Herbs for Organ Health (Part II)

Herbs for Organ Health (Part II)

The organ systems are benefited from different herbs, some herbs producing a medical action within one system and not another. This is a three-part series of articles highlighting specific herbs beneficial to specific organ systems.

Nervous System: Skullcap Aerial Parts

Liliaceae, scutellaria lateriflora, American Skullcap Aerial Parts

Skullcap is a flowering perennial plant native to North America (Scutellaria lateriflora) used for centuries by Native Americans to treat menstrual disorders, nervousness, digestive and kidney problems. The name skullcap refers to the flower’s resemblance to helmets worn by European soldiers. Skullcap was used formerly for nervous disorders, including hysteria, nervous tension, epilepsy and chorea. It is now used largely as a sedative and sleeping pill, often in combination with other herbs such as valerian. Skullcap extracts are prepared from the aerial parts of the Scutellaria lateriflora plant and contain large amounts of flavonoids, including scutellarin and baicalin, which are believed to be the active components accounting for its sedative and antispasmodic activity. It is thought that the flavonoid compounds may act as gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) agonists similar to the benzodiazepines. 

Skullcap has been known to be used as a hypotensive to lower blood pressure, and an anxiolytic and sedative to reduce anxiety, nervousness, and stress. Its greatest strength is that as a nervine providing beneficial effects upon the nervous system while quickening the physiological activity of the body.

It acts as a nervous system tonic acting therapeutically upon the nerves to strengthen and calm the nervous system. 

Respiratory System: Indian Tobacco Aerial Parts

Campanulaceae, lobelia inflata, Indian Tobacco, Asthma weed, Bladderpod; Gagroot; Pukeweed; Vomitroot

Indian tobacco, has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough. Historically, Native Americans smoked Indian Tobacco as a treatment for asthma. In the 19th century, American physicians prescribed Indian Tobacco to induce vomiting in order to remove toxins from the body. Because of this, it earned the name "puke weed."

Today, it is sometimes suggested to help clear mucus from the respiratory tract, including the throat, lungs, and bronchial tubes.

Indian Tobacco soothes and relaxes the respiratory system by promoting clear and free breathing and supports healthy lung and bronchial function​. It acts as a Bronchial Tonic and strengthens the lungs.

Indian Tobacco promotes the secretion of mucus by the air passages and acts as an expectorant of the respiratory system. It kills microorganisms within the respiratory system or stops their growth. It functions as a Demulcent to soothe and protect irritated or inflamed internal tissue.

As an Antispasmodic, Indian Tobacco relieves, prevents, or lowers the incidence of muscle spasms.

Musculoskeletal System: Red Sage Root

Lamiaceae, salvia miltiorrhiza, Red Sage, Dan Shen, Chinese salvia, Chinese sage, and red-root sage

Red sage, or danshen, is a traditional Chinese medicine made from the dried root of the red sage plant. It has a long history of use in China and other Asian countries.

This herbal remedy has many potential health benefits, thanks to its polyphenol content. Red sage has been used for centuries to help treat a wide range of medical concerns, from high cholesterol to type 2 diabetes.

Red Sage is an important alterative for the Musculoskeletal System gradually restoring proper function to the body and increases overall health and vitality. As a tonic it is considered to improve overall wellbeing and vitality, or hardworking and abused muscles and bones. Arthritic conditions respond well to herbal therapy, but as always, herbs work best when used as part of a holistic approach to treating the person, not simply the disease.

Red Sage is a less known anti-inflammatory, and reduces muscle inflammation, redness, swelling, and pain in the body, allowing other herbal actions to address the cause.

Red Sage is known to help reduce the loss of bone mass, performing antiosteopenia actions throughout the Musculoskeletal System.

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