For those of you who have had a Naturopathic appointment at Herbaceous, and have experienced the pleasure (?!) of taking an indivualised herbal tonic , I’m sure you understand how passionate I am about herbs, and indeed herbal medicine. If you follow Herbaceous over on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen posts about some of my favourite herbs. I’m also sharing this information on the blog so you can read about these herbal gems, and understand how these very special members of the plant kingdom can help to enhance your health and wellbeing.
The majority of herbs I dispense are in liquid/tincture form, however I also dispense them in tablet form, as well as dried herbs for people to make herbal tea/infusions from. I encourage you to prepare and drink herbs as infusions, so that your daily tea drinking becomes a ritual and takes on a medicinal quality, which I believe is way more appealing than dunking a tea bag in boiling water!
Today I am profiling three herbs with differing applications. You will notice that I have included the common name for each herb, as well as the Latin name. To become a naturopath and herbalist I studied herbal medicine for four years. During our herbal medicine lectures and tutorials we were only allowed to refer to the herbs by their Latin names, which is literally like learning a new language. This new language enabled me to discover and connect with around 150 herbs, many of which I now dispense on a regular basis.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to these three wonderful herbs, starting with the wonderful withania, followed by rosemary, and then yarrow.
?WITHANIA ?Latin name: Withania somnifera
Withania, also known as Winter cherry and Ashwaganda, is one of the most revered plants in traditional Ayurvedic medicine in India. It is a wonderfully nourishing herb, hence its application as a tonic and adaptogen. It is an ideal winter herb as it assists in recovery of illness and is very helpful during convalescence. Herbalists dispense withania to help nourish the adrenal glands thereby helping people cope with stress. Withania helps to improve sleep quality, improve concentration and memory, and is gentle enough to support development and growth in children. A true herbal gem!
?ROSEMARY?Latin name: Rosmarinus officinalis
Fun fact: rosemary increases mental alertness and memory. When I was studying to be a herbalist my fellow herb nerd friends and I made wreaths out of rosemary and wore them on our heads! Rosemary is a warm, dry and stimulating member of the mint family. Rosemary is documented in the herbals of Northern Europe from the Renaissance to the present, and it is considered to be one of the most important herbs in Mediterranean medicine. Rosemary acts on the metabolism, enhancing the burning and consumption of fats and blood sugars. It is a powerful antioxidant. It protects the liver and enhances liver detoxification, and it also boosts circulation to the head. The addition of sprigs of rosemary to roasting / slow cooked meats helps the body to break down fats. And it adds a beautiful flavour too. This is just a brief snapshot of this delightful herb. Look around and you will see rosemary growing incredibly well in gardens and along laneways. Rub your fingers along the leaves and inhale. I guarantee your head will feel clearer afterwards. Adding some rosemary essential oil to an oil burner or diffuser at home or in your workplace adds an uplifting aroma and clears the air and the mind!
?YARROW?Latin name: Achillea millefolium
Meet my favourite herbs concludes today with the beautiful yarrow. Originally from Europe, this herb grows well in Australia. If you look around you will see it growing along roadsides, by railway lines and in meadows and fields. Yarrow is used by herbalists as a vulnerary (a remedy used for healing wounds) as well as an astringent (a remedy that promotes a binding action on mucous membranes and exposed tissues) and a diaphoretic (a remedy that promotes sweating). According to the 16th century herbalist Gerard, Achillea was named after Achilles who used yarrow to heal injuries and stop bleeding on the battlefield. In the 1930’s the famous herbalist Mrs Grieve stated that the Highlanders made an ointment from yarrow which they applied to wounds. I dispense yarrow in both tincture and dried form, especially during the winter months to assist with colds and flu as well as convalescence. You may like to also read the posts Nest is best and A lesson in convalescing to discover more about the importance of rest, and lost art of convalescence.
I’ll be sharing more wisdom about my favourite herbs over the coming months,
Warm herbal wishes,
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