Herbs

Herbs – briefly  

Herbs are leaves or roots that can be used to make tea or other infusions. This site distinguishes between herbs, which are used for tea and for medicine, and spices, which flavor food. This distinction may be arbitrary, since you can also add herbs to food.

Herbs nourish your body with essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids, and phytochemicals. Some herbs can prompt you and your body to release toxins. These properties depend on the soil where they were grown and the batch of the harvest. Their utility for you depends on your individual deficiencies of specific minerals and vitamins. Many herbs work for some people, but not for others. No herbs work for everybody. Nobody knows why. If you are sick, see a doctor. 

One possible reason to make herbal tea is to improve digestion. Good health begins with optimal digestion. What is optimal digestion? It begins with an absence of constipation, diarrhea, stomach pains, and excess gas. It continues with absorption and assimilation of the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from your food into your blood, tissues, organs, and bones.

This article includes a table of herbs and natural products, their botanical names, and descriptions, and also details by herb or product. When buying herbs, try to get to know the supplier and the source. Some herbs, even grown organically, can be contaminated with heavy metals, fungus, or other contaminants.

There are many excellent reference books about herbs and their possible benefits for you. Be aware that the authors mostly describe what works for them or what they have observed works for others. Again, the fact that something works for someone else does not mean that it works for you.

None of this information is intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease.

Table of common herbs and their uses

This is a list of herbs that I have tried. I do not use them regularly, but occasionally in teas. They may or may not work for you. Look for good quality. This begins by knowing your supplier and preferring knowledgeable, local suppliers. Do your own research, and verify. I am not a master herbalist, but merely an armchair hobbyist.

Nota bene. This is information only. No claims to prevent, treat, or cure any disease are offered. 

Herb/plant Botanical name Description and uses
artichoke Cynara scolymus can stimulate the liver and digestion, increases bile, diuretic
ashwagandha Withania somnifera adaptogen, can stimulate the immune system, adrenal, and thyroid, glands, possible natural source of iodine, contra-indicated in those with high blood pressure, found in India and Pakistan, traditional uses
astragalus Astragalus membranaceus adaptogen, stimulates the immune system, interferes with corticosteroids, traditional uses
black walnut Juglans nigra tincture can be used to reduce parasites, used by native Americans for this purpose
bladderwrack Fucus vesiculosus can strengthen the thyroid with caution, contains iodine, stimulates repair of skin and production of collagen
blueberry/bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus leaves are used to make teas, may promote healthy vision, Vaccinium cyanococcus is the common North American variety called blueberry, has other possible health benefits
cat’s claw Uncaria tomentosa can reduce inflammation, has been used to control arthritis and cancer
chaste tree Vitex agnus-castus also called “chasteberry”, can reduce discomfort of menopause, second opinion, related research
chickweed Stellaria media may promote digestion and detoxification, may reduce inflammation, may remove toxins from skin, traditional uses
chicory Cichorium intybus used since ancient Egypt as a substitute for coffee, may stimulate digestion, may have other health benefits, traditional uses
comfrey Symphytum officinale used topically, can stimulate growth of new cells after sprains or broken bones, can relieve pain and reduce inflammation, do not apply to broken skin, native to Europe, can be used as a fertilizer, 
cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos can stimulate and detoxify the urinary tract, see the harvest in this three-minute video, native to North America and known to the native Americans 
damiana Turnera diffusa potential aphrodisiac, can enhance fertility, has other possible health benefits, native to Mexico and Latin America, traditional uses
dandelion Taraxacum officinale can stimulate the liver, diuretic, detoxifying, strengthens kidneys, grows all over the earth, traditional uses, not a weed
devil’s claw Harpagophytum procumbens can relieve pain and inflammation, native to South Africa
eyebright Euphrasia officinalis can be a tonic for the eyes and vision, traditional uses
fennel Foeniculum vulgare can stimulate healthy digestion, used in ancient Greece, seeds are served at the end of meals in India and Arabia as a digestive aid, carminative, may have other health benefits, traditional uses
feverfew Tanacetum parthenium may control fever, may reduce inflammation, use with caution, traditional uses
ginkgo Ginkgo biloba may increase blood flow to the brain, can relieve anxiety, may balance the central nervous system, potential aphrodisiac, native to China, used since ancient times in case of cold extremities, medicinal uses, traditional uses, this plant resists radiation in the wild
ginseng Panax ginseng adaptogen, general tonic, can increase energy, may have other health benefits, traditional uses
green tea Camellia sinensis may stimulate the appetite and promote digestion, may reduce jet lag, traditional uses
hawthorn Crataegus oxyacantha may strengthen the heart, supports a normal heart rhythm, traditional uses
hops Humulus lupulus and Japanese and Chinese varieties can be a sedative, among other sedatives, gives beer a bitter taste, contains estrogens, may be beneficial for pre and post-menopausal women, traditional uses
horny goat weed Epimedium grandiflorum potential aphrodisiac, native to China and used since ancient times, traditional uses, also used with nettle, saw palmetto, and tongkat ali root powder 
horse chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum can strengthen circulation and reduce varicose veins, traditional uses
horseradish Armoracia rusticana stimulates appetite, can be used topically to relieve pain, nature’s antibiotic?, has other health benefits, used in ancient Egypt
horsetail Equisetum arvense reduces brittle nails, has silica and chromium, strengthens bones, diuretic, strengthens urinary system, can remove aluminum, can deplete thiamin (vitamin B1) if used to excess, traditional uses
kratom Mitragyna speciosa an herb in the coffee family, used to relieve pain and depression but controversial, with various points of view – is it safe for you – yes or no?
licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra can stimulate digestion, anti-viral, can have other benefits, used in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and China as a natural sweetener, related to fennel, tarragon, and anise, traditional uses, caution
milk thistle Silybum marianum can treat, detoxify, and stimulate the liver (for detoxification); may relieve prostate enlargement; other, traditional uses
mistletoe Viscum album

can calm nervous system, used by the Druids against headaches and seizures, used today in Switzerland and Germany to control cancer, blocks formation of new malignant blood vessels, traditionally

mullein  Verbascum thapsus  strengthens respiratory system, can relieve sinusitis and dry cough, can relieve hemorrhoids and diarrhea, internally moistens, traditional uses
neem Azadirachta indica anti-fungal, anti-viral, used in a salve for the skin, has many uses in Ayurveda tradition, can be toxic in large doses, used as a natural pesticide and fertilizer, native to India, traditional uses
stinging nettle Urtica doica can increase energy, can relieve discomfort of an enlarged prostate (like the combination of selenium and iodine), may be useful as natural allergy remedy and to relieve joint pain, can reduce estrogen, traditional uses, compare smallflower hairy herb (Epilobium parviflorum) for prostate
passionflower Passiflora incarnata can act as a gentle sedative, potential aphrodisiac, may reduce anxiety and calm nerves, used by native Americans and then transported to Europe
peppermint Mentha piperita can stimulate digestion, may decongest sinuses, has various possible health benefits, traditional uses, carminative
plantain Plantago major can form mucilage internally in case of dry cough or ulcer (demulcent), can be used externally against skin infection, moistens internally, traditional uses
rhodiola Rhodiola rosea adaptogen, can clear lungs, support adrenal glands, enhance mental and physical performance, relieve depresssion, and provide other health benefits, native to northern Europe and mountainous Asia, traditional uses
rockrose Cistus incanus detoxifies, dissolves biofilms, antifungal, benefits
rose hips Rosa canina and
other related species
has vitamin C, may reduce inflammation, may detoxify and soothe skin, possible health benefits
sage Salvia officinalis may cleanse blood and relieve menopause symptoms, traditional uses
sarsaparilla Smilax glabra anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, can cleanse the blood, used in ancient China to control infection, traditional uses
slippery elm Ulmus fulva relieves inflammation of mucus membranes and irritable bowel syndrome (digestive system), has mucilage, soothes sore throat and dry coughs, traditional uses
sweet wormwood Artemisia annua anti-viral, may be able to control malaria, artemisinin research (Greenmedinfo), other research (against cancer), video, traditional uses, French-language research about malaria

wild lettuce

Lactuca virosa pain relief, especially in case of migraine or severe menopause, sedative, ancient use, possible aphrodisiac, possible stimulant of breast milk production, use with caution, traditional uses

yohimbe

Corynanthe yohimbe potential aphrodisiac, use with caution

The therapeutic use of plant products, herbal medicine, is among the oldest of medical practices. Combinations of herbs include the Hoxsey and Essiac blends. Hoxsey’s story is documented in this ninety-six minute video here. René Caisse, the Canadian nurse who developed the Essiac blend from an aboriginal recipe, kept the details a secret but transferred it to Resperin Canada on her death. Do your own research. This is not an endorsement of either of these teas. On the other hand, unrelated to herbs, if you have an open mind towards methods that have nver been patented, then read this official online book about unconventional treatments published in 1990.

Beware that the law in most places on earth prohibits making any statements that any herb can be used to “treat” or “cure” any “disease”. I avoid these words. I focus on health and the key concepts of detox and nourishment.

Some herbs can strengthen your eyes. Other herbs can relieve toothaches. Do your own research. Be skeptical and verify. Hundreds of books, called “herbals”, have been published. Thousands of of formal, academic scientific studies have been published. No herbs work for everybody. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Your blood type may be a factor. Use caution, and be aware that not all herbs are for everybody.

One place to start is an excellent online library in Australia called the Soil and Health Library. This library contains online copies of older books about herbal medicine. It is for self-study only. On his website, the librarian, Steve Solomon, states “because the library is domiciled in Australia, it can offer books for free download that are protected by copyright. None of these copyrighted materials are legally owned or controlled by Soil and Health, so permissions cannot be granted for further distribution of anything downloaded from this site. Public domain materials in this library have no copyright protection. The copyright status of all materials is plainly indicated.”

The Soil and Health Library is organized into four sections:

You can find knowledge in this library that is not easy to find elsewhere. Some of the books in the library have been translated to Dutch, French, and German or are available in these and other original languages.

If you look for them, you can find many excellent sources of information about herbs and how to use them for health. One is Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, originally published in 1652 and summarized here. There are many others.

Dr. Tori Hudson, a naturopathic physician, describes the use of herbs to treat menopause symptoms. She also describes the use of chaste tree extracts to treat pre-menopausal syndrome. For a list of herbal remedies, inlcuding references to publications, read herbs-info.com

Certain herbs and foods can gently reduce fever, such as devil’s claw, cranberry, pomegranate, raspberry, chili pepper, and ginger.

To relieve general aches and pains, the following may be useful for some people, though they do not act immediately. How much? It is better to start low and go slow:

  • omega-three fatty acids (found in flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cod liver oil, and sardines)
  • cannabidiol, also known as CBD (found in hemp extracts),
  • silica (found in horsetail),
  • ginger,
  • kratom, and
  • others.

Many older men have an enlarged prostate. To relieve this, some men find that one or all of the following can be useful: stinging nettle, pumpkin seeds, saw palmetto, lycopene (found in tomatoes), and beta-sitosterol (found in walnuts, almonds, and olive oil).

I am not a doctor, so I am not professionally qualified to offer advice. Nevertheless, the law does not prohibit me from writing what I would take or do, if I had pain or problem in a certain part of my body.

References

GreenMedinfo – “the science of natural healing”, free and subscription-based articles and research
Herbs Info – list of 150 herbs, “learn all about the magical world of herbs and natural remedies”
MedicineHunter – by condition, “healthy mind, body, spirit”; well-researched, well-written site by Chris Kilham
Richard Whelan – Medical Herbalist, conditions, herbs, constitutions, pulse testing, Christchurch, NZ
Dr. Joe Mercola – Dr. Mercola’s Healthy Herbs and Spices List
Institute of Traditional Medicine – “handed down generation to generation from ancient times”
Gaia Herbs – commercial herb reference guide for further research
Botanical.com – online version of “A Modern Herbal” by Maud Grieve, originally published in 1931
Herbs at a glance – published by Northwest School for Botanical Studies
Broadbent, John, “The Australian Botanic Guide“, Kemp & Boyce, 1887, preventions and treatments
Thomson, Samuel, “New Guide to Health; or, Botanic Family Physician“, 1822, skip to page 189 for herbal
HerbalLegacy.com – Dr. Christopher’s herbal legacy, archive of articles, single herbs, vegan recipes
Maxwell, Nicole, “Witch Doctor’s Apprentice: Hunting for Medicinal Plants in the Amazon“, Kensington, 1990
Susun Weed, “natural health, herbal medicine and spirit healing the wise woman way”, Woodstock, NY
Buhner, Stephen, “Sacred Plant Medicine: The Wisdom in Native American Herbalism“, Bear Company, 2006
Buhner, Stephen, “The Secret Teachings of Plants“, Bear Company, 2004
Buhner, Stephen, “Herbal Antibiotics“, Storey, 1999, summary
Schaller MD, Dr. James, “The Use of the Herb Artemisinin for Babesia, Malaria, and Cancer“, Hope Academic, 2006
Balch, Phyllis, “Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference“, Avery Trade, 2002
Earth Clinic – reference on herbs, remedies, videos, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Botanical Online – “the world of plants”, medicinal plants, health, food, gardening, botany, Barcelona, Spain
Kilham, Chris, “Hemp Attributes: What To Look For“, fifteen-minute podcast
MedicineTraditions – herbal monographs from six traditions, Australia
Mindell, Earl, “Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible“, Pocket, 2005
Royal, Penny C, “Herbally Yours“, Sound Nutrition, 1982, cough remedy
Innvista Herbs – well-researched online herbal reference, including details of history and traditional uses
The School of Evolutionary Herbalism, modular online course, southern Oregon, USA
Ward, Harold, “Herbal Manual“, L.N. Fowler, London, 1936
Harris, Ben Charles, “The Complete Herbal“, Communication Channels, 1984
Healthy Hildegard – by Hildegard of Bingen, nutrition, remedies, fasting, shop, Denver, CO, USA, RSS?
ESCOP, European Scientific Cooperative On Phytotherapy, academic herbal monographs, Essex, UK
List Of Herbs“, list of 150+ herbs with uses, benefits, and references, herbs-info.com
Natural Medicinal Herbs – reference of medicinal herbs, Slovakia
Herbpathy.com – Health is a state of physical, moral and spiritual well being”, reference of herbs, India
The Practical Herbalist LLC – “Keep it real. Keep it practical.”, herbalism radio, Springfield, Oregon, USA

Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, courses, free courses, Wisconsin, USA
The Herbal Academyblog, courses, Bedford, MA, USA, RSS?
The Herbal Resource – excellent referenced list, also by condition, New York, NY, USA

Moffitt, Jessica, Riordan Clinic, “Lifestyle Tips and Herbs for Brain Health“, article

Tapsell et al., “Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future“, Med. J. Aust., 2006 Aug 21;185(S4):S1-S24. doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00548.x.

Jiang, “Health Benefits of Culinary Herbs and Spices“, Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, Volume 102, Issue 2, 1 March 2019, Pages 395–411, https://doi.org/10.5740/jaoacint.18-0418

Herbs for Pain Relief“, herbs-info.com, article
Top 10 Herbs For The Lungs“, herbs-info.com, article
15 Plants And Herbs That Can Boost Lung Health“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Top 20 Natural Painkillers In Your Kitchen“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article, video
10 Herbs For Arthritis“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article with references
Top 10 Home Remedies For Arthritis“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article with references
3 Herbs That Stop Bleeding“, thegrownetwork.com, Dr. Patrick Jones
Ten Herbs for Anxiety“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Herbs for Hair Loss“, herbs-info.com, article
Herbs For Hair Growth“, herbs-info.com, article
10 Top Tips To Prevent Hair Loss Naturally“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
12 Super Foods For Preventing Hair Loss“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Natural Cures for Hair Loss“, NaturalCures.com
Herbs and Tips to Prevent Hair Loss Naturally“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
Immune Boosting Herbs“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Herbs for the Liver“, herbs-info.com, article
Top 10 Best Foods To Cleanse Your Liver“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Three Herbs with Shikimic Acid to Reduce Platelet Aggregation“, deeprootsathome.com, article
Four Juices for Detoxifying Your Kidneys“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Herbs For Kidneys“, herbs-info.com article
10 Herbs For The Kidneys“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
12 Herbs For Kidney Stones“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
8 natural remedies for kidney stones“, NaturalHealth365, article, videos
Herbs to dissolve kidney stones” (list of ingredients in a packaged product)
Do Your Kidneys Need a Reboot? Here are My Top Tips“, Nicole Apelian, PhD, article
Herbs for Allergies“, herbs-info.com, article, stinging nettle, licorice, garlic, pineapple, ginkgo biloba, reishi
10 Herbs For Allergies“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
How To Concoct A Wonderful Juice For Urinary Tract Infection“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
10 Herbs For Constipation“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Herbs For Acid Reflux“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Herbs For Energy“, herbs-info.com, article
Top 10 Herbs for Lung Health, Clearing Mucus, COPD & Killing Viruses, Respiratory Therapy, :11 video
Bettermann MD, Dr. Eddy, “5 Natural remedies to treat the common cold“, article
Herbs for Skin“, herbs-info.com, article
10 Studies on Sunburn Resistance“, algae, spinach, kale, broccoli, vitamin C, pomegranates, mushrooms, green tea, flaxseed oil,  EarthConscious
10 Herbs For The Pancreas“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
10 Herbs For The Eyes“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
10 Herbs For The Thyroid“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Herbs For Parts Of The Body“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
12 Plants For Your Bedroom To Help You Sleep“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Giant List of 500+ Home Remedies“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
Top Herbal Remedies for Urgent Rheumatoid Arthritis Relief“, Nicole Apelian, article
18 Natural Remedies For Headaches“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
12 Herbs that Kill Parasites Naturally“, DrJockers.com, article
Herbs for the Heart“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
10 Herbs For Heart Palpitations“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article
13 Alternatives to Viagra That Won’t Fall Flat“, GreenMedInfo, article
Herbs for Memory“, HerbsHealthHappiness.com, article, green tea, rosemary, rhodiola, blueberries, ..

Crow L.Ac., David, “Combining Essential Oils and Herbs“, 1:06 video
Top 10 Most Amazing Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu“, Herbs, Health, and Happiness, :02 video
Herbal Hair Dye Recipes (for Any Hair Color)“, WellnessMama, Kate Wells, April 2020 article
Uses of herbal medicinal products in the paediatric population“, EMA, 2018
Marciano, ND, Dr. Marisa, “The Naturopathic Herbalist“, actions, herb list, resources
Top 10 Herbal Blood Thinners List“, NaturalBloodThinners.org, article

Happy Herb Company – supplier, herbs A to Z, stevia video, Uki, NSW, Australia
HomeGrown Herbalist, Dr. Patrick Jones, “Dandelion Herbal Webinar“, 1:23 video
Natural remedies (herbs) to quit smoking“, herbshealthhappiness.com
Why Plants Have Been Used as Medicines for the Past 3000 Years“, Trinity College Dublin, 1:06 video
The History of Some Medicinal Plants from 40,000 B.C. to Modern Drugs“, Uni. Kansas Medical, :46 video
Five Therapeutic Properties of Cannabis‘,GreenMedInfo.com, article
Powerful herbs & supplements to improve gut health“, Dr. Mariza Snyder, article
The 21 Best Healthy Plants to Grow Indoors“, including for cleaning the air, article
Plants Found By NASA To Purify Indoor Air Naturally“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
Natural Remedies For Colds And Flu“, Herbs, Health & Happiness, :02 video
Abascal & Yarnell, “Herbs for Treating Periodontal Disease“, Alternative & Compl. Therapies, Aug. 2001
Top 6 Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen“, Herbs, Health & Happiness, article
Norris, Melissa, “Medicinal Kitchen Herbs (6 Herbs You Should Grow)“, article
List Of 40+ Herbs And Home Remedies For Pain“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
Willow Herb (Epilobium Parviflorum) – against incontinence, for prostate health
SacredScience, youtube channel, curanderismo, herbs, indigenous wisdom, ancient medicine, videos
Betterman MD, Dr. Eddy, “20 Herbal preparations for your herbal medicine cabinet“, article
7 Herbal Remedies For Your Enlarged Prostate“, celineremy, article
Hartwell, Jonathan, “Plants used against cancer: a survey“, Quarterman, 1984, pdf
Natural Fertility Herbs For Men And Women: Do They Work?“, Jax Bloemraad-de Boer, article
Amazing Herbal Remedies For Colds And Flu: A Definitive Guide“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
 “12 Herbs That Kill Parasites Naturally“, DrJockers, article
Survival medicine: Natural remedies for asthma“, DrEddy, article
10 Herbs That Quicken Metabolism“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
Why Do People Drink Essiac Tea?“, HealthFreedom.info, article
5 Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis” (including herbs that may relieve foot pain), The Practical Herbalist
Kratom – Interview With Dr. Christopher McCurdy“, Mercola.com, 1:11 video
Stinging Nettle — The Most Nutritious Plant On Earth?“, :16 video
Adaptogens, a unique class of herbs“, Beata Ozhylovski, article
13 Signs Of Menopause Plus 13 Helpful Herbs“, HerbsHealthHappiness, article
Dr. Loretta Standley, Herb Listing
80 Incredibly Healthy & Healing Herbs You Can (Legally) Grow at Home“, archived, article
Chis Kilham, “Top 10 Hot Plants” (aphrodisiacs), article
Pharmaceuticals vs. Herbal Medicine: 3 Vital Differences“, TheGrowNetwork, Doc Jones, :07 video
How to Make a Poultice“; TheGrowNetwork, article
Soothing Digestive Woes Naturally“, fennel, ginger, peppermint, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, MD, article
20 Useful medicinal herbs to plant in your home garden“, NaturalNews, article
Top 4 Herbs to Reduce Inflammation Instead of NSAIDs“, Dr Jockers, article

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments