Posts tagged ‘Echinacea’

December 7, 2012

DIY Ginseng Tincture Is Better Than ColdfxTM

“Cold fx ®TM” is the most popular over-the-counter cold remedy in Canada. If you read the ingredients on the label the active ingredient is ground up dried ginseng which is put in a gelatin pill casing. This product has come under scrutiny lately for poor quality due to an ecoli-related bacteria that contaminated some batches. The American Ginseng is being contaminated when it is being shipped from China because it is laying in dirty containers. Shouldn’t American ginseng be grown and processed here in North America? It is also very expensive costing $70.00!

Watch the Marketplace episode about the Coldfx scandal and become consumer aware. http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2012/whatfx/

220px-Panax_quinquefoliusIt is better to make your own Ginseng tincture, it is better quality than pills and more cost-effective. It is all around cheaper and better for you to make your own or buy a ginseng tincture. There are different types of ginseng, the popular types are American ginseng -Panax quinquefolius and Asian ginseng -Panax ginseng that belong to the Genus Panax. American ginseng is more expensive than Asian ginseng, but both are used in similar ways. The research is there to support the amazing actions of Ginseng. The Ginsengs are long-term immune tonics and are adaptogens that help your body adapt to any kind of stress. They are not short-term immune stimulants like Echinacea. It is good to take ginseng to strengthen your immune system, but may not do well in the acute phase in the middle of a cold. It is good to take Ginsengs after a cold or illness to help the body recuperate or as a preventative to help the body adapt to any kind of stress.

See my blog -how to make your own herbal tincture for easy detailed instructions:

http://earthelixir.ca/2012/01/10/make-your-own-herbal-tinctures/

DIY Ginseng tinctures:

http://earthelixir.ca/herbs/american-ginseng/

Other herbs referred to as ginseng

Codonopsis pilosula (poor man’s ginseng)

Schisandra chinensis (five-flavoured berry)

Gynostemma pentaphyllum (southern ginseng, jiaogulan)

Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian ginseng)

Pseudostellaria heterophylla (prince ginseng)

Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng, ashwagandha)

Pfaffia paniculata (Brazilian ginseng, suma)

Lepidium meyenii (Peruvian ginseng, maca)

Oplopanax horridus (Alaskan ginseng)

Angelica sinensis (female ginseng, dong quai)

Panax notoginseng (known as san qi, tian qi or tien chi; hemostatic ingredient in yunnan bai yao)

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginseng

July 26, 2012

Echinacea with Amazing Butterfly Pictures

Echinacea is blooming and what a beautiful butterfly magnet it is! Echinacea is the latin name that people are familiar with, but the common name for this amazing perennial wildflower is purple coneflower. ‘Echinos’ is the Greek word for sea urchin or hedgehog, which relates to the look of the center cones that resemble the spines of hedgehogs, especially when dried.

There are three types or species of Echinacea:

  1. ‘purpurea’ is the purple variety
  2. ‘angustifolia’ is the narrow leaf variety
  3. ‘pallida’ means pale, named for the paler varieties. This variety is used less  medicinally.

Do not misuse Echinacea as a long-term immune enhancer, it is not like adaptogens such as ginseng. Echinacea is a cool detoxicant that reduces infection and heat. Use it for short-term infections and acute conditions only.

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***Echinacea should only be used as short-term immune stimulant. Do not use long-term and avoid overuse. Do not pick it in the wild, it is extinct and endangered. Cultivate it yourself or buy the root dried. Echinacea is also a good ingredient in gargles, washes, compresses, syrups, and used externally to treat injuries, burns, and skin disorders.

Common Name  Echinacea/ Purple coneflower root
Latin Name  Echinacea spp. angustifolia/ purpurea/pallida
Family Asteraceae
Parts Used perennial flowers rarely used/ root harvested in late summer /fall after blooming
Target Organs Blood, lymphatic, skin, stomach, urogenital, immune,
Common Uses bacterial viral infections, first sign cold, flu, chills, swollen glands lymph congestion, runny stuffy nose, cough, laryngitis, food allergies, UTI, skin infections, fever, inflammation, discharge,  wounds, ulcers, burns,
Properties Cool, dry, calming, stimulating, restoring, dissolving, anti-microbial, antibacterial, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-toxic, astringent, alterative, anti-catarrhal, antiviral, antineoplastic, febrifuge, depurative, detoxicant, diuretic, lymphatic, decongestant, stimulating/regulating, immune stimulant, vulnerary
Constituents Essential oil, humulene, sesquiterpenes, glycoside echinoside, polysaccharides-echinacin, inulin, isobutylamides, polyines, polyenes, echinolone, betaine, tannins, resins, oleic/cerotic/ linolic/ palmatic acids, 13 polyacetylenes, enzymes, fatty acids, phytosterols, trace minerals, vitamin C
Cautions Mild remedy but may cause dizziness, nausea, numb tongue, gastric upset, cankers, throat irritation due to its stimulating nature.
Dosage Most effective: Tincture: 2-4ml                 Decoction: 6-10 g

Acute conditions like infection or onset of a cold

Take up to 2 tablespoons of decoction or 1 tsp. of tincture every two hours at acute protocols

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