- What are the main features of Cold conditions?
The main features of cold conditions are cold, stagnation, congestion, and general slowing of processes. Cold conditions are characterized by the slowing down of the circulatory system, either the central or peripheral or general circulatory system, causing a decline in the efficiency of the body to move materials from one site of the body to another. Therefore, the cold condition can be seen as the stasis of the circulatory system.
- Which of the following would you consider to be Cold conditions?
The following can be considered as cold conditions:
- Constipation is common. One usually thinks of it as being a cold condition, yet can you give an example of it being produced in a hot condition?
Hot constipation may be produced when a person takes hot foods like deep fried food, cloves, fennel, ginger or hot spices, which then cause a stomach upset. When passing stool, the person may feel that the anus is ‘hot’, especially after taking food prepared using hot spices. Therefore, hot constipation is due to the food taken, rather than due to sluggish circulation or a ‘cold’ digestive tract.
- What is the mode of action of a warming herb?
A warming herb works by stimulating the circulatory system, enabling the efficient flow of substances in the body. A warming herb also relaxes constricted blood vessels, helping in the smooth flow of blood in the body. In some cases, the warming herb causes a ‘warming’ sensation, making a warm glow suffuse the whole body, raising the core temperature. Warming herbs help in catalyzing the body’s healing systems, ‘warming’ them up, making them more effective in tackling and eliminating illness.
- What do you understand by the term
This refers to the ability of a herb to cause sweating in a person suffering from a fever, helping the person to cool down and lose the fever as the sweat evaporates from the skin and causes a cooling effect.
Occurs when a herb causes the heart rhythms of a person to increase, which is a dangerous effect that has to be avoided because it is detrimental to the wellbeing of the person.
- The fig
It was a term that was used in medieval times to refer to haemorrhoids. The term was then used to refer to the perennial herb figwort, Scrophularia nodosa as it resembles haemorrhoids in appearance.
- Can you name a herb that would be of most value in dealing with migraine in a young woman which characteristically affected her premenstrually? Explain briefly.
The best herb will be feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium). Premenstrual syndrome can be as an effect of sluggish circulation, which causes congestion in the womb as the dead tissue remains in situ for too long, leading to painful periods. Feverfew is an excellent herb in mitigating sluggish and painful periods in women. In addition, it is effective against migraines, hence can serve the dual purpose of reducing the migraines while speeding up the periods.
- What is the main problem of using warming herbs to clear catarrh?
Catarrh is caused by congested mucous membranes and sluggish circulation, and can cause breathing difficulties. Warming herbs is, therefore, appropriate for clearing catarrh as the herbs will speed up the sluggish circulation and decongest the mucus membrane by making the mucus lighter, and hence can run easily. However, warming herbs cause a ‘drying’, effect because they accelerate the loss of body fluids by the patient, which is detrimental to the well being of the patient.
- Can you advise about how to treat a painful sore throat with herbs? Which herb would you select and how would you give it?
To treat a painful sore throat, it is essential to not only relieve the pain but also clear up the infection that is causing the painful throat in the first place. Therefore, the most appropriate herb to choose is sage (Salvia officinalis), because the herb has both analgesic and antiseptic properties, which are ideal for treating the sore throat. The herb is administered mainly through gargling with an infusion of the leaves to clear up the infection, as well as drinking sage tea to help ease the pain.
- Which warming herb would you consider using for toothache? How would it be given?
The warming herb that is appropriate for treating toothache is yarrow (Acillea millefolium). The herb has analgesic properties, helping to reduce pain as well as managing fever due to its diaphoretic effect. It also stimulates the body’s healing mechanisms by ‘warming’ them up, especially when applied topically. Therefore, the best way to administer the herb is through chewing the leaves as this will help in the topical application of the herb on the aching tooth.
- List the country names of five herbs that indicate their innate healing properties.
- Abscess root (Polemonium reptans)
- Woundwort (Prunella vulgaris)
- Asthma-plant (Euphorbia hirta)
- Chili (Capsicum frutescens)
- John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum)