Greenpath Healing Center Limited Inc.

 Alternative Healing  -  Phone  (304) 205-3469 

Why herbs are good for you


Herbs have a valuable contribution to make, since many contain vital antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements  Don't just think of them as flavoring for your food. Herbs like people, are complex and variable organic structures made up of many parts.  Each plant contains many different constituents, which combine to give it a unique range of actions. Particularly active constituents of herb plants, have been isolated and copied by pharmacists to produce medicines .  However, using herbs in their natural forms are healthier and have little to no side effects.  Herbs can be used fresh, dried, or in forms of capsules, teas, tonics, creams, ointments, and more.

Growing Herbs (Tips)


The most satisfying way to obtain fresh herbs is to grow them yourself.  If you have a garden, aromatic herbs can be included in your general planting scheme, also in an ornamental border, or in vegetable plots.  However, a designated herb garden always makes a rewarding feature. Most herbs are not fussy or difficult to grow, but will prefer a location in full sun.


Growing herbs in containers has many advantages, particularly where space is limited.  Growing a single species in a container gives plants room to develop and provide plenty of leafy growth.  For larger specimens, such as sage, rosemary and lemon verbena, they will require a large pot and it is essential they do not have to share a pot if they are to be left undisturbed for several years.


Good drainage is one of the keys to success. Containers should had a generous layer of broken clay pot pieces, or gravel  in the bottom , and then filled with organic potting base soils.   Do not use chemical laden plant soils


Some herbs adapt well to being grown indoors, and this is one way of cultivating tender herbs successfully.  Give indoor plants as much natural light as possible and regular natural or organic liquid feeds in summer,(fish emulsions etc.) . Do not use chemical laden plant foods plants will absorb chemicals and not be healthy for you. Do not overwater plants soil should be moist not wet.



Buying dried herbs


Many places stock dried, or freeze-dried herbs. This is often the best way of obtaining stocks those herbs that are hard to grow.  such as hibiscus, damiana, and skullcap to name a few.


When buying make sure that herbs are fresh smelling, have a good color and have been stored in a dry area and in tightly sealed package.  Check for molding, also make sure that the shop you are buying from has a quick turn over of herbs and has not been sitting on shelf for years.,  Good places to order your herbs online  bulkapothecary.com or starwest botanical.com  just 2 of many.

Here are 25 fresh herbs and other plants you can grow that are great to have handy in the kitchen.

 

Parsley

Parsley is a mild bitter herb that can enhance the flavor of your foods. Many consider parsley just to be a curly green garnish for food, but it actually helps things like stews achieve a more balanced flavor. As an added benefit, parsley can aid in digestion. Parsley is often grown as an annual, but in milder climates it will stay evergreen all winter long. Parsley plants will grow to be large and bushy. Parsley is a good source of Vitamins A and C.   

Mint

There are several varieties of mint. You can use it in drinks like mojitos or mint juleps. Or add some mint to your summer iced tea. Mint freshens the breath and will help to calm your stomach. But if you grow mint, remember that it’s considered an invasive plant. Mint will spread and take over your garden. It’s best grown in containers.    

Dill

Dill is a great flavoring for fish, lamb, potatoes, and peas. It also aids in digestion, helps to fight bad breath and has the added benefits of reducing swelling and cramps. Dill is easy to grow. It will also attract helpful insects to your garden such as wasps and other predatory insects.   

Basil

Whether you choose large leaf Italian basis or large purple sweet basil, this plant is popular in many cuisines but is a feature in Italian cooking like pizzas, salads, sauces and pesto. Some people think basil is great for planting alongside your tomatoes but there’s no real evidence that it makes your tomatoes taste sweeter. Basil has health benefits of antioxidants and is a defense against low blood sugar   

Sage

Sage is an aromatic herb that is great for seasoning meats, sauces and vegetables. But be careful because sage will have a tendency to overpower other flavors. Sage also helps to relieve cuts, inflammation and helps with memory issues. It was once thought to be a medicinal cure-all. Sage is an easy herb to grow and is relatively easy to care for. It’s great in your garden for attracting bees   

Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the most flavorful herbs and is great for adding to things like poultry, meats and vegetables. Around Christmastime you’ll see tree shaped rosemary bushes for sale. You can bring them home and keep them for planting in the spring. The fragrant plant is a delightful scent and is sometimes used in floral arrangements. Rosemary likes its soil a bit on the dry side, so be careful not to overwater. Allowed to flourish, a rosemary plant will grow into a full-sized bush   

Thyme

Thyme is a delicate looking plant. It is often used for flavoring egg, bean and vegetable dishes. Thyme is frequently used in Mediterranean, Italian and Provençal French cuisines. Pare it with lamb, poultry and tomatoes. Thyme is often added to soups and stews. Thyme is part of the mint family. The most common variety is garden thyme which has gray-green leaves and a minty, somewhat lemony smell.   

Cilantro/Coriander

Cilantro is also known as coriander leaf or Chinese parsley. Cilantro is perfect for adding into spicy foods like chills, and Mexican, Chinese, Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines. The seeds of cilantro are known as coriander. The plant grows early in the season and doesn’t like it when the ground becomes too warm   

Fennel

Fennel is very flavorful and aromatic, and along with anise is a primary ingredient in absinthe. Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region and does beset in dry soils near the ocean or on river banks. The strongly flavored leaves of fennel are similar in shape to dill. The bulb can be sautéed or grilled, or eaten raw. Fennel bulbs are used for garnishes or sometimes added to salads.   

Chamomile

In the United States and Europe chamomile is most often used as an ingredient in herbal tea. It is one of the world’s most widely consumed herbal teas. But it has also been used for thousands of years as a traditional medicine for settling stomachs and calming the nerves. Chamomile also helps reduce inflammation and treat fevers. You can grow either German chamomile or Roman chamomile. The two are interchangeable when it comes to making tea, but they are grown very differently. German chamomile is an annual plant that grows up to three feet tall. Roman chamomile is a perennial, but only grows to about a foot high. German chamomile is more commonly known for its blossoms   

Jasmine

No, this isn’t the Disney princess. Jasmine is part of the olive family and is native to the warmer and tropical climates. Known for the fragrant flowers, jasmine is used in tea, often as a base for green tea. It is also used as a flavoring for syrup. Jasmine plants need a trellis or a fence to climb. Making your own tea with jasmine can be a long process. You may find that it’s best to grow jasmine for the fragrance and beauty of the flowers but to purchase your tea already processed.

Lavender

Grown as a condiment and for use in salads and dressings, lavender will give most dishes a slightly sweet flavor. Lavender syrup and dried lavender buds are used in the United States for making lavender scones and marshmallows. Health benefits include the soothing of insect bites and headaches when used with herbs and aromatherapy. Lavender plants will survive in many growing conditions, but does best in full sun in warm, well-drained soil.    

Catnip

What’s more fun that seeing the family cat go slightly berserk over the smell of catnip? But catnip is more than a feline stimulant. It can be used as a relaxing agent as well as a diuretic and laxative. If you plant catnip outside, remember that cats do love to roll in it and chew on it. But keeping catnip in your garden can also be a deterrent for rodents. If the cat’s around, the pests most likely won’t be   

Chives

Chives are a member of the garlic family and can be the perfect complement to sour cream. Chives are mostly used for flavoring and are considered one of the “fine herbs” of French cuisine. Chives are native to Asia, but have been used as an additive to food for almost 5,000 years. Chives work well with eggs, fish, potatoes, salads, shellfish and soups. Chives are an excellent source of beta carotene and Vitamin C   

St. John’s Wort

St. John’s wort is believed to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but should not bBolde considered a cure. It can also help fight muscle pain. The word “wort” is an Old English word for “plant.” The plant was named because the flowers appear around June 24th which is the birthday of John the Baptist. St. John’s wort is also known as Tipton’s weed, rosin rose, goatweed, chase-devil or Klamath weed. In gardens it’s a popular groundcover since it is drought tolerant. While not used in cooking it is a well-known herbal treatment for depression.   

Garlic

Garlic is always handy to have around in case of a vampire outbreak. Garlic is part of the onion family. It has been used for over 7,000 years and was known to the Ancient Egyptians. Garlic has a pungent flavor and is used for seasoning or as a condiment. Garlic is a main component in many parts of the world. Often paired with onion, tomato or ginger the flavor. Some studies show that garlic may reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Garlic is easy to plant and easy to care for.

Onion

Onions are actually vegetables, not herbs, but are used much the same way as herbs. Onions add anti-bacterial benefits to the cardiovascular and digestive systems and can be helpful in preventing or limiting cancer. Onions are often chopped or sliced for recipes or sometimes they can be the main ingredient in French onion soup or in onion chutney. Easy to grow, onions are great for planting into a spare corner of your garden or along the edge.

Ginger

Ginger is a basic in Chinese herbal medicine and it serves a natural remedy for nausea, heartburn, migraine headaches and menstrual pain. Ginger is very easy to grow and you might even be able to find a start at the grocery store. Look for a rhizome (ginger root) with eye bud swellings. Keep in mind that ginger likes warmth, partial shade and most, rich soil.

Ginseng

Ginseng is found only in the Northern Hemisphere, typically in cooler climates. It is a root that is used dried, either whole or sliced. It has been used as an aphrodisiac, a type II diabetes treatment and has been used to treat sexual dysfunction in men. Ginseng can be a difficult plant to grow, sometimes taking five to ten years before you can harvest the plant.

Peppermint

Like other mints, peppermint is known for aiding digestion and freshening the breath. But peppermint is also a good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamin B. Peppermint is a hybrid mint, being a cross between water mint and spearmint. Peppermint oil can be used for flavoring, but is also useful as a natural pesticide. It has been shown to reduce the effects of irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint prefers rich soil and partial shade. Like other mints, it spreads quickly, so consider planting it in containers.   

Stevia

Stevia is an attractive looking plant and a natural sweetener. The added benefit is that there are no calories. Stevia is part of the sunflower family and is native to subtropical and tropical regions in the Western hemisphere. While it’s a perennial plant it will only survive in the milder climates in North America. Still you can add stevia to your garden for the summer. It is also known as sweetleaf or sugarleaf and is grown for its sweet leaves. Stevia can be used as a natural sweetener and as sugar substitute    


Cloves

Cloves are great for adding a warm and sweet taste to things like gingerbread and pumpkin pie. But cloves can also enhance things like split pea soup, bean soups and chili. Cloves come from the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. The clove tree does best in tropical conditions and in the United States in zones 10-11. So, unless you’re in the deep South, you’ll have to purchase your cloves.


Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is known for its soothing properties for burns or skin problems. Many people keep an Aloe Vera plant handy in the kitchen for incidental burns. But taken orally, Aloe Vera will also help with digestion, circulation and weight loss. There are over 250 species of Aloes. Most of these are native to Africa. Aloe Vera plants are very succulent and are as much as 95% water. That means they are very sensitive to frost. In warm climates, they should be in full sun or light shade. But you may have more success with this plant by keeping it indoors in a sunny window.    

Lemongrass

Lemongrass stalks can provide antioxidants such as beta carotene and a defense against cancer and eye inflammation. Lemongrass has as strong lemon flavor. You can brew it in tea as well as use it as an herb seasoning. To grow this outdoors, you need to live in at least Zone 9. Outside it can grow up to six feet high, but will be notably smaller if you grow it indoors.    

Oregano

Oregano is also part of the mint family and is native to the warm climates of Eurasia and the Mediterranean. Oregano is a perennial plant but in colder climates can be grown as an annual. It is sometimes called wild marjoram and is closely related to sweet marjoram. Oregano is used for flavoring and is a staple herb of Italian American cuisine. In the United States it gained popularity following World War II as soldiers returned home with a desire for the “pizza herb.”    

 

If you grow your herbs indoors you can enjoy them fresh year-round. But if that’s not an option, consider freezing or drying some of your own herbs to have available for cooking year round.

Healing Herbs and Medicinal Plants List


Important. Please Read: This website is for the presentation of the historical uses of herbs and it’s contents are for informational purposes only. Never take any herb or health supplement without first consulting your doctor. Never take any herb or supplement without your doctor’s consent if you are pregnant, nursing or trying to get pregnant. Never give herbs or health supplements to children without first talking to their doctor. The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA. The herbs and supplements mentioned are not intended to cure, treat, diagnose or prevent disease. Always play it safe.

If you are pregnant or nursing: NEVER take any herbs or supplements without first checking with your doctor!

 


 

Agrimony

Scientific Name: Agrimonia eupatoria
Common Names: Common agrimony, church steeples or sticklewort
Family: Rosaceae
Part Used: Aerial parts
Habitat: Agrimony is native to Europe, but can also be found in temperate climate in most parts of the Northern hemisphere.

Agrimony tea is soothing and good for sore throats. It is sometimes used by singers to gargle with. This herb is used to refresh and clear the throat. Agrimony is sometimes used for loose bowels as well. This herb is sometimes prescribed for fevers, digestive and bowel troubles, coughs and asthma. It can be used externally for skin sores.

CAUTION: This herb may make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and may increase the risk of sunburn. Do not take if pregnant or nursing or if you are planning to have surgery within two weeks.


 

Alfalfa

Scientific Name: Medicago sativa
Common Names: Buffalo grass, chilean clover, lucerne
Family: Fabaceae
Part Used: Leaves, stems, sprouts
Habitat: Alfalfa is native to southwestern Asia and Southeastern Europe. Also grows in North America and North Africa.

Alfalfa is known as the “Father of all foods” for good reason. It’s loaded with important vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and protein. It’s roots go down as far as 30 feet to pull valuable nutrients from the earth. This plant is commonly used for arthritis, digestive problems, as a diuretic and for reducing high cholesterol. It’s a very inexpensive source of easily digested nutrients. Alfalfa is high in beta-carotene and builds the immune system. This plant also contains chlorophyll, which is good for reducing bad breath and body odor.

CAUTION: Pregnant and nursing women should not eat alfalfa seeds due to their content of stachydrine and homostachydrine (may promote menstruation or cause miscarriage). People in general should never eat alfalfa seeds. They contain high levels of the toxic amino acid canavanine. Alfalfa is high in vitamin K and may work as an anti-coagulant so it shouldn’t be taken by people taking blood thinning medication.

 

Aloe

Scientific Name: Aloe vera
Common Names: Aloe, cape, barbados
Family: Asphodelaceae
Part Used: Leaves
Habitat: Aloe is native to the Mediterranean. It also grows in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The gel inside of the leaves of the Aloe plant can be used externally to treat minor burns, sun burn, cuts, scrapes and poison ivy. Aloe gel is good for moisturizing the skin and is a main ingredient of many skin care products. Many people use it to reduce acne and treat other skin problems.

CAUTION: Some people have taken Aloe internally as a laxative. The Mayo Clinic website states that this is not safe and can lead to severe cramping, diarrhea and dangerous imbalances of electrolytes even if used infrequently.

 

American Ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax quinquefolius
Common Names: Ginseng, xi yang shen
Family: Araliaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: American Ginseng grows in the eastern part of North America and Canada.

American ginseng is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance which is good for the body in general and protects against stress of all types. This type of ginseng has been used to strengthen the immune system, increase strength and stamina, treat digestive disorders, treat diabetes, treat ADHD and as a general tonic for wellness. Many people believe that the best American ginseng comes from the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. American ginseng is considered a cooling ginseng, where Korean ginseng has a more warming effect on the body.

CAUTION: American Ginseng should not be taken by people with high blood pressure or by women who are pregnant.


 

Amla

Scientific Name: Phyllanthus emblica
Common Names: Indian gooseberry
Family: Phyllanthaceae
Part Used: Fruit
Habitat: Amla is native to India

Amla is often used in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India. It is rich in vitamin C and also contains many other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Amla is often used to treat inflammation of the joints, fevers, urinary tract infections and to control blood sugar. It is high in fiber and may be helpful in treating constipation.


 

Angelica

Scientific Name: Angelica archangelica
Common Names: Garden angelica, norwegian angelica, holy ghost, wild celery, masterwort
Family: Apiacae
Part Used: Leaves, stems, seeds, roots
Habitat: Angelica grows in Asia, Europe and the eastern U.S.

Angelica has traditionally been used for menopausal troubles, flatulence, appetite loss, digestive problems, respiratory ailments and arthritis. Like it’s Chinese counterpart Angelica sinensis (dong quai), this herb is used by many women for the reproductive system. It is believed to be a hormonal regulator and uterine tonic. Angelica tea is often used to treat PMS as well.

CAUTION: Angelica is not recommended during pregnancy.

 

Anise

Scientific Name: Pimpinella anisum
Common Names: Anise
Family: Umbelliferae
Part Used: Seeds
Habitat: Anise is native to Egypt

Anise tea is made from the plant’s seeds. Is has a strong licorice taste. Anise is consumed to improve digestion, prevent flatulence, reduce bad breath and to treat coughs.

 

Arnica

Scientific Name: Arnica montana
Common Names: Leopard’s bane, mountain daisy, mountain arnica
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Flowers
Habitat: Arnica is native to central Asia, Siberia and Europe. Cultivated in North America.

Arnica is used externally as an ointment for sore muscles, sprains and bruises. It possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-septic properties.

CAUTION: Arnica should never be taken internally. Not recommended for long term use as it may cause skin irritation.

 

Ashwagandha

Scientific Name: Withania Somnifera
Common Names: Winter cherry, indian ginseng, ajagandha
Family: Solanaceae
Part Used: Roots, leaves, seeds
Habitat: Ashwagandha grows in India, Africa and widely cultivated around the world

Ashwagandha is sometimes called “Indian ginseng” as it has many similar health properties. This herb is very popular in the Ayurvedic system of health in India. It is considered an adaptogen. It is commonly used to relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. It has the ability to strengthen the body and increase endurance. This herb has been used in India for over 3,000 years as a rejuvenator. The seeds of this plant are thought to have a diuretic effect, while the leaves possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative properties. The chemical components of the root have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune strengthening and sedative properties. This is a great herb for athletes and active people that need to increase their energy, strength and stamina.

CAUTION: Ashwagandha is high iron content and should NEVER be taken by women during pregnancy. This herb may also have a mild depressant effect and should not be taken with sedatives or alcohol.


 

Astragalus

Scientific Name: Astragalus membranaceus
Common Names: Huang qi, yellow leader, milk vetch
Family: Fabaceae
Part Used: Roots, rhizomes
Habitat: Astragalus is native to Mongolia and China. Cultivated in the U.S. and Canada

Astragalus is one of the most popular herbs in the traditional Chinese medicine system. It has been in use for over 2000 years. This herb is most often used as a diuretic and for lowering high blood pressure. Many people use it to treat upper respiratory infections as well as the common cold, as it seems to increase the production of white blood cells. Traditionally, this astragalus has also been used to increase energy, strengthen the immune system, treat excessive sweating, ulcers and diarrhea.


 

Bacopa

Scientific Name: Bacopa Monnieri
Common Names: Brahmi, Thyme-leafed gratiola, Coastal Waterhyssop, Water hyssop
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Part Used: Whole plant.
Habitat: Bacopa is native to India

Bacopa has been used as an effective brain tonic in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for thousands of years in India. It is beneficial to long and short term memory. The plant’s saponins and bacosides have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters and can help one to think faster. Bacopa is now being studied as a possible treatment for ADHD, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Bacopa is often used to treat depression, anxiety asthma, allergies and bronchitis. It also possess some anti-inflammatory properties.


 

Bearberry

Scientific Name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Common Names: Uva ursi, mountain box, bear’s grape, kinnikinnick
Family: Ericaceae
Part Used: Leaves
Habitat: Bearberry grows throughout the Northern Hemisphere

Bearberry is often taken as a tea. This herb is commonly used to treat urinary tract infections and inflammation of the urinary tract. It has astringent, diuretic and antiseptic properties.

CAUTION: This Bearberry can be toxic in high doses. Never take it if you are pregnant or if you have kidney disease. Do not give Bearberry to children.

 

Bee Balm

Scientific Name: Monarda didyma
Common Names: Wswego tea, mountain mint, scarlet bergamot
Family: Lamiaceae
Part Used: Leaves
Habitat: Bee Balm is native to North America

Bee Balm was often used by the Native Americans to treat intestinal problems, colic and flatulence. Tea made from this plant was used to induce sweating and break fevers. Bee balm is often used to treat the common cold and sore throat as well. The leaves of this plant are a good source of essential oil that contains thymol. Thymol is an antibiotic and often used as an ingredient in mouthwash.

 

Bee Pollen

Scientific Name: Entomophile pollen
Common Names: Honey bee pollen
Part Used: Pollen
Habitat: Bee pollen can be found on every continent except Antarctica

Though technically not a herb, bee pollen has been used by healers for thousands of years for it’s health properties. It’s rich in important vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and trace minerals. It is a great source of easily digested and highly absorbable nutrition. Many people take it to increase energy.

CAUTION: Never consume bee pollen if you are allergic to bee stings.


 

Bilberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium mytillus
Common Names: European blueberry, huckleberry, whortleberry
Family: Ericaceae
Part Used: Leaves, fruits
Habitat: Bilberry grows in the warm regions of the Northern Hemisphere

Bilberry has been used for centuries by European healers to treat such things as stomach cramps, diarrhea and diabetes. Now bilberry is most often used to prevent night blindness. It seems to be able to strengthen the capillaries and protect them from free radical damage. This plant contains flavonoids called anthocyanosides. These are a powerful antioxidant. In the past, bilberry has also been used as a remedy for varicose veins, hemorrhoids and bruising.

Se

 

Black Cherry

Scientific Name: Prunus serotina
Common Names: Bird cherry, rum cherry
Family: Rosaceae
Part Used: Bark
Habitat: Black Cherry is native to North America

Native Americans used black cherry as a medicinal herb to treat coughs. The bark from the black cherry tree was often made into a tea or syrup and used to expel worms, heal ulcers and treat burns. They also used it as a remedy for sore throat, pneumonia and lack of appetite. Black Cherry bark contains a glycoside called prunasin. This substance quells spasms in the smooth muscles of the bronchioles, thus reducing the cough reflex.

 

Black Cohosh

Scientific Name: Cimicifuga racemosa
Common Names: Black snakeroot, macrotys, bugwort, bugbane
Family: Ranunculaceae
Part Used: Roots, rhizome
Habitat: Black Cohosh is native to North America

The Cherokee Indians used black cohosh as a diuretic and as a remedy for fatigue and tuberculosis. Other native Americans used this herb to treat menstrual irregularities, rheumatism and sore throat. Today, black cohosh is used mainly to reduce the severity of premenopausal and menopausal symptoms, such as excessive sweating, depression and hot flashes.

CAUTION: Black cohosh is not the same as blue cohosh. Blue cohosh may be toxic and has not been tested for safety.


 

Boneset

Scientific Name: Eupatorium perfoliatum
Common Names: Indian sage, feverwort, agueweed, sweat plant
Family: Compositae
Part Used: Leaves and flowers
Habitat: Boneset is native to North America

Boneset was used by the Native Americans to induce sweating and to treat colds, flu, arthritis, indigestion, loss of appetite, constipation, cholera, dengue, typhoid and malaria. This plant is still in use today to treat colds, flu, fever and minor inflammation.

CAUTION: Boneset may cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if consumed in large amounts. NEVER consume fresh boneset. It is toxic. It must be dried before consuming. Do not use it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. People who are allergic to ragweed should not consume boneset.

 

Borage

Scientific Name: Borago officinalis
Common Names: Burrage, beebread, star flower, bee Plant, talewort
Family: Boraginaceae
Part Used: Flowers, seed oil
Habitat: Borage is native to Southern Europe

Borage is often used to treat fever, lung infections, inflammation of mucous membranes and as a diuretic. It may also be effective as a mild anti-depressant and sedative. Oil from Borage seeds are a rich source of gammalinolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a fatty acid used by the body to boost immunity and fight inflammation.

 

Boswellia

Scientific Name: Boswellia serrata
Common Names: Indian frankincense, Indian olibanum, dhup, and salai guggul
Family: Bruseraceae
Part Used: Resin
Habitat: Boswellia is native to Africa and Asia

Boswellia has been used in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India for over 2,000 years. Ancient healers used it to treat conditions such as asthma, fevers, cardiovascular disorders, rheumatism, and diabetes. Today, this herb is mostly used to treat inflammation and pain of the joints. The tree’s resin contains boswellic acid that acts as a 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) inhibitor.

CAUTION: Boswellia may cause nausea and diarrhea, if taken in large quanities. Pregnant women should first talk to their doctor before taking this herb. It should not be taken by people with severe liver or kidney disease.


 

Buchu

Scientific Name: Agathosma betulina
Common Names: Buchu, boegoe, bucco, bookoo, diosma
Family: Rutaceae
Part Used: Leaves
Habitat: Buchu is native to South Africa

Buchu is most often used as a stimulating tonic and a diuretic. It is now commonly used to treat urinary tract infections. In the past, this herb has also been used to treat arthritis, kidney stones and gout. It can also be used externally for bruises and sprains.

 

Burdock

Scientific Name: Arctium Lappa
Common Names: Wild Burdock, gobo, burr, beggar’s buttons
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Seeds, leaves and roots
Habitat: Burdock grows in the United States, Europe, Japan and China

Burdock was used by the ancient Greeks to treat wounds and infections. This herb is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals and is often used to treat liver and digestive problems, urinary tract infections, ulcers, eczema, psoriasis and to boost energy and stamina. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and makes a good immune system booster and blood purifier.

Burdock is a strong detoxifier and could aggravate certain types of skin conditions before the healing process starts working. Burdock may interfere with several prescription drugs, like those for treating diabetes or blood sugar conditions. Pregnant or nursing women should talk with their doctor before taking this herb.


 

Butterbur

Scientific Name: Petasites hybridus
Common Names: Common butterbur, coughwort, pestilence wort
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Leaves, rhizomes
Habitat: Butterbur is native to Asia and Europe

Butterbur has traditionally been used to treat coughs, urinary problems, fever and to expel intestinal parasites. Now this herb is mostly used as an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat migraine headaches. It is sometimes used to reduce smooth muscle spasms. Some studies have found butterbur effective in reducing bronchial spasms in people having bronchitis and asthma. Butterbur extract is often just as effective as prescription antihistamines for treating allergic rhinitis and hay fever.

 

Calendula

Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis
Common Names: Pot marigold, poet’s mairgold, Cape Weed
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Flowers
Habitat: Calendula is native to the Mediterranean region

Historically, calendula was used to induce menstruation, break fevers, cure jaundice, treat open sores and for liver and stomach problems. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used externally for sunburn and eczema. Today this herb is most often used externally to treat slow healing wounds and to promote tissue repair.

CAUTION: Do not take Calendula internally if pregnant or nursing. Could cause miscarriage.

 

Cascara Sagrada

Scientific Name: Frangula purshiana
Common Names: Cascara buckthron, california buckthory, sacred bark
Family: Rhamnaceae
Part Used: Bark
Habitat: Cascara Sagrada is native to the Pacific Northwest in North America

Cascara Sagrada was used by Native Americans as a laxative and to treat constipation, colitis, upset stomach, jaundice and hemorrhoids. Today it is sometimes used as a laxative.

CAUTION: Cascara Sagrada is not recognized as safe by the FDA. Cascara Sagrada is often to strong of a laxative and can cause intense stomach discomfort. A more gentle laxative, such as Psyllium is usually recommended. Do not take if pregnant.

 

Catnip

Scientific Name: Nepeta cataria
Common Names: Catmint, catswort, catnep, catrup
Family: Lamiaceae
Part Used: Flowers, Leaves
Habitat: Catnip is native to Asia and Europe

Medieval herbalists often used catnip to treat coughs, scalp irritations, bruises, restlessness and gas. Modern herbalists use this herb primarily to treat upset stomach, colic, colds, fever, flu and diarrhea. It is sometimes used to treat inflammation, allergies and as a mild sedative.

CAUTION: Do not take Catnip if you are pregnant or nursing. Catnip may stimulate the uterus and cause miscarriage. Do not give to children. Unsafe to smoke.

 

Cat’s Claw

Scientific Name: Uncaria tomentosa
Common Names: Peruvian cat’s claw, hawk’s claw
Family: Rubiaceae
Part Used: Bark, root
Habitat: Cat’s Claw is native to South and Central America

Cat’s claw has been used by the natives of Peru for centuries to treat conditions such as asthma, bone pain, arthritis, urinary tract infections, ulcers and intestinal problems. Today, this herb is most often used to boost the immune system and as an anti-inflammatory. It is often taken for rheumatism and even to treat HIV and cancer.

CAUTION: Do not take Cat’s Claw if pregnant or nursing. Do not give to children.


 

Cayenne

Scientific Name: Capsicum annuum
Common Names: Red pepper, capsicum, chili pepper
Family: Solanaceae
Part Used: Fruit
Habitat: Cayenne is native to tropical regions of the Americas

Cayenne was used by Native Americans as a pain reliever and to halt infections. It was also used for toothache, arthritis and to aid digestion. This herb has anti-bacterial properties, can stimulate blood flow and is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many people consume cayenne to maintain cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that it may be able to reduce triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation in the blood.

CAUTION: Hot peppers like Cayenne may irritate the skin. Use care when handling. Taking large amounts of Cayenne could cause stomach discomfort.

 

Chamomile

Scientific Name: Matricaria recutita
Common Names: German chamomile, wild chamomile
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Flower heads, oil
Habitat: Chamomile is native to Asia, Africa and Europe

Used by the ancient Egyptians for fever and chills, chamomile is still in wide use today. This plant is used for colic, indigestion, flatulence, bloating heartburn and to calm nervousness. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. Some people suffering from peptic ulcers find relief from drinking chamomile tea.

CAUTION: Chamomile may cause allergic reactions in people sensitive to ragweed or other plants in the daisy family.


 

Chaparral

Scientific Name: Larrea tridentata
Common Names: Creosote bush, stinkweed, gobernadora, hediondilla
Family: Zygophyllaceae
Part Used: Leaves, twigs
Habitat: Chaparral is native to the U.S. and Mexico

Native Americans used chaparral for rheumatism, intestinal problems, colds, flu, bronchitis, diarrhea and urinary tract problems. They also chewed the twigs of this plant to relieve toothaches. Today chaparral is known to contain a powerful antioxidant and is being studied as a possible treatment for cancer.

 

Chaste Tree

Scientific Name: Vitex agnus-castus
Common Names: Chaste berry, vitex, agnus castus, monk’s pepper, Abraham’s balm
Family: Verbenaceae
Part Used: Fruits
Habitat: The chaste tree is native to Southern Europe and Western Asia

For over 2,500 years the chaste tree has been used to treat gynecological problems such as relieving menstrual cramps, promoting normal menstruation and to treat a host of other menstrual disorders. Today it still used for these same conditions. It is most commonly used to treat the symptoms of PMS.

CAUTION: NEVER take chaste tree if you are pregnant. Should not be taken with any type of hormone therapy.

 

Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorium intybus
Common Names: Succory, wild succory, coffeeweed
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Whole herb
Habitat: Chicory is native to Asia, Europe and North America

Chicory was often used by the Native Americans for cleaning the blood, as a nerve tonic and diuretic. Today it is commonly used to treat loss of appetite and indigestion.

CAUTION: People with gallstones should not consume chicory.

 

Cinnamon

Scientific Name: Cinnamonum verum
Common Names: Chinese cassia, ceylon cinnamon, saigon cinnamon
Family: Lauraceae
Part Used: Bark
Habitat: Cinnamon is native to India. Cultivated in Indonesia, Africa and South America.

Cinnamon is most often used to soothe digestion, treat colds, nausea and inflammation. Cinnamon’s essential oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties.

 

Clubmoss

Scientific Name: Lycopodium clavatum
Common Names: Ground pine, stag’s horn moss, wolf’s claw moss, running pine
Family: Lycopodiaceae
Part Used: Whole plant
Habitat: Clubmoss is native to the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

Clubmoss has been used by ancient healers for over two thousand years. The druids used this plant as a laxative and purgative. Native Americans used it to treat postpartum pain, fever, weakness and to stop the bleeding of wounds. Today, clubmoss is used for kidney and urinary disorders, stomach upset, diarrhea and for treating skin conditions. This plant contains a substance called Huperzine which may be effective for memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease. More studies on clubmoss have to be done to determine it’s safety and effectiveness in this area.

 

Comfrey

Scientific Name: Symphytum officinale
Common Names: Knitbone, slippery root, blackwort
Family: Boraginaceae
Part Used: Leaves, roots
Habitat: Comfrey is native to Europe and Asia

Comfrey was used as a poultice by the ancient Greeks to stop bleeding. They also drank it as a tea for diarrhea and bronchitis.

CAUTION: Never take comfrey internally. Even though it was recommended by ancient healers in the past it has recently been shown to cause severe liver damage.

 

Cordyceps

Scientific Name: Cordyceps sinensis
Common Names: Caterpillar fungus, Zhiling, Cs-4
Family: Clavicipitaceae
Part Used: Fruiting body
Habitat: Cordyceps mushrooms grows wild on the Himalayan Plateau

This mushroom has a long history of use in Chinese herbalism. It is considered a great tonic for building physical strength and endurance. There is a substance in cordyceps which dilates the lung’s airways, providing more oxygen to the blood. For this fact it is very popular with athletes. This healing mushroom is also used to treat asthma, cough and bronchitis. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties and has the ability to relax the bronchial walls. It’s a great immune system booster as well.

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Dandelion

Scientific Name: Taraxacum officinale
Common Names: Lion’s tooth, blowball, fairy clock, wetweed, priests Crown
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Leaves, flowers, root
Habitat: Dandelion is native to Europe and Asia but grow all over the world

The dandelion was in use as far back as ancient China for it’s medicinal properties. It was used as a potent diuretic and detoxifying herb. Other common uses of this plant were to treat breast inflammation, digestive disorders, appendicitis and to stimulate milk flow. European herbalists used dandelion as a remedy for eye problems, diarrhea, diabetes and fever.

 

Dong Quai

Scientific Name: Angelica sinensis
Common Names: Dang gui, tang-kuei, danggui, Chinese angelica
Family: Apiaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: This herb is native to China, Japan, and Korea

Often called female ginseng in China, Dong Quai is very popular with women there. It is used as a remedy for menstrual cycle disorder and to treat symptoms such as bleeding of the uterus and menstruation pain. It is helpful for relieving vaginal dryness, hot flashes, mood swings and PMS.

CAUTION: Never take Dong Quai if pregnant. Taking this herb could stimulate contractions of the uterus, which could lead to miscarriage.


 

Echinacea

Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea
Common Names: Purple coneflower, coneflower, purple encinacea
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Roots, leaves and flowers
Habitat: Echinacea is native to Central and Eastern North America

Echinacea is very popular for treating colds and flu. This herb is a great immune system booster. Many people enjoy it as a healthy tea. Some of it’s other uses are for treating sore throat and upper respiratory tract infections. It is a good detoxifier and has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.


 

Fo-Ti

Scientific Name: Polygonum Multiflorum
Common Names: He Shou Wu, climbing knotweed, flowery knotweed, Chinese cornbind, polygonum flower
Family: Polygonaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Fo-Ti is native to China

Fo-Ti is a famous longevity herb that has been in constant use in China for thousands of years. It is very popular with older men and is said to be able to turn one’s hair back to it’s youthful color and appearance. This herb is also used to strengthen the lower back and knees. It can be used to strengthen the bones, tendons and muscles as well as to nourish blood.

CAUTION: Fo-Ti could cause stomach upset and diarrhea if taken in very large amounts.

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Ginkgo Biloba

Scientific Name: Ginkgo biloba
Common Names: Ginkgo, bao gou, Yin-hsing, Maidenhair tree
Family: Ginkgoaceae
Part Used: Leaves and seeds
Habitat: Ginkgo biloba is native China but is also cultivated in Japan, France and the southern United States.

Ginkgo Biloba improves the flow of blood to the brain and increases oxygen to the brain cells. It is often used as an effective cognitive enhancer and memory booster.

Ginkgo possesses anti-coagulating properties and prevents the formation of blood clots. This could in turn reduce risk of stroke. This herb contains powerful antioxidants. Its terpenoids and flavonoids protect the body from free radical damage and cell oxidation.

CAUTION: Ginkgo can sometimes cause headaches and dizziness if taken in large doses. You should not take ginkgo if you are taking anti-depressants such as MAOI or SRRI medicines.


 

Gotu Kola

Scientific Name: Centella asictica
Common Names: Centella, Indian pennywort, Brahmi, Luei gong gen
Family: Mackinlayaceae
Part Used: Leaves, Stems
Habitat: Gotu Kola grows in Africa, North and South America, Asia, Australia and Madagascar

Gotu Kola has been used historically to relieve congestion from upper respiratory infections and colds and for wound healing. It is very popular for treating varicose veins and memory loss.

CAUTION: Gotu Kola should NEVER be taken by women who are trying to get pregnant. It should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women or children without talking to your doctor first. May cause sensitivity to sunlight and should never be taken by people with skin cancer

 

Gynostemma

Scientific Name: Gynostemma Pentaphyllum
Common Names: Jiaogulan, southern ginseng, miracle herb, longevity herb, miracle tea, Jiao Gu Lan
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Part Used: Leaves
Habitat: Gynostemma is native to Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam

Gynostemma (Jiaogulan) is an adaptogen. It can bring you body into a state of balance. This herb is great for increasing strength and protecting the body and mind against stress. Gynostemma can boost the functioning of the immune system and is good for the digestive and cardiovascular systems.

CAUTION: Gynostemma should not be taken with herbs or medicines that affect immune system suppression or blood clotting.

 

Holy Basil

Scientific Name: Ocimum Sanctum
Common Names: Tulsi, Sacred basil, Surasa, Tulasi, Kemangen
Family: Lamiaceae
Part Used: Leaves, Stems
Habitat: Holy Basil is native to India

Holy Basil is used for reducing stress, anxiety and depression. It promotes health and wellbeing and protects the body and mind in a very positive way. It is also known to enhance cerebral circulation and improve memory.

CAUTION: Holy Basil has the ability to thin the blood and should not be taken along with blood thinning medications. It should not by taken by persons with hypoglycemia. It may decrease fertility and should never be taken by women trying to get pregnant. Never take if pregnant or nursing without first consulting your doctor.


 

Kava

Scientific Name: Piper Methysticum
Common Names: Kava, awa, ava pepper
Family: Piperaceae
Part Used: Rhizome, roots
Habitat: Kava grows on the Pacific Islands

Kava has been used by the people of the Pacific islands for hundreds of years as a natural anti-anxiety treatment. It has a very calming effect and puts most people in a good mood. It has also been used as a diuretic and to treat urinary problems, arthritis, asthma and upset stomach. It is very popular in Germany and often prescribed as the first line of treatment for anxiety disorders.

CAUTION: Some studies suggest that Kava could harm the liver. Never take this herb if you are pregnant or nursing. Could cause dry mouth and dizziness it taken in high doses.

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Korean Ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax ginseng
Common Names: Korean ginseng, Asian ginseng, Oriental ginseng, Man root, root of immortality, Asiatic ginger
Family: Araliaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Korean ginseng is native to Korea and China

Korean ginseng is an adaptogen. An adaptogen can help your body and mind handle stress better. This is an energizing herb often taken by people to ward off fatigue, increase strength, stamina and sharpen mental abilities. This herb is believed to lower cholesterol and may be helpful in treating diabetes and depression. Korean ginseng is a good immune system booster. Since it has a warming effect on the body, it’s best taken in the winter months.

CAUTION: Taking large doses or prolonged use may not be good for people having high blood pressure. Taking high doses of this type of ginseng may cause irritability.


 

Lemongrass

Scientific Name: Cymbopogon citratus
Common Names: Silky heads, fever grass, barbed wire grass, tanglad, hierba Luisa, citronella grass or gavati chaha
Family: Poaceae
Part Used: Grass
Habitat: Lemongrass is native to tropical Asia and India

Lemongrass is used to treat many health conditions, such as cancer, stomach problems, nervous disorders, fevers, arthritis, flu, gas, pain and others. Lemongrass tea is a relaxing beverage that helps reduce anxiety and promotes sound sleep. Used externally, it can treat skin problems and keep the skin moist and clear.

CAUTION: Lemongrass should NOT be taken if pregnant since it has uterine stimulating properties.


 

Licorice Root, Chinese

Scientific Name: Glycyrrhiza Uralensis
Common Names: Guo Lao, sweat herb, sweet wood, beauty grass, elf grass, pink grass
Family: Legume
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Chinese licorice root is native to Asia

Chinese licorice root is very popular in the Chinese medicine system. It is added to many herbal formulas to enhance their effectiveness. Licorice is great to detoxify the body. It is able to remove over 1,200 toxins.

CAUTION: Do not take Chinese Licorice root if you suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure. Do NOT take if Pregnant or nursing. May cause the retention of water.


 

Lion’s Mane

Scientific Name: Hericium erinaceus
Common Names: Satyr’s beard, Hedgehog mushroom, Bearded hedgehog, Bearded tooth, Old man’s beard, Sheep’s head, Bear’s head, Monkey’s Head, Hedgehog, Pom Pom and Japanese yamabushitake
Family: Hericiaceae
Part Used: Fruiting Body
Habitat: The Lion’s mane mushroom grows in Europe, Asia, and parts of North America

The Lion’s mane mushroom is used to boost the immune system, promote digestive and colon health, improve the memory and relieve depression and anxiety. It is also used to lower blood pressure and stimulate the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor. It is being considered as a treatment for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


 

Lycium Fruit

Scientific Name: Lycium barbarum
Common Names: Goji, wolfberry
Family: Solanaceae
Part Used: Fruit
Habitat: Lycium grows in Northwestern China and Tibet

Lycium fruit has been consumed for centuries in China for its sweet taste and health giving properties. The berries from the Lycium plant are one of the most nutritious foods on earth. Besides supplying many vitamins and minerals to the body, these berries are often eaten for their high antioxidant value. Eating Lycium berries every day is believed to keep a person healthy well into old age.

CAUTION: Do not take if you have low blood pressure. Lycium can effect how quickly the liver breaks down some medications.


 

Maca

Scientific Name: Lepidium meyenii
Common Names: Peruvian ginseng
Family: Brassicaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Maca is native to Peru

Maca is an adaptogen and helps the body cope with stress. This root is rich in vitamins, minerals, good fats, plant sterols and amino acids. Some people refer to it as a “superfood”. The people of Peru found that consuming maca root could greatly enhance physical strength and stamina as well as boost the libido. It’s a great overall energy booster and is popular with athletes. Maca is beneficial to the nervous system and is calming to the nerves. Today, this herb is mostly used for increasing energy and balancing the hormones.

CAUTION: Maca has a high iodine content and should not be consumed by people having thyroid disease. It has stimulant properties and could possibly raise the heart rate. It may not be safe for pregnant women to use maca supplements. More research is needed.


 

Milk Thistle

Scientific Name: Silybum marianum
Common Names: Silymarin, Marian Thistle, Mediterranean Thistle, Mary Thistle
Family: Asteraceae
Part Used: Seeds
Habitat: Milk Thistle is native to Europe

Milk thistle is a great protector of the liver and gallbladder. It can detoxify the blood and is often taken to treat cancer.


 

Maitake

Scientific Name: Grifola frondosa
Common Names: King of Mushrooms, Cloud Mushroom, Dancing Mushroom, Grifola, Hen of the Woods, Shelf Fungi
Family: Meripilaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Maitake is native to China and Japan

The Maitake mushroom contains high amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is thought to be helpful in treating cancer and auto immune disorders.


 

Rhodiola

Scientific Name: Rhodiola Rosea
Common Names: Golden Root, Arctic Root, Arctic Rose, Roseroot, Aaron’s Rod
Family: Crassulaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Rhodiola is native Siberia

Rhodiola rosea is very popular with Russian astronauts and athletes due to its ability to enhance physical strength and endurance. Also, taking rhodiola will allow the body to use less oxygen on a cellular level. Besides its beneficial effects on the body, this herb is often used to keep the mind sharp and improve memory. It is now gaining popularity as a natural anti-depressant. Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen. This means that it helps protect the body from all types of stress.


 

Saw Palmetto

Scientific Name: Serenoa repens
Common Names: Sabal palm, palmetto berry, sabal fructus, cabbage palm, American dwarf palm tree
Family: Palmae
Part Used: Fruit
Habitat: Saw Palmetto grows in the islands of the West Indies and Southeastern United States

Saw palmetto is a very popular herb with men over 40. It is often used to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and it’s symptoms, like painful urination and the need to urinate frequently. Another popular use of this herb is to treat male pattern baldness by reducing the body’s levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Too much DHT is believed to be what causes hair loss.

CAUTION: Do not take Saw palmetto if you take any blood thinning medication or if you have hemophilia, ulcers, or if you are planning any type of surgery. Taking this herb may increase the risk of bleeding.


 

Schizandra

Scientific Name: Schizandra chinensis
Common Names: Schisandra, Five flavor berry, Omicha, Wu wei zi, Magnolia vine
Family: Schisandraceae
Part Used: Fruit
Habitat: Schizandra is native to northern China

Schizandra berries are an adaptogen. Eating them may help you adapt to mental and physical stress more easily. It is packed with nutrition and gives one more energy. It is very beneficial to the skin.

CAUTION: Schizandra should not be taken by people who have gastroesophageal reflex disease (GERD), epilepsy, peptic ulcers or high brain (intracranial) pressure.


 

Shilajit

Scientific Name: Asphaltum
Common Names: Mineral Pitch, Vegetable Asphalt
Part Used: The resin
Habitat: Shilajit can be found in the Himalayan area, Nepal and Tibet.

Shilajit contains many vitamins and minerals and is often taken to increase longevity.

CAUTION: Do not take Shilajit if you suffer from gout. It can increase uric acid in the body. Children, pregnant or nursing mothers should always seek the advice of their doctor before taking.


 

Siberian Ginseng

Scientific Name: Eleutherococcus senticosus
Common Names: Siberian ginseng, eleuthero
Family: Araliaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Siberian Ginseng is native to Russia, China and Korea

Siberian ginseng (Eleuthero) is considered an energizer and stress reducer. It has been used for hundreds of years as a invigorating tonic herb. It is a powerful adaptogen that can normalize the body and bring it back into balance.

It has been very popular with the Russian athletes and cosmonauts for its ability to protect the body and mind from stress and increase the capacity for hard mental and physical work. Many students take this type of ginseng for its beneficial effects. It is believed to help a person think more clearly and remember facts more easily.

CAUTION: If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor before taking Siberian ginseng.


 

Skullcap

Scientific Name: Scutellaria lateriflora
Common Names: Mad dog, quaker bonnet, hoodwort, helmet flower, blue pimpernel
Family: Lamiaceae
Part Used: The whole plant
Habitat: Skullcap grows in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States

Skullcap is an ancient sleep aid remedy. It can greatly reduce anxiety and nervousness. It is often called nature’s tranquilizer. Besides its use as a sleep aid, many people take it to relieve muscle spasms and twitches, lower blood pressure and cholesterol. This herb also possesses anti-inflammatory properties and may be useful for treating arthritis and joint pain.

CAUTION: DO NOT TAKE while pregnant. Skullcap could cause miscarriage! Large doses of this herb may be harmful and could cause liver damage.

 

St. John’s Wort

Scientific Name: Hypericum perforatum
Common Names: Johnswort, goat weed, hard hay, amber, klamath weed
Family: Hypericaceae
Part Used:
Habitat: St. John’s Wort grows in Europe, The United States and Australia

St. John’s Wort is known as Nature’s anti-depressant. It is often used to treat depression and anxiety. It functions as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). This allows more serotonin to stay where it’s needed to keep you feeling less depressed and anxious. This herb is also used to help quit smoking. St. John’s work possesses antiviral properties and can be used externally to treat wounds.

CAUTION: This herb can exacerbate sunburn in fair skinned people.


 

Suma

Scientific Name: Pfaffia paniculata
Common Names: Brazilian ginseng, Para Todo
Family: Amaranthaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Suma root is native to Latin America, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Panama and Venezuela

Suma is often called Brazilian ginseng due to it’s ability to increase strength and stamina. Like all adaptogens, suma is good for reducing the ill effects of stress. This herb balances the hormones and is commonly taken to strengthen the adrenal glands. Suma contains germanium and so can boost the immune system. It contains many vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

CAUTION: Suma could cause nausea if taken in large amounts.


 

Turmeric

Scientific Name: Curcuma longa
Common Names: Indian saffron, Jiang huang, Haridra
Family: Zingiberaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Turmeric is native to India

Turmeric contains a powerful antioxidant called curcumin and is a great natural liver detoxifier.

CAUTION: Do NOT take Turmeric if pregnant or nursing. May possibly stimulate the uterus or promote a menstrual period. Should not be taken by people taking blood thinning medicine, as it can slow blood clotting. Could cause upset stomach, heartburn or nausea if taken in large amounts.

See our Turmeric page for more in-depth information and pictures.

 

Valerian Root

Scientific Name: Valerian officinalis
Common Names: St. George’s Herb, Set Well, Vandal Root, Fragrant Valerian, English Valerian, Amantilla
Family: Valerianaceae
Part Used: Root
Habitat: Valerian is native to Western Europe, Asia and North America

Valerian is an ancient remedy for insomnia and a great stress buster. Many people find it an effective treatment for anxiety as well. The active components in this herb increase the production of gamma amino butyric acid (GABA). The brain needs GABA to get to sleep faster and relax.

CAUTION: Valerian root should not be taken while pregnant. Do not give to children



.... Read Original Article: http://www.herbslist.net/

Ginger Root (Uses)


Increases Digestion                   Bacterial Infections 

Control Nausea                          Relieve Motion sickness

Reduce Arthritic Pain                  Decrease muscle soreness

Heartburn relief                           Prevent Colds and Flu

Treat Migraine Headaches          Decrease  high blood sugar levels

Increase circulation                      Cancer Prevention


Ginger is readily available and the root can be used in  raw form, for oils ointments, teas, creams, can also be used in cooking. 


Do not use if you are Pregnant  or taking any form of blood thinner such as Coumadin etc. Consult your doctor before starting therapy using ginger.

Nettle Leaf (uses)


Decrease muscle spasms  , Treatment of  Wounds,

To reduce blood loss, infection and inflammation, Reduce high blood pressure, nasal allergies, cough, expectorant, fluid retention, urinary bladder and kidney disorders, urinary tract inflammation,gout, asthma.


Nettle can be taken in capsule form, tincture, or tea.(dried leaf)


Do not use if pregnant or breast feeding. Do not use if taking diuretics (lasix) etc. Consult your family doctor before treating with nettle.