Medicinal Plants of Gor

~Items listed in the dark font are those which do not appear to be referenced in any of the books of Gor. Encourage use of sparingly. They will be changed when suitable evidence of their existance on Gor is available.~

Saffron
Description ~ The true Saffron is a low ornamental plant with grass-like leaves and large lily-shaped flowers, frequently cultivated for the sake of the yellow stigmas, which are the part used in medicine, in domestic economy and in the arts.
Area(s) Found ~ Warm, dry climates.
Use(s) ~ The flower’s triple stigma, and the adjacent part of the style yield the spice. The same parts are used to make a brilliant red-yellow dye. Some claim saffron has anti-cancer and other remarkable properties, but there is no evidence to support such beliefs. The medicinal uses of saffron in the past included its general employment as an antidote against poisoning, a digestant, an aphrodisiac, a tonic, and as a specific for dysentery and measles. A key component, picrocrocin allegedly has the ability to cause erotic sensations.
Reference ~ Unknown

Sage
Description ~ Sage generally grows about a foot or more high, with wiry stems. The leaves are set in pairs on the stem and are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, stalked, oblong, rounded at the ends, finely wrinkled by a strongly-marked network of veins on both sides, grayish-green in color, softly hairy and beneath glandular. The flowers are in whorls, purplish and the corollas lipped.
Area(s) Found ~ Everywhere in different varieties.
Use(s) ~ Stimulant, astringent, tonic and carminative. The principal and most valued application of which is as a wash for the cure of affections of the mouth and as a gargle in inflamed sore throat, being excellent for relaxed throat and tonsils, and also for ulcerated throat. The gargle is useful for bleeding gums and to prevent an excessive flow of saliva. The fresh leaves, rubbed on the teeth, will cleanse them and strengthen the gums. Sage is a common ingredient in tooth-powders. The volatile oil is said to be a violent epileptiform convulsant, resembling the essential oils of absinthe and nutmeg. When smelt for some time it is said to cause a sort of intoxication and giddiness. It is sometimes prescribed in doses of 1 to 3 drops, and used for removing heavy collections of mucus from the respiratory organs. It is a useful ingredient in embrocations for rheumatism. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Salt
Description ~ Salt on Gor, comes in various colors among which white, yellow and red are mentioned. A mineral that is mined and crushed into small crystals. 
Area(s) Found ~ White salt from the mines of Klima; red salt of Kasra and from the Tahari desert in general, Torvaldslanders gather salt from the sea.
Use(s) ~ Salt activates the flavors of food thereby enhancing the taste. It is also a rejuvenator while aiding digestion and improving eyesight. Rock (or sea) salt in particular, is a cure for flatulence and heartburn, aids digestion, improves eyes sight, and helps to lower high blood pressure. Salt easily dissolves in water, thus making it beneficial for sterilization. Desert dwellers tend to rely on salt to keep their bodies from loosing too much water, as salt binds water molecules in the body. Too much salt, however is dangerous.
Reference ~ ...Whereas salt may be obtained from sea water and by burning seaweed, as is sometimes done in Torvaldsland, and there are various districts on Gor where salt, solid or in solution, may be obtained, by far the most extensive and richest of known Gor's salt deposits are to be found concentrated in the Tahari. Tahari salt accounts, in its varieties, I would suspect, for some twenty percent of the salt and salt-related products, such as medicines and antiseptics, preservatives, cleansers, bleaches, bottle glass, which contains soda ash, taken from salt, and tanning chemicals, used on known Gor. Salt is a trading commodity par excellence. There are areas on Gor where salt serves as a currency, being weighed and exchanged much as precious metals. The major protection and control of the Tahari salt, of course, lies in its remoteness, the salt districts, of which there are several, being scattered and isolated in the midst of the dune country, in the long caravan journeys required, and the difficulty or impossibility of obtaining it without knowing the trails, the ways of the desert…
~ Tribesmen of Gor, page 208

Savories (Summer & Winter)
Description ~ Summer savory is an attractive trailing annual with pale green leaves. The plant grows to about 18 inches in height. Winter savory is a woody perennial with thick, tough, and bright green leaves. Grows to about 15 inches in height.
Area(s) Found ~ Temperate to Tropics
Use(s) ~ This herb is one of the most satisfactory mixers. Besides gardening differences, both savories are used in essentially the same way. Oils and tannins of savory have mild astringent and antiseptic properties that can be useful in medicines. Summer savory is the type most often used for medicinal purposes. Savory tea helps colic, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, stomach upsets, mild sore throats, and as an expectorant. Savoy tea helps to alleviate excessive thirst. Rubbing a sprig of savory on wasp or bee stings provides instant relief. An ointment can be made for minor rashes and skin irritations. Summer savory has a reputation for increasing a person’s sex drive, while Winter savory tends to decrease it.
Reference ~ Unknown

Sip Root
Description ~ No Gorean description given. Appears similar to Earthen "Creeping Mahonia," a low-growing, stoloniferous, evergreen shrub or shrublet which typically grows to 1' tall and spreads by underground stems to form an attractive ground cover. Features holly-like, odd-pinnate, compound leaves with oval, spiny-toothed, leathery, bluish-green leaflets (usually 3-7). Foliage turns purplish in winter. Deep yellow flowers appear in 1-3" small bundles in spring and are followed by small clusters of grape-like, dark bluish-purple berries (1/4" diameter) which mature in late summer. Berries are very sour but edible and can be used in jellies. Yellow stem wood was used by Native Americans to produce yellow dyes and a bitter tonic. 
Area(s) Found ~ Arid to temperate climates.
Use(s) ~ Highly effective contraceptive.
Reference ~ A bitter root, which can either be made into a liquid contraceptive, or chewed, for the same result. The effect of the sip root, in most women is effective for three or four months. In the concentrated state, as in slave wine, developed by the caste of Physicians, the effect is almost indefinite, usually requiring a releaser for it remission, usually administered, to a slave, in what is called the breeding wine, or the second wine.
~ Blood Brothers of Gor, page 319

Sunflower Seeds 
Description ~ The sunflower plant is tall (5 – 20 feet), hearty, and it produces large brilliant yellow flowers and edible seeds, which are technically fruits.
Area(s) Found ~ Temperate to tropic climates. A rather hearty plant.
Use(s) ~ Sunflowers are a rich treasure of vitamins, minerals, protein, polyunsaturated fat and fiber. Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, which is converted to other biologically active fatty acids that are required for optimum health. These seeds also provide an excellent amino acid profile. Sunflower seeds contain appreciable amounts of vitamin E, B complex, and are packed with minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and calcium. They also supply quick energy by releasing glycogen (a form of sugar) from the liver; and at the same time, they act as a calmative because they contain a high level of the amino acid tryptophan which has a calming effect on the brain. The yellow petals can be used to produce dye, the leaves of the plant fed to animals and oil extracted from the seeds. Sunflower seeds are great as a component of traveling food. Excellent bowel-toners, these seeds are often used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Sunflower seeds are a great weapon against the radiation we are exposed to every day , being full of pectin, which binds radioactive residues and removes them from the body. Both sunflower seeds and oil have an expectorant effect, which helps remove phlegm and other toxins from the body when treating throat and lung infections, coughs and colds. When cold-pressed, the vitamin E-enriched oil helps heal dermatological conditions. The flowers of the sunflower are used to combat infections of the windpipe, the leaves are used as treatment for asthma and diabetes and the root is used to eliminate parasites from the body, soothe bruises and can act as a mild laxative.
Reference ~ Unknown

Tamarind
Description ~ A large handsome tree with spreading branches and a thick straight trunk, ash-grey bark, height up to 40 feet. Leaves alternate, abruptly pinnated; leaflets light green and a little hairy, in twelve to fifteen pairs. In cold damp weather and after sunset the leaflets close. Flowers fragrant, yellow-veined, red and purple filaments, in terminal and lateral racemes. Legume oblong, pendulous, nearly linear, curved, somewhat compressed, filled with a firm acid pulp. Bark hard and scabrous, never separates into valves; inside the bark are three fibres, one down, on the upper concave margin, the other two at equal distances from the convex edge. Seeds six to twelve, covered with a shiny smooth brown shell, and inserted into the convex side of the pericarp.
Area(s) Found ~ Tropics.
Use(s) ~ Various preparations are exported, including juices, jams and pastes. The sour fruit pulp contains tartaric acid; its taste goes well with meat and vegetable dishes. In practice, no true therapeutic value has been demonstrated. Tamarinds have slightly laxative properties, and are also refrigerant from the acids they contain. An infusion of tamarind pulp forms a very grateful and useful drink in febrile affections. Interestingly, it is recommended as a polish for brass and copper. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Tarragon
Description ~ It grows to a height of about 2 feet and has long, narrow leaves, which, unlike other members of its genus, are undivided. The small flowers, in round heads, being yellow mingled with black, and rarely fully open. The roots are long and fibrous, spreading by runners. The leaves and tops should be dried rapidly away from light; otherwise they will turn dark. Store the dry leaves in sealed glass jars, to prevent loss of the essential oil. 
Area(s) Found ~ Warm, dry regions are best, but grows in most zones.
Use(s) ~ Stimulates the digestive and endocrine systems. Primarily used for flavoring, having little medicinal value.
Reference ~ Unknown

Telekint
Description ~ No Gorean description given. Likely similar to the Earth plant Rue, a small (60 cm tall) evergreen shrub that is shaped like a mound. The silver-green leaves have a strong smell. The tiny yellow flowers are in loose clusters above the leaves.
Area(s) Found ~ Telekint thrives in poor sandy soils, and hot, dry sites with full sun.
Use(s) ~ Roots mashed and mixed with water provide a red dye. It has also been used as a medicine for earaches, an insect repellant, and an herb for flavoring foods. Some cosmetics and perfumes also contain telekint. Some people are allergic to telekint and get a skin rash from handling the plant. Especially on hot days, just brushing against telekint can cause water blisters and blotchy skin, much like poison ivy. For some people, ingestion causes increased photosensitivity and can lead to severe sunburn. Ingesting large amounts can cause violent stomach pain, vomiting, and convulsions. Pregnant women should never ingest telekint. 
Reference~ The driver threw back the hood of his burnoose, and pulled down the veil about his face. Beneath the burnoose he wore a skullcap. The rep-cloth veil was red; it had been soaked in a primitive dye, mixed from water and the mashed roots of the telekint; when he perspired, it had run; his face was stained....
~ Tribesmen of Gor, page 83

Teslik
Description ~ No Gorean description given. Appears similiar to Earthen "Maca Root", a turnip-looking herb with short green tops made of frilly leaves that low lie to the ground. The off-white, self-fertile flowers are borne on a central strand, and are followed by 4-5 mm siliculate fruits, each containing two small (2-2.5 mm) reddish-gray ovoid seeds. 
Area(s) Found ~ Grows at high altitudes in low temperatures and harsh conditions.
Use(s) ~ Active ingredient in breeding wine; reverses effects of sip root contraceptive.
Reference ~ The active ingredient in the breeding wine, or the "second wine," is a derivative of teslik.
~ Blood Brothers of Gor, page 320

Thyme
Description ~ A perennial with a woody, fibrous root. The stems are numerous, round, hard, branched, and usually from 4 to 8 inches high.. The leaves are small, narrow and elliptical, greenish-grey in color, reflexed at the edges, and set in pairs upon very small foot-stalks. The flowers terminate the branches in whorls. The flower shape consists of a tube that spreads at the top into two lips of a pale purple color, the upper lip erect or turned back and notched at the end, the under lip longer and divided into three segments. The seeds are roundish and very small. The plant has an agreeable aromatic smell and a warm pungent taste. The fragrance of its leaves is due to an essential oil, which gives it its flavoring value for culinary purposes, and is also the source of its medicinal properties. 
Area(s) Found ~ Temperate zones.
Use(s) ~ Medicinal Properties: Carminative, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, expectorant, astringent, anthelmintic, anti-catarrhal, diaphoretic, tonic, vulnerary. The antiseptic and preservative properties of thyme oil are excellent for embalming. The oil is valued for its antiseptic properties, using it as an antidote for headaches, drowsiness and depression. Externally, this cultivated herb is used as a wash for scabies, gout, rheumatism, insect bites, eczema, and as a soothing skin tonic. Thyme tea will arrest gastric fermentation. It is useful in cases of wind spasms and colic, and will assist in promoting perspiration at the commencement of a cold, and in fever and febrile complaints generally. In herbal medicine, Thyme is generally used in combination with other remedies. The dried flowers have been often used in the same way as lavender, to preserve linen from insects. All the different species of Thyme yield fragrant oils extensively used by manufacturing perfumers for scenting soaps. When dried and ground, they enter into the composition of sachet powders. Do not consume if pregnant. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Turmeric
Description ~ A perennial plant with roots or tubers oblong, palmate, and deep orange inside; root-leaves about 2 feet long, lanceolate, long, petioled, tapering at each end, smooth, of a uniform green; petioles sheathing spike, erect, central, oblong, green; flowers dull yellow, three or five together surrounded by bracteolae. It is propagated by cuttings from the root, which when dry is in curved cylindrical or oblong tubers 2 or 3 inches in length, and an inch in diameter, pointed or tapering at one end, yellowish externally, with transverse, parallel rings internally deep orange or reddish brown, marked with shining points, dense, solid, short, granular fracture, forming a lemon yellow powder. It has a peculiar fragrant odor and a bitter, slightly acrid taste, like ginger, exciting warmth in the mouth and coloring the saliva yellow. It yields its properties to water or alcohol.
Area(s) Found ~ Tropics.
Use(s) ~ The rhizome is harvested and ground to make the spice. Tumeric is a mild aromatic stimulant seldom used in medicine except as a coloring. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Turnip
Description ~ The fast-growing turnip plants grow as a cluster of greens with the root growing beneath the soil. Turnips have rough, hairy leaves. Their leaf margins are coarsely toothed and deeply lobed. The leaves are edible and often used in a spring green salad mixture. Turnips are grown mainly for their enlarged root, although some people also enjoy eating the greens. The root usually has a flattened globe shape and is two-toned, with purple on the top and white on the bottom. Some cultivars can be round or cylindrical. 
Area(s) Found ~ Temperate to tropic zones. 
Use(s) ~ The powdered seed is said to be a folk remedy for cancer. The root when boiled with lard is used for breast tumors. The stems and leaves are said to be a remedy for cancer, while a salve derived from the flowers is said to help skin cancer.
Reference ~ A great amount of farming, or perhaps one should speak of gardening, is done at the oasis, but little of this is exported. At the oasis, will be grown a hybrid, brownish Sa-Tarna, adapted to the heat of the desert; most Sa-Tarna is yellow; and beans, berries, onion tuber suls, various sorts of melons, a foliated leaf vegetable, called Katch, and various root vegetables, such as turnips, carrots, radishes, of the sphere and cylinder varieties, and korts, a large brownish-skinned, thick-skinned, sphere shaped vegetable, usually some six inches in width, the interior of which is yellow, fibrous, and heavily seeded.
~ Tribesmen of Gor, page 37

Valerian
Description ~ Valerian, or garden Heliotrope, is an attractive and hardy perennial with merits in both the ornamental and medicinal herb garden. Unfortunately, the whole plant, with the exception of the sweetly scented pink or white flowers, has a putrid, rotted cheese in a smelly sock odor. Valerian roots consist of may white colored erect root stocks. In spring, every plant forms one hollow stem. The leaves are arranged in pairs and consist of six to ten leaflets.
Area(s) Found ~ Temperate to subtropic zones. Valerian naturally prefers damp fields, but will also grow in more dry places.
Use(s) ~ Valerian root is the part of the plant that is used for medicinal purposes. The root can be distilled into oils and ointments, or dried and used in teas or capsules. Valerian is a central nervous system relaxer, and as such has been used as a calming sleep aid. Valerian can induce restful sleep without grogginess the next morning. It is an effective stress reducer, and has benefit in cases of nervous tension, depression, irritability, hysteria, panic, anxiety, fear, stomach cramping, indigestion due to nervousness, delusions, exhaustion, and, of course, nervous sleeplessness. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities as well as for easing muscle cramping, rheumatic pain, migraines, uterine cramps, intestinal colic, and stress-related heart problems and hypertension. It has shown some benefit in behavioral problems in both adults and children, and is used to treat attention deficit disorders, hyperactivity, anxiety headaches, and bedwetting, and it has shown some promise in helping reduce thumb sucking and nail biting in children. It has a stabilizing effect on blood pressure and can help regulate arrhythmias. Lastly, Valerian is useful as a digestive aid, is helpful in cases of gas, diarrhea, and cramps, and alleviates the pain of ulcers. In the respiratory tract, it is believed to be of benefit in reducing the discomfort of asthma attacks. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use valerian. Valerian contains volatile oils and is often used to aromatize baths. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Vanilla
Description ~ Vanilla is a vine with opposie oval leaves. Flowers are narrow cups, whitish yellow in color, and although each flower has both male and female parts, they are separated by a thin membrane which prevents self-polination. Each flower produces only one fruit, a long green pod which must be processed to obtain the distinct vanilla flavor.
Area(s) Found ~ Tropics.
Use(s) ~ The cured, dried fruits of the plant impart the flavor. Vanilla is an aromatic stimulant, with a tendency towards the nervous system. It has also been regarded as an aphrodisiac. It has been employed as a remedy in hysteria, low fevers, impotency, etc., but its use as a medicine is virtually obsolete. Vanilla contains the widely loved vanillin, whose taste and smell conjure up romantic feelings in the appropriate circumstances. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Verminium
Description ~ A kind of bluish wildflower.
Area(s) Found ~ Commonly found on the lower slopes of the Thentis range although said to be common to both the Northern and the Southern hemispheres of Gor. A purplish variety of it is found on the edge of the Tahari, it is called the Desert Veminium. 
Use(s) ~ Made into an oil used to perfume water that is used to rinse the eating hand before and after the evening meal. Common ingredient in perfumes, oils and baths.
Reference ~ The petals of veminium, the "Desert Veminium," purplish, as opposed to the "Thentis Veminium," bluish, which flower grows at the edge of the Tahari, gathered in a shallow baskets and carried to a still, are boiled in water. The vapor which boils off is condensed into oil. This oil is used to perfume water. This water is not drunk but is used in middle and upper-class homes to rinse the eating hand, before and after the evening meal.
~ Tribesmen of Gor, 2:50-51

White Sage
Description ~ White sage is a two to five foot evergreen perennial. The flowers emerge in summer and are white with a little lavender. They pucker-back with the stamens hanging out to the sides. White sage leaves start out crinkly grey/green and become smooth white. 
Area(s) Found ~ Hot, deserty, coastal areas.
Use(s) ~ White sage has a wide range of medicinal properties. Like all odoriferous sages, the leaves are powerful antiseptics, used for abrasions and a spectrum of skin inflammations, douches to treat Candida and staph infections, and sore throats, colds, and lung infections. Drunk hot, an infusion of the leaves stimulates perspiration, thus lowering fevers. Inhaling the steamed leaves broke up chest congestion. Drunk cold, all bodily secretions are inhibited, which gives rise to the herb's use in weaning babies from the breast. The mother would drink the cold tea and moisten her breasts with it. Many sages, because of their anti-microbial properties, are used in over-the-counter preparations. Some women use the thick leaves as sanitary napkins. The plant also makes a non-lathering shampoo and rinse that leaves the hair soft and beautiful. The seeds can be ground into flour, and the young shoots eaten as greens. The leaves can be brewed into a beverage tea. Aside from culinary usage, white sage was used in combination with other aromatic herbs to repel ants and other insects--either as a powder for dusting, or as a spray. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Wild Yam
Description ~ The plant is a trailing vine climbing over adjacent shrubs and bushes, growing to a length of 15 feet or more with a smooth, reddish-brown stem and heart-shaped long leaves. Leaves have very prominent veins which run lengthwise from the center top of the heart shape out into a fan pattern. They are usually alternate, but sometimes grow in twos and fours near the base of the plant. The root runs horizontally beneath the surface of the ground, it is long, branched, crooked, and woody, forming tubers which are light brown outside and white fibrous inside. The small, greenish-yellow flowers are produced in drooping clusters about 3 to 6 inches long (male) and in drooping, spike-like heads (female). Gather tubers and roots in fall, dry for later herb use. Not to be stored for longer than 1 year.
Area(s) Found ~ Wild Yam is found growing in damp woods and swamps, thickets, roadside fences and hedges.
Use(s) ~ Wild Yam is edible and medicinal, though said to be bland, when cooked with seasoning it is tasty. Used for centuries as a medicinal herb for a wide range of ailments including many female problems and to relieve the pain of child birth. A decoction of the root is used to alleviate many of the symptoms of menopause and PMS such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. It is also used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, gall bladder complaints, spasmodic cramps, painful menstruation, and in small doses is especially helpful in treating the nausea of pregnant women.
Reference ~ Unknown

Willow
Description ~ Willows grow about 40 feet high, but is generally slender. Sometimes will grown only as a short shrub with a thin truck and spreading branches. The bark is thick, rough and flaky with dark brown to grey coloration on large trees. Flowers grow in dense, long clusters known as "catkins." They bloom in the spring when leaves come out. Seeds are tiny, and mature in late spring or early summer. Wood from willows is light brown, soft, weak, flexible, coarse-grained, making it ideal for many woodcrafters. It has thin whitish sapwood.
Area(s) Found ~ Grows along streams and in other moist places.
Use(s) ~ Willow contains salicin and tannin and can be used as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, analgesic, antiseptic and astringent. The bark can be made into a tea which can be used effectively in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatism and arthritis.as well as for headaches, fevers and, sometimes hay-fever. Additionally, the antiseptic qualities of willow mean that the ‘tea' makes an excellent mouthwash and can be applied to external wounds. It is also claimed that rheumatism sufferers benefit greatly from a willow wash when the ‘tea' is applied externally adjacent to the affected joints. Willow can provide food in emergency but those who have had to resort to such remedies, will say that it has to be a dire emergency for the leaves are very bitter and only slightly better when steamed or boiled. The inner bark can also be eaten but is difficult to obtain and is not very palatable. The palatability can be improved by using it to make a flour by drying and grinding. Even then it is not great and it is for its medicinal properties that willow is best used. 
Reference ~ Unknown

Zingiber (Ginger)
Description ~ Ginger produces clusters of white and pink flower buds that bloom into yellow flowers.
Area(s) Found ~ Sub tropics
Use(s) ~ Antiemetic, Diaphoretic, Carminative, Circulatory stimulant, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic. Ginger is an excellent remedy for digestive problems, such as flatulence, nausea, indigestion, intestinal infections and certain types of food poisoning. The combination of sweat and circulatory stimulation allows ginger to move blood to the periphery. This makes it a good remedy for chilblains, high blood pressure and fever. Ginger inhibits platelet aggregation, therefore, should be the ideal condiment for people predisposed to clotting which may lead to either heart-attack or stroke Medical research has shown that ginger root is an effective treatment for nausea caused by motion sickness, morning sickness or other illness. Ginger root also contains many antioxidants. Powdered dried ginger root is made into pills for medicinal use. Ginger ale and ginger beer have been recommended as "stomach settlers." Ginger water was commonly used to avoid heat cramps. 
Reference ~ Unknown