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Herbal Cures for Insect Bites and Stings

With spring and summer just around the corner, your time in the great outdoors may make you vulnerable to occasional or even frequent insect bites and stings, and you can experience spider bites any time of the year. Fortunately, there’s an absolutely phenomenal remedy for bites and stings, whether spider, ants, wasps, bees, ants, or you name it. This wonderful herb will help allay whatever you bring it.

It’s plantain, a very common weed, not the banana-twin. It’s scientifically known as Plantago major and the narrow-leafed version is Plantao laceolata and equally wonderful.

You probably have plantain growing in your backyard (or maybe even your front yard!!). I think it’s a beautiful plant, but I also love it for its incredible efficacy. As one who suffers mightily from the tiniest flea bite or those wicked fire ant stings that are common in Georgia and other points south, I value plantain greatly.

It’s secret? It neutralizes the toxins, and does so quickly and effectively. For my money, the only thing better than that would be not to have gotten bitten/stung in the first place. It’s also used internally as a general detoxifier and cleaner-upper.

Photos and additional information about Plantago major.

It’s easy to use. If you have some growing nearby when the need strikes, just pluck off a leaf (properly identified, of course!), chew on it a bit to liberate the juices and apply directly to the site.

You could also harvest the leaves, dry them carefully in a very low oven or in a food dehydrator, crumble and bottle in a nice air-tight jar. Then when the need arises, make a fine powder out of some of your stash and add any moist substance that won’t harm your skin to make a paste — aloe vera juice or gel is my favorite, but you can use anything including beer, river water, you name it. Apply the paste to the site and add a bandaid to keep it on and in place. Reapply if the itching or pain come bck. I’ve rarely had to apply more than twice, even for fire ant bites.

You can also buy it in bulk, or in capsule form for ease of use. It’s a simply wonderful herb, and do be sure to read about its other properties at the link above.



Imagine My Chagrin –

Here I wrote a book on how to get rid of any cold in 12 hours or less, and ended up with a cold after all.

First my brother came down with a cold and, using my protocol, greatly lessened it once he began with the natural remedies.

Then my husband caught the same cold symtpoms. He was elated that by following my instructions to the letter, he was pretty much finished with the cold in record time — well under 24 hours. Or so he thought. He quit too soon and it came back, but greatly weakened, not anything like what it had started out.

Finally, I too came down with symptoms. I too was pretty much all better within just a few hours.

But alas, I too let that seduce me into thinking the danger was over and I cut back dramatically on the remedies.

That let it simmer and grow overnight, so on the second day I was sicker than I’ve been in years.

So, I ramped up my protocol with a vengeance, and was amply rewarded. On the third day, I wasn’t quite “cured,” but my cold symptoms were such that I was no longer inhibited from doing my daily routine. That, as opposed to 7 to 14 days of enduring cold symptoms in the normal course of things.

I may not have cured this cold in under 12 hours (got fooled by this particular virus substrain!), but I weakened it so much that I was only truly suffering and out of commission for 1 day. That’s pretty darned successful, if you ask me.

Oh, my book? Sure: How to Cure a Cold  (Just $3.99 on Kindle)

Herbal Cures for Ulcers and Irritable Bowel Disorders

*Note: Please see this discussion of what is meant by herbal cure. Also note that when we use the word “herbal” in our headlines, we’re also usually including nutritional and other food supplements.


Here’s a fabulous question from a reader:

Yes, there certainly is an herb for every human condition! So what works best for <i>H. Pylori</i>, a helicobacter that lives in the stomach and survives stomach acid and gets out of control? When it does, it bores holes in the stomach wall, causes ulcers, cancer, and other pleasant effects. I believed the only way to conquer this one was with antibiotics, and I’ve had enough ineffective antibiotics to last me a lifetime! I’m taking Redmond Clay 3x a day on an empty stomach and I must have antacids to control the severe heartburn these little Pylori friends cause. I’m ready to pull out the big guns: the herbs Jesus created for His special creation, man! Can you help?

First, I know the antacids give you temporary relief of a sort, but they’re actually counterproductive. I’m not suggesting you throw them out before you have a replacement (keep reading), but I just wanted you to know that. I’m not at all sure taking Redmond clay on an ongoing semi-permanent basis is a good idea either. Fortunately, there are some great alternatives.

NSP has a formula that was specifically created for H. pyloriGastro Health. This special patented formula has a selection of herbs specifically designed for: acid indigestion (heartburn, acid reflux), colitis, congestion (bronchial), Crohn’s disease, gastric inflammation, duodenal ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, ulcers, and a few other things not relevant here. This formula combines digestive stimulants, antibacterial and anti-ulcer herbs to fight against H. pylori bacteria and make the stomach lining inhospitable to infection. The label directions say take 2 capsules four times daily with plenty of water.

IN ADDITION, Aloe Vera Juice or freeze dried in capsules is extremely soothing to irritated skin and mucous membranes. Label directions:
“Take 1 T in a glass of water or juice. Sip slowly to relieve heartburn and inflammation of the esophagus. Sip during the day for ulcers and intestinal inflammation.” It’s good for acid indigestion (heartburn, acid reflux), Crohn’s disease, gastritis, inflammatory bowel disorders (Colitis, IBS), ulcers, and a bunch of other things not related to your problems. (NSP has several forms of aloe — you want the juice (stock number 1680), NOT the whole leaf.)

Another wonderful formula is Intestinal Soothe and Build relieves all kinds of inflammation in the digestive tract. It contains both mucilants for soothing and astringents for toning, plus a nervine and anti-inflammatory. So it’s good for abdominal pain and inflammation, acid indigestion (heartburn, acid reflux) colitis, spastic colon, Crohn’s disease, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernia, inflammatory bowel disorders (colitis, IBS), leaky gut syndrome, ulcers. Directions: Take 3 capsules with each meal.

If you have a lot of stress in your life, Stress-J is absolutely one of the best general nervine formulas available for stress and tension. Take 2 – 4 capsules every two to four hours. Nutri-Calm is the product of choice when your whole life is stressful on an ongoing basis.


By all means, if you have a question about herbal products for your health issues or concerns, please use the admin at herbal-cures.org email address to submit them.

<i>*Note: Please see this discussion of what is meant by <a href=”http://www.herbal-cures.org/can-herbs-and-other-natural-remedies-actually-cure.html” target=”_blank”>herbal-cure</a> Also note that when we claim “herbal” cures in a headline, we’re also usually including nutritional and other food supplements.</i>

Herbal Cures for Nuclear Radiation (Fallout)

*Note: Please see this discussion of what is meant by “herbal-cure.” Also note that when we claim “herbal” cures in a headline, we’re also usually including nutritional and other food supplements.

Yes, of course there are herbal helpers (and foods and other supplements) for radiation. (I’ve told you there are herbs for EVERYTHING, remember??)  Quite a good number, actually.

Several that I’d turn to immediately include alpha-lipoic acid (a wonderful supplement, good for dozens of different things, including being a powerful antioxidant), and also NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), both of which help the liver build the glutathione the body creates on its own which is so necessary for detoxing the specific type of free radicals which radioactivity creates. This both helps protect the liver and also protects against cellular damage from radiation.

Chlorella and apple pectin are both known detoxifiers of heavy metals, including radioactive heavy metals.

Strontium has an affinity for calcium, so will head for the bones, promoting bone cancer and leukemia, so it’s important to make sure to get enough calcium — the highly absorbable forms as found in the diet, preferably mineral-rich green leafy vegetables rather than dairy, or supplements made from mineral-rich herbs such as nettles, alfalfa, horsetail, etc. And by all means avoid soda, which takes a terrible toll on the minerals in our bones.

Some of our other chief protectors against cancer continue to be those luscious brassicae — broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. (Note: NSP offers Ultimate Green Zone which is loaded with green veggies as a drink, but you could also add it to your smoothies or bowl of soup.)

The Japanese know that miso soup helps protect the body from radiation, and that chlorella, spirulina, kelp and other seaweed also help. If one doesn’t care for miso as soup, it’s easy to add it in small doses to other preparations such as salad dressings.

Be sure to see Susun S. Weed’s wonderful guest article (link below)

Finally. a list of herbs proven to help against radiation, some of which aren’t well-known and may not be available here in the U.S. because they are from the other side of the world (India, etc.). I’ve provided the common names, where available:

Radioprotective Potential of Plants and Herbs against the Effects of Ionizing Radiation
“The results obtained from in vitro and in vivo studies indicate that several botanicals such as (those listed below) protect against radiation-induced lethality, lipid peroxidation and DNA damage.”
Centella asiatica –  gotu kola
Gingko biloba  or combo Gingo/Gotu
Hippophae rhamnoides – sea buckthorn
Ocimum sanctum – holy basil
Panax ginseng
Podophyllum hexandrum  –  Himalayan May apple
Amaranthus paniculatus  – Red Amaranth
Emblica officinalis  – Indian gooseberry
Phyllanthus amarus
Piper longum – Pippali or Indian Long Pepper
Tinospora cordifoila – Guduchi
Mentha arvensis – Field Mint, Wild Mint, American Wild Mint, Marsh Mint
Mentha piperita – Peppermint
Syzygium cumini – Java plum
Zingiber officinale – Ginger
Ageratum conyzoides – Billy Goat Weed, Goatweed or tropical whiteweed
Aegle marmelos   – Bengal quince, wood apple, stone apple
Aphanamixis polystachya – Pasak Lingga, Amoora, Pithraj tree

One thing to bear in mind, if you choose to use any seaweeds as a protection against radiation, be sure that they’re not from Japan or were harvested prior to their March earthquake. One of the dozens of tests that Nature’s Sunshine does on its raw materials is for radiation, so you can feel safer with their products than with most others.

Please don’t miss this wonderful GUEST ARTICLE:  Surviving Radiation the Wise Woman Way by Susun S. Weed

And for those who have not been keeping abreast of the news on this hot topic (sad little pun intended), here is a small collection of news items, to which I may add as time goes on, if warranted, and a couple of good resources.



Natural Remedies for Depression, Part 3

We covered mostly herbal remedies in Herbal Cures for Depression Part 1 and Herbal Cures for Depression Part 2, but this post has no herbs in it.

Instead, Part 3 discusses a single, extremely powerful nutritional supplement which has been so successful that it caused an improvement of mood and intellectual performance, and eliminated suicidal tendencies in 80% of cases in one study.

One author I consulted noted that “this is as effective as clomipramine and amitripryline.” (Steven Horne, The Comprehensive Guide to Nature’s Sunshine Products, 4th Edition, 2009.)

SAMe was studied at Harvard School of Medicine with 70 patients who not only had “major depressive disorder” but had been UNsuccessfully treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRI) drugs.

Half the test study participants took 1600 mg of SAMe daily, and the others were given a placebo. All were able to continue taking whatever other medications they had been taking.

The SAMe group did twice as well as the placebo group, with no serious side effects (which can include restlessness, nausea, insomnia).

Your body produces SAMe naturally – especially when you consume enough folate and vitamin B-12 — or should. But if you decide to try SAMe, remember that dosages up to 400 mg are usually well-tolerated. Beyond that (as in 4 times this amount for the cited study!), you should consult with your doctor.

Please share your experiences if you use SAMe, or try it.

Herbal Cures for Depression, Part 2

*Note: Please see this discussion of what is meant by “herbal-cure.” Also note that when we claim “herbal” cures in a headline, we’re also usually including nutritional supplements.

Since the causes or contributing factors of depression can be so various and widespread, there are many herbs that could conceivably help. If the adrenals are exhausted, for example, Licorice and/or formulas developed specifically to support the adrenals may help.

Often with depression, the liver is functioning below par because it is overtaxed (an overburdened liver is a threat to every American with our hypter-chemicalized, over-polluted environment). Nature’s Sunshine has a wonderful Chinese formula called Mood Elevator which decongests the liver and digestive organs, and that frequently does indeed elevate one’s mood. And there are many other good liver herbs as well — Dandelion is an old faithful, as is Milk Thistle.

Hypothyroidism is a cause of depression in 10 – 15% of depression patients, yet it may go undiagnosed — and therefore untreated — while depression is treated instead (and usually with pharmaceuticals). The thyroid can be aided by the iodine found in such NSP products as Liquid Dulse, Black Walnut, Thyroid Activator, and TS II with Hops. Two common symptoms that many people with low-functioning thyroids experience is cold extremities (pretty much all the time) and a lower than normal base temperature. The temperature can be tested by taking your underarm temperature each morning for several days before arising or even moving very much. If it consistently reads less than 97.6 (98.6 is normal), you probably have a low thyroid, especially if you have other symptoms. Since the thyroid is a master gland, this can create small but perisistent (and usually worsening) problems with other body systems, usually of the sub-normal functioning variety.

By the way, if you have or suspect you have a low thyroid, that is often caused by heavy metals, so a heavy metal detox might be in order. A majority of women in the United States, and many men, suffer from low thyroid. Many aren’t even aware that’s what their problem is.

Hormone imbalances due to childbirth, PMS, or menopause can frequently create problems of depression, in which case Black Cohosh often helps. For both men and women with low reproductive hormones as a contributing factor of depression, damiana can often help.

If chronic stress is a major contributor, adaptogens such as eleurthero root and SUMA may help.

Many have been helped with 5-HTP, which is a precursor of seratonin in the brain. It’s also useful in weightloss since seratonin helps regulate appetite along with mood and sleep.

Coming next, Cures for Depression, Part 3: the nutritional supplement which has been clinically shown to be “as effective as” some of the popular prescription drugs for depression. Don’t miss it. Subscribe to the RSS feed.


Note: The links are to Nature’s Sunshine Products because as an independent NSP Distributor, I am familiar with the incredible quality of each product, the money-back guarantee, the integrity of the company as a whole. There are other good companies brands, but in my opinion none rival Nature’s Sunshine. Even so, there are other sources.

Puritan’s Pride, for example, is a low price leader in the industry. I purchase from Puritan’s now and then and have never been unhappy with the product. Similarly, you can find really great prices at HerbsPro.com and  iHerb.com (use Coupon Code HUF552 for $5 off your first order) on brands you know and love.  I had been recommending a third online cut-rate source, but my own order from them was so late recently, and the customer service so poor that I can no longer recommend them.

Herbal Cures for Depression Part 1

*Note: Please see this discussion of what is meant by “herbal-cure.” Also note that when we claim “herbal” cures in a headline, we’re also usually including nutritional supplements.

Depression is a complex and difficult issue, and while there are few easy answers, there are herbal solutions that can benefit many.

Many alternative healthcare professionals believe that “the real causes of depression” are “diet, exercise, stress and unresolved emotional issues.”

And for those who say: But what about chemical imbalances in the brain? Yes! Yes! That’s exactly the point. Dietary deficiencies and indeed each of these factors can definitely cause chemical imbalances in the brain, and elsewhere too.


Since nutritional defiencies are often the cause, the first thing for anyone experiencing depression of any type, but especially milder forms, is to take a good look at their overall general nutrition — making sure to get a good, solid multi-vitamin/mineral supplement, perhaps looking at trace minerals as well.

But that’s not all. You also need to make sure you’re getting enough Omega 3 oils. Fish oil (or an equivelent that provides at least 1000 mg a day (and more short-term if you’ve been deficient), is essential for your daily nutrition. Flax seed oil is a great alternative, and in the liquid form from Nature’s Sunshine can be used in your salad dressing, or a topping for your food. (Don’t cook or bake with it — it’s far too fragile — and keep refrigerated to preserve its freshness and potency.)

B Vitamins are also integral to remaining depression-free, as is Vitamin D, especially for Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter-month depression).

See below for product suggestions and recommendations.

Herbally speaking, St. John’s Wort is a specific for mild to moderate depression, especially if anxiety is involved. (“Specific” means it is one herb you always think of in conjunction with the stated problem.)

Those who have high blood pressure, or are taking prescription antidepressive medications should consult their physicians first. And anyone taking it should stay out of strong sunlight, tanning beds and salons, and wear sunglases while exposed to strong sunlight. See my suggestions for products at the bottom of the page.

Kava Kava is a traditional herb that has been used for ceremonial purposes, but is nowadays valued for its ability to confer a feeling of contentment and well-being. It helps reduce normal anxiety but doesn’t impair mental functioning. (Do not use while driving or operating machinery, nor if pregnant or nursing, or if you have liver problems, drink alcohol frequently or take prescription medications. Stop use immmediately if you have any reactions that could signal liver problems.)

Please check back for Part 2 which will include more nutritional support including exciting information from a new study which shows a non-drug breakthrough for depression.

These are my recommendations because as an independent Nature’s Sunshine Products distributor, I know something about the premium quality that goes into producing them. However, you are certainly free to buy elsewhere, and two online sources I use when I need something NSP doesn’t offer with extraordinarily good prices (30 – 50% or more off retail on most products) include HerbsPro.com and iHerb (use the referral code HUF552 for an additional $5 off).

And of course, remember if you become an NSP member, you can purchase the products at 33% off retail.

Omega-3 oils
Flax seed oil

Vitamin B Conplex and Vitamin B Complex, Balanced (the latter especially good for vegans with its high non-animal source B-12).

Vitamin D. Most Americans are Vitmain D deficient, so doubling or tripling the dose for a few weeks may be appropriate.

Nature’s Sunshine offers a great package and super value in its Super Trio, which includes Super Omega, Super ORAC anti-oxidants, and a robust mult-vitamin/mineral in its Super Supplemental.

St. John’s Wort
Nature’s Sunshine Products line has a St. John’s Wort (standardsized to 300 mg.) with passion flower, which is calming and soothing to the nervous system, as well as a time-release St. John’s Wort standardized to 450 mg. of herb.

Kava Kava isn’t all that easy to get anymore, and when you do find it could be inferior quality. Fortunately, Nature’s Sunshine goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure premium quality on all its products, so kava kava is a safe buy here.

Herbal Cures for Depression Part 2

Natural Remedies for Depression Part 3

See MY New Article on Ezine Articles Directory

I’m extremely pleased that Eaine Articles accepted my article on common kitchen herbs with medicinal qualities —

Herbs for Health — The Herbal Remedies Hidden in Your Spice Cabinet

It was fun to write, and I hope it reaches some folks who haven’t thought about using herbal remedies. I am passionate about that and do not understand why people don’t even give them a second thought — brainwashed by mainstream conventional medicine, I suppose.

Oh, and they awarded me Expert status straightaway:

Not only that, ElderBlog picked it up already!

How to Cure a Cold


Just goes to show you how little the “experts” know, huh? I’ve written the book: How to Cure a Cold.

*Be sure to see this discussion of what is meant by “herbal-cure in these pages.

The book covers everything I do to kill any cold I start to acquire within 3 – 12 hours of first symptoms, as a rule. Sometimes, if I’m not paying enough attention to my own health, it may take 24 hours — but that’s a function of my own laxity, not a fault of my program.

So anyone who wants to say goodbye forevermore to colds and common flu can get ready to celebrate. I’ve developed — and tested — this system over the last 12 years and as a result have had but one — ONE — full-blown cold during that entire decade plus. It’s incredibly empowering, incredibly freeing to be able to control my own health this way. You’ll love being cold-free too.

And while my own son is long since grown, I remember how it was to be a parent of a sick child. just imagine being able to keep your kids from being miserable and having to stay home from school! Imagine just skipping the whole guilt thing about whether to go to work or stay home with the sick kid. I remember those days so well that I could still cry out of frustration after all these years: Guilt if you do (stay home/go to work), guilt if you don’t (stay home/go to work). Anyway, those days are over. Get ready to say goodbye to that whole dilemma forever.

So. What are you waiting for? Just $3.99 for your own copy of How to Cure a Cold.


Healing Sprains Using Herbal Cures

*Note: Please see this discussion of what is meant by “herbal-cure.”

I covered several ways for healing bruises in the last post. This post is about healing sprains and much of the information for healing bruises applies here too.

But there is an even more wonderful remedy for sprains, bruises and even broken bones — it’s comfrey root, which the old timers colorfully (and accurately) called knitbone. Comfrey has the highest mucilage content of any herb (marshmallow comes very close though), and is wonderful for many musculoskeletal problems as well as skin (because of its high allantoin content). It is, in herbspeak, a vulnerary, which means it actually promotes cell growth. It’s real messy to work with, but worth it when you need its healing power.

Here’s how to use it for sprains, bruises, broken bones and so forth: Continued …