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Herbal Medicine

Herbs of the Month

— From the Global BCTV “Ask an Expert Segment” on the Sunday Morning News with Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist

The information given here is for consumer education only. It is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care practitioner in a clinic environment. Any chronic illness should be treated while under the care of a trained health care practitioner and not self-medicated.

May 2002

Milk Thistle: Carduus marianus
Milk thistle is one of the best liver tonics in the herbal-world.

  • A bitter tonic Milk Thistle aids digestion of fatty foods
  • Promotes bile flow and helps speed up cell turnover, promoting healthy liver cells
  • Provides anti oxidant properties to the body and assists with liver cleansing and detoxification
  • Milk thistle speeds up liver cell turnover and supports liver function in chronic degenerative liver conditions
  • Offers protection against alcohol, drug and environmental poisons.

Milk thistle works well combined with other liver tonic herbs such as Dandelion Root and Burdock Root for an enhanced liver tonic, cleansing and detoxification effect.

Creating Your Own Natural First Aid Kit

  • For kitchen burns, you can rely on Lavender Essential Oil applied frequently and directly to the burn, to cool the area, prevent blistering and speed up the healing time.
  • For a sore throat, the kitchen herbs Thyme, Rosemary or Sage prepared as a strong tea and used as a throat gargle will provide relief.
  • For indigestion, chewing on fennel seeds, or prepare a tea from the fennel seeds to help settle the stomach.
  • For cuts and scrapes I use cayenne pepper powder applied directly to the cut to stop the bleeding and the antiseptic herb Marigold, in tincture or cream form to speed up cell turnover and healing, while also preventing infection.
  • Lastly, with bee stings or insect bites, apply a poultice or cream of Plantain leaves to pull out poison and relieve itching.

June 2002

Hawthorn: Crataegus oxycanthoides.
The leaf, flower and fruits are one of the safest tonics for the heart. Hawthorn can increase blood flow through the heart and is strengthening to the heart muscle without increasing the heartbeat or blood pressure. In a clinic environment, Hawthorn can be used as an invaluable heart tonic for high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis and improving circulation. The standard adult dose of tincture is 2 ml taken 3 times daily.


July 2002

Yarrow: Achillea millefolium
Yarrow is used medicinally as a digestive and kidney tonic and also used for its anti inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Yarrow has bitter properties, which when taken internally, can stimulate digestion. Drank as a hot tea, Yarrow flowers are used to stimulate circulation and for lowering blood pressure by dilating peripheral blood vessels. It is often combined with Linden and Hawthorn for reducing blood pressure. Being an herb with many medicinal properties, Yarrow is also a urinary antiseptic and diuretic, gently increasing the flow of urine. The standard adult dosage for a tincture is 2-4 ml taken 3 times per day.

February 2003

Bilberry or Blueberry: Vaccinium myrtillus
The leaves and fruit are used medicinally. The bioflavinoid content in bilberry works to strengthen blood vessels and stimulates capillary repair. Studies indicate that bilberry can accelerate wound healing, prevent nosebleeds and treat varicose veins. In France, bilberry extracts have been prescribed for diabetic retinopathy since the early 1940’s and Bilberry has had a long history of use for diabetes, preventing diabetic retinopathy and cataracts. In a clinic environment bilberry can be combined with Goats rue and Fenugreek for balancing blood sugar levels.
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May 2003

Uva Ursi or Bearberry: Arctostaphylos uva ursi
A locally grown herb used as a urinary antiseptic and diuretic. Traditionally uva ursi has been used for painful urination, water retention, and urinary tract infection. It works best when combined with other soothing urinary tonics such as: Corn Silk, Buchu and Marshmallow root.
The standard adult dose is 2-4 ml of tincture taken 3 times daily.
Uva ursi is best used for short-term acute conditions and should be avoided in pregnancy, lactation and chronic kidney disease.

June 2003

Skullcap: Scutellaria lateriflora
A widely used tonic herb for the central nervous system, skullcap works well for insomnia, anxiety and conditions of exhaustion due to overwork. Skullcap combines well with other nervous system tonic herbs such as Passion Flower, Valerian and Lemon balm. The standard adult dose in 2-4 ml three times per day or can be prepared as a herbal tea by using one teaspoon of herb to one cup of water, steeped for 15 minutes and drank as a tea.

September 2003

Mullein: Verbascum thapsus
Mullein benefits irritable respiratory complaints. The tincture is used internally for asthma, hayfever and bronchitis. Mullein works well combined with Elecampane and Lobelia for asthmatic conditions and can be combined with Garlic infused oil as a topical application for outer and middle ear infections. The standard adult dose of tincture internally is 5 ml three times daily.


October 2003

Blue Flag: Iris versicolor
Blue Flag is a medicinal plant where the root is used medicinally. I use Blue flag in my clinic for skin conditions such as eczema, acne and psoriasis. Blue flag aids skin conditions by working through the liver and works best as part of a larger treatment program, combined with other skin cleansing herbs such as Red clover, Burdock and Yellow dock root.
Blue flag is also useful for conditions involving congested lymph glands and has diuretic and gentle laxative properties. Standard adult dose of tincture is 5 ml three times daily.

November 2003

German Chamomile: Matricaria
Chamomile is a well-known herb used for numerous health conditions. Chamomile can be used internally for restlessness and hyperactivity in children, combined with ginger from travel sickness. An anti-inflammatory and anti spasmodic herb, chamomile helps to calm down spasms of the digestive tract in conditions of cramping and indigestion.
Chamomile can be taken in both tea and tincture, The medicinal dose of tea for an adult is 1 teaspoon of herb is used for a cup of tea, drank 3 times daily. The adult dose of tincture is 5 ml 3 times daily. Some people may develop contact rare contact allergies to this plant.

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© 2009 Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist
Port Moody Clinic: 201-2615 St John's Street, Port Moody BC, V3H 2B5 • tel.: 604.939.4325
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