As I get older I am continuously searching for more natural ways to stay healthy and ward off disease. Herbs used in the right way can do just this, so here is a list of the best healing herbs and what they are good for.
If you are on medication, please check with your doctor before embarking on any new health regime.
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10 Best Healing Herbs
The next time you are feeling under the weather, try checking your spice rack for a change and not your medicine cabinet.
Herbs have actually been used for hundreds of years for healing purposes. Scientists are finally starting to substantiate the abilities of herbs to do the following:
- reduce high blood sugar
- alleviate arthritis pain
- reduce cholesterol
- kill cancer cells
- help curb addictions
So these are the ten best healing herbs that you will want to add to the natural section of your medicine cabinet and even to your favorite recipes. Folding a couple of these into your cooking each day can yield huge benefits.
Andrographis is one of the best healing herbs for relieving upper respiratory infections like colds and sinusitis. It eases symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, sore throat, and runny nose.
Now you can even get it in supplement form. Click on the picture if you want to find out more.
In a German study of type 2 diabetics taking cinnamon extract daily successfully reduced blood sugar by about 10 percent.
Cinnamon can also lower cholesterol, as it was found in another study that it slashed cholesterol by 13 percent.
To tame their blood sugar the subjects in the German trial took a 1g capsule of standardized cinnamon extract daily. Those in the cholesterol study took 1 to 6 g daily. Keep in mind that a large amount of the actual spice can be dangerous so stick with a water-soluble extract like the one below.
High consumption of garlic can help to lower rates of ovarian, colorectal, and other cancers according to a research review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
A Japanese clinical trial also found that after a year of taking aged garlic extract supplements, people with a history of colon polyps saw a reduction in the size and number of the precancerous growths detected by their doctors.
Garlic has the potential to provide cardiovascular benefits. Garlic contains 70 active phytochemicals, and it has also helped to lower blood pressure by as much as 30 points.
Garlic may help to prevent strokes and slow arterial blockages.
Crushed fresh garlic offers the best cancer-fighting and cardiovascular benefits, but you will need to down up to five cloves each day, which is why it is easier to take garlic extract capsules.
Ginger can help with stomach upset from things like pregnancy, motion sickness, and chemotherapy.
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant and it works by blocking the effects of serotonin, which is a chemical produced by both the brain and the stomach when you feel nauseated. It also stops the production of free radicals, another cause of upset in your stomach.
For nausea, ginger is best taken before symptoms start. To prevent motion sickness, take it at least 30 minutes before departure.
It may also decrease blood pressure, arthritis pain, and cancer risk.
Ginger too comes in capsule form and can be taken every four hours with a maximum of 4 g daily of dried ginger.
Frying, broiling, or grilling meats at high temperatures creates heterocyclic amines, which are potent carcinogens implicated in several cancers. When rosemary extract is mixed into beef before cooking the HCA levels are significantly reduced.
Rosemary may also stop tremours and prevent carcinogens that enter the body from binding with DNA, which is the first step in tumor formation according to several studies.
Try marinating foods you cook in any supermarket spice mix that contains rosemary and one or more of the spices basil, garlic, onion, oregano, parsley, and thyme.
Basil combats stress by increasing adrenaline and noradrenaline and by decreasing serotonin. Tea made with basil can relieve indigestion and headaches. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 10 to 15 fresh holy basil leaves and steep for 5 minutes. Remove leaves before drinking.
Basil may also inhibit breast cancer.
This herb is in my best healing herbs list because it is known to curb problem drinking.
Researchers say that the kudzu more quickly allows alcohol to get to the part of the brain that tells you that you’ve had enough.
Turmeric is said to ease arthritis as it contains curcumin which is a powerful anti-inflammatory that works similarly to Cox-2 inhibitors, drugs that reduce the Cox-2 enzyme that causes the pain and swelling of arthritis.
Turmeric may also help prevent colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease according to studies done by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
For general health, it is advisable to add the spice to your cooking whenever possible.
This herb is effective for hydrating mucous membranes and alleviating vaginal dryness. It contains palmitoleic acid which is a fatty acid found in human skin that helps moisturize and heal it.
St. John’s Wort
This herb has the power to relieve mild to moderate depression and anxiety as effectively as many drugs do, without a lot of the side effects. It may also help you to snooze more soundly as it contains melatonin and it also increases the body’s own melatonin, improving sleep says a report from the Surgeon General.
In theory St. John’s Wort could compromise the effectiveness of many drugs, including birth control pills, anti-anxiety medications, cholesterol drugs, and sleeping meds so only take it if you are not taking any other medications.
So there you have it, the ten best healing herbs on the market today. Please feel free to put your thoughts in the comment section below.