Throughout his career, Dr. Weil has recommended herbal remedies far more often than he has prescribed prescription drugs and has said that he hasn’t seen a serious adverse reaction to any of the herbal remedies he has recommended. However, because of the many unsubstantiated claims made for herbal remedies, and because the market is not well regulated, he recommends that consumers follow these guidelines:
Suma is often called Brazilian ginseng due to it’s ability to increase strength and stamina. Like all adaptogens, suma is good for reducing the ill effects of stress. This herb balances the hormones and is commonly taken to strengthen the adrenal glands. Suma contains germanium and so can boost the immune system. It contains many vitamins and minerals and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.
“Over 80 years ago, Nobel Prize-winner Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D., proved that a 35% reduction in oxygen caused any cell to either die or turn cancerous. American experiments from 1953 to 1955 confirmed the result.”  This principle is at the center of the work that Dr. Seyfried is doing with the ketogenic diet as it is used for cancer treatment as discussed in the previous section.
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Making creams, lotions, ointments, salves and soaps are the most common ways to use the calendula herb. Calendula has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions and infections in some minor wounds. The calendula herb can also be taken orally to help ease upset stomachs, ulcers and fevers as well. Most often you will see calendula applied externally to treat minor cuts, burns, bug bites and more. If you're using it to treat digestive disorders using the petals to make a tea or tincture is a great way to treat peptic ulcers and gastrointestinal infection. It's recommended that you take 3-5 grams a day to help ease these digestive disorders.
Echinacea can be taken as a tincture, tablet, or capsule to help speed up the recovery time of colds, chest infections, and sore throats. For sore throats gargle a diluted tincture of echinacea to help ease the symptoms. Like I mentioned earlier echinacea can be used to treat tooth aches, all you need to do is chew on the root. I can remember doing this in high school when we practiced range judging, and it is a very effective way of treating a tooth ache. A more desirable method however might be to turn the root into a tea rather than chewing on it.
^ Kamin W., Maydannik V., Malek F.A., Kieser M.; Maydannik; Malek; Kieser (2010). "Efficacy and tolerability of EPs 7630 in children and adolescents with acute bronchitis: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial with a herbal drug preparation from Pelargonium sidoides roots". International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 48 (3): 184–191. doi:10.5414/cpp48184. PMID 20197012.
Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.
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.
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.
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Carbohydrates break down into glucose in the small intestine which is then absorbed into the bloodstream. Spices like Cayenne pepper stimulate glucose absorption from the small intestine, according to a Hungarian study published in the March 18, 2006 issue of the “European Journal of Pharmacology”. Add a bit to cayenne pepper to your home-cooked meals to stabilize your blood sugar levels naturally. The entire pepper family – including bell peppers, chilli peppers, and cayenne are known to help fight inflammation. That is why they are prized in several Asian culinary traditions. Use Cayenne wisely to get its anti-inflammatory benefits as well.
Teas are a great way to get the benefits of sage all you need to do is steep one teaspoon of sage in a cup of water for about 10 minutes. You can also make a pretty awesome sore throat reliever by combining sage and thyme. Take an ounce of both grind them, and cover them with 16 ounces of apple cider vinegar. Be sure to shake it periodically and let it sit for ten days before using.
However, patients who use alternative treatments have a poorer survival time, even after controlling for type and stage of disease. In 2017, researchers at Yale School of Medicine published a paper which suggested that people who choose alternative medicine over conventional cancer treatments were more than twice as likely to die within five years of diagnosis. And specifically, in those with breast cancer, people choosing alternative medicine were 5.68 times more likely to die within five years.