TRADITIONAL USES FOR SELECTED
AMAZONIAN AND CHINESE HERBS
ABUTA Cissampelos pareira
South American Indian women have used abuta for centuries to relieve symptoms associated with menstruation and to balance female hormones. It is commonly referred to as the "midwives' herb" and has been believed to help prevent miscarriage and stop uterine hemorrhaging.
ALFALFA Medicago sativa
Because of a long root system which absorbs abundant minerals, alfalfa is very high in minerals and vitamins, particularly iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, trace minerals and vitamin K. It helps to remove toxins and neutralizes acids. It is good for anemia, menopause, arthritis, gout, stabilizing blood sugar levels, balancing the pituitary gland, and detoxifying the blood and kidneys. Alfalfa helps soothe ulcers, the liver and acts as a heart tonic. It helps with estrogen production and morning sickness. It has in it a natural fluoride and is a mild diuretic. Alfalfa may be used for reducing fevers and rheumatism and has a mild laxative effect. It is good for cystitis or an inflamed bladder and relief from bloating and water retention.
ANIS Pimpinella anisum
Anis was originally used in Ancient Egypt. It is helpful in removing excess mucous from the lungs and digestive track. It has been used for colic in children, as an antispasmodic, and an antifungal. It can help prevent fermentation and gas in the stomach and bowels, thus relieving bloating and belching after meals. Anis is a mild diuretic and can stimulate added production of milk in nursing mothers. It has been mostly used for digestion issues including indigestion, nausea and gallbladder cleansing. It can also help asthma, bronchitis, and insomnia. Folklore says that ifyou place anis in your pillow it will ward off bad dreams.
Aquilaria has been used to enhance cerebral function, balance the mind/body connection and the nervous system.
ARTICHOKE LEAF Cynara scolymus
Artichoke leaf has a reputation as a choleretic (stimulates bile), diuretic and general stimulant. It helps to neutralize excessive acid in the body. It has been used for jaundice and dropsy.
ASTRAGALUS Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus was originally used in China for a variety of reasons including immune system support, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Dr. Mauligit of Texas University found it helped to restore immune function in cancer patients. Astragalus helps to invigorate vital energy, drain pus, reduce swelling and strengthen the spleen. It is helpful for lingering diarrhea. It has been shown to augment interferon response to viruses. It is a good herb for chronic low energy, weak lungs, shortness of breath, and kidney and bladder infections that do not respond to diuretics. Astragalus helps strengthen digestion, improve metabolism and lift prolapsed organs. It can also enhance fertility and libido.
ATRACTYLODES Atractylodes alba
Atractylodes has been shown to act on the stomach and spleen. It can be used to stimulate appetite, and stop vomiting and diarrhea. It is a diuretic and has been used for edema, fatigue, spontaneous sweating, fever and chills. It has been used in pregnancy for morning sickness and restless fetus.
BITTER ORANGE Citrus aurantium
Bitter orange has been used as a digestive tonic to help relieve nausea and soothe stomach disturbances such as indigestion, gas and bloating. Research has shown that it is effective in shrinking a distended stomach and lifting a prolapsed womb or rectum. It is an expectorant and laxative. It is considered to be one ofthe strongest chi moving herbs, with the power to help break up tumors.
BOLDO Peumus boldus
Boldo is a widely used herb in South America. It has been used to treat liver, gallbladder and bowel dysfunctions. It helps promote fat digestion by stimulating the secretion of bile. It helps neutralize acid and is good for digestion. It has been used in Latin America for urogenital inflammations such as gonorrhea. Elsewhere it has been used for gout, hepatitis, rheumatism, syphilis and worms. It has been shown to be an antiseptic and diuretic which is good for urinary infections and uric acid elimination.
CARQUEJA Baccharis genist
Carqueja can be used to strengthen stomach and intestinal function. It helps purge obstructions of the liver and gallbladder. It helps strengthen digestion and the illeocecal valve and fortifies the blood. It can also support and tonify the nervous system and increases stomach yin.
CASHEW PLANT Anacardium occiden tale
Cashew plant has been used in combinations which help diabetes and support the pancreas. It can also help the body to assimilate and retain electrolytes and minerals.
CATUABA Juniperis brasilienis
Catuaba is excellent for the male reproductive organs. It can increase circulation and libido. It is famous as a stimulant to the nervous system and brain. It can be used in cases of impotence.
CHAMOMILE Matricaria chamomilla
Chamomile is a slightly bitter herb that helps soothe nerves, increase mental awareness, settle the stomach and promote digestion. It is used as a tea to calm hyperactive children, menstrual cramps, and asthma. It is a diuretic and has been used for bladder problems. It helps with fevers, colds, headaches, insomnia, rheumatism, relieving gas and expelling worms. Chamomile is good for the liver and lungs and helps reduce jaundice, swelling, and ease withdrawal from drugs. It acts as a mild laxative and can bring on menses. It is good for crying, whining babies and helps soothe the pain of teething. Chamomile can be used as a mouthwash for gingivitis and externally for inflammation.
Costus root acts on the spleen and large intestine. It helps ease abdominal pain and is good for dysentery. It can heighten body awareness and sensitivity, and can enhance libido.
Dalergia wood can enhance skeletal/muscular reflexes and mobility.
These tubers have been used in some cultures as a coffee substitute. It helps support the spleen, lungs and kidneys. Dioscoreae contains up to thirteen percent diosgenin. Diosgenin has been processed and given to patients to relieve arthritis, asthma, eczema, regulate metabolism and control fertility. Diosgenin provides the steroid building blocks for developing human sex hormones and can be used for developing muscle mass and strength. It has been used for emotional instability, chronic cough, diarrhea, and diabetes.
DONG QUAI Angelica sinensis
Dong quai has been called the "female ginseng" and is excellent as an all purpose women's herb. It has been used for centuries in China for regulating the menstrual cycle and easing menstrual pain and cramping. It can be used to help women regain normal menstrual cycles after taking "the Pill." It has proven helpful for relieving hot flashes during menopause. Dong quai can be used for insomnia and blood pressure stability for both men and women. (The affect on blood pressure can be an overall lowering although sometimes it may rise slightly first, followed by a decline). It can reduce PMS and may help anemia, suppressed menstrual flow, uterine bleeding, abdominal pain after childbirth, dry intestines, chronic pelvic disorders and constipation and headaches due to blood deficiency. Dong quai helps the liver utilize more oxygen and therefore can be useful in treating hepatitis and cirrhosis. It may also help with abnormal protein metabolism. Dong quai helps dilate peripheral blood vessels, increase circulation, and has been used as a mild laxative. PRECAUTION: Not to be used during pregnancy.
ESPINHIERA SANTA Maytenus ilicifolia
Espinhiera santa has been used for nervous disorders and helps to soothe and heal stomach ulcers. It helps support the adrenal glands which may help to improve energy levels, immune response and digestion. It helps to neutralize acids throughout the body. It helps with kidney function, skin respiration, and nourishes stomach yin. South American Indians used the tree to "cure" arthritis and rheumatism.
FENNEL Foeniculum vulgare
Fennel helps to release gas from the stomach and bowels and relieve its associated pain and cramping. It helps to clear phlegm from the lungs. It can act as a stimulant and diuretic which calms the nerves, improves appetite and digestion, and acts as an antispasmodic. It is helpful for nursing mothers as it promotes lactation and calms colic. Fennel helps regulate energy to the spleen, stomach, liver and kidneys and can be used topically for joint inflammation. The dried powder is said to keep fleas away from kennels and stables. Folk lore indicates it can be used as a poultice for cancerous wounds and indurations (hardening) of the mammary glands.
GLYCYRRHIZA (LICORICE) Glycyrrhiza glabra
Licorice is very sweet and contains glycyrrhizic acid which is fifty times sweeter than sugar. It helps support the adrenal glands and stimulate the excretion of hormones from the adrenal cortex. It has also been shown to have estrogen activity in animal studies and may be used to stabilize the menstrual cycle when coming off of "the Pill." It is excellent for the lungs and spleen. It has been used for coughs, sore throat, asthma, stomach and duodenal ulcers, hepatitis, hysteria and food poisoning. It is also known to be a good antioxidant.
IPORURU Aichornia castaneifolia
Iporuru is used by the indigenous peoples of Peru for relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis. It helps to increase flexibility in movement and range of motion.
JATOBA Hymenaea courbaril
Jatoba helps to decongest the urinary tract and can be excellent for cystitis, and bladder and prostate infections. It has been used as a system energizer, fortifier and decongestant. It has been used for treating respiratory problems.
JURUBEBA Solanum paniculatum
Jurubeba helps stimulate digestion and can act as an antunflammatory to the liver and spleen. It is excellent for alcohol excesses and acts as a diuretic. Jurubeba has been used to treat uterine tumors and is rich in alkaloids.
LEMON BALM Melissa officinalis
Organically grown in the orient and a member of the mint family, lemon balm helps strengthen the mind and nervous system. It acts as a tonic to the heart and digestive system and as an antispasmodic. It helps support the female reproductive system and can ease tension and cramping during the menstrual cycle. It helps with emotional upset and is an antidepressant. It also helps to clear mental obstruction and nourish heart yin. It is a remedy for gas and colic, nervous tension and insomnia. It can clear mucous from the lungs. Being a mild diaphoretic it can be used to induce sweating when taken hot. Lemon balm has been used as a salve for herpes simplex in Europe.
MANACA Brunfelsia uniflorus
Manaca has one of the most beautiful flowers in the Amazon rainforest. The root is said to stimulate the lymphatic system. In folk remedies it has been used for arthritis, rheumatism, scrofula, and syphilis. Some extracts show marked antunflammatory tendencies.
MARAPUAMA Ptychopetalum uncinatum
Marapuama has been used in tom fying the nervous system and for cases of mild exhaustion. It helps with gastrointestinal and reproductive disorders. It has antirheumatic properties and can be used for treating stress and trauma. Because of neurosexual stimulation it can enhance the libido. It can enhance blood chi and balance yin and yang in the triple warmer. It has been considered to be useful in prevention of some types of baldness. It is also used for neuromuscular problems.
MULUNGU Erythrina mulungu
Mulungu has been used to quiet hysteria from trauma or shock. It helps to balance neurotransmitters and promote peaceful sleep. It can help regulate heart palpitations and helps to regulate excess heart yang. It also can be used for hepatitis and liver dysfunctions.
PASSION FLOWER Passi flora incarnata
Passion flower has a calming effect. It is great for hypertensive children. It is a mild sedative which soothes the nerves, helps with hemorrhoids, headaches, menopause and is an antispasmodic. It regulates mood swings and high blood pressure. It has been used for seizures, hysteria, colic, diarrhea and has an antibiotic activity. Passion flower balances excess heart yang and fortifies heart yin.
PATA-DE-VACA Bauhinia forticata
Pata-de-vaca has been widely used in Brazil for treatment of diabetes.
PAU D'ARCO Tecoma impetiginosa
Brazilians call pau d'arco the "divine tree." It helps to increase red blood cell production and helps respiratory disorders, ulcers, candida excess, and athlete's foot. Pau d'arco can fortify the blood, helps to dissolve phlegm and is an antifungal. Research in both the United States and South America shows that pau d'arco has ingredients found to be effective against some forms of cancer and parasites. It helps lower blood sugar levels and promotes digestion. Lapachol, from pau d'arco, was recently listed by Purdue University as among the most important antitumor agents from plants.
PEACH KERNEL Prunus pers~ca
Peach kernel helps promote circulation, dissolves accumulated clots, and act as a laxative for dry intestines. It is said to "loosen the belly" and open stoppages of the liver. It helps to regulate menstruation and can be used for after childbirth pain, high blood pressure, traumatic injuries, and chronic appendicitis. It helps expel worms, is good for skin diseases and has sedative effects.
PRECAUTION: Do not take in high doses.
PEDRA HUMA-CAA Myrcia speciosa
Pedra huma-caa, nicknamed "vegetable insulin," has been researched in Brazil for the treatment of diabetes. It was used by early South American Indians as a powerful healing poultice.
PEPPERMINT Mentha piperita
Peppermint is known in Columbia as "heirba buena" or the "good herb" and has been classically used as a digestive aid. It helps stimulate the stomach, cools indigestion, relieves flatulence, strengthens and soothes the bowels and helps with cramping. Peppermint also stimulates excretion of saliva and warms the entire system. It stimulates menstruation, the bronchioles and sinuses. It is said to help with diverticulitis, insomnia, headaches, nausea, nerves, morning sickness and congested lungs.
Propolis is a brown resinous material collected by bees and used to fill cracks in their nests. It is said to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It is also used as an antunflammatory which can be used directly on infections.
QUEBRA-PEDRA Phyllanthus niruri
Quebra-pedra fortifies the liver and gallbladder and helps clear system obstructions. It helps with viruses of the reproductive organs and hepatitis. It is an immune system stimulator. It helps eliminate mucous and stones from the kidney, gallbladder and urinary tracts. It also increases bile production, soothes the liver and disperses calcification.
REHMANNEA (DI-HUANG) Rehmannia glutinosa
Rehmannia is commonly used in clinics in the orient and is called di-huang, or "yellow earth." It is used to replenish vital force and helps with diabetes, constipation, urinary tract problems, anemia, dizziness, and regulating menstrual flow. It is prot~ctive to the liver and helps prevent the depletion of stored glycogen, which can make it beneficial for hypoglycemia. Di huang has an antifungal effect and has been used for candida. It can lower glucose levels and helps to reduce blood pressure while increasing circulation to the brain. It is a blood tonic and diuretic. It helps strengthen the bones and tissue and can enhance fertility. Chinese doctors have used it with licorice for the treatment of hepatitis. Rehmannia helps disperse heat from the body and alleviates night sweats and fevers.
SAFFLOWER Carthamus tinctorius
Safflower can be used as a diuretic and to calm the nerves and soothes hysteria. It supports the heart and liver. It helps promote circulation, dissolves clots, and can help induce menstruation. Safflower helps with post childbirth pains, stiffness and pain in joints, and internal bleeding. It can be taken hot to produce strong perspiration to remedy a cold. PRECAUTION: Pregnant women should avoid using safflower.
SAMAMBAIA Polypodium lepidopteris
Samambaia has been used as a general tonic for rheumatism. It helps to detoxify the body and support the immune system.
SARSAPARILLA Smilax officinalis
Sarsaparilla is used all over the world for a wide range of symptoms. These include lung and stomach congestion, skin diseases, herpes, syphilis, psoriasis, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, nervous disorders, epilepsy, chronic liver disorders, colds fevers, and stomach and intestinal gas. It helps promote good circulation, clear toxins, balance the glandular system, and stimulate metabolism and male sexual potency. The natural steroidal glycosides found in smilax make it a favorite for body builders and anyone who would like to be stronger and energized. It promotes rejuvenation and can be used as an antunflammatory.
SNAKEGOURD Radix trichosanthes
Snakegourd helps stimulate the production of body fluids thus relieving dryness. It can disperse phlegm, remove pus, expel toxic matter and is antunflammatory. Snakegourd can act as a natural antibiotic, expectorant, laxative, and can be used for abscesses, boils, bronchitis, constipation, jaundice and hemorrhoids. It helps with breast and lung tumors, and can promote lactation. It has been shown to be excellent for diabetes. Perhaps the most interesting news is that the new "AIDS" drug "Compound Q" is a refined protein called trichonanthine which is derived from the trichosanthes (snakegourd) family. It has been shown that the protein has the ability to kill an "HIV" infected cell without affecting surrounding tissue.
STEVIA Rebaudiana bertoni
Stevia has been used by South American Indians as a sweetening agent. It is helpful for weight loss programs because it can satisfy sugar cravings and is low in calories. It is supportive to the pancreas and has been used in treatment of diabetes, hypertension and infections.
SUMA Pfaffia paniculata
Suma has been called "paratodo" which means "for all things" by the Brazilians. It is said to be the South American version of ginseng. It contains up to eleven percent saponins. Derivations from saponins have been patented as antitumor compounds. Suma has been used to help many chronic diseases including leukemia, arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, mononucleosis, candida, hypoglycemia, Epstein Barr Syndrome, high cholesterol, and the early stages of cancer. It seems to balance female hormones and is good for menopause. It is also used for impotency and frigidity.
TANGERINE PEEL Chen pi
Tangerine acts on the lungs and spleen. It helps to clear the lungs of phlegm and helps relieve hiccups. It can be used as an appetite stimulant which promotes digestion and relieves nausea and gas.
TAYUYA Cayaponia tayuya
Tayuya is believed to flush excess fluids from the tissues and reduce swelling. It may also relieve emotional fatigue and depression.
UNA DE GATO Uncaria tomeritosa
Una de Gato from the Peruvian rainforest is a favorite for stimulating the immune system. World wide research done on this powerful herb has led scientists to patent many of the single chemicals found in it for use in healing cancer, arthritis, AIDS and other diseases. However, traditional wisdom shows that using the whole plant can be far more powerful than any one isolated ingredient. Dr. Brent W. Davis referred to Una de Gato as "the opener of the way" because of its remarkable ability to cleanse the entire intestinal tract. Because of this ability, Una de Gato can be used for Crohn's Disease, hemorrhoids, parasites, leaky bowel syndrome, ulcers, gastritis, allergic disorders, diverticulitis, stabilizing intestinal flora and other gastro-intestinal issues.
Una do Gato is also a powerful anti-inflammatory which makes it very useful for arthritis and other inflam matory diseases. It also helps to increase TAymphocyte and microphage production, toni~ the blood, and can be used as a broad spectrum infection fighter. Una de Gato also helps repair the lipid matrix in the cell walls and is particularity good for stopping the expansion ofvirus laden cells.
At the University of Milan, Renato Rizzi led an experiment with Una de Gato as it relates to cancer causing (mutagenic) substances in smokers. It is well known that the urine ofsmokers contains mutagenic substances. When given Una de Gato for two weeks, the smoker's urine returned to normal. This is important because it shows Una de Gato can help lesson the risk of developing cancers and other degenerative diseases.