Although medicinal plants are often seen in modern day as a last resort, in reality they should be anyone's first point of call. Alternative medicines not only eliminate the risk of the huge lists of side effects but if you have even the most basic knowledge of how to grow plants, these can be totally self sustaining systems and once established will be in abundance and very cost effective. There are many reasons why these methods have been used for thousands of years in remote regions of the jungle, the outback of Australia and many other tribal communities. One such reason is that what grows naturally in that particular part of the world is often a plant that remedies another growing in partnership with it and sometimes what grows within it.
Nettles for example are rife in many parts of Europe and are often considered a weed and will be cut down and killed at the first chance by people looking to clear the way for plants and foliage that will do nothing other than look pretty for six months of the year.
The benefits of nettles have been evident for thousands of years being documented in scripts throughout history describing of its powerful antioxidants and high concentration of nutrients. Not only do nettles pack a powerful punch when it comes to nutritional value, if stung by them, the juices from the plant will actually counteract the pain from the sting and calm it down almost immediately.
These benefits are common in many medicinal plants and the more we know about them, the more we can begin to help ourselves for free, enabling us to live more self sufficiently.
There is such an abundance of trees, shrubs and plants growing naturally right outside our doors it's just a case of knowing where to look and this is where knowledge really is power.
All of the native medicinal plants are easily grown in our back yards and will often do much better than plants brought in from other countries as they have evolved to thrive in the very regions they're found.
Cutting back regularly and feeding your home nurtured plants will just encourage them to grow more profusely and many can be divided to produce multiple plants.
Medicinal plants are best taken in teas, as pastes, dried, stewed and so on.
Once picked, all parts of the plant can be preserved in a number of ways.
The most effective way is to dehydrate. Dehydrators are used in the food industry as a technique to air dry the organic matter to enable it to be consumed at a later date or to be eaten as it is.
Although it all sounds like rabbit food, the methods used today are bringing innovative ways to cooking all types of natural food, most of which have been lost over time. The natural benefits is a above all the most important part of these natural medicines. Side affects are mostly eliminated and the concentration of nutrients is often higher than what you would find in synthetic products.
As is the same with picking mushrooms, if you don't exactly know what you're looking for, it's definitely worth leaving that bit to the experts until you do or you'll end up learning the hard way!
Remember, be as natural as you can when it comes to killing weeds, once it's in the soil who knows when it'll come out!