Healing Herbs – Benefits & Side Effects

The information in this post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment, or medical advice but is simply for informational purposes only. Please consult with a healthcare professional regarding any medical or health-related diagnosis or treatment option.

The History Of Herbs

Herbalism has been around for thousands of years and laid the foundations for modern medicine, botany, pharmacy, perfumery, and chemistry. For centuries herbs have been used for their healing benefits. 

Herbalists of the past paved the way for today by experimenting with plants, using their intuition, documenting their findings, and continuing to spread the herbal word by teaching and sharing their knowledge.

Each generation of herbalists expanded and developed from those before them, creating history thousands of years strong.

Many cultures still heal their people using native herbs, while herbal preparations are still being practised, used, and taught.

Every culture throughout the world has used the healing power of plants in some form. We see herbs within the Indian ayurvedic system, Chinese medicine, and in the native North American culture, however, the plants used varied from country to country as it depended on what their ecosystem provided them with.

Today the use of herbs for healing is once again increasing in popularity due to them being:

An inexpensive form of health care

Completely natural

An alternative form of medicine

What Are Herbs Used For?

Healing medicinal herbs are used to treat an illness or disease and can either be gathered from the wild or grown just for this purpose.

The plants, leaves, bark, stems, roots, seeds, and flowers are used in making these herbal remedies.

For a quick guide on herbal remedies check out the Medline 

 https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000868.htm

Some of the most common conditions herbs can be used for include but are not limited to :

Male hormonal support

Female hormonal support

Immune system defence

Low mood/anxiety

Pain/anti-inflammatory relief

Digestive problems

Eye health

Heart and circulation

Healing Herbs/Benefits

Male Hormonal

Damiana – Is an aphrodisiac, testosterone boosting and can strengthen the male sexual system.

Saw Palmetto – Strengthens the reproductive system, will boost testosterone levels and is used to treat an enlarged prostate.

Tribulus -Is an aphrodisiac and can increase testosterone levels.

Female Hormonal

Red clover – Acts like the female sex hormone and can help relieve menopausal symptoms.

Raspberry leaf – Relaxes muscles during labour, relieves PMS symptoms such as cramps and mood swings.

Sage – Stimulates the muscles of the uterus and controls the symptoms of menopause sweating and hot flushes.

Evening primrose – Can help with dry eyes, nerve pain and relieve the symptoms of PMS.

Immune System Defence

Oregano – Is an expectorant for coughs, colds, flu and chest congestion, antibacterial and antiviral.

Elderberry – Antiviral and used to treat colds and flu symptoms.

Echinacea – Can prevent infection, and is antiviral/antibacterial.

Garlic – Will boost the immune system, fight off colds, flu and infections, may act as a decongestant, loosen a chesty cough and has antiseptic properties.

Low Mood/Anxiety

Valerian – Has a calming effect and will help manage mild anxiety.

Passionflower – Used for its calming sedative effects and can help with insomnia and stress.

Lemon Balm – Good for anxiety, sedative for stress and insomnia.

St Johns wart – Used for depression and mood disorders.

Healing Herbs/Benefits

Pain Relief /Anti-Inflammatory 

Devils Claw – Helps with joint pain and inflammation.

Ginger – Reduces inflammation in the body, can help relieve pain and may reduce nausea and headaches.

Turmeric – Can help with osteoarthritis, reduce swelling, help with depression as can help raise your mood and immune system boosting.

Rosehips – Prevents infections, powerful pain reliever and inflammatory, great for ageing skin and will boost the immune system as it contains high amounts of  Vitamin c.

Digestive Problems 

Peppermint – Relaxes muscles, stimulates bile and digestive juices, can help relieve intestinal colic, is helpful for indigestion and can help reduce spasms.

Marshmallow – Forms a protective layer on the lining of the digestive tract.

Aloe Vera – Acts as a laxative to help with constipation, soothes the digestive system and can help with IBS symptoms.

Milk Thistle – Helps with an upset stomach caused by overindulgence of food and drink and alcohol.

Eye Health

Blueberry – Can help prevent macular degeneration, may improve night vision, memory and cognitive functions.

Bilberry – Improves eye disorders including macular degeneration, reducing inflammation of the retina, retinopathy and may improve night vision.

Eyebright – Used to treat allergies including hay fever, helps with inflammations such as conjunctivitis, stinging and weepy eyes.

Heart/Circulation

Hawthorn – Improves blood supply, increases heart pumping force and may limit cholesterol build-up.

Butchers Broom – Improves circulation disorders such as varicose veins.

Gotu Kola – Can improve circulation in the heart and limbs and has anti-inflammatory benefits.

Cautions To Take Before Using Herbs

Herbs can be great at helping to relieve your symptoms and are usually safe to use but individuals are different and may react differently to certain ingredients.

Some herbs can cause unwanted side effects, so it’s always best to seek medical advice before trying a new remedy or supplement.

Healing Herbs/Side Effects

Damiana –  Avoid if diabetic, causes convulsions and allergic reactions including swelling and difficulty breathing.

Saw Palmetto – Mild stomach upset, diarrhoea, vomiting, can interfere with medications used for blood clotting.

Tribulus – Causes stomach pain, diarrhoea and cramping, affects blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Red clover  May affect hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, causes muscle aches, rashes, spotting, headaches, nausea, vomiting, can interfere with several medications, not to be used during pregnancy as it may disturb hormone balances and avoid if using birth control.

Raspberry leaf – Lowers blood sugar, so avoid if diabetic, can affect hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer and during pregnancy only use under the supervision of your healthcare provider.

Sage – Poisonous if too much taken, can cause liver damage and seizures, avoid if high/low blood pressure, can affect hormone-sensitive disorders such as cancer, and avoid if diabetic as can lower blood sugar levels

Evening primrose – Mild side effects include upset stomach, nausea, diarrhoea, and headache in some people, not to be used if you suffer from seizures, and can affect bleeding disorders.

Healing Herbs/Side Effects

Valerian – Can cause stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, diarrhoea and interferes with blood-thinning medication, and avoid if you have gall bladder problems.

Passionflower – Can cause drowsiness, dizziness and confusion.

Lemon Balm – Can cause increased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and dizziness.

St Johns wart – May interfere with several medications such as birth control, antidepressants and can cause difficulty sitting still, nervousness, irritability, stomach upset, tiredness, dry mouth, dizziness, headache, skin rash, diarrhoea, and skin tingling, and avoid if pregnant.

Oregano – Can cause allergies and may cause miscarriage – avoid it during pregnancy.

Elderberry – Raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting or severe diarrhoea and can increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases.

Echinacea – Can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, bad taste, stomach pain, diarrhoea, sore throat, dry mouth, allergies and headaches, will interact with caffeine, affect autoimmune disorders, and interfere with other medications

Garlic – Can cause bad breath, heartburn, gas, and diarrhoea, affect bleeding disorders, blood pressure and can lower blood sugar level. These side effects are often worse with raw garlic.

Peppermint – Can cause heartburn, dry mouth, nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Marshmallow – Can affect bleeding disorders

Aloe Vera – Reports show it could be unsafe to use during pregnancy, it can aggravate ulcers and kidney problems, can affect blood sugar – avoid if diabetic, and not safe to use if you have gastrointestinal illnesses.

Milk Thistle – Can cause diarrhoea, nausea, intestinal gas, fullness, loss of appetite, possibly headaches, can affect hormone-related disorders such as cancers and cause allergies.

Blueberry – May lower blood sugar levels and interfere with diabetic and blood-thinning medications.

Bilberry – May lower blood sugar levels and interfere with diabetic and blood-thinning medications.

Eyebright – Can cause confusion, headache, nausea, constipation, trouble breathing, insomnia and lower blood sugar levels

Healing Herbs/Side Effects

Devils Claw – Can cause diarrhoea, skin reactions, and indigestion, avoid if you have gallstones or have heart and circulation problems, can interfere with other medications and avoid if pregnant or have stomach ulcers.

Ginger – Can cause heartburn, diarrhoea, burping, general stomach discomfort, can interfere with heart medications, bleeding disorders and will interfere with blood-thinning medication.

Tumeric – Can cause stomach upset, nausea, dizziness, or diarrhoea, can increase stomach acid and should be avoided if you have hormone-sensitive conditions.

Rosehips – Can increase the chance of getting kidney stones, may cause diarrhoea and fatigue.

Hawthorn – Can cause nausea, stomach upset, fatigue, sweating, headache, dizziness, nosebleeds, insomnia, palpitations and agitation, and avoid if using heart medication.

Butchers Broom – Can cause upset, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, heartburn, affects blood pressure and certain heart medications.

Gotu Kola – Can cause nausea and stomach pain and rarely causes liver problems if taken by mouth.

Easy To Grow Herbs

Growing herbs can be rewarding and somewhat easy to do.

I have found a few easy tricks and tips which make growing your own a piece of cake.

Why not check them out here  https://www.emedihealth.com/nutrition/medicinal-herbs-grow-home.

The most popular and easy to grow medicinal herbs include:

Lavender

Mint

Chamomile

Rosemary

Dandelion

Lemon Balm

There are many more healing herbs you can use daily in tea or in tablet form.

Over at preparation.com, they give you preparation and dosage information.

https://www.prevention.com/life/a20438272/25-healing-herbs-you-can-use-every-day/

Conclusion

Using herbal supplements can be a great way to improve your health and wellness.

They are usually more affordable, easily accessible and may have fewer side effects than regular medication making them the popular choice amongst the health conscience but it’s essential to understand the risks when using herbs to decide which herbal remedies are worth taking and which ones are not.
If you are interested in using alternative medicine, speak to your doctor or health care provider if you suffer from a pre-existing condition.

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