Houseleek may have a mundane workaday name but it is far from a trivial asset to a medicinal garden. Perhaps its scientific name sempervivum, ‘live forever’ in Latin,can help to indicate its true worth to the healing herbalist. Houseleek, unrelated to the onion leek, has a very distinctive bushy pink trunk and its thick sap has been used since the earliest time as a delicious coolant and accelerating healant of open wounds and gashes. Weed has dire need of its balmy properties more than once in the Poison Diaries when in the fray and thrash of violence he sustains injury and is cut to the quick.
Taxol is used in cancer chemotherapy, mainly to treat patients with lung, ovarian, breast, head and neck cancer. It can also be known to treat restenosis. Its original ingredient came from the Taxus Brevifolia plant, but it no longer in use due to its environmental concern of its sourcing.
L-Dopa is a chemical that is made with a part of the Mucuna prurien plant. It is well known for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease and Dopamine-Responsive Dystonia. This medicine crosses the blood-brain barrier and helps the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nervous system. This medicine can cause side effects.
Quinine is an crystalline alkaloid that has properties which can help reduce fever, pain and inflammatory. It is also used as a muscle relaxant. Historically, the bark from the Cinchona tree would have been grounded and taken with sweetened water to produce the same effects.
Etoposide is used as treatment for cancer in chemotherapy for cancers such as testicular cancer, lung cancer, Ewing’s sarcoma and Kaposi’s sarcoma. The drug usually given with a combination of other treatment drugs and can be used prior to a bone marrow or blood cell transplant. Its chemical can be found in the American Mayapple plant.
Catechin is a type of antioxidant and can be found in chocolate, red wine, tea and apples. The organic compound is found in the Acacia catechu plant and is used to help reduce major health problems that include strokes, heart failures, diabetes and cancer.
Rutin is a compound found in the Carpobrotus edulis and contributes to the properties of antibacterial and antioxidant of the plant. Rutin is used as medications for the protection of the blood vessels. Their ingredients are also used in multivitamins and herbal remedies.
Betulinic acid has antiretroviral, antimalarial and anti-inflammatory properties and more recently, an anticancer property has been discovered. It is used to help restrain the growth of the tumour and several cancer cells.
Betulinic acid is found in a variety of plants, however Betula pubescens is the main plant and is extracted from its bark.
Morphine is a narcotic used to treat severe pain that can be extracted from opium. It cannot be used with alcohol or there may be dangerous side effects leading to death. Morphine can only be used for patients who are opioid tolerant. Overdoses of morphine can result in weak pulse, fainting and breathing that stops.