By Ma’at Seba
Herbs have been used throughout our history and in all cultures to heal the body of practically every known illness and disease. Herbs have very few side effects as opposed to the prescribed drugs; however, pregnant women should always consult their medical caregiver before taking any herbs or prescription drugs.
There are thousands of herbs and each one has more than one use, so do your own research on whatever illnesses or disorders that you may have, which will empower you to make more natural and wholistic choices about your health. Keep this list to assist you in educating yourself on some of the most commonly used medicinal herbs and easily accessible ones and their uses.
Echinacea - is a natural antibiotic and immune system stimulator (and for auto-immune disorders), fights bacterial and viral infections, helps to build resistance to colds, flues, it increases the production of white blood cells, improves the lymph glands, the tea from this herb should be used in the case of infections, good for allergies and the lymphatic system, helps speed the healing of wounds and inflammation. Avoid if allergic to ragweed or plants in the sunflower family or if you are having or have had an organ transplant.
Elder (berry or flower) - good for relieving coughs and congestion, enhances the immune system, used as an internal cleanser when fighting flu and colds, builds the blood, treats inflammation, fever, and soothes the respiratory system, is a good laxative, stimulates circulation, The leaves can be used as an antiseptic poultice for external wounds, and as an insect repellant. Avoid using internally if you are pregnant or lactating.
Evening Primrose (oil) - stimulates and helps with liver and spleen conditions, lowers blood pressure, and eases the pain of angina by opening up the blood vessels, has been found to help slow the production of cholesterol, and to lower cholesterol levels, has been used with Dong Quai and Vitex, as part of an herbal remedy for treating the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS), menstrual cramping and hot flashes.
Eucalyptus (tea or oil) - used as a decongestant, for colds and as a mild antiseptic, the oil when used externally helps break up mucus (by putting the oil in a steam inhaler), also for relaxing tired and sore muscles. Should not be used by people with liver disease or digestive problems or on children under two years old.
Eyebright - an excellent eyewash for irritated and inflamed eyes, it has been used internally and externally to treat eye infections and afflictions, such as pink-eye, eye strain, watery eyes, conjunctivitis, bloodshot eyes, is known to strengthen the eye, and helps to repair damage.
Fennel - used as an appetite suppressant, used as a sedative for small children, relieves gas, colic, colon disorders, gastrointestinal tract spasms, improves digestion, and is very helpful with coughs and respiratory ailments. Enriches and increases the flow of milk for lactating women. Avoid if you have a history of alcoholism, hepatitis or liver disease.
Fenugreek - is used to soften and expel mucous, it lubricates the intestines, it has antiseptic properties and will kill infections in the lungs, helps reduce a fever, good for asthma and sinus problems, and has laxative properties. Promotes lactation but should not be taken by pregnant women.
Feverfew - is used to relieve fevers, colds, flu, nausea, vomiting, muscle tension and pain, and digestive problems. It is often used to end migraines and other headaches. Avoid if taking blood thinning medications.
Flax (seed, meal or oil) - is used as a mild laxative, rich source of Omega 3 essential fatty acid, excellent source of fiber, used in some colon cleansers.
Garlic - detoxifies the body and protects against infection by enhancing immune function, is a powerful natural antibiotic, good for virtually any disease or infection, it has been known to reduce blood pressure in hypertensive conditions, helps stabilize blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, strengthen the immune system, lowers cholesterol, aids in the treatment of arthritis, asthma, colds, flues, circulatory problems, digestive problems, heart disorders, yeast infections, ulcers and liver disease and kills parasites. A main advantage to using garlic for its antibiotic properties is that it does not destroy the body's natural flora (which can lead to excessive yeast growth).
Ginger - is an excellent herb to use for strengthening and healing the respiratory system, as well as for fighting off colds and flus, stimulates circulation, helpful for bowel disorders, arthritis, fever, indigestion, hot flashes, nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, reduces spasms and cramps, it removes congestion, soothes sore throats, and relieves headaches and body aches, morning sickness and digestive problems, as well as safe to use during pregnancy for colds and sore throats.
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