Herbs for Headache, Ear Infection, and Body Building
Answered by: Richters Staff
Question from: Stephen Brady
Posted: Before April 1998

Can you please send me some information on herbs for:

-headache
-ear infection
-body building


We at Richters are not qualified to dispense medical advice. You are advised to consult a professional health care provider for advice for your particular case. We can only provide information for research and study purposes.

"The Herb Book" by John Lust (and available from Richters) lists 62 herbs used for headache, including migraine. Some are common culinary herbs such as rosemary, sage, savory and thyme. Rosemary, in particular, is known to increase blood flow to the brain, presumably by dilating the blood vessels. Other herbs include common tea herbs such as balm, chamomile and peppermint. We have noticed that lemon balm, for example, can have an overall soothing effect on the nerves and we ourselves often take the tea for headaches. Lust also includes feverfew which is now known to be a very effective preventative against migraine. Willow bark is on his list also; the observation that native American Indians used the willow bark to treat headache, fever and pain led to the discovery of acetosalicylic acid which is commonly known as aspirin.

Rosemary Gladstar, in her book, "Herbal Healing for Women" (available from Richters), suggests an oil made from mullein (Verbascum thapsus) flowers is "the remedy par excellence for ear infections." She says that it quickly relieves pain and, on account of its antibacterial and antiviral properties, controls infection as well. The oil is made by steeping the fresh flowers in olive oil. The exact recipe is given in her book.

Herbs are rarely discussed in the context of body building. Body building is a relatively recent phenomenom. It does not seem to be a human activity of significance before this century, and so there is no body of herbal wisdom built on centuries and millennia of experimentation and use to achieve a sculpted body. There are reports that some plants do, however, have anabolic effects on the body. One plant steroid, 20-hydroxyecdysone, is reported to be useful for training. It is found in Pfaffia paniculata, a plant known as "Brazilian ginseng" or "suma, in Tribulus trimestris, an Indian herb, and in the seeds of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum).

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