Benefits & Properties of Herbs
Please find below further information about the benefits and properties of the herbs used in our preparations
ARNICA (Arnica Montana) External use only, Arnica is used traditionally for bruising and contusions where skin remains unbroken (Bartram). Also used for Neuralgia, sprains, aches and pains after exertion, for example sports and gardening. Arnica is widely used in Homoeopathic Medicine.
Used in Simply Herbs Arnica Gel
BAY (Laurus nobilis)
Held in high esteem by the Ancient Greeks who used this Herb as a prophylactic. Its actions include Antiseptic, Anti Fungal (Bartrum). Bay was used historically as an external treatment for Rheumatism (Culpeper).
CALENDULA (Marigold) (Calendula officinalis)
An annual plant with angular brached stems and prominent pale green spatulate or oblanceolate sessile leaves. The whole plant stands about 30-60cm high. The bright yellow or orange flowers are borne on a crown shaped receptacle. It is a native of Egypt and the Mediterranean, but has become naturalised throughout the temperate regions of the world. The parts used are the flower heads or petals. Indications include inflammations of the skin. Its actions include spasmolytic, mild diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-haemorrhagic, non-tannin astringent, styptic, vulnerary, local tissue healer, anti-fungal, antiseptic. Such large amounts are grown in the former Soviet Union that it has earned the name “Russian Penicillin”. Traditionally the flowers were used to impart the yellow colour to cheese. This antiseptic herb repairs damaged skin when used externally, is anti-inflammatory and treats grazed knees in children.
Used in Calendula Cream.
CHAMOMILE (Wild German) [Matricaria recutia]
This herb is an erect annual, up to 60cm in height with wispy 2-3 pinnate leaves and terminal peduncles supporting single flower heads. It grows in fields throughout England, Europe, Russia and Asia. The parts used are the flowers and essential oil. Actions: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Mild antiseptic, Calmative. Used historically and in modern times as an external treatment for inflammation and irritation of the skin. Eczema (Bartrum). Chamomile is also used as a bath oil for irritable skin rash and Eczema. Cream for Haemorrhoids, Mastitis.
We use Chamomile in Chamomile Cream, Chamomile & Lavender Bathing Oil, Mint & Chamomile Foot Balm and Dried Chamomile.
CHICKWEED (Stellaria media)
The leaf, flower, and stem are used medically and it was reportedly used traditionally as a food. It enjoys a reputation in folk medicine for treating a wide spectrum of conditions including skin conditions. Chickweed is used externally as a treatment for skin complaints, wounds, rashes or sores, Acne Rosacea, ”Ancient Remedy [Ointment] for chronic skin conditions” (Eczema, boils, painful eruptions etc). Chickweed Used historically to draw splinters, to relieve sunburn and stings and takes the heat out of itchy skin.
Used in Chickweed Cream & Chickweed Scalp Oil Treatment.
CLIVERS (Gallium aparine)
A Native British straggling annual which grows up to 120cm tall. It clings to bushes and hedges and to any creature brushing by them by tiny curved prickles on the angles of the stems and veins and the thin lanceolate leaves. It is a common hedgerow plant throughout Britain, Europe, Canada and parts of the United States. The parts used are the aerial parts and the fresh juice. Used topically to treat skin conditions, it may also be applied to burns and abrasions. A Cleansing Herb for skin problems. When used externally will ease the symptoms of Psoriasis. [A Cream from] the juices of the leaves or the bruised leaves applied to a wound “stayeth the bleeding” (Culpeper). Wash helps with Sunburn and Freckles while an Ointment provides benefit against growths and tumours. In France, the crushed herb is applied as a poultice to sores and blisters. We use Clivers together with Chickweed in our Creams.
COMFREY (Symphytum officinale) [Knit Bone]
This is an erect perennial growing in most damp areas of the United Kingdom, Europe, Western Asia and the USA. It is a vigorous plant with broadly lanceolate leaves up to 30cms long. The parts used are the root, rhizome and leaf. Actions include (leaf) vulnerary, demulcent, antiheamorrhgic, anti-inflammatory. The indications of the leaf include rheumatic pain, arthritis. Was topically used as a poultice or fomentation in bruises, sprains, athlete’s foot, crural ulcers and mastitis, and varicose ulcers. The impressive wound healing properties are partially due to the presence of allantoin, which stimulates cell proliferation thereby accelerating wound healing. Has been used topically with some success in the treatment of Psoriasis (allantoin promotes keratin dispersal). Considerable therapeutic versatility. Rapid healer of flesh wounds (Bartrum), cream/ointment applied to wounds, leg ulcers (Culpeper). Use Comfrey topically for bruising, athlete’s foot, sprains etc. Also makes excellent green compost. Comfrey is not recommended for internal consumption.
Used in Comfrey Cream and Night Time Skin Food.
ELDER (Sambucus nigra)
Elder is common throughout most of Europe and grows in hedgerows, coppices and waste places throughout northern temperate regions as a wide shrubby tree growing to 10m in height. The bark is light grey when young and changes later to coarse grey. Parts used are the dried flowers, berries, inner bark and leaves. The actions include: Leaves used externally as an emollient and vulnerary which are used to make a soothing Cream or Infused Oil which is used to relieve Sprains and Strains, Pains, Bruising, Chilblains (Culpeper), Sports Injuries and Sprains, and may also be used as a mouthwash. Recent research suggests that Elder may be of use in an ointment for the treatment of tumours. An infusion of the leaves is quite an effective insecticide.
We use in Elder Leaf Massage Cream and Elder Leaf Liniment.
FEVERFEW (Tanacetum parthenium)
Feverfew was mentioned in Greek medical literature as a remedy for inflammation and for menstrual disorders. Traditionally it was used in Great Britain to treat fevers, arthritis, and other aches and pains. Feverfew was historically used as a disinfectant, insect repellent, and for the relief of the effects of insect bites. Leaves used for the relief of Migraines (if used this way beware of mouth ulcers). According to three double blind studies with Migraine patients, Feverfew reduced the severity, duration and frequency of the Migraine headaches. These successful studies included the use of dried herb.
LAVENDER (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is used traditionally for a variety of reasons, as an Anti-depressant, for aches and pains, exhaustion, insomnia, headaches when caused by stress, sluggish circulation, sense of panic and fainting. Because of its delightful fragrance Lavender was, and still is, used in the cosmetics industry. Lavender flowers used in pot pourri and perfumes. Antiseptic, calmative.
Lavender uses: external for rheumatism, and neuralgia. It is calming and relaxing. Lavender essential oil is used in the bath, and for migraine (touch the forehead). Lavender cream and Macerated Oil (bath and massage) are used for relaxation. To treat the symptoms of stress, for eczema, psoriasis and other skin diseases.
Simply Herbs use in Essential Lavender Oil, Lavender Foot Care Cream, Chamomile & Lavender Bathing Oil, Lavender Soap and Dried Lavender.
LEMON BALM (Melissa Officinalis)
Parts used are the leaves. Lemon Balm herb has a history as a medicinal plant that dates back 2000 years. The essential oil has Anti-spasmodic, Anti-depressant, sedative and calming properties. The dried plant is used as an emogogue and for migraines and insomnia. Lemon Balm Cream is used as an effective treatment for Cold Sores, (Anti-Viral), “active against Herpes Simplex Virus” (External Uses), “Clinical trials yield excellent results” Bartrum + [European Journal of Herbal Medicine Vol. 1 No 1].
Simply Herbs use in Lemon Balm Lip Salve - Treatment for Cold Sores, Gardeners Hand Cream - Barrier Cream for Hands, Lemon Balm Working Hands Cream and Lemon Soap.
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus Officinalis)
Antibacterial. Originated in the Countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, Rosemary is now grown in the United Kingdom and North America. Used topically (externally) as an antiseptic; used as a massage cream or oil for Rheumatism, Arthritis, Lumbago, Sciatica, and Neuralgia. Rosemary Cream is used to massage into painful joints and stiff muscles (Bartrum) “Helps cold benumbed joints and sinews” (Culpeper). Used by the ancient Chinese as a treatment for baldness. Where lice are present, rinse the area the Infused Oil, leave for 30 min. and then rinse thoroughly.
DO NOT USE ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OIL DURING PREGNANCY, WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, OR EPILEPSY.
Used in Rosemary Massage Cream, Rosemary Massage Oil, Rosemary Pedicure Cream - Foot Care Balm and Rosemary Soap.
TEA TREE (Melaleuca alternifolia)
The essential Oil of this aromatic shrub is used in our Tea Tree Essential Oil and Gel. It is a non-irritating, non-poisonous oil from the leaves and terminal branches and is used chiefly externally (Bartram). It is generally Germicidal, anti-fungal and a tissue cleaner. Tea Tree is safe to use with children (Bartram) although now not recommended for application neat to the skin. Tea Tree can be diluted many times with a suitable carrier oil (e.g. Sunflower or Almond Oil). Anti-viral, thought to be one hundred times more powerful than carbolic acid (Valerie Ann Worwood).
Used in Tea Tree Oil & Tea Tree Gel.
WITCH HAZEL (Hamamelis virginiana)
Witch Hazel has actions which include anti-inflammatory. It is a skin cleansing agent, and has traditional EXTERNAL uses which include therapy for spontaneous bruising, fragility induced by steroid therapy, and to refresh tired skin. A proprietary cosmetic water which was distilled from the leaves was very popular in Edwardian times (Ponds Extract). The shoots of the tree are used as divining rods for water and metals.
Used in Witch Hazel.
NOTE: This information is intended for educational use and is for general information purposes only. It should not be regarded as medical advice nor is it intended to treat or cure a particular condition. Always consult your doctor.
For more detailed information, our consultant JANE CLARK BSc MNIMH (Medical Herbalist) will be pleased to arrange a private and confidential consultation. Please ring 01480 454336 or 07958 757076 (A consultation fee will be payable).