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


An infused tea made from the leaves is purported to dissolve kidney stones if taken daily over an extended period of time. Has been used for skin problems (including melanoma) when made into a cream, salve or bath additive.


Also called ... "Butternut Bark of Root". Causes evacuation of the bowels (laxative). Purported to be a treatment for liver disorders and sickness of the intestines. Sometimes used to expel (as opposed to killing) worms via a laxative cleansing of the body.


The bark is used as a pain reliever, fever reducer, and antacid. A major component is salicin, which is closely related to aspirin ... and produces a similar effect as a painkiller. White Willow bark is considered beneficial for cancer, heartburn, infections and neuralgia.

Aspirin was first mass-produced in 1893 but the tree that it came from was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans over two thousand years ago. North American Indians were using it to make a tea, which cured fevers before Columbus discovered the "New World".

CAUTION: Pregnant or nursing women should consult with their physician prior to use. Also people who are allergic to salicylates should not take Willow bark.


Used to calm and sooth irritated mucosal surfaces (any of 4 major kinds of thin sheets of tissue cells that line various parts of the body and communicate with the air, i.e., mouth, nose, anus, vagina).


Reduces pain, swelling, heat and redness of mucous membranes i.e. infections of the ear, nose and throat. Typical uses are for tonsillitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis and infections of the nose and sinus. Also can be taken as a mouthwash to heal gingivitis, mouth ulcers and assist with the control of gum infections. Wild Indigo is sometimes combined with Echinacea and Myrrh for the treatment of infections and combined with Poke Root and Cleavers for lymphatic problems.


Purported to stimulate the immune system dramatically. It is considered to be more powerful than goldenseal or Echinacea.
“A few studies have claimed that oils from oregano and clove have antibacterial and antiviral properties in vitro” according to an article in the Vitamin Village newsletter dated September 2000 written by V. Manohar MSC, PhD, C. Ingram DO, J Gray MS, N. Talpur MD, B. Echard MT, and H.G. Preuss MD - Department of medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington D.C.


See “yam”.

WITCH HAZEL (Hammamelis virginian)

Commercial preparations of witch hazel contains chemicals with reported antiseptic, anesthetic, astringent, and anti-inflammatory action. It is used in Preparation H Cleansing Pads, Tucks, and several German hemorrhoid remedies. Witch hazel can be used to treat bruises, inflammation, insect bites, hemorrhoids, and dark circles under the eyes varicose veins, burns.

Witch hazel is a shrub whose leaves and twigs contain an astringent called tannin. Commercial preparations are distilled and do not contain it, however you can make a decoction by boiling 1 teaspoon of powdered twigs or leaves per cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool.

CAUTIONS: No reports of harm when used externally.


Ayurvedic expert Deepak Chopra says winter cherry can improve mood.


Used to treat worm infestations i.e. pinworm and roundworm.

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