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Austrian herbalist Maria Treben (1980) favored cleavers tea as a drink and gargle to treat cancers of the tongue and throat. It is good too for other problems of the tongue, throat, and neck, and is used by herbalists for goitre, other thyroid issues, and swollen glands. Because it promotes the flow of urine, and is cooling and soothing, cleavers is used to reduce heat and irritation of the urinary tract. It relieves the scalding pain on urination associated with cystitis, and is a remedy for...

Meadowsweet ghee

This is a lovely warming, pain-relieving rub, which goes on smoothly and smells of summer sweetness. To make the ghee, take a packet of butter and melt it in a small saucepan. Simmer for about 20 minutes, skim off and discard the foam on top, then slowly pour the clear golden liquid into a clean saucepan leaving behind the whitish residue at the bottom. Put 5 or 6 heads of meadowsweet flowers in the ghee and heat gently for about 10 minutes. Strain and pour into jars to set.

Nettle seed electuary

Cut nettle tops when the seed is almost ripe and lay them outdoors on brown paper. This allows any small insects that live on them the time to escape. When dry, strip the seeds off the stems. Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and mix the powder into a paste with runny honey. Store in wide-mouthed jars. Researchers gave a few teaspoons of the nettle extract daily to 67 men over age 60 with BPH benign prostatic hypertrophy and found that the herb significantly reduced their need to get up at...

Comfrey ointment

Put 10 fl oz of infused comfrey oil (above) in a small saucepan with 1 oz beeswax. The beeswax will melt faster if you grate it or slice it up. Warm up on low heat until the beeswax melts. Allow to cool slightly, then pour into jars and leave to set before putting the lids on and labeling. Russian comfrey (S. x uplandicum) growing along a country lane in Norfolk, England in July

Combined with hawthorn and lime blossom

Perhaps the most important cruciferous plant with medicinal use, it has been known as a haemostatic for centuries and evidence of its use has been found at Neolithic sites, probably as condiment and vegetable as much as medication. her doctor examined her again and said the nurse must have made a mistake because the patient didn't have a prolapse at all. Shepherd's purse also works for bladder prolapse. A woman had been diagnosed with this condition, which was causing her pain and discomfort....

Hawthorn berry leather

Pick ripe hawthorn berries and place in a saucepan with half their volume of water. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes and allow to cool. Blend the mixture briefly to loosen the pulp from the seeds or mash it with a potato masher, then rub the pulp through a coarse sieve. Pour this strained pulp into baking trays so that it is less than a quarter-inch thick, and put the trays in an oven at the lowest temperature setting to dry. If you have a food dehydrator, you can put the fruit leather trays...

Men t sh pa p

Mint is wonderful for the digestion, as a tea, in food and medicinally. It also relieves nausea, spasms, and gas, and offers the benefits of being both warming and cooling to the body. Lamiaceae (Labiatae) Deadnettle family Description Aromatic perennials with dense whorls of lilac flowers. Habitat Most species prefer stream sides and damp places in woods or grassland. Distribution Native and naturalized mints are found around the world. Species Peppermint (M. x piperita) and field or wild mint...

Selfheal cream

To make a cream, you will be using some of the self-heal oil you have made, and combining it with a strong self-heal tea. This cream recipe can be used for other herbs or combinations of herbs too. Put the oil and beeswax in one bowl and the infusion in another, and stand them both in a large pan of hot water. Heat until the beeswax melts. It is important that they are both the same temperature. Slowly pour the tea into the oil mixture while beating with an electric mixer set at the slowest...

T u s s i l a g o f a r f a r

Coltsfoot is one of the earliest plants of the herbalist's year, and its leaves and flowers make an effective cough remedy. Coltsfoot is found in profusion locally on roadsides, slopes, and stream banks and is one of the first plants to appear in early spring. It yields flowers before leaves, a fact reflected in the old name son before the father. Coltsfoot is unmistakable when in flower, but its large, roughly heart-shaped leaves can be confused with the related butterbur in summer, so be sure...

Hawthorn berry syrup

Put 1 lb berries in a large saucepan with 1 pint water, and slowly bring to a boil. Mash a little with a potato masher. Turn off the heat and leave to stand overnight. Bring to a boil again, then turn down the heat and simmer gently. The berries quickly lose their deep red color and turn a dingy sort of yellow. Don't worry if the decoction smells somewhat fishy at this point - the syrup will not taste like it smells. When the mixture has sweated down to half its volume, allow to cool and then...

Mallow

The common or tall mallow has suffered by comparison with its more famous cousin, the marsh mallow, the only member of the family to be an official herb. But marsh mallow is rare as a wild plant and moreover is dug up for its root, so for the many soothing qualities of mallow, internal and external, the common form offers a highly effective alternative. Description A tall or sprawling perennial growing to 3 feet tall with pinkish-purple flowers and ivy-shaped leaves. Distribution Native to...

Flower essence

To use your essence, put three drops of mother essence in a small (1 fl oz) dropper bottle filled with brandy. Using this stock bottle, you can put 20 drops in the bath, then soak for at least twenty minutes. rub directly on the skin, or mix into creams. put a few drops in a glass or bottle of water and sip during the day. make a dosage bottle to carry around with you, by putting 3 drops of stock essence into a dropper bottle containing a 50 50 brandy and water mix or pure distilled rosewater....

Related species

In North America, aniseroot or sweetroot (Osmorhiza berteroi) is also known as sweetcicely. Both plants belong to a huge family, which includes many food plants but also a few poisonous species such as hemlock, so take care with identification. Parts used Leaves, flowers, unripe seeds. Like many herbs, sweet cicely was more widely used in the past than it is now. It was once valued as a protection against infection in the time of plague, and greatly appreciated in salads. Gerard, writing in...

Selfheal oil and cream

Check the jar every few days, and if necessary push the plant material back down under the surface of the oil. After two to four weeks the color will have drained out of the plants. Strain off the oil. Allow it to settle, so that any water will sink to the bottom, then pour the oil carefully into bottles and label. This oil will keep for several years, but it is best to make a fresh batch every summer if you can.

R

Ripening curled dock a pink bonnet for each seed Probably the most general practice in all of folk medicine, occurring throughout the British Isles, is rubbing a dock leaf on the skin to ease a sting. One Anglo-Saxon recipe for reducing a groin swelling (attention, you sportsmen ) was to pulp dock leaves in grease, wrap in a cabbage leaf that had been warmed in hot ashes, and apply as a plaster. Culpeper (1653) suggested boiling roots in vinegar for bathing itches, scabs and breaking out of the...

Rosebay willowherb syrup

Bring to a boil and simmer until the color leaves the blossoms, in about 5-10 minutes. Strain the juice, return to the pot. Add 4 oz sugar to the reduced fluid, and juice of a lemon. This turns the pale color a bright pink, almost like the blossoms you start with. Boil for 5 minutes, allow to cool a little, then bottle and label. It will keep in the fridge for a few months. This is a pleasant remedy for childhood diarrhea, and can be used for any case of intestinal irritation associated with...

Nettle juice powder

Juice fresh nettle tops, then mix the juice with enough nettle leaf powder (made by reducing dried nettle tops in a coffee grinder, then putting the powder through a sieve) to the thickness of double cream. Spread on fruit leather trays in a dehydrator or on non-stick baking trays in a warm oven until dry. Crumble and store in airtight jars. Dose Half to one teaspoonful daily. regulates breast milk production high blood sugar Externally regulates breast milk production

Mugwort tincture

clears negative and old stuck energy Description Biennial plants, growing in their first year as a rosette of downy leaves, and sending up a tall spike with yellow flowers in their second summer. Habitat Sides of fields, roadsides, dry ground. Species used Great mullein is the species generally discussed in herbals, but any of the tall, yellow-flowered mulleins can be used, as can white mullein (Verbascum album). Distribution Great mullein (V. thapsus) is native to Europe, northern Africa, and...

Mullein tea

The leaves can be used on their own, or you can add flowers. To make the tea, use a good rounded tablespoonful of the dried herb, slightly more of the fresh, according to taste. Pour a mugful of boiling water over it, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain through muslin or a fine sieve to remove any loose leaf hairs if you are using the dried leaf. Drink freely for dry coughs or any irritation of throat and chest. Pick the flowers on a dry sunny day, and lay them on a sheet of paper to dry a...

Harvesting nettle tops

Nettle tops are best in the spring, but if the nettles are repeatedly cut back they will send up fresh shoots, which can be harvested through summer and into autumn. Harvest the top 6, wearing rubber gloves to pick them, or use a pair of scissors to cut and lift them into a bag or basket. Rinse them if they need it. Young spring nettles can be frozen for use later in the year. Blanch them in boiling water for two minutes, then drain and cool. Chop up or leave whole, and store in freezer bags.

Selfheal flower essence

To make the flower essence, find a patch of self-heal growing in a peaceful sunny spot. Just sit near the plants for a while until you feel relaxed and at peace with the plants and the place. Because flower essences are based on the vibrational energy of a plant rather than its chemistry, your intention is important. When you are ready, place a small clear glass bowl on the ground near the plants. Fill it with about a cupful of rain water or spring water, then pick enough flowers from nearby to...

Sweet cicely apritif

This can be drunk before meals to stimulate the appetite, or used as an after-dinner drink to settle the digestion. It can also be taken purely medicinally for flatulence, colic, or griping pains. Use either a handful of green sweet cicely seeds or several handfuls of leaves and stems. Chop them up and put into a large, clean glass jar. Add about a pint of vodka, and let steep in a dark place for two or three days. Taste it to check that the flavor of the herb has been absorbed by the alcohol,...

Harvesting mallow

Pick the leaves before the plant flowers or whenever they are a bright healthy green. They are best used fresh, although they can be dried. Pick the flowers and flower buds in summer. They can be used fresh or dried by spreading them out on a sheet of paper in a cool airy place. Mallow flowers turn from pinkish purple to blue as they dry. They can be used on their own as a soothing tea, and make a pretty addition to other herbal tea blends. Chop or chew a fresh mallow leaf and apply to...

Nettle top decocted tinctu

By boiling nettles, you get the minerals that are not extracted well by alcohol. Chop up your nettle tops, and divide into two even batches. Put one half in a blender with enough 40 vodka to blend, and liquidize. Put the other half in a saucepan with just enough water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain and measure both liquids, then combine, making sure the volume of alcohol is equal to or greater than the volume of water. (If your water volume is...

T r i f o l i u m p r a t e n

An important nitrogen-fixing forage crop, red clover is also a significant medicinal plant with a long history as a blood cleanser. It is used for chronic constipation, skin complaints, chronic degenerative diseases, and bronchitis. It has been included in many anti-cancer formulae, and helps balance hormone levels during the menopause, relieving symptoms such as hot flashes. Clover or trefoil (three leaves) has a sacred past. It had significance for the Druids, and St Patrick was said to have...

Elderberry syrup

Put ripe elderberries into a large saucepan with half their volume of water. Simmer and stir for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then squeeze out the juice using a jelly bag or fruit press. Measure the juice, and for every pint of juice add half pound muscovado sugar, a stick of cinnamon, a few cloves and a few slices of lemon. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and pour while hot into sterilized bottles. Dose Take 1 teaspoonful neat every few hours for colds and flu, or use it as a cordial and add...

Table of Conte

Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Preface to the North American edition Introduction Harvesting from the wild Using your herbal harvest Agrimony - Agrimonia eupatoria, A. procera, A. gryposepala Bilberry - Vaccinium myrtillus Blaeberry, Whortleberry Birch - Betula pendula, B. pubescens, B. lenta Blackberry. Bramble - Rubus fruticosus Couch grass - Elytrigia repens, syn. Elymus repens, Agropyron Curled dock, Yellow dock - Rumex crispus Guelder rose, Crampbark - Viburnum opulus Hawthorn -...

Meadowsweet

The story of meadowsweet, queen of the meadow, links mead, Cuchulainn, Queen Elizabeth I, and the invention of aspirin. This is the number one herb for treating stomach acid problems, while also benefiting the joints and urinary system. Meadowsweet is effective for fevers and flu, diarrhea, headaches and pain relief generally. It well earns its name herbal aspirin. Description A perennial of up to 4 or 5 feet tall, with serrated leaves, silvery beneath, and fragrant masses of creamy-white...

Backyard

Copyright 2009 by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal First published in Great Britain by Merlin Unwin Books, 2008 as Hedgerow Medicine All Rights Reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the publisher, except in the case of brief excerpts in critical reviews or articles. All inquiries should be addressed to Skyhorse Publishing, 555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 903, New York, NY 10018. Skyhorse Publishing books may be purchased in bulk at...

Finding an herbal practiti

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a good herbalist. Ask friends or your local health food stores to see who they can recommend. You can also contact the professional associations below for a listing of practicing members. 141 Nob Hill Road, Cheshire, CT 06410 Phone (203) 272-6731 www.americanherbalistsguild.com. Canadian Herbalist Association of BC (CHAofBC) www.chaofbc.ca The Ontario Herbalists Association www.herbalists.on.ca

An East Anglian cure for jaundice

(collected by Elizabeth Hicks, late eighteenth century) Take 1 oz of red Doc. Seed dry, boil it in 3 pints of water till 1 pint is nearly wasted then strain it off and add 3 gill glasses of white Wine. Dose take a gill glass 3 times a day when the stomach is the emptiest, this will be 4 days in taken, then stop 2 days and repeat the Medicine which will with the Blessing of God compleat the Cure be the Jaundice ever so bad. The wavy leaf edge (and typical snail hole) of curled dock

Elderflower cordial

Pick 30 heads of elderflower on a dry sunny day, choosing those that smell lemony and fresh. Boil 2 lbs sugar in 4 pints of water for about 5 minutes in a large saucepan. Pour into a large ceramic bowl and add 2 oz citric acid, a chopped lemon and a chopped orange. Add the elderflower heads and stir well. Cover with a clean cloth and leave for 4 days, stirring every day. Strain through a jelly bag and bottle. For long-term storage, the cordial can be frozen. To drink, dilute to taste with cool...

Sambucus nigra

If ever the soul of a plant has been fought for, it is elder. An important herb through the ages, it has been described as a whole medicine-chest in one plant. Less used now than formerly, its flowers remain a wonderful fever remedy and delicious in drinks or desserts. The berries work against flu and colds, and help relieve coughs. The leaves, as an ointment, are good for bruises. Description A shrub or small tree, with fragrant clusters of creamy white flowers in summer, followed by black...

Dandelion

Dandelion is a wonderful food as well as a beneficial medicine. It supports overall health by gently working to improve the functioning of the liver, gallbladder, and urinary and digestive systems. It is excellent for cleansing the skin. Next time you spend an hour removing dandelions from your garden or lawn, turn them into medicine instead of throwing them out, and rejoice in the fact that they will always grow back Asteraceae (Compositae) Daisy family Description A familiar weed of lawns,...

Recommended re

The Illustrated Herbal. London, 1987 Barker, Julian. The Medicinal Flora of Britain & Northwestern Europe A Field Guide. West Wickham, Kent, 2001 Bartram, Thomas. Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London, 1998 1995 Blamey, Marjorie, Richard & Alastair Fitter. Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland. London, 2003 Brill, Wildman Steve, with Evelyn Dean. Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not so Wild) Places. New York, 1994 Buhner,...

Wild lettuce tincture

Harvest leaves and above-ground parts of wild lettuce while it is in flower in the summer. Take care of the spines. Chop it up and place in a blender with vodka to cover. Blend, then put the mixture into a jar and leave it in a cool dark place for two weeks. Strain and bottle. Dose Half a teaspoonful 3 times a day to calm over-excitement, or 1 teaspoonful at bedtime to help with sleep. For centuries the wild or dog rose was valued most for its galls, used to eliminate the stone. It wasn't until...

Hawthorn tincture

The best hawthorn tincture is made in two parts, using the flowers and leaves gathered in spring and then adding the berries in the fall when they are ripe. In spring Gather the flowering tops when the blossom is fresh. Remove any large twigs, and pack into a jar. Fill the jar with vodka, put the lid on and shake the jar to remove any air bubbles. Put the jar in a cupboard for about a month, until the blossom and leaves have lost their color, then strain off the liquid and bottle it. In fall...

Rose petal glycerite

You can use garden roses along with wild roses for this recipe, as long as they haven't been sprayed. Pick fragrant rose petals and put them in a jar with a mixture of 60 vegetable glycerine and 40 water. Put the jar on a sunny window ledge or in a warm place. Stir occasionally to keep the petals beneath the surface of the liquid. You can add more petals over the season, removing any that have turned transparent. When the last petals have lost their color, strain off the liquid and bottle. It...

Preface to the I edition

We have taken the opportunity to correct the text and make the spelling more appropriate for North American readers. The substance of the book, however, remains as for the British edition. All the plants are found on both sides of the Atlantic, some being native in the New World and others brought over from Europe by settlers precisely because they were useful plants that they wanted to keep using. We appreciate that some of the plants are less common in North America and that a few are...

Harvesting from

Harvesting wild plants for food or medicine is a great pleasure, and healing in its own right. We all need the company of plants and wild places in our lives, whether this is in an old wood, a mountainside or the seashore, just down the street, or in our own backyard. Gathering herbs for free is the beginning of a valuable and therapeutic relationship with the wild. Here are a few basic guidelines to help you get started. Why pay others to frolic in the luscious gardens of Earth, picking...

Viburnum o p u l u s

Guelder rose is able to relieve muscle tension, both in skeletal muscles and in the smooth muscle of the intestines, lungs, and uterus. It is used on its own for cramps and muscle spasms, including uterine cramps, back pain, fibromyalgia, and irritable bowel syndrome, and in formulae for high blood pressure, arthritis and nervous tension. Description A large shrub or small tree with palmate leaves, white blossoms and vivid red berries. Habitat Woodlands, damp places, and scrubland. Distribution...

Use mallow for

While modern-day mallow users would scarcely claim it as a cure-all, they would also say it doesn't merit official oblivion. Mallow does have solid virtues, and most of these arise from its high mucilage content common mallow flowers have around 10 mucilage and the leaves 7 . Indeed, all thousand or so members of the Malva family worldwide possess this gelatinous substance, including okra and hibiscus. Mucilage, a word that is cognate with mucus, is extremely soothing to any inflamed part of...

Hypericum p e r f o r

St John's wort has become well known as an herb for treating depression and SAD, but it is far more than that. An antiseptic wound herb of ancient repute, it was the main plant of St John, the sun herb of midsummer and a protector against evil and unseen influences. In modern terms, it strengthens the nervous system and the digestion, protects the liver, is antiviral and reduces pain it is a plant for support through life-cycle changes. Clusiaceae (Hypericaceae) St John's wort family...

Use yarrow for

Skull Tumblr Drawings

Yarrow is our favorite remedy for nosebleeds, and it's well worth keeping a patch by the back door if anyone in your family suffers from them. Simply pick a few fresh leaves - available year round, though at their best in spring and the fall - and rub them between your hands to bruise them, releasing the aromatic oil. Roll the leaves into a nasal plug, insert into the affected nostril and leave until the bleeding completely stops before gently removing the plug. Julie's father suffered a really...

Mint tea

Fresh mint is better than dried to use for tea. Put a couple of sprigs in a teapot and pour in a cupful of boiling water. Cover and let infuse for a few minutes before straining and But when you do not have fresh mint available, dried is still good. Dry the leaves on a screen outdoors or in a warm cupboard, until they crumble in the fingers. Use a teaspoonful per cup. Dried mint is a very useful addition to other medicinal herb teas, to make them taste better. Water can be deliciously and...

Salix alba S fr

Willow bark contains salicin and other aspirin-like compounds. It is used to treat pain and inflammation, but does not have the stomach-irritating or blood-thinning effects of aspirin. Willow helps to lower fevers, and can be used as a gentle pain reliever for headaches, arthritis, gout, rheumatism, muscle aches, and lower back pain. Description Tall deciduous trees that frequently hybridize with each other. Habitat Mainly riverbanks and other wet areas. Distribution Willows are found all...

Use plantain for

Ribwort is the number one field remedy for insect stings and bites. Hoary plantain (Plantago media) (right) is the most beautiful plantain, with pale lilac flowers A crushed leaf rubbed onto the painful area will bring relief at once -it's almost miraculous. Greater plantain also works for pain relief, but the leaves are tougher and not as juicy, so choose ribwort first if it is available. We find that any plantain, applied immediately, is effective for nettle stings and prefer it to dock leaf....

Wood betony

S t a c h y s osfyBiiiect i on na i officinalis Wood betony, often referred to simply as betony, was a significant remedy from ancient times. A Roman physician wrote a whole book extolling its virtues, and it was the herb of choice for exorcising demons and protection against all kinds of evil in the Middle Ages. Wood betony is a nerve tonic, and through its action on the solar plexus has a wide range of benefits, especially on the digestion. It also improves circulation, and is excellent for...

Skin creams

Creams are made by mixing a water-based preparation with an oil-based one, to make an emulsion. Creams are absorbed into the skin more rapidly than ointments, but have the disadvantages of being more difficult to make and not keeping as well. Essential oils can be added to help preserve creams, and they keep best if refrigerated. Nettle, from Woodville's Medical Botany (1790-3) The simplest poultice is mashed fresh herb put on to the skin, as when you crush a ribwort leaf and apply it to a wasp...

L a c t u c a v i r o s a

If you grew up with Beatrix Potter, you know from the Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies that eating flowering lettuces makes you sleepy. Our garden lettuces have been bred to reduce their bitterness, and as a result have far less of a soporific effect than does wild lettuce. Asteraceae (Compositae) Daisy family Description Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola ) is a 3-4 ft tall biennial with broad gray-green leaves and arrays of small, pale yellow flowers. Great (or greater) prickly lettuce, bitter...

Use meadowsweet for

The flowers and tops yield a beneficial herb tea or tincture that is particularly good for an upset stomach and diarrhea, and the whole plant was a traditional strewing herb of medieval and Tudor times. Charles I's herbalist, John Parkinson, wrote in 1640 because both flowers and herbes are of so pleasing a sweete sent, many doe much delight therein, to have it layd in their Chambers, Parlars, & c. and Queene Elizabeth of famous memory, did more desire it then any other sweet herbe to strew...

Equipment needed

You don't need any special equipment for making your own herbal medicines. You probably already have most of what you need. Kitchen basics like a teapot, measuring cups, saucepans, and a blender are all useful, as are jam-making supplies such as a jelly bag and jam jars. A mortar and pestle are useful but not essential. You'll need jars and bottles, and labels for these. It is a good idea to have a notebook to write down your experiences, so you'll have a record for yourself and can repeat...

Use wild rose for

Rose hips and petals (the leaves are not used much) offer support to the body's immune system and help fight infection in the digestive tract they are also diuretic, i.e., assist in elimination of wastes through the urinary system, as well as cooling to the body, bringing down fevers and reducing heat on the skin in the form of rashes and inflammations. This threefold action - supporting immunity, helping elimination, and being cooling - makes rose a superb natural reliever of cold and flu...

Armoracia rustic

Horseradish root is hot and pungent, and the same qualities that make it the chosen accompaniment to roast beef also power its medicinal uses. It stimulates digestion, is an active eliminator of the waste products of fevers and colds, clears the sinuses, and is warming for rheumatism and muscle aches. Brassicaceae (Cruciferae) Cabbage family Description A perennial, which forms large patches. The leaves are dock-like, but bright green with parallel veins and wavy edges, and often full of holes...

Use mullein for

Mullein's soft fuzzy leaves give a hint of its soothing qualities for internal use. Its particular affinity is for the respiratory system, but it also calms and strengthens the nerves, digestion, and urinary system. It is good for swollen glands, and helps relieve pain in general. Think of mullein tea for easing throat and chest problems, especially dry and irritable coughs. It can quickly soothe an irritating tickle at the back of the throat. Mullein flower oil is the best natural remedy for...

Use horsetail for

A key virtue of horsetail is that its silica is water-soluble, meaning that it can be readily transported around the body in solution form. Taken as a tea or syrup, it reaches your nails and joints, hair, and skin externally it makes a good poultice and hair rinse, or can be added to the bath or body lotion. Horsetail may help if you have weak or brittle nails, thin hair with split ends, chronic cystitis or bladder irritation, multiple allergies, or weak joints and connective tissue. A young...

Use mint for

Finding that mint cleaned the breath and settled the digestion, Romans of classical times valued it they didn't have chocolate, but they did have after-dinner mint They also brought mint to Britain. Perhaps, indeed, chewing mint leaves is superior, given that our chocolate mint doesn't contain any of the herb, and precious little of its oil. It's also moot whether it'd be better for us to clean our teeth on freshly picked mint than use a spurious mint toothpaste. The savor or smell of the water...

R u m e x c r i s p u s

Curled dock and broad-leaved dock are among the five official injurious weeds in Britain, but curled or yellow dock has long-recognized redeeming qualities as a detoxifying liver and bowel herb, a laxative, and a blood cleanser. The root is effective for many chronic toxic skin conditions, including acne and boils, eczema and sunburn, not forgetting the most famous use of dock leaves for relieving the burning caused by nettle stings. Description A perennial dock growing to a yard tall. Leaves...

Plantain seed

The seeds and husks can be ground in a coffee grinder before use, or used whole. Dose 1 teaspoonful sprinkled on food, once to three times daily. Greater plantain (Plantago major) in flower Finding a swathe of ramsons (bear garlic) in a dark wood is one of the joys of early spring, with the bright green leaves and strong garlic smell tempting you to gather for the pot. This is also a wonderful medicine for the digestive tract, and helps keep the heart and circulatio healthy. Ramsons cleanses...

Mugwort smudge stick

Pick the silvery top 8 or so of mugwort when the flowers are in bud or first open. Leave them in a cool airy place to dry for a few days. Before they dry completely, and while they are still flexible, make small bundles up to about 1 thick, with the stem ends together. Starting at the stem end, wind a piece of cotton thread in a spiral around the bundle to the end and then back again, tying off securely. Leave the bundles to dry completely. To use, hold the smudge stick by the stem end and...

Maria Trebens Take On Parlinsons Diseas

The small-flowered willowherbs are a specific remedy for prostate problems, including benign prostate hyperplasia (BHP). Plants in this informal group help shrink the tissues, arrest cell proliferation, and normalize urinary function. Small-flowered willowherbs are also effective for a wide range of bladder and urinary problems, for women as well as men, with the astringent and diuretic action serving to tone and also detoxify the urinary tract. Description Perennials growing up to about 2 ft,...

Wood betony tea

Use 2 teaspoonfuls of the fresh herb or 1 teaspoonful of the dried herb per cup of boiling water, and leave to infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Dose 3 cups a day, or 1 cup at bedtime to relax for a good Put fresh wood betony herb in a blender with enough vodka or brandy to cover. Blend briefly, then pour into a jar and put in a cool dark place for a week. Strain off the liquid, bottle, and label. Dose Wood betony often works very well in drop doses. Take 5-10 drops in a little water three times a...

A prayer for picking vervain

Growing on the ground On the Mount of Calvary There wast thou found Thou helpest many a grief, Vervain is such a delicate plant that it is easy to overlook, but its medicinal power is belied by its humble appearance. Tincturing it is always surprising, as a few skinny stalks of pale lilac or white flowers yield a strong, dark, almost black, brew. Vervain has a rich past, both magical and medicinal, sacred and secular. It was an important herb to the Druids and Romans. Picking was always...

P l a n t a g o major

Common weeds of footpaths and lawns, the plantains were once celebrated as magical herbs in pre-Christian times, and have followed European settlers around the world. Plantain is the best first-aid remedy for insect stings, and quickly deals with bites, cuts, and ulcers. It is widely available, safe to use and effective for a number of common ailments including old coughs, bronchitis, sore throats and irritable digestive tracts. Description Perennial plants with a rosette of ribbed leaves and...

Use mugwort for

Burning mugwort can dispel midges and other summer biting insects, a quality sometimes suggested as a source of its name (Old Saxon muggia wort or midge plant). A case is made too for the Saxon moughte, a moth or maggot, referring to mugwort's ability to keep away moths from clothes. The thirteenth-century Physicians of Myddfai in central Wales knew mugwort as a useful insecticide to destroy flies, let the mugwort be put in a place where they are frequent and they will die. Our own favorite...

Solanaceae Nightshade family

Description An arching, floppy shrub with small leaves, and purple flowers, followed by scarlet berries in the fall. Habitat Hedgerows, gardens, and near the sea, growing on a variety of soils. Distribution Native to Asia and possibly to eastern Europe. Found in most European countries and widely distributed in North America. Related species Lycium chinense (Chinese tea plant, Chinese desert thorn) and L. barbarum (Duke of Argyll's tea plant, matrimony vine) are very similar and may be used...

Berry brandy pot

Start out with bilberries, placing them in the bottom of a jar or crock and then pouring on enough brandy (or whisky) to cover. You can, of course fill the whole jar with bilberries, or you can leave room and repeat the process with other berries in layers as they come into season - raspberries, blackberries, elderberries, and lycium berries. Leave until winter and enjoy as a rather alcoholic treat, which will be packed with antioxidants and do your eyes and your veins a world of good. The...

Galium a p a r i n e

Also known as goose grass, clivers, and sticky-willy, this common roadside plant clambers all over hedges and other plants in a green mass in high summer. It sends up bright green shoots from January onward, being one of the first plants to sprout. Cleavers is a wonderfully gentle lymphatic cleanser and a fantastic spring tonic, helping clean up our system after winter. It soothes irritated membranes of the urinary tract and promotes urine flow, and is useful for many mouth and throat problems....

E lyt rig asyiypmius r e p e n s Agropyro T r i t i c u m r e p e n s

This invasive grass is both gardener's or farmer's foe and herbalist's friend. The couch grass rhizomes that gardeners hate possess soothing, diuretic, and antibiotic qualities that have long been valued for making a tea to treat urinary problems, including cystitis, kidney stones, and prostate enlargement. Description A grass, up to 3 feet tall, with a thin flowering spike, dark green pointed leaves, and untidy creeping rhizomes. Habitat Lawns and gardens, roadsides and fields. Distribution...

Use teasel for

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, teasel root tonifies the liver and kidneys and works on painful lower backs and knees, weak legs, cartilage and joints. It is also held to promote circulation and reduce inflammation. American herbalists William LeSassier and Matthew Wood have built on these uses and found in practice that the teasel (introduced from Europe) is, in Wood's words, invaluable for joint injury and chronic inflammation of the muscles. It is indicated for fibromyalgia, chronic...

Esculushippocas

Familiar for its nuts, called conkers, horse chestnut is a beautiful introduced ornamental tree. It also has significant medicinal uses, particularly for supporting weakened veins, as in varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and capillary fragility. It is used for two Bach Flower Essences and in commerical quantities for allopathic and homeopathic remedies for irregularities of the veins. It also has some surprising other uses. Hippocastanaceae Horse chestnut family Description A tall tree, up to 130...

L a m i u m album

White deadnettle is a uterine tonic with an ability to stop loss of fluids from the body, whether excessive menstrual flow, abnormal vaginal discharge, diarrhea, or a runny nose. The leaves and flowers can be eaten, raw or cooked. The flowers are full of nectar, enjoyed by insects and children alike, and the leaves can be used as a poultice for cuts and splinters. The white deadnettle is so named because it resembles a stinging nettle, but has no stinging hairs. Other old names, such as deaf,...

Blackberry

Blackberry or bramble is one of the most familiar and also most aggressive of berry plants. The protective spines demand respect, but the berries and leaves offer medicinal rewards that repay the inevitable scratches of picking. Description A thorny, sprawling bush with white or pink flowers and black berries. Habitat Widespread in hedgerows, woods, and on waste ground. Distribution Widespread. Native to temperate Europe but naturalized in North America and Australasia. Related species...

A n g u s a n g u s t i o n a n

This beautiful native plant is stunning enough to be grown in any garden and yet is considered a weed. It has not been used much in medicine in recent years but was a favorite of the American Eclectic physicians in treating diarrhea and typhoid. Its soothing, astringent, and tonic action is wonderful for all sorts of intestinal irritation, and it makes a good mouthwash. Rosebay willowherb is one of Europe's largest and most beautiful wildflowers. In North America, it is called fireweed because...

Crataegus m o n o g s y C oxyacantha

Hawthorn is a superb heart and circulatory tonic, protecting and strengthening the heart muscle and its blood supply. It improves blood circulation around the body, and can be used to treat a wide range of circulatory problems. Hawthorn also affects the emotional side of what we think of as heart, by calming and reducing anxiety, helping with bad dreams and insomnia, and smoothing menopausal mood swings. Description Thorny shrubs or small trees with clusters of white or pink flowers in spring...

R u b u s i d a e u s

Generally known as red raspberry in North America, raspberry leaf tea is well recognized for strengthening the uterus prior to childbirth, and for relieving painful periods. It is also an effective and soothing remedy for flu and fevers, helping reduce the aches and pains that go with them. This tea is a good source of readily assimilated calcium and other minerals, making it a health-enhancing alternative to regular tea. Raspberries, especially wild ones, are very high in salvestrols, a class...

Lamiaceae Labiatae Deadnettle family

Description A creeping perennial with downy leaves and violet flowers, reaching up to a foot tall. Distribution Found virtually worldwide in temperate areas. Widespread in North America. Related species Cutleaved self-heal (P. laciniata) has creamy white flowers and is found on dry lime soils. Parts used Flowers and leaves, dry flower spikes. To be short, it serveth for the same that Bugle Ajuga reptans doth, and in the world there are not two better wound herbs, as hath bin often proved. the...

P a r i e t a r i sa yPn u d a fi i P officinalis

This little and overlooked wild plant is a noted tonic for the kidneys and bladder. It is soothing and increases the flow of urine, while also reducing inflammation and helping dissolve kidney stones. Herbalists use the tea for a range of urinary problems. Description A redstemmed perennial with tiny white flowers, growing mainly on walls, to about 2 feet high. Forms dense patches locally. Habitat Walls, stony places, hedgebanks, and gardens. Distribution Native to Europe and north Africa,...

Agrimony tincture

Donald Duck Halloween Scare

To make agrimony tincture, pick the flowers and leaves on a bright sunny day. Pack them into a glass jar large enough to hold your harvest - clean jam jars work well - and pour in enough brandy or vodka to cover them. Put the lid on the jar and keep it in a dark cupboard for six weeks, shaking it every few days. Strain off the liquid, bottle, and label. Amber or blue glass bottles will protect your tincture from UV light. If you use clear glass bottles, you will need to keep your tincture in a...

Use red clover for

The best-known use of all for clover is of course the luck of finding a rare four-leafed one. In some folk traditions, the three leaves represented faith, hope, and charity (love), and the fourth was God's grace in everyday terms, it meant luck. Nowadays you can order a plastic-sealed lucky four-leaved clover online (some sites offer organically grown ones). Who gets the luck, one wonders - probably the seller. Your luck may be more certain if you use clover herbally. Red clover works gently to...

Use St Johns wort for

What we find interesting is that modern uses of the plant, as we will outline, differ so much from the more traditional uses. Look at Parkinson's list of its benefits right few herbalists will now use St John's wort to dissolve tumors. Mrs Grieve, writing in 1931, says it is good for pulmonary complaints, bladder problems, diarrhea, jaundice, and nervous depression, among others. When the light shines through the leaves of perforate St John's wort, the oil glands look like holes hence...

Notes to the te

Full citation given in first reference only, thereafter author and page number. Orginal year of publication is in square brackets place of publication London unless otherwise noted Preface viii Boerhaave's hat Chris Howkins, The Elder The Mother Tree of Folklore Addlestone, Surrey, 1996 , 28. Introduction ix Hew DV Prendergast amp Helen Sanderson, Britain's Wild Harvest The Commercial Uses of Wild Plants and Fungi 2004 , 64. Harvesting from the wild x James Green, The Herbal Medicine-Makers...

Use comfrey for

In the past, comfrey was widely used for healing ulceration in the digestive tract, as it is mucilaginous and soothing as well as healing. It was also used for bronchitis and other chest complaints, to soothe the irritation and promote expectoration of mucus. Today, other herbs tend to be preferred for these conditions, owing to the possible dangers of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids contained in comfrey - see box on page 40. Comfrey nonetheless remains valuable as one of the best herbs for healing...

S t e l l a r i a media

This is the best-known herbal remedy for itchy skin and hot skin inflammations of various types. Chickweed is a soothing, nutritious, and cooling herb, with a reputation for clearing stubborn, long-lasting bodily conditions. It has special affinities for the eyes, lungs, and chest, and can be eaten as a food. As you'll see, it is far more than chickenfeed Description A floppy, sprawling annual plant with soft green leaves and tiny star-like white flowers. Habitat Gardens, hedgebanks, and waste...