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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Medicinal Herbal Foods

by Cheryl Karcher, Clinical Herbalist

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]lants have always been our first, greatest medicine. The World Health Organization estimates that80% of the world’s population still uses herbal medicine as a primary system of healing. In the world of modern medicine, we are encouraged to believe that herbalism is myth and folklore.

In fact, it is partly due to the effectiveness of plant medicine that we humans continue to thrive in the midst of raging disease, famine and warfare.

Effective food medicine often includes wild blueberries, burdock root, dandelion leaves /roots and the following:

Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa) Use flowers. Hibiscus is high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids and is anti-inflammatory. Relaxing to the vascular system. Reduces blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Reduces histamine production so it’s good for seasonal allergies when consumed 4-6 weeks prior to the season with Reishi, licorice and maitake mushroom (also edible) Makes a beautiful red, tart tasting tea.

Rose Hips (Rosa canina & related species) A systemic anti-inflammatory. Rose hips are sour/cool /dry with high anti-oxidant and antibacterial compounds. As an astringent they are effective for diarrhea, IBS and urinary frequency. With high pectin content they are effective in lowering cholesterol. Makes a very tasty jam.

Explore the wonder of natural medicine through Cheryl’s classes and seminars at Valley Integrated Pharmacy. See calendar for upcoming dates and topics.

Cheryl Karcher is on staff at Valley Integrated Pharmacy, Bedminster and The Whole-istic You, Somerville. 908-319-0012, [email protected] Facebook:Cheryl. karcher.35.

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