Herbal Uses and Healing Properties
Mother Earth has some of the most incredible store house of natural remedies and we need to learn how to use them again. The herbs listed below are recommended for their healing properties. Please use these herbs under a physicians consent if you are not familiar with herbal healing. DO NOT use any of these herbs if you are or think you may be pregnant. Children should use herbal remedies only with the consent of your physician. Under no circumstances do herbal remedies replace a physicians care.
AKA: Buffalo grass, Chilean clover
RX: leaves (not sprouts) in infusions, tablets and capsules
Alfalfa leaves have wonderful healing powers that can prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and help prevent strokes
Warnings: Alfalfa seed should never be ingested as they contain high levels of amino acid canavanine. Some chemicals in alfalfa can also destroy red blood cells and people with anemia should use caution when ingesting it.
AKA: Clove pepper, pimento, Jamaican pepper
RX: cooking, oil for toothache, infusion for digestive aid
Allspice is used as a digestive aid, anesthetic, and pain reliever and has been used to treat flatulence and diabetes.
Warnings: Allspice oil should never be swallowed as it can cause nausea, vomiting, and even convulsions. The oil can also be irritating when applied externally to people with sensitive skin or those with eczema.
AKA: Socrotrine, cape, curaiao, Barbados, Zanzibar aloe
RX: cut mature (lower) leaves for burns, scalds, sunburns, or cosmetic benefits
Aloe is one of the most widely used herbs for burns, scalds, sunburns, scrapes and an infection fighter. It can also be used to smooth and beautify skin.
Warnings: Aloe latex is a very powerful laxative and may cause severe cramps and diarrhea. It should never be ingested by pregnant women as it may cause miscarriage.
AKA: aniseed, sweet cumin
RX: infusion of seeds, tinctures
It has been used as a cough remedy, digestive aid and contains chemicals similar to estrogen, which may help with menopausal discomforts, and has been known to treat some cases of prostrate cancer.
Warnings: if your doctor has advised you not to use birth control pills then you should seek the advice of a physician before using this herb.
AKA: sweet basil, St. josephwort
RX: tincture or infusion for acne and general infection fighting
It has been used to treat intestinal parasites, acne and stimulates the immune system
Warnings: Test have shown that basil may contain a chemical that has cured liver tumors in mice, although the cancer risks remain unclear and not even the most conservative herb critics advise caution when using it.
AKA: sweet bay, green bay, laurel, Grecian or roman laural
RX: fresh leaves for wounds, infusion , tincture
bay is not only used as a bug repellant, but has been known to soothe sore joints, treat infections and when added to a bath may help with relaxation.
Warnings: external uses of bay should be avoided if you have sensitive skin as it may cause a rash
RX: seeds in food, oil, infusion of seeds, tincture
Two chemicals in caraway seeds have been known to soothe the digestive tract and to help expel gas. It may also be used for relief of menstrual cramps due to the fact that caraway might relax the uterus.
AKA: catnip, catswort, catmint, field balm
RX: infusion of flowers and leaves (for you not your cat )
When used in teas, it is considered a cold and cough remedy because it relieves chest congestion and lessens phlegm.
Warnings: some people may experience upset stomach but catnip is considered non toxic
AKA: chamomile, anthemis, matricaria, ground apple
RX: infusion or tincture of flowers, herbal bath
This herb is a highly used cure all and every household should seriously consider having it around. It has been used externally to treat wounds and inflammations, and internally for indigestion and ulcers. Chamomile is also used to relieve menstrual cramps, arthritis and is an effective sedative.
Warnings: People who have previously suffered anaphylactic reactions from ragweed should think twice about using this herb as well as its close relative yarrow. Large amounts have caused some nausea and vomiting.
AKA: endive, chicory
RX: excellent salad addition, infusion, tincture
Chicory is most commonly used to reduce the bitter taste of caffeine in coffee. It aids in cleansing the urinary tract, digestion, a mild laxative and is also taken for rheumatic conditions and gout/
AKA: Ceylon cinnamon, Saigon cinnamon, cassia
RX: infusion of powdered herb, sprinkle on cuts and scrapes for treatment
Cinnamon is used for infection prevention, pain relief, a digestive aid and may help calm the uterus
Warnings: when put on the skin may cause redness and burning
AKA: caryophyllus, clavos
RX: oil , infusion
It has been used for toothaches, oral hygiene, a digestive aid and an infection fighter. It is also used to treat hernia, ringworm and athletes foot.
Warnings: Children under the age of 2 should never be given clove for medicinal purposes. The oil may cause upset stomach when taken internally and rash when used externally.
AKA: cilantro, Chinese parsley
RX: infusion of sees
Used for indigestion, flatulence , and diarrhea and externally for muscle and joint pains.
Warnings: if coriander cause minor discomforts such as upset stomach use less or stop using it.
Used for urinary tract infections, incontinence, high vitamin C content
AKA: wild endive, lions tooth, piss-in-bed
RX: #1 recommended salad addition, leaf infusion, root decoction, tincture, add to a bath for prevention of yeast infection
Used for PMS, weight loss, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cancer prevention, yeast infection, digestive aid
Warnings: may cause skin rash in sensitive cases. If dandelions causes stomach problems use less or stop using it.
RX: chew seeds for fresh breath, infusion or tincture, add to bath
In addition to its preservative action, Dill is an infection fighter and soothing digestive aid. Used for stomach problems, flatulence, urinary tract infections
Warnings: may cause rash in sensitive people
AKA: coneflower, purple coneflower
RX: tincture of the roots
The #1 best kept secret of the west. This is our #1 recommended herb due to its high immune system boost. Echinacea kills wide variety of disease causing viruses mad bacteria , it fights infection and strengthens tissue. It may prevent infection by seriously boosting ones immune system. It is known to help the body in the fighting of colds and flu. It is a treatment for yeast infections and actually can reduce the future onset of. It helps preserve white blood cells, is a confirmed healer as it prevents germs from penetrating tissues and may have anti-arthritic properties. It is simply the most productive herb of them all.
Warnings: often causes ones tongue to tingle this is not harmful
AKA: gum tree, blue gum, Australian fever tree
RX: boil leaves as an inhalant, oil on cuts and scrapes, infusion from leaves, add leaves to bath
Eucalyptol is the chemical that gives eucalyptus its healing properties. It loosens phlegm, kills influenza and may help bronchitis. An effective treatment for minor cuts and scrapes and it even repels cockroaches.
Warnings: do not ingest eucalyptus oil, it is highly poisonous!!. Fatalities have been reported from ingestion of as little as a teaspoon. KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!
AKA: finocchio, carosella, Florence fennel
RX: chew seeds for a digestive aid, infusion, tincture
Fennel relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract and also helps expel gas. Used in Germany for infant colic. Traditionally used to stimulate the uterus into menstruation. This herb may also help fight prostate cancer.
Warnings: Since fennel has an estrogenic effect do not use if you are using birth control pills, have a history of abnormal clotting , or estrogen dependant breast tumors. Do NOT ingest fennel oil, seeds are fine but the oil may cause nausea, vomiting or possible seizures.
AKA: febrifuge plant, wild quinine, bachelor's button
RX: chew leaves for migraine control, remade pills and tablets also work well for headaches, infusion, tincture
Got a headache maybe a chronic migraine? Feverfew may well be your answer. Seventy percent of patients in scientific studies show a significant improvement in their migraine headaches even when standard medical treatment showed no results. Also traditionally used for gynecological purposes. This herb may reduce high blood pressure and is a great digestive aid after meals.
Warnings: may cause sores inside mouth, do not take if you have a clotting disorder. Remember that feverfew does not cure migraines, it suppresses them.
AKA: stinking rose, heal-all, poor man's treacle
RX: use cloves in cooking, crush and encapsulate or use pre made tablets, infusion, tincture
Garlic is the worlds second oldest medicine, and is the traditional "wonder drug". Many people don't realize that an onion has almost as much medicinal value as garlic does. Battle wounds in WWI were treated with garlic juice. Recommended for colds, coughs, flu, fever, bronchitis, ringworm, intestinal worms, elevated cholesterol, and general internal organ problems. No standard medication can match Garlic on the cardiovascular scale. Garlic DEFINITELY reduces blood pressure, cholesterol and reduces internal clots which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Garlic reduces blood sugar and therefore helps diabetes sufferers. It may help eliminate lead and heavy metals in the blood steam , has helped leprosy patients, fights cancer, helps aids patients
Warnings: Allergy sufferers may develop a rash from touching or eating the herb. If this is the case, discontinue use. If you have a clotting disorder consult a physician before using.
AKA: Asian, African, American ginger
RX: cooking, capsules for motion sickness, tea, infusion, or ginger ale for digestive aid
This herb helps with motion and morning sickness. It is very good digestive aid, may ease menstrual cramps, help arthritis, is traditionally used in the orient for colds and flu and is excellent for reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure and preventing internal blood clots.
Warnings: Large doses might cause miscarriage although their are no scientific reports backing this up.
AKA: maiden hair tree
RX: leaves brewed as tea, infusion
The earth's oldest tree, it's given that this herb helps the elderly the most. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain which can help prevent strokes and heart attacks, improve memory, help impotence and chronic dizziness. It is also known to help with macular degeneration (blindness), circulation, asthma, tinnitus and deafness. A fine example of the need to preserve the earth's natural resources.
Warnings: Do not use if you have a clotting disorder, do not take in very large amounts as diarrhea, vomiting and irritability can occur.
AKA: root of immortality, man root, life root, seng seng
RX: it is very important to use mature roots (over 6 years old) Use root powder capsules or tablets
This herb helps the bodies resistance, boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood sugars, reduces heart attacks, protects the liver, helps the appetite and helps cancer patients with radiation therapy.
AKA: marrubium, hoarhound, white horehound
RX: flowers and leaves in infusion or tincture for cough remedy
A popular herbal cough remedy and expectorant for almost 2000 years, horehound is good for minor respiratory problems such as cough , colds and bronchitis
Warnings: those with heart disease should not take this herb
RX: flowers and leaves as a compress for cold sores and genital herpes, infusion, tincture
Hyssop inhibits the growth of herpes simplex virus. Scientists agree it is a "reasonably effective" treatment for cough and irritation of colds and flu.
Warnings: do not use if pregnant !!! always positively identify herbs you use. H. Officinalis is the correct herb
AKA: geneva, genvrier
RX: infusion of berries
The source of gin, this herb also increases urine production ( a diuretic) - making it a treatment for PMS, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Recommended for arthritis.
Warnings: Long term use can cause kidney damage. If you have a kidney infection or kidney problems you should not use this herb. One third of hay fever sufferers develop allergy symptoms from exposure to Juniper.
AKA: fucus, seawrack, cutweed, bladderwrack, wakame, hijiki, kombue, arame
RX: take tablets (herb is unpleasant), infusion
A natural source of iodine, now known as a radiation protector, protection form heavy metals, reducer of heart disease and an infection fighter.
AKA: English lavender
RX: flowers in bath, general aromatherapy
The all time fragrant herb, lavender makes a great bath addition. The Greeks and Romans bathed in lavender scented water and it was from the Latin word, Lavo (to wash) that the herb took its name. While not technically a medicinal herb, the calming properties of its aroma are well founded.
AKA: weed, cannibus, pot , dope etc.
RX: smoked dried, added to salads fresh
The much debated and scolded Cannabis, marijuana has shown positive effects on cancer, aids and glaucoma. So effective on aids patients from its ability to increase a persons appetite as well as relieving nausea allowing patients to regain weight. Marijuana reportedly helps glaucoma patients by reducing ocular pressure which can cause damage to the eye. It is the most effective treatment for chronic nausea. It is not physically addictive.
Warnings: Coughing, asthma, upper respiratory problems, difficulty with short term memory loss, racing heart, agitation, confusion, paranoia, possible psychological dependence.
AKA: knotted marjoram
RX: sprinkle dried powdered herb on cold sores or genital herpes, infusion or tincture for its stomach soothing potential
An excellent digestive aid and herpes fighter, this is one of the most confused herbs on the planet. The oregano on your spice rack may be marjoram! All marjoram spices are called oregano but only a few of the fifty kinds are ever called marjoram.
AKA: numerous kinds of mint
RX: peppermint oil for wounds, burns etc., infusion of any dried mint for decongestant, tincture
The after dinner mint soothes the stomach. Peppermint produces menthol. Menthol is a key anesthetic (eg. BEN GAY), the vapors are an incredible decongestant, is germicidal and helps morning sickness a great deal. Those wishing to alleviate morning sickness should use only diluted tea concentrations for reasons shown below. Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and is the more potent due to the high menthol factor. Spearmint contains Carvone in comparison to menthol. While not nearly as effective, spearmint is much safer.
Warnings: on rare occasions the fragrance of mint oil has caused gagging in children. Pure menthol, ingested , is poisonous. A teaspoon can be fatal. Do not ingest peppermint oil or menthol.
AKA: lignum crucis, herbe de la croix, viscum
RX: leaves in diluted infusion, tincture for high blood pressure
Mistletoe, the kissing plant, has the ability to slow the pulse, lower blood pressure and stimulate gastrointestinal and uterine contractions
Warnings: should be administered only by a qualified herbal/medicinal doctor. TWO BERRIES CAN KILL A CHILD. Keep away from children. This herb is highly toxic. Pregnant women should not use it. This herb is known (unfortunately) for its abortion inducing properties. The amount needed to induce abortion is enough to kill you!
RX: steep powdered herb for mouthwash, infusion, tincture
Myrrha makes an excellent mouthwash, toothpaste and fights bacteria
Warnings: large amounts may have violent laxative action.
AKA: stinging nettle, common nettle, greater nettle
RX: process plant matter in juicer, infusion, tincture
An effective cure for gout, nettle is also good fiord the symptoms of hay fever, scurvy, PMS, and helps heart patients.
Warnings: USE GLOVES when dealing with this plant or you will regret it. nature protects its own. Large doses of nettle tea may cause stomach irritation.
OREGANO (see marjoram)
AKA: rock selinon
RX: a few sprigs for fresh breath, infusion of leaves and seeds, tincture
The seeds and the leaves of this plant contain the oil that is known to curb high blood pressure, help with fever, freshen breath, help with allergies and help heart patients.
Warnings: do not use to promote weight loss
AKA: hot peppers, most of the pepper family including bell pepper
RX: cooking, infusion
It is a good digestive aid, can relieve infectious diarrhea ( can bring on noninfectious diarrhea if too many hot peppers are ingested), helps chronic pain when used externally, is the best shingles reliever, helps headaches, and tastes great!
Warnings: can burn the eyes, mouth and skin
AKA: rosemarine, incensier
RX: cooking, tea, infusion, tincture
In ancient times people wrapped their meat with rosemary to prevent spoilage. Rosemary is a natural preservative. Rosemary can prevent food poisoning, is a digestive aid, is a good decongestant and can kill bacteria. If you enjoy using rosemary in your cooking, use more!
Warnings: do not ingest rosemary oil, in large amounts, poisoning can occur
AKA: Spanish saffron
RX: 12 to 15 stigmas per cup of boiling water
Since it takes 75,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron, this herb is very expensive. Heart attack patients may actually save money using this as it is much cheaper than some clot dissolving drugs injected to treat heart attack. It can help to control some risk factors for heart disease. It also reduces cholesterol, de-clogs the arteries and lowers blood pressure.
Warnings: unless you are pregnant , just the high cost
AKA: all types of sage
RX: crushed leaves for cuts and wounds, infusion of dried leaves, tincture
Sage is the premiere anti-perspirant, cutting perspiration by up to 50 percent. it is a great fighter against infection, a good preservative, a digestive aid, can reduce blood sugar and helps a sore throat. And its flavor in meats and sausage is unrivaled!
Warnings: rare cases of inflammation of the lips and lining of the mouth. Sage oil should not be ingested.
AKA: white time, bean herb
RX: infusion of leaves for childhood colds
A great culinary herb, savory has great soothing properties for children, it is a great expectorant and digestive aid and is subtle enough for use with children.
AKA: Quaker bonnet, mad dog weed, hoodwort, helmet flower
RX: use leaf infusion for tranquilizing effects
European medical experts now except skullcap's potential usefulness as a tranquilizer and sedative, and it is used in many commercial sleep preparations that are widely available in Europe.
Warnings: large doses may result in confusion, giddiness, twitching, and possible convulsions
AKA: dragon herb, estragon, French or Russian tarragon
RX: chew fresh leaves for a toothache, apply fresh leaves to cuts and wounds, infusion of leaves, tincture
A wonderful treatment for toothaches, tarragon is a great anesthetic and prevents infections
Warnings: those with history of cancer should not use this herb
AKA: green tea, black tea
RX: typical leaf infusion
From the orient, to the UK, tea is widely used for its calming effects. Tea includes stimulants that help colds, congestion, asthma, diarrhea, tooth decay and help prevents tissue damage form radiation therapy. Tea only grows in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia and is imported around the world. Green tea is simply dried leaf, black tea is dried and then fermented.
Warnings: caffeine addiction, problems associated with caffeine
AKA: mother of thyme, common, wild, creeping, wooly
RX: fresh leaves for cuts and wounds, tincture for antiseptic, infusion of leaves for the stomach.
As well as a culinary delight, thyme fights several disease causing bacteria and viruses. It is a good digestive aid, helps menstrual cramps and is a great cold remedy. Germany uses it today to treat whoop, whooping cough and emphysema.
Warnings: do not ingest thyme oil, it can lead to headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, thyroid impairment and heart and respiratory depression
AKA: phu, heal-all, garden valerian
RX: infusion of root for sedative properties, tincture
The quite smelly and pungent valerian is a powerful sedative that was even listed as a tranquilizer in the National Formulary in 1950. A great replacement for users of valium, valerian can also reduce high blood pressure.
Warnings: large doses may cause headache, giddiness, blurred vision, restlessness, nausea and morning grogginess
AKA: Indian hyssop, blue vervain, verbena, enchanters herb
RX: infusion, tincture
Take two vervain and call me in the morning is how it should be said. Vervain is a great substitute for aspirin as it has similar effects. Vervain outside of being a very mild laxative is mainly used for mild pain relief.
Warnings: anyone with a history of heart problems should not use this herb
AKA: hammamelis, snapping hazelnut, winterbloom
RX: astringent decoction of leaves and twigs, astringent gargle
A primary astringent in the herbal world, Witch hazel has antiseptic, anesthetic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. The clear, pungent extract is a standard for cuts, bruises, hemorrhoids and sore muscles. It is one of this nation's most widely used healing herbs. It is much better to find fresh herb then rely on commercial products containing it.
Warnings: may be used externally on anyone but dilute for children
AKA: bloodwort, nose bleed, thousand weed, milfoil, soldiers woundwort
RX: use fresh leaves and flowers for cuts and scrapes, infusion for calming and menstrual easing effects, tincture
An excellent wound treatment, yarrow has many healing properties, is a good digestive aid, helps menstrual cramps and is a good sedative
Warnings: large doses may turn urine brown, this is not harmful.