Cinnamon:

Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka.  They make great quality spice.  Its harvested in the rainy season because the moisture makes the bark peel off more easily.  The Ancient Egyptians used the spice in the embalming process, believe it or not.  Cinnamon is a sweet exotic scent that is very delightful.

Uses and Benefits:

Cinnamon is an astringent and a stimulant. It helps in sour stomach.  It is also helpful in lowering blood sugar levels in those managing diabetes. While vitamins are much to be desired, cinnamon does contain a large amount of antioxidants. Helps to reduce signs of aging. Used to treat eczema and sooth dry skin.  They say cinnamon is an old English flu preventative before the onset of the flu. It can also be useful in rheumatic arthritis and sore joints. Aha!



Easy remedies:

Add five drops of true cinnamon oil to a tablespoon of water and drink several times a day immediately after exposure to influenza.  Some people may be sensitive to the cinnamon oil.  Steep cinnamon bark in boiling water for 15 minutes for a good nausea tonic.

Contraindications:  May irritate skin if allergic or not diluted.

Ginger (Root):

Ginger has a history as a spice.  Its origins may lie in India. Fresh ginger is popular in stir-frys and curry dishes. The largest markets for ginger are in the Middle-East and the US.

Uses and Benefits:

Nausea, morning sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle soreness, blood circulation, colds (expectorant).    The oil of ginger in body mixes is very useful as it is skin toning and helps with blemishes and stimulates hair growth.  It helps with loosening mucous in the throat and bronchial tubes. Ginger helps eliminate nausea and settles the tummy.  Needing to increase poor circulation? Ginger can help. Rub ginger  diluted in oil to warm fingers and toes.



Easy Remedies:

Use the juice of ginger and a little honey for a sore throat.  Needing to increase poor circulation? Ginger can help. Rub ginger diluted in oil to warm fingers and toes. Got sore muscle and joints?  Mix a few drops of ginger oil, cinnamon oil, clove oil and several teaspoons of olive oil and rub those extremities to pure relief!

Contraindications:

Do not take ginger drops undiluted.  May cause stomach upset in high doses.

Cloves:

Clove is native to the Moluccas.  The clove tree is evergreen and can grow thirty to forty feet.  The leaves feel very leathery in texture.  Clove has a strong aromatic flavor and is very pungent in smell.

Uses and Benefits:

Nausea, morning sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle soreness and cramps, blood circulation, colds, as a remedy or toothaches. Ouch! Clove oil is good for spasms and pain due to its anesthetic effect. The oils also stimulate and disinfect as it travels through the body.



Easy remedies:

Apply one to 2 drops of clove oil on aching toothe. A teaspoon of clove powder may be prepared as a tea for nausea and dizziness. Makes a mild sedative.  Digestion of food is improved with clove.  Clove also increases the flow of saliva. It has been known as an aromatic insect repellent.

 

Contraindications: Unknown

Licorice (Roots): 

Licorice is well known for its use in sweets, particularly British sweets. It is native to Middle Eastern  and South-east Europe. The root is bright yellow and smells sweet.

Uses and Benefits:

Peptic ulcers, indigestion, heartburn, cough, bronchitis. Good for eczema. Its often used in strong unpalatable medicines.  Good relief for symptoms of hypoglycemia. Licorice is used in DGL to protect the stomach lining.



Easy Remedies: 

Simmer licorice sticks for a gentle tea to stimulate the kidneys and bowels. DGL- Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice is typically used to treat stomach ulcers as it protects the stomach lining, giving it a chance to heal. You can buy it in pill or chewable forms.

Contraindications:

Liver disorders, diabetes, low potassium levels, pregnancy and lactation.

Peppermint:

Peppermint has a pleasant flavor and is a favorite in teas throughout the world. It is widely cultivated in gardens, and used commercially as an essential oil. Parts used: leaves and stems.

Benefits and Uses:

Gastric and digestive disorders, helps cool the skin, helps getting rid of dandruff, antiseptic, used as a flavoring for sweets, pharmaceutical products and scented cosmetics, muscle cramps and muscle spasms, headaches, nausea.



Easy Remedies:

Dab a couple of drops of peppermint oil on your forehead and temple areas to relieve a headache. Smelling the scent of peppermint can clear the head and sinuses.  It can also help  mental focus with a little dab behind the ears.

Contraindications: Unknown

Vanilla: 

Vanilla is native to Mexico, now cultivated in Puerto Rico, West Indies and Madagascar has a sweet exotic aroma. Vanilla has such a ‘Home Sweet Home” warming scent. It can be used as a pick me up and considered an aphrodisiac. Ooh lala!

Benefits and Uses:

Strengthens heart functions, antioxidant, prevents acne and reduces scarring, aromatherapy-anxiety and depression. Good for split ends and strengthens hair.



Easy Remedies:

Mix vanilla oil in a bit of coconut oil and massage into the scalp for healthier shiny hair. It smells good too!

Contraindications:  Unknown

Lavender

Lavender is native of the Mediterranean and India.  It has a sweet floral fragrance.  It was used for mummification by the Egyptians. Its uses date way back to Biblical Times.

Benefits and Uses:

Used for its aromatic scent in perfumes across the globe.  Helps heal burns. Immune booster. Eczema. Used as a mild sedative, nerve tonic, worry, depression and sleeplessness.



Easy Remedies:

Mixing a few drops of lavender oil in aloe vera for first degree burns. Put a few drops of lavender oil in bath water to help soothe away tension. Mixed with shea butter, it makes a very good relaxing massage butter.

Contraindications:  Unknown

Rosemary:

Rosemary is a dense evergreen perennial.  If you’ve ever planted this herb, you know once it goes from the pot to the soil, it takes off and goes wild!  I’ve notices many restaurants and businesses use this as part of their landscape.

Benefits and Uses:

Muscle tonic, balding hair tonic, digestion,  breath freshener, flavoring herb, may be effective in relieving headaches and a nervine. Good for eczema and minor skin irritations. Also helps in moisturizing your skin and scalp.



Easy Remedies:

Mix one tablespoon of Borax to an pint of rosemary tea and use as a conditioner. Chew a few dried rosemary leaves to freshen breath in the morning and after each meal. Strong flavor and gets the job done!

Contraindications:

  Toxicity in excess, vomiting, avoid if pregnant.

Tea Tree

An External Herb Only

Tea tree oil is native to New South Wales, Australia. It was given to the soldiers in WWII and used as a skin disinfectant. It has an antiseptic action and a kills bacteria and fungus.

Benefits and Uses:

Athlete’s foot, anti-fungal, acne, eczema, helps irritated skin redness and inflammation. Insect bites.

Easy  Remedies:

Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil to 3 tablespoons of witch hazel to dry out acne. Tea tree has a drying effect so may mix with a little olive oil to neutralize the effect.

Contraindications: 

May irritate sensitive skin

Lemongrass:

Lemongrass is widely used in Thai and Chinese dishes. It has a lemony scent and flavor. Lemongrass oil can be used as a deodorant. (hint hint :).

Benefits and Uses:

Antiseptic, liver tonic, rich in Vitamin A,  heartburn, skin tonic, sore muscles, anxiety, depression. Antioxidants, antifungal and antibacterial.

Easy Remedies:

A few drops of lemongrass oil in an ounce of coconut or olive oil applied topically for muscle aches and soreness in joints.

Contraindications:

Avoid during pregnancy. My cause irritation to sensitive skin.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational and research purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, prescription, treatment or cure for any disease or condition, mental or physical, and is not a substitute for regular medical care.  Please respect the body and nature and do not use any herbs in excess.

 

References and Resources:

Herbal Medicine by Dian Dincin Buchman, Ph.D

Modern Encyclopedia of Herbs by Joseph M. Kadans, N.D, Ph.D.

Beautiful Easy Herbs, by Laurance Sombke, pg.47, pg. 52

The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices by Andi Clevely, Katherine Richmond, Sallie Morris and Lesley Mackley,  pg. 326

Back to Eden: Jethro Kloss, Revised and Expanded Edition pg. 149