Healing Plants and Herbs: A Guide to Common Medicinal Herbs

From chamomile to gingko, turmeric to evening primrose oil, flaxseed to tea tree oil, echinacea to lavender, and ginger to sea buckthorn oil, there are many healing plants and herbs that can be used for medicinal purposes. Each of these plants has its own unique properties and benefits, and can be used in a variety of ways. In this article, we'll explore the common uses of these healing herbs, their potential health benefits, and how they can be incorporated into your garden or landscape. Chamomile is one of the most popular medicinal herbs in the United States.

It is believed to have a wide range of healing properties, from treating everything from insomnia to digestive issues. The flowers are often dried and used in teas or tinctures. Studies have also shown that chamomile may help reduce inflammation and improve brain health. Gingko is one of the oldest tree species in the world, with fossils dating back 270 million years ago.

It is also one of the oldest homeopathic plants and a key herb in Chinese medicine. The leaves are used to create capsules, tablets and extracts, and when dried, they can be consumed as tea. Gingko is known for its ability to improve brain health and may even slow cognitive decline in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Turmeric is native to India and has been used as a medicinal herb for 4,000 years.

It is a tentpole of an Indian alternative medicine practice called Ayurveda. Studies have found that turmeric may have anti-cancer properties and may prevent mutations. It also shows promise as a treatment for a variety of dermatological diseases and joint arthritis. Evening primrose oil is another popular medicinal herb that has been used for centuries.

It is known to help with conditions such as atopic dermatitis and diabetic neuropathy, as well as breast pain. Studies have found that evening primrose oil has anti-inflammatory properties and could be the Swiss army knife in the world of medicinal plants. However, it can interact with several medications, so it's important to speak with your healthcare professional before taking it. Flaxseed is one of the few vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids and is praised for its antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Studies have found that flaxseed may help prevent colon cancer and lower blood pressure when consumed. It can also help reduce obesity when added to oats or smoothies. The best way to add flax seeds is through diet - sprinkle ground seeds on cereals or salads, cook in hot cereals, stews, homemade breads or milkshakes. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial superpowers that have been studied for their potential use in wounds and topical infections. It can also be used for acne and scalp treatments.

Wilson recommends that tea tree oil, like all essential oils, be diluted in a carrier oil before use as it is often already diluted in a variety of skin care products and creams. Echinacea is much more than those beautiful purple flowers that you see dotting gardens - these flowers have been used for centuries as medicine in the form of teas, juices and extracts. The most well-known use of echinacea is to shorten the symptoms of the common cold, but further studies are needed to verify this benefit and understand how echinacea increases immunity when there is a virus. Lavender is another popular healing herb that can be used medicinally to heal headaches, insomnia, relieve tension and as a natural insect repellent. As a plant that grows in the garden, it gives off a beautiful, relaxing scent and can be trimmed to promote thicker growth or shaped to form knots or topiaries. Use leaves and flowers in teas and lemonade. Ginger comes from the underground stem of the ginger plant and is added to food and drinks around the world due its potential health benefits.

Studies have found that ginger may help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, reduce nausea, lower blood sugar levels and even reduce muscle pain. Sea buckthorn oil has long been used in traditional medicine and can provide numerous health benefits including reducing inflammation, improving skin health, boosting immunity and aiding digestion. When making decisions about herbs alongside more traditional medicinal approaches it's important to speak with your healthcare professional first. You can also incorporate healing herbs into your garden or landscape by planting low-growing herbs such as thyme, violas or chamomile for useful soil cover or planting peppermint in a sunny place to increase your oil production.

Andrea Pedraza
Andrea Pedraza

Hardcore music specialist. Avid social media nerd. Hardcore pop culture lover. Devoted zombie practitioner. Hipster-friendly communicator.

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