Herbs M-O

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Herb Name   Latin


Traditional Uses

Calendula officinalis

A bright orange flower, with a similar shape to the daisy and bright green leaves.

One of the best known herbs for external use. Often used for skin complaints or cuts and grazes.

Marshmallow (herb)
Althea off. (herba)

This tall (up to 1.2 m high) perennial is native to marshy areas. Its leaves are velvety and its hollyhock like flowers are coloured white to pale pink

Similar to the root (see below) but was used more for soothing respiratory complaints.

Marshmallow (root)
Althea officinalis (rad)

See above.

Chew a piece of root and you will see why it has a reputation for soothing membranes, including the stomach and skin.

Filipendula ulmaria

Also known as Queen of the Meadow, the plant is common in many meadows and roadsides, and is topped with a cloud of small creamy-white flowers.

The old latin name for meadowsweet was Spiraea and was the origin of the name aspirin.

Milk Thistle Seed
Carduus marianus

Native to south and western Europe, the leaves are variegated with white veins and prickles. Each plant has a single drooping (thistle) flower.

Milk thistle is often recommended to aid the liver and this is the reason it is used by some as a hangover cure.

Leonurus cardiaca

An erect plant with toothed leaves, prickly seed cases and whorls of white to pink flowers at the top of the plant.

As its Latin name suggests it has long been associated with the heart. In the 17th Century Culpeper said; “there is no better herb to drive away melancholy vapours from the heart”.

Artemisia vulgaris

The leaves of mugwort are lobular and are coloured dark green above and yet are silver and hairy underneath. The flowers are a greeny-yellow colour.

Herbs in the Artemisia genus are bitter to taste, for this reason they are considered digestive and tonic herbs.

Mullein (flowers)
Verbascum thapsus

The mullein plant is very tall, and can grow up to 3.5 m high. The leaves are pale (almost silver in colour) and furry, and the flowers grow in a yellow spike at the top of the plant.

Historically used for irritating dry or painful coughs. Was also used to make eardrops.

Urtica dioica

Nettles are well recognised in UK, due to their stinging action. The plant is a deep green, the leaves are covered with hairs which contain the sting and the flowers are green.

A very good source of minerals, especially iron. It also contains a source of histamine and so is used by some for allergies.

Avena sativa

Oats can be found wild or cultivated. It is a grass, with straight hollow stems. The seeds are situated at the top of the plant held on to small spikes.

Oats are very nutritious and developed a reputation for aiding and building up the nervous system. The seeds (oats) are used or the oatstraw (harvested when the seeds are ripe).