Herbs That Keep You Healthy

How to use herbs to nourish yourself.

Information from Pathways to Healing,

A Guide to Herbs, Ayurveda, Dreambody and Shamanism

by Don Ollsin

(See Medical Disclaimer at bottom of page)

Herbal Ally

  • An ally is much greater than a drug.
  •  An Ally is a friend and a power. She can come to your rescue on many levels. She can
    comfort you at one time and then turn around and challenge you the next time.
  • Plants are living beings with incredible power and personalities. They want to make
    contact with people. Most of them are inclusive and want to include us in their lives.
  • Without plants we wouldn’t be breathing or eating.
  • Herbalism is a living art. The art of living.
  • The main focus of using the plants is nourishment. Eat your weeds!
  • Healing is what you do between illness events. Eat your weeds!



Stinging Nettle  Urtica dioica

Found in the temperate regions of Europe, Britain, Asia, Japan,  S. Africa, Australia, Andes and N. America. Indians used to make cord and fish nets. Used in Britain to make very fine linen. Discontinued because the nettles were too difficult to cultivate.


  • Improves nutrition – high in chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphate,
    Vitamin D, silica, sodium, potassium & sulphur.
  • Good for people who suffer from migraines associated with bilious vomiting
  • Excellent to relieve the symptoms of hay fever & other allergies.
  • Purifies the blood and cleans the lymph.
  • Reduces uric acid helping with rheumatism & gout.
  • Promotes milk in nursing mothers, Galactagogue.
  • Improves digestion – contains secretin, a substance that acts as a stimulus to pancreatic
    secretion that stimulates the digestive glands of the stomach, intestines, liver & gall
  • Gargling reduces mouth infections, thrush, gingivitis & tonsillitis.
  • Use fresh plant to sting an area, usually bothered with rheumatism or arthritis.


Nourish Your Bones, Teeth, Connective Tissue and Lungs

Horsetail Equisetum arvense


  • Recalcification. Osteoporosis.
  • Diuretic. The more silica in the body the greater the diuretic effect.
  • Healthier fingernails in 15 days.
  • Healing fractured bones in 17 days.
  • Stimulates rapid recalcification of lung tissue helping with Tuberculosis.
  • Teeth. Hardens the enamel. Prevents gum bleeding, gum atrophy & recession. Fights
  • Cancer. Powerful eliminator of organic waste products, particularly urea, uric acid and
    nicotine. Strengthens connective tissue, the prime barrier set up by the body to ward
    off the progression of cancer cells and the degenerative process.
  • Arterial weakness. Clears the atreries and makes them more pliable.
  • Helps to dissolve kidney stones & clear up urinary tract infections.
  • Reduces inflammation of the G.I. tract and clears stomach & intestinal catarrh.
  • Antioxidant.
  • A natural deodorant.
  • Prevention & repair of stretch marks.
  • Promotes healthy collagen. (Check by pinching the skin on the back of your hand to
    see how it snaps back. Lack of collagen makes it sluggish).

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day with meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day with meals




  • Ninety-two different nutritional elements.
  • Rich source of natural Iodine.
  • Provides energy and endurance.
  • Helps relieve nervous tension (excellent for Wind types)
  • Contains more minerals than land plants. (our land minerals are being carried to the sea
    by our poor treatment of our soil)
  • Rich source of potassium.
  • Helps to pull excess radiation out of the body and to protect against same.
  • Soothing to the whole gastro-intestinal tract.

Dosage: Powder – 1tsp. 2to 3 x day with meals

Caution: Insist on the highest quality kelp. 


Alfalfa Medicago Sativa

I deeply appreciate this wonder of nature called alfalfa. This simple little plant sends its roots over 100 feet into the earth searching for vital minerals. Alfalfa is a luscious, abundant plant that displays a beautiful array of purple flowers. This valuable plant originally came from Persia.

I frequently use alfalfa in my practice. Two cases come to mind immediately. Both involve people whom I love. With alfalfa, as tablets, both severe cases of G.I. disturbance cleared up.


  • Reduces acidity – high in alkaline minerals
  • Cleans out diverticulitis (bowel pockets) – contains a special fibre that helps to clean
    out toxic waste from pockets in the colon, this fibre also supports proper intestinal
  • Improves digestion – contains 8 essential enzymes.
  • Increases quality and production of breast milk.
  • Vitamin/Mineral supplement – contains the following nutrients: protein, calcium,
    phosphorus, iron, potassium, choline, sodium, silica, magnesium, 8 essential enzymes,
    Vitamins A, D, B6, K, U (anti-peptic ulcer) & P (rutin -bioflavonoid).
  • Reduces water retention – is a mild diuretic.
  • Improves assimilation by its action on the sympathetic nervous system favourably
    influencing nutrition. Tones up the appetite and digestion. Results in greatly improved
    mental and physical vigour
  • Helps to heal ulcers – contains significant amounts of Vit.U.
  • Nourishes and improves pituitary function.

Caution: Alfalfa, especially in tablet form, is very drying and could aggravate Wind conditions over time. Wind need to use oil with them to prevent drying.

Dosage: Tablets or capsules – 2 to 4 with meals



(Chinese or Korean) Panax Ginseng

(Siberian) Eleutherococcus Senticsus

Ginseng is one of the most valuable herbs. Some roots sell for thousands of dollars. It is a native of Manchuria, China & other parts of east Asia. It is cultivated in China, Korea & Japan. Sadly, there are very few wild plants anymore. Please consider this when harvesting herbs and leave plenty.


  • Ginseng is highly prized for its’ ability to rebuild you when you have been ill or
    run down
  • It is a tonic par excellent. In this modern world with all it’s stress it is a valuable ally.
    It nurtures your stress glands (adrenal) enabling them to function better.
  • Ginseng improves performance levels both physical & mental. Many athletes use it.
  • It is an adaptogen that means it regulates a number of different body systems to keep
    them in harmony.
  • For those of you or your patients who suffer from fatigue Ginseng is your herb of
    choice. I have seen Ginseng help many people who came to me for fatigue.
  • It is rejuvenating for the sexual organs of both sexes. In the male it increases
    levels while decreasing prostate weight. Testosterone is a hormone
    that enhances male qualities. Interestingly, it exerts oestrogen-like action on the
    female reproductive system.
  • Herbalists regard it as a longevity herb and studies have proven it to lengthen the life
    span of cells in culture.
  • It enhances the immune system by stimulating your macrophages, the “pac-men”
    of your body. They filter the blood & lymph by engulfing & destroying bacteria, viruses,
    worn out red blood cells & other waste matter.
  • It protects the liver & offers some protection against harmful radiation.
  • Ginseng acts as a hormone arouser waking up your whole body. Its’ effects last from
    4 to 6 hours.
  • It is best suited for Wind diseases esp. those of old age. Fire & Water can use
    Ginseng being careful to monitor its’ heating & weight increasing abilities.
  • The Chinese consider Ginseng one of the most yang herbs & a chi tonic. Chi is our
    vital life force energy.
  • There are three ginsengs that we use. Chinese ginseng is the hottest and my choice for extreme fatigue. American ginseng is cooler and better for fire types and hotter seasons. Siberian ginseng is the best for regular use.

There are many herbs that combine well with Ginseng. They are Licorice, Orange Peel, Ginger, Elecampane & Cinnamon.



Red Clover Trifolium pratense

  • Red clover is a mild blood purifier that is suitable for general consumption and long
    term usage.
  • Its taste is pleasant and it is a mildly strengthening tonic. It can be used with children,
    the elderly or in conditions of debility.
  • Mineral rich helping to build strong bones, teeth and lungs.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1 to 3 cups a day between meals

Burdock Arctium lappa

  • Burdock cleanses the blood and lymphatics.
  • Burdock root has nutritive properties and is eaten in Japan as a vegetable (Gobo).
  • It is a tonic for Fire Constitutions.
  • It is good for clearing firey emotions like anger and aggression.

Dosage: Decoction – 1 to 3 cups a day between meals

Yellow Dock Rumex crispus

  • Yellow Dock is a good general cleanser of blood and lymph. It is good for most toxic
    conditions of the circulatory system.
  • A major herb for reducing high Fire.
  • It relieves toxic heat and clears infections.
  • Reduces pain and inflammation.
  • It stimulates the absorbtion of iron and helps build the blood.
  • Dosage: Decoction – 1 to 3 cups a day between meals


Plantago Major - broad leaf

Plantago Lancelot – narrow leaf

This is one plant that you definitely want to get to know. It may save someone’s life someday. This humble little herb’s availability enhances its healing value. It grows abundantly and everywhere. I have always been able to find a fresh plantain leaf when I needed it. This is immensely important as this plant is excellent for bee stings. Plantain draws out the poison, eliminating pain and swelling, even in delicate areas like the eyes. It works very well for blood poisoning. The simplest method is to chew up a few leaves and apply directly to the afflicted area. For blood poisoning the plant should be taken internally as well.


  • Good for Leukaemia & Glandular disorders – purifies the blood and lymph systems.
  • Blood poisoning, Snake bites, Stings – drawing and eliminating poisons.
  • Relieves pain (toothache, neuralgia, etc.) – sedative for pain and the nerves.
  • Mercurial poisoning – eliminates the poison.
  • Vaginal disorders with discharge – clears up the infection and expels it.
  • Bedwetting – astringent and sedative.
  • Improves protein digestion – contains proteolytic enzymes, which breaks down
  • Relieves stomach upset – neutralizes stomach acids and normalizes stomach
  • Helps constipation – use seeds and husks as a laxative.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day between meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day between meals


Dandelion  Taraxacum officinale 
Root & Leaves

  • First class liver cleanser and tonic.
  • Rich source of easily-absorbed minerals.
  • Clears congestion of the spleen, pancreas, gall bladder, bladder and kidneys.
  • Rich in organic sodium and of tremendous benefit to the stomach and intestines.
  • The leaves are an excellent diuretic high in potassium which the body loses when we
    use diuretics.
  • Dandelion root regulates the blood sugar and is excellent for hypoglycemia
    (low blood sugar).

Dosage: Decoction – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day with meals

Tincture – 2 to5 ml. 2 to 5 x day with meals

Milk Thistle Silybum marianum

  • MilkThistle is probably the best liver tonic available today. It occupies the receptor
    sites in the liver and cleanses the toxins therein, preventing the further uptake of
  • It is the only remedy (botanical or otherwise) found to be effective for the deadly
    poisoning of * Amanita phalloides mushrooms if taken soon enough.
  • Helpful for psoriasis.

Dosage: Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day with meals

Oregon Grape Root Berberis aquifolium

  • Oregon Grape Root stimulates the secretion of bile.
  • Purifies the blood.
  • Excellent for the treatment of skin diseases due to toxins in the blood, including
    psoriasis, eczema, herpes, and acne.
  • It is a tonic for all the glands and it aids in the assimilation of nutrients.

Dosage: Decoction – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day with meals

Tincture – 2 to5 ml. 2 to 5 x day with meals


Calamus Acorus calamus

  • Calamus is a popular ayurvedic herb for the brain and nervous system.
  • It encourages cerebral circulation, sharpens memory and enhances awareness.
  • It is an excellent detoxifying herb especially for heavy marijuana users.

Dosage: Tincture – 2-4 ml. 2 to 5 x day after meals

Foti Polygonum multiforum

  • Rejuvenating herb.
  • Builds the blood and sperm.
  • Strengthens the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones.
  • It strengthens the kidneys, the liver and the nervous system.
  • Restorative for the hair.

Dosage: Decoction – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day after meals

Tincture – 2 to5 ml. 2 to 5 x day after meals

Gota Kola Hydrocotyle asiatica

  • Possibly the most important rejuvenating herb in Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Revitalizes the nerves and the brain.
  • Increases intelligence, longevity, memory and decreases senility and aging. Good for
    the prevention of Alzheimers disease.
  • Bolsters the immune system.
  • Nourishes the adrenal glands.
  • Good blood purifier and helpful for chronic skin diseases.
  • Helps the healing of wounds.
  • Good for alcohol-induced cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Good for all three constitutions:
    tonic and rejuvenating for Fire.
    inhibits Wind and calms the nerves.
    reduces excess Water.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day after meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day after meals


Hawthorn Crataegus oxyacantha

It is a healer of the heart. When I nestle in close to a Hawthorn tree and gently hug her, we both find such love and strength. When taking it as a heart remedy, I encourage you to spend time with a Hawthorn tree.


  • Increase intercellular Vit. C. levels by stabilizing Vit. C.
  • Decrease capillary permeability & fragility.
  • Collagen stabilizing action.
  • Reduce uric acid levels.
  • Strengthen tendons, ligaments & cartilage.
  • Prevent free radical damage.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Exerts a mild and effective antihypertensive effect.
  • Lessens chance of angina attacks.
  • Reduces serum cholesterol levels.
  • Prevents the deposition of cholesterol in the arterial walls.
  • Reduces the size of existing atherosclerotic plaques.
  • Improves blood supply to the heart by dilating the coronary vessels.
  • Improves hearts metabolic processes, increasing the force of contraction and eliminates
    some rhythm disturbances.
  • Promotes digestion & helps remove accumulated food masses or even tumours in the
    gastro-intestinal tract.

Caution: Hawthorn is safe, though people taking beta-blockers may experience mild
hypertensive response from increased cardiac output.


Oatstraw Avena sativa

  •  Oatstraw is an excellent nerve tonic, containing the essential nutrients needed for
    regeneration of nerve tissue.
  • It is good for hyperactive children.
  • Helps control bed-wetting.
  • Restorative for burned out adults.
  • Promotes restful sleep.
  • Helps to prevent tension headaches.
  • Stabilizes blood sugar and helps reduce extreme mood swings.
  • Promotes healthy bones, teeth and lungs.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day between meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day between meals


Motherwort Leonurus cardiaca

  • Motherwort is a good tonic for the heart.
  • Combined with hawthorn berries it is a very effective anti-spasmodic relieving
    palpitations, tachycardia and hypertension.
  • Motherwort is a very useful herb to treat suppressed menstruation.
  • It is excellent for calming nervous conditions. Helps with insomnia and sleep disorders.
  • As a bitter tonic it is good for digestion.
  • Relieves menstrual cramps.
  • Thyroid tonic.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day with meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day with meals

Mistletoe Viscum album

  • Mistletoe is a first class heart remedy. It promotes elasticity in the arteries and is good
    for hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure.
  • It is also good for headaches accompanied by dizziness.

Caution: Mistletoe berries are poisonous. Use only a standardised preparation and stick to the dosage listed on it.

Garlic Allium sativum

  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • See Protect Yourself for more info.
  • It is a tonic for Fire Constitutions.
  • It is good for clearing firey emotions like anger and aggression.
  • Dosage: Fresh cloves – 1 to 2 cloves 2 to 5 x day with food

Capsules – 1 to 2 capsules 2 to 5 x day with food


Orange Peel Citrus resticulata

  • Orange Peel contains precursors for the production of essential male hormones.
  • It is a warming and decongestive herb, particularly good for the male genitals and
    reproductive system (common orange peels have a cooler and milder action than
    Mandarin orange).

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup, 2 to 5 x day before meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml., 2 to 5 x day before meals

Caution: Use only organic orange peels as commercial oranges are heavily sprayed. The more aged the better.

Saw Palmetto Serenoa repens

  • Saw Palmetto berries are one of the best herbs for the prostate gland esp. for a
    condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). They act as a cleanser,
    decongestant, and help reduce swelling and inflammation of this important male gland.
  • It is an excellent male tonic.

Dosage: Decoction – 1/2 to 1 cup, 2 to 5 x day before meals

Tincture – 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day before meals


Chaste Tree Vitex agnus castus

  • Chaste Tree berries are rejuvenating for the female organs and reproductive system.
  • They are a natural tonic for the pituitary gland regulating the whole hormonal system
    esp. menstrual cycle.
  • Excellent for endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
  • Reduces breast tenderness and lumps in the breast.
  • Helps to regulate menstrual cycle.
  • Helps to regulate hot flashes during menopause.
  • Reduces estrogen and increases progesterone strengthening the vagina and bones.
  • Reduces chronic menstrual cramps.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day before meals

Tincture – 1 ml. 2 to 5 x day before meals

False Unicorn Chamailirium luteum

  • Used in the treatment of female sterility and impotence.
  • We have been rewarded many times, watching this wonderful herb, help women conceive and carry to full term, when they had previously failed.
  • Used for the treatment of menorrhea, painful menstruation, irregular menstruation and leucorrhea.
  • Use in small amounts during the early part of pregnancy to relieve morning sickness.

Dosage: Decoction – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day before meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day before meals

caution: if a woman does not want to get pregnant then she should avoid false unicorn root.

Fennel Foeniculum vulgaris

  • Help promote milk flow for nursing mothers.
  • Fennel seeds are one of the best herbs for digestion, strengthening “bio-fire” without
    aggravating Fire, stopping cramping and dispelling flatulence.
  • Fennel seeds are excellent for digestive weakness in children or the elderly.
  • They are calming to the nerves.
  • They work to stop griping of purgatives.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day with meals


Eyebright Euphrasia officinalis

  • Stimulates the liver.
  • Externally, the tea is an excellent eyewash, especially combined with goldenseal.
  • Useful for inflammation of the nose and throat.
  •  Cooling to the body, reducing excess heat, which risks and can affect the eyes.
  •  Good for glaucoma internally and externally.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day after meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day after meals

Bilberry Vaccinium Myrtillus


  • Helps prevent and treat glaucoma.
  • Protects against cataracts and retinal degeneration.
  • Has a stabilizing effect on collagen.
  • Helps reduce varicose veins.


  • Helps to keep blood sugars in control.
  • Reduces uric acid which is helpful for Gout.

Dosage: Strong infusion – 1/2 to 1 cup 2 to 5 x day after meals

Tincture – 2 to 5 ml. 2 to 5 x day after meals

Medical Disclaimer

All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your healthcare professional or physician.