Herbs have been around for centuries as cures and remedies the Egyptians used herbs for everything from makeup to embalming some of which we still use today - Chamomile, we use today as a calming tea was used to embalm many pharaohs! Another is Garlic (that the Egyptians used as a gargle and for sore throats and we use Garlic as a powerful anti-bacterial as well as anti-fungal and general health and well being supplement. .
American Indian tribes relied heavily on herbs and spiritual energy to heal not only the individual but the tribe as well. Many herbs were sacred and tribes used the roots bears dug up as medicine. Many tribes used Black Cohosh to assist with childbearing and today we use this to help elevate menopause symptoms.
Once progression was made during the 19th century with conventional medicines and surgery, old herbal remedies were forgotten, anyone interested in using or “prescribing” plants for medicinal purposes had to rely on folklore and anecdotes. There was little proven, reliable research on herbs and they even had a connection to witchcraft. But in the last decade or so they have risen in popularity once more and research shows amazing powers in herbs, such as the ability to kill cancer cells and help problem drinkers curb their addiction. All without the added side effects conventional drugs can give us. Although they will never replace conventional drugs they can enhance our well-being and prevent many other diseases.
Many herbalists feel mental health and physical health are so closely linked that properly addressing the ailments identified in one often requires also addressing potentially unidentified ailments in the other. In many cases, the most effective way to restore optimal health to both body and mind is to supplement us with homeopathic and other herbs to bring back balance and harmony.
So what is an herb? It’s defined as any herbaceous plant that has medicinal value, this includes any plant or spice or even weed that can change our health.
So here are some key herbs that can help us and can be bought over the counter, although a good herbalist is a great place to start.
St. John’s Wort - the happy herb, a known anti- depressant and really helps with hormonal mood swings. It has minimal side effects and good researched results.
Chamomile - mostly drank as a tea, it’s known for its calming effects, along with muscle relaxation, it’s an anti depressant and quells anxiety as well as promoting sleep.
Lavender has been around for years and was often found in drawers or bedrooms as an air freshener due to its beautiful scent. It too promotes sleep burnt as oil or take a lavender bath before bed. It’s also used for headaches and migraines.
Dandelions - a natural diuretic and laxative that promotes healthy liver and kidney functions. Mostly drank as a tea or eaten in salad, just beware of the use of pesticides around these so called weeds.
Ginger - an all round brilliant herb and the foundation of Chinese medicine, it relieves nausea, menstrual pains, heartburn and migraine as well as killing off some cancer cells.
Green tea - again a Chinese basic herb, but it warns off antioxidants, lowers heart disease and helps with fat metabolism. Oh yes it tastes good too!
Rhubarb - in the stalks of rhubarb are a whole host of good things that relieve constipation, clean the blood and help our eyes to function.
Milk Thistle - this plant cares for our livers, by strengthening it, it also works to help with acne and general digestive issues
Let us know how you get on with herbs