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Senna has been used as medicine for at least 1300 years. The primary compounds, sennosides A & B, are used in their isolated form in modern medicine to treat constipation. Most laxatives contain senna extracts and it is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines. It increases gastric fluid secretion which softens digested food and causes it to pass more quickly through the intestines.
Senna is also used in herbal remedies to treat other conditions such as fungal skin infections.Additional Information (PDF)
Cascara sagrada means “sacred bark,” and is known traditionally as “chittem bark.” It is native to the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America, where it has been used for centuries by both native and immigrant people. It has been and is used as a cathartic, and is believed to be the most widely used one.
The chemicals responsible for this action are called Cascarosides, and they act by inhibiting the intestines’ water absorption, causing material to pass more quickly through them.
Cascara sagrada also contains emotion, which is being studied as an agent to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes.
Dandelion has been used for centuries throughout the world as medicine for a number of different reasons. Records of its use have been found in Europe, North America, and China. Specifically the root is used as a diuretic, and is also used to treat infections, bile, and liver problems. It is used to improve digestion and because it has low to no toxicity, can be drunk on a regular basis.
Studies on diabetic mice suggest that it helps normalize blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels.
In addition to its nutritional value adding folate, Vitamin K, Magnesium, and small amounts of other vitamins & minerals, the artichoke has several medicinal uses.
Studies have shown regular use of artichoke extract lowers cholesterol levels, and the plant has one of the highest antioxidant capacities. It is also used to treat indigestion and aid liver and gallbladder function. Compounds in the leaf reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and relieve heartburn.
The active ingredient in milk thistle seeds is silibinin, which has been suggested to protect liver cells against toxins. Traditionally, it has been used in Chinese medicine to clear heat and relieve toxic material, aiding in the treatment of liver diseases.
Sarsaparilla root, most popularly used to flavor root beer, is also used for treating psoriasis, arthritis, and kidney disease. It increases urination, reduces inflammation, and protects the liver against toxins. In Latin American countries it is used as a treatment for gout.