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Reprinted with permission from the book From Magic to Medicine                  Alphabetical Herb List

BALM (Melissa officinalis)

Balm is a perennial plant that grows up to 2 feet in height.

It has many uses like it's ability to heal wounds, relieve indigestion, calm nerves, combat menstrual cramps, prevent insomnia, fight cold sores, and even repel mosquitoes.

German studies have shown that its leaves cove compounds which are anti-spasmodic, digestive, and sedative.

Can be used to calm nerves, aid in sleep, relieve menstrual cramps, or reduce fever - make a tea from 2 teaspoons of chopped leaves (fresh). Add to boiling water and allow to steep for 10 to 20 minutes.

The usual dose when using a tincture is a teaspoon or less as needed ... up to 3 times a day.

Balm also works as a pain reliever for wounds. Make a hot compress with 2 teaspoons per cup of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes and soak a clean cloth in the tea and apply directly to the wound.

CAUTION: Inhibits certain thyroid hormones. People with Graves' disease and other thyroid related illnesses should consult with a physician.

BARBERRY (Barberis vulgaris)

Also called "Oregon Grape Root". The parts of the plant that are used are the bark, roots, and berries. Used in small doses.

Modern herbalists often recommend gargling with it to relieve a sore throat, and drinking it for constipation and diarrhea.

It decreases heart rate and stimulates movement through the intestinal system when taken internally.

The Russians have traditionally used it to treat high blood pressure because it enlarges blood vessels.

Studies show that the active chemical, berberine, kills microorganisms that cause diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, vaginal yeast infections, urinary tract infections, giardiasis.

Studies have shown that it activates the macrophages of the immune system that devour harmful microorganisms.

In Germany it is used to treat conjunctivitis (pinkeye). The preparation is not available in the U.S., however, a compress could be made from an herbal infusion.

Another study showed that barberry shrunk tumors and another that it has anti-inflammatory properties that may be useful for people with arthritis.

When applied externally it kills bacteria.

To make a decoction add ½ teaspoon of powdered root bark to a cup of water and boil for 15 to 30 minutes. Drink when cooled (no more that 1 cup per day). To make a compress for conjunctivitis simply soak a clean cloth in an infusion.

CAUTION: Do not use if pregnant. High dose of barberry can cause convulsions, vomiting, lowered heart rate and vomiting.


Typically used for: 1. Pancreatitis, 2. Duodenum disorders, 3. Inflammation. Contains the essential amino acids, flavonoids, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B-12, various enzymes and minerals.


Excellent for alleviating vomiting


A decoction made from the wood of the Linden tree (wood, bark or flowers) for liver disorders.


Also called ... "Wax Myrtle", "Candleberry". The root and the bark are used to reduce fever and aid circulation. Helps to clear congestion. "Extremely good for all female organs".

The wax from the berries is used to make candles because of its fragrance.

 Purported to be effective for ... flu, colds, fever, sore throat, headache, coughs, diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding. Externally, it is made into a poultice for skin ulcers and boils. Note that in large doses it will induce vomiting.

CAUTION: Listed as moderately dangerous by Preventions Book of Giant Health Facts.


Rich in amino acids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Chinese legend says that long term use will cause one to "be light in body and live forever".

No food contains all of the essential nutrients required by the human body (vitamins, hormones, amino acids, enzymes, etc.) ... except for bee pollen.

Aging, prostate problems, acne, allergies, sexual problems, and a host of other ailments have been treated with Bee Pollen.

Also for lethargy and allergies.

Contains aluminum, amino acids, ascorbic acid, calcium, carbohydrates, carotene, co-enzymes, copper, enzymes, iron, lipids, magnesium, manganese, Nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, riboflavin, sodium, sterols, thiamin, vitamin E, vitamin D, xanthophyll. Is said to be effective at fighting: cancer, colon problems, depressions, fatigue, hay fever.


A substance produced by honeybees that is said to be effective against infections due to bacteria. It enhances the immune system and is used for: decreasing inflammation of mucous membranes in the throat/ mouth, halitosis, tonsillitis, ulcers, dry cough, acne, phagocytosis, ulcers. It is a waxy material that contains a complex mixture of resins, balsams, pollen, oils and waxes.


One of the best bets for cleansing the blood of toxins found in drugs and alcohol. They work by enhancing the red blood corpuscles and toning blood in general. The newly enhanced blood then builds up organs that have become weakened. They have a unique low-level iron content that cleans blood cells.

They also stimulate the lymphatic system that provides the fluid that dislodges fat deposits from fat cells.

High vitamin A content makes them good for digestive, lymphatic, and eliminative systems.

To use, juice separately two apples, one celery stalk, ½ beet, and 1/4 lemon ... combine and serve.

CAUTION: Juices can be very potent and beet juice is especially so. Too much can cause nausea or dizziness. Mix with other fruits.

BILBERRY (Vaccinium Corymbosum)

Also called "blueberry" and "huckleberry". A perennial shrub used because of its healthy effects throughout Scandinavia, Holland and Germany. The plant is rich in the antioxidants "anthocyanosides" which attach to capillaries in the eyes to promote integrity and repair. The fruit of the shrub has been found to have antibacterial and antiviral effects.

The entire plant is used to improve night-vision and cataracts. Strengthens connecting tissues and is said to be useful for combating stress and anxiety.

Strengthens the capillaries that feed the eyes.

CAUTION: Internal use interferes with iron absorption.

Bilberry should not be taken by people with kidney problems.

DOSAGE: 30 mg to 40 mg three times daily.


(Betula Alba) Used as ... an astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, mild sedative, skin medication. Often added to bath waters to treat chronic or severe skin problems. Also, prior to sleep a decoction can be taken as a mild sedative.

BLACK COHOSH (Cimiicifuga Racemosa)

GROWN: Cherokee and Iroquois Indians of Eastern North America used this member of the buttercup family. It is harvested in the fall for its knotty black rhizome and dried root.

The root is used as a relaxant, antispasmodic, and sedative ... used for a variety of ailments including pain relief during childbirth.

Used for rheumatism, neuralgia, and painful menstruation.

Lowers blood pressure and induces labor ... relieves menstrual cramps, hot flashes, morning sickness, and pain.

DOSAGE: Can be found as an over-the-counter tincture, syrup, capsules, fluid extract dried root or rhizome. Typical dosage is 40-80 milligrams (two times a day) when taken in capsule form and 0.5 to one teaspoon of liquid (two times a day).

Has a similar effect on the female body as does estrogen but without the side effects ... plus no cancer causing agents.

Another source suggests 1 gram three times daily.

CAUTION: Should not be taken when pregnant until birth is imminent. Should not be taken by lactating mothers.


Oil is a prostaglandin precursor that is rich in gamma-linolenic acid. It helps to form prostaglandins which are fatty acids that produce a wide range of effects in the body, such as protecting the lining of the stomach against ulcers and stimulating contractions during labor.

Flax seed oil encourages the prostaglandins that dilate blood vessels and reduce platelet aggregation and cholesterol production.


Native to North America it relieves menstrual cramps, soothes head pain and reduces fever.

Women drank a tea made from this herb in the 1800s because it was widely accepted as a "uterine tonic". It was reported to prevent miscarriage and ease the pain that followed childbirth. It contains substances that relax the uterus and relieves pain.

To use, make a tea by adding 1 ounce of black haw to freshly boiled distilled water ... allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes and strain. Drink up to 3 cups a day.

CAUTIONS: Generally safe but unknown as to it's risk for birth defects when used in the early stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women should be especially careful when taking any herb.

Also the herb contains the chemical salicin which may be linked to Reye's syndrome which inflicts children under the age of sixteen.


This herb has been used in the Middle East for centuries and is described in ancient prescription books due to it's healing effects.

Strengthens the immunity system.

BLACK WALNUT (Juglans Nigra)

Typical uses include: 1. Relief of constipation, 2. Balance of sugar levels, 3. Elimination of warts, 4. Treatment for fungal and parasitic infections. Also, when rubbed on the skin it is said to be beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema and skin parasites. Purported to kill tapeworms and ringworm.

Nuts, leaves, and inner bark are used for healing mouth or throat sores. Also good for bruises, herpes, fungus infections, warts, and poison ivy.

Cleanses parasites, TB, expels tapeworms, treats diarrhea.


The oil is a prostaglandin precursor that is rich in gamma-linolenic acid. It helps to form prostaglandins which are fatty acids that produce a wide range of effects in the body, such as protecting the lining of the stomach against ulcers and stimulating contractions during labor.

BREWER'S YEAST (Saccharomyces cerevisiae)

Also called ... "nutritional yeast". it has long been sold as a dietary supplement in U.S. health food stores.

Brewers Yeast is an excellent source of all the major B vitamins (except B12) ...It also contains other vitamins, sixteen amino acids and fourteen or more minerals. Very high protein content ... high phosphorous content.

CAUTION: Live baker's yeast should be avoided. Live yeast cells deplete the body of B vitamins and other nutrients. Nutritional yeast has these live cells removed.


Benefits include ... vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber. Purported to prevent stomach cancer and colon cancer. Also, detoxifies carcinogens.

There is no single cure for cancer but a juice that combines vegetables with cancer-fighting agents is a good bet. Start by first juicing 3 florets of broccoli ... then 5 carrots ... 1 garlic clove ... 2 stalks of celery ... ½ green pepper. Add these ingredients to ½ cup of water.

BUCKTHORN (Rhamnus catharticus)

May fight cancer and definitely relieves constipation.

Buckthorn has shown some anti-tumor action according to the author of The CRC handbook of Medicinal Herbs.

This herb stimulates the muscles, which gives us the "urge" to defecate. It is used as a laxative usually as a last resort because it is so potent. It contains chemicals called anthraquinones that cause diarrhea and sometimes-severe abdominal pain.

German physicians sometimes prescribe a laxative tea containing ½ a teaspoon each of buckthorn, fennel seed, and chamomile flowers per cup of boiling water, steeped for about 10 minutes. Drink no more than one cup.

CAUTION: The herb should not be used for more than a couple of weeks due to a risk of developing "lazy bowel syndrome" which is an inability to defecate without the aid of chemical stimulants.

Also, people should not use the herb with gastro-intestinal ailments such as colitis, ulcers, or hemorrhoids. And, of course, pregnant women should avoid it.


Prevents constipation and is not habit forming. Also said to remove warts and expel worms.

BURDOCK ROOT (Arctium Minus Arctium Lappa):

Blood purifier. An herb that only grows during certain times of the year and is characterized by burs which adheres to clothing.

Typically used for skin problems like acne and psoriasis. The seeds may be used to make a tincture which is often used to ... purify the blood, treat ulcers and gout, treat arthritis, treat ulcers, treat gout and rheumatism. Also, it will induce sweating. It has been used by herbalists to treat ... gallstones, liver problems, influenza and in the support of kidney's filtering acids from the blood.

BUTCHER'S BROOM (Ruscus Aculeatus)

Also called "box holly", knee holly". It is an evergreen shrub (from the Liliaceae family) with yellow flowers, which is native to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It is typically used for ... circulatory problems of the legs, hemorrhoid medication, reducing the risk of blood clots and thrombosis. When used externally it is typically used for ... aiding in the ease of swelling (and pains) of rheumatism and arthritis. CAUTION: Use may result in high blood pressure.


Also called ... "white walnut". It is typically used to treat ... liver problems, intestinal ailments, diarrhea, intestinal worms (combined with cleansing of the body via laxatives).

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