The article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on Preparedness, Homesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com .
Editor’s Note: In the following article, Tess Pennington outlines the most critical herbs and natural botanicals you can store and grow for hard times. Given the direction our health care system is heading, chances are strong that five to ten years from now you’ll be waiting weeks and months to visit a health care specialist for any serious medical needs that arise. That being said, now is a great time to start learning more about complementary and alternative medicines. As Tess points out, God has provided us with everything we could ever need, and centuries of history and natural healing prove that alternative (or, shall we say, ‘traditional’) medicine works. Even modern day clinical studies have shown natural medicines to have surprising success rates for people with conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure, cognitive deficiencies and emotional imbalance. The right combination of diet, physical activity, mental and psychological focus, and understanding of natural medicinal properties is all we might ever need to cure the majority of disease and sickness.
The following is a list of nature’s medicines. You don’t have to just add them to a supply storage. You can start using them regularly in your daily life to live longer, happier and healthier.
30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine
We tend to look to God as a source of all healing. It is said that He has provided all that we will ever need:
“the fruit of it shall be for eating and leaf of it for healing…” (Ezekiel 47:12)
Herbs are a wondrous thing. They not only assist in flavoring dishes and filling the air with delightful aromas, but they also hold medicinal properties that promote healing. Those of you who have herbal gardens of your own, no doubt have a few of these herbal friends already planted. Many of the plants listed below are also listed in my Top 10 Medicinal Herbs that should be in every garden. However, it seems that there are a few more worth mentioning.
Our Herbal Friends
- Aloe Vera – Antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, wound and burn healer, natural laxative, soothes stomach, helps skin disorders.
- Basil – Powerful antispasmodic, antiviral, anti-infectious, antibacterial, soothes stomach.
- Black Cohosh – Relieves menopausal hot flashes, relieves menstrual cramps, helps circulatory and cardiovascular disorders, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, useful for nervousness and stress. Note: Do not use during pregnancy.
- Black Walnut – Good for eliminating parasites, good for fungal infections, good for warts and poison ivy, aids digestion.
- Cinnamon – It has been proven that 99.9% of viruses and bacteria can not live in the presence of cinnamon. So it makes a great antibacterial and antiviral weapon.
- Cayenne– Catalyst for other herbs, useful for arthritis and rheumatism (topically and internally), good for colds, flu viruses, sinus infection and sore throat, useful for headache and fever, aids organs (kidneys, heart, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach, increase thermogenesis for weight loss.
- Clove Bud – Improves the immune system, they are also an antioxidant and doubles as an antibacterial and antimicrobial fighter.
- Cypress – The therapeutic properties of cypress oil are astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, haemostatic, hepatic, styptic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and sedative.
- Dandelion – Helpful for PMS, good for menopause, increases ovarian hormones.
- Echinacea (coneflower) – Boosts white blood cell production, immune system support, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, good for colds, flu and infection. Note: Use no more than two weeks at a time. Do not use if you are allergic to sunflowers or related species.
- Eucalyptus – Anti-infectious, antibacterial and antiviral.
- Garlic – Helps fight infection, detoxifies the body, enhances immunity, lowers blood fats, assists yeast infections, helps asthma, cancer, sinusitis, circulatory problems and heart conditions.
- German Chamomile – Helps stress, anxiety and insomnia, good for indigestion, useful for colitis and most digestive problems, effective blood cleanser and helps increase liver function and supports the pancreas. Improves bile flow from the liver, it is good for healing of the skin that might come from a blistering chemical agent.
- Geranium – Dilates bile ducts for liver detoxification, antispasmodic, stops bleeding, anti-infectious, antibacterial.
- Ginger – Helps nausea, motion sickness and vomiting, useful for circulatory problems, good for indigestion, and is also an effective antioxidant.
- Lavender – Assists with burns, antiseptic, used as a stress reliever, good for depression, aids skin health and beauty.
- Lemon – Is known for its antiseptic properties, Essential Science Publishing says that: According to Jean Valnet, M.D. the vaporized essence of lemon can kill meningococcal bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in one hour, Staphylococcus aureus in two hours and Pneumococcus bacteria within three hours. Lemon also improves micro-circulation, promotes white blood cell formation, and improves immune function.
- Marjoram – Anti-infectious, antibacterial, dilates blood vessels, regulates blood pressure, soothes muscles.
- Marshmallow – Aids bladder infections, diuretic (helps fluid retention), helps kidney problems, soothes coughs, sore throats, indigestion, and as a topical agent it is said to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound-healing.
- Melissa – Assists in issues with the nervous system, blisters, and has antimicrobial properties.
- Mullein – Can be used as a laxative, good for asthma and bronchitis, useful for difficulty breathing, helps hay fever.
- Myrrh – Anti-infectious, antiviral, soothes skin conditions and supports immune system. Also an antispasmodic that helps to reduce spasming due to spasms caused by nerve agents.
- Oregano – is a powerful antibiotic and has been proven to be more effective in neutralizing germs than some chemical antibiotics. It has been effective against germs like Staphylococcus aureas, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
- Pine – Antidiabetic, cortisone-like, severe infections, hypertensive
- Rosemary – Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Cleansing and detoxes the body. Supports the liver and combats cirrhosis.
- Rosewood – Anti-infectious, antibacterial, and antiviral.
- Sage – Used in anxiety, nervous disorders, as astringent, in abdominal disorders, anti inflammatory.
- Spearmint – To calm the Nervous System, aide with Nerve Agents.
- Tea Tree – Disinfectant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, burns, good for all skin conditions.
- Thyme – Effective against Anthrax and Tuberculosis
Perhaps it is time that we begin taking more proactive steps in our physical well being. In the book, Natural Health Remedies: An A-Z Family Guide it states that natural medicine does not simply seek to suppress symptoms with drugs and so forth, but it attempts to discover and eliminate the root cause of disease. Even further, the author suggests that natural medicine teaches not only the treatment of disease but also its prevention by instilling dietary and lifestyle habits that promote health.
This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. Subscribe to Tess’ Get Prepped Weekly Newsletter for more emergency preparedness tips, homesteading ideas, and insights. As a subscriber to her free newsletter you’ll receive the latest updates from her 52 Weeks to Preparedness Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning Series. It’s well worth your time, and oh, did we mention it’s totally free?
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