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“Horehound” A well-known throat and lung remedy

Marrubium vulgare, Labiatae                                                                 

Found in dry; waste places preferring poor soil. Leaves are grey-green, rough, slightly wooly, and have the scent of vines. The flowers are small, white, pungent of scent, and encircle the stems in whorls. This is a bitter aromatic herb. Should be gathered when young, before flowering.

Use, internal:

General tonic. A well-known throat and lung remedy. Treatment of sore throat, coughs, colds, hoarseness, asthma, tuberculosis, all lung disorders. To reduce fevers, expel worms. Horehound contains a powerful substance, marrubium, which promotes perspiration and the flow of urine, and is also laxative and vermifuge.

Use, external:

For earache. Drop a half-teaspoon of the Standard Brew into the ears several times daily and then massage the bas of the ear. Dose: Of a Standard Brew, two tablespoons, sweetened with honey, twice daily.

Horehound Syrup:

Heat together one cupful brown sugar, two tablespoons honey, the juice from half a lemon (about one teaspoon of juice), one teaspoonful oil such as sunflower or corn. When the syrup has thickened, stir in a strong Standard Brew made from a large handful of horehound leaves steeped in water overnight.

Horehound Candy:

Long known as a soothing syrup and tonic sweet, horehound candy used to be on sale in grocers’ shops in Victorian times, and was a favorite with children: a healthful sweet. Into two pounds of brown or lump white sugar (latter is most typical for horehound candy, though less healthful), stir four tablespoons of horehound infusion (the strained liquid obtained from boiling a handful or the dried herb in one and a half cups of water). Mix in two teaspoons of thick honey. Boil together for a half-hour, or until a portion taken hardens when dropped into cold water. Then pour onto a cold marble slab (preferably) or into shallow tin molds dusted with icing sugar.


“Hawthorn” A Great Tonic Herb

Crataegus laevigata. Rosaceae                                                                   

Found in woods and hedges and on heaths and wasteland. Leaves are dark and narrow, with cut edges. The flowers are small, white or pinkish, with many stamens borne in clusters and are strongly scented. Supposed to bring fairies into the houses. Unlucky if gathered before the first week of May. Fruits are small, red, hard with hard pips and known as haws. The wood of the hawthorn is very hard and therefore an excellent tool wood. The hardness and strength of this shrub gives it its Grecian name for strength.

Use, internal:

The leafy buds are eaten as a tonic salad. The country name is “pepper and salt”, as they have that very taste. Hawthorn flowers are also edible, sprinkled on fruit salads, Junkets and custards. Hawthorn fruits are edible and tonic, eaten raw (though rather astringent in the mouth). They make good conserves and fermented a strong wine. They are also nervine and helpful in prevention of miscarriage.

Use, external:

A poultice of the pulped leaves or fruits has strong drawing powers. Country people for ages have used hawthorn for treatment of embedded thorns, splinters, and whitlows.


As much as desired in salads. Against miscarriage take four to six fruits. The fruits can be dried and stored.


“Goldenrod” A famed wound herb

Solidago virgaurea. Compositae                                                                    

Found in open places and by woodlands. Leaves are narrow, pointed, pale green. Flowers growing in tall rods of tiny, golden daisy-form flowerets, heavily powdered with pollen. This plant is cultivated in gardens for its glowing beauty, and the garden variety can be used as a medicine.

Use, internal:

Remedy for most digestive ailments. Treatment for jaundice, kidney, and bladder ailments. In fevers will promote sweating. A powerful tonic of pleasant taste.

Use external:

To staunch bleeding, cleanse infections. A famed wound herb. The Saracens preferred not to go to battle without this herb. The American Indians greatly favor it too. It was valued in the Middle Ages as a gangrene herb, but I for one have not discovered which necrotic conditions was implied.


Of a Standard Brew, two tablespoons morning and night.


“Ginger” Popular Condiment and Highly Medicinal

Zingiber officinale. Zingiberaceae                                                          

When growing wild, ginger favors shady places, hedgerows and verges of woodlands. It leaves are grayish, consisting of many small leaflets. Its flowers are golden and plumey, pleasantly fragrant. In the places where ginger can be found growing wild , such as the isles of the Azores, it has becoming a vegetation menace. Its knobby rhizome roots spread far and wide , and are difficult to uproot once they have established themselves. Ginger is widely cultivated. The root can be obtained fresh, in pieces, or dried and ground. Ginger! Ginger! It is one of my favorite of all herbal spices and remedies. And indeed, present day it is bracketed along with garlic as being the greatest of the healing herbs. In addition to its healing properties, it is also in worldwide use as a flavoring; pungent, warming, and delicious. A entire book has been written on ginger. The special power of ginger as a flavoring spice and as a warming, soothing and healing medicine is embodied in a oily substance called gingerol, derived from ginger oil, and found mainly in the root rhizomes.

Use, internal:

As well as being a valued and popular condiment, ginger is highly medicinal. Its properties are stimulating, warming, aromatic, digestive. Ginger will produce sweating and its penetrative powers will quicken paralyzed limbs. A general tonic for nerves and digestive organs. Stimulates digestive juices, expels worms, cures colds, sore throats, diarrhea, nausea. Good for delayed menstruation and for exhaustion during or following childbirth. Medicinally the powdered root is given as a tea to cure indigestion, flatulence, stomach pains, stomach cramps, internal gas in stomach and intestine, also menstrual cramps. An important ingredient of senna laxative drink, to prevent the typical griping of senna. Also valuable as addition to other medicines, to lessen nausea. Preserved ginger (sold in confectionery shops and health stores) is a famed remedy to cure indigestion, stomachache, and to help reduce craving for nicotine and narcotics of all kinds, including the addictive drugs. Candied ginger is such a popular remedy to combat seasickness that it is served in the dining rooms of transatlantic liners to help the passengers.

Use, external:

Bunches of fragrant flowers are used as wedding bouquets, to give good cheer and health to the bride and groom. Ginger in powder form, applied to hot cloths, gives relief in toothache and headache.


A piece of the root, about the size of a small hazelnut, may be chewed before meals. Or make ginger tea, from one teaspoon of ginger (powdered or chopped) to one cup of hot water, sweetened with molasses or honey, and with a slice of lemon added. Taken this way, as a warm drink, it is helpful in cases of delayed menstruation and for childbirth pains. A level teaspoon of the powdered root can be made into balls with thick honey. As a sweet treat it can be taken as desired, being only beneficial.


"Garlic" One of the most Powerful Antiseptic Herb know to Herbalists

Allium sativum. Liliaceae                                                                       

Found in damp pastures and woodlands, also widely cultivated. Its leaves are oval and with very strong onion order. Flowers are white and starry, also strong scented. The Gypsies worship this plant (moly) for its remarkable medicinal powers. The leaves and flowers are used. To cleanse garlic order from breath, chew parsley or mint or basil or thyme, after eating even a little garlic.

Use, internal:

Garlic is one of the few herbs found useful in all disorders of the human body. It is one of the most powerfully antiseptic herbs known to the herbalist. Acts powerfully on the mucous membranes in all parts of the body, and penetrates the bloodstream from the feet to the brain. It is further useful when the body is in normal health, as a general tonic and worm deterrent. Useful in fevers, and all disorders of the blood and lungs-including tuberculosis, for which it is a specific. Against whooping cough and asthma, high blood pressure, goiter and of worms, including tapeworms. Protects against all infectious ailments, expels all toxic elements, kills harmful bacteria. Also protects the body and hair from parasites.

Use, external:

A good rub in arthritic and rheumatic pains, used hot. Garlic both externally and internally is a most effective cure of threadworms-so difficult to eradicate. Several cloves are taken night and morning, fasting; at night raw clove, smeared in oil, is inserted to the anus.


Preferably take garlic raw, in form of a handful of leaves, or two or three cloves, eaten with a salad. Garlic burns the mouth slightly, but is quite palatable. Or it can be taken dry , powdered, form, made into pills from three to six grains. Put garlic cloves (about four to one pound) into bread when baking, also add to vegetables when cooking. In that way garlic supplies food value and its own oil, but for medicinal purposes use raw. The juice has use as a glue component.


"Flaxseed"(Linseed) A Valuable Nutritive Food

Linum usitatissimum. Linaceae                                                                    

Found wild in pastures, but mostly a cultivated crop. Leaves are small and pointed and pale green. The flowers are solitary and of a deep blue. The seed is the part used.

Use, internal:

Flaxseed is full of oil. It is very soothing, bland and tonic; valuable nutritive food to build up weak bodies, soothing the throat and entire stomach and intestinal linings. Valuable in pregnancy. Treatment for coughs, sore throats, cold, croup. Treatment also for pneumonia, pleurisy, bronchitis (as warm tea). Flaxseed oil is a valuable laxative for infants and invalids. Will relieve constipation and expel worms.

Use, external:

A superb poultice for abscesses, boils, swellings; as a cure for sprains, strained ligaments, bruises.


Of the tea, made from one teaspoon of crushed seed to one cup of water (add honey and molasses to taste)-variable, to suit the individual. An average amount of linseed is a half cupful per adult once or twice a day. The seed should be carefully prepared by soaking overnight and draining away the water which contains some irritating properties. The soaked seed can be mixed raw with other cereals, or lightly cooked. Can also be added to vegetable soup in the same way as rice (after soaking). The soaked ground seed is excellent added to bread and cakes, about two tablespoons of prepared flaxseed to one pound of flour. It improves the digestive qualities of the bread or cakes, and keeps them from speedy drying out.

Flaxseed Poultice:

Make a thick mash of the ground seed by slowly stirring in boiling water. The poultice can be further improved by addition of other medicinal herbs, as linseed softens them and releases their healing powers along with its own. Grated carrot, shredded parsley, daisy leaves, flowers of St. John’s Wort, hops, poppy heads, are all good added to linseed poultice, the mash then being bound over the affected area in the usual way.

Flaxseed Drink:

Soak two ounces of flaxseed in enough water to cover. Steep overnight, then pour off the water and discard. Next, infuse the soaked linseed in two cups of water for several hours, standing in a warm place and stirring occasionally. Then strain the seeds out of the liquid and drink. If used to soothe coughs and chest ailments, add four ounces of honey and a handful of raisins.


"Feverfew" Famed as an Herb for Women

Chrysanthemum parthenium. Compositae                                                   

Found in waste-places. Leaves are feathery, and the flowers are white-yellow with pointed centers and daisy (chamomile) form. The plant is very aromatic and has quite a pleasant scent. It is famed as an herb for women.

Use, internal:

As a tonic and general remedy. Feverfew has power over the uterus and overies. For prevention of miscarriage. To help in difficult labor and retention of afterbirth. For female hysteria, female infertility.

Use, external:

The whole herb, crushed into a pulp, makes a good pain-soothing poultice. A useful suppository for treatment of piles.


Of a Standard Brew, two tablespoonsful morning and night.


"Fennel" A Prized Tonic for Brain and Digestive System

Foeniculum vulgare. Umbelliferae                                                              

Found on dry banks. It likes coastal regions. Leaves are featherey, very dark green, of pungent scent. Scent is of new-mown hay, from which the plant takes its name. Flowers are green-yellow, in umbels. The white hearts of fennel shoots are a prized vegetable, delicious to eat and very healthful.

Use, internal:

Fennel leaves, for treatment of all gastric ailments, also constipation, and obesity. Fevers, cramps, rheumatism, diabetes. Fennel foliage improves memory and is a general tonic for the brain. Hearts of the shoots are a digestive tonic, laxative, and fertility herb. Fennel roots are not much used, but the Arabs consider them one of the finest of laxatives. One root taken before meals, twice daily. Grate finely; mix in a tablespoon of bran for improves effect. Fennel seed, crushed fine and made into a strong tea, speedily expels poison from the blood, therefore should be used after bites from snakes, scorpions, dogs and other animals. Also reduces obesity. Will relieve jaundice.

Use, external:

Fennel leaves; As a poultice. As a lotion for all eye ailments.


Of a Standard Brew, several tablespoons a day.


"Elecampane" For all Ailments of the Chest and Lungs

Inula viscose or I. helenium. Compositae                                                  

Found in fields and on hill slopes. Leaves are bright green, rather sticky, of a very pungent scent due to glandular hairs, which protect against grazing flocks. Flowers are bright yellow, starry, small.

Use, internal:

For all ailments of the chest and lungs, including pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, hay fever. Will soothe coughs and is also a remedy for whooping cough.

Use, external:

Much favored by the Arabs, who use the leafy sprays in steam baths to cure stiffness of the body and rheumatic complaints. The herb in vapor ( and as an internal medicine ) warms and strengthens the lungs, and promotes expulsion of mucus from nose and throat. Used also as an insecticide, dried and powdered or as a strong brew. The Spanish peasants hang branches from the ceiling hooks in their homes. The flies gather on the sticky plants which are thrust into sacks at nighttime, and the sacks are plunged into water, drowning the flies.


Standard Brew of the whole herb, a tablespoon morning and night. In steam baths, place a quantity of the herb in a pot or kettle and simmer, so that the aromatic oils fill the room and surround the whole body. As a vapor inhalation: Steam the herb in a kettle, hold the face over the steam, covering head and spout of kettle with a cloth to retain the aromatic vapors.


"Elder" Sacred Tree of the Gypsies

Sambucus nigra. Caprifoliaceae                                                                  

A hedgerow shrub, found also in woodland and gardens. Large broken-form leaves, of strong scent. Flowers are in flat wheel heads of creamy white color, waxy, very fragrant. Dark purple edible, strong tasting berries. This is one of the greatest of all herbs. It is sacred to the gypsies who will not burn it as wood in their fires; they declare that a tree which can help all ailments of mankind and can restore sight to the blind is too precious to burn. A favorite herb of that great doctor, Hippocrates. Elder trees survive in the courts of the old synagogues of Safad ( the ancient town of the mystics of Galilee, birthplace of the Kabala). A magic tree.

Use, internal:

Elder Root, washed and soaked, yields a juice valuable in treatments of lymphatic ailments and dropsy. Also kidney ailments. Can be used also as a brew; simmer the finely-shaved root for several minutes. The inner bark of elder, taken from old branches, is an esteemed remedy against epileptic fits. Dose: Steep a tablespoon of the powdered inner bark layers in a small glass of wine. When the onset of fits is suspected, give a wineglassful every night during quiet periods.

Use, external:

The leaves of elder, as a strong Standard Brew, strengthened with the addition of geranium leaves and garlic cloves, are a potent remedy against itch, ringworm, scrofula (used internally and externally). Use the Standard Brew plain as a cure for eczema and baby rashes.

Use, internal:

Elder flowers, steeped raw in water, for colds, coughs and pulmonary infections.

Use external: Elder flowers for all eye ailments. Has restored sight to the blind (when the nerves of the eye were effected by shocks such as bomb blast).

Elder Blossom Complexion Lotion is an old-fashioned but excellent treatment for the skin and hair. Also for burns, scalds, and erysipelas sores. Heat slowly, for thirty minutes or so, until the blossoms soften, a handful of elder blossoms in a half-pint of buttermilk or cheese whey. Do not heat above new-milk-warm. Remove from heat and steep for three hours and steep for three hours. Reheat and add an ounce of honey. When cold, apply to face, neck and hands. Cools, softens and cleanses the skin.

Use, internal:

Elder berries, pounded up in honey, make a soothing and healing remedy for sore throats, coughs. An anemia remedy, prescribed in tonsillitis. Use, external: Elder berries, can be applied to burns and scalds. Against malignant skin growths, they are used internally and externally. They are a gentle laxative.


"Echinacea" One of the Herbal Cure-Alls

Echinacea purpurea. Compositae                                                                

This herb has attractive purple flowers. Fringed leaves of rough texture. A popular garden plant, also found wild in hedges and along pathways. Echinacea is known to be a favorite and sacred herb of the American Indians, and is much used for all ailments of women. It is also included on the short list of herbal cure-alls.

Use, internal:

Treats all internal aches and pains. Also useful in dysentery. Helpful in most ailments of women.


A Standard Brew of the flower heads, one tablespoon of flowers to two cups water, three teaspoons taken morning and evening. As a powerful herb, it’s use should be limited to several weeks per month. If any upset is felt from use of this herb, it should be discontinued immediately.


"Couch Grass" The Herb for Urinary Ailments"

Agropyron repens. Poaceae                                                                      

Found on wasteland and in pastures and gardens, couch grass or twitch grass is considered a most troublesome weed. Its leaves are long, coarse and very tough; its roots are runner-form, white and fleshy and jointed; flower spikes are brownish, Dogs eat this grass with relish to cleanse themselves through mouth and bowels, so called “ Dog Grass.” Cats also eat it.

Use, internal:

Known for many beneficial effects, also a good spring tonic. For all urinary ailments, including inflammation of kidneys and bladder, bladder or kidney stones, gravel, bladder infections, cystitis. Also jaundice, gallstones, constipation.


The leaves can be boiled quickly ( like spinach ) and eaten; they will have to be well chewed, as they are tough. Or a strong brew made from the root for a lighter brew use the leaves, a heaped tablespoonful of roots or leaves( cut in small pieces ) in one half cups of water. Bring the cold water to a boil, simmer for three minutes, allow to steep well, and take cupfuls, sweetened with honey or molasses, one cup in the morning and night.


"Coltsfoot" The Supreme Pectoral Herb.

Tussilago farfara. Compositae                                                                  

Found on sunny banks and in waste-places. One of the earliest flowers in springtime. The flowers appear before the leaves. The leaves, almost round, are grey-green, paler on the underside and with thick downy “web”” on the upper surface. They are rather fragrant and retain their scent after drying. The flowers are wheel-form of bright yellow and richly honey-scented. The stems are scaly. The name is derived from tussis (a cough ) and ago ( to banish ) and refers to the power of this plants to banish coughs. The whole plant is medicinal.

Use, internal:

One of the supreme pectoral herbs. Cure of coughs, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis. Coltsfoot gives relief in whooping cough and spasmodic cough. Will expel mucus from throat and lungs. It is also a useful fever herb; the peasants say that it comes in time for the spring fevers.

Use, external:

The pounded leaves make a good poultice; apply to swellings and inflammations. The leaves can also be applied to the lung area as an external pack thusly: Soak cotton in a Standard Brew of the leaves and apply hot to the pulmonary region. The dried leaves are popular amongst the Gypsies as a smoking “tobacco”. Use the dried, powdered leaves as you would use snuff, sniffing up the nostrils to remove obstructions of the nasal passages and to relieve sinus infections.


Make a Standard Brew and take a wineglassful three times a daily. In coughs, take spoonfuls of this brew sweetened with honey every few hours.


"Chickweed" Supreme Healer of the Herbal Kingdom


                                                                                                               Found in fields and plowed land. Usually indicates rich soil. Leaves are small, soft rather yellowish. Flowers are tiny and held with green bracts. It has a good taste and therefore can be eaten freely in salads when it is still young, before it turns stringy. This is one of the few herbs rich in copper and iron which is palatable. This small herb, often classed as a troublesome weed; is one of the supreme healers of the herbal kingdom and has given me wonderful results. It is equally beneficial used externally and internally, and fortunately is almost evergreen, growing well in mid-winter and continuing into the late summer.

Use, internal:

As a soothing and healing demulcent agent for the whole digestive system; cures ulcers of stomach and elsewhere. For all internal inflammation, from bowels to lungs. For colitis. This small herb possesses many of the healing properties of that famed remedy of the American Indians, slippery elm tree bark. Eaten as a salad, chickweed improves the eyesight.

Use, external:

Chickweed possesses remarkable drawing powers, absorbing quantities of I purities when applied to the skin. For irritations of the genitals. For cure of all types of skin sores, including erysipelas. For such eye ailments as ulcers, styes.


A handful eaten raw twice a daily, chopped fine into a salad. Or, of a Standard Brew, a small cupful three times a daily. Before meals. Externally the herb can be applied as a lotion, but the best skin application is the fresh herb, washed, and then applied directly on the wound, sore, ulcer stye, or other infection. Hold it in place by covering with larger washed leaves, such as cabbage, lettuce or geranium, and then binding with cotton bandages. Change the chickweed every three hours or so, applying fresh. The spent chickweed will be very hot and drenched with impurities it has drawn out from the skin.


" Chervil " The Tonic for Blood and Nerves

Anthriscus cerefolium. Umbelliferae                                                                                                                     Found in hedgerows and around gardens, chervil has delicate, feathery leaves which emit an agreeable scent when bruised. The name chervil comes from the Greek “ to rejoice,” and alludes to the fragrance of the plant. The umbels of the flowers are small and colorless. The fruit has a long beak which gives this plant and alternative name of “garden beaked parsley.” If you grow it, make frequent small sowing rows, as you would for parsley.


Use, internal:

This is an old-fashioned pot-herb, once much used in cooking. Its medicinal properties are also useful as it tones up the whole body, especially the brain, and is a good digestive remedy. Use as a tonic tea to tone up the body and nerves. Good for poor memory and mental depression. Sweetens the entire digestive system. Well known as a flavoring for salads, and used in butter sauces and omelets.


Eat a few sprigs daily in a salad, and add finely grated, to sauces, mayonnaise, omelets. Gives a good flavor when mixed in bread dough and baked in loaves of bread-sometimes used in this way in Provence, France.

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