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Winter herbs

Author: Frank Fuchs

Most everyone catches a cold once in a while. There is this aphorism saying influenza will last one week if you stay in bed, and it will last seven days if you take a medicine. Especially if one has caught a virus infection, school medicine with their generous spending of pharmaceutical drugs can only help little to nearly nil. There will be only a soothing of symptoms. Yet at all times and always Mother Nature offers a wide range of medical herbs to do the same.

Meanwhile nearly everyone knows about vaporizers. But only a few know that a good and precise vaporizer is a perfect instrument not only for hedonistic use. research&experience is a team of medical users. We produce and use the AroMed vaporizer for more than eight years now. In self experiments we have tried various substances so we can well claim to manufacture a multi-use healing device. In the meantime this has been stated by field research in Germany and Cuba. Why Cuba? Because well educated medicinal personnel practice there - a great many of the doctors we are working with have been studying in Berlin, Germany, so we as Germans have easy communication; because Cuban government is quite open for alternative medicine - the blockade of this country leaves them alone without a well equipped pharmaceutical industry; because, last not least, it is a beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea with heart-warming citizens.

Most important for a useful vaporizer is the condition of an exact heat control. As well, we have found that vaporizers that do not use the principle of a hot-air-flow to extract active substances from the plants have very poor exploitation results, and tend to burn substances, setting free most unwanted tars and other carcinogenic stuff. The temperature of the hot-air-stream must be very exact because active principles have varying boiling points at which they become inhale able. It is very likely that with too low temperatures extraction is only poor and insufficient, while too high temperatures will destroy the principles before they are inhaled.

As laypersons we, of course, underwent our self experiments watched by either medical doctors or non medical practioners. We would by no means advise to inhale unknown substances! ‘Phyto-Inhalation’, as our medical doctors call vaporization of medicinal herbs, has its roots in phyto-therapy - ‘phytos’ is the Greek word for medicinal herbs. Unfortunately herbal medicine – or phyto-therapy - has been displaced more and more by (more profitable) pharma-medicine, chemical products of the big companies. School medicine alleges some arguments: medicinal herbs are said to be difficult to dose, as factors like local cultivation conditions - weather and nourishments - vary in certain ranges; besides, school medicine claims that those plants contain a collection of active principles, some of them even with contrary effects. ‘Mono preparations’ pharmaceutical medicaments, which only contain one isolated active principle, are held to be better. Another argument, that chemically prepared substances are digested better than phyto-medicaments is obsolete since herbs can be administered with a vaporizer. As well, mono preparations are no longer ‘state of the art’, only think about HIV-cocktails, the only (mix-) preparation at the moment that suppresses the AIDS-syndrome.

Some readers will know that a camomile blossom tea has not the ‘chemical mace’ effect of the pharmaceuticals. But when I used camomile with the AroMed vaporizer for the first time I was quite startled. My sore vocal cords were immediately relieved, better than I ever experienced with a camomile steam bath that was always a little uncomfortable and awkward to me. By the way: steam baths with camomile work because the boiling point of camomile‘s principles is below that of boiling water.

Certainly medicinal herbs obtained from a pharmacist are standardised, meaning the amount of active substances do not vary from package to package. Certainly the packings bear instructions of dosage and information about effects and side effects. Still phyto-therapy and especially much more effective phyto-inhalation is a holistic medication that needs experience. The patient s co-operation, his listening inside himself, his comprehension that health is connected to body and soul, is mandatory. Any user of vaporizers for medical treatment should be well aware of this fact. “A lot helps a lot” is not the right guiding principle. Here are some hints how to self-medicate against colds, fever, coughs, hoarseness, and pain.

Prophylaxis - about prevention

Look at ancient Indian medicine in North America. Purple cone flower root is traditionally used by about any North American Indian tribe. For external wound treatment it has been used for ages - in nowadays medicine you find purple cone flower (echinacea) ointments. During buffalo hunting season many tribes consumed masses of coneflower infusion. Echinacea angustifoliae radix (the term pharmacists´ use) contains antibacterial as well as immunologic substances, which are able to activate and support the body’s defence systems. As a prophylactic when bad weather season starts, cone flower enables the body to be prepared against colds and influenza. It is important to know, that shortly after vaporization of echinacea existing complaints might aggravate and a slightly risen temperature may occur. These are signs that the immune system starts reacting. If those reactions are still present after hours, the patient might be over-sensitive or allergic against echinacea. The treatment then should be stopped!

Alleviation - feeling better

With a cold or a sore throat it is always worth a try to have one of the many tea compositions against cough and bronchial diseases that pharmacies offer. Those teas will bring immediate relief when inhaled with a vaporizer, whereas drunk as an infusion the effect might only occur after some thirty minutes. There are many different mixtures. One of my favourites contains a big portion of liquorice root (liquiritiae radix)*, their flavour I favour.

Not everyone will react the same way - as with any medication - very sensitive persons will feel effects from a very small dose. One should first try a dose only about a quarter of the amount proposed for a cup of tea.

Besides of ready prepared teas inhalations of a mixture containing 1 part of cloves (caryophyllii fructus),* 5 parts of parsley root (petroselini radix)*, and 10 parts of purple sage (salviae sclareae flos,)* proved highly potent. Parsley really helps, indeed! The Vedic medicine of ayurveda knows and administers parsley pills and tinctures as an anti-septic and against bacterial infections. Parsley joss sticks are used in patient‘s rooms and can kill more than 75% of the bacteria in the room’s air. The same effects are, as well as for parsley, scientifically proven for purple sage.

Salvia sclarea, besides its excellent taste when vaporized, has anti-septic, soothing, and anti-spasmodic effects. In ayurveda a mood-lifting ability of purple sage is described, which one non medical practioner thinks to be “slightly intoxicating”. Our friend Howard Marks, author of the thrilling bestsellers ‘Mr. Nice’ and ‘Dope Stories’ was easily convinced by the cloves/parsley/purple sage mixture. “I had lost my voice, and now got a serious cough attack. Frank, a real clever guy, came to help. I inhaled a dose of sage with his precise vaporizer. Cough attacks were gone, and my voice was back!” – taken from: Reefer‘s Digest’, Edition Gruene Kraft, ISBN 3-930442-23-X, available in German only!

To name all of the medicinal herbs that are described in the AroMed vaporizer‘s manual would be idle and fill pages. In any case it is not expedient to look for ‘grannies favourites’, as nowadays a lot of the effects and side effects are no more known. A deterring example is given by the use of St.-John‘s wort (hyperici herba)*. The user always has to observe that administering with St.-John‘s wort will cause hyper-sensitivity for ultra-violet rays and may lead to heavy sunburns. And this is not the only side effect of this healing plant! In any case would be good to look for the advice of specialists. Not only non medical practioners but more and more medical doctors and pharmacists are ready to recommend Natural Medicine, as the health system‘s expenditures explode with growing prescriptions of expensive chemical drugs.

Sleep inducing herbs

Trying to stay in bed all day long to ‘sweat off’ influenza is not easy to carry through. Nights become sleepless, corresponding exhaustion next day. Mother Nature s pharmacy holds many appropriate remedies. To all of you valerian (valeriana spp.) tinctures or tablets are known. I do not feel any relief when taking either. Maybe I am too thick-skinned, but when I do use valerian tinctures or leaves with the AroMed vaporizer, I feel drowsy right after.

My limbs and mind are relaxed; I can just lie down and do not feel thirst for action. My personal sleep inducing preparation consists of equal parts of valerian roots (valeriana radix)* and hop glands (lupuli glandula), and satisfy my needs the best. Friends have absolute confidence in dream herb (calea zacatechichi)* and damiana (turnera diffusa)*.

Tired and fatigued? There are herbs for any use

Another symptom of many diseases is tiredness. When I am feeling feeble and I want to keep working a pot of good strong Earl Grey tea fits perfect. If simultaneously my stomach makes problems I prefer vaporizing black tea (thea nigra)* or guarana (pasta guarana)*, grinded to powder. Though tea with the vaporizer is very strong, it has only short-time effects and leads to restlessness. Guarana is very stimulating, too, and has an extending effect on the bronchial system, which helps to breathe free. Plus it lasts much longer than tea. Also heart-pounding, as I feel after a pot of tea or only half a teaspoon with the vaporizer, is not felt at all using guarana.

*Names in brackets are the pharmaceutical names of the herb.

Natural aspros - no trade mark!

Fever and headache are other winter companions. Centuries ago old folios describing medicinal herbs report the use of willow bark (salicis cortex)* that contains salicylic acid. Irritable reactions of the stomach’s mucous membranes were reported in the l9th century after drinking lots of willow bark infusions; quite likely the salicylic acid could be the cause of this, but modern medical research blames over dosage rather than responsible use. A clever German chemist of a well known company altered the chemical formula of salicylic acid a little bit and got a patent for this ‘new’ drug. Allegedly this still produced chemical - by the name of ‘aspirin tm’- does not harm your stomach. Do you really believe that? Have a look on the packing slip for side effects! If you drink the willow bark tea, true enough, you drink a thin solution of an acid, like you do when drinking orange juice. Just do not overdose! The same is given when vaporizing willow bark –which by the way will cost you less than 1/50 th than the same dose of aspirin ™ and you will have a quick relief from fever. Symptoms of pain will also be suppressed to a certain extent.

Being a pain patient myself, I know what I am talking about. In my painful years in search of remedy - for some time my medical doctors subscribed morphine - I found there is a very potent medical plant. Its active substances perfectly bring immediate relief - in my case - with little effects. The side effects to you body and health are often claimed and never proven. But in my country, Germany, any user has to suffer from grave ‘side effects’, like loss of driving license, fines or even harder justice punishments, plus what is in my opinion worst of all: becoming a social outlaw. In Germany of the old times this herb was called ‘poor peoples tobacco’ today they call it ‘killer weed’ or marijuana. Thank god (who surely does not like the idea of one of his divine creations being banned by some group of people) there is, since some years a chemical drug containing the active principles of marijuana. The marketing names for this drug are “Dronabinol”™ or “Marinol”™, and in Germany it is still prescribed very rarely. Unfortunately medical insurance companies refuse to pay for the prescription, so only the rich are able to buy their daily dose - for a much higher price than the price you would pay for the same amount in the - still existing - black market. As those legal drugs are manufactures, a holistic self-responsible medication is made impossible for the patient in need.

One last and important remark: with any administering using a vaporizer the patient should drink a lot, preferably water, partly to enhance desirable sudorific effects, partly to compensate dehydrating effects of the used herbs.

research&experience the manufacturers of the unique AroMed vaporizer wishes you to be well...