Jane Riley with a shelf of herbal remedies Jane Riley is a Medical Herbalist living in Cumbria who provides holistic healthcare for the entire family.

As a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) she has undergone comprehensive training in Western Herbal Medicine, and follows a code of ethics and practice. Jane also undertakes regular continuing professional development.

Below is a listing of Jane’s off-the-shelf herbal treatments. At Alston Wholefoods we stock a range of Jane’s herbal treatments (indicated by an astrisk). We are happy to order in others.

Herbal creams and ointments

Russian Ointment* – contains wintergreen, eucalyptus, pine and thyme essential oils which have an anti-inflammatory action. Arnica herb which assists healing of damaged tissue (see below) and capsicum which draws fresh blood into the joint capsule, so clearing debris and damaged tissue. Capsicum also contains capsaicin a natural pain killer.
Russian ointment will greatly relieve painful arthritic joints and with regular use assist mobility. Russian ointment can also be used as a warm up application before sport or exercise.

Arnica Cream*– traditionally used for treating bruises, neuralgia, sprains, rheumatic joints, aches and pains after excessive use in sport.
First used by Swiss mountaineers who chewed the leaves to prevent sore and aching limbs.

Comfrey Ointment* – also known as “knitbone”. A supreme wound healer contains allantoin which can travel several centimetres through the skin and stimulate chondroblast, fibroblast and osteoblast activity, in other words stimulates soft tissue and bone repair.

Marigold Ointment – may be used wherever there is inflammation of the skin, whether due to infection or physical damage. Also of benefit in slow healing wounds or skin ulcers.

Marigold and Myrrh Cream – traditionally used for treating fungal infections such as vaginal thrush or athletes foot.
Marigold and Myrrh are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial, and so the cream is useful for dirty wounds such as grazed knees, chilblains, fistula, inflamed nails, whitlow, also dry skin, chapped lips, wind and sun burn.

Chickweed Ointment – reduces itching, soothes and cools inflamed skin suffering from eczema and urticaria.

Pilewort Cream – reduces size and discomfort of haemorrhoids.

Varicose Vein Cream – Horsechestnut fruit; Yarrow tops and Comfrey leaf, reduces pressure and aching in varicose veins.


Concentrated liquid herbal preparations with a good shelf life.

Echinacea* prime remedy to help the body get rid of microbial infections. Effective against both bacterial and viral attacks.

Anti-stress* Valerian; Skullcap and Liquorice tonic to the nervous system and adrenal glands useful for prolonged stress.

Cough Medicine* Elderberry, Thyme and Liquorice – soothing and anti-infective for respiratory infections.

Sore Throat Gargle* myrrh, marigold and sage.

High Energy Elixir* Withania, Siberian ginseng, gotu cola and liquorice – tonic herbs to increase resistance and improve both physical and mental performance.

Immune Tincture* Echinacea; Eupatorium; Astragalus; Sambucus; Capsicum – increases resistance to infection by improving immune function.

Hawthorn: one of the best tonic remedies for the heart and circulation.

Insomnia tincture: Valerian and Rose gives a deeper more restful sleep, should wake feeling more refreshed. Helps to re-establish a good sleeping habit.

Prostate tincture: Smilax and Serenoa reduces symptoms (eg. poor flow) of benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Swedish bitters: Myrrh, saffron, Artemisia absinthum, carline thistle, angelica. Benefits liver function and a “sluggish” digestive system.

Herb Teas

First the “simples” ie. one herb tea.

Chamomile Flower* – a wonderful relaxant to the nervous system and the digestive system, a perfect remedy for babies and children. It calms anxiety and is excellent for tense, stressed people who tend to be hyperactive and highly sensitive, prone to digestive problems and allergies.

Peppermint Leaf * – improves digestion and absorption. Frees energy and dispels lethargy an excellent remedy for students.

Nettle Leaf *– highly nutritious rich in vitamins A and C and minerals iron, silica and potassium.  A nourishing tonic for weakness and debility, convalescence and anaemia.  Nettle stimulates the liver and kidneys, helps clear the skin in eczema and urticaria and through its diuretic action helps relieve cystitis and fluid retention.

Rosemary Leaf – a wonderful tonic to the heart, brain and nervous system. Heightens concentration, improves the memory and creates courage.

Dandelion root – a famous gently detoxifing bitter tonic, increasing elimination of toxins, waste and pollutants through the liver and kidneys.

“Tea blends”

Cough Medicine* – aniseed, horehound, echinacea and liquorice. Soothing, checks mucus production, immune stimulating and calms the cough reflex.

Elder, Peppermint and Yarrow* – classic cold cure will bring on a profuse sweat – go to bed and the following day symptoms relieved.

Menopause Tea* – seeds are “little ovaries” and so are full of natural oestrogens. This tea contains three seeds aniseed, fenugreek and fennel as well as red clover flowers. Red clover contains flavonoids with an oestrogenic action and act as a deep cleansing remedy for chronic problems such as heavy or painful periods.

IBS/Digestive – chamomile, fennel, meadowsweet and liquorice. Calms spasm and pain in the digestive system. Helps to restore normal peristalsis and regulate bowel movements.

Happy – St. johns wort, bitter orange peel and liquorice. A tonic to the nervous system, lifts the spirits, calming and energising.

Immune Strength – contains astragalus, ligustrum, codonopsis, burdock and liquorice. A mixture of herbs traditionally used for strengthening the immune system, relaxing the nervous system and reducing stress.

Memory – contains rosemary and gingko , improving the cerebral circulation and so heightens concentration and aids memory.

Three Seed – contains fennel, fenugreek and linseed that helps alleviate constipation, upset stomach, gas and coughs and also serves as a mild blood cleanser.

Tranquil – contains lavender, limeflower, chamomile and passionflower. Relaxes the nervous system and calms the heart. May help insomnia.

Urinary – contains buchu, meadowsweet and cornsilk. A soothing urinary disinfectant useful for cystitis, especially those suffering from frequent infections.

Read more about herbal medicine on Jane’s website, www.janerileyherbalist.co.uk, where you can also find out about arranging a consultation with Jane, who holds clinics in Cumbria, Liverpool and Manchester.