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The hybrid list we ultimately compiled and felt reasonably good about included the following thirty plants. Valerian Valeriana officinalis Vitex Vitex agnus-castus Willow Salix alba Yarrow Achillea millefolium Yellow Dock Rumex crispus I have asterisked the plants which are broadly used in commerce and which, due to over-harvest, loss of habitat, or by the nature of their innate rareness or sensitivity are either at risk or have signi cantly declined in numbers within their current range.

Use substitute plants when possible see the discussion on this page. Ginger thrives in moist tropical regions; Goldenseal and Black Cohosh live in moist and shady Eastern hardwood forests; Echinacea lives in the open plains of the Midwest; and Pipsissewa, although it lives in Paci c Northwest forests, grows very slowly, and therefore, even if harvested correctly does not recover rapidly.

They are simply being over-harvested from their native environment in order to supply the soaring commercial demands of people living in the other bio-regions of the U. The survival of these four plants is currently at great risk, and therefore humans need to nd substitutes whenever possible preferably plants that grow in our own backyard bio-regions until these plants can be cultivated adequately to supply our commercial demands. As you can see, since the time we developed our CSHS list of thirty herbs, herbalists and other plant people have become quite alert to the fact that a number of important medicinal plants in addition to the four on our list are currently extremely harvestsensitive.

So, with deep regard for all these plants, I o er the following suggestions and ask you to heed them: In general, regarding the four at-risk plants that appear on the above list of thirty: See Appendix A for this list as well as an introduction to the work of UpS. Use Black Cohosh sparingly, only when it is specifically indicated see indications, this page and when there is no substitute available.

In this regard, for those living in the Pacific Northwest region, there is our Baneberry Actea rubra , a close relative of Black Cohosh, that can be harvested and prepared as a reliable substitute. The root of Baneberry offers nearly all the same actions as Black Cohosh root. Yes, the berries of Baneberry are toxic, but its Cohosh root.

In fact, in the early s batches of Black Cohosh were often adulterated by mixing Baneberry root with the Cohosh. When taken as a tincture, Baneberry root bestows the same anti-inflammatory, sedative, and anti-spasmodic action for relieving the vast array of dull aching pains as does Black Cohosh. For a multitude of reasons, but specifically for invaluable insight into the use of this plant as an important substitute for the endangered Black Cohosh, I suggest and highly recommend that you consult Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West, researched and written by herbalist Michael Moore.

In place of Pipsissewa when treating urinary tract inflammation, substitute Uva Ursi Arctostaphylos uva-ursi for its excellent diuretic, antiseptic, and astringent properties. Prepare it as a cold infusion to eliminate the extraction of most of its condensed tannins that can be irritating to some folks, and combine this with Marshmallow root to help soothe and protect any irritated tissue. When you feel you must use Goldenseal undiluted, use a reduced dosage, for, when it is truly the specific plant to use, a small dose is wholly adequate.

Use only organically cultivated Echinacea. Avoid using wild Echinacea or any commercial products that use wildcrafted or wild-harvested Echinacea in their ingredients. Three species of Echinacea are used commercially: Echinacea purpurea is easily and presently cultivated, whereas the other two species are and presently cultivated, whereas the other two species are more difficult to grow and therefore not so widely cultivated.

Due to overaggressive wildcrafting, the native stands of all three of these species of Echinacea are disappearing rapidly. Goldenseal, Black Cohosh, Echinacea, and Pipsissewa are four plant allies that are due a collective show of human appreciation and currently require our concerted acts of tender loving care. Discontinuing the wild harvesting of these plants while using other herbs as appropriate substitutes will give these generous medicinals time to repopulate their natural habitats and will give herb growers time and resources to develop their skills in cultivating these herbs for commercial use.

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The Herbal Medicine-Maker's Handbook : A Home Manual by James Green (2000, Paperback)

In addition to the drama of innumerable heartbreaking revelations of personal love a airs with certain herbs, there was a rational method to the madness that was conjured up as we six herbalists compiled the above CSHS list of thirty herbs. Along with seeking plants that grow well in our climatic zone, we looked very closely at the actions also referred to as therapeutic or medicinal properties of these plants, and we made sure our nal group of herbs embraced all the actions that we know are essential and therefore necessary in a well-endowed herbal pharmacy.

Pertaining to these actions, the science of Herbalism, like all therapeutic sciences, has its particular language. The nutritional and medicinal actions of each herb in our materia medica constitute the fundamental vocabulary of the language of Herbalism. Understanding the inherent energetics of each plant that one uses gives insight and increased autonomy in personal and family health care.

Herbs are more clever and practical than that. Each herb can do many things and have more than one e ect on the human body and mind. The therapeutic actions and the unique blend of organic nutrients of each herb have a natural a nity for a variety of tissues, organs, and systems of the body. Therefore, it is exceedingly useful to understand the terms and concepts that describe these herbal actions. There are hundreds of di erent actions that have been de ned through the ages.

However, for our purposes, only about 40 of these need be considered. Reading through the upcoming list of herbs will prove the practicality of this suggestion and a ord you ample practice. When one applies it to the group of herbs selected for our CSHS list of thirty herbs, it can be seen that the actions we felt were essential are well represented.

I will review this for you in the following section. As we progress through this handbook, exploring diverse techniques of medicine-making, I will use this list of thirty- ve medicinal plants and a medicinal fungus as a reference and focus on speci c information for extracting them in the various menstra we discuss. I o er these lists and accompanying notations to you as a practical foundation for your personal home pharmacy, but I encourage you to modify the group of herbs to align with your intuitive preferences and, depending on where you live, to better t the native medicinal plant population of your particular bio-region.

Observe the actions and speci c indications of the plants in this group and match them as best you can. Alterative—Gradually restores health and vitality to the body by helping the body assimilate nutrients, eliminate waste, and restore proper function. Anodyne, analgesic—Relieves pain when administered orally or externally.

Antacid—Neutralizes excess acid in the stomach and intestinal tract. Anticatarrhal—Counteracts the build-up of excess mucus and inflammation in sinus or other upper respiratory parts. Antidepressant—Helps relieve or prevent depressed states of mind.

Anti-emetic—Relieves nausea and vomiting. Anti-inflammatory—Combats extensive or too-painful occurrence of in ammation. A degree of in ammation is a necessary process in healing. Anti-oxidant—Protects the body against free radical damage free radicals are highly reactive compounds that bind to and destroy other molecules. Antiseptic—Prevents or eliminates sepsis infectious destructive condition of tissue. Antispasmodic—Prevents or eases spasms or cramping in the body. Aperient—A gentle stimulant to digestion, having a very mild laxative action.

Aphrodisiac—Increases sexual excitement and desire libido. Astringent—Contracts, rms, and strengthens body tissues by precipitating proteins, and can reduce excess secretions and discharge. Bitter—Stimulates the normal secretion of digestive juices, bene ting digestion. This stimulating action helps counteract physical and, to a certain extent, emotional depression.

Carminative—Rich in aromatic volatile oils having a sweet, spicy or fragrant aroma which can lend a pleasant avor to other herbs, excite peristalsis, promote the expulsion of gas, and soothe the stomach, supporting healthy digestion. Counter-irritant revulsive —Induces local irritation of skin, drawing blood and other materials to the surface from deeper tissues, relieving congestion and inflammation. Demulcent—Mucilaginous herbs which relax, soothe, and protect tissue.

Derivative—Draws blood and other uids from one part of the body to relieve congestion in another. Diaphoretic—Induces increased perspiration, dilates capillaries, increasing elimination through the skin. Diuretic—Increases the flow of urine. Emollient—Applied to the skin to soften, soothe, and protect. Expectorant—Supports the respiratory system by assisting it to remove excess mucus. Febrifuge—Assists the body to reduce fever.

Hepatic—Strengthens and tones the liver, stimulating its secretory function. Hypnotic—Has a powerful relaxant and sedative action and helps to induce sleep. Hypotensive—Reduces elevated blood pressure. Immune stimulant—Helps stimulate immune response and deal with infections. Laxative—Promotes evacuation of the bowels. Lymphatic—Support the health and activity of the lymphatic system. Refrigerant—Cooling agents which lower body temperature and relieve thirst. Rubefacient—Generates a localized increase in blood ow when applied to the skin. Often used to warm the skin and ease the pain and swelling of joints.

Sedative—Calms the nervous system by reducing stress and nervous irritation throughout the body. Sialagogue—Promotes the flow of saliva. Stimulant—Warms the body, quickens circulation, and breaks up obstructions and congestion. Stomachic—Stimulative tonic to the stomach. Styptic—Reduces or stops external bleeding by astringent action. Tonic—Stimulates nutrition by improving assimilation which improves systemic tone, giving increased vigor and strength to the tissues of body organs. Vasodilator—Expands blood vessels, allowing increased circulation.

Vulnerary—Assists the body to heal wounds. This action is used externally. It is most useful to recognize and understand the terms that describe herbal actions. These simple concepts constitute a major portion of the vocabulary of herbal knowledge. It allays excessive uid loss from diarrhea, and when medical intervention is not available may save lives.

Hemostatic—it stops bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract. Black Cohosh an at-risk plant, seek organically cultivated or employ substitutes when possible is antispasmodic, antiin ammatory, and analgesic and is most useful for its ability to reduce dull aching pain just about anywhere in the body. Along with this generalized e ect, Black Cohosh has a speci c a nity for the reproductive organs. It relieves the aching pains in the reproductive tract of males, but is most often used as a regulator of female imbalances. As an emmenagogue, it is used for relief of painful menstruation, but is also very e ective for relieving suppressed menstruation.

This, along with the fact that its e ects are often long-lasting, suggests that it has a generalized tonic e ect on the uterus and most likely on the male reproductive organs as well. This plant is widely used for the treatment of rheumatism and neuralgia and all cases characterized by that kind of pain known as rheumatic, dull, tensive, and intermittent. Black Cohosh is nervine, hypotensive, having a powerful in uence over the nervous system as it appears to have a sedating effect on the perception of pain.

It is unsurpassed for treating local skin problems that are due to infection, and for treating wounds, burns, bruises, or strains due to physical damage. It is excellent for internal digestive in ammation and ulceration. Calendula is antispasmodic, lymphatic, and emmenagogue for normalizing the menstrual process, and cholagogue for aiding in the relief of a gallbladder problem and its accompanying digestive complaints; hepatic. It is the most useful of the systemic stimulants, strengthening the heart, arteries, capillaries, blood ow, peripheral circulation, and nerves.

It helps in conditions of debility, especially of the elderly, and wards o colds and catarrh. It is also carminative, and sialagogue. Applied externally, it is rubefacient and is most useful for cold hands and feet sprinkled in socks , and problems like rheumatic pains and lumbago, and for hoarseness as a gargle; anti-microbial and an ouchful! Chamomile is anti-in ammatory and pain-relieving for a wide range of conditions along the entire digestive tract; antispasmodic for easing muscle cramps; nervine.

Chamomile is probably the most widely used relaxing nervine tonic. It is also used to relieve mental stress and tension. It is carminative and a mild bitter. Comfrey Knitbone is vulnerary and demulcent, having unparalleled wound, ulcer, and fracture healing action.

It is antiin ammatory and soothing to dry in amed digestive tract; astringent, able to allay hemorrhaging wherever it occurs; and expectorant as an age-old remedy for dry irritable coughs, especially when accompanied by blood streaked mucus. Comfrey has been praised throughout history as a premier healing plant used extensively in folkloric Herbalism internally and externally for the repair of innumerable body wounds and illnesses.

However, in the past few years reductionist science has proclaimed Comfrey in particular, the root and the early spring leaves to be the possessor and conveyer of certain toxic components called pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are said to cause damage to the liver of human beings. Many herbalists have accepted this as truth and a number of us have not. Therefore, in order to provide full disclosure in this printed manual concerning the use of Comfrey, I feel it prudent to inform the reader of this debate and give current standard precautions: It is recommended that pregnant women, young children, and persons with manifest liver disease avoid the consumption of Comfrey external use is no problem.

Others are advised to use Comfrey root and leaf on a short-term basis and preferably avoid the use of the spring leaf, but instead use the leaf that appears on the latter second growth of the year. There are available in the marketplace pyrrolizidine-free Comfrey tinctures in which the suspect alkaloids have been removed.

Its astringent action helps allay excessive blood loss in menstruation and especially in menopause; emmenagogue. It is anti-rheumatic, as it stimulates cell metabolism in the body, assisting the body to dump metabolic waste into the blood to be cleansed by the liver.

It is alterative, relieving skin disorders and degenerative joint disorders, lowering blood cholesterol. It is a mild laxative, bitter. The leaf is a safe, highly e ective diuretic, the best natural source of potassium which avoids potassium depletion, so common with the use of other diuretics; bitter. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads; they are best mixed with other salad greens and tossed with a favorite salad dressing.

Echinacea an at-risk plant, use only organically cultivated is an immune stimulant, assisting the body to resist infection more e ciently; it is anti-microbial and increases cellular resistance to virus, and activates the macrophages that destroy both cancerous cells and pathogens; it is anti-catarrhal and alterative. When used internally the leaves are purgative, expectorant, diuretic, and diaphoretic. Its owers prepared as a cold infusion are diuretic, alterative, and cooling; as a warm infusion the owers are diaphoretic and gently stimulating.

Its berries are diaphoretic, diuretic, aperient, and when fresh they make good juice and jam. Elder is the reliable home remedy for cold, u, fever, skin eruptions, sprains, bruises, wounds, hayfever, sinusitis, tension, constipation, rheumatic discomfort, and so on.

Fennel is carminative, relieving flatulence and colic, and stimulating digestion and appetite. It is very helpful in improving the avor of other herbs. Ginger is a di usive stimulant that is warming by increasing peripheral circulation; an emergency remedy whenever immediate stimulation is needed, a master herb for relieving nausea and motion sickness; an anodyne in gastric and intestinal pain; a carminative and anti-spasmodic in the digestive tract; diaphoretic for promoting perspiration in feverish conditions; antiin ammatory particularly useful in rheumatic conditions that bene t from heat; anti-microbial; rubefacient; and a reliable emmenagogue.

Goldenseal an at-risk plant; use cultivated Goldenseal or substitute with other berberine-containing plants or other plants that o er similar actions is hepatic, cholagogue, a bitter digestive stimulant, and a primary anti-microbial for acute infection. It is an invaluable tonic stimulant for over-relaxed, profusely secreting mucous membranes having a wide e ect on the respiratory, digestive, and genito-urinary systems, and it has an anti-catarrhal e ect, especially in sinus conditions. It is astringent and emmenagogue. Gumweed is a relaxing expectorant, which relaxes the smooth muscles.

It is antispasmodic and hypotensive, useful for treatment of asthmatic and bronchial conditions, especially when accompanied by rapid heartbeat and nervous response. Hawthorn is a heart tonic of the rst order which maintains the heart in a healthy condition. It directly e ects the cells of the heart muscle, enhancing both activity and nutrition. It is a specific remedy in most cardiac disease and facilitates a gentle but long-term sustained e ect on degenerative, age-related changes in the entire cardiovascular system; astringent.

It is hypotensive and diuretic. Marshmallow, due to its abundance of mucilage, is emollient when used in salves for external use. Used internally, it is a soothing demulcent indicated for in amed and irritated states of mucous membranes. The root is used to treat all in ammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, including the mouth, gastritis, peptic ulcers, colitis, etc. Mugwort is a bitter tonic and foremost digestive stimulant. It is antioxidant, which helps in the metabolism of rancid fats and protects the liver from damage from free radicals.

It is cholagogue, giving a general stimulating e ect on bile ow, helping to remove liver congestion, especially for those who have eaten rancid oily food. Mullein is expectorant, an extremely bene cial respiratory remedy that tones the mucous membranes, reduces in ammation, and stimulates uid production, thus facilitating expectoration. It is also demulcent, diuretic, nervine, anti-spasmodic, alterative, astringent, anodyne, vulnerary, and anti-in ammatory.

The oil infusion of the fresh owers is particularly e ective for soothing and healing any in amed surface and easing ear problems pain. As a fomentation of leaves it is excellent for local application to any inflamed parts.

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Nettle leaf is a spring tonic and a general alterative detoxifying agent which clears out waste products, strengthens the mucosa of the urinary, digestive, and respiratory systems, and when taken fresh works against the allergic response to hayfever. It prevents uric acid build-up in joints and is extremely helpful in cases of gout, rheumatism, and arthritis. It is an astringent, which is useful for relieving excessive discharge and bleeding, and is diuretic and hypotensive.

Nettle root is tonic for the genito-urinary system. It is a good prostate tonic and quite helpful for benign prostatic enlargement. It is an excellent potherb cooked like spinach or any other fresh greens. It is carminative and anti-spasmodic, having a relaxing e ect on the muscles of the digestive system; it combats atulence and stimulates bile and the ow of digestive juices.

It is carminative, diaphoretic, and anti-emetic. As a mild anesthetic to the stomach lining, it often allays feelings of nausea. It is nervine, and anti-microbial. This plant combined with Elder and Yarrow is a traditional treatment for fevers, colds, and in uenza and thereby has saved countless lives throughout the ages. Pipsissewa an at-risk plant, well substituted for by using an Uva Ursi and Marshmallow combination Therefore, Uva Ursi Bearberry is diuretic; it has a speci c antiseptic and astringent e ect upon the membranes of the urinary system, which it can be relied upon to soothe and tone.

With its anti-microbial action, it is wonderfully e ective for treating bladder infection, gravel, or a stone in the kidney. It is helpful to blend this plant with Marshmallow root to increase the soothing and protectant demulcent action. Plantain is a magnificent weed that grows everywhere and is readily available throughout the year.

It is vulnerary, expectorant, demulcent, anti-in ammatory, astringent, diuretic, and antimicrobial, having excellent healing properties. It is a gentle expectorant that will soothe inflamed and painful membranes, ideal for coughs and bronchitis. Its astringency aids in diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and bladder in ammation where there is bleeding. It relieves inflammation of the skin and intestinal tract. It is a valuable treatment for diseases of the blood and glandular conditions. It is a traditional cure taken internally, and as a poultice for treating the stings and bites of snakes, spiders, and insects, and as a dressing for cuts, wounds, and bruises.

Taken internally, it has a sedative and pain-relieving e ect appropriate for treating neuralgia, anxiety, and tension, and any irritable and anxious e ects of menopausal changes. As an anti-depressant, it is highly recommended for changes. It is a valuable healing vulnerary and anti-in ammatory remedy for nerve injuries, muscular bruises, painful wounds, swelling, varicose veins, and mild burns. Scullcap is a nerve tonic, having a mild sedative, anti-spasmodic edge. It is especially appropriate as a primary nervous system tonic and relaxant for stalwart individuals who have ery emotions that promote nerve and muscle tension.

This plant is also used speci cally in the treatment of seizure, hysterical states, and epilepsy, as well as for general muscular and nervous irritability and tension. It is also well used where there is nervous disorder that develops twitching, tremors, restlessness, or irregular muscular action. As a cardiac relaxant, it is useful in sedating heart imbalances caused by overactive nerves; bitter. Valerian is primarily a nervine tonic. It is helpful to know Valerian has a stimulating, warming nature which does not work well for those who tend to have too great a blood ow to the brain, and too great a nerve force already.

Rather, Valerian, having a warming and stimulating e ect on the body, is a remedy used better for a nervousness and irritability that comes secondarily to de ciency. It is best used in people with poor blood circulation in general, but particularly poor circulation to the brain and nervous centers.

It is well used for anxiety, despondency, and nervousness in individuals whose face and skin look pale and lifeless, and the skin and body is cool. It is a particularly useful remedy when there is intestinal tension leading to gas, cramps, constipation, or irritable bowel type conditions. For a tonic e ect, it should be taken as a fresh plant extract. This plant is also hypotensive and is used as a relaxing remedy in hypertension and stress-related heart problems. As a hypnotic it is well known to improve sleep quality, especially amongst those who consider themselves to be poor sleepers.

Besides its wonderful relaxing e ects, Valerian is also antispasmodic and emmenagogue. It is a suitable remedy for excessive caffeine intake. Vitex Chasteberry is a uterine tonic which stimulates and normalizes pituitary gland functions, especially its progesteronestimulating function, and therefore acts to normalize the activity of female sex hormones. This is the basis for its use in everything from PMS and recovery from taking birth control pills, to dysmenorrhea and menopause. It is used to stabilize the ovulation cycle. It is well used to help reduce the undesirable symptoms of menopause and is helpful in irregular menstruation, especially if accompanied by endometriosis.

It helps relieve hormonally related constipation, and can assist in the control of acne in teenagers. Willow is an ancient analgesic remedy used for its pain-relieving, anti-in ammatory e ects. In various forms, it has been employed to relieve the discomforts of headache, cold, u, fever, gout, and the aches and pains of all description. Yarrow is one of the best of the diaphoretic herbs, making it a standard remedy for reducing fever. It is used for treating hypertension. This action is attributed to its vaso-dilating and diuretic properties.

It is used as an astringent, anti-in ammatory, and bitter tonic in the gastrointestinal system, where it can help normalize irritated and in amed states of the digestive tract, as its volatile oils contain similar antiin ammatory constituents as Chamomile. Its astringent, hemostatic, and anti-in ammatory properties also make this plant useful for intestinal bleeding, hemorrhoids with bloody discharge, uterine hemorrhage, profuse, protracted menstruation, and leucorrhea. It is also quite e ective in relieving menstrual cramps.

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Used externally, it is styptic and a wound-healing vulnerary. Yellow Dock is a hepatic liver stimulant and laxative. As a laxative, its activity lies somewhere between the bile stimulants Dandelion, Oregon Grape and the more strongly laxative anthraquinone group Bitter Aloe, Senna, Buckthorn.

Its combination of liver-cleansing Bitter Aloe, Senna, Buckthorn. Its combination of liver-cleansing properties and laxative e ect seems to assist the body in dealing with the metabolic wastes often associated with a low- ber, highfat, and meat diet. As a cholagogue, it stimulates the ow of bile and has a therapeutic e ect on jaundice when this is due to congestion. Yellow Dock is a wonderful alterative for treating oily and exudative skin conditions.

It seems to work through the liver and bowel to help remove metabolic wastes from the blood. Gobo is a young and tender Burdock root commonly used in Japanese cuisine and available in many local produce sections. As a diuretic and alterative, it works through the liver and kidneys to protect against the build-up of waste products and is considered to be one of the best tonic correctives of skin disorders. Burdock is a classic remedy for skin conditions which result in dry, scaly skin and cutaneous eruptions eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, boils, carbuncles, sties , as well as also being helpful in relieving rheumatism and gout.

As a mild bitter that stimulates digestive juices and bile secretion, it aids appetite and digestion and is well used in anorexia. Externally, it is an exceptional fomentation or poultice to promote the healing of wounds and ulcers, especially when also taken internally on a regular basis. She graciously feeds the nervous system of those who overwork themselves, function on nervous energy and caffeine , are chronically under stress, simply burned out, and possibly a bit depressed by it all. Ginkgo is rst and foremost a vasodilator. It improves circulation to the brain and periphery and has a normalizing action on the vascular system, making it important in all conditions stemming from poor circulation.

It improves circulation to all poorly nourished areas. It enhances memory by improving nerve cell transmission and brain metabolism by increasing the utilization of oxygen and glucose. As a brain tonic, free-radical scavenger, and anti-oxidant, it helps prevent cardiovascular damage and counters the general effects of aging. Oat is one of the best nerve tonics for feeding the depleted nervous system of those who overwork and undernourish themselves, or for those who function on nervous energy or ca eine for too long without replenishing their reserves. Oat is speci c for the individual who is chronically under stress and is simply burned out.

Its antidepressive activity is speci c for nervous exhaustion and debility when associated with depression. Externally, it is demulcent and vulnerary, making a soothing bath for use in neuralgia and irritated skin conditions. Saw Palmetto is a nutritive tonic whose in uence is directed toward the entire reproductive apparatus. It works cleverly as a remedial tonic that stimulates the nutrition of the nerve centers upon and through which it operates. For the male, this action focuses particularly on the prostate gland, which it keeps in a state of wellness.

In females, this plant is bene cial for treating ovarian enlargement, weakened sexual drive, and with continual use its nourishing components can help develop small underdeveloped mammary glands. As a diuretic, antiseptic, and tonic it is a valuable remedy in treating any infection of the genito-urinary system. As a nutritive endocrine agent, it is safely used to give a boost to the male sex hormones and has been reported to reverse sterility in woman where there is no organic disease or injured tissue.

This berry tastes to me like rancid soap, so I nd it is most palatable when taken in capsule form. Siberian Ginseng is a classic adaptogen in that when taken consistently it produces a state of non-speci c stress resistance. It helps modify the underlying imbalance caused by stressors, regardless of the speci c nature of the stressor chemical, physical, psychological, etc.

Although its e ect on the adrenal cortex gives it wide-ranging uses, it seems to have a special a nity for the circulatory system. It has been shown to balance both high and low blood pressure, reduce serum cholesterol levels, and relieve anginal pain. The wide-ranging effects of Siberian Ginseng can be traced largely to its ability to have positive e ect on the general adaptation syndrome. All in all, Siberian Ginseng allows one to better handle a tougher work load, emotional and chemical stressors, living in congested cities, and the general frazzle of living in our twenty- rst century civilization.

Reishi Ganoderma lucidum is a remarkably bene cial fungus for the human body. First of all, it is a primary supporter of the immune system, as it is believed to enhance white blood cell production, stimulate macrophage scavenger cells of the immune system activity, help protect against cancer, and work against viruses.

Reishi also provides cardiovascular protection by helping to lower excessively high blood pressure. At the same time, it inhibits platelet dysfunction platelets are components of blood that promote clotting. In addition to all this, Reishi is a liver protective against damaging agents, and it seems to have a calming and strengthening e ect on the nervous system, as it is mildly adaptogenic and antioxidant by protecting the body against free radicals. I am wholly, entirely, and utterly convinced that the power of gardening to promote healing and sustain wellness goes far beyond that of any other form of medicine, herbal or otherwise.

Having discovered it, gardening has become the only medicine path they steadfastly rely on. Collecting and planting seeds, touching the Earth, relating to plants, and caring for them as you attune to the ow of the seasons, simply feels good. All phases of gardening touch my being in a spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical way. Where have they gone? What are they doing? Where have the seeds of male maturity fallen?

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These elders are well and doing ne, living their wisdom. The innate joy of being with plants is re ected in the spontaneous uplifting of our human spirit as we commingle with our vegetable allies. Conscientious herbal medicine-making is a transformative process that materializes this communion, expressing it in the forms of nourishing plant concoctions and subtle energetic elixirs, and most importantly as sustained, thriving plant communities.

In my travels as an herbalist, the experience of harvesting medicinal plants has become the most intimate and compassionate portion of this communion. As I harvest a plant being, I put forth my desire to make medicine, and in turn plant spirits acquiesce to my request for the aid of their embodied nutrients and aesthetic healing vibration.

I strive to receive these gifts with gratitude, and feel the sacred circle of giving sanction our union. That is a very good feeling, a feeling of health. In my practice as an herbalist, I deeply revere this mutually conscious act of alliance. The clear vibration of love that radiates from plants is one of the fullest expressions of unconditional love that I witness. Harvesting is a way of calling forth and receiving this love.

It has become a sacred act in my practice, one that I try to participate in wholeheartedly with grateful consciousness and clear communication of my intent. I recommend herbal medicine-makers involve themselves in this segment of medicine-making with clear purpose in mind and inner commemoration in heart. Plant spirits will respond likewise.

They are highly conscious. They are of the same spiritual essence we are. They adore us, and they communicate this to us with every vibration of their pure positive energy. Plants are responsive allies and trustworthy companions, and when we ask them to make medicine with us, we will do well to approach them with mutual regard, care, and intelligence. Herbal medicine-making is the dynamic synapse that lays the roadway between harvesting plants and consuming plant preparations.

Therefore, the ritual-process of harvesting is the very foundation of preparing and potentizing these medicines for our use. Intimate attention to the details of our harvest process is the rite that allows the medicine-maker to contact and communicate with the spirit of the plant and imbue this plant spirit in his or her food and medicine.

If we choose to devalue this act by ignoring or disregarding the presence of plant spirit, we carry o the physical remnants of the plant, but lose access to the most vital healing power of the herb. And with this same heedless thrust, we can power of the herb. And with this same heedless thrust, we can damage the sustaining stability and beauty of our environment. I try to bear this in mind whenever I participate in the circle of giving as the harvester of another being.

This holds for all Earthly harvests— plant, animal, and mineral. Certainly, the science and technology we employ to prepare our herbal preparations are important factors in bringing forth highquality herbal medicines, and the main body of this handbook o ers guidelines for these techniques. But as author of this work I must allege, as I repeat, these are not the most crucial factors. Therein lies the art and soul of excellent medicinemaking.

In my opinion the harvesting of a plant is the most critical element in the process of making truly fine herbal medicine. The active ingredient of herbal medicine, the one that truly supports human health and healing, is not scienti cally captured in high-tech wonder-labs, mysteriously contained and transformed by stainless steel vessels and bubbling glass beakers.

It is simply embraced in the woodlands, meadows, seashores, and in the domestic gardens where plants and plant communities live. It is conveyed by a green spirit, whoever she or he might be, wherever she or he might work. These rituals are clearly not intended to impress the plants, and they are not ordained to ip on some sort of magic switch; plants are already our allies, and the magic Nature surrounds us with all the time, where everything imaginable is possible, is always on.

These rituals are for you. To receive what you want, you merely have to tap into natural enchantment in a nonresistant fashion. Ritual helps you allow yourself to function at an altered state of knowing and receptivity. In ritual you focus precisely on what you want and hold your attention on the vibrations you choose to harmonize with—at present, the vibration of plant spirit.

The rst procedure is a ritualized method for allowing yourself to communicate with plants and receive them as personal allies. The second is a ritual that aligns the pace of your physical and mental energy with the energy of the plant entities you wish to harvest. Both rituals can help you focus on your intent and align your spirit in a relationship with a plant, a relationship that allows you to carry the spirit of the plant along with your harvest of its physical being.

If either one or both rituals appeal to you, adopt them, or modify them to suit your nature. These are merely my means to an end; there are innumerable other ways to woo plant spirit. Seduction is a highly personal adventure. Ritual is a partner helping create the energy of a dance; you are the drummer. Plant spirit resides in each and every plant.

Regardless of the size of the metropolis you inhabit or the thickness of its concrete complexion, you can spot wild plants growing throughout its brittle surface. Walk the streets and check it out; healthy plants are rising through the city grid. You can nd plants growing all along streetside curbs and down adjacent alleyways; and, their green spirit lounges as communities of weeds at the edges of asphalt parking lots. Arriving with the wind, the seeds of diverse plants abound in pretty much every patch of city dirt. Even the most plant-resistant environments host their bands of outlaw weeds.

Actually plant spirit, in one form or another, envelops the entire city—every city. Boundless numbers of fertile seeds lie under city streets and beneath each metropolitan structure. We tend to credit ourselves with abilities on this orbiting garden we do not truly possess. So for now, there may not be a su cient amount of plants growing on urban turf to harvest, but there are always plenty to relate to and commune with, and, like other plants, they respond to us. Acknowledge plant spirit that greets you on the street. Respond to its communication.

Reach out and touch plants too, rubbing their leaves between your ngers and smelling their green aromas. And if I might add a P. Their vibrations are as clear and uplifting as those of plants growing in gardens and country wilds. If you feel a green companion touch your spirit, plant its image in your mind and heart. Cities are rarely lonely places for those who speak with the plants. They o er no resistance whatsoever to the adventure of communicating with a receptive human being.


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Over 99 percent of our human being is a vibrational communicator. Under 1 percent is a verbal communicator even with other human beings, so plants and animals being virtually percent vibrational communicators are very similar to you and me in their vibrational o ering. They are quite able and entirely compatible to communicate with us, and vice versa. Go outside and look around in the garden or wander through the forest, the hillsides, the seashore, or along a country roadway.

Note the plants that attract you most vibrational communication. You feel pleasantly uplifted whenever you are near them vibrational communication. So, these are the vegetable folks to start intentionally communicating with. A mutual, vibrational connection has already been established without a word having been spoken. You have entered the green. You will feel a mutual attraction touching some undomesticated, wild part of yourself. Be still and take the opportunity to listen to the sounds of Nature that surround you. Be still for as long as it takes to reunite with your deep sense of well-being.

In this mutual state of consciousness plants will further respond to you. Smell the scents that are owing around and into you. Feel your absolute freedom and that of all other beings present. It is vibrating in its place of absolute well-being, as are you. Let your sight drink its colors. Let it experience your vitality and gentleness. Be open to all possibilities. Be open to your feelings and your visions.

Dissolve any sensual separation you might feel with the plant by letting all intellectual objectivity ow away with the breeze. Ask the plant to give you its name. Dismiss all you think you know or might have been taught about the plant; instead, allow its name to come to you. Keep the name silent within you, like the name of a clandestine lover.

Ask the plant for its song. Every plant has a song. You may also receive an image or a nature symbol to draw or paint or weave or sculpt. Songs and visual images are given to you for your personal medicine-use of the plant. Keep them intimate; hold their energy and knowledge in your heart and mind. These gifts are the ultimate harvest. After giving you its name and song, the plant may give you other gifts by telling you what it will do for you as a medicine ally.

These are truths shared between you and the plant; they have been given speci cally to you. It is your medicine. Extend visions of well-being to the plant and to its community. They are your allies and you can always speak to them of that which you want. You may be given more during these meditative states or during sleep in a dream.

It has been a long time since most of us have made ourselves available for intentional conversation with plant spirits. There is much to be communicated between plant and human species, and it is a joy for both to do so. Dance to the rhythm of the drummers and the shakers; close your eyes and visualize and feel the energy of this plant. Dance this energy; like attracts like. In this state of consciousness, other nature spirits can come to you as you dance, or later that evening.

Remember, plants participate in very active night lives. Enter your garden during the evening hours and hang out with them in the quiet moonlight. Sit for a while with the plants you want to harvest. Treat yourself to the splendor of their beauty; enjoy the well-being you share. Seek out the grandmother plant, the elder of the community.

Focus on this plant and yourself together. Place intimate energy around the two of you by visualizing warm light surrounding you or by shaking a rattle and feeling a eld of cohesive energy encircle you nature spirits and human babies love the sound vibrations of rattles … remember? Be still in body and energy. Slow down your pace of thought and action with a ceremonial o ering to the grandmother and her clan.

This adjusts your normal human pace to better align your energy with the energy of the plants. Just sit with the stillness and empty your mind. Tune to your inner hearing. Plant spirit speaks to these ears. Communicate clearly your harvest intent and clarify to the plant and again to yourself the purpose of the medicine you wish to prepare. Ask permission to harvest, asking when to harvest, where, how, and how much. Plants, when listened to, inform you how best to harvest and receive their gifts. Be content for the moment to harvest plant communion and companionship.

Come back again later or visit another community and extend another request. When you feel permission to harvest, harvest softly. Impact the plant community and the ecosystem minimally. You only need enough herb for the year. Upon feeling a sense of permission, you will have strongly connected with the plant and infused your harvest with its spirit.

As you work through the harvesting action, maintain communication with the individual plants you are taking, and sustain focus on your intended uses. As a conclusion to your harvest, express your gratitude to the plant community. Grandmother will be smiling and you will know it. As you are leaving, pause for a moment and look back at the plant community. Ask yourself if you harvested softly. Does it show that you were there? How much does it show? Be with your feelings about this. Learn from them; they are your truth.

Visualize the healing energy of the medicines you are about to make with the plants given to you by this community and bid farewell. Return to your home and process your harvest immediately. Go dancing that evening. Dance the energy and character of the plant spirit you harvested. Dance with your plant allies. Dance your happiness and your gratitude. The minimum equipment required for an impassioned harvester is merely a pair of hands and some means for getting them to the plants; a healthy pair of feet is adequate for that job.

But I am a stickler for taking meticulous care of all tools and equipment; therefore, I strongly recommend protective coverings for your hands and feet. Sandals and bare ngers are a pleasure to use for harvesting Red Clover or Calendula blossoms on a warm summer day, but high-top gumboots a.

A tough canvas jacket will keep you snug and protect your arms and torso from spiny stalks as you walk through forests and pull roots like those of Oplopanax horridum from the ground, or when you dig Blackberry roots from the earth in the spring or fall. A lightweight, long-sleeved cotton shirt worn during hot sunny days of harvesting will greatly assist your body to retain water and avoid dehydration.

A variety of favorite hats protect harvesters from a hot sun, as well as from cold, rain, and the end products of bird peristalsis. I suggest you purchase the best-quality equipment you can possibly a ord. High-quality tools serve you better, are safer to use, and if taken care of will last signi cantly longer. The key phrase here is, if taken care of. Attention to details like keeping hands, feet, head, and torso protected and healthy; keeping blades sharp, not pushing any tool past its limits, wiping tools dry after use, cleaning and oiling them regularly, and storing them in dry places out of direct sunlight will assure you a functional, co-independent relationship with your harvesting equipment.

It appears to me that inanimate objects have sensitive spirits too, and like animate objects they respond positively to any regard and attention you give them. All in all, pampered, high-quality equipment ends up being less expensive, safer, and more enjoyable to use. In addition to body-protecting paraphernalia, you will need equipment and tools with which to cut, whittle, scrape, dig, and carry stu in.

Pruning shears, a knife, a trowel, and paper bags will do. The makers of these cutters o er a gratifying variety of ergonomic styles for both left-handers and right-handers, and for hand sizes of men and women. Be keenly aware when using shears that they are known to bite the hand not holding them. I carry this little tool to help me deal with those spontaneous odd jobs that inevitably arise during harvesting and gardening and for innumerable supplementary tasks such as removing soil from under ngernails, cutting large bars of chocolate, fending o bears, unwrapping Valentine gifts, and so forth.

A companion pocketknife is an essential tool for an independent being. I guarantee you will use it throughout your medicine-making and other journeys— repeatedly. But of course the superb suggestion is usually ignored and wanders off unappreciated. I also rely on a hori hori, which is a brilliantly designed Japanese root digging tool that is virtually indestructible. The best paper bags to use are large, heavy-duty, recycled ones. Avoid using plastic bags; they retain heat and moisture and quickly compost before you can get them home the fresh herbs they contain.

A basket is also practical, especially one designed with a large sti handle that arches over the top of the basket. You can stick your arm through the handle and retain the use of both hands for picking and placing the plant parts into the conveniently positioned basket hanging on your arm. This is most practical when you need to reach up to harvest Hawthorn berries or Elder blossoms or when you are perched in a tree reaching out precariously to collect other precious arboreal pickings.

In order to take good care of yourself, you will also need a full water bottle. Get a quart-size bottle, maybe two of them, as a pint of water is seldom enough. Never go harvesting without taking water. The arid shadow of dehydration lurks in nearly every ecosystem. Drink lots of water while harvesting and gardening. Amidst your enchanted wonderings, you will happen upon many intriguing plants in the eld.


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If you are a person who likes to give a name to them, carry a plant identi cation guide with you. Search bookstores for pocket guides that speak clearly to your intellect, ones that focus on the locations you frequent. However, when the sight of a particular plant stops you in your tracks, I suggest rst sitting and asking the plant itself for its name. Then, following this private conversation, consult your identi cation guide, key out the plant, and note the names others have given it.

Practice plant communion rst, then practice using your plant key. I strongly suggest you revel in exercising this right. Utilize all opportunities to beckon and inspire your inner poet. Some individuals like to keep a record of their harvesting experiences. In Appendix E, I have given you a sample of the Harvesting Information Chart we recommend using at the California School of Herbal Studies for documenting the details of harvest that pertain to plants we process for our use. This form is o ered merely as a sample guide.

Format your own design to suit your particular interests. First aid equipment obligatory for the harvesting tasks that await you can be summarized in three words—Lavender essential oil. What with biting and sucking critters, abrading surfaces, scraping and puncturing stickers and thorns, bumps, nicks, cuts, pruning shear bites, I tell you, it can be itchy and irritating out there. And what one needs most when a cutaneous crisis occurs is an inexpensive, soothing anti-in ammatory , cleansing disinfectant accessory, that smells great.

This would be a 15 ml bottle of pure Lavender essential oil. Slather it on any and all offended skin. When in the eld, a green herbalist realizes that he or she is a visitor, a guest in quest of great gifts. Because the relationship between the green herbalist and the plant community is such that, season to season, the number and health of the plants will have been sustained or increased, the herbalist will be welcomed back for the next harvest and the one following that, as will his or her children, apprentices, companions, and so on for generations to follow.

Herbal Medicine for Beginners: Never Binge Again tm: Home-Crafted Remedies for Health and Beauty. Herbs, Acupressure, Massage, Homeop Modern Connections to Ancient Plants. History, botany, medicinal properties of herbs from the Bible. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Rated by customers interested in.

Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Read reviews that mention herbs medicine plants green herbalist reference james informative tinctures remedies recipes library medicines medicinal knowledge ways herb interested useful uses. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. All I can say is this author speaks to me. I am not what most people would think of as the type to get "into" herbal healing leave it at that. I have been working and healing with herbs for about a year or so and consider it a calling "hobby" to those who ask.

There are some great books out there and one should always have a few on hand to reference. However, similar to Rosemary Gladstar, this author speaks to the inner healer - the person who is magically drawn to plants and their divine healing properties, but may not know why. He inspires a person to want to understand the magic AND the science. If you want a "list" of herbs and their medicinal properties, this isn't it, it is SO much more.

I am not into worshiping Gaia or dancing under the moonlight to celebrate life's offerings, but he is and that's just fine with me. It will be fine too with anyone who chooses to include this wonderful book in their herbal reference library. First I want to say that I really loved this book. I started working on this book in August , it is now January It covers a vast amount of information.

I wanted to make sure that I covered everything completely, I will now start re- read it again. The book is highlighted, underlined, notes written all over the book. This is more a text book, than a simple herb book. I highly recommend this if you are serious about being am herbalist. This is one book I will use over and over.

Just glancing through it i have already found help i needed for a tincture.. I bought my friend one and she loves it. I am not real educated on the ratios etc of herbs and she is, but we both found things in the book to help. It covers tinctures, ratios, herbs, and also has recipes. You want be disappointed in this book no matter how far along you are in making your own tinctures. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. First, do not mistake this as an Herbal or a formulary of herbal recipes because while this book may list some information about some herbs and their uses it does not get specific into the herbs themselves.

This book, however, does cover an extensive course on the basics of general herbal medicine making and an in depth course on the consideration and instruction for specific methods of herbal therapies and applications. I personally like this book because I specialize in herbal liquid extracts and infusions, mainly tinctures, glycerites, and oils.

This book extensively covers these forms of herbal therapy and application in great detail, not just on the basic components of making a tincture or other form of herbal medicine but it discusses the scientific and biological processes behind them. I especially like that he discusses tincturing by maceration and by percolation and furthermore includes a whole independent section on Solvents as well; as they can be tricky to choose from and formulate when making your own formulas and figuring out each herbs solubility factors and weigh which solvents should be used and in what quantity and ratio.

In conclusion this book is another must have for any truly dedicated naturopathic medicinal herbalist and includes more valuable information one could hope for and expect especially in comparison to the books price. If you have ever wondered about using and making herbal remedies, this book is for you! James is a wonderful writer. You feel like you are talking to an old friend. Yes, he is an old hippie type, but so congenial.

He has written this book so it is easy to read and understand. He walks you through everything you need to know. He explains the many different ways herbs have been used throughout history, what forms work the best and which extraction methods work for each type of plant. He keeps the list of herbs to a manageable level. You don't need to buy a bunch of different herbs for the formulas. And some you can grow yourself and use directly from the garden. This is a must have for anyone just getting into the practice of home herbal medicines.

Very detailed and well written. He respects the plants he uses so if that bothers you, then skim those parts. I look forward to using this book to make tinctures and other medicines. I'm not fond of the idea of taking all the stuff my doctor says I should be taking if I can do it naturally. I'm in awe of the information contained in this book. With healthcare costs rising and insurance co-pays going through the roof herbal medicine is a safe, natural way to stay healthy or get that way and this book shows you how.

It is written in an approachable manner that will have you contemplating the new information as well as turning the pages like the hottest new novel. You will learn what herbs help with ailments, how to prepare them and why they work. Buy this book and start on the herbal road to good health. I ordered3 other herbal books but I really wish I would have just bought this one! There are so many recipes and sections in this book from salves to tinctures. Really interesting and thorough directions.

I can't wait to make herbal medicine! See all reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 3 days ago. Published 16 days ago. Published 3 months ago. Published 4 months ago.