Did you know that there is free, over-the-counter medicine waiting just outside your doorstep? Plants!
We all probably learned that medicinal plants were used by people all over the world before modern medicine? Many of these herbs have fewer side affects than prescription pills and will save you a ton of money, plus help get you through a hard time if your insurance ever lapses.
One medicinal plant that’s local is jewelweed (in the photo above). This gem will speed up the healing of a poison ivy rash and even reduce its size and swelling if used early enough. Just collect the plant, simmer it for 10 minutes, and pour the liquid into ice cube trays. Once it is frozen, you can put it in a ziplock bag and save if for when you need it. If you think you may have touched poison ivy, put several jewelweed cubes into a bath and rub a few over you skin where you may have touched it. You can also make jewelweed soaps or salves.
Another example of a great medicinal plant is peppermint, which is a mainstay of gardens and often found straying into wooded lots. Peppermint cools your skin, so if you put it on your forehead, it will help relieve a fever and a headache. It inhibits the growth of bacteria, so it’s also great in a salve for cuts. If you have a sprain or a backache, it will help reduce the swelling and speed up your recovery.
To make peppermint oil, just soak fresh mint in olive or for 1 week in a window that faces the sun. Peppermint is used for the common cold, coughs, sinus infections, and respiratory infections. It is also helpful for most digestive problems, such as heartburn, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, and stomach aches.