Saturday, January 4, 2014

Medicine and Health: Herbs as Natural Remedies

In the Philippines where I grew up in, people used herbs for natural treatment.
As children, when we had skin rashes, Mama would boil the young shoots of Guava leaves, and use the "tea" to wash the affected skin.

The sap of Aloe Vera was another favorite for skin problems - burns or rashes. You broke off a leaf, and used the sticky sap as balm. Aloe Vera also promoted hair growth.

Ginger was also used as medicine. Ginger tea was drank when one had a cold or cough.  To make the tea, one got a wedge of the ginger root, slice or crush this, and boil in water.  The traditional drink (called salabat by the Tagalogs in Northern Philippines) was sweetened with brown sugar. Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory.

Malunggay leaves that look a bit like clover were added to chicken soup, and this was considered very healthy. In fact, the Philippines now markets malunggay extract and tea.

Ampalaya or bitter melon, was famous for lowering blood sugar and blood pressure as well as fight rheumatism and diseases of the liver. This was usually served as a vegetable dish, and the good cooks knew how to debitter this.

Coconut oil was used to promote thick beautiful hair. It was also used on the skin.

There was the bark of a palm, called Gugo, which we used as a hair rinse, and which was excellent for hair growth.

We also gargled with salt and water when we had coughs and colds.

Recently I learned about the benefits of Turmeric and Hibiscus tea. Turmeric, a spice generally used to make curry, is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, leukemia, high cholesterol, and many other diseases. Hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure and also helps with cholesterol maintenance.

There are many more natural sources that have medicinal effects.

Herbs and other natural treatments have been used for centuries in China, India, the Philippines, and many other places.

I can't find the source now, but in Greek Mythology, after Pandora opened the forbidden box and released plagues and diseases into the world, there was a god or goddess who took pity on people and created plants/herbs that would cure the illnesses. The idea that plants can heal is becoming more popular and more Westerners are turning to juicing and eating in a more healthy way.

Read also
How to make Tea from Hibiscus or Gumamela
How to Make Gugo or Gogo Shampoo
Philippine Herbal Medicine
Top 10 Herbal Remedies in 2009
Hibiscus Tea
Pandora's Box

tags: herbs, plants, natural medicine, natural treatment, medicine, health, benefits
This is all for now,

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