Our first form of medicine was herbs. Even with our scientific advances, plants are still one of our most valuable healthcare resources.
Discussions about healthcare tend to focus on big-ticket items like hospital stays, doctor visits and medical tests. But that is only a fraction of healthcare and doesn’t even address the issue of prevention.
It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of healthcare is done in the home.
That 80 percent comes from treating things like colds, sore throats, cuts, allergies, headaches, stress, digestion, vomiting, bug bites, infections, fevers, teething, rashes and other everyday ailments.
And who takes care of these ailments when they arise? You do.
That means you have a choice. Do you reach for that bottle of over-processed, sugar-laced cold remedy or do you put on the kettle for tea? Herbs can help heal the deeper issue and not just treat the symptoms. Here are four medicinal herbs that should be a part of your first aid kit:
Chamomile. Use for fevers; sore throats; the aches and pains due to colds, flu and allergies. Helpful for digestion, stress and insomnia. Safe for kids.
Echinacea. Use for treating colds, flu, respiratory distress, sinus infections, sore throats, fevers and urinary tract infections. Strengthens and supports the immune system.
Ginger. Use as an expectorant for colds, flu or bronchial congestion and to promote sweating. Helps to treat nausea, gas and indigestion. Strengthens the heart, gets blood moving, and brings warmth to a cold body. Relieves morning sickness in pregnant women.
Peppermint. Use to treat colds, coughs and chest congestion, using its antibacterial properties to fight infection. Helps to relieve nausea, stomach spasms and indigestion, and to expel gas.
To make herbal tea from leaves and flowers, simply pour boiling water over the herbs, cover and let steep for 20–30 minutes. Use 1–3 tablespoons of dried herb for each cup of water. The more you use and the longer you let it steep, the stronger the tea.
Herbal teas can be enjoyed hot, at room temperature or cold. Once brewed, an herbal tea should be stored in the refrigerator and will remain good for a couple of days.
Wishing you a day filled with JOY!
Melanie Dunlap, CNHP, RMT/LMT
Melanie Dunlap knows firsthand what it is like to be so passionate about helping others that you burn yourself out. Personal struggles with stress, nutrition and destructive self-talk prompted Dunlap to respond to her own breast cancer diagnosis with herbs, energy and ceremony to create a happy body and healthy spirit.
As founder of the Peaceful Spirit Enrichment Center, winner of the 2015 Best Natural Healing Center, Dunlap has helped thousands of women find their path to a healthier, happier, more heart-centered life.
Her skills as an herbalist, massage therapist and Reiki Master/teacher are a natural fit for her journey, all combining into her work as a Certified Natural Health Practitioner. With more than 20 years of experience in holistic therapies, Dunlap has developed a unique blend of intuition and knowledge that offers practical and inspiring guidance to awaken personal awareness and create sustainable action.
As a speaker and workshop facilitator, Dunlap’s authentic style and Southern charm make everyone feel inspired and empowered. She is known to many as the Earth Mother Herbalist, and her full-moon Labyrinth walks are a beacon for those looking to experience a sense of peace and belonging. Change is inevitable but growth is optional, so Dunlap created the annual AZ Goddess Conference in New River, Ariz., to give women the opportunity to come together as a group to grow, learn, laugh and recharge.
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