Herb for Heroes and Hajduks

Achilles, an almost invincible hero of the Trojan War, owed his immortality to his mother Thetis, a nereid – a sea nymph – who regularly dipped him in the river Styx; however, he was left vulnerable in one part of the body – that by which his mother held him while dipping him in the river: his left heel which never touched the sacred waters of the river Styx. Thetis also used other methods in an attempt to strengthen her son. Some unorthodox methods which were opposed by her husband Peleus involved Thetis anointing the boy in ambrosia and holding him over a fire in order to burn away the mortal parts of his body. After she had been stopped by Peleus, she abandoned both her husband and her son in a rage and returned the the depths of the sea.

Peleus entrusted the upbringing of Achilles to Chiron the Centaur who achieved a feat that even modern medicine would be envious of – he carried out the first transplantation. He implanted the bone of the giant Damiso, a famous runner, in Achilles leg, thus making Achilles an extraordinary runner. Achilles had all the advantages of the most modern education of the time: his diet consisted of the intestines of lions and wild boar (so that he should become strong) and honey to make him sweet and eloquent. In effect, Achilles had all the advantages of the traditional medicine of the period.  

As the Greek fleet gathered in Aulis, Achilles mother gave him Hephaestus weapons, a divine horse and the slave Mnemon. Legend has it that the Greek army first reached Mysia on its way to Troy. Convinced that they had arrived in Troy, they set out to ravage the city, until Telephus, the son of Heracles, appeared. After Telephus had stumbled on a vine, Achilles struck him in the thigh with a spear.  

After many adventures Telephus and Achilles met in Greece again. Telephus’ wound was not healing and – as he leant from the oracle – it could be healed only by the person who inflicted it. Therefore Telephus donned beggar’s clothes and went searching for Achilles. In Aulis, he managed to get medical help thanks to his cunning: he promised the Greek army to show them the way to Troy if Achilles healed his wound.

A version of the story says that Achilles scraped pieces of his spear onto Telephus’ wound, which miraculously healed. According to another version, he used herbal medicine – he applied yarrow to Telephus wound. We all probably know how Achilles ended his life and how his heal became legendary, but that is not all. In year 1753 his healing powers inspired Carl Linnaeus to name a very special plant by Achilles’ name. That is how yarrow was given its scientific name Achillea millefolium. 

Many heroes’ wounds were healed by this herb.  In our region it became legendary thanks to hajduks (legendary anti-Ottoman freedom fighters and highway brigands in West Balkans), who are fated to have carried it on themselves, just in case. Centuries have passed, but yarrow (in Serbian called hajdučka trava /hajduks’s herbs/) does not cease to fascinate. It has a beneficial effect on the liver and kidneys, the reproductive system, digestive organs, the nervous system, and circulation; it lowers blood sugar, relieves the symptoms of the flu and colds, regulates blood pressure and cures haemorrhoids. As Achilles and hajduks have known for centuries, it can stop bleeding and can promote wound healing. 

Yarrow has a very good reason to be one of the ingredients used in Femisan A and B. Thanks to achilleine and tannin this precious plant soothes lengthy and heavy bleeding and has a positive effect on the hormonal balance. With its soothing effect on the nervous system it calms its oversensitivity in perimenopause and menopause, and after the onset of menopause it has a positive  effect on the cardiovascular system by preventing diabetes and strengthening immunity. 

Myths a legends are one thing but reality is something completely different. We all know that women are in effect the biggest silent heroes. That is why this heroes’ herb is here to ease their way through many heroic deeds – both those experienced on a daily basis, but also some momentous events in one’s life. 

Femisan and Doctor’s Advice

The text below is a transcript from the TV presentation broadcasted in November, 2019, with participation of Dr Antonić, specialist in gynaecology.

Let’s talk about health now, and, of course, it is a great pleasure that our long term associate, the Herba Svet company, has brought an interesting guest, the man who has answers to numerous questions, especially coming from women, so I would like to welcome here the Biologist, Snežana Petrović from the Herba Svet company, and Doctor Duško Antonić, gynaecologist and obstetrician. Good evening, welcome. Doctor Antonić, a special welcome to you, since this is your first time here in our Sunday Afternoon Program, thank you for being here, because, when a gynaecologist explains certain things – it is much easier, right, Snežana?

Of course. I would like to thank Doctor Antonić for being our and your guest and I hope that he will honour us in future with his presence and expertise.

Right, especially because after we have you, Snežana, here as our guest, or Natalija, there are often many calls from our viewers who have more questions and ask for more information. We will remind you once again that you can ask all your questions on social networks, since the Herba Svet company has its Facebook page and you will get your answer very quickly. And now I’ll ask something in the name of our female viewers! Doctor, here, we are presenting Femisan A, we had a user who managed to finally get pregnant after she had been using this product, there are numerous comments from women who really solved their problems, but, here, tell us how persistent does a woman need to be when it comes to health?

She needs to be very persistent, for a simple reason that we are exposed to various agents, and then, after a while they leave consequences on our health. As for Femisan A, that you have just mentioned and the success of the woman who used it, we are often now witnesses of the problem with female sterility, there is the problem that women now keep postponing motherhood and have their first baby at a later age. In some cases, for example, the peak age to get pregnant is 24, and then it keeps dropping, and we have a situation now that women aged 40-42, the age that is practically close to the menopause, are trying to get pregnant. In these cases, Femisan A is very important for a simple reason that, in that period of some 10 years before the menopause, before the last menstruation, there is a change, there are various symptoms that a woman experiences, and above all, there is a loss of reproductive abilities, to be more accurate – the number of ovulatory cycles gets smaller, a woman may have regular periods, but she does not ovulate, and even if there is ovulation, it is insufficient for a pregnancy.

Then, there are series of disorders when it comes to menstrual cycle, the menstruations are not regular anymore, they are different by their duration and blood loss, they can occur earlier or later, so this is a period of life when everything that was abnormal, now becomes normal. For that reason, Femisan A is good since it helps maintain for a while the period of ovulation cycles, it helps women have regular, good ovulations, a good egg that can be used for pregnancy.

Although gynaecologists recommend Femisan A and Femisan B (for women entering menopause), and it is a credit for the Herba Svet company, of course, but many of our viewers now, when they see that the topic is health, think ’I am healthy, it is none of my business, I’ll watch something else’, but are we really healthy, doctor? How often does it happen that women come to you for routine check-ups, but end up having numerous health issues they are not aware of?

A great number of women, only when they come for a regular gynaecological check-up, whether it is just an ultrasound or a gynaecological examination, discover that they have an ovarian cyst or polycystic ovaries, and they were completely unaware of it. Some women learn that they have uterine fibroids, or, if the breast check-up is involved, that they have cysts in breasts, so yes, women most often discover that during regular gynaecological check-ups. We can say that we are healthy, and yes, we feel healthy and go around our business, but the biological clock is ticking. In this post-menstrual period, a women will discover various vasomotor disorders, that is, due to dilation of peripheral blood vessels and sudden blood flow, when entering the menopause, she will experience hot flashes – ’hot and cold’, a heat wave followed by a cold wave, which can happen 20 to 30 times a day, which again, leaves consequences and causes irritability…

And we feel very bad and scared.

Yes, with irritability, loss of focus, skin damage, dry skin, hair damage, so it all triggers a series of symptoms in the body, and it is better to prevent that or reduce the intensity than to let it pass by itself, since it is a long period – it lasts for 10 years. The perimenopause period can last for 10 years.

Yes, it can be really long. Snežana, you always say that we should not forget our doctor. So you always insist on having a check-up by the doctor, and then using these products in agreement with the doctor. How much do the patients – the users of your products listen to this advice?

I must say we keep getting more feedback. When we get any question related to Femisan A, we always give instructions on how to use it and tell them to let us know about the results. So, the recommendation is: after 2 to 3 months of use of Femisan A to do a check-up, especially, as the doctor said, in case there is a cyst, so something that can be monitored. When it comes to Femisan B, women can monitor by themselves if the symptoms are reduced or not. However, when it comes to Femisan A, the actual gynaecological problems, we always point out and ask women to let us know the results and have the first control check-up 3-6 months following the therapy.

Unfortunately, there is a growing number of young girls with polycystic ovaries, and in that case it is especially important for mothers to take care of their children. And women, once the reproductive period is over, and I believe the doctor will agree with me here, somehow neglect their health, they have less regular check-ups, and then it happens, for example, that there is a uterine fibroid which is huge, which causes massive bleeding and creates problems… the woman maybe has a check-up only then, and it could have been prevented or mitigated. So, I believe that women take more care during the reproductive period, until they become mothers, and later not as much. We always urge women, this way on TV or in direct contact with women, not to neglect the check-ups, especially, and the doctor will say more about what problems may occur when entering menopause, and it is very important to examine our breasts and have regular check-ups, ideally every 6 months.

So shall we say once again to our female viewers – to have patience and persistence, when it comes to health. Is there any other advice that we could give to our women who may be a bit lazy to schedule a gynaecological check-up, or may be afraid what the doctor will say, what message do you have for them?

First of all, as Snežana has just said, regular gynaecological check-ups – what do they entail? A colposcopy at least once a year, and the ultrasound at least twice a year. Also, the ultrasound of breasts is mandatory, and if there is a need, the mammography, or even MRI. As for the therapy used, the products based on medicinal herbs can be efficient, however, certain period of time is required for the full effect. We cannot expect that one or two bottles will give us the effect, but – once it is reached, it lasts for a longer period of time. We, gynaecologists, have series of hormone-based medications and when we prescribe them, there is a quick effect, however, once a woman stops using it, the effect quickly disappears.

But here we have the case that once you reach that effect, you will notice, for example, if it’s the menopause, the effect will be maintained throughout the therapy. The menopause disappears after the last period. In our region it occurs around the age of 52. But it can occur earlier, and we have cases of women younger than 40 entering menopause, or women entering menopause after the age of 55. In order to prevent early menopause, one advice, for example, is to quit smoking. There is evidence that women who have smoked for 2 years will enter menopause earlier.

We cannot give you the accurate moment the menopause will hit, it depends on nutrition, childbirth, and breastfeeding, however there is a genetic connection, so we can say the daughter will enter menopause approximately at the same time as her mother. With menopause come series of disorders, most women know about cardiovascular disorders and osteoporosis, and how can you prevent osteoporosis? There is evidence that skinnier women, women that use alcohol and smoke also experience bone decay more often.

We all know that and yet we don’t listen to the doctor and pay no attention.

That is why I am here.

And that is why we will be glad to have you as our guest in weeks to come and tell us more about various topics and explain to women how important it is to take care of our health. Thank you very much for your advice. Snežana, thank you for bringing the guest to us.

Thank you, and once again, thanks to Doctor Antonić.

These were the special minutes for you, dear ladies. So if you dedicate at least 10 minutes to your health, that is a success for the start. See you with new topics next week.

Herba Svet and dr Duško Antonić, BN TV, Sunday Afternoon Program, 3 November, 2019