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HERBS AND HEALTH FOODS

Garlic & Onion Lecithin

Garlic and Onion

GarlicAllium sativum OnionAllium cepa both members of the family Liliaceae

An appreciable body of folklore, and a much smaller amount of scientific evidence indicate that ingestion of large quantities of the bulbs of garlic or of onion results in a variety of physiologic effects:
Stimulation of bile production Lowering of blood glucose Reduction of HPN Acceleration of wound healing Curing of the common cold

Recent studies in humans showed that those persons on a garlic- and onion- free vegetarian diet or on a diet involving the consumption of only small amounts (less than 10g garlic & 200g onion) had significantly higher serum triglycerides and beta-lipoproteins than those eating more than 600 g onion and 50 g garlic per week.

Potent antibacterial principle in garlic: diallyldisulfide-

S-oxide (designated allicin)


Unfortunately, it is also the compound responsible for the characteristic odor of garlic, decomposing readily in the presence of air and water to yield diallyldisulfide and other similar odorous sulfides. An antithrombotic factor was isolated from garlic. Designated ajoene, it was shown to form by the selfcondensation of allicin. Its MOA involves inhibition of fibrinogen receptors on blood platelets. Prostaglandin A1, which has a hypotension action on injection, has been isolated from onions. This was the first reported occurrence of prostaglandins in higher plants.

Further chemical and pharmacologic research is needed to determine the real value of garlic and onion for the many conditions in which they are reputed to be effective. The isolation of a potent prostaglandin from onion and the results of recent preliminary clinical studies of onion extract on HPN and hyperlipidemia further support the contention that both of these possess considerable potential value as therapeutic agents.

GARLIC AND ONION


BO: GarlicAllium sativum; OnionAllium cepa

AC: diallyldisulfide-S-oxide (designated allicin)ANTIBACTERIAL; ajoene ANTITHROMBOTIC; prostaglandin A1has hypotension action Use: traditionally: Stimulation of bile production;
Lowering of blood glucose; Reduction of HPN; Acceleration of wound healing; Curing of the common cold

Gentian (or gentian root)

BO: Gentiana lutea (Fam. Gentianaceae) Use: bitter tonic in anorexia and dyspepsia
still used in Europe as an ingredient in alcoholic beverages valued for their stomachic properties

AC: 2% gentiopoicrin (high quality ginseng: yellowish brown to yellowish orange internal color) Slow drying of the root permits enzymatic hydrolysis of gentiopicrin and yields a darker reddish brown product that is inferior for use as a medicinal bitter.

Ginseng

BO: Panax quinquefolius

& P.

pseudoginseng
AC: panaxosidesresponsible for adaptogenic properties, ginsenosides, chikusetsusaponins

USE: in Chinese medicine: tonic, stimulant, diuretic & carminative Reportedly reduces blood glucose concentration & acts favorably on metabolism, the CNS & endocrine secretions Employed in the Orient in the tx of anemia, diabetes, insomnia, neurasthenia, gastritis, and especially, sexual impotence Classified as an adaptogen because some studies in animals suggest that it may help the body to adapt to stress & to correct adrenal & thyroid dysfunctions Also heavily promoted as an aphrodisiac. The drug is administered as powders, extracts & teas

There have been some disturbing results of some preliminary studies that seem to point to a definite ginseng-abuse syndrome in human beings utilizing the drug. Long-term use was associated with hypertension, nervousness, and sleeplessness in some subjects but had the opposite effects, hypotension & tranquilizing effect, in others These apparently contradictory findings may result from products containing different quantities of the various active glycosides.

The symptoms observed in ginseng abuse mimic those of corticosteroid poisoning, suggesting a steroid mechanism of action operating through the adrenal cortex or the pituitary gland Long-term ingestion of large amounts of ginseng should be avoided. In addition, the FDA found no evidence of enhanced sexual experience or potency resulting from its use

Glucomannan/Konjac mannan

BO: Amorphophallus rivieri AC: glucomannan (composed of glucose & mannose units in a ratio of 1:1.6 connected by B1,4 glucosidic linkages) As in the case with most similar polysaccharides, glucomannan swells when it comes in contact with water; it is said to expand USE: marketed as a diet aid (under the assumption that the increased bulk in the stomach would produce a feeling of satiety; ACTUALLY, it is rather effective BULK LAXATIVE

Glycyrrhiza/licorice

BO: Glycyrrhiza glabra Use: folkloric use: treating cough and colds; inflammatory conditions & peptic ulcersHAVE NO BASIS

Goldenseal

BO: Hydrastis canadensis AC: berberine & hydrastine (astringents, have weak antibiotic properties) USE: soothe inflamed eyes & mucous membranes, as a hemostatic in intestinal and uterine bleeding, uterine stimulant, & a vasoconstrictor medicinal uses of goldenseal have been discontinued in the USA some heroin addicts undergoing treatment in methadone programs have claimed that goldenseal, used as an herbal tea, impairs the detection of morphine in the urine. Scientific studies have shown that this allegation totally false.

Gotu Kola/hydrocotyle/Indian pennywort

BO: Centella asiatica Syn: hydrocotyle & Indian pennywort AC: sedative effect2 saponin glycosisdes: brahmoside & brahminoside Anti-inflammatory activitymedecassoside Wound healing action by stimulating mitosisasiaticoside USE: diuretic, blood purifier, promoting the healing of skin conditions, in treating leprosy; also as a body strengthener & revitalizer that can promote longevity

Hawthorn

BO: Crataegus monogyna AC: flavonoid glycosides USE: dilation of blood vessels, esp the coronary arteries, causing some reduction in blood pressure; used prophylactically in angina pectoris *claims of digitalislike or cardiotonic activity are apparently false *angina pectoris & HPN are serious conditions not readily amenable to self-treatment; should be taken only on the advice of the physician

Hedge hyssop

BO: Gratiola officinalis AC: betulinic acid, a triterpenic acid & gratiolin (triterpenic saponin) USE: cathartic, diuretic, emetic; tx of chronic ailments of the liver & spleen (but no scientific evidence)

Hibiscus

BO: Hibiscus sabdariffa *boiled in water to prepare hibiscus or Sudanese tea AC: oxalic, malic, citric, tartaric & hibiscic acid USE: refreshing aromatic taste & a mild laxative action

Honey

BO: saccharine secretion deposited in the honeycomb by the bee, Apis mellifera AC: sucrose, small quantities of CHO, volatile oils, pigments & pollen grains USE: useful nutrient & sweetener; demulcent in cough preparations

Hops

BO: Humulus lupulus Syn: humulus AC: volatile oil function *-Myrcene, humulene, esters of myrcenol, linalool, etc] (0.3% -1%); resinous fraction [phloroglucinol derivatives such as humulone & lupulone] (30%) USE: in Europe as OTC sedative preparations as tea; legal intoxicant Mild sensation of euphoria when smoked definitely not recommended because prolonged use produces side effects including dizziness, intoxication & jaundice

Horehound

BO: Marrubium vulgare AC: volatile oil fraction & marrubiin Use: expectorant & flavoring agent in coughing preparation *most popular of the herbal cough remedies

Horse chestnut

BO: Aesculus hippocastanum USE: in Europeanti-inflammatory & antiexudative properties; tx of varicose veins, hemorrhoids and the like Tend to normalize increased blood vessel wall permeability and to reduce edema in surrounding tissues; also increases tonus of the veins, thereby facilitating blood flow to the heart Simply carrying a seed in the pocket is supposed to ward off or cure arthritis & rheumatism. Needless to say, there is no scientific explanation for this ancient superstition

Horsetail

BO: Equisetium arvense Syn: scouring rush AC: 5-8% silica and silicic acidsaccounting for the use as a metal polisher USE: Known as a valuable diuretic & astringent, tx of various kidney & bladder ailments Turns out to be a very weak diuretic, and when such activity is requires, much more effective & reliable drugs are available

Hydrangea

BO: Hydrangea arborescens AC: a cyanogenic glycoside (unsafe and unwise) USE: folkloric use: diuretic, treatment for kidney stones, cathartic properties, have been smoked to induce a kind of intoxication; non-nutritive sweetener in hot beverages Vertigo and other toxic effects have been recorded There is no valid justification for its consumption

Hyssop

BO: Hyssopus officinale AC: volatile oil fractioncadinene, pinene, ()-pinocampheol, & pinocamphone USE: flavoring agent, decoction in folkloric medicine for catharsis, chronic catarrh, diseases of the chest, fevers, and rheumatism; removes discoloration from black eyes

Kelp

BO: order Laminariales; species: Macrocystis, Nereocystis, Laminaria Powdered kelp is employed in folk medicine for its content of minerals, especially iodine. Potassium is also present in kelp in relatively large amounts, but unfortunately, the Na concentration is also high. Ingestion of kelp should consequently be avoided by those who must restrict their salt intake

USE: Useful agent in the control of obesity. It is postulated that it stimulates the production of the iodine-containing thyroid hormones. This applies only when the person suffers from a deficiency of iodine, which is an unlikely event in this age of iodized salt. Used in atherosclerosis. Some people claim that kelp cleanses and gives tone to the walls of the blood vessels. Treatment of atherosclerosis with iodine is controversial & is NOT RECOMMENDED.

Lecithin

Mixture of phosphatides that yield, on hydrolysis, or -glycerophosphoric acid, fatty acids, and choline. BO: eggs, brain tissue, many vegetable oils, the principal commercial source today: SOYBEANS (Glycine max) USE: tx of gallstones, atherosclerosis, various skin & nerve disorders such treatments are apparently based on the lipotropic properties of lecithin & on its utility, in vitro, as an emulsifying agent. Proof of its effectiveness, in vivo, for any of these conditions is either insubstantial or completely lacking.

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