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Nature’s Apothecary



The first garden planted here consisted of perennial herbs; Sage, Oregano, Marshmallow, Comfrey and Rue. I’ll never forget that first time I made myself a sage tea from the garden. I was immediately brought back to that little kid drinking grandma’s mystery tea she would prepare and force down our throats every time one of us got sick. I was also reminded of my grandmother’s wall of dried herbs; bags and bags of only she knew what, neatly hanging and organized her way. Once upon a time, there were simple homemade remedies that were used with success in dealing with minor ailments. Who remembers iodine tincture that was used for cuts and scrapes to prevent infection? It hurt like hell… but it worked.


It was 15 years ago when I started studying and working with herbs. I took out many books from the library before purchasing the ones I enjoyed the most. It was also around that same time when our then conservative government introduced Bill C-51 into legislation for natural products, which was worded as such that I could have gone to jail for simply offering someone an herbal tea for a nagging cough. Imagine that! Fortunately, there were many challenges and campaigns against this ridiculous bill, so it was eventually shelved. Sadly, seeing how things are progressing, I’m pretty sure it will re-emerge one day when “the time is right”.


Luckily, this property provides me with an abundance of various wild medicinal offerings. I’ve previously written about some of my favourites, so this blog is a shoutout to some of the others I am grateful to be able to count on. In no particular order, let’s start with:


SAGE

is a wonderful versatile culinary and medicinal herb ideal for “spring cleaning” to help dry up chronic winter mucous excess. Sage is effective in improving digestion and is used as a primary herb in teas for gas and indigestion. Sage is also used as part of an anti-infective formula for colds and flus and makes a wonderful gargle for sore throats. Estrogenic substances in sage make it a specific for most female disorders, however sage should be avoided during pregnancy.
PART USED: leaf

MULLEIN

is an anti-spasmodic and astringent herb making it extremely effective for a wide range of respiratory issues and swollen membrane conditions. Mullein is used as a specific for bronchitis, environmental allergy symptoms, chest and sinus congestion, asthma, emphysema and cough, and as an expectorant to help loosen and remove mucous. Mullein infused oil (with garlic) is potent for ear infections so long as the eardrum is not perforated.
PART USED: leaf and flower




GOLDENROD

is best known for bladder and kidney health containing powerful diuretic properties which help to flush out impurities by assisting to release excess water and increase urine flow. Goldenrod can be used as part of an anti-inflammatory combination for colds and flus and is also used as a gargle for throat infections.
PART USED: dried herb, leaves and flowers






MARSHMALLOW

is a mucilaginous calcium rich herb to soothe and heal mucous membranes, for skin, lungs, digestive tract and bowel. Marshmallow is used as a soothing agent in formulas for bronchitis, congestion and scratchy cough. It is also a specific in treating allergy symptoms; a soothing diuretic for bladder and urethra inflammation; to help release and dissolve kidney stones; and to increase and enrich mother’s milk. Topically, marshmallow can be used on old wounds, burns, skin ulcers, boils and to relieve abscesses. Also, an effective compress for varicose veins or dermatitis.
PART USED: root, flowers, leaves


FOXGLOVE

is highly toxic and can cause serious side effects or death and must not be used under any circumstances. I’ve included Foxglove in this blog because; a) she’s so pretty and lasts all summer long, and b) Foxglove is a perfect example of how many medications today are derived from nature. In this case, chemicals extracted from foxglove are used to make a drug which is used to treat heart failure. Last time I looked into this, chemists were unable to synthesize its constituents, making it more efficient to extract it directly from the plant. Again, all parts of this plant are poisonous and it needs to be avoided, and left for the hummingbirds and the bees.


And last but not least:

CANNABIS

which needs no introduction. Many studies have been conducted for various ailments including chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety and cancer. Research suggests cannabinoids in medical marijuana might help with: reducing anxiety; reduce inflammation and relieve pain; control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy; kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth; relax tight muscles in people with MS, and; stimulate appetite and improve weight gain in people with cancer and AIDS.




 

DISCLAIMER: FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY. I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE ASSUME THEY CAN CURE THEMSELVES BASED ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS BLOG. ALWAYS CONSULT A CERTIFIED HERBALIST OR MEDICAL DOCTOR TO ADDRESS ANY HEALTH ISSUES.


REFERENCE: Most of the information courtesy of: How to be Your Own Herbal Pharmacist, Herbal Traditions, Expert Formulations by Linda Page, N.D., Ph.D.


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