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R Herbs

Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa var nausiosa) As a hot tea to break fevers and promote sweating.  The strong tea is added to bathwater to reduce the swelling and pain of arthritis.  Use both the dried leaves and yellow flowers for the bath.  Also used as a cough syrup.

Rabbit's Paw (Sphagneticola trilobata) Used for hepatitis, indigestion due to sluggish liver, white stools, burning in the urine and stopping of urine, and for infections – boil 1 cup of fresh herb (stems, leaves, and flowers) in 3 cups water for 5 minutes and drink 1 cup warm before each meal.  To bathe those suffering from backache, muscle cramps, rheumatism, or swellings, boil a large double handful of fresh stems and leaves in 2 gallons of water for 10 minutes.  Said to pull  “heat” out of the body.  For painful joints of arthritis, mash fresh leaves and stems; spread on a cloth and apply to area, wrapping securely with a warm covering.   Also used to clear the placenta after birth.

Radish (Raphanus sativus)    Radish root stimulates the appetite and digestion.  The common red radish is eaten as a salad vegetable and an appetizer.  The juice of the black radish is drunk to counter gassy indigestion and constipation.  Radish juice has a tonic and laxative action on the intestines and indirectly stimulates the flow of bile.  Consuming radish generally results in improved digestion, but some people are sensitive to its acridity and robust action. It is crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelly feet. The leaves, seeds and old roots are used in the treatment of asthma and other chest complaints.  The juice of the fresh leaves is diuretic and laxative.  In China, radish is eaten to relive abdominal distension.  The root is also prepared “dry-fried” to treat chest problems.  The seed is used to treat abdominal fullness, sour eructations, diarrhea caused by food congestion, phlegm with productive cough and wheezing.  Because of its neutral energy, it is very effective in breaking up congestion in patients with extreme heat.  Radishes are also an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The plant contains raphanin, which is antibacterial and antifungal. It inhibits the growth of Staphylococcuc aureus, E. coli, streptococci, pneumococci etc. The plant also shows anti-tumor activity. 

Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida)  A poultice of the crushed plant has been used to treat poison sumac symptoms.  It has been used to treat gonorrhea, diarrhea, and other intestinal disturbances.  In Mexico, it is believed to be useful for treating intestinal worms and reducing fever.  The leaves are applied externally to insect bites and various skin complaints, internally they are used as a tea in the treatment of pneumonia, fevers, nausea, intestinal cramps, diarrhea and mucous discharges.  The juice of wilted leaves is disinfectant and is applied to infected toes.  A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders and stroke.  The pollen is harvested commercially and manufactured into pharmaceutical preparations for the treatment of allergies to the plant.  

Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea )   Ragwort is excellent when taken as an infusion for gouty conditions and rheumatic pains.  It usually gives great relief quickly.  Also very good for lung and bronchial infections.  Ragwort provides a stimulating and warming liniment preparation used externally on rheumatic muscles.  An emollient poultice is made from the leaves.  The juice of the plant is cooling and astringent, it is used as a wash in burns, sores, cancerous ulcers and eye inflammations. It makes a good gargle for ulcerated mouths and throats and is also said to take away the pain of a bee sting. Caution is advised here since the plant is poisonous and some people develop a rash from merely touching this plant.  A decoction of the root is said to be good for treating internal bruises and wounds. 

Ram Goat Dash Along (Turnera ulmifolia) This herb is said to have aphrodisiac properties.  The tea from the leaves has been used for colds and general debility.

Ramie (Boehmeria nivea): The leaves are used in the treatment of fluxes and wounds. The root is used to prevent miscarriages and promote the drainage of pus.

Ramps (Allium tricoccum )  As a spring tonic in native N. American medicine, and to treat colds, sore throat, and worms in children.  Traditionally the leaves were used in the treatment of colds and croup.  The warm juice of the leaves and bulb was used externally in the treatment of earaches.  A strong decoction of the root is emetic.

Ramsons (Allium ursinum) Although largely unknown in the United States, in 1989, A. ursinum was called "the new star" of garlic in the German health journal Therapiewoche (Therapy Week) and in 1992, was declared the European medicinal "Plant of the Year" by the Association for the Protection and Research on European Medicinal Plants.  Allium ursinum contains much more ajoene and an about twentyfold higher content of adenosine than its 'cultivated cousin.' Just these substances are the ones to which, according to recent studies, an essential part of the known allium effects such as reduction of cholesterine, inhibition of thombocyte-aggregation, drop in blood pressure, improvement of blood-rheology and fibrinolysis are attributed.  A. ursinum has all the benefits of the A. sativum products that are found on the market. However, A. ursinum has three advantages over this domesticated garlic: 1) It has more of the active substances ; 2) It has active substances not found in cultivated garlic, or found only when large quantities are taken; 3) It is odorless. What distinguishes wild garlic from its garlic relative is, above all, the aroma. Although fields of wild garlic can be identified from afar by their characteristic odor, you are generally spared from ‘garlic breath’ if you eat wild garlic leaves.  Wild garlic also regulates the digestion and prevents problems caused by the iron intake. Professor Holger Kiesewetter of the Homburg University Clinic has now found that one gram of wild garlic per day increases blood circulation and significantly improves blood flow.   Wild Garlic cleanses the blood and intestines. It improves the intestinal flora and is effective against acne, fungus and eczema. It also lowers high blood pressure, fights arteriosclerosis, and increases the body's immune system.  Because ramsons ease stomach pain and are tonic to the digestion, they have been used for diarrhea, colic, gas, indigestion and loss of appetite.  The whole herb is used in an infusion against threadworms, either ingested or given as an enema.  Ramsons are also thought to be beneficial for asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.  The juice is used as an aid to losing weight.  Applied externally, the juice is a mild irritant.  It stimulates local circulation and may be of benefit in treating rheumatic and arthritic joints.   

Rangiora (Brachyglottis repanda) A gum obtained from the plant is chewed to sweeten the breath. Main use is in homeopathic medicine

Raspberry (Rubus idaeus )   The leaf is the most valuable medicinal part of the raspberry and a tea is traditionally drunk by expectant mothers during the last three months of pregnancy to strengthen the uterus and to ease painful contractions during labor as well as checking any hemorrhage.  This action will occur if the herb is drunk regularly throughout pregnancy and also taken during labor. Although the specific mode of action is unknown, the leaves are thought to strengthen the longitudinal muscles of the uterus, increasing the force of contractions and thereby hastening childbirth.  The gentle astringency of raspberry leaves is also helpful for diarrhea in children, and an infusion makes a good mouthwash for ulcers and bleeding gums. It is used to treat irregular and excessive menstruation.   Externally, the leaves and roots are used as a gargle to treat tonsillitis and mouth inflammations, as a poultice and wash to treat sores, conjunctivitis, minor wounds, burns and varicose ulcers.  The fruit is antiscorbutic and diuretic. Fresh raspberry juice, mixed with a little honey, makes an excellent refrigerant beverage to be taken in the heat of a fever. Made into a syrup, it is said to have a beneficial effect on the heart.  The fruit is nutritious and mildly astringent.

Raspberry, Chinese (Rubus coreanus) An astringent herb that acts as a kidney and liver tonic.  Internally for complaints associated with disturbed liver and kidney functions, such as urinary dysfunction, premature graying, blurred vision, infertility, impotence, and premature ejaculation.  Fresh raspberry leaves can be pureed with some pure water and the juice extracted for use as an astringent wash to treat excessive watering of the eyes.  The juice of the bruised leaves or a decoction of the root are used in the treatment of ophthalmia.  The drug improves vision in liver and kidney deficient symptoms. 

Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium).....The plant was used as an antidote to snakebites. The roots were chewed and applied to the bite. The roots have been used medicinally for liver ailments, to increase urine flow, to induce vomiting, and to treat rattlesnake bite.  Very useful in dropsy, nephritic and calculus affections, also in scrofula and syphilis.  It is valuable as a diaphoretic and expectorant in pulmonary affections and used when Senega is not available.  There is some effect in treating inflammations and malaria.  The pulverized root is very effective in hemorrhoids and prolapsus.  Chewing the root results in increased saliva flow.   A liquid made from roots mashed in cold water was drunk to relieve muscular pains.  The roots have also been used for rheumatism, respiratory ailments, and kidney trouble.  A decoction of the roots has been found useful in cases of exhaustion from sexual depletion, with loss of erectile power, seminal emissions and orchitis. A tincture of the roots is used in the treatment of female reproductive disorders.       Rattlesnake master is reported to have bitter aromatic constituents.  No research seems to have been done on the effectiveness of rattlesnake master in the treatment on rattlesnake bites, but an extract of Eryngium creticum was found to be effective as an antivenum to the sting of the scorpion Leiurus quinuqestristus.  This Eryngium grows in Jordan, where it is used by people in rural areas for scorpion stings.

Rattlesnake Weed (Hieracium venosum) When fresh, the leaves are acrid and excoriating, and will often remove warts; but they lose this property on being dried, and are then (with the roots) simply bitter and astringent.  The roots and leaves are stimulating and astringent, moderately permanent, and quite positive in action. They arouse a full outward circulation; and may be used to advantage when the surface is cold and sluggish, and there is hemorrhage from any internal organ. They are useful in uterine hemorrhage, excessive menstruation, bleeding piles, and spitting of blood. They are not so drying as often to prove constipating, but act much like (though milder than) the bark of myrica. Like myrica, they may be used in chronic diarrhea, aphthous sores, nasal catarrh, nasal polypus, and as an injection in foul leucorrhea and rather insensitive forms of prolapsus. It exerts that peculiar influence in stimulating and consolidating the assimilative apparatus, that can be used to good effect in the treatment of those forms of scrofula which are associated with persistent watery looseness of the bowels. Drank freely in warm decoction, and the leaves at the same time applied as a fomentation, the plant is reputed to be of much service in arousing the circulation and nervous system, and casting out the virus of serpents. One ounce of the roots, or an ounce and a half of the leaves, will form a quart of infusion; or they may be added to relaxant alterants in the preparation of syrups. The purple veined-leaves of rattlesnake weed are unmistakable.
          Cherokee used the root tea with Mitchella for bowel disorders

Rau Can (Oenanthe javanica) A decoction of the whole plant is used in the treatment of epidemic influenza, fever and discomfort, jaundice, haematuria and metrorrhagia.   The seed contains 3.5% essential oil. This is effective at large dilutions against pathogenic fungi.  

Rau Rom (Vietnamese Coriander  Polygonum odoratum)    The roots of the closely related Fo-ti, Polygonum multiflorum, are used in Chinese herbal medicine as a tonic and to stimulate hair growth, where it is often combined with other herbs, such as ginseng (panax sp.).  Used in southeastern Asia against nausea, fever and to promote urination  It is sometimes employed as an anaphrodisiac.  In Cambodia the twigs and leaves are used to stimulate urination and to combat fever and nausea.  In Vietnam the plant is used to treat wound and snake bite.  The dried rhizome has astringent and anti-inflammatory uses.  In Europe, an infusion from the rhizome has been used as a gargle for ulcers and gingevitis, and applied to cuts, sores and hemorrhoids.   

Red Angel's Trumpet (Brugmansia sanguinea)  Known extensively throughout South America for its medicinal virtues and ritually brewed with Trichocereous pachanoi as one interpretation of Cimora. ... In Ecuador it is currently being cultivated for scopolamine.

Red China Root (Smilax lanceolata): Chop and boil a small handful of roots in 3 cups of water to use as a pleasant tasting blood tonic and for fatigue, anemia, acidity, toxicity, rheumatism, and skin conditions.  Drink with milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg to strengthen and proliferate red blood cells.

Red Flowered Bladder (Colutea orientalis) Leaves have a purging quality, but afterwards have a binding effect.  It is corrected with caraway seed, aniseed, or ginger and a dram taken in wine, ale or broth, on an empty stomach comforts and cleanses the stomach and purges phlegm from the head and brain, lungs, heart, liver and spleen.  From Culpeper: “It strengthens the senses, procures mirth, and is good in chronic agues.”   Modern practice uses Cassia angustifolia as the variety instead. 

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) Traditional Chinese physicians have long used red clover blossoms as an expectorant.  Russian folk healers recommend it for asthma.  Other cultures have used it externally in salves for skin sores and eye problems and internally as a diuretic to treat water retention and as a sedative, anti-inflammatory, cough medicine, and cancer treatment.  America’s 19th-century Eclectic physicians were great promoters of red clover. Their text, King’s American Dispensatory, called it “one of the few remedies which favorably influences pertussis [whooping cough]… possess[ing] a peculiar soothing property.” The Eclectics recommended red clover for cough, bronchitis, and tuberculosis but waxed truly enthusiastic about the herb as a cancer treatment: “It unquestionably retards the growth of carcinomata.”  During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, red clover was the major ingredient in many patent medicines.
            Red clover is used internally for skin complaints, especially eczema and psoriasis.  It may be used with complete safety in cases of childhood eczema, cancers of the breast, ovaries, and lymphatic system, chronic degenerative diseases, gout, whooping cough and dry cough.  Combined with chaparral in background treatment of cancer.  It has been given as part of a holistic treatment for breast tumors and fibroids, both associated with excess estrogen, because the herbal version competes with excess estrogen, allowing the body to come into balance.  The estrogenic effect may be of use in treating menopausal complaints.  Research has shown that the herb has a contraceptive effect in sheep.  Red clover blossoms have been long used in the form of a salve for the removal of external cancer and indolent ulcers.  A tea is also helpful to bathe the affected part, making it fresh daily.  It reduces the desire to smoke if chewed.  

Red Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum): The leaves, when bruised and used as a poultice, are said to staunch blood flowing from a deep cut.  The dried herb, made into a tea and sweetened with honey, promotes perspiration and acts on the kidneys, being useful in cases of chill.

Red Hogweed (Boerhavia diffusa)  It has a long tradition in Ayurvedic medical practice.  Caraka used it to make a decoction for dissolving kidney stones.  The Ayurvedic surgeon Susruta mentions its use in snake-poisoning and rat-bite infections. Another great Ayurvedic physician, Chakradatta, used it to treat chronic alcoholics, while medieval physicians traditionally prescribed it for fevers in patients suffering from urethritis, as well as for asthma and jaundice.  It is now believed that Ayurvedic physicians defined a single tar vine plant with different colored flowers as three separate plants possessing similar medicinal properties.  However, Ayurvedic texts do identify the medicinal specialties of each, and the white-flowered variety is thought to be the most effective.  Today, Ayurvedic doctors primarily prescribe drugs made from the white-flowering hogweed to dissolve kidney stones and induce urination.
           It was found to stop intra-uterine-contraceptive-device (IUCD)-induced bleeding. This herb is also known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which are comparable to that of ibuprofen. It has also proved useful as a hematinic.
                Punarnava's diuretic activity acts quickly for kidney infections, and urinary tract infection. It quickly increases urine flow and the alkaloidal effects work to help detoxify these systems of infection, and speed up the excretory processes.  The roots are used in the treatment of asthma, edema, anemia, jaundice, ascites, anasarca, scanty urine and internal inflammation. They are also said to be an antidote to snake poisoning. An alkaloid in the roots has been shown experimentally to produce a distinct and persistent rise in blood pressure plus marked diuresis.
              Named as punarnava in samskrit, Boerhavia diffusa is believed to be a great rejuvenator. The drug punarnava is also sourced by some Ayurvedists from a different species, Trianthema portulacastrum (Aizoaceae). Shvethapunarnava (white punarnava) is the preferred plant, but the flowers of both Boerhavia diffusa and Boerhavia repens are deep pink, while those of Trianthema portulacasstrum are white. Sometimes it is reported that Boerhavia punarnava is the name given to the white flowered variety of Boerhavia diffusa.  In western Africa, Boerhavia diffusa is used to treat convulsions, as laxative and a febrifuge. The leaves and roots are expectorant and emetic in large doses. Also used to treat asthma. Boiled roots are used as poultice on abscesses and to extract guinea worms.
            Punarnavine, boerhavic acid, reducing sugars, potassium nitrate and tannins including phlobaphens were extracted from the plant. Punarnavine raises blood pressure and produces diuresis. Particularly useful in cirrhosis of the liver and chronic peritonitis and as an anti-inflammatory. The roots have an anticonvulsant principle.

Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle): The red bark of the South American mangrove tree has been used for many years by the natives as a febrifuge but more recently it has been claimed that it is a specific in leprosy. They administer a beginning dose of one fluidrachm (3.75 mils) of the fluidextract twice a day which is gradually increased until the patient is taking a fluidounce and a half (45 mils) daily.                     
           Red mangrove is a folk remedy for angina, asthma, backache, boils, ciguatera, convulsions, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, elephantiasis, enuresis, epistaxis, eye ailments, fever, filariasis, hemoptysis, hemorrhage, inflammation, jaundice, leprosy, lesions, leucorrhea, malignancies, scrofula, short wind, sores, sorethroat, syphilis, tuberculosis, uterorrhagia, and wounds. One Cali doctor reported a cure of throat cancer, with gargles of mangrove bark The bark of the tree is boiled (1 handful of chopped bark in 1 gallon of water for 10 minutes) and used as a hot bath for very stubborn or serious sores, skin conditions, leprosy and swellings.

Red Root (Ceanothus velutinus) Red root is an astringent to membranes and is a good gargle and mouthwash for a sore throat or sores in the mouth.  An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of coughs and fevers. A decoction of the leaves and stems has been used both internally and externally in the treatment of dull pains, rheumatism etc. The leaves contain saponins and have been used as a skin wash that is also deodorant and can destroy some parasites. The tops were used in a bath to prevent diaper rash or to wash sores or eczema by the Okanagan-Coville. The Thompson used a decoction of branches or leaves as a wash for rheumatism, arthritis, and dull body pains, or in a general wash for bathing. A poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used as a baby powder for treating diaper rash etc

Redbud  (Cercis canadensis, C. siliquastrum)  The redbud’ inner bark and root can be made into a tea or decoction. This was used by different Native American Indian tribes to clear lung congestion, for whooping cough, to prevent nausea and vomiting, and to break fevers.  It has also been used for diarrhea, dysentery, and leukemia.   

Redroot Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus The leaves have been used to stop internal hemorrhaging, diarrhea, and excessive menstrual flow. An infusion has been used to treat hoarseness.  The stems have treated ulcers and profuse menstrual flows.  In a wash, the flowers, leaves, and roots have been used as an astringent for wounds and sores, and used as a mouthwash for canker sores and sore gums.

Reed Grass (Phragmites australis) The plant is used in folk remedies for condylomata, indurated breast, mammary carcinomata, and leukemia. Reported to be alexeteric, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, refrigerant, sialogogue, stomachic, and sudorific, the common reed is a folk remedy for abscesses, arthritis, bronchitis, cancer, cholera, cough, diabetes, dropsy, dysuria, fever, flux, gout, hematuria, hemorrhage, hiccup, jaundice, leukemia, lung, nausea, rheumatism, sores, stomach, thirst, and typhoid.           The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash of the leaves is applied to foul sores. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food poisoning. The ashes are styptic. The root is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from sea foods). Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to treat halitosis and toothache. The root is harvested in the autumn and juiced or dried for use in decoctions.  The leaves and roots are renowned as a diuretic. Extracts of the rhizome have recently been found to be effective as ayahusca analogue and the dried extract (resin) has psychoactive properties when smoked.

Reedmace (Typha latifolia): Native Americans from most tribes living near wetland areas have found interesting medicinal uses for cattails. Some tribes used the fuzz as a remedy for burns or to create a powder that prevented chafing. Others crushed the rhizomes and used them as topical treatment for sores and inflammation. The Delaware used the root as a cure for kidney stones, and the Houma Indians steeped the flowering stem as a treatment for whooping cough.  The leaves are diuretic. The leaves have been mixed with oil and used as a poultice on sores.
         The pollen is astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, haemostatic, refrigerant, sedative, suppurative and vulnerary. The dried pollen is said to be anticoagulant, but when roasted with charcoal it becomes haemostatic. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney stones, hemorrhage, painful menstruation, abnormal uterine bleeding, post-partum pains, abscesses and cancer of the lymphatic system. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women. Externally, it is used in the treatment of tapeworms, diarrhea and injuries. A decoction of the stems has been used in the treatment of whooping cough. The roots are diuretic, galactogogue, refrigerant and tonic. The roots are pounded into a jelly-like consistency and applied as a poultice to wounds, cuts, boils, sores, carbuncles, inflammations, burns and scalds. The flowers are used in the treatment of a wide range of ailments including abdominal pain, amenorrhea, cystitis, dysuria, metrorrhagia and vaginitis. The young flower heads are eaten as a treatment for diarrhea.

Rest Harrow (Ononis spinosa )  For excess fluid retention, restharrow is best taken as a short-term treatment, in the form of an infusion.  The root contains a fixed oil that is anti-diuretic and an essential oil that is diuretic. If the diuretic action is required then the root should be infused and not decocted or the essential oil will be evaporated. It is also of value in treating gout and cystitis.  An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, inflammation of the bladder and kidneys, rheumatism and chronic skin disorders.  A cough mixture is made from

Resurrection Plant (Bryophyllum pinnatum)  Pounded fresh material is applied as a poultice for a variety of conditions: Sprains, eczema, infections, burns; carbuncle and erysipelas. Usually not taken internally. For boils, the whole leaf is pressed by hand, to and fro, until it becomes moist with the leaf extract. A small opening is made in the middle of the leaf which is then placed on the boil with hole over the pointing of the abscess

Rhatany (Krameria triandra)   Rhatany is a powerful astringent that was retained in the official pharmacopea until recently.  It may be used wherever an astringent is indicated, that is, in diarrhea, hemorrhoids, hemorrhages or as a styptic.  Rhatany is often found in herbal toothpastes and powders as it is especially good for bleeding gums. It can be used as a snuff with bloodroot to treat nasal polyps.  The plant’s astringency makes it effective when used in the form of an ointment, suppository, or wash for treating hemorrhoids.  Rhatany may also be applied to wounds to help staunch blood flow, to varicose veins, and over areas of capillary fragility that may be prone to easy bruising.   Gargle the tea or diluted tincture for acute or lingering sore throat.  It can be combined for this purpose with Yerba Mansa or Echinacea.  For diarrhea, combine with Silk Tassel (for cramps) and Echinacea (immunostimulant), and with either Trumpet Creeper, Desert Willow or Tonadora (for Candida) and Chaparro Amargosa (Protozoas).  For a hemorrhoidal salve and rectal fissure ointment, use either alone or with Echinacea flowers as a salve. 

Rhubarb (Rheum officinale) When rhubarb is roasted or boiled long enough, the purgative property is largely destroyed, while the astringency remains.  Rhubarb is generally employed in combination with other laxatives, rendering it more effective.  The powder is applied to indolent ulcers. Applied to burns it relieves pain and swelling.  Rhubarb extracts have also cured upper digestive tract bleeding.  One hospital studied three kinds of alcoholic extracted tablets of rhubarb for a period of 10 years.  Employing a double-blind method, patients in each of the three groups, showed an efficiency of over 90% in curing the bleeding.  An extract from the roots is used in doses of 0.2-0.5g in digestive complaints and as an appetite stimulant. Small doses stop diarrhea, large doses work as a purgative.  Tinctura rhei is excellent for stomach complaints.

Rhubarb Root  (Rheum palmatum)  For centuries the rhizome of the Turkey rhubarb was highly regarded by the Chinese for its medicinal properties.  Modern research has justified its reputation.  It contains anthraquinones, which have a purgative effect, and tannins and bitters which have the opposite effect.  If taken in small quantities the tonic, aperient effect predominates and it is therefore useful in cases of appetite loss and acute diarrhea.  Used to treat constipation, dysentery, hemorrhoids, portal congestion, pin/thread worms, skin eruptions from faulty elimination, blood in the stool and duodenal ulcers.  It has a truly cleansing action upon the gut, removing debris, and then astringing with antiseptic properties as well. It is used externally to promote healing, counteract blood clots and promote menstruation.  Stronger doses are laxative after 8-10 hours and are used to treat chronic constipation.  Rhubarb is included in some proprietary preparations and is also a component of herbal tea mixtures and digestive powders.  In 1987 a research team investigated extracts of 178 Chinese herbs for antibacterial activity against one of the major microorganisms in human intestinal flora.  Only Rhubarb was found to have significant activity.  The herb can be applied to burns, boils, and carbuncles.  It is a useful mouthwash for canker sores.  

Rice Paddy Herb (Limnophila aromatica)  In Asia, rau om is employed to treat many ailments.  In China, it is used for the treatment of intoxication and pain; in Indochina, to treat wounds; in Malaysia, chiefly as a poultice on sore legs, but also to promote appetite, and as an expectorant to clear mucus from the respiratory tract, and to treat fever; and in Indonesia, as an antiseptic or cleanser for worms.  The plant is also used in Asia for menstrual problems, wounds, dysentery, fever, elephantiasis, and indigestion. 

Rice Paper Herb (Tetrapanax papyrifer) Chinese medicine uses the pith as a liver stimulant and a diuretic and to increase milk production. It is believed to have cooling effects.  Plant extracts have shown anticancer activity in animals.  Used to treat coughs, fever, diabetes, induces flow of urine and expels intestinal worms.

River Beauty (Epilobium latifolium): The entire plant is used in Tibetan medicine, it is said to have a bitter taste and a cooling potency. It is used in the treatment of fevers and inflammations, plus also itching pimples.

Rocambole (Allium scorodoprasum )  The bulb is used in the treatment of abscesses, amoebic dysentery, bronchitis, cholera, dysentery, influenza, skin diseases and TB.  

Rock Sweet Flag (Acorus gramineus )  An important herb in Chinese medicine for poor appetite, gastritis, excess mucus, and depression. Considered to be a warming herb and therefore not given to patients with a tendency to perspire excessively.  Stimulates the digestive system, clears the bronchial passages, relieves indigestion, and has mild sedative effects.  The root is powdered and applied to bleeding gums. It is also used internally in the treatment of depression and epilepsy.

Rockbrake (Pellaea atropurpurea) A decoction of it, taken moderately, has proved efficient in diarrhea, dysentery, night-sweats, and hemorrhages; and, used as a local application, it is beneficial in obstinate and ill-conditioned ulcers, ulcerations of the mouth and fauces, and as a vaginal injection in leucorrhea. A strong decoction is in repute as a remedy for worms. A powerful astringent infusion may be made by adding 4 drachms of the plant to 1 pint of boiling water, and which has been used in diarrhea and dysentery, in 1/2 fluid ounce doses, repeated every 2 or 3 hours, with success. A tincture of the fresh entire plant is suggested in from 1 to 10-drop doses. Efficacious in diarrhea, dysentery, night sweats, to remove worms and as a vaginal injection in leukorrhea, suppression of the lochia, etc.

Rockrose (Cistus ladanifer) Labdanum is an aromatic, expectorant, stimulant herb that controls bleeding and has antibiotic effects. It is used internally in the treatment of catarrh and diarrhea and as an emmenagogue. The leaves are harvested in late spring and early summer and can be dried for later use, or the resin extracted from them 

Rocket (Hesperis matronalis )  The leaves are antiscorbutic, diaphoretic and diuretic

Roman Cassie (Acacia caven): Its bark is rich in tannin, used as a tea, recommended for bruises, wounds and ulcers.

Roman Wormwood (Artemisia pontica)   a medicinal plant against colds and as a bitter stomachic.  A decoction of the leaves and flowers is used for colds, as a tonic and as an anthelmintic; the leafy top is a bitter stomachic and induces perspiration. It is milder in its properties than common wormwood.

Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis)  A tea made from the dried fermented leaves tastes similar to oriental tea made from Camellia sinensis. It is less astringent, however, due to the lower tannin content. It is caffeine-free, but has a higher content of fluoride which might help to protect against tooth decay. Internally used for allergies, especially eczema, hay fever, and asthma in infants.  Externally used for skin infections and irritations.  Japanese research in the 1980s showed that rooibos contains a substance similar to the enzyme superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant compound thought to retard aging. Recent studies have reported rooibos tea as having antimutagenic and anti-HIV activity. The antimutagenic and antioxidant properties of Rooibos are far greater for unfermented shoot and leaf teas.

Rose (Rosa spp)  Honey of Red Rose (Apothecary) was once an official pharmaceutical preparation in the US for sore mouths and throats.  Fill a jar with fresh, dry rose petals and clear honey.  Cover and leave in a warm place for one week then strain the mixture.  Sip a teaspoonful of the honey as required.  Rose vinegar was used for headaches, especially those brought on by heat.  The leaves are a mild, but seldom used, laxative.  In Greece, Hippocrates recommended rose flowers mixed with oil for diseases of the uterus.  Ayurvedic physicians use the petals in poultices to treat skin wounds and inflammations.  At various times, European herbalists recommended dried rose petal tea for headache, dizziness, mouth sores, and menstrual cramps.  Rose hips are a significant source of vitamin C. 

Rose, Cotton (Hibiscus mutabilis):   While the roots and leaves of this deciduous bush have medicinal uses, it is the flowers that are used most commonly.  Acrid in flavor and neutral in nature, if used internally, it can remove heat from the blood, reduce swelling and detoxify. If pounded and applied externally, it relieves inflammation and reduces swelling.  The flower’s nutritional properties are purported to be good for menopausal women. It balances hormones, and purifies your blood. The roots and leaves, ground into paste, is good for treating diabetics with leg problems.  The abundant mucilage contained in the tissues makes the plant an effective emollient for burns.  Leaves and  flowers kill pain; expel phlegm; treat excessive bleeding during menstruation, painful urination, inflammation and snake bites. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of lung ailments.

Rose Moss (Rhodobryum ontariense): Used for treatment of cardiovascular diseases and nervous prostration in TCM; cures angina.  Ether extract actually did increase the rate of flow in aorta of white mice by over 30%, causing reduction in amount of oxygen resistance.

Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases, dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas. A decoction of the root bark is used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, dysmenorrhea and dermaphytosis.

Rose, Cherokee (Rosa laevigata) The leaves are a famous vulnerary. The fruits, root and leaves stabilize the kidney. A decoction is used in the treatment of chronic dysentery, urinary tract infections, wet dreams, prolapse of the uterus, menstrual irregularities and traumatic injuries. The root bark is astringent and used in the treatment of diarrhea and menorrhagia.  The dried fruits are used internally in the treatment of urinary dysfunction, infertility, seminal emissions, urorrhea, leucorrhea and chronic diarrhea. The root is used in the treatment of uteral prolapse.  The flowers are used in the treatment of dysentery and to restore hair cover. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Rose, Cotton (Hibiscus mutabilis) While the roots and leaves of this deciduous bush have medicinal uses, it is the flowers that are used most commonly. Acrid in flavor and neutral in nature, if used internally, it can remove heat from the blood, reduce swelling and detoxify. If pounded and applied externally, it relieves inflammation and reduces swelling.  The flower’s nutritional properties are purported to be good for menopausal women. It balances hormones, and purifies your blood. The roots and leaves, ground into paste, is good for treating diabetics with leg problems.  The abundant mucilage contained in the tissues makes the plant an effective emollient for burns.  Leaves and  flowers kill pain; expel phlegm; treat excessive bleeding during menstruation, painful urination, inflammation and snake bites. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of lung ailments.

Rose, Dog (Rosa canina) The hips yield ascorbic acid and are of the greatest value when given to young children.  Rosehip tea has a mild diuretic and tonic effect, and the fresh petals can be made into a delicate jam.  Rose hips are rich in Vitamin C and are traditionally made into conserves and purées. They were collected from the wild during World War II when citrus fruit was scarce.  They will help the body’s defenses against infections and especially the development of colds.  They make an excellent spring tonic and aid in general debility and exhaustion.  They will help in cases of constipation and mild gall-bladder problems as well as conditions of the kidney and bladder.  One of the best tonics for old dogs.  Dog rose hips reduce thirst and alleviate gastric inflammation.  The hips are taken internally in the treatment of colds, influenza, minor infectious diseases, scurvy, diarrhea and gastritis. A syrup made from the hips is used as a pleasant flavoring in medicines and is added to cough mixtures.  A distilled water made from the plant is slightly astringent and is used as a lotion for delicate skins. The seeds have been used as a vermifuge. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Rose, Eglantine (Rosa rubiginosa) An infusion of dried rose petals can be used to treat headaches and dizziness, with honey added the infusion is used as a heart and nerve tonic and a blood purifier. A decoction of the petals is used to treat mouth sores.  The seed is rich in vitamin E and an oil extracted from the seed is used externally in the treatment of burns, scars and wrinkles. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.

Rosebay (Rhododendron aureum) It has been much used in folk medicine in Siberia for the treatment of rheumatism, gout, and urinary tract infections.  It has been used in homeopathic medicine in the treatment of urinary calculi and inflammation of the prostate gland. Caution should be exercised when using the flowers because they are toxic. Hemostatic, they are used in the treatment of spreading pus and blood in the thoracic region, especially the lungs.  Much used in Siberia as a remedy for rheumatism. Also useful in gout and syphilis.  The flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have a bitter taste and a neutral potency. Caution should be exercised when using the flowers because they are toxic. Hemostatic, they are used in the treatment of spreading pus and blood in the thoracic region, especially the lungs.   

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)   The leaves and flowers are used internally as a tonic tea for digestive and kidney functions.  Experimentally, an infusion decreases the viscosity of the blood, reduces blood pressure and stimulates intestinal peristalsis. The drink made by placing, the calyx in water, is said to be a folk remedy for cancer. Medicinally, leaves are emollient, and are much used in Guinea as a diuretic, refrigerant, and sedative; fruits are antiscorbutic; leaves, seeds, and ripe calyces are diuretic and antiscorbutic; and the succulent calyx, boiled in water, is used as a drink in bilious attacks. In Burma, the seed are used for debility, the leaves as emollient. Taiwanese regard the seed as diuretic, laxative, and tonic. Philippines use the bitter root as an aperitive and tonic. Angolans use the mucilaginous leaves as an emollient and as a soothing cough remedy. Central Africans poultice the leaves on abscesses. Alcoholics might consider one item: simulated ingestion of the plant extract decreased the rate of absorption of alcohol, lessening the intensity of alcohol effects in chickens.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)  Studies show rosemary leaves increase circulation, reduce headaches and fight bacterial and fungal infections.  It is considered one of the strongest natural antioxidents.    The flavonoid diosmin strengthens fragile blood vessels, possibly even more effectively than rutin.  German pharmacies sell rosemary ointment to rub on nerve and rheumatic pains and for heart problems.  A traditional European treatment for those suffering from poor circulation due to illness or lack of exercise is to drink rosemary extracted into white wine.   
Rosemary contains many compounds that are reported to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, usually a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease.  Several if not all can be absorbed through the skin, and some probably cross the blood-brain barrier so using a using a final rinse of vinegar with rosemary essential oil added may be beneficial in prevention.   Of these antioxidants, at least four are known cataract fighters and Japanese researchers find it promising for removing wrinkles. 

               Rosemary is recommended for flatulence, heartburn and as a digestive.  It improves food absorption by stimulating digestion and the liver, intestinal tract and gallbladder.  It is also used to inhibit kidney- and bladder-stone formation. Studies on rosemary conducted in Paraguay show that it almost completely inhibits the enzyme urease which contributes to kidney stone formation.  It makes an antiseptic gargle for sore throats, gum problems and canker sores. Researchers speculate that rosemarinic acid might even be a good treatment for septic shock.  In addition, it inhibited, although didn't destroy, 87% of the cancer cells tested in a laboratory study.  Asthma sufferers used to smoke it with coltsfoot and eat bread that had been baked over rosemary wood. 
Research has shown that rosmaricine is a stimulant and mild analgesic.  The oil content varies within the plant.  It is analgesic and stimulant, especially when applied to the skin.  Rosemary's anti-inflammatory effect is due mainly to rosmarinic acid and flavonoids.   
As a warming herb, it stimulates circulation of blood to the head, improving concentration and memory.  It also eases headaches and migraine, and encourages hair growth by improving blood flow to the scalp.  It has been used to treat epilepsy and vertigo.  It aids recovery from long-term stress and chronic illness.  It is thought to stimulate the adrenal glands and is used specifically for debility, especially when accompanied by poor circulation and digestion. 

Rosemary, Wild (Ledum palustre) A tea is taken internally in the treatment of asthma, coughs, colds, stomach aches, kidney ailments etc. Externally, it is used as a wash for burns, ulcers, stings, infections etc. Detoxifies simple poisoning, joints and connective tissues, pains through limbs and joints.  Rheumatism begins in lower limbs and ascends, cracking joints, throbbing shooting pains. Acne on forehead, eczema, itching worse from scratching and heat, red pimples on forehead and cheeks, stinging when touched. Irritation, pain and itching from insect bites, swelling with heat

Roseroot (Rhodiola rosea)  Chinese medical practitioners describe adaptogens as "superior" plants that profoundly benefit the human body without dangerous side effects. While the most famous adaptogen is ginseng, cutting-edge research by top Russian doctors and scientists has shown that Arctic Root can ease more conditions, including stress, depression, heart disease and cancer                                                    .           Rhodiola rosea has been shown to shorten recovery time after prolonged workouts, to increase attention span, memory, strength, and anti-toxic action. Rhodiola rosea extract increases the level of enzymes, RNA, and proteins important to muscle recovery after exhaustive exercise.  It has also been shown to increase the levels of beta-endorphin in blood plasma which helps prevent the hormonal changes indicative of stress.  This effect has also been linked to maintaining an increased cardiac output and subsequently having a cardioprotective effect.  Studies using proofreading tests have demonstrated that Rhodiola rosea enhances memorization and concentration ability over prolonged periods.  Finally, Rhodiola has been shown to increase anti-tumor activity by increasing the body’s resistance to toxins.
In Siberia it is said that "those who drink rhodiola tea regularly will live more than 100 years." Chinese emperors always looking for the secret to long life and immortality sent expeditions into Siberia to collect and bring back the plant. Being one of the most popular medicinal herbs of middle Asia, for many years Rhodiola was illegally trafficked across the Russian border to China  In Siberia it was taken regularly especially during the cold and wet winters to prevent sickness. In Mongolia it was used for the treatment of tuberculosis and cancer.      Formerly regarded as a scarce plant, researchers from Tomsk State University found significant stands of this valuable herb growing wild in Sibera at elevations of 5000 to 9000 feet above sea level.  Subsequent research has substantiated high live giving biological activity with no toxicity.    For the treatment of depression extracts of rhodiola, namely rosavin and salidroside, in animal studies seem to enhance the transport of serotonin precursors, tryptophan, and 5-hydroxytryptophan into the brain. Serotonin is a widely studied brain neurotransmitter chemical that is involved in many functions including, smooth muscle contraction, temperature regulation, appetite, pain perception, behavior, blood pressure and respiration.  When balanced, it imparts a a sense of contentment and mental ease. Either too much or too little serotonin on the other hand has been linked to various abnormal mental states such as clinical depression. Thus rhodiola has been used by Russian scientists alone or in combination with antidepressants to boost one's mental state, a boon in countries and seasons where one is deprived of adequate sun over prolonged periods of months. This leads to a condition known as SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder common to Northern European countries.
          Rhodiola has also been shown to be effective for cardiac problems caused or aggravated by stress. Its action for these conditions is in its ability to decrease the amount of catecholamines and corticosteroids released by the adrenal glands during stress. The abnormal presence of these stress hormones will subsequently raise blood pressure, cholesterol, potassium levels and increase risk factors for heart disease. Rhodiola has been found to decrease harmful blood lipids and thus decrease the risk of heart disease. It also decreases the amount of cyclic-AMP (c-AMP) released into cardiac cells. Cyclic AMP is related to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the body's primary energy molecule. C-AMP acts as a 'second messenger' or liaison between the outer and inner environments of the cell. It assists in the uptake of more intracellular calcium into the heart thus promoting a greater potential for heart muscle contraction. Rhodiola thus regulates the heart beat and counteracts heart arrhythmias    As an adaptogen, rhodiola both stimulates and protects the immune system by reinstating homeostasis (metabolic balance) in the body. It also increases natural killer cell (NK) in the stomach and spleen. This action may be due to its ability to normalize hormones by modulating the release of glucocorticoid into the body.
             Rhodiola has potent antioxidant properties. By limiting the adverse effects of free radical damage, it is able to combat all the diseases associated with aging. The presence of free radicals is associated with cell mutagenicity, the immediate cause of cancer. Again, Russian researchers have found that the oral administration of rhodiola inhibited tumor growth in rats 39 percent and decreased metastasis by 50 percent. It improved urinary tissue and immunity in patients suffering with bladder cancer. In other experiments with various types of cancer, including adenocarcinoma (cancer of glandular tissue such as breast cancer) and lung carcinoma, the use of extracts of rhodiola rosea resulted in significant increased survival rate                 Like Siberian ginseng, rhodiola is routinely used by athletes to improve performance. While the mechanism is not completely understood, rhodiola seems to improve the ratio of muscle-fat and increases hemoglobin and erythrocytes levels in the blood.
             Many other benefits from the use of Rhodiola has been found including its ability to improve hearing, when applied to the gums to inhibit the progression of pyorrhea, to regulate blood sugar levels for diabetics and protect the liver from environmental toxin. 

Rosy Twisted Stalk (Streptopus roseus): Aside from being mildly laxative, the juice of the berries can be used to cool and soothe minor burns and skin irritations.  The root was steeped in water and used as a poultice for a sty in the eye.  An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of a fallen womb. A cough syrup can be made from the root. The flowers are diaphoretic. They can be used to induce sweating in the treatment of colds and fevers. The plant is tonic. An infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of coughs.

Round Leaved Pyrola (Pyrola rotundifolia) Administer internally for gravel, ulcerations of the bladder, bloody urine and other urinary diseases; useful in the relief of a scrofulous taint from the system; also for epilepsy and other nervous affections. The decoction will be found beneficial as a gargle for sore throat and mouth and as an external wash for sore or ophthalmic eyes.  It is also used in injections for whites and various diseases of the womb. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of skin diseases, as a gargle and a wash for the eyes. It is used internally in the treatment of epilepsy and other nervous afflictions.

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)    Rowan berries are astringent and rather acidic. The juice has been used medicinally as a gargle for sore throats and laryngitis, and its astringency was useful in treating hemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The fruit contains vitamin C and was formerly employed in the prevention of scurvy.  The fruit is antiscorbutic and astringent. It is normally used as a jam or an infusion to treat diarrhea and hemorrhoids. An infusion can also be used as a gargle for sore throats and as a wash to treat hemorrhoids and excessive vaginal discharge. The seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which, in reaction with water, produce the extremely toxic prussic acid. In small quantities this acts as a stimulant to the respiratory system but in larger doses can cause respiratory failure and death. It is therefore best to remove the seeds when using the fruit medicinally or as a food.  Both the flowers and the fruit are aperient, mildly diuretic, laxative and emmenagogue. An infusion is used in the treatment of painful menstruation, constipation and kidney disorders. 

Royal Fern  (Osmunda regalis )  The mucilaginous roots, often boiled in water to produce royal fern jelly, once given to invalids as a nutritious, easily digested food, and also used to treat dysentery, coughs and pulmonary disorders.  The root is useful in the treatment of jaundice and removing obstructions of the viscera.  The fronds are used to make compresses for external application to wounds and rheumatic joints - for which purposes they are fairly effective. An infusion of the fronds, combined with wild ginger roots (Asarum species) has been used in the treatment of children with convulsions caused by intestinal worms.

Rubber Bush (Hymenoxys richardsonii): The lukewarm infusion of the roots is used to relieve sour stomach. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied as a dressing on sores and rashes

Rue (Ruta graveolens) Rue was once an officially recognized treatment for hypertension, diabetes, and allergic reactions.  It’s primary reputation is that of an antispasmodic for smooth muscles. The action is attributed to the alkaloids arborine and arborinine, as well as to the coumarin rutamarin and componenets fo the essential oil.    It is still a popular folk medicine in countries like Mexico, Lebanon, Iran, India and China.  In traditional Chinese medicine, the leaves are applied to reduce inflammation from snakebites, insect bites, strains and sprains.  The rutin it contains strengthens fragile blood vessels and helps alleviate varicose veins, although using the whole plant has been found to work better.  Both an eyewash and a tea are suggested for soothing tired eyes and headaches from eyestrain, and the tea is also used to decrease the pain and inflammation of an earache.  Rue increases blood flow to the digestive tract, relaxes muscles and calms heart palpitations, nervous indigestion and colic.    The Unami medicine of India recommends rue not only to treat various physical conditions, but to improve mental clarity and as an anaphrodisiac—although the Polish consider it an aphrodisiac.  Rue is a well-known cold and menstrual cramp remedy in Latin America, where an ointment is also applied for gout and rheumatic pains, and strong tea compresses are placed on the chest for bronchitis. The infusion benefits coughs, cramp and colic.  The leaves are used in poultices and salves to relieve sciatica, gout and rheumatic pains.  Fresh leaves are placed on the temples to relieve headache.  Fomentations of the tea are placed on the chest to help bronchitis.  The juice or oil is placed in the ear to relieve earaches. It is used to kill intestinal parasites, and Arabs add it to suspect water to counteract any ill effects.   A strong infusion made by pouring a little boiling water on dried or fresh rue leaves can be dabbed on insect bites to bring relief.  

Rupturewort (Herniaria glabra )  The whole plant, gathered when in flower, is astringent, very actively diuretic and expectorant. It appears to have an antispasmodic effect upon the bladder and is used in the treatment of dropsy, catarrh of the bladder, cystitis and kidney stones. It has also gained a reputation for treating hernias. Externally, it has been used as a poultice to speed the healing of ulcers. The whole plant appears to have an antispasmodic effect on the bladder.

Russian Olive (
Elaeagnus angustifolia)  Some people are reported to use the seed oil, like olive oil, for bronchitis, burns, catarrh, and constipation. Flowers are used for fever, neuralgia, and aching burns, allegedly bringing people back from their deathbeds.  The astringent leaves are used for enteritis and fever.  The oil from the seeds is used with syrup as an electuary in the treatment of catarrh and bronchial affections. The juice of the flowers has been used in the treatment of malignant fevers. It is a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. The ripe fruits have been used to treat amoebic dysentery. There is general belief that leaves and fruits of the plant have antipyretic effect. In folk medicine, oleaster fruit or flower preparations are used for treating nausea, vomiting, jaundice, asthma, and flatulence. An infusion of the fruit has been used in Iranian traditional medicine as an analgesic agent for alleviating pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The flower is also traditionally used for treating tetanus.  Juice of flower is used in Spain for malignant fever. Oil from the seed is used in catarrhal and bronchial affections. Locally the fruit is used as blood purifier and for coughs.

Rusty Back Fern (Asplenium ceterach) In the eighteenth century the leaves were official in some pharmacopoeias, as its botanical name indicates. Infusions from the fern are particularly helpful to sufferers from dysuria (difficulty in passing urine) when oxalic acid is present, and to prevent colic caused by kidney stones.  A syrup made from the fern is sometimes used to treat lung infections, but it is less effective than maidenhair.  The whole plant is widely used in the Mediterranean to treat gravel in the urine and is also used with other mucilaginous plants to treat bronchial complaints.



Sabadilla (Schoenocaulon officinale): Rarely used internally now.  It is occasionally used in combination with other herbs to treat rheumatism and gout.  It has been used in homeopathic medicine in cases of hysteria, headache, and migraine, Externally, in the form of extracts, sabadilla has been employed mainly to remove head lice.  Veratria is useful as an ointment in rheumatism and neuralgia, but is regarded as being less valuable than aconite. The ointment is also employed for the destruction of pedicule. Applied to unbroken skin it produces tingling and numbness, followed by coldness and anaesthesia. Given subcutaneously, it causes violent pain and irritation, in addition to the symptoms following an internal dose.

Sacred Creeping Grass (Desmostachya bipinnata  syn Eragrostis cynosuriodes)  Ayurvedic Applications: Root-dysentery, menorrhagia, other bleeding disorders like hemorrhoids, purpura, etc.  Used as an infusion

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)  The flowers are laxative and diuretic.  A tea was once given to children with fevers, measles and other eruptive skin diseases.  A paste made of the flowers and water was applied to boils. The petals were boiled with lamb and eaten to strengthen the heart.  In the southwest, Indians soak the flowers in water until the water is visibly yellow, then drink the decoction to reduce fever.   Internally for coronary artery disease, menstrual and menopausal problems and jaundice.  Externally for bruising, sprains, skin inflammations, wounds, and painful or paralyzed joints (flowers).  Safflower is also used to inhibit blood clotting.  For post-natal abdominal pain; clots or seepages of blood in abdominal region; traumatic injuries; stiffness and pain in joints.  The extracted oil of the herb is used in tui na massage.  The East Indians, who know it as koosumbha, also use safflower medicinally and employ the oil as the base of some Ayurvedic medicinal body oils.

TCM: The tincture is widely used in China on sprains and wounds to decrease inflammation.  The Chinese also use it combined with other herbs to treat problems relating to heart disease, circulation, menstruation and blood congestion.

Saffron (Crocus sativus)  Saffron has been cited as a remedy for such diverse ills.  In England and the US, penny packets of saffron threads were sold as recently as 50 years ago in pharmacies to cure measles.  Cheaper and superior herbs are easily found to replicate its ability to induce menstruation, treat period pain and chronic uterine bleeding and calm indigestion and colic.  In Chinese herbal medicine, saffron stigmas are occasionally used to treat painful obstructions of the chest, to stimulate menstruation and to relieve abdominal pain.  They regard it as a catalyst to be combined with other herbs.   It is one of the finest blood vitalizers known.  It counteracts inflammatory conditions associated with excess pitta (fire), while at the same time powerfully stimulating the circulation and regulating the spleen, liver and heart. It is very sattvic or spiritually balancing and gives “the energy of love, devotion and compassion.  Contains a blood pressure-lowering chemical called crocetin.  Some authorities even speculate that the low incidence of heart disease in Spain is due to that nation’s high saffron consumption.  

Sage (Salvia officinalis) -  Sage oil has a unique property from all other healing herbs--it reduces perspiration.  Several studies show sage cuts perspiration by as much as 50% with the maximum effect occurring 2 hours after ingestion.  This effect explains how it developed a reputation for treating fever with profuse sweating.  Salysat is a sage-based antiperspirant marketed in Germany.  Sage is a drying agent for the body.   Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings.  Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day.   Can also be used as a gargle.  It tastes warm, aromatic and somewhat pungent.   Tincture: 15-40 drops, up to four times a day.
           Like rosemary, sage contains powerful antioxidants, which slow spoilage supporting its traditional use as a preservative.  This is due to the presence of labiatic acid and carnosic acid.  British researchers have confirmed that sage inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, thus preserving the compound that seems to help prevent and treat Alzheimer's.    
           Sage makes a good digestive remedy. The volatile oils have a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, while in conjunction with the bitters, they stimulate the appetite and improve digestion.  Sage encourages the flow of digestive enzymes and bile, settles the stomach, relieves colic, wind, indigestion, nausea, diarrhea and colitis, liver complaints, and worms.  Its antiseptic properties are helpful in infections such as gastroenteritis.  Sage is a tonic to the nervous system and has been used to enhance strength and vitality. 
             It has a tonic effect upon the female reproductive tract and is recommended for delayed or scanty menstruation, or lack of periods, menstrual cramps and infertility.  It has an estrogenic effect, excellent for menopausal problems, especially hot flashes and night sweats.  It stimulates the uterus, so is useful during childbirth and to expel the placenta.  It stops the flow of breast milk and it is excellent for weaning. One German study shows sage reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics who drink the infusion on an empty stomach.  It also contains astringent tannins  which account for its traditional use in treating canker sores, bleeding gums and sore throats.  Commission E endorses using 2-3 teaspoons of dried sage leaves per cup of boiling water to make an anti-gingivitis tea.   Recently published studies by a team of scientists from the Department of Microbiology and Chemotherapy at the Nippon Roche Research Center in Kamakura Japan, informed that powdered sage or sage tea helps to prevent blood clots from forming, and is quite useful in the prevention and treatment of myocardial infarction and general coronary pains.

Sage, Purple (Leucophyllum texanum): The dried leaves and flowers can be brewed into a pleasant herbal tea that is said to be mildly sedative and good as a bedtime drink or for treating colds and flus.

Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentate ) -  a tea made of the leaves has been used to treat headache, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, and as an antidote for poisoning.  Some Indians chewed the leaves to ease stomach gas.  A wash made of boiled and steeped leaves was used for treating bullet wounds and cuts, to bathe newborn babies, and as a hot poultice in treating rheumatism.  A poultice was also placed on the stomach to induce menstruation, to relieve colic and treat worms. The leaves are boiled in water and the steam inhaled as a decongestant.  Warm leaves may be applied to the neck to help a sore throat.  The leaves are pungent and have been preferred for making medicine among other sagebrushes. 

Salad Burnet (Sanguisorba minor)  The older herbalists held this plant in greater repute than it enjoys at the present day.  Pliny recommended a decoction of the plant beaten up with honey for diverse complaints.  Dodoens recommended it as a healer of wounds.  Gerard wrote that ‘it was a capital wound herb for all sorts of wounds, both of the head and body, either inward or outward, used either in juice or decoction of the herb, or by the powder of the herb or too, or the water of the distilled herb, or made into an ointment by itself or with other things to be kept.’  Turner advised the use of the herb, infused in wine or beer, for the cure of gout and rheumatism.

TCM: (Officinalis) Indicated for blood in stool and urine, bleeding, dysentery; bleeding hemorrhoids; menorrhagia.  The fresh root is pulverized, mixed with sesame oil and applied to burns, pruritus and eczema

Salep (Orchis mascula )  Once believed to have aphrodisiac powers, purple orchid is now seen as a nourishing vegetable somewhat similar to the potato.  Its current medicinal use is generally confined to the treatment of diarrhea and irritated gastrointestinal tracts in children.  Was once much used for kidney disorders.

Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)  The leaves and the root are astringent. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been used as a dressing on burns.  The root bark is analgesic, astringent, disinfectant and stomachic. A decoction is used in the treatment of stomach complaints. A decoction has been used to lessen the pains of labor. The powdered bark has been used as a dusting powder on burns and sores. A poultice of the bark has been applied to wounds and aching teeth to ease the pain. A poultice of the chewed bark has been used as a dressing to relive pain and clean burns and wounds.

Saltbush (Atriplex canescens)  The leaves can be made into a soapy lather and used as a wash on itches and rashes such as chickenpox. A poultice of the crushed leaves can be applied to ant bites to reduce the pain and swelling. The dried tops as a lukewarm tea for nausea and vomiting from the flu; taken hot for breaking fevers.  The cold tea is used for simple stomachache.

Salvia Divinorum  Medicinal uses:  Traditional Mazatec healers have used Salvia divinorum to treat medical and psychiatric conditions conceptualized according to their traditional framework. Some of the conditions for which they use the herb are easily recognizable to Western medical practitioners (e.g colds, sore throats, constipation and diarrhea) and some are not, e.g. 'fat lambs belly' which is said to be due to a 'stone' put in the victims belly by means of evil witchcraft. Some alternative healers and herbalists are exploring possible uses for Salvia. The problems in objectively evaluating such efforts and 'sorting the wheat from the chaff' are considerable. There are no accepted uses for Salvia divinorum in standard medical practice at this time. A medical exploration of some possible uses suggested by Mazatec healing practice is in order in such areas as cough suppression (use to treat colds), and treatment of congestive heart failure and ascites (is 'fat lamb's belly' ascites?). Some other areas for exploration include Salvia aided psychotherapy (there is anecdotal material supporting its usefulness in resolving pathological grief), use of salvinorin as a brief acting general or dissociative anesthetic agent, use to provide pain relief, use in easing both the physical and mental suffering of  terminal patients as part of hospice care, and a possible antidepressant effect.

Samphire   (Crithmum maritimum) Though not currently much used in herbal medicine, samphire is a good diuretic and has potential as a treatment for obesity.  It has a high vitamin C and mineral content and is thought to relieve flatulence and to act as a digestive remedy. It was once recommended to cure kidney stones.  

Sampson's Snakeroot (Gentiana villosa)  Sampson’s snakeroot is esteemed not only as an antidote for snakebite and bites from rabid dogs.  It has also been specified for the treatment of gout and rheumatism.  The plant’s foremost use, generally in the form of a tea, has been to stimulate the appetite and help digestion.  The plant contains bitter chemical substances that would have this effect.

Sand Sage (Artemisia filifolia syn Oligosporus filifolius)  An infusion of the plant and juniper branches is used in the treatment of indigestion. A strong infusion of the plant is used as a lotion on snakebites. The plant is also used to treat boils. This thread-leaved sagebrush is useful as a bitter tonic for hypersecreters with ulcers or chronic stress gastritis, usually drunk in the evenings or when wakened by heartburn. The leaves and tops are boiled in water and the steam inhaled to treat headaches and sore throats.  The tea relieves prolonged conditions of gas from fermentation. 

Sand Sedge (Carex arenaria)  The rootstock of the sand sedge is also referred to as German sarsaparilla because it has a similar effect to the Central American smilax derived from Radix Sarsparillae.  It was used as a diuretic as well as a blood purifier for bronchitis, gout and rheumatism.  An infusion has been used in the treatment of abdominal and stomach disorders, liver complaints, and skin conditions such as eczema and pruritus. 

Sand Verbena (Abronia fragrans syn Abronia speciosa) The whole dried plant is boiled into a tea and taken frequently in small amounts to stimulate milk production in nursing mothers.  The roots and flowers were used by the North American Indians to treat stomach cramps and as a general panacea or 'life' medicine. A cold infusion was used as a lotion for sores or sore mouths and also to bathe perspiring feet.

Sandalwood (Santalum album)
  Sandalwood is a classic for bladder infections.  It is taken to help the passing of stones, in kidney inflammations, and prostatitis.  The oil is cooling to the body and useful for fevers and infections when used as a massage.  The scent is calming, and helps focus the mind away from distracting chatter and creating the right mood for meditation..  Sandalwood has been used internally for chronic bronchitis and to treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results.  Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water for 20 minutes, and take up to two cups a day in quarter-cup doses.  The alcohol tincture is 20-40 drops, 4 times a day, not with meals.  In Ayurvedic medicine, a paste of the wood is used to soothe rashes and itchy skin.  For nosebleeds, the oil can be smeared up into the nose using a finger saturated with the oil. 
          In Chinese medicine, sandalwood is held to be useful for chest and abdominal pain.  It is also used to treat vomiting, gonorrhea, choleraic difficulties and skin complaints.  Promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain: for pain associated with stagnant qi in the chest and abdomen.  Contraindicated in cases of yin deficiency with heat signs.  The oil also stimulates the spleen, promotes white blood cell production and strengthens the immune system against infection. Very useful for chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, sore throat, hiccups and dry coughs. 
Emotionally, sandalwood is profoundly seductive, dispelling anxiety and depression.  It casts out cynicism and obsessional attitudes, especially strong ties with the past, effecting a cure in cases of sexual dysfunction.  It comforts and helps the dying to make peace with the world.  It is used to awaken the power of kundalini and to connect that energy with the highest enlightenment.   About the erotic quality of the oil, scientists have discovered a connection.  Sandalwood smells similar to light concentrations of androsterone, a substance very similar in chemical structure to the male hormone testosterone and is released in men’s underarm perspiration. 

Sandalwood, Red (
Pterocarpus santalus):  Used occasionally in India for diabetes; the antidiabetic constituent is pterostilbene which also has insecticidal activity.  Employed in pharmacy for coloring tinctures.

Sandwort (Spergularia rubra)   :   This herb acts as a diuretic, stimulating functioning of the bladder, and is especially known in Malta for this use. It has been recommended for inflammation of the bladder as well as for bladder stones. The powdered herb is allowed to steep in a pint of boiling water in the preparation of one ounce of the powder to a pint of water. It has been recommended to be taken several times a day, perhaps a cup every two hours until relief is obtained. This should be accompanied by a mild diet with non-irritating foods such as barley water.  The plant contains a resinous aromatic substance that is probably the active principle. An infusion is thought to relax the muscle walls of the urinary tubules and so it is used in the treatment of kidney stones, acute and chronic cystitis and catarrh of the bladder. 

Sanicle (Sanicula europaea )  Wood sanicle used to be widely used as a herbal remedy and has a long-standing reputation for healing wounds and treating internal bleeding. The herb is traditionally thought to be detoxifying and has also been taken internally to treat skin problems. A potentially valuable plant, but it is little used in modern herbalism.  The herb is highly esteemed in the treatment of blood disorders, where it is usually given in combination with other herbs. It is also taken internally in the treatment of bleeding in the stomach and intestines, the coughing up of blood, nosebleeds, chest and lung complaints, dysentery, diarrhea etc. It can also be used as a mouth gargle for sore throats.
               It may also be of use in treating diarrhea and dysentery, bronchial and congestive problems, and sore throats.  This herb is traditionally thought to be detoxifying and has been taken internally for skin problems.  An old treatment for dropsy.  Externally, sanicle may be applied as a poultice or ointment for wounds, burns, chilblains, hemorrhoids, and inflamed skin and rashes.  As an astringent it is valuable for relieving leucorrhea.

Sanvitalia (Sanvitalia abertii): As a mild laxative and stimulant to digestive fluids and saliva.  Especially useful for dry, marbly, chronic constipation accompanied by sore gums and bad breath. The flowers are chewed to whiten stained teeth. 

Sanzashi (Crataegus cuneata): In China, the berries are mainly taken for symptoms of 'food stagnation', which can include abdominal bloating, indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. They are believed to 'move' the blood, and are used to relieve stagnation in dysmenorrhea and after childbirth. The fruit is used in the treatment of dyspepsia, stagnation of fatty food, abdominal fullness, retention of lochia, amenorrhea, postpartum abdominal pain, hypertension and coronary heart disease. Ayurvedic medicine recommends hawthorn for heart and circulatory complaints.  In search of new products for the treatment of hyperlipidemia with a low frequency of side effects, a decoction of Crataegus cuneata, Nelumbo nucifera and GP has been tested. A reduction of triglyceride and cholesterol was seen.  

Sapphireberry (Symplocos paniculata) The bark is useful in the treatment of menorrhagia, bowel complaints, eye diseases and ulcers. It is also used as a gargle for giving firmness to spongy and bleeding gums.

Sarsaparilla (Smilax regelii)  Used to treat skin disorders, liver problems, rheumatism and hormone excesses.   Generally the best quality sarsaparilla is the Jamaican.  Honduran and Mexican are also very good.  The roots with the deeper orange-red color are considered to be of superior quality.  Sarsaparilla is excellent for chronic hepatic disorders, for venereal diseases like gonorrhea and syphilis, and for female leuchorrea, and herpes.  It combines well with other alteratives and especially with yellow dock, sassafras, burdock, dandelion and red clover.  It also is of some help for epilepsy and other nervous system disorders.  It is anti-inflammatory and cleansing and can bring relief to skin problems caused by blood impurities such as eczema, psoriasis and itchiness. Chinese tests indicate that sarsaparilla root, in combination with five other herbs, was tested as a treatment for syphilis.  Reportedly, 90% of the acute cases subsequently cleared. In Mexico, the root is still frequently consumed for its reputed tonic and aphrodisiac properties.  Native Amazonian peoples take sarsaparilla to improve virility and to treat menopausal problems.  It has a progesterogenic action, making it beneficial in premenstrual problems and debility and depression associated with menopause.  It has a tonic and specifically testosterogenic action on the body (stimulates the production of testosterone) and stimulates natural cortisone, leading to increased muscle bulk, and it has a potential use for impotence.     
                   The majority of Sarsaparilla's pharmacological properties and actions have been attributed to a pharmacologically active group of phytochemicals called steroids and saponins. The saponins have been reported to facilitate the absorption by the body of other drugs and phytochemicals which accounts for its history of use in herbal formulas as a bioavailability and herbal enhancement agent. 

Saponins and plant steroids found in many species of plants, including Sarsaparilla, can be chemically synthesized into human steroids like estrogen and testosterone. This chemical synthesization has never been documented to occur in the human body - only in the laboratory. Plant steroids and their actions in the human body are still a subject of much interest, too little research, and unfortunately, misinformation mainly for marketing purposes. Sarsaparilla has been erroneously touted to contain testosterone and/or other anabolic steroids. While it is a rich source of steroids and saponins, it has never been proven to have any anabolic effects, nor is testosterone found in sarsaparilla or any other plant source thus far. There is no known toxicity or side effects documented for sarsaparilla, however ingestion of large dosages of saponins may cause gastro-intestinal irritation.
For psoriasis it will combine well with Burdock, Yellow Dock and Cleavers.

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)  Sassafras has traditionally been used for treating high blood pressure, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, menstrual and kidney problems.  The herb is listed in 1983 British Herbal Pharmacopoeia for head lice, cutaneous eruptions, rheumatic pains and gout, skin diseases and acne and ulcer.  Sassafras is an excellent warming diuretic, which makes it good for most arthritic conditions. Dosage is 10-30 drops of the tincture.  The root bark of sassafras improves digestion and increases sweating during flus, fevers and measles.  It is slightly laxative, and has been used to reduce high blood pressure and to decrease mother’s milk.  It is also a remedy for poison ivy and oak rash poison.  Native Americans used a wash of the bark to bathe infected sores and of the twigs as eyewash.  The plant’s disinfectant action makes a valuable mouthwash and dentrifice.  

Sassy Bark (Erythrophleum guineense)  It is much used by witchdoctors who use the smoke from it to stupefy.  Has laxative effects but is principally used as a narcotic. The hydrochloride has been used in dental surgery. Erythrophleine causes a slow, strong pulse, with a rise in the arterial pressure. Purging is probably due to local action on peristalsis, and vomiting, the result or influence on the nerve centers, as it occurs when the alkaloid is given hypodermically. It is asserted that it gives great relief in dyspnea, but is uncertain as a heart tonic. The powder is strongly sternutatory. It has been useful in mitral disease and dropsy, but disturbs the digestion even more than digitalis.

Savine (Juniperus sabina): It was used at one time as an ointment or dressing for blisters, in order to promote discharge, and for syphilitic warts and other skin problems.  In Britain the fresh, dried shoots were once collected in spring for topical use.  The powdered leaves mixed with an equal part of verdigris were also used to destroy warts.  It is a powerful emmenagogue and should never be used in pregnancy.  It is rarely administered nowadays because of its possible toxic effects. An infusion (1 teaspoonful in 1 pint of water) is very occasionally used in menstrual disorders, but because of its toxic action this treatment is discouraged.  It is more widely used in veterinary medicine in drenches, tonic powders, etc.  Mixed with an equal weight of verdigris, the powdered leaves have been used for destroying venereal warts. Dose of the powdered leaves, from 5 to 15 grains in syrup, 3 times a day; of the fluid extract, from 5 to 10 drops; of the strong tincture, from 1 to 5 drops; of the infusion, from 1/2 to 2 fluid ounces.  In traditional medicine, its foliage was used as an abortifascient. For this reason, cultivation of this species was long prohibited in France..

Savory (Satureja hortensis and S montana): Savory has aromatic and carminative properties, and though chiefly used as a culinary herb, it may be added to medicines for its aromatic and warming qualities.  It was formerly deemed a sovereign remedy for the colic and a cure for flatulence, on this account, and was also considered a good expectorant.  A mild tea made with a few crushed dried leaves and boiling water has a pleasant, warming effect and since savory, like rue, is reputed to sharpen the eyesight, use it also to relieve eyestrain due to overtiredness or bad lighting.  It will also help to disguise the flavor of unpalatable medicine, and a few leaves added to a bottle of white wine makes a refreshing tonic.  In an emergency crushed leaves of savory can be applied to bee strings to bring rapid relief.  In Elizabethan times, the leaves were crushed into poultices for the treatment of colds and chest ailments like asthma.  A tea of savory can be helpful for diarrhea and can also stimulate the appetite.  Cherokee Indians used the herb as a snuff to cure headaches.

Saw palmetto (Seronoa repens) A hexane extract of the berries has been shown to have antiandrogenic properties through a direct action on the estrogen receptors and by inhibiting the enzyme testosterone-5-alph-reductase. Subcutaneously administered extracts were strongly estrogenic in mice.  Furthermore, saw palmetto extract has been shown to prevent the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as well as to inhibit DHT binding to cellular and nuclear receptor sites, thereby increasing the metabolism and excretion of DHT.  A double-blind placebo-controlled study evaluated the hormonal effects of saw palmetto extract given to men with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) for 3 months prior to operation.  The study found that saw palmetto displayed an estrogenic and antiprogesterone effect as determined by estrogen and progesterone receptor activity. 
Aids thyroid in regulating sexual development and normalizing the activity of those glands and organs.  Tonic.  Good for strengthening and body building.  For men, it treats enlarged and weakened prostate, impotence.  For women, it increases breast size and secreting ability, relieves ovarian and uterine irritability, frigidity. Stimulates appetite, improves digestion and increases assimilation of nutrients.  Expectorant, used for colds, head and nose congestion, asthma, bronchitis. Promotes urine flow, urinary antiseptic, good for infections of gastro-urinary tract.  Also used in diabetes.  Increases the tone of the bladder, allowing a better contraction and more complete expulsion of the contents, relieving any straining pain.  Nourishes the nervous system and aids assimilation of nutrients.  Nicknamed the "plant catheter" because it has the ability to strengthen the neck of the bladder.    Because saw palmetto blocks the formation of DHT which kills off hair follicles it's possible this can be used to prevent hair loss.  

Scammony Root (Ipomoea orizabensis )  One of the most effective purgatives known producing copious watery evacuations. In large doses it causes considerable pain, and its preparations should not be used by those suffering from gastric or intestinal inflammation.

Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)  Not used much by medical herbalists today, scarlet pimpernel has diuretic, sweat-inducing, and expectorant properties.  As an expectorant, it was used to stimulate the coughing up of mucus and help recovery from colds and flu.  It has been used to treat epilepsy and mental problems for 2,000 years, but there is little evidence to support its efficacy. A tincture prepared from the fresh plant is used to treat skin eruptions and ulcers, also as a cholagogic and diuretic. The whole herb can be taken internally or applied externally as a poultice. An infusion is used in the treatment of dropsy, skin infections and disorders of the liver and gall bladder.

Scopolia (Scopolia carniolica)  A narcotic, warming herb that dilates the pupils, relaxes spasms, and relieves pain.  Internally, in Chinese medicine, used for chronic diarrhea, dysentery, stomachache, and manic-depressive states.  Mainly as a source of hyoscine, and sometimes as a substitute for Atropa belladonna, notably in the manufacture of belladonna plasters, and for Hyoscyamus niger.  For use by qualified practitioners only.   In 1900 an alkaloid from this plant was combined with morpone from Papaver somniferum to produce “twilight sleep”; this compound was used as a preanesthetic prior to the administration of chloroform or ether.  The dried root causes a sleep that resembles normal sleep. In the past, it had medical uses as a cerebral sedative for manias and drug addiction; it potentiates other sedatives.  Scopolia root acts as a parasympatholytic/anticholinergic via competitive antagonism of the neuromuscular transmitter acetylcholine. This antagonism affects more the muscarine-like effect of acetylcholine, less the nicotine-like effects at the ganglions and the neuromuscular end-plate. Scopolia root displays peripheral effects targeted on the vegetative nervous system and the smooth muscles, as well as central nervous effects. Because of its parasympatholytic properties, scopolia root causes relaxation of the smooth muscle organs and elimination of spastic conditions, especially of the gastrointestinal tract and the bile ducts. Conditions of muscular tremors and muscular rigidity, caused by central nervous impulses, disappear. The action on the heart is positively chronotropic and positively dromotropic.

Scorpion's Tail (Heliotropium indicum syn Tiaridium indicum)  All parts of this plant are used as medicine by local people. It is also used in ayurvedc treatments. The juice of the leaves can be applied on boils, pimples, ulcers, sores and wounds to cure. It has a potent wound healing effect, very strong antitumor agent.  In Belize, the plant’s used for diarrhea, malaise, or vomiting in infants—boil an entire plant in 1 gallon water for 5 minutes and bathe infant in warm water at bedtime. Use tea bath for skin conditions. Take unsweetened tea for painful periods or scanty flow.  To prepare tea, boil 3 15-cm long stem pieces with leaves for 5 minutes in 3 cups water and drink warm.  Note that the plant can be toxic if drunk regularly or in large doses.  Boil 3 leaves in 1 cup water for 10 minutes and strain through cloth to use as eye wash.  Biological activities reported include uterine stimulant effect in rats from a water extract of roots; uterine stimulant effect in rats from an ethanol extract of roots; antispasmodic activity of an unspecified type from a dried seed extract in guinea pigs. 

Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris )   Scot's pine has quite a wide range of medicinal uses, being valued especially for its antiseptic action and beneficial effect upon the respiratory system. It may be used in cases of bronchitis, sinustitis or upper respiratory catarrh, both as an inhalant and internally.  It may also be helpful in asthma.  The stimulating action gives the herb a role in the internal treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.  Scots pine branches and stems yield a thick resin, which is also antiseptic within the respiratory tract.  It is a valuable remedy in the treatment of kidney, bladder and rheumatic affections, and also in diseases of the mucous membranes. Externally it is used in the form of liniment plasters and inhalers.  The leaves and young shoots are antiseptic, diuretic and expectorant. They are used internally for their mildly antiseptic effect within the chest and are also used to treat rheumatism and arthritis. There is a tradition of adding the twigs to bath water to ease nervous debility and sleeplessness, as well as aiding the healing of cuts and soothing skin irritations.  The seeds are used for bronchitis, tuberculosis and bladder infections.  A decoction of the seeds may be applied to suppress excessive vaginal discharge.

Screwpine (Pandanus odoratissimus)  Screwpine is restorative, antihydrotic, deodorant, indolent and phylactic, promoting a feeling of wellbeing and acting as a counter to tropical lassitude.  A useful adjunct to oral hygiene as a breath sweetener, it is also used in local ritual, its sweetness symbolizing man’s better qualities.  Externally used as a poultice for boils (leaf bud)  

Scurvy Grass (Cochlearia officinalis )  The young plant, which has a general detoxicant effect and contains a wide range of minerals is taken as a spring tonic.  Like watercress, it has diuretic properties and is useful for any condition in which poor nutrition is a factor.  It can be used in the form of a juice as an antiseptic mouthwash for canker sores, and can also be applied externally to spots and pimples. Blood purification cures use it as an essential ingredient. An infusion of 8 parts leaves, 3 parts alcohol and 3 parts water, concentrated to two-thirds of its original volume, is an effective remedy for toothache when used on a cotton ball.  The fresh leaves are used in the treatment of rheumatics, dropsy, white fluor (vaginal discharge) and constipation.   

Sea Beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima): Although little used in modern herbalism, beet has a long history of folk use, especially in the treatment of tumors.  A decoction prepared from the seed has been used as a remedy for tumors of the intestines. The seed, boiled in water, is said to cure genital tumors.  The juice or other parts of the plant is said to help in the treatment of tumors, leukemia and other forms of cancer such as cancer of the breast, esophagus, glands, head, intestines, leg, lip, lung, prostate, rectum, spleen, stomach, and uterus. Some figure that betacyanin and anthocyanin are important in the exchange of substances of cancer cells; others note two main components of the amines, choline and its oxidation product betaine, whose absence produces tumors in mice. The juice has been applied to ulcers.  A decoction is used as a purgative by those who suffer from hemorrhoids in South Africa.  Leaves and roots used as an emmenagogue.  In the old days, beet juice was recommended as a remedy for anemia and yellow jaundice, and, put into the nostrils to purge the head, clear ringing ears, and alleviate toothache. Beet juice in vinegar was said to rid the scalp of dandruff as scurf, and was recommended to prevent falling hair. Juice of the white beet was said to clear obstructions of the liver and spleen. Culpepper recommended it for treating headache and vertigo as well as all affections of the brain.  

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)  Sea buckthorn berries are very high in vitamin C.  They have been used to help improve resistance to infection.  The berries are mildly astringent, and a decoction of them has been used as a wash to treat skin irritation and eruptions. Medicinal uses of sea-buckthorn are well documented in Asia and Europe. Investigations on modern medicinal uses were initiated in Russia during the 1950's. Preparations of sea-buckthorn oils are recommended for external use in the case of burns, bed sores, and other skin complications induced by confinement to a bed or treatment with X-ray or radiation. Internally, sea-buckthorn is used for the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers. In the United Kingdom and Europe sea-buckthorn products are used in aromatherapy. Research in the late 1950's and early 1960's reported that 5-hydroxytryptamine (hippophan) isolated from sea-buckthorn bark inhibited tumor growth. More recently, clinical studies on the anti-tumor functions of sea-buckthorn oils conducted in China have been positive. Sea-buckthorn oil, juice or the extracts from oil, juice, leaves and bark have been used successfully to treat high blood lipid symptoms, eye diseases, gingivitis and cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure and coronary heart disease. Sea-buckthorn was formally listed in the "Pharmacopoeia of China" in 1977.  The tender branches and leaves contain bioactive substances which are used to produce an oil that is quite distinct from the oil produced from the fruit. Yields of around 3% of oil are obtained. This oil is used as an ointment for treating burns.  The fruit is astringent and used as a tonic. The freshly-pressed juice is used in the treatment of colds, febrile conditions, exhaustion etc. The fruit is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids and other bioactive compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers. The juice is also a component of many vitamin-rich medicaments and cosmetic preparations such as face-creams and toothpastes. A decoction of the fruit has been used as a wash to treat skin irritation and eruptions.

Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum)   Dioscorides used this plant medicinally for asthma and coughs.

Sea Grape (Coccoloba uvifera): A gum from the bark is used for throat ailments, and the roots are used to treat dysentery.  A decoction is prepared from the leaves, wood, and bark, which are excessively astringent, then evaporated, and the thick fluid poured into vessels, in which it solidifies upon cooling. Upon extracting it from the vessels containing it, it is readily reduced to pieces varying in size, generally about as large as a small cherry, and with a disposition to the orthogonal form. They are lighter colored, and less shining than the ordinary kino, are impervious to light in bulk, but garnet-red and semi-transparent in thin fragments; are brittle and pulverable, forming a paler-colored powder than the commercial drug. They are inodorous, amarous, and excessively astringent, impart a red hue to the saliva when masticated, and contain about 41 per cent of tannic acid. Cold water, and alcohol, dissolve nearly the whole of West Indian kino, about 6 to 11 per cent remaining undissolved.

Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum)  Sea holly is used as a diuretic.  It is prescribed as a treatment for cystitis and urethritis, and taken as a means to alleviate kidney stones. It is unlikely that the herb actually dissolves established stones, but it probably helps retard their formation.  Sea holly is also used to treat enlargement or inflammation of the prostate gland, and may be of benefit in treating chest problems.  It will ease colic due to urinary problems as well as reducing hemorrhage.  

Sea Parsley (Ligusticum scoticum)  Once used medicinally as an aromatic flavoring and in the treatment of rheumatism. The root is used in the treatment of hysterical and uterine disorders.  The seeds are sweetly aromatic and have been used as a carminative, deodorant and stimulant. They are also sometimes used for flavoring other herbal remedies. It is used as a remedy to cure sheep of the cough. The root taken fasting expels wind. A broth made from lamb and lovage was used to treat people suffering from an uncertain condition known as 'glacach', which is described as either a consumption or a swelling in the palm of the hand. It was also thought to act as an aphrodisiac. The root of this species was thought to act as a carminative for livestock given in whey to calves.

Sea Rocket (Cakile maritime): From Culpeper: It is a martial plant, of a hot nature, and bitterish taste, opening and attenuating, good to cleanse the lungs of tough viscid phlegm, and of great service in asthmas, and difficulty of breathing; and is often used as an emetic, and to help the jaundice and dropsy. It is prescribed in scrofulous affections, lymphatic disturbances, and the malaise that follows malaria.

Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritima)  These flower heads are especially effective against Ascaris lumbricoides, which are nematode worms similar to earthworms, white in color, that frequently infest the intestine of children.  These flowers have also proven effective against other intestinal parasites. Its medicinal virtues are similar to wormwood, A. absinthum, though milder in their action. It is used mainly as a tonic to the digestive system, in treating intermittent fevers and as a vermifuge

Seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera )  The fruits have been used to reduce fever.  The roots have been used to treat diarrhea.  The bark yields an extract known as “Jamaica kino,” used to treat dysentery. A gum from the bark is used for throat ailments.

Sedge (Cyperus rotundus )  Important in traditional Chinese medicine and also used in Ayurvedic medicine.  Bittersweet herb that relieves spasms and pain, acting mainly on the digestive system and uterus.  Internally used for digestive problems related to blocked liver energy and menstrual complaints including gas, bloating, food stagnation, colds caused by food congestion, depression and moodiness.  It is like Bupleurum in its power to regulate liver chi.   An essential oil in the tubers has antibiotic activity and has been shown to arrest the growth of Micrococcus pyrogenes.  The plant is rated 8th amongst 250 potential antifertility plants in China. The plant is used in the treatment of cervical cancer

Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris) All above-ground parts of the plant are useful. It can be used fresh, or dried for later use.  Make it into a tincture, an infusion, or an ointment for topical use.  Internally, selfheal has been used in Western medicine for hemorrhage and to decrease excessive menstruation.  Externally in Western medicine, used for minor injuries, sores, burns, bruises, sore throat, mouth inflammations, and hemorrhoids (whole plant).  The juice of a crushed stem or two will soothe nettle stings, minor bouts with poison ivy, insect bites and stings.  Because it contains the compound rosmarinic acid, it is used for treatment of Graves Disease as it helps suppress thyroid hormone production. Self-heal contains substances that are diuretic and act against tumors.  Lab tests indicate it may also be antibiotic, hypotensive and antimutagenic in action.  In making an oil infusion let the plants wilt for a full day to increase the shelf life of the oil.  Research: A 1993 Canadian study regarding HIV-1 found that a purified extract of Selfheal was able to significantly inhibit HIV-1 replication with very low toxicity.  The extract was able to inhibit HIV-1 in both lymph and blood.  Although prunellin was unable to prevent HIV-1 infection when cells were pretreated with the purified herbal extract, the virus’ ability to cause infection was dramatically decreased when it was saturated with prunellin.  The purified extract was also able to block cell-to-cell transmission of HIV-1.  Moreover, the extract was also able to interfere with the ability of HIV-1 to bind to CD4 cells. The researchers suggest that the purified extract antagonizes HIV-1 infection of susceptible cells by preventing viral attachment to the CD4 receptor. 

TCM: Indications: jaundice: sore and swollen eyeballs; over-sensitivity to light; headache and dizziness; gout; scrofula; high blood pressure.  In Chinese medicine it is often combined with Dendranthema x grandiflorum for headaches, high blood pressure, mumps, mastitis, conjunctivitis and hyperactivity in children related to liver energy problems (flowers).  Chinese research shows the herb to have a moderately strong antibiotic actions against a broad range of pathogens, including the Shigella species and e. coli strains of which can cause enteritis and urinary infections.  Studies also indicate that self-heal has a mildly dilating effect on the blood vessels, helping to lower blood pressure.  In China, self-heal is taken on its own or with Chrysanthemum for fevers, headaches, dizziness, and vertigo, and to soothe and calm inflamed and sore eyes.  It is thought to cool “liver fire” resulting from liver weakness, and is prescribed for infected and enlarged glands, especially the lymph nodes of the neck.  

Seneca Snakeroot (Polygala senega)  It has excellent expectorant effects which may be utilized in the treatment of bronchial asthma, especially where there is some difficulty with expectoration.  The root has a stimulant action on the bronchial mucous membranes, promoting the coughing up of mucus from the chest and thereby easing wheezing.   It has a general power of stimulating secretion, including saliva.  It may be used as a mouthwash and gargle in the treatment of pharyngitis and laryngitis.  A tea made from the bark has been drunk in order to bring about a miscarriage.

Senna  (Cassia senna (Senna alexandrina)  Also c. acutifolia (Alexandrian and Khartoum), C. angustifolia (Indian or Tintoum), C. marilandica (American))   Senna has always been specifically used for constipation.  It is particularly appropriate when a soft stool is required, for example, in cases of anal fissure.    The sennosides irritate the lining of the large intestine, causing the muscles to contract strongly, resulting in a bowel movement about 10 hours after the dose is taken.  They also stop fluid from being absorbed from the large bowel, helping to keep the stool soft.  As a cathartic, senna can cause griping and colic, and is therefore normally taken with aromatic, carminative herbs that relax the intestinal muscles.  Leaves are stronger in action than the  pods and are not as commonly used.  Senna pods, or the dried, ripe fruits, are milder in their effects than the leaflets, as the griping is largely due to the resin, and the pods contain none, but have about 25 per cent more cathartie acid and emodin than the leaves, without volatile oil. From 6 to 12 pods for the adult, or from 3 to 6 for the young or very aged, infused in a claret-glass of cold water, act mildly but thoroughly upon the whole intestine.  Similar in action to cascara sagrada, their slightly differenct chemistry does produce a few differences in action.  Whereas cascara is not activated until it reaches the intestines, senna glycosides are readily released by microflora of the stomach and it is about two thirds more active a laxative than cascara.  The pods are made into tablets and other preparations.  Senna is very unpleasant tasting and it is best to combine senna pods with aromatic, carminative herbs to increase palatability and reduce griping, e.g. cardamom, ginger or fennel.
 Indicated for Wind or bilious colics; a laxative for non-inflammatory conditions of the intestinal tract.  To clear heat in the liver and brighten the eyes; to moisten the intestines and move feces.  

Serpentwood (Rauvolfia serpentina)      The root is the source of the drug reserpine, which is widely prescribed for high blood pressure and as a tranquilizer. Although reserpine has been successfully synthesized, natural versions are less expensive and therefore more desirable. As a result, high-volume collection of R. serpentina is depleting the plant as a natural resource.  The root has a pronounced sedative and depressant effect on the sympathetic nervous system.  It is also used for insomnia, hyperglycemia, hypochondria, mental disorders like anxiety and certain forms of insanity.  It does not have to be administered in critical dosages, there are rare side effects, it’s non-habit-forming, without withdrawal symptoms.  It is a slow-acting remedy, and it takes some time for its effect to become fully established.  The West African species R. vomitoria is used as a sedative, aphrodisiac, and anticonvulsant in traditional African medicine.

Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia)  Saskatoon was quite widely employed as a medicinal herb by the North American Indians, who used it to treat a wide range of minor complaints.  An infusion of the inner bark is used as a treatment for snow-blindness.  A decoction of the fruit juice is mildly laxative. It has been used in the treatment of upset stomachs, to restore the appetite in children, it is also applied externally as ear and eye drops.  A decoction of the roots has been used in the treatment of colds. It has also been used as a treatment for too frequent menstruation.  A decoction of the stems, combined with the stems of snowberry (Symphoricarpos spp) is diaphoretic. It has been used to induce sweating in the treatment of fevers, flu etc and also in the treatment of chest pains and lung infections.  A decoction of the plant, together with bitter cherry (Prunus emarginata) has been used as a contraceptive. Other recipes involving this plant have also been used as contraceptives including a decoction of the ashes of the plant combined with the ashes of pine branches or buds. A strong decoction of the bark was taken immediately after childbirth to hasten the dropping of the placenta. It was said to help clean out and help heal the woman's insides and also to stop her menstrual periods after the birth, thus acting as a form of birth control.

Sesame (Sesamum indicum) Sesame is principally used as food and flavoring agent in China, but it is also taken to redress “states of deficiency,” especially those affecting the liver and kidneys.  The seeds are prescribed for problems such as dizziness, tinnitus, and blurred vision (when due to anemia).  Because of their lubricating effect within the digestive tract, the seeds are also considered a remedy for “dry” constipation.  The seeds have a marked ability to stimulate breast-milk production.  Sesame seed oil benefits the skin and is used as a base for cosmetics.  A decoction of the root is used in various traditions to treat coughs and asthma.  In experiments undertaken using laboratory animals, sesame seeds have been shown to lower blood sugar levels and also to raise the levels of stored carbohydrates (glycogen).  The presence of various principles (sesamin and sesamol) gives the oil, rich in unsaturated oils, an anti-oxidant property.  The leaves are used in bladder and kidney troubles and in Africa are administered to children for a variety of upsets including dysentery, diarrhoea and wind.  Eye and skin lotions are also prepared from the leaves, which are believed detoxicant.   

Shan Zhu Yu (Cornus officinalis )     Shan Zhu Yu has been used for at least 2,000 years in Chinese herbal medicine. An herb that “stabilizes and binds,” shan zhu yu is used principally to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding and unusually active secretions, including copious sweating, excessive urine, spermatorrhea (involuntary discharge of semen), and premature ejaculation.  Shan zhu yu is astringent, and like all herbs that suppress bodily fluids, it will simply prolong or lead to a worsening of symptoms if used without tonic or detoxifying herbs It is, therefore, normally used in combination with herbs such as Rehmannia glutinosa and is an ingredient of the "Pill of eight ingredients" which is used in China to "warm up and invigorate the yang of the loins".  The fruit, without the seed, is decocted for the treatment of arthritis, fever and a wide range of other ailments. It is used in the treatment of senile lumbago, diabetes, cystitis, tinnitus etc. The fruit has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Bacillus dysenteriae and staphococci. The bark is reputed to be an effective remedy for malarial fevers.

TCM: tonifies kidney and liver energy; nourishes semen-essence.  Indicated for empty kidney-energy; deficient liver-energy

Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)  The premier herb for women in Ayurveda, shatavari is similar to dong quai in its action and effects, but is not a “connoisseur herb” like dong quai, so it’s not as expensive.   Internally for infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems, hyperacidity, stomach ulcers, dysentery, and bronchial infections.  It increases milk, semen and nurtures the mucous membranes.  It both nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs.  It is a good food for menopause or for those who have had hysterectomies, as it supplies many female hormones.  It nourishes the ovum and increases fertility, yet its quality is sattvic and aids in love and devotion. Three grams of the powder can be taken in one cup of warm milk sweetened with raw sugar.  It’s especially good for pitta types.   Externally for stiffness in joints and neck.  The most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for women.  Used internally by Australian Aborigines for digestive upsets and externally for sores.

Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia syn K. angustifolium, K. intermedia)   Sheep laurel is a very poisonous narcotic plant the leaves of which were at one time used by some native North American Indian tribes in order to commit suicide. The leaves are usually used externally as a poultice and wash in herbal medicine and are a good remedy for many skin diseases, sprains and inflammation. They can also be applied as a poultice to the head to treat headaches. The singed, crushed leaves can be used as a snuff in the treatment of colds.  Used internally, the leaves have a splendid effect in the treatment of active hemorrhages, headaches, diarrhea and flux. Used in syphilitic diseases, scalp scabs, cutaneous affections, hemorrhages, diarrhea, flux, and neuralgia.  When stewed with lard, it is serviceable as a ointment for various skin irritations.  This species is said to be the best for medicinal use in the genus. The plant should be used with great caution because of the toxicity.

Sheepberry (Viburnum lentago)   The bark is antispasmodic. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat irregular menstruation and the spitting of blood.  An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of measles. An infusion of the leaves has been drunk, or a poultice of leaves applied, in the treatment of dysuria.  Often used interchangeably with cramp bark.

Sheep's Bit (Jasione montana)   From Culpeper: a bitter, light, astringent quality, excellent against disorders of the breast, such as coughs, asthmatic affections, difficulty of breathing, for which purpose an infusion of the flowers is the best preparation.  The juice applied externally heals foulness and discolorings of the skin.

Sheep’s Sorrel (Rumex acetosella): Leaf tea of  this common European alien traditionally used for fevers, inflammation, scurvy.  Sheep’s sorrel is a detoxifying herb, the fresh juice having a pronounced diuretic effect.  It has been used as a liver stimulant and blood alterative that is useful in treating skin disorders and various other metabolic imbalances.  Fresh leaves considered cooling. The leaves poulticed (after roasting) are used for tumors, wens, folk cancer remedy.  Root tea used for diarrhea, excessive menstrual bleeding.  The leaves are mildly laxative and holds out potential as a long-term treatment for chronic disease, in particular that of the gastrointestinal tract.

Shepherd's Rod (Dipsacus pilosus)   The root is bitter and, given in strong infusion, it strengthens the stomach and creates an appetite.  It is also a liver tonic.  It is not much used because it is not often found, growing only in scattered areas. The Common Teasel has similar virtues.

Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris or Thlaspi bursa-pastoris) When dried and infused, it yields a tea as a specific for stopping hemorrhages of the stomach, lungs, and especially of the kidneys.  Its antiscorbutic, stimulant and diuretic action caused it to be much used in kidney complaints and dropsy.  Used to stop heavy menstruation.  A tincture made from the fresh herb and taken every hour or two is one of the most effective hemostatics.  To make a styptic solution, boil 3 oz of herb in two pints of hot water.  Internal dose is 2 tsp every four hours.  To make a healing ointment, simmer for a half hour one heaping Tbsp of ground plaintain and shepherd’s purse leaves in 4 oz of lard or suet.  Strain into containers.  An astringent herb, it disinfects the urinary tract in cases of cystitis, and is taken for diarrhea. Because of its reputed stimulant, diuretic, and antiscorbutic action, the weed has been much used in the treatment of numerous kidney complaints.   Also for hypertension and postpartum bleeding.  Research suggests that the plant is anti-inflammatory and reduces fever.  The secret of Capsella’s blood-clotting ability is its content of vitamin K.  For an almost instant arrest of nosebleed, many people simply soak a cotton swab with the freshly expressed juice of shepherd’s purse and insert it into the affected nostril.  Many people take an infusion as a refreshing spring tonic, in the belief that it relieves such circulatory disturbances as hypertension, varicose veins, arteriosclerosis and hemorrhoids.    European herbalists have found that a sitz bath infused with shepherd’s purse is particularly soothing for hemorrhoid sufferers.  Shepherd’s purse also plays an important role in a mixture recommended for bed-wetting.   

Shih Hu (Dendrobium hancockii): Shih hu is the Chinese dendrobium orchid, a famous chi tonic of the sages.  It is cooling and mildly sweet and salty, restoring bodily fluids and alleviating fatigue.  Large golden stems are dried and simmered with licorice or ginger to restore sexual vigor.  This Chinese kidney yin tonic affects the lower back, knees and sexual vigor. To the Chinese, the kidneys rule the bone, bone marrow, memory, hearing and brain function. The kidneys store ancestral chi and heredity, as well as having both yin and yang properties, restoring fluids and enhancing vitality. The stem is used to treats fever, cough, thirst

Shoo Fly (Nicandra physaloides The seeds are used in Tibetan medicine, they are said to have an acrid taste and a cooling, very poisonous potency. Regular use increases bodily vigor. They are used in the treatment of contagious disorders, toothache, intestinal pain from worms and impotence.  In Mexico, the leaves are smoked as a remedy for asthma.  An infusion of the leaves is sometimes used to ease the pains of childbirth.  Has reputed aphrodisiac qualities.

Shooting Star (Dodecatheon spp   D hendersonii, D meadia)   The leaf tea was employed by some northwestern Indian tribes as a treatment for cold sores.

Showy Milkweed  (Asclepias speciosa )   The milky latex has been used as an antiseptic for treating ringworm, cuts, and sores and to remove corns and calluses. The latex is used as a cure for warts. The latex needs to be applied at least once a day of a period of some weeks for it to be effective.  After the seeds have been boiled in water, the victim of a rattlesnake bite bathes in the water.  A tea made of boiled roots has been used to treat measles, coughs, and tuberculosis, and has been applied warm to rheumatic joints.  The mashed roots have been used as a poultice to reduce swellings. The root is either chewed when fresh, or dried, ground into a powder then boiled, and used in the treatment of stomach ache. A decoction of the roots has been used in small doses to treat venereal diseases and also to treat coughs, especially from TB.  Indian women used an infusion of the entire plant to treat sore breasts. A decoction of the plant tops can be strained and used to treat blindness and snow-blindness.   Some caution should be employed when using the root since there is a report that it can be poisonous in large quantities.

Shrubby Seablite (Suaeda fruticosa syn Suaeda vera)  The leaves are used as a poultice in the treatment of ophthalmia. When infused in water, they have been used as an emetic.

Shungiku (Chrysanthemum coronarium)  The leaves are expectorant and stomachic. In conjunction with black pepper it is used in the treatment of gonorrhea. The flowers are aromatic, bitter and stomachic. They are used as a substitute for camomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The bark is purgative, it is used in the treatment of syphilis.

Siberian Ginseng  (Eleutherococcus senticosus)  There has been much research into Siberian ginseng in Russia since the 1950s, although the exact method by which it stimulates stamina and resistance to stress is not yet understood.  Siberian ginseng seems to have a general tonic effect on the body, in particular on the adrenal glands, helping the body to withstand heat, cold, infection, other physical stresses and radiation.  It has even been given to astronauts to counter the effects of weightlessness.  Athletes have experienced as much as a 9% improvement in stamina when taking Siberian ginseng.  Siberian ginseng is given to improve mental resilience, for example, during exams, and to reduce the effects of physical stress, for example during athletic training.  Siberian ginseng is most effective in the treatment of prolonged exhaustion and debility, resulting from overwork and long-term stress.  The herb also stimulates immune resistance and can be taken in convalescence to aid recovery from chronic illness.  As a general tonic, Siberian ginseng helps both to prevent infection and to maintain well-being.  It is also used in treatments for impotence.  Eleuthero root happens to be anti-yeast and immune supportive. 

Siberian Pine, Dwarf (Pinus pumila): An aromatic, stimulant, antiseptic herb that is expectorant, relieves bronchial and nasal congestion and improves blood flow locally. The oil is a valuable remedy used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and so is useful in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and TB. Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns, boils etc and is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers.

Siberian Tea (Bergenia crassifolia): It possess local vasoconstrictive action, capillary-restorative. It has depressant action on dysenteric and typhoid bacillus. It is combined with sulfanilamide and antibiotics for treatment of these diseases. It is also used for infectious colitis, excessive menstruation, bleeding after abortions, for treatment of erosion cervix of the uterus (outwardly), a fibroma of a uterus, in stomatology, at stomatitises and gingivitis, at a headache and for sprinkling wounds.  Internally it is used as a tea chiefly for inflammations of the genitourinary tract (cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, pyelonephritis), and also gastrointenstinal tract (diarrhea, also when minor hemorrhages are present, but on professional’s advice).  To enhance the effects, urine should be slightly alkaline (this can be done by consuming a diet rich in vegetables and/or taking about a teaspoonful a day of baking soda) and the fluid intake should be more than 2 liters per day.

Sichuan Oxknee (Cyathula officinalis): This is an alternate source material for the herb Niu Xi, for which the name means ox knee, the original material Achyranthes bidentata has nodes that are reminiscent of ox knees; comparatively, Chuan Niu Xi is thought to be better at transforming static blood, while Niu Xi is better at nourishing the liver and kidney).  Chinese root used to treat pain due to “wind-dampness” to clear atrophy and spasm of the lower extremities, much like the previous species.  Do not use during pregnancy

Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin )  The flower heads are used internally in the treatment of insomnia, irritability, breathlessness and poor memory. The stembark is used internally in the treatment of insomnia, irritability, boils and carbuncles. Externally, it is applied to injuries and swellings.  A gummy extract obtained from the plant is used as a plaster for abscesses, boils etc and also as a retentive in fractures and sprains. It is gaining a reputation among western herbalists as a fast and highly effective treatment for depression, anxiety, insomnia, poor memory and irritability.

Silver Birch (Betula pendula (B. verrucosa, B. alba))  An infusion made with silver birch leaves hastens the removal of waste products in the urine, and is beneficial for kidney stones and bladder stones, rheumatic conditions, and gout. To obtain the full diuretic effect herbalists add a pinch of baking soda to the infusion which promotes the extraction of the diuretic hyperoside. The leaves are also used, in combination with diuretic herbs, to reduce fluid retention and swelling.  Silver birch sap is a mild diuretic.  Preserved with cloves and cinnamon, the sap was once taken to treat skin diseases like acne as well as rheumatism and gout.  A decoction of silver birch bark can be used as a lotion for chronic skin problems.  The bark can also be macerated in oil and applied to rheumatic joints.  A decoction of the bark has been used to allay intermittent fevers.  Dry distillation of fresh birch wood yields birch tar, which is used in soothing ointments for skin ailments.   

Silver Fir (Abies alba (A. pectinata) )  Both the leaves and the resin are common ingredients in remedies for colds and coughs, either taken internally or used as an inhalant. The resin is also used externally in bath extracts, rubbing oils etc for treating rheumatic pains and neuralgia. 

Silver Sagebrush (Artemisia cana)  Used by the Montana Indians as a general tonic, to restore hair, and as a dermatological aid.

Silverberry (Elaeagnus commutata): A strong decoction of the bark, mixed with oil, has been used as a salve for children with frostbite. A decoction of the roots, combined with sumac roots (Rhus spp.), has been used in the treatment of syphilis. This medicine was considered to be very poisonous and, if you survived it, you were likely to become sterile. The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.  

Silverweed  (Potentilla anserine) The dried flowering stems are used medicinally.  The drugs contain chiefly flavonoid compounds and catechol tannins as well as constipating, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, which also determine their use in the treatment of chronic nonspecific diarrheas, especially when accompanied by indigestion.  They are used primarily for those who do not tolerate sulfa drugs.  It used to be found in formulas for uterine and stomach spasms and was added to douche formulas.  Their occasional recommended use to relieve menstrual pains is, however, ineffective.  The dried flowering stems are prepared in the form of a briefly steeped infusion—one teaspoon of the crumbled drug to one cup boiling water.  The alcohol extract from the roots of both species (20-30 drops in a glass of water) is used externally with success for gargling to relieve sore throats or for swabbing inflamed gums and to tighten spongy gums and loose teeth and where there is inflammations of the mouth such as gingivitis or apthous ulcers.  Both hemorrhoids and poison oak can be treated topically with the tea.   

Silvery Spleenwort (Diplazium pycnocarpon syn Asplenium angustifolium)  Used in pectoral and lung diseases and to cure an enlarged spleen.

Simaruba (Simaruba amara (syn Simarouba officinalis) )  Simaruba is one of the best tonics for persons suffering from debility and loss of appetite. It restores the lost tone of the intestines, promotes the secretions, and disposes the patient to sleep. It is only successful in the latter stage of dysentery, when the stomach is not affected. In large doses it produces sickness and vomiting. On account of its difficult pulverization, it is seldom given in substance, the infusion being preferred, but like many bitter tonics, it is now seldom used. From its use, it has been called 'dysentery bark.'

Single Delight (Moneses uniflora): An infusion of the dried plant has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds. The plant has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for sore throat. A poultice of the leaves has been used to draw out the pus from boils and abscesses, to draw blisters, to help reduce swellings and also to relieve pain.

Skirret  (Sium sisarum) Fresh young shoots are said by Culpeper to be a “wholesome food, of a cleansing nature, and easy digestion, provoking urine.”  May also help relieve chest complaints.  The root is diuretic and cleansing, and useful for removing obstructions from the bladder. It is serviceable against dropsy by causing plenty of urine and helps liver disorders and the jaundice. The young shoots are a pleasant and wholesome food of easy digestion.

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus (Spathyema foetida))  The roots are a traditional folk remedy for tight coughs, bronchitis and catarrh.  It acts as a mild sedative and has been employed to treat nervous disorders.  As employed in respiratory and nervous disorders, rheumatism, and dropsy, the rootstock was official in the US Pharmacopoeia from 1820 to 1882.  Skunk cabbage may be used whenever there is a tense or spasmodic condition in the lungs.  It will act to relax and ease irritable coughs.  It may be used in asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. As a diaphoretic it will aid the body during fevers. Less commonly, skunk cabbage is used as a treatment for epilepsy, headaches, vertigo, and rheumatic problems and as a means to stop bleeding.  The leaves can be used fresh as a vulnerary. 

Slippery Elm (Ulmus fulva)   A tea of the moist inner bark was taken for digestive problems, particularly diarrhea, since it is rich in a soothing mucilage. It will soothe and astringe at the same time.  After the inner bark has been soaked in warm water, it produces a mucilage that has been used to soften the skin and protect it from chapping and to hasten the healing of skin wounds.  It makes a soothing and nourishing food and herbalists consider it one of the best remedies for healing inflammations of the gastro-intestinal tract. It may be used in gastritis, gastric or duodenal ulcer, enteritis, colitis and the like.  It is a useful remedy for urinary problems such as chronic cystitis.  Slippery elm has been used to treat all manner of chest conditions and has a soothing effect on everything from coughs and bronchitis to pleurisy and tuberculosis.  The powdered bark, commonly known as slippery elm food, may be sold commercially as a nourishing drink for convalescents and those recovering from gastro-intestinal illnesses.  Externally the bark makes an excellent poultice for use in cases of burns, boils, abscesses or ulcers.  It works very well as a “drawing” poultice for boils and splinters.  Native Americans used the bark, beaten to a pulp, to treat gunshot wounds and help remove bullets.  They also used it to treat fever, diarrhea, and respiratory infections, and made a tea from boiled roots to assist women in childbirth.

Smartweed  (Polygonum hydropiper)   Water pepper is a vasoconstrictor.  The flowering heads and leaves are mostly used but occasionally the fresh roots too.  Principally it is used as an infusion to stem bleeding and relieve menstrual pain.  A cold water infusion used to be prescribed for gravel, dysentery, coughs, sore throats, colds, and gout.  A fomentation is good for chronic ulcers and bleeding tumors.  Some of the old herbalists thought it effective in nervous diseases like vertigo, lethargy, apoplexy and palsy.  Dried leaves and tops were boiled in water to make a wash used for sore mouth in nursing mothers.  The plant was also used for internal bleeding and uterine disorders and to promote menstrual flow.  In combination with tonics and gum myrrh, it is said to have cured epilepsy - probably dependent on some uterine derangement. The infusion in cold water, which may be readily prepared from the fluid extract, has been found serviceable in gravel, dysentery, gout, sore mouths, colds and coughs, and mixed with wheat bran, in bowel complaints. Antiseptic and desiccant virtues are also claimed for it. The fresh leaves, bruised with those of the Mayweed (Anthemis cotula), and moistened with a few drops of oil of turpentine, make a speedy vesicant. Simmered in water and vinegar, it has proved useful in gangrenous, or mortified conditions. The extract, in the form of infusion or fomentation, has been beneficially applied in chronic ulcers and hemorrhoidal tumors, also as a wash in chronic erysipetalous inflammations, and as a fomentation in flatulent colic. A hot decoction made from the whole plant has been used in America as a remedy for cholera, a sheet being soaked in it and wrapped round the patient immediately the symptoms start.  

Smooth Pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus )  The leaves are considered useful for reducing tissue swelling, and have a cleansing effect.  The plant has been used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, excessive menstrual flow, ulcers and intestinal hemorrhaging. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of intestinal bleeding, diarrhea, excessive menstruation etc.

Snake Grape (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata): The fresh fruits, roots and leaves resolve clots. It is used externally in the treatment of boils, abscesses and ulcers, traumatic bruises and aches.  

Snake Needle Grass (Hedyotis diffusa): A pleasant-tasting, cooling, alterative herb that lowers fever, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and is diuretic and antibacterial.  It acts mainly on the liver and stimulates the immune system.  Internally used for fever, coughs, asthma, jaundice, urinary tract infections and cancers of the digestive tract.  Externally for snakebites, boils, abscesses and severe bruising. An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat certain medical problems. It has been used to boost the immune system and may have anticancer effects.  Juice from plant (excluding roots): treats intestinal diseases; Whole plant: treats disorders of the stomach. The herb has an antimicrobial effect in vitro on such bacteria as staphylococcus aureus and has shown an effect on activating the reticuloendothelial system and increase phagocytosis by lymphocytes. Antineoplastic effect has shown an inhibitory effect in vitro on cells from acute lymphocytic and acute granulocytic leukemia. Hedyotis diffusa herb extract has also been noted in the treatment of appendicitis and snakebite. Inhibits leukemia cells, Yoshida's sarcoma, and Ehrlich's ascites sarcoma in vitro; also inhibits sarcoma-180, ascitic lymphosarcoma, and uterine cancer-14 in mice. Used to treat stomach and rectal cancer by combining with coix and solanum.

Snakeroot, Black (Sanicula marylandica): Considered a “cure all” by John Kloss “because it possesses powerful cleansing and healing virtues, both internally and externally.”  It heals, stops bleeding, diminishes tumors.  The properties when administered seem to seek the ailment most in distress.  A tea made from the thick root has been used to treat menstrual irregularities, pain, kidney ailments, rheumatism and fevers. A decoction of the root has been used to cause vomiting in order to counteract a poison. It makes a useful gargle for treating sore mouths and throats. The powdered root has also been popularly used to treat intermittent fever and chorea (St. Vitus' Dance). The root is also poulticed and applied to snakebites. Pharmacological studies reveal that black snakeroot contains some tannin, which causes an astringent action that may account for the use of snakeroot preparations as gargles for sore throat.  The action on the system resembles valerian.

Sneezeweed (Helenium amarum (syn Helenium tenuifolium) )  The plant has been used to cause sneezing and thus clear the nasal passages of mucus.  A decoction of the entire plant can be used in a sweat bath to treat dropsy and swellings.  It is also a strong fish poison

Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus laevigatus): Snowberry was commonly employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for the saponins it contains. These saponins can be toxic, but when applied externally they have a gentle cleansing and healing effect upon the skin, killing body parasites and helping in the healing of wounds. The Native Americans used it to treat a variety of complaints but especially as an external wash on the skin. Any internal use of this plant should be carried out with care, and preferably under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. An infusion of the stems has been drunk to treat stomach problems and menstrual disorders. A decoction of the leaves has been used in the treatment of colds. A poultice of the chewed leaves has been applied, or an infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash, in the treatment of external injuries. A weak solution of the stems and leaves has been used as a wash for children whilst a stronger solution is applied to sores. The fruit has been eaten, or used as an infusion, in the treatment of diarrhea. An infusion of the fruit has been used as an eye wash for sore eyes. The berries have been rubbed on the skin as a treatment for burns, rashes, itches and sores. The berries have also been rubbed on warts in order to get rid of them. A poultice of the crushed leaves, fruit and bark has been used in the treatment of burns, sores, cuts, chapped and injured skin.  An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of fevers (including childhood fevers), stomach aches and colds. A decoction of the root bark has been used in the treatment of venereal disease and to restore the flow of urine. An infusion of the root has been used as an eyewash for sore eyes. An infusion of the whole plant has been drunk and also applied externally in the treatment of skin rashes. A decoction of the roots and stems has been used in the treatment of the inability to urinate, venereal disease, tuberculosis and the fevers associated with teething sickness

Soap Tree (Quillaja saponaria )   Soap bark tree has a long history of medicinal use with the Andean people who used it especially as a treatment for various chest problems. Its strong expectorant effect is reliable for soothing and relieving chronic bronchitis, especially in the early stages. Also one of the strongest known sternutatories—it produces sneezing.  Like other plants that contain saponins, soap tree stimulates the production of a more fluid mucus in the airways, facilitating the clearing of phlegm through coughing.  It is useful for treating any condition featuring congested mucus within the chest, but should not be used for dry, irritable coughs.   It is one of the best aids to hair growth, when applied as an infusion to the scalp and appears in the formulations of dandruff shampoos.  Soap bark tree is used as a source of compounds for the pharmaceutical industry. 

Soapberry, Western (Sapindus drummondii): Use dried leaves and stems that have been gathered in late summer or early fall.  A cold infusion can be made from the dried herb.  This is used for dry coughs, fevers, some kidney disorders, inflammation, and acute arthritis pain. The fruit is used in the treatment of kidney diseases and to suppress fevers.. A poultice of the sap has been used to treat wounds.

Soapwort   (Saponaria officinalis)   Soapwort’s main internal use is as an expectorant.  Its strongly irritant action within the gut is thought to stimulate the cough reflex and increase the production of a more fluid mucus within the respiratory passages.  Consequently, the plant is prescribed for the treatment of bronchitis, coughs and some cases of asthma.  Soapwort may be taken for other problems including rheumatic and arthritic pain.  A decoction of the root and, to a lesser extent, an infusion of the aerial parts of the herb make soothing washes for eczema and other itchy skin conditions. It is also effective when applied to poison ivy and poison oak, especially in combination with other herbs, such as mugwort.  It was once taken internally to help eliminate toxins from the liver, and in India, a specially prepared root is used to increase mother’s milk.  It is reported to have an effect upon gallstones

Solomon Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum also P. odoratum (syn P. officinale))   Combined with other remedies, Solomon's Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs. It is also useful for menstrual irregularities, cramps, leucorrhea and many of the other ailments classified by most early herbals under the broad heading of “female complaints.” The infusion of 1 oz. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses and is also used as an injection. It is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach and bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery.  A strong decoction given every two or three hours has been found to cure erysipelas, if at the same time applied externally to the affected parts.  The powdered roots make a poultice for bruises, piles, inflammations and tumors.  Like arnica, it is believed to prevent excessive bruising and to stimulate tissue repair. The bruised roots were used as a popular cure for black eyes, mixed with cream. The bruised leaves made into a stiff ointment with lard served the same purpose.    A decoction of the root in wine was considered a suitable beverage for persons with broken bones, 'as it disposes the bones to knit.'  The flowers and roots used as snuff are celebrated for their power of inducing sneezing and thereby relieving head affections. They also had a wide vogue as aphrodisiacs, for love philtres and potions.  A tea made from the crushed leaves was used as a contraceptive.   In Chinese herbal medicine, it is considered a yin tonic and is thought to be particularly applicable to problems affecting the respiratory system—sore throats, dry and irritable coughs, bronchial congestion and chest pain.  Also for heart disease, tuberculosis, and to encourage the secretion of body fluids.  In Ayurvedic medicine, internally it is used as a rejuvenative and aphrodisiac: one of eight root herbs known as ashtavarga, used for infertility, insufficient lactation, chronic wasting diseases, and bleeding disorders related to kidney weakness.  Given with warm milk and ghee as a tonic.

Sorrel  (Rumex acetosa)  High in Vitamin C--- ½ cup chopped fresh sorrel leaves provides 54% of the daily requirement for a healthy adult.  The dark green leaves of Rumex are a good source of the yellow carotenoid pigment, beta-carotene, the vitamin A precursor in deep yellow fruits and vegetables.  Vitamin A also protects your eyes.  ½ cup chopped fresh Rumex leaves provides 67% of the vitamin A a healthy woman needs each day and 54% of the requirements for a healthy man.
Sorrel leaves act as a diuretic. Research has shown them to be a mild antiseptic and a light laxative.  Sorrel was also once a popular “spring cure,” usually in form of sorrel soup.  Raw, the leaves are a cooling agent for fevers and relieve thirst.

              A tea made from sorrel root was long recommended by herbalists as a diuretic, but is use is inadvisable because of the plant’s potential toxicity.  A leaf tea has also figured in herbal medicine as an appetite stimulant, a scurvy preventive, and an antiseptic; it is also somewhat laxative.  A tea of leaves also appears in herbal literature as a coolant for fever.  Infuse as a tea to treat kidney and liver ailments.  Apply to mouth ulcers, boils and infected wounds.  

Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum )  Indians boiled the leaves and gave feverish patients the liquid to drink; they also used this tea to treat the urinary ailments of older men.  A poultice of leaves mixed with bark was used to reduce swellings.  The leaves have also been considered a tonic. A tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of asthma, diarrhea, indigestion and to check excessive menstrual bleeding.  The bark has been chewed in the treatment of mouth ulcers.

Southern Hackberry (Celtis australis )  Due to their astringent properties, both the leaves and fruit may be used as a remedy.  Although the fruit is considered more effective, particularly before it has fully ripened, a decoction of both it has fully ripened, a decoction of both is taken to reduce heavy menstrual and intermenstrual uterine bleeding.  The fruit and leaves may be used to astringe the mucous membranes in peptic ulcers, diarrhea, and dysentery.

Southernwood   (Artemisia abrotanum)   Southernwood encourages menstruation, is antiseptic and kills intestinal worms.  It was used to treat liver, spleen and stomach problems.  It is seldom used medicinally today, except in Germany, where poultices are placed on wounds, splinters and skin conditions and it is employed occasionally to treat frostbite.  Its constituents have been shown to stimulate the gallbladder and bile, which improves digestion and liver functions.  The leaves are mixed with other herbs in aromatic baths and is said to counter sleepiness.   

Sow Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus )  The plant is emmenagogue and hepatic. An infusion has been used to bring on a tardy menstruation and to treat diarrhea.  The latex in the sap is used in the treatment of warts. It is also said to have anticancer activity.  The stem juice is a powerful hydrogogue and cathartic, it should be used with great caution since it can cause cholic and tenesmus. The gum has been used as a cure for the opium habit.  The leaves are applied as a poultice to inflammatory swellings.  An infusion of the leaves and roots is febrifuge and tonic.

Soy (Glycine max Although the soy bean has only a mild medicinal action, it is helpful in stimulating the circulation and acting as a general detoxicant.  In Chinese medicine, the sprouts are thought to help relieve “summer heat” and fever.  The fermented seed is weakly diaphoretic and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of colds, fevers and headaches, insomnia, irritability and a stuffy sensation in the chest.  The bruised leaves are applied to snakebite. The flowers are used in the treatment of blindness and opacity of the cornea.  The ashes of the stems are applied to granular hemorrhoids or fungus growths on the anus. The immature seedpods are chewed to a pulp and applied to corneal and smallpox ulcers.  The seed is antidote. It is considered to be specific for the healthy functioning of bowels, heart, kidney, liver and stomach.  The seed sprouts are constructive, laxative and resolvent. They are used in the treatment of edema, dysuria, chest fullness, decreased perspiration, the initial stages of flu and arthralgia.  A decoction of the bark is astringent.  Soy is an ideal food for diabetics as its sugars are hardly assimilated.

Spanish Salsify (Scolymus hispanicus): In ancient medicine the plant was used as a diuretic.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata  Spearmint is a commonly used domestic herbal remedy. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used in the treatment of fevers, headaches, digestive disorders and various minor ailments. The leaves should be harvested when the plant is just coming into flower, and can be dried for later use. The stems are macerated and used as a poultice on bruises.  Both the essential oil and the stems are used in folk remedies for cancer. A poultice prepared from the leaves is said to remedy tumors. Spearmint is still listed in the Hungarian Pharmacopoeia as a medicine.

Speedwell, American  (Veronica americana )  American speedwell is primarily used as an expectorant tea, which is said to help move bronchial congestion and make coughing more productive.  It also has astringent and diuretic qualities.

Speedwell, Common (Veronica officinalis ) A tea made from the leaves is used to relieve complaints of the respiratory tract and in cases of obstinate skin diseases.  The leaves have been employed in the treatment of pectoral and nephritic complaints, hemorrhages, skin diseases and the treatment of wounds. Externally, it is used to wash boils and to treat acne. 

Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana)  Traditionally, the root of spiderwort was used by the Cherokees as a folk cancer remedy. A tea of the root was considered laxative.  It was also mashed, and applied as a poultice on insect bites.  A tea of the leaves was drunk by the Cherokees for stomachache from overeating.  The root of T. occidentalis served the Meskwaki as a diuretic.  Insanity was treated with spiderwort. A gum exudes from the root.  The treatment consisted of making an incision on the head, then inserting a piece of the gum into the wound as a remedy for craziness.

Spikenard, American    (Aralia racemosa)  Spikenard is considered a tonic, like sarsaparilla.  Spikenard’s roots have treated a long list of complaints including indigestion, dysentery, blood diseases, syphilis, various skin conditions (including ringworm), as well as gout, rheumatism, local pains, and some heart problems.  It was an important blood purifying tea, particularly during pregnancy.  Herbalists still use it to balance women’s cycles, including helping with premenstrual syndrome.  Its actions are similar to those attributed to sarsaparilla’s progesteronelike constituents, although hormonal activity in spikenard has not been proven.  A pleasant-tasting syrup was made with spikenard and elecampane for lung conditions like whooping cough, asthma, and general coughs.  A root poultice was chewed and applied to wounds, and a solution mixed with wild ginger was placed on fractured limbs.  The berry juice was dropped into the ear canal to ease earache.  The herb encourages sweating and is a stimulant and detoxifying.

Spikenard  (Nardostachys jatamansi syn N. grandiflora)  Internally used for nervous indigestion, insomnia, depression, and tension headaches.  Externally for rashes and as a deodorant.
Traditional Ayurvedic Uses
: Jatamansi helps enhance and balance all aspects of mental functioning, including: comprehension (Dhi), memory (Dhriti) and recollection (Smriti).  It has a particular effect of calming the emotions, nerves and brain cells to aid with excessive worries.  Jatamansi works as an indirect aid to natural nerve regeneration.  It helps balance and coordinate Prana Vata (which governs the mind) and Sadhaka Pitta (which governs the emotions).  It also has a longterm effect on Tarpaka Kapha -- coordination of the laws of nature that govern health of the sinus cavities, head and cerebral-spinal fluids. This acts to stabilize the emotions.  

Spindle Tree, Japanese (Euonymus japonica): The bark is used as a tonic and to aid in difficult childbirth; treats rheumatism, night sweating.  The leaf is also used in cases of difficult delivery.

Spirit Plant  (Lachnanthes tinctoria syn Lachnanthes carolina,  Gyrotheca capitata. Gyrotheca tinctoria)   A hypnotic and a stimulant of peculiar value to the aged. The drug Lachnanthes is prepared from the entire plant, but especially from the rhizome and roots. Lachnanthes has been more particularly recommended in pneumonia, nervous and typhus fevers, some diseases of the brain, in the delirium of fever, in morbid conditions of the brain and nervous system, especially when in these several maladies redness of the cheeks and brilliancy of the eyes are accompanying symptoms. It has also been efficient in rheumatic wry neck, hoarseness, laryngeal cough, tinnitus aurium, and in nervous headache. It is also used in the treatment of bowel complaints, coughs, pneumonia and the spitting of blood. A strong decoction has been used as a wash for cancer.

Spotted Chatelain (Corallorhiza maculata ) The dried stalks have been used to make a tea for strengthening patients suffering form pneumonia.  The roots have been used as a sedative, to kill worms, and to increase perspiration.  A tablespoon of the chopped plant is steeped in tea and drunk as needed.  Coral Root is one of the best treatments for nervous disorders and nervous fevers, a scant teaspoon boiled for ten minutes.  It will reduce a fever reliably and has a strong, sensible sedative effect particularly useful or angry or frustrated states.  It is especially good as a first aid for sudden high fevers in the first week or two after childbirth, usually caused by dehydration or a uterine infection.  This is NOT  a condition for home treatment, but Coral Root will relax the mother and lower the temperature until a physician can apply more appropriate therapies.  It should be made available if needed for any rural-type home delivery.

Spotted Spurge (Euphorbia maculata ) The milky sap, when taken orally, causes vomiting and acts as a strong laxative.  An alcoholic extract of the plant has been given to control dysentery.  The Indians rubbed the sap on their skin to treat warts, sores, eruptions, and sore nipples.  They also drank a root infusion as a laxative.

Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata )  The leaves and fruit have been used to increase urine flow, as a tonic, and for treating diarrhea, syphilis, nervous disorders, and ulcers.  The plant has an antiseptic influence on the urinary system and is sometimes used in the treatment of cystitis. An infusion of the plant has been drunk in the treatment of rheumatism and colds. A poultice of the root has been used to treat pain while the plant has also been used as a wash on ulcers, scrofula and cancers. All parts of the plant can be used, though only the leaves are officinal. 

Squawbush (Rhus trilobata): Skunk bush was employed medicinally by several native North American Indian tribes, who valued it especially for its astringent qualities and used it to treat a range of complaints. Bark: An infusion of the bark has been used as a douche after childbirth. The bark has been chewed, and the juice swallowed, as a treatment for colds and sore gums. Bark has also been used for: Cold remedy, in which the bark is chewed and the juice is swallowed; Oral aid, in which the bark is chewed;  
          Fruit: The fruit has been eaten as a treatment for stomach problems and grippe. The fruit has been chewed as a treatment for toothache and also used as a mouthwash. A decoction of the fruit has been used as a wash to prevent the hair falling out.  The dried berries have been ground into a powder and dusted onto smallpox pustules.  Veterinary aid.
          Leaves: An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of head colds. A decoction of the leaves has been drunk to induce impotency as a method of contraception. A poultice of leaves has been used to treat itches. Leaves are a gastrointestinal aid, in which the leaves are boiled; Diuretic aid, in which the leaves are boiled. 
          Roots: A decoction of the root bark has been taken to facilitate easy delivery of the placenta. The roots have been used as a deodorant. The buds have been used on the body as a medicinal deodorant and perfume.  Tuberculosis Aid, in which the roots are consumed

Squill (Urginea maritime (a) (syn Drimia maritime) )  Squill is a powerful expectorant used in chronic bronchitis, especially where there is little sputum production, which causes a dry irritable cough.  A more fluid mucus secretion is produced with squill, which in turn facilitates an easier expectoration.  The mucilage content eases and relaxes the bronchiole passages, thereby balancing the stimulation of the glycosides.  It may be used in bronchial asthma and whooping cough.  It has a stimulating action on the heart and has been used for aiding cases of heart failure and water retention when there is heart involvement. 
             Sea squill contains cardiac glycosides which are strongly diuretic and relatively quick-acting. They do not have the same cumulative effect as those present in foxglove. The bulb has been widely used by herbalists, mainly for its effect upon the heart and for its stimulating, expectorant and diuretic properties. The fresh bulb is slightly more active medicinally than the dried bulb, but it also contains a viscid acrid juice that can cause skin inflammations. This is a very poisonous plant and it should only be used under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
             The dried bulb is cardiotonic, strongly diuretic, emetic when taken in large doses and expectorant. The bulb can weigh up to 2 kilos. It is used internally in the treatment of bronchitis, bronchitic asthma, whooping cough and edema and is a potential substitute for foxglove in aiding a failing heart. Externally, the bulb has been used in the treatment of dandruff and seborrhea. 
             There are two main forms of this species, one has a white bulb and the other has a red one. The red bulb is the form that is used as a rat poison whilst the white bulb is used as a cardiotonic. Another report says that herbalists do not distinguish between the two forms. Only the red form contains the rat poison 'scilliroside', though both forms can be used medicinally

Squinancy Root (Asperula cynanchica): An infusion of the plant was used as a gargle for quinsy, but the plant has become rare and is not now used by herbalists. 

Squirting Cucumber (Ecballium elaterium (syn Momordica elateria) )  The squirting cucumber has been used as a medicinal plant for over 2,000 years, though it has a very violent effect upon the body and has little use in modern herbalism.  The plant is a very powerful purgative that causes evacuation of water from the bowels. It is used internally in the treatment of edema associated with kidney complaints, heart problems, rheumatism, paralysis and shingles. Externally, it has been used to treat sinusitis and painful joints. Ecballine, a compound derived from the fruits, is used in treating baldness as well as a cure against scalp diseases.

St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum )  It’s been used for centuries for depression, melancholy and hysteria.  Paracelsus was one that prescribed it for these afflictions.   One study by Dittmann, Hermann and Palleske showed that Hyperforat, a preparation based on a total extract, gave a well-reproducible specific inhibition of anaerobic glycolysis in secretions of brain tumors.    An infusion of leaves and flowers in olive oil is excellent for skin burns.  The herb/flowers are the parts used for lung problems, bladder complaints, diarrhea, dysentery, depression, hemorrhages and jaundice.  Steep two teaspoonsful of the herb per cup of water for twenty minute.  Take one-half cup in the morning and one-half cup at bed time.  Bedwetting is helped by a nightly cup of the tea or 5-10 drops of the tincture.  The oil and fomentation are applied externally to injuries, especially when nerve endings are involved and to soften tumors and caked breasts.             
The research on St. John’s Wort has been substantiated on its effects on mild to moderate depression.  In a series of studies that were presented in 1992 at the Fourth International Congress on Phytotherapy in Munich, German it helped well over half of those in the study. In less than a month of taking this herb, the depression and accompanying disturbed sleep and fatigue experienced by participants in these studies generally improved.  In another study in Germany in 1984, depressed women were given a tincture of St John’s Wort. These women’s symptoms, including anxiety, anorexia, lack of interest in life and psychomotor problems, all changed for the better.  Research was also conducted in Russia where it was combined with psychotherapy to treat alcoholics suffering from depression.  A suggested tincture is 1 tsp tincture of St. John’s Wort leaf, ½ tsp tinctures of licorice root, ginseng rot, lemon balm leaf and ashwaganda leaf.  Combine ingredients.  Take 1 dropperful 3 times a day.    The mood-lightening effect does not develop quickly—it is necessary to take it for up to 2-3 months.  The first effects will be felt within 2-3 weeks. 

            To help regulate disturbed sleep patterns try St. John’s Wort.  It adjusts brain chemistry, helping to increase the availability of the neurotransmitter serotonin.  It’s also a nervous system relaxant that helps you recover when your nerves are damaged, inflamed or strained.  To use it as such take 1 tsp each tinctures of St. John’s Wort flowers, skullcap leaves, fresh oats and licorice root; ½ dropperful each tinctures of ginger root and vervain leaves.  Combine ingredients and take 1 dropperful every half hour, as needed during an emergency.  To relieve chronic pain, take 2-4 dropperfuls a day. 
              A cream made of the flowering tops is used for localized nerve pains, such as sciatica, sprains and cramps, or to help relieve breast engorgement during lactation.  Can also be used as an antiseptic and styptic on scrapes, sores and ulcers.  The infused oil is  used in several European varicose vein ointments and in suppositories for hemorrhoids, to reduce inflammation, pain and broken veins.  If varicose veins break, you can cover them with a combination of St John’s Wort with essential oils.  This will decrease the swelling and pain and will deliver healing factors that help repair the veins. 
For bruises try steeping one to two teaspoons of dried herb in vegetable oil for a few days.  Then use the oil to treat bruises.
The aerial parts taken internally can lighten the mood and lift the spirits.  They make a restorative nerve tonic, ideal for anxiety and irritability, especially during menopause.  They are also good for chronic, longstanding conditions where nervous exhaustion is a factor.  They can relieve a variety of nerve pains such as sciatica and neuralgia.  It is also a valuable tonic for the liver and gallbladder.  
It has been recently marketed as an ingredient in “Herbal Phen-Fen” and similar products.  There is no scientific evidence about helping with weight loss.  The rationale is that depressed people are more sedentary and this will help them become more active.   
                    In regards to Parkinson’s it may have a potential to help based on the following.  Smokers have an unusually low risk of the disease because nicotine increases the release of dopamine in the brain.  The enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) depresses dopamine, so it would make sense that medications that inhibit MAO would boost dopamine and decrease Parkinson’s risk, as nicotine does.  Ethnobotanist Jim Duke’s suggestion is to  try a tincture standardized to 0.1 percent hypericin and take 20-30 drops three times a day if you have Parkinson’s.

Star Anise (Illicium verun)    Star anise is used in the East to relieve colic and rheumatism and to flavor cough medicines.  It warms the abdomen, dispels gas, regulates energy, treats belching, vomiting, abdominal pains and hernia  

Star of Bethlehem (Hippobroma longiflora (syn. Isotoma longiflora) ) The leaves have been used as a counter-irritant  

Star Thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)  Star thistle has had medicinal use, most notably for reducing fevers.  In the 19th century, one botanist noted that Americans were employing the plant for kidney complaints such as nephritis and gravel.  A modern European herbal lists the seeds as a diuretic and suggests a palatable prescription made by crushing them in white wine. It also recommends an infusion of the leaves and flowers for fevers and general debility.  For a more potent remedy, the herbal mentions brewing the leaves with angelica, wormwood, or white willow bark.  The powdered root is said to be a cure for fistula and gravel.

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana)       Stevia has been used by the native South Americans to treat diabetes, because of its ability to lower the blood sugar level. They also use it to treat high blood pressure.  Paraguayan Matto Grosso Indian tribes use stevia as an oral contraceptive.  The women drink a daily decoction in water of powdered leaves and stems to achieve this purpose.  This activity of the plant remains a controversial issue.  The suggestion is that the antifertility effect is due to certain flavonoids and their monoglycosides, and not to stevioside.  

Stink Currant (Ribes bracteosum): The fruits can be eaten in quantity as a laxative. An infusion of the stems has been given to children as a treatment for colds.

Stinking Clover (Cleome serrulata)  A poultice made of the crushed leaves has been used to reduce swellings.  The flowers have been boiled with rusty iron and the liquid drunk as a treatment for anemia. An infusion of the plant is drunk in the treatment of fevers and stomach disorders.  A poultice made from the pounded, soaked leaves has been applied to sore eyes.

Stinking Toe (Senna grandis): Dark juice of pod is taken as a tonic drink for anemia, tiredness, malaise—remove seeds from pods, strain juice and mix with 50% water or milk; drink 1 cup daily.  Juice of fresh leaves is applied to ringworm, fungus, or other skin problems.  For kidney complaints, water retention, backache, or biliousness, boil 3 small branches with leaves in 3 cups water for 10 minutes and drink in sips all day in place of water.  One half cup of fresh leaves infused in 3 cups water and consumed will serve as a diuretic and eliminate toxins from the body tissue.  An infusion of young leaves is used for diabetes.  For a mild laxative and blood tonic, boil ½ cup fresh leaves in 1 cup water for 2 minutes and drink. 

Stone Orchid, Japanese (Dendrobium moniliforme) It is used as anhydrotic for night-sweats, as an anodyne and sedative in arthritis, and as a peptic tonic for convalescents and weak patients. Also used to treats impotence. 

Stone Root (Collinsonia Canadensis) : Usually combined with other herbs, the root of stone root is used to strengthen weak veins, such as varicose veins by reducing back pressure in the veins. .   It also tones and improves the functioning of mucous membranes throughout the body, but particularly in the pelvic region.  It is suggested for use when there is insufficient circulation in the pelvic region and a sense of “heaviness.”  It has a tonic action upon the bowels and is nearly specific for hemorrhoids caused by constipation with vascular blockage.  It is known to have a near specific affinity for problems of the rectum and anus.  It is given for rectal pains and inflammation; and for dysentery with accompanying rectal problems.  It treats anal fistulae, rectal ulcers and pockets and nervous conditions affecting the rectum.  Diuretic and tonic, stone root is employed in the treatment of kidney stones.  It is also prescribed to counteract fluid retention.  A syrup was once advised for inflammation or constriction of the throat., especially in cases of laryngitis and chronic coughs and also for middle ear disorders.  Indigestion, especially when accompanied by constipation, is often remedied by stone root.  A sedative, it relieves muscle spasms, especially those in the digestive tract.  The root has occasionally been used as a remedy for headaches caused by digestive sluggishness.  An external poultice of the fresh leaves or roots is placed on wounds, sores, bruises, inflammation as well as for the relief of poison oak and ivy dermatitis.   

Storax (Liquidamber orientalis ) Storax balsam has an irritant expectorant effect on the respiratory tract and it is an ingredient of Friar’s Balsam, an expectorant mixture that is inhaled to stimulate a productive cough.  Levant storax, in the form of balsam, is also applied externally to encourage the healing of skin diseases and problems such as scabies, wounds and ulcers.  Mixed with witch hazel and rosewater, it makes an astringent face lotion.  In China, storax balsam is used to clear mucus congestion and to relieve pain and constriction in the chest.  The resin has been used to loosen a cough, treat diphtheria and gonorrhea, flavor tobacco, candy and chewing gum and as an ingredient of perfumes.  It is also a powerful stimulant of peculiar value for its aphrodisiac qualities.

Stork's Bill (Erodium cicutarium) A mild uterine hemostatic and a diuretic for water retention, rheumatism, or gout.  Not a potent plant, a fair amount is needed for effect depending on the use.  The entire plant may be put into a warm-water bath for a person suffering the pains of rheumatism.  The leaves have been made into a hot tea used to increase urine flow, to treat uterine hemorrhage and water retention, and to increase perspiration.  Storksbill is a traditional afterbirth remedy in northern Mexico and New Mexico, said to reliably decrease bleeding and help prevent infection.  A tablespoon of the root and leaves are brewed into tea and drunk three or four times a day.  A tablespoon of the plant with an equal part of comfrey leaves or borage steeped in a pint of water and used for douching is considered a reliable treatment for cervicitis, especially if it has been preceded by vaginal inflammation and no uterine infection is involved.  For joint inflammations a fair amount of the tea is consumed and the wet leaves used for a poultice for several days, the swellings subsiding by the third or fourth day.  Little adverse effect on the kidneys when used as a diuretic and is an older herbal treatment in China for hematuria, particularly from kidney trauma.  One of the many reliable herbs for heavy, painful menstruation.  The root and leaves have been eaten by nursing mothers to increase the flow of milk. Externally, the plant has been used as a wash on animal bites, skin infections etc. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to sores and rashes. An infusion has been used in the treatment of typhoid fever. The seeds contain vitamin K, a poultice of them is applied to gouty tophus. 

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo )  Strawberry tree is valued as an astringent and antiseptic herb.  The antiseptic action of the leaves within the urinary tract makes it a useful remedy for treating cystitis and urethritis.  Its astringent effect has been put to use in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.  Like many other astringent plants, it makes a gargle that is helpful for sore and irritated throats.  

Strophanthus (Strophanthus gratus )  One of the strongest cardiac tonics known.  Internally usually by injection, used for heart failure, angina, hypertension, pulmonary edema, and hypotension during anesthesia and surgery.  It may be prescribed like foxglove, but the active constituents are less well absorbed.  Ouabain has been used in the treatment of cardiac arrest since it acts very rapidly when given by injection.  S. gratus has been used in Nigeria to treat snake bite.  It has been shown to delay blood clotting.  The seeds are used.

Strychnos (Strychnos nux-vomica )   The properties of Nux Vomica are substantially those of the alkaloid Strychnine. The powdered seeds are employed in atonic dyspepsia. The tincture of Nux Vomica is often used in mixtures - for its stimulant action on the gastro-intestinal tract. In the mouth it acts as a bitter, increasing appetite; it stimulates peristalsis, in chronic constipation due to atony of the bowel it is often combined with cascara and other laxatives with good effects. Strychnine, the chief alkaloid constituent of the seeds, also acts as a bitter, increasing the flow of gastric juice; it is rapidly absorbed as it reaches the intestines, after which it exerts its characteristic effects upon the central nervous system, the movements of respiration are deepened and quickened and the heart slowed through excitation of the vagal center. The senses of smell, touch, hearing and vision are rendered more acute, it improves the pulse and raises blood pressure and is of great value as a tonic to the circulatory system in cardiac failure. Strychnine is excreted very slowly and its action is cumulative in any but small doses; it is much used as a gastric tonic in dyspepsia. The most direct symptom caused by strychnine is violent convulsions due to a simultaneous stimulation of the motor or sensory ganglia of the spinal cord; during the convulsion there is great rise in blood pressure; in some types of chronic lead poisoning it is of great value. In cases of surgical shock and cardiac failure large doses are given up to 1/10 grain by hypodermic injection; also used as an antidote in poisoning by chloral or chloroform. Brucine closely resembles strychnine in its action, but is slightly less poisonous, it paralyses the peripheral motor nerves. It is said that the convulsive action characteristic of strychnine is absent in brucine almost entirely. It is used in pruritis and as a local anodyne in inflammations of the external ear.  Internally, in minute amounts, for nervous exhaustion, debility, and poor appetite (especially in the elderly and children).  It is also used as a central nervous system stimulant in chloroform or chloral poisoning, surgical shock, and cardiac arrest.

Suma (Pfaffia paniculata )  It increases energy, strengthens the immune system, fortified hormones (especially estrogen), reduces tumors and cancers, regulates blood sugar.  It is considered a near panacea in Brazil, which it is called “Brazilian ginseng.”  In herbal medicine in Ecuador today, Suma is considered a tonic for the cardiovascular system, the central nervous system, the reproductive system, and the digestive system and is used to treat hormonal disorders, sexual dysfunction and sterility, arteriosclerosis, diabetes, circulatory and digestive disorders, rheumatism, and bronchitis. In European herbal medicine Suma is used as to restore nerve and glandular functions, to balance the endocrine system, to strengthen the immune system, for infertility, menopausal and menstrual symptoms, to minimize the side-effect of birth control medications, for high cholesterol, to neutralize toxins and as a general restorative tonic after illness. In North and South American herbal medicine Suma root is used as an adaptogenic and regenerative tonic regulating many systems of the body, as an immunostimulant, and is used to treat exhaustion resulting from Epstein-Barr disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, hypoglycemia, impotency, arthritis, anemia, diabetes, cancer, tumors, mononucleosis, high blood pressure, PMS, menopause and hormonal disorders and many types of stress. Suma has also been called "The Russian Secret" because it is taken by Russian Olympic athletes to increase muscle-building and endurance without the side effects associated with steroids. This action is attributed to the anabolic agent, beta-ecdysterone as well as three novel ecdysteroid glycosides which are found in high amounts in Suma. Suma is such a rich source of beta-ecdysterone, that it is the subject of a Japanese patent for the extraction methods employed to obtain it from this root. Two other plant hormones found in Suma, sitosterol and stigmasterol, are believed to encourage estrogen production and may account for it's use for menopausal symptoms.

Sumac  (Rhus coriaria)   In the Middle East, a sour drink is made from the fruit to relieve stomach upsets.

Sumac, Dwarf (Rhus copallina): A decoction of the root has been used in the treatment of dysentery. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of VD. A poultice of the root has been applied to sores and skin eruptions.  A tea made from the bark has been drunk to stimulate milk flow in nursing mothers. A decoction of the bark has been used as a wash for blisters and sunburn blisters. An infusion of the leaves has been used to cleanse and purify skin eruptions. The berries were chewed in the treatment of bed-wetting and mouth sores.

Sumac, Smooth  (Rhus glabra) 19th century American physicians frequently prescribed preparations made from Sumac.  The berries have refrigerant and diuretic properties, and are used in bowel complaints and febrile disorders.  A drug made from the dried ripe fruit is a component of gargles.  The bark also has healing properties.  A dose of 1 teaspoonful of the bark decocted in boiling water and taken a mouthful at a time relieves throat irritations.  The bark may be boiled in milk and used as a healing wash for minor burns in the absence of more potent remedies.  The bark of the roots was simmered with lard and the resulting salve was used to heal burns without leaving scars.  Spirituous infusions of Sumac were rubbed on the limbs to relieve rheumatism and aching muscles, and small balls of the gummy sap inserted into tooth cavities relieved the pain of toothache.  Decoctions in large doses are said to be cathartic in effect.   The seeds are used as a styptic.  All parts of the plant yield tannin which is medicinally valuable and dyes which are used in the leather industry.  

Sumach (Cotinus coggygria): The yellow wood is used as a cholagogue, febrifuge and for eye ailments.   Recent research shows that  the Cotinus coggygria syrup has the effect of protecting the liver from chemical damages, reducing tension of the choledochal sphincter, increasing the bile flow and raising the body immunity. The anti-hepatitis effect may be carried out through decreasing transaminase, normalizing functioning of the gallbladder, reducing icterus and enhancing the immunity of the body.

Sumbul (Ferula sumbul (syn Ferula suaveolens) )  A very effective nerve stimulant and tonic.  The medicinal action resembles that of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) and the plant is used in the treatment of various hysterical conditions.  It is also believed to have a specific action on the pelvic organs and is used in treating dysmenorrhea and a wide range of other feminine disorders. The root is also a stimulant to mucous membranes and is used in treating chronic dysenteries, diarrhea, bronchitis and even pneumonia. 

Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)  The sundew has a long history of herbal use, having been popular for its fortifying and aphrodisiac effects. Sundew may be used with great benefit in bronchitis and whooping cough.  The presence of plumbagin helps to explain this, as it has been shown to be active against streptoccous, staphylococcus and pneumococcus bacteria.  Sundew will also help with the infections in other parts of the respiratory tract.  The plant is used with advantage in the treatment of whooping cough, exerting a peculiar action on the respiratory organs. It is also used in the treatment of incipient phthisis and chronic bronchitis. Its relaxing effect upon involuntary muscles helps in the relief of asthma.  In addition to the pulmonary conditions it has a long history in the treatment of stomach ulcers.  Commonly mixed with thyme in a syrup, sundew is a helpful remedy for coughs in children. The herb is also prescribed for gastric problems.  It has pigments that are active against a wide range of pathogens.  Externally, the fresh juice is directly applied to warts and corns to stimulate their removal. 

Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)  Russian folk healers chop the head of a sunflower, soak the pieces in vodka and soap chips in a sunny place for nine days, and then rub the mixture on the joints of rheumatic patients as a potent liniment.  In medical clinics, Russian doctors prepare decoctions of the seeds for jaundice, malaria, heart conditions, diarrhea, and other ailments.  The seeds, browned in the oven, and made into an infusion, make a widely used remedy for whooping cough. 

Sunflower, Woodland (Helianthus strumosus )  The sunflower has many common uses.  Indians applied the crushed root to bruises.  The seeds have been used to increase urine flow and to clear phlegm.  A decoction of the roots has been used to get rid of worms in both adults and children. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of lung problems.

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata )  The tea made from the roots is said to remove tapeworms from the body in one hour. It has also been used in the treatment of asthma, rheumatism, syphilis, worms and as a heart tonic.  An infusion of the roots is used as a strengthening bath for children and adults. It is a cathartic and is beneficial in the treatment of arthritis and stomach disorders.  Can also be used as an emetic.

Swamp Privet (Forestiera acuminata) The Native American Houma drank the root and/or bark decoction as a health-giving beverage

Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua ) Qing Ho, better known in the West as sweet wormwood, is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine. An aromatic anti-bacterial plant, recent research has shown that it destroys malarial parasites, lowers fevers and checks bleeding.  Also used for heat stroke. Used as an infusion.  Externally the leaves are poulticed for nose bleeds, bleeding rashes, and sores.  Research in Thailand and the US shows that A. annua, in the preparation Artesunate, is an effective antimalarial against drug-resistant strains of the disease. Clinical trials have shown it to be 90% effective and more successful than standard drugs. In a trial of 2000 patients, all were cured of the disease. The seeds are used in the treatment of flatulence, indigestion and night sweats.  .
summer colds, sweatless fevers, malaria, nocturnal sweats, heat excess.  An excellent refrigerant remedy in ailments of “empty-hot” excess.

Sweet Birch  (Betula lenta)    The cambium (the layer directly under the bark) is eaten in the spring, cut into strips like vermicelli.  The bark, in the form of an infusion is used as a general stimulant and to promote sweating.  As a decoction or syrup, it is used as a tonic for dysentery and is said to be useful in genito-urinary irritation.  The flavor of wintergreen and birch bark, in the form of a tea, was popular with Native Americans and European settlers.  The juice of the leaves once made a gargle for mouth sores.  Throughout the centuries, the sap has been used in making medicinal wine and were made into a diuretic tea.  Also an ingredient in skin lotions.  

Sweet Cherry (Prunus avium)  In European herbal medicine, cherry stems have long been used for their diuretic and astringent properties.  They have been prescribed for cystitis, nephritis, urinary retention, and for arthritic problems, notably gout.  Cherries can be a helpful part of an overall regimen treating arthritic problems.  The high sugar content makes them mildly laxative. An aromatic resin can be obtained by making small incisions in the trunk. This has been used as an inhalant in the treatment of persistent coughs. 

Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata)    Grieve says, Sweet Cicely was described by old herbalists as 'so harmless, you cannot use it amiss'.  It was recommended as a gentle stimulant for digestive upsets and useful for coughs and consumption and was said to be particularly good as a tonic for girls between 15 and 18.  A decoction of the antiseptic roots was used for snake and dog bites and an ointment was used to ease gout and soothe wounds and ulcers.  The roots have been used as a cough remedy and as a diuretic.  The seeds and leaves possess mild expectorant, carminative, stomachic and diuretic qualities.  The essential oil contains anethole.  Sweet cicely is employed in folk medicine in some parts of the world, but its uses have not been tested scientifically.  It does seem to increase appetite and decrease flatulence, and we know the roots are antiseptic. All parts of the plant were used in medicine and the roots were boiled until tender and given to the elderly to eat, it was believed to strengthen the digestion.    

Sweet Grass (Hierochloe odorata)  A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of fevers, coughs, sore throats, chafing and venereal infections. It is also used to stop vaginal bleeding and to expel afterbirth. The stems can be soaked in water and used to treat windburn and chapping and as an eyewash. Smoke from the burning leaves has been inhaled in the treatment of colds.

Sweet Sumach (Rhus aromatica )   Sweet Sumach is a useful astringent that is especially indicated in the treatment of urinary incontinence for both the young and old alike.  It may safely be used wherever an astringent is called for, such as in diarrhea or hemorrhage.  It is a strong diuretic and used to clear up vaginal discharges.  The leaves were used in the treatment of colds, stomach aches and bleeding.  An infusion of the root bark can be used in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery. It is used as a gargle for sore throats. Its use is contraindicated if inflammation is present. The fruits have been chewed in the treatment of stomach aches, toothaches and gripe and used as a gargle to treat mouth and throat complaints. They help reduce fevers and may be of help in treating late-onset diabetes by reducing blood sugar..

Sweet Rocket (Eruca sativa (E vesicaria var sativa) )  The principal recorded medicinal use of rocket is as a form of mild analgesic. 

Sweet Tea Vine (Gynostemma pentaphyllum): Jiaogulan has such a long list of rejuvenating properties that in China they call it the ‘immortality’ herb.  It is in a class of herbs called ‘adaptogens’ that help the body without causing any harm or imbalance.  Jiaogulan is especially helpful in building the body’s natural resistance to stress. The amazing effect jiaogulan has on cardio-vascular health has earned it the title of “the herbal heart defender”. The plant was first described in traditional Chinese medicine during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) as a folk remedy for hepatitis, bronchitis and peptic ulcers.  A better understanding of its properties was gained in the 1980s, as part of a Japanese research program into herbs with possible anticancer effects.  It was rated among the ten most important tonic herbs at the 1991 International Conference on Traditional Medicine, in Beijing, China.  This tonic herb improves the circulation, stimulates liver function, strengthens the immune and nervous system, and reduces blood sugar and cholesterol levels.  It also has sedative effects, relaxing spasms and lowering blood pressure.   Internally it is used for nervous tension and exhaustion, peptic ulcer, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.   According to medical understanding, the action that Jiaogulan has on the body is two-fold. One, it directly nourishes the visceral functions by increasing blood supply to various internal organs, through enhanced cardiac output. And two, it affects the neuro-endocrine regulation to normalize the visceral functions that are adversely affected by various stressors (for example, Jiaogulan’s adaptogenic effect stabilizes and normalizes the over-irritated brain and sympathetic nerves).

Sweet Vernal Grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum )  a tincture made from this grass with spirit of wine is an effective and immediate cure for hay fever and as a nasal lotion.  Externally used for painful joints, chilblains, nervous exhaustion, and insomnia.  Also a good scalp cleanser and hair tonic

Sweet Woodruff     Galium odoratum (Asperula odorata): One reason that woodruff leaves were added to wines was because they aid the digestion and are helpful in treating liver obstructions and hepatitis.  At one time, woodruff leaves made a popular diuretic and remedy to reduce bladder stones.  Woodruff reduces inflammation and the asperuloside it contains has been suggested as a starting point for manufacturing prostaglandin drugs. The herb also provides coumarin, used to produce anticoagulant drugs.  Considered a light sedative, it comes in handy for treating nervous tension, especially in the elderly and children. Woodruff was much used as a medicine in the Middle Ages.   The fresh leaves, bruised and applied to cuts and wounds, were said to have a healing effect, and formerly a strong decoction of the fresh herb was used as a cordial and stomachic.  

Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana (M glauca) )    Indians drank a warm infusion of the bark, cones and seeds for rheumatism.  In colonial times, the root bark was used in place of quinine bark to treat malaria.  A drink made of an infusion of bark and brandy was used to treat lung and chest diseases, dysentery, and fever.  A tea made of young branches boiled in water was a treatment for colds.  The bark and fruit are aromatic and have been used as a tonic.  A tincture of the fresh leaves has been used to treat rheumatism and gout, and as a laxative. A tea made from the bark is taken internally in the treatment of colds, bronchial diseases, upper respiratory tract infections, rheumatism and gout. The bark has been chewed by people trying to break the tobacco habit. A tea made from the fruit is a tonic, used in the treatment of general debility and was formerly esteemed in the treatment of stomach ailments. The leaves or bark have been placed in cupped hands over the nose and inhaled as a mild hallucinogen.

Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua )   In Appalachia, water- or whiskey-soaked twigs are chewed to clean the teeth, Native Americans used the resin to treat fevers and wounds.  The gum was used by early settlers to treat herpes and skin inflammations.  It has also been applied to the cheek to ease toothache.  The bark and leaves, boiled in milk or water, have been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery.  The boiled leaves have been applied to cuts and used for treating sore feet.  The aromatic drug resin storax, an expectorant and a weak antiseptic used for treating scabies, comes from this tree. It forms in cavities of the bark and also exudes naturally. It is harvested in autumn. Production can be stimulated by beating the trunk in the spring. The resin has a wide range of uses including medicinal, incense, perfumery, soap and as an adhesive. It is also chewed and used as a tooth cleaner and to sweeten the breath.  It is also chewed in the treatment of sore throats, coughs, asthma, cystitis, dysentery etc.  Externally, it is applied to sores, wounds, piles, ringworm, scabies etc.  The resin is an ingredient of 'Friar's Balsam', a commercial preparation based on Styrax benzoin that is used to treat colds and skin problems. The mildly astringent inner bark is used in the treatment of diarrhea and childhood cholera.

Syrian Rue (Peganum harmala)   The seeds of which can be taken internally in minute doses, providing a valuable Ayurvedic remedy against depression.  They have also been taken to treat eye disorders and to stimulate breast-milk production.  In central Asia, harmala root is a popular medicinal remedy, used in the treatment of rheumatism and nervous conditions.

Szechuan Pepper  (Zanthoxylum piperitum (Xanthoxylum piperitum))   The berries of Zanthoxylum species are carminative and anti-spasmodic.  The ground bark of a related species (Z americanum) is an old-fashioned remedy for toothache.  Both bark and berries are stimulants and they are used in traditional medicines and herbal cures to purify the blood, promote digestion and as an anti-rheumatic.


Tain Nan Xing (Arisaema consanguineum  In Chinese herbal medicine, tian nan xing is thought to encourage the coughing up of phlegm. It is also used for tumors, cervical cancer, epilepsy, tetanus and complaints involving convulsions and spasmodic twitching. The dried root is used internally in the treatment of coughs with profuse phlegm, tumors, cervical cancer, epilepsy, tetanus and complaints involving muscular spasms. When prescribed internally it is always combined with fresh ginger root. The fresh rhizome is only ever used externally, for ulcers and other skin conditions.  In traditional Chinese medicine three different preparations are made from the corms: tian non xing (sun-dried); shi nan xing (cooked with raw ginger); and dan nan xing (processed with ox bile).  In China the term nan xing refers to the corms of several species. 

Tamarind   (Tamarindus indica (T. officinalis))  Tamarind is a wholesale and cleansing fruit that improves digestion, relieves gas, soothes sore throats and acts mildly laxative because of its acids and potassium bitartrate content.  In Ayurvedic medicine, it is given to improve the appetite and to strengthen the stomach.  It is also used to relieve constipation, however, mixed with cumin and sugar tamarind is also prescribed as a treatment for dysentery.  In the West Indies it is used for urinary troubles.  In southern India, tamarind soup is taken to treat colds and other ailments that cause the production of excessive mucus.  In Chinese medicine, tamarind is considered a cooling herb, appropriate for treating the condition known as “summer heat.”    The Ananga Ranga mentions the use of tamarind for enhancing sexual enjoyment by the female.  Its antiseptic properties are well recognized in the East, where a tamarind preparation is used as an eyewash and ulcer treatment.  A tamarind paste is said to relieve rheumatism.  It is used in many regions of Africa in similar ways.  In Nigeria and the Ivory Coast it is included in leprosy remedies.  In the U.K. an extract is utilized as a binding agent for tablets.  In Latin America, tamarind juice is the chaser of choice when you’re drinking alcoholic beverages.  That’s because it has a reputation for preventing hangover.  A study showed that extracts of tamarind prevented liver damage in experimental animals that were given liver-damaging chemicals.   The fruit is also given for loss of appetite and vomiting in pregnancy.

Tansy  (Tanacetum vulgare)  Flowers are used.  In the past tansy was a great cure-all, and was often used in gypsy medicine.  It was said that its juice aided conception.  The constituent thujone kills intestinal roundworms and threadworms, scabies and heals other infected skin conditions.  Very small doses have been used to treat epilepsy and to encourage menstruation.  It is a strong remedy to promote delayed or stopped menstruation.  The oil is externally applied to treat injuries, bruises and rheumatic complaints. In Scotland, an infusion of the dried flowers and seeds (1/2 to 1 teaspoonful, two or three times a day) is given for gout. The roots when preserved with honey or sugar, have also been reputed to be of special service against gout, if eaten fasting every day for a certain time.  From 1 to 4 drops of the essential oil may be safely given in cases of epilepsy, but excessive doses have produced seizures.  Tansy has been used externally with benefit for some eruptive diseases of the skin, and the green leaves, pounded and applied, will relieve sprains and allay the swelling.  A hot infusion, as a fomentation to sprained and rheumatic parts, will give relief.   Certain populations of tansy contain some of the same anti-migraine compounds as feverfew (parthenolide). Chemical analysis is necessary to determine its presence.

Tare (Vicia hirsuta): It is rarely used in medicine, but was given in a decoction made of milk, to drive out the small-pox and measles.  Culpeper said: ‘Tares are rarely used in medicines, though the vulgar boil them in milk, and give the decoction to drive out the small-pox and measles.’

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) Pliny thought tarragon prevented fatigue and during the Middle Ages the faithful put it in their shoes before setting out on pilgrimages.   Leaves have been used to stimulate appetite (especially when it has been lost because of illness), settle an upset stomach, promote the menses and as a diuretic. Chewed to numb a toothache and before eating bitter medicine  Taking the tea before going to bed could help with insomnia.  In warmer climes it is used to treat threadworms in children  

Tatarian Aster (Aster tataricus )  This species has been used for at least 2,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine. It has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Staphococcus aureus, E. coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, Pseudomonas and Vibrio proteus. The root is taken internally in the treatment of chronic bronchitis and tuberculosis and is often used raw with honey in order to increase the expectorant effect. The plant has shown anticancer activity and is a folk cure for cancer. 

Tea (Camellia sinensis (Thea sinensis) )    The tea plant is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs. Modern research has shown that there are many health benefits to drinking tea, including its ability to protect the drinker from certain heart diseases. It has also been shown that drinking tea can protect the teeth from decay, because of the fluoride naturally occurring in the tea. The leaves exert a decided influence over the nervous system, giving a feeling of comfort and exhilaration, but also producing an unnatural wakefulness when taken in large doses. They are used internally in the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, hepatitis and gastroenteritis. Excessive use can lead to dizziness, constipation, constipation, indigestion, palpitations and insomnia. Externally, they are used as a poultice or wash to treat cuts, burns, bruises, insect bites, ophthalmia, swellings etc. Only the very young leaves and leaf buds are used, these can be harvested throughout the growing season from plants over three years old and are dried for later use.  In Ayurveda, tea is considered astringent, sweat-inducing, and a nerve tonic, and is used for eye problems, hemorrhoids, tiredness, and fever.  Tea leaves may be used externally to soothe insect bites and sunburn.  Research in China suggests that green tea can help hepatitis.  Research in Japan in 1990 showed that tea contains constituents that inhibit tooth decay.  

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Tea tree is a traditional Aboriginal remedy.  The leaves are crushed, and either inhaled or used in infusions for coughs, colds, and skin infections.  Tea tree oil or cream can be applied to skin infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm, as well as to corns, warts, acne and boils, infected burns, scrapes, wounds, insect bites and stings and other skin conditions.  It very efficacious in the treatment of urinary tract disorders.  It’s anti-fungal action works well on athlete's foot, ringworm, warts, corns, abscesses. Use in cream or 5% vegetable oil, or applied undiluted. Also effective and soothing on cold sores. Applied diluted in vegetable oil at 5%.  Use gargle for mouth ulcers, toothache, and bad gums.             Tea tree is also used for aphthous stomatitis, candidiasis (daily douche with 1 quart of water and 0.4% concentration of the oil); Other uses are for Acne, Bromhidrosis; Onychomycosis, in conjunction with debridement; Pharyngitis; Sinusitis; Tinea pedis (massaged into the feet daily); Trichomonas vaginalis

Teasel ( Dipsacus fullonum  (syn Dipsacus sylvestris) )   Teasel root is not much used medicinally today, and its therapeutic applications are disputed.  It is thought to have diuretic, sweat-inducing, and stomach-soothing properties, cleansing the system and improving digestion.  Due to its apparent astringency, teasel is considered helpful in diarrhea.  It is also thought to increase appetite, to tone the stomach, and to act on the liver, helping with jaundice and gallbladder problems.  An infusion of the leaves has been used as a wash to treat acne. The plant has a folk history of use in the treatment of cancer, an ointment made from the roots is used to treat warts, wens and whitlows. There is no clear picture of teasel’s actions, but its closeness to the thistle family means it might well reward careful investigation.

Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus syn Rubus nutkanus) An infusion of the leaves is used internally in the treatment of stomach complaints, diarrhea and dysentery, anemia, the spitting up of blood and to treat vomiting. An infusion has been taken by women when their periods are unusually long. A poultice of the dried powdered leaves has been used to treat wounds and burns. The leaves have been crushed and rubbed over the skin to treat pimples and blackheads. A poultice of the leaf ashes, mixed with oil, has been used to treat swellings.  An infusion of the root has been used by thin people to help them gain weight. An infusion has also been used in the treatment of stomach disorders, diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the roots has been taken in the treatment of pimples and blackheads.

Thistle, Creeping (Cirsium arvense): The root  has been chewed as a remedy for toothache. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat worms in children.  The roots are slightly demulcent, with stimulating and mildly astringing properties. An ounce simmered in a pint of milk is a family remedy for low forms of diarrhea and dysentery, after the acute symptoms have subsided.. Two fluid ounces of such a decoction may be taken every two or three hours. An infusion is said to expedite labor very effectually, when the nervous system has become fatigued-also anticipating after-pains and flooding. A syrup of this root has been used in long-standing coughs, where the expectoration was free and the lungs feeble. The leaves made into a decoction and used somewhat freely, are said to increase the flow of milk, and gently to overcome hepatic obstructions; and the juice makes a rather soothing wash (or ointment) for irritable sores, tender eyes, and piles. The plant contains a volatile alkaloid and a glycoside called cnicin, which has emetic and emmenagogue properties. 

Thrift (Armeria maritime (syn Armeria elongata, Armeria vulgaria, Statice armeria, Statice maritima) ) An infusion of fresh or dried flowers was formerly used as an antiseptic and to treat nervous disorders but now thought to cause allergic reactions such as dermatitis. 

Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)   Thuja has an established antiviral activity. It is most often used to treat warts and polyps, being prescribed both internally and externally for these conditions.  It is also used as part of a regime for treating cancer—especially cancer of the uterus.  Thuja’s active principle, a volatile oil called thujone, acts on the muscles of the uterus and Native Americans drank a tea of the inner bark to promote menstruation.   Thuja also tones the bronchial passages and herbalists may prescribe it for bronchitis and catarrh because it combines expectoration with a systemic stimulation, which is beneficial if there is also heart weakness.  Where urinary incontinence occurs due to loss of muscle tone, thuja may be used.  It is used to treat acute cystitis and bed-wetting in children. It has a role in the treatment of psoriasis and rheumatism as a counter-irritant, improving local blood supply and easing pain and stiffness.  A quantity of leaves boiled in lard makes a salve which serves as a local application.  It cools the blood, stops bleeding and may be used for heated blood syndrome, or with warm herbs for cold and stagnant blood circulation.  Topically it can be applied in powder form to promote the healing of burns.  The young twigs of thuja may be made into an infusion and taken as a tea for bronchial catarrh and for dry irritable coughs.  It also is beneficial for heart weakness.  Thuja twig tea may be used to treat delayed menstruation.  

Thyme  (Thymus spp)  Thyme’s main medicinal role is in treating coughs (including whooping cough) and clearing congestion.  It makes an excellent gargle or mouthwash for sore throats and infected gums.  Many pharmaceutical gargles, cough drops, mouthwashes, and vapor rubs contain thyme’s constituent thymol, which destroys bacteria, some fungus, and the shingles virus (herpes zoster).  Participants in a study who rinse twice daily with Listerine™, containing thymol (with eucalyptol and menthol), found they developed 34% less gum inflammation and new plaque formation.  Thyme improves digestion, relaxing smooth muscels.  It reduces the prostaglandins responsible for many menstrual cramps.  Thyme also helps destroy intestinal parasites (especially hookworms and roundworms).  Used externally for infected wounds.  Soothing sedative action on nerves. Expectorant, reduces spasms.  Induces perspiration to break fever and aid in beginning of colds.  Strengthens lungs.  Good for headache. Used for uterine problems.  Will help bring on delayed or suppressed menstruation. Eases difficult or painful menstruation.  Good for stomach weakness and cramps, indigestion, gas,  

Thymes, Azores (Thymus caespititius): The leaves and especially the essential oil contained in them are strongly antiseptic deodorant and disinfectant. The plant can be used fresh at any time of the year or it can be harvested as it comes into flower and either be distilled for the oil or dried for later use.

Tirphal (Zanthoxylum rhetsa): a decoction of tirphal is a good cure for dysentery.  The spice is known for its antiflatulent properties. Anti-rheumatic and improves the blood flow to painful and stiff joints, so promoting the supply of oxygen and nutrients while removing waste products.  Used for arthritis, detoxifying, fibrosis, poor circulation, rheumatism, thread veins, ulcers, varicose veins.  The essential oil  is for external use only and should always be diluted with a suitable carrier oil before applying to the skin.  Non-toxic and non-irritant with some sensitization in some individuals.

Toad Herb (Franseria tenuifolia (syn Ambrosia tenuifolia) )  A ground-up root has been placed in tooth cavities to relieve toothache.  A tea made of the leaves—either green or dried and ground—has been used for stomach distress.

Toadshade (Trillium sessileA poultice of the bruised leaves and crushed roots has been applied as a treatment for boils.  A decoction of the plant has been used to treat any kind of sickness.  American Indians used this plant as an effective eye medicine. They either squeezed the juice directly onto their eyes or soaked the root and made an eye wash out of it.  Indians also used the roots to ease the pain of childbirth. 

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum )   Tobacco has a long history of use by medical herbalists as a relaxant, though since it is a highly additive drug it is seldom employed internally or externally at present. The leaves are used externally in the treatment of rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings. The plant should be used with great caution, when taken internally it is an addictive narcotic. The active ingredients can also be absorbed through the skin. Wet tobacco leaves can be applied to stings in order to relieve the pain. They are also a certain cure for painful piles.  A homeopathic remedy is made from the dried leaves. It is used in the treatment of nausea and travel sickness.

Tobacco, Flowering (Nicotiana alata): Occasionally used as stimulant for nervous system

Tolu Balsam   (Myroxylon balsamum var. balsamum)   The balsam works primarily on the respiratory mucous membranes and is good for chronic catarrh and non-inflammatory chest complaints, laryngitis and croup.  It is used as a flavor and mild expectorant in cough syrups and lozenges.  As an ingredient in compound benzoin tincture and similar formulations, it is helpful in the treatment of cracked nipples, lips, cuts, bedsores, etc.
            The leaves and fruits of M. pereirae have been used by indigenous tribes of Mexico and Central America and the bitter resin employed for asthma, catarrh, rheumatism, and external wounds and the Choco Indian use the powdered bark as an underarm deodorant. The sap of M. balsamum has had indigenous uses for colds, and lung ailments, and the Amazon rainforest tribes have employed it for abscesses, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, headache, rheumatism, sores, sprains, tuberculosis, venereal diseases, and wounds. The indigenous use of Balsam of Peru led to its export to Europe in the 17 century where it was first documented in the German pharmacopeia and to its use as a bactericide, fungicide and parasiticide in cases of scabies, ringworm, pediculosis, granulations, superficial ulcerations, wounds, bed sores, diaper rash and chilblains. The vapor from the balsam dissolved in ether when inhaled, is beneficial in chronic catarrh and other noninflammatory chest complaints. The best form is that of an emulsion, made by titurating the balsam with mucilage and loaf sugar, and adding water.  

Balsam of Tolu was included in the US Pharmacopeia in 1820 as well and used similarly in addition to an antitussive and respiratory used for lozenges for coughs and sore throats, in cough syrups and as a vapor inhalant for respiratory ailments with documented antiseptic and expectorant properties.

Tonka Bean (Dipteryx odorata)  Coumarin is cardiac, tonic and narcotic and the fluid extract is used in whooping cough, but large doses cause paralysis of the heart.  Coumarin derivatives are used as anti-coagulants. Also Carminative, Diaphoretic, Febrifuge, Stimulant, Stomachic.  Classified by FDA as Class 3 herb (To be used only under the supervision of an expert qualified in the appropriate use of this substance).  Allowed in alcoholic beverages in Canada if coumarin-free.

Tormentil (Potentilla erecta, Potentilla tormentilla, Tormentilla erecta)  Internally used for diarrhea, enteritis, Crohn’s disease, mucous colitis, ulcerative colitis, gastritis, diverticulitis, peptic ulcer, and inflammation of the colon.  Externally for hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, sore throat, mouth ulcers, cuts, sores, ulcers, burns, sunburn, frostbite, and shingles.  Care is needed in topical application of strong tannins, which can cause scarring.  

Trailing Eclipta (Eclipta prostrata (syn E. alba) )  Trailing eclipta has remarkably similar uses in Ayurveda and in Chinese herbal medicine.  In both of these traditions, a decoction is used to invigorate the liver, to prevent premature graying of the hair, and to staunch bleeding, especially from the uterus.  In the Chinese tradition, the herb is considered a yin tonic; in Ayurvedic medicine it is thought to prevent aging.  In the Caribbean, the juice is sometimes taken for asthma and bronchitis.  Trailing eclipta is also used there as a treatment for enlarged glands, as well s for dizziness, vertigo and blurred vision.  The plant is employed externally for various skin problems and as a wound healer.
           Its chemistry may explain why Ayurveda has effectively used medicines extracted from the this plant in the treatment of jaundice.  The traditional belief in India is tat extracts from the leaf can cure jaundice in a week and Indian liver tonics always contain this herb.  Powder made from its roots are used against enlargement of the liver and spleen.  A combination of the root powder and oil are rubbed on the forehead for headaches, and the plant’s pain-killing property is also recognized in the leaf poultice used for scorpion stings, while a vapor bath from its leaves is considered the time-tested cure for hemorrhoids.
           It is used internally in the treatment of dropsy and liver complaints, anemia, diphtheria etc, tinnitus, and tooth loss. Externally, it is used as an oil to treat hair loss and is also applied to athlete's foot, eczema, dermatitis, wounds etc.  The plant juice, mixed with an aromatic is used in the treatment of catarrhal problems and jaundice.  The roots are emetic and purgative. They are applied externally as an antiseptic to ulcers and wounds, especially in cattle.

Traveler's Joy (Clematis vitalba )  The leaves of traveler’s joy irritate the skin, causing it to redden and blister, but they are also strongly analgesic.  Applied to arthritic joints, they help relieve pain and encourage the removal of waste products.  The plant is also diuretic, and has been taken internally in the past to counter urinary problems.  However, the mature plant is now known to be toxic and should not be ingested. The juice is reputed to relieve headaches and migraine, if sniffed, but, since this might destroy the mucus lining of the nose, it is not advised. The boiled roots and stems are used as a cure for the itch.

Tree Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria )     A beneficial but under-used remedy, tree lungwort has expectorant and tonic properties.  It aids in clearing congested mucus and helps to increase appetite.  In a decoction sweetened with honey, it is appropriate for all conditions that are marked by chronic respiratory mucus, especially coughs and bronchitis.  The plant also treats asthma, pleurisy, and emphysema.  Being astringent and demulcent, tree lungwort makes a useful treatment for pulmonary ulcers as well as for a variety of gastrointestinal problems.  It is a highly suitable herb for treating ailments in children.

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima syn A. glandulosa )  In Chinese herbal medicine, tree of heaven is used to treat diarrhea and dysentery, especially if there is blood in the stool.  The bark of the tree has been employed in Asian and Australian medicine to counter tapeworms, excessive vaginal discharge, gonorrhea, and malaria, and it has also been given for asthma.  Tree of heaven has marked antispasmodic properties and acts on the body as a cardiac depressant.  Chinese researchers gave tree of heaven to 82 patients with acute dysentery and cured 81.  Abdominal pain generally eased within 2 days.  Quassinoids’ anticancer properties are being extensively investigated.  A tincture of the root-bark has been used successfully in the treatment of cardiac palpitations, asthma and epilepsy. The fruit is used in the treatment of bloody stools and dysentery.  Extracts from the plant are bactericidal.

True Unicorn Root (Aletris farinosa)     It is an excellent remedy for sluggish digestion, which may give rise to dyspepsia, flatulence and debility.  Its bitter nature will stimulate the digestive process and so it often relieves anorexia.  Its name colic root shows its value in the treatment of digestive colic.  Its benefit in anxiety is based on an easing of the physical aspects rather than on a direct relaxation of the nerves.  The roots were boiled and the liquid was drunk for stomach pains, as a tonic and sedative, and to increase urine flow.  Due to an apparent estrogenic action, it has been employed in this century chiefly for gynecological problems, particularly during menopause.  It is also given for menstrual pain and irregular periods.  In menorrhagia it controls excessive flow, also engorged conditions of the uterus and prolapse.  Some authorities hold that it prevents threatened miscarriage.  A poultice of the leaves has been used to treat sore breasts.  The powdered leaves were once applied to sore backs.  The herb has also been employed in the treatment of rheumatism.  In Appalachia, a mixture of roots and whiskey or brandy is drunk as a treatment.

Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca): Plant has been used as a galactogogue.

Tulip (Tulipa edulis)  The bulb is made into a paste and topically applied for lymphatic cancers, nodules, sores, ulcers, boils, and toxic swellings.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)  Turmeric is a choleretic, an agent that stimulates the liver to increase its production of bile.  This yellow brown or green fluid helps emulsify fats in your duodenum and increases peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions that move food through your gastrointestinal tract.
Turmeric is also a cholagogue, an agent that stimulates the gallbladder and biliary duct to discharge bile and increases your body’s excretion of cholesterol.  Turmeric is useful for preventing and treating gallstones, according to Commission E.  In one study, mice with experimentally induced gallstones were placed on special feed containing a modest amount of curcumin, and within five weeks their gallstone volume had dropped 45%.  After ten weeks they had 80% fewer gallstones than untreated mice.  Choleretics and cholagogues are ordinarily beneficial for healthy people but may pose some problems for people with gallbladder or liver disease.  

            The fleshy tuber-like rhizome is used. It contains a volatile oil and a water-soluble yellow pigment.  Its usefulness as a gallbladder remedy in the narrower sense has been demonstrated.  The cholagogue and choleretic action is quite powerful, and recent investigations have shown it to be primarily due to the yellow pigment. The drug is prescribed as a tea or infusion

The people of Java call this plant temoe lavak.  In India and other Asian countries it has a long tradition as a popular remedy for jaundice and liver disease. There is no doubt that it can be effective, particularly where bile flow needs to be thoroughly stimulated, but it is doubtful if it achieves more than our native drugs, and indeed unlikely, as it is not always indicated.  Above all it lacks spasmolytic and carminative properties.  The yellow pigment has a marked irritant effect on the gastric mucosa, so that caution in indicated where there is a tendency to hyperacidity or where there is simple irritable stomach. 
To treat minor wounds, wash them with soap and water, then sprinkle on some powdered herb and bandage.  For an infusion to help aid digestion and possibly help promote heart health, use 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder per cup of warm milk.  Drink up to 3 cups a day.  These infusions may also offer a measure of protection to the liver and help ease the inflammation of arthritis.  Turmeric tastes pleasantly aromatic, but in large amounts, it becomes somewhat bitter.
Turmeric regulates the menses, relieves menstrual pains and helps reduce uterine tumors.  Used externally or internally, turmeric promotes healing in cases of trauma or injury.  In India, it’s a traditional ulcer treatment and in animal studies it’s been shown to stimulate the stomach lining to produce more protective mucus.  
In Chinese medicine, turmeric invigorates the blood and unblocks menstruation; for chest or abdominal pain, amenorrhea, or dysmenorrhea due to blood stasis caused by cold from deficiency.  Also used for pain and swelling due to trauma.  It promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain; for epigastric and abdominal pain due to stagnant qi.  It expels wind and promotes the movement of blood; for wind-dampness painful obstruction with blood stasis, especially in the shoulders.  Contraindicated in cases of blood deficiency without stagnant qi or blood stasis.  
Research shows:  Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has an even stronger action than hydrocortisone, according to research studies conducted between 1971 and 1991. 
When applied to the skin and exposed to sunlight, turmeric is strongly antibacterial. Curcumin is the constituent responsible for this action.  Curcumin is also more strongly antioxidant than vitamin E.  In lab and animal studies, it’s been shown to protect LDL cholesterol from being “oxidized.  In India, in 1992, researchers gave ten healthy volunteers a half a gram of turmeric a day for seven days.  That’s an amount you might get in your diet if it includes curry.  They measured the level of oxidative by-products of blood cholesterol.  After a week, it fell 33%.  Blood cholesterol fell, too, by 12%.  Turmeric can also dilate blood vessels, so it may lower blood pressure as it’s done in animal studies.   Research is also being done with HIV.   Turmeric may be a valuable preventive remedy for those at risk of developing cancer.  

Turpentine Tree (Pistacia terebinthus): The resin is taken internally in the treatment of chronic bronchial infections, streptococcal, urinary and renal infections, hemorrhage, gallstones, tapeworm and rheumatism. Externally, it is used to treat arthritis, gout, sciatica, scabies and lice. It has also been used in the treatment of cancer. It is a stimulant to kidney function and was sometimes used in mild doses as a diuretic; in larger doses, it is dangerous to the kidneys.  It was also used as a carminative, and was considered one of the most valuable remedies in cases of flatulent colic.  Terebinth was also used to treat chronic diarrhea and dysentery, typhoid fever, purpureal fever and bleeding, helminthiasis, leucorrhea, and amenorrhea.Turpentine baths, arranged in such a way that the vapors were not inhaled by the patient, were given in cases of chronic rheumatism.  It was also administered in enema form to treat intractable constipation.  Applied externally as a liniment or ointment, it has been used in rheumatic ailments such as lumbago, arthritis, and neuralgias.  It was also used as a local application to treat and promote the healing of burns and to heal parasitic skin diseases. The gall-like bodies found on the Turpentine Tree are the result of the stings of a hemipterous insect. They have been used for treatment of asthma attacks. For this purpose they are coarsely pulverized and burned in the bowl of a pipe, or in a dish, using a small funnel attached to a rubber tube for inhaling the fumes. Preparations should be made beforehand, so that the smoke may be inhaled at the commencement of the attack. They appear to act by exciting free secretion, probably through the turpentine with which they are saturated. They are said to be useful in chronic bronchitis. The use of Chian turpentine by Paracelsus as a cancer remedy was revived in 1880 by Mr. Clay, of England, who strongly recommended it for uterine cancer, others, however, declared it wholly inefficient. It is yellowish, greenish, or bluish-green, translucent, viscid, and thick like molasses. Its odor is rather pleasant and suggestive of fennel, and its taste less acrid than most of the turpentines. It gradually hardens by age, and is often adulterated with the cheaper turpentines.

Turpeth (Operculina turpethum )  Turpeth root is chiefly used in small to moderate doses to clear the bowels.  Sometimes known as “Indian jalap,” it is used in much the same way as this plant, though its action is less drastic.  Turpeth should be taken with care and combined with herbs that ease cramps and flatulence, such as ginger. It is used in periodic fevers. In the treatment of anemia accompanied by splenomegaly, it is used along with other therapy. In the treatment of obesity, it is used to decrease fat.  In Ayurvedic medicine, turpeth is often prescribed with picrorrhiza to treat jaundice.

Twelve O'Clock (Mimosa pudica): The roots and leaves are used to treat urinary complaints, piles, fistula, scorpion sting, glandular swelling, sinus and to purify blood.  Mimosa can reduce the onset of baldness. Due to its ability to promote healthy cell growth, used in shampoos, creams, capsules, and soaps.  In Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, Mimosa pudica root is used to treat bilious fevers, piles, jaundice, leprosy, dysentery, uterine complaints, inflammations, burning sensation, fatigue, asthma, leucoderma, and blood diseases.  In Western medicine, Mimosa root is used for treating insomnia, irritability, menorrhagia, hemorrhoids, skin wounds, and diarrhea.  It is also used to treat whooping cough and fevers in children, and there is some evidence to suggest.  Mimosa is effective in relieving the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.