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Scientific Name: Agrimonia eupatoria
Common Names: Common agrimony, church steeples or sticklewort
Part Used: Aerial parts
Habitat: Agrimony is native to Europe, but can also be found in temperate climate in most parts of the Northern hemisphere.
Agrimony tea is soothing and good for sore throats. It is sometimes used by singers to gargle with. This herb is used to refresh and clear the throat. Agrimony is sometimes used for loose bowels as well. This herb is sometimes prescribed for fevers, digestive and bowel troubles, coughs and asthma. It can be used externally for skin sores.
CAUTION: This herb may make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and may increase the risk of sunburn. Do not take if pregnant or nursing or if you are planning to have surgery within two weeks.
See our Agrimony page for more in-depth information and pictures.
Scientific Name: Medicago sativa
Common Names: Buffalo grass, chilean clover, lucerne
Part Used: Leaves, stems, sprouts
Habitat: Alfalfa is native to southwestern Asia and Southeastern Europe. Also grows in North America and North Africa.
Alfalfa is known as the “Father of all foods” for good reason. It’s loaded with important vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and protein. It’s roots go down as far as 30 feet to pull valuable nutrients from the earth. This plant is commonly used for arthritis, digestive problems, as a diuretic and for reducing high cholesterol. It’s a very inexpensive source of easily digested nutrients. Alfalfa is high in beta-carotene and builds the immune system. This plant also contains chlorophyll, which is good for reducing bad breath and body odor.
CAUTION: Pregnant and nursing women should not eat alfalfa seeds due to their content of stachydrine and homostachydrine (may promote menstruation or cause miscarriage). People in general should never eat alfalfa seeds. They contain high levels of the toxic amino acid canavanine. Alfalfa is high in vitamin K and may work as an anti-coagulant so it shouldn’t be taken by people taking blood thinning medication.
Scientific Name: Aloe vera
Common Names: Aloe, cape, barbados
Part Used: Leaves
Habitat: Aloe is native to the Mediterranean. It also grows in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The gel inside of the leaves of the Aloe plant can be used externally to treat minor burns, sun burn, cuts, scrapes and poison ivy. Aloe gel is good for moisturizing the skin and is a main ingredient of many skin care products. Many people use it to reduce acne and treat other skin problems.
CAUTION: Some people have taken Aloe internally as a laxative. The Mayo Clinic website states that this is not safe and can lead to severe cramping, diarrhea and dangerous imbalances of electrolytes even if used infrequently.
Scientific Name: Panax quinquefolius
Common Names: Ginseng, xi yang shen
Part Used: Root
Habitat: American Ginseng grows in the eastern part of North America and Canada.
American ginseng is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance which is good for the body in general and protects against stress of all types. This type of ginseng has been used to strengthen the immune system, increase strength and stamina, treat digestive disorders, treat diabetes, treat ADHD and as a general tonic for wellness. Many people believe that the best American ginseng comes from the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. American ginseng is considered a cooling ginseng, where Korean ginseng has a more warming effect on the body.
CAUTION: American Ginseng should not be taken by people with high blood pressure or by women who are pregnant.
See our American Ginseng page for more in-depth information and pictures.
Scientific Name: Phyllanthus emblica
Common Names: Indian gooseberry
Part Used: Fruit
Habitat: Amla is native to India
Amla is often used in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India. It is rich in vitamin C and also contains many other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Amla is often used to treat inflammation of the joints, fevers, urinary tract infections and to control blood sugar. It is high in fiber and may be helpful in treating constipation.
See our Amla page for more in-depth information and pictures.
Scientific Name: Angelica archangelica
Common Names: Garden angelica, norwegian angelica, holy ghost, wild celery, masterwort
Part Used: Leaves, stems, seeds, roots
Habitat: Angelica grows in Asia, Europe and the eastern U.S.
Angelica has traditionally been used for menopausal troubles, flatulence, appetite loss, digestive problems, respiratory ailments and arthritis. Like it’s Chinese counterpart Angelica sinensis (dong quai), this herb is used by many women for the reproductive system. It is believed to be a hormonal regulator and uterine tonic. Angelica tea is often used to treat PMS as well.
CAUTION: Angelica is not recommended during pregnancy.
Scientific Name: Pimpinella anisum
Common Names: Anise
Part Used: Seeds
Habitat: Anise is native to Egypt
Anise tea is made from the plant’s seeds. Is has a strong licorice taste. Anise is consumed to improve digestion, prevent flatulence, reduce bad breath and to treat coughs.
Scientific Name: Arnica montana
Common Names: Leopard’s bane, mountain daisy, mountain arnica
Part Used: Flowers
Habitat: Arnica is native to central Asia, Siberia and Europe. Cultivated in North America.
Arnica is used externally as an ointment for sore muscles, sprains and bruises. It possesses anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-septic properties.
CAUTION: Arnica should never be taken internally. Not recommended for long term use as it may cause skin irritation.
Scientific Name: Withania Somnifera
Common Names: Winter cherry, indian ginseng, ajagandha
Part Used: Roots, leaves, seeds
Habitat: Ashwagandha grows in India, Africa and widely cultivated around the world
Ashwagandha is sometimes called “Indian ginseng” as it has many similar health properties. This herb is very popular in the Ayurvedic system of health in India. It is considered an adaptogen. It is commonly used to relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. It has the ability to strengthen the body and increase endurance. This herb has been used in India for over 3,000 years as a rejuvenator. The seeds of this plant are thought to have a diuretic effect, while the leaves possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative properties. The chemical components of the root have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune strengthening and sedative properties. This is a great herb for athletes and active people that need to increase their energy, strength and stamina.
CAUTION: Ashwagandha is high iron content and should NEVER be taken by women during pregnancy. This herb may also have a mild depressant effect and should not be taken with sedatives or alcohol.
See our Ashwagandha page for more in-depth information and pictures.
Scientific Name: Astragalus membranaceus
Common Names: Huang qi, yellow leader, milk vetch
Part Used: Roots, rhizomes
Habitat: Astragalus is native to Mongolia and China. Cultivated in the U.S. and Canada
Astragalus is one of the most popular herbs in the traditional Chinese medicine system. It has been in use for over 2000 years. This herb is most often used as a diuretic and for lowering high blood pressure. Many people use it to treat upper respiratory infections as well as the common cold, as it seems to increase the production of white blood cells. Traditionally, this astragalus has also been used to increase energy, strengthen the immune system, treat excessive sweating, ulcers and diarrhea.
See our Astragalus page for more in-depth information and pictures.