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Alisha's NPLEX II Review > Immune herbs > Flashcards

Flashcards in Immune herbs Deck (39)
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Which immune herbs are asters?

Artemesia annua, Echinacea


Artemesia annua (mugwort)

Artemesia anna is an astringent, aster, anti-microbial
Anti-infection (microbes, parasites) Bitter, anti-tumor. Used for malaria, cancer.

ASTER. Bitter- don't use in pregnancy. Can inhibit absorption of Fe+.


Baptisia tinctoria

Anti-microbial, immune stimulant; increases phagocytosis.

Used for URI, tonsillitis, pharyngitis.

Can cause GI irritation. No use in pregnancy, long-term or high-dose use.


Which immune herbs should not be used in high doses or long-term?

Larrea tridentata
Panax G and Q



Antibacterial against H pylori. However, can be toxic in large doses, so probably avoid using the extract. Food-grade cinnamon is probably ok to use in moderate doses on your food.


Commiphora myrrh

Antimicrobial, AI, AO, antitussive and expectorant

Used topically and internally for infections of the mouth and URI.

Don't used in pregnancy, can potentiate hypoglycemic drugs.


Cordyceps sinensis

Caterpillar fungus! Grown from the cocoons of larvae. Antibiotic, anticancer, bronchodilator.

Acte infection, anemia, protects bone marrow, fatigue, asthma, chronic stuff

At toxic doses: amenorrhea, constipation

Potentiates epinephrine!



Antibacterial and antiviral. Use in blunt injuries of the skin and burns.

Acts like a SSRI, can cause serotonin syndrome when combined. Used to wean people off MAOIs. Also reduces cortisol and has GABA activity.

High dose can cause photosensitivity, diarrhea, depression. Avoid in pregnancy and active SI.

Potentiates ART and antagonizes theophylline, cyclosporine, digoxin, and warfarin


Larrea tridentata

Chaparral. Antimicrobial, AI, AO, anti-tumor, anti-spasm

Topically: HSV, skin stuff, breathing problems
Internal: cancer, allergies, infections

High dose: NV, jaundice, hepatotoxicity. Avoid in liver disease, pregnancy, long-term use.


Ligusticum porteri

Osha. Antimicrobial specific to the respiratory tract. Use for URIs, bronchitis, laryngitis.

Don't use in pregnancy. Otherwise safe.


Lomatium dissectum

Indian balm. Antimicrobial, antitussive and expectorant. Use for URIs, coughs, bronchitis.

Major side effect is photosensitization. Also commonly ****causes a rash that looks like the measles.**** Avoid in pregnancy and anyone undergoing UV therapy.


Melaleuca alternifolia

Antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, immune stimulant.

Inhibits Staph and E coli. Can use in athlete's foot, acne, etc

Topical use only ya idiot- don't eat it


Oleo europa

Olive tree.

Oil: hypotensive, hypolipidemic, vasodilator, cholagogue.
Leaf: antimicrobial, antiviral, anti fungal, hypotensive and hypoglycemic. Can use for infections.

Take after eating or can irritate GI tract. Don't use in someone with gallstones.

May potentiate hypoglycemic drugs and warfarin.


Usnea barbara

Antibacterial against Gm(+) bacteria: staph, strep, mycobacterium tuberculin, diphtheria

If you use the oil isolate, can be hepatotoxic


Verbena officinalis

Glycosides. expectorant and emmenagogue.

Gets stuff out- causes you to cough out mucus, bring on your period. Used to treat colds, fevers, the flu.

Don't use in pregnancy.


Astragalus membranaceus

Adaptogen, immune modulator, antibacterial/viral. Protects the heart and liver. Hypoglycemic.

Used to support immune system, allergies, URIS, and cancer.

Avoid in autoimmune disease, people who clot (increases fibrin formation). Potentiates acyclovir, INF-1 and INF-2. Blocks steroids. It may block absorption of all drugs.


Echinacea spp

ASTER. Immune stimulant, AI, antimicrobial. Stimulates phagocytosis and macrophage activity. Vulnerary.

Use in infections of the mouth and skin.

Avoid in auto-immune disease, and these conditions: TB, MS, HIV/AIDS. Do not use long-term.

May block immune suppression therapy.


What are the main side effects and contraindications of immune herbs?

The adaptogens stimulate the immune system and can block immune-suppressive therapy like biologics and steroids, so they shouldn't be used in auto-immune disease. (Astragalus, Echinacea, Eleutherococcus, Ganoderma, Ligustrum, Panax G and Q, Withania). The only adaptogens that don't are licorice and Schisandra.

Have glycosides or can cause HTN: Verbena, licorice, eleuthorococcus

Causes clots: Astragalus


Eleutherococcus senticosis

Siberian ginseng. Adaptogen, immune modulator and adrenal support.

Use for infections of the mouth, URIs, and fatigue (hypoadrenalism).

Don't use for the long-term, in acute infections, and with hypertension >180/90mmHg.

Antagonizes immune suppression therapy, don't use in AI disease.


Ganoderma lucidum

Reishi mushroom. Sedative adaptogen. Immune activation, anticancer, anti allergies. Hypotensive and anticlot.

Used for allergies, asthma, cancer, hypertension, insomnia, and atherosclerosis.

Can cause black stool and diarrhea unless you give with Vitamin C as well.

Don't use in auto-immune disease or organ transplant patients.

Antagonizes immune suppressive therapy, avoid use with sleeping pills, anticoagulants and statins.


Glycyrrhiza glabra

Licorice. Adaptogen, phytoestrogen, AI, demulcent, antiviral and antibacterial against H. pylori (Gm(-))

For coughs and bronchitis, URIs, PUD, low adrenal function and insomnia. Inhibits 11-beta-HSD which breaks down cortisol into cortisone (less potent). So using licorice keeps cortisol levels HIGH and can increase blood pressure. Protects against damage from ASA use.

Side effects include hypothyroidism, psudeoaldosteronism (edema, HTN, rhabdomyolysis, ARF)

Don't use in HTN, hyperaldosteronism, CHF, liver disease, pregnancy, long-term

Potentiates glycosides, steroids, hypokalemic drugs, diuretics, anti-arrhthymics, pseudoepinephrine.


Which immune herbs can be used in chemo, to protect the bone marrow?

Ligustrum lucidum


Which immune herbs lower cholesterol? Which ones have an effect on blood pressure?

Olea (OIL and LEAF), Ligustrum licidum

Have glycosides or can cause HTN:
Verbena, licorice, eleuthorococcus

Hypotensive (reduce HTN):
Ganoderma, Withania

Cause clots: Astragalus
Prevent clots: Ganoderma


Ligustrum lucidum

Immune modulator, hypolipidemic.

Used in infection, hyperlipidemia, adjunct to chemo (protects bone marrow)

May antagonize immune suppressive therapy


Panax ginseng, Panax quinquefolium

Both are adaptogens, hypoglycemics, phytoestrogens.

They can be used in infections, cancer, fatigue, infertility, and **opiate withdrawal**

Side effects include post-menopausal bleeding and addiction (Ginseng Abuse Syndrome). Don't use in HTN, pregnancy, anxiety or depression, high doses or long-term

Avoid use with caffeine, anti-depressants, opiates, DM drugs, immune drugs, anti-coagulants (basically anything)


Which immune herbs can be used in opiate withdrawal

Panax G and Q, Withania

Also avena sativa


Schisandra chinensis

SSSS; Schisandra is a Stimulant, Sedative and Sexual tonic
Adaptogen, *hepatoprotective*, stimulant AND sedative (don't ask me how), expectorant/anti-tussive, *sexual tonic*

Used for hepatitis, liver failure, stress, depression, insomnia

don't use in HTN or ICP because it is a stimulant.

Avoid use with barbiturates, but can be used for withdrawal from benzos.



Withania somnifera

Ashwaganda. *Sedative adaptogen*, immune modulator, hypotensive, sedative, enhances cognition.

Used for chronic stress and inflammation, low libido, *opiate withdrawal*

Don't use in pregnancy, with sedatives or immune suppressants


Ceanothus americanus

Astringent (tannins), expectorant and anti spasms.

URIs, asthma, HSM, GI bleeds and wounds

Don't use with anticoagulants


What is the major contraindication for astringents?

Don't use with anticoagulants