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Asian Treasures of Nature – Medicinal Herbs

Berlin, September 2010

Dr. Michael W. Trogisch
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Naturwissenschaftlich-mathematische Fakultät

Besides the application of selected phyto-therapeutic medicaments from Europe our clinic concept uses mainly Thai herbs, whose amazingly high effects were scientifically justified and tested clinically. In co-operation with the WHO, with Thai and European Universities excellent quality standards are now available in Thailand. Only preparations with such standards are used in our therapy programs. We are concentrating on a selection of only 15 different, extraordinarily effective plant preparations and are therefore in the position to complete the biophysical procedures effectively.

Traditional Asian (Thai) Medicine - Herbals

We have been able to ascertain from ancient records that Traditional Medicine, especially Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Indian Ayurvedic originated about 5,000 years ago and were developed from a blend of both diagnosis and therapy concepts. These origins came about mainly from the spiritual sources of Buddhism which began in India and which is still today the official religion of Thailand. A further cause can be found in the similarities of the botany of the Indian subcontinent. The Kingdom of Siam which in 1939 at the start of World War II changed its name to Thailand – Land of the Free – and thereby declaring its neutrality was known in the 19th century in Europe as 'Rear-India’.

During its many thousand years old history and particularly during the European colonial era, Thailand has never been colonized and has thus escaped the influence of Western powers. Furthermore, an historical intermingling of Thai and Chinese peoples began and continues uninterrupted to this day. India was however, an English colony until about the middle of the last century, and even China bowed to the political and commercial influences of the Western leaders.

This blending of two peoples and their ethnic medicines came about more through power politics than for reasons of spiritual need. This is quite clearly explained by the association of the Indian elements of belief in Buddhism with the strong ethnic components of the holy teachings from India of Buddha Siddhartha, which are demonstrated in the architectural forms of antique buildings (Wat Arun) up to the more recent Ayutthaya stupas and represented in the present-day temples (Wats). Not only the architecture, but also the cultural arts are marked by the influence of Indian aspects.

Thailand is still a highly religious state in which the leaders of its belief stand above the king in the national hierarchy. Right up until the last century, this form of ethnic medicine was almost exclusively the reserve of the citizens of Thailand. Dispensed by monks and also by academic healers, it was the only form of cure, which was available to the people. It was a kind of medicine, which in a Western sense, a commercially 'poor’ but happy people could afford. The traditional values of the old Western world – Europe – reigned over the domains of health and the curing of sickness as well as the Christian ideals and religious edicts represented demands for hygienic and healthy preventative measures such as the Friday fast etc.

Indeed, in the old worlds of both the West and the East the clerics were those who steered the culture of curing. Healing methods, health care, and also reparation medicine for the social illnesses of the last century triggered in Thailand by western lifestyles and food are more similar to the treatment concepts of Indian Phytotherapy but having a clear independence on botanical substances, which are exclusively indigenous to Thailand.

The limits of Ayurvedic, which loosely translated means 'Long life’, are explained as follows: Diagnostic and systematic treatment and the way of regarding sickness and lifetime remain more intrinsic to the traditional Thai medicine than the original teachings of India, the manual -meridian and acupuncture - of Chinese origin, and their practitioners. In conclusion it can be said that TMM has retained and developed the best of both of the ancient concepts. The geographical situation of Thailand in between the two cultural areas, its climatic tropical features such as relatively dry coastal regions, hilly jungle and mountains with tropical rain forests and regions of tropical continental climate which experience winter night frost are the factors which give rise to the unique Phytotherapy of Thailand. Thus, according to the Thai pharmacopoeia, the land enjoys over 15,000 species whereas Europe can boast only about 3,000. Asia and the Far East have always been the lands with the longest tradition of plant cures, due not only to this vast range of available varieties, but also to the fact that the people consume far greater quantities of plants and vegetables in their daily diet, and Thailand plays here a far more important role than was previously realized

From an historical point of view, the Ayurvedic is not traditional Indian medicine, being rather more the result, as in China, of empirical experience of the origins of ethnic and folks medicine out of the practice of the traditional healers and their basic roots and knowledge. With its multitude of folk groups and what for us are often incomprehensibly complex forms of treatment, China has developed its tradition which while the Chinese were always a commercially talented people, has now been marketed in the West for quite some time. The fascinating success, which manual forms of diagnosis and treatment of the meridians by traditional Chinese medicine has had on diseases, which by western definition are classed as incurable (cancer) by academic medicine, cannot be denied. This has now found recognition in the western schools of medicine. It is however rare for us to bend to the great significance of the spiritual essence of these cures, as the Chinese texts which are available to us are extremely difficult to interpret.

The Indian Ayurvedic is an 'academic’ school medicine. It requires a technical high school major and a stiff entrance exam followed by a nine-semester course of study after which comes a one-year internship. These highly demanding requirements for qualification have been the rule since one can remember. For traditional Thai medicine similar conditions have only been in practice again for a few years and this is due to reasons of health and social politics. It is only during the last decade that Thailand has looked back on its folk medicine in broader detail, and it is in this sphere that the author, as one of the very few concerned and qualified western medical practitioners, has been able to contribute to this initiative. This 'rediscovery’ has taken place due to the spread of western health politics reaching Thailand since the Vietnam war. Thus the class of leading medical personnel and specialists has almost without exception been trained in the USA. This group of 'opinion leaders’ which was largely recruited from rich Thai families brought a wave of antibiotics into the land which created more damage than aid to social health. At the same time, these doctors as well as the American trained pharmacists installed a pharmaceutical lobby in the country. The result being that there are now over 400 firms producing drugs in Thailand, but without their own research facilities. All the medication found on the market in western countries is now being produced as cheap generics at low labor costs and in quantities that are far superfluous to requirements. This leads not only to a drop in prices of these sometimes-necessary products, but also to an excessive use. Finally, this increases the budgetary demands on the health services to excessive levels, as it does in Europe, and the government has had to seek alternative measures. Due to the very liberal approach, in comparison with West, to press and television advertising in Thailand where legislation is slow and constraints have yet to be imposed, and due also to the OTC (Over The Counter) availability of medicines which are freely displayed on supermarket shelves, and for which also legislation has not yet imposed any prescription requirements, it has become a habit to treat every little complaint with a pharmaceutical product. Not only has this incurred the aforementioned economic problems, but worse, it has also led to an overall drop in the standard of general health in the country. Thus, the way was laid open to reconsider the old values of herbal medicine and traditional cures.

The significance of TTM in social medicine

With the aid of the state, an institutional Primary Health Care system was initialized with regard to research into the medicinal herbs being used, whereas in European faculties whose emphasis is on pharmaceutical training, traditional medicine was left to slumber like a “Sleeping Beauty“. Compared to Europe, those completing their studies in the pharmaceutical colleges of Thailand were however aware of the sometimes-dangerous interaction between the substances used since time immemorial in traditional medicine with those of the modern European drug concerns. Almost without realizing it, Thailand had made an enormous step forward in the knowledge of the combined effects of long-term medication with products developed in western laboratories.

This is particularly valid in the field of western social diseases such as fat based disorders and their resulting complaints – cardiovascular, insult, the ever-increasing diabetes, allergic reactions and respiratory disease. Cardiovascular complaints are rapidly on the rise in Thailand due to the steady increase in the adoption of western life styles. The Primary Health Care System is bringing the citizens of Thailand closer to the plants that are capable of combating the increasing social and degenerative diseases with little or no recourse to pharmaceuticals. This initiative is being financially supported by the royal family and is known as the 'King’s project’.

Also new is the "Home Garden Program“ which calls upon the people to cultivate the medicinal herbs, which have been well researched and tested and are known to be free of contraindications. They are being asked to grow these in their gardens and even on their balconies or verandas and in so doing, this self-medication can avoid unnecessary trips to the drug store and help to reduce the government’s health cost burden. The state is investing heavily to promote this scheme, which has already shown to have considerably reduced the deficit of the health care system. Until recently, diagnosis concepts and Fare-Eastern therapies were polarized by even the most learned of doctors according to where they came from and empirical medicine - ethno-medicine – was regarded as practice for cranks and outsiders. From the standpoint of alternative and complementary medicine however, classical western academic methods were considered narrow minded and slave to the pharmaceutical industry. Although these misunderstandings and grievances have still not been entirely put to rest, they will probably soon belong to the past as Western and eastern ideologies are making progress in their mutual approach.

This is due to social and political conditions and their causes. From the previously mentioned fact that Thailand has never been colonized throughout its history – the translation of 'Thailand’ is 'Land of the Free’ – the knowledge of its ethnic medicine never became so widespread, unlike in India and China, which were influenced by the West, it was practically never exported.

The present valence of Tradition Thai Medicine in the West

The author Dr. Michael W. Trogisch is a member of the International Society of Biological-Integrative Medicine in Europe, an association of research doctors whose aim is to declare war (sic) on one of the maladies of our times which has reached epidemic proportions, namely fat based diseases and their resulting conditions (diabetes, hypertension, stroke, arteriosclerosis, heart attack etc.).

This is carried out through the further education of medical personnel in the diagnosis, prevention and early treatment of this 20th and 21st century epidemic. It is not possible in the scope of this article to address the problems of lipid diseases in depth, but we will nevertheless bear in mind some important facts and keywords. Germany and Austria hold, unfortunately, the world record for fatal heart attack. The rate of diabetes has increased enormously and overweight, due to an uncontrolled consumption of fatty products has become Austria’s number one dietary problem.

Uncontrolled consumption does not mean a total stop in the intake of fats, but to take the right kind of fats, and then less of them. Keywords: Omega 3 fatty acids, French paradox. Because Thailand enjoyed exemplary anti-oxidizing nourishment, a high consumption of ice and a total absence of dairy products - these were not to be found on the Thai dietary menu - for many generations the country was free of the above health problems and their fatal results. Opening its arms to the West and the increase in the volume of foreign tourism brought with them a literal flood of western foodstuffs and drinks such as milk shakes, butter, chocolate, cakes and even a school milk programs. The problems of fat related illness are not only on an alarming increase, but also because of the genetic composition of population they are also posing a real threat to the social health of a population, which previously did not have to contend with such diseases. At the present time, Thailand now has an occurrence of diabetes and its preliminary symptoms of about 20%, compared to the 6% of Austria. There is now a need for treatment, and in the wealthier classes of Thai society in urban areas, bypass operations are now commonplace. American fast-food chains can be found in every larger town, and its youth is being seduced by clever advertising into adopting this lifestyle, and with even more success than in the West.

The health authorities here have been advocating the use of medicinal herbs for prevention and cure for quite some time already. The results of recent research and study have proven conclusively that the Thai plants are the most suitable when used together with a return to more reasonable eating habits. At this juncture, we can now examine and describe the uses and effects of some of the primary health care plants in social and degenerative diseases.

Due to the fact Thailand has so many plants which can be used in cures, as we have already mentioned, and which due to the tropical climate and higher UV radiation (see Oxidization and Anti oxidization) these herbs are far more powerful than those which are grown in the West, and have therefore been submitted to much more research on their interaction with modern pharmaceuticals. (e.g. black currant in association with lipid reducers, which recently came under fire). As space does not permit this contribution to this book to enter into finer details, we will however attempt to give sufficient consideration to the most important of these plants - with their Thai and botanical names - for the benefit of the interested reader, doctor or pharmacist.

At the same time, we will also describe their actions on certain diseases, but without the intention of advocating any self-therapy, while as any malady or discomfort does not necessarily need test tube products, it does require the expert opinion of a qualified doctor with whom the best plan for the patient for a remedial first treatment with medicinal herbs can be considered and prepared. Doctors and therapists can access further information. Lipid research and the associated study of arteriosclerosis have shown that anti oxidizing substances and nutrients and the use of so-called free radical arresters are extremely important.

Small Selection Murdannia, Curcuma, Vanon, Thunbergia, Morinda and Butea superba:

Murdannia loriformis L.
Family: commelinaceae
Thai names: ya pakking

Botanical description:
This low growing stem less plant only grows in tropical South East Asia . It has two 10 to 15 cm opposing shiny dark green succulent leaves. The plant thrives in the shade on rich moist soil. The plant reproduces by sending out shoots. It grows in the jungles of Thailand where it is plentiful and can be harvested without endangering the species.

Ingredients (leaves):
Rf value 0,23. The majority of the ingredients and active products of Murdannia are similar to those of cannabis india, and they are concentrated in the tips of the leaves which are to be preferred.

Pharmacogenetic action and trials:

In the research team at the University of Khon Kaen led by Professor Chayan, Murdannia is the subject of a specially intensive research in this faculty in close co-operation with all the other faculties of medicine in this country in spite of the fact that the ‘chemotherapy lobby’ has already gained ground in Thailand, where nevertheless, chemotherapy is more precisely applied than in the West and not as a matter of course in every case. A Thai book by the author’s colleagues (Supaporn Pitiporn, Soodjai Bromkerd) in this research team reports the use of Murdannia in cancer treatment for over 25 years. There have even been reports of cures that have successfully been carried out exclusively with Murdannia. It therefore seems obvious that Murdannia loriformis is an important piece of the complex pattern of cures and therapies for cancer10 and to summarize, it can be concluded that Murdannia is a perfectly suitable adjuvant for radiation and chemotherapy.

The use of Murdannia requires the expert advice of a therapist to establish the correct dose and to accompany the patient throughout the period of treatment. Taking into account the fact that every doctor who treats tumours is faced with the dilemma of using substances on the one hand which arrest the growth cytotoxically of the tumour cells, which is also immune suppressive, or on the other hand using products, which in view of the essential requirement to stimulate the immune system in cases of life-threatening disease, to put the patient in a position where he can overcome the disease through self-therapy.

In a study conducted by the University Chiang Mai Thailand, it was ascertained that Murdannia loriformis has many antimutagenic effects. It is therefore suitable for curing chronic bronchitis (used together with other antibiotics to combat strains which have become resistant. From this it was further determined that Murdannia stops the growth of tumour cells in the intestine and probably also kills them. It was also proved that Murdannia significantly suppresses the formation of ACF and at the start of the treatment the carcinogens of the colon are suppressed by 56%. Interestingly it was also proved in a long-term treatment with Murdannia that the development of larger AFC (with four or more crypts per foci) was reduced by 27%. Those who were treated with long-term therapy could be considered as cured. The test subjects manifested an after 30 days a significant induced APD, glutathione S transferase and UDP-GT action. It would therefore appear that these detoxicating effects make Murdannia a product that can respond to both demands of cancer therapy mentioned at the beginning. The selective changing of enzymes in the cenobitic metabolism system is also regarded as a possible effect of the mechanism of chemical protection of Murdannia. The extremely mild antioxidant effect had therefore no influence on the undesired effects of tumour therapy. Murdannia is an immune moderator and induces DT-diaphorase enzymes which play an important role in detoxification. It also protects from aflatoxin B1. Furthermore, it reduces the cytomegaly titer in children and adults. Whether it attacks the virus cytomegaly infantum or the herpes-similar cytomegalic inclusion disease, and is indeed effective against them both, is not yet fully explained, but treatment with Murdannia of hepato-splenomegaly - with or without icterus (jaundice) – was successful. It is the statistics, prognoses and survival chances which were previously mentioned in earlier chapters which can impair the treatment of these diseases. One fact remains to be repeated, and that is that Thai traditional herbs also have an effect on the mind, and this is especially applicable to Murdannia. In bioresonance trials, Murdannia had extremely good test results, that is. In cancer patients certain areas of the brain are also concerned with the disorder, and many reports will confirm that Murdannia here too, has an effect. During the first seven days of treatment with Murdannia, patients often complain of unpleasant sensations of slight nausea and general discomfort. After a further seven days patients do show clear signs of improvement of the original symptoms and after a period of about two months bloods tests will show much improved results and the tumours will have reduced.

Curcuma longa Linn.
Family: Zingiberacea Thai names: Khamin Chan, Kheemin, Khamin Hua, Sa yo, Taa yo etc

Botanical description

There are many types of Curcuma (in Thailand alone there are aver 100 subspecies) which are all stemless rhizome producing spice and cure plants. In German it is known as Gelbwurz which in the German language region comes from the yellow color of the rhizomes (Germ. gelb = Engl. yellow) and the word Würze (Engl.: spice, seasoning). In the respective government departments, which are responsible for the licensing of the plants, the root is incorrectly defined as being the part of the plant which is used. In the kitchens of Europe the rhizome from cheaper varieties is often used as a food coloring in place of the much more expensive saffron. It is used as one of the ingredient spices of curry. Curcuma can be divided into its use in cooking and into its use in herbal medicine. Whilst Curcuma usually produces elongated white flowers, the colors of Thai varieties vary immensely; mauve, whit-yellow and many other hues. It can be said that almost yearly new uncultivated subspecies are discovered. Cultivated curcuma is used as a spice. In herbal medicine, only the uncultivated species from the Thai rain forest is used for its many active ingredients. Curcuma thrives exclusively in the tropics and needs warmth, a high relative humidity, and high nightly temperatures. Curcuma does not grow in sandy soils. The rhizome is used after flowering and can be harvested for 9 to 10 months. Seeds are rare and the plant reproduces by sprouting tubers.

Ingredients of medicinal curcuma:

Arabiose, atlantone, bisdesmethoxycurcumin, ß-bisabolene, borneol, campesterol, camphene, champhor, carryophyllene, cineolone, curcumin, L-ßcurcumens, curdione, curone, curzerenone, cycloisoprenemyrcene, cymene, desmethoxycurcumin, 2,5-dihydroxybisabola-3,10-diene, dihydrocurcumin, dihydroxycurcumin, essentielle ßle, eugenol, non saturated fatty acids, Fructose, germacron-13-al, glucose, glutamic acid, 4-hydorxybisabola-2,10-dien-one, isoborneol, lectin, limonene, linalool, D-gamma-phellanthrene, alpha-pinene, ß-pinene, procurcumadiol, D-sabinene, ß-sesquiphellandrene, tocopherol, ptolylmethycarbinol, ar-tumerone, tumerone, terpinene, zingiberene, zingerene

Pharmacognistic action and clinical tests.

Effects on Stomach ulcers

Clinical trials have been carried out on the successful use of curcuma in this indication since 1953. The rate of cure which began with 23.3% increased to over 25%. After the discovery of the H2 receptor antagonisers (cimentinine and ranitine) further research was left aside. Only now, where the side effects of H2 blocker (hormone disturbance, breast development in men, rebound, etc.) have been recognised, have clinical studies of curcuma been recommenced. Curcuma stimulates and thickens the mucous membrane (mucosa) of the stomach. It has been proved that the H2 receptors - which through neurotransmitters - cause the pituitary gland (hypophysis) to increase the production of stomach acids and are predominantly involved with the active substance of curcumin and reduce the secretion of mucin, thereby protecting the mucosa. During a long-term test in several university clinics with several groups of patients it was proved that curcuma is applicable for curing stomach ulcers with its anti tumour activity, and this without any side affects. Before the tests, the patients underwent a gastroscopic examination and were then treated for twelve weeks with curcuma (2 x 250 mg capsules four times daily). The ingestion took place 1 1/2 hours before each meal and before sleeping. On average 88% of all stomach ulcers were diagnosed as cured. These trials were conducted with placebo control groups under double-blind conditions.

Infection inhibiting effects

These trials were also conducted with curcuma powder dissolved in water. The following are a few abstracts from the numerous studies of these effects: “The infection inhibiting effect of curcuma is comparable to that of hydrocortisone in the intestinal tract. Histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine readings dropped by 50%”. “Curcuma has the same infection inhibiting effect as a comparable quantity (5 mg per kg of body weight) of indomethacine. “Curcuma shows protection on the administration of reserpine, stress ulcera, and the ligation of pylorus”. “Curcuma shows an intense effect against Freund’s adjuvant induced arthritis, carrageenin induced pedalaoema and hyaluronidase induced infections (foot edema, also called oedema, pl. edemata, previously known as dropsy). Inhibition of prostaglandin synthesis”. In cases of definitive rheumatic arthritis a double-blind crossover trial with 180 patients reported excellent results. Patients who were given curcuma showed better results than patients in the group who received phenylbutazone. Patients in the curcuma group showed no changes in blood test results and no changes in erythrocyten.

Antibacterial action

According to the dose and quality of the raw products, curcuma acts against mycobacterium tuberculosis, staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus albus, Staph. epidermis, Streptococcus feacalis, S. pyogenes, Goffkyo tetragena, Sarcina lutea, Sarcina subflava, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. plantarium, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium botulinum, Escheria coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas salamacearum, Micrococcus pyogenes var. aureus, Klebisella aerogenes, Salmonella typhosa, Salmonella paratyphi, Erwinia carotovora, Xanthomonas citri, and Xanthomonas malvocearum. Curcumin prevents the production of gas by escheria coli in the intestine (ileum / caecum) without hindering the growth of bacteria, acts on the dehydrogenase and on acid accumulation and reduces the use of glucose. All these activities support the action of curcuma when used against dyspepsia (acid indigestion).

Anti fungal and anti yeast action

According to the dose and quality of the raw material, curcuma acts against dermatophytes (skin fungi). Microsporum gypseum, Trichophyton Rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Trichophyton simii. Curcuma prevents the growth of Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium lilacinum, Penicillium javanicum, Curvularia oryzae, Pestelota lapagericola, Scopulariopsis brevivaulis, Trichoderma viride, Trichoderma rubrum, Microsporum gypseum, Trichoderma mentagrophite, and Epidermophyton mentagrophite. Likewise, Curcuma has also a slight action against fungi which produce aflatoxin, as for example aspergillus parasiticus, which are considered to be so highly carcinogenic (causing cancer) that in the coming years will receive one of the highest danger ratings in the new foodstuffs regulations in the entire European Union. Curcuma acts well against candida albicans, candida lipolytic, debaryomyces hansenii, hansenula anomala, kloeckera apiculata, oddermyceselongispores, rhodotorula rubra, saccharomyces cerevisiae and torulopsis glabrata.

Antispasmodic action

Curcuma has shown a good cramp reducing action (muscle relaxation) in clinical trials, particularly inn the digestive tract, especially in the case of stomach cramps. Curcuma also acts upon cramp in the uterus during menstruation.

Action on the metabolism of fats

Tests of Curcuma, and in this respect its ingredient curcumin, have been carried out on rabbits in two groups. One group received 1 g of pure cholesterol mixed with its food for a period of 21 days, while the other group received an additional 1 g of curcumin. In the group which received the additional curcuma, the level of cholesterol fell by half, and their liver values were significantly better. Curcuma increases the faekal excretion of cholesterol. An interesting discovery has been made with chickens and birds which have bee fed with added curcuma. Curcuma had no influence on the quantity or the size in the production of eggs and there were no changes in the blood plasma, fat or cholesterol levels. The cholesterol content of the eggs was however extremely low from the beginning of the experiment until it again reached a normal level at the end of the experiment. In humans curcuma has shown that if taken regularly, it can have a lasting effect on the reduction of cholesterol.

Anti hepatitis action

Curcuma has shown a significant action in liver protection particularly in carbon tetrachloride poisoning and galactosamin induced liver damage.

Anti tumour action

Curcuma has a significant effect against leukaemia SN-36, and in Ehrlich aszites carcinoma and also acts cytotoxic against Dalton’s lymphoma cells. In cancer research curcuma, together with murdannia loriformis occupies the number one position. Numerous tests have concluded that curcumin has a cytotoxic effect as well as a highly antioxidant action in conjunction with GSH (glutathion-syntethase).

Immunological action

Curcuma shows immune suppressive effects which present themselves as corticosteroid activity which has been proved by the cellular and the humoral immunological response. Lymphocytopenia and gammaglobin restrictions have been observed. Curcuma has also been shown to have phagocytotoxic activity. This does not however indicate that frequent use would damage the liver, and this has been sufficiently demonstrated by long term trials. Furthermore, this explains the high anti-allergy effect in acute attacks. In these cases it is recommended that curcuma powder is well dissolved in the saliva and then swallowed. There is no better remedy (with the exception of anaphylactic shock) in acute cases of allergy.

Effects on the cardiovascular system

Curcuma has shown that it can reduce blood pressure and has a dilatory effect on the peripheral (micro) circulation and that it also tonifies the heart. It is also an anticoagulant.

Anti-oxidant action

Curcumin ant its derivatives have shown in lipid-peroxidation trials to have significant action. The suppression of lipidperoxidation on the erythrocytes membrane concludes that curcumin triggers a defence mechanism during peroxidation.

How curcuma is metabolized

Up to 79% of curcuma is excreted in the faeces and in less significant quantities in the urine. Measurements of blood plasma level and gall excretion have shown that curcuma is only very slightly absorbed through the intestine. Toxicity checks have had no results in doses of over 5 g per kg of body weight. Curcuma is metabolised in approximately 30 minutes, and the two metabolites, Tetrahydrocurcumin and hexahydorcurcumin were found in the gall after an intraperitonal injection. No curcumin was found in the urine 24 hours after After high parenteral (intravenous) administration, 38% curcumin was measured in the ileum and caecum (large and small intestines). In 184 experiments it was proved that the action of curcuma was entirely without danger and damaging effects (with the exception of pregnant women, but not by those who were breast feeding). Thai curcuma in all its subspecies is an unavoidable folk cure in the Thai traditional medicine and through new knowledge is winning increasingly more recognition in ‘modern’ herbal therapy.


Vanon is an extremely seldom healing plant which was new discovered in Thailand just a few years ago, so that the exact botanic description is not finally finish yet. It is already sure that it is a specific species of the Curcuma plant but the content of Curcumin, which is already successful, used in cancer therapy, is many times higher than in the Curcuma Longa plant. The anti-turmeric-carcinogenic effect of the Curcumin is just one art of the effect of the Vanon. Other not yet pharmacological exact described pharmaceutical effective parts of the plant makes the Vanon being a almost magical at least very effective therapy for cancer diseases. The fresh rhizome is traditional used since hundreds of years for all kind of maligned Diseases especially Blood cancer, Breast cancer, Liver cancer, Pancreas cancer, Stomach- and Intestine cancer, Prostate cancer, Urinal cancer, Adenoma and brain tumors. Because we know not much about the plenty different ingredients yet we avoid all kinds of denaturizing processes (even drying ore conservation of the plant). So we give like the traditional way the fresh raw plant to the patients. Despite intensive afford to grow the Vanon in agricultural conditions, it is not possible to serve the demand, so that we can not offer Vanon at any time. These ingredients are also slow down the setting free of histamines and so we can prevent anti allergic reactions. Long term clinical studies shows the pharmacological proved effects in case of: cancer, coronal hart diseases, Hyperlipidemia, allergies, pain, chronicle bronchitis and hepatitis.

Thunbergia laurifolia (Lindley).

Family: Acanthaceae
Thai names: Rang juet, Raang Chuet, Kamlang chang phuaek, Rang yen, Aet ae, Knop cha

Botanical description

Thunbergia laurifolia is a fast growing vigourous perennial evergreen climbingvine. It is extremely invasive and can cover huge areas of jungle smothering the other vegetation. The leaves are 3 to 5 cm long, are oval, broad based and narrow to a pointed tip. The blue-violet, lilac to white orchid-like flowers in hanging groups are trumpets which expand to five rounded petals, one larger than the others. The seeds are in cone shaped pods 3-5 cm long. The 1 cm long seed is ejected several metres when the ripe pod bursts. The plant develops a very tuberous root system, some tubers weighing up to 70 kg which grows on a host plant. It prefers a shaded uncultivated forest environment. The flowers and the leaves are used for medicinal purposes.

Pharmacogenetic action and trials

Antibacterial action

Thunbergia laurifolia acts on streptococcus mutan, streptococcus sanguis, streptococcus sobrinius, lactobaccili, pseudomonas aeruginosa, escheria coli, staphyolococcus aureus, S. epidermis, bacillus subtilis.

Antimycotic and fungicidal action

Candida albicans, Powerful effect on aspergillus actinomycetemcomitans ATCC 43717 and aspergillus actinomycetemcomitans ATCC43718.

Antitoxic action

Close observation in the areas where thunbergia laurifolia grows will reveal that in inhabited areas where insecticides are used (mosquito sprays etc.), there are hardly any thunbergia plants which have not been infested with pests while in the relatively untouched forest areas the thunbergia plants are free from infection.The reason for this is given in an interesting research carried out by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Khon Kaen University: Effects of Thunbergia laurifolia Linn. on the parathion poisoning of rats (Parathion = E 605?) Diethyl-p-nitrophenyl-thiophosphate, insecticide from the alkylphosphate group, Acetylcholinesteerase inhibitor, highly toxic. LD (lethal dose) on humans: 5 mg per kg. body weight.The use is forbidden in Europe.The tests showed a significant rise in plasma cholinesterase level following feeding with thunbergia leaves or injection extract from thunbergia leaves. Twice daily one group of animals was administered 2 mg per kg body weight of parathion, and then 1 gramm per kg of thunbergia leaves. Over a period of three days a second group was injected with 2 mg per kg body weight of E605 followed after 5 minutes with an injection of thunbergia extract and again in 8 hours. The results were that treated animals in both groups were detoxicated. It would appear that insects that come into contact with insecticides (harmless for humans) in rural areas, have detoxified themselves with thunbergia which would explain why the thunbergia plants in the urban areas have been subject to attack by insects. Not only does thunbergia act highly effectively on liver toxins, but it also stimulates the metabolism in the liver and acts as an antiallergenic, as for example in asthma. In contrast to Milk Thistle (silbyum marianum) which contains the active ingredient silymarin that exercises an antagonistic effect on liver toxic substances such as carbon tetrachloride and the lethal amatoxin found in the Death Cap mushroom (amanita phalloides) both of which are non water soluble, Thunbergia - which is water soluble - protects from hepatosis and stimulates the circulation. In therapeutic situations it also inhibits liver fat deposits and liver cell toxins, such as phosphor, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform (trichloromethane), arsenic, and prolonged concentrations of alcohol and cytostatics which in extreme cases can lead to liver cell necrosis (death) and liver dystrophy (wasting away). Thunbergia can also be used as an adjuvant to chemotherapy. Appendix.

Morinda citrifolia Linn.

Family: rubiacea

Botanical description

The plant is a slender tree reaching a height of up to 6 m with many branches. The elliptical leaves are thick, glossy and dark green. The flowers grow on the fruit until it attains its final size of 6 to 10 cm. The fruit is when it is ripe is light green-yellow. The flesh is hard and speckled with many small black seeds. The plants bears fruit all year round. Morinda is a native evergreen of tropical South-East Asia which prefers moist soils. In Thailand it is not cultivated, it is harvested from its natural wild habitat in the rain forest. The Latin name provides information on its origin: Morus - black, india, - India, which through human migration arrived in the pacific islands from where it has been marketed in recent years under the name of ‘Noni’ (USA, Salt Lake City, Utah) where it acquired an unfortunate reputation. It should be emphasised at this juncture that the vast majority of commercially distributed products bearing the name Noni, particularly juices, contain such small quantities - if any - of morinda’s active ingredients to be worthless for any medicinal purposes. In Thai food - which surprisingly, contrary to what is commonly thought, uses more curry than indian food - this fruit has been used for many centuries. Morinda is one the ingredients of curry, which is of course not a single spice but a mixture of many herbs which are combined in varying quantities so as to produce different flavours of what is basically the same taste. It has become fashionable (again) for Thais to plant a morinda tree in their garden, which according to the ethnic botanical tradition should be planted in the correct juxtaposition to the entrance to the house, as the Thais believe that this tree radiates a certain energy. The Chinese teachings of Feng Shui confirm this, and the writer also has two such trees in his garden.

Ingredients (fruit)

Asperuloside, caproic acid, caprylic acid, glucose, butan acid, benzoe acid, benzyalkohol, 1-butanol, decan acid, E-6-gamma-dedecenolacton, 8,11,14,eicosatiren acid, elalin acid, acetic acid, valin ethydecanoat, ethylhexonat, eugoel, glucose, 2-hepaton, hexanol, hexanamid, hexandin acid, hexan acid, hexanol, 3-hydorxy-2-butanon, laurin acid, limon (citric) acid, linol acid, 2-methylbutan acid, 3-methyl-2-buten-1-ol, methyldecanoat, 2- methypropan acid, 3-methypropan acid, myrin acid, nonan acid, octan acid, olein acid, onath acid, palmin acid, scopoletin, undecan acid, (Z,Z)-2,5-undecadien-1- ol, vonol, magnesium, manganese, methionin, pentose, phosphor, prolin, riboflavin, rubiadin, rubiadinmonomethen, saccharose, selen, serin, ß-sitosterol, thiamine, tryptophan, tyrosin. Vitamines A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B12, C, vomifo, copper and zinc., L-lactic acid, D-lactic acid, molybdenum, morindadiol,morindin, morindogenin. And recently discovered: 6-O-(beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-1-O-octanoyl-beta-Dglucopyranose.

Pharmacognistic action and clinical trials

First and foremost, it should be noted that a clinical field trial was carried out by the endocrinologist Prof. Niel Solomon involving 20 doctors and over 8,000 patients who were treated exclusively with morinda citrifolia. Whereas all research and trials in the USA which were sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry were accepted without reservation, it should be mentioned that although this research took place according to normal university methods, it did not meet with recognition in Europe due to alleged faults in the design of the research. Morinda can increase mental clarity and attention span, as well as allow greater physical performance levels. It also benefits the following systems of the body:

Immune system

Aids the immune system's natural facility of the immune system to combat disease and infection.

Cardiovascular system, tissues, and cells

Morinda is an antioxidant that assists the body to clear harmful free radicals. It can also increase energy levels.

Digestive system

Assists better digestion and helps absorb more nutrients at the cellular level.

Skin and hair

contains ingredients that are specifically important to the skin and hair. It transports supportive products to the epidermis. A vast amount of current research is being carried out to substantiate the claims of this almost ‘miracle’ plant. Interested readers can learn more from Dr. Ralph Heinicke and Afa Palu who are working on the extraction and structure of proxeronine and xeronine, Dr. C. Ho who is researching new compounds. at Rutgers University, Dr. Mian-Ying Wang who is working on the first human clinical trial at the University of Illinois, Rockford. Dr. Anne Hirazumi Kim has also carried out significant research to which a follow-up is still taking place. A. Hirazumi, E. Furusawa, SC. Chou, Y. Hokama at the Department of Pharmacology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu are researching the anti-cancer activity. At the The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota, Austin, USA., exracts of Morinda citrifolia have been used to treat diseases, including cancer. Two novel glycosides, extracted from the juice of noni fruits, were used to examine their effects on 12-O-tedtradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)- and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced AP-1 transactivation and cell transformation in mouse epidermal JB6 cells. The results indicated that both compounds were effective in suppressing TPA- or EGF-induced cell transformation and associated AP-1 activity. TPA- or EGF-induced phosphorylation of c-Jun, but not extracellular signal-regulated kinases or p38 kinases, was also blocked by the compounds, indicating that c-Jun N-terminal kinases were critical in mediating TPA- or EGFinduced AP-1 activity and subsequent cell transformation in JB6 cells. (Cancer Res. 2001 Aug 1;61(15):5749-56.).

Butea superba Roxb

Family: Papilionacea
Thai names: krua deng, Kwao krua dam

Botanical description:

This plant grows exclusively in Thailand and at an altitude of from 400m to 600m above sea level in a small region of 200 - 300 square kilometres. Though not actually an endangered species, it is nevertheless quite a rare plant. The Thai government is aware of this and is taking measures to have it reforested. Bueta superba has elliptical leaves and yellow to orange flowers. It has bulbous, elongated roots which contain the active substances which are important for this plant.

Uses in Ethnic Medicine:

Long before the drug Viagra - sildenafil - (which was discovered by accident during the search for a product for regulating blood pressure) was known in the West, the inhabitants of this plant’s native region already disposed of a means against erectile impotency. This is however, not the plant’s only effect of which the people are aware; moreover, it produces a rejuvenating effect which when taken in small doses during advancing age, has very positive results. This is now known by the modern term ‘anti-aging’. The substitution of hormones is a common medical practice for treating conditions of old age (geriatrics).. In traditional Thai medicine Butea superba is therefore used as a product for male potency, with the knowledge that so-called flavonoids (flavone) and isoflavonoids have a positive effect on a series of body functions in increasing age.

Traditional Thai Prescriptions:

Childlessness, erectile impotence or dysfunction, degenerative conditions of advanced age, prostate disorders, loss of hair, degeneration of muscles, and general conditions associated with geriatrics. The bulbous roots are peeled and their flesh (parenchyma) is shredded into water and drunk.


Flavonoid glycoside, 3-dihydroxy-4-methoxyflavone-70-ß-D-glucopyranoside.

Pharmacogenetic study and clinical tests:

CAMP (cyclic adenosine 3¢, 5¢-monophosphate) and phosphdiesterase inhibitor (free calcium ion concentration). This is one of the themes, or even the main theme, of the numerous studies which have been made on the effects of Butea. The results of these studies and the conclusions drawn from them have demonstrated that Butea superba is suitable for having positive effects on the production of aldosterone. It has also been ascertained that as a xenobiotic substance, it exerts influence on the regenerative function of many organs and can increase sexual potency. It improves the quality and quantity of sperm and increases the size of the penis during erection. As positive effects against muscle degeneration, hair loss, accrued body fat, and breakdown of hormones due to advancing years has been recorded, I recommend the use of Butea superba in geriatrics for normal hormone substitution from the age of about forty. There have also been reports of positive improvements in prostate conditions. Butea superba is free of negative side effects, does not lead to dependancy and is a natural agent for increasing physical and sexual performance from the onset of middle age. A three-month cure period is recommended.Bueta also acts on testosterone. In the last two years reports have been made of positive experience in the treatment of prostate carcinoma (cancer). This does not come as a surprise as, contrary to synthetic male sexual hormones, they are dealing with flavinides and flavonide-glycosides. These are also apparent in soya bean (also known as soybean, soja bean - Glycine max, or G. soja), and red clover (T.pratense) but not in the same high concentrations. Although the addition of hormones is foreseen for tumerous diseases, it would never occur to an oncologist (cancer and tumour specialist) who is already aware of the existence of these healthy, natural products to withhold them from his patient. Butea superba and Pueraia mirifica (which will be discussed later) are the most potent phyto hormones (plant hormones) which are present in nature; they grow exclusively in Thailand where the population has been using them for generations to the benefit of their own health without fear and side effects.

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