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Heal Your Health with Natural Wildflower Cures!
Woman's World
by Barbara Hustedt Crook
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Just looking at summer’s colorful blossoms can boost your mood and reduce anxiety, studies show. But that’s not all they can do, says Fox-TV’s Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, author of Hot Plants: They also have important healing properties, confirmed by the latest research!

Chicory regulates blood sugar!
The nutty-tasting root of this wildflower is rich in inulin, “a dietary fiber that helps regulate blood sugar,” explains Kilham, who suggests folks with Type 2 diabetes enjoy two cups a day. But you don’t need to have diabetes to benefit—chicory has also been shown to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and speed the breakdown of fats, which is why chicory root is an ingredient in so many weight-loss supplements!

Mullein relieves allergies!
Found along roadsides across America, mullein is a potent anti-inflammatory, and that’s not all: A recent Clemson University study also found it effective against several disease-causing bacteria, “making it remarkably useful for treating the symptoms of summer colds and seasonal allergies,” Kilham says. Of course, that’s not news to Native Americans, who have been using it as a remedy for upper respiratory infections for centuries! Find the tea or liquid extract at health-food stores and use as directed, or brew up your own by steeping a heaping teaspoon of the dried blossoms of powder in a cup of boiling water for five minutes and straining. Just two cups a day should have you feeling better in no time.

Wild Bergamot eases skin flareups!
A natural source of the antiseptic thymol, these blossoms—sold at garden centers as bee balm flowers—help ease rashes, chapped skin and minor wounds, says Kilham. To make a soothing salve, pour a cup of boiling water over fresh or dried flowers, steep for 10 minutes, and strain before applying topically. For a relaxing tub soak, tie a handful of the leaves in a cloth and hang on the faucet as the water runs in.

Heal All calms cold sores!
Heal All more than lives up to its name, says Kilham. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial agents, it’s “great first aid for everything from a fever to gastrointestinal upsets to wounds.” What’s more, “many users also report it soothes the symptoms of cold sores and shingles,” notes Karen Bergeron, editor of Alternative Nature Online. Find the tincture at health-food stores and follow package directions.

Red Clover makes menopause manageable!
You probably pass this common wildflower every day, but you might not realize it’s one of the richest sources of isoflavones—plant chemicals that display estrogen-like effects in the body, says ethnobotanist Peter Gail, Ph.D. That’s why red clover is shown to ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, and it even builds up bone density in older women to help prevent osteoporosis. Find it at health-food stores as a tea, tincture or in capsule form and take as directed. However, since it mimics estrogen, it shouldn’t be taken by women who are pregnant, nursing or have a history of breast cancer.

Milkweed removes warts!
Its secret, according to Kilham? Super-potent protein-eating enzymes that “literally eat away the wart until it disappears.” To try it, just split open the milkweed stem and apply the sap 2-3 times a day, especially before going to bed, until the wart is history. No milkweed around? You can find milkweed tinctures at health-food stores; apply to the wart directly.

Evening Primrose relieves PMS!
Move over, Midol! This wildflower has properties that naturally balance female hormones, easing PMS symptoms like cramps, bloating and irritability. When British researchers gave PMS sufferers evening primrose oil three times a day, it reduced or completely eliminated symptoms in 89% of them! Find the tea and capsules at health-food stores and follow package directions.

TIP! Trouble with deer? Plant some Black-eyed Susans next to whatever they like to nibble on; they’re repelled by the scent!

January 2011