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


Fennel is aromatic and purported to work on the pleasure center of the brain by stimulating the release of endorphins which results in an euphoric state of mind.

Fennel is categorized as a “galactogogue” which is a word that the ancient Greeks used to mean, “to bring milk”. Breast feeding mothers may use it to stimulate production of milk.

A half-cup of fennel juice is pleasant to the taste and smells like licorice. Try half a cup to unwind.

FENNEL SEED (Foeniculm Vulgare)

Seeds help decrease appetite. Aids an acid stomach, intestinal gas, and gastric problems.

Fennel seed is categorized as a “galactogogue” which is a word that the ancient Greeks used to mean, “to bring milk”. Breast feeding mothers may use to stimulate production of milk.

To use make a tea by steeping 1/3 teaspoon of crushed seeds into a cup and boiling for 10 minutes. Allow cooling if you are giving to a youngster.

As an aid for digestion you can chew a handful of seeds or try an infusion of tincture.

The traditional use for fennel is to stimulate menstruation.

CAUTION: Pregnant women should avoid because of its ability to act like the female sex hormone estrogen.

FENUGREEK (Trigonella foenum-gracum)

Lowers cholesterol and can be used liberally in cooking. Found in the Mediterranean and Middle East regions, it is said to impart “fire and vigor”.

Because of it´s soothing properties, it if sometimes taken internally for stomach problems. The taste of the seeds is akin to maple sugar and can be used as a spice when cooking. Also, has been used for bronchitis, fevers and gargled for sore throat. A poultice is prepared by pulverizing seeds for fistulas, furuncles, gouty pains, neuralgia, sciatica, sores, swollen glands, wounds, tumors, and skin irritations.

A preliminary study in Israel has reported that when 15-grams of fenugreek seed is mixed with water and eaten at mealtime, it lowers the high after meal blood sugar levels for non-insulin dependent diabetics.

Also reported to alleviate depression.

Has been used “with excellent results” to alleviate allergies, migraines, emphysema, intestinal inflammation, ulcers, and sore throats.

Fenugreek is categorized as a “galactogogue” which is a word that the ancient Greeks used to mean, “to bring milk”. Breast feeding mothers may use to stimulate production of milk.

FEVERFEW (Tanacetum Parthenium)

Also called ... bachelor's button”.

Prevents migraine headaches, soothes indigestion, relieves cramps due to menstruation, lower blood pressure.

Several studies have shown that relief from migraine headaches can be found with feverfew. It was found in studies done in England that people who chewed fresh leaves or took capsules of ground, dried leaves experienced fewer and less severe headaches.

Has been used to treat fever, joint pain, menstrual pains, stomach aches. Feverfew also has been used in relaxing smooth muscles of the uterus, promoting menstrual flow and inhibiting platelet aggregation and excessive blood clotting.

DOSAGE: To use, simply chew on the leaves. Also, you can make an infusion by adding ½ to 1 teaspoon of dry leaves to boiling water and allowing it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Health Canada suggests a dose of 125 mg of dried feverfew leaf capsules (standardized to 0.2% parthenolide) for the prevention of migraines.

CAUTION: Chewing leaves can cause irritation around the lips, tongue and mouth. It is considered as generally safe. Do not use if pregnant or if allergic to members of the daisy family (ragweed, German chamomile).

If you are a migraine sufferer then you should know that many of the tablets and extracts found commercially available contain little or no active ingredients. These products will do nothing for your pain. It may be best to grow it yourself and chew on the leaves.


Often used in the treatment of gallbladder inflammation and gallstones. It reinforces the liver when used as a general treatment for the whole body. It also is a gentle and effective laxative. Other conditions which can be treated includes catarrhal jaundice, duodenal catarrh, gall stones, pancreatic disease, chronic liver disease, chronic spleen disease. Used for virtually all liver problems that have developed into jaundice.

FLAX SEED (Linum utissimum)

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 lowers cholesterol ... it contains the kind of fat (unsaturated) which does not turn on the liver´s production of cholesterol. Like fish oil, it is a protector against stroke and heart attack. In laboratory tests it reduces the risk of cancer.

Flax seed oil encourages the prostaglandins that dilate blood vessels and reduce platelet aggregation and cholesterol production. It also softens hard arteries, promotes healthy bones, strong nails, healthy skin and healthy teeth.

It is often used as a soothing laxative and to ease irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and diverticulitis. Also, it is a great source of fiber to combat diverticulosis and constipation. It is also heavy in potassium that lowers blood pressure.

Prepare by simmering the seeds in one cup of water or steep in cool water for 30 minutes to release mucilage. A normal dosage is one cup 2-3 times daily.

FO-TI (Polygonum Multiflorum)

The root is an effective diuretic. Has been reported that it treats depression and improves memory ... also effective nourishment for the blood ... Fo-Ti also has anti-toxic and tranquilizing properties.

Fo-Ti is a whole body tonic that has been used to: 1. tone the liver and kidneys, 2. purify the blood, 3. alleviate insomnia, 4. increase energy, 5. treat stomach upset, 6. treat diabetes, 7. treat coronary artery disease, 8. treat high cholesterol, 9. treat backaches, 10. treat excessive sweating, 11. treat neurasthenia, 12. treat tuberculosis adenopathy, 13. treat swelling.

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