This article should be named “The 100 herbs needed to survive”, but then it would be to long to read. In the meantime, here is a list of the herbs I feel we can’t do without in our home or our BOB’s.
Echinacea: Known throughout history as a cure-all to treat infections and wounds. For 400 years, Echinacea has been used to treat scarlet fever, syphilis, malaria, blood poisoning, and diphtheria. While taking Echinacea to prevent a cold is infective, if you start taking it at the first signs of a cold it will reduce or shorten the duration of your cold symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fever and pharyngitis. In our household, we use Echinacea Extract and celestial teas when we feel a cold coming on. Echinacea also boosts the immune system and helps to fight infection. The University of Maryland medical laboratory had this to say about the general uses of Echinacea:
Several laboratory and animal studies suggest that echinacea contains active substances that enhance the activity of the immune system, relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have hormonal, antiviral, and antioxidant effects. For this reason, professional herbalists may recommend echinacea to treat urinary tract infections, vaginal yeast (candida) infections, ear infections (also known as otitis media), athlete’s foot, sinusitis, hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis), as well as slow-healing wounds. One study even suggests that echinacea extract exerted an antiviral action on the development of recurrent cold sores triggered by the herpes simplex virus (HSVI) when supplied prior to infection.
Golden Seal: Herbalists today use golden seal as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, laxative, anti-diabetic, astringent, and muscular stimulant. It can also be applied topically for infections of the skin. Aside from being used in an extract form you can also buy it as a tea for drinking.
Yarrow can it be applied topically to wounds to stop bleeding and other ailments. We have both yarrow extract and yarrow teas in our cabinet. Wikipedia list these as the following things that yarrow can be used for;
Pain, antiphlogistic, bleeding, blood clots, blood pressure (lowers), blood purifier, blood vessels (tones), catarrh (acute, repertory), colds, chicken pox, circulation, contraceptive (unproven), cystitis, diabetes, digestion (stimulates), gastrointestinal disorders, choleretic dyspepsia, eczema, fevers, flu, gastritis, gum ailments, heartbeat (slow), influenza, inflammation, emmenagogue, internal bleeding, liver (stimulates and regulates), lungs (hemorrhage), measles, menses (suppressed), menorrhagia, menstruation (regulates, relieves pain), nipple soreness, nosebleeds, piles (bleeding), smallpox, stomach sickness, toothache, thrombosis, ulcers, urinary antiseptic, uterus (tighten and contract), stomachache, and varicose veins.
The salicylic acid derivatives are similar to aspirin, which may account for its use in treating fevers and reducing pain.
Yarrow was also used in traditional Native American herbal medicine. Navajo Indians considered it to be a “life medicine”, chewed it for toothaches, and poured an infusion into ears for earaches. Several tribes of the Plains region of the United States used common yarrow. The Pawnee used the stalk for pain relief. The Chippewa used the leaves for headaches by inhaling it in a steam. They also chewed the roots and applied the saliva to their appendages as a stimulant. The Cherokee drank a tea of common yarrow to reduce fever and aid in restful sleep.
Cayenne Extract is another bottle of extract I do not go anywhere without. It is in my purse, car, and our medicine cabinets. It has been known to stop heart attacks, if caught early, by placing a dropper of it under your tongue. By placing it under the tongue it quickly enters the blood stream, and it has been reported to stop an heart attack in less than 1 minute. Of course you would still need to go to the hospital or call 911 immediately, but it can help save your life. You can read more here if you like on all the benefits of cayenne pepper. (Trust me, you will want to read this article!!)
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, has many healing properties. It helps with fever/common colds, coughs, sore throats, respiratory problems, breaks up mucus, kidney stones, heart disorders, diarrhea, vomiting, chicken pox, stress, mouth infections, insect bites, skin infections such as ring worms, headaches and eye disorders. Click here to learn more. Tulsi/Holy Basil extract and tulsi teas.
We have all of these in our home, and use them on a regular basis. The kids and my hubby both ask me to make them some hot tea and honey when they start feeling sick before they will take medicine. That speaks volumes in my book. However, please do not take these without first speaking to an herbalist or your doctor for your own safety. Please feel free to leave comments below on herbs you feel we can’t live without in our stock pile of self-sufficient medicine cabinets.
Keepin It Spicy,