Conditions That Can Be Treated with Alaskan Plants

Let me emphasize once again that this book is not intended to be a medical self-care manual. Some of the diseases in this list are so serious a physician should be consulted as promptly as possible. Some of the alleged plant uses may be apocryphal or unfounded. Others, however, may be valid and useful to you. I would advise you to proceed with intelligence, good common sense, and caution -- at your own risk, of course.

NOTE: The plant treatments printed in darker type are thought to be the most effective for the particular condition.

Abcesses - chickweed poultice

Aches - cleaver or coltsfoot hot pack, wormwood poultice

Ague - angelica

Alcoholism - angelica

Arthritis - cow parsnip root, juniper (branch, stem, berries), willow, wormwood, yarrow bath

Asthma - coltsfoot, shield fern rhizome

Athlete's foot - wormwood (fresh leaves inside socks)

Back trouble - juniper, hot spruce pitch plaster

Bedwetting - uva-ursi

Beestings - plantain, willow leaf poultice

Bites - plantain

Bladder stones - horsetail, urv-ursi

Bladder trouble - tonic of plantain or uva-ursi

Bleeding - bistort, cleavers, larch bark, plantain, shepherd's purse

Blisters - yarrow

Blood poisoning - plantain, sourdock root (for heavy metals), spruce pitch poultice, wormwood tea

Bloody stools - horsetail

Boils - chickweed, devil's club root bark poultice, mashed green plantain leaves, sweet gale tea

Bowel trouble - cleavers (mild tonic)

Broken bones - sphagnum (for splint lining), dandelion greens (nutritional source of calcium)

Bronchitis - chamomile, coltsfoot, poplar, uva-ursi

Bruises - chamomile, poplar root poultice

Burns - chickweed, coltsfoot leaf decoction, devil's club ashes, yarrow

Cancer - sourdock root

Cankers - horsetail ashes

Chest trouble - coltsfoot, juniper, poplar (balm of Gilead)

Circulatory trouble - alder

Colds - chamomile, cow parsnip root, currant stem bark tea, devil's club root bark tea, highbush cranberry bark decoction, horsetail, juniper, Labrador tea, poplar, rose hips, rose twig decoction, spruce pitch tea, yarrow

Colic - angelica, chamomile

Congestion (to loosen) - bistort root, chamomile, coltsfoot

Conjunctivitis - horsetail tea

Constipation - cleavers, iris root infusion

Convulsions - highbush cranberry bark

Corns - chamomile

Cough (spasmodic) - chamomile, coltsfoot, juniper

Cramps - highbush cranberry bark

Cutaneous diseases - larch bark tea

Cuts - powdered bistort root, mashed and cooked sourdock root salve, raspberry stem, powdered wormwood leaves, soapberry stem tea, spruce pitch, wormwood tea, yarrow

Cystitis - uva-ursi

Debility - angelica

Delerium tremens - chamomile

Diabetes - angelica, cleavers, devil's club root bark


Diaper rash - sphagnum, wormwood

Diarrhea - alder, cleavers, coltsfoot (leaf or flower infusion), crowberry leaf and stem tea, fireweed root, horsetail, larch leaf tea, plantain, raspberry root tea, shepherd's purse, strawberry roots and leaves boiled in wine and water, sweet gale bark, willow bark, willow root tea enema, yarrow

Dropsy - birch

Dyspnea - yarrow

Earache - wormwood leaf hot pack, yarrow compress

Eczema - juniper

Edema - angelica, birch, cleavers, dandelion, fireweed, horsetail, iris, juniper berries, Labrador tea, poplar bark, strawberry roots, uva-ursi, yarrow

Erysipelas - coltsfoot leaf decoction

Eyes, sore - chickweed, coltsfoot, crowberry juice or stem bark tea, crowberry root decoction, currant stem bark tea, horsetail, rose petal juice, sphagnum (red kind), willow bark, wormwood, yarrow hot compresses

Famine - any berry except baneberry, horsetail root, inner bark of most trees

Fever - bistort root, chamomile, currant juice, devil's club root bark tea, poplar, rose twig decoction, shepherd's purse, sourdock, willow bark, yarrow

Fever (intermittent) - birch

Flatulence - angelica root infusion, juniper berry tea, yarrow

Flu - currant stem bark tea, horsetail, poplar

Foot trouble - alder

Freckles (to remove) - cleavers

Frostbite - poplar bud

Fungus infections - poplar bark

General poor health - chamomile

Glands, swollen - devil's club root bark tea

Gout - birch

Gut trouble - tea of shield fern rhizome or birch leaves

Hair problems - tonic of yarrow

Hangover - sourdock root decoction

Headache - lowbush cranberry hot pack, plantain crushed leaf poultice, poplar leaf compress, spruce pitch and snow poultice, uva-ursi

Headache, bilious - chamomile

Heartburn - angelica

Heart trouble - sourdock as a cordial

Hematuria - horsetail

Hemorrhoids - larch (inner bark tea), yarrow

Hemorrhages - bistort, shepherd's purse, yarrow

Haemoptysis - larch leaf tea

Hives - sourdock leaves, spruce needle wash

Hypertension - horsetail

Hysteria - chamomile

Indigestion - alder, angelica, chamomile

Infection - angelica root poultice, chickweed poultice, devil's club root bark poultice, hot sphagnum poultice, spruce pitch and grease, wormwood, hot yarrow poultice

Inflammation - chickweed, coltsfoot, shepherd's purse, yarrow

Insect stings - bistort root decoction, coltsfoot leaf decoction

Itching - sourdock juice, uva-ursi

Jaundice - sourdock root

Joint pains - wormwood, yarrow

Kidney stones - birch, cranberry, currant, horsetail, poplar bark, uva-ursi

Kidney trouble (tonic for) - cleavers, chamomile, crowberry juice, plantain, shield fern rhizome infusion, spruce pitch tea, uva-ursi

Leg ulcers - coltsfoot leaf decoction

Leucorrhea - strong bistort root decoction, plantain, yarrow


Liver, torpid - chamomile, dandelion root, larch bark tea, poplar bark

Mange - sourdock salve

Melancholy - yarrow

Menorrhagia - larch

Menstrual flow, difficult - currant leaves

Menstrual flow, to decrease - bistort root decoction douche, horsetail, larch bark tea, plantain

Menstrual flow, to increase - angelica root infusion tea

Menstrual flow, irregular - angelica, horsetail decoction with willow leaves, wormwood

Menstrual flow, painful - birch "cone" tea, chamomile, highbush cranberry bark, larch bark tea

Mosquitos (repellent) - elder, plantain, yarrow

Mouth problems (mouthwash) - angelica, birch leaves and bark, currant leaves

Mouth sores - cow parsnip root, willow bark

Muscle cramps - -highbush cranberry bark

Nausea - raspberry leaf tea

Nervousness - chamomile, cow parsnip (eaten)

Nosebleed - shepherd's purse tea, yarrow powder

Obesity - cleavers, horsetail

Pain - poplar, sourdock root, willow bark, wormwood, yarrow root

Phlebitis - coltsfoot leaf decoction

Piles - larch bark tea

Pimples - sweet gale tea (used as wash)

Postparturition - chamomile, raspberry leaf, yarrow

Pregnancy - coltsfoot, raspberry leaf tea (for nausea), wormwood leaves (for massage)

Psoriasis - juniper

Rash - poplar, spruce needle tea wash

Restlessness - fireweed tea

Rheumatism - birch, chamomile, coltsfoot hot pack, coltsfoot root decoction, juniper, Labrador tea, larch bark, yarrow (on steam bath rocks)

Ringworm - plantain, sourdock

Runny nose - raspberry root tea

Scratches - spruce gum

Seasickness - angelica root fumes

Sinus trouble - inhale fumes from roasting birch cones or boiling yarrow

Skin, itching - plantain

Skin disorders - larch bark tea

Skin eruptions - birch leaf tea, chamomile, plantain, sweet gale tea

Skin infections - bathe in willow leaf tea

Sore mouth or gums - bistort root infusion, raspberry leaf tea

Sore throat - alder bark, coltsfoot, cow parsnip, highbush cranberry leaf decoction, larch bark tea, poplar bark, rose root decoction with sugar, willow bark

Sore throat (gargle for) - alder, cow parsnip (whole plant), raspberry leaf tea

Sores - bistort root infusion, chamomile tea, powdered currant stem ashes, devil's club root bark poultice, hot juniper berries, sourdock salve, ashes of burned willow twigs, yarrow powder

Spleen trouble - chamomile

Sprains - chamomile, poplar root poultice

Steam bath - devil's club, wormwood, yarrow

Stings - plantain, willow leaf poultice

Stomach, gas in - alder

Stomach, upset - lowbush cranberries, strawberries

Stomachache - currants (eat the berries), devil's club root bark tea, fireweed tea

Stomach trouble - rose twig decoction, sourdock root tea, uva-ursi,yarrow

Stomach ulcers - coltsfoot

Stomach weakness - chamomile, highbush cranberry bark decoction

Sunburn - poplar (balm of Gilead)

Swelling (to reduce) - angelica root, bistort root, coltsfoot decoction, soapberry stem tea, sourdock root, wormwood poultice

Toothache - angelica root, bistort, chamomile, hot juniper poultice, wormwood, yarrow leaves (chew them)

Tumors - alder stem bark, plantain poultice, shepherd's purse

Ulcers - chamomile, dandelion, juniper, plantain, sourdock root

Urinary problems - angelica, sitz bath of spruce needle tea, uva-ursi

Urine, scanty - birch bark and leaves, uva-ursi

Vermin - horsetail shampoo

Vomiting - raspberry leaf tea

Warts - spruce pitch

Weak blood - rose twig decoction

Weight (to lose) - cleavers

Worms (to expel) - angelica, chamomile, juniper

Wounds - powdered bistort root (applied externally), chickweed, horsetail (for internal wounds of the bowels), hot juniper berries, shepherd's purse (externally as a poultice), yarrow leaves (as an ointment)

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Copyright © 1987 by Eleanor G. Viereck