Medicincal Herbs

Valerian

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a hardy perennial flowering plant, with heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers. The flowers are in bloom in the northern hemisphere from June to September. Valerian was used as a perfume in the sixteenth century. It has also been used in herbal medicine as a sedative, and as a remedy for insomnia. The chief constituent of Valerian is a yellowish-green to brownish-yellow, present in the dried root, and varying from 0.5 to 2 percent though an average yield rarely exceeds 0.8 percent. This variation in quantity is partly explained by location: a dry, stony soil, yielding a root richer in oil than one that is moist and fertile. The volatile oils that form the active ingredient in Valerian are extremely pungent, somewhat reminiscent of well-matured cheese. Valerian tea should not be prepared with boiling water, as this may drive off the lighter oils. Serving: 1/4 tsp. (1g) What is it? Valerian, a perennial flowering herb that grows in North America, Europe and Asia, has been used for centuries as a perfume and as a mild, relaxing sedative. Its use dates to ancient Greece and Rome. What are the benefits? It has long been popular as a natural sleep aid in Europe, and as an anti-anxiety drug. For most users it decreases the time needed to fall asleep, lessens wakefulness in the middle of the night and helps users feel more rested in the morning. In recent years this pungent herb has become popular for the treatment of anxiety.


Mucuna Puriens 

Mucuna also known as the Velvet Bean. Mucuna is an annual, climbing shrub, with long vines reaching over 15mm in length. In many parts of the world Mucuna Pruriens is used as an important forage, fallow, and green manure crop. Since the plant is in the legume family (peas and beans) it, with the help of nitrogen fixing bacteria, takes nitrogen gas from the air and combines it with other chemical compounds. This produces a fertilizer and improves the soil. To that end, the whole plant is fed to animals as silage, as dried hay and dried seeds. This silage of Mucuna pruriens contains 11-23% crude protein, 35-40% crude fiber, and the dried beans 20-35% crude protein. It has also been used as an effective aphrodisiac and is still used today to increase the libido of both men and women. Found in tropical parts of India. Source of protein and fiber. Used as an aphrodisiac. Serving: 1/4 tsp. (1g) What is it? Mucuna Pruriens is a legume native to the tropics, alternately referred to as velvet bean. It has numerous common names including cowhage and picapica. It grows as a climbing vine and can reach lengths in excess of 50 feet. What are the benefits? Mucuna Pruriens is believed to contain neurotransmitter precursors as well as serotonin enhancers. It has also been used historically as an aphrodisiac and as an inducement to lucid dreaming. How is it used? ¼ - 1 tsp. can be mixed with milk, nut milk, favorite juice or smoothies. It can also be added when making chocolate.


Ashwagandha 

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng, is considered one of the most important adaptogens in Ayurveda. The herb's properties help to alleviate bodily pains, are anti-inflammatory, help to calm the nervous system, increase muscular endurance and stamina, improve concentration, are a powerful aphrodisiac, an immune booster, and revitalizer of the body, decreasing fatigue. Serving: 1/4 tsp. (1g) What is it? Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Winter Cherry, is a shrub cultivated in India and North America. Its roots have been used for thousands of years by Ayurvedic and other holistic practitioners to help strengthen and heal the body. What are the benefits? Historically, Ashwagandha root has been believed to have virility-enhancing properties. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, antioxidant, and immune-enhancing and rejuvenating properties. How is it used? ¼-1 teaspoon can be made into a tincture, as tea or mixed in smoothie