Celebrate Spring: Your Herbal Medicine Chest
Spring brings cleansing and rejuvenation. Most often the liver is the target of
a cleansing herbal regimen, since the liver is one of the most important organs
in the body. It processes our hormones, contributes to proper digestion,
cleanses the body of toxins, and many other important duties. A good cleansing
regimen, however, will also cleanse and support other vital organs, such as
heart, kidneys, blood, and digestive system. It will also do wonderful things
for your spirit! It is vital to consume lots of water, with lemon is ideal, and
get fresh air to flush these toxins out of your system.
Dandelion Root: Dandelion Root can be made into a bitter tea (don't sweeten it,
the bitterness is how it works � you'll get use to it) as an excellent tonic for
the liver and blood purifier. Dandelion roots are very high in vitamins and
minerals. The common dandelion is an unusually nutritious food. Its leaves
contain substantial levels of vitamins A, C, D, and B complex as well as iron,
magnesium, zinc, potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and
silicon. Worldwide, the root of the dandelion has been used for the treatment of
a variety of liver and gallbladder problems. Other historical uses of the root
and leaves include the treatment of breast diseases, water retention, digestive
problems, joint pain, fever, and skin diseases. The most active constituents in
dandelion appear to be eudesmanolide and germacranolide, substances unique to
Milk Thistle: Milk Thistle is the best in cleaning our blood and liver and is a
traditional way to get our health back on track and revitalize and nourish our
entire internal ecological system from the ravages of winter. Milk Thistle is an
excellent cleansers for the liver. Cleansing is one of the more important roles
of Milk Thistle as it helps to prevent a host of problems our bodies can acquire
from internal and external toxic overload.
Burdock Root: Burdock root helps to purify blood and restore the liver to aid in
a restful sleep. Helps to reduce build up of toxins in the skin resulting in
boils. Helps gallbladder functions and stimulates the immune system. Seed forms
are also used.
Nettle: Nettles are invaluable as a food, rich in vitamins and minerals. Only
the young, tender tips are suitable for cooking, the stalks and lower leaves are
not edible. They can be cooked then pureed for soup or vegetable accompaniment.
Nettles make a valuable tonic after the winter and are an excellent remedy for
Anemia, their vitamin C content ensures that the iron they contain is properly
absorbed. Nettles increase the quality of the blood helping to give a healthy
glow to the skin.
Yellow Dock: Yellow Dock is applicable to all the purposes for which the other
species are used. The root has laxative, alterative and mildly tonic action, and
can be freely used as a tonic and laxative in rheumatism, bilious complaints and
as an astringent in piles, bleedings of the lungs, etc. It is largely prescribed
for diseases of the blood, from a spring eruption, to scurvy, scrofula and
chronic skin diseases. It is also useful in jaundice and as a tonic to the
stomach and the system generally. It has an action on the bowels very similar to
that of Rhubarb, being perhaps a little less active, but operating without pain
or uneasiness. Rumicin is the active principle of the Yellow Dock, and from the
root, containing Chrysarobin, a dried extract is prepared officially, of which
from 1 to 4 grains may be given for a dose in a pill. This is useful for
relieving a congested liver, as well as for scrofulous skin diseases.
Echinacea : First used by the Indigenous North Americans who harvested the
plants for extensive use in the treatment of infectious wounds and burns or
eruptive skin complaints. It enhances the phagocytic activity of white blood
cells- identifying and retiring bacterial, viral and fungal infections, in
addition to the clearance of these from the lymphatic system. Higher doses are
often used for affecting acute immune responses.
Astragalus : To be used after colds or infection to rebuild immunity, Astragalus
is a sweet tasting herb effective in restoring both resilience to future
respiratory infections, and efficiency of metabolism to ensure optimal nutrition
for immune reserves to fight off those spring colds. This herb is the best for
restoring energy to the body very quickly.
Garlic : Garlic was worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, chewed by Greek
Olympian athletes and thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay! But
it is also good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy, warding off
coughs and colds. Garlic is an antibiotic that can actually kill infecting
bacteria and at the same time protect the body from the poisons that are causing
the infection. It is known that the most sensitive bacterium to garlic is the
deadly Bacillus anthracis which produces the poison anthrax. Vapor from freshly
cut garlic can kill bacteria at a distance of 20 cms!
Marshmallow : Marshmallow stimulates the immune system and the production of
white blood cells. It also soothes inflammation, slows production of mucus, and
reduces sugar levels in the body.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac