In this world of constant pharmaceutical commercials, “ask your doctor about ZyzanticaX”, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that not that long ago our ancestors relied on plants medicines. Their treatments must have been effective seeing how our species is still around today. Many of us have no knowledge of home remedies for common illness and in fact most of us probably couldn’t survive more than a month without our current supply chains. However; there are still some indigenous cultures around the world who have passed down the knowledge both orally and written to keep it alive.
People are flocking to retreats in the Amazon to meet with Shamans to cure depression, addiction, or just to fulfill an internal calling. For instance Iboga has been found to be 80% effective in curing addiction with one ceremony, prompting the state of Vermont, to legalize it’s use to help cure their Heroin epidemic. People are facing their fears and confronting depression head on with the use of Mother Ayahuasca. Many of us know personally someone who has benefited by Shamanistic rituals using these Amazonian plants.
Much has already been written about these two wonderfully beneficial plants and I’m sure more will be written in the coming years as more people are exposed to their benefits and the Western world begins to use and except them as “real” medicine. Though I plan on trying Ayahuasca, I haven’t yet, so I will hold off on writing anymore about it until that day comes. (Can’t wait to write that one!)
Instead I’m going to focus on legal, accessible plants and foods you can use to prevent, cure or control common illness, or use when the supply chain stops for 30 days.
Garlic – This common and easy to find vegetable wasn’t on my original list, but after my experience with it last night, it’s now number one. I’ll warn you it tastes horrible and literally burns, also try not to swallow the garlic, it will make you nauseous. My wife has been fighting of colds with garlic for years will great success. I on the other hand had a headache. I thought that maybe I was coming down with something, so I grabbed a clove of garlic, chewed it some, without swallowing and powered through. Within the hour I noticed my headache was gone! Which really wasn’t my intent, but sometimes the best way to learn is by mistake. (See our post on Magnesium Citrate and Vivid Dreams) Because garlic has antibacterial properties, enhances DNA repair and can block cancer-causing substances, the National Cancer Institute recognizes it for potential anticancer properties.
- Fights Infection
- Boost Immune System
- Reduce Blood Pressure
- Performance Enhancing
- Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Tea– A traditional medicine of India and China that we drink daily, actually numerous times daily. We prefer Green Tea, but also dabble in Black and Oolong teas with the peppermint green tea dominating this holiday season. We try to stick to decaf, but simply seeping the teas twice will remove ~90% of the caffeine.
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Cancer Prevention
- Weight Loss
- Inflammatory Bowl Disease
Mint– This herb grew completely out of control in our urban garden all summer long. We used it mostly for homemade ice cream, but we also added it to our coconut oil toothpaste for a minty fresh taste. The mint essential oil is a fantastic bug spray and mixed with lavender is a great calming spray for kids and adults a like.
- Bug Repellent
- Bug Bites
- Increases Appetite
- Facial Wash
Aloe Vera– Great for sunburns and grows great in warmer climates or as a house plant. I learned this one the hard way, with a sunburn so bad I had to stay home from school for 3 days. A day at Wet and Wild in El Paso, TX with no sunblock will get you every time, but the aloe I put on it a few times a day cooled down the burn and moisturized my skin that was pocked with blisters, ouch! You can also use it for:
- Athletes Foot
- Treat Acne
Cinnamon– Not only does it taste great, but it’s great for you too. During the Holiday’s I like to sprinkle it on my eggnog, making my whiskey laden beverage healthier in my own mind. Add a small amount to food and beverages to gain the following health advantages, but go easy, cinnamon can quickly overpower dishes and become hard to swallow.
- Control Blood Sugar
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Weight Loss
- Insect Repellent
Now if the supply chain is ever cut off to your town, you’ll know some plant medicine alternatives to packaged consumer goods. Let us know how you have used these plant medicines or what you would add to the list in the comments section below.Share This: