20 Herbs & their
It was hard to just pick 20 herbs to share with you! I
mainly try to use native herbs in my herbal practice where I work with over 100 herbs as they are just as good as the more
exotic ones we can sometimes hear alot more about! (There are a couple of exceptions
that I had to share)
Not many people realise we have a Farm-acy growing all around us!
I love aniseed because it’s really good at doing a few different things and is
gentle enough to give to toddlers and tastes yum. As a tea or syrup it is
excellent at easing griping pains in the stomach or ‘wind’ as Mum’s
affectionately call it! It will do the same thing for adults, so is a good
friend to IBS sufferers, it relaxes spasms of the gut which can cause the
familiar pains associated with some bowel problems. It makes a great cough
syrup for young and old its particularly good at treating dry coughs,
especially those that have that ‘once you start you can’t stop element ‘(known
as spasmodic coughing). It can be bought as the seed Anise or as star Anise,
found in many Asian curries.
Most of us are familiar with this one, but did you know that it is highly
revered in India, even given status as a sacred herb. It is given the name Tulsi and is said to sharpen awareness,
aid meditation and promote compassion. It is a slightly more pungent variety
than the one we find here in our stores but the humble Basil has a number of
uses, it can be eaten raw, juiced, or used to make a tea. It has a warming
action on the body and so is great for fending off colds and flu. More recent
mainstream research has found Tulsi can
reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, normalise blood sugars. It is also
of benefit to stomach ulcers providing an anti-inflammatory effect and
increasing the bodys own production of protective mucus.
A great all rounder herb. Wonderful for children it calms and relaxes them and
can help to settle an upset tummy, or calm an overactive child before bedtime.
It will have the same effect on grownups! I find it is necessary though to make
a fairly strong infusion of the tea for this purpose! It can make a wonderful
facial treat for tired puffy sore red eyes, place cold teabags over eyes and
cover with a cotton wool pad, lie back and relax while chamomile anti
–inflammatory and soothing properties get to work !. Great for hay fever
sufferers and stressed out office workers alike!
Cats go wild for this herb they will roll around in it and purr with delight if
you take a notion to grow it. Catmint grows very generously and dries very well
so you can keep a small stock of it in an airtight container. Similar to the
other mint family members it is very soothing to the tummy and the nervous
system it can be taken as a tea made from fresh or dried leaves, it makes a
great substitute for Chamomile where it cannot be tolerated because of taste or
allergy. It also has a really pretty purple flower which will attract
pollinating bees into your garden!
I find this is a very under rated punchy little herb. There really is nothing
better for a toothache than sucking on a clove (well maybe a trip to your
friendly dentist!). It will kill the pain of a tooth ache and also have a local
effect of being antiseptic so you see its use in a hot whiskey goes way beyond
that of taste alone! A gargle of numerous cloves infused in boiling water can
be really effective for a sore throat.
you love your garden you will love comfrey it makes a free very effective
organic liquid compost, simply add to water leave outside for 3-5 weeks and use
as required on your tomatoes or veg/flowers in the garden, to make it even more
mineral dense add fresh nettles to the brew and you have liquid gold on your
hands, be warned its quite stinky!
elder tree gives us elderflower in
the Summer, great used as a floral water to tone and astringe the skin, or as a
warm drink for a sniffling runny nose or it makes a refreshing cordial thats
actually good for you! Go all French and call it a Presse its delicious in the
Summer time with fizzy water and a slice of Lemon (see my website for
recipes!). In the winter we get elderberries,
and excellent anti-viral, these little wonders have been shown to cut flu
recovery time in half! they can be made into a lovely syrup too for little
ones, and freeze very well.
The friend of nursing mothers, this herb eases colic when drank by nursing Mum
as a tea, it can also be given directly to baby in bottle. It is very gentle
yet effective at easing an irritated stomach and can be drank daily as a tea
for this purpose after eating or just as a comforting cuppa, it has a slightly
sweet taste .The shoots of Fennel you find at your supermarket make an ideal
salad when grated raw to make a salad and can make a really nice coleslaw for
those who can’t tolerate raw cabbage!
This herb is a member of the daisy family and will grow very well in the
garden producing lovely flowers. The leaves are anti-inflammatory and have a
modern and historic reputation for relieving migraines and the pain of
10. Hawthorn: A super Irish herb for the
heart, proven effective for the symptomatic relief of angina, and can gently
and effectively reverse age related degenerative changes in the heart the
berries are mainly used for this purpose.(Always
seek professional help when dealing with cardiac problems)
11. Horsetail: Ladies you need to know
about this herb as it is fantastic for skin, hair and nails. It has a
particular abundance of the mineral silica which keeps skin smooth and elastic.
It was traditionally used as a cleanser for the kidneys and to remove excess
uric acid (which can cause Gout) from the body.
Moss: Sometimes called Caragheen (its
a seaweed) this is easy to come by in your local health food store and is great
value for money. It should be boiled up and it can be stored in the fridge or
made on demand a few times a day it makes a soothing drink for bronchitis &
coughs for this purpose i recommend adding a small quantity of aniseed when you
are boiling it up to improve taste.
Balm: One of my favourites and very easy to grow! This herb is a wonderful
gently relaxing and rejuvenating herb ideally drank as a tea in the evening
times; it also has a reputation for ‘lifting the spirits’ where they may be
down. Sometimes called ‘Mellisa’ I have found the eastern European stores
nearly all sell it as a tea at a good price!
Thistle: This herb can actually help regenerate liver cells where they may
have been harmed or damaged due to poor diet, overindulgence or environmental
toxins it is one of the best and safest herbs for this purpose.
I heartily recommend nettle soup in the spring months ! It is full of valuable
minerals required for robust health, as well as having a blood purifying or
detoxifying effect on the body. The herb can be picked and dried in early
spring and stored in an airtight container for use throughout the rest of the
If you suffer with your sinus this time of year or you are a hayfever sufferer
this is your friend! Plantain taken in a tea is great for all afflictions of
the chest; irritating wet coughs and colds. If your a fan of the great outdoors
it makes an excellent wound remedy if you get a cut or scrape, take a leaf and
rip it up and apply to your cut ( ideally you should chew it for a minute then
apply it to the scrape) just call it a grass plaster, it will heal and
disinfect all in one go.
Useful for migraine headaches, improves circulation and has an antiseptic
effect on the tummy. There is a good body of evidence that it can also improve
elm powder: It provides a directly soothing effect on the tummy; It is both
soothing to diarrhoea and helps to draw water into the bowel in cases of
constipation. Can be taken by those who convalescing for its nutritive powers,
particularly useful in this regard for both children and the elderly. Useful in
acid reflux conditions to protect the stomach from the effects of excess acid
of the aged this title is deserved it improves memory and attention in the
elderly. It also makes a very effective gargle when made into a tea for sore
throat, tonsils and is also effective for those irritating mouth ulcers. A herb
worth having no matter how big or small your garden is.
has got to be top of the class as a remedy for the chest taken as a hot tea in
generous amounts it has a stimulating expectorating action meaning it helps you
to cough up thick mucus. It is powerfully antiseptic and combines well with
garlic in treating a chesty cough infection, not for the meek taste wise. Although
safe for children I find most will only take it as syrup where it combines well
with the Elderberry already discussed.