It is interesting how some people are amazed to hear about the medicinal power of plants. Even though we know all the pharmaceutical drugs are made from the active ingredients of plants or these active ingredients are copied and manufactured in the laboratory (so they can be patented), we immediately turn to the pharmaceutical drugs when we have a certain health condition. It is only after they have failed to help us we turn to the so called alternative medicine which in actuality it is the real medicine.
• Maybe because we have been trained to think of their superiority from the direct and indirect information we are bombarded with constantly.
• Maybe our health condition is so severe that needs immediate attention. (Natural remedies, not all but most, have a slower effect.). if we were in touch with our bodies we would have been able to keep it aligned and balance (catching all the early symptoms) and never come to this position of having a disease out of control and be in a critical condition. an accident though is a different case which needs to be attended to immediately.
A symbol of prosperity and cleanliness.
I n India Turmeric is a very popular Herb used in the Indian cuisine, medicine but it is also considered very favorable and holy hence it is widely used in religious Hindu ceremonies. Before the wedding ceremony for example the bride hands and feet are covered with turmeric paste as it is considered to be purifying-cleansing. Actually it does help clear and calm any irritations of the skin, with the wedding stress the brides frequently suffer from the unexpected break out of the skin with acne like pimples appearing at un unwanted time. Turmeric is very good in calming down (reduces inflammation) the skin and drying out these pimples.
Medicinally, turmeric has been used for a variety of health conditions for over 4000 years (since c. 1900 BCE) (according to written records).
It helps digestion, fights intestinal parasites, protects the liver, helps prevent heart disease, stops bleeding just to name a few of its benefits.
Even now in India Turmeric is taken for almost all health ailments. It is a panacea for all diseases.
Personally I love drinking at least 1 cup of turmeric-ginger tea with a little honey when I feel a weakening of my digestive system. ITt helps with symptoms such as (stomach heat) excessive thirst, hunger, constipation e.t.c.
The curcumin found in Turmeric is believed to be the active ingredient responsible for all the beneficial anti inflammatory- antioxidant qualities of Turmeric.
Apart from the Ayrvedic use , turmeric is also a common antiseptic in Chinese medicine.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is a well known remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion (general gastrointestinal problems). It also helps alleviate conditions such as colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, cold, flu, poor blood circulation, P.M.S, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis,.
Recently there is interest in its powerful anti-inflammatory attribute of Ginger herb as it can be used for joint inflammation problems (arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, tendonitis).
In Chinese medicine Ginger is widely used as a warming ingredient that helps boost the blood circulation, get rid of cold or wind cold symptoms externally and internally. It is frequently used with the treatment of Moxibustion when the cold symptoms are very strong. In this case a slice of ginger is put under the moxa cone and laid on the suffering body part before the moxa is lit.
Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
It is usually confused with Thyme and Marjoram. It is native to the Europe, Middle East and Mediterranean countries. In Greece it is cultivated widely and considered to be one of the best.
The wild oregano is found on rocky mountains and hills. The flowering tops are used for smelling oils. The oregano essential oil is very strong and should not be applied directly on the skin unless it is diluted in a base oil (care should be taken)
Medicinal properties: The herb is used in treating respiratory (cough, bronchitis, duspnea), gastrointestinal (colic, diarrhea) and urinary tract disorders, menstrual cramps and toothaches. In ancient Greece the medicinal value was known so it was frequently used externally for rheumatisms, swelling and muscle aches and pains. The tea of Oregano was drunk for colic.
Properties: Anti-parasite, antiviral, painkiller and tonic. Oregano is found to be 12 times stronger antioxidant than Orange.
Oregano contains: Antioxidants, iron, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids and tryptophan, Vitamin K
Origins: in ancient Greece it was believed to be an antidote for narcotic poisoning. It was also used for good luck and health when carried on ones person. If you grow oregano in your garden it was believed to ward off Evil.
It is said to have been given to cows and goats to produce sweet milk.
Modern day use: oregano is used in Geek, Caribbean, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Mexican cuisine. It is one of the most favorite seasoning for pizza. It combines well with tomato, garlic, thyme and parsley. If it is cooked for sometime it loses its smell and flavor as well as its beneficial properties thus it is best when put just before serving
The Moroccan Arabic word for wild Mediterranean oregano is Za’atar, again sometimes this name is also used for wild thyme. In Morocco, apart from local cuisine it is very popular as TEA, either mixed with green or black tea as a mint substitute. The Moroccans like their tea very sweet so the strong taste of the oregano is somewhat obscured.