It seems that we’ve been waiting years for the mainstream to finally catch up with alternative thinking. Finally, it appears that its happened, at least in regards to homeopathic medicine.
During the past 50 years, homoeopathic practitioners have been using extracts from a small tropical tree called cascarilla to treat stomach, bowel and liver problems. They knew that it has been used for centuries by healers in South America to cure different illnesses such as indigestion, haemorrhoids, diarrhoea, chronic bronchitis and general weakness following illness or injury.
But just what is homeopathy?
This method of preparation is based on scientific principles and regularly subjected to stringent quality control measures. Homoeopathic medicine is manufactured in a way that does not make them toxic and they come in extremely small doses.
The plant extract undergoes a special process called potentization whereby it is diluted and shaken. Through this process no trace of the original substance remains, but, it is thought, that the original chemical leaves its energy imprint on the solution which was used during the preparation.
While chemicals obtained from both animals and plants can be used in homoeopathy, it is the plant chemicals that are most commonly used.
All potentized homeopathic medicine is are manufactured using modern technology and according to rules followed by all homoeopaths. It is believed that homeopathic medicine has a much lower risk of side-effects and is more natural to your body.
Cascarilla works to improve your digestive system
The cascarilla tree produces small but very fragrant white flowers almost all year round, but it is the bark that is used by health practitioners. The bark contains natural chemicals like albumin, tannin, and cascarillin. Using a biochemical process it is possible to extract oil from the tree which contains sesquiterpenes, cascarillic acid and a mixture of palmitic and stearic acids.
All of these ingredients work together, to improve the health of the digestive system in general, and the stomach in particular.
Plant chemicals in cascarilla aids the digestion of food and reduces the risk of infections
Scientific research performed over the past two years has shown that homoeopathic doctors were right all along. According to the latest scientific thinking, cascarilla can indeed help cure ailments such as poor digestion and stomach ulcers.
Italian researchers have reported that three newly-discovered plant chemicals from cascarilla, belonging to a group called diterpenoids, were believed to significantly increase the production of natural acids from the stomach which aids digestion of food. The researchers reported: Our preliminary results provide the first rationale for the use of cascarilla in bitter preparations aimed at improving digestion.
Additional research shows that cascarillas bark also contains antimicrobial essential oils together with a unique compound called cascarillin, which can help improve the liver function, and reduce the likelihood of infections especially those of the bowel and stomach.
Ease your stomach ulcers without turning to prescription medication
Several scientific experiments have supported the claims made by traditional homoeopaths that cascarilla is effective in treating stomach problems. In addition to experiments looking at the main cascarilla variety (croton eleuteria), other scientists examined the properties of similar plants, close relatives of cascarilla. One such plant is croton cajurata, very similar to cascarilla, containing the same combination of beneficial plant chemicals, including diterpenoids.
Doctors in Brazil, have reported that these diterpenoids may work the same way as modern synthetic drugs used against ulcers, such as the commonly-prescribed ranitidine (Zantac).
These drugs block certain special binding sites on cells within the stomach mucosa (called the H2 receptors), reducing the excessive production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which may cause a stomach ulcer. In this experiment, the diterpenoids from the croton plant blocked these H2 receptors as efficiently as the prescription drugs did.
This means that it might not be necessary for you to resort to using synthetic drugs which may cause side-effects such as dizziness, fast heart beat, diarrhoea, vomiting and hair loss.
This study suggests that you may be able to alleviate your stomach ulcer with croton cajurata. Since it is a close relative of cascarilla, you may be able to find relief with cascarilla as well.
What to take for best results
As a homoeopathic preparation cascarilla is used in different strengths, depending on the severity of the condition. Available potencies are 3X, 6X, 30X, 6C, 30C and 200C, and these should be adjusted according to your needs, by expert practitioners.
In bark (powder) form 20-30g can be used daily. The tincture is used 2-3ml twice a day. In capsule form it is 1g taken twice daily.
There are no contraindications or serious side-effects reported. However, scientists who studied plants similar to cascarilla, have suggested that long-term use should be avoided in order to reduce the risk of possible liver side-effects. Although this has not been proven specifically in the case of cascarilla itself, it may be prudent to avoid using it for longer than three months at a time.
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