Materia Medica
Heat/Excitation Tissue State
Tissue State
• Characterized by Exaggeration of Function
• Tissues are in a state of excitation, irritation or over
stimulation. Blood rushes to the area with classic
symptoms of heat, redness, swelling and pain.
• This is not necessarily inflammation as inflammation can
have multiple underlying tissue state causes e.g
Putrefaction. All excitation is inflammation but not all
inflammation is a result of excitation.
Primary Symptoms:
• Heat, Swelling, Redness, Pain associated with
immune overreaction and excess.
• Mucosa & skin: red/pink (carmine)
• Pulse: Elevated, beats towards surface of vessel;
• Tongue: Elongated, pointed, red, carmine, flame
• Urine: Dark and concentrated
Remedy Qualities
• Remedies often have a sour taste.
• Flavonoids (don’t influence taste), fruit acids and
limonene (lemon oil) all reduce tissue
irritation/excitation and together yield a sour taste.
• Cyanogenic glycosides, mainly in the rose family
also reduce tissue irritation by interfering with the
Krebs cycle and reduce the energy level of the cell.
Remedy Families
Rose family: Rosaceae
– Rosehips, Strawberry leaf, Hawthorne, Peach, Wild
cherry bark
Honeysuckle family: Caprifoliaceae
– Elderflower and berry, Honeysuckle, Cramp bark
Rhubarb Family: Polygonaceae
– Yellow Dock, Rhubarb, Sheep sorrel, garden sorrel
Citrus family: Rutaceae
– Lemon, Lime
Anomalous: Lavender, Linden, Yarrow, Lemon Balm,
Blueberry and Bitter mints, eg. Skullcap.
Rose (Rosa spp)
• Taste/Smell:
– Hips-Sour, sweet, cool astringent.
– Petals-Sweet, Slightly bitter, aromatic
• Tissue States: Excitation, relaxation
• Energetics/Action:
– cooling, drying, astringent
• Parts used:
– Hips, Petals most commonly used-most parts of the plant
have been used. Seeds are toxic.
• Constituents:
– Tannins, flavonoids, fruit acids, (malic, citric and ascorbic)
essential oils and anthocyanidins.
Rose (2of 4)
• Organ affinity: Emotions, Lungs, Cardiovascular, Digestion,
Kidneys/Bladder, Sexual system, Muscular/Skeletal
Presentation: Delicate, sensitive children, children born by csection, never have to fight their way out.
• Specific Indications: Elongated, pointed, red/pink tongue with
moisture or streamers down the sides indicating excess
Rose (3 of 4)
Characteristic uses :
• Eyes: Farsightedness
• Lymphatics: Red, irritated skin and mucosa with watery deposits
or stagnation of the lymph of the upper body
• Respiration: Sore throat, irritated cough; TB (traditional use)
• Cardiovascular: Vascular anomalies (esp. in children); passive
venous congestion; easy bruising, clotting, thrombosis;
• Digestion: heat/irritation in intestine, constipation, damp
mucous containing, unformed stools, chronic yeast infection.
• Kidneys/bladder: Frequent urination, bedwetting
• Sexual system: Vaginitis with bleeding and discharge; In TCM for
loss of semen and to strengthen the kidneys.
Rose (4)
• Contraindications:
– Seeds contain glucoside and are toxic. Rose hip tea
can contain fine hairs that are irritating to the throat
and mouth that cling to the seeds. Strain well.
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Hips in various preparations: Short decoction,
capsules, tincture
– Petals as infusion, 1-2 tsp to 8 oz water. 3x/day or
as needed
– Essential oil
• Folklore/Magical/:
– Wild Rose was standard remedy for rabies by
• Distribution/Habitat:
– Widely distributed, common in wild but generally
not in large stands in northwest. Cultivated are
also useable. Be aware of pesticides.
– This is the rose city, they grow well here
Strawberry (Fragaria ssp.)
• Taste/Smell: Sweet, cool and moist, mucilaginous, slightly
• Tissue States: Excitation
• Energetics/Action: Cooling, refrigerant.
• Parts used: Leaves
• Constituents: Fruit acids, leucocoanthocyanin, Vit C, catechins
(all cooling) tannins, volatile oils
Strawberry (2)
• Organ affinity:
– Emotions, Head, Mouth, lungs, digestion, kidneys/bladder,
Female organs, skin, thermoregulation
• Presentation:
– Swollen red, dry tongue, possibly with painful itching and
swelling (can cause or cure)
• Specific Indications:
– Head: Red inflamed eyes, stye,
– Teeth: Plaque, spongy gums, mouth ulcers, lack of saliva, no
– Digestion: Diarrhea, obstinate dysentery (roots)
Strawberry (3)
Characteristic Uses:
• Kidneys and Bladder: Bladder infections with alkaline urine.
Scanty dark urine, painful sharp scalding.
• Female: Menses: irregular, excessive bleeding, vaginal yeast
infection with itch
• Pregnancy: Morning sickness, prevent miscarriage
• Postpartum: Night sweats
• Skin: Eczema, psoriasis (internal and external), hives from
overconsumption of season fruit (cause and cure)
• Other: Fever, Gout, High Blood Pressure
Strawberry (4)
• Contraindications: Most likely plant of the rose family to
cause allergies.
• Preparation & Dosage: 1tsp of dried herb to 1 pint water,
steep 20 min.
• Distribution/Habitat: Found widely in scattered stands in
Hawthorne (Crataegus ssp)
• Taste/Smell: Berries: sweet, sour
astringent, Leaves: astringent and sweet, Flowers: putrid smell.
• Tissue States: Excitation, Atrophy, Relaxation
• Energetics /Action: Cooling, Sedating, Diuretic, tonic,
Digestive, Cardiotonic, Antioxidant Astringent
• Parts used: Berries, Flowers, Leaves
• Constituents: Flavonoids, esp Rutin oligomeric procyanidins
and numerous acids
Hawthorne (2)
• Organ affinity: Emotional, Respiratory, Heart/circulatory,
Presentation: Person is worse from excitement or exertion
physical or mental, redness under the nose. Heartache,
physical or emotional. Irritable and nervous.
• Specific Indications: If skin of the palms or fingers is red,
press and watch for blanching (skin stays white longer than
Characteristic uses:
– Emotional: Can’t focus, restless, irritable, nervous; ADD
Hawthorne (3)
• Heart and Circulation: Angina, Degenerative conditions of heart
• Hypertension: Opens coronary circulation. May reduce deposits
and/or effects of arteriosclerosis
• Cardiac arrhythmias: Particularly effective with extra systoles
and acute tachycardia.
• Fever: Weakness of myocardium after fever, flu etc. Also with
excessive sweating after such events
• Gray pallor showing possible heart attack
• Pulse: rapid irregular, intermittent and small, feeble, deep.
Hawthorne (4)
• Digestion:
– Food sits in stomach, ferments. Indigestion, heartburn
constipation, atonic lower intestine
– Nervous stomach
• Other:
– Allergies;
– Inflammatory arthritis;
– Low blood pressure; exhaustion from small movement.
Hawthorne (5)
• Contraindications: Can increase effectiveness of cardiac drugs
like digitoxin, digoxin, and other cardiac glycosides. If taking heart
medication concurrently with Hawthorne, should be monitored.
• Preparation & Dosage:
Overnight infusion of flowers-1 heaping tsp per cup, water
decoction of berries 2-3x day or more
Dry Berries 1:5 50% alcohol, 40% water, 10% Glycerine
Fresh leaf/Flower 1:2 75 alcohol, 15% water 10% glycerin
Dosage: MW doses or 20-60 drops 4x per day
• Folklore/Magical: Story of Thomas the Rhymer, Tree of the Celts
and the Faerie Folk
• Distribution/Habitat-Widely distributed in northwest
Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina)
• Taste/Smell: Sweet, Bitter,
Astringent, almond-like taste.
• Tissue States: Excitation, Depression
• Energetics/Action: Hot and cold,
damp and dry. Astringent,
Expectorant, Sedating.
• Parts used: Bark
• Constituents: Flavonoids, bitter
cyanogens, tannins, bit of mucilage,
resins and volatile oils
Wild Cherry 2 of 4
• Organ affinity: Heart /Circulatory, Digestion, Lungs
• Presentation/Specific Indications: People with tendency to red
histaminic reactions; thin people with cold extremities and cool
damp skin. Nervousness, recovering from debilitating illness.
Reddish, slightly purple and yellow skin that blanches under
• Characteristic uses:
– Respiration: Suppresses the cough reflex; Calms irritated,
histaminic, excited coughs; treats old tired coughs that linger
after infection is passed; pleurisy, bronchitis; pneumonia;
Accumulation of hardened mucus.
– Cardiovascular: Pulse weak and erratic, Cardiac irregularities
in bronchitis, anemia or nervousness. Heart palpitations, high
blood pressure; “Heart fire blazing” in Traditional Chinese
Wild Cherry 3 0f 4
• Characteristic uses:
 Digestion: Nervous irritation of GI tract; Food allergies,
celiac disease; Poor digestion from weakness after illness.
Irritable hemorrhoids.
 Skin-Shingles; Herpes - when eruption is on tongue or in
mouth. Esp with general redness not vesicles. With
vesicles try Ranunculous bulbosus.
 Thermoregulation- Fever
 Other: Lack of muscular tone after illness, nervous
 Works well in formulations
Cherry 4 of 4
• Contraindications: Some say use lower dose for shorter periods due
to cyanogens, others say look to the extensive historical record of
safety even with children and use as it has been used.
• When to Harvest: Opinions vary; Collect in spring and fall unlike
some barks that are collected in winter.
• Preparation &Dosage:
– Decoction: 1 tsp dried bark per cup of water
– Dry Bark Tincture: 1:2 50% alc. 10-40d 4x per day (first soak in
water overnight to remove excess cyanogens)
• Distribution/Habitat- present in the wild in Northwest.
Peach (Prunus persica)
• Taste/Smell: Sour, bitter, sweet; mucilagenous.
• Tissue States: Excitation, Atrophy
• Energetics/Action: Cooling, moistening, sedating, slightly
• Parts used: Twigs, bark, leaves, kernal, even fruit
• Constituents: Fruit acids, cyanogens
Peach (2 of 4)
• Organ affinity: Emotions, Respiration, Digestion, Skin
• Specific Indication: Carmine, flame shaped, red and dry tongue.
(If moist think rose or linden, if harshly dry and burnished think
marshmallow for dryness causing heat). Allergic, hot, irritated,
jangled nerves, fair skin people, insomnia, overstimulation.
• Characteristic uses:
– Complexion-Fair skinned, irritation from heat, allergies,
immune excess.
– Mind/Emotion-Nervousness, overstimulation, insomnia
– Respiration-Allergies, esp eyes, nose,
– Cough with irritation and dryness, eg. whooping cough,
chronic bronchitis.
Peach (3 of 4)
• Digestion: Gastritis, dyspepsia, diarrhea, nausea. Vomiting
during pregnancy.
• Fever: With heat and dryness
• Other:
– Hives, rashes, allergic skin; Mild pain reliever.
– Cyanide disrupts krebs cycle in mitochondria of cells to
decrease activity of the cell and associated tissue
– Peach leaf tea is used in some Native American groups to
precede bad news and discipline children.
Peach (4 of 4)
• Contraindications: Large amounts of cyanide are poisonous, so
use only small doses of peach preparation that have
characteristic bitter almond taste and smell of cyanide.
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Cold infusion of bark, twigs and leaves 1 tsp per 8oz water. 3x
– Tincture : 1:5 (dry herb) tincture 40% alcohol, 1-10 drops of
tincture 1-3x daily.
• Distribution/Habitat- Cultivated. Portland is within its northern
range though mostly it thrives under cultivation further south.
Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus, V.
• Taste/Smell: sour, acrid. There are few plants that combine
these flavors to target irritation and tension.
• Tissue States: irritation, tension
• Energetics/Action: antispasmodic, astringent, cooling, nervine,
carminative, anti-inflammatory.
• Parts used: bark
• Constituents: hydroquinones, coumarins, tannins
Cramp bark (2)
• Organ affinity: Female reproductive, Nervous, Digestion,
Kidneys, Respiratory, Muscular/Skeletal system.
• Specific Indications: cramp-like, spasmodic pains, pain recurring
at intervals, spasmodic and congestive conditions especially of
the female genitourinary tract.
• Characteristic uses:
– Mind, senses, nerves, emotions, personality
• Nervous tension
• restores sympathetic and parasympathetic balance
Cramp bark (3)
– Uterine cramps
– Menses; bearing down pains precede the period; late
period, scanty, with cramps; heaviness, aching in ovaries,
sacrum, down the back and thighs.
– Irritation from IUD.
– Pregnancy: cramping during, repeated early miscarriage
– Labor - spasmodic contractions and hemorrhage during
labor and post partum.
– Post-partum pains
Cramp bark (4)
– Respiratory system:
• Acute spasms of bronchitis, whooping cough, and
– Digestive System:
• Painful intestinal cramping
• Sudden abdominal cramps and colic
• Enteritis, colitis, dysentery
• Nervous indigestion, flatulence
– Kidneys and Bladder:
• Spasmodic stricture in urinary tract infections
• Enuresis, cystitis
Cramp bark (5)
– Other:
• Crampy back pains, sore nape of neck or sacrum.
• Upper and lower back issues (old whiplash stuff)
• Cramping and fever
• Neuralgia
– Preparation & Dosage
• Fresh or dry bark tincture.
• 1:5 dry tincture 50% alc. 20-75 drops 1-4 x/day.
– Distribution/Habitat
• Viburnum opulus is native to Europe; V. trilobum is native
to north America; V. edule in Northwest.
Elder (Sambucus ssp)
• Taste/Smell: Sweet, Sour, Slightly Acrid,
• Tissue States:
– Dry flowers: Excitation, Tension, Depression
– Berries: Excitation, Tension, Atrophy
• Energetics/Action: Moist, cooling, sedating, stimulating
diaphoretic, mild laxative, diuretic. Elder opens all tubes of body:
Skin, lungs, colon, kidneys, blood vessels , increasing oxygenation
and removal of waste
• Parts used: Flowers, Berries
• Constituents:
– Berries: Flavonoids, Cyanogens, some volatile oils,
– Flowers: Coumarins, Bitters, flavonoids, fatty acid rich volatile
oils, mucilage, sterols and tannins
Elder 2
 Organ affinity: Psychological, Respiratory, Cardiovascular,
Thermoregulation, Skin, Immune, Kidneys, Lymph.
 Presentation/Specific Indications:
– In Infants indicated by blue pale coloring across the nose, and
red dry irritated skin on cheeks. It lubricates skin, improves
respiration. Great children’s remedy.
– Full bodied persons, esp. women with red blue marbling of flesh
on arms and legs with colic, lower back pain and water retention,
puffy skin.
– Older persons w/ edema, blue swollen ankles
– Pale, blue, swelling (stagnant blood and fluids) and/or dry, red,
• Characteristic uses: Respiratory:
– Postnasal drip. Chronic sinusitis.
– Wakes at night, can’t breathe, turns blue
– Spasmodic cough, croup
Elder 3
• Digestion: Intestinal colic, constipation
• Skin: Eczema, weeping eczema, purplish, mottled skin, appears
• Thermoregulation: Fever, Flu, Other viral infections eg West Nile.
Great for immunity esp. during cold season. Flowers stimulate
sweating to break fever. Warm infusion is best in this application.
Classic formula is Elder, Peppermint and Yarrow.
• Kidneys: Increases flow through kidneys. Has been used in
rheumatic conditions where a diuretic is helpful.
• Other : Has been used externally and internally for sprains esp. with
classic elder coloring: purple, swollen, little reddish, white esp
wrists and ankles. Has anti-hepatotoxic, and anti-viral compounds.
Elder 4
• Contraindicaitons: Entire plant is somewhat toxic Large doses are
cathartic, may cause nausea, tachycardia, diarrhea. Red Elder is
considered more toxic and not used in herbal medicine, though
some sources consider it edible in the northwest
• When to Harvest:
– Flowers: Midsummer to late summer (Red flowers earlier and
isn’t used)
– Berries: later summer, early fall
– You can often find flowers and berries on same plant at same
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Dried Flowers: Infusion 2-4 oz in 3 cups water. Divide to 3x
per day
– Dried Berries: up to 3 oz per 3 cups-divide into 3 divided
Elder 5
– Tincture Fresh Berries 1:2 100% alc., 20-60d 3x day
– Tincture Fresh Flowers 1:2 75 % alc. 25 % h2o, 20-60d 3x
• Folklore/Magical: One of 2 or 3 primal remedies of
European herbal tradition. King Charlemagne decreed that
an Elder be planted in every yard to be a ‘medicine cabinet’ .
Called Little Elder Mother, associations to the queen of the
underworld. It was once believed to be dangerous to fall
asleep under an elder due to danger of being taken to the
underworld , with which this tree is often associated.
According to some Christ was crucified on Elder, and Judas
hanged himself on an Elder tree.
• Distribution/Habitat-Widely distributed in Northwest
Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)
• Taste/Smell: sour, astringent, bitter
• Tissue States: irritation/excitation, relaxation, stagnation
• Energetics/Action: cooling (sour), somewhat astringent
(binding, drying), alterative (bitter), hepatice, cholagogue,
cleansing, laxative. Helps downward movement in digestive
• Parts used: root
• Constituents: small amounts of anthraquinone, tannins,
oxalates, glycosides
Yellow Dock (2)
• Organ affinity: Digestive system, liver, Kidneys and Bladder,
head and respiratory system.
• Presentation:
– Yellow around eyes, nose, and mouth with reddish, often
dry cheeks (stagnation of digestive tract).
– Elongated pointed red tongue with red on the sides, tip, or
middle, often with thrush-like coating on back or sides.
– Overabundance of saliva showing digestive over activity,
excessive appetite, and excessive Hydrochloric acid.
– Slow digestion; food sits in stomach like a brick, in the colon.
Characteristic Usage:
• Digestive System: Digestive Normalizer.
Yellow Dock (3)
– Excess stomach secretions and hydrochloric acid; gastric reflux
due to heat; red tipped tongue, excess salivation and big
appetite. Compared to reflux due to cold
digestion/hypochlorhydria/gastric hypofunctioning (pale
tongue, thick tongue coating, lack of appetite, food sits in
stomach, feels like a brick, and ferments). See bitters.
– Diarrhea, dysentary, colitis.
– Diarrhea, especially in the morning; exhaustive, scanty,
bloody, offensive, colicky pains before and after passage,
sinking sensation in the stomach.
– Pain in lower back caused by constipation (person more
aware of pain than of constipation).
– Hemorrhoids, with bleeding, itching, pain, poor expulsion of
Yellow Dock (4)
• Liver
– Torpid or sluggish liver, gallstones
• Skin
– Red, damp, skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and
– Chronic erysipelas, or inflamed puffiness of the skin (dry
root decoction).
• Female
– Poor iron absorption/anemia, amenorrhea, Pregnancy:
anemia (with nettles).
• Head:
– Nursing sore mouth with ulcerated mucosa; thrush
– Tongue elongated, pointed, red with patches of white on
the back or in mouth, heavy thrush-like coating
Yellow Dock (5)
• Contraindications: use cautiously if person has history of
oxalate kidney stones.
• Preparation & Dosage: Root is ideally collected after
going to seed in summer or fall and used by decoction or
tincture. Usual dose of tincture 5-30 drops (Fyfe), or 2040drops twice per day (Gagnon). Curly dock rather than
water dock should be used.
• Distribution/Habitat: Grows widely throughout North
America. Mostly replaced in Northwest by Rumex
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
• Taste/Smell: sour, slightly sweet,
aromatic lemony smell
• Tissue States: heat/excitation
• Energetics/Action: cooling, calming,
nervine, sedative, mild antidepressant, mild anti-spasmodic,
carminative, Diaphoretic, antiviral.
• Parts used: flowering herb
• Constituents: (major constituents):
several flavonoids, triterpenes, and
essential oils (including citronella).
Lemon Balm (2)
• Organ affinity: nervous system, respiratory system, heart,
digestive system, thyroid (hyper), thermoregulation/fever
• Tongue/Pulse: Rapid and or superficial pulse, and an
elongated pointed, red tongue.
• Characteristic uses:
– Nervous system:
• Sympathetic excess, hyper-adrenalism,
• Nervousness, depression, anxiety, panic attacks,
• Debility and weakness of nervous origin
• Nervous headache (cold infusion)
Lemon Balm (3)
• Respiratory System:
– Antiviral , colds, coughs
• Thyroid and Heart
– Hyperthyroidism, anxiety, palpitations, headaches,
– Atrial fibrillation, heart palpitations, high blood pressure
associated with anxiety and hyperthyroidism.
– Rapid or superficial pulse.
• Digestive System:
– Dyspepsia, upset stomach, flatulence.
– Nervous indigestion (hot tea after meal)
– Nausea and vomiting.
Lemon Balm (4)
• Skin:
– Burns, blisters, herpes/cold sores (very useful),
stings, burning sensations.
– Sweaty palms (hyperthyroid/hyper adrenalism).
• Fevers:
– Recent colds and fevers (hot tea to promote
– Acute febrile conditions in children
– Depression following exhaustive fevers and long
irritation of the digestion.
Lemon Balm 5
• Contraindications: hypothyroidism, pregnancy
• When to Harvest: summer
• Preparation and Dosage: fresh tincture 1:2 100% alcohol.
Fresh tincture preferred. 20-60d 3-5/day or as needed
• Distribution: Widely distributed in Northwest (wild and
Linden Flower, Tilia americana,
• Taste/Smell: sweet, slightly astringent.
• Tissue state: heat/excitation, atrophy, relaxation
• Energetics/Action: moist, cool, diaphoretic, diuretic,
hypotensive, antispasmodic, sedative, nervine,
• Parts used: flower and leaves
• Constituents: flavonoids, tannins, mucilage, sterols,
steroidal saponins, volatile oils.
Linden Flower (2)
• Organ affinity: nervous system, thermoregulation,
respiratory system, digestive system, cardiovascular
• Characteristic uses
– Nervous system, mind, emotions:
• Nervousness, restlessness, hyperactivity, insomnia,
• Panic attacks, anxiety
• Nervous headache, migraine, dizziness, neuralgia,
convulsions (children).
– Respiratory system:
• Influenza, fever, colds, coughs.
Linden Flower (3)
• Digestion:
– Indigestion, nervous vomiting, painful digestion, colic,
• Cardiovascular & Blood:
– Heart palpitations, cramps
– Arteriosclerosis and hypertension associated with
nervous tension.
• Other:
If client is on cortisone this remedy is indicated.
Linden (4)
• Contraindications: none known
• Preparation & Dosage: American and European
species are interchangeable.
– Infusion: 1-2 tsp per cup water
– 1:5 dry herb tincture 20-40 drops 1-4 times/day.
Distribution/Habitat: Often planted along residential
streets in the Northwest. See Powell Boulevard
Portland in the 20s and 30s and beyond.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
• Taste/Smell: bitter, pungent, acrid, astringent,
• Tissue States: excitation, depression, relaxation
• Energetics/Action: cooling & warming
(normalizing), drying, diaphoretic, bitter tonic,
astringent, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory.
• Parts used: flowers and leaves
• Constituents: flavonoids, vitamin C, bitters,
tannins, alkaloids, sterols, phenolic acids (incl.
salicylates), coumarins, sesquiterpene lactones,
volitile oils, and many others.
Yarrow (2)
• Organ affinity: circulatory system, digestion, female,
thermoregulation/fever, respiratory system, kidney/bladder,
• Presentation
– Robust sanguine persons, with red, full blooded complexion.
– Skin complexion is red with blue veins showing through on the
arms and legs; bruises are red and blue.
• Specific Indications:
– Tongue elongated, pointed, red, blue in center, dry toward
center, not heavily coated, wet toward edges.
– Tongue cracked down middle and opening to reveal crisscrossed
red tissues (feathered look - like a yarrow leaf).
– Rapid, full, non-resistant pulse.
Yarrow (3)
Characteristic uses:
• Mind, senses, nerves emotions, personality
– ‘wounded warrior, wounded healer’ remedy; and
sensitive delicate persons.
• Wounds/Injuries/Bleeding
– Lacerations; injuries to arteries of violent origin,
hemorrhage of bright arterial blood.
– Bruises of violent origin, with cuts (cf. Arnica - bruises
w/out cuts / bleeding)
– Old bruises that have become hard, especially to head
– Internal bleeding/hemorrhage; Stroke, head injury;
Cerebral thrombosis; Nosebleed
– Acute inflammation with congestion of blood
Yarrow (4)
• Respiration:
– Bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, inflammation and pain in
the chest; bleeding from lungs with night sweats.
• Digestion:
• Lack of appetite, bloating, digestive cramps, colic.
• Dyspepsia, colitis, diverticulitis, with tongue cracked
down middle and full, non-resistant pulse. OR pale dry
tongue (cold digestive system).
• Bleeding from stomach and intestines
• Bleeding hemorrhoids
• Decongests internal organs when blood is collecting in
the interior. Brings blood to surface and improves
digestion and assimilation.
• A cold cup of yarrow tea stimulates digestion, while a
hot cup tends to open the skin.
Yarrow (5)
– Lack of menstrual flow (slow onset), or heavy hemorrhagic
flow/excessive bleeding.
– Reduces uterine and circulatory blood congestion and
moderates menstruation.
– Clumsy feeling before period; menstrual cramping
– Uterine fibroids with bright red hemorrhage (cf. Capsella
(Shepherds purse), fibroids w clotted dark flow).
– Endometriosis (cf. Trillium)
– Inflammation of ovaries
– Atonic uterus and vagina, and Uterine prolapse
– Menopause, restless night sweats
– Pregnancy & Parturition - clumsiness 12 hrs before delivery due
to hormonal changes, and prevents excessive bleeding; pain
after delivery, suppression of the lochia.
Yarrow (6)
• Fever:
– In acute fever, rapid, full, non-resistant pulse.
– Fever; sudden onset, with or without chills (especially in
robust persons)
– Fever; chicken pox, measles (brings out the rash).
– Acute fever, early stages; skin cool, weak pulse, brings
circulation to the surface and brings out the rash.
• Circulation and blood
– Yarrow is Master of the Blood
– Varicose veins; High blood pressure when there is blood
congestion; thrombosis, stroke, clotting disorders; arterial
• Kidney & Bladder
– Acute inflammation and bleeding (Nephritis)
– Acute cystitis with or without bleeding with scanty urine
and incontinence.
Yarrow (7)
• Contraindications: Be aware of possible allergies. Some
say avoid during first trimester.
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Harvest flower tops in summer. Yarrow from harsher
environments seem to have stronger medicinal
– Infusion: 1 tsp per cup of water;
– Tincture 1:1 fresh tincture 100% alcohol, 10-30 drops
1-4 times per day.
• Distribution/Habitat: Widely distributed worldwide.
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
• Taste/Smell: aromatic, bitter
• Tissue States: excitation, constriction,
atrophy, depression
• Energetics/Action: antiseptic, cooling,
stimulating, relaxing, carminative,
antidepressant, and nervine.
• Parts used: flower
• Constituents: volatile oils, triterpenes,
coumarins, flavonoids.
Lavender (2)
• Organ affinity: Nervous system, respiratory system, skin,
digestive system.
Presentation/Constitution: Irritability, nervousness,
anxiety, panic, depression, nervous exhaustion, especially
in Vata types. Driven people with too high standards,
insomnia and irritability from stress and overwork.
• Characteristic uses:
– Mind, senses, nerves, emotions, personality
• Perfectionist, detail-oriented, picky
• Depression and mild anxiety
• Insomnia; mind too active to sleep
Lavender (3)
• Head:
– Dizziness, fainting
– Severe headaches, neuralgia of the head (a drop of oil
on temple)
– Migraine from detail work or overwork, head droops
from fatigue
• Digestion:
– Nervous dyspepsia with flatulence, cramping, nausea,
– Stomach cramp, intestinal gas and colic
– Motion sickness
Lavender (4)
– Respiratory System:
• Influenza, bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough,
– Liver: liver congestion
– Skin
• Burns, vesiculation with redness
– Cardiovascular system:
• Emotional mental unrest with anxiety and
– Muscular /skeletal
• Painful arthritic joints and weak limbs
Lavender (5)
• Contraindications: Some herbalists advise avoiding in
pregnancy unless supervised by qualified practitioner.
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Essential oil (most commonly used preparation
external and inhalation)
– 1-2 tsp /cup water (infusion)
– 1:5 dry liquid extract: 10-30 drops 1-4x/day
• Distribution/Habitat: Common garden herb in Northwest.
(Leonurus cardiaca)
• Taste/Smell: Bitter, Acrid, Aromatic
• Tissue States: Excitation, Tension,
• Energetics/Actions: Nervine,
Sedative, Hypotensive, Cardiotonic,
Bitter refrigerant, Emmenagogue,
• Parts used: Aerial parts
• Constituents: Alkaloids, Bitter iridoids,
diterpenes, Flavonoids, Plant acids,
Resins, Tannins and Volatile oils.
Motherwort 2
• Organ affinity: Mind, Heart/cardiovascular, Digestion,
Kidneys, Female system, thermoregulation
• Presentation: Heart palpitations. Disturbed sleep.
Nervousness, anxiety in menopausal women. Issues of the
heart, mind, and uterus.
• Characteristic uses:
– Mind: Insomnia, anxiety, dizziness from peripheral
Motherwort 3
• Digestion: Indigestion due to nervous irritability
• Cardiovascular:
– Heart palpitations during pregnancy, menstruation or
menopause. High blood pressure.
– Hyperthyroidism with heart symptoms including tachycardia,
heart palpitations. (compare to Lycopus and Melissa).
– Tachycardia due to anxiety
• Female: Superlative female remedy
– Premenstrual cramps, nervousness, esp with delayed
menstruation; congestive amenorrhea, and dysmenorhea.
– Suppressed lochia. It expels afterbirth.
– Relaxes and organizes the contractility of the uterus.
Motherwort 4
• Thermoregulation:
– Fever, colds, chills, flu esp. when nerves are affected,
debility, exhaustion.
– Opens the skin as a diaphoretic
– Hot flashes, heart palpitations and nervousness
following fever.
– Spasms, seizures associated with fever
• Other:
– Mildly stimulates the kidneys and colon,
– Some benefit in melancholy
– Used in china as kidney remedy.
Motherwort 5
• Contraindications: Contraindicated during pregnancy due
to emmenagogue effects. Contraindicated for hypothyroid.
• When to Harvest: All summer
• Preparation & Dosage:
Infusion: 1 oz: 8oz up to 4x daily
1:2 tincture 20-40 drops up to 4x per day.
• Distribution/Habitat:
Cultivated in our region. Grows very well in Northwest
Lycopus/Bugleweed (Lycopus
virginicus )
• Taste/Smell: Bitter
• Tissue States: Excitation, Atrophy
• Energetics/Actions: Cooling, Drying,
Sedative Astringent, Hemostatic,
Nervine, Diuretic.
• Parts used: Aerial parts
• Constituents: Flavonoids (cooling)
bitters, tannins, and volatile oils
Lycopus 2
• Organ affinity:
– Mind, Heart, Circulation, Digestion, Thyroid
• Presentation and Specific Indications
– Staring, fearful, hunted animal eyes.
– Pulse rapid and tumultuous showing heart excitation
– Hyperthyroidism, (compare with Motherwort and
Melissa); hyperadrenalism.
• Characteristic Uses:
– Mind: anxious, driven, fearful
– Insomnia- Morbid vigilance (extreme insomnia)
Lycopus 3
• Circulatory:
– Irregular rapid pulse
– Labored tumultuous action of heart with skin blanched and
extremities cold
– Equalizes circulation; Tachycardia; arrhythmias; Often works in
conditions where digitalis fails.
– Heart palpitations with nervous origin
– Maybe useful in pericarditis and endocarditis (Ellingwood).
– Passive capillary congestion
• Endocrine:
– Reduces output of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) from
pituitary, turning down excessive thyroid level
– Reduces hyperadrenalism
• Other: Bleeding in various organs, kidneys, lungs etc.
Lycopus 4
• Contraindications: Due to complex pharmacology and
endocrine effects it is not advised for nursing mothers,
pregnant women and in cases of hypothyroidism. Not
advised for moderate coronary artery disease without expert
• When to Harvest: Before flowering is best
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Tincture 1:2 Fresh herb 10-20 drops 3x/day
• For heart arrhythmias lower more frequent doses.
– Cold infusion 1 oz to 8oz water up to 3x daily
• Distribution/Habitat- L. uniflorus common in wet areas, low
to middle elevations in Northwest.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
• Taste/Smell: Bitter
• Tissue States: Excitation, Constriction,
• Energetics/Actions
– Cooling, Sedative, Antispasmodic,
Nervine, Hypotensive, Anxiolytic
• Parts used: Aerial parts
• Constituents: Flavonoids, bitter
iridoids, volatile oil, tannins
Skullcap 2
• Organ affinity: Mind, Nervous system, Musculoskeletal.
Presentation: Overly sensitive to sound, lights, activity.
Anxiety. Restless, twitches before sleep, digestive
constriction. Restlessness with fever. Nervous fear.
• Characteristic Uses:
– Mind: oversensitivity, irritability, insomnia with twitching,
nervous stomach.
– Nervous system: Musculoskeletal spasm and twitching
due to nervous origin. Can bring this about in large doses.
Can also cause twitching and spasm.
Skullcap 3
• Nervous System continued:
– Nervous excitability and exhaustion. Functions here as a
nerve trophorestorative
– Once used to help treat epileptic seizures
• Thermoregulation:
– For high fever with delirium, tremors spasms
– Mild fever with irritability, insomnia
– Restores the nervous system after a high or protracted
fever has caused imbalance
• Musculoskeletal:
– Twitchy muscles, twitching during sleep
– Nervous excitability
Skullcap 4
• Contraindications: Earlier reports of hepatotoxicity were
due to adulteration with Germander
• When to Harvest: Before seed is best.
• Preparation & Dosage:
– Infusion 1-2 tsp in 8oz water up to 4x daily
– Tincture: Dry 1:5 in 40% alc. 15-30drops up to 4x daily
• Distribution : Scutellaria lateriflora grows wild in OR in
moist bottom lands, meadows and grassy clearings. Grows
well cultivated. Can be easily confused with relatives.
Safest to pick cultivated.
Passionflower (Passiflora
• Taste/Smell: sour, sweet
• Tissue States: Tension, Excitation
• Energetics/Action: cooling, relaxing
• Parts used: flowering herb
• Constituents: flavonoids (inc. rutin), indole alkaloids, fatty
acids, and sterols.
Passionflower (2)
• Organ affinity: Nervous system, Mind, Head, Respiratory
system, Digestive System, Female reproductive
• Presentation: Overactive mind, mind chatter, nervous
excitement, irritation, agitation, or exhaustion with muscular
twitches; convulsions of any character; neuralgias.
• Characteristic uses:
– Mind senses nerves, emotions, personality
• Wakefulness, insomnia, mental chatter, inability to turn
off the internal dialogue; easily distracted and over
stimulated during the day with difficulty falling asleep at
• Sleeplessness following excessive use of alcohol.
– Head
• Acts strongly on hind brain (medulla oblongata)
Passionflower (3)
• Respiratory System
• Spasmodic Asthma; spasmodic cough, dry nervous
• Contraindications: In sensitive individuals or children may
cause overexcitement , nausea, or vomiting. unknown
• Preparation & Dosage: There is great variation in the
medicinal properties of the wild plant.
Dry flower extract 1:2: 5-40 drops 3-5x day
• Distribution/Habitat: Native in southern united states and
Guatemala. Cultivated in Northwest. Flowers but doesn’t
Other plants that
fit this tissue state
• Rhubarb root(Rheum officinale)
• Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
• Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa)
• Lemon/lime (Citrus spp)
• Blueberry (Vaccinium spp)
• Honeysuckle (Lonicera ssp.)
*In general most fruits and berries are cooling and
fit this tissue state

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