Plant Medicine - Nature’s healing pharmacy compounded

Author
Dr. Carel-Piet van Eeden
Published:
August 27, 2020

Plant medicine - it conjures up images of people in feathered headpieces chanting around a fire, doesn’t it? We live in a fast-paced world. It is easy to grab a pill bottle when we start feeling something coming on and just as easy when we supplement nutrients and minerals.

Let’s look at how plant medicine can be incorporated into our daily lives. Doing so allows us to scientifically tap into the powerful healing that nature has to offer.

What is plant medicine?

Plant medicine is a very broad term that refers to herbs, herbal materials, herbal preparations, and finished herbal products that contain whole plants, parts of plants, or other plant materials according to the World Health Organization.

These are used for medicinal purposes. There are many different ways that plant medicine is used all across the world. This ranges from the use of traditional herbs in ceremonies to the extraction of active ingredients in supplements.

Personally, I love the fact that plant medicine has an array of applications and functions in the body. When used in the right way they can have great health benefits. However, it is important to note that plant medicine is still medicine. Be aware of interactions and contra-indications just as you would with Western medicine scripts!

From earth to plant to medicine

One of the most exciting areas of plant medicine is their use in nutraceuticals. One sees many supplements that are derived from plants. Let us have a look at some plants and what they are beneficial for. We are going to look at four areas of health that most of us can relate to. These areas are inflammation, immunity, diabetes and blood pressure.

Let’s make it somewhat less boring and see how we can use some of them in our food too. That will make Hippocrates a very happy plant medicine proponent, not?

Let food be thy medicine and let medicine be thy food.

10 Anti-inflammatory plants in plant medicine

  1. Aloe Vera
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Boswellia
  4. Chamomile
  5. Dandelion
  6. Ginger
  7. Ginkgo biloba
  8. Rosemary
  9. Spirulina (Blue-green algae)
  10. Turmeric

Spicy Inflammation Buster Gummies

I make these as a family plant medicine extract treat!

plant medicine extract gummies
Spicy Inflammation Buster Gummies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange, carrot or pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 3 cm ginger root, thinly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Agar Agar powder or gelatin
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon stevia (optional)

Method:

  1. Place the juice into a pan.
  2. Sprinkle and mix the dry ingredients into the pan.
  3. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, constantly stirring to make sure that it doesn’t stick or start setting.
  4. Remove the ginger slices.
  5. Leave to cool for 5 minutes and pour into ice trays or moulds.
  6. Chill for 30 minutes.

These gummies will last for up to a week in the fridge.

10 Immune boosting plants

These ten plant medicine extracts are strong immune boosters in their own right!

  1. American and Korean Ginseng
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Astragalus
  4. Berberry
  5. Cabbage
  6. Echinacea
  7. Garlic
  8. Maitake Mushrooms
  9. Reishi Mushrooms
  10. Shiitake Mushrooms

Immune booster mushroom soup

We are already practising plant medicine in our homes - being aware of the effects of these plants can mean fewer times of disease!

plant medicine soup
Mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1kg sliced mushrooms (Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 cups chicken broth or three stock cubes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • salt and black pepper to
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves for garnish, or to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot of medium heat and cook the mushrooms with a pinch of salt until juicy. Reduce heat to low and stir often until the mushrooms are golden brown. Add the onion to the mix and cook until soft and translucent.

Stir the flour into the mix and cook for two minutes. Add the thyme and garlic cloves. Pour the chicken stock and water into the pot, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Remove the thyme. See how we add more and more plant medicine in our food?

Put the soup into a blender in small batches and blend until you have a smooth and thick consistency

Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream.

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve in bowls.

Plant medicine for diabetes (type II)

  1. Aloe vera
  2. Bitter melon
  3. Cinnamon
  4. Fenugreek
  5. Green tea
  6. Holy basil
  7. Korean ginseng
  8. Maitake mushrooms
  9. Mulberry leaf
  10. Stevia

Cinnamon Apple Cake

We believe in making better bad decisions! This cake will help with those sugar cravings...

cinnamin apple cake
  • 1 heaped tsp stevia
  • 1 level tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6g baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 level tbsp skimmed milk
  • 75g coconut oil (melted)
  • 1kg apples

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°Cartificial.
  2. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the stevia, baking powder and cinnamon into the flour and mix.
  3. Add the eggs and milk into the middle of the dry ingredients and whisk. Add in the melted coconut oil.
  4. Peel and core the apples and remove the seeds. Cut them into large slices. Add the apple slices to the mixture and fold in gently.
  5. Grease a medium cake tin with a small bit of coconut oil. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
  6. Turn out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool and serve.

Plant medicine for high blood pressure

  1. Cinnamon
  2. Cocoa
  3. Ginger
  4. Grape seeds
  5. Hawthorn
  6. Medicinal Mushrooms (Reishi, Shiitake, Maitake)
  7. Oats
  8. Pomegranates
  9. Stevia
  10. Wheatgrass

Coconut oil bomb

This adaptation of the classic fat bomb combines several ingredients to help with high blood pressure.

coconut oil bomb
Coconut oil bomb
  • 1 Cup Coconut Oil
  • ½ Cup Cocoa butter
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ Teaspoon vanilla bean extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1–2 Drops of Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Stevia to taste

Melt the coconut oil over low heat

Add all the ingredients and stir well

Pour mixture into ice trays and freeze

Enjoy!

Lastly...

Plant medicine can be a fascinating journey into taking control of your own health. It is important to remember that we need to check with our healthcare provider before we embark on big changes!!

Have fun on this journey...

Dr CP Van Eeden
About The Author

Dr CP Van Eeden

Dr van Eeden completed his Ph.D and qualified in Holistic Life Counselling in December 2012 through the University of Sedona.  He is currently pursuing an MBAM through the same University.

After experiencing the trauma of cancer first-hand, Carel-Piet decided to leave his corporate position as legal business analyst and focus on the field of integrative medicine.  Together with Dr. Craige Golding, he works in the Golding Institute to provide evidence based integrative solutions and training for healthcare providers and patients alike.

As a practitioner, Dr. van Eeden focuses on a wide array of challenges people face.  Because of his diverse training, the challenges addressed in sessions are many and include:

  • Lifestyle management
  • Genetic testing
  • Emotional counseling
  • Mindfulness
  • Life Coaching