Thursday, April 16, 2009

If I only had more thyme...

Definition of Herbalism

Herbalism: The practice of making or prescribing herbal remedies for medical conditions. Practitioners of herbalism may be licensed MDs, naturopaths, or osteopaths. They may also be unlicensed. Interested consumers should seek out knowledgeable, and preferably licensed, herbalists. ( )

Main Entry:
herbal medicine
1 : the art or practice of using herbs and herbal preparations to maintain health and to prevent, alleviate, or cure disease 2 : a plant or plant part or an extract or mixture of these used in herbal medicine. ( )
I put the definitions as the first part of this entry so there would be no mistakes in understanding what we are talking about here.
Some folks associate herbalism and herbal medicine with old crones with crooked noses and peaked hats stirring love potions up in cauldron for love lorn maidens.
Some pair the thought of herbal medicine with an image of an African witchdoctor or Amazon tribe shaman.
While most tribal communities use herbs in the prevention, care, treatment and cure of many medical ills, we should not distance ourselves from such a wonderful resource!

Here's one that is familiar to most of us:
Now, most have heard that garlic can lower blood pressure or prevent or lessen colds.
Did you know garlic is also an effective anti-fungal?
Garlic, smashed up fine and creamed into a simple ointment can be used to treat athletes foot and ringworm.
It has many more uses, but that is just one example.

Everyone should try and get knowledge of the herbs that grow in their local area.
I am a firm believer in everything having a purpose and those *weeds* in your yard have purpose, too!

Those dandelions that are so hard to eradicate? Natural diuretic. Cleanses the system (especially the liver) of toxins. And, quite tasty in a salad.

Most of what you call *herbs* used to be known as *weeds*. Then one day, someone decided to taste one, or someone having an illness tried one out of all followed from there.

Some herbs grow close to where they are needed most. Ever get tangled up in stinging nettles? Those will leave some nasty painful welts! But, if you look around a nettle plant, you will usually find some plantain growing. Crush the leaves and apply the plant juices to where the nettle got you and all is better. (That's a plantain pic at the start of this particular blog)
One lady I know that is very well versed in all things herbal firmly believe that herbs grow where they are most needed. Whenever she spots a new herb growing in her households vicinity, she does a quick *health check* on everyone there. She says that 99 times out of 100, before the plant reaches maturity, someone in her household comes down with something that can be effectively treated with that particular herb.

Kings in France and England used to order convents and monasteries to have herb gardens with certain herbs planted "for the general well-being" of the King and the populace.

If you have a homestead or even just a yard, a herb garden is one of the first things you should plant. Your "green medicine chest" can prove itself invaluable in times of illness...and usually without the nasty side effects that come with doctor prescribed medications.
My next blog will be about the basics of what to plant in your herb garden...
Til then, look around on your next walk and see what grows near your house. If you can't identify it, search the internet for it. See how many uses it cooking, medicine, aromatherapy, etc..

1 comment:

  1. I keep rosemary, sage, garlic, parsley, thyme, marjoram, oregano, and lavender in my front garden. I had a bumper crop of sage last year and I've still got truckloads of it despite eating fistfuls almost daily.


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