Lycium fruit has been consumed for centuries in China for its sweet taste and health giving properties. The berries from the Lycium plant are one of the most nutritious foods on earth. Besides supplying many vitamins and minerals to the body, these berries are often eaten for their high antioxidant value. Eating Lycium berries every day is believed to keep a person healthy well into old age.
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.
Feverfew leaves (Tanacetum parthenium) are used as a tincture or a capsule. It's administered for migraine headaches and feverish chills. It is sometimes recommended for arthritis. Older traditional medicine required patients to chew the leaves (can cause mouth ulcers), but many modern treatments use tinctures. Pregnant women should never use feverfew since it cause uterine contractions. Avoid if you suffer from stomach ulcers or gallbladder issues. If you suffer from ragweed allergies, avoid feverfew.
Bilberry has been used for centuries by European healers to treat such things as stomach cramps, diarrhea and diabetes. Now bilberry is most often used to prevent night blindness. It seems to be able to strengthen the capillaries and protect them from free radical damage. This plant contains flavonoids called anthocyanosides. These are a powerful antioxidant. In the past, bilberry has also been used as a remedy for varicose veins, hemorrhoids and bruising.
Whenever this seasonal fruit is available in the market, try to include it in your diet as it can be very effective for the pancreas. Else you can make a powder of dried seeds of Jambul fruit and eat this powder with water twice a day. This fruit is native to India and its neighboring countries but you can find it at Asian markets and herbal shops.
According to studies, cinnamon may have a positive effect on the glycemic control and the lipid profile in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. This is because it contains 18% polyphenol content in dry weight. This popular Indian spice can improve insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. According to a study published in Journal Of The American Board Of Family Medicine, “cinnamon lowered HbA1C by 0.83% compared with standard medication alone lowering HbA1C 0.37%. Taking cinnamon could be useful for lowering serum HbA1C in type 2 diabetics with HbA1C >7.0 in addition to usual care.”
As you might have expected oregano has a lengthy list of ways you can use it in the kitchen. Those are all great ways but you can do other things with oregano other than adding it to a pasta dish. Make a tea from it, this is a great way to speed up the recovery time of an illness. Oregano oil that has been diluted in either coconut or olive oil can be applied topically to treat ringworm, athletes foot, and warts.
Paul, I. M., Beiler, J., McMonagle, A., Shaffer, M. L., Duda, L., & Berlin Jr, C. M. (2007, December). Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 161(12), 1,140–1,146. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/571638
Native Americans used black cherry as a medicinal herb to treat coughs. The bark from the black cherry tree was often made into a tea or syrup and used to expel worms, heal ulcers and treat burns. They also used it as a remedy for sore throat, pneumonia and lack of appetite. Black Cherry bark contains a glycoside called prunasin. This substance quells spasms in the smooth muscles of the bronchioles, thus reducing the cough reflex.
^ Valduga, Eunice; de Freitas, Renato João Sossela; Reissmann, Carlos B.; Nakashima, Tomoe (1997). "Caracterização química da folha de Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil. (erva-mate) e de outras espécies utilizadas na adulteração do mate". Boletim do Centro de Pesquisa de Processamento de Alimentos (in Portuguese). 15 (1): 25–36. doi:10.5380/cep.v15i1.14033. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26.
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.
Lightly bruise the thyme, e.g. with a mortar and pestle, and then place in a mug. Cover with 8 ounces of boiling water, cover, and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Add some lemon or honey to taste, and drink the whole thing. Repeat 2-3 times daily as needed. It’s absolutely delightful just before bedtime (unless you aren’t a fan of thyme. But drink some anyways.)
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.