Some examples are aspirin (from willow bark), digoxin (from a foxglove), quinine (from cinchona bark) and morphine (from opium poppy). Drug development from plants continues, and pharmaceutical companies are engaged in large-scale drug screening of herbs. Here are 9 of the most popular herbal medicines in the world, including their main benefits, uses and relevant safety information. Echinacea, or echinacea, is a flowering plant and a popular herbal remedy.
Originating in North America, it has long been used in Native American practices to treat a variety of ailments, including wounds, burns, toothaches, sore throat and stomach upset (. Most parts of the plant, including leaves, petals and roots, can be used for medicinal purposes, although many people believe that roots have the strongest effect. Echinacea is usually taken as a tea or supplement, but can also be applied topically. Nowadays, it is mainly used to treat or prevent the common cold, although the science behind it is not particularly sound.
A review of more than 4,000 people found a possible reduction in the risk of colds from taking echinacea by 10 to 20%, but there is little or no evidence that it treats the cold after contracting it (. Although there is insufficient data to evaluate the long-term effects of this herb, its short-term use is generally considered safe. That said, side effects such as nausea, stomach pain, and skin rash have occasionally been reported (. You can find echinacea in most supermarkets and health food stores, although you can also buy it online.
Echinacea is a flowering plant that is frequently used to treat and prevent the common cold. Research is limited, but it can reduce the risk of catching a cold by up to 20%. Ginseng is a medicinal plant whose roots are usually soaked to make a tea or dried to make a powder. It is frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine to reduce inflammation and increase immunity, brain function and energy levels.
There are several varieties, but the two most popular are the Asian and American types Panax ginseng and Panax quinquefolius, respectively. American ginseng is believed to promote relaxation, while Asian ginseng is considered to be more stimulating (. Although ginseng has been used for centuries, there is no modern research to support its effectiveness. Several studies in test tubes and animals suggest that its unique compounds, called ginsenosides, have neuroprotective, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and immune-supporting properties.
However, human research is needed (. Short-term use is considered relatively safe, but long-term safety of ginseng is unclear. Possible side effects include headaches, lack of sleep, and digestive problems (. Ginseng is available in most health food stores as well as online.
Ginseng is an herbal remedy that is frequently used in traditional Chinese medicine to boost immunity, brain function, and energy levels. Ginkgo biloba, also known simply as ginkgo, is a plant-based medicine derived from the maidenhair tree (. Seeds and leaves are traditionally used to make teas and tinctures, but most modern applications use leaf extract. Some people also like to eat raw fruit and roasted seeds.
However, seeds are mildly toxic and should only be eaten in small amounts, if at all. Ginkgo is said to treat a wide range of ailments, including heart disease, dementia, mental difficulties and sexual dysfunction. However, studies have not proven effective for any of these conditions (. Elderberry is an ancient herbal medicine typically made from the cooked fruit of the Sambucus nigra plant.
It has long been used to relieve headaches, nerve aches, toothaches, colds, viral infections and constipation (. Elderberry is available in syrup or lozenge form, although there is no standard dosage. Some people prefer to make their own syrup or tea by cooking elderberries with other ingredients, such as honey and ginger. Test tube studies show that its plant compounds have antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiviral properties, but research on humans is lacking (1.Although some small human studies indicate that elderberry shortens the duration of influenza infections, larger studies are needed to determine if it is more effective).
than conventional antiviral therapies (12, 13, 1.Short-term use is considered safe, but raw or unripe fruit is toxic and can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea). (1). Elderberry is used to treat cold and flu symptoms, and some research suggests that it may be at least mildly effective. While cooked elderberry is safe, it is toxic if eaten raw or unripe.
John's wort (SJW) is a plant-based drug derived from the flowering plant Hypericum perforatum. Its small yellow flowers are commonly used to make tea, capsules or extracts (1). Its use dates back to ancient Greece, and SJW is still frequently prescribed by medical professionals in parts of Europe (1.Many studies point out that short-term use of SJW is as effective as some conventional antidepressants). However, there are limited data on safety or long-term efficacy for people with severe depression or suicidal thoughts (1.SJW has relatively few side effects, but can cause allergic reactions, dizziness, confusion, dry mouth and increased sensitivity to light (1) It also interferes with numerous medicines, including antidepressants, contraceptives, blood thinners, certain pain relievers, and some types of cancer treatments (1.If you decide to try it, SJW is available online and in numerous stores.
St. John's Wort Can Treat Mild to Moderate Depression. However, you may use caution or avoid it because it interferes with several conventional medications. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is an herb that belongs to the ginger family (1.Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric).
It can treat a number of conditions, including chronic inflammation, pain, metabolic syndrome, and anxiety (1.In particular, several studies reveal that supplemental doses of curcumin are as effective in relieving arthritis pain as some common anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen). and curcumin supplements are considered safe, but very high doses can cause diarrhea, headache or skin irritation. You can also use fresh or dried turmeric in dishes such as curry, although the amount you normally eat in food is unlikely to have a significant medicinal effect. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and can be especially effective in treating pain associated with arthritis.
Ginger is a common ingredient and herbal medicine. It can be eaten fresh or dry, although its main medicinal forms are in the form of tea or capsule. Like turmeric, ginger is a rhizome or stem that grows underground. It contains a variety of beneficial compounds and has long been used in traditional and folk practices to treat colds, nausea, migraines and high blood pressure (18, 1.Its best established modern use is to relieve nausea associated with pregnancy, chemotherapy and medical operations).
and animal research reveals potential benefits for treating and preventing diseases such as heart disease and cancer, although the evidence is mixed (1.Some small human studies suggest that this root may reduce the risk of blood clots, although it has not been shown to be more effective than conventional therapies (1.You can find ginger supplements at your local supermarket and online. Ginger contains several active plant compounds and can treat a variety of conditions, although it is best known for relieving nausea. Sometimes referred to as “Valium of Nature”, valerian is a flowering plant whose roots are believed to induce tranquility and a sense of calm. Valerian root can be dried and consumed in capsule form or soaked to make tea.
Its use dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it was taken to relieve restlessness, tremors, headaches and heart palpitations. Today, it is most often used to treat insomnia and anxiety (2.Even so, the evidence supporting these uses is not particularly strong). One review found that valerian is somewhat effective in inducing sleep, but many of the study results were based on subjective reports from participants (2.Valerian is relatively safe). , although it may cause mild side effects, such as headaches and digestive problems.
You should not take it if you are taking any other sedatives because of the risk of aggravating effects, such as excessive discomfort and drowsiness (2.Look for this herb online, as well as in various health food stores). Valerian root is often used as a natural sleep aid and anti-anxiety aid, although the evidence supporting its effectiveness is weak. Chamomile is a flowering plant that also happens to be one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the world. Flowers are most often used to make tea, but the leaves can also be dried and used to make tea, medicinal extracts or topical compresses.
For thousands of years, chamomile has been used as a remedy for nausea, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain, urinary tract infections, wounds and upper respiratory tract infections (2). This herb contains more than 100 active compounds, many of which are believed to contribute to its numerous benefits (2.studies suggest that chamomile treats diarrhea, emotional disorders and cramps associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and pain and inflammation related to osteoarthritis (2). Chamomile is safe for most people, but it can cause an allergic reaction, especially if you are allergic to similar plants, such as daisies, ragweed, or marigolds (2.You can find it at most grocery stores or order it online. Despite limited scientific evidence, chamomile is still one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the world and is used to treat a wide range of ailments.
If you're thinking about taking herbal supplements, it's best to consult a health professional to make sure the dosage is appropriate, understand possible side effects, and watch for reactions with other medications. For example, raw elderberries can be toxic, St. John's wort can dangerously interact with antidepressants, and valerian root can aggravate the effects of sedatives. In addition, many herbal medicines have not been rigorously studied enough to verify their safety for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Therefore, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking any herbal medications to ensure the best possible results for you and your baby. Another important factor to keep in mind is that herbal medicines are not strictly regulated like other medicines. In some countries, such as the United States, herbal manufacturers do not have to provide proof of efficacy or purity before marketing their products. As such, some supplements may include ingredients incorrectly or even contain compounds not listed on the label.
Therefore, you should go for brands whose quality has been tested by an external organization, such as U, S. Many people around the world rely on herbal medicines to treat their health problems. There are countless varieties, but some of the most popular ones include gingko, ginseng, ginger, turmeric and chamomile. While its applications tend to be very broad, many of its purported benefits lack solid scientific evidence.
Our team of licensed nutritionists and dieticians strive to be objective, impartial, honest and present both sides of the argument. Many delicious ingredients are also exceptionally healthy. Here are 10 of the healthiest herbs and spices in the world, backed by science. Herbal medicine has its origins in ancient cultures.
It involves the medicinal use of plants to treat diseases and improve overall health and well-being. An herb is a plant or part of a plant that is used for its aroma, flavor, or therapeutic properties. Herbal medicines are a type of dietary supplement. Sold as tablets, capsules, powders, teas, extracts and fresh or dried plants.
People use herbal medicines to try to maintain or improve their health.
Herbal remediesare plants that are used as a medicine. People use herbal remedies to help prevent or cure diseases. They use them to relieve symptoms, increase energy, relax or lose weight.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is one of the best characterized herbs of the most commonly used. Included in the National Formulary until 1950, valerian has been described in human studies as having sedative and anxiolytic activity56 and is often combined with other sedative herbs such as hops (Humulus lupulus). Herbal medicine (also herbalism) is the study of pharmacognosy and the use of medicinal plants, which are the basis of traditional medicine. There is limited scientific evidence of the safety and effectiveness of plants used in 21st century herbalism, which generally does not provide standards of purity or dosage.
The scope of herbal medicine commonly includes products of fungi and bees, as well as minerals, shells and certain parts of animals. Herbal medicine is also called phytomedicine or phytotherapy. In the 1960s, with concern about the iatrogenic effects of conventional medicine and the desire for greater self-sufficiency, interest in natural health and the use of herbal products increased. Patients with chronic conditions such as AIDS or cancer should also be warned that some of the adverse effects of herbs are often similar to the symptoms of problems associated with their disease or treatment, making it difficult to discern whether the disease or remedy is the problem.
Herbal medicines have many possible side effects, so you should consult your healthcare provider before taking them. Products made from botanicals, or plants, that are used to treat diseases or maintain health are called herbal products, botanicals or phytomedicines. However, the extrapolation of these European findings (usually made with well-characterized pharmaceutical herbal preparations) to herbs available in the United States is complicated by the relative lack of regulatory standards in this country, as described above. Some herbal supplements, especially those imported from Asian countries, may contain high levels of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium.
For example, dangerously low blood pressure can be the result of combining a herbal remedy that lowers blood pressure along with prescription drugs that have the same effect. It is becoming more and more widespread as improvements in analysis and quality control, along with advances in clinical research, show the value of herbal medicine in the treatment and prevention of diseases. Meta-analysis of clinical trials on traditional Chinese herbal medicine for the treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis. Unfortunately, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that nearly 70% of people taking herbal medicines (most of whom were well-educated and had a higher than average income) were reluctant to tell their doctors that they used complementary medicine and alternative (CAM).
In 1993, the FDA began analyzing the herbal and supplement industry, triggering a massive letter-writing campaign organized by health food stores that encouraged consumers to write to their congressman or say goodbye to their supplements. Talk to your pharmacist about the safety and effectiveness of any medicines or herbal supplements you plan to buy. This is because herbal supplements are not subject to clinical trials or to the same manufacturing standards as traditional prescription or over-the-counter drugs. For example, one study found that 90% of people with arthritis use alternative therapies, such as herbal medicine.