by Rebecca Huber


Minor aches and pains are the plague of mankind and, as we age the maintenance ticket to prevent those aches and pains goes up. If you asked yourself just how many times you were raiding the medicine cabinet for an over the counter remedy in one week’s time the answer might surprise you. Over the counter medicines aren’t terribly hard on the body if used infrequently but, consistent use over a long period of time can harm the body. Tylenol is particularly hard on the kidneys, antacids may relieve that burning in your gut but neutralizing stomach acids leaves food undigested and dumps a large dose of bio-unavailable calcium into the joint spaces.


Why take a patent medicine when an herb would do the same thing and not harm your body? The next time you have to go to the drug store for a patented medicine why not pick these simple herbs.


White Willow Bark is the forerunner of aspirin and can easily relieve that nagging headache or the aches and pains of arthritis or muscle aching from spring clean up. Unlike aspirin, which can cause stomach irritation, white willow contains tannins, which are actually good for digestion.


Ginger is good for so many things that ail the body but best used for indigestion from dietary indiscretions and the morning sickness of pregnancy. Warmed ginger oil is also a wonderful remedy for earache.  A cup of ginger tea after a larger meal will boost the powers of digestion and stave off problems later.


Milk thistle is one of the most powerful herbs used to relieve problems that stem from poor liver function.  The liver often referred to as the body’s chemical factory plays a critical role in maintaining good health. It detoxifies nicotine, alcohol, the left over residue of processed food, poor quality water and air, and medication use. Studies actually show that this herb helps stimulate the production of new liver cells.


Saw Palmetto can be used by women as well as men but is a must for men over the age of fifty. Saw Palmetto was the first herb to be placed in hospital pharmacopoeias for the use of benign prostate enlargement. More recent studies show that it helps prevent the rise of PSA levels in men.


Ginseng is a highly valued herb throughout the Orient and has gained popularity here in America over the past five years. Called an adaptogen this herb helps the body cope with stress on all levels- physical and mental. It also helps lower cholesterol levels and is being studied for it’s anti-tumoral properties.


Herbs are powerful plant medicines that work with the body and do not leave behind residues that the liver and kidneys have to mop up later. Used properly they are safe and non-habit forming. Using an herb in place of a good diet and clean water is a poor insurance policy and is not recommended. Always use high quality herbs preferably certified organic. Liquid tinctures are the most powerful way to use an herb and I highly recommend them. Till next time, Rebecca.