Growing Medicine: Plants That Can Heal

Growing Medicine: Plants That Can Heal

( – In today’s world, people are used to being able to just run to the store and pick up whatever medicine they may need. A luxury many people take for granted, as one day they may not be able to. Understanding natural ways of providing medical supplies is a great thing to add to your arsenal of knowledge. Aloe, mint and lavender are common household names when it comes to medicinal plants, but there are so many more.

  • Wild Lettuce is a tall plant that’s leafy with small yellow buds, commonly found in North America and England. It’s even been referred to as “opium lettuce” because of its pain-relieving nature. The plant contains a milky substance known as lactucarium, and while it doesn’t contain opiates, it has similar effects.
  • Birch or the bark of a Birch tree, notably sweet birch bark when scraped from twigs can be made into a delicious tea and can be an effective analgesic given it has enough salicylates. But using more than the recommended amount can result in unwanted side effects such as, tinnitus, upset stomach, and nausea.
  • Dandelions are often seen as weeds and therefore are usually killed off. Little do people know how extraordinary these plants are when it comes to health benefits. Combining one tablespoon of dried root into a cup of hot water makes a tincture that can be drunk up to three times a day. Alcohol-based tinctures are sometimes recommended due to the bitter principles being more soluble in alcohol. Dried leaves can be added to boiling water and drank up to three times a day as an appetite stimulant or mild diuretic. Dandelions are especially helpful in treating any phase of menses as well.
  • Lemon Balm leaves can be made into some of the best lemonade ever. Often used in a calming tea to help fight insomnia, it reportedly also makes a great topical agent for cold sores. Germany’s Commission E claims lemon balm is more effective than store-bought and prescription medicines. Crush the leaves and place them on the cold sores.
  • Willow, commonly known as weeping willow trees, are common in North America. Both the leaves and bark have been used medically for centuries. A handful of green leaves in one cup of boiling water creates an astringent. Simply soak a clean cloth in this liquid and it can be applied to boils, abscesses, ulcers, and carbuncles when no other treatments are available. Bark scrapings and small twigs can be brewed into an anti-diarrhea tea, drank every two hours until symptoms dissipate. Some willow trees, such as the black willow have been known to be able to treat pain as well.
  • Plantain is a common weed in America both in lawns and fields, but don’t let this humble plant fool you. A small plant with a rubbery feel and parallel veins, plantain’s green leaves can be made into a paste and applied to venomous stings and bites. Snake bites are a little too extreme for the plant to handle, but it may neutralize bee, wasp, and scorpion stings. Replace the paste when it dries out.

The best thing about these plants and many others with medical benefits is they can be easily found, even in your backyard. You don’t have to go to the store for everything, but if something is severe, you should still seek professional help. Practice learning these recipes and executing the process of making them so you don’t have to learn on-the-fly and under pressure.

Did you know these plants have such extraordinary properties? Do you know of any other plants with similar medicinal uses? Reply to your email and let us know, we would love to hear from you!

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