Hopking's Herbal -GH- A concise list of herbs, actions and uses

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hopking's herbal - G H

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150. Galega officinalis (Goat’s Rue flowering tops) - hypoglycaemic, galactagogue; reduces blood sugar, diabetes mellitus, stimulates milk production, increases breast size. Dose: 1:10 45% 2-4ml.

151. Galium aparine (Cleavers flowering tops) - diuretic, alterative, anti-inflammatory, anti-neoplastic; lymphatic disease, psoriasis. Expressed juice 3-15ml tds. Ext. freckles with lemon juice/oil.

152. Gelsemium sempervirens (Yellow Jasmine root) 1:10 - analgesic, sedative, hypotensive; nervine; neuralgia of face or head, sick headache, menstrual and rheumatic pains, migraine and trigeminal neuralgia (specific); combine with Piscidia and Valeriana for migraine; with Humulus or Passiflora in intercostal neuralgia. Caution: Very Toxic. C/I in low blood pressure, in cardiovascular disease, in myasthenia gravis. Dose: BPC 1973 0.3ml.

153. Gentiana lutea (Gentian root) - bitter, gastric stimulant, sialagogue, cholagogue. Improves appetite, increases digestive juices, anorexia, dyspepsia, GI atony. Dose 1:5 45% 1-4ml.

154. Gentiana macrophylla (Large Leaf Gentian root, Qin Jiao) Chinese Herb - anti-rheumatic (wind-damp), to eliminate heat and dampness; rheumatic pain of the whole body; low graded fever in chronic diseases, allergic inflammation, jaundice and hepatitis; pungent, bitter, neutral; ST LIV GB.

155. Geranium maculatum (American Cranesbill root) - astringent, anti-haemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary; diarrhoea, dysentery, haemorrhoids, gastric duodenal ulcer, haematemesis, melaena, menorrhagia, endometriosis, metrorrhagia or any bleeding. Ext. leucorrhoea, indolent ulcers (leg ulcers). Dose 1:5 45% 2-4ml.

156. Geum urbanum (Avens flowering tops) - astringent, styptic; diarrhoea, mucous colitis, ulcerative colitis - specific, uterine bleeding - passive, fevers - intermittent; vomiting, gingivitis (gargle).

157. Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo seed or leaf, Bai Guo) Chinese Herb - persistent cough, asthma, frequent micturition, tinnitus, circulation (peripheral vascular disease), intermittent claudication, cerebral insufficiency, ageing, senility, Alzheimer’s; LU KI. Improves memory, alertness and general mental function. Antioxidant and anti-allergic. Active constituents: ginkgo flavone glycosides, terpene lactones. See Ginkgo

158. Glechoma hederacea (Ground Ivy flowering tops) - anti-catarrhal, astringent, expectorant, diuretic, vulnerary, stomachic; catarrh - chronic, coughs, bronchitis - chronic catarrhal, deafness and tinnitus due to catarrh; diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, cystitis, gastritis.

159. Glycyrrhiza glabra, G. uralensis (Licorice root, Gan Cao) Chinese Herb - tonic, anti-pyretic, adrenal agent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, demulcent, anti-spasmodic, mild laxative, fertility, colic, bronchial catarrh, bronchitis, gastritis - chronic, peptic ulcer, adrenocortical insufficiency, Addison’s disease; weakness (Qi Xu), sore throat, boils, asthma, blood and energy deficiency; peptic ulcer, empty spleen and stomach, colic acute abdominal pains; sweet, neutral; enters all 12 meridians and organs. The triterpenes of Glycyrrhiza are metabolized in the body to molecules that have a similar structure to the adrenal cortex hormones (vitaligo). This is possibly the basis of the herbs that have an anti-inflammatory action.

160. Gnaphalium uliginosum (Cudweed) - anti-catarrhal, astringent, anti-septic, antitussive; catarrh in upper respiratory tract, laryngitis, tonsillitis. Ext.: gargle. N/A

161. Grindelia camporum (Grindelia flowering tops) - anti-spasmodic, expectorant, hypotensive; asthma, bronchitis, catarrh - upper respiratory, whooping cough, lowers BP, cardiac depressive - tachycardia. Ext.: poison-ivy dermatitis (lotion). Dose: 1:10 60% 0.5-1ml.

162. Guaiacum officinale (Lignum vitae; Guaiac heartwood) - anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, laxative (mild), diaphoretic, diuretic; arthritis in all its forms, gout. Dose: BPC1934 1:5 90% 1-4ml.

163. Gymnema sylvestre (Gymnema leaf) - Gymnema sylvestre (Gurmar, Meshasringi, Cherukurinja) Gymnema assists the pancreas in the production of insulin in Type 2 diabetes. Gymnema also improves the ability of insulin to lower blood sugar in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It decreases cravings for sweet. This herb can be an excellent substitute for oral blood sugar-lowering drugs in Type 2 diabetes. Gymnema leaves raise insulin levels, according to research in healthy volunteers. The leaves are also noted for lowering serum cholesterol and triglycerides. While studies have shown that a water-soluble acidic fraction of the leaves provides hypoglycemic actions, it is not yet clear what specific constituent in the leaves is responsible for this action. Gymnema has been used in India for the treatment of diabetes for over 2,000 years. The primary application was for adult-onset diabetes (NIDDM), a condition for which it continues to be recommended today in India. The leaves were also used for stomach ailments, constipation, water retention, and liver disease. See Pancreas

Guarana seed (see Paullinia).

164. HAIR TONIC: Achillea, Biota, Eclipta, Poly multi., Cinch, Paulin, Glyc. Rosm, Uncar, Tabe. FOR MEN (Yin Xu): Cist. Cusc. Eclipt. Loran. Polymulti. Phell. Rehm. Trit. Urt.fol. Fuc. Gink. Rosm. Matric. Achil. Biota. Equis. Aloegel. Iris. Ang.sin. Paeon. Pueraria. (And for periph circ: Sanguin. Capsic. Zing. Echin). Take Haer!Haer! (women), HaerMore Men

165. Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel bark) - astringent, anti-haemorrhagic, anti-inflammatory; diarrhoea with haemorrhoids (specific); diarrhoea, mucous colitis, bleeding; haemorrhages, bruises, swellings, varicose veins. Ext: mouthwash (use diluted).

166. Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s Claw tuber) - anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, anodyne (procumbine), sedative, diuretic; arthritis (due to harpagoside) with inflammation and pain, rheumatism, gout, myalgia, fibromyalgia, fibrositis, lumbago. Dose 1:5 25% 0.5-1ml. See PainLess Joints

167. Hormonal herbs: To promote production of hormones of the male and female sex organs (androgens and oestrogens), hormones of the adrenal cortex, pituitary, thyroid and other glands: Vitex. Trillium. Cimic. Cauloph. Turnera. Chamaelirium. Hydrangea. Fucus. Glycyrr. Avena. Smilax. Seranoa. Mitchella. See Herbal V8

168. Houttuynia cordata (Lizard Tail, Fishwort, Yu Xing Cao) this herb can smell like fish - a primary antibacterial for mycoplasma infections; antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, immunomodulatory, anti-leukaemia; strongly active against Mycoplasma hominis, herpes simplex, flu virus, HIV-1, SARS-related coronavirus, etc. and specifically for kidney and bladder infections and genital infections and serious infections of the lungs. Also used for diseases of the eyes and skin with foul-smelling discharge. InflammationLess HerbShield

169. HRT herbs: Chamael. Turn. Smilax. (Bartram). See menopause. For hot flushes or flashes take FlushLess

170. Humulus lupulus (Hops strobiles) - sedative, hypnotic; neuralgia, insomnia, excitability, tension, anxiety, restlessness, priapism, headache, mucous colitis. Ext.: crural leg ulcers. Dose: 1:5 60% 1-2ml.

171. Hydrangea arborescens (Hydrangea rhizome) - diuretic; prostate (inflammatory or enlargement), bladder stones, cystitis, urethritis, kidney stones, gravel. Dose 1:5 45% 2-10ml.

172. Hydrastis canadensis (Golden Seal root) - tonic, stimulant to involuntary muscle, stomachic, oxytocic, anti-haemorrhagic, laxative; astringent, anti-catarrhal; colitis, gastritis, catarrh., peptic ulcer, colitis, anorexia, upper respiratory, menorrhagia, post-partum haemorrhage, dysmenorrhoea. Ext.: eczema, ringworm. C/I pregnancy. Dose: BPC 1949 1:10 60% 2-4ml. Threatened species; available for special orders only.

173. Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane) 1:10 - anti-spasmodic, hypnotic, mild diuretic, narcotic; nervous irritation, griping, tranquillising, insomnia. See SleepMore

174. Hypericum perforatum (St John’s Wort) - anti-depressive - due to monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibiting activity, a function which has been shown to inhibit the breakdown of mood enhancing brain chemicals. Anti-inflammatory, astringent, vulnerary, sedative; neuralgia, anxiety, irritability, menopausal neurosis - specific; insomnia, RA, gout, bronchitis, asthma, paralysis agitans, senile tremor (30 drops 3-4x/day); anti-retroviral (AIDS) (enveloped viruses, not naked viruses - dose for anti-viral 2-5g or equiv/day (at 1:10 25ml/ day or 175 ml wk, 700ml/month); best extracted by 45% Eth to get hypericin (anti-viral). To make an equivalent to anti-depressive drugs make an extract 5:1 (5kg to 1L at 45%). Ext.: varicose veins (lotion), sunburn (oil). Dose 1:10 45% 2-4ml. The Medicines Control Agency, acting on the advice of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM), has advised that Hypericum perforatum should not be used with certain prescribed medicines. The concern is that Hypericum induces liver cytochrome P-450 enzymes and thereby the blood levels of certain drugs may be reduced: HIV protease inhibitors (indinavar, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir); HIV non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (efavirenz, nevirapine); cyclosporine; anticonvulsants (carbamazepine, phenobarbitone, phenytoin); digoxin; theophylline; oral contraceptives; warfarin; SSRIs (citalopram, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline); triptans (sumatriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, zolmitriptan). The CSM advise gradual reduction of the dosage of Hypericum, except for HIV drugs, as the blood levels of the prescribed medicines may then rise. There have been reports of drug interactions involving Hypericum perforatum taken in the form of standardised tablets, in particular: * two cases where men taking the immunosuppressant cyclosporine after a heart transplant developed rejection of the tissues after starting to take Hypericum tablets. * a small trial on healthy volunteers has shown an interaction between Indinavar, which is used to keep HIV "dormant" and Hypericum in that blood levels of Indinavar were reduced and thus the drug could be ineffective. * a small trial on healthy volunteers has shown a similar effect with digoxin. This had led researchers to infer that these interactions have occurred because Hypericum induces cytochrome P-450 enzymes. Many drugs are metabolized in the liver by the cytochrome P-450 mono-oxygenase system of which CYP3A4 is the most common. CYP3A4 are induced by anticonvulsants, dexamethasone, griseofulvin and rifampicin. For example, oral contraceptives which are metabolized by CYP3A4 may be less effective if the woman is taking phenobarbitone as the oestrogens are metabolized more quickly. Drugs metabolized by CYP 3A4 include cyclosporine, nifedipine, erythromycin, terfenadine and ethinylestradiol. Some flavonoids e.g. in grapefruit juice are general inhibitors of cytochrome P-450's. The Committee on Safety of Medicines has also advised that Hypericum should not be used with warfarin. There have been adverse event reports suggesting an interaction between warfarin and Hypericum. Drug interactions with warfarin are common and some foods affect warfarin metabolism. It is therefore important to ensure that patients who are taking warfarin are being monitored properly by their GP. As the NIMH Research Report 1, September 1998 pointed out, although Hypericum has not been shown to have a strong selective serotonin re-uptake inhibition, if taken alongside SSRIs, there is the potential for increased sympathomimetic action. There has now been a report of five cases of possible interactions in elderly people. The warning about triptans, which are used in migraine prevention, is for the same reason. There are a number of general points to be made: The concerns of the CSM are primarily about self-prescribed over-the-counter medications. Where there have been possible interactions, it has involved standardised preparations. Given the huge number of people who take Hypericum preparations worldwide, the number of adverse reactions reported remains extremely small. The CMS has acted very cautiously but it is aware of the under-reporting of adverse events and has the duty of protecting public safety. Herbal practitioners generally use the whole plant at much lower doses, not extracts which are standardised for high hypericin content. There is some evidence that it is hypericin that may be responsible for CYP induction and SSRI action. We also take a complete medical history, and drug history, evaluate the person accordingly and prescribe for the individual. What decision you make on the basis of the information given above is for your own professional judgment.
Several well designed clinical trials have now shown conclusively the anti-depressant effects of this herb (see Harrer and Schultz, 1994; Reuter 1995; Linde et al, 1996, for reviews).44-46 Its efficacy in mild to moderate depression has been found to be similar to that of currently used anti-depressant drugs, but with less side effects and perhaps taking slightly longer to become apparent in some patients.47, 48 The mode of this antidepressant action and constituents responsible remain speculative. Contrary to popular opinion this is unlikely to involve inhibition of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO), 49 and instead may involve serotonin50 or other neurotransmitter pathways. Depressive illness is often seen in those with substance dependencies, the substance(s) in many cases being abused partly or largely as a means of "numbing the pain" or producing a temporary euphoric effect. In a significant proportion of all clients seen I believe it to be an important aetiological factor in the addiction itself, as well as appearing quite commonly during the withdrawal period. This is probably due largely to the sudden changes in neurotransmitter and hormonal systems which occur during this period. It is no accident that the once used "animal model" of depression used to consist of the abrupt withdrawal of rats previously dependent on amphetamine. Needless to say, large amounts of Hypericum perforatum are used in the Detox unit, and its antidepressant and mild anxiolytic45 as well as hepatoprotective51 properties make it especially useful when treatment continues into the post-withdrawal period. It also possesses anti-viral action, and seems to be of some benefit where there is concurrent hepatitis C infection, although reasonable doses are required. [EJHM]. Depression

175. Hypothyroid Herbs: Centella, Fucus, Iris, Phytolacca. See Thyroid

176. Hyssopus officinalis (Hyssop flowering tops) - Anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, sedative, carminative; coughs, colds, nasal catarrh, bronchitis, nervine (hysteria, anxiety, petit mal).

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Go to Hopking's Herbal - A Modern Materia Medica (herbs and their medicinal action and uses):
A, B-C, D-E-F, G-H, I-J-K, L-M-N, O-P-Q, R-S, T-U, V-W, X-Y-Z





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General advice to consumers on the use of herbal remedies from the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK

• Remember that herbal remedies are medicines. As with any other medicine they are likely to have an effect on the body and should be used with care. • Herbal remedies may sometimes interact with other medicines. This makes it particularly important to tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking a herbal remedy with other medicines such as prescribed medicines (those provided through your doctor or dentist). • Treat with caution any suggestion that a herbal remedy is '100% safe' or is 'safe because it is natural'. Many plants, trees, fungi and algae can be poisonous to humans. It is worth remembering that many pharmaceuticals have been developed or derived from these sources because of the powerful compounds they contain. Any medicine, including herbal remedies, which have an effect on the body should be used with care. • Treat with caution any herbalist or other person who supplies herbal remedies if they are unwilling or unable to provide written information, in English, listing the ingredients of the herbal remedy they are providing. • If you are due to have a surgical operation you should always remember to tell your doctor about any herbal remedy that you are taking. • Anyone who has previously experienced any liver complaint, or any other serious health complaint is advised not to take any herbal remedy without speaking to their doctor first.


Pregnant/Breast-feeding mothers

Few conventional medicines have been established as safe to take during pregnancy and it is generally recognised that no medicine should be taken unless the benefit to the mother outweighs any possible risk to the foetus. This rule should also be applied to herbal medicinal products. However, herbal products are often promoted to the public as being “natural” and completely “safe” alternatives to conventional medicines. Some herbal ingredients that specifically should be avoided or used with caution during pregnancy. As with conventional medicines, no herbal products should be taken during pregnancy unless the benefit outweighs the potential risk.

Volatile Oils

Many herbs are traditionally reputed to be abortifacient and for some this reputation can be attributed to their volatile oil component.(6) A number of volatile oils are irritant to the genito-urinary tract if ingested and may induce uterine contractions. Herbs that contain irritant volatile oils include ground ivy, juniper, parsley, pennyroyal, sage, tansy and yarrow. Some of these oils contain the terpenoid constituent, thujone, which is known to be abortifacient. Pennyroyal oil also contains the hepatotoxic terpenoid constituent, pulegone. A case of liver failure in a woman who ingested pennyroyal oil as an abortifacient has been documented.


A stimulant or spasmolytic action on uterine muscle has been documented for some herbal ingredients including blue cohosh, burdock, fenugreek, golden seal, hawthorn, jamaica dogwood, motherwort, nettle, raspberry, and vervain. Herbal Teas Increased awareness of the harmful effects associated with excessive tea and coffee consumption has prompted many individuals to switch to herbal teas. Whilst some herbal teas may offer pleasant alternatives to tea and coffee, some contain pharmacologically active herbal ingredients, which may have unpredictable effects depending on the quantity of tea consumed and strength of the brew. Some herbal teas contain laxative herbal ingredients such as senna, frangula, and cascara. In general stimulant laxative preparations are not recommended during pregnancy and the use of unstandardised laxative preparations is particularly unsuitable. A case of hepatotoxicity in a newborn baby has been documented in which the mother consumed a herbal tea during pregnancy as an expectorant. Following analysis the herbal tea was reported to contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are known to be hepatotoxic.

Breast-feeding mothers

A drug substance taken by a breast-feeding mother presents a hazard if it is transferred to the breast milk in pharmacologically or toxicologically significant amounts. Limited information is available regarding the safety of conventional medicines taken during breast-feeding. Much less information exists for herbal ingredients, and generally the use of herbal remedies is not recommended during lactation.

Paediatric Use

Herbal remedies have traditionally been used to treat both adults and children. Herbal remedies may offer a milder alternative to some conventional medicines, although the suitability of a herbal remedy needs to be considered with respect to quality, safety and efficacy. Herbal remedies should be used with caution in children and medical advice should be sought if in doubt. Chamomile is a popular remedy used to treat teething pains in babies. However, chamomile is known to contain allergenic sesquiterpene lactones and should therefore be used with caution. The administration of herbal teas to children needs to be considered carefully and professional advice may be needed.

Perioperative use

The need for patients to discontinue herbal medicinal products prior to surgery has recently been proposed. The authors considered eight commonly used herbal medicinal products (echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St John’s Wort, valerian). On the evidence available they concluded that the potential existed for direct pharmacological effects, pharmacodynamic interactions and pharmacokinetic interactions. The need for physicians to have a clear understanding of the herbal medicinal products being used by patients and to take a detailed history was highlighted. The American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) has advised patients to tell their doctor if they are taking herbal products before surgery and has reported that a number of anaesthesiologists have reported significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure in some patients who have been taking herbal medicinal products including St John’s Wort, ginkgo and ginseng. MCA is currently investigating a serious adverse reaction associated with the use of ginkgo prior to surgery. In this case, the patient who was undergoing hip replacement experienced uncontrolled bleeding thought to be related to the use of ginkgo.

From the website of the Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (www.mhra.gov.uk) Department of Health, UK


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