OCOTILLO (Brief Notes)
An amazing lymphatic plant medicine that probably could benefit 60% of the people who are reading this!
Michael Moore writes - “ The tincture is taken in a little warm water every three or four hours, usually in doses of 25-35 drops. It is useful for those symptoms that arise from pelvic congestion, both lymphatic and veinous. It is absorbed from the intestines into the mesenteric lymph system by way of the lacteals of the small-intestinal lining: this stimulates better visceral lymph drainage into the thoracic duct and improves dietary fat absorption into the lymph system. With fewer dietary lipids going into the liver by the portal blood, there is less tendency for the intestinal blood to back up (portal hypertension) and less stagnation in the pelvic and upper thighs.”
Another way to think about its actions is this: if you are eating lots of foods with fats and oils that are hard to digest, you are not very active, almost sedentary in nature, starting to put on weight in the legs, waist, and belly, showing signs of varicosity, lower extremity bloating, feeling “sluggish” in the pelvic area, or in general, have an illness or disease that stems from a long term lymphatic congestion … then Ocotillo might be the plant medicine you have been looking for!
People with any of the following conditions might find this a good plant ally!
(Specific Indications For Herbs In General Use) Second Edition
Cardiovascular edema with venous stasis in pelvis and legs; varicose veins
in legs, inner thighs, from diet or chronic poor fat digestion.
Alcoholic cirrhosis with portal congestion.
Hepatitis - chronic abdominal pain and hemorrhoidal aching after acute
symptoms long over.
Dysuria with congestive prostate enlargements in sedentary males.
Colitis from intestinal putrefaction and liver or portal dysfunction.
Chronic constipation with poor fat absorption, sluggish portal circulation.
Hemorrhoids, all cases aggravated or initiated by dietary or alcoholic
Steatorrhea, from overindulgence in fats; or with ileocecal irritability.
Eczema, with chronic poor fat digestion, dry skin.
Chronic psoriasis, when pelvic congestion, hemorrhoids, dull urethritis
triggers acute episode.
Cervicitis concurrent with hemorrhoids, occasional ache on urination or
varicose vein aggravation.
Orchitis/epididymitis, with portal congestion, hemorrhoids, varicosities.
Uterus, congestion, with hemorrhoids or dull aching urination.
Nutritional malabsorption with steatorrhea but no cecal inflammation, dark
feces with bad breath, subcutaneous pre-acne eruptions.
Cancer, supportive in lymph dysplasias.
To stimulate innate immunity.
Lymphadenitis, in inguinal nodes; or with congested cisterna chyli and
Mononucleosis, with steatorrhea, portal congestion, hemorrhoids.
Michael Moore continues “ Most hemorrhoids are helped by Ocotillo, as are cervical varicosities and benign prostate enlargements. The same is true of frequent need to urinate, with dull ache but no inflammation of the urethra, and the kinds of varicose veins and piles worsened by constipation or poor digestion”.
I find in my own practice, Ocotillo plays a vital role as one of those lymphatic herbs that provides distinct movement in an area of the body which has been void of movement - the lymphatic system. This simple but remarkable action becomes the basis of creating some serious healing or return to a better balance.
Dietary fats that are poorly absorbed, lack of exercise or movement, a stagnant lymphatic drainage, long term dehydration, and chronic inflammation all are common factors in the above list of uses. Ocotillo can begin to create better lymphatic movement and once you create movement again, in these areas that have been stagnant, well, there is better health and hope, once again returns …
I prefer a Fresh Bark Extract, from Ocotillo, done as a 1:2 ratio. Many of the constituents that you are after are not water soluble, so you need to do an alcohol extract for best results.
I love combining Ocotillo, with Red Root (Ceanothus spp.), Cleavers (Galium spp.), and other lymphatic plant medicines, for a more complete lymphatic approach.