All posts tagged: poultice

Mustard Oil Glucosinolates

I have been rekindling both my love of chemistry and my love of brassicas. Brassica is the ‘new’ botanical term for the Cruciferae, or cabbage/mustard family. A few members of the Brassica family: Black mustard (Brassica nigra) Cabbage, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, kohlrabi, bok choy, brussel sprouts, (Brassica oleracea) Turnip (B. rapa) Horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia) Wasabi (W. japonica) Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) Shepheard’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) Watercress (Nasturtium offcinale) Rape/canola (B.napus) Mustard greens (B. juncea) Glycosides are a main chemical constituent of the mustard family. In short, glycosides are basically carbohydrate glycones (which is a sugar part) bonded to an another part called an aglycone. The bond between them breaks by an enzyme and hydrolysis (hydro-, water; -lysis, breaks) which frees the aglycone group to be used by the body. Many biochemists use the aglycone group to categorizes glycosides; it is what gives them their special actions. Glycosides are a well-known herbal chemical constituent group. The powerful steroidal cardiac glycosides get a lot of press, after an English herbalist discovered the use of foxglove (Digitalis spp.) for …

plantain-huge

Plantain to the Rescue

Plantain has done it again! This plant never ceases to amaze me in its ability to suck out splinters, dirt, bug venom and bee stingers. A few days ago, I got a nasty sliver in my index finger. It was deep under the skin, and in there so good I couldn’t see how it broke the skin. I tried the usual at-home surgical tools (sterilized nail clipper, pin, and tweezers), and after removing layer after painful layer of flesh, I realized it wasn’t going anywhere. I bandaged it up and went to bed. The next morning, I found a few succulent looking leaves in the yard, chewed them up and placed it on the sliver-laden finger. I used a fresh bandage to keep it in place for the afternoon. Three hours later, I took off the plantain band-aid to investigate; not only was the sliver gone, but the formally raw and bothered flesh was healing together quite nicely. Plantain (Plantago major) can quickly pique the interest of a non-herb person when they see how easy …