Many people have lost faith in modern medicine due to the potential side-effects of modern drugs. So if you are interested in learning about herbal medicine, why not have a go at creating nature’s own medicine chest? This way you can treat health concerns naturally.
Why Herbal Medicine?
Conventional medicine has been shown to have a great many side-effects. Although medication saves lives, there is always the risk of severe side-effects. It is largely because of this that there has been a resurgence of interest in herbal medicine.
Just because plants are natural doesn’t mean they are safe. Negative side effects can still occur. Herbal medicines are plant-derived substances with many healing qualities. They are complex mixes of chemical compounds gained from various sections of the plant and work in a multitude of ways. They are used to treat illnesses and work in a preventative manner too.
Although you can grow your own herbs and cultivate and harvest them for use, it’s easier to buy herbs and tinctures from reliable sources where they have already been prepared and harvested. If you do not have a health store nearby, many of these herbal tinctures can be sent by mail order. Creating your own natural medicine kit is a great idea. Not only is it fun but it means you can start the healing process the moment it is needed. Herbs are adaptable. Use them to nourish or to cleanse the body and also to heal.
Herbal Health Treatments and Conditions
There are herbal treatments for so many different conditions these days. From arthritis, to burns, to infections, and so on. Herbs have many health properties. The berries, leaves, bark, seeds, and roots are used depending on the plant.
Herbal Medicine On a Budget
If you have health issues, it is best to seek out a professional medical herbalist where possible and to have herbal remedies prescribed. While this can increase costs, you are more likely to have purpose made tinctures and potions prescribed so to improve health. If you have done a little research and know the herbs required for your personal circumstances, then you can access herbal medicine through online outlets and in health shops. They are typically more affordable than many conventional medicines.
As they are classed as dietary supplements, the FDA does not need to approve them. Even so, it is important to buy them from a reputable source. Although herbs are natural, there can be complications, so you must be careful when taking them. Always check that they are suitable for your needs.
Creating an herbal medicine chest can be extremely useful and it’s enjoyable to gradually build it up so that you have all the herbs you need. Not sure what to add? Look at the following common list of herbs and remedies and gradually start adding some to your new all-natural medicine chest.
Ginseng boosts the immune system. It also increases energy levels. It is potentially one of the most popular herbal remedies. Along with enhanced energy, it improves mood, helps reduce the impact of stress, and can even reduce inflammation in the body. When life is stressful or energy levels deplete, ginseng is the perfect pick-me-up.
Dandelion root tincture is a diuretic. Often used for urinary health, it also inhibits microbial growth. It stimulates insulin production and helps to lower blood sugar levels. Dandelion root improves the health of the liver and the gallbladder. The tinctures are readily available.
Milk thistle improves immune function and has positive anti-inflammatory properties. It will also aid liver function and increases the production of bile while lowering cholesterol. Use milk thistle for detoxification.
Feverfew is well-known for headache relief. Use it to treat fevers and stomach aches. It also eases menstruation problems. In addition, feverfew alleviates the pain of arthritis, reduces blood clots, and combats dizziness. Do not use feverfew during pregnancy because it can stimulate the womb.
Ginkgo biloba boosts concentration. It’s also useful to maintain or increase memory. For anxiety, depression, or eye health, this herb can be useful.
This herb has a wonderful soothing effect on the adrenal glands. Often, this is the body’s first line of defense during stressful situations. The glycosides within it are very similar to the body’s steroids. Licorice can reduce the symptoms of bronchial conditions so coughs and catarrh can ease. Combine licorice with coltsfoot. It’s readily available in tincture form.
This is an extremely valuable herb when it comes to hormonal health, but it can also be used to help treat rheumatoid arthritis, and where the inflammation is intense, use alongside black cohosh. Wild yam helps to relieve uterine or ovarian pains as well.
This helps to normalize the reproductive system and so may help to alleviate cramping pains in the ovaries or when menstruation is painful. It promotes normal hormonal function.
St. John’s Wort
This herb is a well-known herb that combats depression. Note, it does not replace the use of antidepressants. St. John’s Wort heals mild depressive cases only. This herb takes up to 30 days for the benefits to be gained. For the low mood of menopause, this herb can be useful. In addition, it helps to alleviate the symptoms of PMS. St. John’s Wort also fights inflammation and is excellent for the pain relief of neuralgia. Use it for sciatica or for the pain of rheumatism externally.
You should avoid going into direct sunlight when taking this herb.
As the name suggests, it’s a useful herb to aid inflammation or stinging sensations affecting the eyes. It can help treat bloodshot eyes or conjunctivitis (red eye). When eyes are sore or itchy due to colds, this herb can help.
Goldenseal is an astringent herb. It is highly effective for combating chest infections as it balances the mucus membranes. It’s also useful for sinus infections, eye infections, and even intestinal infections. On an external level, it is useful for earaches (combine with mullein), eczema, or even conjunctivitis. For any conditions of the stomach, it works well with chamomile and meadowsweet.
Many people use echinacea as a way to combat the onset of viruses or bacterial infections. It boosts the body’s immune system. Use it as a mouthwash for gingivitis or pyorrhea but also for treatment of upper respiratory tract infections including sinus or catarrh problems.
Meadowsweet has a variety of uses including to combat colds and flu symptoms. It may also help with respiratory problems including wheezing. Meadowsweet may help to reduce joint pain inflammation while improving connective tissue health. It contains antioxidants which help to reverse the damage of free radicals and can reduce the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease. It can also help reduce pain and can improve digestive health. Meadowsweet can also treat diarrhea.
Note: Pregnant women should avoid using meadowsweet.
Do not take Arnica internally. For sprains or bruises, apply topically. It can also reduce inflammation or rheumatic pain. Add drops of the tincture to creams or use as a compress. To make a compress, use the ready-made tincture adding just one tablespoonful to one pint of water.
If you have insomnia or just have difficulty sleeping all night, try valerian. It soothes and calms and is a recommended sleep aid. Many over-the-counter sleep aids include valerian. Combine it with lemon balm or other herbs to induce sleep. If you or a family member experience feelings of depression, valerian can help. It also reduces the pain of headaches and psychological anxieties. It works well for menopausal or menstrual relief and, combined with skullcap, will help to relieve anxiousness or tension. If you combine it with hops, it will also promote sleep.
Skullcap obtained from herbalists is available in tincture form. Use it to improve sleep patterns (alongside valerian). It is a useful herb for alleviating nervous tension and so, take it during times of stress. PMS can also be treated with skullcap.
For sleep problems, take passionflower in tincture form. You can also combine it with hops and valerian for an additional night-time aid. You can use it to reduce inflammation. It is a versatile herb as it will help alleviate some feelings of depression and can ease the symptoms of the menopause. For diabetics, it may help to reduce insulin levels. It is also useful for nerve pain– so, if you are experiencing neuralgia or shingles, passion flower is a useful addition to your natural medicine chest.
Developing your herbal medicine chest is fun. Find a reputable source and start to buy your herbal tinctures gradually. Some are more expensive than others, so start with those that you know you will use. As you purchase them, take time to research the herb’s many benefits and double-check for any contraindications. Herbs are natural, they work with the body and so each time you use them, know that you are tapping into nature’s health store.
Providing you keep the tinctures in a dark glass bottle in a cool, shady place, these herbal tinctures will last a long time.