Saturday, 29 January 2011

Dandelion, My Herbal Ally In January

I haven't done much with my herbal ally this month, it's been rather cold and damp to be sitting and meditating in the garden. It is dark when I set off to work in the morning and dark when I return at night, so although I know my ally is there, I haven't seen much of her.

 As I walk up the garden past my ally each day I say “Hello”, my dandelion is snuggled into the earth and sleepy at the moment. There is not much movement of energy yet she has remained green all through the snow and frost, so not totally asleep, just resting. Not many plants are as hardy as my little dandelion.
I'm not good with words nor am I much of a poet but I thought I would would try and get into the spirit of things and write a little ditty.
It’s cold, it’s January, and I’m almost asleep,
I hear you come and go and have a slight peep,
Not many others are as hardy as me,
But here in the garden I’m as snug as can be.
 I decided to look at dandelion facts this month to start off my quest to get to know dandelion and I must confess it's something I could do in the warm.

      Taraxacum Officinale                          Asteraceae Family
Other names: Lion’s Teeth, Golden Suns, Piss-a-bed, Blow ball, Peasant’s Clock, Crow-parsnip, Doon-head-clock, Wet-a-bed, Clocks, Devil’s milk Pail, Fairy clocks, Time-teller, White endive, wild endive, Time flower.
Description: Hairless plant growing up to 50cm tall with white latex in leaves and stems. Leaves are arranged in a basal rosette with uneven teeth. The flower heads are single and bright yellow, comprised of ray florets on a long single, hollow stem.  The seeds have long beaks and umbrella shaped pappus, forming a spherical “clock”.
Habitat: Lawns, fields and roadside verges.
Season: Flowers bloom mainly between late March and early May. The traditional day to pick the flowers is St. George’s Day, the 23rd April. Leaves are best before flowering occurs, roots in autumn and winter.
Parts used: Leaves, roots, flowers and sap. Use flowers on the day they are picked before they close for the night.
Active ingredients: Bitters, tannins, some essential oils, flavonoids. High in minerals, especially Potassium, sodium, iron and calcium and vitamins A,B, C, D and K and also containing some protein (amounts vary in different parts of the plant).
Medicinal use: Most well-known for its diuretic property, hence the common name piss-a-bed. As a bitter, dandelion supports overall health by gently working to improve the functioning of the liver, gall bladder and digestive system. Sap is used on verrucae, corns and warts.
Culinary use: Leaves can be used in salad or cooked like spinach. Roots can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers make a good wine.
Dye: All parts give a reddish-purple dye.
Animal uses: Wild birds and rabbits enjoy the seeds.
Toxicity: Not toxic but the cooked greens can have a laxative effect at first.
Dandelion facts: Dandelion pollen is used by more than 90 different insects including bees; dandelion is one the 5 bitter herbs of the Book of Exodus in the Bible; dandelions give out ethylene gas when growing which can slow the growth of nearby plants.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Orange Bitter

Our seasonal task for January is to make Julie Bruton-Seal’s Seville Orange Bitter:
Seville Orange bitter (Julie Bruton-seal)
Fill an empty jam jar loosely with the peel of a couple of Seville oranges, a tablespoonful of cardamom pods, and a few fennel or anise seeds. If you wish, add a clove or two - but not too many as they are strong. Add a tablespoon of honey, and top the jar up with vodka (or brandy, whisky or rum if you prefer). Keep in a dark cupboard for a month, shaking occasionally, then strain off and bottle the liquid. Take half a teaspoonful before meals to improve digestion.
 The principle behind bitters is that when the area of the tongue that senses bitter is stimulated, messages are sent to the digestive system where digestive fluids, bile and enzymes are produced, this leads to fats being emulsified easier, better digestion and support for the liver. Our 21st century English tastes have moved away from bitterness, other cultures use bitters more. A bitter leaf salad as the starter to a meal would stimulate digestive juices for the main meal. Drinks like Angostura bitters were created to help with digestion. The important thing with these bitters is that we actually taste the bitterness to start the process, so if the bitter taste is masked with something sweet it does not work. Bitter herbs include White Horehound, Motherwort, Dandelion leaves and roots, Gentian, Yellow Dock root and Chamomile, some stronger than others.
 I have had a problem obtaining Seville oranges; in fact I haven’t been able to find any, even in my favourite local greengrocers.  I decided to use the peel of the sweet orange so as I could get on with my task. When I went to my cupboard I didn’t have any whole cardamom pods so I went to ask for a tablespoon full from my dad, he gave me green ones. I hadn’t known there were different ones; brown ones are more walnut shaped and are better in sweet dishes and green ones seem more long shaped and are best suited for savoury dishes he explained. I told dad about my bitter, he thinks having a pink gin before dinner is easier and told me how to make one so I’ve learnt lots I didn’t set out to learn again! To the chopped orange peel and cardamom pods I added  a teaspoon of fennel seeds, one clove and the tablespoon of honey, topped it up with brandy and “podged” all the air bubbles out with a chop stick. I’m not sure why I used brandy, I associate it with helping nausea , I’m sure I’ve been offered it before when I’ve felt unwell. My bitter is now sitting in a cupboard for a month and then it will be strained.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A bitter experience!

No, sorry Sarah, this does not mean I have got round to making my Seville orange bitter, it’s the cough syrup I made with friends Kerry and Maria yesterday! I really do hold with the notion that the only way you learn is by having a go, and with friends it's much more fun.
 We wanted to make a syrup with Wild Cherry bark and other herbs for coughs; I had some White Horehound and Elecampane.  Our recipe was not precisely measured; we had 2 handfuls of bark, 1 handful of dried White Horehound and a 15g bag of Elecampane in a large pan of water. I had meant to put some thyme in from my garden as an antiviral but I forgot to take it with me.  Elecampane is one of the herbs I am studying, I bought this packet of dried root from the Wise Woman herbalist and on the packet it says “Used as a substitute for the modern Airwaves to clear nasal passages and aid as a decongestant”.
 We simmered the root and bark for 10 minutes and then we added the White Horehound. This was strained after 20 minutes and the decoction was reduced before adding sugar, 1lb to a pint. The brown syrup has a very sweet taste at first, followed by a strong bitterness. I blamed the White Horehound as I know this is very bitter, but then remembered that Elecampane is a bitter, not as strong I believe, but I have never tried it so I don’t really know how it tastes. Then I realised I hadn’t tried the Cherry bark either, maybe this is a bitter too. I have looked up Wild Cherry bark and found it described as astringent, aromatic, and bitter, resembling the taste of bitter almonds, I found a bit I had not used today and tried it but could not really taste anything. I still don’t know what Elecampane tastes like but aim to find out this year, I think I was correct in blaming the White Horehound; I don’t think much can be required, especially when dried.
 Although I believe our syrup would do any cough the world of good and I appreciate the value of bitters, I don’t think we could actually find someone who would take such a bitter medicine.  We had to dip into a tin of Roses chocolates to get rid of the taste – well that’s our excuse anyway! Although the medicine was not a success, a lot was leant in the process of making it, including how important it is to know all about your herbs including taste.

A prized jar of cough syrup!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New Allotment and More Cherry

Next week I should be signing the lease on a new allotment. On Thursday I had a nose around the walled gardens where Mr Moon Gazing are and I are to have our allotment, we are sharing with two other families who are also treasured friends. The walls of the Edwardian garden have been restored with the aid of a lottery grant and the Prince’s Trust has provided an orchard and a small herb garden with culinary herbs. The old gardener’s cottage is being used as HQ and there are now chickens behind the house and plans for bee hives, it’s all so exciting!
 I was speaking to one of the committee members and mentioned my interest in herbs and have been asked to do some herb talks next year, I had to confess that I found the hedgerow around the boundary as interesting as the more formal herb garden but he doesn’t seem to mind which herbs I talk about.  I shall also be growing some herbs on our allotment plot with the agreement of my partners, we are being encouraged to make our allotments as attractive as possible and within keeping of the theme of an Edwardian garden. There also seems to be a scarecrow thing going on, they are everywhere!
 Last night I finally managed to see my friend with the Morello cherry, he gave me some twigs and this morning I made a tincture with the bark. Sarah had suggested that I could do a comparison between Morello and Wild Cherries so in 3-4 weeks I shall be able to start investigating. The patterns on the twigs and wood inside looked very much alike; the outer bark of the Morello cherry appeared to be darker brown. I have some Wild Cherry bark left which I intend to use to make a cough syrup in a mixture with other herbs for coughs.
 I found a recipe in the Hedgerow Medicine book this morning for a Cherry bark and Elderberry cough syrup. Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal’s recipe uses 1 part cherry bark tincture to 2 parts elderberry glycerite, for example, for a 150ml bottle of syrup you would use 50ml cherry bark tincture and 100ml elderberry glycerite. I have some dried elderberries and some vegetable glycerine so I shall try my first glycerite and then make this syrup as well as my other cough mixture.

Friday, 14 January 2011

The Hunt For Wild Cherry

My first task of 2011 involves finding Wild Cherry and making a cough remedy. I don’t know of any Wild Cherry in my vicinity and can’t recall ever seeing any, help I thought! I’ve begged some Morello Cherry from a friend but I am having difficulty meeting up to get it.
 This week I had an herb day with my friend and fellow herb apprentice, Maria. We had a walk along the lane where she lives mapping Hawthorns, looking for Elders and taking note of everything else growing around us. We took a diversion over some fields where we found Elder for Maria’s bruise salve and then found ourselves in woodland.
 We walked through the trees and tried to identify what we could, hoping to find Wild Cherry. I turned to a tree and said “for all I know you could be a Cherry tree because I don’t know what one looks like”. Further on we came across two tree surgeons chopping down trees. I dared Maria to ask if they knew where there was any Wild Cherry. They turned off their machines and took off their ear protectors as Maria called to them. “What did we want to know for?” they asked.
 We explained about our quest to make a cough remedy and they took us to the cherry trees, right in the middle of the woods where I had spoken to the tree. One of the men broke off a piece of wood with buds on and told me that if we walked along hedgerows we could use it to identify the tree, but in the meantime we could take what we wanted from these trees.
 He showed us a Blackthorn in the hedge and explained that it was the same family as the Cherry and he also told us what trees were in the woods and where they were and explained that they had tried to make woodland of native trees. We noticed on a damaged tree that there was an amber like substance oozing out and starting to solidify. In return we explained what remedies the different trees gave us. I’m sure they thought we were mad but I think we all enjoyed sharing information.
Yesterday I stripped some bark from my wild cherry and made a tincture. I thought I might smell cherry when I cut into the bark and was disappointed not to, I remembered the smell from when I took the bark from my elder twigs last year which confirmed to me that I had the correct wood. My cherry sticks had dark coloured wood, an orangey colour.
 I filled a jar with my scraped off bark and then filled it up again with vodka. I “podged” it with a chop stick to get rid of any air bubbles and will let it infuse for 3-4 weeks.

Maria and Wild Cherry trees and twigs

Herbs For Coughs

I thought this would be a quick and easy article to write but as usual things turned out to be more complicated than I first thought.
 Simple I thought, there seems to be two main types of cough; dry and irritating or the wet, productive type. Give the dry coughs something to soothe and stop them and the wet coughs something to get rid of all the nasty phlegm and then it’s sorted, isn’t it?
 First of all we need to think about why we cough. Ann McIntyre says “a cough is a reflex response designed to remove irritants such as dust, toxins, micro-organisms or mucus blocking the throat or bronchial tubes”. So coughing is natural and if we supress this are we are stopping the body from doing what it needs to?
 Something I am coming to realise is that we need to look at why the person has the cough.  Michael Tierra says mucus is a by-product of digestion. When digestion is weak an excess of mucus will become apparent in the mucus secreting tissues of the body. This includes the lungs which need moisture to counteract the drying effect of normal respiration. Evenstar says that stimulation of the gastric mucosa affects the bronchial mucosa via the gastro bronchial reflex. I have looked into white horehound before and discovered how this bitter can be good for the respiratory system. Coughs can also be indicators of low immunity.
 I have found a thought provoking article by David Hoffman that says a holistic assessment is required to treat a cough, in other words you have to look at the person as a whole not just the symptoms they show. Treating the cause will also get rid of the cough.
 There are many more different types of coughs described in herb books than I had imagined; mostly descriptive of symptoms such as “hot dry”. There are also many different theories behind treating coughs, from balancing humours or elements to using herbs purely for their chemical properties. Some treatments are to supress a cough, others are to encourage the cough reflex.
 My mentor has asked us to look at coughs that are hot/dry, wet/cold, spasms, nervous and pharmaceutical side effects and to say which herbs I would use for each and why.
 Most herbs used for hot/dry coughs are demulcent and include Marshmallow, Mullein, Plantain, Liquorice, Coltsfoot, Comfrey and Slippery elm. These herbs are soothing, moistening, anti-inflammatory and cool mucus membranes. Matthew Wood advocates White Horehound in non-productive coughs where the mucus is dried out and Hyssop syrup to relieve dryness. Michael Tierra recommends cooling expectorants for hot dry phlegm, many being demulcent and moistening including Kelp, Comfrey, Chickweed and Horehound.
 For cold/wet coughs Ginger is a warming expectorant that relieves congestion. Thyme, Elecampane, Ground Ivy, White Horehound, Hyssop, Angelica, Coltsfoot and Sweet Marjoram also help liquefy and clear phlegm. Michael Tierra advocates warming, diuretic herbs like Pepper, Cinnamon and Ginger to dry up excess mucus. He also uses Elecampane, Mustard seeds and Eucalyptus to add heat.
 A warming cough relieving tea recipe from Sarah consists of 1 inch of ginger, 1 tsp. thyme, 1tsp sage, honey and lemon juice.
 Relaxing herbs can be added to preparations for nervous coughs, these include Chamomile and Lemon balm. Thyme and elecampane are also said to have a relaxing effect on the bronchi.
 Matthew Wood recommends Primula veris (primrose), a nervine, for sedating spasmodic coughing. Liquorice and thyme also relieve bronchial spasm along with Horehound, Wild cherry, Mullein, Valerian and Plantain.
 The group of prescription drugs mostly responsible for coughing as a side effect are ACE- inhibitors. In Cardiac Today it was reported that 15% of users were given antitussive treatment for ACE-inhibitor associated cough, it is thought the number could actually be higher. I know my mother’s GP denies her persistent coughing is related to her medication and she gets codeine linctus on repeat prescription. A cough caused by these drugs is dry, and can range from a scratchy throat to severe hacking. I think this is a case where the symptoms need to be treated and soothing herbs like Marshmallow could be mixed with an herb for dry coughs such as Coltsfoot with Elecampane to relax the bronchi.
 Other cough herbs are antimicrobial, helping the body combat infection and supporting the immune system, these include Thyme, Elecampane, Hyssop, Garlic and Cinnamon.
 When treating a cough a combination of herbs from the above groups can be used to treat all the symptoms. We must also remember to view the person as a whole and look at what has caused the cough in the first place as treating this will help eliminate the cough.
Evenstar, Copson, Mary Ann (2008) Herbs for Respiratory Ease [accessed 06.01.2011]
Hoffman, David (2011) Cough  [accessed 06.01.2011]
McIntyre, Ann (2010) The Complete Herbal Tutor London: Gaia
Messerli, Franz, H. (2010) Cough: A nuisance side effect of ACE inhibitors [accessed 06/01/2011]
Wood, Matthew (2008) The Earthwise Herbal Berkeley: North Atlantic Books

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Cells, Veins and Horse Chestnut

I’m looking at the theory stuff first, the herb and practical parts are much more fun but I know this has to be related to what happens in our bodies. I recall looking at cells at school, but couldn’t remember all the functions, so here’s a recap. I’ve found a colourful diagram, of an animal cell and the names of different structures are starting to come back to me, I’m listing the functions in simple terms so as I might remember.
Cell Membrane
This controls what goes in and out of the cell.
Endoplasmic reticulum
Stores and separates particles and acts as the cell’s transport system. There are rough and smooth types, rough endoplasmic reticulum have ribosomes on the surface.
This is where the chromosomes are and our DNA. It contains a smaller nucleolus where protein is manufactured. Red blood cells do not have a nucleus.
There are thousands of these little protein factories in each cell.
These digest material brought into the cell; they contain enzymes which break down molecules. They take undigested material to the cell membrane for removal.
Have a double-layered outer membrane with inner folds called cristae where energy producing chemical reactions take place. They control water levels, recycle and decompose materials and form urea.
Found near the nucleus, these are protein packaging plants.

Research the structure of human blood cells. How does horse chestnut help to strengthen them?
 Horse chestnut is used for strengthening and toning the walls of veins. Keeping the veins toned helps with varicose veins and haemorrhoids by preventing them from being able to bulge and preserving their elasticity. Horse chestnut also helps reduce oedema, as the permeability of the vein walls is reduced; fluid is restricted from seeping into surrounding tissue.
 The ability of Horse chestnut to tone the skin has led to it being used in anti-aging and cellulite treatments.
 The active ingredients in Horse chestnut are thought to be aecin which is a mixture of anti-inflammatory saponins and flavonoids known as proanthocyanidins which are antioxidant. Some commercial preparations isolate aescin but as with all herbs it is probably a synergy of all the constituents together that makes it effective.
 Aescin is thought to constrict the walls of veins making it more difficult for blood and fluid to pass through, they become less leaky and this prevents fluid retention in the legs. It is also thought that it does this by preventing the chemicals serotin and histamine from being able to make blood vessels more permeable. Aescin inhibits lysosomal enzymes; these are the ones inside the lysosomes in cells (refer to diagram) which break larger molecules into smaller ones. The action of lysosomal enzymes is a natural one and the body balances it by constructing new tissue at the same time. It is thought that in people with chronic vein insufficiency and varicose veins the lysosomal enzymes are more active, this is why the aescin in Horse chestnut can be useful.
 The flavonoids protect blood vessels and tissues from inflammation by reducing oxidising agents and free radicals that can damage them. A flavonoid called Rutin is well documented as giving protection to capillaries.
 Studies have been done which show improved circulation, vein tightening and reduced pain, redness and swelling but all seen to use horse chestnut extracts orally, our task has been to make a salve from horse chestnut bark which herbalists find effective but drug companies are not so interested in researching.
 To make my oil I stripped the bark with a pen knife from my small branches. I made a double infused oil by putting half of the bark in a double boiler, covering it with sunflower oil and heating for 2 hours. After 2 hours I strained the oil and used it again with the unused bark for 2 more hours and strained again to get my completed oil. I made some into a salve by melting a teaspoon of beeswax in 60ml of oil.
My completed Horse Chestnut oil

Herbs To Keep You Warm

 We had a great workshop at Sarah's yesterday, I feel I learnt so much by being able to touch, taste, smell and experience herbs.
 The most prominent herb of the day was ginger. We made a warming syrup, a big root of ginger, handful of rosehips for vitamin C and a tablespoon of warming fennel seeds in 1-1.5 pints of water. The botanicals were boiled for 20 minutes and strained, sugar added at 1lb per pint. The usual method for a syrup, which would keep better as it has a lower water content, is to reduce liquid to 1/8th and then add sugar. Reducing it by this much is time consuming but improves the keeping. I tried it out on my mom and my Aunt and they both liked it, it’s sweet, obviously but has the hot ginger aftertaste.
 We also had ginger tea which was infused for 10 minutes, it was very warming, much pleasanter than expected, and I could drink it frequently. It warms the blood. We made a second, larger pot that steeped for about 15-20 minutes and we used it to soak hands and feet. I soaked a hand for 10 minutes, I could feel the circulation buzzing in my hand when I took it out and I felt heat for about 15 minutes afterwards. I would love to sit with both feet in a bowl of it. This can be used as a treatment for cold hands and feet, warm herbs improve the circulation, it would be good for Reynard’s Syndrome.
 Another ginger tea recipe we were given is 1” ginger, 1tsp sage, 1tsp thyme poured onto juice of ½ lemon with honey to give a warming cough treatment.
 Sarah had started a ginger oil, it had been infused once, I strained it, grated some more ginger and put it back on the heat for another 2 hours. It was then strained again and we used 8oz of it with 1oz of grated beeswax to create a salve to give warm heat treatment to arthritic/painful joints. A pale yellow salve was produced.
 We did the same with a chilli oil. The first infusion had been done with scotch bonnets and we did the second with dried chillies which were put into a grinder. The oil and salve were a pale orange. This is also to warm painful joints.
 Sarah had searched for a cardamom recipe and found one for Indian rice pudding, rice pudding with cardamom pods in and we sprinkled it with flaked almonds and sultanas. It made a delicious pudding and is a tasty way to get someone to take a warming spice.
 We had a tasting session of warming tinctures. Clove was the hottest, too hot to take neat, nobody liked the taste. Cinnamon was not quite as hot but still very warming and made my tongue a bit fuzzy. Fennel made from the aerial parts of the plant was pleasant and warm. To compare and contrast we tried a cooling tincture, elderflower, it tasted lovely, had a sweetness to it. I also tried angelica honey; it was a gentle, warm, mixture. Angelica honey soothes fibroid pain. I tried horseradish honey; I didn’t fancy it at all but was pleasantly surprised, it was not too hot, I would describe it as a bit woody and nutty, Sarah adds it to her Fire Cider vinegar to treat colds and viruses. Horseradish honey recipe is ½ - 2/3 jar of horseradish topped up with honey - ready to clear sinuses in 3-4 weeks.
 We also made a horseradish plaster, ground, dried horseradish was mixed to a paste and placed inside cloth and then on a part of the body requiring heat treatment such as an aching muscle or painful joint. We found a willing victim and left it on for about 10 minutes, checking at intervals that it was not burning the skin. When the plaster was removed there was a red area where it had been, showing that blood had been drawn to the area.
After the workshop I went to hunt for horse chestnut to make my oil with. I found a big tree with leaves beneath that looked correct and then I saw the sticky buds on the branches and remembered people mentioning these in the past. Feeling confident that I had found what I wanted I took only what I needed, thanked the tree and took a picture so as I can remember the tree shape with its branches bending upwards.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Oils For Pain And Bruises

I have been busy with herbal preparations but have got a little distracted from the tasks I am supposed to be doing for January.
 Mr Moon Gazing Hare had a nasty fall yesterday and is covered in scrapes and bruises so I had to see what I had to hand, plantain oil was the first thing I thought of to help with the bruising and yesterday he got covered in it. Today I came across the Elder bark salve which I made for bruises this time last year as part of my first ever apprentice task.  It still looked good and as a salve it is easier to apply than oil and I make less mess as it can’t drip off my hands.
 I have a friend who is starting to suffer from arthritis and is getting a lot of joint pain so I said I would see if I had anything for her. I was reading the information Sarah has given us about the properties of infused oils and two seemed practical, Meadowsweet and Mugwort. I already had some Meadowsweet oil in my cupboard which I know to be anti-inflammatory. Mugwort can also be used on inflamed joints to ease pain and I had some dried Mugwort left over from when I made my first smudge stick in the summer. I had to wait in today for a chimney sweep who was a bit vague about what time he would come so I thought it would be a good time to make a double infused Mugwort oil, Mr MGH disagreed and thought I should not “stink the house out” when we had a visitor coming. I made my oil anyway, my first using dried herb, and then combined about 60% Mugwort oil with 40% Meadowsweet. I also added some essential oils, Chamomile as another anti-inflammatory combined with warming Ginger and Black pepper. I hope this brings relief to my friend.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year, New Blog, New Tasks

The New Year has been welcomed in with plenty of new herb tasks for my apprenticeship.
My first task was to choose an herbal ally for the year; meet, observe, use, study, meditate with, respect and open ones heart to it. Every time I thought of this task dandelion sprang to mind, so it seems to have chosen me. I have a new friend for 2011!
 I need to gather twigs for bark from horse chestnut for a cell strengthening salve and wild cherry to make a cough preparation. I don’t know of any wild cherry trees near me but have managed to scrounge some Morello cherry twigs from a friends back garden so I will try them. I have lots of sweet chestnuts near my home but not horse chestnuts and have been having a dilemma about where I could go gathering from without getting myself into trouble. Sarah has come to the rescue and identified a place near her house where I can go. She has given me some great advice “The secret to wild crafting, even with secateurs is to look confident at all times, even if your friends disown you!”
My theory work is to research the structure of human blood cells and how horse chestnut helps to strengthen them and to research different types of cough, the herbs I would use for each one and why.
 Our seasonal task is to source and make a Seville orange bitter.
This month’s herbal terminology:
Bitters, as the name suggests have a bitter taste which stimulates the production of gastric enzymes and bile production, improving digestion and the appetite. Many bitter herbs have other actions as well; White Horehound helps with respiratory problems.
Popular bitters are dandelion, gentian and cleavers.
A drug that enhances the secretion of sputum by the air passages so that it is easier to cough up. Expectorants are used in cough mixtures; they act by increasing the bronchial secretion or make it less viscous (Oxford Mini Dictionary For Nurses, 1991)
My List of Herbs Being Studied
·         Bergamot
·         Bilberry
·         Blackberry
·         Calendula
·         Comfrey
·         Dandelion
·         Elder
·         Elecampane
·         Feverfew
·         Hawthorn
·         Lady’s Mantle
·         Lemon Balm
·         Meadowsweet
·         Motherwort
·         Mugwort
·         Nettle
·         Plantain
·         Skullcap
·         St John’s Wort
·         Valerian
·         White Horehound
·         Yarrow