Herbs and Vitamins for Healing and Disease Prevention
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: [No Name Given]
Posted on: May 6, 1998

I would like to have some information on healing and preventing diseases with herbs and vitamins for children and adults. Perhaps an immune booster, for example.

There are many excellent books on healing with herbs and vitamins. You could try your local library, a health food store or a good book store. A good way to start with herbs may be with "The Herbal Medicine Cabinet: Preparing Natural Remedies at Home" by Debra St. Clare (available at Richters), "The Green Witch, A Modern Woman’s Herbal" by Barbara Griggs (Vermillion publishers, London, England) or "The New Holistic Herbal" by David Hoffman (Element publisher). These books describe the actions that particular herbs exhibit and give information on how to prepare them. Health food stores usually distribute free magazines with health articles written by herbalists, naturopaths and doctors.

David Hoffman, in "The New Holistic Herbal" suggests the following "tonics" i.e. herbs that strengthen the system or a specific organ: Nettles - to nourish the body to support health and growth Garlic and Echinacea to strengthen the immune system Hawthorn and Garlic for the heart and blood vessels Chamomile and Dandelion for the digestive system Mullein, Elecampane and Coltsfoot for the respiratory system Oats, Skullcap, St. John’s Wort and Vervain for the nervous system Other tonics include those for the liver, urinary system, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system and the skin.

Excellent books describing healing, prevention, diseases and alternative treatments including diet and vitamins, include "Encyclopedia of Natural Healing" by Alive Books, and "Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine" by Michael Murray N.D. and Joseph Pizzorno N.D. (Prima Publishing).

Murray & Pizzorno suggest vitamins A, C, beta-carotene and the nutrient Zinc for immune stimulation. Vitamin C is antiviral, antibacterial and improves resistance to disease. Zinc is antiviral and is especially effective in the form of a lozenge during a cold. Vitamin A maintains the integrity of the respiratory tract and its secretions. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant.

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