Peruvian Torch – Trichocereus peruvianus
In the past, psychedelic/entheogenic substances were publicly known world wide and were respected for their ability to bring forth the divine, Yahweh, God, The Great Spirit, etc., by the many cultures who used them.
Astragalus, also known as huáng qí or milkvetch, is most commonly known for its use in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the Wei Ch’i or “defensive energy” otherwise known as immunity.
As a professional drummer I had experienced some plant medicines. But it wasn’t until 1978 when I got together with my life partner, Jane Richmond, that I started learning about and using herbal medicine for my health and well being.
Jane Richmond: Walk in the trees. You’re going to get healing.
Like we’re sitting under this beautiful pine tree right now and pine trees definitely give you a feeling and energy of peace.
And they also help you deal with guilt. So just being in pine trees can relieve so much trauma that people have been through.
Walks in the park — I know in Balboa Park here in San Diego we have a Japanese garden — and that garden has cherry blossoms in it.
And cherry blossoms are so sweet.
They have so much love.
You feel unity.
You feel peace.
And you know, almost every flower has some kind of essence that’s been attached to it.
Like zinnias, I’m looking at right now are for childlike joy and peace.
Even if you only have one plant in your house that you love or if you grow a whole garden it’s going to be something that’s very uplifting to get you out of sorrow and sadness and back to your own truth within yourself and a little bit more joy.
John Finch: The thing about the plants is they’re grounded, they’re connected.
They’re connected to the earth. They’re connected to their own spirit.
And they do have a spirit. They’re living beings.
They’ve been here a thousand times longer than we have. We’re the new kids on the block.
They’re very evolved in this world and they have just such a sweet spirit… all of them.
That just being around plants — that’s why if you go for a walk in nature you almost always come back feeling better.
Because you’ve been influenced by these plant beings that are in harmony with the nature around them and with themself.
They’re grounded and connected.
And that’s a great part of our dis-ease which we call disease is that we’re not grounded… we’re not connected.
And a large part of how the plants heal us is by reconnecting us to the earth and to our own spirit.
Jim, the first student on whom I demonstrated a castor pack, had been a raging alcoholic and had fairly serious cirrhosis of the liver, a slowly progressing disease in which healthy liver tissue is replaced with scar tissue. Continue reading Wonder Oil
Plants Have Been Adapting And Evolving On This World For Several Billion Years
They’ve figured out how to live on sunlight and to use its energy to synthesize the primary compounds necessary for their metabolic functioning. You’d think they would have their act together by now.
I have been practicing herbal medicine since 1979 and teaching it since 1985. That year I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) playing basketball.
I went to an MD friend who was a practicing herbalist who recommended treating it with a hot herbal compress, rather than surgery, the traditional approach in allopathic medicine.
Long story short, I was playing full-court hoops again in six weeks!
As I was sharing in an herb class about hot compresses with castor oil, a student suggested extracting the herbs I had used on my knee in castor oil.
I dreamed that night about doing so, including some other therapeutics I had learned about in my Professional Training Program that included a combination of fixed and essential oils.
The next day I whipped up a test batch of what became known as Self-Heal Balm.
In 2014 I began to incorporate an amazing natural compound, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in the balm and it became much more effective.
Four years later, as CBD became reasonably priced, I added it as a concentrated isolate and it became even more effective.
Self-Heal Balm now had DMSO and 250 mg CBD isolate and the reviews have been stunning.
Recently I have made a “super balm” with DMSO and 700 mg full-spectrum CBD, finding that as effective as CBD isolate is, studies have shown that, like other herbal remedies, using all of the thousands of compounds in a plant part yields better results, without the undesirable “side effects” often experienced with concentrated isolates employed in pharmaceutical drugs, many of which are still isolated from medicinal plants, or those compounds made in a laboratory, rather than the plant itself.
What is full-spectrum CBD?
The cannabis plant contains many types of beneficial compounds.
Cannabinoids and terpenoids in cannabis are thought to interact with each other, as well as with receptors in the brain.
This interaction has been labeled “the entourage effect.”
Studies show that the entourage effect makes taking THC and CBD together more effective than either alone.
There is evidence that non-THC cannabinoids have some neurochemical action as they can affect—often in different ways—cannabinoid receptors in the central nervous system. The most commonly cited example is CBD.
A number of scientists believe CBD actually mitigates the famously stoning and paranoia-producing effects of THC by blocking some cannabinoid receptors.
“The biggest influence [in the entourage effect] is CBD,” says psychopharmacologist Ethan Russo, a cannabis researcher in Washington State and medical director of a biochemical research company.
About 10 milligrams of THC can potentially cause toxic psychosis—or THC-induced, psychotic-like symptoms such as delusions—in about 40 percent of people, he says.
On the other hand, Sativex—a multiple sclerosis medication not approved in the U.S. that GW Pharmaceuticals (where Russo worked for many years) started selling in the U.K. in 2010—“has equal amounts of THC and CBD,” he adds. “At amounts of 48 milligrams of THC, only four patients out of 250 exposures had this toxic psychosis. So this is a very important demonstration of this synergy,” he says, noting other cannabinoids might have similar synergistic effects that have not been studied yet.
The entourage effect gained some ground in 2011 when Russo published a paper in the British Journal of Pharmacology reviewing the potential interactions between THC and various cannabinoids and terpenes.
‘Uh…what were you saying?’
For example, he cites work suggesting alpha pinene—a terpene that gives some marijuana a fresh pine scent—might help preserve a molecule called acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in learning and memory.
“So one main side effect of THC is short-term memory impairment,” he says. “People go, ‘Uh…what were you saying?’
That can be prevented if there’s pinene in the cannabis.”
Advances in Pharmacology
A 2017 paper published in Advances in Pharmacology detailed the beneficial entourage effect of whole plant extracts of Cannabis:
“Of particular note is the ability of these aromatic compounds to contribute modulatory and therapeutic roles in the cannabis entourage far beyond expectations considering their modest concentrations in the plant.”
“These conclusions are strong support for the use of full spectrum cannabis extract as a superior choice over single compounds such as CBD isolate.”
- Cannabinoids – Including CBD and THC, there are more than 100 cannabinoids responsible for the therapeutic effects of Cannabis sativa.
- Terpenoids – Recent research has provided focus on the pharmacological contributions of more than 150 terpenoids in Cannabis sativa. Terpenes/terpenoids have a wide range of biological and pharmacological activities, for instance, antifungal, antiviral, anticancer, inti-inflammitory, antihyperglycemic, antiparacitic, anitoxidant, and antimicrobial.
- Flavonoids – Cannabis includes about 20 different flavonoids that have shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and neuroprotective properties.
Our full-spectrum CBD is 85% CBD and includes small amounts of all extracted compounds in the flower, including .004% THC. Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level.
Other full-spectrum CBD products marketed online are offered at an average of $50 for a comparably sized jar with this much full-spectrum CBD.
The feedback received thus far has been outstanding.
I Can Breathe
I formulated a respiratory tea when I had a serious case of the influenza virus many years ago and was having difficulty breathing. It contained these parts by weight:
4 parts Mullein leaves
4 parts Coltsfoot leaves
3 parts Peppermint leaves
2 parts Lobelia herb
I added honey to the tea to make it taste better and help coat the throat.
Verbascum thapsus, the great mullein or common mullein, is a species of mullein native to Europe, northern Africa, and Asia, and introduced in the Americas and Australia.
I was surprised that it wasn’t native to San Diego as it is found in outlying areas and not around town at all, unless in someone’s yard.
Doctrine of Signatures is the concept that herbs often give clues for the part of the body they are good for.
The fuzzy leaves of mullein are a doctrine of signatures for lungs with the hairs acting like a bottle brush to help clear out the alveoli, the air sacs in the lungs allowing for gas exchange.
These fuzzy leaves are, in fact, a traditional treatment for respiratory problems, such as chest colds, bronchitis and asthma, normally taken as a tea.
Phytochemicals in mullein flowers and leaves include saponins, polysaccharides, mucilage, flavonoids, tannins, iridoid and lignin glycosides, and essential oils.
The combination of these act like a team
The mucilage is soothing to irritated membranes while tannins are astringent and tighten up an inflamed “spongy” pleural lining and saponins which are like a detergent, loosening up mucoid material in the lungs making coughs more productive.
Care must be taken with saponins as they can cause the breakup of red blood cells.
Also, handling dry mullein leaves might require wearing a mask as it can be irritating to the throat and lungs. Once in water it is not a problem.
Research has shown that the herb has strong anti-inflammatory activity, and studies indicate that mullein flower infusions have antiviral properties, as well.
It is also considered a lymphatic cleanser.
Mullein flower oil is a good remedy for earaches and has also been used for treating hemorrhoids.
Some Native Americans also used the plant’s roots. The Creek Indians drank a decoction of the roots for coughs; other tribes smoked the roots or dried leaves to treat asthma.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is an herb with fuzzy leaves in the daisy family that’s long been cultivated for its medicinal properties.
It originated in parts of Asia as well as in Europe, but the plant also grows throughout damp areas of North America.
The Genus name Tussilago refers to its cough dispelling quality
The action of coltsfoot is thought to be the opposite of that of an expectorant (an agent that helps with the expulsion of thick productive mucous).
Rather, coltsfoot is a relaxing expectorant that acts as a sedative as well as a demulcent, which is good for spastic and irritable coughs of both acute and chronic presentations.
The flavonoids also help to reduce inflammation in the bronchioles which make up the lower respiratory tract.
Coltsfoot has been traditionally used as:
- An antioxidant to strengthen the immune system
- To ease coughs
- An antimicrobial
- An anti-inflammatory
People take coltsfoot tea for:
- respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pertussis (whooping cough)
- sore throats
- cough and horseness
Lobelia inflata, also known as asthma weed, Indian tobacco or puke weed, is a plant in the Bellflower family native to North America, with stems covered in tiny hairs.
It is sometimes used alongside conventional medications to help treat symptoms of asthma attacks, such as wheezing, uncontrollable coughing, and chest tightness.
This is because lobeline, an alkaloid in lobelia, is a smooth muscle relaxer for airways, stimulating breathing, and clearing mucus from the lungs.
Lobelia is also used to relieve pneumonia and bronchitis, two types of lung infections that cause coughing and difficulty breathing, among other symptoms.
Compounds found in lobelia may also help protect against mood disorders, including depression.
Specifically, lobeline may block certain receptors in the brain that play a role in the development of depression.
One animal study in mice revealed that lobeline significantly reduced depressive behaviors and levels of stress hormones in the blood.
Lobelia cautionary note
Lobelia is a strong emetic which means it is great if you need to empty the stomach.
Although relatively safe in normal amounts, care must be taken when taking it. Side effects can include sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, rapid heartbeat, mental confusion, convulsions, hypothermia, coma, and possibly death.
Peppermint, Mentha × piperita, is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint.
Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now spread and cultivated in many regions of the world.
It has a high content of menthol which has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and is used to relieve minor throat irritations.
It is widely used in cough drops and in 2017, menthol was the 193rd most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than two million prescriptions.
Peppermint also contains terpenoids, volatile oils that are warming and disinfecting.
It also tastes great.