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X, Y, Z Herbs
A strong decoction of
the plant was used by some native North American
Indian tribes to induce vomiting. This was seen
partly as a physical and partly a spiritual
Dakota Vervain (Glandularia
effective sedative tea, particularly in the early
feverish states of a cold or flu. It also stimulates
sweating. It is a good remedy for children, although
the taste leaves much to be desired. The powdered tops
are mixed with lard or Vaseline and applied to the back
of the neck for back or neck pain. The herb or tea is
used for goats that have just kidded and have udder
Daisy (Bellis perennis (English): Flowers
are used externally in lotions for skin disease, wounds,
varicose veins, sore and watery eyes and bruises.
An infusion of the flower was drunk in the
morning and at night for a fever.
Daisy is under investigation for possible use in
The flowers contain compounds similar to those in
Castanospermum. It is most often used as a gentle
Its fresh flowers are anodyne and help heal
inflamed swellings and burns.
It is also beneficial for colds and chest
problems, coughs and mucous congestion.
The tea is good for stomach and intestinal
problems where some sort of internal fermentation is the
source, also for catarrh, colic, and liver, kidney and
The juice can be used externally for injuries and
suppuration. As a double treatment to relieve stiffness
or soreness, wild daisy can be taken internally as a tea
and applied externally in compresses.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa): As an aphrodisiac, damiana works by sending blood to the
genital area. It must be
used consistently for several weeks before an effect is noticed.
The leaf is infused to treat sexual trauma, frigidity, and
impotence. It also clears the kidneys, helps the digestion, relieves
constipation, and benefits lung problems and coughs.
Due to its testosterogenic quality, damiana has always been
seen as an herb for men, helpful in treating premature ejaculation and
impotence. It works well
in combination with saw palmetto berry and/or ginseng and was used
that way by Native Americans for this purpose.
is a blood purifier with many of the same properties as parsley.
Its essential oil is irritating to mucous membranes, increasing
the production while decreasing the thickness of fluids produced by
these membranes and may account for its success as a diuretic,
laxative, blood purifier and expectorant.
The effect is most pronounced in the reproductive and urinary
systems. It’s used in
the treatment of urinary infections such as cystitis and urethritis
due to the constituent arbutin, which is converted into hydroquinone,
a strong urinary antiseptic, in the urinary tubules.
is a relaxing nervine and tonic with an affinity for nervous system
problems that affect the reproductive system.
It works by increasing blood flow, blood oxygenation, and
energy in the affected area while it relaxes the whole person.
It is also used for debility, depression and lethargy. It has mild laxative properties.
It has traditionally been used to treat coughs, colds,
enuresis, nephritis, headaches and dysmenorrhea.
mexicana): The flower is used for fever,
rheumatism, and as a diuretic, sudorific, antispasmodic,
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale):
Dandelion contains much that is beneficial to our bodies: bitter
compounds, choline, inulin, large quantities of minerals such as
calcium, sodium, silicic acid, sulfur and, in the fresh leaves, a high
content of potassium. The
bitter compounds stimulate the appetite and promote digestion.
Choline affects the gallbladder and the intestines, often
stimulating the mucous membranes of the large intestine in a laxative
effect. It also has a
relationship to the liver’s lipid metabolism. Our daily requirement
of choline is 2-3 grams and a lack of it increases fatty degeneration
of the liver. Dandelion
can promote bile production in the liver and its secretion from the
liver. Dandelion root is
a "blood purifier" that helps both the kidneys and the liver
to improve elimination. It
helps clear up many eczema-like skin problems because of this.
The root has also been successfully used to treat liver
diseases such as jaundice and cirrhosis along with dyspepsia and
gallbladder problems. Its
use as a diuretic is favorable because it replaces the potassium that
most diuretics remove. It's the herb of choice for treating rheumatism, gout and
heart disease as well as regulating hormonal imbalances. Fresh latex removes warts if applied several times daily.
The Chinese have prescribed it since ancient times to treat
colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, hepatitis, boils, ulcers, obesity,
dental problems, itching, and internal injuries. A poultice of chopped dandelion was also used to treat breast
Ayurvedic physicians used the herb in a similar manner.
Recent research shows a wide number of possibilities using
dandelion. It's diuretic
property can make it useful in relieving the bloated feeling of PMS
and in help with weight loss. One
study shows dandelion inhibits the growth of the fungus responsible
for vaginal yeast infections. It
stimulates bile production and prevents gallstones.
There is a German preparation Chol-Grandelat (a combination of
dandelion, milk thistle and rhubarb) prescribed for gallbladder
formulas: dandelion and barberry; dandelion and parsley; dandelion and
temulentum): Occasionally used in folk medicine
to treat headache, rheumatism, and sciatica. It is
occasionally used externally in cases of skin eruption
and tumorous growth. It is
sometimes used by doctors to treat dizziness, insomnia,
blood congestion, and stomach problems. It may also be
used for skin problems like herpes, scurf, and sores.
fruit, because of its tannin content, is used
medicinally as a detersive and astringent in intestinal
troubles. In the form of an infusion, decoction, syrup
or paste, is administered as a treatment for sore
throat, colds, bronchial catarrh. It is taken to relieve
fever, cystitis, gonorrhea, edema, liver and abdominal
troubles. And it is said to counteract alcohol
intoxication. The seed powder is an ingredient in a
paste given to relieve ague. A gum that exudes from the
wounded trunk is employed in India for treating diarrhea
and genito-urinary ailments. It is diuretic and
demulcent. The roots are used against toothache. The
pollen yields an estrogenic principle, estrone, and has
a gonadotropic effect on young rats.
communis): The leaves are used as a throat
gargle to relieve sore throats and tonsilitis. A
decoction of the dried plant is used to treat bleeding,
diarrhea, fever etc. Extracts of the plant show
antibacterial activity. An extract of Commelina
communis after decoction in water has been
traditionally used for the treatment of diabetes in
Death Camas (Zygadenus
elegans): Death camass was once used as an
external medicine. The Blackfoot Indians applied a
wet bound dressing of the pulped bulbs to relieve
the pain of bruises, sprains and rheumatism.
(Trilisa odoratissima, Liatris odoratissima))
The roots have been used for their diuretic effects
and applied locally for sore throats and gonorrhea.
It has also been used as a tonic in treating
A powerful stimulant, highly regarded by Native
Americans as an aphrodisiac, and said to induce erotic
Desert Lavender (Hyptis emoryi): Both the
flowers and the leaves can be used to make a minty-tasting
tea that is good for the stomach and throat. It’s an
anesthethic to the esophagus, thus extremely soothing to
inflamed tissues. It is also a hemostatic, used by
desert Indians to treat heavy menstruation and bleeding
hemorrhoids as well as being given to women in
childbirth. Desert lavender is an excellent tea for
hangovers and helps rid the mouth of the sour taste that
comes with stomach flu. Betulinic acid,
with tumor-inhibitory properties, was identified from a
chloroform extract by Sheth et al. (3). Tanowitz et al.
(4) identified 34 constituents from the oil of a
collection from San Diego Co., California, with 11.9%
borneol as the most abundant constituent
Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens): : It has been recommended for treating a wide variety of conditions:
cholecystitis, cholelithiasiss, gout, obesity, osteoarthritis,
rheumatoid arthritis; Dyspepsia; Hypercholesterolemia; Hyperlipidemia.
It is a remedy from the Kalahari desert in Namibia with a well
deserved reputation as an effective rheumatic remedy. A group of
glycosides called harpagosides found in the root show a marked
anti-inflammatory effect. Devil’s claw is also considered by herbalists to be a potent bitter.
Bitter principles, like the iridoid glycosides found in devil’s
claw, stimulate the stomach to increase the production of acid,
thereby helping to improve digestion.
the west, Devil's claw has been recommended for treating a wide
variety of conditions including diseases of the liver, kidneys, and
bladder, as well as allergies, arteriosclerosis, lumbago,
gastrointestinal disturbances, menstrual difficulties, neuralgia,
headache, climacteric (change of life) problems, heartburn, nicotine
poisoning, and above all, rheumatism and arthritis.
Externally, devil's claw root is made into ointments for skin rashes,
wounds and the like. Diabetes, hepatitis, kidney and bladder
deficiency, nervous malaise and respiratory ailments are all treated
with devil's claw preparations. Insofar
as hardening of the arteries pertains to complications of aging,
devil's claw finds application. There is some concern in the industry
about the difficulty of obtaining good devil's claw root; only certain
portions of the root contain active constituents, and often the whole
root is supplied to manufacturers.
To help circumvent this problem, standardized preparations are
now being produced.
Not much research has been done in this area, but it has been
established devil's claw root possesses a bitter value of 6,000, equal
to the main Western bitter, gentian root. It would therefore be
expected to possess similar gastro-intestinal properties. Indeed, in
the few reported studies on g.i. problems, harpagophytum proved
effective in treating such complaints as dyspepsia and conditions
relating to the proper functioning of bile salts, the gallbladder, and
the enterohepatic circuit. In a related manner, the herb helps to
raise cholesterol and fatty acid levels in the blood. As one author
points out, devil's claw may be the perfect treatment for elderly
people with arthritis, obesity and hyperlipemia.
An early review paper on devil's claw suggested the plant was a
good stimulant of the lymphatic system, with detoxifying effects that
extended to the whole organism, and provided evidence from clinical
studies involving close to 400 persons. The plant was indeed effective
for most of the conditions listed in the folklore section above,
especially as pertaining to the liver, gallbladder, bladder and
More recent studies have found devil's claw preparations are
generally well suited for the treatment of chronic rheumatism,
arthritis, gout, spondylosis-induced lower back pain, neuralgia,
headaches, and lumbago. One study found its anti-inflammatory effects
equaled those of pyrazolone derivatives and the commonly prescribed
anti-arthritic phenylbutazone. Analgesic effects of a subjective
nature are reported, but objective tests are ambiguous on this point.
Relief of pain is probably a side benefit of reduced inflammation.
Improved mobility in the joints is often reported, as well as improved
feeling of well-being. Currently, physicians in Europe are injecting
devil's claw extract directly into arthritic joints, where it acts
much like cortisone in terms of reducing inflammation. As in the case
of most arthritis treatments, not everybody benefits, but there are
enough to do to warrant further investigation of this plant, and to
recommend it as a possible treatment option.
clinical study carried out in Germany in 1976 reported that devil's
claw exhibited anti-inflammatory activity, comparable in many respects
to the well-known anti-arthritic drug, phenylbutazone. Analgesic
effects were also observed along with reductions in abnormally high
cholesterol and uric-acid blood levels.
Devil’s Club (Oplopanax
Devil's Club is used to stabilize blood sugar levels.
It is used routinely in the treatment of diabetes as a natural
alternative to insulin. Although
devil’s club shares some pharmacological and therapeutic
similarities with ginseng, it is not the same medicine.
It is a strong and safe respiratory stimulant and expectorant
increasing the mucus secretions to initiate fruitful coughing and
soften up hardened bronchial mucus that can occur later on in a chest
cold. The cold infusion,
and to a lesser degree the fresh or dry tincture, is helpful for
rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders , taken regularly
and with sensible modifications to the diet.
It is more helpful when taken during remissions and has little
effect during active distress. Its
main value is in modifying extremes of metabolic stress and adding a
little reserve to offset the person’s internal cost of living.
. Its use by
Native Americans as a treatment for adult-onset diabetes has been
substantiated by scientific studies in this century.
It seems to decrease the lust for sugars and binge food in
those trying to lose weight or deal with generally elevated blood fats
and glucose. Seems to
work best on stocky, mesomorphic, anabolic-stress-type, middle-aged
people with elevated blood lipids, moderately high blood pressure, and
early signs of adult onset, insulin-resistant diabetes.
Indians also used it to treat cancer.
strongly warms lymphatic system function; weakly warms central nervous
system activity; weakly warms hepatic activity.
Root weakly warms immunologic activity;
weakly warms mucosal activity; weakly warms parasympathetic
nervous system activity; weakly warms renal activity; weakly warms
reproductive system function; weakly warms respiratory system
function; weakly warms skin activity; weakly warms sympathetic nervous
system activity; weakly warms thyroid stress; weakly warms upper GI
activity; weakly cools adrenal stress; weakly cools anabolic stress.
Devil's Horsewhip (Achyranthes
aspera) The plant is highly esteemed by
traditional healers and used in treatment of asthma,
bleeding, in facilitating delivery, boils, bronchitis,
cold, cough, colic, debility, dropsy, dog bite,
dysentery, ear complications, headache, leucoderma,
pneumonia, renal complications, scorpion bite, snake
bite and skin diseases etc. Traditional healers claim
that addition of A. aspera would enhance the
efficacy of any drug of plant origin. Prevents
infection and tetanus. Used to treat circumcision
wounds, cuts. Also used for improving lymphatic
circulation, strengthens musculatured, improves blood
circulation; Cold with fever, heat stoke with headache,
malaria, dysentery; Urinary tract lithiasis, chronic
nephritis, edema; Rheumatic arthralgia (joint pain).
Used traditionally for infertility in women: Two
ml decoction of root and stem is administered orally
thrice a day for three months. Younger women respond
better to this therapy.
caesius): The fruit is commonly used for a
treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. Combination of the
roots is treatment for coughs and also fevers.
(Anethum graveolens): Carvone is a carminative. Limonene and phellandrene--an
irritant found in oil of dill and many other essential oils--are
seed improves digestion and appetite and sweetens the breath.
The oil kills bacteria and relieves flatulence.
It is frequently used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines for
indigestion, fevers, ulcers, uterine pains and kidney and eye
problems. Ethiopians chew
the leaves along with fennel to treat headaches and gonorrhea.
In Vietnam it is used to treat intestinal diseases.
Contemporary herbalists recommend chewing the seeds for bad
breath and drinking dill tea both as a digestive aid and to stimulate
milk production in nursing mothers.
The herb helps relax the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.
One study shows it's also an antifoaming agent, meaning it
helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas bubbles.
injured knights were said to have placed burned dill seeds on their
open wounds to speed healing. A
mixture of dill, dried honey and butter was once prescribed to treat
of Crete (Origanum dictamnus) As a
medicinal plant, the herb has been utilized to heal
wounds, soothe pain, and ease childbirth. The root has
been used in a salve to treat sciatica, and the juice
was consumed in wine to cure snake bite.
In addition, it has been used as a remedy against
gastric or stomach ailments and rheumatism.
Dock, Bloody (Rumex
Has been used
medicinally for cancer and for various blood diseases.
An infusion of the root is useful in the treatment of
bleeding. The root is harvested in early spring and
dried for later use. A decoction of the leaves is used
in the treatment of several skin diseases.
Dock, Japanese (Rumex
internal use it is similar to da huang: nose bleeding,
functional bleeding of the uterus, purpura due to
thrombocytopenia, chronic hepatitis, inflammation of the
anus, constipation. Fresh squeezed juice is effective
for fungus infection of skin, hemorrhoids, inflammation
of the mammary glands, and eczema.
A mild laxative and a well regarded hepatic. It is
of value for the treatment of bladder and liver
troubles. It is also considered a remedy for
Dodder, Big Fruit (Cuscuta
used the plants in a bath for treatment of tuberculosis.
Early settlers put their fevered children in the same
kind of bath. A poultice of the plant has been used to
treat insect stings. Indians believed the plant to
be a useful contraceptive and gave it to their women.
It has also been considered a bile stimulant and a
Dodder, Common (Cuscuta
europaea): In traditional folk medicine, a
decoction was used as a laxative. The entire plant is
used in Tibetan medicine, where it is considered to have
a bitter, acrid and sweet taste with a heating potency.
It is aphrodisiac, renal and a hepatic tonic, being used
to increase semen, to treat pain in the wrist and limbs,
vaginal/seminal discharge, polyuria, tinnitus and
Dodder, Japanese (Cuscuta
used for diarrhea, impotence, urinary frequency, vaginal
discharge, and poor eyesight associated with liver and
kidney energy weakness. Also used for prostatis
and neurological weakness. It builds sperm, builds
the blood, strengthens sinews and bones. It also
treats enuresis and seminal emission; constipation,
backache and cold knees; and rheumatoid arthritis.
One of the safer and more affordable yang tonics.
The herb is reputed to confer longevity when used for
prolonged periods, particularly in combination with
Chinese yam. The herb is nontoxic and can be used
continuously for long-term periods except for the
Dog Lichen (Peltigera
canina): Liver tonic. The whole plant is used
in the form of an infusion of 1 oz to 1 pt of boiling
water and taken in doses of 2 fl oz as a liver tonic.
It is laxative. It is best combined with other remedies
for the liver such as dandelion
Dog's Tongue (Psychotria
sulzneri): Added to a mixture of medicinal
leaves (usually 9) to make an herbal bath formula for
bathing wounds, rashes, swellings, and for those who
feel nervous and sleepless. Mash leaves and flowers to
apply as poultice on infected sores.
sinensis) Often called “the female
dong quai has no specific hormonal action, it exerts a
regulating and normalizing influence on hormonal
production through its positive action on the liver
and endocrine system.
It has a sweet and unusually thick pungent
taste and is warming and moistening to the body.
Chinese angelica is taken in Traditional
Chinese Medicine as a tonic for “deficient blood”
conditions, anemia and for the symptoms of anemia due
to blood loss, pale complexion, palpitations, and
Chinese angelica regulates the menstrual cycle,
relieves menstrual pains and cramps and is a tonic for
women with heavy menstrual bleeding who risk becoming
it also stimulates menstrual bleeding, other tonic
herbs, such as nettle, are best taken during
menstruation if the flow is heavy.
It is also a uterine tonic and helps
angelica is a “warming” herb, improving the
circulation to the abdomen and to the hands and feet.
It strengthens the digestion and it also is
useful in the treatment of abscesses and boils.
Research has shown that the whole plant,
including the rhizome, strengthens liver function and
the whole rhizome has an antibiotic effect.
In China, physicians inject their patients with
Dong quai extract to treat sciatic pain.
Clinical trials show that when this extract is
injected into the acupuncture points used to treat
sciatica, about 90% of people receiving treatment
report significant improvement.
Dragon Arum (Dracunculus
vulgaris): Dioscorides thought it resembled a
dragon. In ancient medicine it was used for the eyes and
ears, for ruptures, convulsions and coughs. Dioscorides
says, “But being beaten small with honey, and applied,
it takes away the malignancie of ulcers.”
Dragon's Blood (Daemonorops
stringent, and regarded as effective for the treatment
It is applied externally as a wash or liniment
to stop bleeding and promote healing.
Internally it is used for menstrual
irregularities, chest pains, post-partum bleeding and
Doses of 10 to 30 grains were formerly given as
an astringent in diarrhea, etc., but officially it is
never at present used internally, being regarded as
The following treatment is said to have cured
cases of severe syphilis. Mix 2 drachms of Dragon's
Blood, 2 drachms of colocynth, ˝ oz. of gamboge in a
mortar, and add 3 gills of boiling water. Stir for an
hour, while keeping hot. Allow to cool, and add while
stirring a mixture of 2 oz. each of sweet spirits of
nitre and copaiba balsam. Dragon's Blood is not acted
upon by water, but most of it is soluble in alcohol.
It fuses by heat. The solution will stain marble a
deep red, penetrating in proportion to the heat of the
Dragon's Blood (Croton
For centuries, the sap has
been painted on wounds to staunch bleeding, to
accelerate healing, and to seal and protect injuries
from infection. The sap dries quickly and forms a
barrier, much like a "second skin." It is used
externally by indigenous tribes and local people in Peru
for wounds, fractures, and hemorrhoids, internally for
intestinal and stomach ulcers, and as a douche for
vaginal discharge. Other indigenous uses include
treating intestinal fevers and inflamed or infected
gums, in vaginal baths before and after childbirth, for
hemorrhaging after childbirth, and for skin disorders.
It is also
used internally for ulcers in the mouth, throat,
intestines and stomach; as an antiviral for upper
respiratory viruses, stomach viruses and HIV; internally
and externally for cancer and, topically, for skin
disorders, insect bites and stings.
Some studies have found that the taspine,
found in the red sap of dragon’s blood, appears to
accelerate the healing of wounds. But later research at
the University of London, School of Pharmacy has cast
doubt on taspine’s wound-healing power, suggesting
instead that substances known as polyphenols may be
responsible. The same British study also examined the
ability of dragon’s blood to kill certain human cancer
cells and bacteria. In laboratory tests on samples of
human oral cancer cells, dragon’s blood sap proved toxic
to those cells. In addition, other components in the
sap were believed to be valuable in killing off
bacteria, making dragon’s blood useful as an
oleifera): The flowers, leaves, and roots are
used in folk remedies for tumors, the seed for abdominal
tumors. The root decoction is used in Nicaragua for
dropsy. Root juice is applied externally as rubefacient
or counter-irritant. Leaves applied as poultice to
sores, rubbed on the temples for headaches, and said to
have purgative properties. Bark, leaves and roots are
acrid and pungent, and are taken to promote digestion.
Oil is somewhat dangerous if taken internally, but is
applied externally for skin diseases. Bark regarded as
antiscorbic, and exudes a reddish gum with properties of
tragacanth; sometimes used for diarrhea. Roots are
bitter, act as a tonic to the body and lungs, and are
emmenagogue, expectorant, mild diuretic and stimulant in
paralytic afflictions, epilepsy and hysteria.
The juice from the leaves is
believed to stabilize blood pressure, the flowers are
used to cure inflammations, the pods are used for joint
pain, the roots are used to treat rheumatism, and the
bark can be chewed as a digestive.
A decoction of the root bark of Moringa is
used as fomentation to relieve spasm. The juice of the
leaves is given as an emetic. The root and bark are
abortifacient. The expressed juice of the fresh roots,
bark, and leaves of Moringa is poured in the nostrils in
stupor and coma. In Guinea, the bark and the roots are
considered rubefacient and they are used as vesicants.
The ground roots are mixed with salt and applied as a
poultice to tumors. The bark and the leaves ground
together are applied on head for neuralgia.
In the Indian indigenous
system of medicine (Ayurveda), the leaves of Moringa
oleifera are described to remove all kinds of
excessive pain, useful in eye diseases, cure
hallucinations, and as an aphrodisiac, anthelmintic, dry
tumors, hiccough, asthma etc.
Drumsticks have been confirmed as a natural antibiotic
and antifungal agent. Pterygospermin, which clinical
tests seem to confirm is antitubercular, has been
isolated in the drumstick’s root, although Ayurvedic
medicine uses the root for liver disorders.
Medicines made from drumsticks are also
gynecologically valuable in childbirth as an aid for
difficult deliveries. Externally, applications
compounded from drumsticks are used for leg spasms,
while the seeds are ground and administered for
unblocking nasal catarrhs.
acts on Sympathetic nerve endings and can: Produces a
rise in blood pressure; Acceleration of heart beat and
constriction of blood vessels; Inhibits the tone and
movements of involuntary muscles of the gastrointestinal
tract; Contracts the uterus in guinea pigs and rabbits;
Produces a slight diuresis due to rise of blood
pressure; Relaxes bronchioles.
Drumstick Tree (Moringa
peregrine): The seeds of the common small tree
Moringa peregrina are turned into a yellowish oil
that cures abdominal pains, infantile convulsion and for
childbirth. The testa is removed, powdered and then has
salt and water added.
Du Huo (Angelica
pubescens): The roots and rhizomes are used to
treat nose bleed, blood in urine, rheumatic arthritis,
lumbago, common cold, headache; increase menstrual
flow. A decoction is used to promote menstruation, to
treat rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatism, headache,
toothache and abscesses.
In several traditions of
European herbal medicine, dulse was used to remove
parasites, to relieve constipation, and as a treatment
for scurvy. It is a superior source of the iodine the
body needs to make the thyroid hormones thyroxine and
triiodothyronine which affect weight and metabolic
rate. The complex polysaccharides in the herb make it a
gentle alternative to psyllium or senna in the treatment
Externally, the fresh blades can be
used to treat skin diseases, headaches, and to help
expel placenta. It is used as a gentle laxative. Dulse
has also been used to help prevent fibroid tumors of the
breasts, the uterus or the ovaries and in cases of
swollen lumps or enlargements of the intestinal area.
Natural, organically-bond iodine extracts from Dulse are
used for the treatment and prevention of thyroid
disease, and clinical trials on daily molecular iodine
supplementation have shown that cyclical breast lumps
and cysts are completely resolved within two months. The
iodine in Dulse can also prevent goiter.
Dulse has an alkalizing effect on the
blood that neutralizes wastes that build up in the body
and also aids in removing radioactive and heavy metals
from the body. It also prevents the absorption from the
gut by binding these elements, which include radioactive
strontium, barium, and cadmium. This is done by
transforming them into harmless salts (via a substance
called alginic acid) that are easily eliminated. Dulse
has elements to eliminate excess uric acid from the
system and has been used for genitourinary problems such
as kidney, bladder, prostrate, and uterus. Clinical
documentation shows that taking some each day can reduce
enlarged prostrates in older men and urination can
Seaweeds may reduce the risk of poisoning
from environmental pollution by providing fiber that
increases fecal bulk and also reduces cholesterol levels
through the retardation of bile acid absorption. Recent
research has suggested that Dulse may help reverse
hardening of the arteries, reduce high blood pressure,
regress and prevent tumors Research has shown that
Dulse extracts inhibited HeLa cell proliferation that is
found in human cervical adenocarcinoma and has also been
found in animal studies to reduce the risk of intestinal
and mammary cancer.
It has been used to treat the problems
associated with thyroid malfunction. Liquid Dulse can
help to soothe an irritated throat and mucous membranes.
It has been used for enlarged thyroid and lymph nodes,
swollen and painful testes and to reduce edema. Seaweeds
are used to promote wound healing. New generation
dressings such as the hydrocolloid dressings are seaweed
base as they provide optimal conditions for healing to
begin. It is known to prevent seasickness. Thus it
should be of value in other conditions where motion
sickness is the cause such as vertigo and labrynthitis
or Meniere's Disease.
zibethinus): The flesh is said to serve as a
vermifuge. In Malaya, a decoction of the leaves and
roots is prescribed as a febrifuge. The leaf juice is
applied on the head of a fever patient. The leaves are
employed in medicinal baths for people with jaundice.
Decoctions of the leaves and fruits are applied to
swellings and skin diseases. The ash of the burned rind
is taken after childbirth. The leaves probably contain
hydroxy-tryptamines and mustard oils.
The odor of the flesh is
believed to be linked to indole compounds which are
bacteriostatic. Eating durian is alleged to restore the
health of ailing humans and animals. The flesh is widely
believed to act as an aphrodisiac because it improves
sexual function for those who are kidney yang deficient.
In the late 1920's,
Durian Fruit Products, Inc., of New York City, launched
a product called "Dur-India" as a "health-food
accessory" in tablet form, selling at $9 for a dozen
bottles, each containing 63 tablets–a 3-months' supply.
The tablets reputedly contained durian and a species of
Allium from India, as well as a considerable
amount of vitamin E. They were claimed to provide "more
concentrated healthful energy in food form than any
other product the world affords"–to keep the body
vigorous and tireless; the mind alert with faculties
undimmed; the spirit youthful.
flavored with durian is currently marketed for durian
fanciers. The Malays, besides looking on the durian
fruit as tonic, consider the root medicinal, taking a
decoction of it for a fever, which has lasted three
days. The leaves and root are used in a compound for
fevers. The leaves are utilized in medicinal baths for
jaundice. The juice enters into a preparation for
bathing the head of a fever patient. In Java the
fruit-walls are used externally for ski complaints.
Considered by many to be the strongest aphrodisiac in
Decoction of the
leaves and roots is used as antipyretic; the leaves are
used in medicinal baths for people with jaundice;
decoctions of the leaves and fruits are applied to
swellings and skin diseases; the ash of the burned rind
is taken after childbirth.
the flowering stems and seeds are the medicinal parts. Dyer's
Greenweed was used as a laxative, to expel uroliths and for gout. It
has strong diuretic, weak cardioactive and laxative properties.
Besides being a remedy for kidney and urinary disorders, it has
also been used to strengthen heart action, to raise blood pressure and
to alleviate rheumatic and arthritic pain. It has diuretic, cathartic
and emetic properties and both flower tops and seeds have been used
medicinally, though it has never been an official drug.
The powdered seeds operate as a mild purgative, and a decoction
of the plant has been used medicinally as a remedy in dropsy and is
stated to have proved effective in gout and rheumatism, being taken in
wineglassful doses three or four times a day.
The ashes form an alkaline salt, which has also been used as a
remedy in dropsy and other diseases.
In the fourteenth century it was used, as well as Broom, to
make an ointment called Unguentum geneste, 'goud for alle could goutes,'
etc. The seed was also used in a plaster for broken limbs.
A decoction of the plant was regarded in the Ukraine as a
remedy for hydrophobia, but there's not much scientific evidence on
(Leontopodium alpinum): :
It is not toxic, but has been used traditionally in
folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and
respiratory diseases. Extracts and individual
constituents of Leontopodium alpinum were
tested for their antimicrobial activity in two
different assays. Extracts were screened in agar
diffusion assays, whereas the minimum inhibitory
concentrations (MIC) of single compounds were
determined by the microbroth dilution method
according to NCCLS criteria. Significant
antimicrobial activities were found against various
strains of Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia
coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus,
Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Streptococcus
pyogenes strains. These results support the
ethnomedicinal use of Leontopodium alpinum
for the treatment of respiratory and abdominal
nigra): Key actions: Flowers: expectorant, reduces phlegm, circulatory
stimulant, promote sweating, diuretic, topically anti-inflammatory;
Berries: promote sweating, diuretic, laxative; Bark: purgative,
promotes vomiting, diuretic; topically--emollient.
The berries help coughs, colic, sore throats, asthma and flu.
A pinch of cinnamon makes the tea more warming.
The berries have also been taken for rheumatism and erysipelas.
They are mildly laxative and also help diarrhea.
flowers are infused for fevers, eruptive skin conditions such as
measles and severe bronchial and lung problems.
The infusion is relaxing and produces a mild perspiration that
helps to reduce fever. The
flowering tops tone the mucous linings of the nose and throat,
increasing their resistance to infection.
They are prescribed for chronic congestion, allergies, ear
infections and candidiasis. Infusions
of the flowering tops and other herbs can reduce the severity of hay
fever attacks if taken for some months before the onset of the hay
fever season. A
classic flu remedy is a mixture of elderflower, yarrow and peppermint
encouraging sweating and urine production, elder flowering tops
promote the removal of waste products from the body and are of value
in arthritic conditions.
specific compounds in elder flowers have not been well established for
the diuretic and laxative properties.
The compound sambuculin A and a mixture of alpha- and beta-amyrin
palmitate have been found to exhibit strong antihepatotoxic activity
against liver damage induced experimentally by carbon tetrachloride.
bark’s energetics are bitter and toxic.
Only bark that has been aged for a year or more should be used
or cyanide poisoning may result.
The Western species are more toxic.
This herb has two compounds that are active against flu
viruses. It also prevents
the virus from invading respiratory tract cells.
A patented Israeli drug (Sambucol) that contains elderberry is
active against various strains of viruses.
It also stimulated the immune system and has shown some
activity in preliminary trials against other viruses, such as
Epstein-Barr, herpes and even HIV.
Elder, Dwarf (Aralia hispida): Very valuable
in dropsy, gravel, suppression of urine, and other
urinary disorders. The
bark of the root is the
strongest, but that of the stem is also used. It is a
relaxant and mild stimulant, acting with but moderate
promptness, leaving behind gentle tonic effect, and
influencing the kidneys chiefly. A portion of its power
is unquestionably expended upon the uterus, and slightly
upon the circulation toward the surface; both of which
effects have usually been overlooked. It has a slightly
warming, bitter taste, and is rather pleasant to the
It is mostly used in
compounds for dropsy, and is one of the best of its
class; but for any sub-acute or chronic torpor of the
renal organs, with aching back and scanty urine, it is
an agent of peculiar value. In high-colored urine, and
in chronic aching and weakness of the bladder, it is
equally beneficial. It promotes menstruation a little;
and is a good adjunct to other remedies in the treatment
of mild leucorrhea, amenorrhea, and other female
disorders. It is generally prepared in decoction, two
ounces to the quart; of which two or three fluid ounces
may be given three times a day. Used warm, it will
promote gentle diaphoresis.
A tea made from
the leaves is diaphoretic. An infusion of the root has
been used in the treatment of heart diseases.
Elder, Mexican (Sambucus mexicana): An
infusion of the blossoms has been used in the treatment
of upset stomachs, fevers, sore throats, colds and flu.
A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment
of constipation. A widely used treatment for fever,
combined with equal parts of Brook Mint or Pennyroyal as
a tea. A tea of the flowers and/or dried berries acts
as a simple diuretic to treat water retention. As a
face wash for acne and pimples, use a tea of the
flowers. Take as a tea up to 3 times a day.
(Inula helenium): European scientists have
discovered elecampane contains a chemical, alantolactone, that helps
expel intestinal parasites and is better than santonin and less toxic
(1 teaspoon of root to a cup of water, bring to boil and simmer 20
minutes, drinking up to 3 cups a day). It is also anti-inflammatory,
anti-bacterial, and fungicidal adding to its potential therapeutic
action in the intestine.
chronic lung conditions such as bronchitis and asthma are helped by
it. It is generally mixed
with other lung herbs (often white horehound, coltsfoot, pleurisy root
and yarrow). It is a
constitutional treatment for general catarrhal conditions such as
chronic pulmonary affections that have symptoms of cough, shortness of
breath, wheezing in the lungs, a specific for whooping cough in
children, pneumonia, diseases of the breast and malignant fevers,
hepatic torpor, dyspepsia and the feeling of stitches in the side
caused by the spleen. It’s
warming for a cold, wet cough. It
doesn’t suppress the cough, but increases expectoration.
produces an active principle called helenin, which is antiseptic and
antibacterial, making the root useful in salves and surgical
contains an essential oil that consists primarily of sesquiterpene
lactones. The root also
contains the complex carbohydrate inulin.
This starchy material swells and forms a slippery suspension
when mixed with digestive fluids. The inulin soothes the lining of the digestive tract and
provides the benefits of viscous fiber.
It also apparently elicits a sympathetic expectorant response
to mucous membranes of the respiratory system.
A bitter-aromatic tonic, elecampane root increases appetite and
promotes digestion. Europeans
with indigestion still sometimes sip on a cordial made by infusing the
roots, sugar and currants in white port.
In Russia, the whole root is preserved in vodka to store it for
winter use. Soluble in
alcohol and partially in water. Used
in China for certain cancers. Wash used for facial neuralgia,
sciatica. Experimentally, tea strongly sedative to mice.
Elephant Tree (Bursera
microphylla): The resin was an Aztec remedy. In
the 16th century, Fray Bernardino de Sahagun
wrote that a little ground copal, the size of a small
fingernail, added to water and drunk only7 once a day on
an empty stomach would cure diarrhea. The resin, bark
and leaves are steeped in tequila or grain alcohol to
make a tincture that is applied to gum sores, cold
sores, and abscessed teeth. The dried stems and leaves
are drunk in a tea to relieve painful urination, and as
a stimulating expectorant for slowly healing bronchitis
and chest colds. A tea of the leaves or the leaves and
bark is used as a tonic to fortify the immune system.
Cheyenne Drug used a tea of powdered leaves and stems
taken to stop or loosen a coughs. They also used a tea
of smashed leaves and stems taken for coughs.
All of the
are tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, powerful
aphrodisiacs, and sedatives. They are often employed
medicinally for muscle pain and tension, particularly
back pain. . It is also used for muscle
strain due to overwork, sprains, joint pain, night-time
cramps, and as a preliminary before bodywork such as
massage. It is very relaxing to voluntary muscles, but
large amounts can make a person goofy and lethargic.
are also used for their psychological effects, good for
anger, fear, pain, anxiety. The whole
flowering herb is harvested for the tincture, but only
the flowers, fresh or dried, are made into a tea. At
least one Native American tribe is known to smoke the
flowers of certain Pedicularis
species for their medicinal effects and narcotic
effects. These plants are a welcome addition to any
smoking mixture both as flavor and a narcotic.
Elephant's Head is claimed to have the best flavor but
is the mildest, but every
has an excellent
taste. P. Densiflora
being the most potent species
An infusion of
the plant has been used as a strong emetic.
peltata): The corrosive and astringent latex is
used against warts, calluses, herpes, ulcers, dysentery,
and venereal diseases. A tea made from the leaves is
widely employed as a cure for asthma and thought to be
useful in treating a wide variety of other ailments
including liver disease, cardiovascular problems,
Parkinson's disease, and snakebite. It also is used to
ease childbirth and menstrual complaints. Various
substances have been extracted from yagrumo hembra for
medicinal use, including one that increases cardiac
muscular contraction and acts upon the kidneys as a
diuretic. A substance extracted from the roots is said
to heal wounds, and the leaves are often used as a
poultice to reduce swelling and as an abrasive
Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea
lutetiana): The plant has been used as a
treatment on wounds. A compound infusion has been drunk
and also used as a wash on injured parts of the body.
Epazote (Chenopodium ambrosioides) Has been used for
centuries beginning with the Mayans.
By the middle of the 18th century, medicinal use of
the plant was firmly established in the US.
Mexican mothers steep epazote in milk and sugar to rid their
children of intestinal parasites, especially roundworms and hookworms.
Helps prevent flatulence.
The ingredient ascaridol is a powerful worm
expellent. The Catawba made a poultice from the plant, which they used
to detoxify snake bite and other poisonings.
It has also been used as a digestive remedy, being generally
taken to settle colic and stomach pains.
Wormseed leaves have antispasmodic properties. A decoction of the leaves or of the whole plant brings relief
to a variety of gastrointentinal problems.
Its muscle-relaxing action has led to its use in the treatment
of spasmodic coughs and asthma. The
plant also has external uses. Juice expressed from the whole herb is
applied as a wash for hemorrhoids.
In addition, the whole plant is thought to have wound-healing
properties. Dose: of the
oil, 4-20 drops with honey, or molasses, for children according to
age. The infusion of the
tops and pulverized seeds, 1 teaspoonful to 1 cupful of boiling water;
steep 15 min. administer in wineglassful amounts.
To expel worms: omit the evening meal, give the prescribed dose
and again in the morning before breakfast, followed by a herbal
cathartic; repeat for three days to make sure the larva is expelled.
Was official in the US Pharmacopeia for more than a century,
(Ephedra sinica and E. vulgaris)
constituents are strong central nervous system
stimulants, more powerful than caffeine but less potent
than amphetamine. Ephedrine
itself opens the bronchial passages, thus acting as a
bronchodilator, stimulates the heart, and increases
blood pressure, metabolic rate, and perspiration and
urine production. It
also reduces the secretion of both saliva and stomach
Zen monks used ephedra to promote calm concentration
In China, ephedra is popular for chills and
fevers, coughs and wheezing, and in combination with
rehmannia is given to treat kidney yin deficiency.
For asthma use with almond; for “wind-cold”
injury use with cinnamon; for allergic skin reaction use
with mint and cicada moltings.
Ephedra is used principally in current Western
herbal medicine as a treatment for asthma and hay fever,
and for the acute onset of colds and flu.
It also helps to raise blood pressure, cool
fevers, and alleviate rheumatism.
The whole plant contains many compounds—some
active, some inert, which in combination seem to act
synergistically. The whole plant can be used at a much
lower dosage than isolated constituents and it has
significant therapeutic effects, including dilating the
bronchial airways and increasing blood flow to the skin.
Unlike ephedrine, the whole plant rarely gives
rise to side effects.
One study shows ephedrine helps smokers quit by
decreasing cigarette cravings.
Ephedrine causes uterine contractions in
Pregnant women should not use it.
Other women may try it to initiate menstruation.
Ephedra, Joint Fir (Ephedra
Members of this genus
contain various medicinally active alkaloids (but
notably ephedrine) and they are widely used in
preparations for the treatment of asthma and catarrh.
The whole plant can be used at much lower concentrations
than the isolated constituents - unlike using the
isolated ephedrine, using the whole plant rarely gives
rise to side-effects. The plant also has antiviral
effects, particularly against influenza. Ephedrine
stimulates the sympathetic nervous system dilating the
coronary vessels. It has a powerful and rapid
antiallergic action. Indicated to combat coughs, asthma,
hay fever, nettle-rash, some edema and eczema
conditions. A tincture and an extract are used. It
is used to relieve acute muscular and rheumatic pains
(when it is called teamsters' tea), as a
stimulant, and in the cardio tonics in Ayurveda. It is
sometimes identified with the legendary drug soma, as
described in the Avesta and the Rig Veda, the
respective ancient sacred texts of the Zoroastrian and
Hindu faiths. Valued in Chinese medicine almost as much
as Ephedra sinica. The branches and root are used in
Siberia as a remedy in gout and syphilis.
The stems are a pungent, bitter,
warm herb that dilates the bronchial vessels while
stimulating the heart and central nervous system. They
are used internally in the treatment of asthma, hay
fever and allergic complaints. They are also combined
with a number of other herbs and used in treating a wide
range of complaints.
Ephedra, Torrey (Ephedra
torreyana): In some areas of the southwest this
species is preferred as a diuretic to the greener
species (Ephedra viridis and E. trifurca).
Native tribes of the southwest used it for a variety of
ailments. The Pima made a decoction from stems and used
as an antiluetic (anti-syphilitic). The
Mescalero Apache made
a decoction from the entire plant and used as an
antiblenorrhagic. Spanish New Mexicans made a decoction
and used it to reduce fever and to relieve kidney pain.
This plant has a wide reputation as a cure for syphilis.
The recipe is: boil a handful of the plant in a quart
of water, then strain through a cloth. Drink one glass
of this tea (hot) at least three times a day, about 1
hour before meals. When the pain is gone, one must eat a
chopped red onion three times before meals for
approximately 6 to 8 days. A decoction of the stems is
used, in treating coughs, bladder and kidney problems
and stomach disorders. A decoction of the leaves and
stems has been used as a lotion on itchy skin.
The stems of most members of this genus
contain the alkaloid ephedrine and are valuable in the
treatment of asthma and many other complaints of the
respiratory system. The whole plant can be used at much
lower concentrations than the isolated constituents -
unlike using the isolated ephedrine, using the whole
plant rarely gives rise to side-effects. Ephedra does
not cure asthma but in many cases it is very effective
in treating the symptoms and thus making life somewhat
easier for the sufferer. The stems can be used fresh or
dried and are usually made into a tea, though they can
also be eaten raw. The young stems are best if eating
them raw, though older stems can be used if a tea is
made The stems can be harvested at any time of the year
and are dried for later use.
Eternal Flower (Helichrysum
Formerly used as an
expectorant. The ointment it
seems to have beneficial effects on skin diseases, while
reduced in aerosol it is a good remedy against
bronchitis and asthma.
tiny seeds were used as an unspecified medicine by the
Forest Potawatomis. The Flambeau Ojibwas used the whole plant, soaked in warm
water, to make a poultice to heal bruises.
The Omahas also made a poultice from some part of
the four-point evening primrose. GLA is responsible for
many of the herb’s properties. It is an anticoagulant that is thought to reduce high blood
pressure, prevent heart attacks and guard against
coronary artery disease.
A 1981 clinical study at the St. Thomas Hospital
in London gave evening primrose oil to 65 women with
premenstrual syndrome and 61% of the participants found
their symptoms completely disappeared and another 23%
felt partial relief. There was noticeable improvement in the skin conditions of 99
people with eczema when they were treated with evening
primrose oil in a double-blind study.
In another study, the oil was found to improve
dry and brittle nails and combines with zinc treatments,
it helped acne and dry eyes, as well as nails.
In 1987, the Glasgow Royal Infirmary of Scotland
saw improvement in 60% of its rheumatoid arthritis
patients who took a combination of evening primrose and
fish oil instead of their regular drugs.
A study by the Highland Psychiatric Research
Group at the Draig Dunain Hospital, Inverness, Scotland,
found that evening primrose encouraged regeneration of
liver cells damaged by alcohol consumption.
Other researchers think it may also prevent
alcoholic poisoning, hangovers, postdrink depression and
It is thought to stop alcohol from damaging brain
cells by bolstering them with unsaturated fats.
. A New York City hospital found that more than 10% of
overweight people tested with evening primrose oil lost
weight. In another study, two-thirds of hyperactive children studied
responded favorably to the oil.
Evening primrose oil improved
Parkinson’s-induced tremors in 55% of those who took
the equivalent of 2 teaspoons a day for several months. Some studies suggest that GLA helps relieve symptoms of
In one study, EPO was massaged into the fingers
of people with Raynaud’s disease and about half
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) Eyebright
is similar, but much weaker in action, to golden seal
when it comes to its use as an eyewash.
It contains astringent and antibiotic principles
that are useful for cleansing the eye.
Systemic effects such as stimulation of the liver
to release vitamin A are unfounded scientifically.
It tightens the mucous membranes of the eye and
appears to relieve the inflammation of conjunctivitis
Its ability to counter mucus means that it is
often used for infectious and allergic conditions
affecting the eyes, middle ear, sinuses, and nasal
passages. It is helpful in acute or chronic
inflammations, stinging and weeping eyes as well as
over-sensitivity to light. Although eyebright counters
liquid mucus, it should be used guardedly for dry and
stuffy congestion, which tends to be made worse by the
Used internally it is a powerful anti-catarrhal
and thus may be used in nasal catarrh, sinusitis and
other congestive states. In catarrhal conditions it
combines well with golden rod, elder flower or
In allergic conditions where the eye are affected
it may be combined with Ephedra.
As an eye lotion it mixes with Goldenseal and
distilled witch hazel.
Eyebright tea may be given internally at the same
The mechanism of action is not yet known.