Medicinal Herbs for Health Benefits

medicinal herbs

Medicinal herbs, also known as herbal cures, have been found and utilized in modern traditional medicine practices since ancient times. Ancient plants synthesize hundreds of biologically active compounds for diverse purposes such as defense against pathogens, infections, diseases, and insectivorous animals. Modern scientists have shown that these same compounds also may have therapeutic properties that can slow the aging process or treat certain maladies. Although some evidence exists to support the claims of some medicinal herbs and their uses, scientific testing is still needed to conclude whether they are effective for a particular disease.

Safe Medicines

A close up of a green plant

In Chinese medicine, medicinal herbs are usually used to treat conditions or ailments by applying or inhaling them directly. They are not used in the same manner as prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Unlike plants that are ingested, medicinal herbs must be applied or inhaled via a vaporizer, injection, or patch. The concentration levels of the compounds contained in the herbs must be considered when deciding which remedy to use. Some plants are very toxic, while others may not be felt at all or may produce no symptoms.


A close up of a flower

Peppermint is one of the most popular medicinal herbs today. A sprig of fresh peppermint placed on the stomach or chest relieves indigestion and assists with stomach pain. Peppermint oil taken by inhaling has a calming effect and can help with respiratory problems. Several studies have indicated that peppermint contains antibacterial compounds and antifungal properties.

Ayurveda Solutions

In Ayurvedic medicine, medicinal herbs are thought to provide many health benefits for individuals who practice this ancient form of medicine. Many of these herbs are also used in cold remedies to treat various ailments including coughs, colds, sore throats, flu, and other bacterial and viral infections. Some of these plants have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Ayurvedic medicines can be administered as teas, in capsule form, or in ointments. Some plants are also smoked as a therapy for certain ailments.

Chinese Herbs

In Chinese medicine, medicinal herbs are used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions. Some commonly included in Chinese herbal medicines are cnidium, erianthus, ganoderma, hellebore, jangle, mullein, mint, myrrh, pearls, quercetin, scleranthus, and scutellaria lateriflora. In some cases, medicines with these herbs are combined with other remedies to treat a disease and increase the individual’s vigor and strength. For example, quercetin can be used in combination with other medicines to treat diabetes.

Therapeutic Properties

The therapeutic properties of herbs have been studied extensively over the past several decades. It is believed that these plants possess many beneficial properties that can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Some of these properties include the ability to reduce pain, regulate the circulatory system, increase blood flow and energy, strengthen the immune system, stimulate the reproductive system, and enhance mental acuity. Some of the more common medicinal uses for herbs include treating anxiety and depression, improving appetite, increasing body strength and vigor, reducing skin problems, treating insomnia, regulating menstrual cycles, healing wounds, preventing bladder infections, stopping the progression of cancers, and enhancing overall health and well-being.

Ailment Recoveries

Many different cultures have developed their own medicinal herbs with beneficial properties. In India for example, Ayurvedic (ayurvedic) medicines are widely prescribed by doctors and healers for a variety of ailments. There are specific sets of dosha, or seasons, when certain remedies are given and when they should not be used at all. Ayurvedic medicines are very effective in treating such common ailments as headache, fever, depression, arthritis, digestive disorders, fatigue, fever, coughing, insomnia, nausea, PMS, oral cancer, skin disorders, and digestive problems. These herbal remedies have fewer side effects than synthetic drugs and often produce better results.

Wrapping Up

Many home remedies for illnesses and conditions are based on traditional medicinal herbs. Examples of home remedies include taking a hot compress made from an herb, or drinking an infusion made from one herb. Drinking freshly made ginger juice is a good way to enhance the immune system. Adding lemon balm tea and lemon extract to water is an excellent way to boost the immune system. Astragalus, wormseed, aloe, milk thistle, sassafras and milk thistle teas are good for cleansing the liver. Chinese medicinal herbs such as ginkgo biloba, bee balm, radish leaves, and barberry are powerful home remedies for fever and inflammation.

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