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Blog - Herbs

Do you have a Healing Herb Garden?

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Herbs have been used for centuries to sooth and to heal. 

According to Wikipedia:

"Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditional Chinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first century CE and before. Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic (Greek) elemental healing system, based on a quaternary elemental healing metaphor."

With such a long history of use it makes perfect sense that you would want to include a selection of herbs in your healing garden to yield some of their benefits.


Healing Herbs

BASIL

People don’t usually think of basil as a healing herb and yet traditionally, it is called the “king of herbs”. It is used medicinally as a natural anti-inflammatory and is thought to have mild antiseptic functions. Some healing uses are for flatulence, lack off appetite, nausea and cuts and scrapes.
It is also superb on spaghetti and in pesto but then you already knew that. Basil is an annual plant so you will have to start anew each year.



German Chamomile


Chamomile´s flower heads are commonly used for infusions, teas and salves. It´s also used in herbal medicine for a sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid. It´s normally taken as an herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flower per cup of tea, and mouthwash against oral mucositis.



Feverfew


This perennial is a member of the sunflower family and has been used for centuries in European folk medicine as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers. The name feverfew comes from a Latin word meaning “fever reducer.”

Its many uses include easing headache pains – especially migraines. This is done by chewing on the leaves. A tea made from the leaves and flowers is said to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.


Lemon balm


Has an exceptionally high antioxidant activity the pure, sweet aroma of the oil promotes a feeling of relaxation and a sense of calm which encourages restful sleep. Beyond the positive effect on memory, thinking, and calmness, research suggests lemon balm protects the physical brain from damage.


Parsley


This biennial plant when brewed as a tea, helps supplement iron in a person’s diet, particularly for those who are anemic. Drinking parsley tea also helps boost energy and circulation of the body, and helps fight fatigue in anemic people. Other uses? Parsley tea fights gas and flatulence in the belly, kidney infections, and bladder infections, this herb should be avoided by pregnant women, as it is known to have uterotonic effects in high doses.


Sage


Named “Salvia” which means “to heal”. Native to the Mediterranean region, this plant is used in traditional medicine internally (as tea or directly chewed) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and skin, due to its excellent antibacterial and astringent properties.


Thyme


Thyme is used to relieve coughs, congestion, indigestion and gas. This perennial is rich in thymol, a strong antiseptic, making it highly desirable in the treatment of wounds and even fungus infections. This plant can do well in cooler climates.


Rosemary


Rosemary is known to help sharpen mental clarity and stimulate brain function. The needles of the fragrant rosemary plant can be used in a tea to treat digestive problems. The same tea can also be used as an expectorant and as a relaxing beverage that is helpful for headaches. Other healing uses include improving memory, relieving muscle pain and spasms, stimulating hair growth, and supporting the circulatory and nervous systems.


Peppermint


Peppermint has a long tradition of medicinal use. Archaeological evidence places its use far back as ten thousand years ago. It is commonly used to soothe or treat symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, indigestion, irritable bowel, and bloating and more.
The leaves and stems contain menthol which in addition to use medicinally, is used as a flavoring in food, and a fragrance in cosmetics. The plant is prolific, growing well in moist, shaded areas as well as in sunnier locations. The roots emit runners that can quickly overtake the garden so most gardeners prefer to plant peppermint in pots.

The easiest way to acquire a peppermint plant? Find a friend or neighbor that is growing peppermint to break off a stem. Place it is a glass of water and in a very short period of times, roots will form an you will have your own peppermint start.


Lavender


I saved my personal favorite for last. Of course it helps that I have an abundant amount of fragrant lavender in my yard.

A tea made from lavender has many uses with one of the foremost being it’s ability to have a calming effect on a person’s mind and body. To that end, lavender can promote a sense of well-being and alleviate stress. It is also useful for dealing with various gastrointestinal issues such as upset stomachs and flatulence.

Because it is a strong antiseptic, lavender tea, when applied topically, can help heal cuts, wounds and sores. It can also be used to mitigate bad breath.



Getting started will depend on the amount of space you have, the climate, and the availability of seeds, transplants, or cuttings. A good recommendation is to start with three or four herbs that appeal to you from a healing perspective. Most of these plants can be grown in pots on a porch or deck, or even in a sunny window, so if space is your problem, you can start modestly. If you would like to learn more about the healing properties of herbs, the University of Maryland Medical Center has a web site with a lot of useful information about herbs and other alternative medicine topics. Please share with your family and friends, so they can start their own healing garden!





*****DISCLAIMER: Please remember these treatments options are only meant as guidelines and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.*****

References:

Global Healing Center - Dr. Edward Group

Natural Blaze - Gaye Levy

Real Farmacy



 

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