The roots are used to
treat indigestion, skin problems, diarrhea, fever,
stomach disorders, and night blindness
hortensis, A. patula) Considered
diuretic, emetic, and emollient, orache has been
suggested as a folk remedy for plethora and lung
ailments. Seeds mixed with wine are said to cure yellow
jaundice. They also excite vomiting. Heated with
vinegar, honey and salt, orache is used for gout. Fruits
are purgative and emetic. Liniments and emollients
prepared from the whole plant, like the juice of the
plant, are said to be folk remedies for indurations and
tumors, especially of the throat. Used as a spring tonic
and stimulant and in infusions to treat tiredness or
patula’s seeds are gathered when
just ripe and a pound (450 g) of them, bruised, is
placed in three quarts (3.4 1) of moderate strength
spirit. The whole is left to stand for six weeks,
affording a light and not unpleasant tincture. A
tablespoonful of the tincture, taken in a cup of
water-gruel, has the same effect as a dose of
Ipecacuanha, except that its operation is milder and it
does not bind the bowels afterwards. After taking the
dose, the patient should go to bed. A gentle sweat will
follow, carrying off whatever offending matter the
motions have dislodged, thus preventing long disease. As
some stomachs are harder to move than others, a second
tablespoonful may be taken if the first does not perform
its office. Native
Americans used poultices of the roots, stems and flowers
for relieve of insect stings. Europeans used them to
treat gout, jaundice and sore throats.
Oregano, Syrian (Origanum
has a long history as a medicinal and flavoring herb.
Its thymol concentration is probably responsible for its
effective applications in treating tooth decay, gum
infections, and coughs; hyssop tea is drunk after meals
to aid digestion.
x germanica var. florentina)
was formerly used in upper respiratory tract catarrh,
coughs and for diarrhea in infants.
It was used to treat dropsy and has been used as
a snuff for congestive headaches.
DRIED ROOT, preferably aged for at least 2 years.
½ to 1 teaspoon in warm water as suspended tea; the
pressed "fingers" for teething infants to gum
Although sometimes a topical allergen, it is not
) American Indians used this herb to treat
all manner of respiratory ailments: pneumonia,
influenza, colds, bronchitis, tuberculosis, hay fever
and asthma. Oshas are emmenagogues.
Not recommended for pregnant women.
It is used to treat colds, flu, fevers, cough,
cold phlegm diseases, indigestion, gas, delayed menses
and rheumatic complaints.
This is one of the most important herbs of the
Rocky Mountains, considered sacred by the Native
Americans and widely esteemed by them for its broad and
effective warm healing power.
Many tribes burned it as incense for
purification, to ward off gross pathogenic factors and
subtle negative influences.
Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare
for gastrointestinal, throat, skin, women’s
circulatory and urinary concerns.
Make into infusions, tinctures, ointments,
salves, foot soaks and as a bath herb.
Parasol Tree, Chinese (Firmiana
A decoction of the roots
is used to reduce swellings and a lotion of the
leaves is used in the treatment of carbuncles,
hemorrhoids and sores. The seeds are used to treat
abscesses in the mouth of children and skin
problems. The fruits are a tonic and coked with
meat as tonic broth.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum, P.
Use: Chew the
leaf raw to freshen the breath and promote healthy skin.
Infuse for a digestive tonic.
Bruised leaves have been used to treat tumors,
insect bites, lice and skin parasites and contusions.
Parsley tea at one time was used to treat
dysentery and gallstones.
Other traditional uses reported include the
treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver and spleen,
in the treatment of anemia, arthritis and cancers, and
as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac,
hypotensive, laxative and as a scalp lotion to stimulate
Use in a poultice as an antiseptic dressing for
sprains, wounds and insect bites.
Decoct the root for kidney troubles and as a mild
juice to reduce swellings.
It also stimulates appetite and increases blood
flow to digestive organs, as well as reducing fever.
Another constituent, the flavonoid apigenin, reduces
inflammation by inhibiting histamine and is also a
The seed, when decocted, has been used for
It has also traditionally used as a carminative
to decrease flatulence and colic pain.
The seeds have a much stronger diuretic action
than the leaves and may be substituted for celery seeds
in the treatment of gout, rheumatism and arthritis.
It is often included in "slimming" teas
because of its diuretic action.
Oil of the seed (5-15 drops) has been used to
bring on menstruation.
Avoid if weak kidneys.
Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens)
Medicinal Uses: The Indians ate the
berries and dined on a medicinal jelly when experiencing
has been used to promote easy labor and prevent
is a nourishing and safe remedy for women from puberty
through menopause, including during pregnancy and
lactation, especially where there is a history of
difficult pregnancy or a weak reproductive system.
In cases of chronic weakness or disease, it needs
to be taken for 4-8 weeks before results may be seen.
It is a specific treatment for uterine hemorrhage
and therefore it is indicated in menopausal flooding as
well as heavy uterine blood loss of any kind after
diagnosis by a health-care provider.
Partridge berry may also relieve painful periods.
The dose is limited to one cup of tea of the
single herb per day or up to one-fourth part of a
formula by weight, three standard cups per day.
Partridge berry herb does apparently
contradictory things: it relaxes pregnant women while it
tones up the uterine and pelvic muscles and it soothes
nervous “jumpiness.” Its actions are astringent (for
weak uterine tone, but it is not drying or
constipating), diuretic, emmenagogue and parturient
taken during the few weeks before birth.
A well-known early 20th century
preparation, called Mother’s Cordial, combined it with
cram bark, unicorn root, sassafras oil, brandy, and
sugar. It appeared in the US National Formulary from 1926 to 1947
for treating uterine problems.
It improves digestion and calms the nervous
times it has been substituted for pipsissewa as a
treatment for urinary tract infections.
Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris )
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, pulsatilla
is used as an anti-inflammatory and is considered
specific for amoebic and bacterial dysentery.
Externally, it is used as a douche for
Western herbalists and homeopaths, on the other
hand, use minute doses of pulsatilla as an important
remedy for premenstrual syndrome.
Curiously, mainly fair and blue-eyed women are
responsive to this remedy. It is generally used as an
emmenagogue and to increase blood and energy circulation
for both men and women.
It strengthens sexual sensitivity while lessening
the tendency towards morbid preoccupation.
It is a good remedy to consider for disorders of
the reproductive organs and the prostate, associated
with nervous and emotional problems.
Characteristically, the symptoms treated are
nervousness, restlessness and an active imagination or
fear of impending danger or disease.
For menstrual irregularity or delayed
menstruation, it is used to treat simple suppression due
to atropy or shock.
It is also good for some cases of heart disease,
again with strong mental symptoms.
Pulsatilla is used for various inflammatory
conditions, but especially if accompanied by
nervousness, despondency, sadness, unnatural fear,
weepiness and depression.
It is used also for headache, insomnia, neuralgia
in the anemic, thick tongue coating with a greasy taste,
stomach disorders from over-indulgence in fats and
pastries, various alternating and shifting signs such as
diarrhea/constipation, amenorrhea and dysmenorrhea, pain
from exposure to wind, toothache and styes.
In France, it has traditionally been used for
treating coughs and as a sedative for sleep
is also used to treat eye problems such as cataracts.
The leaves of passion flower are an
ingredient in many European pharmaceutical products to
treat nervous disorders, such as heart palpitations,
anxiety, convulsions, epilepsy and sometimes high blood
have been shown to make a nonaddictive sedative that
relaxes the nervous system. Passion flower seems
especially helpful when physical or mental strain
results in insomnia or stress.
While it is not a strong pain reliever and it may
take a while for its effects to be noticed, it seems to
have a lasting and refreshing effect on the nervous
is used to prevent spasms from whooping cough, asthma,
and other diseases.
The dried herb is also used for Parkinson’s
disease, hysteria, and shingles.
The unusual fruit has been historically
considered to be a sedative.
In Germany, passionflower is
used as a component of prepared sedative (in combination
with lemon balm and valerian root) and cardiotonic (in
combination with hawthorn) nonprescription drugs in
various dosage forms including coated tablets,
tinctures, and infusions. It is also used in German
homeopathic medicine to treat pain, insomnia related to
neurasthenia, and nervous exhaustion. In German
pediatric medicine, it is used as a component of Species
nervinae pro infantibus (sedative tea for children),
which contains 30% lemon balm leaf, 30% lavender flower,
30% passionflower herb, and 10% St. John's wort herb. It
is also a component of a standard Commission E fixed
formula "Sedative Tea," which contains 40%
valerian root, 30% passionflower herb, and 30% lemon
balm leaf. In the United States, passionflower is used
as a sedative component of dietary supplement sleep aid
formulations. It was official in the fourth (1916) and
fifth (1926) United States National Formulary and
removed in 1936. It was also an approved OTC sedative
and sleep aid up until 1978.
few pharmacological studies have been undertaken, though
its central nervous system sedative properties have been
documented, supporting its traditional indications for
use. The approved modern therapeutic applications for
passionflower are supportable based on its history of
use in well established systems of traditional and
conventional medicine, pharmacodynamic studies
supporting its empirically acknowledged sedative and
anxiolytic effects, and phytochemical investigations.
pharmacopeial grade passionflower must be composed of
the whole or cut dried aerial parts, collected during
the flowering and fruiting period, containing not less
than 0.4% flavonoids calculated as hyperoside. Botanical
identity must be confirmed by thin-layer chromatography
(TLC) as well as by macroscopic and microscopic
examinations and organoleptic evaluation. Purity tests
are required for the absence of pith-containing stem
fragments greater than 3 mm in diameter and also for the
absence of other species. The British Herbal
Pharmacopoeia requires not less than 15% water-soluble
extractive, among other quantitative standards. The
French Pharmacopoeia requires not less than 0.8% total
flavonoids calculated as vitexin by measuring the
absorbance after reaction. The ESCOP monograph requires
that the material comply with the French, German, or
The herb was introduced into
United States medicine in 1867 as a sedative and was
listed in the National Formulary from 1916 until
sedative passion flower chewing gum was even marketed in
Romania in 1978. In 1990, a marked increase in passion flower sales was
assumed to be a result of consumer concern over using
the amino acid L-tryptophan as a sedative and sleep
Commission E approved the internal use of passionflower
for nervous restlessness.
The British Herbal Compendium indicates its use
for sleep disorders, restlessness, nervous stress, and
anxiety. Other uses include neuralgia and nervous
tachycardia. The German Standard License for
passionflower tea indicates its use for nervous
restlessness, mild disorders of sleeplessness, and
gastrointestinal disorders of nervous origin. It is
frequently used in combination with valerian and other
sedative plants. ESCOP indicates its use for tenseness,
restlessness, and irritability with difficulty in
Patchouli (Pogostemom patchouli)
In China, Japan and Malaysia the herb is used to
treat colds, headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
abdominal pain an halitosis.
In Japan and Malaysia it is used as an antidote
to poisonous snakebites.
hypogaea) The seeds have
been used in folk medicine as an
anti-inflammatory, aphrodisiac and
decoagulant. Peanuts play a small
role in various folk pharmacopoeias.
In China the nuts are considered
demulcent, pectoral, and peptic; the
oil aperient and emollient, taken
internally in milk for treating
gonorrhea, externally for treating
rheumatism. In Zimbabwe the peanut
is used in folk remedies for plantar
warts. Hemostatic and
vasoconstrictor activity are
reported. The alcoholic extract is
said to affect isolated smooth
muscles and frog hearts like
acetylcholine. The alcoholic lipoid
fraction of the seed is said to
prevent hemophiliac tendencies and
for the treatment of some blood
disorders (mucorrhagia and arthritic
hemorrhages) in hemophilia. The red
papery skins are one of the best
dietary sources of oligomeric
procyanidins, which are compounds
that decrease capillary fragility
and permeability, helping to prevent
and treat varicose veins.
Pellitory (Anacyclus pyrethrum)
It treats fluid retention, stones and gravel, dropsy and
other urinary complaints.
In European herbal medicine, it is regarded as
having a restorative action on the kidneys, supporting
and strengthening their function.
It has been prescribed for nephritis, pyelitis
(inflammation of the kidney,” kidney stones, renal
colic (pain caused by kidney stones), cystitis, and
edema (fluid retention).
It is also occasionally taken as a laxative.
It combines well with parsley or wild carrot seed
or root. It
counteracts mucus and is useful for chronic coughs. The
leaves may be applied as poultices.
Pellitory of the Wall (Parietaria officinalis)
The pungent pellitory root is taken as a
decoction or chewed to relieve toothache and increase
The decoction may also be used as a gargle to
soothe sore throats.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the root is considered
tonic, and is used to treat paralysis and epilepsy.
The diluted essential oil is used in mouthwashes
and to treat toothache.
It is an energetic local irritant and sialagogue,
and acts as a rubefacient when applied externally. Its
ethereal tincture relieves toothache. The root chewed
has been found useful in some rheumatic and neuralgic
affections of the head and face, and in palsy of the
tongue. The decoction has been used as a gargle in
relaxation of the uvula. Severe acronarcotic symptoms,
with inflammation of the alimentary tract and bloody
stools, were produced in a young child by less than a
drachm of the tincture. The dose is from 30 to 60 grains
as a masticatory. Oil of pellitory is made by
evaporating the ethereal tincture.
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium or Hedeoma puleioides)
Pennyroyal’s main role is as an insect repellent. The crushed leaves
or essential oil are rubbed on insect bites to reduce
their itch and to ward off future attacks. The crushed
green herb has been used to remove the marks of bruises
and burns. It
has also been taken to relieve headaches, indigestion,
congestion from colds, and menstrual pain.
Hot pennyroyal tea is one of the best herbs to
produce sweating and reduce a fever. Pennyroyal’s nature is to make intelligent choices and
carry through clearly and without regret.
Pennyroyal is an ovarian tonic; it also eases
cramps, eliminates gas, calms nausea and relieves
nervous tension. Pennyroyal
encourages menses. Its oil is abortifacient and can be
leaves of pennyroyal are nervine, diaphoretic, and
antiseptic, used for colds, fevers, headaches, and
is a renewing wash for itching, burning skin.
Pennyroyal, Dwarf (Hedeoma
nana): This true pennyroyal is a prime menstrual
stimulant when menses are accompanied by a heavy
sensation in the abdomen, or when the period is delayed
and crampy following a cold, fever, or exposure to rain
or snow. It sometimes is used as an abortive, but there
is no proof that it is effective for this purpose. As
an effective diaphoretic to help break fevers. The
aromatic oil repels insects; and bundles of it are hung
up indoors to control infestations of flies and bugs.
Simple tea, ½ cup up to 4 times a day.
Pennyroyal, Hart's (Mentha cervina): :
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.
Pennyroyal, Native (Mentha satureioides):
When early European settlers found this plant growing in
Australia they soon discovered it had similar properties
to that of the European pennyroyal. It was boiled in
water and used to relieve menstrual irregularities. A
pungently aromatic, tonic, decongestant herb that
improves the digestion, stimulates the uterus, and
relieves spasms and pain. Internally used for colds,
excess mucus, indigestion, colic, and menstrual
complaints. Used as a substitute for both M. x
piperita and M. pulegium.
Pepper (Piper nigrum) Pepper
has long been recognized as an ingredient for
stimulating the appetite as well as being an aid in the
relief of nausea and vertigo. It was used to treat gastro-intestinal upsets, flatulence,
fevers and congestive chills.
It is supposed to be of help in anal, rectal and
urinary troubles. In India it has been used as a medicine since time immemorial
for the treatment of anything from paralysis to
toothache. East Africans are said to believe that body
odor produced after eating substantial amounts of pepper
Black pepper contains four anti-osteoporosis
is of singular importance as a metabolic stimulant in
Black pepper has the ability to recirculate vital
fasting, grind seven peppercorns and take them mixed
with a little honey each morning.
Pepper, Japanese Black (Piper
kadsura): This pepper is used as a stomachic,
expectorant, and stimulant.
Perilla (Perilla frutescens
(green); P.f. Atropurpurea (purple)) Perilla is
effective to improve stomach functions. Perilla is also
used for perspiration, fever and cough alleviation, pain
removing and stomach function improvement in Oriental
frutescens Britt.), a traditional Chinese herb has
recently received special attention because of its
beneficial effects in the treatment of some kinds of
allergic reactions without the side effects associated
with some other used anti-allergy medicines. Experiments
in vivo and in vitro found that among 18 kinds of
vegetables, Perilla and ginger were the most active in
reducing TNF production and its activity, which is
linked with the allergy and inflammation.
It has also been found that Perilla seed oil is
rich in n-3 fatty acid (a-linolenic acid) which also has
some benefit in the treatment of allergy.
Reports trace back
the traditional use of Perilla leaf and seed for
hundreds of years in the treatment of asthma and some
symptoms associated with what is now known as allergy.
Also, the traditional method of cooking crab or
shellfish with Perilla leaves, in order to prevent so
called "poisoning" existing in crab etc.,
might be re-evaluated as an effective way of preventing
Perilla leaf extract has been
available as a "health product" rather than as
a medicine. There are no published reports of controlled
clinical trials. Even so, there are many reports of open
(uncontrolled) studies from physicians and from
patients-completed questionnaires, to support the
beneficial use of Perilla leaf extract in the treatment
of allergy. Rigorous double-blind placebo-controlled
trials are doubtlessly needed before Perilla leaf
extract can be accepted as an antiallergy medicine in
studies in the treatment of more than one hundred
allergy cases of children with atopic dermatitis were
made. After three months of therapy using a Perilla
extract cream formulation, 80% of the patients showed
varying degrees of improvement in the degree of itching,
skin lesion, and eruption.
No side effects were observed in all the cases.
All these patients ceased other medicine while
using the Perilla products.
the precise mechanisms of Perilla treatment for allergy
are not yet well elucidated, recent researches on the
various phytochemicals and their pharmacological
properties have also revealed some mechanisms of Perilla
action in allergy.
Several active components contained in Perilla
have been found to be linked with antiallergy and
anti-inflammatory actions. These include elemicine, a-pinene,
caryophyllene, myristicin, b-sitosterol,
apigenin,phenylpropanoids and also some flavonoids which
act as anti-inflammatory agents
Perilla seed, leaf
and stem contain a total amount of essential oil about
0.5%. In addition to perillaldehyde, which was removed
from the Perilla leaf extract products for its potential
several other constituents contained in Perilla
essential oil showed pharmacological activity. It was
in animal experiments, one of the constituent in the
essential oil, b-caryophyllene, showed relaxing action
to the windpipe of guinea pig. Also it showed
significantly suppressing action to citric acid or
acrylaldehyde induced cough. It may partially explain
the action of Perilla on anticough and antiasthma.
Another constituent, l-menthol showed antiitching action
thus making Perilla helpful in the treatment of some
allergic skin diseases
Periwinkle (Vinca Major and V
minor) This plant is
an excellent all round astringent which can be used
internally or externally.
Its most common internal use is for treating
excess menstrual flow.
It is useful as a douche for treating vaginal
is used for digestive problems such as inflammation of
the colon or diarrhea.
The astringent action is also used in cases of
nose bleed, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers and as a gargle
for sore throats. Chewing the plant relieves toothache. The tea is sedative and is beneficial for hysteria, fits, and
nervous states. Use
two teaspoons per cup, steep for 20 minutes, and take a
quarter-cup doses four times a day.
Make a poultice of the herb to relieve cramps in
the limbs. The leaves are used in slaves for hemorrhoids
Use the tea as a gargle for sore throat and
fresh flowers are made into a syrup laxative, which is
excellent for small children as well as adults.
To make a syrup, boil three pounds of Sucanat in
one pint of water until you get a syrup consistency, and
then steep the herbs in the hot liquid for 20 minutes,
or simmer the herbs in honey or maple syrup for about 10
minutes, strain, and store in the refrigerator.
It combines well with Agrimony for astringent
action to treat the digestive system and skin
Peruvian Balsam (Myroxlon pereirae)
Balsam of Peru has been in the US Pharmacopeia since
1820 used for bronchitis, laryngitis, dysmenorrhea,
diarrhea, dysentery and leucorrhea and has also been
used as a food flavoring and fragrance material for its
aromatic vanilla like-odor. Today it is used extensively
in topical preparations for the treatment of wounds,
ulcers, and scabies, and can be found in hair tonics,
anti-dandruff preparations, feminine hygiene sprays and
as a natural fragrance in soaps, detergents, creams,
lotions and perfumes.
Peruvian balsam is strongly antiseptic and
stimulates repair of damaged tissue. It is usually taken internally as an expectorant and
decongestant to treat emphysema, bronchitis, and
bronchial asthma. It may also be taken to treat sore throats and diarrhea.
Externally, the balsam is applied to skin
also stimulates the heart, increases blood pressure and
lessens mucus secretions.
Traditionally used for rheumatic pain and skin
problems including scabies, diaper rash, bedsores,
prurigo, eczema, sore nipples and wounds.
It also destroys the itch acarus and its eggs.
cordata): An infusion of the plant has been used
as a contraceptive
Preto (Bidens pilosa) The
plant has a long history of use
among the indigenous people of the
Amazon. The whole plant is uprooted
and prepared in decoctions or
infusions for internal use, and/or
crushed into cataplasms for external
use. It is reported to be used in
the Peruvian Amazon for a number of
ailments including angina,
dysentery, and worms. It is also
used in Peru as a diuretic and
anti-inflammatory, as well as to
speed childbirth and as a treatment
for hepatitis. In Brazil it is used
for hepatits and malaria. A juice
made from the leaves is used to
dress wounds and ulcers. A decoction
of the leaves is anti-inflammatory,
styptic and alterative. The whole
plant is antirheumatic. It is also
used in enemas to treat intestinal
ailments. Substances isolated from
the leaves are bactericidal and
fungicidal, they are used in the
treatment of thrush and candida.
The plant was among 54
plant extracts tested in an
experiment of antibacterial activity
in South Africa. Five types of
bacteria were used in the study,
including e-coli and two
types of staphylococcus..
The bacteria were placed in sterile
Petri dishes, the extracts were then
introduced and the antibacterial
activity was determined by the size
of the zone of inhibition or clear
space where the organism did not
grow. The Bidens pilosa
extract was found to have some of
the highest antibacterial activity
against the staphylococcus strains,
but no the e-coli
Pig Nut (Conopodium
majus): The powdered roots have been recommended
as a cough remedy.
Pig's Ear (Cotyledon
orbiculata): Excellent wart remedy, widely
recommended even by medical doctors in South Africa.
Works on pets too. Thick fleshy, grey-green leaves are
sliced lengthwise and placed cut side on the wart for
8-12 hours daily. The Southern Sotho use a dried leaf
as a protective charm for an orphan child and as a
plaything. In the Willowmore District, the heated leaf
is used as a poultice for boils and other accessible
inflammations, in particular, earache. A single leaf is
eaten as a vermifuge and the warmed juice can be used as
drops for toothache or earache. The juice has been used
to treat epilepsy.
Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellate)
was an important herb among Native Americans, who used
it for various problems, including rheumatism.
It induced sweating.
The Pennsylvania Dutch used it as a tonic and
diuretic for kidney complaints and rheumatism. Internally used for urinary infections, prostates, urethritis,
kidney stones, arthritis and rheumatism.
It is mainly used in an infusion for urinary
tract problems such as cystitis and urethritis.
It has also been prescribed for more serious
conditions such as gonorrhea and kidney stones.
By increasing urine flow, it stimulates the
removal of waste products from the body and is therefore
of benefit in treating rheumatism and gout.
It is also a lymphatic catalyst.
The fresh leaves may be applied externally to
rheumatic joints or muscles, as well as to blisters,
sores and swellings. In tests on animals, pipsissewa leaves appear to lower blood
sugar levels. Solvent
in diluted alcohol, boiling water.
Plantain (Plantago major
and P lanceolata): Common plantain
quickly staunches blood flow and encourages the repair
of damaged tissue.
It may be used instead of comfrey in treating
bruises and broken bones.
An ointment or lotion may be used to treat
hemorrhoids, fistulae and ulcers.
Taken internally, common plantain is diuretic,
expectorant, and decongestant. It is commonly prescribed
for gastritis, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery,
irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory congestion, loss
of voice and urinary tract bleeding.
The seeds are closely related to psyllium seeds
and can be used similarly, a tablespoon or two soaked in
hot sweetened water or fruit juice until a mucilage is
formed and the whole gruel drunk as a lubricating
fresh juice can be made into a douche for vaginitis by
combining two tablespoons and a pint of warm water with
a pinch of table salt.
Proteolytic enzymes found in the fresh leaf and
the fresh or dried root make plantain useful as a gentle
internal vasoconstrictor for milk intestinal
fresh juice or dried leaves in tea can help bladder
fresh juice can be preserved with 25% vodka or 10% grain
one teaspoon in warm water one hour before every meal
for mild stomach ulcers.
For bed-wetting plantain leaf can be given as a
beverage-strength tea throughout the day (but not right
Plantain roots are an old-time cure for
the roots used to be chewed, dried and powdered and
placed in a hollow tooth as a painkiller.
The Chippewa used plantain leaves to draw out
splinters from inflamed skin, and as vulnerary
favored the fresh leaves, spreading the surface of these
with bear grease before applying them and renewing the
poultices when the leaves became dry or too heated. Sometimes they replaced the bear grease with finely chopped
fresh roots, or else applied the chopped roots directly
to the wound. For
winter use, they greased fresh leaves and tightly
wrapped stacks of them I leather.
The Iroquois used the fresh leaves to treat
wounds, as well as coughs, colds, and bronchitis.
The Shoshone applied poultices made from the
entire plant to battle bruises, while the Meskawaki
treated fevers with a tea made from the root.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses plantain to
treat urinary problems, dysentery, hepatitis and lung
problems, especially asthma and bronchitis.
The seeds are used for bowel ailments.
Plantain is also found in African and southeast
Asian folk medicine.
Research in India has shown its beneficial
effects in treating coughs and colds.
Pleurisy Root (Asclepias
it has fallen into disuse, butterfly weed was a
well-recognized remedy for all sorts of lung ailments,
including bronchitis, consumption, typhoid fever, and
is a lung tonic that relieves congestion, inflammation,
and difficult breathing by increasing fluidity of mucus
in the lungs and bronchial tubes. It promotes the coughing up of phlegm, reduces inflammation
and helps reduce fevers by stimulating perspiration. A warm tea of butterfly weed relieves digestive disturbances,
diarrhea and dysentery.
The settlers learned of its use from the Native
Americans, who chewed the raw root to alleviate lung
also put the powdered roots on wounds to stop bleeding
and pounded fresh roots into a poultice to place on
bruises, rheumatism, inflammation, and lameness in the
has also been used to treat certain uterine problems and
estrogenlike components have been reported.
Ploughman’s Spikenard (Inula
conyza) ---The older herbalists considered Ploughman's Spikenard
a good wound herb, and it was frequently taken in
decoction for bruises, ruptures, inward wounds, pains in
the side and difficulty of breathing. It also had a
reputation as an emmenagogue, and the juice of the while
plant was applied externally to cure the itch.
Poke (Phytolacca americana) The
Lenape chopped the root, poured boiling water over it,
and prepared a liniment to reduce swellings.
To reduce fever, they bound the fresh roots to
the hands and feet.
Other tribes made a purge from the juice of the
Delaware considered the roasted mashed root of Pokeweed
an excellent blood purifier and stimulant.
They were aware of the toxic properties of poke
root, and only very small doses were administered.
It was combined with bittersweet by other tribes
and used as an ointment for chronic sores and the
Pamunkey of Virginia treated rheumatism with
preparations of the boiled berries.
The Mohegans of Connecticut ate the young shoots
in the spring and used poultices of the mashed ripe
berries to relieve sore breasts of nursing mothers.
The large root is a violent emetic and is
sometimes used as a substitute for ipecac.
Pokeweed was listed officially in the United
States Pharmacopeia for nearly one hundred years, from
1820 to 1916, and in the National Formulary from 1916 to
1947, where it was classed as a slow emetic, purgative
and alterative. A fluid extract of the dried root was
prescribed for a variety of ailments.
During the early 1900s, it was a major ingredient
in a popular over-the-counter obesity remedy, Phytoline,
taken six times a day, before and after each meal.
A “cancer cure” was prepared by mixing the
juice of the leaves or root with gunpowder, and in the
Ozark Mountains, Poke was a famous remedy for a variety
of parasitic skin afflictions collectively known as
“the itch.” The
root was boiled into a thick paste and reputed to work
very well, but was quite painful when applied.
Investigators have reported finding a mitogenic
substance in Pokeweed that may prove useful in cancer
research and treatment.
Poke root treats constipation and glandular and
In the latter conditions it may be taken in
regular small internal doses of the tincture of the
fresh root. Take
only 2-5 drops two or three times daily.
If it cases nausea, stop and begin again with
even smaller doses.
Poke is one of the best blood and lymphatic
purifying herbs. It is excellent for the treatment of cancer, tumors,
arthritis and degenerative diseases, but should be used
with respect and preferably in combination with other
herbs in a formula to offset its powerful detoxifying
not take more than 1 gm. per day.
As an external medicine, Poke root is used in a
decoction as a wash or made into an ointment for various
skin diseases such as eczema, ulcers, scabies, ringworm
and other fungus infections. It has been used, in small
doses, as an alterative to stimulate the metabolism and
to help break up congestion in the alimentary canal, as
well as in various organs including the lymph glands.
It has also been used to treat breast cancer, and
the excessive swelling of breasts after childbirth which
sometimes make nursing impossible.
It has often been a part of the formulas used in
treating arthritis and rheumatism.
Pomegranate (Punica granatum)
the rind and bark of the pomegranate are considered to
be specific remedies for tapeworm infestation.
The alkaloids present in the rind and bark (pelletierines)
cause the worm to release its grip on the intestinal
wall. If a
decoction of pomegranate rind or bark is immediately
followed by a dose of a strong laxative or purgative,
the worm will be voided. The rind and bark are also strongly astringent and
occasionally have been used to treat diarrhea.
In Spain, the juice of pomegranate fruit pulp is
taken to comfort an upset stomach and as a remedy to
relieve gas and flatulence.
The seeds are used in gargles and they are said
to ease fevers and assist in counteracting diarrhea.
They are widely used in Indian medicines.
The pulp is good for the heart and stomach.
The rind and the skin of the fruit are sun-dried,
powdered and mixed with honey to cure diarrhea and
juice is a natural face mask, its astringency and
acidity being beneficial for oily skin.
Pongam Tree (Pongamia
pinnata): The fruits and sprouts are used in
folk remedies for abdominal tumors in India, the seeds
for keloid tumors in Sri Lanka, and a powder derived
from the plant for tumors in Vietnam. In sanskritic
India, seeds were used for skin ailments. Today the oil
is used as a liniment for rheumatism. Leaves are active
against Micrococcus; their juice is used for
colds, coughs, diarrhea, dyspepsia, flatulence,
gonorrhea, and leprosy. Roots are used for cleaning
gums, teeth, and ulcers. Bark is used internally for
bleeding piles. Juices from the plant, as well as the
oil, are antiseptic. It is said to be an excellent
remedy for itch, herpes, and pityriasis versicolor.
Powdered seeds are valued as a febrifuge, tonic and in
bronchitis and whooping cough. Flowers are used for
diabetes. Bark has been used for beriberi. Juice of the
root is used for cleansing foul ulcers and closing
fistulous sores. Young shoots have been recommended for
rheumatism. Ayurvedic medicine described the root and
bark as alexipharmic, anthelmintic, and useful in
abdominal enlargement, ascites, biliousness, diseases of
the eye, skin, and vagina, itch, piles, splenomegaly,
tumors, ulcers, and wounds; the sprouts, considered
alexeteric, anthelmintic, apertif, and stomachic, for
inflammation, piles and skin diseases; the leaves,
anthelmintic, digestive, and laxative, for
inflammations, piles and wounds; the flowers for
biliousness and diabetes; the fruit and seed for
keratitis, piles, urinary discharges, and diseases of
the brain, eye, head, and skin, the oil for biliousness,
eye ailments, itch, leucoderma, rheumatism, skin
diseases, worms, and wounds. Yunani use the ash to
strengthen the teeth, the seed, carminative and
depurative, for chest complaints, chronic fevers,
earache, hydrocele, and lumbago; the oil, styptic and
vermifuge, for fever, hepatalgia, leprosy, lumbago,
piles, scabies, and ulcers.
Poppy (Papaver somniferum)
folk medicine poppy heads were used in poultices to cure
earache and toothache and a remedy for facial neuralgia
was to lay the warmed leaves on the skin.
Medieval doctors pounded the seeds with those of
sea holly and mixed them with wine to make a lotion for
washing the ears, eyes and nostrils of those suffering
from insomnia. Another
cure was to mingle the juice with milk and other agents
and make them into sleeping pills.
An infusion made from the powdered capsules of
poppy was once applied externally to sprains and bruises
and a poppy flower poultice applied to excessive redness
of the skin. A flower compress reduced inflammation and helped watering
eyes and also helped to banish dark circles around the
heroin, codeine and papaverine are all derived from the
milk juice of the opium poppy. One poppy product, laudanum, an addictive tincture of opium,
was a universal cure-all, widely prescribed by doctors
in the 19th century-its abuse celebrated by
De Quincey, Coleridge and Baudelaire, among others. It
was frequently administered to relieve pain and calm
excitement, and was also used in bad cases of diarrhea
and dysentery. It has both hypnotic and sedative effects.
Opium tincture and extract may be used internally
to treat depression.
the leakage of Lung qi: for chronic coughs; binds up the
intestines: for chronic diarrhea and dysenteric
disorders; Stabilizes the lower burner: for polyuria,
spermatorrhea or vaginal discharge; Alleviates pain: for
any kind of pain, especially that of the sinews, bones
is a very strong analgesic; in fact, it is the standard
by which all other analgesics are judged.
It raises the pain threshold and also reduces the
pain reflex. That is, even though the pain sensation is still perceived,
it is no longer regarded as particularly uncomfortable. Codeine has approximately 1/4 the analgesic effect of
and codeine are both hypnotics, but they induce only a
light and restless sleep.
Morphine is a strong and highly selective
The dosage that acts in this manner is lower than
an analgesic dosage.
Codeine's effect on respiration is much weaker
than that of morphine.
Also a strong cough suppressant.
Morphine causes peripheral vasodilation and
histamine release, which can lead to orthostatic
in very low doses causes constipation by increasing the
resting tone and markedly decreasing propulsive
contractions in the wall of the gut, while decreasing
the secretion of digestive juices.
The constipating effect of opium is only really
noticeable at the start of the treatment.
It soon diminishes and can if necessary be
corrected with small doses of rhubarb or the like.
bracteatum): The roots are used medicinally. Their
constituents include thebaine. It is possible to derive
codeine and other pain-killing substances from thebaine.
Unlike opium alkaloids, thebaine does not have additive
narcotic properties, it cannot be used directly and it
thus poses no dancer of drug addiction: morphine, the
precursor of the addictive-drug heroin, can be obtained
only with great difficulty from it. For pharmaceutical
purposes, therefore, there may be considerable social
and economic benefits in introducing this poppy into
cultivation in place of Opium Poppy. Crop scientists
have discovered that Iranian Poppy can provide up to 37
kg of codeine per hectare compared with Opium Poppy’s
much lower yield of 3 kg per hectare.
Privet, Chinese (Ligustrum
Was first mentioned in traditional
Chinese medicine in a text that was
probably written before AD1000. The
plant increases the white blood cell
count and in recent years it has
been increasingly used to prevent
bone marrow loss in cancer
chemotherapy patients and it has
potential in the treatment of AIDS.
Chinese research has also shown good
results in the treatment of
respiratory tract infections,
hypertension, Parkinson’s disease
and hepatitis. Acts as a tonic for
the kidneys and liver.
Psyllium (Plantago psyllium)
is a well-known laxative.
It is prescribed in conventional as well as
herbal medicine for constipation, especially when the
condition is resulting from an overtensed or overrelaxed
husks and seeds contain high levels of fiber (the
mucilage) and expand, becoming highly gelatinous when
soaked in water. By
maintaining a high water content within the large bowel,
they increase the bulk of the stool, easing its passage.
It is a useful remedy for diarrhea and also an
effective treatment for many other bowel problems,
including irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis,
and Crohn’s disease.
In India, psyllium is commonly used to treat
is valuable for hemorrhoids, helping to soften the stool
and to reduce irritation of the distended vein.
The jellylike mucilage produced when psyllium is
soaked in water has the ability to absorb toxins within
the large bowel. It
is commonly taken to reduce autotoxicity.
The soothing, protective effect imparted by the
mucilage-rich husks and seeds benefits the whole
gastrointestinal tract. Psyllium is taken for stomach and duodenal ulcers, and for
acid indigestion. The
demulcent action of psyllium extends to the urinary
India, an infusion of the seeds is given for urethritis.
In China, related species are used to treat
bloody urine, coughing and high blood pressure. When psyllium husks are soaked in an infusion of
calendula, they make an effective poultice for external
use, drawing out infection for boils, abscesses, and
is proving beneficial and practical for many individuals
who suffer from chronic yeast infections because it can
be employed to prevent the systemic absorption of the
yeast’s metabolic wastes that many individuals are
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea), The sticky, broken leaves of fresh
purslane sooth burns, stings and swellings.
The juice was once used for treating earaches and
to “fasten” teeth and soothe sore gums.
Purslane has been considered valuable in the
treatment of urinary and digestive problems.
The diuretic effect of the juice makes it useful
in the alleviation of bladder ailments-for example,
difficulty in passing urine. The plant’s mucilaginous
properties also make it a soothing remedy for
gastrointestinal problems such as dysentery and
Chinese herbal medicine, purslane is employed for
similar problems and for appendicitis. The Chinese also use the plant as an antidote for wasp stings
and snake bite. Clinical
trials in China indicate that purslane has a mild
antibiotic effect. In one study, the juice was shown to be effective in treating
studies suggest that it is valuable against bacillary
injected, extracts of the herb induce powerful
contractions of the uterus.
Taken orally, purslane juice weakens uterine
In Europe it’s been turned into a cough syrup
for sore throats. Purslane
is the richest known plant source of Omega-3 acids,
found mostly in fish oils.
These fatty acids reduce blood cholesterol and
pressure, clotting, and inflammation and may increase
medicinal dosage is 15-30 grams. Use for scours in goats.