Materia Medica RSS


Botanical Name Artemisia vulgaris Mugworts botanical name comes from the greek goddess Artemis, the goddess of the moon, hunt, fertility, women and the protector of the woods and animals.    Common Name Mugwort, St. John’s plant, sailor’s tobacco, Felon herb,  Chrysanthemum Weed, Maiden wort. Common mugwort was known as the Mater Herbarum, or Mother of Herbs, with a formidable reputation as a magical plant for women. One of Mugwort’s common nicknames, St. John’s Plant, comes from the belief that John the Baptist carried Mugwort with him into the wild for protection. The name Mugwort is often attributed to its historical use in flavouring beer before the use of hops. To make the beer, fresh Mugwort was gathered when in flower, dried, decocted in malt...

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Botanical Name  Pinus spp.   Common Name Pine tree, however it is often mixed up with other conifer trees (tress that make cones) such as firs, spruces, cedars, hemlocks and larches.   Parts Used Leaves (needles) - dried or fresh in a tea or decoction, infused in honey, eaten raw or added to food as a spice. Bark - dried or fresh in a decoction Pine cones - candied in honey when green still, left over honey is medicinal.  Pine nuts - eaten raw or toasted. Resin - topically on wounds to help bind and heal.   Native To Found throughout the world in any temperate woods or forest, but thought to be native to Scotland, and originally much of...

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Botanical Name Calendula officinalis   Common Name Calendula, Marigold, Pot Marigold, bride of the sun, bull flower, butterwort. The name calendula is a diminutive Latin form of calends (or kalends), meaning “the first day of each month”. Perhaps named after when people noticed it blooming. Today it's known as fiore d’ogni mese in Italy and fleur de tous les mois in France, meaning “flower of every month.”     Parts Used The flowers: dried for tea, extracted in tincture, oils, salves, balms or lotions. Also nice in a bath or as an edible flower in food.    Native To Uncertain but possibly  North Africa, Southern Europe and/or the Mediterranean   Botanical Description Calendula is a short-lived perennial that has a sticky texture due to its high resin content. It...

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Elder - Elderflowers and Elderberries

  Botanical Name Sambucus nigra Elder’s botanical name Sambucus is from the Greek musical instrument the sambuke, made from the hollow stems of elder wood.   Common Name Elder, black elder, blue elderberry, bore tree, bourtree, common elder, elderberry, elkhorn, sweet elder. The name elder comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld, which means fire, as young elder branches were used to build up fires by blowing through the hollow stems.   Parts Used The flowers: dried for tea, extracted in tincture, made into wine, cordials, champagne and jelly. The berries: dried for tea, extracted in tincture, made into syrup, wine, cordials, champagne and jelly. Slightly toxic if raw.  The leaves: dried for tea  The bark: used for its purgative, emetic and duiretic actions but toxic...

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