Herbal Plants as Medicines
Before the germ theory of medicine, our ancestors relied on traditional healing and treatments of common ailments. One of the oldest methods of traditional healing is the use of medicinal or herbal plants. This article will discuss the ten most common herbal plants that can be used as recommended by the Department of Health.
“I stay healthy using foods and herbs. I became interested in adaptogens many years ago because I wanted to enhance my own ability to work hard and play hard and sustain those efforts without getting sick. I work with clients who are under a lot of stress and I wanted to share with them the herbs that I knew from first-hand experience didn’t have side effects, as many drugs do.” – Leslie Korn, LMHC
Before trying any of the herbal plants for specific ailments, please consult your doctor about it. It may alter or affect any of the medications that you are currently taking. It is best to ask your doctor if this specific herbal plant can help you, for there are certain health issues that are best left to professionals, such as those needing help with an addiction of any kind.
Top 10 Herbal Plants
The cloves contain antioxidant properties called “Allicin” that has been scientifically proven to lower down blood pressure and cholesterol. It is also very effective in fighting infections because it is laden with anti-infection properties. It can be taken as fresh, fried, or roasted. The recommended dosage is 2-3 cloves three times a day after meals. It is also best for toothaches; just pound a small piece and place it on the affected tooth.
The bitter taste of this vegetable can turn you off. However, it can help regulate blood sugar levels and is very helpful among mild non-insulin diabetics. Take a handful of its leaves, chop and boil in a glass of water for 15 minutes. Allow boiling without cover to eliminate any harmful toxins. Cool and strain. The recommended dosage is to take 1/3 cup three times a day after meals.
Pepper Elder or Shining Bush
This herbal plant can help lower down uric acid. If there is an increased level of uric acid in the body, these substances are deposited in the joints, thus leading to disorders like rheumatism and gout. The leaves are boiled for 15 minutes and the concoction is consumed three times a day. One and a half of its leaves to 2 glasses of water is the recommended proportion.
Acapulco or Ringworm Bush
It is known for its anti-fungal effects and can treat skin infection such as tinea Flava, ringworm, athlete’s foot, and scabies. It has diuretic and purgative effects, too. To treat skin infections, take fresh or matured leaves and pound them to produce a poultice. Apply this poultice like soap to the affected area 1-2 times per day and rinse with water.
The guava fruit is a delicious treat and it contains vitamin C. The leaves can be boiled and the concoction can be used as a mouthwash to treat gum infections and tooth decay. In addition to this, it can also be used to wash wounds. The bark of the guava tree is also helpful to treat diarrhea. The process of preparation for this is by boiling the bark and offering the liquid to the person with loose bowel problems.
Chinese Honey Suckle
The seeds of this vine plant are harvested to help eliminate intestinal worms. It has anthelmintic effects that can excrete Trichina and Ascaris. Never give this to children below 4 years old, though.
Because of its proven effectiveness to eliminate urinary tract stones, this plant has been manufactured as a capsule form. It promotes diuresis or an increase in urine elimination and thus, flushing the urinary stone. With its capacity to eliminate excess fluid in the body, it helps in treating edema.
This plant has many uses from headache, stomachache, rheumatism, arthritis, cough and colds, swollen gums, toothache, menstrual, gas pain, nausea, fainting, insect bites and pruritus. The leaves can be pounded and made into a poultice and can be applied to the affected area. You can also boil the leaves, still using the no-cover method, and drink its liquid form.
In an article by Nicole Urdang, LMHC, she wrote, “If it’s late afternoon and I need a bit of a boost, I will eat a strong mint, as peppermint wakes me up and sharpens the senses. Oil of lemon mixed with rosemary will also improve concentration. Years ago, there was an industrial psychology study done in a factory where they pumped lemon oil through the air filtration system and noticed how productivity improved.”
This is the most common herbal medicine in the islands of the Philippines and can help in asthma, cough, and fever. Some pharmaceutical companies have also manufactured it into capsule and liquid form. On its raw form, boil a handful of leaves including the flowers to make a glass of decoction. Then, drink three times a day.
“Other therapeutic forms of healing that can help reduce fear are acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Western herbal medicine, and homeopathy. I urge you to pick up books on these subjects at your local library or bookstore and investigate them if you feel so inclined.” – Deedra Hunter, LMHC.