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Medicinal Plants

450px-Split AloeFrom the beginning of humanity, man has always made use of plants to cure and heal his wounds, his illnesses and even to elevate his mood. The use of natural remedies dates back to prehistoric times, being one of the most common forms of medicine. It has been present in all known cultures. Archaeological evidence dating back more than 60,000 years found in Iraq, shows that the Neanderthal man was already using medicinal plants. This indicates that the use of herbal medicine is as old as man himself.
For many centuries, the use of herbs for therapeutic purposes was associated with magic and religious rituals, and healing was attributed to the divine forces, but it must be stressed that this use was mainly based on a good knowledge of plants, empirically acquired and transmitted from father to son through many generations. Before there was writing, this knowledge was transmitted orally. The first writings on the subject of botany date back over 4,000.
Many of the drugs used today such as opium, quinine, aspirin or digital, are replicated synthetically or their active ingredients isolated from traditional herbal remedies known since prehistoric times. The evidence of their origin persists in their etymology as in the case of salicylic acid, which derives its name from Salix or Willow, from the bark where it is extracted. Only rarely, the entire plant has medicinal value. Usually, medicinal compounds are found in either, the leaves, flowers, roots, seeds or bark.
This ancient tradition of using plant products in medicine and a contemporary reaction against synthetic drugs have led to a resurgence of herbal remedies. The use of plants to prevent and relieve ailments is still a common practice among peoples of various parts of the world who see this as the most logical way to cure their ailments. Some countries are rescuing these ancient practices bringing them to health centers of villages and towns.
Just like many medicinal plants can be harmless, others may even be poisonous if consumed in the wrong dosages or manner. As with all things, cautions is advised when using these natural medicines and remember that it is very important not to self-medicate.

This essential herb, rich in properties, has an exquisite aroma. It should not be absent from any home because of its multiple uses and qualities:

Rosemary leaves are most commonly used in the plant because they have more benefits when they are on the ground. Its components have stimulant, and digestive qualities. They also have antiseptic, analgesic, antioxidants and healing properties. Rosemary has high levels of iron, and it is an effective remedy against anemia.
Moreover, in the kitchen, rosemary is a great ally in flavoring different preparations. Its digestive qualities are powerful and can be used as an anti anti-flatulent as follows:

1. Boil a liter of water.
2. Add 10 grams of rosemary leaves.
3. Add honey and drink two or three times a day, before or after meals.

Other benefits:

Rosemary oil is effective in helping the healing process. Massaging with Rosemary Oil helps lessens pain.
It is a potent stimulant of the nervous and circulatory systems.
Decreases the discomforts of the menstrual period.
Fights bad breath.

It is widely used in French cuisine to spice up soups, stews, meat and sauces. It should be used with caution though, because it has a strong flavor.
Add one liter of rosemary infusion to bath water to relax sore muscles after exercise.
Apply rosemary oil on nails to strengthen them.

Ginkogoaceae often called Maidenhair tree , is a remarkable plant indeed. They have found Ginkgo fossils from the Jurassic era; that’s approximately 190 million years ago.
You can find Ginkgo Biloba trees on many city streets now days. Trees in this family evolved near the Paleozoic Era (500 million years ago), were widespread during the Jurassic Period and then declined during the Tertiary. They grew in Western USA until the Myocene Epoch (26 million years), and then disappeared. The modern tree was known in the western world until the 17th century, when it was discovered in cultivation in Japan and China. In 1956, Gingko was discovered growing in the wild in China. It is the only modern species, and it is often cited as an example of a living fossil.
Traditionally, Gingko was used by Chinese doctors to treat asthmatic, bronchial and pulmonary conditions. Recently a flavonoid extract of Gingko leaf was discovered to be effective for peripheral blood circulation and circulation to the brain. This is why you see this brain boost herbal products on the market talking about Gingko. Studies on patients between 60 and 80 years old with senile dementia showed measurable improvement in as little as eight weeks. No side effects or habituation have been demonstrated using the average dose of 40 mg, 3 times daily, for 3 months. Even a single dose of 600 mg. given experimentally to young women produced no side effects except improved memory. Gingko is used to treat or improve memory, mental efficiency, ability to concentrate, sociability and mood, especially in the senile and the aged. It has shown to reduce symptoms of senility, senile dementia, tinnitus, visual problems, Alzheimer’s, post phlebitis and more. In fact, just about any condition that could be improved with increased blood flow is likely to benefit from the regular use of Gingko Biloba leaf.

Its aromatic smell is a favorite in the kitchen and its health benefits are legendary. It is easy to cultivate in your kitchen window seal.

Health Benefits:

It helps digestion, cures gastritis, and eliminates nausea.
It strengthens the nervous system and it acts as a natural tranquilizer.
Basil is very effective to eliminate indigestion. Use as follows:

Basil tea:

  • Bring a liter of water to a boil.
  • Add 15 grams of Basil leaves.
  • Sweeten with brown sugar or honey.
  • Drink 3 times a day after meals.

Other Uses:

  • It stimulates the production of mother’s milk.
  • It is an excellent mosquito repellent.
  • Basil heals cold sores. It refreshes your bad breath.
  • It helps digestion, cures gastritis, and eliminates nausea.
  • It strengthens the nervous system and it acts as a natural tranquilizer.
  • Basil is very effective for getting rid of indigestion.