Echinacea root was used in traditional herbal medicine by native North American Indians for a wide range of infectious and inflammatory conditions, including toothaches, colds, sore throats, tonsillitis, measles, mumps, smallpox and venereal disease. Externally, it was applied for burns, snake bites and other septic conditions. Actions: Immune stimulant & Immune modulating, Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic & local anaesthetic.
Comfrey is considered the remedy par excellence for healing damage to muscles and ligaments. Used for sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, crush injuries (eg. closing a finger in a door), bruises and non-infected wounds, the herb will heal tissues in record time and prevent the formation of scar tissue. Comfrey has a regulating effect on the growth of skin cells. It is useful for chronic skin disease, especially psoriasis, where its action on the skin cells appears to slow down the rate of growth, having a normalising, balancing action.
Marigold, Pot Marigold (Calendula Officinalis)
Calendula is a powerful blood cleanser and healing agent of the skin. This combination makes it extremely valuable in any skin condition. It is one of the best herbs for treating burns, scalds, cuts, abrasions and infections because of its antiseptic qualities. By improving blood flow to the affected area, it can heal wounds very quickly. Calendula can help small blood vessels to seal, stemming bleeding and preventing bruising. It is an anti-fungal agent and can be used to treat athlete’s foot and ringworm. Rubbing a Calendula flower on the site of a bee or wasp sting can bring relief from the pain and swelling the sting causes. Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Vulnerary (heals the skin), Antimicrobial, Astringent (tightens the tissues, promotes healing), Lymphatic (cleansing)
Manuka, Tea Tree, Red Tea Tree, Kahikatoa (Leptospermum scoparium)
Various parts of the common Manuka shrub or tree in New Zealand were used by Maori for a large number of medicinal complaints. Use of Manuka's leaves by sailors on board the first English ships to visit New Zealand as a substitute for tea, lead to it's acquisition of the name "Tea Tree". Manuka and the closely related Kanuka however, are quite distinct from the well-known "Tea Tree" of Australia, Melaleuca alternifolia and other Melaleuca species. All are from the same Myrtaceae family, and share some medicinal properties. Manuka contains many tannins and is extremely astringent (that is, it tightens tissues - the feeling you get when you drink black tea). This action, combined with its impressive antimicrobial properties, helps relieve symptoms of diarrhoea and dysentery, as well as making it useful in wound healing and to decrease inflammation and bleeding in the case of gum infections.
German Chamomile, Scented Mayweed (Matricaria Recutita)
Chamomile has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, mainly for gastro-intestinal complaints but also as a gentle relaxant. Apigenin, a constituent of Chamomile, has been shown to decrease anxiety and act as a mild sedative. Clinical studies have demonstrated its effectiveness as a relaxant and gentle sedative. Actions: Gentle sedative, Anti-anxiety, Antispasmodic, Anti-inflammatory, Carminative, Antimicrobial, Diaphoretic (promotes sweating to decrease fever), Vulnerary (heals the skin), Anti-ulcer.
Ginkgo, Maidenhair tree (Ginkgo Biloba)
Ginkgo biloba is an ancient tree that has survived on earth for around 200 million years. Ginkgo trees were revered by the Chinese and planted around their temples, a practice that may have helped ensure its survival. Two studies whose findings have been published recently suggest new and exciting uses also for ginkgo as a preventative or treatment agent in serious liver diseases, including cirrhosis, fibrosis and liver cancer. The antioxidant and circulatory actions of Ginkgo appear to be contributory in these situations. Ginkgo may also be of benefit in treating vitiligo (loss of skin pigmentation), tinnitus, and vertigo. Actions: Antioxidant, Circulatory stimulant, Neuroprotective (protects the brain), Nootropic (improves overall brain function).
Common Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme has a long history of traditional use for respiratory tract conditions including sore throats and coughs. It has also been used for inflammatory conditions of the mouth, gastrointestinal upsets, and topically as an anti-microbial and counter-irritant. Actions: Antibacterial & Antifungal, Relaxing expectorant, Antispasmodic, Carminative (relieves discomfort of flatulence & bloating), Astringent (tightens tissues & promotes healing), Antioxidant, Anthelmintic (agent that acts against parasitic intestinal worms).
Traditional uses include digestive disorders such as anorexia (lack of appetite), constipation, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, biliousness, nausea; liver and gallbladder problems, eg cirrhosis, hepatitis and gall stones; toxic conditions associated with intestinal congestion, eg skin & autoimmune diseases; and as a general detoxifying agent. Contraindications and Cautions: There are no direct side effects or contraindications for this herb. However, due to its stimulating action on the gall bladder, care should be taken in the case of an obstructed bile duct, septic cholecystitis, or intestinal obstruction. All are cases that require medical attention.
Meadowsweet, Bridewort, Sweet Hay (Filipendula Ulmaria)
Traditional uses of Meadowsweet include treatment of gastrointestinal conditions associated with flatulence and hyperacidity, including indigestion, gastric reflux, gastric ulceration and halitosis (bad breath). It is mildly astringent and is said to be useful for diarrhoea, particularly in children. Actions: Antacid, Anti-inflammatory, Astringent, Anti-ulcerogenic (protects against the development of gastric ulcers; especially protective against damage by aspirin and alcohol), Antimicrobial.
The information here may only be used as a reference, and any information required for personal health & clinic purpose should be consulted by practitioners. All information here will be updated from time to time and subject to change.