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 night's sleep.

Wood betony tincture

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 day. For insomnia, take 10 drops at bedtime. For more of a tonic effect, take 1 teaspoonful three times a day.

Wood betony ointment

Pick a handful of wood betony leaves, chop them, and put in a small saucepan with half a cup of extra virgin olive oil. Using a low heat, warm gently, just below simmering, until the leaves have lost their green color and are quite crisp. Strain, returning the oil to the pan.

Add half an ounce of beeswax and warm until it melts. Stir well and pour into jars. Leave the lids off until the ointment sets, then label and store in a cool place until needed.

Wood betony pillow

Sew a small cloth bag, leaving one end open. Fill loosely with dried wood betony leaves. Some dried lavender flowers or rose petals can be added for their fragrance. Stitch or tie up the open end, and place the bag under your pillow.

Wood betony, hawthorn and horseradish formula

Mix 5 parts wood betony tincture, 4 parts hawthorn tincture or syrup and 1 part of horseradish vinegar. This formula stimulates and warms, improving digestion, circulation, and memory.

Dose: 1 teaspoon morning and afternoon as a tonic for older people or anyone recovering from a long illness. Also great for exam time!

Wood betony tea

• digestive problems

• poor circulation

• muscular tension

• nightmares

• sinus congestion

• watery, irritated eyes

• chills and fevers

Wood betony tincture

• digestive problems

• nervous exhaustion

• irritability

• poor concentration

Wood betony ointment

varicose veins

hemorrhoids

Wood betony pillow

• nightmares

Wood betony, hawthorn, and horseradish formula

• tonic for older people

• convalescence

Caution: Do not take during pregnancy.

Yarrow

Yarrow or milfoil is a leading backyard medicine plant. A ready first-aid treatment for wounds and nosebleeds, it has larger uses as a circulatory system remedy that both stops bleeding and moves stagnant blood, preventing and clearing blood clots. It tones the blood vessels and lowers high blood pressure.

Yarrow is beneficial for a wide range of menstrual problems, and is a first-rate fever herb, used as a hot tea to induce sweating.

Asteraceae (Compositae) Daisy family

Description: A short perennial with feathery dark green leaves and flat heads of white or sometimes pink flowers.

Habitat: Roadsides, meadows, and lawns.

Distribution: Found virtually worldwide.

Related species: Several species of Achillea are used medicinally and others are grown as garden plants.

Parts used: Above-ground parts collected when flowering, or leaves gathered as needed.

Cautions: Yarrow can occasionally cause an allergic skin irritation. It is best not given to children under 5 years old, or taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Yarrow is a famous wound and fever herb, yet today it can pass unnoticed except as a lawn weed. The legendary Achilles used yarrow as a field dressing for his soldiers' wounds in the Trojan war, and the plant is named for him. A pity, then, he had none handy for his own fatal heel wound!

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