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Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Posted by OrchidOCD none (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 15, 12 at 20:55

Hello All,

A question for any who have treated autoimmune disease symptoms with immune- supportive botanicals - did it make your symptoms better or worse? I've got 3 autoimmune diseases - rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and chronic allergies, all of which are typified by my immune system attacking my various cells as if they were invaders, so I hesitate to take botanicals whose effects are to support the immune system. Are they more likely to normalize the immune system, or cause it to go into 'hyper- drive'? Normalization would be fantastic, while hyper-drive could land me in the ER... Do any of you have experience with taking an immune-supportive botanical with a chronic autoimmune disease? If so, your experiences with this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance,
OrchidOCD


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Orchid:

As an herblist, I speak a different language, but I can understand what you're saying. When you talk about autoimmune diseases, the terms used in herbology encompass more terminology. In other words, we would give herbs to restore Qi, Blood and Essence deficiencies. They're termed Neuroendocrine restoratives or . . . adaptogens. And you DO display symptoms associated with a weakened neuroendocrine system. (Actually, I look at the complex adrenal system.)

However, the other accompanying condition would include stagnation in various parts of the body. Because of this stagnation (this is a very general over-simplification), if you take an adaptogen, you may dam up the energies and cause some side affects. (I believe this is what you may have referred to as "hyper-drive") This is why I stress a need for a full consultation in order to determine exactly what conditions need attention with herbs.

Sorry if I can't be any more specific than that.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Thank you very much for your reponse, Herbalist. Agreed entirely that I used terms from a different school - my background for this is aligned with western allopathy, biology and chemistry, so my terminology reflects that even though I'm researching/exploring botanical treatments from the Native American, Western European, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic traditions/schools.

Agreed also that I've got symptoms of an unbalanced neuroendocrine system - my immune system is over active to the point of damaging my own systems and overreacting to harmless stimuli like pollen and pet dander (a bad situation for a gardener and pet owner, to say the least!). Allopathic medicine has no cure, just a means to treat the symptoms, but they carry a significant risk of damage to other organs/systems, hence my research into botanicals. I'd love to find the permanent cure that allopathic medicine can't provide, but I'd be happy to just treat the symptoms without risk of liver damage and osteoporosis (for which the allopathic treatments present significant risk). My real fear was that since my immune system is already overly active, an herb with the properties of stimulating the immune system might make it worse. Since so very many herbs have immune support properties, but support it in different ways, I know that's a really big question with a lot of different answers.

I'll continue researching, and testing carefully. I wont toss out my allopathic meds yet, but they'll go to the back of the medicine cabinet in reserve as I systematically test the tinctures, teas and EOs of the various plants traditionally used for these particular chronic diseases. I'm not expecting a miracle, but I'm betting that nature can provide symptom relief at least as well as allopathy, and hopefully without the accompanying risk of the allopathic meds. Thank you again for your response - it is appreciated and supports what I suspected - medicine is personal, so each person must test how they respond to any and all substances.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

IF your symptoms are mostly seasonal and pet allergies, you could try a simple and non-invasive regimen of nettle tea. I'm on my 3rd year of having very few allergy symptoms here in Arizona. I've found that you have to take it a couple weeks BEFORE the allergy season. My research shows that it can strengthen the adrenals to produce the body's own corticosteroids (anti-inflammatories). However, I'd love to experiment on other sufferers to see if my observations are accurate.

IF you have other apparent health issues, it might blow the whole nettle theory out of the water. But the nettle shouldn't give any side affects even if you do have other health issues.

Let us know.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

i'm a clinical nutritionist who works with auto immunity quite a bit. even without knowing more specifics about your conditions your case screams 'food allergies' which are always (i rarely use the word always but it fits here) near the root of auto immune disorders. suggest you find a local alternative practitioner to guide you thru an elimination-rechallenge, multiple symptom layers will resolve once you eliminate problem foods. then treat what's left over. hope you feel better soon, kk


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

KK:

You're on the right track. However, you can go a bit deeper (further) with that reasoning. All food allergies are a result of weaknesses in the gastro-intestinal system. Food isn't the problem. The problem is that the systems of the body have become weakened FIRST which gives rise to food allergies. With this kind of organ weakness, the body is unable to breakdown and assimilate the nutrients we eat even if you gave the body the healthiest foods in the world. Thus, the body reacts with the "food allergy" symptom.

GI problems became my specialty only out of necessity. About 30 years ago, I saw a link and, as a result, developed the appropriate herb application to reverse those weaknesses.

I make my products from scratch and custom blend them. But first, I have to determine things such as Does the liver need stimulating for more bile production? Or does the liver need energy restoration herbs to strengthen the liver? Or does the liver need draiining, relaxing, or altering/regulating? Or . . . all the above. Then, just to confuse the issue, we need to look at the Spleen system's part in all of this as well as all the other individual's problems.

Relief can be reached in about 5-10 days and the body can heal itself in about 3 weeks. At that point, the person can eat the foods that they were otherwise allergic to.

Hope this agrees with your philosophies.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

it was not my intention to go into great detail, the question was re botanicals for immune support after all. before offering herbs for immune support i'd want to know more about the compromised immunity and eliminate the triggers.

i agree with your general premise but not so much re the specifics, always interested in other viewpoints tho so appreciate your insights.

i agree that digestion is a complex process involving many systems and that any fix is not a simple one. just the liver for example has digestive, endocrine, elimination and immune functions!

re food allergies....the immune system has a fantastic memory! and once the body develops antibodies to a food (this is a true food allergy) that person will always react to that food, even after the digestive system has healed. antibodies never go away, they often just retreat to a little corner of the body till triggered, often this is the bone marrow, preserving a nice little immunological history for every individual.

sounds like you operate at least partly from an eastern perspective with talk of spleen...that resonates with me. i trained in both traditional chinese and western herbalism as well as clinical nutrition. insulin resistance and food intolerances/compromised immunity are my special interests.

cheers! to you the herbalist. see you round the forum. kk


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

KK:

I know you're being quite diplomatic with me, so I apologize if I tend to sound like a know-it-all. (I've been accused of that.) But you said " once the body develops antibodies to a food (this is a true food allergy) that person will always react to that food." I give an advanced course at the local college where I teach practitioners to overcome that. After I treat an individual, they don't react to their former food allergies. The body actually heals from that problem.

Thank you for the compliment.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

i do agree that a person may not react in the same way to a food after their gut is healed but do believe there is always an immunological response. am open to data proving otherwise tho, its how i learn! since you teach it you must have supporting data with sources, please share...thanks, kk


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

KK:

I really believe I'd have to sit down with you over a cup of coffee to expound more. However, here is a response on another subject about migraines:

"Eric:
I had a research clinic in the 80's. Whenever a theory or trend came across my desk, I would set up experiments to test them. Most of the so-called natural remedies consisted of misleading information and wive's tales. (I share much of your skepticism.) The conclusions I drew would tell me which direction to take or NOT to take when developing my understanding of bodily operations and related herbal recipes. These were in vitro and in vivo.

I don't publish. What would be the point?

theherbalist"

In today's scientific communities, the driving force behind publishing and documenting is money and ego. As a result, there's so much junk science out there that a person must think outside the box in order to reach the truth.

Hope this isn't being too vague. Let's just chalk it up to personal opinion.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

well yeah that is rather vague. perhaps i wasn't clear, if so am sorry, i'm not asking for published scientific research studies... empirical evidence (which i put lots of stock in) is fine. specifically, what have you seen with your own clients that convinced you of full healing? what have you learned that was so convincing you now teach practitioners to overcome their previous way of looking at food allergies and healing? not trying to be argumentive, but you must have good reasons for making those statements and i'm curious what those are? just trying to learn from you, thanks in advance, kk


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

oh dear. i thought this was a serious forum with serious people wanting to seriously talk about herbs. ask a question and get no answer but the same person being questioned is posting on other threads.

some folks here are obviously here to learn and share what they know, i was one who hoped to learn.

oh well, ya'll have fun. bye bye.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

kk:

Sorry that I didn't offer further explanation. I got busy. Every day I checked this site and felt guilty for leaving you hanging.

In my mind I know this could take some mental energies that I'm not able to give at this time. Maybe over the weekend. I have to get some work put behind me (you know . . . make money, pay some bills, etc. LOL)

I apologize. Further discussion later?

Charle theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

hey charlie, sure thing! i understand about getting busy and needing to take care of business. i'm busy enough myself that i am not here every day to check in. so at your convenience...when you have the time and energy i'd love to hear your experiences on this.

cheers, karen


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

uh, never mind charlie. you probably never intended to answer anyway.

apparently your reputation preceeds you on other forums and word gets around in the herbal community. you advertise the sale of liver tonics but won't provide any info about who you are, what your training is or what you use in your formula.

i give everyone the benefit of the doubt till i find out i shouldn't. in this case, i shouldn't.

i have nothing against you as a fellow human being but its folks like you that give real herbalists with good training and authentic certification a bad name.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Holy crap!!! I'm very busy right now. I don't owe you anything. Why get pissy with me?!?!

For the rest who may be reading this, not only do I need to explain some of the principles of herbology, but it would also be necessary to get into a discussion to lay down some ground rules as to the laws of nature. Talking to kk would be like trying to translate from one language to another. I'm too busy right now. But honestly, kk, where I come from you're being down right rude. It's not the way to win over friends. Any thing I offer would be a gift. You demand gifts from your friends?

charles
theherbalist

theherbalist


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uncool

skip the outrage please, this is not about you delaying answering a question on a topic on which you purport to be an expert with 38 years of research experience and supposedly want to discuss.

its about you passing yourself off as someone you are not. apparently you are well known for this on other forums, just today i saw the posts by you and about you charlie b.

we're all friendly here and trust each other until we have a reason not to.

what you're doing gives professional herbalists with real clinical training and experience a bad name. hopefully no one ever gets seriously hurt by the advice you give or the products you peddle.

feeling betrayed right now.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Wow! You take care.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Question for KK:

Isn't vitalism a metaphysical doctrine?

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

vitalims is any system of healing that is holistic and founded on the principles of proper nutrition/diet and a balanced lifestyle. the basic premise is that that the body's vital force does the healing...that a body when given good food, good rest, good exercise, exposure to fresh air, etc. has the power and ability to heal itself.

traditional folks systems such as ancient egyptian and greek medicine, arabic medicine, traditional chinese medicine, ayurveda, and the health movement in the united states around the turn of the 20th century are all examples of vitalist systems. big names in the movement throughout history include avicenna, hippocrates, asceplias, lindlahr, shook, kellogg, etc.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Please, tell me how your system of the healing arts would work for people in the following scenarios (Length of treatment, prognosis, etc.):

#1. A person with influenza (aches, chills, fever, hair "hurts"). How long would it take for vitalism to get someone back on their feet?

#2. A person with migraines, pain in the liver and sluggishness.

Thank you.

Charlie
theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

well first its not my system, its been the common wisdom since ancient times and i am simply a modern student of it.

the vital force (sometimes called 'the spark of life', chi or prana) both is the life force AND also does the healing. we can assist health and healing with diet, nutrition, lifestyle changes, herbs, bodywork and a gazillion other modalities.

some people naturally have more vital force than others...we can usually see this just by looking, they seem stronger and more alive, the skin glows, the eyes shine with life, movement is lively, spirit is readily apparent, they have enthusiasm for life. those who possess less vital force may have a dull or pale complexion, perhaps they move slowly or with difficulty, have a weak voice, spirit seems weaker, etc. we've all seen that so i am sure you know what i mean.

the length of time required for healing and the prognosis are dependent on the level of vital force a person has and the strategies they use when they do get sick.

a person with hi vital force and who supports the vital force when they get sick generally recovers more quickly.

if vital force is low or treatment strategies used when that person gets sick suppress the vital force, a dis-ease like flu might linger for weeks or longer.

we never ever want to suppress the vital force.

my goal is to support the vital force of my clients with lifestyle, nutrition, right lifestyle recommendations, etc. and if and when they do get sick help them rally their vital force so they can heal themselves quickly.

so, its impossible to say definitively since this is so individual.

ex: i rarely get sick but last month got the flu for the first time in about 30 years, i turned the corner on the third day after i came down with it...in other words, major symptoms were gone or disappearing. another week of rest was required to get me back to normal. acute diseases generally heal much faster than chronic ones.

the liver disorders you mention are chronic and developed over time so more time is required for healing them. of course it varies with the person but the general rule of thumb is one month of continuous therapy is required for healing for each year the disease process has been operating.

having said that i've seen migraines disappear in a client in a very short time, while the chronic issues that gave rise to those migraines took longer. the liver is so metabolically active that it usually responds rather quickly which is nice : )

i have copied and pasted below the handout i give clients to educate them about vitalism..hope you find it useful


"Vitalism is a way of thinking about life based on the assumption that we all possess an inborn intelligent energy which is both the source of our life and the director of all our life functions. We call this innate intelligence the vital force, the spark of life or chi.

Vitalistic living is the application of the natural laws of the universe to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life with the goal of maximizing our vital force so that we may enjoy vibrant health and happiness.
Vitalist practices dictated by natural law… proper nourishment and use of water, fresh air, exercise, time spent in nature, restful sleep, right thinking and connection with spirit are simple, but not always easy to follow!

We all eventually learn through experience that when we violate natural law our energies may be obstructed or diminished leading to a decline in our vital force, suffering and dis-ease.

We also learn through experience and the cultivation of self mastery that when we live in harmony with natural law our vital force increases and we enjoy health on all levels of our being.

It’s said that every journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. My work as an herbalist and nutritionist in the vitalist tradition is to offer tools and guidance for your healing journey, yours is to just begin.
I look forward to this adventure with you, karen"


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Do you have to be certified in your profession?
Thanks.
theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

not necessarily. there are some amazing self taught herbalists out there. i can name several i admire. i went the certification route, not for ego but because the training required means that i am well educated in what i need to know to do the best job, i am taken more seriously by the public and my clients...they like the sound of 'certified', and because i believe that herbalists will eventually be licensed and want to be well qualified for eventual licensure.

technically i am a certified clinical herbalist, certified clinical nutritionist, certified flower essence practitioner, and licensed as a master massage therapist.

in my opinion, an herbalist must have an excellent working knowledge of nutrition as well as herbs to be effective. having said all that i just call myself an herbalist and bodyworker.

i graduated from two different herb schools...in the first i studied traditional chinese medicine, in the second western herbalism, nutrition and flower essences. for background i took an anatomy and physiology class at a local university and did a distance learning disease pathology course via a naturopathic college in england. i've been practicing bodywork for about 11 years.

the professional organization for herbalists in north america is the american herbalist's guild, i'm a member working toward full professional certification thru them, its rigorous and expect it'll take me 3 more years to finish.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Karen,

If you feel that there are some good self-taught herbalists out there, what specifically was it about me that moved you to slam me on a public forum?

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

i've already posted this above.

first of all, its not personal. you might be a very nice guy for all i know and i am sorry if my words hurt you. however....

1. you misrepresent yourself. according to the well accepted ethical standards adopted by herbalists...even an herbalist with a PhD should not refer to themself as a doctor. gives people the wrong impression. you apparently like very much calling yourself 'dr. charlie'...i saw the posts you signed that way.

i value very much self training and empirical learning. a self trained herbalist is and should expect to be reviewed by their peers in lieu of review by their teachers in a formal educational setting. you don't have that positive peer review, on the contrary your peers on other forums have serious concerns about you that seem well founded based on what i've read there.

2. its irresponsible for an herbalist to sell a liver or other remedy without listing all ingredients and indications. why? because selling a remedy implies you're a professional and have specific and true knowledge about the disease that remedy is used for. and for example, many folks are allergic to plants in the composite family (ragweed, chamomile, etc.)...how do they if your rememdy is safe if they don't know what's in it. and some plants are dangerous in certain amounts, what is your knowledge of plant constituents, contraindications and pharmaceutical drug interactions with herbs? ingredients must be listed.
to do this gives responsible and well trained (self or formally trained) herbalists a bad name.....if one 'herbalist' hurts someone by working irresponsibly we could all be shut down for good. the modern medical profession wants to do this anyway, we have to be super careful and know what the heck we're doing. working like you are currently, you're a danger to clients and other herbalists. you scare me.

that's my opinion based on your own words. ex: calling yourself a doctor, selling remedies for which you won't list ingredients, making claims you refuse to back up, hiding safety information et al. ex: anyone proclaiming to be an herbalist that doesn't know that b12 is a vasodilator should not be prescribing herbs....could cause very serious problems in a sensitive person or one with cardiovascular or venous disease, migraines, seizures, etc.

based on what i know so far i don't trust you and its not just me. many many other folks on other forums have come to the same conclusion.

i'm speaking out so folks here can make an informed decision about whether to take your advice or not.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

You're doing a good job as the keeper of all that's good and holy. You got me! Now, the masses can sleep at night since you're exposed the dangerous evil herbalist.

Remember I asked you about your treatments of influenza. Well, for over 40 years I've been giving people 1 strong cup of a specific herb tea for influenza. Within 20 minutes, the aches and pains leave the body, the person gets quite sleepy, goes to bed. Within 2 hours the fever breaks and they wake well in the morning.

Now with all your training, why don't you know that? By the way, in the mid 1980's, my skill level developed to the point that I gained legal recognition as an Herbal Physician. There aren't many of us around.

If you want my credentials, I'd be glad to post them. But your public burning me at the cross, so to speak, tells me something about your character.
Let's not debate or argue. And please, stop attempting to shame me. I'm not the enemy.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

of course i know about diaphoretic teas for use at first onset of acute illness! its herbalism 101 to use a boneset based formula as soon as earliest flu symptoms appear, the other herbs included are determined by other symptoms present...i almost always throw some elder flowers and peppermint in there with other herbs to target specific complaints.

i am entitled to my opinion and would not have gone into such gory detail IF YOU HADN'T ASKED ME TO. GO BACK AND READ IT, YOU ASKED ME TO! i've said my piece and so have nothing more to say.

be well charlie, i wish you nothing but the best and even more than that for your clients.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Give us more examples of your successes.

And how do you feel about germs causing disease?

Thank you.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

no thank you charlie. i don't have the time or inclination to arm wrestle with you.

if you want to spar perhaps post to eric_oh, you two seem a good match for that.

egos are why i left this forum the first time around.

again, i wish you and yours the best.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

karen:

I don't want to arm wrestle. Your depth of understanding kinda' intrigued me. Most people don't even know what you've said. I wanted to up the notch and ask you some harder questions to see just how far your clinical experience has taken you.

That being said, I'd like to ask you . . . "Under which circumstances would you substitute spearmint for peppermint in the elder flower/peppermint mix?"

Also, under which circumstances do you give both boneset AND elder/peppermint combo?

Finally, do you have a special place that people can come to you for these kinds of treatments?

The reason I ask these is because they're the very things I have to deal with. I learned/discovered them over the years by experience and sometimes I didn't accomplish my goal because I made mistakes. I'd truly like to know the answers as to how you handle these situations.

theherbalist


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

spearmint and peppermint are very similar energetically and have similar actions, only a slight difference in thermal energetics in my experience. peppermint is ever so slightly warmer as evidenced by 'pepper' in the name. boneset and elder are cool so the peppermint balances that coolness a bit. having said that spear and peppermint are so similar it may be a moot point. i would sub spearmint if i was out of peppermint...but i am never out of peppermint. its a polycrest herb that is useful for many many complaints. i like working with relatively mild polycrest herbs, my interest is intervening just enough to stimulate the vital force... herbs themselves don't heal, they stimulate the vital force which does that.

i always use elder and peppermint with boneset unless the client knows they don't like or have adverse reactions to peppermint... which some folks do... they improve the flavor of boneset dramatically which is nasty and exhibit complementary actions that are indicated at first onset. in the case of peppermint sensitivity would sub melissa/lemon balm.

clients come to my office.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Karen:

Thanks for sharing. Another question is . . . have you had the elder flower combo fail to break the fever and wonder why?
I had that happen to me about 30 years ago. It took awhile to figure that one out. I don't want to be condescending, but I will be glad to share what I learned.

Thanks.

Charlie


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

its not always appropriate to try to break fever with herbs.

and am always open to what others have to share.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Hello Herbalist and others- I was given Kang Zhong Pian to support my immune system for an autoimmune disease. Does anyone have advice as to this course of action. Thank you in advance.


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

yes, that formula is used for immune building and also in cancer treatment.

hopefully your prescriber assessed you fully before selecting this one for you. pay attention to how you feel while taking it and let your prescriber know if you have side effects or questions about its use. good luck, feel better!


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

Interested:

I'm afraid I can't answer your question. My approach is to evaluate and custom blend the herbs for the individual. I'm not up on patented formulas.

Thanks.

HerbDoctor


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RE: Immune Support Botanicals with Autoimmune Chronic Diseases

There are a number of warning flags with regard to using "Kang Zhong Pian".

First of all, the basic problem in autoimmune illness is that the immune system is overactive, at least in the organ/systems being affected. Do you really want to take herbs that are claimed to further stimulate the immune system?

Secondly, while sites that sell this product claim there are studies to support its use, a search of the Pub Med scientific literature database turns up no such studies.

I also see that the product is made in Shanghai and imported to the U.S. Seeing that Chinese herbal mixtures are notorious for being poorly standardized and often adulterated, sometimes with hidden pharmaceuticals I'd beware of this product (interestingly, one site mentions that it contains heavy metals, but "much less than the U.S. Pharmacopeia", whatever that means. What are heavy metals doing in a herbal mixture at all?).


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