Category: Herb Profile

Herb Profile: Shepherd’s Purse

Botanical Name: Capsella bursa-pastoris Common Names:  Shepherd’s Purse, Sanguinary, Pick Purse, Witches’ Pouches, Mother’s Heart (Scots), lus na fola – The Blood Herb (Gaelic), Family:  Brassicaceae Parts Used:  Aerial parts Botany & Identification: A variable annual or biennial plant with an erect main stem which grows from 3cm to 40cm depending on its conditions. The …

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Herb Profile: Juniper

Botanical name: Juniperus communis Common Names: Scots: aiten    Gaelic: aiteal, aiteann, aittin, samh Family: Cupressaceae – Cypress family Parts used: Dried ripe ‘berries’ Botany & Identification: Juniper is a slow growing evergreen shrub in the Cypress family growing on heaths, moors, rough grassland and dry woodlands. It can reach up to 3m and spreads up …

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Herb Profile: Wild & Garden Angelica

Wild & Garden Angelica Botanical Name: Angelica sylvestris, A. archangelica Common Names:  A.sylvestris – Wild Angelica, A. archangelica – Garden Angelica Family:  Apiaceae Parts Used:  Roots, rhizomes, leaves, fruits, fresh young stems. Botany & Identification:  A.sylvestris is a tall, statuesque biennial wild species with hollow stems up to 2m high. The stems are often purplish …

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Herb Profile: The Mallows

The Mallows  Althea officinalis, Malva sylvestris Family: Malvaceae  (Mallow Family) Common Names: Althea officinalis: Marsh Mallow, Mallards, Schloss Tea, Cheeses Malva sylvestris: Common Mallow, Cheeseweed, Dwarf Mallow Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers, Seed Pods, Roots Botany & Identification:   Mallows belong to the Mallow Family (Malvaceae) which are mostly concentrated in tropical regions, and contain a …

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Herb Profile: Chaga

Chaga, Clinker Polypore Botanical Name: Inonotus obliquus Common Names: Chaga, Birch Conk, Clinker Polypore, Cinder Conk, Gift from God (Siberia), Mushroom of Immortality (Siberia), Cancer Polypore (Norway), Wart Polypore (Finland), Diamond of the Forest (Japan), King of Plants (China) Family: Hymenochaetaceae Parts Used: Sterile Conk Mycology & Identification: Inonotus obliquus is a parasitic fungus which …

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Herb Profile: Pine

 Scot’s Pine Botanical Name: Pinus sylvestris, P.rubra Common Names: Scot’s Pine, Scot’s Fir, giubhas (Scot’s Gallic: juicy tree), King of the Forest Family: Pinaceae Parts Used: Buds, Needles, Resin, Pollen, Kernels Botany & Identification: The genus Pinus contains between 90 and 120 species (varying between taxonomic approaches).The ancestors of today’s pines colonised the earth during …

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Herb Profile: Irish Moss Seaweed

  Irish Moss Seaweed   Botanical Name: Chondrus crispus  Common Names:  Irish Moss, Carrageen, Hebridean Moss, Pearl Moss, Irlandisches Moos (German)  Family:  Gigartinaceae Parts Used: Dried Thallus (young shoots) Botany & Identification:  Irish Moss is a member of the division Rhodophyta (the red seaweeds), and is commonly found on rocky shorelines below and just above the …

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Herb Profile: Old Man’s Beard Lichen

Botanical Name: Usnea spp. Many similarly used species Common Names: Old Man’s Beard, Seaweed of the Mountain (Hawai’i), Fish Bone Beard Lichen, Tree Dandruff, Woman’s Long Hair Family: Usneaceae Parts Used: Whole Lichen Lichenology & Identification: Lichen are a symbiotic relationship between an algae and a fungus. The algae is able to photosynthesize and therefore …

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Herb Profile: Burdock

Botanical Name: Arctium lappa, A. minus, A. nemorosum Common Names: Seircean suirich (Gaelic), Burdock, Beggar’s Buttons, Cocklebur, Hare Lock, Gobo Root Family: Asteraceae (Daisy Family) Parts Used: Root, Seed, Leaf Roots more in Western medicine; seeds more in Asian medicine Botany & Identification: A biennial native to temperate Europe & northern Asia. There are three …

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Herb Profile: Valerian

Botanical Name: Valeriana officinalis Family: Valerianaceae (Valerian Family) Common Names: All-Heal, Great Wild Valerian, Garden Heliotrope, Bloody Butcher, Cat’s Valerian, Sete Wale (Set Well), Sumbul-ul-tib (Farsi) Identification: Valerian is a highly variable species with 3 subspecies. It is a stately perennial growing to 1.5m with opposite, odd-pinnate leaves, each with 1-12 leaflets. Dense pink flower …

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