dropcap-botanical, herbal or phytomedicine medicine, as it’s also called, is the use of plants, leaves, barks, flowers, roots, berries and seeds for medicinal purposes. Herbalism has a long tradition outside of conventional medicine. However, advances in clinical research and improvements in analysis and quality control have seen herbal medicine gain more mainstream appeal for treating and preventing disease.

Long before recorded history, plants were used for medicinal purposes. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian papyrus writings describe medicinal uses for plants as early as 3,000BC. Native American and African cultures used herbs in their healing rituals, while herbal therapies were also used in medicinal systems such as Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine. People in different parts of the world independently used the same or similar plants for the same specific purposes.

When chemical analysis first became available in the early 19th century, scientists began to extract and modify the active ingredients from plants. Chemists made their own versions of plant compounds and, over time, the use of herbal medicines declined in favour of pharmaceutical drugs.

However, today, public dissatisfaction with the high cost of prescription medications and their often negative side effects, combined with an interest in returning to natural or organic remedies, has led to an increase in herbal medicine use.

ALOE

Aloe Indica, Aloe Vera

Action:  Adjuvant, Alterative, Anthelmintic, Antipyretic, Bitter Tonic, Blood Tonic, Emollient, Emmenagogs, Laxative, Purgative, Vulnerary

Part Used: Leaf

Aloe has beneficial effects on the liver, spleen, uterus, and blood. The gel of the aloe leaves is taken internally to regulate menstruation, for detoxification, for liver disease, and chronic constipation. As it is a gently detoxifying laxative, aloe is a common adjuvant in the treatment of any infectious disease.

Large doses of aloe act as a purgative and can expel intestinal worms and other parasites. Used internally for, vomiting, diarrhoea, dysentery, constipation, mucous in the digestive tract, flatulence, fever, blood in breast milk, and infected or stagnant blood. It is used to help combat epilepsy, seizures, and rabies. Aloe gel used topically to help for convulsions, tetanus, backache, boils, swelling, and tendinitis. Herbalist use Aloe topically to soothe burns, cuts, herpes, eczema, and other skin irritations.

ASIATIC PENNYWORTH

ASIATIC PENNYWORTH

Gotu Kola, Brahmi, Centella Asiatica

Action: Antioxidant, Antipyretic, Anitrheumatic, Astringent, Blood Tonic, Diuretic, Emollient, Expectorant, Nervine, Vulnerary

Part Used: Leaf Stem

Asiatic Pennyworth is primarily a tonic for the nervous system, promoting clarity of thinking, mental calmness, and emotional balance. It is used to treat psychological disorders, chemical imbalances of the brain, memory loss, alzheimers and epilepsy.

It is high in vitamin A and is considered to be an excellent daily tonic for old age. It has an especially beneficial effect on the immune system, veins, liver, spleen, and gall bladder. As a blood purifier, it is also used to counter colds, fever, and arthritis, all types of skin diseases, urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, hepatitis, and uterine cancer.

When applied topically helps to soothe burns and healing of wounds. The leaf has antifungal and antibacterial properties, and is used to treat staphylococcus infections.

CALAMUS

Sweet Sedge, Sweet Flag, Myrtlegrass, Acorus Calamus

Action: Antrheumatic, Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Emetic, Emmenagogs, Expectorant, Nervine, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic

Part Used: Rhizome

Calamus is a stomachic traditionally used to treat indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, and hyperacidity, as well as to encourage appetite. Used for the common cold, coughs, lung congestion, asthma, sinusitis, and fever.

A decongestant and is beneficial as a tonic which stimulates the nervous system, the brain and especially the senses. Ayurvedic traditionally prescribes calamus tea for sufferers of typhoid, epilepsy, deafness, and arthritis, and to help expel kidney stones.

Taken daily, calamus is said to enhance memory and sexual energy. Apply topically over painful joints and fractured or broken bones.

CAMPHOR

Cinnamonum Camphora

Action:  Analgesic, Anti-inflammatory, Antrheumatic, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Bronchodilator, Cardiac, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogs, Expectorant, Nervine, Sedative, Stimulant

Part Used:   Crystals derived from the gum of the tree trunk

Camphor crystals inhaled used to treat colds, congestion, sore thr oat, coughs, bronchitis, and sinusitis, a decongestant, also beneficial for irregular menstruation, eye infections, fevers, typhoid, and lung infections. A stimulate of the brain, heart, also circulation, ironically it has a calmative effect on insomnia, stress, and anxiety. Used topically as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis, sprains, and muscle pain, also an antiseptic, analgesic helps with skin infections, cuts and insect bites.

CASSUMUNAR ZINGIBER

Phlai

Action: Anti-inflammatory, Astringent, Bronchodilator, Carminative, Emmenagogs, Laxative, Vulnerary

Part Used: Rhizome

Cassumunar Ginger acts as an emmenagogs, as well as a bronchodilator for treatment of asthma. Usage of Cassumunar ginger helps new mothers recover after child birth. Cassumunar ginger is used topically to soothe contusions, sprains, and inflammations of joints and ligaments. Like common ginger, it is also used topically as an antiseptic for cuts, wounds and skin infections.

CRYPTOLEPIS BUCHANANII

Wax Leaved Climber

Action: Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, Antibacterial, Antidiarrheal, Antifungal

Part Used:  Dried Root, Fruit, Whole Plant

Cryptolepis is good for treating many skin disorders. Modern medical research suggests that it has antifungal and antibacterial properties which bear out the traditional use of ringworm and thrush. It is useful for stomach ache including indigestion and loss of appetite, also induces sweating when fever is present. Can reduce swelling in the joints.

CURCUMA AROMATICA

Wild Turmeric

Action: Anti-inflammatory, Antispasmodic, Antioxidant, Antibacterial

Part Used: Rhizome, Oil

Turmeric, main constituent is Curcumin, which neutralises free radicals and offers many benefits to your skin. It is one of the best and an effective natural remedy for treating spots, pigmentation, blemishes, scars or skin discoloration, hastens the recovery of smallpox, chickenpox and rashes, protects against eczema, stretch marks, dry skin, psoriasis, resulting in the improvement of the overall complexion and maintains elasticity of the skin. The effective anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation and relieve pain

EUCALYPTUS

Action: Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antitussive, Expectorant, Diaphoretic, Nervine, Stimulant

Part Used: Leaf, Oil

Eucalyptus is an extremely effective treatment for colds, sinus and lung congestion, also sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, asthma, respiratory ailments. Applied topically to the chest, throat, and under the nose to ease congestion, as an analgesic which helps with indigestion, fevers, helps relieve these and many more aliments.

GALANGAL

Ginza, Siamese Ginger, Alpinia Galanga, Alpinia Officinarum, Alpinia Nigra

Action: Antiemetic, Antiparasitic, Antiseptic, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Digestive, Expectorant, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic

Part Used: Rhizome

Galangal has a stimulating effect on digestion, effectively useful in cases of indigestion, flatulence, and stomach disorders, also recommended for diarrhoea, nausea, and seasickness.

Similar to Ginger, Galangal has an antiseptic action and used topically for bacterial, fungal skin infections, acne, mosquito bites, bee stings, other insect bites, also Galangal tea can be used to gargle if mouth sores are present and thought to be useful for treatment of ringworm and other skin complaints.

GINGER

Zingiber Officinal, Khing

Action: Adjuvant, Analgesic, Antiemetic, Anti-inflammatory, Anitrheumatic, Antiseptic, Antitussive, Aphrodisiac, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Digestive, Emmenagogs, Expectorant, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic

Part Used: Rhizome

Ginger is the quintessential universal remedy earning the reputation as a cure-all. Ginger is a powerful stimulant which is the herb of choice for stimulation especially of the digestive tract and is used to combat flatulence, indigestion, gastritis, peptic ulcer, diarrhoea, sluggish digestion, nausea, vomiting, colds, fevers, congestion, sore throat, nausea, seasickness, mouth sores, insomnia, heart disease, arthritis, irregular menstruation, chronic back pain, haemorrhoids, (vitamin B1 deficiency).

With a powerful antiseptic action and used topically for bacterial and fungal skin infections, parasites, and acne. Ginger is used as an adjuvant in many herbal preparations in order to lessen side effects and increase the potency of other herbs. As a powerful anti-inflammatory it is effectively used for chronic arthritic conditions, muscles and ligaments problems, and joint pain.

IVY GOURD

Coccinia indica, Coccinia grandis

Action: Antipruritic, Antipyretic, Purgative, Tonic

Part Used: Leaf

Ivy gourd leaves are taken in decoction as a purgative and for food poisoning. It lowers fevers and is used as a tonic for general health and strength. Ivy gourd is applied topically to insect bites, hives, allergic rashes, itching, inflamed wounds, and rashes

JEWEL VINE

Derris Scandens

Action: Analgesic, Antispasmodic, Diuretic, Purgative

Part Used: Stem

Jewel Vine is a diuretic and a detoxifying purgative with no laxative action. It is best used for mucous congestion, internal infections, severe colds, and dysentery, where antimicrobial action is desired without agitation of the gastrointestinal tract. Topical application soothes muscular pain or spasms, pulled ligaments, and tendinitis.

KAFFIR LIME

Citrus hystix

Action: Antioxidant, Antitussive, Astringent, Blood Tonic, Carminative, Emmenagogs, Expectorant, Stomachic

Part Used: Juice of Fruit, Rind, Leaf

Kaffir lime leaf is considered to be more medicinal than the fruit, although the juice and rind can also be used. Kaffir lime leaves and fruits are one of the main ingredients used in the traditional Thai herbal compresses, as well as in the sauna. Inhaled or ingested, kaffir lime is useful for treatment of colds, congestion, and cough.

Taken internally, it is a digestion stimulant which alleviates flatulence and indigestion, and is used to promote regularity in the case of infrequent menstruation. It is well known as a blood purifier, as an antioxidant with preventive properties, and is used to treat high blood pressure.

LEMONGRASS

Cymbopogon Citratus

Action: Antiemetic, Anti-inflammatory, Antitussive, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Digestive, Diuretic, Expectorant,Stomachic, Tonic

Part Used: Stem

Lemongrass tea is used as a therapy for colds, congestion, fever, cough, sore throat and laryngitis. Also is useful for digestion, a stimulant in cases of flatulence, indigestion, and constipation. Lemongrass is also used to counter stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and back pain. Used as a general tonic, for bone and joint pain, and used topically for sprains, bruises, and sore muscles.

PATCHOULI

Pogostemon Cablin

Action: Anti-depressant, Antiphlogistic, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Aphrodisiac, Tonic

Part Used: Leaves

Patchouli essential oil once you inhale this has an impact on the hormones and various chemical reactions in the body and mind.

By stimulating the release of pleasure hormones like serotonin and dopamine, feelings of anxiety, anger, and sadness simply disappear.It soothes inflammation from conditions like arthritis and gout and also irritation as a result of fever, and it useful in treating a wide array of skin conditions, including protecting wounds and ulcers from developing infections and becoming septic.

Patchouli essential oil has been used as an aphrodisiac for hundreds of years, treating sexual problems including impotency, loss of libido, disinterest in sex, erectile dysfunctions, frigidity and sexual anxiety for both women and men. A stimulant of muscles, nerves and skin which helps prevents sagging skin, hair loss, and loosening of muscle tissue, also eliminates body odour, increases frequency of urination and removes toxins from body, and also works as a bug repellent.

TAMARIND

Tamaridus indica

Action: Anthelmintic, Antipyretic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Blood Tonic, Carminative, Digestive, Expectorant, Female Tonic, Laxative, Nutritive Tonic, Purgative, Refrigerant, Stimulant, Vulnerary

Part Used: Whole plant

Tamarind is considered to be a blood purifier and is recommended for pregnancy and for post-natal women. Tea made from the young leaves and pods of the tamarind is a laxative so a good remedy for constipation, also is useful to encourage passing of gallstones and is used to treat colds and fevers.

The flowers help to lower blood pressure therefore an effective treatment for hypertension, and the bark is an astringent remedy for diarrhea and fever. The leaf is recommended as a diuretic, laxative, and anthelmintic, and as a detoxifying remedy for blood poisoning, skin disorders. Used topically as a treatment for bacterial and fungal infections, rashes, ringworm, and other skin parasites.

THAI WHITE CLAY

A Limestone clay that has been used for centuries in Thailand. 80-97% of Thai White Clay consists of calcium carbonate. A versatile product used as a base for fragrance, as a cooling agent, blended with specialty local ingredients to be used in masques. Rich in minerals, and trace elements, it removes toxins, re-mineralizes the body, soothes irritated skin, brightens, tones, nourishes, and rejuvenates skin while leaving it moisturised.

TUMERIC

Curcuma Longa

Action: Alterative, Analgesic, Anthelmintic, Anti-inflammatory, Antipruritic, Antirheumatic, Antiseptic, Antitussive, Astringent, Blood Tonic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Digestive, Emmenagogs, Stomachic, Tonic, Vulnerary

Part Used: Rhizome, Leaf

Turmeric is related to ginger and galangal, and shares some of the properties of these plants. Turmeric is used as a digestive stimulant and is often used as an adjuvant with preparations for gastrointestinal complaints, as it aids in treatment of flatulence, peptic ulcers, indigestion, irritable bowel, and gastritis. It is said to lower blood sugar and is therefore used for diabetes and hypoglycemia. Turmeric is also a remedy for coughs, arthritis, chronic back pain, and painful menstrual problems.

Turmeric leaves may be used as an antidote for food poisoning and for treatment of hepatitis, as it has a detoxifying effect on the blood, digestive tract, and liver, and regulates the body’s secretion of hormones. The turmeric rhizome relives itching and swelling, and has a slight antiseptic effect. It therefore can be used topically on insect bites, rashes, allergic reactions, hives, and superficial wounds. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory for bruises and sprains

WHITE SESAME SEED

Action: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-fungal, Antispasmodic, Anti-bacterial, Antiviral

Part Used: Seeds

Sesame seeds are probably one of the first oilseeds known to mankind, with the highest oil content among all seeds. These seeds possess nutritive, preventive and curative properties as they contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9. Has an effect on lowering blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol, increasing good cholesterol.

Beneficial for heart health, respiratory disorders, supports and strengthens blood vessels, bones and joints. Being a natural anti-inflammatory agent it reduces pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Its antibacterial properties help to get rid of skin pathogens like staphylococcus and streptococcus as well as common skin fungi such as athlete’s foot fungus.

Offers several benefits in maintaining skin flexibility keeping skin soft and supple and helps tighten facial skin, controls and combats dryness, flakiness, skin eruptions, clogged and also enlarged pores.

ZEDOARY

White Turmeric , Curcumin Zedoaria

Action: Antiemetic, Antipyretic, Antiseptic, Astringent, Stomachic

Part Used: Rhizome

Related to turmeric, and shares its extensive health benefits and is used for similar purposes. It is effective against nausea, vomiting, intestinal cramps, irritable bowel, gastritis, and diarrhoea, and is often added as an adjuvant to laxative herbs due to its soothing effect on the stomach. It is also effective against fever and is used for dysentery. Zedoary is a topical antiseptic used on cuts, wounds, and insect bites.

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