Although herbs have been used for centuries to treat ailments and promote good health, it is absolutely essential that you never ingest or otherwise use a plant unless you are 100 percent sure what it is, and that it is safe to use.Tags: health news
Yarrow, which grows wild in Berks County, traditionally has been used to staunch bleeding, to treat bowel ailments and as an anti-inflammatory. Pennsylvania Germans used yarrow as a “sweating tonic” to reduce fever.
Sweet violet, a very common plant that grows wild and blooms in early spring, is reputed to soothe sore throats and lessen coughs, promote sound sleep and treat fibrous cysts, lumps, infections and growths in the breast and female reproductive systems. Violet leaves are high in vitamins A and C.
Dandelion leaves, with which many people wage battle every spring, has been used as a diuretic, to improve circulation in lower legs and feet, to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and stimulate metabolism.
Dandelion root is said to be excellent for the liver, as well as to decrease acne and eczema, and regulate hormone balance.
Plantain grows readily in yards not treated with chemicals; you may find some in yours if you look. This broad-leafed plant can treat mosquito or bee stings, increase healthy cell growth or sooth muscle tears. Plantain is used in Europe to for upper respiratory problems.
Catnip is not only beneficial to cats, but can be used to treat nervous tension; gastric reflux and ulcers; colds, flu and intestinal viruses in children; and fever. It also can be used as a mosquito repellent.
The common elder plant may be found growing in gullies along roads. Tiny, white, fragrant flowers give way to berries, both of which traditionally have been used as a cold/flu remedy and to treat measles and chicken pox. Flowers can be used in facial preparations and are said to remove age spots and freckles.