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 Premodern Herbal Medicines and Treatments

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Lindi
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PostSubject: Premodern Herbal Medicines and Treatments   Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:39 am


An Introduction to Premodern Herbal Medicine
By Jewelclaw of the RPG-D


Alecost or Costmary (Chrysanthemum balsamita) - Used as a wound ointment
Anise (Pimpinella anisum) - The seeds were used to treat gas and to induce sweating, as well as in sweets and candies.

Borage (Borago officinalis) - Used to flavour wine and cordials, borage also has antidepressant qualities.

Calamus, aka Sweet Flag (Acorus Calamus) - The rushes of sweet flag were strewn on the floors of medieval houses; the roots were dried and ground for use in body powders.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) - Muscle relaxant (cramps) diaphoretic (prevents excessive sweating), stimulant.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) - Used in cooking, including soups and meats as well as candies and cookies.
Cloves (Syzyium aromaticum) - Used in cooking and as an antiseptic and painkiller.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale ) - Demulcent, mild astringent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory.
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) - The seeds were used for cooking and to deter fevers.
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile, or Anthemis nobilis; German chamomile Matricaria chamomilla) - Used in hand washing waters and for headaches, anti-inflammatory, calming, helps with sleep. Lawns and garden seats were planted with chamomile, for it 'smells the sweeter for being trodden on'.
Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) - Used to treat urinary tract infections
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) - Used in cooking and to treat flatulence.

Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) - Helps prevent water retention, antiviral, diuretic, astringent, anti inflammatory, help with cold symptoms

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium) - Used as an abortificant, hysteria, dewormer, cure for headaches
Flax (Linum usitatissium) - The plants of flax make linen, and the seeds cooked in water made a laxative and invalid's porridge; a flax seed, placed in the eye, helped remove foreign bodies because of the mucilage it exudes.
Frankincense (Boswellia Thurifera) - Can be ingested to help with digestion and healthy skin, arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening the female hormone system and purifying the air against harmful germs. When burned it repels mosquitoes, and thus prevents mosquito borne illnesses.

Garlic (Allium sativum) - Treats jaundice, as well as treats minor infections and promotes healing of minor scrapes and burns.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) - Used in food, including gingerbread, cakes, meats and side dishes. Its warmth was used medicinally to treat stomach problems, and as a remedy for the plague.

Honey - Used both in food, drink and also for antibacterial and wound healing.
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) - Horehound cough syrups and drinks were prescribed for chesty and head-colds and coughs.

Lavender (Lavendula officinalis, Lavendula vera, Lavendula spica, Lavendula stoechas) - The dried flowers were used in food and in refreshing washes for headaches; a cap with lavender flowers quilted in it kept headaches at bay. Used extensively in baths, as a personal scent and as a moth repellent. Also thought to cure epilepsy and all other matters of the head and brain.
Lemon Balm aka Melissa (Melissa officinalis) - A food, a furniture polish, and as a charm for bees and an aid against melancholy.

Marjoram (Origanum maiorana) - Used in cooking, in spiced wine (hypocras) -, in brewing beer, and in medicines to 'comfort' the stomach. Can also be used as a clothing dye, making a reddish brown color.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria, Spiraea ulmaria) - Used for a variety of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial purposes due to presence of salicylic acid. Effective for fevers and inflammations, pain relief, ulcers and is a bacteriostatic agent (prevents growth of bacteria).
Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) - Used in liver tonics, treats jaundice
Mint (Mentha species) - Possibly the most versatile of herbs, mint was heavily used in food and medicine. Mint vinegar was used as a mouthwash; mint sauce restored the appetite. It cured all stomach ailments as well as weakness, squeamishness, loss of appetite, pain, and vomiting, as well as headaches and in treating venomous bites and wounds.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) - A charm for travelers and used in foot ointments; also used in treating women's ailments.
Mustard (Brassica nigra, and Sinapis alba) - Used to make sauces, the seeds and greens are very nutritious. The oil from the seeds can be used in massages and has anti-inflammatory properties, also helps with asthma.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) - Used as an antiseptic on wounds and as a mouthwash.

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) - Improves digestion

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) - Used to treat minor infections.

Roses (Rosa species) - Red roses were made into cordials and conserves (jellies) to restore the strength, while all varieties were used in perfumes as well as eaten.
Rose hips (Rosa species) – The fruit of the rose plant it is used as an anti-inflammatory, nutritive (very high in vitamin C) diuretic, laxative.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) - An all-purpose medicine; used as a face wash/astringent, guarded against nightmares, cleaning teeth. Rosemary was burned as an incense to kill or prevent infection, including the plague.
Rue (Ruta graveolens) - Used to treat venomous bites, and poor eyesight, also keeps away insects and 'noxious vapors'.

Saffron (Crocus sativus) - Used to treat infections as well as cooking and as a clothing dye
Sage (Salvia officinalis) - A general all around herb it 'Cleans out' the system, also used as an astringent and disinfectant, as well as helping female troubles. Helps coughs and sore throats, and is said to improve memory and improve the senses.
Spurge, Garden (Euphorbia hirta) – The milk of the plant cures warts as well as a purgative
Spurge, Greater – Oil from the seeds kills lice as well as a purgative
St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) - Helps heal bruises and cuts, reduces swelling and promotes healing, also helps with venomous bites.

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) – Helps prevent miscarriage, expectorant, helps with urine and kidney troubles, treats worms.
Thyme (Thymus species) - Used in cooking, and in baths and as an astringent. Burned as to fumigate against infection and venomous creatures as well as scent sacrifices. Used to help 'female complaints' as well as to improve the skin.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) - Regulates a woman's cycle, promotes sleep, cures headaches, prevents gas, expectorant.

Willow bark (Salix alba) - The active ingredient in Aspirin, is used for anti-inflammatory, pain relief, as well as fever reducer.

Yarrow, or Achillea (Achillea millefolium) - Used to treat headaches and wounds, especially battle wounds, and the bite of mad dogs. Antiseptic, antibacterial, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), hypoglycemic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, emmenagogue

-----
Sources Consulted:
Wikipedia
Culpeper's Complete Herbal
Gallowglass


DISCLAIMER
The information contained in this guide is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this guide to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with your physician.
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Lindi
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PostSubject: Re: Premodern Herbal Medicines and Treatments   Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:39 am




Herbal Treatments, Remedies, and Poisons
By Heatherbee of RPG-D

Treatments
  • Tincture – alcoholic extract of an herb; made by mixing pure ethanol (or ethanol and water) with an herb.
  • Elixir – alcoholic extract of an herb; made by steeping an herb in a spirit.
  • Tisanes – hot-water extract of an herb.
  • Decoctions – hot-water extract of root or bark.
  • Macerates – cold infusion of plants; requires 7-12 hours soaking.
  • Vinegars – alcoholic extract of an herb.
  • Essential oils - diluted oil extracts
  • Salves, oils, balms, creams, and lotions – herbs soaked in essential oils for weeks or months.
  • Poultices and compresses – crushed, dried, and rehydrated herbs applied to bandages.
  • Whole herb consumption – dried herbs, powders, or juices taken in the diet.
  • Syrups – herb extract mixed with honey, boiled, and steeped for 3 weeks.
  • Inhalation (Aromatherapy) – herbal vapor created by boiling in water.

Remedies & Uses1
  • Aloe Vera – burns
  • Artichoke – heart disease
  • Basil – digestive tract
  • Black raspberry – oral diseases
  • Black Walnut – worms/parasitic infection
  • Blackberry – cosmetic
  • Butterbur – sore throat
  • Boswellia – bone/joint pain
  • Caffeine – stamina
  • Calendula – anti-infection
  • Chamomile – digestive tract
  • Citronella – insect repellant
  • Comfrey – skin/muscle wounds
  • Cranberry – urinary tract
  • Cumin – anti-inflammatory
  • Dandelion – liver, gallbladder, kidney disease
  • Echinacea – respiratory infection
  • Elderberry – respiratory infection
  • Eucalyptus – breathing problems
  • Eyebright – eye infections
  • Fennel – digestive tract
  • Feverfew – migraines
  • Flaxseed – menopause
  • Garlic – antibiotic
  • Ginger – nausea
  • Ginseng – immunity
  • Green tea – scars
  • Hawthorn – heart disease
  • Hibiscus – hypertension
  • Honey – wounds
  • Horsetail – skin wounds
  • Ivy – digestive tract, respiratory infection, insecticide
  • Juniper – skin disease
  • Lavender – anxiety
  • Lemon grass – heart disease
  • Lobelia – anti-poison (induce nausea)
  • Milk Thistle – liver
  • Myrrh – embalming, bleed wounds
  • Oregano – antibiotic
  • Pawpaw – insecticide
  • Peppermint – bowels
  • Pokeweed – throat diseases
  • Primrose – heart disease
  • Psyllium – bowels
  • Rauvolfia – insomnia, anxiety
  • Red Pepper – pain
  • Rose hips – skeletal/muscular pain
  • Soy – menopause
  • Skull cap – sedative
  • Stinging nettle – pain, anti-inflammatory
  • Sweetleaf – diabetes
  • Thyme – anti-fungal
  • Valerian root – insomnia
  • White Willow bark – pain

Poisons & Symptoms2
  • Aconite – numbness, nausea, trouble breathing, giddiness, death, mind remains clear
  • Belladonna – see Nightshade
  • Bloodroot – burning in the stomach, intense thirst, vomiting, vertigo
  • Cabbage Tree – vomiting, fever, delirium, death (especially with cold water)
  • Calabar Bean – lowers blood pressure, death
  • Dropwort – paralysis
  • Foxglove – cardiac arrest, death
  • Gelsemium – slowed respiration, death
  • Hellebore – vomiting, pulse irregular, shallow breathing, death
  • Hemlock – paralysis, depressed respiration, death, mind remains clear
  • Nightshade – loss of voice, frequent bending forward, continual movements of the hands and fingers, pupils dilated, death.
  • Spurges – delirium, death
  • Thornapple – dryness of the throat and mouth


1 This is a partial list only. More herbs can be found by following the links below.
2 Most poisons are used in Healing. It is overdose or prolonged use that causes damage or death.

Sources Consulted
------
Wikipedia
Herbal Remedy Info
PubLix
A Modern Herbal
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