Classes start back up in a week and I have had to think about what to do about the data that was lost. I have decided not to go back to the therapeutic actions and constituents of the herbs I've already discussed. There will be new herbs for me to talk about (that I have not yet) and these things will dome back up. I have lists of constituents and actions already posted and I'm writing them in Word now so if it happens again, a simple copy-paste will fix that though it will be harder since she doesn't mess with my computer, just my phone. What I do want to put back up here is all those discussion posts I had up over the past few days. That means THIS post will be a long one. I'll add one new one below then the rest will be added after that. I'll put in a divider line so you can tell what is new. If you read the deleted posts, you will know you can skip those. I still have a long to-do list that I wanted to accomplish while I was in between classes so I can't dwell to long on all those things I can't get back. My daughter is still sleeping and my son is playing and the rain is soothing so she may sleep long enough for me to get some things done! I'll leave you with the lab I did on syrups which was the first time I ever LIKED what I made. Have a great day!
I was thinking the labs this week should be herbs that we discussed during the lesson but I don’t have all of those so I decided to do a cough syrup with fennel, a poultice with lavender and I have chosen to do a valerian tincture for the bitter challenge. Yes, I still need to make it. I was thinking about buying alcohol for it but I may use ACV instead. ACV has its own health benefits. I purchased an oil roller for tension that is helping but raising my children while doing these classes is very stressful and I could use all the help I can get! At the time of this writing, I’m still waiting for my glycerin to arrive. I will do my poultice first and the glycerin is SUPPOSED to be here today so I should be able to get this posted in time. Since I keep losing points on these, I decided to put all the information in my virtual herbarium and then copy-paste the parts that are listed as required. The herbariums are all filled out except the research portion.
SyrupsCommon Name: Fennel Seed
Latin Name: Foeniculum vulgare (Mill.)
Constituents: Anethole and fenchone are the ones I’m focusing on by making cough syrup but anethole may be toxic in certain doses (Petersen, 2018, 90)
Therapeutic Actions: In this case I’m looking for expectorant, but Hoffman also calls it an anti-inflammatory (p 551). In the case of this lab, I’m looking for the effects on the respiratory system. This herb is indicated, among many things for upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, and cough which are all things cough syrup may help with.
Contraindications/Safety: May cause photo dermatitis. Avoid excessive sunlight. May increase anticoagulant effects. Some varieties of this herb have really strong anticoagulant properties. May also cause allergies though this herb is generally considered safe as long as it is used within proper guidelines.
Formulary: This recipe is for cough syrup. I’d be looking to use the expectorant action and possibly anti-inflammation depending on how bad it was. Noone is sick currently so this is just for practice.
Lab, Notes And Media:
PoulticesA poultice is an effective way of applying herbs directly to the skin. The fresh leaves can be bruised and mashed, or powdered or dried herbs can be used. Pour over just enough boiling water to wet the mixture. Ground flaxseed Linum usitatissimum, white bread, or bran can be added to give the poultice bulk and help retain the warmth. Apply the mixture, wrapped in a cloth such as cheesecloth, over the area and cover with a hot, wet cloth. Replace the cloth with another when it gets cold. Repeat this process, keeping the poultice hot. Poultices are useful for drawing inflammation to the surface and easing painful joints. Wash the poulticed area with chamomile infusion to ease any inflammation.
Roy Upton’s paper indicated Dong Quai can be used for gynecological issues. As someone who is writing a paper on menopause and someone who’s sister is going through it right now, I can attest that anxiety is par for the course! Not that we don’t have anxiety anyway at that time of month but the symptoms my sister got when this period of her life kicked off… While I have not suggested this herb to her, I still found the study by Kumar, Bhat, and Shah very interesting.
What struck me first about this study is it states where the researchers got the sample AND that they had it authenticated. This made my heart leap with joy that researchers did this since it seems to be rare to include this information. Since science should be able to be duplicated, I continued to read, expecting good things. Then I read the drying procedures and the study approval number under the animal selection portion and I was quite happy and ready to get to the good stuff!
The testing phase did not disappoint but my eyes did glaze over when all the numbers started flying across the screen. This was a very thorough study! Only diazepam and the Dong Quai solution were effective at relieving the stress of the rats in the 2 situations. They did mention the lack of studies and not knowing which constituents of the plant were effective in this study so a LOT more research needs to be done but I like the results here!
My 1 problem with this study is it doesn’t mention any bias or potential for bias. I see this lack quite frequently as well…
Kumar, D., Bhat, Z. A., and Shah, M. Y. (2012). Anti-anxiety activity of successive extracts of angelica archangelica linn. on the elevated t-maze and forced swimming tests in rats. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 32(3): 423-429.
I'm sorry but the entire time I was reading this document I was shaking my head. I really laughed when I read that a cough should not be suppressed. Why did they not know that already? There is a reason our body responds the way it does. Most symptoms shouldn't be suppressed because the body needs to work through the issue. Supression should only happen if it’s severe. I noted the date of this article we read and are commenting on and decided to see if I could find any inserts on opiod products. I found this on the FDA’s site “the FDA is requiring boxed warnings and patient-focused Medication Guides for prescription opioid analgesics, opioid-containing cough products, and benzodiazepines – nearly 400 products in total – with information about the serious risks associated with using these medications at the same time. Risks include extreme sleepiness, respiratory depression, coma and death”. It is date 2016. They waited until February 2018 to decide not to give them to children? Sounds criminal to me!
On to the good stuff. This week we are talking about Yarrow in our reading and it appears to be safe but is not marked as generally considered safe. It is safe for all ages and is only contraindicated with pregnancy and potential allergies. It also should not be used in conjunction with cathartics. The monograph in Petersen’s book (2018) indicated this herb is particularly effective when there is a fever with the cold because it encourages the fever, thereby sweating the illness out. I was happy to see this diaphoretic is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimrobial, antiseptic, and antiviral (among many other things) yet gentle enough that children can safely use it. There were indications that the oil has a toxic rating so caution is needed. I decided to see what Worwood (2016) says about Yarrow in terms of age for children and she doesn’t recommend yarrow oil for children at all. It looks as though it’s best to stick with the herb when used with children. Just to note, I don’t think it was overlooked on her chart because yarrow is in her book on many occasions. Petersen also mentions this oil is contraindicated with asthma. Anyone who was in the last semester with me knows there are a few books I own I really like. Heinerman didn’t have anything useful for children but Clark (2011) didn’t let me down. While she didn’t recommend it for colds, she did recommend a yarrow tincture (there were other issues in there as well) for hand foot and mouth disease which appears to be common these days. So many kids are coming down with it.
Clark, D. (2011). Herbal Healing for Children: A Parent's Guide to Treatments for Common Childhood Illnesses. Healthy Living Publications. P 90.
FDA. (2016) New Safety Measures Announced for Opioid Analgesics, Prescription Opioid Cough Products, and Benzodiazepines. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm518110.htmPeterson, D. (2018). Herb 503: Advanced Herbal Materica Medica II. American College of Healthcare Sciences. P. 22, 24.
Worwood, V. A. (2016). The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. Novato, California. New World Library.
1/2-oz Yarrow Achillea millefollium flowers and leaves
1/2 pt distilled water
Honey to taste
Administration and Dosage:
Oral use: Use one tablespoon three to four times daily.
I decided to go ahead and put more information even though some is in the other discussion board.
Yarrow can be used for bronchitis, colds, fevers, heart and the circulatory system, nosebleeds, and wounds and cuts.
Active constituents: The volatile oil contains azulene, cineol, borneol, and traces of thujone and chamazulene. The leaves and flowers also contain achillein and achilleic acid as well as tannin.
Therapeutic Action: These are what I addressed in the other post but I think the most important one for cough syrup is expectorant.
Indications: Yarrow can be used as an antiviral and help with fevers. It can be used to detoxify the blood stream as well as for angina and hypertension.
Contraindications: There are none known at this time.
Peterson, D. (2018). Herb 503: Advanced Herbal Materica Medica II. American College of Healthcare Sciences. p 19-23.
I am currently a student at American College of Healthcare Sciences earning my Masters of Science degree in Herbal Medicine. This blog is my journey of juggling mom-life with student life. My husband is a truck driver so I'm essentially a single mom all but 3 days a month. It's a challenge but we will get through this. I complete this degree on 18 December 2019 and will take one additional semester and then be done for a while. My children need more attention from their mommy but I can't wait on getting this education done. I will do what I must for now.