Ten Most Important Herbs

I took a class through Dr. Christopher’s school of herbology. It was so great and informative. I loved it and I even pass the course and got my certificate to be a Family Herbalist. I received this information in some of the course information and I thought you might find it valuable. I would recommend his course to anyone and it is available online. His course are well known and go all the way to Master Herbalist. Check them out at www.snh.cc – The following information is from Dr. Christopher’s handout. THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT HERBS by Dr. John R. Christopher There are well over three hundred thousand herbs–many of them have been life-savers over the years. Can we, then, first list the “Ten Most Important”, which should be kept on hand at all times for health or survival emergencies? This is a hard one–choosing the names of ten of my top friends, our herbs. Perhaps the best way to proceed is to choose one herb from each of ten major herb categories of which there are many more. Hippocrates used twenty-nine herbs and their combinations to help keep the people of the Isle of Cos in a healthy condition. In our practice we use approximately one hundred common herbs to take care of any malfunction that has been brought to our attention. We will, therefore offer you a tithe of our herbs. One herb cannot be said to be superior to another, as each has its own specific use, so we will list the categories from which each herb was selected alphabetically. ALTERATIVE HERB 1. ALTERATIVE HERB: Plantain (Plantago major; lanceolata, Plantaginaceae) Parts used Parts used: root, leaves, flower spikes, seeds. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: poisonous bites and stings, boils, carbuncles, tumors, inflammation, scrofula, eczema, frog or thrush, blood poisoning, malignant and bleeding ulcers, bleeding and minor wounds, diarrhea, piles, cuts and scratches, erysipelas, burns, scalds, leucorrhea, lumbago, bedwetting, syphilis, dropsy, toothache, worms, running sores, itch, ringworm, mastitis, poison ivy, bruises. Preparation Preparation: fluid extract, infusion, powder, tincture. ASTRINGENT HERB 2. ASTRINGENT HERB: Oak, White Tanners, Scrub, etc. (Fagaceae). Parts used Parts used: mainly the inner bark, also leaves, acorn, acorn cups. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: internal and external hemorrhage, leucal diarrhea, dysentery, prolapsed uterine, prolapsed anus, relaxed vagina, sore mouth, spongy and bleeding gums, ulcerated and inflamed throat, frog or thrush, diphtheria, seminal emissions, ulcerated bladder, bloody urine, pin worms, inflammations, burning fevers, infection, uterine troubles, piles, varicose veins, kidney and liver problems, goiter, ringworm, scaly eruptions, catarrh, colon troubles, gonorrhea, gleet, stomach troubles, relaxed tissue, cholera infant, hemoptysis, intermittents, phthisis, prolapsed uvula, gangrene, tooth powder, washes, poisoning. Preparation Preparation: decoction, fluid extract, infusion, powder, tincture. CATHARTIC HERB 3. CATHARTIC HERB: Mountain Flax (Linum catharticum, Linaceae). Part used Part used: whole herb. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: torpid liver, jaundice, obstinate constipation, digestive problems, gravel, dropsy, muscular rheumatism, catarrhal affection. DIAPHORETIC HERB 4. DIAPHORETIC HERB: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium, Compositae). Part used Part used: whole herb. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: fevers, eruptive diseases (measles, chicken pox, smallpox, etc.), hemorrhage of the lungs and bowels, dyspepsia, jaundice, piles, mucoid bladder discharges, incontinence of urine, chronic dysentery, typhoid fever, diarrhea (including infants), uterine problems (amenorrhea, menorrhagia, leucorrhea), suppressed urine, scanty urine, wounds, ulcers, colic, diabetes, Bright’s disease, stomach gas, piles, relaxed throat, sore nipples, rheumatism, flatulency, fistulas, influenza (flu), congestive headaches, ague, loss of hair. Preparation Preparation: decoction, fluid extract, infusion, oil, powder, tincture. DIURETIC HERB 5. DIURETIC HERB: Parsley (Apium petroselinum, Petroselinum sativum, Umbelliferae) Parts used Parts used: whole herb, root, leaves, seeds. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: Dropsy, gall bladder problems, gall stones, gravel, aches in the lumbar region, menstrual obstructions, jaundice, enuresis, kidneys (congestion, irritation, inflammation), amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, nephritis, cystitis, intermittent fevers (Fresh juice, seeds), hepatitis, obstruction of liver and spleen, female problems, insect bites and stings, swollen glands, swollen breasts, cancer preventative, difficult urination, strangury (painful urination), syphilis, gonorrhea, dry up nursing mother’s milk, catarrh of bladder, anemia, tuberculosis, rheumatism, arthritis, acidosis, obesity, high blood pressure, catarrh, dyspepsia, halitosis. Preparation Preparation: decoction, infusion, fluid extract, oil EMMENAGOGUE HERB 6. EMMENAGOGUE HERB: Squaw Vine or Partridge Berry (Mitchella repens, Rubiaceae, Ericaceae). Parts used Parts used: herb or vine. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: childbirth, uterine troubles (menorrhagia, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea, etc.), dropsy, diarrhea, suppression of urine, sore eyes, urinary complaints, dysentery, gonorrhea, sore nipples, gravel, rheumatism, etc. Preparation Preparation: decoction, fluid extract, infusion, powder, tincture. EXPECTORANT AND DEMULCENT HERBS 7. EXPECTORANT AND DEMULCENT HERBS: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale; Boraginaceae) Parts used Parts used: root (more powerful) and leaves. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: cough, ulcerated and inflamed lung conditions, bronchitis, hemorrhage, asthma, (excessive expectoration), tuberculosis, pleurisy, pneumonia, inflamed stomach or bowels, ulcerated kidneys, sooth gravel, bloody urine, diarrhea, dysentery, bruises, sprains, swellings, fractures, cancers, torn ligaments, ruptures, broken bone, cuts, gout, gangrene, heart problems, ulcerous wounds, hemoptysis, catarrh, scrofula, anemia, leukorrhea, female debility, boils, gum boils, sinusitis, burns and insect bites. Preparation Preparation: decoction, fluid extract, infusion, powder and tincture. The comfrey root contains a large amount of mucilage that is best extracted by water. ANTISPASMODIC HERB 8. ANTISPASMODIC HERB: Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) Parts used Parts used: herb and seeds (the latter are much stronger) Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: abscesses, adynamic (weakness), angina pectoris (heart excitability), asthma, blood poisoning, blood circulation problems, boils, bronchial problems, bruises, catarrh, chicken pox, cold sweats, colds, colic, congestion, constipation, convulsions, cough, cramps, croup, digestive disturbances (nervous dyspepsia, acute indigestion, etc.), drowning, dyspnea, diphtheria, earache, eczema, epilepsy, fainting, febrile trouble (fevers). Felons, female problems, heart weakness, hepatitis, hydrophobia (mad dog bites), hysteria, inflammations, insect stings and bites, laryngitis, measles, meningitis, nephritis, nervousness, palpitation, peritonitis, periostitis, phrenitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, poison ivy, poison oak, rheumatism, ringworm, scarlet fever, smallpox, spasms (spine, muscles, chest or genital organs), sprains, stomach irritation (small doses), tetanus (lock jaw), vomiting (small doses), whooping cough and zymotic diseases. Preparation Preparation: Decoction, fluid extract, infusion, pills, poultice, powder, syrup, and/or tincture. Do not use lobelia tincture from drug stores, as it is extracted with an etheric menstruum. STIMULANT HERB 9. STIMULANT HERB: Cayenne (Capsicum Minimum, C. Fastigiatum). Parts used Parts used: fruit (oil is in the seeds) Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: Apoplexy, arrest gangrene or mortification, arthritis, asthma, asthmatic asphyxia, atonic gout, bleeding, bleeding of the lungs, chilblains, chills, colds, cold extremities, congestion, constipation, cough, cramps, debility, delirium tremens, diphtheria, dyspepsia, emesis (strong dose), functional sluggishness, fatigue, heart trouble and heart attacks, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, high and low blood pressure, indigestion, inflammation, kidney and related problems, lethargy, low fevers, lumbago, menorrhagia, neuralgia, offensive breath, pains in the stomach and bowels, palpitation, pleurisy, profound shock, quinsy, rheumatism, scarlet fever, strokes, tonsillitis, toothache (oil), typhoid fever, ulcers, vomiting, wounds, yellow fever, cayenne (as a stimulant) is an activator, carrier and accentuator. Preparation Preparation: Cayenne is prepared into decoctions, infusions, ointments, powder and tinctures. TONIC HERB 10. TONIC HERB: White Poplar (Populus tremuloides) Parts used Parts used: inner bark, leaves and buds. Medicinal uses Medicinal uses: articular swelling, burns, cancer, cholera, infantum, cuts, cystic catarrh, debility, diabetes, diarrhea (sub-acute, chronic), eczema, faintness, flu, gangrene, gleet, gonorrhea, hay fever, hysteria, indigestion, inflammation, intermittent fever, jaundice, kidney complaints, liver problems, neuralgia, purulent ophthalmia, acute rheumatism, strong perspiration, sciatica, syphilitic sores, bad ulcers, urinary complaints and-weakness, infected wounds. Preparations Preparations: various forms These ten herbs may be stored in any number of forms, bulk, capsules, tablet, tincture, concentrate, etc. Tinctures, syrups, concentrates and ointments if properly sealed can last twenty or more years and not lose potency. The bulk dry herbs should be put into cans such as the type in which bulk honey is often sold. The lid should be pressed in tightly and sealed carefully with a paraffin wax. All stored herbs should be sealed in this way with paraffin.
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