What’s the Big Deal About Herbs, Anyway?

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So glad you asked!  Herbs are available to every single one of us, no matter your financial level, your college degrees or lack thereof, your address.  Wherever you live in the world, all you need to do is step outdoors and look about you to find them.  See that nasty dandelion peeking out of your perfectly manicured lawn?  Don’t spray it – eat it!  How about that pine tree over there?  The bark is full of healthy benefits and if you learn how, you can use it to help defeat next season’s cold.  

What I love about herbs and medicinal plants is how they give the control back to us.  Prescription medications, while sometimes necessary, put us as the user in a tough position.  We don’t really know what’s in there, and there are always side effects; some immediate, others more longterm.  But if we take the time to get to know the plants we have access to, we can often avoid trips to the doctor in the first place.  Side effects?  Yes, many herbs do have them but the vast majority of herbs are much safer than anything you’ll find even as a common over-the-counter medication.  When you gather some knowledge about herbs, you then have more control over what you and your family consume.  That can greatly reduce your family’s intake of harmful chemicals and unnatural substances.

There is something so powerful, some would say magical, about gathering your own herbal remedies from a trip into the woods or a field.  A sort of relationship builds between you and the plant.  You get to know it as you harvest it, take it home and prepare it, or even taste it right from the forest floor.  If you involve the kids in the process, they’ll gain an appreciation for the plants as well as for nature, and they’ll feel they helped bring health to the family too!  

When spring comes back around, as she’s promised to do in spite of the deep freeze of wintery February, take the time to plant a little chamomile in the garden.  When the flowers bloom, take your kids out and help them collect the fragrant buds and dry them.  The next time someone in your family gets under the weather, you’ll be surprised at how good it will feel steeping that first cup of tea, grown and prepared by the family, bringing health to the family.  And that, my friend, is the big deal about herbs.

4 thoughts on “What’s the Big Deal About Herbs, Anyway?

  1. I’m just starting the journey into holistic and homeopathic health care. I just bought my first set of essential oils and I’m reading 10 Essential Herbs (loaned to me by a friend). I”m sooooo excited about it all.


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  2. Hi Diane,

    A lovely post. Plants do indeed possess a biochemical intelligence that correlates directly with the human organism. What I find fascinating is that many herbal medicines originated from indigenous tribes who were able to ‘hear’ what was being taught to them directly from the plant itself, without any laboratory to confirm or deny its uses. Many of those same medicines have found their way into modern scientific papers confirming their use as originally prescribed!

    One thing perhaps everyone should be aware of when exploring herbal medicine, is that there are a number of American medicinal plant species that are at risk of extinction, with some becoming seriously endagered due to over-harvesting. Be sure to check with United Plant Savers (unitedplantsavers.com) before harvesting any wild grown herbs and, if they are at risk, consider growing them in your garden instead…most only need a small section of garden space to get a good quantity of medicine and some are truly beautiful plants set to improve any landscape!

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  3. Great comments! Thanks so much! Baba, I’ve seen wild yam in a few different health food stores, so I’m sure you won’t have a problem finding it. As far as growing it yourself I’m actually not sure. It’s found in eastern North America in the wild but it shouldn’t be harvested in the wild. It’s protected. I haven’t ever seen it as something you can grow on your own. Doesn’t mean it’s not possible though! If I find out more I’ll email you.

    Deanna, nice information! I find it fascinating that the Native Americans, and other indigenous tribes as well, were able to figure out what plants to use just by “listening” to the plants themselves. Also, I have wanted to do a post on watching what you harvest from the wild. Thanks for the website! I think you’ve inspired me to get on that post.

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