Thursday, April 21, 2011

Your Guide To Herbs And Fruits Of Spring

G'morning everyone...Well Spring is right around the corner, so I thought I would share with you the herbs and fruits of spring....there will be loads of information so again, this will be in parts, 2 I believe.

So without further ado.....


Herbs And Fruits Of Spring

Yarrow (achillea millefolium)

Description: Creeping perennial herb with small white flowers

Habitat: Waysides and meadows of Europe and North America

Parts Used: Aerial

Preparations: Infusion or tincture, compress, poultice

Medicinal Action: Is a digestive tonic and diuretic, encourages bile flow, stimulates circulation, treats hay fever, is an astringent and an antispasmodic.

Active Ingredients: Volatile oils, salicylic acid, sterols, alkaloids

****Safety Note: May cause allergic reactions in some people****

Elderflower (sambucus nigra)

Description: Deciduous shrubby tree, growing to a height of up to 30 ft. with heads of creamy white flowers in May; June and July, followed by purple berries in August and September.

Habitat: Grows commonly, but is especially abundant in hedgerows, woods, scrub and waste ground.

Parts Used: Flower Heads

Preparations: Infusions, lotions

Medicinal Action: The elderflower is an emollient, expectorant and diuretic; is anti-inflammatory; treats respiratory complains or feverish colds; and can be used externally for treating chapped hands.

Active Ingredients: Rutin, glycosides, phenolic acids, triterpenes

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Description: Perennial herb. Inconspicuous flowers

Habitat: Widespread weed in wasteland or unshaded places.

Parts Used: New leaves flowering in spring, root

Preparations: Soups, vegetable, infusion, ointment, decoction.

Medicinal Action: Nourishing , anti-allegenic , anti-inflammatory. For hay fever, arthritis, eczema, gout and sprains.

Active Ingredients: Flavonoids, histamine, acetyl choline

Dandelion (taraxacium officinale)

Description: Perennial herb with deeply lobed leaves, hollow stem and yellow inflorescences. Large tap root .

Habitat: A widespread weed in temperate climates, thriving on disturbed ground.

Parts Used: Leaves and roots

Preparations: Leaves in salads, juice of leaves, infusions.

Medicinal Action: Diuretic, well known for its detoxifying and stimulating properties; a nutritious tonic ; stimulates kidneys, reduces  fluid retention and dissolves gall stones; can be applied externally for acne, psoriasis and eczema.

Active Ingredients: Bitter glycosides, carotenoids, minerals (iron, potassium), vitamins A, B, C and D

Cowslip (primula veris)

Description: Perennial herb white yellow bell-shaped flowers

Habitat: Ancient hay meadows, pastures on limy soil.

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves, root

Preparations: Infusion, tincture, ointment

Medicinal Action: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and sedative. For coughs, mucus, insomnia.

****Safety Note: Don't take if allergic to aspirin or if taking anticoagulants****

Lily Of The Valley (convallaria majalis)

Description: Perennial herb with pair of large elliptical leaves and inflorescences of fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers in May and June followed by red berries.

Habitat: Native to Western Europe and North America, confined to woodlands.

Parts Used: Leaves

Preparations: Tincture

Medicinal Action: Diuretic, heart tonic and can also be used as a prugative. Encourages regular heartbeat and improves blood flow to the heart and throughout the cardiovascular system.

Active Ingredients: Cardiac glycosides, including cardenolides and convallotoxin

****Safety Note: Use in small doses and only under medical supervision****

Greater Celandine (chelidonium majus)

Description: Bright yellow flowers

Habitat: Wood perennial

Parts Used: Aerial, latex

Preparations: Tincture, latex extract.

Medicinal Action: Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, liver stimulant and sedative; relaxes bronchial tubes and improves bile flow; treats warts, eczema, and ringworm.

Active Ingredients: Isoquinoline alkaloids

****Safety Note: Take only under medical supervision****

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