Natural medicine from plants in the UK

Toddy

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I would dispute that. Caucasian covers a huge range of people, and there are as many different phytopharmaceuticals used as there are 'people'.
From the west of Ireland right through to the Caucasus' themselves.
There's another point too, and it takes onboard Janne's issue, in that we do research herbal uses, their interactions and their efficacies. There are well trained and very able herbalists and naturopaths among us, it's not just 'amateurs' and hedgewitch stuff. There are many traditional herbal users too.

The book I mentioned is a case in point. In Germany herbs are given the same kind of reseach and trials as the potions of the pharmacist, and they are carefully written up. The book is compendium of some of such herbs.

So, no, one does not need to apprentice to a 'master', and one does not need to begin in childhood. Anytime is a good time to begin that journey.
 
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Broch

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I must support Toddy on this. I think you have a generalised view of the culture in the UK. In many parts of Wales, Scotland and Ireland these are still the same peoples that were living here thousands of years ago with essentially the same flora and fauna (unfortunately with some notable losses). The knowledge has not been lost in this country; my grandmother was taught by her grandmother and taught my mother who started me off on the whole subject but I wouldn't trust the old ways for anything other than basic indication. Modern scientific research is being carried out and has yielded interesting new insight (some good some bad) about plants and remedies of the past. Remember, modern medicines also turn up unknown side effects, especially for long term use, that are not known when they are released on the populace.

In other words, with respect, I would trust a modern fully qualified UK herbal practitioner more than an indigenous 'past down the generations' practitioner.

I am not a qualified practitioner (and never intend to be, I am really just a 'dabbler') but I continue to learn and me and mine have benefitted from the knowledge I have gained; there is value in the subject as long as it's applied with care. But it's not something that can be gained overnight I agree.
 
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Robson Valley

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The knowledge is not gained quickly in this regard. Some charlatans step around that. How do you tell them apart?
We refer to the First Nations medicine people.

No matter where it's done, ethnobotanical research demonstrates that the medicine people did learn useful plant values.
The same research and development is done here, we are not behind. Pharmacognosy has been alive and well for decades.
I am one who prepared many hundreds of histological microscope slides in the search for the responsible cell types.
 

Toddy

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The knowledge is gained either by slow experience or by diligent application to learning; though usually it's a combination of both.

We have this huge written knowledge of herbal uses, a lot of it very well researched and understood. However, that comes with the same caveat as any other 'medicinal' scope, in that every single one of us is different, and many do not respond the same way to the same dosages or materials, even though the general thrust might be the same. For instance, Yew is toxic, for all of us, but some folks (there are dietary issues) manage to ingest 'some' cyanide with no ill effect....and yes, I know that's an extreme set of examples, I've used.
However, written knowledge is widely dispersed and can be more easily added to. Even the Ancients wrote their herbals, and the Chinese and Korean ones are older yet. Some from the Indian subcontinent are every bit as venerable.

This modern translation matrix thing though, I know it's easy to joke about Chinglish (do the Chinese joke about Engmandarin or Enghakai? why not? I'm sure we get it as peculiarly written when we do things the other way, and please no comments about racism, it's not ) but the reality of academia is good translators, and good editing in the book industry in general. That alone widens the scope immensely. The German phytopharmacopeia is a classic, but it wasn't written in English, but it can now be found in many European languages. Since the Iron Curtain came crashing down the size of 'Europe' has stretched from the Azores to Novaya Zemyla, from Svalbard to Greece, and there are millions of traditional herbal uses right across that range

At the end of the day though; I think most of us who use our herbs would recommend that, as the OP asked, learn what's native and growing near you, and mind it's pretty easy to grow a herb garden, even if you only have windowsills.

I hope we haven't put him off, but we're becoming so used to covering ourselves with the caveats that we miss the point of passing along knowledge, at times.
Who else is in Nottinghamshire who'd offer to go walkabout with him ? I'd offer if he were up here. If he's interested he probably knows stuff to quietly pass on too :)

M
 

Janne

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For sure, but the interaction between herbal and ‘chemical’ is not well researched.
The example I mentioned, Hypericum vs, is fairly new knowledge.

It is advisable to cautious.

Stryknine, Arsenic, Mercury were used by healers in the past. Just to show that some of the old stuff might be of a dangerous type.

Digitalis. Some internet sites advices how to take plant Digitalis.


Germany has a culture of very liberal medical practices. Homeopathy is one. There are lots of clinics that practice very questionable medical/ healing, practices without any scientific background. Practices that are banned in most of the world.
Usually very expensive.
We read freqvently in the British media how the British medics have ‘given up’ on patients, then how those patients go to Germany and get ‘cured’.


Many modern medicines are indeed based on plants and such. Researched, refined, dose figured out, interactions, and so on.

One of the latest ones is an antibiotics that will kill MRSA resistent bacteria.
 

Janne

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Remember, herbal and plant based medicines have a very high placebo effect. People taking those believe. And get helped.

Then we have the problem: if herbal and plant based medicine works that well, why did people die of fairly simple diseases and infections before modern medicines?

Natural meds can alleviate symptoms, cure simple, light problems. Problems the organism maybe would cure without the natural remedies.

We should not forget that many medications originate from plants. And more are discovered every year.

Yes you can eat bread mouldy with Penicillinum. You can also take a tablet.
 
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Toddy

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...and some work better than the purefied and extracted components. Meadowsweet is a classic. It's a natural salicylic, yet if taken in it's entirety instead of damaging the stomach the way the purified 'aspirin' can do, it's actually a stomach healer.

People died mostly because of infection and poor hygiene.
We understand an awful lot more about treating both now, and it's not something either chemical or herbal there.

Hear ? I don't read about British medicine giving up and folks going to Germany to be 'cured'. Where are you getting that from ? the Daily Fail ?

M

caveat, meadowsweet has three parts, it has flourish which is easy on the stomach, it has leaves which are the parts most widely considered 'safe' and it has roots, which smell strongly of germolene, but will kill the pain of toothache. That meadowsweet is the European Filipendula ulmaria, not the North American meadowsweet which is Spiraea latifolia
 
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Janne

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If Meadowsweet does not give you an irritated stomach but Aspirin does, then I think the amount of the active agent you get from the plant is a fraction from the tablet. Simply said, the high amount and high concentration of the tablet gives the problems.
Both contain Acetylsalicylic acid.
Indeed a Bayer researcher did make a synthetic version of it, and it was called Aspirin.

There is absolutely no chemical difference between the one in the plant and the onr in the tube.

Meadowsweet flower heads makes a lovely sweet tea, my favourite.
Mixed with young birch leaves even better!
 
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Janne

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https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/german-alternative-cancer-clinics/

Articles about those poor people do pop up in the more sensational based media. As it is quackery what these places do no ‘real’, serious media would print it I guess.

We all in the medical/ dental professions encounter patients that come for treatmrnt, get the info, decide to go alternative. Once they discover it does not work it is to late.

I have seen it all after 30 years in profession.
I had maybe 10 patients or so in Sweden and UK that went to Germany or Poland for alternative healing for cancer. I remember those patients very clearly.
Two for oral cancer I discovered. One Stage 1, one Stage 3. Has
Both were Stage 4 when they started hospital treatment.
Here I had one cancer patient that went to Mexico for alternative therapy.
 

Janne

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It may be strong enough to kill the pain of toothache.
So does Alcohol. And Poppy sap extract. And Sativa extract in oil.
Oil of Cloves.


Tooth ache?
Because of an inflamed nerve ( damage through thermal, bacterial, blood supply restriction) or pain from an abscess ( nerve dead, bacteria in pulp chamber, bactria and toxins leak through the apex)
Or pain from a periodontal abscess or just inflamed periodontium?

Toothache is not just toothache!

Plus I forgot the symptoms of toothache coming from inflamed sinus floor lining, euralgia.
Toothache from infected soft tisdue around wisdom teeth.
Plus a (for the patient) tricky one, ache from top back tooth or teeth, but in reality it is a TMJ inflammation...

People suffered and even died from the simplest cured problems. Natural medication could and can do very, very little.
But as we know, many ailments are psychosomatic. Those perceived ailments can be cured with alternative and modern medicines.
 
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Mowmow

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Wow
This is exactly the reason why I sought out information from you lot here. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction so I can begin tapping into this (rather broad) subject.

Although I was hoping for some recipes for simple medicine I could get hands on with straight away to experiment with at first;
I am aware a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing and that even though in modern society herbal remedies are viewed as very inefficient or just superstition.
They are, by definition (though most these days would never think of them as such) drugs, the same as what you'd find in a pharmacy and should be treated so.
I'll stick to what i'm confident in.

I would like to thank everybody for their input so far and will definitely look in to the different books and resources people have recommended and look forwards to learning and practicing for my self.

I'd be plenty happy to go "walkabout" with anyone, just drop me a message if you're fairly local.
I'm not sure what sort of knowledge I could pass on but it's always nice to meet like minded people.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 
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Toddy

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Reply to Janne...


Ah, that kind of 'alternative' therapy.
One lady I know walked around with a slice of carrot stuck on her brow with micropore tape. She had skin cancer and this would cure it. Eventually she need plastic surgery after the surgery and chemotherapy to deal with a much larger than it had been cancerous patch.

I suspect that snake-oil has been around for a very long time. From the pills made from the scrapings of the rooms of the baths in Rome to the ground up 'natron' from Egyptian mummies, universal panaceas they are not.

From personal experience I can attest that the meadowsweet tisane is just as effective as the aspirin pills, but they don't damage my stomach, so I don't think it's just the 'concentration' of the chemicals. I think it's the synergy, the entirety of the herb....and I have had stomach ulcers from Nsaids. I know I am one of the very lucky ones who healed from R.A , and am now clear and take no pills :).... I am very wary of upsetting my stomach and gut now, but the meadowsweet seems to be fine :)
I can also atest that a half inch of meadowsweet root, lightly crushed and placed against an aching tooth, stops the pain, appears to help clear infection, certainly reduced the inflammation, and gave relief from an abcess until I could get a Dentist's appointment. He laughed and said that it smelled better than the more usual clove oil. I know others who have used it when a filling came out too.

p.s. the TMJ is most definitely not funny, and it still 'clicks'. The meadowsweet works on that as well, kind of soothes the ache. Doesn't do much for neuralgia though, just takes the edge off.

M
 
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Janne

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I myself can not take ASA, as I have several abdominal conditions, but I do drink a tisane made from the flower. Not to ease any pain ( beta blockers are better in my case) but for the taste. Sister dries them and sends to me. I pick and dry my own birch leaves.

Never any stomach pains.

Clove Oil is super effective. Must be one of the most powerful meds for surface and tooth related pain.
I tell my patients ( when they ask) to crush a couple of cloves, a drop or two of food oil and apply the thick paste to achy tooth.
You got TMJ problems?
Have a soft biteguard made.
Your problem is probably established and can not be cured, but the pain can be alleviated a bit.

Does your TMJ click when you upon and close fully?
Head aches in the morning?
Stiff face in the morning?
 

Toddy

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Opening wider than normal speech and it clicks, not on closing. The dental visits can be a misery because then it aches, even though my Dentist is very careful.

You can get elderflower syrup there, or dried flourish? if you add the meadowsweet to it, it's lovely :) If you add some honey, it's almost mead like.

Cloves don't grow in the UK, or in most of Europe, but meadowsweet grows along side every burn, beck, stream, etc., and in damp fields too. I think the root is as useful as cloves for the toothache.

I do like that we can get things like cloves, star anise, nutmeg, eucalyptus, etc., easily though. International trade is a good thing :) A lot of the tree resins, mostly from North Africa, are awfully useful, but that said, pines are rich in good things too and they do grow here :)

M
 

Toddy

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Never locked, thankfully. The 'click' is sort of wide opening but definitely before maximum, by then the jaw hurts and my ear aches. So I avoid that. Yawning doesn't hurt, but then the muscles/tendons are sort of tense then. If I just tense them to open without the click, I end up with face and neck aches. I can't sleep on that side for very long without my jaw aching. The Rheumatologist said it was just part and parcel of the R.A. I'd love to think it'd heal, but at least there is no more flare up/inflammation/destruction.

Sorry Mowmow, we've taken the thread totally OT :oops:

Cloves do grow in the local supermarkets :) like a great many other useful herbs. It's astonishing really just how reliant we have become on imported seasonings and the like though.

I suppose the only really hot native spice is horseradish, though mustard can have a bite too.
I don't know of anything native to the UK that comes close to cinnamon, alspice, nutmeg or ginger though. I can grow ginger indoors on a sunny windowsill, but it's very, very slow. The others are a forlorn hope.

M
 

Robson Valley

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Read "Nathaniel's Nutmeg." The book is drawn from primary sources (eg ships logs) regarding the psychopaths
who happily plied their spices trades. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves drove the economic expansionist appetites
of Europe. Peppercorns weren't far behind. Tea was for those left in the dust.
The pirates transplanted enough to break spheres of influence. Good jobs, if you could get it.
But tea won out in the end. Twinnings, Hershey, Cadbury and other common names.
Ah and then comes sugar. Cane and the genetic triumph of sugar beet.

Those who missed out turned to the New World for tobacco, vanilla, potatoes, cocoa and maize.
Yes, the Inca still know how to freeze-dry potatoes.
 
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Toddy

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Isn't vanilla, real vanilla, a pleasure ? :) and again, we have nothing native here that's as good. Sweet cicely is nice though, but not strong like vanilla.

M