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Herbal Remedies


Safe and effective Common Herbal Remedies from the garden and cupboard

Becoming familiar with herbs and their effects, involves, in some part, the understanding of a holistic approach to a lifestyle that recognizes the plant kingdom as a necessary contributor to our health. Nature has set forth the balance for survival long before pharmaceutical companies developed. What once was a way of life for many, the preparation of herbs for the relief of ailments has been left to the convenience of modern medicine. Not only are we losing a lot of valuable knowledge, but we are also losing valuable interaction with the plant kingdom.

Our bodies are naturally self-healing. Herbs are an excellent choice for a gentle means to help the body’s systems maintain balance and remain healthy. Herbs are not a cure-all, nor are they a replacement for advanced medical treatment. They are, however, a natural avenue of approach to consider in our efforts for a more holistic lifestyle.

Common Herbs ~ Common Ailments ~ Cures in the Cupboard ~ Boost Your Immunity


Common Herbs used in many Remedies…

      • Aloe: Fresh Gel used in burn and wound remedies.
      • Arnica: For external use only. A topical for bruises and strains.
      • Calendula: Topically for wounds, burns, cracking, and chafing of the skin.
      • Catnip: Indigestion, fevers, diarrhea.
      • Cayenne: Equalizes circulation, antiseptic, and stops bleeding.
      • Comfrey: Caution when used internally. Helps heal strains, pains, and fractures.
      • Echinacea: Immune stimulant, antiseptic. For sore throats, cough, flu symptoms, and fevers.
      • Fennel: Digestional aid, relieves gas.
      • Garlic: Antibiotic, an anti-microbial antiseptic for colds, flu, and infections.
      • Ginger: Treats nausea, motion sickness, and fevers.
      • Horehound: Expectorant for respiratory congestion.
      • Hyssop: Anti-spasmodic, expectorant for chronic congestion.
      • Marshmallow: Gastrointestinal inflammations, respiratory congestion, soothes chapped lips.
      • Mullein: Reduces respiratory inflammation and aids in earaches.
      • Slippery Elm: Reduces inflammation and soothes mucous membranes.
      • St. John’s Wort: Used to treat bruises, strains, and wounds, an immune stimulant, soothes nervous tension
      • Valerian: A nervine to soothe tension, anxiety, and insomnia.




Herbal Remedies for Common Ailments…

By Michael Castleman Mother Earth NewsOctober/November 2010

Medicinal herbs can provide natural, safer remedies to dozens of common ailments. This chart shows you more than 60 herbal remedies that do just that.

As with any health issue, always be sure to talk to your doctor before trying a new medicine including herbal medicines or another remedy. In conjunction with a discussion with your primary healthcare provider, you can find more safety and usage information on the herbs below in Micheal Castleman’s The New Healing Herbs and in Dr. James A. Duke’s book, Dr. Duke’s Essential Herbs.

Ailment Herb
Acne Calendula, aloe, tea tree
Alcoholism Evening primrose, kudzu
Allergy Chamomile
Alzheimer’s disease Ginkgo, rosemary
Angina Hawthorn, garlic, willow, green tea
Anxiety and stress Hops, kava, passionflower, valerian, chamomile, lavender
Arteriosclerosis Garlic
Arthritis Capsicum, ginger, turmeric, willow, cat’s claw, devil’s claw
Asthma Coffee, ephedra, tea
Athlete’s foot Topical tea tree oil
Attention-deficit disorder Evening primrose oil
Bad breath Parsley
Boils Tea tree oil, topical garlic, echinacea, Eleutherococcus, ginseng, Rhodiola
Bronchitis Echinacea, pelargonium
Burns Aloe
Cancer Bilberry, blackberry, cocoa (dark chocolate), green tea, garlic, ginseng, maitake mushroom, pomegranate, raspberry, reishi mushroom
Cankers Goldenseal
Colds Echinacea, Andrographis, ginseng, coffee, licorice root (sore throat), tea (nasal and chest congestion)
Congestive heart failure Hawthorn
Constipation Apple, psyllium seed, senna
Cough Eucalyptus
Depression St. John’s wort
Diabetes, Type 2 Garlic, beans (navy, pinto, black, etc.), cinnamon, Eleutherococcus, flaxseed, green tea
Diabetic ulcers Comfrey
Diarrhea Bilberry, raspberry
Diverticulitis Peppermint
Dizziness Ginger, ginkgo
Earache Echinacea
Eczema Chamomile, topical borage seed oil, evening primrose oil
Fatigue Cocoa (dark chocolate), coffee, Eleutherococcus, ginseng, Rhodiola, tea
Flu Echinacea, elderberry syrup (also see “Colds”)
Gas Fennel, dill
Giardia Goldenseal
Gingivitis Goldenseal, green tea
Hay fever Stinging nettle, butterbur
Herpes Topical lemon balm, topical comfrey, echinacea, garlic, ginseng
High blood pressure Garlic, beans, cocoa (dark chocolate), hawthorn
High blood sugar Fenugreek
High cholesterol Apple, cinnamon, cocoa (dark chocolate), evening primrose oil, flaxseed, soy foods, green tea
Hot flashes Red clover, soy, black cohosh
Impotence Yohimbe
Indigestion Chamomile, ginger, peppermint
Infection Topical tea tree oil, astragalus, echinacea, Eleutherococcus, garlic, ginseng, Rhodiola
Insomnia Kava, evening primrose, hops, lemon balm, valerian
Irregular heartbeat Hawthorn
Irregularity Senna, psyllium seed
Irritable bowel syndrome Chamomile, peppermint
Lower back pain Thymol, carvacrol, white willow bark
Menstrual cramps Kava, raspberry, chaste berry
Migraine Feverfew, butterbur
Morning sickness Ginger
Muscle pain Capsicum, wintergreen
Nausea Ginger
Premenstrual syndrome Chasteberry, evening primrose
Ringing in the ears Ginkgo
Seasonal affective disorder St. John’s wort
Shingles Capsicum
Sore throat Licorice, marshmallow, mullein
Stuffy nose Echinacea
Tonsillitis Goldenseal, astragalus, echinacea
Toothache Willow, clove oil
Ulcers Aloe, licorice
Varicosities Bilberry, horse chestnut
Yeast infection Garlic, goldenseal, Pau D’arco




Cures in the Cupboard…

By The Herb Companion Staff September/October 2011

Next time you get sick, skip the trip to the drugstore—help may be as close as your kitchen cupboard. Our grandparents often turned to herbs and spices to ward off common ailments, and these time-tested remedies have proven safe and effective. (If you have a health condition or are already using medication or other treatments, consult your practitioner before use.)

Coughs: Thyme contains two constituents (thymol and carvacrol) with expectorant (phlegm-loosening) properties, making it a great choice if you’re suffering from a cough, congestion, sore throat, or bronchitis. The herb also has powerful antimicrobial properties. To make thyme tea, steep 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh) in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes; strain and drink up to three cups daily.

Sinus problems: Try this spicy mixture next time your sinuses feel clogged and painful: Combine 1 cup tomato juice, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Warm the mixture and drink slowly.

Digestion: Many culinary herbs have carminative properties, meaning they help relieve gas and bloating. To relieve gas, try chewing 1/2 teaspoon of fennel, caraway, or dill seeds, or drinking a post-meal cup of tea made from their seeds. For general indigestion or upset stomach, try a cup or two of peppermint tea.

Nausea: Keep ginger on hand to safely and effectively relieve nausea. It also helps prevent motion sickness. You can make tea from 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger per cup of boiling water, or drink ginger ale that contains real ginger, such as Reed’s.

Cancer prevention: Many herbs are great sources of cancer-preventive antioxidants and should be added liberally to the diet. The U.S. Department of Agriculture found cinnamon, cloves, and oregano to have especially high antioxidant capacities. Green tea contains a polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may help prevent a wide variety of cancers, especially those of the lungs, breast, stomach, and skin. In the Iowa Women’s Health Study, increased garlic consumption was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can prevent or kill several types of cancer cells.

Joint pain and arthritis: Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has been shown to ease arthritis pain and have anti-inflammatory properties. Use the herb liberally in cooking—it’s a great addition to soups, sauces, stir-fries, and vegetables.

Bruises: Speed the healing process with this folk remedy: Cut a lemon in half and rub the pulpy side over the bruise once an hour for several hours. Avoid cuts or broken skin.

Urinary tract infections: Cranberry juice—and the dried berries and extract—prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. Drink at least three cups of unsweetened juice (diluted in apple juice for flavor), or eat one or two handfuls of dried cranberries daily.

High cholesterol and heart health: Many garlic studies have shown that the herb reduces cholesterol, heart disease, and heart attack risk. Eat approximately one clove a day, raw or lightly cooked. Fenugreek seeds contain substances that help the body excrete cholesterol. The herb also lowers triglycerides and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.

High blood sugar: A 2005 study of Type 2 diabetics found that cinnamon can help reduce blood sugar. Use it liberally in cooking, or making cinnamon tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon in a muslin bag. Steep, covered, for 10 minutes. Drink up to three cups daily.




Boost Your Immunity…

Cold and flu season is headed our way. While we can’t entirely avoid the onslaught of bacteria, viruses, and other germs capable of wreaking havoc in our bodies, we can rev up our immune systems so we are better equipped to fight off whatever bugs try to invade.

Echinacea contains a number of antioxidant compounds and immune-stimulating constituents that can help the immune system fight off illness. According to a University of Florida study, echinacea stimulates threefold the activity of infection-fighting immune-system cells. For prevention, follow the label directions or use a dropper full of tincture twice daily. Up the dosage at the first sign of illness.

Garlic is a potent antioxidant packed with antimicrobial compounds such as cancer-fighting sulfur and the immune-boosting mineral selenium. Aim to eat one raw or lightly cooked garlic clove daily.

Green tea, Asian ginseng, and eleuthero also offer a hefty dose of antioxidants. In studies, green tea has shown the ability to boost immune function. Drink several cups daily. Asian ginseng improved immune response according to one Italian study conducted at the University of Milan, and the results of a German study demonstrated a significant increase in the number of immune cells in healthy volunteers taking eleuthero. (For these supplements, follow label directions.)