The 9 most powerful medicinal plants in nature and the science behind them. Mingko, Turmeric, Evening Primrose Oil, Flax Seed, Tea Tree Oil, Echinacea, Grape Seed Extract, Lavender. 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.
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.Ginger contains several active plant compounds and can treat a variety of conditions, although it is best known for relieving nausea. 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). 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. Unfortunately, there is limited scientific evidence to establish the safety and effectiveness of most herbal products. Of the top 10 herbs, 5 (ginkgo, garlic, St.
John's wort, soy, and kava) have scientific evidence suggesting their effectiveness, but concerns about safety and consideration of other medical therapies may moderate the decision to use these products. Ashwagandha comes from the plant Withania somnifera, 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.
This versatile herb is common in Ayurvedic medicine (Indian traditional medicine system) to increase energy levels, decrease anxiety and stress, and reduce pain and inflammation. Ashwagandha is also used to improve male sexual health, as the herb can increase testosterone levels in men. The root of the woody plant is said to support erectile dysfunction, increase libido (sexual desire) and improve sexual pleasure. Ashwagandha is available in the form of capsules, tincture and powder as a dietary supplement.
Ashwagandha powder may taste earthy and bitter, so it's best to mix it with something, such as milkshakes, desserts, and coffee or tea. It has traditionally been mixed with honey, ghee or water. Most people don't immediately feel the effects of ashwagandha. It may take weeks before the benefits of ashwagandha are noticed.
Ashwagandha is generally safe for most adults. Common side effects include drowsiness, gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. People who take certain medications, such as anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines and barbiturates, should not take them, as the plant can interact with these drugs. Do not take ashwagandha if you are pregnant, 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, a division of the National Institutes of Health, chamomile is likely to be safe when used as tea. And it can be safe for oral use in the short term. Not enough is known about the long-term safety of using chamomile for medicinal purposes.
In Europe, chamomile is used to help heal wounds and reduce inflammation and swelling. Its proven effectiveness supports the popularity of this herbal remedy. You can also add ice to tea if you prefer a cooler drink. Chamomile is available for purchase as tea and in capsule form in most health food stores.
If you use capsules, look for pharmaceutical-grade products. Other grades, such as therapeutic grade, may not be of such high quality. Chamomile can cause allergic reactions, and some people have reported anaphylaxis (a severe whole-body allergic reaction that can be fatal) from its use. Avoid using chamomile if you take blood thinners or the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine.
May interact negatively with these medications. Echinacea is a flowering plant belonging to the daisy family. The large magenta petals of the flower unfold in early or late summer. It grows in eastern and central North America, and the leaf, stem and root of echinacea are commonly used for medicinal purposes.
Echinacea has traditionally been used as a remedy for toothache, intestinal pain, snake bites, seizures, skin irritation, arthritis and pain. Today, echinacea is a home remedy that is commonly used to shorten the duration or prevent the common cold and flu. It is also widely used to promote wound healing. Echinacea is rich in substances that are believed to relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and have antiviral and antioxidant effects.
Some studies show a minor benefit of using echinacea to possibly prevent upper respiratory tract infections. However, further studies are needed to determine its effectiveness in preventing or shortening the duration of a cold. Echinacea can be harmful to the digestive system and can cause stomach upset. Experts say echinacea should only be used in the short term.
Long-term use (eight weeks or more) may affect the body's immune system and liver. Consult your healthcare professional before using echinacea. It may interact with medications you are taking, particularly medications that are known to affect the liver. If you are allergic to plants in the daisy family, such as ragweed, calendula, and daisies, you may have an allergic reaction to echinacea.
Garlic is a perennial plant native to Central Asia that is cultivated for its tasty bulbs. It is now cultivated all over the world by many cultures. Garlic is valued both for cooking and for its medicinal properties. Humans have been using garlic for thousands of years.
Traditional medicinal uses include preventing infections, lowering blood pressure, treating tuberculosis, colic, liver disease, intestinal worms, and reducing fever. Compounds found in garlic have antimicrobial, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Research shows that garlic can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Garlic may be effective in preventing certain types of cancer.
Research shows that regular consumption of cooked or raw garlic can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Garlic can be consumed both cooked and raw. It can also be used in powder to season meats, vegetables, soups and stews. Talk to your doctor if you plan to take garlic supplements for its health benefits.
Garlic may increase the risk of bleeding and should not be used if you are taking blood thinners. For that same reason, do not take large amounts of garlic before surgery or dental procedures. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a plant with a leafy stem and greenish-yellow flowers. Originally from Asia and India, ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family.
This versatile spice comes from the underground stem of the ginger plant and is added to food and drinks around the world. Ginger has been widely used since the 16th century in many traditional medicines around the world. More than 2,000 years ago, ginger was so prized and sought after for its medicinal properties that one pound equaled the cost of a sheep. It was used as a remedy for common ailments, such as nausea, pain and vomiting.
Nowadays, ginger has the distinction of being classified as a herb, food and medicine. In terms of its medicinal properties, ginger is perhaps best known for its ability to help reduce nausea. Research confirms that ginger may help relieve nausea and vomiting in people undergoing surgery and pregnancy-related nausea. Ginger May Also Help Relieve Chemotherapy-Related Nausea.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, ginger is also an effective analgesic. A study found that ginger helped reduce pain and increase mobility in people with osteoarthritis. Ginger is versatile and is used in many forms, including fresh, dried, pickled, candied and powdered. It has a strong, pungent smell and tastes a little sweet and spicy.
Ground ginger root is what is normally found on store spice shelves. Commonly used for cooking and baking. There are numerous ways to consume ginger, including in tea. You can buy ginger tea bags at most grocery stores or make them at home with fresh ginger.
If you consume fresh ginger, peel the skin with a vegetable peeler before use. Ginger is considered safe when taken orally as a dietary supplement, and may also be safe when used topically (on the skin). Side effects are generally mild and include diarrhea, heartburn and abdominal discomfort, especially when consumed in large doses. While using ginger during pregnancy is considered safe, talk to your healthcare professional before using it if you want to reduce pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
Ginkgo biloba (widely known as ginkgo) is one of the oldest surviving tree species. Originally from Asia, ginkgo is one of the best-selling herbal remedies in the United States. Gingko leaves are used to create extracts, capsules and tablets. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health points out that there is no conclusive evidence that gingko helps any medical condition.
Gingko may increase the risk of bleeding. It should not be taken with NSAIDs, anticoagulants, anticonvulsants or tricyclic antidepressants due to possible drug interactions. Ginseng is a well-known herb that is credited with several health benefits. Sometimes called the “human root” because it has the shape of a person, there are many types of ginseng.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to deciduous forests in the United States. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is native to China, Korea and eastern Siberia. The botanical name Panax is derived from the word “panacea”, which represents the versatile uses of ginseng for medicinal purposes. Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is also called eleuthero or ci wu jia in traditional Chinese medicine.
It is less tonic than the other types and works more like an adaptogen. Panax notoginseng, also called radix notoginseng or sanchi, is traditionally used to control bleeding. Ginseng has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. The herb has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-obesity and antiviral properties, which makes it a popular herb for medicinal use even today.
Research Shows Ginseng Helps Improve Circulation, Boosts Immunity, and Protects Against Certain Cancers. This powerful herb has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improve treatments for diabetes. Studies show ginseng improves learning and memory acquisition, making it a popular anti-aging herb to support brain health in older adults. Ginseng has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and have pain-relieving and inflammation-reducing potency comparable to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
There are many ways to consume ginseng to get its health benefits. If you buy fresh ginseng, you can eat it raw or steamed. Freshly sliced ginseng can also be soaked in hot water to make tea. It can also be added to food and is popularly used in soups and sautées.
However, these culinary uses are too expensive if you buy expensive ginseng. Ginseng is also available for purchase in health food stores and in some pharmacies as a dietary supplement. It can be purchased in the form of capsules, powder and extract. There is currently no recommended daily dose of ginseng, and various amounts have been examined in research studies, ranging from 0.5 to 3 grams per day of fresh ginseng and 100 to 800 mg of extract.
If you use ginseng supplements, be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the label. Ginseng is generally safe for consumption without serious side effects. The most common side effects include headache, gastrointestinal discomfort and difficulty sleeping. There is some evidence to suggest that prolonged use of ginseng decreases its effectiveness, so you should take the supplement for two or three weeks with a break of one or two weeks to enjoy its benefits.
If you take medicines for diabetes, monitor your glucose levels closely when you consume ginseng to make sure your levels don't drop too low. Talk to your healthcare professional before taking a ginseng supplement if you are currently taking any medications. Do not take ginseng if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners, such as Coumadin (Warfarin). One of the most popular herbs in the world, lavender (Lavandula) is a pleasantly smelling perennial shrub that grows on low mounds and is native to the Mediterranean.
Lavender belongs to the mint family and thrives in many places around the world. Lavender has been used by humans for centuries, for everything from perfume to aromatherapy and medicinal purposes. The therapeutic properties of the herb were traditionally used to treat insect bites and burns, clean wounds and protect against certain diseases. Today, evidence suggests that lavender promotes sleep, improves memory, relieves pain and improves mood.
In animal and human studies, lavender has been shown to have anticonvulsant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities. Lavender is a potent herb that offers many medicinal and therapeutic uses. Thanks to its calming properties, lavender essential oil can be effective in calming anxiety and promoting a good night's sleep. Lavender tea is available to buy in pre-made tea bags, or you can soak the dried lavender buds in hot water for a caffeine-free tea.
Lavender essential oil may cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation in some people. Always dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil before applying it directly to the skin. If you experience headache, nausea or vomiting after use, stop using it immediately. Do not consume lavender essential oil orally, as it can be toxic.
Oral consumption of lavender, as in a tea, can cause constipation, headaches or increased appetite. Native to South Asia, turmeric is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the ginger family. It has been used for its medicinal properties for more than 4,000 years. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
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.
John's wort is the most notoriously interactive herbal product and has been shown to interfere with numerous drugs metabolized by the hepatic cytochrome P-450 enzyme system, including protease inhibitors, chemotherapeutic agents and oral contraceptives. Although many herbs are primarily of historical interest, there are thousands of herbal products available without a prescription and are commonly used by patients in the United States. A series of particularly morbid cases describes 105 patients in Belgium who had been taking a Chinese herbal product for weight loss and developed nephropathy caused by the herb Aristolochia fangchi. Because they are not regulated, herbal products are often mislabeled and may contain additives and contaminants that are not listed on the label.
Not surprisingly, this regulatory structure has led to problems with the consistency and safety of herbal products. The flower and leaf are used to create herbal remedies and supplements as an alternative treatment for various ailments. Like conventional medicines, herbal supplements can cause serious side effects or interfere with other medications you're taking. While these changes will clearly help the safety of herbal products, additional changes are needed to improve and promote high-quality research.
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 centuries, cultures around the world have relied on traditional herbal medicine to meet their healthcare needs. Unregulated herbal medicines from abroad cannot be manufactured to the same quality and standard as regulated medicines. If you are thinking about using a herbal medicine, first get information about it from reliable sources.
Some herbal supplements, especially those imported from Asian countries, may contain high levels of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and cadmium. Taking herbs on your own increases the risk, so it's important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal medicines. . .