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  • Using Herbs

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    9 posts, 5 voices, 1313 views, started Oct 6, 2010

    Posted on Wednesday, October 6, 2010




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      Pearl
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      The following sums up my philosophy concerning the correct use of herbs:

      If you decide to buy capsules, of this or any herb, make sure it says "standardized" on the bottle. This means that the manufacturer has made certain that each pill is of the same potency.  

      The thing about herbs is that the effectiveness can vary from plant to plant. How potent an herb is can depend on what other plants that herb is growing next to. Herbs develop substances as a defense from other plants. The beneficial properties that an herb develops is like its immune system. For example, jewelweed is an antidote to poison ivy. All jewelweed will counteract poison ivy; however, jewelweed that grows near poison ivy (and it usually does) will have developed stronger properties against that plant so a jewelweed plant that grows near poison ivy will be more effective at stopping the rash than a jewelweed plant that hasn't grown near poison ivy.

      This is one reason why most herbs are more effective when used in certain combinations and why sometimes an herbal remedy is effective and sometimes it isn't. If you try an herbal remedy and it doesn't work, then the plant was probably not grown in the right conditions or you aren't using in the right combination with other things or the herb you used might be too old.  

      The pharmaceutical companies are trying to do with herbs what they have done with drugs, but they have the wrong attitude. The drug companies try to isolate one substance from a plant and make it into a single pill. Wrong. It just doesn't work that way. With herbs and with food, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. A wholistic approach needs to be taken. Isolating one substance in an herb is never going to be as effective as using the whole, properly grown and harvested herb.

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          Cathie Beck wrote Oct 11, 2010
        • Bernadette, thanks for the information about where an herb grows. That makes so much sense to me. And I agree with the information of what the drug companies do in producing drugs that mimic herbs. I believe it’s why so many drugs have horrible side effects.  

          Cathie



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          Cathie Beck wrote Oct 11, 2010
        • Ok, I thought I’d share my use of herbs for my wolf dog’s seizures with you Ladies. I tincture the passionflower (sedative) and skullcap (nervine) separately and then mix them in equal parts to keep in a jar in the herbs pantry. I use a plastic syringe I got with buying the children’s Motrin, find the gap between teeth with my finger and slowly give him the dose of tinctured herbs. The alcohol of the tincture gives the herbs a fast delivery method because it goes directly into his blood stream.  

          I can’t say how much to give an animal off the top of my head, my wolf dog weighs more than I do so I figured out his dosage by that, and also by his response time to the herbs.
          There’s some good books on herbal remedies for animals. One is “All you wanted to know about Herbs for Pets” by Mary and Gregory Tilford.  

          Cathie



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          Cynthia Schmidt wrote Oct 11, 2010
        • Really good information, ladies. I haven’t used herbs much medicinally - only the culinary kind. But one thing I like is to make a tea out of ginger - not exactly an herb I know. But if you steep about a thumb size knob of ginger, chopped up in some water for about 15 minutes then strain it and add some honey or agave nectar it will take away any full feeling after a big meal, calm a cough if you have a cold or act as an expectorant if you have congestion.
          And it tastes good.



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          Cathie Beck wrote Oct 13, 2010
        • Cynthia, ginger is a “warming” herb and that is why it’s so great for digestion. Here’s more about it. It’s often used with other herbs as a “carrier” herb, meaning... it helps delivery of the medicinal properties of other herbs. Tinctures make a quick run into the blood stream while teas and capsules go slowly through our digestion system. Ginger will speed that up.  

          Oh, and ginger is real good for easing gas. I like the candied ginger pieces because it's like treating a discomfort with a treat.    

          Cathie



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          007pouty wrote Oct 13, 2010
        • Bernadette,
          Thank you for the information.  I just came from the doctor today and she told me to get ginger for my nausea.  I’m glad I read about “standard” now I’ll be sure to check.   This is my last resort before she has to send me somewhere else for another medicinal drug that I do not approve of, but at this point would take if it helped with not feeling nauseous all the time.



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          Cathie Beck wrote Oct 14, 2010
        • Morning Bernadette,
          There’s some decent books on herbs for cats & dogs. I recently heard that wormwood is good for fleas also, but I’d try the tansy because the wormwood is listed as toxic and I don’t want to rub it between my hands. ;oP
          While we‘re talking about books, my oldest herb book is John Lust’s, The Herb Book. Lots of good information! It just has line drawings of herb, but descriptions are detailed.  

          Cathie



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  • Herbs and Their Uses View Group »

    A place for people to discuss growing and using herbs.