10 ways herbal medicine can improve wellness
Herbal medicine has been used for centuries, used to aid a wide range of health issues and still extremely popular today. As well as other homeopathic therapies, herbal medicine is seen to be able to treat a variety of illnesses in addition to assisting with general health. Herbs are much gentler than over the counter medicine. These natural remedies can be safer, just as effective and have very few side-effects.
Like pharmaceutical medicine, herbs can be used to target specific health problems, prevent further ones and promote a good healthy lifestyle. Whilst herbal medicine can be used as a preventative health measure, they are not an alternative to modern western medicine, but a welcome addition to your medical cabinet.
In this article, we will be looking at the top ten ways that herbal medicines can improve wellnesses.
1. Heart Health
Starting at the heart, herbal medicine can help when it comes to your circulatory system. Herbs such as Cayenne, which is common in most kitchens, aids in supporting the heart and acts as a major stimulant. This can increase your circulation and strengthen your overall heartbeat. Heart health is of utmost importance and imperative to overall good health and wellness. By embracing a healthy, active lifestyle you can prevent more serious illnesses such as heart attacks or strokes. Supporting organs such as your heart with the likes of a safe herbal medicine can aid in prolonging your health in the long term.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition. Hypertension is when the long-term force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough and it begins to cause health problems such as heart disease. The popular herb, parsley, contains a variety of compounds which can help prevent such health problems. Parsley is high in vitamin C and dietary carotenoids, which may reduce overall blood pressure. Studies suggest that vitamin C acts as diuretic, which can remove excess fluid from the body. This could aid in lowering the pressure from within your blood vessels. In addition, parsley has carotenoid antioxidants present, which can reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein), or bad cholesterol which again, can be a factor for heart disease. Much like heart health, hypertension can shorten your life and majorly affect your wellness journey. Whilst there is no cure for hypertension, herbal medicine can help you control more naturally. To help with this, we have a recipe for our Herbal Spinach Soup, which contains two handfuls of your chosen herb, including parsley, which will not only help you with your hypertension, but detoxify your liver, kidneys and even refresh your breath.
3. Common Coughs & Colds
Having an annoying cough or cold can be the worst - especially as there is no cure! There are plenty of preventative measures that you can take to avoid getting the dreaded winter sniffles, including adding ground ivy into your herbal medicine cabinet. Ground ivy has been used to ‘clear the head’ for years, as it takes action against the most common of coughs and colds. Fighting back when it comes to headaches and congestion, it aids in minimising symptoms.
4. Stable Blood Sugar
Unstable blood sugar can lead to you having severe swings in blood glucose, ending in life-long illnesses such as type 2 diabetes. Not only that, but balanced blood sugars help keep our brains healthy. When you have high blood glucose levels, this can negatively affect the brain’s functional connectivity, causing it to atrophy or even shrink. In addition, unstable blood sugar levels can also leave your energy levels being disrupted, leading to your mood also feeling unbalanced. Irritability, lack of sleep, foggy brain and anxiety are all symptoms of an unstable blood sugar level. Aloe Vera is a herb that you may commonly find in your skincare products. Aiding in preventing UV and gamma radiation damage, Aloe Vera is a popular ingredient in most moisturizers. However, this herb could also help you stabilize your blood sugar. Unbalanced blood sugar is directly linked to type 2 diabetes, which is the slow or no production of insulin in the pancreas. The insulin allows for the glucose from your food to enter the body’s cells and provide energy. All excess glucose is then stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. Without enough insulin, your blood sugar will increase as you won’t be able to correctly store your glucose. Aloe vera juice has an antioxidant effect when ingested. Studies have shown that this could aid in protecting and repairing your beta cells within the pancreas, slowing down the overall progress of type 2 diabetes.
5. Joint Pain Or Arthritis
oint pain or Arthritis is a very general term which describes a blanket of medical conditions. Symptoms of these can include joint stiffness, inflammation or generalised pain. In addition to medical treatments, regular exercise and proper nutrition, herbal medicine can be the perfect, natural remedy to help relieve the uncomfortableness that comes with these ailments. Herbs like Thyme have high antioxidant properties, which alongside their fragrant flavour profiles, can be used as a healthy addition in food and other lifestyle practises. These antioxidant properties include anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial elements that can be helpful towards rheumatoid arthritis.
High cholesterol can be a very common problem, including many different factors like smoking, an unhealthy diet with no exercise, or even having high blood pressure or diabetes. Much like thyme, garlic is a commonplace in most kitchens and easily goes in many meals. Using this herb for medical purposes may help you lower your cholesterol by a few percentage points. Whilst this is not seen as a long term solution, eating garlic regularly could positively affect your cholesterol levels. But the magic properties of garlic does not stop there! This herb also includes a chemical allicin, which is shown to kill bacteria and fungi, preventing certain digestive issues.
7. Digestion & Gas
Nobody likes having an upset stomach, especially when it leads to indigestion, or painful gas. Lovage is one of the most well known digestive aids when it comes to relieving flatulence, belching and overall gut discomfort. The leaves and stems of this herb have a very intense flavour, which is similar to celery. It’s a great addition to most soups, stocks, stews and stews as well as being great alongside meat dishes. Lovage really has that herbal power when it comes to easing your painful digestional issues, minimising gas and bloating.
8. Boosting Immune System
Remaining well and healthy has everything to do with supporting your immune system. Your immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend your body against all matters of infection. Acting as an almost ‘filing system’ of the body, the immune system keeps record of every germ or microbe that enters you and has been defeated. This is so it can recognise it again and continue protecting against all those nasties. The berries and flowers of the elderberry aid your immune system in this battle. Packed high with antioxidants and vitamins, these can help boost your overall immune system.
Herbal medicine can be used as a preventative health measure, not an alternative to modern western medicine in the case of Alzheimers. A good example of a herb for this job would be turmeric. With it’s active compound, curcumin, turmeric could potentially prevent against Alzheimers and some cancers. The curcumin that is present in turmeric can aid in the prevention of breakdown in the brain cells that often occur when someone has alzheimers. Whilst there is no cure for this illness, adding turmeric to your herb tool belt could have some health benefits.
10. Brain Function
Finally, your herbal medicine cabinet could even enhance your brain functionality. The herb, Ginseng, originated from China and can be used to improve memory, speech and concentration. In addition, this herb could possibly even improve brain functions such as mood swings and behaviour control. This is thought to be because ginseng can protect the brain against oxidative stress and damage.
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