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Medicinal and Culinary Herbs

Nature provides for all our needs

herbsHerbs are a gift from nature, they are often included in our diet, used as medicine and more often mimicked by scientists to make many of our modern drugs. The definition of a herb is broad and can almost include any plant.

Herbs are often foods and food additives to give colour and flavour, and they include a wide range of leaves, bark, berries, roots, gums, seeds, stems and flowers. They have been used for thousands of years to help maintain and restore good health.

Today they are included in preparations for the prevention and treatment of many health problems. Modern drug companies isolate the chemicals and active ingredients naturally found in herbs, and then synthesize them to make modern medicines. While many of these synthesized compounds relieve some symptoms of illness, the natural balance of compounds found in natural herbs is healthier for the human metabolism with fewer toxic side effects.

In these pages we describe a variety of herbs and their uses. Remember this information does not constitute medicinal advice. Always consult your health professional with health problems.

Use the index to your right to discover the properties of various herbs and how they are used and grown.

In our experience with herbal preparations, most are effective for about 85% of users, less effective for 10% and marginally effective for the remaining 5%. Modern medicine disputes the effectiveness of all herbal medicines although a great many modern medicines are plant extracts or synthetic copies of plant or mineral extracts.

Dietary Supplements in America

Dietary supplements were defined in a law passed by Congress in 1994. A dietary supplement must meet all of the following conditions:

  • It is a product (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet, which contains one or more of the following: vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; or any combination of the above ingredients.
  • It is intended to be taken in tablet, capsule, powder, softgel, gelcap, or liquid form.
  • It is not represented for use as a conventional food or as a sole item of a meal or the diet.
  • It is labelled as being a dietary supplement.

Other important information about dietary supplements:

  • They are regulated as foods, not drugs, so there could be quality issues in the manufacturing process.
  • Supplements can interact with prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, and other supplements.
  • "Natural" does not necessarily mean "safe" or "effective."
  • Consult your health care provider before starting a supplement, especially if you are pregnant or nursing, or considering giving a supplement to a child.

Essential Oils

Many herbs, plants and flowers are decocted to release their volatile oils that can be used in food preparation or as therapeutic concoctions.  They way they often work is that our sense of smell is directly tied to the limbic area of the brain.  This means that when essential oils are inhaled, they go directly to the brain while our other four senses of taste, sight, touch and hearing are first routed through the thalamus before reaching designated areas of the brain.

Because the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance; therapeutic-grade essential oils can have unbelievable physiological and psychological effects. All essential oils have therapeutic, antibacterial, anti viral, stimulating, calming, sedative or balancing properties and they  are a powerful tool in treating many health ailments.

A quick reference guide to herbs and healing plants

Disclaimer:
All Information is provided for educational purposes only and not intended to be used for therapeutic purposes, neither is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat or cure any disease. Please consult a health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.

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