Fresh Medicinal Herbs

Healing with herbs is a proven effective ancient tradition that is close at hand for anyone who is interested in making a health connection with nature. Many medicinal herbs are best taken fresh because they can be added to beneficial health habits in the form of food. Drying herbs is not always recommended because the process may eliminate their essential volatile oils and biologically active constituents, weakening their healing properties. Most importantly, any herb, whether fresh or dry, should come from a reliable organic source, preferably a local grower or your own home garden.

Fresh Mint

Mint is best consumed fresh due to it's high essential volatile oil content, which gives the herb it's strong aroma and healing properties. Mint can be easily added to salads to give a fresh taste. The health benefits of mint are most commonly assigned to soothing an upset stomach and helping with digestion. Additionally, mint has potent antifungal properties that aid in eliminating harmful fungi and bacteria from the gut, which also aids irritable bowel syndrome. Brewing a tea of fresh mint can also prove effective at relieving lung congestion and opening up the respiratory tract.

Dandelion Leaf

A natural diuretic, dandelion leaf improves bile flow, helping digestion so that the liver can more easily filter harmful toxins while processing food. Dandelion also stimulates the gallbladder and helps in purifying the blood, nourishing the liver with new fresh, oxygenated blood. It can be added to salads in small quantities and will provide helpful fiber to ease mild constipation symptoms. Additionally, dandelion leaf is a rich source of natural minerals such as potassium, zinc, calcium and iron. It also contains substantial amounts of vitamin A, B, C and D as well as the antioxidant luteolin.

Plantain

Fresh plantain holds medicinal qualities for healing wounds and extracting poison form bug stings and from poisonous plants such as poison ivy. The herb, when brewed fresh, secretes mucilage that coats the respiratory tracts and provides relief for dry coughs. Plantain is also a common aid to skin burns, cooling the skin and coating it with its healing properties. The herb contains a high amount of tannins that have an astringent quality, making plantain helpful with hemorrhages and excessive menstrual bleeding. It is a common herb found as much in the forest as on the side of the street and can be harvested year round.