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HERB GUIDE
COMMON USES

 

Herbs act in almost magical and astonishing ways: spasms may relax, pains vainsh, constipation overcome, nervousness recede, headaches disappear, colds be banished, allergies counteracted, fevers controlled, blood flow arrested... the magic is endless.

Since early Neanderthal man, plants and herbs have been used for healing purposes and maintaining good health. Even has medical science has progressed, methods and ideas based on herbal healing have sustained and grown in different countries, across different cultures, often being used in exactly the same way. For instance, bitter chamomile is used as digestive aid throughout the world.

Traditional herbal remedies have led scientists to the development of numerous 'modern' drugs; from aspirin, tranquilizers and to heart saving digitalis, establishing beyond doubt the efficiency of 'herbal medicine'.

 

Using Herbs Safely

  • Never exceed the manufacturer's recommended dose.
  • Stop taking your herbal medicine if you suffer side-effects.
  • Always seek professional advice if your symptoms persist.
  • Do not take herbal medicines in pregnancy or when breast feeding, unless their safety has been established.
  • If you are taking conventional medicine, or have any long-term medical condition, check with your doctor before taking a herbal medicine or supplement.

Your guide to herbs: A very useful chart on herbs

HERBS
INDICATIONS
DOSAGE
SIDE EFFECTS
Bilberry
Diabetic Retinopathy, Allergies, Cataracts, Varicose Veins
80 - 160mg two to three times daily. Standardized to contain 240mg anthocyanidins
None
Borage Oil
Arthritis, Atherosclerosis, High Cholesterol, PMS
1000mg up to four times daily. Standardized to contain 240mg gamma linolenic acid
None
Boswellia
Arthritis, Atherosclerosis, High Cholesterol, PMS
400mg three times daily
None
Bromelain
Inflammation, Sports Injuries, Respiratory Infections, Dysmenorrhea
250-750mg three times daily on an empty stomach
GI upset at larger doses
Cranberry Extract
Urinary Infection, Kidney Stone Prevention
1 capsule twice daily Standardized to contain 11-12% quinic acid
None
Dong Quai
Menopause, Menstrual Cramps, PMS
500-1000mg three times daily. Photosensitivity at higher doses
None
Enchincea
Common Cold, Viral Infection, Impaired Immune Function
250mg two to four times daily Standardized to contain 3.5-4% total echinacosides
None
Evening Primrose Oil
(See Borage Oil)
Borage Oil has five times the GLA of Evening Primrose Oil
Feverfew
MIGRAIN HEADACHES, Arthritis
50mg twice daily Standardized to contain 0.2% parthenolides
None
Garlic
Infections, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes
300-600mg up to three times daily
May cause GI irritation
Ginger
Morning or Motion Sickness, Vertigo, Arthritis, Nausea
250-500mg up to three times daily Standardized to contain 0.8% essential oils
Can cause GI irritation at high levels
Ginkgo Biloba
Cerebrovascular Insufficiency, Memory Loss, Dementia, Vascular Disorders
60mg twice daily Standardized to contain 24% ginkgoflavonglycosides
Rare incidence of GI upset and headache
Ginseng, Panax
Illness Recovery, Enhancement of Sexual Function, Mental & Physical Performance, Fatigue
100mg one to three times daily Standardized to contain 7% ginsenosides
At higher doses possible anxiety, irritability, breast pain, menstrual changes, hypertension, insomnia
Ginseng, Siberian
Stress, Fatigue, Atherosclerosis, Enhancement of Mental & Physical Performance
100-200mg up to three time daily Standardized to contain 0.5% eleutheroside
At higher doses possible insomnia, irritability, melancholy, anxiety
Goldenseal
Infections, Especially GI Parasitic & Mucous Membrane
200mg up to three times daily. Standardized to contain 0.5% total Alkoloids calculated as hydrostine
Higher doses may interfere with B vitamin metabolism-Not recommended during pregnancy
Gotu Kola
Cellulite, Wound Healing, Varicose Veins, Scleroderma
60-120mg daily. Standardized to contain 60% asiatic and madecassic acids & 40% asiaticosides
None
Grapeseed Extract
Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, Bruising, Peripheral Vascular Disease, Vascular Fragility
50-100mg three times daily. Standardized to contain a procyanidolic value of 95
None
Gugulipid
Atherosclerosis, Elevated Cholesterol & Triglycerides
25mg three times daily
None
Hawthorn
Atherosclerosis, High Blood Pressure, Congestive Heart Failure, Angina
120-240mg three times daily. Standardized to contain 1.8% vitexin - 4'-rhamnoside or 10% procyanidins
None
Licorice
Allergies, PMS, Menopause, Peptic Ulcer
380-760mg 20 minutes before meals. Delycyrrhizinated licorice (DLG) is preferred
Can cause sodium retention, high blood pressure
 
 
 
Milk Thistle
Liver Disorders, Hepatitis Cirrhosis, Psoriasis
100-200mg up to three times daily Standardized to contain 80% silymarin calculated as silibin
None
Saw Palmetto
Benign Prostate Enlargement, Decreased Function of Testes
160mg twice daily. Standardized to contain 85% to 95% fatty acids and sterols
None
St. John's Wort
Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia
150-300mg three times daily. Standardized to contain 0.14% hypericin
At high levels can cause photosensitivity
Valerian
Insomnia, Anxiety, Intestinal Spasm, High Blood Pressure
150-300mg one hour before sleep time. Standardized to contain 0.8% valerenic acids
None