Now, more than ever, herbal medicine is needed in the world.
We are experiencing soaring rates of illness and incurable disease, that is keeping people stuck in a dysfunctional medical system that is NOT working for them.
Patients are prescribed medication after medication that doesn’t actually get to the root cause of their condition, and directly causes a slew of uncomfortable side effects. Unfortunately, these patients are feeling unwell and unhappy, but there is another way.
Prior to the invasion of Big Pharma, people on every continent and in every culture around the world incorporated herbs and plant medicine into their daily lives for both food and healing.
Herbal remedies have played a key role in human health for thousands of years.
Below are some examples of culinary herbs used as food and medicine:
- In Ancient Egypt coriander, fennel, juniper, cumin, garlic and thyme were classified as health promoting, and workers on the Great Pyramids regularly consumed garlic for strength and vitality
- Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, wrote about the medicinal uses of thyme, coriander, cinnamon, mint and marjoram
- Medical writings of Charaka (1st century medical scholar from India) referenced cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, turmeric and pepper for healing purposes
- Ancient practitioners of Taoism diligently used cooking for the pursuit of health and their recipes included leaves, roots, stems, flowers, seeds, bark and funghi
- According to ancient food lore, Confucius would eat no meal that did not contain a little ginger
Beyond cultivated culinary herbs, many wild plants have been used for healing a multitude of serious conditions.
Time-tested botanical remedies ease the suffering someone may be experiencing, without a barrage of negative side effects that so often accompany pharmaceutical medications.
Nourishing plant remedies also support the body on a deep nutritive level where it is needed most for healing the root of the condition.
Dr. James Still (1812-1885), medical doctor and herbalist advised, “I have long considered vegetable medicine all that is needed for the ills of the human family.”
From simple herbal teas that date back over 4,000 years ago, to the complex plant protocols that are used by modern herbalists, healing the body and mind using natural remedies is making a much-needed comeback in the world today.
The various properties and constituents of plant medicine creates a wide range of physiological reactions in the human body. Some examples include:
- Bitters – trigger a sensory response in the CNS that sends a message to the gut
- Diaphoretic – opens the pores to make the organism sweat
- Antispasmodic – eases spasms or cramps in the muscles
- Adaptogen – helps the body adapt and moderate the stress response
- Alterative – alters and improves the body’s metabolic processes from nutrition to elimination
- Anticatarrhal – eliminates excess mucus
- Anti-Inflammatory – soothes inflammation
- Antimicrobial – destroys pathogenic organisms, including bacteria, fungi and viruses
- Astringent – tightens the tissues
- Carminative – eases discomfort caused by gas
- Demulcent – contains mucilaginous properties that soothe inflamed and irritated tissues
- Emmenagogue – stimulates menstrual flow and function
- Expectorant – stimulates the removal of mucus from the lungs
- Diuretic – aids the body in ridding excess fluids
- Hepatic – supports liver function and increase flow of bile
- Immunomodulator – modify and regulate the immune system
- Nervine – eases anxiety, relax and restore the nervous system
When we understand the reactions natural remedies can create, we can use them to support the body’s physical needs and start the process of healing.
With herbal remedies, it’s essential to keep in mind that this is gentle medicine with long-term benefits and effects. Gentle does NOT mean ineffective. Gentle simply means that there are little or no toxic side effects. It also means that healing may not happen overnight. It’s vital to practice patience with the human body’s natural healing process, as it receives the deep nutrients it needs.
One of the overlooked gifts that plant medicine offers human beings is something that pharmaceutical medication is not capable of. And, that is to connect people back to the planet they are living on.
If people become more aware that the plants growing on this planet can support their health and bring them relief from suffering, they’ll be more conscious about what happens to the earth, and the forests, and the various ecosystems where a large majority of these plant medicines are growing.
As an herbalist, I understand that bridging the connection between humans, plants and the planet, is not only good for our health, it is essential for our existence as a species.
It’s time to get back to using natural remedies to support your own health, and the health of the entire planet.
Start by using a wide variety of culinary herbs in your meals. Use the recipes on my website to create delicious nourishing meals for yourself and your family. Or simply enjoy a healing cup of herbal tea.
If you want to understand more about using food and herbs as medicine, join my monthly online cooking classes for a dose of natural healing.