More Helpful Healing Herbs: Sarsaparilla to Yarrow

Here is the last part of the most popular and useful herbs of all time. As I’ve said in the previous articles, many are useful for a wide variety of ailments, yet each one is known for it’s particular value in the treatment of a specific malady. Although the most convenient and preferred method for ingestion today is in the form of gelatin capsules, many may also be taken in tea form and fluid extracts. The choice is yours.

SARASAPARILLA: (Clear complexions.) This herb is best recognized as a flavoring in the soft drink, root beer. Compounds called saponins contribute to its foaming properties. It is also used in a variety of food products such as frozen desserts, candies and some baked goods.

For centuries the saponins in sarsaparilla have gained a reputation as a great blood purifier. It was often used in many of the early-day patent medicines, which claimed to benefit sufferers of syphilis, gonorrhea, warts, acne, hives and rash. The reason for this is the deep cleansing action which the saponins cause within the body. Sarsaparilla is probably the most thorough herb in cleansing the body. Six capsules daily on an empty stomach with 12 fl. ounces for every three capsules is the recommended dose. Two cups of tea or 20 drops of fluid extract twice daily is an alternative method of ingestion. SKULLCAP: (Nervous system, cholesterol, liver.) Skullcap has long been used for its sedative actions and a wonderful tonic for the nervous system. In a report in Chemical & Pharmaceutical Bulletin (29:2308) in 1981, Dr. Yoshiyuki Kimura wrote that one species in particular (Scutellaria baicalensis) had a unique compound (skullcapflavone II,) which “reduced the serum total cholesterol level and liver triglyceride content, and increased serum HDL (high density lipoproteins) or ‘good’ cholesterol.” In numerous studies, he has presented evidence which supports his claim that this particular herb is one of the very best (besides garlic and onion) for getting ride of the kind of cholesterol that can really foul up your arteries. Skullcap can dramatically lower triglyceride levels, which has recently been implicated as a major contributor to heart disease.

Skullcap can also reduce abnormal amounts of fat in the circulating blood plasma that comes from eating too much fried and deep-fried foods, and can help reduce liver swelling caused by the excessive consumption of alcohol. Five capsules a day is a good maintenance dose and up to ten capsules per day may be necessary to improve a sick liver. Skullcap is best taken between meals for maximum effectiveness.

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