Thyme has been used for centuries, and was even used during one of the most devastating pandemics to take place in human history. The Black Death was a plague that peaked in Europe from 1346-1353. During that time, and in other incidents of the plague thereafter, townspeople would gather to burn large bundles of thyme to ward off the disease, or carry pockets of thyme on them. Indeed, thyme does have anti-microbial properties, but we’re not warding off any plague here-just your cough. Thyme relaxes the muscles of the trachea and bronchi, and also opens up airways. The result is less coughing, and increased comfort.
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Bilberry has been used for centuries by European healers to treat such things as stomach cramps, diarrhea and diabetes. Now bilberry is most often used to prevent night blindness. It seems to be able to strengthen the capillaries and protect them from free radical damage. This plant contains flavonoids called anthocyanosides. These are a powerful antioxidant. In the past, bilberry has also been used as a remedy for varicose veins, hemorrhoids and bruising.
Suma is often called Brazilian ginseng due to it’s ability to increase strength and stamina. Like all adaptogens, suma is good for reducing the ill effects of stress. This herb balances the hormones and is commonly taken to strengthen the adrenal glands. Suma contains germanium and so can boost the immune system. It contains many vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is usually taken as a tea to relax and calm a nervous system. Catnip can help ease a chronic cough, help you fall asleep and as a digestive aid. Some moms use catnip for colic babies or infants' teething. Moms also use catnip in tincture form at bedtime to help restless children sleep. Always check with your child's pediatrician or other medical practitioner before giving to your baby or child.

^ Vogl S, Picker P, Mihaly-Bison J, Fakhrudin N, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH, Wawrosch C, Reznicek G, Dirsch VM, Saukel J, Kopp B (2013). "Ethnopharmacological in vitro studies on Austria's folk medicine - An unexplored lore in vitro anti-inflammatory activities of 71 Austrian traditional herbal drugs". J Ethnopharmacol. 149 (3): 750–71. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.06.007. PMC 3791396. PMID 23770053.
To treat colds or coughs you can make a nice ginger tea by cutting about one inch of ginger root into small pieces and adding to two cups of water and simmering for fifteen minutes. Ginger can also be found in capsules like a lot of other herbs and is a great way to get your dose of ginger for the day. Extracts are also available but are generally used only to treat osteoarthritis.
We live in a world where prescription medicine is getting more and more expensive as well as controversial. Alternative medicine is gaining momentum and with good reason! The same is true for treatments for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that can reverse diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes, natural supplements that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and also herbs that lower blood sugar. Not only are these alternative therapies safer, but they are also easier on your pocket, on your body and mind.
​Sage also has some medicinal properties like most of its fellow culinary herbs. It has traits that allow it to ease sore throats as well as coughs and colds. Sage was used in Egypt during ancient times to ward off evil, snakebites and to increase the fertility in women and in India sage was used to treat sore throats and indigestion. Sage has been grown in herb gardens and kitchens since medieval times when the Romans introduced it to Europe. Today sage can be found in a wide variety of natural products being sold. This makes sage a great herb for preppers because it means they too can make these natural products. Deodorants are often made from sage because of its antiperspirant properties, and mouthwashes are common due to sage's ability to kill bacteria.
What to expect depends on the type of practitioner you’re consulting. A medical doctor, osteopathic doctor, or naturopath may recommend an herbal remedy in the course of an office visit if you have made a specific complaint. A practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine or ayurvedic medicine may recommend an herbal remedy in the course of a consultation for a specific health problem or to address whole health from a holistic perspective.
​Chickweed is an annual herb that can be found all over the world in temperate as well as arctic regions. An interesting characteristic of the chickweed is that it sleeps, at night the leaves will fold up covering the young buds and shoots. Chickweed is also known for being quite a nutritious herb and is a good choice to include in your salads.  The whole plant can be used both dried and fresh in herbal remedies. Let's have a look at the main medicinal uses now that this herb is best know for.
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​Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.
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