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Fo-Ti is a famous longevity herb that has been in constant use in China for thousands of years. It is very popular with older men and is said to be able to turn one’s hair back to it’s youthful color and appearance. This herb is also used to strengthen the lower back and knees. It can be used to strengthen the bones, tendons and muscles as well as to nourish blood.
This is one place that thyme really shines. Make your cough syrup with Thymus Vulgaris, leaving the other varieties for the stockpot. Famed for its medicinal qualities, this variety of thyme contains thymol which acts against certain harmful bacteria. It is also known to improve liver function, increase appetite, help with bronchial infections, and help to treat laryngitis. Used on the skin, it can also reduce pain related to bug bites and stings.
Witch hazel is an interesting herb that I've only recently found out about, it has been used for centuries by the Native Americans though. When I was researching witch hazel I assumed that it got its name for warding off witches or something, but it actually was used as a witching stick for locating underground sources of water and or precious minerals. Witch hazel might not be considered an herb by some due to the fact it is a woody shrub, but it has very strong astringent and antiseptic properties so I just had to include it in the list of herbs along with its uses. Today you can find witch hazel in pretty much any drugstore in the form of witch hazel water (an alcohol extract of the twigs). The only problem with this is that most of the time the extract contains very little of the actual herb, and most of the effects might actually come from the alcohol itself.
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^ Jump up to: a b Bauml, J. M.; Chokshi, S.; Schapira, M. M.; Im, E.-O.; Li, S. Q.; Langer, C. J.; Ibrahim, S. A. & Mao, J. J. (26 May 2015). "Do attitudes and beliefs regarding complementary and alternative medicine impact its use among patients with cancer? A cross-sectional survey". Cancer. 121 (14): 2431–38. doi:10.1002/cncr.29173. PMC 5589132. PMID 26011157. Lay summary – Reuters (26 May 2015).
Rhodiola rosea is very popular with Russian astronauts and athletes due to its ability to enhance physical strength and endurance. Also, taking rhodiola will allow the body to use less oxygen on a cellular level. Besides its beneficial effects on the body, this herb is often used to keep the mind sharp and improve memory. It is now gaining popularity as a natural anti-depressant. Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen. This means that it helps protect the body from all types of stress.
There are 100 medicinal herbs in the National Library of Medicine Herb Garden. Some are more commonly known herbs and they can be used to improve many aspects of your life. As always, do not begin any course of treatment, herbal or otherwise, without first consulting your doctor or other healthcare provider. Make sure you discuss with your health practitioner any medications you take, as herbs can have harmful interactions with others drugs!
Feverfew leaves (Tanacetum parthenium) are used as a tincture or a capsule. It's administered for migraine headaches and feverish chills. It is sometimes recommended for arthritis. Older traditional medicine required patients to chew the leaves (can cause mouth ulcers), but many modern treatments use tinctures. Pregnant women should never use feverfew since it cause uterine contractions. Avoid if you suffer from stomach ulcers or gallbladder issues. If you suffer from ragweed allergies, avoid feverfew.
Another well know spice in the kitchen cinnamon is also known for it's medicinal properties. While not really an herb I still think it's important to list it in our list of herbs and their uses. Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of a tree in the laurel family. It's been used for centuries and was a hot commodity for trade in ancient times. In fact during the first century A.D. in Rome cinnamon was 15 times more expensive than silver. The Chinese were probably the first to use cinnamon as a medicinal herb and used it to treat fevers, and diarrhea. In more modern times cinnamon has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetics, as it has an insulin kind of effect.