Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Medicinal/Therapeutic Use of Plants and Herbs

SocairSocair Veteran
edited February 7 in Diet & Habits

Hi all
I have always been interested in the medicinal properties of compounds found in plants and herbs. Indeed much of our modern medicine finds its origins in plants.
I am starting a thread for people to contribute their examples of plants or herbs that can have health benefits for us. Please do not jump on board this as a "drugs" thread because it most certainly is not that. Think along the lines of tea tree rather than ayuhuasca.
I bet we have lots to share for the benefit of us all. @federica, @karasti, @dhammachick I am certain I will learn many from you.
So, time to get the ball rolling....

«1

Comments

  • SocairSocair Veteran

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited February 7

    That's a good one, dandelion has ye olde names of shit-the-bed and piss-a-lot. So be careful. Two or three well washed leaves in a green salad to start off.

    Socair
  • I'll keep an eye on this thread, for sure!

    Socair
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Just in our yard, we have dandelion (the early spring greens are my favorite part), purslane, clover, wintergreen, wild strawberries...maybe a few others I can't think of. Living in the sticks, we have ample opportunity to forage when it's not winter, so I'm glad for that. We pick gallons of blueberries and raspberries in July. Chokecherries, apples, plums, wild asparagus, June/Service berries, cranberries, lavender, chamomile, wild rose, fern fiddeheads, burdock, parsnips. My sister and I growing up made tea out of almost anything we could find, lol. Cedar and juniper teas aren't bad! We do hunt for mushrooms but I am still wary and always go with someone who is confident. Morels and chaga mostly. Mmmm morels. Also wild rice (which has a lot of rules because you have to harvest it in traditional Obijway fashion) and maple syrup if you have the time to process them. Nuts, too. We live in a boreal forest, but on the border so we have a mix of evergreen and deciduous trees. Pine nuts, acorns, hazlenuts. I guess many parts of cat tails and pine needles are usable or edible but I havent' researched that very much yet.

    We kind of do it just for fun, so I couldn't tell you most of the benefits of a lot of those things, though I know they have benefits of course. I'll have to look it up as now I am curious. Thankfully we live in a very quiet area with no real industry near by and no agricultural except very small family operations that sell at the farmer's market and they are almost entirely organic. So foraging is very safe with very minimal exposure to pollution or pesticides etc.

    lobsterSocair
  • I rather like nettles.

    You need a plastic bag full and gloves to pick the top shoots. They really reduce. The cooking kills the sting. Delicious. Nutritious. Free spinach type food. Turned Milerepa green. So don't overdo it ...

    At the age of 45, he started to practice at Drakar Taso (White Rock Horse Tooth) cave – "Milarepa's Cave", as well as becoming a wandering teacher. Here, he subsisted on nettle tea, leading his skin to turn green with a waxy covering, hence the greenish color he is often depicted as having, in paintings and sculpture.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milarepa

    Socairkarasti
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Huh, that's interesting! I turned orange as a toddler because all I would eat, apparently, was carrots. I looked like an oompa loompa.

    Socairsilver
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    At the moment I am eating pineapple a couple of times a week. Pineapple is high in Bromelain which has powerful natural anti-infammatory properties.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    The bromelain is also in many digestive type pills, supplements, along with papaya this and papaya that, lol.

    Pears are actually as good, if not better than apples and prunes for you-know-what.

  • @karasti said:
    Huh, that's interesting! I turned orange as a toddler because all I would eat, apparently, was carrots. I looked like an oompa loompa.

    Tee hee. You can get carotene tablets which give you an orange 'tan'. You also get bright orange turds to frighten the sewage rats ... not really healthy ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunless_tanning

    Socair
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Gosh, where to start?? Dandelion, mare's tail and goosefoot for cystitis and bladder issues; nettles for iron and as a blood tonic, sage for "ladies' issues", rose hips for Vitamin C/colds, Rosebay willowherb for mucus and catarrh, Ginger for digestive and intestinal disorders, turmeric for... well, just about everything!
    Aside from the obvious and well-documented benefits of adding herbs to foods, every herb has properties that are both health-making and health-giving, Which accounts for an awful lot of reasons for adding it to foods in the first place.

    Socairlobsterkarasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 7

    More...

    Borage and Comfrey (both members of the same botanical 'family') make excellent teas, and are assured tonics for all manner of ailments; Borage in particular is, and I quote,

    "a cooling, cleansing and refreshing herb with adaptogenic, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties.

    European herbalists use borage tea to restore strength during convalescence. The leaves are used as an adrenal tonic to balance and restore the health of the adrenal glands following periods of stress.

    It is of particular benefit during recovery from surgery or following steroid treatment.

    A tea made from the leaves and flowers also promote lactation, relieve fevers, and promote sweating. It will also cure a hangover. The soothing mucilage in borage makes it a beneficial treatment for dry cough, throat irritation, chest colds and bronchitis. Borage tea is also a good remedy for such digestive disturbances as gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

    A poultice of crushed Borage leaves will relieve insect bites and stings, reduce swelling and bruising and is also helpful for clearing up boils and rashes."

    Comfrey too, is amazing, however, it's important this herb particularly, is used as a topical and external remedy ONLY. It has certain compounds which, if taken carelessly, can actually be quite harmful.
    Stick to using it as a poultice or wound-healer; take internally only via approved sources and dosage, ie as a commercially-produced tea, or as an essential oil.

    Both plants are available to grow in your garden. Borage is a perennial, has hairy leaves, and blue, star-shaped flowers. A good safe bet.
    Comfrey is similar, but is an annual, has smoother leaves, and clusters of small, cup-like flowers which are more pink in colour. Use medicinally, with caution.

    That said, Comfrey is an incredibly, blazingly good liquid fertilizer, and an absolutely unbeatable bonus for any gardener.

    Socair
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    Awesome!! Thank you @federica !!! 💚💚💚

  • Turmeric is an interesting one. Its efficacy is increased by combining with black pepper. You can use it as a colouring (in rice for example) and of course curries need be nothing more than:

    • turmeric (don't burn it if you fry your spices to bring out the flavour)
    • pepper
    • ginger
    • garlic (sangha are not allowed this as it increases the libido, may make them smell and offend lay followers) - now they have showers, so perhaps the medicinal benefits and legendary anti-vampire benefits will be considered ...
    • cumin to stop excessive gas (unless trying rocket propulsion based yogic flying)
    Socairkarasti
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Socair said:
    Hi all
    I have always been interested in the medicinal properties of compounds found in plants and herbs. Indeed much of our modern medicine finds its origins in plants.
    I am starting a thread for people to contribute their examples of plants or herbs that can have health benefits for us. Please do not jump on board this as a "drugs" thread because it most certainly is not that. Think along the lines of tea tree rather than ayuhuasca.
    I bet we have lots to share for the benefit of us all. @federica, @karasti, @dhammachick I am certain I will learn many from you.
    So, time to get the ball rolling....

    All my herbal tomes are at my parents' house. I'll be there in Sunday so I can look things up if I have anything of value to add to the current conversation

    Socair
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    It's nice to see all the old witches & wizards coming out of the closet ;)

    Socairkarasti
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ^^That recipe looks interesting, @Shoshin, care to share? ^^

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    It's been handed down through the generations...

    "Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
    Lizard's leg and howlet's wing,
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

    Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Cool it with a baboon's blood,
    Then the charm is firm and good."

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Hmmm... no salt? That'll be insipid....

    dhammachick
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Salt is optional ;)

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Socair the above recipe is rather light on herbal remedies and rather heavy on the meat content.
    A vegetarian option may be advisable...

    Adder's fork, however, is a type of marsh fern....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ...Further reading of the witches' recipe, yields further relatively revolting ingredients, but includes hemlock and yew - both highly poisonous, and definitely not two of the herbs we'd recommend, although commercially of course, certain extracts of each have been adapted for the medicinal properties they hold....

    Try Coltsfoot (tussilago) for coughs and chesty conditions.
    bloodroot, cat's claw, false unicorn, or anything else here which tickles your fancy. And won't kill you outright.

    Socair
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited February 9

    @Shoshin said:
    It's nice to see all the old witches & wizards coming out of the closet ;)

    Oi!!!! Less of the old thanks.....

    ShoshinSocair
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    One of my favorite go-tos during cold and flu season is turmeric/honey paste. Works great for dry, irritated and/or scratchy throat. 1 tsp turmeric to 1 tbsp raw honey (or whatever 1:3 ratio that works for you). I mix it up in a larger batch and just dip the spoon in a few times a day. My kids like it as well. I've not had an irritable throat last more than a day. Also, honey/lemon/turmeric/ginger tea, though I prefer the roots to powdered spices for that.

    Also, not for eating, but vihta in the sauna is great medicine. Boughs of birch or cedar tied together, and then you slap yourself gently with them while in the sauna, lol, as a means of massage.

    Socair
  • SocairSocair Veteran

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ....However, you have to be careful taking St John's Wort with pharmaceutical remedies for the same conditions, because St J'sW can actually hinder their efficacy, or cancel out their qualities altogether.

    Socairkarastidhammachick
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    Thank you very much @federica . I didn't know that. Important to be aware of. Much appreciated.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited February 9

    Just to back up my statement (which I personally do ask for, in the case of other peoples' posts and claims) here is a link for you.
    I think, particularly in situations where health and 'self-medicating' (in a good way!) is concerned, it's extremely important to provide verifiable back-up. :)

    karastiSocair
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Definitely agree. My ex was a horrible self-medicating type who did what pleased him and not what was best for him. He added tons of supplements like St John's and Kava Kava while he was taking ADD stimulant meds and Paxil. Bad juju.

    SocairKerome
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @federica said:
    Just to back up my statement (which I personally do ask for, in the case of other peoples' posts and claims) here is a link for you.
    I think, particularly in situations where health and 'self-medicating' (in a good way!) is concerned, it's extremely important to provide verifiable back-up. :)

    Absolutely spot on @federica

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    I couldn't agree more @federica and @karasti . Responsible and informed use of plant and herbal based remedies is vital.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @karasti said:
    Definitely agree. My ex was a horrible self-medicating type who did what pleased him and not what was best for him. He added tons of supplements like St John's and Kava Kava while he was taking ADD stimulant meds and Paxil. Bad juju.

    The number of people who take St. John’s wort without knowing that it also affects for example the pill very severely is shocking. Self medicating can be a dangerous thing to do.

    Socair
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @kerome @federica @karasti glad that the informed and careful use angle has been brought into the thread. Also it is so important to realise we cannot abandon the world of medicine for solely using herbal or plant remedies. Where would my son be without the advances in high tech drugs today?. Informed and careful use of herbal remedies can work well to complement traditional methods but as @federica and @karasti pointed out , we have to research it carefully in case they do not interact well together.

    karasti
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I think it's ideal to blend what the medical science world can offer and what we know of our own bodies and nature. I think it's important to do so, but with guidance. Somethings you just don't want to experiment with! Like me with the mushrooms, I've been mushroom hunting locally for several years, but I'm still not 100% confident so I always ask. I am in the same place, with our diabetic son, no matter how hard we tried, he would die without his medical help. Quickly and painfully.

    Socair
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @karasti said:
    I think it's ideal to blend what the medical science world can offer and what we know of our own bodies and nature. I think it's important to do so, but with guidance. Somethings you just don't want to experiment with! Like me with the mushrooms, I've been mushroom hunting locally for several years, but I'm still not 100% confident so I always ask. I am in the same place, with our diabetic son, no matter how hard we tried, he would die without his medical help. Quickly and painfully.

    Reminds me of that distinctly un-PC and slightly tasteless joke....

    " - I've been widowed three times, you know.

    • Oh really? How unfortunate, how come?
    • Well, both husband number one and two died of mushroom poisoning.
    • Oh dear! And number 3?
    • He drowned, when I pushed him into the canal. Well, he wouldn't eat the mushrooms, see?"

    I haven't been mushroom picking since I went with my uncle as a child. I must have been all of 12. Fortunately, he really knew his mushrooms, and they were delicious!

    karastiSocair
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I chanced upon this website when looking for, of all things, different types of Turkish cheese (don't ask). Look at 'foraged greens'. I knew about nettle and fiddleheads, but dock is a novelty, and one I shall eagerly try...

    Socairkarasti
  • At the moment I am drinking warm water with organic cider vinegar and honey every morning. It is organic cider vinegar with the mother( all the original good parts left in). So if I ever decide to have this drink in the presence of my mother it'll be organic cider vinegar with the mother with the mother.

    lobsterkarasti
  • Its good for digestion and helps with acid reflux .

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I have been using ACV for about 3 years now, both intern- and extern-ally. I make my own. If you've got a mother, brother, you too can make your own!! Takes a while. I recommend starting a batch, and when you've made that, immediately begin another then another 2 weeks later. Keep it rotating. Because you'll soon run out, otherwise!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Wonderful food! Plant them up (Google YouTube know-how) and get set for a good crop of the fresh stuff!!

    Socair
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited February 10

    Ginger has the opposite affect on me 😐

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    My daughter has a heavy cold, but also hates it. Always has. She can eat it in a curry though, so I told her to make herself a good curry, but just leave the rest of the ingredients out.
    Sorted.

    I don't think she's gonna try that....

  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco Explorer

    Ashwaghanda can benefit many people, especially those with anxiety. It is an Ayurvedic herb with numerous health benefits, a so-called "adaptogen." Its most compelling property is that it substantially lowers cortisol, the body's stress hormone.

    We release cortisol in response to all kinds of stress, both mental and physical. The body is incapable of distinguishing between an imagined stressor and a real one. It responds in much the same way to fears of financial peril, for example, as it would to an immediate physical threat.

    The one caution with ashwaghanda is that it can speed up the thyroid. For most people, this isn't a problem, but if you lean towards hyperthyroidism, it's something to keep in mind.

    KSM-66 is the most clinically studied extract. Here's one study:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3573577/

    Socair
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I have experimented a little with some ayurvedic herbs. Quite enjoy learning about Ayurveda, it's always so fascinating to me how well people knew things without "Science" to officially back it up. One of them...I can't recall the name...I took in an attempt to hep with my PMS but it gave me awful skin breakouts. In the end, my diet fixed my PMS. Shatavari I think is what I took for hormones for a while. Not the right one for me, apparently!

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    GARLIC. For throat/lung bacterial infections (no good for viral).

    I cannot use antibiotics, because every time I do it makes wrecks my heart a little more.
    So whenever I start to get a throat or lung bacteria infection (greenish sputum), I mash up some garlic in a bowl, pour boiling water over it, set it on the table and lean over with a large towel to "tent" the steam and breathe it in. Until it cools down. This is really boring.

    How well does it work? Mucous goes back to colorless and stays that way for 24-48 hours. So the daily garlic tenting keeps the bacterial infection at bay until my immune system has killed off the virus (about a week). Once the virus has been defeated, there are no more "opportunistic bacterial infections".

    Mind you ... you sure SMELL like garlic for a week!!
    For me, it is preferable to further-damaging my heart.

    ShoshinlobsterSocairkarasti
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.