Most herbs are sold today as herbal supplements. Their history is rooted in ancient medical practices. Before there were pills, powders, syrups and injections, there were poultices, pastes, salves, oils and potions supplied to those who needed them.
Even in the age of modern medicine, over three quarters of the world’s population use herbal remedies in one form or another. Because many herbs produce effects similar to prescription drugs, it is recommended that any herbal remedies used or supplements taken be revealed to your physician to avoid interactions.
Creating your own remedies is best accomplished with homegrown herbs. You know what type of soil and fertilizer was used to create a thoroughly high quality plant. If you need to dry them, they are best from fresh as well. In the event that you don’t want to grow them or don’t have the time, you can purchase herbal remedies and/or ingredients from reputable shops. Ask for recommendations from friends.
Herbal Remedies for Various Ailments
Colds and their symptoms – Colds are caused by viruses. This means that there is no cure and that several strains can be floating around in the air at any given time. The best way to decrease the duration of a cold is to treat the symptoms. Herbal tea that contains antiviral herbs can help with this. Some to choose from include ginger, Echinacea, yarrow root, lemon balm, garlic and elderflower.
The menthol contained in the oils of peppermint can also help open swollen nasal passages when breathing in the steam. Use the essential oil of peppermint with carrier oil like olive oil to spread across the chest to help loosen respiratory secretions.
Infections – Several herbs have antibacterial and antifungal properties. For instance, tea tree oil (also known as “melaleuca”) can be used topically on the skin to help reduce the chance of infection from bug bites, cuts, scrapes and burns. Eating garlic can also help with infections. Goldenseal is a perennial herb that is used in salves and ointments for its antibacterial action.
Stomach ailments – These range from diarrhea, constipation and gas to indigestion, upset stomach and irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, which has antispasmodic properties. Eat a few leaves after your meal or steep them in a tea. Chamomile also has antispasmodic properties. It can help you relax and soothe your stomach problems, especially if they are caused by stress. Chewing on a few pieces of ginger root can help relieve nausea as well as gas and bloating.
Stress – It happens to us all. Drinking herbal tea and/or massaging your temples with herbal essential oils can relax and soothe you, even help you sleep. The best herbs for the job are valerian, chamomile, lavender, kava kava and ginkgo biloba.
There are herbs for just about any ailment you can name. This is just a sampling.