As with any other lifestyle change, it is a process and not one to be taken lightly. That being said, the long term rewards are great if you make the change the right way.
Many families throughout North America already embrace a greener lifestyle that includes embracing organic foods, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, and, of course recycling. The next logical step for most of these families is to shift toward a more natural approach to healthcare.
Of course, this type of transition from over-the-counter and prescription medications to herbs and essential oils (or plant-based medicine) can be too drastic a change, even for the most green-minded folks out there.
An article on GreenChildMagazine.com, Back to Nature: Plant Medicine for Your Family, discusses how while this lifestyle change can be difficult, there are ways to make the transition seem less drastic.
The tips that writer Susie Lyons provides for any family looking to integrate more plant-based medicines into their homes include:
Just as OTC medications have side effects, so too do some herbal remedies and essential oils. Families should know not only what to use but when and how to use it. Lyons strongly recommends that you find a good local naturopathic physician to talk to prior toward your path toward natural health.
What is naturopathic medicine? Learn more now!
Lyons reminds us that when it comes to plant-based medicine, more is not necessarily better. Keep in mind these tips, specifically for use of plant-based medicine with children:
- Children should have reduced dosages
- Mild infusions or weak teas are a good way to give herbs to children, but make sure to make a fresh batch each time
- A child’s skin is thinner and will absorb more than an adult, thus adjust your topical essential oils accordingly
Converting to a plant-based medicine regiment is a major lifestyle change. With any significant change, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the influx of information available out there. Lyons recommends you start small with a few all-purpose herbs and oils.
“When asked which five herbal remedies or plant medicines she would always keep on hand, Earth Mama Melinda Olson recommended lavender (for its antibacterial, calming and uplifting properties), yarrow (as an antifungal, antibacterial and for its ability to stop bleeding), calendula(a wonderful wound healing herb, it has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties), lemon balm (for tension, restlessness and irritability) and nettles (a great antihistamine and a must have for spring tonics).”
Lyons also recommends starting with these 5 herbs, as well as organic jojoba, coconut, olive (or almond) oil, self-sealing tea bags, and a glass pot (or teapot to heat water)to have “a great starter kit for herbal healing.”
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