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Herbal Medicine Cabinet

Published by Earendil M. Spindelilus R.N.D., M.H., C.R. in Herbal · 22/3/2015 05:16:29

One of the things I have treasured most about our journey through the discovery of Herbs is the simplicity in creating our own home medicine kit. In today's world most medicine cabinets are filled with potentially harmful chemical compounds made by companies with profit in mind and not our general welfare. Nature has something else in mind.

Of the many factors in why making your medicine kit is so beneficial is the freedom you experience knowing that worse, come to worse, you can be a part of your own healing. You don't have to depend on someone else for your medications. In many cases all you need to do is simply step outside into your own backyard.

One of the finest herbs I have ever used is considered a weed and grows wild throughout North America. It is the venerable Plantain. I'm not talking about the banana want-a-be. I mean the lance-leafed herb found growing profusely in most yards. Used for thousands of years by the Native Americans, it is most helpful as a topical application for insect bites and bee stings. I have seen it pull the infection out of a spider bite overnight as well cause the wound to close quickly. It has also been used quite successfully for snake bites, taken internally as well as placed on the bite site.

Another wonderful herb for our natural medicine cabinet is the lowly Garlic. I could write for hours about this simple yet powerful bulb. Also called Russian Penicillin, it has been found that three to five cloves of Garlic is the equivalent of one dose of Penicillin. The beauty is that it does not harm the beneficial bacteria as other antibiotics, but simply destroys the harmful organisms. I have seen great success with it's use eliminating serious infections when taken internally. It has also been used in an olive oil base to cure ear infections. Taken with other herbs such as Flax or Kelp and it can significantly lower Cholesterol without the drastic Liver damaging side-effects of pharmaceuticals. One note, always remember the reason Garlic works is because of the same chemical that causes the smell. If you want to take advantage Garlic's abilities, than do not cook it and do not purchase the odor-less versions.

Walk down the aisles of any grocery for the next herb, Cayenne. Often considered an herb for only the brave, it's medicinal uses could fill a book. Cayenne is a rubefacient, which means it brings blood to the region of contact. This enables the local area to heal much faster as it is receiving a ready supply of oxygen and nutrients. You may feel that it is burning but unlike other substances, it is causing no damage to the tissues. Used externally on an open wound it can quickly stop bleeding. One trick I have seen is to take it both internally and externally for bleeding. Once the Cayenne is ingested, count to 30. In most cases, before you reach 30 the bleeding will have stopped. It is also a wonderful addition to any diet for healing the circulatory system and strengthening the arteries.

A common line of aliments today invariably involve the respiratory system. Fortunately, Nature has provided two amazing herbs, Onions and Mullein. The first is common in just about every household. A relative of Garlic, the Onion is surpassing in it's ability to fight off conditions as simple as the common cold up to defeating pneumonia. Simply heat the chopped onions in an oven around 200 degrees until they are slimy. Then, rub olive oil on the chest and place the still warm, but not scalding herbs over the oil and cover with Saran wrap and a towel. The individual will not only breath in the vapours but the onions will medicate the chest, thereby relieving the symptoms.

The other herb mentioned above is Mullein. It grows wild throughout our area of Northern California along road-sides and open spaces. Historically, it has also been used by the Native Americans for lung aliments. Many have found that simply lighting a leaf and breathing in the smoke with stop an asthmatic attack. I have found it a wonderful anti-inflammatory and a nurturer of the endocrine (glands) system.

For those prone to headaches and other bodily pains, Willow comes to the rescue. One of the main herbs used by the company Bayer in the late 1800s, it is the precursor to aspirin. It too is an excellent anti-inflammatory, on par with cortisone for relieving inflammation throughout the body. I have seen it cure Plantar Faciitis where only Cortisone was recommended. It has been used for thousands of years as a natural pain-killer, without harmful side-effects.

There are so many more herbs I could list here but that can be saved for a later date. I believe what is most important to remember is what Hippocrates taught so many years ago. The father of modern medicine would be shocked at the state of the healing industry today. Instead of potions derived from dangerous chemicals he had a much simpler solution,

“ Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”.

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