Page 25

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Eighty five (85) Medicinal Herbs & their Uses
By Raven MooneWind

These are recommendations and you should speak to a qualified herbologist for dosage directions..............

Usual forms of medicinal remedies.................

1) Infusions
Infusions are a simple way of extracting the active principles of herbs through the action of hot
water. The preparation of infusions is similar to way we prepare tea. This method is used to
extract the volatile components of the dried or green aerial parts of herbs and plants like flowers
and leaves. Infusions may use single herbs or a blend and are drunk hot or cold. Certainly this is
the most common and cheap method of extracting the medicinal compounds of herbs.

2) Decoctions
Roots, barks and fruits being thicker and less permeable than the aerial parts of medicinal plants,
do not liberate their active principles by simple infusion. It is necessary to simmer these parts in
boiling water in order to extract their medicinal constituents. The material should be cut or
broken into small pieces. In order to avoid loosing volatile constituents, use a lid over the
simmering pan. After cooling down and separating the solid from the liquid, decoctions can be
taken hot or cold.

3) Tinctures
Most of the volatile components of medicinal plants and herbs are soluble in alcohol. By
immersing dried or fresh parts of plants in alcohol, the active principles are easily extracted at
concentrations that exceed those that can be achieved by infusion or decoction. Highly
concentrate solutions that will last for one to two years are a convenient way to store and use
medicinal plants constituents. Ideally tinctures should be made using pure ethyl alcohol distilled
from cereals. However, since this product is not available to the public, good Vodka with 45-
35% alcohol can be used. The extraction is fairly quick. A 50% mixture of herbs and alcohol
kept in a tightly closed jar will held a tincture ready for use at the prescribed dosage. Never use
methyl alcohol, methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol or any other kind of unknown spirit to make

4) Syrups
With some rare exceptions, like peppermint that is a familiar flavoring agent in toot paste and
chewing gum, infused or decocted herbs are not palatable, especially for children. In order to
disguise their taste, infusion and decoctions can be mixed with honey or unrefined sugar from
cane. These syrups combine the soothing action of these solvents to the medicinal properties of
the infusions and decoctions resulting in additional benefits specially for treating cough and sore

5) Infused Oils
Pure vegetable oils like sunflower, almond and olive oil are easily found at grocer stores. They
have the property of dissolving the active, fat-soluble active principles of medicinal plants and
herbs. This process is called infusion and can be carried out at room temperature or higher.
Infusion is a slower process than alcohol extraction but has the advantage of resulting in an oil
based solution of medicinal constituents that can easily be used to make creams and ointments.
Hot infusion is recommended for the harder parts of the plants while cold infusion is more
suitable for flowers and leaves.

6) Essential Oils
Essential oils are the volatile oily components of aromatic plants, trees and grasses. They are
found in tiny glands located in the flowers (neroli), leaves (eucalyptus), roots (calamus), wood
(sandal) and resins (frankincense). Essential oils are extracted by four main methods: steam
distillation, expression, solvent extraction and efleurage. In the first method the oil is extracted
by the action of hot steam and then selectively condensed with water from which it is separated.
In the second method the oil is extracted by pressure or centrifugation. In the third method the oil
is dissolved in a volatile solvent that when evaporated leaves a heavily natural wax substance
called concrete. When separated from the wax, the resulting liquid is called an absolute, the most
concentrated form of aroma available. Efleurage is a longer process involving the dissolution of
the oils in animal fat and its separation using alcohol. Although essential oils main usage is in
cosmetics and perfumery, many of them do have proved therapeutic properties.

7) Ointments
Ointments are prepared like hot infused oils, the difference being that herbs are simmered in
waxes or fats containing no water. After separating the simmered herbs by squeezing and
cooling, the result is a solid mixture of the wax or fat with the medicinal constituents of the plant.
Petroleum jelly, soft paraffin wax and bees wax are some common bases used. Ointments form a
oily barrier on the surface of injuries and carry the active principles to the affected area.

8) Creams
Creams are mixtures of oils or fats with water. Since water and oils are not miscible, it is
necessary to add an emulsifying agent that avoids their separation. Creams are therefore stable
emulsions of oils or fats. Medicinal properties are added to creams when they use or are made
with tinctures, infusions, oil infusions, essential oils or decoctions. Creams are permeable
allowing the skin to breathe and sweat. Their water content and some additional hydrophobic
agent like Glycerin promotes the hydration and cooling of the skin.

Part ll Properties and uses
Aloe - Ylang Ylang

Aloe vera syn. A. barbadensis (Liliaceae)
Native to Africa, aloe vera is commonly cultivated elsewhere. The clear gel found inside the
plant's leaf and the crystalline part found alongside the leaf blade, which contains aloin, are both
used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. The clear gel is a remarkably effective healer of
wounds and burns, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection. The
brownish part containing aloin is a strong laxative, useful for short-term constipation. Aloe is
present in many cosmetic's formulae because its emollient and scar preventing properties.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Heals wounds, emollient, laxative.

Angelica arcangelica (Umbelliferae)
Angelica has a long-standing record as a prized medicinal herb and has been mentioned by
European herbalist since the 15th Century. Angelica has been used to reduce muscular spasms in
asthma and bronchitis. It has also been shown to ease rheumatic inflammation, to regulate
menstrual flow and as an appetite stimulant. The stems are candied for culinary use.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antispasmodic, promotes menstrual flow.

Pimpinella anisum (Umbelliferae)
Anise has been cultivated in Egypt and known to the Greeks, Romans and Arabs, who named the
plant anysun. Since Antiquity it has been used as a flavoring spice in recipes and as a diuretic, to
treat digestive problems and to relieve toothache. Anise seeds are known for their ability to
reduce flatulence and colic, and to settle the digestion. They are commonly given to infants and
children to relieve colic, and to people of all ages to ease nausea and indigestion. It also has an
expectorant and antispasmodics action that is helpful in countering period pain, asthma,
whooping cough and bronchitis. The mild hormonal action of anise seeds may explain its ability
to increase breast-milk production and its reputation for easing childbirth and treating impotence
and frigidity. Anise essential oil is used externally to treat lice and scabies.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Reduces colic and flatulence, promotes digestion, antispasmodic..

Arnica montana (Compositae)
Arnica has been used extensively in European folk medicine. The German philosopher and poet
Goethe (1749-1832), claimed arnica for ease his angina in old age. Herbalism and homeopathy
use arnica extracts, ointments and compresses to reduce inflammation and pain from bruises,
sprains, tendons, dislocations and swollen areas. Arnica improves the local blood supply and
accelerates healing. It is anti-inflammatory and increases the rate of re-absorption of internal
bleeding. The internal use of arnica is restricted to homeopathic dosages as it is potentially toxic.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, germicide, muscular soreness, pain re leaving.

Maranta arundinacea (Marantaceae)
Arrowroot is native to South America and the Caribbean. The local indigenous people use its
root as a poultice for smallpox sores, and as an infusion for urinary infections. Arrowroot is used
in herbal medicine in much the same manner as slippery elm (Ulmus Rubra), as a soothing
demulcent and a nutrient of benefit in convalescence and for easing digestion. It helps to relieve
acidity, indigestion and colic, and is mildly laxative. It may be applied as an ointment or poultice
mixed with some other antiseptic herbs such as comfrey.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, digestive, antiseptic.

Artemisia absinthium (Compositae)
The name of this plant derives from its bitterness, from absinthia, the Roman word for "bitter".
This property is used for providing bitter taste to some well-known beverages and liquors.
Wormwood has a marked tonic effect on the stomach, the gallbladder and in adjusting weak
digestive problems. It is used to expel roundworms and threadworms. By improving the
functions of the digestive system it helps in many conditions, including anaemia. It is also a
muscle relaxer occasionally used to treat rheumatism. The leaves of wormwood have antiseptic
properties which may derive from the azulenes that the plant contains.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Bitter, carminative, muscle relaxer, antiseptic.

Ocimum sanctum (Labiatae)
Holy basil, like sweet (culinary) basil, comes from India where it is revered as a sacred herb. The
Egyptians burned a mixture of basil and myrrh to appease their gods. Sweet Basil (Ocimum
basilicum) was introduced in Europe as a seasoning for food. The herb has very important
medicinal properties - notably its ability to reduce blood sugar levels. It also prevents peptic
ulcers and other stress related conditions like hypertension, colitis and asthma. Basil is also used
to treat cold and reduce fever, congestion and joint pain. Due to its anti-bacterial and fungicide
action, basil leaves are used on itching skin, insect biting and skin affections.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Lowers blood sugar levels, antispasmodic, analgesic, lowers blood
pressure, reduces fever, fungicidal, anti-inflammatory.

Atropa belladonna (Solanaceae)
Deadly nightshade is native to Europe, western Asia and northern Africa. Herba bella dona, or
"herb of the beautiful lady" is known for its poisonous effects (belladonna increases heartbeat
and can lead to death), like many other plants it is an important and beneficial remedy when used
correctly. Belladonna contains atropine used in conventional medicine to dilate the pupils for eye
examinations and as an anesthetic. In herbal medicine, deadly nightshade is mainly prescribed to
relieve intestinal colic, to treat peptic ulcers and to relax distended organs, especially the stomach
and intestine. Deadly nightshade is also used as an anesthetic in conventional medicine.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Smooth muscle, antispasmodic, narcotic, reduces sweating, sedative.

Styrax benzoin (Styraceae)
Benzoin is a tree native to South-East Asia. Its trunk exudes a gum well known for its strong
astringent and antiseptic action. For this reason it is used externally to fight tissue inflammation
and disinfection of wounds. When taken internally, benzoin gum acts to settle griping pain, to
stimulate coughing, and to disinfect the urinary tract. Benzoin gum is widely used in cosmetics
as an antioxidant in oils, as a fixative in perfumes and as an additive to soaps. When steam
inhaled, it helps healing sore throats, head and chest colds, asthma and bronchitis.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory.

Also Known As: BeeBalm, Horsemint, Lemon Mint, Lemon Horsemint, Wild Bergamot.
CULINARY USE: Use BeeBalm flowers or leaves in fruit or green salads, teas, flavoring for
black tew, wines, lemonade, pork, duck,
goose, sausages, or jellies.
Citrus bergamia syn. C. aurantium var. bergamia (Rutaceae)
(BeeBalm, Monarda species), health uses and precautions, symbolism, crafting uses and more.
For health, a leaf infusion is used internally for nausea, flatulence, or menstrual pain. Externally,
a leaf infusion used in a bath or in a poultice for painful joints, inflammation, and more.
Bergamot oil, expressed from the peel, assists in avoiding infectious diseases. In cosmetics it is
used in preventing oily skin, acne, psoriasis and acne. The oil (or constituents of it) are
sometimes added to sun-tanning oils. Bergamot oil is also used to relieve tension, relax muscle
spasms and improve digestion.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Disinfectant, muscle relaxant.

Citrus aurantium (Rutaceae)
The bitter orange, native to tropical Asia, has provided food and medicine for thousands of years.
Its oil contains flavonoids which are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal. Bitter
orange juice is rich in vitamin C which helps the immune system. As an infusion, it helps to
relieve fever, soothe headaches and lower fever. It yields neroli oil from its flowers, and the oil
known as petitgrain from its leaves and young shoots. Both distillates are used extensively in
perfumery. Orange flower water is a by-product of distillation and is used in perfumery and to
flavor sweets and biscuits, as well as being used medicinally to reduce heart rate and
palpitations, to encourage sleep and calm the digestive tract.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, digestive.

Peumus boldus (Umbelliferae)
Boldo is a tree original from the Chilean Andes. It activates the secretion of saliva and gastric
juices. Boldine, one of its constituents, induces the flow of bile as well as the total amount of
solids that it excretes. Its protective action over the hepatic cells has been demonstrated "in vitro"
and "in vivo". Boldo stimulates liver activity and bile flow and is chiefly valued as a remedy for
gallstones and liver or gallbladder pain. It is normally taken for a few weeks at a time, either as a
tincture or infusion. Boldo also has antiseptic properties which help in combating cystitis.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Bile and liver activity stimulant, digestive.

Calendula officinallis (Compositae)
Marigold is one of the best herbs for treating local skin problems. Infusions or decoctions of
Calendula petals decrease the inflammation of sprains, stings, varicose,veins and other swellings
and also soothes burns, sunburns, rashes and skin irritations. These remedies are excellent for
inflamed and bruised skin, their antiseptic and healing properties helping to prevent the spread of
infection and accelerate the healing. Marigold is also a cleansing and detoxifying herb, and the
infusion and tincture are used to treat chronic infections. Taken internally, it has been used
traditionally to promote the draining of swollen lymph glands such as tonsillitis.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, astringent, heals wounds, antiseptic, detoxifying.

Cinnamomum camphora syn. Laurus camphora (Lauraceae)
Camphor trees are native to China and Japan and are cultivated for its wood for the extraction of
camphor oil. Marco Polo was the first to note that the Chinese used camphor oil as a medicine,
scent and embalming fluid. Camphor crystals have strong antiseptic, stimulant and
antispasmodic properties and are applied externally as unguents or balms as a counter-irritant
and analgesic liniment to relieve arthritic and rheumatic pains, neuralgia and back pain. It may
also be applied to skin problems, such as cold sores and chilblains, and used as a chest rub for
bronchitis and other chest infections.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, analgesic, expectorant.

Elettaria cardamomum (Zingiberaceae)
Cardamom has been praised as a spice and medicine and used in ancient Egypt to make
perfumes. It is an excellent remedy for many digestive problems, helping to soothe indigestion,
dyspepsia, gastralgia, colon spasms and flatulence. It has an aromatic and pungent taste and
combines well with other herbs and helps to disguise the less pleasant taste of other herbs.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Eases stomach pain, carminative, aromatic, antispasmodic.

Carduus marianus syn. Silybum marianum (Compositae)
Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean and has been in use as a remedy for liver problems for
hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is used in a whole range of liver and bladder conditions
including hepatitis and cirrhosis. Recent research has confirmed traditional herbal knowledge,
proving that the herb has a remarkable ability to protect the liver from damage resulting from
alcoholic and other types of poisoning. Today, milk thistle is widely used in the West for the
treatment of a range of liver conditions.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, liver tonic, stimulates secretion of bile, increases breast-milk
production, antidepressant.

Apium graveolens (Umbelliferae)
More familiar as a vegetable than as a medicine, celery find its main use in the treatment of
rheumatism, arthritis and gout. Containing apiol, the seeds are also used as a urinary antiseptic.
Celery is a good cleansing, diuretic herb, and the seeds are used specifically for arthritic
complaints where there is an accumulation of waste products. The seeds also have a reputation as
a carminative with a mild tranquilizing effect. The stems are less significant medicinally.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, diuretic, urinary antiseptic.

Chamomilla recutita syn. Matricaria recutita (Compositae)
Chamomile grows wild in Europe and west Asia. Related species are found in North America
and Africa. Its flowers help to ease indigestion, nervousness, depressions and headaches, being
ideal for emotion related problems such as peptic ulcers, colitis, spastic colon and nervous
indigestion. Chamomile's essential oil have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and antimicrobial
activity. It is an excellent herb for many digestive disorders and for nervous tension
and irritability. Externally, it is used for sore skin and eczema. Roman chamomile
(Chamaemelum nobile) is a close relation, used in a similar way.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, relaxant, carminative, bitter, nervine.

Cicorium intybus (Compositae)
Chicory is native to Europe and have been cultivated through the ages. As a tea or extract,
chicory root is a bitter digestive tonic that also increases bile flow and decrease inflammation. Its
roasted root is commonly used as a coffee substitute. Chicory is an excellent mild bitter tonic for
the liver and digestive tract. The root is therapeutically similar to dandelion root supporting the
action of the stomach and liver and cleansing the urinary tract. Chicory is also taken for
rheumatic conditions and gout, and as a mild laxative, one particularly appropriate for children.
An infusion of the leaves and flowers also aids the digestion.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, liver tonic, anti-rheumatic, mild laxative.

Cinnamomum verum syn. C. zeylanicum (Lauraceae)
Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, growing in tropical forest and being extensively cultivated
throughout the tropical regions of the world. Cinnamon has a long history of use in India and was
first used medicinally in Egypt and parts of Europe from about 500 BC. The infusion or powder
is used for stomach pains and cramps. Traditionally, the herb was taken for colds, flu and
digestive problems, and it is still used in much the same way today.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Warming stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-viral.

Eugenia caryophyllata syn. Syzgium aromaticum (Myrtaceae)
Clove trees are original from Indonesia. The dried flower buds, clove, are extensively used as
spice. The buds, leaves and stems are used for the extractions of clove's oil. Both the oil and the
flower buds have been valued as a herbal medicine for a long time. The oil contains eugenol, a
strong anesthetic and antiseptic substance. Cloves are also well known for their antispasmodic
and stimulative properties.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, mind and body stimulant, analgesic, antibacterial,

Symphytum officinale (Boraginaceae)
Comfrey's name derives from the Latin con firma, i.e. "with strength", from the belief that it
could heal broken bones. Comfrey leaves and roots contain allantoin, a cell multiplication agent
that increases the healing of wounds. Today, it is still highly regarded for its healing properties.
Externally it is used for rashes, wounds, inflammation and skin problems. Internally, comfrey
has action over the digestive tract helping to cure ulcers and colitis. It is also used for a variety of
respiratory problems.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive problems, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, astringent.

Coriandrum sativum (Umbelliferae)
Coriander use has a medicinal plant has been reported since 1500 B.C. both as a spice and as a
medicine. It has now spread well beyond its native Mediterranean and Caucasian regions. It aids
digestion, reduce flatulence and improves appetite. It helps relieving spasms within the gut and
counters the effects of nervous tension. Coriander is also chewed to sweeten the breath,
especially after consumption of garlic (Allium sativum). It is applied externally as a lotion for
rheumatic pain. Coriander essential oil is used in the manufacture of perfumes, cosmetics and
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, antispasmodic, anti-rheumatic.

Cymbopogon citratus (Gramineae)
Native from Sri Lanka and South India, lemon grass is now widely cultivated in the tropical
areas of America and Asia. Its oil is used as a culinary flavoring, a scent and medicine. Lemon
grass is principally taken as a tea to remedy digestive problems diarrhea and stomach ache. It
relaxes the muscles of the stomach and gut, relieves cramping pains and flatulence and is
particularly suitable for children. In the Caribbean, lemon grass is primarily regarded as a feverreducing
herb. It is applied externally as a poultice or as diluted essential oil to ease pain and
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, antispasmodic, analgesic.

Turnera diffusa syn. T. diffusa var. aphrodisiaca (Turneraceae)
Native from the Gulf of Mexico, damiana has an ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac and is an
excellent remedy for the nervous system acting as a stimulant and tonic in cases of mild
depression. Damiana has a strongly aromatic, slightly bitter taste. The leaves are used to flavor
liqueurs and are taken in Mexico as a substitute for tea.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Nerve tonic, antidepressant, urinary antiseptic.

Taraxacum officinale (Compositae)
Occurring naturally in Asia, Dandelion is now a common plant everywhere. Its medicinal virtues
were probably introduced in Europe by the Arabs in the 10th Century. Both the Persians and the
East Indians used it for liver complaints. Known principally as a weed, dandelion has an
astonishing range of health benefits. The leaves, which can be eaten in salads, are a powerful
diuretic. The roots act as a "blood purifier" that helps both kidneys and the liver to remove
impurities from the blood. This effect seems to be due to its potassium content. It also acts like a
mild laxative and improves appetite and digestion.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Diuretic, digestive, antibiotic, bitter.

27) DILL
Anethum graveolens syn. Peucedanum graveolens (Umbelliferae)
An ancient Egyptian remedy in the Ebers papyrus (c. 1500 BC) recommends dill as one of the
ingredients in a pain-killing mixture. The Romans knew dill as anethum, which later became
"anise". Dill has always been considered a remedy for the stomach, relieving wind and calming
the digestion. Dill's essential oil relieves intestinal spasms and griping and helps to settle colic,
hence it is often used in gripe water mixtures. Chewing the seeds improves bad breath. Dill
makes a useful addition to cough, cold and flu remedies, and is a mild diuretic. Dill increases
milk production, and when taken regularly by nursing mothers, helps to prevent colic in their
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, antibacterial, antispasmodic, diuretic.

Eucalyptus globulus (Myrtaceae)
Eucalyptus is native from Australia, where it comprises more than 75% of all trees. A traditional
aboriginal remedy, eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic used all over the world for relieving
coughs and colds, sore throats and other infections. The leaves cool the body and relive fever.
Inhaling the vapors of the essential oils heated in water, clears sinus and bronchial congestions.
Eucaliptol, one of the substances found in the essential oil, is one of the main constituents of the
many existing commercial formulas of chest rubs for colds. The essential oil has also strong antibiotic,
anti-viral and anti-fungal action. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in many over-thecounter
cold remedies.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, expectorant, stimulates local blood flow, anti-fungal.

Foeniculum vulgare (Umbelliferae)
Native to the Mediterranean, fennel has spread to surrounding areas, including India. Known to
the Greeks and Romans, is was used as food, spice and medicine. The primary use of fennel
seeds is to relieve flatulence, but they also settle colic, stimulate the appetite and digestion.
Fennel is also diuretic and anti-inflammatory. Like anise (Pimpinella anisum) and caraway
(Carum carvi), it has a calming effect on bronchitis and coughs. An infusion of the seeds may be
taken as a gargle for sore throats and as a mild expectorant. Fennel increases breast-milk
production and the herb is still used as an eye wash for sore eyes and conjunctivitis. Essential oil
from the sweet variety is used for its digestive and relaxing properties.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory.

Allium sativum (Liliaceae)
Original from Central Asia, garlic is now cultivated worldwide. It was widely known by the
ancients, being found in Egyptian tombs and used by Greeks and Romans. Recognized for its
pungent odor and taste, garlic is a powerful home medicine for the treatment for a host of health
problems. It is one of the most effective anti-biotic plants available, acting on bacteria, viruses
and alimentary parasites. It counters many infections, including those of the nose, throat and
chest. Garlic is also known to reduce cholesterol, helps circulatory disorders, such as high blood
pressure, and lower blood sugar levels, making it useful in cases of late-onset diabetes.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antibiotic, expectorant, diaphoretic, hypotensive, antispasmodic, expels

Gentiana lutea (Gentianaceae)
Native to Europe and Asia Minor, gentian properties as a medicinal plant go back to 180 B.C.
Gentian is a powerful bitter that stimulates appetite and promotes digestion through the increased
production of saliva, gastric juices and bile. It also decreases gastric inflammation and kill
worms. Gentian is also used to treat liver and spleen problems and to promote menstruation.
Medicinally, gentian strengthens a weak or under-active digestive system.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Bitter, digestive stimulant, eases stomach pain.

Zingiber officinali (Zingiberaceae)
Ginger is original from Southeast Asia and is now cultivated in most tropical countries. Its
citations in ancient texts go back to the 4th century B.C. The Greeks imported it from the East
centuries before Discorides recorded its use in the 1st century A.D. Familiar as a spice and
flavoring, ginger is also one of the world's best medicines. The Chinese consider ginger as an
important drug to treat cold and encourage sweating. Ginger brings relief to digestion, stimulates
circulation, reduce headaches and kill intestinal parasites.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Diaphoretic, carminative, circulatory stimulant, inhibits coughing, antiinflammatory,

Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgoaceae)
Ginkgo is thought to be the oldest tree on the planet, first growing about 190 million years ago. It
is probably native to China, although there are no wild trees remaining. Though long used as a
medicine in its native China, its therapeutic actions have only recently been researched.
Traditionally known as an anti-microbial and anti-tubercular action, it has now been shown that
ginkgo as a profound activity on brain function and cerebral circulation. This action is useful to
prevent dizziness, tinnitus, short-term memory loss, depression and other symptoms related to
poor brain circulation. Its effect on poor circulation also used to treat other related disorders like
diabetes, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Ginkgo is also valuable for asthma.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Circulatory stimulant and tonic, anti-asthmatic, antispasmodic, antiallergenic,

Panax ginseng (Araliaceae)
Ginseng is the most famous Chinese herb of all. It is native to north-eastern China, eastern
Russia and Korea. The related species Panax quinquefolious, occurs in the eastern United States
and Canada. Ginseng has ancient and rich history as a medicinal plant and has been praised for
its remarkable therapeutic benefits for about 7,000 years. Its value was so great that wars were
fought for control of the forests in which it thrived. An Arabian physician brought ginseng back
to Europe in the 9th century, yet its ability to improve stamina and resistance to stress became
common knowledge in the West only from the 18th century. Ginseng increases mental and
physical efficiency and resistance to stress and disease. It often shows a dual response like
sedating or stimulating the central nervous system according to the condition it is being taken to
treat. In the West, ginseng is regarded as a life-enhancing tonic.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Tonic, stimulant, physical and mental revitalizer.

Grindelia camporum syn. G. robusta var. rigida (Compositae)
Gumplant is native to the south-western US and Mexico and was used by Native Americans to
treat bronchial problems and also skin afflictions such as reactions to poison ivy. The plant's
medicinal value was not recognized by traditional practitioners until the mid-l9th century.
Gumplant was officially recognized in the Pharmacopoeia of the United States from 1882 to
1926. Its anti-spasmodic, expectorant and hypotensive actions find applications in treating heart
conditions, asthmatic and bronchial conditions. It has been employed in the treatment of
wooping cough, hay fever and cystitis. Externally in relieves and heals skin irritations and burns.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-spasmodic, expectorant, hypotensive.

Hamamamelis virginiana (Hamamelidaceae)
Witch hazel is native to eastern North America, from New England to west Minnesota. It was a
traditional remedy of many native North American peoples. Witch hazel acts mostly on the veins
and circulation. For this reason it has been used to decrease the inflammation and pain of bruises,
sore muscles, bleeding, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, phlebitis, and insect bites. American
indians used poultices soaked in a decoction of bark to treat tumors and inflammations,
especially of the eye, and took the herb internally for hemorrhaging and heavy menstrual
bleeding. Hammamelis was introduced in Europe on the18th century.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Astringent, anti-inflammatory, stops external and internal bleeding.

Crataegus oxyacantha & C. monogyna (Rosaceae)
Hawthorn is native of Europe with close species found in North Africa and western Asia. The
tree has been known and appreciated throughout the ages, by the ancient Greeks, Arabs and
Europeans. Hawthorn is an extremely valuable medicinal herb. In the Middle Ages it was as a
symbol of hope and taken for many ailments. It has been shown that its effects are only present
when a whole plant preparation is used. Its applications are: the loss of cardiac function, feelings
of congestions and oppression in the hearth region. Western herbalists consider it literally to be a
"food for the heart", increasing blood flow to the heart muscles and restoring normal heart beat.
Recent research has confirmed the validity of these uses.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Cardiotonic, diuretic, astringent, dilates blood vessels, relaxant,

Hyssopus officinalis (Labiatae)
Hyssop is found native in the Mediterranean region an is commercially cultivated in Europe,
Russia and India. In the past, hyssop was so highly esteemed it was regarded as a virtual cure-all.
Currently an undervalued medicinal herb, hyssop is potentially useful as it is both calming and
tonic. It has a large spectrum of uses which are due to its anti-spasmodic action. It is used in
coughs, bronchitis, tight-chestedness, respiratory catarrh, sore throat and common cold. As a
sedative, hyssop is a useful remedy against asthma in both children and adults, especially where
the condition is exacerbated by mucus congestion. Hyssop is used to flavor various liqueurs,
including Chartreuse.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-spasmodic, expectorant, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, hepatic.

Jasminum grandiflorum (Oleaceae)
Jasmine is probably native of Iran and is now well known and cultivated in Asia and Europe
where it was in the l6th century, mainly as a source of perfume. Although it is rarely used today
in the western World, flower syrups were used for coughs and leaf tea to rinse sore eyes and
wounds. Jasmine flowers make a calming and sedative infusion, taken to relieve tension. The oil
is considered antidepressant and relaxing. It is used externally to soothe dry and sensitive skin.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Aromatic, anti-spasmodic, expectorant.

Juniperus communis (Cupressaceae)
Juniper is found in Europe, south-western Asia and North America. Juniper is tonic, diuretic and
strongly antiseptic within the urinary tract. It is a valuable remedy for cystitis, and helps relieve
fluid retention, but should be avoided in cases of kidney disease. In the digestive system, juniper
is warming and settling, easing colic and supporting the function of the stomach. Taken
internally or applied externally, juniper is helpful in the treatment of chronic arthritis, gout and
rheumatic conditions. Applied externally as a diluted essential oil, it has a slightly warming
effect on the skin and is thought to promote the removal of waste products from underlying
MAIN PROPERTIES: Diuretic, anti-microbial, carminative, anti-rheumatic.

Laurus nobilis (Lauraceae)
Native to the Mediterrenean region, bay laurel is know cultivated all over the world. Bay laurel
was sacred to the gods Apollo and Aesculapius, who together oversaw healing and medicine.
The herb was thought to be greatly protective and healing. An infusion of the leaves was taken
for its warming and tonic effect on the stomach and bladder, and a plaster made from the leaves
was used to relieve wasp and bee stings. Bay laurel is used mainly to treat upper digestive tract
disorders and to ease arthritic aches and pains. It is settling to the stomach and has a tonic effect,
stimulating the appetite and the secretion of digestive juices.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Astringent, digestive.

Lavandula officinalis syn. L. angustifolia (Labiatae)
Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and is cultivated in France, Spain and elsewhere.
It has been used for aromatic purposes by the Romans in washing water and baths. This herb has
uses in culinary, cosmetics and medicine. It is effective to cure headaches, especially when
related to stress, to clear depression associated with weakness and depression. Externally,
lavender oil has been used as a stimulating liniment to help ease aches and pains of rheumatism.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Carminative, relieves muscle spasms, antidepressant, antiseptic and
antibacterial, stimulates blood flow.

Citrus Limon (Rutaceae)
A native from Asia, probably from India, it is now widely cultivated in Italy, California and
Australia. Lemon was unknown to the ancient Greeks arriving in Europe probably brought by
Roman soldiers returning from Asia Minor. It is one of the most important and versatile natural
medicines for home use. A familiar food as well as a remedy, it has a high vitamin C content that
helps improve resistance to infection, making it valuable for colds and flu. It is taken as a
preventative for many conditions, including stomach infections, circulatory problems and
arteriosclerosis. Lemon juice and oil are effective in killing germs. It decreases inflammation and
improves digestion.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, antibacterial, antioxidant, reduces fever.

Malva silvestris (Malvaceae)
The young leaves and shoots of this plant have been eaten since at least the 8th century BC. The
plant's many uses gave rise to the Spanish adage, "A kitchen garden and mallow, sufficient
medicines for a home." The flowers and leaves are emollient and good for sensitive areas of the
skin. It is applied as a poultice to reduce swelling and draw out toxins. Taken internally, the
leaves reduce gut irritation and have a laxative effect. When common mallow is combined with
eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), it makes a good remedy for coughs and other chest ailments.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, emollient, astringent, laxative.

Origanum vulgare (Labiatae)
Native from Asia, marjoram cultivated commercially in several regions. Much used by the
ancient Greeks, wild marjoram has had a more significant role in medicine than sweet marjoram
(O. majorana). Marjoram tea is an age-old remedy to aid digestion, increase sweating and
encourage menstruation. As a steam inhalant, marjoram clears the sinuses and helps relieve
laryngitis. Wild marjoram helps settle flatulence and stimulates the flow of bile. Strongly
antiseptic, it may be taken to treat respiratory conditions such as coughs, tonsillitis, bronchitis
and asthma. The diluted oil can be applied to toothache or painful joints.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, digestive.

46) MATE
Hex paraguariensis syn. I. paraguensis (Aquifoliaceae)
Native to South America, probably to Paraguay, mate is a traditional South American tea that
increases short-term physical and mental energy levels. It is taken as a fortifying beverage in
much the same way as tea (Camellia sinensis) is consumed throughout Asia and Europe. Mate
has properties similar to those of tea and coffee (Coffea arabica). It stimulates the nervous
system, is mildly analgesic and diuretic. As a medicinal herb, mate is used to treat headaches,
migraine, neuralgic and rheumatic pain, fatigue and mild depression. It has also been used in the
treatment of diabetes.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Stimulant, diuretic, analgesic.

Melissa officinalis (Labiatae)
Lemon Balm has been cultivated in the Mediterranean region for more than 2,000 years. The
Muslim herbalist Avicenna recommended lemon balm for heart problems. Its main action is as a
tranquilizer. It calms nervous spasms, colics and hearth spasms. The hot tea promotes sweat that
that is good for colds, flus and fevers. Its sedative actions have been used to help in the treatment
of psychiatric problems, including dystonia. Lemon's balm anti-histamine action is useful to treat
eczema and headaches. Today, this sweet-smelling herb is still widely valued for its calming
properties, and new research shows that it can help significantly in the treatment of cold sores.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Relaxant, antispasmodic, increases sweating, carminative, anti-viral,
nerve tonic.

Viscum album (Loranthaceae)
Native to Europe and northern Asian, mistletoe is chiefly used to lower blood pressure and heart
rate, ease anxiety and promote sleep. In low doses it also relieves panic attacks, headaches, and
improves the ability to concentrate. Mistletoe is also prescribed for tinnitus and epilepsy. It may
be used to treat hyperactivity in children. Mistletoe contain viscotoxins that inhibit tumors and
stimulate the immune system. For this reason, research has been carried out on its potential use
as a cancer treating plant .
MAIN PROPERTIES: Tranquilizer, reduces pain, controls blood pressure.

Leonurus cardiaca (Labiatae)
Native to Europe, motherworth has been used as a medicinal plant in early Greece, where it was
used to calm pregnant women suffering from anxiety. The other prominent use of the herb is due
to is action over the hearth by decreasing muscle spasms and lowering blood pressure. Other uses
include the improvement of fertility, the relief of postpartum depression and menopause.
Antispasmodic and sedative, the herb promotes relaxation rather than drowsiness. However,
motherwort stimulate the muscles of the uterus, and is particularly suitable for delayed periods,
period pain and premenstrual tension (especially if shock or distress is a factor).
MAIN PROPERTIES: Nervine, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, hepatic, hypotensive, cardiac

Commiphora molmol syn. C. myrrha (Burseraceae)
Native to north-east Africa, myrrh is mainly found in Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi-Arabia, Iran and
Thailand. Myrrh has been used in perfumes, incense and embalming. Its astringent, antimicrobial
and antiseptic properties have been used to treat acne and boils as well as mild inflammatory
conditions. It finds specific use in the treatment of infections in the mouth such as ulcers,
gingivitis, pyorrhea, as well as catarrhal problems associated with pharyngitis and sinusitis.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Stimulant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant,
antispasmodic, carminative.

Myrtus communis (Myrtaceae)
Myrtle is native to the Mediterranean region and is mainly cultivated for the extraction of its
essential oil. Used in ancient Greece, the astringent, tonic and antiseptic properties of its leaves
are used to heal wounds, or internally to remedy disorders of the digestive and urinary systems.
The essential oil is antiseptic and anti-catarrhal, and is used to treat chest ailments.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, astringent, expectorant.

Urtica dioica (Urticaceae)
Nettle occurs in Eurasia and is naturalized elsewhere, including America and is one of the most
applicable plants found. Nettles have supplied fibers for cloth and paper since the Bronze Age
into the 20th century. Throughout Europe, it has been used as a spring tonic and general
detoxifying remedy. Nettle leaves contain iron and vitamin C, being used for treating anemia and
poor circulation. Tea an poultice made from nettle leaves are used to treat eczema and skin
conditions. Its astringent properties are used to stop bleeding. Today, nettle is used for hay fever,
arthritis, anemia, and, surprisingly, even for nettle rash.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Diuretic, tonic, astringent, prevents hemorrhaging, anti-allergenic,
reduces prostate enlargement (root).

Olea europaea (Oleaceae)
The olive was probably first cultivated in Crete in around 3500 BC. The leaves have been used
since those times to clean wounds. Olive leaves lower blood pressure and help to improve the
function of the circulatory system. They are also mildly diuretic and may be used to treat
conditions such as cystitis. Possessing some ability to lower blood sugar levels, the leaves have
been taken for diabetes. The oil is nourishing and improves the balance of fats within the blood.
It is traditionally taken with lemon juice in teaspoonful doses to treat gallstones. The oil has a
generally protective action on the digestive tract and is useful for dry skin. Externally, it is a
good, although sticky, carrier oil for essential oils.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, diuretic, anti-inflammatory.

Sabal serrulata syn. Serenoa serrulata (Palmaceae)
Saw palmetto berries were eaten by Native North Americans and animals. According to legend,
on seeing the animals grow "sleek and fat", European settlers tried the berries and attributed
medicinal properties to them. The fruit pulp was used as a tonic from the l9th century onwards,
and today it is used to help in debility, for urinary tract problems and for reducing enlarged
prostate glands.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Tonic, diuretic, sedative, anabolic.

Petroselinum crispum (Umbelliferae)
Parsley is probably native from northern and central Europe and western Asia. It was known in
ancient Greece and Rome - but more as a diuretic, digestive tonic and stimulant of the menstrual
flow than as a salad herb. Parsley leaves, seed and root treat urinary tract infections and help
eliminate kidney stones. It also stimulates appetite and increases blood flow to digestive organs,
as well as reduces fevers. Parsley was introduced into Britain in 1548. Parsley has the unusual
ability of masking strong odors, that of garlic in particular (which is one of reason for the herb's
frequent use as a garnish in cookery). Parsley root is more commonly prescribed than the seeds
or leaves in herbal medicine. It is taken as a treatment for flatulence, cystitis and rheumatic
conditions. Parsley is also valued as a promoter of menstruation, being helpful both in
stimulating a delayed period and in relieving menstrual pain.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, diuretic.

Passiflora incarnata (Passifloraceae)
Passiflora is natural from the north America. Its name comes from its beautiful flowers, thought
to represent Christ's crucifixion - 5 stamens for the 5 wounds, 3 styles for the 3 nails and white
and purple-blue colors for purity and heaven. The herb has valuable sedative and tranquilizing
properties and has a long use as a medicine in Central and North American herbal traditions,
being taken in Mexico for insomnia epilepsy and hysteria. The leaves are an ingredient in many
pharmaceutical products to treat nervous disorders such as heart palpitations, anxiety,
convulsions and sometimes high blood pressure. It is also used to prevent spasms from whooping
cough, asthma and other diseases.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, hypotensive sedative, tranquilizing.

Pogostemon cablin syn. P. patchouli (Labiatae)
Native to Malaysia and the Philippines, Patchouli is now cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical
regions around the world. Patchouli has been used extensively in Asian medicine, apperaring in
the Chinese, Indian and Arabic traditions. The oil is widely employed as a fragrance and, in
India, as an insect repellent. Patchouli is used in herbal medicine in Asia as an aphrodisiac,
antidepressant and antiseptic. It is also employed for headaches and fever. Patchouli essential oil
is used in aromatherapy to treat skin complaints. It is thought to have a regenerative effect on
skin tone and to help clear conditions such as eczema and acne. The oil may also be used for
varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, aromatic, antidepressant.

Paeonia lactiflora syn. P. albiflora (Paeoniaceae)
Native to the southern Europe and the Mediterranean, peony is widely cultivated as a garden
plant. Peony's history of medicinal use in China stretches back for at least 1,500 years. It is
known most widely as one of the herbs used to make "Four Things Soup", a women's tonic, and
it is also a remedy for gynecological problems and for cramp, pain and dizziness. Traditionally, it
is considered that women who take the herb on a regular basis become as radiant as the flower
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antispasmodic, tonic, astringent, analgesic.

Mentha piperita (Labiatae)
Peppermint's origin is a mystery, but it has been in existence for a long time - dried leaves were
found in Egyptian pyramids dating from around 1000 BC. It was highly valued by the Greeks
and Romans, but only became popular in Western Europe in the 18th Century. Peppermint tea
helps with indigestion and relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract. Peppermint's chief
therapeutic value lies in its ability to relieve wind, flatulence, bloating and colic, though it has
many other applications. Studies have shown that it relieves colon spasms and helps to cure
ulcers. Peppermint also eases nervous headaches. Menthol, its main constituent, has antibacterial
properties. Externally, the essential oil is used in balms and liniments to stimulate hot and cold
nerve endings and increase local blood flow.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Carminative, relieves muscle spasms, increases sweating, stimulates
secretion of bile, antiseptic.

Piper nigrum (Piperaceae)
Native to south-western India, pepper is now cultivated in tropical regions around the world.
Praised as a spice and a medicine since ancient times, pepper was a vital commodity in world
trade for thousands of years. Pepper has a stimulant and antiseptic effect on the digestive tract
and the circulatory system. Pepper is commonly taken, either alone or in combination with other
herbs and spices, to warm the body, or to improve digestive function in cases of nausea, stomach
ache, flatulence, bloating, constipation or lack of appetite. The essential oil eases rheumatic pain
and toothache. It is antiseptic and antibacterial, and reduces fever.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antibacterial, antiseptic, digestive, reduces fever.

Raphanus sativus (Cruciferae)
Radish probably is native from southern Asia. It has been used for medicinal purposes by the
Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese. Radish stimulates the appetite and the digestion. The
juice of the black radish is drunk to counter gassy indigestion and constipation. Black 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 strong action. In China, radish is eaten to relieve abdominal distention.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, mild laxative.

Rauvolfia serpentina (Apocynaceae)
Rauvolfia is native to southern and south-eastern Asia, including India, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Indian snakeroot contains reserpine, a substance now widely used to lower blood pressure and
lessen some symptoms of mental illness. The root has a pronounced sedative and depressant
effect on the sympathetic nervous system. By reducing the system's activity, the herb brings
about the lowering of blood pressure. It may also be used to treat anxiety and insomnia, as well
as more serious mental health problems such as psychosis.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antidepressant, lowers blood pressure.

Rheum palmatum (Polysonaceae)
Native to China and Tibet, Chinese rhubarb is now grown also in the West. The use of Chinese
rhubarb has been reported in the 1st century AD in China and it has been cultivated in the West
since the 18th century. Its main use is as a laxative safe even for young children due to its gentle
action. It is also extremely effective in the treatment for many digestive problems. Paradoxically,
it is a laxative when taken in large doses but has a constipating effect in small measures. The
rhizome has an astringent, unpleasant taste.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Laxative, constipating, astringent, eases stomach pain, antibacterial.

64) ROSE
Rosa gallica (Rosaceae)
The rose comes originally from Asia Minor, where it is cultivated mostly in Bulgaria, Iran and
India. Rosewater was prepared by the Arab physician Avicenna (AD 980-1037) during the
Middle Ages and the Renaissance, the rose was esteemed as a remedy for depression. The rose is
currently little used in herbal medicine, but it is probably time for a re-evaluation of its medicinal
benefits. The essential oil, called "attar of rose", is used in aromatherapy as a mildly sedative,
antidepressant and anti-inflammatory remedy. Rose petals and their preparations have a similar
action. They also reduce high cholesterol levels. Rosewater is mildly astringent and makes a
valuable lotion for inflamed and sore eyes.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Aromatic, antidepressant,, sedative, anti-inflammatory.

Rosmarinus officinalis (Labiatae)
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region. Rosemary is a well-known and greatly valued
herb that is native to southern Europe. It has been used since antiquity to improve and strengthen
the memory. Rosemary leaves increase circulation, reduce headaches and have anti-bacterial and
fungal properties. Rosemary improves food absorbtion by stimulating digestion, the liver, the
intestinal tract, and the gallbladder. It also is used in antiseptic gargles for sore throats, gum
problems and canker sores. Rosemary has a long-standing reputation as a tonic, invigorating
herb, imparting a zest for life that is to some degree reflected in its distinctive aromatic taste.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Tonic, stimulant, astringent, nervine, anti-inflammatory, carminative.

66) RUE
Ruta graveolens (Rutaceae)
Rue is native to Southern Europe. In ancient Greece and Egypt, rue was employed to stimulate
menstrual bleeding, to induce abortion and to strengthen the eyesight. The rutin contained in the
plant helps to strengthen fragile blood vessels and alleviates varicose veins. Rue is also used due
to its antispasmodic properties, especially in the digestive system where it eases griping and
bowel tension. The easing of spasms gives it a role in the stopping of spasmodic coughs. In
European herbal medicine, rue has also been taken to treat conditions as varied as hysteria,
epilepsy, vertigo, colic, intestinal worms, poisoning and eye problems. The latter use is well
founded, as an infusion used as an eyewash brings quick relief to strained and tired eyes, and
reputedly improves the eyesight.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antispasmodic, increases peripheral blood circulation, relieves eye

Salvia sclarea (Labiatae)
Clary sage has been perceived both as a weaker version of its close relative, sage (S. officinalis),
and as a significant herb in its own right. Since the seeds were once commonly used to treat eye
problems, it was also known as "clear eye". An antispasmodic and aromatic plant, clary sage is
used today mainly to treat digestive problems such as wind and indigestion. It is also regarded as
a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve period pain and premenstrual problems. Owing to its
estrogen-stimulating action, it is most effective when levels of this hormone are low.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Astringent, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, estrogenic, reduces
sweating, tonic.

68) SAGE
Salvia officinalis (Labiatae)
Sage grows from north to central Spain to the west of Balkans and Asia Minor. It was used in
Crete in 1600 AD to clear throat inflammation, one of its most popular uses today. Its leaves are
a well-known cold germ and flu fighter. It has been found to be very effective to reduce many
physical emissions like sweating and is an excellent remedy for sore throats, poor digestion and
irregular periods. It is also taken as a gently stimulating tonic. It has a slightly warm, noticeably
bitter and astringent taste.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Astringent, antiseptic, aromatic, carminative, estrogenic, reduces
sweating, tonic.

Salvia Apiana
White sage can be found throughout Mediterranean areas where development has not encroached
on its habitat. In southern California, it grows in stands in plant communities of coastal sage
scrub, and is often the dominant species. It is one of the most aromatic of the Salvias; the scent
coming from the fuzzy, thick, silvery-green leaves rather than the flowers. Leaves are 1" to 4"
long, opposite with short petioles that wrap around the 4-sided stems to join the leave on the
opposite side. Leaves form thick rosettes at the ends of the stems, though leaves along the stem
are fairly sparse. The 4-sided stems are typical of all members of the mint family. S. apiana's
stems are sticky and as thick as leaves and petioles.
Native American women used the thick leaves as sanitary napkins. The plant also makes a nonlathering
shampoo and rinse that leaves the hair soft and beautiful (I will encourage the use of
white sage as shampoo!) Native Americans made the leaves into smudge sticks and burned them
during prayer and ceremonies. The seeds--a staple food of Native Americans--were ground into
flour, and the young shoots were eaten as greens. The leaves can be brewed into a beverage tea.
Aside from culinary usage, white sage was used in combination with other aromatic herbs to
repel ants and other insects--either as a powder for dusting, or as a spray.

Santalum album (Santalaceae)
Native to eastern India, sandalwood is cultivated in South-East Asia for the extraction of wood
and essential oil. Sandalwood's aroma as been highly esteemed in China and India for thousands
of year. The heartwood is most often used in perfumery, but it has also been taken as a remedy in
China since around AD 500. Sandalwood and its essential oil are used for their antiseptic
properties in treating genito-urinary conditions such as cystitis and gonorrhea. In India, a paste of
the wood is used to soothe rashes and itchy skin. In China, sandalwood is held to be useful for
chest and abdominal pain.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, aromatic.

Smilax spp. (Liliaceae)
Sarsaparilla is found in the tropical forest of the world, especially in Mexico, Peru and Brazil.
There are more than 200 known species. Brought from the New World to Spain in 1563,
sarsaparilla was heralded as a cure for syphilis. In Mexico, the herb has traditionally been used to
treat a variety of skin problems. Sarsaparilla is anti-inflammatory and cleansing, and can bring
relief to skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis and general itchiness, and help treat
rheumatism, rheumatoid, arthritis and gout. Sarsaparilla also has a progesterogenic action,
making it beneficial in pre-menstrual problems, and menopausal conditions such as debility and
depression. 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.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic.

Pinus sylvestris (Pinaceae)
Native to the mountainous regions of Europe and north and west Asia. Its oil, extracted from the
leaves, is added to disinfectants and other preparations. Scots pine leaves, taken internally, have
a mildly antiseptic effect within the chest, and may also be used for arthritic and rheumatic
problems. Essential oil from the leaves may be taken for asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory
infections, and for digestive disorders such as wind. Scots pine branches and stems yield a thick
resin, which is also antiseptic within the respiratory tract. The seeds yield an essential oil with
diuretic and respiratory-stimulant properties.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, diuretic and anti-rheumatic.

Sesamum indicum (Pedaliaceae)
Native to Africa, sesame is now cultivated in many tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world.
In ancient Egypt, the seeds were eaten and also pressed to yield oil, which was burned in lamps
and used to make ointments. Sesame is used in China to redress afflictions of the liver and
kidneys. The seeds are prescribed for problems such as dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears),
and blurred vision. Owing to their lubricating effect within the digestive tract, the seeds are also
considered a remedy for constipation. 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.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Digestive, aromatic, antispasmodic.

Hypericum perforatum (Guttiferae)
The plant is native to Europe but is widely cultivated elsewhere. St. John's wort flowers at the
time of the summer solstice, and in medieval Europe it was considered to have powerful magical
properties that enabled it to repel evil. The most well-known action of St. John's wort is in
repairing nerve damage and reducing pain and inflammation. It is taken to relieve the pain of
menstrual cramps, sciatica and arthritis. Th oils is applied to inflammations, sprains, bruises and
varicose veins. St. John's wort is also used to treat circulation problems, bronchitis and gout.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antidepressant, antispasmodic, astringent, sedative, relieves pain, antiviral.

Artemisia dracunculus (Compositae)
Tarragon is probably native of southern Europe or the steppes of Asia. Historians believe that
tarragon reached Europe brought into Spain by invading Mongols. Tarragon is widely used as a
herb in cooking. In French, it is sometimes known as herbe au dragon, because of its reputed
ability to cure serpent bites. While tarragon stimulates the digestion, it is reputed to be a mild
sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. With its mild menstruation-inducing properties, it is
taken if periods are delayed. The root has traditionally been applied to aching teeth.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, digestive.

Malaleuca alternifolia (Myrtaceae)
Tea tree is native to Australia and is now cultivated extensively. Tea tree, and in particular its
essential oil, is one of the most important natural antiseptics. Useful for stings, burns, wounds
and skin infections of all kinds, the herb merits a place in every medicine chest. Its therapeutic
properties were first researched during the 1920s and it is now widely used in Europe and the
US, as well as in Australia.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral.

Thymus vulgaris (Labiatae)
Thyme occurs in the west Mediterranean to the southwest Italy. The herb was known to the
Sumerians, used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Thyme was praised by the herbalist
Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654) as "a notable strengthener of the lungs". Its main medicinal
application is in treating coughs and clearing congestion. Many current formulas for mouth
washes and vapor rubs contain thymol, one of the constituents found in thyme. It also improves
digestion, destroys intestinal parasites and is an excellent antiseptic and tonic.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, tonic, relieves muscle spasm, expectorant.

Curcuma longa syn. C. domestica (Zingiberaceae)
Turmeric is native to India and southern Asia where it is extensively cultivated. Best known for
its bright yellow color and spicy taste to lovers of Indian food, its medicinal value is not so well
known. However, recent research has confirmed the effects traditionally associated in ancient
practices in the treatment of digestive and liver problems. The herb has also been shown to
inhibit blood-clotting, relieve inflammatory conditions and help lower cholesterol levels.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Stimulates secretion of bile, anti-inflammatory, eases stomach pain,
antioxidant, antibacterial.

Valeriana officinalis (Valerianaceae)
Valerian is native to Europe and western Asia. The medicinal properties of valerian were well
known at least since Roman times. Valerian root is a general tranquilizer used for relieving
nervous tension, insomnia and headaches. Valerian decreases muscular spasm, being useful in
cases of nervous digestion, bowel syndrome, stomach and menstrual cramps. Valerian helps
relieve stress and has become an increasingly popular remedy in recent decades. It is a safe, nonaddictive
relaxant that reduces nervous tension and anxiety and promotes restful sleep.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Sedative, relaxant, relieves muscle spasm, relieves anxiety, lowers blood

Verbena officinalis (Verbenaceae)
Native of Europe, verbena is extensively cultivated in other countries. Verbena has long been
credited with magical properties and was used in ceremonies by the Romans, Druids of ancient
Britain and Gaul. It is a traditional herbal medicine in both China and Europe. Verbena is used in
mouth washes for infected gums and as a poultice for hemorrhoids. A tea has been used as a
nerve tonic, to treat insomnia and to help digestion. It has tonic, restorative properties, and is
used to relieve stress and anxiety, and to improve digestive function.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Nervine, tonic, mild sedative, stimulates bile secretion, mild bitter.

Salix alba (Salicaceae)
White willow is native to Europe but is also found in North Africa and Asia. White willow is an
excellent remedy for arthritic and rheumatic pain, affecting the joints like knees and hips.
Famous as the original source of salicylic acid, first isolated in 1838 and synthetically produced
in the laboratory in 1899, white willow and closely related species have been used for thousands
of years in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America to relieve joint pain and manage fevers. The
Greek physician Discorides in the 1st century AD, suggested taking "willow leaves, mashed with
a little pepper and drunk with wine" to relieve lower back pain.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, reduces fever, anti-rheumatic, astringent.

Artemisia absinthium (Compositae)
Native to Europe, wormwood was called absintium by the Romans, what means "bitter".
Wormwood leave's primary uses is to stimulate the gallbladder, help prevent and release stones,
and to adjust digestive malfunctions. It also increases bile secretion and is useful in expelling
intestinal worms. It is taken in small doses and sipped, the intensely bitter taste playing an
important part in its therapeutic effect. In the past, wormwood was one of the main flavorings of
vermouth (whose name derives from the German for wormwood).
MAIN PROPERTIES: Aromatic bitter, stimulates secretion of bile, anti-inflammatory,
eliminates worms, eases stomach pains, mild antidepressant.

Thymus serpyllum (Labiatae)
Thyme is native to the west Mediterranean to southwest Italy. Like its close relative thyme
(Thymus vulgaris), wild thyme is strongly antiseptic and anti-fungal. It may be taken as an
infusion or syrup to treat flu and colds, sore throats, coughs, whooping cough, chest infections,
and bronchitis. Wild thyme has anti-catarrhal properties and helps clear a stuffy nose, sinusitis,
ear congestion and related complaints. It has been used to expel thread worms and roundworms
in children, and is used to settle wind and colic. Wild thyme's antispasmodic action makes it
useful and is used to settle wind and colic. Wild thyme is also used in herbal baths and pillows.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, anti-fungal, antispasmodic.

Achillea millefolium (Compositae)
Yarrow is a native European plant, with a long history as a wound healer. In classical times, it
was known as herba militaris, being used to staunch war wounds. It has long been taken as a
strengthening bitter tonic and all kinds of bitter drinks have been made from it. Yarrow helps
recovery from colds and flu and is beneficial for hay fever. It is also helpful for menstrual
problems and circulatory disorders.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antispasmodic, astringent, bitter tonic, increases sweating, lowers blood
pressure, reduces fever, mild diuretic and urinary antiseptic.

Canananga odorata syn. Canangium odoratum (Annonaceae)
Ylang-ylang is native to Indonesia and the Philippines. The flowers are a traditional adornment
in the Far East. Their scent is thought to have aphrodisiac qualities. The flowers and essential oil
are sedative and antiseptic. The oil has a soothing effect, and its main therapeutic uses are to
slow an excessively fast heart rate and to lower blood pressure. With its reputation as an
aphrodisiac, ylang-ylang may be helpful in treating impotence.
MAIN PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, aromatic, regulates blood pressure

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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