Common Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses

Medicinal herbs in a tea cup
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How to Use Medicinal Herbs

Andrea and Mathias Reisen have been growing all types of medicinal herbs for over 30 years. They take us on a tour of their medicinal herb farm in Avoca, NY where they turn the beautiful plants that they grow into natural medicine. As Mathias takes us through the farm, he shows us powerful common medicinal herbs that can be used to boost our immune system such as elderberry, yarrow, and boneset.

Best Medicinal Herbs to Consider

Elderberry has antiviral properties, which is especially relevant now as flu season rolls in. Elderberry is commonly dried and processed into tea or syrup which can then be consumed as an immune booster. Mathias recommends giving elderberry syrup to children before they go back to school to avoid getting sick. Elderberry syrup is also great for when you are feeling under the weather as an adult. Try making a cordial and having it with your dinner!

Yarrow is another herb helpful to combat the flu. Yarrow and boneset together is actually one of the best traditional combinations for the flu. They both taste very bitter, but it’s good for when you feel the signs of the flu coming on. Yarrow is anti-inflammatory and diaphoretic, which means it will help you “sweat the flu out,” or pass it through your body quicker.

Some other natural medicinal herbs that Mathias shows us are St. John’s Wort, Ashwagandha, Red Clover, Tulsi, Echinacea, and Dandelion root. Echinacea is another great plant for boosting the immune system. Better yet, the whole plant can be used, not only the leaves, so nothing is wasted.

Ashwagandha, also called winter cherry, is used in Ayurveda. It’s the analog for American Ginseng because it has similar properties that are beneficial to the male and female reproductive system. Tulsi is holy basil and is often made into a mild-tasting tea that is good for anxiety. St John’s root is helpful as a topical for issues with nerve endings and is also known to help with depression and anxiety. It’s really great for burns on the body to help exposed nerve endings from the burn heal.

Red clover is used as a blood cleanser and breast massage to prevent cysts.

Dandelion root is good for the liver because it aids in detoxification and may help relieve some symptoms of liver disease.

Best Medicinal Herbs to Have on Hand: Mushrooms

Among the host of herbs that are grown, harvested, dried, and processed to create natural medicine at Andrea and Mathias’s herb farm are mushrooms.

Mathias shows us the entire process of growing, harvesting, and finally processing medicinal mushrooms such as Tinder Polymer, Reishi, Turkey Tail, and Lion’s Mane. All mushrooms have immune-boosting properties, but each variety has different medicinal values. Tinder Polymer is known to boost the immune system and is anti-tumor. Reishi is good for energy. Turkey tail is good for breast cancer. Lastly, Lion’s Mane is known to help cognition and brain function.

You can get all of these types of medicinal herbs at the Healing Spirits Herb Farm store. Andrea, who runs the apothecary, shows us how she makes a St John’s Wort salve which is useful for cuts, neuropathy in the feet, and any issues related to nerve endings. Her recipe consists of 1/4 cup of melted beeswax melted in 1 cup of olive oil. After the mixture cools, it hardens into the final product. As a salve, it feels nourishing and can subside any pain immediately. Andrea also suggests using the olive oil infused Saint John’s Wort as a salad dressing!

Other Common Medicinal Herbs

Other common medicinal herbs and products that are sold at the store are Solomon’s Seal Root which is good for tendons or ligaments. Because tendons and ligaments are constantly getting pulled, they tend to be too tight or too loose causing you pain. Solomon’s Seal brings tendons and ligaments back to home plate and helps relieve that pain.

If you notice that your skin is getting thin, dull, or more prone to cracking, all-purpose comfrey salve is one of the best medicinal herbs to consider. As we age, our skin begins to thin naturally, so, it can tear more easily. All-purpose comfrey salve which consists of comfrey, calendula, plantain, Saint John’s wort, can combat that by facilitating new cell growth. Calendula is especially nourishing which helps bring resilience back to our skin. The teas, salves, oils, and flower essences sold at the store have their own unique properties that help keep us young. Plants were here before we were here, so let plants help us stay healthy.

Healing Spirits Herb Farm is also giving 10% DISCOUNT to Modern Aging viewers who are interested in trying out any of their medicines derived from the top medicinal herbs.

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