Natural medicine from plants in the UK

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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Try a taste of the sap of Lactarius turpis (only a dap on your finger tip will do) it is very hot and spicy; unfortunately it is also mutagenic (necatorin) so useless as a spice :(
I wonder what process our ancestors went through to decide the substance couldn't be used as a spice.
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
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S. Lanarkshire
That's the one that used to be used, in small quantities to season/increase the taste, like mild tabasco can do, in a mixed mushroom medley ?
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
That's the one that used to be used, in small quantities to season/increase the taste, like mild tabasco can do, a mixed mushroom medley ?
Really? I hadn't managed to find a reference to it being used; I'll try again :)

Ah, yep, just found a reference to it being eaten :)
 

Toddy

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Jan 21, 2005
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Looks sort of like a kind of gone stale, icing gone watery/sticky, doughnut among the leaf litter ?

Sometimes I wonder at how people ever worked out what was edible, I really do.

I'd check a few sources, tbh. I haven't tried it, I was told about it though when I wondered if the latex was latex.

M
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I suspect our ancestors had a better observation ability than we have.
As most of their diet was plant based during the growing season, I guess they had a good feed of something and if they fell ill they made a connection to the food.


But I never understood how they could figure out that some quite elaborate, multi step preparations could make a toxic plant eatable.

Mind you, not all plants used traditionally are healthy to eat. Tobacco, Poppy sap, Ergot, Marihuana, some mushrooms, Ghat, stuff like that.
Used to intoxicate/communicate with the Gods, but toxic and the intoxication is what gives the effect.
Take a little and you feel like a God. Take some more and communicate with the Gods. Take to much and join the ancestors!

Who got the idea to drip juice/extract from Belladonna into eyes?
To eat a tiny bit of Digitalis and get relief from Heart problems ( which were not diagnosable and unknown) ?
 
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mrcharly

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 25, 2011
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North Yorkshire, UK
It amazes me, too.

There are several plants in australia that require elaborate prep - one is severely carcinogenic without leaching in water for 5 days, plus cooking. Another requires soaking, then grinding the seeds to remove an enzyme.
How on earth did people work this out?
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
You can chew on a fresh, green vanilla-bean orchid pod to learn that it has basically no taste at all.
But, if you pile up the pods and allow them to decompose for a while ( aka "ferment") they turn black
like the bottom of your compost bin. In the process, the biochemistry changes for the vanillin.
Exactly the same molecule in the woods of the white oaks for wine/whiskey/sherry barrels.
Synthetic vanilla is biochemically the same molecule as the natural one.
What's missing is the miriad of accessory compounds found in the extract of the natural pods.

Try home canning ripe pears in white grape juice and about 1/4 of a stripped vanilla bean pod per 500 ml.
 
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Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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Aboriginal education is a system discriminated against by Caucasian thinking.
First Nations had many thousands of years for experimentation, like anyone else.
I'll guess that there were untold mistakes and errors as they learned over hundreds of generations
of medicine women and medicine men.
Their skills transcended territorial politics which only helped the health of everybody.

Same as any other skills. Not every kid grew up to be a master flint knapper.
 
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JohnC

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Jun 28, 2005
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Edinburgh
Just an example: The plant Hypericum (St Johns wort) has been used for centuries / millenia as a calming herb.
It also effects the liver function, so the effect of other (‘modern’) medication is changed.

I doubt there has been any extensive resarch between the intraction of herbal/ modern meds, or even herbal/herbal.
A couple of days ago, i asked our pharmacy team to check about licquorice interactions with one of the newer targeted compounds we are trialling in cancer, they produced a fair bit of information for me. We’re always asking patients for lists of herbal items they are taking to check for potential interactions. So there is a fair bit of stuff there.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Some of those interactions have even filtered down to the level of university biology courses.
Echinaceae and general anesthetics conflict in humans.

Later today, make a written list of every med and size that you take. Make many copies.
Since December 27, I could have handed out 5 or 6 copies.
Everybody had their own form to fill out.
Everybody wants you to remember the chemical name and size of everything.

Veterinarians in North America have their own little internet shed to play in.
Apparently, they keep lists of all the bad interactions they see and those get sorted out.
That's where the news came from regarding chocolate (theobromine) and grapes (kidneys) as dog issues.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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It is getting better.
I use the US Drug Inormation Handbook, Lexi-Comp daily to confirm.
Zero interactions between the various herbals/plant based and the meds are written down there.

If St Johns wort is changing the farmakinetics of antivirals, Contraceptives and a few recognized other meds, what happens with the other meds we prescribe?

I know lots of people, many Swedes, that take St Johns. Tincture, powder form, tea/tisane.
Plus the best way o ingest it, in the form of infusion in Vodka!

Here, smoking Marihuana (Ganja) is highly illegal, but very common.
I have a feeling that the anesthetic I inject in those patient do not have the same effect in those patients. I ask if they do smoke, and many patients say they do. I do point out I am not a police and all info stays with me. I do not write it down either, even if I should..

I would love to see research between Marihuana, Skunk and Cocaine (including Coca leaves) and 'proper' meds.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
My son has invested quite a lot of our 'fun' money in a Canadian medical (?!) marihuana farm.
I want to invest in that farm they have got permission for recently in Israel. Son will help me.

I do not enjoy it myself. Prefer age to kill my grey cells, not some plants.

Medical Marihuana is BS. Other meds are just as effective.
I believe that in countries where medical Marihuana has been legalized suddenly they are getting an epidemic of undiagnosable migraines, muscle and back aches. Neuralgias.

I was on a big symposium here about Medical marihuana.
The 'top US expert' on the subject was very relaxed dude. I caught him having a spliff outside when I went for a fag.
He smiled and said he had a bad case of jetlag......
Like you do if you fly over 3 time zones......
BS. $$$. More BS.
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,374
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McBride, BC
It's OK. There's billions of dollars here that just don't care about any facts that you can trot out.
(Try to say that and hold your breath). Hey! Wanna toke? We're from Doobie town. Used to be called Canada.
This place will light up like smoke for global cooling. With the jet stream, I figure the BCUK team can suck it up
about 8-12 hours later.

British Columbia has been covered with a pot haze for decades. We just hid it all behind the Rockies.
 

Sundowner

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Jan 21, 2013
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Northumberland
This is a subject of lifetime learning for me and, despite now studying it for many years, I wouldn't dream of tutoring or trying to teach it or even offering application advice - especially not on a forum. Learning the plants and the applications is one thing, learning about extraction processes, the doses, and the diagnostic is a completely different matter. And, this is an ever changing subject; for example comfrey was at one time considered very useful but now advised against.

My emphasis has always been to study the plants in my environment and research what they are useful for rather than study medicinal herbs in general. If I travel, I try and find the common plants or will study the plant species of the area I am visiting.

That said, I am happy to list some of my resources (these are in addition to very good field guides and keys; good identification is a must):

Welsh Herbal Medicine - Hoffmann
Herbs and Health - Peterson
Herbs and Aromatherapy - Metcalfe
The Dictionary of Healing Plants - Dorfler & Roselt
Herbs and Healing Plants of Britain and Europe - (Collins) Podlech
Grow Your Own Drugs - Wong
The Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants - Chevallier
Native American Ethnobotany - Moerman
and many more ....

The latter covers North America but I am in the process of cross referencing common species. It's an expensive book but you can access the database upon which it is based for free at www.naeb.brit.org

Cheers,

Broch
Your link isn't working for me. Says that it can't find the site