Medicinal tags: Support of body systems and herbal energetics

I include 12 body system and herbal energetics tags in my posts, found near the bottom. (Other tags are explained here.) I’m mostly keeping the herbal medicine part of the Wild Plant series at a beginner level herbalism and simples (one herb concoctions). But the tags included with every plant are entry points to delve further into herbals.

It should also be noted that I am not including every imaginable tag for every herb. I’ll be trying to maintain an emphasis on the most traditional, and especially modern and common applications of any given herb. And for some of these “cure-all” plants, a complete historical list would be utterly overwhelming and full of placebo.

Below these basic explanations, I’ll include the best resources I can find for further learning, and we’ll also post a page regarding the top recommended herbalist schools in the near future.

12 Body Systems

(12 SYSTEMS) Cardiovascular, Digestive, Endocrine, Integumentary, Immune, Lymphatic, Muscular, Nervous, Reproductive, Respiratory, Skeletal, Urinary

Cardiovascular: includes the blood, heart, and vascular network

Digestive: includes the esophagus, gallbladder, intestines, liver, mouth, pancreas, salivary glands, and stomach

Endocrine: includes the adrenals, ovaries, pineal, pituitary, testes, and thyroid glands

Integumentary: includes hair, nails, and skin

Immune: includes the adenoids, leukocytes, spleen, thymus and tonsils

Lymphatic: includes lymph, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels

Muscular: includes cardiac muscles, skeletal muscles, and smooth muscles

Nervous: includes the brain, nerves, sensory organs, and spinal cord

Reproductive: includes the fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina and vas deferens, and the penis, prostate, seminal vesicles, and testes

Respiratory: includes the bronchi, diaphragm, lungs, mouth, nose, and throat

Skeletal: includes bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons

Urinary: includes the bladder, kidneys, urethra, and ureters

Basic/Older Herbal Energetics

(ENERGETICS BASIC) Neutral and Neutral, Warm and Dry, Cooling, Cool and Dry, Cool and Moist, Cool and Neutral, etc. Dual Entergetics describes an herb that can be warm, cool, dry or moist.

These are also reflected in some of the advanced tags ex. astringent (drying) and mucilage (moistening). In various traditions these correspond to elements, directions, doshas, yin and yang. Learning about these can certainly be confusing at first! A book you may want to purchase for this is:

Advanced Herbal Energetics/Actions

(ENERGETICS ADVANCED) Adaptogen, Alterative, Anodyne, Anti-inflammatory, Antimicrobial, Antispasmodic, Antihelminthic, Astringent, Bitters, Cardio tonic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Circulatory (Stimulant), Demulcent, Diaphoretic, Diffusive, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Hypotensive, Immunomodulating, Immunostimulant, Laxative, Lymphatic, Nervine, Tonic, Throphorestorative, Vulnerary

Here’s a breakdown of this list of herbal energetics by Rosalee de la Forêt: herbal-energetics.html. Almost every herbal medicine reference book has a breakdown of these terms.

More Action Tags

Added Lithotriptic, which refers to the breakdown of bladder stones. There will be extra tags like this, now and then. These also include Analgesic which refers to painkilling, Antipyretic which may dull fevers, and Antitussive, which is a cough suppressant. Emetic might induce vomiting. Emollient is soothing to the skin. Styptic helps stop bleeding.

A Quick Note

My hope for all is that we use medicine (herbal and otherwise) and a healthy lifestyle to prevent disease, and to help the body heal itself at first sign of trouble. And most of all to not reach the point where drugs on top of drugs or surgery are inevitable. Self diagnosis or ignoring problems entirely is dangerous. And I am anti- a closed mind toward either traditional medicine or mainstream medicine.

Warnings, Again

And the Usual Cautions:

1) Most medicinal herbs, if edible, are meant to be eaten in moderation, even sparingly. Some require extra preparation. Tannins are toxic if consumed in excess.

2) People can be allergic or sensitive to nearly any plant; try new herbs one at a time at your own risk. For instance, saponins commonly cause stomach upset.

3) For medicinal use, I must recommend receiving a diagnosis and working with a reputed health care provider. I generally do not post specific treatments and dosages because I think that is best between you and your health care provider, and ideally monitored.

4) Anyone pregnant, nursing, or taking prescription drugs should talk to a health care professional before adding new food items to their diet.

5) Many plants have look-a-likes, and sometimes they are poisonous.

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