Or, It Just Wasn't Oatmeal!
(That is, the soap we used wasn't a harmless
combination of something like oatstraw, mint
and, perhaps, echinacea! Click to each below...)
Ever since I was a very little girl, I had been aware that my Father had a condition called "Shingles". The condition seemed to give him patches of very many small bumps, or blisters. All that I knew was that he refused to do the dishes (ever) because the dish washing soap aggravated his skin so much.
My Dad had the worlds' most beautiful skin. I can still remember him when he was 27 or 28 years old, his skin shining like satin in the sunlight. If he got a tiny mosquito bite or sore, he picked at himself, nervously,and constantly. From my own experience, being genetically descended from his clan, any skin irritation I have also resonates with the whole body, until any action going on around me is secondary to the aggravation.
I didn't think about his shingles very much until (1) I picked up a Virology text at a library sale, and learned a little of Zoster, the medical name for Shingles. (2) My Father was dying at age 71 not only of cancer, but of Zoster, which had turned half the skin of his arms to enormous, bruised reddish -purple blotches. I learned from my book that the disease begins to break down the capillaries under the skin, until the skin cannot breathe for the organism.
Because another family member has begun to exhibit
blotches which are similar, I began to explore healthful alternative medicines
on the Internet, to find that advances in Virology studies have proven that
Zoster is actually internalized Chicken Pox (something my 1978 Virology text did
not tell me) and that the pox virus lodges in the spine, surfacing as enormous
yellow blisters, sometimes all over the skin.
I also found that there is now an experimental immunization clinic hoping to prevent zoster, involving people over sixty - more later.
Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a viral infection of sensory nerve cells caused by Varicella zoster, which is the Chicken Pox most of we children suffered from what was thought to be a regular childhood disease, back in 1954.
There are 25 Herpesvirus strains listed: Varizella-Zoster-Virus is distinguished as zoster virus in this list.
"The antiviral drugs acyclovir, famcyclovir and valacyclovir can lessen the initial pain and make the rash go away sooner. "
These drugs may also help with the painful aftereffects known as postherpetic neuralgia.
The name shingles is believed to come from the Latin word "cingulum," which means belt or girdle, because shingles typically has a belt-like appearance. Shingles is also known as herpes zoster, or simply zoster, because it is caused by a herpes virus called varicella-zoster.
Medical generics Treatment for shingles includes antiviral drugs, steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents. Sometimes serious effects including partial facial paralysis (usually temporary), ear damage, or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) may occur. Persons with shingles on the upper half of the face should seek medical attention immediately as the virus may cause serious damage to the eyes. Most people who have shingles have only one bout with the disease in their lifetime. However, individuals with impaired immune systems, i.e., people with AIDS or cancer, may suffer repeated episodes.
" Treatment for shingles includes antiviral drugs, steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and topical agents. Sometimes serious effects including partial facial paralysis (usually temporary), ear damage, or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) may occur. Persons with shingles on the upper half of the face should seek medical attention immediately as the virus may cause serious damage to the eyes. Most people who have shingles have only one bout with the disease in their lifetime. However, individuals with impaired immune systems, i.e., people with AIDS or cancer, may suffer repeated episodes. "
"The virus remains latent in the dorsal root ganglia of the spinal cord after the initial attack of chicken pox. The disease occurs most frequently in people over the age of 50. It may be activated through such factors as trauma to the spinal cord and its roots through surgery or X-ray therapy. Shingles is characterized by pain along an affected nerve and its branches and the eruption of blisters over skin areas supplied by the nerve."
The above quotation is from an article, worth reading in its entirety, made by an MD,Doctor David L. Hoffmann, B.Sc. (Hons) M.N.I.N.H. .This Doctor recommends alternative treatments for Shingles which are herbal - Oat Straw (from the Oat Grass) Scullcap ,Peppermint , St. Johns' Wort ,Echinacea and Artemisia vulgaris.
Please read this (as linked below) if you are serious about reading the rest of this article.
This site (Herbs by Northdays Image) has covered St Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)with both an article and a properties page, to which this article shall add the other six herbs as listed above. Their horticultural names are:
Scutellaria laterifolia, Artemisia vulgaris, Mentha piperita, Avena sativa, Echinacea spp. Compositeae, also Capsain*.
*Capsain (Cayenne) and Tylenol are also recommended for pain relief, with some dietary supplements. Capsain links to a separate site.
Click the names or images below for each section. This Zoster page sections show links to the properties of each herb.
It sounds so stoned! No wonder Scots, who consume 99.99 percent of the worlds' oatmeal (it seems) are statistically considered to turn out the highest percentage of genius level University graduates in the world. I once read an article which attributed the intellectual success (in part) of my Scottish relatives to a diet which regularly included oats!! (Don't quote me, but - think about it!)
Avena Sativa, or actually Oat Straw, is recommended in the article linked at the top as part of a Nervine Tonic, which feeds the stricken nerves.
Dr David Hoffmann is the only MD who has take the trouble on the net to offer some self-healing advice in the treatment of Zoster.The quote below is in his article linked above, but repeated here for those who haven't the time to read the full essay from this link:
"One possible prescription :
Avena sativa Hypericum perforatum Echinacea spp. Scutellaria laterifolia equal parts to 5ml of tincture 4 times a day.
Mentha piperita oil applied topically may reduce the pain through a mild local numbing effect. Do not attempt this if the skin is extremely sensitive.
Colloidal oatmeal powder may be dusted on the effected skin to act as a dry lubricant, hopefully reducing pain from contact with clothes.
Actions supplied by this combination : Nervines Tonic (Avena sativa, Hypericum perforatum) Nervines Relaxant (Hypericum perforatum, Scutellaria laterifolia, Artemisia vulgaris) Anti-inflammatory (Hypericum perforatum) Anti-spasmodic (Hypericum perforatum, Scutellaria laterifolia) Anti-microbial (Hypericum perforatum, Echinacea spp.) "
If you have read the above prescription concept, you can see that Oatmeal powder can, of course, calm down your skin. Most of us know about washing in a bath with Oatmeal tied into a bag for a mild but cleansing soap - but when diabolical suffering occurs we will most often go for prescription drugs and expensive skin salves. I say: USE BOTH!! Having been too broke to do anything else but to use oats as a soap, I can testify to the healing and calming effect of oatmeal, both as an internally cleansing food and as a cleanser for the irritated skin. There is no sense in not using common sense as well as your Doctors' advice.
One of those magickal womens' sites I so love describes the power of Oats this way:
An Oatstraw..'infusion strengthens the nerves, helps reduce emotion distress, promotes sound sleep, keeps the bones and heart strong, and strengthens libido'.
As you will have seen from Wise Womans' article, Oatstraw is also recommended for problems associated with menopause.
Much advice on Oats - Truly Comprehensive:
"Green oats, harvested just before they bloom, deliver the most important active ingredients in their juice. The tea made of the "still green" grain was an ancient folk remedy in Hildegard's time and is still used today. Nowadays it is employed to free the body of harmful waste products. It is particularly useful in cases of arthritic joint inflammation and when the uric acid level in the urine is high, as in cases of gout. Green straw tea will release harmful metabolic by-products and simultaneously remove unnecessary water held in the tissues."
"In Europe, oat straw is used for various baths, which, when taken regularly, are helpful support for a number of ailments: Full Bath: Good for rheumatic problems, lumbago, paralysis, liver ailments and gout, kidney, and gravel problems. Bath herb (Oatstraw or Oatmeal) to soften skin and to help eczema and neuralgia. Sitzbath: Good for bladder and abdominal problems, intestinal, colic, and bedwetting. Footbath: Good for tired or chronically cold feet. Local Wash: Good for skin diseases, flaky skin, frostbite, chilblains, wounds, and eye problems."
Lots more to read about at:
Oatstraw Magical uses : OATSTRAW (Avena sativa)- nervous system tonic; calming; high in minerals; great daily tea; pregnancy tonic
interest site: oats="money" magickal usehttp://www.angelfire.com/weird/magickalkingdom/herbs.html
oats image http://www.herbs.org/gallery.htm
Lovely antique botanicals image in notes/essays file/
Every Body Must Get Stoned!
ats in a legal smoke called "Dreamsmoke"
Scullcap (Scutellaria Galericulata and Scutellaria Laterifolia, also called Blue Pimpernel, Helmetflower, Hoodwort, Mad-dog Skullcap, and Madweed ,also blue skullcap, blue pimpernel, hootwort, side-flowering skullcap, mad-dog-weed, skjolddrager) was publicized as a cure for rabies in 1773, and its sedative and antispasmodic effects earned this plant it's common names of Mad-dog and Madweed.
" It is very difficult for this herb to shake the mistaken lore that it's name is derived from being shaped like a human skull. The proper spelling is Scullcap, not Skullcap." Actually, I asked a Pharmaceutical experts site spokesperson, and the opinion was that the herb is actually spelled Skullcap. So, when researching, type in both spelings to be thorough.
"In "A Modern Herbal" Grieve maintains it's name comes from the Latin "Scutella", which means "little dish", a form the lid of the calyx of it's flower is shaped like."
If you are looking for health information and the use of Scullcap (spelled Skullcap in some texts) the "stoned head" approach need not apply. I usually rely on Erowid for interesting details about hallucinogens and narcotics, but they are accepting letters from the public which may only be of use or interest to research scientists or MDs. Kids, don't try this at home! I have added the links to two letters about their Scullcap concoctions,but there seems to be no purpose or definition to their ideas for remedies, so -caveat emptor (latin, means consumer beware).
info from erowid.com
recipe with Scullcap and Cannabis: http://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=8122
ethnobotanical experience . This essay is a little more concerned:
http://www.erowid.org/experiences/exp.php (? ID= 24744)
http://www.herbs2stopsmoking.com/medicine or chemical: scutellarin, a "calmative"
Parts used and where grown: Scullcap is another member of the mint family, but it looks more like a Closed Blue gentian, a fairly rare Ontario wildflower..American Scullcap has a rose-red flower, though. Scutellaria lateriflora grows in eastern North America and is most commonly used in United States and European herbal products containing scullcap. The above-ground (aerial) part of the plant is used in herbal preparations. It is not interchangeable with Chinese scullcap. Scullcap was used historically as a sedative for people with nervous tension and insomnia. It was, and continues to be, commonly combined with valerian for insomnia, also as a remedy for epilepsy and nerve pain.
Use of scullcap in the amounts listed above is generally safe. However, scullcap use during pregnancy and breast-feeding should be avoided due to limited information about its safety. Cases of liver damage have been reported in association with the intake of scullcap. when the herb product contains Germander(Teucrium chamaedrys).
One of this sites' references is a textual work by Hoffmann. For more referenced details, and an image of American Scullcap, look up the site.
Ref1: Hoffman D. The Herbal Handbook: A Userís Guide to Medical Herbalism.
Family: Labiatae, Latin name: Mentha piperita M. piperita
Commonly known as Peppermint, Mint, Pfefferminze, spearmint, brandy mint and chocolate mint.
Peppermints' fragrant leaves unmistakeably smell and taste like soft white buttermint toffee. The leaves grow on stalks up to two feet in height, and its stems, have a reddish cast. Its dense spikes of violet flowers bloom in late summer.If you are lucky enough to find real Peppermint, you can strike it easily by setting a couple of the stems into clear water,which will root the stems in a week or so. This can go straight into the earth and will take off at first through runners creeping along the ground, which grow to adulthood within the growing season.
Peppermint is a hybrid of water mint and spearmint (I didn't know that!) and was first cultivated near London in 1750. The two main cultivated forms are the black mint, which has violet-colored leaves and stems and a relatively high oil content, and the white mint, which has pure green leaves and a milder taste.
Peppermint tea (usually the dried leaf) is regarded as a stimulant,some relief for flatulence or nausea, and has antiseptic properties.
"It is used in treating indigestion, sore throats, colds and toothache, among others. Peppermint is a powerful diffusive stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative, stomachic, and weak anodyne. It undoubtedly possesses marked antiseptic properties. Peppermint tea is used also for palpitation of the heart. Boiled in milk and drunk hot Peppermint herb is good for abdominal pains. "
It is also recommended as an interesting smoking herb .
A single whiff of peppermint can help to relieve symptoms of nausea and indigestion and also helps to relieve mental exhaustion and fatigue,offering calming refreshment. It has been known to help reduce chills and bring down a fever or to relieve tension headaches. Peppermint, when blended with a carrier oil, can make for a wonderfully refreshing massage. It is great for sore feet and has been credited with helping to alleviate muscular aches and pains.
Peppermint Essential Oil Aromatherapy has been available for some years, and is worth keeping in stock as a household word. I made a marvellous tooth cleaner with it for nearly five years, and I have successfully killed all bone or tendonitis pain with its pure essence.
Aromatherapy is not a sub for medical diagnosis or treatment. If you have a health condition, consult your physician. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, consult your doctor before using any aromatherapy products.
Magical and other
"Peppermint has been used in healing and purification spells, believed to raise the vibrations of an area. To this end, it was rubbed against furniture, walls and floorboards. It was used in pillows to promote sleep, and was believed to make the dreams pre-cognitive. It was also believed to be useful in mixtures for love spells ."
Herb reference and service for homeopaths, herbalists, or other researchers... Join and research constituents: registered users.
Echinacea links page resource:lots of info
The plant was named Echinacea by Linnaeus, and the name Rudbeckia, after Rudbeck, father and son, who were his predecessors at Upsala. The flowers are an almost cyclamen pink, and the florets are seated round a high cone.
"Echinacea increases bodily resistance to infection and is used for boils, erysipelas, septicaemia, cancer, syphilis and other impurities of the blood, its action being antiseptic . It has also useful properties as a strong alterative and aphrodisiac. As an injection, the extract has been used for haemorrhoids and a tincture of the fresh root has been found beneficial in diphtheria and putrid fevers."
Echinacea purpurea has similar properties to E. angustifolia; the fresh root of this is the part used.
Blue skies up above, everyones in love, look up a heteroxylan in your polysaccharide spare time, and watch the skies above move through the plants' daytime...
Finding an article like the work offered by David Hoffmann to be solidly full of scientific information, it is not easy to pretend to synopsize all of the material as it is listed.
Relevant material offered was something I felt was quite new, and that is that Echinacea disposes of hyaluronidase, a chemical I know to be part of the composition of insects' and snakes stings..
( my source was "Insects, Allergy and Disease" by Calvin Davis Hollister-Stier Laboratories, Cutter Laboratories Inc.)
An enzyme that activates hyaluronic acid, by breaking down its polymeric structure, thus promoting the diffusion of substances through the tissues. Hyaluronidase, referred to as the "spreading factor", hydrolyzes the hyaluronic acid gel in the spaces between the cells, and fibres of the connective tissues. The function of hyaluronidase within the venom is to reduce the viscosity of the greound substance. As a result, there is an acceleration with regards to the dispersion of the venom.
Chapter, "Black Widow Spider" p. 47, "Insects, Allergy and Disease" by Calvin Davis Hollister-Stier Laboratories, Cutter Laboratories Inc.
Since I dislike the snowballing irritation of insect sting, I was delighted to discover that polysaccharides in Echinacea help to regenerate tissue destroyed by hyaluronidase. Some insects' or snakes' stings will make the flesh actually necrotic (that is, gangrenous and dead)
The following is Dr. Hoffmannns' statement in part, although I urge you to connect to his well-to do article on the subject:
"The tincture was able to reduce both the rate of growth and the rate of reproduction of Trichomonas vaginalis, and was found to be effective in halting the recurrence of Candida albicans infection. It seems to prevent infection and repair tissue damaged by infection, partially through inhibiting the activity of the enzyme hyaluronidase.
The hyaluronidase system is a primary defense mechanism, involving connective "ground" substance, or hyaluronic acid, acting as a barrier against pathogenic organisms. Some pathogens activate an enzyme, hyaluronidase, which once activated destroys the integrity of the ground substance. This causes the barrier to become leaky, allowing pathogens to invade, attach themselves to exposed cells, penetrate the membrane and kill the cell. The result as an inflammatory infection.
Echinacea inhibits the action of hyaluronidase by bonding with it in some way, resulting in a temporary increase in the integrity of the barrier. ... A range of constituents mediate this process, especially a complex polysaccharide called echinacin B. This anti-hyaluronidase action is involved in regeneration of connective tissue destroyed during infection and...."
Article on Echinacea © David L. HoffmannB.Sc.(Hons),M.N.I.M.H.below:
Beer lovers will be interested to find that Mugwort is said to have derived its name from having been used to flavour drinks. It was used for flavouring beer before the introduction of hops. Some people still use Mugwort as a bitters in the manufacture of home brew. Another Cingulum, another St Johns' 'Wort'...St. Johns' Plant!
In the Middle Ages, the plant was known as Cingulum Sancti Johannis, because the belief was that John the Baptist girdled himself with the herb in the wilderness. People believed it to preserve the wayfarer from fatigue, sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits. A crown made from Mugwort was worn on St. John's Eve to prevent evil possession, and in Holland and Germany one of its names is St. John's Plant , because of the belief, that if gathered on St. John's Eve it gave protection against diseases and misfortunes.
In the early days, people used this plant commonly as a substitute for tea, since tea was expensive at the time.
It has stimulant and slightly tonic properties, and is of value as a nervine and emmenagogue, having also diuretic and diaphoretic action. Its chief employment is as an emmenagogue, often in combination with Pennyroyal and Southernwood. It is also useful as a diaphoretic in the commencement of cold.Considered effective in folk remedies for palsy, dropsy, hysteria, nausea and jaundice.It is also considered effective for deworming, though not as potent as its close relative, Wormwood.
A lot more about Mugwort in Grieves..
strongly warms parasympathetic nervous system activity.
strongly warms reproductive system function.
weakly warms cardiovascular system function.
weakly warms lower GI activity.
weakly warms mucosal activity.
weakly warms skin activity. Herb weakly cools adrenal stress.
weakly cools anabolic stress.
weakly cools renal activity.
weakly cools upper GI activity.
Moore, M. 1995. Herbal Energetics Charts, Southwest School of Botanical Medicine
More of Moore, and otherwise in :
April '05 UPDATE: Adding Cat's Claw with Venus Flytrap:
To come: some research into Cat's Claw bark for the relief of zoster, as applied with Venus Flytrap.
© 2003 Native Essence Herb Co http://store.yahoo.com/allherbs/ Re: Cat's Claw with Venus Flytrap 50/50
Interest Site: Alternate Therapeutic Concept discovered by Werner von Siemens
The first medical Ozone generators were developed by Werner von Siemens in Germany in 1857. In 1870, the first report on the use of Ozone to purify the blood was made by C. Lender, also of Germany.
is blatantly non-toxic. There is no evidence of free radical damage; in fact, ozone is the best free radical scavenger there is. Ozone also stimulates production of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase, which are the enzymes in the cell wall which protect the cell from free radical damage, so ozone actually helps prevent free radical damage. Dr. Horst Kief of Germany recommends taking Vitamin Aand Vitamin E supplements when receiving ozone treatments. "
can be bubbled through Olive Oil, which
produces a gel that is safe for skin disorders and irritations- one of them
There are hundreds of applications using Ozone Equipment and medicinal techniques, none of which has been proven to be harmful in the treatment of various conditions.
Bubbling Ozone through Olive Oil makes the gas breathable, and this is used for people with asthma, as it is clarified through the oil. The oil changes colour and becomes the useful gel, also considered excellent as a vaginal lubricant.The sites' info is well worth exploring as a concept potentially in conjunction with other natural remedies.
source virology: Herpes Zoster