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Monday, December 16, 2013

House Blessing

Holistic Lifestyle wishes you much Love, Health, Joy, Inner Peace and Prosperity!


Pink candle. source: public domain clipart.
A "house blessing", also known as a house healing, house clearing, house cleansing, house purifying, and space clearing is an ancient tradition performed, in one form or another, by many religions and cultures around the world. Its intended purpose is to bless and provide spiritual protection for the dwelling and its inhabitants. A house blessing is generally performed on a dwelling before moving in, but it can also be performed on an existing dwelling after the inhabitants have taken possession.  As the prayer/blessing was recited, Native Americans used dried white sage as a "smudge stick" to remove bad spirits or negative energy from a dwelling, themselves or another person, or an object. After the ritual was complete, the smudge stick was placed in an abalone shell and left to burn out on its own.

A pink candle representing love/heart energy can be lit while reciting the prayer/blessing.

 

 To perform a house blessing:

1. Walk into each room of the dwelling.
2. Set the candle down (make sure the candle is on a stable fireproof surface!) in the middle of the room.
3. Recite the prayer/blessing by speaking it out loud in a normal tone of voice (no need to shout).
4. Walk into the garage. Set the candle down in the center of the garage. Recite the prayer/blessing.
5. Walk around the perimeter of the dwelling holding the candle. While holding the candle, recite the prayer/blessing on the North, South, East and West sides of the dwelling.
6. Walk around the yard/property. While holding the candle, recite the prayer/blessing on the North, South, East and West sides of the yard/property.

There is no right or wrong house prayer/blessing. If you feel so moved you can make up your own blessing. Many examples of house prayers/blessings can be found on the internet. A house blessing should be done at least once a year, however, you can perform the house blessing on a monthly or weekly basis if needed. For example, if misfortune occurs, the energy level in the house or its inhabitants seems low, there is illness, strange occurrances, etc.

Examples of House prayers/blessings:

Example #1
"[To the Divine Spirit or Universal Energy or Supreme Being or Great Spirit or God, etc], in lighting this candle we summon love, harmony, peace, and prosperity into our home. May we be blessed with good health, happiness, success, and abundance. May this home be a sacred dwelling for us and our children. May those who visit us feel peace and love. We decree that this home is now shielded from harm, illness, or misfortune. Thank you for bringing divine light, love and energy into our hearts, rooms, and endeavors. With tremendous gratitude, we thank you. In full faith, so be it and so it is!"

Example #2
"[To the Divine Spirit or Universal Energy or Supreme Being or Great Spirit or God, etc], bless this house and all who live here. Fill this dwelling with an ambiance of peace, prosperity, health, happiness, harmony and love. Let this space shine with divine light and beauty and provide a warm, comfortable haven from the world. May only beings that are kind-hearted and well-intentioned enter here. May nature's spirits feel welcome and live with us as friends. May all who enter here receive what they need, and feel richly blessed with their heart's desires."

House Blessing Prayer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPDLw9smHcc 


Disclaimer - Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog - Information
These statements have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Holistic Lifestyle disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this or any other information contained in this Web site. The information provided using the Holistic Lifestyle Web site is for educational use only. It is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. It is not Holistic Lifestyle’s intention to provide specific advice, medical or otherwise, but rather to provide users with information to better understand and manage their life, environment, personal health and wellness, and their diagnosed disorders. Holistic Lifestyle urges users to consult with a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and/or for answers to their personal medical questions. If you have a medical emergency call 9-1-1. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by Holistic Lifestyle. Any mention in the Holistic Lifestyle Web site of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dietary Supplements and Cognitive Function, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease

Concerns about forgetfulness and whether it is the first sign of Alzheimer's disease are common, particularly among older patients. Your patients may also ask questions about use of dietary supplements, which are often marketed with claims that they enhance memory or improve brain function and health.

Title: Woman Staring Out Window https://visualsonline.cancer.gov/retrieve.cfm?imageid=7478&dpi=72&fileformat=jpg. Source: National Cancer Institute. Creator: Rhoda Baer (Photographer). Reuse Restrictions: None - This image is in the public domain and can be freely reused. Please credit the source and/or author listed above.
This issue of the digest summarizes current information on “what the science says” about several dietary supplements that have been studied for cognitive function, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Research on several other dietary supplements to determine whether they have any effect on the progression of cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease is ongoing. In addition, research on some mind and body practices such as music therapy and mental imagery, which have shown promise in treating some symptoms related to dementia, as well as alleviating stress among caregivers, is underway.

 

GINKGO

Strength of Evidence
  • Numerous studies of ginkgo have been done for a variety of conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Research Results

  • A large, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial funded by NCCAM and NIA studying the well-characterized ginkgo product EGb-761 found it ineffective in lowering the overall incidence of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly. Further analysis of the same data also found ginkgo to be ineffective in slowing cognitive decline, lowering blood pressure, or reducing the incidence of hypertension. In this clinical trial, known as the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory Study, researchers recruited more than 3,000 volunteers age 75 and over who took 240 mg of ginkgo or placebo daily. Participants were followed for an average of approximately 6 years.
  • While some smaller studies of ginkgo for memory enhancement have had promising results, a trial sponsored by the National Institute on Aging of more than 200 healthy adults over age 60 found that ginkgo taken for 6 weeks did not improve memory.

Safety

  • Side effects of ginkgo may include headache, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, dizziness, or allergic skin reactions. More severe allergic reactions have occasionally been reported.
  • There are some data to suggest that ginkgo can increase bleeding risk, so people who take anticoagulant drugs, have bleeding disorders, or have scheduled surgery or dental procedures should use caution and talk to a health care provider if using ginkgo.
  • Fresh (raw) ginkgo seeds contain large amounts of a chemical called ginkgotoxin, which can cause serious adverse reactions—even seizures and death. Roasted seeds can also be dangerous. Products made from standardized ginkgo leaf extracts contain little ginkgotoxin and appear to be safe when used orally and appropriately.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Strength of Evidence

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are the subject of extensive research across NIH, in part because there is laboratory and observational evidence of potential health benefits, and in part because they are widely used by the public. Recent NCCAM-sponsored studies have been investigating whether fish oil can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Research Results

  • Currently, there is not enough scientific evidence from these and other studies to determine whether fish oil is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease.

Safety

  • Omega-3s appear to be safe for most adults at low-to-moderate doses. The FDA has concluded that omega-3 dietary supplements from fish are “generally recognized as safe.”
  • Some have questioned the safety of fish oil supplements because some species of fish can contain high levels of mercury, pesticides, or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). However, fish oil supplements do not appear to contain these substances.
  • Fish oil supplements may cause minor gastrointestinal upsets, including diarrhea, heartburn, indigestion, and abdominal bloating.
  • In high doses, fish oil can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and drugs used for high blood pressure.

B Vitamins

Strength of Evidence

  • Several studies have been conducted on vitamin B supplements and cognitive function in older adults.

Research Results

  • Results of short-term studies suggest that B-vitamin supplements do not help cognitive functioning in adults age 50 or older with or without dementia. The vitamins studied were B12, B6, and folic acid, taken alone or in combination.

Safety

  • There are some health risks from excessive intake of some B vitamins. In addition, vitamin B6 can interact with certain medications, and several types of medications might adversely affect vitamin B6 levels, including the antibiotic cycloserine and some anti-seizure drugs. Vitamin B12 has the potential to interact with metformin, proton pump inhibitors, the antibiotic chloramphenicol, and H2 receptor antagonists.

Asian Ginseng

Strength of Evidence

  • Asian ginseng has been widely studied for a variety of uses. Most of the evidence is preliminary—i.e., based on laboratory research or small clinical trials—but a few high-quality clinical trials have been conducted on Asian ginseng for Alzheimer’s disease.

Research Results

  • Research results to date do not conclusively support health claims associated with the herb.

Safety

  • Short-term use of ginseng at recommended doses appears to be safe for most people. Some sources suggest that prolonged use might cause side effects.
  • Asian ginseng may lower levels of blood sugar; this effect may be seen more in people with diabetes. Therefore, people with diabetes should use extra caution with Asian ginseng, especially if they are using medicines to lower blood sugar or taking other herbs, such as bitter melon and fenugreek, that are also thought to lower blood sugar.
  • The most common side effects are headaches and sleep and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Asian ginseng can cause allergic reactions.
  • There have been reports of breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities, and high blood pressure associated with Asian ginseng products, but these products’ components were not analyzed, so the cause is unclear.

Vitamin E

Strength of Evidence

  • Many laboratory and animal studies have investigated the role of vitamin E in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease; evidence from human studies is much more limited.

Research Results

  • A 2012 Cochrane review found no convincing clinical evidence that vitamin E is of benefit in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment.

Safety

  • Research has not found any adverse effects from consuming vitamin E in food. However, high doses of alpha-tocopherol supplements can cause hemorrhage and interrupt blood coagulation in animals, and in vitro data suggest that high doses inhibit platelet aggregation.
  • Recent results from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention (SELECT) Trial suggest that vitamin E supplements (400 IU/day) may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Follow-up studies exploring this finding are underway.
  • Vitamin E supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications, including anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications, simvastatin and niacin, and chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Grape Seed Extract

Strength of Evidence

  • A few preliminary studies of the effects of grape seed extract and its components on cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain disorders have been undertaken.

Research Results

  • There is currently insufficient evidence to determine if grape seed extract is helpful in the prevention or treatment of cognitive decline or Alzheimer’s disease.

Safety

  • Grape seed extract is generally well tolerated when taken by mouth. It has been used safely for up to 8 weeks in clinical trials.
  • Side effects that have been reported include a dry, itchy scalp; dizziness; headache; high blood pressure; hives; indigestion; and nausea.
  • Interactions between grape seed extract and medicines or other supplements have not been carefully studied.

Curcumin

Strength of Evidence

  • A few preliminary clinical studies exploring the effects of curcumin on Alzheimer’s disease have been conducted.

Research Results

  • Evidence of benefit of curcumin on Alzheimer’s disease has not been found.

Safety

  • Curcumin is considered safe for most adults, but high doses or long-term use may cause indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea.
  • In animals, very high doses of curcumin have caused liver problems. No cases of liver problems have been reported in people.

Copyright
Content is in the public domain and may be reprinted, except if marked as copyrighted (©). Please credit the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) as the source. All copyrighted material is the property of its respective owners and may not be reprinted without their permission.

Disclaimer - Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog - Information
These statements have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Holistic Lifestyle disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this or any other information contained in this Web site. The information provided using the Holistic Lifestyle Web site is for educational use only. It is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. It is not Holistic Lifestyle’s intention to provide specific advice, medical or otherwise, but rather to provide users with information to better understand and manage their life, environment, personal health and wellness, and their diagnosed disorders. Holistic Lifestyle urges users to consult with a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and/or for answers to their personal medical questions. If you have a medical emergency call 9-1-1. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by Holistic Lifestyle. Any mention in the Holistic Lifestyle Web site of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fashion Tips for Your First Date

Whether you have met a guy in town, at a bar, know him  from work, or have been chatting to him online for weeks before meeting up with him, a first date is always nerve racking. If you start dating  someone you have known for a long time as a  friend, it  can even  be a little awkward, but we’re going to focus on the positive aspects here.

One of the big things you are probably worrying about is what you are going to wear for the first date. Make no mistake; this can be extremely tricky. You might want to go for the conservative look but end up looking frumpy, while too much of an “out there” look can leave the wrong impression on many fronts. What you need to do is ensure you achieve the correct balance in your outfit. Here are some tips that will help you.

Leave it to the Imagination
Everyone wants to look desirable and sexy,  but  you  do  not  have  to  be  flaunting  legs  and cleavage in order  to achieve  this. Wear something  that makes you look sultry, but ensure  the focus is going to be on you, the conversation, and that you will be able to achieve plenty of eye contact with your man.

If your date sees everything the  first time you meet him, it takes away a part of the incentive for him to want to see you again. If you dress over the top just to impress him, that will come through in your own anxiety, too, which is never attractive.

Choose Comfort Every Time
If we were talking about any other occasion, we would be saying that you can  forget comfort for  a  while  as  long  as  you  look  good.  However,  if  you  are  having  to  adjust  shoes  or  a  belt during a date, it isn’t the best of looks. With that in mind, it is better to wear something that makes you feel good and that you will be comfortable in. Yes, dress to impress, but do not put something on with looking good the only thing on your mind. If he’s worth it, he’ll be interested in much more than your appearance, anyway.

Keep it Simple & Familiar
You  want  to  know  the  reason  why  fashion  disasters  happen  on  a  first  date?  It  is  because both women and men spend too much time worrying about what to wear, and go out to buy something new. Not a problem, you might think, but the emotion that tells us we have to buy something distorts our view of certain  things, and we end up buying something we ordinarily wouldn’t. Then, when it comes to the date, we start to feel anxious and uncomfortable because we realize we don’t like our new dress, blouse, or pair of jeans. Stick  to  something already in your wardrobe, a “go to” item you know you look good in, and this will filter through to your confidence, your mood, and the whole date.

Author Bio: Jessica enjoys going shopping on first dates as she finds it is a great ice breaker; she picks up some fun and quirky items, too! During her last first date, Jessica found some stylish hijab pins which she purchased for one of her friends.

Disclaimer - Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog - Guest Posts
The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within guest post articles are not guaranteed. Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations made in the guest blogger postings. The copyright of the guest blogger’s content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog. Any mention in the Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product. Please note that guest bloggers are not paid by Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog for blogging content.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gallstones

What are gallstones?

Gallstones are small, pebble-like substances that develop in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped sac located below your liver in the right upper abdomen. Gallstones form when liquid stored in the gallbladder hardens into pieces of stone-like material. The liquid—called bile—helps the body digest fats. Bile is made in the liver, then stored in the gallbladder until the body needs it. The gallbladder contracts and pushes the bile into a tube—called the common bile duct—that carries it to the small intestine, where it helps with digestion.

Bile contains water, cholesterol, fats, bile salts, proteins, and bilirubin—a waste product. Bile salts break up fat, and bilirubin gives bile and stool a yellowish-brown color. If the liquid bile contains too much cholesterol, bile salts, or bilirubin, it can harden into gallstones.

The two types of gallstones are cholesterol stones and pigment stones. Cholesterol stones are usually yellow-green and are made primarily of hardened cholesterol. They account for about 80 percent of gallstones. Pigment stones are small, dark stones made of bilirubin. Gallstones can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a golf ball. The gallbladder can develop just one large stone, hundreds of tiny stones, or a combination of the two.

Illustration of the biliary system, showing the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and the duodenum with the appendant ducts.
Image Description: The gallbladder and the ducts that carry bile and other digestive enzymes from the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas to the small intestine are called the biliary system.

Gallstones can block the normal flow of bile if they move from the gallbladder and lodge in any of the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine. The ducts include the
  • hepatic ducts, which carry bile out of the liver
  • cystic duct, which takes bile to and from the gallbladder
  • common bile duct, which takes bile from the cystic and hepatic ducts to the small intestine
Bile trapped in these ducts can cause inflammation in the gallbladder, the ducts, or in rare cases, the liver. Other ducts open into the common bile duct, including the pancreatic duct, which carries digestive enzymes out of the pancreas. Sometimes gallstones passing through the common bile duct provoke inflammation in the pancreas—called gallstone pancreatitis—an extremely painful and potentially dangerous condition. If any of the bile ducts remain blocked for a significant period of time, severe damage or infection can occur in the gallbladder, liver, or pancreas. Left untreated, the condition can be fatal. Warning signs of a serious problem are fever, jaundice, and persistent pain.

 

What causes gallstones?

Scientists believe cholesterol stones form when bile contains too much cholesterol, too much bilirubin, or not enough bile salts, or when the gallbladder does not empty completely or often enough. The reason these imbalances occur is not known.

The cause of pigment stones is not fully understood. The stones tend to develop in people who have liver cirrhosis, biliary tract infections, or hereditary blood disorders—such as sickle cell anemia—in which the liver makes too much bilirubin.

The mere presence of gallstones may cause more gallstones to develop. Other factors that contribute to the formation of gallstones, particularly cholesterol stones, include
  • Sex. Women are twice as likely as men to develop gallstones. Excess estrogen from pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control pills appears to increase cholesterol levels in bile and decrease gallbladder movement, which can lead to gallstones.
  • Family history. Gallstones often run in families, pointing to a possible genetic link.
  • Weight. A large clinical study showed that being even moderately overweight increases the risk for developing gallstones. The most likely reason is that the amount of bile salts in bile is reduced, resulting in more cholesterol. Increased cholesterol reduces gallbladder emptying. Obesity is a major risk factor for gallstones, especially in women.
  • Diet. Diets high in fat and cholesterol and low in fiber increase the risk of gallstones due to increased cholesterol in the bile and reduced gallbladder emptying.
  • Rapid weight loss. As the body metabolizes fat during prolonged fasting and rapid weight loss—such as “crash diets”—the liver secretes extra cholesterol into bile, which can cause gallstones. In addition, the gallbladder does not empty properly.
  • Age. People older than age 60 are more likely to develop gallstones than younger people. As people age, the body tends to secrete more cholesterol into bile.
  • Ethnicity. American Indians have a genetic predisposition to secrete high levels of cholesterol in bile. In fact, they have the highest rate of gallstones in the United States. The majority of American Indian men have gallstones by age 60. Among the Pima Indians of Arizona, 70 percent of women have gallstones by age 30. Mexican American men and women of all ages also have high rates of gallstones.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs. Drugs that lower cholesterol levels in the blood actually increase the amount of cholesterol secreted into bile. In turn, the risk of gallstones increases.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes generally have high levels of fatty acids called triglycerides. These fatty acids may increase the risk of gallstones.

Who is at risk for gallstones?

People at risk for gallstones include
  • women—especially women who are pregnant, use hormone replacement therapy, or take birth control pills
  • people over age 60
  • American Indians
  • Mexican Americans
  • overweight or obese men and women
  • people who fast or lose a lot of weight quickly
  • people with a family history of gallstones
  • people with diabetes
  • people who take cholesterol-lowering drugs

What are the symptoms of gallstones?

As gallstones move into the bile ducts and create blockage, pressure increases in the gallbladder and one or more symptoms may occur. Symptoms of blocked bile ducts are often called a gallbladder “attack” because they occur suddenly. Gallbladder attacks often follow fatty meals, and they may occur during the night. A typical attack can cause
  • steady pain in the right upper abdomen that increases rapidly and lasts from 30 minutes to several hours
  • pain in the back between the shoulder blades
  • pain under the right shoulder
Notify your doctor if you think you have experienced a gallbladder attack. Although these attacks often pass as gallstones move, your gallbladder can become infected and rupture if a blockage remains.
People with any of the following symptoms should see a doctor immediately:
  • prolonged pain—more than 5 hours
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fever—even low-grade—or chills
  • yellowish color of the skin or whites of the eyes
  • clay-colored stools
Many people with gallstones have no symptoms; these gallstones are called “silent stones.” They do not interfere with gallbladder, liver, or pancreas function and do not need treatment.

How are gallstones diagnosed?

Frequently, gallstones are discovered during tests for other health conditions. When gallstones are suspected to be the cause of symptoms, the doctor is likely to do an ultrasound exam—the most sensitive and specific test for gallstones. A handheld device, which a technician glides over the abdomen, sends sound waves toward the gallbladder. The sound waves bounce off the gallbladder, liver, and other organs, and their echoes make electrical impulses that create a picture of the gallbladder on a video monitor. If gallstones are present, the sound waves will bounce off them, too, showing their location. Other tests may also be performed.
  • Computerized tomography (CT) scan. The CT scan is a noninvasive x ray that produces cross-section images of the body. The test may show the gallstones or complications, such as infection and rupture of the gallbladder or bile ducts.
  • Cholescintigraphy (HIDA scan). The patient is injected with a small amount of nonharmful radioactive material that is absorbed by the gallbladder, which is then stimulated to contract. The test is used to diagnose abnormal contraction of the gallbladder or obstruction of the bile ducts.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). ERCP is used to locate and remove stones in the bile ducts. After lightly sedating you, the doctor inserts an endoscope—a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera—down the throat and through the stomach and into the small intestine. The endoscope is connected to a computer and video monitor. The doctor guides the endoscope and injects a special dye that helps the bile ducts appear better on the monitor. The endoscope helps the doctor locate the affected bile duct and the gallstone. The stone is captured in a tiny basket and removed with the endoscope.
  • Blood tests. Blood tests may be performed to look for signs of infection, obstruction, pancreatitis, or jaundice.
Because gallstone symptoms may be similar to those of a heart attack, appendicitis, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, hiatal hernia, pancreatitis, and hepatitis, an accurate diagnosis is important.

How are gallstones treated?

 

Surgery

If you have gallstones without symptoms, you do not require treatment. If you are having frequent gallbladder attacks, your doctor will likely recommend you have your gallbladder removed—an operation called a cholecystectomy. Surgery to remove the gallbladder—a nonessential organ—is one of the most common surgeries performed on adults in the United States.

Nearly all cholecystectomies are performed with laparoscopy. After giving you medication to sedate you, the surgeon makes several tiny incisions in the abdomen and inserts a laparoscope and a miniature video camera. The camera sends a magnified image from inside the body to a video monitor, giving the surgeon a close-up view of the organs and tissues. While watching the monitor, the surgeon uses the instruments to carefully separate the gallbladder from the liver, bile ducts, and other structures. Then the surgeon cuts the cystic duct and removes the gallbladder through one of the small incisions.

Recovery after laparoscopic surgery usually involves only one night in the hospital, and normal activity can be resumed after a few days at home. Because the abdominal muscles are not cut during laparoscopic surgery, patients have less pain and fewer complications than after “open” surgery, which requires a 5- to 8-inch incision across the abdomen.

If tests show the gallbladder has severe inflammation, infection, or scarring from other operations, the surgeon may perform open surgery to remove the gallbladder. In some cases, open surgery is planned; however, sometimes these problems are discovered during the laparoscopy and the surgeon must make a larger incision. Recovery from open surgery usually requires 3 to 5 days in the hospital and several weeks at home. Open surgery is necessary in about 5 percent of gallbladder operations.

The most common complication in gallbladder surgery is injury to the bile ducts. An injured common bile duct can leak bile and cause a painful and potentially dangerous infection. Mild injuries can sometimes be treated nonsurgically. Major injury, however, is more serious and requires additional surgery.

If gallstones are present in the bile ducts, the physician—usually a gastroenterologist—may use ERCP to locate and remove them before or during gallbladder surgery. Occasionally, a person who has had a cholecystectomy is diagnosed with a gallstone in the bile ducts weeks, months, or even years after the surgery. The ERCP procedure is usually successful in removing the stone in these cases.

 

Nonsurgical Treatment

Nonsurgical approaches are used only in special situations—such as when a patient has a serious medical condition preventing surgery—and only for cholesterol stones. Stones commonly recur within 5 years in patients treated nonsurgically.
  • Oral dissolution therapy. Drugs made from bile acid are used to dissolve gallstones. The drugs ursodiol (Actigall) and chenodiol (Chenix) work best for small cholesterol stones. Months or years of treatment may be necessary before all the stones dissolve. Both drugs may cause mild diarrhea, and chenodiol may temporarily raise levels of blood cholesterol and the liver enzyme transaminase.
  • Contact dissolution therapy. This experimental procedure involves injecting a drug directly into the gallbladder to dissolve cholesterol stones. The drug—methyl tert-butyl ether—can dissolve some stones in 1 to 3 days, but it causes irritation and some complications have been reported. The procedure is being tested in symptomatic patients with small stones.

Do people need their gallbladder?

Fortunately, the gallbladder is an organ people can live without. Your liver produces enough bile to digest a normal diet. Once the gallbladder is removed, bile flows out of the liver through the hepatic ducts into the common bile duct and directly into the small intestine, instead of being stored in the gallbladder. Because now the bile flows into the small intestine more often, softer and more frequent stools can occur in about 1 percent of people. These changes are usually temporary, but talk with your health care provider if they persist.

Points to Remember

  • Gallstones form when bile hardens in the gallbladder.
  • Gallstones are more common among older adults; women; American Indians; Mexican Americans; people with diabetes; those with a family history of gallstones; people who are overweight, obese, or undergo rapid weight loss; and those taking cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • Gallbladder attacks often occur after eating a meal, especially one high in fat.
  • Symptoms can mimic those of other problems, including a heart attack, so an accurate diagnosis is important.
  • Gallstones can cause serious problems if they become trapped in the bile ducts.
  • Laparoscopic surgery to remove the gallbladder is the most common treatment.

Hope through Research

Animal research has helped identify several genes that may determine which people are more prone to gallstones. In spite of many well-defined risk factors for gallstones, researchers continue to look for genes that may identify susceptibility in humans. Researchers also believe that the growing global epidemic of obesity may increase rates of gallbladder disease worldwide.
The U.S. Government does not endorse or favor any specific commercial product or company. Trade, proprietary, or company names appearing in this document are used only because they are considered necessary in the context of the information provided. If a product is not mentioned, the omission does not mean or imply that the product is unsatisfactory.

For More Information

American Academy of Family Physicians
P.O. Box 11210
Shawnee Mission, KS 66207–1210
Phone: 1–800–274–2237 or 913–906–6000
Email: fp@aafp.org
Internet: www.aafp.orgleaving site icon

American Gastroenterological Association
National Office
4930 Del Ray Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301–654–2055
Fax: 301–654–5920
Email: member@gastro.org
Internet: www.gastro.orgleaving site icon

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
P.O. Box 170864
Milwaukee, WI 53217–8076
Phone: 1–888–964–2001 or 414–964–1799
Fax: 414–964–7176
Email: iffgd@iffgd.org
Internet: www.iffgd.orgleaving site icon
You may also find additional information about this topic by visiting MedlinePlus at www.medlineplus.gov.
This publication may contain information about medications. When prepared, this publication included the most current information available. For updates or for questions about any medications, contact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration toll-free at 1–888–INFO–FDA (1–888–463–6332) or visit www.fda.gov. Consult your doctor for more information.


National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892–3570
Phone: 1–800–891–5389
TTY: 1–866–569–1162
Fax: 703–738–4929
Email: nddic@info.niddk.nih.gov
Internet: www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the Clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. The NDDIC answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the Clearinghouse are carefully reviewed by both NIDDK scientists and outside experts.

This publication is not copyrighted. The Clearinghouse encourages users of this publication to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.

NIH Publication No. 07–2897
July 2007



External Links


Gallstones [http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/gallstones.printerview.all.html](American Academy of Family Physicians)
Also available in Spanish [http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/es/diseases-conditions/gallstones.printerview.all.html]
Gallstones [http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gallstones/](National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Gallstones [http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/gallstones/DS00165/DSECTION=all&METHOD=print](Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Understanding Gallstones [http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/AGAPatientBrochure_Gallstones.pdf](American Gastroenterological Association)

Diagnosis/Symptoms
Abdominal exploration - slideshow [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100049_1.htm]
Also available in Spanish [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/ency/esp_presentations/100049_1.htm]
Abdominal Ultrasound [http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=abdominus&bhcp=1](American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America)
Also available in Spanish [http://www.radiologyinfo.org/sp/info.cfm?pg=abdominus]
ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) [http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ercp/](National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Gallstones: Questions to Discuss with Your Doctor [http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/doctor/gStones.shtml](Harvard Medical School)
HIDA Scan [http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/hida-scan/MY00320/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all](Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Understanding EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasonography) [http://www.asge.org/patients/patients.aspx?id=380](American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)
Also available in Spanish [http://www.asge.org/patients/patients.aspx?id=12436]

Treatment
Cholecystectomy - Open and Laparoscopic [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tutorials/cholecystectomyopenandlaparoscopic/htm/index.htm](Patient Education Institute)
Also available in Spanish [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/tutorials/cholecystectomyopenandlaparoscopicspanish/htm/index.htm]
Cholecystectomy: Surgical Removal of the Gallbladder [http://www.facs.org/public_info/operation/brochures/cholecystectomy.pdf](American College of Surgeons) - PDF
Also available in Spanish [http://www.facs.org/public_info/operation/brochures/colecistectomia.pdf]
Endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatography (ERCP) - slideshow [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/presentations/100180_1.htm]
Also available in Spanish [http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/ency/esp_presentations/100180_1.htm]
Understanding ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) [http://www.asge.org/patients/patients.aspx?id=386](American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)

Alternative Therapy

Gallbladder Cleanse: A "Natural" Remedy for Gallstones? [http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/gallbladder-cleanse/AN01283/METHOD=print](Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Related Issues
Biliary Colic [http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtPrint/WSIHW000/9339/10048.html?hide=t&k=basePrint](InteliHealth, Harvard Medical School)
Biliary Tract Disorders, Gallbladder Disorders, and Gallstone Pancreatitis [http://patients.gi.org/topics/biliary-tract-disorders-gallbladder-disorders-and-gallstone-pancreatitis/](American College of Gastroenterology)
Also available in Spanish [http://patients.gi.org/recursos-en-espanol/trastornos-del-tracto-biliar-trastornos-de-la-vesicula-biliar-y-pancreatitis-por-calculos-biliares/]
Cholecystitis [http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cholecystitis/DS01153/METHOD=print&DSECTION=all](Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Chronic Diarrhea: A Concern After Gallbladder Removal? [http://www.mayoclinic.com/print/gallbladder-removal/AN00067/METHOD=print](Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
Dieting and Gallstones [http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/gallstones.htm](National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

Videos
Diagnosing & Treating Digestive Tract Disorders Endoscopically [http://www.orlive.com/wfubmc/videos/diagnosing-and-treating-digestive-tract-disorders?view=displayPageNLM](OR-Live) - Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC, 1/15/2009
Laparo-Endoscopic Single-Site (LESS) Procedure [http://www.orlive.com/tgh/videos/laparoscopic-endoscopic-single-site-less-procedure?view=displayPageNLM](OR-Live) - Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL 1/12/2010
Scarless Gallbladder Removal [http://orlive.com/baptisthealth/videos/spider-surgery-scarless-gallbladder-removal?view=displaypageNLM](OR-Live) - West Kendall Baptist Hospital, Miami, FL, 11/03/2011

Clinical Trials
ClinicalTrials.gov: Choledocholithiasis [http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Choledocholithiasis%22](National Institutes of Health)
ClinicalTrials.gov: Cholelithiasis [http://clinicaltrials.gov/search/open/condition=%22Cholelithiasis%22](National Institutes of Health)

Dictionaries/Glossaries
Digestive Diseases Dictionary [http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/dictionary/](National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Also available in Spanish [http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/spanish/pubs/dictionary/index.aspx]

Organizations
American Gastroenterological Association [http://www.gastro.org/]
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse [http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/]
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases [http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/]

Women
Gallstones in American Indian/Alaska Native Women [http://womenshealth.gov/minority-health/american-indians/gallstones.cfm](Dept. of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
Gallstones in Women [http://patients.gi.org/topics/gallstones-in-women/](American College of Gastroenterology)

Men
Gallstones Symptoms in Men [http://www.buzzle.com/articles/gallstones-symptoms-in-men.html] - Buzzle.

Disclaimer - Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog - Information
These statements have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The information provided using the Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog Web site is only intended to be general summary information to the public. It is not intended to take the place of either the written law or regulations. It is not Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog’s intention to provide specific advice, medical or otherwise, but rather to provide users with information to better understand and manage their life, environment, personal health and wellness, and their diagnosed disorders. Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog urges users to consult with a qualified health care professional for diagnosis and/or for answers to their personal medical questions. If you have a medical emergency call 9-1-1. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog. Any mention in the Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Plants Used in Herbalism

Plants have the ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals. Many of these phytochemicals have beneficial effects on long-term health when consumed by humans, and can be used to effectively treat human diseases. At least 12,000 such compounds have been isolated so far; a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total.[1][2] These phytochemicals are divided into (1) primary metabolites such as sugars and fats, which are found in all plants; and (2) secondary metabolites – compounds which are found in a smaller range of plants, serving a more specific function.[3] For example, some secondary metabolites are toxins used to deter predation and others are pheromones used to attract insects for pollination. It is these secondary metabolites and pigments that can have therapeutic actions in humans and which can be refined to produce drugs—examples are inulin from the roots of dahlias, quinine from the cinchona, morphine and codeine from the poppy, and digoxin from the foxglove.[3] Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.[1][2]

Most cultures have a tradition of using plants medicinally. In Europe, apothecaries stocked herbal ingredients for their medicines. In the Latin names for plants created by Linnaeus, the word officinalis indicates that a plant was used in this way. For example, the marsh mallow has the classification Althaea officinalis, as it was traditionally used as an emollient to soothe ulcers.[4] Ayurvedic medicine, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine are other examples of medical practices that incorporate medical uses of plants. Pharmacognosy is the branch of modern medicine about medicines from plant sources. Plants included here are those that have been or are being used medicinally, in at least one such medicinal tradition.

Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include Digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.

A

Açai (Euterpe oleracea) Although açai berries are a longstanding food source for indigenous people of the Amazon, there is no evidence that they have historically served a medicinal, as opposed to nutritional role. In spite of their recent popularity in the United States as a dietary supplement, there is currently no evidence for their effectiveness for any health-related purpose.[5]
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) leaves are used to lower cholesterol, as well as for kidney and urinary tract ailments.[6]
Aloe vera leaves are widely used to heal burns, wounds and other skin ailments.[7][8]
Arnica (Arnica montana) is used as an anti-inflammatory[9] and for osteoarthritis.[10]
Ashoka (Saraca indica) is used in Ayurvedic traditions to treat gynecological disorders. The bark is also used to combat oedema or swelling.[11]
Asthma weed (Euphorbia hirta) has been used traditionally in Asia to treat bronchitic asthma and laryngeal spasm.[12][13] It is used in the Philippines for dengue fever.[14][15]
Astragalus (Astragalus propinquus) has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system, and is used in modern China to treat hepatitis and as an adjunctive therapy in cancer.[16]

B

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to the Middle Ages particularly among Native Americans. Uses have included skin ailments, scurvy and gastro-intestinal ailments.[17]
Belladonna (Atropa belladonna), although highly toxic, was used historically in Italy by women to enlarge their pupils, as well as a sedative, among other uses. The name itself means "beautiful woman" in Italian.[18]
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) used to treat diarrhea, scurvy, and other conditions.[19]
Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) is used as an agent to reduce the blood glucose level.[20]
Bitter leaf (Vernonia amygdalina) is used by both primates and indigenous peoples in Africa to treat intestinal ailments such as dysentery[21][22]
Bitter orange (Citrus × aurantium) used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous peoples of the Amazon for nausea, indigestion and constipation.[23]
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) historically used for arthritis and muscle pain, used more recently for conditions related to menopause and menstruation.[24]
Blessed thistle (Cnicus benedictus) was used during the Middle Ages to treat bubonic plague. In modern times, tisanes made from blessed thistle are used for loss of appetite, indigestion and other purposes.[25]
Blueberry (genus Vaccinium) are of current medical interest as an antioxidant[26][27] and for urinary tract ailments[28]
Burdock (Arctium lappa) has been used traditionally as a diuretic and to lower blood sugar[29] and, in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for sore throat and symptoms of the common cold.[30]

C

Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) has a long history of use in South America to prevent and treat disease.[31]
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) is a type of chili that has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years. Uses have included pain relief and treating fever, cold, diarrhea, among other conditions.[32][33]
Celery (Apium graveolens) seed is used only occasionally in tradition medicine. Modern usage is primarily as a diuretic.[35]
Chamomille (Matricaria recutita and Anthemis nobilis) used over thousands of years for a variety of conditions, including sleeplessness, anxiety, and gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea.[36]
Chaparral (Larrea tridentata) leaves and twigs are used by Native Americans to make a tisane (tea) used for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, cancer and a number of others. Subsequent studies have been extremely variable, at best. Chaparral has also been shown to have high liver toxicity, and has led to kidney failure, and is not recommended for any use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or American Cancer Society.[37][38]
Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus) used over thousands of years for menstrual problems, and to stimulate lactation.[39]
Chili (Capsicum frutescens)'s active ingredient, capsaicine, is the basic of commercial pain-relief ointments in Western medicine. The low incidence of heart attack in Thais has been shown to be related to capsaicine's fibronolytic action (dissolving blood clots).[40]
Cinchona is a genus of about 38 species of trees whose bark is a source of alkaloids, including quinine. Its use as a febrifuge was first popularized in the 17th century by Peruvian Jesuits.[41]
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant, among other purposes. The oil is used topically to treat toothache.[42]
Coffee senna (Cassia occidentalis) is used in a wide variety of roles in traditional medicine, including in particular as a broad-spectrum internal and external antimicrobial, for liver disorders, for intestinal worms and other parasites and as an immune-system stimulant.[43][44]
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) has been used as a vulnerary and to reduce inflammation.[45] It was also used internally in the past, for stomach and other ailments, but its toxicity has led a number of other countries, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom, to severely restrict or ban the use of comfrey.[46]
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) used historically as a vulnerary and for urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, and liver problems. Modern usage has concentrated on urinary tract related problems.[47]

D

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) was most commonly used historically to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems[48]
Digitalis* (Digitalis purpurea L.), or foxglove, came into use in treating cardiac disease in late 18th century England in spite of its high toxicity.a Its use has been almost entirely replaced by the pharmaceutical derivative Digoxin, which has a shorter half-life in the body, and whose toxicity is therefore more easily managed.[49] Digoxin is used as an antiarrhythmic agent and inotrope[50]
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) has been used for thousands of years in Asia, primarily in women's health.[51]

*Digitalis use in the United States is controlled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) http://www.fda.gov/ and can only be prescribed by a physician. Misuse of this highly potent herb can cause death.

E

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) berries and leaves have traditionally been used to treat pain, swelling, infections, coughs, and skin conditions and, more recently, flu, common cold, fevers, constipation, and sinus infections.[52]
Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) has been used for more than 5,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine for respiratory ailments.[53] Products containing ephedra for weight loss, energy and athletic performance, particularly those also containing caffeine, have been linked to stroke, heart arrhythmia, and even death. Such products have been banned in the United States since December, 2003. Other dietary supplements containing ephedra were similarly banned in February, 2004.[54]
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) leaves were widely used in traditional medicine as a febrifuge.[55] Eucalyptus oil is commonly used in over-the-counter cough and cold medications, as well as for an analgesic.[56]
European mistletoe (Viscum album) has been used to treat seizures, headaches, and other conditions.[57]
Evening primrose (Oenothera spp.) oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema, and more recently as an anti-inflammatory[58]

F

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) has long been used to treat symptoms of menopause, and digestive ailments. More recently, it has been used to treat diabetes, loss of appetite and other conditions[59]
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) has been used for centuries for fevers, headaches, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites and other conditions.[60]
Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) is most commonly used as a laxative. Flaxseed oil is used for different conditions, including arthritis[61]

G

Garlic (Allium sativum) widely used as an antibiotic[62][63][64][65] and, more recently, for treating cardiovascular disease[66][67]
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is used to relieve nausea[68]
Gingko (Gingko biloba) leaf extract has been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, and tinnitus[69]
Ginseng (Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius) has been used medicinally, in particular in Asia, for over 2,000 years, and is widely used in modern society.[70]
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) was used traditionally by Native Americans to treat skin diseases, ulcers, and gonorrhea. More recently, the herb has been used respiratory tract and a number of other infections[71]
Grape (Vitis vinifera) leaves and fruit have been used medicinally since the ancient Greeks.[72]
Guava (Psidium guajava) has a rich history of use in traditional medicine. Scientific study of guava's medicinal usage has focused on gastro-intestinal ailments. Guava has been shown to be an effective treatment for acute infectious diarrhea.[73][74]

H

Hawthorn (specifically Crataegus monogyna and Crataegus laevigata) fruit has been used since the first century for heart disease. Other uses include digestive and kidney problems.[75]
Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii) is traditionally used by Kalahari Bushmen to reduce hunger and thirst. It is currently marketed as an appetite suppressant.[76]
Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers have been used medicinally for many centuries. The raw plant materials are toxic unless processed.[77]
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) dates back to ancient Roman and Greek medicine, when it was used to stop bleeding, heal ulcers and wounds, and treat tuberculosis and kidney problems.[78]

J

Jamaica dogwood (Piscidia erythrina or Piscidia piscipula) is used in traditional medicine to treat pain, insomnia and anxiety.[79] Scientific studies have underscored the plant's medicinal potential.[80]

K

Kava (Piper methysticum) has been used for centuries in the South Pacific to make a ceremonial drink with sedative and anesthetic properties. It is used as a soporific, as well as for asthma and urinary tract infection[81]
Khat (Catha edulis) mild stimulant used for thousands of years in Yemen. Contains Cathinone.
Konjac (Amorphophallus konjac) is a significant dietary source of glucomannan,[82][83] which is used in treating obesity,[84] constipation,[85] and reducing cholesterol.[86]
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) Kratom is known to prevent or delay withdrawal symptoms in an opiate dependent individual, and it is often used to mitigate cravings thereafter. It can also be used for other medicinal purposes. Kratom has been traditionally used in regions such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) African treatment for depression. Suggested to be an SSRI or have similar effects, but unknown MOA.

L

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) was traditionally used as an antiseptic and for mental health purposes. It was also used ancient Egypt in mummifying bodies. There is little scientific evidence that lavender is effective for most mental health uses.[87]
Lemon (Citrus limon), along with other citruses, has a long history of use in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine.[88] In contemporary use, honey and lemon is common for treating coughs and sore throat.
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has a long history of medicinal usage in Eastern and Western medicine. Uses include stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and sore throat, as well as infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.[89]

M

Marigold (Calendula officinalis), or calendula, has a long history of use in treating wounds and soothing skin[90]
Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) has been used for over 2,000 years as both a food and a medicine[4]
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) has been used for thousands of years for a variety of medicinal purposes, in particular liver problems.[91]

N

Neem (Azadirachta indica), used in India to treat worms, malaria, rheumatism and skin infections among many other things. Its many uses have led to neem being called "the village dispensary" in India.[92]
Noni (Morinda citrifolia) has a history of use as for joint pain and skin conditions.[93]

O

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) is the plant source of morphine, used for pain relief. Morphine made from the refined and modified sap is used for pain control in terminal patients. Dried sap was used as a traditional medicine until the 19th century.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare), used as an abortifacient in folk medicine in some parts of Bolivia and other north western South American countries, though no evidence of efficacy exists in Western medicine. Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. A Cretan oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat. Evidence of efficacy in this matter is also lacking evidence.

P

Papaya (Carica papaya) is used for treating wounds.[94]
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) oil, from a cross between water mint and spearmint, has a history of medicinal use for a variety of conditions, including nausea, indigestion, and symptoms of the common cold.[95]
Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and other species of Echinacea has been used for at least 400 years by Native Americans to treat infections and wounds, and as a general "cure-all" (panacea). It is currently used for symptoms associated with cold and flu[96][97]
Passion flower (Passiflora) - Thought to have anti-depressant properties. Unknown MOA. Used in traditional medicine to aid with sleep or depression.

R

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) has been used historically to treat cancer and respiratory problems. More recently, it has been used for women's health issues.[98]
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) has been used medicinally from ancient times. Rosemary essential oil was shown to improve cognitive performance and mood in a recent study.[99][100]

S

Sage (Salvia officinalis), shown to improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease[101][102]
Syrian rue (aka Harmal) (Peganum harmala) - MAOI. Can be used as an anti-depressant, but carries significant risk. Used in traditional shamanistic rites in the amazon, and is a component of Ayahuasca, Caapi or Yajé (which is actually usually Banisteriopsis caapi but has the same active alkaloids.
St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), evaluated for use as an antidepressant, but with ambiguous results.[103][104][105]
Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) was used medicinally by the Seminole tribe[106]

T

Tea tree [essential oil] (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been used medicinally for centuries by Australian aboriginal people. Modern usage is primarily as an antibacterial or antifungal agent.[107]
Thunder God Vine (Tripterygium wilfordii) is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat inflammation or an overactive immune system[108]
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is used to treat bronchitis and cough. It serves as an antispasmotic and expectorant in this role. It has also been used in many other medicinal roles in Asian and Ayurvedic medicine, although it has not been shown to be effective in non-respiratory medicinal roles.[109]
Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum), or Holy basil is used for a variety of purposes in Aryuvedic medicine.[110]
Turmeric (Curcuma longa), a spice that lends its distinctive yellow color to Indian curries, has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain, and regulate menstruation.[111]

U

Umckaloabo, or South African Geranium (Pelargonium sidoides), used in treating acute bronchitis[112]

V

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has been used since at least ancient Greece and Rome for sleep disorders and anxiety.[113]

W

White willow (Salix alba) is a plant source of salicylic acid, a chemical related to aspirin, although more likely to cause stomach upset as a side effect than asprin itself. Used from ancient times for the same uses as aspirin.[114]

Y

Yerba santa (Eriodictyon crassifolium) was used by the Chumash people to keep airways open for proper breathing.[115]

Databases
Elizabeth M. Manhã, Maria C. Silva, Maria G. C. Alves, Maurício B. Almeida, Maria G. L. Brandão (October 3, 2008). "PLANT - A bibliographic database about medicinal plants". http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0102-695X2008000400020.
James Duke. "Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases". http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/.
"PROTA4U database: Useful Plants of Tropical Africa". http://www.prota4u.org/.
"Tropical Plant Database". http://rain-tree.com/plants.htm.
"Plant Database". http://www.pfaf.org/user/plantsearch.aspx. Plants for a Future.


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