Plants have been utilized for their medicinal properties long before recorded history. Some of the earliest records of medicinally used herbs date 3,000 BC. We now can test their validity through scientific analysis and reinforce what our ancestors knew to be true about herbal medicine. In writing these blogs I hope to introduce people to the healing power of nature!
I also feel it is important to understand that this is a complex system of treatment and requires a consultation with a qualified practitioner to determine the right herbs for you. These consultations consist of your health history, family heath history, diet and lifestyle, mood, medications, allergies, tongue and pulse diagnosis, skin, hair, eyes, teeth, fingernails, body temperature and more to determine the appropriate course of treatment for you. Herbs are then chosen for use based on their energetic properties, their tastes (bitter, sweet, sour, pungent) their Yang or Yin properties and organs treated. These are very specific to each person’s needs and health at the time and there is no one size fits all approach in herbalism. These blogs are an attempt to initiate an interest in others in exploring the wonderful world of herbalism and how it can improve your health and wellbeing. This information isn't intended to treat or diagnose. Always check with your physician before taking any herbs.
Today's helpful Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbs begin with the letter D.
Parts used - fresh flowers and leaves, dried flowers and leaves, and sometimes the stem.
Components - Triterpenoid saponins, tannins, vitamin C, flavonoids, malic acid, tartic acid, oxalates.
Internal uses - Helps to boost the metabolism by cleansing the liver and gallbladder, promotes appetite, is a slight laxative, mild analgesic and antispasmodic. It is a blood purifier that helps symptoms of gout and rheumatism. Drink as a tea by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tsps of dried leaves and flowers. Strain after 10 minutes and drink. One cup 2-3 times a day is recommended. Can also take as a tincture. Place 1 oz of dried flowers and leaves into 5oz of 80 proof vodka for 2 weeks. Store in a dark place and shake mixture daily. Strain the herbs when ready with cheesecloth. Discard dried herbs and store liquid in dark tincture bottle with dropper. Take 20-40 drops 3 times a day.
Topical uses - Daisy tea can be used as a hot compress on varicose veins, swellings, bruises and wounds. Can also be used in creams or salves by infusing dried flowers and leaves into oil (hot or cold method) straining out herbs and utilizing the oil. High in vitamin C which is always great for the skin.
Parts Used – root.
Components - phenolic acids, trtereroids,iridoid glycosides, triterperoids, saponins.
Translation of this Chinese name is 'bone healing herb' used for broken bones, ruptured tendons, broken skin. This is a kidney yang tonic. Strengthens connective tissue like tendons and ligaments. Helps with osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Internal uses - can be taken as a tea, pill, tincture, or powder form.
Topical uses - applied in a salve to stiff joints, arthritic areas, or trauma injuries due to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties.
Ayurvedic name - Dughdapheni
Parts used - root and leaf.
The dandelion is recognized and well used in all three of the oldest systems of herbalism. In Ayurveda, Chinese, and Western Materia Medica books this herb is listed. This is mainly due to the benefits it has on the liver but it is also a powerful diuretic that detoxifies the kidneys. The root is diuretic and the leaf is anti-rheumatic. This plant can help with gout, blood sugar, skin diseases, lymphatic drainage, liver and kidney detoxification.
Components - high in vitamin C, E K, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, potassium, glycosides, ohytosterols, tannins, and triterpenes.
Internal uses - dandelion root can be taken in capsules, at 3,000 mg per day, or in a tincture taken 1 tsp a day, or as a tea, with 3 to 4 cups a day. Consult your doctor before taking if you have gallbladder disease as it increases bile production.
Topical uses – Can be used in a cream or salve for its high vitamin and mineral contents (vitamin A, C E K,) which are great for skin!
Hope any if this information was helpful! Check back next week for herbs that begin with the letter E.
The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs, Marta Purkh Singh Khalsa & Michael Tierra
The Complete Guide to Natural Healing, International Masters Publishers
The Way of Herbs, Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D.