By Milo Lou Shammas, Founder and Formulator
The healing power of herbs
Mankind’s history of using herbal medicines far predates modern medical doctors. For thousands of years, the use of herbs for healing was common practice. Asians were the best documenters of herbal medicine. Throughout history, populations from the Near East (Lebanese and Phoenicians) to the Far East (Chinese) have used herbs for healing and health maintenance.
The experiences of billions of people across the Earth, over centuries, provide better proof of the efficacy of herbs than clinical studies involving a few thousands ever could. Even today, herbal healing is the primary medicine for up to 80 percent of the world population. Amazingly, cultures existing at different times in history, and in different geographical locations, have prescribed some of the same herbal cures for the same ailments.
Together with nutrient rich organic foods and supplements, herbs can help keep us healthy in our busy 21st century lives. Modern medicine has provided some advantages over ancient herbal medicine, yet all a person needs to do is to read the fine print and the contraindication sheet that comes with every prescription drug. Remember this: pharmaceutical drugs have only been around for about a hundred years. Know that the body does not have drug deficiencies, yet it does develop many nutritional ones.
Herbs are all about helping to balance the body, building defenses and adapting to stress. We crave the exotic and unusual while we frequently overlook valuable healing remedies that are right in our own backyards.
Ordinary home grown cures
You can grow your herbs and healing plants in a pot on the patio, in a raised bed, or anywhere in the in the garden. Herbs have few insect pests so it’s easy to grow them without chemical sprays. If ”you are what you eat,” you definitely want to eat healthy herbs grown in rich soil fed with true organic nutrients.
Look at this way:
1. Feed the soil the vitamins
2. The plants absorb the nutrients
3. You consume the healthy plants
It’s that simple!
Aloe Vera I consider this plant the fountain of youth. Ancients revered it as the plant of immortality. I drink its juice every morning. I use it on my face and neck after I shave. Aloe improves digestion, immunity, supports insulin sensitivity, and helps the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Fillet the center pulp and eat it pure.
Basil is a large family of plants. It’s soothing to the stomach, mildly sedative, aromatic, soothing, functions as an expectorant, helps nausea and motion sickness, and relieves nervousness.
Burdock has a long and storied history as a blood cleanser, can boost immune function, stimulates digestion and the liver, and can work wonders for virtually all skin conditions.
Catnip aids indigestion, restlessness, and sleeplessness, is mildly calming, and reduces fever.
Cayenne is warming to the heart, aids blood circulation, the nervous system and mucous membranes, and quickens the pulse and metabolism. Topically, it helps relieve joint pain.
Cilantro helps to eliminate the buildup of the heavy metals mercury and lead in the bones and body tissues.
Dandelion has a long history of use as a medicine and nutritious food. I drink about six fluid ounces every morning with my green juice. It stimulates digestion and the liver, supports the kidneys, and is a mild diuretic. Do not use a weed killer on your lawn. Instead, pick those dandelions and eat them!
Fennel is a liver and bile stimulant and enhances production of breast milk. Use it to prevent indigestion, flatulence, and fullness after meals. It relives coughs and colds and offers gallbladder and digestive support.
Garlic I can knock-down a cold within 24 hours after I make my famous garlic and onion soup with fresh-squeezed lemon and a dash of cayenne. It stimulates the metabolism, has antiseptic qualities, reduces cholesterol, inhibits platelet aggregation (”thins the blood”), prevents heart disease and reduces high blood pressure.
Lavender is a pleasant, aromatic, mild sedative, nerve tonic, and anti-depressant. It is an aid against anxiety, worry, depression, sleeplessness, nervous stomach, nausea, and motion sickness. Make sure it receives full sun all day.
Mint will thrive in shady or sunny areas. I love it in my juice. I drink about an ounce daily and I chop some to sprinkle on my tabouleh salad. My grandfather Nicholas Shammas used to swear that it could cure a hangover, along with a shot of ouzo: a Greek Orthodox remedy! I like it in my tea when I have an upset stomach. It really works. My mom, Jeannette, gave it to the entire family when we got sick.
Mustard Greens increase blood circulation in the areas where a body dressing is applied. Increased blood flow to inflamed areas will quicken the natural healing process. Mustard greens are also used for pneumonia, bronchitis, and excessive buildup of phlegm due to colds or flu.
Oregano stimulates sluggish circulation and helps to treat cold and flu symptoms. Topically, it aids achy joints and muscles.
Parsley has many nutritional benefits. I drink a couple of ounces in my green juice every morning. It is a very healthy source of chlorophyll, B vitamins and potassium, with broad healing activity. It is also a strengthening diuretic and specific for liver, kidney and bladder problems as well as an effective gallstone dissolving agent, digestive aid, blood tonic, immune enhancer, and supports the nervous system.
Sorrel has high levels of vitamins A and C. It also has moderate levels of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Learn to love it in small doses in the beginning. It has natural laxative properties that make consuming too much sorrel a trial for the tummy.
Stevia has many health benefits. It provides a natural, good-tasting sweetener for people who are diabetic and for people who want to lose or control their weight. Also, some studies have shown that it contains substances that inhibit tooth decay and plaque formation. It increases mental alertness, decreases fatigue, improves digestion, regulates blood pressure, and eases hypoglycemia.
Tarragon is considered a friend to the head, heart and liver. Russian Tarragon is eaten in Persia to induce appetite. The root of tarragon was formerly used to cure toothaches.
Thyme is commonly used as an antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic, and carminative (helps with gas). Employed with success as a safe cure for whooping cough, as well as in cases of catarrh (thick mucus) and sore throat, thyme tea will also arrest gastric fermentation. It is useful in cases of wind spasms and colic, and will assist in promoting perspiration at the commencement of a cold or in fever.
All of these plants are easy to grow as long as you give them the basics of sun and healthy garden soil. Don’t look at your herbs as only being decorative; use them often and don’t be timid. You can’t really make a mistake in cooking with herbs. Combine them in your foods to replace salt.
Use Dr. Earth® organic fertilizer to feed the soil with plenty of nutrients that will feed your herbs, which will ultimately help to nourish and cleanse your body. Nutrients are needed for the human body to stay alive. Take action to feel better and set yourself on the path to wellness. Health is a lifestyle. Strive to be your best!
This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe any cures for medical conditions.