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Black seed oil, Mint, Stinging nettle, and Chickweed

Black seed oil, Mint, Stinging nettle, and Chickweed

Nigella sativa seeds are a potent medicine that has been in use in the Middle East and India for thousands of years. Most of us will use it in the form of the oil, however research indicates that even quantities (raw seeds) used to season food are medicinally effective.The plant grows 8 – 12 inches tall and has pale blue to white flowers with delicate green foliage.Sometimes known as black cumin it is not the same as true black cumin (Bunium bulbocastanum), this emphasizes the need to check Latin names to confirm you have the correct herb.Seeds for N.Sativa have been found in a Hittite flask dated back to the second millennium BCE, as well as in Tutankhamun’s tomb. There is multiple studies showing it to be effective for paediatric seizures (topically to a lymph zone such as armpits or neck) and it can raise intracellular glutathione which is required for removing environmental toxins from the body, including heavy metals.

Uses: 

Topically; the oil can be rubbed on any place with pain and/or inflammation to improve symptoms. Can be applied to cuts, scrapes, bruises, and rashes to improve healing and prevent infection. A couple drops daily can solve ear infections (in the ear). A teaspoon added to freshly boiled water to inhale steam can help improve lung and sinus infections.

Cautions: 

Due to emmenagogue properties not safe during pregnancy.

Safe to take internally but can be highly irritating for some individuals.

Possible drug interactions; Diabetes medications, immunosuppressants, anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs, blood pressure medications, sedatives.

Drug interactions are typically only a concern with internal use.

First aid: 

Adverse reactions are unheard of, however if one does occur apply flour or cornstarch to absorb excess oil and then wash area with basic soap.

If a pregnant woman has used Black seed and is showing signs of miscarriage call emergency services and explain.

If a drug interaction is suspected call emergency services.

You may have seen me mention certain plants are part of the “mint family”, shockingly that also includes actual mint. Weird, I know. There is between 13 and 18 known species, the exact number differs depending on botanical features and interpretation. Mint is found on all of the continents except Antarctica and South America, the plants are generally perennial, aromatic herbs. Depending on species mints can grow between 4 inches and 47 inches tall and will spread over large areas unchecked. Spearmint and peppermint are the most widely grown varieties for commercial use, the extracts are often used for food flavorings. Menthol is the primary constituent in the essential oil and is also used in cosmetics, some over the counter medicines, and some perfumes. The leaves are the part used for both food and medicine. As a medicinal herb it is excellent for digestive issues in adults and children. The essential oil is good in aromatherapy for anxiety, nausea, and headaches.

Uses:

Herb; as tea for digestive issues.

Essential oil; topically for headaches and some digestive issues. Aromatically for headaches, anxiety, and nausea.

Cautions:

Do not use the oil if pregnant or breastfeeding. It may cause miscarriage and can dry up milk supply. Same cautions for tea, however larger doses may be needed for these effects.

While not common some do experience allergic reactions, if the allergy appears serious (restricts breathing) call emergency services immediately.

KEEP OIL AWAY FROM CHILDREN UNDER 6. Can cause serious breathing problems.

Individuals of East Asian decent are advised to avoid menthol containing OILS due to lacking an enzyme required to remove menthol build up in the liver, potentially leading to liver failure.


First aid:

If a reaction to the oil has occurred use cornstarch or similar to absorb excess oil. If irritation persists for more than 24hrs or gets worse, seek medical attention.

If a pregnant woman suspects she may be having a miscarriage due to exposure seek medical help.

If a child under 6 experiences breathing trouble due to the oil do not delay medical attention, reaction can be very serious.

You may be familiar with stinging nettles from stories about witches and old English nursery rhymes. Indeed this medicinal herb has a history of magical association and of being found in old graveyards. Urtica dioica is native all through Europe, Western North America, Asia, and northern Africa. There are 6 species of nettles, 5 of which will sting you. The stinging comes from the little hairs that deliver micro doses of histamine and several other chemicals, the hairs act like tiny hypodermic needles to deliver the irritating sting. This perennial will grow between 3 and 7 feet tall in the summer, the tasty leaves will grow from 1 to 6 inches long and the flowers will be in tight, small clusters at the stem. Try to avoid eating the herb after it blooms due to the high oxalate content in the leaves because it may increase the risk of kidney stones. As food nettles are highly nutritious and cooking or drying removes the sting. They taste similar to spinach but with their own flavour. As medicine drinking it as a tea is good for allergies and boosting milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.

Uses:

Internally; increasing milk supply, allergies, anemia, boosting thyroid function, regulation menstruation.

Topically (as an ointment); hives, bug bites, gout, arthritis.

Cautions:

Avoid during pregnancy because it can regulate menstruation.

Drug interactions; diabetes medications, lithium, high blood pressure medications, sedatives, warfarin.

No cautions for babies and children.

First aid:

If a pregnant woman has consumed nettles call care provider and monitor.

If a drug interaction is suspected call emergency services and explain.

Stellaria Media, a low growing plant seen every spring in temperate locations. When seen in person the appearance is delicate and sweet, the seemingly 10 petals are actually 5 deeply lobed petals. Chickweed is native to Europe but has naturalized in many places across North America.

This sweet little weed prefers disturbed ground (rather than hard packed) with rich soil. It will continuously scatter seed throughout its short growing season, which makes for higher density growth through consecutive years in a patch. Chickweed makes a lovely, nutritious salad green but it does contain saponins which in high doses is toxic, however you would need to consume a couple pounds worth in one sitting.

In herbal medicine it is most often recommended for skin ailments such as bruises and rashes. Herbalists will also recommend it for anemia due to it’s high iron content. Historically the entire plant has been used as an infusion for various ailments such as asthma, rheumatic pains, constipation, and obesity. There are some poorly documented cases of paralysis from consuming large quantities of the infusion, however due to the poor documentation we cannot be sure it is from the chickweed or some other factor. At this time there are no reported drug interactions, but as always use vigilance and caution if you choose to use both pharmaceuticals and herbs together. Hospitals are not equipped with the knowledge required to manage serious drug-herb interactions effectively at this time.


Uses:

Topically; Acne, bruises, rashes.

Internally; Calms an overactive thyroid, reduces obesity, boosts immune function.

Cautions:

No known drug interactions or specific cautions regarding pregnancy and lactation. Because it acts on the thyroid best practice would be to not use it during pregnancy just as a precaution.

High oxalic acid content may contribute to kidney stones.

First aid:

If several pounds have been consumed call the doctor and explain the saponin content.

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Comments

  1. Top Shelf Bread  May 1, 2019

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