Coming full circle, many people are now turning to the herbs and botanicals from around the world once used for general health maintenance and treatment by their ancestors. These natural substances are the basis of many alternative therapies like homeopathy and Ayurvedic medicine. Many pharmaceutical companies are reexamining these specimens to gain a better understanding of why the substances are often superior to man-made drugs. Global exploration and preservation of these indigenous healing tools is essential to modern botanical medicine and pharmaceutical research.
Treating With Herbs
In order to determine a diagnosis, the practitioner checks the patient’s medical and lifestyle history, appearance and vitality. Next the practitioner takes the pulse, and then examines the tongue, abdomen and iris (markings on the iris are thought to point to afflictions within the body). An individual’s constitution will be evaluated along with attributes and various circumstances that have determined the individual’s lifestyle and energy patterns.
After this, the practitioner might suggest a specifically blended herbal and/or botanical combination to alleviate symptoms and to remedy the causes within the system. Substances are prescribed for their detoxifying, anti-inflammatory, tissue-toning, system-enhancing or antibiotic properties.
While the majority of botanical medicines present no danger to health, using them requires some knowledge and proper cautions. In determining a suitable prescription, the practitioner considers: properties and functions of the substance, the state of condition to be remedied, and herbal interactions and effects.
- Request details for administering the preparation, the dosage and when to expect improvement.
- As the healing action aims to reverse the problem at the root, toxins are eliminated before relief is felt. This takes usually three to six days, or one month for each year of chronic condition.
- Signs of sensitivity may include mild allergy-like reactions.
Botanical First Aid Kit/Basic Home Remedies:
- Antiseptic/Antiviral – Clove-oil, thyme, cinnamon
- Bites/Stings – Echinacea tincture
- Bruises/Sprains/Aches – Calendula oil
- Burns (sun) – Aloe Vera
- Cold/Flu – Echinacea, garlic juice, peppermint
- Colic – Chamomile tea, peppermint
- Cough – Licorice, peppermint, mullein
- Cramps – Skullcap, valerian, chamomile
- Cuts/Scrapes/Wounds – Calendula, goldenseal, myrrh
- Diarrhea – Goldenseal, blackberry root, peppermint
- Ear Ache – Echinacea tincture, garlic oil
- Fatigue – Ginger
- Fever – Skullcap, boneset, peppermint
- Headache – Feverfew, tiger balm, rosemary and lavender oil, peppermint
- Indigestion – Chamomile, peppermint
- Infections – Echinacea, goldenseal, garlic
- Insomnia – Chamomile, linden flowers, valerian
- Nausea – Ginger, chamomile, peppermint
- Poison Ivy – Comfrey, mug worth, witch-hazel
- Repellent – Citronella, wormwood, pennyroyal
- Sore Throat – Licorice, ginger, cayenne
- Teething – Chamomile tea
- Urinary Infection – Cranberry juice, goldenseal, nettles, dandelion, parsley
Internal Administration of Herbs
Caution: Herbs rate on a continuum from mild to toxic. Practitioners prefer utilizing the gentler variety for their nutritional enhancement and medicinal benefits. Seek expert advice before self-medicating.
- Herbal tea is the gentlest way to administer healing energies to the body. For a mild but synergistic effect the hot brew sets free valuable oils, flushes out toxins, replenishes liquids and adds to a state of general comfort.
- Herbal capsules or tablets (4x as strong as tea) contain powdered raw herb. Easily absorbed through stomach and enzyme actions, they supply necessary amino acids (L-Lysine and Tryptophan) and provide phyto-estrogens and progesterones to stimulate glands. Reduce intake doses gradually from six to two per day during the first week to strengthen the innate systems.
- Herbal extracts (4 – 8 times more concentrated than capsules) pull from the healing properties either in water or in alcohol (like tinctures, but more potent) as drops are absorbed immediately from under the tongue into the system. These extracts are excellent as a nutritional supplement, but have a strong herbal taste. After the initial week, acute doses of 10-15 drops, three or four times per day, should be decreased with the enhancement of the body’s own resources. This is a cost effective as a concentrated therapeutic.
External Administration of Herbs
- Rubs, ointments, and salves speed up healing, prevent infections in cuts and wounds, calm irritations like rashes and stings, alleviate aches, strains and pain and ease discomfort. Powdered herbs or herbal oil teas may be blended in a glycerin base.
- Poultices and plasters ( concentrated herbal pulp) applied to affected areas draw out infection, toxins and wastes.
- Compresses – cloths soaked in herbal wash and applied alternating hot or cold – stimulate the circulation as well as the nervous system.
- Lotions and oils infused with herbs provide relief for many skin conditions and are a sensual medium for healing massage.
- Herbal baths are a soothing treatment, allowing the healing process to gently balance the mind and body. Many physically and psychologically enhanced combinations are effectively administered. Add rosemary to invigorate, melisse or hops to relax with, juniper to soothe sore muscles, thyme to calm breathing, and eucalyptus to relieve colds.
- Aromatherapy originated in the ancient herbal traditions of the Middle East and Asia and was refined in Europe this century. The inhaling of essential oils has proven a powerful therapeutic agent to balance the mind and body’s physiology effectively.