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Ask the Herbalist--Scarring

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QUESTION: I'm interested in treating a wound and minimizing scarring. I've read that using topical applications of Gotu Kola via tincture or cream is effective for that. Locally, I was only able to find the capsule form (500 mg), fingerprinted. I've been taking one capsule twice daily for the past week.

Would taking the capsule form be effective for wound healing and minimizing scarring? If so, am I taking enough daily? If not, what do you recommend? How long would it take before it should become effective?

If taking the capsule form is not effective, then what can I do? Can I take the powder from a capsule (or how many?) and mix it in with Aloe Vera Gel or some kind of ointment and apply it? If so, how often daily?

What is the difference between standardized and fingerprinted gotu kola? If I recall correctly, I was told at the store that fingerprinted is more pure form than standardized. Which is better and/or more effective?

ANSWER: Fingerprinting is a form of phytochemistry. Phytochemistry deals with the determination of chemical constituents in plant material. Chemical analysis of the plant material is a critical factor for standardization. Techniques like High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC) and High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC) are commonly used for chemical finger print analysis.

Chromatography is a method used by scientists for separating organic and inorganic compounds so that they can be analyzed and studied. By analyzing a compound, a scientist can figure out what makes up that compound.

The word chromatography means "color writing" or chemical finger printing which is a way that a chemist can test liquid mixtures. Each plant is unique and has its own color spectrum or color writing. For example, Ampalaya has a different color spectrum compared to Banaba and Luyang Dilaw.
Dinking around with the herbs and trying to duplicate what nature has already done, in my opinion.
Standardization means adjusting the herbs preparation to a defined content of the active ingredient. Extract refers to a concentrated preparation of active constituent of a medicinal herb. The concept of standardized extracts definitely provides a solid platform for scientific validation of herbals. Another concept is identification of marker compounds in the extract. Markers constitute chemically defined ingredients, which are used for control purpose. The markers can serve as a powerful tool in the finished form of herbal preparations, which depends upon the quantitative determination of the marker, when the starting material is selected. Momordica Charantia (Ampalaya) has a marker compound called Charantin.
Once again, "adjusting the herbs"? Just one big company's double talk to make them sound like they're providing you something extra special. Herbs are fine, just the way they are. When people start "adjusting" them, that's when we all get into trouble.
To answer your other question, yes, Gotu Kola is purported to be helpful with scarring. However, I think I would opt for the topical application rather than pills.

I've heard there is an article somewhere about rosehips seed oil being helpful for burn scars. Do you know of this article and/or of rosehips seed oil's usefulness for scars? I recently had a hysterectomy and have a large scar {3 1/2 wks old} and would like to facilitate it's healing, painwise and colorwise, and {?} to tighten my stomach around it. I'd love your thoughts. 

ANSWER: I have not heard of Rosehip seed oil for preventing scaring, can you give me a reference for this? I do know that the essential oil of Rose has been traditionally used in skin care products, such as skin creams, powders and lotions because it is soothing to the dry, sensitive or aging skin. 

Note: most essential oils need diluted in a carrier oil, the few exceptions which are well known include Tea Tree and Lavender essential oil.

Here is what I would use to prevent scaring:

Gotu kola, Latin Name: Centella asiatica use a fresh poultice or spray the tincture on the wound several times a day to prevent scaring.

Or a combination of Lavender essential oil (a few drops) mixed in fresh aloe gel from the plant and Vitamin E, break several gel caps and add. Store in refrigerator to preserve freshness, apply several times a day.

Calendula and Saint Johnswort infused Oil is also great for the skin damage and wound healing.