The Healing Magic of Nature Under Our Feet
By Evgenia Vazquez
For years, our ancestors trusted the healing properties of herbs. Today, with the evolution of medicine and pharmaceuticals, the herbs seem to have lost their appeal. But we should give them due credit for the ability to contribute to our well-being. Mark Twain wittingly noted at one time: “You may honestly feel grateful that homeopathy survived the attempts of the allopaths to destroy it.” If you are open to the alternative of raising your kids in a more organic environment, this article may be just for you.
Here are a few herbs all moms should consider keeping around the house.
Mint is the first plant that comes to mind when talking about herbs. Mint helps with pains such as headache and stomach pain. No wonder it is called “the good herb” in Spanish.
Chamomile is well known for its soothing effect. It can help with anything, from upset tummy to teething pain, to irritated skin, and it is safe to give even to babies from 6 months old and up. Brew it as a warm tea before bed or add to the bath water, and the little one will sleep well through the night.
Lavender is another remedy that has a calming effect. If the toddler has just thrown another unreasonable tantrum, consider diffusing some lavender oil and see what might happen.
Lemon balm is worth mentioning as well. It helps kids with attention and concentration. If your child’s teacher is suspecting that the student might have ADD, don’t rush to the doctor without trying to add a little lemon balm to the diet. Mix it with juice or tea for a few weeks, and see if that helps.
Catnip can help with gastrointestinal disorders. Colic, diarrhea or indigestion won’t stand a chance.
Plantain will relieve discomfort and swelling from bites, stings, and other skin irritations. Meld it into a gooey porridge and apply on the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water. Plantain can pull out poisons and toxins out of the skin.
Calendula, celandine and lemongrass help to have smooth skin. These herbs are recommended for use in bathwater for newborns and toddlers. There have been cases when severe eczema was successfully treated with lemongrass in small children.
Eucalyptus is famous for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Diffusing eucalyptus oil or eating eucalyptus honey is a good prevention measure, especially during cold season.
Let’s not forget about all the natural remedies for cold. “The flu season is predicted to be especially severe this year”, – says Ashleigh Ramon, a certified herbalist from Brandon, MS. “That is why it is important to get ready. I recommend a mixture of elderberry, echinacea and rose hip. These herbs are high in vitamin C and will help to boost the immune system to fight off the virus. You can buy a tincture from a local market or even make one yourself.” Elderberry is particularly good for children. Not only does it strengthen the immune system, it also fortifies brain development, digestive system and improves the blood flow.
The benefits of herbal supplements do not replace medicine. You shouldn’t practice self-treatment in any way, but instead – consider the good effect of herbs for personal well-being and disease prevention.
Talk you your physician if you have questions or concerns. Whether or not to give the herbs a try is an individual choice, but regardless of the decision, we hope everyone stays strong and healthy this fall!
Evgenia Vazquez is a resident of Jackson, an herb enthusiast and a mom, who wants to share the message that we need to care for the nature the same way the nature takes care of us.
Homemade elderberry syrup recipe from a local herbalist Ashleigh Ramon:
2/3 cups dried elderberries
3 ½ cups water
2 tsp ginger powdered root (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
½ tsp whole/powdered clove (optional)
1 cup local raw honey
Bring all ingredients to boil (except honey), then simmer for about 45 minutes. Cool and strain into a glass bowl. Add honey and mix well. Keep in a glass jar in the fridge.
Dosage: ½ – 1 tsp for kids or ½ -1 tbsp for adults 2-3 times a day for prevention or every two hours while sick.