Showing posts with label herbal remedy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label herbal remedy. Show all posts

Herbs And Herbalism Basics - What Is Herbal Medicine?

 


The physician does not learn everything he needs to know and master at school; from time to time, he must consult old women, gypsies, magicians, wayfarers, and all manner of peasant folk and random people, and learn from them; for these have more knowledge about such things than all the higher schools of learning combined. 

As a result, study every day without fail, examine and observe meticulously; disregard nothing, and don't put too much faith in yourself. 

Do not be arrogant while you are powerless, and do not think of yourself as a master at first; no one can acquire mastery without effort. 

Also, learn from people who have more experience than you, since no one can claim to be an expert on everything. 

Who can be everywhere at the same time and know where everything is? 

As a result, travel and experience everything, and whatever comes your way, accept it without contempt and without guilt. 
Because nature is so generous with her gifts, it is better for a man to know only one plant in the meadow, but to know it well, than to view the whole meadow and have no idea what grows there. 




Plant roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, or seeds are used to enhance health, prevent disease, and cure sickness in this system of medicine that has sustained and evolved since the dawn of humanity.



Herbal medicine is the study of pharmacognosy and the use of medicinal herbs, which forms the foundation of traditional medicine. 


  • As of today, there is little scientific evidence through research and clinical trials for the safety and effectiveness of plants used in 21st-century herbalism, which typically lacks purity and dose guidelines.



Herbal medications are mostly used for health promotion and treatment of chronic, rather than life-threatening, diseases. 


  • Traditional treatments, on the other hand, become more popular when mainstream medicine fails to cure a condition, such as advanced cancer or novel infectious infections.



Herbal medications are usually regarded as being both safe and effective. 


  • As a result, individuals are increasingly turning to herbal therapy, believing that plant treatments are devoid of harmful side effects. 
  • Medicinal herbs, on the other hand, may be poisonous whether consumed alone or in combination with other substances.





Table Of Contents
HERBAL INGREDIENTS.
GENERAL RULES FOR HERBAL PREPARATIONS.
DOSAGES WITH HERBAL INGREDIENTS.
SALVES.
TINCTURES.
POULTICES.
FOMENTATIONS.
SYRUPS.






HERBAL INGREDIENTS.



A few fundamental principles apply whether you want to tincture or dry your plants. 


  • Tree leaves should be collected before the summer solstice. 
  • After then, the natural pesticide content of the leaf is too high. 
  • On a dry day, when the blooms are just starting to open, leaves and blossoms are collected. 
  • They are dried in the shade at all times. 
  • Roots are usually harvested in the early spring or late autumn, when the plant has started to die back. 
  • The soft inner layer (cambium) between the sapwood and the dead outer bark, or the bark of the root, usually contains the required medicinal qualities. 





GENERAL RULES FOR HERBAL PREPARATIONS.



When Using Flowers or Leaves For approximately twenty minutes, steep two tablespoons per cup of water. 


  • Strain and keep in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. 
  • One-fourth of a cup is taken four times a day, not with meals. 
  • One-eighth cup is given to children, and babies may get the herbs via their mother's milk. 
  • When Using Twigs, Roots, Barks, and Seeds Cook for 20 minutes with two teaspoons of plant matter, filter, and store as directed. 
  • One-fourth cup, four times a day, not with meals is the recommended dosage. 
  • When kept in an airtight container, herbal teas will last for approximately a week in the refrigerator. 





DOSAGES WITH HERBAL INGREDIENTS. 



The doses shown under each herb's "Herbal Uses" section are based on a 150-pound adult patient. 


  • Children under 75 pounds are given half of the recommended quantity. 
  • A quarter dosage is given to infants under 25 pounds, and newborns may obtain a dose via their mother's breast milk. 
  • One-quarter cup of formula or tea three or four times a day, not with meals, is the typical dosage. 





SALVES.



Comfrey, lavender, calendula, pine needles, aloes, elecampane root, burdock, and elderflowers are among the herbs that may be used to make salves. 



Summer is the best season to create a salve since the herbs are fresh and plentiful, but dried herbs may also be utilized. 

For their skin-healing and pain-relieving properties, I prefer to add green walnut hulls and entire, crushed horse chestnuts to the basic combination. 


  • In a big saucepan, simmer herbs in high quality olive oil. 
  • Melt and boil three to four teaspoons of fresh beeswax per cup of oil in a separate saucepan (the beeswax should be a golden color with a distinct honey smell). 
  • Fill the saucepan with just enough oil to cover the herbs. 
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes with the herbs in the oil. 
  • Pour in the wax after the wax and oil have reached the same temperature. 
  • Pour into clean jars after straining. 
  • While the salve is still liquid, a tincture of benzoin (approximately one ounce per quart) may be added as a preservative, but it is not absolutely required. 
  • Having perfectly clean and dry jars and utensils is the most essential element in controlling mold. 
  • Boiling and thorough drying are typically all that is required. 
  • People who live in hot, humid areas may wish to add the tincture of benzoin as an additional precaution. 






TINCTURES.



Tinctures are produced by using a mortar and pestle (or a blender) to crush the leaves, roots, or other plant components and then barely covering them with high-quality vodka, whiskey, or grain alcohol. 


  • Add a little amount of glycerine (approximately two teaspoons per pint) and around 10% per volume of spring water after twenty-one days. 
  • Strain and store in sealed amber glass containers. 
  • Herbal tinctures should be stored in a cool, dry location for up to five years. 
  • Twenty drops in a cup of herb tea or warm water four times a day is the usual dosage. 
  • In severe or emergency circumstances, the dosage is given more often; for example, a dropperful every five minutes in the event of labor pains. 






POULTICES.



To create a poultice, soak fresh or dried herbs in freshly boiled water until they are tender. 


  • To make the poultice stick together, combine them with just enough slippery elm powder. 
  • Wrap it in a clean cloth and place it on the afflicted area. 
  • Clear plastic wrap may be put around the poultice and cloth to prevent them from discoloration. 





FOMENTATIONS.



A fomentation is a powerful herbal tea that is immersed in a clean cloth (the cloth can also be filled with herbs). 


  • After that, the cloth is put to the afflicted area. 






SYRUPS.



Syrups are prepared by boiling three pounds of Sucanat (dessicated sugar cane juice) in one pint of water until it reaches a syrupy consistency, then steeping the herbs for twenty minutes in the hot liquid. 


  • The herbs may also be cooked for approximately ten minutes in honey or maple syrup. 
  • For every cup of liquid, use two tablespoons of herb. 
  • Strain the syrup and keep it refrigerated in an airtight container.





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Herbs And Herbalism - Bear's Breech







Bear's Breech  - Brank Ursine. 





Acanthus (from the Greek akanthos, ake meaning thorn, anthos meaning flowers) is a generic term for a variety of thorny plants that appears often in Greek and Roman literature. 

  • The lovely leaves inspired ideas for column ornamentation in ancient Greek architecture. 



Description - Leaves are rectangular with undulating edges, dark green and glossy, 30-60 cm long; stems are straight to 150 cm high, with white or lavender pink flowers on spikes in the summer. 

  • Distribution Southern European origin. Now widely available. 



Cultivation - Tolerates a wide range of soil types, but likes deep loam in full sun or moderate shade. 


  • In the spring and fall, propagate by division; in the spring, propagate by root cuttings or seed. 
  • In a big pot in full light, it may be grown as a houseplant. 

Uses - Burns and scalds were traditionally treated with crushed leaves.


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Herbs And Herbalism - False Hellebore






False Hellebore - Spring/Eye Pheasant's Adonis Ox-eye. 



The name comes from the mythology of Adonis, who was slain by a wild boar and whose blood was used to create the plant. 


  • Several European pharmacopoeias still include it. 
  • A. vernalis, with yellow flowers, and A. annua, with red blooms, are the two kinds. 



Description - Herb that grows year after year. 10-30 cm tall; sparsely branching, leaves abundant and well divided; solitary, terminal, bright yellow blooms in early spring. 


  • In temperate zones, it grows wild on occasion; it may also be cultivated in the garden. 
  • Cultivation Plant in moist soils in full sun or partial shade; blooms best in full sun. 
  • Rockeries are ideal for A. vernalis. It is impossible to transplant A. annua. Some variants with white or double flowers are grown. 



Constituents - Cymarin is one of the glycosides. 

  • This recipe calls for dried herbs. A good heart tonic that isn't cumulative and isn't as poisonous as Digitali-. Coronary arteries are dilated. 
  • Because of the uneven absorption, it is not extensively utilized. 
  • Vermifuge. 


Contra-indications - Even in tiny quantities, it is poisonous and should only be used by medical professionals.




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Herbs And Herbalism - Maidenhair Fern






Maidenhair Fern - Venus Hair  


Because the leaf repels water and the plant's native habitat is a wet environment, the generic name Adiantum comes from the Greek word adiantos, which means "unwetted." 




  • The pudenda's hair following the fine, glossy, black petioles is referred to by both the specific and colloquial names. 
  • This was formerly the most significant botanical component in Capillaire, a popular cough syrup that was used into the eighteenth century. 

Description Petioles are tiny, fragile, black, and glossy on this perennial fern that grows 10-40 cm tall. 


  • Pinnules fan-shaped and serrated, leaves oblong to narrowly triangular, delicately pinnate, sori reddishbrown on the underside of leaf tips. 



Distribution - Great Britain, central and southern Europe are all home to this species. 


  • Now available in temperate and tropical climates all around the globe. 
  • Especially near the sea, in caves, wells, and on wet walls; cliffs, and chalky soils; but even up to 1300 meters. 


Cultivation in the wild Cultivated as a pot plant in a loam and leaf mold mix: moist environment required. 

  • Propagation is accomplished via division. 


Constituents Mucilage; tannins; gallic acid: sugars; bitter ingredients of different kinds: capillarine: a very small amount of an essential oil. 



  • Occasionally uses fresh or dried leafy fronds Bechic: weak emmenagogue: weak diuretic: weak expectorant 
  • Mostly used for chest symptoms including respiratory catarrh and coughing. 
  • Pleurisy and asthma were formerly treated with it, although the latter had little impact.



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Herbs And Herbalism - Calamus





Calamus - Myrtle/Sweet Flag/Sweet Sedge Flag. 


Acorus calamus was an ancient East Asian plant that is also referenced in the Bible in Exodus. 


The Mongolians are said to have brought it to Russia in the eleventh century, and Poland in the fourteenth. 

Clausius, a Viennese botanist, extensively disseminated it towards the end of the sixteenth century. 



Description - Hardy, fragrant perennial with a branching rhizome that is 3 cm thick and bears sword-shaped leaves with a wavy border that are 1 m tall and 15 mm broad. 

  • Early summer blooms on a 48cm long inflorescence. 


Distribution - Originally from Central Asia and Eastern Europe, it is currently found in northern temperate zones, particularly in marshy areas. 



Cultivation - It prefers wet soil and regular irrigation, and thrives near water sources. 

  • Early spring or fall, divide clumps and thoroughly cover. 



Constituents - Bitter, fragrant, volatile oil with acorin as the bitter ingredient. 

  • Made use of as a Diaphoretic, carminative, vermifuge, spasmolytic. Salivary and stomach glands are stimulated. 
  • On the central nervous system, it has a little sedative effect. 
  • It's best for flatulent colic and dyspepsia. 
  • Liqueur and beer flavoring Sweetmeats made from candied rhizomes. 
  • Salads with young leaf buds. 
  • White ants are repelled by this insecticide powder. 
  • Orris root-like fragrance ingredient. 
  • Toothpowder, hair powders, and dry shampoos are all examples of powders. 
  • Snuff. 


Contra-indications - The oil of acorus is said to be carcinogenic.


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Herbs And Herbalism - Aconite





Wolfsbane/Monkshood/Blue Rocket 



The ancient Chinese used this deadly plant as an arrow poison, and its generic name derives from the Greek akontion, which means "dart." The name Napellus comes from the form of its tuberous root, which resembles a turnip. 


  • Aconitum napellus was a popular plant among the Welsh doctors of Myddvai in the thirteenth century, but it was not widely used in medicine until the eighteenth century. 



Description - Hardy herbaceous perennial; essentially biennial because roots are produced one year and flowers the next; stem erect to 150 cm; leaves dark green, glossy, 3-8 cm wide, divided flowers (summer and autumni violet blue, 2 cm high, helmet shaped, in terminal clusters); stem erect to 150 cm; leaves dark green, glossy, 3-8 cm wide, divided flowers (summer and autumni violet blue, 2 cm high, helmet shaped, in terminal clusters 



Distribution - Mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere; native to the Alps and Pyrenees. 

  • It prefers wet, shady soils. 


Cultivation - Root division occurs in the fall, and chosen daughter roots are kept in a warm location until being planted in wet loam in the middle of the winter. 

  • In 2-3 years, seeds planted in the spring will bloom. 
  • Blue Spectre, Sparks Variety, and other blue, white, and violet varieties make attractive garden decorations. 

Constituents - Due to its sedative and poisonous properties.


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Herbs And Herbalism - Yarrow




Wound wort/Weed/Carpenter's Milfoil 




This plant has been linked with wound healing and blood-flow control since ancient times, thus the general name; Achilles, for example, is said to have healed his soldiers using its leaves. 



A. millefolium has a long history of medicinal usage. 


Description - Aromatic perennial stoloniferous plant with an upright wrinkled stem 8-60 cm high, white or pinkish blooms from early summer to fall, and somewhat hairy bipinnate leaves 2-10 cm long, split into fine leaflets. 



Widely distributed in temperate zones; native to Europe; grows on all but the poorest soils. 

  • Cultivation Increase the number of plants by dividing them in the spring or fall. 
  • In a sunny location, it will grow in any soil. 



Constituents Azulene-containing volatile oil, as well as achilleine, a glycoalkaloid. makes use of (dried aerial parts, including flowers) Diaphoretic, antipyretic, hypotensive, diuretic, and antiseptic for the urinary tract. 


  • For colds and influenza, combine with Elderflowers and Peppermint. 
  • Hypertension, coronary thrombosis, dysentery, and diarrhoea are all treated with this drug. 
  • Toothache is relieved by chewing on a fresh leaf. 
  • Menstrual periods are regulated. 
  • Gastric secretion is stimulated. 
  • Salads with fresh herbs. 
  • In brewing, it may be used instead of hops. 
  • For oily skin, use a cosmetic cleanser. 
  • Snuff is a tobacco-free alternative. 
  • The 'I Ching' is remembered. 


Contra-indications Headaches and vertigo are common side effects of high dosages.


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Herbs And Herbalism - Gum Arabic





Gum Arabic  - Acacia Gum /Gummi acaciae 


In the seventeenth century B.C., Egyptians imported gum from the Gulf of Aden, which they named Kami and utilized mostly for painting and as an adhesive for lapis lazuli or colored glass. 


  • In the fourth century B.C., Theophrastus described Kami, and in the first century B.C., Celsus named it Gummi acanthinum. 
  • It was employed by Arabian doctors at Salerno's medieval school, and it was subject to customs tax at Pisa and Paris. 
  • It took  till 1521 to get to London through Venice. 
  • Gum Arabic is still in use in the pharmaceutical industry. 





Description - Low tree, 3-6 m tall, with bending grey branches and grey bark; light green foliage, smooth yellowish blooms that are aromatic; white corolla. 


  • East and west Africa are home to this species. 
  • In Arabia and India, it's very common. 

Cultivation None; trees were incised and gum was harvested in the early winter. 



Constituents Contains mostly arabic acid salts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium (arabin). 

  • In water, it forms a mucilage. (dry gummy exudate from stems and branches; soothing for injured tissue) Mouth lozenges, cough mixes, and emulsions include this ingredient. 
  • When eaten as gruel, it is very nutritious. 
  • Adhesive.



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Herbs And Herbalism - Catechu






Catechu - Black Cutch/Kutch. 


In the sixteenth century, this plant was known as Cacho or Kat and was a popular export from India to China, Arabia, and Persia. 

  • It was brought to Europe from Japan in the seventeenth century. 
  • It wasn't until 1677 that the dark brown extract was identified as a vegetable component. 
  • It was listed in the 172nd edition of the London Pharmacopoeia. 





Description - 9-12 m tall; trunk short, not straight, 1.5-2 m in diameter; straggling thorny branches; light feathery leaves; rough, dark grey-brown bark; delicate yellow flowers Native to eastern India and Burma; prevalent in hotter, drier areas of Ceylon, Burmese plains, and tropical east African woods. 


Cultivation 

  • Trees were felled and processed, not grown. 




Constituents Catechutannic acid has astringent properties. 


  • Quercetin, catechu red, and catechol are also present. 
  • (boiled and strained heartwood chip extract, resulting in a very dark brown solid mass) A powerful astringent that may be used as a gargle to treat irritated throat, gums, and mouth. 
  • Used to cure diarrhoea as well as ulcers and boils on the skin. 
  • Posts, heaters, and charcoal are all made of wood. 
  • Tannin and coloring with catechu and bark.


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Herbs And Herbalism - Silver Fir





Silver Fir- This conifer was originally the source of 'Strassburg Turpentine,' which Belon first mentioned in De Arboribus coniferis (1553). 


Until 1788, it was kept in the London Pharmacopoeia. It is currently exclusively utilized in traditional medicine, and the leaves, buds, and new resin are seldom harvested. 



Description - Leaves simple, needle-like, shiny and dark green above, rounded at apex; to 3 cm long; coniferous evergreen tree to 50 m trunk straight, branches brownish and pubescent; leaves simple, needle-like, glossy and dark green above, rounded at apex; Male cones are tiny and monoecious; female cones are up to 16 cm long, upright, reddishbrown in color, and have deciduous scales. 


  • Late spring to early summer appearance. 
  • Distribution Mountainous areas between 400 to 2000 meters in height are native to central and southern Europe. 
  • Introduced at another place the Cultivation is done in the Wild. 
  • Columnaris, Compacta, and Pendula are some of the cultivars used in horticulture. 




Constituents Turpentine, essential oil, a sugar called abietite, and provitamin. 


  • A make up oleo-resin. makes use of (leaves, fresh resin, oil of turpentine occasionally). 
  • Antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, and carminative are some of the properties of this herb. 
  • Bronchitis, cystitis, leucorrhoea, ulcers, and flatulent colic are all treated with this drug. 
  • The oil is an irritant that may be used as a rubefacient in neuralgia when applied topically and diluted. 

Contra-indications The oil should only be applied to the skin and may induce allergic responses.



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Herbs And Herbalism - Bergamot Mint





Bergamot Mint - Eau de Cologne Mint/ Orange Mint


In this case, Mentha is the genus and piperita is the species; (Ehr.) is the name of the botanist who originally classified the species, and Briq. (the abbreviation of Briquet) is the name of the person who approved the reclassification, thus there are no brackets. 





  • Linnaeus classified this plant as Mentha piperita, but Ehrhart reclassified it as Mentha x piperita var. citrata; the x indicates that the plant is a cross between Mentha spicata and Mentha aquatica, and the 'var.' indicates that this is a variety of mint that isn't distinct enough to be classified as a separate species. 
  • The family to which the plant belongs is Labiatae. Pinaceae, Abies alba Mill.



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Herbs - What Is Herbalism?



    Herbalism was formerly believed to consist nearly entirely of the lighthearted study of early written books that dealt with the purported therapeutic properties of plants or their application in cooking. 


    • With the rediscovery of our pre-industrial history, the study of herbs has only lately started to shed its connection with quack medicine and become part of the return to a more natural way of life. 




    Herbology cannot be pigeonholed into a limited botanical niche since man's connection with plants has always been intimately connected with economics, religion, and science. 



    'Herbaceous' plants lack a woody stem and die down to the ground at the end of their growth season, or life if the plant is an annual, according to the definition of the word "herb." 



    • However, some of the first plants that spring to mind, such as sage, are not included in this description. 
    • Lavender or Rosemary. These are among the most often used woody herbs that do not die down. 
    • Because the dictionary limits our research to the use of plant steins and leaves, herbalism may also include the use of lichens, fungi, and a plethora of other plants whose fruit, roots, bark, and gums are useful to humans. 



    Herbalism may simply be defined as the study of plants that are useful to humans. 


    • The addition of plants such as some onions, beetroot, celery, olives, and chicory, which we commonly refer to as vegetables, further complicates the concept of a herb. 
    • Herbs were originally classified into three categories: pot herbs, such as onions; sweet herbs, such as thyme, which we now refer to as culinary herbs; and salad herbs, such as wild celery. 
    • Pot herbs started to be referred to as vegetables in the seventeenth century, since they were no longer considered just for use in the pot but also for use at the table. 
    • The evolution of their structure and flavor away from the wild plant to the bigger and less bitter contemporary counterparts was due to horticultural breeding of these plants. 





    Herbs were an essential and unquestionably required item in life until very recently. 



    Their cultivation, gathering, and distribution, for example, were critical to the smooth operation of any household in medieval Europe. 


    In the kitchen, horsetail (Equisetum arvense) and ash twigs (Fraxinus excelsior) were used as egg whisks and brushes, respectively. 


    Such herbal tools are now only available from certain chandlers. 


    • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) was employed as a flea repellant, while soapwort or Bouncing Bet (Saponana officinalis) was used as a soap for delicate textiles. 
    • Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) and other herbs were used as tapers or emergency candles, and herbs were used in practically every everyday activity. 
    • For cheesemaking, Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) produced a rennet-like juice. 




    Herbs are still used in the tobacco and brewing industries, as well as in the production of wine and liqueurs, as flavorings and colors in the confectionery industry, and in the production of dyes. 



    Herbs are now again becoming as important to the contemporary cosmetic industry as they have always been to perfume makers, thanks to their beautiful natural smells and oils. 


    • The evolution of man's connection with plants over the ages should be studied in order to understand the current resurgence of herbalism. 

    Historv may be split into three major epochs from the origin of Homo sapiens to the present day: the hunter-gatherer era, the agricultural period, and the current agricultural-industrial period, which began around 400 years ago. 


    • Our understanding of man's early origins and development is still sketchy at best. 
    • We can only guess about early man's diet and manner of life, therefore our estimate of his reliance on plants must be a mix of guesswork and inference based on the remnants found by archaeologists. 




    Plants and edibles are only maintained in optimum circumstances, such as especially dry areas and, in many cases, caves, whereas tools and artifacts frequently remain to provide evidence of economics and technology. 



    • Plant remnants come in a range of shapes and sizes, with the majority comprising seeds, flower and fruit stalks, and leaves. 
    • Plants can be identified by a competent botanist, and even petrified feces may offer information. 
    • Man hunted animals, fished, collected wild fruits and leaves, and scraped up the edible roots of wild plants as a hunter-gatherer. 
    • In his rejection of toxic plants, he may or may not have responded intuitively. 
    • Within the confines of his nomadic wanderings, he must have experimented with and learned about the various flora. 
    • The majority were harmless and bland; some fed him; a few were extremely tasty, while others were equally so. 
    • He found that some might alleviate pain, while others proved deadly, and a few had a weird otherworldly impact on his mind and body through trial and error. 
    • During this time, man was able to devise methods for neutralizing or making palatable the components of plants that he found to be useful to him. 
    • Chopped plants were leached, dried, roasted, and cooked. 




    There's even evidence that the hunter-gatherer may have dabbled with fermentation. 


    • The hunter-gatherer period was the world's longest clinical trial, yielding herbs that provided the best foods, poison to kill enemies, the finest fuels and weapons, soporific drinks, medicines, plants that provided color for body and cave paintings, and 'magic' plants that transported primitive man away from reality. 
    • The plants that cause visual, aural, tactile, taste, or other hallucinations fall under this category. 
    • Their effects range from moderate euphoria to the induction of artificial psychism, and they are variably characterized as hallucinatory, psychedelic, narcotic, or psychoactive. 
    • Their significance cannot be overstated, since their effects on the human mind and body contributed to their strong position in primitive civilization. 
    • Such plants provided brief comfort and an escape from the harshness of early man's surroundings. 




    When he was unwell, they offered a direct palliative or cure, but we must frequently assume that the plants' psychological effects were more important than their merely physical benefits. 


    • This is particularly noteworthy when we consider that the current distinctions between science, medicine, art, and religion would have been meaningless to early man. 
    • Sickness in ancient cultures is often ascribed to supernatural powers invading the body, and medicine has therefore been connected to the supernatural from the dawn of humanity. 
    • Early physicians and herbalists were accorded a high social prestige, and they often improved their social standing by keeping the secrets of their herbal treatments hidden and manipulating superstition. 




    Mandrake, a plant known for its anesthetic and purgative qualities, was shrouded in a slew of ominous beliefs. 


    In the first century a.d., Jewish historian Josephus said that Mandrake had the ability to remove evil spirits from ill people, but that uprooting it carelessly would result in death. 

    The Paeony, too, had to be excavated at night, since if a woodpecker caught a gatherer during the day, he'd be in big trouble. 



    All cultures have utilized hallucinatory plants and their products for thousands of years. 


    • Today, their misuse is a contentious issue in the so-called "drug epidemic." The most often abused substances include opium, hashish, cannabis, morphine, and cocaine. 
    • Modern views to herbalism have integrated the extensive historical connections of such plants with the supernatural and primordial religion. 
    • Because of superstitious contamination, much of our forefathers' important plant knowledge has been discarded. 



    Agriculture was born in the second era of history, not in the lush valleys of Mesopotamia, as was previously thought, but in the Near East. 


    • Excavations at Jarmo in Iraq have found traces of wheat and barley dating back to 6750 B.C., making it one of the oldest archaeological sites. 
    • Agriculture occurred a few thousand years later in the New World, and it most likely began on its own. 
    • Early sites in Mexico discovered maize, gourds, beans, and squashes. 
    • The Neolithic revolution, or the discovery of agriculture, as archaeologists call it, changed man's whole life. 
    • The hunter-gatherer, on the other hand, need a large amount of land to survive. 
    • Agriculture meant that a community could be supported by relatively modest amounts of land under cultivation. 





    Man started to establish permanent settlements, laying the groundwork for the development of science. 



    Instead of surviving, man could clear the woods and create ideal conditions for the herbaceous sun loving crops he preferred. 


    • By 3500 B.C., the Egyptians had developed ropes from Papyrus and palm fiber, had started to produce cosmetics and fragrances, and had reduced their reliance on magic in the treatment of illness. 
    • By 2700 B.C., the Chinese had begun to grow tea and to pursue herbal medicine with a more scientific method. 
    • Everywhere, the most useful or highly valued plants for household, medical, or religious purposes were cultivated, planted closer to human homes, and preserved. 



    The Persians created the earliest gardens by planting fragrant and perfumed plants beside shade-giving trees in scenic and tranquil locations. 


    • Municipal herb gardens were established for public use in certain early towns, such as Nineveh. 
    • In Nepal, there are state-run medicinal herb gardens. 
    • Scholarship and trade grew and thrived throughout time. 
    • As communication improved, ideas were shared, and the foundations of modern science and medicine were established by the great civilizations of Greece and Rome.



    Even though the Greek and Roman classics served as standard reference materials until the sixteenth century, the most beneficial plants found in them may be traced back to hunter-gatherers and Neolithic man. 


    • Herbalism and our knowledge of the advantages of plants did not stop with the Greeks and Romans, nor has it been confined to Europe. 
    • Many new plants were introduced to European herbals and pharmacopoeias as a result of the discovery of the New World. 



    Even yet, you only have data of a small percentage of the world's estimated 342.000 plant species. 


    • Even in the most developed nations, wild goods and plants are being collected in great numbers; new species of wild plants are still being cultivated in the same manner as the first agriculturalists did, while additional applications are being discovered for well-known plants. 
    • However, our early excitement for the chemical and synthetic alternatives to herbs made accessible by contemporary technology has blinded us to our true and continuing need for herbs. 
    • We now know little or nothing about the raw materials or stakes used in the commodities we purchase, and we can't tell whether the blue jeans we're wearing are from Incline. 



    In India, efficiency dictated that of the 200,000 blooming plant species, just 12 or 13 were extensively cultivated. 


    • And unlike the Roman conquerors of Europe, most of us eat a far more limited vegetable diet. 
    • Unfortunately, industrialization has resulted in the loss of much of our ancestors' important herbal knowledge, as well as the belief that we can survive without them. 
    • When one considers the enormous amounts of crude herbs used today in even the most advanced civilizations, this is obviously a huge misunderstanding. 




    Herbalism is witnessing a resurgence of public and professional interest after a two-hundred-year slump. 



    • The professions that once mocked herbal medicine as useless and superstitious "old wives' tales" are now turning to nature in an effort to find techniques and materials that are devoid of the unwelcome side-effects that are so common with today's 'chemically designed' synthetic drugs. 
    • To evaluate the beliefs generated by millennia of practical experience, new reappraisal techniques are being employed. 
    • There are indications that a resurgence of interest in herbs will be very beneficial to mankind, and that the herbal methods of our forefathers are increasingly being justified. 


    Careful research has proven that many of the ancient herb doctors' ideas were correct, and that plants, for example, can actually have various characteristics when gathered at different seasons of the year, and that some combinations of plants are more effective than using individual herbs. 




    There has also been a resurgence of interest in herbs among the general public. 



    The beauty and tranquility of the old fashioned herb garden, with its accompanying culinary and fragrant herbs, has sparked interest, and it seems to fit the needs of contemporary times. 


    • Herb gardens offer valuable resources while requiring little care, since herbs do not need specific soils or advanced horticultural expertise. 
    • Herbs offer the vitamins and minerals that are becoming more important in a healthy diet. 
    • They're a great place to start if you want to make your own cosmetics, ales, wines, scented sachets, potpourris, or dyes. 



    Herbs are not only inexpensive and simple to use, but they also offer the benefit of being free of the health risks associated with man-made products, such as medicines, food colorings, and hair colors. 


    • Herbalism has become a component of our society's growing concern for ecological balance and a pollution-free 'natural' way of life. 
    • This late-twentieth-century awareness of herbs and their enormous usefulness in food and medicine is really a rediscovering of ancient knowledge, demonstrating that the biblical phrase "all flesh is grass" is as accurate today as it has always been.





    You may also want to read more about Herbs, Herbalism, Herbal Magick, Herbal Healing, and Herbal Remedies here.