Herbs A-D

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Herb Name  Latin

Agrimonia eupatoria


Part of the Rose family. It consists of an erect stem topped with a spike of bright yellow flowers. It is common in most of Europe.

Traditional Uses

Commonly used as an aid for gastrointestinal disorders, as well as urinary problems.

Angelica archangelica

This damp loving plant can grow up to 1m tall and is topped with flower-heads consisting of many small white flowers.

Well known as a confection, it was also used as a respiratory expectorant, particularly if associated with fevers.

Borago officinalis

Also known as ‘Starflower’ because of the shape of its blue flowers that grow in drooping clusters.

Used as a tonic herb, when the body is under stress. The oil from the seeds is used as a source of gamma linoleic acid.

Burdock root
Arctium lappa (rad)

With large leaves in a rosette at the bottom of the plant, and the flowers covered in stiff hooks which attach to clothes (the burs). Common in the British Isles.

Used to cleanse the body, particularly related to skin conditions. N.B. It can have very strong effects, so it is normally used in small doses or with professional guidance.

Chamomile (German)
Chamomilla recutita

Chamomiles have small daisy-like flowers. German chamomile an annual plant which can grow up to 40cm.

German chamomile is more commonly used medicinally than Roman chamomile. As taken by Peter Rabbit, it is useful in stomach upset and as a relaxing herb.

Chamomile (Roman)
Chamaemelum nobile

A low growing perennial chamomile with double flowers which are slightly larger than the German chamomile. It is more commonly used as an ornamental flower.

Roman chamomile is not often used as a medicine, but its essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its relaxing effects.

Apium graveolens

The celery plant is well known, as it is eaten as a vegetable (raw or cooked). The seeds are very small (about 1mm long).

Traditionally used as a diuretic, particularly when there is a build up of uric acid. Therefore it has been used for arthritis and gout.

Stellaria media

A common ‘weed’ found in all waste or wild ground. It is a low growing plant with small white flowers on long stalks.

Often used externally to soothe inflamed skin conditions.

Galium aperine

The common ‘sticky willie’ or ‘goosegrass’, it grows all over the UK. It has very small white flowers.

Traditionally used to support and cleanse the lymph system.

Tussilago farfara

At first the yellow florets appear, then after they have changed to white downy spheres (similar to the dandelion) the large leaves appear at the base.

The flowers were traditionally used to soothe coughs; known for its relaxing and expectorant qualities.

Symphytum officinalis

Comfrey is a great addition to any garden as it is useful as a fertilizer as well as pretty. The plant is covered with short stiff hairs and has bell shaped flowers.

With two of its common names being ‘knitbone’ and ‘boneset’ it was traditionally used to treat broken bones and other wounds. The root and leaf are both used externally.

Zea mays

Cornsilk is the threads that cover the ‘corn-on-the-cob’; it is the stigma and styles of the plant. It is a golden colour when fresh, but darkens on drying.

Established use is for urinary tract infections.

Agropyron repens

Couchgrass is an invasive grass. The rhizome, which consists of yellowy/brown hollow stems, is used in herbal medicine.

Dogs go instinctively to couchgrass when they are ill. Humans are more likely to use it for problems with the urinary tract, which it soothes.

Dandelion (leaf)
Taraxacum off. (fol)

The yellow flower and fluffy ‘clock’ of the dandelion is well known throughout Britain.

The French name for dandelion is ‘Piss-en-Lit’ and it is known as a diuretic. But it is also a rich source of minerals, such that the body does not end up depleted in minerals.

Dandelion (root)
Taraxacum off. (rad)

See above.

The root of the dandelion is traditionally used as a tonic for the liver.

Turnera diffusa

Native to Central America, damiana is a shrub which grows up to 2m high, with small yellow-green leaves.

The old Latin name for damiana was Turnera aphrodisia can you guess what it was used for? Nowadays it is more likely to be used as a nerve tonic, uplifting.

Devils Claw (root)
Harpagophytum proc.

A native to the desert areas of Africa, Devil’s Claw has violet to red foxglove like flowers & spiked fruits.

It was traditionally used in Africa for digestive problems and rheumatic problems.