Today's blog is on helpful herbs that begin with the letter G. The first herb is an Ayurveda herb that will be very useful to me in the coming months. The Hindi name of this herb means 'destroyer of sugar'. The holiday season is upon us and that means lots and lots of sugar! I'm currently trying to avoid the sweet stuff so here’s hoping this herb helps! Before we began I have to do my legal disclaimer (required by law and the school I study with): These blogs in no way should be substituted for medical advice. They are not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure anything. They are only meant to inform, and always check with your doctor before taking any herbs or herbal remedies. Now we can begin!
(Hindi name sugar destroyer)
Ayurveda names Meshasringi, Shardunika, Madhunashini
Parts used - Leaves
Constituents - gymnemic acid, parabin, glucose and carbohydrates
Internal uses - digestive stimulant, diuretic, astringent. Helps with hypoglycemia, kidney stones, enlarged liver and spleen, and diabetes. Tastes astringent and pungent.
This herb has been used in India for over 2,000 years. When used primarily to treat adult onset diabetes it has been shown to raise insulin levels. Also noted for lowering serum cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and helping to normalize blood sugar. In recent studies Gurmar showed the potential for pancreas repair, raising insulin to normal levels. Gurmar has also been shown to reduce sugar cravings over time if taken daily.
400-600mg can be taken daily in capsules or 1 gram to 5 grams daily in powder form. May also take as a tea infusion from the leaf, cut or whole.
Topical uses - as a paste of powder and water applied to wounds to draw out infection.
Ginkgo Biloba (Semen ginkgo biloba)
Chinese name - Bai Guo
Parts used - nuts, leaves
Constituents - flavonoids, terpenoids, bilobalide, ascorbic acid, catechin.
Internal uses - nuts aid in expectoration of phlegm, stop chronic cough and wheezing. It is a neutral astringent that tastes both sweet and bitter. The leaves improve cerebral blood circulation and blood circulation in general. Warm and bitter tasting.
Studies have shown that the leaves may lessen the effects of senile dementia. May also prevent and lessen effects of Alzheimer's, blood clots, tinnitus, and macular degeneration.
Contraindications - should not be used in large doses or for long periods of time. May cause mild stomach discomfort, dizziness, or heart palpitations. Discontinue use if you experience any of the above.
Take 120 to 600 mg a day in capsules or 6-9 grams powder.
Topical uses - high in antioxidants and an anti- inflammatory so it helps acne, eczema and aging. Look for it as an extract in skin care products.
Parts used - rhizome and root
Constituents - hydrastine, berberine, resin, traces of essential oils, chologenic acid, fatty oil, albumin and sugar.
Internal uses – treats dyspepsia, acid indigestion, gastritis, colitis, duodenal ulcers, eczema, and other inflammatory skin disorders. Cleanses and dries mucus membranes and can help treat liver diseases like cirrhosis and hepatitis. Taste is bitter and energy is cold.
Doses - 5-30 drops of tincture a day or 250 mg capsules 3 times a day.
Do not use while pregnant.
Topical uses - antibacterial and astringent so can be used to prevent infection. Mix powder with water to form a paste and apply to wounds.
Hope any of this information was helpful and check back next week for helpful herbs that begin with the letter H!
(Shanmaugasundaram K, Kizar Ahmath B. Use of Gymnema Sylvestre leaf extract in the control of blood glucose in insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, J Ethnopharmacol. 1990 Oct; 30(3):281-94.
The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World's Oldest Healing System, Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Michael TierraThe Way of Chinese Herbs, Michael Tierra, L.A.c. O.M.D
The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra, LA.c O.M.D.