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Herbal Remedies: Healing Plants- a Top Ten Herbal Remedies Selection

In health care since 1977, but keenly aware of Western medicine's shortcomings, Rose Mary began exploring natural health in the late 1990s.

I am happy to present to you alternatives to prescription and over-the-counter drugs for common ailments. After working in Western Medicine for 30 years, I became disappointed in Western practices and results. I began searching for alternatives for myself about 3 years ago.

For this hub I consulted a friend of mine, who has been a massage therapist for 30 years. She is in clinical practice with physician referrals. She specializes in treating clients with chronic pain and acute injuries, as well as clients with visceral and connective tissue disorders.

As she has a strong background in supplements, herbology and natural healing techniques, I asked her for her Top Ten list of Herbal Remedies. The results below are her favorite remedies and her comments, a few of my own experiences and comments, and a little bit of extra research here and there.

Herbal Remedies included in this article:

  • Infection Protocol
  • Urinary Tract Infection
  • Reflux
  • Liver Cleansing
  • Skin Treatment
  • Insomnia
  • Gout
  • Respiratory Ailments and Coughing
  • Soft Tissue Trauma
  • Constipation


Herbal Remedy 1, Infection Protocol

The “Infection Protocol” is for anytime you feel like you’re coming down with a cold, flu, or related ailment. At the first slight signs of sickness: a tickle in the throat, stuffy ears or pressure in the ears, chest heaviness, or whatever signs you have come to recognize from your body that signals you of the start of illness, take 1 each of the following, every 2 hours:

500 mg Echinacea, a lymph builder and cleanser. The lymph system is a cleansing system of the body, and a huge component of the immune system.

500 mg Goldenseal, a natural antibiotic

500 mg cayenne, a blood cleanser

500 mg Vitamin C, which acts as an immune system booster, a connective tissue builder, and an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that are thought to protect the body’s cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that result from exposure to certain environmental factors, and are associated with cancer.

If you start this protocol at as soon as possible, you will rarely have to do it more than 1 or 2 days to conquer whatever bug you have picked up.



Herbal Remedy 2, Urinary Tract Infection


Uva Ursi, cleanses and supports the bladder.

Marshmallow Root, a demulcient, which softens and smooths tissues in the bladder which are irritated.

100% pure cranberry juice, not diluted with water or other juices. Dilute juice with 1 part cranberry juice, 4 parts water.

As soon as you start feeling symptoms, drink 16 oz of the juice 2 to 3 times per day, and take herbs every 3 hours. Discuss potency and dosage for herbs with Health Food Store clerks.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera

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Herbal Remedy 3, Reflux

Aloe Vera pulp or juice, 1 to 2 oz first thing in the morning, and last thing at night.

Acidophilus, 1 capsule in the a.m. and 1 in the p.m. Buy a potent product, from the refrigerator section of your health food store.

Although many experts feel the amount of viable healthy bacteria to be inadequate in pasteurized products, others endorse eating one serving of Activia yogurt per day. A colleague of mine, a chiropractor, swears by Activia for severe digestive ailments.

Implement dietary changes for reflux: Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol. Do not eat for 2 to 4 hours before bed.

I find it helpful to eat at least 1 to 2 servings of vegetables with any meal. If symptoms are severe, do not eat starch in the same meal as meat protein. Additional natural strategies for reflux will be in my upcoming hub on natural home remedies for reflux.

Milk Thistle

Milk Thistle

Herbal Remedy 4, Liver Cleansing

This liver cleansing is especially good after anesthesia. I have had several endoscopies in the last 3 years, and always cleanse afterward.

Milk Thistle Extract, often sold as Silymarin. Milk thistle is a demulcient that softens and smooths tissues, and enables healing of inflammation. It has been helpful in the treatment of cirrhosis of the liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and hepatitis.

I've had conscious sedation a few times for endoscopy, and always take milk thistle for about a week afterward to clean the drugs from my system.

Fresh rosemary or thyme tea. Chop leaves and stem finely. Use 2 tablespoons per cup. Steep in hot water for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup before and after meals. The tea stimulates bile production and makes bile more fluid, detoxifying and aiding gall bladder and liver harmony.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree

Herbal Remedy 5, Skin Treatment

For skin eruptions, cuts, and scrapes, Tea Tree Essential Oil, undiluted. Tea tree oil is a natural antifungal and antibiotic.

Lavender Essential Oil is a great oil for general skin irritation.



Herbal Remedy 6, Insomnia

Skullcap (I use Nature’s Way, 425 mg, 2 in a.m. and 2 in p.m.)

Valerian Root

Take one capsule of each 1 hour before bedtime. They are central nervous system relaxants. I have had some good results with Skullcap. Valerian Root is an ingredient in many natural sleep remedies.



Herbal Remedy 7, Gout

Black Cherry juice, which moves and clears uric acid build-ups from the tissues.

Clay poultice. Hydrations according to Eytons’ Earth website:

Hydrate sedimentary clay one part clay, one part water.

Hydrate swelling calcium bentonite clay, or montmorillonite one part clay to 2.2 parts water.

Hydrate swelling sodium bentonite clay one part clay to 3 or 4 parts water.

Exact measurements are not critical. The clay should be hydrated such that it barely holds together without falling apart, but like a gel. It should be malleable, and hold its shape.

Apply to affected joints to draw out excess fluid and metabolic wastes caught in the joints during inflammatory cycles.

The woman in the video is preparing the clay for her hair, but it is still the best video I found on the basics of clay, and what the consistency should look like.

Herbal Remedy 8, Respiratory Ailments and Coughing

Garlic-Thyme syrup, a natural antibiotic, immune system builder, and lung cleanser and tonifier.

Prepare 1 ½ oz of crushed fresh garlic and ½ oz fresh chopped thyme in 1 qt of water. Boil, then lower heat. Simmer until liquid is reduced to 1 pint. Take 1 tablespoon every 3 hours.

Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana

Herbal Remedy 9, Soft Tissue Trauma

For any soft tissue trauma from accidents, overwork, exercise, or post-operative. I took arnica after my last shoulder injury, and was able to avoid Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen.

Homeopathic arnica Montana, 6 to 12x for children, 30x for adults with mild to moderate pain, 30c for adults with more severe pain. Use 1 to 4 pellets under the tongue every 2 to 5 hours, for 2 to 7 days after the trauma. We keep arnica pellets on hand at our house.

Arnica speeds up natural tissue healing. It is contraindicated for people on blood thinners.

Juniper Berries

Juniper Berries

Herbal Remedy 10, Constipation

Juniper berries. Crush berries and use in food, or crush 1 teaspoon of berries and infuse as a tea in hot water, 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 1 cup, 3 times a day. Juniper berries act as a stimulant, and disinfects and tonifies the large intestine.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this information on Herbal Remedies illustrates that there are often alternatives to prescription drugs. Herbal Remedies are known to be gentle, with few side effects. If you are looking for alternatives to Western Medicine practices, including drugs, please continue your research. The clerks at “health food stores” like Sun Harvest are very knowledgeable and helpful. Consult a licensed alternative health specialist for individualized assessment and treatment recommendations.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You take full legal responsibility for whatever decisions you make regarding you own health care.


© 2010 rmcrayne


Thelma Alberts from Germany on August 22, 2013:

Great information on herbal remedies. Thanks for sharing.

Wolfgang G. Greiner from Germany on April 25, 2012:

Thank you rmcrayne, for your Hub "Herbal Remedies: Healing Plants - A Top Ten Herbal Remedies Selection" - I collect herbs of the season during my daily walk and keep them fresh in the refrigerator - Bullrich's Healing Clay is one of my favourite remedies which I'm used to take regularly against heartburn, etc...

MyOfficeBooks from Brisbane on March 31, 2012:

What an interesting article you've written! Remedy 1. Astragalis is also fantastic. A dr's wife i know who appears rarely sick told me she takes 1ml daily. It works :). Thank you for putting so much into this article!

people6 on January 28, 2012:

does anyone know anything about curing gum disease? thanks.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on August 13, 2011:

There are far worse things to be known for Ramzeed! Keep up the good fight.

Ramzeed from Maryland on August 06, 2011:

rmcrayne awesome hub. I am what my family and friends called the crazy vitamin man haha because I am all about natural health. Great HUB!!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on August 29, 2010:

Thanks so much dsletten.

dsletten from United States on August 27, 2010:

Excellent information on herbal remedies. :)

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on May 27, 2010:

Thanks urba for clarifying, and thanks for sharing about scientific evidence supporting the natural healing powers of plants.

urba from Vilnius, Lithuania on May 21, 2010:

Before my last research I was little sceptical about herbs usage but when I've red about real healing molecules in these wonderfull plants and that sometimes flavones plus joined sugar human body uses better and easier than synthethical one I changed my opinion strongly. In Lihuanian language herbs sounds like medical grass so I used term grass forgetting real english wondered becouse of Your garden

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on May 21, 2010:

urba are you referring to herbs as "grass usage'? You are amassing quite a body of work on cancer strategies. You seem very passionate.

urba from Vilnius, Lithuania on May 20, 2010:

It's great. People must know more about grass usage. I've wrote recently about some anticancer herbs too

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on April 19, 2010:

Entourage thanks for the visit. I'll have to check out your echinacea. And we both should write more articles like this one!

Stuart from Santa Barbara, CA on April 07, 2010:

I love articles like this, thank you so much for the information!! I wrote an article on Echinacea tea but I need to write more articles like this. Good Job

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 13, 2010:

Thanks for the visit HerbGarden. Stevia is a great natural sweetner. I wish more people would discover it, instead of depleting their immune systems with artificial sweetners.

HerbGardeningAdvi on March 13, 2010:

i use herbal medicine all the time. i recently started using stevia. it's a great antioxidant and great for diabetic people!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 13, 2010:

Thanks for the visit and comment coupon and steph.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 13, 2010:

I’m with you dali. I’m working on what will be a 3 to 5 part series: The 1st Time Western Medicine Failed Me, The 2nd Time, The 3rd Time.

Thanks for the tip about Culpepper’s Humma.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 13, 2010:

jgw899 that’s one of the best comments I’ve had on HP. Thanks! Good to hear personal experience on remedy 1.

Thanks for visiting lender.

Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on March 12, 2010:

Very nice work! Thorough, easy to understand, and a complete guide for anyone considering herbal remedies!

couponalbum from Sunnyvale, CA on March 10, 2010:

Great hub.Herbal remedies are very important for today's lifestyle.I have joined your fan club and would like to invite you to join mine and stay in touch.

Humma Ofi from Detroit, MI on March 10, 2010:

Skullcap and Valerian Root are excellent alternatives for prescription relaxants and sleep aids. Everyone should know the advantages of investing in an Herbal Encyclopedia. I always tell people who are interested in herbal and alternative medicine to get a copy of Culpeper's Complete Herbal and research the subject before attempting to treat themselves. One should make sure they know the dangers, as well as the advantages, of herbs as a medical treatment. There are a lot of more up-to-date publications out there on the subject as well.

lender3212000 from Beverly Hills, CA on March 09, 2010:

Very unique hub! That's a lot of great info about natural remedies that could really come in handy at times.

jgw899 from Santa Cruz on March 09, 2010:

One of the better hubs I've read. Herbal Remedy 1 seems to work great for me...I'm gonna stick to that one.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 09, 2010:

Wow Jen!! Two bladder infections in 16 years sounds pretty remarkable. Do you drink cranberry juice "preventatively"? If so, how much and how often?

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 09, 2010:

Thanks Ladybird and dragon. "Bookmarked" is always a compliment!

Thanks for the visit Brenda.

Brenda Massey on March 08, 2010:

What a neat hub! Lots of good infoe here!

Jen's Solitude from Delaware on March 07, 2010:

Wow, great info! I have bookmarked it and can attest to the usefulness of cranberry juice. People with MS are told to drink cranberry juice on a regular basis to avoid UTI's, in my 16 years I have only had 2 mild infections, I credit this success to cranberry juice.

dragonbear from Essex UK on March 06, 2010:

Great hub - bookmarked. Thanks rmcrayne

Ladybird33 from Fabulous USA on March 06, 2010:

Everytime I read this (I book marked it) I try something new. Very helpful hub, thank you for sharing it.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 05, 2010:

Thanks for the visit GreyMoon. Feel free to continue taking pharmaceutical poisons.

GreyMoon on March 05, 2010:

Is there anything Aloe Vera can't cure? Seriously isn't this all just placebo effect? I know they have been using them for thousands of yrs etc.. but humans were just the same as now, so longevity of this effect still does not give it much gravitas. Interesting hub all the same :)

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 03, 2010:

Definitely report back Ben. When I saw "Juniper Berries", I thought they were "exotic", and wondered 'where the heck do you get them? Do you buy them dried?'

If you're looking for something medicinal with gin, I've had 2 people tell me to soak golden raisins in gin, and eat 9 everyday for relief of arthritis pain! You could give them to aunts, uncles and grandparents and start a whole new holiday tradition!

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on March 03, 2010:

In that case, I'm going to make my own gin out of them! Just kidding! Hehe. If I try them this summer I will report back!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 03, 2010:

Thanks for reading Ben. I went back to the link on Juniper berries above. It actually talked about growing, that they grow most everywhere. I didn't see any precautions or exclusions.

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 03, 2010:

Thanks as always for your support mow! I feel so guilty. My hub reading has come to a hault with this contest. Maybe as the month goes on I will figure out how to find time to read AND write hubs!

Ben Zoltak from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA on March 03, 2010:

Great article! I've known about black cherry's and garlic for awhile now, but the juniper berries, who knew? I wonder if I can use the type that I see growing around here in Wisconsin?

Thanks for the fine information rmcrayne!

myownworld from uk on March 03, 2010:

Fantastic hub one could have done it better! Book marked and rated so up! :)

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 03, 2010:

Thanks so much for the visit and for your support Perl and elayne.

Elayne from Rocky Mountains on March 03, 2010:

Very useful info. You mentioned a few I haven't tried. Bookmarked.

Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on March 02, 2010:

Thanks Rose Mary for sharing your info. Certainly very useful!

rmcrayne (author) from San Antonio Texas on March 02, 2010:

Thanks for the visit dohn, hypnodude, cashmere, Pamela and Paradise.

I really appreciate the high praise. Even though I got a lot of information from my friend, this hub was still a huge amount of work, so it's good to have that recognized.

Cashmere, psyllium husk also works great, and comes in capsule, or powder you add to juice.

Paradise7 from Upstate New York on March 02, 2010:

Great info, I'm going to bookmark this hub for future reference. Thank you!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 02, 2010:

Great hub. You included a lot of good information.

cashmere from India on March 02, 2010:

Great hub, highly informative. I need to get me some juniper berries! :)

Andrew from Italy on March 02, 2010:

Rated up, bookmarked and stumbled. Great hub, full of good informations. A pleasure to read.

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on March 01, 2010:

Woah! What a great hub, Rose Mary! There's no way my small brain can remember all of this, so I'm going to bookmark this for future reference! Not only did you give the solution for the ailments you listed, but gave directions of how to prepare the remedy! What a helpful hub!

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