Are You As Healthy As You Think?

An Excerpt from: About Healing!

Your Herbal Medicine Choices, Whole- Herb healing or Standardized Plan Constituents?

Clearly, American health care consumers are increasing their use of herbs as natural alternatives to drugs.  Standardizing separate herbal constituents for potency is becoming popular today as herbal manufacturers enter drug-oriented health care markets.  So?  Which Preparation form should you choose?

Whichever herbal preparation form you choose, it is generally more beneficial to take greater amount at the beginning of your program, in order to build a good internal healing base, and to stimulate the body’s vital balancing forces more quickly.  As the therapeutic agents establish and build in the body, and you begin to notice good response and balance returning, less and less of the large initial doses should be taken, finally reducing the dosage to long range maintenance or preventive amounts.

“Parts” are a good way to set a common denominator for building an herbal compound. For individual use, one tablespoon is usually adequate as one “part” when using powdered herbs for filling  capsules; one handful is common as one part for cut herbs in a tea or bath blend.  Herbs can be applied to almost any necessity of life.  It is simply a matter of knowing their properties, how they work together and how to use them correctly.  But herbs are foods, so your body knows how to use them.  Give the herbs time.  Give yourself a good die, some rest and a little less stress for the best results.

For my own herbal medicine garden I have on my own farm, I will list here for you.  Remember, however, that herbs are medicine, and combined with prescription or OTC drugs can have adverse reactions and even cause death.  Always consult with your health care provider before using any new herbal or other medication.

The Herbal Medicine Garden:

From my own experience in growing herbs for my not quite gourmet kitchen, we see how easily herbs are to grow.  Many of the best culinary favorites have healing properties.  Because most herbs grow in the wild, and herb garden van be available to almost anyone.  Herbs require minimal care, grow in tiny spaces, (almost all would grow wonderfully in a window box), and are so potent that a little goes a long way.  When I became a doctor of Naturology, it took me back to what I can only imagine our native peoples and newly arriving ancestors must have felt as they planted their food, their medicine, made their concoctions, tinctures, teas and harvested all they could to protect and heal, as well as feed and nourish their families through long harsh winters, and bouts of illnesses that had not been seen on these shores.

I live in an extremely cold climate from November through May with a possibility of warmer here and there.  But in these environments you can plant most herbs in early spring as soon as the ground can be worked.  I recommend raised beds, with bricks for the outer and inner dividers, the bricks even in the coming colder months hold the suns heat, thus letting us eek out a few more weeks of harvesting.  My favorite herb, Basil, however is always brought in before the temps dip below freezing.  This wonderful and delicious herb is just to fragile to with stand anything below 55 degrees, and even then, that’s pushing it.  Boxes simply work the best in my area of the world, and so it is my suggestion.

Herbs are wonderful companion plants, not only for each other, but for other plants in your garden.  They act as natural pesticides, enhance the growth and flavor of vegetables and help keep soil rich. Plant basil with tomatoes to improve flavor and growth, and to repel flies and mosquitoes.  Don’t however plan it anywhere near rue.

I plant mostly carrot family herbs.  Dill, fennel, chervil, coriander (cilantro) and parsley are easy to grow from seeds.  Plant these herbs directly into the garden or pot in which they are going to grow because they don’t like being transplanted.  Annual herbs such as borage, and non-woody perennials like lemon balm, feverfew, chives, elecampane, pennyroyal or sweet violet usually reseed themselves.  Woody perennial herbs, such as lavender, rosemary, and thyme don’t self-seed very well and produce far fewer off spring.  And some plants plants, like mint and tarragons don’t come up true from seed.  They can only be propagated from cuttings and divisions.   My other best suggestion, is start small.  When planting any garden, research and find the best quality herbs and vegetables you can.  In most cases some nice sunshine and healthy rain can bring about a bountiful harvest.  Whether large or small.  Herbs can be a wondrous and healthful, and a welcome addition to your diet, and your landscape.  Cheers!

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