Herbs are versatile & an important addition to each one of us to use in our everyday life. They help to heal us in more ways that any of us can imagine!! You can make teas, incenses, infusions, capsules, pills, poultices, tinctures, extracts, use them in ointments, eat them raw, make a concoction & more!!! Of course some should only be used certain ways & therein lies the knowledge of what to use, when, where & how!
When an herb mentions it's a vulnerary do you know what that means??? A vulnerary herb is one that is applied externally and helps the body in the healing of wounds & cuts. Some examples of these herbs are: aloe, chickweed, comfrey, mullein, slippery elm, witch hazel & yarrow.
An adaptogen is an herb that improves the body's adaptability. In other words, it helps the body to do what it needs to do to avoid a point of collapse or over-stress. Examples of such herbs are: chamomile, nettles, wild yam, borage, licorice & the ginsengs. A lot of info out there that states adaptogens are for stress…in a way that is true, but they do so much more.
There are herbs out there called 'hepatics'. These strengthen, tone & stimulate the secretionary function of the liver specifically. The result of this is an increase in the flow of bile. The whole body benefits from this as the liver is involved in all body functions and the health of all tissues. Some hepatic herbs are: blue flag, dandelion root, golden seal, vervain & of course milk thistle.
Herbal sedatives calm the nervous system & help to reduce stress and nervousness throughout the body. End result is the tissues of the body that have been irritated by nervous problems have the capability to heal by taking these herbs. Some examples of these are: blue cohosh, skullcap, valerian, passion flower, lady's slipper, hops & chamomile.
Another way to cleanse the body of toxins is to stimulate the circulation which increases blood flow to the muscles & joints. This can be done without straining the heart & by using herbs that stimulate the circulation. Herbs that can help with this are cayenne, ginger, poke root, prickly ash or rosemary.
Pectorals are specific herbs that have a general strengthening and healing effect on the respiratory system. Some examples of these herbs are Angelica, Blood Root, Comfrey, Elder, Golden Seal, Licorice, Lungwort, Mullein & Vervain.
Powerful anti-microbials combine direct toxic action on bacteria with the ability to stimulate our body's production of white corpuscles...the leucocytes...which are responsible for doing the majority of the defensive work in the body's system. Some examples of these include: Echinacea, Garlic, Myrrh, Nasturtium, Thyme, Wild Indigo & Wormwood.
The endocrine gland system consists of several glands: pituitary, thymus, thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, kidneys & more. The group of herbs best suited for the treatment of these glands are the bitters. The best of the bitters for this are golden seal, mugwort, rue, wormwood & yarrow.
A nervine tonic helps to strengthen and 'feeds' the nervous system & tends to have a relaxing effect. In cases of shock, stress or nervous debility these tonics may be called for. One of the best is oats...not like your instant oatmeal, but more like the old-fashion porridge type. Some herbs that help with this are: damiana, skullcap, vervain, valerian & wood betony.
To help with women's hormone issues there is vitex (chaste tree berry) & damiana. Vitex is about the only herb out there that is the closest to the female hormone system. Damiana has a positive impact on the testosterone levels. We all have both male & female hormones within our bodies.
Tonics are either a single herb or a group of herbs that strengthen and enliven either a specific organ, system or the whole body. They can nourish & tone the entire body! Some examples are Essiac, Nettles, Echinacea, Garlic, Damiana & more!!
Nettles is one of the best herbs to help the adrenal glands! It also has been used for centuries to treat allergies, particularly hay fever. It is an all over tonic, anti-inflammatory and an alterative. It shows promise in treating Alzheimer's as well. It helps with arthritis, lung issues, MS, bursitis, sciatica & more!!
The boxed 'herbal' teas one buys in the stores, even at the supposed health food stores have been so overly processed down, it's difficult to believe they do anybody any good at all?! Try to get the whole herb from a reliable source to do your teas with, weather it be medicinal or purely pleasure.