An Interesting Herb Fact
Chase the Blues Away with St John's Wort
St. John's Wort has slowly become one of the most popular herbs for treating mild symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is said that the St. John's Wort plant got its name from the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. It is said that the knights would use the plant to the terrible wounds that they came across on the Crusade battlefields. St. John's Wort also had a supernatural aura attached to it. In those medieval days, many believed that St. John's Wort had the ability to dispel evil spirits....
Echinacea: Cure to the Common Cold?
|Perhaps the most famous herbal remedies these days are made from the Echinacea flower. Native Americans have traditionally used Echinacea to treat colds, fevers, snakebites, and stubborn wounds. It is believed that the early settlers adopted the Echinacea plant early on as a popular home remedy to treat colds and influenza. The plant was a popular choice with the 19th century Eclectics. In recent years, Echinacea has grown immensely in popularity for its antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Echinacea has also been used in AIDS therapy. The cultivated purple coneflower is known as E. purpurea, but E. angustifolia is generally considered to be the more potent version by most herbal practitioners. The character of Echinacea has alternately been described as cool, dry, and strongly pungent. Its constituents include volatile oils, glycosides, antibiotic polyacetylenes, amides, and inulin. The actions of the Echinacea plant are described as antibiotic, an immune stimulant, antiallergenic, and a lymphatic tonic. |
Several parts of the Echinacea plant are used to create herbal remedies, but the most common parts that are used are the root and the aerial parts. The root of the Echinacea flower is most commonly used to make tinctures or powders. These tinctures and powders are used to treat many different types of infection or inflammation. Many traditional herbalists have used Echinacea to treat recurring kidney infections, as well as to treat less serious conditions including the common cold, influenza, and cold and respiratory infections. The aerial parts of the Echinacea flower are often used to make an effective antibiotic. These are usually taken in capsule form.
There are many applications for the Echinacea flower. For instance, the flower can be used in a decoction. Simply take 10 ml doses every one to two hours, especially during the acute stage of infections. Echinacea can also be made into a tincture. Herbalists recommend taking two to five ml doses of Echinacea tincture. Take the tincture every two to three hours for influenza, chills, and for urinary tract infections. For more serious or chronic conditions, herbalists recommend that standard doses of Echinacea be combined with the appropriate herbs. For instance, Echinacea can be combined with buchu and couch grass to make a potent tincture to treat kidney infections. It can also be combined with cleavers to treat mononucleosis. To treat food poisoning or snakebites, roughly 10 mil doses can be used.
A special wash can be created from the Echinacea flower that can be used to treat infected wounds. Simply bathe the affected area with this wash several times a day. Echinacea can also be used in an effective gargle. Simply combine with warm water to treat sore throats. Echinacea can also be made into a powder that is dusted over infected skin conditions, including weeping boils, infected eczema, and other skin infections. One of the most common ways of taking the Echinacea plant is in capsule form. Herbalists and naturopaths recommend taking three 200 mg up to three times a day to treat acute infections, colds, influenza, urinary tract infections, and kidney infections.