Many years ago, the majority of people relied on natural remedies. As medical discoveries were made, natural remedies got pushed aside, and modern medicine took over. There’s no doubt that modern medicine has done a lot of good, but it’s not without its downside. Sometimes people end up overmedicated for health issues that can be treated simply and effectively at home. A great way to treat common health problems that affect many is through the natural use of plants.
These plants don’t give you the same dangerous side effects that a lot of the medications prescribed today might. Plus, it’s easier and a lot more cost effective to turn to nature when you need healing.
There are a lot of different plants that you can grow that can treat your ailments naturally. Some can be applied topically and some can be brewed into teas. You should make sure that you understand how much of a plant you should use, because just like medicines you get at the pharmacy, there are dosing guidelines you need to follow when using plants to treat ailments.
A good natural treatment for headaches is the bark of a willow tree. You can grow a willow tree with a cutting from a mature tree. One of the reasons that this is effective is because it contains salicin, which is comparable to what you’ll find contained in aspirin. It’s also a good treatment for anything that causes you to feel pain since it works like an aspirin does.
One drawback is that people who experience a reaction to aspirin could also potentially have a reaction to willow bark. It should not be used by nursing mothers or given to ill children due to the potential same side effects that aspirin can cause.
Lavender is a beautiful flowering plant. But it’s also a natural treatment for headaches – even if those headaches are migraines. It’s the oil from the plant that gives a person relief from the pain. It can be applied directly to the skin or inhaled by boiling the plant and inhaling the oils as they are released. Lavender is safe to use on the skin without having to dilute it.
Another plant that you can grow to treat headaches is peppermint. This plant is used by crushing the leaves and applying the mixture to the area of the body where you feel the pain. The oils are absorbed through the skin.
If you’ve ever had to deal with cluster headaches, you know how bad these can be. These headaches, which show up and then come back repeatedly over the course of several weeks can be difficult to treat with modern medicine because as soon as you stop the treatment, you can end up with rebound headaches.
One of the best natural remedies that you can plant indoors or outdoors to help with these types of headaches is cayenne pepper. This plant contains capsaicin, which is used to relieve pain. It can be applied directly to the skin. However, you should be extremely careful to keep any of the plant from touching your face. If the plant comes in contact with your eyes, it can cause unpleasant burning.
A side effect of this plant when applied topically is a burning sensation that does go away after a few minutes. If you’re prone to skin allergies, this may not be the right remedy for you to use. Thyme, when made into a tea can also be used to relieve the pain associated with headaches. Bay leaves are helpful in treating headaches as well.
Doctors recommend that you get between six to eight hours of sleep every night. This is what’s best for your body. When you have insomnia, getting enough rest can be difficult, and it can really take a toll on your personal and professional life. Not to mention, of course–prolonged bouts of insomnia can cause your health to suffer. It can lead to sleep deprivation behavior, which can be dangerous.
Fortunately, there are plants that can treat this ailment. Many of these plants have a sedative quality to them, which helps relax your mind and body. As a result, you end up with a good night’s sleep.
One of these helpful plants is the lemon balm plant. If you look closely at the leaves, you’ll see how they resemble the leaves if the mint plant. This is because lemon balm is in the same family of plants as the mint. It can be taken as a tea.
One flowering plant, that’s actually labeled as a weed, is evening primrose – also commonly called primrose. This plant is effective in treating insomnia. The flowers of the plant are colorful and quite beautiful. It’s best to grow this kind of plant with outdoor gardening rather than indoor gardening because it thrives outdoors.
Another plant that’s well-known to aid in helping to treat insomnia is woodruff. This plant has small white flowers and is a perennial. It has a sweet scent and grows best in shade rather than direct sunlight.
Passionflower is another plant that you can grow that’s used in the treatment of insomnia. The plant has medicinal properties that are used to produce calmness and a state of relaxation, which helps you get some sleep.
There is another group of plants that you can grow that help you to get a good night’s sleep–but not specifically by causing drowsiness. These are plants that you can use during your waking hours that won’t induce sleepiness so you’ll still be able to go about your day.
One plant from this group–rosemary– relieves stress and tension which are the leading causes of insomnia other than reasons related to diseases. Rosemary can be grown indoor or outdoors, but it can grow to a substantial height. For that reason, it might be good to start the plant inside and then transfer it outside once it gains height.
Fevers, Colds and Coughs
There are many different reasons your body might develop a fever. The same stands true for a cough. Unless a doctor finds that the fever has a direct cause, the only thing you can really do for it is to treat the symptom, which is the fever itself.
For the common cold, there is no cure. All you can do when you catch a cold is to try your best alleviate the symptoms. Many of the over the counter remedies that are offered can sometimes make you feel worse because they make you feel fuzzy-headed or they’ll make you feel dizzy.
Instead of reaching for the mass-produced medication, you can grow what you need to treat a fever, a cough or the common cold. And because this is a natural method, you won’t have any of those annoying side effects that come with taking medication. To treat a fever, the bark of the willow tree is good for this. Just like it treats headaches, it can also reduce your fever.
Again, the reason for this is because the bark of the tree is like aspirin with the properties it contains. But another natural remedy you can use that you can grow yourself is sunflowers. These plants make a great addition to a garden because of their beauty and multi-purpose usefulness.
The seeds from the plant can be eaten and they contain helpful qualities like some of the B vitamins, folate and zinc. Plus, they fight against cancer cells. They’re hardy and easy to grow. It’s the leaves of the plant that can be use to make a tea that lowers fevers. Besides treating the fever, the sunflower is also helpful for reducing ailments such as a cough and a cold. So if you have a fever that’s associated with a cold, then you’re getting two-fold relief with one plant.
Chamomile is another plant that you can grow that’s helpful in reducing fevers. These flowering plants look like daisies but they’re not exactly the same. They’re very hardy and easy to grow. They can be grown indoors but also flourish outside. The plant can be taken in a tea form and is good for not only reducing fever but in the treatment of a cold as well.
When you have a cold, even though it’s not a serious ailment, it can make you feel pretty miserable. Sunflowers can be used to treat this and so can ginseng. This plant is associated with Chinese medicine and has a long history of helping to treat ailments.
What this plant does when used is it triggers the immune system to battle the ailment. As a result of the power of this plant, the people who use it end up not being down with a cold or cough for the same length of time as someone who didn’t use ginseng.
One of the annoying symptoms that always seems to come along with getting a cold is all that congestion that just makes you feel miserable. You don’t have to put up with that if you grow your own medicinal plants. Peppermint is a decongestant that contains menthol, which is the ingredient you’ll see in many of the over the counter medications that are used to treat cold symptoms.
A surprising plant that’s effective with a cold is parsley. This plant helps to minimize the symptoms and it stimulates your immune system at the same time. While these plants can be grown outdoors, they are attractive to outdoor animals like rabbits so you’ll want to protect against that. Besides treatment for colds, this plant is great for relieving the symptoms associated with UTIs.
There’s nothing as annoying as a cough that comes along with a cold. Because what happens is often long after the cold is gone, the cough will stubbornly remain in place. That’s because your upper respiratory system has been irritated. Fennel is a plant that belongs with the celery family and is effective for treating coughs. This plant needs a lot of sunlight. It can be grown indoors but is better suited for outside gardening. Not only will you find this plant useful for treating coughs, but it can be a tasty addition to meals as well.
Anise is a small growing plant that’s perfect for growing indoors. To use this plant to treat a cough, you would use the seeds. After mashing the seeds, you would let them steep as if you were making a tea. Drinking the liquid calms a cough.
Thyme is also successfully used to treat coughing. This is a sturdy plant that grows easily. It’s a perennial plant and can be used to make a tea that helps to get rid of your cough. The reason that this plant works well is because it calms muscle spasms. When you cough, especially repeatedly, this is caused by smooth muscle spasms. The thyme relaxes those muscles so you don’t feel like you have to cough.
Constipation and Diarrhea
When you are struggling with constipation, it can make you feel absolutely miserable. It can cause bloating, stomach cramps and make you feel sluggish. What happens when you take over the counter medication to treat this ailment is the side effects can often swing you all the way to the other end of the spectrum and you end up with diarrhea.
It might surprise you to know that a very effective plant that you can grow to treat constipation is aloe vera. Although this plant is widely known for its topical uses, the latex of the plant is extremely effective in curing constipation. One plant that’s considered a weed but is effective to treat constipation is the dandelion. The root of the dandelion is a natural laxative that won’t give you those harsh side effects like you get with over the counter medications.
To get the benefit from this plant, you would need to boil the root and it doesn’t take much to be effective. You only need about a teaspoon for every cup of boiling water. Be sure you strain out the root parts before you before you pour it into a cup. Mild cases are often resolved with one to two cups of the tea.
To treat diarrhea naturally, you need to make a tea from blackberry leaves. These are very hardy plants that can be grown indoors or out. You can also use the leaves from a raspberry plant if you prefer that over growing blackberries.
Treating Skin Ailments
You want to take care of your skin because it’s what keeps germs from entering your body. There are several types of skin ailments that can be effective treated with the use of plants. If you burn yourself cooking in the kitchen or through some other task, you’ll want to use an aloe vera plant.
To treat the burn, you break one of the leaves of the plant and use the gel contained within to cover the burn. Lavender is another plant that, like aloe vera, can be effectively used to treat non-serious burns. Besides burn, there are other skin ailments that can cause you discomfort. For example, anyone who’s ever dealt with eczema knows how irritating it can be.
But both dandelions can be used to treat this skin condition and so can peppermint. You would use the dandelion as a tea to treat eczema. The oil from a peppermint plant is applied topically to the affected area. The oil reduces the itching as well as the inflammation caused by the condition. The goldenrod flower has also been used to treat eczema.
Along with skin irritants like burns and eczema, you might battle fungal conditions. This is used topically to treat the fungal infection. Chamomile, when used as a bath can be used to treat antifungal conditions. Cloves are also good for treating fungal conditions. Oregano leaves can be used to treat fungal infections especially those ones that infect the toenails or fingernails. This plant can be grown indoor or outdoor and can also be used as a food spice.
Growing plants that can be used medicinally is a useful and rewarding hobby. Hopefully this information whets your appetite to learn more!