We are delighted to welcome Ginny to The Broad Street Practice, where she will be offering her services as a Medical Herbalist. Appointments are available on Tuesday afternoons and alternate Friday/Saturday mornings, starting this Tuesday 7th October.
To whet your appetite – Ginny has written a blog about the medicinal uses of a number of culinary and other well-known herbs!
Herbs not only assist in flavouring dishes and filling the air with delightful aromas, but they also hold medicinal properties that promote healing. Recognising the medicinal properties in herbs is one thing but using them therapeutically is a minefield. Would you know in what form to take a particular herb, how to prepare it, suitable dose, frequency, duration etc?
If you want to use herbs for therapeutic purposes, it’s important to consult a qualified Medical Herbalist.
Here are just a few herbs that may be familiar to you and their medicinal properties and uses….
1. ALOE VERA – Antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, wound and burn healer. A natural laxative that soothes the stomach and helps skin disorders.
2. BASIL – A powerful antispasmodic, antiviral, antibacterial. Helps calm digestion and is traditionally used to increase milk in nursing mothers.
3. BLACK COHOSH – Relieves menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, period pain. Also anti-inflammatory and anti rheumatic, it is used for many types of pain including arthritis as well as being useful for nervousness and stress.
4. CINNAMON – The antibacterial/anti microbial effect of cinnamon has repeatedly been shown in studies including a strong antibacterial effect on the bacteria that cause acne. A great anti-infective herb as well as helping to reduce blood sugar.
5. CAYENNE – A catalyst for other herbs, it opens up tissue in the body to an increased flow of blood, acting as a warming stimulant. Supports circulation in the elderly and improves appetite, anti-spasmodic for the relief of pain.
6. CLOVE BUD – Mild local anesthetic for aching teeth, warming stimulant, aromatic, powerful antiseptic. Used for flatulence, poor digestion and lung conditions.
7. DANDELION – A bitter and digestive tonic, a mild laxative used for liver disorders, gallbladder inflammation and gallstones, eczema and other skin conditions, poor digestion, constipation. Also helpful for PMS, and hormone balance.
8. ECHINACEA – Modulates the immune system and is antiviral and antiseptic. Used for many types of infection including recurrent infections, to improve resistance to infection and speed recovery. Also useful for skin conditions,
9. EUCALYPTUS – Anti-infectious, antibacterial and antiviral.
10. GARLIC – Antiseptic and antibiotic. Studies have shown extracts to be effective against MRSA. Helps reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, assists in yeast infections such as Candida. Useful for asthma and coughs, sinusitis, catarrh and circulatory problems.
11. GERMAN CHAMOMILE – Fondly nicknamed ‘mother of the gut’, it helps many types of digestive problems including indigestion, IBS and colitis. Calming for stress, anxiety and insomnia and also anti-inflammatory.
12. GERANIUM – Astringent and anti-inflammatory. Helps to stop bleeding and is used to heal the gut and calm diarrhoea.
13. GINGER – Helps nausea, motion sickness and vomiting. Useful for circulatory problems, good for indigestion, and is also an effective antioxidant.
14. LAVENDER – An antiseptic that assists with burns. Used as a stress reliever and to improve mood.
15.LEMON BALM – Calming to the nervous and digestive system. Can be useful in depression, IBS, hyperthyroidism, migraine, and cold sores (due to its antiviral properties).
16. MARJORAM – Anti-septic and antispasmodic. Soothes muscles & headaches. Also traditionally used as an emmenogogue (to initiate and promote periods).
17. MARSHMALLOW – Soothing demulcent. Helps in relief of bladder infections, is a diuretic (to help reduce fluid retention) used for kidney problems, soothes coughs, sore throats, helps heal the digestive tract. Used on the skin it is said to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound healing.
18. MULLEIN – Soothing relaxant for irritable airways/coughs, useful for difficulty breathing and bronchitis, may offer relief in asthma. Also helps hay fever.
19. MYRRH – Strong antibacterial, widely used antiseptic. Used for ulceration, especially of the mouth and throat, weeping wounds that refuse to heal, boils, abscesses and Candida (thrush)
20. OREGANO – A powerful antibiotic and has been shown to be more effective in neutralizing germs than some chemical antibiotics. It has been effective against germs like S.aureus, E. coli, Y. enterocolitica and P. aeruginosa.
22. SAGE – Anti-inflammatory and anti-infective. Used for sore throats, laryngitis, ulceration, anxiety & nervous disorders, excessive sweating including hyperhidrosis and menopausal flushes.
23. TEA TREE – Potent antibacterial and anti-fungal. Useful for burns and many skin conditions.
24. THYME – Antiseptic & anti viral. A study at Leeds Metropolitan University showed it to be more effective against acne than some topical antibiotics. Used for infections of the respiratory and digestive tract, to treat worms and to improve digestion.