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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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Carob (Ceratania Siliqua)

1. An evergreen Mediterranean leguminous tree with edible pods (the biblical carob);2. A long, sweet, succulent pod containing small beans and sweetish edible pulp; used as animal feed and source of a chocolate substitute;3. The powder from the ground seeds and pods of the carob tree.

   (more info - Carob)

Cassia alata (Senna alata)

A tropical shrub (especially of Americas) having yellow flowers and large leaves, whose juice is used as a cure for ringworm and poisonous bites; sometimes placed in genus Cassia.

Also known as the Candle Bush, Candelabra Bush, Empress Candle Plant, Ringworm Tree, or "candletree", Sen   (more info - Cassia alata)

Cassia auriculata (Senna auriculata)

Any of various plants of the genus Senna having pinnately compound leaves and showy usually yellow flowers; many are used medicinally. They constitute a valuable but nauseous cathartic medicine.

Senna was formerly classified in the genus Cassia, hence the secondary name, Cassia auricu   (more info - Cassia auriculata)

Cassia obovata (Senna italica)

A legume tree in the genus Senna.

It is recognized by many other common names based on the regions it grows in. In India, it is known as "Neutral henna". Most botanists and scientists recognize this plant as "Senegal Senna".

Ironically, Italian Senna is a native mostly    (more info - Cassia obovata)

Cassia Tora (Senna tora)

Senna tora (originally described by Linné as Cassia tora) is a legume in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae. Its name has been derived from Sinhala language, in which it is simply called "Tora". It is often confused with Chinese Senna or Sicklepod, S. obtusifolia.

This herb is used   (more info - Cassia Tora)

Chia (Salvia hispanica)

A species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Salvia columbariae is more commonly known as "golden chia".

Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25–30   (more info - Chia)

Chickweed (Carophyllaceae)

1. Any of various plants of the genus Stellaria.
2. Any of various plants related to the common chickweed, the seeds and flower buds of which are a favorite food of small birds like finches and other seed-eaters.

There are several closely related plants referred to as chickweed   (more info - Chickweed)

Chinese Figwort (Scrophularia ningpoensis)

This plant has been known to traditional Chinese medicine for as long as 2000 years. Its root is harvested in autumn in Zhejiang province and neighboring areas, then dried for later use.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has found use in a formula to treat arthritis. The herb has de   (more info - Chinese Figwort)

Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)

Also: Eugenia caryophyllata, or Eugenia aromatica. In Chinese medicine, cloves are: ding xiang.

Clove trees are moderate sized very symmetrical red-flowered evergreens native to Indonesia, though now widely cultivated in the tropics for its flower buds - which are the source of cloves   (more info - Cloves)
WARNING: Clove oil may cause skin irritation and must be used in 1% dilution or less when applied to the skin
PET WARNING: Be careful with smaller animals. High doses of clove oil can actually be used to euthanize, not just anesthetize fish.

Coccinia indica (Coccinia grandis)

Coccinia is a genus with 28-30 species whose native range extends from Africa to Asia. Of the varieties, the ivy gourd can grow up to four inches per day, blocking other vegetation from receiving much-needed light, and is thus regarded as an invasive weed in many areas.

In Southeast A   (more info - Coccinia indica)

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Also called: Ass Ear, Yalluc, Slippery Root, Consormol, Blackwort, and Bruisewort.
Strangely hairy like its cousin Borage, Comfrey when clearly identified is used in poultices and teas to treat an array of ailments such as:
gout, bruises, sprains, skin blemishes, acne, eczema, swelling   (more info - Comfrey)
WARNING: Health Canada has issued a warning not to ingest or use this herb, or any product containing this herb, on broken skin. Certain varieties of Comfrey contain a compound called echimidine which causes ...more

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1. Any of various plants of the genus Stellaria.
2. Any of various plants related to the common chickweed, the seeds and flower buds of which are a favorite food of small birds like finches and other seed-eaters.

There are several closely related plants referred to as chickweed   (more info - deleted)

Elder (Sambucus nigra)

The elder tree has been part of human medicinal and spiritual lore dating back many centuries. Medicinally, flowers, bark, berries (see elderberry) are used - though care must be used as raw leaves, twigs, branches, seeds and roots contain cyanide-inducing glycoside. Unripe berries are mildly toxic.   (more info - Elder)
WARNING: Do not ingest the twigs, branches, leaves, seeds or roots as they contain a glycoside that becomes cyanide as the body processes it. - Due to the possibility of cyanide poisoning, children should be ...more
PET WARNING: Keep away from pets, especially the raw wood and roots.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)

Elderberries are berrylike drupes of the elder tree. They are high in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, anthocyanins (anthocyanin glucosides), and the phenolic compounds quercetin and kaempferol.

The dark blue, purple, or sometimes deep red berries can be eaten when fully ripe but   (more info - Elderberry)
WARNING: While ripe berries are perfectly safe to eat, but do not ingest the seeds, or any raw components of the rest of the tree. Due to the possibility of cyanide poisoning, children should be discouraged f...more
PET WARNING: Do not give to pets.

Fructus corni (Cornus officinalis)

A species of dogwood known also as Japanese cornel or Japanese cornelian cherry or Cornelian cherries.

In China, Japan, and Korea it is used as a food plant and as a medicinal plant-Shan-zhu-yu,(Chinese) San-syu-yu (Japanese). The plant contains oleanolic acid and ursolic acid. Ursoli   (more info - Fructus corni)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Also called: Nagara, Shen-jiang (fresh ginger rhizome), Sunthi, Gan-jiang (dried ginger rhizome)
Parts used: Root, Rhizome, Volatile Oil

1. A plant of the genus Zingiber, of the East and West Indies.
2. The hot and spicy rootstock of Zingiber officinale, which is much us   (more info - Ginger)
WARNING: Ginger is a blood thinner. Do not combine with aspirin or other prescribed blood thinners.

Hibiscus (Hibiscus)

A genus of plants (herbs, shrubs, or trees), some species of which have large, showy flowers. Some species of hibiscus (kenaf, Hibiscus cannabinus) are cultivated in India for their fiber, which is used as a substitute for hemp. The genus also includes Althea, Hollyhock, and Manoe.

Dr   (more info - Hibiscus)

Inca Peanut (Plukenetia volubilis)

Also known as: Sacha Peanut, Sacha Inchi, or the Mountain Peanut.

High in omega 3 fatty acids, the Inca peanut is often used by vegetarians to supplement their diet. It also contains omega 6, omega 9, iodine, vitamin A, vitamin E, and protein, making it a robust nutritional supplement   (more info - Inca Peanut)
WARNING: There are rare cases of allergies reported resulting in bronchial asthma and rhinoconjunctivitis, usually in those who work with it on a daily basis.

Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

A leathery-leaved evergreen shrub (Simmondsia chinensis) native to the southwestern US, with seeds that produce an oil.

Jojoba oil is used as a replacement for whale oil and its derivatives, such as cetyl alcohol. The ban on importing whale oil to the US in 1971 led to the discovery t   (more info - Jojoba)
WARNING: The oil has similar properties to olestra and ingesting it may cause steatorrhea (anal leakage and oily stool).

Lilac (Syringa)

1. Any of various plants of the genus Syringa having large panicles of usually fragrant flowers.
2. [adj] Of a pale purple color, resembling certain of the lilac florets.

The lilac is a member of the olive family (Oleaceae)

There are six species of lilac, native    (more info - Lilac)

Milk thistle (Silybum)

A tall Old World biennial thistle with large clasping white-blotched leaves and purple flower heads; naturalized in California and South America. Milk thistle is a member of the Asteraceae (daisy) family, a cousin of sunflowers, chamomile, and marigolds.

Traditional milk thistle extra   (more info - Milk thistle)

Red Sage Root (Danshen) (Salvia miltiorrhiza)

(Not to be confused with Scarlet Sage Salvia splendens.)

Red sage root is a member of the mint family (salvia is the largest genus of mints) that grows 30-60cm high native to China and Japan. The root is typically harvested in the fall.

Red sage root or Danshen is used    (more info - Red Sage Root (Danshen))
WARNING: Do not take red sage root if you are on the heart medication warfarin. It can cause intense bleeding and anticoagulant complications.

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius)

A thistle-like Eurasian plant widely grown for its red or orange flower heads and seeds that yield a valuable oil. The flowers of safflower are also used as a dyestuff and in making rouge. It is sometimes also called bastard saffron or false saffron.

Traditionally, the crop was grown    (more info - Safflower)
WARNING: Safflower oil may be a significant source of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids that do not carry the same health benefits as omega-3s.

Saffron (Crocus sativus)

1. A shade of yellow tinged with orange; 2. The aromatic, dried, pungent stigmas of the Old World saffron crocus;3. An Old World crocus having purple or white flowers with aromatic pungent orange stigmas used in flavoring food.

Saffron is used in cookery, and in coloring confectionery   (more info - Saffron)

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Use: all parts above ground.
A perennial shrub, Sage makes a good container plant, by its nature and for its uses. Culinarily, Sage is most often associated with poultry, but try it with fish and pork as well. It also makes an excellent herbed vinegar or butter.
Sage wants drier soil   (more info - Sage)

Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Parts used: Oil, wood.
Sandalwood is a smallish tree (20-30 feet high) that is native to India. Historically, Sandalwood has been prescribed both internally and topically. It was used for bronchial ailments and as an aphrodisiac. The oil is still used in perfumes.

The oil fr   (more info - Sandalwood)
WARNING: Do not use the undiluted oils on the skin. Do not ingest except under the guidance of a qualified professional.

Sanguinaria (Sanguinaria)

Sanicle (Sanicle)

Sargassum (Sargassum)

A brown algae with rounded bladders forming dense floating masses in tropical Atlantic waters as in the Sargasso Sea. Numerous species are distributed throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world, where they generally inhabit shallow water and coral reefs. However, the genus may be best   (more info - Sargassum)
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 an...more

Sargentodoxa (Sargentodoxa)

Savoury (Summer) (Satureja hortensis)

Used primarily as a condiment. Growing up to 18 inches tall, Summer Savoury prefers a light rich loamy soil and full sun.
Use: parts above ground.
Another member of the mint family, Summer Savoury is an easy to grow container plant that accompanies meat dishes (pork and beef). This a   (more info - Savoury (Summer))

Savoury (Winter) (Satureja montana)

Use: flowering tops.
Used primarily as a condiment. Growing up to 24 inches tall, Winter Savoury prefers a light sandy soil and full sun.
Both savouries are members of the mint family. Winter savoury is called 'medicinally useless' by some herbology texts, and other sources say that i   (more info - Savoury (Winter))

Saw Palmetto (Saw Palmetto)

Schizandra (Schizandra)

Schizonepta (Schizonepta)

Scirpus (Scirpus)

Scullcap (Scullcap)

Scute (Scute)

Sea-buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.)

Also called sea buckthorn, seabuckthorn, sandthorn or seaberry.

Sea-buckthorn berries are edible and nutritious, though very acidic (astringent) and oily, unpleasant to eat raw, unless 'bletted' (frosted to reduce the astringency) and/or mixed as a juice with sweeter substances such a   (more info - Sea-buckthorn)

Seahorse Vitex (Seahorse Vitex)

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.

Shae (Butyrospermum parkii)

see Shea

Shankhapushpi (Shankhapushpi)

Shatavari (Shatavari)

Shea (Butyrospermum parkii)

Also called: Shae, Vitellaria paradoxa, Vitellaria, Karite

A tropical African tree having oily seeds that yield shea butter (also "shae butter" or "karite butter"). When the large green seeds ripen they fall from the tree and are collected by hand. They have a fleshy, edible, sweet    (more info - Shea)

Sheep Sorrel (Sheep Sorrel)

Shepherd's Purse (Shepherd's Purse)

Shiitake (Shiitake)

Siberian Ginseng (Acanthopanax gracilistylus)

See Acanthopanax.

Siberian Solomon's Seal (Siberian Solomon's Seal)

Siegesbeckia (Siegesbeckia)

Sileris (Sileris)

Silk Tassel (Silk Tassel)

Skunk Cabbage (Skunk Cabbage)

Slippery Elm, (Slippery Elm,)

Sorghum (Sorghum)

1. A genus of annual or perennial tropical and subtropical cereal grasses, properly limited to two species, Sorghum Halepense, the Arabian millet, or Johnson grass, and S. vulgare, the Indian millet.
2. A variety of Sorghum vulgare, grown for its saccharine juice; the Chinese sugar cane.
(more info - Sorghum)
WARNING: Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide, hordenine and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages of the plant's growth. When stressed by drought or heat, plants ca...more

Soybeans (Glycine max)

1. An erect bushy hairy annual herb having trifoliate leaves and purple to pink flowers; extensively cultivated for food and forage and soil improvement but especially for its nutritious oil-rich seeds (legumes); native to Asia;
3. The most highly proteinaceous vegetable crop known;
2.   (more info - Soybeans)
  • Allergy to soy is common, and the food is listed with other foods that commonly cause allergy, such as milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish.
  • A 2001 literature review suggested tha...more

Spearmint (Spearmint)

Also called Pennyroyal (not to be confused with European Pennyroyal - see warning).
Hardy perennial that will grow to about 24 inches high. Has aromatherapeutic properties, as well as making a great seasoning and tea. Prefers moist soil and full sun.
A slightly less potent variety t   (more info - Spearmint)
WARNING: Do not pick wild - use only identified mints. European Pennyroyal, a close cousin, has been known to induce comas and convulsions.

Spikenard (Spikenard)

spinach (Spinacia oleracea)

A plant native to southwestern Asia that is now widely cultivated for its succulent edible dark green leaves.

Spinach is high in antioxidants, though over-cooking damages its nutritional content.

Lightly steamed or sauteed, spinach retains its nutrients, which include:    (more info - spinach)

Spirulina (Spirulina)

A type of blue-green microalgae of the genus Spirulina, belonging to the phylum Cyanobacteria.

Spirulina is a good source of nutrients including: beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, tryptophan, and gamma-linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid). As Spirulina is beneficial in phytoremediation,    (more info - Spirulina)

St. John's Wort (Hypericum Perforatum)

Any of numerous plants of the genus Hypericum having yellow flowers and transparently dotted leaves; traditionally gathered on St John's eve to ward off evil.
H. perforatum is sometimes called common St John's wort to differentiate it.

Also called Goatweed, Klamath Weed.
   (more info - St. John's Wort)
  • Do not drink teas made of the flowers. May result in photosensitivity (and cause skin burns).
  • St John's wort is "associated with aggravating psychosis in schizophrenia"more

Stemona (Stemona)

Stevia (Stevia)

Any plant of the genus Stevia or the closely related genus Piqueria having glutinous foliage and white or purplish flowers; Central and South America.

The leaves of the stevia plant have 30–45 times the sweetness of sucrose (ordinary table sugar). The leaves can be eaten fresh,   (more info - Stevia)

Stillingia (Stillingia)

Stoneroot (Stoneroot)

Strawberry (Fragaria)

Various low perennial herbs with many runners and bearing white flowers followed by edible fruits having many small achenes (seeds) scattered on the surface of an enlarged red pulpy berry.
Parts used: fruit, leaves

Strawberry fruit are an excellent source of vitamin C, and a g   (more info - Strawberry)
WARNING: Allergies to strawberries are not uncommon, with reactions ranging from the mild (hives, itchiness, nasal congestion) to the severe (burning in the lips, mouth, ears, or pharynx; laboured breathing). ...more

Suma (Suma)

Sumac (Rhus typhina, R. glabra)

Sumacs are a family of trees, of the genus Rhus, relatives of the cashew. For our purposes here, we are focusing primarily on a common North American variety: Staghorn sumac (many of the same properties apply to the smooth sumac bush, as well as other related varieties).

Fruit from th   (more info - Sumac)
WARNING: Rhus glabra, or smooth sumac, can be mistaken for poison sumac (Rhus vernix) when no mature fruit is visible.

Sundew (Sundew)

Sunflower (Elettaria, Amomum)

Any plant of the genus Helianthus, so called probably from the form and color of its flower, having large flower heads with dark disk florets and showy yellow rays.

The commonly cultivated sunflower is Helianthus annuus, a native of the Americas. Both the seeds and roots of certain va   (more info - Sunflower)
WARNING: At least one study of a person with a known peanut allergy suffered an acute reaction to a "nut-free" butter containing sunflower seeds.

Swallow Wort (Swallow Wort)

Sweet Almond (prunus amygdalus dulcis)

Parts used: nut

Native to the Middle East, this nut has been used as a moisturizing agent for millennia. It can be used topically as well as internally.

Sweet almond is still widely used in cosmetics and as a carrier oil. It contains essential fatty acids that are good   (more info - Sweet Almond)
WARNING: Do not use without knowing if the recipient has nut allergies.

sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas)

The edible tuberous root of the sweet potato vine grown widely in warm regions of the United States. Sweet potatoes are not true potatoes (Solanum tuberosum, which are members of the nightshade family), instead they are relatives of morning glories. Some varieties are ornamental and known as "tubero   (more info - sweet potato)

Sweetgrass (Hierochlöe odorata)

Also called: "Hair of the Earth Mother".
A plant used in Aboriginal smudging ceremonies, the smoke of this herb is used to help purge grief. Sweetgrass is a northern plant found in both North America and Europe (circumpolar), which has led to some interesting speculation as to how it was sp   (more info - Sweetgrass)

tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum)

A mildly acid red or yellow pulpy fruit eaten as a vegetable. They are members of the nightshade family, native to South America, and now grown world-wide in temperate climates.

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which may have beneficial health effects. Their nutrients also include: vit   (more info - tomatoes)
WARNING: As a member of the nightshade family, tomato leaves and stems contain atropine and other tropane alkaloids that are toxic if ingested. Leaves, stems, and green unripe fruit of the tomato plant conta...more


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