Mother Earth Living

Herb Basics: Powerfully Potent Herbs

ave an ache or pain? Start your healing process with these pain busting herbs.
By The Herb Companion
May/June 2004
Add to My MSN

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is most potent when used in tincture form.
Christopher Hobbs
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Angelica Sinensis: The Science Behind Dong Quai

Do you understand how herbs work? We profile dong quai (Angelica sinensis), a medicinal Chinese herb...

Supplement Review: Plantiva ImmuneDx Immune Supplement

Plantiva’s botanical-based immune supplement ImmuneDx combines the power of ginseng, Stephania and o...

Chasing away colds and flu

Herbal immune boosters really work.

10 Things I Learned About Herbs in 2010

Every year—every day, in fact—we learn something new. During my time working for The Herb Companion ...

According to herbalist and acupuncturist Christopher Hobbs, some herbs are more potent in tincture form than in teas or capsules. These herbs include:

• Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
• Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
• Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
• Kava (Piper methysticum)
• Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)
• Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens)
• Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

The constituents in the above herbs are more soluble in alcohol than in water, so you’re more likely to get the active ingredients from your herbs if you use alcohol-based tinctures.

Tinctures generally are made by steeping the dried or fresh herb in a mixture of alcohol and water. Besides extracting the plant’s active ingredients, the alcohol acts as a preservative, allowing tinctures to be kept for up to two years.

Tinctures should be taken diluted in water, unless you have a taste for strong medicine.

The Herb-Drug Connection

One in four prescription medications was discovered originally through the study of traditional cures and folk knowledge of indigenous peoples, called ethnobotany. As the discoveries of aspirin, digitalis and quinine bear witness, the ethnobotanical approach to drug discovery has been spectacularly successful. This table lists only a handful of the drugs prescribed in North America and Europe derived from ethnobotanical research.

Source: Balick, Michael and Paul Alan Cox. Plants, People, and Culture. New York: Scientific American Library, 1996.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.