How to Heal Common Ailments With Herbs In Your Cupboard
You didn’t know when you open your spice cupboard, that you are actually opening a natural medicine chest? You reach for the garlic to put it on your bread, or use it in your soups, but did you know that garlic is one of nature’s best antibiotics, and has other medicinal properties, too?
Herbs and spices have been used for centuries for both their culinary as well as their medicinal benefits. During the early part of the century, women had kitchen herb gardens that they would grow both herbs for cooking, as well as for healing. These women knew how to use herbs to heal, as it was passed down from generation to generation. A skill that should never have gotten lost to time.
Here are just a few of the spices in your cupboard that can be used as a medicinal herb instead of running to the doctor.
The Ways of Our Grandmothers
It wasn’t that long ago, that our grandparents, and great grandparents would have grown these herbs in the garden right outside the kitchen door. Most houses had a small herb garden that ws used for both cooking and healing. The herbs were used in time of illness, mostly by the woman of the house. Grandma knew just what herbs were needed to cure everything.
The herbs were used fresh when necessary, and what was not used fresh would have been dried for later use. They would have been made into syrups for coughs. Tinctures would have been made to preserve the herb and then used when sickness arose.
Now, let’s go into the cupboard and seed what we have…
Oh, great, you have lots of healing spices in here. Let’s talk about the first few.
If you have ever had Anise, you will know that it tastes just like licorice. It is actually used to flavor many licorice candies. If you are suffering from gastric complaints such as bloating or gas, you can chew a few anise seeds to help expel the gas. A tea from the seeds can also be brewed up. Use on teaspoon per cup of water. Let the seeds steep for about 5-10 minutes. Sweeten with honey. Drink after meals where you feel bloated. The seeds can also be chewed to freshen your breath.
When one thinks of Basil, many think of tomato sauce. It is widely used in tomato sauce that is used for pizza. Basil helps to treat digestive complaints. You can also use the fresh leaves of the basil plant to help reduce the pain and swelling of a bee sting. Just take the leaf, chew it up a bit, and apply to the sting. You have just made a poultice.
If you are suffering from gas, Cardamon will help to relieve it. Brew up a weak tea and sip after your meals. Cardamon is also a natural breath freshener, so while it is helping your belly, it will be helping to sweeten your breath.
Chervil makes a natural diuretic tea. A diuretic helps with the bodies retention of water. Chervil is also an expectorant. When made into a tea, it can help expel phlegm to get it out of the body. Chervil should not be used by people who suffer from low blood pressure, as it lowers blood pressure on it’s own.
Many people grow Chives in their garden as an ornamental plant. Chives come from the allum family, the same family of plants that onions are from. Chives helps to lower blood pressure
Coriander is also a great aid for helping with digestion. When used in cooking, coriander can help to stop gas from forming. Coriander is also used as a flavoring in cough syrups.
Cumin is an old spice that has been widely used since the Middle Ages. Still used today in many corners of the world, it helps to relieve gas and bloating. It helps to stimulate the entire process of digestion. It is much used in today’s Egyptian herbal medicine.
Oh, I see you have Dill. Did you know that dill Increases milk production for nursing mothers? When a new mom has trouble with her milk, dill can help. Dill is also really good for gas and colic. It is wonderful for intestinal spasms that are caused by the gas. Again, chewing the seeds of dill will help to improve your breath.
Look here is Fennel. Fennel tea is wonderful for treating bouts of gastritis. It too helps to increase milk production in both humans and animals.
Now, here is one of my favorites. Garlic is one of the best natural antibiotics you can find. It can be used to treat sinus infections, lung infections, and many other ailments that are due to infections. It can be made into an infused ear oil for earaches. It is wonderful for heart health, and is used to lower cholesterol. All round, garlic is a great healing spice to have in your cupboard. While it is an acquired taste in a tea, that is the way I take it for colds or the flu. You can buy capsules of garlic in most heath food stores, too.
Ah, warming Ginger. Ginger is used in cakes, cookies, and breads, but it is also known for the treatment of nausea. Take a weak tea of ginger, and it can help stop the symptoms almost immediately. Ginger is also a wonderful warming herb for the joints. It can be used to treat arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other soreness. It can be taken as a tea, or it can be infused into a carrier oil. Rub onto affected muscles and joints and feel the warmth penetrate as it heals. Ginger can also be a treatment for vertigo, and to lower cholesterol.
Oh, here we have some Horseradish. Many people don’t like the taste, as it is very pungent, but it is a wonderful herb for stimulating nasal flow. This is of great benefit when a sinus infections is present. It helps to move along the flow faster, getting the infection out of your body. It works great for head colds, as well as during allergy season. Just stick a pinch of it on your tongue and take a sip of water. Swoosh it around. You will feel the heat, and your sinuses will start to drain.
Marjoram is used in pizza sauce, but it can also be used to help treat the symptoms of asthma. Taken as a tea, infuse 1 tablespoon per cup of water. Marjoram also helps to benefit those suffering from rheumatism.
Now who hasn’t heard of an Onion? When I say onion, you say bad breath, right? I say every good meal starts with sauteed onions. When an onion is eaten regularly, it helps to control blood pressure. This can be very beneficial for someone with heart related issues. Use the real thing, or use in a powder form. Just be sure it is pure onion powder, with not salt added. Onion, when eaten daily can help to lower the bad cholesterol, too.
What’s that behind the onion? Oh, it’s Oregano. Oregano is another one of nature’s great gifts to us. It is highly anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-flammatory, among other natural healing properties. When infused into an oil, oregano is a wonderful rub for arthritis and sore muscles. A strong infusion of oregano makess a great disinfectant that you can use around your house to clean. Just add it to a spray bottle. The mix will only last a couple of days, unless you add oregano essential oil to it.
While most people use these spices to add to their favorite meat or vegetable dish, they also have some great healing benefits that can’t be ignored.
Most people just use Parsley as a garnish, but parsley is a widely used diuretic in herbal medicine. It is especially used for people who are trying to lose weight. Parsley is used by herbalists to treat some forms of kidney complaints. Would you believe that it also clears up dandruff? Yes, it’s true. Make a strong infusion with either the fresh herb, or the dried herb. If using dried, you will need less herb, as dried herb is concentrated. Make enough to pour over your hair. Gently rub into the scalp and be sure to cover your whole scalp. Leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse, and shampoo as usually. Oh, by the way, did you know why restaurants put the sprig of parsley on your plate? It freshens breath naturally. So the next time you are out to dinner, chew on a leaf or two before leaving.
Rosemary is a wonderful stimulant for the brain. If you are feeling a bit sluggish during the afternoon, just sniff a little rosemary. It is a great pick me up, and much better than coffee. Rosemary also makes a great muscle rub for arthritis. Mix with a carrier oil, allow it to infuse into the oil, and once done, it can be massaged into joints and muscles. If you have rosemary essential oil around, that can be added to the oil, if you don’ t have the time to infuse the herb.
We all say we don’t have enough time. I say we don’t have enough Thyme. Thyme is a great astringent and will help to relieve oily skin. It is by far the best natural antiseptic and can be used in household cleaners to prevent illness from spreading. A thyme ointment can relieve but bites and stings and is a great anti-fungal and antiviral ointment to have on hand. It can be used for cuts, scrapes, and wounds. When thyme is used to make a cough syrup, it can help to expel the phlegm of a cough. Do not over ingest. Over ingestion can stimulate the thyroid gland and lead to poisoning.
Last, but not least is another favorite. Turmeric is an ancient Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatment. It has strong anti-inflammatory action. It is actually stronger than hydrocortisone, and is used to treat pain from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and arthritis. It can be taken internally as a pill or capsule. It can also be infused into a carrier oil to make a massage ointment. It’s strong antioxidant actions makes it important herb for detoxing. It improves the action of the liver, and is a traditional remedy for jaundice is Indian Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric has more antioxidant power than Vitamin E, and when exposed to light, curcumin is strongly antibacterial.
This article is written for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose, or treat any illnesses. It is meant as an educational tool, so that you the reader, can learn the wisdom of the ages on herbal healing.
Before starting any herbal treatment, it is best to see your doctor. Herbs are natural, but they are medicine. They can interact with medications you are taking. They can also interact with foods you eat, or other herbs. It is best to find someone well versed in herbal healing for a consult.
Never self diagnose, or self treat, unless you know what you are doing. Herbs can have serious side effects if not used properly.