Ashwagandha is sometimes called “Indian ginseng” as it has many similar health properties. This herb is very popular in the Ayurvedic system of health in India. It is considered an adaptogen. It is commonly used to relieve stress and strengthen the immune system. It has the ability to strengthen the body and increase endurance. This herb has been used in India for over 3,000 years as a rejuvenator. The seeds of this plant are thought to have a diuretic effect, while the leaves possess anti-inflammatory, analgesic and sedative properties. The chemical components of the root have anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune strengthening and sedative properties. This is a great herb for athletes and active people that need to increase their energy, strength and stamina.
​Ginkgo Biloba has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. Probably first used by the Chinese, today it is used widely in both the United States and Europe. Ginkgo actually comes from the leaves of a the Ginkgo tree, while probably not an herb you would plant in your garden I still think it's a great herb to include in our list of herbs. Over the years Ginkgo Biloba has gained a reputation of being beneficial to the brain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center the two main constituents found in Ginkgo are flavonoids and terpenoids, both are antioxidants. Flavonoids have been shown to aid in the protection of nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Terpenoids are probably where ginkgo gains it's reputation for being beneficial to the brain, terpenoids help improve blood flow to the brain by dilating blood vessels and prevents platelets from sticking to each other.
​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.
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