Archive for the ‘Herbal’ Category


Friday, December 24th, 2010

Research has revealed that the species originated in Mexico and Central America some 70,000 years ago. Four times it colonized North America, each time being almost wiped out by glaciers during successive ice ages. Each new wave of evening primrose cross-pollinated with survivors and so continued the line.
American Indians are supposed to have used the evening primrose for hundreds of years. According to folklore, a tribe called Flambeau Ojibwe was the first to realize the medicinal properties of the evening primrose plant. They used to soak the whole plant in warm water to make a poultice to heal bruises, they used the plant for skin problems and asthma, and brewed a cough mixture from the roots.
From America, the evening primrose spread all over the world. Botanists first brought the plant from Virginia to Europe in 1614 as a botanical curiosity.
Most of the strains, however, came to Britain during the next century as stowaways in cargo ships carrying cotton. As cotton is light, soil was used as ballast. The ballast was dumped on reaching port, and with it stray seeds of evening primrose. Even today there are areas around the major ports, such as Liverpool, where evening primrose plants – descendants of the cotton ballast – grow in profusion.
In Europe, the evening primrose became known as ‘King’s Cure All’ by those who knew its almost magical medicinal properties. For centuries, however, the evening primrose was left to straggle along without anyone but a few specialist herbalists taking much notice. It wasn’t until this century that scientists began to look at the plant for its industrial potential in such things as paint.
In 1917 a German scientist called Unger examined the plant, and found that the seeds contained 15% oil, which was extractable with light petroleum. In 1919 the Archives of Pharmacology published a paper by Heiduschka and Luft who were the first to do a detailed analysis of the oil. They extracted 14% oil with ether, and apart from the normal oleic and linoleic acids, found a new fatty acid, which they named gammalinolenic acid (y-linolenic acid). In 1927, three German scientists repeated the Heiduschka and Luft test, and came up with a more detailed analysis of the chemical structure of this gammalinolenic acid (GLA).
Twenty-two years later Dr J.P. Riley, a British biochemist in the Department of Industrial Chemistry at Liverpool University, came across the German papers on evening primrose oil and decided to analyze the oil for himself, but this time using modern techniques. So Dr Riley set off for the sand hills near Southport in Merseyside and picked a bunch or two of evening primrose plants. He dried the plants, separated the seeds, and extracted the oil. To his great satisfaction, he found for himself the unique gammalinolenic acid.
It wasn’t until the 1960s, however, that British scientists began investigating the oil for its possible health uses. The first experiment was on rats. The aim of this experiment was to compare the biological activity of the commonly-found linoleic acid with the rare gammalinolenic acid.
The rats were put on a diet lacking in essential fatty acids, and after a few weeks they developed loss of hair and skin problems. They were then divided into two groups. One group was fed linoleic acid and the other group was fed gammalinolenic acid. The results of this first experiment were remarkable. The rats in the GLA group recovered more rapidly than the other group, and there was evidence that the GLA was far more efficiently taken up by the cells of all the important tissues and organs of the body.



Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Of course, you know that their times were quieter times, even though the people in their day had to work hard to be successful. But there you have it, an easier life is not always a successful one. You cannot help pondering over all this. You may have come to know just the tail end of their days, before humanity was plunged into wars and many disastrous cravings, putting an end to peace and quiet.

You eye the radio in the corner as if it were an enemy. Why, is it not a source of noise? Does it not force foreign thoughts on to you, robbing you of your peace? And what about television? From the moment you let it in through the front door, it is in the home like an intruder, like some evil thing intent on stealing your time and tranquillity, while parading before your eyes all the disastrous happenings in the world. How fortunate are those of us who never let it in and have never become used to it! However, it is up to you to keep your room quiet and peaceful if you want to!



Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Thousands of years ago the Chinese princes would order their builders to test the ground of a new building site before work commenced to see that it corresponded to the requirements for healthy living. We do not know exactly how they went about it, but we can see from old records that the order was carried out each time. In order to provide the healthiest possible conditions, it is important to consider whether a house is to be built on rock or gravel, on clay or marshy ground, whether the foundation is laid in wet earth with a high groundwater level or whether the ground is dry. One might have no other choice but to accept the plot of land that does not have the best conditions, in which case it is up to the builders to minimise the existing deficiencies and disadvantages by means of technical devices, perhaps by drainage and insulation or lagging.

You may have never given any thought to the importance of checking a building site from the standpoint of whether it provides a basis for healthy living.



Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Scientists have calculated the daily iodine requirement of the entire Swiss nation to be only 25 g (less than 1 oz). Perhaps this small estimate is correct. At any rate, only minute amounts of this mineral are necessary to meet our needs. On the other hand, if it were lacking, an abundance of the best nutrients and vitamins could not prevent the stupefaction and death of the Swiss people. It is a fact that a deficiency of iodine especially affects the thyroid gland and triggers strange symptoms. For example, a goitre can form, or myxoedema can result, leading to mental stupefaction. Conversely, an iodine disorder can cause exophthalmic goitre. This problem is recognised by the symptoms of hypersensitivity accompanied by frequent heart palpitations and nervous internal fluttering, which uses up nervous energy through overstimulation of the sympathetic nerves. The intestinal glands, the liver and pancreas, indeed most organs, will thereby be overstimulated. Even the perspiratory glands will be affected, and excessive perspiration can break out and weaken the body. Depression, characterised by mental imbalance and emotional ups and downs, is often the unpleasant consequence. This condition only deteriorates and becomes insupportable if massive doses of iodine are given.



Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Wheat germ – those tiny yellow flakes – is far too little valued and used. If people only realised how wonderfully nourishing and curative these flakes are they would serve them every day in one way or the other, including in their breakfast muesli. Girls and young women in particular would eat more wheat germ if they appreciated what marvellous properties it has to offer.

Wheat germ contains a first-class protein and much oil. More important, however, are the phosphates in it, and we should all know the vital role phosphates and their combinations play in keeping our nervous system healthy. Still more important than phosphates is the high content of vitamin E in wheat germ. Let me briefly remind you of what vitamin E means to us.

It is not for nothing that vitamin E is also called the fertility vitamin, since it plays a considerable part in the development and function of the reproductive organs. But the ovaries and testicles are more than just reproductive organs, they actually discharge their secretions into the bloodstream and therefore belong to the category of organs known as the endocrine glands. Vitamin E is of great importance for the correct functioning of these glands and thus for the entire metabolism.



Thursday, April 9th, 2009

A doctor friend of mine told me once that he was of the opinion that a certain patient’s anaemic condition had its basic cause in his vegetarian diet. This patient, who was otherwise quite healthy, was unable to overcome his condition, and the doctor was adamant that the man should add meat to his diet because it is rich in the haematinic vitamin B12. But when the doctor found out that I have been a vegetarian since I was seventeen, and have a constant haemoglobin count of 100—105 and otherwise excellent blood, he was extremely astonished and had to change his opinion. Mind you, a healthy vegetarian diet must include plenty of green vegetables and all the green culinary herbs, such as all kinds of cress and parsley, because these contain sufficient levels of vitamin Bu. All these green herbs, in particular parsley, stimulate the kidneys and urination and should therefore be used regularly, and not just as an occasional garnish on prepared dishes. In fact, your health will benefit greatly if you chop up some kitchen herbs daily, mixing them in your salads and cottage cheese and sprinkling them over vegetable and potato dishes. You can ensure a regular intake of these green herbs by always using the herbal seasoning salt Herba-mare, which is made from fresh green herbs. If you use natural products regularly in your kitchen you will reduce the risk of succumbing to vitamin deficiency.



Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Just hearing the name of this disease can inspire fear. It is a strange disease, progressive and insidious, and it can have tragic consequences for the rest of one’s life. Multiple sclerosis, often abbreviated to MS, is not known among people in less developed parts of the world, where the diet is still 100 per cent natural and unadulterated. Hence it must be a disease of our modern civilised world, a typical disease caused by civilisation.

It is understandable that we want to know the cause of an illness, and it is no different with multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, however, the cause of this dreaded affliction has not yet been conclusively pinpointed despite continuous research. Although there is no certainty, the symptoms seem to suggest a pathogenic agent, but it has not yet been identified. It is also thought that the reason that some people are susceptible to this agent is probably a deficiency of some vital substances.



Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Overseas travel has become commonplace since large airliners have conquered the problem of distance. It is not surprising, then, that in the more temperate regions of the earth travel agents keep issuing glossy brochures and leaflets, tempting us to travel to far-distant exotic countries. If you live in an area where glittering snow and majestic mountains predominate, it is hard to resist the call to experience the peculiar charm of the tropics; to enjoy a walk in the balmy air under palm trees or amid banana trees, laze around in the shade of huge avocado trees, watch the crocodiles from a canoe, follow an elephant herd in a jeep driven by a watchful guide, or perhaps admire some lions roaming in absolute freedom. An added bonus would be the prospect of getting to know the customs, habits and life-style of the natives. In reality, travelling in tropical countries is often arduous and not always as pleasant as some might make us believe, even though it may be interesting. The people who encourage us to visit faraway places are usually so enthusiastic about them that it does not occur to them to alert us to the dangers the tropics can have in store for us. Not even the travel agencies see fit to do so, but as you will see from what follows below their suggested precautions and insurance are really not enough in every case.



Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Obese people must never let themselves be persuaded to take a commercial slimming preparation. Except for seaweed, never take an ordinary preparation that contains iodine, since iodine is a dangerous element and should be used only in homoeopathic potencies and with the greatest caution. So if you do not know the contents of a slimming product, be sure to find out and reject it if it contains iodine. One should be very sceptical of any highly publicised weight-reducing remedies. Remember, the safest way to lose weight is by means of a suitable diet and a well-planned programme of physical therapy.

All chemical slimming preparations should be completely avoided. They are dangerous not only to the health but to life itself. Some people who have taken these preparations have met a tragic end. If you feel you must lose weight, take nothing but natural remedies.

When deciding how to approach a problem of obesity it is first necessary to identify its cause. It is no doubt true that excess weight is often caused by an improper diet or by eating too much. The unfortunate consequences in that case have their origin in too good an appetite. However, as discussed in the preceding section, there are some people who gain weight despite the fact that they eat very little. These people cannot reduce their weight simply by cutting down on the amount of food they consume. Advice on safe approaches to both types of problem is given below.



Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

In treating eczema it is of primary importance to discover the cause of the disease. It is usually to be found in faulty metabolism or an allergy to certain foods or other irritants. Naturally, these factors will have to be taken into consideration. In many cases a complete change of diet may be necessary. Without question, the bowels and kidneys should be stimulated so as to enable them to function adequately. Then we must find out if it is a chronic or acute skin eruption. External irritation, such as that occasioned by certain occupations, can play a part in the development of such skin diseases, but frequently it may be a hereditary condition.

For external treatment Molkosan (concentrated whey) has always given the best results. Molkosan is a biological lactic acid preparation which destroys harmful bacteria, stimulates the circulation and regenerates the skin by virtue of the minerals and enzymes it contains. As a rule, however, Molkosan alone is not sufficient, especially when treating psoriasis. It is then usually necessary to also powder the skin with a biological calcium preparation. For the best results use a calcium complex with Urtica (Urticalcin) in powder form. The third essential remedy is a lanolin cream, Bioforce Cream, which contains St John’s wort oil, being ideally suited for this purpose.