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Right now, you’re probably yearning for the local plant nursery to open their doors for spring and you’re dreaming about all the different herbs you want to grow. There are so many herbs and so little time!
Locally there are a few nurseries and they seem to all carry basically the same different herbs. Some of the specialty nurseries, although typically higher priced, do tend to carry some of the hard to find herbs but most of the different, not quite so mainstream herbs need to be procured through herb and seed catalogs.
Then the choices make choosing difficult! So many different uses for herbs both for cooking, and homeopathically. Folks are wanting more natural ways to gain relief for their ailments. How can you use herbs for better health?
What Exactly Is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is basically using natural substances (aka plants) as medicine for better health. Homeopathy treats the body as a whole instead of focusing on one ailment.
Homeopathy uses a highly diluted form of the substance that is causing the symptoms in the body to trigger the natural defenses within to begin healing. For instance, those with a predisposition to poison ivy or poison oak are subjected to a small dose of the plant to help their body become desensitized. This works similar to allergy injections you might have received from your doctor or allergist to combat an allergy.
Of course, there’s a lot more to homeopathy than that and interested parties should read up on homeopathy to learn more. A couple of popular books on the subject are:
These types of dilutions can be given in pill or liquid and are often actually prescribed and filled by a national pharmacy and are typically issued for minor ailments.
Herbs have had medical uses for ages, most notably found in Chinese medicine.
Our forefathers (aka our grandparents and their parents…) used herbs as well as parts of plants to treat a myriad of ailments. Doctors were hard to come by and frequently unaffordable for the average person. Herbal knowledge was passed down through the generations. Often times, a younger family member would accompany the elder on their herb and plant gatherings. This helped pass the knowledge of knowing which plants to use, what part of the plant and how to use them, onto the next generation.
Did you ever see the movie Medicine Man with Sean Connery? He portrayed a scientist, working for a drug company, researching plant cures in the Amazon jungle. Right now, in real life, there are many medicines that were created through research in the Amazon jungle. They’ve created medicine for malaria, glaucoma, muscle relaxers… and there’s no telling what man has not yet discovered, both in the jungle as well as native plants here in the US.
Sadly once a medicine is discovered in the wild, and synthesized in the lab the natural medicine, from the plant drops off. One such example is aspirin. Ancient people used the bark of the willow tree to make a ‘tea’ to reduce pain and temperatures. As we know now, it was the salicylic acid in the formulation doing the trick. Something as common as cheap aspirin had a plant origin. Many people today want to return to as natural a life as possible, they want to go ‘back to their roots’.
Popular Medicinal Herbs
Peppermint – Is used in making anything peppermint flavored but the plant can also be used to sooth the tummy, as well as an anesthetic and decongestant.
Calendula – Is often found in creams for healing (I’ve made this before!)
Garlic – Is not just for cooking! It’s used as an antibiotic, used to treat inflammation, and more.
Yarrow – Was used to stop bleeding on a wound and was called “soldier’s woundwort” because of this. Yarrow also has antiseptic qualities.
Lavender – Sweet lavender is used to relieve stress and reduce headaches. It’s also has antibiotic and antifungal qualities.
Arnica – AKA “mountain daisy” is often used to relieve pain after injury such as in sports and exercise. You’ll often find creams made with arnica.
Allium – Part of the onion family and is often used for common cold symptoms.
Chamomile – Is soothing and calming and used as a sleep aid.
St. John’s wort – Is a mood enhancer as well as some injuries.
Ginkgo biloba – Used as a memory booster and to fight free radicals in the body.
Echinacea – Known as the “immune booster,” it is used to help fight off the effects of a cold or sore throat making it a popular cold remedy.
Ginseng – Used to reduce stress and boost the immune system.
Ginger – Sooths a tummy and reduces sinus congestion…
Those using herbs medicinally should check dosage requirements through an herbalist, or their medical professional and be certain to check for drug interactions.
Medical Disclaimer. … The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.