Medicinal Herbs: The Ultimate Guide - What You Need to Know
Although the use of medicinal herbs for general health or specific conditions has existed for centuries, their use has increased in recent years. According to a report by Global Industry Analysts, the natural and organic products market will reach a value of more than $ 300 billion by 2021, with rapid growth in herbal supplements. Natural and organic products are broadly defined as anything that is not artificially produced or processed. These products can be found in virtually all industries: personal care, cleaning, food and beverage, home fragrances, hair care, and even pet care. The segment includes commodities such as oils and extracts derived from plants, animals and minerals (for example, algae). In this post we will explore the world of medicinal herbs: what they are and how they benefit the body.
What are medicinal herbs?
Ancient cultures discovered the therapeutic benefits of herbs, plants and minerals. The word "herbs" comes from the Latin "herbarius", which means "book on herbs". Herbal medicine is a practice that involves the use of plants and plant extracts for the purpose of medicinal self-treatment. Natural herbs are a source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that have been used as herbal remedies for centuries.
Herbal products are used to treat various diseases or as a general health remedy. The active ingredients that make these products effective can be classified into 3 categories:
Nutrients: vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for the various bodily functions.
Bioactive compounds: secondary metabolites from the botanical source.
Plant hormones: chemicals that regulate plant growth and cell communication.
Benefits of Medicinal Herbs
Natural herbs have fewer side effects than synthetic drugs.
Herbs are effective in treating a variety of health problems, including allergies, coughs, colds, cramps, diarrhea, lice, insect bites, joint pain, menstrual pain, muscle cramps, skin disorders, stress, and more.
In many cases, herbs can be used as a first-line treatment for the most common conditions, without requiring prescription medications.
Herbal remedies have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.
Herbal supplements can be used with confidence to improve overall health.
Types of medicinal herbs
Although herbs can be classified according to their therapeutic properties, they also vary greatly in appearance and cultivation.
Most herbs are found in temperate regions and can be grown.
If you are considering a herbal remedy, it is important to know its origin.
For example, St. John's wort is a flowering plant whose flowers can be used in the treatment of mild depression.
Although St. John's wort is a commonly used herb, it is important to note that it is not a single species of plant.
There are about 36 species of St. John's wort that belong to different plant families.
St. John's wort species vary in appearance, chemical composition, harvesting period, and medicinal uses.
With so many varieties, it is important to research carefully the chosen herb and determine the correct species and part of the plant to use in the treatment.
Here is a quick overview of some of the more common herbs used in ancient herbal therapies:
Cinnamon - reduces cholesterol, improves blood circulation and has antifungal properties.
Garlic - improves cardiovascular health, reduces blood pressure and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Ginger - reduces inflammation, improves digestion and has anti-nausea properties.
Green tea - contains antioxidants and can improve cardiovascular health.
Chamomile - is used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Echinacea - strengthens the immune system and can be used to treat cold and flu symptoms.
Ashwagandha - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Reishi mushroom - strengthens the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric - is an anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat cardiovascular disorders and Alzheimer's disease.
Ginkgo biloba - improves memory and can be used to treat cardiovascular disorders and Alzheimer's disease.
Ginseng - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Maidenhair - can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Ashwagandha - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Rooibos - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Milk thistle - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat liver disorders.
Turmeric - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat liver disorders.
Side effects of medicinal herbs
Although rare, there are some side effects associated with herbal remedies. These side effects may be mild and lessen with discontinuation of use of the product. Alternatively, side effects can be more serious and require medical attention.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramps have been reported with the use of some herbs. These symptoms are probably caused by the presence of laxative or diuretic properties in the herbal remedy.
Skin rashes or allergies are rare, but they can occur in some people.
If you experience any serious side effects, stop using the herbal remedy and talk to your doctor.
Your doctor will be able to determine if your symptoms are caused by the herbal remedy and recommend treatment.
It is important to note that some herbal remedies can interact with other medications, such as prescription drugs and other supplements.
Before combining herbal remedies with other drugs or supplements, it is good to consult your doctor.
The doctor will be able to determine if the use of herbal remedies is safe for the patient and to recommend the correct dosage.
There are also several herbs that are not safe for children and pregnant women.
Consult your doctor to determine if a herbal remedy is safe for you.
How to use medicinal herbs correctly?
The correct dosage and use of herbal remedies depend on the specific herb you are using.
For example, while the recommended dosage for St. John's wort is 300 mg per day, that of ashwagandha is 500-1000 mg per day.
Always consult a doctor or herbalist to determine the correct dosage for you.
You can also read the instructions that come with the herbal remedy.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using herbal remedies:
Always buy high quality herbs from a reputable source.
If in doubt, consult a herbalist or your doctor.
Read the instructions carefully.
Make sure you store the herbs properly.
Do not consume herbs that are past their expiration date.
Do not consume herbs along with prescribed medications without consulting your doctor.
Do not combine different herbs unless advised by a doctor.
Types of medicinal herbs
Although herbs can be classified according to their therapeutic properties, they also vary greatly in appearance and cultivation.
Most herbs are found in temperate regions and can be grown.
If you are considering a herbal remedy, it is important to know its origin.
For example, St. John's wort is a flowering plant whose flowers can be used in the treatment of mild depression.
Although St. John's wort is a commonly used herb, it is important to note that it is not a single species of plant.
There are about 36 species of St. John's wort that belong to different plant families.
St. John's wort species vary in appearance, chemical composition, harvesting period, and medicinal uses.
With so many varieties, it is important to research carefully the chosen herb and determine the correct species and part of the plant to use in the treatment.
Here is a quick overview of some of the more common herbs used in ancient herbal therapies:
Cinnamon - reduces cholesterol, improves blood circulation and has antifungal properties.
Garlic - improves cardiovascular health, reduces blood pressure and has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Ginger - reduces inflammation, improves digestion and has anti-nausea properties.
Green tea - contains antioxidants and can improve cardiovascular health.
Chamomile - is used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Echinacea - strengthens the immune system and can be used to treat cold and flu symptoms.
Ashwagandha - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Reishi mushroom - strengthens the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric - is an anti-inflammatory and can be used to treat cardiovascular disorders and Alzheimer's disease.
Ginkgo biloba - improves memory and can be used to treat cardiovascular disorders and Alzheimer's disease.
Ginseng - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Maidenhair - can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Ashwagandha - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
Rooibos - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat anxiety, insomnia and menstrual cramps.
Milk thistle - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat liver disorders.
Turmeric - has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat liver disorders.
Side effects of medicinal herbs
Although rare, there are some side effects associated with herbal remedies. These side effects may be mild and lessen with discontinuation of use of the product. Alternatively, side effects can be more serious and require medical attention.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramps have been reported with the use of some herbs. These symptoms are probably caused by the presence of laxative or diuretic properties in the herbal remedy.
Skin rashes or allergies are rare, but they can occur in some people.
If you experience any serious side effects, stop using the herbal remedy and talk to your doctor.
Your doctor will be able to determine if your symptoms are caused by the herbal remedy and recommend treatment.
It is important to note that some herbal remedies can interact with other medications, such as prescription drugs and other supplements.
Before combining herbal remedies with other drugs or supplements, it is good to consult your doctor.
The doctor will be able to determine if the use of herbal remedies is safe for the patient and to recommend the correct dosage.
There are also several herbs that are not safe for children and pregnant women.
Consult your doctor to determine if a herbal remedy is safe for you.
How to use medicinal herbs correctly?
The correct dosage and use of herbal remedies depend on the specific herb you are using.
For example, while the recommended dosage for St. John's wort is 300 mg per day, that of ashwagandha is 500-1000 mg per day.
Always consult a doctor or herbalist to determine the correct dosage for you.
You can also read the instructions that come with the herbal remedy.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using herbal remedies:
Always buy high quality herbs from a reputable source.
If in doubt, consult a herbalist or your doctor.
Read the instructions carefully.
Make sure you store the herbs properly.
Do not consume herbs that are past their expiration date.
Do not consume herbs along with prescribed medications without consulting your doctor.
Do not combine different herbs unless advised by a doctor.
Consume only the recommended amount of herbs. Do not exceed this amount.
Do not consume herbs if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Using herbs alongside other medications or supplements can have adverse effects.