For many Americans, the potential of herbalism has yet to be unlocked. Although uncommon in the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that 80% of the world’s population relies on herbal medicine for some sort of primary care. It is also interesting to note that for thousands of years herbs have been used in all of the world’s cultures to heal the body. Recently, medicinal herbs have often been used as an alternative to Western pharmacology due to the skepticism about the price and effects of synthetic medicines.
Because certain herbs may interact with the body in unusual ways, it is important to research information about the specific herbs before purchasing. Always search for products with a seal of approval from the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or CL (Consumer-Lab.com). Also make sure to follow the directed dosage — too much of a good thing could be harmful.
The herbs one chooses for better health are dependent on his or her own needs, but there are some all-purpose herbs that should be found in every medicine cabinet. Some suggestions are:
Calendula: This herb has been traditionally used to relieve constipation and abdominal cramps. Its extracts are anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. Calendula does appear to speed wound healing, possibly by increasing blood flow to the wounded area and by helping the body produce collagen proteins. When used to help heal a minor cut or burn, drop a few drops of calendula essential oil area. When relieving abdominal problems, drink 1 cup of tea twice a day.
Ginger Root: When taken in pill form, ginger has been known to calm down upset stomachs, decrease motion sickness, and nausea. There are virtually no side effects to consuming ginger, so many pregnant women rely on ginger to relieve morning sickness. The most effective and safe dose of ginger is a 1 gram tablet every four hours, which is best taken 30 minutes before the nausea starts.
Ginkgo Biloba: One of the best selling herbal medicine coming from the oldest type of tree on Earth. Since consumption of ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the brain, it can be used to treat Alzheimer’s and mild memory issues. Also, it has been noted that ginkgo biloba protects the body against free-radicals. Consuming a 240 mg capsule of gingko biloba is the most effective dosage.
St. John’s Wort: This herb is most commonly used to help relieve the symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. It is generally well tolerated, and unlike common anti-depressants, does not have adverse side effects. In some insomniacs, St. John’s Wort evened out their sleep schedule. Ingesting 2 to 4 grams of St. John’s Wort 3 times a day in capsule form is considered to be the most effective regimen.
Yerba Mate: Very common in South America, Yerba Mate is known as the beverage with “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate.” Containing over 30 different vitamins and amino acids, this drink has been consumed for rejuvenation, nutrition, and vitality. Referred to as the drink of the gods, Mate is one of the most loved beverages in South America. Make sure to steep this tea in hot, not boiling water, or else the flavor turns too bitter.
For more information about medicinal herbs visit http://www.altnature.com/
Ginger Root photo: Some rights reserved by notafish
Ginkgo Biloba photo: Some rights reserved by tibonihoo
St. John’s Wort photo: Some rights reserved by Hunda
Yerba Mate photo: Some rights reserved by quinn.anya