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A - Z Herbs With Nicky - J, L, M, N!

Thursday, 11 May 2006

A - Z HERBS WITH NICKY - J, L, M, N!

Nicky Treacy Kohler is back with her A-Z of Herbs. Today she'll be looking at the letters J, L, M and N and will be giving us some handy tips for treating a common ailment for this time of year, hay fever.

Juniper
This shrub is found throughout Europe and it is the ripe berries which herbalists use. These berries are gathered in the Autumn. 
Juniper is a bitter, aromatic herb that has antiseptic and diuretic properties, improving digestion, stimulating the uterus and reducing inflammation.
Do not use if you suffer with kidney problems or are pregnant.
What is it good for
. Cystitis
. Fluid retention
. Urethritis
. Rheumatism
. Gout
. Arthritis
. Gas
. Colic
How can it be taken
Tea
Essential oil
Berries

Juniper Tea
Ingredients
2 table spoons of Juniper berries
2 cups of water
Method
Bring the berries to the boil in two cups of water
Strain mixture.

Laurel
Laurel is a large shrub / small tree with thick foliage and dark purple berries follow clusters of small, cream yellow flowers with prominent stamens in spring. The leaves and oil distilled from the leaves are used, but very rarely the fruit.
It is a spicy and bitter herb that is a stimulant that improves digestion and is a locally antiseptic.

What is it Good For
. Arthritis
. Fever
. Rheumatism
. Stimulate appetite
. Aids digestion
. Colic
. Flatulence
. External use
. Treating dandruff
. Boosting hair growth
. Rheumatism
. Sprains
. Bruises
. Atonic ulcers
. Scabies
How Can it Be Taken
Tea
Essential oil
As dried leaves

Concentrated Laurel Concentrated Oil
(For external use only)
Ingredients
500 ml Sunflower oil
750 g Laurel leaves
Method
. Add the Laurel leaves to the sunflower oil in a jar and screw on the lid
. Place in a dark cupboard and shake daily for three days
. Strain the oil off the leaves
. Throw out the leaves and place fresh laurel leaves in the oil and repeat the process
. Do this three or four times for a concentrated mix

Milk Thistle
The seeds are the main part used by herbalists, although the pink flower heads are eaten fresh also and once were boiled and eaten like artichokes at springtime.
The primary use of milk thistle today is as an anti oxidant and to treat liver related ailments. Scientific evidence suggests that milk thistle works wonders in treating liver diseases; it has anti cancer properties and is used as an antidote to certain types of mushroom poisoning.

What is it Good For
. Liver problems - even when it is due to alcohol abuse
. Depression
. Viral liver problems
. High cholesterol

How Can it Be Taken
Tea
Capsule
Liquid extract
Tincture

Nettles
Stinging nettle is the name given to common nettle, garden nettle, and hybrids of these two plants. Nettles have tonic, revitalizing, diuretic, galactagogue (promotes the secretion of milk), hemostatic (stops internal bleeding) and astringent properties. They also have the ability to dilute acid making it valuable in the treatment of cystitis and gout.
Nettles contain a rich organic mineral content.

What is it Good For
. Arthritis and rheumatic pain
. Eczema
. Gout
. Cystitis
. Anemia
. Urinary problems
. Enlarged prostate
. Kidney stones
. Hay fever
. Joint pain
. Sprains
. Strains
. Tendonitis
. Insect bites
How Can it Be Taken
Tea
Capsules
Root tincture
Dried leaf

Nettle Soup
Ingredients

3 handfuls of nettles
Onion
Garlic
½ litre of water
Method
Chop nettles, onion and garlic
Boil for fifteen to twenty minutes in water
Drain and serve

Nettle &  Elderflower Tea
Ingredients

1 tablespoon of elderflower
1 tablespoon of dried nettle
Method
. Put equal measures of nettles and elderflower in a teapot
. Pour in boiling water
. Strain the mixture and drink

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