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)