medicine is the most ancient form of health care known to man. Herbs
have been used in all cultures since history records were recorded.
Herbal medicine has such an extraordinary influence that numerous
alternative medicine therapies treat their patients with herbal remedies,
including naturopathy, orthomolecular medicine, and ayurveda. Approximately
25 percent of all prescription drugs are derived from trees, shrubs,
of Native American, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, and Hebrew medical
practices reveal that herbs were used to cure practically every
known illness. Herbal remedies come in a variety of different forms:
herbal baths, herbal capsules, herbal compresses, herbal douches,
herbal electuaries, herbal extracts, herbal implants, herbal oils,
herbal poultices and plasters, herbal salves, herbal teas, herbal
infusions, herbal ointments, herbal decoctions, and herbal wraps.
So, clearly herbal medicine has become a booming industry as well
as a therapeutic healing technique. The majority of prescriptions
as treatment in herbal medicine are actually mixtures of herbs,
plant extracts and other organic substances, rather than just strictly
one herb for every disorder, disease, and anomaly.
using herbs in their complete form, the body's healing process utilizes
a balance of ingredients provided by nature. The World Health Organization
estimates that of 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about
74 percent are used in modern medicine. Much debate has circulated
as to whether or not pharmaceutical companies should extract the
potent ingredients from the herbs and synthesize their own man-made
herbs, or prescibe herbs in their purest form. Most herbalists favor
the latter, although all three techniques are now used extensively.
They also contend that most herbs are just as effective as drugs,
but without the side effects. The part about the reduced side effects
is generally true, although, if used inappropriately, some herbs
can be very powerful and cause adverse effects (e.g. herbal phen-phen
and its reputation of causing heart complications). Qualified herbalists
treat herbs with great deference. They are trained to know how to
concoct remedies for specific symptoms and diagnoses. Most herbs
are beneficial, but since herbs come from plants and some plants
are noxious, some herbs can be poisonous if used for long periods
of time. In general, most of the bitter-tasting herbs are medicinal
herbs. The pleasant-tasting herbs are potentially less toxic and
can be used more often and for longer periods of time.
medicine is also known as botanical medicine (in Europe it is known
as phytotherapy or phytomedicine). An herb is a part of a plant
that can be used for healing purposes (as a potion or remedy). An
herb can be a leaf, a flower, a stem, a seed, a root, a fruit, bark,
or any other plant part that can treat wounds, abrasions, cuts,
and a number of other conditions. There are an estimated 250,000
to 500,000 plants on earth today. Only about 5,000 of these have
been studied for their medicinal applications. The pervasive belief
is that there are herbs yet to be discovered that can cure some
of the world's most debilitating, life-threatening diseases. Perhaps
they can be found in the rain forests of Africa or South America.
Maybe in the future, herbs will replace antibiotics and prescription
drugs as widespread treatment. Most likely, as herbal medicine goes,
so goes alternative medicine in general. All of this is speculation.
However, one thing is for sure: there is still a significant amount
yet to be learned about the intrinsic value of herbs, the ingredients
that compose them, and the many herbs which have not yet been discovered.
contain a large number of naturally occurring chemicals that have
biological activity. Herbs work in a similar fashion to antibiotics,
pharmaceutical drugs, and that is why there has been such a stirring
furor about the pros and cons of both. In this debate, both drugs
and herbs have been compared many times over. Herbal medicine is the
most beneficial when it is used to cure chronic, ongoing diseases.
Quick-acting herbs is a common misconception because herbs take an
indirect route to the bloodstream and target organs, they often reach
their chosen destination slower than many drugs (which take direct
routes). However, this is not the case with all herbs, especially
if they are taken in large quantities. If chosen skillfully, they
can treat multitude of conditions (see common cures) with few or no
negative side effects.
on Important Herbs (25) -- Their Health Benefits:
and detoxifies the body. Eases inflammation, lowers cholesterol,
balances hormones. Good for anemia, bleeding-related disorders,
bone and joint disorders, colon and digestive disorders, skin
disorders, and ulcers.
burns and wounds; stimulates cell regeneration, and has antifungal,
antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Good for AIDS and for
skin and digestive disorders.
(Capsicum annuum, hot pepper, red pepper)
digestion, improves circulation, and stops bleeding from ulcers.
Good for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen, and stomach.
Useful for arthritis and rheumatism. Can ward off colds, sinus
infections, and sore throats.
anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulant, digestive aid. Helps
colitis, diverticulitis, fever, headaches, and pain. Is a remedy
for stress and anxiety, indigestion, and insomnia.
the bark of cinnamon is used as a remedy. Relieves diarrhea
and nausea; counteracts congestion; aids the peripheral circulation
of the blood. Useful for digestive problems, diabetes, weight
loss, yeast infecton, and uterine hemorrhaging.
or purple coneflower)
anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Good for immune
system and lymphatic system because it stimulates white blood
cells. Useful for colic, colds, flu, and snakebites.
(Ephedra sineca, Ma-huang)
as a decongestant, stimulates the central nervous system. Should
not be taken by those who suffer from anxiety disorder (panic
attacks), glaucoma, heart disease, or high blood pressure. Useful
for allergies, asthma, colds, respiratory conditions, depression
primarily in Australia, it clears congestion, reduces swelling
by helping to increase blood flow. Recommended for external
use only, it should not be used on open cuts or wounds. Good
for colds, coughs, and respiratory disorders.
(Tanacetum parthenium, featherfew,
the leaves is a folk remedy, but it may cause mouth sores. Stimulates
the appetite and utering contractions. Increases the fluidity
of lung and bronchial tube mucus. Good for arthritis, colitis,
fever, headaches, menstrual problems, muscle tension, pain.
blood pressure and improves circulation. Detoxifies the body
and protects against infection by enhancine immune function.
Aids in the treatment of arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma,
cancer, circulatory problems, colds and flu, digestive problems,
heart disorders, insomnia, liver disease, sinusitis, ulcer,
yeast infections, and virtually any type of infection.
the colon, stimulates circulation. A strong antioxidant and
effective antimicrobial agent. Useful for bowel disorders, circulatory
problems, fever, hot flashes,indigestion, morning sickness,
motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting.
taken from the leaves of plants, ginkgo improves brain functioning
by increasing cerebral blood flow, circulation, and oxygenation.
Good for depression, headaches, memory loss, tinnitis (ringing
in the ears), asthma, eczema, and heart and kidney disorders.
(Panax ginseng, Oriental ginseng; Panax quinquefolius,American
taken from the roots of plants, ginseng is taken by athletes
to improve strength and performance. It strengthens the adrenal
and reproductive glands. Useful for bronchitis, circulatory
problems, diabetes, infertility, lack of energy, and stress.
Enhances immune function, promotes lung functioning and stimulates
the appetite. Siberian ginseng belongs to a different botanical
family than American and Korean ginseng, but the properties
and uses of all three are similar.
as an antibiotic, cleanses the body, has anti-inflammatory and
antibacterial properties; strengthens the immune system. Promotes
functioning capacity of the colon, liver, pancreas, spleen,
and lymphatic and respiratory systems. Decreases uterine bleeding,
reduces blood pressure, and stimulates the central nervous system.
Good for inflammation, ulcers, infectious disease, as well as
for disorders affecting the bladder, prostate, stomach, or vagina.
cholesterol levels and restores heart muscle. Useful for anemia,
cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, and lowered immunity.
Increases intracellular vitamin C levels.
inside a pillowcase, aids sleep. Good for heightened anxiety,
cardiovascular disorders, hyperactivity, insomnia, nervousness,
pain, restlessness, sexually transmitted diseases, shock, stress,toothaches,
and ulcers. Acts as a relaxant, calming people.
the colon and promotes adrenal gland function. Has estrogen-
and progesterone-like effects; may change the pitch of voice.
Beneficial for allergic disorders, asthma, chronic fatigue,
depression, emphysema, fever, herpesvirus infection, hypoglycemia,
and inflammatory bowel disorders.
thistle (Silybum marianum,
Mary thistle, wild artichoke)
some of the most potent liver-protecting substances known. Acts
as an antioxidant; protects the kidneys. Good for bowel disorders,
weakened immune system, and all liver disorders, such as jaundice
and hepatitis. Beneficial for psoriasis.
(Urtica dioica or stinging nettle)
diuretic (increases the production and elimination of urine),
expectorant (stimulates the removal of mucous from the lungs),
pain reliever, and tonic (nurtures and enlivens). Good for anemia,
arthritis, hay fever, allergic disorders, kidney problems, malabsorption
syndrome. Improves goiter, inflammatory conditions.
flower (Passiflora incarnata,
as a sedative. Helpful for anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia,
neuritis, and stress-related disorders. Should not be used in
high doses during pregnancy.
absorption by increasing stomach acidity. Useful for chills,
colic, diarrhea, headache, heart trouble, indigestion, nausea,
poor appetite, rheumaism, and spasms. May interfere with iron
John's wort (Hypericum perforatum)
help to inhibit viral infections, including HIV and herpes.
Good for depression and nerve pain. Can cause heightened sun
sensitivity in fair-skinned individuals if taken internally
in large amounts. Interferes with absorption of iron and other
palmetto (Serenoa repens)
as a diuretic and urinary antiseptic. Stimulates the appetite.
Good for prostate disorders. May enhance sexual functioning
and desire. Saw palmetto extracts have been approved in France
and Germany for treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy.
circulation and acts as a sedative. Good for anxiety, fatigue,
high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual
cramps, muscle cramps, nervousness, pain, spasms, stress, and
hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
topically, has astringent (binding action on mucous membranes,
skin, and other tissue; reduces irritation and inflammation)
properties, and relieves itching. Good for hemorrhoids and phlebitis.
Very useful in skin care.
medicine can cure the following ailments:
(teas comfrey, horsetail, Solomon's seal are recommended)
MUSCLES AND FACIA
aches and pains
injuries (Siberian ginseng is recommended)
(asafetida, mugwort, skullcap and valerian root are recommended)
disease (hawthorn is recommended as a heart tonic)
clots (hawthorne berry is recommended)
(Herbs licorice, burdoc, and dandelion are recommended)
bleeds (try a snuff made from finely ground oak bark)
(Ginkgo biloba is recommended)
disease (herb Ginkgo biloba improves circulation and increases
(valerian and American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius, are
nervosa (ginger root, ginseng, gotu kola, and peppermint
are recommended to stimulate appetite)
(ginger and ginkgo leaf extract are recommended)
and cognition problems (take Ginkgo leaf extract)
(Ginkgo and ginger are recommended)
infections (Otitis Media, echinacea and garlic oil capsules
disorders (Ginkgo biloba is recommended)
disorders (Ginkgo biloba is recommended)
(ginger and and infusion of peppermint are recommended)
and weight management
(licorice root tea or deglycerinized licorice, and chlorophyll
II are recommended)
(herbs echinacea and goldenseal encourage repair of the
breath (peppermint tea is recommended, as is chewing seeds
of fennel or anise)
(anise water is recommended)
(goldenseal is recommended)
(milk thistle seed extract is recommended)
(milk thistle seed extract is recommended)
(herb Geranium maculatum recommended to prevent bleeding,
and licorice root tea with marshmallow, slippery elm bark,
geranium, yarrow, goldenseal, echinacea are also recommended)
bowel syndrome (ginger is recommended)
(garlic is recommended)
(ginger and an infusion of peppermint are recommended)
(oatstraw is recommended along with Siberian ginseng to
normalize the neurotransmitters in the brain)
cold (herbs yarrow, eyebright, elecampagne, elderflower
(herbs yarrow, eyebright, elecampagne, elderflower are
throat (osha root (Ligustieum porteri) is recommended)
fever (Urtica species of plants (nettle) has the ability
to clear the sinuses)
(St. John's wort, conrsilk, and lemon balm are recommended)
syndrome (PMS) (herb chasteberry is recommended)
cramps (dysmenorrhea) (mild diuretics may help remove
some of the fluid retention)
(absence of menstruation) (herbs chasteberry, false unicorn
root, blue cohosh, rue, pennyroyal, and tansy are recommended)
(Coryanthe yohimbe, Ginkgo biloba, Aletrius farinosa,
Serenoa repens, Strychnos Nux vomica, Siberian ginseng
or Panax ginseng, and Eleuthrococcus senticosus are recommended)
associated with pregnancy and childbirth (blue cohosh,
bethroot and homeopathic Calophyllum are recommended)
sores (herpes simplex)
(burdock root and gentian root are recommended)
problems (drink an infusion made from equal parts of nettle
(Urticaria) (herbs parsley and peppermint oil are recommended)
(teas of chamomile, boneset, ginger, pennyroyal, or yarrow
(apply cool aloe vera gel to burnt area)
bites (apply the fresh bruied leaf, or juice, of plantain
to the sting; aloe gel can also be applied)
(apply the milky latex from the stem of dandelions to
(make a formentation (hot pack) of ginger root; it increases
crculation to an area, swelling, pain, and stiff joints)
(use as eyewash made with a fresh and well-filtered infusion
of eyebright and goldenseal; Red raspberry tea is also
(herbs which contain berberine are useful anticandida
(burdock root, cayenne, dandelion root, echinacea, goldenseal,
red clover, yarrow, and yellowdock root are recommended)
oak/ivy (apply a poultice or tincture combination of equal
parts of witch hazel, mugwort, white oak bark, and plantain)
sores (comfey root powder, echinacea powder, goldenseal,
myrrh gum, pau d'arco, slippery elm powder, an suma are
sores (use a mouthwash made with sage and chamomile for
(salve made of calendula petals is recommended)
(apply a paste made by mixing equal parts of myrrh powder
and goldenseal powder mixed with a little water)
(drink hot ginger tea to stimulate circulation)
(Brazilian herb Pfaffia paniculata can treat a weakened
infections (citrus seed extract, artemisia annua, artemisia
absinthium, and vermox are recommended)