Throughout history, herbs have been used for treating acute and chronic medical conditions. Many herbs have unique qualities ranging from strengthening the immune system to disinfection and accelerating the body's healing process.
of the more popular herbs and their uses are listed below;Aloe
bites and stings, burns, chilblains, cuts, itchiness, sunburn,
as the 'First Aid Plant', Aloe Vera has the effect of drying and
protecting the skin, increasing the rate of healing of burns, wounds
and skin problems. Aloe Vera cream and lotion is available from
pharmacies and health food stores. Aloe Vera toothpaste is an
excellent remedy for bleeding gums.
ointment or cream
pain, bruises, joint pain, muscle aches, sprains, surgical pain.
not to be used on open wounds or broken skin.
Arnica ointment, if
applied immediately after a blow or sprain, quickly reduces both pain
and swelling, making it particularly useful for bruises. Arnica in
tablet form is a valuable adjunct to the lotion and may be used at
the same time, (or instead of), following injury or surgery.
ointment, cream, poultice
& boils, back pain, bruises, cuts & wounds, sprains,
itchiness, joint pain, scars.
comfrey ointment into the damaged area (where the skin is broken use
Marigold) as quickly as you can, the sooner applied the more swelling
and pain will be avoided. Comfrey also helps to heal scars - old
and new. This remedy has also been found to be beneficial for
sufferers of neuralgia when applied externally. Dried leaves of the
plant may be used as a tea substitute and has weak sedative
tincture, tablets, decoction
& boils, asthma, bites & stings, bronchitis, catarrh &
sinuses, children's infections, colds & flu, cold sores, cuts
and grazes, urinary infection, digestive infections, earache, mouth
ulcers, shingles, sore throats, thrush, warts.
for all infections Echinacea is a highly useful plant. Take a good
quality supplement to raise the body's resistance to infection or
to speed recovery. Use with other herbs according to the nature of
the problem e.g. Sage and Thyme for sore throat, Elderflower for
colds and flu. For cold sores, shingles and skin infections take
Echinacea internally and try applying the tincture neat externally as
a strong natural antiseptic. Echinacea can be taken with antibiotics
and helps to reduce their side effects, especially thrush. Maximum
dosage of the tincture is 5ml 2 times a day. Do not overuse Echinacea
- take it only when you really need it.
fresh, capsules, tablets
natural antibiotic. Useful for Acne, athlete's foot, asthma, bites
& stings, bronchitis, catarrh & sinus problems, colds &
flu, cold sores, coughs, digestive infections, earache, gum problems,
mouth ulcers, shingles, sore throat, thrush, warts and flatulence.
Garlic capsules are also taken for their beneficial effect on the
heart and circulatory system.
is one of nature's wonders. In its natural state, it can be
chopped or crushed in with food, 2-3 times a day for infections - or
simply for the flavour it imparts.
and capsules are also effective. Mouth ulcers, infected gums and sore
throats will all respond to a clove of Garlic sucked and held in the
cheek. Garlic is a strongly anti-fungal and can help with thrush and
athlete's foot. Like Echinacea it can be taken with antibiotics to
reduce their side-effects.
For long-term use as a food supplement
take 1 clove (or the equivalent in capsule form), daily.
essential oil, tea
anxiety & tension, burns, bites & stings, cold sores, cuts
and grazes, earache, headaches, hiccup, itchiness, joint pains,
muscle aches, period pains, poor sleep, shingles, sunburn, teething.
is a gentle pain reliever and should be part of every medicine kit.
Lavender oil (unlike most essential oils) can be applied neat - rub
a few drops into the temples for headache or migraine, or put it
directly onto insect bites and stings. It will also act as a mild
insect repellent. For larger areas dilute the oil - 5 drops to 1
teaspoon of Almond or Sunflower oil - and rub firmly into painful
areas, e.g. over the lower abdomen for period pains. Lavender oil
helps to heal burns - gently spread neat oil onto sunburned skin. 5
drops in a bath will help relieve tension and encourage a good
Lavender tea has much the same properties as the
oil but is much less concentrated and so can be taken internally -
for anxiety, tension and low spirits, and for difficulty in sleeping.
Take 1 cup up to 2 times a day.
(Calendula) tea, tincture, ointment, cream, compress
allergies, athlete's foot, bites & stings, burns, chilblains,
children's ailments - cradle cap, nappy rash; cold sores, cuts
grazes & wounds, digestive infections, eye problems, infected
gums, itchiness, nosebleeds, rashes, sore nipples, splinters, styes,
sunburn, thrush, warts, flatulence, wounds.
is the antiseptic and healing herb for red, sore and angry skin
problems. Apply the ointment or cream and Marigold's healing and
anti-inflammatory effect will quickly start to work. To cleanse an
infected cut or graze rinse well with water then dab on neat or
diluted tincture soaked in cotton wool or lint this will sting but is
powerfully antiseptic. For young children dilute 1 part tincture to
4 parts water. Washing a cut in carefully strained Marigold tea is
Dab neat tincture or ointment on acne spots. For
infected or deep splinters, boils, whitlows and similar problems mix
Marigold tincture with Slippery Elm. Marigold is a very useful remedy
for fungal problems - put ointment or powder on athlete's foot,
ringworm etc. Taken internally Marigold tea eases heartburn, acidity
and upset digestion. Marigold is very safe for children - use the
ointment for nappy rash and inflamed and itchy skin, and the tea as a
rinse for cradle cap in infants.
Elm powder, tablets
bronchitis, children's ailments - colic, constipation, teething;
constipation, coughs, diarrhoea, indigestion & acidity, rashes,
wonderful soothing herb, Slippery Elm can produce dramatic results in
acid indigestion, gastritis, gastro-enteritis, diarrhoea,
constipation, bronchitis, and coughs. For all of these conditions use
Slippery Elm 'food' - see below. A lost filling can be
temporarily plugged with Slippery Elm. To make a very effective
drawing poultice for boils, splinters and whitlows, mix 1 tsp of
Slippery Elm with sufficient Marigold tincture to make a thick paste.
Put the paste carefully on to the infected area and bandage into
place (put olive oil on first if the area is hairy). In most cases
the splinter or pus will have been drawn within a few hours. Repeat
Slippery Elm 'food' - mix 1 heaped tsp of
powder to a paste with cold water, then pour on half litre (1 pint)
of boiling water and stir. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon rind or honey
to flavour and drink whilst warm. Take 1-4 times a day. It will help
in all the internal ailments listed above.
tea, tincture, essential oil
athlete's foot, back pain, bronchitis, catarrh & sinus
infections, children's, infections, colds & flu, coughs, hay
fever, joint pain, muscle aches, sore throats, warts.
Thyme tea for all kinds of infections of the air passages - from
the ear to the lungs. It has a strong antiseptic and calming effect
making it valuable in earache, sinusitis, chest infections and the
like. In these ailments Thyme combines well with Garlic and
Echinacea. Use this combination also for thrush, and other fungal
Thyme syrup is a pleasant remedy for children's coughs
or simply sweeten Thyme tea with honey. Burn Thyme oil over an
essential oil burner to cleanse a room and speed the recovery of the
patient - especially one with chesty conditions. Inhale from a few
drops of Thyme oil in a basin of hot water) for relief of catarrh and
sinusitis. Thyme can also be diluted 5 drops to 1 tsp of warm
Almond oil and rub firmly into the chest and back for the relief of
all chesty conditions.
& boils, athlete's foot, colds and flu, cold sores, infected
bites & stings, rashes, cuts and wounds; shingles, thrush, warts.
do not apply tea-tree oil neat to young children.
Tea-tree oil is
a potent, yet gentle antiseptic. Apply it neat to small areas such as
an acne spot, or around a nail, but if the area is larger than the
size of a 50p piece it is advisable to it dilute it first - use
about 10 drops to 1 tsp of Almond oil. Even diluted Tea-tree oil can
sting so be careful applying it to sensitive areas - and keep it
well away from the eyes.