1855 Midwife's Herb Garden Plan
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May 19th, 2011, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Auburn, IN
(Chrysanthemum balsamita syn Tanacetum balsamita syn Balsamita major) a.k.a. Alecost, Alehoof, Balsam Herb, Bible leaf, Mint Geranium, Sweet Mary
- No longer used medicinally.
- Was listed in the BP as useful to treat dysentary and digestive problems but was also used to treat gout, headache, amenorrhea, colds, flu, fevers, flatulence, and also used as a diuretic. The infused oil was used to treat gout, sciatica, and joint pain.
- Cooling and pleasant in the bath.
- Infusion added to rinsing water to perfume household linens: Infuse 4 oz. of fresh leaves or 2 Tbsp dry in 2½ C. water just off the boil for 2 hours; strain and add to rinse water when laundering linens.
- The leaves have been combined with Lavender to fragrance the linen closet.
- Costmary obtained the name 'Bible Leaf' in Puritan places of worship where the sermons were unendurably long. A leaf was placed between the pages of the Bible; when fatigued it was taken up and sniffed or else nibbled in an effort to keep one awake. It still makes a fragrant and fun bookmark and has the added benefit of repelling insects, especially the small ones that like to feed on paper.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
aka Black elder, Bore tree, Bountry, Common Elder, Elderberry, Ellanwood, Ellhorn, European elder, Pipe tree, Sweet elder
No part of this plant should be used in its fresh state as all parts can cause poisoning. Leaves, root, and bark should not be used internally. Excessive doses of bark can be emetic and purgative. Leaves contain toxic cyanogenic glycosides (also found in Prunus sp). Leaves and raw berries are harmful if eaten (berries toxic when raw, but safe when cooked). Bark preparations are not taken during pregnancy. Juice should not be taken fresh.
- Excellent bath herb.The flower water was historically known as Aqua Sambuci.
- Bitter, pungent; FLOWERS are expectorant, diaphoretic (in hot infusion), circulatory stimulant, expectorant, decongestant, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, relaxant, emollient; affects blood, circulation, lungs, bowels, liver, skin. BERRIES are laxative, diaphoretic, diuretic; BARK (rarely used today) is liver stimulant, purgative, emetic (large doses), diuretic, topically emollient; LEAVES are antiseptic.
CAUTION! Use seeds in moderation. Avoid seeds if you have a history of allergies or skin sensitivities. Avoid if pregnant - HORMONAL action.
- An infusion of the seeds or leaves has been used for cramps.
- Promotes lactation in nursing mothers.
CAUTION! Flowers are laxative and should be used sparingly. Leaves can burn the soft tissue of the mouth, use caution.
WARNING!! Foxglove is TOO DEADLY to harvest and use.
Globe Amaranth (Amaranthus spp)
- Natives of the Americas dried the flowers for tea and used them for contraception and excessive menses.
- Coarse hairy weeds with a large number of species being useful. Today there are many cultivated varieties for the gardens. Believed to have been grown as long as 8000 years in Central and South America. Cultivated in the high altitudes of the Himalayas, the hill regions of India, Nepal, Pakistan, China and Tibet. A staple food of the Aztecs and used in ritual. Now cultivated in the United States and other countries.
- The name is from the Greek and means "unwithering". In ancient Greece it was sacred to the Ephesian goddess Artemis. It was a symbol of immortality and was used to decorate the images of gods and tombs.
- Native Americans used the seeds of many species for meal and flour.
Greek Oregano (Origanum heracleoticum and O. vulgare hirtum)
NOT given to PREGNANT WOMEN as it stimulates the uterus.
- Has been used internally for colds, flu, stomach upsets and painful menstruation.
- The essential oil is used in aromatherapy for the same conditions listed above.
(Santolina chamaecyparissus) a.k.a Lavender Cotton
Hens and Chickens (Sempervivum tectorum)
Hollyhock (Alcea Rosea)
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
- Traditionally used for problems of the respiratory system, disorders of the stomach, and for hepatitis.
- Was used as a tea, cough syrup and as a snuff to treat yellowness of the eye whites (no doubt related to liver disfunction as in the case of hepatitis).
- Has often been combined with fenugreek, licorice and thyme as a bronchial tea to loosen heavy mucous.
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
CAUTION! Do not take in large quantity.
There is a tendency for toxic substances to form if prepared in water over 113 degrees F.
Avoid if there is low thyroid activity (myxedema), where goiter is likely, acid dyspepsia, peptic ulcers and high blood pressure.
- Used in the herbal bath to stimulate.
Hops (Humulus lupulus)
CAUTION NOTE: TOXIC consequences as especially noted in hops pickers are fever, sleeplessness, excitability, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, feeling of heaviness, no appetite. NEVER use in cases where depression is indicated as hops would further depress the highest nervous functions. Also - the plants can cause contact dermatitis in susceptible persons.
- Has also been used to expel worms, stimulate milk flow, for leprosy, dysentary, skin ulcers, and frostbite.
- The female flowers (strobiles) are often sewn into a small fabric squares or other shapes to be used as a sleep pillow. Use either dried hops alone or combined with other herbs such as lemon verbena, lavender, or mint.
Hypericum (Hypericum perforatum) aka St. Johnswort
CAUTION! The use of this herb can produce photosensitivity over the long term. Individuals using it should avoid strong sunlight
- Primary herb for occasional depression, but not used for chronic depression.
- Extract shows promise as antiviral against AIDS. Effective against staph infections.
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
NOTE: Penicillin mold can grow naturally on leaves
- Crushed leaves have been applied directly for bruises.
- A warm infusion has been taken by the mouthful for colds, fevers, coughs, sore throats, and chest colds (used as a cough syrup).
Ladies Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris syn. A. mollis)
- Has been used for female complaints.
Ladies Bedstraw (Galium verum)
- In Chinese medicine this plant is regarded as alterative, laxative, aphrodisiac, astringent, calmative, catarrh, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, hemostatic, pectoral, purgative, antispasmodic, sudorfic, and tonic.
- Used as a cheese rennet; contains an enzyme that curdles milk (use whole plant or just leaves and stems); flowering tops made into a summer drink.
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Last edited by way2gomom; May 19th, 2011 at
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