woensdag, november 30, 2011

Herbs of Choice en Mentha piperita

Een van de betere boeken over medicinale planten is aan zijn 3de herziene editie toe.


Does Echinacea fight the common cold? Does St. John’s Wort (SJW) really counteract depression? What about chondroitin for joint health? Today’s healthcare professionals are increasingly confronted with questions from patients who want to use herbal supplements to treat various conditions. A critical and scientific assessment of medicinal plant research by an internationally recognized researcher and writer in the field, Tyler’s Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals, Third Edition combines the scientific aspects of herbal medicine, phytomedicine, and pharmacognosy with the modern clinical trials that support the rationale for using plant products in healthcare.

The original edition of this volume was authored by the late Professor Varro E. Tyler, a true giant in the field of pharmacognosy and pharmacy education. Following in Tyler’s footsteps, Dennis V.C. Awang, co-editor of the journal Phytomedicine, recognized the need for a revised third edition, in light of how quickly the clinical literature surrounding the dietary supplement market is growing.

Millions of consumers are demanding natural treatment options from their doctors and pharmacies in a variety of forms, from herbal teas to tinctures and capsules. Tyler’s Herbs of Choice: The Therapeutic Use of Phytomedicinals, Third Edition effectively fosters understanding in patients and practitioners of the role that herbs and phytomedicinal products can play in both self-care and healthcare.

De planten in Herbs of Choice worden niet alfabetisch besproken, maar volgens hun voornaamste werking op orgaansystemen. Wat voor het gebruik veel praktischer is. Een voorbeeld uit het boek

Significant carminative herbs: Peppermint
Although many plant materials contain volatile oils and therefore possess some carminative properties, one of the most effective and widely used is certainly peppermint. Consisting of the leaves and flowering tops  of Mentha x piperita L. (family Lamiaceae), this herb is officially listed in  the NF XVII. It contains 0.5–4 percent (average of about 1.5 percent) of a volatile oil composed of 50–78 percent free (*)-menthol and from 5 to 20  percent menthol combined in various esters such as the acetate or isovalerate. It also contains (+)- and (*)-menthone, (+)-isomenthone, (+)-neomenthone, (+)-menthofuran, and eucalyptol, as well as other monoterpenes.61
Although flavonoid pigments found in the leaf may also exert some physiological effects,62 there is little question that most of the activity is due to  the constituents of the oil, primarily menthol. Peppermint oil has long been an extremely popular flavoring agent in  products ranging from chewing gum to after-dinner mints. It is probably  the most widely used carminative, acting in the broad sense defined by Schilcher.57
The German Commission E has found peppermint or its volatile oil to be effective as a spasmolytic (discomfort caused  by spasms in the upper digestive tract), a stimulant of the flow of bile, an antibacterial, and a promoter of gastric secretions. 63 On the other hand, in 1990, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared peppermint oil to  be ineffective as a digestive aid and banned its use as a nonprescription  drug for this purpose. 64 What this actually means is that the FDA was not  presented with evidence proving the efficacy of peppermint as a digestive  aid. As previously explained, this would not be financially feasible in the  United States. It does not mean that peppermint oil is an ineffective aid to digestion.

One of the most frequent diagnoses made for patients because of  gastrointestinal complaints is non-ulcer dyspepsia. It is characterized by  motility disturbances with bloated abdomen, a feeling of fullness, diffuse pain, nausea, vomiting, and intolerance of foodstuffs. The efficacy and  safety of the herbal combination of peppermint oil (90 mg) and caraway  oil (50 mg) in an enteric-coated capsule have been studied in a doubleblind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial in patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia. After four weeks of treatment, the group of patients treatedwith the herbal combination had improved significantly with few adverse effects.65
Peppermint oil is also used to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and experimental evidence indicates that it acts by relaxing intestinal smooth muscle by reducing calcium availability in the  muscle membrane.66

Peppermint is GRAS listed, and both it and peppermint oil are recognized as flavoring agents in the NF XVII. Peppermint tea is prepared by pouring about 2/3 cup of boiling water over a tablespoonful of the recently dried leaves and steeping for five to ten minutes. Drink this  amount of tea three to four times daily between meals to relieve upset  stomach. Peppermint spirit (USP XXII), an alcoholic solution containing 10 percent peppermint oil and 1 percent peppermint leaf extract, is  also available in pharmacies. The usual dose is 1 ml (20 drops) taken with water.
Regular consumption of peppermint tea is considered safe for normal  persons, although excessive use of the volatile oil (0.3 g = 12 drops) may  produce some toxic effects. 67. Allergic reactions to menthol have also been  reported. 67–69. Peppermint tea should not be given to infants or very small  children because they often experience an unpleasant choking sensation  due to the menthol.70

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