Lemongrass Oil

@Hakcipta Yosri – Dibebaskan di bawah {CC|Version 2}

Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus & flexuosus)

Lemongrass is a fibrous herb with a fragrance similar to lemons that belong to the family Poaceae, which consists of 55 other varieties of grasses, two of which are popularly used. The first, Cymbopogon flexuosus, and is most commonly used for producing essential oils. The second, Cymbopogon citratus, is the lemongrass most often used for culinary purposes.

East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass, is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to South Asia and maritime Southeast Asia. While both can be used interchangeably, C. citratus is more suitable for cooking. In India, C. citratus is used both as a medical herb and in perfumes.

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Cymbopogon is a genus of Asian, African, Australian, and tropical island plants in the grass family. Some species (particularly Cymbopogon citratus) are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons (Citrus limon). Common names include lemon grass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, cha de Dartigalongue, fever grass, tanglad, hierba Luisa, or gavati chahapati, amongst many others.

Uses for Lemongrass

It is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisines and also as a medicinal herb in India. It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. It is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for use with poultry, fish, beef, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African countries such as Togo, south eastern Ghana Volta Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Latin American countries such as Mexico.

Consuming this herb is known to improve circulation, promote digestion, provide relief to fever, stabilize menstrual cycles, increase immunity, treat infections, and act as an insecticide.

Despite its ability to repel some insects, such as mosquitoes, its oil is commonly used as a “lure” to attract honey bees. “Lemongrass works conveniently as well as the pheromone created by the honeybee’s Nasonov gland, also known as attractant pheromones. Because of this, lemongrass oil can be used as a lure when trapping swarms or attempting to draw the attention of hived bees.”

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You will find Lemongrass Essential Oil in many of Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays

Historically used as a pesticide and preservative, it was put on the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts found in India to preserve the texts. It is used at the Oriental Research Institute Mysore, the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Association for the Preservation of the Saint Thomas Christian Heritage in Kerala, and many other manuscript collections in India. The oil also injects natural fluidity into the brittle palm leaves, and the hydrophobic nature of the oil keeps the manuscripts dry so the text is not lost to decay due to humidity.

Lemongrass essential oil contains beneficial terpene components that actively work on different parts of the body to remedy a range of conditions. The main terpene compounds in lemongrass essential oil include citronellal, nerol, limonene, geraniol, geranyl acetate, citral, and myrcene.

  • Citral has antiviral, antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
  • Citronellal has antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and sedative properties.
  • Geraniol has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiseptics and analgesic properties.
  • Geranyl acetate has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiseptics and analgesic properties.
  • Limonene has digestive, appetite suppressing, detoxifying and antioxidant properties.
  • Neral has antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and apoptotic properties.
  • Nerol has antioxidant, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Myrcene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibiotic, and sedative properties.

This amazing essential oil is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate and vitamin C. It also provides essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.

Beneficial Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil

The health benefits of lemongrass essential oil can be attributed to its beneficial properties as an analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, galactagogue, insecticidal, nervine, sedative, and a tonic. Lemongrass is versatile, and its uses range from cooking to cosmetics, to cleaning products, to medicines. Lemongrass essential oil helps to cure cellulite, fungal infections, and digestive problems, while simultaneously reducing excessive perspiration.

Antianxiety: High blood pressure is a common side effect of stress. Many studies have shown that aromatherapy eases stress and anxiety. Combining aromatherapy with massage may bring greater benefits. A 2015 study evaluated the effects of lemongrass and sweet almond massage oil during massage. Study participants who received a massage using the oil once a week for three weeks had lower diastolic blood pressure than those in the control group. Systolic blood pressure and pulse rate weren’t affected.

Antibacterial: is used as a natural remedy to heal wounds and help prevent infection. Research from 2010 found lemongrass essential oil was effective against a variety of drug-resistant bacteria.

Antidiarrheal: Diarrhea is often just a bother, but it can also cause dehydration. Over-the-counter diarrhea remedies can come with unpleasant side effects — like constipation — leading some people to turn to natural remedies. According to a 2006 study, lemongrass may help slow diarrhea. The study showed that the oil reduced fecal output in mice with castor oil-induced diarrhea, possibly by slowing intestinal motility.

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Antifungal: Fungi are organisms like yeast and mold. According to an older study from 1996, lemongrass oil was an effective deterrent against four types of fungi. One type causes athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch. Researchers found that, to be effective, at least 2.5 percent of the solution must be lemongrass oil.

Anti-inflammatory: Chronic inflammation is thought to cause many health problems. These include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. It contains citral, an anti-inflammatory compound. According to a 2014 study on animals, lemongrass essential oil showed powerful anti-inflammatory abilities on mice with carrageenan-induced paw edema. The oil also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically on mice with ear edema.

Antioxidant: Antioxidants help your body fight off free radicals that damage cells. Research has shown that lemongrass essential oil helps hunt free radicals. According to a 2011 study, lemongrass oil mouthwash showed strong antioxidant abilities. Researchers suggest it’s a potential complementary therapy for non-surgical dental procedures and gingivitis.

Antipyretic: fever reducing. This is quite similar to a febrifuge but it is effective on very high fever as well. This oil can bring down fever when it is tending to reach dangerous levels. This property of lemongrass, which comes from its essential oils, is widely known and utilized.

Antiseptic: The antiseptic properties of this oil make it a good application for external and internal wounds as well as a useful ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams.

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Antispasmodic: its ability to help relieve muscle aches, cramps and spasms. It may also help to improve circulation.

Carminative: reducing gas, alleviating flatulence. It not only helps to remove gas from the intestine but also stops further gas formation. Furthermore, it provides the excess gas a safe downward passage by relaxing the muscles in the abdominal region.

Deodorizer: a natural and safe air freshener or deodorizer. You can add the oil to water and use it as a mist or use an oil diffuser or vaporizer. By adding other essential oils, like lavender or tea tree oil, you can customize your own natural fragrance. Cleaning with lemongrass essential oil is another great idea because not only does it naturally deodorize your home, but it also helps to sanitize it.

Digestive: Lemongrass is used as a folk remedy for a number of digestive problems, ranging from stomachaches to gastric ulcers. According to a 2012 study on mice, lemongrass essential oil helped prevent gastric ulcers, a common cause of stomach pain. Lemongrass is also a common ingredient in herbal teas and supplements for nausea. Although most herbal products use dried lemongrass leaves, using the essential oil for aromatherapy may provide similar benefits.

Diuretic: increases the frequency of urination. When a person urinates, fats are lost from the body, because 4% of the volume of urine is composed of them. Obviously, the more you urinate, the more you lose fat. Urination also promotes digestion and inhibits the formation of excess gas. It removes excess water from the body and reduces swelling. The most important contribution of this oil is that it removes toxins from the body, not to mention its ability to reduce blood pressure. That is the reason why most pharmaceutical medications for lowering blood pressure induce frequent urination. Urination also helps clean the kidneys.

Galactagogue: increases the formation of milk in the breasts. It also enhances the quality of the milk. This property is very helpful for lactating mothers and babies who need this vital source of food. Babies are prone to infections, so the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of lemongrass oil are also absorbed in the milk, thus indirectly helping the baby avoid such infections.

Glucose Regulation: may help reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a 2007 study on rats. For the study, the rats were treated with a daily oral dose of 125 to 500 milligrams (mg) of lemongrass oil for 42 days. Results showed lemongrass oil lowered blood sugar levels. It also changed lipid parameters while increasing so-called good cholesterol levels (HDL).

Hair Care: can strengthen your hair follicles, so if you are struggling with hair loss or an itchy and irritated scalp, massage a few drops of lemongrass oil into your scalp for two minutes and then rinse. The soothing and bacteria-killing properties will leave your hair shiny, fresh and odor-free.

Immunostimulant: stimulating the function of the immune system. It can help to boost your immune system with its antimicrobial and therapeutic properties. In vitro research has also shown that the oil can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, which can contribute to illness.

Pain Relief: The citral in lemongrass essential oil may help ease pain as it relieves inflammation. According to a 2017 study on people with rheumatoid arthritis, topical lemongrass oil decreased their arthritis pain. On average, pain levels were gradually reduced from 80 to 50 percent within 30 days.

According to researchers in Australia, native Australian lemongrass may relieve pain caused by headaches and migraines. The researchers believe that a compound in lemongrass called eugenol has similar abilities to aspirin. Eugenol is thought to prevent blood platelets from clumping together. It also releases serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and cognitive functions.

Sedative: It has great soothing, sedating and calming effects on the mind, cures inflammations, itching of skin and it relieves tension and anxiety. This feature can help patients with insomnia as well.

Skin Care: Add this oil to shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, soaps and lotions. It is an effective cleanser for all skin types; its antiseptic and astringent properties make lemongrass oil perfect for getting even and glowing skin, and thus part of your natural skin care routine. It can sterilize your pores, serve as a natural toner and strengthen your skin tissues. By rubbing this oil into your hair, scalp and body, you can alleviate headaches or muscle pain.

Tonic: It tones all the systems functioning in the body, such as the respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, and excretory system, and facilitates absorption of nutrients into the body, thus providing strength and boosting the immune system.

Triglyceridemia: reduction of triglycerides (cholesterol) in the blood stream. Statin drugs have this action on the circulatory system. High cholesterol may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s important to keep your cholesterol levels stable. Lemongrass is traditionally used to treat high cholesterol and manage heart disease. A 2007 study helps support its use for those conditions. The study found lemongrass oil significantly reduced cholesterol in rats who had been fed a high cholesterol diet for 14 days. The positive reaction was dose-dependent, which means that its effects changed when the dose was changed.

How to Use Lemongrass Essential Oil

  • To use lemongrass in aromatherapy, add up to 12 drops of essential oil (depending on your sense of smell) to 1 teaspoon carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. Mix into a warm bath or massage into your skin. Never apply essential oils directly to your skin.
  • You can also inhale lemongrass oil directly. Add a few drops to a cotton ball or handkerchief and breathe in the aroma. Some people massage the diluted essential oil into their temples to help relieve headaches.
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil can be helpful when carefully used in very-very low dilution by those that are challenged with acne-prone skin.
  • For Mind and Spirit, Robbie Zeck shares this about Lemongrass Essential Oil: “The intense, radiant energy of Lemongrass inspires expansion on all levels. Whenever there is a sense of restriction or limitation in life, Lemongrass lifts the spirits and gets things moving again.” [Robbi Zeck, ND, The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation (Victoria, Australia: Aroma Tours, 2008), 92.]

Possible Side Effects and Risks

Although cold pressed Lemon Essential Oil is phototoxic, steam distilled Lemongrass Essential Oil is not phototoxic. However, Lemongrass Essential Oil is abundant in citral (geranial and neral). It can pose a significant risk of skin sensitization when used over 0.7% in topical applications. A little goes a very long way in topical formulations.

Lemongrass essential oil is highly concentrated. Its side effects aren’t well-studied. In some people, they may be stronger than the side effects of the lemongrass plant.

Lemongrass may cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation when used topically.

Other reported side effects of oral lemongrass include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • increased appetite
  • increased urination

Essential oils may be toxic when ingested. You should NEVER ingest lemongrass essential oil.

Lemongrass, in its plant-form, is generally safe to use in food and beverages. Higher amounts may increase your risk of developing side effects. You should also talk to your doctor before use if you:

  • have diabetes or low blood sugar
  • have a respiratory condition, such as asthma
  • have liver disease
  • are undergoing chemotherapy
  • are pregnant
  • are breastfeeding

You shouldn’t use lemongrass as a complementary therapy or in place of your regular treatment for any condition unless under your doctor’s supervision.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/lemongrass-essential-oil
  3. https://monq.com/eo/essential-oils/lemongrass/
  4. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/lemongrass-oil.asp
  5. https://draxe.com/lemongrass-essential-oil/
  6. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html
  7. https://www.up-nature.com/blogs/news/top-30-lemongrass-essential-oil-benefits-and-uses
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19292822
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21693164
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19656204
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307583343_Antioxidant_activity_of_lemon_grass_ESSENTIAL_OIL_Cympopogon_citratus_grown_in_North_Indian_plains
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25242268
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326778/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19662581
  16. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-719/lemongrass
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22862808
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326778/
  19. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5303933_Antifungal_activity_of_the_Lemon_grass_oil_and_citral_against_Candida_spp
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  21. https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lemongrass
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26366471
  24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1753786
  26. https://www.britannica.com/science/citral#ref149735
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15796587

Goat’s Rue

Goat’s Rue root (Galega officinalis)

Galega officinalis, commonly known as galega, goat’s-rue, French lilac, Italian fitch, or professor-weed, is an herbaceous plant in the Faboideae subfamily. It is native to the Middle East but has been naturalized in Europe and western Asia. The plant has been extensively cultivated as a forage crop, an ornamental, a bee plant, and as green manure.

OTHER NAMES: Faux-Indigo, French Honeysuckle, French Lilac, Galega, Galéga, Galéga Officinal, Galega bicolor, Galega officinalis, Galega patula, Galegae Officinalis Herba, Geissrautenkraut, Goat’s Rue Herb, Italian Fitch, Lavanegravese, Lilas d’Espagne, Lilas Français, Rue-de-Chegravevre, Rue des Chegravevres, Sainfoin d’Espagne.

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By Epibase – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5396096

Chemical Composition

Although not thoroughly studied with 21st century methods, G. officinalis has been analyzed for its constituents, which include galegine, hydroxygalegine, several guanidine derivatives, such as 4-hydroxygalegine flavones, flavone glycosides, kaempferol, and quercetin. In addition to its purported effect to lower blood glucose levels and induce diuresis, goat’s rue was used as an herbal tonic in folk medicine practices of medieval Europe to treat bubonic plague, worms, and snake bites.

History

Goat’s rue is originally from the Middle East, but nowadays it grows all over Europe and Asia. This useful and diverse herb has been eagerly spread by humans, who have cultivated it as a fodder, green manure, honey plant, medicinal and ornamental. It was believed to increase the milk yield of domesticated animals, which is the origin of its scientific name: gale, ‘milk’ and ega ‘to bring, cause’ – so it is the milk-bringer. Since the Middle Ages goat’s rue has been used to treat diabetes as the guanidine it contains lowers blood sugar levels. Species have also been used in fishing: crushed stems are simply thrown into the water and the fish rendered unconscious by the poison are collected from the surface. In North America there has been a fear that goat’s rue will cross-breed and become a problematic alien, in much the same way that we in Finland have the same fears about garden lupine (Lupinus polyphyllos). Goat’s rue can mainly be found in Finland as a garden ornamental and only occasionally does it spread to the wild.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=64087

Benefits of Galega

Goat’s rue has been employed as a vermifuge, to treat snakebites, and to aid in treating the plague. It was believed to have been used as a diuretic and tonic in typhoid conditions and also as a nervous system stimulant.

Culpepper suggested goat’s rue as a soak for tired feet and for cheese making. Hill’s Universal Herbal (1832) mentions the dried flowers of goat’s rue being added to boiling water as an infusion and then taken to induce sweating and aid in fevers. The plant is widely cultivated as cattle feed.

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Goat’s rue is used along with conventional treatment for diabetes and as a diuretic. In combination with other herbs, it is used to stimulate the adrenal gland and pancreas; to protect the liver; for digestion problems; and to start the flow of breast milk. Some people use herbal combinations that include goat’s rue as a tonic and for “blood purification.”

Galactagogue: increases milk supply in mammals. Developing mammary tissue. Goat’s Rue stimulates the development of mammary tissue. It has even been used to increase breast size in non-lactating woman. It can even induce the growth of breast tissue in women who have had breast surgery, or plan on nursing an adopted child. Promote tissue growth in women whose breasts didn’t increase during pregnancy. Promotes rapid natural breast milk production as Goat’s Rue has galactagogue properties (promote milk flow). Facilitates breast let down, so that your body can release the milk. Helps to maintain breast health during nursing and lactation.

Antidiabetic: Lowers insulin and blood sugar levels, insulin-sensitizing. It has been used in diabetic patients to lower their blood sugar levels since the early 1900’s.

Diuretic: it promotes the production of urine.

Antibacterial: bactericidal properties.

Diaphoretic: inducing perspiration.

Anti-obesity. Protects the liver. Blood purification. Digestive problems.

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Vermifuge: destroy or expel intestinal worms.

Dosing

The appropriate dose of goat’s rue depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for goat’s rue. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Goats Rue can be taken in a tablet form or as a tea. It is said that the fresh plant may be toxic, thus use only the dried form of the plant.

Goats Rue Tea. To make Goat’s Rue tea, use 1 teaspoon dried leaves in 1 cup of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Dosage: You can drink one cup of Goat Rue tea up to three times a day. Add other herbs such as alfalfa, fennel or fenugreek to your tea to further support milk production.

Goats Rue Capsules. The normal dose for Goat’s Rue capsules is 1 capsule 3 or 4 times per day. Goats Rue Capsules are available online (Amazon.com). Make sure to purchase your capsules from a trustworthy company. Most capsules come with directions and dosing on them, so follow instructions or consult your healthcare professional in case of doubt. Goats Rue is also found in some readymade teas and capsules made specifically for breastfeeding mothers.

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Goats Rue Tincture. A tincture is a very strong herbal extract. It’s mostly made with alcohol, food grade glycerin, apple cider vinegar or honey. It’s said that making it with alcohol is the best option, as the ethanol in the alcohol helps to release the properties of the herb. Not to worry though, the amount of alcohol you will be getting in is not harmful to you or your baby. Dosage: Take half a teaspoon (20 to 40 drops) of Goat’s Rue tincture 2 to 3 times a day. It can be taken in water, juice or directly under your tongue.

By Buendia22 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72027189

Relation to Metformin

G. officinalis is rich in guanidine, a substance with blood glucose-lowering activity at the foundation for discovering metformin, a treatment for managing symptoms of diabetes mellitus. In ancient herbalism, goat’s-rue was used as a diuretic. It can be poisonous to mammals but is a food for various insects.

Once used in traditional medicine over centuries, G. officinalis is at the foundation of the biguanide class of antidiabetic drugs, which also included phenformin and buformin (both discontinued).

G. officinalis contains the phytochemicals, galegine and guanidine, both of which decrease blood sugar, but were discovered to cause adverse effects in human studies. The study of galegine and related molecules in the first half of the 20th century led to development of oral antidiabetic drugs. Research on other compounds related to guanidine, including biguanide, led ultimately to the discovery of metformin (trade name, Glucophage), used in the 21st century for management of diabetes by decreasing liver glucose production and increasing insulin sensitivity of body tissues.

Side Effects & Precautions

Do not use the fresh Goat’s Rue plant as it is considered toxic. Always use dried materials when preparing tinctures or teas.

There isn’t enough information to know whether goat’s rue is safe. No harmful effects have been reported in humans, but fatal poisoning has occurred in grazing animals that ate large quantities of goat’s rue.

Goat’s-rue may interfere with prescribed diabetes drugs, iron absorption, and anticoagulants. It may cause headache or muscular weakness, and its safety during pregnancy or breastfeeding is unknown.

Allergies: If you are allergic to peanuts, soybean, alfalfa or fenugreek allergic reactions may occur as Goat’s Rue is a member of the same family of plants.

Bleeding conditions: Goat’s rue might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. In theory, goat’s rue might make bleeding disorders worse.

Diabetes: Goat’s rue might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use goat’s rue.

Surgery: Goat’s rue might affect blood sugar levels. There is concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop using goat’s rue at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with GOAT’S RUE

Goat’s rue might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking goat’s rue along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.<br /> Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Recipes

Goats Rue Tincture. Goats Rue tincture can be used to increase milk supply and make your milk richer and creamier as well as more nutritious.

Ingredients: Goat’s Rue, Red Raspberry leaf, Blessed Thistle, Fenugreek, Marshmallow Root, Fennel, Vodka or Everclear.

Method: Put half a cup of each of the herbs in a glass jar. Add only ¼ cup fennel and a small amount of water (enough to wet the herbs). Add vodka. 50% herb 50% alcohol ratio. Shake well and store in a cool, dry place for 2 to 6 weeks. Make sure to shake the mixture every few days.

The Goat’s Rue Tincture can be used from week 2, but the longer it sits, the more concentrated the tincture will get, as the vodka needs to let the herb release all its valuable properties.

When you want to use the tincture, separate or strain the herbs from the liquid and pour into dropper bottles.

Dosage: Take half a teaspoon (20 to 40 drops) of Goat’s Rue tincture 2 to 3 times a day. It can be taken in water, juice or directly under your tongue.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galega_officinalis
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-160/goats-rue
  3. https://www.drugs.com/npp/goat-s-rue.html
  4. https://www.breastfeeding-problems.com/goats-rue-and-breastfeeding.html
  5. https://doi.org/10.1172%2FJCI14178
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2606813
  7. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/pdi.606/full
  8. http://www.invasive.org/eastern/other/Galega.html
  9. https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/metformin-myths-misunderstandings-and-lessons-from-history
  10. https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=70971
  11. https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/r/ruegoa21.html
  12. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/galega-officinalis
  13. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-642-74448-8_16
  14. http://www.luontoportti.com/suomi/en/kukkakasvit/goat-s-rue
  15. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222239853_Anti-bacterial_activity_of_Galega_officinalis_L_Goat’s_Rue
  16. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00288233.2004.9513591
  17. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/13909257/[Isolation_of_peganine_from_goat’s_rue_Galega_officinalis_L]_
  18. https://www.reddit.com/r/Herblore/comments/36629j/goats_rue_galega_officinalis_medicinal/
  19. http://jb.asm.org/content/171/10/5561.full.pdf
  20. https://www.jstor.org/stable/42952629?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
  21. https://nzpps.org/nzpp_abstract.php?paper=651920
  22. https://www.womenfitness.net/herbal-management-diabetes/
  23. https://graz.pure.elsevier.com/en/publications/alleviation-of-salt-stress-of-symbiotic-galega-officinalis-l-goat
  24. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Alleviation-of-salt-stress-of-symbiotic-Galega-L.-Egamberdieva-Berg/9d15a5320da81b4d919d303c7f1d4c82f25d53a4

Dandelion

Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale, Taraxacum mongolicum, Taraxacum palustre, Taraxacum vulgar.

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Mother Jai’s Detox Tea features organic dandelion root and leaf.

Other Common Names: Blowball, canker wort, clock flower, dente de lion, dudhal, dumble-dor, fairy clock, huang hua di ding (yellow flower earth nail), Irish daisy, lion’s tooth, lowenzahnwurzel, mælkebotte, milk gowan, min-deul-rre, monk’s head, mongoloid dandelion, priest’s crown, puffball, swine snout, tell-time, white endive, wild endive, witches’ milk.

Habitat: Dandelion can be found in the temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and North America. Hundreds of species of this hardy and beneficial herb are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere. Some botanists believe that the plant is circumpolar; that is, native to all the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. Other botanists classify the dandelion as a species introduced to North America from Eurasia. It is found growing wild in meadows, pastures, waste grounds, sand, gravel, rocks, and even cracks in concrete. Most commercial dandelion is cultivated in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom.

Plant Description: Dandelion is a hardy, variable perennial that is closely related to chicory (Cichorium intybus) that can reach a height of nearly 12 inches. The roots are fleshy and brittle roots are filled with a white milky substance that is bitter and slightly odorous. The dark brown roots may reach into the soil for a foot or more. The shiny, hairless leaves are irregularly dentate or pinnate, either oblong or spatulate. The leaves grow in a rosette from the milky taproot. The grooved leaves funnel rainfall down to the roots. The yellow flowers grow singly on a straight stem that is leafless, hollow, smooth and pale green; it may be tinged with mauve. The flowers are light-sensitive, opening in the morning and closing in the evening or in the event of cloudy weather. The familiar puff-ball that succeeds the flower is a globular cluster of achenes, each of which is fitted with a parachute-like tuft that easily floats on the breeze in order to distribute the seeds. Dandelion flowers open with the sun in the morning and close in the evening or during gloomy weather. The dark brown roots are fleshy and brittle and are filled with a white milky substance that is bitter and slightly smelly.

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Plant Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, and root. Dandelion leaves act as a diuretic, increasing the amount of urine your body makes. The leaves are used to stimulate the appetite and help digestion. Dandelion flower has antioxidant properties. Dandelion may also help improve the immune system. Herbalists use dandelion root to detoxify the liver and gallbladder, and dandelion leaves to help kidney function.

Available Forms: You can find dandelion herbs and roots fresh or dried in a variety of forms, including tinctures, liquid extract, teas, tablets, and capsules. Dandelion can be found alone or combined with other dietary supplements.

History: In the past, dandelion roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), dandelion has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Dandelion flowers have been used to make dandelion wine, for which there are many recipes. Most of these are more accurately described as “dandelion-flavored wine,” as some other sort of fermented juice or extract serves as the main ingredient. It has also been used in a saison ale called Pissenlit (the French word for dandelion, literally meaning “wet the bed”) made by Brasserie Fantôme in Belgium. Dandelion and burdock is a soft drink that has long been popular in the United Kingdom.

Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam. In Silesia and other parts of Poland and the world, dandelion flowers are used to make a honey substitute syrup with added lemon (so-called May-honey). Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute.

Properties

Dandelion is on the FDA’s list of safe foods and is approved by the Council of Europe.

The chief constituents of Dandelion root are Taraxacin, acrystalline and Taraxacerin, an acrid resin, with Inulin (a sort of sugar which replaces starch in many of the Dandelion family, Compositae), gluten, gum and potash. It contains substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, B-complex, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, choline, calcium and boron.

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Diuretic, tonic and slightly aperient. It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders.

Dandelion is not only official but is used in many patent medicines. Not being poisonous, quite big doses of its preparations may be taken. Its beneficial action is best obtained when combined with other agents.

Note there are some dandelion look-alikes such as cat’s ear (Hypochoeris radicata), hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella), young wild lettuce (Lactuca spp.) plants, and sow thistle (Sonchus spp.) (Tilford, 1997; Virginia Tech, n.d., Edible Wild Food, n.d.). Note that dandelion differs from these plants in that it only has one flower per stem (no branching stems), has a hollow stem containing milky latex, and is not hairy. Cat’s ear and hawkweed, for example are both hairy and have multiple flowers per stem on branched, solid stems.

Medicinal Uses and Indications

Most scientific studies of dandelion have been in animals, not people. Traditionally, dandelion has been used as a diuretic, to increase the amount of urine and eliminate fluid in your body. It has been used for many conditions where a diuretic might help, such as liver problems and high blood pressure. However, there is no good research on using dandelion as a diuretic in people.

Preventing urinary tract infections (UTIs). A specific combination of dandelion root and leaf extracts of another herb called uva ursi taken by mouth seems to help reduce the number of UTIs in women. In this combination, uva ursi is used because it seems to kill bacteria, and dandelion is used to increase urine flow. However, this combination should not be used long-term because it is not known if uva ursi is safe for extended use.

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Inflammation of the tonsils (Tonsillitis). An early study found that people who had their tonsils removed recovered faster if they ate soup containing dandelion compared to those who ate soup without dandelion.

Fresh or dried dandelion herb is also used as a mild appetite stimulant, and to improve upset stomach. The root of the dandelion plant may act as a mild laxative and has been used to improve digestion. Preliminary research suggests that dandelion may help improve liver and gallbladder function. But this study was not well designed.

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. But not all the animal studies have found a positive effect on blood sugar. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people.

Scientists at the Baylor College of Medicine have discovered the cancer chemopreventive potential of dandelion root against breast cancer. Conventional anti-cancer drugs target only the bulk of the tumor cell population, but not the rarer cancer stem cells, which are capable of indefinite self-renewal and proliferation, says Michael Lewis, Ph.D., an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology at the Baylor College of Medicine. The results of this experiment, published in the “Journal of the National Cancer Institute,” showed that dandelion root kills both breast cancer stem cells and the bulk of the tumor.

A study by S.J. Chatterjee and colleagues published in the journal “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” on December 30, 2010, reported that dandelion root can be a major strategy to prevent chemical-mediated breast cancer because it can detoxify carcinogens, thus protecting tissues against carcinogenesis. In MCF-7 breast cancer cells, dandelion root extract also showed the capacity to induce apoptosis, or programmed cell death, study findings have suggested.

A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

Surprising Benefits Of Dandelion

Improves Bone Health: Dandelion is rich in calcium, which is essential for the growth and strength of bones and is also rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and luteolin, which protect bones from age-related damage. This inevitable impairment is often due to free radicals and is frequently seen as bone frailty, weakness, and decreased density.

Treats Liver Disorders: Dandelion can help the liver in many ways. While the antioxidants like vitamin C and luteolin keep the liver functioning in optimal gear and protect it from aging, other compounds in dandelion help to treat hemorrhaging in the liver. Furthermore, dandelion aids in maintaining the proper flow of bile, while also stimulating the liver and promoting digestion. Proper digestion can reduce the chances of constipation, which in turn reduces the risk of serious gastrointestinal issues.

Controls Diabetes: Dandelion juice can help diabetic patients by stimulating the production of insulin from the pancreas, thereby keeping the blood sugar level low. Since dandelions are diuretic in nature, they increase urination in diabetic patients, which helps to remove the excess sugar from the body. Diabetics are also prone to renal problems, so the diuretic properties of dandelion can help in removing the sugar deposition in the kidneys through increased urination. Furthermore, the dandelion juice is slightly bitter to taste, which effectively lowers the sugar level in the blood, as all bitter substances do. Consistently lower blood sugar and a regulated insulin release prevents dangerous spikes and plunges in diabetics, so dandelion extracts can be a perfect solution!

Treats Urinary Disorders: Dandelions are highly diuretic in nature, so they help eliminate deposits of toxic substances in the kidneys and the urinary tract. The disinfectant properties of dandelions also inhibit microbial growth in the urinary system. In fact, the diuretic properties of dandelions are so strong that in France, the flower is also called “pissenlit” which means “urinate in bed”.

Skin Care: Dandelion sap, also known as dandelion milk, is useful in treating skin diseases which are caused by microbial and fungal infections. This treatment stems from the fact that the sap is highly alkaline and has germicidal, insecticidal and fungicidal properties. You should be careful while using this sap and avoid any contact with the eyes. This sap can be used on itches, ringworm, eczema, and other skin conditions without the risk of side effects or hormonal disturbances commonly caused by pharmaceutical skin treatments.

Prevents Acne: Dandelion juice is a good detoxifier, diuretic, stimulant, and antioxidant. These four properties make it a great treatment for acne. Before we know how it treats acne, we must know what causes it. Acne typically arises during the teenage years, when the body undergoes many physiological and hormonal changes. The flood of new hormones that bring about the changes in the body must be regulated, but if they don’t remain at a healthy ratio, they tend to deposit somewhat toxic substances into the body. These toxins tend to come out along with sweat through the sweat glands or sebaceous glands on the skin.

During these hormonal changes, these glands secrete more oils which, when mixed with dead skin, block the pores and the secretion of toxins is obstructed. Therefore, the toxic substances cannot escape and eventually result in acne. This situation is exacerbated by the microbial infections on the affected places. Dandelion juice, being a stimulant, diuretic, and detoxifier in nature, can help to regulate proper secretion of hormones, increase sweating, and widen the pores. All of these factors help to facilitate the removal of toxins through sweat and urine. Furthermore, dandelion sap, if externally applied to areas with acne, can inhibit microbial infection and reduce the signs of acne. Also, it can speed up healing due to its vitamin C content, so the scars and ugly red inflammation that traditionally follows acne treatment will be less noticeable.

Weight Loss: Our urine consists of up to 4% fat, so the more we urinate, the more water and fats are lost from the body. Dandelions, being diuretic in nature, promote urination and thereby help in losing the dreaded “water weight” without causing any side effects. Furthermore, dandelions are low in calories, like most leafy greens, but for the small expense of calories (~1oo cal. /4 cups), you get a huge amount of beneficial side effects. This is also why dandelions are sometimes used as sweeteners because they are not packed with unhealthy sugars.

Prevents Cancer: Dandelions are high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and luteolin, which reduce the free radicals (major cancer-causing agents) in the body, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Vitamin C also detoxifies the body, which further helps to protect from the development of tumors and various cancers. Luteolin poisons essential components of cancer cells when it binds to them, rendering them ineffective and unable to reproduce. This characteristic has been demonstrated most notably with prostate cancer, although there are other studies being done.

Treats Jaundice: Jaundice is primarily a disorder of the liver in which the organ starts overproducing bile, which ultimately enters the bloodstream and wreaks havoc on the body’s metabolism. The excess bile is also reflected through the color of the skin and eyes, which typically develops a yellow tint. The treatment of jaundice includes three main steps. First, you need to curb the production of bile. Second, you must remove the excess bile from the body, and third, you have to fight the underlying viral infection.

Dandelions are very helpful in all of these steps. They promote liver health and regulate bile production. Being diuretic in nature, they promote urination, where the excess bile can be eliminated. Finally, as an antioxidant and disinfectant due to the presence of vitamin C and luteolin, dandelions fight viral infections as well. They are most beneficial when taken with sugarcane juice since they replace the sugar in the body, which is significantly lowered due to the impact of excess bile. A lack of sugar can cause extreme fatigue and weakness, so dandelions help to boost your energy levels after infection.

Prevents Gall Bladder Disorders: Dandelions are very beneficial for the gallbladder and liver, because they improve their general functioning, protect them from ill effects of oxidants and infections, and regulate the various secretions from both organs.

Cures Constipation: Certain components of dandelion, namely the high levels of dietary fiber make it a beneficial aid for digestion and proper intestinal health. Dietary fiber stimulates healthy bowel movements by adding bulk to stool and also reduces chances of constipation as well as diarrhea. It regulates bowel movements, which can prevent serious gastrointestinal issues. It is commonly prescribed for children who are experiencing constipation, as it is relatively soothing on the stomach. It has also been used to stimulate the appetite, particularly following trauma or surgery.

Prevents Anemia: Dandelions have relatively good levels of iron, vitamins, and protein content. While iron is an integral part of hemoglobin in the blood, vitamin B and protein are essential for the formation of red blood cells and certain other components of the blood. This way dandelion can help anemic people keep their condition in check.

Regulates Blood Pressure: Urination is an effective way of lowering blood pressure. In fact, most of the modern medicines for lowering blood pressure are based on this phenomenon. Dandelion juice, being diuretic in nature, increases urination, both in quantity and frequency. Therefore, it helps to lower high blood pressure. The fiber in dandelion is also helpful in reducing cholesterol and thereby assists in lowering blood pressure since cholesterol is one of the factors that increase blood pressure. Finally, there is a high potassium content in dandelions, which is very effective in lowering blood pressure by replacing sodium.

Other Benefits: Dandelions can also be used as a vegetable and are a good source of fiber. It promotes digestion, and in the past, it was used to treat scurvy because of its high levels of vitamin C. It also has healing effects on dyspepsia, infections in the stomach, intestines and urinary system.

How to Take it

Pediatric: Ask your doctor before giving dandelion supplements to a child so the doctor can determine the dose.

Adult: Ask your doctor to help determine the right dose for you.

Preparations

Dandelion Tea— Infuse 1 OZ. of Dandelion in a pint of boiling water for 10 minutes; decant, sweeten with honey, and drink several glasses in the course of the day. The use of this tea is efficacious in bilious affections, and is also much approved of in the treatment of dropsy.

  • Or take 2 OZ. of freshly-sliced Dandelion root, and boil in 2 pints of water until it comes to 1 pint; then add 1 OZ. of compound tincture of Horseradish. Dose, from 2 to 4 OZ. Use in a sluggish state of the liver.
  • Or 1 OZ. Dandelion root, 1 OZ. Black Horehound herb, 1/2 OZ. Sweet Flag root, 1/4 OZ. Mountain Flax. Simmer the whole in 3 pints of water down to 1 1/2 pint, strain and take a wineglassful after meals for biliousness and dizziness.

For Gall Stones— 1 OZ. Dandelion root, 1 OZ. Parsley root, 1 OZ. Balm herb, 1/2 OZ. Ginger root, 1/2 OZ. Liquorice root. Place in 2 quarts of water and gently simmer down to 1 quart, strain and take a wineglassful every two hours.

For a young child suffering from jaundice: 1 OZ. Dandelion root, 1/2 oz. Ginger root, 1/2 oz. Caraway seed, 1/2 oz. Cinnamon bark, 1/4 oz. Senna leaves. Gently boil in 3 pints of water down to 1 1/2 pint, strain, dissolve 1/2 lb. sugar in hot liquid, bring to a boil again, skim all impurities that come to the surface when clear, put on one side to cool, and give frequently in teaspoonful doses.

A Liver and Kidney Mixture— 1 OZ. Broom tops, 1/2 oz. Juniper berries, 1/2 oz. Dandelion root, 1 1/2 pint water. Boil in gredients for 10 minutes, then strain and adda small quantity of cayenne. Dose, 1 tablespoonful, three times a day.

A Medicine for Piles— 1 OZ. Long-leaved Plantain, 1 OZ. Dandelion root, 1/2 oz. Polypody root, 1 OZ. Shepherd’s Purse. Add 3 pints of water, boil down to half the quantity, strain, and add 1 OZ. of tincture of Rhubarb. Dose, a wineglassful three times a day. Celandine ointment to be applied at same time.

Word of Caution: Dandelions can be helpful in lowering blood sugar, but for patients already taking blood-sugar modulators, this can result in hypoglycemia, an equally dangerous condition. Consult your doctor before adding dandelion supplements on top of your normal treatment. Also, the milk sap of dandelions has been known to cause itchiness, irritation, or allergic reactions on the skin, and should be kept away from the eyes. Finally, there is a rare type of fiber in dandelions called inulin and some people have a predisposed sensitivity or allergy to it which can be quite severe. While adding dandelion greens to your diet in any way, start small and closely monitor your body’s response.

Precautions: The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. However, herbs can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, you should take herbs under the supervision of a health care provider.

Dandelion is generally considered safe. Some people may have an allergic reaction from touching dandelion. Others may get mouth sores.

If you are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion.

In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin.

People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion.

Possible Interactions

Dandelion leaf may act as a diuretic, which can make drugs leave your body faster. It also interacts with a number of medications that are broken down by the liver. If you are taking prescription medications, ask your doctor before taking dandelion leaf. Medications that may interact with dandelion include:

Antacids: Dandelion may increase the amount of stomach acid, so antacids may not work as well.

Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants and antiplatelets): It is possible that dandelion may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you already take blood thinners such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or clopidogrel (Plavix).

Diuretics (water pills): Dandelion may act as a diuretic, causing your body to produce more urine to get rid of excess fluid. If you also take prescription diuretics, or other herbs that act as diuretics, you could be at risk of electrolyte imbalances.

Lithium: Lithium is used to treat bipolar disorder. Animal studies suggest that dandelion may worsen the side effects of lithium.

Ciproflaxin (Cipro): One species of dandelion, Taraxacum mongolicum, also called Chinese dandelion, may lower the amount of the antibiotic ciproflaxin that your body absorbs. Researchers do not know whether the common dandelion would do the same thing.

Medications for diabetes: Theoretically, dandelion may lower blood sugar levels. If you take medications for diabetes, taking dandelion may increase the risk of low blood sugar.

Medications broken down by the liver: Dandelion can interact with a number of medications. To be safe, ask your doctor before taking dandelion if you take any medication.

Recipes

Dandelion Pesto – Adapted from The Wild Wisdom of Weeds by Katrina Blair

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh young dandelion greens
  • 1 cup basil
  • 1 cup cashews, almonds, or pine nuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Wash and dry dandelion greens and basil.
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve as a dip with vegetable crudites or crackers, on pasta, or as a sandwich spread.

The Health Benefits Of Dandelion For Dogs

If your dog suffers from digestive issues, dandelion may be a great herb to consider. The dandelion flower may be used for its antioxidant properties and may improve the immune system. It is also high in lecithin. Dandelion leaves are loaded with potassium. They also stimulate the appetite and help digestion along with kidney function. They are an ideal choice for dogs with chronic indigestion or those with gas. Dandelion leaf also acts as a diuretic, making it useful in cases of arthritis, kidney stones, congestive heart failure and gallbladder disease. And best of all, dandelion leaf contains lots of potassium, which can be lost through urination. Dandelion leaf also stimulates the liver and promotes the elimination of waste material from the body. Dandelion root is also quite useful and nutritional. The root is a liver tonic and helps to remove toxins from the body, via the kidneys. Signs of toxicity can include:

  • Skin disease
  • Dandruff
  • Chronic constipation
  • Dandelion root can also treat gallstones and gallbladder inflammation.

Using Dandelion: Dandelion can be used as a dried herb, a tea or as a tincture.

Dandelion Tea – To make dandelion tea:

  • Use 5g to 30g dried herb infused in 8oz water.
  • You can use 1/3 of a cup per 20 pounds of your dogs body weight, up to 3 times a day.
  • For dried herbs, use a teaspoon per 20 pounds.

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Cypress Leaf

Cypress Leaf oil (Cupressus sempervirens)

Cupressus sempervirens, the Mediterranean cypress (also known as Italian cypress, Tuscan cypress, Persian cypress, or pencil pine), is a species of cypress native to the eastern Mediterranean region, in northeast Libya, southern Albania, southern coastal Croatia (Dalmatia), southern Montenegro, southern Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Malta, Italy, Israel, western Jordan, and also a disjunct population in Iran. C. sempervirens is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree to 35 m (115 ft) tall, with a conic crown with level branches and variably loosely hanging branchlets. It is very long-lived, with some trees reported to be over 1,000 years old.

The foliage grows in dense sprays, dark green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are ovoid or oblong, 25–40 mm long, with 10-14 scales, green at first, maturing brown about 20–24 months after pollination. The male cones are 3–5 mm long, and release pollen in late winter. It is moderately susceptible to cypress canker, caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinale, and can suffer extensive dieback where this disease is common. The species name sempervirens comes from the Latin for ‘evergreen’.

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Mediterranean Cypress has been widely cultivated as an ornamental tree for millennia away from its native range, mainly throughout the whole Mediterranean region, and in other areas with similar hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters, including California, southwest South Africa and southern Australia. It can also be grown successfully in areas with cooler, moister summers, such as the British Isles, New Zealand and the Pacific Northwest (coastal Oregon, Washington and British Columbia). It is also planted in Florida and parts of the coastal southern United States as an ornamental tree. In some areas, particularly the United States, it is known as “Italian” or “Tuscan cypress”.

Cypress Leaf Essential Oil – has a calming, soothing action on the mind. It is also used in perfumes and colognes as a tenacious fragrance component. We have not tried this, but author Scott Cunningham states that a combination of cypress and patchouli essential oils creates an ambergris-like substitute. Another source states that the proportions should be one-part Patchouli to two parts Cypress.

Aromatic Profile: Fresh, woody, resinous, sweet, deep green balsamic aroma with a faint smoky and ambergris-like undertone in the tenacious drydown.

Appearance: Pale yellow to yellow-orange, transparent, mobile liquid.

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Blends Well With: Ambrette Seed, Benzoin, Bergamot, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Cistus, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Juniper, Labdanum, Lavender, Lemon, Linden Blossom, Liquidambar (Styrax), Mandarin, Marjoram, Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Sandalwood.

Composition of Cypress Oil: The medicinal and soothing properties of cypress oil come mainly from terpenes like alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and alpha-terpinene. These organic hydrocarbons are the main building blocks of any plant resin or essential oil, and contribute to their scent, flavor and colors, as well as medicinal effects. Cypress oil also contains carene, camphene, cadinene, sabinene, myrcene, terpinolene, linalool, and bornyl acetate, all of which are essential to cypress oil’s healing effects.

Safety Considerations: Skin sensitization if oxidized. Dilute before using. A patch test should be performed before use for those with sensitive skin.

Therapeutic properties: The therapeutic properties of cypress oil are astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, hemostatic, hepatic, styptic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and sedative.

Benefits of Cypress Oil

Cypress oil’s health benefits are far-reaching, and it has demonstrated properties that are beneficial for your circulatory and respiratory systems. For instance, it can help reduce cellulite and varicose veins, and tighten and reduce pores. Cypress oil can also:

Relieve pain — When massaged over affected body areas, cypress oil can relieve rheumatism, osteoarthritis, and muscle and joint pain. It also helps control spams, relieves period cramps, and may even be used for injury rehabilitation.

Strengthen and tighten your tissues — Cypress oil’s astringent properties cause the tissues in your gums, skin, muscles, and even hair follicles to contract, which aids in strengthening them and holds them in place. This helps prevent them from becoming loose or falling out. The main function associated with astringency is contraction, so cypress oil makes your gums, skin, muscles, and hair follicles contract and prevents teeth and hair from falling out. It also tightens up loose skin and muscles.

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Treat wounds — Owing to its camphene content, the oil has antiseptic properties that help treat internal and external wounds. Cypress oil is even used as an ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams.

Serve as a diuretic — This helps promote good digestion and assists in stopping gas from forming in your intestines. It also potentially reduces swelling, cleans your kidney, and eliminates toxins and excess water from your body. Cypress oil increases urination, both in frequency and in quantity. This is very important and can be very beneficial for health. When you urinate, up to 4% of the volume is actually fats being eliminated by the body. Therefore, the more you urinate, the more fat you lose and subsequently weight. The most important role played by urine is that it removes toxins from the body. In addition to that, it also reduces blood pressure and cleans out the kidneys. Many of the mainstream medicines for lowering blood pressure are based on this benefit of urination.

Constrict your blood vessels — By constricting your veins, it helps stop bleeding, and may also benefit those who suffer from hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It can also be used for alleviating bleeding, perspiration, and irregularly heavy menstrual flow. While hemostatic means an agent that can stop blood flow or promote its clotting, styptic primarily means having the properties of an astringent, while also helping to stop excessive blood flow through contraction of the blood vessels. Both of these properties are very important in their own areas of application.

Promote proper liver function — It maintains adequate bile secretion and helps protect the liver against any kind of infection, which are both essential for optimal liver health.

Aids Toxin Removal – Cypress oil is a diuretic, so it helps the body flush out toxins that exist internally. It also increases sweat and perspiration, which allows the body to quickly remove toxins, excess salt and water. This can be beneficial to all systems in the body, and it prevents acne and other skin conditions that are due to toxic buildup. This also benefits and cleanses the liver, and it helps lower cholesterol levels naturally. A 2007 study conducted at the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, found that isolated compounds in cypress essential oil, including cosmosiin, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid, showed hepatoprotective activity. These isolated compounds significantly decreased glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, glutamate pyruvate transaminase, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, while they caused a significant increase in the total protein level when given to rats. The chemical extracts were tested on rat liver tissues, and the results indicate that cypress essential oil contains antioxidant compounds that can rid the body of excess toxins and inhibit free radical scavenging.

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Relax your nervous system — It has a calming and sedative effect on your mind and body by relieving nervous stress and anxiety. It also stimulates a happy feeling in case of anger or sadness. Cypress oil is also beneficial for people who have suffered a major trauma or shock. To use cypress essential oil as a natural remedy for anxiety and anxiousness, add five drops of oil to a warm-water bath or diffuser. It can be especially helpful to diffuse cypress oil at night, beside your bed, to treat restlessness or symptoms of insomnia.

Cures Spasms – Cypress oil is helpful in curing nearly all types of spasms and the problems associated with it. It efficiently relieves spasms in the respiratory system and intestines as well as muscular spasms in the limbs. It also helps to cure convulsions, muscle pulls, cramps, and spasmodic cholera which can be irritating or dangerous.

Tones Respiratory System – Cypress oil tones up the respiratory system and increases the efficiency of the lungs. It also helps eliminate the cough and phlegm accumulated in the respiratory tracts and lungs. Furthermore, it clears up congestion, thereby making breathing easier when you are suffering from a cough and cold.

Promotes Sweating – A sudorific substance is something which can cause sweating or perspiration. Periodic sweating makes you feel lighter, fitter and helps quickly remove toxins, excess salt, and water. This cleans the skin pores and openings of the sweat and sebum glands while keeping away acne and other skin diseases. Cypress oil is considered a very powerful sudorific substance.

Eliminates Odor – Cypress oil has a spicy and masculine fragrance that can easily replace synthetic deodorants which boast a similar natural and distinct aroma.

Fights Infection – A 2004 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a component present in cypress oil, called camphene, inhibited the growth of nine bacteria and all yeasts studied. This is a safer alternative than antibiotics that can lead to damaging side effects like leaky gut syndrome and loss of probiotics.

Treats Varicose Veins and Cellulite – Because of cypress oil’s ability to stimulate blood flow, it serves as a varicose veins home remedy. Varicose veins, also known as spider veins, occur when pressure is placed on blood vessels or veins — resulting in the pooling of blood and bulging of veins. According to the National Library of Medicine, this can be caused by weak vein walls or a lack of pressure exerted by tissues in the leg that allow the veins to transport blood. This increases the pressure inside of the veins, causing them to stretch and widen. By applying cypress essential oil topically, blood in the legs continues to flow to the heart properly. Cypress oil can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite, which is the appearance of orange peel or cottage cheese skin on the legs, butt, stomach and back of the arms. This is often due to fluid retention, lack of circulation, weak collagen structure and increased body fat. Because cypress oil is a diuretic, it helps the body remove excess water and salt that can lead to fluid retention. It also stimulates circulation by increasing blood flow. Use cypress oil topically to treat varicose veins, cellulite and any other condition that is caused by poor circulation, such as hemorrhoids.

Other Benefits – In addition to stimulating perspiration, it also curbs excessive sweating, heavy menstruation and bleeding. It is anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic, so it can also be used in the treatment of varicose veins, cellulite, asthma, bronchitis, and diarrhea.

Uses of Cypress Oil

The cypress tree was valued by ancient civilizations for its medicinal uses. The Chinese chewed the cones to heal their bleeding gums, while Hippocrates recommended it for treating hemorrhoids. The Greeks loved cypress’s comforting smell, and used it to clear their mind and senses. Today, cypress oil is used for industrial and medicinal practices. Perfume and soap industries often use cypress oil, as its fresh evergreen aroma, with a slightly sweet and balsamic undertone, adds a masculine note to men’s cologne and aftershaves. Medicinally, cypress oil can be used topically, inhaled via vapor therapy, or ingested in small doses. It’s said to help regulate blood flow and alleviate menstrual problems, detoxify and decongest the lymphatic system, reduce water retention, and relax muscles. Cypress oil can also have profound effects on your respiratory and digestive systems, especially during cold winter months. Here are some ways to use cypress oil:

  • Inhale or vaporize it through a diffuser to calm and relax your mind. It can also help alleviate breathing disorders, such as asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis.
  • Use it as a massage oil to relieve asthma, arthritis, rheumatism, cramps, varicose veins, and heavy menstrual flow. You can also add it to your warm bath.
  • Add it to your favorite lotion or cream to help soothe broken skin and varicose veins. It also has astringent effects that can help clarify oily and congested skin.
  • If you have a nosebleed, apply a few drops to a cold compress and press against your nose to help stop the bleeding.
  • Add it to your foot soak to help deodorize and clean sweaty feet.

How to Use Cypress Essential Oil

It’s safe to use cypress oil aromatically and topically. When applying the oil to the skin, it is best to dilute it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, before rubbing it into the skin. Here are some ways to use this essential oil in your everyday life:

  • Diffuse 5–7 drops of cypress oil in the home or office to create emotional balance, induce calm and energizing effects, and help with feelings of anxiousness or anxiety.
  • Apply topically, diluted with equal parts carrier oil, to treat arthritis, restless leg syndrome, cramps, asthma, bronchitis, cough or cold, carpal tunnel, and heavy periods. Simply rub the oil mixture into the effected area; this can be done 2–3 times daily, depending on your needs.
  • To reduce the appearance of cellulite, varicose veins, wounds, cuts or incisions, apply 2–3 drops of cypress oil to the area of concern.
  • Add 5 drops of cypress essential oil to a warm-water bath to treat respiratory conditions. You can also dilute cypress with a carrier oil and apply the mixture to the chest to work as a vapor rub. To reduce phlegm, add 3–5 drops of cypress oil to boiling water, place a towel over your head and breathe in the steam for 5–10 minutes.
  • To deodorize the home, add 5–10 drops of cypress oil to cleaning soap or add the oil to water and spray the mixture on curtains, sheets and couches; 1–2 drops of cypress oil can also be added to shoes, hats and jackets to prevent bacterial growth and body odor.
  • For hair and skin care, add 1–3 drops of cypress oil to your shampoo, conditioner or Homemade Face Wash. It is perfect for a deep clean, and it’s beneficial to the skin and hair because of its antimicrobial properties.

References:

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