Herbs for health & WELL­BE­ING

Cel­e­brate the nu­tri­tional and ther­a­peu­tic ben­e­fits of herbs in ev­ery­day life. Find out how sim­ple it is to use home­grown herbs for medic­i­nal pur­poses.

Herbs & Superfoods - - Herbs For Health & Wellbeing -

From lo­vage to laven­der and flax seeds to frank­in­cense, herbs have been used for thou­sands of years to pro­mote health and well­be­ing. But like all medicines, care should be taken when us­ing or con­sum­ing them. Dif­fer­ent peo­ple have dif­fer­ent re­ac­tions to sub­stances, whether phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, foods or herbs. What might work well for one person may do noth­ing – or even have the op­po­site ef­fect – for some­one else.

There are two rea­sons for this: each in­di­vid­ual’s con­di­tion is dif­fer­ent – and each in­di­vid­ual is dif­fer­ent. One person may re­spond bet­ter to one par­tic­u­lar herb over an­other, or they may re­spond bet­ter with a com­bi­na­tion of herbs. It’s much like when you visit the doc­tor. He or she will pre­scribe a drug that’s suit­able for you.

Ev­ery­day ail­ments such as in­di­ges­tion, stom­ach up­sets, cuts and abra­sions, and sore throats – even coughs and colds – re­spond well to herbal treatments, but for more se­ri­ous ill­nesses, check with a qual­i­fied health pro­fes­sional first. Some herbs can in­ter­fere with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs, and many should not be taken when preg­nant or breast­feed­ing.

Of­ten, raw plant parts can sim­ply be eaten. Make sure you know ex­actly what the plant is, that it hasn’t been sprayed and that it’s safe to take in­ter­nally.

To make the plant more medic­i­nally ac­tive, make an in­fu­sion, which is much like a tea. In­fuse sting­ing net­tle as a quick pick-me-up (it’s rich in an­tiox­i­dants). Try lemon balm or laven­der for re­lax­ation, and fen­nel seeds for in­di­ges­tion. Use dan­de­lion leaves in sal­ads or as an in­fu­sion to help rid the body of tox­ins.

Crushed or bruised juicy plant ma­te­rial can be used as is to form a sim­ple poul­tice. Or crush a hand­ful of the plant ma­te­rial in a mor­tar and pes­tle, put it in a blender for a few sec­onds or sit it in a con­tainer float­ing in a pot of boiled water be­fore ap­ply­ing as a poul­tice. A poul­tice of plan­tain leaves is ideal for small wounds and itchy welts, and comfrey is per­fect for bruises, sprains, bro­ken bones (comfrey is also known as knit-bone), small sores and skin in­flam­ma­tion. A poul­tice of shep­herd’s purse can be ap­plied for small wounds, bleed­ing, bruis­ing and swelling. Al­ways try a test patch first to make sure there are no ad­verse re­ac­tions.

Dried herbs can be used too. Add water to the herbs to wet them and mix to create a thick paste. Spread the paste onto your skin and wrap with muslin or gauze.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.