A General Guide To Herbs

This guide is not intended for prescriptive purposes.  Use of this information is at the sole discretion of the individual. We accept no responsibility for its use or abuse. As time permits, I hope to connect links up to this page so that you will be able to click on the name of the herb or plant and get more in-depth information as well as photos of this plant. This may take some time since this is a lot of information to put together. If you have any photos or information you would like to share, it would be appreciated. I will give you credit for sending it in, but I ask that you list your source if the information is out of a book so that I may give them credit as well.
Thank you,

froggy

Herbs A-B  Herbs C-E  Herbs F-H  Herbs I-L  Herbs M-Q  Herbs R-T  Herbs U-Z
 

ACACIA  (Acacia senegal) Parts Used: Resin 
The acacia that grows in North Africa produces a resin (called tears). It is used commercially because of its soothing qualities on mucus membranes. It is used for things such as sore throats, coughs and diarrhea. It is also the binding ingredient for many pills.

 

AGRIMONY  (Agrimonia eupatoria) Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves 
It can be made into an infusion for sore throat and mouth. It can be added to a bath to relieve sore muscles and joints. It is sometimes used as a poultice for body sores and wounds.  It does have astringent properties. The dried leaves are often made into a tonic that can be used as a diuretic and also for digestive disorders and diarrhea. 

 

ALFALFA "Al-Fal-Fa” means, "Father of All Foods.

The roots of alfalfa burrow deep into the earth to reach minerals that are inaccessible to other plants. Alfalfa contains vitamins A, E, K, B and D. It is high in protein and contains phosphorous, iron, potassium, magnesium and other trace elements. Alfalfa has eight enzymes known to promote chemical reactions that enable food to be assimilated properly within the body. Alfalfa is effective for aiding stomach ailments, gas pains, ulcerous conditions, dropsy, and for the pain and stiffness of arthritis. It may eliminate retained water, help peptic ulcers, as well as help in treating recuperative cases of narcotic and alcohol addiction. It has been used in treating cases of obesity. Alfalfa is said to possess no unfriendly components and may be given to people of all ages."

 

ALLSPICE (Pimemta dioica) Parts Used: leaves, fruit and essential oil 
An evergreen with aromatic bark and leaves. The berries, picked when mature but still green, are dried and ground to create the familiar spice. Allspice is used in Central America to treat the symptoms of menopause and menstrual cramps.

 

ALMOND  (Prunus dulcis) Parts Used: Seed, Wood 
Peeled almonds ease heartburn. Ground almonds can be added to facial scrubs.  Almonds have very little starch so the butter & flour of the nuts are recommended for diabetics. Warning:  toxic if eaten in large amounts (over 50 kernels for an adult, 10 for a child)

 

ALOE (Aloe Barbadensis) Parts Used: Gel of Plant 
The gel is used to soothe, heal and moisturize the skin. When added to shampoos it works well for dry, itchy scalps. It protects skin from airborne infections and fungi. It also helps in reducing scarring. It speeds cell regeneration, so is used in treating radiation burns, coral wounds & dermatitis. It is used on small burns, cuts, chapped skin, sunburn, eczema & poison ivy.  It has both anesthetic & tissue restorative properties.

 

APPLE (Malus spp.) Parts Used: Whole Fruit, Wood 
Baked apple is applied as a poultice for sore throats & skin inflammations. Cooked apple works as a laxative.  The cider corrects intestinal flora. Apple cider vinegar & water make a rinse to restore, scalp and skin conditions back to health.

 

ANGELICA (Angelica archangelica) Parts Used: Stems, Root, Seeds
It has been said that the scent from crushed leaves placed in cars seems to reduce travel nausea.  It is used for calming digestive disturbances. It has been used for an appetite stimulant and as a cough alleviating tea.  The root is used in salves for rheumatic pains.  Warning: Health risks are found with this plant. It can cause problems with heart, blood pressure, and respiration in large amounts.

 

ANISE (Pimpinella anisum) Parts Used: Seeds, Flowers, Leaves 
The flowers & leaves are used in salads and soups because it adds a licorice flavor. The seeds aid digestion & ease gas. The oil is a mild expectorant.  The seeds are also made into many liqueurs. Anise for dogs, is like catnip for cats.Warning: Use sparingly, it can be toxic in high doses taken internally.

 

ARNICA (Arnica Montana) Parts Used: Flowers
Flowers made into a liniment or salve, have an anti-inflammatory & analgesic effect on sprains & bruises. It has been tested and it can help reduce swelling and ease pain.  Warning: Do not take internally it is poison to humans and animals.

 

ASAFETIDA (Ferula asafoetida) Parts Used: Resin of the Root 
Research suggests the plant is an anticoagulant & lowers blood pressure. It has been used to treat stomach ailments such as intestinal flu, gas & bloating. Try adding a pinch to beans as they cook. The herb is said to be good in cases of Candida albicans. It has antispasmodic properties.

 

ASH TREE (Fraxinus americana or excelsior) Parts Used:  Bark, Leaf 
The bark of the ash can be used as a substitute for quinine for intermittent fevers. It is reputed to clear obstructions from the spleen and liver.  The leaves are used as a laxative.  Warning: leaves are always gathered before midsummer.

 

ASIAN GINGSING (Panax ginseng) Parts Used: root  Studies have shown that Asian ginseng may lower blood glucose. This effect may be seen more in people with diabetes. Other studies indicate possible beneficial effects on immune function. The herb's potential to treat chronic lung infection, impaired glucose tolerance, and Alzheimer's disease is being studied. Warning: Common side effects are headaches, sleep and gastrointestinal problems. Use extra caution with if you are using medicine to lower blood sugar or taking other herbs, such as bitter melon or fenugreek, that are used to lower blood sugar too. There have been reports of breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities, and high blood pressure associated with ginseng products. It also can cause allergic reactions.

 

BASIL (Ocimum Basilicum) Parts Used: Leaves Stems, Seeds 
The leaves aid in digestive complaints. As a tea it is used to help relieve gas, nervous headaches & anxiety. It has a slight sedative action. The seeds have been shown to have an antibacterial effect. This herb also works well on cats, rabbits and dogs for diarrhea.

 

BAY (Laurus Nobilis) Parts Used: Leaves, Pressed Berries 
The wood is used to smoke foods. Tea added to bath water will relieve aching limbs & diluted essential oil can treat sprains & rheumatic joints. The leaf & berry are used in salves for itching, sprains, bruises & skin irritations.  Warning: Oil of Bay can cause dermatitis in some people.

 

BEEBALM (Monarda didyma) Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves 
It is used in an infusion for coughs, sore throats, nausea, gas and minstrel cramps. As a tea replacement it is wonderful. It works well in salves or ointments for fungal infections.

 

BENZOIN (Styrax benzoin) Parts Used: Resin 
The resin is used as incense, in perfumes & is added to cosmetics to prevent fats from turning rancid.  Diluted with water the resin is used as an antiseptic skin wash. Taken internally, it relieves intestinal gas & is antiseptic to the urinary tract. Tincture of benzoin is often added to salves as a preservative. Warning:  may cause allergic reactions.

 

BERGAMOT (Citrus bergamia) Parts Used: Flower, Fruit
Bergamot has aromatic flowers & fruits. The thin peel yields Bergamot oil for Colognes & Earl Grey Tea. Safety Information: Warning: Phototoxic. Do not use if the area of application will be exposed to sunlight for 24 hours due to it’s phototoxicity.

 

BETONY (Stachys officonalis) Parts Used: Leaf, Flower 
Also known as Bishopwort, Wood Betony or Purple Betony. The above ground portion provides a tea substitute & is added to tonics & some herbal cigarettes. An infusion is mildly sedative and is used as a nerve & circulation tonic for migraine, anxiety & indigestion problems.

 

BILBERRY (Vaccinium myrtillus) Aka: European blueberry, whortleberry and huckleberry. Its fruit is commonly used to make pies and jams. Bilberry grows in North America, Europe, and northern Asia. The fruit is used to treat diarrhea, menstrual cramps, eye problems, varicose veins, venous insufficiency (poor blood flow to the heart), and other circulatory problems. Bilberry leaf is used for entirely different conditions, including diabetes. The fruit of the bilberry plant can be eaten or made into extracts. Similarly, the leaves of the bilberry plant can be made into extracts or used to make teas. Warning: Bilberry fruit is considered safe. However, high doses of bilberry leaf or leaf extract are considered unsafe; animal studies have shown high doses to be toxic.

 

BIRCH (Betula alba)  Leaf, Bark, Twigs
The leaves have antibacterial properties. It has been used to treat gout & rheumatism & to dissolve kidney stones. Birch twigs & leaves are simmered then added to the bath for dry itchy skin conditions. The bark and bud oil are used in medicated soaps. The fresh leaves must not be used after Mid-summer, they produce a natural insecticide in hot weather.

 

BITTER MELON Parts Used: fruit and seed extracts can be found in capsulated in health food stores. Some stores carry whole herb/vine powders and tinctures. These are theProperties/Actions Documented by Research:

antibacterial, anticancerous, anti-fertility, antileukemic, antiprotozoal, antitumorous, antiviral, hypoglycemic, immune stimulant. Warning: It may lower blood sugar levels.

 

BLACK COHOSH (Cimicifuga Racemosa) Parts Used: Root 
This root has been used as a relaxant, antispasmodic & sedative. Also used in cases of rheumatism, neuralgia and painful menstruation

 

BLACK ELDER (S.  nigra) Parts Used: Leaf 
The leaves can be used as an insecticide in the garden or to repel insects from the face and body.  A simple infusion of the fresh leaf is made for this purpose. It can also be poured down mouse and mole holes to help keep them out of your garden areas.

 

BLACKBERRY (Rubus villosus) Parts Used: Root, Leaf, Bud and Berry
A leaf decoction is used as a blood & skin tonic. The root is an age-old remedy for diarrhea & is reputed to clean the kidneys of stones & also clean the urinary tract. Buds & leaves are used fresh in poultices for eczema wounds, burns, mouth sores & sore throats. The berries are slightly binding & are useful in diarrhea, as are the leaves.

 

BLACKTHORN (Prunus spinosa) Parts Used: Leaf, Twig and fruit 
Also know as Sloe, Mother of the Wood or Wishing Thorn. The leaves yield a mouthwash.  The astringent fruits make Sloe gin.

 

BLUE VERVAIN (Vervena hastata) Parts Used: Above Ground Plant 
The American variety, is a natural tranquilizer and is helpful with colds and fevers, especially when the upper respiratory tract is involved. It will eliminate intestinal worms and is used externally for wounds. It is distinguished from the European vervain by its deeper blue flowers and denser, bristly flower spikes. Blue vervain is also prepared in a standard infusion or tinctured in alcohol.

 

BORAGE (Borago officionalis) Parts Used:  Flower, Leaf, Stem, Seeds
A leaf and flower infusion is an adrenaline tonic taken for stress and depression. It reduces fevers, dry coughs, and dry skin rashes. Pressed seed oil can be used like Evening Primrose for menstrual and irritable bowel problems, eczema, blood pressure, arthritis and hangovers.

 

BOSWELLIA (Boswellia Serratais Tree) This plant is from India Parts Used: the frankincense gum resin                                               It contains anti-inflammatory triterpenoids called boswellic acids. Boswellic acid and its derivatives have anti-carcinogenic, anti-tumor, and blood lipid lowering activities. It has been used with success for Bronchial Asthma, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Osteoarthritis of the knee, Crohn's disease, inflammatory diseases

 

BROOM (Genista scoparius) Parts Used: Spring gathered flowering tips and seeds
Both are soluble in water and alcohol. The infusion is used to tread cardiac edema. Broom is also combined with dandelion root, uva ursi, and juniper berries to treat bladder and kidney ailments. Broom is said to be a heart tonic. 

 

Note: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please check with your health care provider. Use of this information is at the sole discretion of the individual. We accept no responsibility for its use or misuse. This site is for information only.
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