As I am doing my research to add more Herbs to this informational resource page, I came across an AMAZING web site that gives great detail in just about every herb, botanical and ailment known to man…. interestingly it is a page from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center … worth checking out !!!
Family: Leguminosae Genus: Medicago Species: Sativa
Also Known As: Buffalo Grass, Chilean Clover
Rx: leaves (not sprouts) in infusions, tablets and capsules
Alfalfa leaves have wonderful healing powers that can prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol and help prevent strokes. Warnings: Alfalfa seeds should never be ingested as they contain high levels of the amino acid canavanine. Some chemicals in alfalfa can also destroy red blood cells and people with anemia should use caution when ingesting it.
Family: Liliaceae Genus: Aloe Species: Vera (and over 500 others)
Also Known As: Socotrine, Cape, Curaiao, Barbados, Zanzibar Aloe
Rx: cut mature (lower) leaves for burns, scalds, sunburns, or cosmetic benefits. Aloe Vera gel is famous for facilitating digestion, aiding blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as improving kidney, liver and gall bladder functions.
Aloe Vera has a minimum of three anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which help in smooth functioning of the stomach, small intestines and colon. It has a natural property to alkalize digestive juices and prevents over-acidity, which is one of the common causes of digestive ailments.
Aloe Vera juice concentrates are high in essential enzymes, which stimulate digestion and liver functions. The synergistic effect of aloe vera juice used in combination with a few other herbs does wonders as a liver-cleansing agent. Aloe vera supplements also contain a rare natural ingredient called Saponins, which is provided by nature to cleanse and flush out waste products and toxins. Warnings: Aloe latex is a very powerful laxative and may cause severe cramps and diarrhea. It should never be ingested by pregnant women as it may cause miscarriage.
Family: Umbelliferae Genus: Pimpinella Species: Anisum
Also Known As: Aniseed, Sweet Cumin
Rx: infusion of seeds, tinctures
Anise has been used as a cough remedy, digestive aid, and contains chemicals similar to estrogen, which may help with menopausal discomforts, and has been known to treat some cases of prostate cancer. Warnings: If your doctor has advised you not to use birth control pills then you should seek the advice of a physician before using this herb because it contains estrogen.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Ocimum Species: Basilicum, Sanctum
Also Known As: Sweet Basil, St. Josephwort
Rx: tincture or infusion for acne and general infection fighting
Basil has been used to treat intestinal parasites, acne, and stimulates the immune system. Warnings: Tests have shown that basil may contain a chemical that has caused liver tumors in mice, although the cancer risks remain unclear and not even the most conservative herb critics advise caution when using it.
Family: Lauraceae Genus: Laurus Species: Nobilis
Also Known As: Sweet Bay, Green Bay, Laurel, Grecian or Roman Laurel
Rx: fresh leaves for wounds, infusion, tincture
Bay is not only used as a bug repellent, but has been known to soothe sore joints, treat infections, and when added to a bath may help with relaxation. Warnings: External uses of bay should be avoided if you have sensitive skin as it may cause a rash.
Family: Umbelliferae Genus: Caurm Species: Carvi
Also Known As: Carum
Rx: seeds in food, oil, infusion of seeds, tincture
Two chemicals in caraway seeds have been known to soothe the digestive tract and to help expel gas. It may also be used for relief of menstrual cramps due to the fact that caraway might relax the uterus.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Nepeta Species: Cataria
Also Known As: Catnep, Catswort, Catmint, Field Balm
Rx: infusion of flowers and leaves (for you not your cat!)
When used in teas, it is considered a cold and cough remedy because it relieves chest congestion and loosens phlegm. Catnip has long been used as a sedative, tranquilizer, digestive aid, menstruation promoter, and treatment for menstrual cramps, flatulence, and infant colic. Warnings: Some people may experience upset stomach but Catnip is considered nontoxic.
Family: Compositae Genus: Matricaria, Anthemis Species: Chamomilla, Nobilis respectively
Also Known As: Camomile, Anthemis, Matricaria, Ground Apple
Rx: infusion or tincture of flowers, herbal bath
This herb is a highly used cure-all, and every household should seriously consider having it around. It has been used externally to treat wounds and inflammations, and internally for indigestion and ulcers. Chamomile is also used to relieve menstrual cramps, arthritis, and is an effective sedative. Warnings: People who have previously suffered anaphylactic reactions from ragweed should think twice about using this herb as well as its close relative yarrow. Large amounts have caused some nausea and vomiting.
Family: Compositae Genus: Cicorium Species: Intybus
Also Known As: Endive, Chickory
Rx: excellent salad addition, infusion, tincture
Chicory is also known as endive, or chickory. Chicory is most commonly used to reduce the bitter taste of caffeine in coffee. It aids in cleansing the urinary tract, digestion, a mild laxative and is also taken for rheumatic conditions and gout.
Family: Lauraceae Genus: Cinnamomum Species: Zeylanicum, Cassia, Saigonicum
Also Known As: Ceylon Cinnamon, Saigon Cinnamon, Cassia
Rx: infusion of powdered herb, sprinkle cuts or scrapes for treatment
Cinnamon is used for infection prevention, pain relief, a digestive aid, and may help calm the uterus. Warnings: Do not ingest cinnamon oil!!! It can cause nausea, vomiting, and possible kidney damage. When put on the skin, the oil may cause redness and burning.
Family: Myrtaceae Genus: Eugenia, Syzygium Species: Caryophyllata, Aromaticum respectively
Also Known As: Caryophyllus, Clavos
Rx: oil for toothache, infusion
Clove has been used for toothaches, oral hygiene, a digestive aid, and an infection fighter. It is also used to treat hernia, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.
Warnings: Children under the age of 2 should never be given clove for medicinal purposes. The oil may cause stomach upset when swallowed, and used externally may cause rash.
Family: Umbelliferae Genus: Corinadrum Species: Sativum
Also Known As: Cilantro, Chinese Parsley
Rx: infusion of seeds, sprinkle on cuts and scrapes
Coriander is used for indigestion, flatulence, and diarrhea, and externally for muscles and joint pains. Warnings: If Coriander causes minor discomforts, such as stomach upsets or diarrhea, use less or stop using it.
Family: Ericaceae Genus: Vaccinium, Oxycoccus Species: Macerocarpon, Quadripetalus respectively
Also Known As: N/A
Rx: Juice, juice, juice!
Used for urinary tract infections (UTI), incontinence, high Vitamin C content
Family: Compositae Genus: Taraxacum Species: Officinale
Also Known As: Wild Endive, Lion’s Tooth, Piss-in-bed
Rx: #1 recommended salad addition, leaf infusion, root decoction, tincture, add to bath for prevention of yeast infection
Used for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), Weight Loss, High Blood Pressure, Congestive Heart Failure, Cancer Prevention, Yeast Infection, Digestive Aid
Eat fresh leaves in a salad (they are quite tasty). Chinese doctors have prescribed Dandelion for thousands of years to treat colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, ulcers, hepatitis, obesity, dental problems, itching and internal injuries. Warnings: May cause skin rash in sensitive cases. If Dandelion causes stomach upset or diarrhea, use less or stop using it.
Family: Umbelliferae Genus: Anethum Species: Graveolens
Also Known As: N/A
Rx: chew seed for fresh breath, infusion or tincture, add to bath to for prevention of urinary tract infections
In addition to its preservative action, Dill is an infection fighter and soothing digestive aid and is used for stomach problems, flatulence, urinary tract infection (UTI) Warnings: May cause skin rash in sensitive individuals.
Family: Compositae Genus: Echinacea Species: Angustifolia, Purpurea
Also Known As: Coneflower, Purple Coneflower
Rx: tincture or decoction of the ROOTS
Echinacea is our A#1 recommended herb due to its high immune system boost. Echinacea kills a wide variety of disease causing viruses and bacteria; it fights infection and strengthens tissues. It may prevent infection by seriously boosting ones immune system. It is known to help the body in fighting off colds and flu. It is a treatment for yeast infections and actually can reduce the future onset of. It helps preserve white blood cells, is a confirmed wound healer as it prevents germs from penetrating tissues, and may have anti-arthritic properties. It is simply the most productive herb off all time. Warnings: Often causes one’s tongue to tingle, this is not harmful. Do not take internally for long periods of time.
Family: Myrtaceae Genus: Eucalyptus Species: Globulus
Also Known As: Gum Tree, Blue Gum, Australian Fever Tree
Rx: boil leaves as an inhalant, oil on cuts and scrapes, infusion from leaves NOT OIL, add leaves to bath
Eucalyptol is the chemical that gives Eucalyptus its healing properties. It loosens phlegm, kills influenza, and may help bacterial bronchitis. An effective treatment for minor cuts and scrapes and it even repels insects! Warnings: Do NOT ingest Eucalyptus oil, it is highly poisonous. Fatalities have been reported from ingestion of as little as a teaspoon. KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!
Family: Umbelliferae Genus: Foeniculum Species: Vulgare, Vulgare Dulce
Also Known As: Finocchio, Carosella, Florence Fennel
Rx: chew seeds for a digestive aid, infusion, tincture
Fennel relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract and also helps expel gas. Fennel is used in Germany for infant colic. It is used to stimulate the uterus into menstruation. This herb may also help fight prostate cancer. Warnings: Since Fennel has a mild estrogenic effect, do not use if you are currently taking birth control pills, have a history of abnormal blood clotting, or estrogen dependent breast tumors. Do NOT ingest Fennel Oil, seeds are fine but the oil may cause nausea, vomiting, and possibly seizures.
Family: Compositae Genus: Chrysanthemum, Matricaria, Tanacetum Species: Parthenium
Also Known As: Ferbrifuge Plant, Wild Quinine, Bachelor’s Button
Rx: chew leaves for migraine control, premade pills and tablets also work well for headaches, infusion, tincture
Got a headache, maybe a chronic migraine? Feverfew may well be your answer. Seventy percent of patients in scientific studies show a significant improvement in their migraine headaches even when standard medical treatment showed no results. Also traditionally used for gynecological purposes. This herb may reduce high blood pressure, and is a great digestive aid after meals. Warnings: May cause sores inside the mouth, do not take if you have a clotting disorder. Feverfew does not CURE migraines, it suppresses them.
Family: Amaryllidacae Genus: Allium Species: Sativum
Also Known As: Stinking Rose, Heal-all, Poor Man’s Treacle
Rx: use cloves in cooking, crush and encapsulate or use premade tablets, infusion, tincture
Garlic is the world’s second oldest medicine, and is the traditional ‘WONDER DRUG’. Many people don’t realize that onion has almost as much medicinal value as garlic does. Recommended for colds, coughs, flu, fever, bronchitis, ringworm, intestinal worms, elevated cholesterol, and general internal organ problems. Garlic reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and reduces internal clots which can lead to heart attacks and stroke. Garlic reduces blood sugar and therefore helps diabetes sufferers. It may help eliminate lead and heavy metals in the bloodstream, has helped leprosy patients, fights cancer, helps AIDS patients. Warnings: Allergy sufferers may develop a rash from touching or eating the herb. If this is the case, discontinue. If you have a clotting disorder, consult a physician before using Garlic.
Family: Zingiberaceae Genus: Zingiber Species: Officinale
Also Known As: Asian, African, American Ginger
Rx: cooking, capsules for motion sickness; tea, infusion, or ginger-ale for digestive aid.
This herb helps with motion and morning sickness. It is a very good digestive aid, may ease menstrual cramps, helps arthritis, is traditionally used in the orient for colds and flu, and is excellent for reducing cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, and preventing internal blood clots. Warnings: Large doses MIGHT cause a miscarriage although there are no scientific reports backing this up.
Family: Ginkgoaceae Genus: Ginkgo Species: Biloba
Also Known As: Maidenhair Tree
Rx: leaves brewed as tea, infusion
The Earth’s oldest tree, it’s a given that this herb helps the elderly the most. Ginkgo increases blood flow to the brain which can prevent strokes and heart attacks, improve memory, helps with impotence and chronic dizziness. It is also known to help with macular degeneration (blindness), circulation, asthma, tinnitus, and deafness. Warnings: Do not use if you have a clotting disorder, do not take in very large amounts as diarrhea, vomiting, and irritability can occur.
Family: Araliaceae Genus: Panax, Eleutherococcus Species: Ginseng and Quinquefolius, Senticosus
Also Known As: Root of Immortality, Man Root, Life Root, Seng Seng
Rx: It is very important to use mature roots (over 6 years old). Use root powder teas, capsules or tablets. You can also make a decoction from dried pulverized root.
This herb helps the body’s resistance, boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol, lowers blood sugars, reduces heart attacks, protects the liver, helps the appetite, and helps cancer patients with radiation therapy. Warnings: Rare cases of insomnia, allergy symptoms, breast soreness. Do not use if you have high blood pressure, fever, asthma, emphysema, or cardiac arrhythmia.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Marrubium Species: Vulgare
Also Known As: Marrubium, Hoarhound, White Horehound
Rx: flowers and leaves in infusion or tincture for cough remedy
A popular herbal cough remedy and expectorant for almost 2,000 years, Horehound is good for minor respiratory problems, coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Warnings: Those with heart disease should not use this herb
Family: Labiatae Genus: Hyssopus Species: Officinalis
Also Known As: N/A
Rx: flowers and leaves as a compress for cold sores and genital herpes, infusion, tincture
Hyssop inhibits the growth of herpes simplex virus. Scientists agree it is a ‘reasonably effective’ treatment for cough and irritation of colds and flu. Warnings: DO NOT USE IF PREGNANT….. PERIOD! Always positively identify the herbs you use. H. Officinalis is the correct herb, its name sharing cousins (G. Officinalis, genus’ Agastache and Bacopa) should not be ingested.
Family: Cupressaceae Genus: Juniperus Species: Communis
Also Known As: Geneva, Genvrier
Rx: infusion of berries for arthritis or female regularity
Juniper is the source of gin, this herb also increases urine production (a diuretic) – making it a treatment for PMS, high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Warnings: Long term use can cause kidney damage. If you have a kidney infection or kidney problems you should not use this herb. One-third of hay fever sufferers develop allergy symptoms from exposure to Juniper.
Family: Fucaceae Genus: Fucus, Laminaria, Macrocystis, Nereocystis Species: Versiculosus (Fucus), various (Others)
Also Known As: Fucus, Seawrack, Cutweed, Bladderwrack, Wakame, Hijiki, Kombu, Arame
A natural source of iodine, now known as a radiation protector, protection from heavy metals, reduces heart disease, and an infection fighter.
Rx: take tablets (herb is unpleasant), infusion
Genus: Lavendula Species: Angustifolia
Also Known As: English Lavender
Rx: flowers in bath, general aromatherapy
Lavender makes a great bath addition. The Greeks and Romans bathed in lavender scented water and it was from the Latin word, lavo (to wash) that the herb took its name. While not technically a medicinal herb, the calming properties of its aroma are well founded.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Melissa Species: Officinalis
Also Known As: Bee Balm, Balm, Sweet Balm, Melissa
Rx: leaves in bath, compress for wounds, infusion, tincture
Can be used to treat wounds, herpes, viral infections, and has been used as a digestive aid, and a tranquilizer. It can also be used to treat menstrual cramps or to promote menstruation. Warnings: Anyone with a thyroid condition should avoid using this herb because it contains a thyroid-stimulating hormone, thyrotropin.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Origanum Species: Majorana, others
Also Known As: Oregano(many palates cannot tell the difference!), Knotted Marjoram
Rx: sprinkle dried powdered herb on cold sores or genital herpes, infusion or tincture for its stomach soothing potential
An excellent digestive aid and herpes fighter, this one of the most confused herbs on the planet. The Oregano on your spice rack might be Marjoram! All Marjoram species are called Oregano but only a few of the fifty are ever called Marjoram.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Mentha Species: Piperita (Peppermint), Cardiaca (Spearmint), Spicata, Viridis, Aquatica
Also Known As: Numerous kinds of mint
Rx: Peppermint oil for wounds, burns etc., infusion of any dried mint for decongestant, tincture
Peppermint produces Menthol. Menthol is a key anesthetic (e.g. Ben-Gay), the vapors are an incredible decongestant, is germicidal, and helps with morning sickness. Those wishing to alleviate morning sickness should use only dilute tea concentrations for reasons shown below. Peppermint is a hybrid of Spearmint and is the more potent due to the high menthol factor. Spearmint contains Carvone in comparison to Menthol. While not nearly as effective, Spearmint is much safer. Warnings: On rare occasions the fragrance of mint oil has caused gagging in children. Pure Menthol, ingested, is POISONOUS. A teaspoon can be FATAL. DO NOT ingest non-food grade Peppermint oil or Menthol.
Family: Burseraceae Genus: Commiphora Species: Abyssinica, Myrrha
Also Known As: Balsamodendron
Rx: steep powdered herb for mouthwash, infusion, tincture
Myrrh makes an excellent mouthwash, toothpaste, and fights bacteria. Warnings: Large amounts may have violent laxative action
Family: Urticaceae Genus: Urtica Species: Dioica
Also Known As: Stinging Nettle, Common Nettle, Greater Nettle
Rx: process plant matter in juicer, infusion, tincture
An effective cure for gout, Nettle is also good for the symptoms of hay fever, scurvy, PMS, and helps heart patients. Warnings: Large doses of Nettle tea may cause stomach irritation.
Oregano (see Marjoram)
Family: Umbelliferae Genus: Petroselinum Species: Crispum, Hortense, Sativum
Also Known As: Rock Selinon
Rx: a few sprigs for fresh breath, infusion of leaves and seeds, tincture
The seeds and the leaves of this plant contain the oil that is known to curb high blood pressure, help with fever, freshen breath, help with allergies and help heart patients. Warnings: Do not use to promote weight loss
Family: Labiatae Genus: Rosmarinus Species: Officinalis
Also Known As: Rosemarine, Incensier
Rx: cooking, excellent tea, infusion, tincture
In ancient times people wrapped their meat with Rosemary to prevent spoilage. Rosemary is a natural preservative. Rosemary can prevent food poisoning, is a digestive aid, is a good decongestant and can kill bacteria. If you enjoy using Rosemary in your cooking, use more. Warnings: Do not ingest Rosemary oil. In large amounts, poisoning can occur.
Family: Iridaceae Genus: Crocus Species: Sativus
Also Known As: Spanish Saffron
Rx: 12 to 15 stigmas per cup of boiling water
Since it takes 75,000 flowers to make one pound of Saffron, this herb is very expensive. Heart attack patients may actually save money using this as it is much cheaper than some clot dissolving drugs injected to treat heart attack. It can help to control some risk factors for heart disease. It also reduces cholesterol, de-clogs the arteries, and lowers blood pressure. Warnings: Do not use if pregnant.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Salvia Species:Officinalis
Also Known As: All types of Sage
Rx: crushed fresh leaves for cuts and wounds, infusion of dried leaves, tincture
Sage is the premiere anti-perspirant, cutting perspiration by up to 50 percent. It is a great fighter against infection, a good preservative, a digestive aid, can reduce blood sugar and helps a sore throat. Warnings: rare cases of inflammation of the lips and lining of the mouth. Sage oil should not be ingested.
Family: Labiatae Genus: Satureja Species: Hortensis, Montana
Also Known As: White Thyme, Bean Herb
A great culinary herb, Savory has great soothing properties; it is a great expectorant and digestive aid and is subtle enough for use with children.
Rx: infusion of leaves for childhood colds
Family: Compositae Genus: Artemisia Species: Dracunculus
Also Known As: Dragon Herb, Estragon, French or Russian Tarragon
Rx: chew fresh leaves for toothache, apply fresh leaves to cuts and wounds, infusion of leaves, tincture
A wonderful treatment for toothache, Tarragon is a great anesthetic and prevents infections. Warnings: Those with history of Cancer should not use this herb
Family: Labiatae Genus: Thymus Species: Vulgaris, Serpyllum
Also Known As: Mother of Thyme, Common or Garden Thyme, Wild, Creeping or Mother Thyme
As well as a culinary delight, Thyme fights several disease causing bacteria and viruses. It is a good digestive aid, helps menstrual cramps and is a great cough remedy. Germany uses it today to treat whoop, whooping cough and emphysema.
Rx: fresh leaves for cuts and wounds, tincture for antiseptic, infusion of leaves for the stomach, cough or menstrual symptoms. Warnings: Do not ingest Thyme oil, it can lead to headache, nausea, vomiting, weakness, thyroid impairment, and heart and respiratory depression.
Family: Valerianaceae Genus: Valeriana Species: Officinalis
Also Known As: Phu, Heal-all, Garden Valerian
Rx: infusion of root for sedative properties, tincture
The quite smelly and pungent Valerian is a powerful sedative that was even listed as a tranquilizer in the National Formulary until 1950. A great replacement for users of valium, Valerian can also help reduce high blood pressure. Warnings: Large doses may cause headache, giddiness, blurred vision, restlessness, nausea, and morning grogginess.
Family: Verbenaceae Genus: Verbena Species: Officinalis, Hastata
Also Known As: Indian Hyssop, Blue Vervain, Verbena, Enchanter’s Herb
Rx: infusion of leaves for headache and arthritis, tincture
Vervain is a great substitute for aspirin as it has similar effects. Vervain, outside of being a very mild laxative, is mainly used for mild pain relief. Warnings: Anyone with a history of heart problems should not use this herb.
Family: Compositae Genus: Achillea Species: Millefolium
Also Known As: Bloodwort, Nose Bleed, Thousand Weed, Milfoil, Soldier’s Woundwort
An excellent wound treatment, Yarrow has many healing properties, is a good digestive aid, helps menstrual cramps, and is a mild sedative.
Rx: use fresh leaves and flowers for cuts and scrapes, infusion for calming and menstrual easing effects, tincture. Warnings: large doses may turn urine brown. This is not harmful.