Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus)

This herb has both medicinal and culinary uses. Candy made from this plant is produced by crystallizing tender slices of the roots (rhizomes). The roots contain volatile oils that have profound antibiotic actions.

Origins & Characteristics:
Taken internally, sweet flag can be very useful in the stimulation of digestion and as a remedy for bronchitis and sinus congestion. As an external application, it can be used to relieve rheumatic joint and muscle pains. It is also a carminative agent and can reduce muscular spasms that are associated with nerve pains.

Parts Used:
Roots, rhizomes and oil extract.

As a liquid tincture, take 20 drops twice daily before eating. For external application, use as a compress for joint and muscle pain.

Potential Benefits:
-helps brnchitis
-reduces sinus congestion
-stimulates digestion
-eases joint and muscle pains
-may help in neuralgia

Culinary Uses:
Used to make candy.


Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

The Latin name for this plant is believed to come from the Greek hero Achilles. It is said that he used it to heal his soldiers’ wounds during the Trojan War. Taken internally, this herb is used to stimulate the circulatory system and help to reduce blood pressure.

Origins & Characteristics
Yarrow has a diaphoretic action, so it is helpful in reducing fevers brought about by colds and flu. It also has antiseptic and inti-inflammatory properties, so it is used to control excessive bleeding and helps reduce diarrhea and dysentery. This herb can be used to relieve indigestion, flatulence and dyspepsia.
Externally, yarrow is used to help heal minor wounds and for cleansing and toning the skin.

Parts Used:
Leaves and flowers

As a tea, add about 2 teaspoons (5-10ml) of herbs to 2 1/2 cups (600ml) of boiling water and infuse for 5 minutes.
For external application use yarrow as a poultice for minor cuts ans scrapes.

Potential Benefits:
-stimulates the circulatory system
-helps reduce blood pressure
-helps to reduce fevers
-has antiseptic properties
-has anti-inflammatory properties
-can reduce diarrhea
-can relieve indigestion

Cosmetic Uses:
Flowers can be used in creams and lotions to cleanse the skin. Yarrow can also be used in skin tonics as an astringent treatment for oily skin.

Culinary Uses:
The fresh young leaves are used in salads.

Do not use Yarrow for long periods as it may cause skin irritation. Avoid during pregnancy.