14 Aug Legal Medicinal Plants
Throughout history, plants have been used as cures for many things and the use of herbal remedies is still a staple of non-industrialized societies. With the ability to synthesize many chemical compounds, plants have the ability to provide natural compounds that are similar to chemical compounds used in drugs manufactured today.
Asian and African countries are estimated to rely on herbal medicine for 80 percent of their cures! The use of herbs and spices as medicine predates written human history and has been found in pre-historic burial sites.
The Phoenix area and the Southwest United States offer an abundance of medicinal plants that grow well in our region or can be planted indoors.
Aloe Vera Plant
Aloe Vera Plants range in size from one-inch to over 2 feet in diameter. There are over 250 species of Aloe and can be grown outdoors or indoors.
All Aloes are semi-tropical succulent plants that love full sun and moderately fertile soil. Aloes survive well in desert regions since they store a great deal of water in their leaves.
The medicinal properties of Aloe Vera go back to biblical times. The sap of the Aloe is a thick green gel that provides the healing properties. It is used as an ointment for cuts, burns, rashes and beauty preparation. It is also used for stings, bites and poison ivy.
To access the gel, remove a lower leaf, cut it open lengthwise and apply the Aloe gel on the area that requires treatment.
Prickly Pear Cactus
Many studies are being done on this plant and one should always remember medicinal plants come with no warning label. Studies have shown that the Prickly Pear pulp lowers levels of bad cholesterol and that the pectin contained in the fruit can help with diabetes. The pads and fruits of the Prickly Pear Cactus are very rich in soluble fibers that can stabilize your blood sugar. The healthy benefits of the Prickly Pear Cactus are an ongoing study but the benefits of this beautiful cactus have caught on commercially; since one can buy Prickly Pear concentrate.
A Ginger plant is easy to grow, especially indoors and is a beautiful flowing plant with a great scent. Simply by purchasing Ginger roots and planting them in a pot will get you started. The Ginger plant likes filtered sunlight, warm weather and rich moist soil.
Whether its folk medicine, a real cure or just used as a spice one would need to visit an encyclopedia to see all the benefits or uses Ginger claims to have. This plant is easy to grow and the medicinal uses of its roots date back thousands of years.
A fun way to take advantage of Ginger’s healing power is to peel the root and then either slice it thinly or grate so you can add it to cooked dishes or tea.
For any planting or growing help, be sure to consult with a Green Goddess specialist!