The use of medicinal herbs in routine life can aid in improvising and presentation of an easy solution to common health conditions. Medicinal herbs make use of various plant parts (stems, leaves, bark, fruits, roots, flowers) as remedies to treat various ailments, injuries, and diseases. Preparation of plant remedies can be accomplished in several ways and some of the popular methods include infusion and tincture. An infusion is prepared by pouring hot water over the plant leaves, leaving it for a while followed by drinking it similar to a cup of tea. The preparation of tincture involves the mixing of the powdered plant material with alcohol and water.
Popular Herbal Medicines and Home Remedies
After analyzing the benefits of various medicinal herbs and their practical use in daily life, seven important herbs such as turmeric, devil’s claw, ginkgo biloba, golden seal, licorice, stinging nettle, and aloe vera are selected for discussion:
Turmeric is a popular Indian spice known for its digestive and stomachic properties. It has been widely used as a cure for skin sores when applied externally as an ointment. Boiling turmeric with milk and sugar aids in getting a quicker relief from cold as the inhalation of the burning turmeric fumes assist in mucous discharge which thereby relieves congestion. The pasted turmeric flowers prove to be an effective agent against several parasitic skin diseases such as ringworm. Turmeric when mixed with water as a paste is useful in treating common skin ailments such as blemishes. The intake of turmeric serves as a cure for ulcers, cancer, and many liver ailments.
2. Devil’s Claw
Devil’s claw root is used as an appetizer and as a remedy for gastrointestinal, gallbladder, and liver ailments. The infusions of Devil’s claw helps in relieving rheumatism, fever, arthritis, tendinitis, and myalgia. The herb can be consumed in three forms namely dried roots, infusions, and tincture. The medicinal herb has been effectively used to relieve pain and treat locomotive system disorders as it has the ability to relax muscles and helps in the elimination of uric acid.
3. Ginkgo Biloba
The seeds of Ginkgo Biloba are dried, steamed, and finally crushed for medicinal use. The Ginkgo seeds are a potential cure for health ailments such as frequent urination, asthma, cough, and are a superb stimulant for the brain. The modern methods for medicinal use of the herb involve the leaf extract of Ginkgo Biloba which improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and also benefits in Alzheimer’s disease. The consumption of raw seeds of Ginkgo Biloba is not recommended as it has shown intoxicating effects in the past.
4. Golden Seal
The rhizome of the Golden Seal is used for inducing medicinal properties. The herb has the ability to fight against infections, drying mucus and dampness, clearing heat, and arresting bleeding. The medicinal herb can be used for counteracting a large variety of diseases and ailments, including colitis, diabetes, hemorrhage, indigestion, sore throat, and urinary infections. Golden seal can be gargled or used in powdered form to treat gum infections. It can be used as a poultice to treat skin ailments such as acne. The herb is widely used for the treatment of nasal congestion and sinusitis due to its drying mucus action property.
It is one of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine. It boosts up the interferon production and also helps in curing irritability in mucous membranes and is also effective in the treatment of health conditions such as allergies, asthma, bronchitis, dry cough, constipation, and sore throat. It is used as an ingredient in hair rinses as it helps fighting dandruff and hair loss. Many oral preparations use Licorice as it is effective against tooth decay and gingivitis.
6. Stinging Nettle
Nettle is used as a treatment for Asthma if collected before flowering. Nettles are excellent sources of Vitamin C which makes them fit as a tonic. They are known to improve skin circulation through herbal baths.
The fresh juice of the herb boosts hair growth when applied to the scalp.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a popular herb worldwide due to its healing properties. It is used in dentistry to treat the inflammation of the gums. It is used in dermatology to treat acne, skin abrasions, and blisters. Drinking aloe Vera juice has shown the therapeutic effects on diabetes, ulcers, and arthritis along with the maintenance of general well-being (Gage, 1988).
The use of various herbal plants as medicines provides a unique resource to treat complex health conditions without the application of harmful allopathic medicines. Herbal medicines have gained immense popularity due to their benefits in the long term use. The use of herbal medicines along with allopathic treatments can aid in the effective treatment of complex health conditions such as Diabetes and Cancer.