Herbal and Natural Medicine, Plus Some Regular First Aid
Oh ho ho, so you're bitching about FDA approval for the vaccine now, huh? Want your tasty herbs? They're not FDA approved either, and neither is faith healing, magic, most supplements on the market such as various vitamins, or wishful thinking. Hydroxychloroquine, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and drinking bleach are also not FDA approved treatments for coronavirus. Maybe you shouldn't LARP as a doctor. No, I am not nice to people who put children at risk of contracting a potentially deadly and always-unpleasant disease.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a substitute for a doctor's care and should be used under medical supervision. Do not use anything from this page as a substitute for vaccinations, antibiotics or other conventional treatments. Discuss potential treatments from this page with an M.D. before you try anything. I am not a doctor, just studying to become one. Nothing on this page should be taken as medical advice. Research everything yourself & ask your doctor in addition to what you read here and make your own decisions after that. Herbal medicine can hurt or kill you. I am not responsible for the consequences of your actions should you choose to try something from this page. This page is not an excuse to antagonize or ignore your doctor. If you refuse to vaccinate your kids, you won't have much luck with herbs anyway because herbal medicine also relies on science and doesn't work without it. Before you use anything from this page, learn Detecting B.S. by heart, aka the methods of properly vetting your info sources
Special note for doctors and medical health professionals - Firstly thank you for everything you do. You are heroes, you are appreciated. Someday you'll see how much a large chunk of the general public loves you, hopefully someday soon. - Regarding the stuff on this page: Herbal medicine is a promising treatment modality but it does not have enough research behind it to get incorporated into standardized medicine... yet. This is something I hope happens very soon. Speaking from experience, when herbal medicine is prescribed correctly there are little to no side effects. Compared to conventional medicines with unpredictable, often dangerous side effects, the potential uses here are enormous. There's also the undeniable convenience factor and the fact that herbal medicines are cheap and can easily be grown in pots or a backyard; even foraged for free. And finally, I have seen herbal medicines cause miraculous healing in many cases where conventional medicine could not fix the problem. So I suggest to you that you research herbs by Latin name on Pubmed Central, then try herbal medicines on yourself and your family, see how they work. (Specifically whole herb medicines and not isolated compounds) Take them short term, long term, try mixing different herbs together, try adding herbal medicines to foods. Learn the discipline, experiment and have fun. It's long past time that herbalism and allopathic medicine become unified. Also here are some freebies. Freebies list 1, 101 Healthcare Worker Freebies and Discounts The latter list was published November 2020, so be sure to call ahead of time to ensure the place still has the discount or freebie going on.
Always do a spot test of an unfamiliar herbal medicine by applying it topically, mixed with water, on the inner wrist and waiting for a response for 1 day before taking it internally. Then, take 1 sip of said medicine and wait half a day to see if there is any adverse reaction. Herbal medicines and herbs are not regulated by the FDA. Do not buy any herb or supplement from a source you are unfamiliar with because there's no telling what's in there. In my experience these brands are okay (I'm not being paid to say this): Solaray, Planetary Herbals, Herbie's Herbs, Living Earth Herbs, Doctor's Best, Frontier, Penzey's, Gaia. Herbal tea companies are subject to FDA regulations and therefore the quality is usually better. And the fresher the herb, the better. Home-grown will always be infinitely more effective than storebought, especially if the herbs are used fresh instead of dried. Grow your own herbs if you possibly can. The highest quality herbs are grown in real dirt, not potting soil, so try to find an allotment or plot to grow them on or at the very least ask a friend with land for some dirt to put in your containers. You can mix regular dirt with potting soil in a 50:50 ratio to balance out nutrition and drainage; I add a good handful of granular organic fertilizer when mixing it all up. I like Renee's Garden for my herb seeds but herb plants are easier to transplant/grow.
I recommend you start by taking the American Red Cross's First Aid and CPR Certification Course. You can buy this for about $70 (currently these classes seem to be accessible online - 4/4/20) and it looks great on a resume. Honestly, if you don't know how to disinfect a cut or the difference between cleaning and sterilizing, you shouldn't be practicing herbal medicine, let alone any medicine. Learn the basics.
Basic preventative medicine: NHS Live Well Resources
Very basic first aid information (NOT a substitute for a First Aid course) NHS First Aid page
These are recipes from my 14 years of experience experimenting with this stuff on myself, my family, and my friends. I didn't just pull these from the internet randomly. I've seen them work. Things I haven't tried are also listed and labeled as such, and these recommendations are pulled from years of research from herbal medicine books.
- Oral rehydration salts (ORS) mixed into 1 liter of liquid is a better bet than homemade options. Pedialyte is also great. If you have access to neither, here are a couple recipes.
- Oral rehydration liquid (ORS) v1: ensuring total cleanliness of everything used as well as your hands, mix 1 liter (or 4 and 1/4 c.) of clean water (sterile; if your water is suspect, bring it to a full rolling boil and boil it for one straight minute, covered, and cool it before mixing up this stuff) with 4 teaspoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until dissolved. You may double the amount of salt and sugar if you feel it is necessary, because the WHO and Rehydration Project disagree on the amounts (the WHO recommends 8 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt in 1 L water). Diarrhea is one of the greatest killers of children worldwide, and rehydration helps a lot. ORS is also the treatment of choice for cholera, for vomiting and diarrhea or other excessive fluid loss, and it certainly helps with hangovers, dehydration, and it's often nice to just drink it straight if you're working outside. This is the most versatile and important recipe on this page.
- Oral rehydration liquid (ORS) v2: same process as above, but use 4 c. water, 1/4 c. orange juice, 1 tsp - 1 tbsp sugar, 1/4-1/2 tsp salt, 1/8-1/4 tsp baking soda. I like using brown sugar for flavor. This is a great Gatorade substitute. Personally I use the lower levels of solutes because I prefer it that way; less salty, easier to drink. Up to you. Tastes a lot better than the first version.
- Add to chicken soup to make it somewhat more effective: cook more garlic in it, add fresh lemon juice after it's been poured into a bowl, add chopped green onions, add some black pepper
- Fresh air and sunlight are very, very underrated.
- 'Official' disinfectants for killing coronavirus on surfaces include bleach, benzalkonium chloride, various quaternium ammonium compounds, and others listed here: Coronavirus disinfectants
- It is best to clean items in hot soapy water or wipe them down with soapy water first, and rinse them well first or wipe them down with a separate wet rag, before using these or any disinfectants, but do what you can. Boil any rags or washcloths used to clean with.
- Boiling Water - We're going old school here. A cleaned surface can often be disinfected with a steady stream of boiling water. You're familiar with this if you're a rabbi; it's part of the treatment of making kitchens kosher Source. Clothes, fabrics, rags, washcloths, and metal items can be boiled to sterilize them. These must be weighted down if they have a tendency to float up. This is a full rolling boil, guys, not a simmer. 20 minutes of boiling (cautious estimate) should work to sterilize stuff boiled in water, unless it's thin stuff like cloth masks in which case a few minutes (cautious estimate) is probably good enough.
- Vodka or Everclear - The higher the proof the better. Hand sanitizer, for instance, has to be 70% alcohol in order to kill coronavirus, so you want something that's 140 proof at least (in the US, proof means 2x the percentage of alcohol in the booze). Soak the item, preferably washed and cleaned with hot soapy water, in the vodka for a good hour or two. For surfaces, be sure they're cleaned and fully dry so any water doesn't dilute the booze and its germ-killing properties. Use a spray bottle of the undiluted booze and spray it so it's in a solid and slick layer, or just pour it on there and spread it around with a not-very-absorbent sterile rag, then let it dry undisturbed. For any rags used, boil them afterwards.
- If you don't have hand sanitizer, use pure booze to scrub your hands down. 140 or higher proof, pour it over or have someone else pour it over, get it on all hand surfaces, scrub, done.
- Heat - For metal items, you can generally sterilize these by sticking them in a flame until they're red hot. However, this can get rid of the temper of the metal and make it brittle or bendable in ways you don't want.
- Soap and hot water - for yourself, in a shower. A hospitalist doctor friend of mine yeets himself into the shower the moment he gets home and uses plenty of soap and hot water to scrub down because he treats coronavirus patients and he has a family. I presume he also uses shampoo.
- Nothing else you do will work unless you stop lying to yourself about unhealthy habits (if you are) and stop doing them. If you really want to be in pain, disabled, and essentially a prisoner in your own body at a young age then ignore what your doctor tells you about lifestyle changes. There is a warning sign placed on some dangerous machines saying "Don't do this or it will kill you and it will hurt the whole time you are dying" well that's what ignoring common medical advice will do.
- Specificaly do not do these things: smoke or vape, smoke weed, drink too much, drink soda excessively, use hard drugs, eat a lousy diet, fail to shower at least once a day, fail to exercise, fail to use condoms.
- Bathing once a day is done in Japan and can potentially help with physical health, however, if your water quality is questionable, do not do this
- NHS UK guidelines recommend that healthy adults should do aerobic exercise for at least two and a half hours each week, and to do strength-building exercises twice a week that work out all major muscle groups. To make this easier on your joints swimming is helpful. People who cannot exercise very easily can walk or do yoga. Walking is always a good choice, try to do as much of it as possible.
- Sitting is worse for you than a lot of other stuff. Try to get up and walk around for 5 minutes at least once per hour if you sit for a long period each day.
- Remember to have good posture when you walk, sit, and stand. This helps to prevent back pain. Imagine a string pulling up the middle of the back of your head. Also, ballet lessons can help with posture.
- A hygienic living environment is, generally speaking, a healthy one, but it is usually best to use nontoxic cleaners and methods. Keeping all your stuff clean is an investment in your health. Especially because it is utterly impossible to disinfect something that hasn't been cleaned. Get on a schedule of some sort for keeping your living environment clean and healthy, which includes changing clothes and bed coverings at least once a week. Also be sure to do the sort of things that prevent bugs, mold, mildew, vermin, and poor ventilation, all of which usually boils down to 'avoid clutter like the plague in order to prevent plagues, and also clean a lot.' By the way, never ever buy trash cans, indoor or out, without tight fitting lids. They are invitations to roaches no matter how often you empty them.
- Keep your fingernails and toenails trimmed short. Generally speaking forcing yourself to trim them once a week is good, especially because handwashing doesn't work all that well if you don't, and foot infections are not fun.
- Learn how to wash your hands properly Gordon Ramsay Teaches Ya In the interim steps, you use a paper towel to turn on the water for rinsing, and turn it off after you dry your hands. If in a public bathroom, use a wad of paper towel to open the door. Trash these paper towel wads. The water you use should be warm, not hot or cold, and do use a generous amount of soap.
- Wash your hands before you eat
- Wash your hands after you use the toilet. Wash them before you prepare food. Wash them after coming in from gardening. Wash them after cleaning up gross messes. Wash them before you clean and bandage cuts and scrapes or otherwise do any kind of home medical care. When in doubt, wash your hands.
- Use whatever toothpaste works for you, and if possible an electric rotary toothbrush. Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Floss them twice a day. Rinse your mouth out by swishing water around in there after every meal.
- The ideal diet contains 5 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits per day, strictly whole instead of refined grains, and more oily fish than meat. It may also be 70% vegan. Beyond those guidelines, generally speaking it is wise to pay attention to how you feel after you eat certain things because different foods are good for different people. Eat mainly those foods that make you feel healthy and energetic. If you pay close enough attention to how you feel during meals and afterwards you can learn when you're properly full as opposed to uncomfortable and this can help you manage your weight.
- Plenty of water is good but don't drink too much of it. Listen to your body's cues.
- Australia has a sun protection campaign called slip, slap, slop. You slip into clothes that are long sleeved, slap on a hat, and slop on a ton of sunscreen. Bonus: sunscreen is possibly the best age-defying wrinkle preventer that we have. Ask any dermatologist.
- Mosquitoes are horrible. Certain bugs are also horrible. The debilitating/deadly illnesses they cause are one of the major killers of humans all over the world. During the warm season eat as much raw garlic and onions as you can every day and avoid consuming too many sweets. Install and repair all screens on doors and windows. Learn how to caulk and caulk up all gaps in your home with stuff from the hardware store; Youtube and asking the employees for advice may help. Dump out all outdoors standing water. If you still have some buy tablets of bacillus thurigensis and put as much in there as the package directs. If you have huge ponds, stock them with fish that eat mosquitoes. To dry up swampy areas plant eucalyptus trees, or willow. As an additional maybe-effective-maybe-not precaution you could put camphor in porous boxes in all your closets; you can get the stuff from Frontier Herbs and it helps to keep away mosquitoes (keep out of reach of children and pets; it's poisonous). However, do not use camphor at all if you have epilepsy or have no experience with camphor's usage as some react badly to it. It's in Biofreeze and Tiger Balm; if you don't have a problem with those you're prob golden. Wear bug spray religiously. If you don't like DEET, there's also picaridin, which you can get from REI online, as well as lemon eucalyptus from Murphy's online. Do not use lemon eucalyptus alone; pair it up with something synthetic. If you go hunting, backpacking, or camping, treat all your gear, especially boots and tent, with an anti-bug treatment. In a pinch regularly burn wood and/or dried herbs to repel bugs. Juniper, rosemary, garden sage, and lavender are four known for this.
- A good podiatrist can help you avoid screwing up your feet if you see them before you have any problems, especially if you're really active or like running. In general, get the best shoes you can regardless of price. Try on a whole bunch of them, run in the store with them, jump up and down in them, and if they are comfy, get them. Specialty running stores may help you find better shoes because they analyze how you run, often on a treadmill in the store.
- If your posture is messed up for some reason, or if you'd like to feel a bit more comfortable in your skin, you might want to try Callanetics. Or yoga.
- The Red Cross First Aid Handbook says that it is a wise idea to get rid of hazards in the home. These include pathways that are too narrow or cluttered for easy movement, tripping/falling hazards such as unbacked rugs and no traction on shower and bathroom floors, poor lighting esp. in stairwells and hallways, and basically anything that would be an OSHA violation. Night lights, by the way, might be a good preventative measure.
- Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson has all the safety tips you need if you happen to own a home pool. By the way, generally speaking a home pool is dangerous and a terrible idea esp. if you have kids.
- My House Is Killing Me! by Jeffrey C. May and Connie L. May, The New York Times Home Repair Almanac, by Edward R. Lipinski, and Home Safe Home by Debra Lynn Dadd are helpful for ensuring that your home or apartment does not, in fact, kill you.
- If you cook at home, you'd better learn this food safety course by heart or you could kill someone Free NYC online food protection course
- Pu-erh: can lower excess cholesterol levels (LDL)
- Ju hua (Chinese chrysanthemum): can help with headaches due to high blood pressure, also irritability due to eating too many greasy foods or dealing with summer's heat
- Jasmine green tea: If high quality, such as whole leaves from Taiwan, may help with anxiety and depression. So can oolong tea.
- Grated fresh ginger can be simmered with brown sugar and served to people with menstrual cramps. This only helps if the cramps are relieved with heat. This does not work as well as NSAIDS like naproxen sodium or ibuprofen. Note: ginger is a blood thinner.
- Green tea is not healthy to drink in winter or cold weather. Black tea is not healthy to drink in summer or hot weather. Choose accordingly.
- Hibiscus green tea can lower blood sugar and thus improve blood sugar management in prediabetics.
- Sage tea may increase estrogen levels and can help with menopause. Coffee may also help. Other herbal teas that may cause estrogen-like effects and may therefore help with menopause include red clover, nettle, motherwort, and red raspberry leaf. I haven't had a chance to try these for that but they are relatively nontoxic.
- German chamomile tea is helpful for food poisoning, headache, mild insomnia, stomachache, upset stomach, and indigestion. I've even used it for stomach flu before.
- Herbal morning-after pill. This will not abort a fetus nor should it be used to attempt to do so; that is dangerous and the wrong combination of herbs for such a thing. This is not a good substitute for using a condom and water-based lube; it exists because sometimes accidents and mistakes happen. This is unlikely to harm any living thing and nearly impossible for it to do so if you drink it right after the proverbial big mistake. What it does is cause your period to come on early. Avoid it if you have kidney problems. Peel and grate 5 inches of fresh ginger. Finely mince 1 tbsp fresh parsley or use 1 tbsp dried parsley, and 1 tbsp dried oregano. Simmer the grated ginger in 4.5 cups of water for 15 minutes. Take it off the heat and add the parsley and oregano. Let it cool. You can add brown sugar to sweeten it if you like, but not honey. Sip the pot of tea throughout the day. Also drink a couple of cups of orange juice. Repeating this each day until your period comes can be done if you are feeling paranoid but shouldn't be necessary. It is recommended to learn the rhythm method aka natural family planning to use in conjunction with responsible condom and water-based lube usage.
- Actual abortion herbs for medical necessity only - I've never had to use these but found information online. If you use this in any case other than medical necessity may you be cursed a thousand times over in the name of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone Sister Zeus. This information is also incredibly helpful to prevent miscarriage! Everyone should know this!
- NEW: For some reason this recipe was bouncing around in my memory and wouldn't let go. I have never used it, or any of the herbs in it. I was browsing 4chan one day and saw that this guy secretly made his girlfriend repeatedly abort by feeding her large amounts of a very specific herbal iced tea. It contained blue cohosh root, black cohosh root, pennyroyal, tansy, rue, and lots of brown sugar. My guess is that he boiled a teaspoon of each in five cups of water for ten minutes together, strained it, cooled it, sweetened it, and served it over ice. All have historically been used for abortion and in some cases still are. Blue and black cohosh root are dangerous; they can both behave like estrogen in the body and can interfere with heart function. Black cohosh can raise blood pressure. Rue can cause phototoxicity. Pennyroyal can cause nerve damage. Tansy can also, and in large doses it can kill you. There are other side effects for each of these herbs; they're considered dangerous for general use and also toxic in large doses but then again, pregnancy is dangerous too. EVERYONE HAS A DIFFERENT REACTION TO THESE HERBS AND SOME HAVE NO REACTION TO THEM AT ALL. If you are in the unlucky situation where you have to use this stuff, I would be extremely cautious and research how each of these interact with all the medical conditions you have. If you've never used any of these but think you need to, try each as a wrist test first to see if you're allergic (dab some on your wrist and wait four hours), and then try each alone as one sip only, then wait four hours to see if there's a reaction. One at a time. If you're chronically ill and sexually active it may be wise for you to try these tests long before you actually need such a brew. And if you decide to drink a cup of this stuff, I would be very careful to listen to your body to ensure you drink only as much as it craves and no more. Abortion counts as medical necessity if you live in a place that does not have adequate facilities for safe birth. Again, if you use this in any case other than medical necessity may you be cursed a thousand times over in the name of the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.
- There is such a historical precedent for drinking dried raspberry leaf tea throughout pregnancy and even labor to reduce pain and complications that there needs to be a large study done on its effects. If you are considering getting pregnant or are pregnant, please speak to your doctor about it, to a qualified midwife, and to a qualified herbalist or naturopath. I have never used it myself for these purposes but it shows up everywhere in my studies and is usually highly recommended.
- Flu: Herbs for flu
- Feeling mildly "under the weather" due to a virus causing nausea and weakness: simmer a cinnamon stick, broken up, in 4.5 c. water for 20 minutes, then add 1 tbsp dried or a sprig of fresh oregano, a few lemon slices, and 2 peppermint teabags
- Colds, in people who are Yin and showing Yin symptoms (Traditional Chinese Medicine definition, look it up): Bring 4 c. water to a boil. Add a scant 1 tbsp whole cloves and 1 cinnamon stick. Optionally, add 1 tsp grated fresh ginger. Reduce to a simmer, cover, simmer for 1 hour. Take it off the heat and add 4 black teabags. Let steep 5 minutes. Squeeze the bags with the side of a spoon and take them out. Add 1/4 c. honey (optional), 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/3 c. fresh orange juice, and the de-seeded juiced halves of a lemon and an orange. Serve hot. This is also good to drink in wintertime if you feel chilly.
- Sore throat and/or cough accompanying a cold: Take half an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. Extract a few teaspoons of juice from each any way you can think of. Mix the juice with an equal amount of honey and take 1 teaspoon every couple of hours until symptoms resolve. This is every bit as disgusting as you think it is, and usually very effective.
- Asthma related to poor air quality: Try parsley juice, eating raw onion, and/or cilantro juice. Failing that, munch on a lot of parsley, onion, and/or cilantro. Also try a tea of both 1 bag german chamomile and 1 bag Bigelow's Perfect Peach alongside a cup of coffee; sip each. Experiment. Also, unless your doctor recommends against it, it may help a lot to grow as many houseplants as you can, preferably 3 full-sized ones in each room. I like aloe vera, golden pothos, sansevieria, and potted palms because those are hard to kill. You may also wish to use an air filter. I recommend the Ionic Pro, plus the highest quality air intake filter for your HVAC system (air conditioning/heating) you can find. A HEPA filter vacuum cleaner may also help. Outdoor air filters are also known as trees; Arbor Day Foundation helps you do your part there.
- Calcium oxalate-caused kidney stones: Consume 3/4 c. cranberry sauce, 1/2 c. watermelon, and 1 c. goldenrod flower tea daily. Avoid foods high in oxalates such as almonds, spinach, potatoes, and excessive amounts of chocolate. Tea may also be problematic.
- Fibromyalgia management: Counting My Spoons
- Menstrual cramps: I have a whole section on that here W and S
- Motion sickness: Chew on crystallized ginger half an hour before you know you'll be on an object in motion. Continue munching on it as needed. If your motion sickness is severe and this helps you but not enough, then you might need to either sip ginger tea or consume capsules of ground ginger.
- Urinary tract infections: Unsweetened cranberry juice, 1/3 c. every few hours, plus plenty of water. Also a tea made of the following: 1 lemongrass teabag, 1 chamomile teabag, 1 peppermint teabag, 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder, 3 tbsp fresh or frozen blueberries - a handful of fresh cranberries can also be added but you'll need to eat them. Steep those things in 5 c. just-boiled water, covered, for 20 minutes and drink a pot of that per day.
- Headache: Experiment with the following herbal teas - chamomile, peppermint, ju hua. Take a shower and scrub everything with soap and a washcloth, then either lie down in a dark, quiet room, or put your feet in a hot footbath and hands in 2 bowls of cold water. You can also experiment with essential oils: try adding 3 drops lavender and/or peppermint essential oil to 1 tablespoon of olive or sunflower oil, and then massage your temples and neck with a couple of drops of that. My research says that chronic headaches may respond to daily use of either feverfew or ginger capsules but I haven't had the chance to try it.
- High fever: NOTE, will not work in all circumstances; use your discretion and judgment, and proceed with caution. 1 drop lavender oil added to a bowl of cool water, stirred, and then used to dip a head compress in, lemon water, watermelon eaten, lemongrass tea - best if fresh
- Yeast infections in women: Do your best to reduce stress; consider getting therapy or upping self-care. Coconut oil applied topically and internally, plus a pinch of cinnamon and 1 tbsp canned coconut milk added to beverages. Experiment with probiotic supplements from a health food store until you find one that works for you. A good brand is Ora Organics, though it's expensive. Do not exceed 1/4 tsp cinnamon per day. If it persists after 1 week discontinue treatment, except the coconut milk and probiotics. Those can be taken indefinitely. Note: coconut oil cannot be used in combination with latex-based condoms as it causes latex breakages. Chronic yeast infections may be a sign of prediabetes or diabetes causing high blood sugar, which can often be helped by a few cups of coffee (no sugar or milk added; unsweetened almond milk and stevia ok) per day, but in this case of course see a doctor as well.
- High blood pressure, high LDL, and high triglycerides: Go mostly vegan. Reduce saturated fat in the diet as much as possible - no coconut oil, no coconut milk, no avocado. Avoid or minimize dairy. Eat oatmeal every morning, without dairy and cooked as little as possible, or better yet oatmeal soaked in almond milk overnight (muesli). Consume 5 cloves of raw garlic, minced, per day along with 1 tbsp nut butter or 3 walnuts per 2.5 cloves of it. This is easier if you finely mince up the garlic first, and then "shotgun" it by putting about a teaspoon on it in your mouth then quickly following it up with a big gulp of water. Do this on a full stomach. You can also incorporate the raw garlic into pestos, hummus, Mediterranean dips, and curry pastes as long as you don't cook any of those after the garlic has been added. Feel free to divide the doses of garlic into morning and evening ones. If possible, also greatly increase your consumption of foods flavored with hot chiles, such as kimchi, Thai salads, and so on. Increase your intake of raw onions. Flavor your food with fresh ginger. Get really into salads. Take 2 tablespoons hawthorn berry powder per day. Consider developing a green tea habit.
- High blood sugar: Speak to your doctor. Also, strong hibiscus tea, green tea or black coffee, cinnamomum zeylanicum added to foods, cayenne pepper. Low carb diet. Lots of exercise. To quickly reduce high blood sugar, it is said that drinking 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper in a cup of cold water can do the trick. Therefore, avoid cayenne if you have hypoglycemia.
- Toothache: Before brushing your teeth twice a day, dip the toothbrush in this mixture and then the toothpaste: 1 part each turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves, mixed with enough natural vanilla extract to make a paste. It is also recommended to use an electric toothbrush in the first place because they clean better... and don't forget the floss and mouthwash. The spice mixture can also be used on a regular basis and may help to prevent biofilm formation on teeth, and thus cavities. I am sorry for not referencing the PubMed Central study on spices preventing biofilm formation, but it is there. Maybe in a few months I'll link it.
- Vomiting and diarrhea in small children: Rice water, Pedialyte or ORS, and optional chicken bouillon. To make rice water, cook a handful of rice in a pot of water until mushy, and then give only the liquid. Encourage the child to drink as much Pedialyte as they can, and feed them the rice water. I have also heard that the liquid from stewed blackberries can help with this but I haven't had the chance to try it out. It probably wouldn't hurt. However, note that older herbals recommend decoction of blackberry root for severe dysentery and diarrhea so if the plain berries aren't doing the trick, a small amount of blackberry root decoction (like half a teaspoon per 50 pounds of little person every 2 to 4 hours or so; raise the dose if they're responding well to it) might do it. In theory you could also make a glycerite or an herbal vinegar with apple cider vinegar to keep this stuff on hand just in case. I wouldn't use that unless it was a last resort, just to be on the safe side. And need I mention that if it's really that bad you should take the kid to the doctor?
- Sunburn: Grow a couple of aloe vera plants just for this. It has to be the right kind of aloe. When needed, cut off a leaf, trim the spiky bits, split it lengthwise, and gently squeeze it. Then, rub it on the sunburn. Try not to make a habit of this. If you sweat off sunscreen every few hours because you work outside, try the spray-on 100 SPF stuff made by Neutrogena and reapply it every few hours.
- To reduce your susceptibility to sunburn, besides using a lot of sunscreen, long clothing and hats, consume more cooked tomatoes. Source: Feed Your Face by Jessica Wu, M.D.
- Nausea: If mild, steep 1/2 tsp dried or 2 leaves fresh basil in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes and sip. If moderate, try 1/8 tsp each of fennel, cumin, and coriander, crushed in a mortar and pestle if possible, in a cup of hot water along with a peppermint teabag. Also munch on a couple leaves of a boiled artichoke.
- Insomnia: Combine 1 teabag of Perfect Peach (bigelow) in a cup with 1 teabag of peppermint or spearmint-peppermint tea. Or use 1 teabag each of German chamomile and peppermint.
- Anger and/or frustration: Mint tea is helpful (don't use this long term or in large amounts; can alter hormonal balance slightly). 1 bud of lavender added to this can help. Or drink 1 c. german chamomile tea with a few drops of vanilla extract
- Stomach ulcers: I have not had a chance to try this, but it is said that juice from raw cabbage leaves will help with this. Probably can't hurt. I once read somewhere that hops may help to kill H. pylori, and guess what contains hops? Beer. Worth a try right? Of course do not use this as a substitute for antibiotics. H. pylori is no joke.
- Constipation: Prune juice. Also be sure to consume enough fiber and liquids, to avoid excessive amounts of fiber-free foods like white flour and cheese, and to get enough exercise. Oatmeal each morning and salad at the other two meals definitely helps unless you have issues with fiber, in which case you should really see a doctor. Persistent constipation can be a sign of something serious, so it's best to get it checked out by a doctor.
- Hyperthyroidism: Get checked out by a doctor. Other than that, tea of fresh lemon balm, tulsi tea, and avoiding green tea may help.
- Lyme disease: For most of the population, tincture, decoction, or pills of Japanese Knotweed root are the herbal gold standard and you gradually increase the dosage until it keeps symptoms in check. Active Biotic pills by Vital Plan are great for this and have other good herbs, and you take a standard amount per day until it builds up in the body; you can also take j.k. tincture on top of this if you feel you need it. Unfortunately I cannot tolerate Japanese Knotweed (damn it! damn it all to hell!) so I use cryptolepsis sanguinolenta tincture instead (which according to a recent study kills lyme in vitro; will link said study in the future, sorry), from Herbie's Herbs online, and with that you can't easily increase the dose by more than one drop per day or you could wind up with breathing problems. Dividing the dose into twice or three times a day helps because it's easier to raise the dose faster (but be careful). Tincture of stevia leaf (NOW liquid stevia is fine) increased by a dose of one drop per day also helps with either of these herbs and helps keep symptoms in check. This is vastly condensed information. Full Lyme disease treatment is here: Hydra Protocol. I very much suggest reading all of the books by Stephen H. Buhner on the subject; there are three at the moment, one called Healing Lyme and the others for its coinfections. Try tinctures from Herbie's Herbs to kill off the coinfections; give yourself plenty of time and be careful. If you think you might have Lyme disease because you have many of the symptoms, then you might want to take tincture of japanese knotweed root. I mean right now! Why? Because the diagnostic tests for Lyme disease are pretty much worthless. They are wrong more than 70% of the time and the CDC has covered up the truth about it. There appears to be a lot of money in denying chronic Lyme patients both treatment and insurance coverage and there has been evidence of collusion between insurance companies, the IDSA, and the CDC in this matter (sources for these claims are found at the Hydra Protocol link, in Buhner's books, and at lymedisease.org). There is a die-off reaction to anything that kills borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent for Lyme) called a Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction and in the absence of positive test results, seeing how you react to herbal and regular antibiotics can often be a major indicator of the disease. A worsening of symptoms after taking a seemingly innocuous herb such as stevia or japanese knotweed root is often proof positive that you have it.
- Chronic pain - learned from personal experience; please ask your doctor and get their approval: Consider getting a marijuana edible, such as flavored mints. Take a piece the size of a mustard seed every day. This is microdosing and will not get you high or even remotely buzzed. It also has the advantage of reducing the likelihood of marijuana's side effects of high blood pressure and hormonal imbalance. This will make you fail drug tests, though. And obviously this isn't for children!!!! Article for drug interactions between weed and other substances: link. Do not take weed with Benadryl or NSAIDs. If your chronic pain is severe, adapt the dosage of marijuana pills as you need to, but know that it can cause side effects & interact with many medications. Synergy mints are my favorite kind for chronic pain and they are much, much better than opiates in terms of preventing addiction. You also don't need to take tolerance breaks as much or as often with marijuana. And it works very well in combination with CBD. Good brands of CBD actually work; try Charlotte's Web and Apex. You may want to get on an NSAID and weed rotation of 2 days on one, then 2 days on another, etc. with 4 or 5 days between taking the same NSAID again. For instance, naproxen sodium, marijuana and CBD, ibuprofen, aspirin, children's chewable acetaminophen. Painkillers for severe pain stop working after 2 days in a lot of people; in others, it's just more effective this way. Some people use CBD oil to treat chronic pain as well. It may or may not work for you, but the best way to take it is right after a meal rich in fat, and to let it dissolve under the tongue. CBD might play nice with other painkillers, such as NSAIDs, but the jury's still out on that one. Also try (if applicable) topical pain relievers such as Biofreeze, Mountain Magic, Tiger Balm, and a mixture of 1 cup of plain unscented lotion mixed with 1/2 tsp of CBD oil. There is a very high likelihood that a topical lotion which combines THC and CBD is highly effective as a painkiller, even for pain that is not just on the skin, but I can't try it out because Texas loves to suck at everything right now. If you are taking no other medications besides these, then you could try my painkiller stack of 1/4 grapefruit plus a cup of coffee or tea. Grapefruit causes negative interactions with nearly everything under the sun so do not under any circumstances pop more pills while on this. Caffeine, however, just plain from coffee or tea, can add to the painkiller stack with no real adverse effects. High quality green tea also has a mild anxiety reducing effect, so you might want to try that out, Stash brand is ok. You can also eat two apples a day, because it seems to reduce pain for some reason. There is an anti-inflammatory substance in apple skin, which might have something to do with it. Good ol' hydration and an ok diet helps as well, if you add in electrolytes; ORS v2, sufficient water, commercial electrolyte drinks, salads/dark leafy greens (magnesium), milk (calcium), OJ (magnesium), pickles (sodium), sweet potatoes (potassium), tomatoes (potassium), and bananas (potassium) all help balance the electrolytes in your body. Finally, there is a pill which is used as an antidepressant SSRI but it's entirely made of an herb called sceletium tortuosum. Stacked up on top of everything else it might help to reduce pain, because antidepressants often do that, but do not take it with marijuana; weed and happy pills do not play nice together.
- Sometimes chronic pain is caused or worsened by deficiencies in B vitamins and/or folate due to a problem absorbing said vitamins. This can be due to a number of factors, such as pernicious anemia, or the MTHFR gene defect, or even parasites. If it is caused by the MTHFR gene defect however there is a thing called the Deadlock Quartet which you should try, if you know you have it. It is a stack of adenosylcobalamin, l-methylfolate, l-carnitine fumarate, methyl-b12, methylated b-complex pills, supplemental magnesium and calcium (prob best from low-fat dairy). These pills are gradually increased until the right dosage for you is found, and you'll know it's right because your pain will be down by a significant amount & more provides no additional benefit. Best if also consumed with a diet rich in meats and seafood, particularly bone broth (pho), oysters, clams, fish (canned is ok), and organ meats. Folate can also be obtained from orange juice and dark leafy greens, but it is better to supplement with it than to rely on getting it from food alone if you have this genetic defect.
Dangerous Herbal/Natural Medicines
- St. John's Wort: causes sensitivity to sunlight, tyramine-containing foods such as salami and hard cheese, and reacts with just about every prescription medication under the sun
- Kratom: may cause liver damage and extreme nausea in a subset of the population
- Marijuana in excess: If smoked has all the dangers that cigarettes carry (asthma, lung cancer, spontaneous pneumothorax etc.), plus a risk of nausea and vomiting, hormonal imbalance, tolerance, and high blood pressure. The likelihood of these side effects increases with the duration of usage. Ingestion carries these risks except for smoking-related risks. Marijuana is, however, a safer alternative to opiates. CBD is NOT marijuana. It is NOT dangerous and is NOT psychoactive.
- Alfalfa, esp. alfalfa sprouts: may reactivate autoimmune disease such as lupus
- Comfrey: Damages the liver if taken internally and may cause liver cancer. Avoid internal use. Coltsfoot has the same issue.
- Kava kava: Damages the liver if taken internally over an extended period of time. It is probably okay for ceremonial use but not as a medicine.
- Black cohosh: Side effects are fun, including high blood pressure.
- Aristolochia species: carcinogenic
- Valerian: do not use for long periods of time. Causes anxiety and insomnia if abused
- Herbal "uppers" that will burn you out if you use them for too long a period of time: ginseng (if under age 40), ashwagandha
- Rosemary: A little is fine. More than two tablespoons of fresh or dried leaves in tea can cause kidney damage and/or kill.
- Wormwood: In excessive amounts or over extended periods of time causes nervous system damage.
- Tansy, mugwort, rue, pennyroyal: traditionally used in the minimum amount only when absolutely necessary due to toxic effects at higher doses or in weakened individuals
- Actually poisonous: belladonna, henbane, aconite (incl. Chinese aconite if unprepared), hemlock, mandrake, tonka bean
- African marigold: Sometimes confused with calendula, which is also called marigold. African marigold is poisonous.
- All essential oils: Never use an essential oil directly on the skin, undiluted. Never use essential oils on infants or children under the age of 4. Many products claiming to be essential oils are actually fragrance oils and should not be used on the skin at all.
- Ginkgo biloba: may cause liver damage. More research is necessary.
- Licorice, including Chinese licorice (gan cao): Do not use long term or in large amounts. Reduces potassium levels and alters hormonal balance.
- Echinacea: Do not use long term. Alters the function of some parts of the immune system.
- Avoid if you have high estrogen levels or estrogen-positive breast cancer: dong quai, black cohosh, coffee, lavender, clary sage, hops, fennel, high-fat dairy, motherwort, valerian, skullcap, Chinese skullcap, geranium, red raspberry leaf, marijuana, essiac tea, burdock, turmeric, red clover, shatavari, alfalfa, sarsaparilla, japanese knotweed root, kudzu root, anise, celery seed, sage, flax seeds, soy products
- Avoid if you must avoid blood thinners: garlic, dong quai, hawthorn, melilot, ginger, fish oil, ginkgo biloba
- Avoid if hypothyroid: lemon balm
General guidelines for preparing and taking herbal medicine
- How to prepare herbal medicines: Roots and barks must be decocted; simmered, partially covered, for 20 minutes, and then covered and steeped until cool, at a ratio of 2 tablespoons substance to 4.5 cups water. Leaves and flowers must be infused, at a ratio of 2 tsp of herb in 1 c. just-boiled water, covered, and let steep until cool. Seeds must be ground and then infused in a ratio of 1 tsp herb in 1 c. just-boiled water, same idea. Fruits must be sliced thinly, about 3 to 4 slices at a time, de-seeded if necessary, and then proceed as with the leaves and flowers.
- How to make a tincture: first pick a plain liquor that you wouldn't mind drinking straight, such as good vodka or brandy. Or, for a glycerite or an herbal vinegar, use edible food-grade vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar. Straight honey could also work, but you'd need to have half a year for the herbs to release their goodness into it and warm it in a pan of warm water for a couple hours to make it pourable in the first place. Wash, shake dry, and finely chop fresh herb, or break up dried herb as best you can. Put the herb in a jar and cover it with 2 inches of liquor (or whatever). I don't subscribe to the 1 part herb 3 parts liquor rule because I like my medicine to be medicine not hooch thank you. At maximum (of liquid) you should go for 1 part herb to 2 parts liquid. If it soaks up all the liquid and needs more, only then should you add more. Glycerites and herbal vinegars must be refrigerated or they can go off. Wait a month, shaking the bottle whenever you want, strain the tincture, and keep it in a jar in a cool dark place. Put it in dropper bottles as needed.
- How to experiment with herbal medicine to see what works on you: sip from many cups of different teas until your body says yes to one of them, or until you see a positive physical effect. Herbal medicines should work without any side effects. If you feel worse instead of better, or if you get side effects that increase with the dosage of what you're taking, stop taking it. Once you have decided on a medicine, drink as much of it as you feel you need and listen to your body. When it tells you to stop ingesting the medicine or take more, do so. Sip slowly and observe the effects carefully over a period of time. When in doubt use the minimum amount needed. There are certain conditions where this advice does not apply, such as herxheimer reactions due to Lyme disease, but those are beyond the scope of this guide. Generally speaking with most herbal medicines, you should begin to see a dramatic improvement in a person's condition in about two weeks. If you haven't seen one yet, then you should change what you're doing. That is my own experience, take it or leave it.
- One unusual method of applying herbs is to create a paste of herb and mix it with extra virgin olive oil in a ratio of 1:1. I have found success using garlic paste mixed with olive oil and applied to the soles of my feet in combating Lyme disease. The trick is to leave it on for a maximum of 20 minutes, then rinse it off with soap. The active constituents absorb through the skin and get into the bloodstream. This is a very old treatment for colds and flu. I've heard of roasted onions being used for the same purpose in old pioneer remedy lore but would recommend raw onion instead, as it seems that alliums lose much of their healing properties when cooked.
Categories of herbs
- Herbal antivirals: NOTE - NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT, IF YOU HAVE IT SEE A REAL DOCTOR *angry herbalist noises* - Ginger, lemongrass, chamomile, lemon slices, cinnamon, star anise, orange slices, eucalyptus, thyme, lavender, oregano, basil, peppermint, elderberry, tulsi, shredded coconut or coconut milk, lemon balm, green onion, cranberry, pine needles, fenugreek, geranium leaf, redcedar berries, juniper berries, garlic, onion
- Herbal antibacterials: Turmeric, neem, garlic, onion, plaintain leaf, horseradish, usnea, oregon grape root and stem, thyme, oregano, rosemary. Actually, most edible culinary herbs seem to be antibacterial to some extent.
All herbs have different properties when dried, fresh, or processed into herbal preparations. Don't give up on using an herb simply because all you've tried were dried preparations of it such as capsules. More often than not an herb that is useless in pill form works wonders if used fresh.
Herbs that are nearly useless medicinally (compared to the fresh stuff) when dried or old and must be grown fresh for the greatest benefit:
- Lemon balm
- Elderberry and elderflower
Herbs that work okay when dried and are good to have on hand at all times:
- German chamomile
- All common and uncommon kitchen spices and herbs
Herbs or substances that double as common foods which are good to have on hand:
- Honey, preferably local wildflower honey from a good beekeeper - it is not necessary for this to be raw
- Fresh garlic
- Fresh ginger
- Green onions, for the vitamins if nothing else
Relatively safe herbs that can be experimented with, using caution and common sense
- Anything that is a whole food can also be a medicine. Watermelon immediately comes to mind as does garlic, hot pepper, and every citrus fruit.
- Culinary herbs that are commonly grown in gardens are all fun to mess around with. These include thyme, mint, lemon balm, chives, cilantro, and parsley. Both thymes and mints come in a huge variety of flavors.
- Edible flowers: violet, rose petals, calendula, nasturtium.
- Any bramble, such as blackberry, raspberry, boysenberry, and the leaves from it
- Fresh elderflowers and fresh elderberries - dried is 'meh.'
- Nutritious stuff like lamb's quarters, chickweed, purslane, rose hips. Some herbalists love fresh or dried nettle tea for the strength it gives them and drink it every day, but it must never be consumed by people with a tendency to overproduce estrogen. Generally speaking if you feel good after drinking nettle tea keep drinking it and if not don't.
The love method of energy healing
This was derived from Reiki by Marsha Burack, Your Hands Can Heal You by Stephen Co, and from personal experience. It's absurdly simple; so simple that anyone can do it. Focus on your love for another person or for yourself. Feel how much you care about them and want them to get well. Now allow that feeling to "charge up" your hands. Hold your hands over that person or directly on them. Don't 'make the energy move' or any of that nonsense; simply focus on how important it is to you that the person gets well. The more love you allow yourself to feel the better this works. Generally speaking only a loving, good person can pull this off! Practice makes perfect; you will not notice much of a difference unless you practice on yourself quite a bit. This method helps when cooking for someone who is sick (the secret ingredient is love), when you're feeling in need of self-care, and it even helps pets. Technically, it's Witchcraft, but chances are you've done this already without consciously realizing it.
There are methods of energetic and magical healing in both Hoodoo and Witchcraft. This is important because (sigh) despite the frequent claims of attention seekers drowning out the voices of people who are genuinely in trouble, curses and hexes really do exist, and can cause illness or make existing illness worse. (Often, going to a religious service weekly can reduce the symptoms of such a thing, as can regular prayer, so organized religion does help a lot of folks. Dedication to science or truth can also help just as much) Hoodoo does not require energetic training to be competent in healing work and you can find all the info you need from the books of Starr Casas. Witchcraft requires about twenty years of training to become proficient in healing magic. No, I'm not kidding. This is a major reason why the Craft and similar disciplines are so often looked upon as New Age quackery when it comes to healing - few bother to truly put themselves through the grueling, lengthy training required to do it right. The love method of energy healing is a good first step. For other methods of Witch healing, you'll have to do the traditional year and a day of intensive research on your own first, see if the Craft is really right for you, see if you really want to have a boot camp thinly disguised as a religion, etc. Or just find a good Witch and have them take care of your magical healing needs, wa la. Yes, I am gatekeeping so you don't hurt yourself, I've seen too many idiots attempt Reiki and other kinds of magic without the proper training. There's rules to this shit.
If you wish to learn more about herbal medicine, first know that it works best in tandem with regular (allopathic) medicine and that if you want to get serious with it, you'll have to actually go to medical school. To start dabbling, you can start by searching for the botanical name of an herb and reading research articles on it here: Pubmed Central. Folkloric and anecdotal stuff that can point you to herbs for research can be found in Rosemary Gladstar's as well as Lesley Bremness's work. Steven Harrod Buhner's work usually includes studies and is therefore a little more reliable. More folkloric resources for learning about herbal medicine include work by Maria Treben and John Heinerman, but be sure to temper these with common sense, experience, and the results of the best studies on herbs you can find. Always take folkloric claims for herbs with a grain of salt.
Specific good books for learning herbal medicine: Britain's Wild Flowers by Rosamund Richardson, Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal, Herbs by Lesley Bremness, Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen H. Buhner, Herbal Antivirals by Stephen H. Buhner, actually just about anything by Stephen H. Buhner, Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide
More books for learning a little bit about medicine in general: Anatomy by Frank Netter, Feed Your Face by Jessica Wu, M.D., The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy (for physicians)
You can gain surface knowledge about various conditions by reading the contents of the UK National Health Service Conditions database here: NHS
You can learn about synthetic drugs here: NHS Prescription and OTC Drugs Archives
And also here: Drugs.com Prescription and OTC Drugs Info and Reviews
HERBAL MEDICINE IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR ALLOPATHIC MEDICINE.
Where to go from here:
- Herbal medicine is a dying tradition, an art, and a science in every corner of the globe. Listen to your elders and seek out their wisdom before it's lost.
- Understand that the for-profit model is not usually a good model for herbalism, unless wildcrafted herbs are sold by people who would otherwise ruin the land by farming cattle or strip mining. Good quality herbs cannot be produced from a plot that is constantly harvested for maximum productivity, and rare and endangered herbs are often overharvested in the 'march to the top' for cash. Dried and preserved herbs often do not have the medicinal benefit of fresh. Herbs grow better in messy, not-financially-profitable gardens such as cottage gardens, and wildcrafted herbs again have the same problem with overharvesting. Grow your own. Teach people in disparate places how to grow their own. Swap seeds and cuttings and potted herbs. Protect common lands and wilderness preserves, and forage responsibly by sowing seeds of what you harvest. Garden well, and steward the land, or herbalism will permanently die. Look at how they're commodifying herbal supplements now; if it gets much worse, we might be looking at serious trouble. That said, it's going to continue, this commodification, so support stringent regulations and enforcements for protecting herbal heritage. Wilderness is also herbal heritage. Haven't you heard of cancer drugs being made from that pink periwinkle in the Amazon rainforest? We need wild areas.
- Much human suffering could be eliminated if doctors worldwide specifically studied: Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, therapeutic massage, and Native American medicine. Things like acupressure and tui na are free to use and work well if the practitioner is properly trained, and since they are so easy to use, the layman can be trained in them. Massage is also excellent for stress relief and again, anyone can learn it. Qi Gong and Tai Qi are also excellent and free to use, and I am a huge fan of Chinese food therapy. The Native American traditions of healing and living in tandem with the land are still existent, but really hard to find. Laymen can also be taught which herbs to grow for common and uncommon ailments, and how to use them. However, it's just not as simple as using herbal 'simples' all the time. Personally I have been searching for decent textbooks and training in these disciplines for the past 14 years but they are not easily accessible. Good luck to you.
New research worth looking into: