Nature’s little helpers

Nature’s little helpers

People have been using natural medicine for thousands of years. Did you know, for example, that aspirin originally came from the bark of the willow tree? In the 5th century BC the Greek doctor, Hippocrates, gave it to his patients to stop their aches and pains.

Another natural remedy is quinine, which used to be an important drug in the battle against malaria. It comes from the bark of the cinchona tree, which grows in the Andes mountains in South America. Peruvian Indians have been using quinine for centuries to cure fevers.

In 1775 a British doctor, William Withering, was unable to treat a patient who had a serious heart problem. However, the patient made a complete recovery after taking something a local woman had given him. The woman told the doctor she’d made yhe remedy from purple foxgloves. This natural medicine is still given to people with heart problems because it makes your heart beat more slowly.

Many of the most effective natural remedies can be found in our homes and gardens. Put some lavender oil on your pillow at night to help you sleep. Or break open the leaves from an aloe vera plant and put the sap on your burns or cuts. This will help them to heal and might also stop you getting a scar. The Egyptian queen, Cleopatra, used this remarkable plant to keep her skin soft and younger-looking.

Finally, we mustn’t forget the healing power of garlic. It thins and cleans the blood, it’s good for stomach problems and coughs, and it’s a natural antiseptic. So, next time you have a cold, try a mixture of garlic, lemon and honey. It’s magic!