Phytotherapy

 

Phytotherapy is an ancient method of healing, it consists of treating yourself through the plant kingdom… In this way, everything we use from the plant kingdom for the therapeutic purpose of healing, preventing or improving health is phytotherapy!

With the advancement of the evolution of the human species, we have lost this direct contact with nature and many of these ancestral knowledges have been lost to the point that today we live in a society that gives responsibility for the cure for allopathy (the conventional form of remedies that we find in pharmacies).

When we speak of phytotherapy, we are referring to any method of treatment with ingredients from the plant kingdom, whether from tinctures, poultices, teas, plasters, baths, spices or food.

What is phytotherapy used for?

Phytotherapy helps in healing, disease prevention and health maintenance.

According to the WHO (World Health Organization) we have a very peculiar definition of what it means to be healthy, because for WHO health is not just the absence of disease, so we can open our range of issues when thinking about health considering a lot of factors who are not necessarily linked to disease, for example: A person, despite not showing any clinical signs of illness, lives with high levels of anxiety and has restless and restless sleep leading him to have a not very good memory… That person is really healthy ?

The plants have several properties, I highlight here two of the main activities:

Phytotherapy acts on the physical body, normalizing its functioning, optimizing its functions, helping to cure symptoms and diseases with physical manifestations.

Herbal medicine acts on the emotional, usually adjusting mood, removing excesses from both anxiety and apathy, improving levels of mood markers like serotonin - the 'happiness hormone'.

Each plant, or each part of the plant has benefits, indications and contraindications for various physical or emotional conditions, so it is good taste to research about each plant before using it in a therapeutic way.

Many people think that herbal medicine is something natural and therefore milder end up committing excesses that can be harmful, since there are plants that are contraindicated for certain people, for example: A plant that stimulates the functioning of menstrual flow can be great for who suffers from PMS and menstrual cramps, however it can be very dangerous for a pregnant woman.

Do not think that because it is something natural, we are talking about something less potent or weak.

 

Always research before using herbal methods.

Methods of manipulating phytotherapy.

There are several ways to use plants in a therapeutic way, several ways are widely known and commonly used by people, even when they do not even know that they are undergoing a phytotherapeutic treatment, do you want an example? When you have a stomachache and decide to make a tea, you are using a herbal method!

When you decide to smell an aromatic herb like mint or rosemary, you are also using plants that have properties to improve the respiratory system!

The most used forms of homemade herbal medicine are: Teas, Spices, Juices, Salads and Syrups ... But there are many other ways of using herbal medicines and here is a list summarizing some of the methods.

TEA - The most common way to consume herbs is in the form of tea, to use leaves and flowers just boil water, turn off the heat and add herbs or flowers that have already been washed and smother them by covering the pot for 15 minutes. This technique is called INFUSION, as in the infusion we use green and delicate parts of the plants we must not boil these parts together with the water so as not to lose the medicinal properties. When tea is made with seeds, stems or roots, we can boil these components of the plant for 15 minutes because they are more resistant to loosen their properties, this other method is called DECOCTO. Usually the rule for teas is to use 200g of the plant for each liter of drinking water, but it is possible to change these measures leaving the tea more or less concentrated. Remember a golden rule: If tea is being used for gastro-intestinal problems take it without sweetening, but if the purpose is different you can even sweeten it, but prefer less refined forms of sweeteners like demerara, sugar brown or molasses that will also enrich the tea with other nutrients. Ideally, tea should be completely consumed in 24 hours, as the therapeutic recommendation for adults is 3 cups throughout the day, do not make too much tea.

COMPRESSA - Very good method for hair growth, relief of headaches and colic! Make the tea (choosing the most appropriate method) then moisten a cloth with the tea and place over the place to be treated.

BATH - Many herbs have benefits and healing properties for hemorrhoids, vaginal problems and for the skin as a whole, so accent baths or conventional baths have been used for millennia as herbal medicine for healing and beauty, to do the bath and accent bath just do the tea and slowly bathe by pouring the tea over the body or into the accent bath by placing the tea in a bathtub or basin and sitting for a few minutes.

MOCHECHO - Either to improve the breath or to treat problems in the teeth, gums or internal surface of the mouth this method is excellent, you can rinse the tea or water with the tincture.

GARGAREJO - Very good technique to relieve sore throats and tonsillitis! You can use tea or tincture mixed with water.

 

DYE - It is what people popularly call phytotherapy or herbal medicine, it is a process in which parts of a certain plant are mixed with cereal alcohol in a ratio of 1/3 of herbs to 2/3 of cereal alcohol (according to my phytotherapy training line), then this tincture will be stirred for a few days and rest for as many days (I stir the mixture for 10 days and let it rest under the light for another 15 days), at the end of the rest the tincture it is strained and stored in glass protected from light with identification tags. Always remembering to use sterile pots to prepare the tincture. After the tincture is ready, compounds can be formed by mixing two or three different herbal tinctures and then taking 40 drops twice a day mixed with a glass of water (recommendation for adults). The tincture is valid for 2 years and is always ingested gradually with water or other food, but never directly in the mouth.

CREMES - A neutral cream with a few drops of tincture is used. It is very suitable to be made with aromatic herbs (using it as a cream to be applied in the chest area, or with herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties such as arnica, relaxing and analgesics).

JUICE - The juice to be phytotherapic should only be made at the moment that it will be consumed, just squeeze, crush or beat the plant or fruit, vegetable or vegetable with a little drinking water.

SALAD - Just as the juice must be made shortly before being consumed so that the therapeutic properties of the plants are not lost, a great way to prepare salads is using PANC'S - Unconventional Food Plants, as these plants generally have great nutritional value and many therapeutic properties.

EMPLASTS - The plaster is for external use, is indicated for pain relief, after washing the plant, punch the fresh plant with a pestle with a little water if necessary until it forms a paste, then just put this paste on the spot to be treated and bandage it so that it remains on the site for at least an hour. It is important to note that some people with greater sensitivity may be allergic to certain plants so this method should be used with caution.

CATAPLASMA - The only difference from poultice to plaster is that in this method we add an ingredient to give greater consistency to the content to be applied, being able to use wheat flour, other flour of your preference or even clay. It has a potent effect, but the same care mentioned above must be taken: Beware of sensitive skin and possible allergies.

OINTMENT - This is an EXTERNAL method (do not ingest) that is excellent for massaging the body (including the scalp). For the preparation, a vegetable oil of your preference, such as olive oil, coconut oil or flaxseed and after heating the oil a little tincture is added, mixing well to homogenize. The ratio recommendation is to add 10% tincture for each measure of oil, that is, if you want to make an ointment using 50ml of oil add 5ml of tincture.

FLOUR OR DUST - Flour or powder is nothing more than crushing the dry herb / plant that can be used to enrich foods, vitamins and juices. This flour / powder must be stored in a dry, clean container and away from moisture.

 

Some herbs and their properties in herbal medicine.

 

ATTENTION: PREGNANT WOMEN should always ask the health professional who is accompanying them for guidance.