In Dr. Weil’s view, the principle advantage of herbs is their complexity. Medicinal plants contain a wide array of chemical compounds, which gives them versatile therapeutic powers. For example, for Andean Indians, whole coca leaf is the number one medicinal plant. They use it to treat gastrointestinal disturbances; specifically, for both diarrhea and constipation. Its ability to treat two opposite disease states springs from the fact that coca contains 14 bioactive alkaloids, some of which stimulate the gut, while others inhibit gut activity. When the whole mixture enters the body, receptors in the gut’s tissues bind to the alkaloids that are needed for the body to return it to equilibrium.
We live in a world of cancer causing products. They are in conventional food, the water, the air, in our clothing, our automobiles, our homes, the office equipment we use, and in the phones that we use for communication. There is great wisdom in taking reasonable precaution against the factors that can contribute to cancer formation. Sometimes an individual factor may not be a serious risk, but when many factors are combined, they could put a high level of stress on your body and open the door for cancer growth. There are many other factors that could contribute to cancer growth, but the items listed here will be a good starting point.
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.
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Ginkgo Biloba has been used for thousands of years in herbal medicine. Probably first used by the Chinese, today it is used widely in both the United States and Europe. Ginkgo actually comes from the leaves of a the Ginkgo tree, while probably not an herb you would plant in your garden I still think it's a great herb to include in our list of herbs. Over the years Ginkgo Biloba has gained a reputation of being beneficial to the brain. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center the two main constituents found in Ginkgo are flavonoids and terpenoids, both are antioxidants. Flavonoids have been shown to aid in the protection of nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Terpenoids are probably where ginkgo gains it's reputation for being beneficial to the brain, terpenoids help improve blood flow to the brain by dilating blood vessels and prevents platelets from sticking to each other.
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: