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Wellness Wednesday: Must Have Herbs

Must Have Herbs

     Beginning in herbs is often overwhelming. It is so far from the norm that is seems alien.  However, just 100 or so years ago (maybe less), that wasn’t the case.  Back then most grandmothers knew how to use many common herbs for everyday ailments. Doctors were far away, travel was harder, and money was short, they had no choice but to know how to use what they had growing or stored.  This art has been steadily lost in recent history, since travel has become easier, doctors more plentiful and insurance available.  These modern conveniences have made us somewhat of  a dependent society.  Modern medicine is a both a blessing and a curse.
Please, don’t get me wrong,  I am not against modern medicine, I am absolutely FOR modern medicine and thank God for it daily.  However,  I fully believe it has become over used.  I believe we are a sick society, over medicated and under educated when it comes to our own health.  So many common ailments could be just as easily treated at home, with foods and herbs from the kitchen or the backyard; thus saving us from the side effects and damages caused by prescription and over the counter medications.
Over the next few “Wellness Wednesday” posts we will discuss some common herbs and their multiple uses.  I will also come back at a later time and discuss many of the herbs in much greater detail.  For now this will get you started on a medicine cabinet make-over : CRUNCHY STYLE!!
ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using. Do not use if  you are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant without your doctor’s permission.  The statements contained in this post have not been evaluated by the FDA.  

 

MUST HAVE HERBS!!

 

There are MANY must have herbs, here is a list of the ones we will discuss today.  Many of these herbs are too great to discuss all their many benefits here, I will address several of these herbs in greater detail in later posts. This is just a starter list for beginners.  

  • Alfalfa
  • Beet Root
  • Cayenne
  • Chamomile
  • Charcoal
  • Cloves
  • Comfrey
  • Fennel
  • Lavender
  • Slippery Elm Bark
  • Turmeric

 

Dried Alfalfa Leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alfalfa: It can be used with many other herbs to help absorption. It has been traditionally called “The Father of all Foods” because of its vitamin and nutrient content.
Great uses include during and after illnesses, with those who have vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, after prolonged periods of fasting, for quick energy boosts, anemia, weakness, fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.  There isn’t much it can’t be used for and makes a great daily supplement for those needing more nutrition and vitamins.
It can be mixed with boiling water for a great tasting mild tea, (add honey and lemon to taste). It can be added to many dishes to add nutrient content and help with the assimilation of nutrients from that dish, mixed in salads, or ground and encapsulate.
Alfalfa herb is high in the following nutrients:
Cobalt
Crude Fiber
Niacin
Protein
Riboflavin
Vitamin A
Vitamin B1
Vitamin C

It is also extremely rich in the vitamins and minerals
iron
calcium
magnesium
phosphorus
sulfur
chlorine
sodium
potassium
silicon

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.  Do NOT use Alfalfa if you are taking blood thinners. 


Beet Root

Beet Root

Beet Root Powder: I have used beet root powder to successfully and quickly lower my husband’s blood pressure.  I mix it in a tea of other heart healthy herbs, or by itself  with water and he takes it like medicine, it is slightly sweet and not hard to tolerate.  His blood pressure reduces drastically in 10 to 15 minutes.  I also use it in treating illnesses where someone isn’t eating well, because like Alfalfa it is full of vitamins and nutrients.  I also use it in my liver tonics because it is known to be a liver healer.  I love having this on hand for when someone is sick or their blood-pressure gets out of control.

The following info was taken from “The Bulk Herb Store”:

“Beet Root Powder (Beta Vulgaris) contains high levels of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, calcium, copper, phosphorous, sodium, iodine, boron, soluble and insoluble fiber. Beet Root is a rich source of carbohydrates and protein.
Betaine, a phytochemical in beet powder helps the kidneys and liver to process an amino acid known as SAM-e. SAM-e occurs naturally in the body. Adding beet root powder to your diet increases the production of SAM-e in the body naturally.
Almost a thousand published studies have reported on the array of benefits elevated levels of SAM-e provides for the liver. The liver contains the third highest amount of SAM-e in the body, after the adrenal and pineal glands.
Beets may be better than many have realized. New findings on brain health come from Wake Forest University and were reported in the January 2011 issue of Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry. Beets have a high concentration of the compound nitrate, which gets converted to nitrite (a vasodilator, which means it expands blood vessels) when it comes into contact with the healthy bacteria that live in the mouth. The high levels of nitrates in beets help in widening blood vessels and circulate an increase in oxygen- rich blood to the heart muscle; the nitrates relax your veins.
In their small study, seven adults (all age 70 or older) each consumed 16 ounces of beet juice with breakfast for two days and then ate a normal, healthful lunch and dinner (that also included some healthful nitrates), after which they had MRI scans to measure blood flow through their brains. At the same time, for the sake of comparison, another group of seven adults of the same age ate a diet that emphasized low-nitrate foods for two days, also followed by MRI scans. The two groups then switched diets for another two days, and had additional MRI scans. Research finding: Drinking beet juice brought increased blood flow to the white matter of the frontal lobes of the brain, the area most strongly associated with degeneration that leads to dementia.
One teaspoon of beet root powder is equivalent to one beet. You can use one – two teaspoons up to four times a day. Beet powder may be encapsulate” —Bulk Herb Store
ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.
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Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne: A favorite in our home.  I use it in gargles for sore throats, in any tea for heart or circulatory health, in all muscle rubs.  It is a pain reliever, improves circulation, and helps other herbs work better.  It is high in Vitamin C which makes it good in cold and flu remedies.  It doesn’t burn as much as you would think, and can be encapsulated so there is no burn at all.  It helps with many stomach ailments and is widely known for healing ulcers.  Traditional medicine used it to apply to infections and wounds to stop bleeding and kill germs.

These excerpts from the book Left for Dead and the Bulk Herb Store explain it best.

“Cayenne stimulates every system and cell of the body. Cayenne has been valued around the world for its uses as a stimulant, astringent, antispasmodic, circulatory tonic, and antibacterial agent. As a condiment, cayenne aids digestion and soothes intestinal ailments by stimulating the stomach to produce mucous.

The herb itself contains many nutrients essential to the health of the circulatory system including alpha-tocopherols, vitamin C and minerals, including sulphur, iron, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.. Cayenne also contains a high amount of vitamin A (beta-carotene) which aids in healing ulcers.

Just a small quantity of cayenne can dramatically increase the efficiency of most herbs, this catalyst herb is added to nearly every herbal combination available. Added to garlic, for example, cayenne speeds up the antibiotic action of the other herb. Cayenne boosts the power of garlic so much it’s akin to taking liquid penicillin. Together, garlic and cayenne lower blood pressure safely and rapidly.

Cayenne is used in formulas for pain relief, infection, respiratory ailments, female problems, and thyroid balance. Cayenne is an ingredient in laxatives, diuretics and ulcer medication. Added to ginger, cayenne helps clean out the bronchial tubes. This powerful stimulant can also be used as a relaxant to soothe gas, diarrhea, asthma and toothaches.

Folk medicine prescribes cayenne powder, plaster, poultice, tincture and ointment for a variety of aches and pains including arthritis, rheumatism and bursitis. Cayenne has also been touted as one of the most powerful cures for hemorrhoids. Application of cayenne ointment brings relief from hemorrhoids but it is also recommended that the patient be warned of the pungent herb’s potency.”

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.



Chamomile

Chamomile

Chamomile:  A must have with children in the house.  We have used it in stomach ache tea, cold and flu teas, sore throat mixes, for fevers, growing pains, and other times when rest escapes us.
Great as a mild tea or can be tinctured or encapsulated.

From “The Bulk Herb Store”:

“Common Names: Chamomile, German chamomile, garden chamomile, ground apples, pin heads
Latin Name: Matricaria chamomilia
Origin: Egypt/Croatia

Chamomile Flowers:

Chamomile flowers are best known for the delicious aromatic herbal tea that they produce. The tea is so popular, it is found in most grocery stores across America. Chamomile flowers are widely used as a mild sedative, and is good for insomnia as well as many other nervous conditions.

Chamomile flowers are nervine and sedative especially suited to teething children and those who have been in a highly emotional state over a long period of time. Except for the small risk of allergy, Chamomile is one of the safest herbs to use.

Chamomile flowers are used in alternative medicine as an anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine and digestion aid. Additional uses in herbal medicine include an antispasmodic for intestinal and menstrual cramps, relieving gas pains, and a very mild but efficient laxative. Their healing properties come from there daisylike flowers, that contain volatile oils (including bisabolol oxides A and B, and matricin) as well as flavonoids.

But the best thing about chamomile flowers are that they are such a great tasting way to enjoy the benefits of healthful, wholesome herbs!”

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.



 

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal: is a MUST have for everything from poisoning and stomach flu, to whitening teeth and spider bites.  I keep capsules full of it for when someone becomes ill from food poisoning or stomach viruses.  Also in a pinch due to poisoning, overdose, accidental drug ingestion or alcohol induced illness, you can quickly mix it with water.  The taste isn’t pleasant but the results are great.  It is not absorbed by the intestines but instead carries out the yuckies that it absorbs while there.  (beware it will make BLACK poop)  It  can also be applied to infected wounds to help speed healing.  It is also a tooth whitener, wet a toothbrush, dip it in the powder, brush it on your teeth, let it sit.  *BLECH but it works.  This is a MUST have for all home first aid kits.

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.




 

Cloves

Cloves

Cloves:  Great for gargles, breath fresheners, toothaches (make and oil or put an entire clove on the affected tooth) and sore throats.  Also very soothing and tasty in cold and flu teas and mixes.
Crush and encapsulate to help with gut health, chew to freshen breath, soak in water and add garlic and cayenne for a great sore throat gargle.

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.




 

Comfrey

Comfrey

Comfrey: one of the first herbs I ever used, one of my favorite herbs.  It is known as the “bone knitter” believed by many cultures to heal broken bones.  I haven’t tried it for that, but I do know it is a POWERFUL skin healer.  My first experience was when K4 was a wee baby and had a horrible diaper rash with bleeding sores and NOTHING was touching it.  I took comfrey leaves, placed them inside gauze, dampened the gauze and placed it inside his diaper.  The rash was GONE at the next change. Seriously, the open bleeding sores were pale pink spots.  My husband and family were in shock.  I have since made salves with it and treated everything from impetigo to radiation burns in a cancer patient. I once gave it to a friend who had a son with a slightly infected road rash on his knee that still contained embedded gravel, she placed the comfrey leaves in the gauze, dampened it, applied it over the knee, and wrapped with dry gauze and saran wrap; the next morning the knee looked 100 times better and all the gravel were adhered to the gauze.
I will do a COMPLETE and thorough post on comfrey another time, but for now just GET SOME and keep it handy.  Bee stings, wounds, bites, rashes, anything skin related needs comfrey.
WARNING!!  WARNING!! Comfrey should NOT be used on deep wounds, puncture wounds,  or wounds with infection. It can heal the skin so fast that the inside of the wound doesn’t heal.  (yes we have had this happen).  WARNING!!  WARNING!!  There are mixed opinions on taking comfrey internally. We do NOT take it internally .  We have used it as a gargle or mouth wash, but we do NOT ingest comfrey.  You will find folks who do, however I can NOT recommend taking comfrey internally nor do any other herbalists that I know. 




 

Fennel Seeds

Fennel Seeds

Fennel: another mild and sweet herb, great for cooking and for having in a house with children.  It can be used for tummy aches, to increase milk production in nursing mothers, to decrease uric acid in gout patients, for stomach ailments, to reduce stomach acid and upset, as a liver cleanser, and to increase urine flow. Cook with it, make tea with it, make a tincture with it, or crush and encapsulate it.  For babies I soak the seeds in warm distilled water for a few days, strain, and refrigerate for a quick, natural gas drop remedy.

Excerpts from Nutritional Herbology

“Fennel, in addition to being a kitchen herb and flavoring, is a carminative and acts to depress the appetite. In ancient times, it was believed that fennel had the power to restore sight.

The volatile oils are responsible for most of the medicinal properties in fennel. The carminative action is primarily explained by stimulation of the gastrointestinal mucous membrane. This in turn stimulated the pancreas to increase its secretions and results in better and quicker digestion of food and less flatulence. The stimulated mucous membrane also results in the production of mucous which acts to isolate intestinal flora from oligosaccharides and other feed stock used by bacteria to produce gas.
The expectorant, diuretic and general tonic (stimulant) properties are also described as irritations which stimulate specific purging of organs. The mechanism of its spasmolytic effect on smooth muscles is probably due to its flavonoid content, and has been shown to be efficacious in studies with experimental animals. Many essential oils in fennel are antimicrobial. Alpha-pinene, for example, is found in fennel and is a major constituent of turpentine.

Contains aromatic compounds that stimulate the production of digestive fluids, relieve inflammation, are antiseptic, make one breath deeply and more often and increase the flow of urine. It has been used to treat indigestion, dyspepsia, anorexia, colic, flatulence, coughs and colds.”

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.



 

Lavender

Lavender

Lavender: Oh how I LOVE thee.  Such a great smell, so many uses.  LOVE this herb.  Lavender is  relaxing to the mind and body.  I put it in all teas for anxiety, nervousness, withdrawals,   headaches, migraine, palpitations, and insomnia. It is great for any ailment that keeps you from resting or relaxing, for treating stress or any problems caused by stress.  It makes a great tea alone or added to other herbs like Chamomile.  It is also great added to soaps, facial scrubs, lotions and massage oils.  My favorite use is in a “Baby Bliss” massage oil used for massaging infants at bedtime.  night night sweet baby

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.



 

Slipper Elm Bark

Slipper Elm Bark

Slippery Elm Bark:  Another sweet herb that is the ULTIMATE stomach healer.  Just last week my hubby had a horrible stomach upset that was keeping  him in the bathroom and keeping his stomach cramping and hurting.  I took this sweet  herb and mixed 1 tablespoon of powder with 3 tablespoons of water and stirred until fairly dissolved.  The mixture is a bit thick but doesn’t have a bad taste. He drank the mixture and within an hour the pain was gone, and there were no more bathroom episodes.  To be sure all that ailed him stayed away, I made him a tea with Slippery Elm bark powder, fennel, chamomile, and lavender. 🙂  Problems solved.

I have had several clients use it successfully for diverticulitis relief, irritable bowel relief and many other digestive problems.  Slippery elm bark coats the intestines and helps to soothe and heal the gut.  This is another MUST have herb.
If you can’t tolerate the drink then simply encapsulate it.  It will work just as well.

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.



 

Turmeric

Turmeric

 

Turmeric: The SUPER anti-inflammatory.  Encapsulate, make a tea, make a massage oil, cook with it, eat it raw; do whatever you want just make sure you are getting this herb into your body.  It works great in oils for arthritis, it helps heal the body from auto immune disease, it treats almost ANY inflammatory condition you can think of.
If you suffer from inflammation due to injuries (old or new), arthritis, or other auto-immune diseases, you should be encapsulating and taking turmeric DAILY!!.
We use it internally and externally.  I have begun to use it in place of ibuprofen with MUCH better results.

ALWAYS check with your doctor before using ANY herbs and ALWAYS tell your doctor of the herbs you are using.


So there you have it.  Some common, easy to use herbs to get you started.   Most of them you probably have in your cabinet.  Stay tuned to “Wellness Wednesday” for more herbs and their uses.  To keep up with our most recent posts and to know about coupons and special deals on our products please sign up for our email newsletter.

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Disclaimer:

ALL posts on this blog may contain affiliate links or links to my direct sales websites.  This is because there is a monthly fee to run this blog and it costs time to keep it going.  You are not required to click on any links, but if you do THANK YOU!!  You are helping to support my blogging habit.  (I would say my family but so far I haven’t even made enough to pay 1 month of blogging fees.)  Thanks for stopping by and feel free to use my links or pass them along to friends.  All help is greatly appreciated. 

As Always: ALL posts on this blog may or may not contain affiliate links or links to my direct sales websites.  This is because there is a monthly fee to run this blog and it costs time to keep it going.  You are not required to click on any links, but if you do THANK YOU!!  You are helping to support my blogging habit.  (I would say my family but so far I haven’t even made enough to pay 1 month of blogging fees.)  Thanks for stopping by and feel free to use my links or pass them along to friends.  All help is greatly appreciated. 

Kiser Ridge Farm can’t provide you with medical advice, dosage information, diagnoses or potential drug/herb reactions.  We are not licensed practitioners of any kind, we are not pharmacists or researchers.  We are legally restricted from answering your health related questions.  Any information given by Kiser Ridge Farm, in person, in writing, on our website, or implied is not presented with the intention of diagnosing any disease or condition nor for prescribing treatment of any disease or illness.  Information given has not been evaluated by the FDA.  It is offered as information only for use in the maintenance and promotion of good health in cooperation with a licensed medical practitioner.  
The U.S.F.D.A.  does not evaluate or test herbs.  All individuals have different constitutions, sensitivities, allergic reaction, and health conditions.  Kiser Ridge Farm is not responsible for any misuse or our products or for any misuse of the information provided on our website, store, in person or in writing.  Nothing is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease.  Always consult your physician before using any of our products. 

12 Comments:

  1. What a great reference. I’m pinning it and will refer back to it. Can’t wait to try the comfrey, it sounds like a great thing to have in a house full of kids.

    • kiserridgefarm@kiserridgefarm.com

      Thanks. I am new at this, so hopefully the whole site improves and builds a great wealth of information. Comfrey is a great skin healer. Love it for all kinds of skin problems. Also works great made into a salve with calendula and lavender. 🙂

  2. I’m so thankful you posted this. I’ve been using oils for awhile but have been wanting to delve deeper into medicinal alternatives. This is so thorough and informative!

    • kiserridgefarm@kiserridgefarm.com

      Thank you! I’m just starting with oils and loving them too, but herbs are my go to. I’ve been using herbs for about 15 years.

  3. I knew about some of these but was totally surprised by all the benefits (especially nutrient content!) in Alfalfa. Thanks for this tip in particular: ‘It can be mixed with boiling water for a great tasting mild tea, (add honey and lemon to taste).’ as I *loathe* taking pills and am an avid tea drinker.

    Great post!

    • kiserridgefarm@kiserridgefarm.com

      Thank you. It is a nice tea. We use most herbs as tea, many are really great.

  4. Thanks for writing this article! I actually booked marked to so I can return to it at a later date!

  5. Thanks for stopping by MeetUp Monday! Hope to see you again tomorrow! http://www.thequinntessentialmommy.com/meetup-monday-link-party-12/

    • kiserridgefarm@kiserridgefarm.com

      Aww thanks we have school on Mondays (homeschool co-op) I usually don’t get to do any blog stuff. 🙁 We were on Spring Break the week before. Maybe next Monday I’ll remember to get up early and get it done. Thanks again.

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  7. Pingback: Back-to-School Wellness - The Crunchy Trail

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