Since herbs are food and not medicine, you can take them any time you want. Of course you wouldn’t want to take an energizing herb like ginseng right at bedtime or sedative herbs first thing in the morning. You can decide for yourself if you prefer to take herbs with or without a meal. Do what works best for you. Some herbs work better on an empty stomach. You’ll have to read the label on the supplement bottle to see what is the recommended way of taking them.
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.
A popular spice used in Indian cooking, and the main ingredient of ‘curry’ that has taken the world by storm, turmeric has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that all come together to help diabetics manage more stable blood sugar levels. It helps boost immunity and prevent infections that diabetics are often vulnerable to. Studies conducted on rats prove that curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is effective in reducing plasma glucose level and HbA1C as well as improving the lipid profile. Many diabetics also suffer from arthritis, since the sugar laden blood and inflammatory processes typical to diabetes often damage joints. Turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory abilities, also helps with these joint pains.
My personal favorite so far for promoting relaxation has got to be Valerian root. Like a lot of the others in this list of herbs Valerian was probably first used by the Greeks and Romans centuries ago. They used Valerian to treat disorders associated with the liver, urinary tract and digestive tract. Valerian was once used to treat people suffering from the plague. Your cat will love Valerian too! People use to use Valerian in sort of the same way we use catnip today. Some people said that you could judge the potency of the Valerian by the reaction the cat had to the herb. In addition to being a cat attractant rats are also found of the foul smell and it was once used in rat traps. Today Valerian root is most commonly found as a sleep aid and anxiety relief supplement.
Health Quarter Ministries in Colorado Springs is run by Dr. David Frahm, who wrote the book "A Cancer Battle Plan". They offer a 10 day detox retreat, as they believe proper nutrition heals the body at the cellular level, but before nutritional changes can be effective, detoxing the system must take place. There is a very strong "spiritual" aspect to their program. For information, go to http://www.healthquarters.org/, call (719) 593-8694, or fax (719) 531-7884.
Thyme is a fragrant herb that makes a wonderful addition to your cooking, in part because it is rich in antioxidants. Thyme contains health-boosting flavonoids including apigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin, and has been shown to protect and increase the percentage of healthy fats found in cell membranes. As reported by the George Mateljan Foundation:12 "In particular, the amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid) in brain, kidney, and heart cell membranes was increased after dietary supplementation with thyme."
Rhodiola rosea is very popular with Russian astronauts and athletes due to its ability to enhance physical strength and endurance. Also, taking rhodiola will allow the body to use less oxygen on a cellular level. Besides its beneficial effects on the body, this herb is often used to keep the mind sharp and improve memory. It is now gaining popularity as a natural anti-depressant. Rhodiola is considered an adaptogen. This means that it helps protect the body from all types of stress.
The most common uses for Aloe would have to be for treating burns, wounds and skin conditions. This along with the ease of growing an Aloe plant make it an excellent choice to have in your herbal first aid kit. The real magic of the Aloe Vera plant comes from the gel inside the leaves, to extract this all you need to do is take a knife and take off the thick skin on the outside of the leaf. The part you're after is the clear inner gel, sometimes referred to as the inner fillet, because you're sort of filleting the leaf. When used on minor burns you should run the affected area under cool water for about ten minutes before applying the Aloe gel. Continue to apply the gel several times per day for both burns and skin conditions. If you're using the Aloe gel for lowering blood sugar levels take about one tablespoon daily (be sure to use an aloe gel that's free of aloin if taking orally).
Chamomile is most popular in tea form for use to calm upset stomach and help support restful sleep. Germany's Commission E (a government organization) has even approved the use of chamomile for reducing swelling on your skin and fighting bacteria. Chamomile is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also has antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-allergenic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties. It is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, diaper rash, slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and gum inflammation,13 and according to Herb Wisdom may also be useful for the following conditions:14
Pacific Center for Naturopathic Medicine in Bellingham is run by Rachelle Herdman, N.D., M.D. They treat cancer and autoimmune, neurological, cardiovascular, digestive disorders, and chronic fatigue. They use nutrition, diet, Ayurveda, homeopathy, botanical medicine and teas, herbal tinctures, plant extracts, and a variety of supplements. Second location in Canada. Phone: 360-734-0045.
We live in a world where prescription medicine is getting more and more expensive as well as controversial. Alternative medicine is gaining momentum and with good reason! The same is true for treatments for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that can reverse diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes, natural supplements that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and also herbs that lower blood sugar. Not only are these alternative therapies safer, but they are also easier on your pocket, on your body and mind.
It seems that every day modern medicine is telling us to take more prescription drugs. Yes, there’s a drug for everything. While some drugs are very useful and do save lives, there is a limit to how many of these the body can withstand. I believe that taking herbs whenever possible is the better and more healthy way to go. There are many herbs that work as well or better than prescription medicine for certain conditions. An example would be taking ginger rather than Dramamine. In scientific tests, ginger was found to be more effective in preventing motion sickness.
In the past, I have regarded herbs, in many cases, as a safer alternative to drugs, useful for treating various symptoms but not to treat the underlying cause. I have since revised my opinion on this quite significantly, and now realize that herbs can help support your health from a very basic level, just as foods do. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, you could walk into a drug store and find hundreds of herbal extracts for sale. Upwards of 90 percent of the population at that time knew how to use the medicinal plants growing in their backyards to treat common illnesses and injuries; they had too, as this was virtually the only "medicine" available.
Feverfew leaves (Tanacetum parthenium) are used as a tincture or a capsule. It's administered for migraine headaches and feverish chills. It is sometimes recommended for arthritis. Older traditional medicine required patients to chew the leaves (can cause mouth ulcers), but many modern treatments use tinctures. Pregnant women should never use feverfew since it cause uterine contractions. Avoid if you suffer from stomach ulcers or gallbladder issues. If you suffer from ragweed allergies, avoid feverfew.
Dr. Michael Uzik, ND. works with Arizona Naturopathic Physicians in Tucson AZ treats a wide range of conditions, including HIV, cancer, MS, chrones, etc. using nutritional IVs, mistletoe, ambrozile (oleander), copper reduction therapy for anti-angiogenesis, chelation, diet, herbs, heavy metal detox, etc. He is also an ND for Southern AZ AIDS Foundation. He only sees patients if they are under the care of an oncologist. 520-546-2321.