|Yellow Root plant|
My friend, Janice, made me drink yellow root tea... it was bitter and nasty tasting and no amount of honey, sugar, lemon juice or other ingredients did anything to improve the flavor... it tasted like... dirt, bitter dirt.
I had a terrible sore throat, my children were young, I kept putting off going to the doctor even though I was pretty sure I had strep... there were blisters and ulcerations all in the back of my mouth and down my throat, it hurt to swallow... it hurt to talk... it hurt to open my mouth... I was miserable.
Janice and her husband Tony had invited us over for dinner... they were wonderful friends, fellow homeschoolers, and Janice and I used to joke that we shared half a brain and usually the other one was using our half when we needed it. I called her to tell her my throat was killing me and it would be better if we didn't come over, didn't want to be spreading my germs around. She responded, "I'm sending Tony down to the creek right now to get some yellow root, come on over, I'm making you some yellow root tea."
And she did. She washed the roots, chopped them up and steeped them in boiling water... then when the tea was cool enough to drink, she made me drink it and poured a canning jar full of the vile stuff for me to take home with the instructions to drink a cup of it two or three times a day until my throat felt better. I did and within THREE days, I could swallow... and shining a flashlight down my throat... there were no more blisters...
|Goldenseal (from everything I can find to read, Goldenseal|
is another name for yellow root)... PLEASE if I'm wrong,
somebody correct me!
At the Herbal Medicine Workshop I attended, the instructor told the class that bitter herbs... digestive herbs... are so lacking in our society... with the quest for "sweet-tasting" or at least "good tasting" medicines, teas, etc. people have sorely neglected ingesting bitter herbs... herbs that aid our digestive systems... it's no wonder people today have so many problems with digestive issues... heartburn, indigestion, irregularity... stomach ulcers, cold sores, fever blisters, mouth ulcers... the list is endless...
There was a time when taking a "tonic" was a normal thing... no longer! We only treat symptoms, not the underlying cause...
The "Doctrine of Plant Signatures" states that "the physical form of a plant gives a clue as to its healing purposes."
In the New King James version of the Holy Bible, it states, "And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.’" ~Genesis 1:29. Several European herbalists from the past believed that God Himself left us clues as to what plants are most beneficial to specific ailments and body parts. Although the science of nutrition was not known then, the application of this principle through careful observation was memorialized in early herbal texts and has been revived today in homeopathy, herbalism and the study of flower essences.
Another liver/lymphatic herb is calendula... A tincture of calendula will "flush out a stagnant lymph system." Topically, calendula is a wonderful skin remedy... steep the dried flower petals in a good oil (olive oil is great) in the sun for several (2-6) weeks, shaking daily (in a canning jar!), then mix with beeswax for a healing skin salve.
Calendula tea or tincture in water can be swished and swallowed in order to help heal oral lesions, sore throat, or gastric ulcer.
Chamomile is considered a "warming bitter"... it calms as it cures. We all know chamomile tea is wonderful to relax and help with sleep, but it also soothes and calms the digestive system. A tincture of chamomile (tincture chamomile in brandy) is wonderful for teething babies (rub a little on their gums, it calms and soothes and takes the pain away).
Chamomile is antispasmodic to the intestinal tract and helps heal gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Dandelion (YES, dandelion, that "weed" that grows in your yard) is yet another liver/lympatic herb... make a salad out of the leaves... or a tea, or a tincture, or cook them like greens... dandelion greens are a potassium rich diuretic (most diuretics deplete the body of potassium, not dandelion!)... herbalists use tinctures of dandelion mixed with hawthorn tinctures to treat congestive heart failure.
Dandelion root (a digestive bitter herb) is used as a liver tonic (cleansing)... and can be dried and ground as a substitute for coffee.
The flowers of the versatile dandelion (remember yellow=liver!) are excellent for neck and shoulder pain (lymphatic!)... and dandelion wine is said to alleviate seasonal depression.
The lowly dandelion is a classic spring tonic. The herb is mildly laxative, markedly diuretic, and improves the function of the liver, promoting secretion of bile.
Fennel aids in digestion... use the seeds in a tea or tincture to alleviate gas and bloating. Our former neighbors (from India) keep candy coated fennel seeds in their pantry at all times to give to colicky children (and adults) Fennel tea is safe even for babies to help colic ... fennel freshens the breath, improves assimilation with food and decreases gas. The tincture or tea synergizes well with laxatives, acting as an anti-spasmodic.