Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Herbal Teas from the Garden: Healing Herbs, A Garden Pharmacy

Herb gardens can be large, small or even in containers. Many herbs spread easily, making them fun to grow. The following list is an example of just some of the herbs that can be grown for tea. Always use caution when taking any herb, find out if it will effect any medications you may be taking or if they will affect an existing health problem.

A rule of thumb for making herbal teas is 1 teaspoon of dried herb, or 1 tablespoon of fresh herb per cup of hot water, but you may want to experiment to find the taste you like best. Sweeten with honey, if desired.

Blackberry Leaf: helps diarrhea, gargle for throat inflammation, compress for wounds and rashes. High in vitamin C. Chewing fresh leaves can help canker sores and inflamed gums.
Blueberry Leaf: helps diarrhea and urinary tract infections. Rinsing the scalp daily with the tea is said to help prevent hair loss.
Calendula: good remedy for lack of appetite stimulates circulation. A rinse is said to help acne and gum disease. Dab tea on corns several times a day to cure.
Catnip: lowers fever, can relieve insomnia, cramps and headaches.
Chamomile: treats insomnia, sore throat, stomach ache and cramps.
Dandelion: improves digestion, purifies blood, and helps combat arthritis. Spring leaves are less bitter.
Echinacea: Strengthens immune system, helps urinary tract infections, colds and flu.
Fennel: seeds are used, promotes good digestion, expectorant, removes toxins, remedy for gas.
Goldenrod: gargle for inflamed gums or sore throat
Hawthorne: strengthens heart, promotes blood flow, said to lower blood pressure.
Hops: regulates appetite, relieves nervousness, sleep disorders, regulates menstrual cycles, said to help bladder and kidney problems. Do not drink for more than 2 weeks at a time.
Lady’s Mantel: reduces heavy periods, pain and headaches.
Lemon Balm: helps digestion, insomnia, headaches, stress reducer, is said to lift depression, helps digestion, improves concentration.
Milk Thistle: liver and gallbladder cleanser, improves digestion.
Plantain: said to help coughs, bronchial complaints, and asthma.
Peppermint/Spearmint: helps headaches, motion sickness, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting and freshens breath.
Raspberry Leaf: gargle for sore throat, tea helps with menstrual cramps, diarrhea
Rose Hip: high in vitamin C, good for colds and flu, mild diuretic
Sage: helps stomach aches, hot flashes. Gargle for sore throat and gums.
St. John’s Wort: said to help depression
Thyme: rich in vitamin A, magnesium, potassium and iron, good for coughs, poor appetite, detoxes the liver. Gargle for inflamed gums, sore throat.
Valerian: use roots, said to help menstrual cramps, tension headaches, insomnia, and nervousness.
Watercress: use fresh, said to be a digestion stimulant, helps with urinary tract infections cleanses the liver.
White Pine Needle: said to help exhaustion, coughs, and throat irritations. It is a mild diuretic and is high in vitamin C. In a bath it is said to help gout pan, nerve pain, arthritis, sprains and muscle strains.
Wild Pansy (Johnny-Jump-Up): said to help joint pain, fever, constipation, rids the body of toxins. Use the tea as a skin wash for acne, eczema, dry scalp, dandruff and diaper rash.
Yarrow: helps digestion, menstrual complaints, removes toxins.