Herbal Medicine

Permaculture Plants: Ginseng

Common Name: Ginseng, American Ginseng, Asian Ginseng
Scientific Name: Panax species
Family: Araliaceae (the Ivy family)

There are 11 species of ginseng found in eastern Asia and eastern North America. While all the species contain medicinal compounds (specifically ginsenosides), only Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) are grown in significant quantity. The […]

Tapping the Pine Tree… Plant Resins and their Uses

I avoid saying that I love trees. That sems too trite, and it sounds blasé… because everyone “loves” trees; it says so on their t-shirts. So I choose other words like fascinated, inspired, excited. To me, there really is something magical and spiritual about walking through a forest filled […]

Permaculture Plants: Red Clover

Common Name: Red Clover, Beebread, Clover Rose, Cow Clover, Meadow Clover, and many more…
Scientific Name: Trifolium pratense
Family: Fabaceae (the Legume, Bean, or Pea family)

Red Clover is one of the most popular green manure, fodder, and cover crops grown in the world. As a legume, it puts atmospheric nitrogen into the soil. It […]

Permaculture Plants: Sage

Common Name: Sage, Common Sage, Garden Sage, Broadleaf Sage, True Sage, Cullinary Sage, Kitchen Sage, Dalmation Sage, and many more…
Scientific Name: Salvia officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae (the Mint family)

Almost every herb garden has its obligatory Sage plant off in the corner, but few people know how to use Sage in the kitchen, and even less […]

Permaculture Plants: Licorice (Liquorice)

Common Name: Licorice (American spelling), Liquorice (British spelling), 甘草 (gāncǎo)
Scientific Name: Glycyrrhiza species
Family: Fabaceae (the Legume, Pea, or Bean family)
Common Species:

  • Russian/Roman/Eastern European/Hungarian Licorice (Glycyrrhiza echinata)
  • Common Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • American Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)
  • Chinese Licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis)

Licorice is found on all continents but Antarctica, and has been used by humans for thousands of years as a medicine and flavoring. For Permaculturists, Licorice has […]

Permaculture Plants: Calendula

Common Name: Calendula, Pot Marigold
Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis
Family: Asteraceae or Compositae (the Aster, Daisy, or Sunflower family)

Calendula, or Pot Marigold, is a beautiful flower known throughout the world as an ornamental, but has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries. This annual reseeds very easily and can withstand fairly cold weather, […]

Reishi (Ling Chi) Mushroom

Common Name: Ling Chi, Reishi, Varnished Conk, Ling Zhi, Ling Chih, Mannentake
Scientific Name: Ganoderma lucidum
Family: Ganodermataceae

This shelf-fungus has a shiny (varnished) appearance, and it has been used as a medicinal mushroom in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2,000 years! Fruiting Body: 0.8-13.8 inches (2-35 cm) wide and 1.6-3.1 inches (4-8 cm) thick and […]

My Thoughts on Herbal Medicines

Article originally published on 26 August 2011.
Edited/Updated on 25 June 2013.

Herbal medicines have likely been used for about as long as mankind has been on the Earth. They continued to be used along side more “modern” medicines for a while, but as time progressed, herbal medicines have slowly been […]