- WILD CHERRY BARK Action: Anti-tussive, expectorant, astringent, nervine, anti-spasmodic. Due to its powerful sedative action on the cough reflex, Wild Cherry Bark finds its main use in the treatment of irritating coughs and thus has a role in the treatment of bronchitis and whooping cough. It can be used with other herbs in the control of asthma. It must be remembered, however, that the inhibition of a cough does not equate with the healing of a chest infection, which will still need to be treated. It may also be used as a bitter where digestion is sluggish. The cold infusion of the bark may be helpful as a wash in cases of inflammation of the eyes. Priest & Priest say it is a “mild, soothing, stimulating astringent: tonic expectorant for acute irritable coughs, quietens nervous irritability and relieves arterial excitement. Sedative for conditions of prolonged irritation.” They give the following specific indications: chronic bronchitis with debility. Catarrhal dyspepsia, weak digestion in the elderly. Chronic diarrhoea, Weak throat, Ophthalmia. Ellingwood recommends it for: chronic coughs, phthisis, palpitations & dyspepsia.
- WILD INDIGO Actions: Anti-microbial, anti-catarrhal. Indications: Wild Indigo is a herb to be considered whenever there is a focused infection. It is especially useful in the treatment of infections and catarrh in the ear, nose and throat. It may be used for laryngitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and catarrhal infections of the nose and sinus. Taken both internally and as a mouthwash it will heal mouth ulcers, gingivitis and help in the control of pyorrhea. Systemically it may be helpful in the treatment of enlarged and inflamed lymph glands (lymphadenitis) and also to reduce fevers. Externally an ointment will help infected ulcers and ease sore nipples. A douche of the decoction will help leucorrhoea. Ellingwood has lot to say about this neglected remedy: “The agent has been widely used for many years by our practitioners in the treatment of typhoid conditions, and has established its position as an important remedy. It has an apparent dynamic influence upon the glandular structure of the intestinal canal, directly antagonizing disease influences here and re-enforcing the character of the blood, prevents the destruction of the red corpuscles and carries off waste material. In malignant tonsillitis and diphtheritic laryngitis it has been long used with excellent results. In phagedena with gangrenous tendencies wherever located, it has exercised a markedly curative influence. It is useful in dysentery where there is offensive breath and fetid discharges of a dark prune juice character. In scarlet fever, with its specific indications, it is a useful remedy. Large doses are not necessary, but it should be employed early and the use persisted in. In the treatment of low fevers this agent is said to exercise marked sedative power over the fever. Homeopathic physicians prescribe it to control the fever. There is no doubt that in proportion as the cause of the fever is destroyed, the temperature abates. Any inhibitory influence directly upon the heart and circulation cannot be attributed to it, yet it soothes cerebral excitement to a certain extent, having a beneficial influence upon delirium. “It is advised in all diseases of the glandular system, and in hepatic derangements especially, with symptoms of the character. In the various forms of stomatitis, putrid sore throat and scarlatina; in inflammation of the bowels, where there is a tendency to typhoid conditions, especially ulcerative inflammation of any of the internal organs; in dyspepsia, with great irritability and offensive decomposition of food; in scrofula and in cutaneous infections, the agent should be long continued. In the long protracted and sluggish forms of fevers, with great depression of the vital forces; in ulceration of the nipples or mammary glands, or of the cervix uteri, it is spoken highly of. There is a dynamic influence exercised by Baptisia upon the entire glandular structure of the body, more particularly upon the intestinal glands. This influence directly reinforces the blood in its effort to throw off the disease and restore normal conditions. It is because of this influence that it is of value in typhoid. “Dr. Hainey says that in whatever condition the patient complains of difficult respiration, where the lungs feel compressed, where the patient cannot lie down because of fear of suffocation, if he sleeps, he has found Baptize in small doses every hour positively curative. He got this suggestion from a homeopathist and he has prove it to be reliable. “Others have found typhoid cases with the characteristic symptoms, where the brain seems to be overwhelmed with toxins, where the patient has times where the breathing is rapid or panting, alternated with slow respiration, in which this remedy is very prompt. The condition may also be present in diphtheria, and in the so-called black measles or other highly infectious disorders. “It will thus be seen that the agent is properly classed among the alteratives, as its alterative properties stand first, but its pronounced tonic influence will be quickly observed. It overcomes weariness “that tired feeling,” produces a sense of vigor & general improved tone and well-being.” Combinations: For the treatment of infections it may be used with Echinacea and Myrrh. For lymphatic problems it can be combined with Cleavers and Poke Root.
- WILD YAM Constituents: Steroidal saponins, based on diosgenin: dioscin, dioscorin, and others. Actions: Anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory , anti-rheumatic, hepatic, cholagogue, diaphoretic. Indications: This valuable herb was at one time the sole source of the chemicals that were used as the raw materials for contraceptive hormone manufacture. In herbal medicine Wild Yam is a remedy that can be used to relieve intestinal colic, to soothe diverticulitis, ease dysmenorrhoea and ovarian and uterine pains. It is of great use in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, especially the acute phase where there is intense inflammation. Priest & Priest tell us that it is a “autonomic nerve relaxant, especially for gastro-intestinal conditions, vegetative neuroses and hyperaesthesiae. Rheumatic syndromes arising from hepatic and intestinal dysfunction.” They give the following specific indications: Bilious colic, flatulence, gastro-intestinal irritation. Neuralgic conditions. Dysmenorrhoea, uterine pains. Nervousness. Restlessness and pains of pregnancy. Ellingwood considered it specific for “sudden spasmodic griping pain in the stomach and bowels. It is specific in bilious colic, in the pain of the passing of gall stones, in mild cases, and is valuable in spasmodic colic of any kind.” In addition he recommends it for the following patholgies: Neuralgic dysmenorrhoea, ovarian neuralgia, cramp-like pains. Combinations: To relieve intestinal colic it may be combined with Calamus, Chamomile and Ginger. For rheumatoid arthritis it may be used with Black Cohosh.
- WILLOW Actions: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, tonic. Willow is an ancient remedy which has been used in various forms for rheumatism and gout, fevers and aches and pains of all kinds. It is usually considered to be the natural form and origin of the modern aspirin.
- WITCH HAZEL Actions: Astringent, anti-inflammatory. Indications: This herb can be found in most households in the form of distilled Witch Hazel. It is the most applicable and easy to use astringent for common usage. As with all astringents, this herb may be used wherever there has been bleeding, both internally or externally. It is especially useful in the easing of haemorrhoids. It has a deserved reputation in the treatment of bruises and inflamed swellings, also with varicose veins. Witch Hazel will control diarrhoea and aid in the easing of dysentary. Priest & Priest tell us that it is a “mild, diffusive, cleansing astringent. Passive haemorrhages of pulmonary, gastro-intestinal, and genital organs. Bruised soreness of affected parts, especially from relaxed conditions. Venous congestion, atony or laxity.” They give the following specific indications: Diarrhoea and dysentary. Protruding, bleeding haemorrhoids. Vulval bruising after childbirth. Vaginal laxity with tenderness, inflamed sore throat, varicose veins, sore and bloodshot eyes. Combinations: For the easing of haemorrhoids it will combine well with Pilewort.
- WOOD BETONY Actions: Nervine, bitter. Indications: Betony gently tones and strengthens the nervous system whilst also has a relaxing action. If finds uses in nervous debility associated with anxiety and tension, it will ease headaches and neuralgia when they are of nervous origin, but especially those caused by hypertension. Combinations: For the treatment of nervous headache it combines well with Skullcap. In hypertensive headaches use in combination with appropriate hypotensives.
- WORMWOOD Actions: Bitter, carminative, anti-microbial, anthelmintic. Indications: Traditionally, Wormwood has been used in a wide range of conditions, most of which have been vindicated by analysis of the herb. It is primarily used as a bitter and therefore has the effect of stimulating and invigorating the whole of the digestive process. It may be used where there is indigestion, especially when due to a deficient quantity or quality of gastric juice. It is a powerful remedy in the treatment of worm infestations, especially roundworm and pinworm. It may also be used to help the body deal with fever and infections. Due to the general tinic action it will be of benefit in many diverse conditions because it benefits the body in general.
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- YARROW Actions: Diaphoretic, hypotensive, astringent, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, anti-microbial, bitter, hepatic. Indications: Yarrow is one of the best diaphoretic herbs and is a standard remedy for aiding the body to deal with fevers. It lowers blood pressure due to a dilation of the peripheral vessels. It stimulates the digestion and tones the blood vessels. As a urinary antiseptic it is indicated in infections such as cystitis. Used externally it will aid in the healing of wounds. It is considered to be a specific in thrombotic conditions associated with hypertension. Combinations: For fevers it will combine well with Elder Flower, Peppermint, Boneset and with Cayenne and Ginger. For raised blood pressure it may be used with Hawthorn, Linden Flowers and European Mistletoe.
- YELLOW DOCK Actions: Alterative, laxative, hepatic, cholagogue, tonic. Indications: Yellow Dock is used extensively in the treatment of chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis. The anthraquinones present have a markedly cathartic action on the bowel, but in this herb they act in a mild way, possibly tempered by the tannin content. Thus it makes a valuable remedy for constipation, working as it does in a much wider way than simply stimulating the gut muscles. It promotes the flow of bile and has that somewhat obscure action of being a “blood cleanser”. The action on the gall-bladder gives it a role in the treatment of jaundice when this is due to congestion. Priest and Priest tell us that it is a “general tonic alterative with special influence upon skin eruptions.” They give the following specific indications: simple deficiency anaemias. Eczema, psoriasis, urticaria, prurigo, itching haemorrhoids. Ellingwood considered that its “alterative properties are underestimated. It is a renal depurant and general alterative of much value when ulceration of mucous surfaces or disease of the skin resulting from impure blood. It acts directly in its restorative influence, purifying the blood, removing morbific material and quickly cures the disease conditions.” In addition he recommends it for the following patholgies: ulcerative stomatitis, nursing sore mouth, syphilis, scrofula, cancer, tuberculosis. Combinations: It will combine well with Dandelion, Burdock and Cleavers.
| Z |We have no herbs listed under the letter “Z” at this time.