The dandelion was in use as far back as ancient China for it’s medicinal properties. It was used as a potent diuretic and detoxifying herb. Other common uses of this plant were to treat breast inflammation, digestive disorders, appendicitis and to stimulate milk flow. European herbalists used dandelion as a remedy for eye problems, diarrhea, diabetes and fever.
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I believe it's better to use mild remedies for minor health problems and save the more potent—and risky—prescription medications for more serious conditions. Here then, are my top 25 favorite healing herbs and their uses. All are safe and effective, but be sure to discuss any herbs you are taking with your doctor. Some herbal remedies (such as the antidepressant St. John's wort) can interact with medications.
CAM therapies include a wide variety of botanicals and nutritional products, such as dietary supplements, herbal supplements, and vitamins. Many of these "natural" products are considered to be safe because they are present in, or produced by, nature. However, that is not true in all cases. In addition, some may affect how well other medicines work in your body. For example, the herb St. John's wort, which some people use for depression, may cause certain anticancer drugs not to work as well as they should.
As you might expect from an herb like basil it has a pretty profound effect on the digestive system and therefore works great for treating things like indigestion, bloating, and gas. When you're using basil to treat these problems I'd recommend taking around 2-4 grams per day taken orally. Basil can also be used to ease the effects of insect bites and stings, simply crush the leaves so the juices can be applied to the affected area. To help from getting bit or stung in the first place you can rub the juice on the skin in the same manner, basil works rather well as an insecticide so this should help repel the bugs.
Health Quarter Ministries in Colorado Springs is run by Dr. David Frahm, who wrote the book "A Cancer Battle Plan". They offer a 10 day detox retreat, as they believe proper nutrition heals the body at the cellular level, but before nutritional changes can be effective, detoxing the system must take place. There is a very strong "spiritual" aspect to their program. For information, go to http://www.healthquarters.org/, call (719) 593-8694, or fax (719) 531-7884.
The ripe fruit of this cactus has been shown in some small studies to lower blood sugar levels. You may be able to find the fruit in your grocery store, but if not, look for it as a juice or powder at health food stores. Researchers speculate that the fruit may possibly lower blood sugar because it contains components that work similarly to insulin. The fruit is also high in fiber. Try these foods for the best diabetic diet.
"The oil serves many medicinal purposes, but one of the best-documented uses is for relaxation. The oil has a calming effect on people, and can be used to help induce sleep, ease frayed nerves, and promote a general sense of calmness and well being. It is great for those with nervousness or anxiety problems. Aside from having mental calming properties, chamomile is also good at relaxing sore muscles and tight joints.
Rational Therapeutics, run by Robert Nagourney, M.D. in Long Beach treats blood disorders and solid tumors. His approach is laboratory-based therapy utilizing short form (apoptotic) assays to identify active agents and eliminate inactive agents. Custom tailored, assay-directed therapy, to provide personal cancer strategies based on your tumor response in the laboratory. This eliminates much of the "guess work" prior to your undergoing the potentially toxic side effects of chemotherapy regimens. Contact info: 562-989-6455. Website: http://www.rationaltherapeutics.com/
Called ALA for short, this vitamin-like substance neutralizes many types of free radicals. A build-up of free radicals, caused in part by high blood sugar, can lead to nerve damage and other problems. ALA may also help muscle cells take up blood sugar. In a German study, a team of scientists had 40 adults take either an ALA supplement or a placebo. At the end of the four-week study, the ALA group had improved their insulin sensitivity 27 percent. The placebo group showed no improvement. Other studies have shown a decrease in nerve pain, numbness, and burning.
Licorice root is both an expectorant and demulcent, simultaneously soothing your airways while loosening and thinning mucous, easing congestion. It can also ease any inflammation that may be irritating your throat. Its main constituent, glycyrrhizin, is responsible for most of its effects. 30-50 times sweeter than sucrose (table sugar), it inhibits an enzyme 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (how would like you to write that on a name tag?) This enzyme regulates access of glucocorticoid (a steroid hormone) to steroid receptors, ultimately slowing the conversion of cortisol to cortisone. This increases the effect of cortisol and reducing inflammation. If you are on steroids, or have any problems with your kidneys, it is best to steer clear of licorice root.
Chop the ginger and add it along with the peppermint to 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat so that the liquid simmer. Simmer until the liquid has been reduced by half, than strain. Let it cool slightly, and then stir in 1 cup of honey until it has been dissolved completely. Bottle and take 1 tablespoon every few hours as needed to ease your cough. Keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
Chickweed is probably best know for it's ability to relieve itchy skin, and is used a lot in treatments for eczema, nettle rash, and bug bites. A simple chickweed slave can be made by mixing olive oil, chickweed, beeswax, and lavender for fragrance. Finely chop the chickweed and let it sit and dry for about 24 hours. Then you'll want to mix an equal amount of the chickweed and olive oil and blend the mixture for around 20 seconds. Next place the mixture in a metal dish suspended above another metal dish with water in it. Heat the water in the bottom dish to a boil, don't let the bottom of the top dish touch the water this could allow the mixture to get too hot. Stir the mixture frequently then strain through a cheese cloth. Then using the same method melt the beeswax and add the infused oil, stir to combine and then remove. The salve can be put in a jar for later use.
Over the years, I have been given a lot of different advice as well, so when I heard about Dr. Budwig’s protocol I too was very skeptical, until I tried it. Numerous, independent clinical cancer studies published in major medical journals world-wide confirm Dr. Budwig’s findings. Over 40 years ago, Dr. Budwig presented clear and convincing evidence, which has been confirmed by hundreds of other related scientific research papers since, that the essential fatty acids were at the core of the answer to the cancer problem.
Plantain is quite possibly one of the first herbs to make its way to America from Europe. Originally brought over by the Puritan colonists plantain was called "white man's footprint" by the native Americans because of its ability to thrive where ever the new colonists had planted it. Plantain grows world wide now often thought of as a weed, it does however have some powerful medicinal benefits that shouldn't go unnoticed. Plantains ability to heal wounds such as cuts, burns, and swelling have been noted all the way back to medieval Europe. In addition to being a powerful wound healer plantain also shows promising results for treating ailments such as edema, jaundice, ear infections, ringworm, and shingles. The main constituents responsible for plantain's healing properties are aucubin, allatonin, mucilage, flavonoids, caffeic acid, and alcohols found in the wax of plantain's leaves. All these combine to make it a must have in your herbal first aid kit.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best herbs that lower blood sugar, along with a few spices thrown in, to give you a more comprehensive list. Please note that while we normally do not use animal studies to support any dietary supplement, several herbs like garlic and ginger are considered ‘food’ and so, are used traditionally by cultures across the world in their daily diet for their additional medical benefits. So human lab research studies on these are not always available. You can check all available studies under ‘References’ at the end of the article.
Toxin theory of cancer: In this idea, the body's metabolic processes are overwhelmed by normal, everyday byproducts. These byproducts, called "toxins", are said to build up in the cells and cause cancer and other diseases through a process sometimes called autointoxication or autotoxemia. Treatments following this approach are usually aimed at detoxification or body cleansing, such as enemas.
Health Dimensions Clinics located in West Columbia and Spartanburg, South Carolina are run by James Shortt, M.D. The Clinics feature Hormone Modulation, Immune Enhancement, Sports Medicine, Oxidative Medicine, Chelation Therapy, Neural Therapy, Kinesiology, Live Blood Analysis and Longevity and cancer treatments. He uses Oxidative Therapy, Chelation Therapy, DMSO, beta glucan, enzymes, and transfer factors as part of his therapy. (803) 755-0114
Cayenne was used by Native Americans as a pain reliever and to halt infections. It was also used for toothache, arthritis and to aid digestion. This herb has anti-bacterial properties, can stimulate blood flow and is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many people consume cayenne to maintain cardiovascular health. Studies suggest that it may be able to reduce triglyceride levels and platelet aggregation in the blood.
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.
We live in a world of cancer causing products. They are in conventional food, the water, the air, in our clothing, our automobiles, our homes, the office equipment we use, and in the phones that we use for communication. There is great wisdom in taking reasonable precaution against the factors that can contribute to cancer formation. Sometimes an individual factor may not be a serious risk, but when many factors are combined, they could put a high level of stress on your body and open the door for cancer growth. There are many other factors that could contribute to cancer growth, but the items listed here will be a good starting point.
Ahmad Shamim, M.D. in Laurel, MD also treats heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, digestive disorders, yeast-related illnesses, and multiple sclerosis. He uses cleansing, detoxification, immune enhancement, herbals, enzymes, diet, glandulars, supplements, and immune stimulators. Phone: 410-792-0333. We have heard some good things about him.
Garlic another herb commonly used in the kitchen also has its place here in our list of herbs. Garlic has been used for thousands of years and was thought to increase strength and stamina, it was used by the first Olympic athletes of Greece which very well could make it one of the first performance enhancing substances. From vampires to witches garlic was also used to ward off evil entities, in spells and charms. In the Middle Ages monasteries would grow garlic to treat digestive, kidney, and breathing issues. During World War II the Russians reportedly ate a lot of garlic and some say it helped keep them alive through the hard times. Today a lot of the use garlic get is to treat and prevent heart disease, regulate cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure and strengthen the immune system. Garlic grows well all over the world where vegetable gardens can be made. Even grown indoors garlic can do quite well, you can actually take a clove of garlic and grow an entire garlic plant from that one clove. The next time you're at the grocery store buy some garlic, take one of the cloves and plant in some moist soil with the pointed end up. Continue to regularly water the clove and in no time at all you'll have a nice garlic plant. Garlic is perhaps one of the most important and often overlooked medicinal herbs on the planet, which is why I had to include it into our list of herbs.
Comfrey's use dates back centuries to at least the time of the ancient Greeks. During the Middle Ages comfrey was a widely cultivated herb found extensively in the gardens of monasteries. Throughout the 1700's and 1800's comfrey was also a popular herb grown in many gardens across Europe as well as America. Sometime during the late 1970's however research revealed that comfrey when taken internally can cause severe liver damage so it has lost popularity and internal use is even banned in many countries. Applications in the from of ointments, poultices, or creams are still considered safe though. Comfrey can still be found growing wild in central Europe, and the eastern United States as well as a few western states.
Peppermint leaves are well known for their healing properties. Menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus. You can benefit by drinking peppermint tea or by inhaling peppermint vapors from a steam bath. To make a steam bath, add 3 or 4 drops of peppermint oil for every 150 milliliters of hot water. Drape a towel over your head, and take deep breaths directly above the water.
Lavender is probably best noted for its fragrance and is a great herb to use for a stressful day. The lavender is commonly used in soaps, detergents, or just as an essential oil due to the calming effects it produces from the fragrance. Lavender is also commonly used in teas for the same reason. The history of lavender is quite long stretching back about 2500 years to the Mediterranean. Today it is mostly grown for its uses as an essential oil. In addition to brewing tea with lavender it also ha many other culinary types of uses, lavender can add a floral type of taste with a little sweetness. It works great in some seafood, soups, salads, and baked goods.
Aside from being a great herb for the kitchen basil has a place as an herbal medicine as well. One reason I really like the basil plant is the fact that it's super easy to grow, you just need to be sure you water it from time to time. It's a very aromatic herb too having kind of a licorice smell and taste as well. One cool thing that I found you can do with basil is cloning it. Sounds crazy right? It actually is pretty easy all you have to do is find the plant you wish to clone (the parent plant) and trim about 3-4 inches down from the top of a stem. You'll want to make sure you make the cut just above a node. This area will be where a leaf attaches to the body of the stem and is where new growth takes place. Then you simply remove the lower leaves of the cut so that you're left with a stem containing 4-6 leaves on the top. After that you simply just need to place the cut into a shallow dish of water and wait for roots to sprout, then you simply just plant the new basil clone into some soil. To speed up the root growth I've found that applying a rooting hormone and some honey to the end of the stem helps a lot. As I mentioned above basil has a place as an herbal medicine so let's take a look at the properties of the basil plant that we can use.