No doubt, when you need medicines for aches and pains, a virus, or other malady, you probably rely on products you get from a pharmacy. However, many people today would testify that certain plants can be just as good for relief as a pill one gets from a doctor’s prescription. Many who use plants for medicinal purposes are staunch supporters of the concept and they have history on their side. Many plants have been used for their therapeutic benefits for hundreds if not thousands of years.
So, consider this! Instead of going to the medicine cabinet to get relief of a particular malady you have, why not consider going to a flower pot or taking a quick visit to your outdoor garden for a medicinal plant.
What follows is information on nine plants that have medicinal powers that you might want to consider including in your garden or as some of your indoor plants.
Gingko is one of the oldest tree species there is. In fact, the Gingko tree is thought of as a living fossil and can live for as long as 3,000 years. It is one of the oldest medicinal plants that have traditionally been used in China.
It is the leaves that have the power and they are converted into capsules, tablets, and extracts. Moreover, when the leaves are dried, they can be ingredients for tea.
The plant has a reputation for its ability to enhance brain function. Studies have found that it can be used to relieve dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The tree is still being studied to determine what other powers it has. These enquiries have discovered that it may be helpful in combating diabetes and may help in bone healing. Patients have also used it to improve eye health, reduce inflammation, and deal with anxiety and depression.
However, it should be used with some caution. Long-term use could lead to thyroid and liver cancer. It could cause problems for the liver requiring the need to monitor liver enzymes if it’s being used. It can also interact with blood thinners.
Gingko seeds should be ignored because they are poisonous if ingested.
In addition, there may be side effects including headaches, upset stomach, dizziness, and allergic reactions.
Because of some problems outlined here, it is suggested that you consult with a doctor before using it.
A plant with a brilliant orange hue, Turmeric has been used for its medicinal properties for as long as 4,000 years. Indigenous to India, many say it has anticancer assets and can avert DNA mutations.
Taken as a supplement, it serves as an anti-inflammatory and has been used as a topical to treat arthritis. It’s also been used as a cooking ingredient worldwide.
Recent analysis has discovered that it could be used to treat an assortment of dermatologic diseases.
However, there are reasons why some should be cautious of its use. For example, people have been known to take too much of it. It is safer to use when ingested as an herb in cooked meals or in tea. Long-term use could result in stomach troubles and it is difficult to consume. It is suggested that it be eaten with peppers to assist the body in absorbing its benefits.
Also known as moonflowers because they bloom when the sun begins to set, Evening Primrose is a vibrant yellow flower that produces oil, which is used for medicinal purposes. It is said that the oil relieves inflammation and can be used as an atopic for dermatitis. It can also offer diabetic relief and can be used to treat breast pain.
Many advocate its use to combat multiple sclerosis, modify hormones and insulin so one can better deal with polycystic ovary syndrome.
It has been used to alleviate PMS, mild skin conditions, menopause, multiple sclerosis, PCOS, and blood pressure.
Before taking it, however, you should know that it interacts with some blood-clotting medicines. There is some question whether a pregnant patient should use it, and it may interfere with drug absorption in treating HIV. It can also interact with lithium causing bipolar disorder, and long-term use may not be safe.
A major source for omega-3 fatty acids, Flax Seed is available as oil and is considered to be an ideal plant-based dietary supplement. It is used to treat inflammation, may help prevent colon cancer, and assists in reducing blood pressure. When ingested, it could help reduce obesity. It also relieves hot flashes.
However, caution is suggested. That’s because Flax Seed can affect estrogen production in women, especially if the patient has a history of cancer or is pregnant. It is advised that you don’t eat it raw or eat unripe seeds because they can be toxic.
Tea Tree Oil is derived from the leaves of a tree that is indigenous to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. The oil is medicinal and is said to improve skin conditions including mild acne, athlete’s foot, small wounds, dandruff, insect bites, and other inflammatory skin conditions. It is often used in a variety of skin care products and creams.
Some caution should be considered when using it because the oil is poisonous if ingested. It may cause skin to suffer an allergic reaction. It may also affect hormones, and long-term use is not recommended.
Consisting of pretty, purple coneflowers, the blooms of the Echinacea plant have been used for centuries as a medicine in teas, juices, and extracts. Today, it is often used in powder form and as a supplement. Considered ideal for combating the common cold, it is also believed to boost one’s immunity when dealing with a virus.
Not only is it beneficial in treating colds and enhancing the immune system, it provides relief for bronchitis and upper respiratory infections.
It could cause problems on the digestive tract, cause an upset stomach, and could cause allergic reactions.
Available in liquid, tablets, or capsules, Grapeseed Extract contains the same antioxidants found in wine. It helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and is a treatment for poor circulation in the leg veins. It also has anticancer properties and appears to stop the growth of cancer cells. It also relieves edema and can be used to treat high blood pressure.
Precautions should be considered when taking Grapeseed Extract. It can adversely affect the benefits of blood thinners or blood pressure medications and should not be taken prior to surgery. It also may reduce iron absorption.
First used as a medicine by Romans 2,000 years ago, Lavender is a great source of essential oil that can be harvested from its purple flower. The oil is commonly used to combat anxiety. Studies have shown that lavender can influence one’s mood and cognitive performance and has sedative properties that induce sleep. Recently it has been discovered that lavender also has inflammatory benefits, assists in treating anxiety, stress, blood pressure issues, and migraine. It is most effective when diluted and applied to the skin or used in aromatherapy. There are few if any side effects.
You should be aware that it can cause sin irritation, it is poisonous when ingested, and it may disrupt hormones when used undiluted.
Chamomile features flowers that resemble small daisies and is believed to have anti-anxiety and anticancer assets. A tea flavor that is so popular more than 1 million cups of it are consumed each day, Chamomile can also be ingested via liquid, capsule, or tablet. It is an ideal plant for the treatment of anxiety, stress, insomnia, and cancer.
Proceed with caution when using it because it can cause allergic reactions. It can also affect the benefits of blood thinners.