Herbs with a variety of uses are a must-have in every home

Believe it or not, Nyquil has not always been at the bedside of humans. In fact, we’ve relied on the incredible healing power of plants, barks, roots and other botanicals to treat a number of ailments for thousands of years.

Herbs come in many forms—some may even be growing in your yard. When used properly, there are few side effects or allergies, but always check with your physician or naturopath first, especially if you’re taking any prescription medications. For medicinal strength herbs, try liquid tinctures by trusted brands Herb Pharm or Gaia Herbs, or pharmacopeial grade teas made by Traditional Medicinals. Or, research local sources for quality organic herbs.

Do you have these 6 super healers on hand in your home?

Goldenseal: This perennial member of the buttercup family has internal and topical uses. It’s antimicrobial, which makes it invaluable for cuts and scrapes. Internally it can aid in digestion, remove canker sores, reduce inflammation and treat infections.

Lemon Balm: Also called Melissa, can be used topically to repel mosquitoes. It’s naturally very calming and is a great tonic to help relieve insomnia. It’s mild and safe for children, too. Lemon balm has been tested in treating Alzheimer’s, it’s antiviral and can be used for treatment of herpes, and the essential oil is also a strong, fragrant calming agent.

Nettles: Fresh, the leaves of the stinging nettle can be quite painful, but in tincture form, it’s got plenty of helpful uses. It’s one of the best ways to relieve seasonal allergies. It may relieve painful symptoms of arthritis and kidney problems. It can also be used topically to treat dandruff.

Peppermint: This tasty leaf is more than just a flavoring. It has been clinically proven to improve digestion and reduce irritable bowel symptoms, and it can help relieve insomnia and certain types of anxiety. Rub a little bit of peppermint oil on your temples to help diffuse headaches.

Ginger: Another gourmand’s delight, ginger is oh so tasty and oh so good for you. Sublime for tummy troubles, it also helps relieve motion-sickness symptoms and both PMS and menstrual discomfort. Tea, tincture or ginger candies can all be helpful for the tummy.

Licorice: Licorice root is nothing like a Twizzler. It’s a powerful medicine clinically proven and effective in relieving cough and sore throat symptoms. It is also a strong digestive tonic, anti-viral, and may help reduce stress and anxiety.

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Photo: quinn.anya