Tag Archive | "herbal remedies"

Herbalism and Modern Medicine

If you do decide to go out foraging in the wild there are numerous guides which can assist you with the identification of plants and many herbals which contain information about their constituents and uses. If, after reading the various guides, you still don’t entirely trust yourself to choose the right herbs you could consult a qualified herbalist. There are many whose services are listed in telephone directories and on the WWW. Look for the word ‘phytotherapist’ if you seek a practitioner who has scientific knowledge of plant remedies.

Incidentally the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy, which “exists to protect the public interest” (their words) is currently campaigning for the British people’s right to access the herbal medicines they require. The CPP is currently participating in a consultation with the UK government and calling for the statutory regulation of herbal medicines. This government is considering bringing in voluntary regulation which, according to the CPP, will take away the British people’s right to use a full range of herbs and preparations by making some of them illegal, (such as Atropa belladonna and Ephedra sinica) , including the majority of traditional Chinese and Indian remedies.

HerbalismSome people might object to scientific interventions in the field of herbalism because they’ve become disillusioned with medical science, wish to avoid their doctor like the plague and simply go back to nature. Their distrust is understandable, in view of the warnings about the damaging effects of processed foods and pharmaceuticals so often reported in the media nowadays. The objectors might argue that people got by before medical doctors arrived on the scene by consulting the village wise woman. This is true up to a point, however let’s remove our rose-colored spectacles for a moment and remind ourselves of how many people died of serious illnesses, blood loss and infections in the good old days. How many people, for example, would have died from diabetes mellitus if scientists hadn’t learned about insulin and its relationship with carbohydrates?

A good herbalist will always ask the patient if they’ve sought the advice of a MD for their complaint. If the answer is no, then they will seek to establish why not. Is it, for example, because the patient fears the diagnosis? If this is the case then the herbalist can listen to the patient’s concerns, reassure him/her and prescribe a gentle herb to alleviate anxiety. If the patient has already sought the advice of a doctor, then the wise herbalist will ask what action the doctor has taken. This is an extremely important question because some herbs can interact dangerously with some prescription drugs. It’s not by accident that some plants are referred to as ‘power plants’.

The vast majority of herbs, though, are gentle in their actions. Use them carefully to prevent disease, detoxify the body and bolster immunity. Stock your medicine cabinet with herbs that can treat your ailments and soothe you. Grow them in your garden, or in pots, and tend them lovingly. They will reward you by producing wonderful fragrances and saving you money. Add them to a nutritious diet, cutting out processed foods whenever possible. Go out into the countryside, or the garden, whenever you can.

If you follow this advice you’ll find little real need to visit your doctor for prescriptions. If you do have a condition which persists and is bothering you, seek the advice of your doctor. Think of him as your ally. Don’t be embarrassed about telling him that you prefer herbal remedies to pharmaceuticals. Doctors do not so easily dismiss the remedies as old wives tales these days; in fact many have supplemented their orthodox medical training by taking courses in philosophy and natural healing techniques, thus becoming licensed holistic M.D.s. Others have become N.Ds (doctors of naturopathic medicine) and they are licensed to practice in a number of US states.

Your doctor should be supportive of your efforts to keep healthy by natural means. Doctors are aware of the unwanted effects of prescription medications and don’t wish to give them to their patients unnecessarily. There is a class of illnesses called ‘iatrogenic’ which any doctor worth his salt will avoid giving to his patients. Iatrogenic is derived from the Greek ‘iatros’, meaning ‘brought forth by a healer’. Illnesses caused by harmful interactions between prescription drugs fall into this category, as do those caused by adverse reactions to prescription drugs (allergic reactions). Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is also classed as an iatrogenic disorder, because it’s linked to their over-prescription.

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Herbalism: A Holistic Approach to Health

Holistic-healthHerbalism can be defined as the use of plants for the detoxification of the body, support of the immune system and prevention of disease, and for the treatment of ailments, chronic illnesses and injuries. The idea is to use herbs to restore balance in body, mind and spirit and maintain a naturally healthy human system; the achievement of holistic health in other words.

The earth is an ecosystem whose components exist in equilibrium, and the human system is a microcosm of this complex organic arrangement. From this point of view we can look at ourselves as cells in the body of an earth which breathes the same air as we do, has the same minerals at its core and whose vascular system is the rivers and their tributaries which carry water, just as our arteries and veins carry blood. From this point of view it naturally follows that the earth supplies all of the nutrients and medicines necessary for its inhabitants to live healthily. Plants deliver a vast proportion of the goods.

The roots of the holistic approach to health possibly lie in folk medicine. Folk medicine refers in part to the use of indigenous plants by a native, rural population for the maintenance of health and curing of ailments. The people of the mountainous regions of Vermont, for example, have often chewed gum from the spruce tree to cure a sore throat. It seems safe to say that the spruce tree would not be available to help the inhabitants of a desert region to cure a sore throat, but there will be an indigenous plant somewhere in the area that can do the same job, and the local people will know which one it is. The plants used in diverse regions of the world are different, but folk medicine is the same everywhere, insofar as the tradition is passed down unmodified over generations by word of mouth. Those who pioneered these traditions originally learned about the plants by observing which ones animals chose to cure their own ailments.

Today we can follow in the footsteps of our ancestors by looking for herbs in our own locality. The very act of getting outdoors and acquainting yourself with the natural world is in itself beneficial to health. Fresh air and the fragrance of flowers, the sound of birdsong and the breeze rustling the leaves, the hum produced by industrious insects going about their business on a miniature scale, the sound of running water-not forgetting moments of utter silence-are all simple sensory delights which have a calming and therapeutic effect on the human psyche and are available to everyone.

Holistic healing recognizes this and seeks the integration of the human being with its natural environment. If you haven’t got time to go out exploring the fields and woods then you can grow herbs in your own garden. If you don’t have a garden, or suffer from any condition which restricts your ability to move around, you can grow them in pots.

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Herbs in Human History

Nymphaea_stellata,_MyanmarFrom the inception of life on earth man has existed in a symbiotic relationship with the plant kingdom. We have always depended on plants for food and medicine and they’ve always relied upon us to assist them with their propagation. The earliest human societies were hunter-gatherers who chose their migratory routes according to the availability of the fruit and nuts which formed their staple diet. Plants benefited from this arrangement as the people discarded seeds and kernels and thus increased their distribution.

Plants have been with humans every step of the way. Some of the earliest evidence of this can be seen in the cave paintings and hieroglyphs of ancient civilizations. Plant motifs in ancient art are in a sense the signatures of a society, and their appearance naturally prompts the researcher to ask questions. Why, for example, were the ancient Egyptians so fascinated by the Blue Lilly? It was obviously an important part of Egyptian life, as it is ubiquitous in their art (hieroglyphs and paintings), often depicted entwined around wine goblets. It frequently appeared in paintings of sex scenes and parties, and its blossoms were found strewn over the body of Tutankhamun when the casket was opened in 1922.

This discovery led archaeologists to focus on the plant in the context of Egyptian royalty and religious worship. Plants have indeed always been associated with the belief systems and rituals held by a group. More recent scientific research, however, has found that the Blue Lilly blossom contains a compound which is soluble in alcohol, and that a psychoactive solution is produced when the blossoms are infused in wine. The Blue Lilly may well have been revered by the priesthood and royalty, however the appearance of the flower in paintings of bawdy scenes, when looked at in the light of modern scientific research, perhaps indicates that the Blue Lilly was also simply a popular aphrodisiac; an ancient Egyptian party drug.

The mysterious case of the Blue Lilly serves to illustrate a point. Plants have been used by people of all classes in myriad and complex ways throughout history.

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Herbal Remedies For Hot Flashes


Menopause or perimenopause is a time of great changes in a woman body. Many changes are produced in her body due to alterations in hormone levels. Hot flash is the most common symptom and almost every woman suffers from it in her menopause age or just before it.
Increased heat flushes are felt in face and legs. Especially hot flashes at night are very common. Finding a long-lasting cure for this condition is very necessary. Many synthetic methods are available in market but their associated adverse effects are much greater than the cure they provide.
Herbal treatment is the best option for treating hot flashes. From many centuries, women have been seeking help from natural compounds to get relieve from this condition.
At menopausal age, levels of many essential female hormone decline. Women receive hormone therapy to correct these levels. However, hormone replacement therapy doesn’t suit all. Its use is controversial. Nature is full of many herbs that contain female hormone naturally and in very ideal amount. Using these herbs can help to alleviate hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Some renowned plants for the treatment of hot flashes are:


Flaxseed is also renowned as linseed. Its oil and whole seed, both are effectual for treating hot flashes. Women have been using flaxseed from early times to cure hot flash symptoms. It is not proven scientifically yet, but it produces great effectiveness.

Evening primrose oil

Using evening primrose oil during menopause can treat hot flashes. Some women complained that this herb is associated with adverse effects like nausea and diarrhea. It is better to take doctor’s advice before using primrose oil. It may produce unfavorable effects when used with blood thinning drugs and other medicines.

Soy Products

Estrogen is a main female hormone. Soy products have isoflavones that have chemical similar to estrogen. Many women use soy foods to reduce hot flashes than soy supplements because they are more effective. Presence of estrogen like hormone makes it highly effective for treating menopausal symptoms.

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is another herb that is used to treat symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. It is a short term treatment. It produces good results but may lead to stomach upset.

There are other herbs also that can treat more than one symptom of menopause. These herbs are available easy and do not have severe adverse effects that are present with the use of synthetic drugs. These herbs have been helping women since ancient time and they can still help.

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Naturopathy – A Better Treatment Option


Naturopathy is a natural treatment that doesn’t require surgery and synthetic drugs. Many people are going for naturopathic medicines for the treatment of different diseases. They are seeking this form of therapy because it is not restricted to heal a single body part like in modern medicine; this therapy produces its response overall. It can provide with better healthy life.

Naturopathy is a way to live healthy life

Naturopathy just not heals body. It is a treatment of mind and spirit as well. It makes mind strong which in turn gives power to body to heal faster and to fight infections. It balances mind and body that provides protection to body and also improves mental state.

Naturopathy has been known for thousands of years. Before evolution in modern science, people had been relying totally on nature’s healing power. Still, in many parts of the world, naturopathy is the sole treatment. Herbs and spiritual rituals are combined together effectively for the treatment of various diseases.

It is known and proven by modern science also that body has power to heal itself. Day to day, many infections and diseases come to invade human body but they are tackled and defeated without any medical treatment. Naturally, different antibodies are produced that treat and heal body every day. Sometimes these daily attacks are strong that we need external help to encounter these diseases. Herbs are the natural way to boost immune responses. In naturopathy, herbs are used for the same purpose.

Naturopathy is more than just herbs

Naturopathy is a treatment of life – not of a disease only. If you seek help from naturopathic medicines, you will not rely entirely on herbs for treatment; you will need to make your body strong as well. In naturopathy, you are asked to improve your life with your mental and spiritual power. Much emphasis is given to your lifestyle. Use of healthy diet and exercise is encouraged to get better results.

Herbs indeed help to alter any adverse condition but living healthy is also necessary to make body permanently strong. When healthy living is practiced with herbs, illness will not return after time to time. You continue to live healthy.

Naturopathic treatments are all natural. They do not produce any adverse effects like synthetic drugs. Naturopathy is a non-toxic therapy and doesn’t harm body in any way. This treatment is evolving. In coming years, this whole body treatment will become more popular and advance because of all the benefits it holds.

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Dandelion – A Nature’s Gift


Dandelion is a common weed that is known to possess many health benefits. This plant gets its name because of the resemblance between lion’s tooth and its leave. Dandelion is capable of inducing numerous health associated positive effects.

Dandelion is not only common in humans – animals also know what this plant can do. Honey bee makes honey with it. Different animals use this plant for various purposes. Some use it to increase milk production. Human use this plant for taste and also for the treatment of wide range of ailments. Its leaves are used in salad, soups, and sandwiches and in making of medicines.

Essential Elements of Dandelion

As alternative medicine, roots and leaves of dandelion are commonly used. A very strong milky white juice is found in root of Dandelion. This juice has many medicinal properties. Infant Dandelion plant produces more health benefits than adult plant.

Medical Properties of Dandelion

Medicinal properties of Dandelion have been known from ages. Other medical effects of this plant are given below:


Firstly, Dandelion had been used in tenth century as a treatment of liver cancer. It is used for treating chronic liver problems. People have reported that soup of young roots of this weed provides great effectiveness in alleviating liver symptoms.

Urinary Tract

Dandelion is highly known for the treatment f urinary tract diseases, mainly kidney disorders. For the treatment of urinary diseases, Dandelion tea is used. In boiling water, one ounce of Dandelion juice is added with honey to cure urinary symptoms.

Digestive Tract

Dandelion is known to have laxative properties. It improves digestion. In upset stomach, it is also effective. It can treat gallstones successfully.

Skin Problems

In many topical diseases, Dandelion holds much importance. It can treat eczema. If juice of stalk of this weed is applied directly to warts, it can also cure them.

The major benefit of using Dandelion is that its higher doses are non-poisonous. Mainly, it is combined with other agents to produce better results. Quantity of Dandelion to be used is entirely dependent on the purpose of its usage like in piles three wine glasses of its mixture are consumed in a day whereas in liver and kidney disorders, only one teaspoon is required. Dandelion is a helpful plant in many diseases and one best alternative medicine. However, every person is different and has special requirement. Talk to your doctor before using Dandelion to know if you really need it.

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How to Prepare Herbal Medicines?

Natural medicines are indeed helpful. They can effectively treat many diseases. However, every herbal medicine doesn’t follow same preparation procedures. There are various ways by which herbal medicines are prepared. One herb can be prepared by diverse range of methods. These methods are simple and easy.

Things you may need:

When you prepare any herb for medicinal purpose, you may require following things:

  • Blender: To grind ingredients.
  • Cheesecloth
  • Double boilers: These boilers should not have aluminum and copper.
  • Enamel Pots
  • Glassware
  • Jars with lid: For storing herbal medicines
  • Scale: To measure quantities of the things you use.
  • Spoons (Preferably wooden)
  • Strainer: For straining mixtures

Methods of Preparation:

Method#1 – Hydrotherapy

Therapies with herbal bath are of very much importance. Hydrotherapy is highly effective for treating topical disorders especially skin diseases. For herbal baths, add great quantity of required herb in a cloth bag then immerse this bag in water. Herbal extracts will dissolve in water.

Method#2 – Tea

Tea is one form to have herbal medicine. Preparing herbal tea is very easy. Follow these steps:

  • In pint of boiling water, add about an ounce of herb you require.
  • Boil it for over 10 minutes.
  • Strain and drink.

Method#3 – Cold Extract

Herbs can be consumed as cold extract. For that purpose, you can add herb in cold water and leave for about twelve hours then drink. Mostly, herbs are left over night in water.

Method#4 – Powder

Mortar and pestle and blender – these two things are used to grind herbs in powder form. To use herbs in powder form by using this procedure:

  • Smash herb into small pieces
  • Grind them in blender or mortar and pestle to convert the pieces into powder.
  • Consume this powder by adding it to foods and drinks.

Further, this powder can be used to create tincture. For that purpose:

  • Make mixture of 4 ounces of herb and 2 ½ cups of 60-proof alcohol.
  • For 14 days, let it stay in warm surroundings.
  • You can use it directly or can make its tea by adding water.

Method#5 – Cream

Some skin problems can be corrected with the use of herbal cream or ointment. Creams from herbs can be made by following this given method:

  • Take one part of herbal powder.
  • Mix it in four parts of petroleum jelly.
  • Add gum benzoin to make it last longer.

Method#6 – Compression

Compression is effectual in many diseases. Compress of herb can be applied by bathing a cloth in herbal mixture and then applying it to affected area. Herbal compresses are hot and cold. They are made as per requirement.

Method#7 – Poultice

In many conditions, poultice is more effective than compression. In this method, herbs are blended and applied directly instead of making liquid mixture.

These are some trouble-free ways of using herbs. Every ailment has its own requirement. Before trying any of these methods, do your research and find the best way to use your desired herb in more efficient way.

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Tea Polyphenols: One Medicine for Diverse Ailments

04 Tea leaves

Camellia sinensis is the plant species and renowned as tea plant. Leaves and leaf buds of camellia sinensis plants are used to make different types of tea like oolong tea, green tea and black tea. Tea contains a compound called polyphenol. This naturally occurring component is known to possess many health benefits. Tea polyphenols have antioxidants that are 10 times better than different vegetables and fruits.
Tea polyphenols has therapeutic properties. Diseases in which these polyphenols are effectual are:


Cancer is a life-threatening disease. It is treated with chemotherapy and radiotherapy but these treatments have diverse adverse effects. Studies have reported that antioxidants can fight cancer effectively. Green and black teas have flavonoids mainly catechins. Catechins have anticancer properties. They fight those chemicals that damage body cells and lead to cancer. Polyphenols are also helpful in reducing tumor growth and its division.

Tea polyphenols are known to be highly effective in delaying diabetes. It maintains body functions, which reduces diabetes risk.

Heart Diseases

Tea provides protection against high cholesterol and thus helpful in defending from heart diseases. It also doesn’t allow formation of blood clots.

Skin disorders

Tea polyphenols improve skin condition. It is also reported that if tea extracts are used in the form of lotion and applied to body, it may protect from skin cancer and block sun damage.

Dental Issues

In halitosis and other dental issues, tea polyphenols are known to provide great results. It protects oral cavity.

Immune Diseases

Tea boosts immunity. These polyphenols reduce colds, infections and other flu symptoms. They are effective in immune diseases.

Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s symptoms can be delayed by using tea polyphenols. It is a disease of old age.

Other health benefits

Tea polyphenols can protect bone from weakening, by that it can reduce chance of osteoporosis. It protects from toxic components that are present in tobacco. It defends cells from different enemies and keeps them away from damage.

Water vs Tea

Tea contains antioxidants. Experts are emphasizing that tea is far much healthier than water because water doesn’t have polyphenols. Polyphenols can provide many health advantages that water can’t.

Having 8-10 cups of black and green tea on daily basis can provide these beneficial effects. It is recommended that caffeinated and decaffeinated teas must be balanced to produce best outcomes and to reduce adverse effects of caffeine. Adding tea to your daily diet can improve quality of life. It gives you healthier lifestyle and helps you to combat many diseases and natural enemies.

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Relation of Herbal Treatment and Modern Medicine


In the present time, we are able to cure diseases which were used to be fatal. For instance, malaria had been an incurable disease once; now it can be treated with the help of easily available anti-malarial drugs. Journey to malaria cure has been started when bark of cinchona tree found to be effective against it. Willow bark is a natural pain killer that had been used in old times; aspirin is its replica nowadays. Advancement in modern medicine has only become possible because of herbal remedies that our ancestors used.
Plants were not a food source only in our past; they were used to cure diseases and different ailments. Herbs helped our specie to survive different pandemics. As our ancestors used different herbs, they became more aware and selective in choosing a plant for cure. With their experiences, they came to know which part of the plant is beneficial for them and which part is not. When people started to travel, better remedies came into being. They learned more and ideas were exchanged. This improved herbal treatment greatly.

History tells us that our ancestors used plants for treatment. Archeologists provided us with evidence for that. Plants were used for treatment in almost every part of the world. At that time, there was no communicating system like we have today. But still, history showed that their ways of herbal treatment were almost same.

Herbs that were proved beneficial were remembered and passed down in a family. People learned that way of treatment and generations got benefit from it. Some herbal treatment techniques were also found in written form. It is also known that herb or plant – that was found effectual – was cultivated in their gardens, so they could directly access that plant whenever required. Aloe, mustard, peppermint and many more plants were cultivated.

Roots of herbal treatment are very deep. Our modern medicine is an evolved form of it but these artificial methods have led to failure of many drug formulas. Not every drug is a success.

When chemicals are combined artificially, they create more adverse effects. In herbs, nature has provided balanced quantity of these chemicals which make them harmless. Because of it, more and more people are returning to herbal medicines. Not only general public, but many researchers and doctors are also trying to find which herb is more effective with the help of modern science.

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Many Herbs Are Being Used to Treat Arthritis


For many men and women, arthritis is a life-altering disease. Swelling of the joints, which causes stiffness and pain, isn’t reserved for the over 60 crowd – it also affects many children in the world, which is why herbal remedies are gaining in popularity.

Alfalfa is commonly used for arthritic treatment, because the tea remedy is effective when taken for two to three weeks with a seven to ten day break between consumption.

The herb Angelica is another arthritis treatment because it contains anti-inflammatory constituents and muscle relaxants as well as natural pain-relievers. This herb is used in a tea concoction as well, with the same frequency and breaks as the alfalfa remedy.

Black cohosh, an American Indian herb used in the treatment of arthritis symptoms, has qualities similar to aspirin as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-spasm constituents.

R.D.K holdings S.ABoswellia, yet another herb used to treat arthritis, is similar to an over the counter or prescription-level non-steroid anti-inflammatory. It’s better than synthetic drugs, however, because it doesn’t give the user ulcers after long-term use.

Believe it or not, celery is another plant that can be used to treat arthritis. The celery seeds and other portions of the plant contain over 25anti-inflammatory compounds, as well as providing massive amounts of potassium, which is important because a deficiency in potassium is often a culprit of arthritic pain.

If celery isn’t your cup of tea, then how about using the herb Devil’s claw or even Epsom salt? Both have anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate swelling and pain, symptoms especially aggravating to someone suffering from the affliction.

There are many other herbs that contribute to arthritic treatment, such as feverfew, ginger, American ginseng, hop tea, licorice, mustard plaster, oregano, pineapple, red pepper, rosemary, sesame seeds, stinging nettle, turmeric, wild cucumber bark, wild yam, willow, wintergreen, and yucca.

Some of these herbs are used topically, as the minerals are absorbed into the skin, while others are ingested internally for maximum benefits. As with all medications or treatment, you should consult your doctor before taking herbs, especially if you’re already on other medications prescribed by your doctor.

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