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  #1  
Old 11-14-2006, 08:07 AM
Smoky
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Default Medicinal plants

I'm curious about what plants other people grow (legally) to treat themselves or their animals for various ailments. Please share if you have any you like.
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  #2  
Old 11-14-2006, 12:45 PM
alma alma is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Check Altnature.com for all kinds of the info you mention that either grow wild in your own back yard, or you can cultivate yourself. love, alma
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2006, 05:34 AM
Smoky
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Thanks Alma.
I am asking what folks on this forum are growing for medicinal purposes. Apparently everyone who voted "for" the forum expansions in this area are busy now with other things.
Springtime is the usual time for an increase in nature awareness, but we can talk about it all winter, and be more ready for spring, (I hope).
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2006, 01:13 PM
alma alma is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

I am learning about herbal stuff and applying what i can.

I finally got purple cone flowers to grow this year, and they really took off.

Even though the flowers are long gone, i am still picking up leaves each day and have a lot of them dried and stored.

They sure make good tea, and it enhances the immune system, i hope.

I simply wash them a little and lay each one on a paper towel for a couple of days, and voila!

There are still dandylions growing in the yard, but i can't bend over enough to pick them, but manage to find quite a few leaves in the small raised garden that i have.

They make good tea also, as do the mint and spiriment.

I have comfrey, lambsquarter, and had lemon balm all summer, but drank it all up.

I had catnip in my little garden last year, but it didn't grow this year.

There is german camomile all around here, and plantain, etc. but i have not messed with them yet.

We have two japanese ===forget name, and they are edible, too, but i haven't learned that much yet.

Hopefully next year i will be around to put in a few new things that i might have forgotten to mention today.

I'd love to get some thyme and other such things, too, but time will tell.

It sure is a good idea to exchange notes this winter, and maybe some people have a lot to add to this little conversation. love, alma






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  #5  
Old 11-17-2006, 08:28 PM
wolfe wolfe is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

How do you make lemon balm tea? I have lots of it but only use it for lemon flavor in iced tea. I need to know how much to use and how long to steep. Any help is appreciated.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2006, 08:50 PM
alma alma is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

My lemon balm is all gone for the year now, but i used to wash it lightly, lay each leaf on a paper towel for a couple of days, none overlapping the other, and then boiled my water and put as many leaves as i wanted depending upon strength i desired.

That is how i drink the purple cone flower, (echanea sp)
and dandylions now, and mint, etc.

As i said, i am just leaning, too, so might be doing it wrong. I want all the immune system help i can get so hope this is right. love, alma
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2006, 09:30 AM
Smoky
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

With any herb tea, you can decide for yourself the strength, that's another thing that is so great about it! You will know by the taste if it's too strong.
As a general rule-of-thumb, I use a quarter to a half cup of leaves if they are fresh, a couple teaspoons of leaves if they are dried. I don't really measure since I keep as much dried leaves as I'm going to use all winter, then go back to the fresh when they're out again in spring.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2006, 09:44 AM
ByExample ByExample is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Hello herb lovers,

I love to gather fresh herbs and make my own teas. We are in the process of moving to our permanent homestead, so we have not started a medicinal garden yet. In the meantime, I gather wild herbs and harvest in my neighbors' gardens.

I live in AZ and yellow cone flowers grow well in the climate, and I plan to grow them. They have similar properties to echinacea (i think alma referred to this as purple cone flower). It is an immune booster also.

I prepare my tea herbs by bundling them with cord and hanging them to dry. If they are buggy, I wash them first. It is important to let them dry until they are crispy, but not to overdry them, as they will lose potency. Herbs store best in a cool, dry, DARK location.

Other medicinal herbs that I use include: lemon balm (just steep dry leaves for tea), peppermint, thyme, basil, rosemary. All mints are antioxidants, and I mix them however I want for "multi mint antioxidant tea."

I find lemon balm to a good daily tonic for relieving anxiety, and I often eat it right out of the garden. Of course if you can grow a lemon tree - lemon is great for fighting sickness of all sort. Particularly good for soothing the throat. Include lemon/lemon peel into teas, or press against your lip to treat a cold sore.

We haven't experimented with growing ginger and tumeric yet, but both of these roots are superb healers, for lots of things. Currently, I'm taking tumeric capsules and it is helping with muscle pain/carpel tunnels.

more later....

mel
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2006, 09:20 PM
bookwormom bookwormom is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Herbs grow on you. Lets see, I have lavender, thyme, yarrow, lemon balm, lovage, valerian, St. Johns wort, stinging nettle, calendula, comfry in the garden. Oh and horehound and peppermint, also sweet woodruff. I gather from the wild raspberry and strawberry leaves, blackberry leaves, blueberry leaves, elderblossoms, plantain (broadleaf and narrow) dandelion, coltsfoot, red clover. there are several that I wish would grow here, like hawthorne. Just because it is an herb does not mean I pick it, I may not need it. some are used for tea, some I tincture, like comfrey root (dig at the full moon) some are used in salves, like calendula, some are smelled, like lavender and woodruff(but also used in tea). and some are vegetables, like cabbage. Oh, and I have aloe vera of course. agrimony and lobelia grow around here, too.
I raised ginger this season, it did well, then I let it get frostbitten. dumb mistake.
Elderblossom is supposed to really boost the immunesystem, as studies in Israel have shown. It has anti viral properties. oh, and how could I forget passion flower, and my hop vine. I strip the leaves off the stems and lay the leaves on screen trays, no need to lay them down leaf by leaf, just spread a few handfuls and turn them every so often. when they are dry I put them in metal canisters with tigth lids. those popcorn tins are good. but they have to be really dry or else they will get mouldy. when I lived in a drier climate I tied bunches with a string and hung them from the rafters.

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  #10  
Old 11-27-2006, 02:21 AM
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Gwynyvyr Gwynyvyr is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

I have a pretty comprehensive library of herbal medicine books...the first one, for basics, and for folks that aren't real familiar with herbal/alternative medicine is
The Green Pharmacy by James Duke
This book lists basic ills...arthritis, colitis, skin rashes, everything you can name, basically, and then gives Dr Dukes suggestion for dietary treatment of the conditions using herbs and foods.
A great handbook for every home library, also, is:
Herbs from Readers Digest
It has the A to Z listing of herbs and includes recipes, cultivation and harvesting/preparing of herbs. It includes photos of the herbs, latin names, different varieties of each, their uses, even includes recipes for medicinal creams, salves and lotions and decorative uses.
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  #11  
Old 11-27-2006, 06:57 AM
Smoky
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Duke has a website too, I'll look for it :-/
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  #12  
Old 11-27-2006, 07:01 AM
Smoky
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Here it is. http://www.ars-grin.gov/duke/ you can look up a plant to see which chemicals are in it , or the other way around see what plant has which chem.
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  #13  
Old 11-27-2006, 02:19 PM
alma alma is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Thank you so much for the info about the book and for the web site, too.

I bought duke's book this a.m., paperback, and it really looks better than anything i've got.

--or pretty darned good, at least. love, alma

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  #14  
Old 11-27-2006, 04:13 PM
Smoky
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Being born and raised in another state, when I first bought property in TN, there were some plants and trees that I didn't know the name of, much less what they would be used for. I made it a goal to find out the names of each one, no easy thing before I had the www.
Now I need to find a use for every one. I have a catch-all category tho, if I don't know what a plant can be used for, it goes on "good-for-compost" list, lol.
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2006, 08:49 PM
Suzy McCray Suzy McCray is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

I will be growing even more milk thistle this coming spring because my daughter takes it to increase healthy liver function....(she has Hep C antibodies but does not have active Hep C)...

I love lavender just for it's relaxing qualities...

I am still learning!
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  #16  
Old 11-30-2006, 08:50 PM
Suzy McCray Suzy McCray is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Oh---and Bilberry for my eyes!
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  #17  
Old 12-01-2006, 12:32 AM
Jeff Jeff is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

The ones I have used most recently are aloe vera (house plant) and plantain (from out in the yard). Both are beautiful and versatile.

When I was in Mexico, it was almost shocking to see my house plant's siblings just growing out in the wild and doing their own thing. I've only seen them indoors up here in the north. The Mexican people call Aloe Vera: Sa'bila (phonetic spelling).
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2006, 08:48 PM
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CarolAnn Female CarolAnn is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Byexample -
The yellow cone flower you want is echinacea paradoxa. I grew it in Arkansas, and it was a bit invasive, but I liked that! (The latin name "paradoxa" is because it is a yellow "purple cone flower"! There are other yellow coneflowers that aren't medicinal. Be sure you get the echinacea!

It is my belief that the herbs that do best for you are the ones that live right where you do. Not only because they'll be fresh, but because they live in and deal with the same environmental conditions that you do.

When to harvest? Consider what part of the plant's life cycle it is in: An annual requires seeds to keep itself alive, therefore the vigerous life forces go into the seeds. A perennial saves its life forces in the root for next year's growth. With the new season, the constituants travel through the plant first for leaf growth and health, then into flowers and fruit or seeds. Come autumn, all that returns to the root for the next year. Even the time of day can make a difference - early, before the sun burns off volatile oils, after a shower when the plant is juicy and full of sap - possibly even the moon phase can have an effect.

This is how I was taught - others may believe differently. But it makes sense to me!

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Old 12-04-2006, 07:11 PM
Terri Terri is offline
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

I don't grow them, I buy them in the spice isle. ;D

Cumin and tumeric are GREAT for my multiple sclerosis! I get little plastic capsules from the pharmacist and I fill them with spices!
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  #20  
Old 12-05-2006, 05:47 AM
Smoky
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Default Re: Medicinal plants

Terri- That's nice to know, thank you!
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