My Medicinal Garden Part 3 / Principles of Herbal Healing
Nurse Amy in her raised gardens
Medicinal Garden Plants and Herbal Healing
I wanted to provide you with some principles of herbal healing before reviewing a few of my medicinal garden plants. These are basic common sense rules, but are worth learning if you decide to utilize herbal healing. These are found in a great book I own, “Prescription for Herbal Healing” by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC.
Principles of herbal healing:
1. Rely on conventional medicine for emergency treatment. If this type of care is available, use it. When a health condition is an immediate threat, go to the hospital.
2. Choose the right herb for the diagnosis. Right herb, right ailment. Learn what the symptoms of common disorders are, then choose the correct herb. Use a quality source for information, google results do not always provide accurate facts. Know your sources qualifications.
3. More is not necessarily better. Doses are effective within a therapeutic range. Use the smallest dose within the therapeutic range at first, this may be the effective dose for your condition.
4. Plan for long-term improvement. Herbs are gentle and work slowly within the body. Relax and listen to the subtle changes occurring. Don’t try to rush the effectiveness by using too much, or more frequently then recommended.
5. If you don’t get better, try something else. It’s OK to switch to another herbal remedy. Every person has a unique DNA and may react ( or not react) to a treatment differently.
Medicinal Garden Plants
Here are a few more of my medicinal garden plants:
Salvia sclarea zones 4-9
Lamiaceae family Culinary/Medicinal/Aromatic
Medicinal uses: Seeds soaked in water produce a mucilanginous eye bath which safely removes particles. Anti aging, amenorrhea, boils, colic, depression, dysmenorrhea, flatulence, hypertension, ulcers, whooping cough, cough, sore throat. Antiseptic, bactericide, astringent, astringent. Use a tea of the flowers. The flowers are edible after removing all greenery and stems. Flowers are great in salads for color.
Elettaria cardamomum zones 8-10
Zingiberaceae family (Ginger) Culinary/Medicinal
Medicinal uses: The seeds are used. Asthma, belching, bronchitis, colds, cough, diarrhea, headaches, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, flatulence. Do not boil the seeds, use as an infusion, powder or milk decoction. Leaves are used in curry dishes.
Achilla millefolium zones 5-10
Medicinal uses: Astringent effects. Decoctions have been used to treat inflammations, such as hemorrhoids and headaches. The flowers are the most medicinally active part of the plant. It is valued mainly for it’s action in colds and influenza and for it’s effect on the circulatory, digestive, excretory and urinary systems. It is believed that anti-allergenic compounds can be extracted from the flowers by steam distillation. Flowers are harvested in the summer or autumn, and an infusion taken for upper respiratory phlegm or used externally as a wash eczema. Inhale for hay fever and mild asthma, use fresh in boiling water ( steam inhalation). EO (essential oil) anti-inflammatory in chest rubs for colds and flu. Massage oil for inflamed joints, dilute 5-10 drops EO in 25ml St John’s Wort EO. It has salicylic acid derivatives, which reduce fevers and pain.
Plectranthus purpuratus zones 9-12
Lamiaceae family Medicinal/Aromatic
Medicinal uses: When crushed the fuzzy leaves of the vicks plant smell like Vick’s vap-o-rub or camphor. The herb is used to make poultices for external use and a tea to treat ailments. It makes a good mosquito repellent. Camphor oil is frequently used in pain-numbing rubs or ointments. to be used externally. It helps arthritis, muscle aches and bruising, but should not be used on open wounds. It can be used as a stimulant rub, encouraging circulation in stiff and cold limbs. Internally camphor is a reliable remedy for sinus or lung congestion, and acts as an expectorant ( loosens up thick mucus) and fever treatment during steam inhalation. Externally it is antibacterial and astringent.
Forsythia ( Lian Quio)
Forsythia suspensa zones 5-8
Oleacea family (olive) Medicinal
Medicinal uses: Use the fruit, steam first, then dry, then powder. Fevers, headaches and viral infections. Shares the “proven” antiviral properties of honeysuckle and lemon balm. Prepare a tea with all three, for viral infections such as a cold and flu. Also helps with infected neck glands and tonsillitis May add the powdered fruit to boiling water for a tea, do not drink more then 6-15 grams of forsythia per day. Good for headaches. Wide spectrum antimicrobial. It’s anti-inflammatory, antipyretic ( reduces fevers), anti emetic ( stops vomiting and nausea), and diuretic. Lowers blood pressure.
This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not for use as medical advice. Always research all medicinal plants before use. This information is based on my own personal research and are from my plant labels in my garden. I will be continuing this series, so check back daily for more information.