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Herbal Property Dictionary

by Dr. Steve Blake, ScD, MH
Registered Herbalist, AHG


The Herbal Property Dictionary is a 258 page electronic book in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Every serious herbalist needs to have this reference available. Included are 862 properties, actions and effects of medicinal plants. Each property is defined. There are thousands of examples of herbs with these properties.

Herbalists and other phytotherapists have been using properties to describe medicinal plants for hundreds of years. Much of the information about medicinal plants is in the form of their actions. Rather than saying a plant is used for insomnia, many references will state that it has the action “sedative” or “hypnotic”. Properties and actions of medicinal plants describe the action of the plant on the body. 

If you already know what an antidyscratic herb does, you will love this reference! There are many obscure properties in herbal books: alexeteric, pulicide, rubefacient, schizonticide, sternutatory, and taeniafuge are some examples. Find the definitions and examples with the Herbal Property Dictionary.

The Herbal Property Dictionary does more than just list examples of plants with each property. The numbers of agreeing references are included to see which properties are attributed to a plant by multiple authors. For example, 16 books agree that fennel seeds are carminative, while just one book lists wood betony as carminative.

This book has a companion volume called Medicinal Plant Actions. Medicinal Plant Actions lists 711 medicinal plants, each followed by its actions.

In this electronic book, you may use the find feature (an icon like binoculars) to quickly go to any word or phrase.

Download a free sample PDF

To Buy the electronic book: Herbal Property Dictionary
by Steve Blake

for only $18.95.

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A Few Excerpts from the Full Book
By Steve Blake AHG, DSc, Master Herbalist
Available from LifeLong Press
Copyright 2004 Steve Blake


The Definition Of Antispasmodic Is:

A substance that will relieve or prevent spasms, usually of the smooth muscles. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West  Michael Moore.

Herbs That Have the Action ‘Antispasmodic’ Are:
Chamomile(12), Valerian Root(11), Blue Cohosh(9),  Skullcap(9),  Black Cohosh(7),  Catnip(7),  Mullein(7), Thyme(7),  Crampbark(6), Datura(6), Garlic(6), Lobelia(6),  Peppermint(6),  Fennel Seed(5), Red Clover(5), Cayenne Pepper(4), Celery Seeds(3), Passion Flower(3), Sage(3), Sundew(3), Wild Yam Root(3),  Yarrow(3),  Anise Seed(2),  Basil(2), Calamus(2),  Celandine - Greater(2), Chrysanthemum Flowers(2),  Clematis(2),  Cloves(2),  Cumin(2), Ginger(2), Grindelia(2),  Hawthorne Berry(2), Kava Kava(2),  Khella(2), Lady’s Slipper Root(2),  Lemon Balm(2),  Licorice(2),  Meadowsweet(2), Mistletoe(2),  Motherwort(2),  Mugwort(2), Myrrh(2),  Rue(2), Rupturewort(2),  Siberian Ginseng(2),  Tree Peony(2),  Angelica, Bayberry,  Belladonna, Bittersweet, Black Haw, Boneset, Butterbur, Butterwort,  Calendula,  California Poppy, Caltrop, Camphor, Capsicum Extract,  Caraway,  Cascara Bark, Cinnabaris,  Cocklebur,  Coltsfoot,  Dill, Elecampane Flowers,  Fenugreek Seeds,  Frankincense, Gambir,  Gelsemium,  Gentian,  Ginger - Dried, Ginkgo,  Goldenseal, Guiacum, Hedge Nettles, Henbane, Hibiscus,  Hops, Horehound, Ivy, Jamaican Dogwood,  Jeffersonia,  Kudzu Root,  Larkspur, Lavender,  Lily of the Valley, Linden Flowers,  Lobelia Essence,  Madder Root,  Nutmeg, Oatstraw,  Pansy,  Parsley, Pennyroyal,  Pineapple Mayweed,  Pleurisy Root,  Pulsatilla, Raspberry Leaves,  Rauwolfia,  Sarsaparilla, Savory,  Saw Palmetto,  Shiso,  Silverweed, Skunk Cabbage, St. John’s Wort, Strophanthus,  Trillium, Uva Ursi,  Vervaine, Wild Cherry Bark,  Wintergreen, Wormseed,  Wormwood, Yellow Water Lilly and Yerba Santa.

Herbs With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below:
Antispasmodic (Horsemint): Peppermint.
Antispasmodic - Gi Tract:  Henbane.
Antispasmodic - Mild:  Red Clover.
Antispasmodic - Powerful:  Belladonna.
Antispasmodic - Smooth Muscles:  Olive Leaves.

Essential Oils That Have the Action  ‘Antispasmodic’ Are: 
Fennel Oil(4), Peppermint Oil(4), Valerian Oil(4), Bergamot Oil(3), Chamomile Oil(3),  Cypress Oil(3), Lavender Oil(3), Marjoram Oil(3),  Basil Oil(2), Cinnamon Oil(2), Clary Sage Oil(2), Clove Oil(2),  Eucalyptus Oil(2),  Jasmine Oil(2), Lemongrass Oil(2), Melissa Oil(2),  Orange Blossom Oil(2),  Rose Oil(2),  Rosemary Oil(2),  Sandalwood Oil(2),  Savory Oil(2),  Tarragon Oil(2),  Thyme Oil(2), Aniseed Oil, Black Pepper Oil,  Cajeput Oil,  Camphor Oil,  Caraway Oil,  Cardamon Oil, Coriander Oil, Cumin Oil, Dill Oil,  Galbanum Oil, Garlic Oil,  Ginger Oil, Hyssop Oil,  Immortelle Oil, Juniper Oil, Lavender-Cotton Oil, Lemon Oil, Mace Oil,  Oregano Oil,  Sage Oil, Terebinth Oil and Yarrow Oil.

Essential Oils With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below: 
Antispasmodic (Leaves):  Olive Oil.

Chinese Herbal Remedies That Have the Action ‘Antispasmodic’ Are:
Cyperus(2),  Dong Quai(2), Ephedra(2),  Peony Root(2),  Aconite,  Apricot Kernel, Bamboo,  Bitter Apricot, Ceanothus, Cinnamon Bark,  Corydalis,  Fumitory, Marijuana Seeds, Mulberry Branch, Rheumatism Ginseng and Sweet Apricot.

Ayurvedic Herbs That Have the Action ‘Antispasmodic’ Are:
Saffron(3),  Asafoetida(2),  Guggul(2),  Jatamansi(2), Bhumyamalaki,  Brahmi Bati,  Dikamali, Gotu Kola, Moti Bhasma, Neem,  Shanka Vati,  Shatavari,  Shilajit, Tagar and Vamsha Rochana.


The Definition of Carminative is:

1. Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatus. 2. An agent that relieves gas and flatulence. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary 25th Ed. Williams and Wilkins.

Herbs That Have the Action ‘Carminative’ Are:
Chamomile(16), Fennel Seed(16), Ginger(14),  Catnip(13), Coriander(13), Peppermint(13),  Juniper Berries(12),  Anise Seed(10), Calamus(10), Cayenne Pepper(10),  Garlic(10), Cloves(9), Thyme(9),  Dill(8),  Star Anise(8),  Valerian Root(8), Caraway(7),  Celery Seeds(7),  Fenugreek Seeds(7), Nutmeg(7), Angelica(6), Black Pepper(6), Cubeb(6),  Hyssop(6),  Parsley(6), Sage(6), Yarrow(6), Lemon Balm(5), Pennyroyal(5), Basil(4),  Bay Leaves(4),  Cumin(4), Feverfew(4), Oregano(4),  Pleurisy Root(4), Jack In the Pulpit(3), Lovage(3), Myrrh(3),  Radish(3),  Sarsaparilla(3),  Wintergreen(3), Allspice(2), Benzoin(2),  Buchu(2), Burdock Root(2), Cardamon(2), Chrysanthemum Flowers(2),  Costmary(2),  Elecampane Root(2), Goldenrod(2),  Horsemint(2), Horseradish(2),  Horsetail(2), Lavender(2), Melilot(2),  Mugwort(2), Patchouli(2),  Pineapple Mayweed(2), Rue(2),  Savory(2),  Shiso(2), Spikenard(2),  Vitex(2), Water Pepper(2), Willow(2), Wormwood(2), Yerba Santa(2),  Alfalfa,  Bitter Orange,  Blessed Thistle,  Calendula,  Caltrop,  Chickweed, Dodder Seeds,  Duckweed, Echinacea, Elecampane Flowers,  Frankincense, Ginger - Dried,  Ginseng - American, Haricot Bean,  Haronga,  Hawthorne Berry,  Horehound,  Jambul, Khella,  Lemon Grass,  Motherwort, Mustard Seed - White,  Orange, Osha,  Peach Bark,  Periwinkle, Prickly Ash Bark,  Psyllium, Rose Flowers and Fruit,  Rose Hips,  Rose Petals,  Rosemary, Safflower, Sassafras, Self Heal, Tansy, Tiger Lily,  Wild Cherry Bark, Wood Betony, Wormseed,  Yerba Buena and Yerba Mansa.

Herbs With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below:
Carminative - Mild:  Buchu, Rose Flowers and Fruit.
Carminative - Mild(Dried Peel):  Orange.

Essential Oils That Have the Action  ‘Carminative’ Are: 
Cardamon Oil(7), Rosemary Oil(6), Orange Blossom Oil(5), Spearmint Oil(5),  Lemon Oil(4), Cajeput Oil(3),  Fennel Oil(3),  Lavender Oil(3),  Marjoram Oil(3),  Peppermint Oil(3),  Tagetes Oil(3), Thyme Oil(3),  Valerian Oil(3),  Cinnamon Oil(2),  Citronella Oil(2),  Clove Oil(2),  Coriander Oil(2), Ginger Oil(2), Lemon Verbena Oil(2),  Lemongrass Oil(2),  Lime Oil(2),  Musk Mallow Oil(2), Myrtle Oil(2), Nutmeg Oil(2), Tarragon Oil(2), Tonka Bean Oil(2), Aniseed Oil, Basil Oil, Bay Oil, Benzoin Oil, Bergamot Oil,  Black Pepper Oil, Camphor Oil, Caraway Oil, Chamomile Oil, Clary Sage Oil,  Cumin Oil,  Dill Oil, Frankincense Oil,  Galbanum Oil, Garlic Oil,  Hyssop Oil, Juniper Oil, Melissa Oil, Myrrh Oil, Orange Oil,  Oregano Oil,  Palma Rosa Oil, Pimento Oil, Rose Oil,  Sandalwood Oil, Savory Oil, Vanilla Oil, Yarrow Oil and Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Essential Oils With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below: 
Carminative (Herb):  Tarragon Oil.

Chinese Herbal Remedies That Have the Action ‘Carminative’ Are:
Cinnamon Bark(10), Cyperus(3),  Bupleurum Root(2),  Mandarin Orange(2), Atractylodes,  Chinese Chive,  Ginseng,  Green Citrus, Lemon Peel,  Magnolia Bark,  Marijuana Seeds,  Persimmon Calyx,  Pimpinella, Platycodon,  Polypody Fern Root, Prickly Ash, Rheumatism Ginseng,  Rice Sprouts and Tienchi Ginseng.

Ayurvedic Herbs That Have the Action ‘Carminative’ Are:
Turmeric(8), Pippli Long Pepper(7), Galangal(5), Saffron(5),  Sandalwood(4),  Chitrak(3), Asafoetida(2), Guggul(2), Jatamansi(2),  Vidanga(2),  Arogyvardhini,  Betel Leaves, Betelnut,  Chitrakadi Bati,  Cilantro, Common Night Shade,  Kantakari,  Lashunadi Bati, Neem,  Shankha Bhasma, Shatavari, Tagar, Tamarind,  Trikatu Plus and Wild Ginger.

Ayurvedic Herbs With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below:
Carminative (Seed):  Kutaja.
Carminative - Children:  Cassia Fistula.


The Definition of Sedative is:

1. Calming; quieting. An herb that quiets nervous excitement; designated according to the organ or system upon which specific action is exerted; e.g., cardiac, cerebral, nervous, respiratory, spinal. Stedman’s Medical Dictionary 25th Ed. Williams and Wilkins.

Herbs That Have the Action ‘Sedative’ Are: 
Hops(15),  Valerian Root(10),  Black Cohosh(7),  Chamomile(7), Datura(7), Passion Flower(7), Red Clover(7), Rauwolfia(6),  Kava Kava(5), Wild Lettuce(5), Witch Hazel(5),  Bugleweed(4), Catnip(4), Cocklebur(4),  Gelsemium(4), Ginkgo(4), Henbane(4),  Lemon Balm(4), Peach Seed(4), Skullcap(4), Jamaican Dogwood(3), Saw Palmetto(3), Vinca Rosea(3),  Wild Cherry Bark(3),  Bittersweet(2), Black Haw(2),  Bloodroot(2), Bogbean(2),  California Poppy(2),  Celandine - Greater(2), Celery Seeds(2), Coriander(2),  Dill(2),  Hedge Nettles(2),  Hellebore American(2),  Lobelia(2), Motherwort(2), Mugwort(2),  Mullein(2), Wood Betony(2),  Adonis, Angelica,  Belladonna,  Benzoin,  Boldo,  Calamus,  Chrysanthemum Flowers,  Cinnabaris, Colchicum, Collinsonia, Comfrey Root,  Couchgrass, Crampbark, Cubeb, Cumin, Deadnettle,  Eryngium, Foxglove,  Frankincense, Fu Ling, Garlic,  Ginseng - American, Grindelia, Hawthorne Berry, Hayseed, Hibiscus,  Hound’s Tongue, Lady’s Slipper Root, Licorice,  Meadowsweet,  Mistletoe,  Nutmeg, Olive Leaves,  Oregano,  Peach Bark, Periwinkle,  Pink Root,  Plantain, Primula, Rue, Safflower, Shephard’s Purse,  Shiso,  Squaw Vine, St. John’s Wort, Strophanthus,  Sundew, Sweet Violet,  Thuja Seeds,  Thyme,  Tiger Lily, Vitex, Water Pepper,  Wheat Chaff,  Willow and Yellow Dock.

Herbs With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below:
Sedative (Use the Flowers):  Mullein.
Sedative - Central Nerv. Sys.: Hellebore American.
Sedative - Mild: Celandine - Greater, Bitter Orange, Pennyroyal, Rue, Licorice, Echinacea G.S.R. (Np), Ivy, Oat Grain, Lavender.
Sedative - Nerves: Butterbur.
Sedative - Respiratory:  Wild Cherry Bark.
Sedative - Tranquilizing:  Longan Berries.

Essential Oils That Have the Action  ‘Sedative’ Are:
Orange Blossom Oil(6), Valerian Oil(4), Evening Primrose Oil(3), Ylang-Ylang Oil(3),  Benzoin Oil(2), Clary Sage Oil(2), Jasmine Oil(2),  Lemon Verbena Oil(2), Marjoram Oil(2), Melissa Oil(2),  Myrrh Oil(2), Rose Oil(2), Sandalwood Oil(2), Thyme Oil(2),  Bergamot Oil,  Cajeput Oil,  Camphor Oil,  Cedarwood Oil,  Chamomile Oil,  Cypress Oil,  Eucalyptus Oil, Frankincense Oil,  Geranium Oil, Hops Oil,  Hyssop Oil, Juniper Oil, Lavender Oil,  Lemon Oil,  Myrtle Oil, Orange Oil,  Oregano Oil,  Parsley Oil,  Patchouli Oil and Spearmint Oil.

Essential Oils With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below: 
Sedative - Adrenal:  Angelica Root Oil.
Sedative - Urinary:  Thuja Oil.

Chinese Herbal Remedies That Have the Action ‘Sedative’ Are: 
Asparagus Root(3), Ceanothus(3),  Dong Quai(3), Platycodon(3), Aconite(2),  Eucommia Ulmoides(2), Ho Shou Wou(2),  Ligusticum Wallichii(2),  Lotus Stamens(2), Astragalus,  Bupleurum Root, Cinnamon Bark, Ephedra, Fumitory,  Locquat Leaves, Mandarin Orange, Marijuana Seeds, Mulberry Fruit,  Night-Blooming Cereus,  Oriental Arborvitae Seed, Schizandra Chinensis and Tienchi Ginseng.

Chinese Herbal Remedies With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below:
Sedative (Use Root For Coughs):  Bamboo.
Sedative - Coughs: Apricot Kernel.
Sedative - Mild: Jujube Dates.

Ayurvedic Herbs That Have the Action ‘Sedative’ Are: 
Jatamansi(4),  Saffron(4), Ashwaganda(3), Sandalwood(2), Tagar(2),  Asafoetida, Bhringaraj,  Brahmi Bati,  Common Night Shade, Gotu Kola, Kaishor Guggulu, Moti Bhasma, Pippli Long Pepper,  Shankapushpi and Shankha Pushpi.

Ayurvedic Herbs With Specific Action Information Are Listed Below:
Sedative - Central Nerv. Sys.: Jatamansi.
Sedative - Pulmonary:  Bala.
Sedative - Uterine:  Ashok(2).