Herbs are so much part of our everyday lives we probably don’t realise how much we use them. Equally, we don’t realise how much they can help us so we wanted to give you more information on these valuable plants.
Herbal medicine is ancient wisdom that has been used throughout the world over centuries. Herbal preparations are made directly from the plant, and use different parts from leaves, flowers, seeds, rhizomes through to roots. Depending on the herb they can come in tincture, paste, tablets or teas.
Our everyday use of herbs includes
Like all medicine herbs do require specialist knowledge to ensure they are used correctly. We are providing you with an overview of the more commonly known herbs. Our blog will identify the traditional associations relating to each herb. EFSA do not issue any supported claims for herbs.
The MHRA is the government’s medical regulatory agency. Any herbal product must be recognised by this body before claims can be made about it.
What this means to you is that no one can tell you that this product is good for specific conditions, nor can they suggest to you how much you can take or even if you should take it.
Melissa – Lemon Balm
This pretty lemon scented herb may already be in your garden. It makes an attractive addition as well as offering you a number of possible health benefits. Like so many herbs use of lemon balm is recorded as far back as the middle ages. It is broadly used across the continents too, from Europe to the Middle East.
This herb is part of the mint family which I associate with being easy to grow – always a bonus!
It is a versatile herb that can be used for making a delicious tea, to boost a recipe, make a bug repellent or make a perfume. In common with many of the citrus plants it can lift the mood. My personal favourite is grapefruit oil which really cheers me up and as a bonus clears a hangover! Citrus oils do not tend to linger for long so make sure you top them up regularly.
Lemon Balm – one of nature’s soothers
Melissa is associated with the ability to soothe our bodies. It is the leaves we use to create these relaxing properties. This can be helpful as our bodies can become overactive in a number of different ways.
Many of us suffer from overactive minds as we try to cram so much into our days. We find it hard to switch off with information being available to us 24/7. We fear “missing out” if we are not in touch with the outside world.
It is little wonder that many of us need to find ways to relax to ease and soothe ourselves.
Our bodies will express over-activity in a number of ways
- We have written regularly about the benefits of good bedtime regimes and the need to have a good level of quality sleep each night. The balmy evenings of the last few weeks have challenged a number of us.
- Anxiety will be accentuated by insomnia. Our anxiety can be driven by so many factors and all the causes will be individual to us. Something that makes me anxious may not even register with you. We tend to become anxious when we do not how to deal with a person or situation. Our mind is over-active and therefore throwing out so many thoughts we struggle to find the right solution because our minds are busy.
- Infections are another expression of over-activity. When our immune systems are weak they are more easily overwhelmed by infection. Conditions like candida will thrive in a depleted immune system leading to exhaustion, brain fog and digestive issues.
- Digestive Issues are another way the body goes into overdrive. When we are anxious our stomachs can produce a lot more stomach acid causing a variety of digestive challenges.
- Heart palpitations. Anxiety can make our heart race. We can experience heart arrhythmia – the heart either beats faster or slower than it should or possibly at irregular intervals.
- Thyroid – our thyroid can become overactive. The person cannot settle cannot slow down or stop they are on the move all the time.
Who needs Lemon Balm?
Those most likely to benefit from using this herb
- Need help with their sleep regime
- Suffer anxiety
- Experience regular infections such as candida
- Have an overactive thyroid
- Have digestive problems. A great tip is to have a cup of lemon balm after your evening meal. Not only will it support your digestion but you will get a good night’s sleep too
Using the leaves for cooking or making teas is the easiest way to add lemon balm to your diet. We offer you the herb in a convenient supplement too. This product adds further support in the form of chamomile, B complex and magnesium.
Check with your doctor if you are on thyroid medication or if you are pregnant/breastfeeding.
We hope that you have been enjoying our herb series and will continue to enjoy finding out more about these varied and valuable additions to our health care! Next week we are covering Saw Palmetto.