Vitamins & Minerals
Alfalfa is a well-known herb to health-conscious consumers. It is high in
nutrients, which are drawn into the plant from deep in the soil. The richest land source
of trace minerals, the roots of Alfalfa plants have been known to reach as much as thirty
feet deep! The leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals and nutrients, including
calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene. They are also a source of protein, vitamin E
and vitamin K. Alfalfa has been used by the Chinese since the sixth century to treat
kidney stones, and to relieve fluid retention and swelling. Alfalfa nourishes the
digestive, skeletal, glandular, and urinary systems. Alfalfa contains chlorophyll, which
is renowned for its cleansing qualities.
Aloe vera has historically been known for assisting the functions of the
gastrointestinal tract, and for its properties of soothing, cleansing and helping the body
to maintain healthy tissues. This plant has a reputation of facilitating digestion, aiding
blood and lymphatic circulation, as well as kidney, liver and gall bladder functions. Aloe
contains at least three anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are helpful for the stomach,
small intestine and colon. It naturally alkalizes digestive juices to prevent overacidity
- a common cause of digestive complaints. A newly discovered compound in aloe, acemannan,
is currently being studied for its ability to strengthen the immune system. Studies have
shown acemannan to boost T-lymphocyte cells that aid natural resistance.
Angelica nutritionally supports the digestive and respiratory systems.
Anise seeds act to remove excess mucus in the gastrointestinal area.
Barberry nourishes the liver and gallbladder and helps the bile to flow
freely. It helps remove toxins from the bowels.
Bayberry is an excellent blood purifier and detoxifier. It is effective for
helping to stop a cold from forming if taken when the first symptoms appear.
Bdellium gum has many positive effects on the human body. Studies show they
include: lowering cholesterol levels, reducing tissue inflammation, promoting balance in
the thyroid gland, and lowering body weight.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) contains nutrients that protect eyes from
eyestrain or fatigue, and can improve circulation to the eyes. When British Royal Air
Force pilots During World War II ate Bilberry preserves before night missions and
discovered that their night vision improved afterwards, this herb was investigated and
found to be very beneficial for the eyes. Bilberry works by improving the microcirculation
and regeneration of retinal purple, a substance required for good eyesight. It is believed
that this property is related to the high amount of proanthocyanidins, a type of flavonoid
that tends to prevent capillary fragility and strengthen the capillaries which nourish the
eyes. Other properties appear to assist in thinning the blood and stimulating the release
of vasodilators. Anthocyanin, a natural antioxidant, also lowers blood pressure, reduces
clotting and improves blood supply to the nervous system. Anthocyanosides support and
enhance the health of collagen structures in the blood vessels of the eyes, thus aiding in
the development of strong healthy capillaries that can carry vital nutrients to eye
muscles and nerves. Bilberry has long been a remedy for poor vision and "night
blindness." Clinical tests have indicated that oral administration of bilberry tends
to improve visual accuracy in healthy people and can help those with eye disorders such as
pigmentosa, retinitis, glaucoma, and myopia.
Bissy nut (Cola acuminate) has been known to help relieve inflammation in
disorders such as rheumatism and gout. It also is used as a diuretic, and contains
The early Native Americans used Black Cohosh to treat snakebite and a tea
from the root is reputed to soothe sore throat. They also used the root to help ease
complaints associated with the skeletal system. It is a traditional approach for many
gynecological topics, including menstrual cramps, labor and delivery, and menstruation.
When combined with other nervine herbs, it provides excellent soothing properties. Black
Cohosh also nourishes the respiratory system. Black Cohosh has traditionally been used to
calm the nervous system by nourishing blood vessels, and balancing the hormones in
menopausal women. Studies show it contains substances that bind to estrogen receptors. It
has also been shown in lab experiments (in vitro) to inhibit microbial activity.
Black Currant Oil
Black currant oil is rich in linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
This substance supports the body's manufacture of hormone-like substances known as
prostaglandins which help regulate functions of the circulatory system. GLA assists the
body with its energy processes and is a structural component of the brain, bone marrow,
muscles and cell membranes.
Black walnut hulls contain a substance which helps the body eliminate
parasites. Although this is the primary purpose of this herb, it is also used for poison
oak, ringworm and skin ailments. It has antifungal properties and is also said to promote
Blessed thistle acts as a general tonic to the female reproductive system,
as well as helping to balance the hormones.
Blue cohosh nutritionally supports the female reproductive system.
Blue vervain nourishes the digestive, nervous and respiratory systems. It
helps the body maintain balance during the winter season, and fortifies it against the
organisms which promote flu, coughs and colds. This herb acts as a diaphoretic, which
means that it helps the body eliminate toxins through the pores by stimulating
perfoliatum): Herbal history tell us that the Native Americans taught
the early settlers how to use Boneset to reduce symptoms of flus and
"break-bone" fevers- hence the name. That traditional application is still
passed down today, and contemporary herbalists still recommend Boneset for colds, the flu,
chills and yes- fevers.
Burdock is a natural blood purifier and detoxifier. It is favored for
helping the body maintain healthy skin. It nourishes the urinary and respiratory systems,
and also nutritionally supports joints and other skeletal tissues. It is reported to
promote glandular and hormone balance, as well as remove accumulations and deposits around
Cascara sagrada is used to help the body relieve constipation. However, it
is reputed not to be habit-forming and also nutritionally supports the stomach, liver,
pancreas, and gallbladder. It is cleansing, as well as nourishing, to the colon. It is
also known to assist with digestion, and help the body to eliminate worms and parasites.
Catnip nourishes the stomach and nerves. It calms the nervous system and is
used also for digestion. Catnip is also said to help ease symptoms of the flu such as
nausea and diarrhea.
The highly effective properties contained in the inner bark of the cat's
claw plant have demonstrated, through centuries of usage dating back to the time of the
ancient Incas, to have a profound and positive influence on the body's defense system.
Studies conducted since the 1970s at research clinics in Peru, Austria, Germany, England,
Hungary and Italy validate the traditional usage and indicates that this herb may be
beneficial in ameliorating a host of modern day afflictions which have no answers from the
orthodox medical arena. It is known to help nutritionally support the body's defense,
circulatory and gastrointestinal systems through its antioxidant and build properties.
Cayenne is a pepper well known for its benefits to the circulatory system.
It aids the body to balance pressure levels and resist abnormal bleeding. Cayenne also
nourishes the digestive system. This plant assists in the body's utilization of other
herbs, when used in an herbal combination. When applied topically, it helps relieve minor
Cardiospermum halicacabum (Balloon Vine)
Alleviates sneezing fits, inflammation of the nose and nasal sinuses, tearing, itching,
reddening and burning in the eyes as well as allergic skin complaints with itching, eczema
Celery seeds contain vitamins A, C and B-complex.
Chamomile soothes the nerves and stomach. It nourishes the respiratory
tract and helps alleviate discomfort associated with menstrual problems.
Chickweed helps the body eliminate mucus and fatty plaque from the system.
It nourishes the gastrointestinal areas and has soothing properties. It is a natural blood
cleanser, as well as an herb that addresses fat accumulations.
Coltsfoot(Tussilago farfara): Long regarded as
one of the best remedies available for coughs and respiratory problems, Coltsfoot is
soothing to mucous membranes, particularly of the chest and lungs. It is used for
persistent coughs, hacking or dry coughs, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, hoarseness, colds,
inflammation and irritation of the throat and other respiratory problems.
Comfrey nourishes the pituitary gland (the master gland of the body), as
well as the bones and skin. It also strengthens the respiratory system and is considered
to be one of nature's great healers.
Cranberry contains a compound that prevents bacteria from adhering to the
walls of the bladder and rest of the urinary tract. This prevents the bacteria from
spreading and eventually results in the halt of infection. Using cranberry on a regular
basis may help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Cranberry has long been
recognized as one of the best herbal remedies for UTIs. It is to be noted that Cranberry
does not kill E. coli - instead it works by interfering with and preventing the
bacterias ability to adhere and colonize.
But then arose a Cranberry
conundrum: Cranberry blended juices sold commercially actually contain only 27 percent
cranberry juice. The rest is usually sweetened water, added because of the tartness of the
berry and to make it palatable for consumption. In fact this product is called
cranberry juice cocktail and typically has loads of calories. A landmark study
has shown that it may be necessary to drink large quantities of cranberry juice daily for
at least four to six weeks before any measurable results in reduction of pathogens is
detectable. No more!
Cyani flowers soothe the nervous system and exert a positive influence on
tissues of the eyes.
Damiana is known for its aphrodisiac properties, and has also been used for
nervousness, weakness and exhaustion. It is said to increase sperm count in the male and
to balance hormones in women.
Dandelion nourishes the liver and contains many vital nutrients. Dandelion
root has been used traditionally to purify the blood, and to benefit the circulatory and
Devil's claw is an herb which has been well-known in Europe and Africa for
hundreds of years and is gaining popularity in the United States and the entire North
American continent. It is known for its ability to nourish the skeletal system. Studies
indicate that its action is similar to cortisone. It helps the body lessen the severity of
pain in joints and connective tissues.
Dong quai calms the central nervous system and nourishes the brain. It also
balances and strengthens the female organs and regulates their functions.
A couple of years ago in a
special women's issue we featured the popular Chinese herb Dong Quai and its traditional
role in promoting female health and well-being. It remains one of the top herbs
recommended by herbalists for addressing female complaints, and many women have indeed
reported excellent results while using Dong Quai. Let's revisit the herb that is described
as "one of the most frequently used, and one of the most important female herbs in
Traditional Chinese Medicine".
(Angelica sinensis), a member of the Parsley family, is native to China but now cultivated
in other areas, including the United States. It is also known as Dang Gui, Tang Kwei, Tang
Kuei, Chinese Angelica, and in herbal circles as the "female Ginseng".
Dong Quai has
long been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine-
references indicate its recorded use as far back as 588 B.C. and it was even reportedly
listed in the first Chinese herbal by Emperor Shen Hung (3494 B.C.) Whether or not this is
so, the fact is Dong Quai has been used in that healing culture for thousands of years as
a female tonic, and approximately half a billion women in China alone, plus millions of
women in other Asian countries use Dong Quai for a wide variety of female concerns.
In TCM, herbs
are basically classified according to their flavors and the organs they specifically
affect, with the emphasis on the underlying cause and restoring balance. Interestingly,
Dong Quai, loosely translated in English means 'return to proper order', which is exactly
what it seems to do with the female system. It is classified as sweet and pungent, mildly
warming and benefits the heart, liver and spleen. Dong Quai is said to be best suited for
the one who is cold, fatigued, pale and anemic (TCM suggests it not be taken by "hot
or febrile" people or ones who normally feel hot all the time). Below are just some
of the more popular applications:
Dong Quai is
also categorized as a blood tonic that nourishes the blood and improves circulation
throughout the body, but particularly in the pelvic area. According to renowned herbalist,
Christopher Hobbs, "It moves blood into the pelvic area to nourish the uterus and the
reproductive organs. The health of internal organs is related to the strength of the
blood. The blood brings nourishment to the tissues and carries waste products away, so the
quality of the blood circulating through the pelvic area is a major determinate of how
healthy those organs will be."
PMS: Dong Quai helps to maintain a proper balance of female hormones.
It is generally agreed that PMS and some menstrual disorders may be caused by hormonal
imbalance, particularly too little progesterone and too much estrogen. Master Herbalist,
Louise Tenney writes, "When excess estrogen builds up and the liver is unable to
detoxify it, there is havoc created in the body- from retention to severe mental
anguish." Consequently, it has been used to treat muscle cramps, backaches, and pain
associated with difficult menstrual periods. For PMS, she suggests taking Dong Quai at
least 5 days before the onset of menstruation, before the body reaches its
estrogen-progesterone low; other herbalists suggest 14 days.
Disorders: Dong Quai strengthens and regulates the
female reproductive cycle because of its hormone-balancing activity. It has subsequently
been used to help irregular menstruation, amenorrhea (absence or suppression of
menstruation), dysmenorrhea (painful, difficult menstruation), and to help women resume
normal menstruation after going off the birth-control pill.
suggest several cautions for Dong Quai: It should not be used by women during pregnancy or
by women who experience heavy menstrual flow. It is not recommended for individuals taking
aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs on a regular basis. It should not be taken in the
presence of diarrhea. Some references suggest it also not be taken by women prone to
fibroids or endometriosis.
things to remember when it comes to hormonal balance, in addition to herbs, we all know
that maintaining female health also includes good nutrition and regular exercise.
Naturopath and noted health author, Linda Rector-Page also suggests:
meals. Overeating can suppress hormone production
foods to your diet
consumption of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli to help flush out excess estrogen
There is a
wide array of herbs and natural supplements that women can take advantage of: Vitamin B6,
Vitamin E, Chasteberry/Vitex, Blessed Thistle, essential fatty acids, Magnesium and
Calcium (for vegetarians dark, leafy greens like Kale are said to be wonderful sources,
and is believed to be more easily absorbed than milk).
Modern scientific studies now validate Echinacea's traditional usage as a
topical agent to help the body repair skin wounds, and internally to enhance the immune
system. The active constituents in Echinacea which are thought to bolster the body's
defense are known as polysaccharides. Polysaccharides stimulate the activity of
macrophages, white blood cells which destroy bacteria, viruses, other foreign invaders,
and even wayward cells. It also activates the body's production of interferon, a specific
protein which protects cells against the invasion of viruses.
Elderberry flowers can help rid the body cells of toxins, increase
circulation and purify the blood.
Elecampane is a natural expectorant and nourishes the respiratory system.
This Chinese herb (Ma huang) is nutritionally beneficial for fat reduction
and increased energy. It facilitates energy and heat exchange for efficient metabolic
False unicorn is considered a tonic to the reproductive organs and
addresses symptoms of headaches and depression in menopausal women.
Fennel helps detoxify and remove waste material from the body.
Fenugreek has many traditional uses, including nourishing the skin,
respiratory system, and the pancreas. It helps the body to expel mucus and toxins.
Fenugreek dissolves fat and is high in nutrients.
Flax Seed Oil
Flax seed oil provides omega 3 (linolenic acid), omega 6 and omega 9 fatty
acids. Omegas 3 and 6 benefit the cardiovascular system, as well as the immune and nervous
systems. It also contains some beta carotene (approximately 4,300 IU per teaspoon) and
vitamin E (appproximately 15 IU per teaspoon).
Galphimia glauca (Gold Shower)
Alleviates itching, prickling and burning in the nasal mucous membranes, reduces the
incidence of sneezing fits as well as irritation of the conjunctiva (membrane lining the
eyelid) with severe tearing and burning in the eyes
Garcinia cambogia is a South Asian plant that is nutritionally beneficial
in blocking the production of fats. Scientific research conducted on this herb since 1969
demonstrates that it slows the body's conversion of carbohydrates and excess calories to
fat, decreasing production of harmful fats (low-density lipoproteins), promoting sustained
energy levels by enhancing the body's production of glycogen, reducing the body's desire
for excess food; helping to nutritionally support the metabolism and burn calories. Human
studies indicate that Garcinia, also known as HCA (hydroxycitric acid) may be especially
effective when combined with chromium and L-carnitine.
Garlic provides nourishment for the circulatory, immune and urinary
systems. It aids in supporting with normal circulation, nourishing stomach tissues,
maintaining normal blood pressure and aids the body's natural ability to resist disease.
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and fungicide.
Gentian Root nourishes and strengthens the digestive system. It stimulates
the appetite, nutritionally supports the liver, and nourishes the spleen, pancreas,
stomach and kidneys.
Ginger root is nourishing to the gastrointestinal system. It also helps the
body to eliminate wastes through the skin. Ginger enhances circulation and acts as a
catalyst for other herbs, to increase their effectiveness. It helps the body relieve
Ginkgo biloba is one of the most promising and highly studied natural
botanicals. Current interest in ginkgo began in the Orient, where it has long been valued
for its effects on the challenges of aging. Ginkgo is effective in nutritionally
supporting the body's systems, especially through its antioxidant properties. This is
especially important as we grow older. Aging is a process of deterioration. The hypothesis
that free radicals (reactive molecules) in the body are a direct cause of this
deterioration is gaining widespread acceptance. Recently, the benefits of antioxidant
vitamins in reducing free radicals in the the body have been widely published. Ginkgo is a
very potent free radical scavenger. Eliminating free radicals is important in preserving
youthfulness. If we slow down the deterioration of our body systems, we can enjoy fitness
and vitality all through our lives.
Ginseng is nutritionally beneficial for the immune
system and long term energy. It nourishes the circulatory system and enhances mental
alertness and stamina.
Golden seal is used both internally and externally to help the body fight
infections with its nutritional properties. It helps the body soothe inflammations of the
mucous membranes and balance their function. This herb especially nourishes the liver,
glandular and respiratory systems. Golden seal helps cleanse the system of foreign
Gotu kola nourishes the nervous system, especially the brain. It is said to
help improve memory and enhance vitality throughout the body. This herb is known for
helping the body to balance blood pressure levels and assist in the healing of wounds.
Gotu Kola is known in India as a "longevity" herb.
Hawthorn is traditionally known for its strong and powerful effect on the
circulatory system, particularly the heart. It has been used for centuries with great
success, especially in Europe. Even today it remains a favorite among herbalists as a
cardiac tonic. Hawthorn is valued for nourishing blood pressure and circulation. When used
on a regular, long-term basis hawthorn exerts a continued protection to the cardiovascular
Hops helps the body with pain and insomnia. Hops is rich in nutrients that
nourish the nervous system. The herbalist Culpeper said, "It opens obstructions of
the liver and spleen, cleanses the blood, loosens the belly, cleanses the veins from
gravel and provokes urine." This plant is considered both a tonic and relaxant.
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare):
Horehound root is soothing to
the respiratory system and is a natural expectorant. It
is no accident that the old-fashioned Horehound candy was a popular cough and sore throat
remedy. Commenting on its history of medicinal use, herbalist Kathi Keville wrote that
Horehound has been used by the early Egyptians as a cough remedy. Horehound is still
highly regarded as an effective herb for coughs, colds, bronchitis and other minor
Horsetail is rich in "beauty" nutrients that nourish the nails,
skin, hair, bones and the body's connective tissue. It is also benefits the glands and
urinary tract. Horsetail helps heal fractured bones because of its rich supply of
Ho Shou Wu
Ho shou wu (Fo-Ti) is fabled in Asian history to restore the original color
of graying hair. It nourishes the glandular, nervous, and skeletal systems. This herb is
reputed to enhance the health of the liver and kidneys. The properties of Ho Shou Wu are
said to be similar to Golden Seal, Chamomile and Ginseng. It is known to help improve
health, stamina and resistance to diseases.
Hydrangea has traditionally been used to strengthen the urinary tract and
help regulate its function. This plant contains alkaloids which help soothe the body,
especially in the bladder and kidney areas. Hydrangea also works like a natural
inflammation reliever and cleanses the joint areas.
Hyssop has been used for hundreds of years as an herbal remedy for
afflictions of the respiratory system. It soothes throats and nourishes the lungs.
Irish moss is high in nutrients and nourishes the glandular system, lungs,
and kidneys. It purifies the body's cells and strengthens the thyroid gland.
Juniper berries strengthen the urinary system and help the body eliminate
excess water and toxins.
Kava kava soothes the nerves.
Kelp contains nearly thirty minerals which nourish the glands (especially
the thyroid and pituitary). By enhancing the action of the glandular system, it helps
balance the body's metabolism and rate at which it burns calories. Kelp, also known as
seaweed, grows in the rich ocean beds, far below surface pollution levels. Because of its
high nutrient content, this herb is reputedly beneficial for a wide range of applications.
It is known to nourish the sensory nerves, brain membranes, also spinal cord and brain
tissue. Kelp contains alginic acid which can help protect the body against the effects of
Lady slipper is a member of the orchid family. This delicate flower
contains in its root many nervine properties.
Licorice root nutritionally supports the respiratory and gastrointestinal
systems, heart and spleen. This herb can soothe irritated mucous membranes and help the
body get rid of unwanted mucus with its expectorant properties. Licorice Root has
properties similar to cortisone and estrogen. It stimulates the adrenal glands and helps
the body cope with stress.
Lobelia has been traditionally revered for its soothing properties that
nourish the nervous system. Lobelia also enhances the function of the respiratory system
and has antispasmodic effects. It has been used in preparations designed to lessen one's
desire for nicotine. This herb was once smoked by Native
American Indians to relieve respiratory problems-hence its other name - Indian Tobacco.
Today, Lobelia is used as a smoking deterrent as it reduces the desire for tobacco. How?
Its major alkaloid lobeline is said to be similar to nicotine, but milder. Lobeline salts
in the body reportedly make the taste of nicotine extremely unpleasant. Additionally,
Lobelia is considered to be one of the most powerful herbs to help relax the nervous
system. It is helpful for calming nervousness and other tobacco withdrawal symptoms.
Luffa operculata (Luffa)
Alleviates chronic inflammation of the nose, throat and larynx,
nasal congestion, and acute rhinitis.
Magnolia bark (Magnolia glauca): While the beautiful flowers of the tree are more well known, Magnolia bark
has been used in traditional herbal medicine for a wide variety of reasons, including
kicking the tobacco habit.
Male fern helps the body get rid of tapeworm.
Mandrake works with the liver, gallbladder and all aspects of digestion. It
exerts a powerful influence on the glands.
Marshmallow has soothing properties and nutritionally supports the
respiratory and gastrointestinal systems.
Milk thistle extract is a potent antioxidant which prevents harm from free
radicals and lends nutritional support to the liver. Milk thistle seed extract contains
silymarin, a unique type of flavonoid-like compound considered the active ingredient of
Mullein (Verbascus thapsus)
It is described by herbalists as "one of the primary herbs for any lung problems, including whooping
cough, asthma, bronchitis, and chest colds", as well as "a specific for environmental allergy symptoms, chest and sinus
congestion".Mullein has been
referred to as a "natural wonder herb" which soothes the lungs and irritations
associated with the respiratory tract. It also nourishes the lymphatic and glandular
systems. Mullein can help remove mucus from the system. Mullein (Verbascum thapsus): An antispasmodic and
astringent herb effective for a wide range of respiratory conditions including swollen
membranes. Mullein is an excellent expectorant, clearing congestion as it soothes throat
and bronchial irritation. Herbal references indicate that Mullein's popular reputation as a respiratory
rescue can be traced down through the ages, from ancient Ayurvedic healers, to
Dioscorides, the famous first century Greek physician, to the 19th century scientific
herbalists (Eclectics), to Native American tribes, the early colonists and down to its
inclusion in the modern day German Commission E Monographs- the official documents of a
German scientific board that evaluates the safety and efficacy of herbs.
Traditionally, the properties of myrrh resin have been highly favored for
soothing muscles and wounds. Myrrh nourishes mucuous membranes with its cleansing effects.
The extract, when combined with water, is excellent as a comforting gargle for a scratchy
Nettle leaves (Urtica dioica): One of this
herb's primary uses in traditional herbal medicine is as a natural antihistamine, said to
be effective for relieving seasonal allergies such as hay fever and other pollen-related
concerns. In her book Plant Power, author Laurel
Dewey cited a study wherein over 50% of allergy sufferers reported who took 3 to 5-500mg
capsules of Nettle every day significantly reduced their symptoms, some even reporting
increased resistance to springtime colds, possibly due to the high mineral/vitamin content
The noni plant has many folk-remedy uses. It is fabled among the Polynesian
peoples to especially help support the body's respiratory, immune, digestive, and
Oatstraw contains high amounts of bone-building materials.
Pan Pien Pien
Pan pien lien helps the body remove obstructions and congestion, thus
strengthening and improving many areas. It nourishes and strengthens the lung areas, as
well as soothing the muscles and joints.
Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which helps the body break down
Parruva brava nourishes the thermogenic processes of the body. It has been
traditionally valued for its purification properties which promote perspiration.
Parsley is valued as a blood builder, cleanser and has pressure regulating
Pau d'arco is a South American herb which helps strengthen and nourish the
body's defense system. A healthy immune system is a key in fighting diseases and
Passionflower has been used to help the body reduce anxiety, hysteria and
nervousness by nourishing the nervous system. Passionflower has been traditionally used in
both herbal and homeopathic medicine for pain, insomnia, nervous exhaustion, asthma and
attention deficit disorder. In vitro experiments show that passicol, an alkaloid found in
passionflower, kills a range of molds, yeasts, and bacteria.
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium):
Like other members of the Mint family to which it belongs, Pennyroyal too serves as an
effective aid for digestive complaints. Herbalist Louise Tenney, also suggests the
aromatic herb for use as a decongestant for coughs and colds. Furthermore, Pennyroyal is
listed in herbal guides as a diaphoretic- an herb that relieves fevers by causing
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Peppermint calms the stomach,
intestinal tract, and the nervous system. It comforts the stomach and nourishes the
salivary glands to help with digestion. It has astringent properties and soothes the
nervous system. Without a doubt this popular digestive
aid enhances the formulas with its soothing effect on the nerves. Like Scullcap,
Peppermint, too is a nervine used and highly recommended to promote relaxation as well as
to relieve nervous headaches, anxiety and tension.
Periwinkle helps relieve congestion and aids in maintaining balanced
Pippali fruit is a pepper which has been used extensively in Ayurvedic
medicine to address digestive disorders and obesity.
Pleurisy Root a.k.a. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias
traditional Native American lung tonic is commonly applied by herbalists as an expectorant
for relieving thick, excess mucus to ease breathing. In addition to relieving congestion,
Pleurisy Root is also cited for relieving fevers and lung inflammation.
Prickly Ash nourishes and enhances circulation throughout the entire body.
Psyllium is an annual plant that has been cultivated for
thousands of years in Asia, Europe, and North Africa, where it has long been a part
of the natural healing traditions. Especially in India where Psyllium has been esteemed
for its therapeutic properties, Ayurvedic physicians have used it for chronic diarrhea,
dysentery, constipation, hemorrhoids and urinary problems. Today, it is included in high
fiber cereals and is a popular over-the-counter supplement and bulk laxative.
Psyllium husks (outer shell of
the seed) is considered pure dietary fiber and is composed mostly of a complex
carbohydrate likewise found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This fiber is
partially broken down in the colon and feeds the friendly intestinal flora. Another
important component of Psyllium is mucilage, a complex carbohydrate that attracts and
retains water, which then forms a gelatinous substance. This is one factor in Psyllium's
Quassia (Simarouba excelsa): Native to the Caribbean and the American tropics, Quassia is primarily known
as a bitter tonic that helps improve digestion. It is added as a supporting ingredient for
its use in decreasing the craving for alcohol, as some may increase alcohol intake when
they quit smoking in an erroneous attempt to quiet the nerves.
Queen of the Meadow
Queen of the Meadow is traditionally valued to help heal strains, sprains,
and the associated aches. It nourishes the ligaments and tendons, and assists in restoring
their normal function. It helps release inorganic deposits from the joints and tissues.
Quercetin has been shown to help the body defend itself against harmful
Red raspberry leaf strengthens the uterus wall and regulates menstrual
flow. It nourishes the reproductive organs, especially the uterine muscles, and helps
strengthen and prepare the body for childbirth. It is also highly valued for its soothing
and astringent properties to the stomach and intestinal tract. Raspberry leaf is a
nutrient-rich herb that helps balance the body so that diarrhea or constipation can be
Rhubarb can help dissolve mucus adhering to the walls of the colon.
The flowers of the safflower plant are used to nourish the liver,
gallbladder and respiratory system. Safflower helps balance cholesterol in the body, and
assists in eliminating excessive uric acid. It helps break up phlegm and soothes the
Sage helps check excessive mucus in the body. Sage
(Salvia officinalis): In addition to its reputed anti-bacterial action, Sage is also used
to slow the secretion of fluids, and is often used for excessive mucus discharge, sinus
congestion and nasal drip.
Sarsaparilla contains substances which are similar to the male hormone
testosterone and the female hormone progesterone. It can safely help increase the
metabolic rate and balance the glandular system.
Saw palmetto berry is said to nourish glandular tissue, and has been used
by herbalists and others to nutritionally support the prostate gland.
Schizandra chinensis helps the body adapt to stress and nourishes the
Scullcap is one of the most powerful herbs to help you get a better night's
sleep. It calms the nervous system, relaxes the muscles, and helps balance blood pressure.
It is a powerful nervine, having a strengthening effect on the entire
nervous system. Scullcap is often recommended to relieve nervous tension, anxiety and has
also been found helpful in combating drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms as well as
nicotine withdrawal symptoms
Selenium is first and
foremost recognized for its antioxidant activity. Not only does it neutralize damaging
free radicals, but it's also critical for the formation and function of glutathione
peroxidases. These enzymes are found in virtually every cell and are the body's primary
antioxidant and detoxifier. In addition, Selenium supports
the antioxidant effects of Vitamin E, a key synergistic partner.
Enhanced immune health is
an side benefit of optimal antioxidant protection, as body's ability to fight diseases can
be impaired if free radicals damage the cells. Selenium protects immune cells from
oxidative damage in some instances and increases our natural killer cell activity. In
fact, one mainstream guide on natural supplements indicated that Selenium has demonstrated
useful immune-enhancing effects in lab, animal and human studies, making a strong argument
for its application in certain immunodeficiency disorders.
The PDR For Nutritional
Supplements stated, "low dietary intake of Selenium is associated with increased
risk of...cardiovascular diseases generally. It continues by noting that Selenium has
shown some ability to protect against oxidative damage to blood vessels, inhibits
oxidation of some lipids (fats) as well as inhibit blood cells from clumping or sticking
According to the National
Cancer Institute/Division Of Cancer Prevention, studies suggest that people with low
levels of Selenium have a greater risk of developing or dying from cancer of the bladder,
breast, colon, rectum, lung and prostate. As already mentioned, the body uses Selenium to
make antioxidant proteins which protect against cancer-causing free radicals. It shows
promise as a preventative supplement, although more research is needed.
In his Vitamin Bible For
The 21st Century, Earl Mindell, R. Ph. noted that males appear to have a greater need
for Selenium, as (1) almost half of their body's supply of Selenium concentrates in
the testicles and portions of the seminal ducts, and (2) Selenium is lost in semen. Other
references indicate that Selenium plasma levels were low in some infertile men, therefore
supplementation may enhance fertility by increasing sperm production and sperm motility.
As far as prostate health,
Selenium in combination with Vitamin E and Zinc, may also provide relief for an enlarged
prostate. Interestingly, the National Cancer Institute is sponsoring, what they called is
the largest-ever prostate cancer prevention trial with Selenium and Vitamin E. Previous
studies suggest that Selenium and Vitamin E (alone or in combination) may reduce the risk
of developing prostate cancer by 60 percent and 30 percent, respectively, but only a large
clinical trial such as SELECT (the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial) can
confirm those initial findings. Click here to learn more about this trial: http://www.nci.nih.gov/clinicaltrials/digestpage/SELECT
Selenium is listed as a
beneficial aid for heavy metal toxicity; arthritis (its anti-inflammatory effect is said
to be related to its effects on immunity; some preliminary evidence that Selenium in
combination with Vitamin E may alleviate joint pain and morning stiffness in some persons
with arthritis). Selenium preserves elasticity of skin; and may even prevent cataracts.
Senega root nourishes the respiratory tract.
Senna assists in expelling waste from the intestines and kills worms.
Siberian ginseng nutritionally supports the glandular system. It is called
an "adaptogen", which means that it helps the body adapt to any situation which
normally would alter its function. Siberian Ginseng has a beneficial effect on the heart
and circulation. It stimulates the entire body energy to overcome stress, fatigue, and
weakness. Studies suggest that Siberian Ginseng may help reduce blood sugar levels,
balance blood pressure levels, and enhance the immune system by boosting the body's
production of natural killer cells.
Slippery elm can help the body eliminate mucus from the lungs and
strengthen the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. It soothes irritated tissues and
helps nourish and strengthen the body.
Squaw vine strengthens the uterus, and helps relieve congestion there and
in the ovaries. It may help strengthen the defense against vaginal infections.
Suma is an adaptogen herb, which means it helps the body adapt to stress,
and acts as a tonic to the entire system. By enhancing the body's immune system, Suma aids
in preventing free-radical damage to the body. Suma contains significant amounts of
Germanium, a trace mineral which stimulates the immune system and helps promote oxygen
flow to cells. It also contains "allantoin", a substance which assists in
healing wounds. Some of Suma's other beneficial nutrients include vitamins, minerals,
essential amino acids, and the natural plant hormones sitosterol and stigmasterol. These
phytochemicals nourish the circulatory and glandular systems. The Japanese investigated
Suma in trials against specific types of tumor cells. The researchers discovered that six
saponins called pffaffosides A, B, C, D, E, and F are the unique chemicals present in Suma
that inhibit tumor cell growth. Brazilian researchers have found that Suma is both safe
and effective for altered-immune disorders.
Thyme is known as a powerful antiseptic and a general tonic, with healing
powers. It is said to be used in cases of anemia, bronchial and intestinal disturbances.
Uva ursi strengthens the urinary system and helps the body eliminate excess
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Valerian root nourishes the nervous
system and has soothing properties. Valerian is a safe and natural sleeping aid. It helps
soothe rattled nerves and assists the body in relieving insomnia. Properties of the plant
have demonstrated to give calming relief to muscles, the nerves and blood vessels. It is effective in conditions of anxiety, insomnia and nervous irritability.
Unlike prescription or OTC sleep and anxiety medications, Valerian is not habit-forming,
nor does it produce a hang-over-like side effect.
Valerian's modern day therapeutic applications
actually stem from the traditional applications in ancient Greek medicine by such early
physicians as Hippocrates, Dioscorides and Galen, who back then prescribed Valerian for insomnia. Today, Valerian root is officially
recognized in the national pharmacopoeias of Austria, Germany, Hungary, Russia, and
Switzerland, to name a few. Here in the United States, it's widely used in natural sleep
aids and sedatives. Contemporary herbalists suggests this calming botanical
for:Restlessness, Sleeplessness due to nervous conditions and stress, Nervous digestion
and nervous stomach cramps and To relax and strengthen the nervous system.
Watermelon seeds help the body eliminate excess water.
White oak bark is a marvelous herb to help nourish
and strengthen injured areas of the body. It has been used successfully for many
applications, including fortifying blood vessels and tissues. White Oak has astringent
properties, and it also soothes the throat.
White willow benefits the stomach, kidneys, bowels, and intestines. It
works like a mild and natural analgesic which is gentle on the stomach.
Wild Cherry Bark
Wild Cherry Bark is considered to be a very useful
Wild yam has many effective uses. It is known to relax the muscles and
promote glandular balance in women. Wild Yam contains natural plant components known as
phytochemicals which help the body balance hormone levels. Wild Yam nourishes the
digestive system and the nerves.
Wood betony works well for both children and adults. It is said to help
Wormwood helps eliminate worms and parasites.
Yellow Dock Root
Yellow dock root is a bitter herb noted for its high iron content. It
nourishes the skin, stimulates bile production, tones the liver and gallbladder and
purifies the blood.
Yerba santa helps the body expel mucus from the respiratory tract. It is
known as a blood purifier and strengthener of the digestive system.