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Herbs have been used for healing since ancient times,and therefore have an aura of magic about them.
I remember reading. I don't remember where, that gardens in ancient Greece or Rome were planted primarily to medical plants. Here we have our berbolarios. Recognizing the curative powers of certain plants that berbolarios have used for years, some laboratories have developed medicines like Ascof, which is made from Lagundi leaves, and is prescribed for cough.
Some herbs that most of us are familiar and can grow in our own gardens;
Basil commonly used for cooking. It can also treat stomachaches, vomiting,fever,the common cold,flu,menstrual pain and whooping cough. Rubbed on the temples, it relieves headaches. Oil from the leaves medicates insert bites and acne. It can be used also as a vemicide. An infusion from fresh leaves prevents travel sickness. It also has calming stress reducing effect.
Oregano is brewed a tea which, like Basil, helps in cases of flu,colds,fever and menstrual discomfort. It reportedly is also good for rheumatism and gall bladder problems. Oregano may also be used in soothing baths,and as an antiseptic.
Peppermint tea helps with problems of digestive system, such as colic,bloating,and spasms of the colon.
Rosemary is good for circulatory system, for high blood pressure. It reportedly can prevent food poisoning if used generously in cooking. Maybe in ancient lore,if the kings food taster was unavailable, the cook was enjoined to put in a lot of Rosemary; even in the dessert. This herbs improves memory; soothes aches and pain and conditions skin and hair. It is also good for sore throats and singaw.
Tarragon is believed by the French to cure snake bites. Come to think of it, FRENCH AND ITALIANS use all these herbs regularly in their cooking.
All of these are plant products.
To continue with our herbalism; chives stimulate appetite with their flavor similar to onion but milder, help in digestion and are a mild antibiotic.
Parsley is rich in vitamins and minerals. Many know of its breath freshening properties and eat the sprigs of fresh parsley that garnish dishes in restaurants. It is a diuretic and relieves urinary and kidney problems
Anise seeds make a nice addition to many native sweets like palitaw. It also has antiseptic properties,eases cough,relieves colic and nausea.
The list is endless. Add to this our common plants and those generally known here to be good for certain ailments. Grow bananas, the latundan cures diarrhea. Eucalyptus leaves are good aromatherapy and driving away mosquitoes,mayana leaves for rubbing blue black bumps. Malunggay leaves aids lactation in nursing mothers. Ampalaya and garlic are both good for hypertension..and a lot more. All these should be used wisely and in conjunction with the advice of doctors, until proven completely safe and effective. It makes sense not to give these to children,pregnant or lactating mothers and allergy sufferers.
We Filipino love AROMATHERAPY. We like pleasant scents and avoid offensive odors. But we tend to downplay the effects of aromatherapy. However, it would be impossible to grow this range of plants in the average garden. Nevertheless,there will always be at least one plant to satisfy us.
The scent of citrus is also refreshing, it alleviate grief,stress and fatigue. Citrus are sensual and romantic.
The scent of crushed basil leaves is calming, yet uplifting. It also improves respiration
Rosemary and oregano are good for inhalation therapy.
Crushing eucalyptus leaves to release their scent assists breathing and repels insects. Remember the smell of Vicks Vaporub, balm of childhood colds, bumps and mosquitoes bites?
Speaking of memories, a certain scent may evoke recall of a happy past event, for one individual,but may cause the opposite for another person. So again a garden planted for aromatherapy has to suit the owner, or a garden with varied scents may be interesting to one who is sight impaired,but overwhelming to the sighted person.
So let's choose our plants carefully, not simply for their colors. It would be nice if our gardens had no thorns; nice to have birds and wind chimes and yes some soft music as well, to stimulate all the senses.