11 Herbs every household should have

TEA: black, green, and white

Tea is far healthier than coffee and is much more than a replacement stimulant. It can assist in relief of various conditions relating to sinus/upper respiratory (colds, allergies, etc), as well as the liver/gallbladder. Top notch antioxidants from White Tea foremost, Green Tea secondly and Black Tea being lowest in antioxidant content.

Tea is far more than caffeine. Those who dismiss it as a stimulant are ignoring the artisan and health traditions of Asia where Tea comes from.

Turmeric root

This one is really worth the hype. It is helpful for digestion, circulation, and so many conditions and constitutional types that you could almost go to it first in many conditions. It is a bit stimulating (maybe 3 on a scale of 10) and drying, but for those with sluggish, damp constitutions (or in those climate conditions) you can’t go wrong. It can be the first go-to herb for any type of bruising in which internal injuries could have resulted. Excellent for all conditions in which stiffness is an effect. Can relieve menstrual cramps and blood flow problems.


Top mineral nutrition with virtually all the trace minerals since the roots of the plant dig so deep. Also lots of enzymes (if not heated) and amino acids. Works pretty well as a diuretic too, and as a moderately strong antirheumatic.


More mineral nutrition and the go-to herb for low thyroid, and for those with a tendency for sluggish thyroid. Iodine.

Maca root

Inexpensive root from the Andes region of South America that is superior to Ginseng as an energy tonic because of greater compatibility with other herbs (like Tea). Smoother acting than Ginseng and better for women. A homrone/glandular/mood booster. Lots of calcium and bone building minerals. Used by Andean natives as a survival food.

Yerba Mate

Ilex paraguariensis (Holly) species, from Amazon region that is the source of many nutrients, vitamins, superior antioxidants, and mateine – a slower, longer-lasting xanthine alkaloid than caffeine. Stimulant effect tends to ride a bit lower in the body (doesn’t go quite as hard to the head as tea or coffee — less rising energy effect). Better at promoting circulation with less drastic duiretic effect. Can be used with energy tonics (not Ginseng) and detox combinations alike.

Raw or Whole Leaf Aloe

Every household should have an Aloe if possible, or several. Only the whole leaf extract products offer the fullest liver benefits (antioxidants) and detoxification effect. Raw leaves are generally not recommended internally since they have a strong purgative tendency, but this could be useful in small quantities for those doing liver/bowel cleansing for short periods. Nothing is better for the skin and for beginning healing of burns, internal or external, of any kind, chemical or radiation.


The root used in India much like Ginseng, but safer for all conditions and all ages. A sedative anti-rheumatic for conditions of aging or debility/exhaustion. An entirely non-irritating strengthening tonic. If the sedative action is too noticeable and impairs daytime functioning, take your entire day’s dosage at bedtime. It will improve the quality of your sleep and work its adaptogenic effect while you rest.


Top reliable herb for the reduction of fevers as well as the prevention (and treatment) of headaches (migraines). It cools and decongests the liver/gall bladder and acts as a bitter green for sluggish digestion and elimination. Just note it has some laxative effect, but this generally does not contraindicate its use for most people who have these conditions. Relaxing too. Expecially good for those who tend to run hot or are hot tempered with a tendency for headaches.


Any kind, Spearmint or Peppermint. Peppermint tends to be a bit stronger. A surface reliever so it is often helpful for any condition affecting the lungs, head, skin, etc. Very good for allergies and colds that stuff up the head. Relaxing. A good first headache remedy for many people. Smoothes out digestion and gets rid of gas and cramping. This makes it good for washing down laxative herbs that might gripe a bit. Allergies can often be stopped with a double strength cup of this tea. If that doesn’t do the trick try pouring some pre-brewed tea of citrus peels over your Mint to brew it.

How to brew Mint Tea (tisane) properly for a medicinal effect

Mints contain many volatile oils that can easily evaporate into the air, taking much of your medicine away. To brew this tea properly requires that you pour boiling water over the tea bags or mint leaves and cover it immediately and tightly (no gaps for steam to escape). Let it brew for 15-20 minutes to get really strong. Keep it covered until you are ready to actually drink it. Drink it down pretty quickly before your medicine steams away.

Citrus peels

These can vary somewhat, mostly in their strength, but they are one of the best herbal additives for cutting difficult/thick mucus and smoothing out digestion. They make a good addition to Tea (green/black/white) and/or Mint Tea for asthma and lung conditions. Ordinary Orange peels saved in the freezer and brewed (lid on) for at least 1/2 hour make a tisane that can be poured over Tea or other leaf/flower herbs to combine them into a more potent medicine.

Orange peels for head/lung mucus. Immature (Chinese) Tangerine peels, known as Qing Pi are for more stubborn lung phlegm conditions especially when the liver/gall bladder are involved (sluggish, blockages).


About Kannon McAfee

Poet, herbalist/healer, professional astrologer. Kannon means Kwan Yin -- healer. So I approach my work and others with a healer's heart. I'm dedicated to advancing astrology as a soul-oriented science. My specialty is birth chart interpretation and rectification.
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