Herbal Remedy

Since the dawn of time our ancestors realized and have used different plant parts for their effectiveness as a remedy for certain ailments. The plant parts were extracted by boiling water and drunk as a beverage, eaten raw or applied on the skin for treatment of bruises, cuts and various skin infections. Of the glossary of examples known, we mention herewith a few:

For example, the use of legumes of Acacia sp. (Acacia arabica, nilotica senegal and others), are soaked in water and the extract drunk. .The extract is used   for curing fever, headache, and tooth ache. It is now realized that the legumes contained almost raw salycilate derivatives; the wonder drug which we call aspirin, discovered and synthetically made in half of the 19th century. It   is used for the same purpose, treating fever, headache, toothache etc.

 Senna sp (e.g. S. Alexandrina) plants were known in the Middle Eastern world to cure constipation and induce easy defecation. Other species also occur in China and other south eastern Asian countries. The plant parts are used mainly for cooking curries. Nowadays, Senna purified extracts, are used as pills for the same sole purpose of curing constipation…

 The Chinese folklore medicine includes many herbs and plant parts which are either taken individually or else as a mixture.eg. kola fruit, cyamoposis gum, alfalfa together with atractylodes rhizome ( for lowering blood fat, removing dampness by dieresis), Flaxseed (as a mild laxative, anti inflammatory and anti-oxidant), unripe fruit of Evodia Rutaecarpa ( for increasing fat burning activity) etc.

Ginkgo biloba leaves have been used by the Chinese in treating various ailments for the 5,000 or so years. Ginkgo biloba is described to cure  different numerous  ailments, The Indians have similar herbal uses for  the oriental plant, Nelumbium speciosum, described to reduce the blood fat , restrains appetite.

Soy beans (Soy disambiquation, native to east Asia,China, Japan and Korea)  contain several active ingredients which  have several uses eg. act as antiangiogenic modulating vascular inflammation.

Needless to say, the most common plant composites often used in our daily cooking and seasoning food, have different remedies. As an example, garlic a member of the onion family, is known to be bactericidal, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Equally well chilies pepper (Capsicum), regulates body temperature, increases appetite and metabolism. Onions also (Allium sp) is cultivated almost everywhere in the world, the most common additive in many seasonings of various foods, are said to have therapeutic, antibacterial, antifungal and loads of other beneficial properties, and  preventing thrombosis. It is useful in curing neuritis, vertigo and bronchitis, alleviating the symptoms of sinus, and diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases.

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is mainly used in daily spice seasoning of large varieties of food   it is native to India, Sumatra, Madagascar. It is  used in the mummification recipes by the early Egyptians .The berries are dried, finely ground and used as such for seasoning. Also mixed with  a wide variety of other herbs, used  for the treatment of constipation, diarrhea, ear ache, gangrene, heart disease, hernia, oral abscesses, tooth decay and other ailments

Most of these prescription or over-the-counter slimming and dietary drug, have large amounts of herbal supplements, which are either derived through conventional extraction methods, or else laboratory synthesized so as to mimic the herbal  remedy effectiveness. The examples are numerous, and we here cite but a few:

The slimming drug called Synephrine  which is said to provide an energy boost, suppresses appetite, and increase metabolism to help burn fat in the body, has an active ingredient derived from Citrus aurantium

AmbiSlim PM contains as a main active ingredients Slimaluma, Dandelion Root, decaffeinated green tea extract. Fastin, Adipexand Oxycodone ian  is an opioid analgesic pain reliever, commonly sold as Percocet and OxyContin. Proactol contained the alkaloid derived from quinozole alkaloid, isolated from the unripe fruit of Evoida Rutaecarpine. Forslean  contains100% pure synthetic E and Z Guggulsterones and a dark brown guggul extract obtained from a  tree grown in India, which exudes a resinous sap

Now most non -prescription diet pills also use green tea, which seems to have an effect on the metabolism and also slows fat production, or bitter orange; is a chemical isolated from citrus fruit.

By: george

About the Author:

Born in Khartoum, Sudan (1942),
Education, attended school at Comboni College, Khartoum
BSc (1964), MSc. (1962), PhD(1966) Univ. of Khartoum
Appointed lecturer in Univ. of Khartoum, Faculty of Science (Chemistry)
(1970) Associate professor (1980), Professor (1984)
Migrated to Australia (1995) Research associate in School of Chemistry, UNSW (1995) to present Published more than 53 scientific papers in synthetic organic chemistry.


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