Botanical Actions of Herbal Medicines

Botanical Actions of Herbal Preparations

Adaptogens/Blood Cleansers
This specific genre of herbal medicines are also called blood cleansers, blood purifiers, depurulents, alteratives or adaptogens.

Herbs with this action elicit an alteration for the better in the course of an illness. Alteratives are blood purifiers that are used to treat conditions arising from or causing toxicity. There herbs improve the condition of the blood, accelerate elimination, improve digestion, and increase the appetite. They also cleanse the liver, cleanse the skin, regulate the organs and support the immune system. Herbs in this category include barberry, blue flag, burdock, chaparral, echinacea, figwort, oregon grape root, plantain, pokeroot, prickly ash, queen’s root, red clover, sarsaparilla, sassafras, thuja, wild indigo, yellow dock.
These herbs are best used in combination according to the specific need.
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These herbs relieve pain usually by reducing nerve excitability. Such herbs are closely related to antispasmodics and sedatives. Commonly used herbs in this class include: catnip, chamomile, dongquai, hops, jamaican dogwood, mistletoe, skullcap, valerian, white bryony, wild yam.

See our PainLessJoints, NerveShield and Lotion, Shingles, Lumbago, FrozenShoulder, Gout Tonic, SciaticaLess

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These include vermicides which kill intestinal worms, and vermifuges which aid in expelling worms. Included are herbs: cape or black aloe, butternut, black walnut, elecampane, garlic, hyssop, tansy, wormwood.

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These herbs inhibit the growth or kill bacteria. They include: bearberry (uva ursi), bitter orange, echinacea, eucalyptus, garlic, goldenseal, horseradish, mullein, myrrh, peruvian bark, propolis.

See our Bronchitis Tonic, Cystitis, Helicobacter, HerbShield, LGS, SpotLess

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These herbs are used internally or externally to prevent breakdown of organic tissues or inhibit growth of microorganism. Among these are: barberry, calendula, echinacea, eucalyptus, garlic, goldenseal, myrrh, st johns wort, wild yam. Leg ulcers, bed sores and external poultice, lice infections, skin diseases, spots and acne, cystitis, intestitial cystitis, mouth and gum infections, lymphatic involvement.

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These herbs stop or prevent muscular spasm. They are used for muscle cramps, asthma, and other disorders with muscle irritability, spasm or contraction. Commonly used herbs in this class are: black cohosh, blue cohosh, chamomile, cramp bark, lobelia, mistletoe, passion flower, scullcap, valerian, wild yam. Asthma and breathlessness, parkinson’s disease, nerve spasms and palsy, palpitations.

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These herbs act upon the albumin of the tissue to which they are applied, causing hardening and contraction, leaving the area more dense and firm. They prevent bacterial infection, stop discharges, diarrhoea, or haemorrhages. Most astringents contain tannin as a primary ingedient. Herbs used are: avens, bayberry, bistort, blackberry, calendula, cranesbill, myrrh, tormentil, oak bark, witch hazel. Anti-diarrhoea medicine, heavy periods (menorrhagia), bladder incontinence, ointments.

Carminatives (Aromatics)

These herbs, usually having an agreeable taste or aromatic fragrance, relieve flatulence and flatulent pain, and soothe the stomach. Many herbs fit into this category, such as: angelica, anise, lemon balm, caraway, cinnamon, cloves, cumen, dill, fennel, ginger, peppermint. Excess wind and flatulence, slippery elm and marshmallow powder, IBS, bitters, leaky gut syndrome.


These herbs cause copious bowel evacuation. They also usually stimulate bile secretion. Cathartics are used to expel worms after an anthelmintic herb has been used and whenever a complete bowel evacuation is desired. Their use in chronic constipation is not therapeutic and only causes further constipation as its secondary effect. Most often used are: black root, butternut, may apple, flax, rhubarb, senna. Severe constipation.


These herbs soothe, soften, reduce irritation, and protect the mucous membranes. The effect may be mechanical or medicinal, depending on the herb. Chickweed, coltsfoot, comfrey, irish moss, marshmallow, slippery elm. Stomach and gastric ulcers, IBS, slippery elm, candida infection.


These herbs increase perspiration and rid the body of waste material through the sweat glands. They are best given as hot infusions repeated frequently. Useful herbs in this class are: lemon balm, blue vervain, boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum), catnip, chamomile, ginger, peppermint, pleurisy root, spearment, yarrow. Colds and flu, low immune system,


These herbs increase the flow of urine: bearberry (uva ursi), broom tops, buchu, couch grass, dandelion leaf, hydrangea, juniper, parsley piert, pellitory of the wall, wild carrot, corn silk. WaterMore, and anti-diuretics: WaterLess, IncoLess for incontinence.


Herbs that induce vomiting: ipecacuanha, lobelia, mustard seed.


These herbs promote menstrual flow: black cohosh, false unicorn root, mugwort, penny royal, pulsatilla, rue, squaw vine, tansy. Email Alan Hopking


Mild purgatives encourage gentle bowel movements: black aloe, cascara, flax seed, licorice, psyllium, rhubarb, senna. See our ColonCleanse Powder, Gentle and Strong and Extra Strong Laxatives, Course Dry :Laxative Mixture


These herbs can calm nervous tension, nourish the nervous system and favour sleep. Many are also antispasmodics. Wood betony, catnip, chamomile, vervain, hops, passion flower, pulsatilla, skullcap, valerian. See our NerveShield, WorryLess and SleepMore


Herbs that excite and arouse nervous sensibility, and stimulate vital forces to action; they increase and strengthen the pulse and restore weakened circulation. Included are: cayenne, ginger, horse radish, prickly ash. EnergyMore, BrainMore, MentalPepTalk


Herbs that stimulate or control the secretion of gastric juices include: avens, columbo, sweet flag, peppermint. BittersMore, HeartBurn, WindLess

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Herbs that give vigor and strengthen the entire system or a particular set of organs or actions. Review all the Herbactive Tonics
No two people are the same and no two people with the same disease are alike and the causes of their imbalance are unique, therefore ideally they should be given a unique prescription. But many people have ‘simple’ conditions (not complex) and therefore can be treated with holistic herbal tonics such as the Herbactive ABC Tonics, that take into account many facets that have led to this condition. Even a number of tonics can be taken at the same time for ‘simple’ conditions. e.g. IBS tonic, ForgetLess Tonic, SleepMore could all be taken during the day.

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