(N.Morgan) With all of the information coming out about how most pharmaceutical drugs have ongoing and devastating long term side-effects, many people are turning back to nature treat and in some cases, cure diseases or ailments.
Another reason people are turning back to natural remedies is because it is cost effective and is easy on the budget.
In these times of financial crisis and political upheavals, being prepared for disasters, whether natural or not, has become imperative.
Here is a list of 28 of the most vital medicinal herbs to have in your medical arsenal.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera grows best in a highly sunny area with dry or moist soil.
Aloe Vera doesn’t taste very good, but it is still edible and can be consumed in juice form.
The sap from Aloe Vera is extremely useful in speeding up the healing process and reducing the risk of infections and can be used to treat:
Aside from its external use on the skin, aloe vera can also be taken internally in the treatment of :
ulcerative colitis (drinking aloe vera juice)
2. Marsh Mallow
This is the plant that marshmallows were once made from.
The root of the plant can be taken internally to treat :
inflammation and irritation of the urinary tract and respiratory mucus membranes
counter excess stomach acid
For external application the root is applied to :
The leaves are very edible and have a pleasant taste, unlike Aloe Vera.
They can be added to salads, boiled, or fried. It is also known to help out in the area of cystitis and frequent urination.
3. Great Burdock
This plant requires moist soil and can grow without much or any shade.
The great burdock is well known in detoxification in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine.
The root is is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin diseases like :
The leaves and seeds can be crushed and applied to bruises, burns, ulcers and sores.
4. Pot Marigold
This plant is able to grow in almost any type of soil.
It can tolerate nutritionally poor, very acidic or very alkaline soils, so long as it’s in moist conditions.
Well known as a remedy for skin problems, the deep-orange flowered pot marigold variety is applied externally to :
If used internally it treat fevers and chronic infections.
The tea made of the petals, improves circulation and if taken regularly, eases varicose veins.
Applying the crushed stems of the pot marigold to corns and warts aid in their removal.
5. Gotu Kola
The gotu kola acts in various phases of connective tissue development and stimulates healing of :
decreases capillary fragility
stimulation of the lipids and protein
necessary for healthy skin
The leaves of this plant are thought to hold the secret to the Fountain of Youth.
revitalize the brain and nervous system
increase attention span and concentration
treat venous insufficiency
With its sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous fragrance, this plant has long been used medicinally as a remedy for problems regarding the digestive system.
It has a soothing and calming effect in the area of aromatherapy and can be used to end stress and aid in sleep.
The entire herb is used to treat common aches like toothache, earache, shoulder pain and neuralgia.
7. Globe Artichoke
A bitter tasting plant that requires a lot of sun, the cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin, the biologically active chemical constituent of artichoke.
The cardoon leaves are best harvested before flowering, helps to :
improve liver and gall bladder function
stimulate the secretion of digestive
lower blood cholesterol levels
treat chronic liver and gall bladder
early stages of late-onset diabetes
8. Chinese Yam
This type of yam that can be eaten raw and can be easily grown, succeeding in fertile, well drained soil in a sunny area.
It is sweet tasting and soothing to the stomach, spleen and has a tonic effect on the lungs and kidneys.
It is used internally to treat :
loss of appetite
Externally, it is applied to :
The leaf is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings.
Considered one of the world’s most important medicinal herbs, echinacea can raise the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections by stimulating the immune system.
It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies. The roots are beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds and burns.
It was once used by Native Americans as a treatment for insect bites, stings and snakebites.
Echinacea grows on any well drained soil, as long as it gets sunlight.
10. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian ginseng has a wide range of health benefits, mostly as a powerful tonic herb that maintains good health.
Its medicinal properties are used for :
11. Great Yellow Gentian
The great yellow gentian root is a bitter herb used to treat digestive disorders and fatigue from chronic diseases. It stimulates the liver, gal bladder and digestive system.
Internally, it is taken to treat:
12. Sea Buckthorn
The sea-buckthorn has been utilized throughout the centuries in China to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain.
The branches and leaves are used in Mongolia to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.
The bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal, dermatological disorders and topical compression for rheumatoid arthritis.
With this versatile plant, even the flowers are used as a skin moisturizer.
The berries are used together with other medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders.
Fresh sea buckthorn berry juice is known to be taken for:
general ulcerative disorders
13. Tea Tree
Aborigines have long been using the tea tree leaves for medicinal purposes, like chewing on young leaves to relieve headaches.
The paperbark itself is extremely useful to them as it serves to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, as material for building humpies, as an aluminum foil, as a disposable rain coat and for tamping holes in canoes.
The leaves and twigs can be made into tea tree oil, which possesses anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic properties.
Tea tree oil can be used to treat :
chronic fatigue syndrome
14. Lemon Balm
The reason this plant is called lemon balm is because of the lemon minty scent of the leaves.
The flowers, which appear during the summer, are full of nectar.
The crushed leaves can be used as a typical for:
indigestion due to nervous tension
digestive upsets in children
Peppermint is regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine’, with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years.
Peppermint is naturally high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Crushed leaves rubbed on the skin help soothe and relax the muscles.
against upset stomachs
inhibit bacterial growth
16. Evening Primrose
The young roots can be eaten like a vegetable, or the shoots can be eaten as a salad.
Poulticed roots of the evening primrose is applied to piles and bruises.
Tea made from the roots have also been used in the treatment of obesity and bowel pains.
However, the more valuable parts are the leaves and bark, which are made into evening primrose oil, which is known to treat:
alcohol-related liver damage
As one of the most highly regarded medicines in the Orient, ginseng earned its reputation for its ability to promote health, general body vigor and prolong life.
The roots are used to:
stimulate and relax the nervous system
encourage secretion of hormones
lower blood sugar levels
lower cholesterol levels
increase resistance to disease
treat debility associated with old age
treat lack of appetite
18. Turkey Rhubarb
Widely known mainly for its positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system.
It is gentle enough to use in the treatment of children.
The roots act as an astringent tonic to the digestive system while larger doses are used as laxatives.
It is also known to treat :
liver and gall bladder complaints
skin eruptions due to accumulation of toxin
Salvia, the Latin name for sage, means ‘to heal’.
A very important herb to the Native Americans was Sage, which was said to not only heal multiple problems of the stomach, colon, kidneys, liver, lungs, skin, and more.
It was also believed to protect against bad spirits and to draw them out of the body or the soul.
Internally sage can be used for:
Externally it can treat:
20. Wu Wei Zi
Low doses of this fruit are said to stimulate the central nervous system whilst large doses depress the central nervous system;
It is also beneficial in regulating the cardiovascular system.
The seed is also used in the treatment of cancer.
Externally, it is used to treat irritations and allergic skin conditions/reactions.
Taken internally it will treat :
21. Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle protects and improves liver function.
Taken internally, Milk Thistle helps to treat:
liver and gall bladder diseases
hepatitis (liver inflammation)
high cholesterol levels
insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis
the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers
the effects of a hangover
Comfrey contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells.
It is reputed to have teeth and bone building properties in children.
Safer to use externally than internally, comfrey is used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from:
gastric and varicose ulcers
A tea made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers etc.
It is said to have a sedative effect and can regulate menstruation.
An infusion can be used to relieve swollen feet.
Applied externally as a tincture, the plant is used in the treatment of bruises.
Chewing 1-4 leaves a day has proven to be effective in the treatment of some migraine headaches.
Fenugreek seeds are high in nutritional value and can be taken to:
encourage weight gain
inhibit cancer of the liver
lower blood cholesterol levels
treat inflammation and ulcers of the stomach and intestines
drain off sweat ducts
for body building
for late onset diabetes
freshen bad breath
restore a dull sense of taste
25. Slippery Elm
The inner bark of the slippery elm can be ground into nutrient-rich porridge-like soup that serves as an excellent remedy for sore throats.
It can also be used to soothe the digestive tract.
26. Stinging Nettle
Long known as a nutritious addition to the diet and as a herbal remedy, the stinging nettle leaves have been traditionally used to:
cleanse the blood
treat hay fever
27. Agnus Castus
Beneficial to female hormonal system, the agnus castus seeds and fruits are used to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of estrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone.
It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens, hormones that ‘secure’ pregnancy.
Thus it has a wide application of uses in issues of the feminine reproductive system and has been used regularly in :
restoring absent menstruation
regulating heavy periods
restoring fertility caused by hormonal imbalance
relieving premenstrual tension
easing the transition of menopause
This comes with a disclaimer to grow where it is legal.
There are marked differences in the knowledge on the medical uses of cannabis and cannabinoids in different diseases.
For nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, anorexia and cachexia in HIV/AIDS, chronic, especially neuropathic pain, spasticity in multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury there is strong evidence for medical benefits.
It is used in treating:
Nausea and Vomiting
Anorexia and Cachexia
Autoimmune Diseases and
Miscellaneous, Mixed Syndromes
The video below is Kathleen Halloran, N.D. discussing how herbs can be used medicinally and how simple it is to grow them in your own garden.