by Tamara Hogsett
Happy Mother’s week to all of you mothers and potential mothers. I gave birth to six children, have two step children (consider them bonus children), and many others who lived with us and call me mom (daughters from Vietnam, Armenia, and the Philippines and sons from Armenia and two from Mexico). Lately it has hit me that I need to learn more about medicinal herbs, so I can help not only myself but my family too. For Mother’s Day this year I requested DIRT and HERBAL PLANTS. Recently my husband and I attended a Preparedness Fair. One of our favorite classes was “The Home Grown Herbalist” by Dr. Patrick Jones (a veterinarian). He listed 20 herbs (plus threw in one bonus one) that we all should plant in our garden. This is in no way complete, but just enough to inspire us to learn more. Following is a list of herbs that will provide you with your own medicine cabinet at home. Fewer doctor calls, expenses, side-effects, and most of all the love of a mother through mother earth to her family and friends!
1) ALOE VERA–Easy to grow inside on a windowsill.
* Soothes burns and accelerates wound healing. Base for a wound poultice.
*Juice can be taken internally or used to make eye drops for ocular infections.
2) BLACKBERRY– plant if where it will have room to spread.
* good for anemia
*Leaves are good for sore throat, colds, fevers, mild diarrhea, also for vaginal discharge.
*Root bark is excellent for watery or bloody diarrhea and dysentery.
3) BRIGHAM TEA–Is found in many Western states, but not likely to grow in the garden or for sale. No other American plant is as useful an antihistamine as this one!
*Useful for allergies, mild bladder infections, and highly nutritious beverage (higher levels of calcium than any other plant)
4) BURDOCK–Seed should be collected after the burrs are dry.
*Stimulates both liver and kidneys, useful for acne, psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, sciatica, lumbago, and gout.
*Anti-microbial and accelerates cell division, shortens would healing, anti-inflammatory and decreases pain. Great for topical treatment for wounds, burns, and bruises.
*Infused oil is good for earache.
*Poultice of flowers is good for shingles.
6) CAYENNE–premier crisis herb.
*Blood pressure issues (low or high), strengthens heart and circulation.
*Excellent for stopping internal bleeding and wounds.
*Can be used topically in a salve.
*Muscle spasms, sciatica, soothing effect on mind and body, restless, insomnia, gastrointestinal.
8) COMFREY–king among herbs.
*Soothing to irritated mucus membranes whether it be the digestive system, the urinary system or the respiratory system, healing fractures.
9) CONE FLOWER (Echinacea purpurea)–is a prairie plant but can be grown in gardens and is a popular ornamental. Those in the West, Black Eyed Susan and Cone Floer are suitable substitutes. Principally root is medicinal.
*Colds, flus, anti-bacterial, sepsis cases. Rattlesnake or hobo spider bites.
10) DANDELION--probably the best known weed on Earth.
*Tonic for both kidneys and liver. All parts are edible and make a delightful and nutrient rich addition to salads.
*Diuretic, high levels of potassium (something you need if you are peeing a lot)., mild bladder infections, jaundice cases.
*Leaves and flowers are an excellent medicine for colds and fevers. Flowers are milder and better for children; leaves are good for adults. Hot tea is also useful for seasonal allergies and sinus troubles.
*Can be employed in salves for skin irritations and rashes, wound healing.
*Berries are nice for jams and juices and also medicinal.
12) GARLIC–culinary favorite, but remarkable medicines.
*Strongly antibacterial and stimulates the immune system. Good expectorants, helpful for arthritis and blood pressure. Can rid body of parasites.
13) GUMWEED–antispasmodic and can relax muscles spasms.
*Excellent expectorant, treats asthma, bronchitis, lung issues, strongly anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and accelerates would healing–makes great poultice.
14) LEMON BALM–member of mint family, very adept at calming troubled tummies and other intestinal aggravations
*Calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system and useful for anxiety, depression, irritability or bedtime tea.
*Very warming and will induce a good sweat to ward off early colds and fevers. A salve can help kill the cold sores.
*Powerful antispasmodic and excellent for relieving bronchial spasms of asthma, bronchitis or other lung complaints.
*Good expectorant, effective for inducing vomiting in higher doses. (consult poison control). It is a deadly poison, but can help people wean themselves from smoking addictions.
16) MALLOW–Soothing effects on inflamed or irritated mucus membranes.
*Irritation is in gut, the lungs or the bladder, mallow will soothe it. Useful as a poultice for inflammations and ulcers.
*Helpful in reversing early stages of gangrene.
17) NETTLE–stinging is well known by hikers. Young leaves don’t sting and are nice to eat. Nettle leaf is packed with important nutrients.
**Nutritional boost through a tea. Leaf is diuretic and is useful in cases of urinary tract infections and stones. Astringent so is beneficial in cases of diarrhea and dysentery.
*Leaf is also helpful in easing the pain of arthritis either as a tear internally or by applying the sting to the inflamed joint.
18) PARSLEY–excellent for stomach upset.
*Very soothing to gut and reverses sour stomach and bellyache.
*Beneficial for clearing lung congestion, diuretic, good for bladder and kidney infections, foot is good for clearing kidney stones.
19) PEPPERMINT–king of the mints.
*Warming, stimulating actions; useful for stomach upset, congestion of the lungs. Combines well with yarrow, elder, Brigham tea to treat colds and flu.
*Wakes up the tissues and improves absorption and assimilation of other herbs. Great beverage.
20) PLANTAIN–Common lawn weed. Should never be prepared hot. Medicinal elements are destroyed by heat. Use cold infusion only or use a juicer to extract the juice and freeze in ice cube tray for winter. Can also dry the leaves for later use; put some of powdered herbs in a bit of water.
*Excellent topically for insect stings and bites. Excellent for snake bite.
*Will also draw infection from wounds and will even draw out foreign bodies if you add a pinch of cayenne.
*Useful for blood poisoning from serious infections, good diuretic and useful for urinary tract infections
*Seeds can be used like psyllium for constipation.
*warming and can be used to break fevers when combined in a hot tea with elder and peppermint.
*Good for respiratory illnesses and for menstrual cramps
*Has anti-hemorrhagic properties.
*Yarrow root is an effective analgesic for sore teeth and gums. Chewing the fresh root is fine.
Peace and joy come in learning more about herbs and preparing to use them whether dry, in tinctures, or salves. Plant these herbs and you’ll have medicine right at your doorstep! Plant these herbs and you will not only save lots of money in comparison to health store prices, but will develop in invaluable connection, understanding, and appreciation for the earth and nature’ s power. Learn about and plant these herbs, and you will be less likely to resort to unknown pharmaceutical drugs next time illness strikes. Use these herbs and you may prevent more serious illness from occurring. If you are hot on this trail, check out our Herbal Medicine course to re-learn the ancient wisdom of key herbs and medicinal plants for the most common women’s health issues today and how to use them to improve your own health!