Explanation of herbal use
I was asked to write 1-2 paragraphs about herbal use. Naturally this was an impossible task. The smallest I could possible do was 3 pages:
A Master Herbalist “view” of herbal use.
All true human foods are herbs; humans are designed to consume the sweet fruits of trees, vines and bushes. All herbs such as trees, vines, bushes and plants supply a large variety of “organic” minerals that humans have learned over thousands of years to use as mineral supplements to the insufficient diet.
Chewing on leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots dates back as far as the beginning of the human race. Drinking tea dates back at least 6,000+ years and still the largest form of consumption of herbs in the world. Herbs in general being human’s only true foods as sweet fruits, they also supply the organic minerals that the body seeks to fulfill the blood’s daily needs. Herbal “supplements” mean just that---Supplementing an insufficient diet. The less sweet fruits are consumed, the more people will seek supplements.
Herbs are consumed in various forms, most popular being Teas, then Powders, liquid Syrups / Tinctures, Essential Oils and bulk pressed Oils. Herbs are generally just foods. When seeking to use herbs as “medicines” and use as prevention of diseases and premature aging, historical use of herbs are described as:
The Alternative Herbs
These are herbal remedies, which gradually alter and correct impure conditions in the blood, by removing impurities from the blood stream.
Examples: Plantain, Red Clover, Poke Rt, Burdock Rt., Chaparral, Oregon Grape, Blue flag, Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, Echinacea, Yellow Dock, Garlic, etc.
The Anthelmintic Herbs
Herbs known to aid in the removal of worms, known as Vermifuges which expel worms, Vermicides destroy worms, Taeniafuges are herbs that cause the expulsion of tapeworms, Taenicides are herbs that kill tapeworms.
Examples: Wormwood, Male Male fern, Pomegranate, Wormseed, Tansy, Pink Rt., Pumpkin Seeds, Hyssop, etc.
The Astringent Herbs
These are herbal agents that promote greater density and firmness of tissue.
Examples: Bayberry, White oak, Red Raspberry, Mullein, White Pond Lilly, Witch Hazel, etc.
The Cathartic Herbs
These herbs are simple purgative herbs that produce a semi-fluid bowel movement.
Examples: Cascara Sagrada, Barberry, Turkey Rhubarb, Senna, Licorice, May Apple, Wahoo, Balm of Gilead, Balmony, etc.
The Diaphoretic Herbs
These herbs induce perspiration / sweating.
Examples: Yarrow, Chamomile, Pleurisy Rt., Boneset, Blessed Thistle, Thyme, Hyssop, Sage, Catnip, Spearmint, etc.
The Emmenagogue Herbs
These are herbs known to aid female reproductive health.
Examples: Squaw Vine, Tansy, Pennyroyal, Blessed Thistle, False Unicorn, Blue Cohosh, Rue. Motherwort, etc.
The Expectorants and Demulcent Herbs
The expectorants are anti-catarrhal agents, and these are particularly valuable in purifying and cleansing the system.
Examples: Comfrey, Mullein, Chickweed, Marshmallow, Slippery Elm, Elecampane, Horehoud, Wild Cherry, Licorice, etc.
The Nervine and Antispasmodic Herbs
Nervine or neurotics are herbal agents which act as nerve tonics. Their function is to feed, regulate, strengthen, and rehabilitate the nerve cells.
Examples: Lobelia, Scullcap, Valerian, Mistletoe, Wood Betony, Cramp Bark, Hops, Black Cohosh, Wild yam, etc.
The Stimulants Herbs
Stimulants are herbal agents that quicken, excite and increase nervous sensibility, thereby stimulating the functional activity and energy in the body.
Examples: Cayenne, Ginger, Virginia Snake Rt., Peppermint, Cloves, Horseradish, Black Pepper, Prickly Ash, etc.
The Tonics Herbs
Tonics are herbal agents that permanently increase systemic tone and give increased vigor, energy, and strength by stimulating nutrition.
Examples: Barberry, Goldenseal, Peruvian Bark, White Popular, Blessed Thistle, Myrrh, Gentian, False Unicorn, etc.
Herbs can be consumed internally as drinks and foods as well as through the skin and in the air we breathe. The organs and blood stream understand how to make use of herbs. All humans are at a different state of internal health, so each will benefit from their foods and herbs based on the health of their stomach, liver, intestines, digestive and elimination organs. Those with poor organ health will make less use of their foods and struggle with their health.
Prevention is Worth its Weight in Gold Literally. It is so much cheaper to prevent ill health than to wait until your sickly and medical has given up on you. The greatest value is during pregnancy, nursing and the early years.
As a Master Herbalist with over 35 years experience and creator of hundreds of herbal formulas and methods, I believe the commercial world barely understands herbal use and human health and that herbs are at best, 1/6th the solution for longevity. Total health involves much more than just our foods and supplements. Understanding human function, our environment and proper circulation is essential and our children benefit the most when they are raised drug free and their diet sufficient.
The greatest herbal doctors were famous for high dosage herbs not only for healing, but also as daily prevention. Those that understand herbal use, consume them daily. All good herbs are always good. Prevention is the proper and Cheapest Way in Life. If a child is deficient it will show in total health and school / sports.
Children born to mothers who consume herbs properly throughout pregnancy and nursing will adapt to daily herbal supplementation and have better bones, teeth and fully developed brain. Many say a child is made by age 5 and natural iodine and basic minerals are the requirements for full development and for mother to maintain her health during pregnancy and nursing. Understanding our health should be a requirement for all to learn.
There are hundreds if not thousands of herbal supplements. They should be natural as possible and used throughout the lifetime. Spending money on correct diet and avoiding bad habits results in spending less money on supplements, it is that simple. Taking supplements you do not understand is not wise anymore than believing any manufacture that promises their products will cure ailments. All products sold are dead, they have no abilities, “only” our blood has life and the blood makes use of the “organic” minerals supplied by Herbs and the blood does all the healing and our total organ health determines how each of us makes use of our foods and supplements. Do not be fooled by commercial products. Educate your self and understand human function and correct diet and habits that support longevity.