Herbs for Organ Health (Part III)

Herbs for Organ Health (Part III)

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.

Immune System: Wild Indigo Root 

Fabaceae, baptisia tinctoria, Wild Indigo Root also known as Horsefly Weed, American Indigo, Rattlebush and Baptisia Root.

Wild indigo is an herb. The root is used to make medicine. Wild indigo is used for infections such as diphtheria, influenza (flu), swine flu, the common cold and other upper respiratory tract infections, lymph node infections, scarlet fever, malaria, and typhoid.

Wild indigo has been used by European herbalists to treat ulcers and several types of infections, including those affecting the mouth and gums, lymph nodes, and throat.

The immune-modulating effects of wild indigo root are due to the presence of various polysaccharides, which stimulate the production of macrophages and enhances natural resistance to pathogens. It activates various immune functions such as white blood cell activity.

Wild indigo is known to produce antibiotic action which strengthens the body's response against bacteria, and supports the liver improves its function and increases the flow of bile.

The Immune System also benefits from Wild Indigo’s impact on the Lymphatic System, which is a network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to transport lymph, a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells, throughout the body. 

Urinary System: Pellitory of the Wall Leaves

Urticaceae, parietaria officinalis, Pellitory of the Wall, also known as Spreading Pellitory and Pellitory Over-the-Wall.

Pellitory-of-the-Wall is a humble, inconspicuous plant belonging to the same group as the Stinging Nettle and the Hop. It’s better known in Europe than here in the US.

Pellitory-of-the-Wall is a most efficacious remedy for stone in the bladder, gravel, dropsy, stricture and other urinary complaints. Its action upon the urinary calculus is perhaps more marked than any other simple agent at present employed.

People take pellitory-of-the-wall for treatment of fluid retention, constipation, and cough. They also take it for a variety of urinary tract disorders including urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney pain, and kidney stones.

As a strong diuretic, it increases the production and elimination of urine.

 Epidermal System: Marshmallow root

Malvaceae, Althaea officinalis, marshmallow root

Marshmallow the herb, not the white puffy confection roasted over a campfire -- has been used by the Romans, Chinese, Egyptians, and Syrians for more than 2,000 years as a medicine.

Marshmallow is a perennial herb that’s native to Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It’s been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years to treat digestive, respiratory, and skin conditions.

The Arabs made poultices from its leaves and applied them to the skin to reduce inflammation.

Both the root and leaves contain a gummy substance called mucilage. When mixed with water, it forms a slick gel that is used to coat the throat and stomach to reduce irritation. It is also applied topically to soothe chapped skin.

Marshmallow root contains fiber and swells up when it comes in contact with water, forming a protective coating around membranes. It is believed to promote the health of mucus membranes that line hollow organs and reduce pain and inflammation.

Marshmallow root reduces skin irritation and inflammation by soothing the nerve-sense system of the skin. It can be used topically to treat wounds, burns, insect bites, dry or chapped skin, and even peeling skin. Topical application of marshmallow root can help with eczema because polysaccharides in the root moisturize the skin and add a protective layer to ultrasensitive skin. It can also prevent premature aging of skin due to damage from UV radiation from sun exposure.

The anti-inflammatory action of marshmallow root also helps relieve skin irritation caused by furunculosis, eczema, and dermatitis. As an antibiotic it strengthens the body's response against bacteria.

The anti-inflammatory action of marshmallow root also helps relieve skin irritation caused by furunculosis, eczema, and dermatitis. Marshmallow root has antibacterial activity that makes it effective in wound healing. It also enhances the appearance of skin that has been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In other words, anyone who’s ever been out in the sun may benefit from applying topical marshmallow root.

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