Healing Herbs, Plants and Flowers


Healing Herbs, Plants and Flowers

Information of Healing Herbs and Plants. Lore myth and usage. Also a few other things grown here and there.

Location: EveryWhere You Look....
Members: 45
Latest Activity: Feb 12, 2014

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, and phytotherapy. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts. Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources.

Traditional use of medicines is recognized as a way to learn about potential future medicines. In 2001, researchers identified 122 compounds used in mainstream medicine which were derived from "ethnomedical" plant sources; 80% of these compounds were used in the same or related manner as the traditional ethnomedical use.

Many plants synthesize substances that are useful to the maintenance of health in humans and other animals. These include aromatic substances, most of which are phenols or their oxygen-substituted derivatives such as tannins. Many are secondary metabolites, of which at least 12,000 have been isolated — a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total. In many cases, substances such as alkaloids serve as plant defense mechanisms against predation by microorganisms, insects, and herbivores. Many of the herbs and spices used by humans to season food yield useful medicinal compounds.

Similarly to prescription drugs, a number of herbs are thought to be likely to cause adverse effects. Furthermore, "adulteration, inappropriate formulation, or lack of understanding of plant and drug interactions have led to adverse reactions that are sometimes life threatening or lethal

In the written record, the study of herbs dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians, who described well-established medicinal uses for such plants as laurel, caraway, and thyme. Ancient Egyptian medicine of 1000 B.C. are known to have used garlic, opium, castor oil, coriander, mint, indigo, and other herbs for medicine and the Old Testament also mentions herb use and cultivation, including mandrake, vetch, caraway, wheat, barley, and rye.

Indian Ayurveda medicine has used herbs such as turmeric possibly as early as 1900 B.C. Many other herbs and minerals used in Ayurveda were later described by ancient Indian herbalists such as Charaka and Sushruta during the 1st millennium BC. The Sushruta Samhita attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC describes 700 medicinal plants, 64 preparations from mineral sources, and 57 preparations based on animal sources.

The first Chinese herbal book, the Shennong Bencao Jing, compiled during the Han Dynasty but dating back to a much earlier date, possibly 2700 B.C., lists 365 medicinal plants and their uses - including ma-Huang, the shrub that introduced the drug ephedrine to modern medicine. Succeeding generations augmented on the Shennong Bencao Jing, as in the Yaoxing Lun (Treatise on the Nature of Medicinal Herbs), a 7th century Tang Dynasty treatise on herbal medicine.

The ancient Greeks and Romans made medicinal use of plants. Greek and Roman medicinal practices, as preserved in the writings of Hippocrates and - especially - Galen, provided the pattern for later western medicine. Hippocrates advocated the use of a few simple herbal drugs - along with fresh air, rest, and proper diet. Galen, on the other hand, recommended large doses of drug mixtures - including plant, animal, and mineral ingredients. The Greek physician compiled the first European treatise on the properties and uses of medicinal plants, De Materia Medica. In the first century AD, Dioscorides wrote a compendium of more than 500 plants that remained an authoritative reference into the 17th century. Similarly important for herbalists and botanists of later centuries was the Greek book that founded the science of botany, Theophrastus’ Historia Plantarum, written in the fourth century B.C.

Middle Ages

The uses of plants for medicine and other purposes changed little in early medieval Europe. Many Greek and Roman writings on medicine, as on other subjects, were preserved by hand copying of manuscripts in monasteries. The monasteries thus tended to become local centers of medical knowledge, and their herb gardens provided the raw materials for simple treatment of common disorders. At the same time, folk medicine in the home and village continued uninterrupted, supporting numerous wandering and settled herbalists. Among these were the “wise-women,” who prescribed herbal remedies often along with spells and enchantments. It was not until the late Middle Ages that women who were knowledgeable in herb lore became the targets of the witch hysteria. One of the most famous women in the herbal tradition was Hildegard of Bingen. A twelfth century Benedictine nun, she wrote a medical text called Causes and Cures.

Medical schools known as Bimaristan began to appear from the 9th century in the medieval Islamic world among Persians and Arabs, which was generally more advanced than medieval Europe at the time. The Arabs venerated Greco-Roman culture and learning, and translated tens of thousands of texts into Arabic for further study. As a trading culture, the Arab travellers had access to plant material from distant places such as China and India. Herbals, medical texts and translations of the classics of antiquity filtered in from east and west. Muslim botanists and Muslim physicians significantly expanded on the earlier knowledge of materia medica. For example, al-Dinawari described more than 637 plant drugs in the 9th century, and Ibn al-Baitar described more than 1,400 different plants, foods and drugs, over 300 of which were his own original discoveries, in the 13th century. The experimental scientific method was introduced into the field of materia medica in the 13th century by the Andalusian-Arab botanist Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, the teacher of Ibn al-Baitar. Al-Nabati introduced empirical techniques in the testing, description and identification of numerous materia medica, and he separated unverified reports from those supported by actual tests and observations. This allowed the study of materia medica to evolve into the science of pharmacology.

Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine (1025) lists 800 tested drugs, plants and minerals. Book Two is devoted to a discussion of the healing properties of herbs, including nutmeg, senna, sandalwood, rhubarb, myrrh, cinammon, and rosewater.[17] Baghdad was an important center for Arab herbalism, as was Al-Andalus between 800 and 1400. Abulcasis (936-1013) of Cordoba authored The Book of Simples, an important source for later European herbals, while Ibn al-Baitar (1197–1248) of Malaga authored the Corpus of Simples, the most complete Arab herbal which introduced 200 new healing herbs, including tamarind, aconite, and nux vomica. Other pharmacopoeia books include that written by Abu-Rayhan Biruni in the 11th century[citation needed] and Ibn Zuhr (Avenzoar) in the 12th century (and printed in 1491), The origins of clinical pharmacology also date back to the Middle Ages in Avicenna's The Canon of Medicine, Peter of Spain's Commentary on Isaac, and John of St Amand's Commentary on the Antedotary of Nicholas. In particular, the Canon introduced clinical trials, randomized controlled trials, and efficacy tests.

Alongside the university system, folk medicine continued to thrive. The continuing importance of herbs for the centuries following the Middle Ages is indicated by the hundreds of herbals published after the invention of printing in the fifteenth century. Theophrastus’ Historia Plantarum was one of the first books to be printed, but Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica, Avicenna's Canon of Medicine and Avenzoar's pharmacopoeia were not far behind.

People on all continents have used hundreds to thousands of indigenous plants for treatment of ailments since prehistoric times. Medicinal herbs were found in the personal effects of Ötzi the Iceman, whose body was frozen in the Swiss Alps for more than 5,300 years. These herbs appear to have been used to treat the parasites found in his intestines. Anthropologists theorize that animals evolved a tendency to seek out bitter plant parts in response to illness.

Indigenous healers often claim to have learned by observing that sick animals change their food preferences to nibble at bitter herbs they would normally reject. Field biologists have provided corroborating evidence based on observation of diverse species, such as chimpanzees, chickens, sheep and butterflies. Lowland gorillas take 90% of their diet from the fruits of Aframomum melegueta, a relative of the ginger plant, that is a potent antimicrobial and apparently keeps shigellosis and similar infections at bay.

Researchers from Ohio Wesleyan University found that some birds select nesting material rich in antimicrobial agents which protect their young from harmful bacteria.

Sick animals tend to forage plants rich in secondary metabolites, such as tannins and alkaloids. Since these phytochemicals often have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antihelminthic properties, a plausible case can be made for self-medication by animals in the wild.

Some animals have digestive systems especially adapted to cope with certain plant toxins. For example, the koala can live on the leaves and shoots of the eucalyptus, a plant that is dangerous to most animals. A plant that is harmless to a particular animal may not be safe for humans to ingest. A reasonable conjecture is that these discoveries were traditionally collected by the medicine people of indigenous tribes, who then passed on safety information and cautions.

The use of herbs and spices in cuisine developed in part as a response to the threat of food-borne pathogens. Studies show that in tropical climates where pathogens are the most abundant, recipes are the most highly spiced. Further, the spices with the most potent antimicrobial activity tend to be selected. In all cultures vegetables are spiced less than meat, presumably because they are more resistant to spoilage

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Comment Wall


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Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on May 7, 2010 at 10:02pm
Most people have lost their understanding of what the trees teach us. When trees are left to live out their lives they teach us order, submission to the Creator and patience.

We had fires in our day. New growth would come beginning with the aspen. The aspen would live a few years and then fall to the ground. When it decayed it added nutrients to Mother Earth the next generation of trees would need to survive and the semi-hardwoods would come. They would survive and then fall to the earth having provided nutrients during their lives and in their decaying. Then the great hardwoods would come like the giant white pines, hemlocks, oaks and silver maples. These tree's roots would grow deep and cover a wide area strengthening the earth's surface, taking nutrients from the earth and returning nutrients to the earth.

The leaf bearing trees take need the breath we exhale and give us oxygen in return.

The earth is drying out because men are removing the great rainforests. The lust for money is more important than human life now. Our great forests are nearly gone and the results are that you see more people carrying oxygen to breath. Their lungs have been damaged by the pollution in the air.

We have seasons of growth. We need the sun and Grandmother Moon. We need the winter snows, the spring rain and the summer heat. We need the fall to remind us that there is a time of harvest when we are to gather the things we need for the winter season.

We need to remember that the trees were created to remind us of how our lives should be. It is one of the lessons the Creator intended for us so that we would understand our places in the universe. We are not greater than creation...just a part.
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on April 14, 2010 at 12:41pm
* Aconite is for shooting pains, tingling, numbness, burning, and swelling in the hands and feet.
* Belladonna is best for pain that comes on suddenly, especially with redness. Pains shoot along hips, back, and thighs.
* Cantharsis is indicated if the soles of the feet tingle and burn.
* Fer Phos will be best to treat burning and pain in the shoulder with swelling in the hands.
* Mag Phos will often stop muscle spasms and cramping.
* Hypericum will soothe neuralgia and pains in the toes, fingers, and limbs.

* Harmonize Naturelle is a combination of essential oils, herbs, and vitamin E that is massaged into the skin.
* Cayenne has been used with some success as an external treatment for neuropathic pain.
* St. John's Wort is being used with promising results to relieve nerve pain.
* Skullcap is soothing to the entire nervous system. Take fifteen drops of skullcap tincture in a glass of water three to six times a day or as needed for pain relief.
* Vitamin B-6 deficiency can worsen or even cause neuropathic pain. Take 100 mgs of B-6 per day but do not go over that dose. This vitamin is most effective when taken in conjunction with a B vitamin complex.
* Evening Primrose oil can help stop nerve damage and keep neuropathy from getting worse.
* Magnesium can be taken in two doses of 800 mgs each. It helps soothe nerves and calm the system.
* Acupuncture has relieved pain for some people.
* Exercise is important. As strange as it may seem, light activity helps keep blood flowing and your body in the best condition to handle neuropathy.
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on April 1, 2010 at 2:06pm
Rue is one the most ancient herbs that have been used throw out the history. In old Persia where today it's called Iran this magical herb was used during the time of King Cyrus when the religion of Zoroastrianism was respected. The dry seeds of this wonderful magical herb was mainly used to get rid of evil and harms. As some of the practice of Zoroastrianism been passed on the Muslims in Iran still burn this ancient herb during the weddings and other occasions .
Comment by Dept of PMM Artists & things on January 23, 2010 at 11:46am
good for a group picture

Comment by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler on October 18, 2009 at 11:51am
Butcher's Broom
Scientific names: Ruscus aculeatus

Common names: Butcher's broom also is known as box holly, knee holly, pettigree, sweet broom, and Jew's myrtle.

Efficacy rating:

●●●...Positive clinical trials

Safety rating:
●...No safety concerns despite wide use.
What is Butcher's Broom?

Butcher's broom is a low-growing common evergreen shrub. It is widely distributed, from Iran to the Mediterranean and the southern United States. The plant develops edible shoots that are similar to asparagus in form. Butcher's broom has tough, erect, striated stems with false thorny leaves. The name of this plant should not be confused with broom (Cytisus scoparius) or Spanish broom (Spartium junceum).
What is Butcher's Broom used for?
Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

R. aculeatus was given its common name, butcher's broom, because its stiff twigs were bound together and used by butchers in Europe to keep their cutting boards clean. The plant has a long history of use. More than 2000 years ago, it was noted as a laxative, diuretic, and a phlebotherapeutic (beneficial to veins) agent. Extracts, decoctions, and poultices have been used throughout the ages, but the medicinal use of this plant did not become common until the last century. Early investigations during the 1950s indicated that extracts of butcher's broom could induce vasoconstriction and therefore might have use in the treatment of circulatory diseases. The increasing popularity of natural and herbal remedies in Europe in the 1970s reaffirmed its position in modern medicine. Novel uses for this plant have included its use as an anti-inflammatory agent and to prevent atherosclerosis.
Venous conditions

A variety of compounds have been isolated from butcher's broom. The 2 primary active saponin compounds are ruscogenin and neoruscogenin. Butcher's broom is the active component in several produce formulations and topical treatments for venous diseases and venous insufficiency, such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Limited results showing some promise from clinical trials are available. The German Commission E approves oral use for supportive therapy for discomforts of chronic venous insufficiency and complaints of hemorrhoids. Butcher's broom also may be useful for orthostatic hypotension, although data is limited.
Other uses

Novel modern uses for this plant have included its use as an anti-inflammatory agent and to prevent atherosclerosis. The discovery of new pharmacological activity of butcher's broom, particularly as a cytotoxic agent, demonstrate the need for continued research on butcher's broom.

Butcher's broom has been used in many forms as a laxative, diuretic, treatment for circulatory disease, and cytotoxic agent, although limited results from clinical trials are available.
What is the dosage of Butcher's Broom?

Butcher's broom has been used in clinical trials for chronic venous insufficiency standardized to 7 to 11 mg of ruscogenin. Hesperidin methyl chalcone also has been used as a marker for standardization in the product Cyclo 3 Fort. Extracts have been dosed at 16 mg daily for chronic phlebopathy, while a topical cream formulation was used to apply 64 to 96 mg of extract daily.
Is Butcher's Broom safe?

Contraindications have not yet been identified.

Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking. Avoid use.

None well documented.
Side Effects

No adverse reactions have been reported.

Not known to be toxic.


1. Butcher's Broom. Review of Natural Products. factsandcomparisons4.0 [online]. 2006. Available from Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Accessed April 16, 2007.

Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health
Comment by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler on October 15, 2009 at 9:52pm

Comment by Rev. Allen M. Drago ~ Traveler on October 15, 2009 at 9:51pm

Comment by shysmoke on October 14, 2009 at 10:04am
this looks to be a wonderfull group to be in. i will add to it when i i can as i am studing wiccan now.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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