I believe it's better to use mild remedies for minor health problems and save the more potent—and risky—prescription medications for more serious conditions. Here then, are my top 25 favorite healing herbs and their uses. All are safe and effective, but be sure to discuss any herbs you are taking with your doctor. Some herbal remedies (such as the antidepressant St. John's wort) can interact with medications.
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.
Alternative cancer treatments are alternative or complementary treatments for cancer that have not been approved by the government agencies responsible for the regulation of therapeutic goods. They include diet and exercise, chemicals, herbs, devices, and manual procedures. The treatments are not supported by evidence, either because no proper testing has been conducted, or because testing did not demonstrate statistically significant efficacy. Concerns have been raised about the safety of some of them. Some treatments that have been proposed in the past have been found in clinical trials to be useless or unsafe. Some of these obsolete or disproven treatments continue to be promoted, sold, and used. Promoting or marketing such treatments is illegal in most of the developed world including the United States and European Union.
Juicing – According to the Gerson Institute, “Fresh pressed juice from raw foods provides the easiest and most effective way of providing high quality nutrition.” The cancer-fighting protocol calls for patients to drink fresh vegetables each day, including raw carrots or apples and green-leaf juice. To preserve the nutritional content, the juice should be prepared hourly using a two-step juicer or a masticating juicer used with a separate hydraulic press. This helps prevent denaturation — when vitamins, minerals and enzymes are destroyed. (Most commercial juicers spin so fast that they heat up juice to the point they are basically pasteurized!)
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is necessary for the body’s overall health. Erratic blood sugar levels can affect the body’s ability to function normally and even lead to complications if left unchecked. Some herbs and spices found in nature do a tremendous job of naturally lowering blood sugar levels, making them a boon for diabetics and pre-diabetics. What’s more, being nature’s multi-taskers, herbs and spices also produce overall health benefits beyond just helping balance blood sugar.
Native Americans and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) use this common weed as a great digestive tonic and bladder curative. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) helps stimulate the kidneys to increase urine production, which helps flush out your urinary tract. Dandelion tea is also used for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and often referred to an anti-diabetic plant and anti-hyperglycemic. It is also used as a treatment for atherosclerosis.
The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. When it is used as a cancer treatment, it is called a restricted ketogenic diet. The restriction means that the number of calories is limited and the amount of carbohydrate is extremely low. This diet brings about important changes in the ways cells in the body are nourished.
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:
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Centers for Integrative and Complementary Medicine in New York is run by Dr. Dr. Fred Pescatore, who has worked along side Dr. Atkins. Dr. Pescatore treats patients with AIDS, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, and cancer—in addition to addressing more common concerns such as diet and nutrition—by employing a combination of both alternative and traditional medicines. 212-779-2944.
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.
Another popular ingredient in the Indian spice rack, curry leaves help to stabilize blood glucose levels and impact carbohydrate metabolism. An Indian study published in International Journal of Development Research studied in detail the effects curry leaves have on diabetes type 2. According to the research data, curry leaves contain a phytochemical that can help control blood sugar level in patients with Diabetes type 2 by reducing fasting and postprandial blood sugar level. Diabetic rats given a dose of about 12gm /day for a month revealed that curry leaves may treat diabetes by influencing carbohydrate metabolism and improving liver and kidney function. Also, the amazing antioxidant properties of curry leaves can boost pancreatic cell production, thereby improving insulin function.
Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.
^ Vuksan, V; Jenkins, DJ; Spadafora, P; Sievenpiper, JL; Owen, R; Vidgen, E; Brighenti, F; Josse, R; et al. (1999). "Konjac-mannan (glucomannan) improves glycemia and other associated risk factors for coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes. A randomized controlled metabolic trial". Diabetes Care. 22 (6): 913–9. doi:10.2337/diacare.22.6.913. PMID 10372241.
Used by the ancient Egyptians for fever and chills, chamomile is still in wide use today. This plant is used for colic, indigestion, flatulence, bloating heartburn and to calm nervousness. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. Some people suffering from peptic ulcers find relief from drinking chamomile tea.
Since herbs are food, there are generally no dangerous side effects of using them in there natural state. If they are herbal extracts, they are more potent then the raw herb and should be taken in smaller doses to get the desired effects. Some herbs have a cleansing and detoxifying effect on the body and can cause diarrhea and nausea if taken in large quantity. Don’t worry. It’s good to cleanse the body of toxins. Just start off slowly and you’ll get the best long term results.
My wife never left the position of being a passive participant in the healthcare system. She refused chemotherapy and its unwanted side effects, but she was unwilling to aggressively seek out alternative treatment. She did accept some alternative therapies that I could administer at home. But she would not use programs that would require intensive intervention. In part, she expected to be encouraged by her doctors to seek alternative treatment, and of course, such encouragement never came.
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.
Verma, N., Meena, N. K., Majumdar, I., & Paul, J. (2017, December 30). Role of bromelain as herbal anti-inflammatory compound using in vitro and in vivo model of colitis. Journal of Autoimmune Disorders, 3(52). Retrieved from http://autoimmunediseases.imedpub.com/role-of-bromelain-as-herbal-antiinflammatory-compound-using-in-vitro-and-in-vivo-model-of-colitis.php?aid=21395