Getting Acquainted With Herbs: Building and Toning Herbs

Building and toning herbs help strengthen the body thus improving the functions of all the organs.  These herbs are used to recover from acute diseases, childbirth, debility, emotional instability, etc.

Aphrodisiacs help in cases of impotence and increase sexual drive.  The most common ones are ginseng, sarsaparilla root, saw palmetto and kava kave.

Astringents increase the tone of tissue.  They help reduce secretions from mucuous linings of the body and can be used to heal draining sores.  Some common ones are mullein, elecampane, calendula, rosemary, sage, yarrow, cayenne and plantain.  Many herbalist may list others, depending on their location and what grows locally.

Cardiacs strengthen the power of the heart.  Most notable are hawthorn berry,  motherwort, and cayenne pepper..

Diaphoretics promote persperation to increase elimination of toxins through the skin.  These are divided into three categories.
Stimulating: Garlic, peppermint, ginger, horseradish

Neutral: sassafras, horehound and sarsaparilla

Relaxing: Calendula, chamomile and lemon balm

Emmenagogues correct and tone the functions of the female system.  They promote and regulate normal menstrual function.  Most commonly used are black cohosh, damiana, motherwort and squaw vine.

Galactagogues promote milk production in nursing mothers.  Some of note are raspberry leaf, blessed thistle and dandelion.

Hepatics tone the liver and promote an increase of secretions.  They promote the flow of bile and are helpful in treating hepatitis, jaundice and alcohol abuse.  Barberry, self-heal, dandelion, and yellow dock are among the most commonly used.

Nervines are tonic to the nerves.  They relieve pain and help regulate the nervous system.  Catnip, crampbark, scullcap and valerian are commonly used.

Nutratives are nourishing to all tissues.  Alphalfa, kelp, dandelion root, rose hips, chickweed, nettle and sage are among the most well known and accessible.

Vulneraries promote quick healing to cuts and abrasions.  Comfrey leaves, yarrow and goldenseal are the most commonly used.  They may be applied as a poultice or taken internally.