Herbs have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and to improve overall health. From basil to turmeric, gingko to evening primrose oil, flaxseed to tea tree oil, and echinacea to ashwagandha, there are many herbs that can be used for medicinal purposes. In this article, we will explore the most important herbs and their potential benefits. Basil is one of the oldest tree species and is an important culinary herb.
It is also a key herb in Chinese medicine and is used to create capsules, tablets, extracts, and dried tea. Studies suggest that it may help improve brain health and treat mild to moderate dementia. It may also slow cognitive decline in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Turmeric is native to India and is believed to have anti-cancer properties and may prevent mutations.
It has been used as a medicinal herb for 4,000 years and is a tentpole of an Indian alternative medicine practice called Ayurveda. Recent research suggests that it may be beneficial in treating a variety of dermatological diseases and joint arthritis. Evening primrose oil 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.
Studies suggest that it could be the Swiss army knife in the world of medicinal plants, but it can interact with several medications so more research is needed. Flaxseed is one of the safest options among plant-based dietary supplements. Harvested for thousands of years, it is praised for its antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory benefits. While more research with humans is needed, studies suggest that it may help prevent colon cancer and lower blood pressure.
It can also help reduce obesity when consumed. Flaxseed is best added through diet 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 has antimicrobial superpowers that can be used in wounds and topical infections. It should be diluted in a carrier oil as it is often already diluted in a variety of skin care products and creams. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of a tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Echinacea has been used for centuries as medicine in the form of teas, juices, and extracts.
It is most well-known for its ability 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. Turmeric is without a doubt one of the most powerful herbs on the planet. It contains several compounds with medicinal properties such as curcumin which is a powerful antioxidant that increases the body's antioxidant enzymes. Oregano is more common in Italian and Greek dishes; it is often used in soups, stews, and sauces. It has traditionally been mixed with honey, ghee or water. Ashwagandha comes from the plant Withania somnifera which is also known as ginseng from India and winter cherry from India.
The 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; it can 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) and improve sexual pleasure. Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments such as insomnia, anxiety, digestive issues, skin irritations, menstrual cramps, headaches, colds & flu symptoms.