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.
Known for its immune-boosting and disease-fighting benefits, this Chinese herb has several positive diabetes studies behind it. Researchers have found that ginseng slows carbohydrate absorption; increases cells’ ability to use glucose; and increases insulin secretion from the pancreas. A team from the University of Toronto has repeatedly demonstrated that ginseng capsules lower blood glucose 15 to 20 percent compared to placebo pills. These are the best superfoods for people with diabetes.
Also known as pot marigold or poet's marigold, calendula is different than the common marigold that's usually seen in gardens. Unlike the common marigold calendula is edible and has very little scent. During medieval time in England the calendula herb was commonly used in stews, syrups, and breads. Calendula is also rather easy to start from seed and is able to adapt to many growing conditions making it an ideal herb to grow. The herb is found in many gardens all over the world for subarctic to tropic regions. Now let's take a look at the key medicinal uses that make calendula such a prized herb to have.
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.
As I mentioned before the whole dandelion plant can be used. The root has many beneficial medicinal properties in the digestive system such as the stomach, liver, and pancreas. The dandelion root helps to increase digestive secretions and has also showed capabilities of stabilizing blood sugar levels. The leaf of the dandelion herb primarily acts on the kidneys helping with fluid clearance and even weight loss. Dandelion leaves are a common choice for those looking to lower blood pressure too. When combined with other herbs it works to effectively relieve skin problems such as acne, boils, and eczema.
Lavender oil has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents.9 This oil is rich in esters, which are aromatic molecules with antispasmodic (suppressing spasms and pain), calming, and stimulating properties. The chief botanical constituents of lavender oil are linalyl acetate, linalool (a non-toxic terpene alcohol that has natural germicidal properties), terpinen-4-ol, and camphor. Other constituents in lavender oil that are responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties include cis-ocimene, lavandulyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, and geraniol.
American ginseng is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance which is good for the body in general and protects against stress of all types. This type of ginseng has been used to strengthen the immune system, increase strength and stamina, treat digestive disorders, treat diabetes, treat ADHD and as a general tonic for wellness. Many people believe that the best American ginseng comes from the state of Wisconsin in the U.S. American ginseng is considered a cooling ginseng, where Korean ginseng has a more warming effect on the body.
If you're looking to use neem as a skin toner, simply boil around 20 neem leaves in half a liter of water, once the leaves become soft and discolored and the water turns green you can strain them. Keep the liquid in a bottle and when you're ready to use it just take a cotton ball wet it down with the liquid and apply it to your face. This will prevent acne and blackheads from occurring. You can also use it to prevent skin infections simply by adding a little to your bath water.
^ 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.
In addition, garlic may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.6 This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume.
Eating a clove or two of fresh garlic a day may indeed keep the doctor away, in part because it has immune-boosting, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal effects. Many of garlic's therapeutic effects are derived from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it its characteristic smell. In general, garlic's benefits fall into four main categories:
Pregnancy: It is best to avoid taking any herbs during pregnancy, especially the first trimester, unless you’re under the care of a knowledgeable practitioner. Exceptions: it’s considered safe to take up to 1,000 mg of ginger in capsule or candied forms for morning sickness; short-term use of echinacea also seems safe for pregnant women who develop colds or flu.
It’s not just easy, but also tasty to add spices and herbs that lower blood sugar to your diet. Most of these can be used in everyday recipes. If you are looking for inspiration on how to start cooking with these, try out these recipes from our recipe section – Mushroom-stuffed Turkey, Stuffed Peppers, Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Pizza, Courgette Carrot & Tomato Frittata, Moussaka, Vegetable Stir Fry, and Roasted Butternut Squash
Burdock was used by the ancient Greeks to treat wounds and infections. This herb is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals and is often used to treat liver and digestive problems, urinary tract infections, ulcers, eczema, psoriasis and to boost energy and stamina. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and makes a good immune system booster and blood purifier.
It seems that every day modern medicine is telling us to take more prescription drugs. Yes, there’s a drug for everything. While some drugs are very useful and do save lives, there is a limit to how many of these the body can withstand. I believe that taking herbs whenever possible is the better and more healthy way to go. There are many herbs that work as well or better than prescription medicine for certain conditions. An example would be taking ginger rather than Dramamine. In scientific tests, ginger was found to be more effective in preventing motion sickness.
Making creams, lotions, ointments, salves and soaps are the most common ways to use the calendula herb. Calendula has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions and infections in some minor wounds. The calendula herb can also be taken orally to help ease upset stomachs, ulcers and fevers as well. Most often you will see calendula applied externally to treat minor cuts, burns, bug bites and more. If you're using it to treat digestive disorders using the petals to make a tea or tincture is a great way to treat peptic ulcers and gastrointestinal infection. It's recommended that you take 3-5 grams a day to help ease these digestive disorders.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) is used in Native American and North American traditional folk herbal medicine. It is an immune system and lymphatic system booster. It's often combined with antimicrobial goldenseal to create an immune powerhouse. Dry mouth or lack of saliva can be treated with Echinacea. It's used in powder or tincture form. Some people may suffer from side-effects or allergic reactions. Some prescription drugs can interact with echinacea, so check with your doctor or medical professional before taking.
The cancer industry is probably the most prosperous business in the United States. In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. $6 billion of tax-payer funds are cycled through various federal agencies for cancer research, such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI states that the medical costs of cancer care are $125 billion, with a projected 39 percent increase to $173 billion by 2020.
Boswellia has been used in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India for over 2,000 years. Ancient healers used it to treat conditions such as asthma, fevers, cardiovascular disorders, rheumatism, and diabetes. Today, this herb is mostly used to treat inflammation and pain of the joints. The tree’s resin contains boswellic acid that acts as a 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) inhibitor.
Sage also has some medicinal properties like most of its fellow culinary herbs. It has traits that allow it to ease sore throats as well as coughs and colds. Sage was used in Egypt during ancient times to ward off evil, snakebites and to increase the fertility in women and in India sage was used to treat sore throats and indigestion. Sage has been grown in herb gardens and kitchens since medieval times when the Romans introduced it to Europe. Today sage can be found in a wide variety of natural products being sold. This makes sage a great herb for preppers because it means they too can make these natural products. Deodorants are often made from sage because of its antiperspirant properties, and mouthwashes are common due to sage's ability to kill bacteria.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is used to treat a wide range of illnesses. Rosemary oil used to treat headaches and muscle spasms. It is also a detox, mouthwash disinfectant, and used to improve memory. If you suffer from pulmonary edema or take lithium, warfarin or lasix (diuretic) or other medications, don't take rosemary oil or other form. Avoid if you're pregnant. Long-term use can negatively impact sperm production.
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.
Stellaria media Common chickweed It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases. 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists prescribe it for iron-deficiency anemia (for its high iron content), as well as for skin diseases, bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain.
The reason that patients using alternative treatments die sooner may be because patients who accurately perceive that they are likely to survive do not attempt unproven remedies, and patients who accurately perceive that they are unlikely to survive are attracted to unproven remedies. Among patients who believe their condition to be untreatable by evidence-based medicine, "desperation drives them into the hands of anyone with a promise and a smile." Con artists have long exploited patients' perceived lack of options to extract payments for ineffectual and even harmful treatments.
So when a person has multiple rounds of chemotherapy and everyone is pleased because the tumor is shrinking, do not get too excited because what is usually happening is a killing of the non-stem cell and a production of a more aggressive growing cancer stem cell that is drug resistant. The term is MDR or multiple drug resistance. This is similar to when a person takes too many antibiotics and the bacteria grow stronger and more antibiotic resistant. The same happens with cancer stem cells. This is why people see a shrinking of tumors but then the cancer can return worse than ever before. This is because they did not change the internal environment to make it one that promotes health but instead they tried to kill their cancer cells.