beneficial herbs

Beneficial Herbs

Beneficial Herbs to Boost Your Health

Beneficial Herbs to boost your energy and health

 
Every gardener I know grows at least one or two of the most common garden herbs. Sometimes it’s a few pots of basil and parsley on the kitchen windowsill. Others have gone full out with their love of these amazing plants, and have started a garden devoted solely to herbs. It’s become their passion and their business.

No matter how large or small your herb garden, there’s always a place for favorite culinary herbs.Using fresh herbs can transform you meals into gourmet feasts that delight the palate.

But you can also use fresh herbs to relieve minor ailments. Grow your own beneficial herbs in pots, in a window box, or in your garden and have your own natural first-aid kit.

Here is a quick reference to nine easy-to-grow and common garden herbs that have beneficial and soothing properties.

Never make an infusion or any other preparation from beneficial herbs if you don’t have sufficient background information on it, or understand its potential strength.

 Aloe:

The juicy gel within aloe’s leaves is a well-known treatment for burns and sunburn. Just pull off a leaf, and rub the jelly-like substance onto the affected skin. Reapply it as the discomfort of the burn or sunburn reappears. Aloe often will prevent a burn from blistering, so healing is faster. Use the gel also to relieve itching from insect bites.

 Lemon balm:

The leaves of this attractive plant can be used in cooking as well as in teas or infusions for relief of headaches and digestive issues. Apply the stronger infusions to cold sores to help them heal. It is a cousin of mint, so keep it from spreading by planting it in a container. Lemon balm can be used either as fresh or dried leaves.

Calendula:

beneficial herbs

Calendula for healing creams and salves

This favorite adds a bright splash of color to the garden. But did you know they have uses in the kitchen and for herbal remedies. Toss the petals in salads for flavor and color, or dry and grind them as a substitute for saffron.

The flower petals can also be used in two different ways to relieve stings, bruises, scrapes and burns. You can make a compress using an infusion and applying it directly on the affected part, or make an ointment with the petals by adding them to melted beeswax.

 Thyme:

beneficial herbs

Thyme: soothing tea for sore throats

Thyme has many therapeutic uses as well as its common use as a culinary herb. Research shows it has antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Prepare it as a tea to relieve coughs and other symptoms of flus and colds. Use the cooled tea as a gargle or a mouthwash for sore throats or gum infections.

 Comfrey:

Grow comfrey in a contained space, since the roots go deep and it quickly becomes invasive. Traditionally comfrey is used as a poultice or compress to relieve sprains, and not as an infusion to take internally. It can help tissue heal with less scarring, and speed up the healing of bruises. (One of its common historic names is boneset.)

Rosemary:

rosemary beneficial herbs

Rosemary to boost energy

This is another favorite culinary that’s among the beneficial herbs. Make an infusion from both leaves and flowers, and drink up to 3 cups daily for an upset stomach. It has antiseptic qualities as well. Add a strong fresh infusion to bath water to lift spirits and energize your body.

 Peppermint:

All mints are invasive, so plant this one in a container. Use the fresh or dried leaves to make an infusion. Peppermint is a decongestant, as well as helping soothe an upset stomach. Drink up to 3 cups of the infusion daily.

Witch Hazel:

beneficial herbs

Astringent witch hazel

Make a decoction from either the leaves or bark of this shrub, and use it as a compress for aching joints and sore muscles. Witch hazel is a great astringent – use in treating psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, diaper rash, insect bites and poison ivy rash in a natural way. Witch hazel is also one of the best herbal remedies for alleviating sunburns and windburns.

 Yarrow:

This common herb has a lot of beneficial uses. It can be used as a tea for alleviating ulcers, heavy menstrual periods and digestive disorders. Use the tincture as a poultice to help with hemorrhoids, itchy rashes and broken skin. As a poultice, it is useful in stopping bleeding and avoiding infection in wounds. Combine yarrow and mint to make a tea to relieve allergy symptoms.

When you are planning which herbal healing plants to grow, keep these points in mind. First, always label each plant, or map your herb garden, so you know exactly which plant is which in your garden. Some plants may have poisonous components, so these should be clearly labeled and kept out of the reach of children and pets. Many beneficial herbs have poisonous components, so this is very important.

In addition , keep detailed notes on how your herbal plants should be processed for use. It’s not as simple as just eating them to get benefit from them. You will need to dry the leaves or steep them as teas, make them into tinctures, ointments or poultices in order to release their medicinal properties. Learn how to make these preparations, and how to use them safely and properly.

How to make infusions with common beneficial herbs:

 

If you already drink herbal teas then you are already making and using an herbal infusion.

Infusions extract the water-soluble constituents of an herb. The hot water releases the volatile oils (otherwise known as the essential oils) that are within the plant. It’s the oils that usually give the greatest health benefit.

Infusions are generally made with the parts of the plant that grow above the ground – the leaves, flowers and stems. Pour boiling water over either fresh or dried herbs, and allow them to ‘brew’ for up to 15 minutes. Strain it, and your infusion is ready to use.

Drink infusions either hot or cold. You can also inhale the vapours, depending on which herb you are using and what symptom you are relieving.

Infusions can also be used externally to form a poultice, they can be applied to the skin as a rinse, or even added to bathwater.

It is essential to learn about and understand the nature of each of the individual herbs that you use for their beneficial qualities.

Never make an infusion or any other preparation from beneficial herbs if you don’t have sufficient background information on it, or understand its potential strength.

 

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