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Intersection: Plants & Medicine

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  1. Intersection: Plants & Medicine

  2. Plants – A source for meds • Herbs - Ingestion or use of the plant itself • Herbal medicine - medicinal agents obtained by processing or concentrating plant products • Prescription drugs – plant substances processed and altered

  3. Herbs • Easy to obtain • No processing • Safety – high • Efficacy – variable, generally mild effects

  4. Coffee Coffea arabica, C. canephora Beverage Stimulation Antioxidant Appetite stimulant Gastritis Withdrawal Found everywhere

  5. Blueberries Vaccinium corymbosum Urinary infection Cancer protection Diabetes Common cold Antioxidant Diarrhea Tasty Safe None

  6. Chamomile Matricaria recutita Sedation, calming Antioxidant Quite safe Valium Xanax Ativan

  7. Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Diuretic Stimulate digestion Laxative Safe Lasix HCTZ

  8. Green Tea Camellia sinensis Antioxidant Cancer prevention Weight loss Lowers Chloresterol Increases energy Safe None

  9. Aloe Aloe Vera Burns Psoriasis Fresh food preservative Wound healing Antibacterial Safe Multiple commercial products

  10. Herbal Medications • Over 500 herbal products marketed as plants, teas, powders, liquids extracts, tablets. • Natural products – are they safe? Are they effective? • Marketed as dietary supplements. Not regulated except if proven unsafe. No standardization of product

  11. Echinacea Echinacea purpurea Immune system stimulation Cuts cold time in half Allergic reactions Worsen diabetes GI disturbances Worsen HIV, TB, MS and similar diseases (None)

  12. Garlic Allium sativum Hypertension Reduction of Chloresterol Lowers HBP Digestive aid Cancer protection Nausea Sweating Smell bad Abnormal Coagulation Lopid Zocor

  13. Ginkgo Ginkgo Biloba Improves cognition & memory Improves peripheral circulation Headaches Dizzyness Nausea Coagulation defects No effect on Alzheimers Aricept, Namenda

  14. Ginseng Panax quinquefolius, P. Ginseng Energy booster Enhance physical, sexual, mental performance Nervousness,Excitation Insomnia Allergies Diarrhea Depression Hypertension Coagulation defect Studies equivocal Cortisone

  15. Saw Palmetto Serenoa repens BPH Anti-inflammatory GI cramping Libido loss Breast tenderness Minimally effective Avodart Proscar

  16. Ephedra Ephedra sinica Asthma Common Cold DANGEROUS Strokes, Seizures Psychosis Heart rhythm abnormality Heart Attacks Ephedrine Epinepherine Norepinepherine

  17. St. John’s Wort Hypericum perforatum Depression Alters drug levels Allergic reactions Generally safe Paxil, Prozac

  18. Valerian Valeriana officinalis Sedation; insomnia Nervousness Fatigue Nervousness Prolongs effect of Tranquilizers & alcohol Valium Xanax Ativan

  19. Peppermint Mentha × piperita Irritible Bowel Topical – shingles Colic Muscle relaxant Liver disease Menthol Menthone

  20. Dangerous Herbs • Belladonna • Clematis • Lithospermum • Mandrake • Mistletoe • Pomegranate • Snakeroot

  21. Prescription Drugs • Proven effective • Standard & predictable dosing • Herbal medicines proven effective are now prescription drugs • Do not contain contaminants • (Not natural)

  22. Psyllium Plantago Ispaghula Constipation Irritable bowel syndrome Effective Many OTC laxatives

  23. White Willow Salix Alba Arthritis Pain Less effective than ASA Aspirin

  24. Foxglove Digitalis purpurea Heart failure Rhythm abnormalities Prescription only Digoxin, digitec

  25. Penicillin Penicillium notatum Effective antibiotic Prescription drug Pen V Ampicillin Amoxacillin

  26. Morphine Papaver somniferum Pain treatment Controlled substance Morphine Codeine

  27. Pacific YewTaxus brevifolia Breast cancer Lung cancer Ovarian cancer Prescription Drug Tamoxifen Paclitaxel

  28. Illicit Drugs • Opium • Heroin • Cocaine – actually a controlled drug • Methamphetamine • Marijauana

  29. Conclusion • Natural does not equal safe. • Natural does not equal effective. • Herbal medicines may not be drugs but do have a pharmacological effect. • Plants have a huge impact on human health • Recognize to take a herbal medicine is to get an effect, not just a food supplement.

  30. If you decide to use a herbal drug • Purchase the best quality available • Before taking the drug decide just what benefit you hope to see. • Be aware of potential side effects. • Stop the drug if 1) you don’t perceive the benefit you expected. 2) you experience side effects. • Don’t expect any long term benefits.

  31. What should I purchase? Obtain herbal medicine from a supplier with a good reputation. Thorne Research, Inc. www.thorne.com (208) 263-1337Email info@thorne.com