7 Herbs Everyone Should Consider Taking
Amazing Wellness|Early Summer 2019

Herbal medicine has been used to treat or alleviate virtually every possible medical condition. Here, we highlight the 7 herbs you should always have on hand

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH

Herbalism, also known as botanical medicine, is a healing system based on the use of plants that are eaten or applied to the skin. Since ancient times, herbal medicine has been used worldwide by many diverse cultures to treat illness and to assist bodily functions. Herbal remedies in the form of teas, extracts, tinctures, capsules, and tablets may be recommended by healthcare practitioners of different disciplines as a practical way to address a wide variety of health conditions.

People use nutritious plants for food and medicine, and the division between the two gets a little blurry, so much so that in some traditional systems, there is no line at all. In all, there are tens of thousands of healing plants on Earth, so the question becomes the narrowing-down process. We could discuss hundreds, of course, but seven herbs stand out as candidates that everyone should consider taking. Each one of these superior herbs does double duty as a culinary ingredient and a medicinal remedy.

1 Nettle Leaf

Nettles are widely spread over the world and consist of about 500 species, mainly tropical, though several occur widely in temperate climates. Imported from Europe, but now naturalized here, the common stinging nettles, the perennial Urtica (from “to burn”) dioica, which can grow as high as seven feet, and the smaller, annual Urtica urens, are fixtures in Western herbal medicine. Nettle is an herb with at least five distinct internal uses. Because it is a mild, food-like plant, it is well tolerated, and widely useful.

First and foremost, nettle is a traditional food. The leaves are consumed as a spinach-like vegetable throughout Europe. Nettle leaf is remarkably nutritious. Cooking or drying deactivates the sting. As medicine, nettle is a nutritive, building herb, which suggests nettle for conditions as diverse as eczema and nosebleeds.

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