Alternative Medicine, Holstic Medicine & Natural medicine
The Use of
Chinese Herbs for Lyme Disease
A number of Chinese herbs can be useful for the many different facets of Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a bacterial infectious disease caused by the spirochetal organism, Borrelia Burgdorferi. The wide variety of symptoms that a person can have in its later stages makes it hard to obtain a proper diagnosis, and the medical testing for the illness is still not very accurate in many cases.
A number of Chinese herbs can be useful for the many different facets of Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a bacterial infectious disease caused by the spirochetal organism, Borrelia Burgdorferi. It is usually caused by a tick bite. The prevalence of the disease is greatest in the northeastern United States, but there have been cases of the illness in all lower 48 states. The disease is easy to treat with antibiotics in its initial stages, but it is often not detected at that point. There is a bull’s eye rash that is characteristic of the disease, but many people never get the rash. The rash looks different in people with darker pigmentation, making it easy to mistake it for other skin conditions, including bruising or eczema. The wide variety of symptoms that a person can have in its later stages makes it hard to obtain a proper diagnosis, and the medical testing for the illness is still not very accurate in many cases.
People with later stages of Lyme need treatment on a number of different levels. At the very basic level, herbs that are anti-bacterial, specifically against spirochetal bacteria, are an important component of treatment. Herbs that have been shown to have activity against spirochetal bacteria include coptis (huang lian), andrographis paniculata (chuan xin lian), isatis (ban lan gen/qing dai), phellodendron (huang bai), scute (huang qin), forsythia (lian qiao), smilax (tu fu ling), and gardenia (zhi zi). Garlic is also a useful antibacterial supplement for those with Lyme Disease.
Lyme disease can lower body temperature and create poor blood circulation. A person is also likely to feel cysts, lumps, and swellings in different areas of their body that often change and move. The bacteria walls itself off, and creates an environment in which it can grow and thrive and the person with the disease ends up in severe pain, with horribly low energy, and neurological problems. The disease thrives in a low temperature, low oxygen environment, and that is the environment it creates within the body. People with the disease often have signs and symptoms similar to someone with severe altitude sickness (also caused by a low oxygen environment). Chinese herbs that clear blood stasis and break blood stagnation can be very useful for this aspect of the disease. The herb, pseudoginseng (san qi), can be extremely beneficial for people with Lyme Disease. It promotes blood circulation and oxygenation in the body, and can force open the cysts that protect the bacteria from being killed off. It also can help clear some of the brain fog that people with this disease have by improving blood circulation and oxygenation to the brain. Frankincense (ru xiang), and myrrh (mo yao) can also help by improving blood circulation, especially to the joints, where the bacteria often hides in cartilaginous tissue where blood circulation tends to be poorer. An herb that is frequently used by people with Lyme Disease, teasel root, is beneficial because it improves circulation in the body and also has a warming affect. All of these herbs can help significantly with the intense and chronic pain that those with later stages of Lyme disease experience.
Certain Chinese herbs can be used to reduce the person’s sensitivity to cold and improve microcirculation in the body. Herbs such as clove, cinnamon, ginger, and siegesbeckia can be useful for this purpose.
The lymphatic system and the metabolism are often compromised in people with Lyme Disease. The bacteria frequently hides inside the walls of white blood cells, and results in swollen and congested lymph glands. People with the disease often have symptoms of hypothyroidism and a slowed metabolic rate even if all of their thyroid tests are normal. In Chinese Medicine, herbs that treat phlegm are frequently used for conditions related to a slow metabolism and a congested lymphatic system. The Chinese herb, prunella vulgaris (xia ku cao), and scrophularia (xuan shen) are very useful for inflammation, congestion, and infection of the lymphatic system. Herbs such as citrus aurantium, kelp, epimedium, and Siberian ginseng, can be beneficial for improving a sluggish metabolism in people with Lyme Disease who have signs or symptoms of an underactive thyroid.
Another aspect of Lyme Disease is severe and debilitating fatigue and a total lack of energy. This can be due to a host of different factors. Poor oxygenation and blood circulation and lowered metabolism and body temperature are part of the picture. The person’s adrenal glands may not be functioning properly either. Someone with Lyme Disease may also have a host of digestive problems that result in a lack of adequate nutrition. The disease itself can trigger chemical changes in the brain that create severe depression and an inability to concentrate, which is debilitating as well.
In Chinese medicine, herbs that nourish the qi and blood can help this lack of energy. The herbs can improve the person’s digestive functioning, support the functioning of the brain, support proper functioning of the adrenal glands, and improve the person’s ability to handle
stress. They can also help the proper functioning of the mitochondria in their production of ATP in the cells, which helps a person’s energy at a very fundamental level. Siberian ginseng, schizandra, licorice, and astragalus are all good herbs for improving a person’s energy level, digestive functioning, and their ability to handle stress. White peony, dong quai, and wolfberry nourish the blood and reduce fatigue. Polygonum and eucommia can help improve a person’s adrenal response and can improve brain functioning. Bupleurum, longan fruit, zyzyphus seed, dragon bone, oyster shell, and magnolia bark can be beneficial for the depression, anxiety, lack of concentration, and sleep problems that people with Lyme Disease experience.
As you can see, Lyme Disease is a complex illness with many facets. Chinese herbal medicine has numerous herbs in its pharmacopia that can treat the many different aspects of this disease in a comprehensive and holistic manner.
Turn Herbs Into
Mary Hanna has written an article on how to make tinctures from herbs. It covers the equipment needed and the step by step process in order to make successful tinctures.
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The philosophy behind tincture is to capture the spiritual and physical essence of the plant. This is done by using the power of ethyl alcohol to dissolve and preserve the herb in question.
The substance used to extract the herbs is known as the menstrum. The herbs you are tincturing are known as the mark. Tincturing will extract and preserve both the water-soluble and alcohol-soluble properties of an herb.
In the interest of taking a more involved stance in their health, many people are turning to homemade tinctures made from fresh or dried herbs. Tinctures have proven to be more powerful and longer lasting than dried herbs. Dried herbs can get moldy or be eaten by insects, tinctures do not. Tinctures will keep up to two years and keep their potency if stored properly. Making your own tinctures will save you quite a bit of money. If you purchase tinctures in a retail store you will get a few ounces whereas if you make it yourself it will yield about a quart.
When purchasing herbs, make sure you are buying from a reputable source. Better yet, grow your own herbs to be sure of the highest possible quality. When growing your own you can make any number of combinations to make up your tinctures. I have also found that when growing my own herbs I get the most enjoyment, knowing not only did I make the tincture but I grew the herbs. I become part of the process from beginning to end.
There are several items that you will need to make your own tinctures. First you need either powdered herbs or fresh cut herbs. Vodka, brandy or rum, 80-100 proof to cover the herbs. Mason jars with lids. Muslin or Cheesecloth that is unbleached. Lastly, labels for the jars.
You will need 7-10 ounces of chopped fresh herbs for every quart of vodka, brandy or rum. I prefer to use fresh herbs when making my tinctures. When using powdered herbs, I use 4 ounces of herbs to one pint of liquid. If you are making a tincture from bitter herbs it is best to use rum as it will mask the taste of the herbs. To make a non-alcoholic tincture use distilled water, glycerol or vinegar. Keep in mind that if you use vinegar the tincture will have to be refrigerated.
Put your herbs in the mason jars and then pour the liquid over them so that it comes up to about an inch above the herbs. Seal tightly and label the jars then put them in a very dark, warm area. Keeping them in a paper bag has worked well for me. You will have to shake the jar everyday, several times a day if you can mange it.
At first check the solution daily to make sure the vodka, brandy or rum still covers the herbs. Let the mixture steep for at least two weeks and up to three months. When you reach the allotted waiting period, line a sieve with the cheesecloth or muslin and pour the liquid thru the sieve into another bottle. Gather up the ends of the cheesecloth and squeeze to extract all of the liquid. You can now fill small bottles with droppers with the tincture for ease in use. Be sure to label the jar with the name and the date.
The dose is one teaspoon tincture in a cup of tea, juice or water taken three times daily.
There are no right formulas for making tinctures. Experiment with different combinations. Be sure you write down the formula so when you come up with a winning combination you will have it on file.
Here are a few ideas for treating colds. Make tinctures from the following herbs:
* echinacea (leaves, flowers)
* elder (leaves, flowers, berries)
* eyebright (leaves, flowers)
* ginger (root)
* peppermint (leaves)
* yarrow (leaves, flowers)
* catnip (leaves
Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.
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Benefits (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla also know as amalaki, dhatriphala and in Sanskrit and Emblica officinalis scientifically, is the most widely used herb in the ayurvedic system of medicine.
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Amla also know as amalaki, dhatriphala and in Sanskrit and Emblica officinalis scientifically, is the most widely used herb in the ayurvedic system of medicine. it maintains balance amongst three Doshas of wind, bile and phelgm (Vayu, Pitta and Cough) and effectively controls digestive problems, strengthens heart, builds up and sustains defence mechanism, improves eye sight, imparts a anatural glow to hair and body and a store house of Vitamin C.
The English name of amla: Indian gooseberry, denotes that it is indigenous to India. Though all parts of the tree have medicinal value, it is the fruit which constitutes the main drug. Charaka has specifically mentioned it as a great rasayana that helps protect people from disease and keeps away the manifestations of premature ageing.
Amla fruit is acrid, cooling, refrigerant, diuretic, laxative, alexeteric, antipyretic, aphrodisiac alterant, tonic and trichogeneous. It is the richest natural source of Vitamin C. 100 gm. of Amla contains about 700 mg. of vitamin C, which is thirty times the amount found in oranges.In adition to Vitamin C, it also contains calcium, iron, protein, garlic and tannic acids, sugar, phosphorus, carbohydrates etc. The juice of fresh amla fruit is given as tonic, diuretic and anti-bilious remedy. It is also helpful in burning sensation, over thirst, dyspepsia and other complaints of digestive system.
The powder of the dried amla fruit is an effective remedy of hyperacidity, ulcers and blood impurities. It is also used both internally and externally as a decoction and paste. Some of the common uses of amla fruit are as under:
Amla strengthens the body, expel toxins from the body and improves defense mechanism of the body.
It is an essential vitamin to improve eye sight
Weakness of body, heart and mind shall be dispelled by taking frsh amla juice in betwen meals.
Massaging the head with amla oil, induces sound sleep and is good for hair. prevents premature graying of hair.
Wash eyes daily, in the morning with amla water, soaked in water and drink the water to improve the eyesight and remove constipation.
Insert 2-4 amla juice drops into each nostril to cure bleeding for nose.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Very Powerful anti-inflammatory herb.
A wonderful antioxidant and a natural Source of Vitamin C. Amla helps scavenge free radicals.
Amla is powerful food for the brain.
Studies show that Amla helps lower cholesterol
Amla also helps maintain the functioning of the liver
Increases Hemoglobin, Red blood cell count
Useful for Cough, Bronchitis, Asthma
Amla cleanses the mouth, strengthens the teeth
Its decoction is used in hyperacidity and with honey as an anthelmintic. The presence of Amla resulted in an enhanced cell survival, decreased free radical production and higher antioxidant levels similar to that of control cells. (Phytother Res. 2003 Apr;17(4):430-3.)
There are various classic ayurvedic preparations, such as chyawanprash in which amla is used as a chief ingredient. It help improve intelligence and memory power.
Triphala and Brahmrasayana are other classic medicine in which amla is being used since time immemorial.
Read more about Amla and its Benefits/ at http://www.ayurvediccure.com/amla.htm
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