Whether you are drawn to herbs because of their natural healing properties, unique flavors or due to their fragrance, it goes without saying that healthy herbs can enrich your life in more ways than one! From alleviating arthritis pain, curing cold sores, providing anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and controlling blood cholesterol levels, the medicinal properties of healthy herbs are an endless goldmine which researchers are still in the process of uncovering. Many healthy herbs, however, have been recognized for their beneficial properties. Whether you purchase your herbs from your local grocery store or farmer’s market, or grow your own healthy herbs at home, make it a point to include these wondrous aromatic plants in your regular diet.
Healthy Herb # 1- Sunshine Herb
One of the most widely recognized medicinal herbs is the sunshine herb, also known as St. John’s Wort. As is obvious by its name, this happy herb aids in the alleviation of depression, and is used by many as a natural alternative to the anti-depression pharmaceutical drug, Prozac. According to research published in the British Medical Journal, the sunshine herb contains a substance known as hypericin which boosts serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin promotes positive feelings and emotions and also helps to control eating patterns, sleep cycles and moods.
Warning: However, the sunshine herb must be used carefully if you are already taking anti-depressant drugs, contraceptive pills or HIV medication. The sunshine herb must be avoided if you are pregnant or suffer from heart problems.
Healthy Herb # 2- Ginkgo Biloba
According to Steven Schechter, author of Fighting Radiation and Chemical Pollutants with Food, Herbs and Vitamins, ginkgo biloba (extracted from the ginkgo tree) is effective in alleviating eye conditions such as macular degeneration and in improving visual function. According to scientists in the University of Northumbria, Ginkgo biloba used together with ginseng are an excellent natural treatment for enhancing mental performance, improving concentration span and boosting memory in healthy adults.
Warning: This healthy herb can cause upset stomachs and mild headaches in some people. Moreover, it should not be used with anti-coagulants or aspirin because it has blood thinning properties.
Healthy Herb # 3- Chamomile
This popular herb is often consumed in the form of soothing chamomile tea, and for good reason! According to the Univiersity of Maryland Medical Center, chamomile is highly reputed for its ability to alleviate anxiety and stress, treat skin conditions, cure certain stomach problems, eradicate mild infections, and relieve muscle spasms. The University of Maryland Medical Center cautions against the consumption of chamomile by pregnant women, asthma sufferers, and individuals who are allergic to other plants such as ragweed.
Warning: Excessive consumption of concentrated quantities of chamomile can lead to vomiting. One of the side effects of chamomile is drowsiness, so avoid driving after having this healthy herb.
Healthy Herb # 4- Ginseng
Ginseng is another highly popular healthy herb which is well known for its abilities to boost immune system functioning, reduce the risk of cancer, improve well being, boost mental performance, lower blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics and prevent colds and influenza, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Consult your health practitioner before taking ginseng.
Warning: Side effects are a rare occurrence, but some individuals have experienced anxiety, restlessness, nose bleeds, vaginal bleeding, insomnia, high blood pressure, diarrhea, euphoria, vomiting, head ache and breast pain
Healthy Herb # 5- Echinacea
This age old healthy herb was used during the 18th and 19th centuries to treat health conditions such as blood poisoning, syphilis, malaria, scarlet fever and diphtheria. Nowadays it is recommended for the prevention of colds and influenza, fever, cough and sore throat, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It is also recommended for the improved functioning of the immune system.
Warning: Individuals suffering from tuberculosis, leukemia, diabetes, connective tissue disorders, multiple sclerosis, HIV or AIDS, any autoimmune diseases, or liver disorders should avoid Echinacea since it can affect the action of immune-suppressant medication.
- Daily Mail- Top ten herbs for good health
- University of Maryland medical center- ginseng