Are you guilty of stocking your medicine cupboard with a range of chemical cocktails, often having no idea of what each one actually does? Yup, me too! However, I’m trying to change that in favour of more natural products. Namely, herbs and plants: Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet.
You’d be surprised at the array of ailments that the seemingly humble plant can cure, so here I will share with you 5 of these brilliant plants and herbs and some of their common uses. Who knows, maybe you’ll decide to give them a try for yourself?
In no particular order…
Many of you will probably know that hemp is a brilliant substitute for cow’s milk, but did you know that it can be used for a variety of other things as well? It apparently helps alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as being used to make paper, twine and is even used as a way of purifying waste water. Basically, hemp is your all-round good guy.
This beautiful yellow flower is a pretty decent insect repellent. Simply taking a few leaves and rubbing them on your skin should help keep those nasty critters away when you’re enjoying a nice trek in the woods. It was also once used for treating worms in children and was considered useful in dealing with ‘hysterical and nervous affections’, via the ingestion, in small doses, of a tea made by steeping some of the leaves in boiling water.
I bet you didn’t expect to see this here, did you? Yes, catnip is not only great for sending the kitties loopy, it also has a number of benefits to humans as well. Catnip (genus Nepeta) can cause sweating and has therefore been used to help break fevers. It is supposedly good for reducing swelling when applied directly to the affected area and can also help stop excessive bleeding. It will probably encourage contractions of the uterus, however, so it is best avoided by pregnant ladies.
2. Blackberry roots and leaves
Yummy blackberries! Full of antioxidants and vitamin C, yet their roots and their leaves are also incredibly useful. It is believed that they can be used to help treat the effects of dysentery (tummy upsets of a nasty kind), diarrhea and even bleeding gums.
This cute flower looks a bit like chamomile and is just as handy to have around as well. Whether you need to shift a migraine or want to treat arthritis, this little plant can help with its pain-relieving properties. It is said that in order to receive maximum benefits you should take feverfew every day, perhaps as an infusion.
Of course I’m not a medical professional and you should always consult your doctor before taking anything like this, especially if you are already in receipt of other medications.
However, I would love to hear from you about the plants and herbs that you like to use as part of your medicine cabinet, or even just those you’ve heard of, so why not pop me a comment or two below?