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Alternative Medicine

Alternative Health Healing Herbs

The first alternative health remedies weren’t alternative at all. They were mainstream.

Alternative Health Herb WillowWillow: An Alternative Health Remedy

The first alternative health remedies weren’t alternative at all. They were mainstream.

An early example of this was aspirin. For thousands of years folks knew that willow bark helped ease pain. The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, talked about using powdered willow for headache, pain and fever in the third century B.C.

But it wasn’t until 1829 that the pain-relieving part of willow was discovered. It was called salicin. Even then, it took another 10 years to make a stable form, called salicylic acid. And they left it at that.

But in 1899 the process was rediscovered. It wasn’t until 1915 that Bayer made a commercial product from it.

Many other modern medicines have their roots in herbs. But there is something lost in the process. That’s because the natural factors that go along with the isolated ingredient are missing. And we are learning that these factors are crucial. Without them, the effect is not as good. There is wisdom in nature.

What Other Alternative Health Remedies Are Available?

There are many. To become an expert in this field takes many years. But you have lots of resources if you want to do reasearch.

I recommend looking at different sources before taking a new herb. A good source is a post on News Olio. The article is called, “Alternative Health: The Healing Power of Herbs.”

The article lists 18 different herbs for healing. Most of these are common cooking spices. Rosemary, garlic, allspice, mint and chives all make the list.

Here’s what they say about herbal medicine in general:

Medicinal herbs have been used by man for thousands of years. Through time, they learned the uses of herbs through trial and error. As a matter of fact, there isn’t a culture on earth that doesn’t include the use of herbs as medicines in its historical record, even when that record is part of an oral tradition passed down from generation to generation by tribal elders, historians and medicine men. It is doubtful that mankind could have survived on earth without herbs. These natural remedies have been relied upon and used throughout history, to treat ailments of every description, including arthritis, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive and bowel disorders, sexual problems, obesity, acne, psoriasis, colds, flu, infections – the list goes on and on.

Generally, people are encouraged to use herbs as a supplement to help them stay well, rather than just when they become ill. An herb generally works on the body in one of three ways: it can purge the body of impurities, it can build up the immune system, or it can strengthen the constitution of an organ so it will heal itself. Individual herbs can accomplish one or more of these functions, and specific herbs are used for specific ailments although there is often more than one herb which can aid in the treating of an ailment.

Later, they also talk about how to use these:

Some of these herbs are used externally in the form of lotions, ointments and salves. Other herbs are used internally in the form of tinctures, infusions, decoctions or raw. An infusion or tea, is a formula in which the medicinal portion of an herb is steeped in very hot water for two to five minutes or until the desired strength is achieved. A decoction is similar to an infusion, however, the roots, bark and otherwise more fibrous materials are used and boiled for a longer period of time. Tincture is prepared by putting 4 oz. dried or 10 oz. fresh herbs in a jar; add 500 ml. of 60 proof alcohol. Stand for two weeks then strain. Since metal cookware may chemically alter a decoction or tincture, it is recommended that ceramic or glass utensils are used.

Is it more effort to use these alternative health remedies? Sometimes. But many people find that the extra effort is worth it.

 

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