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Tonic, Herbs, Alternatives, and Adaptogens Gotu Kola, Nettles, Hibiscus , Milky Oats, Tulsi, Astragalus, Ginseng
Terms in this set (46)
What is a tonic herb? How do tonic herbs compare with herbs taken on a short-term, acute basis?
Tonic herbs are remedies that can be taken on a daily basis to support vitality and longevity, fine-tune an organ system, or offer constitutional support
What is an herbal adaptogen?
Adaptogens are tonic herbs that support the body in adapting to different types of acute and chronic stress. This unique class of herbs brings the body into balance by influencing its two primary regulating agents: the endocrine (hormone) and nervous systems.
Adaptogens increase the body's resistance to physical, emotional, and environmental stressors.
1.Adaptogens are generally safe and have no significant side effects or contraindications.
2. Adaptogens bring about a nonspecific response to improve the resilience of the body to resist multiple stressors, including physical, chemical, and psychological.
3.Adaptogens have a normalizing influence on the body, bringing it back to balance, regardless of the direction of change.
What is an herbal alterative? What body systems do they typically support? List six uses for TONIC alterative herbs.
"blood cleansers" and indeed many help to optimize the quality of the blood by affecting cellular metabolism. Many alteratives work their magic by supporting the elimination of wastes by improving liver, kidney, digestive, and lymphatic function
1. Autoimmune disorders
2.Rheumatic conditions, or chronic skeleto-muscular inflammatory disorders
3.Disorders affecting the skin
6. Support for fasting and cleansing:
Describe a habitat that would be paradise for gotu kola
Moist soils with good drainage in full sun (temperate climates) to part shade (hotter and drier climates)
What part of gotu kola is used for medicine?
Primarily leaves, may include small amounts of stem, flowers, and fruit
List at least three herbal actions for gotu kola?
Vulnerary, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antianxiety, nervine, antibacterial, alterative, and secondary adaptogen
three ways to prepare gotu kola for medicinal use. Are there concerns about dosage?
Tea, tincture, infused oil,; safe
How is gotu kola adaptogen-like (considered by some to be a secondary adaptogen or even an outright adaptogen)? List at least three indications for using gotu kola internally, and at least one indication for using it topically.
Most herbalists recognize gotu kola as a secondary adaptogen, or "almost-adaptogen" since it's helpful for increasing vitality, reducing stress, balancing the immune response, and acting as a tonic for overall well-being. Plus, it's generally safe for a wide variety of constitutions.
Long tradition of use in healing wounds, both internally and topically
Rebuilding tissue after surgery
Treats burns and minimizes scarring, both internally and externally
Describe tulsi's basic growing requirements: What type of soil does it prefer? How much sunlight? Is tulsi an annual or perennial?
Tulsi-full sun in temperate climates with a partial shade; slushy fertilized soil with consistent moisture, perennial in zones 9-11, and as a frost-sensitive annual elsewhere.
List four herbal actions of Tulsi
adaptogen, antioxidant, antidepressant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, diuretic, anticatarrhal, immunomodulator, anti-inflammatory,
slightly heating and slightly drying. Since it's fairly neutral energetically,
List four body systems that are supported by tulsi,
Nervous System, respiratory system, immune system, digestive system, Cardiovascular System:
Medicinal uses for our Nervous systems using Tulsi
increases compassion, sharpens awareness, and promotes focus in meditation
increases focus and clarity, making it especially useful for elders with declining cognitive abilities, children and adults with ADHD, and students who are simply wishing to increase their ability to assimilate and retain new material.
helps people who are naturally scattered or distracted, as it is both calming and "centering."
tonic adaptogen for people going through big life changes, such as moving, starting a new job or relationship, and so on
helpful for both depression and anxiety
Medicinal uses for our Immune systems using Tulsi
possesses antimicrobial and immunomodulating qualities
Medicinal uses for our Digestive systems using Tulsi
help with gassiness, indigestion, and increases assimilation
given to infants to reduce colic
Medicinal uses for our Respiratory systems using Tulsi
relieves asthma, bronchitis, chest colds, sinus infections, allergies, and cold and flu
reduces excess mucus through its expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and anticatarrhal qualities
Medicinal uses for our Cardiovascular systems using Tulsi
helpful for type 2 diabetes: demonstrates favorable effects on blood sugar levels and lipid metabolism
traditional heart tonic due to its antioxidant qualities (helping to prevent free radical damage that leads to atherosclerosis), ability to lower blood pressure, and capacity to reduce excess cholesterol.
Describe a natural habitat that would favor nettles. If you come across nettles in the wild, is it likely to be growing singly or in clumps? Will you be able to find it in the winter?
Nettles grows close to humans and waterways—it thrives in open, fertile ground. You'll find it growing in floodplains, at forest edges, in ditches, in hedgerows, along open trail sides, and on old farms, especially in barnyards with compost and manure piles. It's rare to see stinging nettles deep in the forest, as it prefers a little more sunshine.
they form colonies:herbaceous perennial
What problems can you come across growing Nettles in your garden?
Nettles can spread by both seeds and runners and become a troublesome weed with its painful sting. Plant nettles out of the way in a wet meadow, at a damp woods edge, or near an old compost or manure pile.
Culinary benefits of Nettles
The cooked greens and tea of nettles are high in chlorophyll, vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
List at least three reasons to use nettles leaf medicinally
1.Nettles is a supreme blood builder and nourishing tonic (see the notes below on its nutritional profile). With its high iron content, it is highly useful for iron-deficiency anemia.
2.Nettles is a traditional spring tonic and blood cleanser, and it is an excellent herbal ally during fasting and cleansing. It is often used for eczema, psoriasis, and acne and can be combined with other alteratives
3. The leaves can be employed in formulas to treat urinary tract infections
It is one of the best herbs to take daily when you feel tired or depleted
List at least three reasons to use nettles seed medicinally
The leaves and seeds of nettles are used as a diuretic and kidney tonic. The seeds have an extra affinity for supporting kidney function, but the leaves are also used as a kidney tonic.
List at least three reasons to use nettles root medicinally
The root of nettles is an ingredient in many herbal formulas used to treat BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia)
What are some precautions and contraindications to consider before using (or harvesting) nettles?
it is a diuretic and astringent, it can be very drying as a tonic herb for folks who already have dry skin and dry mucous membranes.
its diuretic effects may compound pharmaceuticals with the same action, such as diuretic antihypertensive medications. Nettles may potentially alter blood sugar levels—diabetics should monitor blood sugar levels closely when ingesting the plant as food or medicine.
Only wild-harvest the plants from clean locales, as they are adept at bioaccumulating heavy metals and other toxins.
how can you tell that milky oats are ready for harvest
The unripe seed heads (milky oats) are harvested from the plant at a very specific reproductive stage: after flowering and before the seed turns hard and is fully mature. A fingernail pressed into the ripening seed expresses a milky substance—this is the marker that it is time to harvest
What's the best delivery method for milky oats?
Milky oats are typically prepared as a fresh tincture (fresh plant material; before it is dried)
List the herbal actions for oat seed (oatmeal
Demulcent, emollient, hypcholesterolemic, prebiotic, bulk laxative, and anti-inflammatory.
List the herbal actions for oat straw
Nutritive tonic and mild nervine (calm the nerves)
List the herbal actions for milky oats
Nervine restorative and antianxiety
milky oats' uses as a nervine restorative. How does milky oats compare to other herbal nervines?
Nervine restorative uses:
promotes emotional resiliency
used for anxiety, adrenal exhaustion, stress, and transitioning out of addictive behaviors
often added to herbal aphrodisiac formulas in order to promote deep relaxation, which in turn encourages a natural interest in intimacy
What are some medicinal uses for oatstraw? What are the preferred delivery methods?
Oatstraw is a nutritive tonic, high in iron, calcium, silica, zinc, phosphorous, and magnesium.
a gentle tonic nervine, which can be taken as a remedy to support equanimity.
However, it's substantially milder than milky oats in that regard. The preferred methods for ingesting oatstraw are infusion and infused vinegar, as water and vinegar effectively extract the minerals.
Are all species of astragalus interchangeable?
No, Many species contain poisonous constituents that are toxic to livestock and can cause loss of coordination and behavioral changes. stick to A. propinquus, A. monadelphus, A. floridus, and A. chrysopterus.
List at least three ways to prepare astragalus medicinally. Which delivery method is not recommended for astragalus, and why?
Astragalus can be made into a decoction, powder, soup and stew stock, and goo balls. Long decoctions (simmered for 2-3 hours) are optimal, since its immune-enhancing polysaccharides are water soluble and more readily extracted with prolonged decoctions or simmering.
***Tincture is not recommended because alcohol doesn't optimally extract the long-chain polysaccharides.
three reasons to use astragalus medicinally
Long-term immune support:Improving energy and vitality,Adjunct to cancer therapies:Respiratory ailments:Digestive tonic: Tonic to heart and liver:
Why is it important to source high-quality astragalus?
avoid synthetic coloring agents. Yellow pieces are sometimes dyed
Describe the differences between American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng).
Asian ginseng is both more stimulating and more heating than American ginseng, and it is therefore indicated for those with cold, deficient constitutions.
American ginseng is cooling by nature and can be used more safely with children and in times of acute illness.
What part of ginseng is most commonly used for medicine? What other part of this plant should we consider utilizing, and why?
The roots of ginseng are most commonly used for medicine, however the leaves are a potent medicinal. Ginseng leaves are a medicine we would do well to consider, as wild roots have been dangerously overharvested and high-quality cultivated roots are difficult to find at affordable prices.
List three organ systems that ginseng supports
Nervous system-helps address fatigue, debility, anxiety, and stress,
Male/Female reproductive system- elevates both virility and fertility//helps build energy, ease stress and depression, enhance libido, relieve chronic headaches, and balance mood swings and hormones
immune system-boosts lowered immune function
cardiovascular system-supports cardiac function, normalizes blood pressure, and improves HDL cholesterol levels
List at least three herbal actions for ginseng
Ginseng is an adaptogen, antioxidant, tonic, mild stimulant, hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic (lowers harmful cholesterol levels), and immunomodulator.
What part(s) of Hibiscus sabdariffa is edible?
Both the immature leaves and calyces are edible- thus helpful for supporting healthy intestinal flora and reducing excess cholesterol
hibiscus tea contains calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Boiling the calyces for ten minutes optimally extracts the minerals, flavonoids, and vitamin C.
what's another species under Hibiscus genera edible?
Other edible species include cranberry hibiscus, or false roselle (Hibiscus acetosella), Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), and Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). These species all have edible leaves and flowers.
What general habitat does hibiscus prefer?
Hibiscus is a tropical shrub that can be grown as an annual in temperate climates. Being a tropical plant, it likes a warm, moist habitat.
What part of the plant is used for medicine?
The calyx is the primary part of the plant used, both medicinally and as a food. When the petals fall off, the receptacle (flower base) and calyx (sepals) remain on the stem, appearing as fleshy red crowns
How should you go about harvesting Hibiscus calyx?
Harvest the calyx when it is still pliable and red, a few days to a few weeks after the petals have fallen off. If you're drying hibiscus, you'll want to remove the green ovary in the center, as it easily molds and can ruin the rest of the harvest.
What are some herbal actions of hibiscus?
Hibiscus is diuretic, hypotensive, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, astringent, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and demulcent.
describe hibiscus energetics?
This plant's energetics are a bit nuanced. Overall, it is cooling and drying (through its diuretic effects), but it's also slightly mucilaginous and moistening to the throat and intestinal mucosa.
what do the anthocyanin in hibiscus benefit?
Hibiscus is high in antioxidant anthocyanins, which have been the focus of many recent studies for its anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, neuroprotective, and hepatoprotective (heart, nervous system, and liver, respectively) qualities. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoid that lends a blue, purple, and reddish tint to many vegetables, flowers, and fruits.
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