Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z is for Zingiber Officinale

A few of my herbs

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
Z is for

Fooled Ya!

It's really Ginger but
try to find a good
"Z"  herb.

Zingiber is a tropical plant found in E. Asia, Australia, India
and China.

I am a great fan of ginger, both in my cooking and in my
teas. I love the zippy bite of ginger that will mask the
bitter taste of some of the important herbs.
Aside from using it in cooking, it can be taken in a
tincture syrup or in capsule form.

Medical Uses:  
Used for colitis, diverticulosis, gas, indigestion,
nausea, morning sickness, paralysis of the tongue,
hot flashes and as a colon clease

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y is for Yellow Dock

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
Y is for Yellow Dock

So many of our
herbal plants
have been handed
to us by Native
Americans.  Yellow
Dock is another
medicinal plant that
has been
brought to the
attention of
the Europeans
who settled
in America.

The yellow refers to the interior color of the
root, rather than the flowers or leaves. The darker
the yellow, the stronger the plants. Plants collected
in water are useless as the roots are light colored.
If you pick your own go for the deep yellow.
There are plenty to go around.  Tiz better to pick
your own than to cultivate it in your garden, as
in truth, this is a big ugly plant. Why introduce
it in your herb garden?

Medicinal  Use: The herb has great value  for
taking care of the skin.  Yellow Dock is one of
the best astringents and antiseptics, also good
for cuts, scraps, wounds and lacerations. A real
boon for chronic skin disease, a blood purifier,
enlarged lymph glands, liver ailments, sore
throats and anemia.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X is for Xylosma Japonica

         A-Z Challenge
         My theme is herbs
         X is for Xylosma

This was a tough one.  Not
many plants beginning with
the letter X.

Xylosma grows near the
seaside and is native to
central and southern Japan
and the Woodlands of Korea.

Medical Use:  The ashes
of the stem bark are mixed
with water and used to treat
jaundice, scrofula, sores
and tumors.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is for Wormwood

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
W is for Wormwood

Wormwood is a good
old favorite that
many of us are
familiar with.
actually expells
worms, although
it has many
other medicinal

There are
of Wormwood and we have several different types
growing in the mountains. Wormwood has a deep
bitter taste, so it is usually in a recipe with other

Worm absinthium was used to make absinthe, a
green color liquer, that is now outlawed in
most countries.  It has been rumored that Vincent
Van Gogh was wacked out on absinthe when he
cut off his ear.

More Medicinal Uses.  There are many uses
for Wormwood such as increasing bile, aids in
blood clotting, for fever, a sedative and insect

Friday, April 25, 2014

V is for Valerian Root

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
V is for Valerian Root

Valerian has been
used as a sedative
since pre-christian
times.  It
appears in
virtually every
text in the world.

Most people find the taste disgusting
but I rather like it, as I tolerate any 
natural plant source that I know will
be of help to me.

Medical Use: Valerian is used for
anxiety, mascular spasms, 
convulsions, migrains and stress
headaches. It leaves one feeling
refreshed.... not lethargic.... so why
wouldn't  Valerian be prescribed
when it is a safe and effective 
herb instead of prescribing a 
chemical drug, namely valium.
Oh I know..... follow the money.!!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Uva Ursi

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
U is for Uva Ursi

Kubla Khan learned
the merrits of this
herb during his
invasions. Uva
Ursi is of the
family and
grows in upper
elevations in
long trailing
stems running just below ground level.

Medicinal use:  for kidney and bladder stones and disinfecting
the urinary tract. As a good astringent, a tea of the leaves is
great for skin irritations, heat rash and hives.

Used for nephritis, cystitis as well as for kidney and bladder

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Toadflax

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
T is for Toadflax

Toadflax, along
with Spotted
Knapweed had
been my nemesis
on the ranch.
This pretty little
yellow snap-dragon-
like plant looks
harmless in a
setting but it
has been defined
a noxous weed and
it spreads like wild fire and is a bear to dig up.

Medical Use:  Toadflax is a strong but potentially
irritating stimulant. It is generally used in a combination
with other herbs for a liver tonic, cleanser or flush. A
scant tsp. of the dried herb is combined in a tea with
such herbs as Oregon Grape, Yellow Dock, Burdock
or Dandelion.

It is the best native hepatic remedy for chronic liver
inflammations and hepatic flare-ups.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is for Skullcap

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
S is for Skullcap

For hungreds of
years, Native
Americans used
Skullcap as a
nervine for
anxiety and

What a stroke
of luck to have
Skullcap for
their nerves at
a time in
history when
European terrorists were chomping up bits of their land.

Medicinal Use:  For blood clots in the brain, inflammation,
seizures, stroke, viral infections and to lower
It's a sure fire treatment for any nervous system
malfunction of a mild or chronic nature.  In combinations
with ginseng, it is very effective in treating DT"s of
It is usually more effective to combine Skullcap with other
complementary herbs.

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is for Red Clover

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
R is for Red Clover

Red Clover is that
tightly growing
 plant that
invades lawns.
You've probably
tried digging out
the deep tap root.

I discovered the
worth of Red
Clover years
ago when I was
cancer cures. I
discovered it
was used along with chaparral in cancer formulas
and with very positive results. It can be used'either as
a tinchure, tea or capsules.

Medical Usage:
As well as a cancer fighting agent, it contains a
large number of immune system enhancers.
Other uses include using  it in autommune  doses,
chronic fatigue, appetite suppressants, blood purifier,
relaxant, skin problems, inflamed lungs, gout and

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quince

                   A-Z Challenge
             My theme is Herbs
             Q is for Quince

It appears that Q's for medical herbs
are in short supply.

Quince is the pear shaped fruit 
from the cydonia ablogata or
quince tree. 

The seeds are dried and used either 
ground or in the whole form. 

I have never used Quince for
medicine, most likely because
the Quince doesn't grow in my
neck of the woods but people
are reported to use it medically
for cancer treatment, canker 
sores, gum problems and for
sore throat.

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Pennyroyal

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
P is for Pennyroyal

Besides being made
into a tea for colds
and promoting
Pennyroyal is  a
fragrant insect
repellant. This
can be very
effective for
hikers and
They can
crush the
leaves and rub them on their skin and on the

This is one of those herbs that has to be
supervised when taken orally because of
the volatile oils. It was listed in the
Pharmacopoeia from 1916 to 1931 but
removed as an intestinal irritant.

A Pennyroyal tip:
Braid the Pennyroyal in with a string
for a flea collar for your pet. 
Good results. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Oregon Grape

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
O is for Oregon 

Long before
travelled the
Trail, American
Indians used
Oregon Grape
plant for food
and medicine.

The active ingredient that makes this herb
an effective remedy is an alkaloid called
berberine. This powerful substance is
found in other healing herbs, such as
Goldenseal.  It was in the official
pharmacopea until 1950. After WW2
when the chemical companies began
their lofty ascent, most of the herbs
were removed from the

Medical Uses:
Helps bile fuction for the liver,
purifies the spleen and blood,  useful for
topical skin treatment when made into a

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nettles

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
N is for Nettles

Traces of Nettles
being used for
medicine has
been found through
out history.  Yet....
the FDA lists Nettles
as an herb of
"Undefined Safety."

It's often known
as "stinging
nettles" because
it leaves your skin
stinging with little
bumps if you come in contact with it. I've gathered
Nettles since I was a young child, dried it and
used it in a tea. It likes a rich soil so it is often
found at the edge of gardens. I used to find it
behind the chicken coop where the chicken
manure enriched the garden. My grandmother
taught me how to cut it...... with scissors and
always wearing gloves. Then drop it into a
basket and you won't get stung.

The list of medical uses is very long and
I always had my own dried stash.

I'll list a few medical uses: An astringent
and diuretic. Mixed with alfalfa and red
clover, the recipe makes a glorious
mineralizing tea and is extra protection
against osteoporosis.  Nettles leaves are
a substantial nutritional supplement and
is a lot more sensible than dried pond scum
or dehydrated grass juice like barley or wheat.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Mistletoe

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
M is for Mistletoe

Mistletoe has a
more lofty purpose
than enticing a
holiday kiss.

This is a
parasetic plant
that thrives on
Juniper trees in
the U.S.

Some of it's many medical uses include lowering blood pressure.
It's a relaxant, an immune stimulant and anti-cancer herb.  It's
also used in treatment of lungs, ovarian and other cancerous
 tumors. It's quite effective after radiation treatment in
re-establishing the immune system.

Mistletoe is also terrific for migraines and considered one
of the best non-addictive tranquillizers in the herb

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lobelia

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
L is for Lobelia

In it's herbal form,
many say that
Lobelia doesn't
belong on the
home medicine
shelf, as all
parts of the
plant contain

Indians first
Lobelia to the
settlers. In fact
the Shakers packaged it for sale overseas.
Similar to Tobacco, it is sold over the counter to help
people stop smoking.

It is often known by other names, as "Red Lobelia,"
Cardinal Flower, Indian Tobacco, "Eyebright."

Lobelia is an effective emetic but I believe that is
when you just step over the line into pushing more
poison onto the body than it can tolerate.  In one way
the older herbalist still believe that...... something
akin to homeopathy. But where homeopathy is
"like cures like," the lobelia cure is more like
"puke your brains out" and then take some more
Lobelia. I mostly follow the older herbalists but
on Lobelia, I'm not quite sure where I stand.  I've
probably crossed the line many times in my
zeal for self-healing and I'm still ticking.

If you stay within the limit of good judgement,
here are other medical uses:  treating lung
disorders, angina, asthma, cough suppressant,
a sedative as it lessens pain.

It's rather mysterious as an herb but I've
always been drawn to it.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for Kava Kava

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
K is for Kava Kava

Kava Kava comes
from the root of
Piper Methysticum
a member of the
black pepper
family. It is
native in the
South Pacific

The plant is
ground and
pulverized and
made into a
cocktail.  It is a depressant  but it's not fermented,
doesn't contain alcohol and is neither an opiate or
hallucinogen. It doesn't seem to be addictive, either.

Medical Use:
Kava is used for anxiety, depression,  muscle
spasms, pain, psychosis and seizures.

Long term use may cause side effects.

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Jimsonweed

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs.
J is for Jimsonweed

Jimsonweed is
and should not be
ingested or smoked.
Even brushing
against it will
irritate the skin.
In America, it
was controlled
by shamans and
medicine men. Don't ever use or inhale the fumes if you have
glaucoma.......unlike Cannabis plant, which lowers the pressures
of glaucoma.

Medical Use:
Jimsonweed is grown commercially, as the active principles
are extracted for carefully controlled doses. The plant contains
some scopolamine and the flower is almost identical.  If any-
one remembers I wrote a post on the scopolamine tree from
Colombia that was used by the CIA and KGB. The plant
has the power to make a person perform crimes, even kill
when a mind-control suggestion is given. Jimsonweed
has some of this potential.

As a controlled substance, it relieves the spasms of
bronchial asthma and painful joints.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Irish Moss

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
I is for Irish Moss

The term Irish Moss
usually refers to a
seaweed (Chondrus
crispus) herb that
can be collected
at low tide on
the rocky
Atlantic coast-
line of NW
Europe and Canada.  (Not to be confused with the garden plant,
 also of the same name).

I order the fresh moss because of it's mucilaginous content.  It
takes a couple of days to go through the process of washing but
then I mix it in a blender and refrigerate it where it will stay
fresh for 2 to 3 weeks. It's wonderfully healthy to use as a
thickner for smoothies, gravies, puddings, etc.

Irish moss has become associated with the Irish potato
famine. The moss was consumed by desperate people in
order to ward off starvation and met with amazing results.
Not only did they manage to keep from starving, they were
supplied with minerals .

Medicinal  uses:  The herb is used for the common cold .
as it is very soothing to throat,  lungs and bronchites
and any time there is a call for a soothing gentle healing.
It's also soothing to ulcers. It can act as a blood
thinner so do not take it if you are on coumadin.  Irish
Moss can treat the thyroid with it's iodine content.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Hyssop

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
H is for Hyssop

"Purge me with
Hyssop and I
shall be clean;
wash me and I
shall be whiter
than snow."
David of 
Psalms 51:9

Hyssop is
in the bible
as a cleanser
for both the physical and spiritual. The
leaves have a slightly  bitter but minty
flavor with a sweetish fragrance.  They
make a nutritious salad green  and  a
few drops of the oil in your bath is
pure heaven.

Many mornings, my early drink of
tea consists of Hyssop, Yellow Dock,
and Ginger. My body called for these
three herbs through muscle testing by
my naturopath. So they shall get it

Hyssop is used in beauty products,
especially as an astringent, face mask
and bath oil. Beyond that, info on
Hyssop seems to have slipped beneath
the cracks. I've done a bit of digging
in old books and found the healing
miracles of Hyssop for reducing tumors,
edema, shingles and psoriasis.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G is for Gentian

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
G is for Gentian

Go to the nearest
mountain above
8,000 feet and
you will find
Gentian in the
wet meadows.
The higher you
go, the more
plants you'll

Gentian is, perhaps the best stomach tonic in
the plant kingdom. Intensely bitter but it has
none of the after taste of some of the other
bitter herbs.

Gentian was an ingredient described on
Egyptian papyrus from 1200 B.C.
Greeks and Arabs used Gentian
preparations for liver and stomach cures
and here's a big cheery NOTE.....
It dispels worms!!!! That would be for
all you squimish people who would get
wormed and not even know it. Ha

The tea is useful for fevers and joint
inflammations. BUT before you dive
into it, check your tongue.
If the tip of the tongue is red and your
mouth juicy, You don't need Gentian. If the
mouth is dry, your tongue moderately
coated, gums puffy.... you need bitters,
hence, take Gentian.

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for Feverfew

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
F is for Feverfew

Feverfew is a perennial
plant found growing
on rocky slopes.
It emits a refreshing
aromatic aroma as
it is of the
Other names
that you may have heard it called, midsummer daisy, wild
chamomile and febrifuge plant.

From 1978 scientists have made studies to find properties
Feverfew might share with aspirin. Researchers conclude that
substances in the plant appear to make smooth muscle spasms
responsive to body chemicals that trigger migrain muscle spasms.

Medicinal Use: Traditional for migraines, muscle tension and
arthritis. This is a valuable migraine herb. If one eats the leaves
it should be done in very small doses, as 3 or 4 of the little
leaves each day. To hide the bitter taste, the leaves can be
mixed into food.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E is for Echinacea

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
E is for Echinacea

Just about every
gardener grows
this plant in
their flower
garden. The
common name
for this perfect
bloom is
who have this
plant in their
garden, do
not realize it's medicinal value.

More than any other plant in the plains states,
American natives used Echinacea as a remedy
for colds, flu and as a blood purifier because of
it's ability to increase the body's immunity and
for it's antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and
antiviral properties.

This herb should be included in the daily diet
of people whose immune system is

Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Dandelion

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
D is for Dandelion

The lowly,  much
maligned dandelion,
scorned and
poisoned by most
home owners, is
"King of Medical

The plant first
appeared in the
10th century
medical journals
of Arabian
physicians. Today health food stores sell dandelion greens in the
"salad greens" department. Whenever I can find them, I juice the
leaves. Years ago I used to pick my own from vacant fields but
 it's not safe to harvest your own as now as most are satuated with

Medical Uses:  Dandelion is a powerful cleanser of the liver
and it has excellent affects on the kidneys, spleen, stomach,
pancreas, gallbladder (increases bile production) and it is
one of the best herbs for building up the blood.

Dandelion tea bags are sold in health food stores. A good
idea to make this your morning tea.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Coltsfoot

A-Z Challenge
My theme is Herbs
C is for Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot plant
is more commonly
found in Europe
but also found
sporadically in
N. America.
The flower looks
like an aster
but when you
spot the yellow, you think it's a dandelion.  The name is curious.
After the flowers have withered,  broad, hoof-shaped leaves
Both the flowers and the leaves have midicinal purposes.

As far back as Pliny and Dioscorides, old herbalists regard Coltsfoot
as the best herb for lung and thorasic complaints.  It serves as a
prime cough remedy.

The old herbalists smoked Coltsfoot to capture all it's
curative values.  The leaves are the primary ingredient in
British herbal tobacco and smoking this is beneficial
to sufferers of asthma, catarrh and most lung troubles.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Blessed Thistle

A-Z Challenge
My theme is herbs
B is for Blessed

This plant has
been healing
people since
the bubonic
plague during
the Middle

You may
recognize it
by some of it's other names, as Spotted Thistle, Holy Thistle
St Benedict Thistle. By itself, it has a strong, bitter taste so
is better combined in a recipe.  Here is a warning with
recipes. Don't use Blessed Thistle when taking other
plants from the compositae family (as daisies and asters).
Cross sensitivity may occur.

You can make this herb as a tea, a tincture or in capsule

Medicinal Use: A good blood cleanser, strengthens
heart, aids circulation, alleviates inflammation of lungs, and
acts as a brain food for poor memory.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Angelica

A-Z Challenge. 
My theme is herbs.
A is for Angelica

Angelica has been
used as a medical
herb since 1665, year
of the Great
Plague. The Am.
Indians used this
herb to treat
broncial colds
and congested
resiratory tract.

The plant is a
member of the parsley family and has a strong tangy odor with a
sweetish to burning taste.  All parts of the plant are used and the
Chinese recognize this as "dong quai."

I use Angelica in a recipe for the liver, along with dandelion,
wormwood, and gentian.

Other Uses:  The stem can be steamed and eaten like
asparagus. The leaves can be brewed into a fne tea and the oil
of the root can be added to bathwater for a relaxing soak.

Medical Use:  It induces sweating, stimulates blood
circulation, liver function, ulcers and indigestion.  It has
also been known to help alzheimers patients.