Things I Learned While Researching For a Book: Herbals

Natural remedies using herbals
Image by monicore from Pixabay

Researching for the Kaitlynn Dahl Mystery Series led to a fun exercise in procrastination but with benefits. Let me explain. My full-time job lands squarely in the realm of healthcare. More specifically, I’m a registered drug dealer. Pharmacy and herbals go hand-in-hand.

‘Just say know to drugs’ is my motto.

Of course, Kaitlynn’s parents, the ones that live in Nashville,TN, are pharmacists. I love pharmacy so much that I couldn’t resist. Why not, right?

Anyway, my life revolves around medicine. I eat, sleep, and drink it 24/7. Because of this, I’m constantly reading articles on the newest drugs, and I even write continuing education from time to time for other healthcare professionals such as physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians to name a few.

Isn’t it great that both jobs, one as a clinical pharmacist and the other an author, intersect? I can use my medical background in the books I write, and it makes for an entertaining read, too. *pats self on back*

But what good is reading about stuff if I don’t pass on some fun tidbits that I’ve learned? And who knew that pharmacy and herbals can be fun and entertaining? However, let me be clear. All the stuff I write about is for informational purposes only. Please, ALWAYS consult your doctor and pharmacist prior to any medical decision, and that includes medicines and herbals.

Now, having gotten that out of the way, let’s discuss!

Herbal Number 1: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

As herbals go, yarrow helps stop excessive bleeding.
Image by Willfried Wende from Pixabay

Yarrow, otherwise known as Soldier’s Wound Wort, Knight’s Milfoil, Herbe Militaris, and Carpenter’s Weed to name a few, grows within the Northern Hemisphere in pastures, meadows, lawns, and roadside, but it’s bothersome in gardens as it’s a weed that will sprawl everywhere.

Yarrow blooms between June and September whose flowers blossom in the dainty colors of white or pale lilac. The whole herb may be used medicinally and has been used quite frequently by Native Americans and in Ancient Greece.

Yarrow Uses

Reportedly, yarrow was used by Ancient Greeks to stop bleeding (Can you see where this might come in handy in a mystery novel???). They made a poultice and applied it to open wounds, which would then clot; thus the names of Soldier’s Wound Wort and Knight’s Milfoil. And did you know that the Highlanders made an ointment of it to aid in healing wounds? Moreover, a tea was made in the Orkneys from yarrow called Milfoil tea that supposedly helped with feelings of sadness.

Personally, I believe that a good cup of tea solves most of life’s ailments. But I digress…

Other uses include treatment for fever, common colds, diarrhea, amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), and to induce sweating. Got a toothache? Crunch on its fresh leaves.

What a remarkable herb that dates back medicinally for thousands of years!

Herbal Number 2: Blackberry

Are there herbals good for upset stomachs? Yep, blackberries are.
Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Can you eat just one blackberry? I can’t! Who knew that blackberries were used by the Cherokee for upset stomachs? Of course the Cherokee Natives, but I’m asking all the other people that aren’t.

They also made a blackberry tea to treat diarrhea and to alleviate swollen joints. Known to bolster the whole immune system as it’s loaded with antioxidants, blackberries may provide protection against cancer.

Moreover, like yarrow, the leaves can be chewed, except use the blackberry leaves to soothe bleeding gums and save the yarrow for a toothache.

Got a nagging cough that irritates your throat? Blackberry root mixed with honey can alleviate those symptoms.

Other notable uses of blackberries are for gout, water retention, diabetes, pain, and heart disease.

Herbal Number 3: Rosemary

What among the herbals treats sore joints? Rosemary does!
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Rosemary isn’t just a pretty name! Nope, Native American’s have used this herb for its analgesic properties. What’s an analgesic? The Oxford dictionary defines it as a drug that acts to relieve pain. But this herb doesn’t stop there! Reportedly, it may help improve memory, relieve muscle spasms, improve the immune system, and treat indigestion.

Additionally, rosemary may help with high blood pressure, low blood pressure, cough, stress, depression, and sunburn protection to name several. Although scientific studies haven’t confirmed all the above, rosemary has been safely used for centuries. However, concentrated oils taken by mouth can cause vomiting, kidney damage, uterine bleeding, and allergic reactions. Also, taken in medicinal amounts, rosemary can cause miscarriages.

On the other hand, using rosemary as a spice in spaghetti sauces (YUM!) and the like seem to be okay.

And y’all, the list goes on! However, I believe that’s enough for today. Stay tuned for future pharmacy and herbals updates as I discover more herbal remedies. And please, for the sake of all that is healthy, remember to speak with your doctor and pharmacist before trying any of these herbals. This was for informational purposes only!

Alright, my lovelies, it’s time for me to start writing another chapter in my next cozy mystery. Please stay tuned! Also, I love to hear from you. Comment below or e-mail me at kduptonauthor@gmail.com, and you can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. Until next time,

Happy reading,

K.D.

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