Antirheumatic (external) – Cottonwood Bud oil can be used to ease inflammations due to rheumatism and arthritis.
Burns – The infused oil of Cottonwood buds lessens pain, keeps the surface of the burn antiseptic and stimulates skin regeneration.
Dermatological Aid – Cottonwood Bud oil works well for dry and scaly skin conditions such as psoriasis and dry eczema.
Constituents: Phenolic glycosides; salicin, populin (benzoyl salicin) and chrysin. Volatile oil, the major constituent of which is [[alpha]]-caryophyllene, with cineole, arcurcumene, bisabolene, farnesene, acetophenone, alkanes, resins, phenolic acids, gallic acid, tannins and other ubiquitous substances.
(Verbascum thapsus). 1/2 oz. dropper bottle. An infusion of mullein flowers in olive oil is excellent for treating earaches, ear infections and catarrhal deafness.
An infusion of mullein flowers in olive oil is excellent for treating earaches, ear infections and catarrhal deafness. Due to the flower's narcotic properties, the warmed oil greatly eases the pain of ear infections. Mullein oil is a very medicinal and valuable destroyer of disease germs. It is also used as a local application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane inflammations. This infusion is a strong antibacterial. The oil being used to treat gum and mouth ulcers is very effective.
Constituents: Aucubin (root), catalpol (plant), coumarin (leaf), crocetin (flower), flavonoids, heptaose (root), hesperidin (plant), mucilage (seed), nonaose (root), octaose (root), rotenone (leaf), saponins (plant), tannins, thapsic-acid (flower), verbascose (root), verbascoside (plant), verbasterol (plant), volatile oil (flower).
Closely related to the buttercup family, this plant has large, heavy, succulent, bronzed-colored flowers, three to four inches across, which hang from the ends of long stems. Several large divided leaves grow alternately on the stem. The leaflets are covered with a waxy coat. The fleshy, finger-like roots have an earthy scent. This is the only peony native to North America. It is found growing in sagebrush steppes.
Constituents: Monoterpene glycosides (paeoniflorin, albiflorin), asparagin, benzoic acid, triterpenoids.
Ingredients: Arnica flowers infused in olive oil.
CAUTION: Since internal use can cause irritation to the kidneys and digestive tract, take only homeopathic preparations orally. When using topically, do not use on broken skin.
Although many published herbals suggest using the entire plant, the flowers contain the most active constituents. Arnica is a perennial and it makes much more sense to pick flowers rather than destroying the whole plant. One of the rewards for such conservative harvesting is that the plants will often produce more flowers in the autumn!
Constituents: Sesquiterpene lactones, including the pseudoguanolide arnifolin, the arnicolides, helenalin, six-0-isobutyryl-tetrahydrohelenalin and two [[beta]]-ethoxy-6-0-isobutyryl-two, three-dihydrohelenalin; flavonoids including eupafolin, patuletin, spinacetin and aciniatin, plus methylated flavonoids including betuletol and hispidulin. Volatile oil, containing thymol and various ethers of thymol. Mucilage and polysaccharides. Miscellaneous resins including bitters (arnicin), tannins, and carotenes.
This perennial plant grows from a short, knobby root. The woolly stems are square and reach 1 ½ to 2 feet tall. The crinkled, fuzzy leaves grow opposite along the stem, each pair of leaves at right angles to the ones below. The tiny white flowers form balls below paired leaves. The seed heads mature into sticking burrs. The plant has a sharp, acrid scent when crushed. Horehound can be found growing wild throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. The herb prefers dry, sandy places, wastelands, vacant lots and abandoned fields. Leaves and flowering tops are gathered; they are best dried in the shade.
The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and can be used fresh or dried. Harvest by cutting back the plants to 3 inches above the ground.
Horehound takes its name from Horus, the Egyptian god of sky and light. In ancient Greece the herb was credited with curing the bite of mad dogs, and among the Hebrews, it was one of the ritual bitter herbs of Passover. In witchcraft, it is believed that Horehound has the power to break spells.
Constituents: Marrubiin, a diterpene lactone, with premarrubiin; diterpene alcohols; marruciol, marrubenol, sclareol, peregrinin, dihydroperegrinin; volatile oil, containing [[alpha]]-pinene, sabinene, limonene, camphene, p-cymol, [[alpha]]-terpinolene; alkaloids; traces of betonicine and its isomer turicine; miscellaneous; choline, alkanes, phytosterols, tanins etc.
Due to it's high berberine content Oregon Grape is similar in action to both Goldenseal and Goldthread. One of the root’s main uses is in the treatment of chronic and scaly skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Skin problems of this sort are often due to systemic causes within the body, in which case, Tincture of Oregon Grape is recommended. However, to relieve the external symptoms of psoriasis and eczema, the Infused Oregon Grape Oil can bring relief. It is also added to massage oils when working on and around scaly and patchy areas of the skin.
The leaves of this holly-like ground cover usually have seven to nine leaflets in pairs along a thin, tough stem. They are rough textured, wavy-margined with prickly edges, and darker green above than below. Some of the evergreen leaves turn red in the autumn. The blossoms are tight yellow clusters, which bloom in early spring. Both the stems and roots have a bright yellow pith and very bitter taste due to the presence of the alkaloid berberine. The flowers mature into tart bluish berries with a white “bloom.” Fruit matures in early summer. Never take a shovel after Oregon Grape roots, as you can do great harm to the colony from which you harvest the root. Rather, firmly grasp a plant and pull until the root breaks free. Roots are best gathered any time the plant is not in flower or fruiting. The fruits are harvested in late summer. One common name of Oregon Grape is Barberry and includes Mahonia aquilfolium, Mahonia repens, Mahonia nervosa, Mahonia pinnata, Mahonia vulgaris and other Mahonia species, which are used interchangeably.
Constituents: Alkaloids of the isoquinoline type; berberine, berbamine, hydrastine, oxycanthine.
Yarrow is often added to massage oils, such as jojoba, for application to stretch marks and small scars, greatly reducing their visibility with persistant use.
The pungently scented Yarrow has finely divided fern-like leaves and a flat-topped cluster of many small white flowers. The species grows in a diversity of habitats, flowering from June through September. The densely hairy plants average between ten and twenty inches tall, with leaves one to four inches long. The leaves and flowers are harvested from the Yarrow. I gather the leaves before the flowers bloom. Flowers are gathered when they are in bloom from late July through September in most areas.
Constituents: Essential oil (proazulene, borneol, camphor, cineole, eugenol, linalool, pinene, sabinene, thujone), isoValerianic acid, achillein, formic acid, salicylic acid, polyacetylenes, asparagin, sterols, glycoalkaloid (achhilleine), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, rutin, quercitin), coumarins, tannins.
(Usnea sp.)1 oz. brown glass bottle (Three month cold infusion of the fresh, ground Usnea lichen in virgin olive oil, strained and bottled). Infused Usnea Oil is used topically as an antibiotic and antifungal.
Constituents: Usnic acid, mucilage.
Usnea, also known as old man’s beard, is not a plant but lichen—a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus. The entire lichen is used. Usnea looks like long, fuzzy strings hanging from trees in North American and European forests, where it grows. This particular species of Usnea, common to our area, is medium-sized tufted shrub lichen, pale yellowish green in color. It is highly branched, bearing numerous short side branches, reinforced by a tough, white, central cord. Usnea grows over trees and shrubs, preferring old growth forest conifers in shady areas.
Usnea is very slow growing and therefore, should not be harvested off of living trees. It is best to take what is offered after a windstorm has blown down tree branches or what has naturally fallen to the ground. Europe has already depleted their resources for Usnea due to over harvesting.
Historic Notes: "Usnea" was the name given particularly to the moss or mildew that grew upon the skulls of the dead. Of particular value was that from the skull of a man who had been hanged, especially if 'hung in chains.' It was an important ingredient in the 'sympathetic ointment' with which the weapon that had produced a wound was anointed, for the purpose of curing the wound itself." [from Annals of the History of Medicine VI]. Usnea was reportedly used over 3,000 years ago in ancient Egypt, Greece, and China to treat infections.
Arrowleaf Balsamroots are large and bulbous with a deep main taproot and several side roots. They grow on rocky hillsides, anchoring their roots among the rocks. Be prepared to spend around thirty minutes digging one. Besides a good shovel and a pick, sharp pruning shears are helpful in extracting the root. Harvest the root in early spring just as leaves are appearing or in the autumn when the leaves have died back. After scrubbing the soil from the root, break the outer bark from the inner core with a hammer. The core can then be pulled apart into long thin strips. The outer bark and inner core are then tinctured together.
Constituents: Dihydroxy-cycloartenol (root), hydroxy-two-0-hexa-nor-cycloartenone (root), hydroxy-cycloartenol (root), hydroxy-cycloartenone (root), hydroxy-lanosterone (root), hydroxy-methyl-kaempferol (leaf), methoxy-kaempferol (leaf), beta-hydroxy, beta-acetoxy, alpha eudesmol (root), beta eudesmol (root), beta sellinene (root), betuletol (leaf), carissone (root), cinnamic acid, heptadeca-one-cis-8-diene (root), jaceidin (leaf), montarusin (plant), nonacos-one-ene (root), patuletin (leaf), spinacetin (leaf).
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