Log in Subscribe

Know what you can grow

Jim Boxberger - Correspondent
Posted 4/17/20

Need help sleeping at night? Take a look at some seldom used old time remedies. Of course the most popular remedy, Chamomile, is one of the most commonly used herbs for tea that can help to induce …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Know what you can grow

Posted

Need help sleeping at night? Take a look at some seldom used old time remedies. Of course the most popular remedy, Chamomile, is one of the most commonly used herbs for tea that can help to induce sleep.

But did you know that because chamomile can cause uterine contractions that can cause miscarriage, the U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant women should not consume chamomile. Chamomile has also been used for inflammation from being added to cosmetics to serve as an emollient to a topical salve for hemorrhoids.

Another old tyme remedy, Valerian, is a hardy perennial with flower heads of sweetly scented pink or white flowers that bloom in the summer months. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Valerian root has been used as an herbal medicine for insomnia or as a mild sedative.

In the United States, valerian is sold as a nutritional supplement. Therapeutic use has increased as dietary supplements have gained in popularity since 1994 when the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act passed allowing distribution of many agents as over-the-counter supplements, and therefore allowed them to bypass the regulatory requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

In addition to being used for the treatment of insomnia and other sleep disorders, valerian has also been used to treat anxiety and gastrointestinal pain.

Sweet Woodruff, primarily used as a landscape plant, it is an ideal groundcover or border accent in woody, acidic gardens (most places in Sullivan County) where other shade plants fail to thrive and deer avoid eating it.

However woodruff has been used in herbal teas and as a flavoring in beer, brandy, sausages, jelly and jam. The dried plant is used in potpourri and as a moth deterrent. So putting some dried sweet woodruff in your drawers, will help keep your drawers smelling fresh with no holes as well.

And lastly, Comfrey, of which the root and leaves of the comfrey plant have been used in traditional medicine in many parts of the world. People still use comfrey as an alternative remedy for joint and muscle pain, as well as closed wounds. Extracts are made from the roots and leaves and turned into ointments, creams, or salves.

All of these perennial herbs can be grown throughout Sullivan County and were used widely here during the 1800's and early 1900's. You had to use what you could grow or source locally and sometimes the best remedy is the one you thought was just an old wives tale.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here