Name: Prunus persica
Energetics: Cooling, moistening
Primary Organ System Affinities: Upper GI, uterus, nervous system
Specific Indications: dryness, heat, irritability and tension in sensitive, emotionally brittle individuals with a tendency towards inflammatory conditions and hyperimmune conditions such as allergies.
- It soothes nausea (especially if accompanied by a red tipped tongue or symptoms of heat) better than any other herb I’ve ever used, including Ginger.
- It’s safe during pregnancy, and can not just calm morning sickness but also seems to moderate some hormonal symptoms like anxiety and restless moodiness, as well as adding tone to the reproductive organs, especially the uterus.
- It’s a supreme digestive tonic for those with signs of dryness and heat. Where there’s diarrhea, churning stomach and short transit time, Peach is wonderful. It can help increase appetite while soothing irritation (Cook), much like it’s close relative Cherry.
- Peach can also help calm hyperimmune responses, including allergic reactions and some autoimmune conditions associated with heat. I specifically use it with venomous insects that result in a very red or hot site. In truth, it’s quite effective on any external inflammation (much like Rose) and in this way is very versatile.
- As a relaxant nervine, it has the capacity to be very helpful in cases of insomnia and anxiety typified by tension, dryness and some level of burnout. For some people, it can act as nearly an outright sedative, but for others it’s just gently calming. It seems to really depend on what the person needs. It was one of Tommie Bass’s favorite nervines.
- It makes a great addition to alterative blends, especially those including Burdock. By helping to relax tension, increase moisture, modulate digestion and calm the immune system, Peach helps the body to effectively eliminate waste products while restoring full health. Much of this I learned directly from jim mcdonald, who (along with Matt Wood) first introduced me to this amazing herb.
- Peach is a very useful soothing, demulcent diuretic that can be used in UTIs or urethral irritation due to constitutional dryness or dehydration.
- Adding a small amount of Ginger (a diffusive), speeds up its action, warms it a bit and makes it taste even yummier.
- It’s yummy. It makes almost every formula taste better.
- You can use it year round. Bark anytime, flowers and leaves in spring, leaves all spring and summer. Very convenient.
To used Peach as medicine, you can gather flowers and leaves or just leaves for a cold infusion or a tincture. I think the twigs/bark tend to be better as a tincture. To make the tincture, I just cover a jar full of fresh plant matter with brandy. I’m sure it’d be stronger using everclear but the taste of brandy with Peach is just divine. Any preparation of the plant tends to be most useful in small doses, and it doesn’t really improve with large doses. I use two to twelve drops of tincture, or a pinch of the plant in tea.
Mountain Medicine by Darryl Patton
The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism by Matthew Wood
personal correspondence with jim mcdonald
The Physio-Medical Dispensatory by William Cook