Commonly Used Herbs in Herbal Medicine
Ginger: a time-honored herb to relieve stomach upset, motion sickness and nausea. Fresh ginger slices allowed to soak in water are the best dosage form. Promotes saliva and gastric juice secretion.
Ginseng: Panax ginseng (Korean, Chinese, American or Asian ginseng) has been used as a “cure-all” tonic for centuries. Used to treat fatigue and also considered an aphrodisiac. Antifatigue properties may be related to enhance muscle tissue use of glycogen, as well as the transformation of fatty acids into energy.
Kava Kava: A South Pacific plant extract that is made into a tonic. A Pacific “moonshine” used to relieve anxiety, stress and restlessness and helps with insomnia. The active ingredients cause muscle relaxation.
St. John’s Wort: Used to treat mild depression and anxiety. St John’s Wort is used extensively in Germany as an anti-depressant. The active ingredient hypericin may exert anti-depressant activity relating to serotonin-like activity.
Peppermint: Peppermint is used to treat indigestion and stomach upset. The menthol extract of peppermint is useful in treating colds and congestion. Applied topically, menthol relieves pain. The active ingredient (menthol) exerts an antispasmodic effect on the stomach, increases bile flow, and has a cooling effect when inhaled or applied topically.
Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus may be inhaled or applied directly to the chest wall to treat congestion and to break up phlegm and mucous in the respiratory tract. Also applied externally to treat arthritis symptoms. The active ingredients in eucalyptus act as an expectorant to break up thick mucus or phlegm. In arthritis, eucalyptus is a mild blood vessel dilator, increasing blood flow to joints.
Chamomile: Chamomile, a flowering plant that looks like a daisy, is prepared as a tea and used as a mild sedative, relaxant and sleeping aid. Also used for indigestion, itching and inflammation. Chamomile is the most popular herbal tea on the market. Active agents produce mild sedative and anti-inflammatory effects.
Clove: clove trees are small, bushy and evergreen, with shiny, leathery, lance-like leaves. Fragrant, pink-white flowers that fall on opening and a tuft of yellow stamens are produced in late summer, followed by purple berries. It is used for digestive problems, helping the smooth muscle lining the digestive tract to relax. Cloves also kill intestinal parasites and act as an anti-microbial agent against fungi and bacteria. It has also been suggested that cloves have an antihistamine action as well.
Lavender: is a small shrub with grey, downy, linear leaves with blue to violet flowers, growing in compact or interrupted spikes. A wide variety of lavenders are found, but consist of two main types – Angustifolia being the most popular, While Latifolia produces harsher and more camphoraceous oil.
Lavender is an aromatic, tonic herb with a sweet scent. It relaxes spasms, benefits the digestion, stimulates peripheral circulation and the uterus and lowers fever. Lavender is used internally for indigestion, irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, tension headaches, migraine and bronchial complaints.
Lemon Balm is a lemon scented perennial. It grows wild in fields and gardens and along roadsides. It has an upright stem that grows as high as 3 feet. Oval toothed leaves and minor yellow flowers are produced in auxiliary clusters in summer
Lemon Balm is used internally to treat nervous disorders, indigestion and/or excitability developing from nervous disorder, hyperthyroidism and depression, anxiety, palpitations and tension headaches. It is often used for sleeplessness and also for nervous stomach disorders in both children and adults. Fresh lemon balm leaves are used to give a lemon flavour to soups, salads and sauces.
Cannabis medicinal herb: is of the Cannabaceae family. It has been traditionally used in the form of a tea, a tincture, and also as a seasoning for various dishes. The smoking of this medicinal plant was introduced to the Africans by the Arabs. In the West Indian islands, the art of smoking, cultivating, and curing it was introduced by the East Indies.
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Valerian: It is a perennial erect plant, which can be 4 feet high. It has a short, conical, erect yellowish rootstock with multiple long thin roots. Only one stem usually grows from the root. It is round and hollow, with hairs near the base. It is used as a sedative for insomnia or other sleeping disorders, to smooth the nervous system, and to slow the heart rate. For all these reasons the dried roots of the plant are taken to prepare teas or tinctures.