The Use of Herbs

There is a great tradition in different cultures around the world to use herbs, for their flavor in cooking and for their healing properties for the mind and body. The monks and nuns in early England were amongst the first people in the West to learn about herbs. They experimented with herbalism in their gardens and soon became experts in dispensing the appropriate treatment.

It’s important when learning about the usage of herbs for medicinal purposes, to choose the correct dosage and to make sure of the purity of the herb. Many people who don’t know about herbs think that they are completely harmless because they grow naturally. This is not true, as herbs can have side effects just as much as drugs can if not administered correctly. If you are not sure about herbs, seek advice and go to a licensed herbal practitioner. This is particularly important if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or receiving treatment by drugs. Taking both a herbal treatment and a drug can double up on components and flood the body too much.

The use of herbs and their effects is well documented. A lot of medical professionals from conventional backgrounds are beginning to give herbal remedies more respect as they learn more about herbs. The Chinese have already had herbal medicine as part of their everyday treatment for a very long time. Different ailments have their own treatment solutions, with many herbs duplicating each other.

Aloe Vera is a multi-purpose herb, treating many ailments including arthritis, acne, warts, and allergic reactions. Lavender can also help with arthritis. Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin), is another herb that is used for a variety of patients, treating influenza, stomach ache, and pulmonary infections. St. John’s Wort (one of the more dangerous herbs in incorrect doses), has been tested in medical trials for the treatment of mild to moderate levels of depression. Results showed that the herb performed better than a placebo.

A lot of people suffer from acute insomnia but don’t want to take sleeping pills. In studies about herbs, it’s been found that Valerian root is a good alternative and doesn’t cause drowsiness in the morning. General fatigue can be helped by periwinkle or dandelion. Periwinkle can also ease the symptoms of the menopause, as can fennel.

Many gardeners get a lot of pleasure from growing a herb garden, providing wonderful scents and flavor for the pot. A stock of mint, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, and parsley will give you the basic supply needed for most dishes. Add some rosemary and chives and you’re well set up. You’ll have fun learning all about herbs and their uses in the kitchen, whether you follow advice in cookery books or do some experimenting of your own.

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