For even more information
on specific herbs check out our
D, E Herbs
F, G, H Herbs
I, J, K Herbs
L, M, N Herbs
O, P, Q Herbs
R, S, T Herbs
U, V, W,
X, Y, Z Herbs
False Indigo (Baptisia
not as well known, false indigo is
comparable to Echinacea.
The root is used to enhance
the immune system and to combat
The polysaccharides it
contains have been shown to
stimulate antibody production.
A few Native American tribes
used the roots and sometimes the
leaves both internally and
externally to treat cancer.
It is considered particularly
effective for upper respiratory
infections such as tonsillitis and
pharyngitis, and is also valuable in
treating infections of the chest,
gastrointestinal tract and skin.
Its anti-microbial and
immunostimulant properties combat
When used with detoxifying
herbs such as burdock, it helps to
reduce enlarged lymph nodes. It was once used to treat typhoid and scarlet fevers.
An astringent and antiseptic,
it is an ingredient in ointments,
poultices, and washes for skin
ulcerations, infections, boils, and
even staph infections.
Foul discharges with a dark
purplish discoloration are definite
indications for baptisia.
It is also added to douche
formulas for vaginitis and taken as
a tea, as well as a douche for
False indigo has been
recommended to reduce inflammatory
diseases, including arthritis.
Prescribed along with
Echinacea angustifolia for chronic
viral conditions or chronic fatigue
A decoction of the root
soothes sore or infected nipples and
infected skin conditions. Used as a gargle or mouthwash, the decoction treats canker
sores, gum infections, and sore
throat. Solvent in alcohol and
False Toadflax (Geocaulon
lividum) A decoction of the chewed leaves and
bark has been used as a purgative. A poultice of the
chewed leaves and bark has been applied to wounds.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare):
Fennel’s effects have a warming, respiring and loosening nature.
It warms and stimulates the digestive organs, especially when
they become sluggish. This
relieves gas and headaches that are related to improper digestion.
An excellent stomach and intestinal remedy for treating
flatulence and colic conditions, while also stimulating healthy
appetite and digestion. Fennel
frees the respiratory system, rendering a calming anti-spasmodic
effect on coughs and bronchitis.
It gives a delicious flavor and aromatic lift to herbal blends
and cough syrups. Helpful for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy.
help with indigestion and gas, pour boiling water over crushed fennel
seeds (1 tsp seed to a pt of water).
The seeds are simmered in syrups for coughs, shortness of
breath, and wheezing. The
leaves and seeds when boiled with barley increase breast milk. The
seeds and root help clean the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and blood.
The tea and broth of this herb are said to help in weight loss
oil mixed with honey can be taken for coughs, and the tea is used as a
gargle. The oil is eaten
with honey to allay gas and it is applied externally to rheumatic
swellings. The seeds are
boiled to make an eye wash for inflamed and swollen eyes. Use an
infusion of the seeds as a gargle for gum disorders, loose teeth,
laryngitis or sore throats.
Fennel increases the libido of both male and female rats.
Fennel has compounds that act like the female hormone estrogen
and has been used for centuries to promote milk flow in nursing women.
Don’t use the oil, however because in pregnant women, the oil
can cause miscarriage.
And in doses greater than about a teaspoon, it can be toxic.
As an estrogenic herb it has been used as a breast enlarger.
Anethole, the main constituent of the oil, has demonstrated
anti-microbial activity. Dissolve
a total of 25 drops of thyme, eucalyptus and fennel oils in 25 ml
sunflower or almond oil as a chest rub.
Fennel should not be used in high doses as it causes muscular
spasms and hallucinations.
19th century Eclectic physicians prescribed fennel as a
digestive aid, milk and menstruation promoter.
Latin Americans still boil the seeds in milk as a milk promoter
for nursing mothers. Jamaicans
use it to treat colds. And
Africans take fennel for diarrhea and indigestion.
decoction of the seeds is used in Chinese medicine for abdominal pain,
colic and stomach chills. Enters the Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Stomach
channels. Spreads the
Liver qi, warms the Kidneys, expels cold and alleviates pain: used to
warm and encourage movement in the Liver channel or the lower burner
as in cold hernial disorders or any kind of lower abdominal pain due
to cold. Use with caution in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs.
study suggests fennel has oddly contradictory effects on the liver. It
aggravates liver damage in experimental animals but spurs liver
regeneration in animals with parts of their liver removed
have been an aid to digestion and
Medicinal use and commercial
cultivation is at present on the
Its seeds are high (40%) in
mucilage, an emollient soothing to
the skin and used as an emulsifier
in drugs and food.
The seeds also contain
diosgenin, a steroid that can be
converted to pregnenolone (a steroid
formed during the synthesis of
hormones) and progesterone, the
anti-estrogen hormone secreted by
The seeds are reported to
contain chemicals that inactivate
trypsin and chymotrypsin, enzymes
making it possible for your body to
But there is no evidence that
fenugreek used to season food has
any such effect.
Seeds are high in protein and
contain trigonelline, a nitrogen
compound found in many legumes.
When trigonelline comes in
contact with acids or is heated, it
yields nicotinic acid (niacin), the
B vitamin that prevents pellagra.
Grind seed coarsely, infuse
and drink as a tonic tea to
stimulate digestion and milk flow,
ease coughing, flatulence and
Make a mushy poultice of
crushed seed and hot milk for
inflammation, ulcers, swollen
glands, sciatica and bruises.
Said to be effective in
The seeds have galactogenic
and anthelminthic properties; the
ancients believed them to be
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium also Chrysanthemum
When the wife of a Welsh doctor ended her 50-year-old history of
migraine with a course of feverfew, a detailed scientific
investigation of feverfew got underway and in clinical trials in
Britain during the 1980s the herb was demonstrated to be an effective
remedy for migraine. 20
headache patients eat fresh feverfew leaves daily for 3 months and
stop using headache-related drugs during the lasst month.
After they were given capsules of .37 grains of freeze-dried
leaf every day, they experienced less severe headaches and fewer
symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, than a placebo group.
As an added benefit, their blood pressure went down.
Despite extensive research, the exact nature of its action is
not yet understood, but the constituent parthenolide appears to
inhibit the release of the hormone serotonin, which is thought to
trigger migraine. The
parthenolides in feverfew do not work by the same method as
salicylates. While many herbalists feel the fresh leaves, or an
extract made from them, are preferred, results have been seen with
fresh, freeze-dried, and air-dried leaves, although boiling feverfew
tea for 10 minutes instead of steeping it did reduce its activity in
one study. As a preventative it should be taken in small quantities (3
leaves a day) regularly. The
herb can help arthritic and rheumatic pain, especially in combination
with other herbs.
herb has been used since Roman times to induce menstruation.
It is given in difficult births to aid expulsion of the
placenta. It has not been
shown to cause uterine contractions, but because of its history in
promoting menstruation pregnant women should probably not use it.
South America where feverfew is naturalized, it has been effective for
colic, stomachahe, morning sickness and kidney pains.
In Costa Rica, it has also been employed as a digestive aid and
have used it as a sitz bath to regulate menstruation as well as an
antispasmodic and tonic.
is useful for cats as an alternative to aspirin, which is toxic to
felines. Use a
glycerin-based tincture or a cooled tea with a dose of 12-20 drops of
the tincture or ½ tsp of a strong tea for each 20 pounds of the
animal’s weight, twice daily. Pets
can be bathed in a cooled tea as a flea rinse.
pedicularia): It has been used in herbal
remedies for its diaphoretic and sedative properties.
Used principally in febrile and inflammatory
diseases; a warm infusion produces a free and copious
perspiration in a short time. Dose of the infusion, from
1 to 3 fluid ounces.
Fiddlewood (Vitex gaumeri): To treats
skin fungus, infected sores, and ringworm, toasted and
powdered fiddle wood bark is applied over a bit of oil
which holds the powder on the skin. A tea made from
boiled bark is useful to wash wounds. For biliousness a
strip of bark 1 inch by 3 inches is boiled in 3 cups of
water for 5 minutes and taken in ½ cups doses over 12
hours- the use of this treatment should not exceed 3
days. Leaves boiled in water are used as a bath for
asthma, malaria and chills. Crushed leaves are applied
as a poultice to sores and wounds
medicines whenever enlarged glands are present including nodosities in
the breasts. Figwort
is used to cleanse and purify the body.
Figwort is used to treat skin diseases such as eczema, acne and
psoriasis. It has been
called the Scrofula Plant, on account of its value in all cutaneous
eruptions, abscesses, wounds, etc., the name of the genus being
derived from that of the disease for which it was formerly considered
a specific (tuberculosis of the lymph glands in the neck).
It has diuretic and anodyne properties.
A decoction is made of it for external use and the fresh leaves
are also made into an ointment. Of
the different kinds of Figwort used, this species is most employed,
principally as a fomentation for sprains, swellings, inflammations,
wounds and diseased parts, especially in scrofulous sores and
gangrene. The leaves simply bruised are employed as an application to
burns and swellings. Figwort
is used for lingering and congenital illnesses of the lymphatic system
and the skin. It has a
stimulating and strengthening effect on the bladder and kidneys.
The glycosides it contains make it suitable for treating mild
heart conditions that call for stimulating the metabolism and
eliminating water retention in the body.
For this purpose, use figwort as a tea or tincture.
The herb and root have been used to treat cancer of the fleshy
parts. The powdered root
in water has been used as a tea to treat condyloma.
The juice of the root and leaf are applied externally to tumors
and cancers. The ointment treats painful tumors, and the fresh poultice
may be used for inflamed tumors and glandular indurations. When figwort is used externally, the tea is also given
internally as further therapeutic support. In traditional Chinese medicine, Figwort (S. ningpoensis) is a
standard remedy. Because
of its ability to stimulate the pancreas, it is used in the treatment
of diabetes Known as huyen sam or xuan shen, it is also a
remedy for fever and sadness, swellings and pain of the throat,
furuncles, and to aid digestion.
A decoction of the herb has been successfully used as a cure
for the scab in swine. Cattle, as a rule, will refuse to eat the
leaves, as they are bitter, acrid and nauseating, producing purging
and vomiting if chewed.
Fir, Douglas (Pseudotsuga
menziesii): Douglas fir was often employed
medicinally by various native North American Indian
tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. An
antiseptic resin is obtained from the trunk. It is used
as a poultice to treat cuts, burns, wounds and other
skin ailments. The poultice is also used to treat
injured or dislocated bones. The resin is used in the
treatment of coughs and can be chewed as a treatment for
sore throats. An infusion of the green bark has been
used in the treatment of excessive menstruation,
bleeding bowels and stomach problems. An infusion of the
leaves has been used as a wash and a sweat bath for
rheumatic and paralyzed joints. An infusion of the young
sprouts has been used in the treatment of colds. An
infusion of the twigs or shoots has been used in the
treatment of kidney and bladder problems. A decoction of
the buds has been used in the treatment of venereal
disease. Young shoots have been placed in the tips of
shoes to keep the feet from perspiring and to prevent
athletes foot. A mouthwash is made by soaking the shoots
in cold water.
Fir, Himalayan (Abies
spectabilis): The leaves are used in the
treatment of asthma, bronchitis etc. The leaf juice is
Flame Azalea (Rhododendron
calendulaceum): An infusion of peeled and boiled
twigs has been used as a medicinal tea by Cherokee
Flowering Rush (Butomus
umbellatus): In Europe, the rhizomes and seeds
were thought to have medicinal properties. The cooling
nature of the flowers are applied to fresh wounds,
impostumes and other hot humors (Culpeper)
Flux Weed (Hypericum
punctatum): Some compounds of the plant have
been shown to have potent anti-retroviral activity
without serious side effects and they are being
researched in the treatment of AIDS. Hypericum punctatum
is a mild antidepressant of the class "MAO inhibitor."
The mechanism by which St. Johnswort acts as an
antidepressant is not fully understood. Early research
indicated that this it mildly inhibits the enzyme
monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO is responsible for the
breakdown of two brain chemicals - serotonin and nor
epinephrine. By inhibiting MAO and increasing nor
epinephrine, it may exert a mild anti-depressive action.
The antidepressant or mood elevating effects of
Hypericum punctatum were originally thought to be due
solely to hypericin, but hypericin does not act alone,
it relies on the complex interplay of many constituents
such as xanthones and flavonoids for its antidepressant
actions. Hypericum punctatum may also block the
receptors that bind serotonin and so maintain normal
mood and emotional stability. Hypericum punctatum
is used in treating a wide range of disorders, including
pulmonary complaints, bladder problems, diarrhea and
nervous depression. It is also very effectual in
treating bed wetting in children. It has a sedative and
pain reducing effect, it is especially regarded as an
herb to use where there are menopausal changes
triggering irritability and anxiety. In addition to
neuralgic pain, it will ease fibrositis, sciatica and
rheumatic pain. The oil extract of the plant can be
taken for stomach ache, colic, intestinal problems, and
as an expectorant for the congestion in the lungs.
Externally, a medicinal infusion of the flowers in olive
oil is applied to wounds, sores, burns, ulcers,
swellings, cramps, rheumatism, tumors, caked breasts,
and other skin problems. It is also valued in the
treatment of sunburn and as a cosmetic preparation to
Fo-Ti (Polygonum multiflorum):
First mentioned in Chinese herbal medicine in 713 A.D., it has become
one of the most important and widely used.
It is taken regularly for its rejuvenating and toning
properties and to increase fertility in both men and women.
In TCM it’s most important use is as a tonic for the liver
and kidneys. By
strengthening liver and kidney function, it helps to cleanse the
blood, enabling the qi to circulate freely around the whole body.
It’s also given to people with symptoms of dizziness,
weakness, numbness and blurred vision with indicate inefficient nerves
and “blood deficiency.” It
is prescribed in China for people showing signs of premature aging,
including graying of the hair. Also
it is prescribed in the treatment of chronic malaria, when it is often
combined with ginseng, Chinese angelica and green tangerine peel.
Traditional Chinese herbalists place great
emphasis on the shape and age of the roots, with the older roots being
in great demand. It is also employed as a remedy for insomnia, stomach
upset, and diabetes. Many
use it as an effective tool against high blood pressure and hardening
of the veins and arteries. The component of Lecithin which is
contained in Fo-ti helps to reduce arterial plaque and blood pressure.
Research in China with animals has shown that he shou wu
reduces raised blood cholesterol levels significantly.
With humans, 80% of patients with high blood cholesterol showed
an improvement. Other
research shows to it helps to increase the levels of sugar in the
blood and has the ability to counter the tuberculosis bacillus.
yields digitoxin, which is still
used today to increase the force of
the heart’s contractions.
As a result blood pressure in
the veins is reduced and the pulse
is slowed and stabilized. Used to
increase force of systolic
contractions in congestive heart
failure, lowers venous pressure in
hypertensive heart ailments,
elevates blood pressure in weak
heart; diuretic and reduces edema.
Frankincense (Boswellia serrata):
serves as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory to lung, genital and
urinary complaints, digestive tract ulcers and chronic diarrhea.
It is also used it the treatment of breast cysts and to
increase menstruation. Used
in inhalation, it may be helpful for asthma sufferers as it eases
shortness of breath and increases the amplitude of the breath. Has a
pronounced effect on the mucous membranes, particularly helpful in
clearing the lungs. May
mitigate the effects of cystitis, nephritis and genital infections
generally. Also soothes
the stomach, easing digestion, dyspepsia and belching.
Chinese herbalists use it in powder form and in teas for
rheumatism and menstrual pain and externally as a wash for sores and
Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
bark and dried roots have been used
in poultices for skin inflammations.
bark may be safely used in all liver
problems, especially when they have
developed into jaundice. Good for
the treatment of gall-bladder
inflammation and a valuable part of
treating gall-stones. It is a remedy
that will aid the liver in general
and as such it is often used as part
of a wider treatment for the whole
body. It is also useful as a gentle
and effective laxative.
The root bark also appears to
strengthen function in the pancreas
Anecdotal evidence indicates
that it may substantially reduce
sugar levels in the urine.
Fringe tree also stimulates
the appetite and digestion, and is
an excellent remedy for chronic
illness, especially where the liver
has been affected.
For external use, the crushed
bark may be made into a poultice for
treating sores and wounds.
) The herb has a
stimulant action on the liver and
gallbladder and is chiefly used to
treat skin conditions such as
eczema, dermatitis and exanthema.
Its action is probably due to
a general cleansing mediated via the
kidneys and liver.
It is also diuretic and
Taken over a long period, it
helps to cure depression.
Also used internally for
biliary colic and migraine with
Externally used for
Resembling ginger in its effects, galangal is an aromatic stimulant,
antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, antibacterial.
It is used in nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism,
catarrh and enteritis. It
also possesses tonic qualities and is used in veterinary and
homeopathic medicine. In
Both galangals have been used in Europe and Asia as an
aphrodisiac. In Asian
medicine, galangal is used to treat catarrh and respiratory problems.
A drink made from grated galangal and lime juice is taken as a
tonic in Southeast Asia. In
the past, it was a treatment for flatulent indigestion.
In the Philippines the rhizome, when mixed with oils, is used
as a poultice and is applied to boils and furuncles to bring them to a
In Chinese herbal medicine, galangal is a warming herb used for
abdominal pain, vomiting, and hiccups, as well as for diarrhea due to
internal cold. When used
for hiccups, it is combined with codonopsis.
In India and southwestern Asia, galangal is considered
stomachic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and a nervine tonic. It is used in the treatment of hicccups, dyspepsia, stomach
pain, rheumatoid arthritis and intermittent fever.
It is also used as a body deodorizer and halitosis remedy.
In the West it is mainly used for gas, indigestion, vomiting,
and stomach pain. An
infusion can be used to alleviate painful canker sores and sore gums.
Galangal as long been recommended as a treatment for
seasickness. It can be
used with other antifungal herbs as part of a regimen to treat
expectorant in chronic bronchitis.
Antispasmodic and considered an
intermediate between ammoniac and
asafoetida for relieving the air
passages, in pill form it is
specially good, in some forms of
hysteria, and used externally as a
plaster for inflammatory
In China it is
viewed as medicinal: the whole plant hemostatic and
anti-inflammatory, the decoction of the flowers
cleansing to liver and eyes. When rubbed onto the body,
the plant is useful in treating nettle stings.
Garlic, Crow (Allium
of the whole plant is used to prevent worms and colic in
children, and also as a remedy for croup. The raw root
can be eaten to reduce blood pressure and also to ease
shortness of breath.
Mustard (Alliaria petiolata
) Internally for
bronchitis, asthma, and eczema.
Externally the leaves were
applied as dressings to open sores
and ulcers, as well as for
neuralgia, rheumatism, and gout.
The leaves were used
medicinally by the early herbalists
for dropsy and to induce sweating.
It warms the stomach and helps
digestion. The juice boiled with honey is good for a cough, to cut and
expectorate tough phlegm.
The seed bruised and boiled
in wine is a good remedy for colicky
wind or the stone, if drank warm.
The seeds have also been used
to promote sneezing.
Very rarely used
today, dittany has an action similar to that of rue in
that it strongly stimulates the muscles of the uterus,
inducing menstruation and sometimes causing abortion.
By contrast, its effect on the gastrointestinal
tract is antispasmodic.
It relaxes the gut and acts as a mild tonic for the
plant has also been used as a treatment for nervous
and externally it’s used for skin diseases (especially
scabies and eczema), German measles, arthritic pain, and
be combined with Sophora flavescens for external
One of the most bitter of the bitter digestive tonics, gentian is
often called "bitter root".
Taken 30 minutes before eating, it increases the appetite,
stimulating digestive juices, pancreas activity, the blood supply to
the digestive tract, and intestinal peristalsis.
It also decreases intestinal inflammation and kills worms.
Digestive juice begin flowing about 5 minutes after the herb
reaches the stomach, and the level achieved in 30 minutes is
maintained for 2 to 3 hours. It
is especially helpful in fat and protein digestion and slightly raises
stomach acidity. A German
study found it extremely effective in curing indigestion and heartburn
when volunteers were given gentian with small amounts of cayenne,
ginger, and wormwood. Gentian is also used to treat liver and spleen problems, and
to promote menstruation. At
times, its fever-lowering action has been considered superior to
Peruvian bark. There is
some evidence that it makes the body more sensitive to adrenalin and
may indirectly stimulate more than appetite.
It was once used externally to clean wounds.
In Chinese medicine G. macrophylla & G. scabra are used as
clearing "heat and damp."
It is used to treat digestive disorders, sore throat, headache,
and arthritis. Ayurvedic
physicians have used it to treat fevers, venereal diseases, jaundice
and other liver problems.
Gentian, Chinese (Gentiana
is used for inflammatory conditions associated with
jaundice, itching, herpes virus, leucorrhea, venereal
diseases, hepatitis, cholecystitis, and hypertension.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, restlessness,
abdominal pain, sore throat, bitter mouth taste, flank
pain, and redness of the conjunctiva of the eyes. For
systemic fungal infections gentian preparations from the
plant Radix gentianae Longdancao are taken orally in the
form of lozenges, tablets, capsules or in solution form
for gargling or swallowing.
paniculata): It is chiefly used in viral hepatitis, diminished
appetite and drug induced liver damage. It is used in
loss of appetite in infants. Andrographis paniculata
has been shown to reduce liver damage due to toxins such
as alcohol. It has been demonstrated that Andrographis
paniculata can protect the liver from the effects of
alcohol if taken prior to consumption. Research has
also linked Andrographis paniculata to increases in
immune system activity. When supplemented with
Andrographis paniculata, animals had an increase
activity of both their specific and non-specific immune
systems. Andrographis paniculata may be
effective in both the prevention and treatment of
ailments that range from the common cold to cancer. It
has also been shown to help alleviate atherosclerotic
narrowing of arteries induced by high cholesterol
diets. This can, in turn, reduce the risk of heart
disease and heart attacks, as well as helping the
recovery of patients who already suffer from these
conditions. It is useful in burning sensation, wounds,
ulcers, chronic bronchitis, leprosy, pruritis,
flatulence, colic and diarrhea.
Infusions of wall germander have
long been used to treat gout,
rheumatism, stomach problems, fever
The plant has also been taken
to aid weight loss and is a common
ingredient in tonic wines.
Wall germander has been used
a mouthwash for sore gums and
as a lotion to help heal wounds.
It was also used as a tonic
in intermittent fevers, and is
recommended for uterine
obstructions. The expressed juice of
the leaves, with the addition of
white wine, is held to be good in
obstruction of the viscera.
Possessing qualities nearly allied
to those of Horehound, a decoction
of the green herb, taken with honey,
has been found useful in asthmatic
affections and coughs, being
recommended for this purpose by
Dioscorides. The decoction has also
been given to relieve dropsy in its
Germander had been approved
in France for use in weight-loss
products but was suspended as a
result of several well-documented
cases of toxic reactions and
nonspecific acute hepatitis.
The root is warming to the body, is slightly antiseptic and promotes
internal secretions. Chop
about 2 inches of the fresh root, cover with one cup of water, and
simmer for about 20 minutes or 1/ 2 teaspoon of the powdered root can
be simmered in one cup of water. Add lemon juice, honey, and a slight pinch of cayenne.
A few teaspoons of brandy will make an even more effective
remedy for colds. This
preparation treats fevers, chest colds and flu. A bath or a foot-soak in hot ginger tea is also beneficial.
The tea without additives helps indigestion, colic, diarrhea
and alcoholic gastritis. Dried
ginger in capsules or in juice is taken to avoid carsickness,
seasickness and morning sickness.
Use about 1/ 2 teaspoon of the powder (2 capsules) 30 minutes
before departure and then one to two more as symptoms begin to occur. Works well for dogs and children.
Ginger contains zingibain, a special kind of proteolytic enzyme
that has the ability to chemically break down protein.
Clinical studies have shown that proteolytic enzymes have
anti-inflammatory properties. They
also play an additional role in controlling autoimmune disease. They help reduce blood levels of compounds known as immune
complexes. Ginger is also
well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Indian and Scandinavian studies have consistently shown that
ginger is useful for treating most kinds of arthritis.
It also contains more than 12 antioxidants.
It can be taken as a tea, tincture or capsule
Ginger actually gives other herbs a boost by improving the
body’s ability to assimilate them.
Ginger actually protects herbal compounds from being destroyed
by the liver and continue
circulating in the blood for a longer time.
It also improves the intestines’ absorption of other herbs.
Helps reduce serum cholesterol levels, reduces tendency towards
blood clots. Aids circulation (including peripheral circulation). Stimulates vasomotor (producing contraction and dilation in
walls of vessels) and respiratory center of the central nervous
has long been used in eastern Africa for killing intestinal parasites. Researchers discovered that all 42 components in ginger
essential oil kill roundworms, among other parasites.
Some of these compounds were more effective than the commonly
prescribed drug piperatzine citrate.
In Chinese medicine it warms the middle and expels cold: for
warming the Spleen and Stomach both in conditions of excess due to
externally-contracted cold, as well as cold from deficiency due to
insufficiency of the yang qi. Rescues
devastated yang and expels interior cold: for devastated yang with
such signs as a very weak pulse and cold limbs. Warms the Lungs and
transforms phleghm: for Lung cold with expectoration of thin, watery,
or white sputum. Warms
the channels and stops bleeding: for cold from deficiency that may
present with hemorrhage of various types, especially uterine bleeding.
was considered for generations to be
a panacea by the Chinese and
Koreans, although there are some
disorders, such as acute
inflammatory diseases, for which it
is not recommended.
It usually is not taken
alone, but combined in formulas with
other herbs. One of ginseng’s key investigators, Russian I.I. Brekhman,
coined the term “adaptogen” to
describe ginseng’s ability to
regulate many different functions.
It can have different
responses, depending on what an
individual needs. Studies show that ginseng increases mental and physical
efficiency and resistance to stress
and disease. Psychological improvements were also observed according to
Studies done at the Chinese
Academy of Medical Science in
Beijing, China, showed that the
ginsenosides increase protein
synthesis and activity of
neurotransmitters in the brain.
They are also probably
responsible for ginseng’s dual
role of sedating or stimulating the
central nervous system, depending on
the condition it is being taken to
Studies also show that
ginseng improves carbohydrate
tolerance in diabetics.
When volunteers were given 3
grams of ginseng along with alcohol,
their blood alcohol level was 32% to
51% lower than that of the control
Ginseng appears to stimulate
the immune system of both animals
It revs up the white blood
cells (macrophages and natural
killer cells) that devour
Ginseng also spurs production
of interferon, the body’s own
virus-fighting chemical, and
antibodies, which fight bacterial
and viral infections. It reduces
cholesterol, according to several
American studies. It also increases good cholesterol. Ginseng has an anticlotting effect, which reduces the risk of
It reduces blood sugar
Ginseng protects the liver
from the harmful effects of drugs,
alcohol, and other toxic substances.
In a pilot human study,
ginseng improved liver function in
24 elderly people suffering from
Ginseng can minimize cell
damage from radiation.
In two studies, experimental
animals were injected with various
protective agents, then subjected to
doses of radiation similar to those
used in cancer radiation therapy.
Ginseng provided the best
protection against damage to healthy
cells, suggesting value during
cancer radiation therapy.
Asians have always considered
ginseng particularly beneficial for
As people age, the senses of
taste and smell deteriorate, which
In addition, the
intestine’s ability to absorb
Ginseng enjoys a reputation
as an appetite stimulant and one
study showed it increases the
ability of the intestine to absorb
nutrients, thus helping prevent
This is a yin tonic, taken in
China for fevers and for exhaustion
due to a chronic, wasting disease
such as tuberculosis.
It can help coughs related to
lung weaknessIn the 1960s, a
Japanese scientist, Shoji Shibata,
at the Meiji College of Pharmacy in
Tokyo, identified a unique set of
chemicals that are largely
responsible for ginseng’s actions.
They are saponins,
biologically active compounds that
foam in water. Ginseng’s unique saponins were dubbed “ginsenosides.”
reveals that ginseng can have
beneficial effects on metabolic
function, immunity, mood, and
physiological function at the most
basic cellular level.
It doesn’t benefit
everyone; recent studies of elite
athletes reveal that it has no
demonstrable effects on athletic
Yet in older people, studies
show that it reduces fatigue,
improves performance, and boosts
This makes sense in classic
terms because why would world-class
athletes, with superior yang energy,
want to take a root for people with
But if you are recovering
from a drawn-out illness, feeling
fatigued, or feeling the effects of
age—if you are experiencing a
“collapse” of your “chi”,
ginseng may be right for you.
adaptogenic, ginseng’s action
In China, ginseng is best
known as a stimulant, tonic herb for
athletes and those subject to
physical stress, and as a male
It is also a tonic for old
age, and is traditionally taken by
people in northern and central China
fro late middle age onward, helping
them to endure the long hard
Ginseng has been researched
in detail over the past 20-30 years
in China, Japan, Korea, Russian, and
many other countries.
“adaptogenic” quality has been
confirmed. Trials show that ginseng significantly improves the body’s
capacity to cope with hunger,
extremes of temperature, and mental
and emotional stress.
Furthermore, ginseng produces
a sedative effect when the body
The ginsenosides that are
responsible for this action are
similar in structure to the body’s
own stress hormones.
Ginseng also increases immune
function and resistance to
infection, and supports liver
Asian countries, ginseng has long
been recognized as effective n
reducing alcohol intoxication and
also as a remedy for hangovers. A
clinical experiment demonstrated
that ginseng significantly enhanced
blood alcohol clearance in humans.
In regards to cancer, a
number of experiments have shown
that ginseng can help restore
physiological balance within the
system and significantly reduce the
side effects when used along with
For diabetes, when patients
are treated with ginseng at the
early stages, conditions can return
In advanced stages, the blood
glucose level is significantly
lowered. When combined with insulin, insulin requirements are reduced
while still effectively lowering
blood glucose level. Other symptoms such as fatigue and decreased sexual desire
are also alleviated.
There is some evidence that
ginseng, taken in small amounts over
a long period of time, improves
regulation of the adrenals so that
stress hormones are produced rapidly
when needed and broken down rapidly
when not needed.
Whole root is best.
Extracts, even those that
contain specific guaranteed-potency
ginsenosides, don’t have some of
the other compounds in ginseng that
may be beneficial.
It’s not recommended to
take even good quality extracts for
more than 2-3 weeks at a time, but
the whole ginseng root, in small
amounts can be taken every day for a
year or more.
the Institute of Immunological
Science at Hokkaido University in
Sapporo, Japan, researchers have
been studying a ginsenoside, Rb2.
In mice given lung tumors,
“oral administration of
ginsenoside Rb2 caused a marked
inhibition of both
neovascularization and tumor
growth,” they write. Neovascularization, also called angiogenesis, is the tendency
of tumors to create tiny blood
vessels that feed their malignant
A case-control study in Korea
compared about 2,000 patients
admitted tot eh Korea Cancer Center
Hospital in Seoul to another 2,000
Those with cancer were about
half as likely to use ginseng as
those without cancer. Cancer risk
was lower with those who took
ginseng for a year but much lower
for those who took ginseng for up to
Fresh ginseng, white ginseng
extract, white ginseng powder, and
red ginseng were all associated with
reduced cancer risk.
Ginseng, American (Panax
to Panax ginseng only milder
Internally it is used for coronary
heart disease and angina(roots),
dizziness, and vertigo (Flowers).
Internally and externally it
is used for nosebleed, and
hemorrhage from lungs, digestive
tract, uterus, or injuries (roots).
It was used extensively by
the North Vietnamese during the
Vietnam War to increase recovery
rates from gunshot wounds.
Used in the herbal
combination PC-SPES….a compound of
8 herbs used for prostate cancer.
It is one of the most
valuable Chinese herbs for traumas
and injuries because of its
ginseng-like tonic properties and
its strong hemostatic action in
acute conditions. It will
effectively dissolve blood clots
when taken internally and works very
well for most abnormal bleeding when
combined with the ashes of human
Its healing, astringent
properties increase when combined
with comfrey root.
Like the other ginsengs, it
may be taken as a blood and energy
tonic and is regarded by some as
It is considered preferable
for younger people because it moves
the chi more than the common
American or Oriental ginsengs.
It also strengthens the heart
and improves athletic performance,
making it a preferred tonic for the
purposes of sports medicine.
Give and Take (Cryosophila
Its Creole name of “Give and
Take” refers to the fact that this palm can give a very
bad stinging cut from the thorns, but one can take a
remedy for bleeding, infection, and pain from the inner
portion of the leaf sheath and petiole. The inside part
of the sheath and petiole is pink, cotton-like and
sticky. It is applied to fresh wounds to staunch
bleeding, prevent infection and alleviate pain. Brooms
are made from young, dried leaves tied together on a
Rue (Galega officinalis)
: Uses in cases of agalactia, diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia, edema
and fluid retention. Goat’s rue is chiefly used as an antidiabetic
herb, having the ability to reduce blood sugar levels.
It is not a substitute for conventional treatments but can be
valuable in the early stages of late-onset diabetes, and is best used
as an infusion. The herb
has the effect of increasing breast-milk production. It may also stimulate the development of the mammary glands.
Has been used with some success in stimulating milk production in
women that have not been pregnant but adopted a child.
It is also a useful diuretic.
In hot infusion goat’s rue makes a useful remedy for
increasing sweating and bringing down fevers—and for this reason it
was an old remedy for the plague.
For digestive problems, especially chronic constipation caused
by lack of digestive enzymes. Fed
directly to livestock to increase milk yield. It was also used as a
remedy for worms and recommended as a cure for the bites of serpents.
Parkinson says it is 'good for fattening hens.
Goat’s rue has
shown to have hypoglycemic activity by enhancing glucose utilization.
It was researched in the early 1920’s as a possible therapy which
led to the development of antidiabetic biguanide drugs. These drugs
had numerous side effects which the whole plant did not produce. A
study in 1961 found that galega actually regenerated pancreatic cells.
Golden Goddess (Tabebuia chrysantha): The
palmate leaves are concocted to treat cancer and candida
in native S. American cultures. It is also considered a
remedy for controlling diabetes and for liver and kidney
American medicine primarily used goldenseal root for
treating uterine lining inflammation, but it is now
considered valuable for treating any infection,
inflammation and congestion of mucous-lining areas, such
as the lungs, throat, digestive tract and sinuses.
It dries and cleanses the mucous membranes
inhibiting excessive flow.
inflammation, regulates menses, aids digestion, treats
liver diseases, cleanses the blood and counters infection.
It also is a stimulant to the uterine muscles, contracts
the blood vessels and inhibits excessive bleeding.
Golden seal is effective against flu, fevers and
infections of all kinds; and in treating hemorrhoids,
vaginal yeast infection and as an eyewash for inflamed
eyes. It also
alleviates gastro-enterities, indigestion, gas and
heartburn; and is effective in treating amoebic dysentery
(giardia) when used over a 10 day period.
The primary constituents are hydrastine and
in action, they lower blood pressure and destroy many
types of bacterial and viral infections.
Goldenseal salve helps to heal herpes, ringworm,
impetigo, hemorrhoids, canker sores, and inflamed gums.
The powdered root is sniffed for sinus congestion
or gargled for sore throat, and a strong and well strained
eyewash is used for conjunctivitis.
The tea also makes an effective douche for thrush
and trichomonas. The
dried rhizome possesses cytotoxic activity, indicating it
is useful against viruses. A bitter digestive, goldenseal stimulates appetite and bile
production and it also helps in the treatment of severe
diarrhea caused by various diseases, including cholera.
Berberine effectively treats intestinal parasites,
including giardia, a threat to campers and those living in
rural areas. It proved as effective as, and sometimes even better than,
the established drugs.
It is also used to help restore patients after long
bouts with fevers and flus.
Goldenseal is a beneficial but overused herb.
Herbalists find it most effective used to treat an
active infection, then discontinued, since it does not
show the long-range adaptogenic actions of ginseng.
The rumor that goldenseal can mask urine tests for
drugs is untrue.
it is antioxidant, diuretic and
astringent, goldenrod is a valuable
remedy for urinary tract disorders.
It is used both for serious
ailments such as nephritis and for
more common problems like cystitis.
It reputedly helps flush out
kidney and bladder stones.
The diuretic effect is very
helpful for cases of colon bacilli.
The saponins act specifically
against the Candida fungus,
the cause of yeast infections and
Internally also used for
chronic excess mucus, skin diseases,
influenza, whooping cough, and
flatulent dyspepsia associated with
nervous tension. It is the first
plant to think of for upper
respiratory catarrh, whether acute
Externally used for wounds,
insect bites, ulcers and sore
Due to its mild action,
goldenrod is appropriate for
treating gastroenteritis in
It may be used as a mouthwash
or douche for yeast infections.
As a gargle it can be used in
laryngitis and pharyngitis.
Combines well with marsh
cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum), Echinacea,
Poke Root and Wild Indigo.
A cold extract s more
effective than an infusion made with
A daily dose is two to three
The alcohol extract from the
herb contains many constituents
considered by some to be more
effective than the tea.
King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus):
The leaf is a source of iron, vitamins and minerals.
A poultice and ointment cleanses and heals skin sores.
Also in the preparation of an ointment for painful joints.
The plant was recommended for indigestion and as a laxative and
a diuretic. Used in a
veterinary cough remedy for sheep. Rich in iron as well as vitamin C.
Kola (Centella asiatica):
Gotu kola has been used for thousands of years in India and still has
a central place in Ayurvedic medicine for revitalizing the nerves and
brain cells. It is used
specifically to treat leprosy, skin ulcers, and other skin problems.
Gotu kola cream can help relieve the painful scaly red welts of
psoriasis. It stimulates the regeneration of skin cells and
underlying connective tissue. In
a study published in Annals of
Plastic Surgery, gotu kola accelerates healing of burns and
minimizes scarring. Other
studies show the herb accelerates the healing of skin grafts and
episiotomy . The herb has a longstanding reputation in India as a
"rejuvenator," helping concentration and memory.
It is also taken for fertility and as a tonic for poor
digestion and rheumatism. Fresh
leaves are given to children for dysentery.
The plant is also thought helpful for fevers, abdominal
disorders, asthma and bronchitis. An oil extract is used to promote hair growth.
It is now also considered to have an anti-inflammatory effect
and is given for rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and poor venous
circulation. For varicose
veins researchers have found that ginkgo and gotu kola are more
effective when used together and numerous studies have shown them to
be more effective and better tolerated than tribenoside, the standard
drug used for this purpose.
Gotu kola is also a glandular tonic, anti-fatigue,
strengthening adrenals. It
cleanses and feeds the immune system.
It's also a blood purifier, neutralizing blood acids.
Used in China for fractures, sprains and bruises.
It is valuable in intermittent or periodic fevers, like
kola is a tonic and rejuvenative for Pitta.
At the same time it inhibits Vata, clams the nerves and helps
reduce excessive Kapha. It
is perhaps the most spiritual and sattvic of all herbs.
It is used by yogis as food for meditation.
It awakens the crown chakra and helps balance the right and
left hemispheres of the brain. A
cup of gotu kola tea can be taken with honey before meditation.
It does contain 2 sedatives, saponin glycosides and an
abundance of B vitamins. In
one study, it also improved the general ability and behavior patterns
of mentally handicapped children.
It balnces the hemispheres of the brain and is well suited for
people who are chronically overheated to the point at which they are
burning up their memory and concentration.
You can take 6-8 capsules or more daily, depending upon your
energy and tongue observations. It is a cooling remedy.
The compound asiaticoside is
among the most promising treatments for leprosy. The effectiveness in killing the leprosy bacteria
is thought due to its dissolving the waxy, protective substance around
Recent studies show that gotu
kola has a positive effect on the circulatory system: It seems to
improve the flow of blood throughout the body by strengthening the
veins and capillaries. Gotu Kola has been used successfully to treat phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) as well as leg cramps, swelling of the
legs, and "heaviness" or tingling in the legs.
Gotu Kola has been shown to be particularly useful for people
who are inactive or confined to bed due to illness. Proponents of the
herb also believe that its beneficial effect on circulation may help improve
memory and brain function.
The gotu kola herb also has an important role in gynecology.
Gotu Kola has been used successfully to promote healing after
episiotomy, a surgical incision of the vulva performed to prevent
tearing during childbirth. In fact, in one study reported in a French
medical journal in 1966, women treated with gotu kola after childbirth
healed more rapidly than those given standard treatment.
According to modern
studies, gotu kola does offer support for healthy memory function. A
study conducted in 1992 by K. Nalini at Kasturba Medical College
showed an impressive improvement in memory in rats which were treated
with the extract (orally) daily for 14 days before the experiment. The
retention of learned behavior in the rats treated with gotu kola was
three to 60 times better than that in control animals. Preliminary
results in one clinical trial with mentally retarded children was
shown to increase scores on intelligence tests (Bagchi, 1989). This
does not mean gotu kola will improve intelligence for all special or
According to pharmacological studies, one outcome of gotu kola's
complex actions is a balanced effect on cells and tissues
participating in the process of healing, particularly connective
tissues. One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate
skin repair and strengthen skin, hair, nails and connective tissue (Kartnig,
1988). Scientific studies
have also shown that in relatively large doses the alcoholic extract
produces a sedative effect, caused by the saponin glycosides.
multiflora): The fruit of many members of this
genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals,
especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other
bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of
essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a
fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is
capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as
a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
The leaves are used in the treatment of coughs. The
fruit is prescribed in the treatment of watery diarrhea.
The root is astringent, a decoction is used to treat
itch and foul sores.
of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta):
Used in West African herbal remedies, grains of paradise relieve
flatulence and also have stimulant and diuretic effects. The seeds are
in a number of veterinary medicines. They appear in old pharmacopoeias
like Gerard’s for a variety of abdominal complaints.
Chinese herbalists often add it to fruits such as baked pears
to reduce the production of mucus in the body.
Classified in traditional Chinese medicine as an acrid, warm
herb. It’s taken for nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain,
diarrhea, indigestion, gas and loss of appetite; morning sickness,
pain and discomfort during pregnancy; involuntary urination.
Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia
palustris): A decoction of the plant is
occasionally used as a mouthwash in the treatment of
stomatitis. The dried and powdered plant can be
sprinkled onto wounds to aid the healing process. A
distilled water made from the plant is an excellent
astringent eye lotion.
Green Bristle Grass (Setaria
viridis): The plant is crushed and mixed with
water then used as an external application in the
treatment of bruises.
Green Osier (Cornus
alternifolia): Green osier was employed
medicinally by a number of native North American Indian
tribes who valued it particularly for its astringent
bark which was used both internally and externally to
treat diarrhea, skin problems etc. The inner bark was
boiled and the solution used as an enema and this
solution was also used as a tea to reduce fevers, treat
influenza, diarrhea, headaches, voice loss etc. It was
used as a wash for the eyes. A compound infusion of the
bark and roots has been used to treat childhood diseases
such as measles and worms. It has also been used as a
wash on areas of the body affected by venereal disease.
A poultice of the powdered bark has been used to treat
swellings, blisters etc. Useful in diarrhea and
dysentery; as gargle in sore throats; and in typhoid
fever and ague. It is little used in modern herbalism.
Preparation: The fresh bark and young twigs are
pounded to a pulp and macerated in two parts by weight
Green Stick (Critonia
Of the medicinal leaves
found in the forest, this is one of the most important
and useful to add to herbal bath formulas. Steam baths
(“bajos”) are given in cases of swelling, retention of
fluids, rheumatism, arthritis, paralysis, and muscle
spasms. The leaf is heated in oil and applied to boils,
tumors, cysts, and pus-filled sores. Boil leaf alone or
in combination with other bathing leaves for any skin
condition, exhaustion, wounds, feverish babies,
insomnia, flu, aches, pains and general malaise.
dracontium): The dried and aged root was used by
the N. American Indians in the treatment of 'female
disorders'. The plant leaves were chewed in the
treatment of asthma. Diaphoretic and expectorant in dry,
hacking coughs attended with irritation. Dose of fl'ext.:
1 to 10 drops (0.065 to 0.6 mil).
robusta, G. squarossa
expectorant and sedative with an action resembling
As a tea the leaves and flowers can be used
For tincturing, the flowers are preferable.
Use as a tea for bronchitis and wherever an
expectorant is needed.
It is a useful antispasmodic for dry hacking
coughs, alone or combined with Yerba Santa, a tablespoon
in tea as needed.
The tincture is especially useful for bladder and
urethra infections, one-fourth teaspoon in water every
Topical use of the tincture or a poultice of the
crushed flowers is often helpful in poison oak
inflammations and as a lotion for dermatitis. A mild
sedative and cardiac relaxant, although not always
Its unpleasant bitterness makes it useful as a
mild stomach tonic.
and sedative. Can be successfully employed internally
for aches in the joints, gouty and sciatic pains, and externally
as a fomentation for inflamed parts.
The roots and leaves boiled together, applied to
the hip, and occasionally renewed, have a wonderful
effect in some cases of sciatica.
hederacea (Nepeta hederacea)
ivy has had a long history as a headache cure. The fresh
juice squeezed from the leaves was snuffed up the
nostrils and this was a very popular remedy, said to
relive the most stubborn headache. In the U.S., a tea
from the leaves was at one time considered to be a
remedy for and preventer of a type of lead poisoning
known as “painter’s colic”.
In China, most of the folk names for it allude to
the resemblance o the leaves to Chinese coins. It was
used medicinally to treat toothache and earache, but was
believed most valuable in reducing fever.
Ground ivy is tonic, diuretic, and a
decongestant, and is used to treat many problems
involving the mucous membranes of the ear, nose, throat
and digestive system.
A well-tolerated herb, it can be given to
children to clear lingering congestion and to treat
chronic conditions such as “glue ear” and sinusitis.
Throat and chest problems, especially those due
to excess mucus, also benefit from this remedy.
Ground ivy is also a valuable treatment for
gastritis and acid indigestion.
Further along the gastrointestinal tract, its
binding nature helps to counter diarrhea and to dry up
watery and mucoid secretions.
Ground ivy has been employed to prevent scurvy
and as a spring tonic, and is considered beneficial in
It aids lingering diseases; conditions of chronic
waste, rot and purulent discharge; and chronic metabolic
diseases. It can help where pus develops in the body or
where a lingering metabolic disease exists.
used fresh, for remedial preparations, juice the freshly
gathered leaves and mix the juice with buttermilk in
As a follow-up treatment for tuberculosis, it’s
recommended mixing ground ivy juice with goat’s milk.
Traditionally, ground ivy is added to bath water
to refresh the body’s muscles and joints.
It also strengthens the nerves and aids bladder
and kidney conditions and pains related to rheumatism
The homeopathic mother tincture “Glechoma
hederacea” is made from the fresh plant.
an inhalant, a hot infusion of ground ivy acts as a
pleasant relief on head colds and stuffy noses.
An infusion can be used as a lotion, or on
compresses, to cleanse sores and ulcers
Gu Jing Tsao (Eriocaulon
This is one of the most
effective Chinese herbs for treating disorders of the
eyes, such as cataracts, glaucoma, swelling, and so on.
When using it to treat eye disorders, the decoction
should be used internally and externally at the same
time. The whole plant, including flowers, is used
Guan Jung (Dryopteris
crassirhizoma): The root contains 'filicin', a
substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal
parasites and has been used as a worm expellant for
humans and also in veterinary medicine. It is one of the
most effective treatments known for tapeworms - its use
should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative
such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms
from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil,
increases the absorption of the fern root and can be
dangerous. The root is also taken internally in the
treatment of internal hemorrhage, uterine bleeding,
mumps and feverish illnesses. The root is harvested in
the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not
be stored for longer than 12 months. Externally, the
root is used in the treatment of abscesses, boils,
carbuncles and sores.
times this herb has been prescribed as a preventive
measure during influenza epidemics. Guan zhong
preparations strongly inhibit the flu virus in vitro. In
one clinical trial, 306 people took twice-weekly doses
of guan zhong and 340 served as controls. In the
treatment group, 12 percent became ill versus 33 percent
of the controls. Local versions of guan zhong from
Guangdong, Hunan, and Jiangxi provinces have mildly
inhibitory effects in vitro against many pathogenic
bacteria. Guan zhong also is effective against pig
roundworms in vitro, and it expels tapeworms and liver
flukes in cattle.
In other studies, decoctions and alcohol
extracts of dong bei guan zhong strongly stimulated the
uterus of guinea pigs and rabbits. It increased the
frequency and strength of contractions. Intramuscular
injections of dong bei guan zhong preparations were used
with more than 91-percent success to treat postpartum,
post miscarriage, and postsurgical bleeding.
Guan zhong is usually combined
with other anti-infection herbs, like isatis, and
provided in prepared remedies for both treating and
preventing respiratory tract infections. For example, a
folk practice in southern China is to treat drinking
water with this herb to ward off common cold. Disease
spread is also prevented by burning guanz hong with moxa
(Artemisia argyi) as a fumigant.
Guan Mu Tong
manshuriensis): Stem treats fever, diabetes;
increases flow or urine; induces menstruation;
stimulates milk flow in women after labor
medicinal uses are largely the same as those of coffee-it is taken for
headache and migraine, for mild depressive states, and to boost energy
levels. In view of guarana’s significant tannin content, long-term
use is not advisable, because tannins impair the intestines’ ability
to absorb nutrients. It
is a useful short-term remedy though for boosting energy levels or for
a tension headache that cannot be treated with rest, especially of a
rheumatic nature. Brazilian
miners drink this constantly and believe it to be a preventive of many
diseases. Guarana’s astringency also treats chronic diarrhea.
It is a good short-term adrenal builder because it supplies raw
material the adrenals need to make hormone, rather than simply
signaling your adrenals to make more hormone. The whole seed with all of its complementary components
doesn’t have the harsh effect of caffeine with its potential for
addiction, fast “rush,” nervousness, irritability, and so on.
Tannins and saponins in the seeds slow down the rate at which
guaranine is dissolved and absorbed.
This slow release provides a sustained long-term energizing
effect. A daily 1-gram
dose contains less than 20% of the caffeine in a regular cappuccino.
Guarana seed can be taken in capsules, not late in
the day, 1-5 per day. As
a strong diuretic 7 ½ grains can be taken daily and in 24 hours it
has be known to increase urine from 27 oz to 107 oz.
guajava): : Guava has been widely used in Latin
American traditional medicine as a treatment for
diarrhea and stomachaches due to indigestion. Treatment
usually involves drinking a decoction of the leaf,
roots, and bark of the plant. It also has been used for
dysentery in Panama and as an astringent in Venezuela.
A decoction of the plant’s bark and leaves is also
reported to be used as a bath to treat skin ailments.
Chinese and Caribbean traditional medicine have used
guava in the control of diabetes, but a study in Mexico
found that guava did not lower blood sugar levels in
In the Philippines
the astringent, unripe fruit, the leaves, the cortex of
the bark and roots – through more often the leaves only
– in the form of a decoction, are used for washing
ulcers and wounds. Guerrero states that the bark and
leaves are astringent, vulnerary, and when decocted,
antidiarhetic. The bark is used in the chronic diarrhea
of children and sometimes adults; half an ounce of the
bark is boiled down with six ounces of water to 3
ounces; the dose (for children) is one teaspoonful 3 to
4 times a day. The root-bark has been recommended for
chronic diarrhea. In a decoction of ½ oz. in 6 oz. of
water, boiled down to 3 oz. and given in teaspoonful
doses; and also recommended as a local application in
prolapsus and of children. A decoction of the root-bark
is recommended as a mouthwash for swollen gums.
The leaves, when
chewed, are said to be remedy for toothache. The
decocted leaves are used in Mexico for cleansing ulcers.
The ground leaves make an excellent poultice. A
decoction of the young leaves and shoots is prescribed
in the West Indies for febrifuge and antispasmodic
baths, and an infusion of the leaves for cerebral
affections, nephritis, and cachexia; the pounded leaves
are applied locally for rheumatism; an extract is used
for epilepsy and chorea; and the tincture is rubbed into
the spine of children suffering from convulsions. The
leaves have also been used successfully as an astringent
in diarrhea. In Mexico the leaves are said to be a
remedy for itches. In Uruguay, a decoction of the leaves
is used as a vaginal and uterine wash, especially in
In Costa Rica, a decoction of the flower buds is considered
an effective remedy for diarrhea and flow of blood. The
fruit is astringent and has a tendency to cause
constipation. The fruit is anthelmintic in Mexico. The
guava jelly is tonic to the heart and good for
constipation. The ripe fruit is good aperient, and
should be eaten with the skin, for without it,
costiveness results. The unripe fruit is said to be
indigestible, causing vomiting and feverishness, but it
is sometimes employed in diarrhea. Water in which the
fruit is soaked is good for diabetes.
Historically administered to increase longevity, promote
intelligence, and improve memory and immune function,
modern science has shown the herb protects against
infections, decreases allergic reactions, and stimulates
the immune system by increasing the production of white
blood cells. This herb is a bitter tonic. It has been
helpful in eye conditions and as a tissue builder, as
well as helping development of the brain and
intelligence, and combating premature aging.
It is a constituent of several compound
preparations. It is used in fever, urinary disorders,
dyspepsia, general debility and urinary diseases. It is
also used in treatment of rheumatism and jaundice.
The plant is
used in Ayurvedic rasayanas to improve the immune system
and the body's resistance to infections. It is used in
general debility, digestive disturbances, loss of
appetite and fever in children. It has long been known
in Ayurvedic literature as a tonic, vitalizer and a
remedy for diabetes and metabolic disorders. It has been
used to reduce blood glucose level. The plant has been
found effective in preventing fibrous changes and
promotes regeneration of the liver from drug induced
Guinea Hen Weed (Petiveria
alliacea): It is an important medicinal and ritual
plant in southern Florida, Central America and the
Caribbean, especially in the Santeria religion and has
common names in many languages. Whole plants, leaves,
and roots are collected for use in decoctions. Fresh
leaves are bound around the head for headaches or juiced
for direct application for earache. It reputedly calms
the nerves, controls diarrhea, lowers fever, stimulates
the uterus, and relaxes spasms and is used for
paralysis, hysteria, asthma, whooping cough, pneumonia,
bronchitis, hoarseness, influenza, cystitis, venereal
disease, menstrual complaints and abortion.
simaruba): Gumbo-limbo is used as a tonic and
for back pain, kidney ailments, gonorrhea, syphilis,
leukorrhea, skin irritations esp. from Metopium,
stings, arthritis/rheumatism, colds, sore throat,
asthma, sweat induction, stomach hemorrhage, intestinal
ailments, snakebite, wounds, reduction of blood
pressure, fever, blood tonic esp. during pregnancy,
diarrhea, bruises, loosing weight. The sap is used to
treat Poison Ivy and Poison Wood.
The resin is used to produce
incense and against gastritis, ulcers and to heal skin
wounds. When someone sprained an ankle or pulled
a muscle, gumbo limbo resin was applied to the affected
area. The bark is a common topical remedy for skin
affections like skin sores, measles, sunburn, insect
bites and rashes. A bark decoction is also taken
internally for urinary tract infections, pain, colds,
flu, sun stroke, fevers and to purify the blood. A strip
of bark about 4 -5 cm x 30 cm is boiled in a gallon of
water for 10 minutes for this local remedy and then used
topically or drunk as a tea. Decoctions, infusions and
direct use of bark, gum, wood and leaves hot and cold,
alone and with other species.
camporum) Grindelia acts to relax smooth muscles and heart muscles.
It’s used in the treatment
of asthmatic and bronchial
conditions, especially where these
are associated with a rapid heart
beat and nervous response.
It may be used in asthma,
bronchitis, whooping cough and upper
Because of the relaxing
effect on the heart and pulse rate,
there may be a reduction in blood
Externally the lotion is used
in the dermatitis caused by poison
been used for: arrhythmia,
arthritis, asthma, blisters,
bronchitis, bronchorrhea, burns,
cachexia, common cold, cough,
cystitis, difficulty breathing,
dyspepsia, eczema, emphysema, fever,
gonorrhea, hay fever, hepatitis,
hypertension, indolent skin ulcer,
iritis, muscle spasms, ophthalmia,
pertussis, pharyngitis, pneumonia,
poison ivy, psoriasis, rheumatism,
rhus dermatitis (lotion), sleep
apnea, smallpox, splenomegaly,
syphilis, tachycardia, tuberculosis,
upper respiratory catarrh
silvestre): Indian physicians first used Gymnema
to treat diabetes over 2,000 years ago. . In the 1920s,
preliminary scientific studies found some evidence that
Gymnema leaves can reduce blood sugar levels, but
nothing much came of this observation for decades. It
is a taste suppressant. By topical application gymnema
has been shown to block the sweet and some of the bitter
taste, but not salt and acid taste. By keeping off the
sweet taste it helps to control a craving for sugar.
Responsible for this are considered saponins. Gymnema
has also shown mild hypoglycemic effect. Topically
(applied to the tongue, mainly to the tip or by chewing)
it is used to control a craving for sugar, recommended
as an aid to a weightloss diet and diabetes. Internally
it is used as an adjuvant (tea, h.p.) for diabetes.
Gymnema leaves raise insulin levels, according to
research in healthy volunteers. Based on animal studies,
this may be due to regeneration of the cells in the
pancreas that secrete insulin. Other animal research
shows that Gymnema can also improve uptake of glucose
into cells and prevent adrenaline from stimulating the
liver to produce glucose, thereby reducing blood sugar
levels. The leaves are also noted for lowering serum
cholesterol and triglycerides. In the past, powdered
Gymnema root was used to treat snake bites,
constipation, stomach complaints, water retention, and
Cap Moss, Common (Polytrichum
Reduces inflammation, as an
anti-fever agent, detergent,
diuretic, laxative and hemostatic
(Crataegus laevigata) Hawthorn was traditionally
used in Europe for kidney and bladder stones and as a diuretic.
Its current use for circulatory and cardiac problems stems from
an Irish physician who started using it successfully on his patients
for such conditions toward the end of the 19th century.
It is used today to treat angina and coronary artery disease. Hawthorn normalizes the heart and circulation, lowering or
raising blood pressure according to need.
It is found in most herbal preparations for heart weakness,
irregular heart beat, hardening of the arteries, artery spasms, and
angina. In studies the
hearts of those patients taking hawthorn required less oxygen when
under stress as compared to standard treatments.
And in another study it normalized heart action and efficiency
and seemed to strengthen contractions in almost all the patients with
primary heart disease and even some with more severe secondary heart
disease. It also improved
heart problems caused by hepatitis or other liver disease.
In vitro increases in coronary circulation ranging from 20% to
140% have been observed following the administration of a dose equal
to about 1 mg of the dry extract.
lowers blood pressure by dilating surface blood vessels, as opposed to
directly acting on the heart as does digitalis.
This also means it takes longer to work but there is also no
cumulative effect on the heart tissue.
It does make the body more sensitive to digitalis, so the
prescribed dose of digitalis may eventually be cut in half.
Hawthorn also helps keep the heart beating properly and
decreases peripheral vascular resistance.
Originally only the berries were used, but higher
concentrations of active flavonoids have been discovered in the
flowers and leaves when hawthorn is in full bloom.
One study found spring shoots to be the most active.
The flavonoids dilate coronary and external arteries while
procyanidines, which are most prevalent in the leaves around August,
apparently slow the heart beat and are antibiotic.
with ginkgo, hawthorn is used to enhance poor memory by improving the
circulation of blood to the head which increases the amount of oxygen
to the brain.
one time unripe berries were used for diarrhea and hawthorn-flower tea
as a safe diuretic. A
decoction of the ripe berries is also used for sore throats, skin
diseases, diarrhea and abdominal distention.
The berries also strengthen the appetite and digestion.
(Erica/Calluna vulgaris (E
tetralix, E cinerea)
) It was used in baths
for easing joint and muscle pain,
and taken for urinary infections and
to ease sleep. An infusion of the
dried flowers helped to decrease
nervousness, sleeplessness and the
pains of rheumatism.
It was also recommended as a
bath for babies who were failing to
thrive. Today, heather makes a
useful urinary antiseptic when taken
internally due to the arbutin it
contains, and can be taken for
cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis.
It has a mild diuretic
action, reducing fluid retention and
hastening elimination of toxins via
It makes a good cleansing
remedy for gout and arthritis as
well as skin problems such as acne. It has a mildly sedative action and can easy anxiety, muscle
tension and insomnia.
A hot poultice of heather
tips is a traditional remedy for
Hedge Nettle (Stachys
) One of the most effective
sweating herbs, useful in the early
stages of colds, flu, and fevers.
Internally used for gout,
cramps, vertigo and hemorrhage.
It will relieve diarrhea and
dysentery. Externally used for minor
injuries. The bruised leaves when applied to a wound will stop bleeding
and help heal the wound.
It is an equivalent of
comfrey in its effect on wounds.
It may be used directly or as
an ointment or compress.
Hedge Woundwort (Stachys
sylvatica): The whole herb is styptic. It is
applied externally to wounds etc. From Culpeper: this
herb 'stamped with vinegar and applied in manner of a
pultis, taketh away wens and hard swellings, and
inflammation of the kernels under the eares and jawes,'
and also that the distilled water of the flowers 'is
used to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in
the face, and to make the vitall spirits more fresh and
Hellebore, American White (Veratrum viride
) In standard medicine, Hellebore was employed for its irritant
and sedative action in a wide range of complaints,
including pneumonia, gout, rheumatism, typhoid and
rheumatic fevers and local inflammations. American
Hellebore preparations are well known to contain a
complex mixture of steroid alkaloids (including jervine,
pseudojervine, and meratroidine) that are still used by
the medical profession to treat severe cases of high
blood pressure and related cardiovascular conditions.
It is a very potent drug plant.
It is effective only in selected types of high
blood pressure, and has many side effects if used over a
long period of time. It has been used in the treatment
of acute cases of pneumonia, peritonitis and threatened
apoplexy. A decoction of the root has been used in the
treatment of chronic coughs and constipation. A portion
of the root has been chewed, or a decoction used, in the
treatment of stomach pain. The root has been used to
make a skin wash and compresses for bruises, sprains and
fractures. The powdered root has been applied as a
healing agent to wounds and as a delousing agent. The
stems have been scraped and the powder snuffed to induce
sneezing. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a
wash to treat aches and pains.
luteurm (Helonias dioica)
medicinal use of false unicorn root
is based in Native American
tradition, where it was recommended
for many women’s health
conditions, including lack of
menstruation, painful menstruation,
and other irregularities of
menstruation, as well as to prevent
miscarriages. It was also used as a
remedy for morning sickness. This
herb is one of the best tonics and
strengtheners of the reproductive
system that we have. Though
primarily used for the female
system, it can be equally beneficial
for men. It is known to contain
precursors of the estrogens.
However, it acts in an amphoteric
way to normalize function. The body
may use this herb to balance and
tone and thus it will aid in
apparently opposite situations.
Where ovarian pain occurs, False Unicorn Root may be safely used. The
indication for its use is a dragging
sensation in the extreme lower
abdomen. It is useful in impotence,
as a tonic in genito-urinary
weakness or irritability, for liver
and kidney diseases. Especially good
in diseases due to poor action of
the liver and not to weakness of the
heart or circulation. It is a good
remedy in albuminaria. Steroidal
saponins are generally credited with
providing false unicorn root’s
agrimony has been employed chiefly
as a detoxifying herb for fever,
colds, flu and other acute viral
It also stimulates the
removal of waste products via the
The root is laxative, and the
whole plant is considered to be
Recently, hemp agrimony has
found use as an immunostimulant,
helping to maintain resistance to
acute viral and other infections.
official preparation of Henbane is
obtained from fresh or dried leaves,
flowering tops and branches of the
biennial form of the plant.
Internally henbane has been
used for asthma, whooping cough,
motion sickness, Meniere’s
syndrome, tremor in senility or
paralysis, and as preoperative
Externally it has been used
for neuralgia and dental and
It was added to laxatives to
prevent griping, and to antiasthma
and herbal cigarettes.
Its sedative and
antispasmodic effect makes it a
valuable treatment for the symptoms
of Parkinson’s disease, relieving
tremor and rigidity during the early
stages of the illness.
Henbane also has been used to
treat asthma and bronchitis, usually
as a “burning powder” or in the
form of a cigarette.
Applied externally as an oil,
it can relieve painful conditions
such as neuralgia, sciatica, and
Henbane reduces mucus
secretions, as well as saliva and
other digestive juices.
One of henbane’s active
components, hyoscine, is sometimes
used as a substitute for opium.
Hyoscine is commonly used as
a preoperative anesthetic and in
motion sickness formulations.
) Used mainly within
Ayurviedic and Unani medicine.
The fruits have been thought
to stimulate the menstrual function.
In powdered form, the leaves
have been utilized both internally
and externally to treat various skin
diseases, including leprosy, fungal
infections, acne and boils.
In Arabic medicine the powder
was employed in the treatment of
jaundice, though there it is
unlikely the henna benefited the
patient at all. In India the leaves
were made into an astringent gargle.
An infusion or decoction of
the leaves is used for diarrhea and
Extracts of henna leaves have
been shown to act in a manner
similar to ergot with respect to
inducing uterine contractions.
So it’s possible that
extracts of the plant could induce
menstruation and be effective
The topical application of
two chemical components of this
shrub, lawsone and dihydroxyacetone,
has been reported ultraviolet light
for people with
Experimentally, a water
extract of the leaves inhibited
gram-positive and gram-negative
Antitumor activity in
experiments with mice tends to
support folkloric uses of henna as
an anticancer agent.
and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) or
Internally used for shingles, skin complaints,
and hemorrhoids. The
juice from the leaves of houseleeks have astringent and
cooling properties, applied as an ointment to reduce
fevers and relieve the pain of burns, scalds,
inflammations, shingles, ulcers, ringworm, gout,
headache, sunburn, inflamed or itching skin, and bee
juice was also an effective treatment for corns and
warts on the hands and feet.
The leaves have been chewed to relieve toothache,
and the juice has been sniffed to stop nosebleeds.
Simply pick one of the large outer leaves,
squeeze it between forefinger and thumb and apply to the
affected part. The
juice mixed in equal parts with wine expels worms.
Externally it is used to soften corns, as well as
to reduce inflamed glands. The juice, mixed with water in a proportion of 1:2, is used
for conjunctivitis, or as a gargle.
Herb of the Wolf (Hymenoxys hoopesii): Pains
due to rheumatism or pulmonary diseases are treated by
rubbing with the dried, ground roots. A tea made by
boiling the roots has been used to treat stomachache and
diarrhea, and to eliminate intestinal worms. A snuff
made from the crushed blossoms and the leaves of
Psoralidium lanceolatum has been inhaled in the
treatment of headaches and hay fever.
Herb Patience (Rumex patientia): The juice,
and an infusion of the root, has been used as a poultice
and salve in the treatment of various skin problems. An
infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of
constipation. The leaves have been rubbed in the mouth
to treat sore throats.
the past Herb Robert was used mostly in veterinary medicine,
especially fore the treatment of blood in the urine and infectious
diseases. An application
for melancholy and sadness was recommended.
It stimulated the metabolism. It is now occasionally employed
in much the same way as American cranesbill as an astringent and wound
investigation is needed as according to one authority it is also
effective against stomach ulcers and inflammation of the uterus, and
it has potential as a treatment for cancer.
To treat chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal trace,
try administering Herb Robert in the form of a medicinal wine.
A simple one is made by filling a large jar half and half with
freshly plucked, chopped Herb Robert and a good red wine. Let the mixture stand for two weeks before straining it into
a corked bottle. Sip by
snifter before meals. For
external applications, the freshly pressed juice of Herb Robert is
best. You can either
apply the juice directly to the area being treated or use it In
compresses. Herb Robert
is available as “Herba Geranii Robertiani and the homeopathic mother
tincture “Geranium robertianum is prepared from the fresh flowering
(Hibiscus sabdariffa, rosa-sinensis):
In African folk medicine, the drug is considered spasmolytic,
antibacterial, chologogic, diuretic and anthelmintic.
Aqueous extracts of hibiscus flowers are said to relax the
muscles of the uterus and to lower the blood pressure.
The tincture is good for minor stomach and intestinal
disorders. Used for
kidney and reproductive system problems due to heat.
Effective for menstrual difficulties, especially excessive
bleeding. Helps purify
blood. Good for the
heart. Improves skin
complexion and promotes hair growth.
Dosage is 10-30 drops 3 times per day.
Himalayan May Apple (Podophyllum
hexandrum): A number of double-blind clinical
studies have been done on the medicinal values of the
key mayapple chemical extracts, podophyllotoxin and
podophyllin. These have been proven efficacious in some
serious medical conditions, including temporary
resolution of HIV-related oral hairy leukoplakia,
effective topical treatment for penile warts,
interference with certain unhealthy cell cycles involved
in leukemia, anti-tumor activity including for breast
cancer treatment, and as a useful topical ointment to
prevent scarring during healing after laser incisions.
Roots used to treat stomachache and vomiting. Used to
treat cancer, particularly ovarian cancer, but alopecia
is said to be a common side effect. Although it is used
medicinally in India, it should not be substituted for
mayapple roots as it is much stronger than the American
species and contains far higher quantities of
podophyllotoxin, with drastic laxative effect.
Recent ongoing studies have shown that the
mayapple may help treat the painful symptoms of
rheumatoid arthritis. In one study, 30 patients were
treated with a Podophyllum hexandrum derivative called
CPH82. This derivative was given to them in a 50 mg
capsule form (3 times daily) and compared with a placebo
under a double blind condition. The patients showed
significant improvement in amount of pain, morning
stiffness and grip strength as well as in other areas
after twelve weeks, (p < .01). The researchers concluded
that the CPH 82 was effective in short term treatment
but more researched is required to determine the long
Hoary Pepperwort (Cardaria
The seeds have been used as
a cure for flatulence and food poisoning caused by
eating suspect fish.
Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea
bracteata): An infusion of the root has been
used in the treatment of diarrhea. Externally, the root
has been applied to bites from rattlesnakes. A poultice
of the pulverized leaves has been applied with any salve
Hog Plum (Spondias
radlkoferi): Drink as an astringent tea for
diarrhea, gonorrhea, or sore throat – boil a handful of
flower buds and bark together in 3 cups water for 10
minutes; drink 1 cup before each meal. For gonorrhea,
take in this way for 10 days and re-test. Use as a bath
for stubborn sores, rashes, painful insect stings, and
to bathe pregnant women who feel weak and tired beyond
first trimester—boil a large double handful of leaves
and a strip of bark 3 cm x 15 cm in 2 gallons of water
for 10 minutes.
Hog's Fennel (Peucedanum
officinale): A fairly rare plant and not in
general use It resembles dill more than fennel, and
either can be used as a substitute. Russian herbalists
have used the powdered herbs as a remedy for epilepsy.
An infusion is used in the treatment of coughs,
bronchial catarrh, intermittent fever and to stimulate
menstrual discharge .
The juice, say Dioscorides and Galen, used
with vinegar and Rose-water put to the nose, helps those
that are troubled with lethargy, frenzy, giddiness of
the head, the falling-sickness, long and headache,
palsy, sciatica and the cramp. The juice dissolved in
wine, or put into an egg, is good for a cough, or
shortness of breath and for those that are troubled with
wind in the body. It purges the belly gently, expels the
hardness of the spleen, gives ease to women that have
sore travail in childbirth and eases the pains of the
reins and bladder, and also the womb.
tenuiflorum (O. sanctum)
An infusion of the leaves is a quick
remedy for bronchitis and colds and
an infusion of the seeds is an
excellent diuretic. A
decoction of the roots is thought to
relieve malarial fever. Leaves are
bronchitis, gastric & hepatic
disorders etc. A tea prepared with
the leaves of O. sanctum is commonly
used in cough, cold, mild,
indigestion, diminished appetite and
malaise. Anthelmintic, deodorant,
cardiotonic, blood purifier, useful
in skin diseases, antipyretic
particularly in malarial fevers.
Externally applied on chronic non
healing ulcers, inflammation, skin
disorders, useful in nausea, pain in
abdomen, worms, allergic rhinitis,
all types of cough, respiratory
disorders. It acts as a powerful
a 1997 study at M.S. University of Baroda, India, 17
NIDDM patients were supplemented with 1 g basil leaf per
day for 30 days. Ten NIDDM patients served as controls,
receiving no supplementation. All subjects were taking
antidiabetic medications and did not change their diets.
Holy basil lowered fasting blood glucose 20.8 percent,
total cholesterol 11.3 percent and triacylglycerols 16.4
percent.18 I recommend 14 g of dried leaf
daily. . It is said that eating Holy basil along with
other foods will relieve stomach problems including
cramps and digestive disorders.
The ethanolic extract of the leaves exhibited a
hypoglycemic effect in rats and an antispasmodic effect
in isolated guinea pig ileum. Tulsi extract was
administered to 20 patients with shortness of breath
secondary to tropical eosinophia in an oral dosage of
500 mg TID and an improvement in breathing was noted.
The aqueous extract showed a hypotensive effect on
anesthetised dogs and cats and negative inotropic and
chronotropic activity (reduces the force and rate,
respectively) on rabbit's heart. Antibacterial activity
has been shown against Staphlococcus aureus and Mycoplasma
tuberculosis in vitro as well as against several
other species of pathogens including fungi. The plant
has had general adaptogenic effects in mice and rats and
has been shown to protect against stress-induced ulcers.
The leaf extract was found to protect guinea pigs
against histamine and pollen induced asthma. Adaptogenic
activity of Ocimum sanctum is reported in rats &
research studied the effect of Ocimum
sanctum (Tulsi)on experimental cataract in rats and
rabbits by P. SHARMA, S. KULSHRESHTHA AND A.L. SHARMA
Department of Pharmacology, S.N. Medical College, Agra -
SUMMARY Objective: Methods: Two models of
experimental cataract were induced: (1) Galactosaemic
cataract in rats by 30% galactose, (2) Naphthalene
cataract in rabbits by 1 gm/kg naphthalene. Ocimum sanctum (O.S.) was administered orally in both models at two
dose levels 1 and 2 gm/kg of body weight for curative
and prophylactic effects. The study was conducted for 40
Results: O.S. delayed the onset of cataract as
well as the subsequent maturation of cataract
significantly in both models. In addition to delay in
reaching various stages of development of cataract, IV
stage did not develop with high doses till completion of
40 days of experimental period.
Conclusion: O.S. delayed the process of
cataractogenesis in both models.
The higher doses are more effective and have got
promising prophylactic role rather than curative one.
This effect is more clear in galactosaemiccataract.
(Indian J Pharmacol 1998; 30: 16-20)
More research: Surender Singh and D.K. Majumdar
University of Delhi, New Delhi, India: The fixed oil of O.
sanctum seeds was screened for antiarthritic
activity using Freund's adjuvant arthritis,
formaldehyde-induced arthritis and also turpentine
oil-induced joint edema in rats. The oil was
administered intraperitoneally for 14 days in the case
of adjuvant-induced arthritis and 10 days in
formaldehyde-induced arthritis. The mean changes in
diameter of paw were noted at regular intervals. X-rays
of paws were taken at the end of study and SGOT &
SGPT levels were also estimated. The fixed oil showed
significant anti-arthritic activity in both models and
anti-edema activity against turpentine oil-induced joint
Traditional Uses: The leaf infusion or fresh leaf juice is commonly
used in cough, mild upper respiratory infections,
bronchospasm, stress-related skin disorders and
indigestion. It is combined with ginger and maricha
(black pepper) in bronchial asthma. It is given with
honey in bronchitis and cough. The leaf juice is taken
internally and also applied directly on cutaneous
lesions in ringworm. The essential oil has been used in
ear infections. The seeds are considered a general
herbalists in New England use an infusion as a diuretic
and urinary tract tonic, to strengthen and cleanse the
kidneys and to relieve frequent urination. In the
Orient it is held in especially high esteem to treat
menstrual and puerperal diseases of women. Honewort
root has been prescribed for Chinese women who wish to
Honey Locust (
sinensis): A decoction of the leaves is used for
washing sores, including syphilitic skin diseases. It
is used in the treatment of bronchial asthma with sticky
phlegm, epilepsy and apoplexy with loss of
consciousness. The thorns are used in the treatment of
acute purulent inflammation, dermatopathies and
tonsillitis. They should not be used by pregnant women.
The plant has been used in the treatment of lockjaw,
stroke, acute numbness of the throat and epilepsy. It reduces
swellings, opens the orifices, revives the spirit and
dissolves phlegm. Commonly used to treat cough with
sputum that is difficult to expectorate, facial
paralysis, loss of consciousness and abscesses.
The seeds have been used in the treatment of cancer of
the rectum. Fruits, seeds: loosen mucus in the
respiratory tracts; increase urine flow. Bark, roots:
expel intestinal worms; treat fever
(Lonicera japonica & L. caprifolium)
The Chinese use honeysuckle flowers extensively to treat sore
throat, colds, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Honeysuckle flower extracts are strongly active against many
microorganisms that cause sore throat and respiratory conditions.
It has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against salmonella
typhi, pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus
considered the echinacea of Chinese medicine.
It’s also been shown to have an inhibitory effect with
tuberculosis. A suggested help is making a tea with a handful of flowers
per cup of oiling water and drinking up to three cups a day. The bark
is diuretic and may be taken to relieve gout, kidney stones and liver
problems. In winter
a decoction of twigs and dried leaves can be drunk adding lemon and
honey for flavor. The
leaves are astringent and make a good gargle and mouthwash for sore
throats and canker sores. The
FDA has not put honeysuckle on its GRAS list
Clears heat and relieves fire toxicity: for hot, painful sores and
swellings in various stages of development, especially of the breast,
throat, or eyes. Also for
Intestinal abscess. Expels
externally-contracted wind-heat: for the early stages of warm-febrile
diseases with such symptoms as fever, slight sensitivity to wind, sore
throat, and headache. Also for externally-contracted summer heat.
Clears damp-heat from the lower burner: for damp-heat
dysenteric disorder or painful urinary dysfunction.
gordonii): Some tribes in Namibia boil the
Hoodia to treat various ailments with the brew.
including severe abdominal cramps, hemorrhoids,
tuberculosis, indigestion, hypertension and diabetes.
Current popular use is for weight control.
Within the hypothalamus, there are nerve cells that
sense glucose sugar. When you eat, blood sugar goes up
because of the food, these cells start firing and now
you are full. What the Hoodia seems to contain is a
molecule that is about 10,000 times as active as
glucose. It goes to the mid-brain and actually makes
those nerve cells fire as if you were full. But you have
not eaten. Nor do you want to.
Published scientific conference abstracts
(not peer reviewed) of research studies have reported
that orally administered crude or partially purified
extracts of four different Hoodia species reduced food
intake and body weight and body fat of obese and, to a
lesser extent, lean rats. Other animal studies
performed in South Africa reported weight loss due to
appetite suppression from intake of hoodia (56^). An
unpublished 2-week clinical trial of P57, as a less
purified extract, also found body fat loss, reduced
energy intake, as well as lower blood sugar and
Hopi Tea (Thelesperma
gracile): It is considered useful for the
kidneys, especially in winter. To settle the stomach and
purify the blood. It is combined with Canela, Yerba
Buena, or Poleo (with a pinch of cone sugar added for a
more tasty brew). The tea is kind to the stomach, and
was used traditionally as a vermifuge.
strobiles of hops are mildly
sedative and diuretic.
They are a bitter digestive
that is especially suited for
treating nervous indigestion,
ulcers, insomnia, irritable bowel
syndrome and Crohn’s disease. They
relax nerves and smooth muscles,
especially in the digestive tract,
within 20-40 minutes after
A 1980 study suggested that
they contain a muscle-relaxing
constituent in addition to lupulin,
which had been assumed to be the
only active chemical.
Hops’ antibacterial agents,
responsible for preserving bread and
beer, also fight digestive tract
Hormonal effects from
estrogen-like compounds were first
noted when female hops pickers
experienced changes in their
menstrual cycles (some even stopped
menstruating) after absorbing
quantities of the essential oil
through their hands.
Aphrodisiacal effects were
observed in men. Regular doses of
the herb can help regulate the
GLA which also occurs in
evening primrose oil, has been found
in hops, suggesting its usefulness
for PMS and menstrual problems,
especially muscle cramps, headaches,
and sore breaks.
Hops also helps insomniacs.
A hops poultice can relive
the pain and inflammation of earache
Experiments in Germany have
shown that hops tinctures are more
stable than dried hops, which
quickly degrades with exposure to
light and humidity.
Externally used for skin
infections, eczema, herpes, and leg
Combined with Valerian as a
sedative and Roman Chamomile or
Peppermint for nervous digestive
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare
bitterness stimulates the appetite
and also promotes bile, making large
doses laxative. The whole herb and
its derivatives are used in
thousands of lung medications around
the world, especially for treating
bronchitis and coughs.
The essential oils and
marrubiin dilate the arteries and
help to ease lung congestion. The
herb apparently causes the secretion
of a more fluid mucus, which is more
readily cleared by coughing.
Marrubiin also normalizes the
heart beat and is a weak sedative.
At one time, horehound was suggested
for relieving menstrual pain and
slowing a rapid heart beat.
Since it also induces
sweating, it has been used to reduce
fevers, even those associated with
malaria. It is less commonly used as
a decoction for skin conditions.
Old recipes call for the
leaves to be boiled in lard and
applied to wounds.
inner bark was used to staunch bleeding. Delaware
Indians used the root or bark infusion for general
debility and female ailments. Iroquois used it for
childbirth and used the bark chips in a polyherbal
formula for tuberculosis. Iroquois also used it for big
injuries and Italian itch. An infusion has been used in
the treatment of diarrhea and difficult urination with
Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)…Horse chestnut
is astringent, an anti-inflammatory, and an aid to toning the vein
walls, which, when slack or distended, may become varicose,
hemorrhoidal, or otherwise problematic.
Horse chestnut also reduces fluid retention by acting on the
connective tissue barrier between blood vessels and tissue, where
nutrients and gases diffuse, inhibiting exudation and the development
of edema and reducing vascular fragility.
The wall of the vein becomes less permeable, and this inhibits
edema and allows the reabsorption of excess fluid back into the
circulatory system. The
bark can be used to reduce fever
(dose of ½ ounce of the bark in 24 hours). The herb has been
taken internally in small to moderate doses for leg ulcers, varicose
veins, phlebitis, inflammation of the veins, hemorrhoids, and frostbite, and applied externally as a
lotion, ointment, or gel. It
also stops the enzymes that break down damaged veins (along with the
enzyme bromelain from pineapple and gotu kola).
After only 12 days of taking horse chestnut, the level of these
enzymes drops by one-quarter.
Research trials have shown that application of a topical escin
(aescin) gel reduced the pain of injection hematoma and could be
extrapolated to other models in which extravasated blood leads to
inflammation and tenderness as in impact hematoma. In the US, a
decoction of the leaves has been given for whooping cough.
seeds have been employed in the treatment of rheumatism and neuralgia
and also in rectal complaints and for hemorrhoids. In France, an oil
extracted from the seeds has been used externally for rheumatism.
For painful cramps in the legs at night recommended dosage is
20 drops or more of a standardized horse chestnut preparation at
scientists found that horse chestnut (along with witch hazel, rosemary
and sage) having sufficient antioxidant activity to have potential
against wrinkles. Soothing
and astringent salves containing these herbs can be mixed for use.
Horseradish has long been known as a stimulant for many
parts of the circulatory system, while having antiseptic qualities
too. When taken with rich
food it assists digestion and when a little horseradish is taken
regularly it will build up resistance to coughs and colds.
In dropsy, it benefits the system by correcting imbalances in
the digestive organs. In
a more concentrated form, it is able to reduce catarrhal and bronchial
taken inwardly also relieves sinus pain and is said to help reduce
blood pressure. As a
poultice it’s used for rheumatitis, chest complaints and circulation
problems. Infused in wine
it becomes a general stimulant and causes perspiration.
It is believed to be a good vermifuge for children.
It is richer in vitamin C than orange or lemon.
The volatiles in horseradish have been shown to be
antimicrobial against some organisms.
Horseradish derivatives may be useful to replace current
microbial treatments that remove toxic pollutants form water and make
them insoluble. Syrup of
horseradish is made by steeping a tablespoon of grated horseradish
root in a cup of boiling water and covering it for two hours.
The horseradish is then strained out and either sugar or honey
is added. Heat until a
thick syrupy consistency is achieved.
Bottle for use. A
peroxidase enzyme extracted from the root has novel commercial
applications as an oxidizer in chemical tests to evaluate blood
glucose, and a molecular probe in studies on rheumatoid arthritis.
(Equisetum spp. (arvense and hyemale)) The astringent,
healing stems check bleeding in wounds, nosebleeds, and heavy
menstruation. A strong diuretic for urinary tract and prostate
disorders, they also tonify the urinary mucous membranes, can control
bed-wetting, and help with skin problems. The other main use is for
deep-seated damage in lung disease.
Horsetail absorbs gold dissolved in water better than most
plants, as much as 4 ounces per ton of fresh stalks.
The amount of gold in a cup of horsetail tea is quite small,
but small amounts of gold are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and
the Chinese used horsetail for this.
suggests the following uses: dropsy, lithaemia, haematuria, gonorrhoea,
gleet, irritable bladder, enuresis in children, prostatis, and the
ashes for acid dyspepsia. It
is often combined with Hydrangea in the treatment of prostate troubles
is one of the silica-containing plant drugs where the silica is
largely in a water-soluble colloidal form.
It is primarily a connective tissue drug, but is also
considered a diuretic, though this is true only within limits.
The silica is not responsible for a certain diuretic effect,
which clearly is not very great and is probably due to saponins.
A search has been made for other constituents that might
explain the diuretic effect. A
close relative of the common horsetail, Equisetum palustre.
Animal experiments designed to demonstrate the diuretic
properties of the horsetail came up with widely differing results.
Some investigators obtained completely negative results, others
noted an increase in urinary output by up to 68% in rats, and called
the horsetail one of the most powerful diuretics..
Reports on the use of this plant with normal subjects and
patients are similarly contradictory.
The diuretic effect does not appear to have been very great in
this case. Horsetail has the advantage that no harmful effects have been
more important property of this plants is the general metabolic
stimulation it achieves, above all increasing connective tissue
resistance. As connective
tissues are also involved in rheumatic conditions, this explains the
usefulness of the drug in this field.
In the use of this plant, emphasis should be placed not so much
on the diuretic effect, as has been generally assumed so far, but the
antidyscratic and humoral actions. The key indications are therefore more in the metabolic
spehre. E.g. edema of the legs tdue to metabolic causes and in many
cases of rheumatoid arthritis and arthrosis.
Sitz baths with equisetum extract are indicated for functional
pelvic disease in women where there is no inflammation such as
adnexitis or parametritis, but primarily muscular tensions and changes
in muscle tone in the small pelvis that are autonomous in origin.
silica is relatively easily dissolved out of the herb by making a
decoction, 2.0g of the dried herb boiled for three hours in 200ml of
water. Extraction is even
better if a little sugar is added.
The resulting decoction contains 55.5mg of SiO2 and is
remarkably stable. Silica
greatly accelerates blood coagulation, and horsetail is our best
China, E. hyemale is used mainly to cool fevers and as a remedy for
eye inflammations, such as conjunctivitis and corneal disorders
Tongue (Cynoglossum officinale
) An infusion from shaved root or crushed leaves is used
to bathe cuts, bruises, burns and eczema and to treat
coughs and bronchitis.
The leaves produce a potent poultice for external
relief of scrofulous tumors, burns, goiter and
similar to comfrey. It
makes a good treatment for piles and hemorrhoids, drink a
cup of the herb or root every day.
It has been used in
catarrhs, hemoptysis, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Externally, it has been found highly beneficial in
removing the pain and soreness attending irritated,
bruised, or chafed parts especially in excoriation of the
feet from much traveling. The tincture, or the application
of bruised fresh leaves will remove the swelling and
ecchymosis consequent upon severe blows or bruises.
Hsien Yu (Curculigo
The root is used for
arthritis, blenorrhea, cachexia, enuresis, impotency,
and weak kidneys, incontinence, lassitude, lumbago,
nervine, tonic, for neurasthenia, to increase virility
in premature senility
Hu Lu Ch'a (Tadehagi
Whole plant: expels
intestinal worms; treats spasms in infants, indigestion,
piles, abscesses. Whole plant decoction is drunk as
hematinic and used medicinally as an antipyretic,
diuretic, for invigorating the spleen, and promoting
digestion. Leaves employed as a tonic and hemorrhoid
Huckleberry, Black (Gaylussacia
baccata): An infusion of the leaves, or the
bark, has been used in the treatment of dysentery. An
infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of
Bean (Lablab purpureus (Dolichos lablab)) Hyacinth
bean is mild-and-lightly-warm-natured, tastes sweet.
It can tonify the spleen and stomach, relieve
internal heat fever, relieve summer beat-and damp and
remove dampness to stop diarrohea, etc.,
leukorrhea, with reddish discharge, infantile
malnutrition and anti-cancer, etc.
The seeds are used to stimulate gastric
activities, for vomiting and diarrhoea in acute
gastro-enteritis, thirst in heat-stroke,
rheumatic arthritis, sunstroke, as an antidote
against fish and vegetable poisoning and to treat colic
The flowers are used to treat dysentery when
there is pus and bloody stools, inflammation of the
uterus and to increase menstrual flow.
Contraindicated in cases of intermittent fevers
and chills, and in cold disorders.
Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens
) It treats fluid retention
and stone formation in the kidneys and bladder. It is
also used for cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis,
rheumatoid arthritis, gout and edema. It also is
excellent for chronic penile discharge in men and
mucousal urinary irritation in the aged.
It is also used to decrease pain and inflammation
in the urinary tract and when stones are passed.
The dried root is considered strongest, but the
leaves are sometimes also used. According to the Eclectic doctors, it does not actually
dissolve the stones but helps them to pass and prevents
It’s used in combination with other herbs to
treat inflamed and enlarged prostates.
The roots have a laxative effect.
Hydrangea contains a substance called rutin which
is valuable in decreasing capillary fragility and
reducing the incidence of recurrent hemorrhages.
(Hyssop officinalis) The
flowering tops and the leaves are tonic and stomachic.
Hyssop contains marrubiin, also found in horehound.
It’s an expectorant, used to treat lung conditions,
specifically bronchitis, especially where there is excessive mucus
production. Hyssop appears to encourage the production of a more
liquid mucus, and at the same time gently stimulates expectoration.
This combined action clears thick and congested phlegm.
Hyssop can irritate the mucous membranes, so it is best given
after an infection has peaked, when the herb’s tonic action
encourages a general recovery.
Hyssop also contains ursolic acid, which reduces inflammation,
so the tea makes a good sore throat gargle.
Studies also show it to be an antiviral that is especially
effective against the herpes simplex virus.
It is included in some flu and cold remedies to reduce
congestion and fevers. As
a sedative, hyssop is a useful remedy against asthma in both children
and adults, especially where the condition is exacerbated by mucus
congestion. Like many
herbs with a strong volatile oil, it soothes the digestive tract and
can be an effective remedy against indigestion, gas, bloating, and
colic. An old country
remedy for rheumatism was made from the fresh green tops brewed into a
tea and taken several times a day. When hyssop flowers are blended with valerian root, chamomile
flowers, a few peppermint leaves, and a pinch of lavender flowers, the
mixture makes a powerful sedative tea on going to bed.
A wash made from the leaves and applied to cuts and bruises is
antiseptic and healing. The leaves were soaked in oil and applied to
the head to kill lice. Special
application for adders’ sting was a compress of bruised hyssop
leaves mixed with honey, salt, and cumin seeds.
Experimental extracts have shown promise against herpes
simplex. The green tops
of the herb can be added to soups to benefit asthmatics.
Hyssop baths are useful for rheumatic complaints.
Hyssop, Mexican Giant
(Agastache mexicana): Intensely
lemon-scented leaves; used in tea and as medicine in
Mexico where it is considered an important aid to
digestion. It relieves flatulence, indigestion and
dyspepsia, and improves appetite, and is often
recommended for children. It is popular for weight
control, anorexia, and central nervous system
disorders. Taken with cognac, it is an excellent
sudorific, and helps to lower a fever.