Herb Blurb

Herb Blurb

The bilberry bush is a relative of the blueberry and is native to many areas, including the Rocky Mountains and regions of Europe and Asia. Its berries and leaves have been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages for a variety of conditions, including diarrhea, scurvy, infections, burns, and…
Ginkgo, one of the oldest living tree species in the world, has a long history in traditional Chinese medicine. Members of the royal court were given ginkgo nuts for senility. Other historical uses for gingko were for asthma, bronchitis, and kidney and bladder disorders. Today, the extract from ginkgo leaves…
Green, black, and oolong teas all come from the same plant, camellia sinensis, but are prepared using different methods. To produce green tea, fresh leaves from the plant are lightly steamed. Tea has been used for medicinal purposes in China and Japan for thousands of years. Current uses of green…
There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to North America. They were used by Native Americans of the Great Plains region as traditional medicines. Echinacea is used as a dietary supplement for the common cold and other infections, based on the idea that it might…
The herb peppermint, a cross between two types of mint (water mint and spearmint), grows throughout Europe and North America. Peppermint is often used to flavor foods, and the leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas. Today, peppermint oil is used as a folk or traditional remedy for…
The leaves and fruit of the grape have been used medicinally since ancient Greece. Today, grape seed extract is used as a folk or traditional remedy for conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and poor circulation;…
The acai palm tree, native to tropical Central and South America, produces a reddish-purple berry. The acai berry’s name, which comes from a language of the native people of the region, means “fruit that cries.” The acai berry has long been an important food source for indigenous peoples of the…
Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers learned of passionflower in Peru. Native peoples of the Americas used passionflower for boils, wounds, earaches and liver problems. Today, passionflower is used as a dietary supplement for anxiety, stress and sleep, as well as for heart ailments, asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, burns, and hemorrhoids. Passionflower is…
This fact sheet provides basic information about noni—common names, what the science says, potential side effects and cautions, and resources for more information. Noni is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows throughout the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean, from Southeast Asia to Australia. Noni has a history…
Dandelion greens are edible and are a rich source of vitamin A. Dandelion has been used in many traditional medical systems, including Native American and traditional Arabic medicine. Historically, dandelion was most commonly used to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems. Less commonly, dandelion was used to treat…
The ginkgo tree is one of the oldest types of trees in the world. Ginkgo seeds have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and cooked seeds are occasionally eaten. Historically, ginkgo leaf extract has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, including asthma,…
Cinnamon bark is used to make powders, capsules, teas, and liquid extracts. Although there are many kinds of cinnamon, Ceylon cinnamon (sometimes referred to as “true” cinnamon) and cassia cinnamon (also known as Chinese cinnamon) are the most familiar. What the science says High-quality clinical evidence (i.e., studies in people)…
Like peas and beans, red clover belongs to the family of plants called legumes. Red clover contains phytoestrogens — compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen. Historically, red clover has been used for cancer and respiratory problems, such as whooping cough, asthma and bronchitis. Currently, red clover is used as…
Garlic is the edible bulb from a plant in the lily family. It has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years. Garlic’s most common folk or traditional uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Other folk…
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