Herbs for Home Treatment

Health
  • words Anna Newton

Herbalist Anna Newton shares the benefits of natural medicine...

Herbs have been used as medicines around the world for millennia: they were the original medicine in all cultures and major civilisations. Eastern countries, such as China, recognise the value of traditional medicine and incorporate it into their health care alongside their orthodox medicine. In many instances herbs are as effective as, and sometimes more effective than, conventional pharmaceuticals in treating many common health problems. Medicinal plants can often treat problems that defy modern medicine, including the common cold and chronic fatigue syndrome. They are equally applicable for ailments that arise suddenly, for instance heartburn, and for long-standing conditions, such as joint pain.

The majority of herbs carry an extremely low risk of side effects when compared with pharmaceuticals. But, although all plant medicines are natural, it would be naive to assume that they are all equally safe – some should be taken only with the guidance of a medical herbalist. You must treat herbs with respect as you would any other medicine: stick to the recommended dosage and make sure your information comes from suitably qualified professionals. Make your own remedies...

HOMEMADE INSECT REPELLENT

10-20 drops essential oil of citronella
10-20 drops esssential oil of lemongrass or rosemary
100ml lavender aromatic water base
Mix ingredients together and pour into a spray-top container.
Adults and children over 3 years: spray every 4 hours on exposed areas of skin. (Not suitable for children under 3 years or for pregnant women.)

PSORIASIS

20g calendula or comfrey cream
5ml St John’s wort infused oil
Mix well. Transfer to a clean, dark glass jar making sure that there are no air pockets left. Store for up to 12 months.
Adults and children over 2 years: apply to the affected areas twice a day.

ANTISEPTIC & HEALING CREAM

20 drops tea tree essential oil
50g calendula or comfrey cream
Mix well and transfer to a clean, dark glass jar, making sure that there are no air pockets left. Store for up to 12 months.
Adults and children over three years: apply to the affected skin 1-3 times a day. Note: this cream may sting temporarily if the skin is broken.

MIX FOR HOT FLUSHES

5ml black cohosh (tincture strength 1:2)
20ml sage (tincture strength 1:2)
35ml wild yam (tincture strength 1:2)
20ml hawthorn flowers (tincture strength 1:2)
20ml St John’s wort (tincture strength 1:2)
Mix ingredients together. Pour into a clean, dark glass bottle. Label with the contents and the date. Store at room temperature for up to a year.
Adult dose: 5ml diluted with some water, 2-3 times a day.

ANTI-ANXIETY MIX

20ml hops (tincture strength 1:2)
20ml lemon balm (tincture strength 1:2)
30ml valerian (tincture strength 1:1)
30ml passionflower (tincture strength 1:2)
Mix ingredients together. Pour into a clean, dark glass bottle. Label with the contents and the date. Store at room temperature for up to a year.
Adult dose: 5ml diluted with some water, 2-3 times a day.

Herbs for Home Treatment by Anna Newton is published by Green Books and is available for £14.95 from all good bookshops and www.greenbooks.co.uk