Many of us have come across someone or have seen an advertisement telling you about all natural products, whether it comes in the form of a liquid, cream, lotion, paste or tea Natural Home Remedies have been around for centuries. Though some controversy exists around the idea that ” plants ” or anything natural can heal or help any form of ailment, natural remedies has proven worthy of being part of our lives and in our homes.
Some see natural products as something from our ancient past, that life has evolved and so should we. I beg to differ on this point. Just as some of these natural remedies were part of peoples daily lives centuries ago, so it should be part of our lives more so today. People have been ” programmed ” to believe that the only way to make you feel better, to get rid of that headache, upset tummy, skin irritation etc is to ” pop a pill ” ( so to speak ). You have to remember there are a lot more people, companies or corporations that are to benefit financially by pushing advertising campaigns to the masses in making them believe they NEED that pill. That’s one of many reasons why big pharma won’t promote you growing your own plants or herbs to treat and assist in any condition or ailment. This is not even talking about all that goes into that pill so many are eager to swallow. This is a topic for discussion for another time.
So now, coming back to my question. Do natural remedies really work ? Well from personal experience, as well as millions of other people out there that are using natural remedies themselves. I would 1000% say YES ! There might be some that as less effective that others, but in general they do and can work for you.
I will be listing and discussing five herbs I have used myself with great success and hope you will try them too.
The magic of Ginger
Ever seen how may flu type medications have ginger in them ? Well ginger is probably most commonly associated with aiding in the treatment of the flu or common cold. Many are put off by the strong smell of fresh ginger and usually add some honey when brewing it as a tea. My husband and son are not particular fans of this Ginger tea I give them when first signs of ” the sniffles ” stick its head out. Other than the smell the slight burning or tingling sensation down you throat when you drink is something I quite enjoy.
Other than dealing with the flu, ginger or ginger root remedies have been around for 5000 years. Originally it originated from China, but now its grown right across the world. Ginger holds may incredible properties. One of the main one’s being Gingerol. Gingerol has proven to be effective in pain relieve and improve function in people with all types of arthritis thus having anti inflammatory properties. Gingerol is cytotoxic ( holds the quality of being toxic to cells ) towards a range of cancer cells including blood, lung, breast, bowel and pancreas cancer. Ginger has proven effective in treating nausea or morning sickness, reduce muscle pain and soreness. It has anti-diabetic properties, lowering blood sugar levels and improve heart disease factors including lowering cholesterol levels. A powerful aid in chronic indigestion and a front runner in pain management during a menstrual cycle ( proven to be just as effective as taking Ibuprofen ).
While the list of benefits are seemingly endless, Ginger has a real sense of “magical healing powers ” to it. No wonder the ancient Romans valued it as a strong symbol of strength and fertility.
Garlic – The king of Herbs
For more than 5000 years Garlic has been known to be the King of all herbs, used in medicine and in seasoning our food. It originated in China and Egypt, and progressively made its way to every corner of the world. Loved by many, garlic is Not called the king of herbs for no reason – And this is why.
Possessing the capability in treating a fast range of diseases safely and effectively. Garlic is also highly nutritious and has very few calories. Garlic contains minerals and vitamins such as Vit B6, Vit B1, Vit C, Manganese, selenium, fiber, calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus and iron.
One of its most powerful compound is Sulfur. Many of the first antibiotics were based on Sulfur, and are still uses today. In WW2 garlic was used to treat infections such as Gangrene. Garlic has amazing capabilities to fight many types of infections, in and on the body, whether it is bacterial or fungal. From Acne, chest infections, skin infections, yeast infections, warts to corns. Garlic is truly Natures Antibiotic.
Garlic boosts the bodies’ immunity, has anti inflammatory properties, lower blood pressure, may reduce and prevent heart attacks, may prevent certain type Cancers ( specifically Colorectal cancers ), are detoxifying, may improve bone health, improve and prevent skin infections.
Garlic has been tried and tested making it one of those herbs that truly live up to its name – The King Of Herbs !
The side effects are few, if you are pregnant of breastfeeding is best to avoid garlic during this time. If you are to be having surgery of any kind, inform your doctor if you are taking garlic daily( and here I am referring to more than just in the occasional cooking ). Garlic may prolong bleeding during surgery as well as lowering your blood pressure. This would also apply to diabetics. Always consult with your GP before using or taking garlic on a daily basis.
Aloe Vera – Healing all around
Taking care of the health inside our bodies’ is only one aspect of the spectrum. And sometimes we just need something that can deal with the basics. Skin irritations, rashes, bumps, bruises, mild skin infections, mild burns, bites and stings. Basically anything topical.
Aloe Vera would definitely be one that top my list of favorites. Science have backed up the use of topical Aloe Vera as a skin treatment and can be found in thousands of beauty & medical skin products. From creams, lotions, gels, masks, spays and ointments. I can tell you, nothing beats using it straight from the plant itself. Easy to grow without too much hassle, this plant can give you nearly endless possibilities in the application of it.
Aloe Vera is rich in Vit A, Vit C, antioxidants, enzymes, is highly anti- inflammatory and anti – fungal. Here are a few skin conditions Aloe Vera may help you with.
- Cold sores
- Razor Burn
- Dry Skin
- Stretch Marks
The all round goodness and relief this plant will give you will be worth more than a 1000 words. But remember always try to find the most natural from of Aloe Vera ( such as the plant ) or the purest Aloe Vera ( Not 100% Aloe Gel ). There is no such thing as 100% pure ( bought in shops ). They have to put some percentage of preservatives in it to make it last on the shelves. So if you choose this option rather go for something that says 99% Pure Aloe Vera. And don’t forget to check the expiration date.
Meadowsweet – Queen of the Meadow
Meadowsweet is a perennial herb that grows to approximately 1 meter tall. So this one would not be suited for potting. It is native to Europe and Western Asia and grows in damp meadows or bogs. They are commonly mistaken for a wild flower with its beautiful delicate creamy-white flowers, but this plant ( its leaves and bulbs ) can be used in the same way you use Elderflower. Can be used as a tea, tincture, syrup, cocktails, jams, tarts and cosmetics and medicine.
Taking about 4-5 teaspoons of fresh flowers ( or 2-3 teaspoons of died blooms) and letting it steep in a cup of boiling water for about 10 min makes a great basic tea to drink. You can add some cinnamon, lemon and honey to this tea that will soothe any sore throat.
One of the many reasons I enjoy Meadowsweet is the healing properties it has. Meadowsweet has what we call Flavonoids, exceptionally high levels of it too. Once in our digestive track these Flavonoid compounds turns into salicylic acid, which is very closely related to Aspirin. In fact, it was a very common herbal medicine across Europe before Aspirin was made. It must be said that those that are allergic to Aspirin or are pregnant and/or breastfeeding should not be taking meadowsweet at all. I would also not recommend drinking this tea every day or giving it to small children.
Superb pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic ( induce perspiration ), diuretic ( stimulates urine output) and astringent. Meadowsweet can be used for upset stomach, heartburn, bronchitis, colds, gout, bladder infections, headaches, fevers and ulcers.
Don’t be worried if you can’t get your hands on fresh Meadowsweet. There are plenty health stores that have it in capsule or drop from. Though the doses might be much less, it is still great to include in your health routine.
Sage – The Mood Changer
Sage being from the same family as Mint, it is not surprising that most would use it in the form of a spice or infused as a tea. Having a very distinctive smell and taste sage can put a real twist into some dishes. One of my favorite being Creamy Butternut Soup. Without the sage in it I would probably not enjoy it at all. But that’s just me.
That aside, Sage also has amazing health benefits. Steeping fresh sage leaves in a cup of boiling water and adding a teaspoon of honey to it makes for something completely different. Sage tea is packed with loads of health benefits. It is super rich in anti inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, assist with wound healing and healthy skin. Taking this tea and using it as a mouth wash will also assist with pain, inflammation as well as bad breath. You might have seen some mouthwashes sold in shops contain sage in them.
Sage can improve one’s mood too. It can lower or reduce anxiety with lower doses as well as increase calmness, contentedness and alertness with higher doses. It is great in the assistance to lower ” bad ” cholesterol levels and raise ” good” cholesterol levels. It may also support Memory and Brain Health, may reduce blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity in diabetes. Sage can also assist in the reduction of intensity and frequency of menopause symptoms.
It is very easy to include Sage into your daily routine. Garnish in soups ( like a creamy butternut soup ), with omelets, garnish or stuffing for roasts, rub for meats or seasoning for vegetables. Or you can just revert back to the basic tea. Which ever you choose, I’m sure you will find it delicious.
Knowledge Is Key
Like most things in life if you don’t known you won’t try. People have always been experts on skepticism. Should I believe or shouldn’t I ? You wait for some very clever people to tell you that a particular item or product has been tested and tried and then ultimately work. Well, no different with herbs, plants and natural remedies. Many herbs and plants have been tested in labs by very clever people. Deconstructed, mixed and combined with other compounds to find the answers. I believe the advantage we have with Natural products is that its not something that has only been developed in the last 100 years, but has been tried and tested by many cultures and nations across the world for thousands of years.
Knowledge of the use, application and result of using plants or herbs has been passed down from one generation to the next. They shared and traded the knowledge and the plants across oceans, eventually reaching everywhere. It is always interesting to see what “new benefits ” have been discovered in a particular plant or herb. And so our knowledge will grow, and we will too pass it on the next generation. There are still thousands or plant and herbs that we ” known ” work for something, but don’t known exactly why it works. We`ll wait for the clever one’s to figure that out for us.
As rule of thumb goes, please insure you discuss the use of any herbs you would include in your daily routine with your GP. This will also insure they are safe to use if you have any health conditions, including pregnancy.
I hope with the explanations on the herbs I covered in this article as well as the firsthand experience with them would give you better insight in the amazing health benefits they carry. And maybe you will feel its time to give them a try.
Until next time