August 2008 Ageless herbal newsletter
This herb has been used since ancient times in Southern Africa and has been discovered to contain high amounts of phytosterols or plant sterols and sterolins, which seem to be of enormous benefit in the treatment of cancer, arthritis, HIV, colds, ‘flu and also helps strengthen the bodies resistance to infection and boosts the immune system.
The term “African Potato” is rather misleading as the root does not look like a potato at all and is actually a “corm,” which is a tuberous root made up of various nodes that interlock.
Hypoxis is a tuberous perennial with long broad hairy leaves that form three groups around the plant. Small, bright yellow flowers, “star flowers,” appear on the ends of thin stalks. The plant grows in Southern Africa.
Hypoxis is traditionally used as a general tonic in African medicine and is known as a “muthi” or medicine in the culture of one of the major tribes in South Africa, the Zulu tribe. The tuber or root is dried and ground and the powder is brewed with hot water as a tea, which is left to steep.
It is traditionally used as a strong emetic or to encourage vomiting, to treat feelings of faintness and to help for mental illness. It is also commonly used for the treatment of tumors in testicles, prostate enlargement, healing of septic sores and to relieve headaches.
Modern research resulted in the discovery of high levels of sterols and sterolins in the plant, particularly beta-sitosterol, and sitosterolin. Hypoxocide and the resultant rooperol where also isolated, which resulted in plant extracts being used in modern preparations to treat prostate enlargement, although other sources of phyto-sterols, including synthetic sources, are now also used for these preparations.
Much research into Hypoxis has been done in South Africa at the Tygerberg Hospital and at the Stellenbosch University, which was published in the SA Medical Journal (Albrecht C.P., S.A. Medical Journal, 1995. p 853-860).
In this study, it was reported that “rooperi (rooperol) has promising properties as an oral pro-drug for cancer therapy in humans…which may be active in tumors with high deconjugase activity”
Please note that this finding in no way suggests that the sterols and sterolins can cure cancer.
It is also reported in other articles that the sterols and sterolins contained in Hypoxis are beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by actively controlling certain natural responses of the human immune system, creating a reduction in inflammation and pain and an increase in mobility.
Certain studies were done using animals, which showed that sitosterols and sitosterolins protected the animals from an increase in glucose levels. It is thought that may be because the sitosterols simulated insulin and caused the insulin levels in the blood to rise.
This study in no way claimed that Hypoxis or phytosterols could cure AIDS or HIV.
When researching the African Potato, or Hypoxis, on the Internet, as well as various books and clinical publications, you will come across information that supports the use of phytosterols, or Hypoxis, in bolstering the immune system and thereby relieving sufferers of viral infections.
There are also strong suggestions and findings that seem to indicate that phytosterols can be of benefit in controlling the spread of cancerous tumors, diabetes and that they stabilize the CD4 count in HIV positive people and relieve the symptoms of arthritis.
This essential oil is extracted from the plant Pelargonium graveolens of the Geraniaceae family and has a rosier smell than that of its cousin - Pelargonium odorantissimum - which is the more the commonly known geranium essential oil, which has a more wild "lemon-apple" smell.
If the oil is made from the leaves when they start turning yellow it has a stronger rose aroma then the younger, greener leaves. Some imitation rose geranium oil is made from the cheaper geranium oil while distilling it over rose, to produce mock-rose geranium oil.
This crisp and rosy essential oil stimulates the adrenal cortex, helps to balance the nervous system, while lifting depression and relieving anxiety. It has a regulatory effect on the hormonal system, clearing sluggish and oily skin, while assisting with healing.
The plants originated from South Africa as well as Reunion, Madagascar, Egypt and Morocco and were introduced to European countries such as Italy, Spain and France in the 17th century.
There are about 700 different varieties of the plant, yet only 10 supply essential oil in viable quantities, since the normal garden geranium produce far too little oil for extraction.
It is a hairy perennial shrub, often used in hedgerows, and stands up to about one meter high (3 feet) with pointed leaves, serrated at the edges. It has pinkish-white flowers. In early times, geraniums were planted around the house to help keep evil sprits at bay.
The leaves and stalks are used for extraction. The oil is obtained through steam distillation.
Rose geranium oil generally does not have any side effects, if used correctly, since it is non-toxic, non-irritant and generally non-sensitizing, yet it can cause sensitivity in some people. It balances the hormonal system, so it might not be a good idea to use when pregnant.
Rose geranium oil has a balancing effect on the nervous system and relieves depression and anxiety, while lifting the spirits and making the world an easier place to live in. It has a balancing effect on the adrenal cortex and is great for relieving stress.
It helps the body systems to balance themselves and since the adrenal cortex is stimulated and balanced, the hormonal system of the body is corrected and aligned. It has a stimulating effect on the lymphatic system and therefore helps with detoxifying the body. It positively affects female health, treating PMS, as well as balancing vaginal secretion and heavy periods.
It has a general diuretic effect on the body and balances the water systems in the body, correcting any poor elimination of water and waste material. It is useful for treating jaundice, gall stones and can be used to restrain nosebleeds and other bleeding from minor cuts and scrapes.
On the skin, rose geranium oil helps to balance the secretion of sebum and clears sluggish and oily skins, while the antiseptic and wound healing (cicatrisant) properties make this oil an effective aid to help with burns, wounds, ulcers and other skin problems.
This uplifting oil has a great all-over balancing effect and this extends to the skin - where it helps to create balance between oily and dry skin, keeping the skin supple and clearing congested skin and the emotions - where it helps to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, and to balance the hormone system.
Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy rose geranium oil can be used to help relieve stress, mild depression, PMS, anxiety and tension, menopausal problems and for general energizing.
Rose geranium oil can be used in blended massage oil, or diluted in a bath to assist with PMS, depression, stress, anxiety and tension, fluid retention, edema, eczema, shingles, cellulite, bruises, ringworm, hemorrhoids and menstrual irregularities.
As a constituent in a blended cream or lotion, rose geranium essential oil can be used for clearing sluggish and oily skin, as well as wound, burn and ulcer healing and has value in treating eczema, shingles, cellulite, ringworm, bruises and engorgement of the breasts. It is also used to repel insects.
Rose geranium oil can be diluted in shampoo to help with head lice.
For more information please visit Rose geranium essential oil.