Information About Our Herbs
Part 1: A-L
Herbal Information Part 2 M-Z
The Root and The Leaf has provided this information for your personal use. The statements
included on this page are only suggestions and have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Appetizer, diuretic, tonic.
Rich in minerals and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and beta carotene.
Good for cystitis or inflammation of the bladder. Boosts a sluggish appetite. Provides relief
from bloating or water retention. Excellent source of nutrients. Relieves constipation. May
reduce swelling from rheumatism.
An excellent spice for cakes and cookies, with a flavor like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. This
spice is aromatic, carminative and stimulant. Useful in cases of indigestion, flatulence and
intestinal cramping. As an ointment or added to a bath it can be anesthetic. Can be a
stimulating plaster for rheumatism and neuralgia.
Carminative, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, diaphoretic.
Useful for coughs, bronchitis, and pleurisy, especially with fever,
cold or flu. Helps with intestinal colic and flatulence. Can help
ease rheumatic inflammation. Urinary antiseptic, good for cystitis.
Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, parasiticide, aromatic.
Good for all intestinal complaints; cramping, colic, intestinal parasites and flatulence.
Excellent for bronchitis and whooping cough.
Externally may be used as an ointment to treat scabies and lice.
Use as a baby powder on diaper rashes, heat rashes, etc. Combine with essential oils to make
a nice dusting powder for the whole body.
Arrowroot can be used in place of corn starch or gelatin as a thickening agent in foods.
A Chinese herb that has been used for centuries.
Helps activate the immune system.
Promotes resistance against disease.
Mild stimulant to the metabolism.
May help reduce blood pressure by helping rid the body of excess water.
May help restore normal immune function in cancer patients.
Antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant, laxative, sedative.
A stimulant to the mucous membrane (especially of the intestinal wall)
Useful for croup and colic in infants
Good for whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis
Sedative for spasmodic nerves
Antispasmodic, appetizer, carminative, galactagogue, stomachic.
Useful for most stomach ailments-cramps, vomiting, gastric catarrh.
Good for intestinal cramping, constipation, and enteritis.
Helps milk production in nursing mothers.
Has sometimes been used for whooping cough.
- Bayberry Root
Astringent, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic.
Promotes perspiration, helping break fevers.
Large doses may induce vomiting.
An excellent mouthwash for sore gums, and gargle for sore throats.
A good old remedy for hemorrhoids (used in a sitz bath). It can also be used as a poultice to
sooth inflamed varicose veins.
- Bay leaf
Astringent, carminative, digestive, stomachic.
A good cooking herb, aids in digestion.
Stimulating to the entire digestive system
Use a salve of the leaves for rheumatism, bruises and skin problems.
Use as a poultice on the chest for colds and lung ailments.
- Bentonite Clay
This is a clay that is dried and powdered. It can be used cosmetically, mixed with water,
milk or honey into a paste and spread on the face as a mask to cleanse the pores. Mixed
thoroughly with water, it can be taken internally for stomach and intestinal complaints.
Use the leaf tea for diarrhea.
Also helpful for coughs, vomiting, stomach cramps, and enteritis.
Can be used as a gargle for upset stomach.
Use as a wash for skin problems and burns.
Do not take internally over long periods.
- Black Walnut
Anti-fungal, parasiticide, laxative
Use as a wash for skin conditions such as eczema, herpes, psoriasis and skin parasites.
An excellent soak for athletes foot and ringworm.
Helps relieve constipation when taken internally.
Useful against all parasitic and fungal infections.
May help eliminate warts.
- Black Cohosh
Emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, alterative, sedative.
A relaxant and regulator of the female reproductive system.
Useful for painful or delayed menstruation, cramps, etc. Also useful for pain relief in
arthritis and sciatica. Reduces spasm, especially during labor.
Do not use in the first 8 months of pregnancy.
- Blessed Thistle
Bitter tonic, astringent, diaphoretic, anti-bacterial, expectorant.
Helps to regulate menstrual cycle.
A good tonic for the entire digestive system.
Stimulates appetite and improves digestion.
Has been used to break high fevers.
As an astringent it can be used to treat hemorrhage and diarrhea.
- Blue Cohosh
Uterine tonic, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, anti-rheumatic.
An excellent uterine tonic, can be used for extreme cramping and to bring on delayed menstruation.
Good in combination with black Cohosh during onset of labor.
Has a reputation for easing rheumatic pain.
Diaphoretic, tonic, anti-spasmodic, relaxes mucous membranes.
A good herb for influenza.
Relieves deep aches and fever during flu.
Helpful in clearing respiratory tract of mucous and congestion.
Can help clear the body of excess fluid retention during illness.
Diaphoretic, expectorant, tonic, anti-inflammatory, galactogogue.
A restorative to the adrenal glands, an excellent remedy for physical and mental stress.
A good tonic to use during convalescence from illness or injury.
Stimulates milk production in nursing mothers.
Alterative, diuretic, bitter.
Excellent tonic for skin conditions, esp. psoriasis (if used over a long period of time), eczema, dandruff, and dry skin.
Stimulates bile production and aids in digestion.
Aids kidney function.
Speeds healing of wounds when used externally.
- Calamus Root
Carminative, demulcent, anti-spasmodic
An excellent tonic for the whole gastro-intestinal tract
Used for gastritis and gastric ulcers
Helps ease exhaustion and weakness
Helps with colic and flatulence.
Anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, anti-fungal, cholagogue,
Excellent to treat any skin problems (externally); inflammation, bleeding, wounds, bruising, strains, skin ulcers, or burns.
Internally, use for digestive inflammations and gastric or duodenal ulcers, indigestion.
Use for delayed menstruation or painful periods.
Carminative, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, galactagogue,
A calming, soothing herb for the intestinal system. Stimulates appetite.
Helps with diarrhea and intestinal colic, esp in kids
Use as a gargle for laryngitis
Helps increase milk flow in nursing mothers.
Helps in the relief of menstrual pains.
- Cardamom Pods
Not only a delicious cooking spice, but also good for the digestive system.
A good treatment for flatulence, griping pains in the intestines and indigestion.
Will stimulate the appetite and the flow of saliva.
A good flavoring herb for bitter teas.
- Cascara Sagrada
Mild purgative, bitter tonic
A good herb to use for chronic constipation-it encourages peristalsis and tones relaxed muscles
of the digestive system.
Combines well with carminatives such as Cardamom or Licorice Root.
Carminative, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, sedative, astringent.
Not just for cats anymore!
An excellent cold and flu remedy, very helpful for high fevers, especially with bronchitis.
Helps with stomach upsets, flatulence and colic.
A good remedy for diarrhea in children.
Generally relaxing to the nerves (ask your cat!!)
Stimulant, carminative, tonic, rubefacient, antiseptic.
A general, whole body tonic but specific to the digestive and the circulatory systems.
Take internally for sluggish circulation, cold hands and feet, digestive problems or to ward off colds and flu. Use as a gargle for laryngitis.
Externally, use as a wash for wound healing.
Anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic,
Useful for anxiety and insomnia.
Good for indigestion and all tummy-aches.
Good mouthwash for gingivitis, good eyewash for sore eyes, good gargle for sore throats.
Good for wound healing and inflammation.
- Chaste Tree berry
Tonic for the reproductive organs
Has a normalizing effect on the reproductive system, especially in women.
Helps the body regain balance after childbirth, and also after the use of the birth control
pill. Use for PMS and menopause.
Anti-rheumatic, vulnerary, emollient
Use as an external remedy for cuts, wounds, itching and irritation.
Can be helpful to eczema and psoriasis.
Use internally for rheumatic pain and swelling.
Combine with Marshmallow for an excellent ointment.
Carminative, astringent, aromatic, stimulant.
A delicious spice used in cakes, cookies, and all things sweet, cinnamon can also be used in
savory dishes. Try it in black bean soup!
Can relieve nausea and vomiting.
A good astringent to use for diarrhea.
Nice flavoring agent for the more bitter digestive teas.
Diuretic, alterative, anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent.
An excellent tonic to the lymph system-use for swollen glands, tonsillitis, and during cold
Has been used to treat ulcers and tumors.
Good for skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Anodyne, antiemetic, antiseptic
Another cooking spice which can be used medicinally.
Stimulating to the digestive system, Clove tea will relieve nausea and may stop vomiting.
Clove oil will stop the pain of toothache.
Eating cloves is said to be aphrodisiac.
- Corn Silk
Diuretic, demulcent, tonic.
Helpful in any irritation of the urinary tract.
Especially good for children with kidney problems.
Soothing to mucous membrane of the urinary system, and good for infections, cystitis, and other
problems, especially when combined with other urinary tract herbs such as Uva Ursi.
Astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant.
Coltsfoot has useful levels of zinc in the leaves.
Use for all coughs and lung ailments.
Has been used to good effect in emphysema and asthma.
Externally, it can be applied to insect bites, wounds, burns, boils and abscesses.
Vulnerary, astringent, demulcent, expectorant.
A good remedy for broken bones, taken internally and/or applied externally.
Used for gastric and duodenal ulcers, hiatal hernia and ulcerative colitis.
Excellent healer for cuts, scrapes and abrasions, do not use for deep puncture wounds.
Can be helpful for bronchitis.
Carminative, aromatic, antispasmodic, digestive stimulant.
A good digestive herb, especially for flatulence and cramping pains of the intestines.
Can ease diarrhea, especially in children.
Stimulating to the appetite.
Has been used as an aphrodisiac.
Blood thinner, galactogogue, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, carminative,
A delicious, pungent spice with many health uses.
Can assist milk production in nursing mothers.
Used for stomach and digestive disorders.
Blood thinner-do not use if taking prescription blood thinners or before surgery.
Not derived from a single plant. A blended mixture of Turmeric, Coriander, Cumin, Fenugreek,
Ginger and Cardamom. See these plants for a larger description.
An excellent cooking spice for use in Indian dishes
Nerve tonic, anti-depressant, urinary antiseptic, laxative.
An excellent strengthening remedy for the nervous system.
Ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Tonic to the reproductive system of men and women.
Useful anti-depressant, helps anxiety.
Diuretic, cholagogue, tonic, mild laxative.
Powerful diuretic -does not deplete potassium.
Excellent to deal with water retention due to heart problems.
The root is a specific aid to liver and gall bladder function.
The leaf is specific to kidney health.
Carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, galactogogue.
An excellent remedy for flatulence and colic.
Stimulates the flow of milk in nursing mothers.
Use as a mouthwash or chew on the seeds to help with bad breath.
- Dong Quai
Hormone balancer, tonic
A Chinese herb, often called "female Ginseng."
Used to regulate menstrual cycle and aid with painful cramps.
Overall tonic for female reproductive system.
Rich in vitamins A, B-12 and E.
Relieves symptoms of PMS and menopause.
Can help body regain balance after use of the Pill
- Dragon's Blood
A resin taken from the Dragon's Blood Palm tree.
Works well as an external astringent.
Use along with an external application of Arnica for bruises and hematomas.
In folklore, this resin has been burned as an incense to entice errant lovers to return.
Anti-microbial, anti-viral, alterative.
Excellent remedy to help the body rid itself of infection. In conjunction with other herbs, it
may be used for any infection anywhere in the body.
Used as a preventative for cold and flu.
Works as mouthwash for pyorrhea and gingivitis.
Not a tonic-should not be used more than 3 or 4 weeks running.
Flowers: Diaphoretic, anti-catarrhal.
Berries: Diaphoretic, diuretic, laxative, Vitamin C.
Elder flowers are excellent for treatment of colds and flu, hayfever, sinusitis and ear problems.
Both fruit and flower will help break fevers.
Berries have been known to help with rheumatic pain.
Expectorant, anti-tussive, diaphoretic, stomachic, anti-bacterial.
A useful herb for all lung complaints.
Specific to irritating bronchial coughs, esp. in kids.
Good for bronchitis, emphysema, asthma.
Has been used to treat tuberculosis.
Anti-catarrhal, astringent, anti-inflammatory.
An excellent remedy for all problems of the mucous membranes.
Helpful for inflammation of the eye, burning eyes, sensitivity to light.
Used as a compress and taken internally, it is good for conjunctivitis and blepharitis.
Carminative, aromatic, anti-spasmodic, stimulant, galactagogue,
Chew on the seeds to relieve indigestion and acid reflux.
A remedy for flatulence and colic.
Stimulates digestion and appetite.
Calming effect on bronchitis and coughs
Will increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers.
Expecorant, demulcent, tonic, galactagogue.
An ancient herb useful in local healing of wounds, boils, sores, and tumors.
Can be taken to help bronchitis, and used as a gargle for sore throats.
Soothing to digestive system.
Stimulant to milk production in nursing mothers.
Has a reputation to stimulate breast development
Anti-inflammatory, vasodilatory, relaxant, digestive bitter,
A primary remedy in treatment of migraine headaches.
May help arthritis, dizziness and tinnitus.
Can be helpful for painful periods and sluggish menstrual flow.
Demulcent, anti-tussive, laxative, emollient.
Take the whole or ground seeds as a purgative for constipation.
Can be used as a poultice for bronchitis and pleurisy.
Flax seed oil is high in essential fatty acids.
Combines well with mustard as a chest poultice.
Sedative, pectoral, antiseptic.
Often used in religious ritual as an incense.
Used therapeutically (externally) for skin disorders, hemorrhages, and pneumonia.
Slows bloodflow from wounds and helps scar tissue form quickly.
Burn on charcoal as an incense to aid in meditation.
Antiseptic, anti-viral, diaphoretic, cholagogue, hypotensive,
One of the most effective anti-microbial plants available, it acts on bacteria, viruses and
A general preventative of most infections.
Will reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.
Combines well with Echinacea for microbial infections.
Stimulant, carminative, rubefacient, diaphoretic.
A good stimulant of the circulatory system
Promotes perspiration during feverish conditions.
A good gargle for sore throats.
Promotes gastric secretion in the stomach and is useful for intestinal cramping, colic and nausea.
In small amounts, is excellent for morning sickness during pregnancy.
Circulatory tonic, antioxidant, high in flavanoids
Improves circulation throughout the body, and especially to the brain.
Can improve ability to concentrate, and mental function.
Can relieve symptoms of tinnitis.
May be useful to treat some symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Tonic, anti-depressant, panacea.
Good for what ails you!
Increases vitality and improves physical performance; useful during recuperation from illness and in general for exhaustion and weakness.
Can raise lowered blood pressure (but will not raise normal or high blood pressure).
Has a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
- Siberian Ginseng
Tonic, antispasmodic, antirheumatic
Increases stamina and ability to cope with stress.
A whole body tonic, improves vitality and energy.
Less heating than Panax ginseng.
Useful during stressful times and during recuperation from illness, or to build strength.
Used by Olympic athletes to improve performance.
Tones all systems of the body.
Tonic, astringent, anti-catarrhal, laxative, muscular stimulant, bitter.
Tones and improves integrity of all the mucous membranes of the body.
Excellent to ward off cold and flu.
Good for all digestive disorders.
Stimulating to liver and bile production.
Avoid during Pregnancy.
- Gotu Kola
Anti-inflammatory, cardiac tonic, vulnerary
Improves blood flow to brain and can help with memory loss.
A good treatment for the pain and discomfort of varicose veins.
Reported to stimulate regeneration of skin cells
May accelerate healing of burns and minimize scarring.
Can help lower venous blood pressure.
Should be taken at least 3 weeks before noticeable.
Avoid if pregnant or nursing.
- Gravel Root
Diuretic, anti-lithic, anti-rheumatic
Primarily used for kidney stones.
Can assist with urinary tract infections, cystitis, and urethritis.
Can play a useful role in the systemic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
- French Green Clay
Powdered green clay is most often used as a cosmetic mask for the face. Exfoliates dead skin,
tightens pores, removes excess oil, rejuvenates dry or wrinkled skin.
Make a smooth paste with clay powder mixed with water, honey or milk (water for oily skin, milk
and/or honey for dry). Spread on face and allow to dry. Rinse face thoroughly and pat dry.
Stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, appetite depressant
Contains caffeine and other purines which produce a stimulating effect.
Quells hunger and thirst.
Can promote perspiration during fevers.
Avoid during pregnancy and while nursing.
Gymnema has long been used to treat both Type I and Type II diabetes. Recent scientific
research has upheld its effectiveness.
Gymnema has been shown to enhance glucose control in diabetics.
Possibility that it can regenerate pancreatic cells.
If you have or suspect you have diabetes, PLEASE see a doctor or naturopathic physician.
Cardiac tonic, hypotensive
One of the best tonic remedies for the heart and circulatory system.
As a heart tonic, it helps regulate both high and low blood pressure.
Good for heart weakness and palpitations, especially when taken over a long period.
Diuretic, refrigerant, astringent
High in Vitamin C.
Adds a beautiful red color and tart, lemony flavor to teas.
Cooling to the body-makes a delicious iced tea in summer.
Sedative, hypnotic, antiseptic, astringent
Has a relaxing effect on the Central Nervous System.
Used in the treatment of insomnia.
Eases tension, anxiety, restlessness, headache and indigestion (when caused by tension).
Should be avoided when there is severe depression, as Hops may accentuate depression.
Expectorant, diuretic, diaphoretic, stimulant, carminative
Excellent herb for bad coughs such as bronchitis. Promotes sweating to break a fever.
A mild stimulant, can help relieve exhaustion resulting from a bad cold. Helps rid body of
Astringent, diuretic, vulnerary.
High in calcium.
Healing to hemorrhage and wounds of the genito-urinary system.
Can help inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate.
Useful in the treatment of incontinence and bedwetting in children.
Anti-spasmodic, expectorant, diaphoretic, sedative, carminative.
A good nervine, as well as a remedy for coughs and colds.
Works well for spasm-type coughs.
May help promote sweating to break a fever.
Relaxing to the nervous system, a good remedy for anxiety.
Nervine, tonic, aromatic.
Relaxing to the nerves.
Jasmine has a delicious fragrance and delicate flavor. It mixes well with the green teas, and
adds a nice flavor to gentle flower teas.
A good early-evening tea.
An old reputation for being aphrodisiac.
Diuretic, antiseptic, carminative, anti-rheumatic.
A good antiseptic to the bladder and urinary tract.
Aids in digestion and can ease intestinal cramping.
Has been used to aid rheumatism and arthritis.
Use externally to ease pain in joints and muscles.
Avoid taking internally if you have kidney disease or weak kidneys (can be over-stimulating).
Avoid during pregnancy.
- Kava Kava
Nervine, relaxant, anti-spasmodic.
An excellent remedy for sever muscle cramps and spasms.
Used as a remedy for insomnia.
Can relieve nervous tension and depression.
May cause liver damage if used excessively over a long period of time.
Nutritive, laxative, anti-viral
An important part of the diet in Japan, Norway and Scotland, Kelp is high in protein, iodine,
essential fatty acids, fiber, sodium and potassium.
Higher in trace minerals than any other known source, and practically the only vegetable source
of vitamin B12. Can be helpful against arterosclerosis, HIV, and diabetes. Studies show Kelp
can be used to fight some strains of leukemia (under laboratory conditions). Can be used with
healthy diet and exercise to help stimulate weight loss.
Carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressant, rubefacient.
Very effective for stress-induced headaches.
Combine with skullcap and rosemary for a good anti-depressant tea
Tonic to the nervous system, helps with exhaustion
An excellent summer tea, especially when mixed with lemonade.
- Lemon Balm
Carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressive, diaphoretic, hypotensive.
A good remedy for herpes and cold sores.
Relieves spasm in the digestive tract.
Can lighten depression and ease anxiety.
Tonic to the heart and circulatory system, can lower blood pressure.
Combines well with linden and lavender.
- Lemon Peel
Lemon peel is a good addition as a flavoring agent to many teas.
A nice digestive aid, drink before meals.
- Lemon Verbena
From the vervain family.
A relaxing tea with a lemony flavor and scent.
Makes a refreshing iced tea in the summer.
Large amounts can be irritating to the stomach.
Astringent, nervine, cleansing.
Makes a delightfully refreshing lemony tea.
Good in combination with Lavender, thyme and/or mint.
A cleansing wash for the face, especially for oily skin.
- Licorice Root
Demulcent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, adrenal agent, anti-spasmodic,
Good for bronchitis, coughs and sore throats.
Useful in treatment of peptic ulcers.
A digestive aid for intestinal and stomach pain.
Will enhance effects of other herbs and drugs taken at the same time.
- Linden Flowers
Nervine, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, mild astringent.
Can be preventative to hypertension and arteriosclerosis.
A relaxing remedy for the nervous system.
Has been used to treat migraine.
Good in combination with other herbs for cold and flu.
Respiratory stimulant, anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, expectorant,
Primary use is for asthma and bronchitis.
Both a respiratory stimulant and relaxant, it will stimulate expectoration while relaxing respiratory muscles.
Can cause vomiting in large quantities.
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