Alternatives & Traditional

Posts tagged ‘diarrhea’

Kava and Hepatitis

As we can see, herbs are often claimed to have dangerous adverse effects that do not really exist.  The FDA commonly does this in an attempt to gain more control over herbs, which helps them to protect their illegal investments in pharmaceutical companies and to protect their cozy relationship.  As with chaparral, kava was also given a false reputation of causing cases of hepatitis.

Kava refers to the INNER ROOT of the kava plant.  Kava has been used for centuries as both medicine, and as a mind altering drug when specially prepared.  For centuries kava has had a reputation of being quite safe except when abused.  By this I mean extremely high doses over a period of time. Overuse by kava addicts can lead to thickening and peeling of the skin.  This has never been seen in normal use of kava capsules.  And no cases of hepatitis were ever reported from traditional preparation and normal use of kava.

A few years back though, there were actually cases of hepatitis appearing out of nowhere in people taking kava supplements.  The medical journals and news media jumped all over the story and reported repeatedly that kava was dangerous and caused hepatitis.  Yet they never reported all the facts or the truth even when the problem was exposed.  In fact, the problem stemmed from the greed of a pharmaceutical company looking to cash in on the herbal movement bandwagon.  The company traveled to Fiji to obtain information on the use of the herb and looking for kava sources.

During traditional preparation, the islanders would strip off the outer root bark and discard it.  Only the inner root was being used for consumption.  The pharmaceutical company decided that they could buy up all of the waste the islanders were discarding for next to nothing, dry it, grind it, capsule it and sell it.  So this is exactly what they did.  Though in the blinding glare of dollar signs and in their rush to get in on the bandwagon they overlooked an important rule of herbs.  Not all parts of a plant have the same chemistry!  Although a few plants will have basically the same alkaloids, glycosides, etc. throughout the plant in varying amounts this is not common.  It is more common to have totally different chemistry throughout the plant.  For example, cocklebur root is a pain killer.  The leaves are used to treat asthma and the seeds used to stop diarrhea.  And when using lapacho (pau d’ arco, taheebo, ipe roxo), the inner bark is used, not the outer bark, which does not have the medicinal properties.  Kava is no different.  The reason the islanders were discarding the outer bark of the kava was because they knew that the outer bark was toxic!

If the pharmaceutical company would have taken the time to ask questions on the preparation and looked into the chemistry then the isolated cases of hepatitis could have been avoided and kava would not have received an undeserved bad reputation.  General use of the inner root of kava remains safe as it always has.

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Herbs as Foods

I wonder what herbs and foods will be become prescription if the FDA gets its way to make all herbs and supplements prescription.  The FDA claims that anything in which a medical claim is made for, or that treats or mitigates a disease, or alters a function of the body is a drug and therefore under FDA regulation.  So what foods can be considered drugs and may be subject to prescription?:

Cinnamon- Shown to lower blood sugar.  Antiseptic.  Aids in digestion.

Oats- Lowers cholesterol.  As a fiber it helps regulate bowel movements and supplies silica to help in the formation of connective tissues.

Rice- Treats diarrhea.

Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts- Contain antitumor agents.  Raw broccoli can slow down an overactive thyroid.

Peanuts- Raw peanuts will slow an overactive thyroid.

Soy- Regulates hormones.  Raw, unfermented soy treats overactive thyroid.

Watermelon- All parts of the watermelon are diuretic and helps treat constipation.

Garlic- Lowers blood pressure.

Onions- Lower blood sugar.  The skins of yellow onions contain quercetin, a natural antihistamine.

Rosemary- Antioxidant and antiseptic.

Oregano- Antiseptic.

Nopales- Lowers blood sugar.  Treats enlarged prostate and lowers cholesterol.

Grapes and raisins- Contain antiviral and antitumor polyphenols.

Green, oolong, and black teas- Contain antiviral and antitumor polyphenols.

Thyme- Antibacterial and antifungal.  Thyme oil can be used to treat thrush and toenail infections.

Basil- Strongly antiviral.  Basil oil kills the herpes virus and can be applied to cold sores to treat the outbreak.

Ginger- Shown in studies to be more effective than the pharmaceutical drug Dramamine in controlling motion sickness.  Ginger also treats inflammations and pain, improves digestion and is antiseptic.

Turmeric- Shown in studies to be highly antitumor, and antiseptic.

Apples- Help to control blood sugar and suppress the appetite.

Kiwi- Treats scurvy.

Citrus- Treats scurvy.  Contains the natural antihistamine quercetin.

Strawberries- Treats scurvy.  Contains antiviral polyphenols.  Mashed strawberries can be applied to cold sores to help kill the localized virus.

Blueberries- Treats scurvy.  Contains antiviral polyphenols.  Mashed blueberries can be applied to cold sores to help kill the localized virus.  Blueberries improve vision in cases of night blindness and can help prevent macular degeneration.

Brans- Treat constipation.

Olive oil- Lowers cholesterol.

Wheat germ oil- Can help prevent cataracts and improves energy.

Cocoa- Muscle relaxant due to high magnesium content.  Magnesium in cocoa can help lower blood pressure and reduces menstrual cramps.  Phenylethylamine (PEA) in cocoa is a psychoactive compound and antidepressant.  Cocoa butter added to make chocolate treats constipation.

Carrots- Helps improve vision and fight cancer.  Supports liver function and treats constipation.

Beets- The root improves liver function and treats iron deficiency anemia.  The leaves are a methyl donor that treats inflammations, heart disease and depression.

Yogurt- Treats irritable bowel syndrome and yeast infections.

It appears that if the FDA gets its way that we will have to carry a prescription pad with us just to eat.

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