Monday, February 24, 2014

Help Make Columbus' First Herb Store a Reality!

So as many of you know, I am attempting to expand the vision for Boline Apothecary to be of maximum benefit to the people of Columbus. I am not the only one in the area making fantastic, organic, local remedies and body care- and we should all combine forces to make an epicenter of holistic wellness and healing.

To that end, I am seeking funding to launch a brick and mortar storefront. It will not only sell Boline Apothecary products but select others that meet a stringent criteria of locally made, organic, ethical, pronounceable, and effective. I have already approached herbalists, farms, gardens, soapmakers, and many others who I love and respect to carry their wares. I have also approached local potters to create custom work for the store: tea mugs with built in ceramic infusers, aromatherapy diffusers, and shaving mugs, for example. These are unique local items that you will not find elsewhere.

The store will do more than just selling things, however. It is a large enough space to host classes and workshops multiple times per week. We will be hosting classes and DIY workshops on herbalism, Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, Reiki, midwifery, massage, and so much more.

The storefront also has a great private practitioner space that will serve as low-cost rental for holistic health care professionals (I plan on having the space have a massage table as well as table, chairs, and other furnishings- so it can serve an aromatherapist, midwife, herbalist, or other practitioner as well as those who use massage tables).

It is also next to an urban homesteading store- so our two constituencies overlap nicely. Together, we plan on co-hosting events such as food and seed swaps, weekly salons on sustainability, and much more. Together, the two stores hope to form a hub for those interested in permaculture, eco-friendly living, and sustainability.

And this is just the beginning. As I hear from people in the community about their needs and desires, those will be incorporated, too. I hope that the store does well enough to hire on employees who get paid a living wage. In short, I want to be an ethical local business with a community focus.

If you like this vision, please help me make it a reality. I am an ordinary working person without a trust fund. I put myself through herb school and holistic training. And as you can well imagine, healing (like education and caregiving) is not a profession that makes one independently wealthy.

As for my credentials, I am a trained herbalist who has also studied other kinds of healing, including traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. I am a Reiki master who has ties to many holistic communities. I have established some great connections in my two years in Columbus already through the farmer's markets and local art organizations. I ran a successful profitable business in California that employed seven people in addition to myself, so do not have doubts that this project can succeed, if I get the seed money to launch.

To the right, you will see a gofundme campaign. If you like what you have read, click the link and donate.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Not Just Herbalism... Bioregional Herbalism!


I became an herbalist because I believe that nature provides everything we need for a healthy life if we know what we are looking for and listen carefully. I believe that this is true on a macro and micro level- meaning that there are herbs all over the planet to cure and relieve our maladies, but we should also look closer to home, in our own areas first. This local focus is called bioregional herbalism.
To quote Rose Barlow:
"The herb market is wide open and flourishing.  We see new companies and new herbal products on the shelves each year, even finding their way into mainstream drug stores competing with pharmaceuticals.  It is heartening to see people turning once again to this most ancient tradition of healing, but there is a downside to the growing herb industry that we need to be aware of.  We are beginning to encounter some of the same problems that we see with our industrialized, mechanized food systems.  Herbs become another commodity in the economic hustle rather than a common, abundant resource freely available to all.  The herb market becomes wrought with many of the same problems we see with any large-scale, profit-driven industry:
   *Mass production of herbs, not necessarily organic, compromises the quality and value of the herbs.   Warehoused herbs suffer a loss of potency in shipping and storage, which compromises their effectiveness and integrity.
  *Mass exploitation of wild herbs puts more and more plants on the threatened and endangered list each year.  We see this here in the US with the plight of the Goldenseal, wild Ginseng and native Echinacea.  Pop herbs from the rainforest and other exotic places also open the way for exploitation of indigenous peoples and habitats.
   *Environmental and economical costs of shipping and transportation of herbs soar as we seek our medicine from afar rather than in our own bioregions.  Around 85% of herbs sold on the market in the US are imported from sources outside of the United States. Many herbal products that are imported long distances grow in reckless abundance all around us.
  *We lose connection with the growers, harvesters, and producers of herbs and herbal preparations, a vital link in a healthy community.   Maintaining this connection ensures high quality and accountability by the suppliers.  It also helps to bring the knowledge of herbal medicine back into the hands of the people, rather than relinquishing it to specially trained professionals and profiteers."
bioregions of our continent
You would be surprised that most issues can be resolved by using plants that you see regularly. This kind of herbalism encompasses looking at what is growing wild in the area as well as cultivating herbs locally. It is superior to getting herbs from all over the planet for a number of reasons:

1. Bioregional herbalism is a medicinal version of "think globally act locally". We decrease our use of fossil fuels by transporting Tea Tree oil from Australia or Reishi from China. Bioregional herbalism embraces the concept that a truly holistic style of healing needs to draw on available natural resources within your own local area. This means that the herbs you take do not make an extra demand of resources in terms of manufacture and transportation.

"For many people, this is a novel notion since we are used to seeing national and even international studies recommending a specific herb as the cure-all for a specific disease, even if that herb grows best only in a narrow corner of the globe. Bioregional herbalism encourages people to learn which herbal healing resources grow naturally in their specific area and to draw on those resources.

wildcrafting wild rose
Linda Conroy of Moonwise Herbs in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, gives an example: "If I have a fungal infection popular herbalism suggests I reach for Tea Tree Oil and I remind myself that it comes from Australia. What resources does it take to bottle that herb and transport it to me? Now wisdom tells me that the people who lived on this continent had all the medicines they needed, so that leads me to look for an anti- fungal herb in my backyard. And so I reach for Red Cedar (Thuja plicata). I can make a strong infusion, a tincture or an oil with minimal impact to the planet.""(1)

As herbalism gains mainstream popularity, many manufacturers are mass-producing herbal remedies without sensitivity to the impact of harvesting large numbers of plants from one area. Herbalists with a conscience use endangered plants not at all or sparingly and prefer to substitute local and ethically obtained ingredients for more commonly known but endangered ones. The herbal supplements available at mainstream retailers like Wal-Mart are more likely to be produced without sensitivity to whether a plant species in a specific area is stressed from a year of too little rain. They may harvest wild plants without consideration as to whether the stand of plants will be able to re-seed for another year. For example, the demand for echinacea has already wiped out many wild stands of the plant. Echinacea is a local Ohio wildflower, yet we are having an issue with it growing wild! Goldenseal is also a powerful antimicrobial, but United Plant Savers had to buy land to create a sanctuary for it here in Ohio. These are red flags that commodified herbalism is as reckless as any other form of commodified medicine.

At Boline, we are mindful of every herb we use AND where it comes from.

2. We learn about our own environment and how to live in harmony with and value what grows here, rather than commodifying everything by getting it (and not knowing what is involved in its production and processing) in a chain or big box store. Sure, we all know which state, county, and city we live in, but many of us are disconnected from a true sense of place, lacking any concept of the bioregion in which we live. "Rose, who teaches classes to help familiarize people with herbs in her area, notes that bioregions are not defined by government. "Each is a specific life zone defined by its watershed and indicator species, and by their relationships to each other. A bioregion may be defined by its wildflowers and red earth, by the Ponderosa pines and prickly pears of the Gila, or by the mangroves and Cherokee roses of the Everglades. Bioregions are not subject to or confined by manmade boundaries like national borders, state or county lines or city limits. Instead, they flow along the lines of rivers and rainfall, migration routes and weather patterns.""(2)

Bioregional herbalism allows you to interact with your environment in a more meaningful way AND protect natural resources. If you want to become a more responsible participant in maintaining the environment and in shaping your own health, support bioregional herbalists, like Boline Apothecary. We work with local gardens and farms to supply us with ingredients for our formulas (and we hope that our bulk bins in the upcoming retail location will be full of locally sourced herbs as well). We wildcraft abundant plants, not endangered ones. In our new retail location (3), we will be offering classes and workshops- teaching students about how to recognize and work with the plants within this bioregion and be responsible not only for their own health, but the health of our little part of the planet.

Herbalist Kiva Rose says, "On a practical level, to live bioregionally is to acknowledge and participate in the ecosystem we are a part of, rooted – in a very literal sense – in the land that we live on. It may mean eating local and wild foods, using materials that occur naturally near us, and participating in the ecosystem by caring for it. What this means for each one of us will vary according to the needs of the land, depending on whether restoration is the most beneficial course of action for that particular area, whether establishing trees or restoring the soil by replanting species like Stinging Nettle. Or simply helping maintain the diversity that already exists with careful harvesting practices and a prayerful attitude towards the spirit of the land."

3. Many traditional herbal healers believe that any health imbalance is best cured within the same environment where the illness originated. For example, when I was training, I learned that Jewelweed is nature's antidote to Poison Ivy, and they often grow very close to one another. I learned that the Jewelweed growing near the Poison Ivy that gave you the rash is MORE EFFECTIVE than a Jewelweed growing elsewhere, in another state.
"Herbalism is based on relationship—relationship between plant and human, plant and planet, human and planet. Using herbs in the healing process means taking part in an ecological cycle. This offers us the opportunity consciously to be present in the living, vital world of which we are part; to invite wholeness and our world into our lives through awareness of the remedies being used." —Wendell Berry
I would take Berry's quote a step farther. We, as humans, need to cultivate relationships with our local environments and its flora and fauna if we are to ever get back into right relation with the planet and save ourselves from extinction. Bioregional herbalism allows me to do just that.

1. Source of quote
2. Source of quote
3. We hope to be approved for a loan that will allow us to open Columbus' first herb store for the spring equinox. Stay tuned for news about that!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Herb Profile: Passionflower

The Passionflower is a common roadside weed, found throughout many areas of the Southeastern United States where it often grows in large masses in ditches and open fields. It is actually the state flower of Tennessee! 

Passiflora incarnata derived the early common name of Maypop from the way it just seems to 'pop' out of the ground in May. Maypops were eventually renamed as the Passion Flower by missionaries in the early 1500s.

Passiflora (which is also the homeopathic name for the preparation of this plant), known also as the passion flowers or passion vines, is actually a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the namesakes of the family Passifloraceae. (They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous.) Nine species of Passiflora are native to the USA, found from Ohio to the north, west to California and south to the Florida Keys.

Passionflowers are considered to be hardy in USDA zones 5-9, but they should be planted in a protected location and mulched heavily if severe cold threatens. Only the top growth is killed back by frost, but your Passion Flower will pop back to life (Maypop!) in the spring.
Passion Flowers are easy to grow. They need partial to full sun, and will adapt themselves to most well-drained soils. During the growing season, the soil should be kept evenly moist, to ensure good flowering and growth. Passion Flower vines should be planted in early spring. They benefit by the addition of compost.

Passionflowers can be propagated by softwood cuttings taken from mature wood in early summer.
Softwood cuttings will take 3 months or longer to root. Passion Flowers can also be grown from seed.
The seeds must be soaked in warm water for 12 hours, before sowing indoors in early spring.
Germination may take up to a year (so be patient!). It is probably a good idea to keep the young plants indoors until the following spring, and then plant them outdoors in their permanent homes.
Passion flowers make excellent container grown plants in the home. Indoors, grow Passion Plants in bright light but never full sun.

Harvesting for Medicinal Use:
Strip leaves from the plant in fall and dry them in a dehydrator, on a drying screen or outdoors in a paper bag (a single layer of leaves at a time). Place dried leaves in an airtight container and keep in a cool, dark spot.

Eating them:
The fruit produced by the Passionflower is an oval berry, a little smaller than a kiwi fruit.
Passionfruit is edible, but it is pretty seedy. Good for jams and the like.

Medically Classified as:
Anodyne, antispasmodic, anxiolytic, aphrodisiac, aromatic, narcotic, sedative.

Medical Uses:
The aerial parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine. You can use it as a tea, in a tincture, or smoke the herb.

Passionflower has a long history of medical use with native Americans: The Houma tribe added it to drinking water as a tonic, and in the Yucatan, it was a remedy for insomnia, hysteria and convulsions in children.  Other tribes used it in poultices to heal bruises, and the early Algonquians brewed passionflower in a tea to soothe their nerves.  In 1783, a visiting European doctor described its use as a remedy for epilepsy, and other early physicians prescribed the fruit juice as a wash for sore and tired eyes.  The plant was largely ignored in conventional North American medicine until the late 1800s, when it became a popular nineteenth-century remedy for insomnia.

Its use was adopted by the European colonists. The fresh or dried leaves of maypop are used to make a tea that is used to treat insomnia, hysteria, and epilepsy, and is also valued for its analgesic properties.

It finally received official recognition in the United States National Formulary from 1916 to 1936.

Passionflower is very useful in the treatment of modern ills such as anxiety, depression, and patients trying to wean themselves from synthetic sleeping pills and tranquilizers.  Despite the dearth of research into Passionflower in the United States (what else is new), the herb is frequently prescribed in Europe to  calm the nerves and ease tension, restlessness, irritability and mild insomnia.

Passionflower has been used to treat sleep disorders and historically in homeopathic medicine to treat pain, insomnia related to neurasthenia or hysteria, and nervous exhaustion. Passionflower is nature's tranquilizer. Many European herbalists prescribe passionflower for insomnia, nervous anxiety and relief of pain and neuralgia. I am personally looking forward to trying it with some fibromyalgia sufferers that I know, in combination with a few other herbs.

Passionflower is a very gentle (but effective) herbal sedative that has a depressant effect on the central nervous system.  The alkaloids and flavonoids are believed to be effective and work as a non-addictive sedative, which promotes restful, sound sleep, particularly in cases of nervous insomnia.  It is one of nature's best natural tranquilizers and has been used for centuries as a reliable remedy for nervous, menopausal and premenstrual tension, irritability, fatigue and tension headaches.

It is said to gently shift moods, alter perception and aid concentration, and the alkaloids are thought to act in a similar way as MAO inhibitors, which may be of some help in cases of depression.  In Italy, passion flower is used to treat hyperactive children.

Its relaxing qualities appear to extend to relaxing spasms and other manifestations of extreme anxiety. As a muscle relaxer, passion flower helps to relieve muscle tension, which may be quite beneficial for restless leg syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Considered a fine herbal pain reliever, passionflower works as an anodyne to alleviate pain, and as such, is used to relieve headache and nerve pain, the pain of shingles and dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).

Passionflower is thought to relieve hypertension and lower blood pressure.  Some tests claim that it relaxes the walls of the arteries, which may be useful for increasing circulation and maintaining good heart health.

It has been studied in relieving symptoms related to narcotic drug withdrawal, when used in combination with a medication called clonidine. This combination seems to be effective in reducing symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, sleep problems (insomnia), and agitation.

In laboratory tests, passionflower was able to stop the growth of certain kinds of thyroid malignancy, and further research may, hopefully, bring positive results in this area.

There are reports that passionflower stops chemical reactions that cause nausea and vomiting as a result of withdrawal from cocaine, heroine or opiate painkillers, and this may prove useful for those patients trying to withdraw from such substances.  A bitter principle in passionflower is thought to be beneficial for functional digestive problems as well.

Passionflower may help a diminished sex drive. The herb is a source of an antioxidant chemical known as chrysin, which helps the body conserve testosterone.  It does not cause the body to produce more of the hormone, but by conserving it, the action has a direct effect of increasing testosterone levels, which may boost sex drive.

It is often blended with valerian, chamomile, lemon balm, skullcap, St. John's wort, or other relaxing herbs. In tea, it has a pleasant, very mild but unusual taste, much like its fragrance, that is hard to describe. The color of the infusion is a very pale green, lighter in color than most herbal teas. The taste is not at all overwhelming so it could blend well with most any herb or iced tea.

No adverse effects of passion flower have been reported. Avoid use during pregnancy (passion flower is a known uterine stimulant). Since it may cause sleepiness, it should not be used before driving or operating machinery.  Children should never be given this herb in any form, and older adults and older children (twelve) should take low dosages (preferably in consultation with a physician).  Do not use Passion Flower if you take MAO inhibitors, and it should not be taken with other prescription sedatives or sedative herbs or alcohol, as it increases their sedative effects.  Passion Flower may have additive anticoagulant effect.

  1. Ngan A, Conduit R. A double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects of Passiflora incarnata (Passionflower) herbal tea on subjective sleep quality. Phytother Res 2011;25:1153-9.
  2. Miyasaka LS, Atallah AN, Soares BG. Passiflora for anxiety disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2007;:CD004518.
  3. Mori A, Hasegawa K, Murasaki M, et al. Clinical evaluation of Passiflamin (passiflora extract) on neurosis - multicenter double blind study in comparison with mexazolam. Rinsho Hyoka (Clinical Evaluation) 1993;21:383-440.
  4. Gralla EJ, Stebbins RB, Coleman GL, Delahunt CS. Toxicity studies with ethyl maltol. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 1969;15:604-13.
  5. Aoyagi N, Kimura R, Murata T. Studies on passiflora incarnata dry extract. I. Isolation of maltol and pharmacological action of maltol and ethyl maltol. Chem Pharm Bull 1974;22:1008-13.
  6. Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Anti-anxiety studies on extracts of Passiflora incarnata Linneaus. J Ethnopharmacol 2001;78:165-70.
  7. Dhawan K, Kumar S, Sharma A. Anxiolytic activity of aerial and underground parts of Passiflora incarnata. Fitoterapia 2001;72:922-6.
  8. Akhondzadeh S, Naghavi HR, Shayeganpour A, et al. Passionflower in the treatment of generalized anxiety: a pilot double-blind randomized controlled trial with oxazepam. J Clin Pharm Ther 2001;26:363-7.
  9. Fisher AA, Purcell P, Le Couteur DG. Toxicity of Passiflora incarnata L. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 2000;38:63-6.
  10. Bourin M, Bougerol T, Guitton B, Broutin E. A combination of plant extracts in the treatment of outpatients with adjustment disorder with anxious mood: controlled study vs placebo. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 1997;11:127-32.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Product Profile: Student Helper

As someone in a tough grad school program (I study traditional Chinese Medicine right now in a Master's program), I need all the help I can get memorizing both eastern (TCM terms, meridians, points, syndromes, and pathogens) as well as all the western information (anatomy, physiology, pathology, and medical terminology). It's enough to give one a semester-long headache!

So I created a tonic for myself, and now I also sell it to others. I call it "Student Helper" but it would be good for folks with memory loss, too. I keep it in my water bottle all class and study session long. It oxygenates the brain, helps boost long and short-term memory, and facilitates the brain making connections.

What's in it and why?

 Ginkgo Biloba: The oldest tree species on earth, there are actually trees in China that are 2500 years old! "Laboratory studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less "sticky". It's also an antioxidant. For those same reasons, ginkgo may improve vein and eye health. Although not all studies agree, ginkgo may help treat dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and intermittent claudication (poor circulation in the legs). It may also protect memory in older adults." -University of Maryland Medical Center

"Multiple clinical trials have evaluated ginkgo for a syndrome called "cerebral insufficiency." This condition, more commonly diagnosed in Europe than the United States, may include poor concentration, confusion, absentmindedness, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headache, dizziness, depression, and anxiety. It is believed that cerebral insufficiency is caused by decreased blood flow to the brain due to clogged blood vessels. Overall, the scientific literature does suggest that ginkgo benefits people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia, and it may be as helpful as acetylcholinesterase inhibitor drugs such as donepezil (Aricept®). Age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) is a nonspecific syndrome, which may be caused by early Alzheimer's disease or multi-infarct dementia (conditions for which ginkgo has been shown to have benefit). There is preliminary research showing small improvements in memory and other brain functions in patients with AAMI. Based on human research, Ginkgo biloba in patients with multiple sclerosis may improve cognitive function. Ginkgo is traditionally used for improved memory or cognition and research supports a possible use for patients with dyslexia. "- Mayo Clinic

Gotu Kola: Use for centuries in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, Gotu Kola fights mental fatigue. Gotu Kola is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most important medicinal plant species to be conserved and cultivated.

The leaves of Gotu Kola have high concentration of neurotransmitter precursors (free tyrosine and phenylalanine). The herb increases GABA, an amino acid in the brain that naturally relaxes the muscles in the body and calms emotions. Low levels of GABA can result in feelings of anxiety leading to stress or depression. The herb is a CNS depressant possessing mild tranquilizing, anti-stress and anti-anxiety ability. The high concentration of vitamin B1, B2 and B6 help to convert carbohydrates into glucose as well as normal nervous system functioning.

As a result of these properties, it is used to re-vitalize the brain and nervous system, enhance memory, increase attention span and concentration. The herb is also used experimentally for other neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy."As a brain tonic, it is said to aid intelligence and memory. It strengthens the adrenal glands and cleanses the blood to treat skin impurities. It is said to combat stress and depression, increase libido and improve reflexes. According to modern studies, Gotu Kola does offer support for healthy memory function. A study conducted in 1992 by K. Nalini at Kasturba Medical College showed an impressive improvement in memory in rats which were treated with the extract (orally) daily for 14 days before the experiment. The retention of learned behavior in the rats treated with gotu kola was three to 60 times better than that in control animals. Preliminary results in one clinical trial with mentally retarded children was shown to increase scores on intelligence tests (Bagchi, 1989). In Ayurveda, it is also considered a spiritual herb that benefits meditation. (source)

Rosemary: In 1529, an herbal book recommended taking rosemary for "weakness of the brain." Today, research has found that rosemary contains a diterpine called carnosic acid that has neuroprotective properties that researchers believe may protect against Alzheimer's disease as well as the normal memory loss that happens with aging. The same study that found that merely smelling rosemary improved test subjects' quality of memory also found that their mood was significantly improved compared to the control group. (source)

Test subjects in cubicles were given essential oil of rosemary to smell and they had better quality of memory and better overall memory than the control group, though their speed of memory was slower compared to the control group."Increases Energy Levels and Optimism: Antioxidant properties of this herb have been found to eliminate harmful toxins from the liver by enhancing the production of detoxifying enzymes, thereby increasing energy levels in human beings. It can be said that it also flushes out all negativity caused by the collection of toxins in the body. Thus, this herb also enables quick recovery from any disease or dysfunction. When used in aromatherapy, rosemary works as a stimulant that rids the body of fatigue and cures depression. A cup of rosemary tea will also help you recover from a bad hangover.
This herb contains substances that prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain and has therefore, traditionally been believed to be a natural memory enhancer as it enhances the function of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that helps improve memory. It has been found that people who were exposed to rosemary fragrance have felt more alert and have shown marked improvements in the case of long-term memory. You may try this for yourself by getting a massage with rosemary oil or adding some of it to a bath. Even drinking rosemary tea will work to help memory in the long run. Carnosic Acid found in this herb has been found to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Stimulates Blood Circulation: Being a rich source of iron, rosemary helps increase the oxygen carrying capacity of blood. Thus, blood circulation improves; and enhanced blood circulation itself is a cure for several problems such as skin disease, and memory loss." (source)

Researchers from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom found that the amount of 1,8-cineole, a main chemical in rosemary oil, in the blood is linked with brain performance. Their work was published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology. (source)

Peppermint: has long been known to increase memory, relieve headaches, assist with stress relief and improve blood circulation. One 2006 study in the United Kingdom measured the effect of peppermint aroma on cognitive performance. Researchers compared peppermint aroma in one group to ylang-ylang aroma in another, while a third control group received no exposure to aroma. Peppermint was shown to increase alertness and memory, while ylang-ylang appeared to impair both.

Another study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience again showed the aroma of peppermint led to improved memory and alertness. And one more study in Cincinnati, Ohio exposed a group of students to the aroma of peppermint oil before a test. Those who smelled the peppermint oil showed an improved accuracy of 28 percent compared to students who did not.

Studies have shown that as soon as the essential oil vapor touches the end of the olfactory nerve endings, there is an almost instant increase in pulse rate and blood circulation. The stimulating effect of increased blood circulation helps to oxygenate the body’s organs and increase metabolism, as well as oxygenate the brain. This leads to higher cognitive function and protection against neurally degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Counterindications: Patients with blood circulation disorders or individuals on anticoagulants, such as aspirin, are at risk of experiencing undesirable effects after taking Ginkgo.

In addition, if you are on antidepressants you are strongly advised not to take Ginkgo as it inhibits monoamine oxidase, reducing the effectiveness of the medications (such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and monoamine oxidase inhibitors).

Medical experts advise against using Gotu Kola if you have a history of squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell skin cancer, or melanoma. People with liver disease should also avoid it.

Pregnant women should avoid consuming large amounts of rosemary because it may lead to uterine contractions and possible miscarriage. People with high blood pressure should not take excessive rosemary because it may raise blood pressure.