Healing Herbs

                                      Through the healing of herbs, we are introduced to the wisdom of nature.

healing herbs in maine

Herbs are not only used to heal our bodies, but through sight, touch, and smell herbs have helped to heal many a broken heart.

Combine the elements in nature, stir in Usui Reiki Ryoho as it was originally created, and you have a formula for healing at a deep unique level.     

Paracelsus said, “The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician”. 

Nearly 40% of our pharmaceuticals today contain constituents originally found in herbs, some of these began as a certain herb grown commercially.

 “The physician treats, but nature heals.” – Hippocrates 

Simply being in harmony with nature can heal the spirit. This is one of the reasons my healing studio is nestled in nature.  <Read happiness outside your window> 


natural healing energy


Being pain free and calm with a clear head is the best way to live every present moment; your life is but a collect of present moments.

Healing herbs, meditation, and the practice of Gendai Reiki-ho and Komyo Reiki Kai take center stage in promoting this way of life.

Each Herbalist has a few favorite herbs. As you read on this page you will find a few of my favorite herbs, and others I have chosen to mention. Through my completion of Family Herbalist, Consultant Herbalist, and Master Herbalist I have become familiar with a wide range of herbs; worldwide there are thousands of healing plants that have been used for centuries.


One of my favorite yard and garden herbs is Pennyroyal American Pennyroyal  (Hedeoma pulegioides)andEuropean/English Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)get their Latin name from pulex, which is flea, because of its power to repel fleas. 

When Pennyroyal is grown outside around your home, ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, ants and a few others would rather stay away. The honeybees are fine with it, which allows it to self seed in some areas. Being in the mint family mice stay away as well. 

In Europe at one time experienced herbalists used Pennyroyal to help heal illnesses such as leprosy and smallpox, However, at one time when prepared incorrectly and used internally it proved to be toxic. 

As with all herbs, once you know it’s properties, you can safely enjoy its benefits; on those warm summer days, relaxing in or close by a pennyroyal patch is the perfect place to be without the disctractions of bug bites.  I grow pennyroyal near my Echinacea, because it helps to back off Japanese beetles without using harsh chemicals.  

Being a member of the mint family Pennyroyal also repels mice.  As with others in the mint family it does not do well growing with any mints including Beebalm (Monarda didyma/Monarda fistula), so when planting it’s best to consider the location.

Hops, Valerian, Passionflower and California Poppy are a few of the herbs that cause the relaxation that relieves pain so that sleep can happen. Each used in different ways.

  • Hops (humelus lupulus) should not be used if you feel depressed or when pregnant.  
  • Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is is a muscle relaxant that something can relax the mind.
  • Passionflower (Passiflora incarnate) is a nervine that is also used to help with pain and viral infection of nerves such as shingles.
  • California Poppy is a relaxant that can be very sedative for some people and in excess can cause a hangover. In other people along with being relaxing is can ease pain. While it is not a narcotic, it is in the poppy family.

One of the benefits in using complementary medicine such as herbs, Gendai Reiki-ho, Komyo Reiki Kai and meditations is being able to relaxation Most people carefully using these complementary ways to help heal also find that they heal faster and better than medical professionals expect.

The herbs listed on this page are those that have helped other people; what can heal humans can be toxic to your dog, cat or other animals


rabbits and mullein

The rabbits are cute eating my mullein leaves but remember that some herbs that can heal us (people) can be toxic to other animals.

Wildlife usually know what plants are good for them and what plants can hurt them. 

However, if the herb is in pill form or hidden in a tasty treat their senses might not detect a harmful herb. Our pets tend to trust our judgment, so it is best to do your research, and ask your Veterinarian, before giving any herb to any animal or bird.

When you sit quietly by an herb garden you might see how some wildlife walks by some herbs, and then nibbles on others.

As you sit there you might also find that you are naturally attracted to an herb: following some research and then use, it might give you the healing you have been looking for. 

Herbs can be extremely healing as long as you are not sensitive to that plant family and follow directions on the bottle or those given by an experienced herbalist.   

Roberta R. Barnes Gendai Reiki-ho ShihanI began using herbs while living in Canada. After studying Gendai Reiki-0ho directly under Hiroshi Doi I enrolled in Clayton College of Natural Health; I completed Family Herbalist, Consulting Herbalist and Master Herbalist each with high honors.

Bypassing all the mysterious canards surrounding the use of some herbs, the healing that can come from some herbs is often nothing less than amazing. Usui Reiki Ryoho, as originally created by Usui Sensei, can also heal in amazing ways.

Most herbalists have one herb that he or she is drawn to prior to studies about the herb.

The others herbs in my gardens would call Wood Betony (Stachys Officinalis/Betonica Officinalis) the teachers pet.

It not only supports the nervous system, promotes relaxation and calmness, and helps with digestion, but many have found it helpful for such things as sinusitis and other pains of the head and face.

It is excellent for anyone with either a closed or open head injury, as it helps with cerebral circulation, increases circulation in the solar plexus, and is grounding.

That is quite the introduction to Wood Betony  but it is well deserved, and is often used with Skullcap when the spinal cord and brain are involved.   

Wood Betony (Stachys Officinalis/Betonica Officinalis), Feverfew (Chrysanthemym parthenium), and Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) are a few of my favorites for headaches, light headedness, digestion and more.

As you read on you will see there are other herbs that have helped others with headaches.  Wood Betony and Skullcap both not only have pain-relieving properties, but also work to tone and strengthen the nervous system while helping to relaxing.

While in the Middle Ages Feverfew was commonly used to minimize a hang-over resulting from alcohol or recreational drugs, people have found it to be helpful in today’s world for the same things.

Add in eiher Gendai Reiki-ho or Komyo Reiki KaI  to these herbs and you may enjoy a welcome pain-free good night’s sleep or pain-free day.

With all the positive about Wood Betony there is the warning that a woman pregnant or nursing should not ingest wood betony. 

Because the best time to pick Wood Betony, in my part of the world, usually is in June it is one of the first to be made into a tincture for the year. There is more about this plant with its wreath of rich green leaves surrounding tall stalks bearing tiny flowers, but space here is limited.  In the Middle Ages, Wood Betony and St. John’s Wort, were essential herbs when driving away “wycked spirits”.

I offer personalized herb reports for your challenges. The initial report is $70.00. Call 207-445-5671 or Contact Roberta R. Barnes by Email for details.

The same as all herbalists I do not diagnose or prescribe. We suggest those herbs that have helped others with a similar illness/injury, and which herbs are best to avoid.  

Any medications or treatments prescribed by a licensed medical professional should not be stopped unless directed by that medical care professional. 

When the right herbs are used with meditation, Gendai Reiki-ho andKomyo Reiki Kai  the mind, body and spirit can return to their natural state of well-being. 

Your body is yours, and what you do or do not put into your body is your choice and your responsibility

 All herbs given to all people, pets and wildlife are best carefully researched first; an herb that is healing for a human can be fatal for a dog.

As you may have already experienced, while one herb can be the answer to healing one challenge for one person, there is no herb that will heal one disease/illness in all people at all times.

People throughout the ages have learned uses of different herbs by watching how the animals and birds use them.  In my book What Tail? by R.R. Barnes you will find a very wise owl mentioning at least one.

The form of universal energy commonly called Usui Reiki stops flowing when the atoms have all the energy they can hold at that moment in time.  That is not the case with herbs, so it is best that you think less is better.  It is also important to stop taking herbs for one day a week or one week a month, so that your body can align itself.

Herbs are a wonderful part of the natural world that is forgiving and teaching, through which we can find health, happiness, and peace. 

The word herb is used to refer to any part of a plant used for flavoring or for physical and mental healing. 

Following are a few healing herbs that have helped some people.  I also offer personalized herb reports in which I list those herbs that have helped others who had your challenges/illness/injuries. 

Thank you for respecting the © on all the information Roberta R. Barnes is sharing with you and not copying anything without her written permission.


flowers that heal your skinCalendula (Calendula officinalis), which appears in my photograph at the top of this page is also called potted marigold.  

Marigold is in the same family as Arnica (Arnica montana), and has some of its wound-healing anti-microbial properties.

The sap from Calendula’s stem because of its antifungal properties was well known in earlier days for removing warts, corns, and callous.

An old English tradition was to pick and dry the Calendula flowers so in the winter months they could be added to stews to help fight off colds and fevers.  The fresh flowers in massage, bath oil, or salve can help with dry skin, bruises, burns, shingles, and other skin eruptions.  Calendula also can help people with winter depression.  .

Calendula officinalis flowers have also helped some people with SADHowever, Calendula should not be used internally during pregnancy, and best to try in a small area first to see if you are sensitive to marigolds

Arnica (Arnica Montana) oil is well known for its external use in closed wounds, sprains, bruises and all painful and inflamed areas of the skin and muscles.  I keep arnica oil and a tube of arnica gel always on hand for those everyday mishaps.

Arnica is said to stimulate the action of white blood cells.  This herb is one to mark for external use only, as it is potentially toxic.  It is best not to use on broken skin and should only be taken internally under the guidance of an experienced herbalist/practitioner.

It is a powerful herb and can lead to allergic dermatitis when used externally for prolonged periods.

Talking about skin eruptions, take a closer look at those weeds you pulled from your lawn or dowsed with weed killer.  

Think back to the story of Romeo and JulietRomeo said, “Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.” Benvolio said, “For what I pray thee?”  Romeo said, “For your broken skin.”

I welcome Plantain (Plantago major) into her lawn and gardens.  Plantain leaf helps to subside itching and can heal skin eruption seven as advanced as poison ivy and dermatitis.

If you can easily recognize plantain, chewing the leaf into a paste and applying it directly onto a bee sting, once the stringer has been slid out from your skin, can give healing relief.

Made into a poultice plantain leaf can draw out splinters, dirt, and infections.

As a mouthwash it eases sores that are not open, and as a tea or infusion relieves coughs and wheezing. Plantain seed contains mucilaginous compounds that absorb toxins from the bowel and promote normal bowel function.  Plantain seed helps to lower cholesterol.  Next time you are picking up psyllium, know that it is Plantago ovata.  Folk legends tell us when placed beneath the feet it removes weariness. 

The flower appers before the leaves The bold yellow flowers of Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), which mysteriously appear before its leaves are nature’s way of welcoming spring in Northeastern USA fall. While Coltsfoot is an herb native to Europe and parts of Asia, its ability to pop up almost anywhere has some listing it as a weed. 

The name ‘Tussilago’ comes from the Latin ‘tussis’ which means cough). Traditionally herbalists around the world used this herb for the lungs.

Some herbalist have used it for coughs including whooping cough, sore throats, asthma, bronchitis and other inflammations. Other herbalist have applied fresh bruised leaves to boils and abscesses.

While Coltsfoot’s young leaves can be used in moderation as a salt substitute, they also contain traces of pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which is a defense mechanism against insect herbivores.

It should NOT be used with small children or when pregnant. 

Folk lore tells us that Coltsfoot also can bring love, peace, and tranquility, which sounds the same as Usui Reiki Ryoho except that Usui Reiki is safe for all people, pets, wildlife, etc.

 Are you certain you want to ban all weeds from your yard?

Also, did you know that one of the best ways to bring relief from the common cold is in most kitchens?  A simple infusion of Fresh Ginger and Cinnamon can be an effective treatment for the common cold.

Rosemary leaf (Rosmarinus officinalis) can be used as a hair rinse to help with curl and premature balding, and to add color.  Rosemary is also used for headaches, upset stomachs, nerves and muscles, and is anti-allergic. Rosemary oil applied externally has helped some with rheumatism.

Garden Sage (Salvia officinalis) can help with night sweats, but sage tea should not be used continually for prolonged periods of time.  There are many kitchen herbs you can use for purposes other than flavoring. P.S. Red ants do no like green sage.

Throughout history, herbs have been used to help everything from a cough and headache to asthma and illnesses such as cancer.  Each whole herb has many properties and many of the herbs listed below have helped in areas other than listed here. 

There are many herbs with interesting names.  However, some such as Werewolf root (apocynium androsaemifolium) that have been used successfully by some experienced herbalists should not be taken internally.

Some plants can be dangerous in the hands of anyone other then a qualified Herbalist.

Read, experiment, and have fun with the herbs when you are 100% certain you have a good grasp of all its properties and contraindications.

Keep in mind how that box of yummy dark chocolates reacts differently in different bodies and in different quantities.

Simply being surrounded by nature in some form can give you a new awareness in life that is energizing. Smiling at a bold little Johnny-jump-up appearing under the huge draping comfrey leaf can be a welcome mat for good health.

In the spring and summer, I visit my Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) daily. Morning dew gathered from Lady’s Mantle leaves can be an excellent facial toner.  Each year I add new herbs to my gardens.

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum odoratum/officinale) has an influence on the muscular and skeletal system.  It can help to calcify and strengthen bones, while decalcifying unhealthy deposits, and help with arthritis. 

It also can helps to tighten or loosen tendons, ligaments, attachments and joints.  If picking fresh, beware of the berries because they are toxic.

Solomon’s Seal is often used with Teasel Root or Horsetail.  In the adult Education classes I teach I often tell an intriguing history of the root, which is sometimes called John the Conqueror Root.

As with all herbs I give more details in the personalized reports I do and you will find expanded details about varying herbs in my ‘Did You Know’ listed in my sidebar. Note that false Solomon’s Seal is Smilacine.

Teasel root (Dipsacus silvestris) promotes circulation of the blood and removes pain and stiffness in areas that have been bruised. It is used for trauma to the joints and muscles. Plants that are members of the Thistle family and Aster family can look very similar to teasel, so unless you are 100% certain it is best to purchse at a reliable Natural food store.

 Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) commonly used for hair challenges is also used to rebuild joints It can strengthen bones cartilage and muscles. It is another diuretic like dandelion, uva ursi, juniper, buchu, cleavers, gravel root and others, so should be avoided when taking prescription diuretics.

Dandelion’s (taraxacum officinale) tasty leaves contain one of the best sources of potassium, vitamins A, B, C, & D, iron and calcium.  Use of the entire plant has been known to stop cancer promotion, relieve anemia, cleanse the liver, purify the blood, uplift one’s spirits, improve digestion and relieve food allergies.  It is a diuretic. The flowers do give off a gas that is unhealthy to neighboring plants. On the other hand, the root system is called one of the “soil doctors”.  You may have wonderfully helpful plants growing at no charge in your own backyard. Dandelion greens and roots have many uses.

Whenever I am speaking of the skeletal system I think of Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum). Some people have found Boneset, Solomon Seal and Comfrey together have helped their broken bones heal faster so that their cast could be removed sooner than doctors expected.  

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) and Dandelion together are used to aid with Lyme disease.  (M. Wood 1998)

Good health depends upon maintaining homeostasis in all systems;.

Herbs, meditation, and Usui Reiki Ryoho can all help you to stay healthy and happy.  Accidents, diseases and illnesses do not discriminate, but when the whole of the person, or other life form, is in a basic healthy state recovery is faster and easier

. Nature and Usui Reiki Ryoho are the perfect balance leading to health and happiness.

Some herbs, like those that help heal the common cold, work much better at certain stages of an illness.  Peter Rabbit’s mother made us aware of Chamomile’s healing properties for stressful situations that can cause headaches and stomach distress, but you may have missed the footnote that some humans have allergic reactions to plants in the aster family.

A cup of Chamomile (anthemis nobilis) tea, or a few of the other herbs in this group can relax the mind and body.  Chamomile has also been found to have anti-tumor, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties.   A hot cup of Chamomile tea can help in winding down mind and body from any stressful day, add in skullcap and it also helps with a headache.

Sensitivities to plants, meats, chemicals and even sun light are possible. When you add only one new herb at a time to your diet it provides you with an easy way to detect any sensitivity.

Herbalist James Green and several other well-known herbalists also point out that taking one day a week off from herbs, or one week off a month is best. 

My grandmother shared a powerful piece of wisdom with me.

“If ever you have a problem make a pot of tea.”  A cup of tea might not solve every problem, but it will help you relax, clear your mind and look beyond the problem for the solution.

On the Meditation & beyond page, you find a link to order my guided meditations helping you to relax and Finding Your Solutions.  <click here> 

Many prescription medications used today exist because of a young German apprentice’s experimentation in the early 1800’s, which resulted in such alkaloids as morphine being extracted from an herb.

The flip side of this is that while certain alkaloids are extremely helpful in restoring health and ending pain, some have been used in unhealthy ways. Usui Reiki Ryoho a practice using universal energy provides a positive example to be followed, the energy stops flowing once the cells have received all that it needed at that junction in time.

Always before combining herbs with anything check for possible contraindications.  

Ephedra or Ma Huang ( Ephedra sinica) came under serious attack because too many people were not checking.

Ma Huang has been safely used for thousands of years in Asia to help with respiratory problems. Ephedrine isolated from this plant is sometimes used to dilate bronchi making it easier for people with asthma to breathe.

Unfortunately, Ephedrine was used in preparations for weight loss and various nonprescription cold medications.  Ephedrine is closely related to pseudoephedrine (used in Afrin, Sudafed and others) and both have actions and side effects similar to the hormone epinephrine (adrenaline).

Combining the Ephedra plant containing ephedrine with certain medications, foods and body conditions can have serious negative consequences.

Doing your homework before adding anything to your diet is very important.

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) often called the great detoxifier, has many beneficial uses such as inhibiting the growth of certain tumors, helping to heal some ulcers, and when used in cough syrups quieting strong coughs. Nevertheless, it can raise blood pressure and should not be mixed with grapefruit juice.

If you would like to know more about the personalized herb reports send an Email to  contact me or call 207-445-5671.  I  do not diagnose or prescribe, but I can tell you what herbs have helped others.

The spiritual practice Mikao Usui founded, if not altered from it’s original form, is the only thing I know of that will do what is best for all people, and other animals, etc.  <What is Reiki>  

herbs for viruses and infections Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea).  It is good for overworked people, or those that are putting extra hours into studying.

The dried root is primarily used. It is used for all acute inflammatory conditions, and some people have found it helpful with certain cancers, arthritic diseases, yeast infections, and viral diseases. Once have visually enjoyed the flowers in my garden I have another external use for them, which feels so good to overworked muscles.

However, it should not be used internally longer than ten days at one interval — use 10 days, wait 2 weeks before you take for another 10 days.

Some people have found relief from sore muscles by soaking that section of the body in water after the flower heads had been steeped for two to three hours over low heat. 

Echinacea angustifolia has proven helpful with boils and carbuncles.  Mixed with calendula, comfrey, and plantain in a poultice it amplifies their qualities.  From the whole plant come various helpful infusions and tinctures.

Dr. H.C.F. Meyer in the 1880s used Echinacea angustifolia in a patent medicine he called a cure-all. To back up his claim that it could even cure a snakebite he allowed himself to be repeatedly bitten by rattlesnakes to demonstrate its efficacy.  Dr. Meyer’s “cure-all” was the original “snake oil”.

Other people began selling their own “snake oil” made in different ways and consequently snake oil became the synonym for the adjective fake. (Wood 1997)

 Both species are good for certain stages of a cold or flu, and infections. However, anyone that has Multiple Sclerosis, skin disorder collagenosis, or tuberculosis should avoid using Echinacea internally. 

Elderberry (Sambucus canadenis) can also be used for colds and the flu and can be used for inflamed and swollen tonsils.

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is one of those intriguing herbs whose small but bright yellow flowers pop up in unexpected places and times of the year.   There are several stories as to how it received its named.  The most convenient way for remembering when to pick is that it begins flowering on St. John’s Day, just before the summer solstice.

It can be used both internally and externally.  Internally is has sedative and pain-relieving properties and is commonly used for mild to moderate depression.

If you are currently taking a prescription anti-depressant it is best to consult with your doctor before mixing the two. St John’s Wort contains antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory chemicals.  You might consider taking it for the winter blues. Even though the oil has been used for sunburns, when taken internally by fair skinned people while exposing themselves to direct sunlight it can cause dernatis or inflammation .

Agrimony (agrimonia eupatoria) a member of the rose family can also help you to sleep through the night and more. Like all herbs it can act differently with each person.

The European species is preferred, but the American subspecies seems to have the same properties– all contain tannins.  Singers at one time used it as a gargle before going on stage to help their voice (my research says late 1800s, but some people in the present day gargle with agrimony).

Some people have used to help with bronchial troubles, constricted Qi/Ki, cleansing the liver, intermittent fevers that come with  migraines often connected with the gallbladder, digestion, and is an old remedy for both alcohol and drug abuse.

Externally, it is used as a healer for wounds (that are not open) and bruises.

It has been used to help with frustration and anger. That goes with the belief that it changes the environment around those people taking it, and thus changes them.

Both Science and Japanese Usui Reiki think on similar lines in that when you change the field around the atom, you change the atom.  I would suggest either Japanese Usui Reiki or my original guided meditations for those bad hair days.

Loss of memory is one of those things that no one actually wants.  The medical community estimates that the average person has over 60,000 thoughts going through his or head each day; it takes only seconds before incoming information is thrown away or goes into the storehouse of knowledge.  Our memory banks can be described as a network that relies on key words to make surface information.

Wood Betony (Stachys/Betonica  Officinalis) shares center stage with Gotu Kola leaf (Centella asiatica), and Gingko (Gingko biloba) in helping with the memory. If you take Ginko be aware that it can reduce the ability of platelets to stick together, so avoid if taking Warfarin.

Gotu Kola leaf (Centella asiatica),also helps with fevers improves conditions of skin challenges ranging from blisters to psoriasis, and in some cases longevity. Instead of filling your cupboards with dozen of supplements and medications, try consulting an herbalist and finding one or more herbs with the multi properties that best fit with you.

The same as with Usui Reiki Ryoho many canards have been created over the years.  On the other hand, many people have used herbs, meditation and Usui Reiki Ryoho to help in regaining health and happiness. 

Feverfew blossoms in a tincture give relief from insect bites.

Plantain (Plantago major) and Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) give relief from bee stings.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)  which adds to the beauty of a garden, also discourages unwelcome insects. It is one the plants that brings me extra smiles in my yard because each year I find it growing in new places, while not always growing where it grew the year prior.

Being an anti-inflammatory and vasodilator it can be used in place of aspirin, and has helped some people in reducing migraines, fever. dizziness and arthritis.

Combined with Usui Reiki Ryoho the results can be very healing.

Adding it into a medium such as witch hazel for about 2 weeks while shaking each day it can give relief from insect bites

On the other hand, it can thin the blood and therefore should not be taken internally prior to surgery or by anyone pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

As noted in Mark Pedersen’s guide to herbs, the use of it with very young children is questionable.

In the Middle Ages it was commonly used to minimize a hang-over resulting from alcohol or recreational drugs. In many cases it can be used in place of aspirin. If used to prevent migraines it works best when taken regularly.  Grown in gardens it can discourage unwelcome insects.

There are a number of other herbs that repel insects.  A few are peppermint, pennyroyal, rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, sweet basil, hyssop, nutmeg, rue, Southernwood, borage, walnut leave, lavender, elder leaves, anise, catnip and wormwood (Please note that wormwood like fennel is a poor companion plant).  Ever wonder why some people put sprigs of lavender or elder behind their ear?

Tansy (tanacetum vulgare) is a wonderful insect repellent –although the Japanese beetles do not seem to know this, and so I rely on  European PennyroyaL (Mentha pulegium). 

Pennyroyal also repels tics, fleas and many of those biting insects. However, even though it is in the mint family, it is best not to use internally.

Tansy has been used in the cosmetic industry and for dying cloth.  It is an astringent and can be used externally on skin.  In the middle ages it was rubbed on meat to protect against insects, but this practice can be toxic.  The oil is lethal and the leaves may cause contact dermatitis Tinctures of tansy seed mixed with elder leaves are often used as a fly repellent.  

Externally as a fusion it can be used to wash and treat scabies.  External compresses can bring relief to painful rheumatic joints. It is a bitter and has been used, with care, in treating parasites.   This should not be used by anyone pregnant, and used internally only by a qualified herbalist because large doses can be fatal.

Gingko (Gingko biloba) can be an important treatment of advanced memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease. Ginkgo raises the level of glucose and ATP in the cells, thus maintaining energy levels. While Gingko is traditionally known as an antimicrobial and antitubercular agent it is has profound activity on cardiovascular and cerebral circulation.

It can decrease the consumption of insulin in some people, and can be useful for those with diabetic angiopathy, when monitored. (Hoffman 1993) It is best to advise your professional medial care consultant before adding anything to your diet. In spite of its positive properties, certain things should be considered before adding Gingko to your diet. It can nullify birth control bills, increase the effects of anticlotting drugs and might raise blood pressure when combined with thiazide diuretics.

         Doing your homework is always an important step to take —borrowing a quote from a TV ad, “you are worth it”.

As with anything you are thinking of adding to you diet, including herbs and vitamins, if you are using any prescription medications, youHealing beauty of nature should first consult your medical care professional.

Medical care professionals are very much in favor of patients adding the correct herbs to his or her diet. Having studied under very knowledgeable Reiki Shihans (master/teacher) I  like to remind people that any style of Usui Reiki Ryoho, that has not been altered from the spiritual practice Mikao Usui founded, has no contraindications.

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and St. John’s Wort complement each other well and often used together in exhausted or depressed conditions as well as premenstrual tension.

 Skullcap is good for pain of all kinds and has been used for various condition involving seizures. It has been used successfully to aid in the withdrawal of alcohol and drug use.

It is sedative and antispasmodic.  With all herbal preparations, it is best to follow the directions on the bottle, and to remember more is not better.   A cup of Skullcap tea steeped a good ten minutes aids in relief of tension and pain.  Dr. John R. Christopher described skullcap as one of nature’s best nervine agents.

It can influence the spinal cord and the sympathetic nervous system as well as the brain, without harmful side effects.  For those of you that have read that it cures rabies, I have not found any documentation that supports that belief; with such illnesses, it is best to rely on proven professional medical practices.

With each herb preparations can be best taken in various forms ranging from infusions, to decoctions, to enemas, to capsules, to tinctures and extracts, to oils, to liniments, to poultices and plasters, to herbal wines and more.  Also, knowing which part of the plant to use, when it should be harvested, and the amount to be taken can determine how beneficial each herb is to you.  This is why either consulting with an herbalist or doing some serious research before introducing herbs into your diet is best.

Borage (borago officinalis) with its dainty blue and pink flowers is surrounded by high-spirited folklore.  It has healing properties, and contains potassium and calcium.  The flowers can be included in salads or frozen in ice cubes.   If taken internally it is best to take only for a maximum of three to six days.   A borage poultice can cool inflamed or swollen skin, yet if borage is picked at varying times of the day some people show a sensitivity to the tiny hairs on mature leaves Only the seed oil does not contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids  You are eat the flowers and in summer drinks they look lovely frozen in ice cubes .

Borage should not be used by anyone pregnant, and care should be exercised with broken skin.

It is a wonderful companion plant helping neighboring plants to strengthen their resistance to insects and disease.  The Welsh call borage the “herb of gladness.” The Romans made borage flowers into an elixir, which Pliny said had the power to lighten spirits.  In Elizabethan England, borage was prescribed for melancholy.  Try putting ice cubes containing borage flowers in a punch, and watch for smiles at your next party even without alcohol.

If you are pregnant, it might be sounding as if all herbs are off limits to you.  That is not true, but it is best for you to  carefully research everything you put into your mind, body & spirit, except Japanese styles of Usui Reiki

Nature can help in many ways.  Breathe in the fresh air, soak up the sunshine in moderation, drink fresh unpolluted water in moderation, eat a balanced diet rich in vital foodstuffs, and allow the simply things in nature to fill you smiles that bring harmony.  Some herbs such as Bayberry help during pregnancy because of their value in arresting hemorrhage of the uterus, bowels, and lungs.  Always check with the medical professional that is helping you stay happy and healthy.  While you are here, continue to read down, and when you have a chance enjoy a positive Usui Reiki healing session or complete one or more levels in Gendai Reiki-ho.

If you are looking for ways to lower the cholesterol that is not vital to the important functions within the body, there are natural ways that have helped many people in lowering their LDL cholesterol.  Eating oatmeal for breakfast and using it in making your bread and cookies can help.  Fiber can reduce LDL, while raising HDL (the good cholesterol).

Garlic has been used for centuries for both flavoring and healing It is one of the herbs that can lower blood pressure, and kills bacteria and viruses.  It can be used with Ginkgo for cardiovascular disease.  On the other hand, caution should be exercised when using because Garlic can thin the blood and like Ginkgo may reduce the ability of platelets to stick together.

 In contrast, Alfalfa not only has cholesterol-lowering and antiatherosclerotic effects, but also contains helpful vitamins A, D, B6 E, and K the blood-clotting vitamin. It contains calcium, other minerals and digestive enzymes.  Alfalfa can reduce tissue damage caused by radiotherapy.  Nevertheless,  if using hormone replacement therapy it is best if you first check with your medical care provider.  

Ginger Root (Zingiber officinalis) is another herb in my first aid kit. It is excellent for motion sickness, influenza once the need for the stomach to be emptied has passed, and any type of nausea.  Helpful in alleviating nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

When taken in small amounts it can help with morning sickness; best to avoid in the later months of pregnancy.  It can relieve the frequency of migraines, and it can dissolve some cysts and tumors.  It can increase menopausal flow.

It can help to reduce serum cholesterol levels, eliminate diarrhea, and promote digestion. However, it is best to avoid if a person has gallstones, and if taken prior to surgery the surgeon should be informed due to its potential effect on blood clotting.

A number of herbs will offer the opportunity for a person to receive a good night’s sleep.  One of my pet combinations allows most people to easily enjoy sleep.  Like all herbs these have other properties, but it is best not to take them when your alertness is required.  The chances of anyone developing an addiction to an herbal sedative are slim to none.  I agree with the theory that chemical sedatives are part of an essentially negative strategy that aims to substitute stupor for resolution of under lying problems. (Bones, Mills 2000)

Sometimes symptoms come from deep rooted challenges. So instead of adding somethng else to your diet, try Meditation, Gendai Reiki-ho or Komyo Reiki, healing journeys in your past, or affirmations as taught in Shoden.

Bilberry fruit (Vaccinium myrtillus) is excellent for the eyes of anyone that spends hours in front of a monitor, improves one’s night vision, is a good source of manganese, and an excellent supplement for the overall health of people with diabetes.  The dried berries were traditionally used for diarrhea and dysentery.  The leaves, like those of the closely related huckleberry, have been used in a tea to regulate blood sugar in mild adult-onset diabetes. It is becoming one of the most popular over-the-counter drugs in Europe.

For anyone with a case of hiccups, a lemon wedge saturated with angostura bitters may be the cure.  Most bitters help to control sugar metabolism and can be helpful in diabetes.


Red Raspberry leaves (Rubus idaeus) as a tea, steeped for ten minutes, can help to cure a viral infection of a cold or flu.   Teas are generally very mild, and are generally less effective then herbs taken in other forms.  However, the soothing heat and relaxation from a cup of tea is sometimes all the healing you need.


Hawthorn (cratequs oxyacantha) is known to dilate the blood vessels away from the heart.   If you are under the care of a medical professional it is important to consult with him or her before adding any supplement to your diet.  When correctly used Hawthorn can improve the heart’s action and circulation, treat both high and low blood pressure, lower cholesterol, help with rheumatism, and other challenges.  It has an oxygen saving effect.

 The Hawthorn berries are commonly used, but the whole plant has been found to be more effective in some cases.  If you are taking digitalis, it is best to avoid Hawthorn because it can antagonize the undesirable properties of digitalis (Mowrey 1994).  There are countless pages of myths/folklore/fables surrounding Hawthorn showing well-being for the heart in numerous ways.

In your next salad, you might try nutritious additions such as Alfalfa (unless pregnant), or Chickweed (Stellaria media).  Chickweed has been traditionally used for weight reduction, blood toxicity, fevers, and inflammation in the bowels and lungs.

If  you are not 100% sure what a plant is, do not use it.   Many plants’ leaves and roots look very much alike, and mistakenly ingesting the wrong plant or the wrong part of a plant can have disastrous results.  Honeysuckle flower buds harvested in May/June have been used to fight breast and cervical cancer, and enhance the immune system Nevertheless, Honeysuckle berries are poisonous.

healing herbs for colds and cuts

Marshmallow (Athaea officinalis) soothing wound healer helps with chapped hands when used in a cream. In an ointment it is used for abscesses and boils. It is high in calcium, and the root is very high in oxygen and pectin.   As a decoction it has been used for arresting gangrene.  It is grouped with Comfrey and Slippery Elm known for their soothing/lubricating action.  Internally the roots have been used more for the digestive system while the leaves are used primarily for the urinary system and lungs, and the whole plant has been used externally for inflammations, even eyewashes.  However, diabetics should avoid the roots internally because they are high in sugar compounds. 

In ages past healers would often go into meditation to find the answers of what herb would help the person coming to them for help. Sometimes when a person is talking to me about a challenge the name of an herb will simply come to me.  I also recommend  Japanese Usui Reiki to compliment any supplements, herbs or medications because universal love and harmony blends with everything positive. 

Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) used for bronchial congestion, healing dry skin challenges such as psoriasis. It is sometimes used in place of Goldenseal and Barberry because all have antibacterial activity. In some people it has stopped psoriasis from forming following taking it internally for six weeks.   Like Burdock root, it is a good blood purifier.  It promotes digestion, improves absorption, and is healing to the lymphatic system.

As for those pesky burdocks, the Burdock root or seed (Arctium lappa/A. minor) is a powerful blood purifier, a diuretic and a diaphoretic. It has been shown to be anti-tumor and to shrink tumors. Combined with another herb I have seen fat tumors shrink. Internally and externally it helps with skin eruptions.  It helps with both profuse sweating and lack of perspiration. It has also been used bronchial irritations and cough.  Burdock is slow acting, and highly regarded in complementary medicine.

Kelp, a brown seaweed, is another supplement I often recommends for anyone that is not sensitive or allergic to iodine.  Kelp is helpful for anyone that either is in the risk group of breast cancer, or has breast cancer.  It is a general tonic for the blood because it supplies essential vitamins, mineral salts, and the amino acid laminine.   It has an incredible number of nutrients and numerous medical properties, and is anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, and hypotensive.  It acts as a tranquilizer to interrupt the physical chain of disease to pain, to more disease, to more pain.  It can minimize migraines, but  if a person is sensitive to iodine he or she should not ingest kelp.

Pleurisy Root (asclepias tuberose) as the name suggests is used for acute respiratory infection.  Anyone that has/had pleurisy, an inflammation of the serous membranes that line the chest cavity and cover the lungs, knows how extremely painful that can be.  Pleurisy root can also be used for bronchial infection or pneumonia.  Should not to be relied upon for asthmatic attacks. 

Mullein and Agrimony can also be used to help in controlling the frequency of asthma attacks but should not be relied upon for asthmatic attacks. 


master merbalist Roberta R. Barnes Mullein Leaf (Verbascum thapsus) has an affinity for the lungs, kidneys and nerves. Used to reduce swelling and pain, it works well with respiratory aliments, helps to relive harsh coughs, and in certain cases has been known to straighten the spine.  It is also sometimes used for rheumatism and swollen joints. Because of its soothing nature, it has also helped some people with hemorrhoids, ulcers and inflammatory skin disorders.  Conversely, a rash can form on the skin from contact with powdered mullein leaves.

If you are going fishing, Mullein seeds have been said to intoxicate fish, but it is important to handle with care because those same seeds have been found to be toxic to humans.

The young leaves are a soft fuzzy light green that almost has the look and feel of light gray velvet.

To your right you see some wild rabbits living by the Center found the bottom leaves of this mature mullein to be good for them not long before it was ready to flower.

With all herbs there is a window in the growth period when the leaves should be harvested, and leaves and flowers are better for different conditions.


There is more with each of the herbs listed on this page. Contact Roberta R. Barnes if you wish to purchase a report for herbs that are known to have helped other people with your challenge. You can also contact me for Japanese Usui Reiki classes and healing sessions or a guided meditation into your past.

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) is known for knowing where to go and what to do when it gets there; for this reason I often says it is like Usui Reiki Ryoho in that respect.  Lobelia is also known to enhance other herbs in the way in which they work with the body.  It is excellent for anyone wishing to quit smoking, because Lobeline produces effects similar to nicotine without nicotine’s harmful side effects.  It should only be taken in small quantities and monitored for any side effects.  It can make a rapid startling and unpredictable impression upon the nervous system.  In 1809 Samuel Thomson’s faith in the healing powers of Lobelia was attacked by Dr. French claiming lobelia had caused a man’s death; the judge dismissed the case.  In 1919 Dr. Finley Ellingwood began using lobelia in accordance to the allopathic concept and went on to classify lobelia as a stimulant.  Lobelia leaf in plasters can be used for sprains, muscle spasms, and bruises.

It is never good to take more of any preparation then is/has been recommended. If you are under a medical doctor’s care it is essential that you check with that medical care professional before adding anything to your diet.  Both prescription and over the counter drugs can interact in a negative manner with herbs. beverages, and foods

Burdock root or seed (Arctium lappa/A. minor) Even though you may not like pulling those burdocks from your clothing, it is considered to be an excellent blood purifier high in minerals especially iron, a diuretic, and a diaphoretic.  It has also been used to shrink some tumors and cysts, and remove radioactive isotopes from the body. Externally the oil encourages growth of new hair. Burdock works well with dandelion and red clover.  It is a treatment for dry and scaly skin conditions; most effective for psoriasis when used over a long period of time.

Burdock is slow acting, yet a highly regarded complementary medicine. It is also used for rheumatism. It is slow acting but works well and can be for long-term use.   insulin dependent diabetics may need to adjust insulin levels, and excessive use should be avoided during pregnancy.

Overdosing can be done with anything (anything except Japanese styles of Usui Reiki Ryoho that is). Chocolate is toxic for to dogs, but for humans it is yummy source of iron and a stimulant.

Now think of the child who walks out of the closet with an empty box of chocolates and his or her body screaming moderation please; if she or he is allergic to chocolate the body is screaming never again.

Those herbs that may be excellent for your health can be harmful to your pet’s health and may not help your friend at all.  This is one of the things that sets herbs apart for Japanese styles of Usui Reiki Ryoho.

All herbs have wonderful healing energies, and it is simply a matter of knowing how to use what and when.   To help you think in ways best for your health and happiness take a few minutes to visit  Healing Sessions, Reiki Training, and Meditation & Beyond pages.

Herbs, Gendai Reiki-ho, Komyo Reiki Kai, and Meditation take center stage in

healing mind, body & spirit.

Thank you for not copying any of this page without the written permission of Roberta R. Barnes Gendai Reiki-ho Shihan, Komyo Reiki Kai Shihan, Master Herbalist Consultant, Author and Speaker.  

Note — I am sharing with information that I have received from reliable sources and experience, and to let you know how you can receive my services.

I do no dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical or emotional challenges without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly.  My intent is to help you in your quest for physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

In the event you use any of the information in this site, which is your constitutional right, as with anything read on the internet or in books you assume responsibility for your actions.

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last updated 09/01/23

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