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Re: [pfaf] Re: Artemisia - plant to cure malaria

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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