In a survey of American cancer patients, baby boomers were more likely to support complementary and alternative treatments than people from an older generation. White, female, college-educated patients who had been diagnosed more than a year ago were more likely than others to report a favorable impression of at least some complementary and alternative benefits.
In Europe, apothecaries stocked herbal ingredients for their medicines. In the Latin names for plants created by Linnaeus, the word officinalis indicates that a plant was used in this way. For example, the marsh mallow has the classification Althaea officinalis, as it was traditionally used as an emollient to soothe ulcers. Ayurvedic medicine, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine are other examples of medical practices that incorporate medical uses of plants. Pharmacognosy is the branch of modern medicine about medicines from plant sources. Plants included here are those that have been or are being used medicinally, in at least one such medicinal tradition.
In my opinion, when you find a certain therapy being criticized as being unproven quackery, then that is a pretty good sign that the alternative therapy is effective and safe. Big pharma would not waste their time preparing reports designed to warn people against using an alternative therapy unless that therapy is effective and has the potential for being a threat to their monopoly.
These phytochemicals are divided into (1) primary metabolites such as sugars and fats, which are found in all plants; and (2) secondary metabolites – compounds which are found in a smaller range of plants, serving a more specific function. For example, some secondary metabolites are toxins used to deter predation and others are pheromones used to attract insects for pollination. It is these secondary metabolites and pigments that can have therapeutic actions in humans and which can be refined to produce drugs—examples are inulin from the roots of dahlias, quinine from the cinchona, morphine and codeine from the poppy, and digoxin from the foxglove.
Peppermint leaves are well known for their healing properties. Menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus. You can benefit by drinking peppermint tea or by inhaling peppermint vapors from a steam bath. To make a steam bath, add 3 or 4 drops of peppermint oil for every 150 milliliters of hot water. Drape a towel over your head, and take deep breaths directly above the water.
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.
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.
Hoxsey Therapy is a mixture of herbs which cures cancer. It began to be sold in 1920s by Mr. Harry Hoxsey. Mr. Hoxsey said that the treatment came from his great-grandfather, who observed a horse with a tumor on its leg cure itself by grazing upon certain wild plants. John Hoxsey gathered these herbs and mixed them with other folk remedies that were used for cancer. The therapy aims to restore physiological normalcy to a disturbed metabolism throughout the body, and to help detoxify the consequences of cancer. At one point, Mr. Harry Hoxsey had 17 clinics located in the United States. He was shut down by the US FDA. A clinic now exists in Mexico.
^ 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.
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.
If you put garbage on your driveway it will attract flies. How many cans of fly spray will it take to kill all the flies? Infinite! The flies will always be attracted to the garbage no matter how many you kill there will always be more coming. How do you get rid of the flies? Remove the garbage and the flies will leave because they have no reason to be there anymore. In this analogy the flies are the cancer cells, the fly spray is chemotherapy and the garbage is the internal environment you have created with poor diet, lifestyle and stress. Change the environment and you can change the disease. Alternative cancer treatment must focus on changing the environment instead of trying to kill cancer cells.
Black pepper is the world’s most traded spice, but most of its use is limited to the culinary world. What people don’t know is that it can make a great remedy for coughs that are accompanied by a lot of mucous or chest congestion. If you’ve accidently leaned too close to black pepper while it’s being grinded, you know it can make you cough or tickle your nose. This may not be fun on a regular basis, but it’s a plus if you need to expel all the nasty stuff that’s gunking up your lungs. The honey adds its antibacterial properties, and it makes it so the pepper isn’t too irritating. You can make black pepper “syrup” with honey, or a tea, as below. If possible, use freshly ground black pepper, as the pre-ground pepper simply seems to lose some of its punch.
Valerian is another great herb that's used as a sedative. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) soothes anxiety and is often used as a sleep aid. Commonly doubled up with California poppy, it makes a powerful, but gentle sedative. Valerian can interact with medications and shouldn't be used without first checking with your doctor. Pregnant and lactating women shouldn't take valerian.
Generally garlic is safe when taken in a regular diet. There is a small risk that can occur however when eating large doses of garlic daily, taking more than 4 cloves per day can affect the bodies platelets hindering them from forming clots. You should reduce use of garlic around 2 weeks before having any type of surgery and if you're taking anticoagulant medications.
The nettle plant can actually be used in a variety of ways, teas, capsules, tinctures, and extracts are all great ways to get the benefits of the nettle. Capsules can be found and used to help manage hay fever symptoms, anywhere from 300 to 800 mg is generally the recommended dosage. Teas are often consumed to gain the strong diuretic effects that nettles have, because of this diuretic effect it has been used for things such as arthritis, prostate health, and high blood pressure.
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.)
^ Güllüce, M.; Sökmen, M.; Daferera, D.; Aǧar, G.; Özkan, H.; Kartal, N.; Polissiou, M.; Sökmen, A.; Şahi̇n, F. (2003). "In Vitro Antibacterial, Antifungal, and Antioxidant Activities of the Essential Oil and Methanol Extracts of Herbal Parts and Callus Cultures of Satureja hortensis L". J. Agric. Food Chem. 51 (14): 3958–3965. doi:10.1021/jf0340308. PMID 12822930.
An aromatic herb that is used commonly to add flavor and aroma to meats and soups, Rosemary also helps normalize blood sugar levels naturally. It promotes weight loss as well, which is a double boon for many diabetics who struggle with weight issues. A research conducted in Jordan to study the effects of rosemary on lipid profile in diabetic rats proved that rosemary has no significant influence on serum glucose level and lipid profile of normal rats. But when rosemary extract was administered to diabetic rats for 4 weeks, their blood sugar levels reduced by 20%, cholesterol levels by 22%, triglyceride levels by 24%, and LDL by 27% while HDL increased by 18% respectively. The study was published in African Journal of Plant Science Vol. 6 in 2012.
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.
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.