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Health Blog

Helpful herbs from A to Z-The letter H

     Today's blog is on three helpful herbs from Traditional Chinese herbs, Western herbs, and Ayurveda herbs. I got this one out very late this week!
      This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose anything. Please check with your physician before taking any herbal remedies or supplements to ensure there are no contraindications. I believe in the power of herbs and herbal remedies but always err on the side of caution and common sense when taking anything for your health.
 
Chinese Herb

Honeysuckle flowers(Jin Yin Hua)

Flos Lonicerae Japonical

Parts used - flowers

The energy of this flower is cold and the tastes are bitter and sweet.

Constituents- insositol, luteolium, tannin, glucoside, salicylic acid, mucilage

Internal uses - Clears heat in the body and relieves toxicity. A powerful anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and antimicrobial, making this flower good for fighting upper respiratory tract infections, common cold, sore throat, and flu. Take 6-15 grams per day.

Topical use - This flower is good to use as a poultice to ease inflammation.
By placing herbs directly on the skin, you take advantage of the skin's ability to absorb the properties of the herb. Grind the flowers dried or fresh with a mortar and pestle and add hot water to make a thick paste. Spread this paste over a clean cloth (cheese cloth or gauze work well). Place this over the area that has the inflammation. Cover this with a hot cloth or a hot water bottle. Can also just cover with a dry towel and leave on for up to 24 hours.

Ayurveda Herb

Hibiscus (Hibiscus Rosa - Sinensis)

Ayurveda name - Japa

Parts used - flower

Energy is cooling, sweet, and astringent

Constituents- citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, allo-hydroxycitric acid, quercitin, flavonoids, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, cyanidin, lactone, alkaloids, anthocyanins

Internal use - This flower is alterative, hemostatic, emmenagogue, demulcent, and antispasmodic that helps to cleanse the blood and detoxify the body. Also a mild laxative. Several studies have found that hibiscus flowers help to lower blood pressure. The research suggests that the diuretic properties, along with an ability to open up the arteries (acting like a natural ACE inhibitor) make this flower effective in lowering blood pressure. Drinking 2 glasses of tea over the course of the day or 250 milligrams in a capsule is the recommended dosage from these studies.

Topical uses - Hibiscus flowers are a natural alpha hydroxy acid. This helps to exfoliate the skin and speed up cell turnover rates. The added benefits are the ability to retain moisture and elasticity in skin. The anti-inflammatory and astringent properties help to soothe inflammation and acne. I carry a wonderful hibiscus/rose serum that is great for the skin for all of the reasons listed above.

Western Herb

Horse Chestnut(Aesculushippocastanum)

Parts used - bark and the fruit

Energy and taste is neutral and bitter.

Constituents- bark gas aescin, tannin, allantoin, leococyanidin, plant sterols, seeds are starch sugar, linoleic and steric acids.

Internal uses - Horse chestnut seed extract is often used for vein insufficiency, varicose veins, pain, ankle swelling and itching, and night leg cramping. The aescin is a saponin which is known to promote normal tone in the walls of the vein. It has also been used to treat hemorrhoids. 600 mg per day.

Topical uses - the aescin in the horse chestnut helps to diminish the number of diameters of tiny openings in the capillary walls. This helps to reduce swelling and bruising, and the appearance of varicose veins when used in a cream or gel.

Hope this information was helpful and please check back next week for helpful herbs that begin with the letter I!

Resources
The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: A Contemporary Introduction and Useful Manual for the World's Oldest Healing System, Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa and Michael Tierra

The Way of Chinese Herbs, Michael Tierra

The Way of Herbs: Fully Updated with the Latest Developments in Herbal Science, Michael Tierra


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