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Medicinal herbs

Forgotten Herbs: They May Not Be Sexy, but They Are Effective

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 by: Kal Sellers
Tags: medicinal herbs, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) It is human nature to forget anything that is not sexy, exciting, expensive, tasty and which does not promise far more than it delivers. This character trait is one we shall have to outgrow if we wish to really better ourselves. The predictability of this human weakness puts corrupt leaders in political office, leads away the world after advertisements that will ultimately destroy them and sabotages the best intentions for health and healing.

Sexy herbs are rarely able to do what they are promoted to do, largely because health does not come from herbs, diet or environment. It comes from within, and I am not talking about your blood. Herbs, diet, environment and exercise are tools we use on our journey as we make the change to health. That is all. The best tool in the world is useless if it is not used for what it is made for. It is like using a screwdriver as a toy that you walk around with and scratch and test and poke with. It is a waste.

On the other hand, herbs that can really help the person who is paying attention and who is really working on him/herself, are often overlooked by mainstream health and wellness hype. Thus the true disciple of health and harmony with nature is left with a lot of hype and not a lot of help.

To this end, we shall re-discover a paltry few forgotten herbs that have never quite been in vogue and which have never been given their due and which are not much used, but which are very useful.

These may provide some key elements you have been missing on your road to health and harmony with nature and within. They may show up to help you, right where you really need help. They are not sexy or expensive, but they are real, authentic and offered by nature as help for you.

Elecampane: First on my list because I think that the need for it is greatest. Elecampane (Inula helenium) is rich in inulin, the indigestible (by us) starch that is ambrosia to healthy flora. It is like spreading fertilizer on a rain forest to our flora.

Our flora-bearing surfaces in the bowel, mucus membranes and skin just burst out into huge, protective flora that covers our body in a nourishing, protective coating that heals our immune system, gives us many medicines, nutrients and checks and balances and helps us in dozens of ways not yet understood by science.

Inulin is extracted from the root of elecampane by soaking it overnight in water and then bringing it to a boil. This is immediately reduced to a very low simmer which is maintained for a couple hours. The resultant liquid is fertilizer for your healthy flora. It will help with regularity, digestion, elimination and irritable bowel conditions.

Inulin aside, elecampane contains another interesting and miraculous medicinal nutrients in a natural context. Sodium phosphate cleans the liver and digestive organs; potassium chloride dissolves fibrinous exudations (this means that it becomes very useful for cysts of all types, clusters under the skin, mucus blocks throughout the body, mucus blocks in the elimination systems, clearing debris from interstitial spaces that block lymph flow -- a condition that leads to low oxygen, pain and immune dysfunction) and calcium chlorine is specific to feeding the heart and toning it to normal activity and health.

Elecampane is often used for the lungs because of the way it dissipates and breaks up mucus and strengthens the body's ability to expectorate.

This list is certainly effective enough to keep in my personal apothecary and to be regularly used by me.

Yucca: This herb, particularly the stalk and flowers, gets little attention, and yet I find it consistently to be the very best anti-inflammatory herb I can find. 10 of these capsules of this part of the plant (one must remember it is a food and not an isolated medicine, so you will need more of it) leaves me feeling as good as Aleve used to, and for just as long.

Usually after three or four days of use, the condition changes away from the inflammatory state. This action, where the condition alters and disappears is an herbal action called "alternative."

Kelp: With all the seaweed supplements on the market and all the hype around them, I am always disappointed that the very prolific Kelp does not get included most of the time.

Kelp is, in my opinion, the most valuable seaweed of all. It is uncontested in its ability to protect from radiation poisoning. It stimulates and heals the thyroid (the only caution lies here, if you have an overactive thyroid, kelp should not be used until that condition is healed). It provides all essential minerals and iodine. It detoxifies every system and part of the body and removes heavy metals and liver toxins.

Kelp is a way to protect one's self against radiation and radioactive particles found everywhere today. Kelp also has an affinity for super-toxins (like really poisonous chemicals in our world) and it will bind to them and render them neutral and easy to eliminate.

Mallow: Any malva or mallow species will work to soothe irritated tissues wherever they are. This herb is so good that just holding the tea in your mouth will cause softening and healing of the mucus membranes.

If I were treating Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome or fistulas of the bowel, I would use mallow in great quantity. This herb puts the fire out, heals the bowel and pulls out toxins that prevent healing.

Mallow root is generally taken in capsules at doses of 8-12 capsules one time daily to create a healing poultice for the colon.

In addition to this, mallow is so nutritious that it is on my list of teas that can replace mother's milk (well, make no mistake, there is no replacement for mother's milk) in the event that the baby cannot nurse. This herb will make a thick tea (full of nutrient-rich mucilage) that will feed the baby and fill them up as good as mother's milk and will keep them soothed and calm and healthy.

Apples: An apple per day really might keep the doctor away for more reasons than we have space to address.

Apples dissolve mineral deposits, improve or remove fibromyalgia, carry vast amounts of oxygen, kill cancer, heal the liver and all vital organs, heal deep injuries to the emotional heart and support normal flora.

Apples will destroy any pathogenic microorganism and will feed and heal the immune system.

Apples flush stored fat and fatty toxins out of the body so that a person on an otherwise healthy program can begin eating one apple in the morning and one before bed after all food has digested and will lose excess weight.

Slippery elm: Why in the world this herb has fallen out of use is beyond me. In some circles it is still used. Slippery elm is great for the immune system and for mucus membranes. It has anti-carcinogenic effects and has the ability to heal areas of the body that have been violently damaged due to injury or surgery.

Slippery elm is another of my baby foods and all of my children get this as part of the weaning process and for food when they are away from momma for some reason.

The recipe for slippery elm gruel is available for free from (www.KalsSchool.com) to registered users (registration is free) from the downloads page under the title "Preparations Printout."

Slippery elm helps with earaches and sore throat and such and is very pleasant to taste. In a weak person who can hold down no food, slippery elm will almost always stay down with ease.

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum): This herb deserves about as much praise as elecampane for some things. Boneset cleans out the stomach and liver and the reproductive organs. It gets its name because it helps with boneset fever. This means that it turns a failing (and potentially harmful) fever, into a successful one -- successful because it provides struggling areas with the needed nutrients and immune activity.

This means that a fever can become your friend much easier with this herb. An old natural healer said, "Give me a fever and I will heal anything." This statement comes from the fact that under a fever, if the system is fed wisely, the body almost becomes fetal in its activity, able to regenerate, change or reset any system, disease or body part in a few hours. High fevers also destroy cancer cells (they die at 105 F, human tissue, in a healthy fever, is not damaged until 107 F).

Boneset is also very good for night sweats and is somewhat anti-periodic (a big word that means it helps with any condition that seems to appear and disappear with regularity, such as night sweats, PMS, rheumatism, etc.).

Boneset also improves bile flow through the liver and the gall bladder, meaning that it cleans and clears them and helps the liver detoxify because that flow is occurring and the liver is not constipated.

Carrot tops: While the whole carrot is useful for the pituitary, the top is a specific food for all the master glands in the brain, but especially the pituitary.

It has been noted that drinking fresh, raw carrot juice every day for two weeks takes an average of 10 years off the face and appearance of the person who does it. This is partly due, no doubt, to the pituitary action and the resultant HGH (human growth hormone) that naturally occurs and regenerates vitality to a more youthful state.

These and other forgotten herbs are well to know because they are inexpensive, safe to use and very helpful.

Until next time, Kal Sellers, MH

About the author

Kal Sellers, MH currently operates KalsSchool.com and teaches a 2-year curriculum for Natural Medicine, via live teleclasses.
Kal is a Master Herbalist and holds several other certificates and licenses for hands-on healing modalities. He maintains a current practice in the Atlanta area.
Kal and Traci have six children, the last four of which were delivered at home. They live now in Powder Springs, GA where they teach live classes on food and medicine. Kal is also a full time Chiropractic student.

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