Quick help is often needed in everyday life – when the children tumble while playing or a family member shows the first signs of a cold. Our grandmothers and great-grandmothers still knew many natural home remedies, which in such cases were rescuers in need. They have alleviated all sorts of discomforts with traditional preparations such as tea, herbal oil, tincture, liqueur or essential oils.
Ancient knowledge of wise women
Much of the wisdom of wise women has been forgotten. What now into a “green medicine cabinet”? Weakened defenses, skin injuries, colds, mild burns, pain, indigestion of all kinds, bruises and sprains, fever, mild urinary tract infections and insect bites are the most common symptoms in everyday life. And last but not least, remedies to increase the well-being belong in any natural medicine cabinet. But every self-treatment has its limits: If the symptoms do not improve or even worsen, a doctor or alternative practitioner must be consulted. A remedy to strengthen the immune system should always be at hand. Various medicinal plants can strengthen the organism and help it to ward off bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. Like the ribwort plantain. Studies have shown that it has an antibiotic effect when fresh. Responsible for this is the ingredient Aucubin. Furthermore, its leaves contain bacteria and anti-inflammatory substances and connective tissue-strengthening silicic acid.
A stock for the winter
Practically, ribwort plantain grows in many places: on roadsides, on meadows and pastures and in the gardens. Since its active ingredients, which can be used in the spring in the fresh wild herbs kitchen for health, are largely lost during drying, you put yourself for the winter best on a supply of ribwort plantain honey in which its valuable components are preserved.
Red clover on the other hand, whose flowers are infused with water to a tea, strengthens the immune system even when dried. Fresh it fits in soups, salads and desserts in the summer.
Our ancestors also received first aid from nature when they suffered skin injuries at work. Well-tried plants for wound treatment are the common chamomile and the marigold. Both excellently support the healing in all phases and are characterized by the lack of side effects. Asters allergies are extremely rare with them. Minor injuries such as abrasions, cuts, lacerations or puncture wounds usually do not need to be disinfected and clean themselves when bleeding. For a quick outer treatment, a tea is boiled: pour two teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers with 150 ml / 5 fl oz of boiled water, cover and let steep for about 10 minutes. Luke warm it is then dabbed with a compress on the wound or poured over several times a day. A bandage, especially for children, keeps the injured area warm and promotes blood circulation and thus healing. A weeping wound can be “dried out” with a pad soaked in chamomile tea. In addition, it is recommended to always have some marigold oil in the medicine cabinet: It supports wound healing and nourishes the skin.
First help and measures
The two skin-friendly plants are also used for mild scalding and burns – after the affected area was kept under cold or lukewarm water for about 15 to 30 minutes as a first measure. Never use ice! Thereafter, pads made of buttermilk or cold tea preparations of anti-inflammatory herbs are helpful. In addition to marigold and chamomile, these include peppermint, ribwort plantain, meadowsweet and mallow. A particularly effective measure of burning a finger while cooking is to hollow out a raw potato and put your finger in it. This cools the skin and keeps it moist.
Tea cure for sweating
Herbs for flu and colds are the most used medicinal plants and should be present in a green medicine chest. Diaphoretic tea blends with lime tree blossoms or elderflowers can relieve or stop the outbreak by drinking a cup several times a day at the very first sign. These teas make the organism quite sweaty. Then it is also important to give your body the rest to get well.
Plants with intense essential oils such as angelica, thyme, peppermint, sage, lavender, chamomile and the elderflower are especially suitable for a facial steam bath that soothes the respiratory tract. In case of a cold, inhaling a saline solution also helps: dissolve one teaspoon of salt in half a liter / 2 US.cup of water, hold one nostril and, with the other, pull up the fluid from the hollow hand. But it is easier to use a nasal douche.
An old home remedy that has been proven in sore throat and mucosal inflammation in the mouth and throat: put three teaspoons of cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and mix with two teaspoons of honey. Gargle with it hourly until the symptoms disappear.
Bitter healing plants
Also for indigestion, the green medicine chest holds a number of alleviating remedies ready. Especially the bitter medicinal plants are used here. “What’s bitter in the mouth, is the stomach healthy” – that’s an old knowledge in folk medicine. The dandelion is a native bitter substance plant, which is available to us in abundance. Most bitter substances contain their roots in spring.
For culinary purposes, they are therefore rather collected in autumn. Bitter substances promote digestion and appetite, they stimulate the production of stomach acid and bile. For a tea, a teaspoon of dandelion root is boiled with a cup of cold water. Drain after five minutes. If necessary, drink up to three cups a day.
If you do not want to dig out the roots, a tea made of dandelion flowers is good for your bladder and purifies the blood. It is often used for menstrual cramps. It is also well suited for a spring therapy. For this, put 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried dandelion leaves, flowers or roots in a tea strainer in a cup, dash with hot boiling water and let brew for 5-10 minutes.
Herbs against pain
Even against pain grows a herb. But they are always an alarm sign that you have to get to the bottom. In the past, herbalists recommended headaches to apply fresh peppermint leaves to the temples. Anyone who rubs the leaves and puts the plant juice on a tormenting body on the body, immediately senses that there significantly decreases the sensitivity. Other herbs useful against headaches are lavender or rosemary.