Healing plants used as drugs
Fruits and herbs including rhubarb, pomegranate, mint and cloves could be used to develop new drugs for a range of human diseases, according to major new research.
Scientists at Kings College London tested more than 8,000 natural chemicals taken from 240 plants most commonly used in Chinese medicine. They found almost two-thirds of the herbs contained chemicals which experts believe have the potential to be used as drugs to treat human diseases.
Ginseng and rhubarb may be used to treat inflammation, while ginkgo and mint could potentially help control diabetes.
Pomegranate and cloves could be used in treating HIV, because they contain a wide range of chemicals which could interfere with the way the virus attacks cells.
Traditionally cloves have been used to treat flatulence, nausea and vomiting. In tropical Asia cloves have been given to treat such diverse infections as malaria, cholera and tuberculosis, as well as scabies. Traditional uses in America include treating worms, viruses, candida, various bacterial and protozoan infections.
It is not safe to inhale cloves, however taken orally is fine provided you follow the RDA.
It is recognized that rhubarb not only exercises a digestive action but it operates directly as a conveyer of bile salts. It can therefore be classed as a hepatic stimulant. Rhubarb performs its first digestive operation in the mouth by stimulating the taste buds with its pleasantly bitter flavor which gives a sense of cleansing out the oral cavity, preparing it to taste the coming food. When it reaches the stomach its digestive effects come into full play, causing an increase of the flow of gastric juice and inducing their movement, thus favoring the processing of the contents of the stomach. Besides stimulating the secretions from the liver which convey the bile salts, it assists the intestine in regulating the absorption of fats.