Herbs Medicinal a guide for healing properties O to R

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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.

 

Oat green

Avena_fatua

Avena sativa Family: Graminae

Parts used: Whole plant

Actions:

·        Nervine tonic

·        Anti-depressant

·        Nutritive

·        Demulcent

Properties:  One of the best nerve tonic herb. Traditionally the tea of green straw is used for chest problem. Oat is rich in silica, which is excellent for any skin condition.

Preparation and dosage:
Decoction: Put 1/2 cup of the straw in 3 and ½ cup of water, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 45 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

Bath: soothing bath for neuralgia, or skin condition: 500 grs boiled in 2 liters of water for 30 minutes, strain the liquid and pour in the bath.

 

Olive leaf

Olea europaea Family: Oleaceae 
Parts used: Leaves

Actions:

·        Antiseptic

·        Cholagogue

·        Astringent

·        Tranquilizer

·        Mild diuretic

·        Febrifuge

·        Laxative

Properties:
One of the most amazing remedy, it is a sort of Panacea herb. Helpful for nervous tension, may improve the function of the circulatory system, help lowering blood pressure. Olive has shown some abilities of lowering blood sugar levels in diabetic. May help to alleviate flu and cold like symptoms. May improve allergies. May inhibit certain type of bacteria and detrimental organisms, may lessen Candida albican infection, may reduce the symptoms of Lyme disease, may help to treat Malaria, may inhibit or suppress many different viruses. Olive leaves have high antioxidant properties.

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

 

Orange Peel sweet

Citrus sinensis.  Family: Rutaceae
Parts used: Peel of the skin
Other names: Zhi shi

Actions/ Indications:

    * Anticancer
    * Anti-dyspepsia
    * Stomachic

 

Passion flower

Passion flower incarnata
Family: passifloraceae

Other names: Ma pops, passion vines, purple passion flower.

Actions:

    * Antispasmodic
    * Diaphoretic
    * Sedative
    * Hypnotic
    * Anodyne

Properties:
Passion flower may used for nervous conditions. May be sleep inducing, useful for insomnia, irritability, panic. It is non-addictive tranquilizer comparable to valerian. Passion flower may help to induce sleep without the side effect the next morning like with pills.May be used to nervous condition like Parkinson’s disease, seizures and hysteria. It might help relieve pain like sciatica, neuralgia and in case of shingle infection.

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 2 times daily.


Pau d'arco Bark or Lapacho  

Pau d'arco

Tabebuia avellanadae Family: Bignoniaceae
Parts used: Bark
Other names:  Lapacho in spanish

Actions:

·         Antibiotic

·         Antifungal

·         Immunostimulant

·         Anti-inflammatory

·         Cleansing

·         Tonic

·         Anti-tumoral

Properties:
Antibiotic, antifungal, immune stimulant, Anti-inflammatory, cleansing, Tonic, anti-tumoral.It is called the "cure all herb" by South American indigenous populations. It is used to treat conditions like: wounds, fever, dysentery, intestinal inflammation and parasital infestation, certain type of cancer and snake bites. In Brazil, extensive research is done on its anti-cancer properties.

Qualities: Bitter, cold

Preparation and dosage:
Decoction: Put 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.

 

Peppermint leaf

Mentha piperita
Family: Labiatae
Parts used: Aerial parts

Actions:

·        Carminative

·        Anti-spasmodic

·        Diaphoretic

·        Cholagogue

·        Antiseptic

·        Anti-emetic

·        Nervine

·        Analgesic

Properties:
One of the best carminative plants, help digestive problems like intestinal colic, flatulent dyspepsia. It can be taken during pregnancy to relieve nausea and travel sickness. Peppermint is one of the most valuable herbs for the treatment of colds and flue, helping with catarrh (runny nose) and fever. Peppermint may play a role in the treatment of crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Peppermint may help the dissolution of gallstones. May relieve the pain in painful menses (dysmenorrhea).

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 as often as desire.

 

Poke root  

Phytolacca americana
Family: Phytolaccaceae
Parts used: Roots
Other names:  Coakum, Ink berry, pigeon berry,red weed, Ink weed, pokeweed.

Actions:

·        Anti-rheumatic

·        Stimulant

·        Anti-catarrhal

·        Purgative

·        Emetic

Properties:
Pokeroot may be used to ease the symptoms of infections from the respiratory tract, removing catarrh, phlegm, in case of laryngitis, swollen glands (adenitis), mumps, sore throat... Valuable herb for treating gland inflammation like mastitis ( as a poultice) It has been used as an help for rheumatic condition. Externally it gets rid off scabies and other pests.

Preparation and dosage:
Decoction: Put 1/4 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.

 

 Poppy, Californian   

Eschscholzia californica
Family: Papaveraceae
Parts used: Aerial parts

 

Prickly Ash Bark

Zanthoxyllum clava-herculis
Family: Rutaceae
Parts used: Bark
Other names: The toothache tree.

Actions:

·        Warming

·        Circulatory stimulant

·        Tonic

·        Alterative

·        Antirheumatic

·        Carminative

·        Diaphoretic

·        Metabolic stimulant

·        Sialogogue.

Properties:
Prickly ash may relieve cramps in the legs, varicose legs, and varicose ulcers, impaired peripheral circulation. Prickly ash has a stimulating effect on the lymphatic system. It is given as a main relief for arthritis condition as it stimulates the blood flow to painful and stiff joints and also for Raynaud’s syndrome. It can be used externally as a liniment for arthritis.

Qualities: Dry, warm

Preparation and Dosage:
Infusion: pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoon of the bark and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.


Psyllium Husks

Plantago Psyllium
Family: Plantaginaceae
Parts used: Husks
Other names: Colon Broom;  Psyllium Gum; Ispaghula, Flea seed, Psyllium Husk Fiber.

Properties: 
Demulcent, laxative, antidiarrhoeal, rich in fiber, it regulates bowel function, it helps restore a normal function of the gastro intestinal tract.
Excellent supplement for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrheoa, haemorroids.
When psyllium is soaked in water, its jelly like substance (mucilage) has the ability to transport toxin and expell them with the faeces.

 Prickly ash may relieve cramps in the legs, varicose legs, and varicose ulcers, impaired peripheral circulation. Prickly ash has a stimulating effect on the lymphatic system. 

Actions:

·        Warming

·        Circulatory stimulant

·        Tonic

·        Alterative

·        Antirheumatic

·        Carminative

·        Diaphoretic

·        Metabolic stimulant

·        Sialogogue.

Qualities: Dry, warm

Preparation and Dosage:
Infusion: pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoon of the bark and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3 times daily.

 

Psyllium Seeds

Plantago Psyllium
Family: Plantaginaceae
Parts used: Husks
Other names: Colon Broom;  Psyllium Gum; Ispaghula, Flea seed, Psyllium Husk Fiber.

Properties: 
Demulcent, laxative, antidiarrhoeal, rich in fiber, it regulates bowel function, it helps restore a normal function of the gastro intestinal tract.
Excellent supplement for people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrheoa, haemorroids. When psyllium is soaked in water, its jelly like substance (mucilage) has the ability to transport toxin and expell them with the faeces.

 

Pulsatilla or pasque flower   

Pulsatilla vulagaris.
Family: Ranunculacea
Parts used: Dried aerial parts
Other names: Pasque flower, renoncules, meadow anemone, wild crocus, wind flower.

Properties:
Diaphoretic, rubefacient, diuretic, considered a valuable remedy for cramping pain and spasmodic pain of the reproductive system, menstrual problems, mainly used in homeopathy form.

Caution:  Never used the fresh plant as it is toxic. Take only under professional supervision. Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding.

 

Raspberry Leaves

Raspberry leaves and fruits


Rubus Idaeus
Family: Rosaceae
Parts used: Leaves

Properties:

Astringent, antiemetic, laxative, refrigerant, parturient. Raspberry leaves is traditionally used during pregnancy to strenghten and tone the uterus, assisting contractions during labor. It is a useful to help the treatment of diarrhoea, good to refresh in case of fever as a tea. Can be used externally as a gargle for sore throat or a mouth wash.

Raspberry Leaf may alleviate Dysmenorrhea (painful Menstruation). 
 Raspberry Leaf may facilitate Lactation (by enriching the Colostrum in Breast Milk).
 Raspberry Leaf may facilitate many aspects of Menstruation (it may decrease Menstrual flow without stopping it abruptly).

Raspberry Leaf may help to prevent Miscarriages in women during Pregnancy.
 Raspberry Leaf may alleviate the Nausea associated with Morning Sickness.
 Raspberry Leaf may strengthen the Uterus.

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.

 

Red clover Flowers

Trifolium pratense
Family: Papilionaceae (leguminosae)
Parts used: Flower heads
Other names: Cowgrass;  Purple Clover;  Trefoil;  Wild Clover, trefles.

Actions:  Alterative, expectorant, anti-spamodic.

Properties:  One of the most useful herb for helping children who suffer from skin condition such as psoriasis.

Red Clover may help to prevent the increased rigidity (decreased elasticity) of womens’ Blood Vessels (including Arteries) that occurs as a result of declining Estrogens production during and after Female Menopause (due to the Isoflavonoids content of Red Clover).  references

Red Clover may help to prevent Hypertension in post-menopausal women (due to the Isoflavonoids content of Red Clover helping to maintain the elasticity of Blood Vessels in post-menopausal women (due to the Isoflavonoids content of Red Clover helping to maintain the elasticity of Blood Vessels in post-

menopausal women).

Red Clover has been claimed to alleviate the symptoms of Colitis

Immune System

-           Red Clover may help to prevent Breast Cancer.

-           Red Clover may help to prevent Ovarian Cancer.

-           Red Clover may help to prevent Prostate Cancer and may stimulate the apoptosis (death by asphyxia) of Prostate Cancer cells (due to the Isoflavonoids content of Red Clover).

Red Clover (tea) reputedly enhances the function of the Spleen

Red Clover reputedly alleviates Coughs.  [more info]

Red Clover helps to prevent the increased rigidity (decreased elasticity) of womens’ Blood Vessels (including Arteries) that occurs as a result of declining Estrogens production during and after Female Menopause (due to the Isoflavonoids content of Red Clover).

Red Clover (tea) has been claimed to alleviate Eczema 

Red Clover (tea applied topically) has been claimed to alleviate the Itching associated with Hives.

Red Clover reputedly reduces the discomfort associated with Psoriasis.

Red Clover (flowers applied topically) reputedly alleviates Tinea (Ringworm).


Reishi Mushroom

mushroom on tree

Ganoderma lucidum Family:Basidiomycetes
Parts used: all
Other names:Ganoderma;  Lingzhi;  Ling chih;  Ling zhe;  Ling-zhi;  Mannentakel;  Varnished Conk
Properties:
Reishi is called: "Phantom mushroom"in Japan as it is hard to find. It is regarded as an ëlixir of life" in Chinese medicine.
Reishi is an adaptogen, immune-stimulant. It is used to help the treatment of allergies, asthma, cirrhosis, high blood pressure. Reishi may help the uterus lining from making fibroids tissues.
Reishi may help alleviate stress and decrease physical pain in case of neuralgia.

 

Rehmania root (processed)  

Rehmania glutinosa Family: Scrophulariaceae
Parts used: Roots

Rehmania may help lower blood pressure in patient with hypertension. Rehmania may stimulate the production of red blood cell in the bone marrow. It is used in chinese medicine to improve kidney function.
It may lower elevated blood sugar in diabetic patient.

 

Rhubarb root Powder


Rheum Palmetum (turkish) Family: Polygonaceae
Parts used: Rhizome
Properties:
Bitter, stomachic, mild purgative, astringent. May help in the relieve of constipation. May halp a strong cleansing effect on the guts.

Preparation and dosage:
Decoction: put 1/2 teaspoon of the powder root in a cup of boiling water let in soak for 10 minutes, should be drunk morning and evening.

 

Rooibos

Aspalathus linearis Family:Fabaceae (legume)
Parts used: aerial parts

Rooibos contains at least 37 natural anti-oxidant and anti-allergy agents.
It is used a s a milk replacement for children suffering from severe colic in Africa.
Rooibos may help to induce sleep and reduce stress, may be beneficial for patient suffering from restless syndrome and insomnia.

 

Rosehips Whole fruit

Rosa canina Family: Rosaceae
Parts used: Whole fruit Origin:
Other names: Dog rose,

Properties: 
Nutritive, mild laxative, mild diuretic, mild astringent. Rosehips provides one of the best source of natural vitamin C. It makes an excellent spring tonic. May help to fight against infections and colds.


Rosehips Fruit crushed shells

Rosa canina Family: Rosaceae
Parts used: fruits crushed shells 
Other names: Dog rose,

Properties:  Nutritive, mild laxative, mild diuretic, mild astringent. Rosehips provides one of the best source of natural vitamin C. It makes an excellent spring tonic. May help to fight against infections and colds.

Dosage and preparation: 
Decoction: 2 1/2 teaspoons of the buds in a cup of water, bring to boil, gently simmer for 10 minutes, drink freely during the day.

 

Rosemary leaves


Rosemarinus officinalis Family: Labiatae
Parts used: Leaves and twigs

Properties: 
Antispasmodic, cholagogue, emmenagogue, stimulant, stomachic, potent antioxidant, antiseptic. It may stimulates liver function, and the production of bile therefore may improve digestion.Rosemary may increse blood pressure and may improve circulation. Rosemary may alleviate Gout. Rosemary stimulates the central nervous system and may help patient who suffer from Alzheimer's disease by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine.Rosemary may relieve the intestinal cramps and spasms. Rosemary is antifungal and diuretic, it may help the clearing of  candidasis.

Caution: Exessive amount of Rosemary taken internally can lead to fatal toxicity.

Preparation and dosage:
Infusion: steep one teaspoon of leaves in 1 cup of water. Take 1 cup in morning.

 

Rue Herb

Ruta graveolens Family: Rutaceae
Parts used: dried aerial parts

Properties:
Anti-spasmodic, emmenagogue, anti-tussive, arbotifacient.Rue may help the digestive system, may ease the griping and bowel tension. May ease the spasmodic cough. It was used to bring menses.

Caution: Do not take if you are pregnant.

dosage and preparation: 
Infusion: 1-2 teaspon for one cup on boiling water, leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Should be drunk 3 times daily.

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