Although many homesteaders embrace herbal medicine, not everyone realizes how well these traditional medicines work, or that you can grow them on your own land.
One obstacle is that many people still equate herbal medicine with superstition, thinking it’s all folklore, of no proven value. But if that were true, it would be a surprise to the big pharmaceutical companies that are scrambling to isolate and test the active components of many traditional medicinal plants and herbs. A number of powerful pharmaceuticals, for example, have been derived from wild yam. Willow and meadowsweet contain salicylic acid, with analgesic effects like aspirin — but with fewer side effects. Controlled experiments with valerian have supported its traditional use as a sedative to relieve spasms and induce sleep.
The other obstacle to the home use of medicinal herbs is just the reverse — the assumption that herbal lore is so arcane that we…
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