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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.



CEREUS, NIGHT-BLOOMING
CACTACEAE
aka Large-flowered Cactus, Queen-of-the-Night, Sweet-scented Cactus, Vanilla Cactus
(Selenicereus grandiflorus)
[jiàn hua]
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WARNING
• Excess can cause gastric distress, confusion and hallucinations.
• Fresh juice can cause itching and pustules on skin and when taken internally causes
burning of mouth, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea!

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Do not combine with MAO inhibitors.

CONTRAINDICATED: NOT with HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE or OVER-ACTIVITY of the HEART.

CONTAINS: Cactine, hordenine, hentriacontane, betasitosterol, resins.
Dried Fruits based on Zero Moisture = 3.8% ash, 64 mg calcium, 167 mg phosphorus, 8.3 mg iron, 0.26 mg thiamine, 0.26 mg riboflavin, 1.92 mg niacin, 51.3 mg vitamin C.

A member of the cactus family native to Central America with a creeping or climbing STEM upto 30 feet long and 1 inch in diameter and 5 to 8 ribs; SPINES are needle-shaped and 3/8ths inch long. Vanilla-scented FLOWERS are large, being 8 to 12 inches in diameter and 7 to 10 inches long; they open only once for 6 hours in the evening, then die. FRUIT is 3 inches long. Cultivated largely in Mexico for pharmaceuticals.

PROPAGATION: By SEED in spring or summer; also by STEM CUTTINGS in spring or summer.
NEEDS: Grown as an ornamental in eiphytic soil blend with a pH of 6 or less in part shade and with high humidity; hardy to 50ºF. Susceptible to mealybugs if grown under cover.
PART USED: Fresh or dried flowers; fresh or dried stems.
FORMS USED: Liquid extract, tincture.
CULTIVATED VARIETIES:
S.g. 'Armatus': Has longer spines.
S.g. 'Tellii': Has 4 ribs and smaller flowers.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Diuretic, sedative, tonic, heart stimulant.
A drug is obtained from the plant and used to treat rheumatism in Mexico.
Similar in action for the heart as lily-of-the-valley (digitalis-like effects) and has been used for arrhythmias, heart palpitations, nervous heart problems, stenocardia, and angina.
> Has also been used for edema, kidney congestion, urinary problems, urinary tract infections, and nervous headaches.
In Chinese medicine the flower has been boiled with meat to treat bronchitis, cough, and painful respiratory problems.
In Folk Medicine it has been used for bloody sputum, painful periods, and hemorrhages, while the juice has been used for bladder infections, shortness of breath, water retention.

DOSE: TRADITIONAL DOSAGES FOR PROFESSIONAL NOTE ONLY
All others buy commercial preparations and follow directions carefully.
PROFESSIONALS ONLY!
LIQUID EXTRACT = 0.6 ml or less, up to 10 times daily
TINCTURE = 0.12 to 2 ml, twice or 3 times daily.

HOMEOPATHIC:
Homeopathic preparations are made from flowers and young stems which are collected when fresh and immediately made into tincture. Used to treat angina, to rejuventate tired or exhausted hearts or for the athelete's heart to improve oxygenation. Also for spasmodic pain and hemorrhage.




©2000 & 2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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