Inspiration from Meghan

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A Little Herb?


Yesterday I introduced you to one type of doctor. Now let's meet another!

In December, when I had the pleasure of holidaying with my family in Jamaica, we met an herbal medicine man named Charlie who took us on a tour of some local herbs. Not THAT herb... the healing kind. The OTHER kind of healing. Come on now!

Now did you watch that video all the way through? Did you see the explanation of the leaf of life? Wouldn't you know it that the next day my little niece Mia was suffering from a bit of a cold and was all congested. Without the usual go-to remedies, we had to use what was on hand. And what was on hand? The Leaf Of Life.

I fancied up a little compress and we compressed that cough right out of her!

Now, let's play guess the herb...


If I could have only one herb in my herbal medicine kit, that one above would be it. Do you know what that is? Go on, have a guess?

Here are some clues:

  1. It's the most beautiful shade of... Yellow? Orange? Yellanage you ever did see!
  2. It is a super pooper powered anti-inflammatory.
  3. Liver detoxifier- is it possible that if we believe the liver to be the seat of anger then this herb can help release that anger? Hmmmm...
  4. Natural pain killer. Yay more of this!
  5. Helps manage weight, and aid in fat metabolism... More of this too!
  6. Super source of antioxidants.
  7. I brew it up for one of my fave teas.

You've guessed already, haven't you?

(the answer is at the bottom)

This was one of the many herbs we got to see fresh out of the ground and/or off the tree in St. Lucia. We learned about so much and what we were reminded of repeatedly is how the medicine you need most is the one right there in front of you.  Look at this collection we learned about!Herbal Medicine talk with Uta

I continue to be amazed by the power herbs and food have to positively impact our health, and most of us don't pay any attention to it. It is simply not part of our culture. In my own experience, I often lean towards the culinary heroes like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, cayenne, garlic and other such goodies.

But what about the real medicinals- like nettles, oat straw, dandelion, astragalus, ashwaganda and rhodiola? This is where we'll be venturing to over the coming months.

And I write this as I sit here sipping on my dandelion turmeric tea, with a couple drops of my nettle tincture and a couple drops of my gingko tincture. Feeling my liver cleanse, my inflammation go down, my immune system boost up and my brain go into super powered mode. That's what those herbs will do for me.

Need a refresher on some of my past herbal medicine posts?

That herb up there above... that gnarly looking root. You probably guessed by now, but that's turmeric root, fresh from the ground.

Question of The Day: If you could only use one natural remedy, what would it be?

10 Responses to “A Little Herb?”

  1. Jen said…
    I find I am always using mint (tea, salads, dressings, smoothies, etc.) Someone even pointed this out to me in the little vegetarian cookbook I wrote for my daughter's day care teachers for Christmas. I even put mint in my bath water. It's a good thing it grows like crazy everywhere in my garden!
  2. Alex said…
    I met a medicine man like that in dream is to go back one day to study with him... And the mystery herb is turmeric! I love it too :)
    • Alex said…
      Haha, this is embarrassing...I obviously didn't read the whole post before I commented...
  3. Herbs are so amazing, I would love to learn more about their benefits and properties! Thanks for the great information.
  4. Jesse said…
    I actually found the gnarly fingers of fresh tumeric root at the Whole Foods in North Carolina. I'm not sure how far they traveled but I couldn't help buying up a handfull
  5. ellen said…
    is tumeric powerful in cooked form? i.e. like in rice? i buy it in a spice jar. Or do you need to eat it raw?
  6. Very informative site you have here! Thanks for taking us back to nature! I love the dandelion and the tree of life! This post has taken me back to the days when me and my brothers and sisters were growing up, mom use to always use a lot of herbs to keep us in tip top shape so we rarely get sick. Those were the good old days, but we can and should really get back to natural herbs. “If we all treat each other like we treat ourselves – what a wonderful place earth would be.”
  7. rainy said…
    cerassie (mamordica charantia) aka bitter is a very common herb throughout the west indies, asia an south florida . I do eat the orange fruit with the red seeds which happen to be the sweetest part of the plant, however, don't allow children to eat the seeds because it's said that children must build up the tolerance to it and if ingested, would be toxic to their system. Steeping the vine and leaves are a great tea in terms of health (blood tonic), but it is verrrry bitter. Women in the caribbean use it for womanly things, but I recommend that pregnant women abstain from it because it is an abortifacent.
  8. Annie Summer said…
    Unfortunately I am in the southern end of US and can't participate in your workshop. I look forward to reading more about ways in which to use this root. Thanks for the informative post!
  9. Lisa said…
    We did that when we were in Ocho Rios. Learned amazing things about herbs but never learned how to incorporate it into our own living. The gentleman had told us about a plant they had that was better than aloe. He said you could have the deepest wound and put that on there and not only would it heal but it would heal without a scar. I'm trying to remember what it was called... Do you have suggestions for how to start an herb garden and not just for cooking but for health and healing? Thanks!

Before you post your comment, please note that I am unable to offer nutritional advice or recommendations via my blog.

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