Over the centuries the healing properties of plants and herbs has not changed. What was a healing plant or herb five thousand years ago is still a healing plant or herb. Because great confidence was placed in them, Witches and physicians of the ancient world were expected to know their herbs. Plants gave healing powers to those who studied them, worked with them, and respected them. In many lands and in many times, healers spent a good part of their lives in the field and forest gathering green medicines. They remembered and scribed what they learned passing it on.
Today we have the opportunity to benefit from the accumulated herbal wisdom of the ages. This advantage allows us to peer back through history, harvesting for our own benefit only those herbs that have stood the test of time. But even the herbal uses that didn't pan out are fascinating. While the story of healing herbs has it's comic episodes, it is also a dramatic story of human sacrifice, complete with medical hero's, men and women whose work deserves to be recognized. Much of this credit in my opinion should go the the Witches of the past because they are the ones who essentially began the work of learning and understanding herbs and their benefits. However when the male physician arrived on the scene, they essentially benefited from the inquisitions and burnings claiming the right to and credit for this knowledge. The topic of how modern drug companies have distorted this knowledge for profit is an area I probably shouldn't delve into, but what the heck, the truth generally only hurts if it ought to.
Many of synthetic medicines on the market today owe their existence to natural occurring herbs, plants and trees. The original pain killer marketed just a little over 100 years ago is a derivative of White Willow Bark, what is it's name? Asprin. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion, that the only reason the major drug manufactures synthesize these drugs is because you cannot patent a naturally occurring substance, obviously there isn't as much profit in something that everyone has access to producing. Ultimately the drug manufacturers create a substance that copies the healing properties of these herbs, plants and trees, then market it to the world while down playing the benefits of the natural herb. Currently the drug industry is the single most profitable business in the United States spending over $5 BILLION per year on advertising and marketing alone! Much of this goes into seducing and providing perks for the doctors who prescribe their magic potions, many of which are completely useless at effectively treating the problem or cause serious side effects. But for the drug manufacturers there is an up side to the negative side effects because that provides them with the opportunity to create new drugs to counteract the side effects their product produced to begin with.
While I do not want to get on a soap box and throw rocks at modern medicine and the drug industry since they have provided benefits and in many cases cured disease. The point is though, there are alternatives which are quite often a better choice if we would only take the time to learn, and understand natures own cures, then take responsibility for our own health.
A final word before you continue into the following pages. Many of the herbs and plants listed here offer a proven track record of alleviating symptoms and helping with different conditions, but there are risks involved in using many of them without adequate knowledge. Without a sound understanding of their properties and potential effects, one would be foolish to blindly use them. Therefore it is recommended that you carefully research those of interest, seek the guidance of a health care professional who is competent in herbal knowledge and use common sense as you proceed. It is also vitally important to remember that the use of herbals should not be used in lieu of sound medical council and advice, instead they should be used in combination with the care of your personal physician. It is not the intent of these writings to suggest otherwise.