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 Herbal Medicine: Herbal Therapy & Elder Health 
 


Digestive System

A wide range of remedies appropriate for digestive problems in Elders exist. Of the many possibilities, please review these remedies and ensure their various actions are familiar to you :

Agrimonia vulgare (Agrimony)
Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow)
Carduus marianum (Milk Thistle)
Chondrus crispus (Irish Moss)
Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)
Gentiana lutea (Gentian)
Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)
Mentha piperita (Peppermint)
Rumex crispus (Yellow Dock)
Symphytum officinale (Comfrey )
Ulmus fulva (Slippery Elm)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on digestive problems are relevant here. Please refer to the following sections : It is in the area of general symptomatic relief of digestive upsets that herbs have so much to offer. Using safe, normalizing herbal remedies it is possible to avoid the complication of side effects and minimize paradoxical reactions or synergistic drug interactions. This is especially the case where the digestive symptoms are produced by essential allopathic medication. A review of the sections indicated above will be helpful here.


Urinary System

Please review these remedies, each appropriate for urinary problems in Elders, ensuring their various actions are familiar to you :

Galium aparine (Cleavers)
Agropyron repens (Couchgrass)
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)
Taraxacum officinalis folia (Dandelion leaf)
Sambucus nigra (Elder)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on respiratory problems are relevant here. Please refer to the following sections :


Reproductive System

Please review these remedies, each appropriate for problems of the reproductive system in Elders, ensuring their various actions are familiar to you :

Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh)
Chamaelirium luteum (False Unicorn Root)
Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh)
Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort)
Mitchella repens (Partridge Berry)
Sabal serenoa (Saw Palmetto)
Senecio aureus (Life Root)
Turnera diffusa (Damiana)
Viburnum opulus (Cramp Bark)
Viburnum prunifolium (Black Haw)
Vitex agnus-castis (Chasteberry)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on respiratory problems are relevant here. Please refer to the following sections :


Musculo-Skeletal System

There are a range of remedies appropriate for musculo/skeletal problems in Elders, each having its distinct area of application. Please review these remedies and ensure their various actions are familiar to you :

Apium graveolens (Celery Seed)
Angelica archangelica (Angelica)
Betula spp. (Birch)
Cimicifuga racemosa (Black Cohosh)
Dioscorea villosa (Wild Yam)
Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
Menyanthes trifoliata (Bogbean)
Salix spp. (Willow Bark)
Urtica dioica (Nettles)
Tussilago farfara (Coltsfoot)
A number of stronger effectors may be found useful in more intransigent conditions, but these should be reserved for the cases where the gentler herbs have not produced the results desired. Thus:
Guaiacum officinale (Guaiacum)
Zanthoxylum americanum (Prickly Ash)
Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil's Claw)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on musculo/skeletal system are relevant here. Please refer to the following sections : The phytotherapist has, yet again, the gift of toning herbs for use in these problems. The emphasis on toning throughout the course bears fruit with the muscle and joint problems. There is usually no need to resort to intense treatments as the milder `anti-rheumatics' are often effective, given time. This is not to claim that such treatments will completely remove osteo-arthritis and its damage in someone who has had it for years. However they will feel better and move to the best place they can be taking into account any structural damage that has occurred over the years. It is always important to address, as a priority, any digestive symptoms that may be present with older patients with rheumatic conditions.


Osteoporosis

Skin

As with all of the body systems there are a range of remedies appropriate for skin problems in Elders, each having its distinct area of application with some for external use only. Many of the essential oils are helpful as topical application. Please review these remedies and ensure their various actions are familiar to you :

Galium aparine (Cleavers)
Urtica dioica (Nettles)
Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
Viola tricolor (Heartsease)
Plantago media (Plantain)
Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort)
Stellaria media (Chickweed)
Calendula officinalis (Wild Cherry Bark)
Hypericum perforatum (St., John's Wort)
Treatments outlined in the chapter on respiratory problems are relevant here. Please refer to the following sections : Prescription Drug Reactions - Possible Herbs to Ameliorate Reaction Common Drug Side-Effects
Symptom (Possible Drug Triggers) Drowsiness (Anti-histamines, codeine, tranquilizers, sedatives) Nausea (Almost anything) Ulcers (Aspirin, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) Dizziness (Drugs used for treating hypertension, plus others) Bleeding (Aspirin, heparin, anti-coagulants) Bruising (Aspirin, steroids e.g. prednisone) Skin eruptions (Antibiotics, almost anything) Memory loss/confusion (Tranquilizers, codeine, sedatives, anti-histamines) Fluid retention (Anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, many others) Diarrhoea (Some antacids, almost anything)


Footnotes

1. Bensky & Gamble: Chinese Herbal Medicine , 1986, Eastland Press.

2. Clostre F: From the body to the cell membrane: the different levels of pharmacological action of Ginkgo biloba extract. PRESSE MED 1986 Sep 25; 15(31):1529-38.

3. Gautherie et.al.: Vasodilator effect of Gingko bilobaextract determined by skin thermometry and thermography. THERAPIE (Sep-Oct 72) 27(5):881-92.

4. Stange et.al.: Adaptational behaviour of peripheral and centralacoustic responsesin guinea pigs under the influence of various fractionsof an extract from Gingko biloba. ARZNEIM FORSCH (1976) 26(3):367-74.

5. Warburton DM: Clinical psychopharmacology of Ginkgo bilobaextract PRESSE MED 1986 Sep 25; 15(31):1595-604.

6. Allard M: Treatment of the disorders of aging with Ginkgobiloba extract. From pharmacology to clinical medicine. PRESSE MED 1986 Sep 25; 15(31):1540-5.

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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
 
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