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In traditional American folk medicine, it has been administered as a nutritive tonic. The dried alfalfa leaf is widely available in herbal shops and health food stores as an herbal tea, tablet, or powder. The seed is often sprouted and eaten in salads.
Ashwagandha is a highly revered botanical used in Ayurveda and is praised for its adaptogenic and tonic properties. In many Asian countries, all parts of the plant are utilized, and the tender leaves are eaten as a gentle nourishing herb.
Birch bark can easily be harvested from dead or fallen trees, where it still retains its wonderful properties. Birch bark is strong and water resistant, almost like cardboard in its pliability, and can therefore be bent, cut, and even sewn.
Birch trees have a strong connection with the celebration of Beltane, they are among the first to come into leaf, and therefore would have made a obvious choice as a representation of spring.
The name cohosh is from the Algonquian tribe, and means rough, referring to the feel of the rhizome. It was given the name "bugbane" because the flowers have such a strong odor, and have been used to effectively repel insects.
Burdock is considered by many herbalists to be the best known medicinal for skin conditions (Hoffman, Moore). This herb is highly effective, gentle, and multipurpose. It promotes the flow of bile and also increases circulation to the skin.
Usually used as a tincture. The tannins in the herb are released only if it is taken in an acidic medium; add a little lemon juice to a quarter-cup of water to which you add the tincture or prepare as a tea.
Chaga is typically and historically ingested as a tea, but it also has been made into a tincture, and less commonly into powder that is then used as a tea; Encapsulation seems to be rare.
Cleavers are easily recognized by its clinging leaves and sticky seeds that attach themselves to passing people and animals. The entire plant is used in herbalism, harvested just before it blooms in early summer.
Coltsfoot was so popular in Europe that French pharmacists painted its flowers on their doorposts. It was brought to America from Europe. Before the plant flowers, it resembles butterbur enough that old herbals caution against confusing the two.
Comfrey leaf has been used since Roman times, dating back thousands of years. This herb has been utilized in folk medicine throughout Europe and North America and has been widely cultivated.
Damiana has been used in Mexico, Central America, and South America since the times of the ancient Aztec, and remains quite popular today. Although its noted effect on sexual desire has been its primary traditional use across cultures.
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