People have been using herbal remedies for thousands of years. In many cases, herbs can be used as a safer, natural alternative to prescription drugs.
Unless you see a naturopath or alternative practitioner, most doctors stay clear of prescribing herbs. However, we must remember that almost all drugs used commercially today are derived originally from plants; their power cannot be ignored.
Before you dismiss herbal therapies as quackery, know that over 80 percent of people in the world use herbs for one form of therapy or another as their primary health tool. In the United States alone, over 1,500 botanicals are sold as dietary supplements.
Here are 3 reasons to choose plants over drugs
Like any medicine, if used incorrectly, herbs can have side effects. However, they are considerably safer than prescribed synthetic drugs. Prescription drug side effects are the fourth leading cause of death in our nation.
Just because a drug is “tested and approved” does not mean it is safe or healthy. Most safety tests done on drugs are conducted by the pharmaceutical companies themselves.. hmmm. When proper research is conducted and precautions are taken, herbal remedies are a much, much safer option, and also better understood by your body than something synthetic.
A natural option
Prescribed drugs are synthetic chemicals, made in a lab, which work to cover up symptoms. Herbs are readily found in nature, and are full of natural phytochemicals that can help our bodies to heal themselves.
Synthetic drugs are a pretty modern creation. Plants have been around for a very, very long time. Ever since the dawn of humankind, we have been reaping their medicinal benefits.
This ancient medicine has proven itself over and over for thousands and thousands of years. Today, almost two thirds of the world’s population still uses herbs as medicine. In reality, we should be looking at modern drugs, not plants, as “alternative” medicine.
Here are 5 ways that you can use herbs in your natural health regime. As always, we recommend that you consult a naturopath or other alternative health professional before starting any herbal treatment.
Herbal Home Remedies
Insomnia Busting Tea
Get a good night’s rest with a cup of chamomile-ginger tea before bed.
- 1 inch piece of ginger root
- 6-8 dried chamomile flowers
- 1 tablespoon local honey
- Peel the ginger root and cut it into slices.
- Boil 4 cups of water on the stove in a pot or tea pot.
- Add the ginger and flowers. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the honey until it is dissolved.
- Strain out the ginger and flowers, pour into a cup and enjoy.
Cold and Flu Tincture
Echinacea is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It is wonderful for colds, flus, allergies, and swelling.
- 1/4 cup dried echinacea
- 1 pint vodka
- Place the dried Echinacea in a clean jar.
- Pour vodka into jar, leaving 1 inch at the top.
- Seal tightly and label jar.
- Store tincture for 4-6 days, shaking every now and then. Make sure to keep it at room temperature.
- Strain the herbs out of the tincture to complete. Take 1/2 a teaspoon 3 times daily to help with cold, flu, allergies, and swelling.
Stinging nettle is not only detoxifying but also great for liver health, fevers and allergies.
- 1/4 cup dried stinging nettle leaves
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon local honey
- Boil 4 cups of water.
- Stir in leaves and honey.
- Let tea steep for 15 minutes. Strain out leaves and enjoy.
Sore Throat Soothing Cough Syrup
Both sage and basil are easy to grow at home and make great cough, sore throat and fever soothers.
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup local honey
- Place sage and basil in a sealable jar.
- Pour honey over leaves and stir to mix well.
- Let mixture sit for 1 week, stirring daily.
- Strain out leaves. Take 1 teaspoon as needed to ease sore throat.
Calming, Anxiety Removing Tincture
Lavender is great for muscle tension depression, anxiety and insomnia.
- 1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
- 1 pint vodka
- Place dried flowers in a mason jar.
- Pour vodka over flowers and seal.
- Place jar in a cool, dark place and label.
- Store for 7 days, shaking occasionally.
- Strain out flowers and take 1/2 a teaspoon orally as needed.
-The Alternative Daily