A small list of medicinal herbs to keep handy at home.

Discussion in 'Herbalism - Medicinal, Practical, and other Uses' started by Correy, May 19, 2016.

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  1. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    This is a basic list with herbs that can prove handy and with medicinal purposes at both everyday as well as emergeyncy situations. Good forms to keep them both unspoiled and effective for up to a year, are as dried parts of the plant, ground herbs or concentrated extracts.

    • Cayenne
    • Lobelia
    • Garlic
    • Yarrow
    • Brigham tea
    • Chaparral
    • Mullein
    • Nettle
    • Plantain
    • Red Raspberry
    • Echinacea
    • Catnip
    • Sliperry elm
    • Licorice root
    • Black walnut
    • Pau d'Arco
    • Ginger
    • Oregano
    • Comfrey
     
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  2. Kev Brown

    Kev Brown Active Member
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    Great list, some really good herbs here that help boost your immune system and help fight off infections by being anti fungal and anti bacterial. I would throw yellow dock and rhubarb root into the mix too. Though you can't really go wrong with the herbs you have provided. I often mix up some garlic, ginger, and cayenne and add it to whatever I'm eating whilst also keeping a blend of licorice root, rhubarb, pau d'arco, black walnut , mullein and comfrey close by at all times.
    Gaining a basic understanding of herbs will save you a fortune in the long run.
     
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  3. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    I avoided including some more sophisticated medicinal herbs, such as the excellent laxative & antifungal & anti-inflammatory Senna alexandrica, because they can be dangerous in high doses, which would need me to go into dosages in general. So to start, I didn't want to suggest plants that can be a hazard if you have prying kids or animals around the house.
     
  4. Tessa

    Tessa Member
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    I'd add mint to the list, it's a great tea for upset stomachs plus it helps repel flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. It's super handy and not a demanding plant to grow, you can pretty much just let it go nuts on its own.
     
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  5. Lakeisha Brown

    Lakeisha Brown New Member
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    Wow, a few of the herbs listed I have. Catnip helped cure my baby hives when nothing the doctor prescribed helped. I will be sure to research this list. Thank you!
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  6. iseeyou

    iseeyou Member
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    This is a really helpful list, very useful, i already have some some of the most basic herbal plants you mentioned, i'll definitely look into the others, no doubt they will come in handy. thank you!
     
  7. DaBozzLady

    DaBozzLady Member
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    I had posted a thread about options to have handy when traditional meds weren't available. I just went through one of the worst pains ever, a really bad toothache. Suggestions were of course, anbesol or orajel and aspirin. While researching, I found out peppermint tea as well as warm salt washes helped also. The latter two were only temporary, in a matter of moments the pain was right back. So I posted on one of my apps and had a good friend say her Mom swore by cloves or whiskey. I didn't have whiskey on hand, so I got some cloves; lo and behold, a day or so later, the pain is completely gone.

    So I did some more digging and found out this about cloves. Cloves are the unopened flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. Some use the oil to make medicine. It can be used for an upset stomach, bad breath, to help clear up colds and even with skin issues. Herbs were definitely mentioned and I will be doing some more research. Any suggestions or additional help would be greatly appreciated. Of course, I know Google will be a big help as well as the library. Though I was familiar with some of the methods posted, especially cayenne, I thank you for providing this list so I can start better preparing myself.
     
  8. Kev Brown

    Kev Brown Active Member
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    Yes, good thinking. Think it would be great to illustrate your list by giving a basic introduction into what herbs are good for. Whether they are anti-bacterial, help dissipate mucus, stimulate blood flow or help strengthen your immune system for example. Getting into herbs seems daunting at first but everybody can gain a good understanding of the basics. Looking forward to seeing where this thread ends up.
     
  9. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    Let's get on it then!

    Update:
    "The uses of the above list."

    Cayenne: It is used to alleviate upper abdominal discomfort or indigestion by consuming as powder either once, or daily when it's a chronic problem. The effective dose can make food really spicy though, it's most effective at 2,5-3 gramms per person. It is also supposed to have a protective effect against medication that damages the stomach lumen (that cause ulcers eventually) like aspirin. It is also an antioxidant, reduring the oxidation of serum lipoproteins (which was atherosclerosis) as well as a vasodilative, meaning it dialates arteries and increases blood flow, making it a potent anti-hypertensive. Capsaicin itself, has a strong effect on lowering blood glucose, although using it on on a full-blown type 2 diabetes is not reccomended. (Note: All of the above applications are done by consuming cayenne orally.) .
    Lastly capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory that relieves skin irritation, itching and pain, but only externally, meaning it's meant to tackle inflammations only from above the skin. Many pharmaceutical companies use capsaicin as an active ingredient on muscle pain plasters. (Note: It is either used by consuming it, or placing it on your skin. Don't use it on your genitalia or sensitive areas like the eyes unless you're looking for the burning of your life.)


    Lobelia (or Indian tobacco): It is a potent hemetic, which means it induces vomiting. Something like that is handy to have around when you realise someone consumed something poisonous (although you could propably put a finger in their throat and be done with it). (Note: Lobelia does this by irritating the GI tract, so you might want to avoid it if you have ulcers or chronic inflammatory bowel disease, also avoid it if you're pregnant of breastfeeding.)
    The Native Americans used it for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough because it has an active ingredient called lobeline, which is similar to nicotine, which clears mucus from the respiratory tract, including the throat, lungs, and bronchial tubes. The parts that are used are the leaves and the seeds, but lately it's also available in liquid extracts, tinctures, and as a dried herb in capsules and for teas. It is also an anti-hypertensive and a mild sedative - analgesic effect (Note: Lobelia can cause fainting or convulsions in really high doses, so you start with the lowest dose possible, which is achieved by chewing a small leaf. Mind that extracts contain more lobelin, so if you use it in that form make sure to dilute less than one drop to a liter of water to achieve your smallest dose.)


    Garlic: This plant as well as the entire onion family (Allium) contain a substance called allicin, a sulfuric compound that gives garlic its characteristic smell. Allicin is a potent antibacterial, antifungal and mild antiviral (Has been used as an antiseptic for wounds up until WWII), as well as antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory compound. Contrary to what we tend to hear though, its anit-atherotic effect is really mild when consumed orally.
    Other than that, it's really dense in vitamin C and B6, minerals like selenium and manganese, as well as calcium, copper , iron and potassium.
    Garlic extract is also a very potent anti-hypertensive and has shown positive effects in patients with terminal carcer who were using garlic extract as a supplement.
     
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  10. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    Update#2:

    Yarrow: It is a potent anti-inflammatory, very optimal in the common cold and allergies in the form of tea. Also it's a relaxant/sedative, which can also be used for menstrual or post-labour cramps either as tea or as a compress on the skin. Compresses are also effective against skin irritation, rashes and slow healing wounds.

    Brigham tea (Ephedra viridis): This plant has an active ingredient called ephedrine, as well as pseudopherine, etc . Ephedrine is similar to adrenaline in its effect, less potent than adrenaline but lasts longer, with pseudopherine being the weakest of the three. Ephedrine reinforces heart action and causes bronchodilation, especially during spasms-which is why it is used for acute episodes of bronchial asthma. Ephedrine is a stimulant of the central nervous system, used to treat depression and narcolepsy. It is also an expectorant, useful for acute sinusitis and hay fever.
    (Note: while using the plant as tea has no side-effects, extracts of ephedrine can even lead to death, so you might want to stick to dried leaves with this one, unless you plan to bring someone back to life...Also since caffeine has similar effects you might not want to drink both coffee and brigham tea as it'll give you tachycardia and in the best case scenario you won't be able to sleep afterwards).

    Chaparral: This plant is a strong combatant of infections of various kinds, not specifically antibiotic, but generally antiseptic. Since it can be both consumed and used on the skin in a compress or as salve, it's helpful with dermatological infections and GI infections. It's also a strong antioxidant, but you might not want to binge on it as a "superfood" because it can damage the liver, so just stick to the antiseptic applications, use only when necessary. (Note: do not use for more than 2 weeks straight, because it can damage the liver if used for longer periods of time. If the infection persists just try a different approach.)
     
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  11. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    Update#3:

    Mullein: This plant is the dream of the beautician; a strong demulcent, which means it softens skin and musosal surfaces, as well as an astringent, which means it constricts the tissues and lastly a moisturizer. Its astringent properties can be also be used in constricting extensive wounds after being stiched back together, or to cure diarrhea and constrict small wounds along the GI tract. To use internally it's prepared as an infusion or as a mixture with milk, and for external wounds it's used as a compress. Its flowers can also be used to kill ringworms and tapeworm, and by smoking it like tobacco it alleviates respiratory irritations being an anti-inflammatory.
    Additionally this plant is used to kill ticks on animals, and in antiquity they used to throw the seeds in the water to intoxicate the fish, which would then dizzyly float about for the fisherment to catch them.

    Nettle: You can find this one almost everywhere, either pick the leaves with latex gloves or pick them from the underside of the leaf which has none of the irritant. As an anti-inflammatory it's used to alleviate painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and stall anemia, as well as for UTIs and hay fever. For external affected areas it's used as a compress or as salve.
    It also makes a kickass weed-bread or boiled salad.
    (Note: The irritant of the nettle is neutralised when boiled, so you can use it as tea or as a paste from the boiled plant, but not fresh. I am not aware of a technique that would render fresh nettle ok to eat or put on your skin!)

    Plaintain
    : This plant is used as a cooling agent, just like mint and spearmint, both externally and internally. It helps with raging skin inflammations as well as ulcers that are acting up and bowel inflammations, for that last one preferably using the root of the plant. It's also a hemostatic for open wounds, when applied directly on top of it. Its leaf juice is also an deobstructive and diuretic. In antiquity it was also rubbed as salve (from crushed leaves) on top of animal-induced wounds along with salt to prevent rabies.
     
  12. slapdashmom

    slapdashmom New Member
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    This is a great list. I would add a few to it, including:

    marshmallow root - helps with stomach ulcers, constipation, and more
    mint - promotes digestion
    cinnamon - anti-inflammatory

    You have to make sure you purchase the herbs that are high-quality. Knock offs won't work as well.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
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  13. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    And don't forget that there's a lot of ready formulas out there with ready concoction. I don't trust those either, they usually don't disclose how much of what is in there, especially if it comes too close to being plain snake oil. It makes it harder to calculate dosages that way, same as extracts.
     
  14. Lakeisha Brown

    Lakeisha Brown New Member
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    When you cook these herbs and spices in food, do they lose their healing properties?
     
  15. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    It depends. Most of those herbs above will sstill be potent even if you boil them. However it's different to make tea (where you only boil the herb from seconds to several minutes) than making soup with it.

    Some herbs are more resillient than others, like cayenne's capsaicin and garlic's allicin. Those will still be potent even if you use them on a pot roast. For herbs that are used in their crude leafy form, and not already ground or extracted, the process of boiling, or cooking, or crushing actually helps release those active substances from the tough cells of the plant.
    (Which isn't to say that you necessarily have to process a plant in order to render it useful, e.g. Lobelia leaves are quite potent even when chewed.)

    In some cases, like most veggies, herbs tend to lose their vitamins in the process of cooking, however since they release other beneficial substances, this trumps being eaten fresh.
     
  16. meganisonfire

    meganisonfire New Member
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    This is a great list of herbs! I am just curious as to what you would use each one for. Does anyone has any examples of how to use them? I see a lot of great detailed posts above me that I will check out. Perhaps one of them explains what I am asking. If anyone hasn't notice, I really enjoy reading books on survival. Does anyone know of a good book that has herbal remedies and how to use them?
     
  17. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    I added descriptions for about half of the plants on the list already. Scroll up, you'll find them, it's three consecutive posts. I'll add the rest tomorrow most likely (finals caught up with me).
     
  18. judyd1

    judyd1 New Member
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    Does anyone else know about Lamb's Quarters? An elderly friend of the family suggested we use Lamb's Quarters when my baby son was born with jaundice. It really worked!

    Recently, my friend Freddie mentioned Lamb's Quarters for soothing measles' sores--and I wondered how many other conditions it might help.

    Any plants that are edible could make the difference between eating abundantly in extreme circumstances or starving to death because the supermarkets have all been looted.
     
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  19. Kev Brown

    Kev Brown Active Member
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    @Correy Great list. Now any good all round mixtures you recommend for newbies?

    I'm thinking immune system builders, anti-bacterial mixes, and mucus cleasers.
     
  20. Correy

    Correy Expert Member
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    @Kev Brown
    I can come up with a small guide on what to do with the more complicated applications of these herbs in detail sometime later.
    Most of the immune system, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herbs can be simply used as a hot beverage in much the same way one would brew tea. Since most anti-inflammatory herbs also present antibiotic and immune strengthening properties there's very little need to throw in other potent herbs.
    While many of us might think of it as making a smoothie, it's preferable though that we don't mix too many herbs together, because then we'd have to take under consideration all of their active biomolecules and how these interract and how well the human liver can handle those. That's a bit advanced and a little too close to advanced pharmacy for non-trained people to do. So when we do a combo it's best that we combine our main ingredient with a herb that has milder strength and a very irrelevant spectrum of properties than the primary ingredient, to avoid interraction and bi-neutralization.
    You don't want a hypertensive (=antihypotensive) with an anti-hypertensive in the same mixture as they would neutralise each other. Same goes with some immune-related herbs. Depending on the biochemical pathway that they stimulate in the body they could either interfere with each other or work in parallel unperturbed.

    For example in treating a bronchitis with lot's of sputtum production, brigham tea as an anti-inflammatory and bronchodiastolic is so potent (it has a high amount of ephedrine) that it doesn't need to be combined with a herb with similar properties. However if you have an infection with a dry sore throat that you need to tackle, you can combine it with an emulsifier herb like a dried hybiscus flower or a pinch of dried chammomile in the same hot beverage.
     
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  21. BeautifullyBree

    BeautifullyBree Active Member
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    Thank you for the great list. I will be buying these to keep around. I had no idea these were all useful, and I can't wait to add them to my spice cabinet. I do have a few of them including cayenne.
     
  22. Kev Brown

    Kev Brown Active Member
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    Great stuff. I have a grasp of the basics but need to study more to get a better understanding. A short guide would be great for all and I agree with your advice of keeping it simple early on.
     
  23. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    What about peppermint? Like Ginger, it is good for soothing an upset stomach and for morning sickness.

    Is there somewhere I can get a printout of the original herb list that will tell me what each herb is used for and how to prepare the herb? (tea, salve, etc.)
     
  24. Kev Brown

    Kev Brown Active Member
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    I would suggest popping into a book store and looking for books on herbs there. There are numerous cheap options as old books still contain valuable information. You can pick them up in charity and second hand stores or just look for books on sale or heavily reduced online. I own a number of online guides but still prefer reaching for a good book. It's much easier to go through a book and take out the relevant detail. Printouts are great too, though after a while you'll need to have the extra info that a well-written book provides handy.
     
  25. Valkyrie

    Valkyrie New Member
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    What a great list- I am glad I found this site. I was researching recently how to make a certain spice mixture for Latin cooking and came a crossed some information that might be helpful. It said that if you are saving herbs for future use, it is a good idea to take and use a vacuum sealer for the best preservation after you have allowed the herbs to dry. The vacuum sealing help to keep the potency high, I am sure in a worst case scenario this might not be an option, but while building up your supply it is a definite can do. I am not so certain about seeds though, unless they were just to eat, planting seeds should still have air circulation so stick to paper envelopes.

    I happened upon a native American book that listed many regional natural plants and how thy were us by the tribe. there are so many plants that are helpful, you only need to get good source material, hopefully with a small picture of the plant so you don't eat the wrong one. I was surprised ho many natural food products grow all over the place.
     
  26. viva93

    viva93 New Member
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    I would also recommend tea tree oil as an over-all cure for fungal and bacterial infections.

    It can help with your skin, with fungal stuff happening all over your body. It is good for use it as an essential oil, in laundry, as cleaning product in your white clothes and all around the house.
     
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