Vitamins in Herbs

Vitamins in Herbs

by Amber S.

Vitamin A -Vitamin A is good for the eyes. It helps night vision and is also useful for the proper function of skin cells and mucous membranes. Found in: alfalfa herb, annato seed, dandelion, lamb’s quarters, okra pods, paprika, parsley,herb, violets, watercress.

Vitamin B1 -(also called Thiamine) This vitamin is important for growth and also for maintaining a healthy appetite. Found in: bladderwrack, dulse, fenugreek, kelp, okra, wheat germ.

Vitamin B2 -(also called Riboflavin) Vitamin B2 is essential for growing children and is part of a nutritious diet for adults. Found in: bladderwrack, dulse, fenugreek, kelp, saffron.

Vitamin B12 -Essential for normal development of red blood cells. This vitamin is used in the production of red blood cells. It is also essential for growth in children and will put healthy weight on very thin children. Found in: alfalfa, bladderwrack, dulse, kelp.

Vitamin C -Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins as it cannot be stored in the body and must be consumed daily. This vitamin is used for teeth and gums. It can be destroyed by heat, sunlight and oxygen, so it must be kept in a tightly sealed dark container. Found in: buffalo berry, burdock seed, capsicum, coltsfood, coriander, elder berries; marigold, oregano, paprika, parsley herb, rose hips, watercress.

Vitamin D -Vitamin D is essential for building strong teeth and bones. It also prevents the disease rickets. Found in: annato seed, watercress, wheat germ.

Vitamin E -Vitamin E is good for eyes and skin as well as healthy bones. Found in: alfalfa, avena sativa, bladderwrack, dandelion leaves, dulse, kelp, linseed, sesame, watercress, wheat germ.

Vitamin G –(B2) Vitamin G is an essential vitamin for a healthy diet. Found in: hydrocotyle asiatica.

Vitamin K -Vitamin K is used to help the blood clot. Found in: alfalfa herb, chestnut leaves, sheperd’s purse.

Vitamin P –(Rutin) Vitamin P is essential in the strengthening and production of the capillaries. Found in: buckwheat, german rue, paprika.

Niacin –(aB-complex vitamin) Niacin is essential to a healthy diet and prevents pellagra. Found in: alfalfa leaves, blueberry leaves, burdock seed, fenugreek, parsley herb, watercress.

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Common Kitchen Herbs That Heal

What follows is a short list of herbs commonly found in kitchens, or easily found in most supermarkets. This list is alphabetical by herb.
——————————————————————————–
Anise (Pimpinella ansium)
Anise helps expel gas, relieves nausea and stomach pain caused by gas.
To use: crush anise seeds into a powder. Put 1 teaspoon of the powder into 1 cup of warm water. Drink up to three times a day to relieve symptoms. ——————————————————————————–
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is another anti-nauseant that also relieves gas, and promotes normal bowel function.
To use: Make a strong tea using 1 teaspoon of the crushed dried herb in a half- cup of water. Drink as needed, not to exceed three cups a day. ——————————————————————————–
Capsicum or Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens)
Cayenne helps stimulate the appetite and acts as a milk stimulant. It may reduce discomfort from the common cold.
To use: make a tea out of the dried herb, 1 teaspoon per cup of hot water. 2 cups per day only.
Note: Cayenne irritates hemorrhoids and should never be used by people with stomach problems. Do not exceed recommended dosage as high doses can cause stomach and kidney problems. ——————————————————————————–
Caraway (Carum carvi)
Caraway works as an expectorant for coughs due to colds. It also improves the appetite and may increase breast milk in nursing mothers.
To use: Chew some seeds three or four times a day. ——————————————————————————–
Dill (Aniethum graveolens)
Dill eases indigestion and upset stomachs.
To use: make a strong tea by steeping 2 teaspoons of dill seeds in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink one half-cup 2 to 3 times daily. ——————————————————————————–
Fennel (Foeniculum velgare)
Fennel is a digestive aid and is known to relieve cramps. The oil is used to relieve stiff joints.
To use: 15 drops of extract in warm water with honey, one daily, as digestive aid. Rub oil directly on affected area for pain alleviation. ——————————————————————————–
Fenugreek (Trigonella graceum)
Fenugreek relieves sore throats and is useful for treating irritations and other inflammations.
To use: as a gargle for sore throat – mix 1 tablespoon of pulverized seed in 1 cup hot water. Let steep for 10 minutes and strain. Gargle 3 times a day, every 3-4 hours. As a poultice for skin irritations – pulverize enough seed so that when mixed with 8 ounces of water, it forms a thick paste. Apply paste to affected areas once a day. ——————————————————————————–
Garlic (Allium satvum)
Garlic helps fight infections, lowers blood pressure and may be able to destroy some cancer cells.
To use: stir-fry cloves for a few minutes to cut down garlic-breath. Eat 2 or 3 a day for maximum effectiveness. ——————————————————————————–
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Ginger eases cold symptoms, soothes skin inflammations and minor burns, calms upset stomachs, and is a natural remedy for morning sickness.
To use: for burn and inflammations – mash fresh ginger root, soak cotton ball and then rub juice on the affected area. For all else – add ginger extract to hot water, 10 drops per cup. This can be taken up to three times daily. ——————————————————————————–
Parsley (Petroselinium sativum)
Parsley settles stomachs after meals. If also helps clear congestion due to colds and is soothing for asthma.
To use: make a strong tea using 1 teaspoon dried, ground parsley in 1 cup hot water. Let steep 10-15 minutes. Take once a day. ——————————————————————————–
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Mint is an anti-spasmodic and is excellent for relieving cramps and stomach pain. It also relieves gas and aids in digestion. It can help reduce the sick feeling associated with migraines.
To use: drink one cup as a tea. Commercial teas are available. (Make sure it is only mint, not mint flavored.) Drink as needed. ——————————————————————————–
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is used for most head pains.
To use: as tea, to relieve nervous tension, make a strong tea. Rub rosemary essential oil on the temples to relieve headaches. Mix essential oils or leaves with olive oil to make a dandruff treatment. ——————————————————————————–
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage reduces perspiration and can be used to ease sore gums.
To use: to relieve perspiration, medium tea, one time daily. To ease gums, strong infusion, gargled, 3 times daily. ——————————————————————————–
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme is good for chronic respiratory problems, cold flu and sore throat. It is also an anti-fungal.
To use: make a tea of the dried herb, drink daily. As an anti-fungal, rub extract on affected areas. ——————————————————————————–
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric promotes good liver function and helps prevent gallbladder disease. It also may help prevent over-clotting of blood cells, and may help relieve arthritis symptoms.
To use: take 300mg up to 3 times daily. ——————————————————————————–

Herbal First Aid Kit

Contents and Instructions
* Calendula Ointment – Use for minor cuts and grazes, red rashes and any minor skin rash.
* Comfrey Ointment – Suitable for all bruises and minor damage to external blood vessels and veins.
* St. Johns Wort Oil – Beneficial for itchy skin and irritable psoriasis. Also good for sunburn when applied at night.
* Liver Mixture – Has mild laxative properties and helps with the digestion of rich food. Take one teaspoon at night or 30 minutes before your main meal.
* Parasite Mixture – Effective against some common internal parasites. If  infestation is suspected abstain from all food for 24 hours. Then take one tablespoon of the mixture in a little water and repeat this dose after four hours and then once again after another four hours. Your parasites should by then have died. You should be able to recommence eating four hours after the last dose, (Gasp!). May also be used as a skin wash for external parasites.
* Nervine and Sedative Mixture – Take 25 drops 3 x daily on an empty stomach as a general sedative. If you have trouble sleeping at night take one teaspoon in a little water 30 minutes before bed-time.
* Astringent Mix. – Good for internal bleeding and also as an effective remedy for occasional diarrhea. If you are stricken with “the runs” take one teaspoonful in a little water every two hours until symptoms subside. Follow up with Echinacea and Goldenseal tincture.
* Echinacea and Goldenseal – Similar in effect to an anti-biotic. Use only in the event of serious infection etc. Take 25 drops in a little water 4 x daily half an hour before meals. Continue for at least two weeks. May be used externally as an antiseptic and anesthetic lotion.
* Echinacea Tincture – Similar to the previous mixture but more suitable for use over a long period when taken internally. May be taken for up to one month in order to boost the overall effectiveness of the immune system.
Important – These remedies are in no way intended as a substitute for proper medical care and attention. If your symptoms persist please consult with a reputable health care practitioner.

4 Natural Antibiotics

4 Natural Antibiotics

  • Michelle Schoffro Cook

When it comes to antibacterial agents, natural medicine really shines. While there are hundreds of natural antibiotics of varying degrees of strength, here are some of my faves:

Oregano Oil—The King of natural antibiotics, study after study proves the effectiveness of oregano oil. Of course, like anything, product strength can vary drastically. Some products are actually marjoram and not oregano at all. So, choose a reputable brand backed by research. I like North American Herb and Spice Company’s blend called P-73, which includes wild, high potency oregano harvested in harsh conditions. That might not sound like a big deal but harsh conditions usually spell stronger active ingredients in the plant, since the health-building phytochemicals frequently comprise the plant’s immune system.

Three volumes of research by Paul Belaiche found that oregano oil killed 96% of all pneumococcus bacteria, 92% of all neisseria, proteus, and staphylococcus bacteria. Some strains of neisseria are responsible for diseases like gonorrhea or meningitis. Proteus is a type of intestinal infection, and staphylococcus is the culprit in some types of food poisoning. Oregano oil eliminated 83% of streptococcus and 78% of enterococcus, which are linked with strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, toxic shock syndrome, cystitis, wound infections, and anorexia.

Olive Leaf Extract—Olive leaf, like many other natural antibiotics, is also a good antiviral, making it an excellent choice when the nature of the microbe is not completely known. Drs. O. and B. Lee at the Department of Biomedical Science at CHA University in Korea, found that olive leaf extract was potent against various microbes. Additionally, their research showed olive leaf exhibited free radical scavenging abilities. Free radicals are linked with aging and disease.

Garlic—A natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral agent, garlic is a great addition to your diet, particularly at this time of year. While garlic contains potassium and germanium, two minerals that are critical to good health, it is best known for its sulphur compounds, particularly allicin. These are the main phytochemicals that boost immunity and act as natural antibiotics. So, ladies and gentlemen, start chopping—garlic that is. It’s time to throw some fresh garlic into your favorite soup, stew, chilli, stirfry, meat or veggie dish. Forget garlic powder. Most of its health benefits are long gone.

Green tea—One of the active ingredients in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been identified in research as an effective agent against certain strains of oral bacteria. Since green tea has many other health benefits, including an impressive ability to break down excess fat in the body, it’s a great natural antibiotic to add to your daily diet. For best results, be sure to swish it around in your mouth.

Medicinal Uses For Common Culinary Spices

Medicinal Uses For Common Culinary Spices

by Lord Riekin, © 1999

Please note that this is in no way meant to take the place of regular medical advice or treatment.
Please see a doctor if conditions persist or worsen

 

 

ALLSPICE
Active ingredient is eugenol, same as cloves. Topical pain relief, tea and mouthwash.

ANISE
Seven tsp. of seed to one quart water, boil down by half, add 4 tbsp. of honey, take two tsp to calm a cough. Drink tea for memory, aid digestion, and a wash for oily skin.

ANNATO
(Lipstick tree)
Lightly crushed seeds added to food is like natural gas-x.

ARROW ROOT POWDER
One tbsp in a cup of juice every few hours to relieve diarrhea. Poultice to soothe skin inflammations.

ASAFOETIDA
Buy the tincture in Indian shops. They add a drop to many dishes to relieve stomach pains (gas). Insect repellent. Topical use to heal ulcerated sores.

ASPARAGUS
Boil in water and drink the water for kidney problems. Dissolves uric acid deposits and promotes urination.

BASIL
Add fresh herb or seeds to boiled water to make tea for migraines and bed time restlessness. Douche for yeast infections, eliminates candida, gargle and mouthwash. Pregnant women should avoid medicinal use of basil.

BAY LAUREL
Heat leaves in a little olive oil to make a bay oil salve for arthritis and aches.

CARAWAY
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 4 tsp lightly crushed seeds. Simmer for 5 minutes, then steep 15 min. Drink with meals to prevent gas, even for infant colic. Promotes menstruation and relieves uterine cramping.

CARDAMON
Digestive aid, eases gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Sprinkle powder on cereal.

CAYENNE PEPPER
Capsicum speeds metabolism. Capsicum cream and oils relieve arthritis and aches, not just by warming and stimulating blood flow, but also by blocking pain transmission by nerves. (blocks substance P) Prevents blood clots, heals ulcers. “Jewish” penicillin, cayenne and garlic in chicken soup really IS as effective as antibiotics after the onset of cold or flu. Cayenne dramatically drops blood sugar levels and should by avoided by hypoglycemics. Cayenne promotes excretion of cholesterol through the intestines. It increases energy levels and aura brilliance.

CELERY
Sedative. Active ingredient thalide. Seed and stalk, reduces hypertension. Celery seed tea for the kidneys as a cleanser.

CHERVIL
Steep in boiled water and apply with an eye cup for a wide range of eye complaints.

CHICORY
Liver cleanser, fat cleanser, dissolves gallstones. Prepare like coffee.

CILANTRO
Leafy part of coriander plant. Food poisoning preventative.

CINNAMON
Mouthwash, good for upset stomach. Simmer sticks with cloves for 3 min, add 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 2 tbsp whiskey – as cold medication. Cinnamon is good for yeast infection and athlete’s foot. A 2% solution will kill both of these conditions. Boil 8-10 sticks in 4 cups water, simmer 5 min, steep 45 min, then douche or apply to athlete’s foot. Cinnamon reduces cancer causing tendencies of many food additives.

CLOVE
Use oil for pain relief for sore gums and toothache. Add clove oil to neutral oils for topical pain relief of arthritis. Small amounts of clove in a tea for nausea. 3 cloves in two cups of boiled water, steeped for 20 minutes, as an antiseptic and mouthwash. Former alcoholics can suck on one or two cloves when the craving strikes to curb the desire.

COFFEE
Although not a spice, it is commonly available in the kitchen. The caffeine in coffee can be used to alleviate headaches (particularly those caused by caffeine withdrawal.) Coffee enemas with olive oil are used to cleanse the bowels and are one of the safest and most thoroughly cleansing enemas available. Caution and common sense must be used to avoid dependency. Hot black coffee sipped through a straw helps break up mucus congestion in the lungs.

CORIANDER
Coriander tea can be used topically to remove unpleasant odors in the genital area for men and women. The tea can be held in the mouth to relieve the pain of a toothache. Can also be drank to relieve flatulence and indigestion.

DILL
Bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 4 tsp of dill seeds, let steep 30 minutes and strain. Drink 1 ½ cups a half hour before retiring to sleep well. To the same directions, but substitute for the 4 tsp of dill, instead add 1 tsp each of anise, caraway, coriander and dill to stimulate the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers. Chewing dill seeds removes bad breath.

FENNEL
Chewing fennel seeds relieves bad breath. Fennel seed tea sweetens breast milk. Fennel tea relieves colic in infants.

FENUGREEK
Use as a tea as an excellent relief for colic and fever in children. 1 tbsp ground fenugreek seed taken in the diet daily can reduce cholesterol. 8 tsp of seed presoaked in 4 cups cold water for 4 hours, then boil for 2 minutes, strain and drink 1 cup a day to ease hay fever attacks.

GARLIC
Ultimate antibiotic. Useful even for sexually transmitted diseases. Strongly recommended for hypoglycemia, and diabetes. Destroys intestinal parasites. Reduces cholesterol. Repels insects, and reduces sting effects of insects and red ants.

GINGER
Anti-nausea tea, blood thinner, substitute for coumadin. Boil 2/3 cup of freshly chopped root in 1 gallon water, wrapped in cheesecloth (or old nylon stocking) until the water is yellow. Then soak towel and lay on bruises and sprains while still hot, to ease them. Stimulates a delayed period. Warm ginger tea is good to break up congestion and fever. Ginger is one of the few herbs that easily passes the blood/brain membrane and is used in conjunction with other herbs that are meant to have an effect on the mind. Pregnant women should avoid medicinal concentrations of ginger.

HORSERADISH
Freshly dug root is added to a cold-pressed oil of choice (such as safflower or olive) to make a massage oil for muscle aches and to break up chest congestion. Grate fresh ginger and horseradish together and make a tea to stop post nasal drip.

LEMONGRASS
½ cup dried leaves to 2 pints of water, simmer for 10 minutes, and sip to bring down fevers.

LICORICE
Tranquilizer. Balances nervous system, stimulates liver functions. Long term usage (over 3 months) could cause liver damage.

LOVAGE
Steep root for 15 min in a cup of boiled water, drink after every meal to prevent flatulence.

MARJORAM AND OREGANO
Over 2 dozen related species. Use as a tea to help reduce fevers and break up bronchitis. Drink tea to relieve cramps and irregular menstruation. Eases suffering of childhood diseases like mumps and measles.

MINT
(Peppermint and spearmint)
Peppermint tea for migraines, nervousness, stomach disorders, heartburn, and abdominal cramps. Herpes sufferers can take 2 cups of tea a day to ease the symptoms when the virus is active. Mints are used to buffer the action of other herbs that have uncomfortable effects on the stomach and intestines. Can be used in any combination for flavor.

MUSTARD
1 ½ cups of dry yellow mustard in a bathtub of water for sprained backs. Make a paste with water and apply to knee and elbow sprains till blisters appear! Mustard and ginger plaster for deep rattling coughs – 1 tsp each mustard and ginger powder mixed with 2 ½ tbsp of olive oil. Rub over chest and back and put on an old T-shirt (or cover with cloth diaper).

NUTMEG AND MACE
Gas, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and kidney problems – make a paste of powder with cold water and then add to boiled water. 1 tbsp of powdered nutmeg produces a floating euphoria for between 6 and 24 hours. Can cause near constant erections for men during that time. Side effects are bone and muscle aches, burning eyes, sinus drainage, and limited diarrhea.

ONION
Egyptians swore their oaths on onions; Grant refused to move his army until he got 3 railroad cars full of onions; interviews with hundreds of people who lived to 100 plus all indicated a heavy intake of onions in the diet. Onion is an excellent dressing for burns. Crush sliced onions with a little bit of salt and apply to burns. Apply sliced onion to bee and wasp stings. For asthma: puree an onion, cover it with brandy and let sit overnight, strain it, filter it through a coffee filter, and refrigerate. Take 2 tbsp 20 minutes before expected onset or before going to bed.

PARSLEY
The purifier. Chew for halitosis. A few sprigs provide 2/3 the vitamin C of an orange, lots of vitamin A, and the important amino acid histidine, which is a tumor inhibitor. Parsley tea is good for kidney problems, painful urination, and kidney stones. One cup of parsley to 1 quart of water makes a strong tea. Two cups of parsley to 1 quart of water, steep an hour and drink warm, as an aphrodisiac. In Spain they have found that feeding parsley to sheep will bring them into heat at any time of year!

PEPPER (black)
Pain relief from toothache, brings down a fever.

ROSEMARY
Flower tea for the breath. Boil water with rosemary in it to make it safe to drink. Diuretic and liver aid, increases bile flow. Two handfuls of flowering tips into 2 cups of good brandy, soak 10 days, strain and seal. Mouthful twice daily. Oil of rosemary is a natural anti-oxidant, and stress reliever; sniff for headaches. Chop a double handful of twigs and put in a pint of olive oil for one week, and use as a muscle liniment.

SAGE
Chew a fresh leaf and put on insect bite to reduce sting and swelling. Sage tea for the throat. Two cups of sage tea a day for a week will dry up mother’s milk. For the itching of skin problems, steep a handful of freshly crushed leaves in a pint of boiled water for one hour, and bathe the area, then sprinkle with whole wheat flour. Sage tea prevents blood clots.

SAVORY
(the herb of love)
One quart boiled water, 3 ½ tbsp fenugreek seed, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove fenugreek and add 2 handfuls of savory leaves, steep 50 minutes and drink 2 cups, as an aphrodisiac.

TARRAGON
1 ½ tsp cut dried herb in 1 ¾ cups boiled water, steep 40 minutes, drink warm for insomnia, hyperactivity, depression, or nervous exhaustion. (or anything “jittery”) For digestion steep a handful of dried leaves in a jar with apple cider vinegar, stand 7 hours, strain and seal. Take 1 tbsp before each meal.

TEA
Caffeine relieves migraines. Tea drinkers suffer less hardening of the arteries than coffee drinkers. Black tea kills dental plaque.

THYME
Antibiotic. A tsp in ½ cup boiled water to make a gargle or mouthwash, to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and cold sores. Drink for cold, flu, fever, and allergy symptoms. As a bath for nail fungus and athlete’s foot, and also as a douche. Compress for bumps and bruises. Health liqueur – 6 sprigs of thyme in 1 ½ cups of brandy for 5 days, shaking daily. Take several times daily when you feel a cold coming on. Thyme is good for killing bacteria and for relaxing tense muscles. Relieves migraine headaches and stomach cramps.

TUMERIC
Anti-oxidant. Powdered turmeric on any ulcerated skin condition or mix with enough lime juice to make a paste and put on herpes sores, mumps, chicken pox, etc. Dip a cloth in turmeric solution to wash away discharges from conjunctivitis and opthamalia. As an anti-inflammatory, turmeric’s properties are as good as 1 % hydrocortisone and phenylobutazone. Take ½ tsp in juice in the morning and evening to aid in removing fat around the liver. Turmeric, bay leaf, clove, and cinnamon all tripled insulin performance in metabolizing blood glucose in a test tube! Field tests proved to greatly enhance production of insulin by the pancreas. “Spicecaps” from Great American Natural Products have a pinch of cinnamon, 2 cloves, ½ bay leaf, and 1 tsp of turmeric per capsule.

VANILLA
Sexual stimulant. Soak a cotton ball with vanilla extract, squeeze it out, put it under the tongue and it will quickly calm hysteria.

VINEGAR
Naturally brewed apple cider vinegar deserves a course all on it’s own. It is one of the finest blood cleansers and arthritis cures known. Take 1 tbsp per day of equal parts vinegar and honey in water to taste to cleanse the blood and reduce inflammation from arthritis. Be sure to use naturally brewed vinegar, as the white cheap stuff in the grocery store is actually acetic acid, a petroleum by-product, and pretty well useless. (except as a window cleaner!)

BAKING SODA
Although not an herb or a spice, this was sent in by OrichidTigress@aol.com, and is especially recommended for people who are allergic to MSG. Many people will use a meat tenderizer for bee stings, but it contains MSG which can cause some people to swell. Instead, make a paste and apply directly to the insect bite to reduce swelling. You can also mix 1 tsp with water and take for relief of indigestion.

HERBS FOR THOSE WITH STOMACH ACHES, ULCERS, AND HEARTBURN

HERBS FOR THOSE WITH STOMACH ACHES, ULCERS, AND HEARTBURN
c. 2002, Susun S Weed

1. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE PEOPLE MAKE ABOUT STOMACH ACHE?
Calling it stomach ache. The stomach (fortunately) does not ache. Usually when people say their stomach aches, they mean they have a gas pain. Gas pain can be severe pain. My friends who work in emergency rooms say you wouldn’t believe how many people come in for what turns out to be gas pain.
2. WHAT HERBAL ALLIES WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR THOSE DEALING WITH:
2A. HEARTBURN?
Herbalists, myself included, see heartburn as a lack of HCL (hydrochloric acid) in the stomach, instead of the prevalent opinion, that it is caused by too much acid. So instead of trying to turn off production of HCL (as drugs attempt to do), herbalists seek herbs that increase HCL, such as dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). In my book Healing Wise I devote an entire chapter to dandelion, with lots of recipes and ideas on how to use it.
You can use any part of dandelion: the flowers make dandelion wine, you can cook the greens, or eat them in salad, you can even cook the root, or make a vinegar with it (my favorite), or tincture it. Some people make a coffee substitute from roasted dandelion root. Any way you take it seems to work. (A standard dose would be 10-20 drops of the root tincture taken at the beginning of the meal.) Dandelion, and its friend chicory (Cichorium intybus), which is a fine substitute should you have access to one and not the other, are true tonics. That is, the more you take them, the less you need them. You don’t have to keep taking this remedy forever. After 3-6 weeks you’ll find you need it less and less.
In Europe it is customary to take bitters before a big meal. Most mild bitters, such as yellow dock (Rumex crispus), cronewort/mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), gentian (Gentiana lutea), barberry (Berberis vulgaris), and Oregon grape are liver tonics and digestives. They aid in digestion, and decrease risk of heartburn, by increasing production of both HCL and bile.
A few more tips for those who suffer from heartburn:
~ Eat less at each meal
~ Stay upright after eating; no lounging around or sleeping
~ Avoid eating late at night
~ Reduce the amount of coffee you drink
~ Don’t overdo it with the orange juice, either
~ Use slippery elm lozenges (available in health food stores) for immediate relief from heartburn
2B. ULCERS?
The herbs that increase HCL in the stomach, such as dandelion, also decrease ulcers, which are the result of a bacterial infection. When stomach acid is increased, that bacteria has a harder time of it and is less likely to cause ulcers.
Amusing isn’t it that medical science says “OK, there must be a mind/body connection, because gastrointestinal ulcers are caused by stress”; only to find out what my herbal teachers taught me long ago: bacteria cause ulcers.
Here’s one way to kill that bacteria (besides taking drugs): Get a food grater with a very fine grating side. Grate a large potato as finely as possible. Into another bowl, grate ¼ to ½ of a cabbage. Let them sit for 10-15 minutes, until liquid starts to collect in the bottom of the bowls. Use your hand, or something hard, to press and squeeze the potato until it is dry. Throw away the pulp and keep the liquid. Repeat with the cabbage. Don’t use a juicer. There are plant starches that you don’t get when you use a juicer. A food processor is ok.
Put the liquids in separate jars in the refrigerator, taking 1-3 tablespoonfuls 2-3 times a day. The more severe the symptoms, the larger and more frequent the dose would be. I expect symptomatic relief within 36-48 hours. But this remedy is safe to take for weeks at a time if needed.
If you can’t make the potato liquid, you can buy potato starch and mix it with water. Instead of the cabbage liquid, you could buy coleslaw. It isn’t the same as grating the potato and the cabbage, but it is better than nothing. And even if it doesn’t work as fast, if that is what is available to you, use it.
2C. STOMACH ACHE?
To me, this means gas pain. Herbs that relieve gas pain are called “carminatives” because they make you “sing” (carmen). Many aromatic herbs are carminatives, especially the seeds of members of the Apiaceae family including dill seed, caraway seeds, fennel seeds, anise seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds. Just put a big spoonful in a cup, cover well with boiling water, steep five minutes, sweeten if you like, and drink.
Ginger is another readily-available carminative. Especially warming to the guts. You can make a tea with powdered ginger, or use up to a tablespoon of fresh ginger per cup of water for a strong brew. Ginger works best sweetened with honey. NASA found it would counter the nausea of space-sickness. You can also buy crystallized or candied ginger to take traveling with you.
The fastest remedy for gas pain is two capsules of acidophilus. I expect pain relief in 5-10 minutes. And I don’t pay much attention to the expiration date on it. I keep mine in the refrigerator, and use them so rarely that I often have a bottle for ten years – and they still work.
Eating yogurt helps prevent gas pain, and can be used as a remedy, but it is not as fast as the acidophilus. A quart of yogurt a week is a good goal. And buy plain yogurt. No need to pay a fancy price for white sugar and poor quality fruit. Add maple syrup or honey and fruit of your choice, fresh or frozen at home. Make your own fantasy yogurt creation.
And the bitter tonic herbs mentioned above are also excellent allies to take long-term if you have frequent gas pains.
When I was in Spain I often had to eat late at night. Then I would take a sip of their very strong coffee, served in tiny cups. It had just the right amount of push to get that food into my digestive tract and still allow me to fall asleep at a reasonable time.
But most people in America drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach. Might this be one reason so many are in such digestive distress? Instead of coffee, try this:
~ Put one ounce by weight of dried peppermint leaf in a quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water.
~ Cap tightly and allow to steep for 4-8 hours. (OK to let it steep while you sleep.)
~ Strain the plant material out after the allotted time, squeezing it well.
~ Then drink the liquid: hot or cold, salty or sweetened, with milk or whiskey or what have you.
~ Refrigerate what you don’t drink then. This will stay good in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
Peppermint helps move the intestines and make you feel really awake, just like coffee. I would not use it if someone were feeling nauseated, as it tastes vile on the way back out.
3. CAN PEOPLE EXPECT QUICK RELIEF FROM THESE REMEDIES?
(See above)
With dandelion, you often see results in the first 24 hours.
4. HOW OFTEN WOULD YOU HAVE TO TAKE THESE REMEDIES?
(See above)
5. DO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC DISMISSES HERBAL REMEDIES AS A LAST RESORT?
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 90% of the health care given on any day is given in the home by the woman of the home. Just by cooking dinner a woman can heal her family and keep them healthy. She can protect her husband’s heart by using lots of garlic. And protect his libido by serving less soy.
Many Americans have food phobias. Think about how many people are frightened of drinking milk. How many won’t eat bread. I go into the health food store to get bread and there are loaves with no flour, and those with no yeast, and those without wheat, and I wonder where all the bread has gone.
We have a national history of food phobias, starting with Graham (inventor of the healthy graham cracker), continuing with Kellogg (of breakfast flake fame), and right into the modern day’s current fads (no fat? no carbs? all protein? all raw?). Not too much has really changed. More and more people are learning about herbal medicine, but I am sure many of them think it is difficult and arcane. They may be unaware that herbal medicine is the medicine for the people, of the people, and by the people.
6. ARE THERE ANY WARNINGS ABOUT ANY OF THE HERBAL REMEDIES TAKEN TO RELIEVE STOMACH ACHE?
I specialize in safe, food-like herbs. I prefer them to drug-like herbs. The remedies I have suggested here are as safe as foods, taken in food-like quantities. When herbs are powdered and encapsulated, they can be dangerous. They are more like a drug and you have to be more careful. I use herbs because they aren’t drugs.
7. ARE THERE FOODS THAT CAN INITIATE A STOMACH ACHE?
Beans! The magical fruit. So good for us, but so hard on the guts. And even worse when they are soy beans. The gas people get from tofu and tempe and soy beverage is outrageous.
From regular beans, try this simple five-step approach – guaranteed to reduce how much you “toot”
(i) Soak your beans overnight in a generous amount of cold water. Add a piece of wakame or kombu if desired.
(ii) Rinse beans thoroughly in cold water (retain seaweed).
(iii) Cover beans with fresh cold water, add retained seaweed, and cook until tender.
(iv) Cool.
(v) Reheat beans to serve.
8. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
Yes, I believe all peppers are upsetting to the digestive tract. I suggest avoiding black pepper and cayenne, jalapeno and all others if you are prone to heartburn, have frequent gas pain, or suffer from irritable bowel or even simple diarrhea.
Green Blessings!
Susun Weed