The Essential Herbal...Comfrey

To continue our discussion on the essential herbal ingredients in a natural first aid kit, we will tell you about Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

(Symphytum offincinale)

Comfrey is also known as Knitbone. It is native to Europe, but now grows in all temperate regions of the world. It thrives in moist and marshy soils.
Comfrey's ability to promote healing of broken bones, fractures, bruising, and sprains has been known for thousands of years. It encourages ligaments and bones to "knit" together, which is why it is sometime referred to as Knitbone.
A comfrey compress applied immediately to the a sprained ankle can reduce the severity of the injury
Comfrey oil can be used succesfully to treat acne and boils. The astringent action helps to heal the acne naturally. It's mucilage content makes it a wonderful treatment for scrapes and wounds. Make sure never to use comfrey on a dirty wound. Rapid healing can trap dirt inside and cause infection.
Comfrey helps to repair damaged tissue. The herb has powerful anti-inflammatory action due to the rosmariinic acid content.
Comfrey can be toxic if taken orally. You should not take it internally

The Essential Herbal...Chamomile

The essential herbal are ingredients that should be in all natural herbal healing first aid kits. With just a few essential herbs you can help heal naturally just about any illness. This is the third in the series. In this article we will discuss Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita).

Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita)
Most people think of Chamomile as a relaxing tea.Yet,Chamomile has been used for digestive issues since the 1st Century. It is gentle, and effective and a great herb for kids.
Chamomile grows all around the world. It is sown by seed in spring. The flower heads will be ready to be picked in summer.
Chamomile is a herbal relaxant or nervine. Nervines are herbal tonics that work on the nervous system. It can help calm frazzled nerves. Chamomile also works as an antispasmodic. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea when you have an upset stomach, can calm and soothe in a short time. It makes a wonderful tea for a child with an upset belly.
Chamomile, is also very useful on the skin of our bodies. An oil infusion of chamomile can be applied to the skin to help heal dry itchy skin. You can also add an infusion to your bath. Chamomile is used to make a herbal skin cream, and is a great benefit to your skin.
Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory properties which is beneficial both internally as a tea for stomach and digestive complaints, but also topically as an oil, ointment or cream.

The fresh plant of Chamomile can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals. You should not use Chamomile if you are allergic to the daisy family of plants.

The Essential Herbal-Arnica

In all natural first aid kits, there are the essential herbal items. With just a few essential herbs you can heal naturally just about any illness. In this article we will discuss Arnica.

Arnica(Arnica montana)
Arnica key constituents are sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids and volatile oil. Sesquiterpene lactones are are a class of chemicals found in many plants. In 1981, they were studied in Germany, and they were found to act as counterirritants. This means that sesquiterpene lactones produce a stimulating sensation that boosts the circulation to the injured area where the Arnica is applied. Flavonoids give the plant their antioxidant activities. The volatile oil, or essential oil is the aroma of the plant.

Arnica has been extensively used in Europe since the 1700's in folk medicine.
Arnica is an effective herbal healing ointment for bruises, sprains, and muscle pain. It improves the local blood supply and speeds the healing process.

Arnica is used mainly as a ointment, cream, or gel. You can use a tincture as a liniment and rub onto affected area. Arnica should be applied 4-5 x a day for best results.

Arnica should not be taken internally except homeopathic dosages. It can be toxic. Arnica should not be applied to broken skin.
Arnica's key herbal healing actions work as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-swelling agent, and as a mild analgesic (pain reliever).

The Essential Herbal-Calendula

In all natural first aid kits, there are the essential herbal items to have. With just a few essential herbs you can heal naturally just about any illness. There are 16 in all. In this article we will discuss Calendula (Calendula offincalis).

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula is a must have. Here on the farm, I can't live without a good supply of organic calendula in my herbal supply.
Native to southern Europe, Calendula is now grown worldwide. Mostly as an annual. It's herbal healing actions are wonderful. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, detoxifier, and is also mildly estrogenic. It is also a great herbal wound healer.

Calendula can be used as an oil, ointment, liniment, or cream for use on the skin.
It is taken internally as a infusion (tea) or tincture.
Use it on cuts, scrapes, minor burns, and even makes a great herbal sunburn ointment.
Taken internally, it helps the digestive system with inflammatory conditions. It cleanses the liver and gallbladder.

Calendula is a definite essential herbal healer for all parts of the body.

The Essential Herbal-Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) has become one of our favorite herbs. It is such a versitile herb.
Lemon balm is also very commonly known as Melissa or Sweet Melissa. Melissa is the Greek word for bee.

Lemon Balm has been used for thousands of years in many forms of herbal preparations. Dioscorides used it to treat snake bites, and today’s herbalists use it for a variety of ailments.
Lemon balm herb and it’s natural herbal preparations are some of the best healing remedies to have on hand in your natural first aid kit.
For Herpes and Cold Sores
Lemon Balm is one of the best known natural herbal remedies for herpes, and herpes cold sores.
Lemon Balm contains eugenol, which kills bacteria and contributes to its antiviral effects, as well as terpenes that add to its soothing effects.

Lemon balm’s herbal properties has been shown in scientific studies to combat and heal cold sores due to the herpes virus in just 2-4 days. Applied to the affected it helps double the time between outbreaks.
For Anxiety
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is an herbal nervine. A nervine is an herb that works on helping the nervous system combat stress and nervous exhaustion. Lemon balm makes a wonderful nerve tonic.

Lemon balm is calming, and soothes the nerves. It is good as a single herb for anxiety and stress, but can also be used in combination with other calming herbs such as Valerian, Catnip, Lavender, or Passionflower. If mixed with Valerian or Passionflower, you should not use any other sleep inducing medication such as Valium.

Best Way to Make A Tea
Heat enough water to make one cup (coffee cup size).
Place lemon balm herb into tea strainer.
Pour hot water over herb.
Place small saucer plate over cup to retain essential oils of the herb in the cup.
Let steep 10-15 minutes.
Add honey and stir.
Sit back, relax and enjoy your delicious lemon balm tea.
It is best to take 3-4 cups per day for 2 weeks to allow the lemon balm to take effect.

Lemon Balm should not be used by people who have hypothyroid conditions.