Updated: May 12, 2020
Welcome back everyone. This week i have a lot of exciting herbs for us to learn about.
It is amazing how adaptable and multi-facted nature is. Plants provide us with abundance, nutrition, medicine and knowledge if we choose to attune ourselves with their message. We are here at Roseman's Remedies to assist you in your journey, And to grow with you!
Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla)
Chamomile is native to Europe and west Asia, its name comes from the Greek words for ground apple and its a member of the daisy family. Chamomile is one of the oldest recorded herbs used for medicinal use. The Egyptians dedicated it to the sun god Ra, and the Saxons considered it one of their 9 sacred herbs. The herb is commonly consumed as an herbal tea, or tincture, extracted for topical applications, and processed as an essential oil. When fresh Chamomile's essential oils can range from blue-green yet turn yellow when stored. Chamomile has shown anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and mild astringent activity. It's use is highly versatile, displaying effectiveness towards Eczema treatment, hemorrhoids, other inflammatory conditions and wound healing. Largely considered as one of the worlds most potent herbal teas it is used for colds, a sleep aid, anti-anxiety, and gastrointestinal issues. Some interesting facts about Chamomiles are the essential oils penetrate deeper into the skin than most essential oils, and topical creams have been shown to be 60% as effective as .26% hydrocortisone.
Milkweed (Asclepias Syriaca)
Native Americans named the plant after the milky sap excreted with the bark is damaged, colonialist named its genus after the Greek god of medicine. Milkweed is native to the Americas, and Africa, and most species are actually toxic to humans. Despite that, it does have medicinal use. Indigenous people used it by brewing its roots into tea for lung complication. Or using the milky sap for insect bites, ringworm and as a bond for healing cuts (contains natural latex). When properly prepared the flowers can be made into sugar, milk weed also has textile uses. During WW2 it was used to make rope and cord. Most notably Milkweed serves a deeper purpose to out ecosystem. They are the primary food source for Monarch caterpillars. Yet Milkweed species that attract Monarchs are becoming scarce. This is important for 2 reasons. 1. Monarch butterflies are a iconic pollinator species we rely on 2. Milkweed can be invasive, it grows fast, is hard to eradicate, and can even survive droughts or soil disturbances. Newer species of Milkweed can even grow faster than the caterpillar can consume it! With the careful balance between these species on the line our next few years could have an huge affect on this issue.
Yucca (Yucca Angustissima)
Not to be confused with the popular south american dish Yuca with one c. This herb is native to hot and dry parts of the Americas, and Caribbean. The Yucca plant has a specialized mutualisitc pollinator system. Only the Yucca moths function as pollinators for this plant. Although some species of Yucca moths have actually evolved to have an antagonistic response to the plant. Yucca can be used as a fire starter, fiber source, and as treatment for arthritis complications. Research has shown the polyphenols and sapnions in the plaant have anti-protozoal activity. Suppressing protozoal activity in your intestines. They are also potent as antioxidants and anti-bacterials. The polyphenols known as yuccaols inhibit nitric oxide, an inflammatory agent.
Ashwagandha (Wisthania Someifera)
Also known as Indian Ginseng, Ashwagandha is native to India and is one of the most influential herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Regarded traditionally as a tonic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, astringent, and stimulant. The roots smell like horse or Ashwa, so it is named as such because it gives you the power of a horse. Scientific research have shown that Ashwagandha is a versatile medicine. It increases stamina, produces an anti-stress effect, improves cognitive function and may be useful in treating Alzhemiers and Parkinson's disease, increases energy and has a slight anti-depressant effect.
Valerian Root (Valerana Officianles)
Valerian is native to Europe and Asian. It's use dates back to ancient Greece, and Rome for treating insomnia. Currently its one of the most commonly refereed dietary supplements for a sleep aid, but does it work? Studies have been mostly inconclusive due to methodical errors. Yet it may provide some assistance in how quickly you fall asleep and your sleep quality. For now only time will tell