Back to Herb Menu
Back to Main Index

Scarlet Fever Sedative Tea Seizures Shingles Sinus *Skin Sleep Smelling Salts
Smoke, Perfumed Smoking Snake Bite Sprains Squalene Styptic Sunburn **Syrups

*Skin Submenu
Acne Blemishes Boils/Impetigo Chamomile Oil
Chapped Skin Chronic Problems Cleansing Cosmetics
Dry Skin Eczema Essential Oils Facial Mask
Facial Scrub Facial Steam Facial Toner Floral Water Spray
Hair Care Inflammed Skin Irritations Moisturizer
Pimples Psoriasis Rash Seborrhea
Sensitive Skin Skin Oil Sores/Skin Ulcers Sunburn
Vitamin E Lotion Water Retension Wrinkles Traditional Herbs

**Syrups Submenu
Basic Garlic Lemon Mallow Medicinal Mulberry Throat/Lung

DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

See also Fever

Scarlet fever is a life threatening disease which must be under the supervision of a medical professional.
Consult your doctor and discuss any alternatives you wish to introduce into the therapy.

2 parts Echinacea tincture
1 part Garlic syrup (See Garlic Syrup)
1 part Peppermint tincture
1 part Astragalus tincture
1 part Cleavers tincture
1 part Skullcap tincture
½ part Catnip tincture
½ part Elderflower tincture

Give ½ to 1 tsp 4 times a day.

½ oz Calendula juice
½ oz Peppermint tincture
¼ oz Myrrh tincture
¼ oz Goldenseal tincture
¼ oz Cinnamon tincture
¼ oz Bitter orange oil

Use ½ tsp of the mix in 2 oz of warm water.
Gargle and swallow 3 to 5 times a day.


Combine ¼ cup each Valerian, Hops, Skullcap. Place in a quart jar and pour boiling water over to fill , then cap securely. Allow to cool to room temp. One cup is a strong sedative dose. In tincture form - combine equal portions of each of the above herbs in tincture form and take in tsp doses.

The following remedy is indicative of the types of emergency measures that were available in times past and as such are of historical value. Seizures indicate a life threatening situation and immediate medical help must be sought.

1 oz lobelia seed, powdered
1 oz skullcap, powdered
1 oz skunk cabbage, powdered
1 oz black cohosh, powdered
½ oz cayenne, powdered
1 pint boiling water
1 pint apple cider vinegar

Simmer herbs in the water for ½ hour, then strain and add the apple vinegar and bottle for use when needed. It is used both internally and eternally for spasms and cramps. If there is difficulty in getting it behind the teeth and onto the tongue, bathe the neck and jaws with it frequently till relief is obtained.


A condition caused by a member of the Herpes family. Today there are pharmaceuticals which will stop the progress of the disease and shorten its length of duration. To ease the pain and itching of the eruptions, St. Johnswort oil dabbed on the areas of affliction is said to help. An ointment of lemon balm may help to dry them up. A small amount of lavender oil added to calamine lotion can also be helpful and is also useful for chicken pox as are the other remedies.

Since times of stress are more apt to allow this disease to make an appearance, attention must be given to reducing the stress and adding nutrients to the body which will help it to better cope with it. Things like nervines (see Nervous Afflictions) and B-complex vitamins, vitamin C and lysine.

2 parts Echinacea
1 part Jamaican dogwood
1 part Oats
1 part Passion flower
1 part St. Johnswort
1 part Valerian

Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling hot water and steep 10 minutes. Take 2 cups daily.

Combine equal parts of tinctures of Oats, St. Johnswort, Echinacea, Skullcap and take 1 tsp 3 times daily.


Sinus problems are so common that an exceptional proportion of drugstore shelf space is devoted to remedies. In Asian cultures cleanliness of sinus passages is considered important enough to deal with daily. They use a device called a Netti-pot to deliver a dose of weak salt water which cleans out old accumulations. Fortunately, a device is not a necessity for a salt water snuffle. Combine ½ tsp salt in 1 cup of tepid water. Pour a small amount into the palm of one hand and pinch one nostril closed while snuffling the water up into the open nostril. Continue until the water runs down into the back of the throat. When both nostrils are treated, blow nose very gently (this is important!). If you are still desirous of obtaining a nettie pot, go to the Herb Menu page and check the resources listed there.

When Sinus Blockage and/or Infection is the problem:
  1. Combine 1 tsp powdered Goldenseal, 1 tsp powdered Bayberry bark, ¼ tsp powdered Garlic and ¼ tsp powdered Cayenne. Be sure to powder and sift each herb to eliminate large pieces. Place a pinch in the palm o one hand, close one nostril and sniff. Repeat with other nostril.
  2. Combine 3 parts Echinacea tincture, 1 part Usnea tincture, 1 part Goldenseal tincture. Take 15 drops of the combination every 4 hours.


Good skin results from the inside out. Good nutrition is the key. Foods containing vitamins A, C, D, E and K as well as lecithin and trace amounts of zinc are important to proper functioning of the body's largest organ. Adding cod liver oil to the diet can help improve poor skin quality. Thin and aging skin responds to the amino acid glutamine, good nutrition and good quality moisturizers which aid in keeping moisture locked into the skin cells (also important for dry skin in general). One key factor to keeping skin healthy is to drink plenty of water each day and it's probably the most likely and easiest protocol to be ignored, but it is the most important one of all. Troubled skin can be helped by common kitchen ingredients such as wheat germ oil, honey poultices, oatmeal baths, comfrey poultices. Daily exercise is essential to good skin health.

  1. Combine 3 parts Stinging nettle, 3 parts Horsetail, 3 parts Goldenseal, 3 parts Dandelion roots and leaves, 2 parts White dead nettle, 2 parts meadowsweet, 2 parts Yellow bedstraw, 1 part Rose hips and 1 part Calendula flowers. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling hot water and take 3 cups daily for several weeks. A number of important vitamins and minerals are provided by this recipe.
  2. Mix equal parts of beet juice, celery juice and tomato juice. Take 6 oz 3 times daily.

Acne is not caused by dirty skin. Overwashing can actually aggravate the condition. Twice daily is sufficient unless you are engaged in sweaty dirty activities and need to wash in between. If the acne is hormone related, then hormonal herbs such as Agnus-castus (Vitex) can be useful, although these should not be used during pregnancy. Tincture of Vitex should be used according to manufacturers label directions.

Oregon Grape Root and Goldenseal can be used as washes. Use essential oils of cajeput, bergamot, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender , palmarose, niouli, rosewood and tea tree, diluted in carrier oils or skin products. Also See Essential oils and skin care below.

Fruit acids contained in natural cosmetic products can help.

If boils become a frequent problem, see your doctor. They can signal a more serious problem. Impetigo also requires medical supervision.
Use Thyme or Violet ointment. Also helpful is a Clary compress: steep 2 oz dried clary sage leaves in 1 pint vinegar for 2 weeks; apply as compress.

Tightly pack flower heads into a jar and cover with olive oil. Set in sun or warm place for 3 weeks; strain and use in skin preparations for allergic rashes. Or see Salves for directions on how to simmer herbs in oil.

  1. See Ointments for specific recipes.
  2. Use diluted essential oils of benzoin, chamomile, rose, geranium, sandalwood.

Use the herb plantain in whatever form is most appropriate to the specific problem, or include it in other blends of herbs.

Add 3 drops of one or a blend of rosemary, peppermint, or lavender to 1 tsp of sweet almond oil; massage into skin; rinse with warm water.

Choose astringent herbs for oily skin and emollient herbs for dry skin. Astringent herbs contain tannins while emollient herbs soothe and lubricate. See Making Cosmetics for specific recipes.

Comfrey cleansing oil (also reduces puffiness and conditions skin). Add as many leaves as possible to 1 cup of sweet almond or olive oil in a jar. Seal and steep in a warm place for 2 to 3 weeks, shaking regularly. Strain and bottle. Also see Making Herbal Cosmetics for moisturizing creams, lotions, gels.

  1. 1-2/3 oz coconut oil, 2/3 oz almond oil, 1 oz rosewater, 10 drops each of the essential oils of chamomile and yarrow flowers. Place coconut oil and almond oil in top of double boiler and stir til melted. Also, gently heat the flower water separately. When both are ready, remove from heat and start adding the rosewater a few drops at a time to the oil mixture while beating with a whisk. Beat just till all the water has been taken up into the oil mixture and then mix in the essential oils. Place in jars and refrigerate. Use on affected areas.
  2. Combine equal parts cleavers, nettles and red clover. Use 2 tsp per cup of boiling hot water and steep 10 min. Drink 3 times daily.
  3. Apply aloe gel to affected areas.
  4. Use diluted essential oils of cedarwood, chamomile, lavender, sage, patchouli, or rose.

All essential oils must be diluted in a carrier oil such as olive or sweet almond before they can safely be placed on the skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated.
For general skin care use oils of chamomile, carrot, geranium, lavender, lemon or ylang-ylang.
For normal skin care use oils of clary, geranium, lavender, rose or ylang-ylang.
For dry skin use oils of peppermint, carrot, clary sage, rosemary, sandalwood, rose, rosewood, palmarosa, or jasmine.
For oily skin use oils of lavender, lemon, geranium, basil, camphor, frankincense, cedarwood, ylang-ylang.
For mature skin use oils of rose, myrrh, frankincense, patchouly, geranium, chamomile, rosemary.
To rejuvenate skin use oils of chamomile, benzoin, frankincense, cedaarwood, geranium, lavender, myrrh, rosemary, or carrot.

Combine powdered oatmeal with ½ tsp honey and 3 drops essential oil; apply and rest for 5 to 10 min then rinse with warm water.

Mix almond meal (oatmeal powder for sensitive skin) with honey to make a paste; add 3 drops of essential oil; massage into skin; rinse with warm water. You can also make a paste with water if desired.

Please use appropriate caution when using boiling water and steam.
Pour boiling water into large bowl; add 10 drops essential oil; drape head with towel capturing steam. Allow steam to open pores, then when ready, rinse with tepid water.

Combine 1 drop of lavender essential oil or geranium oil to 8 oz distilled water; shake well; saturate cotton ball and glide over face.

Blend lavender, rose, rosemary or sage oil and add 5 drops to 8 oz distilled water in spray bottle; shake before use.

Use a few drops of essential oils according to need in shampoos and conditioners. Health food stores are a good source for gentle vegetable oil-based soaps and shampoos, most already scented. See Essential oils above. Also see Common Sense Farm

Use diluted essential oils of chamomile, clary, geranium, lavender, lemon, myrrh, patchouly, carrot, rose. Also use floral waters.

See 4-C Skin Lotion and 3-C Skin Ointment.


Add 10 drops essential oil to 1 oz of carrier oil and place 3 drops of liquid in palm of hand and add several drops of floral water; massage into face. Should keep well for 6 months. Also see Creams, Lotions, Gels

  1. Use Thyme oinment. See Salves/Oinments howto. Thyme ointment is antiseptic.
  2. Violet ointment: Melt 1 oz lanolin and 3 oz cocoa butter in small jar adding as many fresh leaves as the melted fats will cover. Set jar in medium oven at 350 for 1 hour; pour through strainer and store in ointment jars. Alternatively, see Salves/Ointments howto for modern methods of obtaining this product using an electric skillet and a double boiler.
  1. Combine 1 part iodine (the old fashioned red kind) and 4 parts castor oil. Shake well and apply daily with cotton ball.
  2. Drink chamomile tea regularly and take the used flowers after steeping and apply as a poultice to the affected areas while sipping the tea.
  3. Aloe gel applied to affected areas.
  4. Emu oil applied to affected areas.

  1. Chamomile tea used as a rinse. Also, Chamomile oil made by infusing chamomile flowers in olive or sweet almond oil or lard.
  2. 1 oz of infusion of Gum plant (Grindelia squarrosa) mixed with one or two oz of water and applied to itch.

  1. Cider vinegar and water rinse on affected areas. Also vitamin B6 internally and B6 salve externally. Vitamin E is healing and helpful and capsules can be broken open and the contents spread on the affected area.
  2. Use diluted essential oils of bergamot (caution!: can cause photosensitivity), lavender, cypress, or patchouly. See Essential oils for proper usage.

Use diluted essential oils of roman chamomile, neroli, rose, melissa.
Also use Floral waters


Used for cleansing and lubricating. Combine 1 tbsp dried rosemary or sage, 4 oz safflower or wheat germ oil. Allow to stand in refrigerator for several days. Also soothes facial nerves.

Comfrey root powder mixed with water till a wet, gummy mash. Place in clean cloth and apply to affected area. Also, calendula preparations are good for bed sores.

Apply aloe gel to affected areas.


Combine 2 oz olive oil, ½ oz sesame seed oil, 5 grams cocoa butter in top of double boiler and heat till cocoa butter is melted. Remove from heat and add 1000 IU of vitamin E. Combine well and bottle.

Cut back on salt consumption and especially during the evening hours. For puffy skin, use diluted essential oils of lavender, rosemary, juniper, lemon and grapefruit. See essential oils.

Use diluted essential oils of fennel, lemon, palmarosa, myrrh, frankincense, patchouly, clary sage, or carrot. See essential oils. Also see Herbal Cosmetics

traditionally employed for skin care involving a wide range of conditions.
Adders tongue
Amer. elder
Amer. sanicle
Beared darnel
Birch (both)
Bittersweet Nightshade
Black alder
Black hellebore
Black nightshade
Black walnut
Buck bean
Buttercup (all)
Carline thistle
Common lettuce
Common mullein
Coral root
Cypress spurge
Dwarf nettle
Dyers broom
English elm
English ivy
English walnut
European centaury
European goldenrod
European sanicle
European vervain
Evening primrose
Garden violet
Green hellebore
Hedge hyssop
Herb robert
Kidney bean
Lady's thumb
Life everlasting
Marsh tea
Mountain laurel
New Jersey tea
Oak (all)
Orange mullein
Pearly everlasting
Pennyroyal (both)
Periwinkle (both)
Prickly ash
Rattlesnake plantain
Red elder
Red pimpernel
Red sedge
St. Benedict thistle
Shave grass
Slippery elm
Smooth alder
Spikenard (both)
Sweet fern
Sweet gum
Sycamore maple
Turkey corn
Virginia snakeroot
Water dock
Water Smartweed
White pond lily
Wild clover
Wild indigo
Wild jalap
Wild oregon grape
Wild strawberry
Willow (all)
Witch hazel
Wood sorrel
Yellow bedstraw
Yellow dock
Yellow parilla
Yellow toadflax

Most herbal remedies to combat sleeplessness contain the same basic mildly sedative or relaxing herbs. These same herbs are often used to combat nervousness, anxiety or emotional upsets. A sleep formula will usually contain valerian, hops, (never use if there is any depression), passionflower, skullcap, catnip, vervain, either alone or in combination with other relaxing and fragrant herbs. Many problems with sleeplessness are usually rooted in daily habits. Stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine should be avoided for 6 hours before retiring. If insomnia is chronic, try to sit in a darkened room for 30 min to 1 hour before retiring and do nothing but lean back and relax and allow your mind to drift and settle into a quiet mode. Bright lighting is also a strong stimulant for some people. Warm, fragrant herbal baths using herbs that are nervines and sedatives plus massage also aid in overcoming sleeplessness caused by tension.

  1. If associated with menopause, combine equal parts of tinctures of passion flower, valerian and motherwort. Take 1 to 2 tsp 30 min before retiring.
  2. If associated with indigestion, then a cup of chamomile tea before retiring is helpful.
  3. If associated with depression, combine equal parts of tinctures of passion flower, valerian, St. Johnswort, and mugwort. Take 1 to 3 tsp 30 min before retiring.
  4. For simple insomnia combine equal parts of tinctures of passion flower and valerian, take 1 tsp 30 min before retiring.
  5. Combine 1 part valerian, 2 parts St. Johnswort, 3 parts hops, 5 parts lavender flowers and 10 parts primrose flowers. Steep 1½ tsp in ½ cup boiling hot water for 10 minutes. Allow to cool so is comfortable enough to drink and 1 add 1 tsp honey. Drink before going to bed.
  6. Combine 1 part anise seed, 1 part chamomile, 1 part linden flowers, ½ part hops, and ½ part passion flower. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling hot water and steep 10 minutes. Strain and take before retiring.
  7. Combine 2 parts dill seed, 2 parts anise seed, 1 part chamomile and 1 part hops. Steep 1 tsp in ½ cup boiling hot water and when lukewarm add 1 tsp honey. Sip just before retiring.
  8. A valerian root decoction taken cold 1 hour before retiring. Stop use after 2 or 3 weeks for a period of 1 week before resuming. Constant use causes restlessness.
  9. Sleep-Aid Tea: Combine 1 tbsp chamomile, 1 tbsp catnip, 1 tbsp violet leaf, ½ tbsp skullcap, ½ tbsp sweet marjoram, ½ tbsp motherwort. Use 1 tsp per cup of boiling hot water and steep 7 minutes. Sip before bedtime.
  10. Bath: Add 3 to 4 oz of valerian root to 1 quart cold water and let soak 10 to 12 hours. Bring to a boil briefly and add to bath water.
  11. Herb pillows:
    1. Combine 1 cup lavender flowers and 1 cup orangemint (or lavender mint) leaves and place in muslin bag or make an attractive cotton cover.
    2. 4 parts dried sweet woodruff, 2 parts lemon balm, 1 part hops, 1 part lavender. Place in muslin bag.

4 tsp ammonium carbonate crystals
¼ tsp stronger ammonia water
¼ tsp spirits of camphor
5 drops english lavender oil
1 drop ylang ylang

Saturate crystals with the liquids and place in a well stoppered bottle.
Inhale through nostrils when needed.

This is an old recipe which was used to fill a pipe and sweeten the breath and could be used to fragrance a room as incense. Combine ½ oz balm of Peru, 7 or 8 drops oil of cinnamon, 5 drops oil of cloves, 5 drops oil of nutmeg (or thyme, lavender, fennel or aniseed, as desired). Incorporate this into a half dram of ambergrease and make it into a paste and keep in a box. Fill a pipe with tobacco and put a bit of the mixture (about the size of a pin head) onto it.

Traditional ways in Folk Medicine to break the nicotine habit
Chew on the root of yellowroot (Xanthorrhiza simplicissima), gentian root or chamomile flowers when there is the urge to smoke.

Having said that, I feel I must point out that, although these methods seemed to help some, they were not as effective as today's nicotine patches and chewing gum. There are also alternative commercial products that use an extract of lobelia to quell the urge to smoke.

Mix equal parts of hyssop, black horehound, coltsfoot and marshmallow root. Place 3 to 5 tsp in a teapot and steep for 5 to 6 minutes. Drink 1 cupful as desired.

1 lb coltsfoot leaves
½ lb each of eyebright and buckbean
4 oz wood betony
2 oz rosemary
1½ oz thyme
1 oz lavender
(rose leaves and chamomile flowers can also be added)

Rub herbs to a coarse powder with the hands. For a milder tobacco, the coltsfoot can be increased to ½ the total formula.

If you are trying to kick the habit, but aren't ready to give up puffing, make half the mixture with tobacco, then with each successive batch, cut back more until there is none.

Herbs historically used in smoke mixtures
Allspice (adds fragrance to pipe tobacco)
August flower (loosens nasal congestion due to head colds)
Bearberry leaves (combine with tobacco to stretch the supply and a component of Kinnikinnik)
Buckbean (used in place of tobacco)
Cistus creticus
Corn silk (used as filler)
Cubeb berries (used for nasal congestion)
Deer tongue (used for fragrance)
Dittany (substitute for tobacco)
Ginseng root (substitute for chewing tobacco)
Licorice (used for flavor)
Life everlasting (substitute for pipe tobacco)
Marjoram (used in smoking and snuff mixtures)
Master-of-the-Woods (adds aroma to pipe tobacco)
Mullein (leaves smoked like tobacco for nasal congestion and minor throat irritation)
Rosemary (smoked as pipe tobacco)
Sassafras bark (used as pipe tobacco)
White or Yellow sweet melilot or Sweet clover (used to flavor tobacco and cheese)
Crushed tonka beans (used for a sweet aroma and also added to snuff)
Yerba santa

Please take time to educate yourself about the current first aid measures for snake bite. There are innumerable remedies in old herbal literature, but none that can be vouched for in an emergency situation.

Applying ice immediately to a sprained muscle will reduce the pain and swelling. Alternating cold and hot packs will help the healing process over a period of days. Compresses dipped into a cold infusion of witch hazel, calendula or wintergreen add more healing power to the plain water compress. St.Johnswort oil applied to the afflicted area will help soothe the pain and hasten healing.

involves the use of heat: bruise a handful of sage leaves and simmer them in a pint of vinegar for 5 minutes; use as a poultice as warm as can be tolerated.

½ oz lobelia oil
½ oz St. Johnswort oil
½ oz wormwood oil
1 tbsp ginger oil
1 tbsp cayenne oil

Combine and apply over the area 3 times a day, massaging lightly.

See also Heat Lotion.

Assists in accleration of new skin growth; discourages growth of bacteria; helps protect against sun, cold, smoke and pollution; small amounts exist in olive oil, rice and bran oil; the active ingredient is Ce0H50 which is a high-quality unsaturated hydrocarbon with the capability of resupplying cells with oxygen; it functions in the body as part of the detoxifying system protecting us from foreign substances; antioxidant.

Styptic Herbs Are
Blind nettle
Canada fleabane
Shepherds purse
Spotted cranebill
There are many others as well with varying degrees of helpfulness

See Burns

When bottling syrups be sure to use a cork stoppered bottle rather than a screw top since syrups often ferment and the screw type bottles can explode. A simple herbal syrup can be made by combining 2 cups of the heated infusion/decoction with 2 cups sugar or honey in a saucepan and stirring constantly over low heat till the sugar is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool and pour into cork-stoppered bottles.

The term "medicated" is used very loosely here. It usually referred to the alcohol which the recipe contained.

  1. 35 oz sugar and 20 oz distilled water or herbal infusion or decoction. Dissolve the sugar in the water over heat. Raise the temp to the boiling point and strain the solution while hot. Add enough extra distilled water through the strainer to make the syrup measure 2 pints and 12 oz.
  2. Pour 1¼ cups of boiling water on to 3 oz of crushed herbs and leave to get cold. Strain the infusion and heat till it is warm and then add ½ cup of sugar. When sugar has melted, bring mixture to a boil and simmer gently till it is of syrupy consistency. Cool slightly then bottle and seal.
  3. Prepare any herbal tea and simmer down for a longer time so that very little of the water is left. Add 1 oz of glycerin and seal the syrup in a jar by using a paraffin wax seal.

See Garlic Syrup


Used to boost immunity, aid digestion, aid hard coughs, and for the urinary tract and prostate in males. Boil 4 oz dried marshmallow root, 2 oz raisins in 7 pints of water until it is reduced to 5 pints. Strain through cheesecloth and add orangewater.

To make a jelly into a medicinal syrup, add 2½ pints of vodka for every pint of the juice.


1 pint mulberry juice
2 lbs sugar
2½ oz vodka or gin

Heat juice to the boiling point and when it has cooled, filter it. Dissolve the sugar in the liquid with gentle heat and add the vodka. Let the strained juice stand from 8 to 15 hours and let it ferment. The juice separates into 2 portions. The upper third is clear. Separate this section by straining and make into syrup by adding water.


Boil one pint of lemon juice for 10 minutes, then strain and add 3 lbs of brown sugar and boil for a few minutes longer.

Boil 3 lbs raw or brown sugar in a pint of herb tea till it reaches syrup consistency.

©1998 by Ernestina Parziale, CH