Ask the average American to describe herbs and he or she will tell you that green leaves with certain medicinal properties are herbs. Some may also add that for cooking, herbs such as Thyme and Sage are used. This is how most people describe herbs; given that most people are ambivalent about the actual use of herbs in their own lives.
A herb (the word rhymes with curb) is a plant that is grown for medicinal or culinary value.
Typically, the green leafy part of the herb is used, occasionally roots also are put to use. A culinary herb is non-woody and soft. Used for their aromatic flavor and texture, culinary herbs include bay leaf, basil, chervil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme.
Perhaps more diverse and surprising is the world of medicinal herbs. A treasure trove of medicinal properties can possess even the most innocuous looking leaf blade. For therapeutic purposes, a medicinal herb is typically a shrub or other woody plant used. Herbalism or phytotherapy is the method of conventional or folk medicine that uses plants and the active constituents found inside them to treat diseases in the body.
Various systems of holistic medicine have brought about this revival of interest in herbs. Today, more than ever before, individuals are starting to understand that a lack of illness does not refer to good health. Rather, it is a physical , physiological, emotional and social well-being balance. As herbs provide natural stimulants that enable the body’s own defense mechanisms, herbal health care is becoming increasingly common. Herbal extracts are an effective source of healing.
Some interesting uses of herbs are:
– Chamomile tea sipped slowly throughout the day helps decrease acidity and soothes the digestive system
– Alfalfa is a highly nutritious herb as it is a natural source of vitamins and minerals.
– Valerian root can be used to treat insomnia.
– Two fresh garlic cloves taken at night increases ones resistance to flu and colds.
– Feverfew is a herb that if taken consistently, effectively reduces the frequency of migraines.
The aim of herbs is to bring the body back into balance so that there is no longer any need for medicine. Herbal medicines are often used to achieve the most important goal of cure or ease of symptoms in the easiest, most effective, and shortest route.