Mankind has had a long, harmonious, and beneficial history with the flora and fauna around him. Plants in particular have proven useful, giving humans something to eat and something to use if they are injured or ill.
The rise of pharmaceuticals allowed for the mass production of medicine. For years, our instinct is to head to the drugstore to buy prescription or over-the-counter medicine if we are ill. However, many communities all around the world did not abandon the traditional practice of using herbs, and in recent years, herbal medicine has become popular. This has resulted in the growth in production and interest in medicinal herbs.
Unknown to many, there are a lot of herbs that possess medicinal qualities. We extract these medicinal properties from herbs and make use of their medicinal potency in different ways – by eating the herbs, by chewing them, by using them to make a poultice, by burning or boiling them to inhale the smoke or vapor, and many more.
Today, there is a renewed interest in medicinal herbs. Herbs with medicinal or curative properties are now in the form of a pill or tablet or liquid suspension. The sales of oil extracted from herbs are also increasing because of the belief of the people that this will help cure them. Despite the warning that herbal capsules and tablets and oils have no approved therapeutic claims, businesses continue to produce these supplements and people continue to buy them with the hope that a natural and organic approach to treating whatever ails them is the key to being cured and achieving recovery.
Medicinal Herbs Trivia
- Even before human beings learned how to write, they already knew how to use plants to cure them.
- Hyssop has antiseptic properties, is an effective cough reliever, and expectorant. This herb was once used in the Hebrew temples during ritual cleansings of lepers.
- The herb tansy is used to cure ulcers, gallbladder problems, stomach aches and spasms, even poor appetite. This herb was regarded as a symbol of immortality by the Greeks and Romans.
- Jimson weed can be used to treat mosquito bites, but this wild herb with hallucinogenic properties has dangerous effects on the human body when ingested.
- Native perennial herb Cardinal Flower was used to treat typhoid fever.
Medicinal Herbs Buying Guide
Before you buy medicinal herbs, make sure you have consulted your doctor regarding using medicinal herbs. Make sure you’ve done sufficient research to have a good understanding of medicinal herbs, including their potential negative effects and why some people should avoid using them (contraindication). Make sure you buy the correct herb. Read the label or ask the vendor. Many herbs appear to look the same to the untrained eye.
Medicinal Herbs Production & Farming in Texas
Texas residents plant and use many plants that qualify as a medicinal herb. Some of the herbs commonly grown in Texas that possess curative or healing properties include basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, fennel, dill, mint, anise, borage, caraway, chervil, coriander, sweet marjoram, chives, peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, lovage, oregano, rosemary, sage, tarragon, and thyme.
Commercial growers of herbs are inclined to use pesticides to protect their investment and guarantee a profitable yield. Small, local, organic growers, on the other hand, often do not use pesticides. If you want to use medicinal herbs, contact your local grower and find a local source that does not use pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals.
Medicinal plants grow all over the world. Many medicinal herbs are common all around the world, while some only grow in specific parts of the world. Locals rely on what is available to them if they need medicinal herbs. Today, many herbs not grown in a particular area are still available if these are imported from the country of origin. The downside is these are usually expensive. Also, supply is limited and can run out fast, and you have to wait for the next batch to arrive.
Freshly-cut herbs are usually sold in groceries or supermarkets secured inside a plastic clamshell container. In farmers markets, it is typical to find herbs in a pile or bundle, without commercial packaging. Dried herbs used for burning or incense are usually secured with a string and wrapped in paper.
Enjoying Medicinal Herbs
For the medicinal properties of herbs to take effect, sometimes the person needs to eat them. As soon as someone who is sick can eat solid food, he or she is fed with home-cooked food that can help him or her heal and recover. Soup is a type of food commonly served to sick people and many different medicinal herbs can be used in making soup and improve the soup’s ability to restore a person back to full health. Tea is another popular way to ingest medicinal herbs. Other modern drinks like smoothies are also used to help sick people get well. Porridge is another food typically served to sick people being nursed back to health.
Freshly-cut herbs should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Dried herbs should be stored somewhere cool, dry, and away from direct sunlight.
Herbs are used in cooking for two reasons. The culinary importance of herbs is in their ability to flavor the dish. But even before, people have been including herbs in foods they cook not just for nourishment and enjoyment in eating, but in the belief that these herbs, when ingested, will help heal any illness a person is suffering from. Stews and soups are two of the most basic food prepared in the kitchen to feed sick people and bring them back to health.
In South Korea, they cook a recipe known as samgyetang which is considered a cure-all. In Japan, people eat okayu when they are not feeling well, and any medicinal and culinary herb can be added to the soft porridge. Medicinal herbs can also be added when making pastina, which Italians eat when they are sick. In Fiji, they eat rourou, while in Pakistan, they eat khichdi. In Norway, they have cauliflower soup and in Russia, they eat borscht. In Tunisia, they eat a hot and spicy soup, while in Mexico, they eat Albondigas soup. Most of these dishes contain at least one ingredient considered a medicinal herb. Others can be improved by adding medicinal herbs to the ingredients.
Herbs offer a wide range of nutritional benefits as well as medicinal benefits, and these are too many to mention considering the long list of medicinal herbs from which we get nutritional and medicinal benefits from. This is the reason why many herbs are considered medicinal herbs, because not only do these herbs nourish us, it also helps alleviate our illnesses. Medicinal herbs have vitamins, minerals, and other properties that can heal the sick, alleviate illnesses, and nurse the body back to full health.