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1416 E. Commerce St

San Antonio, TX 78205

Tel: 210-299-2666


Community Garden


Healing Herbs and Medicinals Workshop

Traditional Healing Herbs and Medicinals

Yanawana Herbolarios

Hosted on October 24, 2018

By Maria Turvin

The Movement Gallery - Roots of Change Pop Ed Program


Materia Medica





Common name: Prickly pear, pear cactus, nopal, nopali

Botanical name: Opuntia spp

Family: Cactaceae

Parts Used: Pads, flower, fruit

Medicinal actions: mucilaginous, mucosal vulnerary, drawing, hydrophilic, flocculent, quorum disrupter

Traditional uses: blood sugar support (prebiotic) mucosal support (mouth, upper airway, digestive & GU tract), sinus and upper respiratory infections, stomach ulcers, GERD, diverticulitis, UTI’s, burns, boils and abscesses, cellulitis, inflammation

Traditional preparation: flower syrup, cooked pads, pickled pads, dehydrated pads, lozenge, tincture, glycerin, smoothie, cold decoction, honey infusion, oil/salve, juice, jam, poultice

Contraindications & Precautions: watch out for the glochids when processing, too much raw pad may cause stomach upset





Common name: Maypop, passionflower

Botanical name: Passiflora spp

Family: Passifloraceae

Parts Used: flower, leaf, and steam

Medicinal actions: bitter, nervine, analgesic

Traditional uses: stress related conditions - anxiety, insomnia, stress high blood pressure, and tension headaches; muscle spasms; inflammation of the skin - burns, abscesses, boils (external application); dry cough, wheezing cough

Traditional preparations: infusion, decoction, syrup, tincture (40%), poultice, compress

Contraindications & Precautions: Can provoke an outburst/outpouring of anger from one suffering from unresolved sexual trauma. Avoid during pregnancy. Use only 2-3 weeks at a time. Too much can cause nausea and vomiting.





Common name: Lemongrass

Botanical name: Cymbopogon

Family: Poaceae

Parts Used: grass blades

Medicinal actions: astringent, antioxidant, carminative, antibacterial, antifungal, circulatory stimulant

Traditional uses: soothes digestions, increases blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, cold and flu, relieves menstrual pain, hot flashes, reduces fever

Traditional preparations: Infusion, syrup, glycerite, tincture

Contraindications & Precautions: lowers blood sugar levels so use caution if diabetic; use caution if pregnant or breastfeeding





Common name: Shavegrass, horsetail

Botanical name: Equisetum spp

Family: Equistaceae

Parts Used: Grass

Medicinal actions: Vulnerary, high in silica content, diuretic, anti-infective

Traditional uses: bone breaks, connective tissue damage, strong hair and nails, tooth enamel repair, osteoporosis, UTI

Traditional preparations: salve, plaster, poultice, tincture, tea, juice, glycerin

Contraindications & Precautions: Do not take for longer than 3 weeks at a time, do not collect in polluted areas



Peach resin


Common name: Peach resin

Botanical name: Prunus persica

Family: Rosaceae

Parts Used: resin

Traditional uses: improve skin elasticity, settles stomach, relieves constipation

Traditional preparation: lozenge, soup

Contraindications & Precautions: none known





Common name: Purslane

Botanical name: Portulaca oleracea

Family: Purslanes

Parts Used: leaf

Medicinal actions: antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids

Traditional uses: depression, headaches, fever, inflammation, dry cough, asthma, toothache pain, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes management, uterine bleeding

Traditional preparations: salad, tincture

Contraindications & Precautions: none known



Dandelion leaf


Common name: Dandelion, puffball, wild succory

Botanical name: Taraxacum officinale

Family: Asteraceae

Parts Used: leaf, root, flower

Medicinal actions: galactagogue, cholagogue, diuretic

Traditional uses: stimulation of milk production, anemia, chronic fatigue, immune deficiencies, urinary, lymph, and liver support (flushes out waste from lymph and liver), reduces sugar cravings, stimulates digestion and helps to normalize gut function

Traditional preparations: Salad, infusions, decoctions, tincture

Contraindications & Precautions: Can exacerbate gastric upset in large doses




Activities and Recipes



Processing Nopali


Carefully collect the nopali pad with gloved hands and long tongs. Place nopali between 2 large flat rocks and rub back and forth knocking off the spines. Do one side first and then flip and do the other. Once spines have been removed cut the edges where the glochids are off the nopali. Cut the nopali in half and score with a fork. Using a spoon scoop out the guts and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Place in an oven on warm and leave to dehydrate making sure to check on it every few hours. Once the nopali has dehydrated grind to a powder and place in an airtight container for storage. Use as needed.



Passionflower Vanilla Mint Tea


1 parts passionflower leaf

2 part mint leaf (spearmint or wintergreen would be lovely here)

1 part vanilla leaf

*Parts are equal whether dried or fresh leaf. Medicinal dose would be 1/2 tbsp. dried leaf or 1 tbsp. fresh. Cover tea leaves with 8oz of very hot water and steep for 5-8 minutes, strain, and sweeten to taste with honey.



Lemongrass Sugar Syrup


3.5 cups distilled water

1oz fresh lemongrass

1 cup granulated sugar

Bring 3.5 cups of distilled water to a boil, add 1 oz. of fresh lemongrass, lower heat, simmer for 20 minutes, and strain. Take 3 cups of lemongrass infused water, add 1 cup of granulated sugar, place back on heat, and stir until dissolved. Store in a glass container and use as desired.



Wild salad


1pt Sweet basil

1pt Wood Sorrel

2pt Dandelion Leaf

1pt Purslane leaf

Olive oil

Fresh lemons

Rinse herbs thoroughly, pat dry, tear dandelion into pieces, toss the herbs together, dress with a dressing of 2pt olive oil and 1pt fresh lemon juice and enjoy!



Horsetail Juice


Fresh horsetail

Fresh Lemon juice


Distilled water

Throw the stalks into a blender with water and blend up thoroughly, strain, and add lemon juice and stevia to taste. I recommend 2 lemons worth of fresh juice. Drink and enjoy! Horsetail degrades quickly so this preparation should be made fresh.




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