Last month was my first lawn mowing of the year. I cut down some medical herbs! Here are a few. 

Dandelion. Leaves and roots. Dandelion stimulates salivation and improves stomach and intestine function, with improved nutrient absorption and excretion of wastes. It is a good supporter of liver function, helping with detoxification (the liver is the main organ for the metabolism and excretion of unwanted materials in the body). It helps lower cholesterol, regulates irregular blood sugar, and reduces uric acid (gout). 

Red clover. The whole plant is nourishing, making it useful for debilitated people. As a member of the bean family it is rich in phytosteroids which have a moderating influence on gynaecological problems arising from hormonal irregularity. It is a classic ‘blood purifier’, helping with some forms of eczema.

Yarrow. Leaves. A woman’s herb, yarrow helps to moderate many gynaecological problems. It reduces or stops bleeding; and as such is valuable for some types of heavy menses, and for other causes of internal bleeding like polyps in the large intestine, peptic ulcers and haemorrhoids. A bitter, it is a digestive tonic, like dandelion.

Nettles. Leaves (light green upper leaves) and root. Nettles, which thrive in rich soils, is a nourishing herb – use for the weak and debilitated. It helps clear uric acid (gout). It is useful for allergies – hay fever, asthma, clear fluids running from the nose and eyes. The root helps with benign prostate hypertrophy by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone.

Plantain. Leaves. Plantain is mucilaginous and soothing for the organs that are lined with mucus. This makes it useful for problems of the lungs – asthma, bronchitis, excessive phlegm being coughed up. In the same way, it helps peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, and bladder irritation. The crushed or masticated fresh leaf can be applied as a poultice over splinters or other foreign material to draw them out.

Speedwell. Leaf and flower. It helps soothe the nerves after stress and overexertion. Like dandelion and yarrow, it can help with eczema.

How to take. Leaves and flowers: put in a cup, pour in boiling water, and let sit. Roots: being thicker, are chopped, simmered for 10 minutes, and strained. Add milk and honey to taste. Can drink hot or let cool.

Nick Kats