Healing Herbs: Exploring the Benefits of Pepper, Dill, Chamomile, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Bay Leaf, Gingko, Turmeric, Evening Primrose Oil, Flax Seed and Tea Tree Oil

Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. From pepper and dill for indigestion to chamomile for insomnia and lemon balm for headaches and tension, there are many herbs with healing properties. Rosemary can help with halitosis (bad breath) and improve concentration, while thyme, sage, bay leaf and rosemary can prevent stomach upset. Gingko is one of the oldest tree species 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. It is believed to improve brain health and treat patients with mild to moderate dementia. Studies suggest that it 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. It is believed to have anti-cancer properties and may prevent mutations. Recent research also suggests that it may be a treatment for a variety of dermatological diseases and joint arthritis. Evening primrose oil is another herb with healing properties.

Studies have found that it has anti-inflammatory properties and can help with conditions such as atopic dermatitis and diabetic neuropathy. It can also help with other health problems such as breast pain. However, it can interact with several medications so more research is needed. Flax seed is one of the safest options among plant-based dietary supplements. Harvested for thousands of years, today flax seed is praised for its antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Studies suggest that it may help prevent colon cancer and lower blood pressure. It can even help reduce obesity when consumed in the form of ground seeds on cereals or salads, cooked in hot cereals or stews, added to homemade breads or milkshakes or taken as tablets or oil (which can be put in capsules). Flax seeds are one of the few vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources include chia seeds, walnuts and soy. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial superpowers which have been studied in wounds and topical infections.

It should be diluted in a carrier oil as it is often already diluted in a variety of skin care products and creams. Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of a tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. 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. Nowadays they can be taken as powders or supplements.

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. Ashwagandha comes from the plant Withania somnifera which is also known as ginseng from India and winter cherry from India. The evergreen shrub is native to Africa and Asia and grows in parts of the Middle East and India. Ashwagandha has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties including increasing energy levels, decreasing anxiety and stress, reducing pain and inflammation as well as improving male sexual health by increasing testosterone levels in men. The root of the woody plant is said to support erectile dysfunction, increase libido (sexual desire) and improve sexual pleasure. Ashwagandha is available in the form of capsules, tincture or powder as a dietary supplement but it may take weeks before its benefits are noticed. Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy in the United States commonly used to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health it is likely to be safe when used as tea or orally in the short term but more research is needed on its long-term safety. In Europe chamomile is used to help heal wounds and reduce inflammation and swelling but it should not be taken if pregnant as high doses can cause miscarriage.

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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