Properties & Therapies


Abortifacient: causes expulsion of a premature fetus from the womb. Papaya fruit.

Adaptogen: helps the body adapt to stress and exert a normalizing effect on the body’s natural processes there by increasing the body’s own ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.

Alexeritic: counteracts infection & poison

Alterative: purifies blood, helps eliminate waste, help assimilate nutrients. Red clover, echinacea,cascara sagrada, dandelion root, alfalfa, aloe vera, burdock root, comfrey, goldenseal, marshmallow, plantain, kelp,sarsaparilla, yellow dock & uva ursi.

Amphoteric: a normalizer, harmonizes the function of an organ. Gotu kola, sarsaparilla, ginseng

Analgesic: kills pain. Passion flower,kelp,raspberry, wood betony, blue vervain, chaparral, skullcap, white willow bark, valerian.

Anaphrodisiac: reduces excessive sexual desire. Hops, vitex

Anodyne: analgesic

Antacid: neutralizes stomach and intestine acids. Dandelion, fennel, slippery elm, licorice, & mint.

Anthelmintics: anti-parasitic, destroys or expels worms (vermicide). Garlic, mugwort, asafoetida, senna.

Anti-abortive: checks tendency to miscarriage. Raspberry leaf, cramp bark, lobelia.

Anti-angiogenic: stops the growth and development of new blood vessels, esp. to cancer cells. Red grapes, dark chocolate, soy, garlic, mango, beans.

Anti-asthmatic: relieves symptoms of asthma. Coltsfoot, mullein, lobelia, ephedra & comfrey.

Anti-bilious: promotes bile and assists liver and gallbladder. Dandelion, goldenseal, hops, chamomile, mugwort, vervain, wild yam.

Antibiotic: inhibits the growth of or destroys bacteria, viruses, or amoebas. Chaparral, echinacea, goldenseal, myrrh, thyme, burdock, cascara sagrada, catnip, cayenne, chickweed, cleavers, kelp, mullein, red clover, sarsaparilla, uva ursi, yellow dock,dandelion root & garlic.

Anti-catarrhal: eliminates mucus, expectorant. Black pepper, lobelia, cayenne, ginger, sage, cinnamon, mullein, mustard & comfrey.

Anti-cholingergics: inhibits release of acetylcholine as a neuro-transmitter. Belladonna (atropa), henbane (hyoscyamus).

Anti-coagulant: prevents clotting of blood. Bayberry, garlic, ginseng.

Anti-convulsant: prevents or reduces epileptic fits. (Also referred to as anti-spasmodic.) Mistletoe, valerian

Antidepressant: lifts depression without sedation. Oats, ginseng, damiana, hawthorn, skullcap.

Anti-diabetic: counter hyperglycemia. Goatís rue, fenugreek, cinnamon, garlic, damiana, nettles, fennel, prickly pear, periwinkle.

Anti-diarrhoeals: arrests diarrhea. cinnamon, avens, catnip, orris root.

Antidote: a remedy, something that counteracts medicine, toxin, or poison.

Anti-emetic: allays the sense of nausea and prevents vomiting. Chamomile, meadowsweet, fennel, peppermint, clove, ginger.

Anti-fungal: destroys fungi. Tea tree oil, pau díarco, neem leaf, echinacea, garlic, olive leaf, oil of thyme, grapefruit seed oil, chaparral.

Anti-hemorrhagic: (hemostatic) stops bleeding, arrests hemorrhage. Yarrow, cayenne, mullein, goldenseal, uva ursi, white oak bark, witch hazel & saffron.

Antihistamine: arrests production of histamines. Hyssops, catnip, echinacea, goldenseal, burdock, lobelia, ephedra, rooibos tea, quercetin.

Anti-infective: Immune stimulant. Chaparral, echinacea, garlic, astragalus.

Anti-inflammatory: stops inflammation. Turmeric, bromelain, black cohosh, gentian root, peppermint, saw palmetto berry, blue vervain, chamomile, arnica montana & licorice root.

Anti-lacteals: reduce the production of milk. Sage.

Anti-lithic: helps dissolve and eliminate urinary and biliary stones and gravel. Cleavers, dandelion, uva ursi, cranberry juice & cascara sagrada. (lithium) Coke Classic soda pop

Anti-microbial: kills or inhibits micro-organisms. Echinacea, garlic, goldenseal, neem leaf, olive leaf, kava kava, meadowsweet, st. johnís wort, turmeric, wormwood, yarrow.

Anti-mycotics: anti-fungal.

Anti-nauseant: anti-emetic.

Anti-neoplastic: (anti-cancer) prevents or destroys tumor or cancer cells. Turmeric, red clover, poke root, catís claw, soy.

Anti-oxidant: protects the body against free radicals and their damage. Grape seed oil, garlic, any dark red or blue fruit or vegetable, dandelion, alfalfa, parsley, watercress.

Anti-parasitic: (parasiticide) destroys parasites. Garlic, black walnut hulls, oil of thyme, gentian root, wormwood, goldenseal, onion, papaya, cayenne, & chaparral.

Anti-periodic: prevents the return of a disease that tends to recur (malaria – quinine). Peruvian bark, ash tree.

Antiperspirant: (anti-hidrotic), prevents sweating. Internal – White willow bark. External – zinc, essential oils of sage, lavender, pine, rosemary.

Anti-protozoal: inhibit the action of protozoa. Ipecac, peruvian bark.

Anti-pruritic: relieves itching. Chickweed, witch hazel, plantain, marigold, chamomile, sarsaparilla.

Antipyretic: (sudorific) reduces fever. Alfalfa, boneset, skullcap, goldenseal, white willow, fever few & chickweed.

Anti-rheumatic: relieves discomfort of rheumatism and arthritis. Black cohosh, turmeric, devilís claw, poke root, meadowsweet.

Anti-scorbutic: relieves or cures scurvy. Sorrel, nettles, lemon juice, sarsaparilla, watercress, burdock.

Antiseptic: applied topically, kills bacteria. Goldenseal, chaparral, myrrh, oil of thyme, garlic, echinacea, uva ursi, white willow, tea tree oil, oregano oil & sage.

Anti-scrofulous: reduces glandular inflammation and swelling, especially in the lymphatic system. Vitex, kelp, burdock, echinacea, fenugreek, red clover, poke, sarsaparilla.

Antispasmodic: relaxes muscle spasms. Black cohosh, cayenne, chamomile, passion flower, skullcap, valerian & raspberry leaf.

Anti-staphylococcal: antibiotics that kills staphylococcus. Goldenseal, elecampane, bugleweed, meadowsweet, st. johnís wort, turmeric.

Anti-tumor: anti-neoplastic

Anti-tussive: reduces cough, expectorant. Coltsfoot, comfrey, garlic, marshmallow root, pleurisy root, slippery elm, horehound.

Anti-viral: kills or reduces viruses. Olive leaf, neem leaf, garlic, echinacea, st. johnís wort, boneset, yarrow.

Aperient: relieves constipation. A mild laxative. Calendula, apple pectin, psyllium seed hulls.

Aphrodisiac: improves libido, sexual potency and power. Damiana, ginseng, angelica, red clover & burdock.

Aromatic: stimulates the sense of taste and smell, due to essential oils.

Astringent: constricts or binds, used to check hemorrhages or bleeding and secretions.White oak bark, cayenne, yellow dock, uva ursi, myrrh, alum, goldenseal, mullein, raspberry, shepherd’s purse, slippery elm, wood betony, yellow dock, yarrow & witch hazel.

Bitters: stimulate digestive and pancreatic juices. Boneset, chicory, feverfew, gentian, hops, wormwood.

Carminative: relieves gas. Fennel, caraway, ginger, catnip, wood betony, chamomile & peppermint.

Cholagogue: promotes the flow of bile into the small intestine (laxative). Goldenseal, cascara sagrada, licorice root & dandelion. (lecithin, Vit. B5, panothetic acid)

Decongestant: relieves nasal congestion. Cayenne.

Demulcent: soothes, protects damaged or inflamed tissues. Marshmallow, comfrey, slippery elm, chickweed, licorice root, psyllium seed, flax seed, aloe vera, burdock root, mullein & fenugreek.

Deobstruent: clears obstruction by dilating natural passages. Poke root

Deodorant: reduces fetid smells of breath and body. Charcoal, lemons, nettle, peppermint, wintergreen. (also see antiperspirant)

Detoxifier: removes poisons and itís effects.

Diaphoretic: induces sweating (îstimulatingî or ìrelaxingî). Relaxing-lemon balm, sarsaparilla & catnip. Stimulating-yarrow, cayenne, blue vervain, burdock & boneset.

Disinfectants: helps prevent the spread of infection, esp. bacteria. Camphor, eucalyptus, thyme, pennyroyal, many essential oils.

Diuretics: increases the flow of urine. Uva ursi, cleavers, plantain, nettles, burdock, blue vervain, cayenne, cleavers, kelp, licorice root, red clover, sarsaparilla, ephedra & dandelion.

Elixir: sweetened alcoholic extract for internal use.

Emetic: induces vomiting. Lobelia, bayberry, blue vervain, asafoetida & black mustard seed.

Emmenagogue: promotes monthly female flow, usually earlier, but sometimes with an increase. Pennyroyal, juniper berries, myrrh, black cohosh, blue vervain, lobelia & angelica.

Emollient: soothes, softens and protects skin. Almond oil, sesame oil, marshmallow, comfrey, slippery elm, plantain, aloe vera & chickweed.

Expectorant: (anticatarrhal, anti-tussive) expels mucus from the lungs . Coltsfoot, lobelia, mullein, blue vervain, cayenne, pleurisy root, red clover & horehound.

Febrifuge: anti-pyretic

Galactogogue: increases the secretion of milk. Fennel & vervain. Blessed thistle

Hemostatic: arrests hemorrhaging. Yarrow, cayenne, mullein, goldenseal, uva ursi, white oak bark, witch hazel & saffron.

Hepatic: promotes the flow of bile and assists the liver in its function. Milk thistle

Hydragogue: a cathartic that produces a watery evacuation. Mandrake root

Hypertensive: increases blood pressure. Cayenne, ephedra, shepherdís purse.

Hypotensive: reduces blood pressure. Cayenne, motherwort, valerian, hawthorn, garlic.

Laxative (aperient, purgative): promotes bowel movement. Cascara sagrada, rhubarb root, buckthorn, cayenne, goldenseal, licorice root, psyllium seed hulls, flax seed & cleavers.

Lithotriptic: helps dissolve and eliminate urinary and biliary stones and gravel. Cleavers, dandelion, uva ursi, cranberry juice & cascara sagrada. (lithium)

Lymphatic: stimulates the circulation of the lymphatic system. Vitex, kelp, burdock, echinacea, fenugreek, red clover, poke, sarsaparilla.

Nervine: calms tension and nourishes the nervous system. Skullcap, peppermint, wood betony & valerian.

Orexigenic: stimulates appetite. Marijuana, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, hops, burdock.

Oxytocic: stimulates uterine contractions, induces labor. Angelica, black/blue cohosh, raspberry, Mitchella repens & uva ursi.

Parasiticide (anti-parasitical): destroys parasites. Garlic, black walnut hulls, oil of thyme, gentian root, wormwood, goldenseal, onion, papaya, cayenne, & chaparral.

Purgative: a very strong laxative usually combined with a carminative. Cascara sagrada, castor oil, senna leaves, turkey rhubarb, poke root.

Rubefacient: increases the flow of blood just below the skin. Cayenne, eucalyptus oil, black pepper, ginger, peppermint & cinnamon oil.

Sedative: quiets the nervous system. Valerian, chamomile, wood betony, catnip, black cohosh, black walnut, passion flower (works best with chamomile) & skullcap.

Sialagogue: stimulates the flow of saliva, aids in digestion of starches. Echinacea, black pepper, cayenne, ginger & licorice root.

Stimulant: increases circulation and energy in the body. Cayenne, black pepper, cinnamon, echinacea, ginseng, dandelion, ginger, yarrow, garlic, onion, blue vervain & sage.

Tonic: promotes the functions of a system of the body (i.e. liver, heart, stomach, urinary, nerve, biliary, sexual).

Vulnerary: encourages the healing of wounds by promoting cell growth. Cayenne, comfrey, garlic, thyme, blue vervain, wood betony & slippery elm.

Vermifuge: parasitacide, anthelmintic


BOLUS: (suppository) for treatment of hemorrhoids or various rectal cysts. Using cocoa butter or vegetable shortening and powdered herb(s), mix herb(s) and vehicle until the consistency of thick pie dough, then shaped into long thin cylinders approx. 1″x1/2″. This can be refrigerated to harden, but should be close to room temp. for insertion at bed time.

CAPSULES: (pills) for systemic treatment. Most herbs come in capsules from several reputable companies in the 00 size. Since most Americans are used to ‘popping pills’ for ailments already, there is usually no problem in your clients following this form of therapy. It is easy, handy, clean and travels well. Be aware of herbs that are hard on the stomach. Usual dosage is 2 capsules 3-4 times daily.

COMPRESS: (fomentation) for treatment of swellings, painful joints or tissues, or to promote circulation. A strong tea is made of the desired herb(s) and a piece of clean un-dyed cloth is dipped into it, wringing out excess, but leaving cloth moist. Apply to affected area. Another cloth (towel or piece of flannel) is applied over that. A hot water bottle of heating pad may be applied over this second layer. This may be left on for 1/2 hour to overnight.

CREAM: emulsion, either water in oil, or oil in water, for topical use. Tincture often suspended in oil or vegetable fat base.

DOUCHE: for vaginal infections. Make a tea of desired herbs (1 pint) and mix in 1 heaping tblsp. of active yogurt. Never use vinegar (as a ph balancer) as it promotes yeast infections. Use at room temp.

EMULSION: emulsified (substance that stabilizes) medication in which oil is suspended in water.

ENEMA: for clearing colon and eliminating excess toxins in the system. Make a tea of desired herb(s) (1 pint) and add 1-2 tblsp. of oil (sesame, mineral, almond). Use at room temp. or slightly warmer.

ESSENTIAL OILS: Volatile oils, distilled from botanical sources.

EXTRACT: substance obtained form botanical source by specific method.

LINIMENT: for external treatment of strains, sprains, swelling and pain. Make like a tincture by placing powdered or dried herbs into a bottle with rubbing alcohol. Strain thoroughly and store out of sun light at room temp. Do not use vinegar as a base, as it will affect adversely anyone with systemic yeast and it has an unpleasant smell.

OINTMENT: (salve) for external treatment of burns, bites, abrasions, eruptions, rashes, etc.. You can use an oil and bees wax base, or vegetable shortening (making sure you stir every 5 minutes as it hardens). Melt your base and add desired herb(s): making sure you don’t boil or fry your herb; and let stand just below a simmer for no more then 2 hours stirring on occasion, strain off herb(s) and add bees wax. Ratio is 1 oz. herb to 2 oz.- 4oz. base.

PERCOLATION: a process for extracting soluble botanical constituents by the descent of solvent (alcohol) through menstra (powdered herbs). Plant material is evenly moistened and then packed in a conical vessel having an outlet at the lower/bottom end. The size of the opening is controlled, thereby manipulating the amount and rate of flow. The extract is collected in another vessel below and the marc (spent herb) discarded.

PLASTER: for external treatments of bites, eruptions, inflammation and foreign bodies. Make a moist mass of powered herb(s) and warm water and apply directly to the skin. In cases of eruption, lay a piece of cheese cloth. gauze or thin linen over the site first , then apply the herb. In the bush, a poultice can be made by chewing the herb before application.

POULTICE: a pack of warm, moist, powdered herb in a muslin bag, or a cotton cloth folded and lined with warm, moist herbs, applied topically to a wound to deter infection and aid in healing.

SMOKING: for treatment of bronchial passages. The herb(s) may be smoked in a regular or water pipe, or placed on a hot coal and the smoke inhaled. This is a very old form of therapy found through out the world.

SYRUP: for treatment of coughs and sore throat. Strong teas or tinctures can be added to honey, maple or corn syrup. It will coat the throat, reduce the ‘tickle’ sensation, and keep the herb in more direct contact with the affected area.

TEA: for systemic treatment. Roots, bark and dried berries may be boiled; leaves, stems and flowers should be steeped. Also known as infusion or tisane.

TINCTURE: for systemic treatment of symptoms. Using powdered or ‘cut and sifted’ dry or fresh herb(s), add alcohol (pure grain or vodka) in the ratio of 1 oz. herb to 4 oz. alcohol. Use vinegar in cases of substance abuse. In a sealed glass jar, put tincture up on the New Moon and pour off on the Full Moon, strain carefully. Keep out of sun light during this time and shake once to twice daily. Store in glass amber bottles at room temp.