Herbal Medicine

Discussion in 'Health & Medicine' started by Scavengerhill, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Scavengerhill

    Scavengerhill Off Grid Farmer

    15
    0
    You don't need to order Herbs from another continent to stay healthy. The whole ginko obsession thing here is pretty stupid i think, but what are ya gonna do.
    For the flu this year I drank tea from the garden,getting over the H1N1 in five days with only herbal self medication.
    Yarrow- brings up the fever so it breaks, killing the virus more quickly.
    Chamomile- Anti-inflammatory for any headache/discomfort/fever rash
    Coltsfoot- Medicinal tobacco- heals and expands lungs, contains zinc and supports the immune system if taked orally. Great for boo-boos.
    Comefrey- Vitamin C, protein, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, and B12. Great for all boo-boos as a poultice or in salve.
    Elecampane root- this plant will grow almost anywhere. Harvest the root in the second year, and alternate letting it grow and harvesting each year. Plant two crops so you can rotate harvest. The root is an incredible resperatory support and while it doesn't taste great, really got me through the flu, even when I continued to smoke like a thing on fire.

    Just a few useful regional plants... Share more..
     
  2. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    1,733
    6
    Are you familiar with the book by Penelope Ody, The Complete Medicinal Herbal. It covers most herbal remedies, plants, oils and tinctures and lots of color photos and plates. Do you have one that you recommend.
     

  3. Scavengerhill

    Scavengerhill Off Grid Farmer

    15
    0
    Yep. Anything by Rosemary Gladstar. I just thought we could throw around some ideas here because, as a practicing herbalist I thought it was silly not to have a thread already here.
     
  4. Scavengerhill

    Scavengerhill Off Grid Farmer

    15
    0
    Huh.... seems there are a LOT of books called the Complete Medicinal.... I guess you get that in a trade thats defined by trial and error.
     
  5. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    1,170
    1
  6. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    1,733
    6
  7. Scavengerhill

    Scavengerhill Off Grid Farmer

    15
    0
    I'm slightly skeptical of organics. It's a great way to get non-monsanto seeds, but the real important thing I think is local stuff rather than organics.
     
  8. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    1,170
    1
    Thanks for the site info, bunkerbob. I have family in Oregon (their location), I'll be passing this information on to them as well. Looks like they have a nice selection of books, seeds, and plants.
     
  9. gamom

    gamom Active Member

    26
    0
    Aviva Jill Romm is another great herbalist. Her book Healthy Babies and Children is extremely worn and has helped numerous people in and out of my family recover from a number of ailments over the years. Love Susun Weed and Rosemary Gladstar as well. Such a wealth of information.
     
  10. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    3,347
    25
    If someone is thinking of getting into herbalism I have a few tips. I’ve been growing medicinal herbs for 10 years now and vegetables and flowers for most of my 50 some years. I got into it because as I got older the doctors had me taking more and more pills. I guess they were doing their job but made me feel like crap. Teas, tinctures and decoctions along with altering my diet a little have made a bigger difference than all the store bought crap. Well, except for the vicodin which unfortunately replaces my skullcap and valerian tinctures at times. Sometimes when it hurts it hurts and I need to bow to modern science. I am contemplating trying ‘bread poppy extract’ as a vicodin replacement but I’m still arguing the logistics on that with myself.

    First, not every herb is going to work for everyone, I found this out early. And not everyone is going to like an herb that works for others. Part of herbal cures is taking time to relax, enjoy the herbs and give them time to do their thing. Chamomile tea isn’t going to help you relax if you slam a cup down while running around the house. Relax, sit back and sniff it while sipping. Taking a dose of skullcap tincture isn’t going to do the same thing as a dose of a store bought painkiller but it does take the edge off the pain. Ok, I can’t think of anyone who would actually enjoy a decoction of valerian root but it kind of grows on ya.

    Read more than one book. Better yet find someone locally to help you on your way but that can’t always be done. I have numerous books and regularly read back through them. No one book that I have could I recommend as the one book to have. They all have a bit of information that the others don’t or list herbs that the others don’t. They are also great for reference when planning your garden or looking for a tea to help you cure something or other.

    Try lots of different herbs to find out which ones work for you. When I relocated to NC from upstate NY my first herb garden here had over 50 herbs. Were not talking an acre of each one, I planned out a garden where each one got about 4 to 10 sq ft depending on how large they grew. I tried all of them at one point or another and have whittled my garden down to about 15 that do the job for me. Some, like astragalus, take a few years for a harvest so plan accordingly.

    Every year I plant a major crop of a few I use most. Last year was skullcap and passifloa incarnata. It’s not like I had to actually plan to grow more passionflower I just didn’t cut it back as aggressively as I normally would. I can make a few jars of tincture of each and they will last me several years. For teas you need to grow a crop each year.

    And lastly the best part. If you feel a cold coming on or just feel down because it is winter and really cold outside you go to the herb shelves. You think a cup of tea would help but which one… Anise hyssop as you grab the jar, open it, give the herbs a pinch and stick your nose in. ahhhhh. You browse the other jars contemplating a mixture opening each one and inhaling. Heck, I feel better already! It’s no longer winter; it is spring, summer or fall and I’m in the herb garden harvesting.
     
  11. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    1,170
    1
    Thanks for all the above advice!



    :D
    I think one reason more people don't use herbal remedies is because they are looking for that quick fix in a pill. You're right, by changing your habits you can improve your overall health immensely. And teas, infusions, and other homemade remedies take time to work. And just like modern medicines, they affect different people in different ways.
     
  12. gamom

    gamom Active Member

    26
    0
    Right on, Woody :)
     
  13. marlas1too

    marlas1too Well-Known Member

    369
    25
    i have a huge library of herb books cooking and medical--they are great reading-whenever I'm at a flea market I'm on the lookout for more books-cant ever have enough books-----remember its better to have and not need than need and not have
     
  14. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    6,660
    8
    I have more than a few books on herbs :D ... but my favorite is Indian Herbalogy of North America by Alma Hutchens.
     
  15. Littlebit

    Littlebit Well-Known Member

    170
    0
    I have just started to read up on herbs. There are so many types and eveyone has a defferent use. The more I read on them the more scared I become. I know I should stick with the herbs I can forage locally and found a book already for my area.
    My question is...Is there a good (how to) book that tells you everything from recipies to when to pick the herbs. For food and medical use. There are so many to chose from I don't know which one to pick. Any suggestions?
     
  16. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    6,660
    8
    The Ultimate Herb book - The definitive guide to growing and using over 200 herbs by Antony Atha.

    This book has An herb directory ... It tells you food and/or medical (and herbs that must be handled with caution) use and some recipes for herbal beauty treatments, flavored oils & vinegars etc. Plus some great pictures.

    I'm sure this is one of many ... check your library:) Oh yea ... I put off making soap for years because I was scared of the lye.:gaah: but now I don't give it a second thought.

    Read...read...read:D Get your feet wet by starting with one or two herbs.

    Good luck!

    I should add until you know what you are picking in the 'wild' don't... Try to find a class or someone that knows what they are looking for. (or grow your own)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  17. Littlebit

    Littlebit Well-Known Member

    170
    0
    Thanks for the info. I will check on that book. I looked up how to make soap the other day. Dosn't look to bad. Like you said I just need to get my feet wet.:eek:
     
  18. petercheck12

    petercheck12 ExCommunicated

    4
    0
    You may suffer from various types of allergies such as food allergy, insect stings, pollen, dust mites or medicine.Herbal medicine remains largely an unproven, inexact science. Herbal medicine can treat almost any condition that patients might take to their doctor. Herbal medicines can be effectively used for body’s natural detoxification process.
     
  19. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    216
    0
    Another Susun Weed fan here :wave:

    I guess this all depends on your beliefs, or maybe not I don't know. But before you read a book and say "AH! THIS herb will help me!" go out and spend some time with this plant. While much of the Doctrine of Signatures was really silly by today's standards, I believe that there is some level of truth to it. One herbalist who also believes in the DOS was suffering from chronic back pain, and in an episode of pain he took notice of the mullein plant. Straight and tall. He already knew that mullein contained mucilage, but he had never considered that it would help with back and joint pain. He said that the mullein helped him a lot, was just as effective as condroitin or other joint lubricants, and he still uses it if he gets any spasms. Once you've taken a few walks through the woods and fields, a few plants might start attracting your attention, and that's when YOU need to pay attention and figure out exactly why you are drawn to that particular plant. One of my favorites is New England Aster. It has a commanding appearance and an equally intense fragrance that I just could never seem to get enough of. Being a naturally high strung, intense person myself I was drawn to it-only it did not cause excitement, it does the opposite and calms me down. I mixed it with other calming herbs like chamomile and valerian, and used it to stop panic attacks.

    Getting to know the herbs, and learning to trust your intuition about them takes a long time, but it is well worth the effort
     
  20. Alenjacks

    Alenjacks Member

    7
    0
    Hello nice work mate. Very useful information. i Also do believe in natural products.