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Medicinal Herb Facts I- J-K Herbs



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Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga): It has been used in folk medicine in Africa as a general stimulant and also to treat neuralgia and nervous conditions.  Iboga causes euphoria and visual hallucinations.  Ibogaine is not a substitute for narcotics or stimulants, is not addicting and is given in a single administration modality (SAM). It is a chemical dependence interrupter. Retreatment may occasionally be needed until the person being treated with Ibogaine is able to extinguish certain conditioned responses related to drugs they abuse. Early data suggests that a period of approximately two years of intermittent treatments may be required to attain the goal of long-term abstinence from narcotics and stimulants for many patients. The majority of patients treated with Ibogaine remain free from chemical dependence for a period of three to six months after a single dose. Approximately ten percent of patients treated with Ibogaine remain free of chemical dependence for two or more years from a single treatment and an equal percentage return to drug use within two weeks after treatment. Multiple administrations of Ibogaine over a period of time are generally more effective in extending periods of abstinence.
           Ibogaine has central nervous system activity, produces hallucinations and has anticonvulsant properties. Plants containing ibogaine are traditionally used in the treatment of fevers and hypertension, as a tonic, stimulant and aphrodisiac. It shares many of its healing properties with yohimbine and other related indole alkaloids. It's remarkable ability to stimulate the alpha-2 adrenal receptors produces a longlasting stimulation without the hypertension associated with many other stimulants. Recent research into yohimbine's effect to efficiently combat lethargy and lack of energy in HIV patients and chronic fatigue syndrome may also be applicable to ibogaine.

Iceland Moss (Cetraria islandica):
    As a soothing demulcent with a high mucilage content, Iceland Moss finds use in the treatment of gastritis, vomiting and dyspepsia.  It is often used in respiratory catarrh and bronchitis. It calms dry and paroxysmal coughs, being particularly helpful as a treatment for elderly people.   It generally soothes the mucous membranes.  The extract is added to antiseptics and to lozenges for dry coughs and sore throats.  In addition its nourishing qualities contribute to the treatment of cachexia, a state of malnourishment and debility.  Iceland moss is also very bitter and, within the gut, has both a demulcent and bitter tonic effect.  It is thus of value in all kinds of chronic digestive problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome.  It also gently expels worms, and in view of recent research, could prove useful for certain digestive infections.

Incense Plant (Calomeria amaranthoides): Homeopathic uses for skin problems like eczema

Ignatius Bean (Strychnos ignatii): Historically, the pits of the S. Ignacio cured persons who had eaten something poisonous. A small piece of it, eaten and followed down with cold water, expelled the poison. It also stopped stomach cramps and the inflammation of the ileum. It cured lockjaw and helped women giving birth. Scrapped pieces could be ingested when chills started in order to lower the fever. Ground into a powder and placed over the affected area, it cured the effects of hairy worms called "basut." Sucked as a candy, it eased arthritic pains and watery discharges due to indigestion. Cut into strips and fried in oil, it could be massaged into a paralyzed part of the body. It eased body aches as well.
             It appears to possess an influence over the nervous system of a tonic and stimulating character, not belonging to Nux vomica or strychnine. It is never a remedy for conditions of excitation of the nervous system, but its key-note is atony; it is the remedy for nervous debility, and all that that term implies, being one of the best of nerve stimulants and nerve tonics. It was early recognized as a remedy for nervous debility, amenorrhea, chlorosis, etc. As a rule, the dose of ignatia administered is too large, a depressing headache often resulting from its immoderate use. The preparation mostly employed is specific ignatia, of which from 5 to 10 drops should be added to 4 fluid ounces of water, and the solution be administered in teaspoonful doses every 2 or 3 hours. Bearing in mind the condition of nervous atony, it may be successfully administered in anemia, where the patient is cold, and especially when coldness of the extremities is one of the distressing features of the menopause. It should be thought of in anemic states of the brain, and particularly in those cases where the patient exhibits hysterical, melancholic, or hypochondriacal demonstrations. It is a remedy for digestive disorders, such as atonic dyspepsia and chronic catarrh of the stomach, with atony, and gastralgia or gastrodynia. The sick headache of debility is relieved by it. Shifting, dragging, boring, or darting pains, deeply seated in the loins or lumbar region, are those benefited by ignatia. It is an important remedy in atonic reproductive disorders. Eclectics have not found it to be especially adapted to females only, as have the Homoeopaths declare it the remedy for women, while nux and strychnine are remedies for men. Sexual coldness in both sexes, impotence in the male and sterility in the female are remedied many times by the judicious administration of ignatia. The deep-seated pelvic pains of women, particularly ovarian pains and uterine colic are especially relieved by ignatia, which is also indicated in menstrual disorders with colic-like pains, heavy dragging of the ovaries, and an abnormally large and heavy womb. If added to these pelvic weaknesses, the general nervous system is greatly debilitated, there are wandering pelvic pains or pain in the right hypochondrium with constipation, neuralgia in other parts of the body, twitching, of the facial muscles, a tendency to paralysis, and choreic and epileptiform symptoms, associated with a disposition to grieve over one's condition, the indications for ignatia are still stronger. But to obtain beneficial effects the dose must be small.

Ikhathazo (Alepidea amatymbica): Used for colds and chest complaints, as well as for influenza and abdominal cramps. An infusion is made, together with Cannabis sativa, for treating asthma. Used generally in traditional medicine to treat colds, coughs, rheumatism, wounds, and to wash divining bones. Immune booster and also for kidney and liver dysfunction.

Indian Atees (Aconitum heterophyllum): It is used in India in the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhea and coughs. It is also used in Tibetan medicine, where it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used to treat poisoning from scorpion or snake bites, the fevers of contagious diseases and inflammation of the intestines.  The dried tuberous roots are used for hemorrhoids, vomiting, edema, liver disorders, Kapha and Pitta diseases; convalescing after fever, debility, diarrhea, dysentery, acute inflammations, cough, indigestion, chronic fevers. Even though Aconitum heterophyllum belongs to the aconitum family, it is non-toxic if used properly. In Ayurvedic medicine it is used for children experiencing fever and diarrhea. It does slow the heart rate.  It is also used to treat headaches caused from eating excessive amounts of greasy foods, thirst associated with fever, yellowish sclera, nausea, vomiting, throat pain, and lung and eye inflammation. This herb is also used for treating digestive disorders such as anorexia, piles, and worms. It is said to help revitalize sexual desire and reduce obesity. Mitigates breast milk in lactating mothers.    The recommended doses of Aconitum heterophyllum depend on the condition that is being treated. Different formulations of Aconitum heterophyllum can be toxic, therefore, strict supervision by a qualified herbalist or physician is advised before using this herb. Do not use old herbs as they lose their potency. Historically before using the root it would be purified by being kept in cow's urine for one night and then dried in sunlight and ground into powder.

Indian Bread (Poria cocos): Poria cocos is a very old and widely used herb especially in Chinese medicine. Poria cocos has been traditionally used as a tonic to benefit the internal organs. Poria is normally white in color, and also called "white poria". The variant with light red color is called "red poria".  Poria cocos is a mushroom amphoteric in its ability to regulate either high or low, potassium and sodium balance. Traditional Chinese medicine uses poria cocos or Fu Ling to remove spleen dampness. This herb is often used in female, male, or relaxing herbal blends.  The pach maram is effective for many diseases such as chronic hepatitis. It is much used as a diuretic and tonic and is prescribed for a variety of conditions affecting the urinary system, including fluid retention and difficulty in passing urine.  Fu ling has a soothing and tranquilizing effect on the nervous system, and can be most helpful in treating stress-related problems such as anxiety, tension headaches, palpitations, and difficulty in sleeping.  In common with many other tonic herbs, fu ling plays a useful role in supporting convalescence after long-term illness.  Fu ling compound was used on 70 different type of tumors. In some cases only fu ling was used, and in others fu ling was used with chemo therapy, or radiation therapy or surgery. It showed that fu ling can strengthen the body, improve body weight, improve appetite, lessen or prevent side effect of chemo therapy, protect bone marrow, improve liver and kidney functions, improve radiation therapy on nose and throat cancers.  Clears dampness, tonifies the spleen functions, calms the mind. It is used for edema, mucus, urinary imbalances, diarrhea, palpitations, vertigo, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia.  The outer peel can be used for clearing edema. Fu shen mushroom is most effective for calming the spirit.  Like the majority of herbs, Poria cocos needs more experimental data for scientific verification of the anecdotal evidences of its health effects. Although there are positive indications of Poria's health benefits, most of them are inconclusive due to the scarcity of data.

Indian Cassia Lignea (Cinnamomum tamala): By the time the Greeks and Romans first learned of the Indian cassia lignea, its medicinal and culinary properties were already held in high esteem by Ayurvedic physicians.  In the first century A.D., Charaka was prescribing its dried leaves and bark for fever, anemia, and body odor.  Its seeds were crushed and mixed with honey or sugar, and administered to children for dysentery or coughs.  Discovered to be of assistance in cardiac disorders, cassia lignea bark gained a reputation on ancient trade routes as an aid to rejuvenation, while the medicinal properties of its leaf were sufficiently respected to find mention in the Arabic Materia Mecia, Avicenna’s works and the English Pharamcopoeia,  and the leaves can still be bought in Italian drugstores. Cinnamon  enhances  insulin efficiency in Type  1 Diabetes patients. 

Indian Coral Tree (Erythrina variegata): In Ayurveda, Indian coral tree is used to treat inflammatory conditions, menstrual pain, and problems related to eating and digestion, including anorexia, flatulence, colic, and worms.  The bark is used for skin problems, fever, and leprosy.   A paste made from the leaves is traditionally applied to heal wounds.  The bark and leaves are used in many traditional medicines, including paribhadra, an Indian preparation said to destroy pathogenic parasites and relieve joint pain. Juice from the leaves is mixed with honey and ingested to kill tapeworm, roundworm and threadworn. Women take this juice to stimulate lactation and menstruation. It is also commonly mixed with castor oil to cure dysentery. A warm poultice of the leaves is applied externally to relieve rheumatic joints.

Indian Fig (Opuntia compressa): The stems, which look like flat, spiny green leaves, are roasted and used as a poultice on swellings of all sorts and on the breasts of nursing mothers whose milk supply has dwindled.  The roots have been used in an effort to increase hair growth.  A tea made of flowers has been drunk to increase urine flow. Indians made tea of the stems and used this as a wash to ease headaches, eye troubles, and insomnia.  The early settlers of the West boiled the root in milk and drank the liquid to treat dysentery.  A poultice of the peeled pads is applied to wounds, sores etc.  The juice of the fruits is used as a treatment for warts.  A tea made from the pads is used in the treatment of lung ailments.  

Indian Kamila (Mallotus philippensis): Traditional healers in India use the powdered fruit with ghee and gud (jaggery) to flush out the harmful worms. The natives use the powdered fruit to dress the wounds. They also use it to treat syphilis and gonorrhea alone in simple cases and with other herbs in case of complicated cases. To treat itching in the rectum healers suggest the patients dip the cotton in seed oil and put it inside the anus. This treatment cures the trouble effectively. The root of the tree is used for cutaneous eruptions, also used by the Arabs internally for leprosy and in solution to remove freckles and pustules. In England it has been successfully used for an eruption in children known as wildfire, the powder is rubbed over the affected part with moist lint. Its greatest use, however, is in the use of tapeworm, being safer and more certain than other cures; the worm is passed whole and generally dead. Kamala acts quickly and actively as a purgative, and often causes much griping and nausea, but seldom vomiting. It may be given in water mucilage or syrup; the worm is usually expelled at the third or fourth stool; if it fails to act, the dose is repeated after four hours, or a dose of castor oil is given. Kamala is largely used in India externally for cutaneous troubles, and is most effective for scabies. It has been successfully employed in herpetic ringworm, and as a taenifuge it has been used with good results combined with Kousso and known as Kama-kosin. Was also used externally to treat scabies and other parasitic skin diseases.  All parts of the tree can be applied externally to treat parasitic infections of the skin. The paste of unripe fruit is mixed with half the amount of plant juice of Cynodon dactylon and is applied to treat ringworm. Kamala is often grossly adulterated; its quality can be judged by throwing a little on the surface of water, when the adulterants, such as sand, ferric oxide, etc., will sink, and the pure drug float; stalks and leaves can be easily sifted out. Dyed starch is detected by microscope, also ground safflower by same means.

Indian Madder (Rubia cordifolia): The roots have an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis, Pneumococci etc. They are used to lower the blood pressure. The roots are used internally in the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, internal and external hemorrhage, bronchitis, rheumatism, stones in the kidney, bladder and gall bladder, dysentery etc. The stems are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are considered to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. They are used in the treatment of blood disorders and spreading fever of kidneys and intestines.  This is one of the most reliable alterative blood-purifying herbs in the Chinese pharmacopeia.  It cools, detoxifies, and dissolves obstructions in the blood, particularly in the female reproductive system.  Its deobstruent properties extend to tumors, kidney stones and liver clots, all of which it helps dissolve and eliminate.  It’s an excellent choice for any condition that causes or is caused by blood and liver toxicity.

Indian Mallow (Abutilon indicum): Used in much the same way as marsh mallow as a demulcent.  The root and bark of Indian mallow are mucilaginous and are used to soothe and protect the mucous membranes of the respiratory and urinary systems.  A decoction of the root is given for chest conditions such as bronchitis.  The mucilaginous effect benefits the skin; an infusion, poultice, or paste made from the powdered root or bark is applied to wounds and used for conditions such as boils and ulcers.  The seeds are laxative and “useful in killing threadworms, if the rectum of the affected child be exposed to the smoke of the powdered seeds” (Herbs that Heal, H.K Bakhru, 1992)  The plant has an antiseptic effect within the urinary tract and can be used to treat and can be used to treat infections.

Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea): Chippewa Indians used paintbrush to treat rheumatism and as a bath rinse to make their hair glossy.  (probably because of the selenium content).  Nevada Indians sometimes used dilute solutions of the root tea to treat venereal disease.  Various tribes used the flowering plant as its name and appearance suggest—as a paintbrush.  Two or three moderately strong cups a day are drunk as a remedy for water retention associated with weather and temperature changes.  Take as a simple tea, up to 3 times a day.  Today, it is seldom used as a food or medicine, but some herbalists believe that the selenium content of this plant may make it useful in treating various forms of cancer.

Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora): The dried powdered root was given to children for epilepsy and convulsions.  At one time the dried plant was used in place opium to relieve pain and induce sleep. It is a good remedy for spasms, fainting spells and various nervous conditions.    The plant was used by some native North American Indian tribes to treat eye problems, the stem was bruised and the clear fluid of the stems applied to the eyes. The juice from the stems has also been used to treat nervous irritability, including fits and spasms. An infusion of the leaves has been used to treat colds and fevers.  The crushed plant has been rubbed on bunions and warts in order to destroy them. A poultice of the plant has been applied to sores that are difficult to heal.  The flowers have been chewed in order to bring relief from toothache.  Water extracts of the plant are bactericidal.

Inmortal   (Asclepias asperula) Outside the Spanish and Indian herbal tradition of the New Mexico, Inmortal is virtually unknown.  It is a bronchial dilator and stimulates lymph drainage from the lungs, consequently, a medicine for asthma, pleurisy, bronchitis, and lung infections in general  One-half teaspoon of the dried root is boiled in water and drunk every three or four hours as long as necessary.  The root is a mild but reliable cardiac tonic, particularly in congestive heart disorders, one-half teaspoon of the powdered root swallowed with water in the morning, either occasionally or for maintenance.  Has no tendency to accumulate.
Inmortal is an effective menstrual stimulant, either for tardiness or for stimulating a scanty, painful period; one-half to one teaspoon in tea, once or twice.  It has been used as an abortifacient up to the sixth week of pregnancy but is not reliable and is more likely to cause nausea than a miscarriage.  The tea drunk after childbirth or during labor will aid in shortening the uterine contractions afterward and decrease the time necessary for vaginal discharge or lochia.  A small amount of the root taken several times during a day will stimulate the changeover from colostrums to milk production.  Further, a small amount of the finely powdered root can be snuffed vigorously up each nostril to produce copious sneezing without irritation, which can clear up the most obstructed sinus.  Inmortal causes obvious vagus nerve stimulation.  The root will stimulate perspiration at the onset of an infection and as a laxative effect.

Intoxicating Yam (Dioscorea hispida): Pounded tubers are used for sores on the feet, skin diseases and boils. Rhizome serves as sedative, maturative and insecticide.

Ipecac, American (Gillenia stipulate): The dried powdered root bark is cathartic, slightly diaphoretic, a mild and efficient emetic, expectorant and tonic. Minute doses are used internally in the treatment of colds, chronic diarrhea, constipation, asthma and other bronchial complaints. The roots have been used externally in the treatment of rheumatism. A cold infusion of the roots has been given, or the root chewed, in the treatment of bee and other stings. The roots are harvested in the autumn, the bark is removed and dried for later use. A tea made from the whole plant is strongly laxative and emetic. Minute doses are used internally in the treatment of colds, indigestion, asthma and hepatitis. A poultice or wash is used in the treatment of rheumatism, bee stings and swellings. A decoction or strong infusion of the whole plant has been taken a pint at a time as an emetic. A poultice of the plant has been used to treat leg swellings. The plant has been used in the treatment of toothaches.

Iporuru (Alchornea floribunda): A member of the spurge family, it is a psychedelic plant which veers into the aphrodisiac.  Chemicals as yet unisolated may be involved in the aphrodisiacal proclivities of this plant.  For medicinal use, the root-bark is macerated and powdered.   Among indigenous Amazonian tribes, the genus is used to treat rheumatism and arthritis.  Its perceived anti-inflammatory properties have made iporuru popular in North America as a treatment for arthritis and rheumatism.  It also has the ability to support muscle and joint structure, aiding flexibility of movement and range of motion. It is also an effective topical pain reliever when rubbed into injuries.  In Africa, it is reported to be used for gonorrhea and coughs.  A study found that an extract of the bark of a related species appeared to act as an antispasmodic and an antibacterial agent and is thus useful in combating diarrhea.  In some parts of Peru it is hailed as an effective aphrodisiac, increasing female fertility and a remedy for male impotency. When used as an aphrodisiac by African natives, sometimes in combination with other drugs such as iboga, niando is generally prepared by steeping the root bark in palm or banana wine. Other folk uses include treating diabetes. Taken regularly it produces an interesting state of heightened awareness. Laboratory research has also shown Iporuru to have antitumor, antifungal and antiviral efficacy. Iporuru remedies and products are often sold in local markets and herbal pharmacies in Peru. Leaves of Iporuru are used in the area around Piura to increase female fertility in cases where the male is relatively impotent. It is also used as an aphrodisiac and geriatric for males.  In addition to its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties, a study in Argentina found that an extract of Iporuru was antibacterial and effective against penicillin G resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Aspergillus niger. Currently, in Peruvian herbal medicine, Iporuru is widely used to treat impotency and for reducing sugar in the blood and urine in diabetics.

Iris, Beachhead (Iris setosa): a decoction of the root is used as a laxative

Iris, Yellow (Iris pseudacorus): : Yellow flag was once credited with healing properties it did not actually have—it was used as a diuretic, purgative and emetic.  It has also been recommended for making a cooling astringent lotion for external application, and is reputedly effective when applied to wounds.  A tea prepared from the rhizome (underground stem) was once used as a remedy for certain gynecological complaints, but is no longer recommended. A lotion made from the juice of the fresh rhizome is sometimes recommended by herbalists for wounds.  Pharmacologists report that there is some evidence that yellow flag shows anti-inflammatory activity.  A slice of the root held against an aching tooth is said to bring immediate relief. It was at one time widely used as a powerful cathartic but is seldom used nowadays because of its extremely acrid nature. When dried the root loses its acridity and then only acts as an astringent.  A tincture of the rhizome is used in homeopathy.

Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus )  This very property is the basis of its use in digestive conditions where a demulcent is called for, such as gastritis and ulcers.  However, its main use is in respiratory problems such as bronchitis.  Its expectorant effect encourages the coughing up of phlegm, and it soothes dry and irritated mucous membranes.  It is of value for acid indigestion, gastritis, and urinary infections such as cystitis.  For these conditions it is normally combined with other appropriate herbs.  Mucilaginous in texture and slightly salty in taste, Irish moss makes a valuable nutrient in convalescence.  Applied externally, this emollient herb soothes inflamed skin.  Irish moss also acts to thin the blood.  It often is combined with Iceland moss, comfrey root and honey to form a mucilage for treating inflamed lungs, sore throat and wasting diseases.

Iroko (Milicia excelsa): Baka Pygmies use the leaves for lactation failure

Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata): The root is a bitter tonic used to improve the blood.  Particularly useful in female complaints, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea and menorrhagia.  Considered a certain remedy for chills and intermittent and bilious fevers, and also valuable in scrofula, diseases of the skin and in constitutional syphilis.  Some herbalist employed it in the treatment of dyspepsia.

Italian Bugloss (Anchusa italica): The dried and powdered herb is used as a poultice to treat inflammations. Use internally with caution, the plant contains the alkaloid cynoglossine which can have a paralyzing effect.

Ivy, American (Parthenocissus quinquefolia): A hot decoction of the bark and fresh young shoots can be used as a poultice to help reduce swellings.  A tea made from the leaves is used as a wash on swellings and poison ivy rash.  A tea made from the plant is used in the treatment of jaundice.  A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of gonorrhea and diarrhea. The fruit is useful in treating fevers. The bark and twigs are usually made into a syrup for use in coughs and colds, but a decoction can also be used.

Ivy, English (Hedera helix): Ivy is a bitter aromatic herb with a nauseating taste. It is often used in folk herbal remedies, especially in the treatment of rheumatism and as an external application to skin eruptions, swollen tissue, painful joints, burns and suppurating cuts. Berries were used to treat fevers and glandular disorders.  They may safely be turned into an effective poultice for bruises and stiff joints.  Poultices made from the leaves may be applied to cuts, sores, and skin eruptions.  A tincture of the bark resin and a tea prepared from the fresh leaves were once given internally for a variety of problems but is no longer recommended.  Herbals once recommended that the resin of the bark (ivy gum) be taken internally to stimulate menstruation and used externally as an antiseptic.  The bark resin was sometimes used on dental cavities in the same manner as present toothache gels.  Internally used for gout, rheumatic pain, whooping cough and bronchitis.  Externally used for skin eruptions, swollen tissues, painful joints, neuralgia, toothache, burns, warts, impetigo, scabies, and cellulitis.  Recent research has shown that the leaves contain the compound 'emetine', which is an amoebicidal alkaloid, and also triterpene saponins, which are effective against liver flukes, molluscs, internal parasites and fungal infections. The leaves are used internally in the treatment of gout, rheumatic pain, whooping cough, bronchitis and as a parasiticide. An infusion of the twigs in oil is recommended for the treatment of sunburn.
               While very few human clinical trials have been performed on ivy, a controlled study in 28 children with bronchial asthma suggested that 25 drops of ivy leaf extract given twice daily was effective in increasing the amount of oxygen in the lung after only three days of use. For example, airway resistance in the ivy leaf group decreased by 24% on day three of the study compared to only 5% in the placebo group. However, the incidence of  cough and shortness of breath symptoms did not change during the short trial period.  In addition to the use of ivy to treat asthma, clinical reports from Europe suggest that topical cream preparations containing ivy, horsetail, and lady’s mantle are beneficial in reducing, although not eliminating, skin stretch marks.



Jaborandi (Pilocarpus jaborandi): Used internally for psoriasis, itching of the skin, syphilis, chronic excess mucus, and dropsy (leaf extracts).  Internally and externally used for glaucoma and as an antidote to atropine; externally for hair gloss (leaf extracts). 
           Clinical research is still ongoing today on the isolated alkaloid of Jaborandi leaves, pilocarpine. Some of the latest research is now focused on the topical applications of it as a transdermal penetration agent for other pharmacologic agents since it has the ability to open skin pores and promote capillary blood circulation. These effects are also attributed to its use as a topical agent for baldness.

Jack in the Bush (Eupatorium odoratum): The leaves of this herb are used as tea to break up the common  cold and for intermittent fevers and influenza.  It is also a tonic and a stimulant.  For bronchitis in children it is given with milk.  The leaves are applied as a paste to heal wounds.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum )  Internally used as a traditional Native American remedy for asthma, whooping cough, and bronchitis.  Externally used for rheumatism, boils, and snake bite.  Native people used dried, aged roots, since these are less acrid but maintain their active constituents.  The corms have been grated and boiled in milk and the concoction used to treat coughs and tuberculosis. 

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum): The herb is astringent and diaphoretic. It was formerly used internally in the treatment of a wide range of conditions ranging from headaches to fevers and epilepsy.

Jacote (Spondias purpurea): In traditional medicine of Latin America, jacote has many uses for a wide range of illnesses.  Brazilians use the bark to make a decoction for the treatment of diarrhea, while a decoction from the flowers and leaves is reportedly used to relieve constipation and stomachache.  The Tikunas Indians of the Amazon area use a decoction of the bark to relieve pain and to prevent excessive bleeding during menstruation.  They also use it to treat stomach pains and diarrhea as well as use it as a wash for wounds.  Cubans have traditionally eaten large amounts of the fruit as an emetic, while Haitians take the fruit syrup as a remedy for angina.  Dominicans have used it as a laxative. 
           The fruits are regarded as diuretic and antispasmodic.  Its bark also has a reputation in folk medicine for being useful in treating minor skin ulcers. The fruit decoction is used to bathe wounds and heal sores in the mouth. A syrup prepared from the fruit is taken to overcome chronic diarrhea. The astringent bark decoction is a remedy for mange, ulcers, dysentery and for bloating caused by intestinal gas in infants. In the Philippines, the sap of the bark is used to treat stomatitis in infants.
         The juice of the fresh leaves is a remedy for thrush. A decoction of the leaves and bark is employed as a febrifuge. In southwestern Nigeria, an infusion of shredded leaves is valued for washing cuts, sores and burns. Researchers at the University of Ife have found that an aqueous extract of the leaves has antibacterial action, and an alcoholic extract is even more effective. The gum-resin of the tree is blended with pineapple or soursop juice for treating jaundice.  Amazon Indians believe that permanent sterility would result from the drinking of one cup a day of a decoction of jacote following childbirth.  Colombians believe the fruit is bad for the throat and that the leaves and bark contain tannin and thus are astringent.

Jalap (Ipomoea purga): Jalap is such a powerful cathartic that its medicinal value is questionable.  Even in moderate doses it stimulates the elimination of profuse watery stools, and in larger doses it causes vomiting.

Jambolan (Eugenia jambolana): The jambolan has received far more recognition in folk medicine and in the pharmaceutical trade than in any other field. Medicinally, the fruit is stated to be astringent, stomachic, carminative, antiscorbutic and diuretic. Cooked to a thick jam, it is eaten to allay acute diarrhea. The juice of the ripe fruit, or a decoction of the fruit, or jambolan vinegar, may be administered in India in cases of enlargement of the spleen, chronic diarrhea and urine retention. Water-diluted juice is used as a gargle for sore throat and as a lotion for ringworm of the scalp.   The seeds, marketed in 1/4 inch (7 mm) lengths, and the bark are much used in tropical medicine and are shipped from India, Malaya and Polynesia, and, to a small extent, from the West Indies, to pharmaceutical supply houses in Europe and England. Extracts of both, but especially the seeds, in liquid or powdered form, are freely given orally, 2 to 3 times a day, to patients with diabetes mellitus or glycosuiria. In many cases, the blood sugar level reportedly is quickly reduced and there are no ill effects. However, in some quarters, the hypoglycemic value of jambolan extracts is disclaimed. Mercier, in 1940, found that the aqueous extract of the seeds, injected into dogs, lowered the blood sugar for long periods, but did not do so when given orally. Reduction of blood sugar was obtained in alloxan diabetes in rabbits. In experiments at the Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, the dried alcoholic extract of jambolan seeds, given orally, reduced blood sugar and glycosuria in patients.
              The seeds are claimed by some to contain an alkaloid, jambosine, and a glycoside, jambolin or antimellin, which halts the diastatic conversion of starch into sugar. The seed extract has lowered blood pressure by 34.6% and this action is attributed to the ellagic acid content. The leaves, steeped in alcohol, are prescribed in diabetes. The leaf juice is effective in the treatment of dysentery, either alone or in combination with the juice of mango or emblic leaves. Jambolan leaves may be helpful as poultices on skin diseases.

Jasmine (Jasminum officinale (J. sambac))   Although rarely used in Western medicine, a jasmine flower syrup for coughs and lungs was once made.  The flowers make a tea that calms the nerves and increases erotic feelings. Steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for 20 minutes.  The dose is a quarter cup, four times a day.  The East Indians do use it, chewing the leaves to heal mouth ulcers and softening corns with the juice.  They also make a leaf tea to rinse sore eyes and wounds and use it as a remedy for snakebite. In traditional Chinese medicine states that jasmine clears the blood of impurities.  Headaches and insomnia have been relieved with a tea made from the root along with pain due to dislocated joints and rheumatism. .  The oil of the leaf is rubbed on the head to heal the eyes.  The flowers of J. officinale var. grandiflorum are used to treat hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and dysentery; the flowers of J. sambac are used for conjunctivitis, dysentery, skin ulcers and tumors.

Jasmine, Cape (Gardenia jasminoides): It is used as a tea for feverish states, inflammations of the liver (chronic hepatitis), gastrointestinal tract (with impaired digestion, minor constipation), genitourinary tract (cystitis), and as an antidyscratic (blood purifier) and anti-inflammatory for atopic eczema and chronic rheumatic complaints.

Jasmine, Wild (Clerodendron inerme): Used as local medicine in both Kosrae and Pohnpei for a variety of ailments.   Known to be used in Samoa as a local medicine as well. The root of Clerodendron inerme is of a more decided bitter taste and strong odor, and is regarded as possessing tonic and alterative properties, and as being useful in venereal and scrofulous complaints. A steam bath (srawuk) of kwacwak is used by women during their monthly menstrual cycle.  Used to treat fever, skin rash, flu, headache, infected umbilical cord, eye infections, evil spirit prevention. Can also be added to coconut oil and rubbed into skin.

Java Tea (Orthosiphon stamineus): Java tea is listed in the French, Indonesian, Dutch, and Swiss pharmacopoeias.  The herb is thought to increase the kidney’s ability to eliminate nitrogen-containing compounds.  It is often used as a diuretic and as a treatment for kidney infections, stones, and poor renal function resulting from chronic nephritis.  It is also used to treat cystitis and urethritis.  It supports the elimination of gallstones.  It helps accelerate weight loss.

Jeffersonia (Jeffersonia diphylla): :  It is used to treat rheumatism, nervousness, excitability, tension, spasms and cramps.  It also is effective for inflammatory symptoms, sore throat, ulcers, ophthalmia and indolent ulcers.  It may be used during pregnancy for any of the above conditions.  It is specifically indicated for head pains with dizziness and feelings of tension.  An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of diarrhea, dropsy, gravel and urinary problems.  The root is emetic in large doses and expectorant in smaller doses. The root contains berberine, which has been shown to have anti-tumor activity.  A poultice of the plant is applied to sores, ulcers and inflamed parts. The root is said to induce vomiting in large doses and to be an effective expectorant in small doses. 

Jequirity (Abrus precatorius): Jequirity seeds have been used medicinally in the past as a contraceptive, abortifacient, and as a treatment for chronic conjunctivitis.  However, they are so poisonous that even external application is no longer justifiable.  Even small amounts brought into contact with an open wound can prove fatal.  The leaves and roots contain glycyrrhizin and can be substituted for licorice. The leaves have been used in the Ayurvedic tradition in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, sore throats, dry coughs and other chest conditions.  They have been used in Chinese medicine to treat fever.  Externally the leaves are used for sciatica, hair loss, skin disease, leprosy, nervous debility and the seeds for paralysis.

Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus): Jerusalem artichoke is a folk remedy for diabetes and rheumatism.

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis (previously I. biflora) )   The juice from the broken stem is a well-known folk remedy for poison ivy rash. It also works on poison oak.  Can be frozen into small ice cubes and used.  Also relieves the pain of insect bites, nettle stings, burns, sprains, ringworm and various skin diseases.  The juice is also made into an ointment for hemorrhoids, warts and corns.  It used to be taken for jaundice and asthma. 

Ji Xue Teng (Millettia reticulata): In Chinese herbal medicine, pain is often thought to be due to poor or obstructed blood flow.  In this tradition, ji xue teng is classified as an herb that invigorates the blood, and is mainly used to treat menstrual problems.  Ji xue teng is used to relieve menstrual pain or an irregular or absent cycle, especially where this may be due to blood deficiency such as anemia.  It is also prescribed for certain types of arthritis pain, as well as for numbness of the hands and feet.  Limited investigation indicates that ji xue teng may be anti-inflammatory and may lower blood pressure.  A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach aches, breathlessness, anemia in women, menstrual irregularities, vaginal discharge (bloody discharge and leukorrhea), numbness and paralysis, backache and pain in the knees, seminal emission, gonorrhea and stomach ache.  The plant is used as a tonic to induce the growth of red blood cells.  The plant contains the antitumor compound rotenone.

Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium)   anti-asthmatic, antispasmodic, good for swellings and healing wounds  Traditional medicinal uses include placing a folded leaf behind the ear to allay motion-sickness, or applying a fresh leaf poultice externally to allay the pain of rheumatic or glandular swellings. Leaves and seeds were once smoked with Mullein for treating asthma. 
Specifics: Body pain: Grind the roots and leaves of Datura stramonium into a paste. Add the latex of Jatropha gossyifolia in it. Then fry this paste with mustard oil. Massage this oil an all over the body only once before going to bed at night.  Earache: Pound a fruit of Datura stramonium and extract the juice. Warm this juice gently and put 2 to 3 drops of this juice inside the aching ear only once.  Elephantiasis: Grind all the following into a paste: the roots of Datura stramonium, the seeds of Brassia juncea and the bark of Morangia oleifera. Smear this paste locally on legs once daily for one month and bandage by a cloth.  Rheumatism: Boil all the followings in mustard oil: the young branch of Datura stramonium, the bark of Vitex negundo, few pieces of Ginger and garlic. Massage this oil on joints twice daily for a week. 

Jing Jie (Schizonepeta tenuifolia): In the Chinese tradition, jing jie is valued as an aromatic and warming herb.  It is taken to alleviate skin conditions such as boils and itchiness.  It also induces sweating and is used to treat fever and chills and as a remedy for measles.  It is often combined with bo he.  Chinese studies have confirmed jing jie’s ability to increase blood flow in the vessels just beneath the skin.  Jing Jie is valued in Chinese medicine as an aromatic and warming herb. It is taken to alleviate skin conditions such as boils and itchiness. It is often combined with Mentha haplocalyx. Used in Chinese medicine in the treatment of hemorrhages, especially post-natal bleeding and excessive menstruation, colds, measles and nettle rash. Relieves wind cold, antispasmodic. Can be used for the onset of the common cold and influenza when they are accompanied by a headache and sore throat. Also used for hastening the ripening and termination of eruptive skin diseases, such as measles and abscesses, as well as to alleviate itching. Also useful for blood in stools or uterine bleeding.  In vitro it inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Job's Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi): In Chinese medicine, the seeds strengthen the spleen and counteract “damp heat”, and are used for edema, diarrhea, rheumatoid arthritis and difficult urination.  Drains dampness, clears heat, eliminates pus, tonifies the spleen. This herb is added to medicinal formulas to regulate fluid retention and counteract inflammation. It is very good for all conditions and diseases associated with edema and inflammation, including pus, diarrhea, phlegm, edema or abscesses of either the lungs or the intestines, and rheumatic and arthritic conditions. A tea from the boiled seeds is drunk as part of a treatment to cure warts. It is also used in the treatment of lung abscess, lobar pneumonia, appendicitis, rheumatoid arthritis, beriberi, diarrhea, oedema and difficult urination.  The roots have been used in the treatment of menstrual disorders. The FDA has approved testing for cancer therapy. Currently going through testing, the Kanglaite Injection is a new effective diphasic anti-cancer medicine prepared by extracting with modern technology the active anti-cancer component from the Coix Seed, to form an advanced dosage form for intravenous and intra- arterial perfusion. It had been proved experimentally and clinically that the Kanglaite Injection had a broad spectrum of anti-tumor and anti-metastasis action, such as hepatic cancer and pulmonary cancer, along with the action of enhancing host immunity. When used in combined treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the Kanglaite Injection can increase the sensitivity of tumor cells, reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, relieve cancerous pain, improve cachexia, and raise the quality of life in advanced cancer victims. As a fat emulsion, the Kanglaite Injection can provide patients with high-energy nutrients with little toxicity.  It inhibits formation of new blood vessels that promote tumor growth, counteracts weight loss due to cancer. 
           Some of the latest research also shows that Job’s tears is immunostimulating, induces interferon, Bronchodialates; Lowers blood sugar; Reduces muscle spasms and is anti-convulsant; Stimulates respiration in small doses and inhibits it in higher doses; reduces arterial plaque; Anti-inflammatory, possibly through the suppression of macrophage activity

Joe Pye (Eupatorium purpurea)  Dried flowering tops and leaves were used as a tonic for biliosness and as a laxative but this is now felt by some to be too toxic.  Specifically to help remove stones in the bladder caused by excess uric acid--which gives one of its names of gravel root.  Infusion may be used as an astringent tonic and stimulant.  The solvent is water.
Leaves of Joe Pye stimulate circulation and sweating and reduce inflammation.  The dried root has been used to tone the entire reproductive tract, helping with pelvic inflammatory disease, gonorrhea, menstrual cramps, and also prostate and urinary infections; gout and rheumatism.  It is toning to the mucous membranes and cleans sediments that have settled on their surfaces.    A concentrated root extract called "eupuriun" was sold by the Eclectic doctors.  
As a nervine, it is said to influence the entire sympathetic nervous system.  In cases of a depressed state of typhoid fever, its combination with Capsicum and Juniper is very effective.

John Charles (Hyptis verticillata Jamaicans believe that the dried plant is more effective than the fresh one. The decoction of John Charles is used to relieve indigestion. It is commonly used as a cold and colic remedy. Additionally, it is useful for coughs, mucous congestion, bronchitis, fever and tonsillitis. Jamaican women use it for uterine fibroids. John Charles is used for bathing wounds, irritated skin and infants with malaise.

Johnny Jump Up (Viola tricolor):  It is commonly used in an infusion as a treatment for skin eruptions in children, fevers, hypertension, anxiety and nervousness, dry throat, cough, and diarrhea and urinary inflammations.  It may be used in eczema and other skin problems where there is exudates (weeping) eczema.  As an anti-inflammatory expectorant it is used for whooping cough and acute bronchitis where it will soothe and help the body heal itself.  For urinary problems it will aid in the healing of cystitis and can be used to treat the symptoms of frequent and painful urination.

Johnson Grass (Sorghum halepense): The seed is demulcent and diuretic. A folk remedy for blood and urinary disorders

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis): The leaves are a good tea for chronic mucous-membrane inflammation, ranging from chronic colitis, vaginitis, and hemorrhoids to stomach and esophageal ulcers.  In Mexico it has been widely used as a folk remedy for asthma and emphysema, but it is more a matter of aiding the injured pulmonary membranes than addressing any underlying causes.  A tea for the seeds will decrease inflammation in pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and various types of sore throat.  Two to three ounces of the infusion drunk every several hours decrease the irritability of the bladder and urethra membranes in painful urination. 

Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia): A good strong infusion of the roots was once a popular treatment for venereal diseases.

Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba): Jujube is both a delicious fruit and an effective herbal remedy.  It aids weight gain, improves muscular strength, and increases stamina.  In Chinese medicine, jujube is prescribed as a qi tonic to strengthen liver function.  Mildly sedative and antiallergenic, it is given to reduce irritability and restlessness..  It is also used to improve the taste of unpalatable prescriptions, as a buffer to improve synergy and minimize side effects.  In Japan, jujube has been shown to increase immune-system resistance.  In China, laboratory animals fed a jujube decoction gained weight and showed improved endurance.  In one clinical study, 12 patients with liver ailments were given jujube, peanuts, and brown sugar nightly. In 4 weeks, their liver function had improved.  The fruit is also used for chronic fatigue, diarrhea, anemia and hysteria; the seeds for palpitations, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, night sweats and excessive perspiration.  Long term use reputedly improves the complexion.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) : Mostly used are the green unripe berries because properties are more pronounced. It is diuretic, stimulant, stomachic and carminative. The berries are mainly used for urinary infections and prescribed to clear acid wastes from the system in arthritis and gout. They reduce colic and flatulence, stimulate the digestion and encourage uterine contractions in labor.   It is a valuable remedy for cystitis, and helps to relieve fluid retention but should be avoided in cases of kidney disease.  In the digestive system, juniper is warming and settling, easing colic and supporting the function of the stomach.  Taken internally or applied externally, juniper is helpful for chronic arthritis, gout, and rheumatic conditions.   Juniper contains a potent antiviral compound (deoxypodophyllotoxin).  The extracts appear to inhibit a number of different viruses including those that cause flu and herpes.   Large doses of juniper cause the urine to smell of violets. Being disinfectant and insectifugal, the berries are used in veterinary medicine to treat open wounds. Its disinfectant action is similar to that of pine cleaners. As a diuretic the oil is thought to increase the production of urine by irritating the kidney's filtration glomerulae. The oil is also irritating to microbes, so much so that it kills many of them. Traditional formulas are in combination with ginger and dong quai or with goldenseal or with uva ursi.

Jurema (Mimosa hostilis): In Mexico, the bark of the tree is used as a remedy for skin problems and injuries such as burns, and it is now used in commercial skin and hair products which are promoted as being able to rejuvenite skin. Research has shown that it has some useful activities which support the traditional uses. The bark is rich in tannins, saponins, alkaloids, lipids, phytosterols, glucosides, xylose, rhamnose, arabinose, lupeol, methoxychalcones, and kukulkanins. In vitro studies on bacterial cultures have shown it is three times more effective as a bacteriocide than streptomycin, although in vivo studies have not been as positive.

Jurubeba (Solanum paniculatum): Jurubeba is listed as an official drug in the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia as a specific for anemia and liver disorders. Jurubeba has long been used for liver and digestive disorders. The leaves and roots are used today as a tonic and for fevers, anemia, erysipelas, hepatitis, liver and spleen disorders, uterine tumors, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic gastritis, and other such digestive problems as sluggish digestion, bloating, and flatulence. Jurubeba leaf tea is a very common household remedy throughout Brazil for hangovers and overeating. It is relied on to speed the digestive process and promote gastric emptying. After a heavy meal or drinking bout, Brazilians drink a cup of Jurubeba tea.  After just a few minutes the symptoms of indigestion and that bloated feeling disappear. It is also a powerful tonic for the liver.  The roots, leaves and fruits are used as a tonic and decongestive.  It is a good remedy against chronic hepatitis, intermittent fever and hydropsy.  It is also sometimes employed externally in poultices to heal wounds and ulcers. The leaves are applied externally for dressing ulcers.  Jurubeba has been used to treat uterine tumors.

Justice Weed (Eupatorium hyssopifolium): The entire plant is applied externally as a remedy for the bites of reptiles and insects.

  -K- Herbs

Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum) In the Ayurvedic tradition, kantakari leaves are taken to treat gas and constipation, and are made into a gargle for throat and gum disorders.  The expectorant, anticongestive seeds may be taken to relieve asthma and to clear bronchial mucus.  The root is used to treat snake scorpion bites. 

Kapok (Ceiba pentandra): The seeds, leaves, bark and resin have been used to treat dysentery, asthma, and kidney disease. Internally it is also used for abnormal uterine bleeding, diarrhea in children (gum), bronchial congestion (bark, leaves).  Externally in baths, for fevers and headaches (bark, leaves), and wounds (bark).  The claim by Nigerian traditional herbal medicine practitioners that the silk cotton tree, barks extract has antidiabetic properties was investigated. Diabetes mellitus was induced with streptozotocin and graded doses of the aqueous bark extract were then administered ad libitum in drinking water to the experimentally diabetic rats for 28 days. Administration of the aqueous bark extract caused a statistically significant reduction in plasma glucose level in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. The extract appeared non-toxic as evidenced by normal serum levels of AST, ALT, ALP and bilirubin. The data appear to support the hypoglycemic effects of C. pentandra.

Kava Kava (Piper methysticum)  The kava lactones have a depressant effect on the central nervous system and are antispasmodic.  Research sows that kawain, in particular, is sedative.  The kava lactones also have an anesthetic effect on the lining of the urinary tubules and the bladder.  The results of a clinical trial in Germany published in 1990 revealed that kawain is as effective as benzodiazepene in helping to relieve anxiety.  Kava’s analgesic and cleansing diuretic effect often makes it beneficial for treating rheumatic and arthritic problems such as gout.  The herb helps to bring relief from pain and to remove waste products from the affected joint.  Kava is a safe and proven remedy for anxiety that does not cause drowsiness or affect the user’s ability to operate machinery. It may be taken long term to help relieve chronic stress, and its combination of anxiety-relieving and muscle-relaxant properties makes it of value for treating muscle tension as well as emotional stress.  With its tonic, strengthening, and mildly analgesic properties, kava kava is a good remedy for chronic pain, helping to reduce sensitivity and to relax muscles that are tensed in response to pain.  It has an antiseptic action and in the past it was used specifically to treat venereal disease, especially gonorrhea.  Although it is no longer generally applied in this way, it is a valuable urinary antiseptic, helping to counter urinary infections and to settle an irritable bladder.  Absorption in the gastrointestinal tract is remarkably rapid, so the effects are felt almost immediately.  It is used as an intoxicating beverage in certain South Sea islands.  It can induce lethargy, drowsiness and dreams.  It is one of the best pain-relieving herbs.

Kenilworth Ivy (Cymbalaria muralis): The herb is used externally as a poultice on fresh wounds to stop the bleeding. There are reports that it has been used with success in India for the treatment of diabetes.

Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioica): The pulverized root bark is used as an effective enema. A tea made from the bark is diuretic. It is used in the treatment of coughs due to inflamed mucous membranes and also to help speed up a protracted labor. A snuff made from the pulverized root bark has been used to cause sneezing in comatose patients.  A tea made from the leaves and pulp from the pods is laxative and has also been used in the treatment of reflex troubles. A decoction of the fresh green pulp of the unripe fruit is used in homeopathic practice.  There’s a folk remedy for radiation poisoning using Kentucky coffee tree seeds, cornsilk, linden flowers and the seaweeds Irish moss, kelp and dulse.

Khat (Catha edulis)  A restorative tea made from the flowers (called flowers of paradise in Yemen ) of the plant is still consumed in Arabia. Mainly used as a social drug, khat is also chewed fresh or taken in an infusion to treat ailments such as malaria. In Africa, it is taken in old age, stimulating and improving mental function.  Khat is used in Germany to counter obesity.  Khat is usually packaged in plastic bags or wrapped in banana leaves to retain its moistness and freshness. It is often sprinkled with water during transport to keep the leaves moist. Khat also may be sold as dried or crushed leaves or in powdered form.  Khat is becoming increasingly available in the US, especially in cities like New York City, LA , Boston, California, Dallas, Detroit and Buffalo. It is commonly sold in restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and smoke shops that cater to East Africans and Yemenis after its importation from Kenya, Egypt, and Arabia. Because Khat in leaf form starts to lose its potency after 48 hours, it is generally shipped to the US on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for weekend use.
How it works: In humans, it is a stimulant producing a feeling of exaltation, a feeling of being liberated from space and time.  It may produce extreme loquacity, inane laughing, and eventually semicoma. It may also be an euphorient and used chronically can lead to a form of delirium tremens. So, Khat chewing produces a mild cocaine- or amphetamine-like euphoria that is much less potent than either substance with no reports of a rush sensation or paranoia indicated.  Up to 80% of the adult population of Yemen use Khat. Upon first chewing Khat, the initial effects were unpleasant and included dizziness, lassitude, tachycardia, and sometimes epigastric pain. Gradually more pleasant feelings replaced these inaugural symptoms. The subjects had feelings of bliss, clarity of thought, and became euphoric and overly energetic. Sometimes Khat produced depression, sleepiness, and then deep sleep. The chronic user tended to be euphoric continually.  In rare cases the subjects became aggressive and overexcited .  In animals, Khat produces excitation and increased motor activity.  What Khat does: it stimulates brain and spinal cord through synapses resulting in: - Alleviation of fatigue and reduction of depression;  Euphoria , excitation , high activity and mood; Increasing levels of alertness and ability to concentrate; Increasing of confidence, friendliness, contentment and flow of ideas; Increases motor activity; Positive sexual effects ( regarding the desire and duration of sexual intercourse according to the type and source of Khat ); Dispel feeling of hunger;  It promotes communication; Casual users claim Khat lifts spirits, sharpens thinking; Advocates of Khat use claim that it eases symptoms of diabetes, asthma, and stomach/intestinal tract disorders;  Socially, it's used to meet people, socialize with each others, communication issues and problems solving.
Fresh Khat leaves are typically chewed like tobacco. By filling the mouth to capacity with fresh leaves the user then chews intermittently to release the active components. Chewing Khat leaves produces a strong aroma and generates intense thirst.  Its intake occurs mostly in moderation esp. in a special Yemeni style rooms designed especially for that purpose with the fine famous Yemeni-furnishing style provided with water pipes and these special rooms called " Diwan " which are so large and wonderful rooms. It is also prepared as a tea, an infusion of water or milk is made, and then sweetened with honey.

 Khella (Ammi visnaga)  This plant and its components have shown effects in dilating the coronary arteries. Its mechanism of action may be very similar to the calcium channel-blocking drugs. The New England Journal of Medicine writes "The high proportion of favorable results, together with the striking degree of improvement frequently observed, has led us to the conclusion that Khellin, properly used, is a safe and effective drug for the treatment of angina pectoris." As little as 30 milligrams of Khellin per day appear to offer as good a result, with fewer side effects. Rather than use the isolated compound "Khellin," Khella extracts standardized for khellin content (typically 12 percent) are the preferred form.
           A daily dose of such an extract would be 250 to 300 milligrams. Khella appears to work very well with hawthorn extracts. An aromatic herb which dilates the bronchial, urinary and blood vessels without affecting blood pressure.  
Visnaga is a traditional Egyptian remedy for kidney stones.  By relaxing the muscles of the ureter, visnaga reduces the pain caused by the trapped stone and helps ease the stone down into the bladder.  Following research into its antispasmodic properties, visnaga is now given for asthma and is safe even for children to take.  Although it does not always relieve acute asthma attacks, it do3es help to prevent their recurrence.  It is an effective remedy for various respiratory problems, including bronchitis, emphysema, and whooping cough.  In Andalusia in Spain, the largest and best quality visnaga were employed to clean the teeth.  Khella is the source of amiodarone one of the key anti-arrhythmia medications.  The usual recommendation calls for pouring boiling water over about a quarter-teaspoon of powdered khella fruits.  Steep for five minutes and drink the tea after straining.

Its active constituent is khellin, a bronchiodilator and antispasmodic that makes it useful for asthma sufferers   It's best used to prevent asthma rather than to counter an attack and can be taken on a daily basis with no contraindications. Because khella builds up in the blood, its use can be decreased after a period of time.  Khella is safer than ma huang (ephedra) for asthma sufferers because it's nonstimulating and nonenervating. Unlike ma huang, it doesn't rob the body, especially the adrenals, of energy.
               Spasmolytic action of khellin and visnagin (both furanochromones) is indicated for treatment of asthma and coronary arteriosclerosis.
                 An extract from khella (Ammi visnaga) is so far the only herb found to be useful in vitili. Khellin, the active constituent, appears to work like psoralen drugs—it stimulates repigmentation of the skin by increasing sensitivity of remaining pigment-containing cells (melanocytes) to sunlight. Studies have used 120-160 mg of khellin per day. Khellin must be used with caution, as it can cause side effects such as nausea and insomnia.   
Another use is for vitiligo (an extract from ammi visnaga appears to stimulate repigmentation of the skin by increasing sensitivity of remaining pigment containing cells, melanocytes to sunlight)  

Kino (Pterocarpus marsupium )  The strongly astringent kino tightens the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.  It can treat chronic diarrhea and relieve the irritation caused by intestinal infection and colitis. Although its taste is unpleasant, this herb makes a good mouthwash and gargle.  It is widely used in Asia as a douche for excessive vaginal discharge.  Alcoholic and aqueous extracts of the plant produced a significant reduction in the blood sugar level in rabbits. The decoction of bark has significant effect on scrum cholesterol in hyper- cholesterolemic rabbits. Propterols, isolated from the plant, show antibacterial activity against gram-positive bacteria.  Epicatechin was tested for antidiabetic activity in albino rats; it protected against alloxan-induced diabetes  Kino is almost entirely soluble in alcohol and entirely in ether and partly in water. 

Knapweed (Centaurea nigra )  A medieval wound salve.  Used to soothe sore throats and bleeding gums.  Also acts as a diuretic.

Knapweed, Brown (Centaurea jacea): As an astringent it is used for piles, a decoction of the herb being taken in doses of 1-2 fl oz three times a day. This will also be useful for sore throat if used as a gargle.  An infusion of the flowering part is also helpful in diabetes mellitus.  The root is bitter tonic, diuretic and stomachic. An excellent bitter for treating difficult digestive systems, it is still used in rural areas as a digestive and also to reduce the temperature of feverish children. A distilled water made from the leaves is used as an eye lotion in the treatment of conjunctivitis. It was also applied as a vulnerary and was used internally. Culpepper describes it as a mild astringent, 'helpful against coughs, asthma, and difficulty of breathing, and good for diseases of the head and nerves,' and tells us that 'outwardly the bruised herb is famous for taking away black and blue marks out of the skin.'

Knapweed, Greater (Centaurea scabiosa): The Knapweed was once used as a vulnerary. It was included in the 14th century ointment, Save, for wounds and for the pestilence, and was also used with pepper for loss of appetite.  The root and seeds are used. Its diuretic diaphoretic and tonic properties are recognized.  It is good for catarrh, taken in decoction, and is also made into ointment for outward application for wounds and bruises, sores, etc. Culpepper tells us: 'it is of special use for soreness of throat, swelling of the uvula and jaws, and very good to stay bleeding at the nose and mouth.'

Knotweed, Common (Polygonum aviculare)  It has been used in the treatment of chronic urinary tract infections.  It is claimed to be useful in the prevention of the formation of renal calculi.  It stops bleeding and alleviates colics and catarrhs (usually combined with silverweed and ribwort plantain).  It is an ingredient in many herbal teas.  It operates in the basal metabolism as an adjuvant in diabetic, expectorant and antidiarrheic preparations.  It is used to treat bronchitis with bleeding.  It is used for pulmonary complaints since its silicic acid content helps strengthen connective tissue within the lungs.  It is also used in combination with other herbs to treat rheumatic conditions, gout, and skin disease.  It is regarded as a “blood purifying’ remedy.  Knotgrass has also been used to treat inflammations of the mucous membranes of the intestinal tract and has been useful in cases of flatulence and biliary insufficiency.  Externally it has been used to treat sore throats and vaginal inflammation.  Dosage is a decoction of the root from 10-20g to 2 glasses of water, half a glass 3 times a day.  Can be used for douches, compresses, rinses.  Alcoholic extracts prevent the crystallization of mineral substances in the urine and are antiphlogistic, bacteriostatic and diuretic.  Research is being done on the efficacy of the plant in reducing the fragility of blood capillaries, especially in the alimentary canal. 
In the Chinese tradition, knotgrass is given for intestinal worms, to treat diarrhea and dysentery, and as a diuretic, particularly in cases of painful urination.  Chinese research indicates that the plant is a useful medicine for bacillary dysentery.

Knotweed, Japanese (Polygonum cuspidatum)  In China, the root was used medicinally to treat menstrual and postpartum difficulties.  

Kokum (Garcinia indica): Kokum has outstanding medicinal properties and is used as an acidulent.  The bark and young leaves act as astringent.  The leaves are used as a remedy for dysentery.  A decoction is given in cases of rheumatism and bowel complaints.  It is useful as an infusion, or by direct application, in skin ailments such as rashes caused by allergies.  Kokum butter is an emollient helpful in the treatment of burns, scalds and chaffed skin.  In  Western medicine the butter is used as a base for suppositories. A hot infusion of the fruit rinds is emetic.  The fruit is also in piles, dysentery, tumors, pains and heart complaints.  The fruit juice is given in bilious affections. The root is astringent.  The syrup amrutkokum is diluted with water and drunk to relieve sunstroke.

Kombu (Laminaria japonica): The ancient Chinese, prescribed for goiter a tincture and powder of these plants.  Employed as alterative in the treatment of goiter and other iodine deficiencies.   It is used to induce labor and abortion. Kombu possesses a strong anticancer activity and inhibits the growth of cancer.  Studies have shown that a regular use of Laminaria japonica reduces risk of the breast cancer considerably.
             Imbibition is employed in medicine to dilate the ear canals so they will drain properly. A slender porous cylinder called an "ear wick" is inserted into the blocked ear canal where it gradually imbibes water and swells. This same mechanism also involves one of the most unusual uses for brown algae. A slender cylinder of Laminaria japonica called "dilateria" is used to dilate the cervix in routine gynecological examinations. The cylinder of brown algae is inserted into the cervix where it imbibes water and swells. Laminaria has been preferred by many Japanese physicians for more than a century; they have found its gradual dilatation far less traumatic than the rapid dilatation induced by rigid dilators.’
           As a dietary supplement, Laminaria is rich in several constituents that can be very beneficial to the health, aside from being a great natural source of iodine for the thyroid gland. It is high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and trace minerals such as manganese, copper, selenium, and zinc. It also provides chromium, which is instrumental in blood sugar control, and vitamins B1 and B2.  Somewhat more interesting are the polysaccharides. It contains alginates, laminarin, laminine, and fucoidan as well as a number of other polysaccharides and simple sugars. The alginates are adept at absorbing toxic heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the body by binding with them in the gastrointestinal tract when they are present in the bile. Levels of dangerous metals like mercury, lead and aluminum can be significantly reduced in the body if Laminaria japonica is consumed on a regular basis for at least 4 months. This period of time is necessary, as it takes time for the body to cycle accumulated toxins into the bile. Laminaria has been used with great success in treating radiation sickness in the victims of the Chernobyl, Russia disaster via this mechanism.
Fucoidan, a sulphated fucopolysaccharide constituent is the subject of extensive research for its anticancer properties. Studies have shown fucoidan to be effective in stopping the growth of tumors, inducing cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia, stomach and colon cancer lines, and in interfering with metastasis by inhibiting interaction between tumor cells and the host tissue basement membrane. Laminarin, another constituent, has been found to assist with this process via a tumor angiogenesis blocking mechanism.  Fucoidan also has some beneficial effects on the immune system. It enhances phagocytosis by macrophages, and helps to reduce inflammation.
            Kombu is also excellent for the hair, skin and nails, taken either internally or applied topically in masks and creams. Because of its high mineral content and polysaccharides, the seaweed helps by adding important nutrients to the skin, and by removing toxins. In its extract form, this seaweed can be easily incorporated into a range of skin care products to help give the skin a silky smoothness.

Kotuja (Holarrhena antidysenterica): Kutaja bark has been used in India in the treatment of amoebic dysentery and liver ailments resulting from amebiasis.  Conessine from the bark killed free living amoebae and also kills entamoeba histolytica in the dysenteric stools of experimentally infected kittens. It is markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon. It is antitubercular also.  Conessine produced little effect on Trichomonas hominis but was markedly lethal to the flagellate protozoon.  It is a well known drug for amoebic dysentery and other gastric disorders. A clinical study records the presentation of forty cases with amochiasis and giardiasis. The efficacy of kutaja in intestinal amochiasis was 70%. Good response was also observed in Entamoeba histolytica cystpassers when treated with kutaja bark. The flowers improve appetite. The seeds are cooling, appetising and astringent to the bowels.
             Today Conessi seed is used as a remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, intestinal worms, and irregular fever, though the actions are milder than that of the bark. Conessi bark is used to treat dysentery, but also is used for treating hemophilia disorders, skin diseases, and loss of appetite. It also works well in treating indigestion, flatulence, and colic.  The British materia medica regards it as one of the most valuable medicinal products of India. 
           It also has been used to treat various skin and stomach disorders. It is an astringent tonic for the skin. It is used against hot disorder of the gall bladder and stops dysentery.  Relieves cholecystitis and diarrhea associated with fever.   It is used in disorders of the genitourinary system and is helpful in the cases of impotence, spermatorrhea and seminal debilities.

Kousso (Hagenia abyssinica) Purgative and anthelmintic; One dose is said to be effective in destroying both kinds of tapeworms, the taenia solium and bothriocephalus latus; but as it possesses little cathartic power the subsequent administration of a purgative is generally necessary to bring away the destroyed ectozoon. The dose of the flowers when powdered is from 4 to 5 1/2 drachms, macerated in 3 gills of lukewarm water for 15 minutes; the unstrained infusion is taken in two or three doses following each other, freely drinking lemon-juice or tamarind water before and after the doses. It is advisable to fast twenty-four or forty-eight hours before taking the drug. The operation is usually safe, effective, and quick, merely causing sometimes a slight nausea, but it has never failed to expel the worm. Occasionally emesis takes place or diuresis, and collapse follows, but cases of this sort are extremely rare. It is said in Abyssinia that honey gathered from beehives immediately the Kousso plants have flowered is very effective in teaspoonful doses as a taenicide, its effect being to poison the worms. As a medicine it is very apt to be adulterated, owing to its high price; therefore it is advisable to buy it in its unpowdered state.

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa): The leaves of kratom have been used as an herbal drug from time immemorial by peoples of Southeast Asia. It is used as a stimulant (at low doses), sedative (at high doses), recreational drug, pain killer, medicine for diarrhea, and treatment for opiate addiction.
             Inspired by traditional use, H. Ridley reported in 1897 that the leaves of Mitragyna speciosa were a cure for opium addiction. In more recent times, mitragynine has been used in New Zealand for methadone addiction detox. Kratom was smoked whenever the patient experienced withdrawal symptoms, over a 6 week treatment period. Patients reported a visualization effect taking place at night in the form of vivid hypnagogic dreams. While working on plans for ibogaine experiments in the USA, Cures Not Wars activist Dana Beal suggested that mitragynine could be used as an active placebo for comparison in the study. Acting Deputy Director of the NIDA Charles Grudzinskas rejected the proposal, however, saying that even less was known about mitragynine than ibogaine.
        Although chemically similar, ibogaine and mitragynine work by different pathways, and have different applications in treatment of narcotic addiction. While ibogaine is intended as a one time treatment to cure addiction, mitragynine used to gradual wean the user off narcotics. The fact that mitragynine's mu crossover is increased by the presence of opiate drugs may be exploitable in the treatment of narcotics addiction, because it directs binding to where it is needed, automatically regulating the attachment ratio and modulating it towards the delta receptors over a short time. Within a few days, the addict would stop use of the narcotic they are addicted to, and the cravings and withdrawal will be moderated by the binding of mitragynine to the delta receptors. Mitragynine could also perhaps be used as a maintenance drug for addicts not wishing to quit but trying to moderate an out of hand addiction.
            In 1999, Pennapa Sapcharoen, director of the National Institute of Thai Traditional Medicine in Bangkok said that kratom could be prescribed both to opiate addicts and to patients suffering from depression, but stressed that further research is needed. Chulalongkorn University chemists have isolated mitragynine which researchers can obtain for study.
              When taken as a tea, Kratom effects can be noticed in about 20 minutes. Generally, a feeling of stimulation and relaxation is noted, as well as a growing feeling of euphoria. Many become more sociable, and want to engage in conversation. In time, the stimulation fades and a strong sedation is noticed. This narcotic effect can be overpowering, and many will lay down and try to sleep. This can result in the waking dream state often times achieved by opiates. These effects can, in all, last between 2 to 5 hours. Extracts tend to take longer to take effect if they are eaten, but the effects can be noticed for a longer period of time.
           Leaves can also be made into a crude resin extraction. This resin extract is made by preparing a water extract of the leaves, boiling it down, and then shaping it into small ball.
          While new users may only need 5-10 grams of leaves to obtain the desired effects, some users find with time they need to increase doses, up to 50 grams leaves per day for a strong effect. It is best to take the leaves on an empty stomach. 
        One of the side effects of Kratom consumption is constipation and this is made use of in folk medicine to treat diarrhea. The fresh leaves are pounded and applied directly to wounds. The poultice of the leaves is applied to the upper part of the abdomen to expel worms in children.

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata)    Indicated for colds, fever and chills with attendant aches in shoulders, neck and back; dry throat and stomach.  The root is good for most external, acute conditions and is particularly useful in relieving stiff neck and muscular tension due to “wind-heat” injury,  as well as in treating colds, flu, headache and diarrhea.  Because of its mild tonic properties and its ability to replenish body fluids, it may be used for the treatment of diabetes and hypoglycemia.  Plant has long been used in Chinese medicine to treat alcohol abuse and has recently been publicized as a potentially safe and effective treatment.  The chemicals daidzin and daidzein in both roots and flowers suppress the appetite for alcohol.  For measles it is often used in combination with sheng ma.  Chinese studies indicate that kudzu increases cerebral blood flow in patients with arteriosclerosis, and eases neck pain and stiffness.Roots: counter poisons; induce sweating; treat fever, vomiting, dysentery, diarrhea, chicken pox, influenza, diabetes, typhoid fever, excessive gas in the system.  Dry pan roasted, it is very good for spleen deficient diarrhea and loose bowls. Flowers: treat excessive influence of alcoholic drinks, dysentery, gas in the intestine. Vine (without the leaves): treats coughs, general weakness

Kulith (Macrotyloma uniflorum): A teaspoonful of horse gram boiled in about 2 cups of water makes an infusion which is prescribed for colds and high blood pressure. 

Kumarou (Pomaderis kumarahou)  Kumarahou is a traditional Maori remedy that has been used to treat a wide range of illnesses.  Its most common use is as a remedy for problems of the respiratory tract, such as asthma and bronchitis.  However, it has also been used in the treatment of indigestion and heartburn, diabetes, and kidney problems.  Kumarahou is considered to be a detoxifier and “blood cleansing” plant, and is used to treat skin rashes and sores, including lesions produced by skin cancer.  High in anti-oxidants, protects liver from lipid peroxidation. Adaptagenic activity increases performance, speed and stamina.

Kwao Kreu (Pueraria mirifica): Preliminary data from a clinical trial conducted in Thailand to study the beneficial effect of Pueraria mirifica supplement have recently been obtained. Eight female subjects who were having menopausal symptoms received Pueraria mirifica in the form of capsule once daily at the dose of 200 mg for 4 months followed by the dose of 100 mg, for 8 months. Improvement of menopausal symptoms was observed in 5 out of 8 subjects throughout the study period. Physical examinations and biochemical studies revealed that all subjects were healthy. The dietary supplement dose of Pueraria mirifica recommended by the physician for its estrogenic effect in this case is 100 mg per day.
             A series of studies involving breast cell lines and the activity of Pueraria mirifica in vitro have been performed by the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Phramongkutklao College of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand. These studies have shown that Pueraria mirifica root extract (Smith Naturals Co Ltd., Bangkok) has potent anti-estrogenic properties against aggressive cell cancer lines in vitro, especially the proliferative estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer lines (T47-D, MCF-7, and ZR-75-1) obtained from the MD Anderson Cancer Institute (Texas) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). 
            Tectorigenin, an isoflavone present in kudzu, demonstrated antiproliferative activity against human cancer (HL-60) cells. The proposed mechanisms are induction of differentiation in the cells and a reduction in the expression of Bcl-2, an antiapoptotic protein. In addition, isoflavones in Pueraria mirifica are thought to be involved in alleviating symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats in perimenopausal women and affect cognitive function in postmenopausal women. The isoflavones present in kudzu root extract are also thought to suppress alcohol intake and alcohol withdrawal symptoms in mice although the mechanism is unclear. The anti-inflammatory property of kudzu is attributed to its ability to decrease Prostaglandin E2 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha release, both of which are involved in inflammatory process. The flowers of Pueraria thunbergiana exhibit protective effects against ethanol-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma cells by inhibiting the expression of a protease, caspase-3 that is responsible for proteolytic cleavage of many proteins.






The Herb Growing & Marketing Network
Maureen Rogers, Director
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