Herbs Medicinal. A guide for healing properties S to Z

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This is part of an A to Z guide to the normally available herbs that are used in alternate healing.

All information provided on this Guide is for educational purposes only. Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.

See our other guides for the rest of this herb guide.

Although these herbs are safe for most people, we advise that you
consult with your holistic health practitioner. Some can
interact with other medications; others are ill-advised with
certain allergic conditions. Before putting anything in your body,
understand what is right for you based on your health history.

Listen to your body's wisdom.


Sage leaf

Salvia officinalis Family: Labiatae
Parts used: Leaves

antispasmodic, astringent, antihydrotic (stops perspiration) may help for night sweat. It may also reduce the flow of milk. Sage may reduce fever, may reduce excessive discharge. Sage may help the nervous system by reducing anxiety, trembling, depression. As a gargle the tea can help reduce sore throat, alleviate tonsilitis, alleviate pharyngitis and laryngitis. Sage astringent properties may alleviate diarrhea, gastritis and enteritis. Sage may reduce the itching in Herpes simplex, psoriasis and eczema. Strong infusion of sage can be applied topically reduce gray hair and stimulate hair growth.

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1 teaspoon of herb for one cup of boiling water, leave it for 30 minutes, take one cup a day, a teaspoonful at a time.


Sarsaparilla Root  

Smilax officinalis (ornata) Family: smilacaceae
Parts used: Root and rhizome

Alterative, anti-rheumatic, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, tonic. Sarsaparilla may help the treatmentof skin condition like eczema, psoriasis. Sarsaparilla may reduce the symptom of gout. Sarsaparilla is said to be aphrodisiac for men and women. It may increase the production of testosterone in both sexes , may help restoring erection  and libido.

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1-2 teaspoon of the herb to one cup of boing water, leave to infuse 10 minutes, should be drunk 3 times per day.


Saw Palmetto berries

Serenoa serrulata Family: Palmae
Parts used: Berries
Other names: Dwarf palm, cabbage palm.

Diuretic, urinary antiseptic, endocrine agent, expectorant, tonic. Saw palmetto is given to male, it may strengthen the male reproductive system. It may help in the treatment of prostate enlargement in combination with other herbs, it may reduce the frequent urination . For female, it may ease condition linked to menopausal symptoms like hirsutism by reducing hair growth.

Preparation and dosage:
Decoction:  put 1/1 teaspoon of the powder root in a cup of water, bring to boil , simmer gently for 5 minutes. Should be drunk 3 times daily.


Schisandra berries  

Schisandra sinensis Family: schisandraceae
parts used: berries
Other names:  Gomishi, Magnolia vine, Wu-wei-zi.

Adaptogen (increase the body's resistance to disease) , Liver stimulating. Schisandra may improve blood circulation, may reduce inflammation, may help in the treatment of liver disease like hepatitis, cyrrhosis, it may increase the flow of bile and may help to release gallstones or blockages of the bile duct. Schisandra may improve the nervous system and assist in aged related condition.May help to improve memory, concentration, coordination,learning, and vertigo.May assist to relieve stress and help in case of insomnia.

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1 teaspoon of berries for one cup of boiling water, let it soak for 30 minutes and drink it 3 times per day.


Senna leaves   

Senna alexandrina , Cassia augustifolia r cassia senna. Family: Leguminosae
Parts used: Leaves or pods

Properties: Senna is traditionally used to treat constipation.


Shativari / Asparagus Root

Asparagus racemosa Family:Asparagaceae
Part used: Roots
Other names:Sanskrit -- Shatavari
Hindi -- Shatavari
English -- Indian Asparagus, Hundred Roots , Asparagus roots
Chinese - Tian men dong Properties:

    * Nutritive tonic, rejuvenative,
    * aphrodisiac,
    * galactogogue
    * laxative
    * antispasmodic,
    * Antacid
    * diuretic
    * antitumor
    * demulcent

Shatavari is perhaps best known as a female rejuvanitive. It is useful for infertility, decreased libido, threatened miscarriage, menopause, leucorrhea and has the ability to balance pH in the cervical area. Dry membranes, such as those on the vaginal wall, are also brought into balance through the herbs demulcent action.
Men may benefit from the herb as well in the treatment of impotence and general sexual debility. In addition to it's applications for reproductive organs, Shatavari is also quite effective for stomach ulcers, hyperacidity and diarrhea. Dry and irritated membranes in the upper respiratory tract are soothed by this herb making it useful in cases of bronchitis and chronic fevers. It is believed to bring into balance all of the body's fluids.

The most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine for women

Used internally for infertility, loss of libido, threatened miscarriage, menopausal problems. It both nourishes and cleanses the blood and the female reproductive organs. It is a good food for menopause or for those who have had hysterectomies, as it supplies many female hormones. It nourishes the ovum and increases fertility. This herb is known to increase Sattva, or positivity and healing power. It also enhances the feelings of spiritual love, and increases Ojas.

The male reproductive system will also benefit from Shatavari. It may be used in cases of sexual debility, impotence, spermatorrhea, and inflammation of sexual organs.

Useful for hyperacidity, stomach ulcers, dysentery, and bronchial infections.

Contraindications (Cautions): massive fibrocystic breasts, estrogen induced problems, estrogen induced fibrocystic changes or other problems

Sheep 'Sorrel Herb

Rumex acetocella Family: Polygonaceae
Part used: Aerial parts

Sheep Sorrel is the active Herb that is responsible for the majority of the health benefits of the herbal mixture - Essiac


Sheep's sorrel is a detoxifying herb, it has a strong diuretic effect, it is mildly laxative.

Caution: Do not take if suffering with kidney stones.


Siberian Ginseng Root

Eleutherococcus senticosus or Acanthopanax senticosus Family: Arialaceae
Parts used: Roots
Origin: China
Other names: Ciwujia;  Devil's Bush;  Eleuthero;  Eleutherococc;  Touch-me not;  Ussurian Thorny Pepper Bush;  Wujiaseng

Siberian Ginseng is not related to the true Ginseng, but its qualities are similar to the true ginsengs.

Siberian Ginseng Compared with Korean (Asiatic) Ginseng

The following advantages have been cited for Siberian Ginseng in comparison with Korean (Asiatic) Ginseng:

- Unlike Korean Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng rarely causes over-excitation.
- Siberian Ginseng exerts more generalized effects on the Immune System compared with Korean Ginseng.
- Siberian Ginseng exerts greater Stamina-increasing effects compared with Korean Ginseng.
- Siberian Ginseng is generally less expensive and safer compared with Korean Ginseng.

What Is It?

Famed as an energy tonic in China since ancient times, Siberian ginseng only gained recognition in the West in the 1950s, when a Russian scientist (I. I. Brekhman) reported its notable stress-repelling powers. Healthy men and women taking the herb were found to better endure physical strain, resist disease, and perform tests of mental sharpness.

Today, Westerners are perhaps most familiar with the plant's botanical cousin Panax ginseng, but Siberian ginseng's apparent ability to fight fatigue and alleviate myriad ailments has earned it an enthusiastic following. Many people use it the way traditional Chinese healers do--to reinforce the body's vital energy (what the Chinese call qi). Others take it to enhance memory and ward off colds and flu. In Russia, millions of people use the herb as a general tonic.

Also known as eleuthero, supplements of the herb are made from the dried root of Eleutherococcus senticosus, a plant indigenous to China, Japan, Korea, and Siberia.

Health Benefits

Siberian ginseng contains remarkable compounds that favorably affect the adrenal glands, the small glands that rest atop the kidneys and secrete stress-fighting hormones. Taking the herb is believed to boost the body's capacity to handle physical stresses ranging from heat exposure to extreme exertion. Resistance to disease increases as well. So does one's overall energy level.

Specifically, Siberian ginseng may help to:

# Prevent stress-related illnesses. Several studies have shown that Siberian ginseng can increase a person's resistance to physical stresses. In a series of landmark Russian studies in the 1960s, 2,100 healthy adults (19 to 72 years old) given Siberian ginseng were shown to better handle stressful conditions. Specifically, they experienced an increased ability to perform physical labor, withstand motion sickness, and work with speed and precision despite being surrounded by noise. They could also proofread documents more accurately and more readily adapt to such physical stresses such as heat, high altitudes, and low-oxygen environments. Other research indicates that taking Siberian ginseng can heighten mental alertness and improve concentration.

# Relieve chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Because Siberian ginseng bolsters the adrenal glands, it's worth trying to relieve the exhaustion and muscle pain associated with these energy-depleting conditions.

# Combat fatigue and restore energy. Siberian ginseng is popular for invigorating and fortifying the body. It appears to boost energy levels in people with constant exhaustion. Those recovering from an illness or weary from a heavy work schedule may also benefit from its energy-boosting and immune-enhancing powers. For otherwise healthy individuals--even athletes--the story is a little different, however.

In one study, 20 highly trained distance runners given Siberian ginseng failed to outperform similarly conditioned runners given a placebo when both groups raced against each other on treadmills. Not only did the Siberian ginseng-taking runners run no faster, they didn't run for longer either.

# Increase male and female fertility and reduce male impotence. By supporting healthy uterine function, Siberian ginseng may be useful in preventing female infertility. Males may experience an increased sperm count (rotate it with Panax ginseng for this purpose). Animal studies indicate that the herb can even boost testosterone levels and thus help reverse certain cases of male impotence.

# Relieve menstrual disorders and menopausal symptoms. Siberian ginseng may positively affect hormone levels and tone the large uterine muscle. These properties make it potentially valuable for easing certain menstrual difficulties and menopausal symptoms.

# Treat Alzheimer's disease. Siberian ginseng may increase mental alertness, particularly in the early stages of this progressive disorder. The herb's ability to boost the transmission of nerve impulses may also enhance memory.

# Increase resistance to colds and flu. Historically, the Chinese have found Siberian ginseng to be effective in suppressing colds and flu. The herb's immune-enhancing powers may play a role. Interestingly, a Russian study of 13,000 auto workers who took Siberian ginseng one winter showed that participants developed 40% fewer respiratory tract infections than they had in previous winters.

Siberian Ginseng Contains these Substances (mg of substance per 100 grams of Siberian Ginseng)

Siberian Ginseng is distinguished from "true" Ginsengs in that it does not contain Ginsenosides but does contain other substances unique to Siberian Ginseng - Eleutherosides.

Carbohydrates: Polysaccharides:  AS II
Glycosides: Eleutherosides: 600 - 900 Eleutheroside A
Eleutheroside B  # 500
Eleutheroside B1
Eleutheroside B2
Eleutheroside B3
Eleutheroside B4
Eleutheroside C
Eleutheroside D
Eleutheroside E
Eleutheroside E2
Eleutheroside F
Eleutheroside I  *
Eleutheroside K  *
Eleutheroside L  *
Eleutheroside M  *
Lignans: Eleutheroside D  Eleutheroside E
Nucleic Compounds: Thymidine  
Organic Acids: Chlorogenic Acid  
Polyphenols: Coumarins:  Isofraxidin
* These Eleutherosides are found only in Siberian Ginseng leaves.
# These Eleutherosides are found only in Siberian Ginseng stems.

Slippery Elm Bark Powder  

Ulmus rubra Family:Ulmaceae 
Parts used: Bark
Origin: USA

Slippery Elm Bark is well known for its demulcent qualities, it may south irritated mucous membranes by coating it with a jelly like substance called mucilage.Astringent compounds in the herb called tannins help tighten and constrict the tissue.
For the same reasons, salves and ointments containing slippery elm have long been popular for coating well-cleaned minor wounds and burns to protect them from further injury.

Specifically, slippery elm may help to:
Soothe a cough, sore throat, and bronchitis. Warm slippery elm bark tea may work for cough and sore throat , as does a liquid extract. And for the pain of acute bronchitis, there may be no more soothing balm than several cups of slippery elm tea to lubricate and protect raw and irritated airways.

Ease gastrointestinal symptoms of conditions such as Crohn's disease. Slippery elm's soothing mucilage  effect may also be used for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It is part of the herbal combination called "Robert's Formula," which is widely prized by naturopathic physicians for such intestinal inflammations as gastritis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. Even the discomforts of heartburn or an ulcer may respond to this old-time home remedy.

Preparation and dosage:
For bronchitis:

Acute: Drink two or three cups of slippery elm tea a day. To prepare the tea, add 1 tablespoon of dried herb or 1 tablespoon of liquid extract to a cup (8 ounces) of hot (not boiling) water.

Chronic: Use the doses above during flare-ups; otherwise drink the tea as desired.

For cough:

Drink three cups of slippery elm tea a day. Alternatively, drink one cup of a slippery elm-containing herbal cough tea up to three times a day, as needed. Or suck on a slippery elm lozenge every two or three hours, as needed.

For sore throat:

As a tea, use 1 tablespoon of dried herb for each 1cup of hot (not boiling) water. Drink up to three cups daily.

Cautions: Slippery elm is considered a safe herb when taken at commonly recommended dosages. However, because of unknown health risks associated with using the whole bark, make sure to buy products that only contain the inner bark.


 Soapwort Root

Saponaria officinalis Family: Caryophyllaceae
Parts used: Rhizome or roots
Other names: Soaproot. Bouncing Bet. Latherwort. Fuller's Herb. Bruisewort. Crow Soap. Sweet Betty. Wild Sweet William.

Expectorant, laxative, cholagogue,mild diuretic. A decoction of soapwort is mainly used as an expectorant for respiratory catarrh. It may help to relieve gout. It can be used externally as a wash for dermatitis, itchiness, furuncles and tumours.

Preparation and dosage:
Decoction: 1 to 2 tablespoon of the root in 1 1/2 cup of water, simmer gently for 10 minutes, take 1 tablespoon at a time.


Spearmint Leaf

Mentha spicata Family:Labiaceae 
Other names: Garden Mint;  Lamb’s Mint;  Mint;  Our Lady’s Mint;  Sage of Bethlehem;  Spire Mint.

Apperient, anti-nausea. May be used to alleviates nausea related to morning sickness or travel sickness, may be used to improve digestion and relieve flatulence.

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1-2 teaspoon for a cup of boiling water, leave it to infuse 5 minutes, should be drunk three times daily.



Veronica officinalis Family:Scrophulariaceae 
Parts used: Aerial parts
Origin: Hungary
Other names: Fluellin, Groundhele, gypsy weed, Low speedwell, Paul's betony, Veronica.

Diuretic, expectorant, stomachic, tonic. It was used in traditional medicine as a "heal all"plant, now it is used for its expectorant qualities and to treat catarrh. Speedwell may alleviate chronic skin condition, may help to support the nervous system in case of nervous exhaustion due to stress. Speedwell is considered to have a mild medicinal effect.

Preparations and dosage:
Infusion: 2 teaspoon of the herb for a cup of water. Should be drunk once a day 1 a tablespoon at a time.


Star Anise

Illicium anisatum or verum Family: illiliaceae
Parts used: fruits or seeds Origin: Vietnam
Other names: Ba Jiao Hui Xian, Anisestar, Badiane.

Carminative, stimulant, stomachic, may help promote digestion and appetite, may relieve flatulence.

Preparations and dosage:
Infusion: 1 tsp of seeds in one cup of water, should drunk 1-2 cups per day.

Caution: Never used Japanese Star Anise as it is poisonous.

Star anise contains these substances:

Volatile oils: 85% anethole, Methyl chavicol, saffrole.


Stevia leaves Powder green

Stevia rebaudiana Family: Asteraceae
Parts used: Dried leaves
Origin:  india
Other names: Seet leaf of Paraguay

Stevia may lower blood pressure in Hypertension patient. Stevia may lower blood sugar levels by 35 %, it may lower diabetes mellitus Type 2. 1/2 cup of stevia taken prior to meal may alleviates appetite. It may reduce the craving for alcohol and tobacco.(anecdotal reports)

Preparation and dosage:
Stevia is often used as a (safe) Artificial Sweetener (due to Stevioside and/orStevisoid, natural sweetening agents that are 300 times as sweet as Sucrose). 
Whole Stevia leaves are approximately 30 times as sweet as Sucrose.  The human body obtains no calories from Stevia’s active sweet ingredient Stevioside as the human body is not capable of metabolizing this Glycoside.


Saint John's Wort Herb

Hypericum perforatum Family:Hypericaceae  Parts used: Aerial parts Origin:France Other names: St Johnwort, Amber, Goat weed, Klamath weed, Tipton weed, herb de la st Jean.

Antispasmodic, Astringent,anti-bacterial, antitoumoral, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, anti-viral, expectorant, nervine, vulnerary.
St John's wort is the most valuable herb to help many conditions of the nervous sytem: may reduce aggressivness, may alleviate anxiety, may reduce apathy, may alleviate depression, may alleviate insomnia, may improve learning ability, may improve memory, may reduce the effect of stress, may alleviate the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome.
St John's wort may help to prevent some types of Cancer due to Hypericin content. May inhibit some form of detrimental bacteria due to Hyperferin content. May reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in fibromyalgia, great anti-oxidant properties. May help to relieve uterine cramps and menstrual difficulties. May alleviates the symptoms of cold and flu.


Saint Marys Thistle Seed

Sylibum marianum Family: Asteraceae
Parts used: Seeds
Origin: Australia
Other names: Marian Thistle, Milk thistle, St Mary Thistle, Holy Thistle, Chardon Cardum.

Cholagogue, galactagogue, demulcent, liver tonic, bitter tonic, anti-oxidant, immune stimulant, liver restorative. May help prevent atherosclerosis due to Silymarin content, may  protect red blood cells membranes against lipid peroxidation (oxidation). May help the bile flow, may prevent gallstones formation, may increase HDL (ggod cholesterol) and may protect the liver against toxicity, may improve liver function in patient suffering from Hepatitis. May improve kidneys function.

Preparation and dosage:
Use the seeds on a pepper grinder, sprinkle on your food. Crush the seeds into powder and use 1 tsp with water, 4-5 times daily. Infusion: 1 tsp of seeds in 1/2 cup of water. take 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day, sip a mouthfull at a time.


Drosera rotundifolia Family:Droseraceae 

Parts used: entire plants

Origin: France

Antispasmodic, antibacterial, demulcent, expectorant. Sundew is an insectivorous plant! It may help in respiratory condition such as bronchitis, chest congestion, cough, asthma, and whooping cough. Its antibacterial properties (plumbagin) help relive infections in the respiratory tract like pneumococcus. May alleviate stomach ulcers.

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1 Teaspoon of the dried herb for one cup of boiling water, leave to infuse for 10 minutes, should be drunk 3 times daily.

Caution: Only take small quantities.


Tansy Herb

Tanacetum vulgaris Family: Compositeae
Parts used: Aerial parts
Other names: Bitter button, hindheal, parsley fern.


Vermifuge, anthelmintic, digestive, bitter, carminative, emmenagogue. Tansy is mainly used a a worming herb, may be effective against roundworms, threadworms and may be used in children as an enema and externally to kill scabies. The bitter principle may ease digestion, may ease dyspepsia. Tansy may be used to stimulate menstruation

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1 tsp of herb per cup of boiling water, leave to infuse 10minutes, should be drunk 2 times a day.


Tea-Tree lemon scented

Leptospernum citratum Family:
Parts used: Leaves


Tilia/Linden flowers

Tillia spp.syn Tillia cordifolia Family: Tiliaceae
Parts used:  Flowers
Other names:  Lime flower, Tilleul, Tillia, Linden, basswood.

antispasmodic, diaphoretic, sedative, sleep inducing. It relieves tension and headaches, lime is highly relaxant, calming and it is used to treat nervous tension and palpitations. In Europe it is wisely used to treat colds and flu by reducing nasal catarrh and soothing fever. The calming effect act upon lowering systolic blood pressure(high) .

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: for a cup of boiling water add 1-2 teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Should be drunk 2 times daily.

Externally: Calm skin irritation.


Wormwood chinese/ Sweet Annie

Artemisia annua Family: Compositeae
Other names: Chinese wormwood, sweet Annie,


Bitter, tonic, carminative, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory
 Wormwood may alleviate (reflux) Esophagitis.
 Wormwood may facilitate the elimination of Intestinal Parasites: references
 Wormwood may facilitate the elimination of Roundworms.
 Wormwood may facilitate the elimination of Threadworms.
 Wormwood may be an effective treatment against Malaria (due to the Artemisinin content of Wormwood).

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: 1-2 teaspoon of the dried herb into a cup a boiling water, leave to infuse 10-15 minutes, should be drunk 3 times daily.

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