Slippery Elm

Native American Indians used it as a poultice for wounds, boils, ulcers, inflamed eyes as well as for fevers, cold and bowel complaints. What I love most about slippery elm is that it creates huge amounts of mucilage (boogers) that coats and protects the surfaces. Some of my clients who have used it have complained that it dries out and pulls the skin when used as a poultice but I tell them they need to keep it moist and recommend they spray the wrap with distilled water 2-3 times a day to keep it moistened.


Excess rosemary is not safe for pregnant women (may cause abortion in the first three months of pregnancy because it is too stimulating) and for those with high blood pressure. Using it in normal amounts in recipes should be fine unless you have an allergy to it (which I’ve never heard of yet.) Using too much over an extended period of time, it may cause convulsions in people who are prone to them (small amounts stimulate the circulation and help some epileptics).


Parsley is one of the world’s seven most potent disease-fighting spices which also include Ginger, Oregano, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Sage, and Red chili peppers. Parsley grows in most climates and is readily available throughout the year. It is a biennial plant which means that it produces seeds during its second year of production and will reseed itself if you let it.


Mullein soothes, lubricates, and tones the respiratory system and aides in expectoration by stimulating fluid production. Mullein is sometimes used with other herbs such as white horehound, lobelia, elder, and red clover. The iridoid glycosides stimulate secretion of uric acid from the kidneys.

Milk Thistle

The white markings on the leaves are very distinct and are said to be caused by the Virgin Mary’s milk, hence its name. It is self-seeding and prefers sunny locations, usually found along roadsides. Milk Thistle has been used medicinally for more than 2000 years. The plant is listed as a weed in some countries. The attractive flowers and stems are grown for ornamental purposes. The stems may be removed to prolong its attractive appearance.

Irish Moss

Those people on blood thinners and anticoagulants should consult their doctor before taking this herb (which is a sea vegetable) as it does thin the blood a bit. Some people may be allergic. One resource I read said that carragheenans were suspected of being carcinogenic and could possibly cause ulcerative colitis, but Dr. John Christopher (a famous herbalist) uses it in many ways not even discussed here and often for cancer.