I don't know about the candida, but my understanding is that you want to harvest oregon grape for tincturing before it flowers. That way most of the energy will still be stored in the roots and not being used up elsewhere. This goes for just about all medicinal roots.
For the medicinal root crops that die back in the winter (e.g. echinacea, valerian, codonopsis, etc.) you should mark them when they're visible and harvest them in the winter before they begin growing back for the same energetic reasons.
That being said, I believe that if you need the medicine, but it isn't the ideal time, you should harvest and use it all the same (in moderation, of course). It might just be less potent/effective.
Principal - Terra Phoenix Design
try going higher up in elevation--things bloom later the higher up you go
for instance where I am--1000 feet--a lot of things bloom about a week later than stuff at 500 feet.
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what's the best protocol for harvesting oregon grape root? dig up a whole plant and harvest all the roots, or try to get a few roots from several plants so that none of them are too badly damaged? or something else entirely that I'm not thinking of?
I would think root pruning a few plants to be preferable than taking one whole specimen.
Herb books I've read say to harvest things WHEN they're in flower - as that's usually a major helper in very positively identifying the species you're collecting. OG maybe not as much since it's so common. The elevation thing is a great tip.
Oregon grape root has a distinctly bitter taste due to the presence of alkaloids, including berberine, the most notable. Though initially disagreeable to people not familiar with bitter herbs, these substances have a beneficial effect on the digestive tract. They stimulate the flow of bile, which loosens the stools and helps prevent and sometimes relieves constipation, diverticulosis, gallbladder disease, and hemorrhoids. Oregon-Grape is probably unequalled as a corrector of liver secretions. The root purifies the blood and cleanses the liver by stimulating bile flow and releasing toxins. Some American herbalists believe that while strengthening the liver, it will also alleviate liver-related symptoms, such as jaundice, headache, toxic blood, poor digestion and gallbladder complaints. Oregon-Grape helps the liver to metabolize wastes and toxins and has been said to be useful in the treatment of chronic hepatitis-B. Modern herbalists use the root to cleanse the spleen, and it is also thought to lessen the size of the spleen.
Wearing sandals instead of shoes that are glorified plastic bags will actually do a tremendous amount to get rid of athletes foot, I think that you were doing a lot of other things at the time too and not doing a controlled experiment, so you probably didn't do enough to get away from a mere correlation and establish a causal relationship.
A friend of mine made a tincture out of Western Red Cedar bark and used it on his feet against athlete's foot with good results which might be something you'd be interested in.
I don't know about oregon grape being used to cure athlete's foot or candida but it seems most useful as a goldenseal alternative since they both have berberine in common and goldenseal is overharvested.
I always wear natural fiber socks and natural shoes, so I have not ever had athletes foot, but I have known others that have. Lavender oil works great to clear it up.
Nathan, another use for the cedar is its oil, it will clear up plantar warts on feet, or anywhere actually. I had read about thujone working to kill warts, cedar oil is high in it and tried it, It removed the couple I had and they have never come back. I have referred this to others with the same results.
That's interesting Kathryn - I'll have to read up a little more on the wart removal thing. My roommate has dozens of small warts and she's using some sort of treatment that basically looks/feels like nail polish remover which seems to harden and break off layers of skin. Have you had personal experience with wart-removal with red cedar oil?
Nathan, yes, I had some plantars warts on my feet, sometimes they would subside after I had used the compound w (nail polish type of stuff), but then they would return. After researching thujone and finding that cedar oil was very high in it, I bought a bottle and started applying the oil to those spots, putting band aids over them to keep the oil concentrated there. I think it only took a week, and they were all gone. I kept applying the oil at night before bed for a bit longer, just to make sure and they have never returned. That was about 5 years ago and I had them for over 15 years off and on.
Right now, my daughters boyfriend had mentioned the plantars on his feet, so I loaned him my cedar oil and it has been a week and a half, his are now gone. He also had them for many years like I did.
Emerson, I agree that it's mostly a matter of air flow/dryness. I tend to wear flip flops a lot or go barefoot - a habit formed from my Asian upbringing and laziness . This helps my feet stay healthy during the spring/summer and into the fall. I know people who barely take off their shoes let alone their socks especially in winter time when it's cold and it gets to the point where they're too embarrassed to take off their shoes around other people for fear of the smell. It's always been weird logic to me, since airing out those feet is the main way towards staving away fungus and keeping that embarrassing smell away!
You can get a fungus even with nothing but leather sandals. I know because I had a friend who wore nothing but leather sandals and didn't wear them very often, and he got a fungus that made his feat stink.
Re warts - easiest and most effective treatment - duct tape. For reals! Put a piece on and leave it. Cover it with a bandaid if you don't want to look that weird. How long it takes depends on the wart. Gets rid of even the oldest, hardest to get rid of warts.
Duct tape is like "The Force". It has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together. hee hee.
Plants that work in similar ways-
Oregon Grape, Barberry,Goldenseal,Chinese Goldthread and Californian Poppy.
"Berberine is a quaternary ammonium salt from the protoberberine group of isoquinoline alkaloids. It is found in such plants as Berberis (e.g. Berberis aquifolium (Oregon grape), Berberis vulgaris (Barberry), and Berberis aristata (Tree Turmeric)), Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal), Phellodendron amurense (Amur Cork Tree, Huang Bai, Huang Po, Po Mu) and Coptis chinensis (Chinese Goldthread, Huang-Lian, Huang-Lien), and Tinospora cordifolia, and to a smaller extent in Argemone mexicana (Prickly Poppy) and Eschscholzia californica (Californian Poppy). Berberine is usually found in the roots, rhizomes, stems, and bark." ~Wikipedia.
I did a search and found that this thread had quite a bit mentioned on athlete's foot. I got another case of it recently and decided to try an medicinal herb. I selected eucalyptus oil. I have been using it neat (no dilution), very thinly applied twice a day and have seen my athlete's foot start to clear up in about 3 days.
I don't have any plan to stop using running shoes so I'm sure I will get it again. If I do I will try a more local herb.
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