Herbs have long been a part of the discussion on natural gardens, aromatherapy and the like. Medical herbs are a bit of a side-step, being part of the same discussion yet going a bit further into the healing realm than your usual edibles and “smelly-goods”.
Many of us have heard about chamomile’s use as a general relaxant, lavender’s use as the same and a great natural cleanser, as well as garlic’s natural ability to combat many infectious bugs and ginger’s use as a “tummy tonic”. However, what’s not quite as well known is that many of today’s medicines are based on herbs and other plants, such as flowers and vegetables.
- Valium, a common nerve medication, is a derivative of Valarian Root
- Aspirin, a common pain medication that’s also used in smaller doses as a blood thinner, is derived from White Willow Bark
- Morphine, a common hospital-grade pain medication, is made from the seeds of the Opium Poppy
- Penicillin, the world’s first synthetic antiboitic, was derived from a variety of bread mold
…and on and on!
While using herbs medicinally is a great way to get natural benefits from nature’s bounty, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s an area that should be studied on before jumping into natural doctoring. There could be interactions, from medications you may be taking, with health conditions you may have…even due to your own unique physical constitution. Be sure to learn the chemical compounds active in the herbs you use and the possible interactions.
The Ultimate Survival Skills guide, “Handbook of Herbal Formulas“, goes into a variety of medicinal uses for herbs and is organized into sections based on physical functions, such as Respiratory. This handbook is an excellent start for learning how herbs work to improve health.
For more on herbs, check out our section on botany and discover a world of knowledge on various plants and their uses.
“As Rosemary is to the Spirit, so Lavender is to the Soul” – Anonymous