Message Number: SG16393 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2006-01-22 03:01:23 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] Re: high creatinine: treatments? (herbal, etc?)

You mention:

Poria cocos fungus.

Not listed -- which tends to send up a red flag for me, esp. since
one "medicinal" fungus popular a few decades ago has been implicated
in some nasty things, so check it carefully on your own.

Rehmannia glutinosa root-prep.

No health hazards listed in conjunction with proper administration.

Lindera strychnifolia root.

Not found, so again red flag for that reason. The similarity of the
species name with the word strychnine is intriguing, but I hope just
coincidence since the CD writes
>The primary natural source of strychnine is the plant Strychnos nux
You will want to also try the resources I provided for info on
Lindera strychnifolia.

Alpinia oxyphylla fruit.

Alpinia officinarum is the Lesser Galangal. Galangal is a type of
ginger or ginger-like plant with culinary uses. The species you list
is not in my text, but for A. officinarum there are not any
precautions listed. See if the resources I give below have the
species you mention.

Alisma plantago aquatica rhizome.

Interesting; this is poisonous *when fresh*, and bitter. It is also
known as Mad Dog Weed, and Water Plantain. At the time of printing
there were no known studies, but also no known precautions.

Astragalus membranaceus root

This herb actually has been tested and found to be useful for a
number of things, but kidney disease is not among uses which
currently have any proof. It has a number of cautions. It can rev
up the immune system too greatly at times, can cause respiratory
depression,and can cause cardiac excitation. It increases bleeding
risks. It can cause neurological depression. It interacts badly
with a range of drugs, some good effects and some bad. It has caused
permanent paralysis in some who have taken it due to neurological

Dendrobium nobile stem.

Not listed, use other resources listed below. For some reason it
sounds familiar, though. Oh, yeah, it's an orchid; that's why.
Orchids vary a lot in terms of safety; they are a very old plant type
so range widely. Look it up, please.

Dioscorea opposita rhizome.

Wild yam is Dioscorea villosa; different species in the genus. For
the species that I have listed the root works in among other ways asw
an estrogenic effect. If there is adrenal disease this could be a
potential concern. In precautions it says that with proper
administration problems are not recorded.

Paeonia lactiflora root.

European peony is Paeonia officinalis, so look up the species for
this genus, too. For the species I have listed no uses were yet
proven, and no health hazards with proper administration though the
side effects of gastroenteritis, vomiting, colic and diarrhea can occur.

Cuscuta chinensis seed.

Cuscuta epithymum is Dodder. You will need to look up the species
you mention in this genus. Seeds are *not* listed among the
medicinal portions in the my text for the species I have listed. It
mentions that it a sorely understudied, that it has hepatic and
laxative effects, and may trigger colic.

Cornus officinalis fruit.

The Asiatic Dogwood. Diuretic (which may not necessarily be desired
while treating kidney disease in case the ferret becomes too dry
though it will keep fluids going through till then, so ask vet),
lowers blood pressure, etc. No known health hazards in my refs.

Again, remember that these are human reference texts.

I have looked in the latest edition of the _PDR for Herbal Medicines_
and teh first edition of the _PDR for Nutritional Supplements_ which
are human resources but some of the concerns can also suit other
mammals. Both are extremely inclusive references of herbs which have
currently been tested. The first alone is just shy of 1,000 pages
long, and a tall and wide book with small print.

Personally, I also worry some about blends. In the U.S. we actually
do NOT have the kind of careful testing, ingredient verification,
dose verification, purity verification, etc. of herbal medications
that exists in Europe. In Europe herbals meds are carefully
controlled just as more standard meds are (though I do not know the
degree) and they also are well tested there, so using herbal
approaches is safer there than here. When blends are used that just
plain increases the chance of something not being right in the med.

Also, since there is no way for you to know if the herbs are evenly
blended, if you do try to use the med do the same thing that you
would for a NON-serrated standard med: crush it, mix it very, very
well, and then divide it.

Here are some resources that I recommend you also try in your own
checks of these meds and please let us know about what you find:
University of Maryland Medical Center alternative med site
Plants for a Future

I do know that the flowers of Sambac Tea Jasmine (NOT the poisonous
form of Jasmine, but the type used in teas) are used in Chinese
medicine for kidney disease. Our ferret who recovered from such
severe bilateral hydronephrosis loves to swipe those flowers and eat
them, never with any negative results. He has been steadily healing
and in the last half year is the strongest he has ever been, even
before his illness. That of course, could be merely because other
things are going right for him, like fish oil every night, and
careful care. At this point he is one of our strongest ferrets, and
all of ours are strong and healthy now. So, at least his love of tea
jasmine flowers for a treat has not harmed him at all. There are no
precautions listed in my references for this.

I personally have nothing against using herbals. I have a lot
against portraying things are better studied than they are, against
poor quality control for the sake of optimizing commerce (which was
the argument for loosening control in the U.S. and was a stupid
choice for short term gain that hobbles the alternative medicine
industry longer term by undermining trust and increasing risks), and
against not also knowing contraindications, cautions, and conflicts.
Pretty much anything that is strong enough to help is also strong
enough to harm.

I know that your ferret's needs include care for the kidneys and for
diabetes post-surgically after insulinoma. I do not know if there
are other health considerations for the individual.

-- Sukie (not a vet)
Ferret Health List co-moderator
FHL Archives fan
International Ferret Congress advisor

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