The top 9 herbs used for treating Dis-ease. Which medications are created from plants and the research that supports their use.
Do not miss these highlights:
01:56 What is Ivermectin and how has it been used?
03:26 Antibacterial or Anti Parasitical actually have Antiviral properties to them.
05:49 The history of plant medicine has been available to us for 1000s of years.
07:13 A plant comes with different chemical compounds, when you manipulate it and remove one active compound, it’s no longer intact, and we can have more side effects.
08:57 Several other recent plant-derived chemicals or compounds have undergone development and have been marketed as drugs.
10:56 Few examples of drugs that have been created by nature over the last several decades.
13:08 Having an understanding of which plant to use is vital to the treatment of disease and accessing really high-quality plants and good manufacture and storage is critical.
17:46 Echinacea – What it treats and how to find a good quality of it.
20:54 Ginseng and its several varieties.
23:20 Ginkgo Biloba has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 1000s of years and remains a top-selling herbal supplement today.
25:23 Elderberry & St. John’s Wort – What it treats and its safety uses.
27:53 Turmeric, Ginger, Valerian & Chamomile – What it treats and its safety uses.
Whether you are recovering from an illness or just looking to maintain your current overall health, schedule a consult with us at Serenity Health Care by calling (262)522-8640 or visit https://www.serenityhealthcarecenter.com
Transcript of Episode 188
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging and live our lives on our own terms. Welcome back to Let’s Talk Wellness Now I’m your host, Dr. Deb. And today we’re going to talk about essential medicines that come from flowering plants. Did you know that 11% of the WHO List of 252 essential medicines were from flowering plants, professor, Dr. City, and I’m going to not say this name properly Vera Sham, wrote in a 2012 paper nature, the master craftsman created almost an index array of molecular entities. It is an infinite resource for drug development, novel chemo types and pharmacophores that can create efficacious drugs for many diseases and other bio active agents. I think this is really interesting, because you know, we’ve been talking about plant based medicines for 1000s of years. In the alternative world, we use a lot of plants to treat different conditions. And we now finally have somebody saying, look, the majority of our plants have come or the the majority of medicines have come from plants for a very long time. And they’re very useful. And they’re admitting that these things have power, and they can actually do things. Now unfortunately, they will say that they need to be manipulated in order to be effective, but that’s not the case. So let’s go on and talk a little bit more about this study that was produced. Dr. O’Meara spent most of his career scouring nature for useful molecules. ivermectin was just one of the many drugs he actually discovered. It was used to treat river blindness, elephantitis, and flavor viruses along with tick borne encephalitis, dengue fever, a lot of different things. Now, I’ve been treating tick borne diseases. for about 18 years now. ivermectin has been one of the medications that we have used for a very long time in treating tick borne illnesses, using it very safely, very effectively, with very minimal complications from it. So this is really interesting to read some of his research as it’s come out. It’s also been demonstrated to be a broad spectrum inhibitor against several RNA viruses by blocking viral proteins. It’s also been shown to have a potent antiviral action against HIV one. Yes, honestly, HIV, this is not in the mainstream. Now, this is a study that goes back to 2012. And we can assume that he is known about this much longer than that. And I remember many years ago, and you’ve those of you who listen to me, you’ve heard me say this before. There’s many things that we’ve used that we didn’t understand were antiviral until the whole COVID flare up. And now we’re starting to realize that a lot of the drugs that we thought were antibacterial or anti parasitical, actually have antiviral properties to them. And that’s why when we treat patients with ivermectin and doxycycline, and is that through myosin and some of these other meds for different conditions, they don’t get typical flu viruses or they don’t get typical colds because they have that antiviral component to them.
So ivermectin is very inexpensive and with a top safety profile obtained from ready for this one guys. 250 million doses given annually for decades, yes, 250 million doses, given annually for decades. And this is why Monash decided to investigate it for the possibility against COVID. And until recently, plants were an important source of novel pharmacological activity, compounds with many blockbuster drugs, being derived directly or indirectly from plants. And despite the current preoccupation with synthetic chemistry as a vehicle to discover and manufacture drugs, the contribution of plants to disease treatment and prevention is still enormous. Even at the dawn of the 21st century. 11% of the 252 essential drugs on the WH o database come from plants. This is a really big because when we talk about plants being our medicine or food being medicine, this is actually true in the conventional world, it’s just that the majority of the practitioners prescribing these drugs do not realize that they came from plant sources to begin with. It’s just very simple that way. Now, up to 50% of the approved drugs during the last 30 years are from either directly or indirectly from natural products and in an area of cancer over the timeframe from about the 1940s to date of the 175 small molecules 85 actually being either natural products or directly derived from a natural plant or product. You know, the history of plant medicine has been available to us for 1000s of years. The plant derived compounds have a long history of clinical use, better patient tolerance and acceptance. And to date 35,000 to 70,000 different plant species have been screened for medicinal use. This is a lot of plants, and a lot of plants that could turn into potential drugs down the road. Now we want to remember that a natural substance cannot be patented. So if it cannot be patented, how do we get it to be a drug? Well, let’s talk about that a little bit. So there’s a study thumb from fabricant and Farnsworth from 2001. And they reported that 80% of 122, plant derived drugs were related to their original ethnopharmacological purposes. And current practices for creating medicines for plants work by isolating a specific molecule. This is how they’re allowed to patent it, they can isolate a particular molecule inside the plant, extract that out and say, This is the active ingredient, this is what’s actually working. Now, we all know
that that’s not true. When you have a plant, a plant comes with a lot of different properties, and a lot of different chemical compounds. They were derived in nature to work a very specific way, when you manipulate that, and you remove one active compound from it and say, here’s the saving grace, here’s the here’s the ingredient that works, but the rest of the plant doesn’t really matter. God doesn’t work that way, right, he creates everything for a reason. And so that’s why when we extract things out, we can have more side effects, we can have more complications, we can have new diseases occur, because we thought we were smarter than God, and that plant has a complete compound in itself intact. But when we manipulate that it’s no longer intact. Many of our cancer drugs have been derived from plant based substances using this very specific process. Now, the first pure, commercially made drug from plants now pure meaning in its whole form, nothing manipulated, was actually morphine. And that was created back in 1826. The next semi synthetic drug was produced by bear and that was aspirin in 1899. And we say it’s a semi synthetic drug because it’s not completely taken from its whole, it’s been manipulated. Now, these drugs actually lead to other compounds from nature being isolated and created into early drugs such as cocaine, codeine, digitoxin, quinine, and pilocarpine. And which some are still in use today. And several other recent plant derived chemicals or compounds have undergone development and have been marketed as drugs, which include perhaps the tussle and taxes for lung and ovarian as well as breast cancer Artemesia, which is from a traditional Chinese plant Artemi Xion or Artemesia, you’ll call them two different things are used to combat multi drug resistant malaria, and you can buy artemisia or Artemisian as a whole plant instead of taking it as a commercially available drug. silymarin, which is also known as known as milk thistle in our world was extracted from the seeds of Silybum and for the treatment of liver diseases, so we will often use milk thistle or silly margarine to help clear toxins from the liver to help get rid of excess hormones from the liver. If somebody’s liver is struggling to clear toxins, we will give them silymarin or milk thistle as well. You can also use this to help you sleep. A lot of times when people wake in the middle of the night between one and three o’clock, it’s because their liver is dumping toxins. And when it does that, it can struggle sometimes. And so if you take silymarin or milk thistle at night before you go to bed, because you have this condition of sleep, it can help your liver process things better. Now, you want to be really careful taking milk thistle or silymarin, because if you’re using other medications or other products that are processing through the liver, you don’t want them to be processed through the liver too quickly because you won’t get the full benefit of them. So make sure you’re working with a knowledgeable practitioner, before you take these products and make sure you’re taking them away from medications or other supplements that you need to take so you have the full benefit and safety profile from them. Now there’s growing evidence that shows old molecules are finding new applications as well through better understanding of molecular biology and clinical observation, for instance, that alkaloids and forskolin, from coleus, and other phytochemicals from Stephania, are now being rediscovered to use as nitric oxide activators which can help in preventing conditions including things like obesity, arterial sclerosis, so heart disease, and actually hypertension these can be used in as well.
Galantamine is a natural alkaloid and this has been used for Alzheimer’s disease morphine is a semi synthetic compound derived from morphine, and this is used in Parkinson’s disease. We know that atropine is from a tropa Bella Donna used for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. And Bella Donna is often looked at as a homeopathic remedy. There’s also different cannabidiol cannabinoids that are obtained from cannabis plants, especially the sativas. And the capsaicin, and their active compounds from cascate bone are used as pain relievers as well either as oral or as topicals. These are just a few examples of drugs that have been created by nature over the last several decades.
We know natural products discovered so far have played a vital role in improving health, and have been the drugs of choice despite facing tough competition from compounds derived from different chemical backgrounds. And due to their safety and efficacy. Most of the striking features of natural products in connection for their long lasting importance of drug discovery is revitalization of natural products, bringing newer challenges with respect to quality control standardization, along with cost effectiveness. This is true for finding high quality supplements as well. Finding high quality pure products has been a real challenge in our industry, because there’s a lot of knock offs, there’s a lot of people trying to make a lot of money out of selling something that maybe isn’t actually what you’re getting in your bottle, you need to work with manufacturers of supplements that actually test their products for quality. They test their raw materials, we only recommend companies that goes through rigorous testing, not just testing their raw materials at the top of their bin, the middle of the bin and their bottom of their bin. But they test all of the bins, not just one, because they know that manufacturers or I shouldn’t say manufacturers, it’s actually the people who supply the manufacturer with a product. But there are some that are not very, how would I say legitimate or on the up and up to be nice. And so they know you’re going to test a barrel, and they’re going to bring one barrel to you say here are tested. And some companies will only test the top of the barrel. And so they’ll put their best ingredients at the top of the barrel, they’ll put their lower qualities at the bottom of the barrel. And they may not even put any high quality product in any of your other barrels because they don’t think you’re going to test those. So we only work with companies that test every single barrel of their raw materials. And not only are they testing it for, for it to say it is what it is right that it’s if you’re buying akinesia it’s akinesia throughout the whole barrel, but they’re also then testing it for heavy metals and chemicals and other contaminants so that they know that the product that they’re producing, and they’re providing to the public is safe and it is what it is. So if it says it’s akinesia it is akinesia and if it says it’s akinesia route, it is eCognition route, not the plant or not the stem are not the flower. That’s all really important because different parts of the plants do different things and they perform differently. So using a part of a root for one condition, we may use the stem or the flower for a completely different condition. And that may be why you’re using some products and not finding that you’re getting the results that you want, it could potentially be that what you’re actually using isn’t actually what you think it is. Having an understanding of which plant to use is vital to the treatment of disease and accessing really high quality plants and good manufacture and storage is critical. There are companies, unfortunately, that will sell products beyond the expiry date, oftentimes, you’ll find this on Amazon, Amazon will allow people to sell things and when you get it, it’s not what you thought it was. And B it may be expired, or it’s very close to the expiry date, that can be a big problem. We’ve had patients that have bought product from us and then bought what they thought was the exact same product on Amazon, only to get it and bring them in and have them say this doesn’t smell the same, it doesn’t taste the same, it doesn’t look the same, the bottle is the same, the labeling is the same, but the product inside of it is different. And they’re looking for a place where they could test it to say is this truly what it is. And the only way you could do that is send it back to the company that’s manufacturing it and ask them to test it and let them know where you purchased it from. But most very high end quality, what we call nutraceutical grade companies. So that’s the equivalent of a pharmaceutical company. They do not allow their products to be sold on Amazon. And they will look for those people who are selling on Amazon and they will eliminate them. They only allow products to be sold on very specific websites, like full script or whole scripts, something like that. But they do not allow the sale on Amazon itself. I think understanding this plant based medicine is critical to the outcomes of any disease that you’re trying to treat. So it’s important to work with someone who understands plant based medicine. Now I want to take a look at the top nine, or the most popular nine herbs and some of their safety statuses. Because these are the ones that people use the most in alternative medicine and it’s probably the the ones that you guys are most familiar with using. And we’re going to talk a little bit about what they are, how they’re used, what are some of the side effects and some safety that you need to be concerned about with some of these products. So the first herb is eficacia most of us all know Echinacea. It comes from the Purple coneflower. So if you’ve ever seen purple coneflowers flowering, and if you have some of them in your yard, that’s actually akinesia that’s where it comes from. It is a very popular herbal remedy. It’s originally from North America, and it’s been used in Native American practices to treat wounds, burns, toothaches, sore throats upset stomachs, it can treat a lot of different things. The one thing about good akinesia is it should make your mouth tingle. So if you’re using a liquid, when you take it, it should cause a little bit of a tingling sensation in the mouth. If it doesn’t, then you don’t have a good quality Echinacea or you don’t have the right form of Echinacea.
Most parts of this particular plant including the leaves, the petals and the roots can be used medicinally although each one is used differently for different ailments. Echinacea can also be taken as a tea or as a capsule. And you could also make a salve out of it and apply it topically like an antibiotic ointment and you can make an antibacterial salve out of akinesia. Today, its most common use is for the common cold. And the science behind this is very, very good. It’s used primarily for infection. It can be used to treat other infections like Lyme disease or strep throat, things like that. But the common cold is probably the biggest one that it’s known for. One review shows over 4000 people found a potential reduction from colds and flus by anywhere between 10 and 20%. So this is really good evidence that it’s good. Now there’s a lot of controversy out there with akinesia about whether or not it can be used long term and should it only be used short term. Well, that myth of only being used short term has been debunked many many years ago. I would say it was debunked well over 20 years ago but we’re still in carrying that stigma around with Echinacea and Echinacea is okay to use long term. Most people will use it short term for a cold or flu. They’ll use it for seven to 10 days, and then they’re done. Although Echinacea can be used long term, it is very potent and then very powerful. I like to save it for acute use unless somebody’s really, really sick and we’re treating something like Lyme disease or pan’s pandas, which is a chronic strep infection, things like that, then I’ll use it long term, but otherwise, I like to use it short term. And as a preventative, I’d rather use something like Astragalus and Astragalus we’ve used for a very long time in my practice well over 25 years for teachers, because they’re exposed to so many viruses, we will give that to them to use as a preventative in the school so that they don’t get quite so many colds and flus. Ginseng is probably one of my favorite herbs. It is a medicinal plant that we usually use the root and it’s steeped as a tea or it can be dried and made into a powder. It’s a very traditional Chinese medicine used to reduce inflammation, increase immunity, help with cognitive function and increasing your energy levels. There are several different varieties of ginseng. There’s the Asian form and the American form. There’s Panax ginseng, Panax. I never say this word right quinquefolius, respectively, american ginseng, so it’s thought to cultivate a relaxation while Asian ginseng is considered to be stimulating. So if you take Asian ginseng and you get too much of a lift of energy, or you get kind of that nervous energy, then I would look to use more of the American Ginseng because it’s just a little bit more calming, a little bit more soothing. Now, if you drive in the Midwest, here in Wisconsin, there are a lot of ginseng farms where people are growing ginseng. And it’s a very popular thing because ginseng is we’re losing a lot of it right? A lot is being used, but it takes a very long time to cultivate good ginseng, it can take upwards of 10 years to create a route from ginseng that’s actually usable in the medicinal world. So when you’re buying good ginseng, it’s going to be expensive. And that’s why it’s expensive is because it takes so long to repopulate. It’s not something we can plant year after year after year and get a harvest we have to wait 10 years after you plant a seed to get a harvest out of it. Now ginseng has been used for centuries. Modern research does support its efficacy. It’s considered an herbal remedy frequently used by the trained traditional Chinese medicine which we’ve talked about, but it does also have blood thinning properties to it. So you need to be cautious with this if you’re using other blood thinners or if you are going to have surgery. You want to stop this about a week to 10 days prior to surgery. So you don’t have too much bleeding post surgical procedure. That’s a really important thing to know with ginseng. Number three is ginkgo biloba. Gingko biloba also known as kinkel. It’s an herbal medicine derived from the maidenhair tree. It’s native to China. gingko has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for 1000s of years and remains a top selling herbal supplement today. It contains a variety of very strong antioxidants and are thought to provide several benefits. If you notice a lot of our top herbs come from traditional Chinese medicine. And so there’s a lot of people that are like I don’t want to use Chinese medicine. I’m afraid of it. I don’t know it. We do know a lot about Chinese medicine. It is safe again as long as you’re getting high quality products and you’re working with someone who really understands the use of these herbs. Now in Ginko, the seeds and the leaves are traditionally used to make teas and tinctures and use it as a leaf extract. It can also be dried and put into a capsule. And many people actually enjoy eating the raw food, the raw fruit part of it and toasting the seeds. The seeds are mildly toxic, so you do need to be careful with this and only eat very small quality quantities if you’re going to eat them at all.
It gingko has a wide range of conditions that it can treat including things like heart disease, dementia, mental difficulties, so focused concentration, that short term memory issue. It also can help with sexual dysfunction because it opens the blood vessels and allows more blood to flow through. So that is is really good, it is safe. It is effective. It’s well tolerated by most people. But some people do get side effects from it including things like headaches or heart palpitations. Some people will get digestive issues or skin reactions and it is a blood thinner so you do have to be careful with bleeding and be cautious if you’re using anything else that thins the blood. Now, elderberry is a great herb elderberries, an ancient herbal medicine made and cooked from the fruit of the sambucus tree. It’s been used to relieve headaches and nerve pain and to vaches holds viruses and believe it or not constipation. Today is primarily marketed as a treatment for cold and flu. We know elderberry to take when we get sick. You take it as a cough syrup. You can take it as a sublingual tablet, maybe you take it as a capsule, but it does have other benefits to it, especially the nerve pain benefit. Elderberry is also available in a syrup or a lozenge like I said, and there’s no standardized dosing, so some people prefer to make their own syrup or tea by cooking elderberries with other ingredients including things like honey or ginger, and these can be harvested directly from an elderberry tree if you have them growing naturally on your property.
Number five is St. John’s Wort St. John’s wort is an herbal medicine derived from the flowering plant of the Hypericum perforatum Plant. It’s small yellow flowers and they’re commonly used to make teas capsules or extracts. It can also be traced back to ancient Greece and St. John’s wort is still frequently prescribed by medical professionals in parts of Europe. Historically, it was used to aid in wound healing and alleviate insomnia, depression, and various kidney and lung diseases. Today, it’s largely prescribed to treat mild depression. St. John’s Wort has relatively few side effects but can cause allergic reactions such as dizziness, confusion, dry mouth and increased light sensitivity. Now, it also interferes with many different medications including antidepressants, birth control pills, blood thinners, certain pain medications, and some cancer treatments. So you want to be very cautious with St. John’s wort. Don’t ever use it if you’re taking another antidepressant unless you’re working with a qualified practitioner who was prescribed this before you can develop something called serotonin syndrome and that could land you in the hospital. It can also reduce the effectiveness of your birth control. So you want to be really cautious with that as well. Number six is turmeric. Turmeric is an herb that belongs to the ginger family. It’s been used for 1000s of years in cooking and medicine. It has been known as a potent anti inflammatory. Curcumin is the major active compound of turmeric. And it may treat a host of conditions including chronic inflammation, pain, metabolic syndrome and anxiety. Now in order for you to alleviate pain and arthritis, some people need to do a very high amount of Turmeric studies actually reveal that the doses of curcumin are effective in alleviating arthritis pain and as an anti inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and can compare with that. But again, you may need to use somewhere in the limits of 600 to 800 milligrams a day consistently to get pain relief. The thing you need to know about turmeric or Curcumin is that it is a bright orange color and it does stain so if you get it on your counter, if you get it on your clothes, it will not come off no matter what you do. It’s also been used in cancer treatments in very very high doses we’re talking 1000 to 2020 500 milligrams a day. And when you do very high doses like that some people will get gi discomfort they can get some diarrhea, get some headache or some skin irritation. So just be cautious with that dose. Number seven is Ginger. Ginger is a commonplace ingredient the and herbal medicine. You can eat ginger, fresh or dried, and its main medicinal forms come in the form of tea or capsules. Like Turmeric ginger is a rhizome or a stem that grows underground and it contains a variety of beneficial compounds as long as it’s been used in traditional and folk medicine to treat colds, nausea, migraines and hypertension or high blood pressure. It’s best established for relieving nausea Assos ciated with pregnancy, chemotherapy and other medical operations that can cause that it’s very well tolerated. It has very few negative side effects, but larger doses can cause a little bit of heartburn or diarrhea.
Number eight is valerian, sometimes known as nature’s Valium. Valerian is a flowering plant whose roots are thought to induce tranquility and a sense of calmness. Valerian Root may be dried and consumed in a capsule or actually steeped to be made as a tea. And a tea is really nice if you’re using it to sleep or to relax because it’ll work much quicker than a capsule well. It can be traced back to its ancient Greece and Rome use where it’s been taken to relieve restlessness, tremors, headaches and heart palpitations. Today, it’s most often utilized to treat insomnia and anxiety. Valerian is relatively safe, it may have some mild side effects like headaches or digestive issues. But you need to be cautious to not use valerian if you’re using other sedatives due to its compounding risk factors of causing drowsiness and CNS dysfunction. Number nine is chamomile. Chamomile is a flowering plant that also happens to be one of the most popular herbal medicines in the world. The flowers are most often used to make tea, but the leaves may also be dried and used for making tea, medicinal extracts and topical compresses. For 1000s of years, chamomile has been used as a remedy for nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, urinary tract infections, wounds, upper respiratory infections, it packs over 100 active compounds, and many of these are thought to contribute to numerous benefits. So these are your top nine herbs that people use. I would say a handful of these should be in our medicine cabinets, especially the more things that you suffer from the better the more things you should have on on hand. But I will really caution you to to not use herbs as medicine unless you’re working with a qualified practitioner. By no means am I telling you to use all of these herbs or how to use them. I don’t know your medical condition. So you really need to work with a qualified herbalist or naturopath or integrative practitioner that understands herbs that understands your own health status, and can help direct to you as what herbs are best for you to have on hand what are best to use, and how to use them and for how long. So I hope this has been helpful for you. And I hope it opens your eyes really to where our medicines are manufactured from, how they’re found, what they do, and why we have so many of them. You know, plants are medicine, food is medicine, and we should respect it and we should use it as such. So I hope this has been really helpful for you guys. If you do not have a practitioner to work with that can help you please reach out to us at Serenity Health Care Center, where we’re happy to review your case with you and help you determine what is most beneficial for you to use. Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast and if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live everyday to the fullest