Woot, a blog party!
The theme for this blog party is "forgotten herbs", of which there are many. I thought I'd already written about both of these, actually:
Black currant leaf (Ribes nigrum) is local, tasty, found in every garden over here (and along quite a few lake shores), and the use of black currant leaf for allergies is all but forgotten. I find the scent to be -- mmmm -- a nice mood lifter, as well.
You can make the dried (or fresh) leaf into a tea, or you can make a tincture.
Or use gemmotherapy, which is something almost homeopathic from France: pick the leaf bud or the very young leaf, tincture it in alcohol (or glycerine) at 1:20, and use a few drops as needed.
Black currant is the host for one or the other crop disease, so selling the real thing has been prohibited in the US. Dunno how things are now, but most of the "black currants" sold in garden centers over there are actually golden currants ... if the leaf has no scent, and if the berry has no zing, you don't have the real stuff.
Another nice herb is Bidens -- and you can use all bidenses interchangeably, for urinary tract infections and to soothe mucous membranes from urethra to anus. And thereabouts.
I learned the use of Bidens at the SWSBM, and as far as I know, nobody else uses it. Dunno if it's even available in the UK herb houses ... we have three species, and they are all abundant weeds.
They're underground until, oh, July or so, after which they grow and flower, but are very hard to see. As in, you've found a bunch and picked'em all, and you go back to check the same spot every day for the next two weeks, you'll come home with your basket full every single day. It's that good at hiding.
Or perhaps it's just a fast grower.
I use the aboveground parts of bidens as a mild tea for urinary tract infections, and for the itch that sometimes comes with BPHP (benign prostatic hyperplasy). Lovely herbs, are the bidenses.