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Balsam of Tolu
Balsam of Tolu is an herb that comes from a very tall tree that can be found in Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia. This herbal plant has also been called Balsam of Peru because it was originally exported primarily from Peru but that is no longer the case. The resin of this tree is what is most valuable and is retrieved in the same fashion that one collects the valuable properties from a rubber tree by tapping into it. The gummy resin that comes from the tree is then turned into balsam. Today, the main exporters of Balsam of Tolu are El Salvador, Columbia, and Venezuela.
Alfalfa, which is a perennial herb, has a long list of dietary and medicinal uses and research has proven that Alfalfa might lower blood levels of cholesterol and glucose. Many take Alfalfa supplements orally and is has been proven safe except in a small percentage of people where it produces lupus like symptoms. In the seeds and sprouts of Alfalfa, amino acid L-canavanine is present and that is what is thought to cause this reaction. However, this is not present in the leaves of the Alfalfa. The whole leaf and the herb are what are rendered from the Alfalfa plant.
Gypsywort is an herbal plant that but has no culinary purposes at all but rather is used for industrial and medicinal purposes. This plant originated in Europe and Northwest Asia. Gypsywort's most important properties come from the stem and the leaves. These were used for the astringents, sedatives, anxiety, tuberculosis, and heart palpitations. Industrially, Gypsywort was extremely beneficial in making a permanent black dye. Oddly enough that is how it got its name, the Gypsies were said to have stained their skin with this black dye like substance so they would resemble Africans or Egyptians while they were performing their "magic."