Marsh Mallow health benefits: for open sores and external ulcers

Marsh mallow, ancient medicine and sweetmeat

Marsh mallow, ancient medicine and sweetmeat

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

The marsh mallow or marshmallow, Althaea officinalis, is also called althea, common marshmallow, mortification root, sweet weed and wymote. It is in the same family (Malvaceae) as musk mallow and hollyhock.

The name “mortification root” refers to the use of the root as a poultice for infected wounds; it is said to heal the most stubborn infections, and thus prevent gangrene. I have not been able to find any explanation for the name wymote.

Marshmallow the herb is the origin of the sweet of the same name, although the stuff you buy in sweet shops nowadays never gets a sniff of the plant. Marshmallow the sweet was once made by drying and powdering the roots, then making the powder into a paste and roasting it.

Marsh mallow is a hardy perennial reaching about 4 feet (1.2m) in height by 2’6″ (75cm) across, a native of Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. It is not fussy as to soil, and can even grow in saline conditions, but prefers a moist situation. It will not grow in shade. It’s an attractive plant, worthy of a place in any ornamental or herb garden and could also be used in a sensory garden because of its downy leaves..

In many parts of the world, marshmallow roots are used as food, particularly during food shortages. All parts of the plant are edible, though all are also mucilaginous (you might say slimy) when cooked, and although the leaves can be used in salads, because they are fibrous and downy, they need to be finely chopped to be palatable. The water used for cooking marsh mallow can be reduced (by boiling) until it has a similar consistency to egg whites, and used as a substitute after cooling – even for things like meringues. This is obviously of most interest to people who are allergic to eggs, and to vegans. The flowers can also be used for tea.

Marshmallow has been used medicinally for centuries. All parts of the plant are active, in particular the roots.

A standard infusion of leaves uses 30g (1 ounce) of dried leaves or 3 handfuls of fresh to 500ml (2 US cups, 16 fl oz) boiling water. Allow to stand for 15 minutes to 4 hours (the longer it infuses, the longer it can be kept in a refrigerator), strain and take up to 3 cups a day, sweetened with honey if liked. It can also be used externally when cool.

The least slimy of the medicinal preparations is the cold extract, which is made by steeping 1-2 tbsp chopped root or whole plant in 240ml (1 US cup, 8 fl oz) of cold water for 8 hours, after which it is strained. The dosage is 1 cup a day (which can be split into 3 doses).

A decoction is made by adding 1 tsp of chopped root to 1 cup cold water, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-30 minutes, then strain. Use the same dosage as for cold extract.

A poultice is made by mixing chopped root with honey and wrapping in a closely woven bandage. Apply to the area to be treated for 2-3 hours, then replace with a new one as required.

Internally, use the cold extract, standard infusion or decoction to treat chest infections, pleurisy, tickly coughs and catarrh, cystitis or urinary tract infections. Use externally to treat gum disease, as an eye bath for sore and infected eyes, and as a vaginal douche for bacterial vaginitis (bv). Use a poultice to treat boils and similar skin eruptions, splinters, open sores and ulcers, insect bites and gangrene. Give a piece of peeled root to teething infants to chew on.

As I always recommend with plants destined for the medicine chest, marsh mallow should be grown organically to avoid corruption or elimination of the active constituents by the presence of foreign chemicals.

To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.


Hollyhock health benefits: for cystitis and for sore mouth and throat

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Hollyhocks come in many colors including black

Hollyhocks come in many colors including black

The hollyhock, Alcea rosea (syn. Althaea chinensis, Althaea ficifolia and Althaea rosea), was a favorite of Victorian gardeners. The name hollyhock is derived from the Old English holy hoc – the old word hoc meaning mallow. Other names by which this plant is known include Althaea rose, malva flowers and rose mallow (a name which is also used for the related musk mallow). It is not related to the rose.

It’s believed that the hollyhock, a native of the Middle East, was introduced by returning Crusaders, which may explain how it came by the name “holy hoc”. They look great thrusting towards the sky in the flower garden, and come in very many different colors, in both single and double flowered forms.

Hollyhocks are usually treated as biennials – plants which take 2 years to reach flowering stage, although they are in fact short-lived perennials. However, if you want to be sure to have them in the garden every year, it will be best to sow 2 years in a row, after which you may well find that self seeding has occurred.

The hollyhock is a tall thin plant, and can reach a height of 8 feet (2.5m), though 6-7 feet is more usual. I like them scattered about in the middle of smaller plants as they are thin enough not to block the view of other plants behind them, but if you prefer your plantings graded by height, put them near the back.

All parts of the hollyhock are edible, though the leaves are not very palatable. Flowers, flowerbuds and peeled stems can be used in salads, and tea made from petals. The roots can be used as a starchy vegetable.

Hollyhocks are also very useful medicinally, although often overlooked in favor of the related marsh mallow, which has similar properties.  However, as this is a plant often grown just because it is so different, for ornamental purposes, it’s worth including – personally I prefer it to the true marsh mallow in the flower garden, and I expect others agree with me in this. There’s just something about a hollyhock in flower that brings a smile to one’s lips and lightens the heart, rather like enormous sunflowers – is it to do with height? Perhaps they make us feel like children again, who knows.

Flowers, collected when open, shoots, roots and seeds are all used medicinally for various purposes.

Flowers can be used to make:

a standard infusion
Add 30g of dried flowers or 3 handfuls of fresh to 600ml (2.5 US cups, 1 UK pint) boiling water, stand for 15 minutes to 4 hours, then strain.
a decoction
Add 30g of dried flowers to 600ml (2.5 US cups, 1 UK pint) cold water, bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, then strain.

Make a standard infusion of seeds using 2 tsp to 240ml (1 US cup, 8 fl oz), boiling water. Stand for 15 minutes to 4 hours and strain.

Finally a poultice can be made using crushed roots or a mixture of crushed roots and flowers mixed with boiling water and wrapped in a closely woven bandage (wrung out), which is applied to the area to be treated. Keep the liquid on the heat and refresh the bandage by dipping it into the liquid and squeezing out excess liquid and reapplying.

Use a standard infusion of flowers to treat chest complaints and topically to reduce inflammations of the mouth and throat (swish the liquid around the mouth, or gargle with it, as appropriate), cystitis and gastritis. Use a decoction of flowers to treat painful periods, constipation and poor circulation.

Shoots are supposed to be helpful as a birthing aid, but how to use them I have no idea – perhaps an infusion.

A standard infusion of seeds is used as a diuretic and to reduce fevers.

The poultice is used to treat open sores and external ulcers.

As you can see, hollyhocks are a useful remedy, but as with all medicinal plants, they must be grown organically to ensure that their constituents are not corrupted or entirely eliminated by foreign chemicals. To find out more about growing organic hollyhocks visit the Gardenzone.


Bethroot health benefits: for hemorrhage, ulcers and gangrene

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

The bethroot flower consists of 3 petals and 3 sepals

The bethroot flower consists of 3 petals and 3 sepals

Bethroot, Trillium erectum, is also known as beth root, birthroot, birth root, purple trillium, red trillium, stinking Benjamin and wake robin. It is sometimes incorrectly given as a synonym of T. pendulum, a close relative from Central and Western USA with white pendulous (drooping) flowers which is much less useful. As you may guess from the name, T. erectum has erect flowers; it is also taller than T. pendulum. The confusion may arise from the existence of a white flowered form, T. erectum f. albiflorum, which was preferred by native Americans for medicinal use.

Be careful to buy seeds or plants labeled with the latin name, Trillium erectum, as many other trilliums share common names with this one, but they don’t have the same properties.

Bethroot is a hardy perennial which reaches a height of around 16″ (40cm), a native of the Eastern United States, and can be found growing in areas where the soil is reliably moist. It’s a very adaptable plant, able to cope with soil of any type (though it prefers soil on the acid side), and isn’t put out by sun or shade. The soil needs to be moist throughout the summer, but well drained and not boggy. Don’t grow it too near to the house or seating areas in the garden as unfortunately the flowers smell like rotting meat, attracting flies to act as pollinators, although the white flowered form apparently is virtually scentless.

If growing from seed, you need to be aware that germination can take anything up to 3 years! and this is only the beginning, as seedlings may suffer from damping off (a fungus which kills almost instantly). Sow in a shaded cold frame or shaded area in a cold greenhouse as soon as the seed ripens, or in late winter/early spring if you buy the seeds in. It’s important that you water with great care and ensure they get plenty of air until they are big enough to plant out in their permanent positions, although they must be kept in shade. Established plants can be divided and if small grown on in pots. If transplanting bethroot it is best to do so when the plant is in flower. The rhizomes are harvested by digging them up in late summer after the leaves have died away (mark plants with a stick before this happens, so you can find them) and dried for later use.

Bethroot was sought out by native Americans and used for many female difficulties ranging from sore nipples to heavy periods. Herbalists today use it for many of the same purposes, and others. As you would expect from the name, the main part used for medicine is the root (actually a rhizome, which is technically an underground stem), but the whole plant is used for poultices. Bethroot should not be used during pregnancy except under medical supervision, though it can be used in labor as a birthing aid.

Make a decoction using 1 teaspoon of dried rhizome to every 240ml (1 US cup, 8 fl oz) of cold water in a small pan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, then strain out and discard the herb. The dosage is 120-240ml (half to 1 US cup, 4-8 fl oz) a day, split into 3 doses. You can also boil the rhizome in milk (using the same amounts), without reduction, to treat diarrhea; the dosage in this case is 240-480ml (1-2 US cups, 8-16 fl oz) a day.

To make a poultice, chop the leaves, stem and flowers, add to a pan of boiling water in which the rhizome has been heated until softened. Wrap the mxture in a closely woven cloth and wring out excess liquid, then apply to the area to be treated. Leave the liquid over a low flame to keep hot so that the poultice can be refreshed as it goes cold.

Use a decoction internally to treat hemorrhage, especially from the genito-urinary system and lungs, heavy periods and post partum hemorrhage. Externally it is used to treat sore nipples, skin infections, insect bites and stings, gangrene and vaginal discharge (bv). A decoction made with milk is used to treat diarrhea. A poultice is used for ulcers, tumors, insect bites and stings.

As with all plants grown for medicinal use, it’s important that bethroot is grown organically so as to avoid adulteration of its active constituents with foreign chemicals which might prevent them being effective. To find out more about growing organic herbs, visit the Gardenzone.


Apple Geranium health benefits: first aid for grazed knees and sore throats

Apple geranium is a good fly repellent

Apple geranium is a good fly repellent

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Apple geranium, Pelargonium odoratissimum (but may be labeled Geranium odoratissimum), is also sometimes called apple-rose-scented geranium, nutmeg geranium or rose geranium. Care should be taken not to confuse this plant with the rose geranium or the rose scented geranium, which are closely related but distinct species. More distant relatives include the spotted cranesbill (sometimes called wood or wild geranium) and herb robert.

Apple geranium is an evergreen but frost tender perennial which reaches a height of around 2 feet. It does not like heavy soil, but is otherwise unfussy as to soil type, and will not grow in full shade. It is best grown in a pot in areas where winters are cold and prolonged, so that it can be brought indoors to a cool porch, conservatory or greenhouse while frost threatens.

As with the two previous herbs, this plant is strongly scented, and if grown indoors will act as a fly repellent, especially if the leaves are brushed now and again to increase the scent. The fragrance varies from apple to mint, and fresh leaves can be used for flavoring either by putting them in the base of cake trays or crushing them and adding direct to the food to be flavored. Again, you can dry the leaves to add scent to pot pourri.

Apple geranium is an astringent herb, useful in the treatment of gastroenteritis, to stop bleeding and also as a tonic. Externally it can be used to treat skin infections, cuts and grazes, and as a gargle for sore throat, which makes it an ideal first port of call for minor ailments when you’ve got kids at home.

Make a standard infusion using 3 handfuls of fresh leaves or 30g (1 oz) of dried to 570ml (2.5 US cups, 1 UK pint) of boiling water. Allow to stand for between 15 minutes and 4 hours, then strain before use. The dosage for internal use is up to 240ml (1 US cup, 8 fl oz) per day, split into 3 doses.

As I always say, plants grown for medicinal use should always be grown organically to avoid the active constituents being corrupted or entirely eliminated by the action of foreign chemicals, and apple geranium is no exception to this rule. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.


Rose Geranium health benefits: for PMS and mood swings

Not to be confused with the cultivar 'Graveolens'

Not to be confused with the cultivar ‘Graveolens’

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Rose geranium, Pelargonium graveolens but possibly labeled as P. terebinthinaceum or Geranium terebinthinaceum, is also sometimes called old fashioned rose geranium or rose scent geranium. It should not be confused with the similarly named rose scented geranium (P. capitatum), though in the world of Pelargoniums, there is so much hybridization that finding a true species can sometimes be difficult.

For example, the species I’m covering here is P. graveolens, as already mentioned. However, as well as the species there is also a cultivar (cultivated variety): Pelargonium ‘Graveolens’ – also called rose geranium – which is believed to be a cross between the species P. capitatum, P. graveolens and P. radens. By the rules of nomenclature, such similar names would not be allowed, but unfortunately cultivar names seem to be a law unto themselves, which can make for confusion.

Rose geranium is closely related to the rose scented geranium and the apple geranium, and less closely to the spotted cranesbill (sometimes called wood geranium). It is not related to the rose.

Rose geranium is an evergreen shrub which reaches a height of 4 feet (120cm), although it is frost tender. It is not fussy as to soil, whether dry or moist, but will not grow in the shade. Gardeners in areas where winter is cold and frosty may prefer to grow it in pots which can be brought into a cool greenhouse, porch or conservatory for the winter so as to have leaves available for picking all year round. Like its close relative the rose scented geranium, it will fill the space where it is kept with fragrance, and the dried leaves are often used in pot pourri because of this fragrance. You can also use the leaves to flavor food, or for tea.

Although the species has a roselike scent, there are also cultivars with scents ranging from mint to citrus and even coconut and nutmeg!

Rose geranium is one of the few herbs which is safe to use in pregnancy – even in the form of essential oil. Do not use the essential oil to treat babies under a year old.

You can make a standard infusion using the whole plant or just the leaves. Use 3 handfuls of fresh leaves, chopped, or 30g (1 ounce) of dried to 570 ml (2.5 US cups, 1 UK pint) of boiling water. Allow to stand for between 15 minutes and 4 hours, then strain before use. The dose for internal use is up to 1 US cup (240 ml, 8 fl oz) per day, split into 3 doses.

The standard infusion can be used internally to treat PMS, nausea, poor circulation and also tonsillitis. It’s used externally for acne and eczema, parasites such as ringworm and lice, and for hemorrhoids (piles).

I offer a range of rose geranium products in my online shop.

As with all herbs grown for use in remedies, rose geranium must be grown organically to avoid its properties being changed or completely eliminated by the presence of foreign chemicals. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.

Aromatherapy

The essential oil is used topically in China to treat cervical cancer, though how it is applied is not clear. In aromatherapy, geranium oil is used to treat depression and mood swings.

As with all essential oils, rose geranium essential oil should never be taken internally, even though you may see this recommended elsewhere. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause permanent damage if used in this way, even if you think you have diluted them. Be safe and use them as intended, in massage blends and diffusers, and keep them out of the reach of children at all times.

Poppy health benefits: for anxiety and insomnia

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Poppy flowers are beautiful and fragile

Poppy flowers are beautiful and fragile

The poppy, Papaver rhoeas, also called the red poppy, field poppy, corn poppy or Flanders poppy has become synonymous in the UK with the annual Remembrance Day celebrations. Each year, millions of imitation poppies are made and sold in aid of retired and injured soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families, as well as those who have been killed in combat. The poppy was chosen because after the First World War was over, the fields of battle at Flanders were a sea of red poppies, as if seeded by the blood of the fallen.

Until agriculture turned industrial in the middle of the 20th century, cornfields used to be much prettier than they are now, as they were dotted with poppies and cornflowers. Poppies thrive where the soil is disturbed by cultivation or other causes, but farmers use selective weedkillers to protect the purity of their crop. In my view we lose more than we gain by this practice.

The name red poppy is used to distinguish this plant from the closely related opium poppy, which is sometimes called the white poppy. Although the wild poppy is naturally red (though there are occasional whites and bicolors), cultivated poppies are available in many combinations and shades of red and white, some with black markings.

The poppy is a hardy annual plant which reaches a height of about 2 feet (60cm). Sow it once, and even if you deadhead religiously, you are likely to find that it selfseeds, and you will never need to buy seeds again. Poppies require moist but well drained soil, but are not fussy as to type. They will not grow in the shade.

Poppy is not suitable as a herbal remedy during pregnancy.

Medicinally, poppy has a long history of use, particularly for children and the elderly. The petals and leaves are a good general tonic, and is useful as a treatment for anxiety and insomnia, as an expectorant and to relieve minor pains and sore throat. It also promotes menstruation and fights cancer.

For all these purposes make a standard infusion using 3 handfuls of fresh petals and leaves or 1 ounce of dried to 570ml (2.5 US cups, 1 UK pint) boiling water. Stand for 15 minutes to 4 hours then strain before use. The daily dosage is up to 240ml (1 US cup, 8 fl oz) split into 3 doses.

As with all herbs grown for medicinal use, poppies must be grown organically to avoid their active constituents being masked or changed by the effects of foreign chemicals. To find out more about growing organic poppies visit the Gardenzone.


Opium Poppy health benefits: not suitable for home use

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Opium poppies are often grown as ornamentals

Opium poppies are often grown as ornamentals

The opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is illegal in many countries, because it is the source of morphine, from which heroin is synthesized. In other countries, it is grown as an ornamental. This includes the US – where it is, in fact, illegal! In the UK, it’s OK to grow it, but tapping it to extract the morphine is against the law.

The poppy seeds often used in cooking are usually derived from the variety “Hungarian blue seeded”, but any single-flowered opium poppy will produce huge numbers of seeds which can be used in the same way. In fact, if you have them growing in your garden just once, you will either have them forever, or you will spend a lot of time pulling up poppy seedlings every year from then on. Cut a single poppy after the flower has faded, remove any petals and let the capsule dry somewhere cool and airy (inside a bag, to retain the seeds), and you will be amazed how many seeds you get from that one seedhead.

Opium poppies are also sometimes called white poppies (though they come in many different colors) and mawseed. They are closely related to the corn poppy. They will grow in any well drained soil, and though the literature says they require moist soil, I’ve grown them successfully on very dry soil. They prefer full sun and will not grow in the shade.

Apart from the seeds, which you can collect to use in cooking, all parts of the opium poppy are poisonous. This plant has many medicinal purposes, but should not be used by anyone who is not a trained herbalist, so I’m not going to list them here. Opium poppies are very pretty, and available in very many varieties for ornamental purposes, so if you would like to grow them as ornamentals with the added bonus of free poppy seeds for your bread, go for it. They are one of the easiest ornamentals there is.

To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.


Mountain Cornflower health benefits: for eye infections and bleeding gums

The mountain cornflower is a perennial cornflower

The mountain cornflower is a perennial cornflower

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Mountain cornflower, Centaurea montana, is also sometimes called perennial cornflower, bachelor’s button (a name which is also used for the common cornflower), montane knapweed or mountain bluet. It’s closely related to the common cornflower, greater knapweed and black knapweed.

Mountain cornflower is a hardy perennial which will reach a height of around 18 inches (45cm) and spread over an area of 3 feet (1m). It will grow in any soil, so long as it is well drained, and will tolerate both drought and very alkaline soil. It will not grow in full shade.

Unlike its annual sibling, mountain cornflower has no uses in the kitchen. Medicinally, most of the uses to which it can be applied are similar to those of the common cornflower, though it is less often used. Like common cornflower, mountain cornflower is not suitable for use during pregnancy.

A standard infusion can be made from 30g (1oz) of dried or 3 handfuls of fresh flowerheads to 2.5 US cups (1 UK pint, 570ml) of boiling water. Allow to stand for between 15 minutes and 4 hours, then strain before use.

The standard infusion can be used to treat tickly coughs, constipation and edema, to induce menstruation, as a mild diuretic and tonic. It can also be used externally as an astringent, as an eye bath for eye infections such as conjunctivitis or for sore eyes, and as a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums.

In common with all other herbal remedies, mountain cornflower should be gtrown organically to avooid corruption or elimination of its medicinal properties by adulteration with foreign elements. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.


Cornflower health benefits: for tickly coughs and eye infections

Corn fields used to be full of cornflowers

Corn fields used to be full of cornflowers

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

The cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, used to be a common sight in cornfields (as were poppies) before modern agricultural methods virtually eliminated it. The flowers are pretty, and they are often grown as ornamentals, particularly in the double form. Perhaps because of its popularity, the cornflower has many other names including common cornflower (to distinguish it from other cornflowers, and also from chicory which is sometimes called cornflower), bachelor’s button (a name which it shares with the mountain cornflower), bluebonnet, bluebottle, blue centaury, cyani, boutonniere flower and hurtsickle. A member of the knapweed genus, it is closely related to the mountain cornflower, but not to chicory or the centaury.

Cornflowers are less often seen growing wild nowadays, despite the fact that they will grow in any kind of soil, even very alkaline soils, and can survive drought. The wild cornflower can reach a height of 3 feet (1m), though many ornamental cultivars are bred to be much shorter.

Cornflowers are hardy annuals and very attractive to wildlife. Other members of this genus are food plants for various types of butterfly and moth. As may be expected from their original cornfield habitat, cornflowers prefer cultivated soil and full sun, making them ideal candidates for a well-tended garden.

Cornflowers were once used for many other purposes besides medicine. The flowers are edible and can be used raw in salads or cooked. They were also used as food coloring, mainly for confectionery. The petals can also be used to make ink or a blue dye, mixed with alum water, and dried flowers are often added to pot pourri to add color.

Cornflower is not suitable as a herbal remedy during pregnancy.

The flowers are the part used in medicine. Make a standard infusion by pouring 570ml (2.5 US cups, 1 UK pint) of boiling water over 1 ounce (30g) of dried flowers or 3 handfuls of fresh. Allow to stand for between 15 minutes and 4 hours, then strain. This infusion can be used as a remedy for tickly coughs and a weak diuretic. It can also be used as a treatment for mild constipation. Externally, it can be used as an astringent, to treat minor woundseye infections and mouth ulcers and to soothe itchy skin.

As with all plants grown for use in herbal remedies, cornflower must be grown organically to avoid its active ingredients being altered or eliminated by the presence of foreign chemicals. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.


Showy Calamint health benefits: for bruises and rheumatic pain

Showy calamint has larger flowers than other calamints

Showy calamint has larger flowers than other calamints

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Showy calamint, Calamintha grandiflora (formerly Satureja grandiflora), is also called the large flowered calamint and mint savory. Although it isn’t,  it was once thought to be closely related to Winter savory and Summer savory, as you can tell from the old latin name. It isn’t closely related to mint either, though it’s in the same botanical Family, along with the 2 savories. It is, however, closely related to lesser calamint and common calamint – but not to Alpine calamint (although, again, it is in the same Family, Lamiaceae).

Like common and lesser calamint, showy calamint is a hardy perennial which reaches a height of around 2 feet (60cm). It will grow in any kind of well drained light or medium soil, in sun or semi-shade, and is tolerant of drought. It is attractive to wildlife, and is often grown as an ornamental. If happy, plants often self-seed. They also make good ground cover planted about 18 inches (45cm) apart each way.

The leaves can be used for tea and as flavoring. The flavor is like a cross between mint and savory.

Gather leaves just before flowering in July and dry on open trays in a bright and airy position, but out of direct sunlight. Turn over every day or so until all the leaves are completely, dry, then store in airtight containers in a dark place.

To make a standard infusion, pour 2.5 US cups (1 UK pint, 570ml) of boiling water over 1 oz (30g) of fresh or 3 handfuls of fresh leaves and allow to stand for between 15 minutes and 4 hours, then strain. This infusion can be used as an expectorant to treat unproductive coughs.

A warm poultice can be made by mixing chopped fresh or dried leaves with warm water and wrapping in a bandage, which is then applied to the area to be treated. This can be used to treat bruises and to soothe rheumatic pains.

As with all herbs grown for medicinal use, showy calamint must be grown organically to avoid adulteration of the active constituents by foreign chemicals. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.