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HERB FACTS

 

Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) A slightly bitter-tasting remedy, lady's bedstraw is used mainly as a diuretic and for skin problems.  The herb is given for kidney stones, bladder stones and other urinary conditions, including cystitis.  It is occasionally used as means to relieve chronic skin problems such as psoriasis, but in general, cleavers is preferred as a treatment for this condition.  Lady's bedstraw has had a  longstanding reputation, especially in France, of being a valuable remedy for epilepsy, though it is rarely used for this purpose today.  It has long been used in folk medicine as a styptic and for making foot baths. 

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) The root, harvested in spring or fall, and the leaves, harvested as the plant blooms in June, are used medicinally.  A decoction of the fresh root is  a powerful styptic which stops bleeding of a cut and is also used as an eyewash..  The leaves are also astringent and styptic owing to their tannin content. The tea is used internally for excessive menstrual bleeding, for prolonged blood loss due to menopausal or uterine fibroids and to reduce pains associated with periods as well as diarrhea. Lady’s mantle has a very rapid healing action and gargling with the herb after the loss or removal of teeth is one of the most beneficial activities the patient can indulge in. It is also very effective for mouth ulcers and sores as well as laryngitis. Any skin troubles, such as inflamed wounds or rashes, should also be bathed with a liquid made from this herb. It battles vomiting and flux and eases bruises and ruptures. After giving birth, women should drink a tea of Lady’s mantle, specially if it is mixed with shepherd’s purse or yarrow. It aids with debility of the abdomen and, for women who are likely to miscarry, it is strengthening for the fetus and the uterus. Culpeper claimed women who wanted to conceive should drink a decoction of Lady’s mantle for 20 days before conception. Once she’s pregnant, the woman should sit in a bath made from the decoction. Culpeper also recommended it for "green wounds" or gangrene.  One ounce of the dried leaves is added to a pint of water for medicinal purposes. While the plant is generally considered of historical interest in America, it has a long, continuing tradition as a popular European herb medicine.  Its astringency, and hence medicinal benefit, is attributed to the tannin content, though the plant has been little studied.  In Europe, decoctions or infusions of lady’s mantle are valuable to treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal conditions. Europeans, especially Swedes, find it useful to reduce heavy menstruation and prevent menstrual and even intestinal cramping.  It is also recommended when a woman’s body is adjusting hormone levels such as after childbirth and during menopause.  Tinctures or gargles of the herb can help soothe irritated mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. A recent study identified the ellagitannins, agrimoniin and pendunculagin, in the herb. These compounds may be partly responsible for the plant’s biological activity. A trace of salicylic acid is also found in the plant.
           
Try using externally as a vaginal douche or following antibiotic treatment for trichomonas and candida infections when the healthy vaginal flora has been disturbed and requires strengthening.  Lady’s Mantle tea is also used as an adjunct treatment for ovarian failure or inflammation, irregular menstruation, prolapsed uterus, constitutional miscarriage and menopausal difficulties.   Avoid during pregnancy as it is a uterine stimulant.

Lady's Slipper  (Cypripedium calceolus var. pubescens) Lady’s slipper used to be a specific remedy to overcome depression, mental anxiety, and troubled sleep.  It was often recommended for women for both emotional and physical imbalances relating to menopause or menstruation, such as nervous tension, headaches, or cramps.  Lady’s slipper is said to increase nervous tone after a long disease and to relax nervous muscle twitches.  It is almost always given as an alcoholic tincture, since some constituents are not water-soluble.  Lady’s slipper is often compared to valerian, although valerian doesn’t create the uncomfortable side effects. 

Lady's Thumb (Polygonum persicaria) The Anglo-Saxons used Lady’s-thumb as a remedy for sore eyes and ears.  They called it Untrodden to Pieces, perhaps because it was so hardy and though that it survived even being stepped upon or otherwise crushed. 

Lamb's Ear (Stachys byzantina (S. lanata, S. olympia))  Lamb’s ears make a natural bandage and dressing to staunch bleeding.

Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)  : In the past, lavender has been used as a folk remedy for numerous conditions, including acne, cancer, colic, faintness, flatulence, giddiness, migraine, nausea, neuralgia, nervous headache, nervous palpitations, poor appetite, pimples, rheumatism, sores, spasms, sprains, toothache, vomiting and worms.  Lavender salts have been employed for centuries as a stimulant to prevent fainting; lavender oil vapor is traditionally inhaled to prevent vertigo and fainting. A compound tincture of lavender (also known as Palsy Drops) was officially recognized by the British Pharmacopoeia for over 200 years, until the 1940s.  Used to relieve muscle spasms, nervousness, and headaches, it originally contained over 30 ingredients.  Tests show that lavender’s essential oil is a potent ally in destroying a wide range of bacterial infections, including staph, strep, pneumonia, and most flu viruses. It is also strongly anti-fungal.  A lavender-flower douche is an effective treatment for vaginal infections, especially candida-type yeast infections.  Lavender ointments are rubbed into burns, bruises, varicose veins, and other skin injuries.  The straight oil is dabbed on stops the itching of insect bites.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)  Lemon balm’s main action is as a tranquilizer.  It calms a nervous stomach, colic, or heart spasms.  The leaves are reputed to also lower blood pressure.  It is very gentle, although effective, so is often suggested for children and babies. The hot tea brings on a sweat that is good for relieving colds, flus and fevers and an antiviral agent has been found that combats mumps, cold sores and other viruses.  
          The tea has also been shown to inhibit the division of tumor cells.  Studies indicate that the herb slightly inhibits the thyroid-stimulating hormone and restricts Grave’s disease, a hyperthyroid condition.  Lemon balm’s antihistamine action is useful to treat eczema and headaches and accounts for the centuries-old tradition of placing the fresh leaf on insect bites and wounds.  
              Lemon balm has antipyretic, refreshing, cholagogic and stimulating properties. Use a pad soaked in the infusion to relieve painful swellings such as gout.  Use as ointment for sores, insect bites, or to repel insects.  Use hot infused oil as ointment or gentle massage oil for depression, tension, asthma and bronchitis.  
             A clinical multicentric study in Germany offers evidence of the antiviral activity of a specially prepared dried extract of lemon balm against herpes simplex infections.  The extract was a concentrated (70:1) dry extract of lemon balm which was included at a level of 1% in a cream base.  Patients applied the cream 2-4 times daily for 5-10 days.  In the group receiving the active Melissa cream, there was a significant improvement in symptoms on day two compared to the placebo group and on day five over 50% more patients were symptom-free than in the placebo group.  To be effective, the treatment must be started in the very early stages of the infection. 
              Research has clearly demonstrated the plant’s ability to impact the limbic system of the brain and “protect” the brain from the powerful stimuli of the body and should be part of any ADHD formula.

 Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) Infuse as a mildly sedative tea to soothe bronchial and nasal congestion, to reduce indigestion, flatulence, stomach cramps, nausea and palpitations.  Lemon verbena is especially useful for women. In the past, midwives gave a woman in the last phases of childbirth a strong tea to stimulate contractions of the uterus.  Ancient Egyptian medicine included it for this purpose.  Today, verbaline has been isolated from the plant and used as a stimulant for uterus contractions.  Do not use the oil internally during pregnancy.  Used as a cold compress or in an aroma lamp, it is wonderfully refreshing and aids the birth process where stamina is required.  It has also been said to stimulate milk production and to be helpful for infertility.   Its tonic effect on the nervous system is less pronounced than that of lemon balm, but nonetheless helps to counter depression.

Lemongrass  (Cymbopogon citrates) In East India and Sri Lanka, where it is called "fever tea," lemon grass leaves are combined with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches.  Lemon grass is one of the most popular herbs in Brazil and the Caribbean for nervous and digestive problems.  The Chinese use lemon grass in a similar fashion, to treat headaches, stomachaches, colds, and rheumatic pains.  The essential oil is used straight in India to treat ringworm or in a paste with buttermilk to rub on ringworm and bruises.  Studies show it does destroy many types of bacteria and fungi and is a deodorant.  It may reduce blood pressure - a traditional Cuban use of the herb - and it contains five different constituents that inhibit blood coagulation.  

Lilac (Syringa vulgaris )   Used as a vermifuge in the US and as a tonic anti-periodic and febrifuge; used as a substitute for aloes and in the treatment of malaria.

Linden (Tilia spp)  Lime Blossom, or Linden, is well known as a relaxing remedy for use in nervous tension.   It has a reputation as a prophylactic against the development of arteriosclerosis and hypertension.  It is considered to be a specific in the treatment of raised blood pressure associated with arteriosclerosis and nervous tension. It initially increases peripheral circulation to fingers and toes, helping the evaporation of body heat, and then stabilizes blood vessels and body temperature.   Linden is an excellent remedy for stress and panic, and is used specifically to treat nervous palpitations. Its relaxing action combined with a general effect upon the circulatory system give lime blossom a role in the treatment of some forms of migraine.  The diaphoresis combined with the relaxation explains its value in feverish colds and flus.  The flowers bring relief to colds, and flu by reducing nasal congestion and soothing fever. Because of their emollient quality, linden flowers are used in France to make a lotion for itchy skin.  The tea is given to babies for teething.
           
The sapwood of a linden growing wild in the south of France (T. cordata) is used as a diuretic, choleretic, hypotensive and antispoasmodic.  A light infusion of the flowers is sedative, antispasmodic and diaphoretic.  It also thins the blood and enhances circulation. 

Litsea cubeba   The root and stem are used in traditional Chinese medicine.   It expels wind and dampness, promotes the movement of qi and alleviates pain: for wind-damp painful obstruction and stomach aches.  Most commonly used for lower back pain.  It promotes the movement of qi and blood, warms the channels and alleviates pain: for dysmenorrhea that presents primarily with a distended and painful lower abdomen that improves with heat or pressure.  Also for blood stasis pain due to trauma, or other gynecological pain associated with blood stasis.  Also used for chills, headaches and muscle aches due to an exterior disorder. Has been reported to be useful in treating motion sickness.
         The fruits are reputed to alleviate chronic asthma, as well as being a treatment for coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

Liverwort, Ker-gawl (Hepatica americana, (H. tribola); H. nobilis)  While rarely found in herbal remedies today, it is a mild astringent and a diuretic.  It stimulates gall bladder production and is a mild laxative.  Its astringency has also stopped bleeding in the digestive tract and the resultant spitting of blood.  Historically, liverwort has been used for kidney problems and bronchitis.  It’s active constituent, protoaneminin, has been shown to have antibiotic action.  The Russians use it in their folk medicine and also to treat cattle with “mouth sickness.” 

Liverleaf  (Hepatica acutiloba)  The herb has astringent and tonic properties.  It also has demulcent activity. The roots and leaves are used dried or fresh in a tea or syrup. Of little use. 

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata)  Lobelia was a traditional Native American remedy and its use was later championed by the American herbalist Samuel Thomson (1769-1843), who made the herb the mainstay of his therapeutic system.  He mainly used it to induce vomiting.  It was promoted by Jethro Kloss and later by Dr. John Christopher.   A powerful antispasmodic and respiratory stimulant, lobelia is valuable for asthma, especially bronchial asthma, and chronic bronchitis.  It relaxes the muscles of the smaller bronchial tubes, thus opening the airways, stimulating breathing, and promoting the coughing up of phlegm.  In the Western tradition, lobelia has always been combined with cayenne, its hot stimulant action helping to push blood into areas that lobelia has relaxed.  Lobelia is often most effective when the infusion or diluted tincture is applied externally.  It relaxes muscles, particularly smooth muscle, which makes it useful for sprains, and back problems where muscle tension is a key factor.  Combined with cayenne, lobelia has been used as a chest and sinus rub.  Due to its chemical similarity to nicotine, lobelia is employed by herbalists to help patients give up smoking.  Lobeline sulphate has been part of commercial over-the-counter antismoking lozenges.  It seems to replace physical addiction to nicotine without its addictive effects.    The Native Americans smoked it like tobacco for respiratory problems and it gained the name Indian tobacco.  Both drinking the tea and smoking lobelia, usually with other herbs to modify its intense reaction, have been employed to treat asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough. Plasters and liniments for sprains, muscle spasms, and insect bites and poultices for breast cancer sometimes contain lobelia.

Lomatium (Lomatium dissecta) 
Both Lomatium and Ligusticum were used by Native Americans and early American medical practitioners for a variety of chronic or severe infectious disease states, particularly those of viral origin. Modern research is rather limited, but clinical trials have supported the inclusion of these botanicals for viral infections including HIV and condyloma.  Traditionally it’s demonstrated efficacy against a variety of bacterial infections including tuberculosis.
              
Lomatium contains an oleoresin rich in terpenes. It acts as a stimulating expectorant, enhancing the liquification and consequent elimination of mucus from the lungs. It also appears to exert a strong antibacterial activity, interfering with bacterial replication and inducing increased phagocytosis. The resin also contains a number of furanocoumarins including nodakenetin, columbianin and pyranocoumarin. These resins may be responsible for the plant's antiviral effect. They may also be partly responsible for the phagocytic action lomatium causes               .
              Based on empirical evidence and discussions with clinical herbalists, lomatium can be used as an antimicrobial, especially in the lungs and upper respiratory tract. It provides quick-acting relief in cases of viral or bacterial infection, particularly when there is a large amount of thick or sticky mucus and infection is deep-seated and persistent. Consider taking lomatium for pneumonia, infective bronchitis and tuberculosis              .
                As an immunostimulant, this herb is traditionally used to treat colds and flus. Many cases during the 1920s U.S. influenza epidemic were successfully treated with lomatium by the professional herbalists of the time, and it has been used for this purpose by Native Americans since the introduction of influenza to the Americas                          .
               Its infection-fighting ability makes lomatium valuable as a mouthwash and gargle for oral and throat infections, as a douche for bacterial and viral infections or candida, as a skin wash for infected cuts or wounds, and in many other first- aid situations                       .
                Both tea and tincture forms are commonly used. For acute bacterial or viral infections, 2.5 ml of the tincture diluted in water can be used three to four times daily. A painful, itchy full-body rash that can persist for days occurs frequently when the crude tincture is used.  It seems to occur more commonly with the strong, fresh-root preparation and disappears when treatment stops                 .

Lovage (or Ligusticum levisticum)  Although no extravagant cures were attributed to lovage, medieval physicians and country folk claimed it alleviated a host of maladies.  Fresh juice from the plant squeezed into the eyes relieved conjunctivitis, and an infusion brewed from the seeds and dropped into the eyes remedied redness and dim vision.  Applied to the skin, this decoction was supposed to remove freckles.  People gargled with it, used it as a mouth wash, and drank it to mitigate pleurisy and flatulence.
           
Boils, carbuncles and other pustules were treated with hot poultices of lovage leaves.  A tea made from the leaves was said to promote menstrual discharge, soothe bronchitis and bring comfort in the early stages of diptheria.  Drinking the dried and powdered roots in a medium of wine, water or oil was held to improve the functioning of the lymphatic system, reduce obesity and flabbiness through diuretic action, and remedy colic, jaundice, urinary troubles and stomach disorders.  Main ingredient in many European diuretic preparations and is added to urinary tract formulas.  Can irritate kidneys, so it is not suggested when an infection is present but Commission E suggests making a tea with 2-4 teaspoons of dried herb per cup of boiling water and drinking it once a day for treating kidney stones.  Also used to promote menstruation and to ease migraine headaches.
           
The colonists in New England found an additional use for the dried root.  They nibbled bits of it in church to chase away the weariness caused by long and tedious sermons.  Also in the New World, the Shakers grew lovage and sold it for medicine and flavoring much like the monks did centuries earlier.  The Pennsylvania Germans dried its hollow stems to use as natural drinking straws.  A stimulating cordial called lovage was once popular at public houses and inns.  It was flavored with lovage, but was made primarily from tansy and yarrow.  Oil extracted from lovage roots was used in tobacco blends, perfumes and bath cologne.  Has been employed as a mouthwash for soothing tonsillitis and mouth ulcers.  

Lungwort   (Pulmonaria officinalis)  Lungwort has been used primarily for lung problems, especially in cases of bronchitis and laryngitis, and to reduce bronchial congestion.  The silica it contains restores the elasticity of lungs, and made it an appropriate remedy when tuberculosis was common.  Major ingredient in the English “Potters Balm of Gilead Cough Mixture.”  As a poultice, it helps enlarged thyroid, burns and tumors and reduces swelling and inflammation from injuries and bruises.  Potential use as a yin tonic.  An astringent, lungwort treats diarrhea, especially in children, and eases hemorrhoids.  Its properties are similar to those in comfrey.  Both contain allantoin, which promotes wound-healing action.   

M

Mace   (Myristica fragrans): Carminative, stimulant, and tonic, mace aids the digestion, is beneficial to the circulation and is used to mollify febrile upsets and in Asia to relieve nausea.  Mace butter is employed as a mild counter-irritant and used in hair lotions and plasters.  As with nutmeg, large doses of mace can lead to hallucination and epileptiform fits, myristin being poisonous, but dangerous doses are unlikely to be taken in the course of everyday use.  Taken in a toddy, it was a cure for insomnia, but prolonged over-indulgence is now avoided as addictive.

Madagascar Periwinkle (Vinca rosea) In 1923, considerable interest was aroused in the medical world by the statement that this species of Vinca had the power to cure diabetes, and would probably prove an efficient substitute for Insulin, but V. major has long been used by herbalists for this purpose. Vincristine, a major chemotherapy agent for leukemia, and vinblastin (for Hodgkin’s disease) are derived from the plant.  The anti-cancer constituents are very strong and should only be taken under the supervision of a qualified health care practitioner.  Use as a fluid extract.  It has also been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat wasp stings (India), stop bleeding (Hawaii), as an eyewash (Cuba), and to treat diabetes (Jamaica); contains the alkaloid alstonine which can reduce blood pressure.

Madder (Rubia tinctorium )  Madder is still grown as a medicinal in central Europe and west Asia.  The root eliminates and prevents the formation of kidney and bladder stones, increases bile production and menstruation, and is a laxative. It is especially useful in urinary tract afflictions in which the system has become alkaline.  Powdered root is wound-healing, often used for skin ulcers.  Two ounces of the root can be boiled in six quarts of water and added to the tub to make a bath that will heal the skin. The red coloring agent is so potent that it turns the urine red and eventually even stains the bones, although no health problems are associated with these phenomena.  Infusions of leaves and stems treat constipation, diarrhea and bladder disorders.  It has a marked effect on the liver and has been found useful in jaundice.    A madder poultice encourages wound healing. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine in east India and considered an important “blood-purifying” herb that “cleans” the body by improving liver functions. Used for many pitta-type bleeding conditions.  Homeopathically used to treat anemia and ailments of the spleen.  

Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris  (A pedatum North American variety))  Medicinal Uses: Used by Western herbalists to treat coughs, bronchitis, excess mucus, sore throat, and chronic nasal congestion.  The plant also has a longstanding reputation as a remedy for conditions of the hair and scalp.  It may be used as an infusion.  Native American sometimes chewed the leaves of the plant to stop internal bleeding.  An extract of the plant has diuretic and hypoglycemic activity in animals.  It needs to be used fresh as it’s highly sensitive to time and heat.  Can be used in a poultice (raw and crushed), directly applied to a wound or scalded and infused for several minutes for a topical poultice to treat eczema, suppurating infections and wounds.  In the form of a hair lotion, it stimulates hair growth.  In a tea (1 plant in 1 cup water), it is excellent in treating coughs and chronic skin disorders.  In the case of poor blood circulation, take 3 cups daily.  A tincture is also a good choice as an effective concentrated preparation: 2/3 oz in 1 cup alcohol.  

Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas (Syn Aspidium filix-mas))  :  One of the most effective of all “worm herbs,” male fern root, or the oleo-resin it yields, is a specific treatment for tapeworms.  It acts by paralyzing the muscles of the worm, forcing it to relax its hold on the gut wall.  Provided that the root is taken along with a nonoily purgative like scammony or black hellebore, it will flush out the parasites.  The roots are added to healing salves for wounds and rubbed into the limbs of children with rickets. It is also good for sores, boils, carbuncles, swollen glands and epidemic flu.  It inhibits bleeding of a hot nature and is combined with cedar leaves for uterine bleeding.  With other alteratives like honeysuckle, forsythia and dandelion it treats toxic blood conditions.  Fern tincture should be prepared in new batches every year. 

Mallow, Common   (Malva sylvestris): Though less useful than marsh mallow, common mallow is an effective demulcent.  The flowers and leaves are emollient and good for sensitive areas of the skin.  Mallow is beneficial in the treatment of painful swellings and is used as a digestive and diuretic herb, as well as in the making of an external lotion for acne.  The leaves have the reputation of easing the pain of a wasp sting if rubbed on the affected area.  A certain cure for a cold was believed to be bathing the feet in a decoction of the leaves, flowers and roots. Taken internally, the leaves reduce gut irritation, aids recovery from gastritis and stomach ulcers, laryngitis and pharyngitis, upper respiratory catarrh and bronchitis and have a laxative effect.  When common mallow is combined with eucalyptus, it makes a good remedy for coughs and other chest ailments.  As with marsh mallow, the root may be given to children to ease teething.  The fresh dried leaves are put into decoctions; the root may be dried, but it is best fresh, if chosen when there are leaves growing from it.

Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum majorana) Has digestive, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic and diuretic properties.    Marjoram tea aids digestion, increases sweating and encourages menstruation.  In tests, it inhibits viruses such as herpes 1 and is an antioxidant that helps preserve foods containing it.  As a steam inhalant, marjoram clears the sinuses and helps relieve laryngitis.  Particularly helpful for gastritis and a weak tea is good for colic in children.  The plant is also sometimes made into an herb pillow for rheumatic pains.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)  Dr. Withering described a case in which a large bouquet of marsh marigolds brought into the sickroom of a spasmodic girl stopped her fits.  The cure was presumed a result of whatever the flowers exude.  Since then, the infusions have also been used to prevent fits.  A decoction of the herb has been used for dropsy and in urinary affections. The root tea induces sweating, is an emetic and an expectorant.  The leaf tea is a diuretic and a laxative.  Ojibwas mixed tea with maple sugar to make a cough syrup that was popular with colonists.  The syrup was used as a folk antidote to snake venom.  The plant contains anemonin and protoanemonin both with marginal antitumor activity.  It has also been used to treat warts: a drop of the leaf juice was applied daily until the wart disappeared.  The Chippewa applied the dried powdered and moistened or fresh root of cowslip twice daily to cure scrofula sores. 

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis): Used whenever a soothing effect is needed, marsh mallow protects and soothes the mucous membranes.  The root counters excess stomach acid, peptic ulceration, and gastritis.  It reduces the inflammation of gall stones. Marsh mallow is also mildly laxative and beneficial for many intestinal problems, including regional ileitis, colitis, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome  Marshmallow’s ability to bind and eliminate toxins allows the body to cleanse itself.  For this reason, it is added to arthritis, laxative, infection, female tonic, vermifuge and other cleansing formulas.  Taken as a warm infusion, the leaves treat cystitis and frequent urination.  Marsh mallow’s demulcent qualities bring relief to dry coughs, bronchial asthma, bronchial congestion, and pleurisy.  The flowers, crushed fresh or in a warm infusion, are applied to help soothe inflamed skin.  The root is used in an ointment for boils and abscesses, and in a mouthwash for inflammation.  The peeled root may be given as a chewstick to teething babies.  The dried root contains up to 35% of mucilage, 38% of starch and 10% of pectin and sugar.  Extracts have to be made with cold water if they are to contain the mucilage and not the starch, the latter dissolving only in hot water.  If marsh mallow is to be used for gargling rather than taken internally as a tea, the starch will be of additional benefit.  Marsh mallow root is very high in pectin. Taking pectin is an effective way to keep blood sugar levels down.  The root boiled in milk, will prove beneficial in treating diarrhea and dysentery.  It will also enrich the milk of nursing mothers, and at the same time increase milk flow.  Combining both Blessed Thistle and Marshmallow for enriched milk is especially effective.  Marshmallow’s ability to bind and eliminate toxins allows the body to cleanse itself.  For this reason, it is added to arthritis, laxative, infection, female tonic, vermifuge and other cleansing formulas. 

Mastic (Pistacia lentiscus): Stimulant, diuretic. It has many of the properties of the coniferous turpentines and was formerly greatly used in medicine. Of late years it has chiefly been used for filling carious teeth, either alone or in spirituous solution, and for varnishes, and in the East in the manufacture of sweets and cordials. In the East it is still used medicinally in the diarrhoea of children and masticated to sweeten the breath. The most effective oil for treating varicose veins is mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), but it is very expensive and ill smelling. A good substitute is cypress oil. A blend for external use can be made by combining several essential oils: 10 drops cypress or 5 drops mastic; 10 drops lavender or geranium; 5 drops rosemary or juniper; and 5 drops chamomile. A massage oil can be made by adding 15 drops of this essential oil blend to an ounce of carrier oil, which should be rubbed gently into the legs several times each day. Always massage above the varicose area. For hemorrhoids, mix one tablespoon KY jelly to 10 drops of the essential oil blend, then apply.

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum ) In New England the root was used to stimulate glands and for gastrointestinal disorders.  The root was also used as a tonic for liver, lung, and stomach ailments.  A decoction was made by boiling the roots in water and was used to treat rheumatism.  This was also used on chickens who had diarrhea.  Years ago it was used as a poison for eliminating chipmunks.  Taken internally it is a powerful stimulant to the liver and intestines.  It is a very strong glandular stimulant and useful for treating chronic liver diseases, promoting bile flow and digestion, and in the elimination of obstructions and skin problems.   
               
The wart-removing drugs are produced from podophyllotoxin—found in mayapple rhizomes.  Its application must be restricted to abnormal tissue only.  The compound is thought to interfere with the wart’s development and blood supply.  The podophyllotoxin in mayapple has been found to stimulate the immune system while suppressing lymph cells.  It is more toxic to leukemia cells than to normal cells.  The tumor inhibitor was actually discovered in 1958, but the compound created digestive-tract irritations too severe to make it practical.  Now a semisynthetic derivative, etoposide, is being used for chemotherapy in Europe to treat lung cancer and cancer of the testicles.  It has been shown to restrict the activity of an enzyme necessary for the reproduction of cancer cells.  It was introduced in 1985 under the trade name Vepeside®. 
               Traditionally, podophyllotoxin has been collected from the roots of podophyllum emodi.  It is a wild plant that grows only in the Himalayan Mountains.  However, the plant has been declared endangered because too much of it has been collected in India.  Decreasing supplies of the plant in India have resulted in export restrictions.  Attempts to make copies of the cancer-fighting substance have proven costly.   Now, researchers from the United States Agriculture Department and the University of Mississippi have developed a way to get podophyllotoxin from the mayapple plant.  The researchers believe that both the mayapple and podophyllum emodi produce the substance as a form of protection against insects and other plant-eating creatures.  The plants store the substance until they are attacked. 
                The American researchers say their method is successful because it makes the mayapple think it is being attacked. This results in the release of large amounts of podophyllotoxin.   They say their system to remove podophyllotoxin from the mayapple is fast, effective and low cost.  The researchers say the mayapple plant provides a plentiful and renewable supply of the substance. And they add there may be increased demand for the mayapple plant as a crop if the method becomes widely used. 

Meadow Rue (Thalictrum aquilegifolium)     Meadow rue is a purgative and diuretic.  It is a bitter digestive tonic that contains berberine or a similar alkaloid.  The leaves were sometimes added to spruce beer in the 19th century as a digestive tonic.  

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet is used to treat rheumatism, fevers, and pain in much the same way as aspirin is used, but it contains buffering agents that counter the drug’s side effects, such as gastric bleeding.  In fact, it prevents overacidity in the stomach and is considered one of the best herbal treatments for heartburn.  It would seem that reducing acidity within the stomach can help to reduce acid levels in the body as a whole, thereby helping joint problems (which are associated with acidity). It also improves digestion and helps to heal ulcers.  An antiseptic diuretic that promotes uric acid excretion, it is used for urinary tract problems.  Meadowsweet is also occasionally used for cystitis.  It was once the treatment of choice for children’s diarrhea.  The cleansing diuretic effect has given meadowsweet a reputation for clearing the skin and resolving rashes.  Given its mild antiseptic action it makes a good remedy for cystitis and urethritis, fluid retention and kidney problems.  The salicylate salts are said to soften deposits in the body such as kidney stones and gravel, as well as arteriosclerosis in the arteries.  Meadowsweet reduces fevers by suppressing the sympathetic temperature regulation center.

Melilot (Melilotus officinalis)  As with horse chestnut, long-term use of melilot—internally or externally—can help varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  Melilot also helps reduce the risk of phlebitis and thrombosis.  The plant is mildly sedative and antispasmodic, and is given for insomnia (especially in children) and anxiety.  It has been used to treat gas and indigestion, bronchitis, problems associated with menopause and rheumatic pains.  The infusion prepared with the dried parts has digestive and carminative properties.  The dried leaves have a scar-forming action and also repel moths.  Yellow melilot is used in poultices and salves for boils, swellings, arthritis, rheumatism and headaches.  For centuries there was a salve called simply Melilot.  It was compounded of the juice of young green Melilot plants boiled with rosin, wax, sheep tallow, and a little turpentine.  It was used to draw and heal all kinds of wounds and sores and remained popular for centuries.  A similar Melilot plaster can still be purchased today in many parts of Europe.  The tea is used to wash sores and wounds and as an antinflammatory eye wash.  For headaches and joint pains, try making melilot into an herb pillow.  In Germany, powdered melilot is mixed with an equal amount of water to make a poultice for treating hemorrhoids.  
             In Chinese medicine, it is considered sedative and astringent. When taken internally, it imparts its sweet fragrance to the body.

Mexican Marigold Mint (Tagetes lucida): internally for diarrhea, indigestion, nausea, colic, hiccups, malaria, and feverish illnesses.  Externally for scorpion bites and to remove ticks.

Mexican Poppy (Argemone mexicana )    The fresh latex of Mexican poppy contains protein-dissolving constituents, and is used to treat warts, cold sores, and blemishes on the lips. The whole plant acts as a mild painkiller.  An infusion of the seeds—in small quantities—is used in Cuba as a sedative for children suffering from asthma.  In greater quantities, the oil in the seeds is purgative.  The flowers are expectorant, and are good for treating coughs and other chest conditions.
           
The juice of the plant has a rubifacient and slightly caustic effect; used straight for warts, diluted for skin ulcerations, externally.  The fresh juice, greatly diluted, has a long traditional history as a treatment for opacities of the cornea.  The preserved juice, with three or four parts water, can be used for heat rash, hives, and jock itch.  One-half teaspoon in water in the morning for a few days will lessen the irritability of urethra and prostate inflammations.  The whole plant can be boiled into a strong tea and used for bathing sunburned and abraded areas for relief of pain. The dried plant is a feeble opiate and helps to reduce pain and bring sleep, a rounded tablespoon in t4ea.  The seeds are a strong cathartic, a teaspoon or two crushed in water and drunk. They have somewhat of a sedative and narcotic effect when eaten and have traditionally been smoked alone or with tobacco. 

Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum)    - Silymarin is poorly soluble in water, so aqueous preparations such as teas are ineffective, except for use as supportive treatment in gallbladder disorders because of cholagogic and spasmolytic effects. The drug is best administered parenterally because of poor absorption of silymarin from the gastrointestinal tract. The drug must be concentrated for oral use.   Silymarin’s hepatoprotective effects may be explained by its altering of the outer liver cell membrane structure, as to disallow entrance of toxins into the cell.  This alteration involves silymarin’s ability to block the toxin’s binding sites, thus hindering uptake by the cell.  Hepatoprotection by silymarin can also be attributed to its antioxidant properties by scavenging prooxidant free radicals and increasing intracellular concentration of glutathione, a substance required for detoxicating reactions in liver cells.  
           
Silymarin’s mechanisms offer many types of therapeutic benefit in cirrhosis with the main benefit being hepatoprotection. Use of milk thistle, however, is inadvisable in decompensated cirrhosis.  In patients with acute viral hepatitis, silymarin shortened treatement time and showed improvement in serum levels of bilirubin, AST and ALT. 

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) A root decoction (either fresh or dried) strengthens the heart in a different way from digitalis, and without the foxglove derivative’s toxicity.  It also soothes the nerves and is listed as an emetic, anthelmintic (kills worms) and stomach tonic.  It helps relieve edema probably by strengthening the heart.  It’s also a diaphoretic and expectorant.  It’s used for coughs, colds, arthritis aggravated by the cold, threatened inflammation of the lungs, asthma, bronchitis, female disorders, diarrhea and gastric mucus.  The milky sap is used topically, fresh or dried, to reduce warts. 
           
The root is emetic and cathartic in large doses.  In average doses it is considered diuretic, expectorant and diaphoretic.  It is said to produce temporary sterility if taken as a tea.
HOMEOPATHIC:
Used for afflictions of the nerves and the urinary tract and for pressing

Miner’s Lettuce (Montia perfoliata): Apart from its value as a nourishing vegetable, miner’s lettuce, like its relative purslane, may be taken as a spring tonic and an effective diuretic.  

Mint (Mentha spp): Ayurvedic physicians have used mint for centuries as a tonic and digestive aid and as a treatment for colds, cough, and fever.  Medieval German abbess/herbalist Hildegard of Bingen recommended mint for digestion and gout.  Shortly after Culpeper wrote about the benefits of mint, peppermint and spearmint were differentiated, and herbalists decided the former was the better digestive aid, cough remedy, and treatment for colds and fever.  Spearmint cannot replace peppermint in combined bile and liver or nerve herbal teas even though it is used as a stomachic and carminative.   
           
The Chinese use bo he ( M. arvensis) as a cooling remedy for head colds and influenza and also for some types of headaches, sore throats, and eye inflammations.  As a liver stimulant, it is added to remedies for digestive disorders or liver qi (energy) stagnation).  Disperses wind-heat: for patterns of wind-heat with fever, headache and cough.  Clears the head and eyes and benefits the throat: for patterns of wind-heat with sore throat, red eyes, and headache.  Vents rashes: used in the early stages of rashes such as measles to induce the rash to come to the surface and thereby speed recovery.  
           
Peppermint also contains antioxidants that help prevent cancer, heart disease and other diseases associated with aging.  From Jim Duke’s “Green Pharmacy” comes a Stone Tea for gallstone attach:  brew a mint tea from as many mints as possible especially spearmint and peppermint and add some cardamom, the richest source of borneol, another compound that is helpful.
           
The oil of peppermint has been shown to be antimicrobial and antiviral against Newcastle disease, herpes simplex, vaccinia, Semliki Forest and West Nile viruses.
           
Menthol is an allergic sensitizer that may cause hives.  The menthol in oil of peppermint is an effective local anesthetic.  It increases the sensitivity of the receptors in the skin that perceive the sensation of coolness and reduces the sensitivity of the receptors that perceive pain and itching.  Menthol is also a counterirritant, an agent that causes the small blood vessels under the skin to dilate, increasing the flow of blood to the area and making the skin feel warm.  When you apply a skin lotion made with menthol, your skin feels cool for a minutes, then warm.  Menthol’s anesthetic properties also make it useful in sprays and lozenges for sore throats.

Mistletoe (Viscum album): Despite the traditional belief that European and American mistletoe have opposite actions, science has found out that they contain similar active chemicals and have similar effects.  Mistletoe has the ability to slow the pulse, stimulate gastrointestional and uterine contractions, and lower blood pressure.   
          European mistletoe is chiefly used to lower blood pressure and heart rate, ease anxiety, and promote sleep.  In low doses it also relieves panic attacks, headaches, and improves concentration.  European mistletoe is also prescribed for tinnitus and epilepsy.  In anthroposophical medicine, extracts of the berries are injected to treat cancer.    
           
European mistletoe’s efficacy as an anticancer treatment has been subject to a significant amount of research.  Studies going back 25 years show mistletoe impairs the growth of test-tube tumor cells.  In Germany three mistletoe-based chemotherapy agents are administered by injection to treat human cancers.  The great advantage offered by mistletoe extracts is that unlike other chemotherapeutic drugs, their immunostimulant and tonic effects are nontoxic and well tolerated.    There is no doubt that certain constituents, especially the viscotoxins, exhibit an anticancer activity, but the value of the whole plant in cancer treatment is not fully accepted.
           
Several Indian tribes used American mistletoe to induce abortions and it stimulate contractions during childbirth.  Koreans use mistletoe tea to treat colds, muscle weakness and arthritis.  Chinese physicians prescribe the dried inner stems as a laxative, digestive aid, sedative and uterine relaxant during pregnancy.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca )    Motherwort is primarily an herb of the heart.  Several species have sedative effects, decreasing muscle spasms and temporarily lowering blood pressure.  Chinese studies found that extracts decrease clotting and the level of fat in the blood and can slow heart palpatations and rapid heartbeat.  Another of motherwort’s uses is to improve fertility and reduce anxiety associated with childbirth, postpartum depression, and menopause. If used in early labor it will ease labor pains and calms the nerves after childbirth.  Take motherwort only once soon after giving birth as consistent use before the uterus has clamped down may cause bleeding to continue.  Use one to two times a day in the weeks following birth for easing tension and supporting a woman through the feelings that come with new mothering. Do not use during pregnancy.  Motherwort  helps bring on a delayed or suppressed menstrual flow, especially when someone is anxious and tense.  Chinese women often use it combined with dong quai as a menstrual regulator.  Avoid using for menstrual cramps when bleeding is heavy.  It strengthens and relaxes the uterine muscles and eases uterine cramping.     It also reduces fevers, and is especially suggested for illnesses associated with nervousness or delirium. Motherwort was formerly used to treat rheumatism and lung problems, like bronchitis and asthma.  Motherwort may help an overactive thyroid but does not depress normal thyroid function.   Tincture the leaves and flowers as soon as you pick them. If you prefer to dry them, lay the leaves and stalks onto screens.  Motherwort tea has a very bitter taste.  Chinese medicine uses the seeds to aid in urination; cool the body system; treat excessive menstrual flow, absence of menstruation. 

Mouse Ear (Pilosella officinarum)  Mouse-ear hawkweed relaxes the muscles of the bronchial tubes, stimulates the cough reflex and reduces the production of mucus.  It is used for respiratory problems where there is a lot of mucus being formed, with soreness and possibly even the coughing of blood.  It is considered a specific in cases of whooping cough.  It may also be found beneficial in bronchitis or bronchitic asthma.  The astringency and the diuretic action also help to counter the production of mucus, sometimes throughout the respiratory system.  The herb is used to control heavy menstrual bleeding and to ease the coughing up of blood.  Externally it may be used as a poultice to aid wound-healing or specifically to treat hernias and fractures.  A powder made from it was used to stem nosebleeds.  The tea is an occasional home remedy for fever and diarrhea.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)-- The classic herb for premenstrual symptoms, used in tea and the bath.  Use a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water steeped for 20 minutes, take ¼ cup flour times a day.  It makes a good foot bath for tired feet and legs.  Cleansing to the liver, it promotes digestion.  Mugwort is an emmenagogue, especially when combined with pennyroyal, blue cohosh, or angelica root.  It is helpful in epilepsy, palsy, and hysteria and is useful for fevers.
HOMEOPATHIC: Homeopaths use Artemisia vulgaris for petit mal epilepsy, somnambulism, profuse perspiration that smells like garlic and dizziness caused by colored lights.  It is especially effective when given with wine.  

Muira Puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides (Liriosma ovata is a different species but often used interchangeably)   Historically, all parts of the plants have been used medicinally, but the bark and roots are the primary parts of the plant utilized. It has long been used in the Amazon by indigenous peoples for a number of purposes and found its way into herbal medicine in South America and Europe in the 1920's. Indigenous tribes in Brazil use the roots and bark taken internally as a tea for treating sexual debility and impotency, neuromuscular problems, rheumatism, grippe, cardiac asthenia, gastrointestinal asthenia and to prevent baldness. It is also used externally in baths and massages for treating paralysis and beri-beri.
         Muira puma has a long history in herbal medicine as an aphrodisiac, a tonic for the nervous system an antirheumatic and for gastrointestinal disorders. In 1925, a pharamacological study was published on muira puama which indicated it effectiveness in treating disorders of the nervous system and sexual impotency which indicated that "permanent effect is produced in locomotor ataxia, neuralgias of long standing, chronic rheumatism, and partial paralysis." In 1930, Penna wrote about Muira puama in his book and cited physiological and therapeutic experiments conducted in France by Dr. Rebourgeon which confirmed the efficacy of the plant for "gastrointestinal and circulatory asthenia and impotency of the genital organs." Two closely related species of Ptychopetalum were used interchangeably when it became popular in the 1920's and 30's - P. olacoides and P. uncinatum and a third species, Liriosma ovata syn Dulacia inopiflora, (which also had a common name of muira puama) was used as well. Early European explorers noted the indigenous uses and the aphrodisiac qualities of muira puama and brought it back to Europe, where it has become part of the herbal medicine of England. Because of the long history of use of Muira puama in England, it is still listed in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a noted source on herbal medicine from the British Herbal Medicine Association, where it is recommended for the treatment of dysentery and impotence. It has been in the Brazilian Pharmacopeia since the 1950's.
             Scientists began searching for the active components in the root and bark of Muira puama to determine the reasons for it efficacy in the 1920's. Early research discovered that the root and bark were rich in free fatty acids, essential oil, plant sterols, and a new alkaloid which they named "muirapuamine." Since it continued to be used throughout the world as an aphrodisiac and treatment for impotency as well as for hookworms, dysentery, rheumatism and central nervous system disorders with success, scientists began researching the plant's constituents and pharmacological properties again in the late 1960's, continuing on until the late 1980's.
             Muira puama is still employed around the world today in herbal medicine. In Brazil and South American herbal medicine, it is used a neuromuscular tonic, for asthenia, paralysis, chronic rheumatism, sexual impotency, grippe, ataxia, and central nervous system disorders In Europe, it is used to treat impotency, infertility, neurasthenia, menstrual disturbances and dysentery. It has been gaining in popularity in the United States where herbalists and health care practitioners are using muira puama for impotency, menstrual cramps and PMS, neurasthenia and central nervous system disorders. The benefits in treating impotency with muira puama has recently been studied in two human trials which showed that Muira puama was proven to be effective in improving libido and treating erectile dysfunction. In a study conducted in Paris, France, of 262 male patients experiencing lack of sexual desire and the inability to attain or maintain an erection, 62% of the patients with loss of libido reported that the extract of muira puama "had a dynamic effect" and 51% of patients with erectile dysfunctions felt that muira puama was beneficial. The second study conducted by Waynberg in France evaluated the positive psychological benefits of Muira puama in 100 men with male sexual asthenia.
           It is important to note that to achieve the beneficial effects of the plant, proper preparation methods must be employed. The active constituents found in the natural bark thought to be responsible for Muira Puama's effect are not water soluble nor are they broken down in the digestive process. Therefore taking a ground bark or root powder in a capsule or tablet will not be very effective. High heat for at least 20 minutes or longer in alcohol in necessary to dissolve and extract the volatile and essential oils, terpenes, gums and resins found in the bark and root that have been linked to Muira Puama's beneficial effects.

Mullein (Verbascum thrapsis): One of the primary herbs for any lung problem, including whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis and chest colds.  It was traditionally smoked for lung conditions.  It is also a diuretic used to relieve urinary tract inflammation, diarrhea, and inflammation, colitis, or other bleeding in the bowel.  The flowers extracted into olive oil make a preparation that is known to reduce the pain and inflammation of earache, insect bites, bruises, hemorrhoids, and sore joints.  A distilled flower water or a poultice has been placed on burns, ringworm, boils and sores.  The leaves are used in homeopathic products for migraine and earache.   

Myrrh  (Commiphora myrrha): Germany’s Commission E has endorsed powdered myrrh for the treatment of mild inflammations of the mouth and throat because it contains high amounts of tannins.  Myrrh improves digestion, diarrhea and immunity.  It treats coughs, gum disease, wounds, candida, overactive thyroid and scanty menstruation.  Used for: amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, menopause, cough, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, rheumatism, traumatic injuries, ulcerated surfaces, anemia, pyorrhea.  Used to kill yeast (10 capsules daily).  
           
Myrrh is used internally for stomach complaints, tonsillitis, phayrngitis and gingivitis, and externally for ulcers, boils and wounds.  Acts directly and rapidly on peptic  glands to increase activity, in this way increasing digestion.  Promotes absorption and assimilation of nutrients.  Good for obesity and diabetes.  For inner ear infections, combine equal parts of echinacea and mullein with one-part myrrh to make a tea.
           
Increases circulation, stimulates flow of blood to capillaries.  Clears out mucus-clogged passages throughout the body.  Antiseptic to mucus membranes, regulates secretions of these tissues.  Good for glandular fever, fever symptoms like cold skin, weak pulse. 
           
Research suggests that it can lower blood cholesterol levels.  In China, it is taken to move blood and relieve painful swellings.  For an infusion that might help prevent heart disease, use 1 teaspoon of powdered herb per cup of boiling water.  Steep 10 minutes.  Drink up to 2 cups a day.  Myrrh tastes bitter and unpleasant.  Add sugar, honey and lemon or mix it into an herbal beverage blend to improve flavor.

 

Myrtle (Myrtus communis): The plant is powerfully antiseptic owing to the myrtol it contains and it has good astringent properties.  In medicine the leaves were used for their stimulating effect on the mucous membranes, and for the chest pains and dry coughs of consumptive people.  

Nasturtium, (Tropaeolum majus): Nasturtium is an antiseptic and digestive herb, also used to treat respiratory and urinary disorders; seeds are a vermifuge and crushed for use in poultices for boils and sores.

Nepitella,  (Calamintha nepeta)  Calamintha nepita breaks a fever by promoting sweating. It is also used as an expectorant and helps to cure jaundice. Effective when applied to snake bites and insect stings. In the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, a study reported in 1993 showed that Calamintha nepita when analyzed for its antimicrobial and fungicide activities it was found to have a biotoxic effect.

Neroli,  (Citrus aurantium ssp. Aurantium)—bitter orange: The strongly acidic fruit of the bitter orange stimulates the digestion and relieves flatulence.  An infusion of the fruit is thought to soothe headaches, calm palpitations and lower fevers.  The juice helps the body eliminate waste products, and, being rich in vitamin C, helps the immune system ward off infection.  If taken to excess, however, its acid content can exacerbate arthritis.  In Chinese herbal medicine, the unripe fruit, known as zhi shi, is thought to “regulate the qi” helping to relieve flatulence and abdominal bloating, and to open the bowels.   The distilled flower water is antispasmodic and sedative. 

Nettles (Urtica dioica): Nettle leaves are a blood builder often used as a spring tonic and to treat anemia and poor circulation.  They contain both iron and vitamin C, which aids iron absorption.  In the past, nettle was eaten or sipped to reduce uric acid and to treat gout and arthritis. It encouraged mother’s milk, lowers blood sugar and decreases profuse menstruation.  It acts as a light laxative and diuretic (possibly due to its flavonoids and high potassium content).  Both a tea and a poultice of cooked nettles are used to treat eczema and other skin conditions (combines well with figwort and burdock).  An astringent that stops bleeding, the powder is snuffed to stop nosebleeds.  Curled dock leaves provide a remedy for the nettle’s sting and the fresh juice of nettles themselves relieves the sting as well.  Nettle is used by asthmatics-mix the juice of the leaves or roots with honey, take to relieve bronchial or asthmatic troubles.  The seeds were once thought to allay consumption, the infusion being taken in wine glass doses.  They were also given in wine as a cure for ague, in powder form they were used for goiter, also important in reducing diets.  It was thought that a fever could be cured by pulling a nettle up by the roots, reciting the names of the sick man and his parents.  Nettle tea was once used for dropsy and as a diuretic.  Tincture of nettle is made of 2 oz of the green herb to one pint of proof spirit; Infusions are made by adding 1 oz of the herb to a pint of boiling water.

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)  The bark of the red roots was used as a sedative, stimulant, and antispasmodic and for treating respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, and enlarged spleens.    The plant has been used to treat gonorrhea, dysentery, and eye disease in children.  The root is reported to be a stimulant, a sedative, and a means of loosening phlegm.  Much later, a commercial preparation of the bark was used to prevent hemorrhaging after surgery.  New Jersey tea root-bark has been recommended for various chest problems, including chronic bronchitis, nervous asthma, whooping cough, and consumption. It has also been used as a gargle for inflammations and irritations in the mouth and throat, particularly for swollen tonsils. American Indians used a tea made from the whole plant for skin problems (including skin cancer and venereal sores). Ceanothus is one of the few remedies which has a direct affinity for the malfunction of the spleen, and is of special help in all ailments where there is despondency and melancholy.  It is an indirect herbal agent for diabetes.  Especially useful in nervousness when mentally disturbed, bilious sick headache, acute indigestion and nausea due to inactivity of the liver.  The astringent action of a strong tea for hemorrhoids will decrease the tissue if used often.  Red Root is a lymphatic remedy, stimulating lymph and interstitial-fluid circulation.   It prevents the buildup of congested fluids in lymphatic tissue as well as clearning out isolated fluid cysts that may form in some soft tissues.  It will help reabsorption of some ovarian cysts and testicular hydroceles when combined with Dong Quai or Blue Cohosh and Helonias Roots.  For breast cysts that enlarge and shrink with the estrous cycle and have been diagnosed medically as such, combine the Red Root with Cotton Root, Inmortal, or 3-5 drop doses of Phytolacca tincture.
            It is an excellent treatment for tonsil inflammations, sore throats, enlarged lymph nodes, and chronic adenoid enlargements.

Nigella,  (Nigella sativa):  Nigella is considered carminative, a stimulant, and diuretic.  A paste of the seeds is applied for skin eruptions and is sure to relieve scorpion stings.  The seeds are antiseptic and used to treat intestinal worms, especially in children.  The seeds are much used in India to increase breast milk. The seeds are often scattered between folds of clothes  as an effective insect repellent.  Alcoholic extracts of the seeds are used as stabilizing agents for some edible fats.  In India, the seeds are also considered as stimulant, diaphoretic and emmenagogue. Some of the conditions nigella has been used for include: eruption fever, puerperium (Iraq); liver disease (Lebanon); cancer (Malaya); joints, bronchial asthma, eczema, rheumatis (Middle East); with butter for cough and colic (North Africa); excitant (Spain); boosing immune system, colds (U.S.)    A recent study in South Carolina at the International Immuno-Biology Research Laboratory showed that there was some action against cancer cells using nigella plant extract. 

 

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