Herbal medicine is the medicine of the people. It is simple, safe,
effective, and free. Our ancestors knew how to use an enormous variety
of plants for health and well being. Our neighbors around the world
continue to use local plants for healing and health maintenance, and
you can too.
In your first
lesson, you learned how to "listen" to the messages
of plant's tastes. And you discovered that using plants in water bases
(as teas, infusions, vinegars, and soups) -- and as simples -- allows
you to experiment with and explore herbal medicine safely.
In your second
lesson, you learned about herbs for teas and how to preserve and
use their volatile oils. You leaned about vitamin- and mineral-rich
herbal infusions, and how to use them to promote health and longevity.
And you continued to think about using herbs simply.
In this lesson you will explore the differences between nourishing,
and potentially-poisonous plants. You will learn
how to prepare and use them for greatest effect and most safety.
All Herbs Are Not Equal
All herbs are not equal: some contain poisons, some don't; some of
the poisons are not so bad, some can kill you dead. I divide herbs
into four categories for ease in remembering how (and how much) to
use. Some herbs nourish us, some tonify; some bring us up or ease
us down and some are frighteningly strong.
Nourishing herbs are the safest of all herbs. They contain
few or no alkaloids, glycosides, resins, or essential oils (poisons).
Nourishing herbs are eaten as foods, cooked into soups, dried and
infused, or, occasionally, made into vinegars.. They provide high-level
nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, proteins,
phytoestrogens and phytosterols, starches, simple and complex sugars,
bioflavonoids, carotenes, and essential fatty acids (EFAs).
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