Aging vessels connecting the brain and the immune system play critical roles in both Alzheimer’s disease and the decline in cognitive ability that comes with time, new research reveals. By improving the function of the lymphatic vessels, scientists have dramatically enhanced aged mice’s ability to learn and improved their memories. The work may provide doctors an entirely new path to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, age-related memory loss and other diseases.
— Read on www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180726085721.htm
This comes as no surprise to me. There are two posts here which are related to this BigPharma “breakthrough”. The first, my experience with Pokeweed (Phylaccto americana) and neurological Lyme disease and thus brain trauma. The second post that relates is the embarrassing “discovery ” of the “interstitial”.
Pokeweed Project: 11 weeks long ends. I posted the photo above just before boxing them up for storage. There are many uses for Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) and although it’s worthy of much praise, I will not indulge as many knowledgeable herbalists have done so more thoroughly than I ever could. I do prefer to share my personal experience, and so what follows here will be my observations during these past 11 weeks.
First, if you missed my posting of when I first began by harvesting some beautiful Poke roots before the soil froze, take a look here. For background information on what my motivations were to make and take these herbal preparations peruse this article Connecting the Dots by Christine McCue.
I met a young woman who had just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer. I can easily identify with anyone who brushed up against death and survived. She was naturally worried that she was completely out of the woods and was making many changes to reinforce her continued recovery. As she was telling me her story my mind swirled through lists of herbs I had read about but in the end I failed to offer anything intelligible. It bothered me that I could not recall what I read and of course, it was about Pokeweed.
So I re-read everything I had collected and researched even more. Then I made Poke root infused coconut oil. Made another batch of Cayenne infused olive oil. I mixed the two in equal amounts, filled a roll-on bottle and applied to bunions on both of my feet. I did this three times each day. Nothing about joints are “normal” to anyone who has Lyme disease. If you have it, then you know. If you don’t, then your solution is custom orthotics and comfy shoes. My feet felt more flexible and less painful within a two weeks. Within a month, the width of my foot dropped a half size. I could comfortably wear shoes I hadn’t been able to for years. After the first two weeks of roll-on use, I began to take Poke fresh root tincture 3 ugtt (microdrops; 4 of which equals one drop) per day, 1 ugtt in the morning, 1 ugtt at dusk and 1 ugtt at bedtime. So although there was some benefit from the roll-on use alone, there was dramatic improvement once sublingual administration of the tincture began.
I had read that Poke root salves, ointments, oils and glycerites should be applied topically over the lymph glands surrounding the affected area.
A dear friend suffered a terrible burn to her breast from boiling water and had been treated medically at the time, complained that some two years later, her breast “never felt right afterward” and that “it feels like there’s something in there” and was always tender with scarring that still looked fresh. She began applying the roll-on Poke/Cayenne oil for two weeks then also began the take sublingual microdoses of Poke root tincture. Her recovery was truly remarkable and one of the enchanting wonders of Pokeweed. Her breast reddened, the nipple swelling twice is diameter and than began to ooze serum through the milk ducts. This was a most dramatic effect. Changing padding many times a day, her breast seeped fluids for about two weeks. Then the nipple swelling subsided, the seepage stopped and most remarkably, the appearance of her burn scars improved greatly. Thereafter when she massaged her breast she could find no tenderness or hard spots below the surface. Her Poke tincture dose increased every two weeks for eight weeks ending at 1mL twice/day, morning and night. She applied the roll-on over her entire breast and the adjacent area below her armpit on the same side.
As my Poke use increased, I too experienced cysts seeping fluids. First along the inside arch of both feet. Later under the armpits and then behind the knees. These cysts always formed in line with each other as if they followed a subcutaneous vessel. The fluid was clear with a slightly yellow tinge but dried red and was not pus like. If there is a more powerful lymphatic herb I have yet to learn of it. The most dramatic effect for me occurred after two months of use. I was by then applying the Poke/Cayenne roll-on on all the major lymph gland areas, armpits, behind the knees and the groin. Pokeweed effects glands. It seems to be doing cleaning here. I wonder now if I had damaged tissue in my testicles perhaps from previous infections because at this point my nearly sixty year old gonads began to perform like a sixteen year old. Without embarrassing myself more, if this explanation intrigues you, it might be worth investigating with a Naturopath or Herbalist. I suggest you add Copaiba essential oil, topically and orally, to your regimen if you are working below the belt.
Finally the side effects. I noted sinus congestion. Not entirely filled or impacted but more like a bubbling feeling, not unlike the onset of a cold. This was most noticeable upon rising in the morning. Nothing really of much concern there. There was a groggy or spacey feeling at times. The major concern and here consider it a firm warning – Pokeweed is used at very low doses for a very short time because it can damage the kidneys. I noticed a slight tenderness in my lower back and that marked the end of my Pokeweed use. As always, contact me if I can answer any other questions.
A personal experience with American native Pokeweed.
These magnificent Pokeweed roots were harvested, rinsed and displayed side by side to show the developmental differences one year can make. The darker root on the left is two years old. Importantly, it has overwintered sucessfully and is now much more powerful than the tender yearling on the right.
All precautions should be taken when handling or working with either root, but from personal experience, and I am not one to over exaggerate warnings of any type, I suggest an abundance of caution with this plant. I ingested a 1gm dose of the fresh two year old root on the left and and suffered for three days. A primative and ill-advised assay easily avoided by patiently testing topicial application and careful observations. Poke had some instantaneous effects but most develop over several days. Keep your notebook handy and clock your observations. Micro dosing is advised. I found Susun Weed’s advice most accurate.
You may ask, Oh but why would you want to? in my case – rheumatoid arthritis. I’m now testing a roll-on. I prepared coconut oil infused with dried Poke root 48 hrs. @ 90°F mixed half/half with olive oil infused with dried Cayenne fruit 48 hrs. @ 90°F
When the berries are ripe I have to fight the Catbirds, Cardinals and Mockingbirds for them. Everyone says the berries are good mountain medicine. Old timers in Appalachia swear they’re good for joints. They say you can make a permanent ink by adding ammonia to the berry juice and that in fact, the US Declaration of Independence was scribed in Poke ink on hemp paper. The government has been against hemp since the companies took over America. Anyone remember The Truman Show?
Passiflora incarnata “Maypop”. One of the most useful herbs in the apothecary. Calming and sedative. A long used staple of herbalists, doctors and pharmacists until Big Business started seriously promoting their addictive synthetic compounds around 1910. Included in the US and British Pharmacopeia until that time and then POOF! like Keyser Söze – it disappeared.
Here you will find no side effects. A homemade necessity safe for the entire family. We have found Passionflower useful for tension headaches and those produced by eye-strain and loud or incessant noise.
Easy to grow and a delight to behold. Perennial here in zone 7, New York City, USA.
Look for directions on how to prepare a tincture from the leaf and vine at the Herbarium. There’s a link at the top of this page.
Following suggestions from a Dutchman, I soaked seed collected from an open thornapple I found in November in a dilute solution of rainwater and FPJ or fermented plant juice for several days. My FPJ is made of Comfrey.
The Dutchman recommended “G3” – which is a similar commercial compound. I set the seeds potted in fine sphagnum on a germination mat with a 12h on/ 12h off timer. That was on New Years Day 2017.
I waited over one and half months to see the first arise. Some of the others popped up two months later after I had given them up for dead. Everything about this plant is highly peculiar.
I love the plants and herbs my husband has been sharing. It’s been an essential part of of our healing process from Lyme disease.
What he hasn’t spoken too much about is how this journey began. We’ve both always loved plants and flowers… he has always been an avid gardener and purveyor of plants and seeds…and I owned florists for many years.
And so the journey began long before we knew that it would be these very things that would accelerate the healing process of Lyme to full recovery. And YES…I mean a FULL RECOVERY……From an ICU bed to a life surrounded by plants and essential oils. He seems to forget that part …and maybe it’s because he was laying in a bed in ICU sedated that he doesn’t remember me applying Frankincense and then Helichrysum to his body and massaging it into a severely injured and damaged liver area.
What happened that day and the days that followed opened my eyes to a world I didn’t even know existed… the therapeutic value of essential oils.
What was the most relevant part to me was that they contained no insecticides, heavy metals or chemical fertilizers, all of which are neurotoxins, and we were already dealing with advanced stage 3 Lyme disease that had caused not only lesions in the brain and left sided paralysis, but also a body that was atrophying before my eyes.
We couldn’t afford any further injury or stress to his neurological system. We couldn’t afford ANY further insults. I had NO experience with essential oils… I had no experience with using them therapeutically. The only thing I had was a blind trust and no other options.
Sometimes things are given to us when we are ready to receive them, and sometimes things just happen and we watch our experiences come full circle.
So yeah… herbs are great. They’re amazing. I place a high value on herbs and their abilities.
BUT for me…the most eye opening revelation was essential oils…. herbs and plants that were CONCENTRATED…. free of toxins… free of heavy metals…. and it brought my two worlds together… nursing and my background of owning florists and loving my plants and flowers. Now I had flowers – herbs in little bottles that were CLEAN and PURE and they assisted the body in healing itself.
A bitter scale? If there is such a thing. Taste, well… IS a matter of taste isn’t it? I eat hot peppers like candy but others avoid even the mildest peppers for their entire lifetime. What I really avoid is sour. The important thing that no one really says is that there is not, nor can there be any truly accurate way, to scale taste.
We can only strive to make general indicators for wide groups of people. Connoisseurs of beer, wine, coffee and chocolate have their own scales but are limited to the ingredients or preparations of those products. Genetic research will no doubt figure out the specifics as they have done already with the Cilantro gene. Then we’ll know why people have different reactions to the same stimulus.
So here goes my simple list of plants you could easily access, perhaps in your own garden, from the mildest bitter down to strongest:
Melissa (Lemon Balm)
Mugwort (Cronewort) – a VERY common “weed”
Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor) – a VERY common ground cover
A bitter truth. I know quite a few people who have had their gall bladder surgically removed. Why is that? Some of them talk about their excised organ as if it was just worn out and they are better off without it since afterall “you can live without it”. Of course the real reasons are different. Excruciating pain being the prime factor for the patient but then there’s the curiously high, even staggering rates of gall bladder surgeries promoted by the medical profession.
Evaluate your options.
“I have seen many hundreds of patients who have had their gallbladders removed and I don’t recall anyone ever telling me that their surgeon advised them to do something to compensate for removing this important organ. Just about every one of them was told they didn’t need their gallbladder and that it was perfectly fine to have it removed. This is reprehensible ignorance as it condemns the patient to a lifelong deficiency of essential fatty acids.” Dr. Joseph Mercola
Not everyone finds this acceptable or necessary. For those not ready to accept the notion of disposable body parts, herbal solutions are often possible.
I believe it is nearly criminal what traditional medicine is doing to the public when it comes to managing this problem. It is RARELY ever necessary to remove someone’s gallbladder. If one ignores warning symptoms and does not address the reasons why their gallbladder is not functioning properly, than the disease can progress to the point where the pancreas is inflamed or the gallbladder is seriously infected and may have to be removed to save a person’s life.
However, it is important to have a proper perspective here. Nearly ONE MILLION gallbladders are removed every year in this country and it is my estimate that only several thousand need to come out.
So, not only are surgeons removing these organs unnecessarily, but also in their nutritional ignorance they are telling patients that their gallbladders do not serve any purpose and they can live perfectly well without them. Dr. Joseph Mercola
Thing is – it’s bitter! Can you handle that?
I’m told bitterness is the least favorite taste. I suspect, bitterness has become the least favored to the modern western palette and not too long ago either. Most industrially farmed crops have been bred relatively recently to taste less bitter. Iceberg lettuce the most commonly used salad green in the USA is nutritionally worthless and bears little resemblance, in any way, to wild lettuce. People eat gadzillions of megatons of it. Many actually consider it a vegetable!
Salads should contain bitter greens and be served before the main course of a meal for optimal digestion. Alanna Kellogg of A Veggie Venture has a good list of bitter greens. Modern dietary “innovations” all have the same thing in common: they’re blander, sweeter, softer and whiter than what was eaten years ago and never ever bitter. We have evolved baby mouths.
There are so many naysayers who deride vitamin supplements with the now standard claim that “if you eat a wholesome diet, supplements are unnecessary and wasteful”. This might be true if what was sold in supermarkets was only truly wholesome foods and we actually bought and consumed them within the correct ratios. Naw, that’s not happening anytime soon. Free choice is a bitch. Example: with the rise of consumer capitalism in China came rising obesity rates and worsening nutrition. So much for the free market diet. I am guessing there will be fewer bitter greens for the Chinese too.
Bitters do remain in the apéritifs, like Vermouth, Absinthe or Chartreuse all made with Wormwood (Artemesia absinthium), and the bitter greens like Kale, Chicory, Endive or Dandelion. Without going into the chemistry involved suffice it to say our ancestors were much smarter then we realize today. The bitter taste is the critical thing. The thing we avoid. The thing we need. We need bitters because of the fascinating connection between our taste buds and our liver, gall bladder, pancreas, stomach, etc… to, forgive me, the bitter end of the alimentary canal. No, de-bittering a bitter doesn’t do the same thing. If you love your friends and family, make it a bitter love.
The short story is, if you don’t “like” bitterness, you probably really need to eat more of them. The even shorter story is, if you eat more bitter foods, your digestion will improve and so will your immune system and oddly enough, the more bitters you eat – the less bitter they taste. Bitter taste triggers hormones and nerves which direct the the release of bile by the gall bladder, acid by the stomach and several enzymes by the pancreas. All this from a bite of the bitter thing many people avoid with unreasonable dread.
I emphatically recommend Carmen Lynde Medical Herbalist’s presentation. It is perhaps the most important thing you can do to understand the role of bitter herbs in your diet.
Insufficient release of any of these juices causes all kinds of problems. Instead of suppressing stomach acid with chemicals or surgery many more people should be eating their bitters. Alternatively you could chew a pinch of bitter herbs. How about a sprig of Mugwort? or Sage? not so bitter. Or a squirt of Barberry or a drop of Wormwood tincture in a shot of water before a meal?
So many great studies about the relationship between our co-evolved symbionts and dreaded diseases came out in May of 2017. I hope you looked at The People’s Pharmacy article for the wide range of effects of these simple critters which live in our gut. Including, most surprising to me – Depression!
It’s like a jungle in there. The thing is, I like to bring it back to herbs and nutrition because whether or when the scientists have caught up with what herbalists knew thousands of years ago or not, you can experiment on yourself for cheap. Eat right – feel better. Since June is Burdock month, I’ll point out that it contains inulin, a carbohydrate not found in many American’s diet but one uniquely suited to encourage and feed several types of healthy gut critters. Inulin is a diabetic’s friend, sort of an anti-sugar. Sugar does not promote or encourage healthy critters, it does the exact opposite.
So try doing Burdock for one month and see if your:
Herbs: Chronic Liver Disease and Neurological Lyme Disease
If you have read some of my praise of Burdock, you might have a good idea of how effective this herb can be. What may be more significant is my own personal history with what my doctors called “chronic liver disease“. As a result of industrial metals poisoning (copper, chromium, nickel), alcohol and aspirin abuse and Lyme disease (neurological phase 3) I found myself laying before a surgeon hearing the “liver transplant” speech after draining six liters of fluid from my abdomen.
Although the gory details which preceded the speech might be useful to some, I still don’t like to talk about those dark days. What I believe is more important, is to carry the message that it may be possible for others to recover from such a condition just like I did.
First, I am very fortunate and grateful to have had wonderful doctors. With advisement and precautions they followed my herbal journey and encouraged me to continue my regimen as long as I was examined and tested regularly. So it went and within two years I received the liver panel blood test results which made my gastroenterologist laugh out loud, pat me on my back and with a warning like Cinderella’s fairy godmother tell me “make sure you CONTINUE to do what you’re doing”.
So what did I do? I began by dietary changes. The doctors suggested “simple” proteins as they are more easily digested, so I eat very little red meat, only a little white meat and a lot more fish, nuts, seeds, particularly hemp and yogurt. Whole grains and raw fruits and vegetables make up the majority of my diet. Afterall, Hippocrates himself said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food”.
I became a serious organic gardener of herbs, a careful student and avid researcher of nutrition. I read “Alpha Lipoic Acid” by Dr. Burton Berkson, July 2000, Better Nutrition. I immediately began taking Alpha Lipoic Acid, Milk Thistle, CoQ10 and vitamin C. All of which are included in doTERRA’S Life Long Vitality supplements. Then instead of planting more tomatoes and lettuce I began planting the herbs suggested as beneficial for my condition. At that point I just wanted to see what these live herbs looked like. They fascinated me at the time but now I can understand how generations of people came to revere them as sacred. The language herbalists used to describe their actions and their “signatures” pulled me deeper.
Once I realized how rare the turnaround of my liver condition was I thankfully credited these brilliant doctors and generations of herbalists who accumulated this knowledge. If they could work so dramatically on my liver, what could they do for my Lyme disease? One good thing led to another. My gardening passion turned into hardcore herbalism which brought me to Permies and Paul Wheaton who asked us to help herbalist Deb Soule of Avena Botanicals to get a new dishwasher for her business through a kickstarter campaign. My small donation was acknowledged with an unexpected gift, a book called Healing Lyme Naturally by Wolf D. Storl. The foreword was written by herbalist Matthew Wood who has since become my favorite herbalist and who’s wisdom I abide.
Teasel is an herb which is the foundation of my Lyme disease success. Had not I had been open to new ideas and become willing to try alternative treatments I might have become yet another medical ping pong ball or worse, have my original body parts hacked off. The horror stories about Lyme are as bad as liver disease. The hair on the back of my neck crawled when I heard The People’s Pharmacy podcast What You Need to Know About Lyme Disease.
The takeaway from this post I hope will be, not to despair, not to give up, stay positive and find your path. In my present liver regimen I now include the herbs Burdock, Dandelion, Yellow Dock and Agrimony, each of which is worthy of separate discussions.