Herbal healing made easy

Chamomile is used in formulas for insomnia, stress, menstrual pain, ulcers or poor enzyme activity, and relief of gas and indigestion.

by Kathleen Gould — 

More and more, people are turning to whole-plant herbal remedies as preventative healthcare and for treating specific health problems. We are going “back to our roots” as we relearn the time-honored remedies our ancestors used. The really wonderful thing is that once we start learning, we find that herbal healing is very easy to do.

Herb shops and simple herb classes are popping up all over the place. People only need to take a few classes to gain enough knowledge to help prevent or treat most common illnesses. Classes can teach you how to make simple herbal medicines like tinctures and salves, giving you hands-on knowledge and the confidence to continue making these remedies in your own kitchen.

Our ancestors used herbs and plants for healing. They might have macerated a plant and put it on the body for healing, or they might have boiled up a big pot of herbs to add to their baths so they could take in the healing constituents through the skin. Of course, the most well-known way to take your herbs is to simply make a tea from them.

The mystery really starts to unfold as you learn how much you can do with just a handful of herbs. As an example, when we think about chamomile flowers, we often think about using them to help relax and calm a child so they are able to go to sleep (the Peter Rabbit stories). But, did you know that chamomile is also a great digestive aid and rich in absorbable calcium/magnesium and other bone-building minerals? It is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal (both internally and externally for fungus and inflammation), helps boost mental alertness and helps rejuvenate hair and skin texture.

Chamomile is used in formulas for insomnia, stress, menstrual pain, ulcers or poor enzyme activity, and relief of gas and indigestion. Chamomile speeds healing internally and externally and can be used as a mouthwash for thrush, eyewash for conjunctivitis or inflamed eyes, a gargle for a sore throat or a steam for congestion.

Chamomile is a great herb for traveling. You can get unfilled teabags in assorted sizes at health food stores and fill them with loose chamomile flowers. These are easy to make and ready the moment you need them. Make a tea for motion sickness, colds, flu, fungal infections, hectic travel stress, menstrual pain, etc. Pop a few teabags in the bathtub for sunburn, windburn, mosquito or other insect bites, or any time your skin is irritated.

As you can see, one herb can serve many purposes. You do not need knowledge about hundreds of herbs to be able to care for yourself and your family naturally. Happy healing.


Kathleen Gould is a registered herbalist and a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. She is the proprietor of SW Herb Co. in Gilbert, Ariz., where she conducts private consultations and teaches herbal healing classes and an herbal certification course. www.swherbco.com, 480-694-9931 or kathyswherbco@yahoo.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 2, April/May 2008.

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