The 6 Best Herbs for Health and Healing

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1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, a well known herb mostly cultivated in India is easily available in USA. It is well known tonic and a stress reliever. It is one of the most important Ayurvedic herb known. In addition it is an excellent antioxidant and supports healthy immune system. A 500mg dose can give you relaxing effect within few hours. It also has sex enhancing properties and improves endurance. There are no ill side effects. It can be taken over a long time. However it may not be a bad idea to take it for 2 weeks and then take a break for one week.

Other alternate is to take this 2 to 3 times a week. It has pain suppressing qualities, and is effectively used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. It nourishes the brain and promotes calmness. Improves mental activity and concentration. Often recommended for treating vertigo. Improves stamina, slows aging process, has diuretic effect and is used in treating urinary infections. Widely used to treat high blood pressure. Delivers Strength to heart muscle improving heart functions. Also used to treat respiratory infections and Asthma.

Overall a great HEALING HERB. Take it for all these benefits. This herb is very affordable and is available widely at various health food stores or can be purchased over the internet.

Caution: Some people with thyroid problems should consult their doctor before starting on this herb. Also if you are taking several prescription drugs please seek advice from your health care provider.

2. Ginger

The Ginger or Ginger root is widely consumed in cooking recipes and very frequently used for its medicinal benefits around the world. The Ginger root juice is very effective and Ginger root tea is frequently used with honey to treat cold, cough and abdominal pains or gas related symptoms. It is a blood thinner and has cholesterol lowering properties. Also effective in treating Arthritis, diarrhea and nausea. Ginger also has properties for relieving pain and reduce inflammation. Drink Ginger tea with your meal. Over all safe by FDA, however it does interact with some medications like warfarin. Consult with your doctor if you are taking prescription drugs.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is most famous as yellow curry powder. It is widely used in preparing Asian dishes. No kitchen should be without it. Turmeric plant is from ginger family and mostly grown in South East Asia, including India. Commonly used in powder form in cooking. Turmeric has many medicinal values and is used in Ayurvedic prescriptions. U.S. National Institute of Health has currently more than 60 clinical trials underway for variety of medical disorders. Some of these are for Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer, Arthritis and anti-fungal properties.

Most Common Medicinal Uses

  • Liver detoxifier
  • AS pain and inflammation reliever.
  • As a disinfectant for cuts and bruises.
  • As a fat burner to reduce weight.
  • Effective in reducing cholesterol, and in improving digestion.
  • Antibacterial
  • Treat depression
  • Prevent heart disease
  • Treat acne
  • Treat rheumatoid arthritis
  • Protect cardiovascular system
  • Treat Alzheimer’s disease
  • Reduce tumor formation
  • Regulate menstruation
  • Treat eczema
  • Treat stomach ulcers
  • Treat gallstones

Apart from common use as a spice, which is the easier way to consume this yellow curry powder, here are few of my own uses I have personally used. Add a dash of turmeric powder to warm milk and drink it and then rest to reduce Allergies. This also helps in mild food poisoning. Mix a small amount of the powder with body oil to make a paste and apply over cuts and wounds. Speeds healing. I had a fall as a child and my arm was swollen. My Mom applied warm oil turmeric paste all over to reduce swelling.

Here is another quote. “Curcumin (Turmeric) has for many years now been shown to reduce inflammation and to reduce oxygen toxicity or damage caused by free radicals in a number of experimental settings,” said Dr. Jawahar Mehta, a cardiologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. “Taken in moderation or used in cooking, (curcumin) is quite useful,” Mehta concluded.

4. Banaba

Banaba ( not Banana ) herb is cultivated widely in Philippines, India and Southeast Asia. It is frequently used for blood sugar control. The effect of Banaba extract is very much like insulin which helps transport glucose from the blood into body cells.

The active ingredient in Banaba Extract is Corosolic Acid known for its insulin like properties. If you are a type II diabetics consult your doctor for any interaction with your regular drug, before taking Banaba Extract capsules. Several studies confirm that oral use of this herb helps reduce blood sugar levels in Type II diabetes. In addition it controls appetite, promoting weight loss as well.

The Banaba Extract is easily available from health food stores and normally comes with 1% or 2% Corosolic Acid in capsule form.

5. Garlic

The famous Garlic comes from Onion family. It has been in use from ancient times and its use is often easily detected by its typical pungent flavor around kitchens and restaurants. Though originated in Asia , it is widely used around the European nations and Africa as well. It is Commonly available as a bulb consisting of individual cloves. While widely used as culinary ingredient, Garlic has many medicinal uses around the house.

Here are some claims worth making a note about.

  • Garlic is claimed to help reduce High Blood Pressure.
  • It is also good for treating high Cholesterol.
  • It is said to help regulate blood sugar.
  • It is frequently used to combat cold and cough. Sip on to a hot cup of tea with few garlic cloves in it.
  • It has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties as well. It is that allicin in the garlic and several sulfur containing compounds in the garlic that are responsible for this.
  • It is interesting to note that some people believe that hanging a bulb of garlic outside the house or place of business wards off evil spirit. It must be that pungent smell ! Just kidding.

6. Ginseng

Ginseng mostly comes from Korea and is also grown in North America, northern China and Eastern Siberia. Most popular variety in use is Panax Ginseng. There are other varieties including Siberian Ginseng. Ginseng is available as dried roots. It can be orally taken as in a tea form or as in capsule form. It is important to use and buy authentic Panax Ginseng roots and not the dried leaves of this herb. It is supposed to nourish the body, improve stamina, and improve sexual enhancement for men. Overall a good tonic, It is also beneficial for treating type II Diabetes. American Panax Ginseng has similar properties and is easily available in health food stores. Ginseng is widely used in many herbal formulae to enhance the overall effect.

Ginseng Recipes

  • Add Ginseng roots to your soups.
  • Ginseng Tea. Just add Ginseng tea packets available from your health food store to hot water and let it steep for 2-4 minutes. Add honey if you wish and enjoy.