is also used for medicinal purposes, to relive a
wide range of symptoms from inflammation to
Tea (Ledum groenlandicum
) -- Pacific Northwest natives use a
strong leaf tonic as a blood purifier and treatment
for rheumatism. Tribes
farther north use the same infusion to combat cold
also marinate strong meats in it.
In Alaska, Labrador tea has been used to treat
stomach ailments, hangovers, and dizziness, as well as
pulmonary disorders including tuberculosis.
Infusions have also been used as a wash
to soothe itching rashes including poison ivy,
sores, burns, lice, and leprosy.
In modern herbalism it is occasionally used
externally to treat a range of skin problems. A tea is
taken internally in the treatment of headaches,
asthma, colds, stomach aches, kidney ailments etc.
Externally, it is used as a wash for burns, ulcers,
itches, chapped skin, stings, dandruff etc. An
ointment made from the powdered leaves or roots has
been used to treat ulcers, cracked nipples, burns and
plant is apparently a mild narcotic, it was taken by
Indian women three times daily shortly before giving
Lacquer Tree (Loropetalum
chinense): A decoction of the whole plant is
used in the treatment of coughing in tuberculosis,
dysentery, enteritis etc. The leaves can be crushed and
pulverized for external application on wounds.
Ladies' Fingers (Anthyllis vulneraria
) - This plant is an ancient remedy for
skin eruptions, slow-healing wounds, minor wounds,
cuts and bruises, it is applied externally.
Internally, as an infusion, it is used as a treatment
for constipation and as a spring tonic. A decoction is
used in compresses or bath preparations for treating
inflamed wounds, ulcers and eczema, and in gargles and
mouth washes. It
can be used as a substitute for ordinary tea mixed
with the leaves of Wild Strawberry, Raspberry and the
flowers of Blackthorn. The plant can be used fresh in
the growing season, or harvested when in flower and
dried for later use.
Old flowers are not dried because they turn
brown and disintegrate.
Bedstraw (Galium verum) A
slightly bitter-tasting remedy, lady's bedstraw is used
mainly as a diuretic and for skin problems.
The herb is given for kidney stones, bladder
stones and other urinary conditions, including cystitis.
It is occasionally used as means to relieve
chronic skin problems such as psoriasis, but in general,
cleavers is preferred as a treatment for this condition.
Lady's bedstraw has had a
longstanding reputation, especially in France, of
being a valuable remedy for epilepsy, though it is
rarely used for this purpose today.
It has long been used in folk medicine as a
styptic and for making foot baths.
Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)
root, harvested in spring or fall, and the leaves,
harvested as the plant blooms in June, are used
A decoction of the fresh root is
a powerful styptic which stops bleeding of a cut
and is also used as an eyewash..
The leaves are also astringent and styptic owing
to their tannin content. The tea is used internally for
excessive menstrual bleeding, for prolonged blood loss
due to menopausal or uterine fibroids and to reduce
pains associated with periods as well as diarrhea.
Lady’s mantle has a very rapid healing action and
gargling with the herb after the loss or removal of
teeth is one of the most beneficial activities the
patient can indulge in. It is also very effective for
mouth ulcers and sores as well as laryngitis. Any skin
troubles, such as inflamed wounds or rashes, should also
be bathed with a liquid made from this herb. It battles
vomiting and flux and eases bruises and ruptures. After
giving birth, women should drink a tea of Lady’s
mantle, specially if it is mixed with shepherd’s purse
or yarrow. It aids with debility of the abdomen and, for
women who are likely to miscarry, it is strengthening
for the fetus and the uterus. Culpeper claimed women who
wanted to conceive should drink a decoction of Lady’s
mantle for 20 days before conception. Once she’s
pregnant, the woman should sit in a bath made from the
decoction. Culpeper also recommended it for "green
wounds" or gangrene.
One ounce of the dried leaves is added to a pint
of water for medicinal purposes. While the plant is
generally considered of historical interest in America,
it has a long, continuing tradition as a popular
European herb medicine.
Its astringency, and hence medicinal benefit, is
attributed to the tannin content, though the plant has
been little studied.
In Europe, decoctions or infusions of lady’s
mantle are valuable to treat diarrhea and other
gastrointestinal conditions. Europeans, especially
Swedes, find it useful to reduce heavy menstruation and
prevent menstrual and even intestinal cramping.
It is also recommended when a woman’s body is
adjusting hormone levels such as after childbirth and
Tinctures or gargles of the herb can help soothe
irritated mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. A
recent study identified the ellagitannins, agrimoniin
and pendunculagin, in the herb. These compounds may be
partly responsible for the plant’s biological
activity. A trace of salicylic acid is also found in the
Try using externally as a vaginal douche or
following antibiotic treatment for trichomonas and
candida infections when the healthy vaginal flora has
been disturbed and requires strengthening.
Lady’s Mantle tea is also used as an adjunct
treatment for ovarian failure or inflammation, irregular
menstruation, prolapsed uterus, constitutional
miscarriage and menopausal difficulties.
Avoid during pregnancy as it is a uterine
Slipper (Cypripedium calceolus var.
pubescens) Lady’s slipper used to be a
specific remedy to overcome depression, mental anxiety,
and troubled sleep.
It was often recommended for women for both
emotional and physical imbalances relating to menopause
or menstruation, such as nervous tension, headaches, or
slipper is said to increase nervous tone after a long
disease and to relax nervous muscle twitches.
It is almost always given as an alcoholic
tincture, since some constituents are not water-soluble.
Lady’s slipper is often compared to valerian,
although valerian doesn’t create the uncomfortable
Anglo-Saxons used Lady’s-thumb as a remedy for sore
eyes and ears. They called it Untrodden to Pieces, perhaps because it was so
hardy and though that it survived even being stepped
upon or otherwise crushed.
byzantina (S. lanata, S. olympia))
Lamb’s ears make a natural bandage and dressing to
) - The bark, stripped of its outer layer, has
its main application as an expectorant in chronic
respiratory problems such as bronchitis and
pharyngitis and has also been given internally in the
treatment of hemorrhage, cystitis and urethritis. A
cold extract of the bark is used as a laxative. As an
external application, it is useful in the treatment of
chronic eczema and psoriasis. The powdered bark can be
used on purulent and difficult wounds to promote their
healing. The turpentine obtained from the resin is a
valuable remedy in the treatment of kidney, bladder
and rheumatic affections, and also in diseases of the
mucous membranes and the treatment of respiratory
complaints. Externally, the turpentine is used in the
form of liniment plasters and inhalers. It has also
been suggested for combating poisoning by cyanide or
opium. The resin is applied to wounds, where it
protects and counters infection.
A decoction of the bark is sometimes used to
soothe eczema and psoriasis.
Larix, American (Larix laricina)
Tamarack was employed medicinally by a number of native
North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a
variety of complaints.
It is used in the treatment of jaundice, anemia,
rheumatism, colds and skin ailments. It is gargled in
the treatment of sore throats and applied as a poultice
to sores, swellings and burns. A tea made from the
leaves is used as an astringent in the treatment of
piles, diarrhea etc. An infusion of the buds and bark is
used as an expectorant. The needles and inner bark are
disinfectant and laxative. A tea is used in the
treatment of coughs. A poultice made from the warm,
boiled inner bark is applied to wounds to draw out
infections, to burns, frostbite and deep cuts. The resin
is chewed as a cure for indigestion. It has also been
used in the treatment of kidney and lung disorders, and
as a dressing for ulcers and burns.
Rocket (Delphinium ajacis) Larkspur
formerly had a reputation for its ability to
consolidate and heal wounds, while the juice from the
leaves is considered to be a remedy for piles and an
infusion of the flowers and leaves has been used as a
remedy for colicky children. However, the whole plant
is very poisonous and it should not be used internally
without the guidance of an expert.
Externally, it can be used as a parasiticide. A
tincture of the seed is applied externally to kill
lice in the hair.
(Lavandula officinalis) : In the past, lavender has been used as a
folk remedy for numerous conditions, including acne,
cancer, colic, faintness, flatulence, giddiness,
migraine, nausea, neuralgia, nervous headache, nervous
palpitations, poor appetite, pimples, rheumatism, sores,
spasms, sprains, toothache, vomiting and worms.
Lavender salts have been employed for centuries
as a stimulant to prevent fainting; lavender oil vapor
is traditionally inhaled to prevent vertigo and
fainting. A compound tincture of lavender (also known as
Palsy Drops) was officially recognized by the British
Pharmacopoeia for over 200 years, until the 1940s.
Used to relieve muscle spasms, nervousness, and
headaches, it originally contained over 30 ingredients.
Tests show that lavender’s essential oil is a
potent ally in destroying a wide range of bacterial
infections, including staph, strep, pneumonia, and most
flu viruses. It is also strongly anti-fungal.
A lavender-flower douche is an effective
treatment for vaginal infections, especially candida-type
Lavender ointments are rubbed into burns,
bruises, varicose veins, and other skin injuries.
The straight oil is dabbed on stops the itching
of insect bites.
umbilicalis): Sloke gives off a green liquid,
thought to be rich in iron (used as a dietary
supplement). There is a story of one woman having had a
case of dropsy cured by drinking two bottles of sloke
water. In Scotland, the natives ate the laver boiled,
and dissolved into oil. It was said that if a little
butter was added to it one might live many years on this
alone, without bread or any other food, and at the same
time undergo any laborious exercise.
) Traditionally has been used for
epilepsy and scabies.
The dried root is sometimes used as an
astringent, or as a chewing-gum.
Chewing the root produces copious salivation.
It has been used to treat toothache, and, in the form
of a poultice or plaster, back pain and sciatica.
) The fruit is an excellent source of
vitamin C and has cooling properties.
Lemon juice is a traditional remedy for
sunburn, and it was once taken cold to relieve
feverish conditions including malaria.
Today, hot lemon juice and honey is still a
favorite home remedy for colds and its astringency is
useful for sore throats. In the home, lemon juice may
be used to descale kettles and acts as a mild bleach.
Lemons are an excellent preventative medicine
and have a wide range of uses in the domestic medicine
chest. The fruit is rich in vitamin C which helps the
body to fight off infections and also to prevent or
treat scurvy. It was at one time a legal requirement
that sailors should be given an ounce of lemon each
day in order to prevent scurvy. Applied locally, the
juice is a good astringent and is used as a gargle for
sore throats etc. Lemon juice is also a very effective
bactericide. It is also a good antiperiodic and has
been used as a substitute for quinine in treating
malaria and other fevers. Although the fruit is very acid, once eaten it has an
alkalizing effect upon the body. This makes it useful
in the treatment of rheumatic conditions.
The skin of the ripe fruit is carminative and
stomachic. The essential oil from the skin of the
fruit is strongly rubefacient and when taken
internally in small doses has stimulating and
The stembark is bitter, stomachic and tonic.
Some of the plants more recent applications are
as sources of anti-oxidants and chemical exfoliants in
The bioflavonoids in the fruit help to
strengthen the inner lining of blood vessels,
especially veins and capillaries, and help counter
varicose veins and easy bruising.
Balm (Melissa officinalis) Lemon
balm’s main action is as a tranquilizer.
It calms a nervous stomach, colic, or heart
leaves are reputed to also lower blood pressure.
It is very gentle, although effective, so is
often suggested for children and babies. The hot tea
brings on a sweat that is good for relieving colds, flus
and fevers and an antiviral agent has been found that
combats mumps, cold sores and other viruses.
The tea has also been shown to inhibit the division of
tumor cells. Studies
indicate that the herb slightly inhibits the
thyroid-stimulating hormone and restricts Grave’s
disease, a hyperthyroid condition.
Lemon balm’s antihistamine action is useful to
treat eczema and headaches and accounts for the
centuries-old tradition of placing the fresh leaf on
insect bites and wounds.
Lemon balm has antipyretic, refreshing, cholagogic and
stimulating properties. Use a pad soaked in the infusion
to relieve painful swellings such as gout. Use as ointment for sores, insect bites, or to repel insects.
Use hot infused oil as ointment or gentle massage
oil for depression, tension, asthma and bronchitis.
A clinical multicentric study in Germany offers evidence
of the antiviral activity of a specially prepared dried
extract of lemon balm against herpes simplex infections.
The extract was a concentrated (70:1) dry extract
of lemon balm which was included at a level of 1% in a
cream base. Patients
applied the cream 2-4 times daily for 5-10 days.
In the group receiving the active Melissa cream,
there was a significant improvement in symptoms on day
two compared to the placebo group and on day five over
50% more patients were symptom-free than in the placebo
be effective, the treatment must be started in the very
early stages of the infection.
Research has clearly demonstrated the plant’s ability
to impact the limbic system of the brain and
“protect” the brain from the powerful stimuli of the
body and should be part of any ADHD formula.
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia
as a mildly sedative tea to soothe bronchial and nasal
congestion, to reduce indigestion, flatulence, stomach
cramps, nausea and palpitations.
Lemon verbena is especially useful for women. In
the past, midwives gave a woman in the last phases of
childbirth a strong tea to stimulate contractions of the
Ancient Egyptian medicine included it for this
Today, verbaline has been isolated from the plant
and used as a stimulant for uterus contractions.
Do not use the oil internally during pregnancy.
Used as a cold compress or in an aroma lamp, it
is wonderfully refreshing and aids the birth process
where stamina is required.
It has also been said to stimulate milk
production and to be helpful for infertility.
Its tonic effect on the nervous system is less
pronounced than that of lemon balm, but nonetheless
helps to counter depression.
In East India and Sri Lanka, where it is called
"fever tea," lemon grass leaves are combined
with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular
menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Lemon grass is one of the most popular herbs in Brazil and
the Caribbean for nervous and digestive problems.
The Chinese use lemon grass in a similar fashion,
to treat headaches, stomachaches, colds, and rheumatic
essential oil is used straight in India to treat
ringworm or in a paste with buttermilk to rub on
ringworm and bruises. Studies show it does destroy many types of bacteria and fungi
and is a deodorant.
It may reduce blood pressure - a traditional
Cuban use of the herb - and it contains five different
constituents that inhibit blood coagulation.
Lettuce, Larkspur (Lactuca
ludoviciana): The whole plant is rich in a milky
sap that flows freely from any wounds. This hardens and
dries when in contact with the air. The sap contains 'lactucarium',
which is used in medicine for its anodyne,
antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic, hypnotic, narcotic
and sedative properties. Lactucarium has the effects of
a feeble opium, but without its tendency to cause
digestive upsets, nor is it addictive. It is taken
internally in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety,
neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry coughs,
whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc. Concentrations of
lactucarium are low in young plants and most
concentrated when the plant comes into flower. It is
collected commercially by cutting the heads of the
plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several
times a day until the plant is exhausted. An infusion of
the fresh or dried flowering plant can also be used. The
plant should be used with caution, and never without the
supervision of a skilled practitioner. Even normal doses
can cause drowsiness whilst excess causes restlessness
and overdoses can cause death through cardiac paralysis.
Some physicians believe that any effects of this
medicine are caused by the mind of the patient rather
than by the medicine. The sap has also been applied
externally in the treatment of warts.
Lettuce, Prickly (Lactuca
The whole plant is rich in a
milky sap that flows freely from any wounds. This
hardens and dries when in contact with the air. The sap
contains 'lactucarium', which is used in medicine for
its anodyne, antispasmodic, digestive, diuretic,
hypnotic, narcotic and sedative properties. Lactucarium
has the effects of a feeble opium, but without its
tendency to cause digestive upsets, nor is it addictive.
It is taken internally in the treatment of insomnia,
anxiety, neuroses, hyperactivity in children, dry
coughs, whooping cough, rheumatic pain etc.
Concentrations of lactucarium are low in young plants
and most concentrated when the plant comes into flower
It is collected commercially by cutting the heads of the
plants and scraping the juice into china vessels several
times a day until the plant is exhausted. This species
does not contain as much lactucarium as L. virosa. An
infusion of the fresh or dried flowering plant can also
Lettuce, White: (Nabalus
Chippewa doctor considered this a “milk root” and used
the root as a remedy for female complaints, possibly as
a douche in leucorrhea, to help arrest the discomforting
white discharge of the vagina. At the same time a tea
of the leaves was taken as a diuretic to flush the
poisons from the urinary organs. To the Indians, the
oozing bitter juice also corresponded to the pus of a
sore, for which purpose he applied a poultice of the
leaves to the bites of snakes and insects. In time, the
herb became better known for its content of the
astringent tannic acid and was used not only in
dysentery but as an everyday vulnerary, to heal
cancerous and canker sores. The powdered root is
sprinkled on food to stimulate milk flow after
childbirth. A tea made from the roots is used as a wash
for weakness. A latex in the stems is diuretic it is
used in female diseases. It is also taken internally in
the treatment of snakebite. . Used in diarrhea and
relaxed and debilitated conditions of the bowels.
Vermifuge. Santonin is particularly active against
round-worms, and to some extent against threadworms.
Wormseed has been taken combined with honey or
treacle or as a decoction, it must be used with care
as high doses are toxic.
Since Hippocrates' day
licorice has been prescribed for dropsy because it does,
indeed, prevent thirst--probably the only sweet thing
that does. The chief medicinal action of licorice is as
a demulcent and emollient. Its soothing properties make
it excellent in throat and chest complaints and it is a
very common ingredient in throat pastilles and cough
mixtures. It is also widely used in other medicines to
counteract bitter tastes and make them more palatable.
Recent research has shown that it has a pain-killing
effect on stomach ulcers and prolonged use raises the
blood pressure. Medicinally the dried peeled root has
been decocted to allay coughs, sore throat, laryngitis,
and urinary and intestinal irritations. The root is
expectorant, diuretic, demulcent, antitussive,
anti-inflammatory, and mildly laxative. It has proven
helpful in inflammatory upper respiratory disease,
Addison's disease, and gastric and duodenal ulcers. Side
effects may develop in ulcer treatment. Licorice may
increase venous and systolic arterial pressure causing
some people to experience edema, and hypertension. In
some countries, licorice has been used to treat cancers.
Licorice stick, the sweet earthy flavored stolons, are
chewed. Licorice chew sticks blackened Napoleon's
teeth. In the 1940s Dutch physicians tested licorice's
reputation as an aid for indigestion. They came up with
a derivative drug, carbenoxolone, that promised to help
peptic ulcer patients by either increasing the life span
of epithelial cells in the stomach or inhibiting
digestive activity in general. Many cures were achieved
in the experiments, but negative side effects--the
patients' faces and limbs swelled
uncomfortably--outweighed the cures.
Certain agents in
licorice have recently been credited with antibacterial
and mild antiviral effects; licorice may be useful in
treating dermatitis, colds, and infections. It also has
been used in a medicinal dandruff shampoo. Other
modern-day research found that the herb can reduce
An extract of
licorice is made by crushing the fresh or stored roots,
then boiling or passing steam through them and
evaporating the liquid, leaving a thick paste or solid
black glossy substance with a sharp fracture. The active
ingredient Glycyrrhizin may cause hypertension from
potassium loss, sodium retention, and in increase of
extracellular fluid and plasma volume. It is fifty
times sweeter than sugar. Licorice also reportedly
contains steroid hormones, but their relation to
licorice's biological activity is yet to be
though extracts have been shown to be estrogenic in
laboratory animals. Perhaps the most common medicinal
use is in cough syrups and cough drops; licorice soothes
the chest and helps bring up phlegm. Licorice has also
been used to treat ulcers, to relieve rheumatism and
arthritis, and to induce menstruation. In this country
it was used in powder form as a laxative.
Licorice root is being used today in France
and China in eye drops that relieve inflammation.
Sodium salts of glycyrrhinic acid are extracted from the
root and added to the eye drop formula. The cortisone
like action of the licorice root extract is responsible
for its healing effects.
aurea) Herbalists have prescribed the
plant for the treatment of urinary tract problems such
as kidney stones.
It is used as a douche for excessive vaginal
a uterine tonic, Life Root may be used safely wherever
strengthening and aid are called for. Useful for
menopausal disturbances of any kind. Also useful for
delayed or suppressed menstruation. For leucorrhoea it
can be used as a douche. It has a reputation as a
general tonic for debilitated states and conditions
such as tuberculosis. While
often stated to be completely safe to use, recent
research has found that the plant contains
pyrrolizidine alkaloids that, in isolation, can cause
liver damage. The
roots and leaves are abortifacient, diaphoretic,
diuretic, emmenagogue, pectoral, stimulant and uterine
tonic. It is used externally in the treatment of
A tea made from the plant was frequently used
by the N. American Indians as a remedy for various
female troubles, including the pain of childbirth.
Pharmacologists have not reported any uterine effects,
but the plant does contain an essential oil (inuline)
plus the alkaloids senecine and senecionine (which are
poisonous to grazing animals).
as a vermifuge in the US and as a tonic anti-periodic
and febrifuge; used as a substitute for aloes and in the
treatment of malaria.
Lily, Giant Spider
traditional Vietnamese herbal remedy, it was used in
ancient times by the royalty to enhance longevity. It is
currently used in Vietnam for a wide variety of health
benefits in treatment for serious health conditions
including prostate and ovarian disorders such as
prostatitis, adenoma, benign prostate enlargement,
uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts and tumors. It is known
to contain eleven different alkaloids and amino acids.
Crinum latifolium also contains steroid saponins
and antioxidants, supports cellular immunity, and has
been researched as being an effective T-lymphocyte
activator. It may also be used to assist the body in
improving hypoxia, infection and chronic inflammation,
detoxification, regeneration of tissues, hormone
balancing and is particularly supportive to the prostate
and ovaries. The leaf juices of this plant are used in
India to alleviate ear-ache, and the bulbs, after
roasting, are laid on the skin to ease rheumatic pain.
Leaves of the herb smeared with castor oil and warmed is
a useful remedy for repelling whitlows and other
inflammations at the end of toes and fingers. You can
also use bruised leaves of the herb mixed with castor
oil for this purpose. The herb is also useful to treat
inflamed joints and sprains. For earache and other ear
complaints, use slightly warmed juice of the leaves
mixed with a little salt. You can also use an oil
prepared from the fresh juice for this purpose. The
bulbs are powerfully emetic and are used to produce
vomiting in poisoning especially antiaries.
Lily, Mariposa (Calochortus
gunnisonii): An infusion of the plant has been
taken internally to treat rheumatic swellings by the
Acoma and Laguna Indians and by the Navajo to ease the
delivery of the placenta. Juice
of the leaves were applied to pimples.
of the Valley (Convallaria majalis
) Lily of the Valley is perhaps the
most valuable heart remedy used today.
It is used for nervous sensitivity, neurasthenia,
apoplexy, epilepsy, dropsy, valvular heart diseases,
heart pains and heart diseases in general.
It has an action equivalent to Foxglove without
its potential toxic effects.
Lily of the Valley may be used in the treatment
of heart failure and water retention where this is
associated with the heart.
It will aid the body where there is difficulty
with breathing due to congestive conditions of the
used for arteriosclerosis with angina and arterial
of the Valley encourages the heart to beat more slowly
regularly and efficiently.
It is also strongly diuretic, reducing blood
volume and lowering blood pressure.
It is better tolerated than foxglove, since it
does not accumulate within the body to the same degree.
Relatively low doses are required to support
heart rate and rhythm, and to increase urine production.
An ointment made from the roots is used in the
treatment of burns and to prevent scar tissue.
(Tilia spp) Lime
Blossom, or Linden, is well known as a relaxing remedy
for use in nervous tension.
It has a reputation as a prophylactic against the
development of arteriosclerosis and hypertension.
It is considered to be a specific in the
treatment of raised blood pressure associated with
arteriosclerosis and nervous tension. It initially
increases peripheral circulation to fingers and toes,
helping the evaporation of body heat, and then
stabilizes blood vessels and body temperature.
Linden is an excellent remedy for stress and
panic, and is used specifically to treat nervous
palpitations. Its relaxing action combined with a
general effect upon the circulatory system give lime
blossom a role in the treatment of some forms of
diaphoresis combined with the relaxation explains its
value in feverish colds and flus.
The flowers bring relief to colds, and flu by
reducing nasal congestion and soothing fever. Because of
their emollient quality, linden flowers are used in
France to make a lotion for itchy skin.
The tea is given to babies for teething.
The sapwood of a linden growing wild in the south
of France (T. cordata) is used as a diuretic, choleretic,
hypotensive and antispoasmodic.
A light infusion of the flowers is sedative,
antispasmodic and diaphoretic.
It also thins the blood and enhances circulation.
Ear (Leonotis nepetifolia)
The sheets are used against infectious diseases
by infusing them and using them in inhalers and vapor
baths as a preventative.
It is also used as an emmenagogue, amenorhea,
fever and skin diseases. . The sheets séches are sometimes used in Africa as
substitute of the marijuana.
Used similarly to Lion’s Tail (Leonotis
leonurus) it just blooms earlier.
Tail (Leonotis leonurus) Many
traditional uses have been recorded. The foliage is
commonly made into a medicinal tea, which is favored
for the hypnotic focus it gives. The leaves or roots
are widely used as a remedy for snakebite and also to
relieve other bites and stings. Decoctions of the
dried leaf or root have been applied externally to
treat boils, eczema, skin diseases and itching, and
muscular cramps. Extracts are also used to relieve
coughs, cold and influenza, as well as bronchitis,
high blood pressure and headaches. Leaf infusions have
been used to treat asthma and viral hepatitis. The tea
is also used to treat headache, bronchitis, high blood
pressure and the common cold.
This species is also important in
Chinese/Vietnamese medicine as an euphoric, purgative
root and stem are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
It expels wind and dampness, promotes the
movement of qi and alleviates pain: for wind-damp
painful obstruction and stomach aches.
Most commonly used for lower back pain.
It promotes the movement of qi and blood, warms
the channels and alleviates pain: for dysmenorrhea that
presents primarily with a distended and painful lower
abdomen that improves with heat or pressure.
Also for blood stasis pain due to trauma, or
other gynecological pain associated with blood stasis.
Also used for chills, headaches and muscle aches
due to an exterior disorder. Has been reported to be
useful in treating motion sickness.
fruits are reputed to alleviate chronic asthma, as well
as being a treatment for coronary heart disease and high
Mallow (Malva parviflora
) The bruised leaves have been rubbed on
the skin to treat skin irritations.
A strained tea of the boiled leaves has been
administered after childbirth to clean out the
As a headache remedy, the leaves or the whole
plant have been mashed and placed on the forehead.
Powdered leaves have been blown into the throat
to treat swollen glands.
The leaves have been used to induce
perspiration and menstrual flow, reduce fever, and
treat pneumonia. The whole plant can be used as a
poultice on swellings, running sores and boils.
The seeds are used in the treatment of coughs
and ulcers in the bladder.
A decoction of the roots or leaves has been
used as a hair rinse to remove dandruff and to soften
Forever (Sedum purpureum
) The fresh leaves yield a juice
that is used as an astringent to help heal wounds.
The plant has enjoyed a reputation as an
internal remedy for ulcers, lung disorders, and
dysentery and as an external astringent for the
treatment of slow-healing wounds. It is a popular remedy for diarrhea, stimulates the kidneys
and has a reputation in the treatment of cancer. A
poultice of the crushed leaves has been used in the
treatment of boils and carbuncles.
Liverwort, Common (Marchantia
polymorpha): Cytotoxicity against the KB cells;
antileukemic activity in several compounds from leafy
liverworts. In China, to treat jaundice, hepatitis and
as an extermal cure to reduce inflammation; in Himalayas
for boils and abscesses; mixed with vegetable oils as
ointments for boils, eczema, cuts, bites, wounds, burns
Liverwort, Great Scented (Conocephalum
with vegetable oils as ointments for boils, eczema,
cuts, bites, wounds and burns; inhibits growth of
americana, (H. tribola); H. nobilis)
While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a
mild astringent and a diuretic.
It stimulates gall bladder production and is a
Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the
digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood.
Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney
problems and bronchitis.
It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has
been shown to have antibiotic action.
The Russians use it in their folk medicine and
also to treat cattle with “mouth sickness.”
acutiloba) The herb has astringent and
tonic properties. It
also has demulcent activity. The roots and leaves are
used dried or fresh in a tea or syrup. Of little use.
(Lobelia inflata) Lobelia
was a traditional Native American remedy and its use was
later championed by the American herbalist Samuel
Thomson (1769-1843), who made the herb the mainstay of
his therapeutic system.
He mainly used it to induce vomiting.
It was promoted by Jethro Kloss and later by Dr.
A powerful antispasmodic and respiratory
stimulant, lobelia is valuable for asthma, especially
bronchial asthma, and chronic bronchitis.
It relaxes the muscles of the smaller bronchial
tubes, thus opening the airways, stimulating breathing,
and promoting the coughing up of phlegm.
In the Western tradition, lobelia has always been
combined with cayenne, its hot stimulant action helping
to push blood into areas that lobelia has relaxed.
Lobelia is often most effective when the infusion
or diluted tincture is applied externally.
It relaxes muscles, particularly smooth muscle,
which makes it useful for sprains, and back problems
where muscle tension is a key factor.
Combined with cayenne, lobelia has been used as a
chest and sinus rub.
Due to its chemical similarity to nicotine,
lobelia is employed by herbalists to help patients give
Lobeline sulphate has been part of commercial
over-the-counter antismoking lozenges.
It seems to replace physical addiction to
nicotine without its addictive effects.
The Native Americans smoked it like tobacco for
respiratory problems and it gained the name Indian
Both drinking the tea and smoking lobelia,
usually with other herbs to modify its intense reaction,
have been employed to treat asthma, bronchitis and
whooping cough. Plasters and liniments for sprains,
muscle spasms, and insect bites and poultices for breast
cancer sometimes contain lobelia.
The hot and pungent fruit is
antihemorrhoidal when taken in small amounts,
antirheumatic, antiseptic, diaphoretic, digestive,
irritant, rubefacient, sialagogue and tonic. It is taken
internally in the treatment of the cold stage of fevers,
debility in convalescence or old age, varicose veins,
asthma and digestive problems. Externally it is used in
the treatment of sprains, unbroken chilblains,
neuralgia, pleurisy etc.
Lomatium (Lomatium dissecta) Both
Lomatium and Ligusticum were used by Native Americans
and early American medical practitioners for a variety
of chronic or severe infectious disease states,
particularly those of viral origin. Modern research is
rather limited, but clinical trials have supported the
inclusion of these botanicals for viral infections
including HIV and condyloma.
Traditionally it’s demonstrated efficacy
against a variety of bacterial infections including
contains an oleoresin rich in terpenes. It acts as a
stimulating expectorant, enhancing the liquification and
consequent elimination of mucus from the lungs. It also
appears to exert a strong antibacterial activity,
interfering with bacterial replication and inducing
increased phagocytosis. The resin also contains a number
of furanocoumarins including nodakenetin, columbianin
and pyranocoumarin. These resins may be responsible for
the plant's antiviral effect. They may also be partly
responsible for the phagocytic action lomatium causes
Based on empirical evidence and discussions with
clinical herbalists, lomatium can be used as an
antimicrobial, especially in the lungs and upper
respiratory tract. It provides quick-acting relief in
cases of viral or bacterial infection, particularly when
there is a large amount of thick or sticky mucus and
infection is deep-seated and persistent. Consider taking
lomatium for pneumonia, infective bronchitis and
As an immunostimulant, this herb is traditionally
used to treat colds and flus. Many cases during the
1920s U.S. influenza epidemic were successfully treated
with lomatium by the professional herbalists of the
time, and it has been used for this purpose by Native
Americans since the introduction of influenza to the
Its infection-fighting ability makes lomatium
valuable as a mouthwash and gargle for oral and throat
infections, as a douche for bacterial and viral
infections or candida, as a skin wash for infected cuts
or wounds, and in many other first- aid situations
Both tea and tincture forms are commonly used.
For acute bacterial or viral infections, 2.5 ml of the
tincture diluted in water can be used three to four
times daily. A painful, itchy full-body rash that can
persist for days occurs frequently when the crude
tincture is used. It
seems to occur more commonly with the strong, fresh-root
preparation and disappears when treatment stops
Dan Cao (Gentiana
scabra) The root is a bitter, cooling,
anti-inflammatory herb that stimulates the appetite
and digestion, increases blood sugar levels and
potentiates the sedative and analgesic properties of
other herbs. Internally
used for liver disorders, eye complaints related to
liver disharmony (such as conjunctivitis), acute
urinary infections, hypertension with dizziness or
tinnitus and tantrums in children. Included in many Chinese patent remedies for “liver
is also used in the treatment of jaundice,
leucorrhoea, eczema, conjunctivitis, and sore throat.
Long Pepper (Piper
The unripe spike of the
plant and the root, which is thick and branched, is also
medically important and is called modi or
pippali-moolam. Long Pepper inhibits the secretion
of digestive juice and lowers total stomach acid; it
lowers LDL and VLDL and TC; prevents hardening of the
arteries; has a calming effect on CNS. Seed used in
cough and throat pain. Root used in paralysis, epilepsy,
and stiff joints. Both seeds and root are used for
cough, rheumatism, leprosy, and consumption. The herb is
also believed to improve vitality.
) In Chinese medicine, the inner
skeleton of the dried fruit is used to treat pain in
the muscles and joints, chest, and abdomen. It
is prescribed for chest infections accompanied by
fever and pain, and is used to clear congested mucus.
Loofah is also given to treat painful or swollen
breasts. Research indicates the fresh vine has a stronger expectorant
effect than the dried fruit. Dried fruit fibers
are used as abrasive sponges in skin care to remove
dead skin and stimulate the peripheral circulation.
) The entire plant is used in medicine.
The Sacred water lotus has been used in the
Orient as a medicinal herb for well over 1,500 years.
The leaf juice is used in the treatment of
diarrhea and is decocted with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza
spp) for the treatment of sunstroke.
A decoction of the flowers is used in the
treatment of premature ejaculation. The flowers are
recommended as a cardiac tonic. A decoction of the
floral receptacle is used in the treatment of abdominal
cramps, bloody discharges etc.
The flower stalk is used in treating bleeding
gastric ulcers, excessive menstruation, post-partum
stamens are astringent and used in treating urinary
frequency, premature ejaculation, hemolysis, epistasis
and uterine bleeding.
A decoction of the fruit is used in the treatment
of agitation, fever, heart complaints etc.
The seed is used in the treatment of poor
digestion, enteritis, chronic diarrhea, insomnia,
palpitations etc. The
plumule and radicle are used to treat thirst in high
febrile disease, hypertension, insomnia and
root starch is used in the treatment of diarrhea,
dysentery etc, a paste is applied to ringworm and other
skin ailments. It is also taken internally in the
treatment of hemorrhages, excessive menstruation and
nosebleeds. The roots are harvested in autumn or winter
and dried for later use.
The root nodes are used in the treatment of nasal
bleeding, hemoptysis, hematuria and functional bleeding
of the uterus. The
plant has a folk history in the treatment of cancer,
modern research has isolated certain compounds from the
plant that show anticancer activity.
The leaves, which have antipyretic and
refrigerant properties, are used against symptoms of
summer-heat, such as headache, respiratory congestion,
chronic thirst, and dark scanty urine.
The peduncle relieves stomachaches, calms
restless fetus, and controls leukorrhea.
caerules): An aphrodisiac
for both men and women as well as a general remedy for
all illness enhancing sexual vigor and general good
health. A tonic like ginseng, pain reliever like arnica,
circulation stimulant richer than ginkgo biloba, and
sexual stimulant richer than Viagra. It creates a
feeling of well being, euphoria and ecstasy, as well as
being widely used as a general remedy against illness,
and is still used as a tonic for good health, consumed
as an extract, 6-12 drops or up to 1 tsp to 1 Tbs in
juice taken 1 to 3 times daily. Traditionally, fresh
Blue Lotus was made into a tea or drank after being
soaked in wine, usually followed by a cigarette made of
the dried plant material. Dried flowers are sometimes
smoked for a mild sedative effect. By itself, Lotus
produces an opiate-like intoxication. Traditionally,
Nymphaea caerulea was drunk after being soaked in warm
water or wine, while the dried flowers were also smoked.
About 5 grams of dried petals steeped in small amount of
alcohol for a few hours to a week is said to have a
synergistic effect with the Lotus, producing a euphoria.
The overall effect of this combination is a narcotic
empathogenic experience. According to recent studies,
Blue Lily was found to be loaded with health-giving
phytosterols and bioflavonoids. It turned out to be one
of the greatest daily health tonics ever found.
lotus): A soothing,
astringent herb that has diuretic and tranquilizing
effects and is reputedly detoxicant and aphrodisiac.
The seeds, crushed in water are an old remedy for
diabetes. The rhizomes is useful in Diarrhea,
dysentery, dyspepsia and general debility. The flowers
are astringent and cardiotonic. The seeds are sweet,
cooling, constipating, aphrodisiac, stomachic and
restorative. It has found uses both as a culinary
delight and starchy food staple as well as being used
internally as a treatment for gastrointestinal disorders
extravagant cures were attributed to lovage, medieval
physicians and country folk claimed it alleviated a host
Fresh juice from the plant squeezed into the eyes
relieved conjunctivitis, and an infusion brewed from the
seeds and dropped into the eyes remedied redness and dim
Applied to the skin, this decoction was supposed
to remove freckles.
People gargled with it, used it as a mouth wash,
and drank it to mitigate pleurisy and flatulence.
Boils, carbuncles and other pustules were treated
with hot poultices of lovage leaves.
A tea made from the leaves was said to promote
menstrual discharge, soothe bronchitis and bring comfort
in the early stages of diptheria.
Drinking the dried and powdered roots in a medium
of wine, water or oil was held to improve the
functioning of the lymphatic system, reduce obesity and
flabbiness through diuretic action, and remedy colic,
jaundice, urinary troubles and stomach disorders.
Main ingredient in many European diuretic
preparations and is added to urinary tract formulas.
Can irritate kidneys, so it is not suggested when
an infection is present but Commission E suggests making
a tea with 2-4 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of
boiling water and drinking it once a day for treating
Also used to promote menstruation and to ease
The colonists in New England found an additional
use for the dried root.
They nibbled bits of it in church to chase away
the weariness caused by long and tedious sermons.
Also in the New World, the Shakers grew lovage
and sold it for medicine and flavoring much like the
monks did centuries earlier.
The Pennsylvania Germans dried its hollow stems
to use as natural drinking straws.
A stimulating cordial called lovage was once
popular at public houses and inns.
It was flavored with lovage, but was made
primarily from tansy and yarrow.
Oil extracted from lovage roots was used in
tobacco blends, perfumes and bath cologne.
Has been employed as a mouthwash for soothing
tonsillitis and mouth ulcers.
plant is used in the treatment of fevers, leucorrhoea,
rheumatism, sterility and urinary difficulties. A
decoction of the plant is used to wash foul ulcers
Lousewort, Marsh (Pedicularis
palustris): Lousewort is poisonous and a
powerful insecticide. Formerly, an infusion of the
plant was made to destroy lice and other insect
parasites. The plant is now rarely used.
Lovage, Chinese (Ligusticum
Ligusticum is a Chinese herb
that promotes circulation and regulates energy. Good for
post-natal abdominal pain, painful abscesses, and
headaches due to colds. The ligusticum roots and fruit
are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and
carminative action. In herbal medicine ligusticum is
used for disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks,
especially for cases of colic and flatulence in
children, its qualities being similar to those of
Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration
and opening obstructions. The infusion of dried leaf is
used as a good emmenagogue. Internally the dried
rhizome and root are also used for menstrual problems,
postpartum bleeding, coronary heart disease and
headaches (those caused by concussion). The root is
soaked in alcohol for 2 weeks and then used in the
treatment of gout
(Pulmonaria officinalis) Lungwort
has been used primarily for lung problems, especially in
cases of bronchitis and laryngitis, and to reduce
The silica it contains restores the elasticity of
lungs, and made it an appropriate remedy when
tuberculosis was common.
Major ingredient in the English “Potters Balm
of Gilead Cough Mixture.”
As a poultice, it helps enlarged thyroid, burns
and tumors and reduces swelling and inflammation from
injuries and bruises.
Potential use as a yin tonic.
An astringent, lungwort treats diarrhea,
especially in children, and eases hemorrhoids.
Its properties are similar to those in comfrey.
Both contain allantoin, which promotes
Ma Dou Ling (Aristolochia
A decoction of the fruit
is used in the treatment of cancer, coughs,
inflammation of the respiratory organs, hemorrhoids
and hypertension. It is also used to resolve phlegm
and lower blood pressure. It has an antibacterial
action, effective against Staphylococcus aureus,
Pneumococci, bacillus dysentericae etc. The root
contains aristolochic acid. This has anti-cancer
properties and can be used in conjunction with
chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Aristolochic acid can
also be used in the treatment of acute and serious
infections such as TB, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis
and infantile pneumonia. It also increases the
cellular immunity and phagocytosis function of the
phagocytic cells. Aristolochic acid is said to be
too toxic for clinical use. The root is used as a
purgative in the treatment of rabies and also has
stimulant, and tonic, mace aids the digestion, is
beneficial to the circulation and is used to mollify
febrile upsets and in Asia to relieve nausea.
Mace butter is employed as a mild
counter-irritant and used in hair lotions and plasters.
As with nutmeg, large doses of mace can lead to
hallucination and epileptiform fits, myristin being
poisonous, but dangerous doses are unlikely to be taken
in the course of everyday use.
Taken in a toddy, it was a cure for insomnia, but
prolonged over-indulgence is now avoided as addictive.
considerable interest was aroused in the medical world
by the statement that this species of Vinca had
the power to cure diabetes, and would probably prove an
efficient substitute for Insulin, but V. major
has long been used by herbalists for this purpose.
Vincristine, a major chemotherapy agent for leukemia,
and vinblastin (for Hodgkin’s disease) are derived
from the plant. The
anti-cancer constituents are very strong and should only
be taken under the supervision of a qualified health
Use as a fluid extract.
It has also been used in traditional herbal
medicine to treat wasp stings (India), stop bleeding
(Hawaii), as an eyewash (Cuba), and to treat diabetes
(Jamaica); contains the alkaloid alstonine which can
reduce blood pressure.
is still grown as a medicinal in central Europe and west
root eliminates and prevents the formation of kidney and
bladder stones, increases bile production and
menstruation, and is a laxative. It is especially useful
in urinary tract afflictions in which the system has
become alkaline. Powdered
root is wound-healing, often used for skin ulcers.
Two ounces of the root can be boiled in six
quarts of water and added to the tub to make a bath that
will heal the skin. The red coloring agent is so potent
that it turns the urine red and eventually even stains
the bones, although no health problems are associated
with these phenomena.
Infusions of leaves and stems treat constipation,
diarrhea and bladder disorders.
It has a marked effect on the liver and has been
found useful in jaundice.
A madder poultice encourages wound healing. It is
used in Ayurvedic medicine in east India and considered
an important “blood-purifying” herb that
“cleans” the body by improving liver functions. Used
for many pitta-type bleeding conditions.
Homeopathically used to treat anemia and ailments
of the spleen.
Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris (A pedatum North American variety)) Medicinal
Uses: Used by Western herbalists to treat coughs,
bronchitis, excess mucus, sore throat, and chronic nasal
plant also has a longstanding reputation as a remedy for
conditions of the hair and scalp.
It may be used as an infusion.
Native American sometimes chewed the leaves of
the plant to stop internal bleeding.
An extract of the plant has diuretic and
hypoglycemic activity in animals.
It needs to be used fresh as it’s highly
sensitive to time and heat.
Can be used in a poultice (raw and crushed),
directly applied to a wound or scalded and infused for
several minutes for a topical poultice to treat eczema,
suppurating infections and wounds.
In the form of a hair lotion, it stimulates hair
a tea (1 plant in 1 cup water), it is excellent in
treating coughs and chronic skin disorders.
In the case of poor blood circulation, take 3
cups daily. A
tincture is also a good choice as an effective
concentrated preparation: 2/3 oz in 1 cup alcohol.
The Filipinos and Malays in
general consider this vine as a universal medicine. It
is the most popular of local medicinal plants. Makabuhai,
the common Tagalog name; means, “to give life”. It is
commonly prescribed as an aqueous extract in the
treatment of stomach trouble, indigestion, and diarrhea.
It is the basis of a popular preparation, which is used
as a cordial, a tonic, or an ingredient in cocktails. It
is also an effective remedy in the treatment of tropical
ulcers. In powder form, it is prescribed in fevers. A
preparation with coconut oil is an effective cure for
rheumatism and also for flatulence of children (kabag).
The preparation is made by chopping the makabuhai stem
into pieces of 1 or 2 inches long, placing them in a jar
with coconut oil, and “cooking” them under the sun. The
jar is then put aside and not opened until a year has
elapsed. A decoction of the stem is considered an
effective cure if used as a wash for tropical ulcers.
Father de Sta.Maria includes makabuhai in his book,
“Manual de Medicinas Caseras,” and says that it is given
the decoction or powder from as a febrifuge. The
decoction of the stem is also an excellent vulnerary for
itches, ordinary and cancerous wounds. Guerrero reports
that internally it is used as tonic and antimalaria;
externally as a parasiticide.
Traditionally used in Thai medicine,
Tinospora crispa is one ingredient in Thai folk remedies
for maintaining good health. A decoction of the stems,
leaves and roots is used to treat fever, cholera,
diabetes, rheumatism and snake-bites, an infusion of the
stem is drunk as a vermifuge, a decoction of the stem is
used for washing sore eyes and syphilitic sores, the
crushed leaves are applied on wounds and made into
poultice for itch. Also it reduces thirst, internal
inflammation, and increases appetite.
The drug (stem) is registered in the Thailand
Pharmacopoeia, and commonly used in hospital to treat
In Vietnam the southern pharmacopoeia was
developed and adapted in the 14th century by the monk
Tue Tinh, to treat Vietnamese for diseases common to the
tropics, while keeping the principles of Chinese
medicine and blending into it the qualities of southern
plants known to traditional popular medicine. To treat
Malaria they use the Tinospora crispa.
In general folklore, the stem decoction
is considered antipyretic, useful as an antimalarial and
a wash for skin ulcers. Traditionally an infusion is
used to treat fever due to malaria and also in cases of
jaundice and for use against intestinal worms. The
antimalarial effect was confirmed in a study. A
decoction of the stems, leaves and roots is used to
treat fever, cholera, diabetes, rheumatism and
snake-bites. An infusion of the stem is drunk as a
vermifuge. A decoction of the stem is used for washing
sore eyes and syphilitic sores. The crushed leaves are
applied on wounds and made into poultice for itch.
A decoction of the fresh root mixed with
pepper and goat’s milk is given for rheumatism, where
the dose is half a pint (in doses of two to four ounces
according to another author under chronic rheumatism and
syphilitic cachexia) every morning. It is said to be
laxative and sudorific. When under this treatment the
natives make a curry of the leaves, which they recommend
to their patients. The leaves when agitated in water
render it mucilaginous and is then sweetened with sugar
and drunk when freshly made (half a pint taken
twice-a-day). This is given for the cure of gonorrhea
and is said to soothe the smarting and scalding. It is
also used externally as a cooling and soothing
application in prurigo, eczema, impetigo, etc.
If allowed to stand for a few minutes, the
mucilaginous parts separate, contract and float in the
center Leaving the water clear, and almost tasteless.
Decoction of the root in combination with
ginger and sugar is given in cases of bilious dyspepsia
and in cases of fevers with other bitters and aromatics.
Roots rubbed with bonduc nuts in water are given for
stomachache, especially in children.
Indonesians use an infusion of the stems
to treat fevers and malaria. They can also be used to
treat stomachache and jaundice. The infusion is also
useful in fevers caused by smallpox and cholera. Another
popular use of this infusion is in a mixture for
In India, the leaves are made into a
calming or soothing drug mainly for children that acts
by relieving pain and flatulence. The juice of the
leaves coagulates in water and forms a mucilage which is
used externally as a cooling and soothing application in
prurigo, eczema, impetigo etc. Decoction of the root (1
in 10) mixed with long-pepper and goat's milk is given
in doses of two to four ounces in chronic rheumatism and
syphilitic cachexia. Roots rubbed with bonduc nuts in
water are given for stomachache, especially in children.
filix-mas (Syn Aspidium filix-mas)) : One
of the most effective of all “worm herbs,” male fern
root, or the oleo-resin it yields, is a specific
treatment for tapeworms.
It acts by paralyzing the muscles of the worm,
forcing it to relax its hold on the gut wall.
Provided that the root is taken along with a
nonoily purgative like scammony or black hellebore, it
will flush out the parasites.
The roots are added to healing salves for wounds
and rubbed into the limbs of children with rickets. It
is also good for sores, boils, carbuncles, swollen
glands and epidemic flu.
It inhibits bleeding of a hot nature and is
combined with cedar leaves for uterine bleeding.
With other alteratives like honeysuckle,
forsythia and dandelion it treats toxic blood
tincture should be prepared in new batches every year.
Common (Malva sylvestris): Though
less useful than marsh mallow, common mallow is an
effective demulcent. The flowers and leaves are emollient and good for sensitive
areas of the skin. Mallow is beneficial in the
treatment of painful swellings and is used as a
digestive and diuretic herb, as well as in the making of
an external lotion for acne. The leaves have the
reputation of easing the pain of a wasp sting if rubbed
on the affected area. A certain cure for a cold was believed to be bathing the feet
in a decoction of the leaves, flowers and roots. Taken
internally, the leaves reduce gut irritation, aids
recovery from gastritis and stomach ulcers, laryngitis
and pharyngitis, upper respiratory catarrh and
bronchitis and have a laxative effect. When common
mallow is combined with eucalyptus, it makes a good
remedy for coughs and other chest ailments. As
with marsh mallow, the root may be given to children to
ease teething. The fresh dried leaves are put into decoctions; the root may
be dried, but it is best fresh, if chosen when there are
leaves growing from it.
Mallow, Dwarf (Malva
Mallow root is
highly regarded by herbalists as an effective demulcent
and emollient. Both of these actions are attributed to
the plant’s mucilaginous qualities. Roundleaf mallow is
used as a lotion or internal medication for an injury or
swelling (Navajo). All parts of the plant are
astringent, laxative, urine-inducing, and have agents
that counteract inflammation, that soften and soothe the
skin when applied locally, and that induce the removal
(coughing up) of mucous secretions from the lungs. The
leaves and flowers are the main part used, their
demulcent properties making them valuable as a poultice
for bruise, inflammations, insect bites etc, or taken
internally in the treatment of respiratory system
diseases or inflammation of the digestive or urinary
systems. They have similar properties, but are
considered to be inferior to the marsh mallow (Althaea
officinalis), though they are stronger acting than
the common mallow (M. sylvestris). The plant is
an excellent laxative for young children.
Man Vine (Agonandra
racemosa): Man Vine is an excellent
anti-spasmodic and in general quite relaxing to
involuntary muscle tissues such as the uterus, stomach
and intestines. Chop woody part of vine; boil a small
handful in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes and drink 1
cup before each meal for constipation, intestinal gas,
indigestion, mucus in stool, inability to eat even a
small portion of food, gastritis, and any ailment to do
with the digestive or alimentary tract. This same tea
also acts as an excellent mild sedative, and can be
drunk for backaches, neckache, headaches, muscle spasms,
and for males who pass mucus in the urine. The root is
a superior remedy for male impotency—chop root and boil
1 small handful in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes; drink
1 cup before each meal. Note that while drinking man
vine tea, one must abstain from all acid foods, cold
drinks, and beef.
Used by native healers both
medicinally and as hallucinogens. Internally used as an
alterative, and of the greatest value for the treatment
of arthritis. It eases pain and restores mobility
quickly. In Peru, indigenous peoples apply a decoction
of leaves externally for arthritis and rheumatism; they
also employ a root decoction for chills. The root of
manacá is said to stimulate the lymphatic system. It has
long been used for syphilis, earning the name
vegetable mercury. Though the aerial parts of the
plant have active compounds, the root has been used
Two of the constituents, manaceine and
manacine are thought to be responsible for stimulating
the lymphatic system, while aesculetin has demonstrated
analgesic, antihepatotoxic, antimutagenic, and
anti-inflammatory activities in laboratory tests.
mancinella): Manchineel is occasionally used in folk medicine to
treat parasitic disease of the skin. It is diuretic, and
in 2-drop doses is reputed actively purgative. The
Cubans make use of it in tetanus. It has been
used in homeopathic medicine
Manketti Tree (Schinziophyton
The roots are
used as a remedy for stomach pains and diarrhea, the
nuts tied around the ankles are said to relieve leg
Maori Mint (Mentha
diemenica): A tea made from the leaves of most
mint species has traditionally been used in the
treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and
various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the
plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use.
The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it
is toxic in large doses. A decoction of this plant was
used occasionally to induce sweating.
Maple, Rock (Acer
glabrum): A decoction of the wood and bark is
said to cure nausea. An infusion of the bark has been
used as a cathartic. A decoction of the branches,
together with the branches of Amelanchier sp., was used
to heal a woman's insides after childbirth and also to
promote lactation. One tribe
of southern Vancouver Island used the bark to make an
antidote for poisoning.
Maple, Silver (Acer
saccharinum): An infusion of the bark is used in
the treatment of coughs, cramps and dysentery. The
infusion is also applied externally to old, stubborn
running sores. A compound infusion is used in the
treatment of 'female complaints'. The inner bark is
boiled and used with water as a wash for sore eyes. An
infusion is used internally in the treatment of
diarrhea. An infusion of the root bark has been used in
the treatment of gonorrhea.
Maple, Vine (Acer
circinatum): The wood was burnt to charcoal and
mixed with water and brown sugar then used in the
treatment of dysentery and polio.
Coastal Aboriginal peoples have boiled the bark of the
roots to make a tea for colds.
Mare's Tail, Common (Hippuris
plant is an effective vulnerary, the juice being taken
internally or applied externally. The old European
herbalists recommended it for a number of uses,
including: stopping internal and external bleeding,
stomach ulcers, strengthening the intestines, closing
wounds, inflammation and breakouts on the skin, coughs.
Culpepper, in common with the older herbalists,
considered it of great value as a vulnerary: 'It is
very powerful to stop bleeding, either inward or
outward, the juice or the decoction being drunk, or the
juice, decoction or distilled water applied
outwardly.... It also heals inward ulcers.... It solders
together the tops of green wounds and cures all ruptures
in children. The decoction taken in wine helps stone and
strangury; the distilled water drunk two or three times
a day eases and strengthens the intestines and is
effectual in a cough that comes by distillation from the
head. The juice or distilled water used as a warm
fomentation is of service in inflammations and
breakings-out in the skin.'
Lace (Tagetes filifolia): The tea
is said to be drunk as a refreshing beverage and to
relieve minor ills. Bolivians drink the decoction as a
digestive. Venezuelans employ it as an emollient and
treatment for syphilis. In Costa Rica, it is taken as a
carminative to relieve colic and as a diuretic. Also
used for prostate problems and difficulties associated
incanum): The cold tea is taken for liver pain
and for gallbladder spasms with semi-formed diarrhea.
Small amounts of the tea are taken for pregnancy morning
sickness. The salted tea is gargled and swallowed to
relieve sore throats and tonsillitis. Cold infusion of
the herb, 2-4 fluid ounces up to 45 times a day. For
morning sickness, 1-2 fluid ounces up to 4 times a day
Sweet (Origanum majorana) Has
digestive, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic and
Marjoram tea aids digestion, increases sweating
and encourages menstruation.
In tests, it inhibits viruses such as herpes 1
and is an antioxidant that helps preserve foods
As a steam inhalant, marjoram clears the sinuses
and helps relieve laryngitis.
Particularly helpful for gastritis and a weak tea
is good for colic in children.
The plant is also sometimes made into an herb
pillow for rheumatic pains.
Marigold (Caltha palustris) Dr.
Withering described a case in which a large bouquet of
marsh marigolds brought into the sickroom of a spasmodic
girl stopped her fits.
The cure was presumed a result of whatever the
flowers exude. Since
then, the infusions have also been used to prevent fits.
A decoction of the herb has been used for dropsy
and in urinary affections. The root tea induces
sweating, is an emetic and an expectorant. The leaf tea is a diuretic and a laxative.
Ojibwas mixed tea with maple sugar to make a
cough syrup that was popular with colonists.
The syrup was used as a folk antidote to snake
plant contains anemonin and protoanemonin both with
marginal antitumor activity. It has also been used to treat warts: a drop of the leaf
juice was applied daily until the wart disappeared.
The Chippewa applied the dried powdered and
moistened or fresh root of cowslip twice daily to cure
Used whenever a soothing effect is needed, marsh mallow
protects and soothes the mucous membranes. The root counters excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration, and
reduces the inflammation of gall stones. Marsh mallow is
also mildly laxative and beneficial for many intestinal
problems, including regional ileitis, colitis,
diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome
Marshmallow’s ability to bind and eliminate
toxins allows the body to cleanse itself.
For this reason, it is added to arthritis,
laxative, infection, female tonic, vermifuge and other
Taken as a warm infusion, the leaves treat
cystitis and frequent urination.
Marsh mallow’s demulcent qualities bring relief
to dry coughs, bronchial asthma, bronchial congestion,
and pleurisy. The
flowers, crushed fresh or in a warm infusion, are
applied to help soothe inflamed skin.
The root is used in an ointment for boils and
abscesses, and in a mouthwash for inflammation.
The peeled root may be given as a chewstick to
teething babies. The
dried root contains up to 35% of mucilage, 38% of starch
and 10% of pectin and sugar.
Extracts have to be made with cold water if they
are to contain the mucilage and not the starch, the
latter dissolving only in hot water.
If marsh mallow is to be used for gargling rather
than taken internally as a tea, the starch will be of
Marsh mallow root is very high in pectin. Taking
pectin is an effective way to keep blood sugar levels
root boiled in milk, will prove beneficial in treating
diarrhea and dysentery.
It will also enrich the milk of nursing mothers,
and at the same time increase milk flow. Combining both Blessed Thistle and Marshmallow for enriched
milk is especially effective.
Marshmallow’s ability to bind and eliminate
toxins allows the body to cleanse itself.
For this reason, it is added to arthritis,
laxative, infection, female tonic, vermifuge and other
Masterwort, Great (Astrantia
major): The rhizomes and flowering stems have
medicinal action. Their main constituent is an
essential oil that acts as a stomachic. In herbal
medicine the dried herb is used in an infusion or as a
powder to promote the flow of digestive juices and thus
stimulate the appetite. Great masterwort is also
included in diuretic tea mixtures. A decoction of the
root is purgative.
(Pistacia lentiscus): Stimulant,
diuretic. It has many of the properties of the
coniferous turpentines and was formerly greatly used in
medicine. Of late years it has chiefly been used for
filling carious teeth, either alone or in spirituous
solution, and for varnishes, and in the East in the
manufacture of sweets and cordials. In the East it is
still used medicinally in the diarrhoea of children and
masticated to sweeten the breath. The
most effective oil for treating varicose veins is mastic
(Pistacia lentiscus), but it is very expensive and ill
smelling. A good substitute is cypress oil. A blend for
external use can be made by combining several essential
oils: 10 drops cypress or 5 drops mastic; 10 drops
lavender or geranium; 5 drops rosemary or juniper; and 5
drops chamomile. A massage oil can be made by adding 15
drops of this essential oil blend to an ounce of carrier
oil, which should be rubbed gently into the legs several
times each day. Always massage above the varicose area.
For hemorrhoids, mix one tablespoon KY jelly to 10 drops
of the essential oil blend, then apply.
The roots are
used to treat adult-onset, insulin-resistant diabetes.
An eighth of an ounce is taken in a cold infusion once
or twice a day for several days, then handing to
Bricklebush for maintenance. Maturique seems to be the
best initial therapy when a person is overweight, soft
and tired. But it is strong and most people who use it
slip into a gentler approach for the long haul. The root
tea or tincture is an excellent liniment for sprains,
hyperextensions, and acute arthritis. Folk uses
also includes the plant as a purgative, and wounds. The
dried rhizome and root may work to prevent
gluconeogenesis (the formation of glycogen from
noncarbohydrates such as protein or fat, by conversion
of the later into glucose) in the liver. Its method of
action is unclear, but it appears to dramatically lower
) In New England the root was used to stimulate
glands and for gastrointestinal disorders.
The root was also used as a tonic for liver,
lung, and stomach ailments.
A decoction was made by boiling the roots in
water and was used to treat rheumatism.
This was also used on chickens who had diarrhea.
Years ago it was used as a poison for eliminating
internally it is a powerful stimulant to the liver and
is a very strong glandular stimulant and useful for
treating chronic liver diseases, promoting bile flow and
digestion, and in the elimination of obstructions and
The wart-removing drugs are produced from
podophyllotoxin—found in mayapple rhizomes.
Its application must be restricted to abnormal
tissue only. The
compound is thought to interfere with the wart’s
development and blood supply.
The podophyllotoxin in mayapple has been found to
stimulate the immune system while suppressing lymph
is more toxic to leukemia cells than to normal cells.
The tumor inhibitor was actually discovered in
1958, but the compound created digestive-tract
irritations too severe to make it practical.
Now a semisynthetic derivative, etoposide, is
being used for chemotherapy in Europe to treat lung
cancer and cancer of the testicles.
It has been shown to restrict the activity of an
enzyme necessary for the reproduction of cancer cells.
It was introduced in 1985 under the trade name
Traditionally, podophyllotoxin has been collected
from the roots of podophyllum emodi. It is a wild
plant that grows only in the Himalayan Mountains.
However, the plant has been declared endangered because
too much of it has been collected in India.
Decreasing supplies of the plant in India have resulted
in export restrictions. Attempts to make copies of
the cancer-fighting substance have proven
costly. Now, researchers from the United
States Agriculture Department and the University of
Mississippi have developed a way to get podophyllotoxin
from the mayapple plant.
The researchers believe that both the mayapple
and podophyllum emodi produce the substance as a form of
protection against insects and other plant-eating
creatures. The plants store the substance until
they are attacked.
The American researchers say their method is
successful because it makes the mayapple think it is
being attacked. This results in the release of large
amounts of podophyllotoxin. They say their
system to remove podophyllotoxin from the mayapple is
fast, effective and low cost. The researchers say
the mayapple plant provides a plentiful and renewable
supply of the substance. And they add there may be
increased demand for the mayapple plant as a crop if the
method becomes widely used.
A tea made from the plant has been used
in the treatment of headaches and as a kidney tonic for
pregnant women. It is also used as a gargle for sore
throats and as an expectorant.
rue is a purgative and diuretic.
It is a bitter digestive tonic that contains
berberine or a similar alkaloid. The leaves were sometimes added to spruce beer in the 19th
century as a digestive tonic.
ulmaria ) Meadowsweet
is used to treat rheumatism, fevers, and pain in much
the same way as aspirin is used, but it contains
buffering agents that counter the drug’s side effects,
such as gastric bleeding.
In fact, it prevents overacidity in the stomach
and is considered one of the best herbal treatments for
would seem that reducing acidity within the stomach can
help to reduce acid levels in the body as a whole,
thereby helping joint problems (which are associated
with acidity). It also improves digestion and helps to
heal ulcers. An
antiseptic diuretic that promotes uric acid excretion,
it is used for urinary tract problems.
Meadowsweet is also occasionally used for
was once the treatment of choice for children’s
diarrhea. The cleansing diuretic effect has given meadowsweet a
reputation for clearing the skin and resolving rashes.
Given its mild antiseptic action it makes a good
remedy for cystitis and urethritis, fluid retention and
kidney problems. The salicylate salts are said to soften deposits in the body
such as kidney stones and gravel, as well as
arteriosclerosis in the arteries.
Meadowsweet reduces fevers by suppressing the
sympathetic temperature regulation center.
As with horse chestnut, long-term use of
melilot—internally or externally—can help varicose
veins and hemorrhoids.
Melilot also helps reduce the risk of phlebitis
The plant is mildly sedative and antispasmodic,
and is given for insomnia (especially in children) and
It has been used to treat gas and indigestion,
bronchitis, problems associated with menopause and
The infusion prepared with the dried parts has
digestive and carminative properties.
The dried leaves have a scar-forming action and
also repel moths.
Yellow melilot is used in poultices and salves
for boils, swellings, arthritis, rheumatism and
For centuries there was a salve called simply
It was compounded of the juice of young green
Melilot plants boiled with rosin, wax, sheep tallow, and
a little turpentine.
It was used to draw and heal all kinds of wounds
and sores and remained popular for centuries.
A similar Melilot plaster can still be purchased
today in many parts of Europe.
The tea is used to wash sores and wounds and as
an antinflammatory eye wash.
For headaches and joint pains, try making melilot
into an herb pillow.
In Germany, powdered melilot is mixed with an
equal amount of water to make a poultice for treating
In Chinese medicine, it is considered sedative
and astringent. When taken internally, it imparts its
sweet fragrance to the body.
Mexican Marigold Mint (Tagetes lucida): internally
for diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, colic, hiccups,
malaria, and feverish illnesses.
Externally for scorpion bites and to remove
Poppy (Argemone mexicana
) The fresh latex of
Mexican poppy contains protein-dissolving constituents,
and is used to treat warts, cold sores, and blemishes on
the lips. The whole plant acts as a mild painkiller.
An infusion of the seeds—in small
quantities—is used in Cuba as a sedative for children
suffering from asthma.
In greater quantities, the oil in the seeds is
flowers are expectorant, and are good for treating
coughs and other chest conditions.
The juice of the plant has a rubifacient and
slightly caustic effect; used straight for warts,
diluted for skin ulcerations, externally. The fresh juice, greatly diluted, has a long traditional
history as a treatment for opacities of the cornea.
The preserved juice, with three or four parts
water, can be used for heat rash, hives, and jock itch.
One-half teaspoon in water in the morning for a
few days will lessen the irritability of urethra and
prostate inflammations. The whole plant can be boiled into a strong tea and used for
bathing sunburned and abraded areas for relief of pain.
The dried plant is a feeble opiate and helps to reduce
pain and bring sleep, a rounded tablespoon in t4ea.
The seeds are a strong cathartic, a teaspoon or
two crushed in water and drunk. They have somewhat of a
sedative and narcotic effect when eaten and have
traditionally been smoked alone or with tobacco.
Mi Meng Hua (Buddleia
officinalis): The flowers and flower buds have
an action similar to vitamin P, reducing the
permeability and fragility of the blood vessels of the
skin and small intestine. They are used in the treatment
of various eye problems like night blindness, cataract
and eyestrain. They are also used in the treatment of
gonorrhea, hepatitis and hernia. A decoction of the
leaves is used in the treatment of collyrium. Also used
in the treatment of gonorrhea, hepatitis and hernia.
The root has been used for asthma and coughing with
blood. Leaf used as decoction for collyrium, used in
gonorrhea, hepatitis, hernia.
- Silymarin is poorly soluble in water, so
aqueous preparations such as teas are ineffective,
except for use as supportive treatment in gallbladder
disorders because of cholagogic and spasmolytic effects.
The drug is best administered parenterally because of
poor absorption of silymarin from the gastrointestinal
tract. The drug must be concentrated for oral use.
Silymarin’s hepatoprotective effects may be
explained by its altering of the outer liver cell
membrane structure, as to disallow entrance of toxins
into the cell. This
alteration involves silymarin’s ability to block the
toxin’s binding sites, thus hindering uptake by the
by silymarin can also be attributed to its antioxidant
properties by scavenging prooxidant free radicals and
increasing intracellular concentration of glutathione, a
substance required for detoxicating reactions in liver
Silymarin’s mechanisms offer many types of
therapeutic benefit in cirrhosis with the main benefit
being hepatoprotection. Use of milk thistle, however, is
inadvisable in decompensated cirrhosis.
In patients with acute viral hepatitis, silymarin
shortened treatement time and showed improvement in
serum levels of bilirubin, AST and ALT.
root decoction (either fresh or dried) strengthens the
heart in a different way from digitalis, and without the
foxglove derivative’s toxicity.
It also soothes the nerves and is listed as an
emetic, anthelmintic (kills worms) and stomach tonic.
It helps relieve edema probably by strengthening
the heart. It’s
also a diaphoretic and expectorant.
It’s used for coughs, colds, arthritis
aggravated by the cold, threatened inflammation of the
lungs, asthma, bronchitis, female disorders, diarrhea
and gastric mucus.
The milky sap is used topically, fresh or dried,
to reduce warts.
root is emetic and cathartic in large doses.
In average doses it is considered diuretic,
expectorant and diaphoretic.
It is said to produce temporary sterility if
taken as a tea.
for afflictions of the nerves and the urinary tract and
Milkweed, South African (Asclepias physocarpa):
It is used for intestinal troubles in children or as
a remedy for colds. The powdered leaves were dried for
Milkwort, Fringed (Polygala paucifolia): Its
primary purpose is antiseptic, to heal broken skin and
infected sores The milky exudation was also thought to
quicken the removal of deposits from the bowels and
kidneys. Fringed milkwort possesses similar properties
to Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris), and may be
employed as a substitute. The root of has a pleasant,
spicy flavor, very similar to that of gaultheria. In
doses of from 3 to 10 grains, bitter polygala is an
excellent bitter tonic; from 10 to 30 grains act upon
the bowels, and cause slight diaphoresis. An infusion
has been found beneficial as a tonic in debility of the
digestive organs. It may be used in all cases
where a bitter tonic is indicated.
Lettuce (Montia perfoliata): Apart
from its value as a nourishing vegetable, miner’s
lettuce, like its relative purslane, may be taken as a
spring tonic and an effective diuretic.
(Mentha spp): Ayurvedic
physicians have used mint for centuries as a tonic and
digestive aid and as a treatment for colds, cough, and
German abbess/herbalist Hildegard of Bingen recommended
mint for digestion and gout. Shortly after Culpeper wrote about the benefits of mint,
peppermint and spearmint were differentiated, and
herbalists decided the former was the better digestive
aid, cough remedy, and treatment for colds and fever.
Spearmint cannot replace peppermint in combined
bile and liver or nerve herbal teas even though it is
used as a stomachic and carminative.
The Chinese use bo
he ( M. arvensis) as a cooling remedy for head colds
and influenza and also for some types of headaches, sore
throats, and eye inflammations. As a liver stimulant, it is added to remedies for digestive
disorders or liver qi (energy) stagnation).
Disperses wind-heat: for patterns of wind-heat
with fever, headache and cough.
Clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat:
for patterns of wind-heat with sore throat, red eyes,
and headache. Vents
rashes: used in the early stages of rashes such as
measles to induce the rash to come to the surface and
thereby speed recovery.
Peppermint also contains antioxidants that help
prevent cancer, heart disease and other diseases
associated with aging.
From Jim Duke’s “Green Pharmacy” comes a
Stone Tea for gallstone attach:
brew a mint tea from as many mints as possible
especially spearmint and peppermint and add some
cardamom, the richest source of borneol, another
compound that is helpful.
The oil of peppermint has been shown to be
antimicrobial and antiviral against Newcastle disease,
herpes simplex, vaccinia, Semliki Forest and West Nile
Menthol is an allergic sensitizer that may cause
hives. The menthol in oil of peppermint is an effective local
increases the sensitivity of the receptors in the skin
that perceive the sensation of coolness and reduces the
sensitivity of the receptors that perceive pain and
is also a counterirritant, an agent that causes the
small blood vessels under the skin to dilate, increasing
the flow of blood to the area and making the skin feel
you apply a skin lotion made with menthol, your skin
feels cool for a minutes, then warm.
Menthol’s anesthetic properties also make it
useful in sprays and lozenges for sore throats.
Mint, Habek (Mentha
traditional medicine. It is mainly used for respiratory
ailments but many other uses have also been recorded. It
is mostly the leaves that are used, usually to make a
tea that is drunk for coughs, colds, stomach cramps,
asthma, flatulence, indigestion and headaches.
Externally, wild mint has been used to treat wounds and
swollen glands. The infusion of leaves is taken as a
cooling medicine. Dried leaves and flowers tops are
carminative and stimulant. It is believed to the best
remedy for headaches. In parts of Africa it is used for
opthalmatic diseases. The leaves are harvested as the
plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use.
It will make a soothing drink for coughs and colds.
The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it
is toxic in large doses. Externally it has been used to
treat wounds and swollen glands.
Mint, Japanese (Mentha arvensis piperascens):
Japanese mint, like many other members of this genus, is
often used as a domestic herbal remedy, being valued
especially for its antiseptic properties and its
beneficial effect on the digestion. A tea made from the
leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of
fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor
ailments. The leaves are a classical remedy for stomach
cancer. It is said to relieve hay fever symptoms within
minutes. The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic,
though can be toxic in large doses.
Mint, River (Mentha australis): The
river mint is widespread in inland areas of Australia
and was used as a medicinal plant by the Aborigines. It
was boiled in water and used for the relief of coughs
and colds. It is recorded the plant was used by the
Aborigines to induce abortions. It was also used by
early settlers as a tonic. A tea made from the leaves of
most mint species has traditionally been used in the
treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and
various minor ailments. The leaves are harvested as the
plant comes into flower and can be dried for later use.
The essential oil in the leaves is antiseptic, though it
is toxic in large doses and can cause abortions.
(Viscum album): Despite
the traditional belief that European and American
mistletoe have opposite actions, science has found out
that they contain similar active chemicals and have
similar effects. Mistletoe
has the ability to slow the pulse, stimulate
gastrointestional and uterine contractions, and lower
mistletoe is chiefly used to lower blood pressure and
heart rate, ease anxiety, and promote sleep.
In low doses it also relieves panic attacks,
headaches, and improves concentration.
European mistletoe is also prescribed for
tinnitus and epilepsy.
In anthroposophical medicine, extracts of the
berries are injected to treat cancer.
European mistletoe’s efficacy as an anticancer
treatment has been subject to a significant amount of
going back 25 years show mistletoe impairs the growth of
test-tube tumor cells.
In Germany three mistletoe-based chemotherapy
agents are administered by injection to treat human
great advantage offered by mistletoe extracts is that
unlike other chemotherapeutic drugs, their
immunostimulant and tonic effects are nontoxic and well
tolerated. There is no doubt that certain constituents,
especially the viscotoxins, exhibit an anticancer
activity, but the value of the whole plant in cancer
treatment is not fully accepted.
Several Indian tribes used American mistletoe to
induce abortions and it stimulate contractions during
use mistletoe tea to treat colds, muscle weakness and
physicians prescribe the dried inner stems as a
laxative, digestive aid, sedative and uterine relaxant
The inner bark has been used
as a dressing for cuts and has also been chewed to treat
Mosote (Priva lappulacea): The plant
is used in Choco cough medicine. For internal
parasites, boil a handful of leaves in 3 cups of water
for 10 minutes; drink 3 cups of tea daily for 3 days,
followed by a purge. Leaves parched over a flame are
powdered and applied to sores, infections, wounds, and
fungal conditions. Mash leaves into a poultice and rub
juice on itching skin condition or rashes.
is primarily an herb of the heart.
Several species have sedative effects, decreasing
muscle spasms and temporarily lowering blood pressure.
Chinese studies found that extracts decrease
clotting and the level of fat in the blood and can slow
heart palpatations and rapid heartbeat.
Another of motherwort’s uses is to improve
fertility and reduce anxiety associated with childbirth,
postpartum depression, and menopause. If used in early
labor it will ease labor pains and calms the nerves
Take motherwort only once soon after giving birth
as consistent use before the uterus has clamped down may
cause bleeding to continue.
Use one to two times a day in the weeks following
birth for easing tension and supporting a woman through
the feelings that come with new mothering. Do not use
helps bring on a delayed or suppressed menstrual
flow, especially when someone is anxious and tense.
Chinese women often use it combined with dong
quai as a menstrual regulator.
Avoid using for menstrual cramps when bleeding is
It strengthens and relaxes the uterine muscles
and eases uterine cramping.
It also reduces fevers, and is especially
suggested for illnesses associated with nervousness or
delirium. Motherwort was formerly used to treat
rheumatism and lung problems, like bronchitis and
Motherwort may help an overactive thyroid but
does not depress normal thyroid function.
Tincture the leaves and flowers as soon as you
pick them. If you prefer to dry them, lay the leaves and
stalks onto screens.
Motherwort tea has a very bitter taste.
Chinese medicine uses the seeds to aid in
urination; cool the body system; treat excessive
menstrual flow, absence of menstruation.
Mouse-ear hawkweed relaxes the muscles of the bronchial
tubes, stimulates the cough reflex and reduces the
production of mucus. It is used for respiratory
problems where there is a lot of mucus being formed,
with soreness and possibly even the coughing of blood.
It is considered a specific in cases of whooping cough.
It may also be found beneficial in bronchitis or
bronchitic asthma. The astringency and the
diuretic action also help to counter the production of
mucus, sometimes throughout the respiratory system.
The herb is used to control heavy menstrual bleeding and
to ease the coughing up of blood. Externally it
may be used as a poultice to aid wound-healing or
specifically to treat hernias and fractures. A
powder made from it was used to stem nosebleeds.
The tea is an occasional home remedy for fever and
Mozote (Triumfetta semitriloba): In Costa
Rica, mozote is used as a treatment for colds and
diarrhea. The aqueous extract in Costa Rican folk
medicine as remedy for the treatment of peptic ulcer.
Mexicans use a decoction of the root for treating
venereal disease, as well as kidney and liver problems,
while a more astringent leaf decoction is used in
Yucatan to treat hemorrhoids and leucorrhea
A popular traditional remedy
for insufficient lactation in nursing mothers is to
simmer 10-15 grams of this herb together with pork
knuckles for 3 hours, adding water as needed, then
drinking the herbal broth throughout the day.
(Artemisia vulgaris)-- The classic herb for
premenstrual symptoms, used in tea and the bath. Use a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water
steeped for 20 minutes, take ¼ cup flour times a day.
It makes a good foot bath for tired feet and
to the liver, it promotes digestion.
Mugwort is an emmenagogue, especially when
combined with pennyroyal, blue cohosh, or angelica root.
It is helpful in epilepsy, palsy, and hysteria
and is useful for fevers.
Homeopaths use Artemisia vulgaris for petit mal
epilepsy, somnambulism, profuse perspiration that smells
like garlic and dizziness caused by colored lights.
It is especially effective when given with wine.
Mugwort, Mountain (Artemisia
franserioides): As a cold and flu medicine it is
drunk cold to settle the stomach, and hot to bring on
and to reduce fever. It also is brewed as a bitter
tonic for stomach pains and acidosis from greasy and
rancid foods. Also used for diarrhea.
Mugwort, Wild (Artemisia
mugwort is a bitter aromatic tonic herb. The leaves and
flowering stems are used internally in traditional
Chinese medicine to treat menstrual and liver disorders.
Puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides (Liriosma
ovata is a different species but often used
all parts of the plants have been used medicinally, but
the bark and roots are the primary parts of the plant
utilized. It has long been used in the Amazon by
indigenous peoples for a number of purposes and found
its way into herbal medicine in South America and Europe
in the 1920's. Indigenous tribes in Brazil use the roots
and bark taken internally as a tea for treating sexual
debility and impotency, neuromuscular problems,
rheumatism, grippe, cardiac asthenia, gastrointestinal
asthenia and to prevent baldness. It is also used
externally in baths and massages for treating paralysis
Muira puma has a long history in herbal medicine
as an aphrodisiac, a tonic for the nervous system an
antirheumatic and for gastrointestinal disorders. In
1925, a pharamacological study was published on muira
puama which indicated it effectiveness in treating
disorders of the nervous system and sexual impotency
which indicated that "permanent effect is produced
in locomotor ataxia, neuralgias of long standing,
chronic rheumatism, and partial paralysis." In
1930, Penna wrote about Muira puama in his book and
cited physiological and therapeutic experiments
conducted in France by Dr. Rebourgeon which confirmed
the efficacy of the plant for "gastrointestinal and
circulatory asthenia and impotency of the genital
organs." Two closely related species of
Ptychopetalum were used interchangeably when it became
popular in the 1920's and 30's - P. olacoides
and P. uncinatum and a third species,
Liriosma ovata syn Dulacia inopiflora, (which also
had a common name of muira puama) was used as well.
Early European explorers noted the indigenous uses and
the aphrodisiac qualities of muira puama and brought it
back to Europe, where it has become part of the herbal
medicine of England. Because of the long history of use
of Muira puama in England, it is still listed in the British
Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a noted source on herbal
medicine from the British Herbal Medicine Association,
where it is recommended for the treatment of dysentery
and impotence. It has been in the Brazilian
Pharmacopeia since the 1950's.
Scientists began searching for the active
components in the root and bark of Muira puama to
determine the reasons for it efficacy in the 1920's.
Early research discovered that the root and bark were
rich in free fatty acids, essential oil, plant sterols,
and a new alkaloid which they named "muirapuamine."
Since it continued to be used throughout the world as an
aphrodisiac and treatment for impotency as well as for
hookworms, dysentery, rheumatism and central nervous
system disorders with success, scientists began
researching the plant's constituents and pharmacological
properties again in the late 1960's, continuing on until
the late 1980's.
Muira puama is still employed around the world
today in herbal medicine. In Brazil and South American
herbal medicine, it is used a neuromuscular tonic, for
asthenia, paralysis, chronic rheumatism, sexual
impotency, grippe, ataxia, and central nervous system
disorders In Europe, it is used to treat impotency,
infertility, neurasthenia, menstrual disturbances and
dysentery. It has been gaining in popularity in the
United States where herbalists and health care
practitioners are using muira puama for impotency,
menstrual cramps and PMS, neurasthenia and central
nervous system disorders. The benefits in treating
impotency with muira puama has recently been studied in
two human trials which showed that Muira puama was
proven to be effective in improving libido and treating
erectile dysfunction. In a study conducted in Paris,
France, of 262 male patients experiencing lack of sexual
desire and the inability to attain or maintain an
erection, 62% of the patients with loss of libido
reported that the extract of muira puama "had a
dynamic effect" and 51% of patients with erectile
dysfunctions felt that muira puama was beneficial. The
second study conducted by Waynberg in France evaluated
the positive psychological benefits of Muira puama in
100 men with male sexual asthenia.
It is important to note that to achieve the
beneficial effects of the plant, proper preparation
methods must be employed. The active constituents found
in the natural bark thought to be responsible for Muira
Puama's effect are not water soluble nor are they broken
down in the digestive process. Therefore taking a ground
bark or root powder in a capsule or tablet will not be
very effective. High heat for at least 20 minutes or
longer in alcohol in necessary to dissolve and extract
the volatile and essential oils, terpenes, gums and
resins found in the bark and root that have been linked
to Muira Puama's beneficial effects.
(Verbascum thrapsis): One of the primary
herbs for any lung problem, including whooping cough,
asthma, bronchitis and chest colds.
It was traditionally smoked for lung conditions.
It is also a diuretic used to relieve urinary
tract inflammation, diarrhea, and inflammation, colitis,
or other bleeding in the bowel.
The flowers extracted into olive oil make a
preparation that is known to reduce the pain and
inflammation of earache, insect bites, bruises,
hemorrhoids, and sore joints.
A distilled flower water or a poultice has been
placed on burns, ringworm, boils and sores.
The leaves are used in homeopathic products for
migraine and earache.
Mustard, Chinese (Brassica
The seeds treat pain in
nerves, arthritis, pneumonia
Mustard, Tansy (Descurainia
pinnata): The Navajo and Cahuilla Indians used
this plant for medicinal purposes. The ground up seeds
was used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A
poultice of the plant has been used to ease the pain of
toothache. An infusion of the leaves has been used as a
wash on sores.
Mustard, Tumble (Sisymbrium
altissimum): The leaves and flowers have
medicinal properties that has been used to cause tissue
to contract. They also contain an agent that is
effective against scurvy.
Mustard, Wormseed (Erysimum
cheiranthoides): A drink made from the crushed
seed is used as a vermifuge. It is intensely bitter but
has been used on children and expels the worms both by
vomit and by excretion. A decoction of the root has been
applied to skin eruptions. Occasionally used as an
anthelmintic. It is also used in folk medicine to treat
rhueumatism, jaundice, dropsy and asthma. The root mixed
in water was applied to skin eruptions
(Commiphora myrrha): Germany’s
Commission E has endorsed powdered myrrh for the
treatment of mild inflammations of the mouth and throat
because it contains high amounts of tannins.
Myrrh improves digestion, diarrhea and immunity.
It treats coughs, gum disease, wounds, candida,
overactive thyroid and scanty menstruation.
Used for: amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause,
cough, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, rheumatism,
traumatic injuries, ulcerated surfaces, anemia,
to kill yeast (10 capsules daily).
Myrrh is used internally for stomach complaints,
tonsillitis, phayrngitis and gingivitis, and externally
for ulcers, boils and wounds.
Acts directly and rapidly on peptic
glands to increase activity, in this way
Promotes absorption and assimilation of
for obesity and diabetes.
For inner ear infections, combine equal parts of
echinacea and mullein with one-part myrrh to make a tea.
Increases circulation, stimulates flow of blood
to capillaries. Clears
out mucus-clogged passages throughout the body. Antiseptic to mucus membranes, regulates secretions of these
for glandular fever, fever symptoms like cold skin, weak
Research suggests that it can lower blood
In China, it is taken to move blood and relieve
painful swellings. For an infusion that might help prevent heart disease, use 1
teaspoon of powdered herb per cup of boiling water. Steep 10 minutes. Drink
up to 2 cups a day.
Myrrh tastes bitter and unpleasant.
Add sugar, honey and lemon or mix it into an
herbal beverage blend to improve flavor.
(Myrtus communis): The
plant is powerfully antiseptic owing to the myrtol it contains and it has
good astringent properties.
In medicine the leaves were used for their
stimulating effect on the mucous membranes, and for the
chest pains and
dry coughs of consumptive people.
Myrtle, Lemon-Scented (Backhousia
citriodora): Made as a tea for coughs, colds
and other respiratory ailments, sinus and stress.
Lemon myrtle tea is used for free blood flow and to
make the blood less sticky. Singers have also told
us lemon myrtle tea is a good tonic for their