Chinese medicine has been using cinnamon for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. It has been the subject of numerous studies to determine its effect on blood glucose levels. A 2011 study has shown that cinnamon, in whole form or extract, helps lower fasting blood glucose levels. More studies are being done, but cinnamon is showing promise for helping to treat diabetes.
Amygdalin is a glycoside. It consists of a molecule that combined glucose with cyanide. As discussed earlier, cancer cells must have glucose to survive. Thus, when the molecule of amygdalin enters a cancer cell, the molecule breaks apart and releases the cyanide. The cyanide then kills the cancer cell. The cyanide is not released in a healthy normally functioning cell, because a cancer cell contains a special enzyme, which must be present to release the cyanide. Thus amygdalin is harmless to a normal cell.
^ Akhondzadeh, S.; Noroozian, M.; Mohammadi, M.; Ohadinia, S.; Jamshidi, A. H.; Khani, M. (2003). "Salvia officinalis extract in the treatment of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease: A double blind, randomized and placebo-controlled trial". Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 28 (1): 53–9. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2710.2003.00463.x. PMID 12605619.
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^ Hamamelitannin from Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) Displays Specific Cytotoxic Activity against Colon Cancer Cells. Susana Sánchez-Tena, María L. Fernández-Cachón, Anna Carreras, M. Luisa Mateos-Martín, Noelia Costoya, Mary P. Moyer, María J. Nuñez, Josep L. Torres and Marta Cascante, J. Nat. Prod., Publication Date (Web): January 4, 2012, doi:10.1021/np200426k
Plantain has a pretty lengthy list of uses it can be used to treat acne by applying a salve or tincture to the area, crushing the leaves can make for an effective sunburn remedy. Just from these two uses alone you can see that plantain would make a great herb for any prepper, but the benefits of plantain don't stop there. The ability that plantain has for treating cuts and healing wounds makes it a great herb to know when in the wilderness and to keep in your herbal first aid kit. Plantain can also be used to treat colds, the flu, and respiratory infections by brewing a tea with it.
^ Prior, Ronald L.; Cao, Guohua; Martin, Antonio; Sofic, Emin; McEwen, John; O'Brien, Christine; Lischner, Neal; Ehlenfeldt, Mark; et al. (1998). "Antioxidant Capacity As Influenced by Total Phenolic and Anthocyanin Content, Maturity, and Variety ofVacciniumSpecies". Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 46 (7): 2686–93. doi:10.1021/jf980145d.
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.
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.