April Showers bring May Flowers

Here in California we are sloshing through April Showers – what a wondrously cleansing feeling – walking in the rain. As we enjoy the warmer days and begin to plant the gardens there are a few must have plants that provide a multitude of healing properties:

Aloe Vera the Miracle Plant

Often called the Miracle Plant, the Silent Healer, the Burn Plant or even the Medicine Plant, it goes by many names which have survived the thousands of years during which this amazing medicinal herb has benefited mankind.

Aloe Vera is a green cactus like plant that is very easy to grow, it derives from the lily family. The interior of the chunky leaves are full of a gooey healing gel containing natural emollients, anti inflammatory compounds and magnesium lactate. It helps to calm wounds and promotes healing, for minor burns, sunburn minor cuts. It can also be helpful with major skin complaints such as acne, eczema, psoriasis. It can also be taken internally and has been thought to help with arthritis, diabetes and ulcers.

Aloe vera has a long history as a safe, effective medicine and skin care aid. For over 6,000 years, people have benefited from the remarkable relief that the plant can bring to a wide range of ailments. The ancient Egyptians used Aloe to heal battle wounds and cure infections. Writings of the early Greeks show how they valued it for relieving blisters, burns and leg ulcers as well as bowel and stomach disorders.

Cleopatra relied on it for her unlined, youthful complexion, whilst the Chinese hailed Aloe as an elixir of youth. Aloe is also listed in St. John's gospel as an anointing ingredient for the body of Christ.

I recently learned that if you add turmeric to the aloe gel, smeared on straight from the plant, its can be an incredibly quick and effective cure for eczema and psoriasis, condition that conventional medicine finds tricky to treat.

There are many benefits to drinking Aloe Vera Juice. The juice contains calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper and chromium, which strengthens the immune system

Drinking the juice made from the Aloe Vera plant helps with good digestion and helps to regulate the body and helps to detoxify the body.

Aloe Vera plants produce aloe vera gel that is pure and natural. Aloe Vera juice is commercially available in your local health food store or Trader Joes.

To obtain the freshest gel, of course you will look to the plants in your garden. Cut a blade of the plant and scrape the gel from inside, mix the gel with apple juice or you can cut it up in small pieces and blend it and make Aloe Vera Juice, which you will drink once or twice daily.

Let me warn you, though, the juice may have a bitter flavor, but the benefits are well worth it.


Has far more uses than simply to flavor your spaghetti sauce. This highly helpful herb belongs in every kitchen and healing garden for its use as a fever reducer. Basil leaves may also be rubbed on irritated skin to relieve stings or bites from garden insects or mild skin irritations. Basil is sometimes used as an analgesic or to lower blood sugar.


That vegetable so attractive to nosing garden rabbits, has surprising medicinal properties too. Gout, rheumatism and arthritis may each be treated with celery - the seeds in particular are valuable for their healthful benefits.


A small daisy like flower Chamomile is used medicinally to soothe sore stomach and IBS, also as a gentle sleep aid. With its calming properties it can be used to aid stress, nervousness and stress. In the spring, when the chamomile plants usually blooms, cut the flowers.

Let the flowers dry - usually under the sun. Then store the dried flowers in a jar.

To make chamomile tea, add a teaspoon of dry flowers to boiling water. Boil for a few minutes. Use a strainer to pour the chamomile tea in a cup. Sweeten with honey of agaves nectar.


The first record of dill's healing ability goes back to c1500 B.C. when the ancient Egyptians discovered that dill is a helpful pain killer. Today, dill is used to promote good digestion and to relieve gas. Sufferers of bad breath can chew dill seeds to freshen their mouth naturally.

Fresh dill should always be stored in the refrigerator either wrapped in a damp paper towel or with its stems placed in a container of water. Since it is very fragile, even if stored properly, dill will only keep fresh for about two days. Dill can be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Alternatively, you can freeze the dill leaves in ice cube trays covered with water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Crushed dill seeds, when diluted with water, can be used as a nail-strengthening bath. When chewed, dill seeds can be highly effective in curing bad breath. It can also be used to relieve stomach symptoms. Simply chop a little dill and mix it with plain low fat yogurt. Did you also know that one tablespoonful of dill seed contains as much calcium as one-third cup of milk? Also, dill tea is used as a stomach soother, to overcome insomnia, and even to cure hiccups. In its diluted form, it may be used as a remedy for gas in infants.


Is a major contributor to the world of healing plants. It counteracts many infections, particularly those most common to the nose, throat and chest colds, for instance. Garlic combats bacteria as well as parasites. It can help lower blood pressure as well as lower blood sugar. It has many more healthful properties and is a top choice for any healing garden. Garlic's Special Properties

Fresh garlic has many active constituents including alliin, allicin, alliinase and unique sulfur compounds. Allicin and the sulfur compounds of garlic are the ingredients primarily responsible for garlic's potency as an antibiotic, anti-viral and a fungicide and for its use in treating high blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and for helping to prevent certain types of cancer, as well as its use as an immune stimulant. Allicin is a strong antibiotic agent produced when the alliin and alliinase are merged together, as happens when a fresh garlic clove is crushed or chewed.


This is an old Mexican recipe that aids the flu/cold recovery process.

Cut a garlic cube into quarters and add to two 2 quarts of H2O.

Boil on low flame for at least one hour.

Strain and sip slowly.

Believe or not, this warm garlic soup has a very pleasant taste!


This sweet smelling purple or blue flower can been seen in most English gardens. Is known for its calming qualities good for anxiety and insomnia. Why not try lavender oil on those nasty head lice. Originally from the Mediterranean, lavender has become a popular herb all over the world and used for in aromatherapy, medicine, and for aesthetic purposes.

While all components of the lavender flower have the distinct lavender scent, the oil from the flower is considered the most important medically. Lavender oil has a broad range of healing properties and has been used for years as an antiseptic. When diluted with water, it is also serves as an effective cleaning agent. In fact, during World War II, lavender was used to disinfect and clean hospitals. It is also one of the few essential oils that can be applied undiluted to skin without any adverse reactions.

Widespread in aromatherapy, lavender essential oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properites and used to treat a myriad of different ailments including burns, arthritis, carpal tunnel, and depression. In addition, lavender oil used in diffusers, salves, massage oils, and bath salts helps to ease and relax tense muscles.

English lavender is often used in balms, perfumes, topical applications, and a wide range of cosmetics because of its fragrance and sweet overtones. It is also used for landscaping purposes because of its distinct woody scent and aesthetic appeal. I throw a few sprigs in the dryer for a fresh clean smelling load of laundry.


When you say peppermint, most people think of the after dinner mint that aids digestion and sweetens the breathe. But, there are more than 30 specimens of mint and peppermint has the strongest flavour and smell. Its easy to grow and has a wonderful aroma it can also be used for insect bites, nettle rash, as a first aid for sore throats and a host of other remedies.

Because of its germicidal effect, strong peppermint tea is good preventive remedy to use at the first sign of a sore throat. Make a fresh batch of tea, allow it to cool to lukewarm and gargle several times a day.

Preparation of the tea

"Bruise" the leaves first by rolling them between your fingers to help release the mint flavor. You can also make mint sun tea by adding the leaves to plain cold water after bruising them, and let steep until done. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tbsp. of peppermint leaves picked from your garden. Steep for 10 min. If desired, sweeten with honey, brown sugar or maple syrup. Drink a cup of the tea in small sips after meals, upto 3 cups a day.

Therapeutic effect

Menthol is the primary active ingredient in peppermint. This essential oil eases nausea, colic, diarrhea, headaches, gastritis and menstrual cramps. In addition, peppermint is rich in the enzymes peroxidase and catalese, which help strengthen the immune system. It also contains potassium, calcium and B vitamins to combat bone loss.

For cramps and nausea

The essential oil menthol exerts a slight relaxing effect on the lining of the stomach and intestine, thereby relieving gastrointestinal cramping. It also stimulates digestion and helps to prevent gallstones from forming. In addition, the increased flow of bile has a positive effect on the body's general metabolism of fat.

For the central nervous system

The invigorating effect of peppermint can be attributed to its wealth of B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. These vitamins act on the nerves and brain, helping to improve concentration and performance. Opt for fresh peppermint leaves when possible; they contain more B vitamins than dried leaves.

Take care : Peppermint tea is not recommended for people with heartburn or stomach problems due to gastro esophageal reflux disease(GERD). It could worsen symptoms.


Improves memory and circulation. Relieves sore throats and sore gums. It not only adds and enhances flavour, but according to researchers at the University of Catania in Italy, rosemary extract helps protect the individual components of skin cells, which may prevent age-related skin damage such as wrinkles. Furthermore, when applied to the skin, rosemary essential oil helps can strengthen capillaries and thus rejuvenate the skin.

Rosemary is also a brain stimulant and has been used to improve memory and brain function by feeding it with oxygen-rich blood. A modern study has shown that when the smell of Rosemary was pumped into cubicles where people were working, those people showed improved memory.

And it doesn’t just stop here. It has also been found that a daily dose of rosemary extract in liquid form can improve kidney function and increase urine flow whilst also preserving sodium, potassium and chlorium.
The two most important ingredients in rosemary, which are thought to be largely responsible for many of its therapeutic actions, are caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid, both potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents.

So, how do you take it in? Even though you can sprinkle it on your pizza or any other food or use it while cooking, another easy way to ensure your intake of rosemary is by making a tea from one teaspoon of rosemary immersed in a large cup of hot water. It is also possible to put a handful of rosemary springs into your bath, which is great for the skin.

Rosemary is also used in massage oils as it works well in relaxing muscles and helps joint spasms, aches and pains. You can easily prepare it at home by placing rosemary springs in a jar of olive oil, leaving it for a few weeks by the sun so that the oil becomes entirely infused with the rosemary and can then be heated before massaging.

These are just a few plants in God's herbal medicine cabinet. Enjoy each with a blessing of health!

Are you planning to plant herbs in your garden? What's your favorite herb?

No comments:

Post a Comment