Wednesday, 16 April 2014

A-Z Simple Living: N = Natural Remedies

As a natural extension of the path that I am following, I have become increasingly fascinated with the use of herbal remedies. Common herbs were always something that I had associated with flavour, but I am beginning to learn that you don't need the fancy ones like Ginseng and Gingko Biloba in your garden to be reaping the health benefits. Here is a list of ten herbs or plants that I think should be grown in most gardens, with a short summary of what they can be used for:

1. Calendula

The calendula petals are antifungal and antiseptic. The most common use is to make a cream from the petals to relieve dry skin and irritations.

2. Coriander

Coriander is a powerful digestive aid and cleansing agent capable of removing heavy metals and toxic agents from the body.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint relieves digestive discomfort such as indigestion and nausea when brewed as a tea, and when used in a liniment and applied to the skin it can relieve muscle soreness.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary stimulates energy and optimism, and sharpens memory and concentration by bringing more oxygen to your brain - a natural alternative to caffeine.

5. Thyme

This herb also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties, so it is often used to relieve cold symptoms. It also relieves diarrhea and upset stomachs.

6. Lavender

Lavender is commonly used as a relaxant. It can be added to your bath to relieve stress, anxiety or insomnia, and can also be used in creams to treat sunburn and acne. 

7. Chamomile

Chamomile is used as a tea for treating colic, nervous stress, infections and stomach disorders.

8. Aloe Vera

I find this to be the most versatile home remedy to grow. I use the gel in smoothies as it has digestive qualities and is a diuretic. I also use it to relieve burns, sunburn and skin irritations.

9. Basil

I use this all the time but only recently found out it is good for healing cuts if applied topically. It is also good for stomach gas and lack of appetite (I never have that problem).

10. Sage

Apparently sage is good for skin and gum infections, digestion and menopause.

If you are looking for more detailed explanations of how to prepare the herbal remedies then I can certainly recommend Isabel Shipard's book "How Can I Use Herb's In My daily Life?"

Image Source

It is a beautiful reference book and extremely detailed. The brief information above was sourced from the internet (sources below) but Isabel will show you how to make the herbal teas and lotions. I was fortunate enough to visit Isabel's herb farm a few months ago and came away with so much information as well as unusual herbs such as this beautiful Brahmi which I use in smoothies (it is very bitter) to boost memory and concentration. It is so much cheaper than buying a bottle of tablets.

Do you make any herbal remedies or do you stick with what you can buy at the pharmacy? I would love to hear of anything you may have tried with success :)

Internet Sources

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