Thursday, August 21, 2014

Siberian Ginseng

siberian ginseng aphrodisiac

Plant name: Eleutherococcus senticosus
Location: East Asia
Used as: tonic, invigorator
Parts used: extract from roots
Aphrodisiac benefits: stimulates sexual appetite.
Active compounds: eleuterosides (stimulants)

Siberian Ginseng is often referred to as Eleuthero (a Latin abbreviation). It was also known by its now-obsolete Latin names Acanthopanax senticosus, Hedera senticosa and Aralia Manchuria. Russian botanist Carl Ivonovich Maximovich 'discovered' Siberian Ginseng in 1854 in a remote area in southeast Russia. Four years later, the Russians gave it its Latin name.

Although not as popular as Asian ginseng, Eleuthero or Siberian Ginseng use dates back 2000 years, according to Chinese medicine records. It can be traced back much further in many ancient annals. These annals suggest that it has been known for as long as 5,000 years. Referred to as ciwujia in Chinese medicine, it was used to prevent respiratory tract infections as well as colds and flu. It was also believed to provide energy and vitality.

In Russia, it is sometimes called the Free-berried Shrub. Other names include Wild Pepper, Russian Root, Devil's Bush and Touch-me-not; the last two names no doubt refer to the plants intimidating thorns! Siberian Ginseng was originally used by people in the Siberian Taiga region to increase the performance and quality of life. In more modern times, Siberian Ginseng’s ability to increase stamina and endurance led Soviet Olympic athletes to use it to enhance their training.

In 1959 the Ministry of Health in what was then the USSR authorised clinical tests, which sparked a huge interest from scientific community and the public. The Soviet Government then officially approved the herb's use as a tonic stimulant and commercial production of the plant followed. It was given to factory workers daily for years on end to increase the general health of the workers and of course increase economic productivity.

Siberian Ginseng has been shown to enhance mental acuity and physical endurance without the letdown that comes with caffeinated products. Research has shown that it improves the use of oxygen by the exercising muscle. This means that a person is able to maintain aerobic exercise longer and recover from workouts more quickly.

With the world evolving at a faster pace, humans need adaptogenic herbs more than ever. The pace of modern life means that many of us can barely keep up and while this can encourage a stimulating lifestyle, it is all too often an exhausting process.

The ability of Siberian Ginseng to help us deal with stress, physically and emotionally, has led to its current popularity. Olympic athletes, miners, divers, climbers, soldiers, mountain rescuers, explorers and cosmonauts are among those who regularly use Siberian Ginseng.

To date over 1,000 articles have been published worldwide about Siberian Ginseng.

Siberian Ginseng is a stimulating tonic. In this context, 'stimulating' means the ability to increase the work capacity of the entire body after only a single dose. The tonic effect maintains its impact over a prolonged period of time, keeping the energies revitalized without overworking the body. It even continues working for a period of time after you have stopped taking it.

Benefits of Siberian Ginseng
  • Increases the body's ability to resist infection.
  • Helps to prevent cardiac pains and pains in and around the neck and head such as headache.
  • Improves cerebral corticoid (steroid hormone) function and the speed of the brain.
  • Alleviates neurodynamic disturbance and neurological movement and growth by helping neurotransmitters to function efficiently.
  • Enhances liver protection and lessens liver cell degeneration.
  • Increases semen output and heightens both male and female fertility.
  • Increases oxygen consumption and improves respiratory effectiveness.
  • Breaks down and clears the body of drug residues.
  • Helps the body resist and may even prevent tuberculosis.
  • Assists the body to maintain cellular homeostasis.
  • Helps the treatment of skin inflammations, dandruff, acne, hair falling out and all general hair and skin problems.
  • Aids the brain by helping neurological pathways to work better; useful for dyslexia, autism, cranial cerebral injury, fits, epilepsy and general memory retention. Also aids nerve centres and message conduction to the brain in general.
  • Improves hearing and sight.
  • Helps prevent aging.
  • Balances blood pressure (but it is not recommended for people with a reading of 180/95mmHg or higher).
  • Normalise blood protein levels.
  • Restore hemoglobin levels in cases of blood loss.
  • Normalise arterial pressure, increase arterial wall elasticity and help treat hardening of the arteries; including arteriosclerosis.
  • Prevent too many white blood cells from developing.
  • Helps diabetics and hypoglycemics, partly by lowering serum glucose levels.

Siberian Ginseng as an Aphrodisiac

Siberian Ginseng's reputation for aiding male sexuality has made it a traditional favourite with older men in the East and recently in the West. Its claims to fame include stronger sex drive, increased semen output and heightened fertility - all accomplished without decreasing energy levels at any point. But it is no male preserve: the herb also helps women to become more sexually active and fertile.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ashwagandha an aphrodisiac

ashwagandha aphrodisiac

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), also known as Indian ginseng, Winter cherry, Ajagandha, Kanaje Hindi and Samm Al Ferakh, is a plant in Solanaceae or nightshade family. It grows as a stout shrub that reaches a height of 170cm. Like the tomato which belongs to the same family, ashwagandha bears yellow flowers and red fruit, though its fruit is berry-like in size and shape. Ashwagandha grows prolifically in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

“Ashwagandha”, in Sanskrit, means "horse's smell", probably originating from the odor of its root which resembles that of sweaty horse. The species name somnifera means "sleep-bearing" in Latin, indicating it was considered a sedative, but it has been also used for sexual vitality and as an adaptogen. Some herbalists refer to ashwagandha as “Indian ginseng”, since it is used in ayurvedic medicine in a way similar to that ginseng is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

In Ayurveda ashwagandha is considered a “rasayana” herb, an herb that works on a nonspecific basis to increase health and longevity. This herb is also considered an adaptogen which is a nontoxic herb that works on a nonspecific basis to normalize physiological function, working on the HPA axis and the neuroendocrine system. The roots and berries of the plant are used in herbal medicine. In Ayurveda, the fresh roots are sometimes boiled in milk, prior to drying, in order to leach out undesirable constituents.

The plant has been widely used as far back as 3,000 years ago. It is used equally by men and women, and is widely prescribed by physicians to adults with low libido, and to improve sexual function. The dried roots and berries of the Ashwagandha are known to have a very slight effect on the gastrointestinal tract and the stomach. Usually, the herb’s roots are used in tea forming a liquid herbal extract, while it can be taken directly or as herbal capsules, powdered roots, or dried and crushed which can be mixed with food. The root of the herb itself is used to treat infertility in India. In China, it has been used as an astringent, sedative, a “yang” tonic, and for back and joint pains, nerve pains, arthritis, insomnia, neurasthenia, during recuperation, children with slow growth, aging, and an aphrodisiac. It is also used for its sexual relief and for treating infertility and impotence.

Considered as an adaptogen, ashwagandha is useful for relieving fatigue, nervous exhaustion, and memory loss. It also reduces mental chatter, promotes calm sleep and tissue regeneration, and slows the aging process. It is excellent for use in bodybuilding and for any type of physical sport, as it gives an instant charge of long-lasting energy without the use of stimulants.

The plant contains alkaloids such as ashwagandhine, withanine and somniferiene. The plant is rich in potent alkaloids, among which are withamosine, visamine, cuscohygrine, anahygrine, tropine, pseudotropine, anaferine, isopelletierine, and withaferin A; which accounts for its seemingly remarkable versatility as a beneficial healer. The plant contains a large number of novel compounds known as withanolides, which are novel to the plant and are typically; used to standardize the potency of extracts.; Whether one or two of these compounds are responsible for the plant’s remarkable health-imbuing versatility, or whether ashwagandha’s value is due to an incredibly complex synergy of all its natural constituents, is a matter which may take a long time to solve by scientific means. Some research suggest that chemical components found in ashwagandha possess tonic, anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac, immune enhancing, anxiety-relieving and nerve sedative properties.

Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:

  • Ashwaganda has many significant benefits, but is best known for its powerful adaptogenic properties, meaning that it helps mind and body adapt better to stress. It nourishes the nerves and improves nerve function to help you maintain calm during stressful situations. It is also good for people who do physical labor or exercise a lot, to help the body adapt to physical stress. It is a powerful Rasayana, meaning that it acts as an overall tonic for greater vitality and longevity.
  • It nourishes all the bodily tissues (Dhatus), including the joints and nerves.
  • It is also a powerful Medhya Rasayana, which means that it enhances all three aspects of mind power (Dhi -- comprehension; Dhriti -- memory; and Smriti -- recollection).
  • Ashwagandha nourishes the crucial mind-body connection and psychoneuro immune response (called PNI). It helps coordinate the mind and senses, as well, which is essential for good quality sleep.
  • It balances the mind (Prana Vata). This is essential for happiness in the face of mental or emotional stress.
  • It increases the quality and quantity of Ojas, the master coordinator between the body and consciousness.
  • It helps pure consciousness slide into the physiology. It has a Sothara effect -- which means it helps clear impurities (Ama) from the various channels of the body.
  • Ashwagandha enhances virility and has aphrodisiac properties, especially for men.
  • It is also well known for its powerful immune enhancing benefits. It is considered among the best of all substances for balancing Vata. It also pacifies Kapha at the same time, which is a rare combination.
  • As with almost all single all herbs, there is one small caution.
  • Ashwagandha should always be used with other herbs such as licorice to balance out possible heating effects, especially for the heart.

Some specific health conditions can benefit from ashwagandha such as:

  • Alzheimer's disease and memory problems. Ashwaganda helps correct memory loss by modifying the way in which the brain uses acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits messages from nerve cell to nerve cell. If oxygen levels are low, the brain acquires acetylcholine by destroying its own cells. The cell remnants form neurofibrillary tangles, blocking the transmission of nerve signals and resulting in Alzheimer's-like symptoms. Ashwaganda decreases the likelihood that the brain will cannibalize its own cells. This action reduces cognitive deficit and memory loss in diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
  • Arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. Animal studies have found that naturally occurring steroids in ashwaganda are more potent than treatment with the synthetic steroid hydrocortisone for controlling inflammation. These natural steroidal compounds also reduce the pain of arthritis as effectively as aspirin and phenylbutazone when given in the same amount, but without the immune-depressing side effects those drugs cause.
  • Autoimmune disorders. Ashwaganda increases red and white blood cell counts after treatment with azathioprine (lmuran), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar), or prednisone for autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
  • Cancer. Ashwaganda extracts increase platelet counts, red blood cell counts, and white blood cell counts during cancer chemotherapy treatment with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar). Animal studies in India also have found that ashwaganda sensitizes cancer cells to radiation treatment, making treatments approximately 50 percent more effective. Studies have shown that ashwaganda is helpful in putting cancer tumors into regression.
  • Diminished sex drive. Ashwaganda is a sexual "grounding" herb that reduces the frequency of premature ejaculation and increases sexual stamina. Ashwaganda's active principles, alkaloids and withanoloids, have longevity enhancing and sexually stimulating properties.
  • Stress. Ayurvedic medicine has used ashwaganda as a general tonic for centuries to stimulate long-term endurance. Ashwaganda contains steroid like compounds that may increase resistance to stress.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dong Quai, Female Aphrodisiac

dong quai aphrodisiac

Thousands of years ago, long before drug therapy existed, cultures in Japan, China and Korea prized the herb dong quai for its many healing benefits, including balancing hormones. Dong quai is also known as Chinese Angelica, and Female Ginseng. It belongs to the same plant family as parsley, celery, carrots, and poison hemlock. It is one of the most popular plants in Chinese medicine, where it is usually combined with other herbs.

The name dong quai actually translates as "return to order" because of the herb's ability to promote overall body balancing and restoration. It became known as the "female ginseng" because Chinese women used it to regulate their menstrual cycle and alleviate menstrual pain. Thus, earning a reputation as the "ultimate herb" for women. It is widely used among Chinese women as a fortifying daily tonic, much as Chinese men rely on ginseng. It is one of the most widely consumed herbs in China, used as frequently as ginseng and licorice.

In traditional Chinese medicine, dong quai is often boiled or soaked in wine. The root is removed and the liquid is taken orally. Different parts of this herb’s root are believed to have different actions - the head of the root has anticoagulant activity, the main part of the root is a tonic, and the end of the root eliminates blood stagnation.

The plant has been used for menstrual cramps, hot flashes, anemia associated with menstruation, pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pelvic pain, recovery from childbirth or illness, fatigue or low energy, and lack of sexual desire. Dong quai is used in both men and women for heart conditions, high blood pressure, inflammation, headache, infections, and nerve pain. It is also used as a liver tonic and in treating sciatica and shingles.

It has been suggested that dong quai has weak estrogen-like effects. However, it remains unclear whether dong quai has the same effects as estrogens, blocks estrogen activity, or lacks significant hormonal effects.

In traditional Chinese medicine, its usage benefits include:
  • Promote nourishing and cleansing of the blood
  • Fight the signs of aging
  • Elevate mood
  • Increase energy
  • Maintain proper digestion and immune function
  • Support optimal joint and bone health
  • Promote proper functioning of the heart, spleen, liver and kidneys

Dong quai has also been suggested for these conditions, although there isn’t good scientific evidence:
  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation)
  • Heart disease -- One study suggested that a combination of dong quai, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), and astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) decreased symptoms of chest pain in a small group of people with heart disease.
  • High blood pressure
  • Premature ejaculation -- as one ingredient in a cream applied to the skin

Nutritional benefits of dong quai:
  • Vitamins A, E, B12, niacin and folate.
  • Iron.
  • Coumarins - compounds which act to dilate or open up blood vessels and help control spasms in muscles. Experts presume that these compounds may act to increase the blood supply to various organs including the uterus, thus promoting the regulation of menstruation.
  • Phytoestrogens - estrogen-like plant compounds thought to help supply an additional, mild source of estrogen to balance out levels in the body.
  • Antioxidants - fight free radicals that can cause signs of aging.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Shi Hu Aphrodisiac

shi hu aphrodisiac

Dendrobium Nobile, also known as Shi Hu in Pinyin, has been used for medicinal purpose for at least 2,000 years. The evidence is its related record in “Shen Nong’s Herbal Classic”, which was written 2300 to 2780 years ago (the Warring States Period). It usually grows atop the perpendicular cliff walls and is exposed to the moisture of dew and rain as well as to the essence of the sun and moon throughout the year. This reason led traditional Chinese medicine to believe that it owns such rich and balanced pharmaceutical ingredients for treatment of a variety of disorders, such as chronic pharyngitis, gastrointestinal disease, eye disease, thrombotic occlusive disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and so on.

For thousands of years, people in South China will risk their lives to pick the “immortality herb” grown in the edge of cliffs for saving patients in critical condition. In the legends, the juice of it can resurrect the dead. Of course, this is just a legendary saying but can offer another perspective on reviews of its rarity and efficacy. It is highly regarded as the No. 1 of the 9 “Chinese immortality herbs” (i.e. Tie Pi Shi Hu dendrobium candidum, Tian Shan Xue Lian Saussurea involucrate from Tian Shan Mountain, San Liang Zhong Ren Shen three liang of ginseng, one-hundred-and-twenty-year He Shou Wu, Fu Ling Poria of a cycle of sixty years, Cong Rong Cistanche, Shen Shan Ling Zhi Ganoderma in remote mountains, Hai Di Zhen Zhu seabed pearls, and Dong Chong Xia Cao Cordyceps Sinensis).

Medicinally it mainly refers to the fresh or dried stem of Dendrobium nobile Lindl. This is a member in the family Orchidaceae. However, the name Shi Hu also means the four other dendrobium orchid varieties namely; Dendrobium loddigesii Rolfe., Dendrobium fimbriatum Hook. var. oculatum Hook., Dendrobium chrysanthum Wall., and Dendrobium candidum Wall. ex Lindl. So other common names of this herb include Dendrobium Stem, Herba Dendrobii, Shi Hu Lan, dendrobium orchid, Jian Chai Shi Hu (literally “gold hairpin dendrobium”), and more. In China it is mainly produced in provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan. It is harvested all the year round. Medicinally, it is usually dried by the fire or in the sun, cut, and used raw.

The medicinal uses of dendrobium have been recorded in a few famous ancient medical writings, such as Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing (the Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica), Ben Cao Gang Mu (The Compendium of Materia Medica), Zhong Yao Da Ci Dian (The Dictionary of Medicinal Plant), and so on.

Its main health benefits are as follows:

1) Nourishes Yin, clears Heat and generates fluids
2) Enriches Kidney Yin and reduces Heat from Deficiency
3) Tonifies the Kidneys, augments Jing, brightens the eyes, strengthens the tendons and bones and strengthens the low back
4) Nourishes Stomach and Lung Yin

Certain constituents of orchids suggest biological activity. Alkaloids are nitrogenous organic heterocyclic molecules that have pharmacological effects on humans and other animals. They are secondary metabolites of plants and are of amino acid origin. Well-known alkaloids include strychnine, morphine, codeine, nicotine, atropine, cocaine, quinine, methamphetamine, reserpine, caffeine and theophylline. In orchids, 214 species in 64 genera contain 0.1% or more alkaloids. In China, 8% of Dendrobium species, 18% of Eria species and 42% of Liparis species have this degree of alkaloid content. Thus it is quite possible that orchids grown in China have medicinal or toxic properties when consumed by man. However, no herbal Chinese product has been subjected to the tests for efficacy and safety that would be required to satisfy the world medicine regulatory authorities.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Chinese Foxglove as Aphrodisiac

chinese foxglove aphrodisiac

Scientific Name: Rehmannia Glutinosa

Chinese Foxglove extracts are used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine where it has been considered a panacea for more than 2,000 years, primarily in combination with other herbs. Its dried roots are reputed to “nourish the yin” and remove heat from the blood, and is used as a tonic for the liver.

Clinical trials to support documented uses are lacking, and because the preparation is often used in combination with other agents, it is difficult to attribute any benefits to the plant.

Chinese foxglove's documented historical uses include treatment of anemia, cancer, constipation, diabetes, fatigue, bacterial and fungal infections, hypertension, insomnia, tinnitus, inflammatory conditions, burns, impotence, and osteoporosis.

Traditional Uses of Chinese Foxglove:

  • For anti-inflammatory properties
  • For antifungal properties
  • For diuretic effects
  • For vitality
  • For menstruation
  • For anemia and fatigue
  • For blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol
  • For circulation
  • For urinary tract
  • For digestion and constipation

Chinese foxglove contains Vitamins A, B, C, amino acids, cerebroside, dammelittoside, melittoside, rehmaglitin and other substances that have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. It helps prevent depletion of glycogen for hypoglycemia and helps disperse heat from the body. Its astringent compounds help stop bleeding of ulcers and reduce inflammation of the digestive system. Other compounds work to reduce capillary fragility and help protect the adrendal glands and liver function.

Chinese foxglove looks promising in treating aplastic anemia, mitigating side-effects of chemotherapeutic agents and HIV medications, curing obdurate eczema (dry skin), relieving pain from lung or bone cancer or disc protrusion, and helping ameliorate lupus nephritis (kidney inflammation) and type 2 diabetes with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). However, presently, there are no high-quality, large randomized, controlled trials supporting the efficacy of Chinese foxglove for any of these indications.

In one study, patients with rheumatoid arthritis were treated with Chinese foxglove and experienced good results, including a reduction of joint pain, swelling, and increased joint movement. It also improved the general symptoms of asthma and urticaria.

Chinese foxglove's main active principles are iridoid glycosides. Catalpol was the first of these isolated from the herb, and it appears its main function is to stimulate production of adrenal cortical hormones. These hormones are anti-inflammatory and explain the use of this medicine in treating asthma, skin diseases and arthritis. It is also being evaluated for its potential in treating central nervous system diseases and its effects on aging. Catapol is also used to increase the production of sex hormones.