 3,400 - 40,476 ppm Seed 5,540 -
8,670 ppm
PROLINE Fruit 260 - 17,100 ppm Seed 10,000 - 10,743 ppm
PROTEIN Fruit 10,000 - 140,000 ppm Seed 86,000 - 271,797 ppm
PUFA Flower 40 - 825 ppm Fruit 50 - 595 ppm Seed 209,040 - 224,581 ppm
RIBOFLAVIN Flower 0.7 - 15 ppm Fruit 1.1 - 13.1 ppm Seed 2.7 - 4.9 ppm
SERINE Fruit 440 - 6,100 ppm Seed 11,480 - 12,333 ppm
SFA Flower 360 - 7,425 ppm Fruit 520 - 6,190 ppm Seed 86,740 - 93,180 ppm
SODIUM Flower 50 - 1,030 ppm Fruit 10 - 119 ppm Seed 180 - 193 ppm
STEARIC-ACID Flower 20 - 410 ppm Fruit 30 - 357 ppm Seed 28,110 - 30,200 ppm
SUCROSE Seed 14,000 ppm;
THIAMIN Flower 0.4 - 8.6 ppm Fruit 0.5 - 5.9 ppm Seed 1.9 - 3.7 ppm
THREONINE Fruit 250 - 3,452 ppm Seed 9,030 - 9,701 ppm
TIN Seed 23 ppm;
TRIGONELLINE Sprout Seedling:
TRYPTOPHAN Fruit 120 - 1,800 ppm Seed 4,310 - 4,630 ppm
TYROSINE Fruit 130 - 5,000 ppm Seed 10,190 - 10,948 ppm
VALINE Fruit 350 - 4,167 ppm Seed 19,720 - 21,186 ppm
WATER Fruit 916,000 ppm; Seed 65,200 - 73,110 ppm
ZINC Seed 74 - 83 ppm


In White Willow the ingredients Salicin and Salicylic Acid have the analgesic effects of aspirin but are not aspirin you may not be allergic to White Willow. I do not know what your allergic reactions are, but I would start with a small amount and try it to test it before consuming a full dosage. You may want to work up to a full dose if trying this herb.

But I believe some of the other ingredients in this product may be worse for you.

This is a download on the product.

--------------------- Start of download

Stackers 2 - In order to create a product that could help satisfy the average American's desire to become fit and energized, our researchers relied upon a belief shared by professional bodybuilders that a combination of Ephedrine, Caffeine, and Aspirin could cause the body to burn fat faster and more effectively than any product ever marketed to the general public! 

Since the safety of such a combination is questionable, we decided to utilize three herbal ingredients whose properties most closely approximate those found in the aforementioned substances. Ephedra, Kola Nut, and White Willow Bark are the herbal forms of Ephidrine, Caffeine, and Aspirine, respectively. These herbs work synergistically to potentially enhance adipose tissue destruction and boost energy levels. To become energized while sculpting your body, order the STACKER 2 today with Chromium Picolinate, the most biologically active form of Chromium available!

Supplement Facts:
Serving Size: 1 capsule
Proprietary Blend 520mg
Ephedra Extract, Kola Nut Extract (contains caffeine), White Willow Bark, Chromium Picolinate.

Other Ingredients: Di Basic Calcium Phosphte, Stearic Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Black Lke Blend "R", Gelatin, FD&C Yellow #5.

--------------------- End of download

Ephedra and Kola nut are like speed on the body and can be very dangerous causing heart palpitations and death if over used. They can also created almost addict like reactions in the body and withdrawal symptoms when you go off them. Used correctly each plant has a medicinal herb use, abuse like this is man based and originated. I do not think it is ethical to use these herbs as a means to sell the unsuspecting public a magical bullet on weight loss. 

Additionally, chromium can lower blood sugar levels and cause hypoglycemic reactions for some.

I do not believe in the use of products which pushed the buttons of emotional issues for consumers. This product falls in that class.

Finally, what happens when you go off the pills, supposing they work at all, you will probably gain the weight back and more because you have not changed your eating habits or exercise patterns.

The only effective weight control method is reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity. Please see my answers on herbs and weight loss at herb website of HerbWorld and HerbNet at http://www.herbnet.com under "Ask the Herbalist".

This is a direct link to that page:


Here is some information on Aspirin and White Willow.

Aspirin is Acetylsalicylic Acid a derivative of Salicylic Acid, aspirin was discovered in the late 1800s. The key compound in the synthesis of aspirin, salicylic acid, is prepared from phenol by a process discovered over 100 years ago by the German chemist Hermann Kolbe. In the Kolbe synthesis (also known as the Kolbe-Schmitt reaction) sodium phenoxide is heated with CO2 under pressure and the reaction mixture is subsequently acidified to yield salicylic acid.

Aspirin is a synthetic chemical compound, acetylsalicylic acid. It is made from salicylic acid, that is found in the bark of the willow trees. This herb has been used for thousands of years by the ancient Greeks and Native Americans, among others, to counter fever and pain. 

Willow bark has been used as a treatment for pain and fever in China since 500 B.C. In Europe, it was primarily used for altogether different purposes, such as stopping vomiting, removing warts, and suppressing sexual desire. However, in 1828, European chemists made a discovery that would bring some of these different uses together. They extracted the substance salicin from white willow, which was soon purified to salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is an effective treatment for pain and fever, but it is also sufficiently irritating to do a good job of burning off warts. 

Chemists later modified salicylic acid (this time from the herb meadowsweet) to create acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin. 

I can not find any information on this  Mathake tea. Can you tell me if this herb has any precautions? Is there anything I should be aware of (side affects) or where I can find it. Do local health food stores carry this herb?

ANSWER: Mathake Tea if this is Maitake Tea then this is a plant or mushroom if you wan to get technical. Maitake mushrooms are food plants but have medicinal actions on the body.

Maitake Mushroom or Hen of the Wood's, Latin Named : Grifola frondulosa and Lentinula elodes is used as a amphoteric to the immune system, lowering function when it is high such as in the case of autoimmune diseases and increasing function when it is low such as chronic infection or cancer. It has been used to slightly lower cholesterol level and fight candida yeast infections and combat interstitial cystitis.

The only contraindication I know is mushroom allergies since this is a mushroom. Other wise it is used as a food and can be found in most grocery stores or healthfood stores. Many gather it themselves this time of year and freeze for use as a broth for soups.

If this is not the correct herb, then I need more information to identify it, such as manufacturer, or product name, latin names, ingredients, etc.

I would like to know the side effects of this Herb.

ANSWER: Horse Chesnut, Latin Named: Aesculus hippocastanum this herb is appropriately used for Impaired circulation and peripheral circulation, peripheral nueropathies, phlebitis, varicose veins, spider veins, hemorrhoids and prolapse in the body.

Contraindications: pregnancy. Overdose can cause gastric irritation, vomiting, headache, nausea, palpitations, dizziness, and in extreme cases coma or death

It is normally used in small quantities combined with other herbs as a formula such as Hawthorn/Ginkgo and Horsechestnut . It can be taken internally when it is extracted into Ethyl Alcohol as a tincture and can be applied externally when the chopped or ground nuts are soaked in rubbing alcohol for 2 or more weeks.



ANSWER: I am not sure if you are talking about leaf or root, fresh or dry but here goes:for the dry leaf the suggested use is 1 cup of tea 3 to 4 times a day; for the dry root it is 1 cup of tea taken 3 times a day
In both cases fresh would be best, but this would require taking it as a tincture as suggested on the manufacturers label. As to time, the number one side effect of any supplements, herbs and OTC or Rx drugs is upset stomach or nausea, if you are prone to this take them with meals.

There has been quite a bit of controversy over this combination lately.
What are your findings? >>

ANSWER: I am not sure I know what you are looking for, but here are some thoughts:

Echinacea is appropriately used to catch a cold or flu before it gets full blown, lessening the severity and recovery time. It can also be used prophylactically when meeting new people at parties, riding in airplanes or going into smoky places such as bars to stave off sickness and bring up immunity to combat the new germs encounter and stale recycled air. There is no drop off when taking the herb and no need to cycle it. Echinacea can be used for quite some time without problems. The Eclectics used it for Pain, and blood cleansing. 

Goldenseal is not appropriately used as a systemic agent to treat infection it is best as a topical agent. It must come in contact with the bug. Appropriate use would involve gargles for sore throat, topical treatments of skin or tissue. It is a bitter herbs and can be healing to the GI tract. It is endangered and should be used wisely, there are analogues which can do most of the same things this herb is known for. I would chose them.

Echinacea and Goldenseal is the highest selling herbal combination to fight sickness from colds and flu, this reputation has been built up by ill witted and unknowing commercial PR specialist which create commercialism to sell the unsuspecting public on herbal and natural products with no ethical thought to the consequence or total ignorance of the subject.

End of sermon for the day!

Its function and does it have any after effects, such as dizziness. Is it good for memory and better vision. This has been my understanding of
this herb. I would appreciate your version....

Both the leaf and berry have medicinal uses.

1. The leaf has been used to control blood sugar levels in border line diabetes along with dietary changes.

The only contraindication would be for those with Hypoglycemia, because they already have low blood sugar.

Large amounts or long term use of the leaf can cause gastric irritation.

2. The berry is a nutritious food source packed with Flavanoids, proanthocyanidin, Vitamin C, Iron, Maganese, Potassium and other vital nutrients. This fruit and its active constituents help improve vascular integritry, strengthening veins, arteries and capilleries because of the blue pigmnets that are found in the fruit. Billberry and has a special affinity for the eyes and help to stabalize them, reducing or preventing poor vision, macular degeneration, cataracts. Because of its vascular effects this herb is also appropriately used for varicose veins, spider veins, etc. Our native american indigenous population used this as a food for pregnant women during pregnancy. 

I know of no contraindications for the fruit

Huckleberry, Whortleberry and Blueberry all have much the same value.


I recently attended a seminar to stop smoking and although I thought that the focus would be hypnotism, it seemed that the major theme was to purchase herbal products to assist in quitting smoking. The pills that were promised to help with cravings contained 18 different herbs but the one the "salesman" mentioned all night was Lobelia. He said that the molecule of this herb fit perfectly into receptor sites in the brain where normally acetylcholine was present but because we smoked, nicotine, had killed all the acetylcholine and now filled all these receptor sites. This herb would replace the nicotine for 75-90 days until our body reproduced the acetylcholine.

I did not purchase any of these pills because although I am not a herbalist or a physician, I know that the body is composed of chemicals and any drug, be it synthetic or natural, is also a chemical and is sure to cause some kind of chemical change in the body chemistry. So without knowing about this herb I am leery to take it. Especially in the quantity he prescribed, 90 pills in ten days!

I did look up the herb lobelia and all I could find is that it can be a respiratory stimulant and CNS depressant, and may cause depression if taken in large quantities. I found nothing that related it to quitting smoking.

Do you know anything about this herb, it's uses, and the quantities it should be used in or can you send me a web site where I can look this information up?

ANSWER: I am glad you did not purchase this product, many products are being sold to the unsuspecting public based on their magical ability to do this or that, your suspicion is good. Just because a product is natural or herbal does not mean it is safe or effective. As to the killing your acetylcholine, you would not be able to write this email if it were gone, you would be gone. 

Here is what I know about lobelia.

Lobelia, Pukeweed, Indian Tobacco

Latin Named: Lobelia inflata, L. cardinalis, L. syhpilitica

Lobelia is an Antispasmodic especially to the lung and diaphragm it is appropriately used for cough, spastic bronchitis, hiccups along with spasm in the muscle tissue and caused by the nervous system. In some instances it has been shown to decreases nicotine cravings (lobelia is closely related to the nicotine plants in the plant kingdom). It can also be used topically as a poultice for raised, hot, infected flesh and to draw out splinters. An infused oil of lobelia is good for tight muscles, or trauma to muscles. You would rub the oil into the effected area. Lobelia has been known to cause people to feel like vomiting, but it very rarely causes a person to vomit unless they have taken a very large dose. It is a poor Emetic there are other herbs that would do a better job. Lobelia has been used as a preventative for seizures and asthma, taken prophylactically; for acute attacks several drops under the tongue can bring relief.

Lobelia is contraindicated during Pregnancy (unless you know what you are doing), low Blood Pressure, Depression and people who get nauseated easily.

The dosage of lobelia is suggested in drops starting very low (5-10 drops of tincture) and working up a drop at a time until nausea occurs then drop back a couple drops to relieve the nausea. Lobelia can be irritating take it with food.

Could you share any information you have on Barley Green, and where to purchase it.

ANSWER: I am assuming you are going to use it for its nutritional value. Barley Grass Greens are a high nutritional source. They are full of nutrients and micronutrients. Additionally they are used in part for Super Green Formulas, that are put in shakes or sprinkled on salads. Both can be found in your local Health food stores.

From Jim Dukes Ethnobotanical Database:


These are the constituents in Barley Grass Greens, Latin Name: Hordeum vulgare 


ALPHA-TOCOPHEROL Seed 3 - 11 ppm
ASCORBIC-ACID Seed: Stem 3,300 ppm; 
ASH Plant 61,000 - 235,000 ppm Seed 9,000 - 132,000 ppm Stem 81,000 ppm; 
BETA-CAROTENE Plant 149 - 660 ppm Seed 1 ppm; Stem 312 ppm; 
BIOTIN Seed 0.088 - 0.902 ppm
BORON Seed 2 - 6 ppm
CALCIUM Plant 800 - 10,400 ppm Seed 160 - 4,100 ppm Sprout Seedling 720 ppm; Stem 11,000 ppm; 
CARBOHYDRATES Plant 265,000 - 785,000 ppm Seed 608,000 - 868,000 ppm Stem 801,000 ppm; 
CELLULOSE Plant 190,000 - 322,000 ppm
CHOLINE Seed 928 - 1,617 ppm
CHROMIUM Stem 31 ppm; 
COBALT Stem 49 ppm; 
COPPER Seed 1 - 20 ppm Sprout Seedling 8 ppm; 
CYSTINE Seed 1,000 - 2,000 ppm
FAT Plant 19,000 - 64,000 ppm Seed 5,000 - 55,000 ppm Stem 29,000 ppm; 
FIBER Plant 128,000 - 446,000 ppm Seed 5,000 - 151,000 ppm Stem 134,000 ppm; 
GLUTAMIC-ACID Seed 32,000 - 38,000 ppm
IRON Seed 40 - 100 ppm Sprout Seedling 100 ppm; Stem 160 ppm; 
LIGNIN Plant 15,000 - 77,000 ppm
LINOLEIC-ACID Seed 2,185 - 24,035 ppm
LINOLENIC-ACID Seed 22 - 242 ppm
LUTEIN Sprout Seedling: 
MAGNESIUM Seed 100 - 2,300 ppm Sprout Seedling 1,670 ppm; Stem 2,250 ppm; 
MANGANESE Seed 2 - 120 ppm Sprout Seedling 26 ppm; Stem 60 ppm; 
MERCURY Sprout Seedling 007 ppm; 
NIACIN Seed 17 - 115 ppm Stem: 
OLEIC-ACID Seed 1,325 - 14,575 ppm
PALMITIC-ACID Seed 370 - 4,070 ppm
PHOSPHORUS Plant 2,300 - 6,900 ppm Seed 1,890 - 9,200 ppm Stem 5,950 ppm; 
POTASSIUM Plant 19,880 - 44,000 ppm Seed 1,600 - 9,900 ppm Sprout Seedling 6,130 ppm; Stem 25,000 ppm; 
PROTEIN Plant 25,000 - 344,000 ppm Seed 82,000 - 212,000 ppm Stem 89,000 ppm; 
RIBOFLAVIN Seed 1 - 9 ppm Stem 27 - 28 ppm
SILICON Stem 34 ppm; 
SILICON-DIOXIDE Seed 5,000 - 9,000 ppm
SODIUM Sprout Seedling 256 ppm; Stem 2,240 ppm; 
STARCH Seed 620,000 ppm; 
STEARIC-ACID Seed 130 - 1,430 ppm
SULFUR Seed 200 ppm; 
THIAMIN Seed 1 - 10 ppm Stem 13 ppm; 
TIN Stem 12 ppm; 
TOCOPHEROLS Seed 56 - 71 ppm
TRYPTOPHAN Seed 1,000 - 3,000 ppm
TYRAMINE Sprout Seedling 26 ppm; 
TYROSINE Seed 2,000 - 6,000 ppm
UBIQUINONE Sprout Seedling: 
WATER Plant 883,000 ppm; Seed 6,000 - 178,000 ppm Stem 860,000 ppm; 
ZINC Seed 20 - 30 ppm Sprout Seedling 20 ppm; Stem 21 ppm; 

ppm = parts per million
tr = trace

: Could you tell me if there is a natural product that could take the place of the drug Paxil?
Answer: Paxil is used for a variety of conditions and diseases. The major ones being depression or migraines.

For mild to moderate depression, Saint Johnswort has been tested as effective with less side effects or adverse actions. For some it may take up to 4 -6 weeks to see results. If you are already on Paxil, some say to slowly go off it while at the same time slowly on to the herb. But, a Psychologist I know says she simple switches her patients one day from drug to the herb, since it takes 4-6 weeks to get rid of the Paxil in your system and 4-6 weeks to build up the Saint Johnswort effect. For you, consult with a practitioner in your area.

For migraines it is more difficult:
Herbalist look for 2 types: vaso-dilative and vaso-constrictive. 

Vaso-dilative: feels like pressure out your eyes or top of the head, cold compress helps, use Feverfew here. Feverfew is a preventative so take it continuously to prevent onset. 

Vaso-constrictive: feels like a tightness or vise around head, use Ginkgo here, again use it to prevent.

Its easy to tell if you chose the wrong herb, the migraine/headache will get worse, use the other to help then

Thanks for your reply concerning an herbal alternative for Paxil. You mentioned that it is used for headaches or depression. I have neither! My problem is a sort of Social Anxiety when I have to speak in front of a large crowd. I will avoid this at all costs and it is starting to affect my job! I would like to be able to speak to a crowd of people and feel comfortable. I get so nervous that my upper lip begins to twitch. I have heard that Paxil could help, but I'd rather take something natural. I have tried Kava pills but they do not seem to work, is form important, please Help!! 
ANSWER: For performance anxiety try Kava Kava, this is the short answer. Start with a small dose 10-30 drops of alcohol tincture see how you react to it. You can probably do upwards of 1/2-1 teaspoons (depending on your weight, most dosages are set to a 150 pound person) of tincture prior to speaking to relax you, again start slow you don't want to sound drunk or fall asleep prior to your talk. Again I want to reinterate, herbalist are trained to look at the whole person and come up with an individual approach to resolve issues. There maybe more issues in your life which are contributing to this condition. A thorough review of everything about you may reveal interrelationships, not seen by your simple question. Which as you can tell by our email exchange, asking the question what is a natural alternative to Paxil is only part of your story.
We do mail order this tincture and I have found it effective when I give lectures to calm my nerves and relax me prior to a speaking engagements. 

And yes form is always a consideration when taking herbs. What part of the plant is used, when is it gathered, should it be fresh or dry. How much is the recommend dose? Tincture, tea or pill?

I would recommend freshly ground Kava to make tea or better the tincture as the best form for this herb. As to your pill use; there can be several problems. Once herbs are ground they begin to lose potency quick, there is more surface area to release aromatics and constituents. 

The other issue is volume. You may simply, be not getting enough Kava in the pill form. Some pill manufacturer's use fillers and binders. One more issue is how old is the Kava, I have read that some herbs and spices sit months and sometimes years before being processed. Aging is a big factor for herbal potency. Try the tincture, the alcohol acts as a solvent extracting all the Kava's constituents. It holds them in freshness because it is also a great preservative, there are tinctures which are 50 years old and still effective. Additionally, with the tincture you can fine tune your dose more easily, literally a drop at a time. Another positive thing about tinctures is they start being absorbed through the lining in your mouth and all the way down the alimentary canal to the small intestine, so they are faster acting and bypass the digestive process being absorbed right into the blood stream almost immediately.

One more thing to consider, there are those people that may not react at all to Kava, I doubt if this is the case, but is always a possibility.

Could you please tell me what negative effects might be of Ginko Biloba. I have been experiencing terrible headaches when I started taking it. I wondered if it might be related. 
Answer: The simple answer to your question is Ginkgo biloba is a vasodilator and one of its uses is specific to cerebral circulation. Dilation of these vessels in the brain can cause headaches for some people.

I would like to know why you are taking Ginkgo, there may be an alternate.

: I have a nice group of Koean Hyssop growing that I planted this spring. I have read that hysop is a good healer. What parts of the plant would I harvest and how would I process them for internal and topical use. Is this even the proper Hyssop to use for herbal remedies.

I also have a nice patch of calendula and am looking for a recipe for a skin cream.

Here is your answer to the Hyssop question.

The medicinal plant Hyssop is Latin Name: Hyssopus officinalis. It is part of the Lamiacae Family. The part used is the Flowering herb, gather while it is in flower. It can be used dry or fresh. 
Its major constituents are: 
Flavanoids: Diosmin, Hesperidin, Hyssopin. 
Terpenoids: Marrubiin acid, Oleanolic acid, Ursolic Acid.
Volatile Oils: Camphor, thujone, linalool, pinocamphone, isopinocamphone. 

The herb has traditionally been used for viral conditions such as colds, flu, viral pneumonia, intestinal viruses, bronchitis. This is a very old herbal medicine and is mentioned in the Bible. It is rich in essential oils, which are calming to the digestive system and act as antiviral and antibacterial agents. This herb combines nicely with Yarrow or Boneset for colds and flus 

The essential oil has been used as an inhalation for asthma.

It can be taken as a tea or an alcohol extract (tincture).

Contraindications: Amenorrhoea, pregnancy, or fevers with profuse sweating.

Here is an answer for the Calendula: 

It is an excellent skin care herb. This is a great wound plant for a wide range of cuts, scratches, scrapes, infections. Use either fresh or dry flowers and make a water or oil infusion.

To make a Calendula cream first make an infused oil of Calendula by drying the flowers then fill and lightly pack them in a clear jar. Cover the dried flowers with vegetable oil, such as virgin olive oil or sunflower oil. Let sit in the sun and shake for a couple of weeks the oil should begin to pick up the color of the flowers. Strain the flowers from the oil. This oil is your infused Calendula oil.

To make a basic cream follow this recipe.

Mixture number 1
add the following together.
3/4 Cup Almond oil (can substitute vegetable oil or herbal infused oil, such as Calendula)
1/3 Cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon lanolin
1/2 oz beeswax
Melt together in a pot then let come to room temperature, i.e. cool down, could take several hours. 

The trick to cream is all the ingredients need to be at the same temperature, so get the ingredients for mixture number 2 ready and have them come to room temperature before combining in the blender and adding mixture number 1.

Mixture number 2
Add the following into a blender:
2/3 Cup distilled water
1/3 Cup aloe juice (or more water)
2-3 drops of essential oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon vitamin E

Turn blender on high and SLOWLY pour in Mixture number 1 above which included your Calendula oil. 

We usually divide it up into small baby food jars (run jars through dishwasher to sterilize, let cool and have ready for your batch of creams). Keep creams refrigerated until ready to use, once openned the cream will probably on keep a couple of weeks. To retain freshness longer return opened container to refrigerator.

have you heard of MACA? The latest Psychology Today had an ad in
the back section for it. It is listed on the website
http://www.thesimpletruth.com/ . It sounds interesting, but just because
it is from a rainforest in Peru, doesn't make it an automatic save for
the planet. I'm trying to research it and have found nothing except on
their site. 

ANSWER: Maca, Latin named Lepidium meyenii and L. peruvianum Chacon, is a vegetable root or tuber that grows in the mountains of Peru at an altitude of 11,000-14,500 feet and additionally at lower elevations in parts of Bolivia, Argentina and Peru. Native Peruvians have used Maca for it's medicinal and nutritional value since before the Incas.

Maca flourishes under these harsh growing conditions producing an amazing herbal medicine and food crop. Maca was domesticated about 2,000 years ago by the Inca Indians and primitive cultivars of Maca have been found in archaeological sites dating back as far as 1600 B.C.

The dried roots can be stored for up to seven years. Native Peruvians have used Maca since before the time of the Inca's for both nutritional and medicinal purposes.

Recent medicinal research on the herb has found claims that it is a panacea, curing sexual dysfunction in both men and women, used as a treatment in place of HRT and included post hysterectomy to help with hormone problems, in addition to many others. 

Maca has been studied for many years and its active constituents have been established as essential fatty acids (such as linoleic, palmitic and oleic acids), sterols, alkaloids, tannins and saponins, aromatic isothiocyanates, 
p-methoxbenzyl isothiocyanate, glucosinolates and it has a high mineral content as well. Maca herbal medicinal qualities are listed to improve sexual relations as aphrodisiac, increase fertility, act on hormonal issues such as hot flashes, memory problems, fatigue, and male impotence.

It has been reported that indigenous population used it traditional to increase energy levels, stamina and endurance. It promoted mental clarity and treated male impotence. For females it helped with menstrual irregularities and female hormonal imbalances and controlled hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and other pre ands post menopausal issues.

Today Maca has be reported as an Adaptogen like herb. Adaptogen herbs help the body deal with stress. Other Adaptogen herbs include the Ginsengs, Chinese, American and Siberian.


QUESTION: My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer and has undergone radiation
therapy.  He read an article in which it stated that an herbal remedy known
as PC-SPES is supposed to help a person who has been diagnosed with not only
prostate cancer, but other forms of cancer as well.  Can you tell me more
about PC-SPEC and where can this be purchased?  I am having a difficult time
trying to find information on this product. >>

ANSWER: The information I have found on this product is limited.  I have never  had
a client use it and so cannot provide first hand feedback but read this and the following 
answer for help

While I studied at Donnie Yantz's Cancer Clinic in Connecticut, which is
called Wellspring Center for Natural Healing, I picked up from Donnie's
teachings that this was an exciting new product.   Donnie Yantz is a well
known cancer fighting Master Herbalist.  Donnie Yantz has recommended this
product at his wellness center for clients who consult with him and is
impressed with the results.  If you are interested in his teachings on Herbal
Medicine and Cancer we carry his book in our store, call and ask for Susanna
to order we mail order every day.

For reducing the side effects of classic chemotherapy and radiation therapy
which suppress the immune system, cause lethargy and loss of appetite, a
Chinese formula called Fu Zheng has been very successfully used by our
clients and we carry a formula of it in our store.  For more information on
Fu Zheng or if you cannot find these products at your local herb store please
give us a call.

Can you direct me to a specialist who can inform me of the herb pc-spes for
use in prostate cancer?

I may be able to help but it is hard to tell with the information at hand. The information I have found on this product is limited. I have never used it on any client and so cannot provide first hand feedback.

PC-SPES is a product manufactured by
2900-B Saturn Street
Brea, CA 92821
Phone 1-800-242-5555

SPES means "hope" in Latin

International Medical Research has been doing research on prostate cancer and has become convinced that single chemical cancer chemotherapies will not work against it. What they have come up with is a proprietary combination of herbs:

Reishi mushroom
Rabdosia rubescens
Chinese Skullcap
Saw Palmetto
This combination has been studied by Zbigniew Darzynkiewicz, MD PhD at the Cancer Research Institute, New York Medical College, in Valhalla New York. This herbal extract exerted cytotoxic and cytostatic changes in the prostate cells studied. The apoptosis, cell death reproduced effected the reproduction cycle of the cancer cells. This product has been used with classic chemotherapy treatments and without them. Success has been demonstrated in both cases. If used with the chemotherapy a synergistic effect has been realized, and classic side effects reduced.
This is an exciting product and the well know cancer fighting Master Herbalist, Donnie Yantz of Wellspring Center for Natural Healing, East in Fairfield CT 06432 has used it in his practice and speaks highly of it.
For reducing the side effects of classic chemotherapy and radiation therapy, a Chinese formula called Fu Zheng has been very successfully used by our clients. For more information on Fu Zheng please contact us directly.

I am looking for in depth information on the benefits and toxicology of
rhodolia rosea. Do you know where I could find such information?

AMSWER: Rhodiola Rosea is indigenous to the nortHern artic areas of Europe, Scandinavia, Lapland, Alaska and Siberia. The traditional use by indigenous peoples was for strength and stamina. Additionally it was given to weak and ill to return them from long term illness. It has also been used in folk love potions to enhance longing and staying power. Today, we know Rhodiola Rosea is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a class of medicinal herbs which help the body deal with stress. It is also has mild depressant quality, making it a calming adaptogen, in the same class a Ashwagandha, many adaptogens speed you up. The herb has also been effective in dealing with stress induced damage to the heart, and stress induced nervous system problems. It has been suggested that it is additionally beneficial to memory loss and to fight cancer. Testing and studies are underway to evaluate these claims.  Rhodiola Rosea is also known as: Rhodiola rosea, rhodiola rosea, Rose Root, Golden Root

I was wondering if St. John's Wort will interfere with taking Zoloft? I currently take 200mg. of Zoloft daily. 

ANSWER: I am assuming you are taking Zoloft for depression, if so; Saint Johnswort can also be used for this condition. It has been tested as effective as Prescription drugs for Mild to Moderate depression (including Prozac and Zoloft). You may be able to get off your med or decrease its dosage by using St Johnswort, please consult with your practitioner about this possibility. Depression can become a serious life threatening illness please don't self medicate.  For some it may take 4 - 6 weeks to see effect. Also See my previous question/answer on this drug and condition.

QUESTION: I have been taking 600-900mg of St. John's Wart a day to fight a mild cause of depression. It seems to be working somewhat? I heard that St. John's tea may work better. Do you have any recommendations on this? 

More importantly I have heard on 3 different occasions over a span of time that St. John's Wart may lesson the effect of birth control (pill)... "Women on the Pill could have breakthrough bleeding, which could cause their birth control to fail." 

This is of great concern to me because I have just started to take Otrho Novum 7/7/7 again. I have spoken to my gynecologist and she does not believe that the herb will interfere with my the pill. She also does not believe that "break through bleeding" on the pill means that the pill is failing. (She has been treating me for break through bleeding problems for over a year, which is not associated with St. John's Wart, for I have only recently begun taking it.) I would like to know if you have heard of St. John's Wart lessening the effect of birth control pills? 

ANSWER: Here is the simple answer to Saint Johnswort, Latin Named: Hypericum perforatum questions.

My preference would be a fresh or freshly dry herbal alcohol tincture of the flowering tops of the plant, not teas or pills. Saint Johnswort's activity is lost once dried. It has a very short shelf life. You did not mention whether it was a standardized pill, if so this lead to another debate which occurs between herbal and scientific based medicine. Should herbs be standardized? Saint Johnswort, has been an herb which was and is standardized. The first time it was standardized to Hypericin, because science said it was the active constituent, just within the past year a new active ingredient Hyperforin was proclaimed as the active constituent. And products are being standardized to it. I now wonder which it is? Ha Ha, really, my position is a whole plant extract is best in most cases, not standardized in any way. There are only a few exceptions herbalist support.

Saint Johnswort is appropriately used for mild to moderate depression and has been tested as effective as antidepressant prescription drugs with virtually no side effects or adverse actions demonstrated by the millions of people in Germany who have been taking it for years without reported problems. For some it can take 4 - 6 weeks to see full effect of the herb.

As to your question about Saint Johnswort and birth control pills, I would suggest there is not a connection.

For your bleeding it may be do to an overdose of the pill, Otrho Novum 7/7/7 it is listed as a side effect. Talk to GYN about this concern.

I am attempting to find information on Tabellae Glucosidorum Tripterygii Totorum or Tripterygium Wilfordii. This is a Chinese herb, commonly known as Leigonteng Duodai Pian. Please advise me if you have any information on this herb (referenced if possible). Alternatively, do you have any information (websites to look at?) on herbal products that may be used instead of Corticosteriods and Aziothioprine (which I am currently on) to reduce the inflammation caused by an on-going, biopsy proven auto-immune reaction affecting my Lacrimal Gland. The belief now is that I may have Sjogrens Syndrome which eventually leads to a dry eye/mouth. The drug regime for this is more steroids and Azothioprine, the side effects of which are unpleasant. I am keen to source some herbal alternatives, and would like referenced materials to give to my medical specialist.He accepts that there are alternatives to these drugs, but remains skeptical about product which has no scientific backing to its claim. I hope you can help, and I look forward to  hearing back from you very soon.

ANSWER: Tabellae Glucosidorum Tripterygii Totorum: I am not familiar with this one, I would guess it is a Chinese patent medicine which is a combination of several to many herbs. Can you give me more information on this one, a reference, manufacturer's name, anything more, where did you find it? 

For Radix Tripterygii Wilfordii
Chinese Name: Lei Gong Teng 
Family: Celastraceae 
Use for Specific Indications: 
1. Expel wind-dampness, relieve swelling and alleviate pain, dredge the meridian passage: For arthralgia of wind-dampness type, especially rheumatoid arthritis; also for lupus erythematosus, glomerular nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, subacute and chronic hepatitis and various kinds of skin diseases, such as vasculitis, erythema multiforme, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, Behcet's syndrome, recurrent aphthae, etc. 

Pharmacological Action: 
1. The decoction of its root cortex lowers blood pressue, slows heart rate and prolongs the PR period in ECG. 
2. Its active components, triptolide and trpdiolide inhibits leukemia 1210 in mice. 
3. Its alkaloids inhibit the experimental arthritis in animals. 
4. Its decoction promotes phagocytosis. 

A good book on Chinese herbs is "Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica Revised Edition" written by Bensky and Gamble

For Sjorgen's syndrome I would employ immune Amphoterics as listed below:

Maitake, Hen of the Wood's, Latin Named: Grifola frondulosa or Lentinula elodes has been used for Sjorgen's Syndrome, it is in a class with other medicinal mushrooms which are amphoteric to the immune system. An amphoteric herb normalizes function so if the system is over reacting such as autoimmune it lowers the immune response, if it is under reacting it raise the response.

The other medicinal mushrooms are:

Chaga, Birch conch, Latin Name: Inonotus obliguus - immune amphoteric
Reishi mushrooms TCM named: Lang Chih \Ling Ja\, Latin Name: Ganoderma lucidum(Red-best- on oaks), G. sinensis(black), G applinatum(huge artist conch), G. Tsugae(grows on hemlock tree), G. oreganensis

Other herbs which are not mushrooms that are immune amphoterics are:

Astragulus, Yellow Leader, TCM named: Huang Qi, Latin Name: Astragulus membrananceus - immune amphoteric which is moistening 

Licorice root, TCM named: Gan Cao, Latin Named: Glycorrhiza uralensis has been traditionally used as an immune amphoteric herb, antiinflammatory and is moistening. The caution generally given out, is this herb is contraindicated when hypertension is an issue.

Antiinflammatory herbs are:
Sarsapirilla, Latin Named: Smilax species, S. bono-nox (This is the North American species), good for inflammatory conditions, it is moistening, good for autoimmune inflammatory conditions.

Turmeric, Latin Named: Curcumma longa, C. zedoaria, C. aromatic is antiinflammatory and liver (hepato) protective but also drying so use moistening herbs.

The Chinese Herb: 
Huang Qin, Chinese Scullcap root, Scute root, Latin Name: Scuttellaria biacalensis has been traditionally used for inflammation caused by hyper immune response, but the caution is it is drying.so you would want to use moistening herbs with it. ) Additionally it normalizes immune response and helps the liver as an antihepatotoxin agent.

Wu wei zu, 5 flavor fruit, Schisandra berry, Latin Named: Schisandra chinesis, S. sphenanthe is anti-inflammatory but again drying so use moistening herbs

Moistening herbs are: 
Marshmallow, Latin Named: Althea officinalis very moistening and antiinflammatory

Slippery Elm, Latin Named: Ulmus fulva, U. Rubra, very cool and moist energetics and additionally this is a topical antiinflammatory and good nutritive qualities, coats surfaces lessening irritation

This is a website I found on Sjorgren Syndrome http://www.sjogrens.com/

Good herbal source website, look on the USDA site and the NIH for referenced herbal studies and results and the book mentioned above.

In general increase essential fatty acids such as Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage oil which contain Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA).

: Can you tell me what zypan, vasculin, myo Plus, catalyn is used for also lact erz
Catalyn ®
Lact-Enz ®
Myo-Plus ®
Vasculin ®
Zypan ®
Are all products by:
1200 West Royal Lee Drive P.O. Box 904
Palmyra, Wisconsin 53156 
262-495-2122 - FAX: 262-495-2512 1-800-848-5061 http://www.standardprocess.com/
I would contact them by phone or email to get product literature, they do have downloadable information on their website for some of the products you are asking about. If they will not send it to you, I will try and get it as a practitioner. I do not know their product line, and would not hazard a guess on its quality or efficacy.

I was wondering if you could comment on using the herb tansy to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I recently received an e-mail from a friend on the net who says she (and others) have gotten dramatic relief from their OCD symptoms for a while after taking tansy.
Has tansy ever been used to treat anxiety disorders like this? What is tansy usually used for, and do any of its constituents have psycho-active properties? One source I found said that tansy has thujone, which is also in wormwood (and in absinthe!). I'd appreciate any comments
you might have. 

: Tansy has normally been used as an external remedy, it is an excellent bug repellent. Internal use would be short term if at all. Some suggest its use for digestive upset and gas, but there are better herb choices for these conditions. Tansy has abortifacient characteristics and should be avoided during pregnancy. I have not seen any information on use with OCD. According to the constituents I have found, there are some with psycho- active properties. I am interested in the use you describe and would like to see documentation if available.

The Beta and Iso Thujone listed below are chemical structures similar to Thujone.

From Jim Dukes website at the USDA the Chemicals and their Biological Activities in Tansy Latin named: Tanacetum vulgare are:

These are the chemical constituents which have been documented according to Jim Duke, ethnobotanist at his site on the USDA. http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/

1,8-CINEOLE Leaf 472 - 1,300 ppm DUKE1992A 
Allelopathic 450 ; Allergenic M&R486 ; Anesthetic DUKE1992B ; Anthelminthic JBH ; Antiallergic JFH33(6):569 ; Antibacterial 50 ppm; Antibronchitic DUKE1992B ; Anticatarrh M29 ; Anticholinesterase LGR ; Antifatigue JAR8:2 ; Antihalitosic AH12(4):17 ; Antilaryngitic DUKE1992B ; Antipharyngitic DUKE1992B ; Antirhinitic DUKE1992B ; Antiseptic JBH ; Antispasmodic SHT158 ; Antistaphylococcic JAR8:2 ; Antitussive MED'94 ; Candidicide LAF337 ; Choleretic DUKE1992B ; CNS-Stimulant DUKE1992B ; Convulsant JAR8:2 ; Counterirritant M29 ; Cytochrome-P450-Inducer MED'95 ; Degranulant 0.3 ul/ml EJP331:253 ; Dentifrice M29 ; Edemagenic inj EJP331:253 ; Expectorant JBH ; FLavor FEMA 1-200 ARC ; Fungicide SHT158 ; Gram(+)icide JAR8:2 ; Gram(-)icide JAR8:2 ; Hepatotonic DUKE1992B ; Herbicide IC50=78 uM TOX ; Hypotensive DUKE1992B ; Inflammatory inj EJP331:253 ; Insectifuge 382 ; Myorelaxant CAN ; Nematicide NIG ; Neurotoxic JAR8:2 ; Perfume ARC ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Rubefacient M29 ; Secretogogue SHT158 ; Sedative JE25:165 ; Spasmogenic JAR8:2 ; Surfactant SHT158 ; Testosterone-Hydroxylase-Inducer MED'95 ; Trichomonicide DUKE1992B 

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

Allelochemic DUKE1992B ; Allergenic M&R523 ; Antibacterial RIE12:5 ; Antifeedant JAF45:3276 ; Antiflu EMP5:195 ; Antiinflammatory IJO15(4):194 ; Antiviral EMP5:195 ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Coleoptiphile DUKE1992B ; Expectorant MIK ; FLavor FEMA 15-150 ARC ; Herbicide IC50=30 uM TOX ; Insectifuge 50 ppm 382 ; Insectiphile JSPR22:141 ; Irritant JBH ; Perfumery ARC ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Sedative LRN-JUN90 ; Spasmogenic CAN ; Tranquilizer LRN-JUN90 

ALPHA-TERPINENE Plant 40 - 200 ppm DUKE1992A 
ACE-Inhibitor 100 ug/ml (weak activity) K26575 ; Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor 100 ug/ml TYK1992:95 ; Antiacetylcholinesterase IC50=1.0 mM JAF45:677 ; FLavor FEMA 1-40 ARC ; Insectifuge DUKE1992B ; Perfumery ARC ; Pesticide DUKE1992B 

11B-HSD-Inhibitor CPT59:62 ; Antiaggregant 411 ; Antiallergic PAM ; Antiarrhythmic PT4:118 ; Antibacterial 452 ; Anticomplementary MSC'96 ; Antidermatitic BIS ; Antiestrogenic PAM ; Antiherpetic EMP5:197 ; Antihistaminic 411 ; AntiHIV IC50=143 ug/ml JNP60(9):884 IC72=200 ug/ml JNP60(9):884 ; Antiinflammatory = indomethacin WIC ; Antimutagenic ID50=10-40 nM PCF ; Antioxidant 411 ; Antispasmodic EC50=1-5 uM; Antithyroid JNM1:10 ; Antitumor (Skin) MSC'96 ; Antiviral EMP5:197 ; Anxiolytic 10 mg/kg PM61:213 ; Aromatase-Inhibitor IC65=1 uM/l JMF2:235 ; Calcium-Antagonist? BBA1115:69 ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Choleretic FTS:1986 ; CNS-Depressant JNP67:359 ; COX-2-Inhibitor COX2000 ; Cytotoxic IC88=10 ug/ml PM57:A113 ; Deiodinase-Inhibitor JNM1:10 ; Diuretic JBH ; Estrogenic EC50=0.1-25 uM/l JMF2:227 ; Hypotensive JBH ; Musculotropic WIC ; Myorelaxant JBH ; NADH-Oxidase-Inhibitor BJP3:10 ; Nodulation-Signal JBH ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; PKC-Inhibitor IC50=10 uM MSC'96 ; Quinone-Reductase-Inducer 20 uM CLE120:213 ; Sedative 30-100 mg/kg PM61:213 ; Sunscreen MSC'96 ; Topoisomerase-I-Inhibitor TIH14:223 ; Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor 50 ug/ml JB118:312 ; Uterotrophic EC50=0.1-25 uM/l JMF2:227 ; Vasodilator BBA1115:69 

Herbistat JBH 

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

No activity reported.

Anticancer (Cervix) MPT 

BETA-THUJONE Leaf 1,124 - 3,500 ppm DUKE1992A 
Abortifacient CAN ; Antibacterial JEO7:271 ; Emmenagogue CAN ; Insectifuge DUKE1992B ; Pesticide DUKE1992B 

BETA-THUJYL-ALCOHOL Plant 348 - 435 ppm DUKE1992A 
No activity reported.

Allelochemic JAF45:3276 ; Analgesic DUKE1992B ; Antiacetylcholine CAN ; Antibronchitic JBH ; Antifeedant JAF45:3276 ; Antiinflammatory DUKE1992B ; Antipyretic DUKE1992B ; Antispasmodic ED50=0.008 mg/ml FT59:465 ; CNS-Toxic JBH ; FLavor FEMA<1 ARC ; Hepatoprotective DUKE1992B ; Herbicide IC50=470 mM 438 IC50=470 uM TOX ; Inhalant JBH ; Insect-Repellent DUKE1992B ; Insectifuge 382 ; Myorelaxant CAN ; Nematicide MLC=1 mg/ml SZ44:183 ; Perfumery JBH ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Sedative MED 
Antibacterial LAF ; Antifeedant 382 ; Antispasmodic ED50=0.09 mg/ml FT59:465 ; Antiviral LAF ; Expectorant JBH ; FLavor FEMA 70-80 ARC ; Insectifuge DUKE1992B ; Myorelaxant CAN ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Sedative
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor 4 ug/ml (weak activity) SKN43:99 ; Allergenic M&R317 ; Analgesic PMP23:51 ; Antiadenoviral EMP5:207 ; Antiaggregant JBH ; Antibacterial PAM ; Anticancer JAF47:397 ; Anticarcinogenic EMP6:189 ; Antiedemic EMP6:189 ; Antiflu EMP5:207 ; Antigonadotropic JNM1:10 ; Antihemolytic 25 uM PC36:579 ; Antihepatotoxic PM56:173 ; Antiherpetic 50 ug/ml EC50=>50 ug/ml POP:270 ; Antihistaminic DUKE1992B ; AntiHIV EC50=200 ug/ml; Antihypercholesterolemic EMP6:189 ; Antiinflammatory JBH ; Antimutagenic PCF:18 ; Antinitrosaminic PCF:18 ; Antiophidic FT65(2):101 ; Antioxidant 1/3 quercetin JAF47:397 50 um PC27:973 IC57=30 ppm PCF:221 ; Antiperoxidant IC50=44 uM PM57:A54 ; Antiprostaglandin PJB1(1):169 ; Antiradicular 1/3 quercetin JAF47:397 10 uM PC36:579 ; Antiseptic JE26:76 ; Antispasmodic EC50=3.4-15 uM PR4:73 ; Antistomatitic EMP5:207 ; Antisunburn PM61:510 ; Antithiamin PCF:69 ; Antithyroid JNM1:10 ; Antitumor PCF:19 ; Antitumor-Promoter IC42=10 uM CR48:5941 ; Antiulcerogenic; Antivaccinia EMP5:207 ; Antiviral IC50=62.5 ug/ml; Calcium-Antagonist IC50=1.2 uM rbt K16299 ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Carcinogenic 2% (diet); Cholagogue WIC ; Choleretic 411 ; Clastogenic JBH ; CNS-Active WIC ; Co-carcinogenic PCF:44 ; Collagen-Sparing PM61:510 ; Cytoprotective CAN ; Cytotoxic TC50=200 ug/ml POP:270 ; Diuretic WIC ; DNA-Active JBH ; Fungicide MIC=0.4 mg/ml; Hepatoprotective ACM:210 ; Hepatotropic DUKE1992B ; Immunostimulant PPL7:187 ; Insectifuge EB48:111 ; Leukotriene-Inhibitor DUKE1992B ; Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor IC27=5 mM JAF38:688 IC50=62-148 uM JAF44:2057 ; Lyase-Inhibitor IC50=94-164 uM JAF44:2057 ; Metal-Chelator PCF:25 ; Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor PCF:19 ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Prooxidant JAFC45:632 ; Prostaglandigenic RWG27 ; Sedative 500 mg RWG17 ; Sunscreen IC50=2.5 mg/l FT64:134 IC91=5 mg/l FT64:134 IC98=25 mg/l FT64:134 ; Tumorigenic 505 ; Vulnerary JE26:76 
CAMPHOR Leaf 1,800 ppm; DUKE1992A 
Allelopathic 450 ; Analgesic MAR ; Anesthetic JE26:65 ; Antiacne NIG ; Antiemetic 100-200 mg man orl KCH ; Antifeedant IC50=5,000 ppm diet 438 ; Antifibrositic MAR ; Antineuralgic MAR ; Antipruritic M11 ; Antiseptic M11 ; Antispasmodic ED50=0.075 mg/ml FT59:465 ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Carminative JPP46:16 ; CNS-Stimulant JE26:65 ; Convulsant RJH ; Cosmetic JBH ; Counterirritant MAR ; Decongestant NIG ; Deliriant M11 ; Ecbolic DUKE1992B ; Emetic DUKE1992B ; Epileptigenic CAN ; Expectorant M29 ; Fungicide ED50=2.7 mM TOX ; Herbicide IC50=3.3-180 mM 438 ; Insect-Repellent DUKE1992B ; Insectifuge M11 ; Irritant JBH ; Nematicide MLC=1 mg/ml SZ44:183 ; Occuloirritant M&R ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Respirainhibitor M11 ; Respirastimulant KCH ; Rubefacient MAR ; Stimulant RJH ; Verrucolytic NIG 
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor PJB1(3):238 ; Antiacne PJB1(3):238 ; Antiasthmatic LAF ; Antibacterial JAF40:2328 ; Anticariogenic MIC=>1,600 ug/ml JAF41:1103 ; Antiedemic CPB38:2283 ; Antifeedant 500 ppm TOX ; Antiinflammatory IC50=100 uM CPB38:2283 ; Antispasmodic DUKE1992B ; Antistreptococcic PJB1(3):238 ; Antitumor JNP55:999 ; FLavor FEMA 20-200 ARC ; Insectifuge 382 ; Perfumery M11 ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Termitifuge 382 
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor IC50=1.8 uM rat (strong activity) CPB47:340 ; Allelochemic SN149:389 ; Allergenic; Analgesic PMP23:51 ; Antibacterial JE26:81 ; Anticancer (Colon) PAL:335 ; Anticancer (Forestomach) PAL:335 ; Anticancer (Liver) PAL:335 ; Anticancer (Skin) PAL:335 ; Anticarcinogenic JAF45:1523 ; AntiEBV EMP6:189 ; Antifeedant 382 ; Antigenotoxic JAF45:1523 ; Antigonadotropic JNM1:10 ; Antihemolytic 10 uM PC36:579 ; Antihepatotoxic PM56(2):173 ; Antiherpetic EMP5:194 ; Antihistaminic DUKE1992B ; AntiHIV EMP6:189 ; Antihypercholesterolemic EMP6:189 ; Antiinflammatory PCF:19 ; Antimutagenic PCF:245 ; Antinitrosaminic PCF:18 ; Antioxidant IC53=200 ppm PCF:21 IC80=12 uM PC27:973 ; Antiperoxidant IC50=36 uM PM57:A54 ; Antipolio V&E ; Antiradicular 10 uM PC36:579 9 x quercetin JAF47:397 ; Antiseptic PMP23:51 ; Antisunburn PM61:510 ; Antithyroid JNM1:10 ; Antitumor JBH ; Antitumor-Promoter IC25=10 uM CR48:5941 ; Antiulcer EMP6:189 ; Antiviral V&D ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Cholagogue WIC ; Choleretic KCH ; Clastogenic JAF38:805 ; CNS-Active WIC ; CNS-Stimulant 1/6 Caffeine LAF ; Collagen-Sparing PM61:510 ; Diuretic WIC ; Fungicide NIG ; Hepatoprotective KCH ; Immunostimulant EMP1:124 ; Insectifuge EB48:111 ; Interferonogenic EMP1:124 ; Juvabional 382 ; Larvistat JBH ; Leukotriene-Inhibitor DUKE1992B ; Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor IC23=5 mM JAF38:688 ; Metal-Chelator PCF:25 ; Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor PCF:19 ; Oviposition-Stimulant JBH ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Sweetener LAF ; Vulnerary CAN210 
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
DAVANONE Shoot 7,061 - 8,803 ppm DUKE1992A 
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor IC17=10 uM PC23:1885 ; Antimutagenic IC50=10-40 nM PCF ; Antirhinoviral EMP5:197 ; Antiviral EMP5:197 ; Cancer-Preventive 525 
EO Plant 4,000 - 5,000 ppm DUKE1992A 
No activity reported.
Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor IC50=25 uM rat (weak activity) CPB47:340 ; Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor JBH 
No activity reported.
ACE-Inhibitor 100 ug/ml (weak activity) K26575 ; Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor 100 ug/ml TYK1992:95 ; Antiacetylcholinesterase IC23=1.2 mM JAF45:677 ; Antioxidant JA6(4):33 ; FLavor FEMA 1-40 ARC ; Insectifuge DUKE1992B ; Perfumery ARC ; Pesticide DUKE1992B 
GERMACRENE-D Pm 1,400 - 2,000 ppm DUKE1992A 
Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Pheromone DUKE1992B 
Antioxidant PCF:64 ; Antiseptic JNP46(5) ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Pesticide DUKE1992B 
No activity reported.
ISOTHUJONE Plant 2,640 - 4,050 ppm DUKE1992A 
No activity reported.
Antiinflammatory DUKE1992B ; Antispasmodic HG20:40 
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
No activity reported.
5-HT-Inhibitor JPP42:553 ; 5-Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor AMR333 ; Allelopathic JBH ; Allergenic AEHD1:257 ; Antiaggregant IC50=50 uM uMJPP42:553 ; Antiarthritic M29 ; Antibacterial HG20:32 ; Anticancer AEHD1:256 ; Antiinflammatory HG20:31 ; Antimigraine 250 ug/man/day; Antineuralgic PM56(6):540 ; Antiprostaglandin HG20:31 ; Antisecretory AEHD ; Antiseptic HG20:32 ; Antispasmodic HG20:31 ; Antitumor JPP42:557 ; Candidicide CAN119 ; COX-2-Inhibitor COX2000 ; Cytotoxic 2.3 ppm DUKE1992B ; Dermatitigenic HG20:34 ; Fungicide JBH ; Gram(+)icide CAN119 ; Hypercalcuric 411 ; Pesticide DUKE1992B ; Phospholipase-Inhibitor AMR333 ; Prostaglandin-Synthetase-Inhibitor AMR333 
No activity reported.
Antiasthmatic DUKE1992B ; FLavor FEMA 1-2 ARC ; Herbicide IC50=30 mM 438 IC50=75 uM TOX ; Insectifuge (> DEET) JNP56:935 ; Perfumery ARC ; Pesticide DUKE1992B 
11B-HSD-Inhibitor CPT59:62 ; 5-Lipoxygenase-Inhibitor IC50 (uM)=4; Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor 100 uM 4 ug/ml SKN43:99 IC50=0.344 uM ZZZ18:623 IC50=0.84 ug/ml cow CPB43:1385 ; Allelochemic IC82=1 mM 438 ; Allergenic JBH ; Analgesic FT63(3):197 ; Antiaggregant 30 uM JAF45:4505 IC50=55 uM EMP5:333 ; Antiallergic IC50=14 uM JIM127:546 ; Antianaphylactic PR4(5):201 ; Antiasthmatic JIM127:546 ; Antibacterial JBH ; Anticarcinomic (Breast) IC50=1.5 uM MED ; Anticataract PM56(3):258 ; Anticolitic 400 mg/man/3x/day PAM ; AntiCrohn's PAM ; Antidermatitic PAM ; Antidiabetic PAM ; Antiencephalitic EMP5:199 ; Antiestrogenic; Antifeedant IC52=<1,000 ppm diet 438 ; Antifibrosarcomic JAF45:4505 ; Antiflu V&D ; Antigastric RR21:85 ; Antigonadotropic JBH ; Antihepatotoxic PM56(2):171 ; Antiherpetic PAM ; Antihistaminic; AntiHIV JNP60(9):884 ; Antihydrophobic V&D ; Antihypertensive KCH ; Antiinflammatory (20 mg/kg) 150 mg/kg FT5:1990 ; Antileukemic IC50=10 uM EMP5:225 IC50=>10 ug/ml LS55:1061 ; Antileukotrienic PAM ; Antilipoperoxidant IC67=50; Antimalarial IC50=1-6.4 ug/ml MPT ; Antimutagenic ID50=2-5 nM PCF ; Antimyocarditic EMP5:199 ; Antinitrosaminic PAL:339 ; Antioxidant ED50=2.3 uM PR14:93 IC96=300 ppm PCF ; Antiperiodontal PAM ; Antipermeability DUKE1992B ; Antiperoxidant PM57:A110 ; Antipharyngitic PAM ; Antiplaque PAM ; AntiPMS 500 mg/2x/day/wmn PAM ; Antipodriac PAM ; Antipolio PAM ; Antiproliferant JNM7:51 ; Antiprostanoid PCF:51 ; Antipsoriac PAM ; Antiradicular IC50=4.6 uM PM56(6):695 ; Antispasmodic; Antithiamin PCF:69 ; Antithrombic PAL:339 ; Antitumor HG22:9 ; Antitumor (Bladder) JNM7:51 ; Antitumor (Breast) JNM7:51 ; Antitumor (Colon) JAF45:4505 ; Antitumor (Ovary) JNM7:51 ; Antitumor-Promoter PAM ; Antiviral IC50=10 uM; Apoptotic BOI ; ATPase-Inhibitor NIG ; Bacteristat 10 mg/ml QRNM(SUMMER):91 ; Bradycardiac KCH ; Calmodulin-Antagonist PAM ; cAMP-Phosphodiesterase-Inhibitor PAM ; Cancer-Preventive 525 ; Capillariprotective M11 ; Carcinogenic 40,000 ppm (diet) mus NIG ; Catabolic AFR27:173 ; COMT-Inhibitor QRNM1997:293 ; Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor PCF:49 ; Cytotoxic ED50=70 ug/ml PM56(6):677 IC82=100 ug/ml PM57:A113 ; Deiodinase-Inhibitor JNM1:10 ; Diaphoretic? LRN-DEC90 ; Hemostat KCH ; Hepatomagenic 5,000 ppm (diet) rat PCF ; Hepatoprotective FT67:200 ; HIV-RT-Inhibitor IC50=<1 ug/ml JNP53(5):1239 ; Hypoglycemic 1001_main.htm - 200 0 819 424 781 80 HTTP/1.0