Medicinal herbs and plants have existed for as long as plant life has existed.
Every condition or disease on Earth has a plant that cures it. Unfortunately, as humans, we have not yet discovered all the plants’ secrets or how they can be used to cure diseases as they simply have not been studied and tested in labs. The cost of studying medicinal herbs so would be higher than the U.S. debt currently in the trillions.
However, we have discovered the secrets and healing properties of some, and the good news is that you can grow them at home easily and have them on hand any time you need them without the added cost of having to visit a pharmacy.
13 Common Global Medicinal Herbs You Can Grow At Home
As already stated, most medicinal herbs have not been completely tested to see how well they work or if they interact positively or negatively with other herbs, supplements, medicines, or foods. Natural and artificial products added to medicinal herbal preparations may cause interactions or unwanted side effects. This practice is no different from pharmaceutical products. Be aware that “natural” and “organic” does not mean “safe.” It’s important to tell your healthcare providers about any medicinal herbs or dietary supplements you are using, as some drugs can be affected by herbal medicines and cause serious side effects that create a larger problem.
The University of Rochester Medical Centre has compiled a list of medicinal herbs you can view via the link below and summarised here.
#1. Chamomile Flower
Considered by some to be a cure-all, chamomile is commonly used in the U.S. for anxiety and relaxation. It is used in Europe to heal wounds and reduce inflammation or swelling. Few studies have taken an in-depth look at how well it works for any condition. Chamomile is used in multiple forms and is even applied as a cold compress. It is considered safe by the FDA. It may increase the level of drowsiness caused by medicines or other herbs or supplements.
Chamomile may interfere with how the body uses some medicines, causing high levels of the medicine to accumulate and creating problems in some people.
Chamomile for the skin applied topical may be used to treat skin irritation from radiation cancer treatments. Some patients may use chamomile in capsule form to help control vomiting during chemotherapy.
#2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is known for its relaxing properties that reduce anxiety and help people fall asleep. It’s also used to calm an upset stomach and other digestive issues. Despite chamomile’s reputation for quelling tummy troubles, there is no scientific evidence, only a correlation, to suggest it helps with acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
#3. Echinacea Leaf, Stalk, Root
Echinacea is commonly used to treat or prevent colds, flu, and infections and for wound healing. Many studies have looked at how well echinacea works to prevent or shorten the course of a cold, but none were conclusive. Some studies do show some benefits of using echinacea for upper respiratory infections.
Short-term use is advised. Studies have also shown that long-term use can affect the immune system. Always check with your healthcare provider about interactions with medicines already prescribed. People allergic to plants in the daisy family may be more likely to have an allergic reaction to echinacea. The daisy family includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies.
#4. Feverfew Leaf
Feverfew was traditionally used to treat fevers, thus its name. It is now commonly used to prevent migraines and treat arthritis. Research has shown that certain feverfew preparations can prevent migraines. Side effects include mouth ulcers if the leaves are chewed and digestive irritation. People who suddenly stop taking feverfew for migraines may have their headaches return. Feverfew should not be used with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines because these medicines may change how well feverfew works. It is contraindicated with warfarin or other anticoagulant medicines.
#5. Garlic Cloves, Root
Garlic is used globally in cooking and for its many medicinal properties. The compounds isolated from garlic have been shown to have antimicrobial, cardioprotective, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties may play a role in the belief that garlic helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Unfortunately, the evidence is conflicting; it depends on who funds the study and what results they find.
Garlic consumed daily as a supplement can thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding and should not be used with blood thinners like aspirin and warfarin. For the same reason, large amounts of garlic should not be consumed before dental procedures or surgery.
#6. Ginger Root
Ginger is commonly known as a medicinal herb for easing nausea and motion sickness. Unless you are allergic to it, in which case it will cause both of the aforementioned. Limited research suggests that ginger may help to relieve nausea caused by pregnancy and chemotherapy in some people. Other areas under investigation for the use of ginger are in surgery and as an anticancer agent.
Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidative effects. Reported side effects may include bloating, gas, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting in certain people.
#7. Ginkgo Leaf
Ginkgo leaf extract has been used to treat various conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, and tinnitus. It also improves memory and prevents dementia and other brain disorders. Studies have supported its slight effectiveness, but exactly how ginkgo works is still a mystery.
Only extract from leaves should be used. Seeds contain ginkgo toxin. This toxin can cause seizures and, in large amounts, death. Because some information suggests that ginkgo can increase the risk of bleeding, it should not be used with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, anticoagulants, anticonvulsant medicines, or tricyclic antidepressants.
#8 Ginseng Root
Ginseng is used as a tonic and aphrodisiac, even as a cure-all. Research is inconclusive about how well it works, partly because of the difficulty in defining “vitality” and “quality of life.” There is a large variation in the quality of ginseng sold. Side effects are high blood pressure and tachycardia.
It shouldn’t be used with warfarin, heparin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, estrogens, corticosteroids, or digoxin. People with diabetes should not use ginseng.
#9 Goldenseal Root, Rhizome
Goldenseal is used to treat diarrhoea and eye and skin irritations. It is also used with great effect as a topical antiseptic. It is an unproven treatment for relieving cold symptoms. Goldenseal contains berberine, a plant alkaloid with a long history of medicinal use in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Studies have shown that Goldenseal is effective in controlling diarrhoea. But it’s not recommended to be taken regularly because it can become toxic and poisonous in high doses. It can cause skin, mouth, throat, and gastric irritation.
#10. Milk Thistle Fruit
Milk thistle is used to treat liver conditions and high cholesterol and reduce cancer cell growth. Milk thistle is a plant that originated in the Mediterranean region. It has been used for many illnesses over the last several thousand years, especially liver problems. Study results are yet to be conclusive on the actual scientific benefits of milk thistle for curing liver disease.
#11. Saint John’s Wort Flower, Leaf
Saint John’s Wort is used as an antidepressant. Studies have shown that it has a small effect on mild to moderate depression over a period of about 12 weeks. Trials to determine if it is effective for severe depression have not been conclusive. A side effect of this plant can be sensitivity to light, noted in people taking large doses of the herb.
St. John’s Wort has been shown to cause dangerous and possibly deadly interactions with other commonly used and prescribed medicines. It is important to always talk with your healthcare provider before using this herb if you currently take any medications or supplements from the vitamin and supplements range of products.
#12. Saw Palmetto Fruit
Saw palmetto is a shrublike palm native to the southeastern United States. Historically, it was used for a variety of conditions, including disorders of the male and female reproductive organs and coughs due to various diseases.
Currently, saw palmetto is promoted as a dietary supplement for urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate gland (also called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH) and chronic pelvic pain, migraine, hair loss, and other conditions. Side effects are digestive upset and headache, both mild.
#13. Valerian Root
Valerian is used to treat sleeplessness and reduce anxiety. Research suggests valerian may be a helpful sleep aid, but the evidence is not consistent enough to confirm it. In the U.S., valerian is used as a flavouring for root beer and other foods.
Aboriginal Bush Medicinal Herbs And Plants In Australia
Australia has it own list of native medicinal herb plants, shrubs and trees the indigenous people have been using for thousands of years. You likely have one or two in the yard without even knowing how amazing they are.
10 Australian Aboriginal Bush Medicinal Herbs And Plants That Have Medicinal Uses:
- Kangaroo apple
- Old man’s weed
- Drooping she-oak
- Hop bush
- Tea tree oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Billy goat plum/Kakadu plum
- Desert mushrooms
- Emu bush
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