The New Age of Herbal Medicine
Herbal medicine focuses on overall wellness and prevention rather than treating a disease or ailment once it arises. It is a cost-effective and easy way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are five herbs, along with their uses, that are a great addition to naturopathic care.
This herb is both immune system-boosting and antibiotic. It contains vital nutrients such as flavonoids, oligosaccharides, selenium, allicin and high levels of sulfur. You can consume either cooked or raw garlic to help treat diabetes, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure, fight cardiovascular disease, relieve allergies, fight fungal and viral infections and improve hair loss. Several studies show that garlic consumption helps halt the progress of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
Gingerol, among other bioactive agents present in ginger, helps relieve indigestion and nausea, boost immune and respiratory function, fight bacterial and fungal infections, treat stomach ulcers, reduce pain, improve diabetes, prevent malabsorption and may even inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Eat it raw, take it in powder or supplement form, consume it in liquid form by making a tea or use it topically in oil form. Researchers also found that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties for controlling the aging process.
Turmeric has been used for medical purposes for nearly 4,000 years. Add this plant to any recipe or take it as a supplement. The range of benefits include the ability to slow and prevent blood clotting, fight depression, reduce inflammation, relieve arthritis pain, manage diabetes, treat gastrointestinal issues, regulate cholesterol and fight cancer. As an antioxidant, turmeric extracts can scavenge free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes and inhibit lipid peroxidation.
Aloe vera is considered to be the most biologically active of the aloe species. It contains more than 75 potentially active components, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids. Studies have proved aloe vera has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties. The plant has also proved to be non-allergic and very good in building up the immune system. Other aloe vera benefits include its ability to soothe rashes and skin irritations; treat burns and cold sores; moisturize the skin, hair and scalp; provide antioxidants; and reduce inflammation.
One of the world’s most popular herbal medicines, Ginseng has been used in Asia and North America for centuries. Ginseng reduces stress, helps with weight loss, treats sexual dysfunction, improves lung function, lowers blood sugar levels, boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation. Ginseng is available in dried, powdered, tea, capsule and tablet forms.