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Click Here Herbs 101 A. Harding, RN 3.8.16
Before getting too deep in this post, I want to extend a huge ' thank you' to our readers and followers! Without you guys craving more information, writing all this for myself would seem a bit narcissistic! So, THANK YOU and keep the requests coming! What's The Difference? We have had several requests to talk about the difference between herbs and essential oils. So here we are! The next few blog posts will cover the major differences between the two and their uses so make sure you subscribe and watch for events near you! To start, we will give a general overview of herbs and their uses. ( HINT: Essential oils are more concentrated that herbs so we are starting with the less complex of the two. ) According to The Herb Society of America's New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses by Deni Bown: "The term "herb" also has more than one definition. Botanists describe an herb as a small, seed bearing plant with fleshy, rather than woody, parts (from which we get the term "herbaceous"). . . the term refers to a far wider range of plants. In addition to herbaceous perennials, herbs include trees, shrubs, annuals, vines, and more primitive plants, such as ferns, mosses, algae, lichens, and fungi. They [herbs] are valued for their flavor, fragrance, medicinal and healthful qualities, economic and industrial uses, pesticidal properties, and coloring materials (dyes)." Demi Bown - 2001 There are also specifications regarding ' native herbs' ( grown here in North America prior to colonization by Europeans who might have brought seedlings, etc.) and Non-Native Herbs ( one that is growing somewhere other then its natural habitat or WHERE GOD PUT IT in the beginning of time). Now, this doesn't mean that you cannot plant herbs in your garden and they will not be effective. But it does mean that when things come from their natural habitat, they typically are stronger and happier; thus yielding a more pleasant efficacy. Try to imagine if you are an athlete who trains on one type of field. And you succeed there. But then you are forced to travel and play elsewhere. You have to work harder and adapt more to be just as good as you are at home. Its the same concept here. The athlete can still win and the herb can still grow - just differently. Herbs have a growing, picking, and drying process. So, when you go to purchase herbs, asking , " when were these picked?" and " where are these grown?" are great questions to start with! This is similar to checking the expiration date on a salad at the grocery store. You wouldn't want to buy an herb that you make put in your world famous spaghetti dish that was picked 5 years ago, would you? Usually, pick dates within a year of use are acceptable. Many Uses So to clarify; an herb can include many parts of one item. For example; the flower of the dandelion can be utilized for certain purposes while the leaf/ stem of the same dandelion can be used for another list of reasons. And then, the root has a list of uses as well. ( so be careful what you mow!) This is why you may be asked, ' what do you want to do with the dandelion?" from your local apothecary. Although we cannot diagnose, treat, or guarantee the efficacy of herbs, we can do our best to guide you to make the most educated decision possible. We can also encourage you to educate yourself when it comes to the uses and where you obtain herbs. After all, we are similar to your neighborhood market. We want you to have the best experience possible when it comes to using you herbs. Herbs can be used in many ways in your daily life. Here are a few suggestions ( but there are many more! ) cooking & baking ( of course! ) use to brew your own 'tea'
make your own oil, vinegar, or butter
make your own bath wash, soap, shampoo
make your own herbal ointments and poultices
use for healthier alternative to cosmetics
supplement your daily intake
make your own natural perfume Don't know which part of the herb to use for all of these suggestions? Well, thats where you would contact your local herbalist, holistic healer, or apothecary to assist in the guiding process. Stay tuned for more detailed information and uses of the most popular herbs in use today! References:
Herbsociety.org Thanks for reading ! Bill & Angela Need a support system while making positive changes? Let us know how we can help you decrease your toxic load or support your body to be its best!
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Although I am a medical professional, the content of this site is for informational purposes only. Information posted here represent only my opinions or the opinions of other clinical professionals and/or professionals within their areas of expertise and are not to be used to diagnose, treat, or replace professional medical advice. You are responsible for how you use your homeopathic remedies including herbs, plants, tinctures, and essential oils. Please use them reasonably and carefully.