- JAMAICAN DOGWOOD Actions: Nervine, anodyne, anti-spasmodic. Jamaican Dogwood is a powerful sedative, used in its West Indian homeland as a fish poison. Whilst not being poisonous to humans, the given dosage level should not be exceeded. It is a powerful remedy for the treatment of painful conditions such as neuralgia and migraine… It can also be used in the relief of ovarian and uterine pain. Its main use is perhaps in insomnia where this is due to nervous tension or pain. For the ease of insomnia it is best combined with Hops & Valerian. For dysmenorrhoea: It may be used with Black Haw.
- JUNIPER BERRIES Actions: Diuretic, anti-microbial, carminative, anti-rheumatic. Juniper Berries make an excellent antiseptic in conditions such as cystitis. The essential oil present is quite stimulating to the kidney nephrons and so this herb should be avoided in kidney disease. The bitter action aids digestion and eases flatulent colic. Externally, it eases pain in the joints or muscles. CAUTION: Due to its action on the kidneys, Juniper Berries should be avoided in any kidney disease. It should also be avoided in pregnancy.
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- KOLA Actions: Stimulant to central nervous systems, anti-depressive, astringent, diuretic. Kola has a marked stimulating effect on the human consciousness. It can be used wherever there is a need for direct stimulation, which is less often than is usually thought. Through regaining proper health and therefore right functioning, the nervous system does not need such help. In the short term it may be used in nervous debility, in states of atony and weakness. It can be viewed as specific in cases of depression associated with weakness and debility. Ellinwood recommends it for the following patholgies: “neurasthenia and hysteria, characterized by great mental despondency, foreboding, brooding, more of a quiet or silent character. Combinations: Kola will go well with Oats, Damiana, and Skullcap.
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- LAVENDER Actions: Carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressant, rubefacient, emmenagoguem, hypotensive. This beautiful herb has many uses, culinary, cosmetic and medicinal. It is an effective herb for headaches, especially when they are related to stress. Lavender can be quite effective in the clearing of depression, especially when they are related to stress. Lavender can be quite effective in the clearing of depression especially if used in conjunction with other remedies. As a gentle strengthening tonic of the nervous system it may be used in states of nervous debility andexhaustion. It can be used to soothe and promote natural sleep. Externally the oil may be used as a stimulating liniment to help ease the aches and pains of rheumatism. Combinations: For depression it will combine well with Rosemary, Kola or Skullcap.
- LIQUORICE Actions: Expectorant, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, mild laxative. Liquorice is a traditional herbal remedy with an ancient history and world wide usage. Modern research has shown it to have effects upon, amongst other organs, the endocrine system and liver. The triterpenes of Glycyrrhiza are matabolized in the body to molecules that have a similar structure to the adrenal cortex hormones. This is possibly the basis of the herb’s anti-inflammatory action. As an anti-hepatotoxic it can be effective in the treatment of chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis, for which it has been widely used in Japan. Much of the liver orientated research has focused upon the tritepene glycyrrhizin. This inhibits hepatocyte injury caused by carbon tetrachloride, benzene hexachloride and PCB. Antibody production is enhanced by glycyrrhizin, possibly through the production of interleukin. Glycyrrhizin inhibits the growth of several DNA and RNA viruses, inactivating Herpes simplex virus particles irreversibly. Licquorice is used in allopathic medicine as a treatment for peptic ulceration, a similar use to its herbal use in gastritis and ulcers. It can be used in the relief of abdominal colic. There is a small possibility of effecting electrolyte balance with extended use of large doses of liquorice. It has an ACTH like effect causing retention of sodium thus rising BP. The whole herb has constituents that counter this but it is best to avoid Liquorice if you have hypertension, kidney disease or during pregnancy.
- LINDEN Actions: Nervine, anti-spasmodic, hypotensive, diaphoretic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, astringent. Linden is well known as a relaxing remedy for use in nervous tension. It has a reputation as a prophylactic against the development of arteriosclerosis and hypertension. It is considered to be a specific in the treatment of raised blood pressure associated with arteriosclerosis and nervous tension. Its relaxing action combined with a general effect upon the circulatory system give Linden a role in the treatment of some forms of migraine. aphoresis combined with the relaxation explain its value in feverish colds and flu. Combinations: In raised blood pressure it may be used with Hawthorn and European Mistletoe, with Hops in nevous tension and with Elder Flower in the common cold.
- LOBELIA Actions: Anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, emetic, nervine. Indications: Lobelia is one of the most useful systemic relaxants available to us. It has a general depressant action on the central and autonomic nervous system and on neuro-muscular action. It may be used in many conditions in combination ith other herbs to further their effectiveness if relaxation is needed. Its primary specific use is in bronchitic asthma and bronchitis. An analysis of the action of the alkaloids present reveal apparently paradoxical effects. Lobeline is a powerful respiratory stimulant, whilst isolobelanine is an emetic and respiratory relaxant, which will stimulate catarrhal secretion and expectoration whilst relaxing the muscles of the respiratory system. The overall action is a truly holistic combination of stimulation and relaxation! Priest & Priest tell us that it is a “general systemic relaxant with diffusive stimulation – best where arterial action is strong. Equalizes circulation and relieves vascular tension. Vaso-motor stimulant – increases the activity of vegetative processes. Influences glandular system and respiratory tubuli. Contra-indicated in nervous prostration, shock and paralysis. Of brief continuance in asthenic conditions.” They give the following specific indications: Dislocations, trauma and hernias. Spasmodic andmembranous coup, pertussis, bronchial asthma, bronchitis and pleurisy. Hepatitis, jaundice, nausea and hepatic congestion. High Blood pressure, intestinal obstruction and neurasthenia. Ellingwood considered it specific for “irritable, spasmodic and oppressed breathing, and in respiratory from exalted nerve force and nerve irration. It is contra-indicated in general relaxation and in dyspnoea from enlarged or fatty heart, or from hydropericardium, or enfeebled heart, withvalvular incompetence. It is specific inthreatening spasm with exalted nerve action – a high degree of nerve tension with great restlessness and excitability, flushed face and contracted pupils. It is a prompt emetic in full doses.” The high regard that the electics held Lobelia in is reflected by his recommendation for the following patholgies: spasmodic asthma, whooping cough, spasmodic croup, membranous croup, infantile convulsions, puerperal eclampsia, epilepsy, tentanus, hysterical paroxysms, hysterical convulsions, puerperal eclampsia, epilepsy, tetanus, hysterical paroxysms, hysterical convulsions, rigid os uteri, diptheria, tonsillitis, pneumonia. For more discussion of this important plant please refer to pg. 235 – pg. 242 of Ellingwood’s American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, and pg. 1199 – 1205 of King’s American Dispensatory. Combinations: It will combine well with Cayenne, Grindelia, Pill-bearing Spurge, Sundew and Ephedra in the treatment of asthma.