Natural Herbal Healing
Herbs and spices have been used throughout the centuries to aid and support us. Herbal medicine offers a holistic approach to maintaining health and wellbeing. Combined with good nutrient-rich food and drink, fresh air, gentle exercise and sleep, and positive affirmations we have the potential to truly thrive.
Many of today's orthodox medicines have derived from herbs and plants and many have been synthetically created to produce the same or similar healing result. Synthetic medicines do not work in harmony with our natural state of being; they treat a symptom, not the root cause of an imbalance, the dis-ease of the body or mind. However, our modern medicines and surgical procedures have saved countless lives and are of course vital to how we live today. I believe that we have now become dependant, and in some cases addicted to modern medicines. We have become disconnected and unaware of the natural innate healing mechanisms within us and instead of activating those healing mechanisms we rely solely on our doctor to fix us.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY HEALTH & WELLBEING?
I am not recommending that you don't consult your doctor when you have concerns pertaining to your physical, emotional or mental health. I am suggesting that we begin to understand ourselves and the way our bodies and our minds function, and take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. This includes: our nutrition - what we consume as food and fuel, medicines or poisons; making sure we get outside for regular gentle exercise; learning how to breathe correctly; taking time out to relax, have fun, connect with friends and family, enjoy a hobby, meditate, or have quiet time so that we can listen to your body's needs. When we make this kind of lifestyle change we can reduce the frequency that we visit our GP, and our dependancy upon our overloaded health system. We instead become empowered to maintain our own health and wellbeing.
Herbalism, naturopathy, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, flower essence therapy, shiatsu, reiki and many more holistic therapies can complement and support the amazing work and life saving surgery that our medical profession offer, therefore creating a system of preventative medicine.
How can NATURAL herbs support and aid Health & wellbeing?
Many plants have medicinal properties and introducing Herbal Teas into your daily life can bring tremendous benefits to our health and wellbeing.
If you are however suffering from long term health issues it is always advisable to consult your GP before taking Herbal teas or medicines.
Some of the actions of herbs are listed below and include a few herbs in each categorie. For more herbs and additional information please see my recommended books for use at home or see a qualified and registered herbalist.
Digestive herbs can tonify, aid and support the digestion. Include: peppermint, cardomom, fennel, chamomile
Anti-inflammatory herbs reduce inflammation. Include: ginger, lemongrass, chamomile, tumeric.
Anaelgesics and pain relieving herbs. Include: passion flower, hops, rosemary, feverfew, valerian.
Nervine herbs to soothe and restore the nervous system. Include: oats, St Johns Wort, betony, skullcap.
Diuretic herbs to support the function of the kidneys, flushing excess water and toxins. Include: dandelion root, parsley, celery seed, fennel.
Diaphoretic herbs to increase perspiration and cleansing of toxins through the skin, supporting kidney function. Include: elderflowers, lemon balm, peppermint, ginger.
Sedative herbs to relax the central nervous system, reduce nerve tension, excitability and hyperactivity. Include: lavender, wild lettuce, evening primrose, lime flowers.
Emmanagogues to move blood, initiate and promote menstural flow and restore normal function of the female reproductive system. Include: angus castus, basil, marigold, cinnamon.
Emolient, a herb which is usually mucilagenous, which has a protective and soothing action on the surface of the body. Includes: chickweed, comfrey, fenugreek, iris moss.
Demulcents have a soothing and protective action on the internal body, such as mucous membranes. Includes: liquorice root, aloe vera, slippery elm, meadowsweet.
Adaptogen, herbs that help the body adapt to stress stimuli, stimulating the body's own defense mechanism. Includes: liquorice root, borage, ginseng, don quai.
Haemostatics are herbs that arrest bleeding. Includes: bayberry, marigold, oak bark, horsetail.
Hepatic, a herb that assists the function of the liver and promotes the flow of bile. Includes: barberry, goldenseal, dandelion, clivers, milk thistle.
Astringents, herbs that contact blood vessels and certain body tissues. Includes: oak bark, witch hazel, yarrow, meadowsweet.
Alteratives are herbs that purify the blood. Includes: nettle, alfalfa, bladderwrack, echinacea.
Anti-tussives, herbs to reduce cough severity, ease expectoration and clear lungs. Includes: garlic, angelica, mullein, liquorice root.
Anti-virals, herbs that contain vitamin C or stimulate it's metabolism in the body. Includes: elderflowers, eucalyptus, garlic, marjoram.
Anti-biotics, herbs known to have an anti-biotic or anti-viral effect upon certain types of bacteria and microbes. Includes: garlic, nasturtium, thyme, myrrh.
Anti-depressants, herbs that lift depression without sedation. Includes: St.Johns Wort, oats, vervain, lavender.
Anti- histamines, herbs that arrest production of histamine and which are useful in allergic conditions. Includes: garlic, peppermint, nettle, eyebright.
Why not try one of our delicious herbal teas? A great way to experience some of these amazing benefits. You may like Restorative tea or Super Spice Tea, both made with organic ingredients and naturally caffeine free, or maybe you would like to add our Super Spice blend to smoothies,sprinkle over breakfast pancakes or porridge or add to a delicious hot chocolate.
This list is not exhaustive. For more information, there are many books that can provide a more in depth understanding on herbs and healing.
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?
Here are some of my most favourite references...
Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Thomas Bartram.
The Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman.
The Complete Guide Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody.
Grow Your Own Drugs by James Wong.
A note to keep in mind - with herbal medicines we are treating the whole person and not just a symptom. There is always a reason why our body has become out of balance; usually a deeper underlying reason. Our symptoms are our body's miraculous way to alert us and draw attention to this imbalance so that it can be healed. Natural healing takes time, energy and effort and a deeper understanding and connection with ourselves. Taking medications only in attempt to clear symptoms can mask our deeper pain and can leave it unresolved and trapped in our physical body.
If you are experiencing mental, emotional or physical symptoms it is always vital to see your GP but may also be of benefit to gain extra support of a holistic nature from a qualified and experienced therapist.
Medical herbalists practicing in Cornwall:
Deanne Greenwood www.deannegreenwood.com
Ruth Weaver www.cornwallherbalist.co.uk
Or go to:
www.nimh.org.uk to find a registered herbalist near you.