By Natures Institute
Why Herbs? They contain hundreds and even thousands of phytochemicals, minerals, vitamins, that all work synergistically to balance the body.
Herbs have been discovered throughout history by what is known as signatures:
Smell, Taste, Color, Texture, Intuition, and plant societies.
6 reasons to use Herbs:
- Long history of safety
- Long history of efficacy
- Herbs are whole foods that heal afflictions
- Cost effective
- Convenient and easy to take.
Conventional medical wisdom thinks like this: Find a remedy for a symptom or a disease.
Natural Approach thinking: What is the underlying imbalance? The problem is due to an imbalance which helps tell you the possible remedy.
Herbs in a capsule form give a secondary effect. By tasting it directly (like a tea, tincture or extract), you will get a primary effect (meaning immediate).
So, if you want the Herbs to work on both effects, take out of the capsule. Even though used in capsule form is still highly beneficial.
All Herbs anecdotally and historically, has an affinity to a system in the body.
Now for the 8!
Clue using herbs: Focus on the primary effect of that Herb. It is critical in understanding how they work.
- PUNGENT/SPICY – Clears and opens things up. Moves things from interior to exterior. Moving energy from in to out. Spit up mucus for example. Use for stagnation. They are used 1st for warming and 2nd for cooling. Good for shock. Works on the sympathetic nervous system. What Herb after you taste and smell it would you call Pungent/Spicy? Hint: red hot…
- AROMATIC – Upward and out. Not as strong as pungent. Tends to relax the body. Works on parasympathetic nervous systems. Herb? Who doesn’t like Lavender?
- BITTER – Alkaloids. Drying and cooling. Moves energy inward and down. Detox to get things flowing. Herb? When you taste it, it is bitter…like Dandelion greens?
- SALTY – Not table salt, like celery, high in minerals good for lymph, softens masses, is a builder, non-inflammatory. Diuretic. Herb? Got one? How about Kelp?
- SOUR – Reduce inflammation- berries, relieves heat. Herb? I often think “sweet-tarts” here. Herb? Come on you can do it.
- SWEET – Not sugar, tonic, builder, cooling at 1st then warming 2ndary. Helps with metabolism. Herb? Ever taste licorice root?
- SWEET/BLAND – Creamy, absorbs moisture in the body, gummy, cool and soothes tissues, rebuilds and nourishes systems. Herb? Slippery Elm. Try it!
- ASTRINGENT – Tighten and drying. Contracts tissues, tones tissue. Arrest discharge. Oozing. Anything leaking! Congeals. Made up of tannins OPC’s/Bioflavonoids. Herb? Witch Hazel maybe in your house right now…
Although this is just a quick introduction to the 8 categories, try to take some time to identify foods and herbs you come in contact and then put them into one or more of these 8 categories. With practice you will become a very good herbalist…Bon Appetite!