The Complete Herbal
Guide to Herbal Remedies

A-Z of Herbs


A to Z of Alternative Therapies
A to Z of Botanical Terms
A to Z of Herbal Actions
A to Z of the Language of Flowers
A to Z of Latin Names
A to Z of Medical Terms
A to Z of Vitamins and Minerals

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(Aconitum Napellus) aka: monkshood, wolfsbane, friar's cap, blue rocket, auld wife's huid

A hardy perennial with dark blue flowers on tall stems aconitea is found in the mountainous areas of Europe and Asia.

Regarded as highly poisonous aconitea is said to have diuretic and diaphoretic properties. It is said to reduce the force of the pulse during fever and inflammation, as well as alleviating conditions with catarrh, tonsillitis, the early stages of pneumonia, erysipelas, neuralgia, pleurisy and heart spasm. Used externally it is said to reduce the pain of neuralgia, rheumatism and lumbago.

Adder's Tongue

(Ophioglossum vulgatum) aka: adder's mouth, dog's tooth violet, serpent's tongue, trout lily, yellow snowdrop.

Found in damp grassy areas in Britain. It develops only one leaf each year, and grows to a height of 520 cm/28 in. Reproductive organs are borne in two rows on an unbranched spike attached to the stalk near the base of the leaf blade.

It is said to have contraceptive, diuretic, emetic, emollient, febrifuge and stimulant properties. Plant constituents include alph-methylene-butyrolactone which has antimutagenic activity. This chemical prevents cell mutation and may prove to be a valuable weapon in fighting all forms of cancer. The leaves and bulb are crushed and used to dress wounds and reduce swellings, for scrofula and other skin problems. A medicinal tea made from the root and leaf is said to reduce fever and fainting, the tea is also taken for ulcers, tumors and swollen glands. Use with caution Adder's Tongue can be strongly emetic in some people. Because of its resemblance to a snake's tongue, the plant was traditionally believed to cure snake bites.



(Agrimonia Eupatoria) aka: Aaron's rod, church steeples, money in both pockets, cockeburr, sticklewort, philanthropos

Agrimony's Latin name is thought to have been derived through Argemone, the Greek word meaning cataract, and also after Mithridates Eupator, king of Pontus, who was a famous herbalist.

Native to Britain, this perennial grows to between 1-3ft high and has slender spikes of yellow flowers.

It is said to have astringent, tonic and diuretic properties. It is purported to be a digestive tonic and has been used in the treatment of irritation and infection of the digestive tract in children. Today in Germany it has been used to treat gallstones and cirrhosis of the liver, whilst in Chinese medicine it is a treatment for excessive bleeding.

Another application of Agrimony is as an anti-inflammatory- relieving skin, mouth & throat inflammation. Known for its throat-soothing action, it can be used as a gargle.



(Aloe Perryi, Aloe Vera) aka: Barbados, Cape, Natal, Zanzibar aloes

Many traditional systems of medicine have a history of use covering 18 centuries. Aloe vera gel has been used to treat inflammation for more than 2,500 years.

Aloes are perennial succulent plants with fleshy leaves and flower spikes. Aloe Vera looks like a catus with yellow flowers because of its stiff, spearlike leaves that grows in rosettes. It is a succulent perennial of the lily family native to parts of Africa, found in the West Indies and other tropical areas and commercially grown in southern Texas and Mexico.  

Aloe vera gel is derived from the "mucilaginous cells" contained inside the leaves. The fresh gel is widely used as a folk medicine for scar-free healing of cuts and for soothing minor burns and sunburn, as well as minor cuts and scrapes and skin irritations.  Aloe gel is also used in beverages commonly sold as "aloe juice". Aloe gel, mixed with water, citric acid, fruit juices, and preservatives is also marketed as "aloe juice", touted as a digestive aid or folk remedy for arthritis, stomach ulcers, diabetes, and other conditions.  Aloe gel is also used in many commercial products such as sunburn lotions, moisturizers, first aid creams, and shampoos.



(Medicago sativa)

Alfalfa is a perennial herb. It can reach 24 to 35 inches (60-90 cm) in height, with 5 to 25 or more erect stems per plant, which arise from a narrow, woody crown. It is a well-known herb to health-conscious consumers. It is high in nutrients, which are drawn into the plant from deep in the soil. The richest land source of trace minerals, the roots of Alfalfa plants have been known to reach as much as thirty feet deep! The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals and nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene. They are also a source of protein, vitamin E and vitamin K. Alfalfa has been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to treat kidney stones, and to relieve fluid retention and swelling. Alfalfa nourishes the digestive, skeletal, glandular, and urinary systems. Alfalfa contains chlorophyll, which is renowned for its cleansing qualities.

Ancient Chinese doctors used Alfalfa to increase appetite and to help poor digestion. Ayurvedic doctors believed it could help relieve certain types of ulcers and reduce the inflammation due to arthritis and rheumatism.


(Pimpinella anisum) aka: sweet cumin, aniseed, anis, Yan kok (Chinese)

Romans used anise at the end of a rich meal, to prevent indigestion. In England anise has been in use since the fourteenth century, and has been cultivated in English gardens from the middle of the sixteenth century, but the seeds only ripen in very warm summers. Interestingly it is one of the herbs that is said to avert the 'Evil Eye'. In cooking or infused as a tea, the seeds can aid digestion, quell nausea, and ease flatulence and colic. Anise is expectorant and can soothe spasms of irritant coughs and bronchial problems. It promotes estrogen production and is used to encourage breast milk, ease childbirth, and stimulate libido. Commercially anise is used in cough mixtures, and small amounts of the essential oil, produced from the seeds, are added to toothpaste, perfumes and mouthwashes, it is also used to mask bitter medicines. In large amounts Anise is highly toxic. The seeds are carminative. Used in tea or as lozenges, they can soothe a hard cough.

More Details about Anise


(Pyrus malus)

My granny always used to say "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" maybe she was on to something. Apples can be eaten raw as a fruit they contain boron in their skins.  They can be used as an astringent or to aid digestion. For maximum benefit you should eat 1 to 2 medium-sized apples every day.

In addition apple cider vinegar is thought have healing and cleansing properties, it can be used as a natural antibiotic and can improve digestion and may help with weight loss.



(Arnica montana) aka: arnica flowers, arnica root, common arnica, leopard's bane, mountain arnica, mountain tobacco, and wolfsbane.

Arnica is a perennial plant with long green leaves, orange-yellow flowers that appear from June to August. and a dark brown root system. It is generally found in mountainous areas of Canada, the northern US, and Europe.

Arnica has been used historically as a diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, stimulant, and vulnerary. Arnica is primarily for external usage. As a tincture or salve, Arnica helps to promote the healing of wounds, bruises, and chillblains. However, only very dilute solutions of tincture should be used, since the tincture can cause blistering and inflammation when applied. Arnica is also sometimes used as a poultice, and a tea made from the flowers for a compress on the stomach to support relief from abdominal pains. The dilute tincture can be helpful in inflammation of the mouth and throat, and some doctors have used it for internal bleeding and as a cardiac agent.

Care should be taken as some people can be sensitive to Arnica and may suffer from a severe reaction.


(Chenopodium olidum) aka: stinking motherwort, oraches, stinking goosefoot, dog's arrach, goat's arrach, and netchweed.

Arrach has been employed for hysteria and nervous conditions in women, and was believed to cure barrenness at one time. It is not often used due to the plant's odious smell.



(Asarum europaeum) aka: hazelwort, wild nard.

The dried powdered leaves of Asarabacca are used in snuffs and cause sneezing, they are employed to relieve headaches and weak eyes. the herb was formerly taken as an emetic and purgative, but is no longer often used.



(Geum urbanum) aka: colewort, herb bennet, wild rye, way bennet, clove root, goldy star

Avens is used against diarrhoea, dysentery, leucohorrea, sore throats, ague, the onset of chills and catarrh, haemorrhages, intermittent fevers, gastric irritation and headaches. An infusion, used as a wash, is said to be beneficial for some skin problems, including spots, freckles and eruptions on the face.




(Melissa officinalis) aka: sweet balm, lemon balm, honey plant, cure all.

A perennial plant, balm is often used in combination with other herbs. It is used for colds and fever, and was believed to be beneficial for cleaning sores and for alleviating pain from gout. You will often find balm in pot-pourri.

More Details about Balm



(Rubus villosus) aka: bramble, dewberry, goutberry, thimbleberry.

Blackberry leaves and roots are a long standing home remedy for diarrhoea. Prolonged use of the tea is also beneficial for enteritis, chronic appendicitis, and leucorrhoea. It is said to have expectorant properties as well. A tea made from the dried root can be used for dropsy. The chewing of the leaves for bleeding gums goes back 2000 years.


Black cohosh

(Cimicifuga racemosa) aka: black snake root, rattleweed.

Black cohosh is said to have been used by Native Americans to treat many women's problems, including painful menstruation and menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. It also eases rheumatic problems and may be an antidote to snake bite and children's diarrhea.


(Vaccinium) aka: bramble, dewberry, goutberry, thimbleberry.

Blueberries have a diverse range of micronutrients, with notably high levels (relative to respective Dietary Reference Intakes) of the essential dietary mineral manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fiber. One serving provides a relatively low glycemic load score of 4 out of 100 per day.

Especially in wild species, blueberries contain anthocyanins, other antioxidant pigments and various phytochemicals possibly having a role in reducing the risk of some diseases, including inflammation and different cancers.

More on blueberries



(Nepeta cataria) aka: catmint, catnep, chi hsueh tsao (Chinese), field balm

Catnip is a perennial herb of the mint family. It is probably best known for its intoxicating effect on cats who seem to find it irresistible. You can make catnip tea for an upset stomach, colic, spasms, flatulency and acid. It can also be used for an enema. Popular uses in Europe are for chronic bronchitis and for diarrhoea.



(Anthemis nobilis) aka: Roman chamomile, double chamomile, manzanilla, maythen

Chamomile can be used as a tonic and is reported to have a powerful soothing and sedative effect.

More Details about Chamomile



(Eugenia caryophyllata) aka: Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia aromatica, Eugenia carophyllus

Used for toothache, moth repellent, flavoring, perfume.


(Symphytum officinale) aka blackwort, bruisewort, gum plant, healing Herb, knitback, salsify, slippery root, and wallwort

A perennial plant common in moist meadows and other moist places it can be used as an anodyne, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, hemostatic, refrigerant or vulnerary.



(Vaccinium macrocarpon) aka: Vaccinium oxycoccus, Oxycoccus macrocarpus, american cranberry , bear berry, black cranberry , cranberry , low cranberry , trailing swamp cranberry

The natural acids found in cranberries help to restore the urinary balance of acids to that of a normal system. It is one of nature's best weapons against cystitis and urinary tract infections. Doctors often advise patients to drink cranberry juice to prevent urinary infections.



(Taraxacum officinale) aka blowball, cankerwort, lion's tooth, priest's crown, puffball, swine snout, white endive, wild endive

The leaves made into a tea acts as a diuretic and can help eliminate gall and kidney stones, it also replaces any potassium that might be lost. The root, when dried, roasted and ground like coffee, is used to make a coffee substitute, much like chicory root.  The fresh sap can be used for removing warts. It must be applied fresh each day for several weeks for the wart to drop off, but is a painfree way of getting rid of them.



(Anethum graveolens) aka peucedanum graveolens, fructus anethi, dilly, dill weed, eneldo (Spanish)

Dill is used to treat colic, gas, and indigestion. Dill weed contains the carminative agent, carvone, which has a calming effect and aids with digestion by relieving intestional gas.

More Details about Dill




(Echinacea angustifolia) aka: purple cornflower.

This plant's antibacterial and antiviral properties were used by Native Americans of the central plains. It is useful in strengthening the immune system and as a therapy for colds, flus and infection. Echinacea has no known side effects or drug interactions, but it may interfere with immunosuppressive therapy and is not recommended during pregnancy.


(Eucalpytus globulus) aka: blue gum, red gum, fever tree, gum tree.

Used for muscle rubs, antiseptic, solvent, to aid decongestion and repel insects.

Evening Primrose

(Oenothera biennis) aka: common evening primrose, donkeys' herb, fever plant, field primrose, gardeners' ham, german rampion, King's-cure-all, night willow-herb, scabish, scurvish, tree primrose, war poison

Evening primrose is used against heart, disease, hypertension , diabetes ,obesity , menstrual problems. It is purported to have antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, astringent, hypotensive, mucilaginous and sedative properties.

More Details about Evening Primrose




(Allium sativum) aka: allium, nectar of the gods, rustic treacle.

Garlic's benefits range from lowering cholesterol and fat in the blood to antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Europeans use it for heart problems and high cholesterol, and it is often used to prevent colds, flus and infection. Garlic might interfere with some female functions, trigger allergies and interact with hypoglycemic and anticoagulant therapies.

More Details about Garlic


Article - Garlic to fight ear infections


(Pelargonium odorantissimum) aka: Pelargonium graveolens.

Used to soothe and heal wounds and as a mild analgesic and sedative.


(Ginkgo Biloba) aka: Bai guo (Chinese), kew tree, maidenhair tree.

Ginkgo is said to increase circulation and have an antioxidant activity. It is used in Europe to counteract aging, memory loss and poor circulation. It is also used to treat tinnitus (ringing in the ears), vertigo and dementia syndromes.


(Panax quinquefolius) aka: panax ginseng, western ginseng, siberian ginseng, asian ginseng.

There are two kinds of ginseng; Asian ginseng is a general tonic to increase resistance to stress, increase energy and improve endurance. Siberian ginseng, also known as eleuthero, was used by Russian cosmonauts and athletes to reduce stress. Germans use it for rehabilitation, to counteract fatigue and weakness and improve concentration. People with heart problems, diabetes, hypertension and hypotension, pregnant women and people on steroids or MAO inhibitors should not use ginseng.

Green Tea

(Camellia sinensis)

The antioxidant and cancer-inhibiting properties of the world's most popular beverage means it is receiving lots of new research attention and for good reason.

Article - Can Green Tea Really Prevent Cancer?


(Paullinia cupana)

Guaraná is a popular stimulant, is almost identical to caffeine. It, however, is fat soluble (caffeine is water soluble) which causes your body to absorb it more slowly, and allows its effects to be more gradual. This is particularly valuable for those who use caffeine as a stimulant, but "crash" as caffeine wears off. Additionally, Guaraná is popularly used as an appetite suppressant and a smoking cessation aid.



(Equisetum arvense) aka: mare's tale, paddock pipes, shavegrass, scouring rush, pewterwort, corncob plant, bottle brush, Mu zei (Chinese)

The latin name Equisetum is derived from the Latin roots equus , meaning "horse" and seta , meaning "bristle." Since it was recommended by the Roman physician Galen, it has been traditionally used to stop bleeding, heal ulcers and wounds, and treat tuberculosis and kidney problems. The use of this herb as an abrasive cleanser to scour pots or shave wood illustrates the origin of horsetail's common names-scouring rush and shave grass. The plant's stems are rich in silica and silicic acids, it is also rich in potassium, aluminum, manganese, and bioflavonoids. The bioflavonoids are thought to cause the diuretic action, while the silicon is thought to help strenghten connective tissue. The use of horsetail should be restricted to short-term use only.


(Hyssopus officinalis) aka:

Hyssop is usually used as an infusion. It has been used against colic, can improve digestion and eliminate flatulence. It is an excellent nerve tonic, and also helps after an illness. It is recommended for coughs, colds, flu, and as a gargle for sore throats.

More Details about Hyssop





Kava kava

(Piper methysticum) aka: kava pepper, kawa awa, kawa kawa, wati, yogona, and waka

The root extract of kava kava has been used as a sedative and to relieve anxiety, stress and restlessness. It is not recommended for people with depression or pregnant women, and it might cause gastrointestinal problems and, rarely, allergic reactions. It might also interact with alcohol, barbiturates and other drugs.



(Lavendula angustifolia)

Used to soothe burns, headaches, sore muscles, herpes and sinus problems.

More Details about Lavendar



(Citrus Limon)

Used for fragrance and flavoring and to harden nails.


Milk thistle

(Silybum marianum) aka: Marian, St. Mary's, Our Lady's thistle.

Milk thistle was used as a liver tonic in European folk medicine; its extract is now used to improve liver function, protect against liver damage and enhance regeneration of damaged cells. It fights chemical toxins and alcohol as well as chronic conditions such as inflammatory liver disease and cirrhosis. No drug interactions are known; however it might have a laxative effect.



(Urtica dioica) aka: stinging nettle, common nettle, greater nettle.

The fresh juice or an infusion of the nettle plant has been used to stimulate the digestive system and to promote milk flow in nursing mothers. As an astringent it is also use for blood in the urine, haemorrhoids, and excessive menstrual flow. Nettle is a helpful remedy for ailments of the urinary tract and is said to reduce susceptibility to rheumatic problems and colds. A decoction of the plant is good for diarrhoea. A decoction of the root is recommended for external use on the scalp for loss of hair. The fresh leaves have sometimes been used as a Rubefacient., but severe irritation and blistering can result. Nettle can also be eaten as a vegetable, but old plants must be thoroughly cooked to be safe. Young plants in the spring can be used for salad or as a vegetable.

More Details about Nettle




(Olea Europaea) aka: Olea Oleaster. Olea lancifolia. Olea gallica. Olivier.

The leaves are used medicinally for their hypotensive qualities. The oil is a nourishing demulcent and laxative. Externally, it relieves pruritis, the effects of stings or burns, and is a good vehicle for liniments. With alcohol it is a good hair-tonic. As a lubricant it is valuable in skin, muscular, joint, kidney and chest complaints, or abdominal chill, typhoid and scarlet fevers, plague and dropsies. Delicate babies absorb its nourishing properties well through the skin.


Article - Olive Oil as a Natural Beauty Treatment



(Petroselinum sativum)

A biennial herb belonging to the carrot family, parsley is a great source of vitamin C; several sprigs contain more vitamin C than an orange. Can be used as an antispasmodic, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, and expectorant. A tea made from the seeds and the leaves as well as the fresh juice is used for dropsy, jaundice, asthma, coughs and suppressed or difficult menstruation. The juice has also been used successfully to treat conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis). 

More Details about Parsley



(Mentha piperata) aka: brandy mint, lamb mint.

Used as a stimulant, for headaches, sore throats, muscle aches, insect bites, toothaches and as a breath freshener.




(Rosmarinus officinalis)

Used to aid memory, in shampoo to enhance the color of dark hair, avoid split ends and reduce static charge; also used in massage and bath oils.

More Details about Rosemary




(Sakvua officinalis) aka: Garden sage, Red sage, Broad-leaved sage, salvia salvatrix

Used to treat nervous diseases, as a tonic and as a gargle to ease sore throats.

More Details about Sage


(Santalum album) aka: Indian sandalwood, white sandalwood, sanderswood, white saunders.

Used as a meditative aid to calm the mind and expel bad spirits; as an aphrodisiac, to clear acne and soothe mucous membranes.

Sandalwood Oil - Aromatherapy

Saw palmetto

(Serenoa repens)

Saw palmetto can increase urine flow and reduce the need for nighttime urination, so it is often used for a benign enlarged prostate. A physician should diagnose this condition, which is common in men over 50, before treatment. This herb is not recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and it can cause stomach problems, headaches and diarrhea.

St. John's Wort

(Hypericum perforatum) aka: goatweed, hypericum, Saint Joan's Wort, tipton weed, amber, Qian Ceng Lou (Chinese), klamath weed

St. John's Wort is used as a moderate depressive therapy, although it was once used by Europeans to remedy liver problems and in ancient Greek and Chinese medicine the two were thought to be related. It can increase liver metabolism and interfere with drugs prescribed for people after organ transplants and people with AIDS. High doses of this herb can cause sensitivity to light, problems with MAO inhibitors and allergic reactions.



(Fragaria vesca)

Strawberries have astringent, diuretic and laxative properties. The berries are very common and have been used against rheumatic gout, while the root has been employed against diarrhoea. The leaves have similar properties and have been used against dysentry. Fresh strawberries can whiten the teeth by leaving the juice on for five minutes and then rinsing with warm water and bicarbonate of soda.


Sweet Cicely

(Myrrhis odorata) aka: anise, cerefolium, British myrrh, mirrhis, mirrha, chervel, chervil, great chervil, smoother cicely, sweet chervil, sweet bracken, sweet-fern, sweet humlock, sweets, the roman plant, shepherd's needle, cow chervil

Sweet cicely is aromatic, carminative, stomachic, expectorant. The fresh root can be eaten or used as a tonic when diffused in brandy. It is used against coughs, flatulence, indigestion and stomach upsets. The roots are antiseptic, and the distilled water is believed to be diuretic.



Tea tree (Australian)

(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Used for its antiseptic, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

Article - Tea Tree Oil Wonders


(Thymus Vulgaris) aka: common thyme, garden thyme

Used for its antiseptic, antispasmodic and tonic properties.

More Details about Thyme




(Valeriana officinalis) aka: garden heliotrope, tobacco root, phu, setwell, tagara.

Valerian is used as a sedative and to reduce anxiety and irritability. It doesn't have the negative side effects of over-the-counter sleep aids, but it may enhance other sedatives and cause a mild upset stomach. There are no known drug interactions and no known problems associated with its use by pregnant women.

More Details about Valerian


Water Agrimony

(Bidens tripartita) aka: bur marigold

An annual plant, dark purple in colour, with dark yellow flowers.

To be found in wet areas in Europe.

Water Agrimony is said to have diuretic properties. It has been used for gravel, stone and bladder and kidney problems.



(Artemisia Absinthium) aka: green ginger, ajenjo, old woman.

Wormwood is a perennial herb with a pale green, tough stalk growing to about three feet (90 cm) high. The leaves are pale green and the flowers are a pale olive colour at first but change to yellow-brown. Common Wormwood has been used for all sorts of problems regarding the digestive system, as well as liver and bladder ailments. It has been given to encourage menstruation, and applied externally as a compress during labour to speed up childbirth. Wormwood is also said to be a powerful remedy in the treatment of worm infestations, especially roundworm and pinworm, which may be indicated in its name. Wormwood is supposed to have grown up along the path by which the serpent took exile from the Garden of Eden. In some parts of Europe, wormwood is called 'Girdle of St. John' and is believed to ward off evil spirits. By a strange coincidence wormwood in Russian is 'Chernoble', the name of the Russian city which experienced a nuclear melt down in 1986. Wormwood is an ingredient of vermouth and absinth, which can be damaging if taken for a prolonged period. The FDA considers this a poisonous plant.




(Achillea millefolium) aka: bloodwort, carpenter's weed, milfoil, nose bleed, woundwort

An extremely familiar herb to any gardener (often considered a weed). It has considerable medicinal qualities, Achilles, a pupil of Chiron, is said to have been the first to realise the herb's value. Externally it is used as a styptic, astringent, antiseptic, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, and possibly anaesthetic. Internally as a tea it has diaphoretic qualities. It also makes a bitter tonic which stimulates digestion. Additionally it has expectorant, carminative, haemostatic, astringent, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, analgesic, stimulant, and emmenagogue qualities. Yarrow is considered a general tonic for the cardio-vascular system, it helps to lower blood pressure, and slows the heartbeat.

Ylang ylang

(Cananga odorata)

Used as an anti-depressant and aphrodisiac; to soothe anger and frustration and relax the body, mind and spirit. Interestingly the blossoms of this tree are a main ingredient of that most famous of perfumes; Chanel No 5.


Important Disclaimer
The information on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

A to Z of Alternative Therapies
A to Z of Botanical Terms
A to Z of Herbal Actions
A to Z of the Language of Flowers
A to Z of Latin Names
A to Z of Medical Terms
A to Z of Vitamins and Minerals