List of plants used in herbalism

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The Chelsea Physic Garden has cultivated medicinal plants since 1673. The plant shown here is montbretia (Crocosmia aurea), used as a remedy for dysentery.

This is an alphabetical list of plants used in herbalism.

The ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are possibly used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi, and herbivorous mammals is called herbal medicine. Many of these phytochemicals have beneficial effects on long-term health when consumed by humans, and can be used to effectively treat human diseases. At least 12,000 such compounds have been isolated so far; a number estimated to be less than 10% of the total.[1][2]

These phytochemicals are divided into:

For example, some secondary metabolites are toxins used to deter predation and others are pheromones used to attract insects for pollination. It is these secondary metabolites and pigments that can have therapeutic actions in humans and which can be refined to produce drugs—examples are inulin from the roots of dahlias, quinine from the cinchona, morphine and codeine from the poppy, and digoxin from the foxglove.[3]

Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects.[1][2]

In Europe, apothecaries stocked herbal ingredients for their medicines. In the Latin names for plants created by Linnaeus, the word officinalis indicates that a plant was used in this way. For example, the marsh mallow has the classification Althaea officinalis, as it was traditionally used as an emollient to soothe ulcers.[4] Ayurvedic medicine, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine are other examples of medical practices that incorporate medical uses of plants. Pharmacognosy is the branch of modern medicine about medicines from plant sources. Plants included here are those that have been or are being used medicinally, in at least one such medicinal tradition.

Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Acacia senegal Gum arabic A natural gum sourced from hardened sap of various species of acacia tree used as a binder and emulsifier.[5] Khair.JPG
Achillea millefolium Common yarrow Purported to be a diaphoretic, astringent,[6] tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic. Achillea millefolium20100626 087.jpg
Actaea racemosa Black cohosh Historically used for arthritis and muscle pain, used more recently for conditions related to menopause and menstruation.[7] Actaea racemosa 002.JPG
Aesculus hippocastanum Horse chestnut Its seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers have been used medicinally for many centuries. The raw plant materials are toxic unless processed.[8] Aesculus hippocastanum (1).jpg
Ageratina altissima White snakeroot Root tea has been used to treat diarrhea, kidney stones, and fever. A root poultice can be used on snakebites. The smoke from burning leaves is used to revive unconscious people.[9][unreliable medical source?] The plant contains the toxin tremetol which causes milk sickness, a sometimes fatal condition.[10] Ageratina altissima 002.JPG
Alcea rosea Common hollyhock Believed to be an emollient and laxative. It is used to control inflammation, to stop bedwetting and as a mouthwash in cases of bleeding gums.[11] Alcea rosea purple.jpg
Alisma plantago-aquatica Water-plantain Used for the urinary tract.[12] Alisma plantago-aquatica20090812 251.jpg
Allium sativum Garlic Widely used as an antibiotic[13][14][15][16] and, more recently, for treating cardiovascular disease[17][18] Garlic is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and has antidepressant-like effects on mice[19] so might be used as a herbal antidepressant or anxiolytic in humans.[20] GarlicBasket.jpg
Aloe vera Aloe vera Leaves are widely used to heal burns, wounds and other skin ailments.[21][22] Aloe Vera.jpg
Althaea officinalis Marsh-mallow Used for over 2,000 years as both a food and a medicine.[4] Althaea officinalis Prague 2011 2.jpg
Amorphophallus konjac Konjac Significant dietary source of glucomannan,[23][24] which is used in treating obesity,[25] constipation,[26] and reducing cholesterol.[27] Amorphophallus konjac (fruit) 01.JPG
Anemone hepatica Common hepatica Historically used to treat liver diseases, it is still used in alternative medicine today. Other modern applications by herbalists include treatments for pimples, bronchitis and gout.[28] Common Hepatica - Anemone hepatica (13214136064).jpg
Angelica archangelica Garden angelica Roots have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea or tincture for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, nervous system, and also against fever, infections, and flu.[29] Coulon-Angélique.jpg
Angelica sinensis Dong quai Used for thousands of years in Asia, primarily in women's health.[30]
Apium graveolens Celery Seed is used only occasionally in tradition medicine. Modern usage is primarily as a diuretic.[31] Apium graveolens 002.JPG
Arctium lappa Burdock Used traditionally as a diuretic and to lower blood sugar[32] and, in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for sore throat and symptoms of the common cold.[33][unreliable source?] ArctiumLappa4.jpg
Arnica montana Arnica Used as an anti-inflammatory[34] and for osteoarthritis.[35] The US Food and Drug Administration has classified Arnica montana as an unsafe herb because of its toxicity.[36] It should not be taken orally or applied to broken skin where absorption can occur.[36] Arnica montana (flower head).jpg
Astragalus propinquus Astragalus Long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system, and is used in modern China to treat hepatitis and as an adjunctive therapy in cancer.[37] Astragalus membranaceus.jpg
Atropa belladonna Belladonna Although toxic, was used historically in Italy by women to enlarge their pupils, as well as a sedative, among other uses. The name itself means "beautiful woman" in Italian.[38] Flickr - don macauley - Deadly Nightshade.jpg


Azadirachta indica Neem Used in India to treat worms, malaria, rheumatism and skin infections among many other things. Its many uses have led to neem being called "the village dispensary" in India.[39] Tender Neem leaves in Karnataka, India.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Bellis perennis Daisy Flowers have been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea (or the leaves as a salad) for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract.[29] Marienblümchen Ende März 2014 (153).JPG
Berberis vulgaris Barberry Long history of medicinal use, dating back to the Middle Ages particularly among Native Americans. Uses have included skin ailments, scurvy and gastro-intestinal ailments.[40] Berberis thunb frt.jpg
Borago officinalis Borage Used in hyperactive gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders,[41] such as gastrointestinal (colic, cramps, diarrhea), airways (asthma, bronchitis), cardiovascular, (cardiotonic, antihypertensive and blood purifier), urinary (diuretic and kidney/bladder disorders).[42] Borage starflower Rohtopurasruoho 02.jpg
Broussonetia kurzii Salae Known as Salae in Thailand where this species is valued as a medicinal plant.[43]


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Calendula officinalis Marigold Also named calendula, has a long history of use in treating wounds and soothing skin.[44][self-published source?] 2006-10-22Calendula03.jpg
Cannabis Hemp, Cannabis, Marijuana, Indian hemp, Ganja Used worldwide since ancient times as treatment for various conditions and ailments including pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, muscle relaxation, anxiety, Alzheimer's and dementia, ADHD, autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, recurring headaches, Crohn's disease, depression, epilepsy, glaucoma, insomnia, and neuropathy among others.[45] Cannabis 20160411 093402 (26092404540).jpg
Capsicum annuum Cayenne Type of chili that has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years. Uses have included reducing pain and swelling, lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels and fighting viruses and harmful bacteria, due to high levels of Vitamin C.[46][47][48] Capsicum annuum 10 - Kew.jpg
Capsicum frutescens Chili Its active ingredient, capsaicine, is the basic of commercial pain-relief ointments in Western medicine. The low incidence of heart attack in Thais may be related to capsaicine's fibronolytic action (dissolving blood clots).[49] Tabasco peppers.JPG
Carica papaya Papaya Used for treating wounds and stomach troubles.[50] Carica papaya 005.JPG
Cassia occidentalis Coffee senna Used in a wide variety of roles in traditional medicine, including in particular as a broad-spectrum internal and external antimicrobial, for liver disorders, for intestinal worms and other parasites and as an immune-system stimulant.[51][52] Senna occidentalis.jpg
Catha edulis Khat Mild stimulant used for thousands of years in Yemen, and is banned today in many countries. Contains the amphetamine-like substance cathinone.[citation needed] Catha edulis.jpg
Cayaponia espelina São Caetano melon It is a diuretic and aid in the treatment of diarrhea and syphilis.[53] Cayaponia espelina fruit.jpg
Centaurea cyanus Cornflower In herbalism, a decoction of cornflower is effective in treating conjunctivitis and as a wash for tired eyes.[54] CentaureaCyanus-bloem-kl.jpg
Chrysopogon zizanioides Vetiver Used for skin care.[55] Ramacham.jpg
Cinchona spec. Cinchona Genus of about 38 species of trees whose bark is a source of alkaloids, including quinine. Its use as a febrifuge was first popularized in the 17th century by Peruvian Jesuits.[56] Cinchona.pubescens01.jpg
Citrus × aurantium Bitter orange Used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous peoples of the Amazon for nausea, indigestion and constipation.[57] Bitter orange - Citrus aurantium 06.JPG
Citrus limon Lemon Along with other citruses, it has a long history of use in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine.[58] In contemporary use, honey and lemon is common for treating coughs and sore throat. P1030323.JPG
Citrus trifoliata Trifoliate orange, bitter orange Fruits of Citrus trifoliata are widely used in Oriental medicine as a treatment for allergic inflammation.[59] 20151019Citrus trifoliata5.jpg
Cissampelos pareira Velvetleaf Used for a wide variety of conditions.[60] Diploclisia glaucescens Wynaad.jpg
Cnicus benedictus Blessed thistle Used during the Middle Ages to treat bubonic plague. In modern times, herbal teas made from blessed thistle are used for loss of appetite, indigestion and other purposes.[61] Cnicus benedictus flor.jpg
Crataegus monogyna and Crataegus laevigata Hawthorn Fruit has been used for centuries for heart disease. Other uses include digestive and kidney related problems.[62] Crataegus, various species, fruit.jpg
Curcuma longa Turmeric Spice that lends its distinctive yellow color to Indian curries, has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain, and regulate menstruation.[63] Native Turmeric Cooktown.jpg
Cypripedium parviflorum Yellow lady's slipper The Cypripedium species have been used in native remedies for dermatitis, tooth aches, anxiety, headaches, as an antispasmodic, stimulant and sedative. However, the preferred species for use are Cyp. parviflorum and Cyp.acaule, used as topical applications or tea.[64][65] Cypripedium parviflorum Orchi 016.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Digitalis lanata Digitalis or foxglove It came into use in treating cardiac disease in late 18th century England in spite of its high toxicity.a Its use has been almost entirely replaced by the pharmaceutical derivative Digoxin, which has a shorter half-life in the body, and whose toxicity is therefore more easily managed.[66] Digoxin is used as an antiarrhythmic agent and inotrope.[67] Digitalis lanata. Wooly Foxglove (30755195067).jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Echinacea purpurea Purple coneflower This plant and other species of Echinacea have been used for at least 400 years by Native Americans to treat infections and wounds, and as a general "cure-all" (panacea). It is currently used for symptoms associated with cold and flu.[68][69] Echinacea purpurea 003.JPG
Echinopsis pachanoi San Pedro cactus The San Pedro cactus contains the entheogen mescaline and has a long history of being used in Andean traditional medicine.[70] Starr 070320-5799 Echinopsis pachanoi.jpg
Ephedra sinica Ephedra It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years.[71][72] Native Americans and Mormon pioneers drank a tea brewed from other Ephedra species, called "Mormon tea" and "Indian tea". It contains the alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are used as breathing aids (bronchodilators and decongestants).[73] Ephedra sinica alexlomas.jpg
Equisetum arvense Horsetail Dates back to ancient Roman and Greek medicine, when it was used to stop bleeding, heal ulcers and wounds, and treat tuberculosis and kidney problems.[74] Equisetum arvense foliage.jpg
Eriodictyon crassifolium Yerba Santa Used by the Chumash people to keep airways open for proper breathing.[75] The US Forest Service profile[76] for Eriodictyon crassifolium provides information on species distribution; taxonomic relationships; ecological and evolutionary considerations for restoration; growth form and distinguishing traits; habitat characteristics; projected future suitable habitat; growth, reproduction and dispersal; biological interactions; ecological genetics; seed characteristics, germination requirements and processing; and plant uses including agriculture, restoration, and traditional products, plus an extensive bibliography. It is part of Riverside-Corona Resource Conservation District's resource materials collection on native plant recommendations for southern California ecoregions. Eriodictyoncrassifolium1.jpg
Erythroxylum coca Coca Used as coca tea or chewed, traditionally as a stimulant to overcome fatigue, hunger, thirst, and altitude sickness.[77] Also used as an anesthetic and analgesic.[78] Erythroxylum coca 001.JPG
Eschscholzia californica Californian poppy Used as an herbal remedy: an aqueous extract of the plant has sedative and anxiolytic actions.[79] LeamingtonSpa Platform2 Eschscholzia3.jpg
Eucalyptus globulus Eucalyptus Leaves were widely used in traditional medicine as a febrifuge.[80] Eucalyptus oil is commonly used in over-the-counter cough and cold medications, as well as for an analgesic.[81] Eucalyptus flowers, Barcelona, Spain (15345095225).jpg
Euonymus atropurpureus Wahoo Plant is a purgative and might affect the heart.[82]
Euphorbia hirta Asthma-plant Used traditionally in Asia to treat bronchitic asthma and laryngeal spasm.[83][84] It is used in the Philippines for dengue fever.[85] Euphorbia hirta 2782.jpg
Euphrasia Eyebright Used for eye problems, mental depression, oxygenation and radiation poisoning.[86] Augentrost.jpg
Euterpe oleracea Açai Although açai berries are a longstanding food source for indigenous people of the Amazon, there is no evidence that they have historically served a medicinal, as opposed to nutritional role. In spite of their recent popularity in the United States as a dietary supplement, there is currently no evidence for their effectiveness for any health-related purpose.[87]


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Ferula assa-foetida Asafoetida Might be useful for IBS, high cholesterol, and breathing problems.[88]
Frangula alnus Alder buckthorn Bark (and to a lesser extent the fruit) has been used as a laxative, due to its 3 – 7% anthraquinone content. Bark for medicinal use is dried and stored for a year before use, as fresh bark is violently purgative; even dried bark can be dangerous if taken in excess.[89] Frangula-alnus-fruits.JPG
Fumaria officinalis Fumitory Traditionally thought to be good for the eyes and to remove skin blemishes. In modern times herbalists use it to treat skin diseases and conjunctivitis, as well as to cleanse the kidneys. However, Howard (1987) warns that fumitory is poisonous and should only be used under the direction of a medical herbalist.[90] (MHNT) Fumaria officinalis - Habit.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Galanthus Snowdrop It contains an active substance called galantamine, which is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Galantamine (or galanthamine) can be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, though it is not a cure.[91] The Washbrook Lane Snowdrops.jpg
Geranium robertianum Robert geranium In traditional herbalism, it was used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds[92] and as a vulnerary (used for or useful in healing wounds).[93] Geranium Robertianum - Detail - Blossom.jpg
Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo The leaf extract has been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, Alzheimer's and tinnitus.[94] Ginkgo biloba 010.JPG
Glechoma hederacea Ground-ivy It has been used as a "lung herb".[95] Other traditional uses include as an expectorant, astringent, and to treat bronchitis.[96] The essential oil of the plant has been used for centuries as a general tonic for colds and coughs, and to relieve congestion of the mucous membranes. 20150412Glechoma hederacea1.jpg
Glycyrrhiza glabra Licorice root It has a long history of medicinal usage in Eastern and Western medicine. Uses include stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and sore throat, as well as infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.[97]


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Hamamelis virginiana Common witch-hazel It produces a specific kind of tannins called hamamelitannins. One of those substances displays a specific cytotoxic activity against colon cancer cells.[98] Witch Hazel.jpg
Hippophae rhamnoides Sea buckthorn The leaves are used as herbal medicine to alleviate cough and fever, pain, and general gastrointestinal disorders as well as to cure dermatologic disorders. Similarly, the fruit juice and oils can be used in the treatment of liver disease, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic wounds or other dermatological disorders.[99] Common sea-buckthorn - Sanddorn (9049824936).jpg
Hoodia gordonii Hoodia The plant is traditionally used by Kalahari San (Bushmen) to reduce hunger and thirst. It is currently marketed as an appetite suppressant.[100] Hoodia gordonii 2007-06-02.jpg
Hydrastis canadensis Goldenseal It was used traditionally by Native Americans to treat skin diseases, ulcers, and gonorrhea. More recently, the herb has been used to treat the respiratory tract and a number of other infections.[101] Hydrastis.jpg
Hypericum perforatum St. John's wort Widely used within herbalism for depression. Evaluated for use as an antidepressant, but with ambiguous results.[102][103][104] Saint John's wort flowers.jpg
Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop It is used for digestive and intestinal problems including liver and gallbladder conditions, intestinal pain, intestinal gas, colic, and loss of appetite. It is also used for respiratory problems including coughs, the common cold, respiratory infections, sore throat, and asthma.[105] Hyssopus officinalis 2c.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Ilex paraguariensis Yerba mate It has been claimed to have various effects on human health and these effects have been attributed to the high quantity of polyphenols found in mate tea.[106] Mate contains compounds that act as an appetite suppressant,[107] increases mental energy and focus,[108] and improves mood.[109] Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.[110] Ilexparaguariensis.jpg
Illicium verum Star anise It is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).[111] Illicium verum in HDR.jpg
Inula helenium Elecampane It is used in herbal medicine as an expectorant and for water retention.[112] Composite1.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Jasminum officinale Jasmine It is used in dermatology as either an antiseptic or anti-inflammatory agent.[113] Jasminum officinale Enfoque 2010-7-11 TorrelaMata.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Knautia arvensis Field scabious The whole plant is astringent and mildly diuretic. An infusion is used internally as a blood purifier and externally for treating cuts, burns and bruises.[114] Knautia arvensis20110703 116.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Larrea tridentata Chaparral The leaves and twigs are used by Native Americans to make a herbal tea used for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, cancer and a number of others. Subsequent studies have been extremely variable, at best. Chaparral has also been shown to have high liver toxicity, and has led to kidney failure, and is not recommended for any use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or American Cancer Society.[115][116] Larrea tridentata Furnace Creek.jpg
Laurus nobilis Bay laurel Aqueous extracts of bay laurel can be used as astringents and even as a reasonable salve for open wounds.[117] In massage therapy, the essential oil of bay laurel is reputed to alleviate arthritis and rheumatism, while in aromatherapy it is used to treat earaches and high blood pressure.[118] Gardenology-IMG 4930 hunt10mar.jpg
Lavandula angustifolia Lavender It was traditionally used as an antiseptic and for mental health purposes. It was also used in ancient Egypt in mummifying bodies. There is little scientific evidence that lavender is effective for most mental health uses.[119] Lavande off FR 2012.jpg
Lawsonia inermis Henna The plants exhibits potential antibacterial activity. The alcoholic extract of the root has antibacterial activity due to the presence of flavonoid and alkaloids. Henna is also thought to show anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic effects in experimental animals.[120] Lawsonia inermis (Mehndi) in Hyderabad, AP W IMG 0524.jpg
Leucojum aestivum Summer snowflake It is known to contain galantamine (Nivalin, Razadyne, Razadyne ER, Reminyl, Lycoremine in pharmaceutical format). It is used for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease and various other memory impairments, in particular those of vascular origin.[citation needed] Leucojum aestivum 2010.jpg
Linum usitatissimum Flaxseed The plant is most commonly used as a laxative. Flaxseed oil is used for different conditions, including arthritis.[121] Lin (Everest) Cl J Weber04 (23715892009).jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Magnolia officinalis Magnolia-bark The bark contains magnolol and honokiol, two polyphenolic compounds. Preclinical studies have evaluated their various potential applications including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antimicrobial properties.[122] Magnolia au Jardin Jungle Karlostachys.jpg
Malva sylvestris Mallow The seeds are used internally in a decoction or herbal tea[123] as a demulcent and diuretic, and the leaves made into poultices as an emollient for external applications. Malva sylvestris 1.jpg
Matricaria recutita and Anthemis nobilis Chamomile It has been used over thousands of years for a variety of conditions, including sleeplessness, anxiety, and gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea.[124] MATRICARIA RECUTITA - TORÀ - IB-418 (Camamilla).JPG
Medicago sativa Alfalfa The leaves are used to lower cholesterol, as well as forum kidney and urinary tract ailments, although there is insufficient scientific evidence for its efficacy.[125] Medicago-sativa-flowers.jpg
Melaleuca alternifolia Tea tree oil It has been used medicinally for centuries by Australian aboriginal people. Modern usage is primarily as an antibacterial or antifungal agent.[126] Melaleuca alternifolia (Maria Serena).jpg
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm It is used as a sleep aid and digestive aid.[127] Melissa officinalis J2.jpg
Mentha x piperita Peppermint Its oil, from a cross between water mint and spearmint, has a history of medicinal use for a variety of conditions, including nausea, indigestion, and symptoms of the common cold.[128] Mentha-piperita.JPG
Mitragyna speciosa Kratom Kratom is known to prevent or delay withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent individual, and it is often used to mitigate cravings thereafter. It can also be used for other medicinal purposes. Kratom has been traditionally used in regions such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.[129] Mitragyna speciosa111.JPG
Momordica charantia Bitter melon The plant is used as an agent to reduce the blood glucose level.[130] 012 bitter melon.jpg
Morinda citrifolia Noni It has a history of use as for joint pain and skin conditions.[131] P Morc D5915.JPG
Moringa oleifera Drumstick tree It is used for food and traditional medicine. It is undergoing preliminary research to investigate potential properties of its nutrients and phytochemicals.[citation needed] DrumstickFlower.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Nasturtium officinale Watercress It may be diuretic and antibacterial.[132] Flowers of Watercress (Nasturtium officinale).jpg
Nelumbo nucifera Lotus Sacred lotus has been the subject of a number of in-vitro and animal studies, exploring its pharmacologic effects, including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-infective, hyperlipidemic, and psychopharmacologic activity[133] although clinical trials are lacking. Nelumbo nucifera1.jpg
Nigella sativa Nigella, black-caraway, black-cumin, and kalonji It has efficacy as a therapy, mainly using the seed oil extract, volatile oil, and isolated constituent thymoquinone.[134] One meta-analysis of clinical trials concluded that N. sativa has a short-term benefit on lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.[135] Nigella sativa.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Ocimum tenuiflorum Tulsi or holy basil It is used for a variety of purposes in traditional medicine; tulsi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulasi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics.[136] Ocimum tenuiflorum2.jpg
Oenothera Evening primrose Its oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema, and more recently as an anti-inflammatory.[137]
Origanum vulgare Oregano Used as an abortifacient in folk medicine in some parts of Bolivia and other northwestern South American countries, though no evidence of efficacy exists in Western medicine. Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. A Cretan oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat. Evidence of efficacy in this matter is lacking.[citation needed] Origanum-vulgare.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Panax spec. Ginseng Used medicinally, in particular in Asia, for over 2,000 years, and is widely used in modern society.[138] Ginsengpflanze.jpg
Papaver somniferum Opium poppy The plant is the plant source of morphine, used for pain relief. Morphine made from the refined and modified sap is used for pain control in terminally ill patients. Dried sap was used as a traditional medicine until the 19th century.[citation needed] Opium poppy.jpg
Passiflora Passion flower Thought to have anti-depressant properties. Unknown mechanism of action. Used in traditional medicine to aid with sleep or depression.[citation needed]

Passiflora Krishnakamal Karnataka India.jpg
Peganum harmala Syrian Rue (aka Harmal) Can be used as an antidepressant, but carries significant risk. Used in traditional shamanistic rites in the amazon, and is a component of Ayahuasca, Caapi or Yajé (which is actually usually Banisteriopsis caapi but has the same active alkaloids).[citation needed] Peganum harmala 20140604.jpg
Pelargonium sidoides Umckaloabo, or South African Geranium It is used in treating acute bronchitis.[139] Pelargonium sidoides Leaves 3264px.jpg
Piper methysticum Kava The plant has been used for centuries in the South Pacific to make a ceremonial drink with sedative and anesthetic properties. It is used as a soporific, as well as for asthma and urinary tract infection.[140] Starr 070515-7054 Piper methysticum.jpg
Piscidia erythrina / Piscidia piscipula Jamaica dogwood The plant is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, despite serious safety concerns.[141] A 2006 study suggested medicinal potential.[142]
Plantago lanceolata Plantain It is used frequently in herbal teas and other herbal remedies.[143] A tea from the leaves is used as a highly effective cough medicine. In the traditional Austrian medicine Plantago lanceolata leaves have been used internally (as syrup or tea) or externally (fresh leaves) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, insect bites, and infections.[29] 20120610Plantago lanceolata1.jpg
Platycodon grandiflorus Platycodon, balloon flower The extracts and purified platycoside compounds (saponins) from the roots may exhibit neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergy, improved insulin resistance, and cholesterol-lowering properties.[144] Platycodon grandiflorus.jpg
Polemonium reptans Abscess root It is used to reduce fever, inflammation, and cough.[145] Jacob's Ladder Polemonium reptens Flower Buds 2628px.jpg
Psidium guajava Guava It has a rich history of use in traditional medicine. It is traditionally used to treat diarrhea; however, evidence of its effectiveness is very limited.[146][147] Psidium guajava at Kadavoor.jpg
Ptelea trifoliata Wafer Ash The root bark is used for the digestive system.[148] Also known as hoptree. Ptelea trifoliata 20050808 006.jpg
Pulmonaria officinalis Lungwort Used since the Middle Ages to treat and/or heal various ailments of the lungs and chest.[citation needed] Pulmonaria officinalis 800.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Quassia amara Amargo, bitter-wood A 2012 study found a topical gel with 4% Quassia extract to be a safe and effective cure of rosacea.[149] Quassia amara11.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Reichardia tingitana False sowthistle Uses in folk medicine have been recorded in the Middle East, its leaves being used to treat ailments such as constipation, colic and inflamed eyes.[150] Cluster of Reichardia tingitana flowers in Qatar.jpg
Rosa majalis Cinnamon rose It yields edible hip fruits rich in vitamin C, which are used in medicine[151] and to produce rose hip syrup. Rosa majalis20140910 02.jpg
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary It has been used medicinally from ancient times.[citation needed] Shinasahi142211.jpg
Ruellia tuberosa Minnieroot, fever root, snapdragon root In folk medicine and Ayurvedic medicine it has been used as a diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, analgesic, antihypertensive, gastroprotective, and to treat gonorrhea.[152] Ruellia tuberosa (Wayside Tuberose) in Hyderabad W IMG 9012.jpg
Rumex crispus Curly dock or yellow dock In Western herbalism the root is often used for treating anemia, due to its high level of iron.[153] The plant will help with skin conditions if taken internally or applied externally to things like itching, scrofula, and sores. It is also used for respiratory conditions, specifically those with a tickling cough that is worse when exposed to cold air. It mentions also passing pains, excessive itching, and that it helps enlarged lymphs.[154] Polygonaceae - Rumex crispus-1 (8303634985).jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Salix alba White willow Plant source of salicylic acid, white willow is like the chemical known as aspirin, although more likely to cause stomach upset as a side effect than aspirin itself which can cause the lining of the stomach to be destroyed. Used from ancient times for the same uses as aspirin.[155] Salix alba leaves.jpg
Salvia officinalis Sage Shown to improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.[156][157] Salvia officinalis 001.JPG
Sambucus nigra Elderberry The berries and leaves have traditionally been used to treat pain, swelling, infections, coughs, and skin conditions and, more recently, flu, common cold, fevers, constipation, and sinus infections.[158] Sambucus-berries.jpg
Santalum album Indian sandalwood Sandalwood oil has been widely used in folk medicine for treatment of common colds, bronchitis, skin disorders, heart ailments, general weakness, fever, infection of the urinary tract, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints and other maladies.[159] Santalum album leaves and flowers 06.JPG
Santolina chamaecyparissus Cotton lavender Most commonly, the flowers and leaves are made into a decoction used to expel intestinal parasites.[citation needed] Santolina chamaecyparissus flowers.jpg
Saraca indica Ashoka tree The plant is used in Ayurvedic traditions to treat gynecological disorders. The bark is also used to combat oedema or swelling.[160] 7344 qsbg11mar.jpg
Satureja hortensis Summer savory Its extracts show antibacterial and antifungal effects on several species including some of the antibiotic resistant strains.[161][162][163] Satureja hortensis Prague 2011 1.jpg
Sceletium tortuosum Kanna African treatment for depression. Suggested to be an SSRI or have similar effects, but unknown mechanism of activity.[citation needed] Kanna flower.jpg
Senna auriculata Avaram senna The root is used in decoctions against fevers, diabetes, diseases of urinary system and constipation. The leaves have laxative properties. The dried flowers and flower buds are used as a substitute for tea in case of diabetes patients. The powdered seed is also applied to the eye, in case of chronic purulent conjunctivitis.[citation needed] (Senna auriculata) at kambalakonda 01.JPG
Sesuvium portulacastrum Shoreline purslane The plant extract showed antibacterial and anticandidal activities and moderate antifungal activity.[164] Starr 080602-5547 Sesuvium portulacastrum.jpg
Silybum marianum Milk thistle It has been used for thousands of years for a variety of medicinal purposes, in particular liver problems.[165] Milk thistle flowerhead.jpg
Stachytarpheta cayennensis Blue snakeweed Extracts of the plant are used to ease the symptoms of malaria. The boiled juice or a tea made from the leaves or the whole plant is taken to relieve fever and other symptoms. It is also used for dysentery, pain, and liver disorders.[166] A tea of the leaves is taken to help control diabetes in Peru and other areas.[167] Laboratory tests indicate that the plant has anti-inflammatory properties.[168] Blue Snakeweed (2095033321).jpg
Stellaria media Common chickweed It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases.[169] 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists prescribe it for iron-deficiency anemia (for its high iron content), as well as for skin diseases, bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain.[170] Kaldari Stellaria media 01.jpg
Strobilanthes callosus Karvy The plant is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial,[171] and anti-rheumatic.[172] Strobilanthes callosus.jpg
Symphytum officinale Comfrey It has been used as a vulnerary and to reduce inflammation.[173] It was also used internally in the past, for stomach and other ailments, but its toxicity has led a number of other countries, including Canada, Brazil, Australia, and the United Kingdom, to severely restrict or ban the use of comfrey.[174] Symphytum officinale (4970747322).jpg
Syzygium aromaticum Clove The plant is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant, among other purposes. The oil is used topically to treat toothache.[175] Cloves.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Tanacetum parthenium Feverfew The plant has been used for centuries for fevers, headaches, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites and other conditions.[176] Feverfew.jpg
Taraxacum officinale Dandelion It was most commonly used historically to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems.[177] Sluníčka Vysočiny.JPG
Teucrium scordium Water germander It has been used for asthma, diarrhea, fever, intestinal parasites, hemorrhoids, and wounds.[178] Teucrium scordium2 eF.jpg
Thymus vulgaris Thyme The plant is used to treat bronchitis and cough. It serves as an antispasmodic and expectorant in this role. It has also been used in many other medicinal roles in Asian and Ayurvedic medicine, although it has not been shown to be effective in non-respiratory medicinal roles.[179] Mouche sur du thym en fleurs à Grez-Doiceau 002.jpg
Tilia cordata Small-leaved linden In the countries of Central, Southern and Western Europe, linden flowers are a traditional herbal remedy made into an herbal tea called tisane.[180] Tilia cordata (2560923908).jpg
Tradescantia zebrina Inchplant It is used in southeast Mexico in the region of Tabasco as a cold herbal tea, which is named Matali.[181] Skin irritation may result from repeated contact with or prolonged handling of the plant, particularly from the clear, watery sap (a characteristic unique to T. zebrina as compared with other types). Gardenology-IMG 7927 hunt10aug.jpg
Trema orientalis Charcoal-tree The leaves and the bark are used to treat coughs, sore throats, asthma, bronchitis, gonorrhea, yellow fever, toothache, and as an antidote to general poisoning.[182] Kharagola (Marathi- खरगोळ) (537093835).jpg
Trifolium pratense Red clover The plant is an ingredient in some recipes for essiac tea. Research has found no benefit for any human health conditions.[183] Kleebluete.jpg
Trigonella foenum-graecum Fenugreek It has long been used to treat symptoms of menopause, and digestive ailments. More recently, it has been used to treat diabetes, loss of appetite and other conditions.[184] Aesthetic bunch of fenugreek greens.jpg
Triticum aestivum Wheatgrass It may contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.[185] Blé tendre hiver (GHAYTA) AO-5-cliche Jean Weber (5) (24000515671).jpg
Turnera subulata White buttercup It is used for skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory ailments.[citation needed] BangbangNuevaVizcayajf9987 14.JPG


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Uncaria tomentosa Cat's claw It has a long history of use in South America to prevent and treat disease.[186]
Urtica dioica Common nettle, stinging nettle It has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea or fresh leaves) to treat disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor system, skin, cardiovascular system, hemorrhage, influenza, rheumatism, and gout.[29] 20120623Urtica dioica3.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Vaccinium spec. Blueberries They are of current medical interest as an antioxidant[187][188] and for urinary tract ailments.[189] Vaccinium.jpg
Vaccinium macrocarpon Cranberry It was used historically as a vulnerary and for urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, and liver problems. Modern usage has concentrated on urinary tract related problems.[190] Cranberry bog.jpg
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry It is used to treat diarrhea, scurvy, and other conditions.[191] Bilberry.jpg
Valeriana officinalis Valerian It has been used since at least ancient Greece and Rome for sleep disorders and anxiety.[192] Valeriana officinalis02.JPG
Verbascum thapsus Common mullein It contains glycyrrhizin compounds with bactericide and potential anti-tumoral action. These compounds are concentrated in the flowers.[193] 20150930Verbascum thapsus2.jpg
Verbena officinalis Verbena It is used for sore throats and respiratory tract diseases.[194] 20140807Verbena officinalis2.jpg
Vernonia amygdalina Bitter leaf The plant is used by both primates and indigenous peoples in Africa to treat intestinal ailments such as dysentery.[195][196] Vernonia amygdalina 02.jpg
Veronica officinalis Veronica The plant is used for sinus and ear infections.[197] Veronica officinalis 5499177.jpg
Viburnum tinus Laurustinus V. tinus has medicinal properties. The active ingredients are viburnin (a substance or more probably a mixture of compounds) and tannins. Tannins can cause stomach upset. The leaves when infused have antipyretic properties. The fruits have been used as purgatives against constipation. The tincture has been used lately in herbal medicine as a remedy for depression. The plant also contains iridoid glucosides.[198] Viburnum February 2008-1.jpg
Viola tricolor Wild pansy It is one of many viola plant species containing cyclotides. These small peptides have proven to be useful in drug development due to their size and structure giving rise to high stability. Many cyclotides, found in Viola tricolor are cytotoxic.[199] This feature means that it could be used to treat cancers.[200][199] Viola tricolor, Schenley Park, 2015-10-01, 01.jpg
Viscum album European mistletoe It has been used to treat seizures, headaches, and other conditions.[201] Viscum album fruit.jpg
Vitex agnus-castus Chasteberry It has been used for over thousands of years for menstrual problems, and to stimulate lactation.[202] Vitex agnus-castus.JPG
Vitis vinifera Grape The leaves and fruit have been used medicinally since the ancient Greeks.[203] Grape vines 2015 02.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Withania somnifera Ashwagandha The plant's long, brown, tuberous roots are used in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda, the berries and leaves are applied externally to tumors, tubercular glands, carbuncles, and ulcers.[204] Withania somnifera 06.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Xanthoparmelia scabrosa Sexy footpath lichen It is a lichen used for sexual dysfunction.[205] Xanthoparmelia scabrosa imported from iNaturalist photo 1939417 on 7 June 2020.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Youngia japonica Japanese hawkweed The plant is antitussive and febrifuge. It is also used in the treatment of boils and snakebites.[206] Youngja japonica2.jpg


Scientific name Name Description Picture
Zingiber officinale Ginger Ginger is effective for the relief of nausea.[207][208] Ginger Plant vs.jpg


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  • "Tropical Plant Database". Raintree. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  • "Plant Database". Plants for a Future. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  • "Vitamins & Supplements Center". WebMD. Retrieved 2021-10-01.

See also[edit]


  • ^ Digitalis use in the United States is controlled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and can only be prescribed by a physician. Misuse can cause death.
  • This encyclopedia is not a substitute for medical advice nor a complete description of these herbs, their dangers (up to and including death), and their (in)compatibility with alcohol or other drugs.


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of herbalism at Wiktionary
  • Media related to Herbalism at Wikimedia Commons