Peach leaf.

Botanical name: 

From: "jim mcdonald"
Subject: Re: [Herb] herb mixture for inflammation?-peach
Date: Wed, 05 Feb 2003 10:05:45 -0500

>You mention Peach Leaf (yummy!), which makes me curious as to its taste and medicinal effect. Bitter? Sweet? Last summer I made tea from the leaf stems and leaves of maple, inspired by John Heinerman and knowing it was nontoxic.

Peach has become one of my favorite plants. I got my first tincture from Matt Wood, when recommended it when I called him up to ask about a weird skin rash case (granuloma anulare). He sent me a bottle, but the woman it was for never called back to follow up with me, so the bottle became mine. One taste & I was like "YEAH!". The flavor is sweet, tart, sour & bitter, and kind of goes from one flavor back to another rather than having a steady taste.

It's a remedy for heat & irritation of tissues. Traditionally, its well known for being useful for people who throw up a lot from an irritated stomach, especially in pregnancy. I've found it to be geerally good for any type of nausea. It makes a good drawing agent, as well, and can be poulticed on boils or swelling with good effect. It's good for "hot people" (I'm a textbook hot & dry) who tend to react with excessive activity in the tissues, whereever. I recommend it for people with an overly gung ho immune response (lots of inflammation). I'm still not clear exactly how its working on me, but I get such an affirmative feeling when taking it, I know its doing me good. Its not overtly sedative, but I do feel it has a VERY subtle calming influence. The tongue signature is red on the tip & sides... indications of heat & irritation.

Matt made his with fresh leaves & brandy, and the bitter taste was muted, but I made mine with fresh leaves & branches (the organic gardener I sought out says "let me get this straight, you want to come over & prune my trees?") and grain alcohol (1:2), & like it more bitter... dried leaes are to be avoided - see Cook's Dispensatory for info on the hydrocyanic & prussic acid concerns.

Dosage of the fresh herb tincture is effective from 5-15 drops. The standard 30 drop doses, I think, would be entirely unnecessary.

From: "Thomas Mueller"

Thanks for information on peach leaves. John Lust has an entry for peach leaves in The Herb Book, and peach leaves are in Blessed Herbs (nci) catalog. I presume the peach leaves are dried in both cases, and there was no reference to hydrocyanic acid. Naturally I don't want to poison myself, so skip the peach leaves? I've read that wild cherry leaves, when wilted, could contain hydrocyanic acid, this could be true for other Prunus species too.

From: "jim mcdonald"

>I presume the peach leaves are dried in both cases, and there was no reference to hydrocyanic acid. Naturally I don't want to poison myself, so skip the peach leaves?

Dried Peach leaves have ~been said to~ contain prussic acid as well; again, READ THE ENTRY in Cook's Dispensatory (on Henriette's site or medherb). Remember, though, dried peach leaves have been prepared as tea for nausea & vomiting for aeons, so I don't expect any ~real~ hazards from an occasional cup of tea, but who knows? I don't. I've heard hydrocyanic acids help relieve "histamine irritation of the capillaries" (and have used wild cherry bark with success in treating certain types of rashes based on this info), so you'll probably want some in your preparation anyway.

The real issues with using dried peach leaf is that since almost mobody uses it, I could only guess how old it must be. Also, if it isn't organic, its probably been sprayed to death with everything evil in the world, being a fruit tree. And since about 5-15 drops of fresh leaf tincture constitutes an effective dose, making tea would be a waste of the leaves.

...and I like everything fresh, if I'm tincturing... the flavors are almost always better. Even awful tasting herbs like goldenseal... much better extracted fresh. Black Cohosh is the same way, so much more vital. If you want to find peach leaves, look up your state or counties organic certification organization, or organic growers collective. See who grows peaches, and make arrangements now to prune their trees in the spring, ideally at or before flowering. Finding the organic organization will take all the leg work out of it for you.

From: (Roxanne Brown)

Just thought I would mention that in studying a little pioneer medicine in the US, peach leaf tea was used as a night time seditive. I was so long ago I cannot quote the source.

From: "jim mcdonald"

>peach leaf tea was used as a night time seditive.

I do find peach subtley calming when I feel riled or anxious, but wouldn't consider it a nervine comparable to something like Skullcap or valerian; at all. Perhaps "quieting" is a more appropriate adjective?