Everything that G-d put into this world has a purpose. When G-d sent healing into this world, He used plants as the medium to contain many of these healing powers. Scientists are still discovering new healing substances in plants and trees all over the world as well as proving the effectiveness of many traditional remedies.
Many pharmaceutical medications use substances derived from plants and isolated for mass production, but they are no more than chemical imitations of single ingredients. We all know that when it comes to G-d's creations the whole is much bigger than the sum of its parts; many ingredients work in synergy to make the original plant more effective than a single ingredient extracted from it. At least 7,000 medicines used in modern medicine are derived from plants.
The best home treatment for first- and second degree burns is Aloe Vera gel straight from the plant. Cut a leaf straight off of the plant and slice the leaf open vertically. Apply the gel inside the plant directly to the skin. Commercial aloe gels and lotions may contain very little actual aloe Vera gel so using the gel straight from the plant is recommended. Aloe Vera gel is also helpful for wound healing, both for minor wounds and post-surgical incisions.
Cabbage leaves are another easy-to-use item with medicinal properties. Raw cabbage leaves are used externally to treat acute inflammation, psoriasis, engorgement and other skin conditions.
How to use: Take a few of the outermost leaves from a head of cabbage. Wash them thoroughly using warm water, dry with a towel, and remove the thick leaf veins from each leaf. Flatten and lightly crush them using a rolling pin. Apply the leaves over the affected area, taking care to overlap them.
Place a warm, damp cloth over the cabbage leaves and secure them in place using an elastic bandage.
Cabbage leaves may be used as a topical remedy for blisters, skin eruptions, burns, psoriasis and infected sores.
Marigold [calendula officianalis] has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and antiseptic properties and is unsurpassed for treating minor burns, stings, wounds, rashes and other skin problems. A marigold wash and poultice are very simple to make. Just steep several flower heads in hot water until it cools, and then strain. You can dip gauze into the tea to wash the wound, or soak a gauze bandage in it.
There are quite a few remedies for winter colds and bronchitis. Here in Israel, one of the more available plants is Sage [salvia officianalis]. Sage contains abundant essential oils and other ingredients, including tannins [antiviral/antibacterial], cineole [anti-inflammatory, controls mucous production] and camphor [antimicrobial, cough supressant]. These provide it with the mucus-thinning and antiseptic properties that make it ideal for a gargle or healing tea to treat colds, sore throats, and coughs.
To use, cut several sage leaves from the plant and pour 1 cup of boiled water over 2 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves. Cover and steep for about 10 minutes and strain. Make sure that the water is not boiling when you pour it over the leaves, otherwise the potent essential oils contained in the sage will vaporize. Drink 1-2 cups of the tea daily, or use the warm infusion as a gargle for sore throats. Sweeten the tea to taste with raw honey for an even bigger anti-bacterial boost. ** Warning: Sage is not to be used by pregnant or nursing women **
Fresh cabbage juice has been proven to promote rapid healing of peptic ulcers. Cabbage contains significant amounts of glutamine, an amino acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. Along with other brassica vegetables, cabbage is a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Cabbage is goitrogenic and used in the treatment of hyperthyroid patients, so those people who suffer from hypothyroid should avoid cabbage.
Marigold [calendula officianalis] is a wonderful plant with many healing properties, internally and externally. The flowers help heal internal ulcers and are a good stimulant for the digestive system. Both the leaves and flower petals have been used in salads. To make Marigold tea, pour boiling water over a tablespoon of marigold petals and let steep for about 15 minutes.
Ginger is another plant that is well known for its effectiveness in treating nausea, vomiting, and other digestive problems. Digestive ailments can be ameliorated with ginger tea, which is very easy to make. Peel an inch of ginger root and slice it into thin slices. Boil up 4 cups of water in a saucepan. When the water comes to a boil, turn the fire down to low and put the slices of ginger into the pan. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes and strain. Add honey to taste.