Rainbow Medicine 2014

Rainbow Medicine 2014

First aid tincture list, herbal categories, and protocols for commonly seen conditions at the Rainbow Gathering. (From 7song’s medicine kit/ class notes, compiled by Jiling Lin- LinJiling(at)gmail.com)

A Brief Key
gtt= drops. 1 tsp= 5 mL= 3.3 dropperfuls
1 dropperful (dp)= ~30 gtt= 1.5 mL= 1/2 tsp.
LD= loading dose. NP= not for pregnancy.
X= low dose herb/ use caution


Acute respiratory tincture
(Yerba Santa, Grindelia, Mullein lf, Osha rt)
antiviral, anti-infective. 30 gtt every 2 hrs

Anemone (Anemone spp.)
X. For acute panic attacks, trauma. 5 gtt at onset, then more as needed. Max= 15 gtt

Antimicrobial throat spray
(Calendula, Echinacea, Osha, Wild Indigo, Goldenseal, Propolis, Thyme EO, veg. glycerin)
antiviral, antibacterial, relieves strep throat- spray as needed. For strep, take 30-60 gtt 4 times a day.

Antiseptic wash
(Propolis, Goldenseal rt, Myrrh, Witch Hazel bark)
antimicrobial for ext. use, esp. cleaning staph wounds, and as antiseptic wound covering.

Antispasmodic compound
(Black Haw, Crampbark, Trillium, Wild Yam, Skullcap, Clove, Cinnamon, Orange peel)
smooth muscle relaxant, usu. for menstrual cramps. 15 gtt as needed. NP

Arnica (Arnica spp.)
X. Acute anti-inflammatory. 1-3 gtt every 2 hrs

Beggar ticks (Bidens spp.)
Decongestant. 30-60 gtt as needed.

Black cohosh (Actea racemosa)
skeletal muscle relaxant, affects female reproductive system, stops hot flashes, may affect moods. NP. LD 15 gtt, then 30-60 gtt every 2 hrs

Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)
antispasmodic, relieves menstrual cramps. 15 gtt

Blackberry root (Rubus spp.)
astringent, stops diarrhea. Use as tea/ decoction.

Calamus (Acorus calamus)
digestive, increase focus

California poppy (Eshscholtzia spp.)
anxiolytic, helps ground after trauma, relaxant, sedative in large doses. Dose dependent. 15- 30 gtt

Cardamom (Elattaria cardamomum)
corrigent, warming, digestive

Cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana)
X. Laxative, relieves constipation. 5-10 gtt

Chaparral (Larrea spp.)
Strong ext wash/ int disinfectant, anti-biotic, anti-parasitic, antioxidant. 30 gtt Limit to 2 wks int usage.

Chaparro amargosa (Castela emoryi)
anti-parasitic, laxative. Take 30 gtt at 1rst sign of loose stools. Wait ½ hr, then take 1 tsp activated charcoal powder. Repeat in 4 hrs.

Cinnamon (Cinamomum spp.)
corrigent, warming, digestive, demulcent

Clematis (Clematis spp.)
X. For cerebro-constricted/ nothing-works headaches. Use 5-10 gtt as needed.

Cotton root (Gossypium spp.)
emmenagogue, traditional abortifacient (do not use as such). 15- 60 gtt every few hrs. Rarely used. NP.

Decongestant aid
(Yerba Santa, Wolfberry)
dries up congestion, stops cold/ flus, anti-phlegm

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
immune-booster, anti-microbial. LD 60- 90 gtt, then 30 gtt every 2-4 hrs at 1rst sign of infection

Eyebright (Euphrasia spp.)
antihistamine, relieves itchy eyes, cough, runny nose. 15 gtt as needed

Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium)
headache relief. Top pre-migraine herb. 10-30 gtt at onset. Take 15 gtt until symptoms plateau.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
GI anti-inflammatory, digestive relaxant. 15-30 gtt

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
broad-based antimicrobial. For toothache powder, eye infection, int/ ext wound care. 30-60 gtt LD for infections. 30 gtt every 2 hrs

Hops (Humulus lupulus)
sedative, anti-pitta herb, relaxing digestive.10-20 gtt

Jamaican dogwood (Piscidia piscipula)
emotional/ physical pain relief, nervine, sleep-aid, not sedative, augmenting herb. 15 gtt

Kava kava (Piper methysticum)
Sedative relaxant, inhibitor that shuts off overthinking mind. 15-60 gtt as needed. Overdose may cause mental dullness/ impaired faculties.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
X. digestive nervine, relaxant, antioxidant. EO topically soothes acute burns, and aromatically restores calm during seizures. 3-5 gtt

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
put EO directly on herpes sores. Digestive relaxant, non-sedating. 15 gtt

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza spp.)
anti-infl, corrigent, adaptogen, “great harmonizer,” demulcent. Can raise blood pressure via water retention

Lobelia (Lobelia inflata)
X. Augmenting herb, deobstruent, breaks stagnation (ie. digestive, headache, mental). Best broncho-dilator (ie.For asthma). 1-5 gtt Overdose can cause nausea

Ma huang (Ephedra sinica)
X. decongestant for clear runny mucus. Stimulant, broncho-dilator, raises blood pressure, increases sympathetic tone. 5-10 gtt as needed/ 3x a day

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Digestive relaxant, anti-inflammatory, good with Chamomile, gentle tea. 30-60 gtt as needed

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)
nervine, emmenagogue, eases menstrual cramps and emotional lability, anziolitic. NP. 15-60 gtt as needed

Oregon grape (Berberis spp.)
int/ ext use. Antimicrobial, anti-protozoal. LD 30 gtt, then 60 gtt every 4 hrs for infection

Osha (Ligusticum porteri)
Antibacterial, anti-venomous, broad-based anti-microbial. Inhibits respiratory viruses, relieves altitude sickness (chew on rt) . 60 gtt LD, 30 gtt every 2-4 hrs

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata)
Relaxes over-thinking mind. Relaxes people on “bad trips.” Anxiolytic. May stimulate some, sedate others. 15-30 gtt, or 30 gtt every 2 hrs

Pedicularis (Pedicularis spp.)
skeletal muscle relaxant, augmenting herb. 30-60 gtt

Peppermint spirits
(4 Peppermint tea: 1 tincture; 1 EO: 20 tea/ tinc)
X.Digestive relaxant, eases nausea/ vomiting. 1-3 gtt

antiseptic wound covering, usu. ext use. Int: helps throat infections

Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)
anti-histamine for type 1 hypersensitive reaction allergies. 15-30 gtt LD, 30 gtt as needed

Silk tassel root bark (Garrya spp.)
X. best anti-spasmodic for smooth muscle cramping. Is strong; use black haw 1rst for cramps, general pain relief- 5 gtt each time. Don’t exceed 60 gtt

Skullcap (Scutellaria spp.)
nervine for phys/emo pain, smooth/ skeletal muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, sedative tea for insomnia, augmenting, trauma herb. Idiosyncratic.

Skeletal muscle relaxant
(Black Cohosh, Pedicularis, Skullcap) NP. 15-60 gtt

St Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
Ext: vulnerary and nerve repair. Int: anti-depressant, trauma aid. Over-usage may cause photo-sensitivity

Staph dismissed tincture
(Chaparral, Licorice, Witch Hazel, Propolis)
Ext: for staph infections. Alternate with activated charcoal twice a wk

Sundew (Drosera spp.)
cough suppressant for uncontrollable coughing

Tooth and gum rinse
(Yerba Manza, Myrrh, Goldenseal, Self-Heal, White Oak, Propolis, Glycerin)
astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, demulcent. Use as needed.

Turkey rhubarb (Rheum spp.)
X. relaxant- use a few drops before sleep. As laxative, use 5 gtt every 15 minutes.

Turmeric (Curcuma spp.)
anti-inflammatory, warming, safe high dose herb

Un-headache tincture
(Feverfew, Skullcap, Chamomile, Blue Vervain, Valerian rt) 15-60 gtt as needed.

Urinary tract tincture
(Dandelion lf, Chickweed, Cleavers, Parsley, Marshmallow, Corn Silk, Uva Ursi) For UTI: LD 90 gtt, then 60 gtt 3x/ day.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
Sedative, hypnotic, anodyne, nervine. Sleeping aid. Sedates most, stimulates 1/10 of people. (try 1 gtt test, 1rst) 15-30 gtt as needed. High doses may cause grogginess.

White oak (Quercus alba)
Astringent. 15-30 gtt as needed

Wild cherry (Prunus serotina)
respiratory sedative, for nonproductive coughs. 15 gtt

Wild lettuce (Lactuca spp.)
X. pain relief, by reducing awareness of pain. Sedative, relaxant, anodyne, anxiolytic, trauma herb. 1-15 gtt until symptoms relieved. 30 gtt every 3-4 hrs

Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa/ D. quadranata)
GI anti-spasmodic, NP. 15 gtt as needed

Willow (Salix spp.)
general anti-inflammatory. 30 gtt LD for acute inflammation, then 30 gtt every 2 hrs

Yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica)
Antimicrobial, astringent


Anti-infective (inc. Antiseptic, Anti-microbial)
Antiseptic wash (Propolis, Goldenseal, Myrrh, Witch Hazel)
Chapparo amargosa
Garlic (Anti-viral)
Goldenseal (Anti-viral)
Oregon graperoot (Anti-viral)
Staph dismissed tincture (Chaparral, Licorice, Witch Hazel, Propolis)
St. Johnswort

(See Decongestants and Anxiolytics)
Eyebright (anti-histamine)
Ragweed (anti-histamine)

Birch (contains salicylates)
Meadowsweet (contains salicylates)
Poplar (contains salicylates)
St. Johnswort
Willow (contains salicylates)

Catnip, Fennel, Ginger, Peppermint spirits

Antispasmodic (smooth muscle relaxant, NP)
· Antispasmodic compound (Black Haw, Crampbark, Trillium, Wild Yam, Skullcap, Clove, Cinnamon, Orange Peel)
· Black haw
· Crampbark
· Silk tassel root bark
· Skullcap
· Valerian
· Wild yam

Blackberry root
Rose family plants
White oak
Witch hazel
Yellow dock
Yerba manza

Augmenting herbs (improves other herbs’ actions)
Cayenne, Cinnamon, Jamaican dogwood, Lobelia, Skullcap, Licorice

Corrigent (improves flavor)
Cardamom, Cinnamon, Licorice

Beggar ticks
Decongestant aid (Yerba Santa, Wolfberry)

Aloe, Licorice, Mallows, Oatmeal, Prickly Pear

(See Antispasmodics, Astringents, Constipation, Diarrhea)

· Bitter herbs (Dandelion, Burdock, Yarrow, Gentian)
· Calamus
· Cardamom
· Fennel (carminative)
· Ginger (carminative)
· Mint family plants

· Digestive relaxants:
· Chamomile
· Catnip
· Hops
· Lavender
· Meadowsweet

Eye cups
· Irritation: wash with saline solution/ water / Slippery elm
· Conjunctivitis: wash with saline solution/ water/ 2 gtt Goldenseal tinc. Take Goldenseal int, too.
· Allergies: wash with saline solution/ water/ 2 gtt Eyebright.

Hemostats (stops blood flow, from ext wounds)
Cayenne, Cinnamon, Shepherd’s purse, Yarrow, Yunnan Paiyao

Immune Support
Echinacea, Osha, Ginger, Elder

Relaxants (inc. Nervines, Sedatives)
Anemone (trauma aid)
Blue vervain (trauma aid)
California poppy (trauma aid)
Jamaican dogwood
Kava kava
Lavender (EO: trauma aid)
Lemon balm
Lobelia (trauma aid)
St Johnswort (trauma aid)
Wild cherry
Wild lettuce (trauma aid)

(See Demulcents and Anti-infectives)
· Acute respiratory tincture (Yerba Santa, Grindelia, Mullein, Osha)
· Antimicrobial throat spray (Calendula, Echinacea, Osha, Wild indigo, Goldenseal, Propolis, Thyme, glycerin)
· Licorice
· Lobelia (broncho-dilator, for asthma)
· Ephedra (broncho-dilator, for asthma)
· Osha
· Sundew
· Wild cherry
· Etc: Baptisia, Boneset, Coltsfoot, Elecampagne, Grindelia, Horehound,

Skeletal muscle relaxant
Black cohosh
Kava kava
Skeletal muscle relaxant compound (Black cohosh, Skullcap, Pedicularis)
Wild lettuce

Vulneraries (wound healing)
Slippery elm
St Johnswort

Washes (external use)
Antiseptic wash (Propolis, Goldenseal, Myrrh, Witch Hazel)
St Johnswort
Staph dismissed tincture (Chaparral, Licorice, Witch Hazel, Propolis)


1. Cool it down
2. Give internal medicine to decrease pain and increase immunity: Echinacea (30-60 gtt), pain-relief (Hops, Wild Lettuce), trauma aid (Piscidia, St Johnswort, Lemon Balm)
3. Clean: Remove external material in wound
4. Rehydrate patient
5. Wash burn with disinfectant (Oregon graperoot, Goldenseal) and astringent herbs (tea of Willow, Oak, Potentilla, black tea soak)
6. Cover: Apply poultice/ compress of demulcent/ drawing agents (Opuntia, Aloe, Lavender EO, clay, honey)

The Laxative Continuum:
(Try each thing 1rst, before moving down the line. These herbs/ techniques increase in strength.)

1. Tonification laxative (ie. Rumex spp.) 1rst, use mechanical laxatives, ie. Demulcent foods/ herbs, increasing water/ fiber uptake, digestive relaxants
2. Turkey rhubarb (chemical laxatives are #2-4. Use before sleep. Don’t become dependent. 5 gtt)
3. Cascara sagrada (Use 5-10 gtt)
4. Senna (Cassia spp.) (purgative laxative)

Rehydration Fluid: 1 qt water, 4 tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt
Eat well-cooked, easily digestible foods.

1. Let diarrhea run its course, then rehydrate patient.
2. Give Chapparo amargosa, Oregon graperoot or other anti-parasitics to kill GI bugs.
3. Wait 30 minutes, then give 1 tsp activated charcoal to adsorb/ expel causes.
4. If diarrhea stops, then start eating easily digestible foods again, slowly. Nourish the system.
5. If the diarrhea’s continued for a few days, then consider astringents to stop it. But, this only abates symptoms. Find and treat the cause.

Diarrhea and vomiting
Ease vomiting with anti-nauseants, then rehydrate person. Treat diarrhea after vomiting is resolved.

Dog bites
1. Soak in Yarrow/ Chaparral disinfectant tea
2. Give Echinacea internally, maybe trauma aid
3. Activated charcoal poultice on wound
4. Have patient return the next day. If wound’s inflamed, then re-soak. If no inflammation, then apply Propolis and cover.

Gut parasites
· Giardia- protozoal. 5-7 day incubation. Symptoms: Frothy diarrhea, bad gas. No vomiting. Never blood in stool. Treatment: Chapparo amargosa, activated charcoal.
· Shigella- bacterial. 2 day incubation. Symptoms: Usu. blood in stool, vomiting and diarrhea. Self-limiting, so will stop itself. Treatment: Peppermint spirits, Oregon graperoot, Chaparral.
· E. coli- bacterial. Symptoms: vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes w/ red blood in stool. Treatment: Peppermint spirits, Chaparral, Chapparo amargosa, Oregon graperoot, activated charcoal.

(See Anti-inflammatory, Relaxants, Skeletal Muscle Relaxants)
· Black cohosh (tension/ frontal lobe headaches. 5-15 gtt)
· Chamomile (GI/ stress h-aches. Tea/ 15-90 gtt)
· Clematis (cerebro-constricted/ nothing-works headaches. 5-10 gtt)
· Eyebright (allergy-headaches. 15-60 gtt)
· Feverfew (1rst choice pre-migraine. 15-30 gtt)
· Lobelia (dull aching headaches. 5 gtt at a time)
· Meadowsweet (infection/ digestive headaches. 15-60 gtts/ tea for GI headache)
· Skullcap (stress headaches)
· Un-headache tincture (Feverfew, Skullcap, Chamomile, Blue vervain, Valerian rt)
· Willow (unknown origin dull h-aches. 15-90 gtt)

Staph infections
Antibiotics will treat it faster, but herbs offer an alternate solution.
1. Clean with soap and water, or soak in disinfectant wash to remove pus and dead skin.
2. Internal: immune stimul and antibiotics (Echinacea and Goldenseal/ Oregon graperoot/ Chaparral). LD 90 gtt Take 60 gtt every 4 hrs.
3. External: alternate between activated charcoal and “Staph dismissed” tincture (Chaparral, Witch hazel, Oregon graperoot, Goldenseal)
4. Wrap with vet wrap or other non-sticking material, to prevent further opening the wound. Instruct patient in caution with physical interactions, to prevent spreading infection.

Takes 24-48 hrs to manifest symptoms: achy body, fever. Treatment: Oregon graperoot, Garlic, Goldenseal.

Other Medicines

· Arnica liniment (for acute inflammation)
· Lobelia vinegar
· Yunnan paiyao
· Ginger chews

· Osha honey
· Wild cherry honey

· Castor oil
· Ear oil (Mullein fl, Garlic, vita E oil, EV olive oil)
· Poplar bud oil
· Trauma oil (St johnswort, Arnica, Valerian, Wintergreen EO, Tea tree EO, vita E oil, EV olive oil)

Essential oils
· Clove (numbs tooth pain; antiseptic)
· Lavender (for acute burns, and relaxation)
· Tea tree (antiseptic, astringent)

Powders and capsules
· Activated charcoal powder (adsorbent)
· Clay (adsorbent/ drawing agent)
· Goldenseal root (disinfectant)
· Licorice (demulcent, etc)
· Slippery elm (demulcent, nutritive)

Single herbs
· Osha root
· Tobacco
· Licorice root
· Chapparal

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(Pictured is the first aid tent at the 2014 Rainbow Gathering in the Wasatch-Cache NF of northern UT. Photo credit: 7song)