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A Gift From Mother Nature


Basil For Beginners


Herbs For Flavor
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Herbs The Friendly Plants

Home Made Herbal Teas

 

A Gift From Mother Nature

"I believe that for everything that can go wrong with a body on this planet, the cure or prevention is also to be found on this planet." Sylvia Richards

Herbal medicine is our rightful inheritance. Nature has freely provided us with a medicine chest of natural remedies with powers that cannot be denied. Mother Nature makes the best health treatments, for she takes a holistic approach. There is a herb (often more than one) to treat every ailment of man and animal, bird and insect; and herbs will even cure the diseases of other vegetation such as crops. They are plentiful, freely available, and easy to use. They add beauty to the garden, flavour and aroma to our food, and can even help to keep away pests. What a wonderful gift!

From the earliest times, our ancestors used herbs to promote and maintain health, to heal disease and to treat injuries. Later, they used herbs to provide cures for the ailments of their domesticated animals. As civilization spread, the herb garden became a common feature. Every monastery grew it’s own herbs for use in the monastic hospitals, and down through the ages, herbs flourished in manor and cottage gardens until about one hundred and fifty years ago. Rapid advances in medical technology and modern medicines meant that herbs were no longer used for medicinal purposes in daily life. People worked outside the home and the practice of growing one's own food and flavourings decreased. Gardens became smaller and were used for recreation rather than for supplies. The tradition, experience and memories of herbs were all but lost. Most people knew only four herbs - parsley, mint, sage and thyme, and even these were often overlooked. The ancient knowledge of herbal remedies was fast fading from living memory.

All this has changed recently. There has been a revival of interest in the subject over the last fifty years or so, and the use of herbs is regaining acceptance in general medical practice. I must say that I am glad to see this, for it would be to our everlasting shame to spurn this wonderful resource and lose the knowledge through ignorance, laziness and our departure from living in harmony with nature.

There seems to be nearly as much renewed interest in growing herbs as there is in using them. Over-processing, chemical preservative and synthetic additives have robbed our food of its flavour and encouraged a growing tendency to use more natural flavourings. Thus, the herb garden or the herb corner has become important once again. Many herbs take up only a small amount of space, making them suitable for today’s smaller gardens. And herbs usually don’t require very much help from the gardener either - which makes them a perfect fit for the modern lifestyle.

Expensive, chemical medicines are seldom beneficial to the human body. They are unnatural, sometimes harmful, and their total long-term side effects are often unknown. Herbs and edible plants are free for the gathering, or will obligingly grow in your garden for convenience.

It is true that there are some poisonous herbs (which also have their uses), but in most cases there are non- poisonous alternatives, which can be used instead. For this reason, you must be very sure that you have identified the herb correctly before you use it. Only use simple, well proven remedies until you know what you’re doing. People who have acquired special skills with herbs, through formal training or other methods are called herbalists. Just like any other medical practitioner, a herbalist must know their tools and their remedies.

I hope that my articles will be of equal value to everyone who is interested in herbs, helping newcomers to discover the wonders of the plant world, and hopefully providing something new for those who already possess herbal knowledge. I hope that everyone, from the gardener to the gourmet, will be encouraged to grow herbs more efficiently and use them more imaginatively.


By Sylvia Richards 15th August 2009

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NOTE: The writer is not a medical professional. The information in this article and on the Spiritual Haven web site is NOT medical advice. Consult a trained doctor or herbalist before attempting any treatment. We are not responsible for any misuse of information posted on this site.

 

 

© 2009 Sylvia Richards www.yourspiritualhaven.com All rights reserved.