April 10, 2008
Herbs I use Personally
I thought maybe I should list the herbs I have on hand in my house. Now I don't take these all at one time but keep them around for when I need them. I know I post alot of herbal recipes and such but I do use them as medicine too. They are much gentler than standard medication and take awhile to work... but they do work. The FDA takes these or other plants and extracts a component or two to make a new medicine. But that creates alot of side effects. You hear that on those tv commercials all the time. Herbs however are balanced. The same component might be in one but it has other things in it too that balanced the stronger ones. Medicines work on the end result. Herbs work on building you up and correcting the problem. So a problem you have had for yrs will not just suddenly go away because you took herbs for a week. Keep this in mind for if you decide to try something.
Also when you start.......follow the directions on the bottle first. Some people are more sensitive to the ingredients than others. Some people who have allergies could even have an allergic reaction. So anytime you try an herb, be cautious. If you take what the bottle says for a few days and have no reaction you might be able to add a few more capsules daily to get quicker results. Example: I take Echinacea and Goldenseal when getting sick. I used to take what the bottle said. Some DRs. even recommend taking one a day as a preventative but you cant do that. These things need time to build up in your system to work. One pill will not work like that, and you cant take them every day all the time either. You use them when you need them, that's it. You don't make them part of your life like a vitamin pill. Otherwise your body will get used to them and they wont work anymore. Now for me I found taking 2 capsules of Echinacea and Goldenseal when I'm sick every 4 hrs for the first few days until I'm starting to feel better, works good. Then I taper off to 3times a day. I continue this for one week after I feel better, then stop taking them. I experimented once long ago when my ex and I both got a cold the same day. He refused to take them, I took them like I said here. I was better in 3 days , he was sick all week.
Herbs I Use:
Ginseng- I give my bf two capsules daily one in the morning and one for his lunch for energy. Its also a good male tonic, think Chinese, they know how to use medicine well. I used to keep a bottle made with glycerin and ginseng on hand for myself. I used it for energy but especially for when I travelled. Jet lag can ruin a trip. If I took this during the day , I could keep going till I could go to bed at a normal time. After the first day or so I didn't need it. Glycerin in a mixture makes it sweet so it tasted good. The small bottle I could keep in my purse when I was out and about I could take it.
Calendula- This traditionally speeds healing, I use this as an essential oil in a carrier oil to put on wounds or use in massaging an area. Its also an anti inflammatory . Its good for burns and skin irritations too.
Chamomile- Chamomile tea is classic.......and good for having before bedtime to relax you. I once told my dad to take it when he was having trouble sleeping. I researched and couldn't find any reasons not to have it when he was taking other meds. So he took it and it worked. He told his Dr. and the Dr. agreed but told dad to tell me not to hang my shingle out yet. As you can see Dr's. are wary of this stuff still. I keep Chamomile essential oil on hand for inflammation. It needs to be mixed with a carrier oil but its a good one to use for massage.
Dandelion- I keep this around as a tincture. Its good to help your digestion and for eliminating water. Just a few drops in a glass with water and in a few min. I'm feeling better. I tend to take this when my meal starts to bother me.
Echinacea (Ill put Goldenseal here too)- I have a combo pill of these both that I use as you saw I mentioned above. I will add one more thing here tho. Goldenseal is a member of the ragweed family so if you have that allergy too be careful. You could have a reaction to this combo then. If so , just buy Echinacea by itself, its sold both ways but the combo one is much better.
Elderberry- I have a blog on this, I love it. The tea is great to sip when sick, tastes rather berry like. I like the syrup for colds and flu...the stores sell one called Sambucol but you can make your own if you have elderberry on your property. They are finding out that Elder has alot of virus fighting properties in it.
Eyebright- Since my old eyes are getting bad I bought this one to use....but just didn't keep it up. Ive since read more and hear its really good for your eyes so I might just have to add it back. But today I was researching something for a friend and found out eyebright is a good histamine blocker. Since I have bad allergies I have started using this today. Ill have to let ya know if it works.
Pau D'Arco- This is a fairly rare bark from a tree in So. America. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties. I started using this when I had a persistent yeast problem. It does work and I have found it works better than the over the counter stuff the DRs. used to prescribe for this . Its also been said it can cure some cancers. It has something in it that zeros in on cancer cells. If you have it , its worth a shot at trying it.
St. Johns Wort- They use this in Europe for depression and have found it works better than reg. meds. Our govt of course wont say that cuz the FDA would go nuts. You do have to be careful if you take it regularly. It makes skin photo sensitive. I gave this to my bf when he was working on eliminating some addictions. People who try to quit smoking or anything tend to get depressed.
Nettle- I use this right now as a tincture. If you read anything about this you will see our ancestors frequently made teas and such of this in the spring. Spring tonics were made for a reason. After a long winter without fresh foods peoples bodies needed alot of vitamins and such . Nettle is loaded with them. Its good for allergies and arthritis. It detoxes the body and enriches it.
Valerian- This stinks something awful once you open the bottle lol. but it does work. Take 2-3 a hr before bedtime when your having some trouble getting to sleep. All of a sudden you want to go to bed. No, your not yawning and groggy, sleepy. You just suddenly feel like its time for bed. I don't use it alot but once in awhile its good to have around.
Arnica- I have this as an oil. You do not want to use this on cut skin or internally. But it is really good for sore muscles and bruises. If I give a massage or use it on me I mix with calendula and St. John Wort oils in a carrier oil.
Hawthorn- Traditionally great for high blood pressure and the heart. Been reading great things about this. I got some for my bf, he has high blood pressure. Ive been nagging him to go to the DR. for it and he just wouldn't. Hes had an issue lately and had to go for something else but hes been afraid to go cuz he knew the DR. would get on his case for not taking care of the blood pressure. I give him two capsules daily. He went to the Dr. after two yrs of taking it. His blood pressure is normal now. Ive read stories of people with heart problems taking it and when they go back, its healed. If you smoke the latest recommendation out there in the world is to take Hawthorn daily.
Burdock- This is a great blood and liver cleanser. Whenever you get sick, your liver is working over time and needs to be cleansed. Whenever your digestive system is bothering you.....this helps. There is considerable evidence in the scientific literature that burdock root tea is a powerful anti-inflammatory remedy. Its numerous antioxidants protect the liver from toxic chemicals, allowing it to process the body's naturally occurring steroids which is helpful in achieving hormonal balance. I use this as a tincture and put a half dropperful in water at nite before bed maybe once or twice a week, more if my tummy bothers me. There are capsules too but I really like tinctures cuz they work fast.
Lavender- If you keep nothing else around your house, keep a bottle of pure lavender essential oil. Its good for everything! Its Analgesic, anti-convulsive, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-toxic, antitussive, antivenomus. Its the only essential oil that can be used directly on the skin without a carrier oil. But lavender of any kind is good to have around. Its fragrance is relaxing. Its good to put some in your bedroom at nite or spray some on a pillow. Make a pillow filled with lavender flowers and tuck it in your pillowcase even. Its the most amazing stuff around.
Oats or Oatstraw- I use this as a tincture too but you can buy oatstraw plain to make tea from. Oats are great for a woman's system. I used it to help me thru menopause. Its good for your nervous system too.
Mint- I keep Peppermint essential oil around. If you mix it with a carrier oil, it helps stop pain. I make a mixture of lavender, peppermint and a drop or two of chamomile with a carrier oil and use it on headaches and sinus pain. I found out tho its great on all kinds of pain. Essential oil of peppermint can be applied to the skin or mouth to relieve pain. Mint tea is excellent as an after dinner drink. It helps promote digestion. Whenever we ate and it didn't sit well, whether bloating or gas or whatever, I make mint tea. I prefer Spearmint because I do not like the taste of Peppermint but either will work.
Tea tree oil- I use this for many things. I have a bottle of the essential oil. They say you can use this directly on the skin but I found out the hard way you must be careful. I have a blog here about tea tree oil and my spider bite. I would say if your not allergic to much it would be ok. If you over do it or have allergies, dilute with a carrier oil. It is great for preventing infections in scrapes and cuts. Its antiseptic, antibiotic and anti-fungal. Many use this for nail and foot fungus. This is also a great disinfectant for cleaning showers and bathrooms for mold. While it smells strong for awhile the scent does dissipate.
These are some of what I keep around my own house for all that ails us. Each day tho I learn more and more. Herbs have been around since time began. They are listed in the Bible even. Herbs have been here for man to use to cure himself. Even animals know instinctively which ones to use for what. Humans have watched them and tried it on themselves and found out it works. As more and more things come out about the FDA and all pharmaceuticals, more and more I stay away. Our medical system is set up to cure your symptoms. Herbs are meant to work on the causes first and the symptoms will take care of themselves. This is how medicine should be.