Almond Sweet almond oil makes a nourishing ingredient in cosmetics. Ground
almonds can be used as a gentle cleansing facial scrub.
Aloe Used by the Native Americans of the south-west of North America against wrinkles
and baldness. The juice of a cut leaf soothes burns and bites.
Basil Its strong scent, valued by monks in India as an aid to meditation, repels
some insects. Infusions may relieve certain types of headache.
Cider vinegar Praised since ancient times for its many medicinal virtues. Reputed
to increase energy and help sleep. Added to a bath, it can relieve skin itchiness.
Chamomile An infusion of flowers is soothing for insomnia and toothache.
Sweet-smelling chamomile lawns were once widespread. Chamomile flowers are used as an
excellent nerve sedative where digestion is a problem. The oil makes a good hair
conditioner and chamomile rinses lighten blonde hair.
Clove Employed by the Chinese as a breath freshener. Clove oil has antiseptic
properties and is used to help relieve toothache and nausea.
Comfrey Sometimes known as knitback through its reputation for helping to mend broken
bones. A healing herb that can be used in creams and poultices. The leaves and root are
mainly used externally on wounds, bruises and swellings. Internally, freshly brewed tea is
an effective cough mixture and can be taken for diarrhoea.
Cornflower is used in the preparation of a decoction, used as an eyewash against
conjunctivitis, an infusion of the plant provides a cough mixture.
Elder A favourite of the early Saxons for colds and influenza. The berries act as a
laxative and diuretic. Elderberry wine induces a healthy sleep.
Garlic Used worldwide since the days of ancient Egypt for a host of illnesses
including earache, low blood pressure and diarrhoea. Garlic has antiseptic and stimulant
Ginseng Believed to promote youth and long life: considered an aphrodisiac in some
parts of Asia. In wide use as an appetiser and mild stimulant.
Honey A mild sedative and a quick source of energy. Applied externally, honey is
soothing and nourishing to the skin.
Horseradish stimulates digestion and has a strong diuretic effect. It is rich in
Vitamin C and encourages the expectoration of mucus.
Juniper berries stimulate the appetite, improve the body's ability to digest fatty
foods and have a diuretic effect as well as many germicidal qualities.
Lanolin An extract from sheep's wool. Anhydrous (waterless) lanolin is good for dry
skin and is a useful ingredient in many cleansing creams.
Lavender leaves and flowers are used to make a tea taken for headaches and nervous
distress. The strong antiseptic oil may be used to treat wounds, ulcers and sores.
Lemon Balm Melissa tea helps promote relaxation and good sleep. Also a remedy for
feverish complaints, vomiting and menstrual pain.
Maidenhair makes an effective hair tonic and is widely used in shampoos, also in
Marigold is used in a healing ointment on cuts to stop bleeding and induce healing.
Marshmallow A remedy for coughs, hoarseness, bronchitis and is also used in
coughdrops, mouthwashes and cosmetics.
Onion is a good preventative for colds. It is a diuretic and alleviates intestinal
discomfort. Onion helps to keep down the amount of fat in the blood. Cut near the root and
put on a bee sting onion will neutralise the poison.
Peppermint relieves all forms of sickness, flatulence and indigestion. It is used
in combination with elder and yarrow for colds. Peppermint oil is used externally as a rub
for topical pains, neuralgia and headache.
Raspberry A powerful astringent, it can be used as a mouthwash and to clean wounds
and ulcers. Raspberry leaf is given to pregnant women to improve muscle tone and promote
Red Clover is used as a sedative and to clear up nervous coughs. It is a general
nervine, rich in calcium, and a milk stimulant for nursing mothers.
Rosemary Used by the Romans to improve memory. Applied as an infusion, it helps
remove dandruff and increase hair lustre.
Rosewater Long believed to promote and maintain a youthful skin, it makes a useful
moisturising ingredient for face creams and masks.
Sage is a circulatory tonic, a digestive and an antiseptic. It is used in
toothpastes, as a gargle for inflamed mouths and throats, and as a lotion improves the
condition of hair and skin.
Tansy may be used to rid the body of worms. It is also a heart stimulant,
strengthens veins and can be used as a liver tonic. (Caution: use carefully as it can be
Wild Strawberry leaf tea is a good blood purifier and diuretic. The strawberries
have a large content of minerals and Vitamin C. Pulped fruit makes a lovely face mask.
Yarrow tea induces perspiration and is excellent for influenza and heavy chest
colds. It is a herb used a lot in blood purifying compounds.