Understanding the Herbs

Understanding the Herbs

AFRICAN POTATO (Hypoxis hemerocallidea)

Is used in Immunoboost, Inflammorub Cream, Prostate Tonic & Skeletone

Therapeutic uses summery:  Abdominal pain, allergies, arthritis, auto immune disease, benign prostate hyperplasia, bladder infection (cystitis), diabets mellitus, fever, hemmorrhage, immune booster, lung disease, prostate problems, psoriasis, PMS, tuberculosis & yuppy flu.


  • Perennial
  • Indigenous to South Africa.
  • Tuberous perennial with linear to broadly lance-shaped, slightly hairy leaves which are arranged one above the other to form 3 groups spreading outwards from the center of the plant.
  • The underground tuberous rootstock or corm, is hard, fleshy, mucilaginous and dark brown or black on the outside and yellow-orange inside when freshly cut.
  • Sliced corms, when exposed to the atmosphere, turn black with oxidation.
  • Bears bright yellow star-shaped flowers on long slender stalks.
  • The fruit is a capsule that splits across its diameter to expose the small black seeds.
  • Dies back in winter.
  • Full sun.


Rich in sterols & sterolins. Anti-inflamatory

Therapeutic Uses: 

  • Blood loss – It was widely used in southern Mozambique during the civil war by those who lost blood through injury. The tea from the plant was said to quickly replace lost blood.
  • PMS & endometriosis  – The Shangaan used it it in a mixture with other plants for endometriosis & premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
  • Purgative, Internal paraciticide – The rootstock was used as an “internal parasiticide” and purgative.
  • Vomiting, loss of appetite, abdominal pains and fever – The Karanga used the rootstock as a remedy for above health problems. 
  • Delirium – It was traditionally used to treat delirium
  • Diabetes mellitus,
  • Haemorrhage
  • Prostate problems. Benign prostate hyperplasia.
  • Urinary tract disorders including bladder infections (cystitis)
  • Lung disease, tuberculoses
  • Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Immune booster – Auto immune disease – “Yuppy flu – Researchers have found that the plant sterols and sterolins, which are found in high concentrations in the African potato increases the functioning of T-cells, which control and regulate the immune system, balancing over-or-under active immune system. This increases the body’s natural resistance to disease and helps fight illnesses. It is currently being used in South Africa in primary health care as an immune booster for patients with HIV/AIDS.
  • Allergies – Reduction in allergy symptoms.
  • Cancer – It has proven to be effective in fighting and slowing down the growth of certain kinds of cancer.
  • It might also have a much higher nutritional value than vegetables.

Safety & Precautions: Do not use during pregnancy or while  breastfeeding.  Consult a qualified health care provider/physician with any serious health problems.

AGRIMONY (Agrimonia eupatoria)  

Is used in:


  • Perennial
  • Erect perennial, small yellow, star-shaped flowers – apricot scent.
  • Well-drained soil.
  • Full sun.
  • Hardy.
  • Tolerate dry and alkaline conditions.

Culinary Uses:

  • Makes a pleasant herb tea

Parts Used:

  • Aerial parts – cut when flowering

Constituents :

The whole complex of primary plant constituents and a characteristic array of secondary plant constituents are present. Pharmacologically important constituents include: tannins, coumarins, flavones including luteolin, apigenin and quercitin, glycosidal bitters


Astringent,  diuretic, vulnerary, chalogogue, glycosidal bitters, tannins, coumarins, flaconoids, including luteolin, volatileoil, and polysaccharides. Nicotinic acid, silicic acid, iron, vit B & K

Therapeutic Uses:

  • Diarrhea, stomach & intestinal problems, colitis, dyspepsia, food allergies and piles
  • Gallstones, hardening of the liver – Improve liver & gallbladder function
  • Gum, mouth & throat infection such as tonsillitis & thrush
  • Rheumatism & arthritis – Due to anti-inflammatory properties. 
  • Lumbago
  • Spleen disorders
  • Kidney & bladder problems, cystitis
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Enlargement of the heart, stomach & lungs
  • Drawing of thorns
  • Gargle for sore throat & singers – It supple the larynx
  • Male impotence
  • Anemia & wounds
  • Used on  animals for jaundice, bleeding & sprains
  • Externally: help conjunctivitis, haemorrhoids, minor injuries and chronic skin conditions

Safety & precautions:

Should not be taken by pregnant or menstruating woman. Not to be taken by person with low blood pressure or on medication for high blood pressure.

ALFALFA (Medicago sativa)

Is uses in: Bone Strengthener, Inflammorub cream, Muscle Soother, Pancreas Formula, Quit Smoking, Skeletone & Weight loss


  • Perennial
  • Slender, bushy perennial, blue-green leaves, pea-like flowers, coiled pods containing shiny seeds.
  • Fully hardy.
  • Full sun, regular watering, neutral to alkaline soil.

Culinary Uses:

  • Leaves: Eaten raw/ cooked like a vegetable.
  • Seeds are sprouted.
  • Use it in salads, stews, teas, soups and stir fries.

Parts Used:

  • Whole plant, leaves, seeds.


Rich in calcium, potassium, manesium, iron, chloor, silica, chlorophyll, vitamin A,B,D,E,K & U. It is one of the best sources of vitamin B12. It is rich in proteins, minerals & vitamins. contain 8 amino acids. Carotene. Germinated seeds contain 19% protein (red meat contain 16%). It has astringent & diuretic properties.

Internal uses: 

  • Anaemia – Alfalfa is a natural tonic that helps for anaemia.
  • Anorexia  – Stimulate appetite and promote weight gain
  • Cancer – It is used for cancer due to high nutrients. Counteract effects of cancer chemotherapy – increases production of white blood cells with up to 60%.
  • Diabetes. – The plant’s manganese content might help people with diabetes control high blood sugar. Improve condition of diabetes when people fail to respond to insulin.
  • Reduce cholesterol level. – Phytochemicals called saponins can help lower blood cholesterol (by impending intestinal absorption) without affecting heart-healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.
  • Slows progress of atherosclerosis – keep cholesterol from entering the body from food. Effect on activity of immune cells – (macrophages): will not stick in the linings of damaged artery linings.
  • Healthy Bones & Teeth – Due to high mineral content
  • High blood pressure
  • Arthritis – The high Chlorophyll content is believed to encourage the growth of connective tissue, beneficial in diseases such as arthritis
  • Eczema
  • Anemia
  • Digestive disorders, indigestion, intestinal ulcers, gastritis, constipation. Treat ulcers and the bioflavonoids build capillary strength and reduce inflammation of the stomach lining. Vitamin A help to maintain stomach health.
  • Liver disorders
  • Infections, burns, athlete’s foot
  • Aids in the assimilation of protein, fats, carbohydrates
  • Water retention – A natural diuretic, helps for water retention
  • Osteoporosis – Vitamin K – can partially prevent bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency. Interacts with Vitamin D to increase formation of new bones.
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome & endometriosis.
  • Menopause – Alfalfa contain plant world equivalents of human estrogen, so a women, whether she’s going through menopause or breastfeeding a baby, may derive some benefit from it. Endometriosis/menopause related problems: Contains phyto-estrogens (natural plant hormones) – is related to estrogen. Reduces risk of estrogen-linked cancers (breast cancer).
  • Asthma, Coughs, flu, strength & energy.
  • Bad breath. Bleeding gums
  • Immune System stimulant – It increase the production of white blood cells. Promotes normal blood clotting. Vitamin K – helps blood to clot normally – does not interfere with normal circulation.
  • Alkalise & detoxify the body.
  • Excellent blood purifier.
  • Yeast infection
  • (It is also an excellent feed for animals for general improvement of condition.
  • Traditionally used for alcoholism

Other Uses:

  • Pour Lucerne tea over your house plants.
  • Adds nitrogen to the soil.


In small, reasonable amounts, Alfalfa causes no known side effects. It you eat more then 120grams of seeds a day, you might notice some abdominal discomfort, flatulence and diarrhoea. Because of the amino acid called canavanine, long term consumption of high dosages of Alfalfa seeds or sprouts could trigger a recurrence of systemic lupus erythematosus in people previously treated for the condition. If you have lupus or are in remision, you shouldn’t consume Alfalfa seeds.  Not to be taken during pregnancy. Contraindicated in auto-immune disease or when using blood thinning or anticoalulant medication such as warfarin. Do not take if taken ant-rejection drugs for kidney transplant.

ALOE VERA (Aloe barbadenis)

Used in: Bowel Tonic, Detox, Digestive Tonic, Infectoclear


  • Perennial
  • Succulent, drought resistant.
  • Orange flower.
  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Can be grown in a pot.


Contain anthraquiones, polysaccharides, mannans, lectins & hyaluronic acids. Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E & 18 of the 20 amino acids found inn our bodies.

Sedative, powerful cathartic, antifunal, antibacterial

Therapeutic Uses:

  • Arthritis, rheumatism, gout
  • Stomach ulcers, indigestion, constipation, laxative (high dosages) & diarrhea. Enhance appetite (low dosages)
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure – Circulatory disorders
  • Gout, inflamed joints
  • Kidney stones
  • Sedative
  • Skin ailments, healing of wounds
  • Restore ph balance of skin and hair.  Hyaluronic acid helps with cleansing the skin from toxins, vanishing of blemishes and sun spots, exfoliates & clears pores
  • For animals – arthritis, constipation & skin problems.
  • Expel worms
  • coccidiosis
  • Burns & insect bites – Rub cut leave on skin
  • Eye problems – dilute with boiled water

Safety & precautions:

With very high doses can lead to kidney damage. Small dosages might increase menstrual flow. Pregnant, breastfeeding and menstruating women should not use aloe. Not recommended for people with intestinal irritation. Do not use without consulting a doctor if you have diabetes. Do not use it for 2 weeks before you go for surgery. Do not use for prolonged periods.


ANISE (Pimpinella anisum)

Used in – Digestive Tonic & Menopause Formula


Feathery leaves and clusters of small yellow or white flowers. The leaves can be used as a garnish or added to salads. The brown fruit, which look more like a seed, contains the essential oil that serves as a licorice tasting spice found in candy, cough nostrums and ouzo

  • Annual
  • Full sun

Culinary Uses:

  • Liquorice flavour.
  • Salad, soup, fish, sauces, bread, cakes, biscuits, confectionery.
  • Pinch of anise seed with cabbage and beans

Parts Used:

  • Use leaves, flowers, dried fruit/seed

Constituents :

  • Volatile oil, l-4%, consisting of largelytrans-anethole (70-90%), with estragole (methylchavicol), anisic acid, [[beta]]-caryophylline, anisaldehyde, linalool, anise ketone(methoxyphenylacetone); the polymers of anethole, dianethole and photoanethole; an Egyptian variety carvene, carvone, and alpha-zingiberene.
  • Coumarins, such as bergapten, umbelliferone, scopoletin
  • Flavonoid glycosides including rutin, isovitexin, quercetin, luteolin, and apigenin glycosides
  • Phenylpropanoids, including l-propenyl-2-hydroxy-5-methoxy-benzene-2- (2- methyl-butyrate)!
  • Misc. lipids, fatty acids, sterols, proteins and carbohydrates.

Actions : Expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-microbial, aromatic, galactogogue

Therapeutic Uses:

  • Build-in feel-good factor – stress, good for children writing exams
  • Boost concentration, clear thinking
  • Tight chest pains, distressed breathing, tension head ache
  • Digestive: colic, diarrhoea, nausea, gas, indigestion, heartburn, poor appetite – Help assimilation of food
  • Hiccups
  • Liver & gallbladder problems
  • Anemia
  • Asthma, bronchial spasm, bronchitis, sore throat, colds, coughs & fever – dry up phlegm – expectorant and anti-spasmodic action helps for coughing, bronchitis & whooping, irritable cough
  • Insomnia, period pain, tooth ache
  • Psoriasis
  • Bad breath – Seed sweeten breath
  • Breast milk deficiency –  It has mild estrogenic effects, thought to be due to the presence of dianethole and photoanethole, which explains the use of this plant in folk medicine to increase milk secretion, facilitate birth and increase libido
  • Traditionally used by Lactating mothers to increase milk production and prevent babies from getting colic
  • Traditional & folk uses: Congestion, cramps, low libido, male menopause, morning sickness, nausea & scabies

Other Uses:

  • Companion planting: Plant between spinach, lettuce and tomatoes


A few people might experience an allergic reaction to anise, particularly skin, respiratory, or gastrointestinal reactions – If you use anise oil, don’t take to much; as little as 1 to 5 millilitres could cause nausea, seizures, vomiting and build up of fluids in lungs.


– Inflammorub Cream


ASTRAGALUS (Astragalus tragacantha ssp. vicentinus / Astragalus membranaceous) known as Huang qi in China

Is used in Active, Energy Boost, Immunoboost & Pancreas Formula

Astragalus is used to help slow down aging. There’s a special chemical in astragalus that actually slows down the aging process right where it happens, inside of our cells, where the blueprint of our cells resides.

It improves energy, and stimulate the immune system during conditions such as the common cold, blood disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS. It is also used as an adaptogen, which is meant to increase general resistance to stress and disease, and normalize disturbances in your body’s ability to balance itself.  As an adaptogen, it has the ability to balance blood sugar levels. – Not just lower it – but to balance it.  Astragalus health benefits include an ability to strengthen and balance the immune system and possible anticancer effects, particularly against prostate cancer. Some research also suggests astragalus health benefits include antibiotic properties

Because of its long history of traditional and clinical use, astragalus is considered to be safe. However, it may increase the risk of bleeding, so caution is advised to those with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs that may increase the risk of bleeding.

Also avoid using astragalus while pregnant or breastfeeding, due to harmful effects seen in preliminary studies.

Barberry – Bowel Tonic, Liver Tonic

Bearberry – Kidney Cleanser, PMS, Thyroid Formula

Bilberry – Clear, Eye Formula, Pancreas Formula

Black Cohosh – Menopause

Black walnut – Infectoclear, Thyroid Formula

Borage – Kidney Cleanser, PMS

Buchu – Detox, Kidney Cleanser, Pancreas Formula, Prostate Tonic

Burdock – Detox, Inflammorub Cream, Liver Tonic, Skeletone, Skin Tonic

Calamus  – Digestive Tonic, Quit Smoking

Cancer bush – immunoboost, Infectoclear

Catnip – Digestive Tonic, Nerve Tonic

Cat’s Claw – Immunoboost

Cayenne Pepper – Circutone, Clear, Eye Formula, Head Soother, Infectoclear, Inflammorub Cream, Liver Tonic, Memory Boost, Menopause, Quit Smoking, Skeletone, Weight Loss

Celery Seed – Circutone, Inflammorub Cream, Muscle Soother, Skeletone

Chamomile – Healing Cream, Nerve Tonic

Chasteberry – Active, Menopause, PMS

Chickweed – Healing Cream, Weight Loss

Cinnamon – Pancreas Formula, Weight Loss

Clivers – Detox, Prostate Tonic, Skin Tonic

Cloves – Gums & Teeth, Infectoclear

Clove Oil – Inflammorub Cream

Coltsfoot – Clear

Comfrey – Healing Cream,

Cramp Bark – Muscle soother, PMS

DAMIANA (Turnera Aphrodisiaca) –

It is used in Active

– It is used as an aphrodisiac and to boost sexual potency. It is used for both male and female sexual stimulation.  It increases energy levels. It is used for asthma, depression, impotence and menstrual problems. Damiana has been used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and mild depression, especially if these symptoms have a sexual component. The herb is also used as a general tonic to improve wellness.

Damiana has also been used traditionally to improve digestion and to treat constipation, as in larger doses it is thought to have a mild laxative effect.

Dandelion – Bone Strengthener, Bowel Tonic, Detox, Kidney Cleanser, Liver Tonic, Quit Smoking, Skin Tonic

Devil’s Claw – Inflammorub Cream, Skeletone

Don Quai – Menopause, PMS

Echinacea – Clear, Detox, Immunoboost, Infectoclear, Prostate Tonic, Skin Tonic

Eder Flower – Clear, Healing Cream

Elecampane – Clear

Eucalyptus – Clear

Eucalyptus Oil – Inflammorub Cream

Eyebright – Eye Formula

Fenugreek – Pancreas Formula, Weight Loss

Fennel – Menopause, PMS, Weight Loss

Feverfew – Head Soother

Fo-ti – Active

Gentian – Pancreas Formula

Ginger – Active, Digestive Tonic, Menopause, Muscle Soother

Ginko Biloba – Active, Circutone, Eye Formula, Head Soother, Libido, Liver Tonic, Memory Boost, Muscle Soother, Skin Tonic

Ginseng – Active, Energy Boost, Immunoboost, Libido, Memory Boost

Golden Rod – Clear, Kidney Cleanser

Golden Seal – Clear, Gums & Teeth, Infectoclear, kidney Cleanser

Gotu Kola – Active, Eye Formula, Healing Cream, Liver Tonic, Memory Boost, Menopause

Green Tea – Detox, Energy Boost, Weight Loss

Guarana – Energy Boost

Hawthorn Berries – Circutone,

Hops – Menopause, Muscle Soother, Nerve Tonic

Horny Goats Weed – Libido

Horsechestnut – Circutone

Horsetail – Bone Strengthener, Detox, Inflammorub Cream, Prostate Tonic, Quit Smoking, Skeletone, Weight Loss

Hydrangea – Kidney Cleanser, prostate Tonic

Irish Moss – Thyroid Formula, Weight Loss

Kelp – Bone Strengthener, Menopause, Quit Smoking, Thyroid Formula, Weight Loss

Kola Nuts – Weight Loss

Lady’s Mantle – Healing Cream

Lavender – Head Soother, Healing Cream, Nerve Tonic, Skin Tonic

Lemon Balm – Liver Tonic, Memory Boost

Lime Blossoms –  Circutone

Lobelia – Clear, Quit Smoking

Marigold – Eye Formula, Gums & Teeth, Healing Cream, Infectoclear, Skin Tonic

MARSHMALLOW (Althaea officinalis)



Constituents: Mucilage, flavonoids, scopoletin, polyphenolic acids

Actions: Demulcent, emollient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant.

Internal uses:  It is mainly used for the lungs & urinary system. Bronchitis, respiratory catarrh & irritating coughs. Also used for urethritis & urinary gravel.

Roots: Digestive system

Leaves: Urinary system & lungs.

Acute respiratory disease, gastroenteritis, peptic ulcer, cystitis, urethritis, inflammation of the mouth & throat, inflamed haemorrhoids & wounds, burns & scalds, bedsores, abscesses, boils & skin ulcers.

External: Used as an ingredient in drawing ointments for abscesses & boils. It is an emollient for varicose veins & ulcers. It is used as a gargle to soothe the throat.

Safety & precautions: Marshmallow may delay absorption of other drugs taken at the same time.


Meadowsweet – Digestive Tonic, Inflammorub Cream, Skeletone

Milk Thistle – Liver Tonic, Pancreas Formula

Motherswort – Circutone, Menopause, PMS

Mullein – Clear, Gums & Teeth

Myrrh – Gums & Teeth, Infectoclear

Nettle – Bone Strengthener, Detox, Kidney Cleanser, Prostate Tonic, Quit Smoking, Skin Tonic

Oats – Bone Strengthener, Quit Smoking

Olive leaf – Clear, Immunoboost, Infectoclear, Pancreas Formula

Parsley – Bone Strengthener, Kidney Cleanser, Menopause, Prostate Tonic, Quit Smoking, Thyroid Formula

Passion Flower – Circutone, Digestive Tonic, Menopause, Nerve Tonic

Pau de Arco – Infectoclear

Peppermint – Active, Bone Strengthener, Bowel Tonic, Clear, Detox, Digestive Tonic, Energy Boost, Eye Formula, Gums & Teeth, Head Soother, Immunoboost, Infectoclear, Inflammorub Cream, Kidney Cleanser, Libido, Liver Tonic, Memory Boost, Menopause, Muscle Soother, Nerve tonic, Pancreas Formula, PMS, Quit Smoking, Skeletone, Skin Tonic, Thyroid Formula, Weight Loss

Raspberry – Menopause

Red Clover – Menopause, Prostate Tonic, Skin Tonic

Rhubarb – Bowel Tonic, Weight Loss

Rosemary – Active, Head Soother, Healing Cream, Immunoboost, Inflammorub Cream, Memory Boost, Menopause, Muscle Soother, Pancreas Formula , PMS, Skeletone

Sacred Bark – Bowel Tonic, Detox

Saw Palmetto – Active, Libido, Prostate tonic

Sarsaparilla – Active, Menopause, PMS, Skin Tonic

Sceletium – Active, Energy Boost, Quit Smoking

Schisandra – Active, Energy Boost, Libido, Memory Boost

Senna – Bowel Tonic, Detox, Weight Loss

Skullcap – Head Soother, Nerve Tonic, PMS, Quit Smoking

Slippery Elm – Digestive tonic

Spearmint – Menopause

Spirulina – Bone Strengthener, Energy Boost, Immunoboost

Stevia – pancreas Formula

St. John’s Wort – Healing Cream, Immunoboost, Infectoclear, Menopause, Nerve Tonic

Tea Tree Oil – Healing Cream

Thyme  – Clear, Infectoclear

Valerian Root – Muscle Soother, Nerve Tonic

Vervain – Menopause, Nerve Tonic

White Willow Bark – Weight Loss

Wilde Als – Pancreas formula

Wild Yam – Menopause, Muscle soother, PMS

Wintergreen Oil – Inflammorub Cream

Witch Hazel – Healing Cream, Skin Tonic

Wood Betony – Head Soother, Memory Boost

Wormwood – Gums & Teeth, Infectoclear

Yarrow – Detox, Healing Cream, Infectoclear, Inflammorub Cream, Kidney Cleanser, Liver Tonic, Muscle Soother, Prostate Tonic, Skeletone

Yellow Dock – Bowel Tonic, Liver Tonic, Skin Tonic

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