Medicine Woman

  (Waynesville, North Carolina)
dangerous herbs, medicinal herbs, culinary herbs
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Poisonous Plants of the United States

In  the United States there are in the neighborhood of 500 poisonous plants, flowers,  shrubs, and  herbs.  The majority of them will just create a bad rash or other reaction, or will make a person sick for a day or so.   But, there are some that are fatal.   However, in most cases, not ALL of the plant is poisonous.   In this article I will mention some plants that most people are familiar with and  will  explain what part of the plant is poisonous and the symptoms of poisoning that you should look for.






ANGEL’S TRUMPET  of the NIGHTSHADE FAMILY.  This is an ornamental shrub and has a sweet musk scent, with trumpet shaped white flowers that open at night.  Generally this plant grows outdoors in California and Florida.  THE PARTS THAT ARE POISONOUS  ARE:  leaves, juice and seeds.  Signs of poisoning :  the symptoms may appear in a few minutes after drinking a “tea” made from the plant, but not for several hours after eating the seeds, uncooked leaves or sucking the juice.  SYMPTOMS: extreme thirst, blurred vision, high fever, rapid and weak heartbeat; convulsions and coma.


BLEEDING HEART   of the FUMITORY FAMILY.  This is a perennial herb . ALL PARTS of this herb are poisonous.  SYMPTOMS:  nervous symptoms are trembling, loss of balance, staggering, weakness, difficulty in breathing and convulsions.



BUTTERCUP  of the CROWFOOT FAMILY .  This is a perennial herb and is the common buttercup found through the United States in fields, pastures and meadows.  ALL PARTS, except the seeds are poisonous.  SYMPTOMS OF POISONING: blisters or inflammation around the mouth, irritated, skin, stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and jerking spasms, temporary blindness and convulsions.


CALADIUM  of the ARUM FAMILY. These are  either inside or outside  ornamentals .  There are about 12 to 14 species of this genius, and EVERY species of CALADIUM has a bitter poisonous juice .  ALL PARTS of this plant are poisonous.    SYMPTOMS : soon after eating a small amount of the leaves the mouth will burn and swell. There will be an intense burning inside the throat along with a disturbed stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. After the tongue and throat swell, breathing may become difficult. Due to the blocking of the air passage, death may occur.



DEATH CAMAS  of the LILY FAMILY  Zigadenus veneosus.   This is a perennial plant that  is grown from Canada, to Florida. You will find this plant also in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.  ALL PARTS of this plant are poisonous.  SYMPTOMS:   symptoms occur  from 1 ½ to 8 hours after eating parts of the plant.  They consist of abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, trembling, muscular weakness, struggling for breath, lowered body temperature, coma and death.



DUMCANE , Dieffenbachia  of THE ARUM FAMILY.   This is an evergreen foliage plant widely grown in greenhouses, homes , restaurants, and lobbies as potted ornamentals.  The LEAVES AND STEMS ARE POISONOUS.   SYMPTOMS:  Biting or chewing the stem or leaves produces intense burning and irritation of the lips, mouth and tongue. If these areas become swollen there will be intense pain, thus causing choking. The swelling can make the tongue motionless. Death may occur if the base of the tongue swells enough to block air passage of the throat.



ENGLISH HOLLY  of the HOLLY FAMILY  This is the familiar Christmas Holly and generally grows in Oregon and Washington state.  THE BERRIES are the poisonous part.  SYMPTOMS:   large amounts (I do not know what is considered as large amounts) causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and depression of the nervous system. The result may be fatal.


ENGLISH IVY  of the GINSENG FAMILY. This is an evergreen vine cultivated as a ground cover.  The LEAVES and BERRIES are poisonous.  SYMPTOMS:  sever  stomach pains, diarrhea, labored breathing, coma.  It is possibly fatal.



FOXGLOVE  of the FIGWORT FAMILY.  Poisonous parts are LEAVES, FLOWERS and SEEDS .  The leaves are the source of the drug digitalis. However, overdoses result in death.  Severe poisoning comes from eating the fresh or dried leaves which do not lose their toxicity by cooking.  SYMPTOMS: bloody diarrhea, severe headache, mental confusion, blurred vision, trembling, irregular heartbeat, convulsions and death.



HYDRANGEA   Hydrangea macrophylla  of the SAXIFRAGE FAMILY.   A/k/a hortensia.  commonly planted as an ornamental.  The BUDS, LEAVES and BRANCHES are poisonous.   SYMPTOMS;  diarrhea with blood, rapid breathing and heartbeat, nervous excitement, convulsions and can be fatal.


LILY OF THE VALLEY of the LILY FAMILY .   ALL PARTS ARE POISONOUS, especially the leaves, flower, berries and rootstocks.  They contain dangerous amounts of cardiac glycosides.  Even drinking the water from a vase containing a bouquet of lily of the valley  can cause death.  SYPMTOMS:  irregular heart and pulse beat, mental confusion, extreme weakness, depression and collapse of circulation and death. The reaction is much like that of digitalis.



More to follow later.


Information if from the book:  Know Your Poisonous Plants  by Wilma Roberts James



Horehound and Horsemint

The tendency to get herbs and their uses mixed up is not unusual at all.  That is why it is s especially important to know both the English name and the Latin name of the herb that we are using.  In this blog, I want to use two herbs: HORE HOUND and HORSEMINT that may seem the same, but are not.  


HOREHOUND  (hoarhound)


Marrubium vulgare (white or common horehound) of the MINT FAMILY  {Labiatae}


Common name: Marrubium



Description: This is a busy stem, leafy, and branching from the bottom to one or two feet in height. The leaves are roundish-ovate, rough and veiny above, wooly on the under surface, one or two inches in diameter; the flowers are small and white.



Hoar hound  originated in Europe, North Africa, and Asia,  but grows well here in the United States from Maine, to Texas to California and Oregon.  It grows on dry sandy fields, waste grounds and road sides, flowering from June to September.  The entire plant has a white or hoary appearance; the whole herb is medicinal and should be gathered before its efflorescence. It has a peculiar, rather agreeable, vinous balsamic odor, and a very bitter, aromatic, somewhat acrid and persistent taste.


Hoar hound is used as a stimulant, tonic, weak diaphoretic, decongestant , antiseptic, emmenagogue,  expectorant, and weak  diuretic. It is used in the form of a syrup, in ordinary colds , coughs, and fevers as well as for hoarseness. The warm infusion will promote perspiration and flow of urine. The cold infusion is an excellent tonic and will act as a purgative in large doses. Useful in many respiratory   disorders, but, specifically in  bronchitis and coughs.


In ancient times horehound was used in magic.  It was also used for hepatitis, tumors, tuberculosis, typhoid, paratyphoid, snakebite, worms, jaundice and bronchitis; to improve the eyesight, remove obstructions from the liver and spleen. My, my, such an impressive herb!  However,  recent research has narrowed the benefits of horehound down to just coughs, colds, hoarseness and such.   It won’t cure your cold or bronchitis, but, it will relieve your coughing fits and help greatly with hoarseness.


Parts used: leaves and tops.


Horehound drops are a candy/cough medicine made from Marrubium vulgare



WHITE WOOLY HOREHOUND ( Marrubium incanum)  this is a perennial, 2 to 3 feet tall and 15 inches wide, with hairy leaves and whorls of white flowers in summer. 


Parts used: leaves and flowers for coughs and colds.




 BLACK HOREHOUND ( Ballota nigra)       Labiatae   a/k/a  Stinking  Horehound


This is a generally unattractive herb distinguished by its strong and objectionable  odor.   Thus, the name stinking horehound. This herb is also  rejected by cattle.  


Native of  Europe and United States.  Found in wasteland, hedgerows and on walls; prefers nitrogen –rich , moist, rather loose soil.  This is generally a wild plant.



This is a strong smelling perennial with angular branched hairy stems, 40-100 cm high, bearing heart-shaped leaves, crenulated, 2-5 cm long, opposite and often turning black after flowering;  whorls of typical labiate purple flowers borne in axils;  appearing mid summer to late autumn.


 Black horehound contains chemicals that affect the brain. There is some concern that black horehound might affect treatment for Parkinson’s disease.


Black horehound may affect the menstrual cycle, and this could threaten the pregnancy


Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders: Black horehound contains chemicals that affect the brain. There is some concern that black horehound might harm people with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders.



GREEK HOREHOUND (Ballota acetabulosa) Lamiaceae family    native to Southeast Greece, Crete, and West Turkey


It is a compact, evergreen subshrub growing to 0.5 metres (20 in). Upright woolly grey shoots turn to rounded grey-green leaves, bearing whorls of small pink flowers with funnel-shaped green calyces in late summer and autumn. It is tolerant of poor soil and drought, and often used in cultivation as groundcover




HORSE MINT (Monarda Punctata) A/K/A  Spotted beebalm, Spotted horsemint, Dotted horsemint. Some people have a tendency  to use this herb interchangeably with Bee balm or Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum spp), but, even though the BEE BALM, MOUNTAIN MINT and the HORSEMINT  are of the MINT FAMILY, they are not one and the same herb.


 This is a perennial plant , growing 2 to 6 feet high; stems are branched, downy leaves 2 to 3 inches long, lanceolate, serrate, punctate.  The flowers are actually small and arranged in a whorl around the stem; repeated a great many times up the stalk.  Each whorl is subtended by showy bracts - modified leaves that look like flower petals.  In dotted horsemint, these bracts range in color from deep lavender to a very pale lavender. The flowers themselves are white with lavender spots.


This appears to be a native Florida herb.


 Parts used are the leaves and tops.


Horsemint is aromatic, pungent and bitter and contains volatile oil. It is useful as a carminative and diuretic in flatulent colic and nausea.




The Herbalist  by  Joseph E Meyer  1932


Rodale’s Iluustrated Encyclopeia of Herbs


Wilflowers in Color by Arthur Stupka


The Encyclopeida of Herbs and Herblism  by  Malcom Stuart


Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Herbal Anatomy


ANNUAL PLANTS spring from the seed, make their full growth  and then die at the end of a season.


A BIENNIAL PLANT does not flower the first year, but produces leaves only. The second year of its growth it flowers, after which it dies. The carrot and parsnip are examples of biennials


A PERENNIAL PLANT lives for more than two years. If the plant retains its leaves during the winter, it is known as an EVERGREEN; if the leaves fall upon the approach of cold weather, it is said to be DECIDUOUS.


AN HERB is a plant having a soft stem which dies down to the ground after the plant has reached it full growth.


A SHRUB is a plant which has a woody stem, grows to a height of twenty-five to thirty feet or less, and branches near the ground.


A  TREE has a woody stem, is higher than a shrub and does NOT branch near the ground.


  A  STOLON is a form of a branch which curves or falls down to the ground, where they often strike root.


A CLIMBING PLANT is any plant using an external support to raise itself above the ground. The term “vine” is used for certain climbing plants.



A  SUCKER is a branch of subterraneous origin, which, after running horizontally and emitting roots in its course, at length rises out of  the ground and forms an erect stem, which soon becomes an independent plant.  Examples are roses, raspberries, mints.


A RUNNER is a prostrate, slender branch sent off from the base of the parent stem.


An OFFSET is a similar but shorter branch, with a tuft of leaves at the end, as in the house-leek.


A SPINE  is a short and imperfectly developed branch of a woody plant, as exhibited in the honey-locust.


A TENDRIL is commonly a slender leafless branch, capable of coiling spirally, like grapevines.


WHORLED  several stems, leaves or flowers, arising in a ring around the stem.













Definition of The ROOT.     The ROOT of a plant is that portion which is usually found in the earth, the stem and leaves being in the air.  The point of union is called the collar or neck of the plant.


ADVENTITIOUS  ROOT   is a root developing on a part of a plant (stem) other than a root.


ANTHROPOMORPHIC  shaped like a human being


AREIAL ROOTS are those emitted from the stem into the open air.


A BULB  is an extremely abbreviated stem clothed with scales, such as a lily.


A CORM  swollen base of a stem, not consisting of layers.


A  CONICAL ROOT is one where it tapers regularly from the crown to the apex, as that of a carrot.


A  FASCICULATED ROOT is  a root where some of the fibers or branches are thickened.


The FIBROUS ROOT  is one composed of many spreading branches.


A  FUSIFORM ROOT  is a root that tapers up as well as down, such as the radish.


A  NAPIFORM ROOT is more swollen at the base, and becomes broader rather than long, such as a turnip. 


A  PALMATE ROOT is when these knobs are branched.


A  RHIZOME, swollen underground stem lasting more than one year


ROOT STOCK  swollen underground part of a plant.


TAPROOT  is the main root


A  TUBER swollen underground portion of a root or stem.


A TUBERIFEROUS ROOT is when some of the branches assume the form of a rounded knob, such as the potato.













Definition of STEM:      The  STEM is that portion of the plant which grows in an opposite direction from the root, seeing the light and exposing itself to the air. 


All flowering plants posses stems.



The stem of an herb does not become woody, but dies down to the ground at least after flowering.


The  stem of  tree is usually called the trunk.


The stem in grasses is the cuim.


Those stems which are too weak to stand erect are said to be decumbent, procumbent and prostrate.












The leaf is commonly raised on an unexpanded part or stalk which is call the petiole, while the expanded portion is termed the lamina, limb or blade. When the vessels or fibers of the leaves expand immediately on leaving the stem, the leaf is said to be sessile. In such cases the petiole is absent. When the blade consists of a single piece, the leaf is simple; when composed of two or three more with a branched petiole, the leaf is compound.



The distribution of the veins or framework of the leaf in the blade is termed venation.



A linear leaf is an elongated shape with nearly parallel sides.


A lanceolate leaf has the form of a lance ;  wide in the middle and gradually tapering  at each end.


An ovate leaf is oval shaped.


an obovate leaf  is one having the veins more developed beyond the middle of the blade.


A cuneiform  ( or cuneate)     leaf is wedge shaped


A cordate leaf is heart shaped


A reniform is kidney shaped


A sagittate leaf is arrow shaped


 A hastate leaf  is shaped like the head of a spear with sharp basal lobes spreading away from the base of the petiole


A peltate leaf is shaped like a shield


A serrate leaf  is one in which the margin is beset with sharp teeth, which point forward towards the apex.


A dentate leaf   these teeth are NOT directed towards the apex


A crenate leaf has rounded teeth


A sinuate leaf has alternate concavities and convexities (wavy)



a pinnate leaf is shaped like a feather


a pectinate leaf has very close and narrow divisions, like the teeth of a comb.


A lyrate leaf has the shape of a lyre


A runcinate leaf is  a lyrate leaf with sharp lobes pointing towards the base, like a dandelion leave.


A palmate leaf  resembles the hand


a pedate leaf  looks like a bird's foot


leaves which arise directly from a rootstock, not from an aerial stem are said to be radical


Rosette leaves are clustered at ground level

Sessil    leaves have no stalk

Truncate leaves are cut off straight across.


When a leaf at its outer edge has no dentations it is said to be entire.

When the leaf terminates in an acute angle it is acute, when in an obuse angle it is obtuse.  An obtuse leaf with the apex slightly depressed is retuse, or if more strongly notched emarginate.


An obovate leaf with a wider or more conspicuous notch at the apex becomes obcordate, being a cordate leaf inverted.


When the apex is cut off by a straight transverse line the leaf is truncate, when abruptly terminated by a small projecting  point it is mucronate; and when an acute leaf has a narrowed apex it is acuminate.


In ferns the leaves are called fronds.



The organs of a flower are of two sorts.

1)                  the leaves ( or envelopes).

2)                  Those peculiar organs having no resemblance to the envelopes.


The envelopes are of two kinds (or occupy two rows, one above or within the other) :

      1)  the lower or outer row is termed the Calyx, and commonly exhibits the green color of the leaves.


      2)  the inner row, which is usually of more delicate texture and forms the most showy part of the flower, is termed the Corolla.


The several parts of the leaves of the Corolla are called Petals, and the leaves of the Calyx are also called  Sepals.


The floral envelopes are collectively called the Perianth.


The essential organs enclosed within a floral envelope are also of two kinds and occupy two rows one within the other. The first of these, those next within the petals, are the Stamens. A stamen consists of a stalk called the Filament, which bears on its summit a rounded body termed the Anther, filled with a substance called the Pollen.


The seed bearing organs occupy the center or summit of a flower, and are called Pistils.  A pistil is distinguished into three parts;

1)   the ovary containing the ovales (ovule)

2)   the style, or columnar prolongation of the ovary

3)                  the stigma or termination of the style.


All the organs of the flower are situated on, or grow out of the apex of the flower stalk, into which they are inserted and which is called the Torus or Receptacle.


A plant is said to be monoecious, where the stamens and pistils are in separate flowers on the same individual , dioecious, where they occupy separate flowers on different individuals, and polygamous where the stamens and pistils are separate in some flowers and untied in others, either on the same or two or three different plants.




Glossary part 4

This is part 4 and the last of the GLOSSARY that I had started earlier.  I do hope that you enjoy this as much as I do! 


For those who have shown interest in reading all 4 parts of my GLOSSARY,   Thanks, very much!






 GLOSSARY  PART 4    J  through W






JAUNDICE   yellowing of the skin, mucous membranes, or whites of the eyes, caused by a buildup of bilirubin ( a bile pigment) in the skin









LEECH  An Anglo-Saxon word for a healer. The art of the leech is leechcraft or leechdom




LEECHBOOK  An Anglo-Saxon book of medicine.





LETHARGY  A feeling of tiredness, drowsiness or lack of energy.




LITER   A metric unit of volume equal to 1,000 cubic centimeters or  1.05 quarts liquid measure




LITHOTRIPTIC  an agent that dissolves urinary calculi  (stones)



LYMPH  fluid contained in lymphatic vessels, which flows through the lymphatic system to be returned to the blood.



LYMPH NODE   one of many rounded structures, ranging from the size of a pinhead to a grape, that filter out bacteria and other toxic substances to stop them from entering the bloodstream and causing infection.  Lyme nodes also produce lymphocytes, a type of blood cell.

















MALABSORPTION   Impaired absorption of nutrients most often a result of diarrhea.



MENORRHAGIA   excessive loss of blood during menstrual periods.



METABOLISM  the sum of all biochemical reactions in the body, including anabolism (building of complex chemicals from less complex ones) and catabolism ( breakdown of complex substances into simpler ones).



METRORRHAGIA   Normal uterine bleeding at an abnormal time.



MICROGRAM  A unit a weight in the metric system that's one-millionth of a gram or one   one-thousandth (0.001) of a milligram



MILILITER  A unit of volume  in the metric system that's one  one-thousandth (0.001) of a liter.



MINIM   a unit of capacity in the British imperial system that's one six - hundredth (0.06) of a milliliter



MUCILAGINOUS  Substance that is slimy, gooey, sticky.  It has the property of moistening, soothing, and helping heal skin and mucous membranes.   Soothing to all inflammation




MUSCLE RELAXANT   a drug that reduces tension in the muscles, commonly used to treat muscle spasms resulting from muscle, bone, or joint injury



MUTATION  an alteration in a cell's DNA caused by a disruption in cell division or by exposure to a cancer-causing substance or certain other substances.



MYELIN SHEATH   a white fatty substance that surrounds nerve cells to aid in nerve impulse transmission










NARCOTIC   Substance that lessens pain by causing depression of the central nervous system.  Causes stupor and numbness.



NATUROPATHY  An alternative system of medical practice that combines a mainstream understanding of human physiology and disease with alternative remedies, such as herbal and nutritional therapies, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and counseling. Naturopathic doctors favor natural treatments aimed at stimulating the body's own healing ability over drugs and surgery



NAUSEANT  produces vomiting




NEPHRITIS   inflammation of the kidney; the glomeruli, tubules and interstitial tissue may be affected.



NERVINE   strengthens functional activity of nervous system; may be stimulants or sedative.



NEURALGIA  pain in and originating along nerve fibers.



NSAID       Non steroidal  anti inflammatory drug       This is a drug that reduces inflammation n and controls pain without the use of steroids. Examples are Advil, Indocin, Orudis and Naprosyn










OPHTHALMICUM  a remedy for eye diseases



OXYTOCIC   agent that stimulates contractions accelerating childbirth.












PARASITICIDE   an agent that kills parasites and worms



PARTURIENT  stimulates uterine contraction which induce and assist labor.



PECTORAL  a remedy for chest affections



PERISTALSIS  the alternate contraction and relaxation of the walls of a tubular structure by means of which its contents are moved onward, characteristic of the intestinal tract, ureter, etc




PHENOTHIAZINE  a drug used to control psychosis or ease vomiting



PHYTOMEDICINE  herbal medicine



PHARMACOPOEIA   a list of drugs and formulas



POULTICE   A warm, damp pack of herbs applied to a wound or sprain to draw the blood and relieve pain.




PRECURSOR  starts a chain reaction which accelerates growth.



PROPHYLACTIC   any agent or regimen that contributes to the prevention of infection and disease.



PROSTAGLANDIN    hormone like substance that has a wide range of functions including acting as chemical messenger and causing uterine contractions.


PRURITUS  itching; an inflammation of the skin that produces itching



PSYCHOACTIVE   a consciousness-altering herb, often hallucinogenic or narcotic



PULMONARY EDEMA  a condition in which fluid builds up in the spaces outside the lung's blood vessels.



PUNGENT    penetrating or sharp to the taste



PURGATIVE   Laxative       Causes watery evacuation of intestinal contents



PUTREFACTION  decomposition of organic matter, especially proteins, by the action of bacteria, resulting in the formation of foul smelling compounds.




PSA  TEST   PROTATE SPECIFIC ANTIGEN  TEST   a blood test that measures the level of protein produced by prostate gland cells.  The PSA  test is used to help detect prostate diseases.










REFRIGERANT   an herb that cools the blood and thus reduces fever



RELAXANT   relaxes nerves and muscles; relieves tension



RESOLVENT   that which reduces inflammation or swelling.



RESTORATIVE   an agent that is effective in the regaining of health and strength; restores normal physiological activity



RHINITIS   inflammation of the sinus membranes beginning in the mucous membranes of the nose (rhino means  “nose”)



RUBEFACIENT  stimulates blood flow to the skin thus  producing redness of the skin

















SEDATIVE   an herb that calms or tranquilizes  specific organs or systems; cardiac, nervous, cerebral, spinal



SIALAGOGUE  an agent that stimulates the secretion of saliva



SOPORIFIC  inducing sleep



SIMPLE   A single herb given as a remedy



SPASMOLYTIC    antispasmodic



STILL ROOM  BOOK  An eighteenth century privately kept book f herbal recipes.



STIMULANT   increases internal heat, dispels internal chill and strengthens metabolism and circulation  ( can produce a sense of well being)



STOMACHIC   an herb that aids  and strengthens the stomach function



STYPTIC  a blood staunching herb  ( stops hemorrhage)




SUDORIFIC  produces sweat



SUFFUMIGATION  An application of smoke or fumes.        Incense



SYSTEMIC  relating to or affecting the entire body









TAENIFUGE  agent that expels tapeworms



TANNIN   active plant constituents that combined with proteins; stringent .  Astringent compounds in plants that protect the plant from yeasts, being eaten, and bacterial decay.



TAPEWORM   any of several ribbon like worms that infest the intestines




TINCTURE  A mixture of herbal extract and alcohol.  Useful  because of the preservative and extractive properties of alcohol on herbs.



TISANE  a French word for an herb tea.



TONIC   restoring, nourishing and supporting for the entire body; a substance that exerts a gentle strengthening effect on the body. 



TOPICAL USE   application of a drug or an herbal product to the skin and surface tissues of the body.  (Ointments,  solutions, dusting powders, nasal drops, rectal and vaginal suppositories, ear and eye drops )



TOXIN   a poisonous substance of animal or plant origin



TRITURATION  a process of rubbing herbs and spices down to a fine powder and blending them.










UNGUENT   An archaic term for ointment or salves.



UREMIA    toxic condition associating  the renal insufficiency produced by the retention in the blood of nitrogenous substances normally excreted by the kidney.



URINARY ANTISEPTIC  substance that is antiseptic to the urinary tract.



UTERINE TONIFIER  substance that has a strengthening activity on the tissues of the uterus.










VAGINITIS   inflammation of the vagina, from irritation or infection



VASOCONSTRICTOR   an agent that narrows blood vessel openings, restricting the flow of blood through them



VASODILATOR  cases relaxation of blood vessels



VERMIFUGE  worm expellant




VERTIGO  the sensation of spinning or dizziness



VOLATILE  quickly evaporating



VULNERARY  assists in healing f wounds by protecting against infection and stimulating cell growth








WORT   from the Old English  wyrt,  meaning a root or plant. In herbalism, an herb, usually used as a combined term.   e.g  St John's wort,   liverwort.





Here is part three of my glossary that I would like to share with you:



ECZEMA             chronic skin inflammation

EDEMA                     accumulation of fluid in tissues (swelling)

EMETIC                  produces vomiting

EMMENAGOGUE                induces monthly

EMOLLIENT                  softens and soothes inflamed parts

(when used internally it is called a demulcent)

ENTERITIS                 inflammation of the small intestine

ENTERVATE                      to deprive of strength, vigor; to weaken physically and mentally

EPSTEIN-BARR VIRUS                  the virus that causes infectious mononucleosis and that is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal cancer.

ESCULENT                     edible

ESTROGEN              hormone that exert female characteristics

EXANTHEMATOUS              remedy for skin eruptions and diseases

EXPECTORANT            substance that causes mucus in the lungs and bronchial passages to come out more easily, usually through coughing ( or encourages the loosening and removal of phlegm from the respiratory tract.)


FEBRIFUGE         reduces fevers

FISTULA                    an abnormal passage between two internal organs, or from an organ to the surface of the body

FLACCID                 not firm or stiff; limp; lacking in force or vigor

FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION            The U.S federal agency that protects the public against health hazards from food and food additives and ensure the safety and effectiveness of drugs, medical devices, and dietary supplements.

FORMULATION                  a drug product prepared according to a specific composition

FREE RADICAL               A molecule containing an odd number of electrons. Some researchers believe free radicals may play a role in cancer development by interacting with DNA and impairing normal cell function


CALACTOGOGUE                  agent that promotes the flow of milk


GALLBLADDER                the pear-shaped organ located just under the liver that acts as a bile reservoir.

GASTRITIS inflammation of the stomach lining ( intestinal tract)

GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUX DISEASE               Inflammation of the esophagus caused by back-flow of acid from the stomach. Its main symptom is chronic heartburn

GIARDIA                    a genus of flagellate protozoa some of which are parasitic in the intestinal tract of man and domestic animal; transmitted by ingestion of cysts in fecal contaminated water and food; interfere with the absorption of facts; boiling water inactivates them

GINGIVITIS                       inflammation of the gums

GLAUCOMA                a condition in which the pressure of the fluid in the eye is so high that it causes damage


GOITER                   an enlargement of the thyroid gland that causes swelling in the front of the neck

GOUT                   inflammation of joints caused by uric acid crystals lodging in them.

GRAIN                   the smallest unit of weight in the apothecary system, equivalent to 0.06 gram

GRAM                       the basic unit of weight in the metric system, equivalent to 1/1000 of a kilogram or three one hundredths (0.03) of an ounce


HEART ATTACK                sudden blockage of one or more of the arteries that supply blood to the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle

HEMATURIA                  blood in the urine

HEMOLYTIC                      a substance which destroys red blood cells

HEMORRHAGE                  bleeding, usually rapid and significant

HEMORRHOID                an abnormally swollen vein beneath the lining of the anal canal or near the anus that may cause itching, pain or bleeding

HEMOSTATIC                    stop bleeding

HEPATIC              herbs that support and stimulate the liver, gall bladder and spleen and increase the flow of bile.

HEPATITIS                         inflammation of the liver

HERPETIC                   a remedy for skin diseases of all types

HERNIA                the projection or out pouching of an organ or a part of an organ through the wall that normally contains it.

HISTAMINE              a chemical found in all tissues that causes tiny arteries called capillaries to widen, makes smooth muscles contract, increases the heart rate, causes blood pressure to drop, and promotes secretion of stomach acids. Histamine is formed and released during allergic reactions.

HIVES        Itchy, raised, red areas of inflamed skin caused by an allergic reaction

HOMEOSTASIS                      equilibrium of internal environment

HYDRAGOGUE                   promotes watery evacuation of the bowels

HYPERTENSIVE                    used to increase blood pressure

HYPNOTIC                   induces sleep

HYPOGLYCEMIA           abnormal concentration of sugar in the blood ( low blood sugar)

HYPOTENSIVE                     used to reduce blood pressure



IMMUNOSTIMULANT              a substance that stimulates the immune system's health and ability to respond to disease either gradually or quickly

INCONTINENCE                 the inability to control urination or defecation

INDOLENT                           sluggish; casing little or no pain

INFUSION               An extremely strong tea made with either hot or cold water and and herb

IRRITANT                  induces a local inflammation

INTERFERON                   a potent immune enhancing substance that is produced by the body's cells to fight off viral infection and cancer


GLOSSARY Part 2 B thro D



Here is the second series of my glossary regarding the meanings of the words used.

Starting with THE LETTER B

BACTERICIDE destroys bacteria

BARBITURATE A drug that causes sedation, a hypnotic state, or both. Barbiturates can be addictive.

BENZODIAZEPINE A drug used to treat anxiety or sleeping disorders, to relax muscles, or to control seizures.

BETA BLOCKER A drug that decreases the rate and force of heart contractions and widens blood vessels, helping to reduce blood pressure. Beta blockers typically are prescribed for people with coronary artery disease, angina ( (chest pains caused by heart problems), irregular heartbeats, or a history of heart attacks.

BILIRUBIN the breakdown product of the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells

BINDER A substance added to a drug or herbal product to hold together the product's ingredients.

BIOFLAVONOID One of a group of naturally occurring plant compounds needed to strengthen tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Some researches believe bioflavonoids may help protect against cancer and infection.

BIOMEDICINE A system of medicine based on the principles of natural sciences.

BITTER TONIC an herb or a group of herbs that stimulates the digestive processes.

BLOOD CLEANSER an agent that cleanses the blood

BLOOD PURIFIER an agent that cleanses the blood as well as enhancing the blood by increasing the nutrient value.

BLOOD PURIFIER An herb that stimulates the digestive and excretory processes of the body to aid in the elimination of waste products.

BLOOD THINNER A drug tat prevents blood clotting ( heparin, coumadin, warfarin)

BRONCHITIS Inflammation of bronchial mucous membranes.


CALMATIVE gently clams nerves

CANDIDA yeast-like fungi

CANDIDA ALBICANS the fungus responsible for monilial infections, such as thrush, vaginitis and sometimes systemic infections

CANDIDIASIS any disease condition caused by the yeast CANDIDA ALBICANS. It is commonly found on the skin and in the mouth, vagina, and rectum. Overuse of antibiotics and anti inflammatory drugs, which interfere with the normal metabolic checks and balances of the body, has caused many people to suffer from candidiasis and allowed the once rare disease to become something of a national celebrity.

CARDIAC heart tonic or restorative

CARDIOACTIVE a substance that acts directly on the muscles of the heart

CARDIOTONIC substance that regulates or strengthens heart action and metabolism; whatever the condition of the heart, a cardiotonic brings it back to a normal range of action.

CARMINATIVE relieves intestinal gas pain and distension; promotes peristalsis

CARBUNCLE painful infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissues with production and discharge of pus and dead tissue, similar to a boil (faruncle) but more severe and with multiple sinus formation; usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus.

CATAPLASM another name for poultice

CATARRH inflammation of a mucous membrane, especially of the nose and throat, with discharge

CATHARTIC a strong laxative which causes rapid evacuation

CELL PROLIFERATOR enhances the formation of new tissue to speed the healing process

CEPHALIC remedies used in diseases of the head

CHOLAGOGUE stimulates bile flow from the gall bladder and bile ducts into the duodenum

( induces gall bladder contraction)

CHOLERETIC substance that encourages the liver to produce bile

CHRONIC designating a disease showing little change or of slow progression; opposite of acute

CIMCIFUGA to drive away bugs, neutralizes rattlesnake bites, scorpion stings

COLIC spasmodic pain effecting smooth muscle, such a the intestines, gall bladder or urinary tract

COLITIS inflammation of the colon

COLON the main part of the large intestine, which connects the small intestine with the rectum. It converts what's left of consumed food into stool by removing water and salts.

COMPOUND a substance made up or two or more ingredients

COMPRESS a soft pad usually mad of cloth, that's used to apply heat, cold, or drugs or herbs to the surface of a body area.

COUNTERIRRITANT causing irritation in one part to relieve pain in another part

CYST an abnormal lump or swelling, filled with fluid or semi solid cheesy material in any body organ or tissue

CYSTITIS inflammation of the inner lining of the bladder. It is usually caused by a bacterial infection


DEBILITY weakness of tonicity in functions or organs of the body.

DECOCTION a substance prepared by boiling

DECONGESTANT a substance that acts to break up congestion

DEHYDRATION deficient in fluids

DEMENTIA an organic mental syndrome marked by general loss of intellectual abilities, with chronic personality disintegration confusion, disorientation and stupor.

DEMULCENT soothing to mucous membranes ( lubricates and coats the stomach and intestine linings.)

DEOBSTRUENT removes obstruction

DEPURANT stimulates excretions

DEPURATIVE purifies the blood

DETERGENT cleansing to boils, ulcers, and wounds

DISCUTIENT dissolves and heals tumors

DIAPHORETIC stimulates sweating


DIURETIC acts to increase the flow of urine.

DIVERTICULI pathological sac like out pouchings of the wall of the colon

DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES in herbal medicine, the primitive method of determining which plants should be used for which aliments, based on the plant's resemblance to the ailment. For example, the heart shaped leaves for heart conditions and plants with red flowers for bleeding disorders.

DRAM a unit of weigh equivalent to 1/8 ounce or 60 grains

DRASTIC a very active cathartic which produces a violent peristalsis

DUODENUM the beginning of the small intestine; lies just below the stomach.

DYSMENORRHEA painful menstruation

DYSPEPSIA poor digestion, often with heart burn and stomach acid reflux

DYSPNEA sense of difficulty in breathing, often associated with lung or heart disease.




I thought I would share with you friends some of the meanings to words that we herbalists often throw around when describing some of our products . So, I've compiled a list of words in the “ A” section and their meanings. I'll continue to add more starting with “B' in the next couple of days. I hope that this list is helpful.


ABORTIFACIENT: A substance that induces abortion, premature expulsion of the fetus

ACE INHIBITOR a drug that blocks the formation of natural body chemical, thus relaxing blood vessels and decreasing water and salt retention. It's used to lower blood pressure or manage heart failure.

ACUTE an illness that comes on quickly, has severe symptoms and a generally short duration. e.g., measles or colds. The opposite of chronic

ADAPTOGEN an agent that increases resistance to stress

ADRENALINE a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that produce the “fight or flight” response. A/k/a epinephrine.

ALTERATIVE: cleansing, stimulating, efficient removal of waste products

AMENORRHEA absence or suppression of menstruation

ANALGESIC: relieves pain

ANAPHRODISIAC subdues sexual desire

ANAPHYLAXIS a severe, life threatening allergic reaction marked by flushing, hives, itching, swelling of the lips and eyelids, throat tightening, sudden hoarseness, nausea and vomiting. It can start within seconds of exposure to an allergy causing substance and can cause death within minutes unless treated immediately.

ANDROGEN hormones that stimulate male characteristics

ANESTHETIC deadens sensation and reduces pain

ANODYNE reduces pain

ANTAGONIST opposes the action of other medicines

ANTHELMINTIC A substance that can help to destroy and expel intestinal parasites

ANTI BACTERIAL destroys or stops the growth of bacterial infections

ANTI BILIOUS reduces biliary or jaundice condition

ANTIBIOTIC kills disease causing bacteria or prevents bacteria from reproducing.

ANTI CATARRHAL eliminates mucus conditions

ANTICOAGULANT slowing or stopping the clotting of blood

ANTI DEPRESSANT prevents or relieves symptoms of mental depression

ANTIDOTE a substance used to counteract a poison

ANTI EMETIC lessons nausea and prevents or relieves vomiting.

ANTI FUNGAL destroying or preventing the growth of fungi

ANTI GALACTAGOGUE prevents or decreases secretion of milk

ANTI HEMORRHAGIC stops bleeding and hemorrhaging

ANTI HEPATOXIC prevents toxins from negatively affecting the liver

ANTI HISTAMINE a drug that blocks the action of histamine, a body chemical released by the immune system, by binding to histamine receptors in various body tissues. In the nose, it stops histamines from making the nasal blood vessels expand ( the cause of runny nose)

ANTI HYPERTENSIVE lowers the blood pressure

ANTI INFLAMMATORY reduces inflammation and associated symptoms such as pain and swelling.

ANTI LITHIC prevents or relieves stones in the urinary organs

ANTI MICROBIAL destroys or prevents the growth of micro organisms

ANTI MUTAGENIC reduces or interferes with mutagenic activity of other substances

ANTI NEOPLASTIC prevents the growth of abnormal or cancerous cells

ANTI OXIDANT a substance such as vitamin E, that works alone or in a group to destroy disease causing substances called free radicals.

ANTI PERIODIC preventing regular recurrences of a disease or symptoms.

ANTI PHLOGISTIC reduces inflammation

ANTI PYRETIC reduces fever

ANTI RHEUMATIC prevents or relieves rheumatism

ANTI SEPTIC a substance used to destroy harmful microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and protozoa) or to inhibit their growth.

ANTI SPASMODIC relieves or prevents spasms of muscles and associated tissues

ANTI SYPHILITIC cures or relieves syphilis or venereal diseases.

ANTI THROMBOTIC prevents blood clots

ANTI TOXIC neutralizes a poison form the system

ANTI TUSSIVE: reduces or relieves coughs

ANTI VIRAL opposes the action of a virus

APERIENT mild laxative without purging

APERITIVE herbs that stimulate the appetite

APHRODISIAC stimulates sexual arousal

AROMATIC A substance containing volatile oils that have a strong and stimulating scent

ASTRINGENT has constricting or binding effect ; checks hemorrhages

ATONIC without normal tension or tone




A lot of people like to make bath teas or bath herbs for themselves. Some of the recipes that I've seen however, are way too much for a single bath. It seems that people think the same way with herbs as they do with medicine. If a little works good, a lot should work even better! This is a dangerous attitude to have. Herbs are potent, just as medicine is potent. Whenever I make up a formula it is just the right amount for a certain amount of small bath teas. 

If a large (5 x 7) bath tea is just tossed into a tub full of water, the very first bath is dangerous for you to take! Look at the color of your bath water! Is it a rust, or bright green or can you see bright color at all? If you can, there are TOO MUCH herbs in your bath! And, you should not get in that tub!

A small tea bag or muslin bag (3 x 5) is all you need for one ½ to ¾ full bath tub. And that same tea bag can be used one more time! You will see a very light color in your bath water,such as; light green or light yellow, but, your bath water color shouldn't change dramatically. You also should not spend more than 20 minutes in your herbal bath. Nor, should you be using other soaps, bubble bath products or what have you. When you step out of the tub, take a rough towel and dry yourself. Do not use lotions, otherwise you have just destroyed the good of the herbs.

The only time a large tea bag can be used is if you make it in a concentrate form; using 2 gallons of water, heat the water til boiling; drop ONE large tea bag in and let it steep NO MORE THAN 5 MINUTES. Take the bag out of the water. Let the water cool and pour the water into 2 glass gallon containers. When you want to take a bath, use NOT MORE THAN 1 cup of the concentrate that you just made, in a tub full of water.

That is the correct way to use a large (5 x 7) bath tea.




Some years ago, I saw a picture of some huge ice lights adorning a walkway. It was just a picture and it was not the main object of the picture, but, it was pretty just the same. I showed it to my husband and he figured out how to make the “lights”. After that, we did this every winter when we lived in Maine. I thought, I would share it with you and maybe some of you would also like to do this.

I named them NORWEGIAN CANDLES, maybe that is their name anyway, I don't know.

The outcome that you want is:

all along a walkway or even drive way, big huge ice candles on either side.

This is how you do it. Get the kids, because this is fun!


1) A 5 gallon empty plastic bucket, no holes, and preferably with a handle on it.

2) water

3) candles that are either long or big round ones. You can find these in any store. Just buy a few for now, after you get the hang of this, you can figure out what size you want. The candles don't have to be scented. You only need ONE candle per ice light.

You need to mark where you want your NORWEGIAN CANDLES to be. I suggest spacing them at least 3 feet from each other.


1) take your bucket and fill it full of water.

2) Leave it out side, preferably near your site, until absolutely frozen around the edges and thick

3) when frozen put the bucket over your first marked site and slowly, turn it upside down.

Generally the middle part will be hollow. You may have to coax the ice out, don't be rough, you want the entire piece.

4) get your candle, situate it right in the middle in the hole of your ice and light it. ( your candle goes INSIDE and DOWN in your ice. The ice looks something like a coffee mug, with a bottom of ice and yet deep enough to put the candle, so that the wind does not blow it out. )

Continue with the rest of your marked places

Only light the  NORWEGIAN CANDLES  at night. It may take a few days, depending on how many buckets you have around, to get all the NORWEGIAN CANDLES   that you want.

As long as it stays cold out, you will have your NORWEGIAN CANDLES  all winter long. Obviously, you will have to replenish your candles as they burn completely down.

I hope you enjoy your NORWEGIAN CANDLES as much as I did!


More Herbs and Food Combinations part two


A while back, I did a blog on spices and what they go well with. This time I will just use the herb and what foods it will enhance. Look through my blogs and you will also see how to make up your own spice blends, such as PUMPKIN PIE SPICE BLEND, SPICED NUTS, SPICY APPLE PIE BLEND, and more. You will find in another blog what spices will enhance what foods.

For those of you that are artistic, this would make a beautiful gift for someone who likes to cook and bake, or is new at cooking and baking. I had a friend who copied something like this by hand in calligraphy, on a long sheet of paper, dyed the paper some pretty color and made colored scroll work all around the edges, and made a small frame all around and made it so that it could be hung on the wall. She also said a few words of friendship and put her name on the bottom and DATED it. It was a very personalized gift. See what you can do!!     (email me for  PDF file and I will gladly send it to you!)

ANISE use in: sweet cream cheese appetizers, soups, fruit salads, applesauce, teas, fruit drinks, carrots, celery, coleslaw, sole, crab, spicy meat mixtures, cakes, cookies, sweet rolls, rye breads

BASIL use in: dips, canapes, all kinds of soups and stews, green salads, especially good on tomatoes, omelets, scrambled eggs, green beans, broccoli, cucumbers, egg plant, peas, spinach, zucchini, shrimp, fish, creole dishes, beef, pork, veal, lamb, all kinds of poultry and stuffing, wine vinegar

BAY use in: bouquet garni, fish chowders, tomato juice and stocks, with poached fish; in hearty fish dishes; and with roast chicken, beef roasts, and beef stew.

BORAGE use in; mild dips, all kinds of soups and stews, green salads, coleslaw, iced drinks, spinach, beets, shellfish, all kinds of meat and poultry and stuffing, cream sauces

BURNET use in: appetizer dips, canapes, cream soups, green salads, potato salad, iced drinks, asparagus, mushrooms, shellfish, tarter sauce, wine vinegar

CARAWAY use in: appetizer spreads and dips, canapes, potato soup, cabbage soups, goulash, coleslaw, potato salad, cream cheese, cottage cheese, cabbage, potatoes, green beans, carrots, red beets, cauliflower, casseroles, German dishes,meatballs, applesauce, cookies, breads,especially rye, apple pie, cakes

CELERY SEED use in: soups, stews, salads, curry dishes, poultry stuffing, fish and meat dishes, eggs, breads, vegetables

CHERVIL use in: potato, spinach and cream soups, in egg and chicken salads, salad dressings and mayonnaise, with fish, shellfish and chicken; in fish sauces and cheese spreads, with lettuce, potatoes, red beets and tomatoes and in a fines herbes combination

CHIVES use in: all kinds of appetizers, all kinds of soups, stews, all kinds of salads, omelets, cheese dishes, deviled eggs, potatoes,carrots, corn, green beans, mushrooms, peas, red beets, summer squash, tomatoes, all kinds of other vegetables, shellfish, broiled fish, all kinds of meat and poultry, tartar sauce, butter sauces,cheese sauces, wine vinegar

CORIANDER use the seeds in curries and pickling spice mixtures; with lentils, lima beans, peas, potato dumplings, in biscuits, breads, lamb dishes; carrot cake and pies.

Use the leaves in: Mexican, Chinese, Indian and Moroccan dishes, in meat, rice and lentil dishes; with corn, zucchini , chicken, and in salads.

CUMIN use in; Mexican, oriental, and Indian and middle eastern dishes, in curries, stews, chili, spicy meat and vegetable dishes; with green beans,cabbage, in deviled eggs; breads and with cheese

DILL use the leaves in:all kinds of appetizers, potato soups,salads and salmon; potato salad, rice dishes and borscht; green salads, coleslaw, cottage cheese, green beans, carrots, cucumbers and potatoes. omelets, cauliflower, tomatoes, halibut, salmon, lamb, ham, cream chicken, tartar sauce, butter sauces, wine vinegar, rye bread

use the seeds in: salad dressings, fish soups, meat dishes, lamb stew,, and egg and potato dishes, cabbage and in breads.

FENNEL use the seeds and leaves with fish; in spicy meat mixtures; with eggs, cabbage, red beets, squash and apples; in stuffings and breads

use Florence fennel as a vegetable; serve raw like celery, braise, bake au gratin or turn into a cream soup.

GARLIC Use with everything except sweets. Use for soups, salads, fish, poultry, meat and egg dishes; in stews, sauces an mayonnaise, in breads and with any vegetables; to make oil and vinegar dressings.

GINGER use fresh ginger in oriental and Indian dishes, with fish, chicken, meats and vegetables

use dried ginger with pot roasts, poultry, carrots, red beets, squash and sweet potatoes; in breads, cakes, cookies, puddings, fruit salads and stewed fruit mixtures.

HORSERADISH use in cocktail and mustard sauces; in sauces for fish, roast beef and in green vegetables; in salad dressings; with boiled meats; in sandwiches and with red beets

LOVAGE Use the leaves and stalks sparingly as a celery substitute in soups, salads, potato salad, stews and stuffings; braise the stalks as a vegetable.

use the seeds in chicken salad, meat loaf, breads and herb butters.

MARJORAM use in: cream cheese dips and appetizers, all kinds of soups and stews, green salads, chicken salad, vegetable cocktails, omelets, scrambled eggs, carrots, spinach, squash,eggplant, cabbage, lima beans, mushrooms, peas, and tomatoes; baked or broiled fish, fish recipes and fish chowders, all kinds of meat, chicken, duck goose, gravies, fish sauces, biscuits, muffins

MINTS use in: green pea soups, split pea soups, fruit salads, teas, iced drinks, , green beans, new peas, baked or broiled fish, lamb, veal, mint sauces, mint jellies, wine vinegar, mint syrups, sherbets

ONION use for all dishes except sweets. Use in soups, stews, salad, egg dishes, fish, poultry, meat and all vegetables, some breads.

OREGANO use in: appetizers spreads, canapes, onion soup, all stews, seafood salads, aspics, omelets, spicy cheese, onions, peas, baked beans, shellfish, all kinds of meats, game, hare, venison, cream sauces, tomato sauces, meat-pie crusts, breads

PARSLEY use in: all kinds of appetizers, all kinds of soups and stews, all kinds of salads, vegetable cocktails, omelets, cheeses, all kinds of vegetables, all kinds of fish and seafood, all kinds of meat, stuffing, tartar sauce, butter sauces, breads, rolls

ROSEMARY use in : cheese appetizers and dips, all kinds of soups ( chicken soup, pea soup) and stews, chicken salads, seafood salads, vegetable juices, omelets, sharp cheese, potatoes, mushrooms, salmon, haddock, cod, all kinds of meats and poultry, wild game, stuffing, gravies, breads, rolls, biscuits

SAGE use in : cheese dips appetizers, cream soups, chowders, sharp cheese, cottage cheese, eggplant, Lima beans, baked or broiled fish, meat loaf, roasts, chicken, turkey, game, stuffing, brown sauce, muffins, breads

SAVORY use in : cheese dips and appetizers, bean soups, chowders, aspics, green salads, vegetable cocktails, deviled eggs, omelets, green beans, sauerkraut, salt water fish, all kinds of meat, chicken, duck,, turkey, fish sauces, cream sauce, meat-pie crusts

TARRAGON use in: all kinds of appetizers, chicken soup, mushroom soup, all kinds of salads, vegetable cocktails, omelets, cream cheese, asparagus, all fish, steaks, chicken, duck turkey, cream sauce, Hollandaise

THYME use in : shrimp dips, vegetable soup and stews, all other types of stews, tomato aspic, lemon tea, cottage cheese, cream cheese, beans, onions, potatoes, all kinds of fish, roasts, meat loaf, ham, stuffing, turkey, all tomato sauces, breads, rolls.

TURMERIC use as a cheap saffron substitute for its bright yellow color. Good in curries, salads, dressings and mustard; with seafood, fish, poultry and meat; in rice dishes; and with eggs

WATERCRESS use liberally in salads, chicken salad, bean salad, potato salad, and coleslaw; in tomato juice, soups and egg dishes; with cottage cheese; and in herb butters.


More Herbs and Food Combinations


Here are some more herbs AND spices that go good with certain foods.


For those of you that are artistic, this would make a beautiful gift for someone who likes to cook and bake, or is new at cooking and baking. I had a friend who copied something like this by hand in calligraphy, on a long sheet of paper, dyed the paper some pretty color and made colored scroll work all around the edges, and made a small frame all around and made it so that it could be hung on the wall. She also said a few words of friendship and put her name on the bottom and DATED it. It was a very personalized gift. See what you can do!!


cumin, garlic, onions, parsley, sage, savory, thyme


basil, cloves, dill, marjoram, mints, savory, thyme


basil, bay leaf, chili pepper, cumin, garlic, ginger, marjoram, onions, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


anise, basil, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, onions, oregano, parsley, poppy seeds, rosemary, sage, sesame seeds, thyme


basil, dill, garlic, nutmeg, oregano


basil, caraway, cayenne pepper, dill, marjoram, savory


basil, chervil, chives, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, dill, ginger, marjoram, mint, parsley, savory


basil, cumin, dill, garlic, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon


basil, chervil, chives, coriander, curry powder, dill, garlic, marjoram, parsley, sage, tarragon, thyme


allspice, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, onions, paprika, parsley, rosemary,, saffron, sage, savory, thyme


basil, chives, cinnamon, curry powder, dill, paprika, thyme


basil, cinnamon, garlic, marjoram, onions, oregano, parsley, savory, thyme


basil, chervil, chives, coriander, curry powder, dill, fennel, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


basil, chives, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, marjoram, oregano, parley, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


anise, cinnamon . Cloves, ginger, mace, mints, nutmeg, rosemary


basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry powder, dill, garlic, ginger, mints, onions, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme


coriander, marjoram, oregano, tarragon, thyme


basil, curry powder, dill, marjoram, parsley, thyme


caraway, chives, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme


basil, chervil chives, coriander, dill, garlic, marjoram,, mints, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme


basil, bay leaf, chives, dill, garlic, marjoram, onions, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme


allspice, basil,, chives, nutmeg, rosemary


allspice, basil, cinnamon, cloves, dill, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, savory


garlic, marjoram, parsley, onions, rosemary, sage, thyme


basil, bay leaf, chives, garlic, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme


basil, garlic, marjoram, onions, rosemary, saffron , sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


basil, bay leaf, chervil, marjoram, onions, parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme

I'll be doing another blog starting with the herb or spice and what goes good with it.




Now that winter is upon most of us, many of us might feel like spending more time in the kitchen making food from scratch. I get real tired , real fast, of the ho hum pancake recipes I see in the cookbooks and found this one years ago. I tried it and thought it had a lot more going for it than most pancakes do. Sooo, thought you might like to try it as well. ENJOY!


1 ¼ cup rolled oats

¾ cup white flour, sifted

½ cup whole wheat flour (I sift mine)

1 tbls baking powder

2 slightly beaten eggs

2 ¼ cups buttermilk

2 tbls oil

2 tbls honey

1 teas vanilla

MAPEL PEAR SAUCE (recipe to follow)

In a large bowl combine the oats, flours, baking powder. Make a well in the center of the mixture; set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, honey and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture

Stir just til moistened. Cover batter, allow to stand at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.


Peel and core 4 LARGE PEARS; cut pears into ¼ inch slices. Toss with 1 tablespoon LEMON JUICE; set aside.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine ½ cup APPLE JUICE, ½ cup MAPLE SYRUP; 3 inches of STICK CINNAMON.

Bring to boiling. Add PEAR SLICES; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or til pears are tender.

Stir together 2 tablespoon APPLE JUICE AND 1 tablespoon CORNSTARCH;

stir into pear mixture along with ¼ cup CRANBERRIES.

Cook and stir til bubbly.

Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.

Remove from heat; but keep warm. Discard cinnamon.

Makes about 2 ½ cups sauce

Then continue with making pancakes;

Stir the batter a little. Heat your pan that you are using to make the pancakes in. Pour just a little oil to cover the bottom of the pan and add your batter, the way you normally do to make pancakes.

When pancakes are done, serve and pass the sauce for individual use.

This recipe should make about 16 pancakes.


I thought I might share with you some info on FISH and SHELLFISH that I have collected through the years...



COD Atlantic cod and Pacific cod have lean, firm white flesh.

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED: haddock, whiting (silver hake), pollock

halibut; scrod

HALIBUT INTERCHANGEABLE WITH petrale sole; pompano; swordfish; cod

FLATFISH flounders and halibuts. Some flatfish are called sole.

Flatfish have lean, delicately flavored white flesh.

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED: summer flounder (fluke); yellowtail flounder;

petrale, lemon, gray and rex soles; halibut; turbot

MACKEREL a/k/a BONITO, WAHOO. Mackerel has both dark and light fatty

flesh. King mackerel is stronger flavored and fattier than Spanish mackerel.

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED: wahoo; bullet, chub, king, spanish macerels;

tunas; mullet

GOOSEFISH a/k/a MONKFISH OR ANGLER FISH. Has firm, white flesh that

tastes like lobster. With goosefish only the tail section is edible.


RED SNAPPER Flavorful, lean, juicy white flesh.

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED: other varieties of snapper on the Pacific

Coast, or rock fishes

SALMON A/K/A PINK, CHUM, SOCKEYE AND ATLANTIC SALMONS have fatty, distinctive-flavored firm flesh that ranges in color from white to deep coral.


SEA BASS Lean, firm, white flesh.

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED: black sea bass; sand perch; groupers; scamp;

sand bass; striped bass. INTERCHANGEABLE WITH: tuna; halibut; salmon;

haddock ; sea trout

SHARK a/k/a MAKO It has texture, color and taste similar to those of

swordfish. INTERCHANGEABLE W/ bluefin tuna, albacore, swordfish, catfish

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTITUTED: porbeagle; blue sharks

SWORDFISH Coarse-textured, rich, delicately flavored.


TROUT A/K/A BROOK, RAINBOW; HATCHERY-BRED. Light meat, firm flesh, moderately fatty. INTERCHANGEABLE WITH red snapper; bluefish; perch

FISH THAT MAY BE SUBSTIUTED OR INTERCHANGED: brook, rainbow, hatchery bred

TUNA Several varieties. All have fatty, full flavored, light or dark flesh.



CRAB A/K/A HARD SHELL CRABS; BLUE, ROCK, DUNGENESS. Meat is delicate and moderately sweet.

Available live, fresh, frozen or cooked

LOBSTER Firm, rich tasting, non fatty succulent flesh

Available whole, live, cooked or frozen


Available fresh, cooked, frozen, whole, in shell or shelled


AVAILABLE whole or shucked, fresh or frozen

MUSSELS Mollusks Tender, sweet flesh

Available live

OYSTERS tender flesh, with delicate flavor.

Available year round, whole or shucked, fresh or frozen

SCALLOPS Bay and Sea. Both are tender, with delicately flavored ivory flesh.

AVAILABLE shucked, fresh or frozen

SQUID delicately flavored, firm (almost chewy) white flesh

Available whole or cut into pieces fresh or frozen


With a delicate texture fish when grilling with a perforated grill rack,

use disposable aluminum pans, the Nordic ware fish boat or heavy aluminum

foil so that the delicate fish dose not flake and fall between the grill

grates onto the fire.




This is a good way to preserve your fish if you cannot eat the fish right away. Even if you have to freeze them.

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 3/4 cup water

one 1 oz pkg unflavored gelatin

whole trout, gutted and cleaned

in small saucepan, combine lemon juice & water. Remove 1/2 cup

of the mixture and set aside. Bring the remaining lemon juice

mixture in the saucepan to boil. Sprinkle gelatin over the reserved

1/2 cup of lemon water til it softens. When gelatin has softened,

whisk it into the boiling lemon juice mixture & remove from heat.

Whisk til gelatin has dissolved & set saucepan aside to cool.

Dip each cleaned fish into lemon juice/gelatin mixture, then wrap

individually in plastic wrap & place in resealable plastic bags and freeze.

Whole trout treated in this way can be frozen for up to a year



SPECIAL NOTE: To test doneness ; carefully slide a sharp paring knife between the layers of the fish meat, then turn it slightly to get a good look inside. If the meat still looks translucent in the middle, give it another minute or two. You DON'T want the fish to flake, it will be tough, dry and chewy. When you do the knife test, press on it w/your finger & make a mental note of how firm it is. That's the firmness you want next

time. Use a timer, and then you won't ever have to do it w/the knife again!




I thought that I might like to share with you some herb ideas that go with foods. I keep a paper in my spice and herb drawer to match foods with. Maybe some of you might enjoy a list to look quickly at to see what herbs you can use to go with what foods your preparing:



CHICKEN                  anise,   basil, bay leaf, chives,  cinnamon, cumin, dill, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage,  tarragon, thyme


TURKEY                       basil, garlic, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


DUCK                        chervil, ginger, thyme,



BEEF                basil, bay, caraway, cumin, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley,    rosemary, sage, savory, shallot, tarragon,   thyme


HAMBURGER           cayenne pepper, oregano, paprika, thyme


STEAK                        chives, garlic, rosemary, thyme


LAMB                       basil, bay, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, lemon balm, mint, marjoram,  onion, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


HAM                           cinnamon, ginger, sage


PORK                    anise, basil, bay, caraway, cardamom, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, oregano, rosemary, saffron sage,   tarragon, thyme





             Anise, basil, caraway, cayenne pepper, chervil, chives, coriander,  dill, fennel, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage,  savory, shallot, sorrel, tarragon, thyme


FRITTATAS         black pepper, rosemary, thyme,


OMELETS:       chervil,   oregano,   parsley,



   QUICHES            basil, dill, marjoram,


    SOUFFLES        basil, cayenne, chives





Basil, fennel, lovage, saffron, tarragon, thyme







                   basil, caraway, chervil, chives, cumin seed, dill, lovage, marjoram, mints, parsley, poppy seeds, sage, savory, sesame seed, shallot, tarragon, thyme






                  basil, bay, calendula, caraway, chervil, chives, cumin, dill , fennel, lovage, marjoram, mints, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, tarragon, thyme, lemon thyme





  ASPARAGUS:          chives, lemon balm, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme,


 FRESH BEANS:         basil, caraway, cloves, dill, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme


  BROCCOLI :             basil, curry powder, dill, garlic, lemon balm, marjoram, oregano, tarragon,  thyme


CARROTS:             anise, basil, chervil, chives, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, dill, ginger, marjoram, mint, parsley, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


CAULIFLOWER:     basil, caraway, chives, cumin, curry powder, dill, garlic, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon


EGGPLANT:             basil, cinnamon,   curry powder,   dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, onion,   oregano, parsley, sage, savory, rosemary, thyme 


MUSHROOMS          black pepper, coriander, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, thyme


ONION:                     chives, rosemary, sage, savory


PARSNIPS               basil, dill, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme


PEAS                           basil, caraway, chervil, chives, mint, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme


POTATOES                 basil, caraway, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, lovage, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme


SPINACH                   anise, basil, black pepper, caraway seed,  chervil, chives, cinnamon, dill, garlic, parsley , rosemary, thyme  ,


SQUASH           basil, caraway, cardamom, clove, ginger, marjoram, dill, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory



TOMATOES                basil, bay leaf, black pepper, chives, coriander, dill,  garlic, lovage, marjoram, oregano, parsley,  rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme


ZUCCHINI                 basil, dill, tarragon, thyme






MAYONNAISE          basil, curry powder, parsley, tarragon


HOLLANDAISE       cayenne, paprika


COCKTAIL               celery seeds, chives, parsley


CHEESE        cayenne, curry powder, dry mustard, paprika


 BUTTER        basil, chives, oregano, tarragon, thyme


BEARNAISE      chervil, parsley, tarragon


BARBECUE       cayenne, chili powder, cumin, paprika






TROUT               basil, chives, rosemary, sage, tarragon


SHRIMP             cayenne, garlic, parsley, oregano


SHELLFISH      black pepper, chives, garlic, and thyme


SALMON         chervil, dill, parsley


LOBSTER           parsley, tarragon, thyme


CRAB MEAT      chives, marjoram


COD             parsley, tarragon, thyme





DUCK                chervil, cinnamon, coriander    cumin seeds,   dill weed, fennel seeds, ginger,   juniper berries, lemon zest, marjoram, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, tarragon, thyme,    turmeric


GOOSE                    aniseed,   bay leaf, caraway seeds, cinnamon, cayenne, coriander, garlic, ginger,  juniper berries, lemon zest,  minced meat, onion, sage,  thyme



PHEASANT         bay leaf, cayenne, cloves, garlic, juniper berries, leeks, lemon grass, onion,     black and white and green peppercorns,       paprika,    rosemary, sage, thyme


GROUSE                mushrooms, nutmeg, shallots, thyme,


PARTRIDGE/ QUAIL:    bay leaf, cardamoms, cinnamon, chili peppers,   cayenne pepper, coriander,  cumin,  garlic, garam masala,  ginger, lemon zest,  mint, nutmeg, onion,  parsley, ground saffron,  sage,   thyme


DEER          allspice ,  cardamom,  ground cumin,  cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cloves, chili powder,  coriander leaves,  dill,    garlic,    ginger,    juniper berries, lemon,  nutmeg, onion,   oregano,   parsley,  rosemary, star anise, thyme,


WILD BOAR           cayenne pepper, coriander leaves, cloves, cinnamon, garlic,      ginger, juniper berries,      lemon, onion,   red chills, rosemary, tarragon, 


RABBIT/HARE          bouquet garni (parsley, bay leaf, celery leaves, marjoram, lemon zest),    cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, juniper berries, nutmeg,   onion,   parsley, rosemary, saffron, tarragon,  thyme 







I see a lot on the web where Queen of the Meadow is being used interchangeably with Meadow Sweet. Even some of my herb books do this. For instance the famous Mrs. Grieves in A Modern Herbal does not appear to distinguish one from the other. There are many wanna be herbalist, but are not willing to do their homework before selling their products, and also not taking herbalism as seriously as they should. They just want to make that sale. Here is where knowing the Latin word comes in handy and helps us so that we don't make a serious mistake either on our own or when we purchase a certain herb from another herbalist.

In this blog, I'm going to give

the name of the herb,

it's Latin name and Family,

a list of other names the herb is known as;

a description of what the plant looks like,

what the leaves look like

what the flowers look like.

Also, I will give the growing situation that each plant thrives in,

and finally what each herb is used for.


QUEEN OF THE MEADOW Latin name is Eupatorium Purpureum of the Aster Family

Queen of the Meadow is also known as Joe Pye weed, Gravel Root; Trumpet Weed and Purple Boneset.

QUEEN OF THE MEADOW grows to 7 feet tall, very graceful. The stem is rigid, generally hollow, tinged with purple above the nodes, bearing oblong lanceolate vanilla scented, roughish leaves, in whorls of 2 -5 leaves about 10 inches long. Flowers are pinkish purple, can be creamy white, but all I've ever seen here in North Carolina is pinkish purple. The flowers are arranged in clusters of 5 to 10 on very numerous dense terminal compound cormbs. Appearing late summer to mid autumn. Prefers rich calcerous woodland soils, either dry or moist.

QUEEN OF THE MEADOW use mainly the root and is used for tonic, stimulant, antilithic, renal or urinary calculi, gout and rheumatism. You drink this cold and one mouthful at a time and 1 cup during the entire day. Do not take this as a regular drink. Take one cup of tea only every two or three days and only for one week at a time, with about 3 weeks in between before taking another cup of tea. This is a very strong herb.

The flowers are used as a diuretic and tonic.  The leaves help repel insects such as  mosquitos and other flying insects. One could  use the leaves mixed in candle wax to make an insect repellant candle for outdoor use.

BONESET Latin name is Eupatorium perfoliatum L compositae notice the difference, Perfoliatum is not the same as Purpureum. They are close relatives and share similar chemical constituents.

BONESET grows to 4 feet tall and has a pubescent stem which is stout and cylindrical, branched above, bearing lanceolate leaves united at the base around the stem; dark and shiny green above, cotton like beneath and fine toothed. Inflorescence of 10-16 small white or rarely, blue flowers on a dense corymbose cyme.( a flat topped cluster of flowers with the flower stalks proportionately longer lower down the stem. An inflorescence in which the primary axis bears a single terminal flower that develops first, the system being continued by the axes of secondary and higher orders each with a flower.)Appears in late summer to mid autumn; prefers open, marshy regions.

BONESET: use the flowers and is used for colds and fevers, and is taken as a hot infusion.

MEADOWSWEET Latin name is Filipendula ulmaria Meadow sweet leaves are compound with toothed leaflets that are green above, woolly white below. Stalks 4 -6 ft tall are topped with fluffy clusters of sweetly fragrant white flowers. Meadow sweet needs a damp, rich soil in partial shade in order grow well.

MEADOW SWEET is used for treating colds, dyspepsia, flatulence, indigestion, sore throat, It is from Meadow sweet that that salicylic acid was first discovered in 1839 and from which Aspirin was later synthesized. Meadow sweet is also used to reduce inflammation and to relieve cold and flu symptoms, including fever and pain.

QUEEN OF THE PRAIRES (Fillipendula rubra is of the Rose , Rosaceae family) The foliage is dark green pinnately compound leaves with jagged leaflets. Grows to a height of 6 to 8 feet. The flowers are fluffy clusters of pink, like pink cotton candy. Blooms for weeks in July or August. Prefers moist soil , likes full or part sun, prefers fertile, organic soil and steady moisture. Will not grow well in dry soil.

Part used is the roots as an astringent to stop bleeding, diarrhea or dysentery. Leaf is used as an antacid.

Notice the difference in 1) height 2) stem 3) the way the leaves are and look 5) the color of the flowers and 6) one has a single flower and the other has clusters of flowers

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