No matter what it is we’re doing, it’s always best to play it safe. Never take herbs or any health supplement without first talking it over with your doctor. Especially if you are pregnant or nursing, taking medication or are suffering from a disease or illness. Never give a child any herb or health supplement without first talking to your child’s doctor. Even though herbs are all natural and usually safe when taken in moderation, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Stachytarpheta cayennensis Blue snakeweed Extracts of the plant are used to ease the symptoms of malaria. The boiled juice or a tea made from the leaves or the whole plant is taken to relieve fever and other symptoms. It is also used for dysentery, pain, and liver disorders. A tea of the leaves is taken to help control diabetes in Peru and other areas. Laboratory tests indicate that the plant has anti-inflammatory properties.
My personal favorite so far for promoting relaxation has got to be Valerian root. Like a lot of the others in this list of herbs Valerian was probably first used by the Greeks and Romans centuries ago. They used Valerian to treat disorders associated with the liver, urinary tract and digestive tract. Valerian was once used to treat people suffering from the plague. Your cat will love Valerian too! People use to use Valerian in sort of the same way we use catnip today. Some people said that you could judge the potency of the Valerian by the reaction the cat had to the herb. In addition to being a cat attractant rats are also found of the foul smell and it was once used in rat traps. Today Valerian root is most commonly found as a sleep aid and anxiety relief supplement.
Many people with cancer are interested in trying anything that may help them, including complementary and alternative cancer treatments. If cancer makes you feel as if you have little control over your health, alternative cancer treatments may offer some feeling of control. But many alternative cancer treatments are unproved and some may even be dangerous.
Probably best know for adding a little spice to your dish the cayenne pepper has much more to offer as a medicinal herb. Most lists of herbs tend to leave out the uses of cayenne pepper for whatever reason, but I feel that they are worth mentioning here. The use of cayenne can be found back as far as the Aztecs and Mayans; commonly they would use it for toothaches and infections. The main chemical responsible for the vast medicinal benefits is capsaicin, this is the same chemical that gives you that burning sensation when you bite into a jalapeno. If you're interested in tips for growing peppers check out the article we've previously posted.
Thyme is a fragrant herb that makes a wonderful addition to your cooking, in part because it is rich in antioxidants. Thyme contains health-boosting flavonoids including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin, and has been shown to protect and increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes. As reported by the George Mateljan Foundation:12 "In particular, the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with thyme."
Alfalfa is known as the “Father of all foods” for good reason. It’s loaded with important vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and protein. It’s roots go down as far as 30 feet to pull valuable nutrients from the earth. This plant is commonly used for arthritis, digestive problems, as a diuretic and for reducing high cholesterol. It’s a very inexpensive source of easily digested nutrients. Alfalfa is high in beta-carotene and builds the immune system. This plant also contains chlorophyll, which is good for reducing bad breath and body odor.
The Gerson Diet – Consisting of eating only organic fruits, vegetables and sprouted ancient grains, the Gerson Diet is exceptionally rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. It’s also very low in fats, proteins and sodium. The meal plan advises cancer patients to drink 13 glasses of freshly prepared juice, eat three plant-based meals, and only snack on fresh fruits each day. Also, the traditional Gerson Therapy recommends consuming raw beef liver since it is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet and extremely high in vitamin B12.
According to the American Herbalist Guild, herbalists can practice either as primary health care providers or adjunctive health care consultants. The Guild explains that most visits to an herbalist begin with a consultation about your past and current health history, your dietary and lifestyle practices, or other factors related to your health issue. Then, according to the Guild “the herbalist, with your involvement, should develop an integrated herbal program that addresses your specific health needs and concerns.”
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In Europe, apothecaries stocked herbal ingredients for their medicines. In the Latin names for plants created by Linnaeus, the word officinalis indicates that a plant was used in this way. For example, the marsh mallow has the classification Althaea officinalis, as it was traditionally used as an emollient to soothe ulcers. Ayurvedic medicine, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine are other examples of medical practices that incorporate medical uses of plants. Pharmacognosy is the branch of modern medicine about medicines from plant sources. Plants included here are those that have been or are being used medicinally, in at least one such medicinal tradition.
Hippophae rhamnoides Sea buckthorn The leaves are used as herbal medicine to alleviate cough and fever, pain, and general gastrointestinal disorders as well as to cure dermatologic disorders. Similarly, the fruit juice and oils can be used in the treatment of liver disease, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic wounds or other dermatological disorders.
According to the toxicity and disease model, cancer forms when toxicity builds up to the point that it spills over from the blood to the space between the blood and the cells called the extracellular matrix and then finally spills over into the cell itself and enters the nucleus of the cell where the DNA and genetic material are made. When toxins enter into the nucleus the cell has one final attempt to survive, it dedifferentiates into stem cells to try to adapt to a toxic, hostile environment. The stem cell can change into any cell type and also grow very rapidly.
This list contains notes of commonly used potencies, either by homeopaths or available in store-bought preparations. In clinical homeopathy, the choice of potency (dilution & succussion levels) to be used is determined by homeopathic practitioners or physicians on an individual basis. Some limit their use to the lower potencies of 4x (4D) through 30x (30D), while others use 3C through CM (100,000C) potencies.
Stinging nettles are an interesting herb that we have growing rampant here in Nebraska. Stinging nettles are probably best known for... you guessed it their sting. The nettle plant has sharp spines that are revealed upon contact and once they penetrate the skin of the victim they release a concoction of chemicals into the body. This is where you get that burning/itchy feeling from, the nettle plant releases a mix of histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and formic acid. Surprisingly the treatment for this burning sensation can be found via the plant itself; the juice from the nettle's leaves can be applied to the affected area. Aside from the painful sting of the nettle plant it is actually a very beneficial herb and undoubtedly deserves to be in our list of herbs here.
Bacopa has been used as an effective brain tonic in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for thousands of years in India. It is beneficial to long and short term memory. The plant’s saponins and bacosides have a positive effect on the brain’s neurotransmitters and can help one to think faster. Bacopa is now being studied as a possible treatment for ADHD, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Bacopa is often used to treat depression, anxiety asthma, allergies and bronchitis. It also possess some anti-inflammatory properties.
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.