Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

Click here to view the original post.

One of the most uncomfortable day to day health challenges has to be suffering through a round of hay fever every year. Many people rely either on prescriptions or a handful of capsules from the health food store to stay comfortable during allergy season, but herbs for seasonal allergies can be a simple alternative, and surprisingly, many of them are readily available as common weeds.

Because of their weedy, grow-almost-anywhere nature, these plants make a great allergy back up plan for anyone looking for more natural remedies. Here are four of the best wild herbs to learn as part of your health preparedness strategies for allergy season.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

This plant has soft, fuzzy leaves and a dramatic spike of pale, yellow flowers when it

Mullein for allergies.

Mullein.

blooms. Mullein is traditionally used for allergies and dry, irritated coughs. It is also good for the lymph glands, which is a bonus for the immune system during allergy season.

It usually grows in dry soil, and a good place to look for this herb when you are first learning to identify it is along roadsides. Roadsides, however, are not a good place to harvest from because they are regularly sprayed with herbicides and collect polluted runoff from the road whenever it rains. Mullein also grows in fields, and is usually happy to grow from seed in the garden.  Tea can be made using either the leaves or the flowers.

Plantain (Plantago major or P. lanceolata)

Plantain for allergies

Plantain

Plantain makes an excellent tea for allergy season support, and the young leaves can also be steamed and eaten like spinach. P. major (the broadleaf variety) and P. lanceolata (narrow leaf plantain) can be used interchangeably. They can often be found growing near one another, although P. major prefers low areas with damp, rich soil and P. lanceolata prefers dry- even sandy- soil.

This herb provides soothing and anti-inflammatory action for the upper respiratory tract, and helps moisten delicate tissues when they are dried out and irritated. Plantain grows almost everywhere that the soil has been disturbed at some point. Look for it around homes, as a weed in gardens, and in abandoned lots. The leaves are the part of the plant used to make tea.

Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)

According to folk herbalists, the signature look for someone who will benefit from

Goldenrod

Goldenrod

goldenrod is those pink, watery “allergy” eyes. Goldenrod gets a bad rap for causing allergies, but usually it’s the ragweed blooming at around the same time that causes problems. If you have had allergy testing and know for sure that goldenrod is a trigger for you, then by all means avoid it; but pesky, less-showy ragweed blooming alongside goldenrod is the culprit for most people.

Goldenrod is easy to spot when it’s in bloom; the plant has a beautiful plume of bright yellow flowers. Fields and abandoned lots are two of this herb’s favorite places to grow. The leaf and flowers of this herb can be used.

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

One of the most well known traditional herbs for allergy season is nettles. Many of the nettle preparations available at the store are fancy, freeze dried versions of the herb, but herbalists have been growing and harvesting their own for hundreds of years before freeze drying equipment came along.

Nettles

Nettles

The young leaves from the top of the plant are harvested and dried for later use. Fresh nettles sting, but allowing the plant to dry gets rid of the sting. just be sure to wear gloves and long sleeves when you harvest.

Nettles love rich, moist soil, and will happily grow in damp pastures on low ground,  or along riversides; they don’t mind a bit of shade so you may also find them in open woodlands. Some people find that nettle works best for them if they begin using it daily a month or so before allergy season begins.

How to Use Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

All of the herbs above can be used alone or in combination. To make one serving of tea, use one tablespoon of the herb (or one tablespoon of the blended herbs) per 8 ounces of boiling water. Allow to steep, covered, for fifteen minutes, and let cool before drinking. A few rosehips or elderberries can be added for flavor (and extra Vitamin C!). If you prefer a mint flavored tea, mix in a little dried peppermint or spearmint.

Precautions:

Be sure to check with your doctor before using herbs, as some herbs may interact with medications or preexisting medical conditions. For instance, you should use nettle use with caution if you have diabetes or blood sugar problems.You should also discuss using nettles with your doctor if you take any of the following: blood thinners, blood pressure medications, diuretics, lithium, or drugs for diabetes.

 

Resources mentioned in this article:

Save

Save

Save

8 Healing Uses For Mullein (The Native American ‘Survival Weed’)

Click here to view the original post.
8 Healing Uses For Mullein (The Native American ‘Survival Weed’)

Image source: Pixabay.com

It was native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and then was introduced to the Americas and Australia. You might know it by some of its other common names, such as feltwort, blanket leaf, candlewick and velvet dock.

It is Mullein, a common backyard weed the Native Americans used. And it has surprising medicinal properties.

Identifying Mullein

Mullein can grow, when left alone, up to seven feet tall, with large leaves covered in silver and felt-like hairs. Once blossomed, the flowers are yellow and take up half of the stem. The plant flowers from November to March. Most people consider it a nuisance, but there is so much more to the plant!

Medicinal Purposes of Mullein

For a plant that typically shows up in dry, barren places, mullein has impressive medicinal properties. You can use most of the plant, including the root. The leaves and flowers are the most common parts used. Infused oils, tinctures, capsules, lozenges, herbal teas and poultices are all common application methods for mullein.

Make Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

For centuries, people used mullein in herbal remedies, such as to soothe the respiratory tract. But it can do so much more.

1. Flu. Preliminary research shows that mullein has properties to fight flu-causing viruses. Of course, the flu can be dangerous, so seek medical help if you experience worsening symptoms.

8 Healing Uses For Mullein (The Native American ‘Survival Weed’)

Image source: Pixabay.com

2. Pain. Mullein has analgesic properties that have a numbing effect on your nerves. It is a great choice to stop transmitting pain to the brain. Toothaches and headaches can be relieved with mullein.

3. Inflammation. One of the main benefits of mullein is its anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it to treat nasal or respiratory tract inflammation, inflammation of the digestive system, and inflammation caused by fever or infection. If you experience a burn, try to apply mullein oil directly to the burn or inflamed skin.

4. Ear infections. Do you or your children experience chronic ear infections? Mullein oil can reduce ear pain significantly; make an infused oil, which taps into the antibacterial properties.

5. Coughs. If you have a cold or upper respiratory infection that causes excess secretions of phlegm, then mullein is an excellent expectorant. You can make lozenges that contain mullein or find them in your local health food store. Some Native American tribes believed mullein could cure chest diseases. For example, the Navajos would mix mullein with tobacco and smoke it to help with coughing spasms. I wouldn’t recommend that, but many people still use mullein in an herbal tea for coughing.

6. Relax/sleep aid. Mullein has a relaxing effort on your brain and other bodily systems. You can use it to treat muscle cramps, nervous disorders, stress, anxiety and more. Because of its relaxant properties, mullein also reduces blood pressure. Many people use mullein to help with chronic insomnia. If you need a good night’s rest, then try drinking a warm cup of mullein tea.

7. Hemorrhoids. No one likes hemorrhoids. A poultice created with mullein leaves can be applied to hemorrhoids to help stop the swelling and irritation.

8. Respiratory issues. In general, one of the most common applications of mullein is for respiratory issues. Asthma, bronchitis and allergies can be treated with mullein tea. It also is effective against sore throats, as well as the other listed issues such as coughing and spasms.

Have you ever used mullein for any herbal remedies? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Heal-Everything Herb That Doubles As Bandages … And Toilet Paper

Click here to view the original post.
The Heal-Everything Herb That Also Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Wikimedia

It was brought to the Americas by European settlers and is now considered to be naturalized to North America. The settlers, in fact, had good reason to carry it with them: It has a long list of medicinal qualities.

It is mullein, which grows all over the forests of North America and is also known by several other names: flannel leaf, bunny ears, beggar’s blanket, Quaker rouge, hag’s taper, donkey ears and tinder plant.

Traditional folk medicine praised mullein as a remedy for asthma, bronchitis and tuberculosis. The plant is also said to be a natural painkiller and a cure for earaches and headaches. It also can act as an expectorant and decongestant. As a result, for centuries the plant’s leaves and its flowers have been made into teas and tinctures, and ingested. They even smoked it (which isn’t ideal for health).

Need All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effect?

Mullein is known to affect the respiratory and lymphatic systems. A study performed at Clemson University in 2002 found that the plant also has strong antibacterial properties.[1] Its high mucilage content is likely responsible for its medicinal properties. Astringent tannins and saponins, which help protect the plant when it is injured in nature, give the plant its soothing effect on the respiratory system. It also contains high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C.[2]

The Heal-Everything Herb That Also Doubles As Toilet Paper

Image source: Wikimedia

Even though mullein has been used for centuries, the Western medical community disputes the actual effectiveness of this plant, claiming “a lack of therapeutic validation.”[3] However, the herb has been evaluated and approved by the German (and government-funded) Commission E, which was established to evaluate and approve of substances that were traditionally used in folk medicine — such as mullein.

Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning that it takes two years for it to reach maturity. It is preferable to harvest the flowers and leaves in the plant’s second year of growth.[4] Both the honey-scented flowers of the plant and its soft, fuzzy leaves are used to treat ailments. The flowers are usually extracted in oil and also used to make tea, while, the dried leaves are typically reserved for making steam tents, poultice application and smoking. [5]

Across the centuries, people have used mullein as toilet paper, bandages, torches and to pad in the soles of their shoes. It should be a staple herb in every herbal medicine cabinet.

Mullein is a relatively safe herb to consume, its primary side-effect being it can cause contact dermatitis or irritate the throat when consumed, due to the fine velvety hairs that cover its leaves. It also has been known to interact with antidiabetic drugs and prescription diuretics in a negative way.[6] The seeds of some species of mullein contain high amounts of coumarin and rotenone, which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. The seeds of the mullein plant should never be consumed under any circumstance.[7]

Have you ever foraged for or eaten mullein? Do you use it for health? Share your tips in the section below:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12241986

[2] Nutritional Herbology by Mark Pedersen (pg. 124)

[3] Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (pg. 270)

[4] Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West by Michael Moore (pg. 112)

[5] Rodale’s 21st Century Herbal by Michael J. Balick (pg. 300)

[6] http://www.encyclopedia.com/plants-and-animals/plants/plants/mullein

[7] Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West by Gregory L. Tilford (pg. 102)

hydrogen peroxide report

7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Click here to view the original post.
7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Mullein. Image source: Pixabay.com

Weeds are an absolute menace to most gardeners. They seem to grow 10 times as fast as the veggies you have planted, covering the entire garden and spoiling all of your plans.

But in hindsight, weeds have gotten a bad rap. In fact, the majority of the weeds you are killing are actually just as edible as the vegetables you are growing. If the weeds aren’t edible, they are likely medicinal. Think back a few centuries ago. Our ancestors lived off the land, and a lot of what they ate grew wild. They treated their illnesses, diseases, aches and pains with plants they found in the forest and on the prairie. Weeds are not all bad.

The following list includes seven weeds you should stop killing:

1. Dandelions. There isn’t a piece of land that the little yellow flowers doesn’t grow. Instead of hitting them with weed killer, pick them and eat them. The flowers and leaves are edible and are quite tasty raw or sautéed and tossed in a salad. Dandelion is rich in vitamin C, and the roots are packed with fiber, just in case you need to get things moving. It is a diuretic and can help cleanse the liver.

The Secret To Making Powerful Herbal Medicines, Right in Your Kitchen!

2. Mullein. This is a monstrous plant that tends to grow along highways or in areas with lots of sun and a rocky soil. It is a nuisance, but it is also going to be a great way to treat a cold and bronchitis. Drying and chopping the leaves and using them to make a tea can relieve chest congestion. The little yellow flowers can be plucked and infused in oil to make a soothing ear drop for an ear infection. The leaves are incredibly soft and can be used as a toilet paper substitute.

3. Plantain. This common plant loves rocky, dry soil and pops up everywhere. It is your saving grace should you get a bee sting, cut or a burn. The leaves can be macerated a bit (some people will pop the leaves in their mouth and give a couple of good chews) and applied directly to the injury.

7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Purslane. Image source: Pixabay.com

4. Purslane. This one is an absolute monster and can spread out and choke out small shoots in the garden, but it is just as edible as the other plants you are trying to grow. The leaves are high in healthy Omega-3 fatty acid and are actually a very common ingredient in stir-fry recipes all around the world. It is also very high in calcium. In a post-apocalypse situation, purslane in the diet can make up for the lack of dairy and other calcium-rich foods.

5. Red clover. It covers the lawn in the height of summer and is often attacked with horrible chemicals. It is actually more of a purple, and not red, so don’t be fooled. Stop killing the red clover and start plucking it! Grind up the clover and put it on itchy skin rashes and eczema. Boil the flowers in water to use as a cough remedy. If you can get your hands on some red clover seeds, toss the seeds into your garden plot in the fall and use it as a cover crop.

Fast, All-Natural Pain Relief With No Nasty Side Effects!

7 ‘Miracle Healing Weeds’ That Are Growing In Your Yard (Got A Cold? Try No. 2)

Oxeye daisies. Image source: Pixabay.com

6. Oxeye daisies. These are common wildflowers that cover acres of prairies and along the highways. The pretty flowers are similar to the daisies planted in flower beds, but offer a little extra something with their medicinal properties. The flowers can be used to make a tea to cure asthma and chronic coughs. Grinding up the tiny leaves and applying to bruises, sprains and swollen joints is an old-fashioned folk remedy.

7. Yarrow. This is found growing along highways and in fields. A variety of yarrow is often purposely planted in flower beds, but it isn’t the same. You want the wild stuff. It is an excellent way to stop bleeding, which is going to be very important after a disaster. The root can be put directly on a toothache to help stop pain while drawing out any infection.

Next time, when you head out to your garden or look at your lawn covered with dandelions and red clover, smile — you just hit the jackpot.

What advice would you add on using these weeds? Share it in the section below: 

If You Like All-Natural Home Remedies, You Need To Read Everything That Hydrogen Peroxide Can Do. Find Out More Here.