All About Herbs

Allspice (Pimento dioica)

To Grow: No directions to grow

Uses: Allspice will ease flatulence and dyspeptic pain. It may be applied as a compress for rheumatism and neuralgia. It is mainly used as a spice in the food industry.

Parts Used: The berries are the part of the plant that are used. They should be picked while still green. When they are dried they will turn a reddish-brown.

Infusion: The dried berries should be bruised just before use to release the oils. Pour one cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of the berries and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Drink warm to ease the symptoms of abdominal distress as needed.

Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)

To Grow: Annual herb with bright green, toothed, basal leaves. Tiny white flowers appear in umbrella-like clusters on two feet stems in June. Start in place when ground warms up in spring. This plant does not transplant easily. Grow in light soil in full sun. Water it regularly.

Uses: Aniseed oil is the basis for its internal use to ease griping, intestinal colic, and flatulence. It also has a marked expectorant and anti-spasmodic action and may be used where there is persistent coughing, and in whooping cough. The oil may be used externally in an ointment base for treating scabies. The oil by itself will help in the control of lice.

Parts Used: The seeds of Anise are the part used. The ripe dry fruits should be picked between mid-summer and early fall.

Infusion: The seeds should be gently crushed just before use to release the oils. Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the seeds and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Take one cup three times daily. To ease flatulence the tea should be taken slowly before meals.

Oil: One drop of the oil may be taken internally by mixing it into ½ teaspoonful of honey.

Balm (Melissa officinalis)

To Grow: Perennial herb. Grows to two feet It's leaves are heavily veined, light green leaves with a lemony scent. It's white flowers are unimportant and need to be cut occasionally to keep compact. Spreads rapidly. Grow in rich, moist soil in sun or part shade. Balm is very hardy and you can propagate from seed or root divisions. Self sows.

Uses: Balm is an excellent carminative herb that relieves spasms in the digestive tract and is used in flatulent dyspepsia. The gently sedative oils relieve tension and stress reactions, therefore, acting to lighten depression. It has a tonic effect on the circulatory system and heart, thus lowering blood pressure. It can be used in feverish conditions such as flu.

Parts Used: Dried aerial parts or fresh in season. Pick the leaves two or three times a year between early summer and early fall. Cut off the young shoots when they are approximately 12 in long. They should be dried in the shade at a temperature not more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 2-3 teaspoons of the dried herb or 4-6 fresh leaves and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes, well covered. Drink a cup in the morning and the evening or when needed.

Tincture: Take 2-6 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Bayberry (Myrica cerifera)

To Grow: Deciduous or partly evergreen shrub. Dense, compact growth to nine feet. Leaves are four inches long, narrowish, glossy green, dotted with resin glands, and fragrant. Flowers are inconspicuous with tiny roundish fruit covered with wax. You can plant Bayberry in almost any soil in full sun. Water occasionally.

Uses: Bayberry is a valuable astringent in diarrhea and dysentery. It can be used as a douche for leucorrhea and can be gargled for sore throats. It can also be used in the treatment of colds.

Part Used: Bark of root. It should be dug up in spring or fall and it's bark pared off and dried.

Decoction: Put one teaspoon of the bark in one cup of cold water and bring to a boil. Leave for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-3 milliliters of the tincture three times a day

Black Horehound (Ballota nigra)

To Grow: No directions to grow

Uses: Eases nausea where it is caused by the nervous system rather than the stomach. Good for motion sickness, vomiting of pregnancy, and nervous vomiting. A normalizer of menstrual function and also a mild expectorant.

Part Used: Dried aerial parts. Collect just as it begins to bloom in midsummer.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoon of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day or as needed.

Tincture: Take 1-2 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Caraway (Carum carvi)

To Grow: Biennial herb. It has a mound of carrot-like leaves the first year and umbrella-like clusters of white flowers above the foliage the second year. The Plant dies after it's seeds ripen in mid-summer. Start from seed sown in place in fall or spring. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun. Water average. Thin seedlings to 1½ feet.

Uses: A calming herb used to ease flatulent dyspepsia and intestinal colic. Stimulates the appetite. Increases milk flow during pregnancy, relieves period pains, helps diarrhea, as a gargle helps laryngitis, and can be used in bronchitis and bronchial asthma.

Part Used: Seeds. Collect the flowering heads in mid-summer and leave to ripen. Shake the seeds off when ready.

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of freshly crushed seeds and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

To Grow: Perennial. Grows 2-3 feet high. Downy gray-green leaves and clustered lavender or white flowers at branch tips in June. This plant is an easy grower in light soil. Water regularly. Reseeds itself.

Uses: Catnip is a traditional cold and flu remedy. A powerful diaphoretic used in many feverish conditions. It eases stomach upsets, flatulence, dyspepsia, and colic. It has a sedative action which relaxes the nerves. Another well known use is for cats. Sprinkle it's dried leaves over their food or sew it into a stuffed toy.

Parts Used: Leaves and flowering tops. Collect between early summer and early fall.

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture 3-4 times a day.

Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

To Grow: Evergreen perennial. Has soft-textured, bright green leaves that form a mat that spreads 3-12 inches. Most common form has summer-blooming flower heads that resemble small yellow buttons, others have daisy-like heads. Plant one foot apart in full sun or light shade. Water moderately.

Uses: An excellent, gentle sedative, safe for use in children. Used in anxiety and insomnia. Use as a gargle for sore throats, a mouth wash for mouth inflammations, or as an eye wash for sore eyes. Use as an inhalant over a steam bath to speed recovery of nasal catarrh. Use externally to speed wound healing and ease swelling.

Parts Used: Flowers and leaves. Gather the flowers between late spring and late summer when they are not wet with dew or rain. Dry with care at not to high a temperature.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of dried leaves and leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes. Drink after meals for digestive problems. Make a stronger infusion for mouthwash. Add half a cup of flowers to two liters of water for a steam bath. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of tincture three times a day.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

To Grow: A Deep-rooted, clumping perennial that grows to three feet. Basal leaves are eight inches or more in length, shorter on top, and all furry with stiff hairs. Flowers are ½ inch long, usually a dose rose color, sometimes white, creamy, or purple. Plant in full sun or partial shade. Water average. To keep leaf production high cut out flowering stalks and mulch each spring with compost. Gardeners should think hard before putting comfrey into your gardens. Plants spread freely from roots and are difficult to get rid of. On the other side, some herb enthusiasts claim it accumulates minerals and enriches compost.

Uses: A Powerful healing agent in gastric and duodenal ulcers, hiatus hernia, and ulcerative colitis. Will help hemorrhages when they occur. It will soothe and reduce irritation while helping expectoration in cases of bronchitis and irritable cough. May be used to speed wound healing and help guard against scar tissue developing incorrectly.

Parts Used: Root and rhizome, leaf. Dig up the roots in spring or fall when the allantoin levels are highest. Split the roots down the middle and dry in temperatures of about 104-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Decoction: Place 1-3 teaspoons of the dried herb in one cup of water and bring to a boil. simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times daily.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture three times daily.

Caution: The external application of comfrey to very deep wounds may lead to scar tissue forming over the wound before it is healed, possible leading to abscesses.

Note: Leaves have been used as food for people and livestock-but they contain a poison, pyrrolizidine, and should not be eaten.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

To Grow: Annual herb. Grows 12-15 inches high with delicate fern-like foliage and flat clusters of pinkish white flowers. Plant in good, well-drained soil, in full sun. Grows quickly and sows itself.

Uses: Helps the digestive system get rid of wind and the spasm pain (colic) that sometimes goes with it. Eases diarrhea. The oil acts as a stimulant to the stomach, increasing secretion of digestive juices, therefore stimulating the appetite.

Parts Used: Ripe seeds. Collect the flowering heads in late summer and leave to ripen. Shake the flowers then and collect the seeds will fall off easily.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water on one teaspoon of the bruised seeds and leave to infuse for 5 minutes in a closed pot. Drink before meals.

Dill (Anethum graveolens)

To Grow: Annual herb grows 3-4 feet. It has soft-leathery leaves and umbrella-like clusters of small, yellow flowers. The seeds and leaves have a pungent fragrance. Sow in place in full sun several times during the spring and summer for constant supply. Thin to 1½ feet apart. Dill sprouts and grows better in the spring than in the summer.

Uses: An excellent remedy for flatulence and colic. This is the herb of choice in colic in small children. It stimulates the milk flow in a nursing mother and chewing the seeds will clear up bad breath.

Part Used: Seeds. Collect the seeds when they are fully ripe (have turned brown) Spread out to dry in natural heat.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over the gently crushed seeds and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. For flatulence, drink a cup before meals.

Tincture: Take 1-2 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia)

To Grow: No directions to grow

Uses: Echinacea is the number one remedy to help rid the body of microbial infections. Works against both bacterial and viral attacks. It can be used for boils, septicemia, or any other infection of that sort. If used with other herbs it can be used for infections anywhere in the body.

Parts Used: Cone, flower and roots. Dig up the roots in the fall. It is said that fresh roots are more effective than dried roots.

Decoction: Put 1-2 teaspoons of the root into 1 cup of water and slowly bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)

To Grow: Perennial herb, usually grown as a summer annual. Similar to dill, but coarser, it grows to 3-5 feet high. It has yellow green, finely cut leaves with flat clusters of yellow flowers. Grow in light, well-drained soil, in full sun. Drought tolerant. Start from seed in place. Thin seedlings to 1 feet apart.

Uses: An excellent stomach and intestinal remedy that eases flatulence and colic while stimulating the digestive tract and appetite. It will increase the flow of milk in nursing mothers. It may be used to ease rheumatism and muscular pains externally. As a compress it will treat the conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids.

Part Used: Seeds. Harvest the seeds when they are ripe and split in the fall. Cut the brown umbel off and comb the seeds to clean them. Dry slightly in the shade.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of slightly crushed seeds and leave to infuse for ten minutes. Drink three times a day. To ease flatulence drink a cup half an hour before meals.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

To Grow: Perennial. In areas with mild winters, plant between October and December for early summer harvest. Where winters are cold, plant early in spring. Break bulbs up into cloves and plant base downward 1-2 inches apart in rows one foot apart.

Uses: One of the most effective anti-microbial plant available, acting on bacteria, viruses and alimentary parasites. Used in respiratory infections such as chronic bronchitis, catarrh, recurrent colds and influenza. It is helpful in the treatment of whooping cough and asthma. Can be used as a preventive agent against most infectious conditions. Will support the growth of the natural bacteria flora while killing pathogenic organisms in the digestive tract. Will reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels if taken over a period of time. Externally it can be used for the treatment of ringworm and threadworm.

Part Used: Bulb. Dig up the bulb when the leaves begin to wither and fall over. A Clove should be eaten three times a day. If smell is a problem, then switch to garlic oil capsules. Take three once a day as a prophylactic or take one three times a day when an infection occurs.

Hops (Humulus lupulus)

To Grow: Perennial vine. Grow from roots (which are not easily found in nurseries) planted in rich soil in early spring. Place thick end up just below soil surface. Trellis's or supports will be needed for vertical climbing. Shoots appear in May and grow quickly to 15-25 feet by mid-summer. Water roots a lot once rapid growth starts. Light green hops appear in August-September and have a fresh, piney fragrance. Regrowth comes the next spring.

Uses: Used for the treatment of insomnia. Will ease tension and anxiety. Can be used in conditions such as mucous colitis. They may be used for the treatment of ulcers externally.

Part Used: Flower inflorescence. Gather the cones before they are fully ripe in late summer or early fall. Dry with care in the shade.

Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoons of the dried flowers and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink one cup a night to help induce sleep.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Caution: Do not use in cases of marked depression

Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)

To Grow: No directions to grow.

Uses: Can be used in influenza and fevers as a rough equivalent to cayenne pepper. It stimulates the digestive process while easing wind and griping pains. Also, for urinary infections, rheumatism, and as a poultice in bronchitis.

Part Used: Tap root. Collect the roots in winter and store in sand.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of chopped or powdered root. Leave to infuse for five minutes. Drink three times a day or more when used to treat influenza or fevers.

Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

To Grow: Perennial herb. Grows to 1½-2 feet high. Has narrow, dark green, pungent leaves and a profusion of dark blue flower spikes that appear July-November. There are also white and pink-flowered forms available. Plant in full sun or light shade. Fairly drought resistant.

Uses: It is used in coughs, bronchitis, and chronic catarrh. It can be used for the common cold due top its diaphoretic state. As a nervine it may be used in anxiety, hysteria, and petite mal (a form of epilepsy).

Part Used: Dried aerial parts. Collect the flowering tops in late summer.

Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

To Grow: Classic lavender grows to 3-4 feet high and wide. Leaves are two inches long, gray, smooth on margins, and narrow. Flowers are lavender, ½ inch long on 1½ -2 feet spikes in July-August. Plant in good soil. Water regularly.

Uses: An effective herb for headaches. Can be used in the clearing of depression, especially when used with other remedies. It can be used to soothe and promote natural sleep. It can help ease the pains of rheumatism when used externally as an oil.

Part Used: Flowers. Collect just before they open in early summer and early fall. Dry gently in a room not above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of the dried flowers and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Oil: Do not take the oil internally. It can be inhaled, rubbed on the skin, or used in baths.

Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

To Grow: Annual. Flowers from late fall through spring in mild-winter areas and spring to summer in colder winter areas. Plants, somewhat branching 1-2 feet high. Leaves are long, narrow, round on the ends, sticky, and slightly aromatic. Sow seeds in place or in flats in late summer or early fall in mild winter climates or in spring elsewhere. Plant in full sun. Adapts to most soils with ample or little water, as long as drainage is fast.

Uses: Use marigold wherever there is inflammation of the skin, external bleeding, bruising, and minor burns. Internally it can be used in the treatment of Gastric and duodenal ulcers. It helps relieve gall bladder problems and indigestion as a cholagogue. It also helps delayed menstruation and painful periods.

Part Used: Yellow flower petals. Collect the petals between early summer and early fall. Dry with great care to insure there is no discoloration.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons of the petals and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Marjoram (Origanum vulgare)

To Grow: Perennial herb. Upright growth to 2½ feet. Spreads by underground stems. Leaves are medium sized and oval. Purplish-pink blooms. Plant in sun, medium-rich soil. It needs good drainage. Water average. Keep it trimmed to prevent flowering. Replant every three years.

Uses: Often used in the treatment of colds and flu. Can be used as a mouthwash for inflammations of the mouth and throat. It can be used externally for infected wounds and cuts. The Infusion is used in whooping coughs and coughs. As an oil rubbed on the forehead or temples or as a tea it may be used to relieve headaches due to stress. The oil can also be used for areas of rheumatic and muscular pain. A lotion of marjoram will soothe stings and bites.

Part Used: Aerial parts. Gather as soon as it flowers. Do not gather the larger, thicker stalks.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water onto 1 teaspoon of the herb and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Mouthwash: Pour one pint of boiling water onto two tablespoons, of the herb. Let it stand covered for 10 minutes. Gargle for 5-10 minutes three times a day. Reheat to use again.

Tincture: Take 1-2 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

To Grow: No directions to grow.

Uses: The root is used primarily for digestive problems, inflammations of the digestive tract and on the skin. The leaves are used for the lungs and urinary system. The leaf can also be used for bronchitis, respiratory catarrh, and irritating coughs. Externally, the root is indicated in varicose veins, ulcers, abscesses and boils.

Parts Used: Roots and leaves. Collect the leaves in summer after flowering and dig up the root in late fall. Clean the root of root fibers and cork and dry immediately.

Decoction: Put one teaspoon of chopped root into one cup of water and boil gently for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons of the dried leaves and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

This herb can be used as a compress also.

Mistletoe (Viscum alba)

To Grow: No Directions to grow but easily bought around Christmas time. If you do not want to wait, you can find it easily in the Rocky mountains growing on trees. You can probably find it anywhere in the U.S. growing on trees.

Uses: Mistletoe will quiet, tone, and soothe the nervous system. It will reduce heart rate while strengthening the wall of the peripheral capillaries. It will ease blood pressure and ease arteriosclerosis. It has been shown to have some anti-tumor activity.

Part Used: Leafy twigs. Collect the twigs in the spring.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day or as needed.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Caution: Do not use the berries.

Mustard (Brassica nigra)

To Grow: No directions to grow.

Uses: It can be used as a mild irritant to the skin, which when applied, stimulates circulation to that area and relieves muscular and skeletal pain. May be taken as a tea or ground and sprinkled into a bath to relieve fevers, colds, and influenza.

Part Used: Seeds. Collect the ripe seed pods in late summer. Tap the seeds out and dry in a thin layer.

Poultice: Mix four ounces of freshly ground black mustard seeds with warm water to form a thick paste. Spread on a piece of cloth the size of the body area to be covered. Lay a damp gauze between the poultice and the skin to prevent the paste from sticking to the skin. Apply the cloth and remove after one minute. If the skin is reddened it can be eased with olive oil.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoons of mustard flour and leave to infuse for five minutes. Drink three times a day.

This may also be used as a foot-bath. Make an infusion using 1 teaspoons of bruised seeds to one liter boiling water.

Oats (Avena sativa)

To Grow: No directions to grow.

Uses: Oats can be used in cases of nervous debility and exhaustion when associated with depression. It can be used with other nervines, both relaxant and stimulatory to strengthen the whole nervous system. It can also be used as a remedy for skin conditions.

Parts Used: Seeds and whole plant. Gather the seeds and straw in late summer at harvest time. Cut and bound the stalks and leave to dry upright. Thresh out the fruit. The straw is just the crushed dry stalks.

Fluid Extract: Take 3-5 milliliters three times a day.

Bath: Boil two liters of water and one pound of straw for half an hour. Strain the liquid and add it to the bath.

The most common way to get oats is to eat them through porridge or oatmeal.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

See Coriander.

Passion Flower (Passiflora incarnata)

To Grow: Perennial vine. Spreads prodigiously through root runners. It dies back at the first frost. Flowers are two inches across with white and purple with white crown. The fruit is two inches long, yellowish green, and edible. Grow from seed in any soil with average water.

Uses: Passion flower aids in the transition into a restful sleep without any 'narcotic' hangover. It may be used in Parkinson's' disease, seizures, hysteria, and asthma as an anti-spasmodic. It can be used for nerve pain such as neuralgia or shingles.

Part Used: Leaves. Collect the foliage alone before the flowers bloom between late spring and mid-summer. It may also be collected with the fruit after flowering. Dry the leaves in the shade.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water onto one teaspoon of the dried leaves and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Drink one cup a night for sleeplessness and a cup twice a day for other conditions.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture and use the same way as the infusion.

Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo)

To Grow: For Jumbo-size, Halloween pumpkins, plant seeds in mid May or June. Plant is sunny location. Allow a vine area of 8-12 feet in diameter. After the soil is cultivated, dig a hole four inches deep where you will plant seeds. Put a shovelful of manure in the hole and cover it with soil to level the ground. Plant 6-8 seeds, one inch deep, within a circle six inches wide. If you want more than one set of vines, plant the next circle eight feet away. Water seeds after planting. When plants are 4-6 inches high, remove all but the two best plants in the circle. Water the pumpkins when you see the slightest sign of wilting, being careful to not get the leaves wet. When the pumpkins are tennis ball size, remove all but three or four on each vine for a total of no more than eight in each circle. If you want extra large pumpkins remove all but one. Remove the pumpkins from the ends of the vines, saving the ones closest to the main stem. Remove all flowers that bloom after that. In late summer slide a wooden shingle under each pumpkin if the ground is wet. If you have sandy soil you do not need to worry about this. When pumpkins are the size you want, pick and do whatever it is you are going to do with them. For smaller, regular pumpkins, plant in early spring in circles of 6-8 seeds with a diameter of six inches. Water well. Pick pumpkins when they are the size you want.

Uses: The seeds have long been used as a remedy for worms and tapeworms.

Part Used: Seeds. Remove the seeds from the pulp inside the pumpkin.

Preparation: Beat two ounces of the seeds with as much sugar and milk to make a pint. Take this fasting, in three doses, one every two hours. Drink castor oil a few hours after the last dose.

Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)

To Grow: Needs good drainage, dryish soil, and sun or light shade.

Uses: Raspberry leaves have long been used to strengthen and tone the tissue of the womb, assisting contractions, and checking any hemorrhage during labor. This will happen if the herb is drunken continuously during pregnancy and taken during labor. It can also be used in diarrhea, leucorrhea, and other loose conditions. It is used in the easing of mouth problems such as mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and inflammation. It will help sore throats.

Part Used: Leaves and fruit. Collect the leaves throughout the growing season. Dry slowly in a well-ventilated area.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of the dried herb. Leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. You may drink this freely.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Red Sage (Salvia officinalis)

To Grow: Perennial herb. Grows 1½-2 feet high. Leaves are 1-2 inches long, narrow, and gray green. It has tall spikes of violet blue flowers. Can plant in poor, but well-drained soil, full sun. It is fairly drought resistant. Cut back after bloom and fertilize if you cut continually. Divide every three or four years. Propagate from cuttings, layers, or seeds.

Uses: It is most widely used as a remedy for inflammations of the mouth, gums, tongue, throat, and tonsils. As a gargle it will help laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and quinsy. It reduces sweating when taken internally and may be used to reduce the production of breast milk. It stimulates the muscles of the uterus and may be used as a compress to heal wounds.

Part Used: Leaves. Collect the leaves when the plant begins to flower in late spring or early summer. Dry in the shade at a temperature not above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the leaves and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Mouthwash: Bring two teaspoons of the leaves and one pint of water to a boil. Let stand, covered for 15 minutes. Gargle deeply for 5-10 minutes several times a day.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Caution: Avoid during pregnancy

Rosehips (Rosa canina)

To Grow: Try to plant where roses will receive full sun all day. Avoid planting where other shrubs or trees will steal water from the roses. Plant in well drained soil. Dig soil deep and incorporate organic matter such as ground bark, peat moss, or compost. Add complete fertilizer to soil at the same time and dig supplemental phosphorous and potash into planting holes. Before planting bare-root roses, immerse them in water for several hours. Be sure to make holes large enough so you will not have to bend the roots or cut them back. Before planting cut broken canes and broken roots just below the break. Set plant in the hole so that bud union (knob from which the canes grow) is just above soil level. After the rose is planted and has been watered well, mound soil or damp peat moss around the bud union and the canes. Remove gradually after the leaves begin to expand. You must water regularly. Water deeply so that entire root system receives water. Big, well established plants need more water than new plants. Apply nutrients fairly regularly. Feed when a blooming cycle has just ended and new cycle is beginning. Stop feeding about six weeks before first hard frost. Regular pest and disease control should be followed. Begin to control aphids as soon as they appear. To prune, use sharp pruning spears. Remove wood that is obviously dead or wood that has no healthy growth coming from it. Also prune branches that rub against the plants larger canes or branches that cut through the center. Each spring, remove 1/3-½ inch of the previous season's growth. Cut flowers as a form of pruning. Cut enough stem to allow rose to stand in a vase but do not cut to much foliage from the plant.

Uses: A good source of vitamin C. They help in the bodies defense against colds and flues. They help in cases of constipation and mild gall bladder problems as well as conditions of the bladder and kidney.

Parts Used: Fruit (hips) and seeds of the dog rose. Collect the hips in the fall.

Decoction: Put 2½ tablespoons of the cut hips in a cup of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

To Grow: Evergreen shrub, herb. Rugged and picturesque, grows 2-6 feet high. Leaves are narrow, aromatic, glossy, and dark green above, grayish white below. Flowers grow in small clusters and are lavender blue, ¼-½ inch. They bloom in winter and spring, and occasionally in the fall. It endures hot sun and poor soil. You must have good drainage for this plant. Once established, water it sparingly in the desert. In other areas the plant needs little or no water. Control growth by pinching tips when plants are small and by pruning older plants lightly.

Uses: Rosemary is a circulatory and nervine stimulant. Can be used for headaches, dyspepsia, or depression associated with debility. It can be used to ease muscular pain, sciatica, and neuralgia externally. It's oil may be used on hair follicles for premature baldness.

Parts Used: Leaves and twigs. Gather the leaves throughout the summer. The best time to collect them is during their flowering time.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb and leave to infuse in a covered container for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-2 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Rue (Ruta graveolens)

To Grow: Perennial herb. Grows 2-3 feet. It's leaves are aromatic, fern-like, and blue green. Flowers are small and greenish yellow, with decorative brown seed capsules. Sow seeds in flats and transplant to 1 feet apart. Grows in good soil with additions of lime to strongly acidic soil. Plant in full sun, water average or minimal.

Uses: It's main use is the regulation of periods, where it is used to bring on suppressed menses. It may be used to relax smooth muscles, especially in the digestive system. It can ease spasmodic coughs. It increases peripheral circulation and lowers elevated blood pressure. Chew the fresh leaf to relieve headaches, ease palpitations, and other anxiety problems.

Part Used: Dried aerial parts. Collect the leaves before the flowers open in the summer and dry in the shade.

Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

Caution: Rue's oil is a powerful abortifacient and therefore should be avoided during pregnancy

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

To Grow: Shrubby perennial herb. Grows 6-12 inches high. Leaves are ¼ inch long, narrow to oval, fragrant, and gray green. It has tiny lilac flowers in dense patches June-July.

Uses: Makes a good carmative for use in dyspepsia and sluggish digestion. May be used externally as a lotion for infected wounds, but also internally for respiratory and digestive infections. Can be used as a gargle for laryngitis, tonsillitis, easing sore throats and irritable coughs. It can be used in bronchitis, whooping cough, and asthma. It can also be used in childhood diarrhea and bed-wetting.

Parts Used: Leaves and flowering tops. Collect the flowering stems between early summer and late summer on a dry sunny day. Strip the leaves off the dried stems.

Infusion: Pour one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink three times a day.

Tincture: Take 2-4 milliliters of the tincture three times a day.

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