Once I received a letter from a family man in which it said, I quote: "I beg you to show me a way back to health and give my family back their healthy father." Before, he had related his story: In 1961 a chronic inflammation of the prostate gland became acute through bathing in water containing radium. He went from one hospital to another, no doctor operated on him, he was in despair. Every time he had a bowel movement, there was pus and blood in the stools. Due to the many medications he developed duodenal ulcers, serious liver disorders and the valuable intestinal bacteria were destroyed. He became very sick and, on the doctor's orders, had to stop all medication. Then he was, as he wrote, operated on electrically. Despite the operation the inflammation did not clear up. Medications and injections worsened his condition again. Then he started to drink Stinging Nettle tea and a special tea for bladder trouble, which improved his condition so far that he was able to go back to work. He could have spared himself all this suffering had he but known the Small Flowered Willow-herb which can cure disorders of the prostate gland.
The Willow-herb, until now hardly found mentioned in herbals, has since the first publication of this book in the German language started an almost triumphal march across Europe and even further, as a medicinal herb for disorders of the prostate gland.
Since there are several species of Willow-herb and some people are uncertain which are the ones with the medicinal properties I will mention the ones that can be used: Pink Willow-herb (Epilobium roseum), Small flowered Willow-herb (Epilobium parviflorum), Mountain Willow-herb (Epilobium montanum), Dark-green Willow-herb (Epilobium obscurum), Lance-leaved Willow-herb (Epilobium lanzeolatum), Hill Willow-herb (Epilobium collinum), Marsh Willow-herb (Epilobium palustre), Gravel Willow-herb (Epilobium fleischeri), and Alpine Willow-herb (Epilobium anagallidifolium).
The Willow-herbs with the medicinal properties are recognizable by their small flowers. The colour is reddish, pale-pink to almost white. The flowers stand on top of the long thin pod-like seed vessels. These later split, disclosing many silky white hairs in which are embedded the tiny seeds. Of the varieties mentioned, the whole herb is gathered, that is, stems with leaves and flowers, but care should be taken to pick the herb in the middle of the stem - it breaks easily - so that it can form new side shoots. The plant is cut in the fresh slate. Even in the most severe cases only 2 cups of Willow-herb tea are drunk, 1 cup in the morning on an empty stomach and 1 cup in the evening. But it does not mean that a visit to the doctor is not necessary. In any case, for every serious illness, a doctor has to be consulted.
2 species of Willow-herb which can hardly be mistaken for the smaller species are the Great Hairy Willow-herb (Epilobium hirsutum) and the Rose Bay Willow-herb (Epilobium angustifollum). These must not be gathered. The first has large rose-purple flowers. It grows, much branched, in masses by ponds, in marshes and damp meadows and reaches a height of 150 cm. The stems and leaves are fleshy and slightly hairy.
The Austrian botanist, Richard Willfort, who knew the Willow-herb as a medicinal plant well, does not mention it in his book. As he said, it could be easily mistaken for the Great Hairy Willow-herb which, compared to the Small Flowered Willow-herb, has flowers 5 times as large, its stems and leaves are fleshy and it grows a lot taller, but has the opposite effect.
The Rose Bay Willow-herb (Epilobium angustifolium) also know as Fireweed, Blood Vine, Blooming Salty, grows in copses, waste grounds recently cleared and edges of woods and reaches a height of 150 cm. The slightly reddish stems end in long showy spikes of rose-purple flowers. When these abundantly growing Rose Bay Willow-herbs flower, they turn areas into fire-red patches. I was a young woman, when my father-in-law, in his prime, died from hypertrophy of the prostate gland. A neighbour who knew a lot about herbs showed me the Small Flowered Willow-herb and said: "Had your father-in-law drunk the tea made from this plant he would still be alive today. Take note of this plant! You are still a young woman and you might be able to help a lot of people." But as things go when one is young and healthy, I did not trouble myself about it. Not so my mother! She gathered Willow-herb every year and was able to help many people suffering from bladder or kidney disorders. The curative effect is so great that, often suddenly, all complaints caused by prostate disorder disappear. There were cases, where men were to have an operation, the urine came only in drops and 1 cup of this tea brought relief. Of course, the tea has to be drunk throughout a period to bring about complete recovery.
Through my mother I heard of a patient who had undergone 3 operations for clinically diagnosed cancer of the bladder and who was in a sad state. I recommended Willow-herb tea. Later I heard from his doctor that he had recovered. This happened at a time when I did not concern myself with medicinal herbs. But this case had a lasting effect on me. My mother often told me not to forget to gather Willow-herb should She be gone one day.
In 1961 my dear mother died and I forgot to gather Willow-herb that summer. In the surgery of my doctor I learned that an acquaintance of mine was in hospital with cancer of the bladder. I thought of the Willow-herb. The doctor, although not against herbs, said that in this case, nothing could help. But I had not gathered any Willow-herb and noticed with dismay that it was now the middle of October, everything would be wilted and dried up. Nevertheless I went to a place where I had seen them flowering in the summer. I found only some yellowed stems which I picked and cut finely. This I sent to the man's wife. She gave him 2 cups a day, 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening. 14 days later, the doctor rang me up to say that this man was feeling much better. "Well, your herbs help!", he said laughingly. From that time on I have been able to help hundreds and hundreds of people.
As an old man once had said to me: "Take note of this plant! You might be able to help many people."
A chemist in Munich showed me an old pharmacopoeia where it was still mentioned around 1880. Drugs have pushed it aside. Through my publications, talks and herb-walks the Willow-herb has become known again. My suggestions find an echo in many people, thence when my husband and I go on our walks, be it in the mountains, on hills or near brooks, we meet with pleasure people picking out carefully the middle shoot of the Willow-herb. Everyone who knows this herb values and preserves it through careful picking. It grows back 2 or 3 times after being picked. From many letters I learned that in many gardens the Willow-herb grows between strawberries, vegetables and flowers and for many years it was looked upon as a troublesome weed and pulled out. How it could have helped many a suffering person.
Not so long ago I was able to help a priest who, suffering from cancer of the prostate gland and given up by the doctors, is now doing his normal work.
From a letter I quote: "My sister-in-law suffered from a tear in the intestine and the bladder caused by X-ray treatment. It was so painful that the doctor had to give her morphine. According as per the illustration in your book 'Health through God's Pharmacy', we looked for the Small Flowered Willow-herb, found it and gave the tea to my sister-in-law. After having drunk the tea for one week the pain subsided." Many who suffer from a disorder of the prostate gland are able to find relief without an operation through the Willow-herb. If an operation has been performed, the Willow-herb tea relieves the burning and other complaints which often occur afterwards. But in any case a doctor should be consulted.
A man who had recovered from a prostate disorder wrote: "The Small Flowered Willow-herb has relieved my prostate disorder. I was in hospital with a heart infarct but I also suffered from prostate disorder and because of my heart trouble I could not be operated on. I heard of the wonderful Willow-herb which has helped in so many similar cases. I started to drink 3 cups daily; after several days I had no more complaints. I still drink 2 cups per day for a complete recovery. I thank God from the bottom of my heart. May you, Mrs. Treben, help many more people with the Small Flowered Willow-herb. It is unbelievable that medicinal plants give such results."
Infusion: 1 heaped teaspoon per 1/4 litre of boiling water, infused for a short time. Only 2 cups a day are taken, 1 cup in the morning on an empty stomach, 1 cup in the evening, half an hour before a meal.