Herbal Remedies

I just returned from a visit with my family in Canada, where my daughter MK attends the University of Guelph in Ontario. While I was at MK’s, she showed me a list of herbal remedies she keeps affixed to the inside of one of her kitchen cupboard doors. She refers to this list when she or her roommates have an ailment. If she finds something on the list that may help, she brews tea with the herb to help alleviate the symptoms.

When we reached my sister’s homestead near Bobcaygeon, I came across some echinacea growing near the pond (which you can skate on in the winter!).

Echinacea growing at my sister’s

Michelle also grows some plants—including herbs—just down the steps from her kitchen. So convenient!

After I posted MK’s herb list in my Instagram stories, people had many questions. And I had these nice pics of echinacea and herbs from Michelle’s. So I thought I better make a blog post out of MK’s chart. But please note: I am not a doctor dispensing medical advice! If you develop cancer, please do not guzzle vats of turmeric tea and say you read here that this would cure you. Similarly, if you suffer from severe depression, please see a doctor.

MK based her list on personal experience and Google. I added a handful of uses to the herbs on her list.

Echinacea also attracts beneficial critters


  • Boosts immune function
  • Has hormonal, antiviral and antioxidant effects
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Relieves allergies
  • Relieves pain

Read more about echinacea here


  • Alleviates nausea
  • Alleviates respiratory congestion
  • Reduces gas and bloating
  • Relieves upset stomach
  • Relieves heartburn

Read more about fennel here


  • Aids digestion
  • Boosts immunity
  • Contains high amounts of antioxidants
  • Prevents or suppresses the growth of certain types of cancer cells
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Relieves nausea

Read more about ginger here

Oat Straw

  • Alleviates anxiety and depression
  • Improves cognition and mental performance
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Reduces stress
  • Soothes the nervous system

Read more about oat straw here


  • Aids digestion
  • Alleviates headache
  • Alleviates insomnia
  • Relieves upset stomach
  • Relieves heartburn

Read about peppermint oil here

Red Raspberry Leaf

  • Alleviates PMS
  • Relieves menstrual cramps
  • Treats motion sickness, diarrhea and other digestive problems

Read more about red raspberry leaf here


  • Aids digestion
  • Alleviates depression
  • Alleviates menopausal hot flashes
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Improves memory and cognition
  • Protects against diarrhea
  • Reduces PMS and cramps

Read more about sage here

Stinging Nettle

  • Alleviates allergies
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effects
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Relieves certain urinary problems
  • Relieves painful muscles and joints

Read more about stinging nettle here and here

St. John’s Wort

  • Alleviates depression and anxiety
  • Alleviates insomnia

n.b. St. John’s Wort can interact dangerously with many medications

Read more about St. John’s Wort here


  • Acts as a digestive stimulant
  • Alleviates depression
  • Boosts immunity
  • Has antibacterial properties
  • Induces apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells
  • Inhibits cancer cell proliferation
  • Inhibits joint inflammation (anti-arthritic)
  • Promotes wound healing
  • Reduces abdominal pain in IBS
  • Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s

Read more about turmeric herehere and here


  • Alleviates insomnia
  • Has sedative properties
  • Relieves anxiety and stomach upset resulting from anxiety
  • Relieves muscle and joint pain

n.b. Do not take valerian before operating machinery or driving

Read more about valerian here and here


  • Alleviates fever
  • Regulates menstrual flow
  • Soothes menstrual cramps

Read more about yarrow here

Yerba Mate

  • Aids digestion
  • Boosts cardiovascular health
  • Enhances ability to focus
  • Improves physical endurance

Read more about yerba mate here

Once again, I am not a doctor. I am not dispensing medical advice, just providing a list of herbs and some of their uses. Now I think I’ll brew a cup of turmeric tea.

RIP Gord

7 Replies to “Herbal Remedies”

  1. Michelle Snarr says: Reply

    Nice touch finishing off with the Tragically Hip’s “Bobcaygeon” Music Video. I hadn’t seen it before.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Thanks Michelle. I watched it when I was up there. It made me choke up.

  2. This is fantastic, thank you for posting 🙂 I’ve started looking more at traditional herbal remedies as well. The last time I went to visit my mom she told me about a herb called plantain. I’d seen it for years growing in our lawn and never thought much of it. Apparently it’s quite the powerhouse, to the point that she asked me to leave them alone when we were weeding her garden.

    1. The Zero-Waste Chef says: Reply

      Hi Cassie,
      My pleasure. I will look up that herb. Thanks for the tip. I’ve never heard of it. I only know about the banana-shaped fruit that tastes really good fried 😉 ~ Anne Marie

  3. […] read more original article Zero waste chef […]

    1. Would you be willing to share how to make some of these teas? And by the way, peppermint essential oil is my favorite go-to for nausea and soothing during a migraine. I went on a study abroad trip this summer to Kyrgyzstan, and when we spent a couple days at high elevation nearly all of us got altitude sickness. I was passing out drops of peppermint oil like crazy because no one could keep down any anti nausea pills. But everyone felt better with a drop or two of peppermint!

  4. […] read more original article Zero waste chef […]

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