The Most Powerful Herbs in the World: A Comprehensive Guide

Turmeric is without a doubt one of the most powerful herbs on the planet. It is from the ginger family and is mainly grown in India, China, and Indonesia. It contains several compounds with medicinal properties, such as curcumin, a powerful antioxidant that increases the body's antioxidant enzymes. Gingko is also one of the oldest homeopathic plants and a key herb in Chinese medicine.

The leaves are used to create capsules, tablets, and extracts, and when dried, they can be consumed as tea. It is perhaps best known for its ability to improve brain health and treat patients with mild to moderate dementia. Studies suggest that gingko may even slow cognitive decline in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb for 4,000 years and is a tentpole of an Indian alternative medicine practice called Ayurveda.

Studies have found that turmeric has anti-cancer properties and may prevent mutations. It also shows promise as a treatment for a variety of dermatological diseases and joint arthritis. Another powerful herb is evening primrose oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with conditions such as atopic dermatitis and diabetic neuropathy. It can also help with other health problems, such as breast pain.

Flax seed is one of the safest options among plant-based dietary supplements. Harvested for thousands of years, today flax seed is praised for its antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory benefits. Studies suggest that flax seed may help prevent colon cancer and lower blood pressure. When consumed, it can even help reduce obesity.

The best way to add flax seeds to your diet is by sprinkling ground seeds on cereals or salads, cooking in hot cereals, stews, homemade breads or milkshakes, or adding linseed oil to salad dressing. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of a tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Studies have found that tea tree oil has antimicrobial superpowers in wounds and topical infections. Wilson recommends that tea tree oil, like all essential oils, be diluted in a carrier oil.

It is often already diluted in a variety of skin care products and creams. Echinacea is much more than those beautiful purple flowers that you see dotting gardens. These flowers have been used for centuries as medicine in the form of teas, juices, and extracts. Nowadays, they can be taken as powders or supplements.

The most well-known use of echinacea is to shorten the symptoms of the common cold, but further studies are needed to verify this benefit and understand how echinacea increases immunity when there is a virus. In general, with the exception of some potential side effects, echinacea is relatively safe. Sage is a powerful herb with beautiful flowers and soft leaves that grows in home gardens. The stem, flower, and leaves of sage can effectively cure a number of diseases due to its high nutrient content and antioxidants.

Ashwagandha comes from the plant Withania somnifera, also known as ginseng from India and winter cherry from India. This evergreen shrub is native to Africa and Asia and grows in parts of the Middle East and India. Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties to increase energy levels, decrease anxiety and stress, reduce pain and inflammation, improve male sexual health by increasing testosterone levels in men, support erectile dysfunction, increase libido (sexual desire), improve sexual pleasure, and more. Ashwagandha is available in the form of capsules, tincture, powder as a dietary supplement or mixed with honey, ghee or water.

Most people don't immediately feel the effects of ashwagandha; it may take weeks before the benefits are noticed. Ashwagandha is generally safe for most adults but common side effects include drowsiness, gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea; people who take certain medications should not take it as it can interact with these drugs; pregnant women should not take it as high doses can cause miscarriage. Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy in the United States commonly used to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.