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A Guide for the Herbal Medicine Closet

 So you stock up on a year’s supply of medications. What then? There comes a tremendous sense of confidence when you know how to find and grow your own “medicines”. I have to begin with my very favorite herb and actually most common “weed”; though, weed is a dirty word in my vocabulary! You will find that most of the plants we consider nuisances are some of the most beneficial herbs for healing. This article has an emphasis on herbs for respiratory ailments.Herbs You Can Find Growing Wild:

Plantain can be found virtually anywhere in the United States and every continent except Antarctica. And no, I’m not talking about the banana. Over 200 varieties and all equally potent. Long-leaf is the most common in the US. Plantain is a powerful astringent. Used by our ancient ancestors to heal--the bites of mad dogs, staph infection, snake bites and venomous creatures, bee stings, abscesses, boils, congestion in the lungs, the list goes on forever! We had what we believed to be an breakout of methicillin-resistant staph (MRSA) over a year ago, and using only plantain (external and internal), tea tree oil (external), and clove (internal) we were able to completely eradicate it! NO antibiotics, NO topical creams….and not a single breakout since. I would never want to be without plantain! Can also be used for earaches, and has been said to restore quite decayed hearing when it’s infusion is placed into the ears.
It’s Uses: expectorant, astringent, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, anodyne, styptic, diuretic, the list goes on.
How to use it: Direct Poultice: If you’re outside and you get stung by a bee, spider, snake, anything you want to pull the venom out immediately, grab a few leaves (it usually grows anywhere, though you may have to walk around a while to find it) chew them up in your mouth until they are nice and juicy J and then place on the area you want to draw the poison out of. You will be amazed at how quickly this helps with pain!! I am highly allergic to bees, and every year somehow I get stung. If I apply plantain asap, usually there is very minimal swelling, and very little pain.

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