Ed's Remedies http://edsremedies.com Sun, 30 Oct 2016 18:30:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Kratom – The Most Popular Medicinal Herb You Never Heard About http://edsremedies.com/?p=52 http://edsremedies.com/?p=52#comments Sat, 19 Oct 2013 19:44:08 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=52 American Scientific recently did an article on Kratom and they admitted that they had no idea how many Americans use this herb for medicinal purposes. It may be thousands or it may be hundreds of thousands. There are probably 100 websites that offer it for sale. The Scientific American article was titled “Should Kratom Use Be Legal”. Well it is already legal everywhere in the US except for Indiana which banned one of the alkaloids extracted from the plant but did not mention the plant itself. In Louisiana you must be 18 years of age to purchase Kratom. They recently tried to ban it in Vermont but many constituents came forward in support of this medicinal herb and the ban only involved one of its extracts. In most countries in the world it is legal except for Thailand, Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), and a few Eastern European countries. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration lists Kratom as a “drug of concern” because of its abuse potential, stating it has no legitimate medical use. .Recently they had stated they had no intention of making it illegal at this time. Unfortunately there is often a knee-jerk reaction by politicians to ban any new herb that surfaces without studying it sufficiently. Or sometimes political pressure will lead to prohibition as in the temporary banning of the non calorie herbal sweetener Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) influenced by certain business interests even though it had been used in Japan safely for decades. Stevia has been made popular as the preferred tea sweetener of Lydia in the hit series “Breaking Bad”

So what is Kratom and what is all the fuss? Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) refers to the leaves from a tropical deciduous and evergreen tree which is a member of the coffee family. It is naturally found in Southwest Asia mostly in Indo-China and Malaysia. It has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The leaves of the tree promote an uplifting mood and is used to treat many health problems. In southern Thailand, upwards of 70% of the male population uses Kratom on a daily basis in some areas. Traditional use of Kratom is considered equivalent to drinking coffee even though it has been banned in Thailand 70 years ago. Today in order to control its population’s growing dependence on methamphetamines, Thailand is attempting to legalize Kratom.

Kratom has recently made its way to America over the past decade and has become a popular herbal product. Its major uses in this country are: to relieve all forms of chronic pain including back pain, migraine headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and postsurgical pain. It has also been used to treat depression, anxiety, diarrhea, and fatigue. Other positive effects of the herb are lowering high blood pressure and as an effective treatment in people who suffer from borderline personality disorder.

Why is Kratom Unknown?

Kratom is ineffective as a recreational drug. Anyone looking to get high will quickly be unsatisfied and move on. There is only minor euphoria and no intoxicating effect. Taking more only creates nausea.

Also there are no true reports of an overdose resulting in death due to Kratom although there are a few reports of overdoses when taken in combination with other drugs. Thus the newspapers aren’t filled with stories about overdoses due to Kratom. The risk of respiratory depression is sufficiently lower when compared to opiates. If large doses of Kratom are consumed vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating occurs in an attempt to rid the body of excess.

The relief of pain is the reason that most Americans use the herb. Thousands of Americans report that kratom has greatly improved the quality of their lives. It has many positive actions that make it superior to typical pharmaceuticals. It is relatively inexpensive and is superior to the use of opiates since there is usually only a minimum development of tolerance, less sedation, less dizziness, less confusion, and less euphoria. Kratom’s pain relieving abilities are similar to codeine and vicodin. Most individuals are able to perform every day tasks including work and driving a car. And the chance of addiction is considered significantly less.

(Warning; Everybody’s reaction is different. Do not drive until you are sure you can safely perform this or any activity). Do not take this or any other herb without first consulting your doctor. Kratom like most substances can interact with other medications and herbs.

Kratom is mildly addictive and withdrawal may occur after frequent heavy use. A few of kratom’s active chemicals such as mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine behave as μ-opioid receptor agonist so addiction is theoretically possible but withdrawal is said to be similar to caffeine withdrawal in severity. Those with an addiction or who are going through withdrawal are usually in fine physical and mental health. The full picture on possible addition is mixed but is rarely severe. Of course this would depend on the daily dosage, the amount of time between dosages, and whether one uses the straight leaf or an extract. Like any medication, any herb has the potential for addition. Generally after abrupt withdrawal, fatigue, runny nose, mild joint pain and headaches may occur for a few days. To avoid these possibility of side effects slowly taper of the dosage over a few days. It is best to consume Kraton as a tea made from the pure leaf and not an extract. Stay away from extracts; they are expensive and result in too high a dose which is way above what is required.

Treatment of Opioid Addition

The most interesting use of Kratom is in opiate withdrawal. U.S. researchers are studying its potential to wean addicts off of opiates with minimal withdrawal side effects. There have been thousands of reports of people who where addicted to opiates such as vicodin, Percocet, and other addictive pain medications achieving success by substituting with kratom. . Because of kratom’s opioid agonist activity, it is able to greatly reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. While methadone is currently used for this purpose, it is a powerful drug with the potential to cause additional problems for the addict.

Kratom has been used in one study evolving alcohol withdrawal with success.

Anti-Depressant Effects

Kratom is commonly used to treat depression and studies have shown that it has antidepressant-like effects. One study was done with mitragynine, a chemical isolated from the kratom plant, Mitragyna speciosa, concluded that there are significant anti-depressant effects to be gained using Kratom.

Treatment of Strokes

One of the active constituents of kratom, Catechin, has been shown to limit neuronal damage when given to the mice even as long as 3.5 hours after a laboratory induced stroke.

Treatment of High Blood Pressure

Kratom has also been suggested as an effective treatment in high blood pressure, or hypertension. One active alkaloid in M. speciosa is Ajmalicine and can be used as a treatment of high blood pressure.

The Effects of Kratom: What to Expect

Although the strength of the particular strain of kratom will affect the dosage and everyone is different, one teaspoon of powered leaf mixed with 8 ounces of hot water should be effective.  It is also sold in capsules that can be taken with juice or water. There are several strains of kratom but Bali kratom is the most popular and is stated to be the best to treat pain.  After drinking the tea within 15 minutes to ½ an hour one should begin to experience pain relief, with a stimulating effect similar to coffee and increased sociability. Some euphoria may occur but is relatively weak. Larger doses may cause unpleasant effects including nausea and sedation.  Kratom users tend to take minimal amounts to achieve the desired effect and avoid the nausea experienced with higher doses.

Strains of Kratom

There are several different strains of Kratom each with some minor differences: They differ in the level of pain relief, stimulation, and relaxation for the most part. The differences are sometimes controversial but here are some of the strains and their attributes:

Bali or Borneo: Better pain relief, more sedation
Indo: Very relaxing and stress relieving
Malaysian: Similar to Bali but longer lasting
Thai More energizing
Maeng Da Translated as “Pimp’s Grade”. Is considered the strongest & most energizing

Personal Effects

I personally use kratom to treat my chronic migraines. I often include powered ginger root to relieve the often accompanying nausea with my migraines. I use generally add one level teaspoon to 8 ounces of hot water, a half teaspoon of powdered ginger root, mix, and consume. The taste of kratom is somewhat flat and earthy but not completely unpleasant. I would suggest adding a sweetener such as Stevia or other non-calorie sweetener. Usually within 15 to 30 minutes there is a very noticeable reduction in pain which lasts for 2 to 6 hours. There is usually a stimulating effect similar to coffee followed by some mild sedation. I have never had a problem driving or performing any sort of work. But like I have stated before each person’s reaction may be different. I have noticed a reduction in blood pressure and it forced me to lower my blood pressure medication. (Another reason to first consult your doctor before taking kratom)

I have been using kratom to treat my migraines for over 2 years and I have not noticed any change in tolerance.  The same dose of one teaspoon is still effective.  Adding more does not seem to add any benefit.  Since I have chronic migraines I do take it several times a week.  During periods where I was without kratom I substituted wild lettuce extract, Lactuca Virosa or lady slipper root powder, Cypripedium pubescens for pain. (Note: My source of Lady Slipper root is from a European cultivated source and is not wild crafted) Therefore I do not believe that I am physically addicted.  The pain relieving ability of wild lettuce is due to its ability to inhibit the breakdown of the body’s natural pain relieving substances known as endorphins and the pain relieving ability of the Lady slipper root is not fully understood.  These 2 substitute herbs pain relieving ability is different from the opioid receptor activity of Kratom.  It is always wise to have a few different herbs to treat symptoms such as pain in order to reduce the chance of the development of tolerance or addiction.

My wife also takes Kratom tea to treat her flare-ups of arthritis and osteoporosis. She takes the same dosage as I but insists on adding Stevia. Sometimes I have to strain the tea for her because the mixture can be gritty.

Other Observations

In September of 2012, David DeSalvo, who writes on science, technology, and culture for Forbes, Scientific American, the Wall Street Journal, Physiology Today and others wrote an article entitled: “Is Kratom the New “Bath Salts” or Just an Organic Pain Reliever with Euphoric Effects?” The response to his article was huge receiving 47,000 views and more than 80 comments and e-mails mostly in support of Kratom. Almost all of the comments credited kratom with remarkable benefits without side effects. Several of the readers’ challenged David to try it himself and give an informed opinion. He took the challenge and reported back in April of 2013. A summery of his comments are as follows: (used by permission)

“My overall takeaway is that Kratom has a two-tiered effect. Initially it provides a burst of energy very similar to a strong cup of coffee”……”Unlike coffee, however, the energy I derived from Kratom was longer-lasting and level”…”I also did not experience an energy crash with any of the Kratom products I sampled.” 

“The second-tier effect was relaxing, but fell short of being sedating. I never felt sleepy while taking Kratom, but I did experience a level relaxation that was pleasant, and balanced out the initial energy-boosting effects nicely”…………

“As to side effects, I can’t say that I experienced any worth noting.”…… “My overall comment on Kratom is that it’s a lot like good coffee, but with a more even, long-lasting energy effect, and a much more pleasant “finish.” …..” As to the results of stopping usage, I can tell you without hyperbole that getting off coffee is a far worse experience than getting off Kratom. I was able to stop taking Kratom for three days and at most I experienced a bit of sluggishness that wore off in a day or so.   Suffice to say, caffeine withdrawal is significantly worse than Kratom withdrawal, if it can even be called “withdrawal.” There’s no comparison whatsoever”. 

“Having now experienced the product myself for a number of weeks, I can see no reason why it should be banned, or on what basis such a product would be banned if people can walk into a typical coffee shop and buy an enormous cup of an addictive substance that’s arguably more potent than any Kratom available anywhere.” (Note: Quotes used with permission)

David did note that he had no pain during his experiment and thus could not comment on its analgesic effects.

Final Comments

Kratom when chewed or boiled into a tea, is quite harmless according to the available literature. While additional research is needed, criminalization of kratom is unfounded and is based on economic control and disinformation. Criminalization of kratom is unnecessary, problematic, and counter-productive. And more important, as Americans we should have the right to use herbal medicine as part of our right in the “pursuit of happiness.” Why should millions of Americans suffer with pain when there is relatively safe alternative available? And with the medical legalization of Marijuana in many states occurring, it would seem ironic.

Lastly, kratom should be considered an herbal supplement with tremendous medicinal potential. Kratom is especially useful for the addict interested in beating a drug or alcohol habit. It may also have potential in treatment of depression, social anxiety disorder and of course chronic pain. It could mean freedom for many pain sufferers.

Note; I currently purchase my kratom from Major Kratom in Burlington, Vermont. There are a number of good sources. Please patronize the sites that appear on my website. Over the past 2 years I have purchased from all of the advertised sites.

References

  1. Scientific American Website Article; September 30, 2013.
  2. Boyer EW, Babu KM, Adkins JE, McCurdy CR, Halpern JH. Self-treatment of opioid withdrawl using kratom (Mitragyna speciosa korth). Addiction. 2008, 103, 1048-1050.
  3. Quotes Written by David DeSalvo, writer for Forbes Magazine, web based articles 2012 to 2013, used by permission.
    Wikipedia, 9/2013.
  4. Tanguay, Pascal (April 2011). http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/kratom-briefing-dlr13.pdf
  5. “Kratom in Thailand: Decriminalization and Community Control?” (PDF). Series on Legislative reform of Drug Policies 13. Digital object identifier doi: 10.2139/ssrn.1908849. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
  6. Takayama H, Ishikawa H, Kurihara M, Kitajima M, Aimi N, Ponglux D et al. (2002). “Studies on the synthesis and opioid agonistic activities of mitragynine-related indole alkaloids: discovery of opioid agonists structurally different from other opioid ligands”. J Med Chem 45 (9): 1949–1956. Digital object identifier doi: 10.1021/jm010576e. PubMed Identifier PMID 11960505.
  7. Reanmongkol, Wantana; Niwat Keawpradub, Kitja Sawangjaroen (March 2007). “Effects of the extracts from Mitragyna speciosa Korth. leaves on analgesic and behavioral activities in experimental animals” (PDF). Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 29 (1): 39–48. Retrieved 2012-10-26.
  8. Kiley, Brendan (2012-04-10). “The Rush to Prohibit Kratom“. The Stranger. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
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Horny Goat Weed – It’s Not Just for Goats and “Old Goats” Anymore http://edsremedies.com/?p=39 http://edsremedies.com/?p=39#respond Wed, 16 Oct 2013 18:13:46 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=39 Epimedium, a genus of over 50 different flowing plants is best known as Horny Goat Weed but is also known as rowdy lamb herb, Randy Beef Grass, or yin yang huo.  Epimedium is a hardy perennial and is endemic to China but has also been found in Europe. 

Horny Goat Weed aphrodisiac qualities are due to a compound in the plant known as Icariin.  According to legend a Chinese goat herder noticed increased sexual activity in his flock after they had eaten the weed.  The raw herb and extracts from these plants have been used to in Chinese herbal medicine for many years to enhance erectile function. It is also sold as a health supplement in the West as the whole herb, in capsule form, as an extract, or blended with other supplements.  It is a popular herb for older men who may have difficulty “rising to the occasion”. Its use may not be for goats and “old goats” anymore. It may be even more useful for women!

Horny Goat Weed’s  aphrodisiac qualities is due to the presence of icariin. This primary constituent can be found in standardized extracts from 5% up to 60%. Purity in health food stores and on line..  Recently a 98% pure product has become available by a company called Liftmode and is available through Amazon.

Icariin increases the amount of nitric oxide in the body which relaxes smooth muscle and also inhibits the activity of PDE-5.  PDE-5 is an enzyme that breaks down cyclic GMP which decreases the flow of blood to the smooth muscle. A PDE 5 inhibitor blocks the action of PDE-5 and thus causes an increase of blood flow to the smooth muscle.  In short it increases the flow of blood to the penis. Other more well known PDE-5 inhibitors are Viagra and Cialis.  The pharmaceutical PD-5 inhibitors were initially developed to increase the flow of blood to the heart in patients who have angina.  While the drugs where in study trials they noted a very interesting side effect.  I don’t think they prescribe them for heart disease anymore.  It is believed that this substance is also found in the lichen Xanthoparmelia scabrosa. Yes, natural aphrodisiacs are found everywhere in nature.

Though you may not like the name, horny goat weed can apparently be beneficial to both men and women. Horny goat weed, also called Epimedium, is thought to alter levels of certain hormones including estrogen. Epimedium can have complex effects in the body by elevating mood, energy and feelings of arousal. The relaxation of the smooth muscles may increase the blood flow towards the clitoris in women. Horny goat weed may help relieve symptoms of menopause such as irritability, flushing, and loss of sexual interest.

Another problem during menopause is related to the loss of bone density which leads to osteoporosis. Taking horny goat weed may help prevent bone loss. There has been an increased amount of research on the natural compound icariin in recent years.  Listed below are some of the findings for this unique chemical found in Horny Goat Weed:

Osteoporosis
Several studies indicate that icariin both stimulates the growth of new bone, and slows the destruction of old bone.  A recent study on menopausal women showed that using the supplement increased bone mass in the hip and low back by 1.6 and 1.3 percent, where as the placebo group lost bone by 1.8 and 2.4 percent.  These percentages are very important to reduce the incidence of fractures.

Alzheimer’s
Research in rats shows that icariin improves learning and memory in rat-models of Alzheimer’s. The study concluded that the chemical increased remarkably the searching time and searching distance. The test indicated icariin improved the ability of learning and memory in Alzheimer’s disease model rats.

Stroke
Rats given icariin and deprived of oxygen have less damage than non-supplemented rats.  Icariin improved blood flow, decreases oxidative damage after a stroke, and increases a neurotransmitter linked to memory.  The safety of this herb and the research showing it has the ability to build bone and protect the brain show great promise for this substance in Medicine.

Other Health Promoting Properties:

  1. Animal model studies have shown that icariin can promote the differentiation and proliferation of cardiomyocytes and other stem cells in multiple organ systems
  2. As an antidepressant
  3. Inhibit the actions of several toxic substances
  4. Increasing immune response against disease
  5. Inhibit the inflammatory response in arthritis and other inflammatory disease
  6. And has been shown to extend the lifespan and health span of nematodes

Personal Experience

I love goats.  They are one of my favourite animals.  I enjoy going to the fair each year and feeding and petting the goats.  They just love to have their heads scratched.  They look great too. They all seem to have square pupils.  



I am not as young as I used to be so performance is often an issue.   Prescriptions like Viagra worked for me using the highest dose but the insurance would only give you 4 pills a month!  Sure you can buy them on the internet from overseas but they are expensive and you cannot be sure what you are actually getting. I am a believer in herbal medicine and take ginger, kratom, and wild lettuce for my severe migraines (nothing pharmaceutical seems to work well since pharmaceuticals are either expensive, can be addictive, and often produce re-bound headaches).  And my wife takes cinnamon (C. verum, also called C. zeylanicum) from Sri Lanka for her type 2 diabetes instead of Actos which made her sick.  So I gave Horny Goat weed herb a try but it had little or no effect.  Since I use an extract of wild lettuce for pain I figured that an extract of Horny Goat weed might work.  I came across this product by Liftmode which is 98% icariin, the active chemical in Horny Goat weed.  Well it works, I take one dose in the morning and once in the evening. The container comes with a tiny spoon that accurately measures the dosage which is 0.15cc (1/32nd Teaspoon).. It takes a few days to build up but it is affecting me both physically and mentally.  It does have some anti-depressant properties so that might be part of the activity.

Final Thoughts

Everyone is different and you may get by with one dose a day using the Liftmode product.  It costs about $37 for 5 grams.  That is about a months worth if you take one dose a day or a little over a dollar a day.  That is cheaper than Viagra.  Plus you get all these other possible benefits.  I would also take a look at the hundreds of other Horny Goat Weed products.  Check the sites that advertise on this site.  Most carry Horny Goat weed or Icariin.  It even comes sometimes in combination with other Herbs.



It seems the perfect herb for senior citizens, not just for arousal but for bone loss, Alzheimer’s, memory, and your all around health.  Don’t say I told you, tell everyone the goat you fed at the fair told you about it.!

Cheers
Ed

References

  1. Jiang Z, Hu B, Wang J, et al. (2006). “Effect of icariin on cyclic GMP levels and on the mRNA expression of cGMP-binding cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase (PDE5) in penile cavernosum”. J. Huazhong Univ. Sci. Technol. Med. Sci. 26 (4): 460–2.
  2. Ning H, Xin ZC, Lin G, Banie L, Lue TF, Lin CS (December 2006). “Effects of icariin on phosphodiesterase-5 activity in vitro and cyclic guanosine monophosphate level in cavernous smooth muscle cells”. Urology 68 (6): 1350–4
  3. Dell’Agli M, Galli GV, Dal Cero E, et al. (September 2008). “Potent inhibition of human phosphodiesterase-5 by icariin derivatives”. J. Nat. Prod. 71 (9): 1513–7..
  4. Xu HB, Huang ZQ (July 2007). “Icariin enhances endothelial nitric-oxide synthase expression on human endothelial cells in vitro”. Vascul. Pharmacol. 47 (1): 18–24.
  5. Pan Y, Kong L, Xia X, Zhang W, Xia Z, Jiang F (December 2005). “Antidepressant-like effect of icariin and its possible mechanism in mice”. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 82 (4): 686–94..
  6. Pan Y, Kong LD, Li YC, Xia X, Kung HF, Jiang FX (May 2007). “Icariin from Epimedium brevicornum attenuates chronic mild stress-induced behavioral and neuroendocrinological alterations in male Wistar rats”. Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 87 (1): 130–40.
  7. Luo Y, Nie J, Gong QH, Lu YF, Wu Q, Shi JS (August 2007). “Protective effects of icariin against learning and memory deficits induced by aluminium in rats”. Clin. Exp. Pharmacol. Physiol. 34 (8): 792–5.
  8. Yin XX, Chen ZQ, Liu ZJ, Ma QJ, Dang GT (February 2007). “Icariine stimulates proliferation and differentiation of human osteoblasts by increasing production of bone morphogenetic protein 2”. Chin. Med. J. 120 (3): 204–10.
  9. Zhang G, Qin L, Shi Y (July 2007). “Epimedium-derived phytoestrogen flavonoids exert beneficial effect on preventing bone loss in late postmenopausal women: a 24-month randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled trial”. J. Bone Miner. Res. 22 (7): 1072–9.
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Migraine Buster Wild Lettuce Tea http://edsremedies.com/?p=100 http://edsremedies.com/?p=100#respond Sat, 17 Nov 2012 23:42:38 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=100 For headaches and migraines. Only take when you have a headache or migraine. The sooner you ingest after a migraine hits the better the tea will work. WARNING: The tea is extremely bitter.

Ingredients:
Ginger tea bag (since nausea often accompanies migraines, ginger helps relieve nausea)
3/4 Cup hot water
1/4 cup of cool water (this allows you to drink it down quickly without burning the mouth)
1 level teaspoon of wild lettuce powdered extract (15X)
1 bed to lay down on

Directions:

  1. Place a ginger teabag in an empty cup
  2. Pour three quarters of a cup of hot water into the cup that contains the ginger teabag
  3. Next add one level teaspoon of wild lettuce powdered extract to the cup containing the ginger tea bag and hot water.
  4. Stir the cup for 20 to 30 seconds
  5. Add the quarter cup of cool water and mix
  6. Drink the tea fairly quickly in order to get the wild lettuce into your system

After drinking lay down on the bed for 15 to 30 minutes. By then the headache should be gone or lessoned.
May be repeated in 2 to 3 hours

Side Effects

Do not use if you are allergic to any kind lettuce.

Some individuals experience relaxation, calmness, and drowsiness. Do not take with any sedative or sleeping pill.

Since different individuals have different effects, do not operate machinery or drive a car for two hours. Most people are able to drive afterwoods. But your reaction may be different.

Warning: Do not take during pregnancy without consulting a physician.

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Catnip – It’s Not Just for Cats Anymore http://edsremedies.com/?p=92 http://edsremedies.com/?p=92#respond Sun, 29 Jan 2012 23:12:23 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=92 Nor has it been for centuries. Known scientifically as Nepeta cataria, catnip or cat mint has been used for hundreds of years by humans because of its soothing properties. It has been used for pain relief, to bring down fevers and to help get a good night’s sleep for much of recorded history. It has also been known to have a slight numbing effect. The plant has been consumed as a tea, juice, tincture, and as an infusion, and has also been smoked.

The main ingredient that makes Kitty go bonkers is called Nepetalactone. Around 50% of cats are affected since the effect is gene-linked. The chemical acts as a vapor and is inhaled by the cat. The compound only mildly affects humans as a weak sedative, anti-spasmodic, and fever reducer with some antibacterial properties. Nepetalactone also has the ability to repel cockroaches and mosquitoes. It is possible to extract this chemical by steam distillation and apply it to your skin to repel mosquitoes at your next cookout. Some studies have shown that it has stronger repelling properties than DEET. The problem is you will keep the mosquitoes away but attract all the cats in the neighborhood.

Catnip not only affects domestic cats but also some of the big cats. The common action of cats once they sense the chemical is to rub the plant, roll on the ground, purr, paw at it, and lick it. This is followed by sleepiness, leaping about and purring. Some cats may growl, meow, and scratch. There is usually a limit to the affect on cats. It is believed that the enjoyment reaches a peak and the cat usually leaves the source of the catnip. A period of time surpasses before the cat will go back for another dose.

Human uses for catnip are many and is usually taken in the form of the tea. Here are some of the known uses;

  • For headaches
  • A mild sedative
  • To relieve anxiety
  • A sleep aid
  • A fever reducer
  • A digestion aid
  • A stress reliever
  • An appetite stimulant
  • To treat colds and flu
  • To relieve inflammation
  • And as a general pain reliever

It can be given safely to children. In fact nothing reduces fever more quickly than a catnip tea enema! Yuck! Just the thought of that can make you cringe.

For minor stress and anxiety or as a night cap I recommend a tea made with 1 teaspoon of powdered catnip with 1 teaspoon of another Herb known as skullcap (Scutellia laterflolia). Add a pinch of sweetener such as Stevia herb. Or you can go solo with the catnip. Try it and you will like it. DO NOT COMSUME CATNIP SOLD AT A PET OR DEPARTMENT STORE. You only want the best for Kitty don’t you? Plus you want the top grade if you are going to give your significant other a catnip tea enema to reduce his or her fever!

The best catnip can be found at Herbal Fire Botanicals, Bouncing Bear Botanicals, or Botanical Spirit Shop. Just click on one of their icons in this website and Kitty will thank you.

Ed

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Wild Lettuce Part 2: The Plant, its History, and Uses http://edsremedies.com/?p=70 http://edsremedies.com/?p=70#respond Mon, 02 Jan 2012 20:16:34 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=70 So what is Wild lettuce? Wild lettuce is the bitter cousin to the common lettuce that you find in your local supermarket. It is sometimes added to salads containing lettuce to add a more distinct flavor. The three main species of this group of lettuce are; Lactuca virosa, Lactuca canadennis, and Lactuca serriola. Lactuca virosa is the species most commonly used as a medicinal herb. The history of Wild lettuce can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. Min, the Egyptian God of fertility, is depicted holding a flower of Wild Lettuce. The Egyptians often used this Herb as an aphrodisiac.

History

The Romans also used Wild lettuce as a medicinal herb often as an analgesic. Augustus was said to raise a statue in the honor of Wild Lettuce when his physician prescribed it to him when he was extremely ill and near death. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder also known as Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 AD – 79 AD) wrote extensively of Lactuca in his work Naturalis Historia.

Wild lettuce has been used for many years as an analgesic and antitussive agent since its modern discovery by Kore in 1792. Lactucarium, a powdered extract made from the milky fluid secreted by the plant was prescribed in Poland during the nineteenth century and was used as an alternative to opium although weaker but lacking the side effects of opium. It is described in the 1898 United States Pharmacopoeia and 1911 in the British Pharmaceutical Codex for use in lozenges, tinctures, and syrups as a sedative for irritable cough or as a mild hypnotic (sleeping aid) for insomnia. It was even prescribed to calm “irritable” children. It was produced by pharmaceutical companies until about the 1940’s.

Lactucarium is called lettuce opium because of its sedative and analgesic properties but it contains no opium or narcotics. Nor does it produce significant respiratory depression or constipation associated with opium and opium derivatives. During the early 1970s a rumour circulated throughout the country that you could extract opium from lettuce. Many flower children were disappointed when they found out it wasn’t true.

Chemical mode of Activity

The active ingredients of Lactucarium are believed to be lactucin and its derivatives lactucopicrin and -dihydrolactucin, which have been found to have analgesic activity equal or greater to that of ibuprofen in standard hot-plate and tail-flick tests of sensitivity to pain in laboratory mice. Lactucin and lactucropicrin were also found to have sedative activity in measurements of spontaneous movements of the mice.

The most interesting research is that lactucin and lactucropicrin are probable enkephalinase inhibitors. Enkephalins are the molecules that our central nervous system produces that act as natural analgesics. Enkephalinase are natural enzymes that break down enkephalins. Thus Wild lettuce acts as a enkephlin “uptake” inhibitor producing a temporary increase in the amount of the body’s own analgesics.

In the Journal Current Drug Targets an article in 2008 states that Enkephalinase inhibitors are promising therapeutic agents for the management of chronic pain since they would have anticraving, antidiarrhoeal and antidepressant actions and possess the advantage that they lack the opioid side effects of most analgesics.

Common Uses

The many known uses of Wild lettuce are:

  • Whooping cough
  • Asthma
  • Cough
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Painful menstrual periods
  • Sexual disorders
  • Muscle and Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • And of course, Headaches and Migraines

Dosage

Wild lettuce may be taken in capsules, teas, or tinctures. Fresh green leaves are sometimes added to salads. Wild lettuce may be obtained also as dried leaves, dried latex, powdered extract, or powdered Lactucarium.

Although dosage varies the following have been suggested:
Wild Lettuce cut and dried leaves, 1-2 teaspoonfuls per cup of hot water up to 3 times a day.

Herbal Tincture, Extraction Ratio 1:3, alcohol volume 45%, 2-4ml up to 3 times a day.

Dried Lactucarium powder or Extract: 5 to 20 grains or 0.3 to 1.3 grams 3 times a day.

Of course this will vary due to the extraction concentration and the condition one wants to treat. I have found that up to one teaspoon may be needed for each cup of tea. Up to 3 cups a day may be taken. Remember that the herb is very bitter and some sort of sweetener is required.

My Secret recipe for Migraines

Lactucarium powder or Wild lettuce Extract: ? to 1 teaspoon
Powered ginger root (Zingiber officinale) ? teaspoon (for nausea, and pain)
Powdered Licorice Root Glycyrrhiza glabra ? teaspoon (for nausea, and pain)
Stevia extract (from the Stevia rebaudiana plant:) One small pinch (sweetener with no calories)

At the first sign of a migraine headache or soon after, place ingredients in the bottom of a cup. Pour 8 ounces of hot water but not boiling, Boiling will reduce its effectiveness. Let it steep and stir the hot water for 2 minutes. Add 1 to 2 ounces of cool water to the cup. The will allow you to drink it rapidly without burning your mouth. After consuming the drink, lie down for 15 to 30 minutes. The symptoms should be gone or at least partially gone.

May be repeated as needed in 2 to 3 hours up to 3 cups a day. Take only when you have a migraine or head ache. It is not meant to be taken daily.

Warning: May cause doziness and euphoria. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how it affects you. Do not combine with any sedative or sleeping pill since the tea may make you drowsy. Do not take if pregnant without your doctor’s permission. Do not consume if you are under 18.

Side Effects and Interactions

Although normal dosage is very safe there are possible side effects which are:
Possible slow breathing, dizziness, sedation, and/ or drowsiness. Do not consume if pregnant or breast-feeding or if you have an allergy to ragweed. It may affect people who have an enlarged prostate or narrow angle glaucoma. Do not take within two weeks of a scheduled surgery due to possible sleepiness. As always consult a physician if you have any questions

Do not consume with CNS depressants such as clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital Ambien), and others.
Where to Purchase the best Wild Lettuce (Lactucarium Powder)

Ginger root, licorice root, and Stevia may be purchased at;

And other fine on-line herb stores.

References

  1. http://www.botany.com/lactuca.html
  2. http://abc.net.au/science/news/stories/s1403295.htm
  3. Wikipedia//Lactucarium
  4. http://www. wildletuce.com
  5. Lactucarium, A Condensed Latex from Lactuca virosa L. Inhibits the Activity of NEP – I. Funke, M. F. Melzig Institut für Pharmazie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Goethestr. 54, 13086 Berlin, Germany.
  6. Analgesic and Sedative Activities of Lactucin and some Lactucin-like guaianolides in mice
    A. Weso?owskaa, A. Nikiforuka, K. Michalskab, W. Kisielb, E. Chojnacka-Wójcika
  7. Department of New Drugs Research, Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 12 Smetna Str., 31-343 Krakow, Poland, March 2006.
  8. Enkephalinase inhibitors: potential agents for the management of pain. Thanawala V, Kadam VJ, Department of Pharmacology, Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Pharmacy, Sector 8, CBD Belapur, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 2008.
  9. Web MD
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Wild Lettuce Part 1: The Big Game Changer http://edsremedies.com/?p=150 http://edsremedies.com/?p=150#respond Fri, 11 Nov 2011 04:17:35 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=150 (This article is dedicated to my neurologist, James Gilbert, M.D., who faithfully put up with me as a terrible complaining migraine patient for over 40 years)

Yes, wild lettuce was my big health game changer. This Gateway herb opened up the world of Herbs for me. After many years of doubt, this lowly herb was my salvation.

As stated in my Ginger article, my first impression of herbs was not positive. I thought they were just placebos. I purchased the well known book “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” The 4th Edition by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. It was a couple of years before I even began reading it. When I did finally start reading the book I would look up in the Index “Ailments” such as “Migraines” and investigate listed herbs just as most would do. A very common herb mentioned for migraines is “Feverfew”. It had no effect on me and I even tried a few other common migraine herbs such as “Butterbur’ and “Chamomile”. No effect! I was discouraged!

But my breakthrough came was when instead of researching under “Ailments” I began researching under treatments for the symptoms of Ailments. I looked under “Pain and Nausea’ instead of “Headaches and Migraines”.

Searching for a treatment for the most important symptom of Migraines which is pain lead me to Wild lettuce and scores of others. To paraphrase the famous Robert Frost poem, taking the “less travelled path” which was researching the symptoms and not the disease made all the difference for me. Using wild lettuce to treat migraines is not well known or researched. But it is used for pain. Under the chapter on “Pain Control” in “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” was a section on herbs for pain which stated “Hops, Kava kava, passion flower, valerian root, wild lettuce, and wood betony have muscle-relaxing properties and may help to relieve back pain.”

By Google-ing “Wild lettuce” I found wildlettuce.com which sells wild lettuce in a number of forms including the dried herb, a resin, an extract, and as an oil. I have found the 15X extract as most effective to treat my acute attacks. Making warm tea out of one teaspoon of powered 15X wild lettuce extract, half a teaspoon of powered ginger root, and a little pinch of the herb Stevia (to counteract the bitterness of the wild lettuce) will usually stop my migraine attacks in about 30 minutes of resting after drinking the tea.

I have now a large arsenal of various herbs not only for my migraines but also for my wife’s arthritis, asthma, diabetes and also for occasional depression, anxiety, fatigue, and other symptoms which I plan to share with you on this website.
Not every herb is effective for everybody. Some will work for you but not for me. Other times symptoms may be severe and require a different herb or a combination. Sometimes a herb may work well for a period of time and stop working. There is also the issue of tolerance for some herbs. Tolerance means you need more and more of the herb to get the same effect. That is why it is good to have several herbs available just in case. This is particularly true for any pain ailmentAlthough most of the herbs I plan to discuss are relatively safe, they may not be safe in larger amounts. REMEMBER: HERBS ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN PHARMACEUTICALS. They can be toxic particularly in large amounts. There are reports in the literature that some herbs may be habit forming to some degree in large doses after long periods of time. Wormwood comes to mind.
In “Wild Lettuce” Part 2, I will discuss the plant, its harvest, preparation, and colorful history.

References:

  1. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing” The 4th Edition by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.
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NRG Weight Loss Tea http://edsremedies.com/?p=65 http://edsremedies.com/?p=65#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2011 20:10:48 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=65 For energy and weight loss. All natural plant ingredients from around the world. Consists of my own Proprietary Blend of herbs:

Ingredients:
1/4 teaspoon Acai Berry Extract (Euterpe oleracea) Berries from South America
1/4 teaspoon Green tea (Camellia sinensis) Teas from Japan
1/4 teaspoon Guarana seed powder (Paullinia cupana) Seeds from Brazil
1/4 teaspoon Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii) Cactus from Southwest Africa.
1/4 teaspoon Rhodia Root powder (Rhodiola rosa) Roots from Russia
1 pinch Stevia extract (Stevia rebaudiana) leaves from Paraguay
1/4 teaspoon Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) leaves from Argentina

Directions:
Take one cup early in the morning and take one in the afternoon for no more than 2 cups a day. Do not take before bedtime since it may prevent sleep. Try to restrict your intake of coffee, tea, or caffeinated sodas when taking this product. Do not consume if pregnant without first consulting your physician.

Enjoy!

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Maeng Da Kratom Pain Buster Tea http://edsremedies.com/?p=63 http://edsremedies.com/?p=63#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2011 20:08:11 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=63 For Pain (migraine, backache, neck, arthritis). All natural plant ingredients from around the world. Consists of my own Proprietary Blend of herbs:

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon Kratom Leaf Powder (Maeng Da strain) (Mitragyna speciosa) (Maeng Da means “Pimp grade”)
1/2 teaspoon Powered ginger root (Zingiber officinale) (for nausea, and pain)
1 pinch Stevia extract (Stevia rebaudiana plant) (sugar-like sweetener with no calories)

Directions:
At the first sign of a migraine headache or soon after, place all the ingredients in the bottom of a cup. Pour 8 ounces of hot water but not boiling on top of the tea bag. Boiling will reduce its effectiveness. Let it steep and stir the hot water and Tea bag for 2 minutes. Add 1 to 2 ounces of cool water to the cup. The will allow you to drink it rapidly without burning you mouth. After consuming the drink, lie down for 15 to 30 minutes. The symptoms should be gone or at least partially gone.

May be repeated as needed in 6 hours. Take only when you have a migraine or head ache. It is not meant to be taken daily. A coffee-like addiction may occur if taken frequently. Thus take only when needed.

Warning: May cause drowziness and euphoria. Do not drive a car or operate machinery until you know how it affects you. Do not combine with any sedative or sleeping pill since the tea may make you drowsy. May cause insomnia, do not take before bedtime. Do not take if pregnant without your doctor’s permission. No one under 18 years of age should consume any teas discussed. All ingredients are not for human consumption. They are listed only for historic, educational, and research purposes.

Enjoy!

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Ginger – One of Nature’s Miracle Herbs http://edsremedies.com/?p=13 http://edsremedies.com/?p=13#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:42:48 +0000 http://edsremedies.com/?p=13 Everyone can remember an episode when they were young and were hit by that awful upset stomach. It may have been too much popcorn, one too many rides on the Ferris wheel, or the infamous 24 hour grip. Unfortunately for many children and adults it’s not just an occasional occurrence. For some it can be an almost daily event, quickly taking all the fun out of your life and reducing you to a quivering hunk of flesh.

Whether it is motion sickness, sea sickness, air sickness, migraines, severe headaches or some underlining disease, nausea can ruin any good time and take you completely out of the action; whether it is an air flight, an amusement park, fishing or even at work.

I was plagued by nausea often when I was young. A trip to the amusement Park would often end in horror. Some ride you enjoyed made you sick. And it wasn’t bad enough that you felt miserable, you had to put up with the taunts of your friends calling you a “wimp”. Even to this day riding in the back seat of a car would make me sick. I would even get sick performing summersaults in Gym class. Of course more acquisitions of being a:”wimp” followed those occurrences. Then at 12 I began to have severe migraines which were usually accompanied by nausea. These headaches have plagued me my entire lifetime. No underlining disease was ever found. I was otherwise healthy but had an incurable chronic disabling condition.

I always enjoyed fishing, particularly deep sea fishing. But it was always anywhere from a 50 to 75 percent chance that I would get violently ill half way through the trip.
Oh yes I tried all the over the counter medicine and also tried those prescription behind the ear patches to no avail.

One fishing trip out of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, the captain, John Greenleaf, a commercial fisherman, suggested that I try ginger root. He said that you have to take a fair amount; enough so that when you burp, you test nothing but ginger. Since the Captain is one of my heroes, I gave it a try. It worked fantastic! Now I want to be truthful, it did not make every future trip nausea free, but I was able to reduce the occurrences to about 25 percent of the time. Even the times I did get sick after taking ginger, it was to a much less a degree, and often I was able to return to fishing after relaxing for a period of time.

This began my investigation with herbs. I still at that time thought treatments with herbs was nothing but a placebo. I had tried a number of alternative treatments for my migraines; acupuncture, acupressure, bio-feedback, TENS, chiropractor, and others with absolutely no success. So I was suspicious.

But my wife mentioned that her hairdresser suggested that I try herbs for my migraines and nausea. It seems that the hairdresser was at her wits end with her son who had severe asthma. She was bringing her son to the emergency room at least twice a month for asthma attacks. She gave some herbs a try. She hasn’t been back to the emergency room yet.

Then once peering over the Internet I came across an interesting site called wildlettuce.com. I decided to order some wild lettuce extract. It was a serious game changer in my life. I haven’t looked back since.

First of all, I want to stress that this is not a website against western medicine. I strongly encourage you to continue to see your doctors. I consider herbs an important adjunct to medical treatments. In fact I stress above all to NOTIFY YOUR PHYSICIAN THAT YOU ARE CONSIDERING USING HERBS. He or she will know if any particular herb may interfere with any of your medications. Do not take any herb without notifying your physician if you are pregnant. And finally when you do use herbs to treat disease, always treat herbs as if they are medications. Take the proper dosage. And remember that although they are natural, many herbs have side effects just like pharmaceuticals.

I will talk more about The Miracle of Wild Lettuce in the near future.

Now some important information about ginger

Ginger is the underground root, or rhizome, of the plant Zingiber officinale and has been used as a medicine since ancient times. In China ginger has been used to treat nausea for more than 2,000 years. Ginger has also been used to help treat arthritis, diarrhea, fatigue, fever colds, flu, headaches, and menstrual distress. In addition to these medicinal uses, ginger continues to be used around the world as a cooking spice.

Today many people including both herbologists and medical personnel commonly recommend ginger to help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting associated with motion sickness, pregnancy, and cancer chemotherapy. It is used to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and may even be used in heart disease or cancer.

Motion Sickness

Several studies including both sailors and non-sailors suggest that ginger may be more effective than placebo in reducing symptoms associated with motion sickness. Although one small study suggested that conventional prescription and nonprescription medicines that decrease nausea are more effective these drugs may also cause unwanted side effects, such as dry mouth and drowsiness. Given the safety of ginger, I and others welcome the ginger alternative to these medications to relieve motion sickness.

Other Uses for ginger

One study suggested that 1 gram daily of ginger may be safe and effective for pregnancy-associated nausea and vomiting when used for no longer than 4 days. A few studies have shown that ginger reduces the severity and duration of nausea during chemotherapy.

Ginger has also been used for inflammation such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and ulcerative colitis.
Some studies suggest that ginger may be used for lowering cholesterol, prevent blood clotting, and aid atherosclerosis

Forms of Ginger

Ginger is available as whole roots, extracts, tinctures, capsules, and oils. All supermarkets sell fresh ginger root. Ginger of course is found in ginger bread, ginger snaps, and some ginger ale. Unfortunately your grandmother would be disappointed these days since her old remedy for an upset stomach, ginger ale, no longer contains any real ginger. Most large bottlers of ginger ale use ginger flavorings instead of real ginger root, although some micro brewers still use real ginger. So taking a bottle of ginger ale on a fishing trip will not cut it.

Dosages

Ginger should not be used by children under 2 years of age.

Adult Dose:

Ginger intake should not exceed 4 grams (powered) daily.

For nausea and indigestion: 2 grams of freshly grated root, 1 g of powdered root, or 2 ml of liquid extract every 4 hours as needed but not to exceed 4 grams a day. If used as a preventive medicine, take first dose at least one hour before boat, plane, car, or amusement ride. Repeat only if needed every 4 hours but not to exceed 4 grams a day.

For Children:

Please consult your physician for dosage

For arthritis pain:

Take 2 – 4 grams daily. Ginger oil may also be rubbed into a painful joint. Fresh ginger root may also be placed in a compress and applied to areas of inflammation.

For colds, flu, sore throat, headache, or menstrual cramps:

Place 2 tablespoons of freshly ground ginger root and add 8 once of hot water and drink as a tea.

Precautions/side effects:

Always consult a physician before using any herb.

Large dosages my cause belching, heartburn, or stomach upset. People with gallstones should consult a doctor before taking ginger. Make sure you notify your doctor if you are taking ginger and are having surgery or anesthesia. As with most herbs, do not take ginger if you are taking blood-thinning medications, including aspirin.

An Important tidbit:

If taking ginger by capsules for nausea, when you place both capsules in your mouth, bite down on one capsule, and then swallow both with water. By doing this you will release ginger that will quickly coat your stomach and bring relief faster.

Research/References

  1. Complementary Medicine | http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed
  2. Awang DVC. Ginger. Can Pharma J. 1992:309–311.
  3. Bhandari U, Sharma JN, Zafar R. The protective action of ethanolic ginger (Zingiber officinale) extract in cholesterol fed rabbits. J Ethnopharm. 1998;61(2):167-171.
  4. Bone ME, Wilkinson DJ, Young JR, McNeil J, Charlton S. Ginger root–a new antiemetic. The effect of ginger root on postoperative nausea and vomiting after major gynecological surgery. Anaesthesia. 1990;45(8):669-71.
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