MEDICINAL HERBS AND SPICES FOR USE WITH HONEY
REFERENCE: ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS by Andrew Chevallier Page 64, 71, 74
Honey is made by the honeybee by combining nectar from flowers with bee enzymes. This delicious combination of bee enzymes and flower nectar is one of the oldest medicinal substances known to man. Honey is used to mask unpleasant flavours, to make the medicine go down and often it is more curative than the intended remedy!Honey from the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs dating back a few thousand years was still found to be edible. Thus the shelf life of honey is longer than ours by far. It is a good preservative and wound healer and is very nutritious, being a complete food for the very active and hardworking little honeybee, let alone us lazy humans.
Properties: Depending on the flower nectar gathered by the honeybee, the properties and composition of honey may vary from place to place. The best form of honey is in its raw, unheated natural form. In time, the sugar crystallizes and makes the honey solid. It can still be used like this and you should avoid heating it as this will destroy the medicinal effect. Honey is approximately 35%protein due to the amino acids it contains. It is a highly concentrated source of essential nutrients with a high level of simple sugars, the B-complex vitamins with a little Vitamin C, D and E and minerals.
Uses: Honey is used to promote energy and healing. Honey can be taken as a medicine, mixed with medicinal herbs and spices or used as a vital ingredient in body care products such as cleansers, lotions and ointments. Honey, spices and herbs can cure many skin afflictions and infections. Some doctors give honey before surgery to prevent infections. Many cuts, infections and wounds are healed by honey alone because of its anti-microbial and curative effects. Pure honey is good for mouth and gum infections.
According to folk medicine from around the world, honey can be used for: coughs, muscle cramps, burns, stuffy noses, sinusitis, hay fever, bed wetting, insomnia, and on wounds,ulcers, infections, stings and rashes. Honey keeps a wound sterile and hastens the healing process. It is reported to be effective against bacterial conditions such as Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia incases when antibiotics could not help anymore.
Honey is good for gut infections such as Salmonella, Shigella, E. Coli, and cholera that produce diarrhoea. When mixed with cinnamon, turmeric, fennel or cloves, the results are even more effective. Honey used with water and salt to replace fluids lost during diarrhoea and vomiting, proved to be more effective than electrolyte mixtures because of the additional antimicrobial effect.
Honey has sedating and calming properties and works like sugar in enhancing serotonin levels as an antidepressant.Honey and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with water is a well-known folk medicine, used for sore throats, arthritis, convalescence and preventing the illness in the first place!
Caution: People with blood sugar problems, glucose intolerance and diabetics should be careful of taking too much honey by itself, as the body requires insulin to process the simple sugars it contains. When ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon is added to a teaspoon of honey, the effect of insulin improves, so this is highly recommended. Use only pure honey for mouthwashes and throat gargles.When honey is combined with a starch such as bread, it is very bad for teeth as then it ferments in the mouth, so clean your teeth afterwards.Honey must not be given to very young infants as it may contain botulism spores and the baby’s immature intestine cannot yet eliminate them like you can.
Used for over 3000 years, especially Egypt & China
Properties : Help kidneys dispose of uric acid, mucus & toxic wastes and to reduce acidity.
Uses : Arthritis, gout, sore muscles & joints, improves blood circulation, kidney & bladder infections, asthma & bronchitis, water retention, high blood pressure.
Traditional South African remedy.
Properties: Stimulant, diuretic & digestive. Urinary antiseptic, uterine stimulant for menstrual flow and birth.
Uses: Urinary tract infections like cystitis, mucus in the bladder, water retention, poor menstrual flow, prostate problems relating to passing urine. Buchu tea can be used for washing vaginal infections like candida.
Caution: Not for pregnant women
CAYENNE PEPPER, CHILLI
Properties: Warming and stimulating, a good tonic, antiseptic, relieves muscle cramps, increases sweating and flow of blood to the skin, reduces inflammation,stimulates the immune system and expels mucus. Antimicrobial.
Uses: For poor circulation,blood clotting and heart problems. For diabetics, for cold rheumatic and arthritic conditions, for removal of waste and mucus from the tissues, asthma, bronchitis and coughs, sore throats, colic and wind,ulcers (it is anti-inflammatory) and digestive complaints due to microbial or mucus infections.
Properties: Warming, stimulating, antiviral, antiseptic, carminative (for expelling wind, like burping & colic)
Traditional uses: To improve circulation to hands and feet, digestive problems like nausea and vomiting, infections ; colds, flu, diarrhoea, aching muscles.Important for diabetes as it improves the function of insulin. Used as a general tonic and for menstrual disorders.
Caution: large doses can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and excessive menstrual flow. Do not take more than ½ teaspoon per day if you are pregnant.
Properties: Antiseptic & antibacterial
Uses: Throat & mouth infections, digestive disorders.
Properties: Stimulates bile secretion, anti-inflammatory (research from 1971-1991 indicates an action similar to hydrocortisone) It eases stomach pain, is antioxidant,antifungal & antibacterial. Lowers cholesterol levels (Chinese research 1987) A blood thinner and anticoagulant.
Uses: As an antioxidant(stronger than vitamin E) To protect stomach lining (gastritis) and liver, to increase the flow of bile, for jaundice, nausea: travel sickness, to thin the blood and prevent clotting, to reduce the risk of strokes & heart attacks. Topically: for psoriasis and fungal infections like ringworm eczema & athlete’s foot.
Properties: Antispasmodic,to expel wind, eases stomach pain, warming, a digestive stimulant and is pleasant tasting, sweetens the breath. Good for the female reproductive system.
Traditional uses: As anaphrodisiac, to empower the reproductive system. Greece : 4th Century BC, for relief of colic, cramps and griping (especially for breastfeeding mothers). Chinese: urinary incontinence (Uncontrolled leaking of urine eg: when jumping or sneezing or bedwetting.) Indian:asthma, bronchitis, kidney stones, poor appetite, debility and weakness.
Properties: Eliminates parasites, antiseptic, expels wind, analgesic, prevents vomiting, antispasmodic.
Traditional uses: South-East Asia : as an all round remedy for most ailments, including malaria, cholera, tuberculosis and parasites such as scabies and head lice. For digestive discomfort, wind, abdominal bloating. To relieve spasmodic coughs. India : As a mind and body stimulant, and an aphrodisiac. Western: Clove oil for mouth washes, gargles and to relieve toothache. Topically, the oil can be used to repel mosquitoes.
Properties: Antiseptic, expectorant (expels chest mucus) stimulates the flow of blood
Traditional uses: Australian Aboriginal: for infections and fevers. General: Antiseptic,to dilate air passages in the lungs, chest infections, for sore throats,blocked sinuses. Topically: rubbed onto aching pains and joints,neuralgia, for bacterial skin infections. The oil also used in boiling water to inhale.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, demulcent (stimulates the mucus linings to protect the stomach), Adrenal agent ( Stimulates the production of adrenal hormones and has an anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory action similar to hydrocortisone), mild laxative. Raises blood pressure.
Traditional uses: Ancient Greece : asthma, chest infections and mouth ulcers. Modern: for stomach ulcers, gastritis, coughs and sore throats, as a laxative. To prevent dehydration during marathon events and desert conditions, to strengthen adrenal glands, for low blood pressure, dehydration and chronic fatigue.
Caution: Avoid excessive intake if you have high blood pressure or take extra potassium, eg:crude black molasses with liquorice. Adding salt to liquorice is good for weak adrenals, especially if blood pressure is low.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic ( pain relieving) digestive stimulant.
Traditional uses: African,Bushmen & Bantu: digestive problems and arthritis, pains in the joints, to reduce fevers and as an ointment for sores, ulcers and boils.Modern: for arthritis, general aches & pains including gout, back pain & fibrositis.
PEPPERMINT & PEPPERMINT OIL
Properties: Expels wind, antispasmodic(relieves muscle spasms and stomach cramps ) increases sweating,digestive aid, antiseptic, anti- parasitic.
Traditional uses: General: to stimulate the flow of bile an digestive juices, to relieve colic, griping, diarrhoea,nausea, to soothe irritated bowel, constipation and spastic colon, for digestive weakness and gut infections.
Topical: the peppermint oil for expelling head lice, rubbing onto aches and pains and to relieve headaches.
Properties: Stimulates the reproductive system, Expels wind, relieves muscle spasms and cramps, prevents vomiting & diarrhoea. Promotes emotional well being in small doses.Relieves pain in the intestines
Traditional uses: India : aphrodisiac, to increase sexual stamina, enjoyment and performance. External: a paste of nutmeg for eczema and ringworm. Chinese: for bloating, diarrhoea,colic, wind and to warm and comfort the intestines.
Caution: Doses of nutmeg exceeding 1 teaspoon per day are dangerous. They can be hallucinogenic, carcinogenic and highly toxic. Stick with a pinch of nutmeg in your curry or use it forbaking, where the cooking reduces the toxicity.The outside coating ofthe nutmeg known as mace is irritating to the eyes and mucus membranes.It is used in self-defence sprays.
Properties: Adaptogenic (helps the body adapt to stress, fatigue and cold) tonic, strengthens adrenals.
Traditional uses: Chinese: aphrodisiac, forsexual prowess, for athletes, workers and during winter. China , Russia ,Korea , Japan : Used to increase resistance to stress, adverse climates, physical endurance & to improve liver function. General:as a tonic for weakness, depression, low blood pressure and stress.
Caution: Blood pressurewill increase with a low dose and be lowered on a higher dose over time.Do not use continually for more than a month. Chinese recommend ginseng for three weeks per month.
Properties: Antiemetic (prevents & cures vomiting) Carminative (expels gas like burping, colic and flatulence),Circulatory stimulant ( increases flow of blood to capillaries, thins the blood and prevents clotting), antispasmodic (inhibits coughing,chest tightness and cramps) , anti-inflammatory (reducers fever,swelling and redness) antiseptic ( used for infections) Warming &stimulating to the digestive system.
Traditional uses: Chinese: For chills,fevers, headaches, aching muscles, weak pulse, cold hands and pale complexion. Modern: Motion sickness, morning sickness and post operative nausea. Modern china: for bacillary dysentery, gastrointestinal infections and some types of food poisoning. For thinning the blood and as an a blood anticoagulant (prevents blood clots) for lowering the blood pressure.
BLACKSEED (KALOONTJIE / NIGELLA / BLACK CUMIN) 239
Properties: To benefit the digestive system,soothe stomach pain, ease wind, bloating & colic. Antiseptic, expel parasites like worms, especially in children.
Traditional uses: Asia : Recognised as a panacea, to cure all ailments except death. Greece : 1 st C AD: for headaches,nasal catarrh, toothache & intestinal worms. In large quantities as a diuretic, to promote menstruation and to increase breastmilk production. Egypt : Seeds found with honey, in Tutankhamun’s tomb,still usable. India : to increase the flow of breast milk.
Properties: .Lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, thins blood. Diuretic, relieves cystitis & water retention. Stimulates the immune system, has a profound anti-fungal,anti-bacterial and anti-vital action. Helps to lower blood sugar levels for diabetics. Oil from leaves is nourishing and improves the balance of fatty acids within the blood. Protective action on digestive tract.
Traditional uses: Crete , 3500 BC: to clean wounds, as a symbol of peace, for ritual anointing Mediterranean : Olive leaf tea for high blood pressure. Leaf taken with lemon juice to get rid of gallstones. Modern research, 1985: Olive leaves lower blood pressure, combat many viral, fungal and bacterial infections including malaria, colds & flu, kidney & bladder infections, candida albicans and organisms causing the leaky gut syndrome, weakened immunity and food poisoning. Used to increase blood capillary action to the brain, extremities and genital organs. To improve memory, circulation and sexual prowess. Mainly indicated as a natural alternative to moderndrugs drugs like antibiotics, cold and flu remedies, anti-coagulants,diuretics & antihypertensives.
FENNEL & ANISEED
Properties: Both are diuretic, antispasmodic , anti-inflammatory and wind relieving.
Traditional uses: to relieve bloating,flatulence, colic, stomach cramps, to settle digestion, freshen the breath, increase the flow of breast milk, for weight loss and longevity.½ teaspoon of fennel seeds in honey relieves heavy menstrual bleeding.It has a mild estrogenic activity in women and helps to reduce hotflushes.
Caution: too much fennel increases estrogen and prolactin in the body and thus lowers thyroid activity.
Properties: Calming, relieves nervousness,bloating, abdominal discomfort. Aphrodisiac, as a tonic and stimulant to the reproductive system.
Traditional uses: Ancient Egypt , 2000 years ago for digestive discomfort & nervous disorders. Seeds chewed to sweeten the breath.
Properties: Antispasmodic, relaxing to the smooth muscles of the intestinal walls. Cooling, for excessive heat& cramping pains, to expel mucus in bronchitis and to relieve heavy congested coughs.
Traditional uses: English: Culpepper: head colds and stomach disorders, diuretic and to break wind.
Properties: Promote digestion and absorption of food, stimulate digestive secretions, especially fat digesting and insulin. Promotes the onset of menstrual periods.
Traditional uses: Ancient Greece & Rome:as a decorating, healing and protective herb. For warming the stomach& bladder and to relieve wasp & bee stings. Modern: for liver and gallbladder complaints, digesting rich foods and breaking up fats,to enhance the effect of insulin for diabetics.
The isoflavones in the leaves are highly estrogenic in activity. It stimulates the immune system, is rich in nutrients, especially minerals,vitamins, alkaloids and trace elements. A tablespoon of the sprouts contain all the vitamins, enzymes and minerals we require for the day.
Traditional uses: Seeds were eaten by the Persians and Greeks for thousands of years. Modern: for female complaints due to low estrogen levels.
Caution: Not recommended for those with autoimmune diseases like lupus. The estrogenic effect may lower thyroid activity or interfere with conception.
Properties: Increases excretion of uric acid(for gout) and catarrh (mucus in the respiratory & urinary system)It has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect.
Traditional uses: Chinese: for catarrh and for water retention. Modern: diuretic, expectorant, and anti-catarrhal remedy for: gastritis, peptic ulcers, diarrhoea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory catarrh, loss of voice and urinary tract bleeding.
Properties: Antiseptic, antioxidant, tonic,expels worms, relieves muscle spasms, helps maintain essential fatty acid levels in the brain, thus aiding longevity and memory. Strong antibacterial activity against H.pylori that is associated with stomach ulcers.
Traditional uses: Europe : throat and chest infections: cough, bronchitis, sore throat, whooping cough and pleurisy,asthma & hay fever.