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Written for, and sometimes published in, the local media, by Luzia Barclay DBTh MIRCH (registered medical herbalist)

Lyme's Disease: Is it affecting YOU?
Hay Fever?: How you could enjoy your Summer
Fatigue: Get that Spring back in your step
Fertility: Are you One in Eight couples?
Propolis used in conjunction with medicinal herbs
Treating children naturally for common illnesses
Introduction: Introduction to Western herbal medicine
Herbs and People
The Intelligence of Nature
Dying to Look Beautiful

The Intelligence of Nature
Have you ever read the label on a packet of Aspirin? "Aspirin may sometimes cause irritation or bleeding of the stomach, difficult breathing or asthma attack, or skin reactions".

It helps to thin the blood, ease pain and inflammation, and the above mentioned side effects are the price we have to pay we think.

Did you know that aspirin originates from the bark of White Willow and from Meadowsweet, both of which contain the active ingredient Salicylic Acid?

With these two plants we have natural alternatives to Aspirin and Paracetamol - without the side effects.

Apart from containing Salicylic Acid, these plants contain many other substances such as tannins, which protect the skin from ulceration and bleeding. Nature is intelligent.

Take another example, Dandelion. This 'weed' is a very potent Diuretic if taken as an infusion, as tincture or fresh in salads.

Conventional Diuretic drugs reduce the amount of fluid in the body, which also leads to loss of Potassium. Potassium-deficiency however can cause heart problems. This would not happen with Dandelion.

Dandelion leaves contain three times as much Potassium as any other green plant. Intelligent nature! You wonder why these herbs are not used by GPs and in hospitals? I wonder too.

Many people suspect this has to do with the fact that plants cannot be patented. Only when the so-called 'active ingredient' is extracted or synthesised and put into a capsule or tablet-form can the product be patented.

It is truly fascinating to study the use of herbs for medicinal purposes. It is something one has to experience for oneself in order to find out.

One important benefit is that herbs have a strengthening effect on the human Immune System, which is the basis of health, and they can also strengthen any other organ in the body.

In future articles I will look at a variety of herbs that we can all use to treat conditions like colds, flu, infections, migraines, skin problems, etc.

Many women are reluctant about taking HRT because of negative health risks and because some of the HRT medicines are made from the urine of pregnant mares who live in scandalous conditions.

Nature provides us with many powerful herbs, that balance a woman's hormones during puberty, during pregnancy or during the menopausal change.

Herbs can also be used for cleansing or for detoxifying the body. This is a very effective tool to prevent illness.

Father Kneipp, a Swiss vicar and naturopath said: 'to prevent is better than to cure'. Herbs are ideal for preventing illness.

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