I grew up in a family that had some very serious health issues. We spent days at the hospital in the early months of my sisters illness, to finally be told there was nothing that medicine could do except give a 4 year-old adult doses of Phenobarbitol and Dylantin. My mother then set out on an exploration of every homeopathic cure all known to man (at that time – I’ve seen a bunch of new ones since then!). None of them cured her, and some of them were downright nasty, but I’m sure I’m a healthier person today because of them.
After the countless hours spent with doctors to no avail, my mother pretty much turned her back on the whole idea of doctors being of any use (except as a suitable match for me). I’ve never completely outgrown that, and recently my daughter and I have started actively pursuing herbal and natural remedies.
For the time being, we’re making do with dried herbs that we get from the health food store, but in the last month our yard has “sprouted” a couple dozen new pots, with everything from rosemary, sage, dill, cilantro, marjoram, basil, lemon grass to arnica, tansy, lemonbalm, comfrey, mugwort, tea tree, turmeric, curry leaf, and a few others I can’t think of right now.
A couple of examples of how and why we like these types of remedies –
About a week and a half ago I smashed my thumb. It almost immediately turned dark purply black. And hurt like a son of a gun (it bruised all the way down to the joint). I made a “tea” of sage and water and started soaking my thumb in it. Within a half hour it didn’t hurt at all. I kept soaking it off and on during the day (mostly when it would start hurting again, or itching) and it would relieve it. By the next day the discoloration around the point of direct impact was almost completely gone. Jess made an “herbal oil” that I was able to bandage my thumb with over night a couple of times. And now, the bruising at the actual point of impact is starting to fade, and I don’t think I’m going to lose the nail.
Day before yesterday my eyes started getting really itchy. I’ve been having trouble with them for several weeks now due to allergies, but it was minimal. Day before yesterday, it almost felt like I had pink eye, they were so bad. Jess made a strong tea of chamomile, red clover and mullein. There was of course immediate relief from the coolness of the compress, but after about 15-20 minutes the itching was significantly reduced, and after 2 or 3 applications, they had quit watering.
Now granted, when I need to go somewhere, this takes more time than I can give it, but as much as possible I much prefer this to putting drugs in my body to find out years later I’m damaging my kidneys, or liver, or whatever.
We bought a couple of books at the health food store that cover a pretty nice range of herbs and foods and how they are beneficial and what for. We are looking forward to experimenting more with picking our medicines out of the yard!