Synonym — Amomum zingiber L. Medicinal Uses (Ginger) — Almost as important medicinally as it is culinarily. Ginger, as our maps indicate, originated on the Indian subcontinent. Newmark and Schulick (2000) quote an Indian proverb that every good quality is contained in ginger. Confucius always had ginger with his meals. The surgeon general for Claudius […]

Reference Abbreviations (Medicine)

Frequently we will cite the three-letter abbreviation followed by the volume number and the first page of the citation as a shorthand uniquely identifying in the database, CRC Ed. 2, as well as this topic. (topic and journal abbreviations) 60P Desmarchelier and Witting Schaus (2000) AAB Arvigo and Balick (1993) AAR Arndt (1999) ABS Siquera […]

Vanilla planifolia Jacks (Orchidaceae) Vanilla (Medicine)

Synonyms — Myrobroma fragrans Salisb., Vanilla fragrans auct. Medicinal Uses (Vanilla) — This is one of the few spices in this topic that clearly has more culinary than medicinal interest. Still it was used as a galenical and a carrier for other less tasteful ingredients. Reported to be aphrodisiac, carminative, stimulant, and vulnerary. Venezuelans use […]

Wasabia japonica (Miq.) Matsum. (Brassicaceae) Japanese Horseradish, Wasabi (Medicine)

Synonyms — Alliaria wasabi Prantl, Cochlearia wasabi Sieb., Eutrema japonica (Miq.) Koidz., E. wasabi Maxim., Lunaria japonica Miq., Wasabia pungens Matsum., W. wasabi (Maxim.) Makino. Medicinal Uses (Wasabi) — The health benefits of other cruciferous veggies also accrue to the wasabi, making it one of those that are especially useful for preventing cancer. These are […]

Xylopia aethiopica (Dunal) A. Rich (Annonaceae) Ethiopian Pepper, Guinea Pepper, Negro Pepper, Spice Tree (Medicine)

Medicinal Uses (Ethiopian Pepper) — Important in African folk medicine. In Nigeria, it is used as a cancer remedy (JLH). Fruit extracts and bark decoction are used for bronchitis, biliousness, dysentery, and painful febrile conditions. Congolese steep bark in palm wine, suggesting one to two glasses a day for asthma, rheumatism, and stomachache. Concentrated root […]

Tamarindus indica L. (Caesalpiniaceae) Indian Tamarind, Kilytree, Tamarind, Tamarindo (Medicine)

Medicinal Uses (Tamarind) — For years, the pulp of the tamarind has been used, with good reason, as an antiscorbutic, laxative, and carminative. It is also used as a digestive and to treat bile disorders. Used in a gargle for sore throat, as a liniment for rheumatism when mixed with salt, applied on inflammations, administered […]

Sassafras albidum (Nutt.) Nees (Lauraceae) Sassafras (Medicine)

Synonyms — Laurus albida Nutt., Sassafras officinale Nees & C. H. Eberm., S. variifolium (Salisb.) Kuntze. Medicinal Uses (Sassafras) — Early on, sassafras was also called ague wood, cinnamon wood, and smelling tree. Erichsen-Brown (1989) says that, as early as 1575-1577, “The Spaniards did begin to cure themselves with the water of this tree and […]

Rhus coriaria L. (Anacardiaceae) Sicilian Sumac, Sumac, Tanner's Sumac (Medicine)

Medicinal Uses (Sicilian Sumac) — Considered astringent and tonic (DEP). Indications (Sicilian Sumac) — Bacteria (1; FNF); Biliousness (f; DEP); Candida (1; FNF); Cholera (f; DEP); Diarrhea (f; DEP; FNF); Dysentery (f; DEP; FNF); Dyspepsia (f; DEP; FNF); Gastrosis (f; EB49:406); Gingivosis (f; DEP); Hematemesis (f; DEP); Hemoptysis (f; DEP); Hepatosis (1; FNF); Infection (1; […]

Persea americana Mill. (Lauraceae) Avocado (Medicine)

Medicinal Uses (Avocado) — Considered abortifacient, antifertility, antiseptic, aperient, aphrodisiac, astringent, calmant, carminative, diuretic, emmenagogue, parasiticide, piscicide, poison, raticide, resolvent, rodenticide, rubefacient, stomachic, suppurative, and vermifuge. Fruit pulp is used as an aphrodisiac and emmenagogue. Pulp is used for tumors in Mexico. Avocado is used for labial tumors in Peru. Pulverized seed used as a […]

Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae) Benzolive Tree, Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree, West Indian Ben (Medicine)

Synonyms — Guilandina moringa L., Moringa moringa (L.) Small, M. pterygosperma Gaertn. Medicinal Uses (Horseradish Tree) — In rural Sudan, powdered seeds are used to purify drinking water by coagulation. In trials, the powder was toxic to guppies (Poecilia reticulata), protozoa (Tetrahymena pyriformis), and bacteria (Escherichia coli), and it inhibited acetylcholinesterase. It might serve as […]