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- F, G,
J, K Herbs
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U, V, W,
X, Y, Z Herbs
var nausiosa) As a hot
tea to break fevers and promote sweating. The
strong tea is added to bathwater to reduce the
swelling and pain of arthritis. Use both the dried
leaves and yellow flowers for the bath. Also used
as a cough syrup.
Rabbit's Paw (Sphagneticola
trilobata) Used for
hepatitis, indigestion due to
sluggish liver, white stools,
burning in the urine and stopping of
urine, and for infections – boil 1
cup of fresh herb (stems, leaves,
and flowers) in 3 cups water for 5
minutes and drink 1 cup warm before
each meal. To bathe those suffering
from backache, muscle cramps,
rheumatism, or swellings, boil a
large double handful of fresh stems
and leaves in 2 gallons of water for
10 minutes. Said to pull “heat”
out of the body. For painful joints
of arthritis, mash fresh leaves and
stems; spread on a cloth and apply
to area, wrapping securely with a
warm covering. Also used to clear
the placenta after birth.
(Raphanus sativus) Radish root stimulates the appetite and
common red radish is eaten as a salad vegetable and an
juice of the black radish is drunk to counter gassy
indigestion and constipation.
Radish juice has a tonic and laxative action on
the intestines and indirectly stimulates the flow of
radish generally results in improved digestion, but some
people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action.
It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises
and smelly feet. The leaves, seeds and old roots are
used in the treatment of asthma and other chest
juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative. In China, radish is eaten to relive abdominal distension.
The root is also prepared “dry-fried” to
treat chest problems.
The seed is used to treat abdominal fullness,
sour eructations, diarrhea caused by food congestion,
phlegm with productive cough and wheezing.
Because of its neutral energy, it is very
effective in breaking up congestion in patients with
extreme heat. Radishes
are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and
scorbutic conditions. The plant contains raphanin, which
is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth
of Staphylococcuc aureus, E. coli, streptococci,
pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumor
(Ambrosia trifida) A poultice of the
crushed plant has been used to treat poison sumac
has been used to treat gonorrhea, diarrhea, and other
In Mexico, it is believed to be useful for
treating intestinal worms and reducing fever.
The leaves are applied externally to insect bites
and various skin complaints, internally they are used as
a tea in the treatment of pneumonia, fevers, nausea,
intestinal cramps, diarrhea and mucous discharges.
The juice of wilted leaves is disinfectant and is
applied to infected toes.
A tea made from the roots is used in the
treatment of menstrual disorders and stroke.
The pollen is harvested commercially and
manufactured into pharmaceutical preparations for the
treatment of allergies to the plant.
Ragwort is excellent when taken as an infusion for gouty
conditions and rheumatic pains. It usually gives great relief quickly. Also very good for lung and bronchial infections.
Ragwort provides a stimulating and warming
liniment preparation used externally on rheumatic
emollient poultice is made from the leaves.
The juice of the plant is cooling and astringent,
it is used as a wash in burns, sores, cancerous ulcers
and eye inflammations. It makes a good gargle for
ulcerated mouths and throats and is also said to take
away the pain of a bee sting. Caution is advised here
since the plant is poisonous and some people develop a
rash from merely touching this plant.
A decoction of the root is said to be good for
treating internal bruises and wounds.
Goat Dash Along (Turnera
ulmifolia) This herb is said
to have aphrodisiac properties. The
tea from the leaves has been used
for colds and general debility.
Ramie (Boehmeria nivea):
The leaves are used in the treatment of fluxes
and wounds. The root is used to prevent miscarriages and
promote the drainage of pus.
As a spring tonic in native N. American medicine, and to
treat colds, sore throat, and worms in children.
Traditionally the leaves were used in the treatment of
colds and croup. The warm juice of the leaves and
bulb was used externally in the treatment of earaches.
A strong decoction of the root is emetic.
(Allium ursinum) Although largely unknown in the United States, in 1989, A. ursinum
was called "the new star" of garlic in the
German health journal Therapiewoche (Therapy Week) and in 1992, was declared the European
medicinal "Plant of the Year" by the
Association for the Protection and Research on European
Medicinal Plants. Allium
ursinum contains much more ajoene and an about
twentyfold higher content of adenosine than its
'cultivated cousin.' Just these substances are the ones
to which, according to recent studies, an essential part
of the known allium effects such as reduction of
cholesterine, inhibition of thombocyte-aggregation, drop
in blood pressure, improvement of blood-rheology and
fibrinolysis are attributed.
A. ursinum has all the benefits of the A. sativum
products that are found on the market. However, A.
ursinum has three advantages over this domesticated
garlic: 1) It has more of the active substances ; 2) It
has active substances not found in cultivated garlic, or
found only when large quantities are taken; 3) It is
odorless. What distinguishes wild garlic from its garlic
relative is, above all, the aroma. Although fields of
wild garlic can be identified from afar by their
characteristic odor, you are generally spared from
‘garlic breath’ if you eat wild garlic leaves.
Wild garlic also regulates the digestion and
prevents problems caused by the iron intake. Professor
Holger Kiesewetter of the Homburg University Clinic has
now found that one gram of wild garlic per day increases
blood circulation and significantly improves blood flow.
Wild Garlic cleanses the blood and intestines. It
improves the intestinal flora and is effective against
acne, fungus and eczema. It also lowers high blood
pressure, fights arteriosclerosis, and increases the
body's immune system.
Because ramsons ease stomach pain and are tonic
to the digestion, they have been used for diarrhea,
colic, gas, indigestion and loss of appetite.
The whole herb is used in an infusion against
threadworms, either ingested or given as an enema.
Ramsons are also thought to be beneficial for
asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
The juice is used as an aid to losing weight.
Applied externally, the juice is a mild irritant.
It stimulates local circulation and may be of
benefit in treating rheumatic and arthritic joints.
repanda) A gum obtained from the
plant is chewed to sweeten the
breath. Main use is in homeopathic
leaf is the most valuable medicinal part of the
raspberry and a tea is traditionally drunk by expectant
mothers during the last three months of pregnancy to
strengthen the uterus and to ease painful contractions
during labor as well as checking any hemorrhage.
This action will occur if the herb is drunk
regularly throughout pregnancy and also taken during
labor. Although the specific mode of action is unknown,
the leaves are thought to strengthen the longitudinal
muscles of the uterus, increasing the force of
contractions and thereby hastening childbirth.
The gentle astringency of raspberry leaves is
also helpful for diarrhea in children, and an infusion
makes a good mouthwash for ulcers and bleeding gums. It
is used to treat irregular and excessive menstruation.
Externally, the leaves and roots are used as a
gargle to treat tonsillitis and mouth inflammations, as
a poultice and wash to treat sores, conjunctivitis,
minor wounds, burns and varicose ulcers.
The fruit is antiscorbutic and diuretic. Fresh
raspberry juice, mixed with a little honey, makes an
excellent refrigerant beverage to be taken in the heat
of a fever. Made into a syrup, it is said to have a
beneficial effect on the heart. The fruit is nutritious and mildly astringent.
Raspberry, Chinese (Rubus
coreanus) An astringent herb
that acts as a kidney and liver
tonic. Internally for complaints
associated with disturbed liver and
kidney functions, such as urinary
dysfunction, premature graying,
blurred vision, infertility,
impotence, and premature
ejaculation. Fresh raspberry leaves
can be pureed with some pure water
and the juice extracted for use as
an astringent wash to treat
excessive watering of the eyes. The
juice of the bruised leaves or a
decoction of the root are used in
the treatment of ophthalmia. The
drug improves vision in liver and
kidney deficient symptoms.
Master (Eryngium yuccifolium).....The
plant was used as an antidote to snakebites. The roots
were chewed and applied to the bite. The roots have been
used medicinally for liver ailments, to increase urine
flow, to induce vomiting, and to treat rattlesnake bite.
Very useful in dropsy, nephritic and calculus
affections, also in scrofula and syphilis.
It is valuable as a diaphoretic and expectorant
in pulmonary affections and used when Senega is not
is some effect in treating inflammations and malaria.
The pulverized root is very effective in
hemorrhoids and prolapsus.
Chewing the root results in increased saliva
liquid made from roots mashed in cold water was drunk to
relieve muscular pains. The roots have also been used for rheumatism, respiratory
ailments, and kidney trouble.
A decoction of the roots has been found useful in
cases of exhaustion from sexual depletion, with loss of
erectile power, seminal emissions and orchitis. A
tincture of the roots is used in the treatment of female
Rattlesnake master is reported to have bitter
No research seems to have been done on the
effectiveness of rattlesnake master in the treatment on
rattlesnake bites, but an extract of Eryngium
creticum was found to be effective as an antivenum
to the sting of the scorpion Leiurus quinuqestristus.
This Eryngium grows in Jordan, where it is
used by people in rural areas for scorpion stings.
Rattlesnake Weed (Hieracium
venosum) When fresh, the
leaves are acrid and excoriating,
and will often remove warts; but
they lose this property on being
dried, and are then (with the roots)
simply bitter and astringent. The
roots and leaves are stimulating and
astringent, moderately permanent,
and quite positive in action. They
arouse a full outward circulation;
and may be used to advantage when
the surface is cold and sluggish,
and there is hemorrhage from any
internal organ. They are useful in
uterine hemorrhage, excessive
menstruation, bleeding piles, and
spitting of blood. They are not so
drying as often to prove
constipating, but act much like
(though milder than) the bark of
myrica. Like myrica, they may be
used in chronic diarrhea, aphthous
sores, nasal catarrh, nasal polypus,
and as an injection in foul
leucorrhea and rather insensitive
forms of prolapsus. It exerts that
peculiar influence in stimulating
and consolidating the assimilative
apparatus, that can be used to good
effect in the treatment of those
forms of scrofula which are
associated with persistent watery
looseness of the bowels. Drank
freely in warm decoction, and the
leaves at the same time applied as a
fomentation, the plant is reputed to
be of much service in arousing the
circulation and nervous system, and
casting out the virus of serpents.
One ounce of the roots, or an ounce
and a half of the leaves, will form
a quart of infusion; or they may be
added to relaxant alterants in the
preparation of syrups. The purple
veined-leaves of rattlesnake weed
Cherokee used the root tea
with Mitchella for bowel disorders
Can (Oenanthe javanica) A
decoction of the whole plant is used
in the treatment of epidemic
influenza, fever and discomfort,
jaundice, haematuria and
metrorrhagia. The seed contains
3.5% essential oil. This is
effective at large dilutions against
Rau Rom (Vietnamese Coriander
The roots of the closely related Fo-ti, Polygonum multiflorum,
are used in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic and to
stimulate hair growth, where it is often combined with
other herbs, such as ginseng (panax sp.).
Used in southeastern Asia against nausea, fever
and to promote urination
It is sometimes employed as an anaphrodisiac. In Cambodia the twigs and leaves are used to stimulate
urination and to combat fever and nausea.
In Vietnam the plant is used to treat wound and
snake bite. The
dried rhizome has astringent and anti-inflammatory uses.
In Europe, an infusion from the rhizome has been
used as a gargle for ulcers and gingevitis, and applied
to cuts, sores and hemorrhoids.
Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia
extensively throughout South America for its medicinal
virtues and ritually brewed with Trichocereous pachanoi
as one interpretation of Cimora. ... In Ecuador it is
currently being cultivated for scopolamine.
Red China Root (Smilax
lanceolata): Chop and boil a small handful of
roots in 3 cups of water to use as a pleasant tasting
blood tonic and for fatigue, anemia, acidity, toxicity,
rheumatism, and skin conditions. Drink with milk,
cinnamon, and nutmeg to strengthen and proliferate red
Red Flowered Bladder (Colutea
Leaves have a purging
quality, but afterwards have a binding effect. It is
corrected with caraway seed, aniseed, or ginger and a
dram taken in wine, ale or broth, on an empty stomach
comforts and cleanses the stomach and purges phlegm from
the head and brain, lungs, heart, liver and spleen.
From Culpeper: “It strengthens the senses, procures
mirth, and is good in chronic agues.” Modern practice
uses Cassia angustifolia as the variety instead.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Traditional Chinese physicians have long used red clover blossoms as an
folk healers recommend it for asthma.
Other cultures have used it externally in salves
for skin sores and eye problems and internally as a
diuretic to treat water retention and as a sedative,
anti-inflammatory, cough medicine, and cancer treatment.
America’s 19th-century Eclectic
physicians were great promoters of red clover. Their
text, King’s American Dispensatory, called it “one of the few remedies
which favorably influences pertussis [whooping cough]…
possess[ing] a peculiar soothing property.” The
Eclectics recommended red clover for cough, bronchitis,
and tuberculosis but waxed truly enthusiastic about the
herb as a cancer treatment: “It unquestionably retards
the growth of carcinomata.”
During the late 19th and early 20th
centuries, red clover was the major ingredient in many
clover is used internally for skin complaints,
especially eczema and psoriasis.
It may be used with complete safety in cases of
childhood eczema, cancers of the breast, ovaries, and
lymphatic system, chronic degenerative diseases, gout,
whooping cough and dry cough.
Combined with chaparral in background treatment
of cancer. It
has been given as part of a holistic treatment for
breast tumors and fibroids, both associated with excess
estrogen, because the herbal version competes with
excess estrogen, allowing the body to come into balance.
The estrogenic effect may be of use in treating
Research has shown that the herb has a
contraceptive effect in sheep.
Red clover blossoms have been long used in the
form of a salve for the removal of external cancer and
indolent ulcers. A tea is also helpful to bathe the affected part, making it
fresh daily. It
reduces the desire to smoke if chewed.
Dead Nettle (Lamium
purpureum): The leaves, when bruised and used as
a poultice, are said to staunch blood flowing from a
deep cut. The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened
with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the
kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.
has a long tradition in Ayurvedic medical practice.
Caraka used it to make a decoction for dissolving kidney
stones. The Ayurvedic surgeon Susruta mentions its use in
snake-poisoning and rat-bite infections. Another great
Ayurvedic physician, Chakradatta, used it to treat chronic
alcoholics, while medieval physicians traditionally
prescribed it for fevers in patients suffering from
urethritis, as well as for asthma and jaundice. It is now
believed that Ayurvedic physicians defined a single tar
vine plant with different colored flowers as three
separate plants possessing similar medicinal properties.
However, Ayurvedic texts do identify the medicinal
specialties of each, and the white-flowered variety is
thought to be the most effective. Today, Ayurvedic
doctors primarily prescribe drugs made from the
white-flowering hogweed to dissolve kidney stones and
It was found to
stop intra-uterine-contraceptive-device (IUCD)-induced
bleeding. This herb is also known for its
anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which are
comparable to that of ibuprofen. It has also proved useful
as a hematinic.
Punarnava's diuretic activity acts quickly for kidney
infections, and urinary tract infection. It quickly
increases urine flow and the alkaloidal effects work to
help detoxify these systems of infection, and speed up the
excretory processes. The roots are used in the treatment
of asthma, edema, anemia, jaundice, ascites, anasarca,
scanty urine and internal inflammation. They are also said
to be an antidote to snake poisoning. An alkaloid in the
roots has been shown experimentally to produce a distinct
and persistent rise in blood pressure plus marked diuresis.
Named as punarnava in samskrit, Boerhavia diffusa
is believed to be a great rejuvenator. The drug punarnava
is also sourced by some Ayurvedists from a different
species, Trianthema portulacastrum (Aizoaceae).
Shvethapunarnava (white punarnava) is the preferred plant,
but the flowers of both Boerhavia diffusa and
Boerhavia repens are deep pink, while those of
Trianthema portulacasstrum are white. Sometimes it is
reported that Boerhavia punarnava is the name given to the
white flowered variety of Boerhavia diffusa. In western
Africa, Boerhavia diffusa is used to treat
convulsions, as laxative and a febrifuge. The leaves and
roots are expectorant and emetic in large doses. Also used
to treat asthma. Boiled roots are used as poultice on
abscesses and to extract guinea worms.
boerhavic acid, reducing sugars, potassium nitrate and
tannins including phlobaphens were extracted from the
plant. Punarnavine raises blood pressure and produces
diuresis. Particularly useful in cirrhosis of the liver
and chronic peritonitis and as an anti-inflammatory. The
roots have an anticonvulsant principle.
Red Mangrove (Rhizophora
mangle): The red bark of the South American
mangrove tree has been used for many years by the
natives as a febrifuge but more recently it has been
claimed that it is a specific in leprosy. They
administer a beginning dose of one fluidrachm (3.75
mils) of the fluidextract twice a day which is gradually
increased until the patient is taking a fluidounce and a
half (45 mils) daily.
Red mangrove is a
folk remedy for angina, asthma, backache, boils,
ciguatera, convulsions, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia,
elephantiasis, enuresis, epistaxis, eye ailments, fever,
filariasis, hemoptysis, hemorrhage, inflammation,
jaundice, leprosy, lesions, leucorrhea, malignancies,
scrofula, short wind, sores, sorethroat, syphilis,
tuberculosis, uterorrhagia, and wounds. One Cali doctor
reported a cure of throat cancer, with gargles of
mangrove bark The bark of the tree is boiled (1 handful
of chopped bark in 1 gallon of water for 10 minutes) and
used as a hot bath for very stubborn or serious sores,
skin conditions, leprosy and swellings.
Root (Ceanothus velutinus)
Red root is an astringent to
membranes and is a good gargle and
mouthwash for a sore throat or sores
in the mouth. An infusion of the
leaves has been used in the
treatment of coughs and fevers. A
decoction of the leaves and stems
has been used both internally and
externally in the treatment of dull
pains, rheumatism etc. The leaves
contain saponins and have been used
as a skin wash that is also
deodorant and can destroy some
parasites. The tops were used in a
bath to prevent diaper rash or to
wash sores or eczema by the
Okanagan-Coville. The Thompson used
a decoction of branches or leaves as
a wash for rheumatism, arthritis,
and dull body pains, or in a general
wash for bathing. A poultice of the
dried powdered leaves has been used
as a baby powder for treating diaper
canadensis, C. siliquastrum)
The redbud’ inner bark and root can be made
into a tea or decoction. This was used by different
Native American Indian tribes to clear lung congestion,
for whooping cough, to prevent nausea and vomiting, and
to break fevers. It
has also been used for diarrhea, dysentery, and
Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus
leaves have been used to stop internal hemorrhaging,
diarrhea, and excessive menstrual flow. An infusion has
been used to treat hoarseness.
The stems have treated ulcers and profuse
In a wash, the flowers, leaves, and roots have
been used as an astringent for wounds and sores, and
used as a mouthwash for canker sores and sore gums.
Reed Grass (Phragmites australis)
The plant is used in folk
remedies for condylomata, indurated
breast, mammary carcinomata, and
leukemia. Reported to be alexeteric,
diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic,
refrigerant, sialogogue, stomachic,
and sudorific, the common reed is a
folk remedy for abscesses,
arthritis, bronchitis, cancer,
cholera, cough, diabetes, dropsy,
dysuria, fever, flux, gout,
hematuria, hemorrhage, hiccup,
jaundice, leukemia, lung, nausea,
rheumatism, sores, stomach, thirst,
The leaves are used in the
treatment of bronchitis and cholera,
the ash of the leaves is applied to
foul sores. A decoction of the
flowers is used in the treatment of
cholera and food poisoning. The
ashes are styptic. The root is taken
internally in the treatment of
diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, coughs
with thick dark phlegm, lung
abscesses, urinary tract infections
and food poisoning (especially from
sea foods). Externally, it is mixed
with gypsum and used to treat
halitosis and toothache. The root is
harvested in the autumn and juiced
or dried for use in decoctions. The
leaves and roots are renowned as a
diuretic. Extracts of the rhizome
have recently been found to be
effective as ayahusca analogue and
the dried extract (resin) has
psychoactive properties when smoked.
latifolia): Native Americans from most tribes
living near wetland areas have found interesting
medicinal uses for cattails. Some tribes used the fuzz
as a remedy for burns or to create a powder that
prevented chafing. Others crushed the rhizomes and used
them as topical treatment for sores and inflammation.
The Delaware used the root as a cure for kidney stones,
and the Houma Indians steeped the flowering stem as a
treatment for whooping cough. The leaves are diuretic.
The leaves have been mixed with oil and used as a
poultice on sores.
The pollen is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue,
haemostatic, refrigerant, sedative, suppurative and
vulnerary. The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant,
but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic.
It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones,
hemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine
bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the
lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for
pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment
of tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries. A decoction of the
stems has been used in the treatment of whooping cough.
The roots are diuretic, galactogogue, refrigerant and
tonic. The roots are pounded into a jelly-like
consistency and applied as a poultice to wounds, cuts,
boils, sores, carbuncles, inflammations, burns and
scalds. The flowers are used in the treatment of a wide
range of ailments including abdominal pain, amenorrhea,
cystitis, dysuria, metrorrhagia and vaginitis. The young
flower heads are eaten as a treatment for diarrhea.
Harrow (Ononis spinosa
excess fluid retention, restharrow is best taken as a
short-term treatment, in the form of an infusion.
The root contains a fixed oil that is
anti-diuretic and an essential oil that is diuretic. If
the diuretic action is required then the root should be
infused and not decocted or the essential oil will be
evaporated. It is also of value in treating gout and
An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy,
inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, rheumatism and
chronic skin disorders.
A cough mixture is made from
fresh material is applied as a poultice for a variety of
conditions: Sprains, eczema, infections, burns;
carbuncle and erysipelas. Usually not taken internally.
For boils, the whole leaf is pressed by hand, to and
fro, until it becomes moist with the leaf extract. A
small opening is made in the middle of the leaf which is
then placed on the boil with hole over the pointing of
Rhatany is a powerful astringent that was retained
in the official pharmacopea until recently.
It may be used wherever an astringent is
indicated, that is, in diarrhea, hemorrhoids,
hemorrhages or as a styptic.
Rhatany is often found in herbal toothpastes and
powders as it is especially good for bleeding gums. It
can be used as a snuff with bloodroot to treat nasal
plant’s astringency makes it effective when used in
the form of an ointment, suppository, or wash for
Rhatany may also be applied to wounds to help
staunch blood flow, to varicose veins, and over areas of
capillary fragility that may be prone to easy bruising.
Gargle the tea or diluted tincture for acute or
lingering sore throat.
It can be combined for this purpose with Yerba
Mansa or Echinacea.
For diarrhea, combine with Silk Tassel (for
cramps) and Echinacea (immunostimulant), and with either
Trumpet Creeper, Desert Willow or Tonadora (for Candida)
and Chaparro Amargosa (Protozoas).
For a hemorrhoidal salve and rectal fissure
ointment, use either alone or with Echinacea flowers as
Rhubarb (Rheum officinale)
When rhubarb is
roasted or boiled long enough, the
purgative property is largely
destroyed, while the astringency
remains. Rhubarb is generally
employed in combination with other
laxatives, rendering it more
effective. The powder is applied to
indolent ulcers. Applied to burns it
relieves pain and swelling. Rhubarb
extracts have also cured upper
digestive tract bleeding. One
hospital studied three kinds of
alcoholic extracted tablets of
rhubarb for a period of 10 years.
Employing a double-blind method,
patients in each of the three
groups, showed an efficiency of over
90% in curing the bleeding. An
extract from the roots is used in
doses of 0.2-0.5g in digestive
complaints and as an appetite
stimulant. Small doses stop
diarrhea, large doses work as a
purgative. Tinctura rhei is
excellent for stomach complaints.
For centuries the rhizome of the
Turkey rhubarb was highly regarded by the Chinese for
its medicinal properties.
Modern research has justified its reputation.
It contains anthraquinones, which have a
purgative effect, and tannins and bitters which have the
opposite effect. If
taken in small quantities the tonic, aperient effect
predominates and it is therefore useful in cases of
appetite loss and acute diarrhea. Used to treat constipation, dysentery, hemorrhoids, portal
congestion, pin/thread worms, skin eruptions from faulty
elimination, blood in the stool and duodenal ulcers.
It has a truly cleansing action upon the gut,
removing debris, and then astringing with antiseptic
properties as well. It is used externally to promote
healing, counteract blood clots and promote
menstruation. Stronger doses are laxative after 8-10 hours and are used to
treat chronic constipation.
Rhubarb is included in some proprietary
preparations and is also a component of herbal tea
mixtures and digestive powders.
In 1987 a research team investigated extracts of
178 Chinese herbs for antibacterial activity against one
of the major microorganisms in human intestinal flora.
Only Rhubarb was found to have significant
herb can be applied to burns, boils, and carbuncles.
It is a useful mouthwash for canker sores.
Paddy Herb (Limnophila
In Asia, rau om is employed to treat many ailments.
In China, it is used for the treatment of
intoxication and pain; in Indochina, to treat wounds; in
Malaysia, chiefly as a poultice on sore legs, but also
to promote appetite, and as an expectorant to clear
mucus from the respiratory tract, and to treat fever;
and in Indonesia, as an antiseptic or cleanser for
plant is also used in Asia for menstrual problems,
wounds, dysentery, fever, elephantiasis, and
Paper Herb (Tetrapanax papyrifer)
Chinese medicine uses the
pith as a liver stimulant and a
diuretic and to increase milk
production. It is believed to have
cooling effects. Plant extracts
have shown anticancer activity in
animals. Used to treat coughs,
fever, diabetes, induces flow of
urine and expels intestinal worms.
plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a
bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used in the
treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching
bulb is used in the treatment of abscesses, amoebic
dysentery, bronchitis, cholera, dysentery, influenza,
skin diseases and TB.
Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus
) An important herb in Chinese medicine
for poor appetite, gastritis, excess mucus, and
depression. Considered to be a warming herb and
therefore not given to patients with a tendency to
Stimulates the digestive system, clears the
bronchial passages, relieves indigestion, and has mild
sedative effects. The
root is powdered and applied to bleeding gums. It is
also used internally in the treatment of depression and
Rockbrake (Pellaea atropurpurea)
A decoction of it, taken
moderately, has proved efficient in
diarrhea, dysentery, night-sweats,
and hemorrhages; and, used as a
local application, it is beneficial
in obstinate and ill-conditioned
ulcers, ulcerations of the mouth and
fauces, and as a vaginal injection
in leucorrhea. A strong decoction is
in repute as a remedy for worms. A
powerful astringent infusion may be
made by adding 4 drachms of the
plant to 1 pint of boiling water,
and which has been used in diarrhea
and dysentery, in 1/2 fluid ounce
doses, repeated every 2 or 3 hours,
with success. A tincture of the
fresh entire plant is suggested in
from 1 to 10-drop doses. Efficacious
in diarrhea, dysentery, night
sweats, to remove worms and as a
vaginal injection in leukorrhea,
suppression of the lochia, etc.
Labdanum is an
aromatic, expectorant, stimulant
herb that controls bleeding and has
antibiotic effects. It is used
internally in the treatment of
catarrh and diarrhea and as an
emmenagogue. The leaves are
harvested in late spring and early
summer and can be dried for later
use, or the resin extracted from
) The leaves are antiscorbutic,
diaphoretic and diuretic
Roman Cassie (Acacia
Its bark is rich in tannin,
used as a tea, recommended for bruises, wounds and
Roman Wormwood (Artemisia
a medicinal plant against
colds and as a bitter stomachic. A decoction of the
leaves and flowers is used for colds, as a tonic and as an
anthelmintic; the leafy top is a bitter stomachic and
induces perspiration. It is milder in its properties than
A tea made from the dried fermented leaves tastes
similar to oriental tea made from Camellia sinensis.
It is less astringent, however, due to the lower tannin
content. It is caffeine-free, but has a higher content
of fluoride which might help to protect against tooth
decay. Internally used for allergies, especially eczema,
hay fever, and asthma in infants.
Externally used for skin infections and
research in the 1980s showed that rooibos contains a
substance similar to the enzyme superoxide dismutase, an
antioxidant compound thought to retard aging. Recent studies have reported rooibos tea as having antimutagenic and
anti-HIV activity. The antimutagenic and antioxidant
properties of Rooibos are far greater for unfermented
shoot and leaf teas.
Rose (Rosa spp)
Honey of Red Rose (Apothecary) was
once an official pharmaceutical preparation in the US
for sore mouths and throats.
Fill a jar with fresh, dry rose petals and clear
and leave in a warm place for one week then strain the
a teaspoonful of the honey as required.
Rose vinegar was used for headaches, especially
those brought on by heat. The leaves are a mild, but seldom used, laxative.
In Greece, Hippocrates recommended rose flowers
mixed with oil for diseases of the uterus. Ayurvedic physicians use the petals in poultices to treat
skin wounds and inflammations.
At various times, European herbalists recommended
dried rose petal tea for headache, dizziness, mouth
sores, and menstrual cramps. Rose hips are a significant source
of vitamin C.
Rose, Cotton (Hibiscus
the roots and leaves of this deciduous bush have
medicinal uses, it is the flowers that are used most
commonly. Acrid in flavor and neutral in nature,
if used internally, it can remove heat from the blood,
reduce swelling and detoxify. If pounded and applied
externally, it relieves inflammation and reduces
swelling. The flower’s nutritional properties are
purported to be good for menopausal women. It balances
hormones, and purifies your blood. The roots and leaves,
ground into paste, is good for treating diabetics with
leg problems. The abundant mucilage contained in the
tissues makes the plant an effective emollient for
burns. Leaves and flowers kill pain; expel phlegm;
treat excessive bleeding during menstruation, painful
urination, inflammation and snake bites. A decoction of
the flowers is used in the treatment of lung ailments.
Rose Moss (Rhodobryum
ontariense): Used for treatment of
cardiovascular diseases and nervous prostration in TCM;
cures angina. Ether extract actually did increase the
rate of flow in aorta of white mice by over 30%, causing
reduction in amount of oxygen resistance.
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus
syriacus) A decoction of the flowers is used in
the treatment of itch and other skin diseases, dizziness
and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. A decoction
of the root bark is used in the treatment of diarrhea,
dysentery, dysmenorrhea and dermaphytosis.
Rose, Cherokee (Rosa
laevigata) The leaves are a famous vulnerary.
The fruits, root and leaves stabilize the kidney. A
decoction is used in the treatment of chronic dysentery,
urinary tract infections, wet dreams, prolapse of the
uterus, menstrual irregularities and traumatic injuries.
The root bark is astringent and used in the treatment of
diarrhea and menorrhagia. The dried fruits are used
internally in the treatment of urinary dysfunction,
infertility, seminal emissions, urorrhea, leucorrhea and
chronic diarrhea. The root is used in the treatment of
uteral prolapse. The flowers are used in the treatment
of dysentery and to restore hair cover. The fruit of
many members of this genus is a very rich source of
vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and
E, flavonoids 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.
Rose, Cotton (Hibiscus
While the roots and
leaves of this deciduous bush have medicinal uses, it is
the flowers that are used most commonly. Acrid in flavor
and neutral in nature, if used internally, it can remove
heat from the blood, reduce swelling and detoxify. If
pounded and applied externally, it relieves inflammation
and reduces swelling.
The flower’s nutritional
properties are purported to be good for menopausal
women. It balances hormones, and purifies your blood.
The roots and leaves, ground into paste, is good for
treating diabetics with leg problems. The abundant
mucilage contained in the tissues makes the plant an
effective emollient for burns. Leaves and flowers kill
pain; expel phlegm; treat excessive bleeding during
menstruation, painful urination, inflammation and snake
bites. A decoction of the flowers is used in the
treatment of lung ailments.
Rose, Dog (Rosa canina)
The hips yield ascorbic acid and are of the greatest
value when given to young children. Rosehip tea has a
mild diuretic and tonic effect, and the fresh petals can
be made into a delicate jam. Rose hips are rich in
Vitamin C and are traditionally made into conserves and
purées. They were collected from the wild during World
War II when citrus fruit was scarce. They will help the
body’s defenses against infections and especially the
development of colds. They make an excellent spring
tonic and aid in general debility and exhaustion. They
will help in cases of constipation and mild gall-bladder
problems as well as conditions of the kidney and
bladder. One of the best tonics for old dogs. Dog rose
hips reduce thirst and alleviate gastric inflammation.
The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds,
influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhea
and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a
pleasant flavoring in medicines and is added to cough
mixtures. A distilled water made from the plant is
slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate
skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. 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 bioactive 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.
Rose, Eglantine (Rosa
rubiginosa) An infusion of dried rose petals can
be used to treat headaches and dizziness, with honey
added the infusion is used as a heart and nerve tonic
and a blood purifier. A decoction of the petals is used
to treat mouth sores. The seed is rich in vitamin E and
an oil extracted from the seed is used externally in the
treatment of burns, scars and wrinkles. The fruit of
many members of this genus is a very rich source of
vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and
E, flavonoids 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.
aureum) It has been much used in folk medicine
in Siberia for the treatment of rheumatism, gout, and
urinary tract infections. It has been used in
homeopathic medicine in the treatment of urinary calculi
and inflammation of the prostate gland. Caution should
be exercised when using the flowers because they are
toxic. Hemostatic, they are used in the treatment of
spreading pus and blood in the thoracic region,
especially the lungs. Much used in Siberia as a remedy
for rheumatism. Also useful in gout and syphilis. The
flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to
have a bitter taste and a neutral potency. Caution
should be exercised when using the flowers because they
are toxic. Hemostatic, they are used in the treatment of
spreading pus and blood in the thoracic region,
especially the lungs.
leaves and flowers are used internally as a tonic tea
for digestive and kidney functions.
Experimentally, an infusion decreases the
viscosity of the blood, reduces blood pressure and
stimulates intestinal peristalsis. The drink made by
placing, the calyx in water, is said to be a folk remedy
for cancer. Medicinally, leaves are emollient, and are
much used in Guinea as a diuretic, refrigerant, and
sedative; fruits are antiscorbutic; leaves, seeds, and
ripe calyces are diuretic and antiscorbutic; and the
succulent calyx, boiled in water, is used as a drink in
bilious attacks. In Burma, the seed are used for
debility, the leaves as emollient. Taiwanese regard the
seed as diuretic, laxative, and tonic. Philippines use
the bitter root as an aperitive and tonic. Angolans use
the mucilaginous leaves as an emollient and as a
soothing cough remedy. Central Africans poultice the
leaves on abscesses. Alcoholics might consider one item:
simulated ingestion of the plant extract decreased the
rate of absorption of alcohol, lessening the intensity
of alcohol effects in chickens.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
show rosemary leaves increase circulation, reduce
headaches and fight bacterial and fungal infections.
It is considered one of the strongest natural
The flavonoid diosmin strengthens fragile blood
vessels, possibly even more effectively than rutin.
German pharmacies sell rosemary ointment to rub
on nerve and rheumatic pains and for heart problems.
A traditional European treatment for those
suffering from poor circulation due to illness or lack
of exercise is to drink rosemary extracted into white
Rosemary contains many compounds that are
reported to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in
the brain, usually a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.
Several if not all can be absorbed through the
skin, and some probably cross the blood-brain barrier so
using a using a final rinse of vinegar with rosemary
essential oil added may be beneficial in prevention.
Of these antioxidants, at least four are known
cataract fighters and Japanese researchers find it
promising for removing wrinkles.
is recommended for flatulence, heartburn and as a
improves food absorption by stimulating digestion and
the liver, intestinal tract and gallbladder.
It is also used to inhibit kidney- and
bladder-stone formation. Studies on rosemary conducted
in Paraguay show that it almost completely inhibits the
enzyme urease which contributes to kidney stone
makes an antiseptic gargle for sore throats, gum
problems and canker sores. Researchers speculate that
rosemarinic acid might even be a good treatment for
septic shock. In
addition, it inhibited, although didn't destroy, 87% of
the cancer cells tested in a laboratory study.
Asthma sufferers used to smoke it with coltsfoot
and eat bread that had been baked over rosemary wood.
Research has shown that rosmaricine is a
stimulant and mild analgesic.
The oil content varies within the plant.
It is analgesic and stimulant, especially when
applied to the skin.
Rosemary's anti-inflammatory effect is due mainly
to rosmarinic acid and flavonoids.
As a warming herb, it stimulates circulation of
blood to the head, improving concentration and memory.
It also eases headaches and migraine, and
encourages hair growth by improving blood flow to the
has been used to treat epilepsy and vertigo.
It aids recovery from long-term stress and
chronic illness. It
is thought to stimulate the adrenal glands and is used
specifically for debility, especially when accompanied
by poor circulation and digestion.
Rosemary, Wild (Ledum
palustre) A tea is taken internally in the
treatment of asthma, coughs, colds, stomach aches,
kidney ailments etc. Externally, it is used as a
wash for burns, ulcers, stings, infections etc.
Detoxifies simple poisoning, joints and connective
tissues, pains through limbs and joints. Rheumatism
begins in lower limbs and ascends, cracking joints,
throbbing shooting pains. Acne on forehead, eczema,
itching worse from scratching and heat, red pimples
on forehead and cheeks, stinging when touched.
Irritation, pain and itching from insect bites,
swelling with heat
Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea)
Chinese medical practitioners
describe adaptogens as "superior" plants that
profoundly benefit the human body without dangerous side
effects. While the most famous adaptogen is ginseng,
cutting-edge research by top Russian doctors and
scientists has shown that Arctic Root can ease more
conditions, including stress, depression, heart disease
rosea has been shown to shorten recovery time after
prolonged workouts, to increase attention span, memory,
strength, and anti-toxic action. Rhodiola rosea extract
increases the level of enzymes, RNA, and proteins
important to muscle recovery after exhaustive exercise.
It has also been shown to increase the levels of
beta-endorphin in blood plasma which helps prevent the
hormonal changes indicative of stress. This effect
has also been linked to maintaining an increased cardiac
output and subsequently having a cardioprotective
effect. Studies using proofreading tests have
demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea enhances memorization
and concentration ability over prolonged periods.
Finally, Rhodiola has been shown to increase anti-tumor
activity by increasing the body’s resistance to
In Siberia it is said that "those who drink
rhodiola tea regularly will live more than 100
years." Chinese emperors always looking for the
secret to long life and immortality sent expeditions
into Siberia to collect and bring back the plant. Being
one of the most popular medicinal herbs of middle Asia,
for many years Rhodiola was illegally trafficked across
the Russian border to China
In Siberia it was taken regularly especially
during the cold and wet winters to prevent sickness. In
Mongolia it was used for the treatment of tuberculosis
Formerly regarded as a scarce plant, researchers from
Tomsk State University found significant stands of this
valuable herb growing wild in Sibera at elevations of
5000 to 9000 feet above sea level. Subsequent
research has substantiated high live giving biological
activity with no toxicity. For the
treatment of depression extracts of rhodiola, namely
rosavin and salidroside, in animal studies seem to
enhance the transport of serotonin precursors,
tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan into the brain.
Serotonin is a widely studied brain neurotransmitter
chemical that is involved in many functions including,
smooth muscle contraction, temperature regulation,
appetite, pain perception, behavior, blood pressure and
respiration. When balanced, it imparts a a sense
of contentment and mental ease. Either too much or too
little serotonin on the other hand has been linked to
various abnormal mental states such as clinical
depression. Thus rhodiola has been used by Russian
scientists alone or in combination with antidepressants
to boost one's mental state, a boon in countries and
seasons where one is deprived of adequate sun over
prolonged periods of months. This leads to a condition
known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder common to
Northern European countries.
Rhodiola has also been shown to be effective for
cardiac problems caused or aggravated by stress. Its
action for these conditions is in its ability to
decrease the amount of catecholamines and
corticosteroids released by the adrenal glands during
stress. The abnormal presence of these stress hormones
will subsequently raise blood pressure, cholesterol,
potassium levels and increase risk factors for heart
disease. Rhodiola has been found to decrease harmful
blood lipids and thus decrease the risk of heart
disease. It also decreases the amount of cyclic-AMP
(c-AMP) released into cardiac cells. Cyclic AMP is
related to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body's
primary energy molecule. C-AMP acts as a 'second
messenger' or liaison between the outer and inner
environments of the cell. It assists in the uptake of
more intracellular calcium into the heart thus promoting
a greater potential for heart muscle contraction.
Rhodiola thus regulates the heart beat and counteracts
heart arrhythmias As an adaptogen,
rhodiola both stimulates and protects the immune system
by reinstating homeostasis (metabolic balance) in the
body. It also increases natural killer cell (NK) in the
stomach and spleen. This action may be due to its
ability to normalize hormones by modulating the release
of glucocorticoid into the body.
Rhodiola has potent antioxidant properties. By
limiting the adverse effects of free radical damage, it
is able to combat all the diseases associated with
aging. The presence of free radicals is associated with
cell mutagenicity, the immediate cause of cancer. Again,
Russian researchers have found that the oral
administration of rhodiola inhibited tumor growth in
rats 39 percent and decreased metastasis by 50 percent.
It improved urinary tissue and immunity in patients
suffering with bladder cancer. In other experiments with
various types of cancer, including adenocarcinoma
(cancer of glandular tissue such as breast cancer) and
lung carcinoma, the use of extracts of rhodiola rosea
resulted in significant increased survival rate
Like Siberian ginseng, rhodiola is routinely used
by athletes to improve performance. While the mechanism
is not completely understood, rhodiola seems to improve
the ratio of muscle-fat and increases hemoglobin and
erythrocytes levels in the blood.
Many other benefits from the use of Rhodiola has been
found including its ability to improve hearing, when
applied to the gums to inhibit the progression of
pyorrhea, to regulate blood sugar levels for diabetics
and protect the liver from environmental toxin.
Twisted Stalk (Streptopus
Aside from being mildly
laxative, the juice of the berries can be used to cool
and soothe minor burns and skin irritations. The root
was steeped in water and used as a poultice for a sty in
the eye. An infusion of the roots has been used in the
treatment of a fallen womb. A cough syrup can be made
from the root. The flowers are diaphoretic. They can be
used to induce sweating in the treatment of colds and
fevers. The plant is tonic. An infusion of the plant has
been used in the treatment of coughs.
Leaved Pyrola (Pyrola
internally for gravel, ulcerations
of the bladder, bloody urine and
other urinary diseases; useful in
the relief of a scrofulous taint
from the system; also for epilepsy
and other nervous affections. The
decoction will be found beneficial
as a gargle for sore throat and
mouth and as an external wash for
sore or ophthalmic eyes. It is also
used in injections for whites and
various diseases of the womb. A
decoction of the leaves is used in
the treatment of skin diseases, as a
gargle and a wash for the eyes. It
is used internally in the treatment
of epilepsy and other nervous
berries are astringent and rather acidic. The juice has
been used medicinally as a gargle for sore throats and
laryngitis, and its astringency was useful in treating
hemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The fruit
contains vitamin C and was formerly employed in the
prevention of scurvy.
The fruit is antiscorbutic and astringent. It is
normally used as a jam or an infusion to treat diarrhea
and hemorrhoids. An infusion can also be used as a
gargle for sore throats and as a wash to treat
hemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The seeds
contain cyanogenic glycosides which, in reaction with
water, produce the extremely toxic prussic acid. In
small quantities this acts as a stimulant to the
respiratory system but in larger doses can cause
respiratory failure and death. It is therefore best to
remove the seeds when using the fruit medicinally or as
Both the flowers and the fruit are aperient,
mildly diuretic, laxative and emmenagogue. An infusion
is used in the treatment of painful menstruation,
constipation and kidney disorders.
Fern (Osmunda regalis
) The mucilaginous roots, often boiled in
water to produce royal fern jelly, once given to
invalids as a nutritious, easily digested food, and also
used to treat dysentery, coughs and pulmonary disorders.
The root is useful in the treatment of jaundice
and removing obstructions of the viscera.
The fronds are used to make compresses for
external application to wounds and rheumatic joints -
for which purposes they are fairly effective. An
infusion of the fronds, combined with wild ginger roots
(Asarum species) has been used in the treatment
of children with convulsions caused by intestinal worms.
Rubber Bush (Hymenoxys
The lukewarm infusion of the
roots is used to relieve sour stomach. A poultice of the
chewed root has been applied as a dressing on sores and
Rue (Ruta graveolens) Rue
was once an officially recognized treatment for
hypertension, diabetes, and allergic reactions.
It’s primary reputation is that of an
antispasmodic for smooth muscles. The action is
attributed to the alkaloids arborine and arborinine, as
well as to the coumarin rutamarin and componenets fo the
essential oil. It is still a popular folk medicine in countries
like Mexico, Lebanon, Iran, India and China.
In traditional Chinese medicine, the leaves are
applied to reduce inflammation from snakebites, insect
bites, strains and sprains. The rutin it contains strengthens fragile blood vessels and
helps alleviate varicose veins, although using the whole
plant has been found to work better.
Both an eyewash and a tea are suggested for
soothing tired eyes and headaches from eyestrain, and
the tea is also used to decrease the pain and
inflammation of an earache.
Rue increases blood flow to the digestive tract,
relaxes muscles and calms heart palpitations, nervous
indigestion and colic.
The Unami medicine of India recommends rue not
only to treat various physical conditions, but to
improve mental clarity and as an anaphrodisiac—although
the Polish consider it an aphrodisiac.
Rue is a well-known cold and menstrual cramp
remedy in Latin America, where an ointment is also
applied for gout and rheumatic pains, and strong tea
compresses are placed on the chest for bronchitis. The
infusion benefits coughs, cramp and colic.
The leaves are used in poultices and salves to
relieve sciatica, gout and rheumatic pains.
Fresh leaves are placed on the temples to relieve
of the tea are placed on the chest to help bronchitis.
The juice or oil is placed in the ear to relieve
earaches. It is used to kill intestinal parasites, and
Arabs add it to suspect water to counteract any ill
strong infusion made by pouring a little boiling water
on dried or fresh rue leaves can be dabbed on insect
bites to bring relief.
) The whole plant, gathered when in
flower, is astringent, very actively diuretic and
expectorant. It appears to have an antispasmodic effect
upon the bladder and is used in the treatment of dropsy,
catarrh of the bladder, cystitis and kidney stones. It
has also gained a reputation for treating hernias.
Externally, it has been used as a poultice to speed the
healing of ulcers. The whole plant appears to have an
antispasmodic effect on the bladder.
angustifolia) Some people are reported
to use the seed oil, like olive oil, for bronchitis,
burns, catarrh, and constipation. Flowers are used
for fever, neuralgia, and aching burns, allegedly
bringing people back from their deathbeds. The
astringent leaves are used for enteritis and fever.
The oil from the seeds is used with syrup as an
electuary in the treatment of catarrh and bronchial
affections. The juice of the flowers has been used
in the treatment of malignant fevers. It is 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 ripe fruits
have been used to treat amoebic dysentery. There is
general belief that leaves and fruits of the plant
have antipyretic effect. In folk medicine, oleaster
fruit or flower preparations are used for treating
nausea, vomiting, jaundice, asthma, and flatulence.
An infusion of the fruit has been used in Iranian
traditional medicine as an analgesic agent for
alleviating pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
The flower is also traditionally used for treating
tetanus. Juice of flower is used in Spain for
malignant fever. Oil from the seed is used in
catarrhal and bronchial affections. Locally the
fruit is used as blood purifier and for coughs.
Russian Olive (
Back Fern (Asplenium
In the eighteenth
century the leaves were official in
some pharmacopoeias, as its
botanical name indicates. Infusions
from the fern are particularly
helpful to sufferers from dysuria
(difficulty in passing urine) when
oxalic acid is present, and to
prevent colic caused by kidney
stones. A syrup made from the fern
is sometimes used to treat lung
infections, but it is less effective
than maidenhair. The whole plant is
widely used in the Mediterranean to
treat gravel in the urine and is
also used with other mucilaginous
plants to treat bronchial
officinale): Rarely used internally now. It
is occasionally used in combination with other herbs
to treat rheumatism and gout. It has been used in
homeopathic medicine in cases of hysteria, headache,
and migraine, Externally, in the form of extracts,
sabadilla has been employed mainly to remove head
lice. Veratria is useful as an ointment in
rheumatism and neuralgia, but is regarded as being
less valuable than aconite. The ointment is also
employed for the destruction of pedicule. Applied to
unbroken skin it produces tingling and numbness,
followed by coldness and anaesthesia. Given
subcutaneously, it causes violent pain and
irritation, in addition to the symptoms following an
Sacred Creeping Grass (Desmostachya
bipinnata syn Eragrostis cynosuriodes)
Root-dysentery, menorrhagia, other bleeding
disorders like hemorrhoids, purpura, etc. Used as an
Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)
The flowers are laxative and diuretic.
A tea was once given to children with fevers,
measles and other eruptive skin diseases. A paste made of the flowers and water was applied to boils.
The petals were boiled with lamb and eaten to strengthen
the heart. In
the southwest, Indians soak the flowers in water until
the water is visibly yellow, then drink the decoction to
Internally for coronary artery disease, menstrual
and menopausal problems and jaundice.
Externally for bruising, sprains, skin
inflammations, wounds, and painful or paralyzed joints
is also used to inhibit blood clotting.
For post-natal abdominal pain; clots or seepages
of blood in abdominal region; traumatic injuries;
stiffness and pain in joints.
The extracted oil of the herb is used in tui
na massage. The
East Indians, who know it as koosumbha, also use
safflower medicinally and employ the oil as the base of
some Ayurvedic medicinal body oils.
tincture is widely used in China on sprains and wounds
to decrease inflammation.
The Chinese also use it combined with other herbs
to treat problems relating to heart disease,
circulation, menstruation and blood congestion.
Saffron (Crocus sativus)
Saffron has been cited as a remedy for such
diverse ills. In
England and the US, penny packets of saffron threads
were sold as recently as 50 years ago in pharmacies to
cure measles. Cheaper
and superior herbs are easily found to replicate its
ability to induce menstruation, treat period pain and
chronic uterine bleeding and calm indigestion and colic.
In Chinese herbal medicine, saffron stigmas are
occasionally used to treat painful obstructions of the
chest, to stimulate menstruation and to relieve
abdominal pain. They
regard it as a catalyst to be combined with other herbs.
It is one of the finest blood vitalizers known.
It counteracts inflammatory conditions associated
with excess pitta (fire), while at the same time
powerfully stimulating the circulation and regulating
the spleen, liver and heart. It is very sattvic or
spiritually balancing and gives “the energy of love,
devotion and compassion. Contains
a blood pressure-lowering chemical called crocetin. Some authorities even speculate that the low incidence of
heart disease in Spain is due to that nation’s high
(Salvia officinalis) - Sage
oil has a unique property from all other healing
herbs--it reduces perspiration.
Several studies show sage cuts perspiration by as
much as 50% with the maximum effect occurring 2 hours
after ingestion. This effect explains how it developed a reputation for
treating fever with profuse sweating.
Salysat is a sage-based antiperspirant marketed
in Germany. Sage is a drying agent for the body. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for
sores and stings. Use
two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for
twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day.
Can also be used as a gargle.
It tastes warm, aromatic and somewhat pungent.
Tincture: 15-40 drops, up to four times a day.
Like rosemary, sage contains powerful antioxidants,
which slow spoilage supporting its traditional use as a
is due to the presence of labiatic acid and carnosic
researchers have confirmed that sage inhibits the enzyme
that breaks down acetylcholine, thus preserving the
compound that seems to help prevent and treat
Sage makes a good digestive remedy. The volatile oils
have a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the
digestive tract, while in conjunction with the bitters,
they stimulate the appetite and improve digestion.
Sage encourages the flow of digestive enzymes and bile,
settles the stomach, relieves colic, wind, indigestion,
nausea, diarrhea and colitis, liver complaints, and
worms. Its antiseptic properties are helpful in
infections such as gastroenteritis. Sage is a
tonic to the nervous system and has been used to enhance
strength and vitality.
It has a tonic
effect upon the female reproductive tract and is
recommended for delayed or scanty menstruation, or lack
of periods, menstrual cramps and infertility. It
has an estrogenic effect, excellent for menopausal
problems, especially hot flashes and night sweats.
It stimulates the uterus, so is useful during childbirth
and to expel the placenta. It stops the flow of breast milk and it is excellent for
weaning. One German study shows sage reduces blood sugar
levels in diabetics who drink the infusion on an empty
stomach. It also contains astringent tannins
which account for its traditional use in treating canker
sores, bleeding gums and sore throats. Commission
E endorses using 2-3 teaspoons of dried sage leaves per
cup of boiling water to make an anti-gingivitis tea.
published studies by a team of scientists from the
Department of Microbiology and Chemotherapy at the
Nippon Roche Research Center in Kamakura Japan, informed
that powdered sage or sage tea helps to prevent blood
clots from forming, and is quite useful in the
prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction and
general coronary pains.
Sage, Purple (Leucophyllum
texanum): The dried leaves and flowers can be
brewed into a pleasant herbal tea that is said to be
mildly sedative and good as a bedtime drink or for
treating colds and flus.
) - a
tea made of the leaves has been used to treat headache,
stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and as an
antidote for poisoning.
Some Indians chewed the leaves to ease stomach
gas. A wash
made of boiled and steeped leaves was used for treating
bullet wounds and cuts, to bathe newborn babies, and as
a hot poultice in treating rheumatism.
A poultice was also placed on the stomach to
induce menstruation, to relieve colic and treat worms.
The leaves are boiled in water and the steam inhaled as
a decongestant. Warm
leaves may be applied to the neck to help a sore throat.
The leaves are pungent and have been preferred
for making medicine among other sagebrushes.
Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba
older herbalists held this plant in greater repute than
it enjoys at the present day.
Pliny recommended a decoction of the plant beaten
up with honey for diverse complaints.
Dodoens recommended it as a healer of wounds.
Gerard wrote that ‘it was a capital wound herb
for all sorts of wounds, both of the head and body,
either inward or outward, used either in juice or
decoction of the herb, or by the powder of the herb or
too, or the water of the distilled herb, or made into an
ointment by itself or with other things to be kept.’
Turner advised the use of the herb, infused in
wine or beer, for the cure of gout and rheumatism.
TCM: (Officinalis) Indicated for blood
in stool and urine, bleeding, dysentery; bleeding
The fresh root is pulverized, mixed with sesame
oil and applied to burns, pruritus and eczema
) Once believed to have aphrodisiac
powers, purple orchid is now seen as a nourishing
vegetable somewhat similar to the potato.
Its current medicinal use is generally confined
to the treatment of diarrhea and irritated
gastrointestinal tracts in children.
Was once much used for kidney disorders.
spectabilis) The leaves and the root are
astringent. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used
as a dressing on burns. The root bark is analgesic,
astringent, disinfectant and stomachic. A decoction is
used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A decoction
has been used to lessen the pains of labor. The powdered
bark has been used as a dusting powder on burns and sores.
A poultice of the bark has been applied to wounds and
aching teeth to ease the pain. A poultice of the chewed
bark has been used as a dressing to relive pain and clean
burns and wounds.
Saltbush (Atriplex canescens) The leaves can be
made into a soapy lather and used as a wash on itches and
rashes such as chickenpox. A poultice of the crushed
leaves can be applied to ant bites to reduce the pain and
swelling. The dried tops as a lukewarm tea for nausea and
vomiting from the flu; taken hot for breaking fevers. The
cold tea is used for simple stomachache.
Salvia Divinorum Medicinal uses: Traditional Mazatec healers have used Salvia divinorum to
treat medical and psychiatric conditions conceptualized
according to their traditional framework. Some of the
conditions for which they use the herb are easily
recognizable to Western medical practitioners (e.g
colds, sore throats, constipation and diarrhea) and some
are not, e.g. 'fat lambs belly' which is said to be due
to a 'stone' put in the victims belly by means of evil
witchcraft. Some alternative healers and herbalists are
exploring possible uses for Salvia. The problems in
objectively evaluating such efforts and 'sorting the
wheat from the chaff' are considerable. There are no
accepted uses for Salvia divinorum in standard medical
practice at this time. A medical exploration of some
possible uses suggested by Mazatec healing practice is
in order in such areas as cough suppression (use to
treat colds), and treatment of congestive heart failure
and ascites (is 'fat lamb's belly' ascites?). Some other
areas for exploration include Salvia aided psychotherapy
(there is anecdotal material supporting its usefulness
in resolving pathological grief), use of salvinorin as a
brief acting general or dissociative anesthetic agent,
use to provide pain relief, use in easing both the
physical and mental suffering of terminal patients
as part of hospice care, and a possible antidepressant
Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) Though not currently much
used in herbal medicine, samphire is a good diuretic and
has potential as a treatment for obesity.
It has a high vitamin C and mineral content and
is thought to relieve flatulence and to act as a
digestive remedy. It
was once recommended to cure kidney stones.
snakeroot is esteemed not only as an antidote for
snakebite and bites from rabid dogs.
It has also been specified for the treatment of
gout and rheumatism.
The plant’s foremost use, generally in the form
of a tea, has been to stimulate the appetite and help
plant contains bitter chemical substances that would
have this effect.
syn Oligosporus filifolius) An
infusion of the plant and juniper branches is used in the
treatment of indigestion. A strong infusion of the plant
is used as a lotion on snakebites. The plant is also used
to treat boils. This thread-leaved sagebrush is useful as
a bitter tonic for hypersecreters with ulcers or chronic
stress gastritis, usually drunk in the evenings or when
wakened by heartburn. The leaves and tops are boiled in
water and the steam inhaled to treat headaches and sore
throats. The tea relieves prolonged conditions of gas
The rootstock of the sand
sedge is also referred to as German sarsaparilla because
it has a similar effect to the Central American smilax
derived from Radix Sarsparillae. It was used as a
diuretic as well as a blood purifier for bronchitis, gout
and rheumatism. An infusion has been used in the
treatment of abdominal and stomach disorders, liver
complaints, and skin conditions such as eczema and
Sand Verbena (Abronia
fragrans syn Abronia speciosa) The whole dried
plant is boiled into a tea and taken frequently in small
amounts to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.
The roots and flowers were used by the North American
Indians to treat stomach cramps and as a general panacea
or 'life' medicine. A cold infusion was used as a lotion
for sores or sore mouths and also to bathe perspiring
Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Sandalwood is a classic for bladder infections.
It is taken to help the passing of stones, in
kidney inflammations, and prostatitis.
The oil is cooling to the body and useful for
fevers and infections when used as a massage. The scent is calming, and helps focus the mind away from
distracting chatter and creating the right mood for
has been used internally for chronic bronchitis and to
treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results.
Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water
for 20 minutes, and take up to two cups a day in
The alcohol tincture is 20-40 drops, 4 times a
day, not with meals.
In Ayurvedic medicine, a paste of the wood is
used to soothe rashes and itchy skin.
For nosebleeds, the oil can be smeared up into
the nose using a finger saturated with the oil.
Chinese medicine, sandalwood is held to be useful for
chest and abdominal pain.
It is also used to treat vomiting, gonorrhea,
choleraic difficulties and skin complaints.
Promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain:
for pain associated with stagnant qi in the chest and
in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs.
The oil also stimulates the spleen, promotes
white blood cell production and strengthens the immune
system against infection. Very useful for chronic
bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throat, hiccups and dry
Emotionally, sandalwood is profoundly seductive,
dispelling anxiety and depression.
It casts out cynicism and obsessional attitudes,
especially strong ties with the past, effecting a cure
in cases of sexual dysfunction.
It comforts and helps the dying to make peace
with the world. It
is used to awaken the power of kundalini and to connect
that energy with the highest enlightenment. About
the erotic quality of the oil, scientists have
discovered a connection.
Sandalwood smells similar to light concentrations
of androsterone, a substance very similar in chemical
structure to the male hormone testosterone and is
released in men’s underarm perspiration.
Sandalwood, Red (Pterocarpus
Used occasionally in India
for diabetes; the antidiabetic constituent is
pterostilbene which also has insecticidal activity.
Employed in pharmacy for coloring tinctures.
This herb acts as a diuretic, stimulating
functioning of the bladder, and is especially known in
Malta for this use. It has been recommended for
inflammation of the bladder as well as for bladder
stones. The powdered herb is allowed to steep in a pint
of boiling water in the preparation of one ounce of the
powder to a pint of water. It has been recommended to be
taken several times a day, perhaps a cup every two hours
until relief is obtained. This should be accompanied by
a mild diet with non-irritating foods such as barley
The plant contains a resinous aromatic substance
that is probably the active principle. An infusion is
thought to relax the muscle walls of the urinary tubules
and so it is used in the treatment of kidney stones,
acute and chronic cystitis and catarrh of the
) Wood sanicle used to be widely
used as a herbal remedy and has a long-standing
reputation for healing wounds and treating internal
bleeding. The herb is traditionally thought to be
detoxifying and has also been taken internally to treat
skin problems. A potentially valuable plant, but it is
little used in modern herbalism.
The herb is highly esteemed in the treatment of
blood disorders, where it is usually given in
combination with other herbs. It is also taken
internally in the treatment of bleeding in the stomach
and intestines, the coughing up of blood, nosebleeds,
chest and lung complaints, dysentery, diarrhea etc. It
can also be used as a mouth gargle for sore throats.
It may also be of use in treating diarrhea and
dysentery, bronchial and congestive problems, and sore
herb is traditionally thought to be detoxifying and has
been taken internally for skin problems.
An old treatment for dropsy.
Externally, sanicle may be applied as a poultice
or ointment for wounds, burns, chilblains, hemorrhoids,
and inflamed skin and rashes.
As an astringent it is valuable for relieving
abertii): As a mild laxative and stimulant to
digestive fluids and saliva. Especially useful for dry,
marbly, chronic constipation accompanied by sore gums
and bad breath. The flowers are chewed to whiten stained
In China, the berries are mainly taken for symptoms of
'food stagnation', which can include abdominal bloating,
indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. They are believed
to 'move' the blood, and are used to relieve stagnation
in dysmenorrhea and after childbirth. The fruit is used
in the treatment of dyspepsia, stagnation of fatty food,
abdominal fullness, retention of lochia, amenorrhea,
postpartum abdominal pain, hypertension and coronary
heart disease. Ayurvedic medicine recommends hawthorn
for heart and circulatory complaints. In search of new
products for the treatment of hyperlipidemia with a low
frequency of side effects, a decoction of Crataegus
cuneata, Nelumbo nucifera and GP has been tested. A
reduction of triglyceride and cholesterol was seen.
paniculata) The bark is
useful in the treatment of
menorrhagia, bowel complaints, eye
diseases and ulcers. It is also used
as a gargle for giving firmness to
spongy and bleeding gums.
Sarsaparilla (Smilax regelii)
Used to treat skin disorders, liver problems,
rheumatism and hormone excesses.
the best quality sarsaparilla is the Jamaican.
Honduran and Mexican are also very good. The roots with the deeper orange-red color are considered to
be of superior quality.
Sarsaparilla is excellent for chronic hepatic
disorders, for venereal diseases like gonorrhea and
syphilis, and for female leuchorrea, and herpes. It combines well with other alteratives and especially with
yellow dock, sassafras, burdock, dandelion and red
also is of some help for epilepsy and other nervous
system disorders. It
is anti-inflammatory and cleansing and can bring relief
to skin problems caused by blood impurities such as
eczema, psoriasis and itchiness. Chinese tests indicate
that sarsaparilla root, in combination with five other
herbs, was tested as a treatment for syphilis.
Reportedly, 90% of the acute cases subsequently
cleared. In Mexico, the root is still frequently
consumed for its reputed tonic and aphrodisiac
Amazonian peoples take sarsaparilla to improve virility
and to treat menopausal problems.
It has a progesterogenic action, making it
beneficial in premenstrual problems and debility and
depression associated with menopause.
It has a tonic and specifically testosterogenic
action on the body (stimulates the production of
testosterone) and stimulates natural cortisone, leading
to increased muscle bulk, and it has a potential use for
The majority of Sarsaparilla's pharmacological
properties and actions have been attributed to a
pharmacologically active group of phytochemicals called
steroids and saponins. The saponins have been reported
to facilitate the absorption by the body of other drugs
and phytochemicals which accounts for its history of use
in herbal formulas as a bioavailability and herbal
Saponins and plant steroids found in many species
of plants, including Sarsaparilla, can be chemically
synthesized into human steroids like estrogen and
testosterone. This chemical synthesization has never
been documented to occur in the human body - only in the
laboratory. Plant steroids and their actions in the
human body are still a subject of much interest, too
little research, and unfortunately, misinformation
mainly for marketing purposes. Sarsaparilla has been
erroneously touted to contain testosterone and/or other
anabolic steroids. While it is a rich source of steroids
and saponins, it has never been proven to have any
anabolic effects, nor is testosterone found in
sarsaparilla or any other plant source thus far. There
is no known toxicity or side effects documented for
sarsaparilla, however ingestion of large dosages of
saponins may cause gastro-intestinal irritation. For psoriasis it will combine well with Burdock,
Yellow Dock and Cleavers.
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
Sassafras has traditionally been used for
treating high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis,
gout, menstrual and kidney problems.
The herb is listed in 1983 British Herbal
Pharmacopoeia for head lice, cutaneous eruptions,
rheumatic pains and gout, skin diseases and acne and
ulcer. Sassafras is an excellent warming diuretic, which makes it
good for most arthritic conditions. Dosage is 10-30
drops of the tincture.
The root bark of sassafras improves digestion and
increases sweating during flus, fevers and measles.
It is slightly laxative, and has been used to
reduce high blood pressure and to decrease mother’s
milk. It is
also a remedy for poison ivy and oak rash poison.
Native Americans used a wash of the bark to bathe
infected sores and of the twigs as eyewash.
The plant’s disinfectant action makes a
valuable mouthwash and dentrifice.
It is much used by witchdoctors who use the smoke from
it to stupefy. Has
laxative effects but is principally used as a narcotic.
The hydrochloride has been used in dental surgery.
Erythrophleine causes a slow, strong pulse, with a rise
in the arterial pressure. Purging is probably due to
local action on peristalsis, and vomiting, the result or
influence on the nerve centers, as it occurs when the
alkaloid is given hypodermically. It is asserted that it
gives great relief in dyspnea, but is uncertain as a
heart tonic. The powder is strongly sternutatory. It has
been useful in mitral disease and dropsy, but disturbs
the digestion even more than digitalis.
It was used at one time as
an ointment or dressing for blisters, in order to
promote discharge, and for syphilitic warts and other
skin problems. In Britain the fresh, dried shoots were
once collected in spring for topical use. The powdered
leaves mixed with an equal part of verdigris were also
used to destroy warts. It is a powerful emmenagogue and
should never be used in pregnancy. It is rarely
administered nowadays because of its possible toxic
effects. An infusion (1 teaspoonful in 1 pint of water)
is very occasionally used in menstrual disorders, but
because of its toxic action this treatment is
discouraged. It is more widely used in veterinary
medicine in drenches, tonic powders, etc. Mixed with an
equal weight of verdigris, the powdered leaves have been
used for destroying venereal warts. Dose of the powdered
leaves, from 5 to 15 grains in syrup, 3 times a day; of
the fluid extract, from 5 to 10 drops; of the strong
tincture, from 1 to 5 drops; of the infusion, from 1/2
to 2 fluid ounces. In
traditional medicine, its foliage was used as an
abortifascient. For this reason, cultivation of this
species was long prohibited in France..
Savory (Satureja hortensis and S
montana): Savory has aromatic and carminative properties, and though
chiefly used as a culinary herb, it may be added to
medicines for its aromatic and warming qualities.
It was formerly deemed a sovereign remedy for the
colic and a cure for flatulence, on this account, and
was also considered a good expectorant. A mild tea made with a few crushed dried leaves and boiling
water has a pleasant, warming effect and since savory,
like rue, is reputed to sharpen the eyesight, use it
also to relieve eyestrain due to overtiredness or bad
will also help to disguise the flavor of unpalatable
medicine, and a few leaves added to a bottle of white
wine makes a refreshing tonic.
In an emergency crushed leaves of savory can be
applied to bee strings to bring rapid relief.
In Elizabethan times, the leaves were crushed
into poultices for the treatment of colds and chest
ailments like asthma.
A tea of savory can be helpful for diarrhea and
can also stimulate the appetite.
Cherokee Indians used the herb as a snuff to cure
Saw palmetto (Seronoa repens)
A hexane extract of the berries has been shown to have antiandrogenic
properties through a direct action on the estrogen
receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme
administered extracts were strongly estrogenic in mice.
Furthermore, saw palmetto extract has been shown
to prevent the conversion of testosterone to
dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as well as to inhibit DHT
binding to cellular and nuclear receptor sites, thereby
increasing the metabolism and excretion of DHT.
A double-blind placebo-controlled study evaluated
the hormonal effects of saw palmetto extract given to
men with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) for 3 months
prior to operation.
The study found that saw palmetto displayed an
estrogenic and antiprogesterone effect as determined by
estrogen and progesterone receptor activity.
Aids thyroid in regulating sexual development and
normalizing the activity of those glands and organs.
for strengthening and body building.
For men, it treats enlarged and weakened
For women, it increases breast size and secreting
ability, relieves ovarian and uterine irritability,
frigidity. Stimulates appetite, improves digestion and
increases assimilation of nutrients.
Expectorant, used for colds, head and nose
congestion, asthma, bronchitis. Promotes urine flow,
urinary antiseptic, good for infections of
Also used in diabetes. Increases
the tone of the bladder, allowing a better contraction
and more complete expulsion of the contents, relieving
any straining pain.
Nourishes the nervous system and aids
assimilation of nutrients.
Nicknamed the "plant catheter" because
it has the ability to strengthen the neck of the
Because saw palmetto blocks the formation of DHT
which kills off hair follicles it's possible this can be
used to prevent hair loss.
Root (Ipomoea orizabensis
) One of the most effective purgatives
known producing copious watery evacuations. In large
doses it causes considerable pain, and its preparations
should not be used by those suffering from gastric or
arvensis) Not used much by medical
herbalists today, scarlet pimpernel has diuretic,
sweat-inducing, and expectorant properties.
As an expectorant, it was used to stimulate the
coughing up of mucus and help recovery from colds and
flu. It has
been used to treat epilepsy and mental problems for
2,000 years, but there is little evidence to support its
efficacy. A tincture prepared from the fresh plant is
used to treat skin eruptions and ulcers, also as a
cholagogic and diuretic. The whole herb can be taken
internally or applied externally as a poultice. An
infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, skin
infections and disorders of the liver and gall bladder.
carniolica) A narcotic, warming herb that
dilates the pupils, relaxes spasms, and relieves pain.
Internally, in Chinese medicine, used for chronic
diarrhea, dysentery, stomachache, and manic-depressive
states. Mainly as a source of hyoscine, and sometimes as
a substitute for Atropa belladonna, notably in the
manufacture of belladonna plasters, and for Hyoscyamus
niger. For use by qualified practitioners only. In
1900 an alkaloid from this plant was combined with morpone
from Papaver somniferum to produce “twilight
sleep”; this compound was used as a preanesthetic prior to
the administration of chloroform or ether. The dried root
causes a sleep that resembles normal sleep. In the past,
it had medical uses as a cerebral sedative for manias and
drug addiction; it potentiates other sedatives. Scopolia
root acts as a parasympatholytic/anticholinergic via
competitive antagonism of the neuromuscular transmitter
acetylcholine. This antagonism affects more the muscarine-like
effect of acetylcholine, less the nicotine-like effects at
the ganglions and the neuromuscular end-plate. Scopolia
root displays peripheral effects targeted on the
vegetative nervous system and the smooth muscles, as well
as central nervous effects. Because of its
parasympatholytic properties, scopolia root causes
relaxation of the smooth muscle organs and elimination of
spastic conditions, especially of the gastrointestinal
tract and the bile ducts. Conditions of muscular tremors
and muscular rigidity, caused by central nervous impulses,
disappear. The action on the heart is positively
chronotropic and positively dromotropic.
Scorpion's Tail (Heliotropium
indicum syn Tiaridium indicum) All
parts of this plant are used as medicine by local people.
It is also used in ayurvedc treatments. The juice of the
leaves can be applied on boils, pimples, ulcers, sores and
wounds to cure. It has a
wound healing effect, very strong antitumor agent.
In Belize, the plant’s used for diarrhea, malaise, or
vomiting in infants—boil an entire plant in 1 gallon water
for 5 minutes and bathe infant in warm water at bedtime.
Use tea bath for skin conditions. Take unsweetened tea for
painful periods or scanty flow. To prepare tea, boil 3
15-cm long stem pieces with leaves for 5 minutes in 3 cups
water and drink warm. Note that the plant can be toxic if
drunk regularly or in large doses. Boil 3 leaves in 1 cup
water for 10 minutes and strain through cloth to use as
eye wash. Biological activities reported include uterine
stimulant effect in rats from a water extract of roots;
uterine stimulant effect in rats from an ethanol extract
of roots; antispasmodic activity of an unspecified type
from a dried seed extract in guinea pigs.
Pine (Pinus sylvestris
) Scot's pine has quite a wide range
of medicinal uses, being valued especially for its
antiseptic action and beneficial effect upon the
respiratory system. It may be used in cases of
bronchitis, sinustitis or upper respiratory catarrh,
both as an inhalant and internally.
It may also be helpful in asthma.
The stimulating action gives the herb a role in
the internal treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.
Scots pine branches and stems yield a thick
resin, which is also antiseptic within the respiratory
is a valuable remedy in the treatment of kidney, bladder
and rheumatic affections, and also in diseases of the
mucous membranes. Externally it is used in the form of
liniment plasters and inhalers.
The leaves and young shoots are antiseptic,
diuretic and expectorant. They are used internally for
their mildly antiseptic effect within the chest and are
also used to treat rheumatism and arthritis. There is a
tradition of adding the twigs to bath water to ease
nervous debility and sleeplessness, as well as aiding
the healing of cuts and soothing skin irritations.
The seeds are used for bronchitis, tuberculosis
and bladder infections.
A decoction of the seeds may be applied to
suppress excessive vaginal discharge.
is restorative, antihydrotic, deodorant, indolent and
phylactic, promoting a feeling of wellbeing and acting
as a counter to tropical lassitude.
A useful adjunct to oral hygiene as a breath
sweetener, it is also used in local ritual, its
sweetness symbolizing man’s better qualities.
Externally used as a poultice for boils (leaf
Grass (Cochlearia officinalis
young plant, which has a general detoxicant effect and
contains a wide range of minerals is taken as a spring
watercress, it has diuretic properties and is useful for
any condition in which poor nutrition is a factor.
It can be used in the form of a juice as an
antiseptic mouthwash for canker sores, and can also be
applied externally to spots and pimples. Blood
purification cures use it as an essential ingredient. An
infusion of 8 parts leaves, 3 parts alcohol and 3 parts
water, concentrated to two-thirds of its original
volume, is an effective remedy for toothache when used
on a cotton ball. The
fresh leaves are used in the treatment of rheumatics,
dropsy, white fluor (vaginal discharge) and
Sea Beet (Beta
vulgaris ssp. maritima):
Although little used in
modern herbalism, beet has a long history of folk use,
especially in the treatment of tumors. A decoction
prepared from the seed has been used as a remedy for
tumors of the intestines. The seed, boiled in water, is
said to cure genital tumors. The juice or other parts
of the plant is said to help in the treatment of tumors,
leukemia and other forms of cancer such as cancer of the
breast, esophagus, glands, head, intestines, leg, lip,
lung, prostate, rectum, spleen, stomach, and uterus.
Some figure that betacyanin and anthocyanin are
important in the exchange of substances of cancer cells;
others note two main components of the amines, choline
and its oxidation product betaine, whose absence
produces tumors in mice. The juice has been applied to
ulcers. A decoction is used as a purgative by those who
suffer from hemorrhoids in South Africa. Leaves and
roots used as an emmenagogue. In the old days, beet
juice was recommended as a remedy for anemia and yellow
jaundice, and, put into the nostrils to purge the head,
clear ringing ears, and alleviate toothache. Beet juice
in vinegar was said to rid the scalp of dandruff as
scurf, and was recommended to prevent falling hair.
Juice of the white beet was said to clear obstructions
of the liver and spleen. Culpepper recommended it for
treating headache and vertigo as well as all affections
of the brain.
rhamnoides) Sea buckthorn berries are very
high in vitamin C.
They have been used to help improve resistance to
The berries are mildly astringent, and a
decoction of them has been used as a wash to treat skin
irritation and eruptions. Medicinal uses of
sea-buckthorn are well documented in Asia and Europe.
Investigations on modern medicinal uses were initiated
in Russia during the 1950's. Preparations of
sea-buckthorn oils are recommended for external use in
the case of burns, bed sores, and other skin
complications induced by confinement to a bed or
treatment with X-ray or radiation. Internally,
sea-buckthorn is used for the treatment of stomach and
duodenal ulcers. In the United Kingdom and Europe
sea-buckthorn products are used in aromatherapy.
Research in the late 1950's and early 1960's reported
that 5-hydroxytryptamine (hippophan) isolated from
sea-buckthorn bark inhibited tumor growth. More
recently, clinical studies on the anti-tumor functions
of sea-buckthorn oils conducted in China have been
positive. Sea-buckthorn oil, juice or the extracts from
oil, juice, leaves and bark have been used successfully
to treat high blood lipid symptoms, eye diseases,
gingivitis and cardiovascular diseases such as high
blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Sea-buckthorn
was formally listed in the "Pharmacopoeia of
China" in 1977.
The tender branches and leaves contain bioactive
substances which are used to produce an oil that is
quite distinct from the oil produced from the fruit.
Yields of around 3% of oil are obtained. This oil is
used as an ointment for treating burns.
The fruit is astringent and used as a tonic. The
freshly-pressed juice is used in the treatment of colds,
febrile conditions, exhaustion etc. The fruit is a very
rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in
vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bioactive
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 juice is also a
component of many vitamin-rich medicaments and cosmetic
preparations such as face-creams and toothpastes. A
decoction of the fruit has been used as a wash to treat
skin irritation and eruptions.
Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum)
Dioscorides used this plant medicinally for asthma and
Sea Grape (Coccoloba
uvifera): A gum from the bark is used for throat
ailments, and the roots are used to treat dysentery. A
decoction is prepared from the leaves, wood, and bark,
which are excessively astringent, then evaporated, and
the thick fluid poured into vessels, in which it
solidifies upon cooling. Upon extracting it from the
vessels containing it, it is readily reduced to pieces
varying in size, generally about as large as a small
cherry, and with a disposition to the orthogonal form.
They are lighter colored, and less shining than the
ordinary kino, are impervious to light in bulk, but
garnet-red and semi-transparent in thin fragments; are
brittle and pulverable, forming a paler-colored powder
than the commercial drug. They are inodorous, amarous,
and excessively astringent, impart a red hue to the
saliva when masticated, and contain about 41 per cent of
tannic acid. Cold water, and alcohol, dissolve nearly
the whole of West Indian kino, about 6 to 11 per cent
Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum)
Sea holly is used as a diuretic.
It is prescribed as a treatment for cystitis and
urethritis, and taken as a means to alleviate kidney
stones. It is unlikely that the herb actually dissolves
established stones, but it probably helps retard their
holly is also used to treat enlargement or inflammation
of the prostate gland, and may be of benefit in treating
chest problems. It
will ease colic due to urinary problems as well as
scoticum) Once used medicinally as an aromatic
flavoring and in the treatment of rheumatism. The root is
used in the treatment of hysterical and uterine
disorders. The seeds are sweetly aromatic and have been
used as a carminative, deodorant and stimulant. They are
also sometimes used for flavoring other herbal remedies.
It is used as a remedy to cure sheep of the cough. The
root taken fasting expels wind. A broth made from lamb and
lovage was used to treat people suffering from an
uncertain condition known as 'glacach', which is described
as either a consumption or a swelling in the palm of the
hand. It was also thought to act as an aphrodisiac. The
root of this species was thought to act as a carminative
for livestock given in whey to calves.
Sea Rocket (Cakile
maritime): From Culpeper: It is a martial plant,
of a hot nature, and bitterish taste, opening and
attenuating, good to cleanse the lungs of tough viscid
phlegm, and of great service in asthmas, and difficulty
of breathing; and is often used as an emetic, and to
help the jaundice and dropsy. It is prescribed in
scrofulous affections, lymphatic disturbances, and the
malaise that follows malaria.
These flower heads are especially effective against
Ascaris lumbricoides, which are nematode worms similar
to earthworms, white in color, that frequently infest
the intestine of children.
These flowers have also proven effective against
other intestinal parasites. Its medicinal virtues are
similar to wormwood, A. absinthum, though milder
in their action. It is used mainly as a tonic to the
digestive system, in treating intermittent fevers and as
) The fruits have been used to reduce
roots have been used to treat diarrhea.
The bark yields an extract known as “Jamaica
kino,” used to treat dysentery. A gum from the bark is
used for throat ailments.
) Important in traditional Chinese
medicine and also used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Bittersweet herb that relieves spasms and pain,
acting mainly on the digestive system and uterus.
Internally used for digestive problems related to
blocked liver energy and menstrual complaints including
gas, bloating, food stagnation, colds caused by food
congestion, depression and moodiness.
It is like Bupleurum in its power to regulate
liver chi. An
essential oil in the tubers has antibiotic activity and
has been shown to arrest the growth of Micrococcus
plant is rated 8th amongst 250 potential antifertility
plants in China. The plant is used in the treatment of
(Prunella vulgaris) All above-ground parts
of the plant are useful. It can be used fresh, or dried
for later use. Make
it into a tincture, an infusion, or an ointment for
topical use. Internally,
selfheal has been used in Western medicine for
hemorrhage and to decrease excessive menstruation.
Externally in Western medicine, used for minor
injuries, sores, burns, bruises, sore throat, mouth
inflammations, and hemorrhoids (whole plant).
The juice of a crushed stem or two will soothe
nettle stings, minor bouts with poison ivy, insect bites
and stings. Because
it contains the compound rosmarinic acid, it is used for
treatment of Graves Disease as it helps suppress thyroid
hormone production. Self-heal contains substances that
are diuretic and act against tumors.
Lab tests indicate it may also be antibiotic,
hypotensive and antimutagenic in action. In making an oil infusion let the plants wilt for a full day
to increase the shelf life of the oil.
Research: A 1993 Canadian study regarding HIV-1
found that a purified extract of Selfheal was able to
significantly inhibit HIV-1 replication with very low
extract was able to inhibit HIV-1 in both lymph and
prunellin was unable to prevent HIV-1 infection when
cells were pretreated with the purified herbal extract,
the virus’ ability to cause infection was dramatically
decreased when it was saturated with prunellin.
The purified extract was also able to block
cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1.
Moreover, the extract was also able to interfere
with the ability of HIV-1 to bind to CD4 cells. The
researchers suggest that the purified extract
antagonizes HIV-1 infection of susceptible cells by
preventing viral attachment to the CD4 receptor.
Indications: jaundice: sore and swollen eyeballs;
over-sensitivity to light; headache and dizziness; gout;
scrofula; high blood pressure.
In Chinese medicine it is often combined with
Dendranthema x grandiflorum for headaches, high blood
pressure, mumps, mastitis, conjunctivitis and
hyperactivity in children related to liver energy
Chinese research shows the herb to have a moderately strong antibiotic
actions against a broad range of pathogens, including
the Shigella species and e. coli strains of which
can cause enteritis and urinary infections. Studies also indicate that self-heal has a mildly dilating
effect on the blood vessels, helping to lower blood
China, self-heal is taken on its own or with
Chrysanthemum for fevers, headaches, dizziness, and
vertigo, and to soothe and calm inflamed and sore eyes.
It is thought to cool “liver fire” resulting
from liver weakness, and is prescribed for infected and
enlarged glands, especially the lymph nodes of the neck.
It has excellent expectorant effects which may be
utilized in the treatment of bronchial asthma,
especially where there is some difficulty with
expectoration. The root has a stimulant action on the bronchial mucous
membranes, promoting the coughing up of mucus from the
chest and thereby easing wheezing.
It has a general power of stimulating secretion,
including saliva. It
may be used as a mouthwash and gargle in the treatment
of pharyngitis and laryngitis.
A tea made from the bark has been drunk in order
to bring about a miscarriage.
(Cassia senna (Senna alexandrina) Also c. acutifolia
(Alexandrian and Khartoum), C. angustifolia
(Indian or Tintoum), C. marilandica (American))
has always been specifically used for constipation.
It is particularly appropriate when a soft stool
is required, for example, in cases of anal fissure.
The sennosides irritate the lining of the large
intestine, causing the muscles to contract strongly,
resulting in a bowel movement about 10 hours after the
dose is taken. They
also stop fluid from being absorbed from the large
bowel, helping to keep the stool soft. As a cathartic, senna can cause griping and colic, and is
therefore normally taken with aromatic, carminative
herbs that relax the intestinal muscles.
Leaves are stronger in action than the
pods and are not as commonly used.
Senna pods, or the dried, ripe fruits, are milder
in their effects than the leaflets, as the griping is
largely due to the resin, and the pods contain none, but
have about 25 per cent more cathartie acid and emodin
than the leaves, without volatile oil. From 6 to 12 pods
for the adult, or from 3 to 6 for the young or very
aged, infused in a claret-glass of cold water, act
mildly but thoroughly upon the whole intestine.
Similar in action to cascara sagrada, their
slightly differenct chemistry does produce a few
differences in action.
Whereas cascara is not activated until it reaches
the intestines, senna glycosides are readily released by
microflora of the stomach and it is about two thirds
more active a laxative than cascara. The pods are made into tablets and other
is very unpleasant tasting and it is best to combine
senna pods with aromatic, carminative herbs to increase
palatability and reduce griping, e.g. cardamom, ginger
TCM: Indicated for Wind or bilious colics; a laxative for
non-inflammatory conditions of the intestinal tract. To clear heat in the liver and brighten the eyes; to moisten
the intestines and move feces.
The root is the source of the drug reserpine,
which is widely prescribed for high blood pressure and
as a tranquilizer. Although reserpine has been
successfully synthesized, natural versions are less
expensive and therefore more desirable. As a result,
high-volume collection of R. serpentina is
depleting the plant as a natural resource.
The root has a pronounced sedative and depressant
effect on the sympathetic nervous system.
It is also used for insomnia, hyperglycemia,
hypochondria, mental disorders like anxiety and certain
forms of insanity.
It does not have to be administered in critical
dosages, there are rare side effects, it’s
non-habit-forming, without withdrawal symptoms. It is a slow-acting remedy, and it takes some time for its
effect to become fully established.
The West African species R. vomitoria is
used as a sedative, aphrodisiac, and anticonvulsant in
traditional African medicine.
was quite widely employed as a medicinal herb by the North
American Indians, who used it to treat a wide range of
minor complaints. An infusion of the inner bark is used
as a treatment for snow-blindness. A decoction of the
fruit juice is mildly laxative. It has been used in the
treatment of upset stomachs, to restore the appetite in
children, it is also applied externally as ear and eye
drops. A decoction of the roots has been used in the
treatment of colds. It has also been used as a treatment
for too frequent menstruation. A decoction of the stems,
combined with the stems of snowberry (Symphoricarpos
spp) is diaphoretic. It has been used to induce
sweating in the treatment of fevers, flu etc and also in
the treatment of chest pains and lung infections. A
decoction of the plant, together with bitter cherry (Prunus
emarginata) has been used as a contraceptive. Other
recipes involving this plant have also been used as
contraceptives including a decoction of the ashes of the
plant combined with the ashes of pine branches or buds. A
strong decoction of the bark was taken immediately after
childbirth to hasten the dropping of the placenta. It was
said to help clean out and help heal the woman's insides
and also to stop her menstrual periods after the birth,
thus acting as a form of birth control.
(Sesamum indicum) Sesame is principally
used as food and flavoring agent in China, but it is
also taken to redress “states of deficiency,”
especially those affecting the liver and kidneys.
The seeds are prescribed for problems such as
dizziness, tinnitus, and blurred vision (when due to
of their lubricating effect within the digestive tract,
the seeds are also considered a remedy for “dry”
seeds have a marked ability to stimulate breast-milk
seed oil benefits the skin and is used as a base for
decoction of the root is used in various traditions to
treat coughs and asthma.
In experiments undertaken using laboratory
animals, sesame seeds have been shown to lower blood
sugar levels and also to raise the levels of stored
The presence of various principles (sesamin and
sesamol) gives the oil, rich in unsaturated oils, an
The leaves are used in bladder and kidney
troubles and in Africa are administered to children for
a variety of upsets including dysentery, diarrhoea and
and skin lotions are also prepared from the leaves,
which are believed detoxicant.
Zhu Yu (Cornus
Shan Zhu Yu
has been used for at least 2,000 years in Chinese herbal
medicine. An herb that “stabilizes and binds,” shan
zhu yu is used principally to reduce heavy menstrual
bleeding and unusually active secretions, including
copious sweating, excessive urine, spermatorrhea
(involuntary discharge of semen), and premature
zhu yu is astringent, and like all herbs that suppress
bodily fluids, it will simply prolong or lead to a
worsening of symptoms if used without tonic or
detoxifying herbs It is, therefore, normally used in
combination with herbs such as Rehmannia glutinosa
and is an ingredient of the "Pill of eight
ingredients" which is used in China to "warm
up and invigorate the yang of the loins".
The fruit, without the seed, is decocted for the
treatment of arthritis, fever and a wide range of other
ailments. It is used in the treatment of senile lumbago,
diabetes, cystitis, tinnitus etc. The fruit has an
antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Bacillus
dysenteriae and staphococci. The bark is reputed to
be an effective remedy for malarial fevers.
tonifies kidney and liver energy; nourishes
for empty kidney-energy; deficient liver-energy
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
The premier herb for women in
Ayurveda, shatavari is similar to dong quai in its
action and effects, but is not a “connoisseur herb”
like dong quai, so it’s not as expensive.
Internally for infertility, loss of libido,
threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems,
hyperacidity, stomach ulcers, dysentery, and bronchial
increases milk, semen and nurtures the mucous membranes.
It both nourishes and cleanses the blood and the
female reproductive organs.
It is a good food for menopause or for those who
have had hysterectomies, as it supplies many female
nourishes the ovum and increases fertility, yet its
quality is sattvic and aids in love and devotion.
Three grams of the powder can be taken in one cup of
warm milk sweetened with raw sugar.
It’s especially good for pitta types. Externally for stiffness in joints and neck.
The most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for
internally by Australian Aborigines for digestive upsets
and externally for sores.
angustifolia syn K. angustifolium, K. intermedia)
Sheep laurel is a very poisonous narcotic plant the leaves
of which were at one time used by some native North
American Indian tribes in order to commit suicide. The
leaves are usually used externally as a poultice and wash
in herbal medicine and are a good remedy for many skin
diseases, sprains and inflammation. They can also be
applied as a poultice to the head to treat headaches. The
singed, crushed leaves can be used as a snuff in the
treatment of colds. Used internally, the leaves have a
splendid effect in the treatment of active hemorrhages,
headaches, diarrhea and flux. Used in syphilitic diseases,
scalp scabs, cutaneous affections, hemorrhages, diarrhea,
flux, and neuralgia. When stewed with lard, it is
serviceable as a ointment for various skin irritations.
This species is said to be the best for medicinal use in
the genus. The plant should be used with great caution
because of the toxicity.
lentago) The bark is antispasmodic. A
decoction of the roots has been used to treat irregular
menstruation and the spitting of blood. An infusion of
the leaves has been used in the treatment of measles. An
infusion of the leaves has been drunk, or a poultice of
leaves applied, in the treatment of dysuria. Often used
interchangeably with cramp bark.
Sheep's Bit (Jasione
montana) From Culpeper: a bitter,
light, astringent quality, excellent against disorders of
the breast, such as coughs, asthmatic affections,
difficulty of breathing, for which purpose an infusion of
the flowers is the best preparation. The juice applied
externally heals foulness and discolorings of the skin.
Sheep’s Sorrel (Rumex
acetosella): Leaf tea of this
common European alien traditionally used for fevers,
Sheep’s sorrel is a detoxifying herb, the fresh
juice having a pronounced diuretic effect.
It has been used as a liver stimulant and blood
alterative that is useful in treating skin disorders and
various other metabolic imbalances.
Fresh leaves considered cooling. The leaves
poulticed (after roasting) are used for tumors, wens,
folk cancer remedy.
Root tea used for diarrhea, excessive menstrual
leaves are mildly laxative and holds out potential as a
long-term treatment for chronic disease, in particular
that of the gastrointestinal tract.
pilosus) The root is bitter and, given in
strong infusion, it strengthens the stomach and creates an
appetite. It is also a liver tonic. It is not much used
because it is not often found, growing only in scattered
areas. The Common Teasel has similar virtues.
(Capsella bursa-pastoris or Thlaspi bursa-pastoris)
When dried and infused, it yields a tea as a specific
for stopping hemorrhages of the stomach, lungs, and
especially of the kidneys.
Its antiscorbutic, stimulant and diuretic action
caused it to be much used in kidney complaints and
to stop heavy menstruation.
A tincture made from the fresh herb and taken
every hour or two is one of the most effective
make a styptic solution, boil 3 oz of herb in two pints
of hot water. Internal
dose is 2 tsp every four hours.
To make a healing ointment, simmer for a half
hour one heaping Tbsp of ground plaintain and
shepherd’s purse leaves in 4 oz of lard or suet.
Strain into containers.
An astringent herb, it disinfects the urinary
tract in cases of cystitis, and is taken for diarrhea.
Because of its reputed stimulant, diuretic, and
antiscorbutic action, the weed has been much used in the
treatment of numerous kidney complaints.
Also for hypertension and postpartum bleeding.
Research suggests that the plant is
anti-inflammatory and reduces fever.
The secret of Capsella’s blood-clotting ability
is its content of vitamin K. For an almost instant arrest of nosebleed, many people simply
soak a cotton swab with the freshly expressed juice of
shepherd’s purse and insert it into the affected
nostril. Many people take an infusion as a refreshing spring tonic, in
the belief that it relieves such circulatory
disturbances as hypertension, varicose veins,
arteriosclerosis and hemorrhoids.
European herbalists have found that a sitz bath
infused with shepherd’s purse is particularly soothing
for hemorrhoid sufferers.
Shepherd’s purse also plays an
important role in a mixture recommended for bed-wetting.
is the Chinese dendrobium orchid, a famous chi tonic of
the sages. It is cooling and mildly sweet and salty,
restoring bodily fluids and alleviating fatigue. Large
golden stems are dried and simmered with licorice or
ginger to restore sexual vigor. This Chinese kidney yin
tonic affects the lower back, knees and sexual vigor. To
the Chinese, the kidneys rule the bone, bone marrow,
memory, hearing and brain function. The kidneys store
ancestral chi and heredity, as well as having both yin
and yang properties, restoring fluids and enhancing
vitality. The stem is used to treats fever, cough,
The seeds are
used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have an acrid
taste and a cooling, very poisonous potency. Regular use
increases bodily vigor. They are used in the treatment of
contagious disorders, toothache, intestinal pain from
worms and impotence. In Mexico, the leaves are smoked as
a remedy for asthma. An infusion of the leaves is
sometimes used to ease the pains of childbirth. Has
reputed aphrodisiac qualities.
Star (Dodecatheon spp
D hendersonii, D meadia)
The leaf tea was employed by some
northwestern Indian tribes as a treatment for cold
Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa
) The milky latex has been used as
an antiseptic for treating ringworm, cuts, and sores and
to remove corns and calluses. The latex is used as a
cure for warts. The latex needs to be applied at least
once a day of a period of some weeks for it to be
the seeds have been boiled in water, the victim of a
rattlesnake bite bathes in the water. A tea made of boiled roots has been used to treat measles,
coughs, and tuberculosis, and has been applied warm to
rheumatic joints. The
mashed roots have been used as a poultice to reduce
swellings. The root is either chewed when fresh, or
dried, ground into a powder then boiled, and used in the
treatment of stomach ache. A decoction of the roots has
been used in small doses to treat venereal diseases and
also to treat coughs, especially from TB.
Indian women used an infusion of the entire plant
to treat sore breasts. A decoction of the plant tops can
be strained and used to treat blindness and
Some caution should be employed when using the
root since there is a report that it can be poisonous in
fruticosa syn Suaeda vera) The leaves
are used as a poultice in the treatment of ophthalmia.
When infused in water, they have been used as an emetic.
coronarium) The leaves are expectorant and
stomachic. In conjunction with black pepper it is used in
the treatment of gonorrhea. The flowers are aromatic,
bitter and stomachic. They are used as a substitute for
camomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The bark is
purgative, it is used in the treatment of syphilis.
There has been much research into
Siberian ginseng in Russia since the 1950s, although the
exact method by which it stimulates stamina and
resistance to stress is not yet understood.
Siberian ginseng seems to have a general tonic
effect on the body, in particular on the adrenal glands,
helping the body to withstand heat, cold, infection,
other physical stresses and radiation.
It has even been given to astronauts to counter
the effects of weightlessness.
Athletes have experienced as much as a 9%
improvement in stamina when taking Siberian ginseng.
Siberian ginseng is given to improve mental
resilience, for example, during exams, and to reduce the
effects of physical stress, for example during athletic
ginseng is most effective in the treatment of prolonged
exhaustion and debility, resulting from overwork and
long-term stress. The
herb also stimulates immune resistance and can be taken
in convalescence to aid recovery from chronic illness.
As a general tonic, Siberian ginseng helps both
to prevent infection and to maintain well-being.
It is also used in treatments for impotence.
Eleuthero root happens to be anti-yeast and
Siberian Pine, Dwarf (Pinus
pumila): An aromatic, stimulant, antiseptic herb
that is expectorant, relieves bronchial and nasal
congestion and improves blood flow locally. The oil is a
valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of
kidney and bladder complaints and is used both
internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment
of rheumatic affections. It is also very beneficial to
the respiratory system and so is useful in treating
diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory
complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB.
Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a
variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils
etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters,
poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers.
Siberian Tea (Bergenia
local vasoconstrictive action, capillary-restorative. It
has depressant action on dysenteric and typhoid
bacillus. It is combined with sulfanilamide and
antibiotics for treatment of these diseases. It is also
used for infectious colitis, excessive menstruation,
bleeding after abortions, for treatment of erosion
cervix of the uterus (outwardly), a fibroma of a uterus,
in stomatology, at stomatitises and gingivitis, at a
headache and for sprinkling wounds. Internally it is
used as a tea chiefly for inflammations of the
genitourinary tract (cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis,
pyelonephritis), and also gastrointenstinal tract
(diarrhea, also when minor hemorrhages are present, but
on professional’s advice). To enhance the effects,
urine should be slightly alkaline (this can be done by
consuming a diet rich in vegetables and/or taking about
a teaspoonful a day of baking soda) and the fluid intake
should be more than 2 liters per day.
Sichuan Oxknee (Cyathula
officinalis): This is
an alternate source material for the herb Niu Xi, for
which the name means ox knee, the original material
Achyranthes bidentata has nodes that are reminiscent
of ox knees; comparatively, Chuan Niu Xi is thought to
be better at transforming static blood, while Niu Xi is
better at nourishing the liver and kidney).
Chinese root used to treat pain due to “wind-dampness”
to clear atrophy and spasm of the lower extremities,
much like the previous species. Do not use during
Tree (Albizia julibrissin
flower heads are used internally in the treatment of
insomnia, irritability, breathlessness and poor memory.
The stembark is used internally in the treatment of
insomnia, irritability, boils and carbuncles.
Externally, it is applied to injuries and swellings.
A gummy extract obtained from the plant is used as a
plaster for abscesses, boils etc and also as a retentive
in fractures and sprains. It is gaining a reputation
among western herbalists as a fast and highly effective
treatment for depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor memory
Silver Birch (Betula pendula (B.
verrucosa, B. alba))
An infusion made with silver birch leaves hastens
the removal of waste products in the urine, and is
beneficial for kidney stones and bladder stones,
rheumatic conditions, and gout. To obtain the full
diuretic effect herbalists add a pinch of baking soda to
the infusion which promotes the extraction of the
diuretic hyperoside. The leaves are also used, in
combination with diuretic herbs, to reduce fluid
retention and swelling.
Silver birch sap is a mild diuretic.
Preserved with cloves and cinnamon, the sap was
once taken to treat skin diseases like acne as well as
rheumatism and gout. A decoction of silver birch bark can be used as a lotion for
chronic skin problems.
The bark can also be macerated in oil and applied
to rheumatic joints.
A decoction of the bark has been used to allay
Dry distillation of fresh birch wood yields birch
tar, which is used in soothing ointments for skin
Fir (Abies alba (A. pectinata)
) Both the leaves and the resin are common
ingredients in remedies for colds and coughs, either
taken internally or used as an inhalant. The resin is
also used externally in bath extracts, rubbing oils etc
for treating rheumatic pains and neuralgia.
cana) Used by the Montana Indians as a
general tonic, to restore hair, and as a dermatological
decoction of the bark, mixed with oil, has been used as
a salve for children with frostbite. A decoction of the
roots, combined with sumac roots (Rhus spp.), has
been used in the treatment of syphilis. This medicine
was considered to be very poisonous and, if you survived
it, you were likely to become sterile. 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.
(Potentilla anserine) The dried
flowering stems are used medicinally.
The drugs contain chiefly flavonoid compounds and
catechol tannins as well as constipating,
anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, which
also determine their use in the treatment of chronic
nonspecific diarrheas, especially when accompanied by
are used primarily for those who do not tolerate sulfa
used to be found in formulas for uterine and stomach
spasms and was added to douche formulas. Their occasional recommended use to relieve menstrual pains
is, however, ineffective.
The dried flowering stems are prepared in the
form of a briefly steeped infusion—one teaspoon of the
crumbled drug to one cup boiling water.
The alcohol extract from the roots of both
species (20-30 drops in a glass of water) is used
externally with success for gargling to relieve sore
throats or for swabbing inflamed gums and to tighten
spongy gums and loose teeth and where there is
inflammations of the mouth such as gingivitis or apthous
hemorrhoids and poison oak can be treated topically with
pycnocarpon syn Asplenium angustifolium)
Used in pectoral and lung diseases and to cure an enlarged
(Simaruba amara (syn Simarouba
) Simaruba is one of the best
tonics for persons suffering from debility and loss of
appetite. It restores the lost tone of the intestines,
promotes the secretions, and disposes the patient to
sleep. It is only successful in the latter stage of
dysentery, when the stomach is not affected. In large
doses it produces sickness and vomiting. On account of
its difficult pulverization, it is seldom given in
substance, the infusion being preferred, but like many
bitter tonics, it is now seldom used. From its use, it
has been called 'dysentery bark.'
Single Delight (Moneses
An infusion of
the dried plant has been used in the treatment of coughs
and colds. The plant has been chewed, and the juice
swallowed, as a treatment for sore throat. A poultice of
the leaves has been used to draw out the pus from boils
and abscesses, to draw blisters, to help reduce
swellings and also to relieve pain.
Skirret (Sium sisarum) Fresh young shoots are said by
Culpeper to be a “wholesome food, of a cleansing
nature, and easy digestion, provoking urine.”
May also help relieve chest complaints.
root is diuretic and cleansing, and useful for removing
obstructions from the bladder. It is serviceable against
dropsy by causing plenty of urine and helps liver
disorders and the jaundice. The young shoots are a
pleasant and wholesome food of easy digestion.
Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus
foetidus (Spathyema foetida))
The roots are a traditional folk remedy for tight coughs,
bronchitis and catarrh.
It acts as a mild sedative and has been employed
to treat nervous disorders.
As employed in respiratory and nervous disorders,
rheumatism, and dropsy, the rootstock was official in
the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1882.
Skunk cabbage may be used whenever there is a
tense or spasmodic condition in the lungs.
It will act to relax and ease irritable coughs.
It may be used in asthma, bronchitis and whooping
cough. As a diaphoretic it will aid the body during
fevers. Less commonly, skunk cabbage is used as a
treatment for epilepsy, headaches, vertigo, and
rheumatic problems and as a means to stop bleeding.
The leaves can be used fresh as a vulnerary.
tea of the moist inner bark was taken for digestive
problems, particularly diarrhea, since it is rich in a
soothing mucilage. It will soothe and astringe at the
same time. After
the inner bark has been soaked in warm water, it
produces a mucilage that has been used to soften the
skin and protect it from chapping and to hasten the
healing of skin wounds.
It makes a soothing and nourishing food and
herbalists consider it one of the best remedies for
healing inflammations of the gastro-intestinal tract. It
may be used in gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer,
enteritis, colitis and the like.
It is a useful remedy for urinary problems such
as chronic cystitis.
Slippery elm has been used to treat all manner of
chest conditions and has a soothing effect on everything
from coughs and bronchitis to pleurisy and tuberculosis.
The powdered bark, commonly known as slippery elm
food, may be sold commercially as a nourishing drink for
convalescents and those recovering from
Externally the bark makes an excellent poultice
for use in cases of burns, boils, abscesses or ulcers.
It works very well as a “drawing” poultice
for boils and splinters.
Native Americans used the bark, beaten to a pulp,
to treat gunshot wounds and help remove bullets.
They also used it to treat fever, diarrhea, and
respiratory infections, and made a tea from boiled roots
to assist women in childbirth.
Water pepper is a vasoconstrictor.
The flowering heads and leaves are mostly used
but occasionally the fresh roots too.
Principally it is used as an infusion to stem
bleeding and relieve menstrual pain.
A cold water infusion used to be prescribed for
gravel, dysentery, coughs, sore throats, colds, and
fomentation is good for chronic ulcers and bleeding
of the old herbalists thought it effective in nervous
diseases like vertigo, lethargy, apoplexy and palsy.
Dried leaves and tops were boiled in water to
make a wash used for sore mouth in nursing mothers.
The plant was also used for internal bleeding and
uterine disorders and to promote menstrual flow.
In combination with tonics and gum myrrh, it is
said to have cured epilepsy - probably dependent on some
uterine derangement. The infusion in cold water, which
may be readily prepared from the fluid extract, has been
found serviceable in gravel, dysentery, gout, sore
mouths, colds and coughs, and mixed with wheat bran, in
bowel complaints. Antiseptic and desiccant virtues are
also claimed for it. The fresh leaves, bruised with
those of the Mayweed (Anthemis cotula), and
moistened with a few drops of oil of turpentine, make a
speedy vesicant. Simmered in water and vinegar, it has
proved useful in gangrenous, or mortified conditions.
The extract, in the form of infusion or fomentation, has
been beneficially applied in chronic ulcers and
hemorrhoidal tumors, also as a wash in chronic
erysipetalous inflammations, and as a fomentation in
flatulent colic. A hot decoction made from the whole
plant has been used in America as a remedy for cholera,
a sheet being soaked in it and wrapped round the patient
immediately the symptoms start.
Pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus
leaves are considered useful for reducing tissue
swelling, and have a cleansing effect.
The plant has been used to treat dysentery,
diarrhea, excessive menstrual flow, ulcers and
intestinal hemorrhaging. A tea made from the leaves is
used in the treatment of intestinal bleeding, diarrhea,
excessive menstruation etc.
brevipedunculata): The fresh fruits, roots and
leaves resolve clots. It is used externally in the
treatment of boils, abscesses and ulcers, traumatic
bruises and aches.
Snake Needle Grass (Hedyotis
A pleasant-tasting, cooling,
alterative herb that lowers fever, reduces inflammation,
relieves pain, and is diuretic and antibacterial. It
acts mainly on the liver and stimulates the immune
system. Internally used for fever, coughs, asthma,
jaundice, urinary tract infections and cancers of the
digestive tract. Externally for snakebites, boils,
abscesses and severe bruising. An herb used in
traditional Chinese medicine to treat certain medical
problems. It has been used to boost the immune system
and may have anticancer effects. Juice from plant
(excluding roots): treats intestinal diseases; Whole
plant: treats disorders of the stomach. The
herb has an antimicrobial effect in vitro on such
bacteria as staphylococcus aureus and has shown an
effect on activating the reticuloendothelial system and
increase phagocytosis by lymphocytes. Antineoplastic
effect has shown an inhibitory effect in vitro on cells
from acute lymphocytic and acute granulocytic leukemia.
Hedyotis diffusa herb extract has also been noted in the
treatment of appendicitis and snakebite. Inhibits
leukemia cells, Yoshida's sarcoma, and Ehrlich's ascites
sarcoma in vitro; also inhibits sarcoma-180,
ascitic lymphosarcoma, and uterine cancer-14 in mice.
Used to treat stomach and rectal cancer by combining
with coix and solanum.
marylandica): Considered a “cure all” by John
Kloss “because it possesses powerful cleansing and healing
virtues, both internally and externally.” It heals, stops
bleeding, diminishes tumors. The properties when
administered seem to seek the ailment most in distress. A
tea made from the thick root has been used to treat
menstrual irregularities, pain, kidney ailments,
rheumatism and fevers. A decoction of the root has been
used to cause vomiting in order to counteract a poison. It
makes a useful gargle for treating sore mouths and
throats. The powdered root has also been popularly used to
treat intermittent fever and chorea (St. Vitus' Dance).
The root is also poulticed and applied to snakebites.
Pharmacological studies reveal that black snakeroot
contains some tannin, which causes an astringent action
that may account for the use of snakeroot preparations as
gargles for sore throat. The action on the system
(Helenium amarum (syn Helenium tenuifolium)
plant has been used to cause sneezing and thus clear the
nasal passages of mucus.
A decoction of the entire plant can be used in a
sweat bath to treat dropsy and swellings.
It is also a strong fish poison
Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus):
Snowberry was commonly employed medicinally by
several native North American Indian tribes who valued
it especially for the saponins it contains. These
saponins can be toxic, but when applied externally they
have a gentle cleansing and healing effect upon the
skin, killing body parasites and helping in the healing
of wounds. The Native Americans used it to treat a
variety of complaints but especially as an external wash
on the skin. Any internal use of this plant should be
carried out with care, and preferably under the
supervision of a qualified practitioner. An infusion of the stems has been
drunk to treat stomach problems and menstrual disorders.
A decoction of the leaves has been used in the treatment
of colds. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been
applied, or an infusion of the leaves has been used as a
wash, in the treatment of external injuries. A weak
solution of the stems and leaves has been used as a wash
for children whilst a stronger solution is applied to
sores. The fruit has been eaten, or used as an infusion,
in the treatment of diarrhea. An infusion of the fruit
has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes. The berries
have been rubbed on the skin as a treatment for burns,
rashes, itches and sores. The berries have also been
rubbed on warts in order to get rid of them. A poultice of the
crushed leaves, fruit and bark has been used in the
treatment of burns, sores, cuts, chapped and injured
skin. An infusion of the roots has been used in the
treatment of fevers (including childhood fevers),
stomach aches and colds. A decoction of the root bark
has been used in the treatment of venereal disease and
to restore the flow of urine. An infusion of the root
has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes. An infusion
of the whole plant has been drunk and also applied
externally in the treatment of skin rashes. A decoction
of the roots and stems has been used in the treatment of
the inability to urinate, venereal disease, tuberculosis
and the fevers associated with teething sickness
Tree (Quillaja saponaria
) Soap bark tree has a long history of medicinal
use with the Andean people who used it especially as a
treatment for various chest problems. Its strong
expectorant effect is reliable for soothing and
relieving chronic bronchitis, especially in the early
stages. Also one of the strongest known sternutatories—it
Like other plants that contain saponins, soap
tree stimulates the production of a more fluid mucus in
the airways, facilitating the clearing of phlegm through
coughing. It is useful for treating any condition featuring congested
mucus within the chest, but should not be used for dry,
It is one of the best aids to hair growth, when
applied as an infusion to the scalp and appears in the
formulations of dandruff shampoos.
Soap bark tree is used as a source of compounds
for the pharmaceutical industry.
Soapberry, Western (Sapindus
drummondii): Use dried leaves and stems that
have been gathered in late summer or early fall. A cold
infusion can be made from the dried herb. This is used
for dry coughs, fevers, some kidney disorders,
inflammation, and acute arthritis pain. The fruit is
used in the treatment of kidney diseases and to suppress
fevers.. A poultice of the sap has been used to treat
Soapwort’s main internal use is as an
strongly irritant action within the gut is thought to
stimulate the cough reflex and increase the production
of a more fluid mucus within the respiratory passages.
Consequently, the plant is prescribed for the
treatment of bronchitis, coughs and some cases of
may be taken for other problems including rheumatic and
arthritic pain. A
decoction of the root and, to a lesser extent, an
infusion of the aerial parts of the herb make soothing
washes for eczema and other itchy skin conditions. It is
also effective when applied to poison ivy and poison
oak, especially in combination with other herbs, such as
was once taken internally to help eliminate toxins from
the liver, and in India, a specially prepared root is
used to increase mother’s milk.
It is reported to have an effect upon gallstones
Solomon Seal (Polygonatum
multiflorum also P. odoratum (syn P. officinale))
Combined with other remedies, Solomon's
Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of
the lungs. It is also useful for menstrual
irregularities, cramps, leucorrhea and many of the other
ailments classified by most early herbals under the
broad heading of “female complaints.” The infusion
of 1 oz. to a pint of boiling water is taken in
wineglassful doses and is also used as an injection. It
is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative,
and is good in inflammations of the stomach and bowels,
piles, and chronic dysentery. A strong decoction given every two or three hours has been
found to cure erysipelas, if at the same time applied
externally to the affected parts.
The powdered roots make a poultice for bruises,
piles, inflammations and tumors.
Like arnica, it is believed to prevent excessive
bruising and to stimulate tissue repair. The bruised
roots were used as a popular cure for black eyes, mixed
with cream. The bruised leaves made into a stiff
ointment with lard served the same purpose.
A decoction of the root in wine was considered a
suitable beverage for persons with broken bones, 'as it
disposes the bones to knit.'
The flowers and roots used as snuff are
celebrated for their power of inducing sneezing and
thereby relieving head affections. They also had a wide
vogue as aphrodisiacs, for love philtres and potions.
A tea made from the crushed leaves was used as a
contraceptive. In Chinese herbal medicine, it is considered a
yin tonic and is thought to be particularly applicable
to problems affecting the respiratory system—sore
throats, dry and irritable coughs, bronchial congestion
and chest pain. Also
for heart disease, tuberculosis, and to encourage the
secretion of body fluids.
In Ayurvedic medicine, internally it is used as a
rejuvenative and aphrodisiac: one of eight root herbs
known as ashtavarga, used for infertility,
insufficient lactation, chronic wasting diseases, and
bleeding disorders related to kidney weakness.
Given with warm milk and ghee as a tonic.
in Vitamin C--- ½ cup chopped fresh sorrel leaves
provides 54% of the daily requirement for a healthy
dark green leaves of Rumex are a good source of the
yellow carotenoid pigment, beta-carotene, the vitamin A
precursor in deep yellow fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin A also protects your eyes.
½ cup chopped fresh Rumex leaves provides 67% of
the vitamin A a healthy woman needs each day and 54% of
the requirements for a healthy man.
Sorrel leaves act as a diuretic. Research has
shown them to be a mild antiseptic and a light laxative.
Sorrel was also once a popular “spring cure,”
usually in form of sorrel soup.
Raw, the leaves are a cooling agent for fevers
and relieve thirst.
A tea made from sorrel root was long recommended by
herbalists as a diuretic, but is use is inadvisable
because of the plant’s potential toxicity.
A leaf tea has also figured in herbal medicine as
an appetite stimulant, a scurvy preventive, and an
antiseptic; it is also somewhat laxative.
A tea of leaves also appears in herbal literature
as a coolant for fever.
Infuse as a tea to treat kidney and liver
to mouth ulcers, boils and infected wounds.
boiled the leaves and gave feverish patients the liquid
to drink; they also used this tea to treat the urinary
ailments of older men.
A poultice of leaves mixed with bark was used to
The leaves have also been considered a tonic. A
tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment
of asthma, diarrhea, indigestion and to check excessive
The bark has been chewed in the treatment of
Hackberry (Celtis australis
) Due to their astringent properties, both
the leaves and fruit may be used as a remedy.
Although the fruit is considered more effective,
particularly before it has fully ripened, a decoction of
both it has fully ripened, a decoction of both is taken
to reduce heavy menstrual and intermenstrual uterine
fruit and leaves may be used to astringe the mucous
membranes in peptic ulcers, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Southernwood encourages menstruation, is
antiseptic and kills intestinal worms.
It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach
is seldom used medicinally today, except in Germany,
where poultices are placed on wounds, splinters and skin
conditions and it is employed occasionally to treat
frostbite. Its constituents have been shown to stimulate the gallbladder
and bile, which improves digestion and liver functions. The leaves are mixed with other herbs in aromatic baths and
is said to counter sleepiness.
Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus
plant is emmenagogue and hepatic. An infusion has been
used to bring on a tardy menstruation and to treat
The latex in the sap is used in the treatment of
warts. It is also said to have anticancer activity.
The stem juice is a powerful hydrogogue and
cathartic, it should be used with great caution since it
can cause cholic and tenesmus. The gum has been used as
a cure for the opium habit.
The leaves are applied as a poultice to
An infusion of the leaves and roots is febrifuge
) Although the soy bean has only a mild
medicinal action, it is helpful in stimulating the
circulation and acting as a general detoxicant.
In Chinese medicine, the sprouts are thought to
help relieve “summer heat” and fever.
The fermented seed is weakly diaphoretic and
stomachic. It is used in the treatment of colds, fevers
and headaches, insomnia, irritability and a stuffy
sensation in the chest.
The bruised leaves are applied to snakebite. The
flowers are used in the treatment of blindness and
opacity of the cornea.
The ashes of the stems are applied to granular
hemorrhoids or fungus growths on the anus. The immature
seedpods are chewed to a pulp and applied to corneal and
smallpox ulcers. The
seed is antidote. It is considered to be specific for
the healthy functioning of bowels, heart, kidney, liver
and stomach. The
seed sprouts are constructive, laxative and resolvent.
They are used in the treatment of edema, dysuria, chest
fullness, decreased perspiration, the initial stages of
flu and arthralgia.
A decoction of the bark is astringent.
Soy is an ideal food for diabetics as its sugars
are hardly assimilated.
Spanish Salsify (Scolymus hispanicus):
In ancient medicine the plant was used as a
is a commonly used domestic herbal remedy. A tea made
from the leaves has traditionally been used in the
treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and
various minor ailments. The leaves should be harvested
when the plant is just coming into flower, and can be
dried for later use. The stems are macerated and used as
a poultice on bruises.
Both the essential oil and the stems are used in
folk remedies for cancer. A poultice prepared from the
leaves is said to remedy tumors. Spearmint is still
listed in the Hungarian Pharmacopoeia as a
American (Veronica americana
) American speedwell is primarily used as
an expectorant tea, which is said to help move bronchial
congestion and make coughing more productive.
It also has astringent and diuretic qualities.
Common (Veronica officinalis
) A tea made from the leaves is used to relieve
complaints of the respiratory tract and in cases of
obstinate skin diseases.
The leaves have been employed in the treatment of
pectoral and nephritic complaints, hemorrhages, skin
diseases and the treatment of wounds. Externally, it is
used to wash boils and to treat acne.
the root of spiderwort was used by the Cherokees as a
folk cancer remedy. A tea of the root was considered
was also mashed, and applied as a poultice on insect
tea of the leaves was drunk by the Cherokees for
stomachache from overeating.
The root of T. occidentalis served the
Meskwaki as a diuretic.
Insanity was treated with spiderwort. A gum
exudes from the root.
The treatment consisted of making an incision on
the head, then inserting a piece of the gum into the
wound as a remedy for craziness.
Spikenard, American (Aralia
Spikenard is considered a tonic, like
roots have treated a long list of complaints including
indigestion, dysentery, blood diseases, syphilis,
various skin conditions (including ringworm), as well as
gout, rheumatism, local pains, and some heart problems.
It was an important blood purifying tea,
particularly during pregnancy.
Herbalists still use it to balance women’s
cycles, including helping with premenstrual syndrome. Its actions are similar to those attributed to
sarsaparilla’s progesteronelike constituents, although
hormonal activity in spikenard has not been proven.
A pleasant-tasting syrup was made with spikenard
and elecampane for lung conditions like whooping cough,
asthma, and general coughs.
A root poultice was chewed and applied to wounds,
and a solution mixed with wild ginger was placed on
fractured limbs. The
berry juice was dropped into the ear canal to ease
herb encourages sweating and is a stimulant and
(Nardostachys jatamansi syn N. grandiflora) Internally used for nervous indigestion, insomnia, depression, and
Externally for rashes and as a deodorant.
Traditional Ayurvedic Uses:
helps enhance and balance all aspects of mental
functioning, including: comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti)
and recollection (Smriti).
It has a particular effect of calming the
emotions, nerves and brain cells to aid with excessive
works as an indirect aid to natural nerve regeneration.
It helps balance and coordinate Prana Vata (which
governs the mind) and Sadhaka Pitta (which governs the
also has a longterm effect on Tarpaka Kapha --
coordination of the laws of nature that govern health of
the sinus cavities, head and cerebral-spinal fluids.
This acts to stabilize the emotions.
Spindle Tree, Japanese (Euonymus
japonica): The bark is used as a tonic and to
aid in difficult childbirth; treats rheumatism, night
sweating. The leaf is also used in cases of difficult
Spirit Plant (Lachnanthes
tinctoria syn Lachnanthes carolina, Gyrotheca capitata.
Gyrotheca tinctoria) A hypnotic and a
stimulant of peculiar value to the aged. The drug
Lachnanthes is prepared from the entire plant, but
especially from the rhizome and roots. Lachnanthes has
been more particularly recommended in pneumonia, nervous
and typhus fevers, some diseases of the brain, in the
delirium of fever, in morbid conditions of the
brain and nervous system, especially when in these several
maladies redness of the cheeks and brilliancy of the eyes
are accompanying symptoms. It has also been efficient in
rheumatic wry neck, hoarseness, laryngeal cough, tinnitus
aurium, and in nervous headache. It is also used in the
treatment of bowel complaints, coughs, pneumonia and the
spitting of blood. A strong decoction has been used as a
wash for cancer.
Chatelain (Corallorhiza maculata
) The dried stalks have been used to make a tea
for strengthening patients suffering form pneumonia.
The roots have been used as a sedative, to kill
worms, and to increase perspiration.
A tablespoon of the chopped plant is steeped in
tea and drunk as needed.
Coral Root is one of the best treatments for
nervous disorders and nervous fevers, a scant teaspoon
boiled for ten minutes.
It will reduce a fever reliably and has a strong,
sensible sedative effect particularly useful or angry or
It is especially good as a first aid for sudden
high fevers in the first week or two after childbirth,
usually caused by dehydration or a uterine infection.
This is NOT
a condition for home treatment, but Coral Root
will relax the mother and lower the temperature until a
physician can apply more appropriate therapies.
It should be made available if needed for any
rural-type home delivery.
Spurge (Euphorbia maculata
) The milky sap, when taken orally, causes
vomiting and acts as a strong laxative.
An alcoholic extract of the plant has been given
to control dysentery.
The Indians rubbed the sap on their skin to treat
warts, sores, eruptions, and sore nipples. They also drank a root infusion as a laxative.
Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata
) The leaves and fruit have been used to
increase urine flow, as a tonic, and for treating
diarrhea, syphilis, nervous disorders, and ulcers.
The plant has an antiseptic influence on the
urinary system and is sometimes used in the treatment of
cystitis. An infusion of the plant has been drunk in the
treatment of rheumatism and colds. A poultice of the
root has been used to treat pain while the plant has
also been used as a wash on ulcers, scrofula and
cancers. All parts of the plant can be used, though only
the leaves are officinal.
trilobata): Skunk bush was employed medicinally
by several native North American Indian tribes, who
valued it especially for its astringent qualities and
used it to treat a range of complaints. Bark: An
infusion of the bark has been used as a douche after
childbirth. The bark has been chewed, and the juice
swallowed, as a treatment for colds and sore gums. Bark
has also been used for: Cold remedy, in which the bark
is chewed and the juice is swallowed; Oral aid, in which
the bark is chewed;
Fruit: The fruit has been
eaten as a treatment for stomach problems and grippe.
The fruit has been chewed as a treatment for toothache
and also used as a mouthwash. A decoction of the fruit
has been used as a wash to prevent the hair falling out.
The dried berries have been ground into a powder and
dusted onto smallpox pustules. Veterinary aid.
Leaves: An infusion of
the leaves has been used in the treatment of head colds.
A decoction of the leaves has been drunk to induce
impotency as a method of contraception. A poultice of
leaves has been used to treat itches. Leaves are a
gastrointestinal aid, in which the leaves are boiled;
Diuretic aid, in which the leaves are boiled.
Roots: A decoction of the
root bark has been taken to facilitate easy delivery of
the placenta. The roots have been used as a deodorant.
The buds have been used on the body as a medicinal
deodorant and perfume. Tuberculosis Aid, in which the
roots are consumed
(Urginea maritime (a) (syn Drimia maritime)
) Squill is a powerful expectorant
used in chronic bronchitis, especially where there is
little sputum production, which causes a dry irritable
more fluid mucus secretion is produced with squill,
which in turn facilitates an easier expectoration.
The mucilage content eases and relaxes the
bronchiole passages, thereby balancing the stimulation
of the glycosides.
It may be used in bronchial asthma and whooping
cough. It has a stimulating action on the heart and has been used
for aiding cases of heart failure and water retention
when there is heart involvement.
Sea squill contains cardiac glycosides which are
strongly diuretic and relatively quick-acting. They do
not have the same cumulative effect as those present in
foxglove. The bulb has been widely used by herbalists,
mainly for its effect upon the heart and for its
stimulating, expectorant and diuretic properties. The
fresh bulb is slightly more active medicinally than the
dried bulb, but it also contains a viscid acrid juice
that can cause skin inflammations. This is a very
poisonous plant and it should only be used under the
supervision of a qualified practitioner.
The dried bulb is cardiotonic, strongly diuretic, emetic
when taken in large doses and expectorant. The bulb can
weigh up to 2 kilos. It is used internally in the
treatment of bronchitis, bronchitic asthma, whooping
cough and edema and is a potential substitute for
foxglove in aiding a failing heart. Externally, the bulb
has been used in the treatment of dandruff and
are two main forms of this species, one has a white bulb
and the other has a red one. The red bulb is the form
that is used as a rat poison whilst the white bulb is
used as a cardiotonic. Another report says that
herbalists do not distinguish between the two forms.
Only the red form contains the rat poison 'scilliroside',
though both forms can be used medicinally
Squinancy Root (Asperula
cynanchica): An infusion of the plant was used
as a gargle for quinsy, but the plant has become rare
and is not now used by herbalists.
Cucumber (Ecballium elaterium (syn Momordica elateria)
) The squirting cucumber has been used as
a medicinal plant for over 2,000 years, though it has a
very violent effect upon the body and has little use in
modern herbalism. The
plant is a very powerful purgative that causes
evacuation of water from the bowels. It is used
internally in the treatment of edema associated with
kidney complaints, heart problems, rheumatism, paralysis
and shingles. Externally, it has been used to treat
sinusitis and painful joints. Ecballine, a compound
derived from the fruits, is used in treating baldness as
well as a cure against scalp diseases.
John's Wort (Hypericum
been used for centuries for depression, melancholy and
Paracelsus was one that prescribed it for these
One study by Dittmann, Hermann and Palleske
showed that Hyperforat, a preparation based on a total
extract, gave a well-reproducible specific inhibition of
anaerobic glycolysis in secretions of brain tumors.
An infusion of leaves and flowers in olive oil is
excellent for skin burns.
The herb/flowers are the parts used for lung
problems, bladder complaints, diarrhea, dysentery,
depression, hemorrhages and jaundice.
Steep two teaspoonsful of the herb per cup of
water for twenty minute.
Take one-half cup in the morning and one-half cup
at bed time.
Bedwetting is helped by a nightly cup of the tea
or 5-10 drops of the tincture.
The oil and fomentation are applied externally to
injuries, especially when nerve endings are involved and
to soften tumors and caked breasts.
research on St. John’s Wort has been substantiated on
its effects on mild to moderate depression.
In a series of studies that were presented in
1992 at the Fourth International Congress on
Phytotherapy in Munich, German it helped well over half
of those in the study. In less than a month of taking
this herb, the depression and accompanying disturbed
sleep and fatigue experienced by participants in these
studies generally improved.
In another study in Germany in 1984, depressed
women were given a tincture of St John’s Wort. These
women’s symptoms, including anxiety, anorexia, lack of
interest in life and psychomotor problems, all changed
for the better.
Research was also conducted in Russia where it
was combined with psychotherapy to treat alcoholics
suffering from depression.
A suggested tincture is 1 tsp tincture of St.
John’s Wort leaf, ½ tsp tinctures of licorice root,
ginseng rot, lemon balm leaf and ashwaganda leaf.
Take 1 dropperful 3 times a day.
The mood-lightening effect does not develop
quickly—it is necessary to take it for up to 2-3
The first effects will be felt within 2-3
To help regulate disturbed sleep patterns try St.
John’s Wort. It
adjusts brain chemistry, helping to increase the
availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
It’s also a nervous system relaxant that helps
you recover when your nerves are damaged, inflamed or
use it as such take 1 tsp each tinctures of St. John’s
Wort flowers, skullcap leaves, fresh oats and licorice
root; ½ dropperful each tinctures of ginger root and
vervain leaves. Combine ingredients and take 1 dropperful every half hour, as
needed during an emergency.
To relieve chronic pain, take 2-4 dropperfuls a
A cream made of the flowering tops is used for localized
nerve pains, such as sciatica, sprains and cramps, or to
help relieve breast engorgement during lactation.
Can also be used as an antiseptic and styptic on
scrapes, sores and ulcers. The infused oil is used
in several European varicose vein ointments and in
suppositories for hemorrhoids, to reduce inflammation,
pain and broken veins.
If varicose veins break, you can cover them with
a combination of St John’s Wort with essential oils.
This will decrease the swelling and pain and will
deliver healing factors that help repair the veins.
bruises try steeping one to two teaspoons of dried herb
in vegetable oil for a few days.
Then use the oil to treat bruises.
The aerial parts taken internally can lighten the
mood and lift the spirits.
They make a restorative nerve tonic, ideal for
anxiety and irritability, especially during menopause.
They are also good for chronic, longstanding
conditions where nervous exhaustion is a factor. They can relieve a variety of nerve pains such as sciatica
and neuralgia. It
is also a valuable tonic for the liver and gallbladder.
It has been recently marketed as an ingredient in
“Herbal Phen-Fen” and similar products.
There is no scientific evidence about helping
with weight loss. The
rationale is that depressed people are more sedentary
and this will help them become more active.
In regards to Parkinson’s it may have a
potential to help based on the following. Smokers
have an unusually low risk of the disease because
nicotine increases the release of dopamine in the
brain. The enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO)
depresses dopamine, so it would make sense that
medications that inhibit MAO would boost dopamine and
decrease Parkinson’s risk, as nicotine does.
Ethnobotanist Jim Duke’s suggestion is to try a
tincture standardized to 0.1 percent hypericin and take
20-30 drops three times a day if you have Parkinson’s.
Star Anise (Illicium verun)
Star anise is used in the East to relieve colic and rheumatism
and to flavor cough medicines.
It warms the abdomen, dispels gas, regulates
energy, treats belching, vomiting, abdominal pains and
of Bethlehem (Hippobroma
The leaves have been used as a counter-irritant
Star Thistle (Centaurea
calcitrapa) Star thistle has had medicinal
use, most notably for reducing fevers. In the 19th
century, one botanist noted that Americans were employing
the plant for kidney complaints such as nephritis and
gravel. A modern European herbal lists the seeds as a
diuretic and suggests a palatable prescription made by
crushing them in white wine. It also recommends an
infusion of the leaves and flowers for fevers and general
debility. For a more potent remedy, the herbal mentions
brewing the leaves with angelica, wormwood, or white
willow bark. The powdered root is said to be a cure for
fistula and gravel.
has been used by the native South Americans to treat
diabetes, because of its ability to lower the blood
sugar level. They also use it to treat high blood
Paraguayan Matto Grosso Indian tribes use stevia
as an oral contraceptive.
The women drink a daily decoction in water of
powdered leaves and stems to achieve this purpose.
This activity of the plant remains a
The suggestion is that the antifertility effect
is due to certain flavonoids and their monoglycosides,
and not to stevioside.
Stink Currant (Ribes bracteosum): The fruits
can be eaten in quantity as a laxative. An infusion of
the stems has been given to children as a treatment for
Clover (Cleome serrulata) A poultice
made of the crushed leaves has been used to reduce
The flowers have been boiled with rusty iron and
the liquid drunk as a treatment for anemia. An infusion
of the plant is drunk in the treatment of fevers and
A poultice made from the pounded, soaked leaves
has been applied to sore eyes.
Stinking Toe (Senna
grandis): Dark juice of pod is taken as a tonic
drink for anemia, tiredness, malaise—remove seeds from
pods, strain juice and mix with 50% water or milk; drink
1 cup daily. Juice of fresh leaves is applied to
ringworm, fungus, or other skin problems. For kidney
complaints, water retention, backache, or biliousness,
boil 3 small branches with leaves in 3 cups water for 10
minutes and drink in sips all day in place of water.
One half cup of fresh leaves infused in 3 cups water and
consumed will serve as a diuretic and eliminate toxins
from the body tissue. An infusion of young leaves is
used for diabetes. For a mild laxative and blood tonic,
boil ½ cup fresh leaves in 1 cup water for 2 minutes and
Stone Orchid, Japanese (Dendrobium
It is used as anhydrotic for
night-sweats, as an anodyne and sedative in arthritis,
and as a peptic tonic for convalescents and weak
patients. Also used to treats impotence.
Stone Root (Collinsonia Canadensis) : Usually combined
with other herbs, the root of stone root is used to
strengthen weak veins, such as varicose veins by
reducing back pressure in the veins. .
It also tones and improves the functioning of
mucous membranes throughout the body, but particularly
in the pelvic region.
It is suggested for use when there is
insufficient circulation in the pelvic region and a
sense of “heaviness.”
It has a tonic action upon the bowels and is
nearly specific for hemorrhoids caused by constipation
with vascular blockage.
It is known to have a near specific affinity for
problems of the rectum and anus.
It is given for rectal pains and inflammation;
and for dysentery with accompanying rectal problems.
It treats anal fistulae, rectal ulcers and
pockets and nervous conditions affecting the rectum. Diuretic and tonic, stone root is employed in the treatment
of kidney stones. It
is also prescribed to counteract fluid retention.
A syrup was once advised for inflammation or
constriction of the throat., especially in cases of
laryngitis and chronic coughs and also for middle ear
especially when accompanied by constipation, is often
remedied by stone root.
A sedative, it relieves muscle spasms, especially
those in the digestive tract.
The root has occasionally been used as a remedy
for headaches caused by digestive sluggishness.
An external poultice of the fresh leaves or roots
is placed on wounds, sores, bruises, inflammation as
well as for the relief of poison oak and ivy dermatitis.
) Storax balsam has an irritant expectorant
effect on the respiratory tract and it is an ingredient
of Friar’s Balsam, an expectorant mixture that is
inhaled to stimulate a productive cough.
Levant storax, in the form of balsam, is also
applied externally to encourage the healing of skin
diseases and problems such as scabies, wounds and
ulcers. Mixed with witch hazel and rosewater, it makes an astringent
face lotion. In
China, storax balsam is used to clear mucus congestion
and to relieve pain and constriction in the chest.
The resin has been used to loosen a cough, treat
diphtheria and gonorrhea, flavor tobacco, candy and
chewing gum and as an ingredient of perfumes.
It is also a powerful stimulant of peculiar value
for its aphrodisiac qualities.
Bill (Erodium cicutarium) A
mild uterine hemostatic and a diuretic for water
retention, rheumatism, or gout.
Not a potent plant, a fair amount is needed for
effect depending on the use.
The entire plant may be put into a warm-water
bath for a person suffering the pains of rheumatism.
The leaves have been made into a hot tea used to
increase urine flow, to treat uterine hemorrhage and
water retention, and to increase perspiration.
Storksbill is a traditional afterbirth remedy in
northern Mexico and New Mexico, said to reliably
decrease bleeding and help prevent infection.
A tablespoon of the root and leaves are brewed
into tea and drunk three or four times a day. A tablespoon of the plant with an equal part of comfrey
leaves or borage steeped in a pint of water and used for
douching is considered a reliable treatment for
cervicitis, especially if it has been preceded by
vaginal inflammation and no uterine infection is
joint inflammations a fair amount of the tea is consumed
and the wet leaves used for a poultice for several days,
the swellings subsiding by the third or fourth day. Little adverse effect on the kidneys when used as a diuretic
and is an older herbal treatment in China for hematuria,
particularly from kidney trauma.
One of the many reliable herbs for heavy, painful
root and leaves have been eaten by nursing mothers to
increase the flow of milk. Externally, the plant has
been used as a wash on animal bites, skin infections
etc. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to
sores and rashes. An infusion has been used in the
treatment of typhoid fever. The seeds contain vitamin K,
a poultice of them is applied to gouty tophus.
Tree (Arbutus unedo
) Strawberry tree is valued as an
astringent and antiseptic herb.
The antiseptic action of the leaves within the
urinary tract makes it a useful remedy for treating
cystitis and urethritis.
Its astringent effect has been put to use in the
treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.
Like many other astringent plants, it makes a
gargle that is helpful for sore and irritated throats.
One of the strongest cardiac tonics known.
Internally usually by injection, used for heart
failure, angina, hypertension, pulmonary edema, and
hypotension during anesthesia and surgery.
It may be prescribed like foxglove, but the
active constituents are less well absorbed.
Ouabain has been used in the treatment of cardiac
arrest since it acts very rapidly when given by
gratus has been used in Nigeria to treat snake bite.
It has been shown to delay blood clotting.
The seeds are used.
properties of Nux Vomica are substantially those of the
alkaloid Strychnine. The powdered seeds are employed in
atonic dyspepsia. The tincture of Nux Vomica is often
used in mixtures - for its stimulant action on the
gastro-intestinal tract. In the mouth it acts as a
bitter, increasing appetite; it stimulates peristalsis,
in chronic constipation due to atony of the bowel it is
often combined with cascara and other laxatives with
good effects. Strychnine, the chief alkaloid constituent
of the seeds, also acts as a bitter, increasing the flow
of gastric juice; it is rapidly absorbed as it reaches
the intestines, after which it exerts its characteristic
effects upon the central nervous system, the movements
of respiration are deepened and quickened and the heart
slowed through excitation of the vagal center. The
senses of smell, touch, hearing and vision are rendered
more acute, it improves the pulse and raises blood
pressure and is of great value as a tonic to the
circulatory system in cardiac failure. Strychnine is
excreted very slowly and its action is cumulative in any
but small doses; it is much used as a gastric tonic in
dyspepsia. The most direct symptom caused by strychnine
is violent convulsions due to a simultaneous stimulation
of the motor or sensory ganglia of the spinal cord;
during the convulsion there is great rise in blood
pressure; in some types of chronic lead poisoning it is
of great value. In cases of surgical shock and cardiac
failure large doses are given up to 1/10 grain by
hypodermic injection; also used as an antidote in
poisoning by chloral or chloroform. Brucine closely
resembles strychnine in its action, but is slightly less
poisonous, it paralyses the peripheral motor nerves. It
is said that the convulsive action characteristic of
strychnine is absent in brucine almost entirely. It is
used in pruritis and as a local anodyne in inflammations
of the external ear.
Internally, in minute amounts, for nervous
exhaustion, debility, and poor appetite (especially in
the elderly and children).
It is also used as a central nervous system
stimulant in chloroform or chloral poisoning, surgical
shock, and cardiac arrest.
) It increases energy, strengthens
the immune system, fortified hormones (especially
estrogen), reduces tumors and cancers, regulates blood
is considered a near panacea in Brazil, which it is
called “Brazilian ginseng.”
In herbal medicine in Ecuador today, Suma is
considered a tonic for the cardiovascular system, the
central nervous system, the reproductive system, and the
digestive system and is used to treat hormonal
disorders, sexual dysfunction and sterility,
arteriosclerosis, diabetes, circulatory and digestive
disorders, rheumatism, and bronchitis. In European
herbal medicine Suma is used as to restore nerve and
glandular functions, to balance the endocrine system, to
strengthen the immune system, for infertility,
menopausal and menstrual symptoms, to minimize the
side-effect of birth control medications, for high
cholesterol, to neutralize toxins and as a general
restorative tonic after illness. In North and South
American herbal medicine Suma root is used as an
adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many
systems of the body, as an immunostimulant, and is used
to treat exhaustion resulting from Epstein-Barr disease
and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypoglycemia, impotency,
arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors,
mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause and
hormonal disorders and many types of stress. Suma has
also been called "The Russian Secret" because
it is taken by Russian Olympic athletes to increase
muscle-building and endurance without the side effects
associated with steroids. This action is attributed to
the anabolic agent, beta-ecdysterone as well as three
novel ecdysteroid glycosides which are found in high
amounts in Suma. Suma is such a rich source of beta-ecdysterone,
that it is the subject of a Japanese patent for the
extraction methods employed to obtain it from this root.
Two other plant hormones found in Suma, sitosterol and
stigmasterol, are believed to encourage estrogen
production and may account for it's use for menopausal
Sumac (Rhus coriaria)
the Middle East, a sour drink is made from the fruit to
relieve stomach upsets.
copallina): A decoction of the root has been
used in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the
roots has been used in the treatment of VD. A poultice
of the root has been applied to sores and skin
eruptions. A tea made from the bark has been drunk to
stimulate milk flow in nursing mothers. A decoction of
the bark has been used as a wash for blisters and
sunburn blisters. An infusion of the leaves has been
used to cleanse and purify skin eruptions. The berries
were chewed in the treatment of bed-wetting and mouth
(Rhus glabra) 19th
century American physicians frequently prescribed
preparations made from Sumac.
The berries have refrigerant and diuretic
properties, and are used in bowel complaints and febrile
drug made from the dried ripe fruit is a component of
bark also has healing properties.
A dose of 1 teaspoonful of the bark decocted in
boiling water and taken a mouthful at a time relieves
The bark may be boiled in milk and used as a
healing wash for minor burns in the absence of more
potent remedies. The
bark of the roots was simmered with lard and the
resulting salve was used to heal burns without leaving
infusions of Sumac were rubbed on the limbs to relieve
rheumatism and aching muscles, and small balls of the
gummy sap inserted into tooth cavities relieved the pain
of toothache. Decoctions
in large doses are said to be cathartic in effect. The seeds are used as a styptic. All parts of the plant yield tannin which is medicinally
valuable and dyes which are used in the leather
wood is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge and for eye
ailments. Recent research shows that the Cotinus
coggygria syrup has the effect of protecting the liver
from chemical damages, reducing tension of the
choledochal sphincter, increasing the bile flow and
raising the body immunity. The anti-hepatitis effect may
be carried out through decreasing transaminase,
normalizing functioning of the gallbladder, reducing
icterus and enhancing the immunity of the body.
(Ferula sumbul (syn Ferula suaveolens)
very effective nerve stimulant and tonic.
The medicinal action resembles that of valerian (Valeriana
officinalis) and the plant is used in the treatment of
various hysterical conditions.
It is also believed to have a specific action on
the pelvic organs and is used in treating dysmenorrhea
and a wide range of other feminine disorders. The root
is also a stimulant to mucous membranes and is used in
treating chronic dysenteries, diarrhea, bronchitis and
rotundifolia) The sundew has a long
history of herbal use, having been popular for its
fortifying and aphrodisiac effects. Sundew may be used
with great benefit in bronchitis and whooping cough.
The presence of plumbagin helps to explain this,
as it has been shown to be active against streptoccous,
staphylococcus and pneumococcus bacteria.
Sundew will also help with the infections in
other parts of the respiratory tract.
The plant is used with advantage in the treatment
of whooping cough, exerting a peculiar action on the
respiratory organs. It is also used in the treatment of
incipient phthisis and chronic bronchitis. Its relaxing
effect upon involuntary muscles helps in the relief of
addition to the pulmonary conditions it has a long
history in the treatment of stomach ulcers.
Commonly mixed with thyme in a syrup, sundew is a
helpful remedy for coughs in children. The herb is also
prescribed for gastric problems.
It has pigments that are active against a wide
range of pathogens.
Externally, the fresh juice is directly applied
to warts and corns to stimulate their removal.
folk healers chop the head of a sunflower, soak the
pieces in vodka and soap chips in a sunny place for nine
days, and then rub the mixture on the joints of
rheumatic patients as a potent liniment.
In medical clinics, Russian doctors prepare
decoctions of the seeds for jaundice, malaria, heart
conditions, diarrhea, and other ailments.
The seeds, browned in the oven, and made into an
infusion, make a widely used remedy for whooping cough.
Woodland (Helianthus strumosus
) The sunflower has many common uses.
Indians applied the crushed root to bruises.
The seeds have been used to increase urine flow
and to clear phlegm.
A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid
of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the
roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems.
Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata
) The tea
made from the roots is said to remove tapeworms from the
body in one hour. It has also been used in the treatment
of asthma, rheumatism, syphilis, worms and as a heart
infusion of the roots is used as a strengthening bath
for children and adults. It
is a cathartic and is beneficial in the treatment of
arthritis and stomach disorders.
Can also be used as an emetic.
acuminata) The Native
American Houma drank the root and/or
bark decoction as a health-giving
Annie (Artemisia annua
) Qing Ho, better known in the West as sweet
wormwood, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. An
aromatic anti-bacterial plant, recent research has shown
that it destroys malarial parasites, lowers fevers and
checks bleeding. Also
used for heat stroke. Used as an infusion.
Externally the leaves are poulticed for nose
bleeds, bleeding rashes, and sores.
Research in Thailand and the US shows that A.
annua, in the preparation Artesunate, is an
effective antimalarial against drug-resistant strains of
the disease. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90%
effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a
trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease.
The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence,
indigestion and night sweats.
summer colds, sweatless fevers, malaria, nocturnal
sweats, heat excess.
An excellent refrigerant remedy in ailments of
lenta) The cambium (the layer
directly under the bark) is eaten in the spring, cut
into strips like vermicelli.
The bark, in the form of an infusion is used as a
general stimulant and to promote sweating.
As a decoction or syrup, it is used as a tonic
for dysentery and is said to be useful in genito-urinary
flavor of wintergreen and birch bark, in the form of a
tea, was popular with Native Americans and European
juice of the leaves once made a gargle for mouth
sores. Throughout the centuries, the sap has been
used in making medicinal wine and were made into a
diuretic tea. Also an ingredient in skin
In European herbal medicine, cherry stems have long been
used for their diuretic and astringent properties.
They have been prescribed for cystitis,
nephritis, urinary retention, and for arthritic
problems, notably gout.
Cherries can be a helpful part of an overall
regimen treating arthritic problems.
The high sugar content makes them mildly
laxative. An aromatic resin can be obtained by making
small incisions in the trunk. This has been used as an
inhalant in the treatment of persistent coughs.
Cicely (Myrrhis odorata)
says, Sweet Cicely was described by old herbalists as
'so harmless, you cannot use it amiss'.
It was recommended as a gentle stimulant for
digestive upsets and useful for coughs and consumption
and was said to be particularly good as a tonic for
girls between 15 and 18.
A decoction of the antiseptic roots was used for
snake and dog bites and an ointment was used to ease
gout and soothe wounds and ulcers. The roots have
been used as a cough remedy and as a diuretic. The
seeds and leaves possess mild expectorant, carminative,
stomachic and diuretic qualities. The essential
oil contains anethole. Sweet cicely is employed in
folk medicine in some parts of the world, but its uses
have not been tested scientifically. It does seem
to increase appetite and decrease flatulence, and we
know the roots are antiseptic. All parts of the plant
were used in medicine and the roots were boiled until
tender and given to the elderly to eat, it was believed
to strengthen the digestion.
Grass (Hierochloe odorata) A tea made
from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers,
coughs, sore throats, chafing and venereal infections.
It is also used to stop vaginal bleeding and to expel
afterbirth. The stems can be soaked in water and used to
treat windburn and chapping and as an eyewash. Smoke
from the burning leaves has been inhaled in the
treatment of colds.
Sumach (Rhus aromatica
) Sweet Sumach is a useful
astringent that is especially indicated in the treatment
of urinary incontinence for both the young and old
may safely be used wherever an astringent is called for,
such as in diarrhea or hemorrhage. It is a strong diuretic and used to clear up vaginal
leaves were used in the treatment of colds, stomach
aches and bleeding. An infusion of the root bark can be used in the treatment of
diarrhea, dysentery. It is used as a gargle for sore
throats. Its use is contraindicated if inflammation is
present. The fruits have been chewed in the treatment of
stomach aches, toothaches and gripe and used as a gargle
to treat mouth and throat complaints. They help reduce
fevers and may be of help in treating late-onset
diabetes by reducing blood sugar..
Rocket (Eruca sativa (E vesicaria var sativa)
) The principal recorded medicinal use of
rocket is as a form of mild analgesic.
Tea Vine (Gynostemma
pentaphyllum): Jiaogulan has such a long list of
rejuvenating properties that in China they call it the
‘immortality’ herb. It is in a class of herbs called
‘adaptogens’ that help the body without causing any harm
or imbalance. Jiaogulan is especially helpful in
building the body’s natural resistance to stress. The
amazing effect jiaogulan has on cardio-vascular health
has earned it the title of “the herbal heart
defender”. The plant was first described in traditional
Chinese medicine during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) as
a folk remedy for hepatitis, bronchitis and peptic
ulcers. A better understanding of its properties was
gained in the 1980s, as part of a Japanese research
program into herbs with possible anticancer effects. It
was rated among the ten most important tonic herbs at
the 1991 International Conference on Traditional
Medicine, in Beijing, China. This tonic herb improves
the circulation, stimulates liver function, strengthens
the immune and nervous system, and reduces blood sugar
and cholesterol levels. It also has sedative effects,
relaxing spasms and lowering blood pressure.
Internally it is used for nervous tension and
exhaustion, peptic ulcer, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
According to medical understanding, the action that
Jiaogulan has on the body is two-fold. One, it directly
nourishes the visceral functions by increasing blood
supply to various internal organs, through enhanced
cardiac output. And two, it affects the neuro-endocrine
regulation to normalize the visceral functions that are
adversely affected by various stressors (for example,
Jiaogulan’s adaptogenic effect stabilizes and normalizes
the over-irritated brain and sympathetic nerves).
Vernal Grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum
tincture made from this grass with spirit of wine is an
effective and immediate cure for hay fever and
as a nasal lotion.
Externally used for painful joints, chilblains,
nervous exhaustion, and insomnia. Also a good scalp cleanser and hair tonic
Galium odoratum (Asperula odorata): One
reason that woodruff leaves were added to wines was
because they aid the digestion and are helpful in
treating liver obstructions and hepatitis.
At one time, woodruff leaves made a popular
diuretic and remedy to reduce bladder stones.
Woodruff reduces inflammation and the
asperuloside it contains has been suggested as a
starting point for manufacturing prostaglandin drugs.
The herb also provides coumarin, used to produce
Considered a light sedative, it comes in handy
for treating nervous tension, especially in the elderly
and children. Woodruff was much used as a medicine in
the Middle Ages.
The fresh leaves, bruised and applied to cuts and
wounds, were said to have a healing effect, and formerly
a strong decoction of the fresh herb was used as a
cordial and stomachic.
Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana (M glauca)
Indians drank a warm infusion of the bark, cones
and seeds for rheumatism.
In colonial times, the root bark was used in
place of quinine bark to treat malaria.
A drink made of an infusion of bark and brandy
was used to treat lung and chest diseases, dysentery,
and fever. A
tea made of young branches boiled in water was a
treatment for colds.
The bark and fruit are aromatic and have been
used as a tonic. A
tincture of the fresh leaves has been used to treat
rheumatism and gout, and as a laxative. A tea made from
the bark is taken internally in the treatment of colds,
bronchial diseases, upper respiratory tract infections,
rheumatism and gout. The bark has been chewed by people
trying to break the tobacco habit. A tea made from the
fruit is a tonic, used in the treatment of general
debility and was formerly esteemed in the treatment of
stomach ailments. The leaves or bark have been placed in
cupped hands over the nose and inhaled as a mild
In Appalachia, water- or whiskey-soaked twigs are
chewed to clean the teeth, Native Americans used the
resin to treat fevers and wounds.
The gum was used by early settlers to treat
herpes and skin inflammations.
It has also been applied to the cheek to ease
bark and leaves, boiled in milk or water, have been used
to treat diarrhea and dysentery.
The boiled leaves have been applied to cuts and
used for treating sore feet.
The aromatic drug resin storax, an expectorant
and a weak antiseptic used for treating scabies, comes
from this tree. It forms in cavities of the bark and
also exudes naturally. It is harvested in autumn.
Production can be stimulated by beating the trunk in the
spring. The resin has a wide range of uses including
medicinal, incense, perfumery, soap and as an adhesive.
It is also chewed and used as a tooth cleaner and to
sweeten the breath. It is also chewed in the treatment of sore throats, coughs,
asthma, cystitis, dysentery etc.
Externally, it is applied to sores, wounds,
piles, ringworm, scabies etc.
The resin is an ingredient of 'Friar's Balsam', a
commercial preparation based on Styrax benzoin that is
used to treat colds and skin problems. The
mildly astringent inner bark is used in the treatment of
diarrhea and childhood cholera.
The seeds of which can be taken internally in
minute doses, providing a valuable Ayurvedic remedy
against depression. They have also been taken to
treat eye disorders and to stimulate breast-milk
central Asia, harmala root is a popular medicinal
remedy, used in the treatment of rheumatism and nervous
piperitum (Xanthoxylum piperitum)) The
berries of Zanthoxylum
species are carminative and anti-spasmodic.
The ground bark of a related species (Z
americanum) is an old-fashioned remedy for
bark and berries are stimulants and they are used in
traditional medicines and herbal cures to purify the
blood, promote digestion and as an anti-rheumatic.
Nan Xing (Arisaema consanguineum
Chinese herbal medicine, tian nan xing is thought
to encourage the coughing up of phlegm. It is also used
for tumors, cervical cancer, epilepsy, tetanus and
complaints involving convulsions and spasmodic
twitching. The dried root is used internally in the
treatment of coughs with profuse phlegm, tumors,
cervical cancer, epilepsy, tetanus and complaints
involving muscular spasms. When prescribed internally it
is always combined with fresh ginger root. The fresh
rhizome is only ever used externally, for ulcers and
other skin conditions. In traditional Chinese medicine three different preparations
are made from the corms: tian non xing
(sun-dried); shi nan xing (cooked with raw
ginger); and dan nan xing (processed with ox
China the term nan xing refers to the corms of
indica (T. officinalis))
Tamarind is a wholesale and cleansing fruit that
improves digestion, relieves gas, soothes sore throats
and acts mildly laxative because of its acids and
potassium bitartrate content.
In Ayurvedic medicine, it is given to improve the
appetite and to strengthen the stomach. It is also used to relieve constipation, however, mixed with
cumin and sugar tamarind is also prescribed as a
treatment for dysentery.
In the West Indies it is used for urinary
southern India, tamarind soup is taken to treat colds
and other ailments that cause the production of
excessive mucus. In
Chinese medicine, tamarind is considered a cooling herb,
appropriate for treating the condition known as
Ranga mentions the use of tamarind for enhancing
sexual enjoyment by the female.
Its antiseptic properties are well recognized in
the East, where a tamarind preparation is used as an
eyewash and ulcer treatment.
A tamarind paste is said to relieve rheumatism.
It is used in many regions of Africa in similar
Nigeria and the Ivory Coast it is included in leprosy
the U.K. an extract is utilized as a binding agent for
Latin America, tamarind juice is the chaser of choice
when you’re drinking alcoholic beverages.
That’s because it has a reputation for
A study showed that extracts of tamarind
prevented liver damage in experimental animals that were
given liver-damaging chemicals. The fruit is also given for loss of appetite and
vomiting in pregnancy.
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
are used. In
the past tansy was a great cure-all, and was often used
in gypsy medicine. It was said that its juice aided conception.
The constituent thujone kills intestinal
roundworms and threadworms, scabies and heals other
infected skin conditions.
Very small doses have been used to treat epilepsy
and to encourage menstruation. It is a strong remedy to promote delayed or stopped
oil is externally applied to treat injuries, bruises and
rheumatic complaints. In Scotland, an infusion of the
dried flowers and seeds (1/2 to 1 teaspoonful, two or
three times a day) is given for gout. The roots when
preserved with honey or sugar, have also been reputed to
be of special service against gout, if eaten fasting
every day for a certain time.
From 1 to 4 drops of the essential oil may be
safely given in cases of epilepsy, but excessive doses
have produced seizures.
Tansy has been used externally with benefit for
some eruptive diseases of the skin, and the green
leaves, pounded and applied, will relieve sprains and
allay the swelling.
A hot infusion, as a fomentation to sprained and
rheumatic parts, will give relief.
Certain populations of tansy contain some of the
same anti-migraine compounds as feverfew (parthenolide).
Chemical analysis is necessary to determine its
hirsuta): It is rarely used in medicine, but was
given in a decoction made of milk, to drive out the
small-pox and measles. Culpeper said: ‘Tares are rarely
used in medicines, though the vulgar boil them in milk,
and give the decoction to drive out the small-pox and
Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) Pliny thought tarragon prevented fatigue and during
the Middle Ages the faithful put it in their shoes
before setting out on pilgrimages.
Leaves have been used to stimulate appetite
(especially when it has been lost because of illness),
settle an upset stomach, promote the menses and as a
diuretic. Chewed to numb a toothache and before eating
bitter medicine Taking
the tea before going to bed could help with insomnia.
In warmer climes it is used to treat threadworms
Aster (Aster tataricus
species has been used for at least 2,000 years in
traditional Chinese medicine. It has an antibacterial
action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, E.
coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, Pseudomonas and
Vibrio proteus. The root is taken internally in the
treatment of chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis and is
often used raw with honey in order to increase the
expectorant effect. The plant has shown anticancer
activity and is a folk cure for cancer.
(Camellia sinensis (Thea sinensis)
tea plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where
it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs.
Modern research has shown that there are many health
benefits to drinking tea, including its ability to
protect the drinker from certain heart diseases. It has
also been shown that drinking tea can protect the teeth
from decay, because of the fluoride naturally occurring
in the tea. The leaves exert a decided influence over
the nervous system, giving a feeling of comfort and
exhilaration, but also producing an unnatural
wakefulness when taken in large doses. They are used
internally in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery,
hepatitis and gastroenteritis. Excessive use can lead to
dizziness, constipation, constipation, indigestion,
palpitations and insomnia. Externally, they are used as
a poultice or wash to treat cuts, burns, bruises, insect
bites, ophthalmia, swellings etc. Only the very young
leaves and leaf buds are used, these can be harvested
throughout the growing season from plants over three
years old and are dried for later use.
In Ayurveda, tea is considered astringent,
sweat-inducing, and a nerve tonic, and is used for eye
problems, hemorrhoids, tiredness, and fever. Tea leaves may be used externally to soothe insect bites and
in China suggests that green tea can help hepatitis.
Research in Japan in 1990 showed that tea
contains constituents that inhibit tooth decay.
Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Tea
tree is a traditional Aboriginal remedy.
The leaves are crushed, and either inhaled or
used in infusions for coughs, colds, and skin
Tea tree oil or cream can be applied to skin
infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm, as
well as to corns, warts, acne and boils, infected burns,
scrapes, wounds, insect bites and stings and other skin
It very efficacious in the treatment of urinary
It’s anti-fungal action works well on athlete's
foot, ringworm, warts, corns, abscesses. Use in cream or
5% vegetable oil, or applied undiluted. Also effective
and soothing on cold sores. Applied diluted in vegetable
oil at 5%.
Use gargle for mouth ulcers, toothache, and bad
Tea tree is also used for aphthous stomatitis,
candidiasis (daily douche with 1 quart of water and 0.4%
concentration of the oil); Other uses are for Acne,
Bromhidrosis; Onychomycosis, in conjunction with
debridement; Pharyngitis; Sinusitis; Tinea pedis
(massaged into the feet daily); Trichomonas vaginalis
root is not much used medicinally today, and its
therapeutic applications are disputed. It is thought to have diuretic, sweat-inducing, and
stomach-soothing properties, cleansing the system and
Due to its apparent astringency, teasel is
considered helpful in diarrhea.
It is also thought to increase appetite, to tone
the stomach, and to act on the liver, helping with
jaundice and gallbladder problems.
An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash
to treat acne. The plant has a folk history of use in
the treatment of cancer, an ointment made from the roots
is used to treat warts, wens and whitlows. There is no
clear picture of teasel’s actions, but its closeness
to the thistle family means it might well reward careful
parviflorus syn Rubus nutkanus) An infusion of the
leaves is used internally in the treatment of stomach
complaints, diarrhea and dysentery, anemia, the spitting
up of blood and to treat vomiting. An infusion has been
taken by women when their periods are unusually long. A
poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used to
treat wounds and burns. The leaves have been crushed and
rubbed over the skin to treat pimples and blackheads. A
poultice of the leaf ashes, mixed with oil, has been used
to treat swellings. An infusion of the root has been used
by thin people to help them gain weight. An infusion has
also been used in the treatment of stomach disorders,
diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the roots has been
taken in the treatment of pimples and blackheads.
Thistle, Creeping (Cirsium
arvense): The root has been chewed as a remedy
for toothache. A decoction of the roots has been used to
treat worms in children. The roots are slightly
demulcent, with stimulating and mildly astringing
properties. An ounce simmered in a pint of milk is a
family remedy for low forms of diarrhea and dysentery,
after the acute symptoms have subsided.. Two fluid
ounces of such a decoction may be taken every two or
three hours. An infusion is said to expedite labor very
effectually, when the nervous system has become
fatigued-also anticipating after-pains and flooding. A
syrup of this root has been used in long-standing
coughs, where the expectoration was free and the lungs
feeble. The leaves made into a decoction and used
somewhat freely, are said to increase the flow of milk,
and gently to overcome hepatic obstructions; and the
juice makes a rather soothing wash (or ointment) for
irritable sores, tender eyes, and piles. The plant
contains a volatile alkaloid and a glycoside called
cnicin, which has emetic and emmenagogue properties.
(Armeria maritime (syn Armeria elongata, Armeria
vulgaria, Statice armeria, Statice maritima)
) An infusion of fresh or dried flowers was
formerly used as an antiseptic and to treat nervous
disorders but now thought to cause allergic reactions
such as dermatitis.
(Thuja occidentalis) Thuja has an
established antiviral activity. It is most often used to
treat warts and polyps, being prescribed both internally
and externally for these conditions. It is also
used as part of a regime for treating
cancer—especially cancer of the uterus.
Thuja’s active principle, a volatile oil called
thujone, acts on the muscles of the uterus and Native
Americans drank a tea of the inner bark to promote
menstruation. Thuja also tones the bronchial passages and herbalists
may prescribe it for bronchitis and catarrh because it
combines expectoration with a systemic stimulation,
which is beneficial if there is also heart weakness.
Where urinary incontinence occurs due to loss of muscle
tone, thuja may be used. It is used to treat acute cystitis and bed-wetting in
children. It has a role in the treatment of psoriasis
and rheumatism as a counter-irritant, improving local
blood supply and easing pain and stiffness. A
quantity of leaves boiled in lard makes a salve which
serves as a local application. It cools the blood,
stops bleeding and may be used for heated blood
syndrome, or with warm herbs for cold and stagnant blood
circulation. Topically it can be applied in powder
form to promote the healing of burns. The young
twigs of thuja may be made into an infusion and taken as
a tea for bronchial catarrh and for dry irritable
coughs. It also is beneficial for heart weakness.
Thuja twig tea may be used to treat delayed
main medicinal role is in treating coughs (including
whooping cough) and clearing congestion.
It makes an excellent gargle or mouthwash for
sore throats and infected gums.
Many pharmaceutical gargles, cough drops,
mouthwashes, and vapor rubs contain thyme’s
constituent thymol, which destroys bacteria, some
fungus, and the shingles virus (herpes zoster).
Participants in a study who rinse twice daily
with Listerine™, containing thymol (with eucalyptol
and menthol), found they developed 34% less gum
inflammation and new plaque formation.
Thyme improves digestion, relaxing smooth muscels.
It reduces the prostaglandins responsible for
many menstrual cramps.
Thyme also helps destroy intestinal parasites
(especially hookworms and roundworms).
Used externally for infected wounds.
Soothing sedative action on nerves. Expectorant,
reduces spasms. Induces
perspiration to break fever and aid in beginning of
lungs. Good for headache. Used for uterine problems.
Will help bring on delayed or suppressed
menstruation. Eases difficult or painful menstruation.
Good for stomach weakness and cramps,
Thymes, Azores (Thymus
caespititius): The leaves and especially the
essential oil contained in them are strongly antiseptic
deodorant and disinfectant. The plant can be used fresh
at any time of the year or it can be harvested as it
comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or
dried for later use.
Tirphal (Zanthoxylum rhetsa): a
decoction of tirphal is a good cure for dysentery. The
spice is known for its antiflatulent properties.
Anti-rheumatic and improves the blood flow to painful
and stiff joints, so promoting the supply of oxygen and
nutrients while removing waste products. Used for
arthritis, detoxifying, fibrosis, poor circulation,
rheumatism, thread veins, ulcers, varicose veins. The
essential oil is for external use only and should
always be diluted with a suitable carrier oil before
applying to the skin. Non-toxic and non-irritant with
some sensitization in some individuals.
Herb (Franseria tenuifolia (syn Ambrosia tenuifolia)
ground-up root has been placed in tooth cavities to
A tea made of the leaves—either green or dried
and ground—has been used for stomach distress.
sessile) A poultice of the bruised leaves
and crushed roots has been applied as a treatment for
boils. A decoction of the plant has been used to treat
any kind of sickness. American Indians used this plant as
an effective eye medicine. They either squeezed the juice
directly onto their eyes or soaked the root and made an
eye wash out of it. Indians also used the roots to ease
the pain of childbirth.
has a long history of use by medical herbalists as a
relaxant, though since it is a highly additive drug it
is seldom employed internally or externally at present.
The leaves are used externally in the treatment of
rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings.
The plant should be used with great caution, when taken
internally it is an addictive narcotic. The active
ingredients can also be absorbed through the skin. Wet
tobacco leaves can be applied to stings in order to
relieve the pain. They are also a certain cure for
painful piles. A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried leaves. It is
used in the treatment of nausea and travel sickness.
alata): Occasionally used as stimulant for
Tolu Balsam (Myroxylon
balsamum var. balsamum)
The balsam works primarily on the respiratory mucous membranes and is
good for chronic catarrh and non-inflammatory chest
complaints, laryngitis and croup.
It is used as a flavor and mild expectorant in
cough syrups and lozenges.
As an ingredient in compound benzoin tincture and
similar formulations, it is helpful in the treatment of
cracked nipples, lips, cuts, bedsores, etc.
The leaves and fruits of M. pereirae have
been used by indigenous tribes of Mexico and Central
America and the bitter resin employed for asthma,
catarrh, rheumatism, and external wounds and the Choco
Indian use the powdered bark as an underarm deodorant.
The sap of M. balsamum has had indigenous uses for
colds, and lung ailments, and the Amazon rainforest
tribes have employed it for abscesses, asthma,
bronchitis, catarrh, headache, rheumatism, sores,
sprains, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, and wounds.
The indigenous use of Balsam of Peru led to its export
to Europe in the 17 century where it was first
documented in the German pharmacopeia and to its use as
a bactericide, fungicide and parasiticide in cases of
scabies, ringworm, pediculosis, granulations,
superficial ulcerations, wounds, bed sores, diaper rash
and chilblains. The vapor from the balsam dissolved in
ether when inhaled, is beneficial in chronic catarrh and
other noninflammatory chest complaints. The best form is
that of an emulsion, made by titurating the balsam with
mucilage and loaf sugar, and adding water.
Balsam of Tolu was included in the US
Pharmacopeia in 1820 as well and used similarly in
addition to an antitussive and respiratory used for
lozenges for coughs and sore throats, in cough syrups
and as a vapor inhalant for respiratory ailments with
documented antiseptic and expectorant properties.
Tonka Bean (Dipteryx odorata)
Coumarin is cardiac, tonic and narcotic and the
fluid extract is used in whooping cough, but large doses
cause paralysis of the heart.
Coumarin derivatives are used as anti-coagulants.
Also Carminative, Diaphoretic, Febrifuge, Stimulant,
by FDA as Class 3 herb (To be used only under the
supervision of an expert qualified in the appropriate
use of this substance).
Allowed in alcoholic beverages in Canada if
Tormentil (Potentilla erecta,
Potentilla tormentilla, Tormentilla erecta)
Internally used for diarrhea, enteritis,
Crohn’s disease, mucous colitis, ulcerative colitis,
gastritis, diverticulitis, peptic ulcer, and
inflammation of the colon.
Externally for hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge,
sore throat, mouth ulcers, cuts, sores, ulcers, burns,
sunburn, frostbite, and shingles.
Care is needed in topical application of strong
tannins, which can cause scarring.
Eclipta (Eclipta prostrata (syn E. alba)
) Trailing eclipta has remarkably similar
uses in Ayurveda and in Chinese herbal medicine. In both of these traditions, a decoction is used to
invigorate the liver, to prevent premature graying of
the hair, and to staunch bleeding, especially from the
the Chinese tradition, the herb is considered a yin
tonic; in Ayurvedic medicine it is thought to prevent
the Caribbean, the juice is sometimes taken for asthma
and bronchitis. Trailing
eclipta is also used there as a treatment for enlarged
glands, as well s for dizziness, vertigo and blurred
plant is employed externally for various skin problems
and as a wound healer.
Its chemistry may explain why Ayurveda has effectively
used medicines extracted from the this plant in the
treatment of jaundice.
The traditional belief in India is tat extracts
from the leaf can cure jaundice in a week and Indian
liver tonics always contain this herb.
Powder made from its roots are used against
enlargement of the liver and spleen.
A combination of the root powder and oil are
rubbed on the forehead for headaches, and the plant’s
pain-killing property is also recognized in the leaf
poultice used for scorpion stings, while a vapor bath
from its leaves is considered the time-tested cure for
It is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and
liver complaints, anemia, diphtheria etc, tinnitus, and
tooth loss. Externally, it is used as an oil to treat
hair loss and is also applied to athlete's foot, eczema,
dermatitis, wounds etc. The plant juice, mixed with an aromatic is used in the
treatment of catarrhal problems and jaundice.
The roots are emetic and purgative. They are
applied externally as an antiseptic to ulcers and
wounds, especially in cattle.
Joy (Clematis vitalba
) The leaves of traveler’s joy irritate
the skin, causing it to redden and blister, but they are
also strongly analgesic.
Applied to arthritic joints, they help relieve
pain and encourage the removal of waste products.
The plant is also diuretic, and has been taken
internally in the past to counter urinary problems.
However, the mature plant is now known to be
toxic and should not be ingested. The juice is reputed
to relieve headaches and migraine, if sniffed, but,
since this might destroy the mucus lining of the nose,
it is not advised. The boiled roots and stems are used
as a cure for the itch.
Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria
beneficial but under-used remedy, tree lungwort has
expectorant and tonic properties.
It aids in clearing congested mucus and helps to
In a decoction sweetened with honey, it is
appropriate for all conditions that are marked by
chronic respiratory mucus, especially coughs and
plant also treats asthma, pleurisy, and emphysema. Being astringent and demulcent, tree lungwort makes a useful
treatment for pulmonary ulcers as well as for a variety
of gastrointestinal problems.
It is a highly suitable herb for treating
ailments in children.
of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima syn A. glandulosa
) In Chinese herbal medicine, tree of
heaven is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery,
especially if there is blood in the stool.
The bark of the tree has been employed in Asian
and Australian medicine to counter tapeworms, excessive
vaginal discharge, gonorrhea, and malaria, and it has
also been given for asthma.
Tree of heaven has marked antispasmodic
properties and acts on the body as a cardiac depressant.
Chinese researchers gave tree of heaven to 82
patients with acute dysentery and cured 81.
Abdominal pain generally eased within 2 days. Quassinoids’ anticancer properties are being extensively
tincture of the root-bark has been used successfully in
the treatment of cardiac palpitations, asthma and
epilepsy. The fruit is used in the treatment of bloody
stools and dysentery.
Extracts from the plant are bactericidal.
Unicorn Root (Aletris
is an excellent remedy for sluggish digestion, which may
give rise to dyspepsia, flatulence and debility.
Its bitter nature will stimulate the digestive
process and so it often relieves anorexia. Its name colic root shows its value in the treatment of
digestive colic. Its
benefit in anxiety is based on an easing of the physical
aspects rather than on a direct relaxation of the
roots were boiled and the liquid was drunk for stomach
pains, as a tonic and sedative, and to increase urine
to an apparent estrogenic action, it has been employed
in this century chiefly for gynecological problems,
particularly during menopause.
It is also given for menstrual pain and irregular
menorrhagia it controls excessive flow, also engorged
conditions of the uterus and prolapse. Some authorities hold that it prevents threatened
poultice of the leaves has been used to treat sore
powdered leaves were once applied to sore backs.
The herb has also been employed in the treatment
of rheumatism. In
Appalachia, a mixture of roots and whiskey or brandy is
drunk as a treatment.
Tufted Vetch (Vicia
Plant has been used as a
Tulip (Tulipa edulis)
is made into a paste and topically applied for lymphatic
cancers, nodules, sores, ulcers, boils, and toxic
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) Turmeric
is a choleretic, an agent that stimulates the liver to
increase its production of bile.
This yellow brown or green fluid helps emulsify
fats in your duodenum and increases peristalsis, the
rhythmic contractions that move food through your
Turmeric is also a cholagogue, an agent that
stimulates the gallbladder and biliary duct to discharge
bile and increases your body’s excretion of
is useful for preventing and treating gallstones,
according to Commission E. In one study, mice with experimentally induced gallstones
were placed on special feed containing a modest amount
of curcumin, and within five weeks their gallstone
volume had dropped 45%.
After ten weeks they had 80% fewer gallstones
than untreated mice.
Choleretics and cholagogues are ordinarily
beneficial for healthy people but may pose some problems
for people with gallbladder or liver disease.
The fleshy tuber-like rhizome is used. It contains a
volatile oil and a water-soluble yellow pigment.
Its usefulness as a gallbladder remedy in the
narrower sense has been demonstrated.
The cholagogue and choleretic action is quite
powerful, and recent investigations have shown it to be
primarily due to the yellow pigment. The drug is
prescribed as a tea or infusion
The people of Java call this plant temoe
India and other Asian countries it has a long tradition
as a popular remedy for jaundice and liver disease.
There is no doubt that it can be effective, particularly
where bile flow needs to be thoroughly stimulated, but
it is doubtful if it achieves more than our native
drugs, and indeed unlikely, as it is not always
all it lacks spasmolytic and carminative properties.
The yellow pigment has a marked irritant effect
on the gastric mucosa, so that caution in indicated
where there is a tendency to hyperacidity or where there
is simple irritable stomach.
To treat minor wounds, wash them with soap and
water, then sprinkle on some powdered herb and bandage.
For an infusion to help aid digestion and
possibly help promote heart health, use 1 teaspoon of
turmeric powder per cup of warm milk. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
These infusions may also offer a measure of
protection to the liver and help ease the inflammation
of arthritis. Turmeric
tastes pleasantly aromatic, but in large amounts, it
becomes somewhat bitter.
Turmeric regulates the menses, relieves menstrual
pains and helps reduce uterine tumors.
Used externally or internally, turmeric promotes
healing in cases of trauma or injury.
In India, it’s a traditional ulcer treatment
and in animal studies it’s been shown to stimulate the
stomach lining to produce more protective mucus.
In Chinese medicine, turmeric invigorates the
blood and unblocks menstruation; for chest or abdominal
pain, amenorrhea, or dysmenorrhea due to blood stasis
caused by cold from deficiency.
Also used for pain and swelling due to trauma.
It promotes the movement of qi and alleviates
pain; for epigastric and abdominal pain due to stagnant
expels wind and promotes the movement of blood; for
wind-dampness painful obstruction with blood stasis,
especially in the shoulders.
Contraindicated in cases of blood deficiency
without stagnant qi or blood stasis.
Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has
an even stronger action than hydrocortisone, according
to research studies conducted between 1971 and 1991.
When applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight,
turmeric is strongly antibacterial. Curcumin is the
constituent responsible for this action.
Curcumin is also more strongly antioxidant than
vitamin E. In
lab and animal studies, it’s been shown to protect LDL
cholesterol from being “oxidized.
In India, in 1992, researchers gave ten healthy
volunteers a half a gram of turmeric a day for seven
an amount you might get in your diet if it includes
measured the level of oxidative by-products of blood
cholesterol. After a week, it fell 33%.
Blood cholesterol fell, too, by 12%.
Turmeric can also dilate blood vessels, so it may
lower blood pressure as it’s done in animal studies.
Research is also being done with HIV. Turmeric
may be a valuable preventive remedy for those at risk of
Turpentine Tree (Pistacia
terebinthus): The resin is taken internally in
the treatment of chronic bronchial infections,
streptococcal, urinary and renal infections, hemorrhage,
gallstones, tapeworm and rheumatism. Externally, it is
used to treat arthritis, gout, sciatica, scabies and
lice. It has also been used in the treatment of cancer.
It is a stimulant to kidney function and was sometimes
used in mild doses as a diuretic; in larger doses, it is
dangerous to the kidneys. It was also used as a
carminative, and was considered one of the most valuable
remedies in cases of flatulent colic. Terebinth was
also used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery,
typhoid fever, purpureal fever and bleeding,
helminthiasis, leucorrhea, and amenorrhea.Turpentine
baths, arranged in such a way that the vapors were not
inhaled by the patient, were given in cases of chronic
rheumatism. It was also administered in enema form to
treat intractable constipation. Applied externally as a
liniment or ointment, it has been used in rheumatic
ailments such as lumbago, arthritis, and neuralgias. It
was also used as a local application to treat and
promote the healing of burns and to heal parasitic skin
diseases. The gall-like bodies found on the Turpentine
Tree are the result of the stings of a hemipterous
insect. They have been used for treatment of asthma
attacks. For this purpose they are coarsely pulverized
and burned in the bowl of a pipe, or in a dish, using a
small funnel attached to a rubber tube for inhaling the
fumes. Preparations should be made beforehand, so that
the smoke may be inhaled at the commencement of the
attack. They appear to act by exciting free secretion,
probably through the turpentine with which they are
saturated. They are said to be useful in chronic
bronchitis. The use of Chian turpentine by Paracelsus as
a cancer remedy was revived in 1880 by Mr. Clay, of
England, who strongly recommended it for uterine cancer,
others, however, declared it wholly inefficient. It is
yellowish, greenish, or bluish-green, translucent,
viscid, and thick like molasses. Its odor is rather
pleasant and suggestive of fennel, and its taste less
acrid than most of the turpentines. It gradually hardens
by age, and is often adulterated with the cheaper
) Turpeth root is chiefly used in small to
moderate doses to clear the bowels.
Sometimes known as “Indian jalap,” it is used
in much the same way as this plant, though its action is
less drastic. Turpeth should be taken with care and combined with herbs that
ease cramps and flatulence, such as ginger. It is used in periodic fevers. In the treatment of anemia accompanied by
splenomegaly, it is used along with other therapy. In
the treatment of obesity, it is used to decrease fat. In
Ayurvedic medicine, turpeth is often prescribed with
picrorrhiza to treat jaundice.
Twelve O'Clock (Mimosa
pudica): The roots and leaves are used to treat
urinary complaints, piles, fistula, scorpion sting,
glandular swelling, sinus and to purify blood. Mimosa
can reduce the onset of baldness. Due to its ability to
promote healthy cell growth, used in shampoos, creams,
capsules, and soaps. In Ayurvedic and Unani medicine,
Mimosa pudica root is used to treat bilious
fevers, piles, jaundice, leprosy, dysentery, uterine
complaints, inflammations, burning sensation, fatigue,
asthma, leucoderma, and blood diseases. In Western
medicine, Mimosa root is used for treating
insomnia, irritability, menorrhagia, hemorrhoids, skin
wounds, and diarrhea. It is also used to treat whooping
cough and fevers in children, and there is some evidence
to suggest. Mimosa is effective in relieving the
symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.