Medicines from the Wild

Wild plants ancestors to many modern drugs

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Many of our present day medicines are based on medicinal herbs and plants extracts in one way or the other. Therefore the attitude of the medical profession against herbal remedies is a totally strange one.

Let's look at Aspirin, for instance. It is salicylic acid which, originally, was directly derived from source, namely the Willow tree and here specifically the bark.

Our ancestors used willow bark against headaches and other pains and the American Injuns used it both dried as a powder or sucked the juice of the bark. Not something I would like to do; salicilic acid does not taste really great, but it works.

Beecham's Powder was, originally, nothing but dried and ground up willow bark that would then be suspended in water to be thus taken orally. You can do the same and make your own Beecham's Powder to treat headaches and such.

Another plant from the wild that used to be used is Ribwort (Narrow-leaved plantain). This was used to make a poultice for wound healing.

Others of great use are feverfew, chamomile, and mint. There are a great number of varieties of mint that you can grow in the garden and then there is mint that can be found in the wild, often hear water courses. It is very small and insignificant but very potent and the real spearmint.

Chamomile is used as a soothing tea and mixed with other herbs of the same use make for a great tea to induce a healthy sleep.

An entire pharmacy can be found out there in the wild and not just pharmacy, for many wild plants can be used to so many other things, such as treatment of dandruff, keep moths at bay and away, repelling midges and mosquitoes, etc.

If you are using herbal medicines you must know what you are doing and must treat them with respect.

Many herbs are extremely powerful and should be treated like any other medicine; with care. Some can have potentially fatal consequences if misused.

It is possible to overdose on some herbal remedies, especially when they are mixtures of several, mostly it seems, though, that herbs have an inbuilt countermeasure to overdosing. How and why I have no idea but ...

While, for instance, you can overdose quite easily, so I understand on Aspirin it seems not to be possible, at least not as easy as with the manufactured drug, with its origin, namely willow bark, whether fresh or dried.

Using Valerian root, from which Valium originally came, is non-habit forming while tat is definitely not something that could be said for Valium, the manufactured drug.

Clinical trials have now found that Valerian root is also much better than Ritalin and Prozac as it has no apparent side effects and is thus suited ideally for use with children and young people.

There is an entire pharmacy out there in the wild if we but know where to look and more and more ordinary medicine if been proves wrong in their beliefs that herbs do not do anything really.

Study after study is now finding that the so-called old wives tales are not tales but, in fact, the truth.

Mankind would hardly have survived that long had there not been herbal healers who knew their trade and indeed healed people with the use of their concoctions. That there were also charlatans about that killed people goes without saying. Not much has changed anyway.

Sure there were things that the old ones were unable to treat and for which there is no herb growing as a cure there are many that have not, as yet, been officially discovered.

Nature's pharmacy is waiting to be used and if you actually decide to even grow those plants at home without the need to go foraging for them the better. Growing medicinal herbs at home together with culinary herbs is a case of killing two birds with one stone. In fact many culinary herbs also have medicinal value.

© 2010