Plant Medicinal

The dictionary has two definitions for "herb." the correct answer is both. The first definition is more technical: a seed-producing plant that does not develop persistent woody tissue but dies down at the end of the growing season. The second one, the more general, is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities.A "plant or plant part" means that an herb can be a single-celled alga, the bark of a tree, the leaf, root, fruit, seed, flower, or any other part of any plant, as long as it is applied for its medicinal, savory, or aromatic qualities. Basically, every plant that has some application, be it culinary or medicinal is considered an herb.  They can be balmy, but that is not always the case.  These terms automatically involved almost every plant out there:  the weeds and trees in your yard, your culinary herbs, your flower bed…..many, many of these plants have beneficial attributes that have been applied for literally thousands and thousands of years to nourish and cure the body.  There are, of course, poisonous plants to steer away from–but even many of these in very weak dilutions can be applied by highly trained and extensively skilled practitioners for certain conditions. The scope of herbs is so wide that you can study for a lifetime and constantly learn new things.  Many cultures and herbalists have their own unique approach and relationship with the plants.  There are many ways to apply them:  in your food, in powdered form, in capsules, tea, decoction, tincture, homeopathy, flower essences, essential oils, lotions, salves, vinegar and oil infusions….etc.Every herb includes hundreds or even thousands of naturally occurring chemicals. The actions of most of these chemicals are not understood, but it is known that an herb's total effect is a result of the combination. Some chemicals have synergistic effects on others increasing their activity. Some modify the effects of others lowering undesirable side-effects.