This article is meant to be a research list of plants and their uses (mostly medical). Title stolen from the fictional subject in the Harry Potter books.



a member of the mustard family. It was once given to patients suffering from dysentery and called by ancient herbalists Sophia Chirurgorum, "The Wisdom of Surgeons," on account of its healing properties.


can be used in balms, salves, perfumes, cosmetics, and topical applications.Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.It was used in hospitals during World War I to disinfect floors and walls. These extracts are also used as fragrances for bath products.

According to folk wisdom, lavender has many uses. Infusions of lavender are believed to soothe insect bites, burns, and headaches. Bunches of lavender repel insects.In pillows, lavender seeds and flowers aid sleep and relaxation.An infusion of flowerheads added to a cup of boiling water soothes and relaxes at bedtime. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) heals acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel; it also treats skin burns and inflammatory conditions.

A recent clinical study investigated anxiolytic effects and influence on sleep quality. Lavender oil with a high percentage of linalool and linalyl acetate,. in the form of capsules, was generally well tolerated. It showed meaningful efficacy in alleviating anxiety and related sleep disturbances.

These remedies should be used with caution since lavender oil can also be a powerful allergen.

Avoid ingesting lavender during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Flower spikes are used for dried flower arrangements. The fragrant, pale purple flowers and flower buds are used in potpourris. Lavender is also used extensively as herbal filler inside sachets used to freshen linens. Dried and sealed in pouches, lavender flowers are placed among stored items of clothing to give a fresh fragrance and to deter moths. Dried lavender flowers have become recently popular for wedding confetti. Lavender is also popular in scented waters and sachets.


The plant is said to improve the memory and is used as a symbol of remembrance. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and Asia, but is reasonably hardy in cool climates. Rosemary can withstand droughts, surviving a severe lack of water for lengthy periods.

Rosemary has a very old reputation for improving memory and has been used as a symbol for remembrance during weddings, war commemorations and funerals in Europe and Australia. A modern study lends some credence to this reputation. When the smell of rosemary was pumped into cubicles where people were working, they showed improved memory, though with slower recall. A study found that rosemary "produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors, but also produced an impairment of speed of memory compared to controls."

It was believed in folklore that placing a sprig of rosemary under a pillow before sleep would repel nightmares, and if placed outside the home it would repel witches.

Rosemary in culinary or therapeutic doses is generally safe, but can cause allergic skin reactions when used in topical preparations. According to recent European research, rosemary interferes with the absorption of iron and should not be consumed by those with iron deficiency anemia. Avoid consuming large quantities of rosemary especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.

St. John's wort

Mainly used to treat depression, but there are several other uses. It has antibacterial properties. Traditional medicine has also employed lipophilic extracts from St. John's wort as a topical remedy for wounds, abrasions, burns, and muscle pain. The positive effects that have been observed are generally attributed to hyperforin due to its possible antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. For this reason hyperforin may be useful in the treatment of infected wounds and inflammatory skin diseases.

It may be useful for treatment of alcoholism.

The most common adverse effects reported are gastrointestinal symptoms, dizziness, confusion, tiredness and sedation.St John's wort may rarely cause photosensitivity. This can lead to visual sensitivity to light and to sunburns in situations that would not normally cause them.Related to this, recent studies concluded that the extract reacts with light, both visible and ultraviolet, to produce free radicals, molecules that can damage the cells of the body. These can react with vital proteins in the eye that, if damaged, precipitate out, causing cataracts. This finding is contradicted by the results of another recent study, which found that St. John's wort inhibits free radical production in both cell-free and human vascular tissue, revealing antioxidant properties of the compound.

Lemon balm

Ripped straight from the wikipedia article

High doses of purified lemon balm extracts were found to be effective in the amelioration of laboratory-induced stress in human subjects, producing "significantly increased self-ratings of calmness and reduced self-ratings of alertness." The authors further report a "significant increase in the speed of mathematical processing, with no reduction in accuracy" following the administration of a 300-mg dose of extract.[1]

Lemon balm is believed to inhibit the absorption of the thyroid medication thyroxine.[2]

Recent research found a daily dose of the tea reduced oxidative stress status in radiology staff who were exposed to persistent low-dose radiation during work. After only 30 days of taking the tea daily, consuming lemon balm tea resulted in a significant improvement in plasma levels of catalase, superoxide dismutase, and glutathione peroxidase, and a marked reduction in plasma DNA damage, myeloperoxidase, and lipid peroxidation.[3]

The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as a mosquito repellent.[4]

Lemon balm is also used medicinally as an herbal tea, or in extract form. It is used as an anxiolytic, mild sedative, or calming agent.Template:Medcn At least one study has found it to be effective at reducing stress, although the study's authors call for further research.[5] Lemon balm extract was identified as a potent in vitro inhibitor of GABA transaminase, which explains anxiolytic effects. The major compound responsible for GABA transaminase inhibition activity in lemon balm was then found to be rosmarinic acid.[6]

Lemon balm and preparations thereof also have been shown to improve mood and mental performance. These effects are believed to involve muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.[7] Positive results have been achieved in a small clinical trial involving Alzheimer patients with mild to moderate symptoms.[8] Essential oils obtained from Melissa officinalis leaf showed high acetylcholinesterase and butyrylcholinesterase co-inhibitory activities.[9]

Its antibacterial properties have also been demonstrated scientifically, although they are markedly weaker than those from a number of other plants studied.[10] The extract of lemon balm was also found to have exceptionally high antioxidant activity.[11]

Lemon balm is mentioned in the scientific journal Endocrinology, where it is explained that Melissa officinalis exhibits antithyrotropic activity, inhibiting TSH from attaching to TSH receptors, hence making it of possible use in the treatment of Graves' disease or hyperthyroidism.[12]


  • Mint
  • Angelica archangelica
  • Traditional medicine
  • List of plants used in medicine
  • Dill
  • Parsley
  • Salvia
  • Thyme


  • I'm considering changing the name of this article to something else. Ingredient list?

See also

External links


  1. Template:Citation/core
  2. University of Maryland Medical Centre, "Lemon Balm"
  3. Template:Citation/core
  4. Template:Citation/core
  5. Template:Citation/core
  6. Template:Citation/core
  7. Template:Citation/core
  8. Template:Citation/core
  9. Chaiyana W., Okonogi S."Inhibition of cholinesterase by essential oil from food plant". Phytomedicine. 19 (8-9) (pp 836-839), 2012.
  10. Template:Citation/core
  11. Template:Citation/core
  12. Template:Citation/core
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.