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


Astringent, disinfectant, relaxant. Camphor aroma can also help to lift spirits.

CAPSICUM FRUIT (Capsicum species)

Also called ... "red hot chili peppers" ... rich in vitamins. Traditionally used to stimulate other botanicals in formulas. Benefits include ... prevention of blood clots, anti-inflammatory, pain control (shingles, neuralgia, amputation), breaks down blood clots, digestive aid. CAUTION: Do not get in eyes or other sensitive areas of the body.

CARAWAY (Carum Carvi):

Typically used to expel gas, aid digestion, increase appetite, decrease nausea, increase breast milk production, sooth colic. It is also known to be a very good expectorant in those with colds.


Nutrient found predominantly in meat and animal products (best source is red meat). Small amounts are made in the body (lysine, methionine and vitamins such as niacin, B6, vitamin C and iron are required). Considered a “powerhouse nutrient” because it is central to the body´s ability to turn food into energy (especially fat). Considered to be an excellent anti-oxidant and being touted for anti-aging and longevity. PURPORTED BENEFITS: Improved weight loss, better mental function, eliminated cravings, increased energy, relieved PMS, better sleep quality, better liver function, stronger immunity functions, enhances aerobic performance. Trained runners given two grams per day improve their running speeds by 5.7%. The brain enhancing form of carnitine ... acetyl-L-carnitine is a powerful anti-oxidant.


Since carrots are a rich source of beta-carotene (which has been shown to boost the immunity systems in research studies) ... it may be prudent for AIDS and cancer victims to begin juicing carrots.

CASCARA SAGRADA (Rhamnus purshiana)

Considered an excellent laxative. At bedtime, use 3-4 capsules.


Used as a poultice to relieve pains and muscle spasms.

CAT'S CLAW (Uncaria Tomentosa)

Used in the treatment of Crohn's disease, colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. Purported to boost the immunity system. This root has been used for centuries by South American natives to treat a variety of disorders including liver and kidney problems, allergies, headaches, muscle aches and arthritis. Powerful anti-inflammatory (can be used for joint swelling).

CAYENNE (Capsicum Annum)

Seeds are used to make a gargle to treat sore throat and hoarseness ... reduce nausea from sea sickness ... relieves symptoms of rheumatism and inflammatory ailments.

Normalizes blood pressure and improves the entire circulatory system so veins and capillaries can regain elasticity.

Stimulates blood flow, which keeps tissues healthy by increasing the amount of oxygen they receive, and eliminating waste from them.

Cayenne is known as a cholesterol-lowering herb and can be used liberally in cooking. It reduces the stickiness of blood platelets, which tend to congregate on the sides of arteries to cause arteriosclerosis.

DOSAGE: Small amounts when added to celery and parsley juices make a powerful heart remedy. Juice 2 cloves of garlic, 6 tablespoons of onion (raw), 1 bunch of parsley, 1 cup of celery with leaves. Then add 2 cups of tomato juice, pinches of cayenne pepper and ginger root. Water should then be added to improve the consistency.

For baldness add 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper to a cup of olive oil and rub the balding area with the mixture daily.

Orally it is typically taken three times a day with meals (30mg -120 mg capsules).

Cayenne pepper capsules are said to work better than aspirin and other over the counter drugs as a pain reliever.

A traditional folk remedy for toothache pain is to apply a few grains or drops. Cayenne will kill pain, but its hot properties are very unpleasant to most people.

CAUTION: Be careful not to get into your eyes. If you eat too much you may develop a burning sensation in your mouth, which you can relieve by drinking a glass of milk.

Cayenne should be avoided by people with ulcers because it can aggravate the stomach.

CELERY (Also see Celery Seed)

Celery has an abundance of iron, magnesium and calcium. By drinking celery juice you send calcium rushing through your body.

The green stalks are a good source of vitamin A, which is considered a “youth maintainer” for the body. It is also beneficial for arthritis, neuritis, rheumatism, and high blood pressure.

CELERY SEED (Apium graveolens)

Believed to have a calming influence. Sheds water weight, lowers blood pressure and reduces cholesterol. It may protect against cancer.

A study at the University of Chicago found that it decreased the blood pressure of lab animals by 12 % when they were given a daily dose (over a four-week period) and the same experiment showed a reduction in cholesterol that clogs arteries.

CAUTION: If you use it as a diuretic be advised that you may be stripping more than just water from your body. Diuretics can also deplete you of potassium that is an essential nutrient.

CHAMOMILE (Anthemis Nobilis) (Chamaemelum nobile) (Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile belongs to the Compositae family which includes daisies, dandelions, and marigolds.

The flowers of the plant are known to be an effective remedy for menstrual discomforts. It´s also considered a gentle sedative and is useful for insomnia.

German chamomile, Matricatia recutita, is named for it's traditional role as a gynecological herb and is the species most commonly used in the U.S. It is legendary since ancient times for its calming abilities.

As a beauty aid it has various uses ... it softens, heals, and smooths skin (also called Azulen) ... rinsing the face weekly with chamomile tea helps to keep the skin smooth, especially in bad weather. Cotton balls can be dipped in cool tea and placed on the eyes to relieve puffy bags ... and the herb can even be used on babies, dogs, and cats.

Helps to stop smoking.

Dioscorides, a Greek physician in the Roman army, prescribed chamomile for upset stomachs, jangled nerves, and kidney and liver diseases.

The ancient Egyptians powdered chamomile flowers and sprinkled them into the abdominal cavity of the mummy of Ramses II to act as an insecticide.

Today chamomile tea is known as an antidote for stress. It is also known to combat insomnia and prevent nightmares. German chamomile tea induced deep sleep in 10 out of 12 people within 20 minutes.

DOSAGE: Chamomile can be used as an ointment, lotion or cream externally to treat skin inflammation, sunburn, hemorrhoids, insect bites, and eczema. As a mouthwash it helps to alleviate mouth inflammations and toothaches.

To soothe a digestive tract which is causing dyspepsia (painful digestion) drink one cup of chamomile tea 2-3 times a day.

Use as a tea or take 10 to 20 drops of tincture in water 3 or 4 times a day to relieve nervousness, indigestion, or menstrual cramps. To relieve a stuffed-up nose, inhale the steam from a bowl of hot water with chamomile extract.

When making a tea it should be gently simmered in a covered pot to bring out the medicinal properties. Strain before using.

Normally taken as a tea by using one teaspoon of dried flowers in approximately 500 mL of water three times a day.

Gardeners have also found this herb to be useful ... especially for lawns, thousands walk on the famous chamomile lawn at Buckingham Palace with no ill effect to the herbs.

CAUTION: If you are allergic to ragweed or other members of the daisy and aster family then you may develop a reaction to chamomile tea (although rarely a serious one).

German chamomile should be avoided by people who are pregnant and those with allergies to related plants like ragweed, asters and chrysanthemums.


Not much information is available on this mushroom ... however it is reported that its primary attribute is to inhibit tumors. It can be prepared fresh or dried and the dose is "ad lib"

CHAPPARAL (Larria Mexicana)

Also known as “Creosote bush” and “Greasewood”. Crushed leaves were used by the Indians as a topical solution for wounds, sores, and bites --. Too toxic to be recommended for human consumption


Charcoal powder capsules are recognized for their ability to ease diarrhea and carry poisons out of the digestive system.

It has also been reported that charcoal may prevent gas and bloating.

CHICKWEED (Stellaria Media)

Relieves the symptoms of bronchitis, coughs, colds, inflammation. As an oil it has been used to treat skin disorders like boils, eczema, psoriasis, ulcers and many rashes. No toxic effects currently known.

CHINESE FUMEWART (Corydalis Yanhusuo)

Acts as a tranquilizer and painkiller.


A natural ingredient found in the cartilage that cushions joints ... chondroitin sulfate is a compound that blocks enzymes that can destroy cartilage ... it is also believed to promote elasticity of the joint cartilage.

Studies have shown that it is effective at relieving arthritis pain. This natural dietary supplement has become popular as a remedy for osteoarthritis because joint function appears to improve and pain to diminish in people with knee and hip osteoarthritis. Studies are still out as to whether the same effect would necessarily occur in other joints, such as fingers, thumbs, ankles or the spine.

SIDE EFFECTS: Minimal, in rare cases stomach upset has been reported. FORMS: (1) Tablets, (2) powder, (3) capsules.

DOSAGE: Arthritis relief requires 400-600 mg chondroitin sulfate three times a day. Chondroitin can be taken without regard to meals. You can also skip the mid-day dose by taking two capsules in the morning and one in the evening.

CAUTION: (1) Consult with your caregiver if you are taking a blood thinner or daily aspirin. (2) Do not take chonroitin if you are pregnant. NOTE: Chodroitin can be taken with pain relievers such as acetaminophen and aspirin.

NOTE: It can take up to three months before positive affects are noticed.

CILANTRO (Also called Coriander)

Cilantro is a plant sometimes called Chinese parsley. The leaves are called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander. Both relieve congestion and prevent wound infection. Studies have shown it to be a stomach soother for colicky babies and adults.

The Romans used the seeds and the leaves to preserve meat and it is now known why. The herb contains antioxidants that prevent animal fat from putrefying. It also contains chemicals that kill meat spoiling fungi and bacteria.

To use as a tea put 1 teaspoon of crushed seeds or dry leaves (or ½ teaspoon of powdered seeds) into a cup of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups per day either prior to or after meals.

To prevent infections in a wound, first clean the area and then sprinkle dried coriander leaves or leaves on the minor cut or scrape.

For arthritis, try a cup of this tea because new studies suggest that it has anti-inflammatory effects.

CAUTION: The only caution is probably its flavor, which many people do not like.

CHINESE GINSENG (Penax ginseng)

Has an adaptogenic effect. It is more effective than American ginseng in helping the body cope with stress. It speeds nervous reflexes, increases analytical and mental performance while diminishing fatigue ... is a tonic for the lungs, and stimulates sexual functioning for most males and females.

Individuals with high blood pressure should avoid it because it is a mild stimulant, which causes the heart to contract more strongly.

Italian university students treated with Chinese ginseng showed a favorable effect in attention, mental functioning, arithmetic, logical deductions, reaction time to sounds, and integrated brain/body functions. During the trials participants also reported a feeling of well being.

Soviet studies showed that soldiers who were given ginseng extract were able to run a 1.6 mile race faster than a placebo group ... other research studies have shown that ginseng allows people to work longer and harder at mental tasks while making fewer mistakes.

A study of nurses who had switched from day to night shift duty revealed that the group who had been taking ginseng had higher scores in competence, mood, well being, and mental and physical performance than their placebo counter-parts.

Dosage: Ginseng comes in different forms like root, capsules, tablets, tea bags, tinctures, and extracts. The dosage depends on the concentration of ginsenoside - the active component. The effective ratio of Rg1 to Rb1 is 2:1. Capsules standardized for 5% to 9% ginsenoside would have 500 to 1000 mg doses. With the higher concentrated extracts, an average dose may be as low as 200 to 400 mg.

Side effects: It has been found that each person's response to ginseng is unique ... therefore care should be taken to avoid possible side effects. Some individuals who take large amounts over a long period of time may experience anxiety, irritability, hypertension, breast pain, and menstrual changes.

CHINESE ROSE HIPS (Rosa lavigata)

The fruits are the most highly valued by the Chinese. It is reported in classic writings as “resistant to cold and light in body.” It is high in bioflavonoids.

CHINESE PEARL BARLEY (Coix lacrymajobi)

Similar to oriental ginseng but milder. Found in the tropical regions of the world.


Has been used for centuries to soothe stomach irritation, fight tooth decay, and treat urinary-tract infections. Chinese herbalists recommend it for relieving nausea, fever, and diarrhea.

Several toothpastes are made from cinnamon because it is an antiseptic, which kills the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

A Japanese study on animals suggests that it may help in the prevention of ulcers. To make a soothing tea, mix ½ to 3/4 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon to a cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes.

A German study revealed that it completely suppresses the cause of most urinary-tract infections (Escherichia coli bacteria) and the fungus responsible for vaginal yeast infections (Candida albicans).

Sufferers of adult-onset (Type II) diabetes can also use cinnamon because it helps to metabolize sugar better. In this type of diabetes the pancreas produces insulin but the body is unable to use it because it is unable to breakdown blood sugars. It has been discovered that cinnamon reduces the quantity of insulin required for the body to breakdown sugars. One eighth of a teaspoon triples insulin efficiency. Consult with your physician about taking 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with each meal for controlling blood sugar levels.

CAUTIONS: Some people are allergic to this spice. In the form of an oil it can cause redness and burning to the skin when applying topically. When the oil is taken internally it can cause nausea, vomiting and possibly kidney damage. Do not take the oil internally. Otherwise the herb is considered as safe.


A tonic that is used to treat problems with the lymphatic system like lymphadenitis (swollen glands). Also used for psoriasis and other dry skin conditions. Used to treat painful urinary conditions like cystitis. Has been effective in the treatment of tumors and ulcers. For lymphatic problems it is often combined with Echinacea or Calendula. For skin problems it is typically used with Yellow Dock and Burdock.

CLOVES (Caryophyllum Aromaticus):

Typically used as a food preservative ... put in ham so it will last longer. The oil is used as an antiseptic and remedy for toothache. A poultice can be made for direct application to a cut (follow by covering it with a warm towel). CAUTION: 1. Consuming high quantities of clove oil can cause stomach upset. 2. Skin rash may occur upon using the poultice (discontinue use). 3. Clove oil is used to relieve the pain of a constant toothache. It should be diluted with brandy, olive oil, or vegetable oil.

Apply it to the sore gum or tooth by dipping a cotton ball (or swab) into the mixture and rubbing it on the offending area.

CAUTION: Potentially toxic when taken in large doses or for longer than a week.


Oil derived from codfish ... source of vitamins A & D. Said to alleviate stiff and/or painful joints.


CoQ-10 is an antioxidant essential for cellular energy. High amounts are found in the heart and liver.

The aging body loses it´s ability to make CoQ-10 (by as much as 80%) and many age-related discomforts are said to be the result. Also, 75% of heart patients have been found to be deficient. Also, high concentrations are found in the liver and preventing a deficiency will probably ensure that it is running at peak efficiency.


Relieves nasal congestion from colds and flu; counteracts the sedative effects of antihistamines; quells asthma; combined with aspirin can significantly relieve pain better than aspirin alone; boost athletic endurance; assists in weight loss.
Caffeine opens the bronchial passages to the lungs to control asthma. Try a quick cup of coffee the next time you start to wheeze.

Chase an aspirin with a quick cup of coffee for excellent pain relief.

An article in The Physician and Sports medicine says, that you can increase stamina by drinking coffee prior to an athletic event. The International Olympic Committee disqualifies athletes who have too much caffeine in their system. To reach the illegal limit one would have to drink 4 or 5 cups within 30 minutes, therefore athletes usually drink 3 or 4 cups in the hour prior to their event.

Coffee boosts the number of calories you burn in an hour by approximately 4 %.

CAUTIONS: Coffee can cause insomnia and increase anxiety. It can also cause an upset stomach. People with ulcers should not drink it because it raises the level of stomach acids. Also, if you are at risk for heart disease then limit your intake to 3 cups or less per day.


Colostrum is the milk that the mother excretes in the earliest days of breastfeeding. The milk has the following properties ... (1) low in fat, (2) high in cabohydrates, protein and antibodies, (3) easy to digest, (4) has a laxative effect, (4) concentrated immunity factors, (5) high concentrations of leukocytes (protective white cells which can destroy dsease-causing baceria and viruses).

DEFICIENCIES: There are no signs of deficiency, but everyone can benefit from supplementing with colostrum. People that may benefit most from the consumption of colostrum include: diabetics, the overweight or obese, accident victims, persons suffering from terminal illness, and athletes.

Diabetics may benefit from supplementing with colostrum because of colostrums ability to assist in the regulation of blood sugar.

The overweight or obese, who frequently suffer from chronic hypertension, will find that colostrum lowers blood pressure, and because of its GH content, will simultaneously lower bodyfat levels.

Accident victims or those who have recently undergone surgery, may find that colostrum speeds healing and recovery. This is, in part, due to its GH and immunoglobin content. Anecdotal evidence suggests that women [and some men] who suffer from chronic yeast infections may benefit from supplemental colostrum. Colostrums ability to inhibit yeast formation may be responsible for this apparent, but yet scientifically unproved, benefit.

SIDE EFFECTS: No side effects have been reported.

CAUTION: Individuals suffering from diabetes, prostatitis, dwarfism, obesity, hypertension, HIV or cancer, should consult a qualified medical practitioner prior to the use of supplemental colostrum.

COLTSFOOT (Tussilago Farfara)

. Also called ... horse-hoof and coughwort. Dried leaves and flowers are typically used to make a tea. Used in the treatment of coughing due to bronchitis and emphysema. CAUTION: Alkaloids are present which can damage the liver or cause cancer.

COMFREY (MARIGOLD) (Symphytum Officinale)

Heals, soothes, regenerates damaged skin, relieves inflammation. Black head remover.

The root relieves chest congestion. Is useful in healing skin injuries.

Easily absorbed through the skin, it is primarily used as a topical remedy.

CAUTION: Harvard Medical School researchers say the tea has a potentially toxic effect and can cause liver disease (including cancer) or liver failure.

CORNSILK (Stigmata Maydis)

Dried corn silk is useful for kidney and bladder troubles. Also as a cardiac stimulator and as a diuretic.

CRANBERRY (Vaccinium Mactocarpon)

Inhibits the growth of bacteria in the urinary tract. Due to the fact that commercial preparations contain sugar and are high in calories, it is advisable to take the more potent capsules that are available in health food stores. Long used as a treatment for bladder infections.

DOSAGE: Cranberry can be taken as a juice (150-600 mL) or in the form of juice capsules (600-800 mg) daily.

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