Introduction To Herbs

April 24th, 2006

What is an Herb?

Any plant that has culinary, medical, cosmetic, veterinary or other use of some kind. The useful part is different with every plant, it can be the leaves, flowers, roots, barks or seeds. The plant can be a tree or shrub, a weed or an exotic flower, or one of the common group of plants known as “Herbs.” They come from all over the world, but many effective Herbal Remedies grow right in most people’s neighborhood. There are many experts that believe the Herbs best for you are the ones that grow in your general neigborhood and bioregion.

Do Herbs work for medicines?

They have been human medicine for all of our history and are still the main medicine for much of the world. Some are well researched and proven effective, others have been around for hundreds of years and stand on empirical evidence. Yes, Herbs work. However, you must have the right herb for the right situation, for the right body, at the right time. Okay?

Are Herbs safe?

Most common Herbs are as safe as food. However, many contain potent chemical constituents that can harm if used carelessly, and some of the most virulent of poisons come from plants. There is also the fact that for every substance in the world, there is someone who is Allergic to it. So all Herbs should be used with caution and respect.

What about Dosages?

This should be checked out for each herb in a reliable herb book. As a rule of thumb, however, for acute illness, less Herbs are used, and they are taken frequently, as much as every couple of hours for a limited amount of days. For chronic problems, often more complicated formulas are used, and they are taken once or twice a day for a fairly long period of time.

Dosage for children and pets: divide their weight by 150 lbs and that will equal the fraction of the adult dosage.

weight of child or pet ———————- = fraction of adult dose. 150 (adult weight)

Herbs for Health and Healing

Humankind has been blessed with plants to eat, plants for shade, plants to keep the landscape pretty, to keep the wind away from dwellings, and plants that have been used as medicines since the time before written history. The Druids, the Celts, the ancient Egyptians, and many of our ancestral cultures have used the plants around them for their medical properties. It has been noted that the ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, and Greeks knew of the medicinal properties of Herbs. It has been written that Alexander the Great made many expeditions into far-off lands for the purpose of gathering Herbs from those places and bringing them back to used in local potions and medicinal remedies.

My personal interest and studies in nature and its healing components have revealed to me the importance of medicinal Herbs. I am fully committed to the fact that man and nature walk hand in hand upon this planet and that our relationship with our environment is the key to personal satisfaction and health. The works of natural healing pioneers can be found in any library. I am a proponent of their works and have tried their experiments on myself and my family. When I use Herbs in medicine, I find positive results each time. I do not have to encounter any of the side effects of chemical medications.

I believe that there is an innate intuition that speaks to man of the healing properties of plants, as opposed to the ingestion of chemicals. We are, indeed, a part of the Nature of this planet, and it is my firm belief that Nature takes care of her own. We are contained in Nature, sustained by Nature, and healed by Nature. We are alive, and that spirit of life is in tune with the constant rhythms of the world in which we find ourselves.

A Brief History of Herbs

Herbs have been used for time uncounted for healing the sick and infirm. The earliest recorded Herbs have been found to date back as far as 2500BC. It is certain that they were used widely even prior to that time. Even in prehistoric days, plants were sought and used for shelter, food and medicine. Some of the ancient cave etchings have shown glyphs of plant leaves and roots being used by the caveman.

There are records of the Sumerians using Thyme and laurel 5,000 years ago. As far back as 2700 BC the Chinese people were known to use over 30 plants for medicinal purposes. Among these was found the herb ma-huang, from which ephedrine is still produced. Records of Egyptian culture, as far back as 1000 BC, tell of the common uses of many Herbs and plants for food, medicine, and dyes. These Egyptians have written of using Garlic, indigo, mint, and opium. Even the Old Testament speaks of the people using wheat , rye, and barley. The ancient Greeks and Romans used Herbs and other plants for cosmetics, in magical and religious ceremonies, both symbolically and realistically, and as medicine and seasonings for cooking.

It was Hippocrates who spoke of maintaining our natural life force through the use of herbals, fresh air, adequate rest, proper nutrition and balanced diet. A Greek physician by the name of Dioscorides wrote an extensive compendium of herbals in the first century AD. This book, called De Materia Medica, contains over 500 plants, which were listed, defined, and explained for their medicinal qualities.

In the Middle Ages, there was very little change in the concepts and treatments of medicine. At this time, the herbal information and gathered writings of the old Greek and Roman works were diligently hand-copied by monks in monasteries to preserve the information. The monks and religious leaders took on the knowledge and grew vast herb gardens for the healing arts. In the early cultures, as healing was a common practice of the religious leader of that day, growing and use of Herbs was mainly kept in the hands of the monks and ministers. In those times, it was a common awareness that all plants were beneficial to man and the earth.

Man has apparently always made use of plants, animals, and minerals in his diet and health. The plant kingdom provides the human body with the best basis for healing and for maintaining that health. Modern herbalism has developed from many and varied sources, most commonly passed down through family folklore and local tradition. Herbalism is a very real part of our life here on earth. The cultivation and use of Herbs (for many purposes) is as much a reality today as it has been since the dawn of history

It has been noted in many writings and by personal observation that the children of all cultures and walks of life seem to have a natural instinct to seek high carbohydrate foods, which provide energy and building of bodily tissues. Unspoiled Native people of all regions of the earth are known to watch for the first young sprouts of Spring. They spend a great deal of time watching for, gathering, preparing, and eating wild tender shoots and young leaves of plants and Herbs that are common to their area.

In North America, young country children can be found snacking in the wild throughout the day. They are very adept at finding the wild vegetables, like wild cabbage, Sorrel, onion, and Garlic. They will seek out the foods that are the healthiest for them, by some kind of innate instinct. They will chew on raw tree leaves and roots. They know intuitively that elm leaves will relieve hunger. They will hunt for apples, grapes, and berries. These little ones, when they come home in the evening, will eat cornstalks and raw vegetable from the garden, including carrots, peas, and beans.

Young people and adults can be found chewing on certain wild flowers and ferns, such as cicily. Common weed, like dandelions and water cress are eaten by all. The people will look for and gather the wild Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Spearmint plants. All these Herbs and plants, that are growing in the wild, are beneficial to the human body.

With the advent of modern methods of food processing and chemically engineered nutrients and medicines, many natural Herbal Remedies have been lost and people have fallen away from their uses in food, shelter, and medicinals. This is unfortunate, as Herbs and other plants still contain the Vitamins, Essential Oils, mucilage, alkaloids and other natural ingredients that are beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit of man.

Herbs of Today

Herbs are generally defined as any plants of a non-woody nature, which die after blooming. This definition has been expanded to encompass any of the plants of which part or whole can be used in medicinal treatments, culinary preparations (as seasonings), nutritional supplementation, or in use as a coloring or cosmetic agent.

Fresh herbals and Medicinal Plants can be acquired by gathering them in the wild, growing them in your own personal garden, or buying them from other herb gardeners and health food stores.

Gathering Herbs is probably the most inexpensive and natural way to get them. If you are going to gather Herbs, it is best to do so in the mid-afternoon, as the plants are at their peak of activity during the warmest part of the day.

However, it might be safer to grow them yourself, for then you know exactly what you are getting and what has been used on them during the growing process.

If you make the choice to purchase Herbs, then it is always a good idea to do a bit of research on the people from whom you are buying.

Fresh Herbs can be used as they are, as an integral part of daily diet or can be administered after they have been dried. There are several way to prepare Herbs for consumption and use in medicinal remedies. When Herbs are prepared by steeping then in boiling water to be drunk as a tea, they are known as an infusion. If dried Herbs are simmered in hot water, they are called a decoction. If incorporated in with other ingredients and made into a cream, they are viewed as an herbal ointment. Sometimes, a piece of gauze or cloth is soaked in an infusion or decoction and is wrapped and applied externally. This is known as an herbal compress. If Herbs are used to water to cleanse and heal externally, they are called an herbal wash. Herbal infusions and decoctions can also be used as an herbal bath for Relaxation and healing.

There are a few simple rules to follow when working with Herbs for food, nutritional supplements, or medicinals:

  1. Always know that you can personally identify the Herbs you are using. This is the only sure way to know they are safe for the intended preparation.
  2. If you are preparing an infusion or decoction, always use either glass of porcelain cookware and mixing bowls; never use metal containers.
  3. When preparing Herbs for short or long-term storage, place the dried Herbs in airtight glass containers and store in a cool place. Do not keep dried Herbs refrigerated.
  4. Always follow the recommended dosages on your preparations and recipes. Over-use of herbals can defeat the purpose for which you are using them. Some of the most beneficial Herbs can be toxic if they are over used.

Cold Sore Lotion

April 24th, 2006

Store in a brown glass bottle.

Apply to cold sore several times per day, or as required.

Athlete’s Foot Oil Blend

April 24th, 2006

3 d. Lavender oil 2 d. Tea Tree oil: in 4 oz. of hot water.

Soak foot in water for at least 15 minutes. Eucalyptus oil may be substituted for Tea Tree oil.

Home Pack Homeopathy Remedy Kit

April 24th, 2006

Home Pack: Basic 36 Homeopathic Remedy Kit + Complete Homeopathy Handbook

Miranda Castro’s comprehensive guide to safe homoeopathic treatment for a wide variety of common ailments.

Mini Materia Medica, internal repertory and a guide to case-taking all included in this compact and accessible volume.

The Basic 36 Remedy Kit includes the following remedies:

Aconite 30 Ant Tart 30 Apis Mel 30 Argent Nit 30 Arnica 30 Arsen Alb 30 Belladonna 30 Bryonia 30 Calc Carb 30 Calendula 30 Cantharis 30 Carbo Veg 30 Chamomilla 30 China 30 Drosera 30 Gelsemium 30 Hepar Sulph 30 Hypericum 30 Ignatia 30 Ipecacuanha 30 Kali Bich 30 Lachesis 30 Ledum 30 Lycopodium 30 Mag Phos 30 Merc Viv 30 Natrum Mur 30 Nux Vomica 30 Phosphorus 30 Pulsatilla 30 Rhus Tox 30 Ruta 30 Sepia 30 Silica 30 Staphisagria 30 Sulphur 30

… with a wonderfully comprehensive, self-prescribing guide in the box.

Learn more about the Home Pack Homepathic Remedy Kit.

Using Homeopathic Remedies For Injuries

April 24th, 2006

“The greatest value Homeopathy in sports? Its speed of action. I can use homeopathic medicines like Arnica directly on the soccer field.”–Dr. Jean-Marcel Ferret./1

So without any further ado, what remedies should you have with you on the sports field? We might as well start with Arnica, as, without a doubt, Arnica has almost single-handedly made Homeopathy famous! I would say seventy to eighty percent of the time, you’re going to give Arnica for sports Injuries; that’s because Arnica is a specific for blunt Trauma.

Every homeopath carries Arnica with him (or her) in his (or her) pocket or car or backpack or all three. That’s certainly the case with me; I have Arnica 10M in my pocket, Arnica 30C in my first aid kit in my backpack and Arnica 200C in my car. What can you do with Arnica? Practically anything! Think of it in car accidents, falls, head Injuries, any blow, a sore bruised feeling from any cause–even a Flu with a sore bruised feeling all over the body.

The worst head Injuries where the person is seeing stars or has actually been knocked out can be brought back to health with a dose of Arnica. Post surgically, people who have taken Arnica have had no need for morphine or other pain relievers; now that’s impressive! And I was one of those people once, so I know it’s true.

Some of you may be wondering what Arnica, or any homeopathic remedy for that matter, looks like and in answer, the remedies look like little sugar granules and you can drop a few of them in a bottle of spring water, shake it up and take a sip. That’s all you have to do! Always shake the water bottle before each dose. An unconscious person can take the remedy by mere contact of the water with his lips, he doesn’t have to swallow it.

Arnica

Blunt Trauma.

Wounds with a jagged surface, ragged wounds.

Bruises or bruised feeling. Great soreness.

Broken bones, multiple fractures–give Arnica first; you may have to follow with another remedy. In fact, an injured person may need many remedies in succession; a remedy for fright, followed by a remedy for blunt Trauma and so on. (Try to leave space between each remedy so that you can ascertain the effect of the remedy just given.)

Sprains.

Strains.

Falls, accidents.

Swelling from injury.

Injury to the throat, hoarseness, loss of voice from shouting, “Hey, I’m open! Pass me the ball, for God’s sake!!!”

Nosebleed from injury.

Ailments from over-running/too much running–asthma, Nausea, etc.

Head injury, any ailment after head injury.

Another curious thing about Arnica is they won’t look well and will be dazed, but they’ll tell you they’re fine! They don’t seem to know they’re injured! When you see this, they need Arnica for sure! Furthermore, in a head injury, they may answer you correctly and then Fall Asleep. Arnica people don’t want to be touched, so they’ll send you away and they’ll be very adamant about it.

In counterdistinction to Arnica, we have another injury remedy that’s sure they are not fine! In fact, they fear they’re going to die, and that remedy is…

Aconite

Fright, panic and fear are the main features of the Aconite injury–and that’s just the parents! Yes, give the parents Aconite to calm them down! You’ll look at the little soccer player after an injury and you’ll see that he’s frantic, groaning, tossing about, biting his fist in pain. Notice your reaction, are you scared? Then it’s probably Aconite.

Any ailment or injury with fear as a concomitant is Aconite.

Inability to act or think.

Fear, Anxiety attacks, before an event (like a soccer game).

Sudden sore thoat after being exposed to cold/dry winds.

Any ailment after exposure to cold dry winds (and even hot dry winds).

They call Aconite “The Arnica of the eyes”. So, getting poked in the eye, corneal abrasions, sand in the eyes, “there’s something in my eye!”, etc., give Aconite.

And speaking of the eyes, for “black eyes” we have…

Ledum

Black eye, injury to the soft tissue around the eye.

Injuries with dark Bruising that feel cold and are better for cold applications. Bruises are very painful with pitting edema and a mottled bruise color.

Cellulitis that spreads upward.

Puncture wounds, animal bites, will prevent tetanus, with deep soreness and swelling of 2 or 3 inches, deep red and painful, needs ice. The Ledum patient will be much worse if you remove the ice for even a second!

Any time an injured part feels cold, give Ledum. In a Ledum wound, you will see redness at the site, but surrounded by a ring of powder, or a ring that’s bluish-white; it may feel cold and the injury is ameliorated by cold.

Speaking of black eye, we can’t forget…

Symphytum

If I could possibly quote from Dr. Robin Murphy here, “For blows to the eye, Ledum and Symphytum are the first two; Arnica is #3. For severe achiness in the whole eyeball that is dark blue and discolored. … For all the bone diseases; osteomyelitis, bone ulcers, spinal diseases after Trauma and injury. … Someone gets hit in the face on the cheek, that is not an Arnica case; it is a Symphytum or Ruta case. Arnica is for soft tissue. Arnica may help but Symphytum will cure. … You get hit in the abdomen or arm, that is more Arnica. The chin, cheek, face or eye is more Symphytum. The knee would be Symphytum or Ruta. You can start with Arnica but a lot of times, that won’t finish it. You may have to give two or three remedies in sequence to give rapid relief. Give Arnica to remove the bruised feeling and the swelling and help with the discoloration, then it is time to go to another remedy, like Symphytum to finish it. … Symphytum has a great affinity for bones…promotes healing; give Arnica first; once the bone is set, give Symphytum. It helps remove pain, inflammation and swelling, good for injury to periosteum when Ruta fails and injury to coccyx when Hypericum fails.”

Hypericum

This is the nerve remedy. Have you ever dropped something on your toe or someone stepped on your fingers or the door closed on your hand and the pain shot up your arm? That’s Hypericum! Injury to areas rich in nerves. Someone steps on your toes, you bite your tongue. The pain is sharp and shooting. Injury to the nerves, inflammation of the nerves. Falls on the tail bone.

Puncture wounds with sharp Pains, animal bites, insect stings with sharp Pains.

Numbness and tingling.

Injury to the spine.

Pinched nerve.

Crush wounds

Any neurological condition after injury to the spine like convulsions.

Person complains that he can’t raise his arms without pain.

Lacerations.

Excessive painfulness.

Foreign body in the eye.

Calendula

A partner with Hypericum, often you’ll see the two of them sold together as “Hyperical”. They’re both for cuts, open wounds, deep abrasions, multiple abrasions, chapping, chafing, bleeding, stabbing….I think you get the idea that Calendula is an Antiseptic! Pour Calendula water on an open wound to clean it out. Drop some Calendula pellets in a plant sprayer and spray the whole area that’s been abraded. Take the remedy internally as well. It stops bleeding, stops the redness, puffiness and pus formation at the site of a wound and stimulates healing, soothes the pain.

Redness, rawness.

Abrasions in the eyes, foreign body in the eye, but give Hypericum if there is a lot of pain!

Prevents sepsis from setting in after being wounded and even if it already has set in, Calendula is still the remedy, but also consider Pyrogen.

Staphysagria

It can be hard to decide when to use Staphysagria and when to use Calendula. Both are wound remedies. But with Staphysagria there is more pain, exquisite pain! In fact, do you know where I use Staphysagria? At the dentist’s office! Scraping the Plaque off of sensitive teeth can cause a patient to hit the ceiling! For this I take Staphysagria 10M right as I sit down in the dentist’s chair; and as Homeopathic Remedies don’t create the “drugged” feeling you get from pain killers, you can think that the remedy isn’t working, and that the dentist just hasn’t gotten to your sensitive teeth yet. But when I got through the whole bottom row without pain, I began to suspect something! And when the whole proceedure was done without any anesthesia, I was convinced that the remedy really worked! But back to sports Injuries! With Staphysagria, there is deeper infection than in Calendula, there is more pus and more pain. The wound seems to affect the whole person and not just the local site.

Bryonia

Whatever the injury may be, whether it’s a broken bone, (and Bryonia is the #1 remedy for acute fractures), a bruise or a sprain, the reaction of the Bryonia person is always the same: He can’t move! Even the slightest movement causes a sharp pain! Even Breathing might make the pain worse, so he is Breathing very shallowly. Firm hard pressure gives him relief, an ace bandage gives relief. He will want the area immobilized. If for some reason Bryonia isn’t helping sufficiently in fractures, go to Eupatorium perf. for severe pain.

Bryonia’s opposite is…

Rhus toxicodendron

(”Rhus tox” for short.) Unlike Bryonia, Rhus tox must move! They cannot sit still! They must stretch, walk about, squirm in their seat. Usually with Rhus tox the injury is a sprain or strain. They feel terrible stiffness, which is relieved by stretching, moving and is worse as soon as they sit for any length of time or lie down. Moving helps them enormously, so does heat and hot bathing and massage.

Ruta

Ruta is an awful lot like Rhus tox. Ruta has strains and sprains, an affinity for the tendons, and a feeling of stiffness and is also worse cold and better heat, but Ruta wants to lie down and is better for lying down, which Rhus tox certainly is not; plus, Ruta’s stiffness is extreme; they’ll say it’s like being encased in cement!

Also, what Ruta is famous for is Injuries to the shins and other areas that are thinly covered, like the forehead, chin, elbow, cheek bone–the periosteum, in other words.

Lachesis

Compound fractures, tremendous Bruising which is black, or near black with oozing of dark blood, threatened infection, severe pain, burning pain, worse heat, worse pressure. Do not even think about giving an ace bandage to a Lachesis patient!

Natrum sulph.

“Nat-sulph” is needed for the chronic syndrome following head injury or spinal injury which will almost always include severe Depression.

There may also be amnesia about the event.

Helleborus

Following head injury, a slowness or sluggishness, poor concentration, a lack of comprehension; the patient is in a mental fog; he may have a furrowed brow and a rolling of the head from side to side.

Apis

Bee stings, wasp stings. Penetrating wounds that burn and sting as if they were bee or wasp stings.

Carbo veg.

The person is passing out from the injury. Also, altitude sickness, when your team is traveling to areas of high altitude.

Gelsemium

The little sports player is so Nervous, so Anxiety-ridden, before the game that he’s trembly, feeling weak, may have diarrhea and thinking that he’s “coming down with something” and not well enough to play.

Belladonna

The problem here is the heat. Heatstroke, heat exhaustion. The two back-up remedies for Belladonna in heatstroke are Glonoine and Natrum carb.

Bellis Perennis

Bellis is a back-up for Arnica. They are both daisies, but Bellis is a deeper Arnica; it’s for bruised organs. Imagine being kicked in the stomach or hit in the breast! This would be Bellis. There may also be lymph node enlargement after a Trauma. Bellis will ask for cold applications and is worse from heat.

Opium

After Arnica, Opium is the most common remedy for head injury. The person will have pin-point pupils, will be stuporous and unresponsive. Face will be flushed, bloated, heavy, red, hot with an imbecillic look.

Ferrum phos.

Nose bleed of bright red blood.



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