Plant Archives: Medicine
Scientific Name: Aconitum napellus
Aconite is a poison and should be left alone. The Eclectic Physicians used it in very small, controlled doses to treat infectious disease, but, the art of using Aconite as a medicine died along with their medical movement.
Scientific Name: Fomitopsis Officinalis
White agaric is a member of the immune stimulating family of shelf fungi, a family that includes the very famous maitake mushroom. In the last century it was used to stimulate the bodies defenses against chronic infection, malaria and TB being two notable examples. Its not used today, but, with a little research, this could be the next great immune stimulant.
Scientific Name: Blighia sapida
Akee is Native to Africa where it is not often eaten. However, in Jamaica, the fruit is a favorite food and can be found in all kinds of delicious stews and is especially delicious when prepared with cod. The kicker is, the frut is deadly poison if not prepared propertly!
Scientific Name: Cassia Senna
Senna is a laxative. More specifically, senna stimulates the intestines to empty their contents. And, if you take senna, plan on booking some bathroom time because you will be in there. The problem here is that senna is addictive, and if you use it too much, when you stop using it, you may not see the bathroom for a long time. Not an herb I reccomend.
Scientific Name: Medicago Sativa
Alfalfa is mostly seen as a food for grazing animals, but, it does have a history of use as a people medicine. Its related to clover and fenugreek, and likes these two relatives,it has been used to put perk up people whose vitality is slipping away from them.
Scientific Name: Aloe Vera
Who hasnt heard of Aloe? Pretty much the whole world knows that its succulent leaves contain a gel that when applied to the skin stimulates healing. It is also used internally to stimulate healing of the digestive tract....but that use is a little more tricky and is not appropriate in all digestive conditions. Learn more about Aloe before putting it in your mouth!
Scientific Name: Aesculus Glabra
The buckeye is a relative of the European horsechestnut, and the Eclectic physicians used it for similar purposes; vein troubles. However, they also said it was stronger and a narcotic. Currently a retired remedy, this one needs some contemporary review before it gets put back into use.
Scientific Name: Sabbatia Angularis
Sabbatia is a very interesting remedy dating back to the Eclectic Physicians. It was used to prevent infectious disease, in specific, malaria and dysentery. It was also used to stimulate the body to heal itself. This one is way forgotten, but, considering its history, is one that should be researched for contemporary uses.
Scientific Name: Panax Qinquefolium
American ginseng is the kissing cousin to Chinese ginseng and has many of the same properties of its Asian relative; it stimulates the body to renewed activity and function, strengthens all the major systems, and makes the body stronger in general. Its an herb to understand.
Scientific Name: Diospyros Virginiana
The American persimmon is an odd fruit. It is utterly disgusting and nasty until it has been hard hit by frost, and then it becomes luscious and sweet. Apart from factoring into the Native American and Colonial diet, the plant contains compounds that are highly active on the cardiovascular system and was formerly used to stop bleeding in its tracks and to treat vein problems.