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Herbs & Their Uses for the Body


The use of herbs to heal the body have been around for many centuries, they have been utilised to relieve mental ailments such as anxiety, stress and depression and many other physical conditions.  Because of their natural properties there are times when it might be smarter to use an herbal remedy rather than a pharmaceutical one, as quite often, herbs offer a safer alternative to prescription medications.

Take chamomile for example, the flowers have been used for centuries as a gentle calmative for young and old alike. It’s non-habit-forming and well tolerated, and a study sponsored by the University of Michigan found that chamomile extract had roughly the same efficacy as many prescription sleeping medications when given to adults with insomnia.

Likewise, peppermint oil has been shown to be as effective as pharmaceutical drugs for relieving irritable bowel syndrome, but without the ofttimes dangerous side effects. And clinical studies have shown that ginger relieves morning sickness, sage can relieve a sore throat, and hibiscus tea gently lowers blood pressure.I believe it’s better to use mild remedies for minor health problems and save the more potent—and risky—prescription medications for more serious conditions.

Please note: Some herbal remedies (such as the antidepressant St. John’s wort) can interact with medications, so please always consult your Doctor or Health Care Practitioner before using any herbs.

1. BLACK COHOSH

2. CALENDULA

3. CATNIP

4. CRANBERRY

5. ECHINACEA

6. ELDERBERRY

7. GARLIC

8. GINGER

9. GINSENG

10. HIBISCUS

11. HOPS (Humulus lupulus)

12. HORSE CHESTNUT

13. LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis)

14. MARSHMALLOW

15. MILK THISTLE

16. MULLEIN

17. NETTLE

18. SAGE

19. ST JOHNS WORT

20.THYME

 

 

BLACK COHOSH

black-cohosh-969277_1920Uses: Relieves menstrual cramps and arthritic pain; commonly used to ease menopausal symptoms

Preparation and doses:
Tincture: Take 1–2 ml 3 times per day.
Standardized extract: Take 20–80 mg 2 times per day.

Concerns: Very rare case reports of liver damage (likely due to misidentified herb); purchase only from reputable supplier

 

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CALENDULA

calendula-933760_1920Uses: Calendula has long been used to relieve inflammation of the mouth, throat, and stomach; popular as a topical cream or ointment to relieve rashes and irritation and to help heal wounds.

Preparation and doses: 
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 tsp petals. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Use as needed as a mouthwash, gargle, or tea.
Ointment: Apply to skin 2 or 3 times per day as needed.

Concerns: None known

 

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CATNIP

catnip-718387_1920

Uses: Soothes an upset stomach; reduced anxiety and tension

Preparation and doses: 
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 4 or 5 fresh or 1 tsp dried leaves. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if desired. Drink 1 or 2 times per day.

Concerns: None known

 

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CRANBERRY

cranberry-71704_1280

Uses: Well-established treatment for reducing the risk of bladder infection; could also be beneficial for chronic prostatitis

Preparation and doses:
Juice: Drink ½-¾ cup twice per day.
Capsules: Take 300–500 mg concentrated juice extract 2 times per day.

Concerns: None known

 

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ECHINACEA

echinacea-413366_1920

Uses: Antiviral and immune-enhancing properties; popular for relieving colds and upper respiratory infections (approved in Europe for these uses)

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Simmer 1 tsp dried and sliced root in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink 1-3 cups per day.
Tincture: Take 5 ml 3-6 times per day at onset of cold symptoms.

Concerns: Rare allergic reactions

 

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 ELDERBERRY

elderberry-693931_1920

Uses: Elderberry flowers have been valued as a remedy for colds and fever for centuries; fruit extracts have been shown to have significant antiviral activity, especially against the flu.

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1–2 tsp flowers. Steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten if desired and drink hot 2-3 times per day.
Berry extracts: Use as directed.

Concerns: None known

 

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 GARLIC

garlic-1336883_1920

Uses: Potent antimicrobial; often used to combat colds, ease sinus congestion, and stave off traveler’s diarrhea. Studies show that regular use can help gently lower blood pressure.

Preparation and doses:
Eat: Eat 1–2 cloves fresh daily.
Capsules: Take 4–8 mg allicin per day; enteric-coated products may be superior if specifically treating diarrhea.

Concerns: May interact with warfarin

 

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GINGER

ginger-1191927_1920

Uses: Premiere remedy for easing nausea, vomiting, and upset stomach; fresh teas relieve cold and flu symptoms.

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Steep ¼–½ tsp dried ginger or simmer 1 tsp fresh ginger root in 1 cup hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if desired. Drink 1–2 cups per day.
Capsules: Take 250–500 mg 2 times per day.

Concerns: Very safe in small amounts; heartburn and stomach upset can occur with high doses. Pregnant women should not take more than 1,500 mg per day of dried ginger.

 

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GINSENG

ginseng-1375269_1920

Uses: Helps relieve and prevent mental and physical fatigue; shown to reduce the frequency and severity of colds; possibly beneficial for erectile dysfunction

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Simmer 1 tsp dried and sliced root in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink 1–2 cups per day.
Standardized extract (4–7% ginsenosides): 100–400 mg per day

Concerns: Purchase from a reputable manufacturer, as ginseng has often been adulterated in the past.

 

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HIBISCUS

hibiscus-flower-1206243_1920

Uses: Lowers blood pressure and has mild diuretic activity; traditionally used to ease sore throats and colds

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1–2 tsp dried flowers. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if desired. Drink 2 cups per day.
Capsules: Take 1,000 mg 2 times per day.

Concerns: Talk to your health-care provider if you have high blood pressure.

 

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HOPS (Humulus lupulus)

hop-vines-409870_1920

Uses: Excellent sleeping aid; smaller, daytime doses used to ease tension, restlessness, and anxiety; might help reduce hot flashes during menopause

Preparation and doses:
Capsules: Take 200–300 mg 1-3 times per day.
Tincture: Take 2–4 ml before bed.

Concerns: Can cause sedation

 

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HORSE CHESTNUT

horse chestnut-1208276_1920

Uses: Seed extracts shown to be highly effective for treatment of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency (blood pools in lower leg veins after standing or sitting); topical gels can reduce swelling and tenderness due to injury.

Preparation and doses:
Seed extract (containing 100–150 mg aescin/escin): Take 600 mg per day in divided doses.

Concerns: Unprocessed horse chestnut seeds can be toxic; use only appropriately prepared seed extracts.

 

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LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis)

lemon balm-267512_1920

Uses: Gentle calmative; eases tension, digestive upset, and colic; topical creams used for fever blisters

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 5 or 6 fresh or 1 tsp dried leaves. Steep for 5 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if desired. Drink several times per day.

Concerns: None; suitable for all ages

 

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MARSHMALLOW

marshmallow flower-207169_1280

Uses: Root and leaf are rich in mucilage, a substance that coats the lining of the mouth and throat, as well as the tissue that lines the gastrointestinal tract. Used for sore throat, heartburn, and minor GI inflammation.

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup hot water over 1 tsp dried and sliced root or 2 tsp leaf. Steep for 2 hours. Strain and drink as desired.

Concerns: Take other drugs 1 hour prior to or several hours after consuming marshmallow, as it could slow absorption of oral medications.


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MILK THISTLE

Milk Thistle-848753_1920Uses: Protects the liver from damage caused by environmental toxins, medications, and alcohol. Recent studies suggest it protects the kidneys similarly.

Preparation and doses:
Extract (guaranteed minimum of 70% silymarin): Take 400–700 mg per day in divided doses.

Concerns: None known

 

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MULLEIN

mullein-368687_1920

Uses: Leaves commonly used to relieve cough, sore throat, and chest congestion; steeped in oil, the flowers relieve earache.

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1–2 tsp leaves. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten, and drink as desired.
Ear oil: Use as directed.

Concerns: None known

 

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NETTLE

stinging-nettle-503939_1920

Uses: Fresh, freeze-dried leaves relieved seasonal allergy symptoms in one human trial. Research supports use of the root for easing symptoms of enlarged prostate. Tea widely recommended for its nutritive value.

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 tsp leaves. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Sweeten if desired. Drink 1–3 cups per day.
Freeze-dried nettle capsules: Take 300–500 mg 2 times per day.
Nettle root: Take 250–400 mg 2 or 3 times per day.

Concerns: Wear gloves when handling fresh nettles to avoid stinging and irritation (sting is lost with cooking or drying); very safe herb.

 

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SAGE

wild-sage-789424_1920

Uses: Excellent for sore throat, cough, and colds; recognized in Germany as a treatment for excessive sweating; studies show it can help reduce menopausal hot flashes and night sweats.

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tsp leaves. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain. Drink, or use as a sore throat gargle.
Capsules: Take 500 mg dried leaf 2 times per day.

Concerns: Do not use therapeutic doses during pregnancy; do not use sage essential oil internally.

 

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ST JOHNS WORT

St Johns Wort-444396_1920

Uses: More than 40 studies have confirmed its effectiveness for relieving mild to moderate depression; may also relieve PMS symptoms and menopausal hot flashes, especially when combined with black cohosh.

Preparation and doses:
Standardized extract (standardized to 0.3% hypericin and/or 3–5% hyperforin): Take 300–600 mg 3 times per day.

Concerns: Talk to your physician or pharmacist before using if you are taking prescription medications; the chance for herb-drug interaction is high.

 

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THYME

thyme-1235573_1280

Uses: Highly regarded for relieving coughs, colds, and congestion; rich in volatile oils that have significant antimicrobial and antispasmodic activity

Preparation and doses:
Tea: Pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 Tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and sweeten, if desired. Drink ⅓ cup 3 times per day.

Concerns: None known

 

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Linked Article:

10 Common Herbs That Are More Powerful Than You Think

 

Article adapted from:

Source: http://www.prevention.com/mind-body/natural-remedies/25-healing-herbs-you-can-use-every-day

 

 

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