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A - Z Herbs With Nicky - A, B, C!

Tuesday, 7 March 2006


Following massive interesting last week's strand on Power Herbs, Nicky Treacy Kohler is back to give us a run down of the A-Z of essential. Today we'll be looking at A, B and C, and these herbs will be Alfalfa, Barley and Cleavers.

Alfalfa is one of the most nutritious foods known. Its calcium, carotene, chlorophyll, and vitamin K content make alfalfa an important nutritional supplement.  Whole alfalfa also contains plenty of fibre with anticholesterolemic properties. Alfalfa is also an excellent source of A, B, and C vitamins.
A high concentration of vitamin K is found in whole alfalfa and it has beneficial effects on several forms of hemolytic disease (diseases that are destructive to red blood cells). Alfalfa has antitumoral (anti cancer) and antibacterial properties. It is used by herbalists as a strengthening beverage for weak patients or those who've lost weight through illness.

What is it Good For
. Arthritis
. Asthma
. Diabetes
. Fluid retention
. High cholesterol
. Indigestion
. Kidney, bladder, and prostate problems.

How Can it be Taken?
. Capsules
. Pills
. Tea
. Alfalfa sprouts

Sprouting Alfalfa Seeds
. Use an old teapot which is lined with wet kitchen roll.
. The alfalfa seeds are simply placed on the kitchen towel; there is enough water in the kitchen roll to keep the seeds moist.
. Once the seeds have sprouted, mix them into a healthy salad that includes dandelion leaves, lettuce and cherry tomatoes.

Possible Side Effects
. It has effects similar to estrogen.
. Do not take if you're pregnant or breast feeding.

Barley is tender, creamy and easy to love. Modern nutritionists encourage us to use barley, as it has special benefits. It is a very good source of fibre and, like oatmeal, it is considered helpful in lowering cholesterol. In addition, it contains phosphorus, copper and manganese.
Barley is a good source of protein. It is a weak gluten, meaning that some people with wheat allergies tolerate barley. It Source of B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, and it's low fat, 3%.
Good for soothing irritated stomachs in the treatment of IBS and ulcers. Also used as a wash externally for wounds.

What is it Good For
. Irritated stomachs
. Ulcers
. Externally for wounds

How can it be taken?
. Whole grain barley flour
. Barley flakes (cereal)
. Pot and pearl barley

Soothing Barley Beverage
50 Grams of Barley

. Mix barley with water and leave to stand for a few minutes
. Boil it in two litres of water until the water is reduce to one litre
. Drain off the barley
. Drink one cup, three times a day.

Possible Side Effects
If you're allergic to barley you may experience breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest, chest pain, skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin.
Certain forms of Barley should not be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding. Barley contains gluten and should not be taken by persons with celiac disease

Cleavers is said to be an excellent lymphatic tonic working on a variety of ailments indicated by swollen glands (example, tonsillitis). It aids in lymph drainage which also assists in detoxification of tissues and the immune system. Cleavers is also used in urinary and skin ailments. It is antispasmodic (relieves or prevents spasms), astringent, diaphoretic (produces perspiration), diuretic, lymphatic tonic, vulnerary (used in the treatment of wounds)

What Are They Used For
. Eczema
. Psoriasis
. Urinary complaints
. Kidney stones
. Cystitis
. The fresh juice is said to decrease swelling and tumors

How Can it be Taken?
. Tincture 
. Tea
(Tincture (1/2-1 teaspoon or 3-5 ml) can be taken three times per day. Tea is made by steeping two to three teaspoons (10-15 grams) of the herb in 1one cup (250 ml) of hot water for ten to fifteen minutes. People can drink three or more cups per day.)

Cleaver Tea

. Chop, wash and leave cleavers to dry on some old newspaper for five days.
. Take the cleavers and mix them in with some boiling water to make a gorgeous tea.

Cleaver Juice
Nicky recommends that cleavers be taken fresh if at all possible so that there are more nutrients.

Possible Side Effects
Cleavers has no known side effects and is thought to be safe for use by children and pregnant or nursing women.