Filed under herbal morsel

Damiana: inner sunshine from our neighbors in the South

Common Name:  Damiana Latin name:  Turnera diffusa Family:  Turneraceae or Passifloraceae (I’ve seen both) Parts used:  leaves Tissue or system affinity:  Nervous system, Circulatory system Taste:  Pungent Energetics:  warming, slightly drying Actions:  anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, anxiolytic, nervine and metabolic stimulant Uses:  A native plant of southern Texas, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, this … Continue reading

Peach: there’s more to it than the fruit!

Common Name:  Peach tree Latin name:  Prunus persica Family:  Rosaceae Parts used:  fresh leaves, fully dried leaves (((NOT wilted leaves, which contain higher levels of cyanide))) Tissue or system affinity:  digestive system, nervous system Taste:  Slightly sweet, aromatic Energetics:  cooling & moistening Actions:  relaxing nervine, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, anti-emetic Uses:  a traditional Southern Folk Medicine herb; … Continue reading

Milky Oats: the herb that soothes and coats

Common Name:  Oats Latin name:  Avena sativa Family:  Poaceae (Grass family) Parts used:  fresh milky green seed heads, dried stalk, dried seeds Tissue or system affinity:  nervous system, mucous membranes, skin Taste:  slightly sweet Energetics:  neutral & moistening Actions:  nervine, nutritive, mineralizer Uses:  Oats are really overlooked as an herb.  Milky oats (tincture of the … Continue reading

Peppermint: cool down & perk up

Common Name: Peppermint Latin name: Mentha peperita Family: Lamiaceae Parts used: leaves Tissue or system affinity: digestive system, nervous system Taste: pungent Energetics: cooling & drying Actions: mild analgesic, antinauseous, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive Uses: This herb is so commonly known and so legendary, that we know it is safe and effective (and a key herb … Continue reading

Yarrow: herb of the battlefield (or just an amazing first aid herb)

Common Name:  Yarrow Latin name:  Achillea millefolium Family:  Asteraceae Parts used:  leaves, flowers Tissue or system affinity:  skin, uterus, urinary tract, throat, mucous membranes Taste:  bitter, astringent Energetics:  cooling & drying Actions:  anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, antiviral, diaphoretic, styptic, hemostatic, febrifuge, antibacterial, aromatic Uses:  One of the best first aid herbs I know of.  You can … Continue reading

Agrimony: uncurling fists since the beginning of time

Common Name:  Agrimony Latin name:  Agrimonia eupatoria (pictured above); we also have two natives species, one I find often along trails…however, I haven’t worked with them medicinally yet as I cultivate A. eupatoria in my garden ( the two wild species are A. parviflora and A. rostellata) Family:  Rosaceae Parts used:  leaves (collected before flowering), … Continue reading

Black Walnut: the fungal fighter

Common Name:  Black walnut Latin Name:  Juglans nigra Family:  Juglandaceae (Walnut family) Parts used:  green hulls, nuts, leaves, bark Tissue or system affinity:  skin, intestines Taste:  bitter, astringent Energetics:  cooling, drying Actions:  vermifuge, astringent, anti-fungal, mild laxative Uses:  all references here to use are associated with the green hulls, which is what I use => … Continue reading

Holy Basil: clear mind & heart

Common Name:  Holy Basil (Tulsi) Latin Name:  Ocimum sanctum Family:  Lamiaceae (Mint family) Parts used:  all above ground Tissue or system affinity:  heart, brain, circulatory system Taste:  sweet, slightly bitter, aromatic Energetics:  cooling, drying Actions:  adaptogen, antibacterial, antiviral, carminative, hypotensive Uses:  internally as a tincture or tea; a very tasty and delightful Ayurvedic herb from … Continue reading

Sweet Gum Tree: the warm protector

Common Name:  Sweet gum Latin Name:  Liquidambar styraciflua Family:  Hamamelidaceae (Witch hazel family) Parts used:  green balls, leaves, bark, resin Tissue or system affinity:  lungs, throat, joints, immune system Taste:  aromatic, slightly bitter Energetics:  warming, slightly drying Actions:  anti-viral, expectorant, astringent, drawing Uses:  topically, the resin can be used to draw out infection; topically, the … Continue reading