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Info wanted on 3 "banned" medicinal herbs.

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posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 12:23 PM
I'm desperately seeking information and updates about 3 herbs that were once widely used medicinally. They are only "banned" in the sense that they are no longer sold or prescribed in health shops, and attached with all kinds of cautions.
They are not illegal to grow or possess - they seem to rather have fallen out of favour, and not all opinions seem to support their demonization.
The first is Coltsfoot - I once used it as a highly effective cough and lung treatment. However, recent research from Germany suggests the herb causes cancer (some strongly disagree), and it is now only advised in small, limited doses.
The second is Waldmeister (Woodruff) - once a tasty German spice in drinks, ice cream and syrups (the best luminous green ice cream ever - yum, yum). One ingrediant apparently causes headaches in some people, and supposedly even cancer. This ancient anti-inflammatory plant was banned as a commercial ingredient in Germany in 1981.
The third is Kava Kava. The Pacific intoxicant was sold in small relaxing herb capsules, and now I hear it destroys the liver! Most herbalists are not convinced. Apparenlty the liver studies were done on heavy alcohol drinkers.
Is this part of a conspiracy to remove the plants that actually work?
Opinions, information, tips and recipes are welcome.

(PS. Info on similar herbs that have recently mysteriously vanished from health stores is also most welcome.)

[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 12:49 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

On Coltsfoot - this site urges caution rather than total avoidence:
In Woodruff the bone of contention is something called "caumarin".
I wonder if Waldmeister flavours were really known outside Germany, but many bloggers miss the flavour, especially the ice cream.

[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 02:33 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

Waldmeister (Woodruff) ice cream - oh those were the days!
Very sad to read that artificial flavourants are now used in German Woodruff products (see Wiki link above). I mean is any of that stuff totally safe?
I wonder, has anyone actually EVER developed cancer from Woodruff?

Why are they so hyper-careful with herbs, but all kinds of unsure rubbish is allowed in our foodstuffs?

A recipe for the adventurous:

[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 03:50 PM
I used Coltsfoot as a substitute for tobacco when i last tried to give up smoking (about 10 years ago).

It worked! Although i did get some funny looks as i pulled out my clear plastic bag full of the stuff when i fancied a Coltsfoot cigarette. I think people thought it was cannabis!

Im not sure why it has fallen out of favour. Perhaps it's because the general mood of our times is that everything you smoke causes cancer?

posted on Jul, 18 2010 @ 04:15 PM
reply to post by Silver Star

Doing some more reading on Coltsfoot (so many contradictory sites).
I've heard of people smoking Coltsfoot for bronchitis long before tobacco came to Europe.
However, the tea seems similarly spurned by the critics.

[edit on 18-7-2010 by halfoldman]

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 08:36 PM
Apricot pits were "in" for a while. They are bitter if you just munch them, supposedly poisonous too. For a while, they were used as a cancer treatment. Strange, my dog would look for apricots just to break the pit open and chew it. After the tree died, he developed a cancerous tumor on his tooth.

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 10:31 PM
RE: "(PS. Info on similar herbs that have recently mysteriously vanished from health stores is also most welcome.)"


This is probably going to be long winded so bear with me....

Coltsfoot - the young blooms contain a toxic alkaloid that is taken in more than minimal quantities will lead to liver damage and quite possible cancerous tumors in the liver. The plant itself at any stage of development contains senkirkine, also toxic to the human system. So as a holistic answer for THROAT irritations, it is NOT a viable plant. It does have expectorant properties that can help reduce pain, irritation, and swelling in the lung muscles but I don't think the risks involved are worth the reward. Try slippery elm bark (nourishing and comforting effects) or marshmallow root (safe enough to be given to an infant as a chew stick for teething) instead. However, if you do want to use coltsfoot anyway, combine it with licorice, thyme, and/or black cherry for maximum effects. Here is a homemade recipe you might want to try:


* 1 oz (30 g) coltsfoot leaves
* 1/3 oz (10 g) marshmallow root
* 3/4 oz (25 g) balsam shoots
* 3/4 oz (25 g) ground ivy
* 1/3 oz (10 g) licorice
* 4 cups (1 liter) water
* 2 Ib (1 kg) natural honey

Boil this mixture in 4 cups (1 Iiter) water for 15 minutes. Strain and add 2 lb (1 kg) natural honey. Gently melt, simmering at low heat for 20 minutes. Cool before bottling. Store in refrigerator. Consume within 3 months.

Recommendation: 1 Tbsp. (15ml), 2 to 3 times a day.

Woodruff - This can be consumed in tea form with this plant's leaves as a general tonic for liver maintenance. It is also an anti-arthritic and assists with insomnia in adults and children. The most common application for this herb is for topically dressing shallow wounds and cuts in the form of a wash or salve. This has diuretic properties and is sometimes used for laxative purposes and loose bowels can be a concern because of the body's loss of potassium. If you are looking for a laxative, Dandelion would be better because it has high concentrations of potassium. (Dandelion is not for individuals with "ragweed" allergies.) If your supply of Woodruff becomes wet at any time, discard it as studies done on animals show that when woodruff gets wet, it molders quite easily and when ingested at this stage becomes an anti-coagulant - leading to potential internal hemmorage.

Kava Kava - This plant bring a state of well being and mood, has muscle relaxing and anticonvulsant properties, and is non-narcotic. However, when used in excessive quantities, kava can cause photophobia (excessive sensitivity to light) and diplopia (double vision). The result can sometimes be oculomotor paralysis where muscles don’t respond to normal movement, ultimately ending up in prostration and unconsciousness. Heavy use of kava over long periods of time, over weeks and months, can result in drying up of the skin epidermis which in turn causes lesions and yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Loss of appetite, redness of the eyes, urticarial patches (hives) with intense itching are some of the other symptoms seen when kava is used excessively. These symptoms are seen to subside when you stop using kava. And yes, this plant contains several toxic alkaloids that damage the liver irreparably with heavy use. There have been cases of prosecution in the US for driving under the influence of kava. Basically, this is some heavy duty stuff not to be used lightly and usually only as a last resort.

I suffer from high anxiety and moderate depression myself. When the doctors put me on Xanax and other such similar medication, I found that although it helped with greatly with the conditions it also left me unable to think or function enough to take care of my family. So I self medicate now with a blend of Passiflora (anti-anxiety/depression/anagelsic), Valerian Root (anti-anxiety/light, non narcotic sedative), and Ginseng (counter acts the extremely mild diuretic/nauseum effects of the first two) in capsule form. I call it "Zen Blend".

Well, I think my dissertation is complete now and just F.Y.I., I specialize in holistic remedies, aromatherapy treatments, and dream interpretations/oneroimancy so you got a good idea of who you are talking to and what skills I possess. Additionally, I sell over 500 herbs/spices and over 200 therapeutic grade essential oils. If you ever find yourself needing something in the future, please consider my services.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my post and let me know if you found it at all helpful.

edit on 2/28/2011 by CelestialBeginnings because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 10:38 PM
reply to post by halfoldman

My ex works in a runs an herb shop. I called her and she is checking into the first two for me (though to be honest, she is my ex and may not get back to me - we have baggage).

But kava kava is readily available in the US. In fact even our local gas station chain here, in GA, sells it at the front counter in a "concentration" energy pill mixture. I think Google and a credit card could probably get you some shipped your way.

Should my ex get back to me about the other two, I will post that info here.


posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 11:08 PM

Originally posted by zachi
Apricot pits were "in" for a while. They are bitter if you just munch them, supposedly poisonous too. For a while, they were used as a cancer treatment. Strange, my dog would look for apricots just to break the pit open and chew it. After the tree died, he developed a cancerous tumor on his tooth.
The site won't let me copy and paste. It talks about a compound that degrades into a type of cyanide when metabolized, found in apricot, peach, and apple seeds. There is a cancer drug that has been extracted from this compound, but is also poisonous when taken wrong.

I have a plum tree in my yard, and I can't let any plums sit on the ground because I'm afraid of my dog getting poisoned.

posted on Feb, 28 2011 @ 11:09 PM
reply to post by CelestialBeginnings

Thank you so much for the helpful post!
I think one really needs to abuse these herbs to get a negative effect.
For example, I take a local herb called Sceletium occasionally as a tablet.
It is very good for me.
But now I see articles on the Web of people misusing it - even trying to snort it.
These idiots basically take what would be my supply for 2 months and abuse it.
That is so sad, and I fear Sceletium will soon be illegal.

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