Reply To: KITCHEN HERBS–PROPERITES—USES—REMEDIES

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(PNC). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Allspice) — Class 1 (AHP). Not covered (KOM). “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Extracts (Allspice) — Rinzler recounts a study of 408 patients with eczema in which 19 reacted positively to allspice patch tests (RIN). “The berries, their oil, and the eugenol extract promote the activity of the digestive enzyme trypsin, which may help explain why allspice has traditionally been used as a digestive aid” (APA). Perhaps second only to some varieties of clove (up to 20% eugenol) and cinnamon (to 3.8%), allspice (to 3.6% eugenol) is a major source of eugenol.

 

Dosages (Arjuna) — 1–3 g bark (KAP); 3.88 g powdered bark (PH2); 1 g dry bark/day or 2–6 ml extract (1:2) (KEB); 14–28 ml decoction (KAP). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Arjuna) — Not covered (AHP; KOM). “Health hazards not known with proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). One case of acute myocardial infarction tentatively associated with use of arjuna (KEB).

 

Dosages (Bayleaf) — 1–2 tsp leaf/cup water to 3 ×/day (APA); 1–2 drops EO added to brandy, honey, or tea (APA). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Bayleaf) — Class 1 (AHP). None known at proper dosage (PHR). “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2) (No dosage given, however) (PH2). Leaf and berry oil may cause severe lesions of the skin. Contact dermatosis from handling leaves or EO reported. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting from excessive doses of the EO may occur. Sesquiterpene lactones (SLs), are aromatic compounds widely distributed in cerain plant families, with highest concentrations generally found in leaves and flowers. Sheep and cattle poisonings due to SL-containing species have been reported. Cases of allergic contact dermatosis in humans have also been reported (AEH). There have been a few unfortunate fatalities to people perforating their intestines with fragmented laurel leaves. Always remove them from your spaghetti and stew (JAD; TAD). Artemorin, costunolide, costuslactone, deacetlylaurenobiolide, laurenobiolide, reynosin, santamarin, and verlorin are 8 alpha-methylene-gamma-butyrolactones documented to be the chief cause of allergy (contact dermatosis) in Laurus (TAD). With compounds like parthenolide and santamarin, this shares many of the antimigraine compounds of feverfew

 

Dosages (Black Cumin) — 0.6–1.2 g seed (HHB; MAD); 1 tsp seed in hot tea (MAD). –Extracts (Black Cumin) — Nigellone protects guinea pigs from histamine-induced bronchospasms (WOI). LD50 alcoholic extract 540–580 mg/kg ipr mouse (MPI).

Dosages (Black Pepper) — Single doses 300–600 mg; daily dosage 1500 mg (HHB; PHR); 5–15 whole peppercorns for hemorrhoids (HHB); 1–15 grains (MAD); spice chicken soup with black pepper for congestion, cough, or head cold (RIN). —–Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Black Pepper) — Class 1 (AHP) “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Extracts (Black Pepper) — In human volunteers, 20 mg piperine increases bioavailability of curcumin 20-fold (MAB). Piperine inhibits calcium transport into the mitochondria, facilitates mitochondrial release of calcium, and stimulates ATPase activity (SPI). Piperine is more potent than D-galactosamine in inhibiting glucuronidation. (ED50 with 3-hydroxybenzo(a)pyrene = 50 µM) (SPI). Piperine both depletes uridine diphosphate glucuronic acid and reduced the rate of glucuronidation. This could lead to drug potentiation. Piperine is more toxic to houseflies than pyrethrin. A mix of 0.05% piperine and 0.01 pyrethrins is more toxic than 0.1% pyrethrin (WOI). According to Rinzler, chavicine, piperidine, and piperine are all diaphoretic (RIN). Ayurvedics often prescribe black pepper in a synergistic triad called trikatu, with ginger and long pepper (DEP). In addition to 0.54% mixed tocopherols in the oleoresin (including 0.1% alpha-tocopherol), pepper contains five phenolic amides that are superior as antioxidants to alpha tocopherol in vitro (SPI). Although pepper contains the carcinogen safrole, it is at very low levels compared to sassafras. E/O reportedly inhibits Alternaria oryzae, A. tenuis, Aspergillus oryzae, Beauveria sp., Cryptococcus neoformans, Fusarium solani, Histoplasma capsulatum, Microsporum gypseum, Nocardia brasiliensis, Penicillium javanicum, P. striatum, Staphylococcus “albus,” Trichoderma viride, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Vibrio cholera. Alcoholic, aqueous, and ether extracts have taenicidal activity at 1:100 concentrations. Aqueous leaf extract raised blood pressure in dogs modestly (not stated whether oral or injected).

 

Dosages (Cardamom) — 0.5–2 g powdered fruit (PNC); 0.625–1.750 g powdered seed (KAP); 15 crushed seed/half cup water up to 5 ×/day (APA); individual dose 0.5 g; daily dose 1.5 g (HHB); 1–2 g (KOM; PH2); 2–4 ml tincture (PNC); 2–4 ml liquid cardamom extract (PNC); 0.03–0.2 ml cardamom oil (PNC). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Cardamom) — Class 1 (AHP). “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). No side effects or interactions reported (KOM). Patients with gallstone should consult a physician before taking (KOM). Can trigger gallstone colic (PH2). Fleming et al. give a much longer Commission E approval list than Blumenthal et al. (who list only dyspepsia in 1998, and dropped it in BGB). There’s something very repetitive about the caveats that a compiler like me is liable to notice. — borneol, eucalyptol (= cineole), and limonene are irritants; limonene is a photosensitizer.

Dosages (Celery) — 200 g root boiled in 500 g water taking 1 cup every 3 hours as antigalactic (JFM); 1–2 leaves for colic (DEP); 1–4 g powdered seed (KAP; PNC); 1–2 tsp seed/cup water (APA); 1–2 g dry seed (PED); 2 g dry seed:10 ml alcohol/10 ml water (PED); 1 g mashed seed/cup hot water (PH2); 1.75 tsp crushed seed/cup water (APA); 0.05–0.1 ml (PNC); 0.5–1 tsp tincture to 3 ×/day (APA; WIC); 0.3–1.5 ml liquid extract (PNC); 0.3–1.2 ml liquid extract (1:1 in 60% alcohol) 3 ×/day (CAN); 0.5–2 g or by decoction 1:5, 3 ×/day (CAN); 2 (500 mg) capsules (450 mg celery extract StX to contain at least 9.9 mg volatile oil in 50 mg synergistic base of whole celery seed powder) 2 ×/day, before meals (NH). Often standardized to 2.2% volatile oil. Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Celery) — Class 2b[5], 2d. Individuals with renal disorders should use with caution. Commission E reports potential allergenicity, including anaphylactic shock. Photosensitizing. Contains phototoxic furanocoumarins (AHP). CAN cautions that the furanocoumarins may cause phototoxicity and dermatosis. Still, they summarize that no side effects or toxicity are documented for celery seed. Photosensitivity reactions have been reported as a result of external contact with celery stems. Even anaphylactic reactions are reported following oral ingestion of the stems. Archives of Dermatology (1990) reported severe phototoxicity in a woman consuming celeriac and then going to a tanning parlor. The new Herbal PDR (Gruenwald et al., 1998) notes that levels of phototoxic furanocoumarins can rise 200-fold under storage conditions, especially if the root is fungally or yeast infected (PHR). No side effects, toxicity documented for celery fruit (CAN). Persons with kidney problems should be cautious. The drug is contraindicated in inflammation of the kidneys, since apiaceous EOs may increase the inflammation as a result of epithelial irritation. Contraindicated during pregnancy (uterotonic activity demonstrated for the EO (CAN)). Celery seed oil abortifacient (JFM). Oil, though stated to be nonirritant, nonphototoxic, and nonsensitizing in humans, is also reported to have uterotonic activity; the seeds are said to affect the menstrual cycle and even to be abortifacient (CAN). There’s a rare allergy, Birch-Celery Syndrome; people sensitive to birch or mugwort (watch out moxibustionists) pollen may have an immediate reaction just eating celery or taking celery seed products. “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2) (But, regrettably, it doesn’t give those therapeutic dosage levels.) So far, in my 5.5 years on celery seed extract, I have not knowingly suffered any side effects from the 2–4 capsules or tablets I take a day, every day, without fail, for the prevention of the gout crisis. Celery herb, seed, and root unapproved for therapeutic application, as far as Germany’s Commission E is concerned. Extracts (Celery) — Extracts antiedemic, antiinflammatory, hypoglycemic, and hypotensive. LD50 >5000 mg/kg orl rat (CAN). Juice choleretic. Chamomile is a better source of the COX-2 inhibitor apigenin (to 0.8% ZMB), but celery stalks may contain to 0.2%, making it the best food farmacy source (COX). Celery seed oil bacteriostatic against Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus subtilis, Corynebacterium diptheriae, Pseudomonas solanacearum, Salmonella typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Staphylococcus albus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Vibrio cholerae. The seed oil shows a chemotactic effect and cercaricidal activity of the cercaria of Schistosoma mansoni (SPI).

 

Dosages (Cinnamon) — 1 tsp bark/cup water 2–3 ×/day w meals (APA; WIC); 0.5–1 g bark as tea 3 ×/day (CAN); 2–4 g bark/day (KOM; WHO); 20 grains bark for dysentery (DEP); 0.3–1 g powdered bark (PNC); 0.5–1.0 ml liquid extract (1:1 in 70% ethanol) 3 ×/day (CAN); 2–4 ml cinnamon tincture (CAN; PNC); 0.05–0.2 g EO/day (KOM; WHO); 0.05–0.2 ml cinnamon oil (PNC); 0.3–1.2 ml spirit of cinnamon (PNC). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Cinnamon) — Class 2b, 2d. “Not for long-term use; do not exceed recommended dose (2–4 g bark/day; 50–200 mg EO/day). May overstimulate the vasomotor center” (AHP). Commission E reports bark contraindications: hypersensitivity to cinnamon or Peruvian balsam; and adverse effects: often allergic reactions of skin and mucosae. TRAMIL warns against continued use because of mutagenicity (TRA). Extracts and cinnamaldehyde reported mutagenic in some studies, nonmutagenic in others. Other sources report contraindications: GI-ulcer and pregnancy (AEH). CAN cautions that the cinnamaldehyde in the volatile oil is allergenic and irritant. The allergenic oil should not be taken internally (CAN). “No known problems with the use of cinnamon during pregnancy and

 

Dosages (Cloves) — 120–320 mg clove (CAN); 100–300 mg powdered clove (PNC); 0.05–0.2 ml clove oil (CAN; PNC); Mouthwashes with 1–5% EO (KOM; PH2); 2–4 ml concentrated clove infusion (PNC). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Cloves) — Class 1 (AHP). “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). CAN reports the eugenol in the volatile oil to be an irritant. The oil is a dermal and mucous irritant, sometimes causing cheilitis, dermatosis, and stomatosis. NO undiluted oil on infants’ gums or throat (Dilution: 2–4 drops oil to 1 tsp almond, safflower,) (WAM). May interfere with anticoagulant therapy. “There are no known problems with the use of clove during pregnancy and lactation, provided that doses do not greatly exceed the amounts used in foods” (CAN). Clove bud oil is reported to have an oral LD50 of 2650 mg/kg body weight in rats (equaling that of the major ingredient, eugenol, which sensitizes some people, causing contact dermatosis) (DAD). EO LD50 = 2650 mg/kg orl rat (CRC). Major source of the COX-2 inhibitor, oleanolic acid, with clove up to 2% (COX). As the best source of eugenol, clove (up to 20% eugenol) may share many of its reported biological activities.

Dosages (Garlic) — 9–15 g fresh bulb (FAY); 0.25–0.5 cup fresh bulb (PED); 6–12 g dry bulb (PED); 9 g dry bulb:45 ml alcohol/45 ml water (PED); 1–5 cloves/day (APA); 2–4 g 3 ×/day (CAN); 4 g garlic or one average clove; 5000 µg allicin/day (SKY); 4 g fresh garlic/day (KOM); 1.5–6 g fresh tuber (KAP); 2–4 ml tincture (1:5 in 45% ethanol) 3 ×/day (CAN); 0.03–0.12 ml garlic oil/day (CAN); 1–2 minims garlic oil (KAP); 2–8 ml garlic syrup (CAN; PNC); 2–4 ml garlic juice (CAN; PNC); 1 (400 mg) StX/day; 3–4 (550 mg) capsules 3 ×/day (NH); 1 enteric coated 400 mg tablet (StX to contain at least 3 mg allicin potential) 1 ×/day at mealtime (NH); 600–900 mg/day coated garlic (SHT). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Garlic) — Class 2c (AHP). Some thiol-bearing compounds in garlic, onion, and their relatives can cause acantholysis in vitro (Brenner et al., 1995) and possibly pemphigus in vivo. “More than 5 cloves a day may induce gas and heartburn (Castleman, 1996) and ‘thin blood’” (people taking blood thinners may thereby over-thin their blood). “May potentiate the effect of antihypertensive and anticoagulant medications”

Dosages (Ginger) — 3–10 g fresh ginger, or 2–4 g dry ginger, 1–3 ×/day (JAD; SKY); 0.3–1.5 g rhizome several ×/day (MAD); 500–1000 mg fresh root 3 ×/day (MAB); 2–4 tbsp fresh root (PED); 3–6 g dry root (PED); 4.5 g dry root:22 ml alcohol/23 ml water (PED); 500 mg dry root 2–4 ×/day –(MAB); 0.3–1 g powdered root (PNC); 2 tsp powdered root/cup water (APA); 0.25–1.0 g herb, or in tea, 3 ×/day (CAN); 0.7–2 ml liquid extract (1:2)/day (MAB); 0.25–3 ml herbal tincture (CAN; SKY); 0.25–3 ml tincture (PNC); 1.7–5 ml tincture (1:5)/day (MAB); 1.5–9 g/day (FAY); 2–4 g/day (HH3); 500 mg tablet 2–4 ×/day (MAB); 3 (530 mg) capsules 3 ×/day (NH); 1 (480 mg) StX 2 ×/day; 15–60 mg ginger oleoresin (PNC); 2.5–5 ml ginger syrup (PNC). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Ginger) — Class 2b, 2d (AHP).“Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Perhaps erring on the side of caution, Reichert cautions that ginger may raise the blood pressure, may amplify blood-thinning drug activities, and might be contraindicated in pregnancy. Contraindicated in childhood fevers and gallstones (WAM). Patients with gallstones should consult a practitioner before taking ginger (AHP). The Lawrence Review says overdoses may cause cardiac arrhythmias and CNS depression (LRNP, November 1991). Large doses (6 g or more) possibly gastroirritant, causing a significant increase in exfoliation of gastric surface epithelial cells in human volunteers (MAB). Due to ginger’s strong antiaggregant activity, experts recommend it not be used by people with blood clotting disorders. Many chemotherapy patients experience periods when their blood platelet counts drop dramatically. Doctors will warn patients to avoid aspirin when their platelet counts are low. They feel that patients should also avoid ginger when their platelet count drops, while continuing use of ginger for patients with normal platelet counts. Less conservatively, Commission E reports rhizome should not be used for vomiting in pregnancy (AEH). Lininger et al. (1998) adds heartburn as a rare side effect. “A doctor should be informed if ginger is used before surgery to counteract possible postanesthesia nausea” (SKY). Extracts (Ginger) — Fresh ginger juice reduces serum glucose levels in experimental animals (PED). Both fresh and dry rhizome suppress gastric contractions and reduce vomiting (PNC). Gingerols and shogaols are analgesic, antipyretic, antiprostaglandin, antiulcer, hepatoprotective, and hypotensive (PNC). As carminatives, the EOs, oleoresins, and proteolytic enzymes stimulate digestion, helping combat the effects of overeating, improper chewing, or excessive motion. They increase gastric motility and neutralize acids and toxins in the digestive tract (PED). Gingerol and 6-gingerol inhibit gastric ulceration in rats. I suspect there’s synergy at work in the antiulcer phytochemicals in ginger. 6-Gingesulfonic acid is less pungent but more potent against ulcers than 6-gingerol or 6-shogaol (MAB). Oral spray dried ginger (500 mg/kg) or combinations ginger and licorice extracts (1000 mg/kg), significantly prevented gastric mucosal damage induced by ethanol in rats. Pretreatment with these inhibited the reduction in the deep corpus mucin content caused by ethanol (MAB). As a powerful thromboxane-synthetase inhibitor and prostacyclin agonist, ginger has potential as an antidepressant, in alcohol withdrawal and the complications of liver damage, and in treating a side effect of alcoholism, impotence, in preventing aging penile vascular changes. LD50 ginger oil = >5000 mg/kg orl rat (MAB), LDlo ginger extract = >2300 mg/kg orl mouse, equivalent to 75,000 mg/kg ginger (MAB). Ginger extract equal to aspirin in antiedemic activity; 940 mg powdered ginger is more effective than 100 mg dimenhydrinate for kinetosis (motion sickness); ginger is equal to metoclopramide for postoperative nausea and vomiting (WHO). 8 Gingerol more potently inhibited the response to serotonin than the control drug, cocaine (MAB). Gingerols are more potent at inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis than indomethacin (MAB). Ginger extract inhibited swelling as actively as aspirin (MAB). Shogaol as antitussive as dihydrocodeine (TRA).

Dosages (Nutmeg) — 0.3–1 g powdered nutmeg (APA; PNC); 0.05–0.2 ml EO (APA; PNC); 5–20 grains nutmeg (FEL); 300–600 mg 5–10 ×/day (HHB); 1–3 drops EO, 2–3 ×/day (PH2); 2–10 ml tincture/day (PH2); 0.3–1 g powdered nutmeg (PH2). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Nutmeg) — Class 2b. Contains safrole. May interact with MAO. CNS-active (AHP). “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Not to be used during pregnancy. Can trigger allergic dermatitis (PH2). More than 5 g powdered nutmeg or mace can cause acute panic, anxiety, coma, dizziness, double vision, drowsiness, excessive thirst, hallucinations, headache, liver pain, nausea, stomach pain, even death (AHP). “… as little as 2 whole nutmegs have been known to cause death in a little boy” (APA; FEL). Commission E reports contraindications for seed and aril: psychic disturbances by 5 g of seed, atropine-like action by 9 teaspoons of seed powder, abortion by higher doses. The EO contains the mutagenic and animal carcinogenic compound safrole. However, the use to correct smell or taste is permitted (AEH). On overdose, there may be hallucination and emesis; there may be frightening visions, a sensation of loss of limbs and a terrifying fear of impending death. Indeed, death has been reported from overdose (LRNP, September 1987).

 

Dosages (Onion) — 0.25–1 onion (2–5 oz) (APA); 1 onion/day (JAD); 50 g fresh onion or 20 g dry onion (KOM; SHT; WHO); 10–20 ml bulb or leaf infusion (KAP); 1 tsp onion juice 3–4 ×/day (APA); 4–5 tsp tincture/day (PHR); 4–5 tbsp onion syrup (PHR); 1–3 g powdered seed (KAP). Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Onion) — Class 1. Some idiopathic allergies (JAD). Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and contact dermatosis reported (WHO). Feeding rats 1 g powdered onion/day/month boosted bone mineral content 17%, bone thickness more than 15%, performing better than calcitonin(+) (JNU).

 

Dosages (Oregano) — 1–2 tsp dry leaf/cup water to 3 ×/day (APA); 2–3 tsp (4–6 g) leaf in tea/day (MAD); 1 tsp herb/250 ml water (PHR); foot bath for amenorrhea (MAD). -Contraindications, Interactions, and Side Effects (Oregano) — Class 1 (AHP). “Hazards and/or side effects not known for proper therapeutic dosages” (PH2). Good source of COX-2 inhibiting oleanolic acid at ~0.5% (COX). Rich source of antioxidant activity and rosmarinic acid.