Growing and Using Medicinal Herbs

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Healing or (as they are sometimes called) medicinal herbs may provide a safe, healthy alternative to alleviate various aliments and physical problems, or to improve the quality of life.

However, keep in mind that herbal medicinal plants, like pharmaceuticals, should be treated with respect. Although herbal practitioners claim herbs have an important role when used correctly, remember that they still share a lot of the ingredients of over the counter medications, so use them with knowledge and caution.

For thousands of years, herbs and the minerals they contain have been used successfully to enhance wellness and prevent illness. Being rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, medicinal herbs help rejuvenate and heal the body.

Disease occurs by imbalances in the body, mind or spirit as well as influences such as diet, environment, pollution, and smoking. Herbal remedies are natural and effective ways to detoxify and cleanse the body, strengthen the immune system and contribute to vibrant wellness.

Health food stores carry a large number of herbal preparations, as do many pharmacies. Chinese medicine practitioners and naturopathic doctors as well as herbalists often prescribe carefully prepared herbal ointments, tinctures and infusions.

Uses of Medicinal Herbs

Some ailments that herbal medicine plants can alleviate the common cold, sleep disorders, fatigue, and pregnancy symptoms such as nausea.

Medicinal herbs can help improve your quality of life by relieving aching muscles and joints, insect bites, congestion, bruises and upset stomachs.

They can also be used to promote healthier weight, or help your system to digest food and eliminate waste.

Growing Healing Herbs

Healing herbs such as thyme, arnica, calendula and chamomile, are easily grown at home, easy to care for, and can be used to prepare home remedies.

Some medicinal herbs, for example, sage and rosemary, can be used for home herbal remedies as well as for cooking.

Knowing which herbs are both medicinal herbs and culinary herbs will transform your garden into a multipurpose plot, so you to get the most use from the plants you grow.

You can prepare medicinal herbs for use in several ways. Familiarize yourself with each type of preparation, and its safe use.

  • infusions or decoctions are prepared like teas
  • syrups are concentrated and sweetened infusions
  • compresses are made by soaking a towel in a warm infusion.
  • plasters use a paste of fresh or dried herbs and oatmeal, applied to the skin
  • oils and tinctures use herbs steeped in oil or alcohol
  • ointments are herbs mixed with beeswax and oil

By growing your own herbs to prepare as medicines, you can control the purity, quality and freshness. As you grow your herbal healing plants, and harvest them for use, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Always label each plant, or make a map your herb garden, so avoiding others using the wrong herb.
  • Clearly labeled any plants with poisonous components, and keep these safely away from children and pets.
  • Keep detailed notes on how to process and use your medicinal herbs.
  • Never mix herbal preparations with medical prescriptions.
  • Stop using any herbal medicine if you notice side effects such as headaches, dizziness or nausea.
  • If you have any concerns over the use of herbal medicine plants, consult your pharmacist or a local herbalist.
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Source by Nicki Goff

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