12 Essential Herbs from Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine
In this article, we will talk about 12 herbs from Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine and its Healing effects You Haven’t Heard of before or if you have then you would not know multiple benefits. Have a cup of tea or coffee, take a deep breath and start reading, If you have come for specific herbs then you can click table of context above to go directly to that herb.
Herbs are, by definition, plants that include flowers, leaves, or seeds that can be used for medicinal purposes or food. The herbs located in this report are going to discuss not just exotic herbs, but the ones that provide therapeutic or healing properties.
Many exceptional herbs provide this purpose, from chamomile to basil. However, many of them are more common, and the ones that many consider their go-to. For example, you are probably familiar with these common (and wonderful!) herbs:
Chamomile – Often used for indigestion, insomnia, AnxietyAnxiety, and stress.
Echinacea – Helpful in illnesses like the cold and flu, as well as for the immune system.
Basil – Basil is good for cuts and scrapes, along with lack of appetite following an illness.
Lavender – Perfect for relaxing your body and mind, often used for AnxietyAnxiety, stress, depression, and insomnia. Can also relieve pain from cuts and scrapes.
Rosemary – Rosemary is often used for boosting your mood and helping with memory and focus.
Peppermint – This is an excellent herb for indigestion and relieving headache pain.
St. John’s Wort – A popular herb for depression, along with stress and AnxietyAnxiety.
There is nothing wrong with planting the more common herbs – in fact; you should have as many of them as possible at your disposal! But don’t forget about some of the less common ones you can either purchase or grow in your home and start your very own apothecary or natural medicine cabinet.
12 Herbs from Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine
Here are 12 of the less common healing herbs that provide fantastic health benefits to everyone in your family.
The first of the more uncommon herbs that can provide a lot of amazing healing benefits is, surprisingly, catnip. Yes, the same organic catnip herb that is often given to cats to help boost their mood and give them a little bit of a spunk. While this is often the result of providing the catnip herb to cats, it has quite the opposite effect for humans.
So what is catnip? This plant is a type of perennial in a grey and green shade. It is part of the mint family and includes square stems very similar to mint plants. You will notice that the leaves look like heart shapes with jagged edges and the plant gets to about 3 feet tall on average.
Health Benefits of Organic Catnip
There are a lot of fantastic health benefits when you have a catnip plant. For humans, catnip can do the opposite of cats and sedate you and help to relax you instead of exciting you up. Naturally, one of the top benefits of catnip herbs is that you can get relief from your stress. Some other benefits of catnip include:
Improved digestion – Catnip is excellent for relieving indigestion and clearing up stomach problems. With regular use, the organic compounds in catnip herbs can help reduce discomfort from gastrointestinal distress, help with cramping and bloating, and even reduce flatulence if that is an issue for you.
Help with insomnia – If you are having trouble sleeping, catnip is a great herb to add to the rotation. Since it provides mild sedation benefits, this can help you relax enough for bedtime. It will help with your restlessness, so it enables you to fall asleep, while also helping you to stay asleep. Try some catnip tea before bed and soon you will feel very relaxed.
Headache relief – Another good health benefit of catnip is that it can provide some natural headache relief. Again, drinking catnip tea is excellent for your headaches. You can also try adding some salve on your temples.
2. Nature Plants “Lady Fern”
The next healing herb you might not be thoroughly familiar with is a lady fern. While people have often used this plant in their yard, they are often surprised to hear it can be used as a medicinal herb. The lady fern plant is smaller, reaching about 2-5 feet in height. The tree is a bit irregular in shape and typically a brown shade.
One thing you will notice about the lady fern is that it has an odd odour, something that is a little off-putting to some people. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t great for medicinal purposes. Because of the odour and sour taste of lady fern herbs, it is best used as a topical application as opposed to cooking with the herb or making herbal tea with it.
Health Benefits of Lady Fern
Now you are probably wondering about the health benefits of the lady fern plant! The main health benefit of this funky herb is to help with respiratory problems. In this manner, you are making a healthy tea, but you want to make sure it tastes good. This usually involves mixing the herb of lady fern with other healthy herbs that provide the same health benefits, which helps to mask the taste.
Here are some other ways lady fern can help your health and wellness:
- Wash external wounds and burns
- Help get rid of intestinal worms
- Provide treatment for hepatic diseases
- Treat diseases related to the spleen
- Get your appetite back
- Reduce your fever naturally
You may have heard of the comfrey herb before, though it does tend to be less common that lavender and chamomile. Comfrey is often on lists of ‘top natural herbs‘ or ‘top natural treatments‘ because it has a long list of health benefits for you.
The comfrey herb is by no means new, as it has been around since Roman times. In folk medicine, it was often used to help with wounds on the skin, like cuts and scrapes. To use the comfrey plant for herbal treatments, you want to cut the leaves from the plant as soon as the flowers start to bud. You can also harvest the buds themselves. It is safer to harvest them later in the spring.
However, it is essential to know what parts of the herb are being used and is not beginner-friendly. This is because some comfrey herbs may have toxic alkaloids. If you grow it yourself, become familiar with what the herb has, otherwise, get herbs from a natural herbal store. They will let you know which parts are most beneficial and safe to use.
Health Benefits of Comfrey
You already know that comfrey is highly beneficial for external wounds, helping to make a poultice or ointment that is all-natural and includes this herb plus other natural ingredients. It can also help to speed up the healing process if you have any sprained or broken bones. It helps speed up the healing process thanks to the vitamin C and calcium in the herb.
Some other of the benefits include:
- Reducing inflammation and swelling, especially following a sprain or brake
- Increase cell production following an injury or illness
- Help stomach and duodenal ulcers to heal at a more rapid pace
- Reduce irritating tissues internally and externally
- Soothe membranes affected by bronchitis or a head cold
Hyssop is another amazing herb when you have a cold or sinus infection, as well as providing a lot of other health benefits. Hyssop is often used as the herb in the more traditional ways like cooking with it or making tea, or you can extract oil from hyssop and use that in a diffuser.
The hyssop is one of the smaller plants, rarely reaching higher than 2 feet high. The leaves are placed in a linear fashion, and the flowers typically come in different colours. The tops of the flowers are what the hyssop plant is usually cultivated for, which are steeped in water in order to achieve the various health benefits associated with this unique herb. The varieties of the hyssop herb are based on the colour of the flowers, including red, white, and blue. The flowers typically bloom summer to fall, from June to October.
It is not uncommon to steep hyssop along with other herbs in the same pot of water, such as with rosemary and lavender. Choose different scents and flavours that complement each other, and you can make a healing tea or use them for various medicinal purposes.
Some Hyssop Benefits
There is a long list of the medicinal use of hyssop; in fact, this is one of the healthiest and most beneficial herbs on this list. Here is a rundown of the different uses relating to your health:
- Cold and flu
- Burns and other skin issues
- Oral care
- Digestion issues
- Cold sores
- Insect repellent
Hyssop herbs are most often used in tea, especially when you are using it for medicinal purposes. However, if you don’t want to drink tea with the hyssop herb in it, you can still benefit by using a hyssop extract or capsule. There are also essential oils made from this herb you can use with an essential oil diffuser.
5. Wild Quinine
Wild quinine is another herb that you may or may not have heard of, but probably not often. This is a herb that does tend to be on the unusual side, but when you see the amazing health benefits, you will definitely wonder how you have not heard about it before.
The actual name for wild quinine is parthenium integrifolium. It is a plant often found in gardens among the other beautiful flowering plants. Wild quinine, like many other herb plants on this list, is a perennial. It has big, lovely foliage and blooms for a long time. It is also resistant to diseases and pests, so it is beginner-friendly if you want to plant it in your backyard.
Health Benefits of Wild Quinine
Wild quinine is one of the healing herbs that are usually reserved for external use. This means you will make a type of poultice, which consists of a soft plant material combining plant material and liquid that can be applied to your skin.
With wild quinine, you can make a poultice with the herbs that are good for treating inflammation or burns on your skin. Then the flowering tops of this plant are often used to help with fevers.
Burdock is another herb you should definitely know about! This is a wonderful healing herb that is sometimes used as holistic or Chinese medicine, while in other parts of the world the entire vegetable is used. In Japan and other parts of Asia, they typically eat the entire plant as a vegetable. Burdock is not only used as a healthy plant, but it can also be used for beauty purposes, including cosmetics and hair.
For cultivation of burdock, this occurs all over the world. Here are some different places the burdock herb might be cultivated, so you know if you can get it locally:
- United States
- New Zealand
The cultivation and harvesting of burdock typically occur in the fall it is planted, though, for the entire root of the plant, it may take until the next spring or fall.
Health Benefits of Burdock
Now for the part, you are really interested in the health benefits of this unique and rare herb! Burdock can provide multiple health benefits, just like most herbs. One of the top reasons people will use burdock is to help clean the blood and improve the health of their liver. Here are some other ways burdock can help you:
Cleaning your kidneys – Burdock is really good at cleaning out your body, starting with cleaning and detoxing your kidneys. This is due to helping you sweat and removing uric acid from your kidneys.
Remove toxins from your liver – It can also help to detox your liver by removing dangerous toxins in your body.
Controlling your blood sugar – It is also not uncommon for herbalists to recommend burdock when someone has diabetes or a similar condition and needs help with controlling their blood sugar levels.
Treating cancer – There are also depurative properties in burdock, helping to treat concert, as well as being good at preventing the growth of tumors.
If you have ever heard of noni juice, then you might be aware of this herb. However, many people don’t realize the noni juice often sold in health food stores is actually from a herb called noni. This herb is native to parts of Australia, Asia, and Polynesia. It is a shorter plant with white flowers and noni fruit that is a green and white shade. The fruit smells like cheese when it is ripe, but it has loads of health benefits. Other parts of the tree can also be used as a healthy herb.
Health Benefits of Noni
Noni is not only healthy and good for you when you drink noni juice, but also when you eat the fruit or any part of the plant as a herb. Here are some of the top benefits of noni:
Relieve symptoms of arthritis – If you have arthritis, you are probably in quite a bit of physical pain. This comes from inflammation and swelling in your joints. Noni naturally has analgesic qualities, which can help reduce inflammation, then provide pain relief for your arthritis.
Help improve your immune system – Noni can help to boost your immune system, which is going to help keep away infections, cold, bronchitis, and other related illnesses. Boosting your immune system can also help to prevent sluggishness.
Protect your body from cancer – While noni can’t help you to battle cancer, it can help protect your body from it before you get cancer or during the initial stages. You should still discuss taking this herb or drinking the juice with your doctor if you have been diagnosed with cancer.
Fight AnxietyAnxiety and depression – Your mental health can also benefit from having noni. There are bio-chemicals in the plant and the fruit that can help to boost your mood and reduce the effects of stress, AnxietyAnxiety, and depression.
Help with diabetes – If you have diabetes, you can also benefit from noni. It helps to regulate the insulin resistance in your pancreas and can reduce the risk of vision or circulation issues from diabetes.
You have probably heard of agave, as this is often used to make healthy use and dozens of other things. It also happens to be a herb, which is something you might not have known before! Not only is agave nectar sweet and delicious, but the herb itself can be very beneficial to your health.
First of all, this is often considered a ‘super herb‘ because it has a lot of different vitamins and minerals right in the herb and the nectar. Here are some of the nutritional facts about the agave herb:
- There is lots of iron in dried agave
- Raw agave has over a milligram of iron
- It has plenty of calcium for building strong bones
- There is zinc for helping your wounds to heal
Health Benefits of Agave
As you can see from the list of nutritional facts about agave, this herb is going to have a lot of health benefits. The natural compounds in agave are great for lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure. It has also been shown to help reduce the growth of cancerous tumors. Here are some other health benefits you can expect to get from this wonderful herb and nectar:
- Help with your constipation and digestive issues
- Treat skin irritation and skin infections
- Prevent your joints from turning into arthritis joints
- Reduce inflammation and swelling in your body
- Help get rid of an ulcer naturally
9. Shepherd’s Purse
This might seem like a silly name, but shepherd’s purse is actually a very powerful herb and one that not many people have even heard of. Shepherd’s purse is a green plant that has leaves that are a bit rough and have tiny hairs on them. There are toothed leaves a few inches long, though this plant also flowers during certain times of the year. There is a slim stem to the flowering part of shepherd’s purse, where you will see a rosette shape of leaves surrounding the flower. There is a slightly unpleasant aroma coming from the plant, which is a good way to identify this from other herbs that might look similar.
Shepherd’s purse has long since been planted and cultivated for its medicinal qualities. In fact, because of the odor and slightly odd appearance, it is typically planted mostly for natural remedies for health issues, and not necessarily due to adding to the appearance of the garden.
Health Benefits of Shepherd’s Purse
First of all, shepherd’s purse has been shown to help with improving circulation in your body. It also has a positive effect on the flow of urine, so if you have urination issues, this might help you a lot. It can also be good for your skin, helping wounds to heal more quickly and even treating skin conditions like eczema. Here are some other ways shepherd’s purse can benefit you medically:
- It helps with your bladder infections, UTIs, and kidney disease
- You can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol naturally
- Shepherd’s purse is great for diarrhea and constipation
- You can find relief from headaches
- Premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps are greatly reduced
- It helps to treat mild heart failure
The next herb on this list that you should know about if you are interested in medicinal qualities is arnica. This is one of the herbs that tend to be a little less common, but a term you might have heard somewhere.
When someone talks about the arnica herb, they are actually talking about flowers from a few different arnica plants, such as the chamissonis or montana. While many herbs use different parts of a plant, like the leaves or the root, arnica is only going to use the flowers of these types of plants.
With arnica flowers, they are typically just one component of salves, creams, and similar products that provide topical benefits. While it is usually for skin purposes, it is not uncommon to find recipes for using arnica flowers in hair products, such as for treating dandruff.
Health Benefits of Arnica
While you know the main purpose of arnica herb is to use the flowers for topical treatments, but there are actually a wide array of health benefits for these topical natural products. Here are some different ways arnica can be used:
- Healing bruises at a more rapid pace
- Finding relief from sprains, such as the ankle or wrist
- Helping to relieve sore muscles and other muscle pain
- Speeding up the healing process of wounds
- Providing relief from joint pain
- Reducing inflammation in the body
- Helping to treat the effects of insect bites
- Treating burns and scrapes
- Providing natural treatment for chronic abscesses
Due to the toxicity of arnica, it is not recommended for external use. All of the herbal remedies will be for topical application and external use only.
One of the last herbs on this list of healing herbs you haven’t heard of is wormwood. This is an interesting herb because it is a small plant but has so many health benefits due to the various healing properties in the plant. The leaves of this plant look soft and feathery due to the tiny hairs on them. The plant is native to parts of Europe, but can often be found in parts of Northern America and Asia.
This is another perennial plant, with a flowering stem. It typically grows between July and October and can be cultivated during this window as well. The leaves have a bitter taste, and like many herbs, the plant has a very specific odour.
Health Benefits of Wormwood
Now for the fun part – the health benefits! Take a look at all these different medicinal purposes of the wormwood plant and herb:
Remove parasites from the body – First of all, wormwood can be beneficial for removing parasites from the body. It has been shown to help with worm infections like pinworms and roundworms, along with other types of intestinal worms. Some of these worms are disastrous to the inside of the body, spreading and laying eggs to infect the intestines.
Help treat Crohn’s disease – If you have Crohn’s disease, you have probably looked around for quite a few different treatments. If you want a natural treatment, wormwood can be a good option for you. Wormwood is often used in herbal blends that can help you to reduce steroids for the treatment of Crohn’s and reduce how many flare-ups you have.
Provide benefits for cancer cells – Believe it or not, there have been studies that have positive results for killing cancer cells in the body. This is because of the high amount of iron in wormwood that is particularly beneficial for cells that lead to breast cancer. It is a possible natural treatment for cancer, though it should not replace other medical treatments.
It can treat malaria – Some countries around the world have a serious disease called malaria, which is caused by parasites from mosquito bites. This affects human red blood cells and can even be fatal. Wormwood has been effective as a natural treatment for malaria.
The last herb that is on this list is pokeweed. It is not a very common herb, but one you will soon find has many health benefits for you. This is a plant that comes from the United States, native to the eastern parts. It has some toxicity, so it should only be used externally unless looking at certain variations of the herb.
Pokeweed is a taller plant, getting up to about 8 feet high. It is a perennial with a strong odour and reddish coloured branch stems. This is the description for American pokeweed, but there is a similar plant called the Chinese pokeberry. This can be edible when cooked if you use the one with white root and white flowers, but be careful because the purple root and flowers variety of Chinese pokeberry is actually poisonous and not edible.
Health Benefits of Pokeweed
There are many different health benefits of pokeweed when used as a topical remedy. Here are some of the top medicinal uses for this herb:
- It can soothe infections
- Pokeweed helps with inflammation of glands
- It helps to treat tonsillitis
- You can use it for rashes in the breasts
- It treats cancer of the uterus
- Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can be improved
In addition to these herbs, some others that you might want to consider are jewelweed, chicory, and duckweed.
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