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Mentha x piperita. Labiatae
Found in damp meadows and verges of woodland, also widely cultivated in gardens. Leaves are downy, grayish; flowers are pale purple, in whorls, and very aromatic. The plant yields a warming oil, Indeed, few plants excel peppermint for its warming, heartening qualities. As a nerve-stimulating drink, it is far more effective than either coffee or tea, without sharing their harmful properties.
This herb cleanses and strengthens the whole body. Good to take after shock, or swimming cramps, and for a feeling of faintness. Mint is a general tonic for the whole body, especially for the digestive and nervous system. For gas in stomach, stomach pains, cramps, indigestion, nausea, headache. For constipation, painful menstruation. To banish mental depression, induce sleep, cure fainting attacks.
Of a Standard Brew, a cupful taken morning and night, or after meals in digestive troubles. More frequently – as desired – for other conditions; before bedtime for sleeplessness. Take many hot cups as a headache remedy, in preference to aspirin or similar pain – relief drugs. Sweeten with honey.
Posted by Petra
@ 10:48 AM CDT
Passiflora incarnate. Passifloracea
Named by the Spaniards, as in this beautiful flower they saw the passion of Christ, the flower symbolizes his crucifixion. The flower is said to have risen from the ground at the foot of the cross on which Christ was crucified. There the tears of Mary, mother of Christ, watered the ground, and this flower was born, its head of white and purple being wonderfully symbolic of the crucifixion. The filaments of the corona depict the thongs of the whip which flogged the Christ, the circle-shaped corona is the thorny crown, the carpels are the three nails, the pointed leaves are the spears which wounded Christ.
This is indeed a passionate plant of great power. It is a strong high climber, and apt to dominate other plants. Indeed it almost reaches to the heavens. Both fruits and the flower are used fresh or dried.
The flowers are powerfully sedative, a proven soother for headaches, and one of the very best quellers of children’s rages, given as a tea several times daily, and especially as night time beverage, sweetened with honey. The fruits are appreciated as a strengthener, and as a general, very useful, tonic. They are good tasting and very strengthening.
Juice pressed from passion fruits is soothing for sore, inflamed and aching eyes.
The fruits, as a tonic, as much as desired. The flowers, as a sedative, a teaspoon brewed in a cup of warm water, squeeze well to extract all its properties.
Posted by Petra
@ 06:59 AM CDT
Petroselinum sativum. Umbrelliferae
Found on dry rocky soil and cultivated in gardens. Leaves are curled or plain and of an intense green color. They have a characteristic odor and flavor, due to a substance called apiol. All parts of the plant are used including the seed. The Spanish peasants warn against eating too much; they say it will make people look older than their true years!
Considered useful in cancer prevention and treatment, and taken when cancer is prevalent in families. Parsley is beneficial to the urinary system, and is used for bladder and kidney complaints. The root is a safe and effective aperient. Disorders of bladder and kidneys, gravel, stone, congestion, cystitis, dropsy, jaundice, rheumatism, arthritis, sciatica. Also anemia, rickets. Treatment for female ailments. A strong tea of the leaves provides a good drink for diabetics.
The bruised leaves steeped in vinegar will relieve swollen breasts. The cold leaves, bruised and worn inside a bodice around the breasts, will help to dry up the milk when weaning of infants is desired. To clear head lice, use parsley seed tea. To stimulate growth of hair, check baldness, remove dandruff, and soothe all kinds of insect stings, use parsley lotion.
A handful of fresh parsley leaves eaten once or twice daily in salad. Or it can be chopped fine and put into sandwiches, or mixed with white cottage cheese. Some parsley should be cultivated in pots for winter use.
Parsley Seed Tea:
A tablespoon of seed to two cups of water. Bring to a boil. Steep until cold, and then drink a cupful morning and night. This same tea, when steeped at least seven hours and rubbed into the hair, will clear head lice.
Use hot. Steep parsley seeds and/or leaves as for a Standard Brew. Massage the head and scalp with this.
Posted by Petra
@ 08:55 AM CDT
Avena Sativa. Poacea
Found in cornfields and on bank sides and under cultivation in pastures. Leaves are typical grass-form, darkish, brittle, spikelets are drooping and frail, the grains are awned and turn dark gold when ripe. Oats are a strength-giving cereal. Low in starch, high in mineral content (especially potassium and phosphorus, also magnesium and calcium). Particularly rich in vitamin B, with some of the rare E and G also.
As a nutritive food, nerve tonic, blood tonic, hair tonic. Remedy for rickets, bone-building. Important for ensuring strong nails and teeth. A basic food of the hardy Scottish Highlanders.
Finely ground oatmeal makes an excellent poultice, and is applied to the skin as a cleansing scrub, either directly or via small bags.
Oats cannot be eaten raw, unless taken as flakes, when the slight heat used during their flaking dispenses with the need to cook them further and they can be eaten dry, raw or with milk poured over.
Take two ounces of sweet oatmeal, mix into thin past by gradually adding cold water. Then add salt to taste. Heat a half-pint of cold water and add to this in a wineglass of day-old milk. Before it boils add the oatmeal mixture. Simmer gently but keep well below boiling point. Cook for three to five minutes. The taste is improved by adding a few sprigs of fragrant herb such as marjoram or thyme.
Oatmeal Skin Tonic:
Place finely ground oatmeal in a cotton bag, some drops of perfume being added. The bag is squeezed out in warm water and a milky lotion produced, which is rubbed over the skin as a complexion treatment.
Posted by Petra
@ 09:06 AM CDT
Urtica dioica, Urticaceae
Found over wasteland and in hedgerows. The leaves are serrated, dull green, hairy. These leaves possess an acrid fluid (formic acid) which burns the human skin, causing small blisters, hence the common name of this plant-“stinging nettle.” Flowers are green-yellow, in clusters, small. The whole plant is powerfully medicinal, from the roots to the seed.
Nettle root as a treatment of dropsy, lymphatic ailments, to expel gravel and stones from any organ in which they have formed, especially from the kidneys.
Nettle leaves are a vegetable (lightly boiled, for several minutes only until softened and the stinging quality is neutralized, then add some flaked oats and good butter). Also to cleanse the blood, tone up the whole system. As a cure for anemia, rheumatism, sciatica, arthritis, obesity, infertility. To expel mucus from all parts of the body.
Nettle seeds heated gently in wine and swallowed as a cure for diarrhea, and dysentery. As a Standard Brew, serves as a blood cleanser and to expel worms.
The Roman Nettle (Urtica urens) species has large seed capsules like green balls and was planted extensively by Romans as a rheumatic remedy, for flogging the human skin to increase blood flow. Also, as with bee and ant stings, the formic acid was considered beneficial. To this day bruised leaves of stinging nettles are rubbed on the skin in treatment of chronic rheumatism. As a nerve and tissue excitant, in treatment of chronic rheumatism, paralysis, stiffness of joints, failing muscular strength. The Gypsy method is to bind fresh-cut plants into a bunch and beat the affected parts with this until great heat is created in the limb. Then cotton cloths, soaked in cold vinegar, are applied and after several hours the nettle flogging is repeated. Many cures of chronic cases have been achieved whit this primitive treatment-and, as already written, the Romans planted nettles for this curative purpose.
The leaves, applied fresh to bleeding wound, will often act effectively within a few minutes.
Flowers and seed (nettles produce much seed): as a hair rinse and for scalp massage. Will improve the color and texture of the hair and remove dandruff.
Eat the boiled leaves as a vegetable as freely as you would eat spinach and other greens. No other green vegetable excels the nettle in mineral and vitamin content. This is one of the world’s most chlorophyll-rich plants.
Of a Standard Brew of the leaves, a wineglass three times daily. Nettle juice can be made in a juicer. Standard Brew of the flower and/or seed: similar dose to the leaves.
A Lotion for Aching Feet:
Brew one handful of nettle leaves, and one of marshmallow leaves, in one cup and a half of whey pr plain water. Use warm.
Posted by Petra
@ 07:15 AM CDT
Barrisca nigra (black) or Sinapis alba (white) Cruciferae
Found on waste land and in gardens. Also cultivated as a pasture herb. Leaves are cress-form, hot biting. Flowers are intense yellow, cross-form, also hot and biting. Seeds are long, narrow, also very hot. The herb is used both in medicine and to cleanse pastures. As a green manure crop, mustards are dug in just at flowering time. The condiment is usually prepared from seeds of black mustard.
An important antiseptic tonic. Treats poor appetite, flatulence, bad breath. Also colds, catarrh, pneumonia.
Mustard is a poultice and plaster herb. In external application it acts as an irritant and excitant and so is valuable treatment of paralysis and pectoral complaints. As a poultice or rubbing remedy, to relieve internal and external or inflammations, congested lungs, paralyzed limbs, rheumatic and arthritic pains and stiffness. Mustard baths are a decongestant.
Eat the young leaves freely as a salad herb. And a handful can be eaten easily, daily, as a spring tonic and general blood remedy. When a cold is threatening, chew a teaspoon of the seeds several times during the day to expel the accumulating mucus.
To make a Mustard Poultice:
Use a handful of mustard powder to a handful of bran; make a past with hot water; apply hot.
To make a Mustard Plaster:
To every handful of ground mustard add three parts of whole wheat flour. Mix into a pliable past with hot water. Then add further some hot vinegar (about two teaspoons of vinegar to one cup of the mustard-whole wheat flour mixture). Spread on a piece of cloth and apply hot over the area to be treated: chest, kidneys, paralyzed areas. In cases of sensitive skin where blisters may be provoked, add the white of an egg to every half pint measure of the mixture.
Posted by Petra
@ 07:18 AM CDT
Verbascum thapsus. Scrophulariaceae
Found along waysides and on neglected land. Leaves are broad, grey and very downy, giving the plant one of its common names:”blanket herb.” The flowers are in tall spikes and are of yellow, rose-form. This is a famed old household remedy and a favorite of the American Indians. It has always been a standby remedy for lung ailments in cattle, another of its common names being “cow lungwort.” It is equally good for humans in this respect. The leaves and flowers are used. The flowers must be stored in tin containers for they turn black in light, once off the plant. Yet another name is “candle light,” the down being used once as wicks.
Valued for its effect on the chest area. Treatment oaf cough, pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis, tuberculosis, asthma (internally and as an inhalant). Also a remedy for bleeding from the mouth, nose lungs, bowels. Treatment of dropsy, all bowel complaints, and hay fever. A tea of the flowers will promote sleep and soothe headaches.
Make hot fomentations of a cloth wrung out in a brew of the leaves or flowers, and apply to mumps, swollen glands, stiff neck, and the throat for inflamed tonsils. Some vinegar can be added to the fomentation with advantage. Use the Standard Brew as an application for warts.
Of a Standard Brew of the leaves and/or flower, a small cupful night and morning. In treatment of dysentery, and bleeding from the bowels, boil a teaspoon of mullein leaves to one cup of new milk, add honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, and take two tablespoons of this drink after each bowel movement, or at least three times daily. For asthma, use an old kettle, place within a heaped tablespoonful of leaves, cut fine, pour on to this some boiling water, and inhale the steam through the spout (keeping the head beneath a towel).This same inhalation can be used for hay fever, congestion of the nose, and all sinus troubles.
Posted by Petra
@ 09:13 AM CDT
Mentha viridis, M. spicata and M.rotundifolia. Labiatae
Found in moist places, also among rocks. Widely cultivated in gardens for culinary use. Leaves are narrow, rough, very fragrant, possessing the peculiar mint scent and flavor. Flowers are thin spikes of pale mauve, and are also highly scented with mint odor.
A wild water mint grows along ditch sides.
Mint soothes as well as excites, quells stomach pains and gas, and has an altogether beneficial effect on the stomach and digestive tract. Will restore failing appetite and allay rheumatic pains. It was once esteemed as a cure for frigidity in both sexes, and even today is used as a tonic for bulls and stallions when their sexual powers are waning, The Arabs drink mint tea frequently , to ensure virility, also as a social drink, because Moslems are not wine drinkers. The only negative quality of this excellent herb is that it is apt to diminish milk secretion and therefore should not be taken by nursing mothers. To treat suppression of urine, also suppressed menstruation. To quell vomiting and general nausea. To cure disorders of the digestive system, including acid stomach, flatulence, gastritis, diarrhea, dysentery. To treat infertility and lack of sexual desire.
As a rub for rheumatism, arthritis and stiff joints. As a headache remedy, use tea internally and a cold pack applied to the forehead externally.
A stronger Mint Treatment for Headache:
Steep slices for raw potato in cold, strong brew of mint, and apply the potato slices to the head, placing a cloth wrung out in the water over them to keep them in place. Change the potato slices at intervals.
Mint Vinegar Lotion-an excellent headache remedy:
Crush mint leaves; heat gently for a few minutes. Then steep in apple cider vinegar overnight. Use cold. Steep cotton cloth in this lotion and lay it across the forehead. Renew frequently.
To be eaten in salads, a few sprigs daily. Or make a strong sweetened tea with honey. Take a cupful after meals.
Posted by Petra
@ 05:04 AM CDT
Silybum marianum (Cardus marianum). Compositae
Found on waste lands and in pastures. Likes rich organic soil. Leaves are grey with veins of silver-white, large, with prickly edges. Flowers are large , thistle-form purple, and the involucres prickly and barbed. (Another species of milky-veined thistle grows in the Holy Land, also called after the Virgin Mary).
The name –Marianum- is sometimes explained thus; a drop of milk from the breast of the Virgin Mary is said to have fallen on the thistle as she was cutting thistle fodder to feed her donkey. The thistle then became medicinal and edible. The word Carduus shows that the species was once used for carding wool. The word comes from the Gaelic word for carding wool. On good ground it can reach man-height. All parts of the plants are useful, but especially the seeds.
As a medicinal salad, blood cleansing, jaundice remedy. Treatment of anemia, rickets, scurvy. The young shoots, called in Arabic khurfesh, are gathered and eaten by the Bedouin shepherds and other Arabs. It is a refreshing salad food. The green fleshy stems are the best part. The seeds to cure fits, epilepsy, once used against rabies.
A wound herb. Treats petsas-those big , deep sores found in eastern Mediterranean countries.
The hearts of several plants eaten daily as a salad herb. Collect before the thistle becomes tough and spiky; trim off any soft prickles. Eat a teaspoon of seeds, morning and night, in treatment of those ailments for which they are intended.
Young, large leaves are trimmed of their prickles with scissors, gently crushed, then bound over wounds and sores. They will turn black later from the heat and foul matter drawn out.
Posted by Petra
@ 06:43 AM CDT
Althaea officinalis. Malvaceae
Found in waste places and in gardens. Likes especially salty marshes along sea shores. Leaves are grayish, softly hairy, toothed, ovate, flowers are mauve, lightly veined with red. The whole plant order of Malvaceae, which includes the Althaea Malva and Lavatera genera (the hollyhock ) is one of the most beneficial known to the herbalist, and all the species should be encouraged on farms and in gardens, and never eradicated as useless weeds. The whole plant is medicinal, from the roots to the fruits. It is also used in confectionery.
Treatment of all lung complaints, also sore throats, hoarseness, sore mouth and gums. All bowel troubles, inflammation, dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhage. Internally and externally for all venereal diseases. The leaves when young are a good raw salad herb, and are much eaten by Bedouin Arabs and others. The fruits, called “cheeses” by peasant children because of their round form, are highly toxic.
Mallow leaves and flowers yield a healing lotion. Mallow stems are chewed by Gypsies, and when the pulp is mixed with saliva, they apply this, warm from the mouth to inflamed parts of the skin and to sores and swellings. They achieve wonderful cures with this primitive remedy.
Mallow roots make a useful poultice, and were once used to check mortification, one ancient name for mallow being “mortification plant.” They contain a quantity of mucilaginous matter, also starch, asparagin, albumen (its most valued property), and a crystallizable sugar and a fixed oil. The root in fact contains over half its weight of sweet tasting mucilage, which gives the plant its well-justified reputation, this mucilage having unique healing, soothing and lubricating powers. For irritation of the vagina, internal and external as a medicine and as a douche. As a lotion or poultice for all skin eruptions, sores, swellings, wounds, bruises, sprains. For breast troubles, soreness, inflammation, swellings. As a lotion to bath sore or inflamed eyes, and for treatment of styes.
Of a Standard Brew of the flowers and leaves, sweetened with honey, a wineglass three times daily. Or, of three or four roots, sliced small boiled gently for one hour in four cups of water, sweetened with honey, a wineglass three times daily.
Use the roots, prepare as above. The pulped leaves and flowers are applied to the surface of all inflamed areas, or used, slightly warmed, as a poultice. Or the leaves, crushed, can be steeped in light beer and used as a rub for bruises, sprains.
A popular confection known as Marshmallow Sweets is made from the dried, powdered roots. The ingredients are: two ounces marshmallow root and fourteen ounces fine sugar mixed with some mucilage (or gum) tragacanth and water of orange flowers sufficient to bind all together.
Posted by Petra
@ 05:08 AM CDT
Lobelia inflate. Lobeliaceae
This is a field plant found mainly in North America where it is commonly called “Indian Tobacco”. Its leaves are pointed and yellowish-green, its flowers hooded and of a brilliant blue (one of its common names being “blue cardinal flower”). Some varieties have red or purple flowers. This is one of the most important herbs of the American Indians, and they have chosen well, for it belongs to a small group of herbs which are virtually cure-alls, being beneficial to the whole body and healing in all ailments. One species of lobelia, Lobelia syphilitica was used by the Canadian Indians in the treatment of all types of venereal diseases. One would hesitate, of course, to claim that this would be nowadays and everywhere be a chosen remedy; but nevertheless the well-attested evidence of its effectiveness use over a long period is worth taking into account. The whole plant, including the seed, is used.
It is especially good for quelling spasms, including heart spasms, convulsions, whooping cough, chorea and other nervous twitching; will relieve vomiting of a spasmodic kind. For epilepsy, cramps, obstructions, stomach, liver and bladder disorders. For all fevers, especially typhus, scarlet fever and erysipelas. Lobelia is sometimes called “vomit weed,” and its emetic properties make it valuable in treatment of rabies, when no other help is near.
Used as a lotion or ointment for treatment of congested chest, skin ailments, many types of sores, non-malignant, swellings.
A small teaspoon of crushed leaves, either green or dried. When green use a large teaspoon instead of a small one, pour over this a cupful of hot water (just off the boil), steep and sweeten, and take fasting night and morning. As an emetic, take a half-teaspoon of dried powdered herb and pods, add a pinch of cayenne pepper, taken in a cup of warm water. Take the whole dose every half-hour until the stomach is thoroughly cleansed. There are several mid-nineteenth-century references to lobelia’s emetic properties. Lobelia should not be too lavishly used.
Steep for one week, one ounce of powdered lobelia in a cup of apple cider vinegar, apply to the affected areas, or make a Standard Brew of lobelia herb and apply as cold compress
Posted by Petra
@ 11:36 AM CDT
Glycyrrhiza glabra. Leguminosae
Found in many parts of southern Europe on dry stony land. Also largely cultivated as a medicinal and nutritive plant. Leaves are pale green, of many leaflets, from the central stalk. Flowers are pale blue and pea-form. Roots are yellow and woody. This herb was much favored by the great Arabian and medieval herbalists. The root is the part used. The whole root is used, or the extracted solidified juice which is from crushed, boiled roots obtainable in black sticks. Many sweetmeats are made from licorice, and they are one of the best confections for satisfying children’s desire for such treats.
Treatment for cough, inflamed throat and for all parts of the pectoral region: pneumonia, pleurisy, tuberculosis. To soother the stomach and provide a mild laxative for infants and others. It possess nutritive properties, and is known to contain female hormones. Treatment of female infertility, delayed and irregular menstruation. For worms in infants and for chronic constipation. To allay stomach and intestinal cramps.
The pulped leaves are softened in hot water and applied to aching ears, externally and inside as ear plugs. The finely powdered root is an old Arabian remedy for drying up discharging parts of the skin, drying blisters and absorbing all kinds of watery fluids. It is also added to flaxseed to make a poultice for treatment of nonmalignant tumors. Babies can be given hard (but not fibrous) pieces of washed licorice root to chew to help them cut their teeth.
The solid juice is the most practical way to employ licorice in medicine, approximately three inches of the solid juice sticks daily, dissolved in one cup of hot water. Sweeten with honey or brown sugar, take a small wineglass before meals.
Posted by Petra
@ 07:06 AM CDT
Lavandula spica and Lavandula vera. Labiatae
There are many forms of lavender and all are medicinal and highly valued by the herbalist. Found on dry, sandy land or rocky places. It is much cultivated in gardens, and used in perfumery. Likes costal areas and mountainsides. Leaves are thin, narrow, long, grayish; the small flowers are in spikes of blue-purple, they are lipped and very fragrant both fresh and when dried. As with most strongly scented flowers-especially blue ones-lavender is highly nervine. Esteemed as a tea and for flavoring. Leaves and flowers are used.
As a nerve tonic, treatment of fainting, headache, sunstroke, vomiting, hysteria, paralysis, general weakness of limbs, swelling of limbs. As an asthma inhalation and tea. An excellent face lotion infused in whey.
To keep moth from clothing and from dried fruits. As a mouthwash for those with loose teeth, bad breath.
A few of the flower spikes can be eaten raw in salad. Of a Standard Brew of the flowers, a small cupful morning and night. The flowers can be added to other teas with advantage.
To deter moths, place the flower spikes and some leaves freely amongst the garments. Or make lavender bags, using open weave muslin, and fill bags with the dried flowerets, gathered before midday.
Posted by Petra
@ 07:16 AM CDT
Hyssopus officinalis. Labiatae
Found in dry, hilly places. The leaves are long and lance-shaped, and highly aromatic. Flowers are pale blue and hooded, also aromatic, mint-like. This important herb was praised by David in the Bible:”Purge me with hyssop.” Some say that the biblical hyssop was more likely to be the caper plant. The leaves contain a peculiar yellow oil and sulfur.
Hyssop is notably successful in relieving catarrh. The whole herb is a great body cleanser, also a fever and nerve herb. It is a mild vermifuge and also valued for the eyes. Regulates the blood. For all complaints of throat and lungs, including tuberculosis. To expel mucus from all parts of the body. Treatment for asthma, coughs, sore throats, high and low blood pressure, nervous disorders, incuding fits and epilepsy.
The leaves applied to bruises will allay pain and lessen discoloration. May be used as an application for bites and stings of insects and medusa (jelly fish), and for killing body vermin. As a remedial lotion for eye and ear ailments. As a gargle.
As a lotion, use the Standard Brew. For skin vermin, make a decoction by steeping hyssop leaves, finely cut, in pale ale. Use the same mixture for application to stings and bites.
A few leaves may be eaten raw in salad. Of a Standard Brew, two tablespoons before meals, sweetened with honey.
Make a Standard Brew of equal parts of sage leaves and hyssop herb.
Posted by Petra
@ 06:33 AM CDT
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Hydrangea arborescens. Hydrangeacea
Found in woodlands and along banks of steams, also cultivated as a garden plant. Leaves are ovate, dark green, cut edges, large. Flowers are showy, and borne in large corymbs, white, blue or pink-shaded. The bark of the stems peels very freely. This was a favorite of those great herbalists, the Cherokee Indians.
A mild and soothing herb, effective in rheumatic troubles and glandular disorders. Also in urinary ailments; rheumatism, including its chronic forms, joint stiffness and paralysis; bladder and kidney disorders, including stone, inflammation, backache from kidney trouble. Treatment of dropsy and all lymphatic swellings.
Of a Standard Brew from the leaves, two teaspoonful, morning and night.
Posted by Petra
@ 05:33 AM CDT