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For the Healing of the Nations
By Dr. Winston Craig

he world Health Organization estimates that four-fifths of the world's inhabitants rely upon traditional medicine for their primary health care needs. For centuries, indigenous peoples have used plants and plant extracts for medicine. The leaves, fruit, seeds, flowers roots, or bark of various trees, shrubs, and other plants have been harvested for their useful healing properties.

            Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in Western society in the use of botanical therapies for the relief of various illnesses. According to a national survey, one in three Americans utilize at least one non-conventional therapy per year. Annually, alternative medicine has become a multi- billion dollar industry.

            Years ago, Ellen White recommended the value of a number of simple herbal remedies such as hop tea to induce sleep, eucalyptus and honey for coughs, charcoal for indigestion and inflammations, and the use of common herbs of the field for simple remedies. Some of the commonly used herbs with a  safe and effective record are listed below.


  • Feverfew is effective in reducing the frequency and severity of migraine headaches.
  • Valerian is a mild sedative useful for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
  • St John's Wort has been used to treat mild and moderate forms of depression.
  • Echinacea has a long history of use to treat colds and flu symptoms, and to stimulate the immune system.
  • Cranberry juice fights urinary tract infections.
  • Fresh aloe vera gel can help relieve burns and sunburns, and facilitates the healing of wounds.
  • Ginkgo is popular for improved cerebral How and memory in aged persons.
  • Saw palmetto is effective for the treatment of prostate enlargement and inflammation.
  • Slippery elm reduces gastrointestinal inflammation.
  • Ginger is useful to treat nausea, and prevent symptoms of motion sickness.
  • Tea tree oil is useful therapy in the treatment of Candida, tinea and other fungal infections.
  • Elderberry is a safe and effective treatment for colds and flu, sore throats, and fevers.
  • Fennel is used for treating digestive problems and mild spasms of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Eucalyptus oil is effective as a decongestant and provides relief for coughs.
  • Psyllium is a safe and effective laxative.
  • Garlic is a wide spectrum antibiotic and reduces the risk of blood clots forming.

Those who appreciate the beneficial value of common herbs and learn how to properly utilize them could prevent a lot pain and enjoy better health (Selected Messages Book 2, p. 297-8)

By Winston Craig
Andrews University

Books by Dr. Winston Craig