Herbs are a good way to maintain health without dealing with some of the unpleasant side effects for various medications. I have used herbs for many years, though I don’t use them now as often as I used to. Guess I have been getting lazy.
One of my goals is to build a medicinal herb garden. It won’t likely be this year but it is on the to-do list. Fortunately, there are lots of medicinal herbs already growing all over this property. Most people call them weeds.
Here are a few of the “weeds” that grow on our homestead:
Mullein: Often mullein is found on roadsides and other places where the soil has been disturbed. We have quite a lot of it in and around the fields here. A tincture or tea can be made from the fuzzy leaves to treat congestion and respiratory problems.
An infusion made from the yellow flowers can be used to treat ear infections. A flower tincture treats migraine headaches. Beeswax added to the oil infusion makes it into a soothing skin balm.
The root is used to treat urinary tract infections.
Blackberry Root: It is no secret that I LOVE the wild blackberries that grow here. They are great for jelly or cobbler or just eating right off the bush. But the blackberry root is also useful.
A tea or tincture can be used to treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal issues. Some say it can also be used in the treatment of whooping cough. A tea made from the leaves is good for sore throats.
Yarrow: Yarrow is known to reduce inflammation. The fresh leaves and flowers are good for cuts, reducing bleeding and pain. A strong infusion of leaves and flowers is said to treat the flu if used as soon as symptoms present themselves. Tea from yarrow is supposed to be good for high blood pressure.
Plantain: This is another herb that is good for wounds. Chew it up and apply to the wound or bite (including mosquito bites) to stop bleeding and swelling. It is also useful for kidney and bladder problems.
Making it into an antibiotic ointment is a good idea for keeping on hand in your herbal medicine cabinet. This salve, or a tincture, is good for treating poison ivy or poison oak. You can also toss the leaves into a salad for extra nutrition.
Dandelion: Dandelion is a good detoxifier because it is a diuretic. This makes it good for the liver and kidneys and it is common used as a “spring tonic”. The leaves, which can be eaten cooked or raw, help stimulate appetite and digestion.
Some animal studies have shown that dandelion may help balance blood sugar levels, but more research is needed. The leaves, flowers and roots of dandelions are edible and have many, many uses.
These aren’t the only useful plants growing here, but it gives you an idea of how many are all around you that you don’t even notice. So the next time you sigh about all the weeds in your yard, do a little research and see how valuable they really are as herbs for healing.