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

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Hopking's Herbal - L M N

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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185. Lactuca virosa (Wild Lettuce leaves) - sedative, anodyne, hypnotic; insomnia, restlessness, excitability (children), pertussis, irritable cough, priapism, dysmenorrhoea, nymphomania, muscular pains, RA pains.

186. Lamium album (Deadnettle herb) - astringent, anti-haemorrhagic, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, styptic; internal bleeding, leucorrhoea, irregular menstrual periods irregular, menstrual flow weak, vaginal douche, stomach and intestinal upset.

187. Larrea mexicana (Chaparral leaf, Creosote bush, Grease bush) - antibiotic, powerful blood cleanser, bactericidal, anti-inflammatory, alterative, respiratory and urinary antiseptic, anti-oxidant, anti-psoriasis, anti-arthritic. Contains NDGA a powerful parasiticide. Anti-tumour - on some types of mammary (breast) carcinomas; has antiproliferative activity against a T-lymphoma cell line without affecting viability of normal lymphocytes; immunomodulator (NDGA), antioxidant, anti-microbial. Strong bitter, enzyme inhibitor. All body cells feel its influence. Low toxicity. Uses: regarded as a cure all by the Arizona Indians. Acts as a preventative against cancer (esp. breast), rheumatism, arthritis, skin disorders, bursitis, lumbago, healing of external wounds, delayed menses, indigestion, kidney disorders, piles, tetanus, itching. Early American agent for sexually transmitted diseases, venereal infections and chancre. History of use in skin malignancy. Chronic chest complaints.

188. Lavandula officinalis (Lavender flowers) - carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-depressant, rubefacient; flatulent dyspepsia, digestive dysfunction, colic, stress headaches, depression, nervous debility, exhaustion, insomnia. Ext.: RA (oil). Dose 1:5 60% 2-4ml; Compound Lavender Tincture BPC 1949 2-4ml.

189. Leonurus cardiaca (Motherwort flowering tops) - sedative, emmenagogue, anti-spasmodic, cardiac tonic; menstrual delay suppression, due to anxiety stress (amenorrhoea), menopause, heart tonic, tachycardia, stressful heart conditions; hyperthyroidism (with Lycopus) - low dose. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-6ml.

190. Lepidium meyenii (maca) - Maca is a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes mountains. It has been cultivated as a vegetable crop in Peru for at least 3000 years. Maca is a relative of the radish and has an odor similar to butterscotch. Its root is used to make medicine. Maca is used for “tired blood” (anemia); chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); and enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, and fertility. Women use maca for female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and symptoms of menopause. Maca is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), depression, acts as a preventative against stomach cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), to arouse sexual desire, and to boost the immune system. In foods, maca is eaten baked or roasted, prepared as a soup, and used for making a fermented drink called maca chicha. The nutritional value of dried maca root is high, similar to cereal grains such as rice and wheat. The average composition is 60-75% carbohydrates, 10-14% protein, 8.5% dietary fiber, and 2.2% fats. Maca is rich in the dietary minerals calcium and potassium (with low content of sodium), and contains the essential trace elements iron, iodine, copper, manganese, and zinc, as well as fatty acids including linolenic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acids, and 19 amino acids. (1R,3S)-1-Methyltetrahydro-carboline-3-carboxylic acid. In addition to sugars and proteins, maca contains uridine, malic acid, and its benzoyl derivative, and the glucosinolates, glucotropaeolin and m-methoxyglucotropaeolin. The methanol extract of maca tuber also contains (1R,3S)-1-methyltetrahydro-carboline-3-carboxylic acid, a molecule which is reported to exert many activities on the central nervous system. Many different alkamides were found in maca. Further, maca contains selenium and magnesium,[citation needed] and includes polysaccharides. Maca's reported beneficial effects for sexual function could be due to its high concentration of proteins and vital nutrients; maca contains a chemical called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate, which reputedly has aphrodisiac properties. Maca has been marketed for its supposed benefits for sexual performance, and evidence shows it benefits sexual or erectile dysfunction in older people.

191. Leptandra virginica (Black Root, Culver’s Root) - cholagogue, diaphoretic, spasmolytic; liver congestion, inflamed gall bladder, chronic constipation due to liver dysfunction. Dose: 1:5 70% 2.5-10ml.

192. Ligusticum sinense (Szechwan Lovage, Chuan Xiang) – anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects, exerting its anti-inflammatory benefits in the early and the late stages of processes in the inflammatory pathology. Invigorate blood, promote movement of Qi - any blood stasis pattern, important for gynecological issues (amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, difficult labor, lochioschesis). Expels wind and alleviates pain - headache (temporal, vertex), dizziness, painful obstructions, skin issues. Headache - moves qi upward and alleviates pain; headaches due to wind, heat, cold, blood deficiency.

193. Linum usitatissimum (Flax, Linseed) - laxative, demulcent, emollient, pectoral, anodyne, resolvent; constipation, kidney stones, pleurisy; catarrh - respiratory, bronchitis, furunculosis, pleuritic pains. Ext. ulcers, spots on face (acne), boils.

194. Liriosma ovata (Ptychopetalum uncinatum, P. olacoides, Muira-puama root, Potency Wood) - astringent, aromatic, dysentery, impotence, aphrodisiac (40ml/wk). Muira puama, marapuama or liriosma is a bush occurring in the northern and northeastern parts of Brazil. The white flowers have a jasmine-like pungent and aromatic smell. The active constituents are contained in the bark from which a concentrated water extract or a dilute herbal tea can be prepared. Uses: disorders of the nervous system, impotency, and gastrointestinal and circulatory asthenia; frigidity, menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome. In a French study of 262 patients complaining of erectile impotence or lack of libido, within two weeks of daily treatment 62% of patients with loss of libido claimed that the treatment had effect. Of the patients with erection failures 51% felt that Muira puama was beneficial. Other Brazilian aphrodisiac plants: Three other plants have frequently been used in Brazilian folk medicine as aphrodisiacs: Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba, or Juniperus brasiliensis), Cajueiro (Anacardium occidentale) and Koribo (Tanaecium nocturnum). The main uses of the first plant are said to be for male impotency, for extreme fatigue and as a general tonic. Cajueiro is used as a general tonic for the body, also having aphrodisiacal effects. An additional use of koribo, besides as an aphrodisiac, is to treat diarrhea. Take the tonic for potency, men Herbal V8 and women, Herbal VW.

195. Lobelia inflata (Lobelia flowering tops) - respiratory stimulant, anti-asthmatic, anti-spasmodic, ANS and expectorant, emetic; relaxant, bronchitic asthma, bronchitis; systemic relaxant of CNS and on neuromuscular action. Dose: 1:8 60% 0.6-2ml. BPC 1949.

196. Lomatium dissectum (Lomatium root) - wide variety of infections, particularly those affecting the lungs. Constituents tetronic acids and a glucoside of luteolin may be potentially antiviral. Lomatium tincture, 1–3 ml three times per day. The safety of Lomatium during pregnancy and breast-feeding is unknown and is therefore not recommended.

197. Loranthus parasiticus (Mulberry Mistletoe leafy branches, Sang Ji Sheng) Chinese Herb - to dispel wind and cold (anti-rheumatic); to replenish the liver and kidney qi; to strengthen the sinews and bones (osteoporosis, menopause), to nourish the blood and prevent miscarriage; aching back limbs, RA, hypertension, coronary disease; menorrhagia, threatened abortion (with Caulophylum); bitter, neutral; LIV KI.

198. Lycopus europaeus (Bugleweed flowering tops) - cardioactive diuretic; overactive thyroid, weak heart, heart rate - reduces, peripheral vasoconstrictor, anti-haemorrhagic, antitussive, sedative, thyroxin antagonist; nervous tachycardia, Grave’s disease with cardiac involvement, cough irritating with copious sputum; thyrotoxicosis with dyspnoea, tachycardia with tremor. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-6ml.

199. Magnolia liliflora (Magnolia tree floral buds, xin yi) Chinese Herb - all ailments of the nose (allergic rhinitis); sinusitis; pungent, warm; LU, ST. NB Incompatible with Astragalus.

200. Marrubium vulgare (White Horehound herb) - expectorant, anti-spasmodic; bronchitis with non-productive cough, expectorant, whooping cough.

201. Marsdenia cundurango (Condurango bark) - bitter, orexigenic, gastric sedative; anorexia, nervous dyspepsia, digestive and stomach problems, indigestion, anorexia nervosa- specific. Intestinal abnormal cell formation. HerbShield

202. Matricaria recutita (Chamomile flowers) - anti-spasmodic, carminative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-septic, anti-catarrhal, vulnerary; anxiety, insomnia, indigestion, gastritis, flatulence, dyspeptic pain, travel sickness, nasal catarrh, nervous diarrhoea, restlessness. Ext. Leg ulcers, mastitis, haemorrhoids, gingivitis, inflamed sore eyes, nasal catarrh (steam), wounds, swellings.

203. Medicago sativa (Alfalfa herb) - nutritional tonic; debility, convalescence, source of vitamins A,C,E and K; source of mineral salts - calcium, potassium phosphorus and iron.

204. Melilotus officinalis (Melilot flowering tops) - anti-thrombotic, heart tonic, carminative, eyes; thrombosis; cholesterol.

205. Melissa officinalis (Lemon Balm herb) - carminative, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, sedative, anti-depressive; flatulent dyspepsia with anxiety, depression. Ext.: herpes simplex, shingles. Dose: 1:5 45% 2-6ml.

206. Mentha piperita (Peppermint herb) - carminative, anti-spasmodic, aromatic, diaphoretic, anti-emetic, nervine, anti-septic, analgesic; intestinal colic, flatulent dyspepsia, nausea, morning sickness, travel sickness, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, fever, colds, flu, nasal catarrh, migraine headache, nervine, dysmenorrhoea. Ext.: inflammation of RA, anti-pruritic, anti-septic.

207. Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal herb) - carminative, diaphoretic, stimulant, emmenagogue; flatulence, abdominal colic, anxiety, emmenagogue (specific), abortifacient (induces birth), strengthens uterine contractions. C/I pregnancy.

208. Menyanthes trifoliata (Bogbean leaves) - bitter, diuretic, cholagogue, anti-rheumatic. RA esp. with colitis, muscular rheumatism. C/I in colitis and diarrhoea. Dose: 1:5 45% 1-3ml.

209. Mitchella repens (Squaw Vine plant) - parturient, emmenagogue, birth praeparator, dysmenorrhoea, mucous colitis.

210. Momordica (Bitter Melon). Specific for Type 2 Diabetes. See Bitter Melon

210. Mucuna pruriens -  velvet bean, cowhage, cowitch, yerepa. This herb contains L-dopa and is used for parkinsons disease (for centuries by Ayurvedic Medicine) and is in our Parkinson's Tonic. In history, M. pruriens has been used as an effective aphrodisiac. It is still used to increase libido in both men and women due to its dopamine inducing properties. Dopamine has a profound influence on sexual function. Mucuna pruriens seeds have also been found to have antidepressant properties in cases of depressive neurosis when consumed. Mucuna pruriens seeds contain high concentrations of levodopa, a direct precursor of the neurotransmitter dopamine. It has long been used in traditional Ayurvedic Indian medicine for diseases including Parkinson's Disease.] In large amounts (e.g. 30 g dose) it has been shown to be as effective as pure levodopa/carbidopa in the treatment of Parkinson's Disease, but no data on long-term efficacy and tolerability is available. In addition to levodopa, Mucuna also contains serotonin (5-HT), 5-HTP, nicotine, N,N-DMT (DMT), bufotenine, and 5-MeO-DMT. The mature seeds of the plant contain about 3.1-6.1% L-DOPA,[9] with trace amounts of 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin), nicotine, DMT-n-oxide, bufotenine, 5-MeO-DMT-n-oxide, and beta-carboline. The leaves contain about 0.5% L-DOPA, 0.006% dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 0.0025% 5-MeO-DMT and 0.003% DMT n-oxide. Mucuna is also used as a dietary supplement and it will help the deposition of protein to strengthen muscles and prevent muscle wasting. It is known to restore mental alertness and to improve coordination. In summary: Mucuna can improve libido; it helps the nervous system reach optimum performance; it regulates the sex hormones; it protects muscle mass and strength; it enhances mental functioning. You can order this from our webstore

211. Myrica cerifera (Bayberry bark) - astringent, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic; diarrhoea, mucus colitis, IBS. Ext.: sore throat (gargle), leucorrhoea (douche), indolent ulcers (use powder).

212. Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg, Rou Dou Kou) - chronic diarrhoea (5am diarrhoea), to warm the spleen and stomach and regulate the flow of qi; vomiting, abdominal distension; Dementia (memory) Soup (from Hildegard von Bingen): Myristica (3parts), Alpinia (6parts), Orris root (1part), Plantago (1part). pungent, warm; SP ST LI.

213. Nelumbo nucifera (Lotus leaf, He Ye) Chinese Herb - summer heat: fever, irritability, excess sweating (menopause); raises yang of spleen: diarrhoea; stops bleeding:- bleeding in lower burner from heat or stagnation; bitter, slightly sweet, neutral. HE, LIV SP. NB. If this is not available use Lotus seed, Lian Zi: diarrhoea, seminal emission, sedative, poor appetite, palpitation. NB Lian Zi Xin (the Lotus plumule and radicle) used for fidget, delirium, thirst (high fever), hypertension, HBP.

214. Nepeta cataria (Catmint herb) - carminative, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, sedative, astringent; cold and flu, fever, bronchitis, stomach upsets, dyspepsia, flatulence, colic and diarrhoea in children, headache, insomnia. Ext.: haemorrhoids (ointment). Dose 1:5 25% 3-6ml.

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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






Our herbal tonic medicines are carefully prepared on a personal and individual basis for your healing by medical herbalist Alan Hopking MA MNIMH FINEH.

Only whole herbs are used in our herbal medicines. Nothing else is added. If you have symptoms which you consider might be helped with herbal medicine please contact herbal practitioner Alan Hopking for a friendly confidential professional consultation. See terms and fees.

Once you have received your herbal prescription you can contact Alan Hopking at any time for more free advice (preferably by email). When you have completed your bottle of herbal medicine and if you want a repeat prescription you are requested to phone or email so that your progress can be assessed and adjustments made if necessary so that there is no break in your treatment. To order or re-order, click here.

MRCHM - see Alan Hopking's statement about renouncing his association with membership of this organisation

HERBACTIVE Centre of Herbal Medicine, England, UK. Freephone 0800 0834436

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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