Are you confused when you get into a health food store, or a drugstore, and want something for your respriatory ailment, but there are so many products? Which will be effective? Which ones could you avoid?
It would help if you knew what some of the terms you find on the packages mean. Like what exact is anti-catarrhal? Or, demulcent? Let's spell out a brief glossary here, and offer some hints for guiding your choices. I can't speak for the pharmacuitcal field, but I've learned some terms that herbalists use.
1. Anti-catarrhal - herbs with this property can take care of the mucous that has build up in your sinuses, or ears and throat. You know that phelgm that often sticks to the back of your throat? That is catarrah. Sometimes it is known as post-nasal drip, because it is coming from your nose or sinus cavaties, and you are slowly swallowing that stuff. If it is infected, you may end up with tummy problems too.
Herbs: Bayberry bark, coltsfoot, golden seal, Indian hemp, lungwort, marshmallow, mullein, white pine, sanicle, skunk cabbage, sarsaparilla, bloodroot, comfrey, fringe tree, buchu, and powdered oak bark.
2. Expectorants - are herbs that give you a boost in breaking up and clearing, and getting that phlegm or catarrah OUT of your lungs and sinuses
Herbs: coltsfoot, comfrey, elecampane, grindelia, licorice, marshmallow, mullein
3. Astringent - herbs that cut back on secretion and discharges, and tighten up the tissues that feel soggy and stretched in your head.|
Herbs: slippery elm, raspberry leaf, blackberry root, meadowsweet.
4. Demulcent - these herbs have a more reverse effect. When your throat or mouth and nasal passages are so raw and dried out that you would gladly have some moisture, an herb with a demulcent effect, will put a soothing mucilage or lubricant in those areas.
Herbs: slippery elm, comfrey root, mullein leaf, marshmallow.
5. Anti-spasmodic - you want these herbs when you have developed spasms of coughing and wheezing. They will ease down, or hold back that desperate need to cough. Athough, you should remember that if you do have an inflammed mass of mucous in your lungs, you want to cough it out, or you will only grow sicker and have pneumonia or plurisy next. So do allow yourself, or your child, to cough as much as possible if you are able to bring up the yucky mess. If not, use the expectorant herbs first, then take the anti-spasmodic ones when you desperately need to rest from the coughing.
Herbs: cramp bark, passion flower, lobelia, skullcap, valerian, boneset.
6. Anti-microbal - are the herbs that deal with infections and inflammations in your body. You want to be rid of those crazy little micro-organisms before they cause you serious problems. Not every cough or sneeze is due to pathogenic microbes, but when it is clear that is the cause, you want to use these herbs.
Herbs: echinacea, golden seal, giner, garlic, boneset, osha, usnea.
7. Anti-inflammatories - these herbs are called for when you have reached the inflammatory stage. When everything is red, hot, and truly sick.
8. Nevine relaxants - when you have been coughing and hacking away for quite a while, your chest will sometimes seize up, and you can hardly relax enough to breath. In fact, asthma shows up. This is when you need to relax your nerves so you can get some rest.
9. Diaphoretic - sometimes you need to sweat it out, to get rid of toxins and reduce fever. These herbs help you to cast off some toxins through your skin.
Herbs: cayenne, peppermint, ginger, catnip, elder flower, elecampane, garlic, yarrow.
That is likely your next question. It is hard to go out in the natural medows and woodlands to look for these herbs, and dry them. Especially if you need their benefits right now. Make it a long-range goal to learn more about the plants and where to find them. As I keep saying, many of them are under our feet, and beside our sidewalks.
However, it is possible to buy them ready picked and cleaned and often prepared as teas or capsules you can take painlessly. The first place I look now is an online store called Puritan's Pride They have the lowest prices and the widest selection I've found so far, and theyare metaculous about their harvesting, preparation and packaging.
To help you zero in on them, here are direct links to the herbal pages at Puritan's Pride. (Note that each one has several more pages you can continue to!)Herbs A to E ~ Herbs F to M ~ Herbs N to Z
Aloe Vera Tips & Solutions - my monthly newsletter/ezine, which keeps you informed of new things on this site, and brings out a tip or solution to some problem you may be encountering. Subscribe today!
Aloe Vera Plants by Mail - First results of my experiment to see what's involved in sending aloe vera plants by mail, showing photos of the one that went the farthest and is the healthiest. Includes eight photos.
Aloe Vera Questions - and Answers - taken from real questions to me on this site.
Wondering what happens when you eat aloe vera? Take my 6-part e-course to find out. My treat!
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Clean 9 - is a nine day program that uses only natural means to manage weight loss and does a gentle colon cleanse, and even detoxes your whole body, while building up strength and energy, all at the same time. It is produced by Forever Living. I'd like to share my experience with it.">
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Aloe Vera Aids Burn Treatment, Wound Healing And Scars - a guest article to explain some of the technical aspects of how this happens.
Freezing Aloe Vera - I've tried freezing the aloe vera gel, hoping to use it later, but that seems to kill the good stuff in it, as I found it looked too yukky when I tried to defrost it to use, however I discuss the pros and cons on this page.
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Bacterial Vaginosis - and other vaginal irritations can be cured naturally for once and for all.
Plantain - thank God - it's so handy! - A review of the things I've learned about plantain and the many ways to use it as a healing remedy.
Calendula, Marigold - My discoveries and experiences with calendula and how to make an ointment from this herb.
Mint - the Refreshing and Soothing Herb - Mint is one of my most favourite herbs, especially for a refreshing tea that soothes away gas and pain and rattled nerves.
Comfrey - to Close up Your Wounds - Comfrey is the plant that can knit or close up your wounds and put you back together. Comfrey has an excellent effect on inward bruises and pains. A poultice of the fresh leaves is excellent for gangrenous sours, gangrene, mortifications, and moist ulcers.
Herbal Teas - Simple instructions for how to prepare herbal teas, and for different quanties, with links to many old recipes.
Specific Benefits of the Herbs in the Herbal Teas - A quick summary page of herbal benefits to check when deciding which herbal tea blend to make, and want to know what each herb may do for you.
Natural Arthritis Remedies - Natural arthritis remedies and suggestions for a cleanse of the toxins and poisons which cause that intense pain - which could cure you of all arthritis pain.
Odd Cure for Bad Breath - Bad breath can be prevented, perhaps even cured by drinking tea, plus a few other odd cures.
Teas for Colds and Flu Remedies - Recipes for infusions or herbal teas for colds and flu remedies.
Teas to Aid in Good Digestion - Recipes for herbal teas that will help to digest one's food better.
Herbal Teas for Energy and Memory - Recipes for herbal teas for energy and memory to give new vitality and improve your memory skills.
Teas for Relaxing, to Give You Rest - Recipes for herbal teas for relaxing, infusions that will make it easier for you to rest.
Herbal Teas that Heal - Recipes for herbal teas that are able to heal or improve symptoms of more specific health problems.
Teas That Heal - Brewing Recipes - More teas that heal - brewing recipes that have a similar brewing method..
Herbal Tea Remedy e-Book - ready to download
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Can't picture eating aloe vera straight - even if you NEED it?
Simple Solution: order these tasty juices with the aloe vera inside.
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Solution: Aloe Vera Gelly!
Aloe Vera Aids Burn Treatment
(by Fiona McColl)