Novice Medicinal Herbs

 Scullcap for muscle strains and pains and bruises

Scullcap for muscle strains and pains and bruises

I write "novice" because "beginner" is even too advanced for me right now.  When I went to Pipsissewa Herbs to talk with Lisa Bedner (both an R.N. and a Certified Professional Medical Herbalist), I was immersed in herbal information and hands-on instruction for two days.  Thank you, Lisa.

As I grow some of these herbs, I'll share my experience with you.  Many of the herbs you may already be growing.  Mint or oregano, anyone?  Hopefully these posts will inspire you grow a few herbs for your own in-your-backyard-medicine-cabinet.

Here are my first ideas for you:  When you are out this spring and summer hiking, working in your yard, and cycling with your kids, your muscles may get a little sore.  Two herbs that help muscle soreness are scullcap and valerian root.  You can find both of these in capsule form at your local vitamin store, however...

I learned from Lisa Bedner that scullcap loses 90% of its effectiveness when it is dried.  To get the full power of scullcap, use the fresh leaves to make a tea or tincture.  It is an easy herb to grow and it is beautiful, too.  It grows well in a pot, only get a foot high, likes part sun and tolerates shade, too.  So if your lifestyle is prone to muscle soreness, strains and pains, start container growing some scullcap soon.

Oh, an added bonus:  both scullcap and valerian root mildly relax your muscles to help you sleep better, too.

Happy, Healthy Gardening.

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