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7 Popular Herbal Medicines & Their Health Benefits

Popular Herbal Medicines

For ages, before the advent of modern medicine, people around the world had to rely on herbal remedies for every health complication. Even after advancements in medical research over the last century, certain herbal medicines have maintained their fame for enhancing health and wellness. These natural herbs are affordable, easily accessible, and regularly used by people of all ages. In this article, we explore seven effective herbal medicines that can benefit your health.

1. Elderberry

Elderberry, a traditional herbal remedy, comes from the famous Sambucus Nigra plant. The medicine is processed after cooking the fruits of the plant. People have been making use of Elderberry for years to treat nerve pain, headaches, colds, toothaches, constipation, and viral infections.

The flowers and berries of the herb are full of vitamins, antioxidants, and antimicrobial properties that can improve your immunity. They are also known to lessen stress, inflammation, and heart issues. This herbal medicine is currently available as a cure for symptoms related to the common cold, cough, and flu.

Elderberry is taken as a tablet or syrup. Many people also make Elderberry tea by cooking the plant with ginger or honey. Beginners may consume a teaspoon of the Elderberry syrup daily to boost their immune system. 

2. Kratom

Popular Herbal Medicines

Kratom (Mitragyna Speciosa) is a tropical evergreen plant from the coffee family. It is abundantly available in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia, where people have been using it as a herbal medicine from the nineteenth century.

In the United States and some European countries, kratom leaves are popular as medicine and a recreational drug. The chemical present in kratom called mitragynine acts like an opioid to relieve different kinds of pain. People also consume green maeng da kratom to relieve the common cough, diabetes, high blood pressure, diarrhea, anxiety, and depression. Kratom can also help people withdraw from opioid drugs like morphine and heroin.

Before you go and look for kratom, be aware of kratom's possible side effects, including dry mouth, nausea, constipation, hallucination, etc. People with mental disorders, breastfeeding mothers, and women who are expecting should seek medical advice before consuming kratom.

3. Echinacea

Echinacea is a traditional curative herb indigenous to the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe. Roots, flowers, and leaves of different species of the plant are beneficial for its medicinal properties.

Native Americans utilized the plant as a cure for ailments like toothaches, burns, wounds, upset stomachs, and sore throats. Presently, the herb is ideal for addressing issues like the common cold, inflammation, and other flu-like symptoms. Echinacea may also boost the body's immunity, and the chemicals present in the herb can get rid of fungi like yeast. Although research is still ongoing, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may help treat indigestion, anxiety, eczema, gingivitis, warts, etc.

Echinacea products come in many forms, and you can consume them as juice, tablet, or tea. Although short-term use of echinacea is usually safe, some reported side effects of the medicinal herb include skin rash, stomach pains, and nausea.

4. St. John's Wort

Popular Herbal Medicines

St. John's Wort is a health-giving plant with star-shaped yellow flowers and five petals. It grows mostly in North and South America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and East Asia.

In ancient times, people utilized the plant to heal wounds and cure depression, insomnia, plus lung and kidney diseases. Today, the herb is generally prescribed to address mild depression, poor appetite, sleep deprivation, and tiredness. St. John's Wort is also utilized to treat the symptoms of menopause. Chemicals present in St. John's Wort, such as hyperforin and hypericin, interact with the human nervous system and regulate extreme impulses that affect your mood.

The herb’s flowers are used to make capsules, tea, or other extracts. People also make oil from its flowers and apply it to the skin to heal wounds. If you’re currently taking other medications, consult your doctor before consuming St. John's Wort.

5. Ginger 

Ginger is a well-known medicinal plant with yellowish-green flowers and leafy stems. The much-favored ginger spice is the ginger plant's roots and grows in warmer areas like Japan, China, India, and Africa. Presently, it is also grown in South America and the Middle East for its medicinal values.

Chemicals present in ginger can reduce inflammation, indigestion, high blood pressure, vomiting, and nausea. It also addresses osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, diabetes, and menstrual cramps. Furthermore, ginger is also useful in treating complications from cancer and heart diseases.

People of all ages can consume ginger as it has almost no side effects. You can eat ginger dried, fresh, as a capsule or drink it as a tea.

6. Turmeric

Popular Herbal Medicines

Turmeric, most commonly used in Asia, has been used for thousands of years as a cooking ingredient and medicine. While the yellow turmeric powder colors and flavors dishes, the turmeric root is utilized as medicine.

Curcumin, the most active component in turmeric, may treat several medical conditions like pain, chronic inflammation, anxiety, and metabolic syndrome. It can also address depression, hay fever, itching, high cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, and heartburn.

Most people consume turmeric through various meals. However, eating fresh, dried turmeric or turmeric and curcumin supplements will have a better medicinal effect.

7. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba is a herbal medicine native to China. It comes from the maidenhair tree. Ginkgo Biloba has been used as a medicinal herb in China for centuries.

Ginkgo contains antioxidants that provide several benefits to the human body, including increasing the blood flow to your brain. The herb can treat a host of ailments like pain, dementia, Alzheimer's, sexual dysfunction, heart diseases, etc. Some studies also claim the herb to be a potential remedy for memory and cognitive disorders, mood changes, PMS symptoms, and breast tenderness.

Although the seeds were once used for making tea, you should not consume raw seeds or fruits. It is advisable to consume ginkgo supplements obtained from the leaves.

Conclusion

Many people worldwide trust the efficacy of herbal medicines due to their unadulterated nature, easy availability, healing qualities, and comparatively lower side effects. Since herbal medicines are not studied and regulated correctly, some of them may interfere with your pre-existing medications. Therefore, choose herbal products with certified quality and consult a medical expert if you are already taking other medicines. 

Reference articles:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/herbal-medicine#3.-Ginkgo-biloba

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-329/st-johns-wort

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric

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