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Prunella (xia ku cao)
What is prunella? What is it used
Prunella is the name given to a small yet hearty herb found
throughout Europe, Asia and other temperate regions. The plant
goes by a variety of names, including self-heal, carpenters
weed and sicklewort. It consists of an extremely thin stem
that reaches a height of up to 18 inches, with dark, reddish
leaves and blue-violet or bluish-brown flowers. The flowering
part of the plant is used medicinally.
The active ingredients in prunella include flavonoids, tannins,
saponins and triterpenes. Traditionally, it has been used
to treat inflammatory diseases and ulcers in the mouth and
throat. In Europe, it is also used as a remedy for diarrhea,
hemorrhaging and gynecological disorders.
How much prunella should I take?
A prunella tea can be made by steeping the plant in water
(at a recommended dose of one teaspoon of prunella per cup
of boiling water). Some practitioners also recommend using
a prunella extract in a water-based solution for gargling.
What forms of prunella are available?
Prunella is available as either a fresh cut or dried herb.
Many specialty stores also sell prunella extracts.
What can happen if I take too much
prunella? Are there any interactions I should be aware
of? What precautions should I take?
As of this writing, there are no reports of side-effects
or adverse reactions associated with prunella. In addition,
there are no known drug interactions with prunella. Nevertheless,
it should not be taken by women who are pregnant or lactating.
Patients with high blood pressure or heart disease should
consult with their health care professional before taking
Other Resources :
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