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

ST JOHN'S WORT (Hypericum Perforatum)

Antiseptic, astringent, healing. It is often referred to as nature's Prozac.

Mild depression can present itself in a variety of ways, like fatigue, mood swings, disturbed sleep and a general feeling of “the blues”.

Studies have consistently shown the effectiveness of St. John´s Wort to reverse “the blues”. Most studies indicate that using the herb for 4 weeks will result in patient's who are symptom free of their depression in up to 70% of the cases. These tests also showed that memory and concentration skills are also improved.

It is an evergreen plant with bright yellow flowers and studies indicate that it may be as effective as anti-depressants currently used by the medical establishment (and at a fraction of the cost).

According to the British medical Journal, researchers analyzed 8 studies, which showed that it might be as effective as standard antidepressants ... but with less side effects.

Researchers believe that St. John's Wort stimulates production of the brain chemical called serotonin ... which has been linked to depression when deficient.

The herb has become a popular treatment for insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Used for centuries it has now become a popular alternative for prescribed medications like Diazepam and Prozac. On June 27, 1997 the news program 20/20 reported successful clinical cases treated by top medical experts.

St. John´s wart has also been used to successfully treat gastritis, ulcers, neuralgia, and kidney problems.

It is the number one prescribed drug in Germany for depression for treating mild to moderately severe depression in Germany.

DOSAGE: An effective dose for the treatment of depression is 900 mg of extract per day in three daily doses of 300 mg each,

CAUTION: The longest study to date has lasted only 12 weeks ... so long term effects are unknown.

The only known side effect is possible photosensitivity which can cause a blistering of the skin (or reddening) when exposed to sunlight. Extra care should observed when used in combination with other drugs, which also have this side effect like tetracycline.

Researchers agree that St. John´s Wort should not be used in combination with drugs, which effect the body in a similar manner like Prozac, Paxil or Zoloft.

Recent findings suggest that the herb may block the therapeutic effects of many medications including birth control pills.

May be hazardous in patients taking selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors. May interfere with effectiveness of warfarin, theophyline, digoxin and cyclosporin. May cause break through bleeding when taken with oral contraceptives.


Antiseptic, astringent, soothing. Sage is purported to relieve pain of the throat, combat diabetes, help with digestion and control perspiration. Sage tea has been known to cause inflamed lips and mouth lining ... discontinue use if this happens.

CAUTION: The oil should be avoided by anyone with a seizure disorder.

SARSAPARILLA (Similax Officinalis)

Native to tropical America and the West Indies. There are three types of sarsaparilla ... 1) S Aristolochiaefolia-Mexican, 2) S. Refellii-Honduran, 3) S. Febrifuga-Ecuadorian.

The root is used in China and has been recommended for rheumatism and arthritis. Known to enhance digestion ... is a diuretic. Sarsaparilla root is known to neutralize microbes in the blood stream. It is used to flavor soft drinks like root beer and to treat coughs, hypertension, pleurisy, wounds, sore eyes and burns.

SAW PALMETTO (Sarena Serrulata)

An herbal remedy made from the dried, ripe berries of the saw palmetto palm tree (which grows in the Southeastern United States) that shrinks prostates without the side-effects of the FDA approved drug Proscar. Studies have indicated that it is more effective than Proscar and with little or no side effects (Proscar can cause impotence).

A 1998 review of 18 clinical trials published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 75% of who took this supplement for two months reported improvement in their symptoms.

It is also more effective at blocking the cancer-causing chemical that leads to prostrate cancer. The berries are rich in fatty acids and phytosterols, which inhibits dihydrotestosterone, the compound, thought to be responsible for the enlargement of the prostate.

DOSAGE: 160 mg twice per day (standardized to liposterol content between 85%-90%.

SCHISANDRA (Schisandra chinenesis)

Science is currently focussing on its strong anti-oxidant characteristics. This herb is used in Chinese medicine to promote digestion. It is often recommended for digestive problems associated with stress and overwork. Also used to protect and strengthen the liver.

CAUTION: Do not use during pregnancy except under the supervision of a medical professional to promote uterine contractions. People with epilepsy, peptic ulcers and high blood pressure should not use Schizandra.


Four different varieties have been used in medicine ... Scutellaria Lateriflora; S. Baicalensis; S. Galericulata;. S. Scordiifolia.

A nervine herb typically used to strengthen and tone the nervous system ... helps to relax and cope better with stress and anxiety ... which has been linked to heart disease.

Herbalists are split on its uses for pain due to headaches. Has been used for convulsions, insomnia, nervous diseases, neuralgia, restlessness and tetanus. Has been recommended for delirium tremens, neuralgia, and rheumatism. American Indians used the plant to promote menstruation ... was reputed to be effective against rabies

SENNA (Senna alexandrina)

Used as a stool softener and stimulating laxative. Take as an infusion, one cup before bedtime.


An antioxidant trace element that is found in shellfish, meat, poultry, grains, garlic, egg yolks. DOSAGE: Recommended daily allowance is approximately 60 micrograms. LIMITS: A toxic reaction can occur at levels above 400 micrograms a day. Selenium is typically involved in enzymes that are antioxidants. Selenium is associated with the lowering of cancer risk (breast, colon, lung and prostate cancers) and diseases involving the blood vessels of the heart. It is also considered an anti-aging agent and preserves the elasticity of tissues. It has also been used to counteract dandruff.

SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS (Lentinus edodes)

Also called ... “Japanese mushroom” Prized by the Chinese for thousands of years for it´s medicinal properties. It is dark and flavorful and used for treating sexual dysfunction.

Extracts have been shown to shrink tumors, lower cholesterol of the blood, combat viruses, combat bacteria, helps to stimulate the immunity system and fights cholesterol.

SIBERIAN GINSENG (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

An adaptogen herb which increases the resistance to the effects of stress. Siberian ginseng is considered the most useful one.

This is a most thoroughly documented herb, which is based on Russian studies.


An herb that reportedly protects and repairs damaged livers.

In a group of Hungarians, one month of treatment for patients with cirrhosis returned their liver functions to normal.


See “scullcap”.

SLIPPERY ELM (Ulmus Fulva)

Also called ... “American elm”, “Indian elm”, “Moose elm”, “Red elm”, “Rock elm” and “Winged elm”... Inner bark is used to soothe and heals membranes of the lungs and gastro-intestinal tract. Used to treat inflamed membranes in the stomach, bowels, kidney and urinary tract. Also, used as a demulcent, diuretic, and emollient.

Effective, both internally and externally (in poultices), against inflamed mucous membranes ... considered an excellent agent for counteracting coughs.


Astringent, diuretic and laxative. Decoctions (process of boiling) have been used for hemorrhage in the stomach and for excessive menstruation.

CAUTION: Consuming large quantities may irritate the kidneys and result in mild to severe poisoning


Contains “ipriflavone” which is used in Japan and Europe to treat osteoporosis because it inhibits the breakdown of bone ... improves the bone´s ability to absorb calcium ... decreases bone pain (approximately 45% in half-a-year and 62% at the end of a full year. This substance is also known to produce stronger muscles ... increase stamina ... decrease LDL cholesterol.

CAUTION: May inhibit liver detoxification to produce increased theophylline in the blood.


Considered to be a whole body tonic. This micro algea is a food substance that typically grows in warm, sunny environments. It thrives in alkaline water and produces 20 times as much protein as an equal growth of soybeans.

Uses in medicine include health rejuvenation and reduction of weight. It has a reputation of being an excellent cleaner of blood and the colon. Very high in vitamin B-12 content. Aids in mineral absorption, protects immunity system.

Nutrients include gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, vitamin B-12, iron, 65% protein, essential amino acids, chlorophyll, RNA/DNA nucleic acids, phycocyanin (shown to increase the survival rate of mice with liver cancer).

People with hypoglycemia may benefit by ingesting this digestible food between meals since it´s high protein assists in stabilizing blood sugar levels.


An herb far more powerful for sweetening than sugar. It can sweeten without the negative effects of sugar ... like, tooth decay, carbohydrates or calories. A natural alternative to refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Said to counteract bleeding gums, cold sores, and sore throats. Also counteracts the development of dental plaque. Purported to have anti-diabetic properties.


Juices made from string beans seem to restore the pancreas, liver, and spleen, which secrete digestive fluids and the hormone insulin.

The following formula is an aid for diabetes (speak with your doctor) because it combines string beans with garlic (which lowers blood sugar levels).

4 celery stalks, 4 cloves of garlic, 24 string beans, 4 carrots, 1 cup of water, handful of parsley.


Energy boosting herb from a plant located in the Brazilian rainforest. It has been nicknamed “the Brazilian ginseng”. Suma is also called ... "para toda".

500 Mg is equal to the energy provided by a cup of coffee and is effective within an hour of use. After three days of use it has a calming effect on the nervous system similar to ginseng.

Another benefit is that is can ease the hot flashes that come with menopause due to the plant estrogens “stigmasterol” and “sitosterol”. May inhibit melanoma tumor cells because ingredients have been shown to inhibit growth of cultured melanoma tumor cells. Purported to boost the immunity system, adapt the body to stress, counteract fatigue and relieve pain.


Helianthus Annuus. Diuretic ... expectorant ... used to treat coughs, colds, whooping cough, and bronchial problems.

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