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.

WILD YAM


Latin Name: Dioscorea villosa

Alternate Names: Colic Root, Rheumatism Root, Chipahuacxituitl, Devil's Bones, Yuma, Rheumatism Root, Aluka (Sanskrit), Shan Yao (Chinese)

Family: DIOSCOREACEAE

Parts Used: Root, rhizome.

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antirheumatic, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Cholagogue, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Nutritive.

Internal Uses: Colic, Diverticulitis, Dysmenorrhea, Flatulence, Infertility, Irritable Bowel, Labor Pain, Menopause, Muscle Cramps, Muscle Spasms, Neuralgia, Ovarian Pain, Rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Threatened Miscarriage

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It is a mild diaphoretic. Diosgenin is a precursor to progesterone and was once used to make birth control pills. It is also made into steroidal compounds. It helps to normalize hormones after an abortion. Wild Yam reduces inflammation and moves congested chi.

Topical Uses: Eczema

Topical Applications: Salve for eczema. Recently, Wild Yam has been incorporated into a number of salves for women in an attempt to promote hormonal production.

Culinary uses: Dioscorea betada is a preferable Wild Yam to cook.

Energetics: Sweet, Bitter, Warm.

Chemical Constituents: Steroidal saponins (dioscin which becomes diosgenin), starch, alkaloid, tannins.

Contraindications: Avoid large doses during pregnancy unless so directed by a health professional.

Comments: The name Chipahuacxituitl is Aztec for Graceful Plant. This herb has been listed by United Plant Savers as an 'at risk' plant, so please avoid buying products harvested from the wild. Only use the cultivated herb.

DONG QUAI


Latin Name: Angelica sinensis

Alternate Names: Tang Kwei, Dang Gui, Ginseng For Women, State Of Return, Toki

Family: APIACEAE

Parts Used: Root.

Properties: Alterative, Analgesic, Antibacterial, Anticoagulant, Antifungal, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Blood Tonic, Emmenagogue, Sedative, Uterine Tonic, Yin Tonic.

Internal Uses: Allergies, Amenorrhea, Anemia, Chi Deficiency, Dysentery, Dysmenorrhea, Headache, Hot Flashes, Hyperacidity, Insomnia, Menopause, Shigella, Strep Throat, Tachycardia, Tinnitus

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Dong Quai helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, thereby helping to support calmer moods. Women who are going off birth control pills can use it to help re-establish regular menstrual cycles. It is given to women after birthing to help prevent postpartum bleeding and to build strength. It builds the blood and improves circulation as well as disperses congestion in the pelvic region. It also helps nourish dry, thin vaginal tissues. It helps to beautify the skin and foster feelings of compassion.
Dong Quai has been found to have activity in in vitro studies against Strep, Shigella and in dysentery. It accelerates the healing of wounds and stimulates white blood cell production. It can help people who suffer from environmental illness.

Culinary uses: Root is added to vegetable or chicken soups and cooked with grains.

Energetics: Sweet, Pungent, Bitter, Warm, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Niacin, essential oil (carvacrol, safrol, isosafrol), sesquiterpenes, cadinene, coumarin, sitosterol, vitamin B-12 and vitamin E.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy unless suggested by a competent health professional. Avoid in cases of diarrhea, poor digestion and abdominal distension. Avoid with heavy menstrual flow. Do not use if takning blood thinning medications.

Comments: This native of Asia derives its name from the Chinese term 'ought to return.' Dong Quai is one of the most frequently used herbs in Chinese medicine. Extremely bitter roots are said to be of poor quality.

DAMIANA


Latin Name: Turnera aphrodisiaca

Alternate Names: Turnera

Family: TURNERACEAE

Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Alterative, Aperient, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Laxative, Nervine, Stimulant, Urinary Antiseptic, Yang Tonic.

Internal Uses: Asthma, Catarrh, Constipation, Depression, Emphysema, Frigidity, Hot Flashes, Impotence, Parkinson's Disease, Vertigo

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It has been used as a tea to help teenagers overcome the shyness and self-consciousness that sometimes accompanies puberty. It can also be used for sexual performance anxiety in adults. The bitter principle, damianin, stimulates the nervous system and genitals and allows nerve messages to more readily spread through the body.

Culinary uses: Liqueurs.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (containing cineol, cymol, pinene), cyanogenic glycosides, damianin, thymol, tannin, phosphorus.

Contraindications: Consume no more than one cup of tea, one dropperful of tincture, or two capsules daily, so as to avoid stressing the liver, since its effects are cumulative. It is generally considered safe, but avoid using Damiana in cases of urinary tract diseases or liver disease.

Comments: Damiana is a small shrub native to the American Southwest, Mexico and the West Indies. It was used by the Mayans and Aztecs as a sexual stimulant and to treat respiratory disorders. Some people smoke Damiana in a waterpipe as a prelude to lovemaking. It was also burned ceremoniously to enable participants to see visions. Damiana was used in the 1930s by livestock breeders.
The common name Damiana includes the species Turnera diffusa, which is used interchangeably with Turnera aphrodisiaca.

CHICORY


Latin Name: Chicorium intybus

Alternate Names: Endive, Succory, Watcher Of The Road, Barbe De Capucin (Beard Of The Monk)

Family: ASTERACEAE

Parts Used: Root (collected before flowering), leaves.

Properties: Antibacterial, Appetizer, Astringent, Bitter Tonic, Cholagogue, Depurative, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Hepatic, Laxative, Nutritive, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic

Internal Uses: Acne, Cellulite, Constipation, Diabetes, Eczema, Gallstones, Gastritis, Gout, Hepatitis, Jaundice, Liver Stagnation, Lymphatic Cancer, Rheumatism, Urinary Infections

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup.
It is a mild laxative. Chicory is helpful for diabetics, since it contains inulin, a natural starch. It also promotes bile secretions and aids in the elimination of mucus and gallstones.

Topical Uses: Abscess, Boils, Inflammation

Topical Applications: The leaves are used as a poultice for inflammation, abscesses and boils.

Culinary uses: Young leaves are used in salads and as a cooked green, before the plant flowers. The buds can be pickled. Flowers are a beautiful edible garnish to salads and other dishes. The flowers may also be candied. Gather early in the day, as the flowers close in the afternoon. The root can be baked or sauteed as a vegetable. The root is roasted, which sweetens it, and then used as a coffee substitute or extender, as seen in Louisiana-style coffee.

Energetics: Bitter, Sweet, Cool, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Inulin, sesquiterpene lactones (lactucine, lactupicrine), vitamins B, C, K and flavonoids, coumarins.

Contraindications: Excessive use can cause digestive disturbances and visual problems.

Comments: The species name, intybus, is derived from the Latin and Egyptian word tybi, meaning January, the month when Chicory leaves were most often eaten in that part of the world. Chicory is believed to be the flower of luck in German mythology. It is also one of the traditional bitter herbs of Passover.
Cows love to graze upon Chicory, but it will make their milk taste bitter if eaten to excess. Goldfinches eat the wild seeds. The Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, used Chicory in his floral clock, as the flowers open and close with such regularity.

CHIA


Latin Name: Salvia columbariae

Family: LAMIACEAE

Parts Used: Seeds.

Properties: Demulcent, Diaphoretic, Emollient, Expectorant, Laxative, Nutritive.

Internal Uses: Constipation, Fatigue, Fever, Intestinal Dryness

Internal Applications: Mostly eaten whole. Tea, Capsules.
The demulcent and cooling qualities of Chia seeds make them excellent for improving constipation and fever.

Topical Uses: Wounds

Topical Applications: Poultice for wounds.

Culinary uses: The grain is used as a staple. Sprinkle on cereal, salads or soups. Seeds can be sprouted.

Energetics: Sweet, Pungent, Bitter, Cool, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Omega-3 fatty acids.

Comments: The genus name, Salvia, is from Latin and means 'to save' or 'be well'. The common name Chia is from a Mayan word, chiabaan, meaning 'strengthening'. Chia is native to the American Southwest and central America. It has been said that one teaspoon of seed was enough to sustain an adult Indian on a long day's march.
The common name Chia includes the species Salvia hispanica, which is used interchangeably with Salvia columbariae.

KHAT


Latin Name: Catha edulis

Alternate Names: Cafta, Flower Of Paradise

Family: CELASTRACEAE

Parts Used: Leaves, twigs.

Properties: Anaphrodisiac, Cerebral Stimulant, Respiratory Stimulant, Stimulant

Internal Uses: Fatigue, Malaria, Obesity

Internal Applications: Tea, Leaves (generally chewed).
Khat is used to enhance communication , increase alertness and decrease hunger. Users become more talkative and laugh easily.

Chemical Constituents: D-norpseudoephedrine, cathine, cathidine, cathinine.

Contraindications: Khat may cause headaches and elevate blood pressure. Large quantities are addictive and withdrawal may cause lethargy. Though most people will experience an amphetamine-like effect, for some people Khat may work as a depressant. Chronic use may lead to tremors in the nervous system and cause one to become more high-strung, constipated and susceptible to disease. Do not use during pregnancy. Use on occasion rather than regularly.

Comments: This tree is native to Kenya and Ethiopia. In Africa, some women will refuse to marry a Khat user.

CALIFORNIA POPPY


Latin Name: Eschscholzia californica

Family: PAPAVERACEAE

Parts Used: Above ground portion, root.

Properties: Analgesic, Anodyne, Antispasmodic, Febrifuge, Hypnotic, Nervine, Sedative, Soporific.

Internal Uses: Anxiety, Bedwetting, Headache, Hyperactivity, Insomnia, Restlessness, Stress

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It helps bedwetting by relieving stress. It does not contain opiates and is a skeletal relaxant.

Topical Uses: Pain

Topical Applications: Compress to help relieve pain

Energetics: Bitter, Cool.

Contraindications: Avoid in cases of depression. Excess use can cause one to feel hungover in the morning. Not addictive.

Comments: This herb is the state flower of California, where it is protected and one may be fined for collecting it from the wild.

CALENDULA


Latin Name: Calendula officinalis

Alternate Names: Pot Marigold

Family: ASTERACEAE

Parts Used: Flowers.

Properties: Alterative, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Diaphoretic, Vulnerary, Sedative.

Internal Uses: Candida, Cervicitis, Chickenpox, Conjunctivitis, Glandular Swelling, Hemorrhoids, Herpes, Infection, Measles, Mumps, Ulcers, Yeast Infection

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, capsules.
It increases peripheral circulation. Use for old infections that have been trapped in the body for a long time. There is an old saying -- Where Calendula is, no pus will form.

Topical Uses: Earaches, Hemorrhoids, Inflammation, Insect Bites, Sinusitis, Wounds

Topical Applications: Poultice or salve for wounds and insect bites. Used in skin creams for its nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties. Nasal wash for sinus infections. Oil is used to treat earaches. Sitz bath for hemorrhoids.

Culinary uses: Petals have been used as a substitute for saffron.

Energetics: Pungent, Dry, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Saponins, caretonoids, flavonoids, mucilage, bitter principle, phytosterols, polysaccharides resin.

Comments: The name is derived from calend, meaning the first day of every calendar month as Calendula opens as the sun rises and can be found blooming in some parts of the world every month. In the twelfth century, it was believed that simply looking at Calendula would improve eyesight. Despite the name Pot Marigold, Calendula is not a true Marigold.

MAYAPPLE


Latin Name: Podophyllum peltatum

Alternate Names: American Mandrake, Devil's Apple, Indian Podophyllum, Wild Lemon, Duck's Foot, Umbrella Plant, Hog Apple, Racoonberry

Family: BERBERIDACEAE

Parts Used: Rhizome, resin.

Properties: Antibilious, Antitumor, Antiviral, Cathartic, Counterirritant, Glandular Stimulant, Hydragogue, Immune Stimulant, Purgative, Vermifuge.

Internal Uses: Constipation, Leukemia, Lymphatic Tumors, Ovarian Cancer, Tumors

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
One of the ways Mayapple helps to get rid of warts is by impeding the warts' development and blood supply. It works as an immune stimulant by suppressing lymph cells; therefore, it is especially useful in the treatment of leukemia. Can help in cases of severe constipation.

Topical Uses: Venereal Warts, Warts

Topical Applications: Resin is applied to warts, including venereal warts.
The podophyllin and podophyllotoxin constituents have growth inhibiting properties, hence the topical application for warts.

Culinary uses: Though the fruit is somewhat laxative, it is made into jams, beverages, sauces and ice cream.

Energetics: Bitter, Cold, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Glycoside (podophyllotoxin), flavonoids (kaempferol, quercitin), calcium oxalate, gallic acid.

Contraindications: When applying to warts, use only on the tissue needed or it can damage surrounding tissue. Use internally only in tiny amounts followed by lots of water, using about one sixth the dosage of other herbs. Can cause vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, headaches and lowered blood pressure. Misuse can be deadly. Handling fresh root may cause contact dermatitis. Avoid during pregnancy, as it can cause birth defects. Use only with guidance from a competent health professional. To give one an idea of its potential for misuse, it was once used as a suicide plant by Native Americans. Do not use interchangeably with European Mandrake (Mandragora officinarum).

Comments: The genus name, Podophyllum is from the Latin podos, meaning 'foot' and phyllon, meaning 'leaf.' This refers to the shape of the leaf which resembles the foot of an aquatic bird. The species name, peltatum, means 'shield shaped'. Mandrake was used by the Cherokee peoples to treat hearing loss. It is used as an insecticide for crops to kill potato bugs and corn worms.

LAVENDER


Latin Name: Lavendula angustifolia

Family: LAMIACEAE

Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves.

Properties: Analgesic, Antibacterial, Antidepressant, Antifungal, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Nervine, Rubefacient, Sedative, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Asthma, Colic, Cough, Depression, Exhaustion, Fainting, Flatulence, Headache, Insomnia, Nausea, Nervousness, Pain, Stress, Sunburn, Vertigo, Vomiting

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Lavender exhibits activity against diptheria, typhoid, pneumonia, staph, strep and many flu viruses. Lavender is a good nerve restorative and also useful as an antibacterial agent.

Topical Uses: Acne, Burns, Cellulite, Cold Sores, Eczema, Edema, Fatigue, Halitosis, Headache, Infection, Insect Bites, Insect Repellent, Insect Stings, Irritability, Joint Pain, Lice, Muscle Soreness, Rheumatism, Scabies, Scars, Snakebites, Toothache, Yeast Infection

Topical Applications: Use as a mouthwash for bad breath, foot bath for fatigue, and douche for yeast infections. Essential oil is used for toothaches, cold sores, acne and sore joints. It can be rubbed on the temples to alleviate a headache. Undiluted, it is an excellent remedy to apply to burns to promote healing, prevent infection and lessen scarring. Essential oil or fresh plant can be rubbed on the body as a bug repellent. It can prevent not only mosquito bites, but also lice and scabies infestation. Essential oil can be used topically on venomous bites such as bee stings, mosquitos, black widow and brown recluse spiders, wasps and snakes.
Place a drop of Lavender essential oil on the edge of the mattress of a teething baby to calm him/her down. Soaps, sachets and bath herbs can be used for cranky children or even for adults who have had a bad day. Use Lavender as a rinse for fragrant hair, and use it in massage oil for sore muscles, edema, rheumatism and cellulite. Use as a salve for eczema. Often used as perfume.

Culinary uses: Lavender is added in small amounts to stews and soups in French cooking. An ingredient in Herbes de Provence. Add small amounts in salads, fruit dishes and breads. One can make Lavender sorbet and Lavender shortbread. Also, use in vinegars, jams and candies.

Energetics: Bitter, Cool, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (linalol, eucalyptol, geraniol, limonene, cineole), tannins, coumarins, flavonoids, triterpenoids.

Comments: The name Lavender is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning 'to wash', as it was added to baths for its therapeutic properties and delightful fragrance.
Before World War II, Lavender was used as an antiseptic dressing for wounds and as a method to get rid of parasites. In the days when corsets were the fashion, ladies would tuck some Lavender oil in a bottle around their necks to revive them when they were feeling faint. Lavender was a popular strewing herb in the Middle Ages and used as an ingredient in sachets to repel moths and other bugs from stored clothing. It was burned in sick rooms during the Bubonic Plague so as to prevent the spread of the disease. It was also used to scent leather.
The smell of Lavender helps to lift the spirits. It is a helpful fragrance to have present at birth, since it calms the mother. Likewise, at death it helps calm the one about to depart, as well as the departed's loved ones.
The common name Lavender also includes Lavendula viridis, Lavendula vera, Lavendula officinalis, as well as other Lavendula species, which are used interchangeably with Lavendula bangustifolia.

DANDELION


Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale

Alternate Names: Lion's Tooth, Blow Ball, Pu Gong Ying (Chinese), Pee-in-the-bed, Wild Endive

Family: ASTERACEAE

Parts Used: All parts.

Properties: Antifungal, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Expectorant, Galactagogue, Hypotensive, Laxative, Lithotriptic, Liver Tonic.

Internal Uses: Acne, Anemia, Arthritis, Boils, Constipation, Diabetes, Eczema, Edema, Gallstones, Hepatitis, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Jaundice, Kidney Stones, Menstrual Problems, Obesity, Psoriasis, Pulmonary Edema, Rheumatism

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Different parts of the herb have different properties. The leaves are a diuretic and hypotensive. The root is an antifungal, cholagogue, diuretic, expectorant, galactagogue, mild laxative, lithotriptic and liver tonic. Only the leaves are used for edema, while the root is used for diabetes. Both are used for hypertension. It is an excellent herb for weight loss as the leaves are diuretic and the root improves fat metabolism.

Topical Uses: Fungal Infection, Warts, Wounds

Topical Applications: Flowers are used as a poultice for wounds. Sap from the stem can be applied to get rid of warts. Use as a wash for fungal infections.

Culinary uses: Leaves are eaten in the spring, before flowering, either raw or cooked. Roots can be cleaned and cooked like carrots or pickled. Roasted roots are made into a coffee substitute. Flowers may be added to muffins or battered and stir-fried. Dandelion wine, made from the flowers, is a delight! So is dandelion beer.

Energetics: Bitter, Sweet, Cold.

Chemical Constituents: Leaves contain bitter glycosides, carotenoids, terpenoids, choline, potassium, iron, calcium, vitamin C, inositol. Root contains bitter glycosides, tannins, triterpenes, sterols, essential oil, choline, inulin, asparagine, taraxacin, taraxacerin.

Contraindications: Before using root, dry or cook it.

Comments: The genus name Taraxacum is derived from the Greek word taraxos, meaning 'disorder' and akos, meaning 'remedy'. It is one of the bitter herbs in the Passover tradition. Dandelions were brought from Europe by the early Colonists. They are one of the planet's most famous and useful weeds. Dandelion is used to help clear the body of old emotions such as anger and fear that can be stored in the body's liver and kidneys. Dandelions provide food for many wild animals such as bees, deer, geese and rabbits. Since herbicides poison our environment, utilize this valuable health-giving plant instead of spraying!

CYPERUS


Latin Name: Cyperus rotundus

Alternate Names: Sedge Root, Chufa, Nutgrass, Xiang Fu (Chinese), Fragrant Support, Aromatic Attachment

Family: CYPERACEAE

Parts Used: Rhizome.

Properties: Analgesic, Anthelmintic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Carminative, Emmenagogue, Hypotensive, Sedative, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Amenorrhea, Bloating, Cervical Cancer, Depression, Diarrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Infertility, Moodiness

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Its calming effect helps relieve depression. Use for congested chi in digestive and cardiovascular systems. The cardio-ctive glycoside has a relaxing effect.

Culinary uses: Edible rhizomes.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (cineoles, cyperene, cyperol, cyperone, limonene, pinene, sesquiterpenes), flavonoids, starch.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy.

Comments: Cyperus grows in marshy areas and river edges. The fiber of the plant is today used to make cloth, paper, and baskets. Papyrus, which was a paper product in ancient Egypt, was made from Cyperus papyrus. In the Amazon, various Cyperus are used for contraception, menstruation, birth and child care purposes.
The common name Cyperus also includes other Cyperus species, which are used interchangeably with Cyperus rotundus.

CRANBERRY


Latin Name: Vaccinium oxycoccus

Alternate Names: Marshwort, Fenne Berry

Family: ERICACEAE

Parts Used: Berries, unsweetened juice.

Properties: Antiscorbutic, Bronchial Dilator, Urinary Antiseptic, Vasodilator.

Internal Uses: Asthma, Cancer, Cystitis, Diabetes, Gallstones, Incontinence, Kidney Stones, Poor Appetite, Urinary Infections

Internal Applications: Capsules.
Cranberry inhibits the adhesion of bacteria (often E. coli) to the urinary tract, perhaps due to a polymer contained in the plant. This allows the bacteria to be eliminated. The benzoic acid in the berries works as a natural preservative.

Culinary uses: Berries are tart and seldom eaten raw, though eaten in jams, sauces and added to stuffing. Cranberry juice is very popular. Dried cranberries can be used like raisins.

Energetics: Sour, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Flavonoids, anthocyanins (odain), catechin, citric acid, malic acid, ellagic acid, benzoic acid, vitamin C.

Contraindications: Some people may be allergic to Cranberries. Commercial Cranberry juices often contain lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners, which are undesirable.

Comments: Cranberry is native to North America, and includes the species Vaccinium macrocarpon, which is used interchangeably with Vaccinium oxycoccus.

CALIFONIA POPPY


Latin Name: Eschscholzia californica

Family: PAPAVERACEAE

Parts Used: Above ground portion, root.

Properties: Analgesic, Anodyne, Antispasmodic, Febrifuge, Hypnotic, Nervine, Sedative, Soporific.

Internal Uses: Anxiety, Bedwetting, Headache, Hyperactivity, Insomnia, Restlessness, Stress

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It helps bedwetting by relieving stress. It does not contain opiates and is a skeletal relaxant.

Topical Uses: Pain

Topical Applications: Compress to help relieve pain

Energetics: Bitter, Cool.

Contraindications: Avoid in cases of depression. Excess use can cause one to feel hungover in the morning. Not addictive.

Comments: This herb is the state flower of California, where it is protected and one may be fined for collecting it from the wild.

ANGELICA


Latin Name: Angelica archangelica

Alternate Names: Archangel, Masterwort, Wild Celery, Root Of The Holy Ghost

Family: APIACEAE

Parts Used: Root, leaves, stem, seeds.

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, Antirheumatic, Aperient, Aromatic, Astringent, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Nervine, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic, Uterine Stimulant

Internal Uses: Alcoholism, Amenorrhea, Anemia, Anorexia, Arthritis, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Colic, Dysmenorrhea, Expel Placenta, Flatulence, Flu, Indigestion, Intestinal Cramps, Migraine, Nausea, Typhus, Vomiting

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules
The seeds are used for acid indigestion, nausea and vomiting. Angelica is used to strengthen the heart and lungs and improve liver and spleen function. Small amounts stimulate digestive secretions. Some find that when Angelica is used, they lose their taste for alcohol.

Topical Uses: Arthritis, Electric Shock, Motion Sickness, Muscle Soreness

Topical Applications: Poultice, Salve.

Culinary uses: In Iceland and Lapland, the stems are cooked as a vegetable. Stems are candied and made into syrups and jellies, added to fruitcake and used to season fish. Leaves are added to salads and soups. Cook leaves with acidic fruits to decrease the amount of sugar needed. Dried leaves are added to baked goods. The oil from seeds and roots is used in benedictine, chartreuse, vermouth and gin. Leaves have been used to wrap and preserve food when traveling.

Energetics: Sweet, Pungent, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (beta-phellandrene, pinene, limonene, caryophyllene, linalool), coumarins, macrocyclic lactones, acids (valerianic, angelic), resins, sterol, tannin.
Contraindications: Only use dried root. Large doses can affect blood pressure and respiration, and stimulate the nervous system. Those with diabetes should avoid, since the herb has a high sugar content. Slight possibility that it can increase photosensitivity. Not for overly hot conditions. Avoid during pregnancy and periods of heavy menstrual bleeding. When planting, keep in mind that black flies and fruit flies are attracted to it and will congregate around the plant.

Comments: It is believed that this herb obtained the name Angelica, or angelic herb, as it helped protect people from disease, including plague and poisoning. It also blooms around May 8th, the feast day of Saint Michael, the archangel. It has also been told that the Archangel Raphael appeared to a monk in a dream and told him that Angelica would cure bubonic plague. Angelica is said to attract devic forces.
The common name Angelica also includes the species Angelica atropurpurea and Angelica officinalis, which are used interchangeably with Angelica archangelica.

WOODRUFF


Latin Name: Asperula odorata

Alternate Names: Sweet Woodruff, Musk Of The Woods

Family: RUBIACEAE

Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Anodyne, Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Cardiotonic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Digestive Tonic, Liver Tonic, Sedative.

Internal Uses: Bladder Stones, Digestive Weakness, Dysmenorrhea, Hysteria, Insomnia, Jaundice, Menopause, Migraine, Phlebitis, Pulmonary Edema, Restlessness, Varicose Veins

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It is a mild sedative that helps regulate heartbeat.

Topical Uses: Boils, Insect Repellent, Wounds

Topical Applications: Poultice of bruised leaves is applied to boils and wounds as an anticoagulant. Used as perfume, potpourri and insect repellent. Used in snuffs.

Culinary uses: Leaves are picked a few hours prior to use to allow the flavor to develop, and then added to cakes, soups, sauces, sorbets, fruit salads, May wine (Maibowle), punches and liqueurs.

Chemical Constituents: Coumarinic compounds that release coumarin as the plant breaks down, iridoids (asperuloside, monotropein), anthraquinones, flavonoids, organic acids (citric, rubichloric), tannin.

Contraindications: Large doses may cause dizziness, possible internal bleeding, and vomiting. Avoid if using blood-thinning medications. Avoid during pregnancy.

Comments: Woodruff was called Wudurofe, from wudu, meaning 'woods' and rove, most likely from the French rouvelle, or 'wheel' in reference to the whorl of leaves surrounding the stem. When dried, Woodruff becomes delightfully scented, similar to newly cut grass, vanilla and honey. It was a popular strewing herb during the Middle Ages. When mixed with animal fodder, it gives cow's milk a delicious aroma.
The common name Woodruff includes the species Galium odoratum, which is used interchangeably with Asperula odorata.

VENUS FLY TRAP


Latin Name: Dionaea muscipula

Family: DROSERACEAE

Properties: Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, Immune Stimulant.

Internal Uses: AIDS, Arthritis, Crohn's Disease, Epstein-barr Virus, Herpes, HIV, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Tumors, Ulcers

Internal Applications: Tincture.
It appears to activate killer T cell activity, reduce the rate of tumor tissue growth and shrink existing tumors. In Germany it is sometimes given by injection.

Topical Uses: Bronchial Cancer, Lung Cancer

Topical Applications: Used in a nebulizer for bronchial and lung cancer.

Chemical Constituents: Naphthaquinone (plumbagin, ellagic acid), proteolytic enzymes.

Contraindications: Fresh plant juice can cause blistering, and residues will even penetrate plastic bags.

Comments: Many people are familiar with this carnivorous plant. Venus Fly trap does not have a long history of traditional use; however modern research has been conducted in Germany by Dr. Hemmett Keller.
This herb has been listed by United Plant Savers as an 'at risk' plant, so please avoid buying products harvested from the wild. Only use the cultivated herb.

VIOLET


Latin Name: Viola odorata

Alternate Names: Heartsease, Hu-chin-tsao (Chinese)

Family: VIOLACEAE

Parts Used: Leaves, flowers.

Properties: Alterative, Antifungal, Antiseptic, Demulcent, Diuretic, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Laxative.

Internal Uses: Acne, Anger, Asthma, Boils, Breast Cancer, Bronchitis, Colds, Cysts, Eczema, Fever, Fibrocystic Breast, Gout, Grief, Headache, Lung Cancer, Lymphatic Congestion, Mastitis, Melanoma, Postoperative Recovery, Psoriasis, Rheumatism, Sore Throat, Thread Veins, Throat Cancer, Tongue Cancer, Tumors, Ulcers, Whooping Cough

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules, Syrup for coughs and lung congestion.
Violet leaf tea is safe, gentle and can be used as a substitute for baby aspirin. It is a mild laxative and also used for cancers of the breast, lung, skin, throat and tongue.

Topical Uses: Breast Cancer, Breast Cysts, Cancer, Corns, Headache, Melanoma, Sore Throat, Tinnitus, Warts

Topical Applications: Compress or poultice for breast cysts and cancers (including breast and skin). Also apply a cloth soaked in Violet tea to the back of the neck to treat headaches. Use in ointment for corns and warts. Oil infused with Violets is used to treat tinnitus. Gargle for sore throat. At one time, wearing a garland of Violets around the head was used to prevent dizziness, hangovers and headaches.

Culinary uses: As long as the leaves are heart shaped, they are edible in salads or as a potherb. Flowers are edible and make a beautiful garnish. Freeze flowers into ice cubes for a touch of elegance. Violet vinegar is made from the flowers. One can also make Violet sherbet and candied Violets.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Cold, Moist.

Chemical Constituents: Salicylates, saponins, alkaloids (violene), flavonoids, essential oil, beta-carotene, vitamin C.

Contraindications: Leaves contain saponins and if eaten in very large quantities can cause digestive distress. Eating the roots may cause vomiting.

Comments: Mythology recounts that Zeus loved a woman named Ione (Viola). His wife, Hera became jealous and turned her into a white heifer and so Violets were created by Zeus to give her something lovely to graze upon. Romans would plant Violets upon the graves of children. In gardening, Violet leaves are used as a fertilizer for leaf crops. Cherokee Indians have soaked corn seeds in cooled Violet tea to prevent insect damage during germination. Growing Violets by your doorstep is believed by some to calm the heart and offer protection. (Plus, they are edible.) Violets are regarded as a symbol of innocence and modesty. Violets are a traditional remedy for mending broken hearts from loss of a loved one. The Violet is the state flower of Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

SELF HEAL


Latin Name: Prunella vulgaris

Alternate Names: Heal-all, All Heal, Prunella, Woundwort, Hercules Woundwort, Sickle Herb, Carpenter's Herb, Dragonhead, Xu Ku Cao (Chinese), Blue Curls

Family: LAMIACEAE

Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Alterative, Antibacterial, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Astringent, Bitter Tonic, Cholagogue, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hemostatic, Liver Stimulant, Styptic, Tonic, Vermifuge, Vulnerary.

Internal Uses: Acne, Bleeding, Colic, Conjunctivitis, Convalescence, Convulsions, Diarrhea, Diphtheria, Dysmenorrhea, Edema, Fever, Flatulence, Gastritis, Gout, Hemorrhage, Hemorrhoids, Hepatitis, Hypertension, Injury, Jaundice, Laryngitis, Liver Weakness, Lymphatic Congestion, Pharyngitis, Sore Throat, Vertigo, Worms, Wounds

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Ursolic acid exhibits diuretic and anti-tumor activity.

Topical Uses: Bruises, Burns, Cuts, Gingivitis, Hemorrhoids, Leukorrhea, Mouth Sores, Rash, Sore Throat, Sprains, Thrush, Wounds

Topical Applications: Use as a poultice for hemorrhoids, rashes, bruises, burns, cuts, sprains and wounds. Mouthwash for sores, gum problems and thrush. Sore throat gargle. Salve herb. Eyewash. Douche for leukorrhea.

Culinary uses: Young plant can be eaten raw or cooked.

Energetics: Bitter, Pungent, Cool, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Pentacyclic triterpenes (betulinic, oleanolic ursolic acids), essential oil, rutin, beta carotene, vitamins B-1, C and K, tannin.

Comments: The genus name Prunella is from the German brunellen which is the name for the mouth and throat inflammation that the herb cured - die Bra√ľne, or Quinsy in English. It was used by the German Imperial armies to treat fever associated with brownish tongues. Its Chinese name literally means 'summer dry herb'. As the plant looks somewhat like an open mouth leading to the throat, this may have prompted its use as an herb for mouth and throat ailments. The herb also helps to cool conditions of an overheated liver.

SAFFRON


Latin Name: Crocus sativus

Alternate Names: Saffron Crocus, Spanish Saffron, Nagakeshara (Sanskrit), Zang Hong Hua (Chinese)

Family: IRIDACEAE

Parts Used: Flower stigmas and styles collected in autumn.

Properties: Abortifacient, Alterative, Anodyne, Antispasmodic, Aperient, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue, Rejuvenative, Sedative, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic.

Internal Uses: Anemia, Arthritis, Asthma, Cholera, Cough, Depression, Diarrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Gout, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Hysteria, Impotence, Infertility, Liver Enlargement, Measles, Menopause, Neuralgia, Rheumatism, Scarlet Fever, Shock, Spleen Enlargement

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Saffron helps chronic coughs and chronic diarrhea. Crocetin increases oxygen content in the blood which may contribute to the prevention of plaque buildup in the arteries.

Topical Uses: Bruises, Neuralgia, Rheumatism

Topical Applications: Used in cosmetics as a coloring agent and as a compress for bruises, neuralgia and rheumatism. Used in perfume.

Culinary uses: Used as a food coloring and in Saffron rice, paella, Bouillabaisse, Cornish cakes, Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, Schwenkfelder cake, soups, breads, Chartreuse and liqueurs.

Energetics: Pungent, Sweet, Bitter, Neutral.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (cineole, safranal, terpenes), bitter glycoside (crocin), crocetin, picrocin, carotenoids, vitamin B-1 and B-2.

Contraindications: Excessive use may be damaging to the kidneys and central nervous system. Large doses may cause coughs, headache, as well as have narcotic properties. It is potentially lethal. Avoid therapeutic doses during pregnancy. Saffron is frequently adulterated with marigold, safflower or turmeric, so buy the whole stigmas, rather than the powder, so as to be sure of paying for the real thing. Avoid large doses during pregnancy.

Comments: The genus name is from the Greek krokos, meaning 'thread' in reference to the plant's stigmas. Sativa refers to the plant's long history of cultivation. Legend says that Crocus was the name of a beautiful young man that Hermes loved, but killed accidentally. Where his blood spilled onto the Earth is where the Crocus first bloomed. To the Greeks, Saffron represented beauty, life and youth and was thus given as a gift to newlyweds. Saffron is the world's most expensive herb. It requires at least 75,000 stigmas that, after flowers dry, yield just one pound of saffron, or over 4,000 stigmas for one ounce. After three years of growth each plant has only three stigmas, and after two years the Saffron bulb must be retired. Thus, it is an expensive business venture indeed! Adulterating Saffron in the 1400's was punishable by death. In Ayurvedic Medicine, it helps to enhance qualities of love and spirituality. Saffron is valued as an important dye plant. Crocin is the substance that yields the coloring and is so potent that only one gram can color 100 liters of water.

ROSEMARY


Latin Name: Rosmarinus officinalis

Alternate Names: Sea Dew, Our Lady's Rose, Rosemarine

Family: LAMIACEAE

Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Anodyne, Antibacterial, Antidepressant, Antifungal, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, Astringent, Cardiotonic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Circulatory Stimulant, Decongestant, Diaphoretic, Digestive Tonic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Hypertensive, Nervine, Rejuvenative, Stimulant, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Anxiety, Asthma, Debility, Depression, Dyspepsia, Epilepsy, Fatigue, Flatulence, Food Poisoning, Headache, Rheumatism, Stress, Vertigo

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
A study done at Rutgers State University found that Rosemary had preservative qualities more powerful and safer than the common food additives BHA and BHT. It helps prevent food poisoning.

Topical Uses: Balding, Canker Sores, Capillary Weakness, Dandruff, Gingivitis, Gray Hair, Headache, Insect Repellent, Muscle Soreness, Neuralgia, Sciatica, Sore Throat

Topical Applications: Skin toner as a rejuvenative. Important ingredient in Queen of Hungary water, a popular beauty tonic. When used on the skin it helps to strengthen the capillaries. Sachets of dried Rosemary are placed in a pillowcase to stimulate dreams. Bath herb acts as a rejuvenative and helps sore muscles. Gargle for sore throat, gum ailments, canker sores and breath freshener. Eyewash. Used in shampoos and conditioners for dandruff, dark hair premature graying and hair loss. It is a potpourri ingredient that repels moths. Essential oil is used in perfume, toothpaste, insect repellants and massage oil, as well as a liniment for neuralgia, sciatica and sore muscles. Add a few drops of Rosemary oil to a freshly washed hairbrush for delightfully aromatic hair.

Culinary uses: Add to vegetables, soups, breads, biscuits and jellies . Used to flavor tofu, eggs, seafood and meat dishes. Cooking with Rosemary aids the digestion of fats and starches.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (borneol, camphor, cineole, linalol, verbenol), tannins, flavonoids (apigenin, diosmin, luteolin), rosmarinic acid, rosmaricine, heterosides, triterpene (ursolic acid, oleanic acid), resin.

Contraindications: Avoid excessively large doses which can cause miscarriage, convulsions and -- if one really pushes it - death.

Comments: The genus and common name are derived from the Latin ros marinus, meaning 'dew of the sea' as the plant grows profusely near the Mediterranean sea coast and sea foam sprays upon it. Rosemary has long been considered a symbol of friendship and loyalty -- 'Rosemary is for remembrance'. Ancient Greek scholars would wear laurels of Rosemary on their heads to help them when taking examinations. In weddings, brides would wear a wreath of Rosemary and carry it in their bridal bouquets so that they would remember their families and their marriage vows. It was also used at funerals and religious ceremonies as protection from evil and to remember the dead. It was often buried with the dead as well. Indeed its antiseptic aroma could help prevent the spread of infection. During the sixteenth century, Europeans carried pouches of Rosemary to ward off the plague. The branches were strewn in legal courts to prevent the spread of typhus. It has been burned in sick rooms and placed in books to deter moths.

RED ROOT


Latin Name: Ceanothus americanus

Alternate Names: Deerbrush, Lilac Bush, Tobacco Brush, Buckbrush, Snowbrush

Family: RHAMNACEAE

Parts Used: Root, root bark, leaves.

Properties: Antispasmodic, Astringent, Expectorant, Hypotensive, Sedative.

Internal Uses: Adenoid Enlargement, Asthma, Bronchitis, Cough, Cysts, Diarrhea, Dysentery, Dysmenorrhea, Epstein-barr Virus, Fatigue, Fever, Headache, Hemorrhoids, Hepatitis, Hodgkin's Disease, Lymphatic Congestion, Mononucleosis, Nosebleeds, Sore Throat, Spleen Enlargement, Testicular Hydrocele, Tick Fever, Tonsillitis, Tumors

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Red Root seems to aid blood coagulation. It is excellent to move catabolic waste buildup and break up tumors and engorgements in the body. It helps ovarian and breast cysts.

Topical Uses: Mouth Infection

Topical Applications: Mouthwash and gargle for infections. Flowers can be used to wash the body, as they produce a lather when mixed with water.

Energetics: Bitter, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Emmolic acid, malic acid, oxalic acid, pyrophosphoric acid, betulinic acid, resin, tannin, methyl salicylate, coagulant.

Contraindications: Mild enough to be used for extended periods of time.

Comments: It is called New Jersey Tea because it was used as a substitute for black tea during the Revolutionary War. The taste is similar to tea, but Red Root contains no caffeine. Native Americans used it as a poultice to treat skin cancers and venereal lesions. The genus name Ceanothus is derived from a Greek type of spiny shrub.
The common name Red Root includes the species Ceanothus thyrsiflorus, Ceanothus spinosa, Ceanothus velutinus, Ceanothus integerrimus, Ceanothus cuneatus and other Ceanothus species, which are used interchangeably with Ceanothus americanus.

QUASSIA


Latin Name: Picrasma excelsa

Alternate Names: Bitter Wood, Jamaican Quassia, Bitter Ash

Family: SIMAROUBACEAE

Parts Used: Chips of wood, inner bark.

Properties: Anthelmintic, Bitter Tonic, Cholagogue, Febrifuge, Laxative, Sialagogue, Stomach Tonic, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Anorexia, Dysentery, Dyspepsia, Fever, Malaria, Parasites, Rheumatism, Worms

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
Its effectiveness against parasites includes threadworms, Giardia and amoebas. The quassinoids are being investigated for their effects against leukemia. The tree itself is resistant to pests so it is not surprising that it is an antiparasitic healing agent.

Topical Uses: Dandruff, Insect Repellent, Lice, Worms

Topical Applications: Use in wash and lotions agains lice and as an insect repellent. Used in enemas to get rid of intestinal worms. Hair rinse for dandruff.

Culinary uses: Bitter flavoring for soft drinks, bitter tonics and liqueurs.

Chemical Constituents: Quassin, alkaloids, thiamin.

Contraindications: Large doses may cause vomiting.

Comments: Native to the Caribbean and the American tropics, Quassia is named after a native healer (a Guyanan slave) named Quassi who introduced Europeans to the health benefits of the tree. The genus name, Picrasma, is from Greek and means 'bitter taste'. It is considered one of the safest insecticides. It kills a wide variety of insects, but spares beneficial ones such as ladybugs. Organic gardeners soak the wood chips in water, strain them and use the liquid as a spray to deter aphids, caterpillars, leafhoppers, mealy bugs, sawflies, slugs and thrips. It is also used in making fly paper. Quassin is about 50 times more bitter than quinine.
The species Picrasma excelsa was formerly known as Picraenia excelsa.

QUEEN'S DELIGHT


Latin Name: Stillingia sylvatica

Alternate Names: Stillingia, Yaw Root, Silver Leaf, Cockup Hat, Marcory

Family: EUPHORBIACEAE

Parts Used: Root, fresh root.

Properties: Alterative, Cathartic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emetic, Expectorant, Laxative, Sialagogue, Tonic.

Internal Uses: Acne, Boils, Bronchitis, Constipation, Cough, Dermatitis, Eczema, Enlarged Lymph, Hemorrhoids, Laryngitis, Leukorrhea, Psoriasis, Rheumatism, Scrofula, Syphilis

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture, Capsules.
It helps both a chronic cough and smoker's cough.

Topical Uses: Eczema, Hemorrhoids, Psoriasis

Topical Applications: Lotion for eczema, psoriasis and hemorrhoids.

Energetics: Pungent, Bitter, Cool.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil, diterpene esters (prostatin, gnidilatin), alkaloid (stillingine), cyanogenic glycosides, calcium oxalate, tannin, resin (sylvacrol).

Contraindications: Large doses are emetic and purgative. Avoid during pregnancy, and avoid using fresh root.

Comments: The genus is named after Dr. Benjamin Stillingfleet. The leaves have spots on them reminiscent of the lesions of syphilis, and this may have inspired people to use this herb to treat syphilis. It was also used to help people detoxify after being treated with mercury for syphilis.

PAPRIKA


Latin Name: Capsicum annuum

Family: SOLANACEAE

Parts Used: Ripe peppers.

Properties: Antibacterial, Carminative, Sialagogue, Stimulant.

Internal Uses: Hypertension, Motion Sickness, Varicose Veins

Internal Applications: Mostly used in food.
Paprika improves the health of the circulatory system by promoting elasticity of arteries, capillaries and veins. As a digestive aid, Paprika improves the secretions of saliva and stomach acids as well as increases peristaltic movements.

Topical Uses: Mouth Sores

Topical Applications: Gargle for mouth sores.

Energetics: Pungent, Sweet, Warm.

Chemical Constituents: Capsicum, carotenoids, flavonoids, vitamin C.

Comments: By 1560, Paprika was a popular spice in the Balkans, where it was called peperke.
The common name Paprika includes the species Capsicum tetragonum, which is used interchangeably with Capsicum annuum. The species Capsicum annuum also includes chili peppers.

PAPAYA


Latin Name: Carica papaya

Alternate Names: Pawpaw, Melon Tree, Custard Apple

Family: CARICACEAE

Parts Used: Leaves, fruit, seeds, latex.

Properties: Antiparasitic, Antitumor, Digestive Tonic, Emmenagogue, Hypoglycemic, Hemolytic, Stomach Tonic, Vermifuge, Vulnerary.

Internal Uses: Allergies, Amenorrhea, Constipation, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Giardia, Indigestion, Parasites, Ulcers

Internal Applications: Tea, Capsules.
The fruit only is hypoglycemic. The seeds only are valuable against parasites.
Papain is an enzyme present in the unripe papaya fruit, the peel of the ripe fruit and leaf. It is similar to pepsin and helps to digest protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also reduces acid secretions in the stomach. Currently one of the other enzymes in papaya, chymopapain, is being used in medicine where it is injected directly into herniated lumbar discs to dissolve protein and reduce inflammation. In Asia, the latex has been applied to the cervix to stimulate labor.

Topical Uses: Boils, Insect Stings, Ringworm, Tumors, Warts, Wounds

Topical Applications: Use leaves as a poultice for wounds, even festering wounds. Unripe fruit is used in facial masks and applied as a poultice for tumors. Papain powder is applied to bee stings and fire coral burns to reduce pain and inflammation. Papain powder is also used as a tooth and gum cleanser. The latex is applied to boils, wounds, ringworm and warts.

Culinary uses: Papain is used as a meat tenderizer.

Energetics: Sweet, Neutral.

Chemical Constituents: Proteolytic enzymes (papain, chymopapain), alkaloid (carpaine). Seeds contain carpasemine.

Contraindications: Pregnant women should avoid large amounts of Papaya in medicinal doses until its effect upon the placenta is better understood. As with all substances, allergic reactions are possible. Excessive amounts can be purgative.

Comments: There have been reports that women in Polynesia and the Carribean eat 25 seeds a day as a contraceptive agent, to stimulate menses and labor, and to induce abortion.

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