This flowering plant has traditionally been used as a liver tonic, useful for detoxification and improving liver function. Dandelion is known as a stimulant that is typically used for kidney and liver disorders. It is also traditionally used to reduce the side effects of prescription drugs, as well as to treat infections, gallbladder problems, water retention and swelling.15 Dandelion greens, which you can prepare simply by blanching them in boiling water for 20 seconds to help remove their bitter flavor (they can also be added to vegetable juice), contain many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. They are a particularly good source of vitamin A and may also have cancer-fighting properties.
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Lycium fruit has been consumed for centuries in China for its sweet taste and health giving properties. The berries from the Lycium plant are one of the most nutritious foods on earth. Besides supplying many vitamins and minerals to the body, these berries are often eaten for their high antioxidant value. Eating Lycium berries every day is believed to keep a person healthy well into old age.
** Information on the traditional uses and properties of herbs are provided on this site is for educational use only, and is not intended as medical advice. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Many traditional uses and properties of herbs have not been validated by the FDA. If you have any serious health concerns, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs. **
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.
Revici Life Science Center, in New York, NY - Emanuel Revici, M.D., until he passed away ran the Revici Life Science Center in NY, NY. Dr. Korin took over until he passed away. It is run for awhile by Dr. Joseph Carozzi. It may now run by Dr. Revici's grandson. They use fatty acids and sterols, enzymes, high-dose selenium, dietary changes, and a "biologically guided" nontoxic chemotherapy. He recommends not taking high dose vitamins without checking how these shift the body's acid/alkaline balance. 212 252-1942
Preventive Medical Center of Marin, is in San Rafael. It is run by Elson M. Haas, M.D. He is a general family practitioner who also does preventive medicine, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and viral infections. He uses detoxification, osteopathy, nutrition, acupuncture, herbals, bodywork, and psychotherapy. The website is www.elsonhaas.com. Scott Anderson is semi-retired, but still works at the clinic. 415-472-2343
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.
Gymnema Sylvestre is a vine native to Central & South India. Used in traditional Indian medicine since the 6th century BC, the leaves of this plant contain ‘gymnemic acids’ that have the amazing ability to slow down the transport of glucose from the intestines to the bloodstream. Some scientists even believe that Gymnema Sylvestre extract can help repair and regenerate pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin!
The conventional cancer treatment system and the pharmaceutical companies that control it are dedicated to limiting the development of all other forms of cancer treatment. They have a chokehold on the development of alternative treatments, and they ruthlessly work together with the US FDA and various US government cancer research funding agencies to prevent new treatments from being approved for use by physicians. The reason is that most alternative cancer treatments are much less expensive than surgery, radiation, and chemo. They are also more effective and have many fewer (if any) unwanted side effects.
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.
Euterpe oleracea Açai Although açai berries are a longstanding food source for indigenous people of the Amazon, there is no evidence that they have historically served a medicinal, as opposed to nutritional role. In spite of their recent popularity in the United States as a dietary supplement, there is currently no evidence for their effectiveness for any health-related purpose.
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez has developed Individualized Nutritional Protocols for the treatment of cancer. He relies on various dietary formulas along with high doses of pancreatic enzymes. He does not believe there is a one size fits all diet for cancer. He has found that there are differences between types of cancer and some respond better to certain types of diets. For this reason, he requires a specific medical diagnosis prior to entering into his treatment program.
These seeds, used in Indian cooking, have been found to lower blood sugar, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce high cholesterol, according to several animal and human studies. The effect may be partly due to the seeds’ high fiber content. The seeds also contain an amino acid that appears to boost the release of insulin. In one of the largest studies on fenugreek, 60 people who took 25 grams daily showed significant improvements in blood sugar control and post-meal spikes.
Probably the best way to use witch hazel is to make a tonic with it. To do this you need a 1/2 lb of bark from the witch hazel tree, distilled water, and vodka. Mix the witch hazel and enough water to cover the bark by about 1-2 inches. Bring that to a boil and let it simmer for around 20 minutes with a lid on. After that remove the bark by straining it out and add half the volume of your tea in alcohol. So if you have 20 ounces of tea add 10 ounces of the alcohol. Thayers toner is also a great choice if you just want it pre-made it includes aloe vera in it as well.
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.
Cancer patients who choose alternative treatments instead of conventional treatments believe themselves less likely to die than patients who choose only conventional treatments. They feel a greater sense of control over their destinies, and report less anxiety and depression. They are more likely to engage in benefit finding, which is the psychological process of adapting to a traumatic situation and deciding that the trauma was valuable, usually because of perceived personal and spiritual growth during the crisis.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is usually taken as a tea to relax and calm a nervous system. Catnip can help ease a chronic cough, help you fall asleep and as a digestive aid. Some moms use catnip for colic babies or infants' teething. Moms also use catnip in tincture form at bedtime to help restless children sleep. Always check with your child's pediatrician or other medical practitioner before giving to your baby or child.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best herbs that lower blood sugar, along with a few spices thrown in, to give you a more comprehensive list. Please note that while we normally do not use animal studies to support any dietary supplement, several herbs like garlic and ginger are considered ‘food’ and so, are used traditionally by cultures across the world in their daily diet for their additional medical benefits. So human lab research studies on these are not always available. You can check all available studies under ‘References’ at the end of the article.
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.
In addition, garlic may be effective against drug-resistant bacteria, and research has revealed that as allicin digests in your body, it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts with dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound.6 This is one of the reasons why I named garlic as one of the top seven anti-aging foods you can consume.
Many therapies have been (and continue to be) promoted to treat or prevent cancer in humans but lack good scientific and medical evidence of effectiveness. In many cases, there is good scientific evidence that the alleged treatments do not work. Unlike accepted cancer treatments, unproven and disproven treatments are generally ignored or avoided by the medical community, and are pseudoscientific.
“Over 80 years ago, Nobel Prize-winner Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D., proved that a 35% reduction in oxygen caused any cell to either die or turn cancerous. American experiments from 1953 to 1955 confirmed the result.”  This principle is at the center of the work that Dr. Seyfried is doing with the ketogenic diet as it is used for cancer treatment as discussed in the previous section.
Aside from being a great herb for the kitchen basil has a place as an herbal medicine as well. One reason I really like the basil plant is the fact that it's super easy to grow, you just need to be sure you water it from time to time. It's a very aromatic herb too having kind of a licorice smell and taste as well. One cool thing that I found you can do with basil is cloning it. Sounds crazy right? It actually is pretty easy all you have to do is find the plant you wish to clone (the parent plant) and trim about 3-4 inches down from the top of a stem. You'll want to make sure you make the cut just above a node. This area will be where a leaf attaches to the body of the stem and is where new growth takes place. Then you simply remove the lower leaves of the cut so that you're left with a stem containing 4-6 leaves on the top. After that you simply just need to place the cut into a shallow dish of water and wait for roots to sprout, then you simply just plant the new basil clone into some soil. To speed up the root growth I've found that applying a rooting hormone and some honey to the end of the stem helps a lot. As I mentioned above basil has a place as an herbal medicine so let's take a look at the properties of the basil plant that we can use.
Sage is often referred to as the Throat Herb, with good reason. It has a rich history of being used for mouth and throat ailments. Making this strong tasting herb into an herbal syrup is a good way to get it down. Sage has a strong flavor and may be unpleasant-tasting for young children. To beat this taste you can mix it with other herbs of your choosing.
Angelica has traditionally been used for menopausal troubles, flatulence, appetite loss, digestive problems, respiratory ailments and arthritis. Like it’s Chinese counterpart Angelica sinensis (dong quai), this herb is used by many women for the reproductive system. It is believed to be a hormonal regulator and uterine tonic. Angelica tea is often used to treat PMS as well.
All about coughs and their causes Coughing is the fast expulsion of air from the lungs when the vocal chords are open, which gives a cough its characteristic sound. Find out here about why we cough, how we contract a cough, and when it might be wise to visit the doctor. Also, we give details on home remedies that might ease the symptoms of a cough. Read now
A 2005 study on the anti-diabetic effect of garlic in normal and lab-induced diabetic rats, published in the journal Phytomedicine, found that oral administration significantly decreased serum glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, urea, uric acid, creatinine, AST and ALT levels. While it increased serum insulin in diabetic rats, this was not so in the case of normal rats. It concluded that garlic must be considered as an excellent candidate for future human studies on diabetes mellitus. What’s better, garlic also helps reduce high cholesterol levels, a complication that diabetics often face. This makes it an excellent spice to use for in all recipes!
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^ Gilani A.H. "Focused Conference Group: P16 - Natural products: Past and future? Pharmacological use of borago officinalis", Basic and Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. Conference: 16th World Congress of Basic and Clinical Pharmacology. WorldPharma 2010 Copenhagen Denmark. Publication: (var. pagings). 107 (pp 301), 2010. Date of Publication: July 2010.
Laetrile, also called vitamin B17, is a synthesized version of the naturally occurring amygdalin. There were a number of doctors in the US who successfully treated cancer with Laetrile, but they were required to discontinue the practice, because they were using cancer treatments that were not approved by the US FDA. Some of these doctors moved to Mexico so that they could continue treating patients.
Making creams, lotions, ointments, salves and soaps are the most common ways to use the calendula herb. Calendula has been used for centuries to treat skin conditions and infections in some minor wounds. The calendula herb can also be taken orally to help ease upset stomachs, ulcers and fevers as well. Most often you will see calendula applied externally to treat minor cuts, burns, bug bites and more. If you're using it to treat digestive disorders using the petals to make a tea or tincture is a great way to treat peptic ulcers and gastrointestinal infection. It's recommended that you take 3-5 grams a day to help ease these digestive disorders.
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.
The next herb on our list is chamomile, this is another great herb with a wide array of uses. The Spanish name for this herb is manzanilla which simply means "little apple" it's no surprise that the Spanish people gave it this name. When the leaves and petals are bruised they give off a very distinct apple aroma. There are two main species chamomile German chamomile and Roman or English chamomile, they're all similar in there medicinal effects but the Roman or English species have a more pronounced aroma than the German variety. Both varieties are relatively easy to grow from seed, in fact if they are left to seed on there own you'll find that they have grown back the next spring.
There are actually several ways to use lemon balm making it a versatile herb both in the ailments it treats and the way it can be administered. Teas are a great way to gain the benefits of lemon balm. You can steep about 5 or 6 fresh leaves in a cup of water for six minutes and strain. Try adding some honey or stevia to sweeten the deal up and add a little mint for an extra layer of flavor. Tinctures, extracts, and ointments are all also widely available for lemon balm and all are quite effective.