Saturday, July 30, 2016

When You've Got Your Herbs, You've Got Just About Everything

After a year, our reishi totem logs are bearing fruit. We cultivated reishi mushrooms (also known as the immortality mushroom or the panacea mushroom) strictly for medicinal purposes. With only six totems, we will probably need more to supply ourselves year-round with a daily dose of reishi tea, but if it wards off cancer, that would certainly be worth it. Reishi is so powerful because of the hundreds of different compounds it provides, specifically polysaccharides and triterpenoids, many of which are immunomodulators. These compounds mainly serve to stimulate macrophages, which activate production of natural killer cells, T-cells, and tumor-necrosis factors. Think of it as homeopathic chemotherapy. We normally carry cancer cells in our bodies, but that's no reason to let them have their way with us.

Though reishi mushrooms could be grown just as ornamental objects, what pleases the eye does little for the rest of the body. Likewise in the plant kingdom, not all ornamental or herbal garden plants are of known medicinal value, but many are. It's nice to feed bees and butterflies, but if I can derive some direct benefit from a plant, it would be wasteful to pass up those opportunities. Heretofore I have given no thought to many plants in my garden for their medicinal value and, consequently, have left them afield without accepting their gifts.

Forthwith, I pledge to preserve and administer herbs in my garden for their reputed medicinal purposes. In time, I hope to wean myself off prescription drugs or know of suitable substitutes if push comes to shove. Here's what I currently have to work with:

  • Garlic            Antibacterial, clears lung congestion, lowers blood sugar and cholesterol, improves circulation, antihistamine.
  • Parsley          Relieves gas pain
  • Sage               Reduces fever, heals sores in mouth and throat, laryngitis treatment; slows Alzheimer's; long life
  • Thyme           Prevents colds and cold symptoms (sore throat, congestion); Cures athletes foot, ringworm; Antiseptic
  • Calendula      Relieves sore skin, heals skin and mucous membrane wounds
  • Chickweed     Relieves skin irritation (use fresh)
  • Red Clover    Alleviates skin irritations, coughs, sore throat
  • Dandelion      Leaves help cleanse skin; root aids the liver & are also chemotherapy substitute
  • Peppermint   For upset tummy 
  • Rosemary      Improve varicose veins, strengthen heart, prevent arteriosclerosis; stimulates circulation; sooth pulled muscles; relieves arthritis; digestive
  • Cayenne        Improves circulation in cold hands & feet; relieves arthritis; relieves sore throat
  • Borage           Antidepressant
I was planning to replenish my stock of campho-phenique today, but instead I think I'll start by picking calendula flowers.

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