So many of our ailments are the result of sluggish blood filled with toxins that our bodies are not able to get rid of, simply because we don't drink enough water, we don’t get enough rest or exercise, don’t manage our stress or emotions well, we don’t breathe deeply to fully utilize our lungs and we don't eat the foods that assist the eliminative organs (liver, kidneys and skin) in doing their jobs. In fact many people do all the opposite things, which actually facilitate an unhealthy internal environment and our resultant poor health.
In this article I will offer a few general herbal approaches and remedies that can begin to help you change small things so that you might access your own power to improve your health.
TONICS are herbal agents that permanently increase vigor, energy and strength to our systems by stimulating nutrient intake of our organs, thereby toning our entire systems. They primarily give vitality and strength to the digestive system, and simultaneously all other body organs acting in sympathy with the stomach, which are directly influenced and benefited.
These herbs sharpen the appetite, promote better waste elimination, aid in digestion, soothe the stomach, and gradually exert an alterative influence in building up strength, energy, and health. ALTERATIVES are herbs that gradually alter and correct impure conditions of the blood. In almost all instances the liver is the main organ of dysfunction of the digestive system.
It’s important that we understand that illness generally means that our body is simply “out of balance.” And that to restore health is a simple process of restoring that balance by making small changes in our diet and daily lifestyle habits.
Some of the herbs that restore balance to the liver include: burdock, chaparral, dandelion, yellow dock, gentian, prickly ash bark and Sassafras, bupleurum and peony, cascara sagrada, goldenseal, wild yam, ginger and licorice. These herbs strengthen the liver, replenish energy and rejuvenate the liver's ability to function well. Your energy rises, your joints are cleaned of toxic build up, your digestion improves, your heart strengthens, sleep is restful, your kidneys can disburse energy better throughout your body and your mind can function more clearly.
WILD YAM (also known as Colic Root) is considered one of the best anti-catarrhal agents, as it relaxes the muscular fibers, soothes the nerves, and gives positive relief from pains, especially those associated with bilious colic, gallstones and the uterus. It relieves flatulence of the stomach and bowels, and soothes any abdominal and intestinal irritations and spasms.
Wild yam’s various properties extends its usefulness as an antispasmodic, relaxant, stimulant, anti-inflammatory, hepatic, cholagogue, anti-asthmatic, diaphoretic, stomachic, tonic, diuretic and expectorant. For chronic liver problems and chronic gas, combine two parts wild yam root, one part Oregon grape or barberry root and one-half part each of fennel seeds and ginger. Take as a tea or powder after meals. For gallstones, combine equal parts wild yam root, fringe tree bark, Oregon grape or barberry root, tumeric root and marshmallow root. To take as a tea, simmer one ounce of the formula in a pint of boiling water; if you prefer capsules, take two capsules every hour or two, tapering off as symptoms subside. If significant relief is not had, see your doctor.
Culturally, wild yam is used in many formulas for a variety of ailments. The Aztecs are known to use wild yam for skin treatment of scabies and as a poultice for boils; Mexican yam is a source of the male sex hormone testosterone and is used for its rejuvenating effects; the Chinese use it to brighten the eyes and as an elixir; North American herbalists use it for bilious colic and spasms of the bowels. To relieve the nauseous symptoms of pregnancy, wild yam is the very best and is prompt in action (given in small, frequent doses during pregnancy up until birth).