Hawthorne – Crataegus


Consider with all cardiovascular issues and high blood pressure, congestive heart conditions, and angina. Use to prevent heart attack, or the return of chest pain. Attribute: Strengthens heart contraction and efficiency, vasodilator (relax veins), strengthens vessels and slows pulse rate. Organ Systems: Heart, Cardiovascular system

Historical observations: In 1901, The British Homeopathic Review wrote about a Dr. Green, from Ennis, Ireland: “For many years this Dr. had a reputation for the cure of heart disease that caused patients to flock to him from all parts of the United Kingdom. He cured most of them and amassed considerable wealth by means of his secret medicine.” (his secret medicine was Hawthorne leaves and berries)

Upon his death, his daughter revealed his “secret” and health practitioners all over Europe used hawthorn very successfully for heart ailments in the late 19th and 20th centuries. Its use reached the U.S. by 1896, but it reportedly diminished in popularity in the 1930s, when pharmaceuticals became popular with the claim it was more “scientific.”

This double blind study confirms the benefit of Hawthorne on blood pressure. The authors said, “be patient, healing takes time.” At four months, they found significant benefit over placebo. (1)

Herbalist Notes

Hawthorn has a marvellous folk-history as a heart remedy and restorative and modern studies fully bear out its traditional reputation. This is a fact, without increasing blood pressure or producing any other kind of strain, Hawthorn increases blood flow through the heart and strengthens the heart muscle.

Hawthorn can help:

  • Angina
  • Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
  • Plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis)
  • Enlarged heart from over-work
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Mild high blood pressure
  • Risk of heart attack
  • Intermittent claudication (painful legs from poor blood flow)

Thomas Bartram writes that the actions of Hawthorn include ‘positive heart restorative, coronary vasodilator, antispasmodic, antihypertensive, adaptogen, diuretic, sedative to nervous system, cholesterol and mineral solvent. Action lacks the toxic effects of digitalis; useful where digitalis is not tolerated’.
He suggests uses for it including ‘to increase blood flow through the heart, strengthens heart muscle without increasing the beat or raising blood pressure. Enhances exercise duration. Myocarditis with failing compensation. Improves circulation in coronary arteries. Arteriosclerosis, atheroma, thrombosis, rapid heart beat, fatty degeneration, angina, enlargement of the heart from over-work, over-exercise or mental tension, intermittent claudication, risk of infarction, long-term dizziness, mild to moderate hypertension, insomnia, used by sportspeople to sustain the heart under maximum effort.(2)

Goldenseal – Hydrastis canadensis

Goldenseal – AKA Yellow Root – Clinical Trials

Being Native to the US, there are few studies on humans.  (Our AMA has been found guilty of criminal business practices and conspiracy to destroy natural medicine.) (1)

Lab Conclusions: Hydrastis Canadensis has been identified as effective in controlling ‘hormone-independent or basal-like breast cancer. (2)

This study confirms that Goldenseal is an effective antimicrobial against bacterial infections, including anti-biotic resistant staph infections (MRSA). (3). When the antimicrobial plants “work together” they have even greater powers, such as in our True GI Cleanse, which features Goldenseal.


After the American civil war Golden Seal became extremely popular as a general tonic for health and longevity, its price nearly equalled the other most prized herb of the time ‘Ginseng’ and it was collected to the point of near extinction. The Eclectic physicians especially valued it for digestive disorders saying ‘as a remedy for various gastric disorders it takes the leading place’. Jethro Kloss in his book ‘Back to Eden’ is especially fond of Golden Seal saying it is ‘one of the most wonderful remedies in the entire herb kingdom’.

TJ Lyle writes ‘Golden Seal is the king of tonics to the mucous membranes. It is a mild, positive and permanent stimulating tonic. Its influence, though primarily given to the mucous membrane, extends to all parts of the body, wherever it may be required by the necessities of the vital force or influenced thither by its combination with other agents. It improves the appetite and assists digestion. In the weak and debilitated stomach, especially if there be nervous disturbances or if the gastric membrane be clogged with congested or catarrhal mucous, and in cases of gastric ulceration, Hydrastis given in small and frequent doses will not unfrequently give relief both to the gastric membrane and to the nervous system’ (2)

Herbalist Notes

Consider with GI infections, ulcers, irritated/inflamed mucus membranes, dysentery, nasal polyps, abnormal pap, uterine fibroids, and vaginal infections. Use for diarrhea, mucus in the stool, itching, and sore throat. Attributes: Antimicrobial, tones mucus membranes, stimulates peristalsis (moves bowels), cleanses the blood, and anti-inflammattory. May be used topically to help stop bleeding as well as itching. Organ Systems: Digestive, Immune, and Central Nervous systems.

We combined Goldenseal with Echinacea and Larrea to treat a patient’s spider bite. By evening the bite started forming the black streak of sepsis, and she dosed hourly until bedtime, and woke to the black streak gone. We used True Lymph Cleanse to support drainage as well, and would recommend always using lymphatic support with any of our Immune remedies.

More Herbalist Notes

Many people have chronic conditions in their nose, sinuses, ears, throat or digestive system where an excess of unhealthy mucus is causing ill-health and in such cases it can be seen that there are healing properties within the Golden Seal that can help to cleanse, bind and heal these damaged, delicate and important surfaces in the body.

Two common examples of how I personally use Golden Seal in formula are found in the article on sore throats here and the article on sinusitis found here

Golden Seal can also be a particularly potent medicine for liver congestion and I often think of using it with someone when they have such signs as a heavy, coated tongue, a languid or sluggish pulse, excess debris in their blood plasma and symptoms of mucus congestion. (4)



Frankincense – Boswellia Spp.

Frankincense – Clinical Trials

There are over 100 studies published.  It seems pretty clear that Frankincense is an amazing anti-inflammatory for aches, pains and arthritis, as a medicine or a topical cream/oil.  (1)

Frankincense History

If you were exposed to Christianity, you know, Frankincense was as good as Gold, when Jesus walked the Earth!

The early Islamic physician and philosopher Ibn Sina (aka Avicenna, ca. 980-1037 CE) recommended frankincense for dysentery, fevers, and tumors, ulcers, and vomiting.10 Other Middle Eastern uses include the stimulation of digestion and strengthening of teeth, as a diuretic and purgative, to enhance memory, and for emotional and psychological problems.7

In India, different parts of the B. serrata tree are used traditionally in Ayurvedic medicine for asthma, blood purification, bronchial conditions, dysentery, rheumatism, skin ailments, and wound treatment.Therapeutic uses of the oleo-gum-resin of B. serrata in the Ayurvedic system of medicine include treatment of feverexcessive vaginal dischargeasthmaconjunctivitisspermatorrheapain in testicles, and disease of the mouth.Boswellia sacra is used in India for nervous disorders and rheumatism.7

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses B. sacra internally to invigorate blood circulation, control bleeding, relax the muscles, relieve menstrual disorders, and control pain.  Called ru xiang, it is also used externally for lesions, particularly to reduce swelling, relieve pain, and to promote generation of flesh. (2) (Other references listed on this page)

Herbalist Notes:

Frankincense has been used as a remedy for a myriad of ailments including ulcersnauseafever, indigestioncoughs and so much more. It is known to fight disease-causing inflammation, it boosts the immune system, helps to heal wounds and prevents infection.  Female hormonal issues are dealt with effectively and it is known to help reduce wrinkles and slow down the aging process.

The resin can be burned and the smoke drives away flying insects such as mosquitoes which is very helpful in regions afflicted with malaria. (3)

Sarsaparilla – Smilax Spp.

Herbalist Notes on Sarsaparilla:

Sarsaparilla’s most enduring recommendations have been for rheumatism and psoriasis. Given these are famously hard health problems to get better from it shows how high is the regard held for this herb that it is still widely used around the world for these problems to this very day.

The ancient Greeks and Romans linked European Sarsaparilla to the treatment of poisons but when the Spanish explorers discovered the Caribbean species (a prickly; zarza, vine; parra, that was little; illa) that it was called ‘Sarsaparilla’ and went on to become an extremely popular medicine for many centuries.

T. Bartram calls Sarsaparilla a powerful blood tonic, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic and goes on to list its potential benefits for rheumatism, gout, chronic skin eruptions, psoriasis and eczema.

In 1494 an unusually violent epidemic of syphilis swept through Europe and for a long time Sarsaparilla was the main treatment used for this deadly disease. Nicholas Culpeper called Sarsaparilla the best treatment for the French disease (the English name for syphilis) and also recommended it for ‘eye problems, head colds, gas pains, pimples and all manner of aches in the sinews or joints’. (1)

Consider with venereal diseases, eczema, psoriasis, cancer, ulcerative colitis, and arthritis. Use for itchy skin, rashes of any type, and for indigestion or lack of appetite. Attributes: Diuretic (clears fluid retention), anti-fungal, blood cleansing/purifying, and increases testosterone levels. Organs affected: Skin, blood, bladder, and liver. Cautions: None.

Personal Experience

Sarsaparilla is an ingredient in True Clear Skin, which is an invention of desperate need. Our oldest daughter, Savannah, was exposed to poison ivy, and she had a very strong reaction. I think it was a systemic reaction, which means the toxins or allergens, whatever causes that rash, sinks deeper and finds the blood, which delivers it all over the body. She wasn’t totally covered, but it found some very delicate parts.

I used muscle testing to find what best strengthened her body, and True Clear Skin was created. Our first case, Savannah, was a success. Then a patient mentioned their kid got into it, so we shared the recipe. Another success. Everyone who tried it said it worked amazingly well. It was part of my Sclerodema resolution, and helped a patient with psoriasis heal his skin “better than Methotrexate.”

Meanwhile, Savannah grew up and reaches puberty, which can bring on acne. Another success. We recently offered it for purchase on our website. The first few people who tried it sent emails declaring amazement at its effectiveness with acne. I never thought about it, but of course, if it can heal scleroderma and psoriasis, acne should be nothing to its healing effects!

Scientific Data

Sarsaparilla is part of a formula that significantly helps Hepatitis!  (2)

Doctors in China also consider this plant for cancer. They discovered that “Sarsaparilla exerts growth inhibitory effect on multiple cancer cells in vitro and in vivo” (in a petri dish and in animals/humans). (3)