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Health Blog

Helpful Herbs from A to Z- The letter P.

      Today’s blog is on helpful herbs that start with the letter P. These are for educational purposes only. The information is not intended to treat or diagnosis anything. Please check with your physician before taking any herbs or herbal formulas and use extreme caution if you are pregnant, nursing, or have any serious health conditions.

     In the last blog we talked a little bit about the energy of an herb-whether it was a warming or cooling herb. Another factor to consider in choosing an herb goes back to taste. If the herb is sour or pungent it can be astringent in nature. An astringent is something that contracts and dries tissues. This is great if you have a need for that in things like running noses or open wounds. If you are already experiencing tissues that are dry and in need of moisture this will only aggravate the problem. You could add a moisturizing herb (usually these are warm and sweet in nature) to the first herb, because you want the other properties that first herb has to offer minus the astringent nature. Or you could choose another herb all together that helped addressed the issue and wasn’t astringent. This is why a one size fits all approach to herbalism isn’t recommended. 

     There are many beneficial herbs in the world and they can help to aid in your overall health and wellness when all factors are considered. Hope this helps explain a little more about the wonderful world of herbs. Now on to some herbs that begin with the letter P.
 
Western Herb

Prickly Ash ( Zanthoxylum Americanum)
 
Parts Used:  Bark and berries
 
Energy and Taste:  Spicy, warm and diffusing
 
Constituents: Alkaloids, fagarine, coumarins, resin, tannins, volatile oils
 
Internal Uses: Sluggish circulation, arthritis and rheumatic conditions, stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation so good for skin issues as well. Can create a sense of heat in the stomach due to its warming nature. Take ½ oz. of powder in pills or tea 3 x a day.
 
Topical Uses: Helps to heal wounds and relieve toothaches when applied topically. Can apply as a poultice or powder.
 
 
Chinese Herb

Peony(Shao Yao)
 
Paeonia Lactiflora
 
Parts Used: Root

Energy and Taste: Slightly cold, bitter and acrid
 
Constituents: Astragalin, benzoic acid, calcium, copper, galic acid, glucose, linoleic acid, magnesium, poeoniflorin, paeonol, potassium, tannins, zinc.
 
Internal Uses: Fevers, colds, nervous disorders, blood purifier, good for skin issues, menstrual syndromes. Take 5-10 grams as a tea or capsule.
 
 
Ayurveda Herb

Poppy (Papaver somniferum)
 
Ayurveda Name: Ahiphena
 
Parts Used: Seeds
 
Energy and Taste: Pungent, astringent, sweet and heating

Constituents:   Oleic and linoleic acids, thiamin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc, magnesium, opium alkaloids, papaverine.
 
Internal Uses: Poppy seed is a warming sleep aid taken a half hour before bed as a tea (4 TBS of seeds brewed) Can also be helpful for diarrhea, nerve pain, and coughs. 250 mg to 1 gram daily as powder or in food.
 
 
Hope any of this information was helpful. Check back for the next blog on helpful herbs that begin with the letter R.
 
 
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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