- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Herbal Remedies: Healing Plants- A Top Ten Herbal Remedies Selection
I am happy to present to you alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter drugs for common ailments. After working in Western Medicine for 30 years, I became disappointed in Western practices and results. I began searching for alternatives for myself about 3 years ago.
For this hub I consulted a friend of mine, who has been a massage therapist for 22 years. She is in clinical practice with physician referrals. She specializes in treating clients with chronic pain and acute injuries, as well as clients with visceral and connective tissue disorders.
As she has a strong background in supplements, herbology and natural healing techniques, I asked her for her Top Ten list of Herbal Remedies. The results below are her favorite remedies and her comments, a few of my own experiences and comments, and a little bit of extra research here and there.
Herbal Remedies included in this hub:
Urinary Tract Infection
Respiratory Ailments and Coughing
Soft Tissue Trauma
Herbal Remedy 1, Infection Protocol
The “Infection Protocol” is for anytime you feel like you’re coming down with a cold, flu, or related ailment. At the first slight signs of sickness: a tickle in the throat, stuffy ears or pressure in the ears, chest heaviness, or whatever signs you have come to recognize from your body that signals you of the start of illness, take 1 each of the following, every 2 hours:
500 mg Echinacea, a lymph builder and cleanser. The lymph system is a cleansing system of the body, and a huge component of the immune system.
500 mg Goldenseal, a natural antibiotic
500 mg cayenne, a blood cleanser
500 mg Vitamin C, which acts as an immune system booster, a connective tissue builder, and an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that are thought to protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that result from exposure to certain environmental factors, and are associated with cancer.
If you start this protocol at as soon as possible, you will rarely have to do it more than 1 or 2 days to conquer whatever bug you have picked up.
Herbal Remedy 2, Urinary Tract Infection
Uva Ursi, cleanses and supports the bladder.
Marshmallow Root, a demulcient, which softens and smooths tissues in the bladder which are irritated.
100% pure cranberry juice, not diluted with water or other juices. Dilute juice with 1 part cranberry juice, 4 parts water.
As soon as you start feeling symptoms, drink 16 oz of the juice 2 to 3 times per day, and take herbs every 3 hours. Discuss potency and dosage for herbs with Health Food Store clerks.
Herbal Remedy 3, Reflux
Aloe Vera pulp or juice, 1 to 2 oz first thing in the morning, and last thing at night.
Acidophilus, 1 capsule in the a.m. and 1 in the p.m. Buy a potent product, from the refrigerator section of your health food store.
Although many experts feel the amount of viable healthy bacteria to be inadequate in pasteurized products, others endorse eating one serving of Activia yogurt per day. A colleague of mine, a chiropractor, swears by Activia for severe digestive ailments.
Implement dietary changes for reflux: Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol. Do not eat for 2 to 4 hours before bed.
I find it helpful to eat at least 1 to 2 servings of vegetables with any meal. If symptoms are severe, do not eat starch in the same meal as meat protein. Additional natural strategies for reflux will be in my upcoming hub on natural home remedies for reflux.
Herbal Remedy 4, Liver Cleansing
This liver cleansing is especially good after anesthesia. I have had several endoscopies in the last 3 years, and always cleanse afterward.
Milk Thistle Extract, often sold as Silymarin. Milk thistle is a demulcient that softens and smooths tissues, and enables healing of inflammation. It has been helpful in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatitis.
I've had conscious sedation a few times for endoscopy, and always take milk thistle for about a week afterward to clean the drugs from my system.
Fresh rosemary or thyme tea. Chop leaves and stem finely. Use 2 tablespoons per cup. Steep in hot water for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup before and after meals. The tea stimulates bile production and makes bile more fluid, detoxifying and aiding gall bladder and liver harmony.
Herbal Remedy 5, Skin Treatment
For skin eruptions, cuts, and scrapes.
Tea Tree Essential Oil, undiluted. Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibiotic.
Herbal Remedy 6, Insomnia
Skullcap (I use Nature’s Way, 425 mg, 2 in a.m. and 2 in p.m.)
Take one capsule of each 1 hour before bedtime. They are central nervous system relaxants. I have had some good results with Skullcap. Valerian Root is an ingredient in many natural sleep remedies.
Herbal Remedy 7, Gout
Black Cherry juice, which moves and clears uric acid build-ups from the tissues.
Clay poultice. Hydrations according to Eytons’ Earth website:
Hydrate sedimentary clay one part clay, one part water.
Hydrate swelling calcium bentonite clay, or montmorillonite one part clay to 2.2 parts water.
Hydrate swelling sodium bentonite clay one part clay to 3 or 4 parts water.
Exact measurements are not critical. The clay should be hydrated such that it barely holds together without falling apart, but like a gel. It should be malleable, and hold its shape.
Apply to affected joints to draw out excess fluid and metabolic wastes caught in the joints during inflammatory cycles.
The woman in the video is preparing the clay for her hair, but it is still the best video I found on the basics of clay, and what the consistency should look like.
Herbal Remedy 8, Respiratory Ailments and Coughing
Herbal Remedy 9, Soft Tissue Trauma
For any soft tissue trauma from accidents, overwork, exercise, or post-operative. I took arnica after my last shoulder injury, and was able to avoid Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen.
Homeopathic arnica Montana, 6 to 12x for children, 30x for adults with mild to moderate pain, 30c for adults with more severe pain. Use 1 to 4 pellets under the tongue every 2 to 5 hours, for 2 to 7 days after the trauma.
Arnica speeds up natural tissue healing. It is contraindicated for people on blood thinners.
Herbal Remedy 10, Constipation
Crush berries and use in food, or crush 1 teaspoon of berries and infuse as a tea in hot water, 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 1 cup, 3 times a day. Juniper berries act as a stimulant, and disinfects and tonifies the large intestine.
Hopefully this information on Herbal Remedies illustrates that there are often alternatives to prescription drugs. Herbal Remedies are known to be gentle, with few side effects. If you are looking for alternatives to Western Medicine practices, including drugs, please continue your research. The clerks at “health food stores” like Sun Harvest are very knowledgeable and helpful. Consult a licensed alternative health specialist for individualized assessment and treatment recommendations.
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You take full legal responsibility for whatever decisions you make regarding you own health care.