The Benefits Of Plants And Herbs
Medicinal plants and herbs have always played an essential role in our lives. Plants cleanse and give us air to breathe, beautify our surroundings, supply us with food and shelter and provide cures for our many ailments. It is best to know the value of each plant and acknowledges that most plants and herbs transcend their use in our kitchen counters and some can now be found inside medicine cabinets. Usual forms of medicinal remedies come in infusions, decoctions, tinctures, syrups, infused oils, essential oils, ointment and creams.
Medicinal plants and herbs contain substances known to modern and ancient civilizations for their healing properties. Until the development of chemistry, and particularly, of the synthesis of organic compounds in the 19th century, medicinal plants and herbs were the sole source of active principles of curing man’s ills. The genetic material of old and new herbs and plants are coveted for their potential in discovering, combining, manipulating and synthesizing new medicine.
Thus, even if people are not aware of, or the pharmaceutical industry does not stress the points, medicinal plants and herbs continue to be the source of proven medicaments and of new and revolutionary drugs. Here are five of the most common herbs that pack a mean punch – basil, oregano, peppermint, rosemary and tarragon.
BASIL (Octimum basilicum)
Is used to treat stomach cramps, vomiting, fever, colds, flu, headaches, whooping cough, and menstrual pains. It is also used to reduce stomach acid, making it an effective treatment for ulcers, and valuable addition to any recipe using tomatoes for those with sensitive stomachs. Externally, it can be used in other countries to eliminate worms from the intestines and the oil from basil leaves is applied directly to the skin to treat acne.
OREGANO (Origanum vulgare)
Is used to promote perspiration as a treatment for colds, flue and fevers. A tea of oregano is often used to bring on menstruation and relieve associated menstrual discomfort. It is also used in baths and inhalations, and by drinking the infusion, clears lungs and bronchial passages. Internally and externally, it can help alleviate dry itching skin. The essential oil is used to treat viral infections, respiratory ailments, and muscle aches. Pregnant women would not ingest large amounts of oregano.
PEPPERMINT (Mentha piperita)
Has been in existence for a long time. Peppermint tea helps with indigestion and relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract. Its chief therapeutic value lies in its ability to relieve wind, flatulence, bloating and colic, though it has many of the applications. Studies have shown that peppermint relieves colon spasms and helps to cure ulcers and eases nervous headaches. Its main menthol, has antibacterial properties. Externally, the essential oil is used in balms and liniments to stimulate hot and cold nerve endings and increase local blood flow.
ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Is a stimulant of the circulatory system. It is used to treat bites and stings externally. Internally, it is used to treat migraines, bad breath, and to stimulate the sexual organs. It is also used to treat nervous disorders, upset stomachs, and is used to regulate the
menstrual cycle and ease cramps. Mixing the crushed leaves generously into meats, fish and potato salads prevents food poisoning while using it in antiseptic gargles relieves sore throat, gum problems and canker sores. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy as an inhalant and decongestant, and to enhance memory. Rosemary is also used in lotions to ease arthritis and muscle pain.
TARRAGON (Artermisia dracunculus)
Is widely used as a herb in cooking. In France, it is sometimes known as “herbe au dragon”, because of its ability to cure serpent bites. While tarragon stimulates the digestion, it is reputed to be a mild sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. With its mild menstruation-inducing properties, it is take if periods are delayed and its root has traditionally been applied to aching teeth.
Clearly, herbs have taken on a new role. They’re not only used for decorating and adding spice to our food but, taken in the appropriate dose and form, can be as effective as drugs in curing illnesses, without causing pain in your pocket.
Medicinal herbs, also known as medicinal plants, have long been used and discovered in conventional medical practices as far back as prehistoric times. Plants synthesize hundreds of different chemicals for various purposes such as antifungal, defense against infection, herbivory, and animal and insect protection.
When a medicinal plant is introduced into the natural environment, it is usually a hybrid or species that has not been bred before and has not undergone any selection and breeding programs. These plants are usually a combination of two or more different kinds of plants. The plants are then propagated in a laboratory by using propagation tubes that contain a medium that grows. This is done so the plants will continue to reproduce and grow in the same way as a natural plant.
All plants have different kinds of nutrients needed to keep them healthy and thriving. Medicinal herbs are the same as other types of plants in this aspect, but they are grown under special conditions and techniques. In some cases, medicinal plants are cultivated in an outdoor environment in which sunlight is given to the plants to maximize photosynthesis. They are then harvested for their oils and resins to be used in pharmaceuticals and medicine.
Medicinal herbs can also be used for their medicinal value in food and beverages. One common use is as a spice in many foods.
Medicinal herbs have a wide variety of uses and benefits.
Some examples include: as a cough and cold remedy, to cure burns and cuts, relieve headaches and anxiety, aid in digestion and absorption, treat urinary problems, help fight infections and help prevent infection, strengthen the immune system, strengthen bones and muscles, reduce blood pressure, and aid in weight loss. The list goes on.
Most herbs that are used as medicinal plants come from a single plant species. Others may be combinations of two or more species. There are over 400 types of herbal plants in the world. Each species has its own medicinal properties. The properties of each species are different when compared to each other.
Each medicinal plant has its own healing powers and effects.
Some of these properties vary depending on the environment where it grows. Other factors include the amount of sun exposure, the plant has and the soil type in which it grows. Different parts of the plant are used to make them effective. Medicinal herbs should always be grown in areas where it gets direct sunlight.
Growing Medicinal Herbs
You should only grow medicinal herbs if you really believe that they will help you. Or only if you are certified to do so. Some of the best sources of information are health food stores and herbalists. There are also many websites that sell herbs and are able to give you information on medicinal plants.
The best thing about growing a medicinal herb is you will know exactly what it is that you are growing. The best part is that you will not have to worry about the effects of different weather conditions on different types of herbs. You can get your hands on many types of medicinal herbs and grow them at the same time. This gives you more options for what herbs you can use grow.
There is no better time than now to start growing medicinal herbs because they are now affordable to most people. You can buy them online or at many gardening stores.
Herbs that are used as medicines can vary greatly in price based on their quality and the type of plant they are. If you are interested in growing a specific kind of herb, you may want to research the various ones that are available.
Herbal medicine is also used in several cultures and religions around the world. For this reason alone, it is worth learning about