Latin name: Arctium lappa
Plant family: Aster Part(s) used: Root Burdock root has a wide application as it supports the activity of all metabolic organs (liver, kidneys, lymphatics, immune and adrenals), thus helping to clear and disperse metabolic waste by increasing the fluidity of lymph fluid. It is also very useful in the treatment of dry, scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Constituents: Flavonoid & bitter glycosides, alkaloid, anti-microbial substance, inulin.
Latin name: Matricaria recutita
Plant family: Aster Part(s) used: Flowers Chamomile is a gentle sedative well suited for use with children. Its relaxing effects are well-suited to states of anxiety & insomnia. It contains the volatile oil chamazulene which acts as an anti-spasmodic and carminative and is therefore useful in indigestion, colic and flatulence.
Constituents: Volatile oils including Chamazulene
Cleavers (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Galium aparine
Plant family: Madder Part(s) used: Shoots, leaves & flowers Also known as Goosegrass and Clivers, this plant is one of the best tonics for the lymphatic system. It can be used in a variety of problems where the lymphatic system is involved, such as hard swollen glands, (lymphadenitis) anywhere in the body and especially in tonsillitis, adenoid trouble and enlarged cervical neck nodes. It is used in a range of skin conditions, especially in the dry varieties such as psoriasis.
There is a long tradition in the use of Cleavers in the treatment of ulcers and tumours, which may be the result of the lymphatic drainage. It also has a reputation for use in urinary disorders, where there is painful urination and irritable bladder. It will be useful in the treatment of cystitis and other urinary conditions where there is pain and may be combined with demulcents for this.
Constituents: Anthraquinone derivatives, flavonoids, iridoids, polyphonic acids.
Latin name: Tussilago farfara
Plant family: Aster Part(s) used: Flowers & leaves Coltsfoot combines a soothing expectorant effect with an anti-spasmodic action, which makes it useful in most respiratory conditions. Coltsfoot may be used in chronic and acute bronchitis, irritating coughs, whooping cough, asthma and emphysema.
Constituents: Mucin, tannins, flavonoids, inulin, zinc, rutin, carotene, essential oil.
Latin name: Zea mays Plant family: Grass Part(s) used: Stigma from female flowers As a soothing diuretic, Cornsilk is helpful in any irritation of the kidneys and bladder. It is used for renal problems and as a urinary demulcent combined with other herbs in the treatment of cystitis, urethritis and prostatitis.
Constituents: Allantoin, saponins, Vitamins C & K.
Latin name: Agropyron repens Plant family: Grass Part(s) used: Rhizome (an underground stem producing roots) The underground parts or rhizome of this grass is used in herbal medicine. Couchgrass is used in where there is painful urinary and in urinary infections such as cystitis, nephritis, urethritis and prostatitis. The plant has soothing properties which calms irritation and inflammation. It is also a diuretic, increasing the flow of urine.
Constituents: Mucilage, silicic acid, potassium, inositol, mannitol, glycoside, Vitamin A.
Latin name: Taraxacum officinale Plant family: Aster Parts used: Dried leaves Dandelion leaf is a powerful diuretic and one of the best natural sources of potassium. It thus makes an ideally balanced diuretic even in cases of water retention due to heart problems. The root is used where there are liver problems.
Constituents: Mucilage, silicic acid, potassium, inositol, mannitol, glycoside, Vitamin A.
Latin name: Sambucus nigra Plant family: Honeysuckle Part(s) used: Flowers Elderflowers are traditionally used for the treatment of cold and influenza. They are indicated in catarrhal conditions of the upper respiratory tract such as hay fever and sinusitis. Elderflower, Peppermint & Yarrow is a well known combination for colds and influenza.
Constituents: Flavonoids, isoquercitrine and kampherol, sambunigrine, tannins, essential oils.
Hyssop (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Hyssopus officinalis Plant family: Mint Parts used: Dried leaves The volatile oils in Hyssop make it useful in coughs, bronchitis and chronic catarrh. Its diaphoretic properties (ability to promote sweating in fevers) explain its use in the common cold. As a nervine it can be used in anxiety states and hysteria. Hyssop increases blood pressure.
Constituents: 1% volatile oil, flavonoid glycosides, diosmin, tannin.
Lady’s Mantle (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Alchemilla vulgaris Plant family: Rose Parts used: Leaves & flowering shoots Widely used throughout Europe, Lady’s Mantle will help reduce pains associated with period and also reduce excessive bleeding. Lady’s Mantle helps ease both menopausal and pubertal changes. It will stimulate menstrual flow where there is resistance. Its tissue toning ability means it has a useful role in the treatment of diarrhoea and as a mouthwash for sores, ulcers and as a gargle for laryngitis.
Constituents: Tannin, bitter principle, traces of essential oil, salicylic acid.
Latin name: Melissa officinalis Plant family: Mint Parts used: Dried leaves Lemon balm is an excellent digestive herb that relieves spasms in the digestive tract and is used in flatulent indigestion. The gentle sedative oils have been used to relieve stress, tension and anxiety. Lemon balm is often combined with other herbs in the treatment of feverish conditions such as influenza.
Constituents: Essential oil, citral, citronellal, geraniol and linalool, bitter principles, flavones, resin.
Latin name: Tilia officinalis Plant family: Mallow Part(s) used: Flowers Lime flowers are well known as a relaxing remedy for use in nervous tension. It has a well deserved reputation for preventing the development of hardened arteries and hypertension. It is considered as a specific in the treatment of high blood pressure, associated with hardened arteries and nervous tension. It is also used to induce sweating during feverish conditions.
Constituents: Essential oil, mucilage, flavonoids, hesperidin, coumarin fraxoside, vanillin.
Latin name: Calendula officinalis Plant family: Daisy Part(s) used: Flowers Marigold may be used safely wherever there is an inflammation of the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage. It may be used for any external bleeding or wound, bruising or strains. It is ideal for first-aid treatment of minor burns and scalds as a lotion, poultice or compress. Internally, it may be used in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers. It helps relieve gall bladder problems and indigestion. Marigold has an anti-fungal activity and may be used internally and externally to combat such infections. It also helps delayed menstruation and painful periods. Marigold has a reputation as a lymphatic cleanser and is often used where there are enlarged and inflamed lymphatic glands.
Constituents: Volatile oil, flavonoids, triterpenes.
Marshmallow Leaf Latin name: Althaea officinalis Plant family: Mallow Part(s) used: Leaf Marshmallow contains a high percentage of mucilage which gives it excellent soothing qualities. The root is used mostly for inflammation of the digestive tract and on the skin for varicose veins / ulcers, abscesses and boils, while the leaf is more suited to lung conditions such as bronchitis, respiratory catarrh and irritating coughs. The leaf also has value in urinary problems such as urethritis and urinary gravel.
Constituents: Leaf mucilage, trace of an essential oil.
Latin name: Filipendula ulmaria Plant Family: Rose Part(s) used: Shoots, leaves & flowers Meadowsweet is one of the best digestive remedies available. It protects and soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, reducing excess acidity and easing nausea. It is used in the treatment of heartburn, hyperacidity, gastric reflux and gastric and peptic ulcers. The presence of Salicylic acid, an aspirin-like chemical, explains Meadowsweet’s action in reducing fever and relieving the pain of rheumatism in muscles and joints, as well as an anti-thrombotic effect on blood vessels. Its gentle astringency is useful in treating diarrhoea in children.
Constituents: Salicylic acid, flavonoids, phenolic glycosides
Nettle Leaf (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Urtica dioica Plant family: Nettle Part(s) used: Leaves & flowers Nettles have a wide range of uses, strengthening and supporting the whole body. They are commonly used in treating childhood eczema and chronic skin disease in general. Nettles are rich in iron and can be used where there is iron deficiency. It has a reputation for eliminating uric acid from the body and has been used in gout and urinary gravel. Nettle also has useful anti-histamine properties.
Constituents: Chlorophyll, Vitamin C, serotonin, iron, calcium, silica.
Latin name: Passiflora incarnata Plant family: Passifloraceae Part(s) used: Leaves Passionflower is the herb of choice for insomnia, especially due to nervous excitability or mental over activity. It promotes restful sleep without the grogginess associated with sleeping pills. Its anti-spasmodic activity makes it useful where there are spasms in conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, hysteria, hyperactivity and seizures. It can also be used where nerve pain is present, i.e. neuralgia and shingles. It has also been used to assist withdrawal in Benzodiazepine and Valium addiction.
Constituents: Alkaloids including harmine, harman, harmol and passiflorine, flavone, glycosides, sterols.
Peppermint (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Mentha piperita Plant family: Mint Part(s) used: Leaves & flowers Peppermint is probably the best known and effective carminative (wind-relieving) herbs available. The volatile oil acts as a mild anaesthetic to the stomach wall helping to relieve travel sickness & vomiting associated with pregnancy. Peppermint is used widely in cold and flu remedies in conjunction with Elderflower and Yarrow.
Constituents: Volatile oil containing, menthol, menthone and jasmine, tannins, bitter principle.
Latin name: Plantago lanceolata Plant family: Plantain Part(s) used: Leaves Plantain has valuable healing properties and is very soothing where there is inflammation and soreness internally and externally. It has an affinity for the respiratory system and has a drying effect on excess mucus. This astringency also helps where there is diarrhoea. Plantain has anti-histamine properties, which make it useful as an allergy remedy.
Constituents: Flavonoids, tannins, iridoids.
Raspberry Leaf (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Rubus idaeus Plant family: Rose Part(s) used: Leaves Raspberry leaf has a long tradition in the last 2-3 months of pregnancy for strengthening and toning the tissues of the womb. Its astringency (tissue toning) also makes it useful in the treatment of painful periods, diarrhoea, mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.
Constituents: Tannins, polypeptides, flavonoids.
Latin name: Trifolium pratense Plant Family: Legume Part(s) used: Flower heads Red Clover is an efficient lymphatic cleanser and widely used for chronic skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. It has a long reputation for reducing tumours and hard swellings, especially of the breasts and ovaries and for cleansing the lymphatic vessels, through which cancer is spread.
Constituents: Flavonoids, isoflavones, resins, coumarins, minerals and vitamins.
St. John’s Wort
Latin name: Hypericum perforatum Plant family: Clusiaceae Part(s) used: Leaves & flowers St. John’s Wort is best known as a treatment for mild depression. Taken internally, this herb has a general sedative and pain-relieving effect especially where there is nerve pain. Externally it has been used on wounds, bruises and burns, where the oil is especially useful. It also has a noted anti-viral effect.
Constituents: Hypericin, rutin, essential oil, tannins, resin.
White Horehound (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Marrubium vulgare Plant family: Mint Part(s) used: Flowering tops & leaves White Horehound is a valuable plant in the treatment of respiratory problems, especially where there is a non-productive cough, such as chronic bronchitis and whooping cough. It both relaxes the respiratory muscles while expectorating (producing mucus).
Constituents: Marrubin, essential oil, mucilage, tannins.
Yarrow (available in Online Shop)
Latin name: Achillea millefolium Plant family: Aster Part(s) used: Whole herb This is a standard remedy for helping to reduce temperature in the early stages of fever. Yarrow lowers blood pressure due to the dilation of peripheral blood vessels, opening up these surface vessels and allowing more blood to be circulated. It is considered to be a specific treatment in thrombosis associated with high blood pressure. It has a toning action on the blood vessels. Yarrow is also useful as a urinary anti-septic and when used externally will help in the healing of wounds.
Constituents: Volatile oil, flavonoids, tannin, bitter alkaloids.
REFERENCES: Hoffman David, Complete Herbal (1999) Mustard: Dorset. Bartrams T, Bartram’s Encyclopaedia of Herbal Medicine (1995) Robinson: London. Mills S & Bone K, Principles & Practices of Phytotherapy (2000) Churchill Livingstone: London. Pengelly A, The Constituents of Medicinal Plants (2002) Sunflower Herbals: NSW.