It comes as a surprise to many that clove is actually a flower bud, these buds have to be picked at just the right time. Before flowering the buds will turn a deep red and this is the ideal time to harvest your clove. Clove buds come from an evergreen bush with vibrant pink flowers and purple berries. The clove plant does best in warm and humid regions. The earliest written record of the use of clove as a medicinal herb is by the Han Dynasty in China around 300 B.C. Like cinnamon clove was a prized spice and once rivaled the value of oil. Now let's take a look and see what some of the key medicinal properties of clove is and how we can use this herb.
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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.
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.
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.
Like I mentioned earlier Ginkgo helps increase the blood flow to the brain, so it comes as no surprise that this herb can aid in cognitive function and memory. It has also been shown to help with symptoms associated with the central nervous system such as tinnitus and vertigo. The brain isn't the only place Ginkgo will increase circulation in fact the whole body from the toes to your head have increased circulation when taking the herb. Most commonly Ginkgo is taken orally via capsules, these can be found for a reasonable price at Walgreens, CVS or the like.
Maca is an adaptogen and helps the body cope with stress. This root is rich in vitamins, minerals, good fats, plant sterols and amino acids. Some people refer to it as a “superfood”. The people of Peru found that consuming maca root could greatly enhance physical strength and stamina as well as boost the libido. It’s a great overall energy booster and is popular with athletes. Maca is beneficial to the nervous system and is calming to the nerves. Today, this herb is mostly used for increasing energy and balancing the hormones.
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