Welcome to the Herbal Farm!

Welcome to The Herbal Farm website. We hope to help you benefit from the wonderful healing properties of plants as well as guide you to using them safely and effectively. Herbal medicine is one of the most time-tested human traditions on the face of the Earth.

Herbal medicine has benefited millions of people for thousands of years.

Health is a gift that makes life worthwhile. Herbs can certainly help us along that path, but they should not be relied upon simply as a band-aid to fix a health problem. We encourage you to look deeply at the causes of illness and seek to live a healthier lifestyle whenever possible. This includes having healthy relationships, eating a wholesome diet, and exercising. We must also avoid the things that damage health, such as stress, smoking, exposure to pollutants, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Provided in this website is information on how to use herbs, as well as herbal blends. Each herbal description includes contraindictions, such as dangerous side effects, to which you should pay careful attention. Many of the contraindications only occur in extremely large doses and would never be a problem with normal use. However, there are some plants that should best be used with professional counsel, and many should be avoided during pregnancy. In listing contraindications. Remember – just because something is from a plant does not mean it is appropriate for everyone to use at all times.

In Chinese medicine, different foods have different characteristics, described as energetics. We must admit that not everyone agrees on whether an herb is cool, cold or warm. As American herbalism evolves the use of energetics will become a more genuine and accurate part of our own healing tradition, with more agreement between herbal practitioners.

Even though some of the constituents of the plants are listed, herbalists usually prefer to use plants in a more whole form. We firmly believe that using the entire herb, with all of its components, is more effective and often safer than using any one component.


Latin Name: Convallaria majalis

Alternate Names: May Lily, Our Lady's Tears, Jacobs Ladder


Parts Used: Above ground portion, Root.

Properties: Antispasmodic, Cardiotonic, Diuretic, Emetic, Laxative, Purgative.

Internal Uses: Apoplexy, Coma, Epilepsy, Memory Loss, Mitral Insufficiency, Paralysis, Pulmonary Edema, Shock, Spasms, Speech Loss, Vertigo

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Lily of the Valley increases the muscular action of the heart, yet slows the heart rate. It has an action similar to that of Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), but is considered less cumulative and safer. It is a restorative to the brain and nerves.

Topical Applications: Flower water is used as a skin astringent, called aqua aurea, and is known for its lightening qualities. Essential oil is used in perfume, but it is very costly and synthetics are often substituted.

Energetics: Sweet, Bitter, Neutral, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Convallatoxin, convallatoxol, convallarin, convallamarin, convalluside, convallatoxloside, saponins, essential oil, citric and malic acid, flavonoids.

Contraindications: Potentially toxic. Use only with guidance from a competent health professional. Do not use for longer than ten days at a time. Excess will cause gastrointestinal irritation. Use about one third the amount that would be used of other herbs.

Comments: The genus name, Convallaria means 'of the valleys' in Latin. Majalis, the species name, refers to the month of May, the time when this plant flowers.
Legend says that Lily of the Valley was given by Apollo to Aesculapius, God of Healing, as a gift. An old folk tale about Lily of the Valley is that if one rubs the oil from the plant on the forehead it will impart common sense. This beautiful and hardy flower is often used in bridal bouquets.


Latin Name: Fucus vesiculosis

Alternate Names: Bladderwrack, Seawrack


Parts Used: Entire plant (thallus).

Properties: Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Antitumor, Diuretic, Emollient, Endocrine Tonic, Expectorant, Nutritive.

Internal Uses: Breast Cancer, Candida, Convalescence, Cough, Enlarged Lymph, Fatigue, Goiter, Heavy Metals, Hormonal Imbalance, Hypotension, Hypothyroid, Obesity, Rheumatism, Tumors
Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It can help absorb and remove drugs, chemicals, heavy metals, and radioactive strontium 90 from the body. It can help to normalize overly low blood pressure. Because Kelp helps to stimulate a sluggish metabolism, it can be helpful as part of a weight loss program. Kelp has a softening and draining effect on the body and can be used to help treat lymph node enlargement and tumors. It is good for helping prevent breast cancer.

Topical Uses: Arthritis, Cellulite, Obesity

Topical Applications: Compress or oil for arthritic joints. Bath herb for cellulite and weight loss. Used in lotions for its skin-softening qualities.

Culinary uses: Eaten raw or cooked into soups and grains for its salty flavor and the minerals it provides. Added to beans it improve their digestibility. Season any food where one wants to add a salty flavor.

Energetics: Salty, Cool, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Algin, carrageenan, iodine, potassium, bormine, mucopolysaccharides, mannitol, alginic acid, kainic acid, laminine, histamine, zeaxanthin, protein, vitamins B-2 and C.

Contraindications: Contains irritating fibers. Not for cold, weak people. Overuse can produce goiter-like symptoms. Collect plants that are still growing in the ocean rather than collecting ones washed up on the shore. Avoid collecting from polluted waters.

Comments: Kelp is the most common type of seaweed in the ocean. The nickname, Bladderwrack, refers to the bladder like air pods (vesicles) that help keep this herb afloat on the ocean. When cows consume kelp they produce more milk and are less likely to suffer from mastitis. Kelp makes a wonderful garden fertilizer.


Latin Name: Ephedra sinica

Alternate Names: Ma Huang


Parts Used: Stems, branches.

Properties: Analgesic, Astringent, Bronchial Dilator, Cardiac Stimulant, Circulatory Stimulant, Decongestant, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Stimulant, Vasoconstrictor.

Internal Uses: Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Cigarette Addiction, Cocaine Addiction, Colds, Hay Fever, Metabolic Stimulant, Obesity

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It brings one's internal energy from the center to the surface, which can leave one depleted at the core. To minimize this effect, Ephedra can be combined with licorice. Ephedra elevates blood pressure and stimulates perspiration, urination and the heart. It has a drying effect which decreases stomach acid and saliva secretion.
Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine mimic the effects of adrenaline, causing similar vasoconstriction of the nasal mucosa, bronchial dilation and cardiac stimulation. This mimicing effect also helps one break cocaine addiction.

Energetics: Sweet, Pungent, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Ephedrine, pseudo-ephredine, N-methyl-ephedrine, N-methyl-pseudo-ephedrine, nor-ephedrine, nor-pseudo-ephedrine.

Contraindications: Should be avoided by weak or debilitated people, those with high blood pressure, heart disease, overactive thyroid, diabetes, prostatitis, hepatitis, weak digestion, glaucoma and insomnia. Concentrated extracts have caused heart palpitations, insomnia, vertigo and anxiety. Can weaken the adrenals if improperly used. Can cause nervousness, hypertension or rashes in some rare cases. Avoid in cases of excess sweating and yin deficiency. Should not be used continuously. Avoid for people using monoamine oxidase inhibitors. This herb should be avoided by pregnant women and children. Do not take after 4:00 pm, or it may cause insomnia.
Dried plant is safer to use than fresh.

Comments: Ma means 'astringent' and huang means 'yellow' in chinese. Ephedra was used by the guards of Ghengis Kahn's army so that they could stay awake all night and avoid being beheaded if caught dozing. Ephedra has been used by Taoist monks to sharpen awareness.


Latin Name: Harpagophytum procumbens

Alternate Names: Grapple Plant


Parts Used: Secondary tubers.

Properties: Alterative, Analgesic, Anodyne, Anti-inflammatory, Antirheumatic, Lithotriptic, Liver Tonic, Sedative, Stimulant.

Internal Uses: Acne, Allergies, Arthritis, Asthma, Diabetes, Gout, Hay Fever, Rheumatism

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Devil's Claw stimulates the detoxifying and protective mechanisms of the body. It helps to potentiate the body's natural anti-rheumatic agents. It aids in the elimination of uric acid. It is considered more appropriate for osteoarthritis than rheumatoid arthritis.

Energetics: Cool, Bitter.

Chemical Constituents: Harpagoside, procumbine, harpagia, blycoside.

Contraindications: Use with demulcent herbs to avoid irritating the digestive tract. No harmful side effects result from long term use. It may take a couple weeks of use before noticing results.

Comments: Native to the Kalahari desert and Nubian Steppes of Africa.


Latin Name: Juniperus virginiana

Alternate Names: Juniper, Thuja, Eastern Red Cedar


Parts Used: Berries (blue), leaves.

Properties: Antiseptic, Antiviral, Astringent, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Hemostatic

Internal Uses: Arthritis, Asthma, Colds, Cough, Cystitis, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Gout, Incontinence, Sore Throat, Tuberculosis, Urethritis

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules
Cedar can be used to help prevent side effects from immunizations. The berries are used to treat diabetes, and leaves are used for diarrhea. The berries are being studied for their anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties.

Topical Uses: Acne, Burns, Dandruff, Fungal Infection, Hemorrhoids, Herpes, Insect Repellent, Rheumatism, Warts

Topical Applications: Compress for burns, salves and liniments. Leaves are burned to purify the air and prevent the spread of infection. The essential oil is applied topically for acne, dandruff, warts, fungal infections, hemorrhoids, herpes, aching joints and as an insect repellent. Steam is inhaled during colds, flu and labor. Massage oil for rheumatism. Hair rinse for dandruff.

Culinary uses: Berries are used in cooking wild game and in making sauerkraut. Use the wood to smoke fish and game. The Berries are used in jams, pepper substitutes, beer and gin. The berries can also be roasted and made into a coffee substitute.

Energetics: Bitter, Pungent, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (camphene terpineol), flavonoids, resin, tannins, bitter (juniperin).

Contraindications: Avoid use in cases of inflammation. Do not use during serious kidney infections. Prolonged use may irritate kidneys and bladder. Avoid during pregnancy. Combine with demulcent or emollient herbs.

Comments: Essential oil of cedar has been used for incense, perfume and embalming. Berries take two to three years to ripen.
The common name Cedar includes the species Thuja occidentalis, Juniperis horizontalis, Juniperus scopulorum and Juniperis californica which are used interchangeably with Juniperus virginiana.


Latin Name: Zingiber officinale

Alternate Names: Jiang, Sheng Jian, Singabera (Sanskrit), Sunthi (Sanskrit - Dry Ginger), Ardraka (Sanskrit - Fresh Ginger), Gan Jiang (Chinese - Dry Ginger), Sheng Jian (Chinese - Fresh Ginger)


Parts Used: Rhizome.

Properties: Analgesic, Antiemetic, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Aromatic, Anticoagulant, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Expectorant, Sialagogue, Stimulant, Vermifuge.

Internal Uses: Amenorrhea, Arthritis, Backache, Bacterial Infection, Catarrh, Colds, Cough, Cramps, Dysentery, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Flu, Food Poisoning, Hypertension, Indigestion, Lumbago, Morning Sickness, Motion Sickness, Nausea, Stroke, Tonsillitis, Vertigo, Viral Infections

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup.
Ginger has been found to be even more effective than Dramamine in curbing motion sickness, without causing drowsiness. Chew a piece of the fresh root to treat sore throats.
Ginger is an excellent herb to improve circulation to all parts of the body. It reduces blood platelet aggregation and inhibits the biochemical pathways associated with inflammation.

Topical Uses: Arthritis, Asthma, Balding, Chills, Colds, Flu, Headache, Kidney Stones, Muscle Soreness

Topical Applications: Use a compress of Ginger on arthritic joints, sore muscles, kidney stones, asthma and hypertensive headaches. Bath herb for chills, muscle soreness and poor circulation. Foot soaks for cold and flu. Massage oil. Essential oil used in men's aftershaves. Used in perfumes.

Culinary uses: Breads, Sauces, Stir Fry Dishes, Sushi condiment, chutney, curries, meat, fish, candied ginger, ginger ale, ginger beer, hot cider, mulled wines, liqueurs, cordials.

Energetics: Pungent, Sweet, Hot, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, protein.

Contraindications: Avoid in instances of hot skin disorders like acne and eczema. Do not use during a very high fever, internal bleeding or ulcers. discontinue if it causes heartburn.

Comments: Zingiber means 'horn root' in Sanskrit, in reference to its shape. One of the first species introduced from Asia to Europe, it soon sent European explorers looking for a new route to Cathay. Henry VIII recommended it as a remedy against the Bubonic Plague. It is also called Vishwabhesaj, or Universal Medicine, in Ayurvedic medicine.
Chinese ships carried pots of Ginger on board long sea voyages to prevent scurvy and seasickness. A Chinese folk remedy recommends rubbing the cut root on the scalp to stop hair loss. In India, before religious festivals devotees would avoid Garlic, so as not to offend the dieties. Instead, they consumed Ginger, which left them fragrant and pleasing.


Latin Name: Iris florentina

Alternate Names: Florentine Orris, Fleur-de-lis


Parts Used: Peeled rhizome.

Properties: Aromatic, Cathartic, Demulcent, Diuretic, Expectorant, Stomach Tonic.

Internal Uses: Bronchitis, Cough, Diarrhea, Headache, Laryngitis, Liver Stagnation, Pulmonary Edema, Sore Throat

Internal Applications: Mostly used topically. However, It is a mild expectorant.

Topical Uses: Freckles, Halitosis, Headache, Teething

Topical Applications: Juice is used to lighten freckles. Powdered root used to make dry shampoos. Added to potpourris to help them retain their scent longer. Used to scent linens. Perfume. Essential oil, which smells like violets, is used to scent soaps, powders, toothpaste. Large roots are given to supervised infants to teethe upon. Pieces of Orris root have also been used to make scented rosary beads. It was once used as a snuff for headaches. It has also been chewed as a breath freshener.

Culinary uses: Essential oil is added to candies and liqueurs.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (myristic acid), isoflavones, ketone, tannin, sugars.

Contraindications: Primarily used externally. Only use dried root, as the fresh root can be cathartic and cause nausea when large amounts are ingested. Some people have reported allergic reactions to Orris, which has resulted in the decline of its use.

Comments: In Greek, Iris means 'rainbow', which describes the wide variety of the plant's colors.
The common name Orris also includes the species Iris germanica, Iris pallida, and Iris violacea, which are used interchangeably with Iris florentina.


Latin Name: Jasminum officinale

Alternate Names: Jasmin, Pikake, Sambac, Yeh-hsi-ming (Chinese), Jati (Sanskrit)


Parts Used: Flowers.

Properties: Alterative, Antibacterial, Antitumor, Aphrodisiac, Emmenagogue, Galactagogue, Hemostatic, Nervine, Sedative.

Internal Uses: Bone Cancer, Breast Cancer, Cough, Depression, Fever, Frigidity, Headache, Hodgkin's Disease, Impotence, Lymphatic Cancer

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules. Syrup for coughs.

Topical Uses: Depression, Eye Soreness, Skin Dryness

Topical Applications: Eyewash for sore eyes. Used in lotions for dry and sensitive skin. Essential oil of Jasmine is used to promote confidence and physical and emotional well-being. It is also used as an aphrodisiac and to lift depression. The essential oil is used in perfume, soaps and lotions.

Culinary uses: Add to black tea to add a delightful aroma and flavor.

Energetics: Bitter, Sweet, Cool, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, linalol, linalyl acetate), salicylic acid, alkaloids (jasminine).

Contraindications: Avoid the use of Jasmine if a person is very chilled. The pure essential oil is very expensive. If you are paying a cheap price for it, expect adulteration.

Comments: One of the most beautiful, fragrant flowers on Earth. Many consider the aroma itself to be an aphrodisiac, as well as to foster feelings of love and compassion.
The common name Jasmine also includes the species Jasminum sambac and Jasminum grandiflorum, which are used interchangeably with Jasminum officinale.


Latin Name: Cannabis sativa

Alternate Names: Hemp, Ganja, Dagga, Indian Dreamer, Huo Ma Ren (Chinese), Pot, Grass, Bhang (Hindi), Hashish, Vijaya (Sanskrit)


Parts Used: Flowering tops of female plants, resin, seeds.

Properties: Analgesic, Anesthetic, Anodyne, Anticonvulsant, Antidepressant, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Anaphrodisiac, Bronchial Dilator, Cataleptic, Cerebral Sedative, Demulcent, Emollient, Euphoric, Hallucinogen, Hypnotic, Hypotensive, Laxative, Nutritive, Oxytocic, Sedative, Vermifuge, Yin Tonic.

Internal Uses: AIDS, Anorexia, Asthma, Cerebral Palsy, Chemotherapy Nausea, Childbirth, Constipation, Cough, Depression, Dysmenorrhea, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Insomnia, Migraine, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscle Spasms, Nausea, Nervousness, Neuralgia, Nightmares, Pain, Paralysis, Paraplegia, Restlessness, Rheumatism, Wasting Diseases, Worms

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Smoked. Not soluble in water as a tea.
The buds are useful for all the above uses except constipation, worms and wasting diseases, for which seeds are more applicable. All properties apply to the buds, except demulcent, emollient, vermifuge, laxative nutritive, and yin tonic. Both the buds and seeds are a hypotensive. It can be an aphrodisiac, but also an anaaphrodisiac, depending on dosage and circumstances.
The buds are used for spasmodic coughs and spastic paralysis.

Topical Uses: Muscle Spasms

Topical Applications: Poultice for muscle spasms.

Culinary uses: Buds are used in baked goods, spaghetti, butter and candies. Needs to be processed with oil in order to be effective. Seeds have no psychoactive properties and are used in baking, to make cheese, soup, cereals, vegetable protein burgers, and ice cream. Hemp seed oil is used in a similar way as Flax seed oil.

Energetics: Sweet, Neutral.

Chemical Constituents: Buds contain cannabinoids (tetrahydrocannabinol), flavonoids, essential oils, alkaloids (cannabisativine, muscarinem, trigonelline), calcium. Seeds contain protein, lipids, choline, inositol, enzymes. The seed oil contains essential fatty acids.

Contraindications: Though it has been used medicinally for centuries, it is currently illegal to grow or possess in many countries and can result in imprisonment and/or loss of property. May affect some people adversely and induce paranoia and personality deviations as well as short term memory loss and perceptual distortions. Not recommended in unsafe settings or when driving or operating machinery. In general smoking anything can damage lung tissues, and though cannabis has been used to help asthma and bronchitis, smoking it can actually aggravate those conditions. Can inhibit testosterone production and cause hypoglycemic states. Dry mouth and eyes are a common side effect.

Comments: Stalks are used for fiber as clothing, rope, sails and paper. Its fiber is absorbant, insulating and very strong. Oil from the seeds is used to make paint, varnish, lamp oil and fuel for automobiles and airplanes. The seeds are relished by birds and encourage singing and mating. Products made from sterilized seeds are legal and available in U.S.
The genus name, sativa, means 'with a long history of cultivation'. Native to Asia, Marijuana seeds were first brought to America in 1632 by the Pilgrims. By 1762, Virginia farmers were penalized for not growing this plant, as it was an important and useful economic crop. Between 1840 and 1900 over a hundred published papers recommended Marijuana as medicine. Marijuana can be used as paper, fuel, fabric and even food.


Latin Name: Mentha piperita

Alternate Names: Mint, Brandy Mint


Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Analgesic, Anodyne, Antibacterial, Antiparasitic, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Aromatic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Refrigerant, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic, Vasodilator.

Internal Uses: Colds, Colic, Colitis, Cough, Crohn's Disease, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Fatigue, Fever, Flatulence, Flu, Gallstones, Halitosis, Headache, Heartburn, Herpes, Hiccups, Indigestion, Irritable Bowel, Migraine, Morning Sickness, Nausea, Stomachache, Stress

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup, Lozenges.
Peppermint is a stronger antiparasitic and antiviral than Spearmint. In general, Spearmint is considered a weaker medicinal than Peppermint. It is hypothesized that Peppermint benefits irritable bowels by inhibiting the hypercontractility of the smooth muscles of the intestines.

Topical Uses: Arthritis, Burns, Chest Congestion, Chickenpox, Cramps, Fever, Inflammation, Insect Bites, Insect Repellent, Itchy Skin, Measles, Morning Sickness, Muscle Soreness, Nausea, Neuralgia, Pain, Rheumatism, Scabies, Shock, Sinus Congestion, Toothache

Topical Applications: Essential oil is added to massage oils for chest congestion, pain and fever as it is cooling. Essential oil inhaled for sinus congestion, shock and nausea. Used to flavor toothpaste, mouthwash. Use as a bath herb to help one to feel cool and refreshed, as well as to treat bug bites, itchy skin, chicken pox and measles. Essential oil is used to scent soaps, repel mosquitoes and scabies. Use as a cool compress for joint inflammation, neuralgia and rheumatism.

Culinary uses: Spearmint is a better choice for culinary arts than Peppermint. Use fresh leaves as a liner for cake pans. Add either mint to yogurt, dishes, fruit salad, vegetable salad, hummus, split pea soup or tabouli salad. Use mint tea to dilute fruit juices or to make ice cubes. Mint jellies, candies, liqueurs. Mint improves the flavors of other medicines.

Energetics: Pungent, Cool, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (menthol, menthone, methyl acetate, limonene, pulegone), tannins, flavonoids, choline potassium.

Contraindications: Considered very safe and can be used by even the sickest of people. Plant Mint in your gardens where you don't mind it spreading as it has a tendency to take over.

Comments: This description applies to both Peppermint and Spearmint. Mint is one of the most ancient of all medicinal herbs. Mints tend to hybridize easily. Peppermint has long dark green leaves with a thick spike of flowers. Its peppery taste caused people to name it Peppermint. Spearmint, has a narrower spike of flowers and more wrinkled looking leaves. Spearmint's name is derived from Spire-Mint, as the flowers grow in the shape of a spire. In Mythology, Minthe was a lover of Pluto. His jealous wife Prosperine turned Minthe into a Peppermint plant. Ancient Athenians would rub the leaves of mint on their arms to improve their endurance.


Latin Name: Pinus sylvestris


Parts Used: Knots in wood, inner bark, needles, young buds, pitch.

Properties: Analgesic, Anticatarrhal, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Demulcent, Diuretic, Expectorant, Stimulant, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Acne, Blood Clots, Bronchitis, Cough, Croup, Emphysema, Fever, Laryngitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sinusitis, Tonsillitis, Tuberculosis
Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup, Lozenges
Only the bark is antioxidant. Pine helps dry dampness, fight infection, and promote the healing of tissues.

Topical Uses: Arthritis, Boils, Congestion, Eczema, Insomnia, Nervous Breakdown, Psoriasis, Scabies, Splinters, Wounds

Topical Applications: Compress for bronchitis, rheumatism, pneumonia, nephritis and sciatica. Bath for sore muscles, arthritic limbs, insomnia and nervous debility. Compress for wounds. Use in inhalants for respiratory congestion. Tar used in ointments for eczema and psoriasis and also used as a poultice to draw out splinters and to bring boils to a head. Pine cones make good tinder for starting a fire. Pine needles are woven into baskets.

Culinary uses: Pine nuts are considered a delicacy. The inner bark is edible in emergency situations, and the needles can be chewed and spit out as a survival food.

Energetics: Bitter, Warm.

Chemical Constituents: Lignan, coniferin, triterpenes, pinipricin, tannins, resin, Vitamin C, beta carotene.

Comments: Pines, being an evergreen, are a symbol of eternal life. The Iroquois believed Pine trees symbolized a balanced life as their shape reminded them of praying hands reaching for the sky. In 1534, when the French explorer Jacques Cartier landed at the Saint Lawrence River, many of his crew had died of scurvy. Native Americans saved the survivors with a tea made from Pine needles, which contains vitamin C. The genus name is from Latin.
Pine is a Bach Flower Remedy for those filled with guilt and self blame.
The common name Pine includes the species Pinus tabulaeformis, Pinus strobus, Pinus pinaster, Pinus pinea, Pinus nigra, Pinus contorta, Pinus palustris (used in China and called Sheng-sung-Chih) and other Pinus species, which are used interchangeably with Pinus sylvestris.


Latin Name: Rosa canina

Alternate Names: Queen Of Flowers


Parts Used: Flowers, hips.

Properties: Antibacterial, Antidepressant, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antiviral, Aphrodisiac, Aromatic, Astringent, Blood Tonic, Carminative, Diuretic, Expectorant, Kidney Tonic, Laxative, Nutritive, Sedative, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Amenorrhea, Anger, Anxiety, Catarrh, Colic, Depression, Diarrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Exhaustion, Frequent Urination, High Cholesterol, Tonsillitis, Vertigo
Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup.
Do not boil the tea. The flower and hips have different properties. Flower -- antibacterial, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, aromatic, astringent, blood tonic, carminative, expectorant, kidney tonic, and sedative. Hips -- astringent, blood tonic, diuretic (mild) kidney tonic, laxative, nutritive, tonic.
Only the flowers are used for irregular menses, and only the hips are used for diarrhea, exhaustion, and frequent urination.

Topical Uses: Bruises, Conjunctivitis, Eye Soreness, Muscle Strain, Skin Dryness, Sprains

Topical Applications: Use in cosmetics for dry, wrinkled skin to soften and smooth the skin. Use as a bath herb. Rose petals are used in facial steams for dry skin. Rosewater is wonderful for dry skin, bruises, sprains, pulled muscles and compresses for sore eyes and conjunctivitis. Used in potpourri and sachets for the aroma and color. Essential oil is used as perfume.

Culinary uses: Fruits can be eaten plain or made into candy. Used to make jams, pies, breads, muffins, sauces and soup. Make pickled rose buds. Rose petal can be eaten plain once the bitter, whitish heel has been removed. Use as a garnish in candy and use for celebration cakes. Mix chopped roses into softened butter. Rose jam, rose ice cream, rose vinegar. Sprinkle a few rose petals into a fruit or vegetable salad. Mix rose petal with cream cheese for dainty sandwiches. Rose wine is popular in the Mideast. There are rose flavored candies such as Turkish delight. Rose water is wonderful added to yogurt dishes, lemonade and Indian desserts.

Energetics: Sweet, Bitter, Cool, Sour, Neutral.

Chemical Constituents: Flowers contain essential oil (eugenol, geranic acid, citronellol, geraniol, nerol), terpenes. The fruit contains vitamin C, beta carotene, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins E and K, polyphenols, tannin, pectin, vanillin.

Contraindications: As with all herbs, avoid using those that have been sprayed with toxic chemicals. Remove the irritating hairs from the rose hips before eating them. Pure rose oil is very expensive. Beware of synthetics and adulterated oils which will not have the therapeutic benefits.

Comments: The flowers are sweet, bitter and cool. Red roses are more warming than white ones. The rose hip is sour and neutral.
Roses have been cultivated for over 3,000 years. They are a universal symbol of beauty and love. White roses symbolize more innocent love while Red Roses symbolize passionate love. Pink is for simple and happy love. Yellow Roses symbolize friendship, jealousy and ambition. The word Rose is derived from the Greek rodon, meaning 'red'. Dog rose is so named as it was once a remedy to treat dog bite and rabies. During World War II, English people used Rose Hips as an important vitamin C syrup. The term sub rosa, 'under roses' is an indication of secrecy from days when a rose would be hung over a banquet table so that all that was spoken underneath would be held in confidence.
The common name Rose contains many species, including Rosa canina (Dog Rose), Rosa centifolia (Cabbage Rose), Rosa damascena (Damask Rose), Rosa eglanteria (Sweet Briar), Rosa gallica (Red Rose), Rosa rubirinova (Rose Mosqueta), and Rosa rugosa (Japanese Rose), which are used interchangeably.


Latin Name: Fragaria vesca

Alternate Names: Wood Strawberry


Parts Used: Leaves, berries, root.

Properties: Alterative, Astringent, Diuretic, Hepato-tonic, Pregnancy Tonic, Vulnerary.

Internal Uses: Anemia, Arthritis, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Eczema, Fever, Gout, Jaundice, Rheumatism, Tuberculosis
Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup.
The fruit is a laxative. Different parts of the plant have different uses. Leaves and root are used for anemia, diarrhea, dysentery, eczema and jaundice. Fruit is used for anemia, arthritis, fevers, gout, jaundice, rheumatism and tuberculosis.
Strawberry leaves can be used to tonify the female reproductive system, much like raspberry leaves. Strawberry leaf tea tastes similar to black tea and can be used as a caffeine-free substitute.

Topical Uses: Burns, Freckles, Loose Teeth, Oily Skin, Plaque, Sore Throat, Sunburn, Vaginitis, Wounds

Topical Applications: Cut berries are rubbed on teeth and allowed to sit a few minutes before brushing, so as to whiten the teeth and remove plaque. Crushed berries are applied on skin to relieve sunburn and lighten freckles. Leaves are used as a toner for oily skin, as a gargle for a sore throat and in salves for wounds and burns. Douche for vaginitis. Mouthwash for loose teeth. Leaves are used in potpourris.

Culinary uses: Most people enjoy eating the ripe berries plain, in jams, pies and tarts, on shortcake, yoghurt or with cream, to name but a few of the culinary possibilities. Berries are also used in wine. Leaves are used to flavor soup stock.

Energetics: Sweet, Sour, Cool, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Tannin, flavonoids, glycosides (kaempferol, quercitin) mucilage, salicylates, beta carotene, vitamins B, C and E, sugars.

Contraindications: Use only dried leaves. Strawberry fruits can be allergenic for some people. Also eating the fruits may cause urine to temporarily have a pink hue.

Comments: The ancient and Latin name for Strawberry is Fraga, referring to the enticing fragrance of this plant. There are several theories about the origin of the name Strawberry -- that straw was used as a mulch between the plants, that the berries appear to be strewn amongst the leaves on the ground, or perhaps that ripe berries were threaded on straws to be taken to market.
The common name Strawberry includes many Fragaria species.


Latin Name: Camellia sinensis

Alternate Names: Cha, Kukicha, Bancha, Green Tea, Black Tea


Parts Used: Leaf buds, young leaves.

Properties: Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antioxidant, Antitumor, Astringent, Decongestant, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Immune Stimulant, Nervine, Stimulant, Styptic.

Internal Uses: Allergies, Arteriosclerosis, Asthma, Colds, Congestion, Cough, Depression, Diarrhea, Digestive Infections, Dysentery, Fatigue, Hangovers, Hepatitis, High Cholesterol, Migraine, Tooth Decay, Tumors

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture.
Research is showing that some green teas may reduce stomach cancer risks. One of the ways that green and black Tea prevent dental decay is by inhibiting the enzyme Streptococcus mutans, which is responsible for plaque formation. Futhermore, Tea contains more fluoride than fluoridated water and is thus used to prevent dental decay. Green Tea has antitumor and immune stimulant properties. In lab studies, Black Tea has been shown to have antioxidant properties, but adding milk inactivates both the antioxidant properties of Black Tea and the antitumor and immune stimulant properties of Green Tea. Drink tea after a meal rich in fats to reduce arterial disease risks.

Topical Uses: Insect Stings, Puffy Eyes, Sunburn, Wounds

Topical Applications: Place a compress of cooled used black Tea bags on puffy eyes, insect stings and sunburn to reduce inflammation. Make a compress of green Tea for bleeding wounds.

Culinary uses: After water, Tea is the world's most popular beverage. One can make green Tea ice cream.

Energetics: Bitter, Sweet, Dry, Cool, Warm.

Chemical Constituents: Caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, tannins (polyphenol, catechins), flavonoids (kaempferol, quercitin), fats, vitamin C, fluoride. Tannin in green Tea is epigallocatechin.

Contraindications: Excessive use may cause nervous irritability and digestive distress such as ulcers. Can be addictive. Avoid in cases of hypertension and avoid large doses during pregnancy and nursing. Adding milk to Tea helps neutralize some of the tannins, although it inactivates antioxidant actions.

Comments: Tea is considered such a divine beverage that it is named Thea, from the Greek word for goddess. Green Tea leaves are heated to prevent fermentation. Oolong Tea is partially fermented. Black Tea is dried and fermented. It is the processing that causes the wide variety of flavors amongst green and black Teas.
All Teas are bitter, sweet and drying. Green Tea and oolong Tea are cooling, while black tea is warming. Kukicha is made from the twigs, Bancha comes from the twigs and older leaves.
The species Camellia sinensis was formerly named Thea sinensis.


Latin Name: Thymus vulgaris

Alternate Names: Garden Thyme, Wild Thyme


Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Antibacterial, Anthelmintic, Antifungal, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Aromatic, Astringent, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Immune Stimulant, Rejuvenative, Rubefacient, Sedative, Stimulant, Tonic, Vermifuge, Vulnerary.

Internal Uses: Alcoholism, Appetite Loss, Asthma, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Colds, Colic, Cough, Depression, Diarrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Flu, Gastritis, Hangovers, Hay Fever, Headache, Herpes, Hysteria, Indigestion, Laryngitis, Pleurisy, Shingles, Sinusitis, Sore Throat, Stomachache, Tetanus, Tuberculosis, Whooping Cough, Worms

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Small amounts are a sedative whereas larger amounts are a stimulant. It is used against hookworm, roundworms, and threadworms. Thyme warms and stimulates the lungs, expels mucus and relieves congestion. It also helps deter bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Both thymol and carvacrol have a relaxing effect upon the gastrointestinal tract's smooth muscles.

Topical Uses: Acne, Arthritis, Asthma, Athlete's Foot, Blemishes, Bronchitis, Bruises, Burns, Candida, Colds, Crabs, Dandruff, Dental Decay, Depression, Eye Soreness, Flu, Fungal Infection, Halitosis, Insect Bites, Insect Stings, Laryngitis, Lice, Mastitis, Mouth Sores, Muscle Soreness, Parasites, Plaque, Rheumatism, Ringworm, Scabies, Sciatica, Sore Throat, Thrush, Tonsillitis, Warts, Wounds

Topical Applications: Gargle and mouthwash for dental decay, laryngitis, mouth sores, plaque formation, sore throat, thrush, tonsillitis, and bad breath. Compress for lung congestion such as asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu. Poultice for wounds, mastitis, insect bites and stings. Wash for fungal infections such as athlete's foot and ringworm, and use against parasites such as crabs, lice and scabies. Douche for Candida. Compress for bruises. Use as an eyewash for sore eyes and as a hair rinse for dandruff. Use a salve on acne, blemishes, burns and wounds. Use as a bath herb for sore muscles, arthritis, and colds. Essential oil is added to soaps and antidepressant inhalations. Added to massage oils for sore muscles, rheumatism and sciatica, and applied directly to warts. Used as a strewing herb in Middle Ages.

Culinary uses: Added to soups, stews, vegetables, chicken, jams, fruit salads, bouquets garni, gumbos, and Benedictine liqueur. Aids in the digestion of high fat foods. Used to preserve meat. Thyme honey, made when bees collect pollen from thyme flowers, is excellent.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (borneol, carvacrol, cymol, linalool, thymol), bitter principle, tannin, flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin), saponins, triterpenic acids.

Contraindications: Avoid therapeutic doses during pregnancy. As with most essential oils, it must be diluted before applying to the skin.

Comments: The genus name Thymus may be derived from the Greek word thymon meaning 'courage' as it was once used as a bath herb by Roman soldiers to help them be more courageous. It also helps people to speak up more courageously. Or perhaps it was from the Greek thymon, 'to fumigate', as it has been used as an incense. The species name serpyllum for Wild Thyme may be due to the plant's creeping snakelike appearance and in reference to the ancient treatment of snakebites and the bites of poisonous sea creatures with Thyme. The plant was burned in ancient Roman times to deter scorpions.
It is still used for embalming. Oil of Thyme was used during World War I to treat infection and to help relieve pain. On Midsummer Night's Eve, fairies are said to dance on beds of Thyme.
Its energetic is mildly bitter.
The common name Thyme includes the species Thymus serpyllum (Wild Thyme), which is used interchangeably with Thymus vulgaris (Garden Thyme).


Latin Name: Vanilla planifolia


Parts Used: Cured seed pods.

Properties: Aphrodisiac, Aromatic, Carminative, Digestive Tonic, Stimulant.

Internal Uses: Emotional Trauma, Hysteria

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Vanilla may an aphrodisiac because it causes urethral irritation.

Topical Applications: Perfume, cosmetics, potpourri.

Culinary uses: Used as flavoring for candy, chocolate, ice cream, pudding, sauces, sugar, and liqueurs. Flavoring for pharmaceutical drugs.

Chemical Constituents: Vanillin, coumarins.

Contraindications: Excessive use may be irritating. Much of the Vanilla extract commonly sold today is synthetic vanillin, and even natural Vanilla is often highly diluted with alcohol.

Comments: The Latin word Vanilla means 'little vagina' due to the sexually shaped orchid flower. Native to Central America, Vanilla was introduced by the Aztecs as an addition to chocolate. One reason why Vanilla is the world's second most expensive spice is that the plants must be hand pollinated within a few hours of opening, except in some areas of Mexico where certain species of butterflies and hummingbirds help out. A bee, melipone, that once pollinated Vanilla is now extinct due to pesticide use.
The common name Vanilla includes the species Vanilla pompona, which is used interchangeably with Vanilla planifolia.


Latin Name: Prunus serotina

Alternate Names: Virginian Prune Bark


Parts Used: Dried inner bark, collected in fall.

Properties: Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Astringent, Bitter Tonic, Carminative, Expectorant, Sedative, Stomach Tonic.

Internal Uses: Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Cough, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Dyspepsia, Insomnia, Whooping Cough

Internal Applications: Tea (do not boil), Tincture, Capsules, Syrups.
Wild Cherry bark is best known as a remedy for coughs. Helps dyspepsia due to nerves. The prunasin appears to be what relaxes the reflex to cough.

Topical Uses: Inflammation

Topical Applications: Eyewash for inflammation.

Culinary uses: Fruit of Prunus avium (the common cherry readily available in stores) as well as wild cherry is eaten plain, added to pies, jams, juice, liqueurs and wine.

Energetics: Bitter, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Nogenic glycosides (prunasin), benzaldhyde, essential oil, coumarins, gallitannins, resin.

Contraindications: Cherry seeds are toxic due to thier high content of hydrocyanic acid and should not be eaten. Bark is toxic in large doses. Do not boil bark, but simply steep in hot water. It may cause drowsiness. Though it helps coughs, it does not treat infection which may be causing the cough. Do not use during severe infection. Avoid using the leaves internally.

Comments: The genus name, Prunus, is an ancient name for 'plum'. The word cherry traces back to the Assyrian word karsu. Some Native American women used Wild Cherry bark to relax them during labor.
The common name Wild Cherry includes the species Prunus virginiana, as well as some other Prunus species, which are used interchangeably with Prunus serotina.


Latin Name: Juglans regia

Alternate Names: English Walnut, Persian Walnut, Black Walnut


Parts Used: Leaves, outer rind of nut, nut, dried inner bark.

Properties: Alterative, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Astringent, Detergent, Hypoglycemic, Laxative, Purgative, Sudorific, Yang Tonic.

Internal Uses: Cancer, Candida, Constipation, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Eczema, High Cholesterol, Impetigo, Kidney Stones, Liver Stagnation, Parasites, Worms

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Different parts of the plant have different properties, as follows. The bark is an alterative, antifungal, astringent, detergent, laxative, and purgative. The leaves are an alterative and anti-inflammatory. The nut is an anti-inflammatory and yang tonic. The rind is an antifungal and sudorific. All parts are an antiseptic and mildly hypoglycemic. Only the leaves are used for eczema, and only the nut is used for high cholesterol.
The plant helps rid one of protazoa parasites and tapeworm. The ellagic acid stimulates the central nervous system and has been used to help people recover from electric shock.

Topical Uses: Athlete's Foot, Bed Bugs, Eczema, Fungal Infection, Headache, Heat Stroke, Herpes, Impetigo, Insect Repellent, Jock Itch, Leprosy, Ringworm, Tonsillitis, Wounds

Topical Applications: Crushed leaves can be rubbed on the body to repel insects. Wash, compress or poultice for wounds, eczema, impetigo and herpes, also to prevent bed bugs and even in some parts of the world to treat leprosy. Salve made from green hulls is excellent for fungal problems like ringworm, jock itch and athlete's foot. Gargle for tonsillitis. Walnut leaves and shells were once used to color hair dark. The leaves have been worn as a crown to prevent headaches or heatstroke. Walnut oil is used in soap production and to make non-drying paint. The wood has long been used for furniture.

Culinary uses: Ripening nuts can be pickled. Walnuts may be eaten raw or toasted. They can be added to salads, stir fries and baked goods. Walnut oil is used in cooking and for salads. A delicious syrup, similar to maple syrup, can be made from the sap.

Energetics: Bitter, Warm, Dry, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Leaves contain naphthaquinones (juglon), tannins, ellagic acid, gallic acid, flavonoids, inositol, essential oils. Nuts are rich in essential fatty acids (linoeic and linolenic), vitamin C, manganese.

Comments: Only the green hull is cooling.
The genus name Juglans or jovis glans means 'Jupiter's nut.' Mythology tells that gods residing on earth lived off Walnuts. The name Walnut is from the Teutonic welsche nuss, meaning 'foreign nut'. Because Walnuts are similar to the shape of the head, they have been thought to benefit the brain. In Asian medicine, Walnuts are regarded as a kidney tonic, which makes sense as they consider the brain to be governed by the kidneys. Walnuts have been carried as a charm for fertility. Walnut as a flower essence is for transitions such as job changes, moving or menopause.
The common name Walnut includes the species Juglans regia (Black Walnut) which is used interchangeably with Juglans nigra (English Walnut, Persian Walnut).


Latin Name: Piper nigrum

Alternate Names: Black Pepper, Vine Pepper, White Pepper, Green Pepper


Parts Used: Dried unripe fruit.

Properties: Antibacterial, Anticatarrhal, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Aromatic, Carminative, Circulatory Stimulant, Diaphoretic, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Rubefacient, Siliagogue, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic.

Internal Uses: Arthritis, Colic, Diarrhea, Flatulence, Headache, Indigestion, Nausea, Rheumatism, Stomachache, Vertigo

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
When Pepper is added to food in moderation, it stimulates both saliva and digestive secretions, including hydrochloric acid.

Topical Uses: Insect Repellent, Lice, Rheumatism, Ringworm

Topical Applications: Wash for ringworm and lice. Essential oil is added to perfumes and to massage oils for its stimulating and toning properties. Helpful for massage of rheumatic joints. Pepper is made into an insecticide spray to repel ants, boll weevils, flies, roaches, moths and silverfish.

Culinary uses: This condiment is used worldwide. Used to preserve food. Flavors vegetables, soups, stews and meats. Every good cook knows fresh ground is the best. White pepper is preferred if a cook is intent on a uniform color when making a white colored dish such as potato soup or cauliflower. Peppercorns are added to pickles and marinades.

Energetics: Pungent, Hot.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil -- more is present in black pepper than in white pepper (beta-bisabolene, camphene, phellandrene, myristicin, pinene, safrole), resin, alkaloids (piperine, piperidine, chavicine), protein, chromium.

Comments: Piper is an ancient Latin name meaning 'plant'. Attila the Hun is said to have demanded a ransom of 3,000 pounds of Pepper during his siege of Rome (408 A.D.). The quest for Pepper prompted much world exploration and the herb was an important early trade item. Columbus was looking for a shorter route to India to find Pepper. The Pepper trade contributed greatly to the wealth of Venice. Pepper from India was considered one of the five essential luxuries along with African ivory, Arabian incense, Chinese silk and German amber. It was once a form of currency and even used to pay rent. In England in 1154, a Guild of Pepperers was formed to control spice trade. Pepper currently accounts for over one fourth of the world's spice trade.
In East Africa, Pepper is consumed in excess quantities as an abortifacient. It is also consumed in the belief that eating lots of pepper will make one less desirable to mosquitoes.
Black, green and white pepper are all from the same plant. Black pepper is from the unripe but fully grown berry. White pepper, a milder version, is from soaked and peeled mature fruits. Currently however, most commercial white pepper is pepper with the outer hull removed by machinery. Green peppercorns are harvested from young unripe berries and are less heating. They are usually preserved by freeze drying or pickling.


Latin Name: Petroselinum crispum

Alternate Names: Rock Selinen, Rock Parsley


Parts Used: Leaves, root, seeds.

Properties: Anthelmintic, Antioxidant, Antirheumatic, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aperient, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Laxative, Lithotriptic, Nutritive, Sedative, Tooth Tonic.

Internal Uses: Amenorrhea, Anemia, Arthritis, Asthma, Breast Tenderness, Cancer, Convalescence, Cystitis, Dysmenorrhea, Edema, Fever, Flatulence, Gallstones, Gonorrhea, Gout, Halitosis, Hypertension, Jaundice, Kidney Inflammation, Kidney Stones, Lumbago, Malaria, Pulmonary Edema, Rheumatism, Sciatica, Syphilis

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It is a mild aphrodisiac, as well as a cancer preventative. It helps hypertension due to its diuretic properties. The high chlorophyll content facilitates utilization of oxygen. The volatile oil increases circulation to the digestive tract. In Russia, a preparation containing mostly Parsley juice is given during labor to stimulate uterine contractions.

Topical Uses: Bruises, Eye Fatigue, Insect Bites, Insect Repellent, Skin Dryness, Sprains, Toothache

Topical Applications: Use as a poultice for bruises, sprains and insect bites. Rubbed on body to repel mosquitoes. Juice is used to treat toothache. Use as a hair rinse or as a facial steam for dry skin. Skin lotion. Eyewash for tired eyes.

Culinary uses: Salads, egg dishes, soup, stews, fish, dips, potatoes, tomatoes, bouquet garnish. It is a popular garnish herb, but eat it - do not waste it! It freshens Garlic breath. Root is eaten in salads or cooked as a vegetable and added to soups and stews.

Energetics: Neutral, Sweet.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (apiole, myristicin, limonene, eugenol), coumarins, glycoside (apiin), flavonoids (apigenin), chlorophyll, protein, beta carotene, vitamins C and K, iron, magnesium, histadine, calcium.

Contraindications: Large amounts are contraindicated during pregnancy, as apiole is a uterine stimulant. Some birds are poisoned by Parsley, however most other animals eat it. Avoid excessive amounts of the seeds.

Comments: Dioscorides, a Greek herbalist, named this genus Petroselinum from petros, meaning 'rock', and selinon, meaning 'celery'. The ancient Greeks believed that Parsley sprang from the blood of Archemorus, who was the herald of death. Soldiers would avoid eating it before battle. It was used to make wreaths for the dead and placed on their tombs. Parsley was also associated with Persephone, the Queen of the Underworld. Romans wore Parsley garlands during feasts to prevent drunkeness. It was also used to garland victorious Greek athletes in the Nemean Games. In Jewish Seders it is eaten to symbolize new beginnings.
Because it takes a long time to germinate, there is a lot of legend surrounding it, such as if Parsley grows successfully by one's home, the woman is the master of the house. The seeds are traditionally planted on Good Friday. During the Middle Ages it was used as a poison antidote.
The common name Parsley includes the speices Petroselinum sativum, Petroselinum tuberosum (Hamburg Parsley) and Petroselinum hortense, which are used interchangeably with Petroselinum crispum.


Latin Name: Origanum vulgare

Alternate Names: Wild Marjoram


Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Digestive Tonic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Amenorrhea, Bronchitis, Colic, Cough, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Fever, Flatulence, Headache, Indigestion, Measles, Motion Sickness, Mumps, Nausea, Neuralgia, Pleurisy, Rheumatism, Tonsillitis

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It helps headaches due to nerves.

Topical Uses: Bruises, Colds, Congestion, Flu, Headache, Joint Pain, Sinus Congestion, Sprains, Swellings, Toothache

Topical Applications: Use as a liniment, poultice or compress for bruises, sprains, swellings, headache and painful joints. Bath herb for colds and flu. Inhalations of tea to clear congested lungs and sinuses. Hair rinse. Chew on leaves or apply diluted oil for toothaches. Perfume.

Culinary uses: Used to season vegetables and sauces in German, Greek, Italian, Mexican and Spanish cooking. Use to season pizza, chili, meat dishes, beans, eggs, relishes, dips and salad dressing. Used in bouquets, garnishes, beer, bitters and vermouth.

Energetics: Pungent, Warm.
Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (carvacrol, thymol), terpenes (borneol, terpinene, terpineol), flavonoids, tannins, bitters.

Contraindications: Avoid large medicinal dosages during pregnancy.

Comments: The genus name, Origanum is from the Greek words oros and ganos, meaning 'joy of the mountain' in reference to the plant's beauty when growing on mountainsides. Romans made wreaths of Oregano to crown young couples.
The herb Origanum marjorana, commonly known as Marjoram, is very closely related to Origanum vulgare and shares its medicinal qualities.


Latin Name: Quercus alba

Alternate Names: White Oak, Tanner's Bark, Royal Protector, English Oak, Common Oak, Green Oak, Red Oak, Black Oak


Parts Used: Bark, galls (growths that are produced in reaction to fungi or insects).

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Astringent, Hemostatic, Styptic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Anal Prolapse, Bloody Urine, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Hemorrhage, Hemorrhoids, Uterine Prolapse

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
The high tannin content is responsible for a wide range of its activity. Tannins bind with protein of the tissues, thus making them impermeable to bacterial invasion and infection, while at the same time strengthening the tissues.

Topical Uses: Bleeding Gums, Burns, Capillary Weakness, Dermatitis, Eczema, Hemorrhoids, Insect Bites, Laryngitis, Leukorrhea, Nosebleeds, Pharyngitis, Ringworm, Sore Throat, Tonsillitis, Varicose Veins, Wounds

Topical Applications: Gargle or mouthwash for laryngitis, pharyngitis, sore throat and tonsillitis. Mouthwash for bleeding gums. Compress for burns, cuts, eczema, contact dermatitis, hemorrhoids, ringworm, varicose veins and weak capillaries. Enema, suppository and/or sitz bath for hemorrhoids. Douche for leukorrhea. Snuff for nosebleeds. Leaves as a poultice for insect bites.

Culinary uses: Acorns (best from White Oak) are processed by leaching out the tannins in water for at least 24 hours, then grinding into a meal. Acorns can also be roasted as a coffee substitute.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Cool, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Tannins (phlobatannin, ellagitannins, gallic acid), quercin. Galls are even higher in tannins than the bark.

Contraindications: Oak galls are extremely astringent; use only in small quantities. Use Oak bark for no longer than one month continuously.

Comments: The genus name Quercus is from a Celtic word, quer, meaning 'fine' and cuea, or 'tree'. The Oak tree was sacred to the Druids and has long been a symbol of fertility and immortality. In the past, European and American women wanting to get pregnant would carry an acorn as a talisman. In Nordic mythology, the Oak was associated with thunder gods as oak groves seem to attract much lightning. To the Romans, the Oak symbolized bravery, and military heroes were often crowned with a wreath of Oak leaves. Oak is used as a Bach Flower Remedy to treat despair and despondency. Its valuable, sturdy timber has led to many forests being cut down. It has been used to tan leather.
The common name oak includes the species Quercus alba (White oak), Quercus robur (English Oak, Common Oak), Quercus virens (Green Oak), Quercus petraea, Quercus rubra (Red Oak) and Quercus tinctoria (Black Oak) all of which are used interchangeably with Quercus alba.


Latin Name: Nelumbo nuciferum

Alternate Names: Sacred Lotus, He Ye (Chinese), Padma (Sanskrit), Lianzi (Sees), Kamala (Hindi), Oujie (Chinese - Root), Lian Zi (Chinese - Seed)


Parts Used: Nodes of root, seeds, above ground portion.

Properties: Aphrodisiac, Astringent, Cardiotonic, Emmenagogue, Hemostatic, Hypotensive, Rejuvenative, Sedative, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Alcohol Poisoning, Asthma, Attention Deficit, Bleeding, Colds, Cough, Diarrhea, Hemorrhoids, Mushroom Poisoning, Sinusitis, Speech Problems, Stuttering, Uterine Hemorrhage, Whooping Cough

Internal Applications: Use seed and root with rice as aphrodisiac. Seeds are used as calmative and cardiotonic. The seeds are also used to improve stuttering, speech difficulties and concentration. All parts of the Lotus are used in some way as medicine. Lotus root helps to disperse stagnant mucus. It has a special affinity for the repiratory system.
Lotus helps move blood stagnation and also stops bleeding. The part of the lotus that connects the two roots is considered to have the most medicinal properties.

Topical Applications: Poultice, flowers for perfume.

Culinary uses: Leaves, young stalks, petals, seeds and rhizomes are all edible. Lotus root flour is used as a thickener in sauces. Young tender parts may be eate raw in salads or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves are used for wrapping items to be baked or steamed. The beautiful flower petals can be floated atop soup.

Energetics: Bitter, Sweet, Cooling.

Chemical Constituents: Asparagine, tannin, nelumbine, carotene, vitamin B-1 and B-2, niacin.

Contraindications: Avoid in cases of indigestion and constipation.

Comments: The leaves are cooling. The genus name, Nelumbo, is from the Sri Lankan name of the herb. Nuciferum means 'nut-bearing'. Lotus is often considered the sacred flower of India, a symbol of spiritual unfoldment. Indeed, the Lotus is so beautiful that in India just looking at it is considered medicinal. It is also linked to Lakshimi, Goddess of Prosperity. Both Horus, the Egyptian Sun God, and Brahma are said to have been born of Lotus flowers. In many parts of the world, Lotus is planted as a devotional flower and offered in religious ceremonies. Its five petals are said to represent the five stages of the Hindu Wheel of Life -- birth, initiation, marriage, rest and death. It is an aquatic plant. In the Greek tradition, lotus was eaten to induce a dreamy state, but in Chinese medicine it is used to relieve dreaminess.


Latin Name: Gardenia florida

Alternate Names: Happiness Herb, Cape Jasmine, Zhi Zi (Chinese), Gardenia Fruit


Parts Used: Fruit.

Properties: Alterative, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiphlogistic, Astringent, Cholagogue, Febrifuge, Hypotensive, Refrigerant, Stomach Tonic.

Internal Uses: Abscess, Bloody Urine, Cystitis, Delerium, Emotional Blockage, Fever, Headache, Hepatitis, Hypertension, Insomnia, Irritability, Jaundice, Liver Stagnation, Nosebleeds, Rectal Bleeding, Restlessness, Ulcers, Urinary Infections

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Gardenia clears heat and calms irritable emotions. It drains dampness and cools the blood -- thus, it stops bleeding.

Topical Uses: Abscess, Bruises, Injury, Irritability, Sprains, Swellings

Topical Applications: Poultice for bruises, sprains, abscesses and injuries. When used topically it also relieves swelling and congested blood due to trauma. Essential oil used in perfume. The aroma of the flower calms the heart.

Culinary uses: Fruit is used in Thailand to make a food coloring. Essential oil used to flavor teas.

Energetics: Bitter, Cold, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Flavonoids (crocin, chlorogenin, gardenin), iridoids, sitrosterol, ursolic acid, mannitol, tannin.

Contraindications: Do not use the essential oil of this plant internally.

Comments: One of the world's most beautifully scented flowers, Gardenia includes the species Gardenia jasminoides, which is used interchangeably with Gardenia florida.


Latin Name: Cola acuminata

Alternate Names: Kola Nut, Bissy Nut, Gooroo Nut


Parts Used: Seed kernels.

Properties: Aphrodisiac, Aromatic, Astringent, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Stimulant

Internal Uses: Alcoholism, Asthma, Depression, Diarrhea, Drug Addiction, Dysentery, Fatigue, Headache, Mental Exhaustion, Neuralgia, Obesity, Whooping Cough

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules

Culinary uses: Used in cola beverages as a stimulant and flavoring.

Energetics: Bitter, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Caffeine, theobromine, kolanin, tannin, anthocyanin.

Contraindications: Avoid if one has high blood pressure, heart palpitations and peptic ulcers. Due to the caffeine content, pregnant women should also avoid.

Comments: There are 125 species of this plant, all of which are indigenous to tropical West Africa, where the seeds are chewed to curb hunger, allay thirst and enable people to work hard in hot conditions. They are considered a symbol of hospitality and used in many social ceremonies such as marriage, birth and funerals. They are often prayed over before being shared. Though it is called a nut, the part consumed is really the inner part of the fleshy seeds. The seeds are used to make a reddish dye. Their consumption is not considered habit forming.
The common name Cola Nut includes the species Cola nitada, which is used interchangeably with Cola acuminata.


Latin Name: Coffea arabica

Alternate Names: Arabian Coffee, Devil's Brew, Java, Espresso


Parts Used: Roasted kernel of ripe dried seeds.

Properties: Antiemetic, Antinarcotic, Appetite Suppressant, Cardiac Stimulant, Cerebral Stimulant, Diuretic, Laxative, Muscle Relaxant, Stimulant, Vasoconstrictor.

Internal Uses: Asthma, Catarrh, Constipation, Fatigue, Jet Lag, Migraine, Narcotic Poisoning, Obesity, Pain, Paralysis

Internal Applications: Tea made from beans.
In addition to being a stimulant, coffee is used in medicines to potentiate the effects of other substances and promote a sense of well being. It also helps to increase the pain-relieving actions of analgesics. It opens the bronchial passages, thus improving respiratory congestion. Coffee increases the number of calories burned per hour.

Topical Applications: Organic coffee is used in enemas to stimulate liver and bowel cleansing.

Culinary uses: It is used to flavor baked goods, candy, ice cream, yoghurt and liqueurs.

Energetics: Bitter.

Chemical Constituents: Caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, trigonelline, chlorogenic acid, essential oils, tannins.

Contraindications: Avoid for those with acid indigestion, high blood pressure, diarrhea, high stomach acidity, ulcers, and heart palpitations. Can cause anxiety, insomnia and a jittery feeling. May be addictive. When giving up coffee, do so gradually to help prevent headaches and withdrawal symptoms such as depression, lethargy and irritation. Coffee stimulates and irritates the intestines, adrenals, and reproductive organs. It also depletes the body of B vitamins, C and iron. Do not use during pregnancy and nursing. It is not for people who are weak and deficient. Coffee often contains residues of chemicals banned in the United States.
Coffee has been linked to cancer of the bladder, breast, ovaries, pancreas and prostate, as well as heart disease and birth defects. Breast cysts, premenstrual difficulties and infertility can also be aggravated by consumption of caffeine.

Comments: The practice of drinking coffee began about 1,000 years ago in the region that is now known as Ethiopia when an Arab mullah encountered a goatherd, who had a flock of frolicking goats. When questioned about their excited behavior, the goatherd pointed out the bush they had been grazing upon. When the mullah tried some of the beans, he too felt excited. Originally, coffee was used by Arab priests to help them stay awake and pray at night.
In the 19th century, eclectic physicians recommended Coffee to treat alcohol and opium overdose.
The common name Coffee includes the species Coffea robusta and Coffea liberica, which are used interchangeably with Coffea arabica.


Latin Name: Cinnamomum zeylanicum

Alternate Names: Cassia, Sweet Wood, Gui Zhi


Parts Used: Inner bark, twigs.

Properties: Antibacterial, Antifungal, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Stimulant

Internal Uses: Arthritis, Bedwetting, Colds, Colic, Cough, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Dysmenorrhea, Flatulence, Flu, Headache, Indigestion, Nausea, Vomiting

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules
When making a tea, do not boil for more than a few minutes or the taste will become bitter.
Cinnamon is a delicious herb, used to improve circulation. Its prolonged use is known to beautify the skin and promote a rosy complexion. It helps to dry dampness in the body. Use for people who are always cold and have poor circulation. Inhale on a hollow stick of cinnamon if trying to quit smoking.

Topical Uses: Athlete's Foot, Cigarette Addiction, Fungal Infection

Topical Applications: Use as a hair rinse for dark hair, or as a toothpaste flavoring to freshen breath. As a wash, it prevents and cures fungal infections such as athletes foot. Use in massage oil for lovers. Place Cinnamon in sachets to repel moths.

Culinary uses: Apple dishes, baked goods, chocolate, coffee, curries, French toast, egg nog, teas, pickles, puddings, rice dishes, wine.

Energetics: Sweet, Pungent, Hot, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Cinnamaldehyde, gum, tannin, mannitol, coumarins, essential oils (aldehydes, eugenol, pinene).

Contraindications: Avoid during hot, feverish conditions. Not for hemorrhoids, dry stools or blood in the urine. Avoid large amounts during pregnancy.

Comments: Cinnamon was used in ancient Egypt for embalming. In ancient times it was added to food to prevent spoiling. During the Bubonic Plague, sponges were soaked in cinnamon and cloves and placed in sick rooms. It was the most sought after spice during explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries. It has also been burned as an incense. The smell of Cinnamon is pleasant, stimulates the senses, yet calms the nerves. Its smell is reputed to attract customers to a place of business.
The common name Cinnamon encompasses many varieties, including Cinnamomum cassia and Cinamomum saigonicum, which are used interchangeably with Cinnamomum zeylanicum.


Latin Name: Citrus reticulata

Alternate Names: Mandarin Orange, Tangerine, Chen Pi (Chiniese - Mandarin Orange Peel), Qing Pi Or Zhi Shi (Chinese - Unripe Orange Peel)


Parts Used: Peel from unsprayed oranges.

Properties: Antibacterial, Antifungal, Aromatic, Bitter Tonic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Digestive Tonic, Expectorant, Sedative, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Abscess, Belching, Bloating, Breast Cancer, Catarrh, Chest Congestion, Digestive Weakness, Flatulence, Gallbladder Congestion, Indigestion, Liver Stagnation, Tumors

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
All species help move chi stagnation. Although all species share certain properties, there are some differences; Mandarin Orange Peel is an anti-inflammatory, cholagogue, carminative, diuretic and tonic, and the green or unripe orange peel is a cholagogue and carminative. The bitter Orange Peel moves chi stagnation and is a carminative, stimulant, stomachic, expectorant and tonic. Additionally, different species/parts have different uses. Mandarin Orange Peel - catarrh, chest congestion, gas, indigestion; Green or Unripe Citrus Peel -- abscess, bloating, breast cancer, gall bladder congestion, liver stagnation; Bitter Orange Peel - flatulence, indigestion, stagnation in the digestive tract, tumors.
Using the peels as a digestive aid stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid. The high content of bioflavonoids helps to strengthen the capillaries and tissues in the body. Orange flower water is used as a sedative.

Topical Uses: Allergies, Broken Capillaries, Skin Dryness

Topical Applications: Orange flower water is used for dry skin, broken capillaries and to stimulate new cell growth. Once used as a snuff for allergies. Perfumes.

Culinary uses: Orange Peel is grated and added to candies, breads, cookies and cakes. It gives zest to vegetable dishes and improves the digestion of food. Orange Peel is used to improve the flavor of other medicines. Orange Peel is used in making marmalade and liqueurs such as Cura├žo. Fruit is eaten plain or juiced. Orange flower water is used to flavor desserts.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Warm, Sour, Cool, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (limonene, pinene, linalol, humulene), flavonoids, aldehydes, coumarins, bitters, vitamin C.

Contraindications: Use Bitter Orange with caution during pregnancy as large doses may stimulate contractions.

Comments: The energetics differ depending on the species, as follows: Mandarin and Bitter Orange Peel - pungent, bitter, warm, dry; Bitter Orange Peel - sour, bitter, cool, dry.
Oranges are native to the Far East and China and are believed to be the Golden Apples of Mythological fame. Oranges are regarded as a symbol of fertility due to the fact that they can produce flowers and fruit at the same time.
The species Citrus reticulata (Mandarin Orange, also known as Tangerine), is closely related to the species Citrus aurantium (Bitter Orange, also known as Seville Orange) and Citrus nobilis-mandarin.

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