Thursday, April 15, 2010

more medicinal herbs...

Here are a couple more medicinal plants I am growing in the garden, to be used in herbal tea blends.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

From the Non-Timber Forest Products Program at Virginia Tech...

The leaves of Catnip have traditionally been chewed as a remedy for alleviating toothaches. The inhabitants of Southern Appalachia have used it since the eighteenth century as a remedy for cold. Tea made from catnip has been used to relieve intestinal cramps and gas discomforts. Recent researches show that consumption of teas containing catnip has anti-cholinergic effects. Catnip has been used for relief of insomnia and prevention of nightmares, and has a mild anti-spasmodic effect and is used to treat cramps. The juice from the leaves was used to stimulate menstrual flow. It has been used in the treatment of children’s ailments, such as colicky pain, flatulence and restlessness. The herb has also been used as a cold remedy, for hives, as a diaphoretic, a refrigerant and an anodyne. (Please refer to the Dictionary of Modern Herbalism by Mills for further information on these terms.) Poultices made from catnip have commonly been used for toothaches, though they can be applied to any part of the body. They have been applied to sore breasts of nursing mothers and to the neck for tonsillitis. The flowering tops of catnip yield up to 1.0 % volatile oil, 78 % being nepatalactone, the main attractant to cats. Thymol extracted from catnip has beneficial antiseptic uses on the skin and in the nasal and pharyngeal

It is important that you exercise caution when considering using catnip products for medicinal purposes; seek professional advice before using them.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

From the University of Maryland Medical Center's Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index...

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a "calming" herb. It was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating as well as colic). Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to help promote relaxation.

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