Herbal Medicine Echinacea


Echinacea is a genus, or group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. The species of Echinacea are commonly called coneflowers. They have large, showy heads of composite flowers, blooming the entire summer. These flowering plants and their parts have different uses. Some species are cultivated in gardens for their showy flowers. Echinacea is an herb that is native to areas east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. It is also grown in western States, as well as in Canada and Europe. Several species of the echinacea plant are used to make medicine from its leaves, flower, and root. Echinacea was used in traditional herbal remedies by the Great Plains Indian tribes. Echinacea is a common ingredient in cold remedies.

There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to North America. Out of nine, three are ingredients in herbal remedies: E. angustifolia, which has narrow petals, E. pallida, which has pale petals, E. purpurea, which has purple petals. Commercially available echinacea products come in many forms including tablets, juice, and tea. Promoters of Echinacea believe that the supplement boosts the immune system and can reduce symptoms of infections and other illnesses. However, researchers have yet to confirm that it provides these benefits. Echinacea preparations have been promoted for topical use (application to the skin) for wounds and skin problems.

Echinacea seems to activate chemicals in the body that decrease inflammation, which might reduce cold and flu symptoms. Laboratory research suggests that echinacea can stimulate the body's immune system, but there is no evidence that this occurs in people. Echinacea also seems to contain some chemicals that can attack yeast and other kinds of fungi directly. For most adults, short-term oral (by mouth) use of echinacea is probably safe; the safety of long-term use is uncertain. Today, people around the world use products that contain Echinacea to support the treatment of a range of illnesses, including: coughs and colds, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, gingivitis, influenza, canker sores, yeast infections, ear infections, vaginitis, some inflammatory conditions, HIV and AIDS. Also, some people use Echinacea to help wounds heal. People can find Echinacea fresh or dried, sometimes in teas, as a dietary supplement, in pills, as a preparation to apply to the skin, squeezed, as juice and as an extract, in capsules.

The side effects of Echinacea may include fever, nausea, vomiting, bad taste, stomach pain, diarrhea, sore throat, dry mouth, headache, numbness of the tongue, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, a disoriented feeling, and joint and muscle aches. In rare cases, echinacea has been reported to cause inflammation of the liver while medicine is taken orally. Echinacea is most likely to cause allergic reactions in children and adults who are allergic to ragweed, mums, marigolds, or daisies. People with an inherited tendency toward allergies (atopy) are more likely to develop an allergic reaction to echinacea. It's best to avoid exposure to Echinacea if you have this condition. Auto-immune disorders such as such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a skin disorder called pemphigus vulgaris, or others might have an effect on the immune system that could make these conditions worse.

Submit manuscript at https://www.scholarscentral.org/submissions/traditional-medicine-clinical-naturopathy.html or send as an e-mail attachment to the Editorial Office at jtmcn@emedscholar.com

Clinical values of Valerian Herb

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis, Caprifoliaceae) is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe and Asia. In the summer when the mature plant may have a height of 1.5 metres (5 ft.), it bears sweetly scented pink or white flowers that attract many fly species, especially hoverflies of the genus Eristalis. It is consumed as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species, including the grey pug. Valerian root is often referred to as “nature’s Valium.” In fact, this herb has been used since ancient times to promote tranquility and improve sleep. Flowers from the valerian plant were used to make perfume centuries ago, and the root portion has been used in traditional medicine for at least 2,000 years. Unlike its delicately scented flowers, valerian root has a very strong, earthy odor due to the volatile oils and other compounds responsible for its sedative effects.

Valerian root extract is available as a supplement in capsule or liquid form. It can also be consumed as a tea. Valerian is most commonly used for sleep disorders, especially the inability to sleep. Valerian is also used orally for anxiety and psychological stress, but there is limited scientific research to support these uses. Valerian seems to act like a sedative on the brain and nervous system. Possible effects can be seen for Insomnia and Menopause patients. Despite valerian’s observed gentleness, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are advised to avoid it because no studies have been carried out on the potential risks of valerian to a fetus or an infant. Children under 3 years old should not be given valerian either as its effects on early development have not been evaluated.

Valerian seems to be most effective after you take it regularly for two or more weeks. Because dosages varied in studies involving valerian and some studies weren't rigorous, it's not clear what dose is most effective or for how long you should take a particular dose. Although valerian is thought to be fairly safe, side effects such as headache, dizziness, stomach problems or sleeplessness may occur. Valerian may not be safe if you're pregnant or breast-feeding. And it has not been evaluated to determine if it's safe for children under 3 years old. If you have liver disease, avoid taking valerian as it can show major side effects. And because valerian can make you drowsy, avoid driving or operating dangerous machinery after taking it.

Valerian may increase the effects of other sleep aids. It also increases the sedative effect of depressants, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines and narcotics. Valerian can interfere with some prescription medications. And it may interact with other dietary supplements, such as St. John's wort. Because the compounds in valerian produce central nervous system depression, they should not be used with other depressants, such as ethanol (drinking alcohol), benzodiazepines, barbiturates, opiates, kava, or antihistamine drugs. Although no liver problems are normally encountered with valerian use, there have been case studies in which hepatotoxicity has been observed in apparently hypersensitive individuals following short-term use.

Submit manuscript at https://www.scholarscentral.org/submissions/traditional-medicine-clinical-naturopathy.html or send as an e-mail attachment to the Editorial Office at jtmcn@emedscholar.com