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The following are the herbs in the tea:

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Common burdock is a member of the Aster or Sunflower family, Thistle tribe. It is an introduced biennial which reproduces by seeds. In the first year of growth the plant forms a rosette. The second year the plant is erect. The stem is stout, grooved, rough, has multiple branches, and grows to 2-6 feet tall. The leaves are alternate, dark green, smooth above, whitish green, and woolly-hairy beneath. The flowers are purple or white in numerous heads. The head is enclosed in a prickly bur, an involucre, composed of numerous smooth or woolly bracts tipped with hooked spines.

Burdock grows along roadsides, ditch banks, and neglected areas. This plant is a very serious threat to sheep as the burs can significantly damage the quality of the wool. Burdock is very common in central and north central Colorado.

Burdock root is used by the Chinese to eliminate excess nervous energy, sweat out toxins and cool infections (reduce yang).

Burdock is commonly consumed as a wild vegetable food. This plant is commonly used as a food item in Japan.

Arctium fruit is bitter. It shrinks inflamed tissues Is antiseptic to treat the following:

Is laxative
Digestive/Liver stimulant (fat-soluble toxins)

Burdock root stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and bile and is useful in treating anorexia nervosa, digestion and appetite problems. In western herbalism, it is a primary herb in "blood purifier" formulas as well as arthritis and respiratory combinations. Its effect gradually builds up the system, especially improving the health of the liver and skin. Burdock is effective in treating dry and scaly skin disorders such as psoriasis, dandruff and eczema, particulary when they are caused by a general systemic imbalance.

Kidney/Anti-inflammatory (water-soluble toxins)

Use when there is a lot of white in the iris of the eye showing a general over-acid condition. This leads to allergy reactions, skin eruptions as well as joint and muscle pain. Burdock is also used to treat cystitis.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties are helpful for endometriosis inflammation and water retention, as examples.

Improved kidney function helps rid calcification deposits. Burdock may gradually break up calcium deposits.


Hartwell mentions the use of burdock against tumors in several countries: China (record from AD 502) and Japan; Italy in the 12th century against cancers of the sinuous regions; and in Spain and Chile against "white" tumors and glandular tumors. A Ukrainian reference from 1887 mentions its application against corns. The related species Arctium minus (Hill) Bernh., or lesser burdock, was used against tumors by the Potawatomi Indians in the Midwest, in Italy and elsewhere against sinus tumors, breast and uterine cancers. It was used for "new growths" and ulcerations in Hungary and for skin diseases in Japan and skin eruptions in the US.

A 1978 medical journal report of a toxic reaction titled Burdock Root Tea Poisoning was based on misidentification of the plant.

Burdock Recipes for Cancer

Burdock is the dreaded plant, sweater wearers and pet owners avoid and dread coming into contact with. Particularily if you own a long haired dog. The burdock seeds are spinny little intruders that get so tangle in pet fur that you often have to cut the hair to get the seed "BURRS" out.

Burdock is a biennial member of the compositae family. In the first year, it puts up a basal cluster of wolly, heart shaped leaves that grow to about 20 inches across. In the second year a flower stalk rockets up to nine feet high and bears purple, pink or sometimes white flowers. The flowering stem also carries small leaves. The large taproot from the burdock plant can grow down as much as 3 feet into the ground.

Very few people realize that burdock is a wonderful herb full of nutritious value.

For centuries Native American Indians have used burdock as a food source. They even used burdock for a candy source if you can believe that. Let me tell you some great recipes for burdock, one of the main ingrediants in ESSIAC.

Remember that burdock is a food and only a food but its benefits are amazing.

Candied Burdock: Boil the stems of the burdock plant in maple syrup as the Natives did and you will get a candy which the natives dried and stored away for the hard winters. Remember to dry the burdock after boiling the fresh young burdock stocks in maple syrup. MMMM Good.

Salads: The young first-year leaves make a welcome addition to spring salads, though they aquire a certain bitterness as they mature. Even so, they make a nice potherb if you boil them in two changes of water and serve them with a sprinkle of salt and a pat of butter. Cooking also gets rid of the wooliness of older leaves and makes them a little easier to swallow.

Soups Stews and Salads: You can use the stalks of older leaves in salads or as cooked vegatables if you peel of the the bitter rind. They even cook up nicely in a wok. They add a little extra to soups and salads.

The burdocks large roots may tak some digging but they are worth it, especially if you harvest in the fall. Peel them and then boil them in two changes of water. If you have any sodium bicarbonate handy, add some to the cooking water to help break down the fibers and subdue the wild flavour. You can also slice the roots thin and dry them for later use.

Bardane Loaf: 4 cups peeled burdock flower stalks, cut into one inch pieces.
Spread the wild leeks in the bottom of a greased, 2 litre (8cup) casserole dish. Lay the peeled stalks on top of the leeks and dot with margarine. Dissolve the boullion cubes in water and pour into the dish. Bake at 400 F for half and hour. Remove from oven. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with bacon and cheese. Let sit covered for 5 minutes before serving.

Roots 'N' Tails:
Simmer roots in water for about 15 minutes then drain. Heat oil in frying pan, add roots and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingrediants and cook until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. *

Turkey Rhubarb

Rhubarb History

Rhubarb is a very old plant. Its medicinal uses and horticulture have been recorded in history since ancient China.

2.1 - Early History

Earliest records date back to 2700 BC in China where Rhubarb was cultivated for medicinal purposes (its purgative qualities). According to Lindley's Treasury of Botany, the technical name of the genus (Rheum)is said to be derived from Rha, the ancient name of the Volga, on whose banks the plants grow. There were those who called it Rha Ponticum, and others Rheum or Rha-barbarum. Others derive the name from the Greek rheo ('to flow'), in allusion to the purgative properties of the root. One of the most famous pharmacologists of ancient times the Greek Discorides, spoke of a root known as "rha" or "rheon", which came from the Bosphorus (the winding strait that separates Europe and Asia).

The following comes from Björn Kjellgren, Dept. of Chinese studies, University of Stockholm, Sweden: "You might be interested in the following from the (Chinese) 25 Dynastic Histories, ershiwu shi (the collected official histories of the emperial dynasties):

Rhubarb is given to the Wu emperor of the Liang dynasty (reign:

2.2 - Roots in Europe

Marco Polo, who knew all about the Chinese rhubarb rhizome, talked about it at length in the accounts of his travels in China. So much interest on the past of Marco Polo is accounted for by the fact that in those days Venice was an extremely important trading center, and that as a result of eastern Arabic influence, Chinese rhubarb was already widely used in European pharmacy, especially in the school of Salerno. The roots of the Chinese type are still used in medicine. A planting of rhubarb is recorded in Italy in 1608 and 20-30 years later in Europe. In 1778 rhubarb is recorded as a food plant in Europe. The earliest known usage of rhubarb as a food appeared as a filling for tarts & pies. Some suspect that this was a hybrid of the Chinese variety of rhubarb.

About 1777, Hayward, an apothecary, of Banbury, in Oxfordshire, commenced the cultivation of rhubarb with plants of R. Rhaponticum, raised from seeds sent from Russia in 1762, and produced a drug of excellent quality, which used to be sold as the genuine Rhubarb, by men dressed up as Turks. When Hayward died, he left his rhubarb plantations to the ancestor of the present cultivators of the rhubarb fields at Banbury, where R. officinale is also now cultivated, from specimens first introduced into this country in 1873. Both R. Rhaponticum and R. officinale are at the present time grown, not only in Oxfordshire but also in Bedfordshire. Although specimens of R. palmatum were raised from seed as early as 1764, in the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, it is not grown now in this country for medicinal purposes, experiments having shown that it is the least easily cultivated of the rhubarbs, the main root in this climate being liable to rot. R. officinale and R. Emodi have to some extent been grown also as an ornamental plant, being also quite hardy and readily propagated.

2.3 - Appearance in America

Early records of rhubarb in America identify an unnamed Maine gardener as having obtained seed or root stock from Europe in the period between 1790-1800. He introduced it to growers in Massachusetts where its popularity spread and by 1822 it was sold in produce markets. [32]

Turkey Rhubarb Website:

Botanical: Rheum palmatum, Rheum Rhaponticum

Description Part Used Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages

---Synonyms---East Indian Rhubarb. China Rhubarb.
---Part Used---Root.
---Description---The leaves of the Turkey Rhubarb are palmate and somewhat rough. The root is thick, of an oval shape, sending off long, tapering branches; externally it is brown, internally a deep yellow colour.

The stem is erect, round, hollow, jointed, branched towards the top, from 6 to 10 feet high. This species is distinguished from our familiar garden Rhubarb by its much larger size, the shape of its leaves, with their oblong,sharpish segments, and the graceful looseness of its little panicles of greenish-white flowers. The first buds which appear in spring are yellow, not red.

It was not until the year 1732 that botanists knew any species of Rheum from which the true Rhubarb seemed likely to be obtained. Then Boerhaave, the celebrated Dutch physician, procured from a Tartarian Rhubarb merchant the seeds of the plant which produced the roots he annually sold, and which were admitted at St. Petersburg to be the real Rhubarb. These seeds on being sown produced two distinct species: Rheum Rhaponticum, our Garden Rhubarb, and Rheum and R. palmatum, Turkey Rhubarb.

The Turkey Rhubarb grows remarkably quickly - a six-year-old plant was found to grow between April, when the stalk first emerged from the ground, to the middle of July, when it was at its greatest height, to 11 feet 4 inches. In one day it was observed to grow 3 inches and over 4 inches in one night. Many of its leaves were 5 feet long. The root, taken up in October, weighed 36 lb. when cleaned, washed and deprived of its small fibres.

'J. D. B. (31/10). - The rhubarb rhizome official in the British Pharmacopoeia, 1914, must be collected in China and Thibet. English-grown rhubarb is inferior to the official rhubarb in medicinal qualities.'

We still depend upon Northern China and Thibet for Rhubarb; that grown in the English climate, near Banbury, does not command a high price in the market, although its medicinal properties are the same as those of the Chinese roots. If English growers would endeavour to produce a more marketable root by experimenting with different soils and methods of cultivation, the results might meet with success. It is possible that English roots are harvested when too young, and that not so much attention is paid to trimming the roots for market as is done by the Chinese. It is never collected from plants that are less than six years old.

It is said that the odour of the best samples is so delicate that the assistants in the wholesale drug-houses are not permitted to touch it without gloves.

---Part Used---The root, scraped or rasped, halved longitudinally when very large, and then cut into transverse pieces and strung on cords to dry in the sun, the drying afterwards being completed by stove heat. It is dug in October.

Chinese or Turkey Rhubarb occurs in commerce in brownish-yellow pieces of various size, usually perforated, the holes often containing a portion of the cord used to hang the sections of the root on during drying. The outer surface is generally powdery (the bark having been removed) and shows a network of white lines.

The taste is astringent and nauseous, and there is a characteristic odour.

The preparations used in medicine are: the powdered root, a fluid extract, a tincture, syrup, infusion and solution. It is also employed as a principal ingredient in compound powder (Gregory's Powder) and in compound pills.

---Constituents---The chemical constituents of Rhubarb root are not yet completely known. Recent investigations indicate that the most important constituents are a number of substances which may be divided into two groups, viz. tannoid constituents and purgative constituents, several of which have been isolated in a free state: the former are astringent and the latter laxative.

Three crystalline tannoids have been extracted. The purgative constituents apparently exist in the form of an unstable crystalline substance: Rheopurgarin. This splits up into four glucosides: two of these yield Chrysophanic acid (so named from its forming yellow crystals) and Rheochrysidin respectively. The other two glucosides have not yet been isolated, but they appear to yield Emodin and Rhein.

There are also several resinous matters, one of which, Phaoretin, is purgative, and mineral compounds are also present, especially Oxalate of Calcium. The astringency of Rhubarb is due to a peculiar tannic acid (Rheo-tannic), which is soluble in water and alcohol.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Astringent, tonic, stomachic, aperient. In large doses, Rhubarb powder acts as a simple and safe purgative, being regarded as one of the most valuable remedies we possess, effecting a brisk, healthy purge, without clogging the bowels and producing constipation, too often consequent upon the use of the more active purgatives.

It is especially useful in cases of diarrhoea, caused by an irritating body in the intestines: the cause of irritation is removed and the after-astringent action checks the diarrhoea.

The following note from The Chemist and Druggist of March 31, 1923, supports this:

'Rhubarb in Bacillary Dysentery. - An investigation was undertaken to determine the way in which rhubarb acts in this disease and which constituent was responsible for its action, one writer having stated in regard to the treatment of bacillary dysentery that no remedy in medicine has such a magical effect. (Lancet, I, 1923, 382.) A solution containing all the purgative constituents of rhubarb soluble in water (1 gr. of B.P. rhubarb extract) was allowed to act on B. dysenterial Shiga and Flexner of the bacillus No. 1 of Morgan without affecting growth in the broth tubes. Fresh undiluted ox bile has not distinct action on the bacilli, thus indicating that the therapeutic effect of rhubarb is not due to its cholagogue action. Neither does the serum of a rabbit treated with rhubarb have any germicidal action. The nature of the therapeutic effect of rhubarb in bacillary dysentery therefore still remains obscure.'

And again, September 3, 1921, in the Lancet, by Dr. R. W. Burkitt: 'In the former journal, Dr. R. W. Burkitt, of Nairobi, British East Africa, states that acute bacillary dysentery has been treated in that colony almost exclusively with powdered rhubarb for the past three years. The dose given has been 30 grains every two or three hours until the rhubarb appears in the stools. After a few doses the stools become less frequent, haemorrhage ceases, and straining and the other symptoms of acute general poisoning, which characterize the disease, rapidly disappear. In children 5 grains is given every two hours for three doses only, as, if the administration is continued longer, the drug will cure the dysentery, but produce an obstinate simple diarrhoea. In both adults and children the thirst is combated by small, frequent doses of bicarbonate of soda and citrate of potash. Dr. Burkitt concludes: "I know of no remedy in medicine which has such a magical effect. No one who has ever used rhubarb would dream of using anything else. I hope others will try it in this dreadful tropical scourge." '

Rhubarb in small doses exhibits stomachic and tonic properties, and is employed in atonic dyspepsia, assisting digestion and creating a healthy action of the digestive organs, when in a condition of torpor and debility.

The tincture is chiefly used, but the powder is equally effective and reliable.

Rhubarb when chewed increases the flow of saliva. *

Sheep Sorrel


Sheep sorrel is found along highways, as well as in fields with disturbed, sandy, poor, acidic soils. The leaves and flowers can be eaten fresh in salads or added to soups and stews. Use the seed ground into meal. Because some wild plants are poisonous, consult with an experienced botanist before harvesting and eating.

Sheep Sorrel

A common summertime sight in the North American wild, Sorrel came to the New World as a salad green. Mashed Sorrel leaves mixed with vinegar and sugar were popular as a greensauce with cold meat. The sharp taste, due to its oxalic acid and vitamin C content, led this herb to be used in folk medicine. Sorrel acts as a diuretic, antiscorbutic, and refrigerant It is good for treating urinary problems and it helps purify the blood.

Sheep Sorrel, as part of the Sorrel family, was used a folk remedy for cancer. The herb relieves internal ulcers and, when applied externally, helps clear skin problems such as herpes, eczema and ringworm. Sheep Sorrel also contains silicon which aids the nervous system.

Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is native specific portions of North America. It grows in eastern Canada, and eastern and central United States.

Slippery Elm has been employed in traditional herbal medicine for over 100 years. The dried inner portion of the slippery elm bark has been used both by Native Americans and early settlers. Slippery Elm is a nutritious food that was made into a type of pudding for those who had weak stomachs. In times of famine early American settlers used slippery elm as a survival food; it is said George Washington and his troops survived for several days on slippery elm gruel during the bitter winter at Valley Forge.

Slippery Elm is soothing to irritated tissues and has been used in poultices for its ability to encourage healing in wounds.

Slippery Elm nourishes the adrenal glands, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory system. It helps the body expel excess mucus. Other conditions slippery elm is used for include: Abscess, Broken Bones, Burns and Scalds, Cholera, Colitis, Constipation -Children, Debility, Diaper rash, Diarrhea -In children, Diverticulitis, Dysentery, Hemorrhoids, Hiatal Hernia, Indigestion, Labor pain, Leprosy, Sore Throat, and Sores

Slippery Elm works well in combination with the herbs goldenseal and echinacea for colds and flu. Slippery Elm also known as: Ulmus rubra, Red Elm, Moose Elm, Indian Elm.

Water Cress

Cress is one of those leafy greens that makes you sound snooty and rich when you order a soup, salad, or sandwich. However, it is easy and quick to grown (12 to 20 days from seed), and provides vitamins and minerals. How it became associated with afternoon teas and bridge luncheons is not fully known.

Cress, as it is sometimes called, is a hardy salad/sandwich green that prefers growing in cool seasons - early spring and late fall. Sow ten to fifteen (10 to 15) seeds per foot of row every two (2) weeks starting as soon as the ground can be worked. Plantings sown after May 31 usually bolt or produce a flower head quickly. However, additional plantings can resume after Labor Day and continue until Thanksgiving if the ground is not frozen. Later plantings may not grow as fast and could be killed by severe temperatures.

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Parts used and where grown: This plant grows in Europe and North America. The flowering tops are used in botanical medicine. Another plant, white clover, grows in similar areas. Both have interesting white arrow-shaped patterns on their leaves.

In what conditions might red clover be supportive?

Historical or traditional use: Traditional Chinese medicine and western folk medicine used this plant for similar purposes. It was well regarded as a diuretic, to stop coughing, and as an alterative. Alterative plants were considered beneficial for all manner of chronic conditions, particularly those afflicting the skin.

Active constituents: Red clover contains isoflavone compounds, such as genistein, which have weak estrogen properties.2 Various laboratory studies show that these isoflavones may help prevent cancer.3 Although the isoflavones in red clover may help prevent certain forms of cancer (e.g., breast and prostate), more clinical studies must be completed before red clover is recommended for cancer patients. The mechanism of action and responsible constituents for its purported benefit in skin conditions is unknown.



Biological name (genus and species): Laminaria, Fucus, Sargassum
Parts used for medicinal purposes: Leaves
Chemicals this herb contains:

What does it do? Kelp is a sea vegetable that is a concentrated source of minerals, including iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and iron. Kelp-as a source of iodine assists in making thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining normal metabolism in all cells of the body. Where is it found? Kelp can be one of several brown-colored seaweed species called Laminaria. In what conditions might kelp be supportive? o iodine supplementation Who is likely to be deficient? People who avoid sea vegetables-as well as dairy, seafood, processed food, and the salt shaker, can become deficient in iodine. Although rare in Western societies, iodine deficiency can cause low thyroid function, goiter, and cretinism. How much should I take? Since the introduction of iodized salt, additional sources of iodine, such as kelp, are unnecessary. However, kelp can be consumed as a source of other minerals. Are there any side effects or interactions? Extremely high intakes of kelp could provide too much iodine and interfere with normal thyroid function.


Provides bulk for bowel movements.
Miscellaneous information: Iodine can interfere with normal thyroid function.


Treats chronic constipation without catharsis.
Softens stools.
Treats ulcers.
Controls obesity.

Don't take if you:
Consult your doctor if you:

Take this herb for any medical problem that doesn't improve in 2 weeks. There may be safer, more-effective treatments. Take any medicinal drugs or herbs including aspirin, laxatives, cold and cough remedies, antacids, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, supplements, other prescription or non-prescription drugs.


Problems in pregnant women taking small or usual amounts have not been proved. But the chance of problems does exist. Don't use unless prescribed by your doctor.


Problems in breast-fed infants of lactating mothers taking small or usual amounts have not been proved. But the chance of problems does exist. Don't use unless prescribed by your doctor.

Infants and children:

Treating infants and children under 2 with any herbal preparation is hazardous.


None expected if you are under 45, not pregnant, basically healthy, take it for only a short time and do not exceed manufacturer's recommended dosage.


Keep cool and dry, but don't freeze. Store safely away from children.

Safe dosage:

At present no "safe" dosage has been established.


Comparative-toxicity rating not available from standard references.


None expected

From the Complete Guide to Vitamins, Minerals & Supplements by H. Winter Griffith, M.D. © 1988 by Fisher Books; electronic rights by Medical Data Exchange