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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.




BISHOP FLOWER
Apiaceae
aka Bullwort, False Queen Anne's Lace
(Ammi majus)
imageImage
Also see Ammi visnaga

PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY!
•Use of this herb causes photosensitivy.
•Contains psoralens which in high doses can be carcinogenic.
•Excess can cause nausea, diarrhea and headaches.
•Allergic-like reactions and jaundice are rare but not unknown.
•Subject to legal restrictions in some countries

CONTAINS: Seeds contain a fatty oil which is the source of khellin which in turn is the source of amiodarone (used for heart arrhythmias); also contains psoralene (stimulates pigment production when skin is exposed to ultraviolet light) and other psoralens.

Perennial to 30" in height native to northeast Africa and Eurasia. Leaves have sharply serrate margins; flowers are small and white and in umbels to 6 inches across with petals being shorter than the stamens and with the lobes often unequal. Cultivated in southern Europe and India for drug potential and as a cut flower.



PROPAGATION: By SEED in spring and autumn.
NEEDS: Grown as an ornamental in well-drained soil in sun.
HARVEST: Seeds when ripe which are dried for powders, tinctures, and liquid extracts. Efficacy of treatments has not been established.

MEDICINAL:
Tonic, diuretic, affects skin pigmentation.
Has been used externally in commercial preparations for vitiligo (psoralene) and psoriasis. Compounds in the fruit inhibit cell division, thus slowing down the overactive skin cells that cause psoriasis.
Was used as a contraceptive in some cultures; a decoction of the ground seeds was taken after intercourse to prevent conception.
In Morocco it has been used as a gargle for toothache under the name Cure-dents du Prophete.

FOLK MEDICINE DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY!
!All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully!
PROFESSIONALS ONLY!!
INFUSION = 1/4 tsp powdered fruits to 1 cup boiling water, steeped 5 minutes, then strained and taken.





BISNAGA
Apiaceae
aka Toothpick weed
(Ammi visnaga syn Daucus visnaga)
imageImage

PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY!
• Use of this herb causes photosensitivy.
• Contains psoralens which in high doses can be carcinogenic.
• Excess can cause nausea, diarrhea and headaches.
• Allergic-like reactions and jaundice are rare but not unknown.
• Subject to legal restrictions in some countries

CONTAINS: Methoxypsoralen along with other psoralens.

Perennial to 30 inches native to southern Europe. Leaves are finely divided into linear segments; flowers are small and white and in umbels to 6 inches across. Umbels spread while flowering and contract while fruiting. Cultivated in southern Europe and India for drug potential and as a cut flower.
Mentioned in the Ebers Papyri (ca. 1550BC). Ancient Egyptians recognized the value of this plant in treating red, scaly skin patches; a treatment consisted of taking the herb and sitting in the sun.



PROPAGATION: By SEED in spring and autumn.
NEEDS: Grown as an ornamental in well-drained soil in sun.
HARVEST: Seeds when ripe which are dried for powders, tinctures, and liquid extracts. Efficacy of treatments has not been established.

MEDICINAL:
Dilates the vessels of the circulatory, bronchial and urinary systems without affecting blood pressure.
Research in the 1950's found khellin to be effective against asthma attacks and was used in a number of commercial pharmaceutical products.
Preparations of the fruit have been used for angina, coronary arteriosclerosis, coronary insufficiency, paroxysmal tachycardia, extra systoles, presbycardia with hypertonia, whooping cough, abdominal cramping, kidney stones (notably in those who tend to form stones after surgery), kidney insufficiency; also as a secondary treatment in cases of acute and chronic pyelonephritis when other therapy has failed.
In combination with other herbs has been used as a secondary treatment in cases of insufficient heart, circulatory and vascular systems; also after cardiac arrest.
Has also been used in cases of gallbladder colic as well as problems of the liver.
Has been used in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy when there is a reduction of hormone-based ureter dilation, or if as a result of taking contraceptives.





©2000 & 2003 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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