The Power of Herbs
Black cohosh can be used to relieve arthritis pain, while catnip soothes an upset stomach. The sweet cranberry is known for treating bladder infections, and if you want to enhance your immune system, you should definitely take a teaspoon of dried and sliced root of Echinacea. For thousands of years, healthy herbs have been used by people to purify their bodies and minds.
We use herbs for their healing properties, for their pleasant flavor, and in different food recipes. There are many ways to utilize them, and their herbal benefits are many. However, not until recently have scientists begun to prove their abilities to help with different health conditions, such as reducing high blood sugar, curing fever, treating anxiety, and helping with various other conditions.
Herbs throughout history
Man has been using herbs since prehistoric times. The Lascaux cave paintings depict herbs, and they are 13,000-25,000 years old. Ancient Romans used dill to purify the air, and to crown their leaders. The famous Greek physician, Hippocrates, listed about 400 herbs in common use (in 5th century B.C.). “De Materia Medica” was written around 65 A.D. by a Greek physician, Pedanius Dioscorides, and in it he described the medicinal uses of different herbs.
The 3 main medicinal herb traditions are the Western (based on Roman and Greek sources), the Ayurvedic (India), and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Romans and Greeks believed that the human body was permeated by four humors, and when their balance was distorted – different health conditions would occur. Ayurvedic medicine originated in India (around 1500 B.C.), stressing that illness occurs when the natural balance was upset as well. Traditional Chinese medicine is based on the belief that there’s a constant battle between yin and yang, and our state of health is the result of it.
The one thing these traditions have in common is – restoring balance. The herbs we are about to present are known as the superhealers, and you’ll definitely want to add them to your kitchen cupboard, if not your medicine cabinet, and add them to your favorite food recipes.
If you feel nausea, due to motion sickness or pregnancy, ginger can avert it. It’s a strong antioxidant, which blocks the effects of serotonin which is produced by the stomach and the brain when you’re nauseated. Ginger may also help decrease the risk of cancer, arthritis pain, and blood pressure. To maximize its benefits, it’s best to take it before the symptoms start. The recommended dosage is no more than 4g daily.
According to some studies, you can reduce blood sugar levels by taking cinnamon extract on a daily basis, which is useful if you suffer from type II diabetes. It reduces related heart risks and helps lower cholesterol as well. Before you start taking capsules of standardized cinnamon extract, know that it can be dangerous if taken in large amounts. To tame your blood sugar, take 1g capsules, and if you have cholesterol problems, take 1-6g capsules.
Garlic is a superhealer herb which can aid in fighting anything from the common cold to cancer. Consuming garlic in high amounts can lower colorectal, the risk of ovarian and other types of cancer, and help reduce the number and size of precancerous growths in people with a history of colon polyps. Garlic can also provide cardiovascular benefits, because it contains more than 60 active phytochemicals. You can take crushed fresh garlic or garlic extract capsules of 1,000 mg.
Infamous and still illegal in most parts of the world, marijuana offers various health benefits to its consumers. It can be used to treat glaucoma, control epileptic seizures, reduce inflammation, and decrease the symptoms of Dravet’s Syndrome (a severe seizure disorder). Cannabis strains can help decrease anxiety, as well as slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The medical use of marijuana is still somewhat controversial, but the good news is that many countries have decided to decriminalize its use, so medical marijuana dispensaries can be found in Las Vegas (Nevada), California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and many other US states. People are starting to recognize the benefits of marijuana, and have stopped fearing it as they did in the past. The right dose depends on whether you want to smoke it, use cannabis oil, or other extractions, and you should consult your doctor about it.
Turmeric is a spice used in curry. It contains a powerful anti-inflammatory, curcumin, which works similarly to Cox-2 inhibitors that reduce Cox-2 levels – an enzyme that causes the swelling and pain in arthritis. It can help in treating Alzheimer’s disease by helping clear the brain of the plaque characteristic of the disease. Add the spice to your food whenever possible, while 400mg of curcumin extract, 3 times per day, is recommended as a therapeutic dose.
Herbs are given to us by Mother Earth, and you can see how our own planet provides us with everything we need to keep our mind, body, and soul in balance. There superhealing herbs can be used on a daily basis, for treating various conditions, or for their prevention. Add them to your cooking or medical cabinet, and know where to look next time you have a common cold, feel nausea, or suffer from more serious illnesses, like high blood pressure, type II diabetes, or epilepsy.