Présentation de l'éditeur
I am constantly astonished by the power of these familiar, often humble plants. When our daughters have cuts and grazes to be dealt with, I dress them with a cool green Comfrey Ointment - or with a lotion made from the orange flowers of the common Marigold - knowing that pain will be soothed and healing rapid. Bedtime wakefulness and upset tummies have both alike been charmed away by Chamomile tea, colds have been nipped in the bud by a Mustard foot bath, and doses of a fiery red concoction made from - amongst other things - Cayenne, Ginger and the creamy blossoms of the Elder.
There are certain symptoms, too, which could indicate a serious medical problem, and for which professional advice should be sought without delay: persistent headaches, mild but persistent fever, recurring pains in the stomach, bowels or elsewhere, blood in your urine or stools, unaccountable weight loss, chronic coughing or indigestion, vaginal bleeding between periods.
I have, however, suggested remedies which can help alleviate pain and discomfort in certain serious problems, once they have been diagnosed - cystitis, colitis, hepatitis, gastric ulcers - and which can safely be taken even if you are receiving medication from your family doctor. And in the case of infectious diseases, there are simple herbal remedies which can help enormously to stimulate the body's defence mechanisms, combat infection, and rebuild health once the fever has passed.
I have also suggested remedies for several painful chronic conditions - for instance, arthritis, bronchitis, skin disorders - because many of the people suffering from them, once their condition has been diagnosed by their family doctor or a specialist, are anxious to try a herbal remedy to see if it can bring the relief and improvement that modern drugs so often fail to supply.
I cannot emphasise too strongly however that, while even simple herbal remedies - such as are mentioned here – can often bring about a marked improvement in such cases, a trained professional herbalist should be consulted where this is possible. Not only can he draw on a far wider range of effective herbs, with long experience and training to guide him, but like other practitioners of natural medicine, he will carefully study the patient's medical history, diet and lifestyle, rather than simply prescribe for the relief of symptoms. He can then treat the underlying disorder, aiming to restore the patient to full health.