Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Simply Medicinal Plants

Yarrow with white blooms
The stores carry a lot of different medicines for our ailments, but why not keep it natural and use plants that you can grow in your garden?  From soothing toothaches to calming your upset stomach, an assortment of garden plants can be handy and save you money.  We have several around our home including yarrow, mint, witch hazel, toothache plant and chamomile.  Yarrow has been used for thousands of years to treat bleeding and fight infection. Typically, you will use it in a tincture or tea made from the dried leaves and/or flowers when using to fight respiratory infections, cramps or inflammation.  If you need to treat a wound, you can soak a cloth in a strong yarrow infusion and apply it to affected area. You can chew on the roots to help with a toothache also. However, instead of ripping up the plant for the roots, we can simply use the flowers and leaves of the toothache plant.  The flowers create a tingling and numbing sensation when chewed and will also cause increased salivation with an added cooling sensation of the throat.

Toothache Plant
Other plants we use are mint and chamomile. Usually, we make teas with these plants.  The mint leaves used in tea can have many positive side effects.  You can use this to soothe an aching stomach due to indigestion, reduces gas in the intestines that causes flatulence and fight bad breath.  Chamomile is very similar to mint regarding the effects.  The tea made from this plant will help you sleep and soothe an upset stomach or cramps.  It also has immune boosting properties which helps to fight off colds.  However, it should be noted that pregnant women should avoid chamomile since it may act as a uterine stimulant and cause miscarriage.

I could go on for pages about the many different medicinal plants that are out there, but that would be way too much information all at once.  So, we will definitely revisit the subject again with other beneficial plants.  Also, please remember that any plant may cause an allergic reaction, so be careful when using them externally or internally.  I hope everyone has a great day, and we'll see you on Friday for our Recipe of the Week!

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