Herbs A to Z – health benefits and precautions

Here we have a list of herbs and some of their historic use. If you are concerned using certain herb(s), please consult a health professional.

By no means this list is exhaustive and it is not intended to replace any advice from health professionals.

*Historic use means the stated use may or may not be supported by scientific studies.

Common Name in alphabetical order: A-C, D-G, H-M, N-S, T-Z
Common Name Botanical Name Parts Used Historic use / Precautions
Alfafa leaves Digestive aid and cleanser. Reduce fluid retention and relieve arthritis.
Apple fruit Diarrhea and constipation, rheumatism, bowel irregularities
Basil leaves Calming, cooling, nerve calming, good for stopping nausea
Birch leaves Diuretic, relief for rheumatism
Burdock root High in iron. Liver and digestive system cleanser. A main ingredient in Essiac tea.
Calendula / Marigold leaves, flowers Local skin problem, sunburn, menstrual pains and irregularities, inflammation, gastritis, gum problem, dry eczema
Catnip leaves Disorders of the digestive system and in reducing fevers, by bringing out a good sweat
Celery seeds Water retention, arthritis, muscle spasm, poor digestion
Chamomile flowers Insomnia, anxiety, stress, insect bites, strained eyes, mouth inflammations
Chaste Berry berries Painful and irregular menstruation, infertility, PMS, menopausal problems, and other hormonal imbalances.
Cinnamon bark Urinary-tract infections, upset stomach, tooth decay, body warming. Pregnant woman should take with caution
Clove leaves, roots Digestive complaints such as colic, bloating and wind. Also makes a warming and tasty tonic tea.
Cornflower flowers, leaves Stomach problems, kidney and bladder ailments
Dandelion leaves, roots Cleanser, warts. Allergy and bladder complaints
Echinacea roots Infection, inflammation, common colds, sore throats
Elder berries, flowers Elderberries: cold, cough and flu.
Elderflower: fever reducing, blood purifying and cell cleansing actions.
Fennel seeds, roots Digestive aid, sore throat, nervous stomach
Avoid using this herb during pregnancy
Ginkgo Biloba leaves Respiratory tract ailments as well as memory loss
Ginger roots Motion sickness, nausea, morning sickness, colds, digestive aid, detoxing
Ginseng (Panax) roots, flowers Fatigue, poor blood circulation (Panax/Korean Ginseng is better for men/Yang strength while Siberian Ginseng is better for women and tastes a little better). Canadian/American Ginseng is good for general wellbeing.
Pregnant woman should take with caution
Globe Amaranth flowers Flower resembles red clover, also called Thousand Day Red. Diuretic, good for after many late nights to reduce internal heat
Haw fruit Poor appeitite, high cholesterol
Hibiscus flowers Not to be confused with the common hibiscus in gardens. Fatigue, sore throat cold, flu. Rich in Vitamin C
Jasmine flowers Nervous indigestion, euphoric, uterine pain, menstrual cramps, respiratory problems, expectorant, fever-reducing
Some regard jasmine as an aphrodisiac!
Juniper Berries berries Kidney, prostrate, and bladder complaints. Relieve arthritis
Lavender flowers Poor appetite, toothache, sprains, flatulence, oral health
Lemon Balm / Bee Balm / Melissa leaves Depression, insect bite, indigestion, gas, short attention span, weak memory, menstrual cramp
Lemongrass leaves Diarrhea, vomiting, spasmodic bowels, fever, acne, oily skin
Lemon / Lime leaves, peel Inflammation, damaged tissues. Rich in Vit C and anti-oxidants, it can help to reduce the risk of forming a number of cancers, particularly skin cancer
Linden / Lime Blossom bark, leaves and flowers Cold, boils and swelling. An age-old herb for promoting perspiration and cleanses the kidneys, bladder, and stomach. People with low blood pressure should take with caution.
Liquorice root Coughs, congestion. Excellent herb for the liver both as a tonic and a detoxifier

Common Name in alphabetical order: A-C, D-G, H-M, N-S, T-Z

Marshmallow roots, leaves and flowers Cuts and wounds, cuts, burns, respiratory system, whooping cough
Meadowsweet flowers and other parts above ground rheumatic and arthritic pains, feverish common colds, heartburn
Mint leaves Digestive aid, decongestant, itching, nausea, travel sickness. Also see peptpermint.
Mullein leaves, flowers and roots Swollen joints, a demulcent for lung and chest problems
Nettle leaves Digestive aid and hair replentisher, it can also ease leg cramps and backache. Can also relieve hayfever.
Nutmeg seed (nut) Stimulant, digestive aid, helps to reduce flatulence
Osmanthus flowers Sore or scratchy throat, good for the kidney
Passionflower leaves Anxiety, insomnia, nervous disorders, spasms
Peppermint leaves Cleanse and strengthen bowels. Fights bad breathe and indigestion.
Raspberry leaves Great companion for pregnant women but don’t overuse (or it may cause rashes). Great for replentishing iron, folic acid and helps to relieve morning sickness. It can also help strengthening pelvic muscles.
Red Clover flowers Skin complaints, use as a blood purifier during prenancy and child birth by Native Americans. It is believed it can help balance blood sugar level. Menopausal discomfort and respiratory complaints.
Rooibos leaves and bark Diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety, common colds, colic
Rose flowers Anxiety, depression, menopausal and gynaecological problems
Common Cold. Great for weight management and skin toning
Rosehips hips (berries) Colds, infections and bladder problems. Rosehips taste the best when boiled in hot water instead of just steeping them. Rich in vitamin A and C
Rosemary leaves Indigestion, dandruff, colds, fatigue
Safflower leaves Unsettled stomach, warming body, enhance circulation, menstrual problems
Avoid using this herb during pregnancy or breastfeeding
Sage leaves Memory aid, panacea, digestive aid for fatty foods
Strawberry
(and Wild Strawberry)
leaves andfruit Strengthening and toning pelvic muscles for female and male alike. Note that if cultivated variety is used, most nourishment transfers to the fruit.
St John’s Wort Depression, bladder problems, indigestion, phlem
Thyme leaves Sore throat, chest infection, insect bites, unsettled stomach
Valerian roots Tranquillizer, muscle cramp, anxiety
Large dosage or ongoing usage can cause headache and blurred vision
Wild Chrysanthemum / Ye Ju Hua flowers Wild Chrysanthemum has similar effacacies to Chrysanthemum, but more medical and effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and inhibiting infection. Sore throat, tired eyes, dizziness.
Wintersweet flower / La Mei Hua flowers Bad breathe, red eyes due to late nights. Ezcema and topical skinn allergy. Baby skin rash.
Wolfberry / Goji Berry fruit (Lycium Barbarum / Gou Qi Zi) Fatigue, poor vision
Tonifies and nourishes the liver and kidney. The dried berries can be eaten like other dried fruit.
Wu Wei Zi / schisandra fruit berries Relieve asthmatic cough, hypertension and anxiety. Over-palpitation
Yarrow flowers Common cold and fevers, hypertension, amenorrhoea, dysentary and diarrhoea. Yarrow may help to regulate the menstrual cycle, reduces heavy bleeding and eases menstrual pain.

 

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