You can supplement or eliminate western medicine for many illnesses and conditions. Be sure to use herbs from a good source, wild craft responsibility or grow your own!
For poison oak/ivy: Labrador tea, jewel weed, lobelia, mugwort, solomon’s seal, sumac, sweet fern, witch hazel, ocean water, or baking soda. Apply poultice or wash to affected area.
Calmatives: Balm, yellow bed straw, belladonna*, camomille, dill, fragrant valiant*, jasmine, marjoram, motherwort, neveroot, lady’s slipper, Norway spruce.
Insomnia: Marjoram, saffron, St John’s wort, primrose, hops, lavender, lime flowers, sage, skullcap, valerian.
For detox: Chewing cabbage leaves helps with too much alcohol; snowberry tea helps after poisoning; seaweed for heavy metals.
Blood purifiers: Red clover, CA horkelia, yarrow, mayweed, yellow skunk cabbage, dandelion, hyssop, bitterroot, burdock, cardoon, yellow dock, Mormon tea, ocotillo, w. dogwood, yerba santa, Oregon graperoot, CA wild rose, thimbleberry alderleaf buckthorn, sitka spruce, red alder, bird’s foot fern.
Antiseptics: yerba mansa root, garlic, tansy*, plantain, juniper bark, black sage, common elderberry*, bearberry, pinyon pitch, willow bark, sweet gum, bracken fern.
Menstrual cramps: Water plantain, shepherd’s purse, cannabis, lemon balm, hairy angelica root*, mtn valerian, burdock, chaparral, w. white clematis.
Headaches: Mugwort, kola tree, yerba mate, lavender, peppermint, thistle, fennel, rosemary, sage, primrose, fragrant valerian* black elder, lily of the valley*, willow, wintergreen, winter savory
*These herbs should be used with caution. Consult an herbalist guide before using herbs.
How to take herbs
Infusion: brew a tea with leaves (20 min to 8 hrs) or flowers (5-10 min). This is good for systemic conditions.
Tincture: soak herbs in clear, strong alcohol for 4-6 weeks. Take orally, about 3 eye-dropperfuls a dose. Best for bitter herbs and those not water-soluble.
Poultice: chew or mash herbs with water and apply topically.
Compress: apply a cloth soaked with infusion topically.
Food is medicine too! You can add simple things to your diet for endocrine and immune health. Try: dandelion (all parts), garlic, ginger, plantain, nettles (cooked), and seaweeds.
We used Peterson’s W. Medicinal Plants and Herbs and John Lust’s The Herb Book for most of our references. Also check Susan Weed’s Healing Wise.