Hey everyone, I'm really getting into using herbs for all sorts of things.
I've been doing my own research but I was wondering is anyone particularly knowledgeable on the subject?
This is not my usual area of expertise. But I will say that tumeric and elderberry have some amazing health benefits. Really any of those Indian spices usually have a lot of health benefits. A lot of people like teas.
The lady that runs the website in the below link is a naturopathic pharmacist. And she's always writing about various herbs and spices that are tasty and add to your health. You may want to review some of her spice articles to see if any of her ideas jump out at you.
My godmother used to pick herbs all the time from the wild for various things (south-eastern Europe). A popular advice that I also like giving is getting herbs specific to your region (specific to where you grew up as a kid, to where you are right now, or depending on your ancestry). There is always a more special link between you and what grows in your area, supposing it's not overly polluted in the present days... (this thought always saddens me). Otherwise, if they are not available, you can still benefit from something brough for example from Japan or Russia, even if they are from a foreign place, of course, it will not cancel out their properties.
If you are from a temperate region/climate (oceanic or continental), my examples could help you:
Examples of how different common plants ( aka that grow in many places, even on the side of roads, though of course people don't want to pick those) are used where I come from:
Calendula/marigold powder with honey for skin healing: scars, tattoos, wounds, burns. Same with backwort (symphitum officinale), strong skin healing properties. Absinthe (artemisia), same, very good for healing.
Cabbage is anti-inflammatory and can be applied on swollen parts.
Equisetum arvense (horse's tail), for ovaries and gynecologic problems.
Achillea millefolium (mouse tail), tea for internal use (read about it if you want, not too sure myself).
Fennel tea, for digestive problems, colds, coughing, etc.
The ever popular camomile tea used as eye patches as well.
Celandine, a more powerful equivalent of aloe vera, used to prevent infections (the yellow "juice" of the plant) and also in tea (I swear we make "tea" -infusions- out of everything), for the liver, metabolism... but can be toxic if ingested in high quantities. The tea is kinda analgesic, so can alleviate pain.
Rosehips (Rosa canina) are also very popular, I only know they have a lot of Vitamin C and are really good for the immune system. Again, they make drinks (but don't think about alcohol) out of them.
Thyme tea is a thing, sage, so is parsley for memory... lots of flavonoids they have.
Nettle tea. Even the stings/burning sensation when you pick them is supposed to be good for you and for your skin.
Sea buckthorn... very-very appreciated, this one is something I feel i could recommend to you. Tell me if that's true . You combine it with honey (real honey, not dilluted or from bees treated with 1000 antibiotics). 1/4 honey and 3/4 slightly crushed buckthorn (the red-yellow-orangey tiny fruits). You leave it one week in the fridge, jar sealed (or whatever you can do to prevent air from getting inside, in order for it to macerate/soak). It can taste pretty sour, but it has a lot of vitamins and good stuff in it.
I suppose everyone knows about mint tea.
Pure ginger tea is also popular for certain affections, but i am not sure how well it grows in my country, it probably needs more attention that some simple garlic for instance. It's very appreciated though, can get very hot/"spicy".
Very important! Do not combine a lot of teas in a short amount of time without consulting a specialist, because you can actually die from an overdose... depending on what health issues you have... they can over-stimulate you, so read about their effects. A relative of some family friends died doing "plant tea experiments" on himself. The term tea here means more like infusion, we do not really eat crushed leaf powder, although some stuff might remain in the tea on the bottom of the cup, but no problem, don't worry. Also, if you drink them for their raw medicinal qualities, you are not supposed to sweeten them with anything or add milks. Maybe only some lemon allowed. Then again, different people, different preferences, there will always be that 10% or more for whom things work a bit differently. Also, the water shouldn't be immediately poured on the plant at boiling temperature, should be let to cool a little, like 2 minutes, but this can differ too, it's just a general rule.
Point number 2, never trust mass-media when they "deify" a certain product like they just discovered it for the first time. The Omega 3s in salmon? 90% is farmed and jokes on you, those studies were done on wild salmons, as the captive ones barely get half of what their counterparts do, because of what they are fed with.
The amazing super foods that some products are said to be, like matcha and cacao? Jokes on you, you can probably get the same amount of minerals from blueberries and you don't have to worry about where they come from usually and if they've been roasted and if they are eco etc. (or it is much easier to tell).
I don't want to say they are bad either (they aren't), but be aware of mass-media campaigns and traps (purely economical interests). You might read numerous articles saying stuff like "wow! 180 degrees life change after trying this! check it out!" but always be vigilant and trust your bodily needs first and foremost. If you want to try something don't buy the biggest pack you can find on the shelf.
Not a herb but very interesting: nature's most powerful antibiotic is considered to be propolis tincture. It boosts the immune system, can treat colds, coughing etc. It has a very unpleasant taste, so it's best to have it with honey. But it is very cheap where I come from and has no counter-indication, unlike the medication we know as antibiotic. But don't take it on an empty stomach (best is an hour or so after a meal, 2-3 times a day). It usually contains alcohol solution so one spoon is enough to heat you up for half an hour, heh. Now of course, if you have health problems that persist, reappear, or seem to be getting worse, consult your medic.
Also, we used to seasonally drink elderberry juice prepared at home, even after it got slightly alcoholic (it seriously doesn't matter even if you're smaller than 18 lol), because we had so many trees growing by. We've had wine in our homes constantly since I was little, the "natural" ones prepared by people in the countryside who only had enough to give to friends and family, and I still rarely drink, and never get drunk (or never entirely). At first it's non alcoholic, and it's simply tasty grape juice. As it ages, especially if you leave it outside, it starts becoming more and more alcoholic, aka wine. Just saying that to clear any "politically correct" thoughts and fears and preconceived ideas about alcohol. Same for my brother. The real issues here have always been over-processing of food and drinks. But I digress. I am not sure about the properties, I know elderberry has quite a handful good ones, but also that if you drink the stuff on the bottom or ingest too many of the flowers then it can be toxic.
Also, rant time, don't even get me started on garlic and green onions in countries like UK, the ones you can find in supermarkets, even organic. They do not taste nice once cooked, on the bitter side, and aren't that good raw either. Where I come from they are very good raw eaten as a side dish for most meats and stuff, in salads etc... and are on the sweet side, not bitter! Maybe they are better if from a garden, I don't know. People are just slowly and gradually losing/killing all the gifts nature gave them, and forgetting everything that used to be good, had taste and aroma. Both garlic and onion are supposed to be very healthy for you (uncooked).
Ramson is a plant that tastes like garlic and can replace it, very aromatic and nice in salads.
Capsules and vitamins? A medium-sized no no as long as you have the actual plants/foods available. Anyone who recommends them first and foremost loses credibility in my eyes.