Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Anise is an aromatic herb from the Southwest Asia and Mediterranean region . It is mainly grown in India, Europe, Southwest Asia, , and parts of South America. Anise belongs to the Apiaceae family and is a flowering plant. Anise plant grows up to 1-3 ft in height and bears white to yellowish-white flowers. The fruit is 3mm-long when ripe, oval shaped and grey-green in color.

Anise is largely considered as a safe herb. However, it can have side-effects on people allergic to anethole, which is the chief component of this herb. Excessive use of Anise oil is known to cause nausea, vomiting and seizures, especially in the case of infants. Concentrated Anise oil can also cause irritation on sensitive skin.

Though the entire plant exudes ‘anisey’ aroma, only the fruit is used for consumption and medicinal benefits. Anise has an assortment of healing properties. It helps in relieving gas and other digestion-related disorders. Additionally, it helps in curing anemia by improving digestion, which promotes absorption of iron. Anise aids laxation of mucous and works as an expectorant. These qualities help in curing cough, asthma and bronchitis. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and is known to soothe pain and relax muscles. Nursing women can benefit from this herb as its seeds help in increasing the production of breast milk. The seeds are used in various herbal medicines used to cure impotence and frigidity. Anise tea can be helpful in alleviating morning sickness. Topical application of Anise oil is also
known to help in curing lice and scabies.

Apart from the medicinal benefits, Anise is also used to add flavor to alcoholic drinks and various foods like breads, desserts, cakes, candies, curries, etc. Aniseed oil is also used to add fragrance to perfumes and soaps.

Anise is an annual herb and needs at least 120 frost-free days to mature. The seeds are sown in early summer in dry, light soil. Anise can also be planted as seedlings. The distance between two plants should ideally be 4 inches


Angelica is a biennial herb belonging to the Apiaceae family, aroma and medicinal properties. It is also known as the “herb of the angels”. The plant grows from 1 m to 2.5 m in height, has a purplish-green stem and triangular leaves. It has a fleshy taproot with small branches. The plant bears delicate white colored flowers that bloom in clusters. The fruit is pale-yellow and has oval-shaped seeds.

Angelica’s stems are known for their naturally-sweet flavor and are often used in the candied form in sweets and for decoration in pastries. The stems are also used to add flavor to fish, pork and shellfish recipes as well as in teas, salads, soups, and various herb mixtures. The oil extracted from Angelica leafstalks are used as a flavoring agent in gin, vermouth and various liqueurs. Due to its aromatic qualities and ornamental appeal, the flowers are also used in floral arrangements.

Angelica has a warming effect and properties that counter the effect of poison. It has been used as a remedy for various contagious diseases like influenza and plague , and is known to relieve wounds caused by dog bites. This herb helps in improving the blood circulation and alleviates conditions like Buerger's Improved blood circulation, coupled with the warming effect of this herb, provides relief in bronchitis. The root of this plant is usually used for curing various respiratory problems. All parts of Angelica are known to stimulate the digestive system and alleviate indigestion, gas and colic.

Angelica is grown in moist, shady areas and moderate weather in Europe ,United States and Canada. The seeds do not respond well to transplantation. the seeds should be fresh to allow germination and should be refrigerated for 4 to 5 weeks before sowing.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Coriander also known as Cilantro, is an annual herb considered native to Middle East and the Southern Europe but is also indigenous to Western Asia. The bright green plant, belonging to the Apiaceae family, has delicate stems and a thin taproot. It grows up to (40 - 60 cm). The compound lower leaves are round in appearance and lobed, while the upper leaves are finely divided into very narrow, lacy segments. The plant bears small white or pink flowers and the fruits are nearly globular and consist of two, single-seeded mericarp. Coriander seeds have a mild burning taste and a spicy aroma.

All parts of the Coriander plant are edible and are used extensively in Middle Eastern, South East Asian, Indian, Mexican, and Central American cuisines. It is a highly fragrant herb and is added to various salads, soups, sauces, chutneys, curries, stir fried vegetables, and other savory recipes to add flavor and aroma. Fresh Coriander is usually chopped and added to dishes just before serving to preserve its flavor and properties.

It acts as a carminative and is said to improve most troubles of the gastrointestinal tract including indigestion, flatulence and diarrhea. A poultice of coriander seeds, when applied to affected areas can relieve painful joints and rheumatism. Essential oil derived from coriander seeds possesses antibacterial and antifungal properties and can be used as a fungicide. One pharmaceutical use of coriander is in masking the

Coriander is largely considered safe to use and has no known side effects. Some people are, however, put off by the pungent aroma and the distinct flavor imparted by coriander leaves in various recipes.

Coriander is an easy herb to grow, preferring a well-drained, fertile soil. The soil should not be over-fertilized as a high level of nitrogen can delay ripening and destroy the flavor of the plant. The pH level of the soil should be from 4.9 to 8.2. Coriander plant can tolerate spells of cold and heat but need adequate sunlight, proper watering in dry periods and weeding. The delicate herb needs to be protected from harsh winds. Coriander plant does not respond well to transplantation. Coriander can also be grown indoors in a pot.
It is vulnerable to fungal infections and the roots succumb to decay if the soil is poorly drained and has a high nitrogen content

Friday, October 23, 2009


Chives are the smallest and the most delicately flavored species of the onion family. They are native to North America, Eastern and Asia, Europe but are commonly grown all over Europe. Chive plants grow in clumps and their round, hollow grass-like leaves grow eight to twenty inches in height. The plant has round, pink or purple-colored flowers that bloom in the months of June and July.

Chives are known for their subtle oniony flavor that makes them a popular addition in various cuisines. Typically, fresh chives are finely chopped and used in salads, sandwiches, and other such savory dishes. They go very well with potatoes, sour cream, cheese and egg recipes such as omelettes and scrambled eggs.

Chives have medicinal benefits similar to those of onion and garlic and are rich in vitamin A and C. Chives are known to help with improving indigestion and reducing blood pressure. Essential oil derived from Chives is known to have antibacterial

Chives contain sulphur compounds which give them their characteristic oniony flavor. Handling of Chives may cause allergic contact dermatitis and urticaria (hives).

The easiest and quickest way to grow Chives in your garden is to pull out a clump from an existing patch and plant it wherever you want to grow them. They can also be planted from seeds. Plant them directly in the garden in early spring or as late as 2 months before the first fall frost. They require rich and moist soil with a pH level ranging from 6 to 8. Ideally, Chives need full sun to flourish but can also sustain reasonably well in partial shade.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Dandelion is a perennial herb. Originating in Asia and Europe , the plant belongs to the sunflower or Asteraceae family and is closely related to Chicory. It can grow up to 12 inches in height. The plant has long rosette-shaped, toothed leaves that may be dark or light green in color. A bright yellow flower grows on each purplish stalk which is smooth, leafless and hollow. The flower matures into the familiar, white, globular seed head overnight. Each seed has a tiny parachute, to spread far and wide in the wind.

The flowers contain vitamin A; vitamin B2 and helenin which help cure night-blindness. Dandelion is also used as a remedy against skin problems like acne and eczema . Fungal infection and ulcers in the urinary passage can also be treated with Dandelion. The laxative nature of the plant aids in stomach disorders such as constipation. The plant is also believed to enable circulation in the body and strengthens body vessels. Its diuretic properties help in relieving pre-menstrual symptoms such as bloating and weight gain due to water retention.

Dandelion leaves and roots are known to help in treating weak hearts and hypertension. The roots act as detoxification agents that help in improving the functioning of the gall bladder and liver . It helps kidneys function better by eradicating the toxins from the body. The roots are also considered to treat diseases like psoriasis, arthritis and gout.

Topical application of Dandelion juice is said to remove warts and to enable faster healing of wounds.
Dandelion greens are wonderful in salads, they are best consumed steamed or sautéed. Dandelion flowers are also considered a delicacy. They may be dipped in batter and deep fried, sautéed and added in stir-fries, or pickled with vinegar and spices. Dried, roasted and ground Dandelion roots are used to make coffee.

Some individuals might get skin rashes as a side effect of handling Dandelion herbs. It may lead to excessive production of stomach acids, so ulcer patients should cautiously consume it. Because of the intense diuretic nature the consumption of Dandelion should be subject to doctor’s advice.


Cress known as Garden Cress comes from the Brassicaceae family and is indigenous to Asia and Europe. It is an annual herb which is also considered as a salad plant and can grow up to 2 feet tall. It bears refreshing, pungent frilled leaves with a peppery flavor. Fruits of the plant are similar to caper berries.
The beautiful orange flowers are often used for creative decorative purpose.

Cress is an easy herb to grow indoors as well as outdoors. It is not fussy about the soil, weather and maintenance; however, it grows best in damp soil and partial shade. It is also suitable for aquiculture cultivation. Early spring or early autumn are the ideal time to plant the seeds. Considered to be a quick crop, it takes about 7-12 days to mature and harvesting can be carried out then. To obtain regular continual supply of the leaves ensure that you sow seeds successively.

Cress has numerous healing properties. Nutritional elements like Vitamin A and C, calcium, iron, and folic acid present in its leaves impart significant medicinal value to the herb. It is believed that they serve as an effective treatment for healthy skin and hair as well as other health benefits. Leaves are also known to help as detoxification agents.
Garden Cress is extensively used in green salads to add zing to its taste and appearance. Its culinary use includes garnishing as well as cooking as a green leafy vegetable. They are also used in sandwiches instead of lettuce to add a peppery zing to boring sandwiches. Young and fresh Cress leaves can also add taste to various soups.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is common throughout Europe It is a perennial and is easily cultivated by seed or root division in rich The leaves are bright green growing in opposite pairs they are ovate and serrate The flowers are yellow-white to rose colored or even bluish, two lipped, bilabiate they grow in clusters at the joints or some times on small branches at the joints
The branched upright stem is square and grows to about 3 feet in height

Lemon Balm is edible and medicinal. Fresh leaves can be added to egg dishes
or salad and can be used to make sauces for fish , pork and poultry. Dried or fresh the whole plant is used to make cool refreshing drinks or warm relaxing teas.
Used in alternative medicine are antibacterial, antiviral, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, and tonic.

Balm contains a volatile oil citral and citronella which is strongly antispasmodic and aids in calming nerves, relieving menstrual cramps, depression, insomnia, hyperthyroidism, upset stomach, and colic in babies. Leaf tea is good for fevers, colds, and headache. Fresh crushed leaves are applied to wounds and insect bites. The essential oils in the fresh plant, particularly citronella make it a most effective insect repellent when crushed and rubbed on skin or clothes. Research has shown that the plant contains polyphenols, it can help significantly in the treatment of cold sores and combat the herpes simplex virus. Added to bath it soothes irritated skin and relieves muscle tension. The oil is often added to skin preparations and perfumes. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy and is very pleasant used in potpourris


Chicory perennial herb native It can grow wild and is also cultivated for its roots, flowers and leaves. The herb attains a height of three to five feet and has beautiful blue or lavender flowers. The plant has a taproot,. The leaves towards the base of the plant are hairy, like that of a dandelion. Due to these similarities, Chicory is often called Blue Dandelion.

Chicory root benefits. It acts as a stimulant, ensuring smooth functioning of the stomach, gall bladder. and liver Chicory is also known as a mild, non-irritating laxative and diuretic, particularly helpful in the treatment of chronic constipation. It is also considered as an effective blood tonic, useful in
treating anemia. Chicory flowers, seeds and roots are used for the treatment of gall bladder and liver defects.

Chicory roots are baked, ground and used as a coffee substitute or additive. It has a sedating effect on the nervous system that balances the stimulating effect of coffee.
Chicory is considered a relatively safe herb as it is widely used all across the world, Chicory root is rich in oxalates and should be avoided by people who have the tendency to produce kidney stones.


Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) is a fragrant herb belonging to the Lamiaceae family
And native to India, Asia and Africa but is now grown and consumed all over the
World. Basil plant normally grows up to 1-2 feet in height and has round leaves
Which sometimes have ruffled or pointed edges? The leaves are typically green in
Color, although some varieties have a speck of red or purple. Basil plant is
Strikingly similar to the peppermint plant, which is not surprising as they belong to?
The same family. There are over 60 varieties of Basil, all of which differ somewhat
In appearance and taste

Basil is known for its anti-bacterial properties. Essential oil present in its leaves
Has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that
Have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs. Basil leaves can be
Rubbed on insect bites to pr event itchiness and rashes. It is considered as an
Anti-inflammatory food source and can provide relief for individuals with
Inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel
Conditions. Tea made by infusing Basil leaves can help in relieving digestive
Disorders. It is a good source of Vitamin A, iron, calcium and magnesium, all of
Which promotes cardiovascular health.

Basil leaves also offer a unique benefit – essential oil derived from these leaves
Can be used as an insect repellent. It can also be used in massage oil to aid in
Depression or anxiety.

The highly fragrant Basil leaves are liberally used to season a variety of dishes.
This herb is largely used in Italian, Thai, Vietnamese and Laotian cuisine. Fresh
Basil leaves add a delicate flavor and aroma to sauces, gravies, sandwiches and

Monday, October 19, 2009


Chamomile (Matricaria chamomile) is an annual herb belonging to the
Compositae family and is native to Europe. However, now it grows wild across
The world. Its hollow, erect, branching stem grows 20 inches tall. The plant bears
Light green feather-like leaves and daisy-like flowers and smells like pineapple or

Chamomile herb and flowers are said to have several medicinal uses including
Tonic, stomachic, anodyne, antispasmodic, laxative, diaphoretic, analgesic,
Carminative, anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. Chamomile flower tea is

A popular herbal tea and is good for treating insomnia and other such nervous
Conditions. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb it is
Considered good for rheumatism, arthritis, and other painful swellings. It is also
An antispasmodic for intestinal and menstrual cramps, relieving gas pains and
Acts as a very mild but efficient laxative and loosens tight muscles.

The herb is also used extensively in manufacturing lotions, massage oils and
Other beauty products as it can help reduce eczema itching and other skin
Inflammation. Chamomile preparations are mild enough for using on sensitive
Young skin of infants suffering from skin conditions. Chamomile mouthwash can
Be used for soothing mouth sores and gum disease.

Chamomile flower infusion can be applied externally as a wash or compress for
Skin inflammations, sunburn, burns, and added to the bath for relaxing tired, achy
Muscles and feet and softening the skin. The flowers are made into a salve for
Treating hemorrhoids and wounds. The dried flowers are used in potpourri,
Scented candles, incense sticks, linen pouches, herb pillows, and are also used
As insect repellents.

Apart from its extensive use for making a delightful and beneficial herbal tea,
Chamomile flowers are also used in salads.


Ginseng herb has a long history of use as an alternative medicine going back over 5,000 years, and appears on several continents (origin unknown); it is and was used extensively in Native American medicine. The root is adaptogen, cardio tonic, demulcent, panacea, sedative, sialagogue, stimulant, tonic and stomachic, its remarkable ability to help the body adapt to mental and emotional stress, fatigue, heat, cold, and even hunger is confirmed and documented! The major constituents in Ginseng are Triterpenoid saponins, Ginsenosides, Acetylenic compounds, Panaxans, and Sesquiterpenes. Taken over an extended period it is used to increase mental and physical performance. It is medicinal and therapeutic for the whole body. A very powerful medicinal herb, it both stimulates and relaxes the nervous system, encourages the secretion of hormones, improves stamina, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels and increases resistance to disease. The ginsenosides that produce these effects are very similar to the body’s own natural stress hormones. It is used in the treatment of debility associated with old age or illness, lack of appetite, insomnia, stress, shock and chronic illness. Ginseng also increases immune function, resistance to infection, and supports liver function. The leaf is emetic and expectorant. The root is candied and used as a an edible medicinal kind of candy.Ginseng stimulates and increases endocrine activity in the body. Promotes a mild increase in metabolic activity and relaxes heart and artery movements. Stimulates the medulla centers and relaxes the central nervous system.

Ginseng is said to be highly good for the metabolism, and promotes general well being. It has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, but this seems to be totally based on the fact that it relaxes the overly tense person a bit. If you suffer from back pain or TMJ adding this to a tea of Catnip and slippery elm may help. It is also presumably useable as an ingredient in a Meade or magewine

Friday, October 16, 2009


Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) is a perennial herb indigenous to Canada
and eastern United States. Also known as ‘Yellow root’, it belongs to the
Ranunculaceae family. The stem is hairy and purplish above the ground and
yellow below the ground where it connects to the yellow rhizome. The dark green
toothed leaves contain 5 to 7 lobes. Its small greenish-white flowers are erect
and terminal with no petals but numerous stamens. Fruit appears similar to the
Raspberry but it is not edible.

Goldenseal is essentially a healing herb and does not have any culinary usage.
The rhizome and roots of this herb is used for several herbal medications. This
herb is believed to have several medicinal properties including hepatic, alterative,
anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, laxative, emmenagogue, and

Goldenseal has been traditionally used to treat skin disorders, digestive
problems, liver conditions, diarrhea, wounds, sore and inflamed gums, ulcers and
eye irritations. Herbal tea made using this herb is said to help in sore throats.
Goldenseal tincture can be used as a mouthwash or gargle for inflamed gums
and mouth ulcers. The herb is used as an expectorant and stimulates the
secretion and flow of bile. Goldenseal is also used in topical anti-microbial
ointments to cure skin irritations, wounds and rashes.


Bergamot (Monarda didyma) also known as ‘Oswego tea’ is indigenous to
Eastern North America and is a member of the Lamiaceae family. This
highly fragrant plant grows 2-3 feet high. Flowers vary in color from pink to
reddish and are in large curlicues on top of the stem. Dark colored leaves
are rough surfaced and contain citrus flavor. Leaves and flowers form the
consumable parts of the herb.

Bergamot is considered to be an expectorant, tonic, deodorant and anti-
spasmodic. Additional properties include anti-anxiety, antiseptic, carminative,
digestive, insecticide and analgesic. These properties help in ailments like
nausea, vomiting, cough, flu, stomach upsets and sinus. Bergamot primarily
acts as a stimulant and helps with digestion. Consuming Bergamot tea is
known to provide relief in cold, throat and digestion problems. It can also
help in chest problems, insomnia and flatulence. Bergamot oil is useful in
aromatherapy and aids in treatment of anxiety, nervous tension and helps
with the urinary tract and respiratory system. Topical application of the oil is
considered to be good for skin problems like eczema, acne and psoriasis. It
is useful in wounds and swollen veins.

Bergamot leaves and flowers are widely used for its fruity flavor and aroma.
They can also be used in fruit drinks and salads to add flavor as well as for
garnishing. It particularly enhances pork recipes. Leaves are used for making
refreshing herbal tea as well as a facial steam. Fresh as well as dried leaves
and petals can be added to bathing water to have a refreshing and perfumed

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


the Black Seed herb and oil has been used by millions of people in Middle East, Asia, and Africa to support their health. An aromatic spice, similar looking to sesame seed except black in color, it has been traditionally used for a variety of conditions and treatments related to respiratory health, stomach and intestinal health, circulatory and immune system support, kidney and liver function, and for general overall well-being.

In Islam, it is regarded as one of the greatest forms of healing medicine available. Prophet Muhammad once stated that the black seed can heal every disease—except death—as recounted in the following hadith

The seeds have been traditionally used in the Middle East and Southeast Asian countries to treat ailments including asthma, bronchitis, rheumatism and related inflammatory diseases, to increase milk production in nursing mothers, to promote digestion and to fight parasitic infections. Its oil has been used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and boils and to treat cold symptoms. Its many uses have earned nigella the Arabic approbation 'Habbatul barakah', meaning the seed of blessing


Rosella flower pod contains many antioxidants. It is rich in nutrients that are useful for balance as the human body. Compound antioxidants in the rosella tea is very useful in prevent free radicals, prevent bone plastering and early aging, slow menopause, accelerate the circulation system, strengthen blood vessel and reduce the negative impact of nicotine.

Early aging is also marked by early skin damage, skin appears dull and wrinkled and appear black spots. This is due to a lack of vitamin C in the free radicals that can damage skin. To prevent the porous bone and early aging, we need to consume calcium and vitamin C in the appropriate amount. Herbal plants Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn.), which initially came from Africa & the Middle East, has a property as a primary preventive antioxidants bone plastering, early aging, slow menopause and reduce the negative impact of nicotine. Rosella herbal contains much of calcium, vitamin C, D, B-1, B-2, magnesium, omega-3, beta-carotene and 18 essential amino acids for the body, among others lysine and agrinine. Each 100 gram pod fresh rosella contains 260-280 milligram of vitamin C, vitamin B1 and B2. It contains vitamin C in the amount of 3 times wine black, 9 times out of orange sitrus, 10 times greater than the star fruit

Sunday, October 11, 2009


HERBAL MEDICINE, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, refers to the use

of a plant's seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Long practiced outside of conventional medicine, herbalism is becoming more mainstream as improvements in analysis and quality control along with advances in clinical research show their value in the treatment and prevention of disease.

Plants had been used for medicinal purposes long before recorded history. For example, ancient Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal plant uses. Indigenous cultures (such as Native American and African ) used herbs in their healing , while others developed traditional medical systems (such as Ayurveda and Traditional Medicine) in which herbal therapies were used systematically. Scientists found that people in different parts of the globe tended to use the same or similar plants for the same purposes.

For most herbs, the specific ingredient that causes a therapeutic effect is not known. Whole herbs contain many ingredients, and it is likely that they work together to produce the desired medicinal effect. Many factors determine how effective an herb will be. For example, the type of environment (climate, bugs, soil quality) in which a plant grew will affect its components, as will how and when it was harvested and processed.

Several herbs are often used together to enhance effectiveness and synergistic actions and to reduce toxicity. Health care providers must take many things into account when recommending herbs. For example, the species and variety of the plant, the plant's habitat, how it was stored and processed, and whether or not there are contaminants (including heavy metals and pesticides).

Healing Power of Herbal Plants

Herbal healing is based on a holistic approach to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual sides of life. Herbal healing and medicine teachers use plants as an aid to the human spirit in restoring balance and wholeness.
In the holistic view of plants, there is no single plant that represents the mystic world of creation, because creation is the sacred energy that moves through all plant life. Medicine and healing are part of the natural world. Healers and teachers are vital to restoring nature’s balance the physical and spiritual power of plants