Sickle Cell Disease has unique properties and mechanisms of action in how it presents itself in patients. What I have tried to do is categorize the single herbs in four categories for treatment according to their phytochemical and biomedical components. These categories are:
- Blood Invigorating and Pain Relieving
- Oxygen and Oxidation Supporting
In my opinion, these are the four most important aspects of any medicine or herbal therapy in treating Sickle Cell Disease. The herbs in each category are according to my classification of importance; other practitioners may use a different classification.
Herbal compounds have been used in every culture spanning the globe. These same herbal compounds used hundreds and even thousands of years ago are the basis for modern day medicine. Many herbs have been studied and dissected to discover the essence of its healing power and then synthesized into various biomedical pharmaceuticals used today by millions of patients. But the essence of their function once synthesized has been lost, misconstrued into a single enzyme that alone bears many faults and dangers.
Each patient should consult a qualified health practitioner before beginning herbal compounds.
Blood-invigorating and pain-relieving herbs have the unique ability to move blood in the vessels rather quickly. The importance of this action is that in patients with SDC, the red blood cells (RBC’s) become stuck together or the blood’s viscosity is too thick, pain is present. Or even worst, organ or tissue necrosis can ensue. These herbs have the property vasodilatation. By giving the blood more room to move, the congealed blood has the ability to exit the pain area, leaving room for fresh, nutrient-rich blood to enter.
Another key property of these herbs is they are energy boosters and cardio protectors. This essentially means that each herb in the category when taken properly will combat fatigue without raising blood pressure or damaging cardiac tissue. Unlike energy drinks or various enzymes or herbs used incorrectly to get the false boost of energy that creates a host of other health problems. Herbs in this category include: Szechuan Lovage Root or Ligusticum, Radix Salvia, and Black Cohosh.
Oxygen-supporting and oxidation-reducing herbs have the properties that have been shown to either allow the body to efficiently use its oxygen or aid in the process to produce oxygen. Herbs in this category contain phytochemicals that thru research have proven to be powerful antioxidants. The lack of oxygen in a SCD patient is critical to energy production, organ tissue health and blood pH. Herbs in this category include: Ginkgo Biloba, Hawthorne, Cordyceps, and Ginseng.
Anti-inflammation herbs have properties that rid the body of inflammation is several ways. The first way is to quick blood in the local area depending on the direct cause of inflammation; i.e., injury or allergic reactions. Another pathway for the phytochemicals in the herbs to help reduce inflammation is to directly affect cellular processes that create inflammation. These herbs have been shown to effect interleukins, histamine and mast cells, all cellular components that propagate inflammation. Herbs in this category include: Bupleurum, Pulsatilla, Ginger and Arrow Root.
Antibiotic/Antiviral herbs all display properties to decrease rogue bacteria and viruses in the body. But these herbs won’t strip the body of its good bacteria used properly. Herbs in this category also have antiviral components that help increase killer T-cells, lymphocytes and interferons. By using herbs with these cellular components, the body is able to combat harmful bacteria and viruses, giving us what we know as immunity. The use of these herbs will cut the need for prescription antibiotics which are harsh and strips the body of all bacteria, good and bad. Herbs in this category include: Astragalus, Philodendron, Radix Coptis and Artemisia.
Disclaimer: Although many of these herbs can be used alone, the maximum benefit is in combination with other herbs creating a compound. It is highly advised you seek the advice of a licensed healthcare practitioner that specializes in herbal medicine.