Sunnyfield Herb Farm

The Ten Most Indispensable Herbs in My Practice
and Indispensable Herbs for First Aide

Selections from
The Earthwise Herbal

By Matthew Wood M.Sc. (Herbal Medicine)
Registered Herbalist (AHG)

Published by North Atlantic Books, in two books, 2008-9

In a busy practice covering over twenty five years and tens of thousands of clients, a person learns what remedies are of invaluable service. I would like to share my selection – herbs I choose and herbs that choose me.

I. The Indispensable Blood Remedy.

In order to effectively treat disease we have to be able to decongest blood associated with inflammation, thin stagnant, congealed blood, tone the veins, stimulant the capillaries and arteries, and move the blood to or from the surface. Yarrow, the great ‘normalizer’ of the blood does all these things.

II. The Indispensable Water Remedy.

In order to control dryness and hardness we have to be able to move in water to moisten and soften. There is no better remedy than Marshmallow, the great mucilage and emollient.

III. The Indispensable Oil Remedy.

In addition to water, the body needs oil. Burdock increases the bile secretion to digest oily foods better, increases oil uptake and liver processing of lipids, and distributes lipids to the skin, hair, tissues, adrenals, and steroids and hormonal system.

IV. The Indispensable Relaxant.

We always need a remedy to relax tension and remove ‘wind’ or constriction and in this agrimony is inferior to none. Intensify by combining 7 parts agrimony to 4 parts Solomon’s seal. Works well with the nervines.

V. The Indispensable Nerve Rebuilder.

It is always necessary, in some cases, to sedate and calm a deeply vexed and worn out nervous system. The best remedy for this is borage, though it has been nearly forgotten in North America. It can be used in combination with burdock to rebuild the adrenals.

VI. The Indispensable Nerve Sedative.

In addition to sedating and calming the nervous system on a deep level, as we are able to do with borage, we need to be able to calm and relax conditions of mild nervousness and upset. The sour lemon balm is cooling, in addition to relaxing, and therefore sedates through reducing the excitation of heat as well as nervousness.

VII. The Indispensable Muscular and Skeletal Remedy.

Men and women are subject to injury of the locomotive system upon which they rely for movement. Thus, we must be able to repair damage to the connective tissue – bones, cartilage, joints – and true Solomon’s seal is the best.

VIII. The Indispensable Cooling Remedy.

It is always necessary to sedate heat and excitation and for this purpose no remedies surpass the rose family. Peach, a member of this clan, is particularly beneficial because it is cooling and moistening, a therapeutic action often needed since heat often causes dryness.

IX. The Indispensable Drying Remedy.

In order to control tissue that is prolapsed or collapsed and leaking fluids we need a reliable astringent. Sumach is the best medicine for stopping the outflow of fluids via the kidneys, skin, colon, lungs, and other channels of elimination.

X. The Indispensable Warming Remedy.

It is necessary to warm up as well as cool down, and none is as easily accessable, safe, and widely effective as the common ginger. It is also a good liniment for spasmed muscles.

XI. Indispensable Herbs for First Aide.

Herbal First Aide for Cuts, Lacerations, Bruises, Burns, Boils, Broken Bones, Bites. Herbs have affinities to certain phases of wound healing and different types of wounds. Therefore, they can accelerate the process of healing beyond what people would imagine. There are herbs to draw out dirt and pus from wounds, close the lips of clean wounds, prevent the development of excessive scar tissue, remove it after it has developed, reduce proud flesh, reduce nerve damage, regenerate lost tissue, make threatened amputation unnecessary, and so forth.