If you are looking for a book on growing and using medicinal herbs in Florida, you will be as glad as I am to see that Herbs for Life, by Linda W. Mix. R.N. is hot off the press and available for Christmas gifts.
It is a very easy book to use, mostly explained at the beginning. “Herbs help bring the body into balance by strengthening the body’s systems and activating certain functions as needed. Although each herb is capable to treating several different ailments, it will focus on the needs of the individual body,” Mix writes.
She gives tips on growing and harvesting herbs, making teas, infusions, decoctions and poultices. As a nurse, she tells how herbs relate to pregnancy and how to calculate dosages for children. And she tells the dangers and how to avoid them and how to work with your physician.
In the core of the book she gives the details: common and botanical name, parts used, description, cultivation, culinary uses, medicinal uses, others uses and cautions for 91 different medicinal plants with a colored photo of each from trees to ground covers that we can grow and use here. There are 245 pages.
Because she has done her research in the northern Florida panhandle, we might tweak some of the information to suit milder climates. For instance, she says to plant nasturtiums in early spring, and we can plant them in late summer or fall. Up there she says, “sometimes nasturtiums will last until frost if shaded in the hottest summer months.” I have moved cuttings into the shade where they survived the summers here in central Florida, but they didn’t grow much until cooler weather.
She gives a long list of herbs to treat common ailments. For arthritis and rheumatism, the very best are cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, and horseradish. For colds and sore throats, the most efficient are cayenne pepper, echinacea, elderberry, garlic, ginger,
honeysuckle, horseradish, lavender, rose hips, rosemary, sage, thyme and violet.
If you don’t grow your own herbs, you can buy them dried or in capsules at any health food store.
Check the website: www.MedicinalHerbsForLife.com. The book costs $24.95. Or you can send a check for $29.95 plus $1.50 sales tax to her at Linda Mix, Medicinal Herbs For Life, P.O. Box 36002, Panama City, FL. 32412.
It will easily save you in doctor bills and time off work and it will add to the joy of your life.
Published in the Brandon News section of the Tampa Tribune/Dec. 14, 2011