There are several ways of using licorice root in Chinese therapy. Licorice root could help enhance the transformation and transportation functions of the spleen and stomach. Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra):
Since the spleen dominates muscles and the liver controls tendons, licorice root has excellent properties to relieve pain and cramps of smooth or skeletal muscles. Licorice root also moistens the lungs and stops coughs. It treats disorders such as shortness of breath, fatigue, sallow facial appearance, decreased food intake, loose stools, and diarrhea.
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Clinical studies have shown its beneficial effects in the management of premenstrual stress syndrome (PMS) and infertility. A study has shown that extracts of the fruit of VAC can bind to opiate receptors; this could explain why intake of VAC reduces PMS discomforts. Monk's Pepper (Agnus castus):
The berries are considered a tonic herb for both the male and female reproductive systems. It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favour of the gestagens.
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A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders (especially flatulence). Peppermint (Mentha Piperita):
The herb is abortifacient, anodyne, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, cholagogue, diaphoretic, refrigerant, stomachic, tonic and vasodilator. An infusion is used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, digestive problems, spastic colon etc.
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An an excellent antiseptic for treating mouth ulcers and sore throats. Sage is also an important domestic herbal remedy for disorders of the digestive system. The whole herb is antihydrotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, galactofuge, stimulant, tonic and vasodilator. Sage (Salvia officinalis):
Sage is also used internally in the treatment of excessive lactation, night sweats, excessive salivation (as in Parkinson's disease), profuse perspiration (as in TB), anxiety, depression, female sterility and menopausal problems.
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Saw palmetto berries are a tonic herb that is used in the treatment of debility, urinary tract problems and for reducing enlarged prostate glands. The partially dried ripe fruit is aphrodisiac, urinary antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and tonic. Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens):
It is taken internally in the treatment of impotence, debility in elderly men, prostate enlargement and inflammation, bronchial complaints associated with coldness, and wasting diseases.
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St John's wort is widely known as a herbal treatment for depression. St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum):
An analysis of twenty-nine clinical trials with more than five thousand patients was conducted by Cochrane Collaboration. The review concluded that extracts of St. John's wort were superior to placebo in patients with major depression. St. John's wort had similar efficacy to standard antidepressants.
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Valued for its antiseptic and antioxidant properties, it is an excellent tonic and is used in treating respiratory diseases and a variety of other ailments. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris):
The flowering tops are anthelmintic, strongly antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, disinfectant, expectorant, sedative and tonic. Thyme has been shown to slow down the ageing process by maintaining the vigour of our body cells.
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Valerian is used for insomnia and other disorders as an alternative to benzodiazepine drugs. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Hippocrates described its properties, and Galen later prescribed it as a remedy for insomnia. In medieval Sweden, it was sometimes placed in the wedding clothes of the groom to ward off the "envy" of the elves. Valerian can be consumed as a tea. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis):
Valerian contains isovaltrate, which has been shown to be an agonist for adenosine A1 receptor sites. This action may contribute to the herb's sedative effects.
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- Plants For A Future: Earth, Plants, People.
- Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa); Predny ML, De Angelis P, Chamberlain JL.
- Food, Nutrition and Health; Chun Hu and David D. Kitts.
- Multifaceted therapeutic benefits of Ginkgo biloba L.: chemistry, efficacy, safety, and uses; Mahadevan, Journal of food science.
- A Modern Herbal; Grieve, Penguin.
- Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants; MacDonald, Chiej. R.
- Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses; Bown. D, Dorling Kindersley.
- Efficacy of Vitex agnus castus in patients with pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS); Berger, D, Schaffner W, Schrader E, Meier B, Brattström A.
- St. John's Wort and Depression; NCCAM.
- Questions and Answers About Valerian for Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders; Office of Dietary Supplements
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