Back to Herb Menu
Back to Main Index

Immunity Impotency Insect Bites Internal Infection/
Intestines Iodine Itch

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.

The immune system - the workhorse of our bodies. Every moment of every day armies of little soldiers are on search and destroy missions. Once they find an invader from outside, they call in the front line troops. One of the reasons cancer manages to be successful is that it can disguise itself as "belonging" to our body and is thus ignored by our ever vigilant immune system. For that reason I believe that work being currently done on ways to target cancer cells that they might be identified by our immune systems as "alien" is a great break through. If our immune systems can be kept healthy, they can fight off almost anything as long as they know there's an enemy in their presence. There are herbs and supplements that can help boost the performance of our immune systems, but there are conditions about which the jury is out; namely auto-immune disorders such as AIDS, Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis. The thinking is that an already overly sensitive immune system would be more harmed by such measures than helped. There really isn't any clear-cut answer on the issue.

Astragalus and echinacea are two herbs which are generally used to boost immune system function but no herb should be taken on a very long term basis without a break. Vitamins A, C and E with bioflavonoids can be taken daily. Grapeseed extract in combination with amino acid chelated shark cartilege is currently being used as an alternative against cancer. Unfortunately there is no hard scientific data, but there are anecdotal stories upon which we can direct our efforts in the laboratory.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do to keep our immune system operating at peak performance is NUTRITION - eating the right foods, eating in moderation, and getting daily exercise. Your body is an organic machine and maintenance is everything. As we age maintenance becomes even more important as we tolerate less insult to our organs. And don't ever forget dental hygiene and checkups. Many of our problems are rooted (pardon the pun) right in our mouths.

¼ c. echinacea
¼ c. red clover
¼ c. nettle
¼ c. peppermint

Combine and use 1 tsp per cup of boiling hot water and steep 5 minutes. Sweeten if desired. Drink 1 cup daily for 2 weeks, then stop for 2 weeks before resuming. 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off can be done over several months if needed.

There aren't too many herbs that haven't been tried to remedy this problem. The sales of Viagara may give us a good indication of just how wide spread the problem is (or the belief that it even IS a problem). Since the problem for most men seems to be poor circulation in the pelvic area, then addressing that problem (as Viagara does) makes sense. Although ginkgo is more well known for improving circulation to the brain, it also improves pelvic circulation. Although the herb Yohimbe has a reputation for aiding erection, it is too dangerous for unsupervised usage. The ingredient responsible for its action has been isolated and is available as a prescription medication, although success (total and/or partial) is about 35%.

Some health conditions, such as diabetes, are associated with this problem. Men who operate heavy machinery are believed to be affected in this manner as well.

Some herbs with estrogenic and/or androgenic activity are reported to aid in erection problems. Herbs which may help and are included as part of a daily diet are anise, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, ginseng, saw palmetto (if due to prostate enlargement) and wolfberry (if due to testosterone deficiency). Foods which can help are Fava beans and Oats.

1. See your doctor. Antibiotic and antiviral agents available through your doctor will knock out an infection far more surely than the herbal alternative. Herbs can help, but the infection would be of a much longer duration and a far greater danger to the life of the sufferer.

2. If medical help is unavailable, combine 3 parts echinacea, 1 part marshmallow root, ¼ part cayenne pepper and fill size 00 capsules with the powdered mix. Take 2 capsules every 2 hours.

1 part powdered goldenseal
2 parts powdered chaparral
3 parts powdered echinacea

Fill size 00 capsules with the powdered mix. Take 4 every 4 hours. As symptoms subside, the dosage should be reduced to 3 times a day for one week.

Must be treated with antibiotics. Check with your doctor, but the following can be used to assist. Make a poultice of plantain leaves to which 20 drops of echinacea and 10 drops of usnea tinctures have been added. The poultice should be changed every few hours. Fresh plantain leaves contain the natural antibiotic aucubin.

Vinegar applied to insect bites will relieve itching. A paste of baking soda applied to insect stings will help to neutralize the venom. A dab of ammonia is also a good first aid measure on bites and stings.

Fresh plantain leaf is used as a poultice.

Catnip tea is used to relieve the pain of bee stings.


The normal movement of the intestines is clockwise. If peristalsis is poor, gently rubbing the abdomen in a clockwise motion will soothe and encourage better movement.

Natural dietary sources are Bladderwrack, Irish moss, Kelp and Sarsaparilla.

An ointment of burdock or chickweed is used for skin problems associated with itching. See Salves.

©1998 by Ernestina Parziale, CH