Herbal Medicine

  1. Garlic Allium sativum
     lowers blood viscosity
     activates fibrinolysis
     antiplatelet & antithrombotic
     possibly hypolipidaemic
     Reduces cardiovascular risk factors
    • Anaemia is defined as a
    • haemoglobin (Hb) below the
    • normal limit for age and is not a
    • specific diagnosis
    •  In Australia, most individuals with
    • anaemia will have iron deficiency
    • with rates of up to 5% for children
    • and 20% for menstruating females
  2. Iron deficiency
    Suggested by
     Premature birth
     Inadequate dietary intake during growth spurts and pregnancy
     Drugs such as
     Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (nsaids)
     Previous gastric surgery
     Frequent blood donations
     Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract accompanied by blood loss
    • Folate deficiency
    •  Suggested by
    •  Dietary insufficiency
    •  Particularly with pregnancy
    •  Alcoholism
    •  The presence of small bowel disease
  3. Vitamin B12 deficiency
     Can be associated with
     Previous gastric surgery
     Selective dietary restriction (vegans)
     Ileac disease or surgery
     Pernicious anaemia (reduced gastric secretion of intrinsic
    factor due to autoimmune mechanisms including intrinsic
    factor binding by antibody and autoimmune gastritis)
    • Vitamin B12 deficiency
    •  Can be accompanied by
    •  Neurological symptoms of confusion
    •  Premature senility
    •  Psychosis
    •  Spinal cord dysfunction
    •  A peripheral neuropathy
  4. The anaemia of bone marrow failure
     Is accompanied by infection and bleeding reflecting
    accompanying leukopenia and thrombocytopenia
     Bone pain suggests a marrow infiltrative process
    • Role of Iron
    •  Formation of haemoglobin
    •  The essential oxygen-carrying component of the red blood cell
    •  Formation of myoglobin
    •  A protein similar to haemoglobin which holds and transports oxygen to
    • the muscles
    •  Protein synthesis
    •  Many enzymes require iron as a cofactor e.G. The enzymes produced
    • by white blood cells that digest the cell walls of invading microbes
    •  Assists the assimilation of B vitamins
  5. Effects of Iron Deficiency
     Weakness, lethargy
     Poor endurance
     Dizziness on standing
     Shortness of breath on exertion
     Hazy thinking
     Poor concentration
     Nausea after meals
     Loss of appetite
     Constipation or diarrhoea
  6.  Unusual fatigue
    •  Comes on more quickly, longer
    • lasting
    •  Depression
    •  Reduced resistance to infection
    •  Overall itching
    •  Headaches
    •  Sore tongue
    •  Sleeplessness
    •  Brittle nails
    •  Sickly looking skin
    •  Hair loss
    •  Heart palpitations
    •  Concave nails (spooning)
  7. Enhancing Iron Absorption
     Vitamin C
     500 mg ascorbic acid was give to 28 strict vegetarians
    after lunch and dinner for 2 months
     Haemoglobin increased by 8%, serum iron by 17% and
    territin by 12%. It was concluded that ascorbate
    supplementation is a better method of improving iron
    status than iron salt administration
    • Enhancing Iron Absorption
    •  Vitamin D
    •  increases iron absorption. Inversely related to skin pigment (Pacific
    • Island adults have only half the amount of Vitamin D of Europeans)
    •  Copper, cobalt, manganese
    •  Low body iron stores
    •  Pregnancy, Growth
    •  Genetic factors
  8. Hindering Iron Absorption
     Low copper levels
     High calcium in adjoining foods
     Rapid gastric motility
     High iron stores
    • Withania somnifera
    •  A herb indigenous to India
    • used in the Ayurvedic
    • system of medicine as a
    • general tonic and in the
    • treatment of various
    • nervous disorders
    •  It is also rich in iron.
  9.  The alkaloids are sedative and hypotensive and slow the
    heart rate.
     The withanolides are antibacterial, anti-tumour, antiinflammatory
    and protect against carbon tetrachloride
    induced liver toxicity
     The withanolides also enhance liver glycogen stores in a
    similar way to glucocorticoids
    • Codonopsis pilosula
    • Codonopsis nourishes body
    • fluids and tonifies the vitalenergy
    • and Spleen
    •  It increased red blood cell
    • count and Haemoglobin in
    • vivo and has been used
    • clinically for the treatment
    • of anaemia and poor
    • appetite
  10. Licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra
    Licorice traditionally is used
    for blood deficiency
     It facilitates the absorption
    of other constituents in a
    formula and has been
    shown to mildly enhance
    the absorption of iron in
    • Urtica urens Nettle
    • Nettle leaf contains
    • good amounts of
    • vitamins, minerals and
    • chlorophyll and is
    • considered a nutritive
    • and haemostatic
  11. Chilblains
     A lot of people suffer from cold
    feet in the winter, but not all of
    them will develop chilblains as a
     Whether or not they do, depends
    to a large extent on the efficiency
    of their circulation.
  12.  What are chilblains?
    •  They are small, itchy, red
    • swellings on the skin, which can
    • become increasingly painful, can
    • swell and then dry out leaving
    • cracks in the skin which expose
    • the foot to the risk of infection
  13. They are caused by the skin's abnormal reaction to
    cold and damp or draughty conditions are
    contributory factors.
     If the skin on the extremities is chilled, and is then
    followed by too rapid warming next to a fire or hot
    water bottle, chilblains may result.
     Dietary factors and hormonal imbalance also play a
  14.  What are the symptoms?
    •  With the onset of the cold weather, susceptible people will
    • experience burning and itching on their hands and feet after
    • exposure to cold.
    •  On going into a warm room, the itching and burning is
    • intensified.
    •  There may be some swelling or redness, and in extreme
    • cases the surface of the skin may break, and sores may
    • develop.
  15. Raynaud’s disease is a
    condition that affects
    the blood supply to the
    fingers, toes and
    occasionally the ears
    and nose.
     During a Raynaud’s
    attack, or episode, the
    blood vessels constrict
    and the blood supply to
    these areas is reduced.
    • This results in several skin color changes which are often
    • accompanied by a throbbing or burning sensation, cold, and
    • numbness.
    •  The exact cause of Raynaud’s disease remains unknown.
    •  During a typical Raynaud’s attack the affected area may first
    • become white (pallor) as the blood supply is reduced, then
    • blue (cyanosis) as the oxygen supply to the area is depleted,
    • followed by bright red (rubor) as the blood returns to the area
    • (reactive hyperemia).
  16. Raynaud’s episodes can be triggered by cold, either by
    touching cold objects or by being in a cold environment.
     Emotions such as stress and anxiety may also play a role.
     The severity of attacks will vary from episode to episode, as
    well as from patient to patient.
     Attacks typically last a few minutes.
    • Treatment for Chilblains & Ranaud’s Disease
    • Warming circulatory
    • stimulant and antiinflammatory actions are specific
    •  Zingerber officinalis
    •  Capsicum minimum
    •  Curcuma longa
  17. Varicose Veins
    Risk factors
     family history
     pregnancy (a major risk factor)
     sedentary or standing life style or employment
     can also follow increased abdominal pressure from
    Ascites or tumours.
    • Signs & Symptoms
    •  Cosmetic unsightliness of the legs
    •  Worse standing
    •  Legs heavy and fatigued
    •  Better with legs elevated
    •  May be painful and worse during menses
  18. Treatment
     Fruit and vegetable intake should be high to
    maintain optimum levels of flavonols and other
    supportive elements
     Regular walking and resting or sleeping with the legs
    elevated is often to be recommended
    • Herbs
    •  Aesculus hippocastanum (horsechestnut) and
    • Ruscus (butcher's broom), taken internally and also
    • applied topically in a cream, are key aspects of
    • treatment
    •  Horsechestnut is proven to increase venous tone
    •  Horsechestnut should not be applied to broken skin
  19. Crataegus and Vitis vinifera (grape seed extract) will also
    help maintain venous tone
     Melilotus (sweet clover) has antioedema activity and
    improves venous return
     Circulatory herbs, especially Achillea (yarrow) and Ginkgo,
    can also be very helpful
    • Stasis dermatitis
    •  Stasis dermatitis (varicose eczema) develops in the legs as a
    • result of chronic oedema and venous incompetence
    •  It usually begins as a scaling associated with itching over the
    • medial aspect of the ankle and can progress to become
    • stained as a result of extravasation of blood.
  20. Stasis ulceration (varicose ulcer) is a further complication of
    stasis dermatitis
     The ulcers are shallow and can be quite large
     They often result from damage such as knocking the leg and
    can take months or longer to heal
     Bacterial infection is present
    • Treatment is essentially as for varicose veins but the
    • following additions or modifications are important to prevent
    • further damage and heal the ulcers
    •  Aesculus or Ruscus should not be applied topically
    •  The best topical treatments consist of Calendula and
    • Echinacea as a lotion and Calendula cream applied on the
    • good skin around the edge of the ulcer
    •  Inclusion of Centella (gotu kola) for healing and Echinacea for
    • its immune effects in the oral treatment can be beneficial
Card Set
Herbal Medicine
Session 8