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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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Açaí berry (Euterpe oleracea)

Also called: Assai palm, euterpe palm, palmito açai, asai, cabbage palm, assaizeiro, pina palm, palmier pinot, juçara.
Parts used: fruit, heart

The acai palm is a tall slender South American (concentrated in Brazil, Guyana, Suriname) palm grown for its fruit as well a   (more info - Açaí berry)

Acanthopanax/Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

(Formerly Acanthopanax senticosus.)
Parts used: Roots, rhizomes

Though the plant is only loosely related to Chinese ginseng (Panax), it has many similar effects and is less expensive. (It is illegal to sell it under the name Siberian Ginseng in the U.S.)

Eleuther   (more info - Acanthopanax/Siberian Ginseng)
WARNING: Studies have shown that overuse may result in: hypertension, nervousness, sleeplessness, skin eruptions and morning diarrhea. Patients with hypertension should not consume ginseng. Prolonged use sho...more

Achyranthes (Achyranthes bidentata)

Also known by it's common name, "pig's knee", this is an important Chinese herb. Use: Herb, Leaves, Seeds, Roots

WARNING: Do Not use during Pregnancy

African mango (Irvingia gabonensis)

Also called bush mango or wild mango; the seeds are referred to as dika nut, duiker nut or ogbono/obono. The African mango tree is a highly useful plant in which most parts (fruit, seeds, wood) are useful. The wood is very hard and the full plant is useful as a shade tree for other crops.
(more info - African mango)

Agave (Agave)

Agave is a monocot, related to aloe vera, lillies, garlic, onions, bananas, irises, and many other plants. There are many subspecies, including Blue or Agave tequilana (the source of tequila), Agave angustifolia, and Agave americana.

Agave nectar (also called agave syrup) is a sweeten   (more info - Agave)
WARNING: Heat processed agave nectar is high in fructose and is not a suitable sugar substitute for those with diabetes.

Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria)

Also called: Church steeples, Cocklebur, Sticklewort, Philanthropos
Native to Europe, this plant is cultivated in North America for its anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and astrigent uses.
Use the flowering tips and dried leaves as a tonic and diuretic, and for digestive orders including   (more info - Agrimony)

Ailanthus (Ailanthus altissima)

Native to China and India, these trees bear greenish blossoms and clusters of yellow to orange-red fruit. The bark that is used to make an Infusion.   (more info - Ailanthus)

Ajenjo (Ajenjo)

see wormwood

Ajowan (Trachyspermum ammi)

(Wild Caraway orCarum copticum)
The small brownish seeds are remniscent of caraway, and that is why it is often called "wild Caraway". The plant grows in India where the metre-high plants are air-dried, and the seeds are extracted through rubbing. The seeds are used in cooking or simply che   (more info - Ajowan)

Albizzia (Albizzia julibrissin)

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

An important European leguminous forage plant with trifoliate leaves and blue-violet flowers grown widely as a pasture and hay crop. Alfalfa, like other leguminous crops, is a known source of phytoestrogens, including spinosterol. Grazing on alfalfa has been suspected as a cause of reduced fertility   (more info - Alfalfa)

Alisma (Alisma plantago-aquitica)

All Heal (All Heal)

Allium sativum (Allium sativum)

see Garlic.

Almond (Prunus dulcis)

1. A small bushy deciduous tree native to Asia and North Africa having pretty pink blossoms and highly prized edible nuts enclosed in a hard green hull; cultivated in southern Australia and California;
2. The oval-shaped edible seed of the almond tree (a drupe, not a true nut);
3. Anyt   (more info - Almond)
WARNING: Almonds may cause allergy or intolerance. Cross-reactivity is common with peach allergens (lipid transfer proteins) and tree nut allergens.

Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera)

Also called: Barbados Aloe, True Aloe, Burn Aloe, First Aid Plant, Chinese Aloe, Indian Aloe.

Aloe is a spiky succulent plant that originated in northern Africa, but now is grown worldwide, either as a garden plant, or in intolerant climates, grown indoors. It is a monocot, making it    (more info - Aloe Vera)
WARNING: This plant is a strong laxative when ingested. Do not take internally while pregnant.

Alum Root (Alum Root)

Amaranth (Amaranthus)

Any of various plants of the genus Amaranthus having dense plumes of green or red flowers, often cultivated for food; seeds of amaranth plants used as a native cereal in Central and South America.

Approximately 60 species are recognized, with inflorescences and foliage ranging from pu   (more info - Amaranth)

Amargosa (Amargosa)

American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium)

Also called: Five fingers
Parts used: root.
Milder than its Chinese cousin, American Ginseng is also good for assisting the immune system in fighting off infections such as cold and flu. It is also favoured for treating fatigue due to illness and coughs.
See also Ginseng and A   (more info - American Ginseng)
WARNING: Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)

Also known as Indian Gooseberry, nelli, amalaka, and emblic, amla is a common medicinal herb in the Ayurvedic tradition. A cousin to bhumyamalaki (phyllanthus niruri), it possesses similar antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. All parts of this mid-sized tree are used: fruits,    (more info - Amla)
WARNING: Do not use while pregnant. Do not use in conjunction with Insulin. Do not use in conjunction with diuretics. Do not use in conjunction with heart medications.

Amur maackia (Maackia amurensis)

Parts used: stem bark (legume, young leaves)
Also called: Cladrastis amurensis, inu-enju, maackia

Named after the botanist Richard Maack, amur maackia originates in Manchuria (East Asia). The bark is used in Korean traditional medicine to treat aches and inflammation-related ai   (more info - Amur maackia)

Andrographis (Andrographis)

Anemarrhena (Anemarrhena)

Angelica (Angelica archangelica)

Also called: Amara Aromatica, Archangelica, Goutweed.
A remarkably tall herb (up to 2.5m high) that has been used for centuries. Stories claim that it was recommended by the Archangel Raphael as a cure for the plague.
On a less fanciful front, Angelica helps to relieve gas, promotes   (more info - Angelica)
WARNING: Do not use when you are going to be exposed to direct sunlight. (Photosensitive) Do not use if pregnant. Contraindications also for Diabetes

Angelica / Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis/A polymorpha)

Also called: Dong Quai, Chinese Angelica
Parts used: root
Considered a uterine tonic, this herb is recommended in TCM for a wide variety of ailments related to the uterus. It is given for menstrual cramps and for irregular periods. It has also proven useful as an antispasmodic, for r   (more info - Angelica / Dong Quai)
WARNING: May cause photosensitivity. Do not take while pregnant.

Angelica Du Huo (Angelica Du Huo)

Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)

Anomala (Anomala)

apple (Malus domestica)

1. A Eurasian tree widely cultivated in many varieties for its firm rounded edible fruits.
2. The fruit of the apple tree with red, yellow, or green skin and sweet to tart crisp whitish flesh.

Apple trees are in the rose family (Rosaceae), meaning it is a relative of roses, bla   (more info - apple)

Apricot (Apricot)

Arecea (Arecea)

Arhat (Arhat)

Arjuna (Arjuna)

Arnica (Arnica)

WARNING: Do not use on open wounds

Artemisia Argyi (Artemisia Argyi)

Artichoke (Artichoke)

Arugula (Eruca sativa)

Also called: salad rocket, roquette, rucola, rugula, colewort

An erect European annual often grown as a salad crop to be harvested when young and tender. Arugula is a member of the Brassicales making it a relative of broccoli, mustard, kale, radishes, cauliflower, watercress, and turn   (more info - Arugula)
WARNING: Raw brassica vegetables contain goitrogens, which can suppress the function of the thyroid gland and induce the formation of a goiter by interfering with iodine uptak...more

Ashwagandha (Ashwagandha)

Asian Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

see Dandelion.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

A plant whose succulent young shoots are cooked and eaten as a vegetable; the edible young shoots of the asparagus plant.

A genus of perennial plants once classified in the lily family, like its Allium cousins, onions and garlic, but the Liliaceae have been split and the onion-like pl   (more info - Asparagus)

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous)

The root is the part that is prized for its medicinal properties, and it is prepared as a decoction or tincture
Recent research into its usefulness as a supportive tool for a variety of chronic immune problems has so far been supportive. Traditionally used by the Chinese and East Indian prac   (more info - Astragalus)

Atractylus (Atractylodes alba)

Parts used: Root
Also called: Chinese Thistle Daisy
This herb is found in many Traditional Chinese Medicines, and is used for gastric problems like indigestion, lack of appetite (orexigenic), or vomitting (including that casued by morning sickness). It is also a diuretic.   (more info - Atractylus)

Avocado (Persea americana)

1. A tropical American tree bearing large pulpy green fruits;
2. The pear-shaped tropical fruit of the avocado tree the size of a large pear, with green or blackish skin and rich yellowish pulp enclosing a single large seed;
3. The colour of the dull yellowish green of the meat of an a   (more info - Avocado)

Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi)

(Latin American Spanish, from Quechua ayawasca: aya (spirit, ancestor) + wasca (vine).)

1. A tropical vine Banisteriopsis spp. native to the Amazon region, noted for its hallucinogenic properties;
2. Any of various hallucinogenic drinks (psychoactive infusions or decoctions) pr   (more info - Ayahuasca)
WARNING: May cause intense vomiting and occasional diarrhea. MAOIs have potentially lethal dietary and drug interactions.

Balsam (Abies balsamea)

Parts used: root, bark, sap
Also called: Canada Balsam, whitespruce, European silver fir, Fir Pine
A common ingredient in hair conditioners, balsam has been used to prevent dryness and condition the scalp by Aboriginal People in North America for centuries. It is also used to treat ch   (more info - Balsam)
WARNING: Do Not use essential oil undiluted; may cause skin irritation.

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

1. A tree (Artocarpus incisa) native to Pacific Islands (but cultivated in tropical regions elsewhere) and having edible fruit with a texture like bread;
2. The round seedless or seeded fruit of the breadfruit tree with a bread-like texture; eaten boiled or baked or roasted or ground into flo   (more info - Breadfruit)

Cashews (Anacardium occidentale)

1. A kidney-shaped nut edible only when roasted.
2. The tropical American evergreen tree bearing kidney-shaped nuts that are edible only when roasted.

Cashew trees are native in tropical America, but is now naturalized in all tropical countries. Its best-known fruit, a kidney-s   (more info - Cashews)
WARNING: Be careful in handling raw cashews and their unroasted shells, they contain a caustic oil mostly composed of anacardic acids.

Celery (Apium graveolens)

A widely cultivated herb of the Parsley family with aromatic leaf stalks that are eaten raw, cooked, or used as seasoning.

Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery (var. dulce) or celeriac (var. rapaceum), depending on whether the petioles (s   (more info - Celery)

Chervil (Anthriscus cerefoilium)

A staple in French cuisine, Chervil is a member of the carrot family. Its flavour is a hybrid of aniseed and parsley.
Chervil doesn't like excessive heat, or having its roots disturbed, but given some shade, it is perfect in a container garden. Pinching the tops will prolong the growing p   (more info - Chervil)

Chinese Asparagus (Asparagus cochinchinensis)

Also called asparagus root, Asparagi Radix, Shatavri in India, or tian men dong in Chinese, of which the tubers are used as a kind of herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

   (more info - Chinese Asparagus)

Chives (Allium schoenoprasum)

A perennial having hollow cylindrical leaves used for seasoning; the smallest edible onion.

A relative of both the onion and garlic, chives prefer full sun to partial shade. Another ideal container herb, they will tolerate a variety of soil conditions, but prefer slightly acidic soil   (more info - Chives)
WARNING: As chives are usually served in small amounts and never as the main dish, negative effects are rarely encountered, although digestive problems may occur following overconsumption.
PET WARNING: As with all alliums, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, and other animals should not be allowed to ingest chives in any form, due to toxicity during digestion.

Chokeberry (Aronia)

The small apple-shaped or pear-shaped fruit of an American shrub (Aronia arbutifolia) growing in damp thickets; also, the shrub on which they grow. They are species of deciduous shrubs in the family Rosaceae (native to eastern North America) making them relatives of apples, almonds, raspberries, and   (more info - Chokeberry)

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

Also, dillweed.
Use: fronds, seeds.
Excellent accompaniment to fish, this herb also has tonic properties, settling the stomach. In fact, dill water is still used to calm colicky babies, to this day.
This herb has been used since the time of early Egyptians, up to 5000 years ago.
WARNING: Do not attempt to harvest wild: bears close resemblance to poisonous hemlock and water hemlock.

garlic (Allium sativum)

An aromatic bulbous herb originally from Asia that is now widely naturalized; bulb breaks up into separate strong-flavored cloves used as seasoning.
Also known as 'stinking rose'.

Garlic has a very strong smell, and an acrid, pungent taste. Each root is composed of several less   (more info - garlic)
WARNING: Insulin takers may need dosage adjustment due to hypoglycemia effects of garlic.

Green Cardamon (Amomum villosum)

Ground nuts (Arachis hypogaea)

1. A widely cultivated trailing leguminous American plant (Arachis hypogaea) grown in tropical and warm regions with showy yellow flowers on stalks that bend over to the soil so that seed pods ripen underground;
2. The underground pod of the peanut vine containing usually 2 nuts or seeds; 'gr   (more info - Ground nuts)
WARNING: Peanut allergies are relatively common, and the outcome ranges from mild to severe allergic reactions to peanut exposure. Symptoms can range from watery eyes to anaphylactic shock, which can be fa...more

Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

Common across North America, this nut is a member of the Sapindaceae family and not a true chestnut. The nuts are also poisonous to horses (and most mammals) when raw.

Quercetin 3,4'-diglucoside, a flavonol glycoside can also be found in horse chestnut seeds. Leucocyanidin, leucodelph   (more info - Horse Chestnut)
WARNING: Raw Horse Chestnut seed, leaf, bark and flower are toxic due to the presence of esculin and should not be ingested. Horse chestnut seed is classified by the FDA as an unsafe herb. The...more

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

A coarse Eurasian plant cultivated for its thick white pungent root; the root of the horseradish plant, typically grated or ground and used for seasoning. Sometimes classified as Cochlearia armoracia, horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, and a relative to mustard, wasabi, bro   (more info - Horseradish)
WARNING: Raw brassica vegetables contain goitrogens, which can suppress the function of the thyroid gland and induce the formation of a goiter by interfering with iodine uptak...more

Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris)

Also called Bear's Foot or Lion's Foot, this herb now common to North America originated in Northern Europe. It is a short low-growing plant, that reaches a maximum of about 45 cm. Its broad, specialized leaves are efficient dew collectors, and this property has given it mythic abilities - and    (more info - Lady's Mantle)
WARNING: Do not take during pregnancy.

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

Neem (Azadirachta indica)

Parts used: leaves, bark, seeds, sap

A large flowering semi-evergreen tree of East India (and the immediate region), sometimes placed in genus Melia (Melia azadirachta). Neem is now grown in many other tropical to subtropical regions.

Most of this plant has health benef   (more info - Neem)

Onion (Allium cepa)

A bulbous plant having hollow leaves cultivated worldwide for its rounded edible bulb; also the edible bulb of an onion plant. Onions are liliaceous plants of the genus Allium (A. cepa) with long hollow leaves. The name is often extended to other species of the genus.

Onions contain c   (more info - Onion)
WARNING: Recent evidence has shown that dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and other animals should not be given onions in any form, due to toxicity during digestion. The toxicity is caused by the sulfoxides present in ...more

Red Stinkwood (Prunus africana)

Also called: Pygeum, African Prune, African Cherry, or Bitter Almond. Ngwabuzito, Entasesa, Mkonde-konde, and uMkakase are its African names.

The African Plum tree is a relative to the roses, along with other plums, cherries, apples, and almonds. It is traditionally used to treat feve   (more info - Red Stinkwood)

Seaweed (Algae)

A primitive chlorophyll-containing mainly aquatic eukaryotic organisms lacking true stems and roots and leaves.

This is actually a large group of diverse unicellular and multicellular aquatic plants; they grow in both fresh water and seawater and are used commercially as a source of t   (more info - Seaweed)
WARNING: Rotting seaweed is a potent source of hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic gas, and has been implicated in some incidents of apparent hydrogen-sulphide poisoning. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

Siberian Ginseng (Acanthopanax gracilistylus)

See Acanthopanax.

Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)

Use: all; just the leaves for seasoning.
Also called: Dragon's mugwort
Primarily used for seasoning, this herb grows to about 24 inches tall; prefers semi-shade and very gentle winters. It has a taste of licorice, and is ubiquitous in French cuisine.
Tarragon has been used for    (more info - Tarragon)
WARNING: Long-term and excessive internal use of the essential oil has been associated with causing cancer.

White Cardamon (Amomum cardamon)

Woodruff (Asperula odorata)

With a fragrance remniscent of vanilla and fresh hay, this wonderful gem will be a perennial in areas where the winters are gentle or if it is brought inside. Grows to about eight inches high, in sun or semi-shade. Best known as a fragrance in certain german wines.   (more info - Woodruff)

Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

1. Any of several low composite herbs of the genera Artemisia or Seriphidium.
Also called Ajenjo and Old Woman.

Most commonly: a grey-green/whitish composite shrub (Artemisia Absinthium) growing about 1 foot high, having a bitter and slightly aromatic taste, formerly used as a    (more info - Wormwood)
WARNING: This plant has been ruled DANGEROUS by the US Food and Drug Administration and the Australian government. The volatile oil of wormwood is a narcotic poison. DO NOT MIX WITH ALCOHOL. Can cause res...more

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

The flowers are used for their ability to staunch bleeding, such as nosebleeds and cuts, to help menstrual issues and to treat colds and the flu.

Take internally as a tea (infusion), up to three cups a day. To treat cuts and scrapes swab the area liberally.   (more info - Yarrow)
WARNING: Do not use while pregnant


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