What are herbal remedies? How do they help us?
Can we really use them?

First, what is an herb? They are, simply, the plants all around us. They grow in our yards, in our gardens, around fence posts, really just about everywhere.

Herbs nourish all of the systems of the body. They provide us with cures and treatments when something is wrong. Herbs are a nourishing food source. They are even used in cosmetics and beauty products.

One of the great things about the herbs from which herbal remedies are made is that they are part of nature and allow us to be one with nature. As we spend time learning about the herbs, we draw closer to God's creations.

california poppies is an herbal remedy for the blues

Since the world began people have been intimately connected to the medicinal plants around them. They used herbal remedies in their everyday lives. Our Western culture and Western medicine, though good and necessary, have severed our connection with nature and natural remedies.

When we learn about herbs and how they influence our bodies we also learn that a major part of our everyday healthcare can come from the nourishment and health giving gifts of the plants.

There are different categories of herbs and herbal remedies, and learning what they are is extremely important.

  • Nourishing Herbs. This is a group of herbs which we will use most often. They make delicious herbal tea and infusions
  • They are as safe as organic vegetables you buy at your local food co-op and are often more nutritious.
  • The first two that I learned about in this category were nettles (yes, the burning, itching nettle that grows close to water) and oatstraw. I have really come to love these two gentle herbs.
  • Others that I know and love are plantain, burdock, dandelion, chickweed, and red clover. Spearmint and peppermint are also loves of my life. I guess there are lots that I love!
  • Gentle Medicinal Herbs. I love these, too. These are the gentle herbs that we use when we feel a little under the weather or have indigestion, etc. 
  • Obviously peppermint and spearmint can go here, too, as well as herbs like chamomile and elder flowers. I use many of these herbs in infused oil and salves.
  • Stronger Medicinal Herbs. We use these herbs less often, saving them for: 
  • colds and flu 
  • pinkeye
  • upset stomaches
  • sunburn 
  • can't sleep 
  • stress 
  • high cholesterol
  • hemorrhoids
  • menopause 
  • prostate
  • low back pain
  • even for first-aid
  • Echinacea, skullcap, burdock and golden seal are a few of these.
  • Potentially Dangerous and Poisonous Herbs. Obviously herbs that we stay away from. They are herbs such as fox-glove and poison hemlock. No herbal remedies here!

Now, what are herbal remedies? These are the things we make out of the herbs. They are:

  1. cold remedies
  2. teas
  3. decoctions 
  4. herbal infusions
  5. salves for dry skin, sore muscles, and insect bites 
  6. tinctures 
  7. cremes 
  8. luxurious baths, etc.

Next Question: How do we get the herbs to work with?

  • Well, the really fun way is to learn how to wildcraft - to go out and find your own. If you choose to do this be certain that you correctly identity the herb you gather as some have look alikes that won't work and may even cause harm. Use three photographic plant books to help you identify them,and go with someone who knows the plant.
  • Another good way is to grow your own. This let's you be in control. You know for sure what you are picking. You know what kind of fertilizers and pest control has been used on the plant.You have no worries about causing endangerment to any of the plants. Good choice.
  • Another good choice is to purchase dried and packaged herbs from a reputable company that you know has very high standards.
  • The next choice is to purchase your products already made. This is a good choice as well if you don't have time or interest to make your own.

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For More Related Ideas on Herbs see these pages:

Herbal Tea

Making Herbal Infusions and Decoctions

Herbs to Lower Cholesterol

Making Herbal Infused Oil

Making Organic Salves

Dealing With Stress Using Herbs

Natural Sleep Remedies

Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids Herbal Treatment

High Blood Pressure Herbs

Cold Remedies