Medicinal Herbs are a great way to naturally improve your health. Many doctors and scientists are skeptical of the benefits of some medicinal herbs, and other medicinal herbs and extracts can have dangerous side effects. None of this should turn you off to getting started with medicinal herbs, however. This article will provide a few basic tips for becoming an amateur medicinal herbalist.
Start With Plants You know
Many medicinal herbs are exotic or strange, but some are the kinds of herbs that we regularly use in cooking food. Examples of cooking herbs that can also be used medicinally include Garlic and Ginger These are the safest and easiest herbs to start out with.
Start out with extracts and supplements from plants that you eat rather than plants that you drink. Even extracts and supplements from presumably tame drinkable plants like tea and coffee can have adverse side effects. They also have many benefits, so don’t be afraid to revisit these plants when you know a little more about medicinal herbs.
Buying From Suppliers
The easiest way to get started with these herbs is to purchase them. While this kind of herb can be purchased from a grocery store, specially prepared pills, oils, and extracts can also be purchased specifically for medicinal use. These are more potent but are still not likely to cause adverse reactions like more exotic herbs and extracts.
Common medicinal herbs, extracts, and supplements can be purchased from grocery stores or big-box stores, but they are also available from health food and natural remedy stores and pharmacies where you are more likely to find knowledgeable experts who can help you on your journey.
Experts like the staff at natural remedy and health food stores, pharmacists, dieticians, and your primary care provider can help to point you in the right direction toward reliable brands for products and reliable sources of information for your own study.
Growing Medicinal Herbs
Another more hands-on way to get into medicinal herbs is to grow them yourself. This eliminates the extract or supplement supplier, which is one of the greatest areas of uncertainty. Many medicinal herbs, including garlic, ginger, and aloe vera are easy to grow at home and starters are easy to purchase.
Garlic and ginger can often be purchased at any grocery store, but if you buy them from a health food store or a local grower they are less likely to be genetically modified or exposed to pesticides. Leafy plants like aloe will likely need to be purchased from a florist or greenhouse, though the staff at these stores will also be able to give you helpful advice on growing your plants.
The biggest potential downside to growing your own medicinal herbs is that it eliminates the opportunity of extracts. Extracts can amplify the benefits of medicinal herbs by amplifying their active ingredients, but making them can be difficult and dangerous, especially for a beginner.
Many health food stores and natural remedy stores will be able to sell you empty gel capsules that will allow you to make your own pills from dried herbs, and many medicinal herbs can be made more beneficial by being used in teas.
Before making your own teas, you should talk to an expert or do some independent research to make sure that the tea will be safe to drink, even if it is made from a plant that you know that you can safely eat.
The good news is that because medicinal herbs a big topic these days there are lots of sources of quality information. Whenever you are researching a specific herb for medicinal use, be sure that any source is written or verified by a medical professional, that it is posted by a reputable organization or government body, or that it regularly cites these people and groups.
Insomnia is a terrible condition that affects a large portion of the country. It can cause your productivity to decrease, your quality of work to suffer, and your mental and physical health to weaken. The medications typically used to treat this condition tend to over-correct the issue and put you at risk of experiencing quite a few negative side effects. Due to that, many people suffering from insomnia choose to exhaust all the natural options for remedies first.
One natural remedy that has shown results for many insomniacs is drinking herbal tea before going to bed. This can help calm and relax you, promoting restfulness and helping to fight your insomnia.
Which Herbal Teas Work Best
There are several herbal teas that, when consumed before bed, can help to promote better sleep while also providing you with a few other positive health benefits.
The following are our favorite herbal teas we’ve found work for improving your sleep and treating your insomnia.
Chamomile tea has long been known for its calming effect. It can help regulate your sleep patterns, ease sore throats, and even works as an anti-inflammatory. Chamomile is great served black but is most commonly served with cream or milk.
Lemon balm can work wonders for many aspects of your health. It’s most well-known for its ability to help balance your nervous system. It can help to ease palpitations and muscle spasms, treat insomnia, fight off stress, and can promote a well-functioning digestive system.
Valerian has long been used to calm nerves, relax muscles, and help promote better sleep. It can also help treat menstrual pains, body tremors, stomach discomfort, depression, and can help reduce stress.
Like valerian, lime blossom is known to help fend off insomnia, relax your muscles, calm your nerves, and alleviate pain. It can also help to minimize symptoms of arthritis and respiratory conditions.
Hops work wonders for those plagued by insomnia, as it has a sedative effect. It can help to reduce stress, improve your digestive system, treat migraines, and serves as an aphrodisiac.
Mint is known to help stabilize the nervous system, minimizing digestive issues and stomach discomfort, fights gastritis, treats muscle spasms, and helps trigger sleep.
- Passion-flower is often used for its relaxing, calming, and sleep-inducing benefits. It’s been known to help with lightheadedness, anxiety, withdrawal symptoms, and reduce inflammation of blood vessels.
While these herbal teas can help, you have to help set them up for success. You can ensure you’re getting the most out of your insomnia-fighting tea by improving your sleep habits. Don’t use technology within an hour before bed time, or at least limit it as much as possible; use an old school alarm clock instead of the one on your phone.
Limit your bed to only sleeping activities; don’t watch television, eat, read, etc. in the bed. Eat lighter meals for dinner and maintain an early dinner time; give your stomach time to fully digest the food. Maintain a regular sleep schedule; try to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon; the earlier you stop, the better.
Eliminating caffeine altogether is highly recommended for insomniacs to ensure good sleep. While herbal teas will help, as long as you’re practicing poor sleeping habits, you’ll never get the most out of your herbal tea treatment.
If you’ve struggled with insomnia, you know the level of desperation for rest that plagues insomniacs on a regular basis. You’d try just about any treatment recommended by friends or doctors just in the hope of finally getting some relief from your insomnia and getting some much needed sleep. Herbal teas could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Herbal medicine is a big topic these days and so is weight loss. It’s only natural to ask, “Can herbs help with weight loss?” Some can, some can’t, and sometimes we still don’t know for sure. This article will discuss some common weight-loss-related herbs and the current research on them, but there are a lot out there.
When considering using herbs for weight loss, always do your research and always consult with your doctor first. Some herbs can interact with your prescriptions and even the safest herbs can be pedaled by untrustworthy sources. Your doctor can help to steer you in the right direction.
Ephedra –active ingredient, Ephedrine — comes from a shrub resembling a small evergreen tree that grows in parts of China, Mongolia, and the South Western United States where it may have been introduced by Asian immigrants. In Asia, the stems and leaves have been used to treat various illnesses for centuries, though it has more recently been made into pills and incorporated into dietary supplements to aid in weight loss, according to The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health.
The sale of Ephedra and its use in supplements was banned in the united states by the Food and Drug Administration in 2004 because its use in dietary supplements lead to intense gastrointestinal complications and heart problems, despite a 2003 meta-analysis published by the American Medical Association which found that the herb really does help with weight loss and adverse effects were likely caused by companies blending the herb with caffeine. The ban on Ephedra was briefly lifted by a Federal Court Ruling in 2005, though it was later reinstated in 2006. In 2015 Reuters published an article praising the ban linking it to steeply declined rates of supplement related mortality.
Despite rumors that the FDA is planning to lift the ban in light of the recent “obesity epidemic” this writer has been unable to find any reliable source to support the rumor.
Keep your ear to the ground, however, as this plant does seem to be an effective weight loss supplement.
Green Tea Extract
More common than tea made from Ephedra is Green Tea. A common enough drink the world over, green tea extract is a common weight loss supplement that helps lead to weight loss by increasing the body’s energy output.
Studies have long held that this herb and its extract can lead to weight loss, though many studies, including at least one study by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, have found that this extract can lead to liver complications and even liver failure.
While the supplement is legal for sale by the FDA and readily available, Consumer Report has recommended that the ingredient be avoided due to its side-effects, including less severe side-effects like dizziness, elevated blood pressure and heart rate, and ringing in the ears.
Taken responsibly and from a responsible supplier, this herbal supplement has promising weight loss effects, but talk to your doctor before taking it, especially if you have liver or heart problems.
Green Coffee Extract
Green Coffee Bean Extract has also been found to help with weight loss in a 2011 meta-analysis published in the journal Gastroenterology Research and Practice.
Where green tea extract leads to weight loss by changing the metabolism, green coffee extract leads to weight loss by changing how your body takes in glucose. Also, unlike green tea extract, green coffee extract has not been widely linked to health defects or negative side-effects. Many green coffee extract suppliers have even been approved by the FDA.
You only need to talk to a doctor before taking this herbal supplement if you have diabetes or if you are sensitive to caffeine.
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