Even though it's more of a spice than an herb I couldn't help but include turmeric in the list of herbs. Turmeric has a long standing tradition in Hinduism and is associated with purity and cleansing. Still today Hindu brides will take part in a ceremony where they will cover their faces in a turmeric paste before taking their vows. Marco Polo once described turmeric as being a vegetable with qualities resembling that of saffron. It wasn't until about the mid 20th century when people from the west started to recognize turmeric for its medicinal benefits. Curcumin is the main ingredient found in turmeric that gives it these benefits, the concentration of curcumin in turmeric is around 3% this is why it is more beneficial to take an extract of turmeric.
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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:
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.
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.
In nutritional ketosis, the concentrations of ketone bodies will be in a range of 0.5 to 5.0 mM. This level of ketosis is not dangerous. It is the human body’s normal reaction to reduced carbohydrate availability. This is the condition that many people experience on an annual basis in parts of the world where food availability is limited during certain times of the year. It is also the condition that occurs with people who use periodic abstinence from food (fasting) as part of their religious practices.
Ground cinnamon is very safe, the volatile oils can however cause a skin rash. Small amounts of coumarin can be found in Cassia and other cinnamons, generally only large doses of this compound will cause blood-thinning and liver problems, but it's something to be aware of. Also if you're planning on having surgery you should stop the use of cinnamon at least one week before going in as it has a blood thinning effect. You should also take care to monitor your blood sugar to avoid an unsafe drop in blood pressure.
^ Gilani A.H. "Focused Conference Group: P16 - Natural products: Past and future? Pharmacological use of borago officinalis", Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. Conference: 16th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. WorldPharma 2010 Copenhagen Denmark. Publication: (var. pagings). 107 (pp 301), 2010. Date of Publication: July 2010.
Conventional cancer treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and often surgical removal of malignant tumors. But awareness is on the rise about the harsh side effects associate with these first two options along with their inability to bring about their true desired outcome. With cancer on the sharp rise, patients are demanding treatments and therapies that work in accordance with the body to revitalize it and not further poison it.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is usually taken as a tea to relax and calm a nervous system. Catnip can help ease a chronic cough, help you fall asleep and as a digestive aid. Some moms use catnip for colic babies or infants' teething. Moms also use catnip in tincture form at bedtime to help restless children sleep. Always check with your child's pediatrician or other medical practitioner before giving to your baby or child.
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.
Clubmoss has been used by ancient healers for over two thousand years. The druids used this plant as a laxative and purgative. Native Americans used it to treat postpartum pain, fever, weakness and to stop the bleeding of wounds. Today, clubmoss is used for kidney and urinary disorders, stomach upset, diarrhea and for treating skin conditions. This plant contains a substance called Huperzine which may be effective for memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease. More studies on clubmoss have to be done to determine it’s safety and effectiveness in this area.
Chamomile is very common in the form of a tea, it's simple to make a home too. Pour one cup of boiling water over 1 teasopoon of dried chamomile. Allow the tea 5-7 minutes to steep, the longer you let the tea steep, the more powerful the calming effects will be. Chamomile capsules can also be found and are a quick and easy way to get the benefits of Chamomile. Making a topical cream from chamomile is also a great way to relieve the symptoms of eczema, in fact it has been shown that a low dose of hydrocortisone cream showed the same results as that of the chamomile cream for treating eczema.
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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.
This treatment involves a naturally occurring substance that is found in certain nuts and seeds. Amygdalin is found in apricot kernels, cherry pits, some apple seeds, and a special type of almond seed called “bitter almond.” (Regular almonds do not contain amygdalin.) The bitter almond was the best source for amygdalin, but the USDA ordered all bitter almond trees to be destroyed, supposedly because of a concern about cyanide poisoning. (Amygdalin contains cyanide.)
This article is an introduction to the topic of alternative cancer treatments. If you have cancer or are trying to help someone who has cancer, then you should do thorough research before deciding which alternative therapy is best for you or others. You will need to spend time reading and studying if you are working on your own. If you are able to find other people who have already walked down the alternative cancer cure road, then you will be able to benefit from their experience and knowledge.
Dry air can particularly worsen a dry, irritating cough, so getting an air humidifier can be really useful! Alternatively, you can place a bowl of water on your radiator so that as it warms it releases moisture into the air. Just be careful that your home doesn’t get too humid, as this could cause damp and mould which aren't good for a cough either!
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.