REFERENCE: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS by Andrew Chevallier Page 64, 71, 74
Honey is made by the honeybee by combiningnectar from flowers with bee enzymes. This delicious combination of beeenzymes and flower nectar is one of the oldest medicinal substancesknown to man. Honey is used to mask unpleasant flavours, to make themedicine go down and often it is more curative than the intended remedy!Honey from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs dating back a few thousandyears was still found to be edible. Thus the shelf life of honey islonger than ours by far. It is a good preservative and wound healer andis very nutritious, being a complete food for the very active andhardworking little honeybee, let alone us lazy humans.
Properties: Depending on the flower nectargathered by the honeybee, the properties and composition of honey mayvary from place to place. The best form of honey is in its raw, unheatednatural form. In time, the sugar crystallizes and makes the honeysolid. It can still be used like this and you should avoid heating it asthis will destroy the medicinal effect. Honey is approximately 35%protein due to the amino acids it contains. It is a highly concentratedsource of essential nutrients with a high level of simple sugars, theB-complex vitamins with a little Vitamin C, D and E and minerals.
Uses: Honey is used topromote energy and healing. Honey can be taken as a medicine, mixed withmedicinal herbs and spices or used as a vital ingredient in body careproducts such as cleansers, lotions and ointments. Honey, spices andherbs can cure many skin afflictions and infections. Some doctors givehoney before surgery to prevent infections. Many cuts, infections andwounds are healed by honey alone because of its anti-microbial andcurative effects. Pure honey is good for mouth and gum infections.
According to folk medicine from around theworld, honey can be used for: coughs, muscle cramps, burns, stuffynoses, sinusitis, hay fever, bed wetting, insomnia, and on wounds,ulcers, infections, stings and rashes. Honey keeps a wound sterile andhastens the healing process. It is reported to be effective againstbacterial conditions such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia incases when antibiotics could not help anymore.
Honey is good for gut infections such asSalmonella, Shigella, E. Coli, and cholera that produce diarrhoea. Whenmixed with cinnamon, turmeric, fennel or cloves, the results are evenmore effective. Honey used with water and salt to replace fluids lostduring diarrhoea and vomiting, proved to be more effective thanelectrolyte mixtures because of the additional anti-microbial effect.
Honey has sedating and calming properties andworks like sugar in enhancing seratonin levels as an anti-depressant.Honey and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with water is a well-knownfolk medicine, used for sore throats, arthritis, convalescence andpreventing the illness in the first place!
Caution: People with bloodsugar problems, glucose intolerance and diabetics should be careful oftaking too much honey by itself, as the body requires insulin to processthe simple sugars it contains. When ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon is added to ateaspoon of honey, the effect of insulin improves, so this is highlyrecommended. Use only pure honey for mouthwashes and throat gargles.When honey is combined with a starch such as bread, it is very bad forteeth as then it ferments in the mouth, so clean your teeth afterwards.Honey must not be given to very young infants as it may contain botulismspores and the baby’s immature intestine cannot yet eliminate them likeyou can.
Used for over 3000 years, especially Egypt & China
Properties : Help kidneys dispose of uric acid, mucus & toxic wastes and to reduce acidity.
Uses : Arthritis, gout, soremuscles & joints, improves blood circulation, kidney & bladderinfections, asthma & bronchitis, water retention, high bloodpressure.
Traditional South African remedy.
Properties: Stimulant, diuretic & digestive. Urinary antiseptic, uterine stimulant for menstrual flow and birth.
Uses: Urinary tractinfections like cystitis, mucus in the bladder, water retention, poormenstrual flow, prostate problems relating to passing urine. Buchu teacan be used for washing vaginal infections like candida.
Caution: Not for pregnant women
CAYENNE PEPPER, CHILLI
Properties: Warming andstimulating, a good tonic, antiseptic, relieves muscle cramps, increasessweating and flow of blood to the skin, reduces inflammation,stimulates the immune system and expels mucus. Antimicrobial.
Uses: For poor circulation,blood clotting and heart problems. For diabetics, for cold rheumaticand arthritic conditions, for removal of waste and mucus from thetissues, asthma, bronchitis and coughs, sore throats, colic and wind,ulcers (it is anti-inflammatory) and digestive complaints due tomicrobial or mucus infections.
Traditional uses: Toimprove circulation to hands and feet, digestive problems like nauseaand vomiting, infections ; colds, flu, diarrhoea, aching muscles.Important for diabetes as it improves the function of insulin. Used as ageneral tonic and for menstrual disorders.
Caution: large doses cancause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and excessive menstrual flow. Donot take more than ½ teaspoon per day if you are pregnant.
Properties: Stimulates bilesecretion, anti-inflammatory (research from 1971-1991 indicates anaction similar to hydrocortisone) It eases stomach pain, is antioxidant,antifungal & antibacterial. Lowers cholesterol levels (Chineseresearch 1987) A blood thinner and anticoagulant.
Uses: As an antioxidant(stronger than vitamin E) To protect stomach lining (gastritis) andliver, to increase the flow of bile, for jaundice, nausea: travelsickness, to thin the blood and prevent clotting, to reduce the risk ofstrokes & heart attacks. Topically: for psoriasis and fungalinfections like ringworm eczema & athlete’s foot.
Properties: Antispasmodic,to expel wind, eases stomach pain, warming, a digestive stimulant and ispleasant tasting, sweetens the breath. Good for the female reproductivesystem.
Traditional uses: As anaphrodisiac, to empower the reproductive system. Greece : 4 th CenturyBC, for relief of colic, cramps and griping (especially forbreastfeeding mothers). Chinese: urinary incontinence (Uncontrolledleaking of urine eg: when jumping or sneezing or bedwetting.) Indian:asthma, bronchitis, kidney stones, poor appetite, debility and weakness.
Traditional uses: South-East Asia : as an all round remedy for most ailments, includingmalaria, cholera, tuberculosis and parasites such as scabies and headlice. For digestive discomfort, wind, abdominal bloating. To relievespasmodic coughs. India : As a mind and body stimulant, and anaphrodisiac. Western: Clove oil for mouth washes, gargles and to relievetoothache. Topically, the oil can be used to repel mosquitoes.
Properties: Antiseptic, expectorant (expels chest mucus) stimulates the flow of blood
Traditional uses: Australian Aboriginal: for infections and fevers. General: Antiseptic,to dilate air passages in the lungs, chest infections, for sore throats,blocked sinuses. Topically: rubbed onto aching pains and joints,neuralgia, for bacterial skin infections. The oil also used in boilingwater to inhale.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, demulcent (stimulates the mucus liningsto protect the stomach), Adrenal agent ( Stimulates the production ofadrenal hormones and has an anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory actionsimilar to hydrocortisone), mild laxative. Raises blood pressure.
Traditional uses: AncientGreece : asthma, chest infections and mouth ulcers. Modern: for stomachulcers, gastritis, coughs and sore throats, as a laxative. To preventdehydration during marathon events and desert conditions, to strengthenadrenal glands, for low blood pressure, dehydration and chronic fatigue.
Caution: Avoid excessiveintake if you have high blood pressure or take extra potassium, eg:crude black molasses with liquorice. Adding salt to liquorice is goodfor weak adrenals, especially if blood pressure is low.
Traditional uses: African,Bushmen & Bantu: digestive problems and arthritis, pains in thejoints, to reduce fevers and as an ointment for sores, ulcers and boils.Modern: for arthritis, general aches & pains including gout, backpain & fibrositis.
Traditional uses: General: to stimulate theflow of bile an digestive juices, to relieve colic, griping, diarrhoea,nausea, to soothe irritated bowel, constipation and spastic colon, fordigestive weakness and gut infections.
Topical: the peppermint oil for expelling head lice, rubbing onto aches and pains and to relieve headaches.
Properties: Stimulates the reproductivesystem, Expels wind, relieves muscle spasms and cramps, preventsvomiting & diarrhoea. Promotes emotional well being in small doses.Relieves pain in the intestines
Traditional uses: India : aphrodisiac, toincrease sexual stamina, enjoyment and performance. External: a paste ofnutmeg for eczema and ringworm. Chinese: for bloating, diarrhoea,colic, wind and to warm and comfort the intestines.
Caution: Doses of nutmeg exceeding 1 teaspoonper day are dangerous. They can be hallucinogenic, carcinogenic andhighly toxic. Stick with a pinch of nutmeg in your curry or use it forbaking, where the cooking reduces the toxicity.The outside coating ofthe nutmeg known as mace is irritating to the eyes and mucus membranes.It is used in self-defence sprays.
Properties: Adaptogenic (helps the body adapt to stress, fatigue and cold) tonic, strengthens adrenals.
Traditional uses: Chinese: aphrodisiac, forsexual prowess, for athletes, workers and during winter. China , Russia ,Korea , Japan : Used to increase resistance to stress, adverseclimates, physical endurance & to improve liver function. General:as a tonic for weakness, depression, low blood pressure, stress anddebility.
Caution: Blood pressurewill increase with a low dose and be lowered on a higher dose over time.Do not use continually for more than a month. Chinese recommend ginsengfor three weeks per month.
Properties: Anti-emetic (prevents & curesvomiting) Carminative (expels gas like burping, colic and flatulence),Circulatory stimulant ( increases flow of blood to capillaries, thinsthe blood and prevents clotting), antispasmodic (inhibits coughing,chest tightness and cramps) , anti-inflammatory (reducers fever,swelling and redness) antiseptic ( used for infections) Warming &stimulating to the digestive system.
Traditional uses: Chinese: For chills,fevers, headaches, aching muscles, weak pulse, cold hands and palecomplexion. Modern: Motion sickness, morning sickness and post operativenausea. Modern china: for bacillary dysentery, gastrointestinalinfections and some types of food poisoning. For thinning the blood andas an a blood anticoagulant (prevents blood clots) for lowering theblood pressure.
BLACKSEED (KALOONTJIE / NIGELLA / BLACK CUMIN) 239
Properties: To benefit the digestive system,soothe stomach pain, ease wind, bloating & colic. Antiseptic, expelparasites like worms, especially in children.
Traditional uses: Asia : Recognised as apanacea, to cure all ailments except death. Greece : 1 st C AD: forheadaches,nasal catarrh, toothache & intestinal worms. In largequantities as a diuretic, to promote menstruation and to increase breastmilk production. Egypt : Seeds found with honey, in Tutankhamun’s tomb,still usable. India : to increase the flow of breast milk.
Properties: .Lowers blood pressure, improvescirculation, thins blood. Diuretic, relieves cystitis & waterretention. Stimulates the immune system, has a profound anti-fungal,anti-bacterial and anti-vital action. Helps to lower blood sugar levelsfor diabetics. Oil from leaves is nourishing and improves the balance offatty acids within the blood. Protective action on digestive tract.
Traditional uses: Crete , 3500BC: to cleanwounds, as a symbol of peace, for ritual anointing Mediterranean : Oliveleaf tea for high blood pressure. Leaf taken with lemon juice to getrid of gallstones. Modern research, 1985: Olive leaves lower bloodpressure, combat many viral, fungal and bacterial infections includingmalaria, colds & flu, kidney & bladder infections, candidaalbicans and organisms causing the leaky gut syndrome, weakened immunityand food poisoning. Used to increase blood capillary action to thebrain, extremeties and genital organs. To improve memory, circulationand sexual prowess. Mainly indicated as a natural alternative to moderndrugs drugs like antibiotics, cold and flu remedies, anti-coagulants,diuretics & antihypertensives.
FENNEL & ANISEEDS
Properties: Both are diuretic, antispasmodic , anti-inflammatory and wind relieving.
Traditional uses: to relieve bloating,flatulence, colic, stomach cramps, to settle digestion, freshen thebreath, increase the flow of breast milk, for weight loss and longevity.½ teaspoon of fennel seeds in honey relieves heavy menstrual bleeding.It has a mild estrogenic activity in women and helps to reduce hotflushes.
Caution: too much fennel increases estrogen and prolactin in the body and thus lowers thyroid activity.
Properties: Calming, relieves nervousness,bloating, abdominal discomfort. Aphrodisiac, as a tonic and stimulant tothe reproductive system.
Traditional uses: Ancient Egypt , 2000 yearsago for digestive discomfort & nervous disorders. Seedschewed tosweeten the breath.
Properties: Antispasmodic, relaxing to thesmooth muscles of the intestinal walls. Cooling, for excessive heat& cramping pains, to expel mucus in bronchitis and to relieve heavycongested coughs.
Traditional uses: English: Culpepper: head colds and stomach disorders, diuretic and to break wind.
Properties: Promote digestion and absorptionof food, stimulate digestive secretions, especially fat digesting andinsulin. Promotes the onset of menstrual periods.
Traditional uses: Ancient Greece & Rome:as a decorating, healing and protective herb. For warming the stomach& bladder and to relieve wasp & bee stings. Modern: for liverand gallbladder complaints, digesting rich foods and breaking up fats,to enhance the effect of insulin for diabetics.
Properties: The isoflavones in the leaves are highly estrogenic in activity. Itstimulates the immune system, is rich in nutrients, especially minerals,vitamins, alkaloids and trace elements. A tablespoon of the sproutscontain all the vitamins, enzymes and minerals we require for the day.
Traditional uses: Seeds were eaten by thePersians and Greeks for thousands of years. Modern: for femalecomplaints due to low estrogen levels.
Caution: Not recommended for those withauto-immune diseases like lupus. The estrogenic effect may lower thyroidactivity or interfere with conception.
Properties: Increases excretion of uric acid(for gout) and catarrh (mucus in the respiratory & urinary system)It has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect.
Traditional uses: Chinese: for catarrh andfor water retention. Modern: diuretic, expectorant, and anti-catarrhalremedy for: gastritis, peptic ulcers, diarrhoea, dysentery, irritablebowel syndrome, respiratory catarrh, loss of voice and urinary tractbleeding.
Properties: Antiseptic, antioxidant, tonic,expels worms, relieves muscle spasms, helps maintain essential fattyacid levels in the brain, thus aiding longevity and memory. Stronganti-bacterial activity against H.pylori that is associated with stomachulcers.
Traditional uses: Europe : throat and chestinfections: cough, bronchitis, sore throat, whooping cough andpleurisy,asthma & hay fever.