We all possess an inherent ability to restore balance, to repair and heal ourselves when we are ill, thanks to the energy of the Vital Force, and all symptoms of 'disease', are a manifestation of this.
Herbal remedies can be used to great effect to enhance our own healing process - to help the body to help itself - so that during infections, for example, herbs such as echinacea and garlic can be taken to enhance the function of the immune system, which can then resolve the infection with greater ease. We need to work with the body, not against it.
When treating common ailments at home, it is important to establish the underlying causes of the symptoms, to understand what Vital Force is attempting to rebalance, and use the herbs accordingly. Otherwise you will simply be providing symptomatic treatment, which will at best temporarily allay the symptoms and suppress healing, only to find that the symptoms recur later or gradually get worse.
it is important to look at each person and their sumptoms individually, so that the person is treated, not the disease. People's lives, personailities, diet and lifestyle are all different, and all these factors need to be considered when choosing the right herbs for any given ailment. Used in the right way, in conjunction with any necessary changes in diet and lifestyle, herbal remedies can provide good preventative measures, and safe and effective treatment for a wide variety of ailments.
The key to a robust immune system lies in a healthy lifestyle, with nutritious food and a minimum of stress and pollution. Adequate amounts of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals; copper, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc are vital to normal production of white blood cells and antibodies. Immunity can be boosted by increasing intake of these and by immune-enhancing herbs, such as garlic, echinacea, licorice, and ginseng.
When the immune system reacts against non-infectious substances, there is an allergic response as the body attempts to eliminate the allergens. Treatment involves improving nutrition, temporarily avoiding the allergen, and balancing the digestive and immune systems. You may need to take either as teas, or tinctures a combintation of echinacea, red clover, and borage with licorice 3 times daily over several months. You can add marshmallow or slippery elm to soothe the digestive tract, and dandelion root to support the digestive tract, and dandelion root to support the liver and the digestive tract. Chamomile and yarrow tea is a natural antihistamine to take frequently with acute allergies. Nettles in tea or soup help calm the allergic response.
Candida albicans (or thrush) flourishes when the immune system is weakened by infection, diabetes, long-term or repeated antibiotics, oral contraceptives, steroids, and nutritional deficiencies, particularly of iron and zinc. Pregnant women are prone to vaginal thrush and may pass it on to the baby. It can also affect the digestive tract, causing general illness, and food and yeast allergies. You should take antifungal herbs: either pot marigold, chamomile, thyme, or golden seal regularly in teas or tinctures, adding echinaea to boost the immune system. Garlic and olive on salads or garlic perles will help check the infection. For oral thrush, make a mouthwash of thyme and port marigold tea, allow to cool and add 1 drop of thyme or oregano oil and 2-3 times daily. For vaginal thrush use these teas or tinctures as a douche, or soak a tampon or pad to use for an hour twice daily. Bathing in chamomile tea or applying live plain yoghurt to the area can bring great relief. Warning Do not use douches if you are pregnant.
Fever is a symptom of the body's fight against infection, helping to resolve it, and should not be suppressed (except for fevers in children). At the first sign, fast to boost the immune system and drink plenty to assist the eliminiation. Take raw garlic in honey, perles, or jucie every 2-3 hours, mixed with licorice. Take frequent hot herbal teas of limeflower, boneset, chamomile, elderflower, yarrow and peppermint, singly or in combinations, to hasten eliminiation of heat and toxins. Hot drinks of lemon and honey, blackcurrant, or beetroot juice increase resistance and provide extra vitamin C. Use essential oils of lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus in herbal baths, hand and foot baths, and inhalations.
When the immune system is weakened by stress, poor diet, recurrent infection,, antibiotics, or candidiasis, it cannot resolve an acute viral infection, which then affects other tissues, particularly the muscles and the nervous system, Allergies to foods, chemicals, and yeast are common. Treatment may be necessary over weeks, months, even years. Initially take, as teas or tinctures, a combination of immune-enhancing and cleansing herbs: echinacea, yellow dock root, cleavers, and wild indigo, with a little licorice to support the adrenals. Then combine with wild oats, vervain, or skullcap for the nervous system, and dandelion or barberry for the liver. You can take ginseng for three-month periods.
The viruses of herpes simplex (causing cold sores and genital herpes, and herpes zoster (shingles), live in nerve endings, which can erupt due to poor diet, infection, and stress. To enhance resistance take, as teas or tinctures, a combination of echinacea, cleavers, dandelion root, and red clover, plus garlic 3 times daily. In shingles add St John's Wort, wild oats, and skullcap to support the nervous system and relieve pain, and Jamaican dogwood if pain is extreme. You can dab teas or tinctures of either golden seal, myrrh, or pot marigold on to cold sores, or use a lotion - 10 drops of lavender tincture, thyme or tea tree oil mixed with 2 tsp of lavender tincture and 4tsp of water - 2-3 times daily. For shingles blisters, St John's Wort and port marigold tea or 10 drops of lavender oil in 4tsp of aqueous cream will help relieve pain and irritation.