Tincture of Melilot herb (Melilotus officinalis) 1:3 25%
Melilot is commonly found in woods and meadows, and is a member of the pea family (leguminosae). It has small yellow flowers with a pleasant sweetish smell. Upon drying melilot develops a coumarin-like odour, reminiscent of haystacks in the late summer. The main characteristic constituents are coumarin derivatives such as melilotiside. Coumarins in general are anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and tonic to the venous and lymphatic vessels. They are a feature of plants traditionally used to treat conditions such as oedema, varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
It should be noted that if melilot is allowed to decay before drying the coumarins can convert to dicoumarol, which is a potent anticoagulent (warfarin). Properly dried melilot does not contain any dicoumarol.
The main therapeutic uses of melilot are symptomatic treatment of problems relating to varicose veins, such as painful, heavy legs, nocturnal cramps in the legs, itching and swelling. It is used very much as an adjunctive treatment for thrombophlebitis, post thrombotic syndrome, and lymphostasis - disorders arising from chronic venous insufficiency.
The therapeutic dose of coumarin has been established at around 1mg/Kg per day, although higher doses have been recommended. This corresponds to 15 ml of the melilot tincture per day, divided into 3 doses - so 5ml 3 x per day, when used on its own. Melilot is often combined with other cardiovascular herbs such as hawthorn, lime flowers, motherwort and horse chestnut, where it is used in lower doses allowing for a synergistic effect with these herbs.
Do not use if taking blood thinning medication such as warfarin and aspirin.
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