Nutritional Endocrinology Practitioner Training (NEPT)
July 31st, 2016
Lynn’s Clinical Pearl: Medicine Cabinet Herbs
Chronic illness is at an all time high, and people are scrambling to find the answer to health problems like autoimmune disease, diabetes, pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, poor immune function, cancers, and more. Millions are turning to natural solutions, and many have experienced great success with essential oils.
While we don’t want to offer a this-for-that approach, it would still be valuable to know which herbs and nutrients are the most important to keep in your medicine cabinet. Here is a list I prepared. Read it, change the list around to suit your own needs, and then stock up on a few beneficial herbs, so you will have them on hand when you need them most.
1 – CHARCOAL — This is not an herb, yet it is invaluable in a number of ways. Charcoal is pure carbon, and it will adsorb (not absorb) 29 of the 30 most dangerous poisons. You can drink it diluted in water, use it as a poultice on wounds, skin infections, etc.
2 – CAYENNE — Dr. Christopher, a well-known herbalist of the mid-20th century, said that if he only had two herbs, he would select charcoal and cayenne. Cayenne is powerful in its ability to attract blood to a body part. Since it is the blood which brings healing, this can be an important quality.
Internally, it is useful for arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, bleeding, high or low blood pressure, bronchitis, chills, colds, convulsions, coughs, indigestion, infections, jaundice, ulcers, and varicose veins.
Externally, it is used for frostbite, painful joints, swellings, and varicose veins. When added to herbal formulas, it stimulates the action of other herbs. It is a preventative for heart attacks, flu, colds, indigestion, and lack of vitality. It is good for treating the spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and is effective as a poultice for rheumatism, inflammation, pleurisy, sores, and wounds. It can be rubbed on toothaches and swellings.
3 – GARLIC — This is one of the most powerful antiseptic substances ever discovered. In the 1950s, Soviet scientists found it to be equal to penicillin, yet without the harmful effects of the drug.
Internally, it is used for arteriosclerosis, cancer, contagious disease, coughs, cramps, diverticulitis, emphysema, gas, heart problems, high blood pressure, indigestion, liver congestion, parasites, rheumatism, sinus congestion, and ulcers.
Externally, it is used for bowel problems, parasites, ringworm, skin parasites, tumors, warts, and yeast infections.
Garlic is used for all lung and respiratory ailments, and can be used as a tea or added to syrups for coughs, colds, tuberculosis, fevers, and blood diseases. Use it as a tea in an enema for worms and bowel infections. Use the fresh extract oil or eat the raw cloves.
4 – GOLDENSEAL — This is another powerful antiseptic, and, in a sense, it is the first true herb on this list. (The first three can be purchased in the grocery store.)
Internally, it is good for alcoholism, allergies, asthma, bad breath, bladder diseases, bronchitis, canker sores, chicken pox, colds, diabetes, eczema, bleeding gums or gum infections, hay fever, heart weakness, hemorrhoids, herpes, indigestion, infections, inflammations, liver problems, lymph congestion, measles, mammary and ovarian tumors, morning sickness, sore mouth, tonsillitis, and ulcers.
Externally, it is used for burns, canker sores, eye inflammations, bleeding gums, gum infections, herpes sores, mouth sores, ringworm, skin inflammation, tonsillitis, and wounds.
Goldenseal can be used on open sores, inflammations, eczema, ringworm, and itchy skin conditions. It is a specific for all kinds of mucous membrane problems. Snuffed up the nose, it is good for nasal stuffiness. Small doses will relieve nausea during pregnancy. It is a douche for vaginal infections, an eyewash, and an antiseptic mouthwash. Used with cascara sagrada, it is a bowel tonic. As a retention enema, it will reduce swollen hemorrhoids.
5 – PEPPERMINT — This is an old household remedy, and it is useful for a variety of conditions.
Internally, it is useful for insomnia, measles, menstrual cramps, migraines, morning sickness, muscle spasms, nausea, nervous disorders, chills, colic, fevers, dizziness, gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, and hysteria.
Externally, it is used for skin itch, toothache, and anesthetic to local pains and inflamed joints. For example, to open up the sinuses, put 5-10 drops into 2 quarts hot water and breathe it in through the mouth and nostrils. Cover the head with a cloth as you do this.
6 – SLIPPERY ELM — This is the inner white bark of the slippery elm tree and is invaluable to keep on hand. (The outer dark bark is also sold, but is useless.)
Internally, it is used for bladder inflammation, bronchitis, colitis, constipation, ovarian cramps, coughs, cystitis, diarrhea, diverticulitis, dysentery, eczema, flu, gas, hemorrhage, hemorrhoids, hoarseness, lung congestion, stomach problems, tonsillitis, and ulcers.
Externally, it is used for burns, colitis, constipation, diverticulitis, dysentery, gangrenous wounds, hemorrhoids, open sores, rheumatoid and gouty afflictions, and wounds.
Slippery elm is also used to bind materials of suppositories, lozenges, and unleavened breads together. It makes a nourishing gruel for children, for the elderly with weak stomachs, for those with ulcers, and those who are recovering from diseases. If used as a douche or enema, it must be diluted with water so it will not plug the apparatus (since it is a mucilaginous herb).
7 – LOBELIA — This is both a relaxant and stimulant, and it’s a powerful helper.
Internally, it is used for allergies, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, chicken pox, contagious diseases, convulsions, coughs, earache, ear infections, fevers (all kinds), headache, heart palpitation, indigestion, jaundice, pleurisy, pneumonia, food poisoning, teething, and toothache.
Externally, it is used for snake and insect bites, poison ivy, ringworm, and tumors.
Small doses of a tincture of lobelia (5-10 drops) will act as a tonic and stimulant; larger doses will act as a sedative.
It relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. It can be used as a wash on infected or itchy skin conditions. In large doses, it is an excellent emetic. It is especially good in spasmodic coughing of phlegm. Taken in small doses, it relaxes the heart and lowers rapid pulse.
8 – ALOE VERA — The gel from the leaves of this plant is invaluable. It is best used freshly picked from a plant. Keep several plants growing; you cannot have enough!
Internally, it is good for chronic constipation, gastritis, hyperacidity, and stomach ulcers.
Externally, it is used for abscesses, burns, infection in wounds, insect bites, skin irritations, and ulcers.
When applied on the skin for severe burns and skin rashes, it can be left on for two days without changing the application.
Do not use it during pregnancy, nor in large doses when there are hemorrhoids.
9 – CASCARA SAGRADA — This is one of the safest laxatives for chronic constipation and is not habit forming.
Internally, it is used for constipation, cough, gall bladder disease, gallstones, gastric and intestinal disorders, hemorrhoids, indigestion, and jaundice.
10 – CORN SILK — This is the best single herb for increasing urine flow, thus helping to eliminate kidney and bladder problems.
Internally, it is used for bed-wetting, chronic cystitis, inflammation of kidneys and bladder, kidney stones, prostatitis, excess uric acid, and urine retention.
It is a good remedy for all inflammatory conditions of the urethra, bladder, prostate, and kidney; it can remove gravel from the kidneys, bladder, and prostate. It helps the aged when their urine is scanty and has heavy sediment.
11 – HOPS — This is an excellent nervine and will produce sleep when insomnia is present. But it also has other uses.
Internally, it is used for coughs, fever, headaches, indigestion, insomnia, jaundice, morning sickness, weak nerves, stomach tonic, throat, bronchial tubes, chest ailments, toothache, and ulcers.
Externally, it is used for boils, bruises, earaches, inflammations, rheumatic pains, skin ailments, and ulcers.
The tea is good for nervous stomach, poor appetite, gas, and intestinal cramps. Cold tea before meals will increase digestion. The dry herb can be placed inside a pillow; it will induce sleep.
12 – WITCH HAZEL — This is an excellent astringent herb and is one of the best remedies for stopping excessive menstruation, hemorrhages from the lungs, stomach, uterus, and bowels.
Internally, it is used for diarrhea, diphtheria, hemorrhoids, prolapsed bowel, varicose veins, and uterine problems. It is used to stop bleeding from the lungs, uterus, and other internal organs.
Externally, it is used for burns, bruises, diphtheria, insect bites, sore breasts, sore muscles, tonsillitis, and varicose veins.
Witch hazel can be used as an injection for bleeding piles, vaginal discharges, and infections. As a poultice, it is good for wounds, bed sores, sore and inflamed eyes, and oozing skin diseases. It is good for almost any internal or external inflamed condition.
I hope this quick synopsis of these herbs is helpful for you and that you have learned if there are any alternatives to medicines that could be added to your natural medicine cabinet! If you have any that you consider basic essentials, please share them on our Facebook page.