While we were in Paris I found some familiar faces, herbs!
Gaillet gratteron, Cleavers (Galium aparine) - Galium is a small upright herb that is covered in tiny stiff hairs. Its tiny hairs make it stick to clothing and hair, which is where its name cleavers comes from. Galium's main action is a Lymphogogue; meaning it makes the fluid in your lymph system flow.
Aubepine, Hawthorne (Crataegus spp.) - Crataegus is a small tree in the Rosaceae family. We saw this one in the Jardin des Plantes, in full bloom. Hawthorne is most known for its action on the heart. Not only does it calm rapid heart beats, and lower high blood pressure, its also been shown to speed a sluggish heart.
Gingko (Gingko biloba) Gingko is the only genus in the gingko family, and has only one species. It is an amazing tree with unique botanical properties. Medicinally gingko leaves are used to increase circulation to the brain, increasing mental focus and memory. In Traditional Chinese medicine however the fruit is utilized and has completely different applications.
Narrow Leaved Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) - Plantain small herb often found along roadways and paths. It prefers compact soil and was called the 'white man's herb' by native americans, who noticed its spread by the boots of soldiers. Plantago is highly nutritive and is a very useful for wound healing as it acts as an antiseptic, vulnerary and draws infectious agents from wounds.
Framboises, Raspberry (Rubus ideaus) - Raspberry is a large shrubby plant covered with sharp thorns called prickles (thorns are part of a branch, whereas prickles are only part of the skin of the branches). Like all rubus plants the leaves are highly astringent (that feeling of dryness or puckering when you eat it) which makes them very good vulnerary's. Raspberry also tonifies the uterus and is used in pregnancy to strengthen the uterus.
Bourse a pastour, Shepard's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) - Capsella is recognizable by its heart shaped siliques (seed pods). This herbs primary action is that of a vulnerary. It is extrememly effective, a dropperful internally can be enough to stop a major hemmorage and it often utilized by midwives during birth.
Celendine (Cheledonium majus) - Celendine was introduced to me first in an autobiography of Maurice Messigue, an herbalist from Gers, France. So when I spotted this specimen hidden in the woods among the nettles I was very pleased. Celendine is used only externally as its latex is caustic. The whole plant can be in a foot bath for pulling out toxins in the body. The latex can also be used to kill off worts, but be careful not to get any on healthy skin.
I also found a museum that had a small collection of botanical texts and prints, here is a line drawing of a strawberry plant.