St Francis Oregon Grape Root
(Berberis aquifolium; 250 mg/ml)
* Traditionally used to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema
* Traditionally used to treat infectious conditions of the stomach and intestines
* Traditionally used to treat liver and gallbladder congestion
* Traditionally used to treat constipation
Alterativea and tonic in its properties, Oregon grape was introduced into England from North America in the nineteenth century.
Classic British herbalist Mrs. M. Grieve provides an excellent summary of this herb`s traditional uses, recommending it for psoriasis, syphilis, and impure blood conditions, as well as dyspepsia and chronic mucous complaints. She also adds that it "improves digestion and absorption."
In the same vein, the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a normative authority, lists the following specific indications for Oregon grape: psoriasis, eczema and catarrhal gastritis with cholecystitis.
Naturopathic physician William A. Mitchell offers a most illuminating commentary on the therapeutic scope of this herb, showing the balance and connection between its seemingly disparate uses: "[Oregon grape] is one of the best gastrointestinal stimulants and astringents. I have found that this remedy works well in hypotonic bowel syndromes where the patient may have gas or bloating, belching, constipation, or just plain lethargy with frequent sour stomach... [Oregon grape] is also an antibacterial; therefore, I use it in enteric bacterial disease... When considering [Oregon grape], think in terms of the skin-digestive system connection. Most cases of acne, eczema, and psoriasis are eased symptomatically by using [Oregon grape]. Patients report that they have more well-formed bowel movements when using this remedy. Naturopaths believe that the gastrointestinal tract is functionally improved, thus aiding the health of the skin."
In his monograph on Oregon grape, leading herbalist David Hoffmann confirms Mitchell`s reasoning, explaining the link between the use of this herb for skin problems and its other applications: "Oregon grape finds its main use for the treatment of chronic and scaly skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. As skin problems of this nature generally have systemic causes, the tonic activity of Oregon grape on the liver and gallbladder may explain its effectiveness. It may be helpful for stomach and gallbladder conditions, especially when there is nausea and vomiting. As a laxative, it may be safely used to treat chronic constipation."
20-35 drops (0.7-1.2ml), three times daily, in a mouthful of water, before meals
Contraindications and Cautions:
Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give to small children or newborns. Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you have liver, gallbladder, or intestinal disease.
A NOTE ON TINCTURES
Tinctures are more readily absorbed by the body and have a high degree of bio-availability. As well, they have a long shelf life.
Sometimes people ask us why tinctures are alcohol-based. There are very good reasons. Alcohol is critically important in the extraction of an herb`s medicinal ingredients. It also helps to stabilize and preserve them. Alcohol is the ideal carrier substance, conveying the therapeutic goodness of the herb to the body. In itself, too, science has proven that alcohol enhances the immune system and its defences.
As for the amount of alcohol taken in an average dose of tincture, you`ll be surprised to learn that it`s about the same as what you`d find in an overly ripe banana!
Tinctures remain the most practical way to take advantage of the amazing, health-giving power of herbs.
Wildcrafted Oregon Grape
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