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Herbs for Life

By Kate Jacobs · July 18th, 2002 · The Road to Wellness
This week begins a series to highlight some common herbs and how they can assist in healing or keeping the body in balance. Every other week, I'll focus on common herbs indigenous to this area, many of which are growing in your yard right now. Most can be taken as teas (leaves, stems or roots boiled in water). If you're under a medical doctor's supervision, please consult with him or her before taking any supplement.

Alfalfa: A natural mineral and vitamin supplement, it contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium and almost all known vitamins and is high in chlorophyll.

Its action is cleansing and detoxifying and it's a mild blood purifier. Caution must be taken if you struggle with dryness, as alfalfa has a drying effect. If you sweat a lot, however, it can serve you well as a good general beverage. Drink alfalfa as a juice or a tea.

Bayberry: The bark or fruit of the bayberry bush is used as a paste or tea. It dispels colds, mucus, cleanses the lymphatic system and improves the voice. It opens the mind and clears the sinuses. Bayberry is a primary diaphoretic for colds and flu. It's one of the best herbs for the initial stages of disease as it mobilizes the immune defenses in the body.

Dandelion: The leaves and roots are both used in this very common but powerful herb. Dandelion is a detoxifying herb that's specific for problems of the breast and mammary glands, tumors, cysts and swollen lymph glands. It's an excellent cleanser for the liver and gall bladder. ©



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