MoonDragon's Health & Wellness Therapy
ADRENAL & RESPIRATORY RECIPES
For Informational Use Only
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.
HERBAL TINCTURE RECIPES
ADRENAL & RESPIRATORY TONIC
2 Tablespoons Horehound Herb (or Tincture Extract)
2 Tablespoons Hyssop Herb (or Tincture Extract)
2 Tablespoons Licorice Root Herb (or Tincture Extract)
2 Tablespoons Marshmallow Root Herb (or Tincture Extract)
4 Cups Water
Mix together horehound, hyssop, licorice root, and marsh mallow root. Add the water. Simmer until the liquid is 1/4 reduced. You should have about 3 cups of the tonic. Strain and dose with 1/2 cup of the liquid every couple of hours for 1 day of every week for a month. This tones up the respiratory tract and also stimulates and nourishes the adrenal glands.
Individual herbal liquid tincture-extracts can be used in place of herbs. Add recommended drops of extract into hot liquid (water, juice or herbal tea) and taken as suggested.
TINCTURE MAKING IN A NUT SHELL
Homemade tinctures can be made using the flowers and leaves of the fresh plant (preferred), the roots or seeds, or if needed, the dried plant using apple cider vinegar or 100 proof alcohol (such as vodka or brandy). Add herb to glass container (a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid) and cover with liquid of choice. Seal tightly and place in dark place (like the back of a cupboard), shaking contents daily to extract plant properties into the liquid. Most tinctures are ready to use after about 2 to 6 weeks and can be strained and transferred into dropper bottles for use.
About Ratios - All herbal extracts on the market usually have a fixed ratio to the product to help us determine how much solvent to material was used to create the finished product. An example we can use is Damiana with a ratio of 1:4. This tells us that 1 part of Damiana was used with 4 parts of alcohol to produce the extract. Typically extracts made from FRESH plant material use equal parts of material to equal parts of solvent, resulting in a ratio of 1:1. Extracts made from DRIED material will require less material to solvent, resulting in ratios ranging from 1:2 to 1:4.
How To Use Tinctures - The benefit of tinctures is that the medicinal value is easily assimilated in the body, they are convenient to use, the average shelf life is 5 years, and they offer a more complete range of medicinal properties than dried herbs or capsules. The best way to use liquid herbal tinctures is to put the suggested amount in a glass of water, tea, or juice and drink the entire contents. Tinctures can also be administered directly into the mouth without the assistance of water however some tinctures are unpalatable which is why most people prefer to dilute them into a beverage.
Horehound, White (Marrubium vulgare): - 1:3 - 25 percent, 2 to 3 weeks
White horehound usually comes into full flower in June. Use the flowering tops, being careful to cut no more than the top half of the new season’s growth, otherwise the stems concerned or even the whole plant will die. A second harvest may be possible in early autumn. Fine comminution will be required to produce a 1:3 tincture or stronger. Horehound is often preferred as a syrup, particularly for children, and was in times gone by the principle ingredient of the famous 'Cough Candy', although it is probably absent in modern confectionary. Black Horehound (Ballota nigra), is vaguely similar in appearance but radically different in both aroma and indications. It can be treated in all respects the same for tincturing.
Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): - 1:3 - 25 percent, 3 to 4 weeks
It often surprises people that, far from being a tropical exotic, Licorice grows well in a herbal garden. It will grow in most soils, but prefers a light, fertile and very deep soil (e.g. reclaimed marshland) – at it's full potential the roots reach a depth of 2.5 meters or more. If you are lucky enough to enjoy such a growing environment, help from some gravediggers might come in handy to lift all of the roots out. For the rest of us, the handsome Licorice can still be grown on any reasonably light soil - the roots are not strong enough to penetrate subsoil and will instead spread laterally to some extent. The roots should not be harvested until the third or fourth year, and should be painstakingly unearthed so the whole can be lifted bodily in autumn during mid die-back. Some root material remaining attached to stem can be replanted. We are not making Licorice candy so there is no need to decorticate it (remove the root bark). Licorice root is pliable but exceptionally fiberous so may elude all but the sharpest blades. However, the action of a garden shredder or food processor will easily open the fibers enough for maceration anyway. Licorice is a major resource in most continents of the globe, reflecting a plethora of usable species – including the G. uralensis much used in Oriental medicine, with similar indications.
Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis): - 1:3 - 25 percent, 14 days
Marshmallow is a denizen of marshes, but is a tough subject, viable on surprisingly dry terrain. The roots can be harvested at any time but ideally in mid-autumn before any significant die-back. They are large and fleshy, so do not bother with the crown, which can be replanted with a couple of small roots attached. They are spongy but quite fiberous, so sharp blades are required for comminution. A fine mulch can be achieved making a 1:2 tincture possible, but because of the high mucilage content increase the alcohol strength to 30 percent. Both the flowers and leaves of Marshmallow can be harvested earlier in the year without detriment to the roots.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis): - 1:3 - 45 percent, 14 days
Hyssop flowers throughout the summer. Use the flowering tops, taking care to cut no more than the top two-thirds of the new year's growth, for fear of damaging or killing the plant. Pass through a garden shredder, or bunch and secateur into 3-4cm sections. Hyssop, popular as a long-lasting perennial garden subject, is often offered in pink- or white-flowering varieties. Stick to the original and more robust blue flowering variety.
The Herbarium: Harvesting & Making Specific Tinctures
HOREHOUND HERBAL PROFILE
Horehound is a garden mint with green and white leaves and a distinctively bitter taste. It is native to Asia and Europe, but is naturalized in North America. Although the herb grows in a wide range of climates, the best quality is grown in desert heat.
Horehound's primary use has been as an expectorant, and is a common ingredient in cough medicines. The German E Commission has reported that it is also good for loss of appetite and dyspepsia. Its uses go back to the Egyptians and Romans, who used it for coughs, colds, and some poisons. Egyptian priests referred to it as the "Seed of Horus", which some speculate its modern name came from. In medieval Europe it was used to ward off spells by witches. It is also recorded as one of the "bitter herbs" eaten at Passover.
Constituents: Marrubiin (the bitter substance in the herb), flavonoids including apigenin, luteolin, and vitexin, caffeic acid and stachydrine, and a small amount of essential oil and tannins.
Parts Used: The above-ground parts of the plant, dried and cut.
Typical Preparations: Usually as a tea, but also in infusions, tinctures, and encapsulations. Historically made as a candy or confection.
Summary: Horehound is used to make cough medicines for people whose upper respiratory symptoms are caused by acid reflux. The marubiinic acid in the herb both stimulates the release of phlegm and stimulates the release of gastric acids so that digestion is complete more quickly and nighttime gastric reflux is minimized. This compound is also mildly analgesic, relieving pain caused by cough or indigestion.
Precautions: Horehound is not good unless it tastes bad (or at least bitter). The bitter taste activates a reflex action that helps normalize breathing and digestion, and the beneficial effects of the herb are not realized if it is combined with too much sugar or other sweetener. Generally not recommended while pregnant. Also, if gathering in the wild, be sure not to confuse with black or stinking horehound, which can be toxic if taken in large doses.
HYSSOP HERBAL PROFILE
Hyssop, once used to clean ancient temples, is now a popular herb during the winter season. It has a strong mint smell and was strewn on floors to deodorize and purify the air. "Purge me with hyssop," the Bible records, "and I will be clean." Hyssop has been used for millennia as a holy herb, consecrated for cleaning holy places. Its name comes from the Hebrew word adobe or ezob, which literally means "holy herb". Hyssop is a perennial member of the mint family. In European folk traditions it was often used as a respiratory remedy. Hyssop is used in capsules, teas and aromatic rubs.
Hyssop is an evergreen bushy herb growing 1 to 2 feet (60 to 90 cm) high on a square stem with linear leaves and flowers in whorls of 6 to 15 blooms. Native to southern Europe, it is grown in gardens in cooler climates around the world. Hyssop has a mint-like taste (which is understandable as it is part of the mint family) that makes it a tasty addition to salads, provided it is used in small quantities. It has been considered an aphrodisiac when combined with ginger, thyme, and pepper. Hyssop has been hung in homes to provide protection from the evil eye, and from witches. It has also been planted frequently on graves as protection for the dead from the living.
Constituents: Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, essential oil.
Parts Used: Above-ground parts of the plant dried and cut, and essential oil. Some vendors offer the more traditional hyssop flowers, without stem or leaf.
Typical Preparations: Traditionally used in teas, however it may be equally effective as a capsule or extract.
Summary: Hyssop is used in herbal medicine to move excesses of fluids or phlegm. Since the expectorant qualities of the herb depend on its essential oil, always brew hyssop tea in a closed vessel and keep the bottle of hyssop tincture tightly closed. American folklore prescribes a bath of hyssop to help ease rheumatism. Japanese research published in 2003 in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology suggests that hyssop teas can help lower the sharp increase in blood sugars after eating which is common to people who have or who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Precautions: Not recommended while pregnant. Excessive use has been associated with causing seizures and should be avoided by people prone to seizure.
LICORICE ROOT PROFILE
Licorice is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs worldwide and is the single most used herb in Chinese medicine today. It was used by the Egyptians as a flavoring for a drink called Mai-sus, and large quantities were found in the tomb of King Tut for his trip into the afterlife. Pliny the Elder recommended it to clear the voice and alleviate thirst and hunger. Dioscides, when traveling with Alexander the Great, recommended that his troops carry and use licorice to help with stamina for long marches, as well as for thirst in areas of drought. In the Middle Ages it was taken to alleviate the negative effects of highly spicy food or overcooked food. It was also used for flavoring tobacco, and as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers and beer. In a recent survey of Western medical herbalists, licorice ranked as the 10th most important herb used in clinical practice. An astonishing number Chinese herbal formulas (over 5,000) use licorice to sweeten teas and to "harmonize" contrasting herbs. Its first documented use dates back the time of the great Chinese herbal master Zhang Zhong Zhing, about 190 AD, but it was certainly used for many centuries prior to this. In 1914 the Chicago Licorice Company began to sell Black Vines, the first in a very long line of licorice based modern candies.
Licorice (Glycyrrhzin) is used for HIV / AIDS therapy as it increases T-cell counts and preserves immune function. Generally, it is taken orally (DGL form) for ulcers, heartburn (esophageal reflux), and mouth sores. Other oral uses involving the whole herb is the treatment of coughs, asthma, and chronic fatigue syndrome. In its topical form (whole herb), Licorice can be used for eczema, psoriasis, and herpes. Scientific studies suggest regular use of DGL can heal ulcers as well as some over the counter medications; however, they must be taken regularly or the ulcer will return.
For Ulcer Pain: Chew two to four 380-mg tablets of DGL before meals and at bedtime in conjunction with conventional medical care. For Mouth Sores: Sucking on the tablets will relieve the pain. For best results, follow the directions listed on the label. For Respiratory Problems: Take orally 1 to 2 grams of licorice root 3 times daily, not to exceed a week. For Eczema, Psoriasis, or Herpes: Apply licorice cream to affected area twice daily. For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: This treatment must be taken under a health care provider's supervision to be given the needed dosage for the best possible effects. For HIV/AIDS: Take Glycyrrhizin Tablets, 50 to 75 mg daily. Use for 6 weeks, then take a 2-week break. Do not substitute deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL).
Constituents: Glycyrrhizin, complex immune-stimulant sugars.
Parts Used: The root in dried form.
Typical Preparations: Teas, tinctures, and in encapsulations. The whole sticks and slices may be chewed straight and are pleasant tasting.
Summary: The most common use of licorice world-wide is to treat coughs and colds. Licorice is especially useful for treating coughs with sticky phlegm, or for treating colds that accompany stomach upset. There is a German E Commission Monograph for licorice that lists it use as helpful for catarrh of the upper respiratory, and for gastric ulcers. Chinese medicine also uses licorice to treat various forms of chronic fatigue. Gastric and duodenal ulcers and canker sores can be treated with the herb or with its common derivative, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). If you use DGL, however, you must remember to chew the capsules or they will not work. Saliva activates DGL .For many centuries, Europeans, especially the English, have consumed large amounts of licorice water (tea) as they feel that it helps to purify the blood.
Precautions: Do not use licorice if you have glaucoma, high blood pressure, or an estrogen-dependent disorder such as breast cancer, endometriosis, or fibrocystic breasts. Do not use licorice if you eat a meat and potatoes diet. Your body needs potassium from fruit and vegetables to compensate for the excretion of potassium stimulated by licorice. Consume potassium-rich foods such as bananas or citrus juices, or take a potassium supplement daily when taking this herb. If you use steroids or an asthma inhaler, licorice will increase both the effectiveness of the drug and the severity of its side effects. Its long term use is not recommended. Do not use licorice on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row. It is not recommended for use by pregnant women. May cause stomach upset if taken in large quantities.
MARSHMALLOW HERBAL PROFILE
Marshmallow is a perennial herb native throughout damp areas of northern Europe and western Asia. It is now naturalized to the Atlantic coast of the United States and used as an ornamental for its pointed foliage and purple flowers. References to marshmallow leaf as a healing herb are found in Homer's Iliad, written over 2,800 years ago. Its genus name Althaea comes from the Greek altho, to cure, and its order name, Malvaceae, is derived from the Greek malake, which means soft. Marshmallow leaf was widely used in traditional Greek medicine. The use of the herb spread from Greece to Arabia and India, where it became an important herb in the Ayurvedic and Unani healing traditions. All of these traditions used marshmallow as a soothing agent: demulcent, diuretic, emollient, and vulnerary. The German E Commission wrote that both the leaf and the root were good for sore throat and dry cough. Pliny the Elder believed that mallows could cure all the diseases of man and even wrote that 'whoever shall take a spoonful of the mallows shall that day be free from all diseases that came to him'. The Romans used it primarily as a roasted vegetable, and was mentioned in both Arabic and Chinese literature as a good food during times of famine.
The primary use of Marshmallow root is to relieve digestive and respiratory problems, such as coughs, colds, sore throats and asthma. Marshmallow root, as well as of each of the below mentioned plants described as substitutes, is demulcent and diuretic, and may be used indiscriminately, the one for the other. They will be found valuable, in the form of decoction, in diseases of the mucous tissues, as hoarseness, catarrh, pneumonia, gonorrhea, vesical catarrh, renal irritation, acute dysentery, and diarrhea. In strangury, inflammation of the bladder, hematuria, retention of urine, some forms of gravel, and indeed in nearly every affection of the kidney and bladder, their use will be found advantageous. Much use is made of them combined with equal parts of spearmint, in urinary derangements. Recommended usage is 1 teaspoon, 2 to 3 times a day depending on condition.
Constituents: Mucilage (arabinogalactans and galacturonorhamnan), antioxidant flavonoids 8-hydroxyluteolin and 8-b-gentiobioside, phenolic acids, tannins, and volatile oil.
Parts Used: The dried leaf. Reputable suppliers test the product for its ability to swell when mixed with water.
Typical Preparations: Cold macerations, warm infusions, tincture, and fluid extract. May also be taken as a capsule.
Summary: Marshmallow leaf relieves irritation by coating inflamed surfaces. Its primary use in modern herbal medicine is to relieve sore throat, but it also relieves perianal inflammation (when taken orally) caused by severe diarrhea. Marshmallow leaf coats better than marshmallow root, but marshmallow root has greater antibacterial and anti-allergy effects.
Precautions: Marshmallow leaf is completely non-toxic, but its mucilage can interfere with the absorption of other medicines if taken at the same time.
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