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Edible Uses

 

Use

Description

 

 

Coffee

The various substitutes that can be used as a substitute for coffee.

Chocolate

Substitutes for chocolate, that is.

Colouring

Edible dyes

Condiment

The various plants that are used as flavourings, either as herbs, spices or condiments.

Curdling agent

Used to curdle milks in making cheese etc.

Drink

This does not include plant saps, tea or coffee substitutes.

Egg

Substitutes that is.

Flowers

Speaks for itself.

Fruit

Speaks for itself.

Gelatine

Substitutes that is.

Gum

Can be chewed as a chewing gum or can often be used as a sweetener or thickening agent in foods.

Inner bark

The bark that is found just beneath the tough outer bark of trees and shrubs.

Leaves

Speaks for itself.

Manna

This is a sweet substance that exudes naturally from certain plants, usually from the stems.

Milk

Made from plants, that is.

Nectar

Produced in such abundance by some flowers that it can be harvested fairly easily.

Oil

Usually obtained from seeds, it is used in cooking, for salad dressings etc.

Pectin

A substance that is used to thicken jams etc and as a culture medium in laboratories.

Pollen

Most pollens are edible, they are normally too fiddly to harvest.

Root

This includes bulbs, corms, tubers, rhizomes etc.

Rutin

Often used as a food supplement.

Salt

Plants that provide a substitute for salt.

Sap

Usually of trees and usually but not always used as a drink or sweetener.

Seed

Includes nuts, cereals, peas and beans.

Seedpod

The immature seedpods of plants such as Okra, French and Runner beans.

Stabilizer

This is often a gum and could perhaps be included there.

Stem

This often intergrades into leaves.

Sweetener

Includes sugar substitutes.

Tea

The various herb teas that can be used in place of tea, plus the genuine article.

 

 

 

Medicinal uses

 

Use

Description

 

 

Abortifacient

Causes an abortion.

Acrid

Causes heat and irritation when applied to the skin.

Adaptogen

Helps the body 'rise' to normal stress situations, thus preventing the many chronic degenerative diseases.

Alterative

Causes a gradual beneficial change in the body, usually through improved nutrition and elimination, without having any marked specific action.

Anaesthetic

Numbs the feeling in a local or general area of the body.

Analgesic

Relieves pain. Included under Anodyne.

Anaphrodisiac

Reduces sexual desire.

Anodyne

Relieves pain.

Antacid

Counters excess acidity in the stomach.

Anthelmintic

Expels parasites from the gut.

Antiaphonic

Restores the voice.

Antiarthritic

Treats arthritis.

Antiasthmatic

Treats asthma.

Antibilious

Treats nausea.

Antibiotic

See antiseptic.

Antibacterial

Kills bacteria.

Anticholesterolemic

Prevents the build up of cholesterol.

Anticoagulant

Removes blood clots.

Antidandruff

Treats dandruff.

Antidermatosic

Prevents or cures skin complaints.

Antidote

Counters poisoning.

Antiecchymotic

???

Antiemetic

Prevents vomiting.

Antifungal

Treats various fungal problems such as Candida.

Antihaemorrhoidal

Treats haemorrhoids (piles). This would probably be best added to another heading.

Antihalitosis

Treats bad breath

Antihydrotic

Reduces perspiration.

Antiinflammatory

Reduces inflammation of joints, injuries etc.

Antiperiodic

Counteracts recurring illnesses such as malaria.

Antiphlogistic

Reduces inflammation.

Antipruritic

Treats itching of the skin.

Antipyretic

Treats fevers. See Febrifuge.

Antirheumatic

Treats rheumatism.

Antiscorbutic

A plant rich in vitamin C that is used to counteract scurvy.

Antiscrophulatic

Counteracts scrofula. (TB, especially of the lymph glands)

Antiseptic

Destroys or arrests the growth of micro-organisms.

Antispasmodic

Treats muscular spasms and cramps.

Antitumor

Used in the treatment of cancer. This should probably be included in cytotoxic.

Antitussive

Treats coughing.

Antivinous

Treats addiction to alcohol

Antiviral

Treats virus diseases

Aperient

A mild laxative.

Aphrodisiac

Increases the sexual appetite.

Appetizer

Improves the appetite

Aromatherapy

Plants whose essential oils are used in Aromatherapy

Aromatic

Having an agreeable odour and stimulant qualities.

Astringent

Reduces the flow of secretions and discharges of blood, mucus, diarrhoea etc.

Bach

Plants used in the Bach flower remedies.

Balsamic

A healing and soothing agent.

Bitter

Increases the appetite and stimulates digestion by acting on the mucous membranes of the mouth. Also increases the flow of bile, stimulates repair of the gut wall lining and regulates the secretion of insulin and glucogen.

Blood purifier

Purifies the blood.

Blood tonic

Is this any different to a blood purifier?

Cancer

Used in the treatment of cancer.

Cardiac

Used in the treatment of heart problems.

Cardiotonic

A tonic for the heart.

Carminative

Reduces flatulence and expels gas from the intestines.

Cathartic

A strong laxative but less violent than a purgative.

Cholagogue

Increases the flow of bile and its discharge from the body.

Contraceptive

Prevents fertilization occurring in females.

Cytostatic

Slows or controls the growth of tumours.

Cytotoxic

Destroys body cells. Used in the treatment of diseases such as cancer.

Decongestant

Removes phlegm and mucous, especially from the respiratory system.

Demulcent

Soothes irritated tissues, especially the mucous membranes.

Deobstruent

Clears obstructions from the natural ducts of the body.

Deodorant

Masks smells. Is this medicinal?

Depurative

Eliminates toxins and purifies the system, especially the blood.

Detergent

A cleansing agent, used on wounds etc. It removes dead and diseased matter.

Diaphoretic

Induces perspiration.

Digestive

Aids digestion.

Disinfectant

Used for cleaning wounds.

Diuretic

Promotes the flow of urine.

Emetic

Induces vomiting.

Emmenagogue

Restores the menstrual flow, sometimes by inducing an abortion.

Emollient

Softens the skin.

Enuresis

Treats bed wetting.

Errhine

 

Expectorant

Clears phlegm from the chest by inducing coughing.

Febrifuge

Reduces fevers.

Foot care

Plants that are used in various ways to treat foot problems.

Galactofuge

Stops the flow of milk in a nursing mother.

Galactogogue

Promotes the flow of milk in a nursing mother.

Haemolytic

Breaks down red blood corpuscles to separate haemoglobin.

Haemostatic

Controls internal bleeding.

Hallucinogenic

Causes the mind to hallucinate.

Hepatic

Acts on the liver (for better or worse!).

Hydrogogue

A purgative that causes an abundant watery discharge.

Hypnotic

Induces sleep.

Hypoglycaemic

Reduces the levels of sugar in the blood.

Hypotensive

Reduces high blood pressure.

Infertility

Used in problems of human fertility.

Irritant

Causes irritation or abnormal sensitivity in living tissue.

Kidney

Used in the treatment of kidney diseases

Laxative

Stimulates bowel movements in a fairly gentle manner.

Lenitive

Soothing, palliative.

Lithontripic

Removes stones.

Miscellany

Various medicinal actions that need more clarification.

Mouthwash

Treats problems such as mouth ulcers.

Mydriatic

Dilates the pupils of the eyes.

Narcotic

Induces drowsiness and gives an artificial sense of well-being.

Nervine

Stimulates and calms the nerves.

Nutritive

A food for convalescents to help restore strength.

Odontalgic

Treats toothache (temporary measure only) and other problems of the teeth and gums.

Ophthalmic

Treats eye complaints.

Oxytoxic

Hastens parturition and stimulates uterine contractions.

Parasiticide

Treats external parasites such as ringworm This should perhaps be joined with Parasiticide in the 'Other Uses' table.

Pectoral

Relieves respiratory diseases, a remedy for chest diseases.

Plaster

Used in the treatment of broken bones.

Poultice

Used in the treatment of burns etc.

Purgative

A drastic laxative.

Refrigerant

Cools the body.

Resolvent

Breaks down tumors. This might be placed under antitumor.

Restorative

Restores consciousness or normal physiological activity.

Rubefacient

A counter-irritant and external stimulant.

Salve

Soothes and heals damaged skin.

Sedative

Gently calms, reducing nervousness, distress and irritation.

Sialagogue

Stimulates the secretion of saliva.

Skin

Plants used in miscellaneous treatments for the skin.

Sternutatory

Promotes sneezing and nasal discharges.

Stimulant

Excites or quickens activity of the physiological processes. Faster acting than a tonic but differing from a narcotic in that it does not give a false sense of well- being.

Stings

Used in the treatment of stings and insect bites.

Stomachic

Aids and improves the action of the stomach.

Styptic

An astringent that stops bleeding by contracting the blood vessels.

TB

Plants used in the treatment of tuberculosis

Tonic

Improves general health. Slower acting than a stimulant, it brings steady improvement.

Uterine tonic

See also oxytoxic.

Vasoconstrictor

Narrows the blood vessels, thereby increasing blood pressure.

Vasodilator

Widens the blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure.

VD

Used in the treatment of venereal disease

Vermifuge

Expels internal parasites.

Vesicant

A blistering agent.

Vulnerary

Heals wounds.

Warts

Used in the treatment of warts, corns etc.

Women's complaints

A very vague title, it deals with a miscellany of problems peculiar to the female sex.

 

 

 

Other Uses

 

Use

Description

 

 

Adhesive

Glues.

Alcohol

Used for fuel etc. (this is wood alcohol, it is not the sort that can be drunk.

Baby care

Various plants that can be used in place of items such as nappies.

Basketry

Plant used in making baskets and other items such as chairs. Includes plants that are only used as an ornamental addition.

Beads

Used in necklaces etc.

Bedding

Used as a lining for sleeping on or putting fruits etc on.

Besom

A type of broom.

Biomass

Provides a large quantity of plant material that can be converted into fuel etc.

Blotting paper

Plant fibres that can be used to make blotting paper.

Bottles

Gourds and other thick-shelled fruits that can be used to carry liquids.

Broom

Branches of plants that are used as brooms.

Brush

For cleaning clothes, applying paint etc.

Buttons

 

Charcoal

Used for fuel, drawing, deodorant, filter, fertilizer etc.

Cleanser

For various materials. Perhaps best included under separate headings.

Compost

Plants used for activating compost heaps, as instant compost etc.

Containers

 

Cork

Including any plants used as a cork substitute. Cork is used for insulation (sound or heat), fire-retardant, bottle stops etc.

Cosmetic

 

 

Cotton wool

Plants that can be used as substitutes.

Darning ball

 

Disinfectant

 

Dye

 

Essential

Essential oils that are used in perfumery, medicines, paint solvents, insect repellents etc.

Fencing

 

Fertilizer

Provides a concentrated solid plant food.

Fibre

Used for making cloth, rope, paper etc.

Filter

Used to strain out particles from liquids.

Fire retardant

Plants that do not easily burn and can be used in barrier plantings to limit the spread of forest fires.

Friction sticks

Used for starting fires when there are no matches.

Fruit ripening

Substances that promote the premature or rapid ripening of fruits.

Fuel

Usually wood that has been mentioned as being a good fuel.

Fungicide

Arrests the growth or kills fungi.

Furniture

A few miscellaneous uses that do not fit easily into other headings.

Green manure

 

Ground cover

Usually low growing plants that can be grown with other plants, especially shrubs and trees, to prevent the growth of weeds.

Gum

A wide range of uses, especially as stabilizers, emulsifiers, thickening agents, adhesives etc.

Hair

Used as shampoos, tonics etc.

Hedge

Plants that can be grown as hedges.

Herbicide

Plants or plant extracts that can inhibit the growth of other plants.

Incense

Aromatic plants that can be burnt to impart a pleasant smell, repel insects and disinfect closed areas.

Ink

 

Insecticide

Kills insects.

Insulation

Providing insulation against heat, sound or electricity.

Kindling

Plant material that burns easily and can be used for starting fires.

Lacquer

A type of varnish.

Latex

A source of rubber.

Leather

Substitutes, that is.

Lighting

Does not include oils, waxes, candles etc.

Lining

Used for lining boxes, baskets etc so that fragile items can be more safely carried in them.

Liquid feed

For plants, that is.

Litmus

Used for testing whether a substance is acid or alkaline.

Microscope

 

Miscellany

A rag-bag of items that are difficult to categorise.

Mordant

Used for making a dye more permanent, it also affects the colour of the dye.

Mulch

Used for covering the ground to conserve the nutrients in the soil.

Musical

Specific mention of plants used as musical instruments. Does not include the various woods that can be used for making musical instruments.

Nails

A few woods are tough enough to be used in place of metal nails in certain circumstances.

Needles

Used for sowing, darning etc.

Oil

Vegetable oils have many uses, as lubricants, lighting, soap and paint making, waterproofing etc. This does not include the edible oils unless they are also mentioned as having other uses.

Packing

Used as a filler in boxes etc in order to protect the contents.

Paint

Plants used directly as a paint. Does not include oil plants and dyes that can be used to make paints.

Paper

Related to the entry for Fibre, these plants have been specifically mentioned for paper making.

Parasiticide

Kills parasites.

Pectin

A substance that is used to thicken jams etc and as a culture medium in laboratories.

Pencil

A couple of plants especially mentioned for making the tubes that pencil leads fit into.

Pins

Used as needles and pins in sowing etc.

Pipes

For carrying water etc.

Pitch

Used for waterproofing, in paints etc.

Plant breeding

Used in producing new species of plants or improved varieties.

Plant support

Usually bamboos, used as canes in the garden for holding up plants.

Plaster

Used for covering walls.

Polish

For metals, wood etc.

Pollution

Plants used to combat pollution.

Porcelain

 

Potash

Used for making glass, soap and as a fertilizer.

Pot-pourri

Aromatic plants used to impart a pleasant smell to an area. Can this be grouped with incense or essential oil?

Preservative

For food, or for treating wood, ropes etc.

Raffia

A substitute for that material.

Repellent

Plants that are said to deter but not necessarily kill various mammals, birds, insects etc.

Resin

Used in perfumery, medicines, paints, soap making etc. This also includes turpentine, which is extracted from many resins and used as a preservative, water proofer etc,

Roofing

Used to give a waterproof roof to buildings.

Rooting hormone

Substances that can be used to promote the production of roots in plant cuttings.

Rootstock

Plants used as the root for grafting scions onto.

Rust

Plants that can be used to prevent or treat rust.

Sandpaper

Plants used to smooth rough wooden surfaces by means of abrasion.

Scourer

Used for cleaning pots, pans, plates etc.

Shelterbelt

Wind resistant plants than can be grown to provide shelter in the garden etc.

Size

Used on materials, paper etc to give a surface that will take ink, dyes etc.

Soap

Plants used directly as a soap substitute.

Soap making

Plants used as an ingredient in making soaps. Does not include the essential oils, dyes and oils that are also used in making soap.

Soil conditioner

Plants grown to improve the structure of the soil. See also Green manures.

Soil reclamation

Plants that can be grown in such circumstances an the spoil tips of mines in order to restore fertility.

Soil stabilization

Plants that can be grown in places such as sand dunes in order to prevent erosion by wind, water or other agents.

Starch

Used as a fabric stiffener.

Straw

For drinking from.

Strewing

Plants, usually aromatic, that are strewn on the floor to give a nice smell, repel insects etc.

String

Plants that can be used as they are as a temporary string. See also Fibre.

Stuffing

Used in soft toys, mattresses, pillows etc.

Tannin

Tannin is used as a preservative, mordant, dye etc.

Teeth

Plants used to clean the teeth etc.

Thatching

Used for making thatched roofs.

Tinder

Used for starting fires. See also Kindling.

Varnish

Plants that can be used as a varnish without any special treatment. Does not include varnishes made from oils etc.

Waterproofing

Does what it says.

Waxed paper

Substitutes that is.

Wax

Used for candles etc.

Weather forecasting

A few plants that are supposed to help us forecast the weather.

Weather protection

Plants that can be used to give the body protection from severe weather.

Weaving

Items such as grass leaves that are woven together for various purposes. See also Basket making and Fibre.

Wick

Used as a wick for candles, lamps etc.

Wood

A list of the trees and shrubs that are noted for having useful wood.

 

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