Medicinal Properties of Herbs & Essential Oils


Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold) – considered one of the most important and versatile herbal medicines.  Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-spasmodic, anti-hemorrhage, anti- histamine, anti-bacterial effect particularly against staphylococcus and streptococcus.  Promotes rapid healing of damaged skin tissue and wounds with broken skin. Sores, leg ulcers, abscess, sore nipples, varicose veins, bee, wasp and other insect stings, dry chapped skin and lips, wind burn.  Pain relief for topical injuries and topical infection and irritation. 

Chickweed- Stellaria media- my favorite property of this sweet little herb is its anti-itch action.  Used as an ancient remedy for chronic skin conditions, boils, varicose ulcers, abscess.  Cooling, soothing, relieves irritation and takes the heat out of itchy skin. Excellent for any itch, including yeast and vaginitis.

Comfrey -Symphytum officinale - a rapid healer of flesh and bones by its property to accelerate cell division.  Useful wherever tissue restoration is needed (repairing broken bones and lacerated flesh).  Commonly used for bruises, skin lesions, relieves pain and promotes healing of pus-filled wounds, accelerates tissue healing in cases of insect bites and stings.  Treats skin tags and warts, stops reddening and irritation of the skin around wrinkles, forms a protective surface over wounds that promotes healing.  Contains allantoin, a compound that helps stimulate the growth of new cells.

Lavender- Lavandula officinalis- lavender and its essential oil treat common minor ailments such as insomnia, nervousness, fatigue, headaches, nausea and gas.  Its aroma helps to stimulate mental processes and alleviate depression.  The oil has antiseptic qualities that may kill several types of disease-causing bacteria.  Used to treat skin ailments such as fungus, burns, wounds, eczema, psoriasis and acne.  For burns in particular, lavender contains a compound that increases the threshold of pain as well as inhibiting the hormonal reactions that create inflammation and pain. Lavender also protects the burned skin from bacterial and fungal infection.

Plantain- Plantago major- One of the most versatile herbal medicines used for scalds, burns, wounds that refuse to heal, bruises, skin eruptions, bleeding piles, external ulcers, eczema, acne, anti-histamine, anti-bacterial, anti-allergy. Old Chinese remedy for bites of snakes, animals and insects.

Aloe Vera Gel – Aloe barbadensis – anti-biotic, protection against burns and other wounds, sunburn, acne, ulcerations of the skin, chapped skin, diaper rash, itchy, dry skin including eczema, shingles, poison ivy, plant allergies, dermatitis, ring worm.  Dry scalp, stretch marks, age lines and liver spots. 

Goldenseal – Hydrastis Canadensis - has an anti-biotic effect when used topically. The active constituent berberine possesses strong activity against a wide variety of bacteria and fungi and has a soothing effect on inflamed mucous membranes.  In the ears goldenseal can control infection and circulate the flow of lymph away from the inner ear.
Grapefruit Seed Extract – a broad spectrum anti-microbial with proven ability to kill or inhibit the growth of a wide variety of potentially harmful bacteria, fungi & viruses.

Chamomile Flowers – Chamaemelum nobile – Nausea and indigestion, insomnia, wind, vomiting in pregnancy, loss of appetite, inflammation of the skin, mild sedative, physical stress, hyperactive children, anti-inflammatory, stomach irritation, stress.
Lemongrass –  Cymbopogon ciatrus – diuretic, tonic, promotes good digestion, used for relief of menstrual troubles and nausea……. and it tastes so good.
Nettle – Urtica dioica – high in chlorophyll, vitamins including vitamin C, histamine, minerals including iron, calcium and silica.  Blood tonic, diuretic, galactagogue (regulates breast milk production in nursing mothers). Strengthens natural resistance. Eliminates uric acid from the body.  Used for iron deficiency anemia, gout, fevers, detoxifies the blood.  This herb has always been one of my favorites and has become even more so after safely using it through both of my pregnancies and to increase breast milk for nursing babes.
Oat straw – Avena sativa – nerve restorative, antidepressant, brain tonic, improves stamina. For nerve and physical weakness with depression and anxiety.  Recovery from illness and surgical operations, tension and irritability, headache with pain at the back of the neck, sleeplessness, shingles, hyperactivity in children.
Peppermint – Mentha piperita – calms queasy stomachs and quells indigestion, digestive aid, and as a treatment for cough, colds, fever, food poisoning, bad breath, nausea and vomiting, motion sickness, feeling of fullness, eases gas pain and heartburn. Diluted tea recommended in pregnancy for women with a history of miscarriage.  
Red Raspberry Leaf – Rubus idaeus – pre-natal aid, astringent tonic, antispasmodic, pain or profuse bleeding of menstruation. Helpful last 3 months of pregnancy to tone uterine muscles (it has the ability to relax tight uterine muscles and tighten relaxed uterine muscles), promote milk production, for nausea and sickness of pregnancy, diarrhea and morning sickness, PMS, and sore throat.
*This tea became my favorite combination and has remained so for over 4 years.  I began making it while planning my first pregnancy and continue to drink it well beyond the weaning of my second child.  Many nauseous mornings and rough nights spent sleeping sitting upright due to horrible heartburn were soothed with warm cupfuls of this beautiful brew.  For whatever reason you choose to drink it…. Enjoy, be healthy and calm, and comfort your soul. 
   Dana Hook, Owner,  Certified Herbal Practitioner and Hip Mamma

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