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The Top Ten Herbal Remedies

Sunday, 12 May 2013 16:03 Written by  Cina & Preppinginva

Herbal medicines or Traditional medicines have been around for as long as man has and are the basis of modern medicines. David Hoffman, a clinical phytotherapist (herbal medicine) for 20 years, says that medicinal plants have been used for several millennia and as recently as 60 years ago, our pharmacopeias showed that modern drugs were derived from plants.

In the report, Regulatory Situation of Herbal Medicines A worldwide Review, written by Xiaorui Zhang for the World Health Organization, states that Medicinal plants have been around since the beginning of mankind, is still used today, and is an important part of our healthcare around the world. Herbal medicines are critical for pharmacology research and development as many are the basis of modern medicines. 

Tammi Hartung, a medical herbalist, organic grower, lecturer, and teacher at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies and the School of Natural Medicine says:

‘The tradition of humans using plants for our own needs is an integral part of our historical role in living as a part of the world. It brings to the forefront of our consciousness a very important concept: It is not our intended purpose to control the world but rather to exist in partnership with all other living creatures on this planet.’

I think as preppers we understand the above statement from Tammi Hartung more than the rest of humankind. We prepare for the inevitable, for what might happen, for living as close to the land, to nature, as we possibly can. We know there will come the time when we will have no one but ourselves to depend on. In fact we welcome that time. For a lot of us preppers, that means re/learning the old ways. New ways. Simpler ways. We use, reuse everything. 

Because we, as preppers, reveal in relearning the old ways, we turn to herbal medicines. We know there may be the time when we won’t be able to have access to modern medicines. However, some of us know that relearning the old ways of medicine is healthier and cheaper with few if any side effects. 

People, not just preppers, who return to the old ways of medicine, understand that most modern medicine is an artificial form of the plant. For example:

White Willow Bark has been used for ages. It’s used for inflammation, fevers, and pain. In 1829 experts in Europe discovered the medicinal ingredient was salicin. Yet, because removing salicin from White Willow Bark was not cost/time effective an artificial form was created. Salcylic acid. Aspirin. However, aspirin has side effects. Stomach ulcers and bleeding. White Willow Bark does not have these side effects. 

Like any type of medicines, herbals have their negative effects. Some herbs shouldn’t be taken while pregnant, with certain medical conditions or to excess. Also, like any other medicines, some herbals should not be taken for long periods of time because they lose their effectiveness. However, do your own research. Test different herbs or combination of herbs to see which work best for you. We all are different. What may work for you for a certain medical condition may not work for your neighbor, mother, spouse or child.  

Let the following list of herbs and their uses aid you as you start your investigations. 


Cayenne aids your circulation. Some say that cayenne can help stop heart attacks. It is also used to stop bleeding, and for pain relief, especially for joints & muscles. Because cayenne will boost your metabolism it can help in weight loss. However, certain conditions can be aggravated with the use of cayenne. 

White Willow Bark:

As mentioned previously, white willow bark is used as a pain reliever, reduces inflammation and can help reduce fever. If you have arthritis white willow bark is excellent herb to use.


Not only does lavender smell wonderful, but it is an excellent addition to anyone’s garden. There are numerous products on the market with lavender. Lavenders calming effects are used in not only adult products but children’s products as well. Lavender helps in depression, skin issues and pain.


Catnip is not just for cats! Catnip aids in nervous disorders, stress, digestive issues, eases cold/flu symptoms, has astringent properties and is used as a sedative. So, the next time you’re feeling stressed, steal the cat’s catnip toy. 

Cat’s Claw:

No not a real cat claw. This herb is called cat’s claw because the thorns on this plant are thought to resemble a cat’s claw. This purrrfect little plant aids in digestion, helps relieve both types of arthritis, reduces inflammation, aids with ulcers and promotes wound healing. There is some evidence that cat’s claw affects the immune system. It is also thought to stop the spread of cancer cells. Some research suggests that cat’s claw can help with cell damage caused from radiation or chemo.

Bee Balm:

Bee balm, or Oswego tea, as an ointment helps with healing rashes, bug bites, wounds, cold sores and acne. As a mouth rinse, bee balm aids in healing sores and as a gargle will sooth sore throats. Bee balm also aids in digestion, reduces gas, increases appetite, soothes colic, eases bloating, lessens menstrual cramps, and it reduces nausea & vomiting. Bee balm also has astringent and antibacterial properties. 


Most of us know chamomile as a tea. It is soothing, relaxing and a great de-stresser. It also aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can help with skin problems. Chamomile is good for children’s health issues, because its mild, delightful flavor. 

Rose Hips:

Rose hips are most famous for their antioxidant properties. Rose hips are the little red ‘berries’ you see after the wild rose flower dies off. Rose hips are high in vitamin C, E, beta-carotene and lycopene. They aid in arthritis, ulcers, diabetes, urinary tract infections, gout, sciatica, gallstones & back pain. They also are a mild laxative, diuretic, and astringent.

Scull Cap:

Scull cap or skull cap is commonly used to treat insomnia, inflammation, hepatitis, cancer, epilepsy, and atherosclerosis. Research suggests that skull cap can aid in the memory impairment related to Alzheimer’s. Additional research states that skull cap can safeguard nerve cells against impairment from Parkinson’s. Scull cap can also slow the growth of prostate cancer.


Now we have a good excuse to eat cinnamon toast in the morning again. MMMMMM. Cinnamon has antiseptic, astringent, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-nausea, anti-flatulence, and anti-diarrheal properties. It also aids with diabetes, digesting and it promotes sweating. Additionally, cinnamon helps with menstrual pain. It should be cautioned that although cinnamon helps with diabetes, you should talk with your doctor if you are using any type of insulin before starting a cinnamon regiment.


Works sited

Hoffmann, David. “Holistic Herbal.” Boston, MA: Element Books Unlimited. 1996. Print

WHO. “Regulatory Situation of Herbal Medicines a World Wide Report” by Dr. Xiaorui Zhang. WHO, 2012. Web. 12 April 2010

Hartung, Tammi. :Growing 101 Herbs That Heal Gardening Techniques, Recipes, and Remedies.” North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing, 2000, Print. Medicine. 2013. Web. 7 May 2013.


Last modified on Monday, 13 May 2013 21:11
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