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Edition 5: March 2009

Edition 5: March 2009

What Herb is That?

Burdock Root
An ancient healing herb

THE ROOTS and rhizome of burdock are one of the finest alteratives in the plant kingdom.
An alterative is a herb that restores function of the body, increasing health and vitality, by cleansing the blood.  Burdock alters the body’s processes of metabolism so that tissues can best deal with the range of functions from nutrition to elimination.
Throughout history, burdock has been used as a healing treatment for a surprising variety of conditions. The early Chinese and Indians treated colds, flu and throat infections with it. During the 14th Century in Europe, the leaves were pounded in wine and used to treat leprosy. Culpepper recommended its use for prolapsed uterus.  
In Japan and some parts of Europe, burdock is eaten as vegetable. Burdock contains inulin, a natural dietary fibre, and has also been used traditionally to improve digestion.
Part of the action of burdock is through bitter stimulation of the digestive juices and bile secretion, which aids digestion and stimulates the appetite.
The carbohydrates in Burdock may be of some benefit in preventing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), as they slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
The herb is an excellent diuretic and together with its antimicrobial property, it is useful for treating cystitis.  It can also aid kidney function; both the roots and leaves can treat rheumatism and gout because they encourage the elimination of uric acid via the kidneys.
Burdock is one of the best known remedies for skin conditions, especially dry and scaly skin.
Over time, it can alleviate entrenched conditions like psoriasis. Similarly all types of eczema will respond favourably to treatment with burdock root.
Herbalists praise it as an excellent remedy for acne. It restores smooth skin and promotes hair growth.
Externally, the leaves make a good poultice to speed up the healing of wounds and ulcers. Researchers have discovered that the fresh root contains chemicals called polyacetylenes, which kill disease-causing bacteria and fungi.
Burdock has an unexplained anti-poisoning effect and several studies have revealed anti-tumour activity in the root.


Fact File
Name: Burdock Root
Latin name: Arctium Lappa
Actions: Alterative, mild laxative, diuretic, promotes sweating, anti-rheumatic, antibiotic. Avoid during pregnancy and lactation.
Skin/dermatological disorders: Abscesses, acne, boils, burns, canker sores, cosmetic uses, wound healing, scurvy, seborrhoea (over-activity of sebaceous skin glands), skin disorders, skin moisturiser, sores, measles, hives, psoriasis, ringworm, eczema.
Immune system: Bacterial infections, colds and fever, HIV infection, inflammation, cancer, fungal infections.
Hepatic/Liver disorders: Liver disease, liver protection.
Uro-Genital disorders: Kidney diseases, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, bladder disorders, diuretic (increasing urine flow).
Lung/Respiratory disorders: Pneumonia, respiratory infections, tonsillitis.
Musculo-skeletal diseases/disorders: Sciatica, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis.
Gastro-Intestinal disorders/diseases: Laxative, haemorrhoids, ulcers.
Other indications: Hormonal effects, headache, hair loss, dandruff, detoxification, gout, anorexia nervosa.
 


Essential Oil of the Month
Orange Essential Oil
Unpretentious oil creates happiness and warmth

THIS unpretentious essential oil is used in aroma-therapy to create the feeling of happiness and warmth, while calming nervous digestive problems.
It also stimulates the lymphatic system, while supporting collagen formation in the skin.
It has a sunny and joyful smell, bringing happiness and warmth to the mind and helps people to relax and children to sleep at night.
It is excellent in massage blends for anxiety, stress and insomnia.
Orange oil can be used effectively on the immune system, as well as for colds and flu and to eliminate toxins from the body.
Helpful for all manner of digestive upsets and when used as an abdominal massage, Orange has a normalising and regulating effect, relieving cramps, constipation, diarrhoea and flatulence.
In Chinese medicine, it is used to unblock and circulate stagnant Qi-energy, mainly when it accumulates in the liver, stomach and intestines.
Much of the benefit that Orange brings is because of its action on the liver, ensuring the smooth flow of Qi-energy; it encourages the flow of bile, improving the digestion of fats.
It is a good diuretic and is most useful in balancing water retention and obesity.
Its lymphatic stimulant action further helps to balance water processes, detoxification, aiding the immune system and general well-being.
Psychologically, orange is cheering and uplifting; it restores laughter and joy in life and reduces self-doubt and fear of the unknown.
Sweet orange helps us take a more relaxed approach, encouraging adaptability and smooth handling of events.
It is associated with Jupiter, the planet of optimism.
Orange oil embodies good luck, conveying an easy-going positive attitude to life. Orange oil spreads sunshine on a gloomy day.


What Is It?

Extracted from Citrus Sinensis (also known as Citrus aurantium var. dulcis and C. aurantium var. sinensis).
A fresh, sweet and fruity top note, radiant with sensuous undertones.


COMMON USES

In Vapour Therapy
Orange oil can help with colds and flu, nervous tension and stress and helps to create a feeling of happiness and warmth, while helping children fall asleep at night.
Vapourise three drops of orange oil in the dining room or kitchen while preparing food. The sweet smell stimulates the salivary glands and restores lost appetite.
Blended Massage Oil or in the Bath
Assists with colds and flu, eliminates toxins, boosts the lymphatic and immune system and helps ease nervous tension and stress. Useful for bronchitis and chills.
Cream or Lotion
Assists the lymphatic system, helping to detoxify congested skin. Although it is a good general skin tonic, it is great for older, more mature skin, dealing with dermatitis as well as acne and soothing a dry irritated skin. The general tonic action seems to stem from the action it has on supporting collagen formation in the skin, which is required for healthy, young-looking skin.
Therapeutic Properties
Antiseptic, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, carminative, digestive, diuretic, cholagogue (Liver tonic), sedative and tonic.
Orange oil blends well with: black pepper, cinnamon, clove, ginger, frankincense, sandalwood and vetivert.

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