10 Essential Herbs for Common Health Problems
1. Anise (other names: star anise, aniseed, common anise, pimpinella anisum) - anise is traditionally used to treat different respiratory ailment because of its taste which is minty. It can freshen breath and acts as an antiviral and decongestant which makes this pod-like seeds ideal for cough and colds. Other known effects of anise are its ability to contribute greatly to male libido, improvement of appetite, treatment for cramps, nausea and even relief from gas pains. To use this seed as an herbal medicine, you need 1 to 2 tablespoon of crushed anise seeds boiled in water for 10-15 minutes. After which, you need to strain the solution to remove the crushed seeds. Drink this once in the morning and once in the evening preferably before bedtime.
2. Cayenne Pepper (other names: African or American pepper, bird pepper, capsicum, chili, cockspur, goat, hot, red, Spanish and zanzibar) - because of its hot or chili taste, this herb is one of the Essential Herbs which help relieve symptoms of asthma, colds, flu and other respiratory ailments as well. It also has a wonderful effect on blood pressure and other heart ailments. As a treatment for shingles, cayenne pepper can be made into paste and applied topically to blisters caused by the herpes virus. It is also traditionally used to relieve depression and even arthritis. Cayenne pepper is an effective blood thinner which means it can cause bleeding to anyone with bleeding disorders and those with gastric conditions. It is also very irritating to the mucous membrane once inhaled and can cause dermatitis and blisters when applied constantly to the skin. To use this, you can either include it in your diet or eat it as a snack. Herbologists usually advise patients to take V4 teaspoonfuls of cayenne pepper 3 times a day.
3. Celery (other names: garden or wild celery, apium graveolens) - unknown to many, celery contains high amount of sodium but at the same time, it is a very strong diuretic thus it shouldn't be eaten by individuals with kidney problems. However, as it is one of the Essential Herbs that's easy to grow and cultivate; it can be used to treat countless ailments like: angina, amenorrhea, cardiac arrhythmia, gout, dizziness, hypertension and even high cholesterol. Some experts believe that celery can be used to treat obesity, gas pains, skin problems and lack of appetite. If you want to use this herb for the ailments mentioned above, you need to eat 1 celery stalk per day. You can also use it as a tea or juice this vegetable which you can then drink 2 - 3 times a day preferably before meals.
4. Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis, camomile, chamaemelum nobile, kamillosan, matricaria chamomilla or recutita, perkamillion) - is a sedative inducing herb. It contains chemicals which can be harmful to sensitive individuals. Some of its side effects are: asthma, hay fever, hives, nausea and vomiting and may even cause gastric problems once overdose from the tincture occurs. Chamomile should be used with caution. a small quantity of this herb can produce effects which stimulates the brain to reduce weariness, calm the nerves and helps in reducing insomnia. It is also ideal for digestion and respiratory ailments since it can dissolve viscous mucous from the throat and lungs. Some herbalists believe that chamomile is good for preventing the growth of polio virus and even certain types of tumors. It also has an antifungal and anti- inflammatory properties which can be used to alleviate pain from arthritis. Traditionally, it is used to prevent and heal ulcers and it may also enhance the effects of other sedative herbs.
5. Dandelion (other names: blowball, cankerwort, lion's tooth, puffball, priest's crown, taraxacum officinale, white endive and wild endive) - dandelion is one of the best Essential Herbs to have around. It used to be considered a weed but was discovered to be a very good source of lecithin and choline which are both great for enhancing memory. It is also a wonderful antioxidant and is amazing in treating simple ailments like fever, diarrhea, constipation, gout and even complex illnesses like liver disorders and rheumatism. Dandelion is prepared as a tea and drank once daily.
6. Lavender (other names: lavandula officinalis, lavandula vera) - usually prepared as a tea and should be taken in at least one cup per day; lavender makes a great herb for relieving stress and insomnia. It's aroma is very soothing and relaxing and is known to produce anesthetic effects. It is well known to be good for the skin and used as a component in some cosmetics. Lavender is commonly used to treat amenorrhea, burn, carpal tunnel syndrome, fainting spells, pain and vaginitis. It is also used to relieve gas pains, dizziness and headaches and vaginitis.
7. Oregano (origanum majorana, origanum vulgare, wilkd majoram, winter majoram) - in the east, oregano is used to treat respiratory ailments especially cough and colds. It is also known to be very effective in treating insomnia and has a calming effect. It also contains a lot of antioxidant properties. A 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls of juice can be taken in once or twice a day.
8. Saffron (autumn crocus, crocus sativus, Spanish saffron) - this herb is beneficial not only as a food additive or ingredient but it is also known to effectively lower blood pressure. It contains a chemical called crocetin which is very good to treat amenorrhea, cough, gas and colic and also insomnia. Saffron is not for everyone especially those with CNS conditions and kidney problems this is due to its toxic content which can be fatal at doses of 10 to 12 grams.
9. Turmeric (other names: curcumin, curcuma longa) - turneric is a very strong antioxidant and can be used for individuals with obesity, cancer, atherosclerosis, liver diseases, inflammation and other types of arthritic diseases. It can cause numerous problems once taken in or ingested in large quantities.
10. Garlic (allium canadense, allium sativum, hu suan) - a clove or two of garlic a day can help reduce blood clots and even lower calories. It is usually used to lower blood cholesterol and regulate immune functions. It is ideally eaten raw and can cause desirable effects which are great for cancer, respiratory ailments and viral conditions. It should not be taken or eaten by individuals with bleeding disorders and those with gastric problems. It can cause irritation on the skin and intestines when used improperly.
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