Since man has been around on Earth, illness was still present in society. Sprains, headaches, fevers and bones that broke all had to be taken care of. Back then we did not have a local Walgreens or Rite Aid pharmacy handy. So man used what was available at the time, plants from nature. All the teachings of Shaman, medicine men and women and even witch doctors alike are still being used today.
Catnip, Aloe Vera and even Marijuana along with hundreds of other plants, flowers and berries were man’s medicine.
In the time of our ancestors women basically did what was referred to as the doctoring. They prepared the plants, flowers or berries to be used as a medicine based on what ailment the person had at the time. Gardens seemed to run an endless supply of different plants that were both used for food and medicine. Many plants were actually brought to American for their healing properties such as nutmeg which had originally come from Europe.
Chinese medicine has been employing the use of herbs for thousands of years. Native Americans had used their herbs to treat illness in their people and still do use herbal medicine. Jump into present time and we still use herbal medicine with herbal cures that come from places like India and Thailand.
These products of nature can have healing properties than can surprise, amaze and bewilder man kind even today. They can be used as antiseptic, insect repellent, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, fever, pain relief and much more. So here is a look at nature and its library of cures as close as our backyard. Mind you some of these can be found in the wild others you can even plant.
Currently there are some states which now allow medical marijuana to be used. Each state has their guidelines for obtaining and dispensing. Besides the fact it can be made into many products such as the paper in which is said was used to write The Deceleration of Independence on it yield numerous health benefits, which most are well documented in scientific research. It can treat depression, anxiety, blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, cancer, migraines, fibromylagia, and even neruopathic pain. Some authorities will claim it is addicting compared to heroin and cocaine I really do not see it becoming addicting or killing off brain cells. When your out with the four wheelers and decide to show off and break your leg, smokey the bear has come out of the woods and ate your buddy and you have no clue where you are because like a smarty pants you never paid attention and went off the beaten path. Well if there is some cannabis around you just may need it at that point. The point is marijuana is not that evil plant of the 70’s it does hold a lot of medical value.
If you get a burn or cut and have a plant handy just break off a piece and apply the aloe inside to the area. Aloe Vera can now is available in gel, lotion and juice. The gel and even lotion is great like I said for cuts, burns, scrapes and also works good on chapped or dry skin along with rashes. The juice is used as a dietary supplement it works for digestive issues, stress and laxative to name a few.
This beautiful flower is an opioid plant. It’s root, seeds and leaves are used as a diffusion, tincture and powder. It has very mild effects and used as a sedative, analgesic and represses muscle spasms. The effects are much like its counterpart the red poppy which is used in opium. It is totally safe for children. It can brew into a tea for anxiety and tension. It has treated insomnia and bed-wetting especially in children. Due to its sedate qualities it has been used in children with ADD and ADHD. It also has shown it can aide the elderly with concentration and memory.
Other than fact it is used in many pasta recipes and yes you most likely still can use it to ward off the newest vampire in town. When used in raw or crushed forms it becomes a strong antibiotic. It has also been used as an anti-fungal agent. When it cooked into dishes it is great for cardiovascular system. The National Health and Medical Research Council even states that one half to one full clove of garlic each day could lower cholesterol levels up to nine percent. There are also garlic pills for purchase.
One of the oldest ferns in the world. Just roll some up in your palms till it makes a rough mash. It is good for stinging nettle burns, minor cuts, and burns. Lady Fern can be found all over North America but more easily found in areas that have high rain fall.
Ginkgo is one of the oldest living tree types and its leaves are greatly researched botanical today. The supplements are in huge demand in the United States and Europe. It is considered one of the top herbal medicines today. Its original use was for circulatory disorders and helping memory. Clinical studies are advocating it just may help persons with Alzheimer’s Disease through improvement of memory, thinking, learning, doing daily tasks, improved social behavior and lessens depression.
Which is also referred to as the Mexican butterfly weed. It is a kind of tropical milkweed that has toxic milky sap which induces vomiting. The root is used for medical purpose such as reducing spasms, digestion (relieving gas), mild laxative,diuretic, cough suppressant. Due to this plant being extremely toxic it is best to be used by herbalist or natural healthcare practitioner who have vast knowledge of its medical use.
Tansy is a wild grown herb and it is best left up to herbalists or natural medicine practitioners to use.
You can rub the leaves on the skin as a repellant for insects. Its may use is to rid adults and children of worms. If you make an infusion of the leaves and flowers and use it as a wash for skin problems, blemishes, bruises and sprains. It also comes in essential oil. Warning this plant or any mix of this plant should be avoided if you are not experienced such as a natural health practitioner. Even the oil is a potential poison and small doses can prove fatal. It can bring on hallucinations and neurotic disturbances.
Mint in its own right is known for curing headaches, aiding nausea, calming upset stomach and fatigue.
Korean mint is also a very strong antiviral. It helps aide in the fight against colds and flu. You can use it to make tea, flavor meat and salads.
Sage has been used for thousands of years in cooking and in medicine. Its original connection was for sprains, bruises, swelling, ulcers and bleeding. Sage tea is used for sore throats and coughs. Herbalists use it for treatment of menstrual bleeding, enhancing the nervous system, improving memory along with heightening of the senses. It has been used to treat gingivitis by using it as a mouthwash. You can also ingest 5ml fluid extract diluted in water and take three times a day.
Alfalfa is full of minerals and health aiding nutrients. The Chinese have used it since around the sixth century. It helps kidney problems, digestion, cleanses the blood liver and bowl, lowers cholesterol, helps aide whooping cough. Drinking the tea has been prove to benefit those who are suffering from arthritis. It has aided those with diabetes in reduction of sugar levels. It can help with dissolving kidney stones. Has been used as treatment for hair loss and balding when mixed with equal amounts of carrot and lettuce juice. Which is to be taken daily. It also acts as a strong diuretic. It also has been used by women for years and years to aide in morning sickness. You can buy the seeds and sprouts, capsules and pills. You can also just eat the leaves directly from the plant.
Catnip is a herb that is in the mint family. Having a plant handy is useful for it repels insects. If you have a cold and do not have NyQuil or do not like over the counter cold medicines then use some catnip. It can reduce fevers by bringing on sweating in a person. It has also aided with stomach gas, migraines and stomach aches. It also has a sedative effect which makes it great for insomnia sufferers and those in pain who need sleep. It aides also in stopping bleeding as in from cuts if used topically.
Capsules and liquid forms are available. You can even purchase dried catnip to make a tea. For topical use make a paste by adding warm water.
Wild Quinine is a beneficial medical herb. By traditional practices it has been used in alternative medicine for the treatment of various conditions such as fatigue, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections and venereal diseases. Most herbalists in the United States and Europe use this herb to treat lymphatic congestion, colds, ear infections, sore throat and fever. European scientific studies have found this herb helps stimulate the immune system. Native Americans for decades have used this herb to treat sore throats. This herb is usually sold mixed with Echinacea for more than fifty years.
Navajo tea also known as greenthread, Plains Tea and Coyote Plant. Used by Native Americans for centuries. The teas medical benefits aides in digestion, purification of blood and helps kidney functioning. It can be purchased online for about $3.50 an ounce. Local Harvest is one place to find it.
To make tea use two tablespoons in one quart of boiling water. Boil for five minutes, then strain and drink.
Burdock herbs grows mainly all over the United States. Burdock root has a long line of conditions it can treat. It most often is used to purify the blood from toxins. It can be taken orally for skin issues and joint pain. Burdock root has also been used in the treatment of headaches, sinuses, poison ivy and oak and is claimed to help cancer however, there is no scientific evidence available to prove or disprove this claim. Burdock comes in teas, ointment and pill form.
One of the top beneficial plants for insect bites and stings. It is a very popular herb used in cooking for flavoring all types of meats and stews. The leaves and shoots of the plant have anti-oxidants it also has dietary fiber to reduce cholesterol levels and at same time increase the good cholesterol. The leaves contain the oil thymol which is important in essential oils. It has also been discovered to have anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. It contains minerals and vitamins such as potassium, iron, magnesium and zinc which aide in blood pressure and controlling heart rate. It is also very popular as tea and is great if you have a sore throat.
You can purchase the leaves in bulk in the forms of cut and sifted, powder form or whole. Organic and natural product manufactures usually carry it. One such place is Frontier a natural product co-op.
Sweet Violet a very fragile purple flower. Is effective for colds, sore throats and flu when brewed into a tea to drink. The tea also can relieve muscle pain and headaches. Sweet Violet has been used in Chinese Medicine as a treatment in cancer especially of the skin. There is no research currently available on this claim. You can also purchase sweet violet in perfumes and lotions, body wash and more. Bath and Body Works sells a variety of products with it like candles, shower gels, diffuser, lotion and mist.
For a tea use one teaspoon to one cup boiling water. Let it stand for ten minutes. For colds and flu drink the tea three times a day.
Make a paste of the herb mixed with water for skin sores.
Aloe Trade America
Herbal Supplement Resource
University of Maryland Medical Center
Bitter Route Restoration
Health Learning Information
Home Remedies Web
Natural Herbs Guide
Nutrition and You
Fox 4 Community