Herbs Medicinal a guide for healing properties. C to D

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

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

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


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.

Calamus root powder  

  Acorus calamus Family: Araceae Parts used: Dried rhizomeOrigin: Other names: sweet flag

Actions:

  Carminative

  Demulcent

  Antispasmodic

  Mucilage.

Indications: Calamus is rich in mucilage, which is demulcent and antispasmodic for the gastrointestinal tract. It has a carminative effect, may be used for dyspepsia of all kinds, in gastritis, gastric ulcers. Calamus may  stimulate a sluggish appetite and may ease flatulence. Calamus (tea) is claimed to reduce the craving for Tobacco

Qualities:

Dosage and preparation: Infusion: add 2 teaspoons of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water, leave to infuse 10-15 minutes. Drink 1 cup ½ hour before meals.
 


Calendula Flowers


 
Calendula officinalis or marigold Family:Asteraceae Parts used: flowers.

other names: Marigold, holigold, Marybud.

Actions:

·        Anti-inflammatory

·        Antiseptic (GIT)

·        Antiseptic topically

·        Antiviral topically

·        Astringent

·        Cholagogue

·        Choleretic

·        Hypolipidaemic

·        Lymphatic

·        vulnerary

Indications: Calendula is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and pain killing for minor injuries. Taken internally the infusion helps inflammatory problems of the digestive system such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, regional ileitis and colitis. It has a long tradition of detoxifying herb, useful for the treatment of skin ailment like acne, eczema, cleansing for gall bladder and liver.

Qualities: cooling, potential dry.

Dosage and preparation:

Infusion: for a cup of boiling water add 1 teaspoonful of the dried flower and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Should be drunk 3 times daily.

 

Cardamon Pods


 
Ellataria cardamomum Family: Zingiberaceae (ginger)

Parts used: seeds

Other name: Malabar seeds

Actions:

Appetizer
Carminative
Stimulant
Stomachic
Sialagogue
Orexigenic (stimulates appetite)
Aromatic.
Properties: Cardamon is a culinary herb, which can be, find in all different part of the world. Cardamon is a valuable herb to treat flatulence may help relieve griping pain, may stimulate the flow of saliva.

Dosage and preparation:

Infusion: 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed seeds into one cup of boiling water, leave to infuse 10-15 minute, drink 3 times per day.

 

Catnip/Catminth


  
Nepeta cataria Family: Labiatea (mint)

Parts used: Leaves and flowering tops

Other names:  Catmint, Catnep, catswort, l'herbe a chats.

Actions:

Antispasmodic
Anodyne
Aromatic
Carminative
Diaphoretic.
 

Properties: Catnip may relive upset stomach, may ease indigestion, may calm spasms, flatulence, and acid. Its powerful diaphoretic properties may be used to treat feverish conditions, cold, and bronchitis. It was traditionally used to treat chronic bronchitis and diarrhea. Catnip has great relaxing activities, good for the nervous system in general.

Dosage and preparation

Infusion: for a cup of boiling water add 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

 

Cats Claw


Uncaria tomentosa Family: rubiaceae (madder)

Parts used: Bark

Origin: Peru ( uña de Gato)

Actions:

Antifungal (topically)
Anti-inflammatory
Antioxidant
Antitumour
Antiviral (topically)
Immuno-stimulant
Anti-microbial
 

Properties: For arthritis: may help to diminish swelling . Bowel disorders: Cat’s claw may rebalance the internal flora. Austrian studies has shown that Cat’s claw help cancer patient to better tolerate their chemotherapy by stimulating the immune system, it may help to lower the chance of recurrence. Cat’s claw may help with the recurrence of Herpes crisis, may help in the treatment of Ross river fever, AIDS, Lyme disease by promoting T. Cell (immunity) production

Qualities: warm

Dosage and preparation: 

Decoction: Put 1 teaspoon of the bark in 1 and ½ cup of water, bring to boil and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily. Add some lemon juice to it, it increases the alkaloid activity.


Caution: People who take Insulin for treatment of Diabetes should not take this herb. Not to be used if pregnant or Breastfeeding.

There are 60 species of this genus but there are two very closely related species in Suriname: uncaria tomentosa (at higher elevations) and - guianensis (at lower elevations). They can be used interchangeably.
The parts harvested (wild harvested) are the bark of the woody stem, roots and the leaves.
Phytochemicals in the plant include: alkaloids, anthraquinones, sterols, triterpenes, glycosides, polyphenols, tannins.
These phytochemicals have been shown to provide natural support against many viruses. The herb can be used to build the immune system since it is an immuno stimulant.
The bark of the stem is most used in the applications.

 

 

Cayenne Pepper powder 

Capsicum annum Family: Solanaceae

Parts used: Fruits

Other names: Spanish pepper, paprika.

Actions:

        Stimulant

        Carminative

        Rubifacient (bring the blood to the surface)

        Sialagogue (promotes salivary secretion)

        Antiseptic (GIT)

        Diaphoretic

        Digestive tonic

        Circulatory stimulant

        Metabolic stimulant.
 

Properties: Cayenne is the most precious of the systemic stimulant. It regulates blood flow, it is a general tonic. Cayenne may be used for treating debility states and for defend against colds. Cayenne may be to warm painful area like lumbago, rheumatic pains.

Qualities: dry 3rd degree, warm 3 rd  degree

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion: ½ teaspoon of cayenne to a cup of boiling water, leave to infuse 10mn, mix 1 tsp of this infusion with a glass of hot water and drink when you need.


Caution: Prolonged application on skin may cause blisters. Do not take internally in excessive amount, it may cause gastroenteritis and kidney damage.
 

 

Celery seed   
 

Apium graveolens Family: Umbelliferae

Parts used: dried ripe fruits 

Actions:

        Anti-inflammatory (Musculo-skeletal)

        Anti-inflammatory (urinary)

        Antirheumatic

        Antiseptic (urinary)

        Carminative

        Diuretic

        Emmenagogue

        Hypoglycaemic

        Sedative

        Appetizer.

Properties: celery seeds is a traditionally herb for treating rheumatism, gout and arthritis. Its properties enhance the body's abilities to eliminate toxic wastes.

Caution. Celery may bring on the onset of menstruation and should be consumed with caution during pregnancy.

A decoction of the seeds may be valuable to treat bronchitis and as a sedative for the nervous system.

Qualities: Cold

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion: Add 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the seeds for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

Chamomile    
 
 

Matricaria recutita Family: asteraceae (composite)

Parts used: flower tops

Other names: German Chamonille, chamomilla(e).

Actions:

        Antispasmodic

        Analgesic

        Anti-allergic

       Antibacterial

        Anticatarrhal ( upper respiratory tract)

        Anti-inflammatory

        Antispasmodic (muscles)

        antiulcerogenic

        Anodyne

        Anti-phlogistic

        Bitter tonic digestive

        Sedative

        Carminative

        Tonic

Indications: Camomile is an excellent herb for the nervous system, insomnia, nervousness, neuralgia, lumbago, rheumatic problems and rashes. May be Used for children without any side effect. May  be used as a  steam bath. Indigestion and gastritis are often ease with Camomile, it relieves flatulence.

Qualities: Dry 1 first degree, hot 1 first  degree.

Dosage and preparation:

Infusion: add 2 teaspoons of the dried flowers to 1 cup of boiling water, leave to infuse 5-10 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

Bath:  250grs in 2 litres boiling water let it soak for 2 hours strain and pour in the bath water. Can be used as a eye wash for eye inflammation or as a mouth wash in case of gingivitis.


 

 

Chaparral


 
Larrea divaricata Family: Zygophyllaceae (guaiac)

Parts used: leaves

Actions:

        Anti-inflammatory (Musculo-skeletal)

        Analgesic

        Immune stimulator

        Antitumour

        Antioxidant

 

Properties: Chaparral may stimulate the respiratory system in the cell (mitochondria), may be useful for the treatment of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis due to its inflammatory effect. Chaparral may kill some form of detrimental bacteria, may protect against cancer preventing carcinogen from inducing cancer cell production.

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion: Add 1/2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

 

Caution: Immune System

Excessive ingestion of Chaparral may be implicated in some forms of Cancer (due to Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid)

Excessive Chaparral has produced lesions in the Lymph Nodes and Kidneys of animals (due to Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid).

 

 

Chaste Tree berries   
 

Vitex agnus castus Family: Verbenaceae (verbena)

Parts used: berries

Actions:

·        Tonic for the reproductive organs

·        Anaphrodesiac (lower sex drive)

·        Carminative

·        Dopaminergic

·        Galactagogue

·        Hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian regulator

·        Ovulatory stimulant

·        Progesterogenic (stimulate progesterone production)

 

Properties: Chaste berry or Vitex normalize the activities of female sex hormones, indicated for:

Dysmenorrhea
Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
Menopausal syndrome (PMT)
Menstrual disorders
Amenorrhea (primary and secondary)
Benign breast disease
Cystic hyperplasia
Post natal depression
Endometriosis
Fibroids
Follicular cyst
Fibroids
Hormonal dysfunction
Infertility
Poor lactation
Latent hyperprolactinaemia (excessive production of prolactin)
Threatened miscarriage
Premenstrual oedema
Ovulatory dysfunctions
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
Prostate cancer.
 

Qualities: cold, dry

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion: Add 1 teaspoonful of the riped berries for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.
 

 

Cinnamon chips  


 

Cinnamomum cassia Family: Lauraceae (laurel)

Parts used: bark

other names: Gui Pi

Actions:  Diaphoretic    Carminative   Astringent   Aromatic     Tonic.

Properties: Cinnamon may relive nausea, and vomiting. Warms the spleen and the stomach in TCM (Chinese), for digestive pain due o cold or poor digestion. May invigorate the blood for period pain.
May be used for the treatment of fibroids and menstrual problems. Some studies show that Cinnamon can stop the growth of liver cancer and melanoma cells. Cinnamon may alleviates fungal infections caused by various different fungi included candidiasis.

Qualities: pungent, sweet, warm energy

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion: Add 1/2 teaspoonful of powder bark for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

 

 

Cleavers (wildcraft) or clivers    
 

Galium Aparine Family: Rubiaceae Parts used:

Dried aerial parts

Other names: Clives, Goosegrass

Actions:   Diuretic   Alterative    Anti-inflammatory  Tonic   Astringent   Anti-neoplastic    Diuretic      Lymphatic

Properties: cleavers is one of the best herbs for stimulating the lymphatic system. Cleavers may be valuable in the treatment of lymphatic (lymphadenopathy) related ailments like for swollen glands (lymphadenitis), tonsillitis, or adenoid dysfunction. Cleavers may alleviate acne, psoriasis, eczema, gout. Cleavers may be useful to treat cystitis or other urinary tract disorders. Traditionally cleavers has been used for the treatment of ulcers and tumours, which may be the result of the lymphatic drainage.

Qualities: pungent, cold

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion: Add 3-3 teaspoonful of the dried herb for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

 

 

Clove

Syzygium aromaticum or Eugenia caryophyllata Family: Myrtaceae

parts used: Dried flowers and oil

Actions:  Anodyne  Antiseptic  Antiemetic    Antimicrobial   antifungal  Analgesic  Stimulant  Carminative    Aromatic.


Properties: Clove is traditionally used to relieve periodontal disease and tooth ache. Decoction  of clove may alleviate sore throat. Clove oil  has the most potency and is used for treatment.

Qualities: pungent, cold

Dosage and preparation: 

Decoction: Add 5 clove buds in  a cup of boiling water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Add some lemon juice and honey. Drink 3 times daily.

 

Coltsfoot      


Tussilago farfarae Family:Asteraceae

Parts used: Dried flowers and leaves

Other names: Assfoot, British tobacco, Coughwort, Tussilago, horsefoot.

Actions: stringent  Anticatarrhal Diuretic Demulcent  Emollient Expectorant.

Properties: Coltsfoot may relieve congestion; it may be useful to treat bronchitis, croup, cough, laryngitis, and pneumonia.

The herb contains mucilage, which coat the throat, relieving irritation.

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion add 1-2 teaspoonful of the dried herb for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.
 

 

Comfrey leaves  

 

Symphytum officinale Family: Boraginaceae (Borage)

Parts used: Root rhizome or leaf.

Other names: Knitbone, Bruisewort.
 
Actions: Vulnerary Demulcent Astringent  Expectorant  Haemostatic Anodyne

Properties: Comfrey leaves is well known since antiquity for wound healing, for treating inflammation caused by injuries and degenerations (rheumatoid arthritis). Comfrey tea with calendula help the relief of gastritis. It can be use to help ease the coughing in case of bronchitis and irritable cough. It may be used externally for external ulcers. Comfrey, also known as “knit bone’ herb, traditionally been used for treating bone recovery from fractures. Better used externally.

Dosage and preparation: 

Infusion add 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb for a cup of boiling water, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes . Drink 3 times daily.

Caution:  Do not use comfrey if you are suffering from liver disease, cancer or if you consume alcohol on a regular base. Do not use on babies or during pregnancy.


Corn silk    

Zea mais Family: Poaceae (haygrass)

Parts used: Sigmas from the female flowers of maize.

Other names: Indian corn, maize silk, zea.

Action:  Diuretic Demulcent  Tonic

Properties: Corn silk is a diuretic, rich in potassium it is a great tea for eliminating water, useful for treating any irritation of the urinary tract and with other herbs for cystitis, urethritis and inflammation of the prostate, combines with Couch grass, bearberry or Yarrow.

Preparation and dosage:

Infusion: add 2 teaspoonful of the dried herb for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes Drink 3 times daily.

 

Damiana Wildcraft    

Turnera diffusa Family: Turneraceae

Parts used: Dried leaves and stems 

Actions: Laxative  Stimulant Tonic

Damiana has been used in Central America by the Mayans has a sexual tonic for male and female. Long term use may improve women hormones. It is used mainly to help with reduced sexual drive, impotence, menopause related problems. Urinary tract infection such as cystitis, it has strong antiseptic action. It may help to ease the symptoms of mild depression by its action on the nervous system.

dosage and preparation:

steep 1tsp of leaves in a cup of water. drink 1-2 cups per day.

Caution:  Damiana can lower blood sugar. Be cautious in case of diabetes 1.

 

Dandelion leaf

Taraxacum officinale Family: Asteraracea (compositeae)

Parts used: leaves,

Actions:   Diuretic  Cholagogue  Anti-rheumatic  Laxative  Tonic.

Properties: Dandelion leaves have the best potassium content therefore it is a powerful diuretic, acting on stimulating the kidneys to eliminate water retention. This herb is a wonderful general tonic.

Preparation and dosage:

Infusion: add 1-2 teaspoonful of the dried herb for a cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

 

Dandelion Root roasted 

Latin name: Taraxacum officinale Family: Asteraceae

Parts used: Root roasted

Actions:   Aperient Cholagogue  Anti-rheumatic  Stomachic  Laxative   Tonic.

Properties: Dandelion promotes the production of the bile in the gall bladder and removes water production in oedemous condition resulting from liver disease. The root is especially valuable for enhancing all sorts of secretions and excretion from the body. By acting to remove toxins and poisons through liver and kidneys, it acts as a tonic and stimulant. Decoction of the root is good for gallstones, jaundice, hepatitis, and other liver conditions.

Preparation and dosage:

Decoction: Put 2-3  teaspoons of the root in 1 and ½ cup of water, bring to boil and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.
 

Devil's Claw powder   

 

Harpagophytum procumbens Family: Pedaliaceae (sesame)

Parts used - Roots

Actions:   Anti-inflammatory  Anodyne  Pain killing

Properties: Devil's claw is efficient in the treatment of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, gout and tendonitis. It has been well research for the relief of back pain. Devil’s claw is recommended for the treatment of liver and gall bladder complains.

Preparation and dosage:

Decoction: Put 1/2-1 teaspoon of the root in 1 and ½ cup of water, bring to boil and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

Do not take for longer than a month.

 

Dong Quai root  

Angelica sinensis Family: Apiaceae (parsley)

Parts used -  Roots

Other names: Chinese angelica, Tang-Kuei, chinese Danggui, Toki.

Actions: anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, vasodilative.

Indications: Dong quai regulates blood pressure in hypertension by dilating the vessels, very similar effect than Angelica polymorpha. Dong quai may help to ease the symptoms of asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, beneficial for the lungs.

Dong quai is a warming herb, improving the circulation to the abdomen and to hands and feet, may strenghten the digestive system and also used in treating skin ailments.

Women health: Dong quai is a chinese herb that has been used for centuries by the women of china and has been integrated into western usages bringing relief to thousand of women throughout the world. Dong quai may allievate amenorrhea (abscence of menses), may be useful in the treatment of female infertility. May relieve the symptoms of Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), may regulate the menstrual cycle, may relieve period pain and cramps.

Preparation and dosage: I

nfusion: 1 tsp with 1 cup of water, infuse for 10 mn, drink 1-2 cups a day.

Caution: Do not take Dong quai while taking  Warfarin, it may potentiate the anticoagulant effects of Warfarin.

 Safety precaution: Symptoms associated with menstrual flow, PMS, and menopause may take up to 3 months to respond to treatment. Changes in menstrual flow and symptoms during this time may occur due to hormonal changes in the body. DO NOT USE during pregnancy without the consent of a qualified medical practitioner.

 


 
 

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