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Knowing the properties of plants growing in your backyard (or along the backcountry trails) can prove to be very important to your family’s well being. Today we’ll look at some powerful plant remedies that have been used for ages and are proven winners.
There are many different plants that can be used as natural remedies. Here are a few of the more potent medicinal plants you’re likely to find in the wild – or even someone’s backyard – that can help with minor injuries, scrapes, bites, and pains.
As always, talk to a medical professional and read my disclaimer.
Books About Plant Remedies
550 Herbs and Remedies for Common AilmentsA Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use150 Herbal Remedies to Heal Common Ailments
5 Medicinal Plants Every Prepper Needs To Stock
This great little plant has antimicrobial properties and can be used to treat minor infections. Other common ailments that can be alleviated by chamomile are:
- upset stomach
- the stomach flu
It’s well known that if you suffer from stomach issues, drinking chamomile tea will calm and settle your stomach.
The chamomile can also be used for menstrual cramps and help a person to fall asleep.
White echinacea is going to help your immune system. that in turn helps you fight off the flu, colds, bronchitis, and a variety of infections.
This is because echinacea increases the activity of your white blood cells. And that will raise your level of interferon, and stimulate your blood cells.
Most of the time, the white echinacea is going to be able to stop a cold dead in its tracks.
Gingko can be used to improve memory and circulation. It helps circulation by dilating the blood vessels.
Gingko can also help to strengthen some of the vessels in the brain and promote the action of the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Tired and stressed out? Taking a Ginseng supplement (or drinking some ginseng tea) will help your body perk up and handle stress a lot easier.
A cup of ginseng tea can also help:
- reduce fever from the flu
- boost immunity so the body can fight a seasonal cold and the flu
St. John’s Wort
Mostly used for its antidepressant qualities, St. John’s Wort can also be used for insomnia and to help heal some wounds.
Knowing your plants in the wild can save your you-know-what, in more ways than one!
When my son was at army cadet boot camp, his leaders put fear into their hearts about what to beware of in the woods when camping out. The leaders shared the story of a few former cadets who used the wrong leaves for toilet paper Yep... poison ivy. Shudder... cringe... yikes!!!
The story goes that it was so bad for these poor afflicted boys, that they were even taken to the hospital for treatment.
What was missing from the instruction on what to stay away from, was advice on what to use, in case you encountered poison ivy unwittingly. If those poor young men had been informed of both, prior to camping out, they might have missed that most excruciating and embarrassing, never-to-be-forgotten incident.
Even if they accidentally used the wrong leaf in the dark, they could have remedied that mistake by searching for the leaf that is the best natural poison ivy remedy, and which usually grows nearby: Jewelweed!
And yes, nature in its wisdom, placed poison ivy for wildlife to eat, unharmed, and natural remedies perfectly suited to the same growing environment, nearby.
Wherever poison ivy is growing, you will likely find the best natural poison ivy remedy nearby.
The very best results come from using the leaf in the wild. The next best thing is to make your own jewelweed extract. Read more about jewelweed:
When did modern medicine replace herbal remedies in mass consciousness? When is it that the majority began seeking wellness from a bottle instead of food from a medicinal herb garden or a walk in the woods?
Well, it turns out that "pills" have been around since ancient Egypt, where herbal concoctions would be rolled up into little balls in substances like dough and honey to make a convenient "pill" for taking your medicine.
It's hard to find specific information on the shift from natural remedies to more chemically produced pills, however, that journey has been fairly logical. As humans have become more city and suburban dwellers and less living in nature, less gardening and foraging for food, so too has our dependency on and knowledge of herbal remedies diminished.
Back to the Medicine Garden
The good news is that with a steadily growing interest in a healthier lifestyle, living off the land, gardening, and self-sufficiency, there has also been a growing interest in herbal remedies and food as medicine.
More good news is that the more of your own food you can grow and consume, the healthier you'll be and the less medicine you'll need. Your food will be your medicine and will work to maintain a healthy balance and resiliency to your immune system.
A side benefit to consuming more homegrown foods is that the more natural you eat, the more you naturally tune into what your body needs and what it reacts to. A cleaner system is like a clean filter. It makes everything function better.
That's one of the things that herbal remedies can do: keep your system strong and clean, along with wholesome, delicious homegrown foods.
9 Best Herbs to Grow for Food and Medicinal Benefit
Some of the best herbs to grow that we favor are those that have the most varied benefit as culinary foods for cooking and also as medicine. These include:
Each of these herbs has numerous specific health benefits, from the urinary tract to arthritis, strong bones to flatulence and so much more these leaves got you covered! 😊
Nature offers a multitude of solutions to recover, without side effects from some of the most problematic illnesses we can think of. There are medicinal plants that have been used in alternative medicine since the dawn of time. With more than two hundred medicinal plants found in North America alone, I think it is worth learning about what natural remedies we should use when medical aid is not available.
Herbalism and homeopathy, for example, are just two fields of therapy which use the inherent properties of plants and flowers to benefit health. Combining scientific research with historical uses, one can get a good idea about the real benefits of the plants in our backyard.
For this article, I have chosen to pick six of the plants that can be found all across North America. Some of these plants are seen as annoying weeds and most people have no idea that the plants they are trying to eradicate have amazing healing benefits.
This is one of the plants the Native Americans loved and it has been used for centuries in Europe and North America. It is widely spread across our country and you probably already had an accidental encounter with it during your hiking trips or while doing some yard work.
The stinging feeling this plant causes it’s unforgettable and it usually keeps people at bay. However, nettles are known to treat: allergies, anemia, arthritis, bronchitis, burns and scalds, fatigue, internal bleeding, kidney stones, parasites, poor circulation, pre-menstrual syndrome, urinary tract infections, and more.
Read more about stinging nettle and the other healing plants in the following article:
Dandelion, officially classed as a weed, is also a fantastically useful herbal remedy that contains a wide number of pharmacologically active compounds.
Dandelion can treat infections, bile and liver problems, and acts as a diuretic – which is probably where the popular myth that dandelion causes bed wetting originates. See 25 things you can do with dandelions below.
July through October is elderberry harvesting time, depending of course on your zone. Called a bush, that's actually a tree and yet in the honeysuckle family, elderberries can grow in most areas of the US and Canada.
Start looking for them along roadsides and hugging wooded perimeters, especially in areas of damp soil, where they can be found growing abundantly in the wild, and you might find you have a ready supply already available.
Ideal Growing Sites for Elderberries
But not to worry. If you don't have access to wild elderberries in your area, you can likely still grow them. Elderberries grow best in USDA growing zones 3-8. Elderberries grow into large shrubs, but can also be planted and trained as an edible hedge or edible fence. They have fragrant edible flowers and edible berries that are considered amongst the "superfoods" because they are nutrient-dense with high antioxidant benefits.
Elderberry as Food and Medicine
Elderberries and elderflowers are often found in natural remedies for cold and flu, but they have many other health benefits, as well. You can consume the fragrant flowers and ripened berries of the Sambucus Nigra, raw or cooked, but not the green ones. All other elderberry fruits are edible cooked only.
Never consume the leaves, roots, twigs, and stems of elderberry as they are NOT edible. Indigenous to North America, (and other parts of the world as well), Native American Indians used the berries and flowers as food and medicine and the stems and branches for tools, pipes, and weapons, such as arrows.
When it comes to foraging elderberry, you'll need to be aware of the look-alike plants that are NOT safe to eat. Lookalike plants to avoid are pokeberry and especially water hemlock, so study the differences before you head out, and better yet, take identifiers with you to be sure, such as An Edible Field Guide to North American Plants.
As always, consult a doctor and read my disclaimer. To learn more about the many health benefits, disease prevention and nutritional value of elderberries and elderflowers, plus an elderberry wine recipe, read the full article below:
Our health is at risk during the winter season and we have to make sure that the common cold or the flu won’t ruin our holidays. Although you can find all sorts of medicine to treat the health issues associated with the cold season, we should pay attention to what chemicals we put into our bodies. There’s always a better way and you should try some of the herbal remedies listed here before going to the pharmacy.
I’ve been using herbal remedies ever since I can remember and I learned their secrets from my mother and grandmother. In our family, we avoid using antibiotics or any other medicine that can have adverse effects on our health. We use natural antibiotics found in nature.
Since most of the medicinal herbs listed in this article can be purchased or grown by everyone, there is no need to seek for professional help when you‘re coming down with something.
Here is a general remedy for colds, flu and fevers that will help you. It involves using garlic, ginger and lemon and it’s pretty simple to prepare the medicine. Crush a garlic clove or two (depending on the size), grate a similar sized piece of fresh ginger and squeeze the juice from 1 lemon. Mix together with 1 tsp of honey and add ¾ cup of warm water. Drink up to 1 2/3 cups a day until the symptoms are no longer present.
Read the article below to find out more about the rest of the herbal remedies recommended for the cold season:
I prefer to support the body in fighting the infection rather than take something that bypasses this natural process. If we were in a SHTF situation, we may not have access to normal over the counter medicine to soothe a sore throat or a nasty cough.
That's why knowing some natural medical remedies can help you and your family way more than you could know. See how to make this natural cough syrup. It's available to print off too. Just cut it out and stick it on the fridge and make sure you try this.
I would rather try natural remedies than nasty chemicals they put in medicines these days. Some cough medicines you can buy over the counter still have alcohol in them... Crazy! See the recipe below.
Give plant remedies a place in your home pharmacy. Learn how to use simple things from your pantry and around the house to enhance your well-being. You’ll be so glad you took the time to educate yourself! And your family will be safer because you did.
Bonus: How to Make Pemmican, the Original Survival Food
Invented by the natives of North America pemmican was used by Indian scouts as well as early western explorers.
Native Americans spent a great deal of time on the go and depended on having portable, high-energy, highly nutritious, and filling foods that would last for long periods of time without refrigeration.
Pemmican is a portable, long-lasting, high-energy food. It's made of lean, dried meat that's crushed into powder and mixed with hot, rendered fat. This makes it one of the ultimate foods to have stockpiled for when SHTF or disaster strikes.
People really should avert their gaze from the modern survival thinking for just a bit and also look at how folks 150 years ago did it.
These guys were the last generation to practice basic things, for a living, that we call "survival skills" now.