Medicinal Herbs

The Medicinal Herb Garden occupies a small plot adjoining the Pest House Medical Museum. These herbs are typical of those in common use during the 19th century “to treat a variety of ailments.”

Common Name Botanical Name Parts Used Use or Treatment
Bee Balm Monarda didyma Leaves, tops Nervine, flavoring, colic, gas, nausea
Catnip Nepeta Mussinii The whole herb Flavoring, sleep-inducing, soothing to the stomach
Chamomile Matricaria Chamomilla Flowers Tonic, poultice, hair rinse; antispasmodic for colic, gas
Comfrey Symphytum officinale Roots, leaves Internally soothing; externally on bruises, sprains, breaks
Elecampane Inula Helenium Roots Diseases of the chest, stomach cramps, diuretic
Feverfew Chrysanthemum Parthenium Dried leaves Tea from leaves for headaches, blood thinner
Foxglove* Digitalis
Dried leaves, second year’s growth Heart conditions
Goldenrod Solidago Leaves Stimulant, flavoring
Heal-All Prunella vulgaris The whole herb Bitter tonic, diuretic, gargle
Hollyhock Althaea Flowers Poultice, eyebath, cough, hoarseness
Ironweed Vernonia noveboracensis Root Bitter tonic
Lambs ears Stachys byzantina Leaves Bandages
Mullein Verbascum Thapsus Leaves, flowers Diuretic, poultice, antispasmodic, cough, cold
Narrow-leaved Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum flexuosum Leaves, flowers Tonic, flavoring, diaphoretic (increases perspiration)
Rue Ruta graveolens The whole herb Bitter stimulant, flavoring, gas pains, colic
Sage Salvia officinalis Leaves Tonic tea, aid to digestion
St. John’s Wort Hypericum Tops, flowers Astringent, externally in ointment, poultice, washes
Sedum Sedum acre Leaves Astringent, poultice, refrigerant
Strawberry Fragaria virginia The whole herb Astringent, tonic for children
Thyme Thymus vulgaris The whole herb Cough, bronchitis, gas, colic
Yarrow Achillea Millefolium Leaves, flowers Sudorific tonic, hair rinse

* Too Dangerous for Home Use

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