Materia Medica

Unidentified shelf fungus growing from a burnt log in South Eastern Taiwan.

Unidentified shelf fungus growing from a burnt log in South Eastern Taiwan.

These lists are by no means absolute, and different herbs work best for different people and animals. It is important to consult a medical or herbal professional before self diagnosing and administering herbs!

Herbs Listed Alphabetically by Common Name

Aloe – Aloe Vera
American Cranesbill – Geranium maculatum
Angelica – Angelica archangelica
Anise – Pimpenella anisum
Arnica – Arnica montana
Black Cohosh – Cimicfuga racemosa
Black Haw – Viburnum prunifolium
Black Sage- Salvia melifera
Blessed Thistle – Cnicus benedictus
Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllus thalictroides
Boneset – Eupatorium perfoliatum
Borage – Borago officinalis
Buchu – Agathosma betulina
Burdock Root – Arctium lappa
Calamus – Acorus calamus
Calendula – Calendula officinalis
California Poppy – Eschscholzia californica
Caraway- Carum carvi
Cascara Sagrada – Rhamnus purshiana
Catnip – Nepeta cataria
Cayenne – Capiscum minimum
Chamomile – Matricaria recutita, Anthemis nobilis
Chaste Tree – Vitex agnus castus
Chickweed – Stellaria media
Cinnamon – Cinnamomum verum
Cleavers – Galium aparine
Cloves – Syzygium aromaticum
Coltsfolt – Tussilago farfara
Comfrey – symphytum officinale
Cornsilk – Zea mays
Crampbark – Viburnum opulus
Chaparral/Creosote Leaf – Larrea tridentata and Larrea spp.
Damiana – Turnera diffusa
Dandelion Root and Leaf – Taraxacum officinalis
Devils Claw – Harpagophtum procumbens
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Dong Quai – Angelica sinensis
Echinacea Root – Echinacea augustifolia, Echinacea purpurea
Elder Flowers and Berries (Sambucus nigra)
Elecampane – Inula helenium
Ephedra – Ephedra sinica
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus globulus
False Unicorn Root – Chamaelirium lutem
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Fenugreek – Trigonella foenumgraecum
Garlic – Allium sativum
Gentian Root (Gentiana lutea)
Ginger – Zingiberis offinalis
Ginkgo – Ginkgo Biloba
Ginseng – Panax ginseng, Panax qinquefolius
Goldenseal Root – Hydrastis canadensis
Gotu Kola – Centella asiatica
Gravel Root – Eupatorium purpureum
Guarana – Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis
Hawthorne – Crataegus oxycantha
Hops – Humulus lupulus
Horehound – Marrubium vulgare
Horseradish – Armoracia rusticana
Horsetail – Equisetum arvense
Hyssop – Hyssopus officinalis
Irish Moss – Chrondrus crispus
Jamaican Dogwood – Piscidia erythrina
Juniper Berries – Juniperus communis
Kava Kava – Piper methysticum
Kelp – Laminariales spp.
Kola Nut – Cola acuminata
Lavender – Lavendula officinalis
Lemon Balm – Melissa Officinalis
Licorice – Glycyrrhiza glabra
Linden Flower (Tilia europea)
Lobelia – Lobelia inflata
Marshmallow – Althaea officinalis
Milk Thistle – Silybum marianum
Motherwort – Leonurus cardiaca
Mugwort – Artemisia vulgaris
Mullein – Verbascum thapsus
Mushrooms, Medicinal
Myrrh – Commiphora myrrha
Nettles – Urtica diocia
Oatstraw – Avena fatua/sativa
Oregon Grape Root – Berberis aquifolium
Parsley Leaf and Root – Petroselinum crispum
Passion Flower – Passiflora incarnata
Pasque Flower – Anemone pulsatilla
Pau D’arco – Tabebuia avellanedae
Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium, Hedeoma pulegioides
Peppermint – Mentha piperata
Plantain Leaf – Plantago major
Pleurisy Root – Asclepias tuberosa
Pippsissewa – Chimaphilla umballata
Prickly Ash – Zanthoxylum americanum
Prickly Pear – Opuntia engelmannii
Psyllium Husks – Plantago psyllium
Pumpkin Seeds – Curcubita pepo
Red Clover Flower – Trifolium pratense
Red Raspberry Leaf – Rubus idaeus
Rosehips – Rosa canina
Roselle – Hibiscus sabdariffa
Sage – Salvia officinalis
Sarsparilla – Smilax regelii
Sassafras Root Bark – Sassafras officinalis
Saw Palmetto – Serenoa repens
Self-Heal – Prunella vulgaris
Senna – Senna spp.
Siberian Ginseng – Eleutherococcus senticocus
Skullcap – Scutellaria lateriflora
Slippery Elm – Ulmus fulva
Spearmint – Mentha spicata
St. John’s Wort – Hypericum perforatum
Squaw vine – Mitchella repens
Thyme – Thymus vulgaris
Turkey Rhubarb – Rheum palmatum
Turmeric – Curcuma longa
Uva Ursi – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Valerian Root – Valeriana officinalis
Wild Cherry Bark – Prunus virginiana
Wild Ginger – Asarum canadense
Wild Lettuce – Lactuca virosa
Wild Strawberry Leaf – Fragaria vesca
Wild Yam Root – Dioscorea villosa
Witch Hazel – Hamamelis virginiana
Wood Betony – Betonica officinalis
Wormwood – Artemesia absinthium
Woundwort-Stachys palustris
Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
Yellow Dock Root – Rumex crispus
Yerba Mansa – Anemopsis californica
Yerba Santa – Eriodyction californicum

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Herbs By System

Circulatory System – Butcher’s Broom, Bugleweed, Figwort, Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley, Motherwort, Night Blooming Cereus, Cayenne, Buckwheat, Dandelion, Ginger, Horse-chestnut, Lime Blossom, Mistletoe, Yarrow, Ginkgo, Ginseng, Digitalis, Cinnamon, Prickly Ash, Olive Leaf, Linden Flower, Turmeric, Garlic, Alfalfa

Respiratory System – Angelica, Cayenne, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Echinacea, Elecampane, Ephedra, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Fenugreek, Garlic, Ginger, Horehound, Hyssop, Licorice, Lobelia, Marshmallow, Mullein, Myrrh, Pleurisy, Red Clover, Sage, Slippery Elm, Yerba Santa, Irish Moss, Boneset

Nervine System – Skullcap, Chamomile, Valerian, Lobelia, Wood Betony, Catnip, Hops, St. Johns Wort, Oatstraw, Wild Lettuce, Kava Kava, California Poppy, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Linden Flower, Pasque Flower, Passion Flower, Jamaican Dogwood, Hops, Cramp Bark

Immune System – Echinacea, Garlic, Ginger, Astragalus, Thyme, Cat’s Claw, Cinnamon, Cayenne, Lemon, Goldenseal, Oregano, Ginseng, Elder flowers and berries, Chaga, Reishi

Muscular and Skeletal Systems Comfrey, Nettles, Oatstraw, Horsetail, Burdock, Kava, Turmeric, Arnica, St. John’s Wort, Calendula, Juniper, Rosemary, Gotu Kola, Boneset, Devil’s Claw, Epsom Salts, Gelatin

Liver – Yellow Dock Root, Burdock, Echinacea, Chaparral, Oregon Grape Root, Goldenseal, Plantain, Sassafras, Nettles, Cleavers, Chickweed, Parsley, Dandelion

Skin – Aloe, American Cranesbill, Chickweed, Comfrey, Elder Flower and Berries, Horsetail, Irish Moss, Calendula, Marshmallow, Plantain, Self-Heal, Slippery Elm, Witch Hazel, Woundwort

Kidneys and Urinary Tract – Buchu, Uva Ursi, Cleavers, Chickweed, Cornsilk, Dandelion Root and Leaf, Juniper Berries, Gravel Root, Parsley Root, Marshmallow Root, Pippsissewa

Digestive System – Fennel, Anise, Peppermint, Spearmint, Dill, Garlic, Cinnamon, Caraway, Cascara Sagrada, Calamus, Thyme, Chamomile, Senna, Aloe, Psyllium Husks, Cloves, Lemon Balm, Ginger, Turkey Rhubarb, Wild Ginger, Boneset, Gentian Root, Prickly Pear

Childrens Herbs – Fennel, Anise, Peppermint, Spearmint, Roselle, Rosehips, Chamomile, Oatstraw, Red Raspberry Leaf, Wild Cherry Bark, Borage, Dill, Slippery Elm Bark, Marshmallow, Comfrey, Fenugreek, Red Clover, Catnip, Echinacea, Calendula, Lemon Balm

Women’s Herbs – Wild Yam Root, Chaste Tree, Angelica, Motherwort, Black Cohosh, Blue Cohosh, Dong Quai, Pennyroyal, Crampbark, Squaw vine, False Unicorn Root, Yarrow, Mugwort, Nettle, Wild Strawberry Leaf, Blessed Thistle, Ginger, Comfrey, Raspberry leaf, Licorice root, Pasque Flower, Black Haw

Men’s Herbs – Damiana, Ginseng, Sarsaparilla, Saw Palmetto, Sassafras, Siberian Ginseng, Wild Yam, Licorice, Pumpkin Seeds

Herbs for Pets – Dandelion, Echinacea, Garlic, Comfrey, Chamomile, Skullcap, Valerian, Wormwood, Cornsilk, Chickweed, Oats and Oatstraw, Yellow Dock Root, Pumpkin, Catnip, Goldenseal, Kelp

Native Medicinal Plants By Regions

California
Inside-Out Flower, Huckleberry, California Bay, Trillium, Red Cedar, False Solomon’s Seal, Redwood, Figwort, Yerba Buena, Hummingbird Sage, White Sage, Matilija Poppy, Indian Warrior, Sweet Root, Pacific Wax Myrtle, Brook Mint, Pitcher Sage, Arnica, Alumn Root, Salal, Silk Tassle, Yerba Buena, California Poppy, Buckweat, Yerba Santa, Willow, Black Sage, Stream Orchid, Bleeding Heart, Hawthorne, Creosote, Soap Plant, Red Root, Oregon Grape, Wild Ginger, California Mugwort, Uva Ursi, Prickly Pear, Manzanita, Madrone, California Spikenard, Angelica, California Buckeye, Baneberry, Yarrow, Juniper

Louisiana
Chickweed, Red Clover, Plantain, Persimmon, Sow Thistle, Wild Lettuce, Solomon’s Seal, Poke, Kudzu

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Herbal Medical Terms, in alphabetical order.

Alteratives – These are blood purifiers, gradually and beneficially altering the condition of the blood by aiding in eliminating wastes and assimilating nutrients. They also help to alkalize the body and in protein absorption, and are high in vitamins and minerals. Some examples are Cleavers, Stinging Nettles, Chickweed, Dandelion, Yellow Dock, Blue Flag, Burdock, Red Clover, Echinacea, Red Root, and Oregon Grape.

Analgesics/Anodynes – These are herbs used both externally and internally to reduce pain, primarily by acting on the nervous system. Some are antispasmodics as well. Some examples are Jamaican Dogwood, Wild Lettuce, California Poppy, Deadly Nightshade, Henbane, Valerian, Gelsemium, and Thorn apple.

Antacids – These neutralize excess acids in the digestive system. They often are high in mucilage and demulcent properties that sooth, heal, and protect the linings of the stomach and intestines.

Anthelimtic/Parasiticides – These are herbs that destroy and expel worms or parasites from the body.

Anti-asthmatic – These are herbs that help relieve bronchitis and asthma by dilating bronchioles and breaking up mucus.

Antibiotics – Herbs that have germ killing qualities and stimulate the body’s immune system to help fight off infection.

Anticatarrhals – These herbs help prevent excess mucus (catarrhal) buildup in the system, and aid in it’s elimination.

Anti-hidrotic – An herb which reduces or prevents sweating.

Anti-lithic/Lithotriptics – These prevent and assist in the elimination of urinary and biliary stones.

Antiseptics/Antimicrobials – Help prevent bacterial growth and resist pathogens.

Anti-spasmodics – These ease and prevent cramping and spasms in the body, primary in smooth muscle tissue.

Astringents – These constrict skin tissue with tannins, drying and precipitating proteins. This reduces discharge and secretions and is useful in drying up an area, protecting skin, or stopping minor bleeding from cuts and abrasions.

Bitters – The bitter taste in these herbs stimulate the digestive system.

Carminatives – The volatile oils in these herbs stimulate and relax the digestive systems smooth muscles and involuntary movements and ease gas and discomfort in the guts.

Demulcents – These are herbs high in slippery mucilage, which soothes and heals the irritated and inflamed tissue.

Diaphoretics – Herbs that induce sweating through kidney stimulation. In order for diaphoretics to work, they need to be taken hot, such as in a infusion or decoction. Taking them cold will have a different, diuretic effect.

Diuretics – These herbs increase urine flow and are helpful for skin infections, cystitis, water retention, and uti’s.

Emmenagogues – These are herbs that encourage menstruation and tonic the female system.

Emolients – Herbs used externally to sooth and soften skin and irritations. As a demulcent is used to sooth internally, an emolient is used similarily externally.

Expectorants – These are herbs that expel mucus from the bodily systems.

Galactogogues – Herbs that are useful for increasing lactation.

Hepatics – These herbs aid the liver by toning and strengthening, and increasing bile flow. They all contain bitter properties.

Hemostatics – Herbs that are astringent and can aid blood coagulation, and are used to stop hemorrhaging and internal bleeding.

Laxatives – These herbs promote bowel movement more mildly than a purgative.

Lithotripics – These herbs are useful to help dissolve urinary and biliary stones.

Nervines – Herbs that can help calm, tone, and strengthen the nervous system.

Oxytocics – Herbs that hasten and facilitate childbirth through contractions of the uterus.

Pectorals – Herbs that are generally healing for the respiratory system.

Rubefacients – These herbs can increase circulation and promote surface warmth by dilating capillaries, drawing congestion and inflammation from deeper tissues; this can also cause irritation to the surface skin tissue.

Sedatives – These herbs can reduce stress and nervous disorders and are useful for inducing sleep and calm.

Sialogogues – These herbs aid in digestion by stimulating salivation.

Stimulants – These increase the energy in the body by quickening a physiological function.

Styptics – The coagulating and astringent properties of these herbs can reduce and can even stop external bleeding.

Tonics – Tonics are herbs that over time strengthen and nourish a system or specific organs in the body, and generally promote wellness to all of the body’s systems.

Vulneraries – These are herbs that generally help heal the body by encouraging cell repair growth. Some examples include Calendula, Plantain, Yarrow, Comfrey, and Arnica.

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