The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Heather

Scientific Names

Heather

  • Calluna vulgaris L.
  • Heath family

Common Names

  • Common heather
  • Scotch heather

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Parts Usually Used

Flowering shoots
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Heather is an evergreen shrub; the prostrate, grayish, hairy stem grows up to 3 feet long and sends up branches 1 to 1 1/2 feet high.  The dull green, sometimes gray, small, linear-lanceolate leaves grow in 2 overlapping rows.  Branching spikes of light violet, bell-shaped flowers appear in August and September.
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Where Found

Rare in the United States but commonly found on poor soils and marshy grounds in Great Britain and Europe.  Flourish on heaths and moorlands; where the soil is moist and peaty.
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Medicinal Properties

Antiseptic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, vasoconstrictor
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Used to flavor liqueurs and cordials.
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Uses

Used for insomnia, depression, gout, rheumatism, stomachache, coughs, and facial skin problems.  Heather contains compounds that act to constrict blood vessels, strengthen the heart, and moderately raise blood pressure; also, stimulates the flow of bile and of urine.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion:  for insomnia; steep 1 tsp. shoots in 1/2 cup water.  Sweeten with 1 tsp. honey.

Decoction: boil 4 tsp. shoots in 1 cup water for a short time only.  Take 1/2 cup per day.
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Bibliography

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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