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Harvesting and Learning about Medicinal Herbs

Written on: Sunday March 30th, 2008

A journal entry from: North America in our Camper Van!

One of the first tasks that we were assigned at the farm was to harvest some medicinal herbs. I ended up really enjoying this task and learnt a lot about the various natural remedies that have been used for ages.

The Gordolobo (Gnaphalium spp.), or 'Fat Wolf' and also known as 'Everlasting' has been used for centuries in Mexico and other Latin American countries. The Godolobo flower is steeped in hot water to make tea and used for respiratory ailments, sore throats, phelgm, asthma and coughs.

Sage has astringent (tends to shrink or constrict body tissues), antiseptic and anti-irritant properties. It is therefore often used in sore throat medications and for mouth sores.

Ginko Biloba fruits and seeds have been used in Chinese Medicine since 2800 BC. The leaf extract has been used in western medicine during the last few decades. The herb is primarily used for treating memory loss and degenerative diseases of the brain (i.e. Alzheimer?s).

Lemongrass has many uses from soothing sore stomachs to repelling insects. Rob and I have discovered that we love lemongrass tea, made by simply steeping the grass shoots in hot (but not boiling) water.

Lavender (often in its essential oil form) is used as a sedative, diuretic and to aid digestion. It is also said to be useful in treating acne, headache, anxiety, and insomnia. A few drops added to bath can soothe the nerves, relax and help you get a great nights sleep!

Thyme is also a powerful antiseptic used for treating respiratory troubles such as coughs, asthma and allergies. Its antifungal properties are great for treating athlete?s foot and yeast infections. Its aromatherapy benefits include enhanced mood and reduced stress.

Rob and I have used oil of Oregano in the past, based on a recommendation from friends that it worked well to battle colds and flu. We?ve found it to end a sore throat fast. After a little more research on the internet, I discovered that Oregano oil has been called ?the most powerful cold buster ever? because of its significant immune boosting powers. It can also be used as an antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal remedy. It has a rather strong, spicy taste and causes quite the tingling sensation in your mouth, but well worth the temporary uncomfort if it prevents a full blown cold.

Huile also grows spearmint, pineapple sage, axihuitl, mint, marjoram, fennel, dill, bay laurel, rosemary, basil, and numerous more. I have definitely found a new interest and delight in learning about medicinal herbs, their properties and benefits and am looking forward to growing our own natural remedy garden.

 

From Sloan on Apr 28th, 2008

I think oregano is also good for parasites...fyi...!! Really interesting blog.