Hopking’s Herbal > A <



Alan Hopking’s concise Modern Materia Medica


(For our Terms and Conditions please click here)
Go to Hopking’s Herbal – A Modern Materia Medica (herbs and their medicinal action and uses):
A, B-C, D-E-F, G-H, I-J-K, L-M-N, O-P-Q, R-S, T-U, V-W, X-Y-Z

What are herbs? In this context, herbs are any plants that are used as medicines. Medical Herbalists prefer using whole herbs, either the whole plant, or any whole part of the plant, viz. root, rhizome, leaf, flower, fruit. Sometimes we only use the gum of the plant e.g. Myrrh, or essential oil of the plant, like lavender or thyme oil. What herbal practitioners emphasise is that we use the whole part, not isolated, industialised, concentrated consituents extacted from plants; we know (unlike the press) this can lead to harmful, even fatal, results. Whereas, the use of the whole plant or the whole part of the plant has never led to a death of a patient. In this sense, herbalism is the safest system of chemical drug therapy of any medicine. It has been used for millions of years, and is still the most popular natural therapy in the world, often used alongside, to support and stabilise the harsher action of orthodox medicine, for instance in India, China and in many parts of Africa and South America.
Herbal treatment is best used by including many other herbs, rather than the use of just one herb (as often promoted by pharmacies and health shops, eg echinacea for a cold). Multi-herbal treatment has the benefit of giving greater support to the body’s own innate healing defences, as well as confusing and thus defeating pathogens that have caused illness. In this way, health is restored much more quickly. Dependence on any one herb is then also avoided; any dependence weakens the body’s own natural defences.
Another thing you can be assured by: every single herb on our shelves has been more thoroughly tested than any orthodox drug in your chemist down the road. Every single herb has gone through a rigorous in vivo test down the centuries and a huge documentary evidence has been built up which has invariably been confirmed by stringent scientific investigation and tests on humans and animals. Our herbs are safe because of this and they are prescribed with safety and effectiveness as the priority for their use. Keep to the dose and get advice from your herbal practitioner if you have any adverse symptoms or questions about your treatment.

All these herbs are available from Herbactive Botanicals as:
1. Organic tinctures made according to the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia
2. Organic alcohol-free concentrated tinctures

Over 400 single herb tinctures – sizes available 60ml, 120ml, 300ml, 555, 1.110L, 2.220L –
To order go to our store

If you can’t find the herb you want or you don’t know the botanical (Latin) name email me

Hopking’s Herbal – A

1. Acacia catechu (Black Catechu, Er Cha) – expectorant, haemostatic, cough with sputum, diarrhoea, bleeding, haemorrhoids, eczema; kidney stones – preventative (lowers pH of urine); bitter, astringent, cool; LU HE.

2. Acanthopanax gracilistylus (Acanthopanax root bark, Wu Jia Pi) Chinese Herb – anti-rheumatic – dispels wind and dampness, strengthens the bones and sinews (osteoporosis); diuretic; rheumatoid arthritis, oedema, oliguria, lumbar pain, joint pain, walking difficulty; pungent, warm. LIV KI. Note: Soak the root in wine and drink; excellent drink for geriatric patients with RA.

3. Achillea millefolium (Yarrow) – diaphoretic, hypotensive (systolic), fevers, common cold, thrombosis, hair growth, wounds, sore nipples, douche for leucorrhoea, amenorrhoea.

4. Aconite carmichaeli (Aconite Fu Zi, Chuan Wu Tou) Chinese Herb (A. napellus) – analgesic, shock/collapse, stimulant to yang energy, chronic disease with cold; cold hands and feet; weak pulse; spleen dysfunction; kidney deficiency; pain. Ext: peripheral, sciatica, RA pain, lumbago, stiffness after injury. Very pungent, very hot; HE SP KI.

5. Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag) – carminative, diaphoretic, stomachic, poor appetite, anorexia, dyspepsia, gastritis, peptic ulcer, hyperacidity. Ext: Chew root to stop smoking. Bath for insomnia or stress.

6. Acorus gramineus (Sweet Flag, Shi Chang Pi) Chinese Herb – resuscitative; dissolves phlegm in respiratory tract; stomachic, digestive; fainting due to heat excess or excess phlegm; hysteria; tinnitus, deafness, chronic dysentery; sedative in insomnia; insanity, melancholia, impaired consciousness; extreme stress (as in sudden grief); despair. Pungent, warm; HE ST LIV.

7. Adonis vernalis (False Hellebore) 1:10 – heart tonic (cardiosedative, nervous tachycardia, extrasystoles, myocardial impairment, arterial hypotension). Rare herb. N/A

8. Adiantum capillus-veneris (Maidenhair Fern) – anti-tussive, expectorant, demulcent, bronchitis, nasal catarrh, pharyngitis, sinusitis.

9. Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut fruit) – strengthens arteries and veins, prevents thrombosis, phlebitis, varicose veins, haemorrhoids. Ext: on legs.

10. Agastache rugosa (Agastachis tops, Huo Xiang) Chinese Herb – dispels summer heat and dampness in spleen and stomach; dispels exterior cold and dampness. Uses: fullness of chest, dyspepsia, malaise, poor appetite; nausea and vomiting; common cold and interior dampness. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-spirochetes (worms), diaphoretic, reduces acidity in stomach, slows excessive peristalsis. Pungent, slightly warm. LU SP ST.

11. Agathosma betulina (Buchu) – urinary anti-septic, diuretic, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis (with Althea).

12. Agrimonia eupatoria (Agrimony) – digestive tonic; mucus colitis; appendicitis, incontinence, gargle for acute sore throat or chronic nasopharyngeal catarrh.

13. Agropyron repens (Couch grass) – diuretic, cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, prostatic hypertrophy, stones in kidney or bladder.

14. Akebia quinata (Akebia stems, Mu Tong) Chinese Herb – (herb no longer available for use in UK) diuretic, antiphlogistic, promotes lactation; abscesses on tongue and mouth; insomnia, restlessness; dark and scanty urine; urination painful and difficult, pain and swellings in feet and legs; insufficient milk production; bitter, cold; HE, LU, SI, BL. (N/A, info only)

15. Alchemilla vulgaris (Ladies Mantle) – dysmenorrhoea, emmenagogue (eases resistance), haemorrhage, menorrhagia, endometriosis, menopause; diarrhoea, acute (specific, also for infants). Ext: leucorrhoea; prorates vulvae (douche); mouth wash for mouth ulcers and gingivitis.

16. Aletris farinosa (Unicorn root) – bitter, anti-spasmodic, sedative, dyspepsia, flatulence, debility with anorexia and anxiety; anorexia (specific). See Anorexia. Rare herb.

17. Allium sativum (Garlic bulb, Da Suan) – anti-bacterial (amoebic dysentery, typhoid), hypotensive (lowers cholesterol and blood pressure), expectorant, anti-septic, anti-viral (common cold); anthelmintic – worms; TB; asthma, chronic bronchitis, bronchitis chronic – specific; pungent, warm; ST, LI.

18. Aloe vera gel (Pure Aloe Gel) 1:1 – burns, sunburn, wounds, insect bites, skin, eczema, scalp problems, psoriasis in scalp, wrinkles, skin irritations, minor cuts and scratches, an eyewash.

19. Aloe vera (A. ferox) (Cape Aloe, Lu Hui) – purgative, stomachic, refrigerant, anti-septic, emmenagogue, sedative to liver, delirium due to liver inflammation, intestinal parasites, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, fidgety, insomnia; bitter, cold; LIV ST LI; C/I pregnancy. Good for chronic constipation and safe for prolonged use – does not lose effect.

20. Alpinia officinarum (Galangal rhizome, Gao Liang Jiang) – carminative, aromatic, diaphoretic; cold & pain of abdomen, nausea and vomiting, dyspepsia, gastralgia, enteritis, flatulent colic – specific; effective against candida albicans; pungent, warm; SP ST.

21. Althea officinalis (Marshmallow root) – demulcent, peptic ulcer, mouth ulcer, gastritis, colitis, respiratory catarrh, cough. Ext. for varicose ulcers, abscesses, boils.

22. Ammi visnaga (Khella seed) – known to early Egyptian medicine. Antispasmodic to respiratory and cardiovascular system. Alternative use to steroids in children. Vitaligo. A potent coronary vasodilator. Angina pectoris. Bronchial asthma. Whooping cough. Asthma (Arabian medicine). Diseases of coronary vessels, gall bladder, kidney, bladder. Pain of kidney stones. Myocardial infarction. Allergies. Vitaligo. Psoriasis.

23. Andrographis paniculata (Andrographis herb) – antibiotic (inhibits Staph. aureus). Uses: urinary tract infection, boils, ulcers (internal), enteritis, shigella, colitis, osteomyelitis, pneumonia. Rare herb.

24. Anemone pulsatilla (Pasque Flower) 1:10 – sedative, analgesic, spasmolytic, bactericidal; dysmenorrhoea pain, testes pain, ovary pains, hyperactivity, tension headaches, insomnia, glaucoma. Ext. earache (oil or tinct). Reproductive system (male and female) – specific. Dose: 1:10 40% 0.3-1ml.

25. Anemopsis californica (Yerba Mansa root) – N/A (see Ilex paraguariensis (Mate, Yerba Mate leaves)

26. Anethum graveolens (Dill Weed) – flatulent colic, colic in children, helps lactation. Ext. halitosis (chew seeds).

27. Angelica archangelica (Angelica root) – expectorant (respiratory catarrh, psychogenic asthma, bronchitis, coughs, pleurisy – esp. when with fever or ‘flu), carminative (intestinal colic, flatulence, anorexia); vascular disease – peripheral.

28. Angelica dahurica (Bai Zhi, root) Chinese Herb – diaphoretic, eliminative, frontal headaches, neuralgia, sinusitis, rhinitis (colds and flu); pungent, warm. LU ST.

29. Angelica pubescens (Du Huo root) Chinese Herb – dispels wind-damp (RA), and relieves pain; especially for RA pain in lower body. Lowers BP (lowers blood pressure); stimulates CNS; pungent, bitter, slightly warm; KI, BL.

30. Angelica sinensis (Angelica root, Dang Gui) Chinese Herb – nourish blood, circulatory stimulant (Raynaud’s), anaemia, abdominal pain, dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, menopause; angina, coronary heart disease; sweet, pungent, warm. LIV HE SP.

31. Anopaegma (Catuaba) – aphrodisiac. Aphrodisiacs: Catuaba (Juniperus brasiliensis, Cajueiro (Anacardium occidentale) and Koribo (Tanaecium nocturnum). N/A – see Erythroxylum catuaba (Trichilla catigua, Catuaba).

32. Anti-viral herbs (herbs against all kinds of viruses): (internal use): Pod. Thuj. Thymus. Ech. Equis. Calend. Hyperic. Uncar. Mesissa. Eucal. Alli. Crat. Glyc. Verbasc. Pass. Anemon. Ext: Pod. Thyme. Calend. Alli. Oil of Thyme and oil of Tea Tree. See Anti-Viral Tonic

33. Aphanes arvensis (Parsley Piert, whole herb) (= Alchemilla arvensis) – diuretic, demulcent; renal stones, bladder stones, painful urination.

34. Apium graveolens (Celery Seed) – rheumatism, sedative; arthritis, gout (with Taraxacum), urinary anti-septic; RA with mental depression (specific).

35. Aphrodisiacs/sexual debility. To stimulate hormonal secretion of ovaries and testes. Erythrox. Turnera. Centella. Eleuthero. Horny Goat Weed. Seranoa. Liriosma. Pausinystalia. Anemopaegma chamberlaynii. Panax. Paullinia. Cistanche. Coriand. Cnidium. Eugenia. Vanilla. Ylang ylang. See Herbal V8. Specific for women: Anemone. Leonurus. Smilax (low pituitary activity). Cnidium. Pausin. Panax. Rubus idaeus. Vib prun (uterine relaxant – as ‘receptive’). Cim rac. See Herbal VW.

36. Aralia racemosa (Spikenard) – stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, alterative, cough, asthma, chest pains. Use with Smilax for skin. Ext: skin diseases.

37. Arctium lappa (Burdock root) – alterative, bitter, diuretic, dry or scaly eczema, psoriasis, skin detoxification; anorexia nervosa.

38. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry leaf) – diuretic, astringent, urinary anti-septic, demulcent. Tones urinary system, cystitis, urethritis, dysuria (urination painful), kidney stones, bladder incontinence.

39. Areca catechu (Betel Palm Nut, Bing Lang) – anthelmintic with purgative action; food stagnation; qi xu. worms, oedema, constipation; swellings in feet and legs; pungent, bitter, warm; ST LI. Dose 60-120ml.

40. Armoracia rusticana (Horseradish root, fresh) – stimulant (strong), diuretic (strong), aperient, expectorant, rubefacient (Raynaud’s), anti-septic; nervous stimulant, digestive organs stimulant, kidney stones, oedema, persistent cough (especially following influenza); whooping cough, hoarseness (as syrup), worms. Ext: rheumatism, paralytic complaints, sciatica, gout, joint-ache, hard swellings of the spleen and liver, chilblains, facial neuralgia; freckles (removes) – mixed with white vinegar.

41. Arnica montana (Arnica flowers) 1:10 – Ext: anti-inflammatory, vulnerary, bruises, sprains, rheumatic pain, phlebitis, chilblains, muscular aches and pains.

42. Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood herb) – stomachic, choleretic, bitter tonic, carminative, anthelmintic: worms (roundworm and pinworm), anti-inflammatory; indigestion, anorexia.

43. Artimisia annua (Chinese Artemisia, Ai Ye) – specific for malaria, see malaria, and smoking mixture, see below.

44. Artemisia vulgaris (Mugwort, Ai Ye [argyi, leaves]) – haemostatic, astringent, to warm meridians & stop bleeding; analgesic; sterility (fertility); menorrhagia, bleeding during pregnancy, amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, uterine bleeding; bitter, pungent, warm; LU LIV SP KI. Amenorrhoea (absence of menstrual flow), dysmenorrhoea (painful menstruation), menopause, pre-menstrual tension. Emmenagogue (an agent to induce menstruation). Mugwort owes its properties principally to the essential oil it contains at levels between 0.02 to 2 %(1). The composition of this oil has been recently studied (2); its principal constituents are cineol (or eucalyptol) with traces of thujone. A sesquiterpene lactone is also found. But Mugwort is also rich in mineral salts: potassium, phosphorus, iron… (4) According to latest scientific studies coming from China, Mugwort could contain an effective element against malaria. Bibliography Paris R.R. et Moyse H. in “Matiere Medicale”, Tome III, P. 419,Masson Ed., Paris, 1971. Nano G.M. et al. Planta med., 1976, 30, 211. Geissman T.A. Phytochemistry, 1970, 9, 2377. Saint Paul A. Plantes Med. et Phytoth., 1982, 1, 46. Weiss R.W. in “Lehrbuch der Phytotherapie, P. 100, Hippocrates Verlag Ed., Stuttgart, 1980.

45. Asclepias tuberosa (Pleurisy root) 1:10- diaphoretic, expectorant, anti-spasmodic, carminative; respiratory disease, bronchitis, flu; pleurisy – specific.

46. Asplenium scolopendrium (Hart’s-tongue, Gods hair, leaf; Phyllitis scolopendrium L Polypodiaceae) – Mild astringent. It is reputed to exert an action on the spleen and liver. Disorders of spleen. Mucus colitis. Splenomegaly, especially in blood dyscrasias. Dose: 2-4g or by infusion. LE 1:1 25%, 2-4ml. Tincture: 1:5 45%, 2-6ml. The plant is a native British fern; contains amino acids including a-methylglutamic acid. “Jupiter claims dominion over this herb, and it is a good remedy for the liver, both to strengthen it when weak, and ease it when afflicted; a syrup of it should be made, for I think the leaves are not green all the year. It is commended for hardness and stoppings of the spleen and liver, and the heat of the stomach, lax, and the bloody-flux. The distilled water is very good against the passions of the heart, to stay the hiccough, to help the falling of the palate, and to stay the bleeding of the gums by gargling with it.” – Nicholas Culpeper. In Devonshire the children have a graceful tale about Harts-tongue fern. It was once the pillow for the Son of Man, when he had nowhere to lay His head. In return for this service, He left two hairs of His most blessed and dear head, which the plant treasures in her ripe stem, as His legacy – two auburn hairs which children find and show. In Guernsey it has the remarkable name of Christ’s-hair. This name is explained by snapping the stipe and pulling out the two black fibro-vascular bundles. For more see Godshaer Herb

47. Astragalus membranaceus (Astragalus root, Huang Qi) Chinese Herb – sweating, prolapse of uterus and anus; immunostimulant, raises yang qi, increases vitality, fatigue, stimulates tissue regeneration (Vitaligo?), fertility; oedema, anti-viral, cardiotonic, nephritis; profuse sweating – menopause; facial swellings; diabetes; cardiotonic, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar, improves circulation in skin. C/I acute infections; sweet, slightly warm; SP LU.

48. Atractylodes lancea (Thistle, Cang Zhu) Chinese Herb – drying, stomachic, eliminates wind-damp; leucorrhoea, aching joints, RA, muscle aches (fibromyalgia), swellings and pain in feet and legs, weakness, sluggishness, night blindness, dyspepsia, lack of appetite, nausea vomiting, diarrhoea; bitter, warm; SP ST. See PainLess Joints Tonic.

49. Atropa belladonna (Belladonna flowers and tops) 1:10 – narcotic, mydriatic, sedative. Anti-cholinergic, anti-asthmatic, anti-hydrotic. Reduces salivary and sudorific gland secretions; biliary digestive colic, gall bladder pain, night sweating (menopause), arrhythmia, convulsions, asthma, neuralgia, whooping cough, NS diseases, Parkinson’s. Ext: gout. C/I tachycardia, glaucoma, prostatitis. Dose: 0.5-2ml (BP 1980). (BHP tincture: 0.5-2ml). Tincture 2oz:1pt, 5-15 drops.

50. Avena sativa (Oat seed and straw) – anti-depressive, thymoleptic; depressive states and debility; menopause.

Order tinctures of these herbs for next day delivery, click here

Can’t find the herb you want? Email me

Go to Hopking’s Herbal – A Modern Materia Medica (herbs and their medicinal action and uses):
A, B-C, D-E-F, G-H, I-J-K, L-M-N, O-P-Q, R-S, T-U, V-W, X-Y-Z