Herbal First Aid
A few indispensable home remedies for troublesome conditions you may not want to go to your doctor about:
Thyme is a good herbal remedy for irritating coughs, and will often feature in over-the-counter products found in a good healthfood store.
Ginger is the best remedy for nausea, whether travel sickness, morning sickness or food poisoning: using the fresh root, cut a few slices into boiling water, simmer ten minutes and drink this as a tea.
Linseed also known as flax seed is laxative and will relieve constipation, eg in irritable bowel syndrome: add 12-24 grams of ground linseed to meals daily and make sure to drink plenty of water.
Peppermint can provide relief from tension headaches: a few drops of the essential oil across the forehead or temples every 20 minutes can be just as effective as paracetamol or aspirin, without any subsequent toxicity.
Camomile has been shown to soothe minor burns, and a variety of other skin problems: using tincture or a freshly prepared infusion, saturate onto gauze or dressing and place it over the affected areas. Aloe vera gel is also beneficial for burns, sunburn etc.
Arnica is one of the best agents for sprains, joint pains or pulled muscles, with excellent anti-inflammatory properties: use as a lotion either in the herbal or homoeopathic form, or a combination of both.
Hawthorn may be sufficient to control tachycardia, a too-rapid heartbeat of over 100 beats per minute: take about 5 drops of the extract every two hours and lie down until the heart normalises.
Harry Boys. MNIH Medical Herbalist