Hippocrates – the father of medicine – stated, “Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food.” He also stated “Medicine should do no harm.” Modern medicine does harm. And with “factory farmed food” it’s questionable what harm our food is doing. So I’d like to challenge you to consider herbs for food, beauty, cleaning products, and medicine. Spice up any dish with fresh herbs. Use herbs for medicine; not only for you, but also for your animals. Hope you enjoy! Such a huge subject it is hard to know where to start. So I’ll start with my first experiences with herbs, sassafras tea and kukui nut. When we were kids we’d dig the sassafras root to make tea. I really liked the taste and remember it was really hard to dig in that Georgia clay; but it tasted oh so yummy. I didn’t know at the time it was considered a medicinal herb. It is used for GI complaints, colic, menstrual cramps, arthritis, skin diseases, acne, and rheumatism. In the1560’s it was used mainly for venereal diseases in Spain. It is used in Cajun cuisine as a thickener for gumbo. Roots can be made into a tea, and used in the soft drink industry.. It will set like jello. It has been used for smoking hams. The essential oil is very potent and has been used for insecticides and perfumes. Essential oil from this is not to be ingested as it can cause death.
When I lived in Hawaii I learned of the kukui nut. You know when you see the Polynesians on tv carrying torches. They are burning kukui nut oil. My child had thrush. after going through 3 bottles of medicine from the doc which just resulted in diarrhea and no cure I was desperate. My mother in law told me to pick a fruit and rub the oil in the baby’s mouth. I was really afraid to do this with a 1 week old baby but I trusted her. I rubbed the oil in and it’s like the thrush was peeling out. Within 2 days it was gone. I also learned about putting used tea bags on the eyes to treat pink eye. It works like a charm. I later learned it’s the tannins in the tea that cure the pink eye. I have used this cure many times over the years. Within a day or two the pink eye always clears up. After these experiences I was hooked! So now comes the question, how do I tackle such a vast subject? I have decided to start off with growing a simple herb garden for food, as well as medicine for me and the animals in my care. Maybe I could even have an herb section to each podcast. I think that would be a great way to become more knowledgeable about herbs. After all if SHTF Zombie Apocalypse happens; medicine will be hard to come by. And if it doesn’t, I would still rather take herbs I grow myself than medicine. I have looked at several sources and it is so hard to decide what herbs to grow.
First I’d like to give a list of 15 common kitchen herbs that are also powerful medicines:
Basil: Great for soothing upset stomach and gas.
Cayenne: Used to relieve pain, improve appetite and digestion. Relieves gas nausea and indigestion.
Cinnamon: Kills bacteria including E. Coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus aureus. Stops growth of Asian flu virus, regulates the menstrual cycle, and has a tranquilizing effect.
Clove: great for toothache pain, healing cold sores, and helps the body use insulin efficiently.
Dill: soothes the digestive tract, treats heartburn, colic, and gas. it has an antifoaming activity that may help break up gas bubbles and is rich in chlorophyll to treat bad breath.
Fennel: It’s a carminative herb – meaning eases bloating, gas pains, and digestive spasms.
Garlic: Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. Prevents blood clots. It kills many bacteria and virus and may even help prevent cancer.
Ginger: Great for motion sickness and settling the stomach. Relieves vomiting, nausea, gas and diarrhea. It also lowers cholesterol.
Mint: It’s great for the stomach. Used for nausea vomiting, muscle spasms, flatulence and even the hiccups. Kills many microorganisms and may boost mental alertness.
Oregano: Contains 4 compounds that soothes coughs and 19 chemicals with antibacterial actions. It can lower blood pressure.
Parsley: It is a diuretic herb and great for menstrual bloating. Also high in chlorophyll.
Rosemary: It’s a rich source of antioxidants and has 19 chemicals with antibacterial properties. Has been traditionally used for asthma by reducing airway constriction.
Sage: Helps fight infection with it’s antiseptic and antibiotic oils. Effective for menopause – easing night sweats and hot flashes. May be helpful with diabetes.
Thyme: Increases blood flow to the skin. Relaxes respiratory muscles and is used for bronchitis.
Tumeric: Has circumin with anti-inflammatory effects. Great for arthritis, carpel tunnel, lowering cholesterol. High in antioxidants and vitamin A,C, and E. Prevents cataracts.
So I will just give a list here for a big herb garden and go through some of their uses on the podcast: anise, blackberry, black cohosh, burdock, calendula, cayenne, chamomile, cleavers, comfrey, dandelion, gingko, echinacea, elder, fennel ginger, goldenseal, gumweed, hawthorn, marshmallow, mugwort, mullein, nettle, oat, peppermint, pippsissewa, plantain, saw palmetto, Siberian ginseng, reishi, St John’s Wort, skullcap, valerian, vitex, willow, yarrow, and yellow dock.
How to prepare herbs for use on next podcast…