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.
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.
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.
There are two kinds of diabetes. People with type 1 must inject insulin into the body regularly. Using herbs or supplements may reduce the symptoms or side effects of type 1, but people should introduce these slowly, with careful medical supervision and monitoring of blood sugar. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. A person with this condition will always have to take some form of insulin.
Dr. Michael Uzik, ND. works with Arizona Naturopathic Physicians in Tucson AZ treats a wide range of conditions, including HIV, cancer, MS, chrones, etc. using nutritional IVs, mistletoe, ambrozile (oleander), copper reduction therapy for anti-angiogenesis, chelation, diet, herbs, heavy metal detox, etc. He is also an ND for Southern AZ AIDS Foundation. He only sees patients if they are under the care of an oncologist. 520-546-2321.