Home > Pharma & Medicine > BASICS OF HERBAL MEDICINE


What are medicinal herbs?

  1. If you use herbs in cooking, then you’ve already taken the first step in using herbal medicines.
  2. All of our common culinary herbs and spices are the most important and esteemed herbal medicines.
  3. And if you garden, tuck herbs here and there in your vegetable and flower beds for their added scent and beauty.
  4. Garden herbs such as lavender, thyme, sage, basil, rosemary, mint, yarrow, and peppermint. Long histories of use as teas, salves, poultices, and tinctures for healing purposes.



Best remedy for sinus infection. 


Effective for shingles and hives. 


An herb is an herbaceous plant with a nonwoody stem. 

Herbalism is an art that evolved over centuries.

Herbal medicine is the medicine of the home. 

  • Conventional
  • Allopathic medicine
  • To save lives 


Most effectively for myraid non-emergency health problems

  • simple first-aid situations
  • bumps/bruises of life
  • headaches/colds and fevers/flu
  • coughs/aches and pain/illness


More than “curing” illness, plants play a great role in preventing them.

Rich in nutrients, herbs are the supreme preventive medicine bolstering our body’s ability to fight off pathogens that cause illness.

Medicinal plants tend to be concentrated in specific chemicals.

When we eat medicinal plants, our own  body become more resilient, hardy and persistent like the tenacious weedy plant. 



Benefits of Medicinal Herbs:-

  1. It gives us the ability to become more self-reliant. 
  2. We have choices in how we care for ourselves and our families. 
  3. Herbs are safest medicines. 
  4. No herbs with harmful side effects. 
  5. They are an Isolated group
  6. Herbal supplements are less expensive. 
  7. Side effects of Pharma medication are actual effects of medication. Herbal remedies – side effects are few and far between. 
  8. People who have idiosyncratic reactions to certain foods and herbs. 
  9. Toxic plants can have nasty side effects. 
  10. Side effects – short term and idiosyncratic — itchy eyes, sore throat, skin rash, nausea and upset stomach. 
  11. Symptoms disappear after discontinuance of offending herb. 



Different parts of plants should be harvested at different times.


Best harvested just as they are opening.

St. John’s Wart buds are perfect when fully formed but not yet fully opened.


Best harvested before a plant is in full bloom.


Are best dug in fall or spring when energy of plant is still stored in root or bulb.



The best drying conditions for herbs are:- 

  • A warm temperature of 90 to 110 F
  • Minimal humidity — less, the better.
  • Good airflow.
  • Protection from direct sunlight. 
  • Heat and humidity are important factors 
  • Increasing popularity – accessibility/availability/rate of affordability.



Infusions are made from the more delicate parts of plant such as leaves, flowers, buds, some berries and seeds, and other aromatic plant parts. 

Highly aromatic roots such as valerian, ginger, and goldenseal are often steeped. 



Salves, known as ointments, made of beeswax, herbs and vegetable oils. 

The oil acts as a solvent for the medicinal properties of herbs and provides a healing, emollient base. 

The beeswax is also a protective soothing emolliement. 



Tinctures are very concentrated liquid extracts of herbs. 

Most tinctures are made with alcohol as a solvent. 



An herbal liniment is made in exactly the same way as a tincture. 

Liniment – externally 

Tincture – internally

Liniment used to disinfects cuts, wounds and to soothe sore muscles. 



Poultice is an external application of moist herbs, clay, grated or mashed veggies. 

A poultice is used to treat insect bites, rashes, burns, sore muscles, sprains, blood poisoning, swollen glands, cysts, boils, pimples, internal injuries and tumors. 

FOMENTATION – External application of alternating hot and cold compresses. 

The fluctuation in temperature causes the capillaries to dilate and constrict. 



Sweet basil acts as on digestive and nervous system, easing gas and stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. 

Mildly sedative. Helpful in treating nervous irritability and fatigue, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. 

Holy basil is known as a rasayana. It is useful for perfect health and long life. 

It is excellent, adaptogenic tonic helps restore vitality and vigor. 



Cayenne Pepper is a warming circulatory stimulant, a safe and effective tonic for heart and an excellent digestive aid. 

Capsaicin cream pain reliever proved effective as a topical pain reliever for arthritis, bursitis, and muscle joint aches. 

Cayenne has a long history of use as a heart herb.

Tonic to strength the heart and first aid for heart attack.



Cinnamon is used to boost vitality, improve circulation and clear congestion. 

Well respected digestive aid particularly for causes of overeating, bloating, and sluggish digestion. 



Garlic is herb of choice for treating colds, flus, sore throats and poor digestion.

Stimulates the production of white blood cells, boosting immune’s function. 

Garlic is well known to treat intestinal worms in humans.

Effective for maintaining healthy blood cholesterols and prevent blood plalet aggregation. 

Studies show it lowers blood sugar levels. 



Garlic can add too much fire to system causing heartburn or stomach distress and sometimes even provoking anger. 



1-2 cloves garlic peeled/sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

TO MAKE OIL:-  Combine garlic and olive oil on top of double boiler. Warm over very low heat for 10-15 minutes until oil smells of garlic.


Ginger thrives in hot humid environments for 8-10 months. 


Ginger reduce inflammation and help repair damaged joints and cartilage tissue. 

Improves circulation in pelvis. 

Lowers blood level triglycerides.

Highly effective for treating gastric. 



Well known circulatory stimulant. 

Useful for problem associated with cardiovascular system, poor circulation and lower blood pressure. 

Rosemary contains high levels of rosmaricine which acts a mild analgesic/antioxidant. 



Helps lower cholesterol levels and bitter tonic for liver. 

Sage tea is a warming bracing drink, nicely mixed with mint for a tasty stress reliever. 

Sage is a mild hormonal stimulant; offering relief from hot flashes and night sweats. 

Effective remedy for leukorrhea, vaginal infection. 

Sage is well known cold/flu fighter. 

Sage is a classic remedy for inflammation of mouth, throat, and tonsils. 



Turmeric was used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for jaundice, liver and gall bladder disorders. 

As a pungent, dry warming herb is used to treat chest colds and coughs. 



Aloe is truly a healing agent for burns, both superficial (1st degree) and serious (2nd/3rd degree)

Applied topically, the thick gel that cures and pain relieving. 

Be careful when using aloe as a laxative as it is quite powerful and can have purgative effects causing intestinal cramping and pain if used in excess. 

Well known remedy for arthritis pain and bursistis whether taken internally or applied externally as a liniment. 

Cools heat and soothes inflammation. 

Skin irritations, burns and wounds. 

Commerical aloe vera gel is best choice for creams and lotions. 



Burdock is for skin problems and can be used internally and externally to treat eczema and psoriasis 

Liver stress, poor digestion, gas, little overweight. 


Make a tincture of using equal parts burdock root and dandelion root. Take 1 teaspoon 2-3 times a day for 4-6 weeks.



(Calendula tea is useful remedy for thrush.)

Calendula flower is a powerful vulunerary healing wounds.

Applied topically or used internally. Keeps infections at bay. Common ingredient in creams, salves, and ointments for treating bruises, burns, sores, skin ulcers, skin infections and rashes. 

Popular herb for treating cradle cap, diaper rash, and skin irritations. 

Calendula tea useful both internally and externally to moderate fever, keeping it from rising too high. 

Gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers (mixed with marsh mallow root), cramps ( mixed with valerian or cramp bark) indigestion ( mixed with pepper mint) diarrhea (mixed with blackberry root).



10 out of 12 people who drank chamomile tea instead of taking their regular pain medication at bed time ( for relieving general aches/pains, headaches, or arthritis pain) went into a deep restful sleep within 10 minutes of retiring. 



A small delicate annual, chickweed is hardier than it looks.

Chickweed is a major herb for skin irritations, eye inflammation and liver disorders. 

In salve, chickweed has soothing, healing effects on skin and effective remedy for relieving itchiness.

Used to treat rashes, eczema and nettle stings. 

Chickweed is a well known remedy for irritation and itching in the eyes. 



Prefers rich moist soil and full sun.

Medicinal Uses:-

Useful as both medicine and food. 

The root is a classic liver tonic nor “blood purifier” 

Drain out water and keep liquid for soup stock 

Place steamed herbs. 


Euchinacea Spray:- 

  • Cooling effect 
  • Refreshing 
  • Heals throat 


Mullein Leaf:- 

  • Expectorant 
  • Stir in dried elderberries 
  • Flavor with dab of honey and cinnamon 

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