Most of the herbs I have chosen because I can testify to their effectiveness. Most are very accessible and you are likely to see them whilst walking outside, not realising they are nutritional and healing powerhouses.
Stinging Nettle (Latin: Urtica dioica)
My first is a weed that many of us have engaged because its known for its nasty sting – hence its name – Stinging Nettle. It is found all over and hard to get rid of – but after reading this you wouldn’t want to.
Nettle is a nutritious food and has a range of vitamins and minerals including Vitamins A, C and D and the minerals Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and iron – it can even be used as part of a protocol to treat Iron deficiency anaemia. So enjoy it as part of a wonderfully cooked meal (please do cook it to get rid of the sting). What I love most about this weed is its anti allergen effect i.e it can help reduce the allergic response. I would often wake up with itchy eyes, the sniffles and summer could be very difficult, but after spending a few months drinking Nettle tea, I can say those reactions went. So if you want to avoid the impact of hay fever season, start drinking your nettle tea daily from now and then smile throughout summer.
Chamomile (Latin: Matricaria chamomilla)
We all know of this plant in tea form, as it’s usually sold as a calming remedy, and indeed it is an effective calming remedy.
But I love this for another reason and that is its anti spasmodic impact. This tea has become my main stay during my period and is very effective in reducing the painful cramps of my period. I make a strong tea and drink a cafetière full a day. Doing that I go from taking painkillers 3/4 times a day, to once (if that).
This calming, anti inflammatory and anti spasmodic effect also makes Chamomile amazing for the gut and the healing of the mucous membranes. Chamomile is also slightly bitter and can be used by children who suffer from constipation.
But please check that you have no allergies to the family this plant comes from – the Asteracea and check with doctors the cause of your painful periods to make sure there isn’t an underlying condition that needs to be looked at.
Marigold (Latin: Calendula officinalis)
This is my go to herb for the skin, I used it on my nephew who had a rash on his chest that wouldn’t go. I gave him Calendula infused oil and within a few days it was gone never to return. The herbs healing and soothing properties make it a great wound herb. Oddly enough it has its use for healing internal ‘wounds’ like those found in the gut eg gastric ulcers.
I love it, because not only is it great at healing the skin (as it promotes the growth of granulation tissue) but it is also anti infective, so can help prevent infection on the skin. Calendula can also be applied to the nipple of a mother whose had candida on the nipple. You can even make a bath of cool Calendula tea as a remedy to sooth nappy rash or an eye wash for conjunctivitis!
But again make sure you are not allergic to the plants family, and note that this is also called marigold and there are a few marigolds.
Dandelion (Latin: Taraxacum Officinalis)
Most know this plant from their childhood. We would blow the seeds heads and make wishes. Its a very study plant that you can find eeeeeevvvverrrryyyywhere.
This amazing plant improves digestion, and also helps improve (in a number of ways) how your body clears waste.
The leaves are nutritious and they are rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium so a great addition to salads. Its also a diuretic (makes you pee) so it helps the kidney to clear metabolic waste. Also we loose potassium with diuretics, so its amazing that the leaf comes with potassium built in!
The leaf and the roots are bitter so great for encouraging the secretion of digestive juices. But I love the root because of its liver supporting abilities. Now the Liver does a brilliant job of detoxifying the body eg it clears excess hormones, the liver also produces bile which is important in our ability to absorb fats. So the liver is an essential organ and this plant is a great tonic for the liver.
I hope I have sparked some curiosity about the amazing plants around you. If you would like to learn more about my journey to becoming a herbalist please visit my YouTube or Instagram @Tsofanye.
Please also consult your doctor should you wish to take up any treatments, and also contact https://nimh.org.uk/ if you wish to consult a qualified herbalist and go down the path of healing using plants.