Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Uses and Identification

 

                 

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1.     Abelmoschus ficulneus

2.     Abies balsamea

3.     Acalypha australis

4.     Acalypha indica

5.     Acanthus ilicifolius

6.     Acanthus mollis

7.     Acanthus montanus

8.     Acanthus spinosus

9.     Acer campestre

10.                        Acer monspessulanum

11.                        Acer negundo

12.                        Acer pensylvanicum

13.                        Acer platanoides

14.                        Acer rubrum

15.                        Acer saccharinum

16.                        Acer tataricum

17.                        Achillea aegyptiaca

18.                        Achillea ageratum

19.                        Achillea alpina

20.                        Achillea atrata

21.                        Achillea clavennae

22.                        Achillea millefolium

23.                        Achillea nobilis

24.                        Achillea ptarmica

25.                        Achyranthes aspera

26.                        Aconitum anthora

27.                        Aconitum lycoctonum

28.                        Aconitum napellus

29.                        Acorus calamus

30.                        Acrostichum aureum

31.                        Actaea racemosa

32.                        Actaea spicata

33.                        Adansonia digitata

34.                        Adenanthera pavonina

35.                        Adiantum capillus-veneris

36.                        Adiantum pedatum

37.                        Adiantum philippense

38.                        Adiantum trapeziforme

39.                        Adonis annua

40.                        Adonis vernalis

41.                        Adoxa moschatellina

42.                        Aechmea lingulata

43.                        Aechmea nudicaulis

44.                        Aechmea serrata

45.                        Aeginetia indica

46.                        Aegopodium podagraria

47.                        Aeschynomene americana

48.                        Aeschynomene aspera

49.                        Aeschynomene indica

50.                        Aesculus hippocastanum

51.                        Aesculus pavia

52.                        Aethusa cynapium

53.                        Agapanthus africanus

54.                        Agave americana

55.                        Ageratina aromatica

56.                        Ageratum conyzoides

57.                        Agrimonia eupatoria

58.                        Agrostemma githago

59.                        Agrostis canina

60.                        Agrostis capillaris

61.                        Agrostis stolonifera

62.                        Aira caryophyllea

63.                        Aira praecox

64.                        Ajuga genevensis

65.                        Ajuga pyramidalis

66.                        Ajuga reptans

67.                        Albizia lebbeck

68.                        Alcea rosea

69.                        Alchemilla alpina

70.                        Alchemilla vulgaris

71.                        Aldrovanda vesiculosa

72.                        Aletris farinosa

73.                        Alfalfa

74.                        Alisma plantago-aquatica

75.                        Allium ampeloprasum

76.                        Allium angulosum

77.                        Allium canadense

78.                        Allium carinatum

79.                        Allium cepa

80.                        Allium chamaemoly

81.                        Allium fistulosum

82.                        Allium flavum

83.                        Allium lineare

84.                        Allium massaessylum

85.                        Allium moly

86.                        Allium moschatum

87.                        Allium nutans

88.                        Allium obliquum

89.                        Allium ochotense

90.                        Allium oleraceum

91.                        Allium ramosum

92.                        Allium roseum

93.                        Allium sativum

94.                        Allium schoenoprasum

95.                        Allium scorodoprasum

96.                        Allium senescens

97.                        Allium sphaerocephalon

98.                        Allium subhirsutum

99.                        Allium tenuissimum

100.                   Allium triquetrum

101.                   Allium ursinum

102.                   Allium victorialis

103.                   Allophylus cobbe

104.                   Allophylus zeylanicus

105.                   Almond

106.                   Alnus glutinosa

107.                   Alocasia macrorrhizos

108.                   Aloe perfoliata

109.                   Aloe variegata

110.                   Alopecurus geniculatus

111.                   Alopecurus pratensis

112.                   Althaea cannabina

113.                   Althaea officinalis

114.                   Alyssum spinosum

115.                   Amaranthus blitum

116.                   Amaranthus cannabinus

117.                   Amaranthus caudatus

118.                   Amaranthus graecizans

119.                   Amaranthus hybridus

120.                   Amaranthus hypochondriacus

121.                   Amaranthus retroflexus

122.                   Amaranthus spinosus

123.                   Amaranthus tricolor

124.                   Amaryllis belladonna

125.                   Amberboa moschata

126.                   Ambrosia artemisiifolia

127.                   Ambrosia trifida

128.                   American ginseng

129.                   Amethystea caerulea

130.                   Ammi majus

131.                   Amorpha fruticosa

132.                   Ampelopsis arborea

133.                   Amphicarpaea bracteata

134.                   Anacamptis coriophora

135.                   Anacamptis morio

136.                   Anacamptis pyramidalis

137.                   Anacardium occidentale

138.                   Anacyclus valentinus

139.                   Anadenanthera peregrina

140.                   Anagallis arvensis

141.                   Anaphalis margaritacea

142.                   Anastatica hierochuntica

143.                   Anchusa arvensis

144.                   Anchusa officinalis

145.                   Andromeda polifolia

146.                   Andropogon virginicus

147.                   Androsace alpina

148.                   Androsace lactea

149.                   Androsace septentrionalis

150.                   Androsace villosa

151.                   Anemone apennina

152.                   Anemone coronaria

153.                   Anemone hepatica

154.                   Anemone hortensis

155.                   Anemone narcissiflora

156.                   Anemone nemorosa

157.                   Anemone quinquefolia

158.                   Anemone ranunculoides

159.                   Anemone sylvestris

160.                   Anemone trifolia

161.                   Anemone virginiana

162.                   Anethum graveolens

163.                   Angelica archangelica

164.                   Angelica atropurpurea

165.                   Angelica lucida

166.                   Angelica sylvestris

167.                   Anise

168.                   Annona glabra

169.                   Annona muricata

170.                   Annona reticulata

171.                   Annona squamosa

172.                   Anoda cristata

173.                   Antennaria alpina

174.                   Antennaria dioica

175.                   Antennaria plantaginifolia

176.                   Anthemis arvensis

177.                   Anthemis cotula

178.                   Anthericum liliago

179.                   Anthericum ramosum

180.                   Anthoxanthum odoratum

181.                   Anthriscus sylvestris

182.                   Anthyllis cytisoides

183.                   Anthyllis montana

184.                   Anthyllis vulneraria

185.                   Antirrhinum majus

186.                   Aphyllanthes monspeliensis

187.                   Apium graveolens

188.                   Apocynum androsaemifolium

189.                   Apocynum cannabinum

190.                   Apocynum venetum

191.                   Aquilegia canadensis

192.                   Aquilegia vulgaris

193.                   Arabidopsis lyrata

194.                   Arabidopsis thaliana

195.                   Arabis alpina

196.                   Arabis glabra

197.                   Arachis hypogaea

198.                   Aralia chinensis

199.                   Aralia nudicaulis

200.                   Aralia racemosa

201.                   Aralia spinosa

202.                   Arbutus unedo

203.                   Archidendron bigeminum

204.                   Arctium lappa

205.                   Arctostaphylos alpina

206.                   Areca catechu

207.                   Arenaria ciliata

208.                   Arenaria serpyllifolia

209.                   Arethusa bulbosa

210.                   Argemone mexicana

211.                   Argentina anserina

212.                   Argyranthemum frutescens

213.                   Arisaema dracontium

214.                   Arisaema triphyllum

215.                   Aristida adscensionis

216.                   Aristolochia baetica

217.                   Aristolochia clematitis

218.                   Aristolochia indica

219.                   Aristolochia longa

220.                   Aristolochia rotunda

221.                   Aristolochia serpentaria

222.                   Arnica montana

223.                   Arnoglossum atriplicifolium

224.                   Aronia arbutifolia

225.                   Artedia squamata

226.                   Artemisia abrotanum

227.                   Artemisia absinthium

228.                   Artemisia annua

229.                   Artemisia arborescens

230.                   Artemisia campestris

231.                   Artemisia dracunculus

232.                   Artemisia maritima

233.                   Artemisia vulgaris

234.                   Artichoke

235.                   Arum maculatum

236.                   Arundo donax

237.                   Asafoetida

238.                   Asarum canadense

239.                   Asarum europaeum

240.                   Asclepias curassavica

241.                   Asclepias exaltata

242.                   Asclepias incarnata

243.                   Asclepias nivea

244.                   Asclepias purpurascens

245.                   Asclepias syriaca

246.                   Asclepias tuberosa

247.                   Asclepias verticillata

248.                   Asimina triloba

249.                   Asparagus

250.                   Asparagus acutifolius

251.                   Asparagus asparagoides

252.                   Asparagus capensis

253.                   Asparagus falcatus

254.                   Asparagus officinalis

255.                   Asperugo procumbens

256.                   Asperula arvensis

257.                   Asperula cynanchica

258.                   Asperula tinctoria

259.                   Asphodeline lutea

260.                   Asphodelus fistulosus

261.                   Asphodelus ramosus

262.                   Asplenium adiantum-nigrum

263.                   Asplenium ceterach

264.                   Asplenium marinum

265.                   Asplenium nidus

266.                   Asplenium onopteris

267.                   Asplenium platyneuron

268.                   Asplenium rhizophyllum

269.                   Asplenium ruta-muraria

270.                   Asplenium scolopendrium

271.                   Asplenium septentrionale

272.                   Asplenium serratum

273.                   Asplenium trichomanes

274.                   Aster alpinus

275.                   Aster amellus

276.                   Astragalus alpinus

277.                   Astragalus canadensis

278.                   Astragalus cicer

279.                   Astragalus glycyphyllos

280.                   Astragalus monspessulanus

281.                   Astragalus onobrychis

282.                   Astrantia major

283.                   Astrantia minor

284.                   Atriplex halimus

285.                   Atriplex hortensis

286.                   Atriplex littoralis

287.                   Atriplex patula

288.                   Atropa belladonna

289.                   Aurinia saxatilis

290.                   Avena fatua

291.                   Avena sativa

292.                   Averrhoa bilimbi

293.                   Averrhoa carambola

294.                   Avicennia officinalis

295.                   Axyris amaranthoides

 

Artemisia absinthium

  • Wormwood  (Artemisia spp.)
  • Used for: stomach problems, "liver insufficiency", blood circulation, deworming, topical anesthesia, pain relief, and vaginal steaming (A. absinthium, absinthe); Traditional Chinese medicine (A. annua, sweet wormwood, 青蒿)
  • Claimed to:
  • Prevent intestinal worms (but is not effective).
  • Wormwood has been used to treat uncomplicated malaria; like all known chemical treatments for malaria, it can cause resistance. In , Tu Youyou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery and development of artemisinin, a chemical derived from A. annua, in the treatment of malaria.
  • Harmful effects:
  • Harmful effects: Side effects of large doses may include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, headache, dizziness, seizures, numbness of the legs and arms, delirium, paralysis, and kidney and liver failure.
  • Wormwood contains thujone (e.g. as it occurs in small amounts in absinthe), which is neurotoxic above the threshold so caution should be exercised for therapeutic usage.

 

Aconitum anthora

  • Aconite  (Aconitum spp. )
  • Also called: aconitum, monkshood, wolfsbane, leopard's bane, mousebane, women's bane, devil's helmet, Queen of all Poisons, blue rocket
  • Usage
  • In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): many species are used as a general panacea, including as a diaphoretic, diuretic, arthritic, sedative, alterative, and deobstruent, and for rheumatism, bruises, arthritis, acute hypothermia, diarrhea, impotence, and yang imbalance.
  • In Western herbal medicine: (A. napellus) for pain relief, fever reduction, sedation.

There isn't enough evidence to know if it's good for anything.

  • Harmful effects:
  • Aconite is very poisonous, and ingestion may lead to nausea, vomiting, weakness, sweating, breathing problems, heart problems, and death.(Indeed, aconite was, and sometimes is, used as a poison.)
  • Topical use can also cause severe side effects.

 

 

Aloe vera

  • Aloe  (Aloe vera)
  • Also called: Aloë, true aloe, in TCM: lúhuì (蘆薈)
  • Usage'
  • In TCM: although not native to China, it is used as an anthelmintic, stomachic, and laxative, and for ecsema.
  • In Western herbal medicine: softening and smoothing skin (topical), purgative (oral), and wound healing (topical)
  • Beneficial effects: It is effective for topical application to treat minor burns and some skin problems, but may possibly be too dangerous to use internally as a laxative for constipation. Aloe was formerly promoted by some CAM practitioners as a cancer treatment, but it is ineffective, and some patients died after receiving aloe injections.
  • Harmful effects: A cancer study of aloe vera extract in rats and mice found that it "caused cancers of the large intestine in male and female rats and also caused hyperplasia of the large intestine, small intestine, stomach, and lymph nodes in male and female rats. Aloe vera extract also caused hyperplasia of the large intestine in male and female mice and hyperplasia of the mesenteric lymph node in male mice and hyperplasia of the stomach in female mice."

 

Arnica montana

  • Arnica  (Arnica montana, also known as "Leopard's Bane" or "Dog's Bane")
  • Claimed to: Help skin problems (not effective),, induce perspiration, diuresis, expectoration, wound healing, and be a stimulant
  • Harmful effects:
  • Topical arnica is generally safe, but "repeated use can cause skin reactions, severe inflammation, itching, blisters, skin ulcers, and other allergy-related skin problems," especially when used on broken skin.
  • Arnica is extremely toxic when ingested and shouldn't be taken internally.

 

Areca catechu

  • Betelnut  (Areca catechu )
  • Also called: areca nut, paan; in TCM: bīnláng (檳榔)
  • Preparation: Areca nuts are usually wrapped with Piper betel  leaves and/or slaked lime  (calcium hydroxide) and/or tobacco. The concoction is ingested.
  • Usage: traditional Chinese medicine for deworming, antiparasitic, malaria prophylaxis, and "foul-smelling" diseases. Used in Southeast Asia to colourblacken teeth. It's also apparently "widely used in Ayurveda".
  • Harmful effects:
  • Prolonged use can lead to mouth, liver, cervical, stomach, prostate, lung, and sweat gland cancer.
  • Other side effects of betel nut/leaf include skin color changes, dilated pupils, blurred vision, wheezing/difficulty breathing, increased breathing rate, salivation, increased tearing, incontinence, sweating, diarrhea, fever, confusion, problems with eye movement, psychosis, amnesia, stimulant effects, and a feeling of euphoria. It can also cause dependence, and withdrawal can cause anxiety or memory lapse. Betel nut chewing can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, high or low blood pressure, and irregular heart beats.
  • Usage may be associated with other diseases (HIV/AIDS, dengue fever, tuberculosis, and typhoid) due to immunosuppression, injury to the oral mucosa, and associated fecal-oral contamination of the betel quid ingredients.

 

 

A. californica

  • Birthwort (Aristolochia spp.)

See the main article on this topic: Aristolochia

  • Also called: pipevine, Dutchman's pipe
  • Usage: Ninety-nine species have been documented to be used ethnobotanically worldwide, so usage would tend to be that of a panacea overall. Some of the main usages are:
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine for various things, including eczema
  • Ayurveda (A. indica)
  • Western herbal medicine, particularly A. clematitis for promoting sweating, menstruation, reducing fever, inducing childbirth, and stimulation.
  • Harmful effects:
  • It contains aristolochic acid,  (AA) which is a known human carcinogen, and causes kidney failure and upper urinary tract cancer.
  • Birthwort is considered to be a significant cause of kidney failure and upper urinary tract cancer in Taiwan, because of the popularity of herbal medicine there (approximately % of Taiwan's herbal medicine prescriptions contain aristolochic acid, and AA has been ingested by approximately % of Taiwan's population.)The Taiwanese Department of Health banned its use in cosmetics and commercial skincare preparations in .
  • In Belgium, a weight loss spa using TCM herbs gave its clients herbal supplements containing birthwort, and as a result, more than  out of  of its patients developed kidney failure, and several also developed urothelial and bladder cancers. Because Traditional Chinese Medicine allows for the substitution of identically or similarly named plants, plants that are botanically unrelated may be substituted. In this case, the relatively safe Stephania tetrandra (漢防己, Han Fang Ji) was intended for the clients, but the lethal Aristolochia fangchi (廣防己, Guang Fang Ji) was given to the clients.
  • European birthwort (Aristolochia clematitis) is also used as a medicinal plant and contains aristolochic acid. It has been linked to thousands of cases of kidney failure (Balkan endemic nephropathy ) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Serbia.
  • The true number of cases of aristolochic acid nephropathy (usually fatal) is unknown and is probably underestimated.

 

Actaea racemosa

  • Black cohosh  (Actaea racemosa)
  • Also called: black bugbane, black snakeroot, fairy candle
  • Claimed to: reduce spasms, contract tissues, increase urination, increase menstruation, increase mucous, and be a sedative
  • Harmful effects: may include stomach upset, cramping, headache, rash, a feeling of heaviness, vaginal spotting or bleeding, and weight gain.

 

Angelica sinensis

 

  • Dong quai  (Angelica sinensis); 當歸
  • Usage: traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Harmful effects: It may be dangerous to take dong quai in large amounts for a long time because it contains carcinogens. Dong quai can cause skin to be more sensitive to sunlight, thus possibly increasing the risk of skin cancer. It may or may not act like estrogen in the body. It can slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding, and so should not be taken less than  weeks before surgery. Dong quai may increase the risk of miscarriage.

 

Allium sativum

  • Garlic  (Allium sativum)
  • In traditional Chinese medicine: It is known as suàn (). "The medicinal virtues of garlic are considered to be many. It is thought to have a special influence upon the spleen, stomach, and kidneys, acting as a sedative and removing poisons. It is supposed to correct the unwholesomeness of water, to destroy the noxious effect of putrid meat and fish, and to prevent goitre and pestilential diseases."
  • In Western herbal medicine: Used for constipation, poor digestion, intestinal worms, dysentery, cholera, typhoid and paratyphoid. Lowers blood cholesterol and blood pressure, Lowers blood sugar. Reduces risk of certain cancers. Fights minor viral infections such as cold and sore throat.
  • Truth:
  • Known antimicrobial effect in vitro, tests suggest some effect on throat infections in greater-than-typical amounts.
  • Cancer claims based on large-scale statistics of incidence and diet, probably bullshit.
  • A meta-analysis showed consistent evidence that garlic powder intake reduces the cardiovascular disease risk factors of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Garlic consumption increases cellular hydrogen sulfide (HS) production. Increased production of cellular HS is likely behind the life-extension effects of caloric restriction in animals.
  • Seductive effect on body odor well-documented and conclusive. Freshens breath for up to twelve hours.
  • Side effects:
  • Bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odor, diarrhea, and an increased risk of bleeding.
  • "Asthma has been reported in people working with garlic, and other allergic reactions are possible."

 

 

Aesculus hippocastanumfruit and nut

  • Horse chestnut  (Aesculus hippocastanum)
  • Used for: varicose veins, skin ulcers, hemorrhoids, neuralgia and sunburn.
  • Standardized horse chestnut seed extract is good for varicose veins, chronic venous insufficiency, and symptoms of poor blood circulation.
  • Standardized, esculin-free horse chestnut seed extract is mostly safe, with side effects including dizziness, headache, stomach upset, and itching. It may lower blood sugar. Raw horse chestnut seed, leaf, bark, and flower, on the other hand, are toxic and can be lethal.

 

 

Artemisia vulgaris

  • Mugwort  (Artemisia vulgaris)
  • In TCMai () refers to A. vulgaris. Other species of Artemisia are also used. A. vulgaris is used in moxibustion, and is regarded as a panacea.
  • Used for: improving appetite and digestion, laxative, menstrual regulation, gout, rheumatism, tired legs, vaginal steaming, homeopathy, and moxibustion.
  • Claimed to: to treat everything under the sun.
  • Side effects: the allergenic qualities of American ragweed. Mugwort and can cause hay fever, rashes, and other irritations. It also appears to be related to some food allergies.
  • Benefits: No evidence that it does anything useful.

 

  • Mu Tong (Aristolochia manshuriensis or Akebia spp.)

"Mu tong" (木通) is a conflation of two unrelated genera, one highly dangerous (Aristolochia spp.) and one not so dangerous (Akebia spp.). For the dangerous one, see Birthwort.

  • Used in: traditional Chinese medicine for "relieving excess fire" and "stimulating the secretion of milk".
  • Harmful effects: May cause fatal kidney failure because all Aristolochia species contain aristolochic acid.

 

Azadirachta indica

  • Neem  (Azadirachta indica)
  • Not known to be effective for anything. Also used non-medicinally as a pesticide.
  • Safe when taken short-term by adults. Neem is contraindicated for children, because it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, blood disorders, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, brain disorders, and death. High-dose or long-term internal use by adults is dangerous, and can harm the kidneys and liver, lower blood sugar, and cause infertility and miscarriages.