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Medicinal Herb Facts F- G-H Herbs



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False Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria )   Although not as well known, false indigo is comparable to Echinacea.  The root is used to enhance the immune system and to combat infection.  The polysaccharides it contains have been shown to stimulate antibody production.  A few Native American tribes used the roots and sometimes the leaves both internally and externally to treat cancer.  It is considered particularly effective for upper respiratory infections such as tonsillitis and pharyngitis, and is also valuable in treating infections of the chest, gastrointestinal tract and skin.   Its anti-microbial and immunostimulant properties combat lymphatic problems.  When used with detoxifying herbs such as burdock, it helps to reduce enlarged lymph nodes.  It was once used to treat typhoid and scarlet fevers.  An astringent and antiseptic, it is an ingredient in ointments, poultices, and washes for skin ulcerations, infections, boils, and even staph infections.  Foul discharges with a dark purplish discoloration are definite indications for baptisia.   It is also added to douche formulas for vaginitis and taken as a tea, as well as a douche for cervical ulcerations.  False indigo has been recommended to reduce inflammatory diseases, including arthritis.  Prescribed along with Echinacea angustifolia for chronic viral conditions or chronic fatigue syndrome.  A decoction of the root soothes sore or infected nipples and infected skin conditions.  Used as a gargle or mouthwash, the decoction treats canker sores, gum infections, and sore throat. Solvent in alcohol and boiling water.

False Toadflax (Geocaulon lividum) A decoction of the chewed leaves and bark has been used as a purgative. A poultice of the chewed leaves and bark has been applied to wounds.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare):
Fennel’s effects have a warming, respiring and loosening nature.  It warms and stimulates the digestive organs, especially when they become sluggish.  This relieves gas and headaches that are related to improper digestion.  An excellent stomach and intestinal remedy for treating flatulence and colic conditions, while also stimulating healthy appetite and digestion.  Fennel frees the respiratory system, rendering a calming anti-spasmodic effect on coughs and bronchitis.  It gives a delicious flavor and aromatic lift to herbal blends and cough syrups.  Helpful for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy.  
            To help with indigestion and gas, pour boiling water over crushed fennel seeds (1 tsp seed to a pt of water).  The seeds are simmered in syrups for coughs, shortness of breath, and wheezing.  The leaves and seeds when boiled with barley increase breast milk. The seeds and root help clean the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and blood.  The tea and broth of this herb are said to help in weight loss programs.   Fennel oil mixed with honey can be taken for coughs, and the tea is used as a gargle.  The oil is eaten with honey to allay gas and it is applied externally to rheumatic swellings.  The seeds are boiled to make an eye wash for inflamed and swollen eyes. Use an infusion of the seeds as a gargle for gum disorders, loose teeth, laryngitis or sore throats.   

            Fennel increases the libido of both male and female rats.  Fennel has compounds that act like the female hormone estrogen and has been used for centuries to promote milk flow in nursing women.  Don’t use the oil, however because in pregnant women, the oil can cause miscarriage.  And in doses greater than about a teaspoon, it can be toxic.  As an estrogenic herb it has been used as a breast enlarger.
            Anethole, the main constituent of the oil, has demonstrated anti-microbial activity.  Dissolve a total of 25 drops of thyme, eucalyptus and fennel oils in 25 ml sunflower or almond oil as a chest rub.  Fennel should not be used in high doses as it causes muscular spasms and hallucinations.
America’s 19th century Eclectic physicians prescribed fennel as a digestive aid, milk and menstruation promoter.  Latin Americans still boil the seeds in milk as a milk promoter for nursing mothers.  Jamaicans use it to treat colds.  And Africans take fennel for diarrhea and indigestion.
           A decoction of the seeds is used in Chinese medicine for abdominal pain, colic and stomach chills. Enters the Liver, Kidney, Spleen, Stomach channels.  Spreads the Liver qi, warms the Kidneys, expels cold and alleviates pain: used to warm and encourage movement in the Liver channel or the lower burner as in cold hernial disorders or any kind of lower abdominal pain due to cold. Use with caution in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs.
One study suggests fennel has oddly contradictory effects on the liver. It aggravates liver damage in experimental animals but spurs liver regeneration in animals with parts of their liver removed

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)  Uses have been an aid to digestion and treat inflammations.  Medicinal use and commercial cultivation is at present on the increase.  Its seeds are high (40%) in mucilage, an emollient soothing to the skin and used as an emulsifier in drugs and food.  The seeds also contain diosgenin, a steroid that can be converted to pregnenolone (a steroid formed during the synthesis of hormones) and progesterone, the anti-estrogen hormone secreted by pregnant women.  The seeds are reported to contain chemicals that inactivate trypsin and chymotrypsin, enzymes making it possible for your body to digest protein.  But there is no evidence that fenugreek used to season food has any such effect.  Seeds are high in protein and contain trigonelline, a nitrogen compound found in many legumes.  When trigonelline comes in contact with acids or is heated, it yields nicotinic acid (niacin), the B vitamin that prevents pellagra.  Grind seed coarsely, infuse and drink as a tonic tea to stimulate digestion and milk flow, ease coughing, flatulence and diarrhea.  Make a mushy poultice of crushed seed and hot milk for inflammation, ulcers, swollen glands, sciatica and bruises.  Said to be effective in treating fevers.  The seeds have galactogenic and anthelminthic properties; the ancients believed them to be aphrodisiac.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium also Chrysanthemum parthenium): When the wife of a Welsh doctor ended her 50-year-old history of migraine with a course of feverfew, a detailed scientific investigation of feverfew got underway and in clinical trials in Britain during the 1980s the herb was demonstrated to be an effective remedy for migraine.  20 headache patients eat fresh feverfew leaves daily for 3 months and stop using headache-related drugs during the lasst month.  After they were given capsules of .37 grains of freeze-dried leaf every day, they experienced less severe headaches and fewer symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, than a placebo group.  As an added benefit, their blood pressure went down.  Despite extensive research, the exact nature of its action is not yet understood, but the constituent parthenolide appears to inhibit the release of the hormone serotonin, which is thought to trigger migraine.  The parthenolides in feverfew do not work by the same method as salicylates.   While many herbalists feel the fresh leaves, or an extract made from them, are preferred, results have been seen with fresh, freeze-dried, and air-dried leaves, although boiling feverfew tea for 10 minutes instead of steeping it did reduce its activity in one study.  As a preventative it should be taken in small quantities (3 leaves a day) regularly.  The herb can help arthritic and rheumatic pain, especially in combination with other herbs. 
The herb has been used since Roman times to induce menstruation.  It is given in difficult births to aid expulsion of the placenta.  It has not been shown to cause uterine contractions, but because of its history in promoting menstruation pregnant women should probably not use it. 
In South America where feverfew is naturalized, it has been effective for colic, stomachahe, morning sickness and kidney pains.  In Costa Rica, it has also been employed as a digestive aid and emmenagogue.  Mexicans have used it as a sitz bath to regulate menstruation as well as an antispasmodic and tonic.   
Feverfew is useful for cats as an alternative to aspirin, which is toxic to felines.  Use a glycerin-based tincture or a cooled tea with a dose of 12-20 drops of the tincture or ½ tsp of a strong tea for each 20 pounds of the animal’s weight, twice daily.  Pets can be bathed in a cooled tea as a flea rinse.

Feverweed (Aureolaria pedicularia): It has been used in herbal remedies for its diaphoretic and sedative properties.  Used principally in febrile and inflammatory diseases; a warm infusion produces a free and copious perspiration in a short time. Dose of the infusion, from 1 to 3 fluid ounces.

Fiddlewood (Vitex gaumeri): To treats skin fungus, infected sores, and ringworm, toasted and powdered fiddle wood bark is applied over a bit of oil which holds the powder on the skin. A tea made from boiled bark is useful to wash wounds. For biliousness a strip of bark 1 inch by 3 inches is boiled in 3 cups of water for 5 minutes and taken in ½ cups doses over 12 hours- the use of this treatment should not exceed 3 days. Leaves boiled in water are used as a bath for asthma, malaria and chills. Crushed leaves are applied as a poultice to sores and wounds

Figwort   (Scrophularia nodosa): Powerful medicines whenever enlarged glands are present including nodosities in the breasts. Figwort is used to cleanse and purify the body.   Figwort is used to treat skin diseases such as eczema, acne and psoriasis.  It has been called the Scrofula Plant, on account of its value in all cutaneous eruptions, abscesses, wounds, etc., the name of the genus being derived from that of the disease for which it was formerly considered a specific (tuberculosis of the lymph glands in the neck).  It has diuretic and anodyne properties.  A decoction is made of it for external use and the fresh leaves are also made into an ointment.  Of the different kinds of Figwort used, this species is most employed, principally as a fomentation for sprains, swellings, inflammations, wounds and diseased parts, especially in scrofulous sores and gangrene. The leaves simply bruised are employed as an application to burns and swellings.  Figwort is used for lingering and congenital illnesses of the lymphatic system and the skin.  It has a stimulating and strengthening effect on the bladder and kidneys.  The glycosides it contains make it suitable for treating mild heart conditions that call for stimulating the metabolism and eliminating water retention in the body.  For this purpose, use figwort as a tea or tincture.  
            The herb and root have been used to treat cancer of the fleshy parts.  The powdered root in water has been used as a tea to treat condyloma.  The juice of the root and leaf are applied externally to tumors and cancers.  The ointment treats painful tumors, and the fresh poultice may be used for inflamed tumors and glandular indurations.  When figwort is used externally, the tea is also given internally as further therapeutic support.  In traditional Chinese medicine, Figwort (S. ningpoensis) is a standard remedy.  Because of its ability to stimulate the pancreas, it is used in the treatment of diabetes  Known as huyen sam or xuan shen, it is also a remedy for fever and sadness, swellings and pain of the throat, furuncles, and to aid digestion.    
             A decoction of the herb has been successfully used as a cure for the scab in swine. Cattle, as a rule, will refuse to eat the leaves, as they are bitter, acrid and nauseating, producing purging and vomiting if chewed.

Fir, Douglas (Pseudotsuga menziesii): Douglas fir was often employed medicinally by various native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a variety of complaints. An antiseptic resin is obtained from the trunk. It is used as a poultice to treat cuts, burns, wounds and other skin ailments. The poultice is also used to treat injured or dislocated bones. The resin is used in the treatment of coughs and can be chewed as a treatment for sore throats.  An infusion of the green bark has been used in the treatment of excessive menstruation, bleeding bowels and stomach problems. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash and a sweat bath for rheumatic and paralyzed joints. An infusion of the young sprouts has been used in the treatment of colds. An infusion of the twigs or shoots has been used in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. A decoction of the buds has been used in the treatment of venereal disease. Young shoots have been placed in the tips of shoes to keep the feet from perspiring and to prevent athletes foot. A mouthwash is made by soaking the shoots in cold water.

Fir, Himalayan (Abies spectabilis): The leaves are used in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis etc. The leaf juice is antiperiodic.

Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum): An infusion of peeled and boiled twigs has been used as a medicinal tea by Cherokee Indians

Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus): In Europe, the rhizomes and seeds were thought to have medicinal properties. The cooling nature of the flowers are applied to fresh wounds, impostumes and other hot humors (Culpeper)

Flux Weed (Hypericum punctatum): Some compounds of the plant have been shown to have potent anti-retroviral activity without serious side effects and they are being researched in the treatment of AIDS. Hypericum punctatum is a mild antidepressant of the class "MAO inhibitor." The mechanism by which St. Johnswort acts as an antidepressant is not fully understood. Early research indicated that this it mildly inhibits the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO). MAO is responsible for the breakdown of two brain chemicals - serotonin and nor epinephrine. By inhibiting MAO and increasing nor epinephrine, it may exert a mild anti-depressive action. The antidepressant or mood elevating effects of Hypericum punctatum were originally thought to be due solely to hypericin, but hypericin does not act alone, it relies on the complex interplay of many constituents such as xanthones and flavonoids for its antidepressant actions. Hypericum punctatum may also block the receptors that bind serotonin and so maintain normal mood and emotional stability. Hypericum punctatum is used in treating a wide range of disorders, including pulmonary complaints, bladder problems, diarrhea and nervous depression. It is also very effectual in treating bed wetting in children. It has a sedative and pain reducing effect, it is especially regarded as an herb to use where there are menopausal changes triggering irritability and anxiety. In addition to neuralgic pain, it will ease fibrositis, sciatica and rheumatic pain. The oil extract of the plant can be taken for stomach ache, colic, intestinal problems, and as an expectorant for the congestion in the lungs. Externally, a medicinal infusion of the flowers in olive oil is applied to wounds, sores, burns, ulcers, swellings, cramps, rheumatism, tumors, caked breasts, and other skin problems. It is also valued in the treatment of sunburn and as a cosmetic preparation to the skin.

Fo-Ti (Polygonum multiflorum): First mentioned in Chinese herbal medicine in 713 A.D., it has become one of the most important and widely used.  It is taken regularly for its rejuvenating and toning properties and to increase fertility in both men and women.  In TCM it’s most important use is as a tonic for the liver and kidneys.  By strengthening liver and kidney function, it helps to cleanse the blood, enabling the qi to circulate freely around the whole body.  It’s also given to people with symptoms of dizziness, weakness, numbness and blurred vision with indicate inefficient nerves and “blood deficiency.”  It is prescribed in China for people showing signs of premature aging, including graying of the hair.  Also it is prescribed in the treatment of chronic malaria, when it is often combined with ginseng, Chinese angelica and green tangerine peel.  Traditional Chinese herbalists place great emphasis on the shape and age of the roots, with the older roots being in great demand. It is also employed as a remedy for insomnia, stomach upset, and diabetes.  Many use it as an effective tool against high blood pressure and hardening of the veins and arteries. The component of Lecithin which is contained in Fo-ti helps to reduce arterial plaque and blood pressure.  Research in China with animals has shown that he shou wu reduces raised blood cholesterol levels significantly.  With humans, 80% of patients with high blood cholesterol showed an improvement.  Other research shows to it helps to increase the levels of sugar in the blood and has the ability to counter the tuberculosis bacillus.         

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)  Foxglove yields digitoxin, which is still used today to increase the force of the heart’s contractions.  As a result blood pressure in the veins is reduced and the pulse is slowed and stabilized. Used to increase force of systolic contractions in congestive heart failure, lowers venous pressure in hypertensive heart ailments, elevates blood pressure in weak heart; diuretic and reduces edema.     

Frankincense (Boswellia serrata): serves as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory to lung, genital and urinary complaints, digestive tract ulcers and chronic diarrhea.  It is also used it the treatment of breast cysts and to increase menstruation.  Used in inhalation, it may be helpful for asthma sufferers as it eases shortness of breath and increases the amplitude of the breath. Has a pronounced effect on the mucous membranes, particularly helpful in clearing the lungs.  May mitigate the effects of cystitis, nephritis and genital infections generally.  Also soothes the stomach, easing digestion, dyspepsia and belching.  Chinese herbalists use it in powder form and in teas for rheumatism and menstrual pain and externally as a wash for sores and bruises.  

Fringe Tree (Chionanthus virginicus)  The bark and dried roots have been used in poultices for skin inflammations.  Fringetree bark may be safely used in all liver problems, especially when they have developed into jaundice. Good for the treatment of gall-bladder inflammation and a valuable part of treating gall-stones. It is a remedy that will aid the liver in general and as such it is often used as part of a wider treatment for the whole body. It is also useful as a gentle and effective laxative.  The root bark also appears to strengthen function in the pancreas and spleen.  Anecdotal evidence indicates that it may substantially reduce sugar levels in the urine.  Fringe tree also stimulates the appetite and digestion, and is an excellent remedy for chronic illness, especially where the liver has been affected.  For external use, the crushed bark may be made into a poultice for treating sores and wounds.  

Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis )  The herb has a stimulant action on the liver and gallbladder and is chiefly used to treat skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and exanthema.  Its action is probably due to a general cleansing mediated via the kidneys and liver.   It is also diuretic and mildly laxative.  Taken over a long period, it helps to cure depression.  Also used internally for biliary colic and migraine with digestive disturbances.  Externally used for conjunctivitis.


  -G- Herbs

Galangal (Languas officinarum): Resembling ginger in its effects, galangal is an aromatic stimulant, carminative,  stomachic, antispasmodic, antiphlogistic, antibacterial.  It is used in nausea, flatulence, dyspepsia, rheumatism, catarrh and enteritis.  It also possesses tonic qualities and is used in veterinary and homeopathic medicine.  In  Both galangals have been used in Europe and Asia as an aphrodisiac.  In Asian medicine, galangal is used to treat catarrh and respiratory problems.  A drink made from grated galangal and lime juice is taken as a tonic in Southeast Asia.  In the past, it was a treatment for flatulent indigestion.  In the Philippines the rhizome, when mixed with oils, is used as a poultice and is applied to boils and furuncles to bring them to a head.
In Chinese herbal medicine, galangal is a warming herb used for abdominal pain, vomiting, and hiccups, as well as for diarrhea due to internal cold.  When used for hiccups, it is combined with codonopsis.
In India and southwestern Asia, galangal is considered stomachic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and a nervine tonic.  It is used in the treatment of hicccups, dyspepsia, stomach pain, rheumatoid arthritis and intermittent fever.  It is also used as a body deodorizer and halitosis remedy.  
In the West it is mainly used for gas, indigestion, vomiting, and stomach pain.  An infusion can be used to alleviate painful canker sores and sore gums.  Galangal as long been recommended as a treatment for seasickness.  It can be used with other antifungal herbs as part of a regimen to treat intestinal candidiasis.  

Galbanum (Ferula galbaniflua )  Stimulant, expectorant in chronic bronchitis. Antispasmodic and considered an intermediate between ammoniac and asafoetida for relieving the air passages, in pill form it is specially good, in some forms of hysteria, and used externally as a plaster for inflammatory swellings. 

Galinsoga (Galinsoga parviflora): In China it is viewed as medicinal: the whole plant hemostatic and anti-inflammatory, the decoction of the flowers cleansing to liver and eyes.  When rubbed onto the body, the plant is useful in treating nettle stings.

Garlic, Crow (Allium vineale): A tincture of the whole plant is used to prevent worms and colic in children, and also as a remedy for croup. The raw root can be eaten to reduce blood pressure and also to ease shortness of breath.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata )   Internally for bronchitis, asthma, and eczema.  Externally the leaves were applied as dressings to open sores and ulcers, as well as for neuralgia, rheumatism, and gout.  The leaves were used medicinally by the early herbalists for dropsy and to induce sweating. It warms the stomach and helps digestion.  The juice boiled with honey is good for a cough, to cut and expectorate tough phlegm.  The seed bruised and boiled in wine is a good remedy for colicky wind or the stone, if drank warm.  The seeds have also been used to promote sneezing.  

Gas Plant (Dictamnus albus)   Very rarely used today, dittany has an action similar to that of rue in that it strongly stimulates the muscles of the uterus, inducing menstruation and sometimes causing abortion.  By contrast, its effect on the gastrointestinal tract is antispasmodic.  It relaxes the gut and acts as a mild tonic for the stomach.  The plant has also been used as a treatment for nervous conditions.  Internally and externally it’s used for skin diseases (especially scabies and eczema), German measles, arthritic pain, and jaundice.  May be combined with Sophora flavescens for external use.

Gentian (Gentiana lutea): One of the most bitter of the bitter digestive tonics, gentian is often called "bitter root".  Taken 30 minutes before eating, it increases the appetite, stimulating digestive juices, pancreas activity, the blood supply to the digestive tract, and intestinal peristalsis.  It also decreases intestinal inflammation and kills worms.  Digestive juice begin flowing about 5 minutes after the herb reaches the stomach, and the level achieved in 30 minutes is maintained for 2 to 3 hours.  It is especially helpful in fat and protein digestion and slightly raises stomach acidity.  A German study found it extremely effective in curing indigestion and heartburn when volunteers were given gentian with small amounts of cayenne, ginger, and wormwood.  Gentian is also used to treat liver and spleen problems, and to promote menstruation.  At times, its fever-lowering action has been considered superior to Peruvian bark.  There is some evidence that it makes the body more sensitive to adrenalin and may indirectly stimulate more than appetite.  It was once used externally to clean wounds. 
               In Chinese medicine G. macrophylla & G. scabra are used as clearing "heat and damp."  It is used to treat digestive disorders, sore throat, headache, and arthritis.  Ayurvedic physicians have used it to treat fevers, venereal diseases, jaundice and other liver problems.  

Gentian, Chinese (Gentiana longdancao): This herb is used for inflammatory conditions associated with jaundice, itching, herpes virus, leucorrhea, venereal diseases, hepatitis, cholecystitis, and hypertension. Symptoms can include fever, headache, restlessness, abdominal pain, sore throat, bitter mouth taste, flank pain, and redness of the conjunctiva of the eyes.  For systemic fungal infections gentian preparations from the plant Radix gentianae Longdancao are taken orally in the form of lozenges, tablets, capsules or in solution form for gargling or swallowing.

Gentian, Indian (Andrographis paniculata): It is chiefly used in viral hepatitis, diminished appetite and drug induced liver damage. It is used in loss of appetite in infants.  Andrographis paniculata has been shown to reduce liver damage due to toxins such as alcohol.  It has been demonstrated that Andrographis paniculata can protect the liver from the effects of alcohol if taken prior to consumption.  Research has also linked Andrographis paniculata to increases in immune system activity.  When supplemented with Andrographis paniculata, animals had an increase activity of both their specific and non-specific immune systems.  Andrographis paniculata may be effective in both the prevention and treatment of ailments that range from the common cold to cancer. It has also been shown to help alleviate atherosclerotic narrowing of arteries induced by high cholesterol diets.  This can, in turn, reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks, as well as helping the recovery of patients who already suffer from these conditions.  It is useful in burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, chronic bronchitis, leprosy, pruritis, flatulence, colic and diarrhea.

Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys )     Infusions of wall germander have long been used to treat gout, rheumatism, stomach problems, fever and congestion.  The plant has also been taken to aid weight loss and is a common ingredient in tonic wines.  Wall germander has been used as  a mouthwash for sore gums and as a lotion to help heal wounds.  It was also used as a tonic in intermittent fevers, and is recommended for uterine obstructions. The expressed juice of the leaves, with the addition of white wine, is held to be good in obstruction of the viscera. Possessing qualities nearly allied to those of Horehound, a decoction of the green herb, taken with honey, has been found useful in asthmatic affections and coughs, being recommended for this purpose by Dioscorides. The decoction has also been given to relieve dropsy in its early stages.   Germander had been approved in France for use in weight-loss products but was suspended as a result of several well-documented cases of toxic reactions and nonspecific acute hepatitis. 

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): The root is warming to the body, is slightly antiseptic and promotes internal secretions.  Chop about 2 inches of the fresh root, cover with one cup of water, and simmer for about 20 minutes or 1/ 2 teaspoon of the powdered root can be simmered in one cup of water.  Add lemon juice, honey, and a slight pinch of cayenne.  A few teaspoons of brandy will make an even more effective remedy for colds.  This preparation treats fevers, chest colds and flu.  A bath or a foot-soak in hot ginger tea is also beneficial.  The tea without additives helps indigestion, colic, diarrhea and alcoholic gastritis.  Dried ginger in capsules or in juice is taken to avoid carsickness, seasickness and morning sickness.  Use about 1/ 2 teaspoon of the powder (2 capsules) 30 minutes before departure and then one to two more as symptoms begin to occur.  Works well for dogs and children.
Ginger contains zingibain, a special kind of proteolytic enzyme that has the ability to chemically break down protein.  Clinical studies have shown that proteolytic enzymes have anti-inflammatory properties.  They also play an additional role in controlling autoimmune disease.  They help reduce blood levels of compounds known as immune complexes.  Ginger is also well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.  Indian and Scandinavian studies have consistently shown that ginger is useful for treating most kinds of arthritis.  It also contains more than 12 antioxidants.  It can be taken as a tea, tincture or capsule
Ginger actually gives other herbs a boost by improving the body’s ability to assimilate them.  Ginger actually protects herbal compounds from being destroyed by the liver and  continue circulating in the blood for a longer time.  It also improves the intestines’ absorption of other herbs. 
Helps reduce serum cholesterol levels, reduces tendency towards blood clots. Aids circulation (including peripheral circulation).  Stimulates vasomotor (producing contraction and dilation in walls of vessels) and respiratory center of the central nervous system.
          Ginger has long been used in eastern Africa for killing intestinal parasites.  Researchers discovered that all 42 components in ginger essential oil kill roundworms, among other parasites.  Some of these compounds were more effective than the commonly prescribed drug piperatzine citrate.
In Chinese medicine it warms the middle and expels cold: for warming the Spleen and Stomach both in conditions of excess due to externally-contracted cold, as well as cold from deficiency due to insufficiency of the yang qi.  Rescues devastated yang and expels interior cold: for devastated yang with such signs as a very weak pulse and cold limbs. Warms the Lungs and transforms phleghm: for Lung cold with expectoration of thin, watery, or white sputum.  Warms the channels and stops bleeding: for cold from deficiency that may present with hemorrhage of various types, especially uterine bleeding.  

Ginseng  (Panax ginseng )  Ginseng was considered for generations to be a panacea by the Chinese and Koreans, although there are some disorders, such as acute inflammatory diseases, for which it is not recommended.  It usually is not taken alone, but combined in formulas with other herbs.  One of ginseng’s key investigators, Russian I.I. Brekhman, coined the term “adaptogen” to describe ginseng’s ability to regulate many different functions.  It can have different responses, depending on what an individual needs.  Studies show that ginseng increases mental and physical efficiency and resistance to stress and disease.  Psychological improvements were also observed according to Rorschach.  Studies done at the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in Beijing, China, showed that the ginsenosides increase protein synthesis and activity of neurotransmitters in the brain.  They are also probably responsible for ginseng’s dual role of sedating or stimulating the central nervous system, depending on the condition it is being taken to treat.  Studies also show that ginseng improves carbohydrate tolerance in diabetics.  When volunteers were given 3 grams of ginseng along with alcohol, their blood alcohol level was 32% to 51% lower than that of the control group. 
Ginseng appears to stimulate the immune system of both animals and humans.  It revs up the white blood cells (macrophages and natural killer cells) that devour disease-causing microorganisms.  Ginseng also spurs production of interferon, the body’s own virus-fighting chemical, and antibodies, which fight bacterial and viral infections. It reduces cholesterol, according to several American studies.  It also increases good cholesterol.  Ginseng has an anticlotting effect, which reduces the risk of blood clots.  It reduces blood sugar levels.  Ginseng protects the liver from the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol, and other toxic substances.  In a pilot human study, ginseng improved liver function in 24 elderly people suffering from cirrhosis.  Ginseng can minimize cell damage from radiation.  In two studies, experimental animals were injected with various protective agents, then subjected to doses of radiation similar to those used in cancer radiation therapy.  Ginseng provided the best protection against damage to healthy cells, suggesting value during cancer radiation therapy. 

Asians have always considered ginseng particularly beneficial for the elderly.  As people age, the senses of taste and smell deteriorate, which reduces appetite.  In addition, the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients declines.  Ginseng enjoys a reputation as an appetite stimulant and one study showed it increases the ability of the intestine to absorb nutrients, thus helping prevent undernourishment.        This is a yin tonic, taken in China for fevers and for exhaustion due to a chronic, wasting disease such as tuberculosis.  It can help coughs related to lung weaknessIn the 1960s, a Japanese scientist, Shoji Shibata, at the Meiji College of Pharmacy in Tokyo, identified a unique set of chemicals that are largely responsible for ginseng’s actions.  They are saponins, biologically active compounds that foam in water.  Ginseng’s unique saponins were dubbed “ginsenosides.”
Research reveals that ginseng can have beneficial effects on metabolic function, immunity, mood, and physiological function at the most basic cellular level.  It doesn’t benefit everyone; recent studies of elite athletes reveal that it has no demonstrable effects on athletic performance.  Yet in older people, studies show that it reduces fatigue, improves performance, and boosts mood.  This makes sense in classic terms because why would world-class athletes, with superior yang energy, want to take a root for people with “devastated” yang?  But if you are recovering from a drawn-out illness, feeling fatigued, or feeling the effects of age—if you are experiencing a “collapse” of your “chi”, ginseng may be right for you. 
           As an adaptogenic, ginseng’s action varies.  In China, ginseng is best known as a stimulant, tonic herb for athletes and those subject to physical stress, and as a male aphrodisiac.  It is also a tonic for old age, and is traditionally taken by people in northern and central China fro late middle age onward, helping them to endure the long hard winters.   
Ginseng has been researched in detail over the past 20-30 years in China, Japan, Korea, Russian, and many other countries.  Its remarkable “adaptogenic” quality has been confirmed.  Trials show that ginseng significantly improves the body’s capacity to cope with hunger, extremes of temperature, and mental and emotional stress.  Furthermore, ginseng produces a sedative effect when the body requires sleep.  The ginsenosides that are responsible for this action are similar in structure to the body’s own stress hormones.  Ginseng also increases immune function and resistance to infection, and supports liver function.
In Asian countries, ginseng has long been recognized as effective n reducing alcohol intoxication and also as a remedy for hangovers. A clinical experiment demonstrated that ginseng significantly enhanced blood alcohol clearance in humans.  In regards to cancer, a number of experiments have shown that ginseng can help restore physiological balance within the system and significantly reduce the side effects when used along with anticancer drugs.  For diabetes, when patients are treated with ginseng at the early stages, conditions can return to normal.  In advanced stages, the blood glucose level is significantly lowered.  When combined with insulin, insulin requirements are reduced while still effectively lowering blood glucose level.  Other symptoms such as fatigue and decreased sexual desire are also alleviated. 
There is some evidence that ginseng, taken in small amounts over a long period of time, improves regulation of the adrenals so that stress hormones are produced rapidly when needed and broken down rapidly when not needed.  Whole root is best.  Extracts, even those that contain specific guaranteed-potency ginsenosides, don’t have some of the other compounds in ginseng that may be beneficial.  It’s not recommended to take even good quality extracts for more than 2-3 weeks at a time, but the whole ginseng root, in small amounts can be taken every day for a year or more.
At the Institute of Immunological Science at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, researchers have been studying a ginsenoside, Rb2.  In mice given lung tumors, “oral administration of ginsenoside Rb2 caused a marked inhibition of both neovascularization and tumor growth,” they write.  Neovascularization, also called angiogenesis, is the tendency of tumors to create tiny blood vessels that feed their malignant growth. 
A case-control study in Korea compared about 2,000 patients admitted tot eh Korea Cancer Center Hospital in Seoul to another 2,000 noncancer patients.  Those with cancer were about half as likely to use ginseng as those without cancer. Cancer risk was lower with those who took ginseng for a year but much lower for those who took ginseng for up to 20 years.  Fresh ginseng, white ginseng extract, white ginseng powder, and red ginseng were all associated with reduced cancer risk. 

Ginseng, American (Panax quinquefolius):  Similar to Panax ginseng only milder  

Ginseng, Tienchi (Panax pseudo-ginseng  (P. notoginseng))   Internally it is used for coronary heart disease and angina(roots), dizziness, and vertigo (Flowers).  Internally and externally it is used for nosebleed, and hemorrhage from lungs, digestive tract, uterus, or injuries (roots).  It was used extensively by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War to increase recovery rates from gunshot wounds.  Used in the herbal combination PC-SPES….a compound of 8 herbs used for prostate cancer.  It is one of the most valuable Chinese herbs for traumas and injuries because of its ginseng-like tonic properties and its strong hemostatic action in acute conditions. It will effectively dissolve blood clots when taken internally and works very well for most abnormal bleeding when combined with the ashes of human hair.  Its healing, astringent properties increase when combined with comfrey root.  Like the other ginsengs, it may be taken as a blood and energy tonic and is regarded by some as equally effective.  It is considered preferable for younger people because it moves the chi more than the common American or Oriental ginsengs.  It also strengthens the heart and improves athletic performance, making it a preferred tonic for the purposes of sports medicine.

Give and Take (Cryosophila argentea): Its Creole name of “Give and Take” refers to the fact that this palm can give a very bad stinging cut from the thorns, but one can take a remedy for bleeding, infection, and pain from the inner portion of the leaf sheath and petiole.  The inside part of the sheath and petiole is pink, cotton-like and sticky.  It is applied to fresh wounds to staunch bleeding, prevent infection and alleviate pain.  Brooms are made from young, dried leaves tied together on a slender stick. 

Goat’s Rue (Galega officinalis) : Uses in cases of agalactia, diabetes mellitus, hyperglycemia, edema and fluid retention. Goat’s rue is chiefly used as an antidiabetic herb, having the ability to reduce blood sugar levels.  It is not a substitute for conventional treatments but can be valuable in the early stages of late-onset diabetes, and is best used as an infusion.  The herb has the effect of increasing breast-milk production.  It may also stimulate the development of the mammary glands. Has been used with some success in stimulating milk production in women that have not been pregnant but adopted a child.  It is also a useful diuretic.  In hot infusion goat’s rue makes a useful remedy for increasing sweating and bringing down fevers—and for this reason it was an old remedy for the plague.   For digestive problems, especially chronic constipation caused by lack of digestive enzymes.  Fed directly to livestock to increase milk yield. It was also used as a remedy for worms and recommended as a cure for the bites of serpents. Parkinson says it is 'good for fattening hens.
Goat’s rue has shown to have hypoglycemic activity by enhancing glucose utilization. It was researched in the early 1920’s as a possible therapy which led to the development of antidiabetic biguanide drugs. These drugs had numerous side effects which the whole plant did not produce. A study in 1961 found that galega actually regenerated pancreatic cells.  

Golden Goddess (Tabebuia chrysantha): The palmate leaves are concocted to treat cancer and candida in native S. American cultures. It is also considered a remedy for controlling diabetes and for liver and kidney disorders.

Golden Seal  (Hydrastis canadensis)   Early American medicine primarily used goldenseal root for treating uterine lining inflammation, but it is now considered valuable for treating any infection, inflammation and congestion of mucous-lining areas, such as the lungs, throat, digestive tract and sinuses.  It dries and cleanses the mucous membranes inhibiting excessive flow. 
        It counteracts inflammation, regulates menses, aids digestion, treats liver diseases, cleanses the blood and counters infection. It also is a stimulant to the uterine muscles, contracts the blood vessels and inhibits excessive bleeding.  Golden seal is effective against flu, fevers and infections of all kinds; and in treating hemorrhoids, vaginal yeast infection and as an eyewash for inflamed eyes.  It also alleviates gastro-enterities, indigestion, gas and heartburn; and is effective in treating amoebic dysentery (giardia) when used over a 10 day period.  The primary constituents are hydrastine and berberine.  Similar in action, they lower blood pressure and destroy many types of bacterial and viral infections.  Goldenseal salve helps to heal herpes, ringworm, impetigo, hemorrhoids, canker sores, and inflamed gums.  The powdered root is sniffed for sinus congestion or gargled for sore throat, and a strong and well strained eyewash is used for conjunctivitis.  The tea also makes an effective douche for thrush and trichomonas.  The dried rhizome possesses cytotoxic activity, indicating it is useful against viruses.  A bitter digestive, goldenseal stimulates appetite and bile production and it also helps in the treatment of severe diarrhea caused by various diseases, including cholera.  Berberine effectively treats intestinal parasites, including giardia, a threat to campers and those living in rural areas.  It proved as effective as, and sometimes even better than, the established drugs.  It is also used to help restore patients after long bouts with fevers and flus.  Goldenseal is a beneficial but overused herb.  Herbalists find it most effective used to treat an active infection, then discontinued, since it does not show the long-range adaptogenic actions of ginseng.  The rumor that goldenseal can mask urine tests for drugs is untrue.

Goldenrod (Solidago spp (virgaurea)   Because it is antioxidant, diuretic and astringent, goldenrod is a valuable remedy for urinary tract disorders.  It is used both for serious ailments such as nephritis and for more common problems like cystitis.  It reputedly helps flush out kidney and bladder stones.   The diuretic effect is very helpful for cases of colon bacilli.  The saponins act specifically against the Candida fungus, the cause of yeast infections and oral thrush.  Internally also used for chronic excess mucus, skin diseases, influenza, whooping cough, and flatulent dyspepsia associated with nervous tension. It is the first plant to think of for upper respiratory catarrh, whether acute or chronic.   Externally used for wounds, insect bites, ulcers and sore throat.  Due to its mild action, goldenrod is appropriate for treating gastroenteritis in children.  It may be used as a mouthwash or douche for yeast infections.  As a gargle it can be used in laryngitis and pharyngitis.  Combines well with marsh cudweed (Gnaphalium uliginosum), Echinacea, Poke Root and Wild Indigo.   A cold extract s more effective than an infusion made with boiling water.  A daily dose is two to three cups.  The alcohol extract from the herb contains many constituents considered by some to be more effective than the tea.

Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus): The leaf is a source of iron, vitamins and minerals.  A poultice and ointment cleanses and heals skin sores.  Also in the preparation of an ointment for painful joints.  The plant was recommended for indigestion and as a laxative and a diuretic.  Used in a veterinary cough remedy for sheep. Rich in iron as well as vitamin C.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica): Gotu kola has been used for thousands of years in India and still has a central place in Ayurvedic medicine for revitalizing the nerves and brain cells.  It is used specifically to treat leprosy, skin ulcers, and other skin problems.  Gotu kola cream can help relieve the painful scaly red welts of psoriasis.    It stimulates the regeneration of skin cells and underlying connective tissue.  In a study published in Annals of Plastic Surgery, gotu kola accelerates healing of burns and minimizes scarring.  Other studies show the herb accelerates the healing of skin grafts and episiotomy . The herb has a longstanding reputation in India as a "rejuvenator," helping concentration and memory.  It is also taken for fertility and as a tonic for poor digestion and rheumatism.  Fresh leaves are given to children for dysentery.  The plant is also thought helpful for fevers, abdominal disorders, asthma and bronchitis.  An oil extract is used to promote hair growth.  It is now also considered to have an anti-inflammatory effect and is given for rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and poor venous circulation.  For varicose veins researchers have found that ginkgo and gotu kola are more effective when used together and numerous studies have shown them to be more effective and better tolerated than tribenoside, the standard drug used for this purpose.
Gotu kola is also a glandular tonic, anti-fatigue, strengthening adrenals.  It cleanses and feeds the immune system.  It's also a blood purifier, neutralizing blood acids.  Used in China for fractures, sprains and bruises.  It is valuable in intermittent or periodic fevers, like malaria.
           Gotu kola is a tonic and rejuvenative for Pitta.  At the same time it inhibits Vata, clams the nerves and helps reduce excessive Kapha.  It is perhaps the most spiritual and sattvic of all herbs.   It is used by yogis as food for meditation.  It awakens the crown chakra and helps balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain.  A cup of gotu kola tea can be taken with honey before meditation.  It does contain 2 sedatives, saponin glycosides and an abundance of B vitamins.  In one study, it also improved the general ability and behavior patterns of mentally handicapped children.  It balnces the hemispheres of the brain and is well suited for people who are chronically overheated to the point at which they are burning up their memory and concentration.  You can take 6-8 capsules or more daily, depending upon your energy and tongue observations.   It is a cooling remedy.   
            The compound asiaticoside is among the most promising treatments for leprosy.    The effectiveness in killing the leprosy bacteria is thought due to its dissolving the waxy, protective substance around the bacteria. 
            Recent studies show that gotu kola has a positive effect on the circulatory system: It seems to improve the flow of blood throughout the body by strengthening the veins and capillaries. Gotu Kola has been used successfully to treat phlebitis (inflammation of the veins) as well as leg cramps, swelling of the legs, and "heaviness" or tingling in the legs.  Gotu Kola has been shown to be particularly useful for people who are inactive or confined to bed due to illness. Proponents of the herb also believe that its beneficial effect on circulation may help improve memory and brain function.  
            The gotu kola herb also has an important role in gynecology. Gotu Kola has been used successfully to promote healing after episiotomy, a surgical incision of the vulva performed to prevent tearing during childbirth. In fact, in one study reported in a French medical journal in 1966, women treated with gotu kola after childbirth healed more rapidly than those given standard treatment.   
         According to modern studies, gotu kola does offer support for healthy memory function. A study conducted in 1992 by K. Nalini at Kasturba Medical College showed an impressive improvement in memory in rats which were treated with the extract (orally) daily for 14 days before the experiment. The retention of learned behavior in the rats treated with gotu kola was three to 60 times better than that in control animals. Preliminary results in one clinical trial with mentally retarded children was shown to increase scores on intelligence tests (Bagchi, 1989). This does not mean gotu kola will improve intelligence for all special or normal children. 
              According to pharmacological studies, one outcome of gotu kola's complex actions is a balanced effect on cells and tissues participating in the process of healing, particularly connective tissues. One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate skin repair and strengthen skin, hair, nails and connective tissue (Kartnig, 1988).  Scientific studies have also shown that in relatively large doses the alcoholic extract produces a sedative effect, caused by the saponin glycosides.

Goumi (Elaeagnus multiflora): The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. The leaves are used in the treatment of coughs. The fruit is prescribed in the treatment of watery diarrhea. The root is astringent, a decoction is used to treat itch and foul sores.

Grains of Paradise (Aframomum melegueta): Used in West African herbal remedies, grains of paradise relieve flatulence and also have stimulant and diuretic effects. The seeds are in a number of veterinary medicines. They appear in old pharmacopoeias like Gerard’s for a variety of abdominal complaints.  Chinese herbalists often add it to fruits such as baked pears to reduce the production of mucus in the body.  Classified in traditional Chinese medicine as an acrid, warm herb.  It’s taken for nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, indigestion, gas and loss of appetite; morning sickness, pain and discomfort during pregnancy; involuntary urination.   

Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia palustris): A decoction of the plant is occasionally used as a mouthwash in the treatment of stomatitis. The dried and powdered plant can be sprinkled onto wounds to aid the healing process. A distilled water made from the plant is an excellent astringent eye lotion.

Green Bristle Grass (Setaria viridis): The plant is crushed and mixed with water then used as an external application in the treatment of bruises.

Green Osier (Cornus alternifolia): Green osier was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who valued it particularly for its astringent bark which was used both internally and externally to treat diarrhea, skin problems etc. The inner bark was boiled and the solution used as an enema and this solution was also used as a tea to reduce fevers, treat influenza, diarrhea, headaches, voice loss etc. It was used as a wash for the eyes.  A compound infusion of the bark and roots has been used to treat childhood diseases such as measles and worms. It has also been used as a wash on areas of the body affected by venereal disease. A poultice of the powdered bark has been used to treat swellings, blisters etc. Useful in diarrhea and dysentery; as gargle in sore throats; and in typhoid fever and ague.  It is little used in modern herbalism. Preparation: The fresh bark and young twigs are pounded to a pulp and macerated in two parts by weight of alcohol.

Green Stick (Critonia morifolia): Of the medicinal leaves found in the forest, this is one of the most important and useful to add to herbal bath formulas. Steam baths (“bajos”) are given in cases of swelling, retention of fluids, rheumatism, arthritis, paralysis, and muscle spasms.  The leaf is heated in oil and applied to boils, tumors, cysts, and pus-filled sores.  Boil leaf alone or in combination with other bathing leaves for any skin condition, exhaustion, wounds, feverish babies, insomnia, flu, aches, pains and general malaise.

Greendragon (Arisaema dracontium): The dried and aged root was used by the N. American Indians in the treatment of 'female disorders'. The plant leaves were chewed in the treatment of asthma. Diaphoretic and expectorant in dry, hacking coughs attended with irritation. Dose of fl'ext.: 1 to 10 drops (0.065 to 0.6 mil).

Grindelia (Grindelia robusta, G. squarossa )   An expectorant and sedative with an action resembling atropine.  As a tea the leaves and flowers can be used interchangeably.  For tincturing, the flowers are preferable.  Use as a tea for bronchitis and wherever an expectorant is needed.  It is a useful antispasmodic for dry hacking coughs, alone or combined with Yerba Santa, a tablespoon in tea as needed.  The tincture is especially useful for bladder and urethra infections, one-fourth teaspoon in water every four hours.  Topical use of the tincture or a poultice of the crushed flowers is often helpful in poison oak inflammations and as a lotion for dermatitis. A mild sedative and cardiac relaxant, although not always reliable.  Its unpleasant bitterness makes it useful as a mild stomach tonic.

Ground Elder (Aegopodium podagraria)   Diuretic and sedative. Can be successfully employed internally for aches in the joints, gouty and sciatic pains, and externally as a fomentation for inflamed parts.  The roots and leaves boiled together, applied to the hip, and occasionally renewed, have a wonderful effect in some cases of sciatica.

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea (Nepeta hederacea)  Ground ivy has had a long history as a headache cure. The fresh juice squeezed from the leaves was snuffed up the nostrils and this was a very popular remedy, said to relive the most stubborn headache. In the U.S., a tea from the leaves was at one time considered to be a remedy for and preventer of a type of lead poisoning known as “painter’s colic”.  In China, most of the folk names for it allude to the resemblance o the leaves to Chinese coins. It was used medicinally to treat toothache and earache, but was believed most valuable in reducing fever.  Ground ivy is tonic, diuretic, and a decongestant, and is used to treat many problems involving the mucous membranes of the ear, nose, throat and digestive system.  A well-tolerated herb, it can be given to children to clear lingering congestion and to treat chronic conditions such as “glue ear” and sinusitis.  Throat and chest problems, especially those due to excess mucus, also benefit from this remedy.  Ground ivy is also a valuable treatment for gastritis and acid indigestion.  Further along the gastrointestinal tract, its binding nature helps to counter diarrhea and to dry up watery and mucoid secretions.  Ground ivy has been employed to prevent scurvy and as a spring tonic, and is considered beneficial in kidney disorders.  It aids lingering diseases; conditions of chronic waste, rot and purulent discharge; and chronic metabolic diseases. It can help where pus develops in the body or where a lingering metabolic disease exists.
            Best used fresh, for remedial preparations, juice the freshly gathered leaves and mix the juice with buttermilk in equal parts.   As a follow-up treatment for tuberculosis, it’s recommended mixing ground ivy juice with goat’s milk. 
Traditionally, ground ivy is added to bath water to refresh the body’s muscles and joints.  It also strengthens the nerves and aids bladder and kidney conditions and pains related to rheumatism and gout.  The homeopathic mother tincture “Glechoma hederacea” is made from the fresh plant.
            As an inhalant, a hot infusion of ground ivy acts as a pleasant relief on head colds and stuffy noses.  An infusion can be used as a lotion, or on compresses, to cleanse sores and ulcers

Gu Jing Tsao (Eriocaulon cinereum): This is one of the most effective Chinese herbs for treating disorders of the eyes, such as cataracts, glaucoma, swelling, and so on.  When using it to treat eye disorders, the decoction should be used internally and externally at the same time.  The whole plant, including flowers, is used

Guan Jung (Dryopteris crassirhizoma): The root contains 'filicin', a substance that paralyses tapeworms and other internal parasites and has been used as a worm expellant for humans and also in veterinary medicine. It is one of the most effective treatments known for tapeworms - its use should be immediately followed by a non-oily purgative such as magnesium sulphate in order to expel the worms from the body. An oily purge, such as caster oil, increases the absorption of the fern root and can be dangerous. The root is also taken internally in the treatment of internal hemorrhage, uterine bleeding, mumps and feverish illnesses. The root is harvested in the autumn and can be dried for later use, it should not be stored for longer than 12 months.  Externally, the root is used in the treatment of abscesses, boils, carbuncles and sores.
            In recent times this herb has been prescribed as a preventive measure during influenza epidemics. Guan zhong preparations strongly inhibit the flu virus in vitro. In one clinical trial, 306 people took twice-weekly doses of guan zhong and 340 served as controls. In the treatment group, 12 percent became ill versus 33 percent of the controls. Local versions of guan zhong from Guangdong, Hunan, and Jiangxi provinces have mildly inhibitory effects in vitro against many pathogenic bacteria. Guan zhong also is effective against pig roundworms in vitro, and it expels tapeworms and liver flukes in cattle.
            In other studies, decoctions and alcohol extracts of dong bei guan zhong strongly stimulated the uterus of guinea pigs and rabbits. It increased the frequency and strength of contractions. Intramuscular injections of dong bei guan zhong preparations were used with more than 91-percent success to treat postpartum, post miscarriage, and postsurgical bleeding. Guan zhong is usually combined with other anti-infection herbs, like isatis, and provided in prepared remedies for both treating and preventing respiratory tract infections. For example, a folk practice in southern China is to treat drinking water with this herb to ward off common cold. Disease spread is also prevented by burning guanz hong with moxa (Artemisia argyi) as a fumigant.

Guan Mu Tong (Aristolochia manshuriensis): Stem treats fever, diabetes; increases flow or urine; induces menstruation; stimulates milk flow in women after labor

Guarana (Paullinia cupana)… Guarana’s medicinal uses are largely the same as those of coffee-it is taken for headache and migraine, for mild depressive states, and to boost energy levels.  In view of guarana’s significant tannin content, long-term use is not advisable, because tannins impair the intestines’ ability to absorb nutrients.  It is a useful short-term remedy though for boosting energy levels or for a tension headache that cannot be treated with rest, especially of a rheumatic nature.  Brazilian miners drink this constantly and believe it to be a preventive of many diseases.  Guarana’s astringency also treats chronic diarrhea.  It is a good short-term adrenal builder because it supplies raw material the adrenals need to make hormone, rather than simply signaling your adrenals to make more hormone.  The whole seed with all of its complementary components doesn’t have the harsh effect of caffeine with its potential for addiction, fast “rush,” nervousness, irritability, and so on.  Tannins and saponins in the seeds slow down the rate at which guaranine is dissolved and absorbed.  This slow release provides a sustained long-term energizing effect.  A daily 1-gram dose contains less than 20% of the caffeine in a regular cappuccino.  Guarana seed can be taken in capsules, not late in  the day, 1-5 per day.  As a strong diuretic 7 ½ grains can be taken daily and in 24 hours it has be known to increase urine from 27 oz to 107 oz.  

Guava (Psidium guajava): : Guava has been widely used in Latin American traditional medicine as a treatment for diarrhea and stomachaches due to indigestion.  Treatment usually involves drinking a decoction of the leaf, roots, and bark of the plant.  It also has been used for dysentery in Panama and as an astringent in Venezuela.  A decoction of the plant’s bark and leaves is also reported to be used as a bath to treat skin ailments. Chinese and Caribbean traditional medicine have used guava in the control of diabetes, but a study in Mexico found that guava did not lower blood sugar levels in rabbits.
           In the Philippines the astringent, unripe fruit, the leaves, the cortex of the bark and roots – through more often the leaves only – in the form of a decoction, are used for washing ulcers and wounds. Guerrero states that the bark and leaves are astringent, vulnerary, and when decocted, antidiarhetic. The bark is used in the chronic diarrhea of children and sometimes adults; half an ounce of the bark is boiled down with six ounces of water to 3 ounces; the dose (for children) is one teaspoonful 3 to 4 times a day. The root-bark has been recommended for chronic diarrhea. In a decoction of ½ oz. in 6 oz. of water, boiled down to 3 oz. and given in teaspoonful doses; and also recommended as a local application in prolapsus and of children. A decoction of the root-bark is recommended as a mouthwash for swollen gums.
           The leaves, when chewed, are said to be remedy for toothache. The decocted leaves are used in Mexico for cleansing ulcers. The ground leaves make an excellent poultice. A decoction of the young leaves and shoots is prescribed in the West Indies for febrifuge and antispasmodic baths, and an infusion of the leaves for cerebral affections, nephritis, and cachexia; the pounded leaves are applied locally for rheumatism; an extract is used for epilepsy and chorea; and the tincture is rubbed into the spine of children suffering from convulsions. The leaves have also been used successfully as an astringent in diarrhea. In Mexico the leaves are said to be a remedy for itches. In Uruguay, a decoction of the leaves is used as a vaginal and uterine wash, especially in leucorrhoea.
              In Costa Rica, a decoction of the flower buds is considered an effective remedy for diarrhea and flow of blood. The fruit is astringent and has a tendency to cause constipation. The fruit is  anthelmintic in Mexico. The guava jelly is tonic to the heart and good for constipation. The ripe fruit is good aperient, and should be eaten with the skin, for without it, costiveness results. The unripe fruit is said to be indigestible, causing vomiting and feverishness, but it is sometimes employed in diarrhea. Water in which the fruit is soaked is good for diabetes.

Gouduchi (Tinospora cordifolia): Historically administered to increase longevity, promote intelligence, and improve memory and immune function, modern science has shown the herb protects against infections, decreases allergic reactions, and stimulates the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells.  This herb is a bitter tonic. It has been helpful in eye conditions and as a tissue builder, as well as helping development of the brain and intelligence, and combating premature aging.  It is a constituent of several compound preparations. It is used in fever, urinary disorders, dyspepsia, general debility and urinary diseases. It is also used in treatment of rheumatism and jaundice.  The plant is used in Ayurvedic rasayanas to improve the immune system and the body's resistance to infections. It is used in general debility, digestive disturbances, loss of appetite and fever in children. It has long been known in Ayurvedic literature as a tonic, vitalizer and a remedy for diabetes and metabolic disorders. It has been used to reduce blood glucose level. The plant has been found effective in preventing fibrous changes and promotes regeneration of the liver from drug induced hepatic toxicity.

Guinea Hen Weed (Petiveria alliacea): It is an important medicinal and ritual plant in southern Florida, Central America and the Caribbean, especially in the Santeria religion and has common names in many languages.  Whole plants, leaves, and roots are collected for use in decoctions.  Fresh leaves are bound around the head for headaches or juiced for direct application for earache. It reputedly calms the nerves, controls diarrhea, lowers fever, stimulates the uterus, and relaxes spasms and is used for paralysis, hysteria, asthma, whooping cough, pneumonia, bronchitis, hoarseness, influenza, cystitis, venereal disease, menstrual complaints and abortion. 

Gumbo-Limbo (Bursera simaruba): Gumbo-limbo is used as a tonic and for back pain, kidney ailments, gonorrhea, syphilis, leukorrhea, skin irritations esp. from Metopium, stings, arthritis/rheumatism, colds, sore throat, asthma, sweat induction, stomach hemorrhage, intestinal ailments, snakebite, wounds, reduction of blood pressure, fever, blood tonic esp. during pregnancy, diarrhea, bruises, loosing weight.  The sap is used to treat Poison Ivy and Poison Wood.  The resin is used to produce incense and against gastritis, ulcers and to heal skin wounds.  When someone sprained an ankle or pulled a muscle, gumbo limbo resin was applied to the affected area.  The bark is a common topical remedy for skin affections like skin sores, measles, sunburn, insect bites and rashes. A bark decoction is also taken internally for urinary tract infections, pain, colds, flu, sun stroke, fevers and to purify the blood. A strip of bark about 4 -5 cm x 30 cm is boiled in a gallon of water for 10 minutes for this local remedy and then used topically or drunk as a tea. Decoctions, infusions and direct use of bark, gum, wood and leaves hot and cold, alone and with other species.

Gumweed (Grindelia camporum)   Grindelia acts to relax smooth muscles and heart muscles.  It’s used in the treatment of asthmatic and bronchial conditions, especially where these are associated with a rapid heart beat and nervous response.  It may be used in asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and upper respiratory catarrh.  Because of the relaxing effect on the heart and pulse rate, there may be a reduction in blood pressure.  Externally the lotion is used in the dermatitis caused by poison ivy.  Traditionally, Grindelia’s been used for: arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, blisters, bronchitis, bronchorrhea, burns, cachexia, common cold, cough, cystitis, difficulty breathing, dyspepsia, eczema, emphysema, fever, gonorrhea, hay fever, hepatitis, hypertension, indolent skin ulcer, iritis, muscle spasms, ophthalmia, pertussis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, poison ivy, psoriasis, rheumatism, rhus dermatitis (lotion), sleep apnea, smallpox, splenomegaly, syphilis, tachycardia, tuberculosis, upper respiratory catarrh

Gymnema (Gymnema silvestre): Indian physicians first used Gymnema to treat diabetes over 2,000 years ago.  . In the 1920s, preliminary scientific studies found some evidence that Gymnema leaves can reduce blood sugar levels, but nothing much came of this observation for decades.  It is a taste suppressant.  By topical application gymnema has been shown to block the sweet and some of the bitter taste, but not salt and acid taste.  By keeping off the sweet taste it helps to control a craving for sugar.  Responsible for this are considered saponins.  Gymnema has also shown mild hypoglycemic effect.  Topically (applied to the tongue, mainly to the tip or by chewing) it is used to control a craving for sugar, recommended as an aid to a weightloss diet and diabetes.  Internally it is used as an adjuvant (tea, h.p.) for diabetes. Gymnema leaves raise insulin levels, according to research in healthy volunteers. Based on animal studies, this may be due to regeneration of the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin. Other animal research shows that Gymnema can also improve uptake of glucose into cells and prevent adrenaline from stimulating the liver to produce glucose, thereby reducing blood sugar levels. The leaves are also noted for lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides.  In the past, powdered Gymnema root was used to treat snake bites, constipation, stomach complaints, water retention, and liver disease.


-H- Herbs

Hairy Cap Moss, Common (Polytrichum commune): Reduces  inflammation, as an anti-fever agent, detergent, diuretic, laxative and hemostatic agent. 

Hawthorn  (Crataegus laevigata) Hawthorn was traditionally used in Europe for kidney and bladder stones and as a diuretic.  Its current use for circulatory and cardiac problems stems from an Irish physician who started using it successfully on his patients for such conditions toward the end of the 19th century.  It is used today to treat angina and coronary artery disease.  Hawthorn normalizes the heart and circulation, lowering or raising blood pressure according to need.  It is found in most herbal preparations for heart weakness, irregular heart beat, hardening of the arteries, artery spasms, and angina.  In studies the hearts of those patients taking hawthorn required less oxygen when under stress as compared to standard treatments.  And in another study it normalized heart action and efficiency and seemed to strengthen contractions in almost all the patients with primary heart disease and even some with more severe secondary heart disease.  It also improved heart problems caused by hepatitis or other liver disease.  In vitro increases in coronary circulation ranging from 20% to 140% have been observed following the administration of a dose equal to about 1 mg of the dry extract.
Hawthorn lowers blood pressure by dilating surface blood vessels, as opposed to directly acting on the heart as does digitalis.  This also means it takes longer to work but there is also no cumulative effect on the heart tissue.  It does make the body more sensitive to digitalis, so the prescribed dose of digitalis may eventually be cut in half.  Hawthorn also helps keep the heart beating properly and decreases peripheral vascular resistance.   Originally only the berries were used, but higher concentrations of active flavonoids have been discovered in the flowers and leaves when hawthorn is in full bloom.  One study found spring shoots to be the most active.  The flavonoids dilate coronary and external arteries while procyanidines, which are most prevalent in the leaves around August, apparently slow the heart beat and are antibiotic. 
Combined with ginkgo, hawthorn is used to enhance poor memory by improving the circulation of blood to the head which increases the amount of oxygen to the brain.
At one time unripe berries were used for diarrhea and hawthorn-flower tea as a safe diuretic.  A decoction of the ripe berries is also used for sore throats, skin diseases, diarrhea and abdominal distention.  The berries also strengthen the appetite and digestion.

Heather (Erica/Calluna vulgaris (E tetralix, E cinerea) )  It was used in baths for easing joint and muscle pain, and taken for urinary infections and to ease sleep. An infusion of the dried flowers helped to decrease nervousness, sleeplessness and the pains of rheumatism.  It was also recommended as a bath for babies who were failing to thrive. Today, heather makes a useful urinary antiseptic when taken internally due to the arbutin it contains, and can be taken for cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis.  It has a mild diuretic action, reducing fluid retention and hastening elimination of toxins via the kidneys.  It makes a good cleansing remedy for gout and arthritis as well as skin problems such as acne.  It has a mildly sedative action and can easy anxiety, muscle tension and insomnia.  A hot poultice of heather tips is a traditional remedy for chilblains.

Hedge Nettle (Stachys palustris ) One of the most effective sweating herbs, useful in the early stages of colds, flu, and fevers.  Internally used for gout, cramps, vertigo and hemorrhage.  It will relieve diarrhea and dysentery. Externally used for minor injuries.  The bruised leaves when applied to a wound will stop bleeding and help heal the wound.  It is an equivalent of comfrey in its effect on wounds.  It may be used directly or as an ointment or compress.

Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica): The whole herb is styptic. It is applied externally to wounds etc. From Culpeper: this herb 'stamped with vinegar and applied in manner of a pultis, taketh away wens and hard swellings, and inflammation of the kernels under the eares and jawes,' and also that the distilled water of the flowers 'is used to make the heart merry, to make a good colour in the face, and to make the vitall spirits more fresh and lively.'

Hellebore, American White (Veratrum viride )   In standard medicine, Hellebore was employed for its irritant and sedative action in a wide range of complaints, including pneumonia, gout, rheumatism, typhoid and rheumatic fevers and local inflammations. American Hellebore preparations are well known to contain a complex mixture of steroid alkaloids (including jervine, pseudojervine, and meratroidine) that are still used by the medical profession to treat severe cases of high blood pressure and related cardiovascular conditions.  It is a very potent drug plant.  It is effective only in selected types of high blood pressure, and has many side effects if used over a long period of time. It has been used in the treatment of acute cases of pneumonia, peritonitis and threatened apoplexy. A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of chronic coughs and constipation. A portion of the root has been chewed, or a decoction used, in the treatment of stomach pain. The root has been used to make a skin wash and compresses for bruises, sprains and fractures. The powdered root has been applied as a healing agent to wounds and as a delousing agent. The stems have been scraped and the powder snuffed to induce sneezing. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash to treat aches and pains.

Helonias Root (Chamaelirium luteurm (Helonias dioica) )  The medicinal use of false unicorn root is based in Native American tradition, where it was recommended for many women’s health conditions, including lack of menstruation, painful menstruation, and other irregularities of menstruation, as well as to prevent miscarriages. It was also used as a remedy for morning sickness. This herb is one of the best tonics and strengtheners of the reproductive system that we have. Though primarily used for the female system, it can be equally beneficial for men. It is known to contain precursors of the estrogens. However, it acts in an amphoteric way to normalize function. The body may use this herb to balance and tone and thus it will aid in apparently opposite situations. Where ovarian pain occurs, False Unicorn Root may be safely used. The indication for its use is a dragging sensation in the extreme lower abdomen. It is useful in impotence, as a tonic in genito-urinary weakness or irritability, for liver and kidney diseases. Especially good in diseases due to poor action of the liver and not to weakness of the heart or circulation. It is a good remedy in albuminaria. Steroidal saponins are generally credited with providing false unicorn root’s activity.

Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)  Hemp agrimony has been employed chiefly as a detoxifying herb for fever, colds, flu and other acute viral conditions.  It also stimulates the removal of waste products via the kidneys.  The root is laxative, and the whole plant is considered to be tonic  Recently, hemp agrimony has found use as an immunostimulant, helping to maintain resistance to acute viral and other infections.

Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger )   The official preparation of Henbane is obtained from fresh or dried leaves, flowering tops and branches of the biennial form of the plant.  Internally henbane has been used for asthma, whooping cough, motion sickness, Meniere’s syndrome, tremor in senility or paralysis, and as preoperative medication.  Externally it has been used for neuralgia and dental and rheumatic pain.  It was added to laxatives to prevent griping, and to antiasthma and herbal cigarettes.  Its sedative and antispasmodic effect makes it a valuable treatment for the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, relieving tremor and rigidity during the early stages of the illness.  Henbane also has been used to treat asthma and bronchitis, usually as a “burning powder” or in the form of a cigarette.  Applied externally as an oil, it can relieve painful conditions such as neuralgia, sciatica, and rheumatism.  Henbane reduces mucus secretions, as well as saliva and other digestive juices.  One of henbane’s active components, hyoscine, is sometimes used as a substitute for opium.  Hyoscine is commonly used as a preoperative anesthetic and in motion sickness formulations.

Henna (Lawsonia inermis )  Used mainly within Ayurviedic and Unani medicine.  The fruits have been thought to stimulate the menstrual function.  In powdered form, the leaves have been utilized both internally and externally to treat various skin diseases, including leprosy, fungal infections, acne and boils.  In Arabic medicine the powder was employed in the treatment of jaundice, though there it is unlikely the henna benefited the patient at all. In India the leaves were made into an astringent gargle.  An infusion or decoction of the leaves is used for diarrhea and dysentery. 
Extracts of henna leaves have been shown to act in a manner similar to ergot with respect to inducing uterine contractions.  So it’s possible that extracts of the plant could induce menstruation and be effective emmanagogues.  The topical application of two chemical components of this shrub, lawsone and dihydroxyacetone, has been reported ultraviolet light for people with chlorpromazine-induced light sensitivity.  Experimentally, a water extract of the leaves inhibited gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.  Antitumor activity in experiments with mice tends to support folkloric uses of henna as an anticancer agent.

Hens and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) or Houseleek:    Internally used for shingles, skin complaints, and hemorrhoids.  The juice from the leaves of houseleeks have astringent and cooling properties, applied as an ointment to reduce fevers and relieve the pain of burns, scalds, inflammations, shingles, ulcers, ringworm, gout, headache, sunburn, inflamed or itching skin, and bee stings.  The juice was also an effective treatment for corns and warts on the hands and feet.  The leaves have been chewed to relieve toothache, and the juice has been sniffed to stop nosebleeds.  Simply pick one of the large outer leaves, squeeze it between forefinger and thumb and apply to the affected part.  The juice mixed in equal parts with wine expels worms.  Externally it is used to soften corns, as well as to reduce inflamed glands.  The juice, mixed with water in a proportion of 1:2, is used for conjunctivitis, or as a gargle.

Herb of the Wolf (Hymenoxys hoopesii): Pains due to rheumatism or pulmonary diseases are treated by rubbing with the dried, ground roots.  A tea made by boiling the roots has been used to treat stomachache and diarrhea, and to eliminate intestinal worms.  A snuff made from the crushed blossoms and the leaves of Psoralidium lanceolatum has been inhaled in the treatment of headaches and hay fever.

Herb Patience (Rumex patientia): The juice, and an infusion of the root, has been used as a poultice and salve in the treatment of various skin problems.  An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of constipation. The leaves have been rubbed in the mouth to treat sore throats. 

Herb Robert  (Geranium robertianum):  In the past Herb Robert was used mostly in veterinary medicine, especially fore the treatment of blood in the urine and infectious diseases.  An application for melancholy and sadness was recommended.  It stimulated the metabolism. It is now occasionally employed in much the same way as American cranesbill as an astringent and wound healer.  More investigation is needed as according to one authority it is also effective against stomach ulcers and inflammation of the uterus, and it has potential as a treatment for cancer.  To treat chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal trace, try administering Herb Robert in the form of a medicinal wine.  A simple one is made by filling a large jar half and half with freshly plucked, chopped Herb Robert and a good red wine.  Let the mixture stand for two weeks before straining it into a corked bottle.  Sip by snifter before meals.  For external applications, the freshly pressed juice of Herb Robert is best.  You can either apply the juice directly to the area being treated or use it In compresses.  Herb Robert is available as “Herba Geranii Robertiani and the homeopathic mother tincture “Geranium robertianum is prepared from the fresh flowering plant.

Hibiscus  (Hibiscus sabdariffa, rosa-sinensis):  In African folk medicine, the drug is considered spasmolytic, antibacterial, chologogic, diuretic and anthelmintic.  Aqueous extracts of hibiscus flowers are said to relax the muscles of the uterus and to lower the blood pressure.  The tincture is good for minor stomach and intestinal disorders.  Used for kidney and reproductive system problems due to heat.  Effective for menstrual difficulties, especially excessive bleeding.  Helps purify blood.  Good for the heart.  Improves skin complexion and promotes hair growth.  Dosage is 10-30 drops 3 times per day. 

Himalayan May Apple (Podophyllum hexandrum): A number of double-blind clinical studies have been done on the medicinal values of the key mayapple chemical extracts, podophyllotoxin and podophyllin. These have been proven efficacious in some serious medical conditions, including temporary resolution of HIV-related oral hairy leukoplakia, effective topical treatment for penile warts, interference with certain unhealthy cell cycles involved in leukemia, anti-tumor activity including for breast cancer treatment, and as a useful topical ointment to prevent scarring during healing after laser incisions.  Roots used to treat stomachache and vomiting.  Used to treat cancer, particularly ovarian cancer, but alopecia is said to be a common side effect.  Although it is used medicinally in India, it should not be substituted for mayapple roots as it is much stronger than the American species and contains far higher quantities of podophyllotoxin, with drastic laxative effect. 
           Recent ongoing studies have shown that the mayapple may help treat the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.  In one study, 30 patients were treated with a Podophyllum hexandrum derivative called CPH82. This derivative was given to them in a 50 mg capsule form (3 times daily) and compared with a placebo under a double blind condition. The patients showed significant improvement in amount of pain, morning stiffness and grip strength as well as in other areas after twelve weeks, (p < .01). The researchers concluded that the CPH 82 was effective in short term treatment but more researched is required to determine the long term effects.

Hoary Pepperwort (Cardaria draba): The seeds have been used as a cure for flatulence and food poisoning caused by eating suspect fish.

Hog Peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata): An infusion of the root has been used in the treatment of diarrhea. Externally, the root has been applied to bites from rattlesnakes.  A poultice of the pulverized leaves has been applied with any salve to swellings.

Hog Plum (Spondias radlkoferi): Drink as an astringent tea for diarrhea, gonorrhea, or sore throat – boil a handful of flower buds and bark together in 3 cups water for 10 minutes;  drink 1 cup before each meal.  For gonorrhea, take in this way for 10 days and re-test.  Use as a bath for stubborn sores, rashes, painful insect stings, and to bathe pregnant women who feel weak and tired beyond first trimester—boil a large double handful of leaves and a strip of bark 3 cm x 15 cm in 2 gallons of water for 10 minutes. 

Hog's Fennel (Peucedanum officinale): A fairly rare plant and not in general use  It resembles dill more than fennel, and either can be used as a substitute.  Russian herbalists have used the powdered herbs as a remedy for epilepsy. An infusion is used in the treatment of coughs, bronchial catarrh, intermittent fever and to stimulate menstrual discharge .
          The juice, say Dioscorides and Galen, used with vinegar and Rose-water put to the nose, helps those that are troubled with lethargy, frenzy, giddiness of the head, the falling-sickness, long and headache, palsy, sciatica and the cramp.  The juice dissolved in wine, or put into an egg, is good for a cough, or shortness of breath and for those that are troubled with wind in the body. It purges the belly gently, expels the hardness of the spleen, gives ease to women that have sore travail in childbirth and eases the pains of the reins and bladder, and also the womb.

Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum (O. sanctum) )  An infusion of the leaves is a quick remedy for bronchitis and colds and an infusion of the seeds is an excellent diuretic.  A decoction of the roots is thought to relieve malarial fever. Leaves are diaphoretic, antiperiodic, bronchitis, gastric & hepatic disorders etc. A tea prepared with the leaves of O. sanctum is commonly used in cough, cold, mild, indigestion, diminished appetite and malaise. Anthelmintic, deodorant, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, cardiotonic, blood purifier, useful in skin diseases, antipyretic particularly in malarial fevers. Externally applied on chronic non healing ulcers, inflammation, skin disorders, useful in nausea, pain in abdomen, worms, allergic rhinitis, all types of cough, respiratory disorders. It acts as a powerful mosquito repellent.  
            In a 1997 study at M.S. University of Baroda, India, 17 NIDDM patients were supplemented with 1 g basil leaf per day for 30 days. Ten NIDDM patients served as controls, receiving no supplementation. All subjects were taking antidiabetic medications and did not change their diets. Holy basil lowered fasting blood glucose 20.8 percent, total cholesterol 11.3 percent and triacylglycerols 16.4 percent.18 I recommend 1­4 g of dried leaf daily. . It is said that eating Holy basil along with other foods will relieve stomach problems including cramps and digestive disorders. 
           The ethanolic extract of the leaves exhibited a hypoglycemic effect in rats and an antispasmodic effect in isolated guinea pig ileum. Tulsi extract was administered to 20 patients with shortness of breath secondary to tropical eosinophia in an oral dosage of 500 mg TID and an improvement in breathing was noted. The aqueous extract showed a hypotensive effect on anesthetised dogs and cats and negative inotropic and chronotropic activity (reduces the force and rate, respectively) on rabbit's heart. Antibacterial activity has been shown against Staphlococcus aureus and Mycoplasma tuberculosis in vitro as well as against several other species of pathogens including fungi. The plant has had general adaptogenic effects in mice and rats and has been shown to protect against stress-induced ulcers. The leaf extract was found to protect guinea pigs against histamine and pollen induced asthma. Adaptogenic activity of Ocimum sanctum is reported in rats & mice.  
              Recent research studied the effect of Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi)on experimental cataract in rats and rabbits by P. SHARMA, S. KULSHRESHTHA AND A.L. SHARMA
Department of Pharmacology, S.N. Medical College, Agra - 282 001.                  
SUMMARY Objective: Methods: Two models of experimental cataract were induced: (1) Galactosaemic cataract in rats by 30% galactose, (2) Naphthalene cataract in rabbits by 1 gm/kg naphthalene. Ocimum sanctum (O.S.) was administered orally in both models at two dose levels 1 and 2 gm/kg of body weight for curative and prophylactic effects. The study was conducted for 40 days. 
Results: O.S. delayed the onset of cataract as well as the subsequent maturation of cataract significantly in both models. In addition to delay in reaching various stages of development of cataract, IV stage did not develop with high doses till completion of 40 days of experimental period.
Conclusion: O.S. delayed the process of cataractogenesis in both models.  The higher doses are more effective and have got promising prophylactic role rather than curative one. This effect is more clear in galactosaemiccataract.  (Indian J Pharmacol 1998; 30: 16-20) More research: Surender Singh and D.K. Majumdar University of Delhi, New Delhi, India: The fixed oil of O. sanctum seeds was screened for antiarthritic activity using Freund's adjuvant arthritis, formaldehyde-induced arthritis and also turpentine oil-induced joint edema in rats. The oil was administered intraperitoneally for 14 days in the case of adjuvant-induced arthritis and 10 days in formaldehyde-induced arthritis. The mean changes in diameter of paw were noted at regular intervals. X-rays of paws were taken at the end of study and SGOT & SGPT levels were also estimated. The fixed oil showed significant anti-arthritic activity in both models and anti-edema activity against turpentine oil-induced joint edema.
       Traditional Uses: The leaf infusion or fresh leaf juice is commonly used in cough, mild upper respiratory infections, bronchospasm, stress-related skin disorders and indigestion. It is combined with ginger and maricha (black pepper) in bronchial asthma. It is given with honey in bronchitis and cough. The leaf juice is taken internally and also applied directly on cutaneous lesions in ringworm. The essential oil has been used in ear infections. The seeds are considered a general nutritious tonic.

Honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis): Traditional herbalists in New England use an infusion as a diuretic and urinary tract tonic, to strengthen and cleanse the kidneys and to relieve frequent urination.  In the Orient it is held in especially high esteem to treat menstrual and puerperal diseases of women.  Honewort root has been prescribed for Chinese women who wish to conceive.

Honey Locust (Gleditsia sinensis): A decoction of the leaves is used for washing sores, including syphilitic skin diseases.  It is used in the treatment of bronchial asthma with sticky phlegm, epilepsy and apoplexy with loss of consciousness. The thorns are used in the treatment of acute purulent inflammation, dermatopathies and tonsillitis. They should not be used by pregnant women. The plant has been used in the treatment of lockjaw, stroke, acute numbness of the throat and epilepsy.  It reduces swellings, opens the orifices, revives the spirit and dissolves phlegm. Commonly used to treat cough with sputum that is difficult to expectorate, facial paralysis, loss of consciousness and abscesses.  The seeds have been used in the treatment of cancer of the rectum. Fruits, seeds: loosen mucus in the respiratory tracts; increase urine flow.  Bark, roots: expel intestinal worms; treat fever

Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica & L. caprifolium) The Chinese use honeysuckle flowers extensively to treat sore throat, colds, flu, tonsillitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.  Honeysuckle flower extracts are strongly active against many microorganisms that cause sore throat and respiratory conditions.  It has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity against salmonella typhi, pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pneumoniae.  It’s considered the echinacea of Chinese medicine.   It’s also been shown to have an inhibitory effect with  tuberculosis.  A suggested help is making a tea with a handful of flowers per cup of oiling water and drinking up to three cups a day. The bark is diuretic and may be taken to relieve gout, kidney stones and liver problems.   In winter a decoction of twigs and dried leaves can be drunk adding lemon and honey for flavor.  The leaves are astringent and make a good gargle and mouthwash for sore throats and canker sores.   The FDA has not put honeysuckle on its GRAS list

CHINESE: Clears heat and relieves fire toxicity: for hot, painful sores and swellings in various stages of development, especially of the breast, throat, or eyes.  Also for Intestinal abscess.  Expels externally-contracted wind-heat: for the early stages of warm-febrile diseases with such symptoms as fever, slight sensitivity to wind, sore throat, and headache.  Also for externally-contracted summer heat.  Clears damp-heat from the lower burner: for damp-heat dysenteric disorder or painful urinary dysfunction.

Hoodia (Hoodia gordonii): Some tribes in Namibia boil the Hoodia to treat various ailments with the brew. including severe abdominal cramps, hemorrhoids, tuberculosis, indigestion, hypertension and diabetes.
             Current popular use is for weight control.  Within the hypothalamus, there are nerve cells that sense glucose sugar. When you eat, blood sugar goes up because of the food, these cells start firing and now you are full. What the Hoodia seems to contain is a molecule that is about 10,000 times as active as glucose. It goes to the mid-brain and actually makes those nerve cells fire as if you were full. But you have not eaten. Nor do you want to.
            Published scientific conference abstracts (not peer reviewed) of research studies have reported that orally administered crude or partially purified extracts of four different Hoodia species reduced food intake and body weight and body fat of obese and, to a lesser extent, lean rats.  Other animal studies performed in South Africa reported weight loss due to appetite suppression from intake of hoodia (56^).  An unpublished 2-week clinical trial of P57, as a less purified extract, also found body fat loss, reduced energy intake, as well as lower blood sugar and triglycerides

Hopi Tea (Thelesperma gracile): It is considered useful for the kidneys, especially in winter. To settle the stomach and purify the blood.  It is combined with Canela, Yerba Buena, or Poleo (with a pinch of cone sugar added for a more tasty brew). The tea is kind to the stomach, and was used traditionally as a  vermifuge. 

Hops (Humulus lupulus)   The strobiles of hops are mildly sedative and diuretic.  They are a bitter digestive that is especially suited for treating nervous indigestion, ulcers, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. They relax nerves and smooth muscles, especially in the digestive tract, within 20-40 minutes after ingestion.  A 1980 study suggested that they contain a muscle-relaxing constituent in addition to lupulin, which had been assumed to be the only active chemical.  Hops’ antibacterial agents, responsible for preserving bread and beer, also fight digestive tract infections.  Hormonal effects from estrogen-like compounds were first noted when female hops pickers experienced changes in their menstrual cycles (some even stopped menstruating) after absorbing quantities of the essential oil through their hands.  Aphrodisiacal effects were observed in men. Regular doses of the herb can help regulate the menstrual cycle.  GLA which also occurs in evening primrose oil, has been found in hops, suggesting its usefulness for PMS and menstrual problems, especially muscle cramps, headaches, and sore breaks.  Hops also helps insomniacs.  A hops poultice can relive the pain and inflammation of earache or toothache.  Experiments in Germany have shown that hops tinctures are more stable than dried hops, which quickly degrades with exposure to light and humidity.   Externally used for skin infections, eczema, herpes, and leg ulcers.  Combined with Valerian as a sedative and Roman Chamomile or Peppermint for nervous digestive problems.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare )  Horehound’s bitterness stimulates the appetite and also promotes bile, making large doses laxative. The whole herb and its derivatives are used in thousands of lung medications around the world, especially for treating bronchitis and coughs.  The essential oils and marrubiin dilate the arteries and help to ease lung congestion. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucus, which is more readily cleared by coughing.    Marrubiin also normalizes the heart beat and is a weak sedative. At one time, horehound was suggested for relieving menstrual pain and slowing a rapid heart beat.  Since it also induces sweating, it has been used to reduce fevers, even those associated with malaria. It is less commonly used as a decoction for skin conditions.  Old recipes call for the leaves to be boiled in lard and applied to wounds. 

Hornbeam, American (Carpinus caroliniana): The astringent inner bark was used to staunch bleeding.  Delaware Indians used the root or bark infusion for general debility and female ailments.  Iroquois used it for childbirth and used the bark chips in a polyherbal formula for tuberculosis.  Iroquois also used it for big injuries and Italian itch.  An infusion has been used in the treatment of diarrhea and difficult urination with discharge.

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)…Horse chestnut is astringent, an anti-inflammatory, and an aid to toning the vein walls, which, when slack or distended, may become varicose, hemorrhoidal, or otherwise problematic.  Horse chestnut also reduces fluid retention by acting on the connective tissue barrier between blood vessels and tissue, where nutrients and gases diffuse, inhibiting exudation and the development of edema and reducing vascular fragility.  The wall of the vein becomes less permeable, and this inhibits edema and allows the reabsorption of excess fluid back into the circulatory system.  The bark can be used to reduce fever  (dose of ½ ounce of the bark in 24 hours). The herb has been taken internally in small to moderate doses for leg ulcers, varicose veins, phlebitis, inflammation of the veins,  hemorrhoids, and frostbite, and applied externally as a lotion, ointment, or gel.  It also stops the enzymes that break down damaged veins (along with the enzyme bromelain from pineapple and gotu kola).  After only 12 days of taking horse chestnut, the level of these enzymes drops by one-quarter.   Research trials have shown that application of a topical escin (aescin) gel reduced the pain of injection hematoma and could be extrapolated to other models in which extravasated blood leads to inflammation and tenderness as in impact hematoma. In the US, a decoction of the leaves has been given for whooping cough.
The seeds have been employed in the treatment of rheumatism and neuralgia and also in rectal complaints and for hemorrhoids. In France, an oil extracted from the seeds has been used externally for rheumatism.  For painful cramps in the legs at night recommended dosage is 20 drops or more of a standardized horse chestnut preparation at night. 
Japanese scientists found that horse chestnut (along with witch hazel, rosemary and sage) having sufficient antioxidant activity to have potential against wrinkles.  Soothing and astringent salves containing these herbs can be mixed for use.

Horseradish  (Armoracia rusticana):  Horseradish has long been known as a stimulant for many parts of the circulatory system, while having antiseptic qualities too.  When taken with rich food it assists digestion and when a little horseradish is taken regularly it will build up resistance to coughs and colds.  In dropsy, it benefits the system by correcting imbalances in the digestive organs.  In a more concentrated form, it is able to reduce catarrhal and bronchial complaints.  Horseradish taken inwardly also relieves sinus pain and is said to help reduce blood pressure.  As a poultice it’s used for rheumatitis, chest complaints and circulation problems.  Infused in wine it becomes a general stimulant and causes perspiration.  It is believed to be a good vermifuge for children.  It is richer in vitamin C than orange or lemon.  The volatiles in horseradish have been shown to be antimicrobial against some organisms.  Horseradish derivatives may be useful to replace current microbial treatments that remove toxic pollutants form water and make them insoluble.  Syrup of horseradish is made by steeping a tablespoon of grated horseradish root in a cup of boiling water and covering it for two hours.  The horseradish is then strained out and either sugar or honey is added.  Heat until a thick syrupy consistency is achieved.  Bottle for use.  A peroxidase enzyme extracted from the root has novel commercial applications as an oxidizer in chemical tests to evaluate blood glucose, and a molecular probe in studies on rheumatoid arthritis. 

Horsetail (Equisetum spp. (arvense and hyemale)) The astringent, healing stems check bleeding in wounds, nosebleeds, and heavy menstruation. A strong diuretic for urinary tract and prostate disorders, they also tonify the urinary mucous membranes, can control bed-wetting, and help with skin problems. The other main use is for deep-seated damage in lung disease.  Horsetail absorbs gold dissolved in water better than most plants, as much as 4 ounces per ton of fresh stalks.  The amount of gold in a cup of horsetail tea is quite small, but small amounts of gold are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and the Chinese used horsetail for this.
          Ellingwood suggests the following uses: dropsy, lithaemia, haematuria, gonorrhoea, gleet, irritable bladder, enuresis in children, prostatis, and the ashes for acid dyspepsia.  It is often combined with Hydrangea in the treatment of prostate troubles
          This is one of the silica-containing plant drugs where the silica is largely in a water-soluble colloidal form.  It is primarily a connective tissue drug, but is also considered a diuretic, though this is true only within limits.  The silica is not responsible for a certain diuretic effect, which clearly is not very great and is probably due to saponins.  A search has been made for other constituents that might explain the diuretic effect.  A close relative of the common horsetail, Equisetum palustre.  Animal experiments designed to demonstrate the diuretic properties of the horsetail came up with widely differing results.  Some investigators obtained completely negative results, others noted an increase in urinary output by up to 68% in rats, and called the horsetail one of the most powerful diuretics..  Reports on the use of this plant with normal subjects and patients are similarly contradictory.  The diuretic effect does not appear to have been very great in this case.  Horsetail has the advantage that no harmful effects have been reported. 
A more important property of this plants is the general metabolic stimulation it achieves, above all increasing connective tissue resistance.  As connective tissues are also involved in rheumatic conditions, this explains the usefulness of the drug in this field.  In the use of this plant, emphasis should be placed not so much on the diuretic effect, as has been generally assumed so far, but the antidyscratic and humoral actions.  The key indications are therefore more in the metabolic spehre. E.g. edema of the legs tdue to metabolic causes and in many cases of rheumatoid arthritis and arthrosis.  Sitz baths with equisetum extract are indicated for functional pelvic disease in women where there is no inflammation such as adnexitis or parametritis, but primarily muscular tensions and changes in muscle tone in the small pelvis that are autonomous in origin. 
The silica is relatively easily dissolved out of the herb by making a decoction, 2.0g of the dried herb boiled for three hours in 200ml of water.  Extraction is even better if a little sugar is added.  The resulting decoction contains 55.5mg of SiO2 and is remarkably stable.  Silica greatly accelerates blood coagulation, and horsetail is our best silica drug.
       In China, E. hyemale is used mainly to cool fevers and as a remedy for eye inflammations, such as conjunctivitis and corneal disorders

Hound's Tongue  (Cynoglossum officinale )   An infusion from shaved root or crushed leaves is used to bathe cuts, bruises, burns and eczema and to treat coughs and bronchitis.  The leaves produce a potent poultice for external relief of scrofulous tumors, burns, goiter and inflammations.  Use similar to comfrey.  It makes a good treatment for piles and hemorrhoids, drink a cup of the herb or root every day.  It has been used in  catarrhs, hemoptysis, diarrhea, and dysentery. Externally, it has been found highly beneficial in removing the pain and soreness attending irritated, bruised, or chafed parts especially in excoriation of the feet from much traveling. The tincture, or the application of bruised fresh leaves will remove the swelling and ecchymosis consequent upon severe blows or bruises.

Hsien Yu (Curculigo ensifolia): The root is used for arthritis, blenorrhea, cachexia, enuresis, impotency, and weak kidneys, incontinence, lassitude, lumbago, nervine, tonic, for neurasthenia, to increase virility in premature senility

Hu Lu Ch'a (Tadehagi triquetrum): Whole plant: expels intestinal worms; treats spasms in infants, indigestion, piles, abscesses. Whole plant decoction is drunk as hematinic and used medicinally as an antipyretic, diuretic, for invigorating the spleen, and promoting digestion.  Leaves employed as a tonic and hemorrhoid remedy.

Huckleberry, Black (Gaylussacia baccata): An infusion of the leaves, or the bark, has been used in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of Bright's disease.

Hyacinth Bean (Lablab purpureus (Dolichos lablab)) Hyacinth bean is mild-and-lightly-warm-natured, tastes sweet.  It can tonify the spleen and stomach, relieve internal heat fever, relieve summer beat-and damp and remove dampness to stop diarrohea, etc.,  leukorrhea, with reddish discharge, infantile malnutrition and anti-cancer, etc.  The seeds are used to stimulate gastric activities, for vomiting and diarrhoea in acute gastro-enteritis, thirst in heat-stroke,  rheumatic arthritis, sunstroke, as an antidote against fish and vegetable poisoning and to treat colic and cholera.  The flowers are used to treat dysentery when there is pus and bloody stools, inflammation of the uterus and to increase menstrual flow.  Contraindicated in cases of intermittent fevers and chills, and in cold disorders.

Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens )   It treats fluid retention and stone formation in the kidneys and bladder. It is also used for cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and edema. It also is excellent for chronic penile discharge in men and mucousal urinary irritation in the aged.  It is also used to decrease pain and inflammation in the urinary tract and when stones are passed.  The dried root is considered strongest, but the leaves are sometimes also used.  According to the Eclectic doctors, it does not actually dissolve the stones but helps them to pass and prevents their reoccurrence.  It’s used in combination with other herbs to treat inflamed and enlarged prostates.  The roots have a laxative effect.  Hydrangea contains a substance called rutin which is valuable in decreasing capillary fragility and reducing the incidence of recurrent hemorrhages.

Hyssop (Hyssop officinalis)  The flowering tops and the leaves are tonic and stomachic.  Hyssop contains marrubiin, also found in horehound.  It’s an expectorant, used to treat lung conditions, specifically bronchitis, especially where there is excessive mucus production. Hyssop appears to encourage the production of a more liquid mucus, and at the same time gently stimulates expectoration.  This combined action clears thick and congested phlegm.  Hyssop can irritate the mucous membranes, so it is best given after an infection has peaked, when the herb’s tonic action encourages a general recovery.    Hyssop also contains ursolic acid, which reduces inflammation, so the tea makes a good sore throat gargle.  Studies also show it to be an antiviral that is especially effective against the herpes simplex virus.  It is included in some flu and cold remedies to reduce congestion and fevers.  As a sedative, hyssop is a useful remedy against asthma in both children and adults, especially where the condition is exacerbated by mucus congestion.  Like many herbs with a strong volatile oil, it soothes the digestive tract and can be an effective remedy against indigestion, gas, bloating, and colic.  An old country remedy for rheumatism was made from the fresh green tops brewed into a tea and taken several times a day.  When hyssop flowers are blended with valerian root, chamomile flowers, a few peppermint leaves, and a pinch of lavender flowers, the mixture makes a powerful sedative tea on going to bed.  A wash made from the leaves and applied to cuts and bruises is antiseptic and healing. The leaves were soaked in oil and applied to the head to kill lice.  Special application for adders’ sting was a compress of bruised hyssop leaves mixed with honey, salt, and cumin seeds.  Experimental extracts have shown promise against herpes simplex.  The green tops of the herb can be added to soups to benefit asthmatics.  Hyssop baths are useful for rheumatic complaints. 

Hyssop, Mexican Giant (Agastache mexicana): Intensely lemon-scented leaves; used in tea and as medicine in Mexico where it is considered an important aid to digestion.  It relieves flatulence, indigestion and dyspepsia, and improves appetite, and is often recommended for children. It is popular for weight control, anorexia, and central nervous system disorders.  Taken with cognac, it is an excellent sudorific, and helps to lower a fever.  






The Herb Growing & Marketing Network
Maureen Rogers, Director
PO Box 245, Silver Spring, PA 17575-0245
717-393-3295; FAX: 717-393-9261