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This educational page will focus on the basics of herbal use and some terms used in herbology. Herbal monographs will be changed frequently to give varied information on local native and non-native herbs, their uses, common and scientific names.
WHAT IS AN HERB? : Any plant used as medicine, seasoning, or food. Also, any plant used in basketry, clothing or as building material. The word herb simply means a useful plant. Some dictionaries define herbs to be the soft plants that die back in the winter time. Either way, ALL plants are herbs in some form, even if we do not know all of their uses.
What is an Herbal Monograph? The two words mono and graph both come from the Greeks. Mono means one and graph represents something written. An herbal monograph is a paper on a single subject; in this case, an herb. It usually includes the Latin name, common name(s), and description of herb, several uses and possible contraindications.
Contraindications: Contra is a Latin word meaning against. Contraindications are specific signs or circumstances in which it is unadvisable to take certain herbs or drugs together.
Herbs are medicine. Much of the medicines on the market today including aspirin and cough syrup were originally derived from plants. One of the most common basketry plants used by the Pomo people is willow. The bark of the white willow contains salicylic acid which has been written about since the 5th Century BC. The Latin first name of willow is Salix because it contains a large amount of this acid. Willow bark has been known as a pain-reliever and fever reducer before written history. Today Salicylic Acid is also a well-known acne treatment. A gentle solution of acne rinse can be made the same way one would make a cup of tea to drink as a fever reducer. It takes approximately one dry teaspoon of herb in six to eight ounces of boiled water. Let steep while cooling for approximately fifteen minutes. Dip cotton balls into this warm mixture and pat on acne prone areas. This is only one use for willow bark. There are many uses. Since aspirin/ acetylsalicylic is a blood thinner, its internal use is contraindicated for those with bleeding disorders such as hemophilia.
These underground vegetables are usually considered seasoning. They are also very important in the control and maintenance of Diabetes Mellitus. These contain compounds called Allyl propyl disulphide (APDS) & Diallyl disulphide oxide (allicin). APDS and allicin compete with insulin for insulin-inactivating sites in the liver. They are like similar puzzle pieces trying to fit into the same spot, also called a receptor. Or like musical chairs, there are too many players and not enough seats. This in turn frees up some insulin to keep looking for a place to sit down. In other words, one has more available insulin to take care of wandering glucose. Cooking with onions and garlic is an excellent way to start. If you want to know more about supplementing with onion extract and garlic extract (allicin), talk to your doctor.
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