Refined and Fly

Thursday, April 06, 2006

WHEN I GET THAT FEELIN', I NEED HERBAL HEALIN'!

Peace! Todays' mathematics is equality. Equality, in this sense references balance, homeostasis, and your significant contribution. Equality does not mean, to be the same, for people across the planet bring different levels of knowledge skills and talents to the table. And that is okay! As long as everyone knows their part,their role, and their contribution to the whole, we can have a balanced working system. Part of the equality of the Black woman being the earth is knowing about what grows on the planet and using those entities to feed, nurture and heal oneself and others. This is something that I am slowly growing in to.

About two months ago, I got a really bad cold. So I decided that this time, I would only use natural remedies to heal myself. For the most part, I drank fresh squeezed orange and lemon juice combinations, cold season tea, immune system building tea, chopped and swallowed raw cloves of garlic, made ginger tea, and took golden seal (yuck!). After a few days, there were no signs of the cold. I was so proud of myself! It meant so much to me as a person striving to live the reality of being the earth, to use only natural entities produced by the planet to heal myself. I would usually pop a couple of tylenols and call it a day but I know that would only address the symptoms instead of the root causes and it felt great to be a scientist and experiment with myself (and I considered a cold something harmless enough to experiment with).

Now don't get me wrong, it was no quick fix and it took a lot of work and consistency. Using herbs should be implemented into one's consistent regimen to build and strengthen one's defenses. Therefore, you probably won't automatically feel better from one cup of ginger tea, but you may have to drink it 4 times a day for several days to experience the effects. For me, it was worth the time and effort. Herbs are best used preventatively. And everyone's body chemistry is different, therefore, every person may not have the same reactions to different herbs so it is important to research the herb/s you strive to use and the potential affects on the body (beneficial and harmful) so that you know what's happening, good or bad, when you take them.

My good sister Mecca Wise-Reflection Earth lent me my first book about herbs called Herbal Healing for Women: Simple Home Remedies for Women of All Ages by Rosemary Gladstar. In the book, she enclosed a list of her favorite all purpose herbs and I chose to enclose them here, asI have experienced the healing properties of several of them. This is not an exhaustive list so research, experiment and add on to your herbal inventory!


Cayenne (Capsicum frutescens) Hot and fiery, cayenne is often used to improve poor circulation and sluggish bowels. Rich in vitamin K, a blood coagulent, cayenne will stop bleeding almost instantly. It will sting when applied externally. It is great for constipation, and is a good heart tonic, improving blood circulation to the heart and increasing overall body warmth and energy. It is easily cultivated in hot climates.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilia and related species) A gentle herb long valued for its ability to relieve stress and nervous tension. It is excellent for stomach tension, indigestion, and for inflammation. It is easily cultivated and makes a fragrant and lovely ground cover.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) A rich source of allantonin, calcium, andiron and vitamin A, comfrey is highly prized for its wound healing properties and is used to mend broken bones, torn ligaments, and injured tissue. Its high mucilage content makes it an excellent remedy for lung, stomach, and dermal inflammation and it is considered one of the best remedies for stomach ulcers. Easily cultivated, but it can soon take over a garden. There has been controversy of its safety and is best to avoid using during pregnancy.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) One of the most highly used herbs in the world, dandelion is highly respected for its preventive and remedial qualities. It is a specific remedy for the kidneys and liver. High in natural potassium, dandelion does not deplete the body of this essential mineral. The root is used for liver and liver-related problems. Easily cultivated.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, A. purpurea) Good for strengthening the immune system. Excellent for building resistance to colds, flu, and infections. Easily cultivated.

Garlic (Allium sativum) Long valued for its antibiotic anti-viral properties. High conccentrations of volatile oil, mucilage, and germanium make this one of the most effective antimicrobial plants available and one of the best remedies for colds, flu, bacterial, and viral infections. It is also used to lower high blood pressure. Easily cultivated.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Has warming, stimulating, and antispasmodic properties. Frequently used for stomach cramps, colds, poor circulation, motion and morning sickness, and for menstrual irregularities and discomfort

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) Considered one of the most effective natural antibiotics and infection fighting herbs. Difficult to cultivate. Recommended to only be taken for short periods of time and use with caution during pregnancy.

Nettle (Urtica dioica) One of the highest sources of digestibleiron in plant form, rich in calcium and vitamin A, nettle strenghtens and supports the whole body. Used for anemia, fatigue, edema, menstrual difficulties and allergies and hay fever. Easily cultivated but not recommended as a garden plant. The fresh leaves produce a painful form of dermatitis on contact.

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) and spearmint (M. spicata) Excellent digestive aids, they are frequently used for upset stomachs, poor digestion, and for colds and hay fever. Easy to cultivate

Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) Revitalizes the entire central nervous system. One of the most widely used remedies for headaches and nervous stress. Easily cultivated

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Excellent for insomnia, headaches, and reducing pain. Powerfully effective and nonhabit-forming.

PEACE!

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