Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare
Tarragon, (Artemisia dracunculus L.)
Tea Tree Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Cheel)
Tea, green tea, (Camellia sinensis L.)
Thistle, Bull, Cirsium vulgare; Blessed Thistle, Cnicus benedictus L.
Thyme, Thymus vulgaris L.
Tobacco, Nicotiana tobacum L.
Tolu balsam, Myroxylon balsamum
Tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum Miller)
Trillium, wake robin, Trillium grandiflorum (Michx.)) giant white trillium; (Trillium erectum L) wake robin
Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera
TURMERIC, Curcuma longa L. syn: C.domestica Val.
Tanacetum vulgare L.
Medicine: Herb contains toxins, use to be avoided. Oil is antimicrobial, anthelminthic, insecticide. Oil traditionally used internally to treat gout, rheumatism, cramps, internal infections and fevers. Externally, oil used to treat wounds, sprains, gout, arthritis, rheumatism, and as a lotion to treat scabies. Oil considered analgesic. Oil is also a uterine stimulant to be avoided totally when pregnant.
Native Americans used the plant as an abortifacient. Infusion was applied externally as an analgesic for backache (Cherokee). Chippewa gargled the root infusion for treating sore throat. They also root decoction to treat painful and sore ears. Iroquois applied leaf poultice to head to treat headache. Shoshoni used leaf infusion as antiseptic wash.
Chemistry: Thujone (toxin); coumarins and photo toxic polyynes.
Avoid the use of this herb due to its toxic chemistry. It may be a useful insecticide in the garden.
Artemisia dracunculus L.
USES: (Photo, more)
Food: Salads, dressings, flavoring, pickling, extractions, For baked, stewed and grilled chicken.
Medicine: Rutin in animal studies has anti-tumor activity.
Rutin may destroy plaque deposits in arterial walls of animals. Rutin also decreases capillary fragility and permeability. May inhibit some cancers. Anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombogenic, antispasmodic, anti-atherogenic, hypotensive.
Chemistry: Rutin, antispasmodic. Eugenol, analgesic. Essential oil methyl chavicol...also alpha pinene, limonene, beta-pinene, linalool, camphene, isocoumarin artemedinol...(2)
Tea Tree Oil
Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel
Description: Leaves needle like aromatic, found in sub-continent Asia, Australia.
Cosmetics, toiletries: Found in soap (antimicrobial), shampoos, body lotions, perfumes, aromatherapy.
Medicine: Antimicrobial; antifungal. Topical use on acne, cuts, scrapes, burns, stings, envenomations, vaginitis, symptomatic relief of athlete's foot (therapeutic, but not curative. Typically, does not irritate skin. according to Low, T., Et. al. Magic and Medicine. Reader's Digest Books, the vapor or essential oil of Tea tree when run through ventilation systems is antibacterial. This may be a way to periodically clean air conditioning systems of Legionella. Use to treat respiratory disorders in vaporizers.
Chemistry: Essential oils: primarily terpin-4-ol (40%); linalool alpha terpineol, alpha pinene are all antimicrobial.
Caution: Do not use internally, external use may cause allergic reaction in a few people.
Dosage: Follow instructions on packaging and inserts.
Camellia sinensis L.
For more details see green tea in physician's laptop reference section.
Food: hot drink, steep with lid, also used in poaching fish.
Medicine: InJapan, green tea protects from tumors of liver, lungs, skin and digestive tract. Flouride in tea may protect the imbiber from dental caries.
May stimulate immunity.
Tannins and flouride are bacterialstatic, preventing tooth decay, and may relieve digestive complaints.
May protect organ systems from nuclear and ultra violet radiation.
Green tea, black tea and oolong tea have phenolic compounds that have positive effects on your health: perhaps protective against cancer and heart disease.
Catechin in tea may be immune inhancing, anti-intestinal cancer, and may lower cholesterol.
Caffeine, appetite stimulant and bronchiodilator.
In general, studies suggest tea may prevent the development of certain cancers, prevent infectious disease, prevent dental caries and by preventative to cardiovascular disease (heart disease) and may stimulate immune response.
Chemistry: catechins (polyphenols) epicatechin, gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate (all free radical scavengers <antioxidants> more potent than vitamin C). Also flavonols (related to catechins): theogallin. Methylsxanthines including caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, theanine. Minerals depending on soil content are manganese, aluminum...Trigaloylglucose (tannin like substance).
For much more on TEA see: Gutmand and Ryu; Rediscovering Tea. HerbalGram No. 37.. Journal of the American Botanical Council, PO Box 201660, Austin TX 78720.
Bull Thistle, Canada thistle and other spp.
Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Ten.
Canada Thistle Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop.
Blessed Thistle, Cnicus benedictus L.
Description Bull thistle: Thorny biennial; purple flower rises from spiny bract. Leaves spine tipped, toothed, rigid, yellow tipped spines on flower bract.
Food: C. vulgare: Barbed leaves of the first year's growth can be eaten after the spines have been stripped away with a knife. Wear gloves when harvesting root and leaves. Roots and young shoots may be eaten after cooking. Fertile flower bract (seed pod) may be boiled and eaten like artichoke (very carefully). Much effort, little reward. Hesquiat First People chewed flower heads to get nectar (favorite nectar site for bees, humming birds and butterflies). Thompson nation dried roots, later scraped away dirt and skin and cooked in stews and soups. Fresh roots also cooked and eaten. Pull and chew fresh flower heads to get nectar. Native Americans (Meskwaki) used root used to disguise taste of medicine.
C. arvense: peeled stems may be eaten.
(Photo and information)
Blessed Thistle: Leaf may be eaten in salads or stir fry. Cut away spines. Fruiting body may be cooked and eaten like artichoke, but probably not worth effort.
Medicine: C. vulgare: Analgesic, digestive aid, poultice, anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic (herbal soak or herbal steam bath ((Sweat lodge)) of roots). Decoction of whole plant drunk and then mark (what's left of decocted plant) poulticed over hemorroids, piles. Cherokee used infusion of leaves for neuritis, neuralgia. the warm infusion of the roots was used by the same people as a digestive aid after overeating. Bruised or decocted whole plant used as a poultice. Ojibwa used root for stomach cramps.
C. arvense: Abnaki nation used a decoction of roots as anthelminthic for de-worming children. Ojibwa used whole plant in decoction to cleanse bowels. Mohegan and Montagnals used decoction to treat consumption (tuberculosis). Iroquois used infusion of chopped root as mouth wash.
Medicine Blessed Thistle: As an appetite stimulant, improves digestion, constipation, gas, upset stomach. Experimentally, for liver and gall bladder disease. Bitters to stimulate saliva flow, bile, hydrochloric acid release and peristalsis leading to better digestion, absorption and elimination. May have anti-inflammatory activity.
Chinese use thistle teas and decoctions to treat appendicitis, internal bleeding and inflammations.
Chemistry Blessed Thistle: Cnicin as sesquiterpene lactone one of active constituents.
Side effect: Those with daisy plant allergies or other flower allergies should be careful.
Amount: I eat leaves (kind of a pain to prepare) but have had no problems. Suggested dosage of 2 grams dried herb to 250ml of boiling water steeped until cool...three cups per day. Or 1000 grams of fresh herb to the same amount of water three times per day.
Thymus vulgaris L.
Food: Put leaves and flowers in salads for pleasant punch to taste, cook vegetables, fish and meat with thyme, saute with stir fried vegetables especially zucchini and mushrooms, turkey stuffing, also in soups and casseroles, pizza.
Medicine: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic and carminative. Leaves and flower relax spasms, coughs, expectorant, improves digestion, antiseptic, antifungal, improves performance and recovery for divers, flyers and high altitude climbers skiers...May help avoid mountain sickness. Useful in asthma, laryngitis, gastritis, diarrhea and enuresis, not for pregnant women; revives from exhaustion, (aromatherapy) for aches and pains. Fresh herb pounded and mixed with syrup is a purported to be a safe and effective cure for whooping cough. And infusion of one ounce of the herb to a pint of water, sweetened with honey is used to treat whooping cough, catarrh, sore throat. Tea will arrest colic, attenuates gastric fermentation. Promotes perspiration at the start of a cold. Traditionally used to treat sciatica. Thymol used in dressing wounds as antiseptic, disinfectant. Thymol has also been used to expel parasites, especially miner's worm, and in the treatment of diabetes and vesical catarrh.
SAVE THE BEES! Thymol from thyme combined with eucalyptus oil, menthol and camphor had 96.7% kill rate on the mite (Varroa jocobsoni) that afflicts honey bees (Apis mellifera). Porous carriers of the chemicals were placed inside hives. Thymol has also been used as a preservative in meat.
A wide eyed science student may want to try the effect of thymol in hamburger to prevent (E. coli) infestation.
As a tea, especially effective with oregano as anti infective: colds, flu...Also as a tea to avoid mountain sickness.
Chemistry: Phenols: thymol, carvacrol (antiseptic, treats eczema), also cymene, pinene, menthone, borneol, linalool (these chemicals are antiseptic, antispasmodic).
Nicotiana tobacum L.
Uses: (Photo, more)
Food: Toxic, poisonous. Tobacco is used as chew for stimulating, narcotic effect. Tried it once and made me nauseous and dizzy.
Medicine: Alkaloid: nicotine: addictive, stimulant, carcinogenic, euphoria, appetite depressant, laxative, vertigo, emetic, worm expellant, anodyne, diuretic, slightly analgesic (smoke of leaf).
Chemistry: Poisonous alkaloid: Nicotine, tar, volatile oils.
WARNING: NICOTINE IS EASILY ABSORBED THROUGH THE SKIN AND IS TOXIC, POTENTIALLY FATAL.
Wildlife/Veterinarian: Insecticide, toxic. Tobacco leaves were poulticed on snake bites, insect bites, stings.
Tolu Balsam, Peruvian Balsam
Food: Extract is used for flavoring cough medicine and food products including baked goods, gum, candies, pop, ice cream and other sweet foods.
Commission E approved Peruvian Balsum for treating wounds and burns, hemorrhoids. Tolu Balsum to treat coughs, bronchitis.
Medicine: Peruvian balsam (contains: cinnamein, cinnamic acid, nerolidol) is extracted from 10 year old trunk bark removed from the tree, thrashed, then scortched (burned) and balsam is sopped up with towels. This resinous balsam is separated and purified. Used to treat wound, burns and hemorrhoids. Approved by Commission E for these uses.
Tolu Balsam a different extract collected by scarring the tree. The purified balsam contains: benzoic acid, cinnamic acid, resin. Antibacterial product approved by Commission E for treating coughs, bronchitis.
Native Americans in Peru used this oil for healing and in ritual. Spanish conquistadors decimated the population of trees, exporting tons of the balsam to Europe.
Caution: Peruvian Balsam extract may cause contact dermatitis, photo-toxicity, large doses may cause kidney damage.
Lycopersicon esculentum Miller
SolanaceaeLycopersicon esculentum Miller
Note: Older heritage tomatoes may have better amino acid profiles than newer breeds. Dr. Alan Kapuler has studied amino acid profiles of various tomatoes and found many modern strains do not have the balance of proteins that older heritage tomatoes have such as the Burbank and Cherry tomatoes, your best garden choice
Dr. Alan Kapuler has done much research on the essential amino acid profiles in tomatoes and squash. My interpretation of his results suggests that the heritage tomatoes, specifically cherry tomatoes and Burbank tomatoes have amino acid profiles that best reflect our needs. We grow cherry tomatoes against the southern wall of our Michigan home and they produce lycopene rich food into November.
Food: See recipe section of this database. Tomato salads, sauces, on sandwiches, with salad greens, pizza (vegetarian low fat cheese), with garlic on toast...etc. etc. Flavor principle in Mediterranean and Native American cuisines.
See flavor principles in this database.
Medicine/Chemistry: hypotensive, lycopene (carotenoid related to retinol <vitamin A>, beta carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, nor beta-cryptoxanthin) may have an inverse correlation with prostate cancer risk. In a study (Giovanucci et al; Intake of Carotenoids and Retinol in relation to Risk of Prostate Cancer; J. National Cancer Institute. Vol 87, No 23. Pp 1767-1776. Dec. 1995.) researchers discovered four foods that had an inverse correlation with prostate cancer risk. The foods were strawberries, tomato sauce, tomatoes and pizza. Amino acid profiles are good and best in older heritage strains.
Trillium, wake robin
(Trillium grandiflorum (Michx.)) giant white trillium; (Trillium erectum L) wake robin.
Description: Grandiflorum has three ovate leaves, flower petals and sepals in threes. Found in open forest in spring. Flowers early (photo and information).
Food: Grandiflorum flowers can be
eaten. I have eaten them, but be cautious, they may not agree with you.
I have eaten the leaves. CAUTION: This plant may be protected in your state.
Medicinal: Grandiflorum used by First People who scarified or pricked in the root bark decoction for treating sore and arthritic joints. Root bark decoction used as a wash on sores, sore ears, burns. Root bark decoction a general cleansing agent used on skin. Red trillium or wake robin used root tea for women's problems (menstruation). Bethroot or birthroot (Red Trillium) was the name given to the plant because the root tea was used to induce labor. Root tea used for many illnesses: asthma, lung disorders, bites, stings as an astringent, aphrodisiac, respiratory disorders including coughs.
Chemistry: Phytosterols in root may be responsible for some of the reported traditional medicinal uses.
Tuliptree, Tulip Poplar
Liriodendron tulipifera L.
A tree to over 60 feet. Alternate leaves tulip shaped, green on top light blue underneath. Stems lenticle rich, trunk dark green to gray (with age). This is a very straight and tall tree in southern Michigan, fast growing. Cone like fruiting body falls off in autumn.
Medicine: Folk medicine uses to treat insomnia, fever (bark infusion). Bark extract is antimicrobial.
Native American Uses: Considered by Cherokee to be a tonic and stimulant. Bark infusion taken for worms, diarrhea, dyspepsia, febrile conditions. Bark infusion used as cough medicine, mixed with maple syrup or other sweet carrier. Cherokee used plant as listed above and to treat rheumatism. Leaf poultice or compress applied to painful areas (neuralgia treatment). Chewing the green bark was considered stimulating.
Chemistry: Isoquinoline alkaloids, lignans, volatile oils, coumarins.
WARNING: Little dose information available. Potentially toxic alkaloids in extract.
Curcuma longa L. syn: C.domestica Val.
DEMONSTRATION: PINEAPPLE AND TURMERIC AS ANTI-INFLAMMATORY, ARTHRITIS. Blend fresh pineapple for release of bromain and sprinkle on turmeric, stir in and serve.
Uses: In India turmeric mixed in hot mild is said to help resist and fight colds.
Food: Saute mushrooms, onions and goosegrass in a 1/4 cup of water and a Tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle over a teaspoon of turmeric, then add a 1/2 t of curry powder and a pinch of vegetable bullion powder. Serve in pita bread with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, hummus and herb dressing. Use turmeric in hot winter dishes: stews, soups, meats, etc., food coloring when strong flavor needed. Asian dishes, curries.
Medicine: Rhizome considered a stimulant, tonic, carminative. The aromatic rhizome is considered Anti-inflammatory, anti-coagulant, anti tumor, bacteriastatic, anti parasitic. Supports fat digestion (diet, dieting). Indian Studies: Increases bile flow. May improve circulation. Digestive complaints. Animal studies provides liver protection. anti-diabetic experimentally (diabetes), antibiotic, anti-inflammatory. May stimulate uterus (PMS, menstruation). Stimulates respiration, normalizing, warming. Externally: on wounds, ringworm, sores. Turmeric oil and oleoresin in vivo and in vitro decreased incidence of micronuclei in patients with cytogenic damage from oral sub mucous fibrosis (alcohol extraction of turmeric). See Lubri; Jakhi, et al effect of turmeric oil and turmeric oleoresin on cytogenic damage in patients suffering from oral sub mucous fibrosis. Cancer Letters 1997; 116:265-269.
Commission E approved for use in treating dyspepsia, appetite loss.
Curcumin in turmeric teams up with a naturally occurring immune system protein to destroy prostate cancer cels. This in vitro study triggered the response with the immune system chemistry called tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL acronym). Eighty percent of the cancer cells self destructed (apoptosis). Turmeric a sub continent Asian spice may account for the low incidence of prostate cancer in Indian men. Studies are planned next for laboratory animals. Science News 5.18.02 page 318.
Used with silymarin (milk thistle)as an aid for the liver. Also, considered useful in salves with other ingredients to treat psoriasis.
Externally, Turmeric is a potential treatment for psoriasis, dandruff, dry skin, skin irritations, blemishes, acne, wounds and sun damaged skin. Internally, turmeric extract may be beneficial fighting acid or sour stomach, ulcers, hemorrhoids, microbial infections of the gut and a variety of alcohol related ailments. According to the www.ars-grin.gov/duke/ web site tumeric may also counter gingivitis, herpes, inflammations, sunburn by inhibiting the release of leukotriene and prostaglandin two molecules that initiate inflammation.
Volatile oil exhibits a marked anti-inflammatory on experimentally induced arthritis and edemas. Works similar to hydrocortizone acetate. Essential oil is a cholagogue, perhaps inducing release of choleretic acid which is antibacterial.
Rats studies showed an anti fertility effect of water, ether and alcoholic extractions of the rhizome. Effect ranged from 60 to 100%. With the aqueous extraction being most effective.
Rhizone extraction may cause drop in blood pressure. Drop is sharp, but transient. alcohol extraction may help control amoeba infections (parasites).
Preparation: Rhizome chemistry is released in water decoctions and alcohol tinctures of powdered root.
Chemistry: A few rhizone constituents: alpha phellandrene, sabinene, cineol, borneol, zingiberene. caretene, sesquiterpenes, curcumin, tumeric oil, curcuminoides.