Message Number: YG3405 | New FHL Archives Search
From: - Z -
Date: 2001-05-10 02:45:00 UTC
Subject: Re: FW: what more I could find on Devil's Club aka anal?

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., "TANSY" <Tansy@p...> wrote:
> Devil's Club is actually part of the ginseng family. This family of
> are considered adaptogen herbs which are characterized by minimal
> have general actions, and what they do is normalize whatever
imbalance there
> is that is causing a pathological state. So, if the blood sugar is
too high
> (diabetes) they will lower it, if it is too low (hypoglycemia) they
> increase it.

I'm not a biochemist or anything, but that doesn't make sense to me.
In searching on the web, I found plenty of references to its use in
helping to control diabetes (both "alternative" and "mainstream"
references), but I also found a couple of warnings with regard to
hypoglycemia, on sites that are very sympathetic to herbal remedies.
At any rate, these two sites made reference to the rat studies:
This one supplied an actual reference: Lewis, Walter H. 1977. Medical
Botany: Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
mentions the rat study, but no references; contains a warning about
interactions with hypoglycemic medications

I don't have access to a library, so I can't check out what the Lewis
book might say. I did find that he is an ethnobotanist in the
Biology Department at Washington University and the Missouri
Botanical Garden, and is very respected in his field. Many of the
sites I found noted that devil's club has a chemical composition that
is significantly different from most other members of the panax
family, for whatever that's worth. It was somewhat alarming to me
that many of the companies selling devil's club and products
containing it used identical verbiage, suggesting that at least some
of them weren't doing their homework.

Maybe I'm just biased against the plant though, having come up close
and personal with it during a summer of field survey work in
southeastern Alaska-- OUCH!

Regina (the owner of a ferret with insulinoma, hence her interest)

Regina Harrison regina_z@h... or regina@c...

the tears are welling in my eyes again
I need twenty big buckets to catch them in
and twenty pretty girls to carry them down
and twenty deep holes to bury them in