Medicinal Plants and Herbs: An Introduction
Is Wild Medicinal Plants a solution for some relief of day-to-day occurrences such as sickness or injury? Is wild plant medicine a real ‘thing’ for you to consider? Are these home remedies effective?
You might be surprised to find out just how available and effective some of these medicinal plants are. From common herbs found in the nursery section of a big box store to some common weeds you might find in your backyard.
These plants can help soothe a familiar bee sting and relieve a sore throat.
They could be an answer to medical treatment after a crisis situation because stores are closed or just do not have what you need.
Let me point out now that I am not a doctor.
But I have looked into the home remedies using these wild plants and found them to have some significant purpose.
But be aware that a lot of home remedies should be taken with a grain of salt. They can and will help ease some short-term symptoms, but that’s about it. They are not a cure-all and it would be important to look further into your pain and symptoms with your doctor.
Why Home Remedies Are Important
Home remedies are important because they can be readily available and more affordable than conventional medicine.
It is easier to obtain than prescription medicine.
For those of you who are into the organic way of things, wild medicinal plants are a form of natural medicine, natural healing, and a source of natural antibiotics.
Cost-effective with fewer side effects and you can understand why this method of home remedy can be your ‘get-out of pain pass’.
“Home remedies offer cures with simple, ingredients such as honey, fruits, herbs and natural oils. They, at times, can cure common ailments with no side effects, but they need to be used judiciously.
Dr Anil Ballani, Consulting General Physician, Hinduja Hospital
Remember that some herbal plant medications don’t have to meet the safety standards required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
But I’m not going to steer you wrong here.
I will review several plants that can help you in a pinch. Just keep in mind that less is more here. Don’t overdo things.
Wild Medicinal Weeds
Let’s get going with the weeds. Common weeds you are most likely to find in your own yard. Weeds with medicinal uses.
7 Medicinal Weeds
- Dandelion contains potent antioxidants and may help lower your blood pressure and fight inflammation. It may also give your liver something to smile about.
- Chickweed may relieve rheumatic pains and psoriasis and reduce inflammation. It may also be used for stomach and bowel problems, wounds and skin ulcers, and joint pain.
- Henbit – may have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal uses. It may also be used as an astringent and a diuretic.
- Wild violet – may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It may also be used topically for skin conditions like eczema and dry skin.
- Yarrow – has been used to treat digestive issues like ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome such as stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation. Also used for the common cold and hay fever. May be rubbed on the body to help relieve bruises, burns, rashes, and bug bites.
- Clover – This may boost the immune system and help treat fever, coughs, and colds. It may also aid in respiratory problems and skin inflammations, such as psoriasis and eczema.
- Purslane – is not only loaded with nutrients it may also aid as a muscle relaxant, an anti-inflammatory solution, and a diuretic treatment. It has also been used for the treatment of dry skin and psoriasis.
Herbs As Medicinal Plants
Herbs are easy-to-grow medicinal plants that may reap many benefits for your health and well-being. Find some space for them in your vegetable garden or do some container gardening right outside your door.
- Garlic – Let’s start with the best because it is easy to grow and has many benefits. Garlic is a natural antibiotic that may help boost your immune system to fight colds and flu. It will help you to reduce your blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and may even promote brain health. During times of stress, we will need all the help we can get.
- Lavender – In addition to its fantastic fragrance its oil has an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effect that can help heal minor burns and insect bites.
- Elderberry – A favorite cure-all of my wife, elderberry syrup is easily available and can help boost your immunity when a cold is coming on, and it helps with bronchial issues when you are congested which made it popular during that Covid ‘thing’.
- Parsley – Extremely easy to grow parsley can be a natural detox remedy, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory agent. Use it more in your everyday cooking for health benefits.
- Basil – has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can be used to help treat a headache, soothe the stomach, calm a cough, or help soothe the discomfort of an insect bite. An easy-to-grow herb that should be used more in your dining menu.
- Rosemary – Another very fragrant-friendly easy-to-grow plant, rosemary has will give you some antibacterial properties and may help fight stress, and ease those headaches.
- Mint – These leaves are rich in phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins like C, D, E, and A which can improve the body’s immune system.
- Oregano –This herb has antiseptic and antifungal properties, and it can be used to help your respiratory tract and urinary tract issues. Oregano may help heal skin conditions when used topically.
- Sage – Another easy-to-grow and decorative plant, it may help ease anxiety, digestive problems, diarrhea, and heartburn.
- Thyme – is a delicate growing herb that may help treat your diarrhea, stomachache, sore throat, and arthritis issues.
Medicinal Recipes Using Herbs
So how can we use some of these wild medicinal plants in practical ways to unleash their healing power? Following are some simple recipes to help you on your way to get them into your emergency preparation plans.
Honey Fermented Garlic
Honey-fermented garlic could be used as a cold and flu remedy.
1 full clove of garlic peeled
1 cup of raw honey
Combine these into a glass jar (a masonry jar is great for this). Make sure the garlic is well coated and close the jar tightly. Air bubbles will start forming in a few days which is a sign of fermentation. Open the jar to release any carbon dioxide and reseal the jar. Do this till the fermentation slows down. This may take several weeks but is well worth the trouble.
Boil 2-3 cups of water
Add 2-3 sprigs of fresh sage
Let steep and enjoy. Adding a little lemon and a sweetener will not hurt either.
Rosemary tea makes a great mouthwash for general bad breath. It can also reduce flatulence and stimulate the smooth muscle of the digestive tract and gall bladder and increase the flow of bile.
Add 1-3 teaspoons of fresh diced rosemary into a cup of boiling water. Cover and let steep for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy with some honey or lemon to taste.
Not only used to cure fever or any viral infection, but also, may help with blisters, ear infections, and migraines.
1 cup dried oregano leaves chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Put oregano leaves and olive oil into a masonry jar—close the lid. Shake. Put up a pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place the jar into the boiling water and let it boil for another 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jar and give it another shake. Put it in a dark, dry space for at least two weeks, giving it a shake daily. Strain the oil into another jar, and you will have an oregano oil that is better than anything you might buy in the supermarket.
Basil is natural for anti-inflammatory reasons, has antibacterial properties, and is very high in antioxidants. It may also soothe a sore throat and work on a cough. The easiest way to take advantage of the medicinal properties of basil is to use it as a tea.
Add 2 tablespoons of chopped basil to a couple of cups of boiling water and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Sweeten it up a bit with some raw honey.
What Home Remedies For Sore Throat
In addition to the basil tea mentioned above, clove tea and green tea both contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to fight against infections while providing some pain relief.
Bee and Wasp Sting Treatments
Again we could reach for that basil for wasp stings. Pick a few fresh basil leaves from your herb garden and apply them one at a time to the sting site for at least 15 minutes. Repeat every 15 minutes with fresh basil until the pain subsides. When it comes to bee stings baking soda, when mixed with water, may help neutralize the bee venom, reducing pain, itching, and swelling. Make a paste by mixing the baking soda with some water, then apply it to the affected area. Cover the area with a bandage, then leave it on for at least 15 minutes. Reapply, as needed.
Home Remedies For Cough
You can take elderberry syrup for relief or use a tea made from either thyme or, you might have guessed it, basil. I think it’s time to consider growing a lot of basil as an emergency preparedness staple.
Herbs such as cloves, yarrow root, and tarragon can be used to help relieve the pain until you can get to the dentist. You can apply the fresh root of yarrow to your tooth or gums, it may help to stop the pain, you can also chew the fresh leaves of cloves and the tarragon, as well, to relieve toothaches. If your hurting enough, you will not mind the flavors.
Herbal Sunburn Relief
That oregano oil recipe we mentioned above will do the trick here. You may also use oil made from rosemary, basil, and calendula. Just make the oil as described in that recipe for any of these herbs. It is a good idea to have some of these herbal medicinal oils on hand for a variety of treatments.
Poison Ivy Treatment
Jewelweed is a widespread and common plant throughout northern and eastern North America. If you can find it you may use its sap to treat various skin rashes such as poison ivy. If you crush the hollow stem and rub the sticky, clear sap on your skin, it may quickly take away the itch from poison ivy blisters or the burning sensation caused by stinging nettles.
Although not considered a herb, the gel from an aloe vera plant can work wonders on a poison ivy rash. Apply the gel of a broken or cut aloe leaf directly to the skin.
The aloe vera plant is another plant you should consider for your wild plant medicine chest.