There are hundreds of remarkably common herbs, flowers, berries and plants that serve all kinds of important medicinal and health purposes that might surprise you.
Anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, insect repellent, antiseptic, expectorant, antibacterial, detoxification, fever reduction, antihistamine and pain relief.
Here are some potent medical plants you’re likely to find in the wild – or even someone’s backyard – that can help with minor injuries, scrapes, bites and pains.
Chamomile has been used for centuries in teas as a mild, relaxing sleep aid, treatment for fevers, colds, stomach ailments, and as an anti-inflammatory, to name only a few therapeutic uses. Chamomile may be used internally or externally.
Extensive scientific research over the past 20 years has confirmed the traditional uses for the plant and established pharmacological mechanisms for the plant’s therapeutic activity, including antipeptic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-allergenic activity.
Recent and on-going research has identified chamomiles specific anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, muscle relaxant, antispasmodic, anti-allergenic and sedative properties, validating its long-held reputation.
Specifically, chamomile may be used for:
- As a tea, be used for lumbago, rheumatic problems and rashes.
- As a salve, be used for hemorrhoids and wounds.
- As a vapor, be used to alleviate cold symptoms or asthma.
- Relieve restlessness, teething problems, and colic in children.
- Relieve allergies, much as an antihistamine would.
- Aid in digestion when taken as a tea after meals.
- Relieve morning sickness during pregnancy.
- Speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns.
- Treat gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
- Reduce inflammation and facilitate bowel movement without acting directly as a purgative.
- Be used as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue.
- Promote general relaxation and relieve stress. Animal studies show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs. Never stop taking prescription medications, however, without consulting your doctor.
- Control insomnia. Chamomiles mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily.
- Treat eye inflammation and infection. Cooled chamomile tea can be used in a compress to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it may even help treat conjunctivitis.
- Heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease. A chamomile mouthwash may help soothe mouth inflammations and keep gums healthy.
- Reduce menstrual cramps. Chamomiles believed ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.
Sage is an herb. The leaf is used to make medicine. Sage is used for digestive problems, including loss of appetite, gas (flatulence), stomach pain (gastritis), diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn.
It is also used for reducing overproduction of perspiration and saliva; and for depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. Women use sage for painful menstrual periods, to correct excessive milk flow during nursing, and to reduce hot flashes during menopause.
Sage is applied directly to the skin for cold sores; gum disease (gingivitis); sore mouth, throat or tongue; and swollen, painful nasal passages. Some people inhale sage for asthma.
In the one study done on thyme tincture, the findings were impressive. This natural herb preparation fought pimples better than anti-acne products, which include benzoyl peroxide. Time will tell if this remedy is an effective acne treatment.
- A recent study found that an extract was able to significantly reduce the heart rate in rats with high blood pressure, and was also able to lower their cholesterol.
- Thyme essential oil, which is obtained from its leaves, is often used as a natural cough remedy. In one study, a combination of thyme and ivy leaves helped to alleviate coughing and other symptoms of acute bronchitis.
- Getting all the vitamins your body needs every day can be challenging. Luckily, thyme is packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A. If you feel a cold coming on, thyme can help get you back in shape.
- A recent study shows that thyme extract can repel mosquitoes, but growing it in your garden isn’t enough. In order to get the best pest-fighting results, rub thyme leaves between your hands to release the essential oil.
- Organic and all-natural skin care products can now be found at most retailers, and many contain thyme.
Lavender has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy. The fresh or dried flowers contain the medicinal properties of Lavender. The flowers make a relaxing and refreshing tea with the same basic medicinal properties, and using Lavender in this way is advisable in most cases.
Internally,it is used for a multitude of problems, including stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite.
Externally, Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used full-strength on the skin.
It can be applied directly for cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, bee, wasp, and insect stings, rashes, muscle aches, rheumatism, arthritis, cold sores, canker sores, blisters, bruises, athlete’s foot, and rubbed directly into the temples in case of headache or migraine.
Miscellaneous uses of Lavender include using unsweetened tea as a hair rinse to help reduce hair loss and dandruff, using the dried flowers in sleep and dream pillows, in potpourris, sachets and tucked in drawers to freshen clothing and repel moths.
A few drops of oil dropped into warm bath water is a refreshing and relaxing treat. The stems with the leaves stripped can be burned like an incense stick, and can also be used in crafts such as basket weaving, and making Lavender wands.
Peppermint offers benefits to the respiratory system, including for coughs, colds, asthma, allergies, and tuberculosis. It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain.
Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief. Inhaling the peppermint aroma may offer memory enhancement and stress relief, and peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract.
Use peppermint essential oil as a cold rub on your chest or inhale it through a vaporizer to help clear nasal congestion and relieve cough and cold symptoms. Peppermint oil may also help relieve tension headache pain.
For headache pain, try dabbing a few drops on your wrist or sprinkling a few drops on a cloth, then inhaling the aroma. You can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead. Peppermint essential oil is ideal for muscle and chest rubs, headache pain, dental care, and aromatherapy.
You can even add it to your homemade cleaning supplies for extra antimicrobial power and natural fragrance. When selecting peppermint for your own use, the fresh leaves will impart a superior flavor to dried leaves (such as for use in tea).
Additionally, it is really easy to grow peppermint yourself and the plant works as a highly effective deterrent to many insects that might invade your garden or your home.
A number of studies show that Stevia can be beneficial in the treatment of many health conditions. Stevia is believed to have anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-glycemic, and anti-hypertensive properties which may help with hypertension.
Also it is used to treat diabetes, chronic fatigue, indigestion, upset stomach, heartburn, weight loss, cold and flu, gingivitis, tooth decay, cavities, dandruff and hair loss, brittle bones or osteoporosis, streptococcus, candidiasis, bacterial infections and skin conditions such as cuts, wounds, rashes, itchiness, blemishes, acne, seborrhoeic dermatitis, dermatitis, eczema, and wrinkles.
It may also improve energy levels, strengthen immune system, stimulate mental activity, and may also help in withdrawl from tobacco and alcohol addiction.
Note: The above information is taken from various references, you should take medical advice from experts before consuming any plant for medicinal purpose.
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