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Anise / Aniseed = Pimpinella anisum – Anis (Apiaceae)
- Dried fruit (commonly know as seeds or ‘aniseeds’)
- Expectorant, Anti-spasmodic, Carminative, Parasiticide, Aromatic
- The volatile oil in this plant provides the basis for its internal use to ease griping, intestinal colic and flatulence. Anise fruit preparations have been useful in the treatment of respiratory ailments because of its expectorant and anti-spasmodic action and may be used for bronchitis, in tracheitis where there is a persistent irritable or dry cough and in whooping cough. Externally, the oil may be used in the treatment of scabies. The oil by itself will help in the control of lice. It has been used in the homeopathic medicine.
- Anise fruits are harmless and no side effects have been reported. Excessive dose of the oil taken internally is toxic. It can produce irritation of the stomach, nausea and vomiting, tremor, and in long-term application, irritation of the kidneys and even kidney damage. An excessive dose of the undiluted oil can influence the uterus and lead to abortion.
- Anise oil should not be used internally in cases of acute gastritis, kidney inflammation, stomach ulcer, and internal haemorrhages. The oil should be avoided during pregnancy. It can cause contact dermatitis in some indivduals.
- For flatulent colic it can be mixed with equal parts of Fennel and Caraway. For bronchitis it combines well with Coltsfoot, White Horehound and Lobelia.
- An essence, essential oil, tincture, powdered seeds, teas and pills.
Chamomile (Roman) = Chamaemelum.nobile/nolilis – Kamille (Asteraceae)
- The flowers
- Anti-spasmodic, Carminative, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Antiseptic, Vulnerary
- The extensive list of complaints it can help fall into areas that the relaxing carminative and anti-inflammatory actions can aid. It is an excellent, gentle sedative, useful and safe to use with children. It is commonly used as a remedy for the digestive system, Roman Chamomile is often used interchangeably with German Chamomile. However, an infusion of Roman Chamomile has a more pronounced bitter action then its German namesake. It is an excellent treatment for nausea, vomiting, indigestion and loss of appetite. German Chamomile being an antispasmodic relaxes tense, aching muscles and eases period pain. It has also been shown to be beneficial for morning sickness and sore nipple. It has also sedative, anti-spasmodic and mildly analgesic, and will relieve colic, griping and other cramping pains. By stimulating the digestive secretions and relaxing the muscles of the gut, it help normalize digestive function. It may also be taken for headaches and migraine, even by children. It will contribute its relaxing actions in any combination and is thus used in anxiety and insomnia. It can also be used as a mouth wash for inflammations of the mouth such as gingivitis and for bathing sore and inflamed eyes. As an inhalation over steam bath, it will speed the recovery of nasal catarrh. Because of its anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties it has been shown to be useful for allergic asthma.
- Roman Chamomile is harmless in normal therapeutic doses. No toxic reports have been reported. An excessive amount of an infusion taken internally can cause vomiting.
- Roman Chamomile can cause a severe allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock in individuals sensitive to ragweed pollen. Caution should be exercised when an infusion of this plant is given for the first time, particularly in children and infants. The essential oil should only be used under strict supervision by a practitioner. The essential oil is subject to legal restrictions in some countries.
- For treatment of asthmatic conditions it can be combined with herbs used for bronchitis.
- As decoction, infusion, fluid extract and essential oil.
Coriander = Coriandrum sativum – Koriander (Apiaceae)
- The ripe seeds, leaves and essential oil
- Carminative, Aromatic
- Coriander is better known as a culinary spice then a medical herb. Nevertheless, an infusion of this herb is a gentle remedy for flatulence, bloating and griping. It settles spasms within the gut and counters the effects of nervous tension. It will ease diarrhea, especially in children. It may be used as an equivalent to ‘gripe water’ which is usually made from Dill seeds. The constituent oil acts as a stimulant to the stomach, increasing secretion of digestive juices and thus also stimulating the appetite. Coriander can be chewed to sweeten the breath after eating Garlic. It can be applied externally as a lotion for rheumatic pain. In Europe it has traditionally been thought to possess aphrodisiac properties.
- The essential oil should not be taken internally.
- Care should be taken during pregnancy.
- Not generally combined.
- Infusion, Lotion, powdered fruit, fluid extract.
Deadly Nightshade = Atropa belladonna – Schwarze Tollkirsche (Solanaceae)
- Belladonna, Poison black cherry.
- Dried or fresh leaves, root.
- Smooth muscle anti-spasmodic, Narcotic, Anticholinergic, Mydriatic, Hallucinogenic.
- Deadly Nightshade is one of the most valuable medicinal plants. Various preparations of this plant have been used both in orthodox and in herbal medicine. It had been used to treat intestinal and renal colic, as well as to relieve urinary spasms. It is the source of pupil of the eye (mydriatic). It is also used as an antidote to some poisons. Another constituent hyoscine is an ingredient in many sea sickness medicines. The plant also has smooth muscle relaxant properties which makes it useful in conventional medicine as an anaesthetic, particularly when digestive or bronchial secretions need to be kept to a minimum. The herb can be used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, reducing tremors and rigidity, and improves speech and mobility. Externally the plant extracts, in the form of liniments are used to relieve rheumatic conditions and gout. The plant has also been used in homeopathic medicine.
- All parts of this plant are exceedingly toxic. An excessive dose can cause severe poisoning and even death. Symptoms of poisoning include thirst, dryness of the mouth and throat, visual disturbances, weakening of the pulse, and convulsions. Death may occur as a result of heart failure. Fruits of this plant, to which children are often attracted have caused severe poisonings. Preparation of this plant may be hazardous in hot climatic conditions in the tropics. Atropine, even in low therapeutic dose, can block the action of the sweat glands, can suppress heat regulation and can cause death through over-heating and heat-stroke. There have been reported cases of death in children who were given only a few drops of 1% solution of atropine in the form of eye-drops. An excessive dose can cause hallucinations.
- Deadly Nightshade preparations or the pure alkaloids should not be taken during pregnancy, in cases of prostatic gland disease, paralytic ileus, glaucoma, and tachycardia, or by people under treatment with antidepressant drugs. As this plant is classified as a poison it should only be used under medical supervision.
- Not generally combined with other herbs.
Dill =Anethum graveolens – Dill (Apiaceae)
- Dill seed, Dill fruit.
- Seeds, essential oil, Leaves.
- Carminative, Aromatic, Anti-spasmodic, Galactogogue.
- Dill has long been considered a remedy for the stomach, relieving wind and calming the digestion. Dill’s essential oil relieves intestinal spasms and griping and settle colic and is the specific herb of choice for colic in children. It is still a main constituent of gripe water and other children’s medicines. Oil of dill is used in medicine in largely the same way, but also used in perfuming soaps. Chewing the seeds improves bad breath and makes a useful addition to cough, cold and flu remedies and is a mild diuretic. As with Caraway, it can be used with antispasmodics, such as Cramp Bark to relieve period pain. Dill increases milk production and when taken regularly by nursing mothers helps to prevent colic in their baby’s.
- This is low-toxicity plant often used as a culinary herb.
- The essential oil should only be taken internally under strict supervision.
- Dill can be combined with antispasmodics such as Cramp Bark for the relief of period pain.
- Infusion, tincture, distilled water, essential oil.
Ephedra = Epedra sinica – Meerträubel (Ephedraceae)
- Ma-huang, Ephedrine, Epitonin, Mattuang, Mormon tea.
- Aerial stems and twigs and root.
- Vasodilator, Hypertensive, Circulatory.
- The alkaloids in Ephedra have apparently opposite effects on the body. The overall action however, is one of benefit and balance. It is used with great success in the treatment of asthma and associated conditions due to its power to relieve spasms in the bronchial tubes. It is thus used in bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough. It is considered a prophylactic drug for use to help lower blood pressure in influenza or pneumonia. It also reduces allergic reactions, giving it a role in the treatment of hay fever and other allergies. It may be used in the treatment of low blood pressure and circulatory insufficiency.
- Adverse effects of ephedra may occur even in low or moderate dose. These include headache, tremors, and insomnia. Excessive use of ephedra may cause vomiting, increased blood pressure, tachycardia, nervousness, and numbing in the extremities. It may also cause difficulty in voiding, particularly in elderly patients.
- Ephedra should not be used in patients with heart insufficiency, inflammation of the prostate gland, angina pectoris, glaucoma, or coronary thrombosis. It should be avoided in individuals with hyperthyroidism and hypertension. It should not be used by patients taking MAO inhibitors as anti-depressants.
- Not generally combined.
- As a tincture, decoction, tablets and injection.
Hawthorn = Crataegus monogyna – Weißdorne (Rosacea)
- English hawthorn, Haw, Maythorn.
- The ripe berries, fresh and dried flowering tops.
- Cardiotonic, Hypotensive, Dilates blood vessels, Relaxant, Antioxidant.
- Heart remedy – Hawthorn berries provide us with one of the best tonic remedies for the heart and circulatory system. Like many herbs, Hawthorn works in tune with the body’s own physiological processes but may take some months for changes to occur. The remedy acts upon the heart by either stimulating or depressing its activity depending on its need. As a long term treatment they may safely be used in heart failure or weakness. It can also be used similarly in cases of palpitations. As a tonic for the circulatory system the remedy finds its primary use in the treatment of high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and angina pectoris. This remedy is very effective in treating these conditions but should only be done under strict practitioner supervision.
- Blood pressure – not only is Hawthorn a valuable remedy for high blood pressure, but it also raises low blood pressure. Herbalists using Hawthorn have found it restores blood pressure to normal.
- Poor memory – Combined with Ginkgo, Hawthorn is used to enhance poor memory. It works by improving the circulation of blood within the head, thereby increasing the amount of oxygen to the brain.
- This is a relatively harmless plant. No toxic effects or side-effects have been reported, even with long-term use of the plant. Toxic doses in animals are exceedingly high. Since no toxic cardiac glycosides have so far been reported in this plant, it cannot be treated as a poisonous plant or restricted. Hawthorn may potentiate, however, the action of cardiotonic glycosides of Digitalis or other plants and therefore the orthodox medical practitioner should be informed about the use if hawthorn preparations.
- Should not be used with commercial cardiac preparations except under strict supervision. Care should be taken when used for low blood pressure and only under strict supervision.
- For treatment of high blood pressure and the circulatory system this remedy can be combined with Lime Blossom, Mistletoe and Yarrow. For the treatment of poor memory and memory loss combine with Ginkgo.
- Tincture, decoction, infusion, tablets.
Oats = Avena sativa – Hafer (Poaceae)
- Oats, common oats, groats.
- Seeds and whole plant, oat straw.
- Nervine tonic, Anti-depressant, Nutritive, Demulcent, Vulnerary.
- Oats are best know as a nutritious cereal, but they benefit the health in many other ways. Oat bran lowers cholesterol, and an oat-based diet may improve stamina. Oats and oat straw in particular, are tonic when taken medicinally. Oat straw is prescribed by medical herbalists. To treat general debility and a wide range of nervous conditions. The grains are anti-depressant, gently raiding energy levels and supporting and over-stressed nervous system. Oats are used to treat depression and nervous disability, as well as the exhaustion that results from multiple sclerosis, chronic neurological pain and insomnia. Oats are thought to stimulate sufficient nervous energy to help relieve insomnia. Oats are one of the principle aids to convalescence after long illness. Externally, the grain is emollient and cleansing and a decoction strained into a bath can help soothe itchiness and eczema.
- Over-large doses may cause headaches at the back of the head.
- Care need to be taken with those sensitive to gluten (e.g. coeliac disease)
- For depression it may be used with Skullcap and Lady’s Slipper.
- Oats may be taken most conveniently in the form of porridge. Also fluid extract. Strained for bath use.