Pancreatitis / 1994


Date: Sun, 6 Nov 1994 14:16:32 -0800
Sender: Medicinal and Aromatic Plants discussion list <HERB.TREARN.BITNET>
Subject: Re: Pancreatitis

On 11/4/94, Gabrielle wrote:
>My mother has this, and it's horrible. If anyone has any herbal remedies, I'd love to hear them, too.
>Basically, from what I understand, it's when your pancreas loses interest in digesting food, and starts digesting itself. A strictly limited diet of low-residue foods is required.
>That's all I know. Anyone else?

Hi Gabrielle (and others!)-
Here is a copy of a recent correspondence that may be of interest...

Right now, I am fortunate enough to be studying closely with David Hoffmann, an herbalist from Britain who now makes his home in Sonoma. He has agreed to work with me in distributing information on herbal therapeutics via the net. I meet with him next on Tuesday, November 8 and will bring your request up at that time.

It is also important to stress that the information posted is not a "prescription", nor am I "playing doctor." I firmly believe that people can make their own decisions about basic health care when provided with solid information based on clinical studies (science), historical experience (tradition), and common sense (spirit). I also believe that information should be distributed freely (as here) and that Gaia never intended for her healing plants to be distributed "for Profit." That said, please use all information shared on this board with care and respect for the "Green World."

This is what I know about Pancreatitis:

Pancreatitis is a very painful inflammation of the pancreas and can show itself in acute or chronic attacks. There appears to be an "auto-digestion" problem, where the powerful digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas start attacking the organ itself. Why this should be is uncertain, but a suggestion is that since the pancreas and gall-bladder share a common duct, there may be blockage caused by gall stones. In some cases there is a connection with heavy alcohol intake. Herbal and dietary indications which approach the gall bladder may then be effective.

Dietary indications:

In any problem related to the function of the liver or gall-bladder, it is vital that dietary guidelines are followed to ease the digestive burden on the liver/gb and to ensure that there is no unnecessary pain caused. The dietary guidelines are simple: avoid all fried and roasted foods and reduce all fats and fatty foods to a minimum. Drink alcohol only in moderation.

Gall stones:

The cause of the development of gall stones is not entirely clear. Herbs can in some cases help the body to eliminate the stones with a minimum of pain. However, this may take time. A mixture that can do this is:

Marshmallow Root Althaea officinalis 2 parts
Balmony Chelone glabra 1 part
Boldo Peumus boldus 1 part
Fringetree Bark Chionanthus virginicus 1 part
Golden Seal Hydrastis canadensis 1 part

Mix dry herbs and then infuse 1 tsp. in 1 cup of boiled water (5-10 min)- drink 3x daily. The Golden Seal in this mixture may be substituted with Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) or Mountain Grape (Berberis aquifolia), as all contain very similar alkaloids that work on the gall-bladder. The whole of the digestive system must be aided in gall stones, so it has to be treated with the appropriate digestive herbs. If the nervous system is under stress, it should be treated accordingly. Formulation from: (Hoffmann, David. THE NEW HOLISTIC HERBAL. Shaftesbury: Element Books, 1990, p. 62)

If your co-worker is under considerable stress, please indicate. There are lots of measures, herbal and otherwise, that can be suggested in this case.

Until next week...

In Viriditas,

From: Christopher Hedley <christopher.GN.APC.ORG>

Digestive enzymes are also useful.
The pancreas is either not producing enough of them, or their secretion is blocked. They can be prescribed or bought in the health food shops.
Black horehound (Ballota nigra) is useful for the pain, otherwise I can only back up the Liver strategy already mentioned.