BORAGE is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe and northern Africa. Traditional uses include the treatment of jaundice, coughs, fever, dermatitis, and kidney ailments. It was also used by the Ancient Greeks to treat hangovers. Today borage oil is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, coronary dysfunction, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Borage contains phytoestrogens which have made it a traditional galactogogue and useful in balancing female hormones.
ALFALFA was given its name by Arabs and translates as "father of all foods." It originated in ancient Armenia and was first cultivated there around 4,000 years ago, spreading to Greece and Rome. It was said by Arabs and then the Romans to invigorate their horses and is still important today as a feed for livestock. It is now grown almost everywhere, being a remarkable plant which flourishes in a variety of climates. It has been used medicinally by the Chinese since the sixth century and treats many conditions including menopause.
BLUE VERVAIN is a native of North America and was highly regarded by various Native American tribes who used it to treat fever, colds, coughs and lung congestion. The Cherokee also used it as a remedy for bowel complaints, diarrhea and dysentery. More recently, Blue Vervain has seen use as an analgesic in earache and afterbirth pain, a natural tranquillizer, an anti-inflammatory, a diaphoretic, a depurative, a deobstruent for menstruation, a galactogogue, and a regulator of a woman's hormonal balance.
FENUGREEK is undoubtedly one of the oldest cultivated medicinal plants and in ancient times had a wide variety of medicinal uses. It was native to the Mediterranean area and was used by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, but today is cultivated in many parts of the world. The seeds are used medicinally and continue to be put to a wide variety of uses, leading to a reputation for great versatility. Fenugreek contains diosgenin which is known to help with progesterone balancing.
BARLEY is one of the most fundamental plants in human nutrition and has been known to man for more than 12,000 years. It was first cultivated in Ethiopia and South East Asia, and then in Egypt and Mesopotamia, and was the chief bread plant of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In its medicinal role, it was one of the remedies most used by Hyppocrate, the father of Western medicine, who strongly recommended it for the treatment of many acute illnesses. Decoction of barley is still known today as "Hyppocrate's tea."
MILK THISTLE is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, southern Russia, and northern Africa. It has a long history of use in European folk medicine as a liver tonic and as a remedy for snakebites. Today it is still used to improve liver function and to help with cirrhosis and other liver complaints induced by alcohol, drugs, or environmental toxins. It also serves as an antidote to mushroom poisoning and contains flavonoligans which help regulate the production of female hormones.
FENNEL was a renowned medicinal plant in ancient times and was believed to have magical properties. It appears prominently in the folklore of many countries and has been shown to possess diuretic, choleretic, pain reducing, fever reducing, appetite suppressing, and antimicrobial properties. Fennel is also known to improve digestion, help move waste material out of the body, and to help with lactation. Charlemagne was a great believer in fennel and in the year 812 he declared it to be essential in every imperial garden.
SOY is one of the world's most valued foods and also one of the most researched and written about. It contains isoflavones, genistein and daidzein, which appear to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in laboratory cultures. It contains phytoestrogens which may bind to pre-cancerous cells and inhibit their development, and also may help to prevent bone loss in menopausal women and lessen hot flashes, night sweats, breast tenderness, headaches and nausea. Soy is generally known to help with balancing the female system.
DOG ROSE is one of the many species of wild rose found in the countryside and is common throughout Europe. In the Middle Ages it was widely used in folk remedies for chest problems and has long been famous as a source of nutrition, particularly vitamin C. Rosehips have a higher amount of vitamin C than any other commonly available fruit or vegetable. Long established uses include help for the digestive system, for kidney and bladder inflammation, and for gout and rheumatic complaints.
GOAT'S RUE is a native of southern Europe and the Mediterranean and has been much used medicinally over the centuries due to its diaphoretic properties known to help in cases of malignant fevers and the plague. This gave rise to the alternative name of "pestilence plant." It was also much used as a remedy for worms and for snakebites. Today it is known as a powerful galactogogue, as it contains flavonoids which, by stimulating prolactin, greatly increase both the production and flow of a mother's milk.
POLLEN is collected by bees from flowers and is considered to be the most perfect food on earth because of its complete range of nutrients. A grain of pollen is actually a biological unity containing all that is necessary for life - vitamins, proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, enzymes, coenzymes, sugars, growth hormones, minerals, trace elements including every essential element, and lipids including essential fatty acids. Pollen serves as a general tonic to the system and assists in all forms of healthy development and growth.
GINGKO BILOBA is one of the oldest living tree species, existing for more than 300 million years. Individual trees can live up to 1,000 years. Native to China and Japan, Gingko has been used as a herbal treatment in Chinese medicine for 5,000 years and today it is one of the most popular natural remedies in the world. It has a very wide range of therapeutic effects, but is known particularly for improving memory and alertness in elderly people and for its effectiveness in improving blood circulation, acting at all levels of the circulatory system.
CARROT originated in Afghanistan, but was cultivated by the ancient Greeks and Romans and by Arabs, who used it much more for medicinal purposes than as food. Ancient healers valued carrot particularly as a treatment for skin diseases. Today carrot is found almost everywhere and is mostly known as a common vegetable, and even as a weed in some places, but in fact it has many useful properties, is still used for skin problems, is often recommended for eyesight, and has long been known to stimulate the production of a mother's milk.
GINSENG is native to China and is cultivated extensively in China, Korea, Japan, and Russia. It has a very ancient history and is the best known, most studied, and most widely used medicinal herb in the world. Ginseng has accumulated much folklore about its various actions and uses, but modern pharmacology acknowledges many of its reputed effects, including its tonic and invigorating actions, and therefore confirms the Eastern traditions regarding the herb. A high content of isoflavones helps balance female hormones.
HOPS is a Eurasian climbing shrub and is universally known as a flavoring in beer, for which it was first used in the 16th century. However, there are references to hops since the 12th century as a "remedy against melancholy", for its aperitive, depurative, and laxative properties, and for serving to destroy or expel parasitic worms. It has also long been known for its calming effect on the nervous system and for its sedative properties. Today it is used in cough syrups and for bronchitis and hops poultice is used for abscesses and boils.