Earlier this week I got the opportunity to stop by and visit and talk with the Brooklyn Hospital Sickle Cell Anemia Support Group and left there feeling renewed. Sickle cell anemia is an inherited disease. People who have the disease inherit two copies of the sickle cell gene—one from each parent . The blood disorder causes anemia, a shortage of red blood cells and periodic pain. In people with sickle cell anemia, some red blood cells are sickle shaped and stiff which is caused by a dysfunction in some of the individual’s hemoglobin molecule. These cells can clog small blood vessels, preventing some organs or tissues from receiving enough oxygen. When this happens, it can cause episodes of severe pain or damage organs and tissues, and may lead to other serious medical problems. The group I met with this week had been meeting over 17 years and managing their disease as best they could. They truly provided support for each other, calling each other each day for updates. This is community healing at its best, more on that later.
I have a sickle trait and my brother who is now 42 has the disease. People who have a sickle cell trait usually have no symptoms and lead normal lives. However, they can pass the sickle cell gene to their children. This of course, was a primary concern for me when I began bearing children. When a family member has sickle cell the entire family is affected. As a child my earliest memories encompassed caring for my bother and dealing with his frequent hospitalizations. My mother could have used a support group like the one above to help bear the burden and lighten the load.
I have since spent much time in my herbal practice researching herbal protocols that can benefit an individual who has sickle cell. Through research and personal experience, I have chosen to focus on the following three areas to develop treatment protocols:
- Issues of the mind Depression and stress
- Anemia and
- Fighting Infection
Following you will find a list of herbs that I have chosen to use to address the above issues:
Yellow Dock Root, Rumex crispus - Provides iron and promotes its absorption for optimal blood health
Reishi, Ganoderma lucidum - improve oxygen utilization and improve liver functions. Enhance our body's immune system and improve blood circulation, thus improving better health conditions.
Codonopsis, Codonopsis pilosula - is used to treat a range of ailments from fatigue to respiratory problems. Helps to alleviate the effects of stress including muscle tension, fatigue, headaches, high blood pressure.
Schisandra, Schisandra chinensis - is said to “prolong the years of life without aging," and it is also said to increase energy, treat fatigue and improvement was seen in activities that required concentration, coordination, and endurance.
Foti - He Shu Wu, Polygonum multiflorum, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fo-Ti is one of the herbs used to nourish the heart and calm the spirit. Fo-ti was thought to unblock the channels of energy through the body, allowing the escape of the pathogenic influences that cause generalized weakness, soreness, pain, and fatigue. Scientific evidence shows that Fo-Ti Root is a potent protector of oxidation damage to the heart, normalizes cholesterol levels and decreases joint discomfort.
Rose Hips, Rosa canina - They are one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C available, which has led to rose hips being included in many common cold preventives and remedies.
Dandelion Root and Leaves, Taraxacum officinale - It is a general stimulant to the system, but especially to the urinary organs, and is chiefly used in kidney and liver disorders.
Milk thistle, Silybum marianum - have protective effects on the liver and to greatly improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis (liver inflammation), and gallbladder disorders.
Genitian, Gentiana lutea -Digestive disorders, loss of appetite, arthritis, exhaustion, weakness and irregular menstrual cycle.
Chamomile, Matricaria recutita - calming of the digestive tract, and easing of the spasms of irritable bowel syndrome, cramps and period pains. It is a relaxant and sedative, so it is often taken against insomnia or anxiety.
Peppermint, Mentha piperita - soothing the digestive tract and limiting indigestion, peppermint leaves have been shown to help alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. As a nerving it eases anxiety and tension.
Ginkgo Biloba, Ginkgo biloba- improves blood flow and oxygenating, reduces stress, mental fatigue and increase alertness.
Garlic, Allium sativum - Is beneficial for infectious conditions
Goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis - infections of the mucus membranes, includes the mouth, sinuses, throat, the intestines, stomach, urinary tract and vagina.
Goldenseal is used for the following conditions:
- minor wound healing
- bladder infections
- fungal infections of the skin
- colds & flu
- sinus and chest congestion
Thyme, Thymus vulgaris - It can be used externally as a lotion for infected wounds, but also internally for respiratory and digestive infections.
For an in-depth protocol addressing any of the above issues please send me a message firstname.lastname@example.org.