Ayurveda the Science of Life

Modern Ayurveda

This easy program presents a great deal of information packed in less than 8 hours of knowledge that was gathered by one of the world's most recognized people on spirituality andAyurveda. Cate Stillman dedicates 8 hours of deep knowledge about spirituality and enlightenment that will greatly enhance your life in many ways. You will experience a lot of joy in life and fulfillment, as well as getting rid of the insecurities and frustrations that you might be facing in today's world. It will save you the trouble of having to spend years and years in the schoolsof chakras and energy in very little time that will cover all you need, you will get to know your body's rhythms and how to fix them, how to balance your energy, the ways of healing, yoga practices, ways of eating and even practices you should be doing every day that will correct your body's circadian rhythms for the day. That way, you will become the master of your own body and mind, you will finally achieve satisfaction and fulfillment. You can get all the three tracks and the free mat to practice instantly once you make a successful purchase, that way, you will be able to access the information that you need in no time. Read more here...

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Preclinical research on medicinal plants used in Ayurveda

In Ayurvedic Materia Medica approximately 800 medicinal plants are actively used in creating formulations. Some of the plants are used as single entity in the form of powder, tablet or extract. There is a clear cut description that certain plants should not be subjected to decoction or infusion as it essentially kills the active principle or constituent. Modern studies have proved that if alkaloid containing drugs are subjected to heat at 60oC, they undergo hydrolysis and get converted into isomeride (a compound having the same kind of atoms but with different stereochemistry). In this case it appears to be coherence between traditional and modern view. The majority of medicinal plants used in Ayurveda have been subjected to phytochemcial screening and active principles have been identified. Further pre-clinical (pharmacological investigations) have justified the traditional medical claims of Ayurveda. In the subsequent table we have tried to document pre-clinical research on...

Lakshmana in ancient Ayurvedic texts

Actions Pungent, laxative, appetizer, light and hot in potency. Therapeutics Cough, asthma, fever, chronic rhinitis, myalgia, worm infestation and heart ailments. It pacifies vata and kapha. Actions Pungent, laxative, appetizer, light and hot in potency. It pacifies vata and kapha. Actions and therapeutics Bitter, pacifies Vata and Kapha and cures

Magnolia obovata and Magnolia officinalis in Chino Japanese traditional medicine

Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis

Among Magnolia species, M. obovata and M. officinalis are very important in traditional Chino-Japanese herbal medicine. In the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, there are three entries containing Magnolia species Cortex Magnoliae, Houpo (the dry bark of stem, branch and root of M. officinalis and M. officinalis var. biloba Rehd. et Wils) Flos Magnoliae officinalis (the dry flower buds of M. officinalis or var. biloba) and Flos Magnoliae Xinyi (the dry flower buds of Magnolia biondii Pamp., M. denudata Desr., M. sprengeri Pamp.). The Japanese Pharmacopoeia also contains similar crude drugs other than Flos Magnoliae officinalis. The Japanese Magnoliae Cortex is the dry bark of Magnolia obovata Thunberg. Figure 1.1 Photographs of genus Magnolia and Magnolia barks used in China and Japan as the traditional herbal medicines. (a) Magnolia obovata grown in Japan. (b) Flower of M. obovata. (c) Magnolia denudata grown in Japan. (d) Flower of M. denudata. (e) The bark of M. officinalis from China. (f) The...

Reverse pharmacology and Ayurveda

Golden Triangle Approach

Reverse pharmacology correlates with Ayurvedic drug action. The approach has attracted considerable attention, nationally and internationally. Central Scientific Instrumental Research (CSIR) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have done clinical trials with natural products. Moreover, Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS) has recently adopted the golden triangle approach for some new indications of old drugs, as well as for Ayurveda (Fig. 2.5). The golden triangle approach is a combination of Dravyagunavignyan, systems biology, and reverse pharmacology for the discovery of potent and cost-effective remedies. Dravyaguna deals with the Ayurvedic study of drugs derived from natural (plant, animal or marine) origin. Dravya refers to constituent of the universe and guna signifies property. In the recent past, the study of Dravyaguna has become more important because of global acceptance of the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Ayurveda has its own concept as far...

Herbal Medicine Today

Due to a growing interest in alternative medicine, herbalism is also attracting new practitioners, and herbal research is constantly underway. Critics note that dosages can be difficult to control, even among plants of the same species, and side effects can be unpredictable. Duke, James A. The Green Pharmacy New Discoveries in Herbal Remedies for Common Diseases and Conditions from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs. Em-maus, PA Rodale Press, 1997.

Quality standards and Ayurveda

Ayurveda has survived as a science since centuries. Ayurveda was preached by distinguished personalities like Charaka, Sushruta, Madhva and Kashyapa. These people established the fundamental aspects of the science which are are still valid today. Later scholars like Vagabhatta, Chakrapani, Arundutta, and Dalhana did a commendable job in preserving this ancient wisdom. Before screening a medicine from the Ayurvedic point of view, the following parameters are observed Since Ayurveda has served humanity for centuries, it is but obvious that without internal quality standards it was not possible for the system to survive. Lack of documentation of ancient medical knowledge seems to be the limiting factor for Ayurveda. Oral transmission was the major tool for transferring theoretical as well as practical knowledge. However after 17th century the scholars felt the need of documentation and several 'Nighantu' were written. Nighantu is the Sanskrit word equivalent to Materia Medica (medicinal...

Herbal Medicines

Medicinal herbs were once the mainstays of all medicine and include plants that range from edible to extremely toxic. Every culture has developed its own herbal pharmacopeia, with herbs taken as teas or tinctures, smoked, or applied to the body as poultices or powders. While much of the world still depends on herbal-based medicine, western medical practitioners rely mainly on synthetic drugs. Some of these are synthetic copies of the active compounds found in older herbal remedies, while others are more effective chemicals modeled on these naturally occurring compounds. At least thirty herbal drugs still remain important in western medicine. Some are obtained directly from plants, such as digitoxin from the woolly foxglove (Digitalis lanata), which is used to treat congestive heart failure, while others are the result of refinement and manipulation of plant products, including oral contraceptives from yams (Dioscorea species). Recent years have seen some resurgence in the use of...

Herbalism in History

European herbal medicine is rooted in the works of classical writers such as Dioscorides, whose De Materia Medica (78 C.E.) formed the basis of herbals in Europe for 1,500 years. Then, as voyages of exploration began to bring new plants from faraway lands, European herbal authors expanded their coverage. This also led to a heightened interest in naming and classifying plants, contributing to the development of botanical science.

Status And Future Developments Involving Plant Iron In Animal And Human Nutrition

Abstract Iron is an essential nutrient for humans and other animals, and must be consumed in adequate amounts to ensure proper growth and development, as well as good health of the organism. Dietary sources of iron can be divided into two types non-heme iron, mostly provided by plant foods, and heme iron, present in animal foods. Heme iron intake is usually low for the majority of humans in many developing countries because of the high cost of animal products or due to cultural constraints concerning these foods. Heme iron intake also is low in most livestock, whose major source of dietary iron comes from forages and cereal crops. For these reasons, both humans and animals rely on plants as an important source of dietary iron. However, the iron concentration of plant foods varies greatly, and low concentrations in some common food sources make it difficult for humans and animals to meet daily dietary requirements when these foods are consumed in suggested amounts. Additionally,...

Botanical Medicines And Fertility

When utilizing herbal medicine to treat medical conditions, including infertility, it is important to note that herbal medicine, when used in traditional practice, embodies the concept of natural medicines. Herbal medicines are not necessarily meant to treat specific health problems directly but rather to support the body or organ systems to regain physiologic, functional control over a body system that needs fine-tuning. Many herbal medicines can be used to help women to become pregnant, based upon patients' individual symptoms and designed to nourish each patient's body allowing it to be at its healthiest. (See Table 14-2 above.)

Natural Ways To Enhance Male Fertility

Fertility, in one sense, is the barometer of a person's overall health, all things being equal. In order to conceive, a person must have a certain level of fertility that requires a sufficiently healthy body to maintain, whether a person is male or female. Fertility can be fleeting as well it has been estimated that nearly 6 million Americans are infertile at any given time. The standard definition of infertility is the inability of a couple of childbearing age to conceive a child after one year of regular intercourse without the use of contraceptives. Because the large majority of couples can conceive within this time frame, it is recommended that those who do not should be assessed for fertility problems. This chapter focuses on infertility in men and natural ways to address it.

Phytochemicals as nutraceuticals or drugschallenges ahead

According to experts, export of herbal materials and medicines can shoot upto 10,0000 million by 2010 from 4460 million in mid 2003. The international market for herbal remedies is more then US 60 billion per year and growing at a rate of 7 . With increased consumer demand for phyto products, the market for phytochemicals is definitely promising. Herbal drug industry has witnessed the emergence of subjects like phytopharmacovigilance. The subject deals with the safety index of herbal drugs. It is defined as the systematic research of the safety of herbal medicines .

Pharmaceutical Scientist

As society's health care needs have changed and expanded, there has been an increased emphasis on the use of herbal remedies as dietary supplements or the search for new prescription drugs from natural sources such as microbes and plants. As a result, an increased number of pharmaceutical scientists hold doctoral degrees in natural products chemistry, pharmacognosy, or medicinal chemistry and are involved in biodiversity prospecting for the discovery of new medicines. At the turn of the twenty-first century there exists a shortage of specialists in this area, and they are in great demand if they are also trained in ethnobotany.

Metabolites Of Orally Administered Kakkonto In Rat And Human Urine

Kakkon-to is a composite formulation of Chinese herbal medicine which contains Kakkon and has been used mainly as a traditional treatment in the early stage of a common cold. The composite formulation consists of seven dried herbal medicines. They are pueraria root Pueraria lobata Ohwi (Leguminosae) , ephedra herb Ephedra sinca Stapf (Ephedraceae) , ginger rhizome Zingiber officinale Roscoe (Zingiberaceae) , jujube fruit Zizyphus jujuba Miller var. inermis Rehder (Rhamnaceae) , cinnamon bark Cinnamomum cassia Blume (Lauraceae) , peony root Paeonia lactiflora Pallas (Paeoniaceae) , and gly-cyrrhiza root Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisher (Leguminosae) .

Potential Applications

Medicinal value of cardamom has not been fully studied in any country. If at all some work has been done, it is in India. Ayurveda is the oldest traditional system of medicine in India, as old as Vedas, which mentions the use of cardamom in certain medicinal preparations. It is a stimulant as well as carminative. Ayurvedic formulations containing cardamom is found to be effective against cough and cold. Body massage oil for head, based on cardamom has been found very soothing. But unfortunately much of the known medicinal uses of cardamom are still to be exploited commercially (Anonymous, 1952, Sahadevan, 1965).

Elise B Lindenmuth and G Frank Lindenmuth

Herbal remedies continue to grow in popularity in the U.S. as demonstrated by expanding sales with seemingly no correlation to scientific research. Echinacea preparations have developed into the best-selling herbal immunostimulants (Bauer, 1998). Nine species of the genus Echinacea are found today in the U.S. and Canada (McGregor, 1968). Native Americans used Echinacea to treat wounds, snakebites and other animal bites, tonsillitis, headache, and cold symptoms (Hobbs, 1989). In the early 1900s in the U.S., Echinacea was the most utilized indigenous medicinal plant. After the introduction of antibiotics, its use declined in the U.S., although today it remains popular in Europe (Foster, 1991).

Materia Medica of medicinally important orchids

Common name Salampanja, Marsh orchis, salep orchid. Ayurvedic name Munjataka. Ayurvedic name Jivanti, Jeva jevaniya, saka shreshtha, yasasvini, jiva bhadra. Syn Eulophia dabia (D.Don) Hochr. Common name Whitton root, Salep. Ayurvedic name Mankand. Distribution The Himalayas. Ayurvedic names Riddhi, Laksmi, Mangala, Rathanga, Risisrista, Saravajanpriya, Siddhi, Sukha, Vasu and Yuga. Ayurvedic dynamics Sweet in taste and pacifies vata and pitta but aggravates kapha. Ayurvedic names Riddhi, Laksmi, Mangala, Rathanga, Risisrista, Saravajanpriya, Siddhi, Sukha, Vasu and Yuga. Ayurvedic dynamics Sweet in taste and pacifies vata and pitta but aggravates kapha. Ayurvedic names Jivaka, Chiranjivi, Dirghayu, Harsanga, Ksveda, Kurchasira, Pranda, Sringaka and Svadu. Ayurvedic dynamics Sweet in taste, cold in potency, pacifies vata and aggravates kapha. Ayurvedic names Rishbhaka, Bandhura, Dhira, Durdhara, Gopati, Indraksa, Kakuda, Matrika, Visani, Vrisa and Vrisnabha. Distribution The Himalayas...

Role of phytochemicals in healthcare system

Medicinal plants are a significant source of synthetic and herbal drugs in India and China and have been on the forefront when one refers to phyto drugs. The traditional systems of medicines Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Western Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy have roots in medicinal herbs. A number of distinguished researchers have dealt with herbal medicine and due to its accessibility to traditions it is still practiced even by lay practitioners.

Controversial Medicinal Plant Identification in Ayurevda

Proper identification of medicinal plants has a significant impact on the finished product and therapeutics. In Ayurveda identification of medicinal plants is a major hurdle in laying pharmacopeial standards for formulations. Astavarga (a group of eight medicinal plants see Table 5.24) is vital part of Ayurvedic formulations like Chyvanprasha and four plants viz, Riddhi, Vriddhi, Jivaka and Rishbhaka have been discussed as possible members of the family Orchidaceae. Although work has been done on identification of medicinal plants mentioned under Astavarga, much remains to be done to identify the true representatives. Ayurvedic name Ayurvedic name In Ayurveda pasanbheda is a drug of controversial origin. The plant is widely used in the treatment of kidney ailments particularly kidney stones. Various medicinal plants are used as pasanbheda in different parts of India (see Table 5.25). Table 7.2 It shows possible representatives of pasanbheda, an Ayurvedic drug of controversial origin....

Resins oleoresins and gumresins

Oleoresins are natural products of resin mixed with volatile oils. Oleoresin are obtained from traditional Ayurvedic drugs, Commiphora mukul and Commiphora molmol are typical examples (Figs. 5.202, 5,203). Myrobalanin, oleoresin obtained from Terminalia chebula is soluble in alcohol, ether, petroleum spirit and oil of turpentine.

Nutrition of Nursery Plants

Significant differences exist among cultivars with regard to utilization of nutrients. Aimpiriyan utilized more of N and K than the other cultivars. The studies conducted at IISR showed that proper nutrient management of pepper nursery is essential to get healthy plants that can give high establishment rate and vigorous growth in the field.

Lichens in folk and traditional medicine

'Doctrine of Signatures' written in the 15th century stated Aplant could treat a disease it most looked like . This formed the basis of phytotherapeutics in traditional systems of medicines like Traditional Indian Medicine (TIM) or Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and Western Medical Herbalism. Interestingly , the word lichen is derived from the Greek word 'Leprous' and refers to use of lichens in treating skin diseases due to their peeling-skin appearance. Lichen like Lobaria pulmonaria (L.) Hoffm. (Stictacea) and Parmelia sulcata Taylor (Parmeliaceae) have been used in the treatment of pulmonary and cranial diseases, respectively. Similarly, Xanthoria parietina (L.) Th. Fries (Lobariaceae), being yellow, was used to cure jaundice.

Bryophytes in traditional systems of medicine

There is no historical record, explaining the use of liverworts and mosses in Ayurveda, the Indian system of medicine. One research claims that mosses from the species of Barbula, Fissidenc, Minium, Thuidium and species of liverworts like Asterella, Dumortiera, Marchantia, Pellia, Plagiochasma and Stephenrencella-Anthoceros were present in the vicinity of Shilajit (Asphaltum punjabianum) exuding rocks and these bryophytes are responsible for the formation of Shilajit. Bryophytes reveal the occurrence of minerals and metals in their tissue such as copper, silver, zinc, iron, lead etc., which are similar to the elements present in Shilajit.

Traditional Medicinal Uses

India In Ayurveda, the plant is known as Sahachara. In India the drug is considered to be astringent and makes a good nervine tonic, expectorant, and stimulant. He says that the root is expectorant, and is used in coughs and asthma. The root, boiled in milk, is largely used in leucorrhoea and general debility. The Siamese and Indo-Chinese consider the roots to be cordial and attenuant, and useful in paralysis and asthma. The tender shoots and leaves are used in India for bites. In Goa, the leaves, which abound in mucilage, are used as an emollient fomentation in rheumatism and neuralgia.

Salacia reticulata Wight

S. reticulata is a climbing perennial woody plant growing wild in South India and in North Sri Lanka. Its roots and stems are been used in Ayurveda to relieve dry mouth. Mangiferin has been isolated from the root bark of S. reticulata. A novel nortriterpenoid aldehyde called salacenonal (Fig. 14.7) has been reported from S. reticulate. Kotalanol having potential natural alpha-glucosidase inhibiting activity was isolated from the roots and stems of S. reticulata through bioassay-guided separation. Kotalanol was found to show more potent inhibitory activity against sucrose than salacinol and acarbose.

Hypericin and hyperforin

Hyperforin Perforatum

As an herbal remedy, Hypericum perforatum has not been subjected to the rigorous clinical testing of modern drug candidates. Several recent reports provide evidence that St. John's wort promotes the metabolism of coadministered drugs, including the HIV protease inhibitor indinavir, the immunosuppressant cyclosporin, and oral contraceptives. Because each of these drugs is metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3 A4, a monooxygenase involved in the metabolism of many xenobiotics, these findings suggested that St. John's wort might induce CYP3A4 expression. Transcription of CYP3A4 is known to be induced by a range of xenobiotics, including drugs such as the antibiotic rifampicin, the antimycotic clotrimazole, the insulinsensitizer troglitazone, and the barbiturate phenobarbital.

Medicinal Application Of Silymarin

It is indeed an honour to be invited to write the Foreword for book titled 'Herbalism, Phytochemistry and Ethnopharmacology' with its twin lofty motto both to educate and to provide much needed scientific validation to herbal medicine. The author has achieved in this book the multi-faceted objectives of emerging herbal science which is a blend of ancient knowledge coupled with scientific proofs. When I received an invitation from the author to write the Foreword to the book I was somewhat puzzled by the invitation. After all, during the past one decade, my work has focused upon the pharmacological aspects of Ayurvedic and herbal medicine. I have coauthored a number of research and review papers along with the author detailing herbal medicine and ethnopharmacology. And prior to that, my original scientific training and qualifications were as pharmacologist, rather than Herbal Medicine. The scope of this book is truly impressive, reviewing the phytochemical and pharmacological aspects...

Toxicology Of Caraway 1141 Toxicity of Caraway towards

The contamination of foods and herbs by fungi is a problem of great importance. This is mainly because of toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by numerous species. For example Aspergillus flavus, a very popular mildew fungus, produces aflatoxins which are the strongest known natural carcinogenic substances. They can be consumed with contaminated food and herbs, cumulated in liver and result in cancer. Pande and Bangale (1994) analysing the mycoflora associated with umbelliferous plants used in Ayurvedic medicines (Foeniculum vulgare, Peucedanum graveolens and Carum carvi) recorded a total of 50 species of fungi belonging to 30 genera. The most hazardous fungus being present on Fructus carvi was Aspergillus spp. responsible for aflatoxins and sterigmatocystin production. El Kady et al. (1995) using thin layer chromatography analysed 24 spices extracts. Aflatoxins and sterigmatocystin were discovered in some of them, including caraway. It means that caraway fruits and preparations...

Pharmacological Properties

In Ayurveda and Sidha systems of medicine cardamom finds application as a component of several therapeutic formulations. Charakasamhita, the ancient Indian medical text, describes the use of cardamom as an antidote for food poisoning. This forms a constituent of Bhrahmi rasayana, which is used as a treatment for inflammations. Also used as a component of many balms, ointments and therapeutic oils used against cramps, rheumatic pain, inflammations etc. In Ayurvedic texts the properties of cardamom seeds are described as aromatic, acrid, sweet, cooling, stimulant, carminative, diuretic, cardiotonic and expectorant. Cardamom is used as an ingredient in preparations used for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, renal and vesicle calculi, cardiac disorders, anorexia, dyspepsia, gastropathy, debility and vitiated conditions of vata. But no pharmacological investigations were carried out to validate the above properties. An aqueous extract of seeds is given to nursing mother to...

Ikuko Kimura Leonara R Pancho and Hiroshi Tsuneki

Chinese Medicine Plants

Ginger rhizomes have been widely used as a cooking spice and herbal remedy to treat a variety of conditions. Fresh and dried gingers are used for different clinical purposes in traditional Chinese medicine (Kampo). Fresh ginger (Zingiberis Recens Rhizoma Sheng Jiang in Chinese Shoga in Japanese) is used as antiemetic, antitussive, or expectorant, and is used to induce perspiration and dispel cold, whereas dried ginger (Zingiberis Rhizoma Gan Jiang in Chinese) is used for stomachache, vomiting, and diarrhea accompanied by cold extremities and faint pulse (Bensky and Gamble, 1986). Dried ginger, either simply dried in the shade (Gan Sheng Jiang, or simply Gan Jiang in Chinese Shokyo in Japanese) or processed ones that are heated in pans or with hot sand (Rhizoma Zingiberis Preparata Pao Jiang in Chinese) are often used in China. The simply dried ginger and the processed ginger are not clearly differentiated in clinical use. On the other hand, different types of dried gingers have been...

Pomegranate Phytochemicals

The major source of dietary pomegranate phytochemicals is the fruit. Pomegranates are popularly consumed as fresh fruit, as beverages (e.g., juices and wines), as food products (e.g., jams and jellies), and as extracts wherein they are used as botanical ingredients in herbal medicines and dietary supplements. Commercial pomegranate juice (PJ) is obtained by a hydrostatic pressing process of whole fruits whereby two predominant types of polyphenolic compounds are extracted into PJ flavonoids and hydrolyzable tannins (HTs).32 The flavonoids include flavonols such as luteolin, quercetin, and kaempferol found in the peel extract17 and anthocyanins found in the arils.14,15 Anthocyanins are the water-soluble pigments responsible for the bright red color of PJ. Pomegranate anthocyanins include pelargonidin-3-gluco-side, cyanidin-3-glucoside, delphinidin-3-glucoside, pelargonidin 3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin 3,5-diglucoside, and delphinidin 3,5-diglucoside14,15 (Table 1.1). Recently, there has...

Caraway In Folk Medicine Of Various Countries

Nowadays, as it used to be in the Past, Carum carvi is mainly known as a spice and the source of essential oil for the cosmetic industry. The role it plays in herbal medicine is a little less important, but also significant. The caraway fruit (Fructus carvi) is mentioned by pharmacopoeias of numerous European countries, USA and others. It is most of all used as a component of herbal mixtures recommended as a digestive, carminative and galactagogue.

Classification of phytochemistry

Conventional phytochemistry, adopts procedures for isolation and purification of active constituents of medicinal plants. The study of this discipline is of more relevance to the pharmaceutical industry. A detailed discussion of conventional phytochemical techniques is beyond the scope of this book. Medicinal phytochemistry is emerging as a new subject keeping in mind recent trends in phytotherapy. This subject is of interest to medical and herbal professionals. Recently, some institutes have introduced courses or modules on herbal medicine or phytotherapy in the regular medical syllabus.

Production of Synthetic Seeds

Chandy, K.S., Potty, N.N. and Kannan, K. (1984) Parameters for varietal classification of pepper. Indian Spices, 21, 18-72. Gopalam, A. and Ravindran, P.N. (1987) Indexing of quality parametres in black pepper culti-vars. Indian Spices, 22 23, 8-11. Ibrahim, K.K., Pillai, V.S. and Sasikumaran, S. (1985d) Path coefficient analysis of some yield components in black pepper (Piper nigrum). Indian Spices, 22, 21-25. Menon, K.S., Nair, M.K. and Sharma, O.P. (1982) Preliminary report on the performance of black pepper on non living standards. Indian Spices, 19, 5-6.

Ferns in traditional medicine

About 300 B.C., Theophrastus recommended oil extracted from ferns to expel internal parasites. Rhizomes of various shield fern species (Polystichum and Dryopteris) have been used since the 18th century as a cure for intestinal worms. Cyathea manniana Hook. (Cyatheaceae) from East Africa has been used by the Chagga and by German troops in the First World War as an anthelmintic. Pteridophytes find use in Homoeopathic, Ayurvedic, Tribal and Unani prescriptions for worm infestation. Aromatic compounds, glycosides and a- and y-pyrones are responsible for the anthelmintic, antibacterial, mutagenic and antifeedant effects of ferns.

Joseph A Rininger Kerry Ringer and Mark Savarese

The medicinal herb Echinacea is a popular herbal remedy, reputed to be an immunostimulant. Three primary species of Echinacea are commonly employed in commercial preparations Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea purpurea, and Echinacea pallida. While there is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports the marketed uses of Echinacea, a tremendous deficiency still exists in our understanding of its pharmacological properties and human health benefits. This results from the various processing techniques employed for different species and sections of the plant that are harvested (roots and or aerial parts) and their final formulation as a tincture, tablets capsules, or teas. In fact, final product forms range from simple preparations of dried root and herb powders, pressed juice, or extracts standardized to a small percentage of constituent marker compounds. To further complicate matters, clinical trial results have demonstrated limited success, probably due to the lack of...

Synergy in relation to the pharmacological action of phytomedicines

Some of the most popular and widely used phytomedicines are those consisting of St. John's wort, Echinacea, ginkgo, garlic, kava, and valerian, which have considerable pharmacological and clinical evidence to support their use, and synergy is generally assumed to play a part in their medicinal effects (Table 5.5). Attempts are rarely made to isolate a single constituent from these extracts. In Traditional Indian Medicine (Ayurveda), Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Western Medical Herbalism, the combination of herbs are fundamental to their philosophy as well as being due to empirical observations and historical usage. As an example, pharmaceuticals containing ephedrine, atropine, and menthol, are rarely considered as phytomedicines, despite being derived from plant sources. Modern herbal medicines are usually found as whole or semi-purified extracts and ideally should be standardized for their active constituents wherever possible to ensure clinical reproducibility.

Plant Quality and Nursery Production

It is imperative that the planting stock used in any project, whether for commercial forestry or amenity planting, is of the best possible quality, especially in view of the financial investments (Fig. 9.1 and 9.2). But how do we define quality Obviously quality is very variable and difficult to define precisely, since it is dependent on many factors and features of the plant, the site and on the objectives of the planting. Harris et al. (2003) state that there is no perfect tree. Selection is a compromise among the proposed function of the plants, its adaptation to the site and the amount of care it will require. The relative importance of a particular characteristic will vary as a function of the specific site and management situation. Langerud (1991) proposed the adoption of Willen and Sutton's (1980) definition, i.e. ' The degree to which that stock realizes the objectives of management (to the end of the rotation or achievement of specific sought benefits) at minimum costs....

What Distinguishes Plants From Medicinal Plants

Medicinal plants are a significant source of synthetic and herbal drugs. Patterns of herbal utilization are depicted in Fig. 1.1 Medicinal plants have been used for the treatment of diseases since antiquity. According to Alves and Rosa (2007), 20,000 plant species are used for medicinal purposes. India and China have been on the forefront when one refers to the history of herbal drugs. The traditional systems of medicines viz. Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, Western Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Homeopathy have roots in medicinal herbs. Herbal medicines have been produced by a number of renowned researchers and due to its accessibility to traditions it is still practiced even by lay practitioners. Ayurveda, the ancient healing system flourished in India in the Vedic era. The classical texts of Ayurveda, Charaka Samhita and Sushruta Samhita were written around 1000 B.C. The Ayurvedic Materia Medica includes 600 medicinal plants along with therapeutics. Herbs like turmeric,...

Scope of medicinal phytochemistry

Medicinal phytochemistry seems to be an interdisciplinary subject. For a well-trained medicinal phytochemist, knowledge of subjects like medicinal or pharmaceutical botany, anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacognosy, ethnopharmacology, chemical ecology, conventional phytochemistry, toxicology, traditional systems of medicine (Ayurveda, Siddha, Homeopathy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Unani), clinical research and biostatistics are prerequisites. While several complementary and alternative systems of medicine are in practice, the Traditional Chinese System (TCM) has made tremendous progress regarding the application of phytochemistry in medicine. A typical medicinal phytochemistry course can be postgraduate and of a 2-yr duration. In case of the Ayurvedic curriculum, medicinal phytochemistry can combine well with Dravyaguna. Dravyaguna is defined as a study of Ayurvedic perspective of medicinal plants. A comparative curriculum blending ancient and modern concepts of ancient...

Markets and Marketing Issues

Medicinial Plant Export

Herbal medicine and natural pharmaceuticals are moving from the fringe to mainstream, with a larger number of people seeking remedies and health approaches free of the side-effects caused by synthesized chemicals (Fig. 1.2). This was considered one of the most vital and high growth industries of the 90s and is set to expand even further into the next century. The increasing acceptance of herbal medicines in Australia is well supported by trends around the world. In Germany and France which together represent 39 of the 14 billion global retail market, herbal remedies known as phytotherapeutics are well established, and the cost for therapeutic use is covered by health insurance systems, and the quality criteria applied to regulation and manufacturing are comparable to those for chemical drugs. The crude botanical raw materials for this industry have been grown for long and traded in many countries around the world. As the Australian market for herbal medicine develops, opportunities...

Herbalphytochemicaldrug interactions

Health Benefits Henbane

Due to the revised interest in herbal medicine, people are favoring nutraceuticals and botanical supplements. As the same time several companies have introduced designed or pharma foods in the market. These are a rich source of phytochemicals having antioxidant, anti-aging and chemo protective effects. Recent studies have reported that phytomedicines have a modulatory effect on drug-metabolizing enzymes, (particularly cytochrome 450) leading to potential drug interactions. Phytochemicals have the tendency to elevate as well as suppress the cytochrome 450 system. Sales of over-the-counter (OTC) products in 1998 soared to US 46.6 billion, with pharmacies capturing approximately 33 , or US 15.4 billion of the sales. Likewise, the sale of herbal supplements rose to approximately US 5 billion in 2000. Pharmacists routinely advise patients on the use of OTC medicines, and with an increased use of herbal medicines among patients, knowledge of appropriate potential interactions between...

Ectomycorrhizae And Forest Ecosystems

High ectomycorrhizal diversity is important in the healthy functioning of woodlands. Different fungi appear to occupy different niches. Some may be more proficient at supporting the tree in taking up particular nutrients, others may be specialized at protecting against pathogens, and others may assist in enzyme production. Intensive study is needed to determine the ectomycor-rhizal diversity which will optimize forest husbandry.

Moumita Sarkar and Gideon Koren

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an umbrella term that covers a number of healthcare modalities that generally fall outside the realm of the conventional medical model (Smith et al., 1996). Herbal medicine is considered to be a primary complementary and alternative therapy. In recent years, the use of herbal products has increased dramatically, particularly in developed countries, by people who wish to maintain good health and reduce the need for conventional drug therapy.

Ginger in Indian System of Medicine

In the Ayurvedic system of medicine, both fresh and dry ginger are used. Ginger has been widely used as a common household remedy for various illnesses from ancient times. The properties and uses of ginger in Ayurvedic medicine are available from authentic ancient treatises like Charaka Samhitha and Susrutha Samhitha, which are the basics for this system. Descriptions of ginger are available from similar documents of Chinese and Sanskrit literature written in the subsequent centuries. Dry ginger seems to be an essential ingredient in several Ayurvedic recipes, and hence ginger is called Mahaoushadha, the great cure. This emphasizes the extensive usage of ginger in Ayurveda. Fresh ginger and dry ginger are used in Ayurveda in different ways In Sanskrit literature, ginger has several synonymous words, which are indicative of its properties, and in Ayurveda different terms are used to denote the usage of ginger in different contexts. Aiyer and Kolammal (1966) quotes the following...

What Species Echinacea Is Most Medicinal

An estimated 83 million U.S. consumers use CAM (Gertz and Bauer, 2001). Of all CAM treatments, herbal medicine has grown the fastest and Echinacea is one of the six top-selling herbal medicinal products (Ernst, 2002). Surveys in the U.S. have shown that more than 7.3 million Americans are using Echinacea, and that herbal medicine usage increased from nearly 3 of the population in 1991 to over 37 in 1998 (Briskin, 2000). A dietary supplement survey of 70 pharmacists in the U.S. showed that a majority (53 ) of pharmacists reported taking dietary supplements in which Echinacea is the top item for colds and influenza (Howard et al., 2001). In another survey determining the frequency of CAM use in surgical patients, results showed that 1,003 of 2,560 patients used CAM, of which herbal medicine (Echinacea among the most frequently used) was the most common, primarily for general health maintenance (Leung et al., 2001). In North America, Echinacea is listed as the first among 11 top-selling...

Important Poisonous Compounds Found in Plants and Mushrooms

Like alkaloids, many glycosides have important medicinal properties. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), for example, produces digitalis and related compounds. These are cardioactive glycosides affecting the functioning of the heart. Foxglove has been used with great care as an herbal remedy by knowledgeable practitioners for centuries. In Western medicine, digitalis and its chemical relatives digoxin and digitoxin have wide application as drugs to help regulate heart function and treat heart-related illnesses. The same glycosides in foxglove that make it a useful medicine, however, can be deadly in the wrong dosage.

Adaptogenic Botanicals

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) has active components, withanolides, which have a sterol structure and are thought to be the main inducers of the herb's glucocorticoid-like effects. Given to animals exposed to experimental physical stress, ashwagandha produces anti-stress and anabolic activity similar to that of Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).31 When administered to animals, Siberian ginseng, more accurately known as eleuthero, (Eleutherococcus senticosus) inhibited many of the biologic changes accompanying extreme stress, such as adrenal weight changes, increasing cortisol levels, and blood-sugar levels.32 A large body of research has demonstrated an enhanced response to physical or chemical stress in animals that have been given Asian ginseng or its active components.33 In a double-blind study, an Asian ginseng root extract that was added to the base of a multivitamin improved subjective parameters in a population exposed to the stress of high physical and mental activity,...

Current research on dietary phytochemicals

Research shows that fruits and vegetables are powerful defenders of our health. Research supporting a critical role for fruits and vegetables in good health grows stronger all the time. Scientists now agree that fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of a healthy diet. Phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables can also help reduce your risk of many chronic diseases including cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and other diseases.

Traditional medicinal use

Olean Carbs

In Ayurveda, the drug is classified as an expectorant. It isan integral part of Ayurvedic laxative formulation, Triphala. T. belerica is used in the treatment of the common cold, pharyngitis and constipation. Unripe fruit is a mild laxative and ripe fruit is an astringent. T. belerica seeds are used as an aphrodisiac. Oil expressed from the seed pulp is used in leucoderma and alopecia. Modern investigations have proved the laxative activity of the oil.

Bromeliads as air quality monitors

Experiments and horticultural practice indicate extraordinary responses among Bromeliaceae to a variety of toxic substances. Arboriculturalists formerly sprayed lead arsenate to selectively kill T. usneoides and T. recur-vata infesting shade and orchard trees in Florida. Copper salts continue to serve the same purpose. For example, two applications during one growing season of Cu(OH)2 at 35g eliminated T. recurvata on crape myrtle in southern Louisiana (Holcomb 1995). More costly Cu-based fungicides have been employed for many years to control ballmoss in Texas (Shubert 1990). Caldiz and Beltrano (1989) and Bartoli et al. (1993) achieved 100 kills of T. recurvata and T. aeranthos with little damage to Argentinian hosts using the herbicides atrazine and simazine. Experiments such as those of Benzing and Renfrow (1980) demonstrated susceptibility to overloads of several metallic micronutrients (Table 5.3).

Heci Yu and Matti Kaarlas

During the last decade, along with growing interest in CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) therapy and changes in the regulation of dietary supplements, Echinacea has become one of the most popular herbal medicines throughout the Western countries, particularly in Europe and in North America, its original source (Asher et al., 2001 Barrett, 2003 Borchers et al., 2000 Kessler et al., 2001 Kligler, 2003). Echinacea is also becoming popular in Australia (Wilkinson and Simpson, 2001). In North Africa, South America, and China, people are also paying increasing attention to this herb (Berti et al., 2002 Dou et al., 2001 El-Gengaihi et al., 1998 Hevia et al., 2002 Li et al., 2002 Luo et al., 2003 Shalaby et al., 1997a, b Wang et al., 2002 Zhang et al., 2001). Like many other herbal medicines, it is still not clear how and which of Echinacea's complex range of components exert direct or synergistic effects (Bauer, 1999). This lack of clarity produces difficulty in standardizing...

Phase 1 Detoxification

In general, phase 1 detoxification arises from the function of a group of some 50-100 enzymes referred to as cytochrome P450. The healthy functioning of this pathway depends upon an individual's nutritional status, genetics, and level of exposure to chemical toxins. Thus, an individual's risks of developing disease states arising from insufficient detoxification varies greatly. Indeed, this can explain the great variability in patients' susceptibility to, and manifestation of, disease processes such as cancer from environmental pollutants, such as smoking.

Preface to the series

Global warming and global travel are among the factors resulting in the spread of such infectious diseases as malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and HIV. All these are not well controlled by the present drug regimes. Antibiotics too are failing because of bacterial resistance. Formerly, less well known tropical diseases are reaching new shores. A whole range of illnesses, for example cancer, occur worldwide. Advances in molecular biology, including methods of in vitro testing for a required medical activity give new opportunities to draw judiciously upon the use and research of traditional herbal remedies from around the world. The re-examining of the herbal medicines must be done in a multi-disciplinary manner. Since 1997, 20 volumes have been published in the Book Series Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Industrial Profiles. The series continues. It is characterized by a single plant genus per volume. With the same Series Editor, this new series Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern...

Properties and Medicinal Uses of Ginger

The past decade has witnessed a considerable enhancement of interest in the use of various traditional herbs and plant extracts in primary healthcare and conventional medicine. They form part of traditional medicine systems, and a vast body of anecdotal evidence exists supporting their use and efficiency. Some of these traditional medicines (especially in the Chinese system of medicine) have stood up well to modern clinical investigations, whereas the so-called miracle cure of others have been either disproved or not substantiated. There is evidently a lack of scientific data from well-planned clinical trials, and the situation is further complicated by the fact that the herbs are almost always used as complex polyherbal mixtures. Among the herbal drugs, one raw drug that has undergone considerable study is ginger. This is perhaps most widely used in the Indian system of medicine known as Ayurveda. Ginger is also a very important drug in both the Chinese and Japanese systems of...

Challenges in the future

Herbal medicine is expanding rapidly. There is a need to create specialty subjects in the existing curriculum of herbal medicine. Many allopathic practitioners are interested in understanding the mechanism of actions of phyto-drugs. Most of the CAM practitioners have little interest towards integrating the modern and traditional systems of medicine. However, some CAM practitioners have begun to understand the importance of the integrative approach. In order to sustain medicinal phytochemistry as a subject in the near future, more funds for research and development are needed. The course is essential for creating super-specialty subjects like phytopharmacology and phytopharmacotherapy.

Some Natural Medicines May Alter Laboratory Test Results

Practitioners who use natural medicine will freely admit that just because it's natural doesn't make it safe.'' It is logical that, because 25 -33 of conventional prescription medicines originated from natural sources, certain extracts may also have side effects. Philosophically, some people might argue that there is a difference between an isolated substance used in the form of a drug and using a botanical extract. However, this line of argument for many products has become weakened with the advent and abundant use of standardized products that concentrate isolated active chemicals from plants to create quasi-drugs. Indeed, the same trends that originally resulted in the creation of pharmaceuticals are beginning to reshape the traditional use of botanical medicines. If an isolated substance in a drug derived from a plant is made into a prescription medicine and can cause side effects, then, of course, herbal medicines that are dissected and modified to create quasi-drugs increase the...

Ethnopharmacology and Traditional Medicine

Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese systems are great living traditions. These traditions have relatively organized databases, and more exhaustive descriptions of botanical material that are available and can be tested using modern scientific methods. Both systems of medicine thus have an important role in bioprospecting of new medicines. Good botanical practices which can improve the quality control procedures of monitoring impurities, heavy metals and other toxins in the raw material can make ethnopharmacology research more meaningful.

Daily Essential Process

Toxic exposure is a fact of modern life and a health risk that is faced on a daily basis by patients regardless of how carefully they attempt to limit environmental sources of exposure. It is important to also look within the body to understand how to control the toxic load that arises from the body's inability to process and eliminate toxic substances. This is also relevant to the body's creation of toxins resulting from metabolic processes. This chapter reviews some common toxic substances and provides an overview of detoxification processes and how they can be supported clinically to maximize the body's healthy functioning and confer optimal protection.

Femalespecific Health Considerations

When considering which natural substances to use for nourishing a woman's sexual vitality, the traditional focus is on herbal products that help to modulate female hormones. Yet, there are natural medicines that enhance blood flow, and these are also critical to a woman's optimal sexual satisfaction. These latter substances are discussed in the section about nutrients that are supportive for both genders. Female-specific herbs include dong quai (Angelica sinensis), black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), chaste tree (Vitex agnus castus), and wild yam (Dios-corea villosa). Each of these herbs has the ability to modulate and amplify, as needed, the body's hormonal balance. They have all been used traditionally to address the signs and symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome and menopause. (See Chapter 16 on female hormones.) Beyond herbal medicine, some good holistic approaches can maximize well-being and optimize sexual functioning. Some common lifestyle-improvement tips include...

Botanical And Nutraceutical Medicines

Several herbal medicines are useful for treating pain the herbs addressed in the following section were selected because of their analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. (There are several other herbs that are useful for treating painful conditions, so this coverage is not complete.) These herbs exert beneficial effects on pain via their analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and sedative properties. Using a combination of herbs that are best suited for certain conditions produces the best result. It is important to consider how pain affects each individual when offering a course of treatment for each patient.

The Need for New Approaches to Urban Forestry

This chapter shows that cities and towns can contain significant stands of trees and extensive woodland canopy. In countries where the woodland cover is generally low, urban areas can contain the most important tree resource. The urban forest can fulfill a number of valuable functions contributing to urban character, aesthetics, recreation, biodiversity, healthy living and general environmental quality (see Chap. 4). This wider value of the urban forest needs to be recognised in the development process if urban areas are to become more sustainable and resilient to local, regional and global change.

The Diverse Nature of the Urban Forest

At the same time, there is increasing recognition across Europe of the important part that urban woodlands and other green spaces play in personal development, healthy living, social cohesion and the creation of sustainable communities (see Chap. 4). This prompts the need to engage a much wider range of expertise and experience in forest planning and management (Nilsson et al. 1999 Konijnendijk and Hoyer 2002 Hartig and Staats 2003).

Effectors Involved In Induction Of The Nematode Feeding Site

Secreted calreticulin has been observed to accumulate at the giant cell wall, but nematode effectors are thought to be injected into the cytoplasm, diffusing thereafter into the enlarged giant cells. However, direct evidence for a nematode gene in plant cytoplasm has not yet been obtained. The identification of effectors known to act intracellularly (Jaubert et al., 2004) and the recent demonstration of physical interaction between a secreted factor from RKN and plant transcription factors (Huang et al., 2006a) are consistent with RKN secretions being active in the plant cell cytoplasm. It remains a major technical challenge to determine whether salivary secretions are injected into the cytoplasm and to identify their role in the induction of giant cell formation, because these secretions are present in such small amounts in the plant. The soybean cyst nematode and potato cyst nematode (G. rostochiensis) encode small secreted proteins with similarity to CLA-VATA ESR (CLE)-related...

Psychology uses of lavender from literature and plays

In an early text on herbalism, Culpeper ('The Complete Herbal', 1653) comments that lavender 'Being an inhabitant almost in every garden, it is so well known, that it needs no description'. He views it as having definite psychological effects 'Lavender is of a special good use for all the griefs and pains of the head and brain that proceed of a cold cause, as the apoplexy, falling-sickness, the dropsy, or sluggish malady, cramps, convulsions, palsies, and often faintings'. This is further emphasised in the prescription 'Two spoonfuls of the distilled water of the flowers

Pregnancy indications

Over the years, Echinacea has become one of the most popular herbal remedies in pregnancy primarily due to its medical indications. Used both systematically and topically, it has been reported to improve the body's defenses against viral and bacterial infections, as well as to prevent and treat common cold flu season illnesses, all of which are very common ailments during pregnancy (Melchart et al., 1994 Hoheisel et al., 1997 Grimm and Muller, 1999). The three major groups of constituents among several responsible for these effects are alkyl amides, caffeic acid derivatives, and polysaccharides (Facino et al., 1995 Combest and Nemecz, 1997).

Nigel B Perry Ronald BH Wills and Douglas L Stuart

Echinacea preparations, taken as immunostimulants, are among the top 10 selling herbal medicines in the U.S. and Europe (Bauer, 1998 Brevoort, 1998) with an estimate by Blumenthal (2001) of US 58 million in retail sales in the U.S. in 2000. The three species used in this trade are Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia, and Echinacea pallida, with the most popular being E. purpurea followed by E. angustifolia (McGuffin, 2001). For example, in Australia in 2000, 80 MT of E. purpurea were used compared to 15 to 20 MT of E. angustifolia and less than 1 MT of E. pallida (Walker, 2000). E. angustifolia is the most difficult of these species to cultivate but has the highest market value (Binns et al., 2002a Berti et al., 2002). The scientific literature on Echinacea is extensive including major reviews by Bauer (1999a), Hobbs (1994a, 1994b), Mahady et al. (2001) and Wills et al. (2000). In this chapter, the chemistry of the three medicinal Echinacea species is summarized with particular...


For most of human history, people have relied on herbalism for at least some of their medicinal needs, and this remains true for more than half of the world's population in the twenty-first century. Much of our modern pharmacopeia also has its roots in the historical knowledge of medicinal plants.


These natural medicines that have been reviewed are representative of a number of other herbs that have been used successfully to enhance sexual performance. These include wild oats (Avena sativa), yohimbe (Pausinystalia yohimbe), ashwagandha (Withania somniferum), sar-saparilla (Smilax officinalis), puncture vine (Tribulus terrestris), horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.), and damiana (Turnera diffusa). Damiana was specifically shown in an animal study to increase sexual copulatory performance as a result of phyto-progestin receptor activity but not as a result of progestin activity.21,22 The key, however, to achieving the desired results with these and the other natural medicines discussed is appropriate prescribing, based on the underlying signs and symptoms that each individual presents with. Thus, in addressing the 43 of women and 31 of men in the United States who report sexual dysfunction,23 it is clear that ultimate sexual functioning depends on a strong and well-nourished body...


Associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, elevated plasma levels of the amino acid homocysteine are affected by genetic, physiologic, and nutritional factors. Increased homocysteine levels are considered to be, collectively, an independent predictor for atherosclerosis and thromboembolism and are correlated with significant risk of coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular occlusive disease, cerebral vascular occlusive disease, and retinal vascular disease.77 Research has also shown that elevated homocysteine is associated with an increase risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, cognitive impairment, pregnancy complications, and osteoporosis.78 The association between homocysteinemia and CVD is causal, because an increase in plasma homocysteine precedes the onset of cardiovascular disease.79 Desirable plasma levels are below 10 mmol L. The plasma concentration ranges for mild, moderate, and severe homocysteinemia are, respectively 15-25 25-50...

Artemisia Annua L

Artemisia annua L., sweet wormwood, is an annual herbaceous plant with a strong fragrance. A. annua is of Asiatic and eastern European origin and has also become naturalized in North America. The plant is widely used in traditional herbal medicine in countries in South East Asia. Herba Artemisiae annuae or Qing Hao is contained in the Pharmacopoeia of the Peoples Republic of China (1988). The official drug consists of the dried aerial parts of A. annua. The drug is collected in autumn when in full blossom, divested of the older stems and dried in the shade.


Rich in the flavonoid (-)-epicatechin, pterocarpus (Pterocarpus marsupium), an Ayurvedic herb, may be helpful for patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. In an animal study, rats whose beta-islet cells were first destroyed with the toxin alloxan and then given large intravenous doses of (-)-epicatechin experienced a return of normal blood glucose levels.32 Histologic examination of pancreas samples showed regeneration of the beta-islet cells. In a human trial in India, among subjects who had been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, 67 of 97 patients studied were able to control blood glucose levels (measured both for fasting and postprandial levels) after 12 weeks of treatment. Doses needed for control ranged between 2- 4 g of extract, and there were no side effects reported.33

Bilong olgeta sik

At the time of first harvest each year, an offering is made to Patuki using this vine. New produce, such as cucumbers and beans (Plate 7-9) as well as fragrant plants and gingers (Plate 2-13, 5-4, 5-18) are used to decorate the base of the Dioscorea merrillii vine. If it thunders or rains, we know that Patuki has accepted our offerings. If there is no thunder but rain can be seen and you remain in good health, then we say the ritual had a little power.


Another botanical medicine from the Ayurvedic system, gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre) leaf extract is used as an adjunctive to insulin and oral hypoglycemic therapies for treating patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Gymnema causes additional reductions in blood glucose levels as well as decreasing glycosylated hemoglobin.38 In addition, this herb is effective for lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with type 2 diabetes, and researchers have speculated that therapy with a specific gymnema extract may stimulate production of endogenous insulin by regenerating and or revitalizing residual beta cells in these patients.39 Other studies have shown that gymnema decreases blood-sugar levels, serum triglycerides, and total cholesterol including very low-density lipoprotein and LDL cholesterol.40 One early study suggested that gymnemic acids, which are derivatives of the leaf, may inhibit intestinal absorption of glucose and may stimulate pancreatic beta-cell...


Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the more widely used herbal medicines. It acts as an antipyretic, antiemetic, antitussive, cardiac inotropic, antibiotic, antifungal, sedative, and analgesic.14 These effects are varied and are dependent on the particular herb preparation used. The active constituents of ginger (gingerols and gingerdione) are derived from the rhizome and root of the plant. Ginger is used for pain management because the herb is an analgesic and antioxidant, and inhibitor of inflammatory prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotriene synthesis.15 Ginger also produces anti-platelet-aggregation effects,16 thereby speeding healing of contusions and bruises. The analgesic effect of ginger may be related to one of its constituents known as shogaol. This substance has inhibitory effects on the release of substance P, a neurotransmitter that is used by the sensory neurons involved in the perception of intense pain.17 Ginger has been shown to have a mild effect on...

Mechanisms Of Action

In the interest of preventive medicine, proteolytic enzymes can be used as interventional medicines that serve to inhibit overactivity of fibrin. One particular enzyme, known as nattokinase, has demonstrable fibrinolytic activity.2 Nattokinase is derived from a Japanese food known as natto, a preparation of soybeans that has undergone fermentation with a bacterium known as Bacillus subtilis natto.3 Hiroyuki Sumi, M.D., University of Chicago, is credited with the discovery of nattokinase. Thought to be produced specifically from this process of fermentation, nattokinase is not derived directly from other soy-based foods. Nattokinase causes mild enhancement of fibrinolysis in plasma, as evidenced by its effect on fibrinolytic parameters and production of tissue plasminogen activator, a potent thrombolytic agent that causes fibrinolysis at the site of a blood clot.4 Nattokinase is thought to work by inhibiting plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1).5 That is, nattokinase works by...

Wendy Pearson

Ethnoveterinary medicine has been defined as local or indigenous knowledge and methods for caring for, healing, and managing livestock (Mathius-Mundy and McCorkle, 1989). The concept of using natural therapies in the mitigation of disease and maintenance of health is not new. However, a new landscape of animal husbandry, and in particular the movement away from antibiotics in livestock feed, has created a whole new incentive and urgency to quantifying the usefulness of botanicals in animal diets. As arguably the most popular herbal medicine in the world, Echinacea has been widely researched in laboratory animals for its potential clinical uses. However, research in livestock is at best limited. Moreover, as is often the case with botanicals research, access to scientific literature may be inhibited by language of publication. Despite this fact, by virtue of its overwhelming acceptance into human healthcare as an immune system stimulant, Echinacea has become a common veterinary...


Cardamom is known to be in use in India from ancient times. It is known as Ela in Sanskrit and references to this can be found in ancient Sanskrit texts. Taitreya Samhita, which belongs to the later Vedic period (ca. 3000 BC), contains mention of cardamom among the ingredients to be poured in the sacrificial fire on the occasion of a marriage ceremony (Mahindru, 1982). The ancient Indian Ayurvedic texts, Charaka Samhita and Susrutha Samhita, written in the post-epic period (1400 600 BC) also mention cardamom on many occasions although it is not clear whether the ela mentioned in those texts is cardamom or large (Nepal) cardamom, it is the latter that occurs in the northeastern region of India. Arabs were the major traders of Indian spices and they were successful in hoodwinking the Mediterranean merchants by keeping the sources of the spices a secret.



These are photosensitizing agents used in the treatment of pigment disorders. Ayurveda, the ancient science of India, has described the use of Psoralia corylifolia for the treatment of leucoderma. Psoralens isolated from the medicinal herb, are reputed drugs in the field of dermatology. Furanocoumarins are present in Ficus carica, Apium graveolens, Ruta graveolens and Angelica gluca. Marmelosin present in Aegle marmelos is the precursor compound for psoralen biosynthesis. Xanthotaxol from Angelica archangelica exhibited potent peripheral anti-OH-tryptamine acitivty in rat isolated fundal strip, also antihistaminic and antinicotinic activites on guinea-pig ileum.


It is well documented that consumption of herbal medicine can result in direct adverse effects, such as allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, and sedation (Ernst and De Smet, 1996). Most medicinal plants contain scores of active ingredients, and unlike conventional medicinal drugs, concentrations of these elements differ from one crop to the next and even within the plant itself. As with any unregulated products, Echinacea use during pregnancy and lactation can be of concern, especially with issues of dosage variation, contamination, incorrect labeling, and interactions with other medications (Smith et al., 1996). For this reason, it is essential for pregnant and nursing mothers to be educated about these issues. The potential for herbal remedies to interact with conventional pharmacotherapy exists, as many women do not reveal their use of herbs to their physicians (Miller, 1998 Von Gruenigen et al., 2001). This may present significant concerns since many pregnant women consume...

Sandra C Miller

Although herbal medicine was practiced by U.S. physicians in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Echinacea was never approved by the American Medical Association because rigorous experimental evidence of its medical efficacy did not exist, and in fact, the healing properties of this herb were virtually forgotten with the development of antibiotics (Combest and Nemecz, 1997). Subsequently, however, techniques for measuring the functional response of different immune cells, at least in vitro, led to herbs such as Echinacea being rediscovered and immune stimulation was advanced as a possible mechanism for their medicinal value. During the past 2 decades, much effort has been devoted to analyzing the many chemical compounds from this plant that may act on specific immune cells. These studies have indicated that such compounds include high molecular weight polysac-charides, inulin, heteroxylan, essential oils, alkyamides such as echinacein, isobutylamides (pen-tadecadienes and...


Tannins are used as antiseptic and this activity is due to presence of the phenolic group. Tannin-rich medicinal plants are used as healing agents in a number of diseases. In Ayurveda, formulations based on tannin-rich plants have been used for the treatment of diseases like leucorrhoea, rhinnorhoea and diarrhea.

Ginger in India

In ancient India, ginger was not significant as a spice, but it was mahabheshaj, mahaoush-adhi, literally meaning the great cure, the great medicine. For the ancient Indian, ginger was the god-given panacea for a number of ailments. That may be the reason why ginger found a prime place in the ancient Ayurvedic texts of Charaka (Charaka samhita) and Susruth (Sushrutha samhita). In Ashtangahridyam of Vagbhatt (a very important ancient Ayurvedic text), ginger is recommended along with other herbs for the cure of elephantiasis, gout, extenuating the juices, and purifying the skin from all spots arising from scorbutic acidities. Ginger is also recommended when exotic faculties were impaired due to indigestion.

Medicinal Plants

Plants, the ultimate producers, are the most important part of the world, and all other living organisms are completely dependent upon them to live. Plants are the basic source of food, which they form by using sunlight and converting it into chemical energy. This energy is used by every living organism for its life cycle, internal metabolism, and movement as well as in its combat with environmental conditions and also with other living organisms. Green plants are the only bridge between all populations of the earth and solar energy. We use this energy indirectly in the form of animal milk, meat, leather, etc. Plants not only produce food but also serve man and all other animals in so many ways. They provide a natural habitat in which wild animals can live and reproduce 2 . Herbal medicines have had a distinct position of respect from the primitive period to the present day. The practice of ethnobotanical pharmacology is as old as mankind. In Indo-Pak the first records of plant...

Further reading

Singh AP. 2007. Herbal Medicine-Dream Unresolved. Ethnobot. Leaf. 11, 195-198. Soejarto DD, Fong HH, Tan GT, Zhang HJ, Ma CY, Franzblau SG, Gyllenhaal C, Riley MC, Kadushin MR, Pezzuto JM, Xuan LT, Hiep NT, Hung NV, Vu BM, Loc PK, Dac LX, Binh LT. Chien NQ, Hai NV, Bich TQ, Cuong NM, Southayong B, Sydara K, Bouamanivong S, Ly HM, Thuy TV, Rose WC, and Dietzman GR. 2005. Ethnobotany ethnopharmacology and mass bioprospecting issues on intellectual property and benefit-sharing. J. Ethnopharmacol.100, 15-22. Timmermans K. 2003. Intellectual property rights and traditional medicine policy dilemmas


Horticultural plants are very important to human health and well being and are critical to the environment of homes, communities, and the world. Horticulture food crops play an important role in human nutrition. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables be consumed daily to provide important nutrients and vitamins and to maintain overall good health. The use of landscape plants has been demonstrated to increase the property value of homes and improve communities and the attitudes of those owning or using the property. Use of plants in the landscape, development of public parks and green-belts, and planting trees all help remediate pollution and contribute to production of oxygen in the air. Plants used indoors, whether flowers or house plants or interior plant scaping, improve the indoor environment by purifying air, removing some pollutants and dusts, and adding beauty, thereby improving the attitude and well being of those...

Maria Lis Balchin

Geranium oil is extracted from the leaves of some Pelargonium species and cultivars, but its paramedical effects are often equated with those of the genus Geranium e.g. G. robertianum and G. maculatum. The latter are native to Europe and were used as herbal medicines for hundreds of years they were written up by Gerard (1633), Culpeper (1652) and even Grieve (1937). The Pelargonium species, native to southern Africa, although introduced to European Botanic Gardens for example in Leiden as early as 1600, was used only as ornamental plants their medicinal properties were known only to Hottentots, Zulus and the local Boers in South Africa till the early 1900s when there was some mention in the literature. The medicinal properties of the fat-soluble Geranium oil (from Pelargonium) are therefore largely unsubstantiated as The main usage of Geranium species is in herbal medicine, whilst that of the Pelargonium-derived Geranium oil is in perfumery, cosmetics and aromatherapy products. The...

Modern History

The modern chapter in the colourful history of pepper begins with the advent of Portuguese on the scene, with the landing of the Portuguese sailor Vasco de Gama at Kappad beach near Kozhikode (Calicut) on May 20, 1498. This event, indeed, was also the beginning of the colonial era. The arrival of Gama in Kozhikode sealed the fate of Arab trade in Indian spices once and for all. Gama and his men returned to Portugal immensely rich. This financial lure led Dom Mannuel, the Portuguese King, to send a huge naval contingent with a fleet of 13 battle ships to India under the command of Pedro Alwarez Cabral in 1500 A.D. (Rosengarten 1973). He also declared sovereignty over India, along with other countries like Ethiopia and Arabia. This even led the western world to believe that Kozhikode was a city discovered by Portuguese, and this distorted perspective is evident from the following writing by Nicolas Dekanezio, a Genevan traveller in 1500 A.D. The scene changed during the first quarter of...

Future trends

Ayurveda is moving from the fringe to mainstream use with a greater number of people seeking remedies free of the side-effects caused by synthesized chemicals. Alternative systems of medicine have become increasingly popular in recent years. The efficacy of some herbal products is beyond doubt, the most recent examples being Artemisia annua, Silymarin marianum and Taxus brevifolia. Several medicinal plants used in Ayurveda (as discussed in this chapter) are being targeted for possible drug development. The future market belongs to standardized Ayurvedic preparations, which have self explanatory advantages over crude drugs.

Properties And Uses

Large cardamom is used as an ingredient as well as a flavouring agent with masala and curry powders in flavouring sweet dishes, cakes, and pastries as a masticatory and for medicinal purposes. The seeds are used for chewing along with betel quid (betel leaf, areanut lime, with or without tobacco). In gulf countries large cardamom is used as a cheaper substitute for spicing tea in place of cardamom. In the Indian systems of medicines - Ayurveda and Unani, it is used as preventive as well as curative for throat troubles, congestion of lungs, inflammation of eyelids, digestive disorders and even in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis (Kirtikar and Basu, 1952). The seeds are fragrant adjuncts for other stimulants, bitters and purgatives. The seeds have a sharp and good taste and are tonic to heart and liver. The pericarp is reported to be good for alleviating headache and heals stomatites (Anonymous, 1950). Decoction of the seeds is used as a gargle in afflictions of teeth and gums....

Better Sex Naturally

Traditional healers and physicians around the world have long known that there are many natural medicines that can enhance sexual desire and function in both men and women. The Chinese have used ginseng for thousands of years as a tonic and to stimulate desire and enhance endurance. Similarly, the herb known as Indian ginseng, ashwagandha (Withania somniferum), has been used to promote potency for centuries. Throughout the world, one finds an abundance of long-revered aphrodisiacs that have now gained increased acceptance as a result of clinical trials. However, from a natural medicine perspective, the best approach to enhancing bodily functions including sexuality is to support the underlying health of the body as a whole. It is true that the better our patients feel, the greater will be their ability to enjoy sexual satisfaction.

Black cohoshbugbane

Uses Rubbing the fetid-smelling flowers on skin repels biting bugs (but may attract a few carrion flies and beetles looking for dead meat). Black cohosh has become a popular herbal remedy in treating meno-pausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes. Because most black cohosh used in the pharmaceutical industry is collected from wild populations, overcollecting is a potential threat.


A traditional Ayurvedic botanical medicine, Pushkarmoola (Inula racemosa), has demonstrated blood glucose-lowering effects and enhanced liver glycogen storage without elevating plasma insulin in animal studies. This effect was not due to increased adrenal gland activity or beta-cell degranulation.36 In addition, the researchers involved in one animal study suggested that the hypoglycemic response that Inula produces may occur peripherally via enhancement of insulin sensitivity, not via up-regulation or release of insulin itself. Inula extract decreased serum glucose concentration in corticosteroid-induced hyperglycemia animal models, also suggesting that additional studies of this botanical medicine may shed light on its use for treating insulin sensitivity.37 Additional research in human models is needed to quantify the effects of this herb further as an adjunctive treatment for metabolic syndrome.


It occurs when the combined action of constituents is greater than would be expected from a consideration of individual constituents. In herbal medicine, better results are obtained with whole plant extracts rather than with isolated constituents. For example, the side-effects of reseprine are not usually found with the crude drug of sarpagandha. If true synergy is occurring in phytomedicines, standardization becomes even more important, since the ratio between

Dietary Deficiencies

Regardless of research studies on the benefits of specific supplements for enhancing fertility, there is no substitute for a healthy diet. The foundation of good health has always been the proper care and feeding of the human body. Diet, in both women and men, has a profound effect on fertility what is (and what is not) put into the body can affect the multiple things that must go right for conception to occur (or not occur). Interestingly, the human body almost seems to have a built-in mechanism to prevent conception to the degree a person is undernourished or over-stressed. Certainly, pregnancy occurs often in undernourished individuals, yet, this tendency is thought-provoking at the very least. Indeed, food isthebest medicine and avoiding contaminated food is equally as important as proper diet and nutrition. Consumption of therapeutic foods and correctly prescribed supplements can help offset less-controllable environmental factors.


Uses Goldenseal rhizomes contain various alkaloids that are used in herbal remedies to treat digestive ailments, bronchial infections, and to boost the immune system. A popular medicinal herb, several million wild-collected rhizomes are harvested annually from publicly managed forests in the eastern United States.


Seeram, Ph.D. is assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and adjunct assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. His doctorate, in natural product chemistry, was obtained from the University of the West Indies and he conducted postdoctoral research at the Bioactive Natural Products and Phytoceuticals Laboratory at Michigan State University. In addition to his membership in numerous professional societies, Dr. Seeram serves on several scientific advisory boards and on editorial boards of scientific journals. His research has been widely reported in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and trade magazines and he is regularly invited to speak at national and international scientific conferences. He has 15 years of experience in phytochemicals and his research interests are currently focused on the evaluation of foods, spices, and herbal medicines in laboratory, animal, and human studies, for the...

About the editor

Dr Amit Krishna De completed MSc in biochemistry and PhD on the topic Biochemical and Pharmacological Investigations on Capsaicin from Indian Chillies from Calcutta University. His area of specialisation is Biochemical Pharmacology and Nutritional Toxicology and during the last 15 years he has carried out extensive work with Indian spices. He has won several awards for his work on chilli which includes Kamal Satbir Young Scientist Award from Indian Council of Medical Research, S R Dasgupta Award from Indian Pharmacological Society, S S Rastogi Award and R B Singh Felicitation Award from International College of Nutrition, Indu Vasudevan Award from Indian Association of Biomedical Chemists, APSI Gold Medal from Academy of Plant Sciences, India, etc. Dr De has several research publications in journals of International repute and is author of several books including Chilli, Medicinal Values of Indian Spices, Trace Elements in Health and Diseases, Tobacco and Smoking, Selected Questions...

History Of Discovery

A number of species are native to Europe and there are records of geraniums in old herbals since the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. A few have been used in herbal remedies in the past but may not have been cultivated. Species such as Geranium robertianum are common wild plants in many parts of the country. More recently, species have been introduced into cultivation such as G. maculatum from North America which was used as a medicinal plant in the eighteenth century. Other species were introduced from further afield mainly for their ornamental features from countries around the Mediterranean, the Himalayas and the Far East and even towards the end of the twentieth century, new species were still being introduced.

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The Complete Compendium Of Everything Related To Health And Wellness

A lot of us run through the day with so many responsibilities that we don't have even an instant to treat ourselves. Coping with deadlines at work, attending to the kids, replying to that demanding client we respond and react to the needs of other people. It's time to do a few merciful things to reward yourself and get your health in order.

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