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Old 12-28-2013, 12:58 AM   #1
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Learn Something New Every Day??

Someone teach me something...


Please?


I'm in need of fresh information.


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Old 12-28-2013, 01:22 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWoman View Post
Someone teach me something...


Please?


I'm in need of fresh information.


TTechno will teach you some new skills he has perfected over the years
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Old 12-28-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWoman View Post
Someone teach me something...


Please?


I'm in need of fresh information.


Whatcha wanna know?

If we don't know your skillset, how will we know we are teaching you something you don't already know?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by AmigoKumeyaay View Post




Hahahaha


My mind has been blown...


Do I need special shoes???
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by docat View Post
Whatcha wanna know?

If we don't know your skillset, how will we know we are teaching you something you don't already know?



There's SO MUCH I don't know. Trust.


I know there's something you are DYING to tell me.

Something juicy...

What is it??

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Old 12-29-2013, 03:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonWoman View Post
There's SO MUCH I don't know. Trust.


I know there's something you are DYING to tell me.

Something juicy...

What is it??

There's nothing I'm DYING to tell you. I don't even know you. Well, if you need something juicy, let's see...

OK, when you process milkweed fiber into cordage, you have to break off the leaves, and when you do, it will ooze a juicy latex residue. If you put that latex on a wart, it will cure it within 48 hours. Hope that helps you learn something new today.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
There's nothing I'm DYING to tell you. I don't even know you. Well, if you need something juicy, let's see...

OK, when you process milkweed fiber into cordage, you have to break off the leaves, and when you do, it will ooze a juicy latex residue. If you put that latex on a wart, it will cure it within 48 hours. Hope that helps you learn something new today.


What is milkweed fiber and what happens when it becomes cordage???
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Old 12-29-2013, 05:04 PM   #9
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What is milkweed fiber and what happens when it becomes cordage???
I have three answers for you. You pick the one you like:

1. Milkweed fiber falls from the sky and comes from the Milky Way. On a dewy morning, you can gather the fibers before the dew burns off. It's that fuzz you see in the grass. You have to gather quickly as these fibers break down and disintegrate when the sun burns off the dew.

2. Milkweed fiber comes from lactating cows and goats that eat weeds rather than grass and grain. When milking, if you shoot milk streams out into the air, thin fibrous strands of milk quickly dry on the fly and fall to the ground. Then the artisan can take the fibers and spin it into a pure white thread that can be dyed and twisted into cordage.

3. Look up MILKWEED in a field guide so you can identify it or just google it. Learning something new takes at least a small effort on the part of the person wanting to learn. Only babies are interesting to teach when they don't put forth much effort. How about you learn how to identify a milkweed plant and how to snap off a leaf and put the latex on your warts. You clear up your warts and then we'll worry about what happens when it becomes cordage. Good luck.
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Old 12-29-2013, 06:01 PM   #10
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I know her question smacks a bit of the "give me some of that good ol' Native wisdom," but I'm inclined to cut her some slack. It is amazing to me the number of twenty-something, suburban white kids who couldn't identify a dandelion if they tripped over one. Heavy herbicide use has really cut back on milkweed plants in many areas. When I was a kid, it grew all along the high tension powerline right aways. But when the power company quit using brush cutting crews and started aerial and truck spraying, milkweed, elderberry, wild blackberries and almost all those forest edge plants disappeared. She probably has never seen one.


Asclepais syriaca

Milkweed grows to 3 to 6 ft tall with broad green leaves, containing a thick milky sap. This sap can cause contact dermatitis in some people. It has pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, white or green flowers, depending on species. Milkweed forms large green, hairy seedpods which split open when dry and spread a "silk" topped seed. The fibrous section can be separated from the seed and since it has fairly long staples it can be spun. It was and is used by Native peoples and colonists to make cordage and cloth.

Like all plants milkweeds are great chemists and make a host of biologically active compounds. They are perhaps best known in the dominant culture as the source of the toxic compounds in Monarch and other butterflies. The sap of milkweed contains various cardenolides, which are steroidal toxins. The most familiar of this class of compounds is digoxin. These compounds interfere with ion exchange at the cell membrane and thus effect heart action.

Last edited by OLChemist; 12-29-2013 at 06:05 PM..
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Old 12-29-2013, 09:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
The sap of milkweed contains various cardenolides, which are steroidal toxins. The most familiar of this class of compounds is digoxin. These compounds interfere with ion exchange at the cell membrane and thus effect heart action.
I wonder how this compares with digitoxin extracted from Foxglove. My late husband was an armchair medicinal chemist who worked up his own medicines from old pharmacological formularies. He had a heart problem and a distinct distrust of modern medicine.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
I wonder how this compares with digitoxin extracted from Foxglove.
I am not sure it is one of the cardenolides produced by milkweed. I used digioxin as an example of the various molecules that are cardenolides. I did do some cursory digging and was unable to find a breakdown of the specific compounds. What I did find was data on the number of cardenolides detected by GC-MS for various species of milkweed, and the variation in concentration under differ growing conditions.

As for digoxin from one plant being the same as the digoxin from another or from a chemical factory for that matter, that arrangement of atoms is digoxin regardless of the source. However, with all chemical synthesis pathways -- whether conducted in a round bottom flask or a cell -- there are side products.

These may be inactive or toxic enantiomers. An enantiomer is a molecule that contains the same elements, bonded in the same order but with an opposite arrangement of atoms around a particular atom. It is the molecular equivalent of right and left handed gloves. The biological activity of a molecule is often governed by how it fits and interacts inside an enzyme or other structure in a cell. So, the stereochemistry, handedness, of a molecule can matter. The most familiar example of this is thalidomide; the R enantiomer controls morning sickness, the S is a teratogen. (Talidomide racemizes, interconverts from one form to the other, in vivo so it cannot be made safe.) Natural synthesis pathways are often, but not always, more stereoselective than laboratory pathways.

With plant mediated synthesis, the levels of active compounds can vary greatly with growing conditions. Some of the active compounds are produced by stressed plants as a defensive mechanism. Or a well feed and watered plant may produce very high levels, as illustrated by the huge increase in THC levels in pot plants that are grown under optimum conditions for medical use.

Plants are also exposed to whatever is in their environment. Some plants concentrate toxic elements from the soil. With modern herbicide and pesticide use, these can also be present in extracts from medicinal herbs.

For these reasons I always warn people who, are new to herbal medicines: A naturally sourced compound is not always safer than a man-made compound. And just because something is "natural" does not make it automatically safe. If you won't self-prescribe from behind the counter at the local pharmacy, you shouldn't from the local garden either.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by docat View Post
I have three answers for you. You pick the one you like:

1. Milkweed fiber falls from the sky and comes from the Milky Way. On a dewy morning, you can gather the fibers before the dew burns off. It's that fuzz you see in the grass. You have to gather quickly as these fibers break down and disintegrate when the sun burns off the dew.

2. Milkweed fiber comes from lactating cows and goats that eat weeds rather than grass and grain. When milking, if you shoot milk streams out into the air, thin fibrous strands of milk quickly dry on the fly and fall to the ground. Then the artisan can take the fibers and spin it into a pure white thread that can be dyed and twisted into cordage.

3. Look up MILKWEED in a field guide so you can identify it or just google it. Learning something new takes at least a small effort on the part of the person wanting to learn. Only babies are interesting to teach when they don't put forth much effort. How about you learn how to identify a milkweed plant and how to snap off a leaf and put the latex on your warts. You clear up your warts and then we'll worry about what happens when it becomes cordage. Good luck.


I'm inclined to want to believe the first one...
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
I know her question smacks a bit of the "give me some of that good ol' Native wisdom," but I'm inclined to cut her some slack. It is amazing to me the number of twenty-something, suburban white kids who couldn't identify a dandelion if they tripped over one. Heavy herbicide use has really cut back on milkweed plants in many areas. When I was a kid, it grew all along the high tension powerline right aways. But when the power company quit using brush cutting crews and started aerial and truck spraying, milkweed, elderberry, wild blackberries and almost all those forest edge plants disappeared. She probably has never seen one.


Asclepais syriaca

Milkweed grows to 3 to 6 ft tall with broad green leaves, containing a thick milky sap. This sap can cause contact dermatitis in some people. It has pink, purple, red, orange, yellow, white or green flowers, depending on species. Milkweed forms large green, hairy seedpods which split open when dry and spread a "silk" topped seed. The fibrous section can be separated from the seed and since it has fairly long staples it can be spun. It was and is used by Native peoples and colonists to make cordage and cloth.

Like all plants milkweeds are great chemists and make a host of biologically active compounds. They are perhaps best known in the dominant culture as the source of the toxic compounds in Monarch and other butterflies. The sap of milkweed contains various cardenolides, which are steroidal toxins. The most familiar of this class of compounds is digoxin. These compounds interfere with ion exchange at the cell membrane and thus effect heart action.


I didn't ask for your judgment, OLChemist.. or any "native wisdom"... just some engagement. Totally VOLUNTARY engagement, but thank you for the slack. I have a degree in culture and media ... not chemistry... or biology.

And guess what???

Now, I know what milkweed is.

Something that, yesterday, I did not.

That's food for the day.

So, thanks.



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Old 12-31-2013, 12:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
For these reasons I always warn people who, are new to herbal medicines: A naturally sourced compound is not always safer than a man-made compound. And just because something is "natural" does not make it automatically safe. If you won't self-prescribe from behind the counter at the local pharmacy, you shouldn't from the local garden either.
Thanks for the explanation. I too did some research since posing the question, and I found that one is processed in the liver and the other is processed in the kidneys. This would have meant something to my husband who had kidney issues as well.

I agree totally with your words above. It was something that I banged my head against the wall about because he was using formularies from the 1880s, and a little knowledge (although he thought himself knowledgeable) is a dangerous thing. Hemlock is natural too, but it'll kill.

However, his self medications didn't prove to cause his demise. He passed away from a massive stroke. His error was one of omission. He had the stroke from untreated high blood pressure.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:33 AM   #16
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I'm inclined to want to believe the first one...
That's the one I chose too.
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Old 12-31-2013, 09:50 AM   #17
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I'm sorry if it sounded like I was criticizing your late husband. I was going for a variation on the stock disclaimer I put on any info about medicinal chemistry. I know too many New Agey types who think they can just play herbalist. In someways, I think their attitude is a kind of unconscious contempt for our culture. "It's got to be simple, after all these primitive people developed it."

There is a lot involved in safely gathering and using wild food, or traditional medicines. And most of us in the modern world don't have enough exposure to plants. I grew up with two generations that foraged for wild foods and herbs, and I what I learned is what I don't know. There were plants my auntie wouldn't harvest if it was dry because she said they weren't good then. One of them I later learned from a colleague, who was extracting and identifying compounds in the home remedies used by mountain people in the Ozarks, produced a toxic alkaloid in response to stress to prevent predation. It takes an years of guidance and experience to learn to safely gather, prepare and use traditional foods and medicines. Our ancestors were skilled practical botanists and chemists. And they invested much time and energy into transmitting this knowledge, which cannot be casually acquired.

Many of these plants are leaving our daily lives, even for those of us in cities. This fall I went back to the town where I grew up and back to my where my grandparents farm used to be for the first time in over twenty years. Like I said in my earlier post there used to be wild food and medicinal plants in ditches, right aways and creek beds. So much is gone. Widespread use of herbicides, in particular N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine, has decimated the broadleaved "weeds". Milkweed, ironweed, ragweed, false globe mallow, morning glory and so many plants were just gone from the roadsides and ditches. Places I used to pick touch-me-not leaves to put on bug bites were all invasive species now. And I won't have eaten the elderberries that were limping along in some of the places that used to me lush gardens of berries.

MoonWoman, touch-me-not, jewelweed, Impatiens capensis sap contains 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone a natural dye which turns your skin orange/brown/yellow. Some scientists say the sap has antifungal properties. It is a widely used folk remedy for poison ivy and bug bites. Your teachin' for the day *wink*
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:20 PM   #18
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I'm sorry if it sounded like I was criticizing your late husband. I was going for a variation on the stock disclaimer I put on any info about medicinal chemistry.
No, it didn't sound like criticizing in the least. I totally understand and agree. I was a huge nag about it because I thought it was dangerous. He was fascinated with chemistry and the old time remedies. He had a "chem cave," his version of the "man cave." It's a good thing he passed before he would have found this forum; he would have attempted to monopolize your time on here! You speak his dialect.

Our daughters grew up calling him a mad scientist and complained of the odors of burning cubebs and sulfur coming from the chem cave or from the open bag of Asafoetida that arrived in a non-air tight bag in the mail.

When I had a bad cough once, he made a bunch of home made cough drops from one of his old formularies. They were called "Bronchial Troches." I didn't want to use them; however, I didn't want him to see me throw them out since they were supposedly only "harmless cough drops." I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I buried them in the dirt of one of the houseplants.

Within a week, I was on the mend, but that plant was well on its way to dying. Now it could have died because I disturbed the roots. But something tells me that there was some active ingredient that was toxic to it.

DH stopped short of growing Papaver somniferim for his own manufacture(poppies, for those readers who aren't botanically inclined)...however, if he had been in pain, I don't doubt he would have.
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:06 PM   #19
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They were called "Bronchial Troches."
Boy, I had to look that up. The 1866 patent was something.

Ammonium chloride, tail pepper, extract of licorice, gum arabic, wintergreen, tolu balasam aren't too surprising. This stuff would have tasted like a cross between Finnish salted licorice, wintergreen lifesavers, pepper and a pine tree. I imagine the flavor would have cured your cough by making your mouth, throat and nose relocate to a safe distance -- say 30 or 40 miles -- from your lungs. Your breath after these would have stripped paint, LOL.

But the ingredient that gets me is chlorate of potash -- KClO3. The chemist in me is recoiling. While it is a disinfectant, this is one of the milder compounds from the land of fireworks, rocket fuel, blast guards and cracked fume hood sashes. It is a fun oxidizer. You can make plastic explosives with it. It likes to react with things and liberate lots of heat and oxygen. It burns with things you "rarely" find in labs, like dust and lint and paper. Was it in there to blow the freaking gems up? I can't imagine how Mr Samuel O Henszey, Jr made the first batch without autoignition of one or more of the ingredients. Or his fingers.

No wonder the plant died.

Extract of licorice, gum arabic, wintergreen, and tolu balasam are still used in cough medicines today. The methyl salicylate in oil of wintergreen is antiseptic and pain relieving. (Before anyone goes crazy with oil of wintergreen, 1 tsp contains enough methyl salicylate to administer a lethal adult dose. And it is absorbed through the skin.)
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:14 AM   #20
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Boy, I had to look that up. The 1866 patent was something.

Ammonium chloride, tail pepper, extract of licorice, gum arabic, wintergreen, tolu balasam aren't too surprising. This stuff would have tasted like a cross between Finnish salted licorice, wintergreen lifesavers, pepper and a pine tree. I imagine the flavor would have cured your cough by making your mouth, throat and nose relocate to a safe distance -- say 30 or 40 miles -- from your lungs. Your breath after these would have stripped paint, LOL.

But the ingredient that gets me is chlorate of potash -- KClO3. The chemist in me is recoiling. While it is a disinfectant, this is one of the milder compounds from the land of fireworks, rocket fuel, blast guards and cracked fume hood sashes. It is a fun oxidizer. You can make plastic explosives with it. It likes to react with things and liberate lots of heat and oxygen. It burns with things you "rarely" find in labs, like dust and lint and paper. Was it in there to blow the freaking gems up? I can't imagine how Mr Samuel O Henszey, Jr made the first batch without autoignition of one or more of the ingredients. Or his fingers.

No wonder the plant died.

Extract of licorice, gum arabic, wintergreen, and tolu balasam are still used in cough medicines today. The methyl salicylate in oil of wintergreen is antiseptic and pain relieving. (Before anyone goes crazy with oil of wintergreen, 1 tsp contains enough methyl salicylate to administer a lethal adult dose. And it is absorbed through the skin.)
WOW, 1866, indeed that would have been the era of at least one of the formularies. Plastic explosives??? Oh my, I'm glad the plant suffered in my place. They didn't smell good, and I can see that this is the correct formula because the mix of smells sounds spot on. That tailed pepper is cubeb, I think.

Oh planned and unplanned fires in the chem cave were not all that uncommon. The house was all electric and we had to put in natural gas for his burners. He had a soapstone lab table and sink and all the gear salvaged from a high school chemistry lab from a school that had been consolidated with another one. Oh, and you can imagine his "list for Santa" for holiday gifts he needed. LOL

The oil of wintergreen reminds me... Back in the 80s, he was experimenting with different "carriers" (not sure if that's the right term or not, but that's what he called them) that would allow a person to have medicine administered through the skin in a patch. I'm not sure where he got the carriers...and maybe I'm not remembering it right. It was a long time ago. But back then, I don't recall that medicines were administered in patches. In fact, he didn't call them patches but something else...but the idea is the same.

DH had good intentions. He was thoroughly fascinated with his formularies. I remember one had homeopathic formulas in it with some pretty deadly ingredients, but as you know in homeopathic preps, the toxic element is very weak. This surprised me to see this in his book that was over 100 years old (I think it was Kilner's formulary--at least that's the name that rings a bell) because I have seen homeopathic preparations in modern natural medicine. Between you and me and anyone who has read this far, I don't think I believe that homeopathic preparations really work... perhaps it is more of a placebo effect? DH didn't agree with me.

Some of these old formularies had preps that weren't medicine, but helpful things you'd pick up at a pharmacy, like hair dye that uses galls and sugar of lead. There were other preps for removing stains and removing worms in horses.
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