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10 of the World’s Most Underrated Medicinal Herbs
There are thousands, perhaps even millions, of medicinal herbs on this planet that can help, or even cure you of almost any health problem you can think of. Do yourself, and your health, a favor and look into some of the amazing alternatives Mother Nature has to offer before you fill that prescription or buy that over the counter chemical quick fix.
Perhaps one of the best parts about using herbs is that many of these can be grown at home, or they can be purchased as essential oils or as tinctures. No matter how you decide to use them, there is no denying that these herbs are serious and powerful medicine.
Just a note: although these herbs are generally considered to be safe for everyone, for those of you who are taking prescription medications or are under a doctor’s care, or if you are pregnant, please consult with your doctor before stopping any medication or before you consume any herb to ensure that it is safe for you, your baby, and that there won’t be any drug interactions.
If you have only thought of sage as a pretty plant in your garden, a spice you add to meat, or even something you use for smudging, there is still a great deal about sage that you don’t know. This is perhaps one of the most widely used and most versatile herbs on the planet. Even its Latin name, Salvia Officinalis, comes from the Latin word salvere, which means to be saved. Before refrigeration, people used sage to preserve their meat.
Sage can eliminate diarrhea, fight colds and fevers, reduces inflammation in the body, relieves abdominal cramps, dries up phlegm, aids digestion, kills bacteria, and reduces swelling. Sage can even return color back to gray hair. The Native Americans have long used sage as a means of clearing negative energy and as medicine.
The edible plant that most people remove from their yards because they are “weeds.” Dandelions are used to make foods and drinks. All parts are edible and have medicinal purposes. The leaves, flowers, and roots act as a tonic for cleansing the blood and improving the function of the liver.
Dandelion balances both cholesterol levels and blood sugar. They improve the function of the pancreas and can prevent gallstones from forming. A whole lot of medicine for one little weed, is it not?
Super tasty, this spice has a lot going for it. Ginger is well-known for its ability to calm queasy stomachs, but did you know that it also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic compounds? The anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger make this herb a super way to fight menstrual pain, migraine headaches, and even joint pain.
Ginger is also good for those with digestion problems as it contains protein digesting enzymes and encourages your stomach to empty its contents.
Who doesn’t love lavender? It has the most wonderfully calming scent that has been shown to help those with depression, stress, anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. But lavender essential oil has also been shown to fight nail infections and other fungal infections that are resistant to other anti-fungal drugs.
Lavender can also be used to treat other skin problems such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, acne, kill lice, and soothe bug bites. Lavender will also encourage your hair to grow, improve digestion, relieve muscle pain, and help with various respiratory problems.
5. California Poppy
This beautiful orange flower is a very effective nervine, which means that it is excellent for reliving feelings of stress and anxiety. California poppy can be made into a tea for quick relief and is safe even for young children.
A stronger brew, where the flowers, leaves, and roots are allowed to soak overnight, is perfect for relieving pain and calming the body.
A flowering plant that grows almost anywhere, this plant is great for skin problems and for relieving fevers. Marigold can reduce acne as well as reduce swelling in any part of the body within a short period of time.
Marigold works well to fight headaches and toothaches and its anti-inflammatory compounds will help to stop allergies, and encourage the growth of new blood vessels. Marigold can help prevent the growth of tumors as well.
If peppermint makes you think of candy, you are not alone. However, peppermint has so many health benefits that it’s hard to list them all. Peppermint can help with coughs, colds, allergies, asthma, and even tuberculosis, simply by rubbing peppermint essential oil, mixed with a good quality carrier oil, on the chest.
Peppermint tea can help offer gas relief, and ease the abdominal pain that is associated with indigestion. Peppermint is a must have herb for any garden and putting small pots of it around your patio can help discourage pests, such as mosquitoes, from hanging around. Most bugs do not like the scent of peppermint, but what do they know anyway?
Yes, that same spice you have on your kitchen shelf is the same spice that is simply loaded with healthy flavonoids including apigenin, luteolin, thymonin, and naringenin, all of which have been shown to protect the healthy fats that surround cell membranes. Thyme is loaded with nutrients as well, including vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, iron, manganese, and fiber.
Thyme oil has a wide variety of topical uses that can offer relief from menstrual pain, nausea, fatigue, arthritis, gout, heal sores and wounds, it even works well as a hangover relief. Thyme tea can calm the mind and nerves and helps to fight insomnia while improving the memory and concentration levels. Thyme can reduce the risk of colon cancer and can help to regulate blood pressure levels.
You have probably seen this herb, frequently sold as a tea, since you were a child. Long admired for its ability to relieve stress and make you feel more relaxed so that you can sleep, but did you know that that chamomile has so much more to offer? The German Commission E has approved chamomile for the reduction of swelling and for sale as an antibacterial compound.
Chamomile also has anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-spasmodic, and sedative properties. Chamomile calms skin problems as well as the mind. It has been successfully used as a treatment for eczema, diaper rash, chickenpox, psoriasis, and many other problems.
Yes, it’s the cannabis of the cat world! Catnip might be best known for making cats go a little bonkers, but it has plenty of health benefits to offer us humans as well. Catnip can help to relieve cold symptoms and reduce a fever. It can stop bleeding and swelling when applied topically.
Related to mint, catnip can stop migraines, gas, and stomach pain. It can cause uterine contractions, so it should not be consumed if you are pregnant. Don’t break open your cats’ toys, however; they might not appreciate it. Buy your own catnip tea or plant your own catnip in the garden.