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Re: Artemisia - plant to cure malaria

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  • icculus2000@yahoo.com
    Hello, I am writing in collective response to the Artemisia/Neem/Malaria thread. It is my understanding (also) that ethanol (not wood, isopropyl or rubbing)
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 15, 2006
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      Hello,

      I am writing in collective response to the Artemisia/Neem/Malaria thread.

      It is my understanding (also) that ethanol (not wood, isopropyl or rubbing) alcohol extract of dried leaves of Artemisia annua is taken internally to intervene when malaria has been contracted. It is also known to combat intestinal worms. (In response to the neem thread: planting this genus will likely produce little or no effect on mosquitoes, although it has been known to repel rodents.)

      Artemisia absinthium is the Wormwood of absinthe fame, but I believe all members of the genus contain large levels of Thujone (indeed A. annua is used preferentially because it has stronger concentrations), which is likely responsible for the vermifugal and anti microbial/malarial properties. Thujone ia a terpene and is related to menthol, known for its healing qualities.

      Care should be taken with ingestion of medicinally prepared Artemisia products, for while absinthe contains negligible amounts of the compound, Thujone in higher doses may bring about convulsions, paralysis, and even death. The median lethal dose (LD50) of Thujone in mice is around 45mg/kg. The LD50 for humans is not known.

      I understand that any applications to cure malaria will probably take place in a short enough time-frame that addiction or poisoning will not be concerns, but both are potential hazards with continuous use.

      I am not writing this to scare you, but look before you leap.

      Peace and love,

      Steve




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    • Pat Meadows
      ... However, anti-malarial drugs are used on a long-term basis to treat lupus (system lupus erythematosus), an auto-immune disease. No one knows why they work
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 16, 2006
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        On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 15:51:20 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:

        >Hello,
        >
        > I am writing in collective response to the Artemisia/Neem/Malaria thread.
        >
        > It is my understanding (also) that ethanol (not wood, isopropyl or rubbing) alcohol extract of dried leaves of Artemisia annua is taken internally to intervene when malaria has been contracted. It is also known to combat intestinal worms. (In response to the neem thread: planting this genus will likely produce little or no effect on mosquitoes, although it has been known to repel rodents.)
        >
        > Artemisia absinthium is the Wormwood of absinthe fame, but I believe all members of the genus contain large levels of Thujone (indeed A. annua is used preferentially because it has stronger concentrations), which is likely responsible for the vermifugal and anti microbial/malarial properties. Thujone ia a terpene and is related to menthol, known for its healing qualities.
        >
        > Care should be taken with ingestion of medicinally prepared Artemisia products, for while absinthe contains negligible amounts of the compound, Thujone in higher doses may bring about convulsions, paralysis, and even death. The median lethal dose (LD50) of Thujone in mice is around 45mg/kg. The LD50 for humans is not known.
        >
        > I understand that any applications to cure malaria will probably take place in a short enough time-frame that addiction or poisoning will not be concerns, but both are potential hazards with continuous use.
        >
        However, anti-malarial drugs are used on a long-term basis to treat lupus
        (system lupus erythematosus), an auto-immune disease. No one knows why
        they work in this instance, but they do clearly work for at least some
        individuals with lupus.

        I have lupus and I take a prescription anti-malarial, hydroxychloroquine
        (brand name: Plaquenil). I'm considering trying to substitute _Artemisia
        annua_, so I'm very interested in any safety issues, as you can imagine.

        James Duke in his book 'The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook' describes this
        herb as used to treat both lupus and malaria. His 'Precautions' for it
        read that it might produce 'a rash, watery eyes, or another allergic
        reaction'. He gives it a safety rating of 2: in his scale, that means it's
        roughly as safe as drinking coffee.

        Duke's credentials are impressive; PhD in botany, long career dealing with
        medicinal plants, former head of the USDA's Medicinal Plant Laboratory
        (which unfortunately no longer exists). Of course, people with impressive
        credentials can be wrong and often have been.

        Do you have any further details on this? I'd sure appreciate them if so.
        Thanks!

        Pat
        --
        In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
        Blog (mainly gardening and cooking related):
        http://www.entire-of-itself.blogspot.com/
      • Pat Meadows
        PS - Please see my prior post. I didn t mean to imply that I was asking you to research it for me: I will research it myself in any case. Just - if you have
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 16, 2006
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          PS - Please see my prior post.

          I didn't mean to imply that I was asking you to research it for me: I will
          research it myself in any case. Just - if you have any further information
          *on hand*, please let me know. Thanks.

          Pat
          --
          In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
          Blog (mainly gardening and cooking related):
          http://www.entire-of-itself.blogspot.com/
        • von-fi@elonmerkki.net
          Hello all friends, We had recently guests from West Papua and they said that tomatillo we ve been growing in greenhouse (Physalis ixocarpa) is being used there
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 16, 2006
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            Hello all friends,

            We had recently guests from West Papua and they said that tomatillo we've
            been growing in greenhouse (Physalis ixocarpa) is being used there to prevent
            malaria. They said that the root and leaves are eaten, even though wikipedia
            says that other parts than fruit can contain toxins and should not therefore
            be eaten and so does pfaf database. Do you have more specific information on
            this?

            Orava

            > While not Clare, I think I can answer this. Artemisia annua does nothing
            > to kill or reduce mosquitoes: it is taken internally by people as a
            > malaria preventive. It kills or reduces the malaria organisms in their
            > bloodstream.
            >
            > I.e., if you take it, you don't get malaria *if* - and this is a big if -
            > it works as it is supposed to.
            >
            > I don't know if it actually works.
            >
            >
          • icculus2000@yahoo.com
            Hi Pat, Please don t worry about asking me for info.. As it happens, I am not a scientist, nor am I qualified to give medical advice, therefore you would be
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 17, 2006
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              Hi Pat,

              Please don't worry about asking me for info..
              As it happens, I am not a scientist, nor am I qualified to give medical advice, therefore you would be well advised to research or obtain outside research which you trust.

              On the subject of thujone toxicity, it would appear that any report attached to absinthe (the popular green liquor of choice of Vincent van Gogh, among others) is suspect for political reasons - in essence, the government or other bodies exploited the reputation of absinthe in order to gain credibility. Any research should be directed to a more recent era in order to omit the influence of this partiality.
              Artemisia spp. in and of itself is a valuable and essential genus, in my opinion, but any preparation which concentrates the levels of thujone should be closely monitored, and references should be made to credible scientific studies of its toxicity.

              I believe that herbal and homeopathic remedies are vital components of community health care, and as such you should pursue your goal of using herbs (sustainably) as much as possible in place of synthetic compounds.

              Peace,

              Steve.


              ---------------------------------
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            • Pat Meadows
              ... Thanks, Steve. Being able to grow at least some of my own medicine is very appealing to me! So we ll see. But I ll be very careful about it. Pat -- In
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 17, 2006
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                On Sun, 17 Sep 2006 09:39:06 -0700 (PDT), you wrote:


                > I believe that herbal and homeopathic remedies are vital components of community health care, and as such you should pursue your goal of using herbs (sustainably) as much as possible in place of synthetic compounds.
                >

                Thanks, Steve. Being able to grow at least some of my own medicine is very
                appealing to me! So we'll see. But I'll be very careful about it.

                Pat
                --
                In the Appalachian Mountains in northern Pennsylvania
                Blog (mainly gardening and cooking related):
                http://www.entire-of-itself.blogspot.com/
              • Dee Harris
                This is many months late but I felt that I should answer this as one who is very familiar with herbs. Point being, any herb shoudl first be tested on the skin
                Message 7 of 23 , Jan 2, 2007
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                  This is many months late but I felt that I should answer this as one who is very familiar with herbs.
                  Point being, any herb shoudl first be tested on the skin of the inner elbow before using internally. This is a safety tip that many do not know about. It prevents accidental poisoning.
                  BB,
                  Wolf

                  icculus2000@... wrote:
                  Hi Pat,

                  Please don't worry about asking me for info..
                  As it happens, I am not a scientist, nor am I qualified to give medical advice, therefore you would be well advised to research or obtain outside research which you trust.

                  On the subject of thujone toxicity, it would appear that any report attached to absinthe (the popular green liquor of choice of Vincent van Gogh, among others) is suspect for political reasons - in essence, the government or other bodies exploited the reputation of absinthe in order to gain credibility. Any research should be directed to a more recent era in order to omit the influence of this partiality.
                  Artemisia spp. in and of itself is a valuable and essential genus, in my opinion, but any preparation which concentrates the levels of thujone should be closely monitored, and references should be made to credible scientific studies of its toxicity.

                  I believe that herbal and homeopathic remedies are vital components of community health care, and as such you should pursue your goal of using herbs (sustainably) as much as possible in place of synthetic compounds.

                  Peace,

                  Steve.


                  ---------------------------------
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                • Mohammed Alal Khan
                  Hi Steve and Lina, Could you inform me about plants Veratrum album and Jaborandi ? Mohammed Alal Khan
                  Message 8 of 23 , Jan 2, 2007
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                    Hi Steve and Lina,
                    Could you inform me about plants Veratrum album and Jaborandi ?
                    Mohammed Alal Khan





                    At 01:55 PM 1/2/2007, you wrote:

                    >This is many months late but I felt that I should answer this as one
                    >who is very familiar with herbs.
                    >Point being, any herb shoudl first be tested on the skin of the
                    >inner elbow before using internally. This is a safety tip that many
                    >do not know about. It prevents accidental poisoning.
                    >BB,
                    >Wolf
                    >
                    ><mailto:icculus2000%40yahoo.com>icculus2000@... wrote:
                    >Hi Pat,
                    >
                    >Please don't worry about asking me for info..
                    >As it happens, I am not a scientist, nor am I qualified to give
                    >medical advice, therefore you would be well advised to research or
                    >obtain outside research which you trust.
                    >
                    >On the subject of thujone toxicity, it would appear that any report
                    >attached to absinthe (the popular green liquor of choice of Vincent
                    >van Gogh, among others) is suspect for political reasons - in
                    >essence, the government or other bodies exploited the reputation of
                    >absinthe in order to gain credibility. Any research should be
                    >directed to a more recent era in order to omit the influence of this
                    >partiality.
                    >Artemisia spp. in and of itself is a valuable and essential genus,
                    >in my opinion, but any preparation which concentrates the levels of
                    >thujone should be closely monitored, and references should be made
                    >to credible scientific studies of its toxicity.
                    >
                    >I believe that herbal and homeopathic remedies are vital components
                    >of community health care, and as such you should pursue your goal of
                    >using herbs (sustainably) as much as possible in place of synthetic compounds.
                    >
                    >Peace,
                    >
                    >Steve.
                    >
                    >---------------------------------
                    >Stay in the know. Pulse on the new Yahoo.com. Check it out.
                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
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                    >
                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                  • Traveler in Thyme
                    Perhaps the danger in using Artemisia is the same as the danger of drinking absinthe, the liqueur derived from the plant----- it s addictive and
                    Message 9 of 23 , Jan 3, 2007
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                      Perhaps the danger in using Artemisia is the same as the danger of drinking absinthe, the liqueur derived from the plant----- it's addictive and hallucinogenic, ask Toulouse Lautrec and all those Impressionist painters, who were very fond of the drink!


                      ---Marcia Cash
                      Traveler in Thyme
                      http://www.travelerinthyme.com


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Frank
                      ... This information is wrong, IT DOES NOT PREVENT POISONING!! There are no simple tests. Please be careful with using plants that you haven t identified or
                      Message 10 of 23 , Jan 4, 2007
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                        --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:

                        > This is many months late but I felt that I should
                        > answer this as one who is very familiar with herbs.
                        > Point being, any herb shoudl first be tested on
                        > the skin of the inner elbow before using internally.
                        > This is a safety tip that many do not know about. It
                        > prevents accidental poisoning.

                        This information is wrong,
                        IT DOES NOT PREVENT POISONING!!

                        There are no simple tests. Please be careful with
                        using plants that you haven't identified or are not
                        familiar with.

                        __________________________________________________
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                      • Dee Harris
                        Then what would you suggest, Frank? Not using herbs at all? I ll have you know that I ve been using herbs most of my life and that s 51 years worth. I do think
                        Message 11 of 23 , Jan 4, 2007
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                          Then what would you suggest, Frank? Not using herbs at all? I'll have you know that I"ve been using herbs most of my life and that's 51 years worth. I do think that I have some knowledge of what I'm doing.
                          Wolf

                          Frank <chaewen@...> wrote:
                          --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:

                          > This is many months late but I felt that I should
                          > answer this as one who is very familiar with herbs.
                          > Point being, any herb shoudl first be tested on
                          > the skin of the inner elbow before using internally.
                          > This is a safety tip that many do not know about. It
                          > prevents accidental poisoning.

                          This information is wrong,
                          IT DOES NOT PREVENT POISONING!!

                          There are no simple tests. Please be careful with
                          using plants that you haven't identified or are not
                          familiar with.

                          __________________________________________________
                          Do You Yahoo!?
                          Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                          http://mail.yahoo.com







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                        • icculus2000@yahoo.com
                          Hi Marcia, As it happens, this came up in our thread a few months ago.. My position at the time was that I think one may find the actual thujone levels in
                          Message 12 of 23 , Jan 5, 2007
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                            Hi Marcia,

                            As it happens, this came up in our thread a few months ago..
                            My position at the time was that I think one may find the actual thujone levels in genuine Absinthe are not high enough to be considered harmful (thujone is one of the alkaloids found in Artemisia absinthium, and is generally thought to be the source of any "secondary effects" such as those supposedly experienced by Lautrec and Van Gogh). You may also find that that this misunderstanding comes from misinformation distributed for political and economic competition in the industry.
                            -As an aside, it must be noted that Absinthe (and its descendant, Pastis, or Anise) have the almost unique property of going cloudy when mixed with ice water. This, in addition to Absinthe's green colour, put it in an advantageous position in the market. Eau-de-vie and Marc manufacturers in the south of France almost certainly resented the presence of this flashy drink which was favoured by the trendy artist crowd (and let's not forget that even today the paysans in the south resent the city folk invading their lives).

                            I must mention again that I'm not a doctor and I haven't tested A absinthium for thujone. However, there are numerous published findings from independent medical sources which bring into question the toxicity levels in commercially available absinthe (and unprocessed extract of Artemisia).

                            As for your suggestion that Absinthe is addictive and hallucinogenic; perhaps you know of a study on the hallucinogenic properties of Absinthe? I remain unaware of any evidence that distinguishes Absinthe from any other liquor - either for addictive or hallucinogenic properties. (Van Gogh chopping off his ear doesn't count - he did, after all admit himself to an asylum and was arguably insane before he began drinking absinthe)

                            Despite being convinced that Absinthe is the victim of commercial propaganda, I am open to information to the contrary; so if you can enlighten me, I would be delighted.

                            Peace and light,

                            Steve




                            "Every thought I have imprisoned in expression I must free by my deeds."
                            ~ Kahlil Gibran



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                          • RSJ
                            Hi everyone ~ I m Stella, plant scientist, herbalist, flower therapist and garden designer residing in Victoria. For years I ve studied herbs and their actions
                            Message 13 of 23 , Jan 5, 2007
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                              Hi everyone ~
                              I'm Stella, plant scientist, herbalist, flower therapist and garden
                              designer residing in Victoria. For years I've studied herbs and their
                              actions on the human body and mind. I make my own tinctures from fresh
                              herbs to help my health. One herb I use on a daily basis is Artemisia
                              vulgaris, Mugwort, diluted with other 'menopausal' herbs. It too has
                              thujone, but in lower doses than those found in Artemisia absinthium.
                              Periodically, I take a break from it, leaving it out for a week or two.
                              I did research on Artemisia absinthium and yes, the properties of
                              thujone can be detrimental to one's health, including that of toxicity,
                              neurotoxicity, epileptigenic, and hallucinogenic. Following is the
                              excerpt from my query on the properties of thujone, from Dr. Duke's
                              Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Database. It's a most interesting site
                              and my favourite resource for herbal chemical information. Check it out:

                              http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chem-activities.pl

                              *Dr. Duke's
                              Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases*

                              *Biological Activities of THUJONE*

                              *Abortifacient*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Abortifacient>;

                              *Anthelmintic*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Anthelmintic>;

                              *Antibacterial*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Antibacterial>;

                              *Antiseptic*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Antiseptic>;

                              *Antispasmodic*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Antispasmodic>;
                              ED50=0.127 mg/ml;

                              *Cerebrodepressant*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Cerebrodepressant>;


                              *Convulsant*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Convulsant>;
                              40 mg/kg;

                              *Counterirritant*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Counterirritant>;


                              *Emmenagogue*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Emmenagogue>;

                              *Epileptigenic*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Epileptigenic>;

                              *Hallucinogenic*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Hallucinogenic>;

                              *Herbicide*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Herbicide>;
                              IC50=22 mM;

                              *Neurotoxic*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Neurotoxic>;

                              *Perfumery*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Perfumery>;

                              *Pesticide*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Pesticide>;

                              *Respirainhibitor*
                              <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Respirainhibitor>;


                              *Toxic* <http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chemical_activity.pl?Toxic>;

                              Fri Jan 5 18:53:12 EST 2007

                              Please send questions and comments to:

                              *James** **A. Duke*
                              Green Farmacy Garden
                              8210 Murphy Road
                              Fulton, MD 20759


                              or *Mary Jo Bogenschutz* (E-Mail: godwinm001@...
                              <mailto:godwinm001@...>)

                              Dr. Duke does not recommend self diagnosis or self medication. Please
                              see the disclaimer <http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/warning.html> for more
                              information.

                              This information found at:

                              http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/duke/chem-activities.pl

                              Wishing you the best,

                              Stella


                              ~*~
                              icculus2000@... wrote:
                              > Hi Marcia,
                              >
                              > As it happens, this came up in our thread a few months ago..
                              > My position at the time was that I think one may find the actual thujone levels in genuine Absinthe are not high enough to be considered harmful (thujone is one of the alkaloids found in Artemisia absinthium, and is generally thought to be the source of any "secondary effects" such as those supposedly experienced by Lautrec and Van Gogh). You may also find that that this misunderstanding comes from misinformation distributed for political and economic competition in the industry.
                              > -As an aside, it must be noted that Absinthe (and its descendant, Pastis, or Anise) have the almost unique property of going cloudy when mixed with ice water. This, in addition to Absinthe's green colour, put it in an advantageous position in the market. Eau-de-vie and Marc manufacturers in the south of France almost certainly resented the presence of this flashy drink which was favoured by the trendy artist crowd (and let's not forget that even today the paysans in the south resent the city folk invading their lives).
                              >
                              > I must mention again that I'm not a doctor and I haven't tested A absinthium for thujone. However, there are numerous published findings from independent medical sources which bring into question the toxicity levels in commercially available absinthe (and unprocessed extract of Artemisia).
                              >
                              > As for your suggestion that Absinthe is addictive and hallucinogenic; perhaps you know of a study on the hallucinogenic properties of Absinthe? I remain unaware of any evidence that distinguishes Absinthe from any other liquor - either for addictive or hallucinogenic properties. (Van Gogh chopping off his ear doesn't count - he did, after all admit himself to an asylum and was arguably insane before he began drinking absinthe)
                              >
                              > Despite being convinced that Absinthe is the victim of commercial propaganda, I am open to information to the contrary; so if you can enlighten me, I would be delighted.
                              >
                              > Peace and light,
                              >
                              > Steve
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >


                              --



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Traveler in Thyme
                              No, I can t quote any sources, I just had some old information, probably propaganda (LOL) but isn t Absinthe illegal in the U.S.? ... Traveler in Thyme
                              Message 14 of 23 , Jan 5, 2007
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                                No, I can't quote any sources, I just had some old information, probably propaganda (LOL) but isn't Absinthe illegal in the U.S.?


                                ---Marcia Cash
                                Traveler in Thyme
                                http://www.travelerinthyme.com


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Frank
                                ... You have been lucky for 51 years then. A plant giving a reaction on the skin certainly is suspect, some are actually very nice to eat (like Urtica spp.).
                                Message 15 of 23 , Jan 6, 2007
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                                  --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:

                                  > Then what would you suggest, Frank? Not using herbs
                                  > at all? I'll have you know that I"ve been using
                                  > herbs most of my life and that's 51 years worth. I
                                  > do think that I have some knowledge of what I'm
                                  > doing.

                                  You have been lucky for 51 years then. A plant giving
                                  a reaction on the skin certainly is suspect, some are
                                  actually very nice to eat (like Urtica spp.). But
                                  there are enough plant poisons that don't give a
                                  reaction on the skin (for example saponins). Some
                                  poisons work slowly over a long period of time. As I
                                  said there are no simple test. I am very much for
                                  using plants, a lot of chemical medicines are very
                                  bad (= poisonous).

                                  But before starting using plants (especially for
                                  food or medicine) you have to be sure that
                                  you have identified it correctly (use several books or
                                  somebody that knows about plants). Also learn about
                                  the plant (books, the PFAF database, use google).
                                  Some medicinal plants are not suitable for self
                                  medication, some plants might interact with
                                  conventional medicines... Some plants are just
                                  wonderfully effective and totally safe...

                                  Plant toxicity is a difficult subject and
                                  there seems to be quit a bit of wrong information
                                  around. I wouldn't be surprised if the ethanol
                                  in Absinthe would be more poisonous than the
                                  thujone it contains.

                                  I don't want to scare anyone out of using plants,
                                  just to point out some wrong info. Especially people
                                  who are just starting to learn about plants. I
                                  remember
                                  when I first came to The Field I got a bit carried
                                  away with tasting all those nice plants and started
                                  eating stuff that is not meant to be eaten (Senecio
                                  jacobaea), it was a young one and I only took a little
                                  bit, *without any ill effects*. If I hadn't learned
                                  more about this plant and mixed in my daily salads, my
                                  liver - and I - would be gone.

                                  Frank.

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                                • Dee Harris
                                  And you, Sir, have no idea of what you re talking about. I ve studies herbs all of my life. Grew up with them in fact. Just because you prefer to use chemicals
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Jan 6, 2007
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                                    And you, Sir, have no idea of what you're talking about. I"ve studies herbs all of my life. Grew up with them in fact. Just because you prefer to use chemicals to natural forms of healing doesn't give you the right to tell someone that they don't know what they're talking about.
                                    As for identification of plants, again, I've been doing this for more than half a century. Maybe you think that your way is the only one, but it isn't.
                                    Wolf the herbalist

                                    Frank <chaewen@...> wrote:
                                    --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:

                                    > Then what would you suggest, Frank? Not using herbs
                                    > at all? I'll have you know that I"ve been using
                                    > herbs most of my life and that's 51 years worth. I
                                    > do think that I have some knowledge of what I'm
                                    > doing.

                                    You have been lucky for 51 years then. A plant giving
                                    a reaction on the skin certainly is suspect, some are
                                    actually very nice to eat (like Urtica spp.). But
                                    there are enough plant poisons that don't give a
                                    reaction on the skin (for example saponins). Some
                                    poisons work slowly over a long period of time. As I
                                    said there are no simple test. I am very much for
                                    using plants, a lot of chemical medicines are very
                                    bad (= poisonous).

                                    But before starting using plants (especially for
                                    food or medicine) you have to be sure that
                                    you have identified it correctly (use several books or
                                    somebody that knows about plants). Also learn about
                                    the plant (books, the PFAF database, use google).
                                    Some medicinal plants are not suitable for self
                                    medication, some plants might interact with
                                    conventional medicines... Some plants are just
                                    wonderfully effective and totally safe...

                                    Plant toxicity is a difficult subject and
                                    there seems to be quit a bit of wrong information
                                    around. I wouldn't be surprised if the ethanol
                                    in Absinthe would be more poisonous than the
                                    thujone it contains.

                                    I don't want to scare anyone out of using plants,
                                    just to point out some wrong info. Especially people
                                    who are just starting to learn about plants. I
                                    remember
                                    when I first came to The Field I got a bit carried
                                    away with tasting all those nice plants and started
                                    eating stuff that is not meant to be eaten (Senecio
                                    jacobaea), it was a young one and I only took a little
                                    bit, *without any ill effects*. If I hadn't learned
                                    more about this plant and mixed in my daily salads, my
                                    liver - and I - would be gone.

                                    Frank.

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                                  • annahummingtree
                                    We all know what we know (each of us have our own bits of the cosmic puzzle) and the brilliant thing about an email group such as this is that it allows us to
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Jan 6, 2007
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                                      We all know what we know (each of us have our own bits of the cosmic puzzle) and the brilliant thing about an email group such as this is that it allows us to exchange our knowledge and experiences and learn from each other.
                                      Dear Wolf, as a trained medical herbalist (now retired) I think that Frank was wise to sound a serious note of caution. Most herbs are valuable healers, which can often be used even long-term with great benefits, but there are enough really powerful dangerous herbs to make it very important not just to know whether a herb is poisonous or not, but also the exact dosages for particular individuals, how often to take them, how long, in what combinations, and so on. Just testing herbs on the skin on the inner elbow is just not good enough.
                                      Dear Frank, at the same time, it is heartening to come accross someone like Wolf, who has had a life-long relationship with herbs. Based on my own lifetime experience I believe that being friends with the plants enhances their potency, very much like any loving relationship enhances healing. It is not uncommon that the plants give us the knowledge how we can work with them for healing, but this is only possible if there is deep communication, familiarity and respect with our plant-relatives. What works for some people can never really be recommended as a general recipe for success.
                                      In these days with so many really good books and also an absolute treasure of information and pictures available on the Internet, no one needs to resort to testing out themselves whether a herb is poisonous or not. Anyhow, even if you could establish this by yourself (almost impossible since many toxins take time to show their lethal effects), this tells you nothing about dosage (all important in poisonous plants, which are often great healers in specific minute dosages), how to use and prepare a particular herb, which can often be of vital relevance in treating serious conditions, etc.etc.
                                      In survival conditions, when you have to use unknown plants as food, it is recommended practice to hold a small piece of plant material under the tongue, where substances are relatively easily transferred to the bloodstream. You then have to pay attention to what sensations this causes, locally and in the rest of your body. But how could we possibly recommend this practice in a situation where we have such an abundance of information all around us?
                                      As someone, who has studied herbs and the culture of their use for many years, I can say with some confidence that our original knowledge of the herbs did not come from 'experimentation', as is commonly believed. All ancient cultures and remaining indigenous cultures (eg. in the Amazon) tell us that this knowledge was communicated to us by the plants themselves and after that of course the ever increasing empirical experience of working with the plants. The trouble is nowadays that people no longer have the sort of relationship with the natural world where this is any longer a possibility, in which case please take your guidance from established and proven traditions and research!.
                                      What I would recommend is for anyone with a serious interest in plants (and the above subject) to read Stephen Harrod Buhner books: "The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature" and "The Lost Language of Plants: The Ecological Importance of Plant Medicines for Life on Earth". Of course there are many knowledgeable good writers on the subject, but this guy is really outstanding. He knows his subject and a lot of other subjects besides. He is a rare combination of being thoroughly versed in traditional ways of relating to plants, as well as being up to date with cutting edge science. His research is immaculate. He's also an excellent writer (and poet). But most important of all (in my opinion) he will help to change people's relationships with plants (and with themselves).
                                      Please Google him or look him for reviews. I believe his books are worth boxes full of others.
                                      Green leaves and Love, AnnaHummingtree

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                                    • Frank
                                      ... Can you be more specific in about the incorrect information in my reply, I like to learn. ... My comment was not about your knowledge of herbs, it is about
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Jan 9, 2007
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                                        --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:
                                        > And you, Sir, have no idea of what you're talking
                                        > about.

                                        Can you be more specific in about the incorrect
                                        information in my reply, I like to learn.

                                        > I"ve studies herbs all of my life. Grew up
                                        > with them in fact.

                                        My comment was not about your knowledge of herbs,
                                        it is about your poisonous plants test.

                                        > Just because you prefer to use
                                        > chemicals to natural forms of healing

                                        > > Frank <chaewen@...> wrote:
                                        > > I am very much for
                                        > > using plants, a lot of chemical medicines are
                                        very
                                        > > bad (= poisonous).

                                        > doesn't give
                                        > you the right to tell someone that they don't know
                                        > what they're talking about.

                                        Anybody is allowed to point out wrong information.

                                        But what gives you the right to put words into my
                                        mouth?

                                        > As for identification of plants, again, I've been
                                        > doing this for more than half a century.

                                        You might familiar with plants and their uses, a lot
                                        of people regrettably aren't. It does the advocacy
                                        of using plants no good if somebody without affinity
                                        for & knowledge of plants takes your test and gets
                                        poisoned.

                                        Frank


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                                      • Frank
                                        ... I believe this too. On the PFAF website a lot of good reasons are given for growing perennial plants. One thing I found that isn t mentioned is the
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Jan 9, 2007
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                                          > Based on my own
                                          > lifetime experience I believe that being friends
                                          > with the plants enhances their potency, very much
                                          > like any loving relationship enhances healing.

                                          I believe this too. On the PFAF website a lot
                                          of good reasons are given for growing perennial
                                          plants. One thing I found that isn't
                                          mentioned is the different relationship with
                                          perennial plants. (I am not talking about medicinal
                                          plants here but edible ones). When I pick a salad I
                                          visit a lot of plants, whilst taking leaves I often
                                          talk with them, now they are the best friends I
                                          have at The Field and an important reason for me
                                          to go back there regularly. It's definitely different
                                          from growing lettuce.

                                          > It is
                                          > not uncommon that the plants give us the knowledge
                                          > how we can work with them for healing, but this is
                                          > only possible if there is deep communication,
                                          > familiarity and respect with our plant-relatives.

                                          My communication with plants hasn't regrettably
                                          reached this level, but maybe I am just more
                                          interested
                                          if they are edible (and nice tasting) or not.
                                          I seem to developing a sense of poisonous plants,
                                          but I would not trust my self, and always check on
                                          other peoples experiences.

                                          > In survival conditions, when you have to use unknown
                                          > plants as food, it is recommended practice to hold a
                                          > small piece of plant material under the tongue,
                                          > where substances are relatively easily transferred
                                          > to the bloodstream. You then have to pay attention
                                          > to what sensations this causes, locally and in the
                                          > rest of your body.

                                          Under survival conditions I would first
                                          do a skin test (what Wolf described), then a your
                                          test,
                                          then to chew a bit without swallowing, then to eat
                                          a little bit. Between each test there should be
                                          enough time (a day), and as you say you have to pay
                                          attention. Only test one plant at a time. Still some
                                          poisonous plants might slip through, don't continue
                                          eating the plant after survival without looking
                                          up other peoples experiences.

                                          I found the remaining bit of a your mail very
                                          interesting. I will take a look at the books
                                          Stephen Harrod Buhner books. As I'm very interested
                                          in deepening my relation with plants. If anybody
                                          on the list has experience or advice, I'd like to
                                          hear!

                                          Frank

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                                        • Dee Harris
                                          Sir, the plants I spoke of are ones that are normally plants used in healing. NOTHING I ever use is poisious. I deal with healing herbs. These do not include
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Jan 9, 2007
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                                            Sir, the plants I spoke of are ones that are normally plants used in healing. NOTHING I ever use is poisious. I deal with healing herbs. These do not include herbs such as monkshood or anything like that. When I spoke of testing on the inner part of the elbow, I was refering to the possibility of an allergic reaction to these same herbs such as rose hips, hibiscus and such.
                                            However, you shot me down like I was a rank amateur and I am far from that. Not everyone can use sage tea for example, or rosemary tea and that's why I posted the warning.
                                            Maybe next time before you open your mouth you will ask for clarification first.
                                            Wolf

                                            Frank <chaewen@...> wrote:
                                            --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:
                                            > And you, Sir, have no idea of what you're talking
                                            > about.

                                            Can you be more specific in about the incorrect
                                            information in my reply, I like to learn.

                                            > I"ve studies herbs all of my life. Grew up
                                            > with them in fact.

                                            My comment was not about your knowledge of herbs,
                                            it is about your poisonous plants test.

                                            > Just because you prefer to use
                                            > chemicals to natural forms of healing

                                            > > Frank <chaewen@...> wrote:
                                            > > I am very much for
                                            > > using plants, a lot of chemical medicines are
                                            very
                                            > > bad (= poisonous).

                                            > doesn't give
                                            > you the right to tell someone that they don't know
                                            > what they're talking about.

                                            Anybody is allowed to point out wrong information.

                                            But what gives you the right to put words into my
                                            mouth?

                                            > As for identification of plants, again, I've been
                                            > doing this for more than half a century.

                                            You might familiar with plants and their uses, a lot
                                            of people regrettably aren't. It does the advocacy
                                            of using plants no good if somebody without affinity
                                            for & knowledge of plants takes your test and gets
                                            poisoned.

                                            Frank

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                                          • Frank
                                            ... This is quite different from what you wrote before, And it is indeed very sensible to test even plants that are considered save (also when trying food
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Jan 11, 2007
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                                              --- Dee Harris <corbywolf13@...> wrote:

                                              > Sir, the plants I spoke of are ones that are
                                              > normally plants used in healing. NOTHING I ever use
                                              > is poisious. I deal with healing herbs. These do not
                                              > include herbs such as monkshood or anything like
                                              > that. When I spoke of testing on the inner part of
                                              > the elbow, I was refering to the possibility of an
                                              > allergic reaction to these same herbs such as rose
                                              > hips, hibiscus and such.

                                              This is quite different from what you wrote before,
                                              And it is indeed very sensible to test even plants
                                              that are considered save (also when trying food
                                              plants that you haven't eaten before).

                                              > Maybe next time before you open your mouth you
                                              > will ask for clarification first.

                                              Because your post didn't have the above context,
                                              I felt a obligation to warn people that this
                                              test doen't prevent accidental poisoning with all
                                              plants. Outside the above context your post was
                                              dangerous. Your last post was clear and had good
                                              advice. Thank you.

                                              Frank

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