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AN INTRODUCTION TO HERBS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think of herbs what is the first thing that comes to mind? Thyme? Rosemary? Coriander?

If so, you'd be absolutely right but there is so much to the world of herbs and I'm hoping this post will be a worthy introduction.

If we go back thousands of years in time; before our western medical systems were in place, people of the earth used plants they could find to treat illness, sicknesses and disease. At first it would have been a trial and error situation; but as time progressed, the herbs they learned that could treat certain ailments would have been passed down as they have been through the generations.

Eventually many of these plant remedies were documented and some of the transcripts found have been dated up to 1500BC.

That said, the oldest documented medicinal remedies, which are very well known and widely used today are called Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine.

So what is a herb exactly?

The definition of a herb refers to any part of a plant which has a therapeutic effect on the body; whether externally or internally.

The amazing thing about herbs is that you don't have to know about every single herb in order to treat an array of health issues. As long as you can become familiar with a few key herbs along with their therapeutic properties. Plants are also extremely fascinating to me because one plant can be used for a number of different therapeutic actions depending on which part of the plant is used.

One of the reasons people shy away from herbs is because they can be dangerous and even lethal if used improperly. Herbs are literally medicine so just like prescribed medicine, it's important to know how much to take as well as what not to take along side it so it doesn't cause complications.

This is personal to me; but since learning that all pharmaceutical drugs were based on the therapeutic actions of herbs; I've always sought to treat myself and my children with natural remedies before heading to the doctors office; simply because using herbs or herbal tinctures will give you the therapeutic benefits without the endless side effects.

 

 

"The definition of a herb refers to any part of a

plant which has a therapeutic effect on the body;

whether externally or internally,"

 

 

 

 

herby box
herby box

I really began to take more notice of herbs when I was healing my skin of eczema. I started by researching the herbs that were key for skin healing and liver cleansing and began to add them into my daily routine.

At first, it was so much easier to buy in ready made teabags and drink a few daily but depending on the herb, this turned out to be really expensive. Especially when sourcing organic versions. I also used to buy herbs in tincture form from a brand called Nature's Answer; which I love because they aren't formulated with any alcohol and don't contain any unnecessary ingredients.

As I became more familiar with these herbs, I was confident enough to start buying them in their pure form and utilising them; not just in my teas but also in my hair and skin care.

I've learned so much about herbs and I get literally so excited to learn about new herbs and their properties! Although I plan to write more about herbs, their properties and therapeutic actions; in this particular post I wanted to very briefly introduce you to a few of my favourite herbs as well as a herb subscription box called Herby that deliver a pre-packaged week supply of herbs to your door; so even if you're completely new to herbs, you can enjoy it's benefits and learn at the same time.

It comes in a small green box with seven vials of carefully curated herbs. It also includes an information booklet with some valuable information about herbs and how to create a healthy diet. I can't forget about the stick of raw turmeric either which is such a lovely touch to the contents.

At the moment they have two boxes available; one for immune boosting and one for brain health. During my herby week I definitely felt a boost of energy which was appreciated running after two energetic kids all day! I think the best thing about it is that it is super palatable for even the person completely brand new to drinking herbs. If you'd like to find out a little more about the subscription click the link here.

If you're not keen on drinking teas you can also create amazing smoothies with the powdered herb vial available in the athene box. I made an amazing carob and banana cooler with bananas and dates. The possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

herby box

These are also a few of my favourite herbs that I feel are really beneficial to eczema and psoriasis. You can incorporate these slowly and get used to them and slowly increase your intake as you become accustomed to it.

 

Burdock Root/Arctium Lappa

Burdock is one of my absolute favourite herbs because it's not only powerful but it has such an easy and palatable taste on the tongue.

Part of its therapeutic actions include being: a demulcent [relieving inflammation], a diuretic [encourages production of urine], probiotic and anti-microbial.

Burdock is specifically used to cleanse and remove toxins from tissues in the body as well as the skin. With the skin being the largest organ, it is also used by the body as an eliminator in itself; and for this reason, skin issues tend to flare up when the skin is overwhelmed. Burdock root is perfect for those with eczema and psoriasis because it also helps to regulate the sebaceous gland.

The root also is able to deal with chronic inflammation throughout the body.

This is definitely the go-to herb for the skin when simultaneously trying to improve elimination through the liver and the bowel. There is also the added bonus of being able to boost the immune system as well.

Nettle/Urtica Dioica

This is one of my favourite herbs because it's so easily accessible as well as affordable. You can get them in ready made teabags from clipper in most health food shops or online on amazon.

Nettle is an astringent [contracts and tones the mucous membranes in the skin], diuretic [increases urine production] and anti-inflammatory [prevents or alleviates inflammation].

The reason why this is an amazing combination of therapeutics because altogether, it not only encourages the skin to heal and calm down externally; but it also provides a detoxification action by removing toxins and encouraging urine production in order to release them.

Nettle is generally able to clear the skin of heat also. This is definitely one of the best herbs to incorporate into your skin healing routine by drinking up to three cups a day.

Chickweed/Stellaria Media

I've never used chickweed internally but this is another amazing herb that contributes to overall skin health. It is anti-pruritic [relieves itching], anti-inflammatory, astringent and vulnerary [promotes wound healing].

Any natural eczema cream worth it's salt will have chickweed infused in it as it is one of the best herbs to relieve itching. A symptom most people that struggle with eczema will have; especially at night.

It is able to cool conditions such as eczema, psoriasis as well as skin rashes caused by allergic reactions. It's vulnerary actions will also promote skin healing if the skin has been broken.

Internally, it is also acts as an anti-inflammatory for the digestive system which is amazing because we know that majority of skin issues stem from the condition of the gut.

A chickweed tea infusion can be digested up to three times a day.

 

I wonder if you've tried any of these before. If you have let me know in the comments!

herby box
herby box
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