Healing Herbs and Spices: Nature's Medicine Cabinet

Healing herbs and spices have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. From cinnamon to turmeric, gingko to evening primrose oil, flaxseed to tea tree oil, and echinacea to ashwagandha, these natural remedies have been proven to help improve brain health, reduce inflammation, prevent cancer, lower blood pressure, and even treat skin conditions. Chamomile is also a popular herbal remedy in the United States, commonly used to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Cinnamon 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. Studies say gingko can treat patients with mild to moderate dementia and may slow cognitive decline in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Turmeric, native to India, is believed to have anti-cancer properties and may prevent mutations. It is a tentpole of an Indian alternative medicine practice called Ayurveda.

Recent research shows that turmeric also has the potential to treat a variety of dermatological diseases and joint arthritis. Evening primrose oil is known for its 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. 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. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial superpowers that can be used in wounds and topical infections. Wilson recommends that tea tree oil, like all essential oils, be diluted in a carrier oil. 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. Ashwagandha comes from the plant Withania somnifera, 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. It is common in Ayurvedic medicine (Indian traditional medicine system) to increase energy levels, decrease anxiety and stress, and reduce pain and inflammation. Ashwagandha is also used to improve male sexual health, as the herb can increase testosterone levels in men. 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, a division of the National Institutes of Health, chamomile is likely to be safe when used as tea. In Europe, chamomile is used to help heal wounds and reduce inflammation and swelling. Its proven effectiveness supports the popularity of this herbal remedy. Most people don't immediately feel the effects of ashwagandha or chamomile; it may take weeks before the benefits are noticed. Healing herbs and spices are nature's medicine cabinet - offering natural remedies for a variety of ailments with few side effects. With more research being done on these natural remedies every day, it's no wonder why they are becoming increasingly popular.

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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