Tag: Pocket Herbal

Narcissus – Pocket Herbal

Narcissus pseudo-narcissus - Amaryllidaceae Family The healing properties of Narcissus have recently been rediscovered. Although this plant, commonly called daffodil, has a history of use in traditional Japanese medicine, concern over misuse of its toxic properties pulled it off of nervous pharmacists' shelves. The growing popularity of flower essence remedies over the last few decades [...]

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Iris – Pocket Herbal

Iris versicolor – Iraceae family In 1147, King Louis the VII had a dream. In it, according to legend, he was commanded to adopt the blue iris as the national flower. It stirred him so deeply that he had the iris carved into his coat of arms. For the next six hundred years, the iris, [...]

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Orange – Pocket Herbal

Citrus species - Rutaceae family In the 1700s, oranges were at the center of a storm. Thanks to global exploration, citrus and other tropical fruit had increased in popularity. Orange groves were naturalizing well in the Americas so availability was spreading. The world was not only eating more oranges but Pettigrain oil (distilled from orange [...]

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Lavender – Pocket Herbal

Lavendula officinalis/angustifolia – Lamiaceae family According to legend, four thieves were caught in 17th century France. The penalty for theft was normally severe but these thieves were special. Somehow they had been stealing from plague victims for months without getting sick. The judge struck an unusual deal: their secret in exchange for freedom. The criminals [...]

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Dandelion – Pocket Herbal

Taraxacum officinalis - Asteraceae family To early American colonists, dandelions were carefully tended crops. Europeans brought this ancient food with them to plant in their gardens for use as salad greens, beer bitters, wine base, stockpot roots and vital medicine. It's difficult for the modern gardener to imagine long rows of "weeded" dandelion beds, but [...]

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Sage – Pocket Herbal

Salvia officinalis – Lamiaceae family In the 800s AD, Charlemagne issued a decree that every farm on crown lands must grow sage “...for the benefit of the nation.” No doubt this French emperor was thinking of the popular medieval saying, “Why should a man die when sage grows in his garden?” Sage has been regarded [...]

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Pomegranate – Pocket Herbal

Punica granatum – Punicaceae Family Pomegranate has a powerful reputation. History tells of this fruit as food, medicine and potent symbol in myth and legend. Key personalities throughout human culture have used pomegranate to teach valuable lessons to those thirsty for knowledge. Ganesh, King Solomon, Persephone and Buddha are just a sampling of those who [...]

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Pacific Yew – Pocket Herbal

Taxus brevifolia – Taxaceae family The Pacific Yew is small tree found primarily in the northwestern coastal forests of North America. The native peoples used its needles and twigs to brew teas for a wide range of ailments including cancer. Traditional healers were careful with the tree as it was well known how toxic the [...]

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Meadowsweet – Pocket Herbal

Filipendula ulmaria – Rosaceae Family To meadowsweet, aspirin is an annoying upstart. The trouble started in 1835 when a German chemist discovered that this graceful European herb contained salicylic, which eased pain. At the time, this information was treated simply as scientific trivia. It was much easier to make a cup of tea from a [...]

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Plantain – Pocket Herbal

Plantago major/lanceolata - Planaginaceae family The people of medieval Europe called plantain "Heal All." As an astringent anti-inflammatory, this hardy herb was an invaluable aid in handling pain, cuts, burns, swelling and digestive problems. This was one of the herbs children from a very early age were trained to identify for smoothing life's rough spots. [...]

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Cayenne – Pocket Herbal

Capsicum annuum - Solidaceae Family Cayenne peppers bring fire to our lives. Their red, flame-shaped fruit bring sweat to our brow and heat to our tongues. Many cooks keep a string of peppers flickering over their stove to kindle a warm, lively flavor in their dishes. Cooks and herbalists understand that cayenne knows how to [...]

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Rose – Pocket Herbal

Rosa species –  Rosaceae family In the language of flowers, also known as floriography, a gift of a red rose symbolized love. In pre-Victorian times however, this offering was more likely to find its way to the dinner table on a plate than in a vase. Traditionally, roses were grown for their nutritional and medicinal [...]

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Almond – Pocket Herbal

Prunus dulcis – Rosaceae Family Massage therapists revere almond oil as the queen of oils. This oil is easily absorbed into the skin which allows the therapist's to glide over troubled muscles without leaving a greasy residue. This regal yet inexpensive emollient softens skin with use which makes it the best choice for dry or [...]

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Cattail – Pocket Herbal

Typha angustifolia – Typhaceae family To Native Americans, cattail was a cornucopia. It provided food, medicine and clothing to any one inventive enough to utilize its resources. All cattail asked in return was a marshy place to grow and a little wind to spread its protein-rich pollen. The jelly that grows between young leaves was [...]

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Myrrh – Pocket Herbal

Commiphora mukul/molmol – Burseraceae family During the California gold rush of the 1850's, myrrh was more valuable by weight than gold. As San Francisco was being built, quality dental treatment was scarce. An infected tooth could prove excruciatingly fatal overnight. As one miner wrote, “No place can hardly be worse for a sick man than [...]

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