Plant used for/Diuretic
Please add more about plants that are used for Diuretic here!
- Acts on the kidneys, promoting the flow of urine.
For more information
Here is EcoReality's seed inventory for plants that are used as Diuretic:
|ID||common name||family||latin name||date||quantity||action||days to germ||propagation||days to maturity||habitat||sun||drainage||soil||inventory||notes||nutrients||needs||use|
|259||Alfalfa||Fabaceae||Medicago sativa (dg fo pf wp)||Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in situ in autumn. Seed can be obtained that has been inoculated with Rhizobium bacteria, enabling the plant to succeed in soils where the bacteria is not already present. Alfalfa can adapt to a wide range of climatic conditions from cold temperate to warm sub-tropical, but thrives best on a rich, friable, well-drained loamy soil with loose topsoil supplied with lime. It does not tolerate waterlogging and fails to grow on acid soils. Grows well on light soils. Alfalfa is a very deep rooting plant, bringing up nutrients from deep in the soil and making them available for other plants with shallower root systems. It is a good companion plant for growing near fruit trees and grape vines so long as it is in a reasonably sunny position, but it does not grow well with onions or other members of the Allium genus.||Hardy to zone 5. In flower June to July. Seeds ripen July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees, lepidoptera, self. Self-fertile.||partial shade||well drained||poor||0 each||Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked. The leaves can also be dried for later use. The seed is commonly sprouted which is added to salads, used in sandwiches etc or cooked in soups. The seed is soaked in warm water for 12 hours, then kept moist in a container in a warm place to sprout. It is ready in about 4 - 6 days. The seeds can also be ground into a powder and used as a mush, or mixed with cereal flours for making a nutritionally improved bread etc. An appetite-stimulating tea is made from the leaves.
Alfalfa leaves, either fresh or dried, have traditionally been used as a nutritive tonic to stimulate the appetite and promote weight gain. The plant has an oestrogenic action and could prove useful in treating problems related to menstruation and the menopause. The plant is grown commercially as a source of chlorophyll and carotene, both of which have proven health benefits. The leaves also contain the anti-oxidant tricin. The root is febrifuge and is also prescribed in cases of highly coloured urine. Extracts of the plant are antibacterial. Used for asthma, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders (anti-ulcer).
|Nitrogen, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin K||Anodyne, Antibacterial, Antiscorbutic, Aperient, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Febrifuge, Food, Forage, Haemostatic, Mulch, Nutritive, Oil, Stimulant, Tonic|
|9||Astragalus; Huang-qi||Fabaceae||Astragalus membranaceus (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-28 00:00:00||80 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||21||Scarify seed lightly, and use rhizobium inoculant. Direct seed in early spring. Good cold soil germinator and a poor warm soil germinator. Germ in 3 to 10 days. Thin to 6 inches apart.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. A period of cold stratification may help stored seed to germinate. Stored seed, and perhaps also fresh seed, should be pre-soaked for 24 hours in hot water before sowing - but make sure that you do not cook the seed. Any seed that does not swell should be carefully pricked with a needle, taking care not to damage the embryo, and re-soaked for a further 24 hours.
Germination can be slow and erratic but is usually within 4 - 9 weeks or more at 13°c if the seed is treated or sown fresh.As soon as it is large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter, planting them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
|1460||Plant is a sturdy survivor, and prefers full sun, average soil, and good drainage.
Requires a dry well-drained soil in a sunny position. Prefers a sandy slightly alkaline soil. Plants are hardy to at least -15°c.Plants are intolerant of root disturbance and are best planted in their final positions whilst still small. Many members of this genus can be difficult to grow, this may be due partly to a lack of their specific bacterial associations in the soil.
|full sun||well drained||sandy||50 each||Taprooted herbaceous perennial native to China.
King of tonic herbs. It is an anabolic immunostimulant, that may be dried and ground up, then used for making tea, decoction, or tincture. As a fresh root, may be boiled in soup to release its life-supportive essence.
Plants flower yellow-white to 4 feet tall.
Huang Qi is commonly used in Chinese herbalism, where it is considered to be one of the 50 fundamental herbs.
The root is a sweet tonic herb that stimulates the immune system and many organs of the body, whilst lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. It is particularly suited to young, physically active people, increasing stamina and endurance and improving resistance to the cold - indeed for younger people it is perhaps superior to ginseng in this respect.
Huang Qi is used especially for treatment of the kidneys and also to avoid senility. The plant is often used in conjunction with other herbs such as Atractylodes macrocephala and Ledebouriella seseloides.
The root contains a number of bio-active constituents including saponins and isoflavonoids.
It is used in the treatment of cancer, prolapse of the uterus or anus, abscesses and chronic ulcers, chronic nephritis with oedema and proteinuria. Recent research in the West has shown that the root can increase the production of interferon and macrophages and thus help restore normal immune function in cancer patients. Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy recover faster and live longer if given Huang Qi concurrently.The root of 4 year old plants is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.
|Nitrogen||Adaptogen, Antibacterial, Cancer, Cardiotonic, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hypoglycaemic, Hypotensive, Immunostimulant, Pectoral, Tonic, Uterine tonic, Vasodilator|
|237||Basil, Holy, Tulsi||Lamiaceae||Ocimum sanctum (dg fo pf wp)||2013-03-15 00:00:00||400 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||250 each||Adaptogen, Antidermatosic, Antifungal, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Antipyretic, Antitussive, Antiviral, Anxiolytic, Cardiac, Carminative, Diuretic, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Immunomodulator, Lithontripic, Mouthwash, Ophthalmic, Pectoral, Seasoning, Stings|
|17||Bilberry; Blaeberry; Whortleberry; Fraughan||Ericaceae||Vaccinium myrtillus (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-24 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Soak berries in water overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. The easiest way to do this is to put the berries in a jar, pour water over them, let them sit over night, then in the morning pour through a sieve, smash the berries inside the sieve, then put the mashed berries in a bowl or small bucket of water, stir them around in the water, at which point the flesh will float and the seeds will sink. Pour off the majority of the water and the flesh of the berries, then in the very end pour the water and the seeds into a sieve that is lined with a paper towel. Allow this to drain, and you will now have the seeds on the paper towel, and you can proceed to scoop them up and plant them. Use your fingers or a spoon. Sow in fall or very early spring in outdoor conditions, in pots or flats, and expect germination in the spring. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the seeds from the fruits and then mix the seeds in moist medium in a sealed plastic bag or jar in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for 90 days, then remove from fridge and sow. The best conditions for germination are cool, moist shade. We find that this method is pretty reliable. Sow seeds in acid loam medium. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.||Bilberries prefer to grow in acidic loam soil.||poor||50 each||Short woody shrub growing in acidic, nutrient poor and subarctic soils throughout the world. Among all the closely related anthocyanin containing berries (including blueberries and huckleberries), bilberries are considered most potent, promoting night vision, improving vascular health and for treating macular degeneration.||Antiemetic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Diuretic, Hypoglycaemic, Kidney, Ophthalmic, Tonic|
|248||Butterfly Weed; Pleurisy Root||Apocynaceae||Asclepias tuberosa (dg fo pf wp)||30||Seed best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn or in late winter. We have also had good results from sowing the seed in the greenhouse in early spring, though stored seed might need 2 - 3 weeks cold stratification. Germination usually takes place in 1 - 3 months at 18°c. As soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle, prick them out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out when they are in active growth in late spring or early summer and give them some protection from slugs until they are growing away strongly.
Division in spring. With great care since the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and place them in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse until they are growing away strongly, then plant them out in the summer, giving them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Basal cuttings in late spring. Use shoots about 10cm long with as much of their white underground stem as possible. Pot them up individually and place them in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until they are rooting and growing actively. If the plants grow sufficiently, they can be put into their permanent positions in the summer, otherwise keep them in the greenhouse until the following spring and when they are in active growth plant them out into their permanent positions. Give them some protection from slugs until they are established.
Prefers a well-drained light, rich or peaty soil. Prefers a sandy soil and a sunny position. Prefers a slightly acid soil. Prefers a dry soil. Plants are hardy to about -20°c.Plants should be pot-grown from seed and planted out in their permanent positions when young. Plants are particularly at risk from slugs, however, and some protection will probably be required until the plants are established and also in the spring when the new shoots come into growth. The flower can trap insects between its anther cells, the struggles of the insect in escaping ensure the pollination of the plant.
|sun or partial shade||well drained||rich||0 each||*Flower buds - cooked. They taste somewhat like peas.
Pleurisy root is a bitter, nutty-flavoured tonic herb that increases perspiration, relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. It was much used by the North American Indians and acquired a reputation as a heal-all amongst the earlier white settlers. Its main use in present day herbalism is for relieving the pain and inflammation of pleurisy. The root was very popular as a medicinal herb for the treatment of a range of lung diseases, it was considered especially useful as an expectorant.
It has also been used internally with great advantage in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, rheumatism etc. Use with caution; this remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women.The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried. A poultice of the dried, powdered roots is used in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, ulcers, lameness etc.
|Antispasmodic, Carminative, Cathartic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Insectiary, Latex, Oil, Ornamental, Pollution, Poultice, Stuffing, Sweetening, Tonic, Vasodilator|
|4||Chaste Tree||Verbenaceae||Vitex agnus-castus (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-26 00:00:00||112 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||21||Standard greenhouse cultivation works best on these seeds, with germ after 3 or 4 weeks of warm, moist treatment.
Seed sow March in a warm greenhouse. The seed does not need pre-treatment. Germination is usually free and quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current seasons growth, November in a cold frame.
Prefers a light well-drained loamy soil in a warm sunny position sheltered from cold drying winds. Succeeds in dry soils. Intolerant of water-logging. Hardy to about -10°c.
Plants only flower freely in a warm summer, so they are best grown against a sunny wall even in areas of the country where they are hardy. The flowers are produced so late in the season that they are unlikely to produce viable seed in this country even if they flower properly.
A very ornamental plant, there are some named varieties. The whole plant is aromatic, the leaves and stems are strongly aromatic, the flowers are deliciously scented and the dried seeds have a pungent lemony perfume.This species has long been regarded as a symbol of chastity. Flowers are produced at the ends of the current year's growth. Any pruning is best carried out in the spring and should consist of cutting out dead wood and shortening last year's flowering branches.
|Germ: warm, moist, greenhouse.||well drained||loam||100 each||The leaves and flowers exude exotic aromas. Seeds regulate hormones and support breast health.
Used for thousands of years for its beneficial affect on the female hormonal system. Prolonged usage restores corpus luteum function.
The berries of this plant have a range of medicinal actions but possibly the most important is its ability to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of oestrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone. It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favour of the gestagens. Thus it has a wide application of uses in malfunctions of the feminine reproductive system and has been used with great effect in restoring absent menstruation, regulating heavy periods, restoring fertility when this is caused by hormonal imbalance, relieving pre-menstrual tension and easing the change of menopause.
Some caution is advised since excessive doses can cause a nervous disorder known as formication, which manifests as a sensation of insects crawling over the skin.
The berries are considered to be an aphrodisiac, though other reports say that they are anaphrodisiac. The reason for this apparent disagreement is that the berries have a regulating effect on the body and so are likely to increase sexual activity in those who are not very active in this area whilst reducing it in those who are very active. The fresh berries are pounded to a pulp and used in the form of a tincture for the relief of paralysis, pains in the limbs, weakness etc.
Other uses include: reduced flatulence, suppress appetite and induce sleep. Unproven uses include: treatment of impotence, prostatitis, swelling of the testes, sterility, swelling of the ovaries.A perfume is made from the flowers. Young stems are used in basket making. A yellow dye is obtained from the leaves, the seed and the roots. Wood - hard, close grained.
|Anaphrodisiac, Aphrodisiac, Basketry, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Essential, Febrifuge, Fragrance, Galactogogue, Infertility, Ophthalmic, Seasoning, Sedative, Stomachic, Wood|
|22||Chervil||Apiaceae||Anthriscus cerefolium (dg fo pf wp)||Direct seed in the spring garden. Cutting back regularly and sowing in succession will keep chervil herb coming to the tabvle throughout the season. Very fast to make edible leaf.||Prefers a cool, moist location where it will put on a great deal of green herb without bolting.||100 each||Hardiness: The plant will perform well in any garden in the summertime and is a good winter crop in maritime gardens or in the winter greenhouse, even if the greenhouse is unheated.
Hardy annual native to Europe, growing to about 12 inches and with a mounding habit. Chervil has a reputation of repelling slugs. The plants are petite and the flavor is very fine. It is a gourmet parsley-like plant that is used in seasoning vegetables, meat dishes, omelettes, soups, and for making salad dressing.
This is a culinary herb that is also used as a diuretic and blood-purifier and carminative (digestive agent).The herb is experiencing a renaissance of popularity, and is very saleable in salad mixes or as a plant in a pot.
|Carminative, Diuretic, Insect Repellant, Seasoning|
|2||Elderberry, Black; Black Elder; Elder Berry||Caprifoliaceae||Sambucus nigra (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-23 00:00:00||182 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Soak berries overnight, smash them, and remove the seeds. Sow in outdoor conditions, in pots or flats, and expect germination in the spring. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the seeds from the fruits and then store the seeds in moist medium in a sealed plastic bag or jar in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for 90 days, then remove from fridge and sow. The best conditions for germination are cool, moist shade. We find that this method is pretty reliable. Elderberries will not grow properly in sterile soil. Sow seeds in very rich and composty soil medium. The breakdown of fungi in the soil will produce gibberellic acid, a growth hormone which is helpful for germination. Once germinated, the seedling grows very rapidly into a handsome bush or small tree. Grow out in a shaded place in pots for a year before transplanting to final location.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in the autumn in a cold frame, when it should germinate in early spring. Stored seed can be sown in the spring in a cold frame but will probably germinate better if it is given 2 months warm followed by 2 months cold stratification first. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If good growth is made, the young plants can be placed in their permanent positions during the early summer. Otherwise, either put them in a sheltered nursery bed, or keep them in their pots in a sheltered position and plant them out in spring of the following year.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm with a heel, July/August in a frame.
Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, 15 - 20cm with a heel, late autumn in a frame or a sheltered outdoor bed.
Division of suckers in the dormant season.
A very easily grown plant, it tolerates most soils and situations, growing well on chalk, but prefers a moist loamy soil. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Tolerates some shade but fruits better in a sunny position. Tolerates atmospheric pollution and coastal situations.
The elder is very occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties though most of these have been developed for their ornamental value. The sub-species S. nigra alba has white/green fruits that are nicer than the type species and are quite nice raw.
The elder also has a very long history of folk use, both medicinally and for a wide range of other uses. All in all it is a very valuable plant to have in the garden. The leaves often begin to open as early as January and are fully open in April. The leaves fall in October/November in exposed sites, later in sheltered positions. Young stems can be killed by late frosts but they are soon replaced from the ground level.
Very tolerant of pruning, plants can be cut back to ground level and will regrow from the base.
The flowers have a sweet, almost overpowering smell, not exactly pleasant for it has fishy undertones, but from a distance its musky scent is appealing.
Very resistant to the predations of rabbits. The flowers are very attractive to insects. The fruit is very attractive to birds and this can draw them away from other cultivated fruits.The elder is an early colonizer of derelict land, the seed arriving in the defecations of birds and mammals. It is a very good pioneer species for re-establishing woodlands. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.
|127||It's probably a good idea to grow 3 trees for pollination purposes, although we have certainly seen good crops of fruit from a single tree grown in isolation. Elderberries are best placed as an understory to a higher tree canopy. Will also grow in full sun if the roots are kept cool and moist.||sun or partial shade||moist||loam||50 each||Perennial, deciduous, multistemmed bush to small tree native to Europe. Wild form. This is the most tried-and-true species for medicinal use, and the berries are very tasty, and about twice as big as the berries of other species. Elderberry berries are rich in anthocyanins, bioflavonoids, vitamins and antioxidants.
The syrup, tincture or glycerite of the berries is excellent for treating the common cold and for overall increase in immunity. The fresh green leaves may be infused in olive oil to make an emollient embrocation for treating sunburn, rough skin, age spots, and/or diaper rash (normally individuals will not have both age spots and diaper rash, but it can happen). Truly, all parts of the plant may be used in herbal medicine, and this is much expanded upon in my book "Making Plant Medicine."
Flowers generally appear in year 3. Flowers turn rapidly into heavy clusters of fruits.
Elder has a very long history of household use as a medicinal herb and is also much used by herbalists. The plant has been called 'the medicine chest of country people'.
The flowers are the main part used in modern herbalism, though all parts of the plant have been used at times. The inner bark is collected from young trees in the autumn and is best sun-dried. It is diuretic, a strong purgative and in large doses emetic. It is used in the treatment of constipation and arthritic conditions.
An emollient ointment is made from the green inner bark.
The leaves can be used both fresh or dry. For drying, they are harvested in periods of fine weather during June and July. The leaves are purgative, but are more nauseous than the bark. They are also diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant and haemostatic.
The juice is said to be a good treatment for inflamed eyes. An ointment made from the leaves is emollient and is used in the treatment of bruises, sprains, chilblains, wounds etc.
The fresh flowers are used in the distillation of 'Elder Flower Water'. The flowers can be preserved with salt to make them available for distillation later in the season. The water is mildly astringent and a gentle stimulant. It is mainly used as a vehicle for eye and skin lotions. The dried flowers are diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, galactogogue and pectoral. An infusion is very effective in the treatment of chest complaints and is also used to bathe inflamed eyes. The infusion is also a very good spring tonic and blood cleanser.
Externally, the flowers are used in poultices to ease pain and abate inflammation. Used as an ointment, it treats chilblains, burns, wounds, scalds etc. The fruit is depurative, weakly diaphoretic and gently laxative. A tea made from the dried berries is said to be a good remedy for colic and diarrhoea.
The fruit is widely used for making wines, preserves etc., and these are said to retain the medicinal properties of the fruit. The pith of young stems is used in treating burns and scalds.
The root is no longer used in herbal medicine but it formerly had a high reputation as an emetic and purgative that was very effective against dropsy.
A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh inner bark of young branches. It relieves asthmatic symptoms and spurious croup in children.
The plant is a valuable addition to the compost heap, its flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator and the roots of the plant improve fermentation of the compost heap when growing nearby.
The leaves are used as an insect repellent, very effective when rubbed on the skin though they do impart their own unique fragrance. They can be powdered and placed amongst plants to act as a deterrent, or made into a spray when they act as an insecticide. This is prepared by boiling 3 - 4 handfuls of leaves in a litre of water, then straining and allowing to cool before applying. Effective against many insects, it also treats various fungal infections such as leaf rot and powdery mildew. The dried flowering shoots are used to repel insects, rodents etc.
The flowers are used in skin lotions, oils and ointments. Tolerant of salt-laden gales, this species can be grown as a shelter hedge in exposed maritime areas, it is rather bare in the winter though.
This is an excellent pioneer species to use when re-establishing woodlands. It is very tough and wind-resistant, grows quickly and provides shelter for longer-lived and taller woodland species to establish. It will generally maintain itself in the developing woodland, though usually in the sunnier positions.
A dye is obtained from the fruit and the bark. The bark of older branches and the root have been used as an ingredient in dyeing black. A green dye is obtained from the leaves when alum is used as a mordant. The berries yield various shades of blue and purple dyes. They have also been used as a hair dye, turning the hair black.
The blue colouring matter from the fruit can be used as a litmus to test if something is acid or alkaline. It turns green in an alkaline solution and red in an acid solution.
The pith in the stems of young branches pushes out easily and the hollow stems thus made have been used as pipes for blowing air into a fire. They can also be made into musical instruments. The pith of the wood is used for making microscope slides and also for treating burns and scalds. The mature wood is white and fine-grained. It is easily cut and polishes well. Valued highly by carpenters, it has many used, for making skewers, mathematical instruments, toys etc.
Fruit eaten raw or cooked. The flavour of the raw fruit is not acceptable to many tastes, though when cooked it makes delicious jams, preserves, pies and so forth. It can be used fresh or dried, the dried fruit being less bitter. The fruit is used to add flavour and colour to preserves, jams, pies, sauces, chutneys etc, it is also often used to make wine.
The fruit is about 8mm in diameter and is borne in large clusters. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Flowers eaten raw or cooked. They can also be dried for later use. The flowers are crisp and somewhat juicy, they have an aromatic smell and flavour and are delicious raw as a refreshing snack on a summers day, though look out for the insects. The flowers are used to add a muscatel flavour to stewed fruits, jellies and jams (especially gooseberry jam). They are often used to make a sparkling wine.A sweet tea is made from the dried flowers. The leaves are used to impart a green colouring to oils and fats.
|Antiinflammatory, Aperient, Beverage, Compost, Cosmetic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emollient, Expectorant, Food, Forage, Fungicide, Galactogogue, Haemostatic, Hedge, Immunostimulant, Insect Repellant, Insecticide, Laxative, Litmus, Ophthalmic, Pioneer, Pipes, Purgative, Salve, Stimulant, Wood|
|32||Goat's Rue||Fabaceae||Galega officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||2012-04-05 00:00:00||51 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Scarify seed by rubbing on sandpaper. Pre-soak for 12 hours in warm water and then sow the seed in spring or autumn in a cold frame. Spring-sown seed can be slow to germinate, a period of cold stratification may improve the germination time. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed, then it is possible to sow outdoors in situ in mid to late spring. DIVISION in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.||Plant prefers poor garden soil and full sun. Difficult to get this herb these days, and international trade and some domestic trade in this species has been disallowed due to the misconception that it is an invasive weed. I've found that it disappears without care. Succeeds in most soils but repays generous treatment. Prefers full sun and a deep moist soil but it also succeeds in light shade. Grows well even in poor soils. Plants are very tolerant of neglect and can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. A long-lived plant, it can be invasive in good growing conditions.||partial shade||moist||poor||50 each||This is the most active of all galactagogue herbs. Promotes milk flow more reliably than anything I know (except childbirth). Works equally well for lactating human mothers and also domestic stock such as goats, horses and cows.
Goat's rue was once important in the treatment of plague, fevers and infectious diseases. It is still used in modern herbalism, though mainly for its effect in promoting milk-flow in lactating mothers (it has been shown to increase the flow of milk in cows and goats by 35 - 50%) and for its positive effect on the digestive system.
The plant contains galegine, an alkaloid that strongly reduces blood sugar levels which make it useful in the treatment of diabetes. The leaves and flowering tops are diaphoretic, diuretic, galactogogue and hypoglycaemic.
It has also been used in the treatment of fevers. It is taken internally to treat insufficient lactation, late-onset diabetes, pancreatitis and digestive problems, especially chronic constipation caused by a lack of digestive enzymes. The plant is harvested as it is just coming into flower and is dried for later use.
A fast-growing plant, it makes a good green manure crop, enriching the soil with organic matter and also fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The plant is used cosmetically in hand and foot bathes.Leaves cooked and eaten like spinach.
|Nitrogen||Cosmetic, Curdling agent, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Food, Forage, Galactogogue, Green manure, Hypoglycaemic|
|266||Goji; Wolfberry; Chinese Matrimony Vine; Box Thorn||Solanaceae||Lycium barbarum (dg fo pf wp)||2012-03-31 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||7||Plant prefers full sun and fast-drying soils. High desert conditions are quite conducive. Goji plants are drought-tolerant.
Seeds lose viability when removed from fruit. Soak dried berries in water overnight and remove the seeds from the softened fruits in the morning and plant them. Use a sandy potting soil medium. Sow the seeds just beneath the surface, tamp in, and keep in strong light. Water well to start, but back off on watering after germination, which occurrs in 1 to 2 weeks. Pot up seedlings and plant out to the landscape only after they are well-established.
Grow in greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Pinch out the shoot tips of the young plants in order to encourage bushy growth.
Cuttings: half-ripe wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel if possible, July/August in individual pots in a frame. Good percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current season's growth, autumn to late winter in a cold frame. High percentage.
Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
An easily grown plant, it does not require a rich soil, flowering and fruiting better in a well-drained soil of moderate quality. Succeeds in impoverished soils, but more fertile soils are best if the plant is being grown for its edible young shoots.
Requires a sunny position. Tolerates maritime exposure. There are some named varieties, selected for their ornamental value.Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can regrow from old wood. Any trimming is best carried out in the spring. Plants produce suckers freely and can become invasive when in a suitable position. Otherwise they can be difficult to establish.
|730||Native to Northern China. Viney, likes something to grow on. Will spread on ground.||sun or partial shade||well drained||poor||300 each||Goji berries are used fresh, juiced or (more commonly) dried and used like raisins.
They are a yin tonic, immune enhancing, and excellent for the overall health.
There is much confusion over the naming of this species. Most, if not all, of the plants being grown as L. chinense or L. europaeum are in fact this species.
Fruit: edible raw or cooked. The fruit is a berry about 2cm in diameter. A mild sweet liquorice flavour. Only the fully ripe fruits should be eaten.
Young shoots: edible cooked. Used mainly as a flavouring, they can also be lightly cooked for 3 - 4 minutes and used as a vegetable, the flavour is somewhat cress-like but has also been described as peppermint-like.
Leaves: wilt rapidly once they have been harvested; used as a tea substitute.
A sweet tonic decoction made from the fruits is used to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It acts mainly on the liver and kidneys. The fruit is taken internally in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, poor eyesight, vertigo, lumbago, impotence and menopausal complaints.
The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for later use.
The root bark is a bitter, cooling, antibacterial herb that controls coughs and lowers fevers, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It is taken internally in the treatment of chronic fevers, internal haemorrhages, nosebleeds, tuberculosis, coughs, asthma etc. It is applied externally to treat genital itching. The bark is harvested in the winter and dried for later use.
The plant has a long history of medicinal use, both as a general, energy restoring tonic and also to cure a wide range of ailments from skin rashes and eyesight problems to diabetes. A tonic tea is made from the leaves.The fruit of many members of this genus is a very rich source of vitamins and minerals, especially in vitamins A, C and E, flavanoids and other bio-active compounds. It is also a fairly good source of essential fatty acids, which is fairly unusual for a fruit. It is being investigated as a food that is capable of reducing the incidence of cancer and also as a means of halting or reversing the growth of cancers.
|Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E||Antibacterial, Anticholesterolemic, Antipyretic, Beverage, Cancer, Diuretic, Food, Hedge, Hypoglycaemic, Ophthalmic, Purgative, Skin, Soil stabilization, Tonic, Vasodilator|
|33||Goldenberry, Peruvian; Giant Groundcherry; Topotopo||Solanaceae||Physalis peruviana (dg fo pf wp)||2012-04-01 00:00:00||240 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Sow in spring in pots and transplant. In temperate US, start early and cultivate as per tomatoes.
Germination usually takes place quickly and freely. Diurnal temperature fluctuations assist germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and plant them out after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away well.Division: in spring. This is best done without digging up the plant. Remove young shoots that are growing out from the side of the clump, making sure that some of the below ground shoot is also removed. It is best if this has some roots on, but the shoot should form new roots fairly quickly if it is potted up and kept for a few weeks in a shady but humid part of the greenhouse.
|Plant prospers in rich soils, but actually produces more fruit in marginal soils. Excellent crop for the tropics, where ongoing high yields provide refreshing fruit and nutrition -- much yield for little effort.||sun or partial shade||well drained||poor||100 each||Short-lived perennial. Native to the Andes -- a cultivated crop since Incan times. We are currently growing a select cultivar that is quick to produce myriads of light colored fruits. Nutritious fruit occurs in a decorative (purple streaked) inflated calyx.
Fruit is loaded with vitamin A, C and B. Contains unusually high levels of pectin and phosphorous. Fruit very sweet, like candy, a cross between cherry tomato and bing cherry, with a hint of cinnamon. I have seen a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old child in a patch of Goldenberry harvesting for personal use for an unbelievably long time period exceeding 5 minutes, stuffing mouths, stuffing pockets, and leaving a trail of husks behind them as they went.
Fruit: edible raw or cooked in pies, cakes, jellies, compotes, jams etc. A delicious bitter-sweet flavour, it has smaller but sweeter fruits than the cultivar 'Edulis'.
The dried fruit can be used as a raisin substitute, though it is not so sweet.
The plant conveniently wraps up each fruit in its own 'paper bag' (botanically, the calyx) to protect it from pests and the elements. This calyx is toxic and should not be eaten.
The fruit is rich in vitamin A (3000 I.U. of carotene per 100g), vitamin C and some of the B complex (thiamine, niacin and B12).
The protein and phosphorus levels are exceptionally high for a fruit. The fruit is a berry about 2cm in diameter.The dried fruit is said to be a substitute for yeast. If picked carefully with the calyx intact, the fruit can be stored for 3 months or more.
|Niacin, Phosphorous, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 (thiamine), Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), Vitamin C||Diuretic, Food, Vermifuge|
|34||Gotu Kola; Brahmi||Apiaceae||Hydrocotyl asiatica (dg fo pf wp)||30||Gotu kola is actually somewhat difficult to start from seed. Remember, it is a pioneer successional plant, with seeds that may remain dormant in the soil for decades until the right conditions occur for germination. Use a very well-draining mix (I've had zero germination in pots containing regular potting soil, except for one seed that was pinched between two pots and sprouted there -- clearly a situation of "excellent drainage." So, the best approach is to plant in greenhouse conditions in very excellently drained soil, just pressed into the surface of the soil, in which case the seeds will probably germinate in 30 to 90 days. Seed sown in the unheated greenhouse in the fall may give substantially better germination rates, but the germination time is likely to be up to 6 months. Division is simple at any time in the growing season, though the spring is probably best. We find that it is best to pot up the divisions until they are rooting away well, though in selected mild gardens it should be possible to plant the divisions out directly into their permanent positions.||Old stone walls and rocky sunny places in lowland hills and especially by the coast in central and southern Japan. Shady, damp and wet places such as paddy fields, and in grass thickets.||sun or partial shade||moist||poor||50 each||Gotu kola is an outstandingly important medicinal herb. Its Indian name is 'Brahmi' which means 'bringing knowledge of the Supreme Reality' and it has long been used there medicinally and as an aid to meditation.
It is a useful tonic and cleansing herb for skin problems and digestive disorders. In India it is chiefly valued as a revitalizing herb that strengthens nervous function and memory.
The whole plant is alterative, cardio-depressant, hypotensive, weakly sedative and tonic. It is a rejuvenating diuretic herb that clears toxins, reduces inflammations and fevers, improves healing and immunity, improves the memory and has a balancing effect on the nervous system.
It has been suggested that regular use of the herb can rejuvenate the nervous system and it therefore deserves attention as a possible cure for a wide range of nervous disorders including multiple sclerosis. Recent research has shown that gotu kola reduces scarring, improves circulatory problems in the lower limbs and speeds the healing process.
It is used internally in the treatment of wounds, chronic skin conditions (including leprosy), venereal diseases, malaria, varicose veins, ulcers, nervous disorders and senility.
Externally, the herb is applied to wounds, haemorrhoids and rheumatic joints.The plant can be harvested at any time of the year, fresh or dried. Some report the dried herb quickly loses its medicinal properties and so is best used fresh.
|Adaptogen, Antiinflammatory, Cardiac, Depurative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hypotensive, Nervine, Sedative, Skin, Tonic|
|46||Ku-shen||Fabaceae||Sophora flavescens (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-28 00:00:00||44 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||Scarify and soak seed overnight and sow fall to early spring. Work up seedlings in pots until they are big enough to withstand the rigors of planting outdoors.
Seed best sown as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse. Pre-soak stored seed for 12 hours in hot (not boiling) water and sow in late winter in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings as soon as they are large enough to handle into individual pots in the greenhouse, and grow them on for 2 years under protected conditions. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer of their third year.
Plants should be container-grown and planted out whilst young, older plants do not transplant well. A polymorphic species. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.CUTTINGS of young shoots with a heel, July/August in a frame. Also, air-layering.
|The plant itself does well in the same habitat as Sea Buckthorn (Hippophaea rhamnoides), with an ability to improve poor soil and stabilize loose, sloping ground. Relatively cold-hardy broadleaf evergreens brighten the dreary drears of winter. Plant prefers full sun and is not picky about soil.
Succeeds in a well-drained moderately fertile soil in full sun. Requires the protection of a sunny wall if it is to flower, and succeeds only in the mildest areas of the country. It grows best in the warmer areas of the country where the wood will be more readily ripened and better able to withstand winter cold.Although hardy to at least -15°c, this species does not do very well in the relatively cool summers of Britain, the plant gradually weakens and eventually succumbs. It can be grown in the milder areas of the country and be treated like a herbaceous perennial, growing afresh from the base each spring.
|full sun||well drained||poor||50 each||Evergreen perennial shrub to 5 feet, native to China and Japan. The dried root of this handsome, nitrogen-fixing subshrub is one of the Chinese herbs that clears heat, having a bitter and cold nature, used for jaundice, diarrhea, vaginal discharge and sores. It is a relatively important herb in the Chinese materia medica.||Nitrogen||Anthelmintic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antipruritic, Astringent, Bitter, Carminative, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Insect Repellant, Parasiticide, Pectoral, Stomachic, Tonic|
|8||Skullcap, Baical; Huang-qin||Lamiaceae||Scutellaria baicalensis (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||80 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||24||Easy cultivation. Sow seed in early spring. Germ. in ~24 days. Prefers well-drained soil in the full sun. Cold hardy. Space plants 12 inches apart. To 12 inches tall. As the plants age they become wider, much like humans in middle age, but unlike humans, the seed they produce becomes increasingly viable the older they get.||127||The herb is more effective if grown in poor, sandy soil. Relatively easy to start from seed in the spring, the plants prefer a full sun position and deep, dry, well-drained soils. The flowers appear for the first time in the fall of the first year, and after that the plant flowers copiously every summer, producing heady blue or purple blooms for as long as three months before the blossoms give way to the characteristically hooded seed capsules.||full sun||well drained||poor||50 each||Herbaceous perennial. Native to the shores of Lake Baikal, Mongolia, Siberia, and the Chihli and Shantung provinces of China. The purple flowers are like schools of dolphin breaking through green waves in a summer sea.
The part used in traditional Chinese medicine is the dried root, which has a bitter and cold energetic. Contains distinctive flavones, specifically baicalin and wogonin, which have antiallergic, diuretic, hypotensive, antibacterial, antiviral, tranquilizing and fever-reducing effects. In practical terms, it is one of the best agents for cooling an infection, and I recommend it especially for people who are travelling and may contract dysentery -- it cures the shits.
This is one of the best Chinese plants to grow organically in America. Not only is it a very striking bedding plant, bearing one of the nicest flowers available from this catalog, but there is on-going demand for the root, which attains harvestable size after only 2 years.
Note: Actually, I'm pretty excited about Baical Skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) for treatment of pandemic diseases such as avian flu. My experience is that the root of this plant, which has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time as the herb Huang-qin, is extremely effective for treating contagious flu-like maladies. There is really no better anti-infection agent in herbalism, to my knowledge.
Added advantages of Huang-qin are
1) lack of side-effects,
2) quick to germinate and easily grown throughout the temperate US
5) and can be harvested in the fall of first or (better) second year 6) no side effects.
Here's a picture of the freshly harvested root -- extremely potent as you can probably tell.
Germination Note: I tested commercial seed I got from China against our organic seed and the chinese seed gave 30% germ and the organic seed gave 95% germ. The organic seed came up in 10 days and the commercial seed came up in 12 days. The organic seed was more vigorous than the commercial seed.
Text from a small article written by Richo that appeared in the AHA Quarterly: The Chinese herb Baical Skullcap, known in Chinese as Huang-qin (Scutellaria baicalensis) has a history of medicinal usage dating back over 2,000 years. The bright yellow roots of this pretty perennial herb are used traditionally to abate diarrhea and dysentery and to enhance liver function in the treatment of hepatitis. They are also an active antibacterial treatment for Staph (Staphylococcus aureus) infection, which is a major cause of secondary infections in hospitals in the US.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioners use Huang-qin as frequently as Westerners use Goldenseal. Many Westerners have yet to appreciate Huang-qin to the extent that it deserves. An added bonus is that the herb is well suited to cultivation in the western states, thriving in gardens all the way from Washington down to Southern California.Baical skullcap is a low-lying bedding plant, excellent for high-use areas such as next to pathways. After the third year of growth, the roots may be dug and dried for medicinal use. No fancy processing is necessary. The roots can be sliced into sections while fresh and dried in the shade, then made into tincture or tea. Good quality roots are bright yellow, not green or black. Any herb that looks that good in the garden and treats the formidable adversaries hepatitis and staph deserves plenty of attention!
|Antiinflammatory, Diuretic, Febrifuge, Hypotensive, Ornamental, Sedative|
|322||Spearmint||Lamiaceae||Mentha spicata (dg fo pf wp)||2013-06-24 00:00:00||56 each starts in greenhouse soil||transplant||Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer. Mentha species are very prone to hybridisation and so the seed cannot be relied on to breed true. Even without hybridisation, seedlings will not be uniform and so the content of medicinal oils etc will vary. When growing plants with a particular aroma it is best to propagate them by division[K]. Division can be easily carried out at almost any time of the year, though it is probably best done in the spring or autumn to allow the plant to establish more quickly. Virtually any part of the root is capable of growing into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. However, for maximum increase it is possible to divide the roots up into sections no more than 3cm long and pot these up in light shade in a cold frame. They will quickly become established and can be planted out in the summer.||Woodland garden sunny edge; dappled shade; shady edge; cultivated beds||partial shade||moist||clay||Antiemetic, Antiseptic, Cancer, Carminative, Diuretic, Essential, Insect Repellant, Poultice, Restorative, Stimulant, Stomachic, Strewing|
|69||Sumac, Smooth; Sumach Tree||Anacardiaceae||Rhus glabra (dg fo pf wp)||Scarify and sow in spring.||Plant prefers part shade to full sun and will flourish in any soil, including clay.||sun or partial shade||Small deciduous tree to 15 feet, with a flattened, spreading crown. All zones. Throughout North America, the several species of Sumac decorate field, roadside and yard with their deep-red, fall colors and erect, cone-like clusters of fruit. The fruit is covered with fuzz, rich in malic and ascorbic acid crystals, very high in vitamin C. You can make tasty sun tea from these fruits.||Alterative, Antiseptic, Appetizer, Astringent, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Febrifuge, Galactogogue, Haemostatic, Hedge, Mordant, Oil, Ophthalmic, Pioneer, Refrigerant, Rubefacient, Salve, Shelterbelt, Soil stabilization, Tannin, TB, Tonic, Wood|
|74||Uva Ursi; Bearberry; Kinnikinik||Ericaceae||Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (dg fo pf wp)||60||Scarify seed vigorously on sandpaper. Fire dependent germinator. Sow in fall, spring, or summer. Space plants 1 foot apart.
Seed: best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Pre-soak dried seed in boiling water for 10 - 20 seconds or burn some straw on top of them and then stratify at 2 - 5°c for 2 months. The seed usually germinates in 2 - 3 months at 15°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer.
Cuttings of side shoots of the current season's growth, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August to December in a frame. The cuttings are very slow and can take a year to root.
Division in early spring. Take care because the plant resents root disturbance. Pot the divisions up and keep them in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are growing away actively.
Layering of long branches in early spring.
Requires a deep moist well-drained light or medium lime-free loam in sun or semi-shade. Shade tolerant but plants produce less fruit when they are grown in the shade. Prefers a cool damp position.
A very ornamental plant, it is sometimes cultivated for its medicinal uses.
There are a number of named varieties developed for their ornamental interest. The form 'Massachusetts' is an especially prostrate, free-flowering and free-fruiting form. 'Anchor Bay', 'Point Reyes' and 'Vulcan's Peak' have all been mentioned as good groundcover forms.This is one of the first plants to colonize bare and rocky ground and burnt over areas. It is often an indicator of poor soils in the wild. Plants resent root disturbance and should be placed in their final positions as soon as possible. Hybridizes with other members of this genus, especially A. columbiana.
|Plant prefers acid soils, full sun to part shade.||partial shade||moist||loam||30 each||Hardy to: All zones. Spreading perennial evergreen groundcover. Circumpolar. The herb covers entire hillsides and has been adopted by landscapers for use in the city as a drought tolerant, glossy leaved groundcover. Does well in pots.
Smokeable. Tea or tincture treats mild urinary infections.
Bearberry was commonly used by many native North American Indian tribes to treat a wide range of complaints and has also been used in conventional herbal medicine for hundreds of years, it is one of the best natural urinary antiseptics. The leaves contain hydroquinones and are strongly antibacterial, especially against certain organisms associated with urinary infections. The plant should be used with caution, however, because hydroquinones are also toxic.
The dried leaves are used in the treatment of a variety of complaints. These leaves should be harvested in early autumn, only green leaves being selected, and then dried in gentle heat.
A tea made from the dried leaves is much used for kidney and bladder complaints and inflammations of the urinary tract such as acute and chronic cystitis and urethritis, but it should be used with caution and preferably only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. The tea is more effective if the urine is alkaline, thus it is best used in combination with a vegetable-based diet.
Externally, a poultice of the infused leaves with oil has been used as a salve to treat rashes, skin sores etc, and as a wash for a baby's head. An infusion of the leaves has been used as an eyewash, a mouthwash for cankers and sore gums and as a poultice for back pains, rheumatism, burns etc.
The dried leaves have been used for smoking as an alternative to tobacco.
The herb should not be prescribed to children, pregnant women or patients with kidney disease. Other uses: fluid retention and bed wetting. Claimed to strengthen the heart muscle and urinary tract and to return the womb to its normal size after childbirth. Treatment should be short (seven days) and used with an alkaline diet. Not recommended for children under 12.
Edible fruit, raw or cooked. Insipid, dry and mealy, it becomes sweeter when cooked. Added to stews etc, it is a good source of carbohydrates.
The fruit can also be used to make a cooling drink or used for preserves etc. It can be dried and stored for later use. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter. A tea is made from the dried leaves.
A yellowish-brown dye is obtained from the leaves, it does not require a mordant. A grey-brown dye is obtained from the fruit.
The dried fruits are used in rattles and as beads on necklaces etc.The leaves are a good source of tannin. The mashed berries can be rubbed on the insides of coiled cedar root baskets in order to waterproof them. A good ground-cover for steep sandy banks in a sunny position or in light shade. A carpeting plant, growing fairly fast and carpeting as it spreads. It is valuable for checking soil erosion on watersheds. This is also a pioneer plant in the wild, often being the first plant to colonize burnt-over areas, especially on poor soils.
|Antiseptic, Astringent, Beads, Beverage, Diuretic, Dye, Hypnotic, Kidney, Lithontripic, Ornamental, Pioneer, Poultice, Skin, Soil stabilization, Tannin, Tonic, Waterproofing|
|75||Valerian||Valerianaceae||Valeriana officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||10||Seed is short-lived and should be sown within a year of receipt. Light dependent germinator. Sow in spring, tamped securely into surface, and keep evenly moist until germination, which occurs in 10 to 16 days. Seedling leaves look very un-valerian at first and some folks are confused. But have faith, in time the leaves will become divided and much more closely resemble the standard form of the plant. Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart.
Seed: sow spring in a cold frame and only just cover the seed because it requires light for germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant out into their permanent positions in the summer if sufficient growth has been made. If the plants are too small to plant out, grow them on in the greenhouse or frame for their first winter and plant them out early in the following summer.
Division: in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
A polymorphic species, the more extreme variations are given specific status by some botanists. Valerian is often grown in the herb garden and also sometimes grown commercially as a medicinal herb.
When grown for its medicinal root, the plant should not be allowed to flower. The flowers and the dried roots have a strong smell somewhat resembling stale perspiration. Cats are very fond of this plant, particularly the powdered root. Once a cat has discovered a plant they will often destroy it by constantly rolling over it.The dried root also attracts rats and can be used as a bait in traps. A good companion for most plants.
|730||Valerian prefers full sun to part shade and moist but well-drained soils. I have seen excellent clumps form, during a wet spring, on the peak of a pile of ground pumice. However, regular garden soil amended with organic compost will do nicely. The plant adapts rather well to a wide range of conditions.||sun or partial shade||moist||clay||0 each||Herbaceous perennial. Native to Europe and temperate Asia.
One of the best phosphorous accumulators.
Probably the strongest herbal cerebral sedative, the plant makes one go to sleep. All parts of the plant are active, but it is the spreading root and root crown, dug and used fresh, that is most commonly used, and the tincture of the fresh root is the most common dosage form. However, I have gone to sleep after eating a salad that an unwitting apprentice had prepared using valerian leaves as an ingredient, and I've had multiple correspondences from folks that make tinctures out of the fresh flowers. Regardless of how you make the potion, it is well-known that Valerian does not work on everybody. Some folks are stimulated by it. However, most of us go to sleep under her influence.
Flowers white in the second year to a height of 5 feet or more. Some companies are slinging varieties of Valerian that they claim are medicinally superior to the standard European strain (which is what we grow). However, the standard strain is plenty good enough to do the job.
Valerian is a well-known and frequently used medicinal herb that has a long and proven history of efficacy. It is noted especially for its effect as a tranquilliser and nervine, particularly for those people suffering from nervous overstrain. Valerian has been shown to encourage sleep, improve sleep quality and reduce blood pressure. It is also used internally in the treatment of painful menstruation, cramps, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome etc.
It should not be prescribed for patients with liver problems.
Externally, it is used to treat eczema, ulcers and minor injuries.
The active ingredients are called valepotriates, research has confirmed that these have a calming effect on agitated people, but are also a stimulant in cases of fatigue.
The roots of 2 year old plants are harvested in the autumn once the leaves have died down and are used fresh or dried. The fresh root is about 3 times as effective as roots dried at 40°, whilst temperatures above 82° destroy the active principle in the root.
Use with caution, can lead to addiction.
The plant yields about 1% of an essential oil from the roots.
Seed is edible. An essential oil from the leaves and root is used as a flavouring in ice cream, baked goods, condiments etc. It is especially important in apple flavours. The leaves can also be used as a condiment. The plant is used in moderation as a herbal tea.
It is used in perfumery to provide a 'mossy' aroma, though the scent is considered to be disagreeable by many people. The dried roots are also placed in linen cupboards and clothes drawers in order to scent the clothes.
The dried root attracts rats and cats, it can be used as a bait to lure them away from other areas.An ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The plant can also be used to make a very good liquid plant feed. It attracts earthworms. The leaves are very rich in phosphorus.
|Phosphorous||Antispasmodic, Beverage, Carminative, Compost, Diuretic, Essential, Flavouring, Fragrance, Hypnotic, Insectiary, Nervine, Sedative, Stimulant|
|258||Wild Hollyhock||Malvaceae||Alcea rosea (dg fo pf wp)||14||Seed: sow April/May or August/September in pots or in situ. Easily grown from seed, which usually germinates in about 2 - 3 weeks at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.
Division after flowering. Only use rust-free specimens.
Root cuttings in December.
Basal cuttings at almost any time of year.
Succeeds in most soils. Poor soils should be enriched with organic matter. Prefers a heavy rich soil and a sheltered sunny position. Plants are hardy to about -15°c.A very ornamental plant, it is usually grown as a biennial due to its susceptibility to the fungal disease 'rust'. There are many named varieties. Young plants, and also the young growth in spring, are very attractive to slugs.
|sun or partial shade||moist||clay||0 each||The flowers are demulcent, diuretic and emollient. They are useful in the treatment of chest complaints, and a decoction is used to improve blood circulation, for the treatment of constipation, dysmenorrhoea, haemorrhage etc.
The flowers are harvested when they are open and are dried for later use. The shoots are used to ease a difficult labour. The root is astringent and demulcent. It is crushed and applied as a poultice to ulcers. Internally, it is used in the treatment of dysentery. The roots and the flowers are used in Tibetan medicine, where they are said to have a sweet, acrid taste and a neutral potency. They are used in the treatment of inflammations of the kidneys/womb, vaginal/seminal discharge, and the roots on their own are used to treat loss of appetite.
The seed is demulcent, diuretic and febrifuge.
Edible: young leaves, raw or cooked. A mild flavour, but the texture leaves something to be desired. They have been used as a pot-herb, though they are not particularly palatable. They can also be chopped up finely and added to salads.
Inner portion of young stems, raw. Flower petals and flower buds, raw. Added to salads.
A nutritious starch is obtained from the root.
A refreshing tea is made from the flower petals.
A fibre obtained from the stems is used in papermaking. The fibres are about 1.9mm long. The stems are harvested in late summer, the leaves are removed and the stems are steamed until the fibres can be removed. The fibres are cooked with lye for 2 hours and then ball milled for 3 hours or pounded with mallets. The paper is light tan in colour.
The flowers are an alternative ingredient of 'Quick Return' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost.
The seed contains 12% of a drying oil.
The red anthocyanin constituent of the flowers is used as a litmus.A brown dye is obtained from the petals.
|Antiinflammatory, Astringent, Beverage, Compost, Demulcent, Diuretic, Dye, Emollient, Febrifuge, Fibre, Litmus, Oil, Ornamental|
|80||Wood Betony; Woundwort||Lamiaceae||Stachys officinalis (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||120 each seeds in 8cc blocks||plant||7||Sow in the early spring. Standard greenhouse culture or direct seed. Barely cover seed, tamp well and keep evenly moist until germination, which occurs inb 1 to 3 weeks. Space 2 feet apart. Flowers from 2 to 3 feet tall.
Seed: sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.
Division in spring. Very easy, the plant can be successfully divided at almost any time of the year. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.Prefers a light moist neutral to acid soil in sun or light shade. A characteristic plant of healthy roadside banks on heavy soils. Hardy to at least -25°c. At one time bugle was often cultivated for its medicinal virtues, though it is now little used. There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value. An excellent bee plant.
|sun or partial shade||moist||clay||100 each||Herbaceous perennial, highly adaptable to lowland sites as well as gardens at altitude. Native to Europe and Russia. This moisture-loving plant is a clumper, making a lush mound that flowers in multiple upright racemes red-purple.
The tea or tincture of fresh leaf helps relieve acute or chronic pain.
Note from Richo: A truly stellar herb. We had to really dig to come up with the seeds back in the day. One of the best fresh tincture herbs for treating addiction -- the taste is so good that it can in and of itself become addictive! But that's a good thing. Nervine tonic against stresses of living in the good ol' USA.
Wood betony was at one time commonly used as a medicinal plant in the treatment of a wide range of disorders, especially as a nervine and tonic for treating maladies of the head and as an external application to wounds. It also stimulates the digestive system and the liver, having an overall tonic effect upon the body. Wood betony is much less used nowadays, and more often forms part of a mixture of herbs.
The whole plant is collected when in flower in the summer and can be dried for later use.
It is taken in the treatment of 'frayed nerves', pre-menstrual complaints, poor memory and tension. It can be taken in combination with herbs such as comfrey, Symphytum officinale, and lime flowers, Tilia species, to treat sinus headaches and congestion. Wood betony can be taken on its own, or with yarrow, Achillea millefolium, to staunch nosebleeds. A pinch of the powdered herb will provoke violent sneezing and it has been used as part of a herbal snuff mixture in the treatment of headaches. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh plant. It is used in the treatment of asthma and excessive perspiration.
A fine yellow dye is obtained from the leaves.The leaves and flowering tops make a good tea substitute. Refreshing and aromatic, it has all the good qualities of tea without the negative ones.
|Analgesic, Anthelmintic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Beverage, Carminative, Cathartic, Cholagogue, Digestive, Diuretic, Dye, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Homeopathy, Insectiary, Nervine, Sedative, Sternutatory, Tonic, Vulnerary|
|81||Woodruff, Sweet; Woodderowffe||Rubiaceae||Galium odoratum (dg fo pf wp)||2013-04-27 00:00:00||other||Seed: best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer. The seed can also be sown in spring though it may be very slow to germinate. A period of cold stratification helps reduce the germination time. Lots of leafmold in the soil and the shade of trees also improves germination rates.
Division: in spring. The plant can also be successfully divided throughout the growing season if the divisions are kept moist until they are established. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Cuttings of soft wood, after flowering, in a frame.
Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade. Tolerates dry soils but the leaves quickly become scorched when growing in full sun. This species does not thrive in a hot climate. Prefers a moist calcareous soil. Dislikes very acid soils. Tolerates a pH in the range 4.3 to 8.3. This species is very tolerant of atmospheric pollution and grows well in towns.
A very cold-hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -25°c.
Sweet woodruff is occasionally cultivated in the herb garden for its medicinal and other uses. The dried foliage has the sweet scent of newly mown hay. A very ornamental plant but it spreads rapidly and can be invasive. However, this is rarely to the detriment of other plants since these are normally able to grow through it.It does no harm to any plants more than 60cm tall.
|full shade||moist||30 each||Perennial creeping ground cover. Excellent choice for low light areas, the plant is spreading, white-flowered, and highly aromatic. Ingredient in ales of old (and old ales).
Sweet woodruff was widely used in herbal medicine during the Middle Ages, gaining a reputation as an external application to wounds and cuts and also taken internally in the treatment of digestive and liver problems. In current day herbalism it is valued mainly for its tonic, diuretic and anti-inflammatory affect. An infusion is used in the treatment of insomnia and nervous tension, varicose veins, biliary obstruction, hepatitis and jaundice.
The plant is harvested just before or as it comes into flower and can be dried for later use. The dried plant contains coumarins and these act to prevent the clotting of blood - though in excessive doses it can cause internal bleeding. The plant is grown commercially as a source of coumarin, used to make an anticoagulant drug.
A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry. A homeopathic remedy made from the plant is used in the treatment of inflammation of the uterus.
Edible: Leaves, raw or cooked. The leaves are coumarin-scented (like freshly mown hay), they are used as a flavouring in cooling drinks and are also added to fruit salads etc.
The leaves are soaked in white wine to make 'Maitrank', an aromatic tonic drink that is made in Alsace. A fragrant and delicious tea is made from the green-dried leaves and flowers. Slightly wilted leaves are used, the tea has a fresh, grassy flavour. The sweet-scented flowers are eaten or used as a garnish.
A red dye is obtained from the root. Soft-tan and grey-green dyes are obtained from the stems and leaves.A good ground-cover plant for growing on woodland edges or in the cool shade of shrubs. It spreads rapidly at the roots. It is an ideal carpeting plant for bulbs to grow through. Although the fresh plant has very little aroma, as it dries it becomes very aromatic with the scent of newly-mown grass and then retains this aroma for years. It is used in the linen cupboard to protect from moths etc. It was also formerly used as a strewing herb and is an ingredient of pot-pourri. It was also hung up in bunches in the home in order to keep the rooms cool and fragrant during the summertime.
|Antispasmodic, Beverage, Cardiac, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Dye, Fragrance, Homeopathy, Insect Repellant, Seasoning, Sedative, Strewing|
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