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.
As I mentioned before the whole dandelion plant can be used. The root has many beneficial medicinal properties in the digestive system such as the stomach, liver, and pancreas. The dandelion root helps to increase digestive secretions and has also showed capabilities of stabilizing blood sugar levels. The leaf of the dandelion herb primarily acts on the kidneys helping with fluid clearance and even weight loss. Dandelion leaves are a common choice for those looking to lower blood pressure too. When combined with other herbs it works to effectively relieve skin problems such as acne, boils, and eczema.
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.
Saw palmetto is a very popular herb with men over 40. It is often used to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and it’s symptoms, like painful urination and the need to urinate frequently. Another popular use of this herb is to treat male pattern baldness by reducing the body’s levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Too much DHT is believed to be what causes hair loss.
Larrea tridentata Chaparral The leaves and twigs are used by Native Americans to make a herbal tea used for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, cancer and a number of others. Subsequent studies have been extremely variable, at best. Chaparral has also been shown to have high liver toxicity, and has led to kidney failure, and is not recommended for any use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or American Cancer Society.
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Use of unconventional cancer treatments in the United States has been influenced by the U.S. federal government's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), initially known as the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM), which was established in 1992 as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) adjunct by the U.S. Congress. More specifically, the NIC's Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine sponsors over $105 million a year in grants for pseudoscientific cancer research. Over thirty American medical schools have offered general courses in alternative medicine, including the Georgetown, Columbia, and Harvard university systems, among others.
Used by the ancient Egyptians for fever and chills, chamomile is still in wide use today. This plant is used for colic, indigestion, flatulence, bloating heartburn and to calm nervousness. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. Some people suffering from peptic ulcers find relief from drinking chamomile tea.
Next on our list of herbs is Echinacea also known as Black Sampson it is referred to by the native Americans of the plains as snake root, because it was traditionally used to treat snake bites. Natives have also used the plant to treat tooth aches. The Omaha-Ponca and Cheyenne Indians were probably the most notable groups to use the plant. They would rub the juices of the roots on their bodies to heal burns, or like mentioned above would use it to treat toothaches. Today echinacea is used to boost the immune system and speed up recovery of the common cold. There are three common types of Echinacea; Echinacea purpurea is the most common it can be found from Georgia to Oklahoma, north to Michigan and east to Ohio. Echinacea pallida is most commonly found in open woods and prairies, people in states like Michigan, Arkansas, Texas and here in Nebraska can find this species of Echinacea. Echinacea angustifolia tends to grow on roadsides, prairies, and outcrops; people living in Texas all the way north through the Dakotas and southern Saskatchewan you can also expect to find it growing in Montana and Colorado.
To treat colds or coughs you can make a nice ginger tea by cutting about one inch of ginger root into small pieces and adding to two cups of water and simmering for fifteen minutes. Ginger can also be found in capsules like a lot of other herbs and is a great way to get your dose of ginger for the day. Extracts are also available but are generally used only to treat osteoarthritis.
If a person who has been diagnosed with advanced cancer has two weeks to live and you cut that person’s finger, what does it do? IT HEALS! If the finger heals why doesn’t the malignant tumor heal in the breast, or the lung? The answer can be BLOCKAGE. There is no blockage of the flow of life to the finger but there may be a blockage in the flow of life to the breast, the lung, etc.
Many people have been permanently cured of their cancers from these alternative approaches. A cure means that the cancer never comes back. People lived for 20 or 30 years after treatment without a recurrence of cancer. This is in contrast with the modern medical definition of “cure,” which is measured in a five year period. The five year period is a convenient number of years, because the cancers that will be created by exposure to radiation and chemotherapy begin to appear after 5 years. In this way, these secondary cancers can be called a new disease and not a recurrence of cancer.
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 was a clinical trial conducted at Department of Biochemistry, Postgraduate Institute of Basic Medical Sciences Madras, India that studied 22 patients with type 2 diabetes. It reported that supplementing the body with 400 mg of Gymnema Sylvestre extract daily resulted in remarkable reductions in blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c and glycosylated plasma protein levels. What’s even more remarkable is that by the end of this 18 month study, participants were able to reduce the dosage of their prescription diabetes medication. Five were even completely off medication and attaining stable blood sugar levels with Gymnema Sylvestre supplementation alone.
We live in a world where prescription medicine is getting more and more expensive as well as controversial. Alternative medicine is gaining momentum and with good reason! The same is true for treatments for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that can reverse diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes, natural supplements that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and also herbs that lower blood sugar. Not only are these alternative therapies safer, but they are also easier on your pocket, on your body and mind.