We`re all about natural healing here on Live Lighter. So with much pleasure, we present you today`s article by guest blogger, James Smith, about a boat-load of herbs that can help you heal and become healthier.
An herb is any plant, the leaves, seeds or flowers of which can be used for flavor, scent or medicine. Herbs have been used for centuries by herbalists and apothecaries in the traditional cure of minor ailments to chronic diseases. The healing and medicinal properties as well as the nutrient content of herbs is often overlooked in view of the importance of fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in our diet.
Ayurveda and Chinese systems of medicines rely on these recuperative and remarkable powers of herbs to cure various conditions. Some noteworthy use of herbs include:
Herbs that Aid in Digestion: Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Mint.
Herbs, when heated, release aroma which makes your mouth water. This in turn aids the release of saliva and prepares the stomach for food. The enzymes in saliva trigger the digestive process, helping in the breakdown of starches and fats.
Hence, before the food reaches the stomach, it is processed properly and prevents digestive problems like constipation, bloating, diarrhea and irritable bowel.
Herbs with Anti-Cancer Properties: Onions, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Dandelion, Ginkgo, Chamomile, Green tea, Milk thistle.
Many herbs contain flavonoids, naturally occurring chemicals that prevent cancers, and reduce risk of strokes and heart attacks. Flavonoids increase the efficiency of vitamin C as an antioxidant, clearing up free radicals that cause cancer.
Onions possess potent anti-cancer fighting enzymes helping lower the risk of prostrate and esophageal cancers. It also contains sulfides to aid in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. Onions have antioxidant powers, contain quercetin, a natural antihistaminic to reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms of allergies. The anti-inflammatory properties of onions help fight swelling and pain associated with arthritis. Onions have anti-viral and antibiotic properties too.
The medicinal and health effects of green tea have been proven for over 5000 years, it contains antioxidants that reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, protects against autoimmune diseases and also boosts metabolism. Fitness enthusiasts use green tea and some weight loss products to maintain an hourglass figure.
Some herbs like Caraway, coriander, lavender, lemongrass, dill, basil, fennel to name a few, contain phytochemicals to inhibit the growth of tumors.
Herbs that Boost the Immune System:
All herbs that contain flavonoids also boost the immune system. Apart from these herbs, garlic and echinacea is known to have immune boosting properties by promoting the activity of lymphocytes.
The miraculous properties of dandelion have been used for centuries to treat kidney and liver conditions and anemia. It is a good source of calcium, potassium, iron, fiber and vitamin C. Dandelion promotes digestive health, has a gentle laxative effect, increases calcium absorption and controls blood sugar levels. The leaves and roots are known to reduce bloating, edema and water retention, helps reduce blood pressure and also has antibacterial properties. This could be a great alternative to consider when caring for seniors, as they need treatments with the least amount of side effects.
Herbs as Natural Antiseptics: Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Bay leaves, Turmeric
The antiseptic properties of these herbs is used to preserve meats in cellars, covered in salt. It not only adds flavor but also prevents stomach upset. Turmeric is used to prevent infections in wounds and also has healing and anti-cancer properties.
Herbs that Promote Heart Health & Reduce Cholesterol: Garlic, Green tea, Rosehip tea
Garlic, like onions, protects against heart attacks and strokes as it helps reduce bad cholesterol. Naturally occurring chemicals called catechins present in these herbs have been shown to have cholesterol-reducing properties.
Anthocyanins-the pigment that is responsible for the pink, purple, red or blue shades of some fruits and flowers helps reduce formation of bad cholesterol reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Herbs that Heal:
Aloe vera is reputed to prevent blisters caused due to burns, dill or peppermint for indigestion, chamomile for insomnia, elderflower for cold relief, rosemary to improve concentration and for bad breath and lemon balm for tension and headaches.
Certain herbs must not be used if you are trying to conceive or are pregnant. Also excessive use of herbs may be harmful to health, hence always consult a medical herbalist beforehand.
About the Author
James Smith is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about trending trends. He is a featured author at various health and fitness blogs.
Do you have any experience with the above herbs and their healing effects? Tell us about it!