Euphorbia hirta

euphorbiahirta copy

Botanical Name: Euphorbia hirta
Common name: Dudeli (Hindi), Asthma herb (English) (Kumar et al., 2010)
Family: Euphorbiaceae (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1).
Parts used: Leaf, stem (Kumar et al., 2010)


  • Alkanes
  • Triterpenes
  • Phytosterols
  • Tannins
  • Polyphenols
  • Falonoids

(Kumar et al., 2010)



  • Anti-inflammatory (Ahmad, Khan, Bani, Kaul, Sultan, Ali, Satti, Bakheet, Attia, Zoheir & Abd-Allah, 2013, Abstract; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Antibacterial, antifungal (Kumar et al., 2010; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Anticancer (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Antithelmintic (Kumar et al., 2010; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Antioxidant (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Antipyretic (Ahmad et al., 2013, Abstract; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Antispasmodic (Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Anxiolytic (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Diuretic (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1)
  • Hypotensive (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010)
  • Immunosepressor (Ahmad et al., 2013, Abstract)


History and Traditional Use

There are over 1600 species in the Euphorbia genus, which is characterised by the excretion of a white milky latex which is often toxic (Kumar et al., 2010). Euphorbia hirta is a common weed used in Auyrvedic medicine, traditional medicine in Africa, Australia and Malaysia (Ahmad, et al., 2013, Abstract; Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1; Kumar et al., 2010).

In Ayurvedic medicin Euphorbia hirta is used to treat female disorders, respiratory ailments, worm infestations in children, jaundice, gonorrhoea, digestive problems and tumours Kumar et al., 2010

In traditional Malay medicine Euphorbia hirta is used for gastrointestinal disorders and in the respiratory system (Perumal & Mahmud, 2013, p. 1).




  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Hay fever


  • Diarrhoea
  • Dysentery and
  • Parasites


  • Has a sedative effect of urinary tract



Dried Herb Decoction: often used for skin disease

Fresh Herb Decoction: Used as a gargle for thrush

A leaf poultice is used to treat swelling and boils

(Kumar et al., 2010).


Cautions & Contradictions

Has shown to lower sperm count in studies and therefore may reduce fertility (Kumar et al., 2010).


Ahmad, S. F., Khan, B., Bani, S., Kaul, A., Sultan, P., Ali, S. A., Satti, N. K., Bakheet, S. A., Attia, S. M., Zoheir, K. M., & Abd-Allah, A. R. (2013). Immunosuppressive effects of Euphorbia hirta in experimental animals.Inflammopharmacology, 21(2), 161-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10787-012-0144-6

Ahmad, S. F., Attia, S. M., Bakheet, S. A., Ashour, A. E., Zoheir, K. M., & Abd-Allah, A. R. (2014). Anti-inflammatory effect of Euphorbia hirta in an adjuvant-induced arthritic murine model. Inflammopharmacology, 43(3), 197-211. DOI: 10.3109/08820139.2013.857350

Kumar, S., Malhotra, R., & Kumar, D. (2010). Euphorbia hirta: Its chemistry, traditional and medicinal uses, and pharmacological activities. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 4(7), 58-61. doi:  10.4103/0973-7847.65327

Perumal, S., & Mahmud, R. (2013). Chemical analysis, inhibition of biofilm formation and biofilm eradication potential of Euphorbia hirta L. against clinical isolates and standard strains. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 13: 346 doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-346

Image: Pati, K. (2010). ASTHMA WEED, Euphorbia hirta. Retrieved from:

Grindelia robusta/Grindelia camporum


Botanical Name: Grindelia robusta / Grindelia camporum
Common name: Gumweed (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
Family: Asteraceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
Parts used: Dried Arial Parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)


  • Diterpenoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Sterols
  • Sapogenins

(Adams, Bryan, Giese & Weissner, 2013)



  • Antispasmodic
  • Expectorant
  • Diuretic
  • Hypotensive

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)



Gumweed is a traditional medicine of Califonian Native Americas the Chumash people and was traditionally used to treat asthma, bronchitis and coughs.


The herb was used clinically up until 1960 when a law passed in the U.S which required all medicine to have proven efficiency in clinical trials. No clinical trials were recorded on Grindelia robusta.


Prior to 1960, Gumweed and Yerba santa were used as primary ingredients in tuberculosis treatment.

(Adams et al., 2013)



  • Poison ivy rash (topical) (Adams et al, 2013; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
  • Poison oak rash (topical) (Adams et al, 2013)
  • Sore throat (Adams et al, 2013)
  • Asthma (Adams et al, 2013; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
  • Bronchitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
  • Whooping cough (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
  • Upper respiratory catarrh (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
  • Conditions associated with rapid heartbeat and nervous response (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)


Grindelia robusta has been found to be notably efficient in treating asthma, providing prompt relief (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)


Preparation & Dosage

There is standardisation on the herb (Adams et al., 2013)

Commission E recommends 4.5g of the herb or equivalent per day (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)



  • May reduce blood pressure (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 555)
  • The plant may contain bacteria that should not be introduced to open wounds (Adams et al., 2013).


Adams, J., Bryan, J. K., Giese, N., & Weissner, W. (2013). Gumweed (Grindelia camporum). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from:

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image: Zell, H. (2009). File:Grindelia camporum 003.JPG. Retrieved from:

Lobelia inflata


Image I


Image II
Botanical Name: Lobelia inflata
Common name: Lobelia (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563), Indian tobacco (Costa, Giese, Isaac, Kyomitmaitee, Reynolds, Rusie, Ulbricht & Zhou, 2013).
Family: Campanulaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)
Parts used: Aerial parts (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)


  • Piperidine alkaloids: lobeline, lobelanidine (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)
  • Lobeline is known as “wild tobacco” and “pukeweed” (leaves) (Heinrich, Barnes, Gibbons & Williamson, 2012, p. 96).
  • Chelidonic acid
  • Misc. resins, gums and fats

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)


  • Anti-asthmatic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Expectorant
  • Emetic
  • Nervine

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)



Lobelia has a depressant action on the central nervous system (CNS), autonomic nervous system (ANS) and neuromuscular activity. Active constituent lobeline has peripheral and central effects similar to that of nicotine, however is less potent. It acts by causing CNS stimulation and then respiratory depression.


Primary specific use is for bronchial asthma and bronchitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563).


Other traditional indications include

  • Respiratory problems from exalted nerve force and nerve irritation
  • Spasmodic asthma
  • Whooping cough
  • Spasmodic croup
  • Membranous croup
  • Infantile convulsions
  • Puerperal eclampsia
  • Epilepsy
  • Tetanus
  • Hysterical paroxysms
  • Hysterical convulsions
  • Diphtheria
  • Tonsilitis
  • Pnemonia

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)


Preparation & Dosage

Tincture (1:5 in 40%) 0.5-1mL/tds

Infusion: 0.25 tsp dried herb/1 cup water/tds



  • According to secondary sourced all parts of the plant are potentially toxic, therefore the herb is not to be taken in large doses (Costa et al., 2013)
  • Indication in asthma is conflicting, due to its potential respiratory stimulatory effect (Costa et al., 2013; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 563)



  • Contraindicated in cardiovascular disease as it may raise heart rate and create hypotension
  • In individuals using CNS depressants
  • In individuals using nicotine
  • In pregnancy due to potential emesis

(Costa et al., 2013)



In the treatment of Asthma, combines well with Cayenne, Grindelia, Pill-Bearing Spurge, Sundew and Ephedra (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 212)


Costa, D., Giese, N., Isaac, R., Kyomitmaitee, E., Reynolds, A., Rusie, E., Ulbricht, C., & Zhou, S. (2013). Lobelia. Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from:

Heinrich, M., Barnes, J., Gibbons, S., & Williamson, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Hoffmann, D. (1990). Holistic Herbal. London: Thorsons

Image I: Köhler, F. (1897). Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen Retrieved from:

Image II: Singh, M. (2006). LOBELIA INFLATA. Retrieved from:

Prunus serotina


Botanical Name: Prunus serotina
Common name: Wild Cherry
Family: Rosaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)
Parts used: Dried bark (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)


  • Cyanogenetic glycoside (“prunasin”)
  • Benzaldehyde
  • Eudesmic acid
  • p-coumaric acid
  • Scopoletin
  • Tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)



  • Antispasmodic
  • Antitussive
  • Astringent
  • Bitter
  • Expectorant
  • Nervine

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)



  • Irritating coughs (bronchitis and whooping cough)
  • Asthma (in combination)
  • Improve sluggish digestion
  • Eye inflammation (topical)

Often used in combination as it will ease a cough, but not necessarily heal an infection (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 575)


Preparation & Dosage

Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 1-2mL/tds

Decoction: 1 tsp dried bark/1 cup water/tds

Eye wash

(Hoffmann, 2003, pp. 575-576)



Large doses are considered toxic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 576)


Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image: Spruill, J. (2009). North Carolina Native Plant Society. Retrieved from:

Allium sativum


Botanical Name: Allium sativum
Common name: Garlic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
Family: Liliaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
Parts used: bulb (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)


  • Organosulfur compounds: including ‘alliin’ (which is converted to allicin in presence of enzyme allinase)
  • Enzyme allinase
  • Minerals
  • Flavenoids

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)



  • Anti-microbial, antibacterial, anti-fungal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Basch, Bryan, Conquer, Hammerness, Hashmi, Hasskarl, Isaac, Ladak, LeBlanc, Nummy, Pelikhov, Smith, Seamon, Grimes Serrano, Spencer, Gruenwald, Ulbricht, Vora & Windsor, 2013)
  • Diaphoretic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Hypocholestermic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Cholagogue (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Hypotensive (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Antispasmodic (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)



  • Alopecia areata (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Bacteria, viruses and parasites of the alimentary canal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526).
  • Gastritis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Helicobactor pylori infection (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Supports development of natural flora while simultaneously killing pathogenic organisms (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Bone & Mills, 2013, p. 187)
  • Benign Breast Disease (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Cancer (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Gastric cancer prevention (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Cardiovascular disease (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Basch et al., 2013)
  • Angina (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Atherosceroisis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526; Basch et al., 2013)
  • Hyperlipidaemia (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Hypertension (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Reduces serum cholesterol (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Reduces triglyceride levels (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Raises HLDL levels (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Active inhibitor of platelet aggregating factor (PAF) (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Prevents pre-oxidation of fats (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Chronic venous ulcers (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Cystic fibrosis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Common cold (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Dental conditions (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Heavy metal/lead toxicity (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Hepatitis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Infections and conditions of the respiratory system
  • Chronic Bronchitis (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Respiratory catarrh (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Recurrent colds (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Influenza (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Upper respiratory tract Infection (Basch et al., 2013).
  • Whooping cough (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Bronchial asthma (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Mosquito repellent (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Otitis media (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Parasitic infection (Basch et al., 2013; Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Sickle cell anaemia (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Systemic sclerosis (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Tick repellent (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Warts (Basch et al., 2013)
  • Preventative medicine in most infectious conditions (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)


Preparation & Dosage

  • Garlic oil capsule: 1-3/tds
  • Garlic powder: 600-900mg/day
  • Prophylaxis: 1 clove/sd
  • Acute infection: 1 clove/tds

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)


Cautions & Contradictions:

  • High doses may irritate gastric mucosa (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Thereapeutic doses may potentiate activity of anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic medication (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • Caution is advised both before and after surgical procedures (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 526)
  • To be administer with caution in individuals with bleeding disorders or taking anticoagulents (Basch et al., 2013).
  • To be administer with caution in individuals with thyroid disorders or taking thyroid medication (Basch et al., 2013).
  • May interefere with breastfeeding (Basch et al., 2013).


Basch, E., Basch, S., Bryan, J., Conquer, J., Hammerness, P., Hashmi, S., Hasskarl, J., Isaac, R., Ladak, A., LeBlanc, Y., Nummy, K., Pelikhov, G., Smith, M., Seamon, E., Grimes Serrano, J., Spencer, A., Gruenwald, J., Ulbricht, C., Vora, M., & Windsor, R. (2013). Garlic (Allium sativum). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from:

Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principals and Practice of Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinborough: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image I: Nolan, K. (n.d.). Royal Botanical Gardens & Domain Trust. Retrieved from:

Artemisia absinthium


Botanical name: Artemisia absinthium

Common name: Wormwood (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 530)

Family: Asteraceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 530)

Part used: Leaf & flowering top (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 530)


Active constituents

  • Volatile oil: including a- and b-thujone
  • Sesquiterpene lactones: absinthin, artemetin, matricin, isoabsinthin and artemolin
  • Acetylenes
  • Flavonoids
  • Phenolic acids
  • Ligans: diayangmbin and epiyangambin

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 530)



  • Analgesic
  • Anthelminthic
  • Anti inflammatory
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antitumor
  • Carminative
  • Cholagogue
  • Diuretic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Hypnotic
  • Stimulant
  • Tonic

(Armstrong et al., 2014)


Indications (traditional)

Artemisia absinthium has a long history of use in Chinese Medicine, using the leaves and flowers of the plant (known as qinghaosu) in the preparation of teas (Armstrong et al., 2014).


Historical and theoretical indications include:

  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Antiatherogenic
  • Back pain
  • Bloating
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Dropsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Herpes
  • Insect and spider bites
  • Jaundice
  • Labor pains
  • Parasitic worm infections
  • Stomach ailments

(Armstrong et al., 2014, p. 2).


Indications (contemporary)

C grade evidence suggests the herb’s use in the case of Crohn’s disease and Malaria (Armstrong et al., 2014, p. 2).

Insufficient available evidence suggests that Artemisia absinthium should be avoided during pregnancy and in children under the age of 18 (Armstrong et al., 2014, pp. 4, 6).

The World Health Organisation strongly discourage the use of the herb as sole treatment for Malaria, due to the potential for malarial parasite to develop resistance to it (Armstrong et al., 2014, p. 2).


Preparation & Dosage

The herb is traditionally prepared in fluid extract, pills, tinctures and capsules.

Infusion: 1-2 tsp (dried herb) infused for 10-15min in 1 cup of boiling water/tds.

Tinctures: 1-4mL tds



  • Not listed in the U.S FDA Generally Recognised As Safe list and is not recommended for oral administration (Armstrong et al., 2014, p. 2).
  • There have been adverse reactions recorded with Artemisia absinthium in individuals with cardiovascular conditions, gastrointestinal disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological conditions and renal dysfunction (Armstrong et al., 2014, p. 2).



Known allergy (Armstong et al., 2013)



Artemisia absinthium has reported to have a negative interaction with alcohol, antiangiogenic drugs and antiarrhythmic agents (Armstrong et al., 2014, p. 6).



Armstrong, E., Conquer, J., Costa, D., Isaac, R., Lynch, M., McCarthy, M., Nguyen, S., Rusie, E., Grimes Serrano, J., Shaffer, M., Smith, M., Woods, J., & Zhou, S. (2014). Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Natural Standard Monograph. Retrieved from:

Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Image: Grieve, M. (1995). Wormwoods. Retrieved from:

Mentha x piperita


Botanical Name: Mentha x piperita

Common name: Peppermint (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 505)

Family: Lamiaceae (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 505)

Genus: Mentha, A hybrid of Mentha aquatica and M. spicata (Heinrich, Barnes, Gibbons, & Williamson, 2012, p. 214).

Parts used: Aerial parts (Braun & Cohen, 2007, p. 505)



  • Essential oils: methol, menthone, menthylacetate and menthofuran
  • Non-volatile polyphenolics
  • Flavonoids
  • Triterpenes

(Heinrich et al., 2012, p. 214).



  • Antispasmodic
  • Carminative
  • Cholagogue
  • Antibacterial
  • Secretolyic

(Natural Standard, 2013)


Qualities: Considered to have “cooling” nature (Natural Standard, 2013).



According to the Natural Standard Mentha x piperita has been shown to be useful in such conditions as:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Dyspepsia
  • Headache (topical application)
  • Abdominal distension and pain
  • Bad breath
  • Common cold
  • Stroke recovery
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dental problems
  • Hot flushes
  • Poor cognitive function
  • Stress
  • Purities
  • Urinary Tract Infection

(Natural Standard, 2013)


Preparation & Dosage

Infusion: 1 heaped tsp dried herb/1 cup water (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 222)



  • According to McKay and Blumberg no adverse reactions have been reported to peppermint taken as infusion (2006).
  • In individuals with Gastro-intestinal reflux disorder, hiatal hernia and kidney stones (McKay & Blumberg, 2006, Abstract).



  • The Natural Standard consider the herb likely unsafe if there is known allergy or hypersensitivity to peppermint or other members of the Lameacae family.
  • Excess use has been associated with dental disease
  • Peppermint oil used topically in infants and young children should be avoided, especially in facial and chest areas, as it may lead to respiratory problems.

(Natural Standard, 2013)



Combines with Elder flowers and Yarrow for colds and influenza (Y.E.P infusion) (Hoffmann, 1990, p. 222)



Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2007). Herbs & Natural Supplements: an evidence-based guide (2nd ed.). NSW: Elsevier.

McKay, D., & Blumberg, J. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phototherapy Research, 20(8). Rertrieved from:

Natural Standard. (2013). Peppermint (Mentha x piperita). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from: On 04th March 2014.

Heinrich, M., Barnes, J., Gibbons, S., and Williamson, E. (2012). Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Image: Köhler, F. (1897). Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen. Retrieved from: