“A weed is an herb whose virtues have yet to be discovered.” —-Emerson
It just seems to simple but garlic is indispensable in a medical garden. Garlic has been used as a medicine for 5000 years and is the most powerful treatment of antibiotic-resistant diseases. According to Stephen Buhner, Herbal Antibiotics–Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria
“No other herb comes close to the multiple system actions of garlic, its activity, and its immune-potentiating power. Garlic juice diluted to as little as one part in 125,000 has been found to inhibit the growth of bacteria. If only one herb could be used to combat an epidemic spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, this would be it.”
I’d add only that, not only is garlic a potent bacteria fighter but it works just as hard on those nasty viruses, too. Garlic has been used to treat and defeat Enterococcus in surgical infections and blood poisoning.
Use it in combination with mullein to treat childhood ear infections. In combination with several other potent herbs to help treat Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Pseudomaonas aeruginosa. Garlic with added herbs can make a formidable opponent for the most difficult bacteria.
Garlic interplanted throughout the garden dispels a number of pests. And It has the power, when made into a spray to control downy mildew, cucumber and bean rust, early blight of tomato, brown rot of stone fruit, leaf spot of cucumber and bacterial blight of green beans.
Making your own garlic patch, order your favorite garlic from a reputable nursery to make sure a quality bulb. Divide the bulb into single cloves and plant the individual cloves in the fall in fertile soil. Harvest the following fall for a small bulb. Waiting to the second year will ensure a larger, mature bulb.
Cayenne pepper —number one emergency use herb
In the garden last season I made room for several cayenne pepper plants. These plants produce 4 to 5 inch long, pencil thin, dark green fruits turning fire engine red when ripe. Dry the peppers in a low heat oven or food dehydrator until wrinkled and rubbery. Always wear gloves when handling these guys. The gloves will save your fingers from days of intense burning. When the peppers are completely dry, powder them by removing the tops and put into a blender. Put blender on high-speed until all is powdered. Let the powder settle before removing the lid and try not to breathe in the cayenne dust. Ventilation is a must when dealing the this hot fellow. Put powdered cayenne pepper into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid until ready to use.
Cayenne pepper has a red signature which indicates healing effect of blood, heart and circulatory system. Cayenne purifies the blood and treats skin disorders that are caused by blood impurities. It increases the pulse which carries blood to all parts of the body. It is also a hemostat, arresting the blood from a large cut or wound in seconds. The powdered fruit of the cayenne pepper is an antiseptic, killing pathogens and is wonderful at helping to relieve pain, believe it or not.
I read a story somewhere on the internet that goes something like this;
One sunny morning two young boys, ages 7 and 10 were left home alone while their mother ran to the grocery store. As young boys are noted for exploring they found their fathers loaded handgun and the youngest boy was shot through the upper chest. A kindly neighbor, knew the boys were home alone, heard the gunshot and ran next door to investigate. Terrified at what she found, she immediately called 911. While waiting for the ambulance she knew the power of cayenne. The bullet had gone through and through leaving a gaping hole. She found the absent mothers spice cabinet and put a handful of cayenne in the hole, front and back. Next she mixed some in cold water and had the boy drink it down quickly.
The paramedics were quite impressed at the young boys condition when they arrived. The bleeding had been stopped and the boy was doing very well considering the trauma. In this story all is well. Cayenne came to the rescue in a dire situation. I carry a good supply in my medic bag . Even old cayenne still has pizzazz and will do a good job when you need him the most.
To weed or not to weed
These two fellows I don’t purposely grow in my garden but harvest where I find them.
All parts of this plant are used. The leaves make an excellent addition to salads, the flowers make wonderful jam and wine. Dandelion leaves have a diuretic effect. The roots are used for liver and gallbladder complains as well as a mild laxative. Over all, this lawn maintenance nuisance increases bile production and reduces uric acid build up. Improves kidney function, pancreas, spleen and aids in digestion. It has been used for treating abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, fluid retention , hepatitis, jaundice and rheumatism. Dandelion also has antibacterial actions by inhibiting the growth of staphococus aureus, pneumocci, meningococci, bacillus dysenteriae, B. typhi, C. diphtheiae, and proteus. The latex in the plants sap can be used to remove corns and warts. And best of all it is rich in vitamins A, B complex, C, D as well as minerals. Plus when the dried roots are added to Chicory, together they make a delicious coffee substitute. What is not to love with this amazing plant?
Chickweed another one of those nasty pests that people misunderstand. This delicate lady can be gathered between May and June for fresh eating in salads or cooked as a potherb, tasting like spinach. She adds to your springtime meal plenty of ascorbic-acid, beta-carotene and tons of minerals. Don’t forget to gather extra for drying, for use later.
The whole plant is used in medicine as an astringent, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, laxative, as a postpartum depurative, and to help with lactation. And that is just some of this dear ladies attributes. She works hard as antihistamine and when made into an ointment she works her magic for itching skin and wound care. Used as a poultice for roseola and helps to restore the strength of the frail and sickly.
Check her out, do some research and you will look at see all the great colors in your own garden pallet.