We use wheat and other grains to make bread, pancakes, soups, etc. but not many know that there are also medicinal uses for the grains. Lets explore these uses briefly here.
Barley flour made into a poultice is used for the treatment of inflamed skin. A nutritive and demulcent drink is made from barley by boiling for 20 minutes one part barley to 10 parts water and then straining. This is used on feverish patients and where there is a catarrhal affection in the respiratory and urinary organs. The drink is soothing to the stomach and intestines and can be very effective in helping long-standing constipation. It acts as a general nerve tonic bringing back vitality to a weakened system making one feel more cheerful. It is useful in cases of diarrhea, impaired growth, pulmonary disease, nephritis, liver disease, and mineral deficiency. Barley water can be diluted with cow's milk to prevent the formation of hard masses of curd in the stomach of young infants. Soaking barley or the bran of barley until an oily substance comes to the surface is one way of extracting from the pericarp of barley a substance that is very helpful in conditions of lassitude and fatigue. The substance Hordenine in barley is thought to make it helpful in cases of asthma. Variations to the above mentioned way of making a barley drink is to gently boil one cup of lightly roasted barley to two quarts of water, for 20 minutes, strain, sweeten with a little honey and add a little cream or milk and drink warm. This makes a very soothing and relaxing drink. Another way to make a drink is to boil 2 ounces of barley in four pints of water until reduced to two pints, then add lemon juice or licorice root or raisins for flavoring ten minutes before taking off the stove. As a tonic barley water can be drunk regularly.
Oats may be made into a drink by boiling an ounce of the grain to a quart of water for half an hour. This drink is taken where a laxative is needed or as a diuretic. A nourishing broth for nursing infants may be made by mixing equal parts of oats, wheat and barley; grind the mixture and add four tablespoonfuls of the flour to one and a half quarts of water and boiling until reduced to one quart, then strain and sweeten. This broth is given daily. Oats are considered helpful in cases of uremic poisoning and diabetes and to help where there is a thyroid deficiency. Some feel that oats can overcome sterility and impotence. The oat drink or gruel is good in cases of fever and has been used in cases of poisoning from acid substances. The drink will usually be accepted by patients of weak digestion when other foods are rejected. It is considered to be good to restore the nervous system and as a tonic after debilitating sicknesses. It seems to aid the heart muscles and the urinary organs. It is recommended as an all-around drink for the sick, weak and healthy. Oatmeal or rolled oats is good for regulating normal and healthful blood sugar in the early morning hours. Oats are one of our few food sources for obtaining iodine.
Brown rice, which contains an easily digested starch, is beneficial for stomach or intestinal ulcers and for the relief of diarrhea. A poultice of rice flour can be used to relieve skin inflammations of various kinds. We have seen serious cases of diarrhea respond most effectively to rice water made by boiling one ounce of rice to one quart of water for 20 minutes, strained and drunk. This drink is also used in cases of congestion, acute head pain, nausea, fainting, difficult breathing, stomach cramps, colic, worms, and a sedative.
Rye is recommended for individuals engaged in sedentary activities. It is believed to combat arteriosclerosis, and high blood pressure. Boiling three ounces of rye to a quart of water for 20 minutes produces a refreshing, soothing and mildly laxative solution.
Millet is an easily digested food good for constipation and beneficial for weight gain and general emaciation. It is considered good where mental or physical weakness exists and also for pregnancy.
Corn is considered good in cases of emaciation, anemia, constipation and as an overall body building food. The balance of unsaturated versus saturated fatty acids in corn oil helps lower the blood lipid levels. The suggested dose of corn oil is two tablespoonfuls taken upon arising and before the evening meal for a few weeks or months. Some Indians would steep corn in lye to be used as an intestinal anti-spasmodic. Blue corn meal mush was applied hourly to bullet wounds. Others have used a corn meal poultice for skin ulcers, swellings, and rheumatic pains. A cup of parched corn to two quarts of water lightly boiled for 20 minutes then strained and drunk has been found useful in cases of nausea and vomiting in many diseases. A cornmeal gruel is excellent for convalescents. Cornbread is thought to be of benefit for those suffering from kidney or liver diseases.
Wheat has been recommended in cases of arthritis, rheumatic fever, and in some types of cancer, pulmonary disease including tuberculosis, retarded growth, anemia, and physical and emotional weakness. It is felt that the vitamin D in wheat helps in rickets and other Vitamin D diseases. One recipe for a good heart remedy is to soak a half of a cup of coarse ground wheat in a thermos of hot water over night. Eat this each morning for three months.
We can make a mild grain drink as indicated above with any of the grains by lightly roasting the grain then gently boiling one cup of the grain to two quarts of water for about 20 minutes, strain and add honey and a little cream or milk.
Another way to make a mild grain drink is to soak one cup of seed in two cups of water for 16 hours (24 hours in colder weather). Strain off the water and let the soak water ferment in a warm place for another 36 to 72 hours. It is then ready to drink. Another method is to soak the grain for two or three days after which the soak water may be drunk and then refill the container with water for another soak with the grain. After each drink refill the container, this can be repeated for up to two weeks. This mild grain drink should taste somewhat like whey. The best soaking temperature seems to be between 68 degrees and 77 degrees F. The drink is rich in protein, carbohydrates, dextrines, saccharine, phosphate, lactobacilli, saccharomyces, and Aspergillus oryzae. Many find this drink beneficial to the digestion. It is non-alcoholic and rich in B vitamins. It has been observed that acidophilus bacilli or lactobacilli create an acid medium in the intestine, destroying any unfriendly, disease-producing putrefactive bacteria. Many who use this drink feel that this enzyme-rich drink has helped them with minor to the most serious health problems. Likewise the regular drinking of the roasted grain drink has produced in others a feeling of well-being and vitality.
Values of Fruits and Nuts
In the previous newsletter we examined the reported healing benefits of many of our common vegetables and we have just briefly covered the reported medicinal values of our grains. Now let us take a look at some of the fruits and nuts that we are familiar with.
The walnut tree is believed to be a native of Persia and was known among the Jews. The Romans placed this tree under the protection of the most powerful of their gods. The conquerors of the world eventually introduced this tree to the different countries of Europe. The fruit was considered to be an astringent, strengthening and giving tone to the stomach and thus facilitating digestion. When Pompey had made himself master of the palace of Mithridate, he had a search made for the recipe of the famous antidote against poison used by that king. Here is the recipe was found: Pound two walnuts, two dried figs, twenty leaves of rue, and a grain of salt. Swallow the substance and have no fear from the most active poison for twenty-four hours. Such is the ancient lore. More recently some have found the walnut to be effective against intestinal parasites by taking two to three ounces of walnut oil each evening for three days. This same dosage enhances digestion when taken daily. The walnut oil applied directly to skin diseases has been found to be effective in healing. The juice of fresh walnuts is used to heal cold sores. Walnut leaf tea has been used to lower blood sugar, cleanse the blood, eliminate intestinal parasites, and can be used as an astringent. There is, according to some authorities, an antibiotic element in the walnut leaves. The bark along with the leaves can be used in the treatment of skin troubles such as herpes and eczema or indolent ulcers. The walnut meat is used in cases of constipation and liver ailments.
The almond tree was much valued among the nations of the East. The Romans believed that it was only necessary to eat five or six almonds to acquire the ability to consume large quantities of alcoholic beverages. This is certainly not the best use of the nut. We find the nut helps promote normal bowel function; some find the almond more easily digested if lightly roasted. Milk made from almonds is useful for inflamed stomach and intestines. It makes a fine tonic for children and convalescents. As a mild laxative almond oil may be taken in a dosage of about two ounces for adults and half an ounce for children.
The ancients considered the hazelnut to be the most wholesome and nourishing of any other shell fruit. The hazelnut is the best digested of all oil-bearing fruits. It is used to destroy intestinal parasites by taking one tablespoonful of the oil in the morning for two weeks.
Cashew nuts are used in cases of emaciation, teeth and gum problems, and for low vitality. They are more easily digested when eaten raw. The cashew oil, which must be used with great caution, is used as an application to warts, corns, ringworms, cancerous ulcers. If the nuts are roasted caution must be used not to let the fumes cover the face or hands as they could cause inflammation.
Pecans have been used where there is a problem with low blood pressure, low vitality, and as a nourishment for the teeth.
Pinon nuts have saved the life of many an Indian baby when made into a nut soup and used as milk for the baby when the mother had no milk. The nut is considered to be effective where there are problems with the lungs such as tuberculosis, impotence, paralysis, low blood pressure, and emaciation. The Pinon nut is one of the best sources of protein in the nut family.
The Apricot, perhaps because of its high iron and other mineral content, is helpful in cases of anemia, tuberculosis, asthma, bronchitis, and blood impurities. Many, have been helped in cases of constipation or diarrhea and intestinal worms with this fruit. It is also useful in cases of weakness, physical or emotional, or depression and anxiety.
Blackberries made into a syrup and given to infants has been used in cases of diarrhea, sore throat or lung disease. The usual dosage is four tablespoons daily. Blackberries have been helpful in cases of weak kidneys, rheumatism or arthritis, gout, constipation, any condition where there is an excess of mucus such as in the sinuses or intestines.
The Blueberry has a substance, myrtillin, which combats the bad bacteria in the intestinal tract. Because of this the berry is useful in bowel diseases and diarrhea. A tea made from the berries has been used in cases of thrush or other mouth and throat infections. Abnormal menstrual flow, hemorrhage due to capillary fragility and hemorrhoids have responded when blueberries are eaten. A half of a cup of berries in a quart of water boiled to one pint will yield a solution that can be used internally or externally such as in cases of eczema or other skin disorders. The blueberry seems to be helpful in any condition requiring an antiseptic or astringent. The early settlers wives adopted the custom from the Indians of drinking blueberry tea at the birth of their babies, and also for lung problems. Some Indians used the blueberry tea to control excessive menstruation. Some who have hypoglycemia have reported blueberry leaf tea as very helpful.
Eating a half of a pound or more of cherries daily has helped in cases of gout. Applying crushed cherries to the forehead has been found to help in cases of migraine headaches. There are many reported medicinal benefits from the use of fresh cherries such as arthritis, arteriosclerosis, liver disorders, gallstones, kidney stones, intestinal disorders, constipation, conditions where infection or toxins in the bloodstream are involved, and obesity. Cherries stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and of urine. Uncontrollable urination has been helped in some by drinking cherry juice or cherry juice concentrate.
Apples have been and are used in many ways for medicinal purposes. Those suffering from gout have been helped by drinking a tea made from the powdered apple peelings. Make the tea by boiling one tablespoonful of powdered peelings to a quart of water for about 15 minutes. Drink four or five cups of this tea each day. Grated apple has helped in infantile diarrhea. Other afflictions that have responded to the eating of apples are anemia, arthritis, urinary stones due to uric acid, liver disorders, arteriosclerosis, intestinal infection, and various lung and asthma problems. The peel of the apple contains pectin which helps remove noxious substances from the system. This pectin also helps prevent protein matter in the intestines from spoiling. Raw apples are a great help in combating intestinal disorders, as they have properties which aid the digestive juices in killing germs in the stomach. Some have called the apple "Nature's Toothbrush" as it cleans the teeth, massages the gums. Research has proven that eating one apple removes over 30% more bacteria from the mouth than two-three minute brushing plus a gargle. Studies have shown that persons eating apples regularly have fewer headaches and other illnesses associated with nervous tension. Also, research has proven daily apple-eaters show a reduced incidence of colds and other minor upper respiratory ailments. The apple is an excellent fruit for the hypoglycemic because it contains a higher percentage of fructose than other fruits which does not call upon insulin from the pancreas. Fructose is fairly quickly absorbed into the system, goes through the liver and is then available as glucose and may be burned or utilized by the body for energy. A pleasant tea may be made by boiling two or three apples cut in thin slices with their peels in a quart of water for about 15 minutes. A little licorice root may be added for flavor.
Currants have an antiseptic effect and for this reason have been used as a gargle prepared by boiling about 3 ounces of black currants per quart of water for about 15 minutes. Currants eaten after a meal have been used as an effective aid to stimulate digestion. Helpful in liver diseases, cold sores, fluid retention, arthritis and gout and constipation.
Gooseberries have been suggested for liver ailments, gallbladder congestion, constipation, arthritis, inflammation of the kidneys and dyspepsia (indigestion usually due to excess acid.) Gooseberries were plentiful in the Rocky Mountain area and the Indians found them helpful when cooked into a porridge for fever.
Grapefruit rinds can be dried and later used for colds. A tea is made by steeping a teaspoonful of the dried grated rind in a cup of water and drinking a cup each hour until relief is obtained. Grapefruit is a natural antiseptic for wounds when used externally. It is considered valuable in the removal of inorganic calcium which may have formed in the cartilage of the joints, as in arthritis. It is helpful in cases of a sluggish liver, gall stones, fevers, poor digestion, pneumonia, and catarrh.
Some of the many medicinal problems treated with the lemon are as follows: Cuts or other areas of infection are helped when lemon juice, a natural antiseptic, is applied. For a vaginal douche (unless the mucous membrane is inflamed) for general cleansing purposes use half a lemon to a quart of warm water. Skin problems such as acne, eczema and erysipelas will often respond to a treatment of lemon juice. For blackheads rub lemon juice over them each night. For pyorrhea cut the lemon rind into slices and place against the infected gum. Dandruff has been helped by applying lemon juice to the scalp and afterwards shampooing. After the shampoo, wash again and apply lemon juice to remove soap from the hair and scalp. Sore and reddened hands are helped by massaging with lemon juice. Rinse the juice off then apply olive oil. Use lemon juice to relieve the itch from insect bites or poison oak or ivy. The symptoms of flu may be relieved by drinking lemon juice in warm water several times daily. A runny nose, secretions in the throat or head can usually be stopped by taking a tablespoonful of lemon juice several times a day. Some report that taking lemon juice in warm water before breakfast will assist the body in the digestion of food and help prevent the accumulation of fatty deposits. Taken in large quantities lemon juice has been found to be helpful in liver ailments, asthma, headaches, pneumonia, rheumatism, arthritis, and neuritis. Fresh lemon juice is considered by some to be the most potent or effective single liver rebuilder known to man. There seem to be only a very few people who cannot handle lemon juice. An interesting use to which lemon juice has been applied is that of rumination in children. Rumination is normal in cows who chew their cud but in children it is a very dangerous behavioral disorder. Of course children who ruminate don't exactly chew their food they simply bring it up and let it slowly dribble out of their mouth. It is apparently a purely voluntary act. The treatment is to squirt unsweetened lemon juice into the mouth of the child whenever he or she is seen to be ruminating. When this is done the child usually stops ruminating within a month or two. This treatment would seem more humane than the treatment of electric shock which has been used.
Peaches are considered valuable in cases of constipation, high blood pressure, inflammation of the stomach, kidneys and bronchial tubes, and for asthma, difficult digestion, bladder and kidney stones and worms in the intestinal tract.
Pineapple contains papain which aids digestion and chlorine which is valuable for digestion of proteins. Pineapple is considered good for constipation, as a regulator of the glands, goiter, chronic digestive disturbances, secretions from mucous membranes, inflammation of the bronchial tubes, high blood pressure, arthritis and tumors. Intestinal worms have been expelled by drinking fresh pineapple juice.
The Pumpkin has been used where there is abnormal accumulations of fluids in the cavities of the body (dropsy), infected or inflamed intestines, stomach ulcers and hemorrhoids. The pumpkin seed has given much relief to prostate problems and a tea made from the pumpkin seed is recommended for tape and other worm elimination.
The Strawberry is used as a blood purifier, diuretic and for healing mucous membranes. It is recommended for a sluggish liver, gout, rheumatism, constipation, high blood pressure, catarrh and skin cancer and syphilis. Strawberry juice combats bacterial infection. Taken at the beginning of a meal strawberries are used to stimulate the appetite. Strawberries are a common cause of allergy, and should not be taken by individuals subject to allergic skin rashes. Pinworms often disappear after the patient eats a pound of strawberries in the morning, with no other food or drink taken until midday.
Tomatoes contain nicotinic acid which helps reduce cholesterol in the blood, and the Vitamin K in tomatoes helps to prevent hemorrhages. The tomato is a natural antiseptic and protects against infection. Ample consumption of tomatoes is considered to improve the skin and purify the blood and help in cases of gout, rheumatism, tuberculosis, high blood pressure and sinus trouble, congestion of the liver as well as for dissolving of gallstones.
Vitamin Content of Herbs
Unfortunately there has not been the study of herbs as to their vitamin and mineral content as there has been with fruits and vegetables and grains. We do know some things in this area that could be helpful information and so will present some of what we know concerning the vitamin and mineral content of herbs. The following herbs are listed under the appropriate vitamin or mineral in which they are known to be high.
Vitamin A: Cayenne, Dandelion, Eyebright, Grape leaves, Lambs quarter, Okra pods, Paprika, Parsley, Red raspberry, Violet.
Vitamin B-1: Bladderwrack, Dandelion, Dulse, Fenugreek, Grape leaves, Kelp, Okra, Red raspberry.
Vitamin B-2: Bladderwrack, Dulse, Fenugreek, Kelp, Saffron, Wild Rose Hips.
Vitamin B-12: Alfalfa, Bladderwrack, Dulse, Kelp.
Vitamin C: Elder berries, Rose hips, Watercress.
Vitamin D: Alfalfa, Lettuce.
Vitamin E: Red raspberry, Rose hips.
Calcium: Alfalfa, Chamomile, Dandelion, Nettle, Plantain, Red raspberry.
Phosphorus: Alfalfa, Chickweed, Licorice, Red raspberry, Watercress.
Magnesium: Dandelion, Leaf lettuce, Mullein, Parsley, Watercress.
Iron: Alfalfa, Burdock, Dandelion, Red raspberry, Yellow Dock.
Potassium: Dandelion, Yarrow, Mistletoe, Parsley, Plaintain, Watercress.
Iodine: Black Walnut, Bladderwrack, Dulse, Kelp.
Comments on Selected Herbs
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris L.): The berries are rich in vitamin C.
Rose Hips (Rosa rugosa): One teaspoon of rose hip powder a day supplies our daily requirements of vitamin C. The hips contain 2275 to 6977 milligrams of vitamin C per hundred grams of powder, whereas oranges contain only 49 milligrams per hundred. The highest nutritive value of Vitamin C is reached when the hip becomes bright scarlet. Rose hips also contain Vitamins E, B, K, A, and P.
Licorice root and Wild Yam: Both contain cortisone, licorice root having the most.
Marshmallow: The root is rich in calcium and zinc.
False Unicorn: Contains some of the rarer minerals and trace elements such as copper, sulphur, cadmium, cobalt, and a trace of zinc and molybdenum.
Cramp bark: The dried bark is extremely high in vitamin C.
Plantain: Rich in Vitamins C, K and T.
Dandelion: Contains 7,000 units of Vitamin A per ounce compared to lettuce of 1,200 Units and carrots 1,275 Units. Also high in B 1, C and G and especially high in Calcium, Iron and Potassium.
Gotu Kola: The plant portion above the ground contains a large amount of Vellarin which is a substance that fights infections diseases like leprosy, syphilis, and eczema. Care is taken to dry this herb in the shade to preserve this valuable substance.
Black Walnut: Contains ellagic acid which has been found to be an ideal protective antidote to electrical shock, accidental electrocution, and lightning mishaps.
Prickly Pear cactus (Opuntia species): The nopal pads of the prickly pear contain large amounts of organic insulin.
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis): Contains the amino acid tryptophan which works like a sedative in the body.
Anise (Pimpinella anisum): Contains a large amount of anethole which has been shown in experiments to stimulate the intestines in cases of colic and as an expectorant for mucus congestion in the lungs.
Figs: Contain an active ingredient called benzaldehyde which has been found to be a very effective carcinostatic agent for reducing certain kinds of tumors found in the neck, throat, and general lymphatic system particularly the adenoids.
Geranium (Geranium masculatum): Contains a large amount of tannic acid (also white oak bark, bayberry, witch hazel, and yellow dock) which has been shown to be an effective antiviral agent against certain types of infectious diseases, like polio, herpes simplex, bronchitis, and influenza.
Okra seed: Contains amino acid levels that are equal to or exceed the levels in eggs and more iron and calcium than soya beans.
Wild Lettuce (Lactuca virosa): Contains Lactucerol which gives this plant its sedative properties. Lactucerol behaves in some ways that morphine does but in a much more reduced and milder sense. For this reason, wild lettuce has been nick-named "lettuce opium".
Willow (Salyx alba): contains salicin which the body converts into salicylic acid. Modern aspirin has displaced this acid in its more natural form.
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens): The leaves contain considerable methyl salicylate, which makes it a very close relative to aspirin.
Yucca root: Contains steroid saponins which have been tested under clinical conditions in treating acute forms of arthritis. These saponins are also recognized as cleansing and clarifying agents where mineral and salt content may be high.
Alfalfa: Rich in vitamins A, E, K, B-6, D and U. It is also very high in protein, phosphorus, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, silicon, magnesium and trace elements.
Yarrow: The flowers contain a peculiar type of oil which saturate the bloodstream and chemically "collect" or absorb different kinds of toxic impurities.
Black Walnut Hulls: Contain strong amounts of organic iodine.
Lemon-grass (cymbopogon): Citral is the principle constituent of lemon-grass oil. This substance kills even the most acute influenza viruses and for fever-induced diseases it is unparalleled, and has also become renowned for quickly treating cholera.
Peppermint: The natural-occurring tannin in peppermint has been shown to suppress the activity of influenza virus and Herpes simple virus.
Horsetail or Shavegrass: Contain large amounts of calcium and silicon.
Hops: Contain a large amount of Lupulin which is recognized for its remarkable sedative powers. Lupulin can induce sleep without causing a headache.
Goldenseal: The root contains hydrastine which has been used to treat malaria.
Scullcap: A volatile oil extract from this plant called scutellarin produces an incredible calmness on the nerves.
Valerian root: Extremely rich in manganese. Garlic also contains manganese.
Parsley: Unbelievably rich in iron. The parsley root contains an oily compound called apiol which exercises much influence on the great nerve centers of the head and spine. About 100 grams of parsley contains 8,500 international units of vitamin A compared to 10,500 units in carrots; 172 mg. of vitamin C compared to 50 mg. in oranges; .12 mg of thiamine compared to .72 in wheat germ; .26 mg. of riboflavin compared to .46 in cheese; 1.2 mg. of niacin compared to 37.9 in brewer's yeast; 6.2 mg. of iron compared to 6.5 mg. in liver; 722 mg. of potassium compared to 915 in soybean powder; and 43 micrograms of folic acid compared to 290 in liver.
Watercress: 100 grams yields: 151 mg. calcium; 54 mg. phosphorous; 1.7 mg. iron; 282 mg. potassium; 4,900 IU vitamin A; and 79 mg. ascorbic acid or vitamin C plus niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, iodine, magnesium, and sodium.
Horseradish: High in ascorbic acid.
Periwinkle: Contains two alkaloids, vinblastine and vincristine, which are vital in treating leukemia in children. These two alkaloids also perform a service for the brain, in that they carry more oxygen to the brain than any other herb known thus far, save capsicum.
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium): Contains absinthin, a substance that has a strong drugging effect on the entire digestive tract. It will produce a mild, numbing sensation on the muscle walls, thereby bringing relief to a disrupted digestive system, and at the same time encourage proper digestion. Some feel that wormwood and its plant oil can be hazardous if taken in large amounts over an extended period of time.
Irish Moss, Iceland Moss, Kelp: Extremely rich in iodine, and also other mineral salts. If an equal amount of root vegetables and kelp were incinerated, about 1% of the root ash remains minerals, whereas the burnt kelp ash yields between 10% and 50% mineral residue. Some feel that the high sodium content of kelp makes it unacceptable in low sodium diets while others feel that the high potassium (which is missing in ordinary table salt) content balances the sodium thus making it safe in a low sodium diet.
Rhubarb Root (Rheum palmatum): There are two substances, chrysophanic acid and emodin, which have opposing effects on the system. Chrysophanic acid stimulates the muscle walls of the lower bowel into eliminative action whereas emodin brings about a tightness in the bowels. Were it not for the emodin the chrysophanic acid would cause extreme diarrhea and considerable looseness of the bowels but the emodin acts to balance things out so that there is a gentle action on the bowel. This points out the caution that should be taken in taking just one substance from a plant and using it or condemning a plant because of a certain substance it might contain. There are other examples like this where an isolated substance from a plant would be harmful but when the substance is left intact with the rest of the elements of the plant there is no harmful effect. As in the case of rhubarb it can be used in cases of acute diarrhea and dysentery or also in cases of constipation because of the balancing effect of the two substances mentioned.
Mullein: contains verbascose which has been used medicinally in parts of Europe and India for treating external skin diseases, open wounds and sores. It seems to possess strong antiseptic properties. This same substance was used in India at one time to effectively treat tuberculosis victims.
Liverwort: the leaves are rich in vitamin K, choline, folic acid, and inositol.
Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus): The dried bark is extremely high in vitamin C.
Queen-of-the-Meadow Root: High in Salicylic acid. This compound was first isolated in this plant in 1839. This acid is an active disinfectant and is used on severed cases of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other serious skin rashes.
Comfrey root: High in allantoin, a substance very effective in cases of inflamed ulcerations, dry skin, a valuable cell-proliferant agent which stimulates healthy tissue formation. It also cleans up dead tissue.
Squawvine: Contains significant levels of the amino acid tryptophan (as also chamomile) which works as a natural sedative on the nerves.
Bistort root: Is high (about 20%) in tannic acid which makes it one of the most powerful agents for contracting body tissue and contracting the blood vessels so as to stop all forms of bleeding.
Oregon grape root: Contains berberine which has strong anti-malarial and antibacterial properties and has been used against malarial, typhoid, scarlet, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Burdock root: Rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid.
Chickweed: Rich in the B-complex vitamins, ascorbic acid, some vitamin A and has a lot of calcium, iron, sodium, some phosphorus, zinc, and molybdenum in its flowers, leaves, and stalk.
Researchers from Brigham Young University and Mount Union College have demonstrated that the ancient cure for motion sickness, ginger root, not only works, but that it works better than modern medicines such as Dramamine. The study involved 36 undergraduate students who received either Dramamine, powdered ginger root, powdered chickweed herb in capsule form or a placebo. According to the results, even the powdered chickweed out-performed the Dramamine in preventing motion sickness.
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Used by permission. Dr. Christopher's Newsletter, Volume 5 Number 1