We can all agree that taking chemicals to cure sickness should only be done when absolutely necessary. Herbal remedies can cure many, many minor illnesses, aches and pains. Common sense and knowledge is key. Some guidelines are:

Know the plant. Proper plant identification is crucial — there is no room for carelessness or guessing games. Fennel is a common medicinal herb, and closely related species such as parsley, celery, dill, cilantro and lovage have a long history of medicinal use as well. But two members of this family are deadly poisonous — water hemlock and poison hemlock — and mistakes with these look-alikes can be fatal. This sounds scary, but we need simply to practice the same common sense we use when instructing our children about any hazardous plant in their environment — whether poison ivy, jimsonweed or lily-of-the-valley.

Know the part to be used. It may be that one part of a traditional medicinal plant is safe to use, while others are off limits. For example, elderberry flowers and berries are safe for the beginner to use (to make medicines for flu and fever), but the bark can have toxic effects.

Know the application. Some plants that can be seriously toxic if taken internally can be safely used externally. An excellent example is foxglove (digitalis), which can be fatal if ingested, but can be used to make a fomentation to promote wound healing.

Know the dosage. It should never be assumed that “if a little is good, a little more is even better.” Indeed, James Green observes that small doses of German chamomile can provide positive effects for the nervous system that larger doses cannot duplicate. In some cases, the possibility of side effects or toxicity goes up with increasing dosage. Remember that dosage is keyed to body weight as well, so special care must be taken when administering herbal medicines to children.

Know potential side effects. Though unwelcome side effects are much less common in herbal medicine than in pharmaceuticals, it is wise to “read and heed” herbal literature to minimize possible side effects. For example, herbals high in tannins — such as yellow dock (a liver stimulant and laxative) — can be a problem for individuals with a history of kidney stones.

Remember individual sensitivities. An individual might have an allergic reaction to a medicinal plant safely used by others. When beginning use of a medicinal herb (just as when trying a new food) start with a reduced amount and work up to a normal dose.

Be aware of restrictions on use. Some herbs safe to use by the general patient may not be appropriate for children or the elderly. Most importantly, pregnant women should always be considered a special case. With regard to any plant medicine, the responsible herbalist will consider the issue of safe use during pregnancy and will err on the side of caution. Some herbs such as black cohosh, comfrey, goldenseal, mugwort and yarrow should be avoided entirely by pregnant women. Others such as cayenne and ginger might be used, but very sparingly.

Recognize the limits of your own expertise. There are many herbs that are easy and safe for the beginner to use. A good place to start is with herbs commonly used as food and in teas. Others require far greater experience, knowledge and skill. In the case of elderberry bark, mentioned above, it actually is used medicinally, even for internal applications. However, it is strong medicine indeed and should be used only by those who know what they are doing. The rest of us should stick with the more user-friendly plants and applications and seek out a reliable teacher if we want to advance.

And the most obvious common sense advice: Be careful using herbal medicine on children or pets and don’t use herbs for something that truly needs medical attention. If your child has a high fever, uncontrolled coughing or any other serious symptom, take him to the doctor. We all remember the sad recent case of the vegan baby who developed pneumonia and was treated with folk medicine instead of being taken to the hospital. She died. People have been using herbal remedies for centuries but don’t forget how often people still died of things we can cure very easily now. It’s about finding a balance.

I used to have a huge list of every herb you could think of and their uses, created through years of research but since AOL shut down the hometown pages, I’ve lost the entire thing (not to mention the only pictures of a very special dog I had years ago). This page will be my attempt to re-create that list. Please be aware of allergies before you use any herbs, and drug interactions, if you are pregnant and please remember that just like medicines, herbs can be used incorrectly and/or can have strong or unwanted side-effects.

Acerola– Has antioxidant, antifungal and astringent properties. Helps support the liver and hydrate the skin. Useful against diarrhea and fever.

Alfalfa– Alkalizes and detoxifies the body. Diuretic, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol reducer, hormonal balancer, antifungal. Enhances the function of the pituitary gland. Helpful for anemia and ulcers, and also disorders related to: bleeding, bones and joints, colon, digestive, skin.

Aloe Vera– Used topically, heals burns and wounds; stimulates cell regeneration; and. Has astringent, emollient, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral properties. Used internally, soothes stomach irritation, aids in healing, and has laxative properties.

Anise– Indicated for respiratory infections such as sinusitis. Combats infection and relieves mucus from air passages. Good digestion aid. Helpful during menopause. Increases milk production in nursing mothers.

Annatto– Diuretic, antioxident, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties. Helps protect the liver and kidneys. May reduce blood sugar levels. Good for indigestion, fever, coughs, burns, skin problems and weight loss.

Ashwagandha– Rejuvenates and energizes the nervous system. Helps prevent stress related disorders and stress related depletion of Vitamin C and cortisol. Increases physical endurance and improves sexual function. Has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects. (Has stimulated immune function in laboratory studies.)

Astragalus– Tonic to the immune, adrenal, and digestive system. Raises stamina and energy to fight fatigue. Stimulates metabolism, produces spontaneous sweating, promotes healing. Good for colds, flu, and immune-deficiency related problems, including AIDS, cancer, tumors as well as chronic lung weakness. If you have a fever, do not use.

Barberry– Reduces heart rate, breathing, bronchial constriction. Do not use if pregnant. Promotes intestinal movement. Kills bacteria on skin.

Bayberry– Indicated for circulatory disorders, fever, hypothyroidism, ulcers, eyes and immune system. Clears congestion, assists circulation, lowers fever. Astringent. Helps stop bleeding.

Bilberry– Helps control insulin levels. Diuretic. Antiseptic for the urinary tract. Indicated for: hypoglycemia, inflammation, stress, anxiety, night blindness, cataracts. Strengthens connective tissue. When taken internally can interfere with iron absorption.

Birch– Diuretic, anti-inflammatory, pain reliever. Helpful in joint pain and urinary tract infections. Used externally, good for boils and sores.

Black Cohosh– Indicated for: blood pressure, cholesterol, mucus production, cardiovascular & circulatory disorders, arthritis, poisonous snake bites, relieving hot flashes, menstrual cramps, morning sickness, pain. Induces labor and aids in childbirth, so should not be used during pregnancy until needed for delivery.

Black Walnut– Assists digestion and healing of mouth or throat sores. Cleanses the body of many parasites. Also indicated for bruising, fungal infection, herpes, poison ivy, and warts.

Blessed Thistle– Anti-inflammatory, circulatory aid, blood purifier, liver healer, and heart strengthener. Increases appetite and stomach secretions. Has been recommended as a brain food. Good for female disorders and increases milk flow for nursing mothers.

Blue Cohosh– Indicated for memory problems, menstrual disorders, nervous disorders, and muscle spasms. Helpful for childbirth as it stimulates uterine contractions. Do not use in first sixth months of pregnancy.

Boldo– Acts as a diuretic, laxative, antibiotic, liver tonic and anti-inflammatory. Aids in the excretion of uric acid and stimulates digestion.

Boneset– Laxative. Anti-inflammatory. Indicated for bronchitis and fever-induced aches and pains. Helps clear congestion, loosen phlegm, reduce fever, increase perspiration, and calm the body. Can become toxic with long-time use.

Borage– Tonic for adrenals. Balances glands. Contains valuable minerals and essential fatty acids helpful to cardiovascular function and healthy skin and nails.

Boswellia– Acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antifungal and antibacterial. Topically used for pain relief. Lowers cholesterol and protects the liver. Useful for arthritis, gout, low back pain, myositis, and fibromyalgia. Helps repair blood vessels damaged by inflammation. Used as a remedy for obesity, diarrhea, dysentary, pulmonary diseases, ringworm and boils.

Buchu– Anti-inflammatory for the colon, gums, mucous membranes, prostate, sinuses, and vagina. Indicated for bladder and kidney problems, diabetes, digestive disorders, fluid retention, and prostate disorders. Particularly helpful for bladder infections.

Burdock– Blood purifier, restores liver and gallbladder function, stimulates immune system. Good for skin disorders (i.e. boils and carbuncles). Relieves gout symptoms.

Butcher’s Broom– Anti-inflammatory. Good for bladder, kidney, and circulatory disorders. Indicated for carpal tunnel syndrome, edema, Meniere’s disease, obesity, Raynaud’s phenomenon, thrombophlebitis, varicose veins, and vertigo.

Calendula– Anti-inflammatory. Reduces fever. Indicated for neuritis and toothache. Assists in regulating the menstrual cycle. Useful for skin disorders, such as rashes, sunburn, diaper rash.

Cascara Sagrada– Colon cleanser. Laxative. Indicated for colon disorders, constipation, and parasitic infestation.

Catnip– Reduces fever (catnip tea enemas work especially quickly). Stimulates appetite, digestion and sleep; relieves stress, anxiety, inflammation and pain. Indicated for colds and flu. Cats love it of course.

Cat’s Claw– Intestinal cleanser, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, enhances white blood cell action. Indicated for intestinal problems and viral infections. May be helpful for AIDS, arthritis, cancer tumors or ulcers. Do not use when pregnant.

Cayenne– Helpful for digestion, circulation, arthritis, rheumatism, colds, sinus infections, and sore throats. Stops bleeding from ulcers. A tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen, and stomach. Good for pain when applied topically. Enhances the effect for other herbs.

Cedar– Antiviral, antifungal, stimulates immune system, increases venous blood flow. Expectorant, lymphatic cleanser, urinary antiseptic. Use externally for warts.

Celery– Antioxidant, sedative, reduces blood pressure, relieves muscle spasms, improves appetite. Recommended for arthritis and kidney problems. Use sparingly while pregnant.

Chamomile– Anti-inflammatory, diuretic. Stimulates appetite, digestion, and sleep. Indicated for colitis, diverticulosis, fever, headaches, and pain. Has a long history of use for stress and anxiety, indigestion, and insomnia. Can be used as a nerve tonic. Caution: Should not be used for long periods of time. Could result in a “ragweed” allergy. Don’t use with sedatives or alcohol.

Chanca piedra– Fights inflammation, bacterial and viral infections. Acts as a diuretic. Useful for kidney stones, gallstones, colds flu, digestion, asthma, bronchitis, diarrhea, pain relief, fever, sexually transmitted diseases and muscle spasms.

Chaparral– Free radical scavenger. Pain reliever. Protects against radiation and sun exposure. Good for skin disorders. Reduces formation of tumors and cancer cells. Used to quell gastric upset. Also used as an adjunct therapy for respiratory infections. Chaparral contains over 600 medicinally active ingredients; some of these are extremely antimicrobial against both Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria.

Chaste tree– Has a calming and soothing effect. Relieves muscle cramps. Regulates and normalizes hormone levels and menstrual cycles. Increases and improves breast milk. Good for PMS symptoms and menopause.

Chickweed– ndicated for bronchitis, circulatory problems, colds, coughs, skin diseases, and warts. Reduces mucus in the lungs.

Chuchuhuasi– Fights inflammation and stimulates the immune system. Supports the adrenal system and balances and regulates menstrual cycles. Good for arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, muscle spasms, fever, skin tumors, bronchitis and diarrhea.

Cinnamon– Indicated for: diarrhea, nausea, congestion, peripheral blood circulation, digestion, fat metabolism, digestive problems, diabetes, weight loss, yeast infection, uterine hemorrhaging, fungal infections. Use sparingly during pregnancy.

Clove– Antiseptic, antiparasitic, digestive aid. Essential oil (diluted) is applied topically for relief of toothaches.

Coltsfoot– Demulcent, expectorant and tonic. One of the most popular of cough remedies. It’s generally given together with other herbs possessing pectoral qualities, such as Horehound, Marshmallow, Ground Ivy, etc.

Comfrey– Helps the healing of wounds and skin conditions. Helpful for: bedsores, bites and stings, bruises, inflamed bunions, bums, dermatitis, dry skin, bleeding hemorrhoids, leg ulcers, nosebleeds, psoriais, scabies, skin rashes, sunburn. Not recommended during pregnancy.

Corn Silk– Diuretic. Helpful for the bladder, kidneys, and small intestine. Can be used with other kidney herbs to open the urinary tract and remove mucus from the urine. Useful for bed-wetting, carpal tunnel syndrome, edema, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, and prostate disorders.

Cramp bark– Relieves muscle spasms and pain. Good for mentrual cramps and lower back and leg spasms.

Cranberry– Recommended in cases of urinary tract infections as it acidifies the urine and prevents bacteria from adhering to the bladder. Good for kidneys, bladder and skin. Has anti-cancer properties.

Damiana– Energy tonic and aphrodisiac. Stimulates muscular contractions of the intestinal tract. Brings oxygen to the genital area. Recommended for sexual and hormonal problems and as a sexual tonic for women.

Dandelion– Diuretic. Bloodstream and liver cleanser. Increases bile production. Reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid. Tonic for kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and stomach. Recommended for abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, fluid retention, hepatitis, jaundice, rheumatism. Has been said to help prevent age spots and breast cancer.

Devils claw– Relieves pain and reduces inflammation. Acts as a diuretic, sedative and digestive stimulant. Good for back pain, arthritis, rheumatism, diabetes, allergies, liver, gallbladder, kidney disorders, arteriosclerosis, lumbago, gout and menopausal symptoms.

Dong Quai– Stimulates the effects of ovarian and testicular hormones. Recommended for female problems: premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, and vaginal dryness.

Echinacea– Anti-inflammatory. Antiviral. Stimulates certain white blood cells. Enhances immune and lymphatic system. Useful for colic, colds, flu, and other infectious illnesses. Helpful for snakebite.

Elder– Antioxidant. Cleanses the system. Recommended for: constipation, inflammation, fevers, poor circulation, respiratory problems. Helpful in building up blood, immune system, and perspiration. Flowers are useful in soothing skin irritations.

Ephedra– Decongestant, appetite suppressant. Assists in fluid elimination, relieving bronchial spasm, and central nervous system stimulation. Recommended for: allergies, asthma, colds, and other respiratory complaints, as well as for depression and obesity. May decrease and elevate mood. Not to be used in cases of panic attacks, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, or in combination with MAO inhibitor drugs prescribed for depression.

Eucalyptus– Antiseptic (mild). Good for colds, coughs and other respiratory problems. Clears congestion. Reduces swelling by increasing blood flow. Relaxes tired and sore muscles. Recommended for external use only.

Eyebright– Used as eyewash. Eases discomfort from eye strain or minor irritations. Recommended for: allergies, itchy and/or watery eyes, runny nose.

False Unicorn– Balances sex hormones. Recommended for: infertility, menstrual irregularities and pain, premenstrual syndrome, prostate disorders. Helpful in preventing miscarriage.

Fennel– Appetite suppressant. Eyewash. Tonic for kidneys, liver, spleen. Useful for acid stomach and clearing the lungs. Reduces abdominal pain, colon disorders, gas, and gastrointestinal tract spasms. Recommended after chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments.

Fenugreek– Laxative. Reduces fever and mucus. Good for inflammation, lung disorders, eyes, asthma and sinus problems.

Feverfew– Increases fluidity of lung and bronchial tube mucus, promotes menses, stimulates the appetite, and stimulates uterine contractions. Good for arthritis, colitis, fever, headaches, menstrual problems, muscle tension, pain. Promotes strong bones, nails, and teeth, as well as healthy skin. Useful for colon problems, female disorders, and inflammation.

Flax– Recommended for: colon problems, female disorders, and inflammation. Good for bones, nails, teeth, healthy skin.

Garlic– Detoxification, infection protection, immune enhancement. Lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, lowers blood lipid levels. Recommended for: arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, cancer, circulatory problems, colds, flu, digestive problems, heart disorders, insomnia, liver disease, sinusitis, ulcers, yeast infections.

Gentian– Helpful for digestion, circulation, gastric secretions, pancreatitis, and parasitic infection. Kills plasmodia (malaria causing organisms) and worms, and stimulates appetite.

Germanium– Improves cellular oxygenation, keep the immune system functioning properly, and rid the body of toxins and poisons, improved many illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, food allergies, elevated cholesterol, candidiasis, chronic viral infections, cancer, and AIDS.

Ginger– Antioxidant, antimicrobial effect on sores and wounds. Colon cleanser, reduces spasms and cramps, stimulates circulation. Recommended for: bowel disorders, circulatory problems, fever, hot flashes, indigestion, morning sickness, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting.

Ginkgo– Recommended for: asthma, eczema, heart and kidney disorders, depression, headaches, memory loss, and tinnitis (ringing in the ears). Increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow, circulation, and oxygenation thus improving brain functioning and relieving leg cramps.

Ginseng– Recommended for: adrenal and reproductive glands, immune function, lungs, appetite stimulation, bronchitis, circulation, diabetes, infertility, lack of energy, stress, cocaine withdrawal, protection against the effects of radiation exposure, overall body strengthening. Not suggested for people with hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, or heart disorders.

Goldenrod– Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and is an excellent diuretic. It can be used in conjunction with echinacea for the treatment of nephritis (inflammation of the kidney) and cystitis (inflammation of the urinary bladder). Use for upper respiratory infections when there is an overabundance of mucus and postnasal drip. Goldenrod contains bioflavonoids, which strengthen the veins and is therefore indicated for varicose veins and fragile capillaries. It is also a carminative (antispasmodic against cramps of the digestive tract), and will ease colic and flatulence. Antifungal properties, qualify it’s use as a douche.

Goldenseal– Antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial. Tonic for: colon, liver, pancreas, spleen, lymphatic and respiratory systems, digestion. Calms inflamed mucous membranes, boost levels of germ-fighting chemicals, and battle both viruses and bacteria directly by activating white blood cells. Recommended for disorders affecting the bladder, prostate, stomach, or vagina. Cleanses mucous membranes, and regulates menses. Decreases infection, uterine bleeding, inflammation, ulcers, and any infectious disease, lowers blood pressure, stimulates central nervous system. Good for colds, flu, or sore throat. Cleanses the body, increases the effectiveness of insulin, strengthens the immune system, stimulates the secretion and flow of bile, and can also be used as an expectorant. It also has strong activity against yeast, and fungi, such as E. Coli and Candida. Goldenseal should not be used during pregnancy or by people with high blood pressure. Those with heart conditions should only use goldenseal under the supervision of a health professional.

Gotu Kola– Suggested for: Cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, heart and liver function, fatigue, connective tissue disorders, kidney stones, poor appetite, sleep disorders. Eliminates excess fluids, decreases fatigue and depression, increases sex drive, shrinks tissues, stimulates the central nervous system. May neutralize blood acids and lower body temperature.

Gravel Root– Diuretic. Helpful for: urinary tract, prostate disorders and problems related to fluid retention.

Green Tea– Reduces risk of esophageal, stomach, colon, and skin cancer, delays the onset of arteriosclerosis, offsets mental fatigue. Use sparingly during pregnancy or while nursing.

Guarana– Acts as a general tonic, stimulant and intestinal cleanser. Increases mental alertness. Improves stamina and endurance. Reduces fatigue. Useful for headaches, urinary tract irritation and diarrhea.

Hawthorn– Recommended for: anemia, cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, immune system, dilating coronary blood vessels, cholesterol, and heart muscle.

Hops– Helpful for: anxiety, cardiovascular disorders, hyperactivity, insomnia, nervousness, pain, restlessness, sexually transmitted diseases, shock, stress, toothaches, ulcers.

Horehound– Recommended for: hay fever, sinusitis, respiratory disorders, bronchial tubes and lungs. Boosts the immune system.

Horse chestnut– Protects against vascular damage, makes capillary walls less porous, shields against UV radiation damage. Good for varicose veins, reducing excess tissue fluids and easing night time muscle spasms in the legs. Used topically, reduces pain and swelling and prevents bruising.

Horsetail– Diuretic. Recommended for: arthritis, bone diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, edema, gallbladder disorders, inflammation, muscle cramps, and prostate disorders. Increases calcium absorption, promotes healthy skin, strengthens bone, hair, nails, and teeth. Promotes healing of broken bones and connective tissue. Used in poultice form to depress bleeding and accelerate healing of burns and wounds. Strengthens the heart and lungs.

Hydrangea– Diuretic. Recommended for bladder infection, kidney disease, obesity, and prostate disorders. Combined with gravel root, good for kidney stones.

Hyssop– Recommended for: circulatory problems, epilepsy, fever, gout, weight problems, congestion, blood pressure, and dispelling gas. Used externally, helpful for wound healing. Poultices made from fresh green hyssop help to heal cuts.

Irish Moss– Recommended for many intestinal disorders (assists in the formation of stools). Used in skin lotions, and hair rinses for dry hair.

Jaborandi– Fights inflammation and acts as a diuretic. Helps stimulate milk production and flow in nursing mothers. Beneficial for fever, colds and flu, bronchitis, colon disorders and edema. Topically , useful for baldness and for promoting circulation in the capillaries.

Jatoba– Fights inflammation, free radicals, bacterial and fungal infection. Increases energy. Beneficial for asthma, bronchitis, bursitis, bladder infection, candida, fungal infections, arthritis and prostatitis.

Juniper– Diuretic. Recommended for: asthma, bladder infection, fluid retention, gout, kidney problems, obesity, prostate disorders, inflammation, congestion, regulation of blood sugar levels.

Kava kava– Diuretic. Genito-urinary antiseptic. Recommended for: anxiety, depression, insomnia, ,stress-related disorders, urinary tract infections, physical and mental relaxation.

Kudzu– Suppresses alcohol cravings. Lowers blood pressure, relieves headache, stiff neck, vertigo and tinnitus. Useful for treating alcoholism, colds, flu and gastrointestinal problems.

Lady’s mantle– Anti-inflammatory, diuretic and anti-viral aid. Helps heal mucous membranes, improve blood clotting and increase persperation. Helps regulate menstruation, reduce excessive bleeding and ease cramps. Good as a douche for vaginal irritation.

Lavender– Recommended for: burns, headaches, psoriasis, skin problems, stress, depression. Beneficial for the skin.

Lemon Grass– Astringent. Tonic. Good for skin and nails.

Licorice– Recommended for allergic disorders, asthma, chronic fatigue, depression, emphysema, fever, herpes virus infection, hypoglycemia, inflammatory bowel disorders, colon cleansing, decreasing muscular spasms, increasing fluidity of mucus in the lungs and bronchial tubes, promoting adrenal gland function. Has estrogen- and progesterone-like effects; may change the pitch of the voice. Stimulates the production of interferon.

Lobelia– Recommended for asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu, cardiovascular disease, epilepsy, pain, and viral infection. Serves as a cough suppressant and relaxant that aids in hormone production and reduces cold symptoms and fever. Should be used with caution.

Maca– Increases energy and supports the immune system. Good for anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, impotence, menopausal symptoms and menstrual problems.

Macela– Acts as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and antiparasitic. Stimulates and supports the immune system. Good for gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders. Useful in treating cancer, Chrohn’s disease, colds and flu, diabetes, menstrual problems and menopausal symptoms, muscle aches and spasms.

Marshmallow– Recommended for bladder infection, digestive upsets, fluid retention, headache, intestinal disorders, kidney problems, sinusitis. sore throat. Soothes and heals skin, mucous membranes, and other tissues, externally and internally.

Meadowsweet– Tightens tissue and promotes elimination of excess fluid. Reduces inflammation and strengthens and tones the system. Good for colds, flu, nausea, digestive disorders, muscle cramps and aches and diarrhea.

Milk Thistle– Antioxidant (prevents free radical damage, protects the liver). Recommended for: kidneys, adrenal disorders, inflammatory bowel disorders, weakened immune system, liver disorders (such as jaundice and hepatitis, psoriasis). Contains potent liver protecting substances. Stimulates production of new liver cells and prevents formation of damaging leukotrienes.

Mullein– Laxative, painkiller, and sleep aid. Recommended for: asthma, bronchitis, difficulty in breathing, earache, hay fever, swollen glands. Used in kidney formulas to soothe inflammation. Gets rid of warts.

Mustard– Improves digestion and fat metabolism. Recommended (externally) for: chest congestion, inflammation, injuries, joint pain. Can be irritating directly applied to skin.

Myrrh– Antiseptic. Disinfectant. Deodorizer. Fights mouth bacteria. Recommended for: bad breath, periodontal disease, skin disorders, and ulcers.

Nettle– Diuretic, expectorant, pain reliever, tonic. Recommended for: anemia, arthritis, hay fever and other allergic disorders, kidney problems, malabsorption syndrome, goiter, inflammatory conditions, mucous conditions of the lungs.

Oat Straw– Antidepressant, restorative nerve tonic. Recommended for: bed-wetting, depression, skin disorders, insomnia. Promotes sweating.

Olive leaf– Fights all types of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Helps stave off colds and flu. Good for virtually any infectious disease, as well as for chronic fatigue syndrome, diarrheal diseases, inflammatory arthritis and psoriasis.

Oregano (Wild)– Fights free radicals, inflammation, bacterial, viral and fungal infection. Boosts the immune system. Useful for acne, allergies, anaimal bites, arthritis, asthma, athlete’s foot, bee stings, bronchitis, chronic infections, cold, cough, diarrhea, digestive problems, earache, eczema, fatigue, gum disease, headache, menstrual irregularities, muscle pain, parasitic infections, psoriasis, sinusitis, skin infections, urinary tract disorders and wounds.

Oregon Grape– Blood purifier, liver cleanser. Recommended for: skin conditions from acne to psoriasis.

Papaya– Indicated for: heartburn, indigestion, inflammatory bowel disorders, appetite stimulation.

Parsley– Recommended for: bed-wetting, fluid retention, gas, halitosis, high blood pressure, indigestion, kidney disease, obesity, prostate disorders, expelling worms, relieving gas, stimulating digestive system, freshening breath. Tonic for bladder, kidney, liver, lung, stomach and thyroid. Prevents the multiplication of tumor cells.

Passionflower– Sedative. Recommended for: anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, neuritis, stress-related disorders. Use sparingly during pregnancy.

Pau D’Arco– Antibacterial, blood cleanser, healer. Indicated for: candidiasis, smoker’s cough, warts, infection, AIDS, allergies, cancer, cardiovascular problems, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatism, tumors, ulcers.

Peppermint– Indicated for: chills, colic, diarrhea, headache, heart trouble, indigestion, nausea, poor appetite, rheumatism, spasms.

Plantain– Indicated for: (internally) lungs, urinary tract, bed-wetting; (poultice) bee stings, insect bites; (topically) sores, wounds.

Primrose– Recommended for: alcoholism, arthritis, hot flashes, menstrual problems (cramps, heavy bleeding), multiple sclerosis, weight loss, skin disorders, high blood pressure. Promotes estrogen.

Pumpkin Seeds– Indicated for: prostate. Influence the colon and spleen-pancreas; diuretic; vermifuge (expels worms-especially effective for round worm and tapeworm). Used for motion sickness, nausea, impotency, and swollen prostate with signs of difficult or dribbling urination.

Pygeum– Reduces inflammation congestion. Lowers levels of inflammatory compounds in the prostate. Effective in reducing prostate enlargement.

Red Clover– Antibiotic. Indicated for: bacterial infections, HIV and AIDS, inflamed lung and bowel disorders, kidney, liver, skin disorders, immune system. Suppresses appetite, purifies blood, relaxes.

Red Raspberry– Recommended for: diarrhea, canker sores, intestinal spasms, female disorders (morning sickness, hot flashes, menstrual and uterine cramps, heavy menstrual bleeding, strengthening uterine walls), healthy nails, bones, teeth, and skin.

Rhubarb– Antibiotic. Recommended for: gallbladder, spleen, liver, constipation, malabsorption, parasites, worm elimination, duodenal ulcers, colon disorders. Do not use while pregnant.

Rose– Indicated for: infections, diarrhea, bladder problems.

Rosemary– Astringent, decongestant, anticancer, antitumor, stomach relaxer. Indicated for: headaches, high/low blood pressure, circulation, digestion, menstrual pain, liver toxicity. Fights bacteria.

Sage– Recommended for: central nervous system, digestion, reducing sweating and salivation, hot flashes, estrogen deficiency, mouth and throat problems (tonsillitis). Promotes hair growth. Decreases milk production in nursing mothers.

Sangre de grado– Fights free radicals, inflammation, bacterial, viral and fungal infection. Helps heal wounds and stop bleeding. Good for respiratory and skin disorders, mouth and skin ulcers, sore throat, colds and flu, candida, psoriasis, herpes and vaginitis.

Sarsaparilla– Diuretic. Hormone regulator. Recommended for frigidity, hives, impotence, infertility, nervous system disorders, premenstrual syndrome, blood impurities, low energy. Protects against radiation.

Saw Palmetto– Diuretic. Urinary antiseptic. Indicated for: poor appetite, prostate disorders, sexual function and desire.

Skullcap– Recommended for barbiturate addiction, drug withdrawal, stress, anxiety, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, headache, hyperactivity, nervous disorders, rheumatism, circulation, insomnia, muscle cramps, pain, spasms, strengthening of heart muscle.

Slippery Elm– Indicated for diarrhea, ulcers, colds, flu, sore throat, stomach, urinary tract, inflamed bowel mucous membranes.

Squawvine– Indicated for pelvic congestion, nervous system, menstrual cramps, childbirth preparation.

St. John’s Wort– Indicated for depression, nerve pain, viral infections (including HIV and herpes).

Suma (Brazilian Ginseng)- Recommended for anemia, fatigue, stress, immune system, AIDS, cancer, liver disease, high blood pressure.

Tea Tree– (also known as Melaleuca) Antibacterial, antifungal. Recommended for: disinfecting wounds, skin conditions (acne, athlete’s foot, cuts, scrapes, fungal infection, herpes outbreaks, insect and spider bites, scabies, vaginitis, warts). Diluted: gargle for colds and sore throats; douche for yeast infections. Commonly used as a general antiseptic by the aborigine tribes for thousands of years. The scientific community has confirmed that Tea Tree Oil has tremendous medicinal benefits. It’s a light yellow oil that has a scent similar to nutmeg and it is produced by steaming tea tree leaves and then squeezing the oil out.

Thyme– Antiseptic. Recommended for: croup and other respiratory problems, fever, headache, liver problems, cholesterol, scalp itching and flaking caused by candidiasis. Eliminates gas and reduces mucus.

Turmeric– Antibiotic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant. Indicated for: liver, cholesterol, platelet aggregation inhibition.

Valerian– Sedative. Indicated for: anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, nervousness, pain, spasms, stress, ulcers, circulation, mucus from colds.

White Oak– Antiseptic. Recommended for: bee stings, burns, diarrhea, nosebleed, poison ivy, varicose veins, teeth, skin wounds. Use in enemas and douches.

White willow– Pain reliever. Indicated for: headache, backache, nerve pain, toothache, injuries.

Wild Yam– Anti-inflammatory. Indicated for: gallbladder, hypoglycemia, kidney stones, female disorders (PMS, menopause), muscle spasms, promoting perspiration. Is said to have effects similar to progesterone hormone.

Wintergreen– Pain reliever, anti-inflammatory. Recommended for: arthritis, headache, toothache, muscle pain, rheumatism.

Witch Hazel– Astringent. Indicated for: itching, hemorrhoids, phlebitis, skin care.

Wood Betony– Recommended for: cardiovascular disorders, hyperactivity, neuritis, heart stimulation, muscle relaxation.

Wormwood– Sedative. (Caution: can be addictive.) Indicated for: vascular disorders, migraine, intestinal parasites, fever, expelling worms, increasing stomach acidity. Do not use while pregnant – can produce spontaneous abortion.

Yarrow– Anti-inflammatory, diuretic. Indicated for: fever, colitis, viral infections, mucous membranes, bleeding problems (improves blood clotting), increases perspiration.

Yellow Dock– Blood purifier/cleanser, tonic. Indicated for: anemia, liver, colon, skin disorders (eczema, hives, psoriasis, rashes.

Yerba Mate– Blood cleanser. Indicated for: allergies, constipation, inflammatory bowel disorders, nervous system, appetite control, aging, cortisone production, mind stimulation.

Yucca– Blood purifier. Indicated for: arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammation.

By combining specific herbs, based on the reason for taking the herb, the full impact of healing can be completed more effectively.

Need more info about essential oils?

You can download the most popular essential oil encyclopedia app on Amazon. This app is also available on the Google Play store.