Herbs & Oils
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JASMINE: (Jasminum officionale) Common
Jasmine is a deciduous shrub with strongly scented, white summer
flowers make a tea that calms the nerves and increases erotic
feelings. Steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for
twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup,, four times a day. The
oil of the leaf is rubbed on the head to heal the eyes. A syrup of
jasmine flowers and honey will help with coughs and lung
complaints. The essential oil of jasmine is said to help menstrual
pain and lung problems.
CAUTION: The berries are poisonous.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Symbolic of the moon and of the
mysteries of the night. Jasmine essential oil is useful for
sexuality, DON'T use synthetics! Dried Jasmine flowers are added to
sachets and other love mixtures. They will attract a spiritual (as
opposed to a physical)love. The flowers will also draw wealth and
money if carried, burned or worn. Jasmine will also cause prophetic
dreams if burned in the bedroom, and the flowers are smelled to
induce sleep. Use for: Anointing; Balance; Luck; Fortune; Justice;
Happiness; Harmony; Peace; Prophetic dreams; Meditation; Money;
Riches; Astral Projection.
Aromatherapy Uses Aphrodisiac; Dry, greasy,
irritated skin; Muscular spasms; sprains; Coughs; Hoarseness;
Laryngitis; Frigidity; Labor Pains; Uterine Disorders; Depression;
Nervous Exhaustion; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities:
Intoxicating; Uplifting; Anti-depressant; Euphoric; Balancing;
JUNIPER: (Juniperus communis) A Druid
sacred tree, Juniper is an evergreen tree or shrub with needle-like
leaves in threes and berrylike cones that ripen to blue-black in
their second or third year.
a diuretic, the berries help digestive problems, gastrointestinal
inflammations, and rheumatism. The berries are taken as a tea
(simmer two teaspoons per cup of water for ten minutes; take up to
one cup four times a day), or taken as jam or syrup in water, mild,
or herb tea. The dry berries can be chewed; three a day is
CAUTION: Pregnant women and people with weak kidneys
should not use juniper berry.
Parts Used: Berry and young twig
Magical Uses: Probably one of the earliest
incenses used by Mediterranean Witches. Its berries were used with
thyme in Druid and grove incenses for visions. Juniper grown by the
door discourages thieves. The mature berries can be strung in the
house to attract love. Men use the berries to increase potency.
Burn Juniper as incense for: Exorcism; Protection; Healing; Love.
The Essential oil is useful in protection, purification and healing
Aromatherapy Uses Acne; Dermatitis; Eczema; Hair
Loss; Hemorrhoids; Wounds; Tonic for Oily Complexions; Accumulation
of Toxins; Arteriosclerosis; Cellulite; Gout; Obesity; Rheumatism;
Colds; Flu; Infections; Anxiety; Nervous Tension; Stress Related
Conditions. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac; Purifying; Clearing;
Depurative; Nerve Tonic; Reviving; Protective;
Pilocarpus Jaborandi (HOLMES.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
Poisons with Antidotes
---Synonyms---Arruda do Mato. Arruda brava. Jamguarandi.
---Description---There is divergence of opinion among
recognized authorities as to the origin of the drug known as
Jaborandi. Not only is the name applied to plants of quite
different species in South America, but various shrubs are
recognized as official in some countries that are classed as
inferior substitutes in others.
Pilocarpus Jaborandi only was regarded as official in the British
Pharmacopoeia, but in the edition of that year it was omitted. In
the United States P. Jaborandi is recognized as Pernambuco
Jaborandi, and P. microphyllus as Maranham Jaborandi. Pernambuco
Jaborandi was at first referred to P. pennatifolius, the leaves of
which are now rarely found in commerce, and some writers describe
this as being probably the true source of the drug. The uncertainty
appears to be due to the fact that the fruit of the different
species is not known to botanists, the drug being only introduced
into Europe in 1847.
of Jaborandi, Iaborandi, and Jamborandi are applied to sundry
pungent plants of the Rutaceae and Piperaceae orders, and
especially to Piper Jaborandi.
grows from 4 to 5 feet high; the bark is smooth and greyish; the
flowers are thick, small, and reddish-purple in colour, springing
from rather thick, separate stalks about 1/4 inch long. The leaves
are large, compound, pinnate with an odd terminal leaflet, with two
to four pairs of leaflets.
chiefly exported from Ceara and Pernambuco, and only the leaflets
are officinal, though they arrive mixed with petioles and small
fruits. The colour is brownish-green, the margin entire, with a
notch cut out at the blunt tip of the leaf, which except in the
case of the terminal leaflet, is unequal at the base. They are
hairless, leathery, with large oil-glands, from 2 1/2 to 4 inches
long, and when crushed have a slightly aromatic odour. The taste is
bitter and aromatic, becoming pungent. The powder is dark green or
volatile oil, containing dipentene and other hydrocarbons, tannic
acid, a peculiar volatile acid, and potassium chloride. The
principal constituents are the three alkaloids, Pilocarpine (not
found in all species), Isopilocarpine and
Pilocarpine, only in the proportion of 0.5 per cent, is found
as a soft, viscous mass yielding crystalline salts, freely soluble
in alcohol, ether, and chloroform, and only slightly soluble in
water. The nitrate should melt at 1.78ø C. It is a white,
crystalline powder, soluble in 95 per cent alcohol, and giving a
yellowish solution with strong sulphuric acid.
hypodermic solutions are prepared from it.
Hydrochlorate of Pilocarpine is official in the United States,
and in some European Pharmacopoeias.
and Uses---The crude drug is rarely used, its virtues being due to
the alkaloid, Pilocarpine. It is antagonistic to atropine,
stimulating the nerve-endings paralysed by that drug, and
contracting the pupil of the eye. Its principal use is as a
powerful and rapid diaphoretic, the quantity of sweat brought out
by a single dose being as much as 9 to 15 OZ. It induces also free
salivation and excites most gland secretions, some regarding it as
of which there is a small quantity in the leaves, resembles
atropine, and is antagonistic to pilocarpine, so that an impure
pilocarpine may vary largely in effect.
may irritate the stomach and cause vomiting and nausea, as may
pilocarpine, even when given as a subcutaneous injection, but these
symptoms yield to morphine.
useful in psoriasis, prurigo, deafness depending on syphilitic
disease of the labyrinth, baldness, chronic catarrh, catarrhal
jaundice, tonsillitis, and particularly dropsy. Probably it is most
popularly known in preparations for the hair. In small doses it
quenches thirst in fever or chronic renal diseases.
contra-indicated in fatty heart or pleurisy.
Powdered leaves, 5 to 60 grains. Of Pilocarpine, 1/20 to 1/4 grain.
Of Pilocarpine Nitrate, 1/20 to 1/4 grain. Of Fluid extract, B.P.,
10 to 30 drops. Of Tincture, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Antidotes---An overdose may cause flushing, profuse sweating and
salivation, nausea, rapid pulse, contracted pupils, diarrhoea, and
even fatal pulmonary oedema. The stomach should be emptied and a
full dose of atropine given.
microphyllus, with smaller and moreyellowish leaves, is regarded as
identical in constituents in the United States.
pennatifolius, or P. pinnatus or P. simplex, inhabits Southern
Brazil and Paraguay. The leaves are paler than the official ones,
and contain little alkaloid. They are sometimes known as 'Paraguay
Selloamus, a variety of the above, with fleshier leaflets, yields
Rio Janeiro Jaborandi. It was formerly official in the United
trachylophus, with smaller leaves, gives Ceara Jaborandi. It grows
in Northern Brazil.
spicatus, giving Aracati Jaborandi, has simple lanceolate leaves
said to have a high percentage of alkaloid.
racemosus of the West Indies, including a good percentage of
alkaloids, yields Guadeloupe Jaborandi.
---Substitutes---Logwood leaves have been substitutes for
Paraquay Jaborandi under the name of 'Feuilles de Bois
Tunatea decipiens, or Swartzia decipiens are often mixed in parcels
of P. microphyllus.
Polemonium coeruleum (LINN.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Greek Valerian. Charity.
---Habitat---This species is found wild in bushy places and by
the side of streams, apparently indigenous, from Stafford and Derby
northwards to the Cheviots, but doubtedly indigenous elsewhere, and
when found in Scotland and Ireland, only an escape from
Valerian (Polemonium coeruleum, Linn.) is not a Valerian at all,
but belongs to the natural order Polemoniaceae, the family of the
Phloxes. Cats are, however, nearly as fond of the smell of this
plant as of the true Valerian, and will frequently roll on it and
injure it, and hence, perhaps, it has been popularly termed
Valerian. It does not possess any of the medicinal qualities of the
Valerians, and has nothing in common with them except in the shape
of the leaves.
It is a
common garden plant, with showy, blue flowers, and is called
'Jacob's Ladder,' from its successive pairs of leaflets. The name
of the genus, Polemonium, is somewhat obscure - it is apparently
derived from the Greek polemos (war), but its application is
plant is bright green and smooth, the upper portion generally
clothed with short, gland-tipped hairs. The perennial root-stock is
short and creeping, the stem 18 inches to 3 feet high, hollow and
angular; the leaves, with very numerous pairs of entire leaflets,
1/2 to 1 inch long. The flowers are very numerous, terminating the
stem of branches, slightly drooping, the corollas 3/4 to 1 inch
across, deep blue, with short tubes and five broad, spreading
segments. The stamens, inserted at the throat of the tube, have
form, frequent in gardens, has variegated leaves and white
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Culpepper
says of it:
'It is under Mercury, and is alexipharmic,
sudorific, and cephalic, and useful in malignant fevers and
pestilential distempers; it helps in nervous complaints, headaches,
trembling, palpitations of the heart, vapours, etc. It is good in
hysteric cases, and epilepsies have been cured by the use of this
us also, 'it is planted in gardens, and is found wild in some parts
(Linn.) (Abscess Root), known also as FALSE JACOB S LADDER, is used
in herbal medicine for its diaphoretic, astringent and expectorant
qualities; an infusion of the root being considered useful in
coughs, colds, and bronchial and lung complaints, producing copious
perspiration; has been considered to have similar diaphoretic and
astringent action to Jacob's Ladder.
See ABSCESS ROOT.
See Bindweed, Jalap.
Eugenia Jambolana (LANK,)
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
---Synonyms---Jambul. Jamum. Rose Apple. Java Plum. Syzygium
---Habitat---India. East Indies. Queensland.
tree from 20 to 30 feet high, with long narrow peach-like leaves;
flowers a greeny-yellow colour, in terminal bunches, blooming in
July; the fruit about the size of a hen's egg, varying from white
to red and rose colour, in scent and taste like a ripe apricot. It
was cultivated in England by Miller in 1768. The bark is dense and
hard, pinky or reddy-brown colour, with a thick corky substance,
whitish grey mottled, often ridged; the inner surface has a silky
lustre; freshly fractured it shows a colour varying from fawn to a
pinky purple, abruptly shortly fibrous; seeds are oval, 1/2 inch
long and 1/5 inch round, hard, heavy, blacky-grey colour, almost
---Constituents---Essential oil, chlorophyll, fat, resin,
gallic and tannic acids, albumen and in their seed ellagic
and Uses---In India Jambul has long been used as a carminative in
diarrhoea; stomachic and astringent. The fresh seeds have been
found most effective in diabetes, as they quickly reduce sugar in
the urine; also very beneficial in glycosuria. No poisoning or
other harmful effects have been reported from its use.
Dosages---Van Morden advises: Fluid extract 1/2 fluid ounce should
be taken in 8 oz. hot water 1 hour before breakfast and before
going to bed. Fluid extract, 1 to 2 drachms. Powdered seeds, 5 to
N.O. Oleaceae and Jasminaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Jasmine, or Jessamine (the name derived from the Persian Yasmin),
belongs botanically to the genus Jasminum, of the natural order
Oleaceae, which contains about 150 species, mostly natives of the
warmer regions of the Old World. About forty of these are
cultivated in our gardens.
---Description---Their leaves are mostly ternate or pinnate;
the flowers, usually white oryellow, with a tubular, five- or
eight-cleft calyx, a cylindrical corolla-tube, with a spreading
limb, two stamens enclosed in the corolla-tube and a two-celled
COMMON WHITE JASMINE (Jasminum officinale), one of the best known
and most highly esteemed of British hardy ligneous climbers, is a
native of Northern India and Persia, introduced about the middle of
the sixteenth century. In the centre and south of Europe it is
it grows to the height of 12 and sometimes 20 feet, its stem is
feeble and requires support. Its leaves are opposite, pinnate and
dark green, the leaflets are in three pairs, with an odd one and
are pointed, the terminal one larger with a tapering point. The
fragrant flowers bloom from June to October; and as they are found
chiefly on the young shoots, the plant should only be pruned in the
with golden and silver-edged leaves and one with double flowers are
and Uses---The roots of several species of Jasminum have had
various ill-defined uses in medicine - that of J. officinale is
mentioned by Millspaugh (American Medicinal Plants) as 'a proven
plant' in the homoeopathic sense, though he adds: 'the authority
for the use of which I am unable to determine.'
The Dispensatory of the U.S.A. cites the
case of a child, in 1861, being poisoned by the fruit of
'probably that of the common White
species, J. officinale, the symptoms being coma, widely dilated
pupil, snoring respiration, with cold, pale surface; slow, feeble
pulse, followed by violent convulsions, with rigidity of muscle
about head and throat.'
A palatable syrup can be prepared from the
flowers. A preparation of the flowers has been employed
medicinally. Green, in his Universal Herbal (1832),
'as an excellent medicine in coughs,
hoarsenesses and other disorders of the breast, an infusion of five
or six ounces of them picked clean from the leaves, in a quart of
boiling water, being strained off and boiled in a syrup, with the
addition of a sufficient quantity of honey.'
SPANISH or CATALONIAN JASMINE (J. grandiflorum), a native of the
north-west Himalayas, and cultivated in the Old and New World, is
very like J. officinale, but differs in the size of the leaflets;
the branches are shorter and stouter and the flowers very much
larger and reddish beneath.
the Jasmine of the perfumery trade, one of the flowers most valued
by perfumers, and grown at Grasse. Its delicate, sweet odour is so
peculiar that it is without comparison one of the most distinct of
all natural odours, and until quite recent years, it was believed
that it was the only scent that could not be made artificially. A
synthetic Otto of Jasmine now exists, however, its composition
following more or less closely the constitution of the natural oil,
containing benzyl acetate, a benzyl ester found in the natural oil
of Jasmine, but the true perfume of Jasmine is not, however,
exactly reproducible by any combination of chemical compounds or
other natural products thus far known, and a proportion of the
natural otto must be added to the mixture of synthetic substances
to make the product satisfactory.
Jasmine is very extensively cultivated at Cannes and Grasse. It is not grown
on its own roots, but grafted on to two-year-old plants of J.
officinale, an erect bush about 3 feet high being obtained,
requiring no supports. The plants are set in rows, fully exposed to
the sun, in a fresh, open soil, well sheltered from north winds, as
they are very susceptible to cold and readily damaged by frost.
They come into full bearing the second year after grafting. The
blossoms, which are very large and intensely fragrant, are produced
from July till the end of October, but those of August and
September are the most odoriferous, the normal harvest being
generally in full swing about the middle of August. The flowers
open every morning at six o'clock and are culled after sunrise, as
the morning dew would injure their fragrance. An acre of land will
yield about 500 lb. weight of Jasmine blossoms.
Agaricus melleus, is a plague of the Jasmine fields, attacking the
roots of the grafted plants. When this mushroom has invaded a
plantation, it is most difficult to combat, and the plants often
have to be rooted out, causing much loss. It is not possible to
grow Jasmine twice in succession on the same site, and the crop is
replaced by roses or olives.
perfume is extracted by the process known as enfleurage, i.e.
absorption by a fatty body, such as purified lard or olive oil.
Jasmine flowers contain, when picked, only a portion of the perfume
which they are capable of yielding, so fresh oil is developed by
the flowers as the solvent removes what was originally
glass trays, framed with wood about 3 inches deep, are spread over
with grease about 1/2 inch thick, in which ridges are made to
facilitate absorption, and sprinkled with freshly-gathered flowers,
which are renewed every morning during the whole time the plant
remains in blossom. The trays are piled up in stacks to prevent the
evaporation of the aroma and finally the pomade is scraped off the
glass, melted at as low a temperature as possible and
is employed as the absorbent, coarse cotton cloths previously
saturated with the finest olive oil are laid on wiregauze frames,
and are repeatedly covered in the same manner with fresh flowers.
They are then squeezed under a press, yielding what is termed huile
antique au jasmin. Three pounds of flowers will perfume 1 lb. of
grease. This is extracted by maceration in 1 pint of rectified
spirit to form the 'Extract.'
amount of Jasmine oil is prepared by extracting the blossoms with
petroleum spirit and evaporating the solvent at a low temperature,
but this treatment by killing the flower at once, stops the process
of scent formation, so that the yield of oil is only onefifth (some
say one-ninth) of that extracted by fats in the enfleurage process.
The Jasmine oil obtained by extraction with volatile solvents is a
pale-brown liquid with a pleasant odour, which is quite distinct,
however, from that of Jasmine pomade.
---Constituents---The essential oil of J. grandiflorum contains
methyl anthranilate, indol, benzyl alcohol, benzyl acetate, and the
terpenes linalol and linalyl acetate.
essential oil is distilled from Jasmine in Tunis and Algeria, but
its high price prevents its being used to any extent.
Indian oil of Jasmine is a compound, largely contaminated with
Jasmine is made by placing in a jar alternate layers of the flowers
and sugar, covering the whole with wet doths and standing it in a
cool place. The perfume is absorbed by the sugar, which is
converted into a very palatable syrup.
ZAMBAK, or ARABIAN JASMINE (J. Sambac), is an evergreen
white-flowered climber, 6 or 8 feet high, introduced into Britain
in the latter part of the seventeenth century. Two varieties
introduced somewhat later are respectively three-leaved and
double-flowered, and these, as well as that with normal flowers,
bloom throughout the greater part of the year.
string the flowers together as neck garlands for honoured guests.
The flowers of one of the double varieties are held sacred to
Vishnu and are used as votive offerings in Hindu religious
Ghazipur, a town on the Ganges, Jasmine, there called Chameli, is
used mainly for making perfumed hair oils by a process of
enfleurage. The odour is absorbed in sesame seeds. The seeds are
prepared by washing and rubbing, and when decorticated are dried.
The prepared seeds and flowers are placed in alternate layers and
allowed to remain for twelve to fourteen hours. The seeds are then
separated from the flowers and repeatedly treated in the same way
with fresh flowers. The spent flowers are used over and over again
with fresh till seeds, these latter giving oil of an inferior
quality. The oil obtained from seeds treated with fresh flowers
only is the best. The perfumed seeds are pressed in an ordinary
wooden country press borne by bullocks. The method is crude,
wasteful, tedious and dirty. Some Otto of Jasmine is also made at
it is the custom among the women to roll up Jasmine blossoms in
their well-oiled hair at night.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---An oil obtained by boiling the
leaves of this EasternJasmine is used to anoint the head for
complaints of the eye, and an oil obtained from the roots is used
medicinally to arrest the secretion of milk.
JASMINUM PANICULATUM is cultivated. It is an erect shrub, valued
for its flowers and known as Sien-hing-hwa, the flowers being used
with those of J. Sambac, Sambac-mo-le-hwa, in the proportion of 10
lb. of the former to 30 lb. of the latter for scenting tea, 40 lb.
of the mixture being required for 100 lb. of tea.
Catalonia and in Turkey, the wood of the Jasmine is made into long,
ANGUSTIFOLIUM, an Indian species, found in the Coromandel forest
and introduced into Britain during the present century, is a
beautiful evergreen climber, 10 to 12 feet high, its leaves of a
bright shining green, its large, terminal flowers, white with a
faint tinge of red, fragrant and in bloom throughout the year. Its
bitter root, ground and mixed with the powdered root of Acorus
calamus, the Sweet Sedge, is in India considered a valuable
external application for ringworm.
Cochin-China, a decoction of the leaves and branches of JASMINUM
NERVOSUM is taken as a blood-purifier. The very bitter leaves of
JASMINUM FLORIBUNDUM (called in Abyssinia, Habbez-zelim), mixed
with kousso, is considered a powerful anthelmintic, especially for
tapeworm; the leaves and branches are added to some fermented
liquors to increase their intoxicating quality.
distinguishing characters of the TRUE YELLOW JASMINE (J.
odoratissimum), a native of the Canary Islands and Madeira, consist
principally in the alternate, obtuse, ternate leaves, the
three-flowered terminal peduncles and the five-cleft yellow
corolla, with obtuse segments. The flowers have the advantage, when
dry, of retaining their natural perfume, which is suggestive of a
mixture of Jasmine, jonquil and orange-blossom.
other hardy species commonly cultivated in gardens are the low
ITALIAN YELLOW-FLOWERED JASMINE (J. humile), an East Indian
species, introduced into the south of Europe and now found wild
there an erect shrub, 3 or 4 feet high, with angular branches
alternate and mostly ternate leaves, blossoming from June to
September; JASMINUM FRUTICANS (Linn.) (J. frutescens,
Gueldermeister), a native of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean
region, a hardy, evergreen shrub, 10 to 12 feet high, with weak,
slender stems, requiring support and bearing yellow, odourless
flowers from spring to autumn, and JASMINUM NUDIFLORUM (Roth.) (J.
pubescens, Willd.), of China, which bears its bright yellow flowers
in winter before the leaves appear. It thrives in almost any
situation and grows rapidly. The important medicinal plant known in
America as the 'Carolina Jasmin' (Gelsemium nitidum) is not a true
Jasmine, though often called 'Yellow Jasmine.' A more correct name
for it is 'False Jasmine.'
rhizome of J. fruticans is sometimes collected in the place of
Gelsemium, but may be distinguished by the cells of the pith, which
are thin-walled and full of starch, while those of Gelsemium are
thick-walled and empty. See GELSEMIUM.
leaves of J. fruticans, the glucoside Jasminin has been isolated,
and from the shoots of J. nudiflorum, the glucoside,
Other plants called 'Jasmine,' but not
related to it, are:
(i) The so-called American Jasmine
(ii) The Red Jasmine (Plumiera rubra), a
shrubby tree, native to Central America, with delicately-scented
flowers, which have obtained for it this name. Another member of
the genus, P. alba, is known as the Frangipani plant, its scent
having been characterized as 'the eternal perfume.'
(iii) The Cape Jasmine (Gardenia florida),
with a strong, pleasant fragrance similar to that of Jasmine, much
employed for 'buttonholes' and in wreaths, and in China, under the
name of Pak-Semahwa, for scenting tea. Another Chinese species, G.
grandiflora, is employed in dyeing the yellow robes of the
mandarins. The fruit of G. campanulata, a species growing in the
forests of Chittagong, is said to be used by the natives as
acathartic and anthelmintic.
(iv) The Ground Jasmine (Passerina
stelleri) is like the Gardenia, also a native of the
JASMINE or WHITE JASMINE OF JAMAICA (called there, 'Jamaica Wild
Coffee'), with very fragrant white flowers, is a species of
Pavetta. The Pavettas are shrubs inhabiting the tropical regions.
The root of P. Indica is bitter and is employed as a purgative by
the Hindus, the leaves being also used medicinally and for
manuring; knife handles being made from the roots.
of the Indian Night Jasmine (Nyctanthes arbortristis - N.O.
Jasminaceae) are used in homoeopathic medicine to make a tincture
for rheumatism, sciatica and bilious fevers.--EDITOR.
See INDIAN LIQUORICE.
Liquorice. -note: No reference found in A Modern
Impatiens aurea (MUHL.), Impatiens biflora (WALT.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Wild Balsam. Balsam-weed. Impatiens pallida.
Pale-touch-me-not. Spottedtouch-me-not. Slipperweed. Silverweed.
Wild Lady's Slipper. Speckled Jewels. Wild Celandine.
---Habitat---Members of the genus Impatiens are found widely
distributed in the north temperate zone and in South Africa, but
the majority are natives of the mountains of tropical Asia and
flowers, purple, yellow, pink and white, sometimes a showy scarlet,
are spurred and irregular in form and are borne in the leaf
Impatiens is derived from the fact that the seed-pod, when ripe,
discharges the seeds by the elastic separation and uncoiling of the
name of Jewelweed the herbage of Impatiens aurea and of I. biflora
are largely employed in domestic practice and by homoeopaths and
plants are tall and branching, tender and delicate succulent
annuals, with swollen joints, growing in lowlying, damp, rather
rich soil, beside streams and in similar damp
smooth and somewhat glaucous, the stems somewhat translucent, the
foliage showing a brilliant silvery surface when immersed in water,
which will not adhere to the surface.
are thin, ovate oval, more or less toothed, of a tender green
slipper-shaped, yellow flowers, in bloom from July to September,
have long recurved tails, those of the first-named species being of
a uniform pale-yellow, those of the second species, orange-yellow,
crowded with dark spots, hence its common name of
Spotted-touch-me-not. The oblong capsules of both species when ripe
explode under the slightest disturbance, scattering the seeds
widely. Most of the popular names refer to this peculiarity, others
to the shape of the flowers.
and Uses---The herbs have an acrid, burning taste and act strongly
as emetics, cathartics and diuretics, but are considered dangerous,
their use having been termed 'wholly questionable.'
---Constituents---The chemical constituents are not known,
though the leaves apparently contain tannin, which causes them to
be employed as an outward application for piles, proving an
excellent remedy, the freshly gathered plants being boiled in lard
and an ointment made of them.
juice of the herb appears to relieve cutaneous irritation of
various kinds, especially that due to Rhus poisoning.
dye has been made from the flowers.
species of Impatiens found wild in Europe is I. Noli-me-tangere, an
annual, succulent herb about a foot high, with yellow flowers, in
bloom in July and August, the lateral petals spotted with red (by
cultivation, changing often to pale yellow and
our native 'Touch-me-not' or 'Quick-in-hand.' Although uncommon, it
is to be found wild in moist mountainous districts in North Wales,
Lancashire and Westmorland and occasionally in moist, shady places
and by the banks of rivulets in other counties.
will grow in cultivation, delighting in a moist soil and
partially-shaded situations; the seeds being sown in autumn, soon
after they are ripe. When once established, the plant will scatter
its own seeds.
plant is rather acrid, so that no animal except the goat will touch
formerly considered to have diuretic and vulnerary properties and
was given to relieve haemorrhoids and strangury.
the famous Dutch physician (1668-1738), considered it
balsamina, the Common Balsam of gardens, a well-known annual, is a
native of India, China and Japan. It is one of the showiest of
summer and autumn flowers and of comparatively easy
East, the natives use the prepared juice for dyeing their nails
a tall, hardy, succulent annual, with rose-purple flowers, a
Himalayan species, is common in England as a self-sown garden plant
or garden escape.
Sultani, a handsome plant, with scarlet flowers, a native of
Zanzibar, is easily grown in a greenhouse throughout the summer,
but requires warmth in winter.
Cornuta, the 'Horned Balsam,' has long nectaries to its flowers,
the spurs being three times as long as the corollas. In Ceylon it
is called the 'Swallow-leaf.'
plant is fragrant and in CochinChina, where it is a common garden
weed, a decoction of the leaves is used as a hairwash, imparting a
very sweet odour.
'Balsam Apple' is not related to the Impatiens, but is the fruit of
Ceratonia siliqua (LINN.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Locust Pods. Carob. Algaroba (Spain). Bharout
(Arabia). Sugar Pods.
---Habitat---Southern Europe, Africa and Asia - bordering on
---Description---There was a tradition that this tree was the
food of St. John in the wilderness, and the name is derived from
the legend. It is very common in the south of Spain, where it forms
a small branching tree about 30 feet high, the wood of which has a
pretty pinkish hue. Leaves pinnate in two or three pairs of oval
blunt-topped leaflets, leathery texture, and colour shiny dark
green. Flowers in small red racemes followed by flat pods 6 to 12
inches long and fully 1 inch wide, 1/4 inch thick, a shiny dark
browny purple colour. They do not split open when ripe; they
contain a number of seeds in a line along the centre of the pods,
each seed in a separate cell of fleshy pulp. This tree is much
cultivated in dry parts because its long roots can grow deep enough
in the ground to find moisture. The pods contain a large amount of
mucilage and saccharine matter of pleasant flavour, and are largely
employed for feeding all sorts of animals, and in time of scarcity
for human consumption. In 1811 and 1812 they formed the principal
food of the British cavalry during the War; they have been imported
in considerable quantities for cattle food, though they do not
contain much nutritive property, the saccharine matter being
carbonaceous, or heat-giving, the seeds alone being nitrogenous.
These seeds are so small and hard they often escape
---Constituents---Similar to Cassia pods, it is not known to
what constituents its laxative properties are due.
and Uses---Years ago the seeds were sold at a high price by
chemists, as singers imagined they cleared the voice. By
fermentation and distillation they give an agreeable spirit, which
retains the flavour of the pod. The seeds were once used by
jewellers as the original carat weight. Johannisbrod, so greatly
esteemed in Germany, is made from the pulp of the Syrian Ceratonia
siliqua. The fruit of John's Bread have similar constituents to
those of Cassia pods and are also laxative and demulcent, with an
odour somewhat like valerian.
for Cassia pulp and pods.
Zizyphus vulgaris (LAMK.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Zizyphus sativa. Brustbeeren. Judendornbeeren.
---Habitat---Originally a native of Syria, Zizyphus vulgaris
was introduced into Italy in the reign of Augustus, and is now
naturalized in Provence, and particularly in the islands of HyŠres,
where the berries are largely collected when ripe, and dried in the
average 25 feet in height and are covered with a rough, brown bark.
They have many branches, with annual thorny branchlets bearing
alternate, oval-oblong leaves of a clear green colour, with three
to five strongly-marked, longitudinous veins. The small flowers are
pale yellow and solitary. The fruit is a blood-red drupe, the size
and shape of an olive, sweet, and mucilaginous in taste, slightly
astringent. The pulp becomes softer and sweeter in drying, and the
taste more like wine. They have pointed, oblong
full analysis has not yet been made, but the berries are valued for
their mucilage and sugar.
and Uses---The Jujube is classed with the raisin, date, and fig as
a pectoral fruit, being nutritive and demulcent. It is eaten both
fresh and dried.
and a tisane were formerly made from it, but the berries are now
little used in medicine.
paste, or 'Pâte de Jujubes,' is made of gum-arabic and sugar. It
may be dissolved in a decoction of jujubes and evaporated, but is
considered as good a demulcentwithout their addition. It is
frequently merely mixed with orange-flower water.
decoction of the roots has been used in fevers.
astringent decoction of leaves and branchlets is made in large
quantities in Algeria, and seems likely to replace the
sometimes also called Z. sativa, of Northern Africa and Z. Jujuba
of the East Indies possess similar properties, and are used in
their respective countries. Z. Lotos is thought to have been one of
the sources of the famous sweet fruits from which the ancient
Lotophagi took their name, the liqueur prepared from which caused
those who partook of it to forget even their native countries in
its enjoyment. The Arabs call it Seedra. In Arabia a kind of bread
is made of them by exposing them to the sun for a few days and then
pounding them in a wooden mortar to separate the stones. The meal
is mixed with water and formed into cakes which after drying in the
sun resemble sweet gingerbread.
is said to be used in the same way in Africa, and also for making a
is largely cultivated by the Chinese, in many varieties as a
dessert fruit, some being called Chinese Dates, and it is also one
of the main sources of stick-lac.
Cenoplia of India has edible fruits, and the bark is esteemed as a
Cochin-China the berries of Z. agrestis are eaten.
the fruits of Z. Barelei are slightly styptic, and the negroes use
the roots for gonorrhoea. It is probably the same species that is
used there in venereal diseases.
decoction of the dried leaves of Z. Napeca is said to be used for
washing ulcers in Arabia.
Christi, or Rhamnus spina Christi, of Ethiopia, is said to be the
source of the crown of thorns placed on the Saviour's head. The
Arabs call it Nabka.
Juniperus communis (LINN.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Genévrier. Ginepro. Enebro. Gemeiner
Used---The ripe, carefully dried fruits, leaves.
---Habitat---Europe. North Africa. North Asia. North
Juniper is a small shrub, 4 to 6 feet high, widely distributed
throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs freely on the slopes
of the chalk downs near London, and on heathy, siliceous soils
where a little lime occurs. It is a common shrub where bands of
limestone occur, as on some of the Scotch mountains and on the
limestone hills in the Lake district.
berries are used for the production of the volatile oil which is a
prime ingredient in Geneva or Hollands Gin, upon which its flavour
and diuretic properties depend.
---History---Although these valuable berries are produced from
a native shrub, the berries of commerce are chiefly collected from
plants cultivated in Hungary. The oil distilled on the Continent,
principally in Hungary, is chiefly from freshly-picked berries. It
has, hitherto, not been possible to produce the oil competitively
with Southern Europe because of the relative cheapness of labour
and the vast tracts of land over which the trees grow wild. But the
rise in the price of foreign oil of Juniper berries since the
outbreak of war has directed attention to the possible extended
production of the oil either in Great Britain or her northern
colonies. Sunny slopes are likely to be the best places to
cultivate the shrub for the berries. The yield of oil, however,
varies considerably in different years.
There is a
wide difference in the chemical and physical characters of the oil
distilled on the Continent from fresh and that in England from
imported berries, which in transit to this country have become
oil of Juniper is obtained chiefly from the ripe fruit and is
stated to be in all essential qualities superior to the oil of
Juniper from the full-grown, unripe, green berries used
medicinally, which occurs as a colourless or pale greenish-yellow,
limpid liquid, possessing a peculiar terebinthic odour when fresh,
and a balsamic, burning, somewhat bitter taste.
berries take two or three years to ripen, so that blue and green
berries occur on the same plant. Only the blue, ripe berries are
here picked. When collected in baskets or sacks, they are laid out
on shelves to dry a little, during which process they lose some of
the blue bloom and develop the blackish colour seen in
There is a
considerable demand on the Continent for an aqueous extract of the
berries called Roob, or Rob of Juniper, and the distilled oil is in
this case a by-product, the berries being first crushed and
macerated with water and then distilled with water and the residue
in the still evaporated to a soft consistence. Much of the oil met
with in commerce is obtained as a by-product in the manufacture of
gin and similar products.
a beer is made that is regarded as a healthy drink. In hot
countries the tree yields by incision a gum or
---Constituents---The principal constituent is the volatile
oil, with resin, sugar, gum, water, lignin, wax and salines. The
oil is most abundant just before the perfect ripeness and darkening
of the fruit, when it changes to resin. The quantity varies from
2.34 to 0.31 per cent Juniper Camphor is also present, its
melting-point being 1.65 to 1.66 degrees C.
Adulteration by oil of Turpentine can be recognized by the
lowering of the specific gravity.
The tar is
soluble in Turpentine oil, but not in 95 per cent acetic
the trade name of a hydroalcoholic extract.
and Uses---Oil of Juniper is given as a diuretic, stomachic, and
carminative in indigestion, flatulence, and diseases of the kidney
and bladder. The oil mixed with lard is also used in veterinary
practice as an application to exposed wounds and prevents
irritation from flies.
Juniper has properties resembling Oil of Turpentine: it is employed
as a stimulating diuretic in cardiac and hepatic
is readily eaten by most animals, especially sheep, and is said to
prevent and cure dropsy in the latter.
use of Juniper is as an adjuvant to diuretics in dropsy depending
on heart, liver or kidney disease. It imparts a violet odour to the
urine, and large doses may cause irritation to the passages. An
infusion of 1 oz. to 1 pint of boiling water may be taken in the
course of twenty-four hours.
the berries have been used in chest complaints and in leucorrhoea,
blenorrhoea, scrofula, etc. They are nut given in
The oil is
a local stimulant.
Berries, B.P., 1 to 5 drops. Oil of Wood, 1 to 5 drops. Fluid
extract, 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm. Spirit of Juniper, B.P. and U.S.P.,
20 to 60 minims. Oil, 2 to 10 minims. Elixir of Potassium Acetate
and Juniper as a diaphoretic, 4 fluid drachms. Comp. Spirit,
U.S.P., 2 drachms. Solid extract, 5 to 15 grains.
Juniper is a name of Sandarac, theresinous product of Thuja
articulata or Callitris quadrivalvis.
distillation of the branches and heartwood of Juniperus oxycedrus,
the Prickly Cedar or Medlar Tree, a large shrub, 10 to 12 feet
high, with brownish-black berries the size of a hazel nut, native
of the south of France, and occasionally from that of J. communis,
is obtained the tarry, empyreumatic oil known as Cade Oil, or
Juniper Tar Oil, used in the treatment of the cutaneous diseases of
animals in France and other Continental countries, and for most of
the purposes of Oil of Turpentine. It is a readysolvent for
chemical drugs and is used externally for chronic eczema as oil,
ointment, and soap.
virginiana, the American Juniper of Bermuda, known also as Red
Cedar and Pencil Cedar, is only an ornamental tree in Britain,
introduced in 1864, and growing 40 to 50 feet high. The smallness
of the stem and slowness of growth render it unsuitable for
planting here with a view to profit, but in America it is much used
for cabinet-making, turnery etc. The interior wood is of a reddish
colour and highly valued on account of its great durability, being
suitable for exposure to all weather. The highly-coloured and
fragrant heartwood is largely used in the manufacture of the wood
coverings of blacklead pencils, and also for pails, tubs, and
various household utensils subjected to wettings. Boxes made of the
wood are useful for the preservation of woollens and furs, it being
an excellent insectifuge on account of the oil contained in
Oil is an article of commerce, obtained from the wood by
distillation from the chips and waste wood, from 15,000 to 20,000
lb. of oil being annually produced in the United States. It is used
in the preparation of insecticides and also in making liniments and
other medicinal preparations and perfumed soaps. It is used
generally in perfumery and was formerly one of the principal
constituents of the popular Extract of White Rose.
berries in decoction are diaphoretic and emmenagogue, like those of
Common Juniper, and the leaves have diuretic
ST. JOHN'S WORT
This is a
very beautiful shrub, and is a great ornament to our
Common St. John's Wort shoots forth brownish, upright, hard, round
stalks, two feet high, spreading many branches from the sides up to
the tops of them, with two small leaves set one against another at
every place, which are of a deep green colour, somewhat like the
leaves of the lesser Centaury, but narrow, and full of small holes
in every leaf, which cannot be so well perceived, as when they are
held up to the light; at the tops of the stalks and branches stand
yellow flowers of five leaves a-piece, with many yellow threads in
the middle, which being bruised do yield a reddish juice like
blood; after which come small round heads, wherein is contained
small blackish seed smelling like rosin. The root is hard and
woody, with divers strings and fibres at it, of a brownish colour,
which abides in the ground many years, shooting anew every
This grows in woods and copses, as well those that are shady, as
open to the sun.
They flower about Midsummer and July, and their seed is ripe in the
latter end of July or August.
and virtues : It is under the celestial sign Leo, and the dominion
of the Sun. It may be, if you meet a Papist, he will tell you,
especially if he be a lawyer, that St. John made it over to him by
a letter of attorney. It is a singular wound herb; boiled in wine
and drank, it heals inward hurts or bruises; made into an ointment,
it open obstructions, dissolves swellings, and closes up the lips
of wounds. The decoction of the herb and flowers, especially of the
seed, being drank in wine, with the juice of knot-grass, helps all
manner of vomiting and spitting of blood, is good for those that
are bitten or stung by any venomous creature, and for those that
cannot make water. Two drams of the seed of St. John's Wort made
into powder, and drank in a little broth, doth gently expel choler
or congealed blood in the stomach. The decoction of the leaves and
seeds drank somewhat warm before the fits of agues, whether they be
tertains or quartans, alters the fits, and, by often using, doth
take them quite away. The seed is much commended, being drank for
forty days together, to help the sciatica, the falling sickness,
and the palsy.
give a description of a bush so commonly known is
Place : They grow plentifully in divers woods in
Kent, Warney common near Brentwood in Essex, upon Finchley Common
without Highgate; hard by the New-found Wells near Dulwich, upon a
Common between Mitcham and Croydon, in the Highgate near Amersham
in Buckinghamshire, and many other places.
Time : The berries are not ripe the first year,
but continue green two Summers and one Winter before they are ripe;
at which time they are all of a black colour, and therefore you
shall always find upon the bush green berries; the berries are ripe
about the fall of the leaf.
Government and virtues : This admirable solar
shrub is scarce to be paralleled for its virtues. The berries are
hot in the third degree, and dry but in the first, being a most
admirable counter-poison, and as great a resister of the
pestilence, as any growing: they are excellent good against the
biting of venomous beasts, they provoke urine exceedingly, and
therefore are very available to dysuries and stranguaries. It is so
powerful a remedy against the dropsy, that the very lye made of the
ashes of the herb being drank, cures the disease. It provokes the
terms, helps the fits of the mother, strengthens the stomach
exceedingly, and expels the wind. Indeed there is scarce a better
remedy for wind in any part of the body, or the cholic, than the
chymical oil drawn from the berries; such country people as know
not how to draw the chymical oil, may content themselves by eating
ten or a dozen of the ripe berries every morning fasting. They are
admirably good for a cough, shortness of breath, and consumption,
pains in the belly, ruptures, cramps, and convulsions. They give
safe and speedy delivery to women with child, they strengthen the
brain exceedingly, help the memory, and fortify the sight by
strengthening the optic nerves; are excellently good in all sorts
of agues; help the gout and sciatica, and strengthen the limbs of
the body. The ashes of the wood is a speedy remedy to such as have
the scurvy, to rub their gums with. The berries stay all fluxes,
help the hæmorrhoids or piles, and kill worms in children. A lye
made of the ashes of the wood, and the body bathed with it, cures
the itch, scabs and leprosy. The berries break the stone, procure
appetite when it is lost, and are excellently good for all palsies,