Herbs, Medicinal A-Z Tips

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Does Borage tea calm the nerves?

Ashwaganda - Therapeutic Uses

Ashwaganda is a member of the nightshade family, and
is thought of by some along the same lines as ginseng

Ashwanda is an aid as an anti-inflammatory, a mild
sedative, and even supposed to increase libido.

Use also for an aid in treating Alzheimer's, anemia,
asthma, arthritis, high cholesterol, fever, stress
and ulcers.

Folklore says to use it for backaches, cramps, diarrhea, insomnia, nausea, and swelling.

This plant is usually used as an all purpose tonic,
much like ginseng. Some research has shown that active
properties of ashwanganda give the immune system a
boost, reduce stress, fight off infections.

Please read Dosage/Safe Use Tip!

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Astragalus - What Is It?

Astragalus is a member of the pea family, and is grown in
northeastern China. Also called Huang qi, the roots of
this plant are the medicinal part.

Can I grow Basil from seed?

Basil - Therapeutic Uses

Basil is a member of the mint family of plants. Everyone knows basil is used in cooking, but not many
realize its healthy uses.

Basil can be used to aid in treating acne, bug bites, gas, wounds, dental troubles, and parasitic infections.

Basil contains quite a few antiviral compounds. Some research shows that phytochemicals in basil may even help to fight plaque on your teeth.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Artichoke - Therapeutic Uses

There are some studies that show artichoke can reduce
blood fats. Other studies have shown just the opposite,
however. Experiments with animals have shown certain
artichoke properties help to detoxify the liver and
kidneys, and can stimulate bile secretion from the

Good results when used for indigestion, poor appetite,
and gallbladder troubles.

Also has been used to treat blood clotting, constipation,
gas, high cholesterol/triglicerides, high uric acid,
inflammation, kidney and liver problems, nausea, and
water retention.

Folklore uses include anemia, arthritis, gout, itching,
and even snakebite!

Can an elderly person take herbal medicines?

Bilberry - Therapeutic Uses

Bilberry has great results with many ailments.
The fruit itself is mainly used, although the leaves are sometimes used as well.

Use to treat night blindness, vomiting, intestinal problems, eye problems, macular degeneration, menstrual irregularities, sore throat, hardening of the arteries, glaucoma, gum disease, and even aids in treating bruising, cataracts, high cholesterol, infections, Raynaud's disease, varicose veins, water retention, and other assorted ailments.

Bilberry contains very large-and-in-charge antioxidants. Our eyes and skin (as well as our entire body) contain tiny capillaries, and bilberry keeps these healthy by fighting off free radicals and promoting good circulation. This plant has good effects on night blindness, too.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Birch - What Is It?

Birch is a flowering tree that grows in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. It's quite common, and the small, serrated leaves hold a juice that is used to make beers, wine and vinegars.

How do I use wild pansy?

Using your Pansy wisely

Only use wild pansy or flowers you have grown yourself. For a compress, use 1/2 cup boiling water and 2 tsp. wild pansy flowers. Steep 10 minutes.

Can I easily grow Aloe from seed?

Theraupeutic Uses of Aloe

Having over 2000 years of written history behind it as
an aid for skin problems, aloe is one of nature's
most well-known herbal remedies. However, there are
other uses for this wonderful plant.

Use for abrasions, cuts, scrapes, burns.
Use for arthritis, asthma, bedsores, bronchitis,
bruises, bug bites, dry skin, frostbite, mouth ulcers,
and some folklore says it can be used well to treat
acne, anemia, blindness, coughing, dry eyes, eczema,
hemorrhoids, psoriasis, and sunburn, among other

Gel from freshly snapped leaves soothes pain by dilating capillaries, stimulating the blood flow to wounds and burns. Aloe encourages healing between cell tissues, as well. Some people drink a tonic to aid digestion.

What herbs may interact with the drugs I have to take?

Belladonna - How Not To Use It!

Belladonna was used in ancient Rome as a beauty aid.
Yes, the dilation of the pupils that belladonna causes was thought to be beautiful in ancient Rome.

Good thing we don't live in those times, because belladonna is a plant that can send you into a coma, and even kill you.

I have added belladonna here only because it is used in medicine today and does indeed have therapeutic and interesting uses,
but this plant is NOT to be used at home. Only a qualified physician should be using anything containing

An ophthamologist will use it to dilate your pupils during an examination. It has other therapeutic uses, but because it is such a poisonous plant, it's simply not an herb to use on your own, ever!

Is there something I can make at home to use as a diuretic?

Parsley & Water Retention

Parsley makes an excellent tea for water retention. Just add a few fresh leaves to a cup of boiling water, steep 5 minutes, strain and drink. Do not drink more than one or two cupfuls per day, and do not use this for extended periods of time.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Parsley As A Breath Freshener

Parsley can be used as a breath freshener. Just chew
on a sprig or two. ---and you thought restaurants only put it on your plate for decoration!

Can I take any herbal health remedy?


Borage tea can be calming and cooling to a body
that has overdone it in the garden. Making a tea of
the fresh leaves, adorned with one or two of the
blue, star-shaped flowers, is a sure pick-me-up.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Calendula (pot marigold)

Calendula flowers may be added to teas, but most often
are made into salves for burns, scrapes, and skin

How can I eat rose hips?

Mega Vitamin C

Just 1 Tablespoon of rose-hip pulp contains more than enough Vitamin C to satisfy the RDA for an adult. Don't worry, this vitamin is water soluble and your body will only use what it needs.

Which herbs or flowers make a calming tea?

Chamomile Tea

A cup of tea made from Chamomile flowers soothes the
nervous system and promotes sleep.

How much of this herbal medicine should I take?

Basil - Dosage/Safe Use

** The essential oil in basil is thought to possibly
cause cancer in EXTREMELY large doses. This, again, is the oil, extracted from the plant, so just don't use that if you can find it anyway.

Rub some crushed leaves on a bug bite. Steep a cup of boiling water with 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried basil for 10 - 15 minutes and drink it once or twice a day.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Artichoke - What Is It?

I'm certain most everyone knows what an artichoke is.
But just in case, it's an herbaceous plant that is known
for it's large, edible, thistle-like flowering heads.
That's about it for artichokes. :)

How much of this herbal medicine should I take?

Bearberry - Dosage/Safe Use

** Bearberry contains a high level of tannins, and as such, can cause nausea and vomiting in some people.
Do NOT use Bearberry for more than 2 weeks, period. And please do not use this herb at all if you have kidney disease.

How can I learn more about herbs online?

Bayberry - Therapeutic Uses

The wax from Bayberry is not only used in candlemaking.
Bayberry wax and root are used medicinally to treat diarrhea, fever, sore throat, gingivitis, and infections and inflammation.

Some research has shown bayberry has antibacterial and astringent properties.

Please read Dosage/Safe Use Tip!

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Bayberry - What Is It?

Bayberry grows along the Atlantic coastline and around Lake Erie.
The aromatic leaves have been used for eons to fragrance candles.
The yellow-greenish wax that covers the berries is also used in candlemaking.
Bayberry is also known as candleberry because of this fact.

What do I do with rosehips?

Vitamin C Powerhouse

Add rose hips to any of your herbal tea blends for a great tasting vitamin C kick!

Can an elderly person take herbal medicines?

Bayberry - Dosage/Safe Use

** In large amounts, bayberry can raise blood pressure, cause you to retain fluids and sodium, because it will decrease your body's potassium levels.

**Do NOT use Bayberry if you have:
high blood pressure
water retention
kidney disease
heart failure

Talk to your doctor first.

If you do not have these preconditions, use Bayberry in 1/2 to 2 grams of powdered bayberry 3 times a day in tea form, OR 1 teaspoon of the powdered root bark once a day.

Which herbs or flowers make a calming tea?

Catnip Tea

A tea made of 1 teaspoon dried catnip to 1 cup water
makes a relaxing tea, mild enough that it is suitable
for children.

What is basil tea good for?

Basil Tea

Brew a simple cup of basil tea and it will relieve nausea, fever and gas pain.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Ashwaganda - What Is It?

Ashwaganda is a member of the nightshade family.
Native to India, it is now also grown in the U.S.
Many people consider it to be the Indian equivalent to
ginseng, because of it's use as an "all purpose tonic".
Traditional Ayurvedic physicians prescribed it for
everything from hiccups to female problems. Ashwaganda
is known to work as a mild sedative and as an aid for
arthritis (anti-inflammatory).

Why would I want to grow Yarrow in my herb garden?

Yarrow's Astringent Properties

Yarrow's astringent properties can help stop bleeding
in a cut or scrape. Crush fresh leaves and flowers
and apply as a poultice, or make a tea and use it
as a wash.

How much of this herbal medicine should I take?

Astragalus - Therapeutic Uses

Astragalus is from China, and goes by another name,
"Huang qi". The long, woody roots are the equivalent
of echinacea.

Use to fight colds, as an immune system boost, for autoimmune disorders, angina, CFS, fatigue, flu, sore throat,
infection, and as a general tonic.

The root of this plant is actually an antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory agent, and aids the immune sytem in several ways. It's even showing good results in restoring T-cell function in cancer patients, and inhibiting growth of cancerous cells!

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Bearberry - Therapeutic Uses

Bearberry has been used all over the world to treat urinary tract infections, much like cranberry.

Bearberry is in fact a close relative of cranberry and blueberry, and the dark green leaves are where the remedy lies.

Bearberry is also useful in treating coughing, inflammation, swelling, and kidney problems.

Bearberry works as a urinary antiseptic. It fights bacteria and supports the kidneys.

Please read the Dosage/Safe Use Tip!

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Bearberry - What Is It?

Bearberry, also called Uva Ursi and Mountain Box, grows in
the cooler regions of North America, northern Europe, and northern Asia.
The leaf is used medicinally. It's bright red berries ripen in the fall and end up feeding birds and animals throughout the winter time.
Bearberry is used to treat urinary tract infections, mainly, and has been a
recommended treatment for this problem since at least the early 1800's.

Can I eat the leaves of my borage plants?

Birch - Dosage/Safe Use

Don't use the essential oil of birch, as it can be toxic.
Otherwise there are no reports of problems using birch in
normal capacities.

1 teaspoon of birch leaf tincture taken 3 times a day.
Add a handful of birch bark, 1 or 2 teaspoons of the powdered form of birch bark, or 2 tablespoons of birch leaves, freshly chopped, to 1 cup of boiling water. Let this tea steep for 10 minutes. Drink this only once a day.

Should I take herbal products if I´m on prescription medicine?

Yarrow and Fevers

Yarrow tea may help reduce fevers. To make, use one
teaspoon leaves and flowers to 1 cup water, steep 5

Is pennyroyal safe to eat?

Pennyroyal caution

Although pennyroyal is a member of the mint family, it should NEVER be taken internally. If you are pregnant, please avoid it altogether.

Can an elderly person take herbal medicines?

Normal Adult Dosage/WARNINGS

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of a liquid extract 3 times a day,
3 teaspoons of the juice daily, or 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried yarrow
in a cup of water 3 times a day.

*** Certain people may be allergic to yarrow! If you
are pregnant, do NOT use yarrow! Why? Small amounts of
thujone, which can spur uterine contractions. So
don't use yarrow if you're pregnant!

***Excessive doses may interfere with drugs you may
be taking, such as sedatives, blood pressure meds, and
blood thinners. Do not use yarrow in large amounts.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Bilberry - What Is It?

Also called Whortleberry and huckleberry, Bilberry grows in forest meadows and the woods of Europe, and is commonly wild-harvested.
The ripe berry itself, bluish-black and sweet, is primarily used, but the leaves are also used to treat health problems.

Does Basil really add flavor to tomatoes in a garden?

Basil - What Is It?

Well who doesn't know that basil is a member of the mint family, and an aromatic annual herb used in cooking as well as health?
The plant can grow up to 3 feet tall! Tiny white or purple flowers adorn it in full bloom.

Can an elderly person take herbal medicines?

Astragalus - Dosage/Safe Use

There are no ill side effects reported or known
regarding this herb yet.

You can purchase astragalus in extracts, in traditional
Chinese herbal medicine formulas, capsules, tablets,
and I drink a bottle a day of Hansen's Berry Power
fruit juice with Astragalus. I'm sure there are other drinks
already on the market with this great herb.

Usual dosage of astragalus is from 1500 to 3000 milligrams in DIVIDED doses throughout the day, or
anywhere from 2 to 20 grams of the root, or a teaspoon
of the tincture daily.

How is Birch used as an alternative health aid?

Birch - Therapeutic Uses

Birch contains salicylate. This is the same compound used to make aspirin.
Birch is used to treat urinary tract infections, fever, water retention, arthritis, warts (rub a concentrated tea on the wart daily), gout, viruses, and lung problems.
Birch acts as an anti-inflammatory, and medical tests are showing that birch has phytochemicals that show some anti-tumor, antiviral, and anti-cancer properties.

Why would I want to grow Yarrow in my herb garden?

Therapeutic Uses of Yarrow

Yarrow is found growing in the wild everywhere in
North America, except the southwest.

Therapeutic uses include: Gallbladder problems, gastritis,
intestinal bleeding, hemorrhage, no appetite, menstrual
pain, and also liver disease.

Yarrow helps stop bleeding and also reduces
inflammation and swelling. It's good to use on
wounds, especially wounds that are slow to heal.
It also has phytochemicals that ease muscle
spasms, and can be used to treat menstrual pain.

Yarrow stimulates release of bile, which improves
gall bladder and digestion.

Should I take herbal products if I´m on prescription medicine?

Ashwaganda - Dosage/Safe Use

** Do NOT eat the berries of this plant, as it will cause severe stomach/gastro pain. This plant may also
increase the effects of sedatives.

Normal adult dosage is 150 to 500 milligrams of a
STANDARDIZED extract every day, or up to 3 grams of
powdered root daily, or even a cup of tea made from
5 teaspoons of the dried herb steeped for 10 minutes
in 1 cup boiling water, and strained.

Can I take any herbal health remedy?

Bilberry - Dosage/Safe Use

Don't go out and grab large amounts of this fruit to
eat, you'll get diarrhea. Don't eat large amounts of the leaves, either. I get mine in capsule form.

Read labels! Be sure what you're getting is what you want to get. For Bilberry, ascertain that the capsules you're buying have the right amount of active properties, such as 10 milligrams of anthocyanosides.

Take two 475 milligram capsules of bilberry twice daily, or make a tea of 1 to 2 tablespoons of crushed bilberry fruit in one cup of boiling water, steeped for 10 - 15 minutes and strained.

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson