Flor Essence Herbs & Biological Activities

Flor•Essence Herbs & Biological Activities

1. Burdock Root has been used as a health enhancer since the 11th century, when Hildegard of Bingen discovered its powerful health maintenance properties. Since then it has been used likewise in many countries including Russia, China, India and the Americas.

Burdock Root – Arctium lappa

Herbs: Bio–activities:
Burdock platelet activating factor (PAF) inhibitor; anti–bacterial; anti–fungal
(Arctium lappa) protects against cellular damage; cytotoxic; immuno–modulator; anti–diabetic; cellular differentiation–inducing activity; bifidogenisic; anti–inflammatory; free radical scavenger activity

Burdock root contains a proven compound called arctigenin, which has been shown on scientific studies to have marked pro–health activity (G. Dombradi 1970: Journal of Chemotherapy 15:250).

Other studies have found the herb to decrease mutations in cells exposed to toxic chemicals (K. Morita et al. 1984: Mutation Research 129:1:25). These studies show that the herb exhibits an anti–poisoning effect; animals fed burdock root were protected against several toxic chemicals.

Burdock root is very safe for consumption, as it has been valued as a food for centuries by the Japanese (J. Tsujita et al. 1979: Nutrition Reports International 20:635). The major sugar (carbohydrate) in the root is inulin (up to 45% of the root), which does not affect insulin levels and thus is often recommended for diabetic patients and is known to be a blood cleanser.

Burdock root used to be considered "poor man's potatoes", a staple food of many oriental immigrants. It is becoming more popular for its good taste and is now available at some farmers' markets and oriental food stores.
The root also contains polyacetylenes that neutralize certain bacteria and fungi. This may explain traditional use of the herb against ringworm and several bacterial infections (M. Castleman 1991: The Healing Herbs).

CAUTION: Burdock has been shown to be a uterine stimulant and should not be taken by pregnant women.

2. Sheep Sorrel has traditionally been used to cool fevers and inflammation and as a diuretic to promote the flow of urine (Foster 1990: Medicinal Plants).

Sheep Sorrel – Rumex acetosella

Herbs: Bio–activities:
Sheep Sorrel anti–estrogenic; anti–oxidant (Rumex acetosella) anti–inflammatory; anti–septic; anti–spasmodic; cathartic; viricidal; laxative; Immuno–suppressive; vaso–relaxant; anti–diuretic; anti–bacterial; anti–diarrheal

A good source of vitamin C, Sheep Sorrel was eaten to prevent scurvy and at least ten native tribes in Canada and the United States used this plant as food and medicine (Turner and Kuhnlein 1991: Traditional Plant Foods of Canadian Indigenous Peoples).

3. Slippery Elm Bark is an excellent healing herb that has been used for centuries and is even recognized by The American Food and Drug Administration for its medicinal properties.

Slippery Elm – Ulmus rubra, U. fulva

Bio–activities:
Slippery Elm bark anti–inflammatory; demulcent; emollient; anti–oxidant; (Ulmus rubra) reduces bowel transit time; absorbs toxins from the bowel; increases fecal bulk; dilutes stool materials; reduces stool contact with the intestinal mucosa; enhances beneficial colonic bacteria.

A decoction of the bark helps soothe the throat and digestive tract. It is safe for even the most sensitive stomach, soothing the inflamed digestive tract and providing nutrients when nothing else can be kept down. The mucilaginous tea is soothing for stomach ulcers. It gives relief from diarrhea with a gentle astringent action and can be used by pregnant women without any side effects.

4. Turkish Rhubarb Root used since ancient times, is an effective remedy for digestive ailments. Traditionally used to improve weak digestion and loss of appetite, it increases both the flow of saliva and gastric secretions (Foster 1990: Medicinal Plants).

Turkish rhubarb anti–inflammatory; anti–mutagenic

Bio–activities:
(Rheum palmatum) cathartic; antiseptic; antispasmodic; immuno–suppressive; vaso–relaxant; viricidal; improves digestion; remedy for digestive ailments; stimulates appetite; choleretic; laxative Turkish Rhubarb root – Rheum palmatum
It helps to normalize bowel movements and is considered a safe and effective laxative. Turkish rhubarb root is considered the "Number One" treatment for dysentery and is effective even when nothing else will work; it is said to be almost magical in its ability to alleviate this dreadful tropical scourge without any side effects.

CAUTION: It is used for the treatment of both diarrhea and constipation, but is contra–indicated in pregnancy.

5. Red Clover Blossom facilitates the elimination of wastes and toxins through the skin, kidneys and bowels. This herb also increases the activity of phagocytes, the body's amazing "clean–up" cells, that remove micro–organisms and debris from the blood and mucous.

Red Clover – Trifolium pratense

Bio–activities:
Red Clover Herb anti–estrogen; anti–bacterial; inhibits endothelial cell (Trifolium pratense) proliferation; anti–oxidant; inhibits in–vitro angiogenesis; anti–microbial; inhibits proliferation of abnormal cells; cellular differentiation activity; stabilizes protein–linked DNA strand breakage and dynamic changes in chromatin structure; dose–dependent inhibition of cell multiplication and induction of cell differentiation; detoxification; increases the activity of phagocytes;

Thirty–three different cultures around the world use red clover to treat degenerative health conditions (J. Hartwell: Journal of Natural Products).

After researching and reporting this amazing fact, Dr. J. Hartwell decided to study red clover and has since isolated four separate health supportive compounds (Lloydia 3:97).

The NCI also discovered that this herb contains significant amounts of the antioxidant tocopherol. Contemporary Chinese research shows that red clover also contains anti–microbial compounds, which are effective against several bacterial, viral and fungal infections (D. Scharz 1993: Thirty Plants that can Save Your Life).

6. Blessed Thistle through its bitter properties increases the flow of gastric juices, relieving dyspepsia, indigestion, and the headaches associated with liver congestion. It is believed to improve circulation and blood, thereby strengthening the brain and memory.

Blessed Thistle – Cnicus Benedictus

Bio–activities:
Blessed Thistle cytotoxic activity; anti–biotic; anti–bacterial; (Cnicus Benedictus) bacteriostatic action against Staphylococcus aureus, S. faecalis choleretic; hypo–lipidemic; relieves dyspepsia, indigestion and liver congestion; anti–cholesterolemic; tonifying; stimulates appetite; anti–inflammatory; activity of seed lignans.

This herb was used in ancient times for digestive issues. Studies show that it increases gastric juices and bile secretions and is anti–bacterial (Foster 1990: Medicinal Plants).

Traditionally used to stimulate appetite, it has also been shown to induce sweating, increase milk production, and act as a mild diuretic: and is still considered specific for digestive complaints and for loss of appetite.

7. Kelp used traditionally for the nutritive benefits of its abundant minerals, kelp is also a great source of iodine, which helps to regulate energy levels. The alginates found in kelp have a soothing and cleansing effect of the digestive tract and are known to help prevent the absorption of toxic metals like mercury, cadmium, plutonium and cesium (M. Castleman 1991: The Healing Herbs).

Kelp – Laminaria digitata

Bio–activities:
Kelp anti–inflammatory; demulcent; emollient; protective effect against radiation; (Laminaria digitata) bifidogenic; increases fecal bulk; reduces bowel transit time; anti–lipemic (lowers cholesterol); anti–biotic; immuno–stimulator; cytotoxic activity; source of iodine; anti–estrogen; hydrasorbent laxative action; soothes intestinal mucosa.

Kelp is now best recognized for its ability to protect the body against radiation. The sodium alginate in kelp helps prevent the absorption of Strontium–90, a by–product of nuclear power and weapons facilities. Today it is estimated that almost everyone has detectable levels of this toxic metal in their bones, where it continues to accumulate. Studies have shown that alginate supplements can reduce Strontium–90 absorption by as much as 83% (International Journal of Radiation Biology).
The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission guidelines advocate two tablespoons of an alginate supplement per day to prevent Strontium–90 absorption and the troubles that go with it.

8. Watercress leaves fresh are a superior "food" medicine high in vitamins A and C and iodine. This herb is an excellent remedy for vitamin deficiency and was traditionally used for that purpose.

Watercress – Nasturtium officinale

Bio–activities:
Watercress is chemo–preventive; anti–estrogenic; digestive aid; (Nasturtium off.) nutritional supplement; blood cleanser; choleretic; cytotoxic; remedy for vitamin deficiency.

Today watercress is a popular item with gourmet chefs and health food restaurants, who love to use it in salads and as a garnish. It has a mild stimulating effect on the metabolism and is known as a blood purifier and diuretic. It has been used since classical times as a detoxicant and restorative in challenging health conditions.