Medicinal Herbs by Botanical Families

It can be very helpful to divide herbs according to their actions and it can also be very helpful to see them divided up according to botanical families.  In this way one can see the relationships between plants.  One starts to see members of the same families as a type of evolutionary cousin, often (but not always) sharing similar constituents, properties and actions.  Some herb families really stand out as containing a lot of mental health herbs.  The Araliaceae (Ginseng family), the Carrot family (Apiaceae), the Aster family (Asteraceae), the Pea family (Fabaceae) and the Mint family (Lamiaceae) get special mention.    For all the botany herbalist nerds out there.

Acoraceae:  Calamus

Annonaceae:  Yohimbe, ylang ylang

Apocynaceae:  Akuamma, iboga

Araceae:  Skunk cabbage

Araliaceae:  Ginseng, Aralia, American Ginseng, Eleutherococcus, devils club

Apiaceae:  fennel, bupleurum, caraway, cnidum, parsley, anise, dong quai, angelica, cumin, Gotu kola

Asparagaceae: Ophiopogon (Wild asparagus root), shatavari, solomons seal

Asteraceae:  Atractylodes, bhingaraj, dandelion, feverfew, mugwort, tarragon, yarrow, chamomile, burdock, chrysanthemum, dong quai, yarrow, dream herb, helichrysum, wild lettuce

Aquifoliaceae:  Guayusa, mate, holly tree

Azioaceae:  Kanna

Berberidaceae:  Oregon Grape, Blue cohosh

Boraginaceae:  Borage, comfrey

Brassicaceae:  Maca

Burseraceae:  Frankincense, myrrh, palo santo

Campanulaceae:  Codonopsis

Cannibinaceae:  Cannabis, Hops

Caprifoliaceae:  Crampbark, elder, honeysuckle,

Cactaceae:  Peyote, san pedro

Celastraceae:  Chuchuhuasi, khat

Convolvulaceae:  Shankhpushpi

Cordycipitaceae:  Cordyceps

Crassulaceae:  Rhodiola

Cucurbitaceae:  Jiaogulan, tayuya

Cupressaceae:  Western Red Cedar

Cynomoriaceae:  Suo Yang

Ephedraceae:  Ephedra

Erythroxylaceae:  Coca

Euphorbiaceae:  Amla, iporuru

Fabaceae:  Licorice, albizzia, astragalus, alfalfa, jamaican dogwood, red clover, mucuna, mulungu

Ganodermataceae:  Reishi, Artist’s conk

Gentianaceae:  Gentian

Geraniaceae:  Geranium

Gingkoaceae:  Gingko

Hericaceae:  Lion’s Mane, Bear’s Head

Hymenogastraceae:  Psilocybe cubensis, others

Hypericaceae:  St. John’s Wort

Iridaceae:  Saffron

Lamiaceae:  Mints, thyme, rosemary, skullcap, lavender, self-heal, lemon balm, motherwort, catnip, tulsi, sage, betony, vervain, Wood betony/hedge nettle,  hyssop, basil, monarda, clary sage, marjoram, oregano, patchouli, thyme, wild dagga

Lauraceae:  Camphor, cinnamon, rosewood

Lobeliaceae:  Lobelia

Mackinlayaceae:  Gotu Kola

Malphigiaceae:  Banisteriopsius caapi

Malvaceae:  Marshmallow, cacao, hibiscus

Marasmiaceae:  Shitake mushroom

Meliaceae:  Catuaba

Menispermaceae:  Guduchi

Meripilaceae:  Maitake mushroom

Moringaceae:  Moringa

Myristicaceae:  Nutmeg

Myrtaceae:  Cajeput

Nelumbonaceae:  Blue Lotus

Olacaceae:  Muira puama

Oleaceae:  Jasmine

Orobanchancaceae:  Rehmannia

Oxalidaceae:  Wood Sorrel

Paeoniaceae:  Peony root

Palmaceae:  Bettal Nut

Papaveraceae:  Poppy, california poppy, corydalis, bleeding-heart

Passifloraceae:  Passionflower

Pedaliaceae: Devils Claw

Phrymaceae:  Monkeyflower

Piperaceae:  Kava

Pinaceae:  Cedar Wood, Douglas Fir, pine, spruce

Poaceae: Oatstraw, Vetiver, lemongrass, sweetgrass

Polygonaceae:  Yellow dock, sorrel, he shou wu (Polygonum multiflora)

Ranunculaceae:  Horny Goat’s Weed, black cohosh, Pulsatilla

Rhamnaceae:  Zizyphus

Rosaceae:  Rose, hawthorn, peach bark,  meadowsweet, raspberry leaf

Rubiaceae:  Gardenia fruit, cats claw, coffee, kratom, manjistha, yohimbe

Rutaceae:  Lemon, orange peel, bergamot, citrus, coffee, neroli

Santalaceae:  Sandalwood

Salicaceae:  Willow

Scisandraceae:  Schisandra

Schrophulariaceae:   Bacopa/Brahmi

Simaroubaceae:  Tongkat ali

Solanaceae:  ashwaghanda, goji berry, cayenne, Goji berries, tobacco

Sterculiaceae:  Kola Nut

Theaceae:  Green/Black Tea

Tiliaceae:  Linden

Turneraceae:  Damiana

Urticaceae:  Nettles

Valerianaceae:  Valerian

Verbenaceae:  Blue Vervain, lemon verbena

Violaceae:  Violet

Zingiberaceae:  Turmeric, cardamom, ginger

Zygophyllaceae:  Puncture Vine