Materia Medica

plant allies

Allspice (Pimenta Dioica): A berry native to the Carribean and Central America thought to posess the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves (hence the name ALLspice). It is used in Jamaican cooking for its aromatic properties and to aid the digestion of the food it’s cooked with. As a powerful aromatic, it aids in treating digestive complaints like nausea, constipation and stomache aches. Its volatile oils are antimicrobial, and help keep bad bacteria at bay.

Bay Rum (Pimienta Racemosa): A tree native to the Carribean with highly aromatic leaves. The aroma given off made it popular in Jamaican men’s fragrance products, and other popular products on the island. The aromatics help promotoe digestion and ease digestive pains, while providing a pleasing scent.

Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum): A berry native to India containing piperine, a potentiator for curcumin, encourage more absorption of the compound. It also promotes digestion and aids in treating stomach ailments.

Cacao (Theobroma Cacao): A bean from the Cacao fruit, native to Mexico and now found in all tropical regions. These beans are the source of chocolate, and are high in theobromine, an alkaloid shown to stimulate the heart and promote an overall sense of wellbeing. It dilates the blood vessels, promoting blood flow throughout the body and especially around the heart, and is very rich in antioxidants and key minerals like magnesium and iron. Cacao is unprocessed unlike cocoa, but still holds a modern chocolate-like flavor, just a bit more bitter.

Cardamom (Elettaria Cardamomum): A common culinary spice native to Asia. The pods contain many seeds that when chewed on release a powerful aromatic smell to them, and is commonly used in Chai and other spice blends like Pumpkin Spice. This aromatic effect acts on the digestive system to help promote digestion and soothe the stomach.

Coca (Erythroxylum Coca): A small bush native to South America that has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years. In popular culture it is known for the fact that is contains cocaine, but this is in a very small amount and requires chemical isolation to acquire the negative side effects. It has been used traditionally for treating altitude sickness, suppressing hunger and providing sustainable energy. It was usually chewed by Peruvians before long treks across the mountain ranges, and was considered sacred. It is non-addictive and is popular in many South American countries as a basic tea, in the same way black tea is popular in the U.S.

Coconut (Cocos Nucifera): A palm native to tropical areas all over the world, Coconut has been and still is a food source for people all over the world, whether it be the water, meat or oil. Coconuts are high in fiber, aminos, and MCFA’s (medium chain fatty acids), which help provide healthy fats and increasing good cholesterol. Coconut is easy to digest and absorb, adds natural sweetness and is a delicious food to consume daily.

Damiana (Turnera Diffusa): A shrub native to Mexico that has been used for hundreds of years as a nervous system stimulator and aphrodisiac. The leaves are smoked or made into tea, and direct and enhance circulation in the body, primarily to the pelvic region. It helps to calm the nerves as well, helping ease anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing.

Ginger (Zingiber Officinale): An aromatic root native to the tropics in Asia that provides a heated, sweat-inducing flavor traditionally used to add spice to dishes. It is anti-inflammatory, and is a diaphoretic, which induces perspiration. This makes ginger help to break a fever during times of illness. Ginger also is a potent digestive aid, helping to start digestion in the body and help the body process food more efficiently. It is also a powerful blood cleanser and mover and helps to detoxify toxins from the bloodstream.

Goji Berry (Lycium Barbarum): A berry native to China used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to nourish the eyes, liver and treat kidney ailments. It’s very high in antioxidants, Vitamins A, B and C, amino acids, trace minerals and carotenoids, making it a food for the immune system, beneficial to eye and overall health and longevity as it’s used in China, and for skin and hair health.

Green Coffee (Coffea arabica): Green coffee beans are the unroasted seed of the Coffee plant. When unroasted, coffee beans contain chlorogenic acid, which has been found to positively affect how the body handles blood sugar and metabolism. Green coffee still contains caffeine, and can help reduce blood pressure.

Hemp (Cannabis Sativa): A bush native to Eastern Asia known for it’s nutritive properties, full of iron, protein and dietary fiber. It contains many different trace minerals, and is one of the world’s most useful plants, able to used for cordage, clothing, fuel, construction and much more. It contains many different constituents that nourish the brain and nervous system on a cellular level.

Honey (From Apis Mellifera): Honey is a biproduct from bees, and is a primary food source in the hive. The sticky syrup has been found to have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. It is the ultimate preservative, being able to preserve herbs and other substances within itself for hundreds of years.

Kola (Cola Nitida): A nut used in West African culture as a stimulant and digestive aid. The large nut is chewed to provide energy, as it contains caffeine and theobromine, the heart stimulating alkaloid found in cacao. It is a good general tonic for energy, it works on the nervous system by nourishing and stimulating, and tonifies the heart.

Lemon (Citrus x Limon): A fruit native to Asia traditionally and currently used for many culinary uses as a sour and tangy additive. It is high in Vitamin C and other nutrients, and aids in alkalizing the body. It’s also a refreshing additive to any formula.

Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis): A bushy herb native to Europe, Lemon Balm is a highly aromatic plant known to provide nourishment to the nervous system by soothing and relaxing the nerves, while not sedating the body. It smells of lemons and mint, and feeds the nerves when frayed or overworked. It also holds anti-bacterial activity, shown to be affective against many types of dangerous bacterias.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus): A grass native to Asia and popularly used currently in the Carribean as a culinary additive for lemony flavor. It’s essential oils have been shown to kill off bad bacteria, and soothe the digestive system by acting as an anti-spasmodic. It is a diaphoretic, and induces sweating to break a fever, hence its popular Carribean name “fevergrass”.

Nettle (Urtica Dioica): An iconic European herb known for its stinging effects when touched. The sting creates an allergic reaction on the skin, and ironically the plant when taken fresh can act as an antihistamine. It is dense in chlorophyll, iron, protein, calcium and many trace minerals, making it a powerful nutritive and herbal-multivitamin. It also acts as a diuretic and helps keep the body’s fluids moving.

Oat Straw (Avena Sativa): The source of the oat, a common food source. The stalk of the plant is a restorative to the nervous system and a gradual energy tonic. It is nutritive and full of minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium. It’s tonic effects are seen through long-term and daily use of the herb.

Reishi (Ganoderma Tsugae): Reishi is a fungus that grows on hemlocks and some other varieties of trees in damp environments. It has been held as one of the most powerful medicines in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is a tonic to nourish the cardiovascular system, liver, and nervous system. It calms the spirit and is a potent immuno-modulator and anti-viral medicine. It has even been used in cancer protocols, making this mushroom truly one of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms.

Turmeric (Curcuma Longa): A root native to India traditionally used as a culinary spice and medicine in Ayurveda. The volatile oils that give Turmeric its distinct smell are anti-septic and anti-bacterial, and the curcumin found in the root is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving). Curcumin also nourishes the liver, helping the body detox as needed.

Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis): A shrub native to South America that contains caffeine in the leaves. It provides a sustainable source of energy and helps to combat fatigue while also being an appetite suppressant. Not only does it stimulate physically, but it also stimulates the nervous system, promoting mental acuity as well. Mate provides the energy boost that coffee provides, without the crash.

Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata): A tree native to Asia known for it’s powerfully aromatic flowers, known nowadays as the primary ingredient in Chanel No. 5. The light floral smell works directly on the heart and soothes the nerves, easing the consumer into relaxation. It is known as a potent aphrodisiac from its smell and is effective internally and externally.