Cactus - Selenicereus grandiflorus (in the Cactaceae or Cactus family)
Part used: Succulent stem.
Taste/smell: Sweet, tart.
Tendencies: Cooling, drying.
Dosage: 1:1 fresh liquid extract: 1-15 drops 1-3 times per day in a little water.
Mental picture and specific indications: Indicated for conditions of dilation and atony from muscular laxity and has a special affinity for the heart.
Use: (a) Diuretic, (b) Stimulating cardiac tonic, (c) Cardiac trophorestorative, (d) Stimulating to the spinal and motor nerves.
The principal action of cactus is upon the circular muscle fibers of the heart and arterioles and is used in cardiac incompetence, CHF, cardiac weakness, mitral insufficiency and angina.
Contraindications: An overdose may cause rapid and erratic heart beat, cardiospasm or a feeling of constriction in the chest, carditis, pericarditis, mental confusion, headaches, vertigo, amblyopia, gastrointestinal upset and noise sensitivity. This herb should only be used under the guidance of trained health care practitioners. Cactus can potentiate cardiac drugs like Digitoxin, Digoxin and other plants containing cardiac glycosides. Physicians should closely monitor individuals who consume formulas with cactus while taking cardiac glycosides or drugs. Cactus is contraindicated in pregnancy.