Medicine Woman

  (Waynesville, North Carolina)
dangerous herbs, medicinal herbs, culinary herbs
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HERBS THAT JUST ARE NOT SAFE TO USE PART TWO

THIS IS PART TWO OF HERBS THAT JUST ARE NOT SAFE TO USE

 

DAMINANA  Turnea diffusa of the Turneracea family a/k/a de la pastora, Mexican damiana, old woman’s broom

Used for: colic, to stop bed wetting, bring on suppressed menses. Inhaling steam from the tea is said to relieve headache, and aphrodisiac

 

SIDE EFFECTS  ARE hallucinations. Irritation of the urethra, excessive amounts may result in liver injury.

There is no evidence to support aphrodisiac effects.

 

 

 

DEVIL'S CLAW (Harpagophytumprocumbens)

Effective for osteoarthritis pain insufficient study has been done to evaluate its effectiveness for anything else.

SIDE EFFECTS may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, loss of appetite, and loss of taste. Other side effects may include allergic skin reactions, menstrual problems, and changes in blood pressure.  Use of devil's claw during pregnancy is not advised, as it may harm the fetus.

 

 

EYEBRIGHT (Euphrasia spp.)        ALL parts of the plant are used for herbal medicine. Eyebright was used as a traditional folk remedy for eye irritation. Eyebright is taken by mouth to treat swollen (inflamed) nasal passages, allergies, hay fever, common cold, bronchial conditions, and inflamed sinuses (sinusitis). It is also used for cancer, coughs, “pink eye” (conjunctivitis), earaches, epilepsy, headaches, hoarseness, inflammation, jaundice, runny nose, skin ailments, and sore throat.

 

Despite serious risk of infection, some people apply eyebright directly to the eye in the form of a lotion, poultice, or eye bath to treat a variety of conditions including conjunctivitis; inflammation of the eyelids at the edge of the lashes (blepharitis); eye fatigue; inflammation of the blood vessels, eyelids and conjunctiva; and for "glued" and inflamed eyes. Eyebright is also applied to the eyes to prevent mucous and mucous membrane inflammation of the eyes. Historically, eyebright has been used in British Herbal Tobacco, which was smoked for on-going lung conditions and colds.

 

In foods, eyebright is used as a flavoring ingredient.

 

When used directly on the eye, eyebright can be contaminated and cause eye infections.

 SIDE EFFECTS of topical eyebright may include itchiness, increased sensitivity to light, swollen eyelids, changes in vision, watery eyes, or severe eye pressure. Nausea, sweating and confusion have also been reported with oral eyebright use

 

 SIDE EFFECTS OF EYEBRIGHT TINCTURE include confusion, headache, tearing, itching, redness, vision problems, sneezing, nausea, toothache, constipation, cough, trouble breathing, trouble sleeping (insomnia), sweating, and others.

 

Eyebright has not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness, or purity

 

 

 

GOLDENSEAL  (Hyddrastis Canadensis) of the crowfoot family

You might be surprised to know that Goldenseal is considered a native American drug.  It was used by the Cherokee Indians primarily for skin diseases and as an eye wash for sore eyes.  It was also considered a bitter tonic, a remedy for various s gastric and genitourinary disorders, heartburn, pain in the bowels, headache, poor appetite, and feverishness.

 

Goldenseal contains hydrastine and berberine. It is the  berberine that is responsible for the drug’s characteristic   golden color.

 

Although Goldenseal is no longer even discussed in modern works on pharmacology, it continues to occupy a place  of prominence in modern herbals.

Also, for those who believe that Goldenseal prevents the detection of morphine in urine specimen following heroin use, also for detection of marihuana or cocaine use,   scientific studies have revealed no basis for this claim. Goldenseal neither prevents morphine detection nor does it “flush” that compound from the body.

 

 

 

HENBANE (Hyoscyamus niger)

Used for pain, Parkinson's disease symptoms, and ulcers.  It is also smoked to "cure" asthma and bronchitis. There is no evidence to support its use for any of these conditions.

Henbane is toxic, and when used for self-treatment may result in fatal poisoning.

SIDE EFFECTS may include dry mouth, red skin, constipation, overheating, reduced sweating, vision disturbances, increased heart rate, urination problems, drowsiness, restlessness, hallucinations, delirium, manic episodes, and death.

 

 

HYDRANGEA, Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea arborescensL., Hydrangea paniculata Siebold  of the Saxifragaceae family

 

For one thing, hydrangea is an ornamental, not an herb. No part of t he hydrangea bush is for internal use.

USED FOR:  kidney stones, diuretic and smoked  to produce a euphoria ( you will either get very stoned or very sick and possibly both). Cyanide compounds are present in the leaves and branches.  The buds are also poisonous.

SIDE EFFECTS: Hydrangea may lower blood sugar level, cause dizziness and chest  tightness.

 

JIMSON WEED (Datura stramonium)

  Jimson weed leaves are smoked for asthma.

Jimson weed is poisonous and can cause dry mouth and extreme thirst, vision problems, nausea and vomiting, fast heart rate, hallucinations, high temperature, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, breathing problems, and death.  The deadly dose for adults is 15-100 grams of leaf or 15-25 grams of the seeds.

 

KAVA (Piper methysticum)

SIDE EFFECTS may include liver damage leading to death, even with short-term use (1-3 months) of normal doses ] and aedation, oral and lingual dyskinesia, torticollis, oculogyric crisis, exacerbation of Parkinson's disease, painful twisting movements of the trunk, and rash.

 

 

 

LOBELIA (Lobelia inflate, L. beriandieri, L. cardinalis, L  siphilitica

Used for asthma, bronchitis, cough, and smoking cessation, muscle spasms,  to induce vomiting.  Also as a main ingredient in home smoking formulas.

SIDE EFFECTS may include profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion, convulsions, hypothermia, coma, and death. It's not called Indian Tobacco for nothing. Lobelia may also cause death from respiratory depression and respiratory muscle paralysis.  It may also increase the blood pressure. Does not interact well with drugs.

 .

 

 

MADDER ROOT (Rubia tinctorum)

Sometimes used in herbal medicine as an astringent diuretic, emmenagogue, and claimed to be good for many conditions, including alkaline urine, diarrhea, inflammation, wounds, broken bones, fever, and many others. There is no evidence to support the use of madder root for any of these conditions. The root is used in Ayurveda and Hildegard medicine. Madder root is also used for dyeing fabrics.

Madder Root  may cause cancer, birth defects, and miscarriages. It can also make urine, saliva, perspiration, tears, and breast milk turn red. 

 

 

MISTLETOE (Viscum album)

Mistletoe is claimed to be good for cancer prevention, hypertension, and insomnia.  However, research of  Mistletoe has concluded that Mistletoe  isn't effective for cancer; and that insufficient research has been done to evaluate the other claims.

When small amounts are taken, it is safe, with mild side effects of headaches, fever, and chills.   Large amounts are toxic and can be fatal.

 

 SYMPTOMS may include seizures, coma, death, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, slow or irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, confusion, and drowsiness. 

 

Mu Tong (Caulis aristolochiae)

Used in traditional Chinese medicine for "relieving excess fire" and "stimulating the secretion of milk".

May cause fatal kidney failure because, like birthwort, it contains aristolochic acid.

 

 

PART THREE  AND THE FINAL PART OF THIS SERIES WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY

 

 De Milto, Lori; Frey, Rebecca."Foxglove."Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. 2005. Encyclopedia.com. (December 27, 2013). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3435100319.html

 

www.cancer.org.

webmd.com

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_medicinal_plants

The Honest Herbal   by Varro  E.  Tyler

http://www.encyclopedia.com/

The Complete Guide to HERBAL MEDICINES  BY Charles W. Fetrow and Juan R. Avila

Know Your Poisonous Plants  by Wilma Roberts James

An Illustrated Guide to 101 Medicinal Herbs  by Steven Foster 

http://nadiasyard.com/our-native-plants/american-pokeweed

 
 
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