Herbal Medicines & Remedies

With modern-day medicine being entrenched in its world and methods of healthful living being looked at as veritable spokes on a wheel that go in many different directions, it all has validity even when you look at the order of herbal medicines. Although, many of these medicines may not have the popularity of what is referred to as eastern medicine and may not seem as practical as traditional medicine in the West. Food can be looked at to improve health, but it’s more than just hard to find supplements, tinctures, and apothecaries. It’s important to see food as medicine and not just being healthy. As a disclaimer, consult with your doctor before using these herbal medicines.

This article will explore the popularity and actual benefits and uses of 9 remarkable herbal medicines that can be taken in different forms, which will also be mentioned.

 

Turmeric just of its popularity has become a household remedy for its various immune-boosting properties. Its scientific name is Curcuma Longa, and its historical use has been well-founded. In India, in 500 BCE, Tumeric was used in Ayurvedic medicine, a form of natural healing that is still used throughout India.

What does Turmeric have that makes it a powerful and healing herb? It has a chemical compound called Curcumin, a natural treatment against many types of inflammatory issues within the gut and can help with heart health and possibly slow and or prevent cognitive decline, according to some studies. As a supplement, Turmeric is used mainly for arthritis pain. But, with high doses of a Turmeric supplement, some side effects can occur, which are mild. These include headache, diarrhea, and skin irritation.

 

  • Ginger

Ginger is a very well-known spice that can protect the immune system. It shares similarities in how it grows, which is as a rhizome. It is a root-type plant that grows underground. It can be taken in the form of a tea or supplement, which is less intense in flavor and taste than if you were to eat it raw. Regardless of what form you choose to eat, it’s pretty effective in treating colds, nausea, and high blood pressure and can even be used to treat and recover from cancer and chemotherapy.

The history of Ginger is rich in many cultures around the world and has been most prevalent in Asian countries. Its earliest use in recorded history was during China’s Warring States period (475-221 BC). It was taken from the written Analects of Confucius, and he can be quoted as saying that he ate Ginger every day with every meal. This proves that the use of Ginger in ancient times was not only used as a supplement but also eaten with regularity. Compared to more modern uses where it is used in cooking and for medicinal purposes and has few side effects if any, heartburn or diarrhea.

 

  • St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is used only for medicinal purposes and is harvested from a flowering plant called Hypericum perforatum. It’s important to make this distinction because the plant is not all edible; only the buds that grow from it are. Its typical use is for extracts and capsules, but it can also be used in teas.

Its use in history had gone back to ancient Greece but didn’t get the name St. John’s Wort until the eleventh century when it was named after John the Baptist as it was used by Catholic churches and used for purification rituals. Usually during the celebration of St. John’s birthday, which was during the changing seasons from Winter to Summer. It was also used for treating insomnia, alongside depression as well as, lung and kidney diseases.

Since ancient times St. John’s Wort has been used as a powerful treatment for depression that is mild to moderate. Although, some side effects may occur, such as allergic reactions, increased light sensitivity, dry mouth, confusion, and dizziness.

 

  • Elderberry

Elderberry is an ancient plant helpful in treating nerve pain, toothaches, viral infections, and headaches. The fruit itself is harvested from the Sambucus Nigra plant. It was most effective when cooked being used in the past. Compared to modern uses, it’s still used as a viral treatment for flu and cold symptoms. The current forms of fruit that are used today are tablets and syrups. It is even possible to make it as tea or homemade syrup.

Its uses during the middle ages and even in Greece were extraordinary in the past. Hippocrates claimed that Elderberry is “nature’s treasure chest.” One of its uses was a salve used to treat scalds and burns. Even in modern studies human use and consumption of Elderberry are shown to shorten flu infections. Although, if you take the fruit in its unripe and raw form, it is toxic and can cause symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

 

  • Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is native to China and is a fruit from the maidenhair tree. It is also known to have been used in Chinese traditional medicine for centuries. It is used very widely in teas as an herbal supplement, and tinctures are made from its seeds and leaves. The seeds can be eaten raw and are safe only in small quantities. In any form, Ginkgo contains antioxidant compounds that significantly prevent many chronic diseases.

Other modern uses include treatments for dementia, mental difficulties, and sexual dysfunction. Although, side effects would include skin reactions, digestive issues, heart palpitations, and an increased risk of bleeding. As far as its history goes being that it is still grown in China, it may have been hard to come by for centuries. Due to the fact it was protected by monks in Buddhist monasteries for centuries up until the 1600s. At that point, it had been discovered and was beginning to be reexamined by various scientists for a while. Engelbert Kemper was partially responsible for the tree’s rediscovery, and Ginkgo Biloba has since then circulated to other countries, possibly only in Europe.

 

  • Ginseng

Ginseng is a root plant with varieties native to both American and Asian countries. The most popular for medicinal use is Panax Quinquefolius and Panax Ginseng. Chinese medicine is best used for energy, has immunity-boosting properties, and even reduces inflammation. When the American type is used it is mostly used for relaxation. In both varieties, it can have anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties. Its benefits for long-term use are not well studied, but its side effects are poor sleep, headaches, and digestive issues.

In Indian history and culture and other Asian cultures, Ginseng was known as a god or godlike creature who is the brother of Soma within the Vedas (Ancient Indian Scripture). Even in Korea during ancient times, Ginseng gathering was an arduous but important profession. Many were hired by the Emperor or would freely go out and collect Ginseng roots as private gathers. They went by the name Va-Pang Suis. Ginseng has also been used within several Native American tribes and is used to cure headaches, croup, and wound treatment. The Creek Indians called it “White Medicine” It was used as a medicine and mixed with Ginger and alcohol to stop or mitigate fevers. Ginseng would even be chewed when traversing through a graveyard, and it was a Creek Indian custom to spit the chewed root in four different directions to ward off evil spirits.

Although in recent times Ginseng is more available and can be used as an extractor, can be taken in dried form, and can be found as a supplement in capsule form.

 

  • Echinacea

The Echinacea plant is an excellent herbal remedy that has been used in different forms as an herbal remedy. It is also called the coneflower and its leaves and roots can be used medicinally and are made into a tea or supplement. More information exists for short-term use and is considered safe to take for the common cold and flu.

Echinacea is underrated as an immune-boosting herbal medicine. It is also a go-to remedy for colds. Another specific example of how Echinacea can be used is how Native Americans would use the herb. Native Americans used it throughout North America to treat burns, wounds, and even toothaches. In the 18th & 19th-centuries, Echinacea was used in tinctures and was sold in varying quality by what is considered the “snake oil” salesmen. A trend that was started by Joseph Meyer.

 

  • Chamomile

This herb is a well-known plant that is derived from the Asteraceae or daisy family of flowers. Native to Europe and West Asia is a plant used around the world. It can be found and used as tea. First discovered and studied by Hippocrates in Ancient Greece, the Latin name for the plant was Matricaria recutita, which translates partially to the matrix (Latin for womb). It was administered as a treatment for reproductive system disorders and helped treat muscle spasms, insomnia, anxiety, gout, and a whole list of other ailments.

Modern uses include constipation, urinary tract infections, and upper respiratory infections. Other than teas, it can also be used as a topical compressor| or as an extract for food. Chamomile is safe for most people but may cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to ragweed, daisies, and marigold flowers.

 

  • Valerian

The popularity of Valerian comes from its ability to have a calming effect on whoever takes it. It would be dried and is usually steeped as a tea or put in capsules in many cases. The history of the Valerian plant went back to Greece and Rome and was readily used to treat headaches, tremors, and heart palpitations. Its modern uses are a sleep aid headache cure and can be put in various tinctures. It can cause mild side effects being digestive issues or headaches, and it cannot be taken while on sedatives of any kind.

 

Conclusion

Food can be looked at to improve health, but it’s more than just hard to find supplements, tinctures, and apothecaries. It’s important to see food as medicine and not just being healthy. As a disclaimer, consult with your doctor before using these herbal medicines.

Proven Natural Remedies That Most Doctors Don’t Know About

References:
–https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/herbal-medicine
–https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/turmeric-history/
–https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02815475
–https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger#History
–https://www.360okfarms.com/portfolio/elderberry-history-and-research/
–https://www.herballegacy.com/Holland_History.html
–https://wellnessjourneys.org/2019/06/05/the-history-of-echinacea/
–https://www.herbco.com/t-valerian-root.aspx