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Plant File: Aconite

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.

Plant File: Agaric

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.

Plant File: Akee

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!

Plant File: Alexandrian Senna

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.

Plant File: Alfalfa

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.

Plant File: Almond

Scientific Name: Prunus Dulcis

The Almond is a seed, and like all seeds, contains the energy of life. Stick it in the ground and life shoots out! The life of a new almond tree. This nut is a vitality stimulant of the first order, loaded with health building compounds and disease preventing compounds as well. Read up. this is a must know food.

Plant File: Aloe

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!

Plant File: American Buckeye

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.

Plant File: American Centaury

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.

Plant File: American Ginseng

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

Plant File: American Persimmon

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.

Plant File: American Spikenard

Scientific Name: Aralia Racemose

A member of the ginseng family, this plant was previously used to increase stamina and strength in the elderly, the ill, and those in need of a boost of vim and vigor.

Plant File: Angelica

Scientific Name: Angelica sp

The Angelica family, both the Chinese and the European, have been used since the begining of time to insure strong, vibrant health. And, in particular, to stimulate resistance to infectious disease ripping through your village….so powerful a pestilence preventer it was said to be angel sent.

Plant File: Apple

Scientific Name: Malus Communis

An apple a day will keep the doctor away. Enough said.

Featured Article: Sweet Apple Cider: An American Tradition

Common Name: Apple | Scientific Name: Malus Communis

Apple growing is an ancient practice amongst human beings, and we are talking biblical old. And, pressing apples for juice is equally ancient. Primitive man figured out pretty quick that the apple tree was a good source of sustenance…

Plant File: Apricot

Scientific Name: Prunus Armeniaca

Some fruits pack a bigger health punch than others, and, apricots go into the really, really health boost file! An ancient fruit, the apricot has factored into stay well regimens from the earliest day. And, so tasty!

Plant File: Arborvitae

Scientific Name: Thuja Occidentalis

Plant File: Arnica

Scientific Name: Arnica Montana

Arnica is an ancient European treatment for bruises, sprains and muscle aches. Arnica users swear by it for all those occasions when bruising and muscular-skeletal damage occurs or the problem is chronic.

Plant File: Artichoke

Scientific Name: Scolymus Cynara

The artichoke is a popular food in Europe, and one that is gaining ground in America. Probably a good thing because artichokes contain compounds that stimulate the liver and may even offer the liver protection from dangerous chemicals in our enviroment.

Plant File: Arugula

Scientific Name: Eruca Sativa

Arrugula is now seen as a fancy green to be added to salads, but, in days gone by, it was seen as much more. The seed was used to stimulate strong vital health, and the leaves were used in health inducing diet regimens. Contemporary research reveals arrugula contains a collection of health building phytochemicals, and, its tasty greens leaves are something we should all eat regularly.

Plant File: Ashagwanda

Scientific Name: Withania Somnifera

One could say that Ashagwanda is one of India’s greatest contributions to the staying welll arsenal. It is used in patients unable to mount a recovery and in the elderly whose vitality is escaping them. If one wants to recover from an illness, and as rapidly as possible, this is a tonic to know.

Plant File: Asian Plum

Scientific Name: Prunus Mume

Ok, this is one weird looking herbal medicine. The raw plum is dehydrated in salt, dried in the sun, and ends up looking more like wild animal droppings than anything else. But, lurking in that unattractive shape, is a powerful medicine and one that the Japanese have sworn by for ages.

Plant File: Astragalus

Scientific Name: Astragalus Membranaceous

Astragalus is one of Asia’s greatest gifts to the modern person. It increases stamina, endurance, resistance to stress and infection, in short, just about everything a modern person needs doing!

Plant File: Australian Fever Bark

Scientific Name: Alstonia Constricta

Australian fever bark, like the name implies, was used to treat fever. But, more specifically as a tonic to treat chronic fevers like malaria, and, as a vitality stimulant whenever a person was being weakened by chronic disease. A very interesting plant that really warrants investigation in the modern age.

Plant File: Balsam Poplar

Scientific Name: Populus Balsamifera

This remedy was used in colds, coughs, chronic bronchitis, in all chronic bronchial affections, pain in the thorax, hemoptysis, and even splitting blood. Like all poplars, the tree contains compounds similar to aspirin which in part explain why it relieved pain and fever, but, there is a lot more to this herb.

Plant File: Baptisia

Scientific Name: Baptisia Tinctoria

Baptisia tinctoria was used by the Eclectic physicians in life threatening digestive infections and as a general stimulant to vitality and well being.

Plant File: Barberry

Scientific Name: Berberis Vulgaris

The barberry bush is native to Europe and has been spread far and wide from there. Its primary is as a tonic for general boosting, and as a treatment for digestive complaints based on liver problems.

Plant File: Barley

Scientific Name: Hordeum Vulgare

Barley was also used as a topical healing agent for the skin. It was used especially in cases of boils, infected wounds, and swellings. Gerard also says the ointment made from boiling down beer quickly heals old ulcers and new wounds.

Plant File: Barwood

Scientific Name: Pterocarpus Erinaceus

According to the Eclectics, Kino is astringent and tonic. It was mostly employed to lessen or arrest excessive morbid discharges, whether of a sanguineous, mucous or purulent character. Yuck!

Plant File: Basil

Scientific Name: Occimomum Basilicum

Basil is an herb that the most herb ignorant knows…they sell it at the grocery store and you could not miss this one if you tried. Its an old herb and one that comes packing a great story. Primarily a culinary herb, it does have its medicinal uses, and some magical ones too.

Plant File: Bay Laurel

Scientific Name: Laurus Nobilis

In the world of medicine, it doesnt get much more ancient than bay laurel. Native to the Mediteranean, the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used this plant to stimulate healing. It was especially used in bruising and tissue damage, applied externally. But, there is much, much more to this one.

Plant File: Bayberry

Scientific Name: Myrica Cerifera

Bayberry was famously used to make candles by the early colonists. I gave this a try and what a nightmare it was. I picked a bushel of the black pepper sized berries, boiled them, and ended up with enough oil to make half a candle! Fortunately, the wax producing bush had been used by the Native Americans since the beginning of time and, these uses got passed onto the colonials. As a source of candles, the bush does not measure up!

Plant File: Bearberry

Scientific Name: Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi

Uva ursi is the classic treatment for urinary tract infections. It was used first by the Native Americans and then by the Eclectic physicians to take the burning out of the fiery pee associated with a urinary tract infection. And, modern practitioners recommend it when the problem is chronic.

Plant File: Bearsfoot

Scientific Name: Polymnia Uvedalia

This herb was used by the Eclectics to treat chronic inflammation, be that of the joints, the liver, or the colon. Its use as an anti-inflammatory makes it an herb of interest today. Inflammation continues to be a problem and the chemical drugs out there cause lots of side effects. Somebody look into this.

Plant File: Bittersweet

Scientific Name: Celastrus Scandens

Bittersweet was a very popular vitality stimulant, or tonic, used by the Eclectic physicians to treat all kinds of chronic debilating diseases, tuberculosis, syphilis, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. It was an alterative…which meant it altered the usual course of a disease. This is a really interesting remedy and one that warrants contemporary research.

Plant File: Bittersweet

Scientific Name: Solanum Dulcamara

Solanum dulcamara is a plant I researched in my PhD work. My work revealed that it had adaptogenic activity and that it needed to be tested for its ability to strengthen general health and vitality.

Plant File: Black Alder

Scientific Name: Ilex Verticilata

Black alder is a tonic plant, used in the past to stimulate the body to heal itself. It was thought to stimulate the production of blood cells and more. When the body was not able to heal itself, black alder was administered to jump start the process.

Plant File: Black Cohosh

Scientific Name: Cimicifuga Racemose

Hormone replacement therapy that wont give you cancer. That is all I have to say on the subject. Black cohosh takes the ups and downs out of the hormone roller coaster experienced in menopause. It does the same for those with wild and wooly menstrual cycles! If you a girl, you should learn about this plant.

Plant File: Black Cumin

Scientific Name: Nigella Sativa

Black cumin produces a seed once very popular in Arabian medicine. The seed was used to improve digestion, and, is still sprinkled on top of breads for this same purpose. One of the healing plants of the Bible, black cumin has a really interesting history and one that is worth knowing.

Plant File: Black Haw

Scientific Name: Viburnum Prunifolium

Black haw is used to relieve cramps and sore joints. It has a specific use in spasms in hollow organs, like uterine cramps and bowel cramps

Plant File: Black Hellebore

Scientific Name: Helleborus Niger

Ok, black hellebore is straight up poisonous. That said, in the past, it was used as a medicine. Doctors who knew what they were doing used it on a regular basis. But, that knowledge has been lost and black hellebore is now more of a museum peice than a medicine.

Plant File: Black Locust

Scientific Name: Robinia Pseudoacacia

The Eclectics identified this remedy as being worth study and said this of it, “This remedy has been but little used, yet its activity is such that we may reasonably expect that experiment will develop some valuable medicinal use.” Sadly, it has not been studied, and should be. Its related to the highly medicinal carob and tamarind and there may be something here.

Plant File: Black Musli

Scientific Name: Curculigo Orchioides

This is one of the Chinese super star aphrodisiac plants, the stemless wonder is used to treat all kinds of penis problems. I havent worked with it that much, but, according to Chinese medicine, its one thats worth knowing about. If you have penis problems, you may want to investigate this plant.

Plant File: Black Mustard

Scientific Name: Brassica Nigra

This herb can be found all over Europe and in some parts of Asia. The paste was thought to aid in digestion and lead to extra-vitality. The oils found in mustard seed are antibiotic and act as a circulatory stimulant.

Plant File: Black Pepper

Scientific Name: Piper Nigrum

It has been recommended as a remedy in intermittents

Plant File: Black Sapote

Scientific Name: Diosporys obtusifolia

The black sapote, or chocolate sapote is one of my favorite fruits. Its green on the outside, but, the inside reveals a chocolate pudding like substance that is completely addictive. Once you start, you cannot get enough.

Plant File: Black Willow

Scientific Name: Salix Nigra

Black willow, like white willow, contains aspirin like substances which will reduce inflammation and a fever. But, in addition to this, it contains compounds that stimulate the body to heal itself. An added bonus.

Plant File: Bladder Wrack

Scientific Name: Fucus Vesiculosis

Bladderwrack is a very old tonic used to stimulate vitality in the ill and in the elderly. It was also used in conditions that we now see as thyroid disease. Specifically, it was used when poor thryoid function caused obesity. This anti-fat action has not been studied, but, considering the problem obesity poses today, someone should check out this old use!

Plant File: Blazing Star

Scientific Name: Chaemalirium Luteum

Helonias was formerly considered a specific tonic to the female reproductive tract, used to increase gynecological health and relieve any problems happening in the lower regions. Its former reputation suggests it should be studied for usefulness in women putting off motherhood…. women who want to insure their gynecological health for when they get around to having children.

Plant File: Blessed Thistle

Scientific Name: Centaurea Benedicta

Sometimes the name says it all, blessed thistle. This is another member of the daisey family used to stimulate the immune system and thereby clear up infections. It went from thistle to blessed during the black plague days when it was used to cure people of the dread and lethal disease.

Plant File: Blessed Thistle

Scientific Name: Cynicus Benedictus

Blessed thistle is another member of the daisy family long used to treat infection and act as an immune stimulant. In days gone by, when infection struck, or was flying around the village, people drank tea of this plant. Its not used much any more, but, its intriguing history tells us that someone needs to study this one for use in our world where infections are really causing a problem.

Plant File: Bloodroot

Scientific Name: Sanguinaria Canadensis

Blood root was a Native American cure all, used to stimulate the bodies ability to heal itself. In my PhD research, I found that these uses were warranted and that blood root needed to be studied for its ability to stimulate well being and general health!

Plant File: Blue Cohosh

Scientific Name: Caulophyllum Thalictroides

Blue cohosh is a Native American and Eclectic Physician remedy for gynecological complaints, especially when they include painful menstruation. It was also used as an aphrodisiac. This may have some merit as it is closely related to Epimedium grandiflorum, the famous Chinese aphrodisiac. Its an interesting herb and one midwives find very useful.

Plant File: Blueflag

Scientific Name: Iris Versicolor

Blue flag is a tonic plant that was very popular with the Eclectic physicians. Chronic disease, and especially chronic infections, were a big deal in their day. Without antibiotics, people live with TB and syphilis. This herb was used to stimulate the body to resist the chronic infection. Pretty interesting activity, if you ask me.

Plant File: Bogbean

Scientific Name: Menyanthes Perfoliatum

Bogbean is an Eclectic remedy used to stimulate health when vitality was on the decline. It was used in small doses because large doses caused vomiting. I guess you could say its so stimulating that it can over stimulate the gag reflex. Not really used anymore, this is an interesting plant with a long history. Its one that should be studied for its potential use in chronic disease.

Plant File: Boldo

Scientific Name: Peumos Boldo

Boldo is considered a tonic plant, building to the general constitution. In particular, it improves digestive and liver function. When poor vitality shows itself in digestive inactivity, this is an herb to think about.

Plant File: Boneset

Scientific Name: Eupatorium Perfolatum

This almost completly forgotten plant was one off the most medicinal plants of the Native Americans, and, amongst the Eclectic physicians. When infection struck, or threatened to strike, it was used to squash the infection, be that an acute infection, like influenza, or a chronic one, like malaria. This is a plant that needs to be rediscovered!

Plant File: Bowmans Root

Scientific Name: Gillenia Trifolia

Gillenia is a pretty obscure herb. The Eclectic Physicians used it to a limited extent to treat chronic infections and otherchronic diseases. They considered it a tonic, generally strengthening to the constitution. It past uses make it an interesting subject for study and someone should research it

Plant File: Bristly Sarsaparilla

Scientific Name: Aralia Hispida

Bristly sarsaparilla is a member of the ginseng family and, like most members of that family, is probably an adaptogen. That said, it has not been studied much and is probably worth further investigation.

Plant File: Bryony

Scientific Name: Bryonia Alba

Bryonia alba was a plant used by the Eclectic physicians to treat certain infections and auto-immune diseases. It has fallen out of use and has not been studied much in recent days.

Plant File: Buchu

Scientific Name: Barosma Betulina

Buchu is a curious herbal medicine. When made into tea it tastes of berries, it is utterly pleasant, and when it comes to urinary tract infections, its one of the best treatments out there.

Plant File: Bugleweed

Scientific Name: Lycopus Virginicus

I cant blowthe trumpet for bugleweed because I dont know much about it. What I do know was that it was used like Digitalis in the treatment of chronic heart disease. Probably an herb for the researchers, and, hopefully someone will look at it.

Plant File: Bulbous Buttercup

Scientific Name: Ranunculus Bulbosus

Bulbous buttercup was a minor player in the medical scene from the last century. It gets a brief mention from the Eclectic physicians. But, like all members of Ranunculus family, care must be taken with it because it is likely to cause welts! This one needs a little more research before its ready for consumer use!

Plant File: Burdock

Scientific Name: Arctium Lappa

Burdock acts on the immune system and is used both in infections and in chronic diseases rooted in auto-immunity. Because of its ability to correct immune function, it is often called an immune modulatory.

Plant File: Bush Honeysuckle

Scientific Name: Diervilla Candadensis

This plant is related to the powerful health stimulating elder bush, and, has been used for similar purposes. To treat and prevent infections. It has not been studied sufficiently but, due to its close relation to elder, it is one that really needs some research!

Plant File: Butterfly Weed

Scientific Name: Asclepias Tuberosi

As the name implies, this plant was used to treat pleurisy and an handful of chronic muscular complaints. A remedy that has falled into disuse, it should be researched for potential contemporary applications

Plant File: Butternut

Scientific Name: Juglans Cinera

Butternut was used in the past as a laxative, to clean out the digestive tract. Apparently it was pretty efficient for those that suffered from constipation.

Plant File: Canadian Elderberry

Scientific Name: Sambucus nigra

Canadian elder was used by the Native Americans and then the Eclectic physicians to prevent and cure infectious disease. Contemporary research reveals that if you are looking for something to kick the legs out of a cold or the flu, the berry of this mid sized bush is what you are looking for. If you are interested in infection prevention, get to know this plant.

Plant File: Canadian Fleabane

Scientific Name: Erigeron Canadense

Biwa is native to Japan and can be found growing wild in the mountains and fields of the countryside. However, today it is primarily cultivated, both for its fruits and leaves. It is an evergreen tree growing to heights of three meters or more

Plant File: Canadian Hemlock

Scientific Name: Pinus Canadensis

Canadian hemlock was used by the Native Americans and the Eclectic physicians, to a limited extent, to treat bacteria related bowel disorders and tonsillitis. Most pines are medicinal and this one is no exception.

Plant File: Caper

Scientific Name: Capparis Spinosus

The caper bush is a Mediteranean native that has long been used to stimulate vitality and well being. The bud and the seed are pickled, and since the Biblical period, have factored into stay well regimens. This is one of the fountain of youth plants; said to insure vitality well past its expiration date!

Plant File: Caraway

Scientific Name: Carum Carvi

Caraway is a related to celery, anise, and dill, all with the un-glamorous of reducing gas. For people with a serious gas problems, this, and all its relatives, will help. And, like its other relatives, it can be used to increase expectoration….as in get the gunk out of your lungs in a cough and cold. A mild remedy and one that is easy to keep around the house should a gas attack strke!

Plant File: Carob

Scientific Name: Ceratonia Siliqua

Carob is a desert dwelling tree that produces an edible pod; a pod that has been used as survival food in times of drought since the begining of time. Carob syrup, more a less a molasses, is a vitality stimulating sugar which enriches health as it sweetens recipes.

Plant File: Carolina Horsenettle

Scientific Name: Solanum Carolinense

A minor player briefly mentioned by the Eclectics. Not much data to present on this one.

Plant File: Carpenters Square

Scientific Name: Scrophularia Marylandica

Scrophularia is closely related to mullein and rhemania, and likes its relation, has been used throughout history to stimulate the body to heal itself. This American native was first used by the native Americans and then later by the Eclectic physicians.

Plant File: Cashew Plant

Scientific Name: Anacardium Occidentale

Cashew nut is most a food today, but, in days gone by, this poison ivy relative was used in infectious disease and in mental disease. Its medicinal uses have been forgotten and should be investigated. We sure eat enough of the nuts!

Plant File: Cassia

Scientific Name: Cinnamomum Cassia

Cassia, to the uninformed smeller, would and could pass for cinnamon. Its a kissing cousin to cinnamon, smells like it, tastes like it, and has similar medicinal actions. This is primarily a Chinese medicine, but, it can be used where ever cinnamon required.

Plant File: Castor Bean

Scientific Name: Ricinis Communis

Run hide, run hide. This can be a scary herb. That said, it was mentioned in the Bible and has quite an interesting history that is worth reading.

Plant File: Catechu

Scientific Name: Acacia catechu

Catechu is a classic bitter tonic, used by the Eclectic Physicians to stimulate the flow of digestive enzymes thereby improving digestion. As ever, digestive stimulants were used in the elderly and in the ill, those that lacked appetite. However, it is said to have tonic activity and to stimulate general health as well as digestive health. Someone should look into this facet of Catechu.

Plant File: Caterpillar Fungus

Scientific Name: Cordyceps Sinensis

One of my personal favorites, cordyceps is a mushroom that parasitizes the silk worm, and shoots its mushroom out the head of the silk worm. The worm does not make it. But, this herbal medicine is the ultimate brain tonic and one that you really need to look into if you are a brain worker. This is the original mind mint.

Plant File: Catnip

Scientific Name: Nepeta Cataria

You have to love a plant that makes cats go coo-koo crazy for no apparent reason! Apart from torturing your pets, catnip is a long used and very mild tonic. Used to improve general health when used long term, catnip is a classic European tonic and one with a long history

Plant File: Cayenne

Scientific Name: Capsicum Annum

Every cell in your body depends upon blood for survival. Blood brings the cells the food they need to do whatever it is they do and it also takes away the waste the cell creates in the process of doing its job. The cells of the skins’ oil glands need blood delivered energy to make the oil that keeps our skin soft. The cells in the bone marrow that cranks out white blood cells, immune cells, need lots of blood delivered to them. The cells that make up the glands that produce digestive enzymes to digest our food need blood to do their job. Every cell in the body needs blood and the body is made up of cells.
You may be asking yourself what does this have to do with Cayenne pepper? Simply put, cayenne pepper opens up the blood vessels and gets the blood pumping to all the places it needs to go. Cayenne pepper insures all the cells in the body get the blood they need. Not surprisingly, this useful pepper is used to treat just about whatever ails you. Bearing in mind the fundamental level at which it works, this is not surprise!

Plant File: Cedar Of Lebanon

Scientific Name: Cedrus Libani

Cedar oils have long been used in joint conditions. A bath or a massage with this oil will make a difference in both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis. Creams made with this oil, used on creaky joints, really do improve!

Plant File: Chamomile

Scientific Name: Anthemis Eecutita

Chamomile is called mother of the gut for a reason. It improves just about any digestive disorder. But, to work, it has to be used regularly and for extended periods of time. That said, most digestive problems are chronic and have been going on for a long time, so, its worth the investment.

Plant File: Chasteberry

Scientific Name: Vitex Agnus Castus

Chasteberry is the all purpose female tonic when it comes to gynecological complaints, from menstrual pain to menopause, chasteberrry is an herb women need to know about.

Plant File: Chestnut

Scientific Name: Castana Vesca

Chestnut is mostly a food and one that I am currently researching. In the ancient world it was seen as a source of strength, vitality, and youth. Claims I am in the midst of studying. Stay posted on this one.

Plant File: Chick Pea

Scientific Name: Cicer Arietinum

The chickpea is one of the oldest cultivated foods still eaten today. The bean like seed is packed with vitality boosting vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that pack a health boosting punch. This is an ancient power food.

Plant File: Chicory

Scientific Name: Cichorus Intybus

Chicory is a plant that has been twisted into many shapes and forms by human beings; some varieties produce savory roots to be used in coffee(cajun coffee), some produce succulent buds to be used in salads(endive), and some produce lettuce like heads also to be used in salad making. All forms of chicory are bitter and stimulate digestion, and, being members of the daisy family, come packing with immune system stimulating compounds. This is a winner!

Plant File: Chinese Ginseng

Scientific Name: Panax Ginseng

If a person tells you Ginseng does not work, chances are they did not use it properly. This is one powerful tonic, indeed, so powerful that some find it too stimulating. Traditionally used by the old and the ill, it has a place in people going through a rough patch and in need of a boost. This is a plant that everyone should know about.

Plant File: Chinese Matrimony Vine

Scientific Name: Schisandra Sinensis

Schizandra is one of the original adaptogens identified by the pioneer in staying well herbal medicine, II Brekhman. It generally makes the body stronger and able to withstand stress. Specifically, it has been identified as an herb that helps the body deal with toxic chemicals, be that alcohol or the fumes coming off latex paint.

Plant File: Chinese Sumach

Scientific Name: Ailanthus Excelsa

Ailanthus is a plant that the Eclectics used in small doses to stimulate immune function and treat infectious disease. I dont know that it is used today, and may be a remedy forgotten along with the Eclectic medical movement.

Plant File: Chirata

Scientific Name: Swertia Chirayaita

Chirata is an Indian member of the Gentian family, a bitter tonic used to stimulate both digestion and general well being. It was used to speed convalescence from serious illness and to increase vitality in those in a worn down state.

Plant File: Chittam

Scientific Name: Rhamnus Purshiana

The Rhamnus Purshiana was also known as Rhamnus catharticus. The puking Rhamnus. The Eclectics used it to stimulate vitality, but, under very controlled circumstances. This would be a life force tonic that needs some additional research before it gets introduced to the general public.

Plant File: Chocolate

Scientific Name: Theobroma Cacao

When people think of chocolate, they usually think of the sweet shop and high calorie chocolate bars. It may come as a surprise that chocolate was originally used as a medicine and is still being used as a medicine today.

Plant File: Chokecherry

Scientific Name: Prunus Virginiana

Choke cherry was used to take the pain of a cough away, which it does, and also to stimulate the body to kill the microcritter causing the cold in the first place. This herb is a lovely combination of cough reliever and body tonic. A little forgotten, but, a very useful medicine, if you have access to it.

Plant File: Cinchona

Scientific Name: Cinchona Rubra

The South American Natives mistakenly taught the white man about cinchona, and, as a result, it saved the bacon of white colonials around the world. The best anti-malarial agent ever found, it continues to the be solution to malaria around the globe. But, the Eclectic physician’s found it useful in many, many other chronic conditions, and, these other uses warrant research. It may be a miracle cure for more than malaria!

Plant File: Cinnamon

Scientific Name: Cinnamomum Zeylanicum

Oh happy day! A medicinal plant that tastes as nice as it acts on the body! Cinnamon is mostly thought of as a dusting for a doughnut, but, there is much, much more to this simple spice. It has been used for centuries to stimulate vitality and vigor, and, speed recovery from life threatening acute disease like dysentery. This is a household object it pays to study. Get to know this one!

Plant File: Citron

Scientific Name: Citrus Medica

Citrus medica, or the citron, is one of the most ancient of the citrus plants. It had made its way from India to Israel before the Biblical days. The juice of the plant was always considered powerfully anti-toxin, and was specifically used to counteract the poison used to kill enemies. It has a role today in helping the modern person survice the toxin filled world that threatens to poison us. This is a plant you need to know about! Dr.Schar thumbs up on this one.

Plant File: Coconut

Scientific Name: Cocos Nucifera

Palm trees are fascinating plants. They are some of the most ancient plants on the planet. They were around when the dinosaurs roamed the earth and unlike the dinosaurs, they are still around. They produce juice, oil, and sugar…each of which packs incredible health stimulating capacities. An ancient food with a place in the future!

Plant File: Cola Nut

Scientific Name: Cola Acuminata

Here we have the plant behind the cola portion of cola drinks! It was originally used in coca-cola and other similar beverages. It was thought to be a mind stimulant, which is why it was added to so many drinks. It does contain caffeine, but, contemporary research suggests it maybe the mind mint we all need.

Plant File: Compositae

Scientific Name: Eupatorium Aromaticum

This plant is related to two very medicinal plants, the most famous being Eupatorium perfolatum. Likes its famed relation, this plant was used in infectious disease. However, it does not appear to have been used that much, and at this point, should be called a person of minor interest.

Plant File: Coral Root

Scientific Name: Corallorhiza Odontorhiza

Ok, this is a freaky members of the orchid family that has been lightly used in medicine. It was used by the Native Americans and the Eclectic physician’s to a limited extent, and its an herbal remedy somebody needs to study for potential use in the modern age. Right now its a bit of mystery plant.

Plant File: Coriander

Scientific Name: Coriandrum Sativum

Coriander seeds, and the leaf(cilantro) have been used as a domestic remedy around the tropical world since the beginning of time. The plant stinks so its not hard to figure out how man first noticed it! In countries with questionable food supplies, it is always served in sauces to go along with the mean….to prevent food poisoning. Now that the first world is experiencing a tainted food supply, you need to know about this herb!

Plant File: Cramp Bark

Scientific Name: Viburnum Opulis

Crampbark secret activity can be seen in its name; its the original cramp cure. In addition, it helps with sore muscles and pain associated with muscular over exertion.

Plant File: Cranesbill

Scientific Name: Geranium Maculatum

Geranium is a classic European treatment for diarrhea. The herb has a drying effect, and that includes drying up the runs. Diarrhea isnt the killer disease it was 100 years ago, but, this herb still has its uses today in the case of the occasional bout of diarrhea.

Plant File: Croton

Scientific Name: Croton Tiglia

Croton is a scary herbal medicine. It was used as a powerful vitality stimulant, comes with a great reputation, but, it is now seen as toxic. This is not an herbal medicine to fool around with at home, but, one that researchers should examine for potential use in the modern age

Plant File: Cubeb

Scientific Name: Piper Cubeba

The cubeb pepper is a relative of black pepper, and like all peppers stimulate digestion, circulation, sneezing, and general vitality. This one is said to be especially arousing to the parts below the waste.

Plant File: Cucumber Magnolia

Scientific Name: Magnolia Acuminata

Magnolia Bark was used to treat malaria when quinine failed. An interesting factoid because even today malaria is a problem and there are those that cannot take quinine or for whom quinine does not work!

Plant File: Culvers Root

Scientific Name: Leptandra Virginica

Another Eclectic tonic, Culvers root was even said to improve leprosy and other debilitating chronic infections. It belongs to the Scropulariaceae family, which contains many tonic plants, mullein and rhemania included.

Plant File: Cumin

Scientific Name: Cuminum Cyminum

Cumin, like its other relations, dill, celery, anise, caraway, and coriander, is a digestive stimulant. If digestive active is slow or sluggish, its an excellent digestive stimulant. That said, if you suffer from acid indigestion, its a massive disaster! It increases acid production and if you already have enough of that, avoid this like the plague.

Plant File: Cup Plant

Scientific Name: Silphium Perfoliatum

This plant was used by the Eclectic Physicians to treat ague cake and was thought to improve blood making. I just have a few mentions from them on the subject.

Plant File: Damasc Rose

Scientific Name: Rosa Damascena

Ok, this is not one of the more medicinally used herbs but it is one of the most deliciously fragrant. Roses have a long history as a source of perfum and a history that is worth knowing.

Plant File: Damiana

Scientific Name: Damiana Aphrodisiaca

Damiana is a really fun plant. It is turned into a liqueur and served in bordellos in Mexico to get the clientel in the spending mood; lets just say it is an aphrodisiac! But, more than that, its a powerful tonic to the mind and body, and its ability to stimulate vitality and vigor is really remarkable. For the run down and blue, this is a great herb to know.

Plant File: Dandelion

Scientific Name: Taraxacum Officinalis

Dandelions scientific name comes from the Greek words for “disorder” and “remedy.” The Greeks felt that no matter what ailed you, dandelion would help In China, and dandelion has been used to treat serious conditions for more than 1,000 years. It is one of the oldest tonics around and one that could not be more safe.

Plant File: Date Palm

Scientific Name: Phoenix Dactylifera

Dates come from a palm tree and palm trees interest me very much. It, like several other members of the plam family of plants, produce food that is incredibly building to vitality and health. Most interestingly, they seem to contain the hormones are bodies stop producing as we age. Can you say fountain of youth trees?

Plant File: Devils Dung

Scientific Name: Ferula Asafoetida

Asafoetida, or devils dung, is a digestive stimulant of great repute, long used to stimulate a retired digestive tract. Indeed its included in curry mixes for this reason. Its called devils dung because it smells really strongly….and I mean really strong!

Plant File: Dill

Scientific Name: Anethum Graveolens

Dill seed and leaves are used to improve digestion, and very specifically to rid a person of pesky gas. Traditionally, naturally gassy foods were cooked with dill to reduce this effect. If gas is a problem, this is an herb to investigate.

Plant File: Dogbane

Scientific Name: Apocynum Cannabis

The name dogbane tells you just about everything you need to know about this herbal medicine; BANE is never a good word. It was formerly used to induce vomiting and evacuation of the bowels……..not an herbal medicine for home use!

Plant File: Dogwood

Scientific Name: Cornus Virginiana

Dogwood is a really interesting medicine. During the age of colonialism, it was right up there with quinine as a treatment for malaria and other infectious diseases, but, it has been completely forgotten. Somebody needs to dig in and figure out how we can use this herbal medicine in the modern age. Its prior reputation suggests it may contain a miracle drug.

Plant File: Douglas Fir

Scientific Name: Pseudotsuga Menziesii

This pine produces one of the most lovely teas in the world. Its stunningly delicious and packs a health building punch as well. It stimulates the body to eliminate toxins and, more! Find this tea!

Featured Article: Echinacea angustifolium as a Wound Healing Agent

Common Name: Echinacea | Scientific Name: Echinacea Angustifolium

When you have a wound, or an insect bite, the immune system is responsible for healing the damaged tissue. Though not really known as a wound healer, Echinacea, immune system stimulant extraordinaire, is one of the best around. And, interestingly, this was its use by the Native Americans. With all the problems with wound healing today, people must know about Echinacea as a wound healing agent.

Featured Article: Echinacea angustifolium as an Adaptogen

Common Name: Echinacea | Scientific Name: Echinacea angustifolium

In my PhD, I studied the adaptogens, herbal medicines that made the body stronger and increased the intrinsic healing force of the body. One of the plants I identified as having this capacity was Echinacea angustifolium. Not known as an adaptogen, it is, and more people need to know about this actio

Featured Article: Echinacea angustifolium Eclectic Physician’s Notes

Common Name: Echinacea | Scientific Name: Echinacea Angustifolium

The Eclectic Physician’s learned of this plants medicinal from the Native American’s, saw the potentia, and spent a hundred years studying it. They knew it best and if you want to learn about Echinacea, its best to learn from the masters.

Featured Article: Echinacea Angustifolium as an Immune Stimulant

Common Name: Echinacea | Scientific Name: Echinacea Angustifolium

Echinacea is one of the ultimate immune system boosters. It powers up the immune system which in turn goes to battle withbacteria, virus, and fungi causing infection. If you want to knock out an infection, or cancer, your immune system does the work. And, if you are looking for an immune system stimulant, Echinacea angustifolium is your plant,

Plant File: Edible Passion Vine

Scientific Name: Passiflora edulis

The edible Passion Vine produces an egg shaped fruit containing an irresistible juice. The flavor is unique and once experienced, cannot be forgotten. This is one delicious juice and one that you can buy fresh at most Latin groceries! Don’t miss this experience.

Plant File: Elecampane

Scientific Name: Inula Helenium

Inula is the respiratory tonic supreme, good in both chronic and acute respiratory drama. It lays a healing hand on the respiratory tract. Like all members of the daisy family, its stimulates the immune system but has specific tonifying effects on the respiratory tract.

Plant File: Elliots Gentian

Scientific Name: Gentiana Catesbei

Like all members of the Gentian family, Gentiana catesbei is a bitter and a tonic, improving digestion as well as general well being and health. A forgotten herb and one that needs to be studied and re-introduced.

Plant File: Ephedra

Scientific Name: Ephedra Sinica

Ephedra is an airway passage opener extraoidinaire. In coughs, colds, and chronic airway obstructive conditions, epheda has always been the go to herb. Unfortunately, kids were abusing it for fun and games and its now hard to come by. But, its use as a recreation drug should not detract from its long history of a very useful herbal medicine. In the past, when a person was blocked up, ephedra was called to the case and did a great job.

Plant File: Eryngo

Scientific Name: Eryngium Aquaticum

I dont know much about this plant. It was used by the Eclectic Physicians as a tonic and is likely to have been used by he Native Americans.

Plant File: Eucalyptus

Scientific Name: Eucalyptus Globu

Long used to open the airways, not everyone knows that the leaves of this tree can be used to reduce the severity of cold. Some say that it can be used to stop a cold before it takes hold. Herbalists suggest that it may stimulate the immune system.

Plant File: European Grape

Scientific Name: Vitis Vinifera

Grapes vines are a really cool group of vining plants that produce a fabulous fruit packed with healthy sugars and health building plant chemicals. Whether made into juice, wine, jelly, raisins, or molasses, grapes can be used to build health.

Plant File: Evening Primose

Scientific Name: Oenothera Biennis

Evening primrose was once used to treat all kinds of skin conditions, including those of newborns and infants. It was a real country cure and one that most people knew about and knew how to use. Today it has been entirely forgotten and is naught but a weed in the yard. But, its past suggests we should get to know this common plant.

Plant File: Eyebright

Scientific Name: Euphrasia Officinalis

Eyebright is a European plant long used to treat infections involving the mucous membranes, especially the eyes and the upper respiratory tract. Physicians thought it very efficient in treating conditions like pink eye and sinus infections. The plant is hard to come by, but, it is still used by European herbalists many of whom sware by it.

Plant File: False Sarsaparilla

Scientific Name: Aralia Nudicaulis

False sarsaparilla is a member of the ginseng, and like all the other members of this family, acts as an adaptogen. The Eclectic Physicians used it to increase health and stamina. It has not been well studied in the modern age and warrants further research.

Plant File: Fennel

Scientific Name: Foeniculum Vulgare

Fennel is a plant that produces food and medicine, the swollen stem is eaten as a green, the seed is used as a seasoning and as a medicine. Fennel is famous for increasing secretion of digestive enzymes, mucous, and milk. It turns on glands in the body and has been used to do this for hundreds if not thousands of years!

Plant File: Fenugreek

Scientific Name: Trigonella Foenum Graecum

Fenugreek is a member of the bean family used to make the body stronger and increase vitality. Both the leaf and the seed have factored into stay well regimes since the day of the Bible and backwards. This one seems especially good for woman, as it packs hormones that seem to mimic female hormones.

Plant File: Feverfew

Scientific Name: Parthenium Vulgare

Feverfew has a limited but important action; used regularly it reduces or ends chronic headaches, be they of the migraine or cluster variety. It doesnt work for everybody but it works for enough people that anyone suffering from chronic headaches, should give it a try.

Plant File: Feverwort

Scientific Name: Triosteum Perfolatum

This was a minor player in the health game of the 19th century. Related to elder, its not surprising it was used to raise immunity to infection and to stimulate well being. However, not much is known about this plant and all that can be said is someone should look into it.

Plant File: Fig

Scientific Name: Ficus Carica

This is one of my favorite plants. I have a large collection of fig trees, each bearing a different type of fig. An ancient fruit, contemporary research is revealing that the fig is a powerful source of health. If you are looking for a power food, and more importantly a longevity food, you need to know about the fig.

Plant File: Fireweed

Scientific Name: Erechites Hireacifolia

Fireweed is reputed to be emetic, cathartic, tonic, astingent and alterative, ofwhich the most valuable are the latter three. Reputed an unrivaled medicine in diseases of the mucous tissues of the lungs, stomach and bowels.

Plant File: Fishmint

Scientific Name: Houttynia Cordata

This is one freaky plant. From a far it just looks cute, but, when you crush it, it exudes a smell that is somewhere between fish and cilantro. Its an Asian addition to the medicine chest, and, long used to stimulate vibrant health. If you can get past its unusual smell!

Plant File: Five-Flowered Gentian

Scientific Name: Gentiana Quinquefolia

A member of the gentian family, five flowered gentian was used both as a digestive stimulant and as a treatment for chronic infections like malaria. Indeed, it was used as a substitute for quinine. Though it has fallen out of use, its history of effective treatment of chronic infection, in the age of antibiotic resistance, makes it a candidate for modern study.

Plant File: Flax

Scientific Name: Linum Ussitisimum

The role of healthy oils in longevity and well being is now of interest to people, and, flax seed oil is one of the more commonly available and used strengthening oils. There is a lot to know about this seed and its oil and definetly worth learning about.

Plant File: Flowering Spurge

Scientific Name: Euphorbia Corolata

The Eclectic Physicians said this, “These remedies have not been sufficiently studied; yet, possessing active properties, they are likely to prove valuable.” One hundred and fifty years later, it still hasnt been studied. So, here another one for the plant researchers!

Plant File: Frankincense

Scientific Name: Boswellia Sacra

Frankincense is one of the oldest medicines around, mentioned frequently in the Bible and still of great use today.

Plant File: Fumitory

Scientific Name: Fumaria Officinalis

Fumitory was used as a tonic by the Eclectic physicians, administered to patients suffering from chronic disease and whoms vitality had left the building. Its a very interesting herb and someone should study it for its ability to increase well being.

Plant File: Galbanum

Scientific Name: Ferula Gummosan

Galbanum is a really wild plant substance. A huge member of the carrot family, like a 12 footer, is cut with a knife, and the plant bleeds a scented gum resin. This substance is used as a digestive stimulant and indeed to stimulate the entire body to improved health. An, old remedy, this is one that gets mentioned in the bible!

Plant File: Gay Feather

Scientific Name: Liatris Spicata

I dont know much about this particular remedy, but, it was used by the Native Americans and the colonial doctors to effectively treat snake bite. This is a very interesting use…..not much helps a rattlesnake bite! Though we dont know much about this, its historical use as an anti-venom suggests somebody needs to look into this herb!

Plant File: Ginger

Scientific Name: Zingiber Officinalis

Ginger is a tropical plant that was spread around the tropical world during the colonial days. In Africa, Asia, or South America, and many hot spots between those continents, locals have taken to using ginger widely in medicine and food. The entire ginger family is rich in oils that both kill micro-critters and stimulate the immune system to do the same. The ways it stimulates the body are many, and, whether added to food or taken as a medicinal tea, ginger makes your body a little bit stronger and a little bit better able to resist the damaging forces of nature. Here are the basics for using ginger as a medicine.

Plant File: Ginkgo

Scientific Name: Gingko Biloba

Gingko is a very interesting plant. Its become very popular as a mind stimulant, used to increase memory and restore lost memory. This action is based on its ability to increase circulation, and that includes circulation to the brain. If forgetfullness is an issue, you should learn more about gingko.

Plant File: Goat Weed

Scientific Name: Epimedium Grandiflorum

Epimedium is highly prized as an aphrodisiac and has long been used to treat impotency, infertility, and lack of libido in men. Not just a boy herb, in women, it is used to increase sexual desire and fertility.

Plant File: Golden Rod

Scientific Name: Solidago Rigida

Golden rod was primarily used as a treatment in urinary tract infections and irregularities in the urinary tract. Today, this is still what herbalist use it for, and, it gets rave reviews from those that work with it.

Plant File: Goldenseal

Scientific Name: Hydrastis Canadensis

Golden seal is a most excellent herbal remedy. It is specifically useful in both acute and chronic infections of the respiratory tract. It contains compounds that kill the bugs at the root of these infections and speeds healing of the mucous membranes. When respiratory tract infections are an issue, you need to know about golden seal.

Plant File: Goldthread

Scientific Name: Coptis Trifolia

Coptis acts as a tonic and digestive, and specifically a mucous membrane tonic. The plant and the medicine is very similar to Golden Seal, and because its easier to grow, it should be studied as a potential alternative to the costly golden seal.

Plant File: Gota Kola

Scientific Name: Centella Asiatica

Gotu Kola was being used in Asia to increase energy and memory a thousand years before the birth of Christ. It is still used in China and India for this purpose today. For those interested in fountain of youth herbs, this is one you should study!

Plant File: Gravel Root

Scientific Name: Eupatorium Purpureum

Dont think too hard on this one. Gravel root was used to get kidney stones, or gravel, out of the kidneys! Mostly used in urinary tract disease, gravel root was also used in infection, and especially in urinary tract infections.

Plant File: Great Laurel

Scientific Name: Rhododendron Maxima

Rhododendrum was used by the Eclectics as a circulatory stimulant, along with aconite and veratrum. This is not a consumer friendly herb and has fallen out of use.

Plant File: Great Yellow Gentian

Scientific Name: Gentiana Lutea

Yellow gentian is the mother of all bitter tonics, used to stimulate the digestive tract into vibrant action and the body to renewed vigor. It makes its way into many of the classic European liquers due to its vitality boosting powers.

Plant File: Greater Celandine

Scientific Name: Chelidonium Majus

It was used for its specific influence upon the liver, thought its action undoubtedly extended to the entire chylopoietic viscera. It has also been employed by French and German physicians to a limited extent, and is a remedy valued by Grauvogl.

Plant File: Greater Plantain

Scientific Name: Plantago Major

A native of Europe, plantain, like the dandelion, was carried to the Four Corners in the white man’s attempt to own the world. The colonial regimes are gone, but many of the plants they brought with them remain. And this excellent tonic plant is one of them.

Plant File: Green Spice

Scientific Name: Heuchera Americana

Alum root is astringent, styptic, and antiseptic. It is a very powerful astringent, andwas formerly used when patients were loosing blood from thee mouth, anus, or vagina. Lovely. Not a plant that gets much use today, as, when people are thus afflicted, they usually report to the ER.

Plant File: Hard Back

Scientific Name: Guaiacum Officinale

Guaiacum wood was used by the Eclectic physicians to stimulate the body into action, and in particular, into healing action. They said that all the bodies processes were increased when this herb was administered. This is consistent with its local use in the Caribean. Its called hardback because it was said to make the back, and other parts, hard.

Plant File: Hawthorn

Scientific Name: Crataegus Monogyna

Statistically speaking, there is a good chance you will croak from a heart attack or a stroke. Unless you make other plans. One plan B would be to integrate Hawthorn into your regular health regimen. For people with heart disease or heart disease in the family, this is an herb you need to know about.

Plant File: Hemp

Scientific Name: Cannabis Sativa

Modern living is fast, very fast and it seems to be getting faster. Most of us put in long hours and rarely do any physical work. Our diets consist of pre-packaged, processed junk and our water is full of chemicals. Most of us live in polluted cities. Modern life for all its advantages, is destroying us. More and more patients arrive in the surgery simply worn out by modern life.
Nowhere better is this degradation more apparent than with the human immune system. If you imagine modern day immune disorders to be a great ‘iceberg’, the tip, the bit above the water, is HIV and AIDS. Under the surface of the water lies the bulk of the iceberg. Conditions like ME, post-viral syndrome, allergies, eczema and asthma are the part we do not see. We have an increasing number of people with auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and SLE. Never before has immune dysregulation been so problematic or prolific. This must be due to modern living.

The immune system in not the only body system suffering at the hands of modern living. The cardiovascular system, the respiratory system, and even the reproductive system are faltering under the present strain. Reproduction; one of the basic functions of the body, is increasingly alluding modern people, a sad statement indeed.

Though the situation is dire, there is hope in sight. The solution, as is often the case, is to be found in the past. In centuries that came before, people worked physically hard and food was scarce. Stress in those days meant things like famines or epidemics. To counter the effects of these stresses, people looked to the plant world to find support for their bodies.

Regardless of geographical location every town had a group of medicines that would be used as tonics. Tonic plants did not have one specific action, but rather a general ability to restore health and vitality. They were said to add strength to the body which was having a hard time standing up to the strain.

Tonic herbs were the lynchpins of traditional systems of medicine. One tonic substance was hemp seed oil., (Cannabis sativa). Hemp seed has been used for generations for its powerful nutritive and tonic effects. The was seen to contain the vitality inducing essence of the nutritive seed.

Contemporary research has revealed hemp seed oil as being the most balanced source of essential fatty acids on Earth. We have learned how these fatty acids are essential for the formation of every cell membrane in the body and how these fatty acids promote the formation of substances essential to health.

This oil is a tonic in the ultimate sense of the word, an easily digestible food and powerful medicine in one. It effects positive changes on the whole body and is particularly able to counter the effects of modern day stresses. Our ancestors could not analyse the seed, but they observed the positive effects that the oil had on people. Every culture using hemp seed oil came to revere it as a ‘fountain of youth’. It was said to rejuvenate the body, slow ageing and even confer immortality upon users.

Plant File: Henbane

Scientific Name: Hyoscyamus Faleslez

Poison. This plant is poisonous and should not be used by people at home. Its an interesting plant, used both as an aphrodisiac and a poison dart poison, but, nothing you want to fool around with on your own!

Plant File: Henna

Scientific Name: Lawsonia Intermis

Henna is most famous for its ability to dye hair red, which it will do, but, it has many other uses. From the biblical day forward, it was applied to the skin to speed healing and prevent infection. With the amount of MRSA around today, Henna should be reviewed for keeping that nasty skin infection in check. There is also a sexy story attached to henna so this one is worth reading.

Plant File: Hollyhock

Scientific Name: Althea Rosea

Holly hocks are members of the mallow family, which includes marshmallow and okra. The whole family produces slime, holly hock included, that soothes irritated tissues. Holly hocks can be applied to a sting, made into a cough syrup, or brewed into a tea for a stomachache. And, the good news is that you probably have the plant in the garden.

Plant File: Honey

Scientific Name: Honey

Honey is not really an herbal medicine, it is really a plant product, but it is one of the most medicinal plant products available.I dont use the term magical healer very often, but, this is a case where I will use it. Honey has magical healing powers and is way more than something to sweeten a lat

Plant File: Hops

Scientific Name: Humulus Lupulus

Hops is a kissing cousin to Marijuana, literally, and contains many of the compounds marijuana contains. Beer, made with hops, makes people feel happy for more reasons than the alcohol it contains! Marijuanas legal cousin is an interesting plant and its use in treating nervous disorders is legendary.

Plant File: Hoptree

Scientific Name: Ptelea Aquatica

According to the Eclectics, Ptelea is tonic and was used in intermittent fevers, remittent fevers, and all cases of debility where tonics are indicated. They used it especially when acute or chronic infections were wearing a person down to the point of death.

Plant File: Horehound

Scientific Name: Marrubium Vulgare

For reasons I cannot explain, I find Horehound to be on really boring herb. Ok, its true is makes a good cough drop, and it can be used to sooth irritated respiratory tissues, but, all done and said, a real yawn of a plant. But, its got lots of history in the cough and cold trade and there must be something to it.

Plant File: Horse-chestnut

Scientific Name: Aesculus hippocastanum

Horse chestnut is a European classic for the treatment of vein problems, be they varicose veins or hemorrhoids. In the open air markets accross Europe, you will find it being sold by Gypsy herbalist to cure that unglamorous condition known as hemorrhoids!

Plant File: Horseradish

Scientific Name: Armoracia Rusticana

THE HORSERADISH GETS ITS NAME FIRSTLY DUE TO THE FAMILY IT BELINGS TO AND SECONDLY DUE TO COMMON USAGE. THE PLANT ITSELF IS A MEMBER OF THE MUSTARD FAMILY ALONG WITH COMMON MUSTARD, THE RADISHES, CABBAGE, BROCOLAI, CAULIFLOWER, AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS. IN OLD ENGLISH GARDENING, HORSE ATTACHED TO ANY PLANT REFERS TO A COMMON PLANT, USUALLY ONE THAT WOULD BE FOUND GROWING ON THE SIDE OF A ROAD OR IN THE HORSE PASTURE. THERE IS ALSO HORSE-MINT, AND THE HORSE CHESTNUT. SO THE HORSE- RADISH IS THE COMMON RADISH OR COARSE RADISH.
EVERYONE SHOULD READ OLD GARDENING AND HERBAL TEXTS, THEY ARE LOADED WITH REALLY FUNNY STATEMENTS. GERARD, MY FAVORITE GARDEN WRITER FROM THE 16TH CENTURY SAYS THAT HORSERADISH AND GRAPES HATE EACH OTHER, AND IF YOU PLANT A A PEICE OF HORSERADISH NEXT TO A GRAPE VINE THE GRAPE WILL SPECIFICALLY GROW IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OF THE HORSERADISH. I HAVENT HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THIS A TRY, YOU MIGHT WANT TO FIND OUT IF HE WAS RIGHT.

EVERYTHING WE DO AND TAKE FOR GRANTED HAS SOME BASIS. WHAT DO I MEAN BY THIS? LETS TAKE HORSERADISH FOR EXAMPLE. TODAY WE EAT HORSERADISH , MIXED WITH A LITTLE MAYO, ALONSIDE OF OUR ROAST BEEF. WHERE IS THIS TRADITION FROM? IN THE ANCIENT DAYS PEOPLE DISCOVERED THAT MEALS OF HEAVY MEAT WERE HARD TO DIGEST. THEY ALSO FOUND THAT HORSERADISH BROKE UP THE FAT OF SUCH HEAVY MEATS AND AIDED IN DIGESTION. GERARD SAYS THE FOLLOWING,” HORSE RADISH STAMPED WITH A LITTLE VINEGAR PUT THERETO, IS COMMONLY USED AMONGST THE GERMANS FOR SAUSE TO EATE FISH WITH, AND SUCH LIKE MEATES, AS WE DO MUSTARD, BUT THIS KINDE OF SAUCE DOTH HEATE THE STOMACKE BETTER, AND CAUSETH BETTER DIGESTION.” INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH THE FRENCH STILL CALL HORERADISH MOUTARDE DES ALLEMANDS, GERMAN MUSTARD. ALL OLD HERBALS STATE THAT HORSERADISH HEATS UP THE STOMACH AND MAKES DIGESTOIN OF MEAT A LOT EASIER. SO IT BACAME TRADITION TO EAT RED MEATS WITH HORSERADISH, TO AID IN ITS DIGESTION. WE LIKE TO THINK WE DISCOVERED IN THE EIGHTIES THAT HEAVY MEATS ARE HARD ON THE STOMACH. THE ANCIENTS KNEW THIS AND WENT ONE STEP FURTHER. THEY WENT AHEAD AND ATE AN HERB THAT WUOLD HELP THE PROCESS ALONG. OUR HORSERADISH AND SOURCREME COMBINATION ISNT A NEW IDEA. ITS A VERY ANCIENT ONE.

Plant File: Iceland Moss

Scientific Name: Cetraria Islandica

This lichen is a native of the mountainous section of Britain and the northern countries of Europe and has long been used to stimulate health in those experiencing a loss of well being, whether from the cold or from chronic illness. Simply put, it was and is considered a tonic, or vitality stimulant

Plant File: Indian Lettuce

Scientific Name: Frasera Carolinensis

This plant is a member of the gentian family, related to the classic European digestive stimulant and tonic Yellow Gentian. It was used in the last century to stimulate digestive and vitality, in people who were lacking vim and vigor.

Plant File: Indian Turnip

Scientific Name: Arum triphyllum

Jack in the Pulpit is a woodland plant that was used by the Native Americans and the Eclectic physicians as a medicine. However, it needs contemporary research to determine if it has any uses today.

Plant File: Ipeca

Scientific Name: Cephaelis ipecacuanha

Ok, bizarre plant alert. This herb, when ingested, causes immediate and violent vomiting. One of its uses was to get kids to upchuck when they had eaten something poisonous. It was used in smaller doses for medicinal purposes, but, considering the consequence of getting the dose wrong, I would leave this one alone! Interesting but not for home use!

Plant File: Irish Moss

Scientific Name: Chondrus Crispus

This is a really interesting herbal remedy long used to speed convalescence and to stabilize wasting diseases and increase strength and stamina. This was and is a strength builder, and, the good news, is that if there is a Jamaican store near you, you can buy a can of a delicious Irish moss beverage.

Plant File: Iron Weed

Scientific Name: Vernonia Prealta

This is a lesser known herbal medicine that was used by the Native Americans and then by the Colonial doctors. It is one that requires additional research.

Plant File: Jacobs Ladder

Scientific Name: Polemonium Reptans

An interesting and very unused medicinal plant, jacobs ladder was formerly used to treat snake bite and reported to cure TB. This suggests it powerfully stimulates the bodies intrinsic healing capacity. That said, I dont know much about it and this is an herb somebody needs to study. It might be the one that helps us survive our toxic world.

Plant File: Jamaican Sorrel

Scientific Name: Hibiscus Sabdifera

Ok, this is on the Dr.Doug top ten list. The herb is really the dried flower petals of an African plant, and, these petals make a drink that is both delicious and boosting to the health. Im having a personal argument, is it more delicious or more healthy? Read about this plant. You must know about it.

Featured Article: Jamaican Sorrel

Common Name: Jamaican Sorrel | Scientific Name: Hibiscus Sabdifera

The first time I bumped into sorrel was in the deepest recesses of Orange Bay, Jamaica. The date was sometime in the winter of 1984. I had met a Jamaican healer at an open air market and ended up at her home…

Plant File: Japanese Camellia

Scientific Name: Camellia Japonica

To most Americans, a Camelia is a finicky bush that produces lots of flowers, in a good year, but, in Asia, it is seen as a source of one of the most healing oils. Its seeds are pressed, and the oil that runs out, is used in hair tonics, skin creams, and more. The oil, and its healing capacity, is rather magical

Plant File: Japanese Geranium

Scientific Name: Geranium Thunbergi

Gennoshouko is a perennial herb native to Japan. Like is European relative, Cranesbill geranium, this herb was the classic Japanese treatment for diarrhea.

Plant File: Japanese Mugwort

Scientific Name: Artemisia Princeps

Yomogi is native to Japan and is the herb used to in that rather peculiar treatment known as moxibustion. Its made into little cones, the cones are placed on the body, and lit on fire. Probably one better left to the pyrotechnic experts.

Plant File: Japanese Mulberry

Scientific Name: Morus Bomcycis

This mulberry is native to Japan and was and is used to feed the silk worm, the worm responsible for making the fiber that is used to make silk. In addition, every part of the tree is considered to have a medicinal use, and on top of that, it produces a tasty fruit.

Plant File: Japanese Orchid

Scientific Name: Gastrodia Elata

Several members of the orchid family have been used to stimulate health and vitality, and this is one of them. Gastrodia is a classic tonic for the elderly that have lost the crisp edge of youth. It is used to increase strength and nervous function, in the young and the old.

Plant File: Japanese Persimmon

Scientific Name: Diospyros Kaki

The Japanese persimmon produces a ultra delicious fruit that everone should know about. The wild part is the dried persimmon is even tastier than the fresh one! In addition, all parts of the plant are rich in cardiovascular tonifying compounds and has been used since forever to improve the health of veins, arteries, and the heart itself.

Featured Article: Japanese Quince

Common Name: Japanese Quince | Scientific Name: Chaenomeles Sinensis

When most kids were watching TV, I was digging plants out of the woods. I first spotted the Japanese quince on one of my many unsupervised plant field trips.

Plant File: Japanese Quince

Scientific Name: Chaenomeles Sinensis

Japanese quince has long been used as a general body strengthener in Japan and China. In addition to this, it is used in coughs, colds, and all form of infectious respiratory drama, either to prevent a cold, or make one go away as quickly as possible. And, this is a tasty herbal medicine! Shocker.

Plant File: Japanese Saiko

Scientific Name: Burpleum Falcata

Burpleum Falcata is native to Japan and can be found growing in the mountains and grasslands of the Japanese islands. The roots are seen as a general tonic and are used to stimulate well being.

Plant File: Japanese Yellow Bark

Scientific Name: Phelodendron Amurense

Kihada is native to Japan and where it grows wild in the mountains. It is very similar in action and use to golden seal. Like golden seal, its rich berberine content makes it very useful in acute and chronic infection, and especially when bacteria is at the root of the problem.

Plant File: Jobs Tears

Scientific Name: Coix Lachryma-Jobi

Hatomugi is an annual grass, indigenous to South Asia, that was introduced to Japan 1200 years ago. The grain is used to make a building porridge, a oatmeal like substance that puts some turbo into a persons recovery, whether that be from surgery or from the common cold. When healing is required, jobs tears should be cooking in the kitchen.

Plant File: Jujube

Scientific Name: Ziziphus Jujube

The Jujube is a fruit that is little known outside of China and this is unfortunate. On top of being powerfully building to the general health, its one of the tasty herbal medicines. The dried fruit tastes something between a dried apple and a dried pear and is something that can be added to a bag of trail mix or eaten while sitting in front of the television. Find an Asian groccery store, and you will find dried jujubes year round, and in the late summer, you should be able to get your hands on the fresh variety. You can read more about the health benefits of this lovely fruit in my article found below, but, I would be remiss in mentioning that this is one plant you might want to add to your garden. Its an attractive green tree and produces loads of fruits with little or no work on the part of the owner. My favorite kind. To find a plant, contact Willis Orchards at www.Willisorchards.com

Plant File: Juniper

Scientific Name: Juniperus Communis

The story of juniper is filled with history. In Europe 200 years ago, juniper was thought to be extremely strengthening to the body: it was administered to the sick to restore, and to the well to maintain good health.

Plant File: Kava

Scientific Name: Piper Methysticum

Kava kava is a member of the pepper family and like all members of the family stimulates all systems in the body, circulation digestion, and vitality in general. What makes this one interesting is that it relaxes the mind and the body and is used to ease social anxieties.

Plant File: Kudzu

Scientific Name: Pueraria Lobata

Kudzu is one crazy plant. It can grow up and cover a 200 foot tall tree in one season. I would say its an aggressive grower but thats not strong enough language. Clearly the plant contains some vitality compounds and, according to the Japanese, some very health building comoounds as well.

Plant File: Lady Slipper

Scientific Name: Cypripedium Pubescens

Lady slipper is only partially worth knowing about; it was considered a great nerve tonic in the past and could be great for the frayed modern nerves, but, its almost extinct in the wild and you can go to jail if you get caught harvesting it! Until someone figures out how to mass produce this plant, its not of much practical use!

Plant File: Large Spotted Spurge

Scientific Name: Euphorbia Hypericifolia

Large spotted spurge was used, to a very limited extent, by the Eclectic physicians as a tonic. But, it was never fully studied or trialed so its yet another plant for the an interested plant researcher to take on and discover if it has use in medicine.

Plant File: Lavender

Scientific Name: Lavandula Officinalis

Lavender is the pacifyer for the grown up. The essential oil, applied to the forehead, or just even smelled, settles people down and quick. This action was even tested in a home for very cranky alzheimers patients, who, when cranky, really get their cranky on.

Plant File: Lemon Balm

Scientific Name: Mellissa Officinalis

Lemon balm is right up there with lavender in the herbal relaxant department. A European plant, it has been used to take the edge off for hundreds if not thousands of years. And the best part? Its makes a really nice tea. In addition, it can be used to heal broken skin and is especially good with chapped lips!

Plant File: Lemon Grass

Scientific Name: Cymbopogon Citrullus

Lemon grass is a really cool grass with a long list of uses. It makes delicious tea, adds a tasty flavor to many a dish. This use indicates one of its activities, its a digestive stimulant. In addition, it can be used to treat infection and the fever that goes along with it. It comes from the tropics where fever is a problem, and, this is a plant that got tapped long ago to bring fever down.

Plant File: Licorice

Scientific Name: Glycyrrhiza Glabra

Licorice is one cool plant. Its a health building tonic, long used to boost vitality and health. In addition, its very effective in treating conditions based on chronic inflammation, conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative collitis. That said, its ability to boost stamina is amazing! If you are run down, this is an herb to learn about.

Plant File: Life Root

Scientific Name: Senecio Aureus

As strange as it sounds, the Eclectic Physicians called this plant the female regulator! Anyhow, it was used to improve gynecological health. that said, it may contain compounds that are toxic and this one should not be used to regulate females until more is known.

Plant File: Liverwort

Scientific Name: Hepatica Americana

Hepatica was used by the Eclectic Physicians to stimulate the digestive tract into action. When digestion was slow or poor, this herb was used to invigorate digestion.

Plant File: Lizard Tail

Scientific Name: Anemopsis Californica

This medicinal plant was known to the Native Americans and was picked up by the Eclectic Physicians living in California. It was used to stimulate vitality in serious chronic disease and warrants investigation for possible use in chronic disease today.

Plant File: Logwood

Scientific Name: Hematoxylon Campechianum

The Eclectic Physicians used this herb to treat diarrhea and dysentery of long duration. It was used to treat a wide range of chronic and acute infections, however, it has since fallen out of use. Probably interesting enough for someone to do some research on it to see if could be useful today.

Plant File: Loquat

Scientific Name: Eribotraya Japonica

The loquat is a very tasty fruit, more popular in Europe and Asia, than in the United States. Its unfortunate because it is quite tasty. In Asia, most cough and cold remedies are made out of the loquat fruit as it has a specific healing effect on the respiratory tract. If you take a a trip to the Asian market you will find a host of loquat cough syrups and its worth keeping a bottle around!

Plant File: Madder

Scientific Name: Rubia Tinctoria

Madder has one very specific use: to relax the urinary tubes to assist in the passage of stones. Thats it. Not a wide use, but, if you are passing a sharp stone through the peepee place, it might be of great interest!

Featured Article: Maitake 101: an Introduction

Common Name: Maitake | Scientific Name: Grifola Frondosa

Oh where to begin. I spent years studying this food and the more I studied it, the more amazed I was by it. The supreme immune stimulant, maitake can be used to fight the common cold or cancer. This is an mushroom that everyone should know all about.

Featured Article: Maitake 102: Maitake(Grifola frondosa) as an Immune Stimulant

Common Name: Maitake | Scientific Name: Grifola Frondosa

Maitake(Grifola frondosa) is a powerful immune stimulant. It stimulates all the immunity cells in the body into action, and, these immunity cells in turn kick the crap out of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, and cancer cells. When you need an active immune system, you need to know about Maitake.

Featured Article: Maitake 103: Maitake(Grifola frondosa) and HIV infection

Common Name: Maitake | Scientific Name: Grifola Frondosa

As Maitake(Grifola frondosa) was proven to act as an immune stimulant, I decided to study its effect in HIV infection. I did this work at my clinic in London. I found it very useful in HIV and did a small clinical trial to establish this fact. Peopel with HIV should know about about maitake.

Featured Article: Maitake 104: Maitake(Grifola frondosa) and Bacterial Infection

Common Name: Maitake | Scientific Name: Grifola Frondosa

Bacterial infection is kicking our butt at the moment, and, we need to develop a new strategy for dealing with them. The Antibiotic theory of treatment has proven to be flawed. I believe the immune stimulants represent a new technology with which we can win the war on bacterial infection. Maitake is one of those immune stimulants.

Featured Article: Maitake 105: Maitake(Grifola frondosa) and Fungal Infection

Common Name: Maitake | Scientific Name: Grifola Frondosa

Fungal infections, and in particular thrush infections, cause a whole lot of misery. Of course, the immune system is in charge of clearing up fungal infections, so, I decide to do a clinical trial using it and vaginal thrush. Read on if you want to know more.

Featured Article: Maitake(Grifola frondosa) as a Food

Common Name: Maitake | Scientific Name: Grifola Frondosa

Maitake, or Chicken of the Woods, as it is known, is one of the most delicious mushrooms you will ever eat. Not only is it being medicinal, it is off the charts in flavor. This is a mushroom you need to know about if you like to cook.

Plant File: Makino

Scientific Name: Swertia Japonica

Senburi is a Japanese member of the gentian family, and like the rest of the family, is a bitter tonic. In Japan it is used to stimulate digestion and general vitality. Administered to the recovering and the ailing, the plant is said to stoke the fires of life.

Plant File: Mango

Scientific Name: Mangifera Indica

Mango was used as an immune stimulant to treat infection, which, as it turns out, was a smart use. Like all members of the poison ivy family, mango does activate the immune system and this does keep infections under control.

Plant File: Marsh Gentian

Scientific Name: Gentiana Ochroleuca

Marsh gentian, like all the gentians, stimulates the digestive tract and general health. Very interestingly, it was used to treat malaria and was said to be very effecient at treating that dread disease.

Plant File: Marsh Marigold

Scientific Name: Caltha Palustris

History reveals that Caltha palustus, a native American plant, was used by the Native Americans, and by the Eclectic physicians. The question is for what?Its uses are lost in history. Someone should look into it to see if it has any applications in modern medicine.

Plant File: Marsh Rosemary

Scientific Name: Statice Carolinia

Marsh rosemary was used by the Eclectic Physicians as a tonic and an astringent. Specifically it was used to dry up diarrhea and to heal mouth ulcers.

Plant File: Marshmallow

Scientific Name: Althaea Officinalis

This plant is a member of the Mallow family, a group of plants that all uniquely store slime in their leaves, flowers, and roots. This slime, or mucilage as its really known, can be used to heal any tissue that is angry. Be that skin, stomach, throat, or urinary tract. A good plant to know or grow.

Plant File: Mastic

Scientific Name: Pistacia Lentiscus

Ok, here we find the original chewing gum. This pistacio relative exudes a gum resin that can be chewed to improve gum health. A medicinal plant that way predates the Bible, mastic has a centuries old reputation of improving gums and is worth learning about. Gum disease is a big problem!

Plant File: Matico

Scientific Name: Piper Augustifolium

Matico is a member of the pepper family and, like all members of the family, has a stimulating effect on the body in general.

Plant File: Matrimony Vine

Scientific Name: Lycium Chinense

Chinese matrimony is a really old Chinese life force tonic. When the fire of life was burning out, due to age or disease, this tonic medicine was used to fire it back up. A classic from the Chinese stay well arsenal, this is a plant worth knowing about.

Plant File: Mayapple

Scientific Name: Podophyllum Peltatum

Another, not for the lay person herb, mayapple surfaced as one of the rising stars of stay well medicine in my PhD work. It worth reading about because it has such potential, and is such an interesting herb, but not one to be used!

Plant File: Mayflower

Scientific Name: Epigea Repens

This was a plant popular with the Native Americans and a plant lightly used by the Eclectic physicians. Being related to uva-ursi, a classic urinary tonic, it comes as no surprise it was used in urinary tract infections. But, not much is known about this woodland plant, and someone should look into it more completly.

Plant File: Megusurinoki Japanese Maple

Scientific Name: Acer nikoense

Megusurinoki is a broadleaf Maple tree found growing exclusively in Japan around mountains. Completly unknown in the West, in Japan it is used to treat eye conditions, both acute and chronic. Someone should look into it as chronic eye conditions are a real pain and this remedy may offer a cure.

Plant File: Mezereon

Scientific Name: Daphne Mezerum

Daphne is a herbal medicine that has dropped off the rader screen, and, you would be hard pressed to find any even if you wanted some. But, it was used to treat chronic infectious disease and was reported to be effective. As such, someone may want to do some research on this forgotten plant.

Plant File: Milk Thistle

Scientific Name: Silybum Marianum

Milk thistle was a traditional treatment for mushroom poisoning. Mushrooms often kill by killing your liver. Thats a bit hint as to what this plant does…..it protects the liver from damage. Contemporary research confirms this use!

Plant File: Mountain Laurel

Scientific Name: Kalmia Latifolia

Poison. On the practical front, thats about all you need to know about it. But, the Eclectic Physicians used this herb in their practice of medicine and its historic uses are of interest.

Plant File: Mountain Laurel

Scientific Name: Kalmia Latifolia

Poison. On the practical front, thats about all you need to know about it. But, the Eclectic Physicians used this herb in their practice of medicine and its historic uses are of interest.

Plant File: Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbascum Thapsus

Mullein is a European plant that is used for coughs and colds, and especially when the ears were involved.

Featured Article: Muscadine Grapes

Common Name: Muscadine Grapes | Scientific Name: Vitis Rotundifolia

The first time I ran into Muscadine grapes, I was visiting Fayetteville, North Carolina, and it was an accidental run in.

Plant File: Myrrh

Scientific Name: Commiphora Molmol

Myrrh is not actually a plant but rather a plant product, one of the oldest plant products still in active use. Its the sap of a desert dwelling tree, one of the gifts given to the baby Jesus by the wise men, and, a substance that heals just about whatever it touches.

Plant File: Myrtle

Scientific Name: Myrtus Communis

This fragrant bush is mentioned in the Bible and just about every other text listing medicinal plants since. It is rich in volatile oils which do everything from speed healing of the skin to improve digestion. Even the berries are collected to make a tonic jam. This is one interesting plant and one worth reading about.

Plant File: New Jersey Tea

Scientific Name: Ceonanthus Americana

Jersey tea was a colonial and Eclectic Physician treatment for infections involving the mucous membranes, that could be a cough or a cold, or gonorrhea. When gunk needed to get moved out of the respiratory tract, this was the go to herb.

Plant File: Olive

Scientific Name: Olea Europeus

The olive tree played a major role in ancient Mediterranean life and continues to be a very important crop in that part of the world. Science has revealed that it is the healthy oil, and, anyone interested in staying well or staying young should get to know olive oil and all it can do for you!

Plant File: Onion

Scientific Name: Allium Cepa

The onion is a fabulous food and a very old source of healing. Historically it was used to cure a long list of illnesses, prevent even more, and the scientific community has proven that this is one food you need to know about!

Plant File: Oregano

Scientific Name: Origanum Vulgare

Oregano is one of the many members of the mint family, used for both cuisine and health. And, in some cases, cuisine and health. The plant is mostly used in pasta sauce today, but, it has long been used as a medicine since the days of the Greeks and Romans.

Plant File: Oregon-Grape

Scientific Name: Mahonia Aquifolium

I have sentence for you. Chronic skin disease be gone. I have done a ton of work with this herb, and, psoriasis, acne, eczema, and even blepharitis is improved when this herb is used regularly. If I had to keep one herb around for chronic skin disease, this would be the one.

Plant File: Partridge Berry

Scientific Name: Mitchella Repens

Partridgeberry was one of the most popular female health tonics in the colonial day. Whenever gynecological trouble struck, it was an option. One of the traditional herbs of the midwife, partridge berry comes with a great endorsement from the past

Plant File: Pasque Flower

Scientific Name: Anemone pulsatilla

Anemone was formerly used to treat mental conditions that were fear or depression based. It has not been studied much in recent years for this purpose, but, considering how crappy most people feel today, it warrants additional study. It might prove helpful!

Plant File: Passionvine

Scientific Name: Passiflora Incarnata

Passion vine(Passiflora incarnata) is a long used sleep aid, first used by the Native Americans, then by the colonials. Its really helps with insomnia and even in pain. The passion vine family of plants has been used for this and other purposes…..Passiflora edulis, the edible passion vine makes one hell of a healthy juice!

Plant File: Peach

Scientific Name: Amygdalus persica

Peach leaves have been used as medicine in the country for as long as peaches have been grown in America; primarily for stomach problems and general weakness. This use has mostly disappeared and should be investigated, as digestive problems are epidemic today, and this remedy might help.

Plant File: Peony

Scientific Name: Peonia Albaflora

The peony plant in the west is seen as a flowering plant; in Asia, it is seen as the source of a life force building tonic with special usefulness amongst women. Definetly a vitality blaster that should be added to the arsenal of staying well.

Plant File: Peppermint

Scientific Name: Mentha Piperita

Though stomach abuse is currently at an all-time high, poor eating habits have been a problem throughout human history. Since day one mint as been used to improve digestion and settle an upset stomach. If poor digestion is a problem, a cup of mint tea following meals may be the answer.

Plant File: Pichi

Scientific Name: Fabiana Imbricata

Pichi was a plant drug initially introduced to the American medical scene by Parke Davis and Company. It was said to be a tonic and capable of stimulating the body to heal itself.In the US, it has dropped off the planet and is a forgotten herb. If anyone travels to Chile, it would be great if they found out if its still being used there and for what conditions.

Plant File: Pink Lemon

Scientific Name: Citrus limon

Yes, there really is a pink lemon and, it in days gone by, it was used to make pink lemonaide! The pink lemon prodces pink juice, and an especially sour and tasty juice at that!

Plant File: Pipsissewa

Scientific Name: Chimaphylla Umbellata

This small woodland plant is indigenous to the northern parts of North America and is really nothing to look at. However, the Native Americans and the Eclectic Physicians used it to stimulate healing, whenever the body failed to mount a healing response. It was applied to wounds and taken internally to stimulate the body to heal itself. A very interesting plant and one that somebody needs to study.

Plant File: Pistachio

Scientific Name: Pistacia Vera

All seeds contain life, literally, and seem to convey this vitality onto the people who eat them. Some seeds being more supportive of vitality than others. Pistachios are an ancient remedy for vitality and one that is both safe and tasty to eat.

Plant File: Pitcher Plant

Scientific Name: Sarracenia Rubra

Pitcher plant was used in the last century to activate all the systems of excretion, liver and kidneys included. It was also said to stimulate the sweat glands which in turn resulted in toxins being eliminated from the skin. So, it might be called the body cleaner outer. The plant is rare in the wild so using it as medicine is not politically correct! An interesting read, but, like ivory, not very nice to buy.

Plant File: Poison Ivy

Scientific Name: Toxicodrendron Radicans

Do not try this at home. Never. But, in fact, in the century that came before, it was widely used, in small doses, as a powerful boost to the immune system. Poison ivy does in fact stimulate the immune system. Its past use to stimulate the body to fight off infection should be of interest to researchers today. Again, this is one for the researchers and nothing anyone should put in their mouth.

Plant File: Poke Root

Scientific Name: Phytolacca Decandra

Phytolacca is a poisonous plant that should not be used by consumers. Its potentially dangerous. However, my PhD research revealed this common weed does act as a powerful health stimulant and really needs to be studied for potential use in staying well regimens and chronic debilitating illness.

Plant File: Pomegranate

Scientific Name: Punicum Granatum

Though experiencing a renaissance in interest, for a long list of very modern reasons, the pomegranate is one of our most ancient fruits. It is native to the home of several ancient civilizations, the pomegranate factored into ancient life…..and maintaining vibrant health life!

Plant File: Pot Marigold

Scientific Name: Calendula Officinalis

Pot marigold, or calendula, is one of the classic European skin healers. It is put into salves and creams to speed skin healing. It can also be used internally to treat infections of all sorts. In both cases, the remedy works because it stimulates the immune system which speeds skin healing and kicks ass on the micro-bugs causing the infections.

Plant File: Potentilla

Scientific Name: Potentilla Tormentil

When you apply tormentil to your skin in the case of a wound, its tannins have the ability to form an eschar or false scar, pulling the proteins together to create a seal. This closes off blood vessels, deadens nerve endings. This is a most excellent first aid plant!

Plant File: Prickly Ash

Scientific Name: Xanthoxylum Americanum

Prickly Ash is a very odd American tree with an odd action. Its covered with pre-historic like thorns and, when applied externally or taken internally, it stimulates blood flow. It was used by the Native Americans to stimulate circulation, and, in time the Colonials adopted this use. If poor circulation, either do to age or genetics, caused problems, patients were dosed with Prickly Ash. In the contemporary world, Raynaud’s Phenomena, an interittent form of poor circulation, is often treated with the herb. Along with cayenne pepper, Prickly Ash is one of the classic circulatory stimulants. When I had a clinic in London we used a lot of Prickly Ash for people with Raynaud’s Phenomena, and I wrote a fact sheet for these patients. Below you will find that fact sheet.
In classic American country medicine Prickly Ash was also used by Country Doctors as a general health stimulant. As a result, I studied it in my PhD work for potential general health stimulating effects. After the Raynaud’s phenomena fact sheet you will find what I discovered regarding its general health stimulating effects. Medicinal plants that generally stimulate health are known as adaptogens and my PhD research revealed it was in fact a adaptogen, helping the body cope with the stress and strain of physical life.

RESOURCES

Prickly Ash and Raydaud’s Phenomena Fact Sheet

Adaptogenic Uses

Eclectic Physicians Notes

Prickly Ash and Raynaud’s Phenomena Fact Sheet

Prickly Ash

Scientific Name: Xanthoxylem americanum

Part used: bark and berries

In a Word: Body Heater

Uses: Poor Circulation, Raynaud’s disease and phenomena

Prickly Ash is a North American plant that has been used for centuries to warm cold hands and feet. The Native Americans first used it to make the cold North American winters more bearable. In turn, the Native Americans let the European colonials know of its warming capacity. It has a long and interesting history and is an ideal herbal medicine for people with cold hands and feet. We feel this is especially true if the problem is a little more serious than the occasional case of chilly extremities, in the case of Raynaud’s Phenomena or Raynaud’s Disease.

Plant File: Prickly Elder

Scientific Name: Aralia Spinosa

Yet another member of the ginseng family used as a stimulant to health and vitality. Probably a resitogen, this one was used in small doses as large doses caused vomiting. Ouch. Maybe better to stick to ginseng.

Plant File: Prickly Pear

Scientific Name: Opuntia

The prickly pear cactus is not a plant you want in your backyard, the spines will drive you nuts! But, it is on herbal remedy you want to keep around the house. History and contemporary research reveal that a little prickly pear juice will prevent a hang over, or worse a hag over. That would be my subtle way of saying the juice has rejuvenating qualities… and anyone interested in staying strong long into life needs to know about this plant.

Featured Article: Prickly Pear

Common Name: Prickly Pear | Scientific Name: Opuntia

Ever eaten a prickly pear cactus? Maybe not. However, you have probably seen them at the grocery store.

Plant File: Psyllium husk

Scientific Name: Plantago Psyllium

Nobody gets enough fiber in their diet today and that is just a fact. The Psyllium plantain produces a fabulous fiber, which, taken each morning, will give you the fiber you are not getting in your diet. Get yourself on Psyllium fiber and the sooner the better.

Plant File: Quassia

Scientific Name: Picriena Excelsa

Quassia is used in cases of anorexia for promoting the appetite and assisting the digestive functions. A classic bitter, when it touches the mouth, the digestive juices begin to flow.

Plant File: Queens Root

Scientific Name: Stillingia Sylvatica

Stillingia was used by the Eclectic physicians to treat patients who were in the terminal phases of syphilis and TB. When the body could no longer fight off these infections, this herb was used to fire up additional resistance and thereby prolong life.

Plant File: Red Clover

Scientific Name: Trifolium Pratense

Red Clover is a common little plant with a potentially fantastic future ahead of itself. In the centuries that came before staying well and getting well were extremely important. If you could not work, you lost everything. Red clover was used to keep people well and at work, something that might be of interest to the modern reader.

Plant File: Red Tag Alder

Scientific Name: Alnus Serrulata

This is a really cool plant with a vast history of use. Specifically, it was used to treat chronic diseases based on immune dysfunction, especially when they appeared as skin conditions. This plant really warrants a hard look from the scientific community as it may prove very helpful in the modern age.

Plant File: Rhubarb

Scientific Name: Rheum Palmatum

Rhubarb is a laxatiive. Period. It causes the bowels to evacuate their contents and has a tendency to leave people feeling a little sore after the fact.

Plant File: Rock Rose

Scientific Name: Cistus Canadensis

Rock Rose was a standard treatment of the Eclectic Physician’s for all kinds of chronic debilitating disease, being it tuberculosis, or syphilis. Its reputation was resounding, someone needs to research this plant for modern applications. Where there is smoke there is fire.

Plant File: Roman Chamomile

Scientific Name: Anthemis obilis

Roman chamomile is mostly used in skin creams and shampoos, due to its ability to improve the skin. Its an old skin remedy and one that has stood the test of time. Its right up there with aloe when it comes to clearing up a skin problem.

Plant File: Rosebay Willowherb

Scientific Name: Epilobium Angustifolium

Willow herb was a remedy used in the founding days of America to treat diarrhea. In the modern age, diarrhea is seen as a minor inconveniance but in centuries gone by, lack of sanitation and safe water meant a lot of diarrhea. And, it killed children and the elderly very quickly. A forgotten herb but one that saved a lot of people in days gone by.

Plant File: Rosemary

Scientific Name: Rosmarinum Officinalis

Rosemary is for rememberance. That is the old European saying and tells you what you need to know about it. If memory is an issue, Rosemary is an herb you may want think about adding to your health care routine.

Plant File: Roseroot

Scientific Name: Rhodiola Rosea

Roseroot, or Rhodiola, is a classic adaptogen identified by the pioneer of stay well herbal medicine, II Brekhman. It was traditionally used to increase physical strength and ultimately was determined to do just that.

Plant File: Round Leaved Wintergreen

Scientific Name: Pyrola Rotundifolia

Pyrola was used by the Eclectic Physicians to treat chronic skin conditions and general loss of vitality. The Eclectics learned of its health boosting capacity from the native Americans. A useful little herb, it has largely been forgotten.

Plant File: Saffron

Scientific Name: Crocus Sativus

Saffron is a seen more as a spice than a medicine, but, in days gone by it was considered a very powerful stimulant to health, and particularly to mental health and brain functioning. At the moment it is used in recipes to turn rice yellow, but, it may have a future in helping the human brain cope with the modern world!

Plant File: Sage

Scientific Name: Salvia Officinalis

Sage is yet another member of the mint family with medicinal action. Though most famous as a flavoring for pork sausage, sage has been a source of medicine since the age of the Bible. Once of its peculiar actions is that of drying up secretions, be that sweat or mucous. This is a plant that has helped more than one women beat the menopausal sweats!

Plant File: Saint Ignatius Bean

Scientific Name: Ignatia Amara

This herbs most famous constituent is strychnine, something you may know as a poison! It was used as a medicine in the last century, and its uses were interesting and worth reading about, but, not an herb to be used today!

Plant File: Salap

Scientific Name: Orchis Maculatum

Since the beginning of time, people have scoured the hills and fields for plants that could increase health and well being. One of the plants found in this search was salap. Long used in health preservation, salap is an amazing tonic plant.

Plant File: Sandalwood

Scientific Name: Santalum Alba

The sandalwood tree is used to produce two fragrant items, oil and a wood. The oil was used in perfumes, medicines, and incense. The wood was used to make decorative objects. The oils has been used in medicine for at least three thousand years, and, is so powerful, it has another three thousand in store.

Plant File: Santonica

Scientific Name: Artemisia Santonica

Santonica is a member of the Artemesia tribe of plants formerly used to rid people of worms. At the moment, it is not much used.

Plant File: Sapodilla

Scientific Name: Manilkara zapota

The sapodilla is a really cool Central American tree. I have one in my garden in Florida and the term indestructable comes to mind. The fruit is sometimes called brown sugar fruit because it tastes somewhere between canned pears and brown sugar. Really, the only thing that tastes like a sapodilla is a sapodilla and you should try to eat one effective immediately.

Plant File: Sasa Grass

Scientific Name: Sasa Senansis

Kumazasa is native to Japan and grows wild in the northern regions. The plant is used to fight infections, both internal and external, and is popular in Japan in both cases.

Plant File: Sassafras

Scientific Name: Sassafras Officinale

Sassafras is such a fragrant tree that its easy to see how the Native Americans noticed it. Bump into it, and you can smell its wonderful fragrance. The Native Americans saw this plant as being generally building to the constitution and transmitted that knowledge to the colonials. Its ability to stimulate health made it one of the first items of commerce in the colonial day….thousands of pounds were shipped to England.

Plant File: Saw Palmetto

Scientific Name: Serenoa Repens

Saw palmetto is one cool plant. It seems to provide the male body with the hormones that go missing as we age. In addition, for those that want to put on muscle, that would otherwise have a hard time doing so, saw palmetto is of great use. Whether hormone drop off is your problem, or you want to bulk up, this is a plant to get to know.

Plant File: Saxifraga

Scientific Name: Saxifraga Pennsylvanica

I dont have much to say about this one. It was briefly mentioned by the Eclectics as effective in treating syphilis….not an easy feat. This suggests it may have an effect in infectious disease and that it should be researched.

Plant File: Selfheal

Scientific Name: Prunella Vulgaris

Self heal is a mint relation, and like with all the other mint relations, plant this once, and you never have to plant it again. Its a vigorous grower, and, people who drink the tea made of it regularly, find they have enhanced vigor as well!

Plant File: Shiso

Scientific Name: Perilla Frutescens

Shiso is an annual member of the mint and a really cool one at that. It emits a strong cinammon scent….its loaded with aromatic oils that make it one active herbal remedy or food. Its both. Its strength is helping people survive food poisoning…and that makes it one to know about in the age of questionable food.

Plant File: Siberian Ginseng

Scientific Name: Eleutherococcus Senticosus

The modern world rips the strength and vitality out of just about everyone. Between work and play, most of us our wiped out. Siberian ginseng is an endurance herb that can keep you on the road of life, longer and stronger, and is perfectly non-toxic! If you are out of oomph, you need Siberian ginseng in your life.

Plant File: Siberian Motherwort

Scientific Name: Leonorus Sibiricus

Siberian motherwort is indigenous to Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and China and has been used since the beginning of time to improve the gynecological health of women. It is the Japanese womans go to herb whenever the girlie bits are acting up. If you spend too much time at the gynecologist, you might want to learn about this herb.

Plant File: Silver Vine

Scientific Name: Actinidia polygama

Matatabi is a kiwi vine relative used to prevent heart disease and cancer. Its a disease preventing tonic, used long term, to inrease longevity and well being.

Plant File: Silvertop

Scientific Name: Glehnia Litoralis

Hamaboufuu is native to Japan and is a Japanese treatment for all kinds of joint and muscle pain. Conditions like sore muscles and arthritis are treated with it. Japanese practitioners love it. If arthritis is a problem, you should learn more about this herb.

Plant File: Simarouba

Scientific Name: Simarouba Amara

This remedy was used by the Ecletics in small doses to stimulate the digestive tract. In large doses, it would stimulate a big case of the puking!

Plant File: Skullcap

Scientific Name: Scutellaria Laterifolia

Scullcap was used by the Eclectic Physicians as a nerve tonic, said to make a weak or weakened nervous system stronger. It was very popular and considered very safe.

Plant File: Slippery Elm

Scientific Name: Ulmus Fulva

Powdered slippery elm bark, when mixed with water, makes a healing slime that seems to contain the healing touch. It can be applied to the skin and also taken internally. In all cases, whether its sunburn, or a sore stomach, whatever it touches, it seems to heal.

Plant File: Smilax

Scientific Name: Smilax Species

Sarsaparilla was one of the Eclectics favorite drugs. When a patient needed to mount resistance to an infection, or was no longer able to maintain resistance, the Eclectics thought of Smilax. It was considered a powerful life force building agent.

Plant File: Solomons Seal

Scientific Name: Polygonatum Mulitflorum

This herb was used when the body was leaking stuff…..mucous in particular! It was used to lessen secretions, be that mucous or menstrual flow, by the Eclectic Physicians. Its fallen out of use, but, is one worthy of contemporary research.

Plant File: Sourwood Tree

Scientific Name: Oxydendron Arboreum

Sourwood was once used as a tonic, both by the Native Americans and the Colonials. It was used to shore up the body when life threatening illnesses like malaria were whipping through town. No longer used, sourwood should be investigated for its use in troublesome infections of today.

Plant File: Spikenard

Scientific Name: Nardostachyos Jatamansi

Ok, this is one of my personal favorites. Partly because it has a most excellent history attached to it and partly because of what it can do for a person. I wont give the story away, but, I will say that if you are suffering from stress related illnesses, this is one plant you have just got to learn about.

Plant File: St Johns Wort

Scientific Name: Hypericum Perfoliatum

People mistakenly believe that Saint John’s Wort is nothing but an herbal antideppressant, and this is not the case. This herb is a tonic to the nervous system that heals the nerves, whether fried by life, or smooshed by a car accident. This is a nerve healer, and, in the world we live in, and what it does to the nerves, an herb people should learn about.

Plant File: Stinging Nettles

Scientific Name: Urticaria Dioica

The most peculiar part about this plant is that it is armed with a thousand little syringes, and, if you bump against it, they will shoot you with venom similar to that fond in stinging ants. Hence the name stinging nettle. That said, it has factored into stay well regimens since the begining of time and this is a stay well plant worth lknowing about.

Plant File: Stinking Chamomile

Scientific Name: Anthemis Cotula

This member of the chamomile tribe is native to North America and was used by the Native Folk and to a limited extent by the Eclectic physicians. Not much is known about this one, apart from what the Eclectics discovered using it.

Plant File: Stone Pine

Scientific Name: Pinus Pinea

In the ancient world, pine nuts were first and foremost seen as a building tonic. People convalescing from illness were fed the nuts in an attempt to build up the vigor of the body. They were seen as being entirely health producing.

Plant File: Stone Root

Scientific Name: Collisonia Canadensis

Stone root was a health tonic passed to the Eclectic physicians from the Native Americans. The Eclectics used it to stimulate health in infectious disease and when there was a general decline in health. If you are looking for a health building, this is a plant you want to read about.

Plant File: Sugarcane

Scientific Name: Sacharum Officinarum

Sugar cane is the source of much of the worlds sugar. Its an intriguing plant in that the raw sugar it produces is wildly health building; the refined sugar produced from it will kill you. A plant I am researching at the moment, you will be hearing more about this as the story develops.

Plant File: Sundew

Scientific Name: Drosera Rotundifolia

Sundew is a peculiar little carnivorous plant that lives in bogs and wet places. It has fallen out of use, but, formerly was considered the best treatment for quelling coughs, even the big daddy of coughs, whooping cough. It reputation was so excellent someone needs to look into this one and see if it has a place in the modern pharmacy.

Plant File: Sweet Flag

Scientific Name: Acorus calamus

Sweet flag is a wetland plant long used to stimulate the flow of digestive enzymes. It is included in many traditional European liquers, served after a meal, to improve digestion. It is also used in the elderly and the ill when the appetite has disappeared along with the vitality.

Featured Article: Sweet Sorghum

Common Name: Sweet Sorghum | Scientific Name: Sweet Sorghum

My introduction to sorghum syrup came about in a very roundabout way. I was living in Washington, DC. and converted four lots and two houses into an urban farm. As a result, I was always falling afoul of the law…

Plant File: Sweet Sumac

Scientific Name: Rhus Aromaticum

Sweet sumach, like all members of the poison ivy family, have a stimulating effect on the body. The family includes mango, cashew, sumach, and more. Most members of this family awaken the immune system and more.

Plant File: Sweetfern

Scientific Name: Comptonia Peregrina

Sweet fern is a minor player at the moment, it was mentioned by the Eclectic Physicians as a tonic and life force builder, but, just mentioned. Someone needs to look into this plant as it may proove a useful remedy.

Plant File: Tamarack Larch

Scientific Name: Larix Americana

Tamarac was used by both the Native Americans and the Eclectics to stimulate the body to heal itself, whether taken internally or applied externally. There are a number of members of the Pine family with this capacity and this is certainly one Pine of interest.

Plant File: Tar Weed

Scientific Name: Grindelia Robusta

Grindelia was used by the Eclectic Physicians to stimulate healing, both internally and externally. I think one of its most interest uses was to heal slow healing wounds in the ill and the elderly. Its not much known or used today, but, its history as a healing stimulant makes it an herb of interest! Bed sores are as much a problem today as they were 100 years ago!

Plant File: Tea Tree

Scientific Name: Melaleuca Alternifolia

Tea tree is a member of a highly aromatic family, the myrtacea family, including myrtle, bay laurel, and sassafras for a start. These plants produce fragrant oils that both speed skin healing and kill off any bugs trying to cause skin infections. Tea tree is an excellent alternative to antibiotic cream and one that should be used to replace those nasty creams.

Plant File: Thyme

Scientific Name: Thymus Vulgare

Thyme is anotheer aromatic member of the mint family. In this case, its oils, when ingested, help to relieve congestion and infection in the respiratory tract. The herb factors into many a good recipe for cough syrup.

Plant File: Tiger Lily

Scientific Name: Lilium Tigrinum

The tiger lily made its way to America with the Chinese slave labor brought to build the railroads. And, they did not bring it as something decorative to brighten up the slave quarters. It was brought as a cure all and planted to help them survive the ardour of slavery. Mostly used in Asia, tiger lily is worth research as it has a long history of keeping people well and strong.

Plant File: Tragacanth

Scientific Name: Astragalus Gummifer

Astragalus gummifer can be found growing throughout the Holy Land region, in dry mountainous locations. Medicinally it was used to treat sore mouth and throats.

Plant File: Trembling Aspen

Scientific Name: Populus Tremuloides

In the past, the bark was used as a remedy for wounds, cuts, open sores, deep lacerations threatening gangrene, and deep lacerations unlikely to seal up. Can you say healing stimulant? Applied topically, or taken internally, this interesting herb was found to turn up the heat on the healing process.

Plant File: Tulip Tree

Scientific Name: Liriodendron Tulipfera

This large tree can be found growing from the Quebec Province as far south as Georgia and in the past was used to treat gout, tuberculosis, systemic tuberculosis, wasting away, and night sweats. In the past, it was said to be so effective in treating chronic infections that I think it needs to be studied for its role in treating the chronic infections causing trouble today.

Plant File: Tumeric

Scientific Name: Curcuma Longa

Tumeric is a ginger relative, and, the source of yellow in all curries. Its is considered a a digestive stimulant, which is why its put in all curries, but, its capacity to stimulate the body to heal itself is what makes this a really interesting herbal medicine. Applied to wounds or taken internally, it rouses the body to heightened healing. See this one as a healing stimulator.

Plant File: Turkey Corn

Scientific Name: Corydalis Formosa

This herbal medicine is not even on the radar screen today, another totally forgotten remedy of yesteryear. It was used to stimulate recovery in chronic and terminal diseases like tuberculosis and syphilis. Its reputation as a healer was so resounding, this is an herbal medicine that demands a once over by the modern research community. Its forgotten but it should be remembered!

Plant File: Twinleaf

Scientific Name: Jeffersonia Diphylla

The Eclectic Physicians used this remedy as a tonic, and spoke very highly of it. It was said to stimulate the production of blood cells, digestive secretions, and to generally activate every system in the body. If the body was retiring, it was called in. Interestingly, this herb has dropped from site but, considering its past, its one that needs to be looked at for use in the contemporary age.

Plant File: Unicorn Root

Scientific Name: Aletris Farinosa

Unicorn root was formerly known as colic root as it was used to improve digestive function. Specifically, it was used in women who had menstrual related digestive problems. If you have colic, this is a plant to learn about.

Plant File: Upland Sumac

Scientific Name: Rhus Glabra

Upland sumach was first used by the Native Americans to stimulate healing in wounds, later the Eclectic Physicians studied it and used it to stimulate healing in the skin and body in general. Like all members of the poison ivy family, upland sumach is a body stimulator.

Plant File: Valerian

Scientific Name: Valeriana Officinalis

Valerian is often called herbal Valium and used as a relaxant. This is a great remedy for people that are stressed out, and are suffering from stress related disorders like inability to sleep and stomache aches.

Plant File: Vanilla

Scientific Name: Vanilla Planifolia

Vanilla is native to Mexico and Central America. Natives used this substance for medicine, magic, and food. Today its just a food flavoring but in days gone by, it was much, much more.

Plant File: Vervain

Scientific Name: Verbena Hastata

This is an American member which was used by the Native Americans. It wasnominally used by the Eclectics to increase the body’s production of secretions, like sweat, urine, and in large doses, to induce vomiting and evacuation of the bowels.

Plant File: Virginia Creeper

Scientific Name: Parthenocissus Quinquefolia

Boston ivy, or Virginia creeper, is a plant I identified as being an adaptogen in my PhD research. Its not a plant that is actually used as a life building tonic at the moment, but, my research revealed that it has potential and should be studied for potential use in the contemporary age.

Plant File: Virginia Snakeroot

Scientific Name: Aristolochia Serpentaria

This remedy was used by the Eclectic physicians, in small amounts, to stimulate health and vitality. It was classed as a tonic in the last century though was not one of the major players in the tonic war chest.

Plant File: Vomit Weed

Scientific Name: Strychnos Nux Vomica

This is kind of a creepy herb. Its name includes the word vomica, to vomit, and that tells you what you need to know about this herb. It so excited the body that the body eject anything in it. It was used in small doses to stimulate the body in less dramatic manner, but, all done and said, not an herb for the consumer to fool around with.

Plant File: Wahoo

Scientific Name: Euonomous Atropurpeus

Wahoo was a very popular tonic amongst the Eclectic physicians, used to treat chronic, life threatening illnesses like tuberculosis and malaria. My research showed that it acts as a adaptogen, a medicinal plant that helps the body cope with physical stress and strain.

Plant File: Walnut

Scientific Name: Juglans Regia

Eating seeds is a good idea. They contain life and, when you eat life, it makes your body stronger. It makes sense if you think about it. And, walnuts are one seed that has been used since the beginning of time to make the body stronger and healthier. (unless you are allergic in which case they kill you!)

Plant File: Watermelon

Scientific Name: Citrullus Vulgaris

Watermelon is always served when its hot, because thats when it ripens. Historically, it was used to bring down body temperature when a person was hot from working in the fields, or when suffering from a malaria or infection related fever. Contemporary science reveals watermelon contains chemicals that do in indeed bring down body temperature. Once again, an ancient use of a plant has been validated. And, what a tasty way to cool down!

Plant File: Weeping White Pine Or Larch

Scientific Name: Pinus Pendula

Tamarack is a Nativve American medicine that has been lost in the passage of time. I dont know much about it, but, what I do know indicates that someone should dig into this plant and determine its usefulness as a tonic for modern people!

Plant File: Wheat

Scientific Name: Triticum Vulgare

Wheat is mostly seen as a source of flour for bread, but, you might be surprised to find that it also factored into medicine. The seed was ground and used as a wound healing agent and, today, the green shoots are juiced for a vitality blasting, albeit nasty, health beverage.

Plant File: White Ash

Scientific Name: Fraxinus Americana

White Ash was used in the last century to stimulate vitality when the body was lacking it; it was used in cancer, TB, the last phases of syphilis, and more. When chronic disease was bearing down on a persons well being, this remedy was used.

Plant File: White Fringetree

Scientific Name: Chionanthus Virginicus

The fringe tree was way popular with the Eclectic physicians as a general health and healing stimulator. According to them, it activated the body on a cellular level, and could be used to insure healing from acute and chronic diseases. A classic Eclectic tonic, not much used, but one with a distinguished past.

Plant File: White Mulberry

Scientific Name: Morus Alba

Mullberries are a wonderful fruit and one that the tree produces easily and in great numbers. In the old world, these fruits are cooked down into a health building molasses. Mullberry molasses can be used in place of sugar, and, comes packing health benefits sugar cannot claim!

Plant File: White Oak

Scientific Name: Quercus Alba

White oak, like all oaks, is rich in tannins.These tannins can be used to stop bleeding as they bind the blood vessels shut. But, the American colonial doctorsalso used it to cause healing in wounds and sores that were not healing on their own.

Plant File: White Poplar

Scientific Name: Populus Alba

Balm of Gilead, or white poplar, is rich in compounds similar to aspirin. This explains its long use as an anti-inflammatory. But, beyond that, it contains something that stimulates the body to heightened healing, be that a cut or a damaged joint. Aspirin Plus you might say.

Plant File: White Turtlehead

Scientific Name: Chelone Glabra

Chelone glabra is an old digestive tonic, formerly used to kick start the digestive tract into more efficient action. In the elderly, and in the ill, when appetite disapeared, chelone was used to get the digestive juices flowing and the mouth watering!

Plant File: White Willow

Scientific Name: Salix Alba

The white willow is a long used medicinal plant, rich in aspirin like compounds. It was formerly used in many of the ways we use aspirin today, to reduce inflammation and to reduce fever. But, in addition to these simple actions, white willow inspires the body to heal itself.

Plant File: Wild Hoarhound

Scientific Name: Eupatorium Teucrefolium

Minor player with a capital M. This plant was used to a limited extent as a tonic by the Eclectic Physicians but, little has been written about it. Someone should look into it.

Plant File: Wild Hydrangea

Scientific Name: Hydrangea Aborescens

Wild hydrangea has a very specific use and an odd one at that. It is used to remove the unpleasant sensations associated with urinary tract infections and prostitis. Many people have found relief from these two irritating conditions with this simple herb.

Plant File: Wild Lettuce

Scientific Name: Lactuca Virosa

When you got the pains, you might want to give wild lettuce a try. A classic European pain killer, wild lettuce was used in everything from headache to the tenderness that followed being hit by a horse cart. But, we are dealing with a pain killer and not much more.

Plant File: Wild Rosemary

Scientific Name: Ledum Palustre

I dont know much about this one, but, the Eclectic Physicians had some interesting things to say about it, “The wild rosemary has been used with success in gouty pains about the small joints, as those of the fingers and toes. ” Anybody with finger pain should look into this one!

Plant File: Wintergreen

Scientific Name: Gaultheria Procumbens

Wintergreen is a cool little plant that when crushed, emits its characteristic wintergreen scent. The plant contains a compound similar to aspirin and was used lik aspirin is today, for headaches, joint pain, and fever. But, it was also used to stimulate the body to heal itself so fevers and headaches went away!

Plant File: Witch Hazel

Scientific Name: Hamamelis Virginica

Sadly, in the modern age, this amazing plant has been reduced to nothing more than a hemorrhoid treatment. Oh, there is so much more to it than that. In days gone by, sore muscles, joint damage, and more were treated with it. And, I must say, it works miracles when the muscles or joints have been damaged. All athletes should know about this herb!

Plant File: Wormwood

Scientific Name: Artemisia Absinthium

Absinthe was made famous by certain long dead painters who used it to hallucinate; its medicinal use is to improve digestion in those with sluggish digestion.

Plant File: Yarrow

Scientific Name: Achillea Millefolium

Yarrow, as it is commonly known, has been used to combat infections and heal wounds since the beginning of time. Science reveals that it acts as an immune stimulant and this explains why wounds heal faster when its applied and why infectious hit the road quicker when its taken internally. This is a very cheap and effective immune stimulant and should get more attention than it does. It gets the Dr Doug thumbs up!

Plant File: Yellow Dock

Scientific Name: Rumex Crispus

Yellow dock is a classic European blood cleanser, meaning that it stimulates the organs of waste removal into heightened action. It was used to clean out the system of toxins and thereby improve health.

Plant File: Yellow Sweet Clover

Scientific Name: Melilotus Officinalis

Melilotus was formerly used as a pain killer about the way we would use aspirin. How it works remains a mystery, but, it does contain coumarin, the blood thinner, and other related anti-infllammatory compounds.

Plant File: Yellowroot

Scientific Name: Xanthorrhiza Apiifolia

Yellow root is a pure, bitter tonic was formerly used to improve digestion when digestive activity was slow due to age or illness.

Plant File: Yerba Santa

Scientific Name: Eriodyctyon Glutinosa

This remedy came into popular use when Eclectic Physicians made their way to California. There the Native Americans used it to treat coughs and colds, which, the Eclectics adopted. It was seen primarily as a remdy for seasonal colds and was reported to be very effective. It has largely fallen out of use.

Disclaimer: The author makes no guarantees as to the the curative effect of any herb or tonic on this website, and no visitor should attempt to use any of the information herein provided as treatment for any illness, weakness, or disease without first consulting a physician or health care provider. Pregnant women should always consult first with a health care professional before taking any treatment.