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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March 4th WHMonth: HERBAL THERAPIES #1 ~ Stimulation/Bayberry

TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH (WHM), during the month of March ~ in addition to my weekly postings ~ I will be making DAILY postings of time tested herbal and medicinal foods used from a Medicine Woman's bag, which holds many, many herbs, generating many, many formulas, as one herb used for a cold (mullein), when combined with totally different herbs, can be used as an antispasmodic for inflammation or as an expectorant to relieve asthma or general lung congestion.

In many of my articles, lessons and workshops, we have discussed many individual herbs and formulas and how to prepare them, but we haven’t spoken about “therapies” per se.  Herbal Therapies represent a variety of ways in which we can approach illnesses and how our bodies respond to specific herbal treatments.  Different therapies are applicable for different diseases, different age groups and different degrees of illness.  In selecting HOW to treat an illness, one must consider “the energy of the body” of each individual.  For example, we may use certain herbs to stimulate elimination of toxins through purging laxatives or emesis (vomiting therapy), but that might not be appropriate for the elderly or people who are weak or have low energy or have been suffering a chronic disease for a long period, as this therapy will reduce the already low body energy even further.  So it is really important to follow the course of a person’s disease regularly (daily) so that you can effectively change the therapy accordingly.

We use the following “herbal therapies” for a variety of conditions, in varying combinations as the disease process dictates: (1) stimulation, (2) sedation, (3) blood purification, (4) tonification, (5) diuresis (fluid balance), (6) sweating, (7) emesis (vomiting), and (8) purging.  You must also understand that the body functions in three normal modes: ELIMINATION, MAINTAINING or BUILDING.


Here, our intent is to raise the vitality of the body to help throw off illness.  When combined with other herbs, stimulants will promote the elimination, maintenance or building modes of the body, as they increase metabolism, increase circulation, break up obstructions and raise the body temperature.  Strength will return as the herbal stimulants restore vitality that has been lost to chronic illness.

STIMULANTS are  an important means of breaking  up blockages that stop the natural flow of blood, lymph, nutrients (digestion and assimilation), waste products or nerve energy.  These types of blockages can cause one to feel sluggish, have low-grade fevers and have sluggish digestion.

As I said, stimulant therapy should not be used when there is extreme weakness, which often occurs following chronic, severe or prolonged illness. Stimulants are more healing when added slowly to help other herbs in a formula maintain the body through this critical time to build up one’s strength. Herb masters the world over all share a common formula for stimulation, called COMPOSITION POWDER which consists of Bayberry Bark (2 parts) Ginger (1 part) White Pine Bark (1 part) Licorice (1/4 part) Cayenne (1/8 part) Cloves (1/8 part). Steep one teaspoon of the combined powders in a cup of boiled water for fifteen minutes, covered. Drink the liquid poured off from the sediment as hot as is comfortable (add 1tsp pure honey). Taken in the early stages of an acute disease, this should be taken hourly. It is a valued remedy and may be used safely in all complaints of male or female, and for children. It is good for relaxation, dysentery, pain in the stomach and bowels and for removing all obstructions caused by cold, or loss of inward heat.

Bayberry is considered by many as one of the most useful herbs in botanic medicine, and in this formula comes as near to being a cure-all as anything in herbal medicine. It is a powerful stimulant, astringent and tonic, influencing the alimentary tract, toning and promoting glandular activity, all the while thoroughly cleansing and restoring the mucous secretions to normal function. It is an effective deobstruent, and it is a useful cleansing tonic for the liver. Its stimulant properties promptly arouse the whole circulatory system, with a persisting influence upon the arterial and capillary circulation and a toning action to the tissues. Its astringent action is very potent, yet it does not dry the mucous membranes as the inorganic chemical agents such as alum do. Bayberry is an excellent tonic for the uterus (especially during pregnancy), and is a valuable agent for arresting hemorrhage of the uterus, bowels or lungs. When used with cayenne, it is very effective reviving the heat in the body and in inducing diaphoresis.

STIMULANT HERBS should be slowly added to help other herbs maintain the body this critical time of building back ones strength, and include: Echinacea, Ginseng, Sarsaparilla, Dandelion, Elecampane, Angelica, Ginger, Yarrow, Juniper Berries, Sage, Pennyroyal, Bayberry Bark and Astragalus . . .

and FROM THE KITCHEN: Anise, cayenne, Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Ginger, Rosemary, Garlic, and Onion.

Understanding these therapeutic approaches will help you to become an effective healer for your family and your treatment will promote a safe and more effective and quick recovery.