Anyone want to play a game? Starting with A, list an herb and an herbal remedy that goes with the herb. Let's see how far we can get!
According to Grieve, diuretic and laxative. According to Culpeper, good for cramped sinews.
Here is a link that might be useful: Grieve's Herbal
I love the flowers in salads!
Here is a link that might be useful: Borage
At this point, I use it mainly as a weed deterrent at the edge of the garden, due to its habit of going up vertically about 2 1/2 feet and then "floping" down over everything that surrounds it.
The bees love the flowers, too.
Dong quai, a gorgeous Angelica and the root is used in Chinese medicine.
Eucalyptus is a lovely tree which I'd like to grow but can't in my zone. I've occasionally used the essential oil in a decongestant blend which is useful for bronchial conditions. It's said to be antibacterial and antiviral so some use it in a steamer or as an aerosol mist to clean the air during the winter months.
Here is a link that might be useful: eucalyptus essential oil
Feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium, folk remedy for headaches and migraines.
G.....American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), of course. Two wonderful herbs and two at-risk native plants that have vanished in much of their native ranges due to over harvesting. They are perfect examples of what greed and short-sitedness can do to wild medicinal plants.
Check out the link below for more on at-risk medicinal plants.
Here is a link that might be useful: United Plant Savers
Hops reportedly improves digestion and sleep; it is also used to flavor and clarify beer.
It is used at the Hershey Garden in Hershey, Pennsylvania as a shade vine, and covers a gazebo in the herb garden there.
Once planted, it is dificult to eradicate, and plants sold in the US at garden shops are frequently male. It is the female plants which produce the hop "flower" frequently used for their herbal qualities.
Here is a link that might be useful: Hops
I Inula helenium. Elecampane. Expectorant, antibacterial. Grows wild in zone 6.
Jewelweed (Impatiens biflora). Break open the stalks and use the fresh sap as an excellent poison ivy rash reliever. Besides, the seed pods are fun. We called this plant Spotted Touch-Me-Not. As you slowly extend your hand towards the ripe seed pod, the tiniest movement will cause the seed pod to explode to disperse the seed. Great fun!
Knotweed - polygonum avicular
recommended for diarrhea and dysentary.
Steep 4 tsp of flowering herb in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Take one to one and a half cups a mouthful at a time during a day.
There are several species of knotweed and all have similar properties.
This is a fun game. I've played it before on different subjects. They all had a good response.
L lemon, confectionary, bitter, cuts the crap in clogged throats. I made honey & lemon tea for my mother once & as she watched she said, "Oh, my mother used to do that. Only she added bourbon." So we went & found the bourbon, too... (steep 1/2 lemon, rind and all in boiled water 15-20 minutes; add honey & bourbon to taste)
Mullein is purported to be "effective to loosen mucus in the lungs it also shows some success with reducing water retention". Grows like a weed around here altho I've found none on our land. Hoping to find some I can transplant to my garden this spring.
Nettles (Urtica dioica) is/are one of those legendarily good-for-what-ails-ya herbs, used also as a nutritious vegetable once the stinging hairs are deactivated by steaming or boiling. Here's one interesting suggestion for medicinal use:
"...the strangest use I've ever heard is for severe arthritis. You must whip the victim over most of the body until an extensive rash develops. This flagellation or "urtication" may stimulate the weak organs, muscles, nerves and lymphatic system, and increase circulation. Or it may cause so much pain, the victim forgets about the arthritis."
Needless to say I am not endorsing this particular usage, but if someone wants to attempt it and report back....;)
Here is a link that might be useful: A wild man and his recipes
Osha (Linguistiicum porteri) - there's nothing like a chaw of Osha root to clear the upper respiratory structures. Tell your singing pals to pack a piece on tour.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). A beautiful vining herb with lovely flowers. The aerial parts are useful in tea or tincture form as an anxiolytic. It doesn't knock you out, just mellows you a bit.
I'll get us past Q with Quercus. Quercus is the genus name for oak. One of my favorite trees and a tree with a long and colorful history.
According to Foster & Duke in Peterson Field Guide - Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants, White Oak (Quercus alba) has an astringent inner bark that was used for all manner of problems including bleeding, rashes, and chronic diarrhea.
Thank you Fata! I was wondering how we'd get past Q!
We could have done Queen Anne's Lace as well!
R rose. (C'mon guys!) Beautiful, skin-softening, relaxing, makes great jelly... grew around Sleeping Beauty's castle. Nuf said.
Sage. Saliva officinalis. One of my favorite herbs. Not only is it delicious (more than just a turkey stuffing ingredient), but makes a terrific gargle or tea for a sore throat. Sage also has astringent properties and is therefore drying, so nursing women need to be careful in its use as it dries up breast milk.
Thyme - there are many varieties of this plant. It's a useful culinary herb but also known medicinally as an antiseptic (apparently an ingredient in some mouthwashes) altho there are other herbs with higher content of thymol.
May also be used as a tea for bronchitis/coughs and to aid digestion.
I urge caution if using thyme essential oil as it is very powerful. It is one oil I use only for it's disinfectant properties in cleaning.
U Uva Ursi aka bearberry, diuretic for mild kidney disease. Also dulls the pain of urinary tract infections.
Hope you all don't mind if I jump in here.. I've enjoyed this thread!
V - Valerian
Most often used for insomnia or other sleep disorders. More recently it has been suggested for use for gastrointestinal spasms, distress and ADHD.
W = Witch Hazel: An astringent is made from the bark and leaves, and the extract is used medicinally for lotions to treat bruises and insect bites and hemorrhoids. The seeds are edible and contain a quantity of oil.
X- Xin Yi Hua, Magnolia Flower, *Magnoliae Liliflorae Flos*
Used for stuffy nose and blocked up sinuses.
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, the herb of Achilles who is said to have used it on the wounds of his warriors.
Zaatar - Origanum syriacum or Thymbra spicata. Although there are no official medicinal uses, any herbs that taste this strong have to help with digestion. (1/2 a mark for trying?)
Yay Andy!!! That was so much fun! Thank you to everyone who participated in this thread. It was truly a joy to be a part of this conversation!