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Hopking’s Herbal – R S

Go to Hopking’s Herbal – A Modern Materia Medica (herbs and their medicinal action and uses):
A, B-C, D-E-F, G-H, I-J-K, L-M-N, O-P-Q, R-S, T-U, V-W, X-Y-Z

All these herbs are available from Herbactive Botanicals as:
1. Organic tinctures made according to the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia
2. Organic alcohol-free concentrated tinctures

Over 400 single herb tinctures – sizes available 60ml, 120ml, 300ml, 555, 1.110L, 2.220L –
To order go to our store

If you can’t find the herb you want or you don’t know the botanical (Latin) name email me

260. Ranunculus ficaria (Pilewort herb) – astringent; haemorrhoids; internal or prolapsed piles with or without haemorrhage. Ext.: piles (ointment). Ointment: 3% in suitable base. Ointment BPC 1934 30% fresh plant in benzoinated lard. Piles

261. Rehmannia glutinosa (Rehmannia prepared root, Shu Di Huang) Chinese Herb – Blood Xu (dizziness, palpitations, anaemia); tidal fever, lumbago, kidney yin xu, nocturnal sweats (menopause), menorrhagia, dysmenorrhoea, noctemission, spermatorrhoea, fertility – nourishes yin; diabetes; sweet, slightly warm; HE LIV KI.

262. Rhamnus frangula (Alder Buckthorn bark) = R. cathartica – laxative, diuretic, alterative; constipation.

263. Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara bark) – mild purgative, bitter tonic; chronic constipation.

264. Rheum palmatum (Rhubarb root, Da Huang) Chinese Herb – purgative, to eliminate pathogenic heat, to invigorate blood circulation and eliminate stasis, to treat jaundice, detoxification; fever with constipation and abdominal fullness, haematemesis and epistaxis associated with excessive heat in the blood, dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea, acute jaundice, acute appendicitis, intestinal obstruction; eliminate head, increase circulation, detoxification. Ext.: for burns, carbuncles, suppurative skin diseases; bitter, cold; LIV SP ST LI. With other herbs for constipation we have gentle and strong laxatives, MoveMore 1 and MoveMore 2

265. Rhodiola rosea (Rhodiola root) – adaptogen, immunostimulant, neural protective, mitochondrial tonic and protectant, endocrinal, strong antioxidant, antimutagenic (preventative). HerbShield. Inflammation. EndocrineSeven Tonic.

266. Rhus aromatica (Sweet Sumach root bark) – astringent, anti-hyperglycaemic (hypoglycaemic); urinary incontinence; hyperglycaemia, diabetes. IncoLess for incontinence

267. Rhus toxicodendron (Poison Ivy leaves and stems) – dermatological, prophylactic. Ext.: skin complaints. Dose: 1:10 60% 0.06-0.12ml (2-3ml/wk max.) BHP. Caution: can cause contact allergic dermatitis – discontinue treatment immediately. N/A

268. Rosa spp. (Rose petals, heads) – low self-esteem, raises the spirits, regular use of Rose tincture alters the whole feeling of and about the body for the better.

269. Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary leaf and flower) – carminative; anti-spasmodic; depression; thymoleptic; circulatory and NS stimulant; headache, migraine, depression, flatulent dyspepsia associated with psychogenic tension, baldness. Ext.: sciatica; myalgia (fibromyalgia), intercostal neuralgia. Oil: rubefacient, mild analgesic, parasiticide.

270. Rubia cordifolia (Madder root, Qian Cao Gen) Chinese Herb – haemostatic, refrigerant to blood, decrease heat and stop bleeding (esp. uterine), postnatal bleeding; increase circulation, blood stasis, dissolves clots, cholesterol, thrombosis; Ext.: injury and trauma bleeding; bitter, cold; HE LIV LU.

271. Rubus ideus (Raspberry leaves) – astringent, tonic, refrigerant, parturient. Use in pregnancy to strengthen and tone womb; haemorrhage, diarrhoea, leucorrhoea, birth preparer, stomatitis, tonsillitis, conjunctivitis (eye lotion). Has been shown to induce ovulation (fertility), relax the uterus, stimulate immunity, kill viruses (incl. herpes), high blood sugar, increase insulin (diabetes), anti-fungal and anti-viral. (Michael Weiner)

272. Rubus coreanus (Blackberry unripe berries, Fu Pen Zi) Chinese Herb – tonic to kidneys, astringent; kidney deficiency: impotence, spermatorrhoea, premature ejaculation, urinary incontinence, bed-wetting; improves eyes and sight; sweet, sour, slightly warm. LI, KI.

273. Rumex acetosella (Sheep Sorrel herb) The action is diuretic, refrigerant and diaphoretic, and the juice extracted from the fresh plant is of use in urinary and kidney diseases. Renée Caisse (the Canadian nurse who popularized ESSIAC as an abnormal cell formation cure) felt this herb was the most active abnormal cell formation fighter among all the herbs present in the old Indian brew. “The herb that will [prevent abnormal cells] is the dog-eared sheep sorrel, sometimes called sour grass,” she said on a number of occasions. And she may have been right. Interestingly, for hundreds of years, sheep sorrel has appeared in historical archives in both North America and Europe as a remedy for abnormal cell formation. In 1926, the National Cancer Institute was presented with a recipe from Canada which was said to be an old Indian cure for cancer. The main ingredient was none other than sheep sorrel. Renée Caisse observed that not only was sheep sorrel effective in attacking and breaking down tumors, it also was effective in alleviating many chronic conditions and degenerative diseases. It has been reported by other researchers that sheep sorrel relieves internal ulcers, black jaundice and virtually all skin diseases. The seeds of sheep sorrel, steeped in wine, have been used to stop hemorrhages and heavy menstrual flow. In addition, the seeds an anti-venomous property that relieves bites and rids the body of poisons [toxins]. Sheep sorrel reportedly acts as a tonic for the urinary tract. Poultices can be made with an infusion of the leaves and applied directly to boils and tumors. Sheep sorrel contains high amounts of vitamins A and B-complex, especially in its seed, C, D, E, K, P and vitamin U. It’s also rich in minerals, including calcium, chlorine, iron, magnesium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, and trace amounts of copper, iodine, manganese, and zinc. Other vital health-giving elements in sheep sorrel are the carotenoids and chlorophyll which are present in the leaves and stems, and several organic acids which include malic, oxalic, tannic, tartaric, and citric, an antioxidant. Sheep sorrel is rich in oxalic acid in the form of potassium oxalate. Oxalic acid has been shown to be a powerful oxidizing acid which stimulates the human system into activity. Oxalic acid combines with calcium to aid in digestive assimilation, plus, oxalic acid stimulates the peristaltic action of the intestines and may even be responsible for increased blood coagulation. Using just the root of the sheep sorrel, people have gained improvement from stomach hemorrhages and jaundice conditions. It can be seen that sheep sorrel, a truly remarkable herb by itself, surely plays a vital role as part of the great healing power of ESSIAC. Note by Dr. Juergen Buche, N.D.: One of the prime properties of sheep sorrel does not get mentioned in the above article which was copied verbatim (pages 79 to 81) from the book: “The Essiac Report – Canada’s Remarkable Unknown Cancer Remedy” by Richard Thomas. It is the following: Sheep sorrel lowers the resistance of parasites which can cause many misunderstood symptoms (1). In other words, sheep sorrel kills parasites and this is of primordial importance if one has even a cursory understanding of Dr. Hulda Clark’s book: “The Cure for all Cancers”. Sheep Sorrel is highly praised as a vermifuge – intestinal worms have no resistance to the natural properties of this herb. Sorrel is also considered a good remedy for stomach hemorrhage and profuse menstruation. Additionally, a tincture of Sheep Sorrel can support conditions which have a tendency for tissue degeneration. Sorrel root is best known for its astringent properties, though it has also been used historically as an antiseptic, diuretic, hepatic, and laxative. Throughout the centuries, the Sorrels have appeared in historical archives as an unproven folk remedy for [malformed cells] in both Europe and America. Find about the unique organic concentrated tincture of Caisse-ACT – for life-threatening illness.

274. Rumex crispus (Yellow Dock root) – alterative, purgative; cholagogue; psoriasis and skin problems; blood cleanser, liver and gall bladder tonic, constipation. Dose: 1:5 45% 1-2ml.

275. Ruscus aculeatus (Butchers Broom herb and root) – diaphoretic, diuretic, deobstruent, aperient; oedema (dropsy), urinary obstructions, nephritis, bladder gravel, kidney stones, scrofulous tumours, respiratory catarrh, shortness of breath; cleansing and opening (detoxification), broken bones, joint dislocation; carpal tunnel syndrome, lymphedema, syphilis, breast abnormal cell formation swelling, hypotension with swollen ankles (esp. For CFS, Parkinson’s, diabetes, low blood pressure (Ruscus does not cause high blood pressure), treatment and prevention of varicose veins and haemorrhoids, promotes venous circulation in the lower limbs (indicated for varicose ulcers) and has anti-inflammatory properties. Active constituent: ruscogenins.

276. Ruta graveolens (Rue herb) – Anti-spasmodic, emmenagogue, anti-tussive; atonic amenorrhoea, abortifacient (birth agent). RA.

277. Salix alba/nigra (White/Black Willow bark) – anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anti-hydrotic, anti-pyretic, analgesia, astringent; muscular and arthritic rheumatism, influenza and respiratory catarrh, gout, ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis, systemic connective tissue disorders characterised by inflammatory changes. RA. Used for sweating in menopause.

278. Salvia miltiorrhiza (Red Sage Root, Dan Shen) Chinese Herb – dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, angina, heart disease, circulatory stimulant, dissolves clots, blood clots, thrombosis (cholesterol), palpitation; insomnia; mastitis, postnatal abdominal pains; pain – acute in chest and abdomen; reduces stasis; antiphlogistic to the liver; bitter, slightly cold; HE LIV Pericardium.

279. Salvia officinalis (Sage) – carminative, spasmolytic, anti-septic, anti-hydrotic (menopausal sweating, and other overactive sweating); gingivitis, glossitis mouth inflammatory, mouth ulcers, gargle, reduces sweat and milk. C/I pregnancy. For flushes / flashes and menopause symptoms, Flushes.

280. Sambucus nigra (Elder flowers) – diaphoretic, anti-catarrhal; colds, influenza, nasal catarrh with deafness, hay fever, sinusitis. Berries – same as flowers plus laxative, anti-rheumatic.

281. Sanguinaria canadensis (Blood root) – expectorant, anti-spasmodic; bronchitis, emetic, expectorant, cathartic, anti-septic, cardioactive, circulation – peripheral (feeble), capillary circulation – improves, asthma, croup, laryngitis. Noted action: anti-neoplastic: tumours and sarcomas (preventative for cancer) (see note in BHP I p.175). Dose: 1:5 60% 0.3-2ml. HerbShield as a great immune protection tonic. It is an important herb in the Black Salve formula. Go to Black Salve

282. Sanguisorba officinalis (Garden Burnet roots, Di Yu) – haemostatic, astringent, refrigerant to blood; peptic ulcer, haematuria, menorrhagia, dysentery, anti-bacterial, anti-emetic, ulcer bleeding, promotes the healing of burns (use powder); bitter, sour, slightly cold. LIV ST LI. Flowering tops (from BHP): astringent, anti-haemorrhagic; diarrhoea, ulcerative colitis, metrorrhagia. Ext.: styptic, haemorrhoids. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-8ml.

283. Sanicula europaea (Wood Sanicle herb) – astringent, alterative, expectorant, styptic; respiratory and lung complaints, chronic cough and catarrh, bronchi – inflammation of the, coughing up blood, respiratory tract mucus congestion, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, bleeding anywhere.

284. Santalum album (Sandalwood heart-wood, Tan Xiang) Chinese Herb – to promote the flow of vital energy of spleen and stomach and relieve pain (carminative); to dispel cold; to improve digestion; to remove the stasis of blood and relieve pain; pain in abdomen and chest, angina, dyspepsia; pungent, warm; SP ST LU HE.

285. Saponaria officinalis (Soapwort root and leaves) – tonic, diaphoretic, alterative, expectorant, laxative; expectorant for bronchitis and dry cough. Ext.: eczema, pruritus.

286. Sassafras albidum (Sassafras inner root bark) – alterative, stimulant, carminative, diaphoretic, anti-rheumatic; eczema, psoriasis, rheumatism, gout. Ext.: head lice, anti-septic. C/I pregnancy. Dose: 1:1 25% 2-4ml.

287. Scabies: Internal: Tanacet. Phytolac. Trigon. Soph flav. Forsyth. Allium. Lotion – Tanacetum, Phytolac, Pimpinella, Picrasma, Stemona, Cinn camphor. Oils: pimpinella, tea tree, camphor. Oinment: Balsam of Tolu/Peru. Chinese tmt: Jei Chuang (scabies): Internal: Morus folia, Soph flav, Phellodendron, Forsythia, Dioscorea. Ext: Xanthox fruct, Stemona Aloe extract (lice). Lice

288. Schisandra chinensis (Schisandra berries, Wu Wei Zi) Chinese Herb – astringent, tonic to kidneys, demulcent, anti-diarrhoeic, antitussive; chronic cough, asthma, thirst, profuse perspiration (menopause, etc), spermatorrhoea, nocturnal emissions, urination – profuse and frequent, chronic diarrhoea; sour, warm; LU, KI. Its active constituents have been shown to prevent liver damage and stimulate repair and normalise liver function. It is also known to stimulate the nervous system, increasing the speed of reflexes, nerve responses and improving mental clarity. Used for depression, irritability and forgetfulness. The berries of this vine are used extensively in China and other countries as anti-fatigue agents, and anti-fatigue properties have been proven in animals including horses.52 Schisandra is also classified as an adaptogen,53 and is hepato-protective and helps liver cells regenerate.54, 55 It exhibits a synergistic effect with pentobarbitone as a CNS depressant in mice,52 and in clinical practice seems to show a similar synergistic effect with many other herbs used in both benzodiazepine and opiate withdrawal. Antidepressant activity may also be possessed by Schisandra.55 Once again, the combination of these actions make Schisandra a valuable agent not only for the acute phase of withdrawal, but as a safe treatment for the post withdrawal period. As an adaptogenic nervine tonic, particularly in cases of fatigue, I find it excellent. Like Hypericum, it is also a herb which may offer additional benefits in those addicts who are positive for hepatitis C. ForgetLess, MentalPepTalk.

289. Scrophularia ningpoensis (Chinese Figwort root, Xuan Shen) Chinese Herb – replenish vital essence, clear heat; to resolve hard lumps in the body, fidget, insomnia, dizziness due to febrile disease, cough – dry with thin phlegm, swellings due to infections – boils and eruptions; bitter, salty, cold. LU ST KI.

290. Scrophularia nodosa (Figwort flowering tops) – alterative, dermatological agent, diuretic (mild), mild purgative, heart stimulant; eczema, psoriasis, itching and irritation (pruritus) – specific, heart stimulant. C/I in tachycardia.

291. Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal root, Huang Qin) – anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic. Arthritis, hay fever, allergies. It has flavonoids which inhibit the release of histamine and the production of leukotrienes (inflammatory and pain-triggering chemicals). To eliminate heat and dampness; to eliminate heat in the lung for cough. Anti-toxin. Haemostatic. Prevents miscarriage. Uses: diarrhoea, jaundice, acute urinary tract infection; enteritis, dysentery; cough with thick and yellow sputum; pyogenic infection of the skin; hypertension; threatened abortion. Bitter, cold. LU HE ST GB LI. Dose: 3-10gm. Prepare with wine to clear the heat of the upper burner of the body (ascending in action). Baikal Skullcap root (more than 780 different compounds have been found in this herb [Baikal is also in the ABC Daily Powder]). Baikal is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, nervine, neuroprotective, anodyne, hepetoprotective, antispasmodic, antiangiogenic, antitumour, antimetastic, antibacterial, antifungal. A remarkable plant and very different to the other Skullcaps found in Britain, Europe and America. It is very useful in hepatitis (A, B and C). For mycoplasma coinfection its main use is for lung infections and those that affect the central nervous system (including meningitis, encephalitis, Lyme, etc). But it is very useful for GIT disorders, kidney inflammation, urinary tract and bladder infections, and preventative against cancers. The antimicrobial compounds known as baicalein, wogonin, oroxylin A, caicalin, and at least 24 others are strongly anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antitumour in action. Amazingly, melatonin (originally thought not to be produced in plants) has been found in high levels in the Chinese Baikal root (7 mcg/g) thus this herb is also included in Herbactive’s SleepMore Tonic to help restore normal sleep (diurnal rhythm), i.e. it improves the function of the pineal gland. InflammationLess

292. Scutellaria barbata (Barbat Skullcap whole herb, Ban Zhi Lian) Chinese Herb – anti-pyretic, haemostatic, boils, diuretic, reduces swellings; liver disease, detoxification; hepatitis, cirrhosis, ascites, abscesses, ulcers in stomach and lungs; abnormal cell formation in lungs, stomach and intestines; bitter, cold; LIV ST. Ext: snake and insect bites, injuries and burns. C/I pregnancy. S. baicalensis (Huang Qin) – anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic. Arthritis, hay fever, allergies. It has flavonoids which inhibit the release of histamine and the production of leukotrienes (inflammatory and pain-triggering chemicals).

293. Scutellaria laterifolia (Skullcap flowering tops) – anti-convulsive, nervine tonic, sedative, anti-spasmodic; nervous tension, epilepsy, chorea, hysteria, grand mal, exhaustion, depression, PMT. Dose: 1:5 45% 1-2ml. See Headaches

293.5. Selaginella doederleinii – Shí Shàng Băi, Stone Top Fir. Part used: leaf, entire plant. Channel: LIV. Properties: Sweet, Acrid, Neutral, Bitter, Cold. Function and clinical use: Clears Heat and Removes Toxicity (detoxifies Fire Poison [infections]); Drains Damp-Heat (promotes diuresis). Uses: Cancer – immobile masses; effective in treating tumours; it inhibits the growth of tumors that are usually susceptible to chemotherapy or radiation therapies, and among these it is relatively effective in treating smaller body tumors. Used most commonly for nose, throat, lung and liver cancers. Used in conjunction with chemical or radiation treatments, therapy with this herb can speed up their resolution. Cirrhosis of the liver, ascites, Damp-Heat jaundice. Damp-Heat in the urinary bladder, scalds (stranguary). Diuretic. Cystitis. Rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling and pain of eyes. Fever with cough, sore throat. Asthma due to lung heat. Acute mastitis. Sores and ulcers. Major constituent: alkaloids. Pharmcological research (Bensky): antineoplastic.

294. Selenicereus grandiflorus (Night-Blooming Cactus, Large Cactus root, flowers) – cardiac stimulant, increases force of heart beat, central nervous system stimulant, tonic to sympathetic nervous system, increases size of the heart-beat and reduces its frequency. Not an emergency agent such as Digitalis; requires time for action; not a depressant. Uses: heart weakness with low blood pressure and valvular insufficiency. Rapid pulse with loss of body strength. Raynaud’s. ‘Chest held in a vice’. Unstable angina or coronary disease. Numbness of left arm. Relieves difficult breathing or congestion of the lungs of heart causation. As it has no known side-effects it enables heart sufferers to face the world with renewed confidence. Aneurism. Cholelesterolized arteries, arteritis (temporal), heart murmur. Sexual neurasthenia, masturbation palpitation. Secondary prophylaxis following myocardial infarction. Action is enhanced by addition of Leonurus and Avena (equal quants). Tincture BPC 2ml thrice daily. Rare herb.

295. Senecio aureus (Life Root herb) – uterine tonic, diuretic, expectorant (mild), emmenagogue; menopausal disturbances, emotional and vascular instability, hot flushes, menopause, leucorrhoea, debilitation, tuberculosis (TB). Ext.: vaginal douche. N/A

296. Serenoa serrulata (Saw Palmetto berries) – diuretic, urinary anti-septic, endocrine agent; male reproductive tonic, prostate enlargement; cystitis, genitourinary catarrh, testicular atrophy. Dose: 0.1-1g tds. ProstateLess Tonic

Sida acuta (Wireweed herb) – antibacterial, antiviral, bartonella, mycoplasma; lyme disease, ME, neuronal conditions LymeShield

297. Silybum marianum (Milk Thistle seeds) – lacto-stimulant, choleretic. Increases milk production, increases liver and gall bladder flow. Atherosclerosis, gallstones, iron overload, preventative against cancer (esp. breast abnormal cell formation), diabetes, ovarian cysts, Parkinson’s disease (Silybum maintains the body’s supply of the antioxidant glutathione, which helps slow the progress of the disease; it also lessens constipation and heartburn, digestive problems that commonly occur in people with Parkinson’s), psoriasis. Liver Detox

298. Smilax officinalis, S. glabra (Sarsaparilla, China Root rhizome, Tu Fu Ling) Chinese Herb – detoxification, RA (damp), skin problems; sweet, neutral. LIV ST. BHP: alterative, anti-rheumatic, diaphoretic, testosteronal, anti-pruritic; psoriasis with irritation (specific), rheumatoid arthritis, increases testosteronal activity. Used commonly as a flavouring component in major categories of nonalcoholic beverages, Sarsaparilla benefits from a long tradition of folk medicine. It has even been used to treat syphilis. Its effectiveness has not been substantiated in the treatment of this acute ailment. However, Sarsaparilla has been proven to have real properties in the case of gonorrhea and certain skin conditions. Sarsaparilla contains both male and female hormones (testosterone, progesterone and cortim) which explain its various capacities. Among the other components the most interesting are the steroidal saponins (vitaligo?), of which the principal one is sarsapogenin(1). These saponins are responsible for the pharmacological effects to which Sarsaparilla owes its reputation as a “depurative”, diuretic and sudorific drug. The mechanism of these diverse effects is still not fully understood, but it is believed(2) that these saponins favour the elimination of metabolic waste products.

299. Solanum dulcamara (Bittersweet twigs, leaves and tops) 1:10 – diuretic, alterative, anti-rheumatic; psoriasis and skin problems, RA. Increases the secretions of the skin and kidneys. Used mainly for skin diseases, for obstinate skin eruptions, scrofula and ulcers. Contains solarnine (but feeble amounts) a narcotic. Toxicity: in large doses paralyses the CNS without affecting the peripheral nerves or voluntary muscles; it slows the heart and respiration, lessens sensibility, lowers the temperature and causes vertigo and delirium, terminating in death with convulsions. BP 1907: collect the shoots in autumn. In USA the shoots are gathered in spring when the plant is budding. MrsG 590. Herbal medicine, appearing as biological immune response modifier (BIRM) from an Ecuadorian source used in alternative cancer treatment. An orally active Amazonian plant extract (BIRM) inhibits prostate cancer growth and metastasis. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol . 2003;52:59-66. Dandekar DS, Lokeshwar VB, Cevallos-Arellano E, Soloway MS, Lokeshwar BL.

300. Solidago virgaurea (Golden Rod flowering tops) – anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, carminative, diaphoretic; catarrh, chronic nasopharyngeal catarrh (specific), influenza, bladder infections – cystitis, dyspepsia, flatulent dyspepsia. Ext.: as nasal spray or gargle in nose and throat infection. Dose: 1:5 45% 0.5-1ml.

301. Sophora flavescens (Sophora root, Ku Shen) Chinese Herb – anti-pyretic; drying; anthelmintic. To eliminate heat and damp: anti-pruritic, parasiticide (worms), diarrhoea, jaundice, dysentery, vaginitis, leucorrhoea, itchy skin, eczema, ringworm, allergic reactions, all skin problems; bitter, cold. HE LIV ST LI BL.

302. Sophora japonica (Pagoda Tree fruit, Huai Jiao) Chinese Herb – To eliminate heat from blood by cooling, nourish liver and purge liver fire, haemostatic; haemorrhoids, haematuria, uterine bleeding, constipation; bitter, cold. LIV LI.

303. Stachys betonica (Wood Betony tops) – sedative, nervine tonic; strengthens CNS and relaxes, anxiety, tension, vertigo, headaches, neuralgia, stress, hysteria. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-6ml.

304. Stellaria media (Chickweed flowering tops) – vulnerary, anti-pruritic, emollient, anti-rheumatic. Ext.: for psoriasis and itching eczema, ulcer, abscess and skin eruptions.

305. Stevia spp (Stevia, Sweet Leaf) – Medicinal Uses: Hypoglycemic action, diabetes. There are many very legitimate reasons for using stevia as a medicinal food. In spite of the prominence stevia has obtained as a flavor enhancer, it contains a variety of constituents besides the steviosides and rebaudiosides, including many nutrients and a good deal of sterols, triterpenes, flavonoids, tannins, and an extremely rich volatile oil comprising rich proportions of aromatics, aldehyde, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. It is probably the presence of the steviosides themselves that has produced dozens of empirical and semi-controlled reports of hypoglycemic action. Paraguayans say that stevia is helpful for hypoglycemia and diabetes because it nourishes the pancreas and thereby helps to restore normal pancreatic function. Order Stevia.

306. Stillingia sylvatica (Queen’s Delight root) – alterative, dermatological agent, expectorant, diaphoretic, sialagogue, astringent; chronic skin conditions, eczema, psoriasis, lymphatic cleanser, skin eruption exudative with irritation and lymphatic involvement (specific); bronchitis, laryngitis, laryngismus stridulus; haemorrhoids, constipation. Dose: 1:5 45% 1-4ml.

307. Stemona japonica (Stemona root, Bai Bu) Chinese Herb – anti-tussive, lungs – soothes (demulcent), anthelmintic- anti-parasitic; cough -chronic dry; tapeworm, TB. Ext.: lotion for head lice; pungent, sweet, bitter, slightly cold; LU.

308. Strychnos nuxvomica (Nux-Vomica seeds, Ma Qian Zi) Chinese Herb – CNS tonic, bitter. Major nerve tonic; epilepsy, palsy (Tinct 5-10 drops). High dose has potent action on CNS = 5ml tds. Activates the channels and alleviates pain: wind damp painful obstruction (arthritis pain); reduces swelling and moves the blood: injuries from falls, fractures, sprains and contusions, bruises, trauma. C/I pregnancy. Pharm: rapidly absorbed after oral administration and lead to increased spinal reflexes and stimulation of the respiratory and sensory centres of the brain. Small dose has tonic bitter effect = 1ml tds. To make: 100g in 850Eth/160W. Dose 8-16 ml (BP 1867) (i.e. 1:10 84%). Poison in large doses. Overdose: >50mg of herb. Symptoms: crawling sensation in cervical area, difficulty swallowing and irritability; progressing to convulsions of great force. Treatment: barbiturates.

309. Styrax benzoin (Benzoin resin, An Xi Xiang) Chinese Herb – mild stimulant and anti-septic in irritable conditions of the skin, carminative, anti-septic (genet-urinary), skin anti-septic and skin irritation (leg ulcers); expectorant (mild), urinary anti-septic, genital anti-septic. Chinese use: aromatic stimulant – to resolve phlegm; to promote the circulation of qi and blood; use for impaired consciousness due to apoplexy (stroke); chest and abdominal pain; pungent, bitter, neutral. HE LIV SP.

310. Swertia chirata (Chiretta, Indian Gentian, whole herb) Nepal, Gentianaceae – strong bitter; liver remedy, diabetes, low blood sugar, nausea, increases salivation (dry mouth), increases bile (gallbladder), constipation, dyspepsia, debility, anorexia, GI atony – restorative; good for convalescence. Dose: 25% 2-4 ml. BPC 1949.

311. Symphytum officinale (Comfrey leaves/root) 1:10 – vulnerary, demulcent, astringent, expectorant; wound healing (allantoin), gastric/duodenal ulcers, hiatus hernia, colitis, ulcerative colitis, haemorrhages, abnormal cell formation. Ext.: wound healing, ulcers, varicose ulcer, fractures, hernia (fresh root). Here is a summary from my EJHM Vol 2:No 3 Autumn 1996 paper on Comfrey. This is now three years old but gives a general outline. It’s rather a long post – hope that is alright! Microsomal oxygenation is catalyzed by the cytochrome P-450 mono-oxygenase system which is involved in numerous detoxification reactions. It has been shown in vitro using human liver tissue that senecionine is metabolized by Cytochrome P450 IIIA4 [CYP3A4] to the pyrrole dehydrosenecionine [DHS] and senecionine N-0xide. GENETIC VARIATION Individual susceptibility to pyrrolizidine alkaloid toxicity must be determined by interindividual differences in hepatocyte activation and detoxification of pyrroles by Cytochrome P450 enzymes [CYP] as has been demonstrated with senecionine. Research on the isolation of Cytochrome P450 enzymes has developed rapidly in the last 10 years. They derive from 27 gene families and variation in the presence and proportion of each isoenzyme is thought to underlie much interindividual variability in drug metabolism. CYP3A4 is the most common CYP averaging 29% of the total but there is a 20 fold interindividual variation. It is responsible for many drug detoxification reactions. In contrast to some CYP’s it is not polymorphic. Using metabolism of nifedipine as a marker, researchers have found marked differences between different racial groups. Liver function and drug interactions: a. Cytochrome p450 enzyme function CYP levels are influenced by intake of prescribed drugs. CYP3A4 are induced by anticonvulsants e.g. carbamazepine, phenobarbitone, phenytoin, primidine & topiramate, by the corticosteroid dexamethasone, the anti-fungal griseofulvin and rifampicin which is used to treat tuberculosis. Phenobarbitone also induces glutathione transferase and thus glutathione remanufacture after reduction. Where CYP3A4 levels are induced by a drug the rate of pyrrole formation will be higher. For example, oral contraceptives which are metabolized by CYP3A4 may be less effective if the woman is taking phenobarbitone as the oestrogens are metabolized more quickly. The British National Formulary states that rifampicin renders oral contraceptives ineffective. The case of VOD ascribed to Symphytum which occurred in Britain involved a 14 yr old boy suffering from Crohn’s disease. For part of the time, he was also taking prednisolone and sulphasalazine. Other important drugs which are metabolized by CYP 3A4 are cyclosporine [immunosuppressant], nifedipine [Adalat], erythromycin, terfenadine [Triludan] and ethinylestradiol. If a person is taking any of these drugs then the PA are competing with the drug for metabolism on a fixed number of sites. Drug-drug interactions are unlikely to be a problem in that competition for sites would reduce the rate of pyrrole formation. There is a drug-drug interaction between terfenadine and ketoconazole. Terfenadine is cardiotoxic if unmetabolized and should not be taken with ketoconazole which suppresses CYP 3A4 and thus terfenadine metabolism. Drugs which suppress CYP3A4 are the systemic antifungals ketoconazole and itraconazole, the oral contraceptive gestodene, chloramphenicol and cimetidine. Some flavonoids e.g. in grapefruit juice are general inhibitors of cytochrome P-450’s. The significance of inter individual variation in CYP3A4 is not yet clear because CYP3A4 is thought to both to activate and to detoxify the pyrroles. Research in this area is progressing apace and this information is given to inform prescribing decisions rather than to give definite advice. b. Glutathione status is extremely important in drug detoxification. If glutathione levels are depleted then reduced glutathione is lost from the cell which further depletes cell levels. Glutathione depletion is considered crucial in paracetamol poisoning. Using rat tissues, it has been demonstrated that glutathione depletion markedly increases pyrrole protein-binding in the hepatocyte. After administration of a glutathione depleting drug, the amount of pyrrole formation remained level but the biliary release of glutathione-pyrrole conjugate decreased by up to 72%. This means that people with a low intake of sulphur-containing amino acids may be more susceptible to PA poisoning. Glutathione status depends on dietary protein. Stuart and Bras, state ‘we believe that malnutrition plays an important but subsidiary part, most likely as a contributory cause and in affecting the prognosis’. Many of the little children that they treated for VOD had a high carbohydrate and low protein diet. The people who suffered in Afghanistan were on a starvation level diet. Levels drop 50% by overnight fasting. Other dietary factors which are important in glutathione status are intake of selenium and of Cruciferae such as Brussels sprouts. Alcoholics die from paracetamol poisoning at lower dosage partly because of microsomal enzyme induction but also because of poor nutrition. The Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase System The cytochrome P450 enzyme family is the major catalyst of drug biotransformation reactions. Since its origin more than 3.5 billion years ago, the cytochrome P450 has diversified to accommodate the metabolism of a growing number of environmental chemicals, food toxins and drugs. The resulting superfamily of enzymes catalyses a wide variety of oxidative and reductive reactions and has activity towards a chemically diverse group of substrates. This enzymatic system is localised in the liver, although every tissue has some metabolic activity. Factors which affect which affect drug biotransformation include genetic, environmental and physiological factors. The most important factors are genetically determined polymorphisms (genetic differences in the ability of individuals to metabolize a drug) in drug oxidations and conjugations, concomitant use of other drugs, exposure to environmental pollutants and industrial chemicals, disease, state and age. These factors have been thought responsible for decreased efficacy, prolonged pharmacological effects and increased toxicity. An increased synthesis of cytochrome P450 protein is associated with exposure to certain drugs and environmental pollutants. This enzyme induction leads to an increased rate of biotransformation and corresponding decreases in the availability of the parent drug. Inducers, generally specific for a given cytochrome P450 family, although within a family structurally diverse chemicals may have similar effects. For example, exposure to industrial pollutants, glucocorticoids, anticonvulsants cigarette smoke, charbroiled meats and ethanol (the list goes on!!) results in dramatic induction of the cytochrome 450 enzyme family. This occurs both in the liver and extrahepatically. Impairment of normal liver function in patients with hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver disease, cirrhosis and preventative against developing liver cancer can lead to alterations in this enzymatic system. The degree to which cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase activity and hepatic elimination are decreased will be an indication of the severity of liver damage. Additionally the co-administration of two or more drugs may also affect this system. Drugs that are metabolized by the same enzyme will competitively interact with each other for the binding site on the enzyme, thereby decreasing the rate of metabolism for the lower affinity drug. This may also cause the lower affinity drug to seek an alternate pathway inducing the P450 system yet again.

312. Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk Cabbage root) – anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant; irritable cough, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, bronchitic asthma – specific. Dose: 1:10 45% 2-4ml. See BreathLess Tonic

313. Syzygium cumini (Jambul seeds) = Eugenia jambolana – warming, anti-emetic; stimulant; yang deficiency; circulatory stimulant, astringent, carminative, hypoglycaemia – raises blood sugar, diarrhoea with griping pain, diabetes. See PancreasMore Tonic

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