Glossary of Herbs, Vitamins and Minerals
 Glossary of Herbs, Vitamins and Minerals
Glossary of Herbs, Vitamins and Minerals
A-D     E-L     M-Q     R-S     T-Z     Vitamins     Minerals

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa): a blood purifier; reduces and prevents symptoms caused by arthritis, bursitis, and gout9; lowers cholesterol10. Contains natural fluorides ,preventing tooth decay and helps rebuild decaying teeth. Alfalfa contains eight essential digestive enzymes and eight essential amino acids of protein and a high chlorophyll content. Extremely rich source of Beta-Carotene, Minerals, Trace elements, and vitamins A,B-1, B-6, B-12, C, D, E, K, Biotin, Folic Acid, Niacin and Pantothenic Acid. Mineras are Calcium, copper, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

Angelica (Angelica sinensis): helps regulate menstruation, diaphoretic11; diuretic; expectorant for coughs, bronchitis and pleurisy, particularly when symptoms are accompanied by fever, colds, or influenza; relieves gas, can help stimulate appetite; helps the skin eliminate toxins; may be used in anorexia nervosa.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus): an immune stimulant thought to inhibit tumor growth and often used to help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. It supports the production of interferons (proteins our cells produce to fight out viral infections). May be used daily as tonic before colds start.

Bayberry (Myrica ceriferea): astringent in diarrhea; reduces secretions; used also in colds and chills; relaxes nervous tension which may be cause colic.

Black Cohosh (Cimacifuga racemosa): an emmenagogue; assists in balancing female hormones and regulating menstrual periods12; used as an anti-inflammatory in arthritis13; helps lower high blood pressure14; sometimes induces labor and regulates contractions.

Black Haw (Viburnum prunifolium): believed to tone the female reproductive system; helps prevent threatened miscarriage15; contains uterine muscle relaxants16.

Black Walnut (Juglans nigra): used in gargles for sore throat; a vermifuge17; a blood purifier; lowers blood pressure.

Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalactroides): antispasmodic (an agent that relaxes nervous tension that may cause colic); emmenagogue; used to diminish menstrual cramps; used for uterine inflammation and uterine toning; assists in "false labor" (contractions that don't lead to birth) and helps prevent miscarriage; assists in labor.

Boneset (Eupatorium perfolatum): diaphoretic; helps reduce fevers; bitter action for liver, gall bladder, and bowel.

Borage (Borago officinalis): lactagoge; diaphoretic; anti-inflammatory; lowers fevers during convalescence.

Buchu (Barosma betulina): diuretic; reduces inflamed mucous membranes that cause a mucous discharge; helps heal cystitis (infection of the urinary bladder and tract) and prostatis (infection of the prostrate gland); relieves irritation of the bladder, kidneys, urethra18.

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa): stimulates appetite and digestion; reduces arthritic pain; blood purifier19; treats scrofula, and other cankerous skin conditions20; Burdock root also combined with dandelion and yellow dock can cure a the swelling of a sore growing on top of a lip21.

Butternut Bark (Juglans cinera): eliminates intestinal worms; a mild laxative22; increases secretion of bile and activity of glands in the walls of the intestinal tract23.

Cayenne (Capsicum annum): a blood purifier; lowers blood cholesterol levels; helps reduce blood pressure24; improves circulation and respiration25.

Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana): The bark a gentle laxative26 especially helpful for the elderly27, particularly in cases of chronic constipation; antispasmodic; and strengthens the liver28; a chelating agent to prevent the formation of calcium-containing urinary stones; used for hepatic disease29. contraindicated during pregnancy.

Cat's Claw (Uncaria tomentosa): Detoxifier

Catnip (Nepeta cataria): associated with stomach discomforts30; carminative (an agent use to relieve gas and sharp pain in the bowel region); antispasmodic; relieves cold and flu symptoms; a diaphoretic; a mild antimicrobial. (North American Indians used catnip tea for colic in babies). contraindicated during pregnancy.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla): the flowers reduce stomach problems, helps relieve cancer of the liver, mouth, skin and brain, applied internally as well as externally31; calms anxiety; stimulates the expulsion of parasitic worms in the digestive system; also helps eliminate of bacteria that cause strep throat32; used to treat skin problems33. The essential oil's in Chamomile are a wonderful blend of many individual oils. Pharmacological research suggested that there is a strengthening the protective mucosal barrier against ulceration. Action: Nervine, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, bitter,and vulnerary.

Chestnut (Castanea Sativa): Contracts body tissue and blood vessels; helps in convulsive coughs and other irritable conditions of the respiratory organs.

Chickweed (Stellaria media): reduces internal inflammation, and external swelling; soothes coughs, colds, sore throats, and flus34; effective against certain respiratory pathogens35.

Cloves (Caryophyllum aromaticus): antiseptic; reduces vomitting.

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara): soothes coughs and colds; expectorant; stimulates the immune system.

Comfrey Leaf powder (Symphytum officinale): impressive in speeding wound healing and guarding against scar tissue; soothes irritated surfaces; helps hemorrhages wherever they occur, internally or on the skin.

Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus): Relaxes muscle tensions and reduces spasms; relaxes the uterus and relieve painful menstrual cramps; helps to prevent menstrual excessive blood loss; protects from threatened miscarriage; sedative.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): treats liver infections and breast cancer36; helpful in detoxifying the liver.

Dill (Anethum graveolens): helps eliminate gas in infants; tranquilizer; softens hardened stools.
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Echinacea (Echinacea Angustifolia): an immune stimulant and the liquid extract is sweet tasting.

Echinacea (Echinacea purperea): an immune stimulant by increasing phagocytosis37; used to treat fevers and minor infections.

Elder flowers (Sambucus canadensis): releives symptoms of coughs and colds

Elder berries (Sambucus nigra): applied externally for burns, rashes, and minor skin problems.

Elecampane root (Inula helenium) : diuretic; diaphoretic; helps with coughs, and bronchitis.

False unicorn (Chamaelirium luteum) : balances hormones; diuretic; aids in delayed or absent menstruation; also helps threatened miscarriage; in small dosages it eases vomiting associated with pregnancy.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) : an estrogenic agent38; a lactagogue.

Feverfew (Tanateum parsenium) : anti-inflammatory for arthritis; remedy for migraine headaches; relieves painful and slow menstrual flows; promotes relaxation; uterine stimulant.

Garlic (Allium sativum) : lowers blood pressure and cholesterol level39; increases phagocyte and peritoneal macrophage production, thereby acting as an antimicrobial; effective in treating throat infection40.

Gentian (Gentiana lutea): increases ability to digest and assimilate food41; increases sensitivity of glands and organs to adrenalin (the hormone the body secretes when in need of rapid energy)42.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale): gastrointesinal; stimulates circulation; a useful diaphoretic, promoting perspiration. As a gargle it can give temporary relief of sore throats.

Ginkgo Leaf (Ginkgo Biloba): Circulatory; brain circulation, anti-inflammatory, vasoddilatory, relaxant, has been suggested in the following conditions: vertigo, tinnitus, inner ear disturbances including partial deafness,impairment of memory and ability to concentrate, diminished intellectual capacity and alertness as a result of insufficient circulation, Raynaud's disease, arterial circulatory disturbances due to aging,

Ginseng, American Wild (Panax quinquefolia): an adaptogen (helps the system adapt to a variety of changes); increases energy; decreases blood pressure. contraindicated during pregnancy.

Ginseng, Siberian (Eleutherococcus senticosus): an adaptogen; lowers stress; both raises and/or lowers blood sugar43 as needed. contraindicated during pregnancy.

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis): antimicrobial; a bitter herb whose root is an anticarrhal; tonic; used as a antibiotic44; contains berberine effective against Helobacter pylori (often responsible for recurrent ulcers) and giardia; effective against gram-positive bacteria such as streptococcus and staph45, and gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli46; treats eczema and ringworm (applied topically) reduces inflammation of the eyes47; contraindicated during pregnancy.

Honeysuckle Flowers (Lonicera periclymenum): laxative; expectorant.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare): a cough remedy48; used to facilitate healing of bronchitis and asthma; expels mucous from the lungs and throat.

Linden Flowers (Tilia europaea): a nervine, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, hypotensive, diaphoretic, diuretic, astringent. Linden is well known as a relaxing remedy and in the treatment of raised blood pressure associated with nervous tension.

Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra): soothes and heals mucous membranes in the intestinal tract49; treats ulcers50.

Lomatium (Lomatium dissectum): Antimicrobial
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Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis): the root soothes mucous membranes; helps heal wounds; ointments and cremes made from the root are effective on chapped hands and lips; internally treats inflammation and problems of the genito-urinary tract; mouthwash; soothes teething pain51.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria): Intestinal Astringent, anti-inflammatory, carminative, antacid, anti-emetic. Protects and soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, reducing nausea. It is gentle enough yet its astringency is useful in treating diarrhoea in children.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum): Liver protectant, Hepatic, galactogogue, demulcent, cholagogue. Research done in Germany is revealing data about reversal of toxic liver damage as well as protection from potential hepatotoxic agents. As its name implies, it promotes milk secretion in herbal formulas for breast feeding mothers.

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca): Antispasm, nervine hepatic, cardiac tonic, hypotensive. The latin names of this plant show its range of uses from delayed menstrual due to anxiety and uterine conditions while cardiaca indicates its use in heart and circulation treatments (due to tension and is often used with Hawthorne berries.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus): helps heal respiratory problems52; protects damaged tissue; reduces swelling and pain; has antibiotic qualities53.

Myrrh (Balsamodendron myrrha): increases mucous membrane activity; helps fight infection by increasing white blood cells (that attack foreign microbials)54; treats weak pulse and cold skin55; stimulates digestion by increasing peptic gland activity; (since myrrh is soothing to mucous membranes, it frequently used in vaginal douches.)

Nettle (Urtica dioaca): lactagogue; diuretic and detoxifying; helps heal eczema (especially children when stress related and combined with burdock). As an astrigent in formulas can be used to hlep in uterine hemorrhage. Combinations:

Oatstraw (Avena sativa): helps builds the outer layer of the skin; helps detoxify body.

Oregon grape root (Mahonia aquifolium): antimicrobial; source of berberine which is an antimicrobial for several bacteria (see goldenseal for more on berberine).

Osha root (Ligusticum porteri): reduces inflammation of the throat and mucous membranes; increases elimination of toxins throughout the spores of the skin; acts like a bronchial dilator.

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata): sedative56; assists relaxation and sleep.

Pau D'Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa): retards the development of tumors; helps heal candida in adults thrush (candida in the infant's mouth); helps heal viruses; anti-fungal; assists in eliminating parasites. Dr. T. Meyer learned from the Callaway tribe and using it on his leukemia patients with success. In 1960, it's use was taken up by the Municipal Hospital of Santo Andre where medical doctors used a brew of the bark on terminal cancer patients that helped them with pain and reduction o the size of the tumors.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita): reduces cramps, antispasm, stimulant.

Plantain (Plantago ovaga): alleviates skin infection and inflammation57; also reduces pain and coughing58.

Pleurisy root (Asclepias tuberosa): remedy for colds and flus; expectorant.

Queen of the Meadow Root (Eupatorum purpureum):also known as gravel root or Joe-Pye Weed. Diuretic, anti-lithic, urinary infections, respiratory.
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Red raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus): a uterine tonic59; relaxes the uterus; traditionally believed to lead to an easier childbirth60; midwives have found that women who drink raspberry leaf tea regularly during pregnancy have decreased chance of hemorrhage; relieves kidney irritation61.

Red clover (Trifolium pratense): helps treat gout; reduces coughing62; expels mucous from the lungs and throat; used to treat and prevent cancer.

Red root (Ceanothus americanus): treats tonsil inflammations and sore throats; increases transport of nutrients from the blood across the capillary cells to the lymph.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma sinensis): An immunostimulant

Rhubarb root (Rheum palmateom): the root stimulates the appetite; helps stop diarrhea; inhibits bacterial growth63; inhibits growth of cancer64; sometimes administered for upper digestive tract bleeding65.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis): treats headaches; soothes upset stomach; a muscle stimulant; soothes irritated nerves66.

Saint John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum): anti-inflammatory; treats lung diseases; urinary infections; helps reduce stress; helps heal wounds and cuts.

Sarsaparilla (Smilax ornata): root used to soothe sore eyes, wounds, and burns; antimicrobial as a result of antibiotic properties (saponins)67; diuretic; diaphoretic.

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa serrulata): anti-inflammatory; appetite stimulant; digestive aid; diuretic; relives dysmenorrhea that results from lack of uterine tone.

Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora):nervine; relaxant68; sleep-inducing, relieves pain caused by spasms69.

Shavegrass (Horsetail herb): stabilizes and strengthens lung membranes; effective in healing urinary tract infections/

Shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris): lowers blood pressure; reduces heavy menstrual flow (menorrhagia)70; reduces the incidence of hemorrhage in childbirth; heals urinary tract irritation and clears blood from the urine; stimulates uterine contractions71.

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinus edodes):helps Immune system.

Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva): demulcent; soothes damaged tissue; treats gastritis and ulcers; very effective for coughs72; very effective for sore throat73; diarrhea; sores74; remedy for broken bones; anti-inflammatory for the stomach.contraindicated during pregnancy.

Spearmint (Mentha spicata): Antispasm; stomach.

Spikenard root (Aralia recemosa): diuretic; relieves coughs and asthma; Native Americans used it for menstrual irregularities; helps lung and kidney ailments.

Squaw vine (Mitchella repens):relieves painful menstruation; helps prevent miscarriage75; used during the last few weeks of pregnancy to aid childbirth.

Stevia Herb (Stevia rebaudiana):digestion, herb has very sweet taste.
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Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) reduces bacteria growth; reduces mucous in the lungs; eliminates hookworms in the intestines; strengthens the nervous system.

Usnea (Usnea barbata) Antimicrobial.

Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis): reduces stress; induces sleep76; (European studies show that the major component, the "valepotriates" have sedative, anti-convulsive, hypotensive, tranquilizing, and anti-aggressive qualities, making Valerian a natural tranquilizer77.)

White oak bark (Quercus alba): anti-inflammatory; helps prevent diarrhea.

White pine bark (Pinus strobus): Expectorant.

White willow (Salix alba): pain reliever78; relieves headaches, fevers, arthritis, sore muscles, and chills79.

White cherry bark (Prunus serotina):Respiratory

Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa): increases liver efficiency by lowering serum cholesterol80; helps prevent miscarriage;reduces dysmenorrhea, cramps, and afterpain (uterine cramps after giving birth)81.

Wild cherry bark (Prunus serotina):astringent; helps irritating coughs due to sedative action, anti-tussive, expectorant, Note that inhibition of a cough does not chest infection, which will still need to be treated.

Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens): anodyne; astringent; diuretic; stimulant; emmenagoge; lactagogue.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): purifies the blood; reduces fever; lowers blood pressure; digestive stimulant; diaphoretic.

Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus): clears skin problems including eczema and psoriasis; relieves glandular inflammation and swelling; eliminates ringworm; In India yellow Dock even hardened weak gums (softened by having a bad diet82); also has some antibiotic properties83.

Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californicum):Respiratory.

Yucca Root (Yucca species): anti-inflammatory for arthritis.

Disclaimer: The information on this web page has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat or prevent disease. It is designed for educational purposes.
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Vitamin A & Beta Carotene: Prevents eye problems, skin disorders (acne). Enhances immunity. An antioxidant, it hels protect cells against cancer & slows the aging process. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the liver. No vitamin overdose can occur with beta-carotene.

Sources: Animal livers, alfalfa, asparagus, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, garlic, spinach... Donít take more than 15,000 IU beta-carotene / 10,000 IU Vitamin A a day.

Vitamin B Complex: The B vitamins maintain healthy nerves. Involved in energy production, they may be useful in treating stress, depression, and anxiety.

Sources: Beans, cheese, eggs, fish, milk, peas ... Donít take more than 50 mg Thiamine / 50 mg Riboflavin/ 100 mg Niacin/ 100 mg Pantothenic Acid/ 50 mg Pyridoxine/ 300 mcg Cyanocobalamin a day.

Choline: Minimizes excess fat in the liver. Necessary in fat and cholesterol metabolism. Gallbladder regulation & nerve transmission.

Sources: Egg yolks, legumes, meat, milk, whole grain cereals... Donít take more than 100 mg Choline a day.

Folic Acid: Brain food. Helps in embryonic and fetal development. Energy production.

Sources: Beans, brewerís yeast, lamb, oranges, pork, fish... Donít take more than 400 mcg Folic Acid a day.

Inositol: Vital for hair growth. Prevents hardening of arteries, helps fat & cholesterol metabolism. Caffeine depletes it.

Sources: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meats, & milk. Donít take more than 100 mg Inositol a day.

Vitamin C: Protects against infection, enhances immunity. Healthy gums. Ester C has narurally chelated (bonded) minerals that allow better & faster absorption. Aspirin, alcohol, & nicotine deplete it. Sources: Green vegetables, berries, citrus fruits. Donít take more than 5000 mg a day if itís not cold season.

Vitamin D: Healthy bones & teeth, prevention & treatment of osteoporosis. Enhances immunity. Donít take it without calcium.

Sources: Sun light, butter, eggs, fish... Donít take more than 400 IU a day.

Vitamin E: Healthy heart, improves circulation, PMS, blood clotting (healing), improves athletic performance. Donít take iron at the same time. Sources: Coldpressed vegetable oils, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts... Donít take more than 600 IU a day.

Vitamin K: Blood clotting, bone formation, prevents osteoporosis. A supplement for seniors. Sources: Alfalfa, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, soy beans... Donít take more than 100 mcg a day.

Bioflavonoids: Enhance absorption of Vitamin C. Not produced by the human body. Antibacterial effect. Sources: The white material just beneath the peel of citrus fruits, peppers. Donít take more than 500 mg a day.
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Boron: Calcium uptake & healthy bones, osteoporosis. Sources: Leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains. Donít take more than 3 mg a day.

Calcium: Strong bones & teeth, regular heartbeat, prevention of muscle cramps. Lowers blood pressure & prevents bone loss associated with osteoporosis.

Sources: Dairy foods, seafood.. Donít take more than 1,500 mg a day.

Chromium (GTF): Energy, glucose metabolism (maintains stable blood sugar levels for both the diabetic and the hypoglycemic). The average American diet is chromium deficient due to a lack of chromium in the soil.

Sources: Beer, brewerís yeast, cheese, meat, corn, mushrooms, potatoes.. Donít take more than 150 mcg a day.

Copper: Healthy nerves, bones, energy production, taste sensitivity. Osteoporosis is one of the early signs of copper deficiency.

Sources: Beans, nuts, liver, seafood, oranges, raisins, leafy vegetables.. Donít take more than 3 mg a day.

Germanium (Ge-132): Alleviates arthritis, food allergies, elevated cholesterol. A fast acting pain killer. Sources: Aloe vera, garlic, ginseng, onions.. Donít take more than 60 mg a day.

Iodine: Metabolizes excess fat, healthy thyroid gland, mental development in children. A deficiency has been linked to breast cancer.

Sources: Iodized salt, seafood, kelp. Donít take more than 225 mcg a day.

Iron: Hemoglobin production, healthy immune system, energy production. Growth in children. Donít supplement if no deficiency exists.

Sources: Eggs, fish, liver, nuts, green leafy vegetables. Donít take more than 18 mg a day.

Magnesium: Calcium & potassium uptake. Prevents depression, dizziness, stress. Lowers blood pressure, irritability, nervousness.

Sources: Dairy products, fish, meat, seafood. Donít take more than 750 mg a day.

Molybdenum: Healthy gums, nitrogen metabolism. A deficiency may cause impotence in older men. Sources: Beans, cereal grains, legumes, peas, dark green leafy vegetables. Donít take more than 30 mcg a day.

Potassium: Healthy nervous system & regular heart rhythm. Prevents strokes, controls the bodyís water balance.

Sources: Dairy foods, fish, fruits, vegetables. Donít take more than 90 mg a day.

Selenium: A vital antioxidant combined with Vitamin E. Protects the immune system. Healthy heart & muscles.

Sources: Meat, grains (depending on soil content).. Donít take more than 200 mcg a day.

Zinc: Prostate gland function, growth of reproductive organs. Healthy immune system, healing of wounds. Acuity of taste & smell.

Sources: Fish, legumes, seafood, eggs, lamb, whole grains. Donít take more than 30 mg a day.
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