My Herbal Medicine Dispensary (photo)
Pharmaceutical grade herbal medicine assists with a wide range of treatment options. Herbs have the ability to cleanse, detoxify, support, adapt, nourish, relax and tone body systems, organs and/or glands.
Modern herbalists have hundreds of scientifically proven medically effective herbs in their dispensaries, including the traditional western herbs and Auyervedic herbs from India and the Chinese herbals. With “Practitioner Only’ herbals, the medically active pharmaceutical grade product of herbal material is methodically assayed for potency and consistency of active principles and supplied in a high grade form such as a fluid extract or spray dried to make tablets.
The fluid extract is a liquid form and everything but fibre is stripped from the dried herbal material with a solution of medical alcohol and water. This extract is decanted into glass bottles, which the practitioner uses to dispense from, for the individual patient. It is very absorbable and the mix can be adjusted as needed. These herbals are not available from retail outlets and a client must have a naturopath to consult and dispense these medicines.
Because every active principle of the plant is dissolved out, many of the extracts have a strong taste and smell. However, just put a spoonful of mix into a little water or juice and it’s down in one swallow. Interestingly, the actual taste often has its own medicinal effect, such as Gentian, which is very bitter and gets digestive juices flowing. Herbs are complex and powerful medicines. They can nourish nerves, hair and skin, modulate immunity, boost the function of organs and glands such a brain, thyroid, adrenals, kidney and heart, as well as supporting all aspects of digestive tract health. They are essential to care for liver health function and to help regenerate this organ.
In my articles on herbal medicine, I will group the herbs in terms of the particular body systems they treat and their individual actions.
- Nervous system
- Digestive system
- Cardiovascular (circulatory) system
- Urinary and Reproductive (male & female)system
- Musculo/skeletal system
- Integumentary (skin) system
- Respiratory System
- Immune System
Despite current attitudes, herbal medicine is a true and tried ancient method of healing applied to today’s clinical health problems. Current scientific research and unequivocal data support many different levels of health and healing with herbal medicine.
- The nervous system.
Nervines, or herbs capable of treating all different types of nervous tissue and indicated in the treatment of nervous system disorders. These help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, aid sleep and promote restfulness. Nervines also treat pain, digestive nervous problems and many ailments from depression to exhaustion.
- The nervine herbs in my dispensary include; Passionflower, Hops, Lemon balm, Ginkgo, St John’s wort, Zizyphus, Valerian, Withania, Chamomile, Skullcap, Oats, Holy basil, Jamaican dogwood, Californian poppy and Schisandra.
Part 1. Nerve tonics
- Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate), Family: Passifloraceae.
Parts used – Aerial parts.
Traditional & Clinical Indications:
- Superb herb in the treatment of nervous system disorders
- Restlessness (including children)
- Anxiety and irritability
- Insomnia and sleep disorders
- Nervous digestive disorders
- Useful in supportive therapy for withdrawal from drugs and/or alcohol.
- Assists in relaxation from stress
- Useful in treatment of neuralgia, epilepsy, ADAD, hypertension, menopause
- Useful in pain, spasms and convulsions.
- Inhibits MAO enzymes, protects against the breakdown of neurotransmitters (Dhawan et al, 2004).
- Binds to benzodiazepine sites on GABA receptors producing GABA-mediated anxiolysis ((Dhawan et al, 2004).
- Anxiolytic effects are non-sedating prior to spinal anaesthesia as demonstrated in both animal and clinical trials (Aslanargun et al, 2012).
- In a pilot double-blind, randomized, controlled trial, the efficacy of Passion Flower was compared with oxazepam (serapax) in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), with the Passionflower group having a lower incidence of occupational difficulties (Akhondzadeh et al, 2001a).
Dhawan, K., Dhawan,S., & Sharma, A.,(2004), Passiflora: a review update. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 94 (1), 1-23.
Dhawan, K., (2003). Drug/substance reversal effects of a novel tri-substituted benzoflavone moiety (BZF) isolated from Passiflora incarnate Linn, -a brief perspective. Addiction Biology 8 (4), p379-386.
Akhondzadeh, S., Naghavi, H.R.,Vazirian, M., Shayeganpour, A., Rashida, H., & Khani, M.,(2001a). Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 26(5), 363-367.
Aslanargun, P., Cuvas, O., Dikmen, B., Aslan, E., & Yuksel, M.U., (2012). Passiflora incarnate Linneaus as an anxiolytic before spinal anesthesia. Journal of Anesthesia, 26(1), 39-44