Most important medicinal herbs and their effects – Medicinal herbs have been around for thousands of years.
Among them, thyme, rosemary, and lavender are probably the best known. The less known herbs are, for example, melissa or wild garlic. In this article, get a small overview.
In well-assorted drugstores, health food stores, and in your pharmacy, you will find many well-known medicinal herbs. Most of them are already dried and ready for tea, infusion, or further processing, such as in creams.
If you have your garden, you will find what you are looking for there. Dandelions or daisies will undoubtedly grow there as well.
Of course, it is also possible to search for medicinal herbs in the forest and fields while respecting nature conservation. If you are not yet getting known with the area, a suitable reading and a herb guide will help.
Caution is required because some herbs are similar, one being poisonous and the other non-toxic.
In principle, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before using medicinal herbs. You should discuss the type, quantity, and duration of use.
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Table of Contents
The most important medicinal herbs and their effects
Rosemary increases the performance of the human brain. The ancient Greeks already knew this. Like many other medicinal herbs, rosemary contains ingredients and essential oils that increase the body’s performance.
Thus, the retentiveness and brain performance should be positively influenced with the help of the carnosic acid in rosemary and counteract the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
In addition to carnosic acid, 1,8-cineol is also the main component of rosemary and increases memory performance in speed and accuracy. Many studies have now substantiated this.
In addition to the positive effects on the brain, rosemary has other promising healing powers. For example, the plant can treat rheumatic diseases, arthrosis and boost the immune system. Also recommended are baths and massages with essential rosemary oil for joint and vertebral pain.
Thyme is a popular spice plant for the kitchen and essential medicinal herbs for cough control. But thyme is used for respiratory problems and naturopathy, and it works as the purest panacea.
Its antibacterial, calming, and anti-inflammatory effects are only a fraction of the healing properties of thyme. Thyme also has an antispasmodic effect and thus helps to relieve spasms caused by whooping and chesty coughs.
The plant is also becoming increasingly popular for the treatment of constipation and in gynecology.
Lavender is often used to relieve inner restlessness and stress. However, lavender is no longer just a remedy but an approved medicine, mainly prescribed and used for nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and anxiety.
In most cases, the medicinal plant is getting processed into oil. Thus the lavender as a fragrance oil exudes a soothing aroma.
But also, the external physical application of lavender oil is healing. A few drops applied to the massage can relieve headaches.
A freshly brewed lavender tea made from flowers and leaves can also have a calming and even antipyretic effect. Drinking lavender tea before going to bed promotes deep and healthy sleep.
It would help if you always harvested lavender early in the morning because this is when the fragrance content is highest.
4. St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is often used as a natural remedy for mild to moderate depression and inner restlessness, whether as tea, in homeopathic or concentrated form.
You can alleviate moods due to psychological stress or hormonal fluctuations during menopause with this medicinal plant. St. John’s wort oil has mild anti-inflammatory properties and is said to make wounds heal faster when used externally.
The reason for this is hypericin, the dye of the flowers, which counteracts bacterial inflammation. St. John’s wort oil also contains the enzyme hyperforin. It calms the nerves and can relieve pain.
Peppermint is one of the proven medicinal herbs for headaches, colds, and gastrointestinal complaints. You can use it can it in many different ways.
Especially in essential oil, peppermint has always proved its worth and has a much stronger effect than a homemade peppermint tea.
Whether for external use against tension headaches, as inhalation against congested airways, or as capsules for the treatment of irritable bowel problems, the containing methol has a pronounced spasmolytic effect.
It means it relaxes the cramped muscles of the intestinal wall. Also, the oil counteracts flatulence by allowing the intestinal gases to escape.
When brewed as a tea, peppermint calms the nerves in the digestive tract and stimulates bile production. It is not without reason that a cup of peppermint tea is getting served after an extensive menu in many countries.
Parsley is a strongly underestimated medicinal herb. In addition to sufficient vitamins A, B, C, E, iron, and folic acid, parsley is full of high-quality nutrients quickly absorbed by the human body. And not only that!
The ancient Romans and Greeks knew about the green herb’s healing power and used it as a medicine against numerous ailments. You can use it against belching and heartburn, and exhaustion because it increases performance.
The active ingredients are also said to strengthen the heart and support the work of the adrenal glands. Parsley is even getting recommended to treat gout, high blood pressure, bad breath, and skin diseases.
Sage is one of the most aged medicinal herbs. Its leaves are often getting used for inflammations of the mouth and throat mucosa.
Besides, they have an extremely antiperspirant and disinfectant effect, promote metabolism, and stimulate digestion. All its many different uses make sage a real panacea.
Sage is usually drunk in the form of a tea. If the mouth or throat’s mucous membrane is affected by significant inflammation, it helps rinse and gargle with brewed sage.
You can absorb the essential oil of sage internally. Among other things, the oil can have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antibacterial effects. Sage oil can even alleviate rheumatic pain when applied externally.
Experts recommend an application period of at most two to four weeks. Babies under five months, pregnant women, and nursing mothers should not drink sage tea. In these cases, you should discuss the use of sage in advance with the doctor or pharmacist.
Coriander is one of the most senior kitchen herbs globally, and it is not without reason that we can imagine Asian cuisines without it. Its healing powers have already been getting written about in Sanskrit writings and the old testament.
The high content of health-promoting phytonutrients and essential oils is the reason for the coriander’s healing effect. People with chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatism can get relief with this herb.
And also, against digestion problems such as flatulence, diarrhea, or fullness, Koriander is to help, which is in the Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine long no more secret. Similar to other medicinal herbs, coriander can be processed and absorbed in many different ways.
Besides the raw spice variant, there are freshly brewed coriander tea, coriander oil, and coriander seeds. Coriander is often confused with parsley, but its leaves are much more delicate.
Like many other medicinal herbs, lemon balm has a long tradition as a medicinal plant and was already utilized in the Middle Ages to treat heart complaints.
Today it is mainly used to calm an over-stimulated nervous system, which is also called nerve herb.
Among the essential ingredients of lemon balm are the essential oils, which, when used internally, have a calming and relaxing effect, especially on over-stimulated nerves and the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract, providing relief for flatulence and a feeling of fullness.
Lemon balm can be drunk as tea or used for external application in compresses and compresses.
10. Ramsons (Wild garlic or Bear’s Garlic)
Bear’s garlic, ramsons, or wild garlic are originated from Central Europe and was already known to pagans. It grows in large parts of Europe’s forests and is often called wild garlic.
The plant, which smells strongly of garlic, is characterized by a high vitamin C content, iron and magnesium, and an additional detoxifying and disinfecting effect.
Bear’s garlic can even be used in part against tiredness in spring. In contrast to other medicinal herbs, bear’s garlic has only an abridged season from mid-March to mid-May and is often used to cleanse the stomach, intestines, and blood.
The healthy blood cleansing properties of wild garlic can combat chronic skin rashes from within. As healing as bear’s garlic is, the more poisonous are lily of the valley, autumn saffron, and arum, with which it is often confused.
Without medicinal plants, the pharmaceutical industry could not exist because they provide the essential raw material for many medicines. A medicinal plant never has only one active ingredient; there are always several.
Although the main active ingredient is usually the most important one, the components of several different herbs are often getting coordinated.
It is the excellent art of herbal medicine: there is no point in mixing two herbs containing the same active ingredient!
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