The Healing And Medicinal Properties Of The Peppermint Plant

There are many wonderful herbs and plants that are powerful natural healers and have been used by humans long before antibiotics and other modern medicines were even an idea.

When most people hear of peppermint, they think of candy as well as all the ways peppermint is used in their home. You see peppermint in your home in your bath products, mouthwashes, toothpaste, ointments, candies, and gum. However, the uses of peppermint go way beyond those things.

While it is the peppermint oil that gets most of the credit for being the source of the benefits peppermint brings, in reality compounds in the peppermint leaf have also been proven to be beneficial.

A combination of the peppermint extract and peppermint leaves can bring you a wide range of health benefits, as we are going to see below.

Allergies – The extract from the peppermint leaf is thought to inhibit histamine release. This inhibition suggests that peppermint may help to alleviate symptoms relating to hay fever and other allergies, as well as asthma.

Colds And Flu – Peppermint Oils are both an expectorant and a decongestant, which can help to clear out your respiratory tract when you are suffering from a cold or the flu. You can relieve a cough and cold symptoms by either using peppermint in cold run on your chest or inhaling it through a vaporizer.

Dental Cavities – Powdered peppermint leaves have been used historically to freshen breath and whiten teeth. Peppermint extract has also been shown to be more effective than chlorhexidine, which is the common mouthwash chemical, in inhibiting the formation of biofilm formations that are linked to dental cavities.

Gastrointestinal Disorders – The main ingredients in peppermint, menthol, and methyl salicylate, have antispasmodic effects, which calm the gastrointestinal tract. This makes it an effective treatment for indigestion, flatulence, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and many other gastrointestinal problems.

Muscle Pain – The antispasmodic properties that are contained in peppermint help to relieve muscle spasms and pain. You can add peppermint into your bath water, or use peppermint oil and massage it into the sore muscles.

Nausea – The smell of peppermint has been shown to relieve nausea due to morning sickness. A study that was done in 2013 found that peppermint oil was an effective treatment for reducing chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Shingles – Shingles is a condition that features neuropathic pain, which a study conducted in 2002 showed to be improved by topical peppermint oil and its therapeutic effects continued into a two month follow up with study subjects.

Skin And Hair – Peppermint has both antiseptic and antibacterial properties. These properties help to cool and moisturize your skin and also can help to remove dandruff and head lice from your scalp.

Stress – Peppermint oil is both cooling and energizing. When you are feeling stressed, you can add a few drops into your bath

Tension Headaches – Peppermint oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in treating tension headaches. You can apply a few drops to your wrist, or sprinkle a few drops on a cloth and inhale the aroma. As an alternative, you can also massage the oil directly onto your temples and forehead.

Usage

There are many ways you can take peppermint. You can use the peppermint leaves to make a tea, use the oils in a capsule, or mix the peppermint oil in a carrier oil for topical use.

You can also use pure essential peppermint oil in your baths, or make homemade drops to treat coughs.

As you can see, peppermint is much more than just a candy or toothpaste flavoring. Using peppermint in your daily life can bring many benefits, and it is easy to grow and maintain and would be a great addition to any home herb garden.

The Healing And Medicinal Properties Of Feverfew

There is nothing new about using herbs and plant life to treat our illnesses, ancient civilizations have been harnessing the power of nature for thousands of years. While feverfew might not be one of the most commonly known supplements, it is widely used to treat migraines and has been since the 80’s.

Medicinal Properties

There are a number of uses for feverfew; it is most frequently used to alleviate migraines, arthritis, muscle pain and tension, and fevers.

Additionally, it can be used in order to lower blood pressure, stimulate the appetite by improving kidney function and digestion, as well as lessening stomach irritation.

There are indications that it can also be used to treat dizziness, tinnitus, colitis, and menstrual problems.

WebMD lists the illnesses that feverfew is commonly used to treat, as well as others that as such there may be insufficient evidence for.

What The Science Shows

There have been clinical tests into the effectiveness of feverfew. When dealing with severe headaches it appears that feverfew is more effective than NSAIDS such as aspirin. The feverfew plant has a combination of ingredients, which make it effective for pain relief. It inhibits two inflammatory substances being released- prostaglandin and serotonin. Both of these substances are believed to be contributing factors in the onset of migraines.

Feverfew inhibits these substances, as well as the production of histamine and controls inflammation, which leads to blood vessels being constriction, and this prevents the spasms in blood vessels, which are believed to contribute to headaches.

The University of Maryland highlights a study completed in the UK in the 80’s. It included 270 people that suffered from regular migraines. 70% of them saw massive improvement after 2 to 3 days of use.

There are a number of forms the supplement comes in- dried, freeze-dried, and fresh. It can be purchases in tablet form, capsules, or tinctures. In order to treat migraines, you should take at least 50 to 100mg of feverfew daily.

The majority of studies into feverfew tackle the subject of migraines, as it has long been a popular treatment to relieve headaches.

Additional studies have shown that participants taking feverfew extracts had fewer migraines a month in comparison to participants given a placebo. Furthermore, 49 people taking part in a 3-month study saw a decrease in migraines of 50%. This study combined vitamin B2, magnesium, and feverfew.

Side Effects

According to WebMD, feverfew is safe for short-term use (four months). However, like any medication there are possible side effects, which include tiredness, weight gain, menstrual changes, upset stomach, heartburn, and bowel issues. Studies have not been completed into the safety of feverfew beyond the four-month period.

It is not recommended to chew the fresh leaves, and the unprocessed leaves can cause swelling of the lips, tongue and mouth, as well as mouth sores, and may result in a loss of taste.

Feverfew should not be taken within two weeks of surgery, as it may slow blood clotting.

Additionally, it shouldn’t be used by pregnant or breast feeding women. It can also cause allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to ragweed, marigolds, daisies, and chrysanthemums.

Conclusion

While the jury may be out on the additional claims attributed to feverfew, studies are clear in its use to relieve migraines.

The Migraine Trust recommends that freeze dried capsules are used in order to treat migraines. This is because the majority of studies that have been conducted have used this form of feverfew.

In addition to this, teas have a bitter taste, and fresh leaves irritate your mouth. The capsules can be purchased from health food stores and chemists. The general recommended daily dosage to treat migraines is 250 milligrams.

The Healing And Medicinal Properties Of Echinacea

Echinacea is possibly the most well-known herbal remedy that has been in use for over 400 years. It is a North American cornflower that the Great Plains tribes have long used as a medicine.

Prior to the introduction of antibiotics in 1950, it was Echinacea that held esteemed status in the medical community. However, as the health care industry moved toward antibiotics and modern medicine practices, Echinacea was lost in the furor.

There are different chemicals in the root and the upper part of the plant. The root holds high concentrations of oils that are known to trigger immune functions.

Echinacea’s chemical components are highly powerful in stimulating the immune system and provide substantial therapeutic value. It also contains flavonoids, inulin, vitamin C, essential oils, and polysaccharides.

The University Of Maryland Medical Center notes that the part of the plant that provides the most medicinal value is the portion that grows above the ground. This could be reflected in the decision of Germany authorities to only approve those portions for human use. In Germany, Echinacea is an approved remedy for upper respiratory infections, colds, urinary tract infections, and slow healing wounds.

Medicinal Uses

Perhaps the most common use for Echinacea is to battle the cold. What most people fail to realize is that due to its ability to boost the immune system, taking Echinacea regularly can actually prevent you from developing the cold. According to a study from the University of Connecticut, it can reduce your chances of catching the cold by up to 58%. It also reduces the length of your cold by 1.5 days.

In addition to the common cold, and urinary tract infections Echinacea can treat a number of issues. Native Americans used it as a general cure all, but studies have shown it can be effective in treating tonsillitis, streptococcus infections, warts, ear infections, and infections of the bloodstream.

In addition, it can relieve the symptoms of anxiety, migraines, acid indigestion, pain, dizziness, ADHD, arthritis, as well as improving physical performance.

Many people apply it to the skin in order to treat gum disease, boils, abscesses, ulcers, burns, skin wounds, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, yeast infections, hemorrhoids, bee stings, mosquito bites, and snake bites.

Additionally, there is a suggestion that it can help prevent cancer. While there are limited studies on the subject, the implication is that because it can boost the immune system it changes how the body handles foreign substances.

The stimulation of the immune system eliminates cancerous cells as they appear, thus preventing the development of the disease. While it is not considered an antioxidant, it appears that it may help to eliminate free radicals through its stimulation of the proper immune system cells, such as T cells.

Conclusion

There are no side effects when taking Echinacea, unless you take it in large quantities, which may result in dizziness and nausea. However, when injected it can cause severe reactions such as headache, fever, insomnia, joint aches, nausea, disorientation, dizziness, diarrhea, and a numb tongue.

While studies into Echinacea’s healing properties are limited, and generally only involve its effect on the cold, it is clear that it has a purpose. The fact that regular use prevents colds from developing shows that the claim it bolsters the immune system is accurate.

The Mayo Clinic has stated that it is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding, however studies are limited on the subject so caution should be exercised. The most important factor is that you ensure you are purchasing a product that contains real Echinacea. Look for the THR checkmark on packaging.

The Healing And Medicinal Properties Of Chamomile

Chamomile refers to a range of daisy like plants. These are members of the Asteraceae family. There are actually a number of different species, however the two most commonly known are, Roman chamomile, and German chamomile. Both of these species have been used for their anti-inflammatory and calming properties since ancient times.

It’s an age-old herb that has been used for its medicinal purposes in ancient Rome, Greece, and Egypt. It grew in popularity during the middle ages and was frequently used for a number of medical complaints.

It is widely believed to have been the European counterpart of China’s ginseng. The common complaints chamomile treated were skin diseases, cancer, nervous complaints, nausea, children’s ailments, fevers, inflammations, colic, and asthma.

Medicinal Properties

The healing properties of chamomile come from its flowers, which can easily be mistaken for those of a daisy. They contain oils such as matricin, bisabolol, as well as flavonoids, and other substances of therapeutic value.

We commonly recognize chamomile as a sleep aid, and frequently drink the tea before bed to relax ourselves in order to fall asleep easier.

However, there is more to chamomile than this.

According to Organic Facts chamomile can be used to treat colds, fevers, stomach ailments, as well as serving as an anti-inflammatory.

Scientific research has been done extensively in the last 20 years that has confirmed the established uses, as well as highlighting further healing properties.

  • Chamomile is antipyretic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antispasmodic, and antiallergenic. This means that chamomile can be used as a muscle relaxant, and is actually considered a drug in 26 different country’s pharmacopoeia.

Healing And Healthy Benefits

  • It can be used a tea for such issues as rashes, rheumatic problems, and lumbago.
  • It comes in salve form to use for wounds and hemorrhoids.
  • Additionally, it can alleviate asthma symptoms and colds as a vapor.
  • Drinking the tea after a meal can aid digestion, and it can treat ulcerative colitis and gastritis, too.
  • Additionally, it reduces inflammation to allow the bowels to move without having a laxative effect.
  • It can also relieve allergies in the same way an antihistamine does.
  • Because it can promote relaxation and relieve stress, it can have similar effects as anti-anxiety drugs, as well as assisting in controlling insomnia. However, if you have been prescribed medication for this purpose it is important that you consult your doctor before you stop taking it.
  • In the form of a lotion, it is ideal for sunburn, rashes, eczema, and minor burns. It not only eases the itching, but also reduces the skin inflammation. It speeds up healing and prevents infections.

Usage

WebMD suggests caution when using chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed plants. However, this is its only known issue, which makes sense considering how common chamomile tea is.

  • Chamomile essential oils can be used in Aromatherapy with a diffuser or by simply placing a few drops on your pillow prior to sleep.
  • To take it orally you must first dilute it in water, and generally, 2 drops would be sufficient.
  • If you are using it in a bath for whatever reason 10 drops is recommended.
  • It can also be blended with a carrier oil to use for massage purposes, or with a cream for topical relief. Chamomile essential oil can only be applied topically to the skin when diluted with a carrier oil, like Jojoba.

Conclusion

Chamomile tea is the most widely drank herbal tea. The Herb Research Foundation estimates that more than one million cups of chamomile tea are drank a daily basis worldwide. It seems that all of us can take advantage of the many healing properties that it offers.

The Healing And Medicinal Properties Of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a long time used medicinal plant that has many uses in the area of natural healing.

While Aloe Vera is about 99% water, the remaining 1%, contains powerful nutrients that work together to provide various medicinal and health values.

These ingredients include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignins, saponins, fatty acids, and salicylic acid.

Each one of these categories could have their article in their right, regarding the individual molecules and ongoing studies into their effects. For the purpose of this article, we are going to look at how all the properties of Aloe Vera work together and the benefits they provide.

Aids Digestion – Aloe Vera contains both anti-inflammatory and laxative components. As a result, Aloe Vera juice can normalize acidity and balance pH to lessen the formation of yeast. This encourages digestive bacteria and regularizes bowel processing.

Burn Treatment – The gel of the Aloe Vera plant has a protective effect against radiation damage to the skin. When Aloe Vera is used on burns, it allows the area to heal at a faster rate by preventing the UV-induced suppression.

Cold Sore Medication – When used a few times a day, Aloe Vera eases the discomfort and speeds the healing process of cold cores thanks to it antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Since Aloe Vera is also safe to be consumed by mouth, there is no fear of swallowing the Aloe Vera.

Stabilizes Blood Sugars – Aloe Vera has been shown to reduce the levels of blood glucose and serum triglyceride concentrations. This makes it a good choice for those who are diabetic as a natural way to balance their blood sugars.

Hair And Scalp Moisturizer – The many nutrients found in Aloe Vera support and promote the health of your hair and scalp. Can help naturally curb dandruff and dryness of the scamp that causes itching.

Immune System Health – Enzymes in Aloe Vera help break down protein in food to turn them into amino acids that feed muscle and also fuel cells in the body, which promotes healthy functioning and gives a natural boost to the immune system.

Reduce Inflammation – There are an incredible number of vitamins and minerals present in Aloe vera that aid in the reduction of inflammation and fight free radical damage.

Potential Cancer Fighting Properties – While there is more research that needs to be done on this, a study that was published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the therapeutic properties of one of the compounds in the plant’s leaves, called Aloe Emodin. The authors suggest that the succulent shows potential to slow the growth of breast cancer. However, it isn’t conclusive.

Soothe Skin Irritations – Topical applications of Aloe Vera are effective in treating psoriasis, dermatitis, surgical wounds, and many other skin conditions. A study that was done in 1996 as the Department of Clinical Physiology in Sweden included sixty patients who suffered from psoriasis. In a group of sixty patients, half were given an Aloe Vera cream, and the other half was given a placebo. The cure rate among those who received Aloe Vera was eighty-three percent compared to seven percent in the placebo group. There were also no relapses reported after twelve months.

Aloe vera is easy to find just about anywhere. You can grow your aloe plant at home, or you can purchase aloe gel, latex, juice, and extracts in your local health food store. It is important to ensure that you are reading the labels of the Aloe products you are purchasing to ensure they are certified, as not all aloe products are going to produce the same benefits. Having your plant is the easiest and least expensive way to reap all of the benefits of Aloe Vera on a regular basis.

Black Cohosh Helps Menopause Symptoms

Menopause is a natural process for women as they age. The body stops producing reproductive hormones, and it can cause many symptoms for women. These symptoms range from hot flashes to mood swings. There are several options for women facing the symptoms of menopause. One of the most common treatments for women can be hormone replacement therapy.

Hormone replacement therapy can be scary for many women. This widely used method to treat the symptoms of menopause has been shown to have long-term health risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, a large clinical trial found that hormone replacement therapy posed more health risks for older post-menopausal women. Despite these risks, the symptoms of menopause are unbearable for many women, and they are looking for relief from their symptoms.

For those who do not want to take hormones, there are herbal therapies. One of the most effective herbal therapies to help with menopause symptoms is Black Cohosh.

How Black Cohosh Works

According to the University of Maryland, it is a phytoestrogen. A phytoestrogen is a plant-based estrogen that can provide the body with elevated levels of estrogen. This can help eliminate several symptoms of menopause by replacing some of the estrogens that the body stops producing after menopause.

What Black Cohosh Treats

In a study published by Women Living Naturally, Black Cohosh was reported to relieve a wide array of menopause symptoms. 49% of women who took the supplement reported relief of headaches, hot flashes, night sweats, and vertigo.

In another study, those who took Black Cohosh twice a day had definitive improvements in their menopause symptoms. 76 to 93% of study subjects reported a decrease in irritability, hot flashes, depression, headaches, heart palpitations, and insomnia.

Alternative to Hormone Therapy

Black Cohosh is used as an alternative to hormone therapy for many people. In Germany, the government oversight has approved it as a prescriptive alternative to hormone replacement therapy. The United States has not approved the herb in the same way, as it is only available without a prescription. There are standardized options for Black Cohosh that can be taken.

How Much Should You Take?

Because Black Cohosh is not available by prescription, there are differing opinions about the amount of Black Cohosh that should be taken to treat menopause symptoms. Finding the different recommendations on the internet is not recommended. If you are considering taking this herbal supplement to help treat your menopause symptoms you should discuss your options with your physician or a qualified and licensed herbal medicine practioner.

Is Black Cohosh Safe?

Black Cohosh may cause elevated liver enzymes, and this could be a concern if you are on medications that also affect your liver enzyme levels. This is why it is especially important to discuss supplementation with your doctor. In 2007, the Australian Department of Health required all Black Cohosh to carry a warning label about the risk of liver damage.

Aside from liver damage, there are other side effects that can occur when taking black cohosh. These included breast pain and enlargement, infection, vaginal bleeding, musculoskeletal complaints. Typical studies showing the use of Black Cohosh ran for less than 6 months.

Final Thoughts

Any herbal therapy should be discussed with your doctor. Many people have the impression that herbal therapies are automatically safe and interaction free. This is not true, and Black Cohosh is not immune to side effects and drug interactions. Discussing dosage and drug interactions with your doctor can help prevent serious health complications from occurring.

Once you have permission from your physician, Black Cohosh is often an effective treatment for a variety of menopause symptoms. The best part about using Black Cohosh is that it can treat so many different menopauses symptoms. This can provide women with a highly improved quality of life.

Only you can decide if your menopause symptoms are enough to warrant supplementation with Black Cohosh. If you do need relief from your menopause symptoms, you may find that Black Cohosh is one of the more effective therapies.

The Health Benefits Of Licorice Root

There is nothing more distinct than the taste of licorice. This flavorful candy comes in black and red. While black licorice is a love hate relationship, you may be surprised to know that it doesn’t contain any actual licorice root.

The taste that we associate with “black licorice” is actually anise oil. In teas and other herbal medicines, the smell that people often think is licorice is actually anise.

Whether you love the taste of licorice or not, there is no denying the health benefits of licorice root. Licorice root has many healing properties when taken in small doses. Be careful when taking licorice to treat a medical condition, though, too much licorice can be toxic!

Medical Uses

  • Licorice is used intravenously to treat multiple forms of hepatitis
  • Licorice root is effective for treating eczema when applied as a gel
  • Treating heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues
  • Reducing stomach acids and treating peptic ulcers

Breaking Research

Licorice root is being studied in many different areas for effectiveness. One of those areas is in the treatment of obesity. According to the University of Maryland, people who ate licorice over a two month period had a reduction in body fat.

Another study showed that a topical ointment prepared from one of the acids found in licorice reduced the thickness of fat found on the thighs of human subjects.

Finally, a third study looked at the effects of licorice flavonoid oil. This was the most effective of the research studies aimed at analyzing licorice’s ability to help combat obesity.

Those who consumed the licorice flavonoid oil over an 8-week period saw a reduction in body fat, body mass index, LDL cholesterol, and body weight. There are more studies needed as the long-term health risks of licorice use are yet unknown.

Menopause

Early findings point to licorice as a possible source of relief from hot flashes for women in menopause. The University of Maryland highlights a study that found licorice root to be more effective than hormone replacement therapy when treating hot flashes.

This may come as good news for many women who have learned that hormone replacement therapy may not be the safest option to treat their menopause symptoms.

Toxicity

Licorice is one root you do not want to play around with. Studies have shown that those who ingest more than 20 g of licorice a day may experience increased levels of aldosterone. This hormonal increase can cause headaches, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

If you already suffer from heart disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure, these negative effects could be seen with as little as 5 g of licorice root a day.

The National Institute for Health highlights a Finnish study of mothers who ate a lot of licorice root during their pregnancy. This study indicated that there might be a link between the consumption of licorice root during pregnancy and brain development issues in children leading to behavior issues, attention problems, and aggression.

Interactions

Licorice root will interact with many prescription medications. There are major interactions noted on Web M.D. with the medications, Warfarin and Coumadin.

 Those drugs with lower levels of interaction include but aren’t limited to:

  • Digoxin
  • Lasix
  • Medications changed in the liver
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Medications for high blood pressure
  • Corticosteroids
  • diuretics

Licorice root may have interactions that can complicate surgery. It is recommended that you stop taking licorice root 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. In addition to surgical complications, licorice has been shown to lower libido in men.

It can also worsen the symptoms of erectile dysfunction by lowering levels of testosterone. These hormone-altering effects are also seen in women because licorice can act as a source of estrogen in the body. If you have hormone-sensitive conditions like uterine fibroids or breast cancer, you should avoid the use of licorice root.

Using licorice as a form of medicine should only be done so under the supervision of your physician. Even with their permission regular blood pressure, monitoring may be necessary to avoid any long- term damage.

White Willow Bark Herb For Pain

Many Americans experience chronic back pain or inflammatory conditions. They often don’t think twice about reaching for a bottle of Aspirin or Advil.

With new research about the dangers of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), many are now looking for safer alternatives to help them alleviate their chronic pain and occasional aches and pains.

Treatments

White willow bark has been found to work for multiple pain-related conditions. The Western Journal of Medicine notes that a 20 mL tincture of white willow bark is a good treatment for inflammatory conditions. White Willow Bark is effective in treating inflammatory conditions because it down regulates the inflammatory mediators, tumor necrosis factor-a and nuclear factor kappa-B.

There are many properties in the white willow bark that may be responsible for the pain fighting properties. Not only is the salicin (the active ingredient in white willow bark extract) thought to be effective, but other ingredients like the flavonoids and polyphenols may be contributing to the effects felt by those who take white willow bark.

In a study by Phytotherapy Research, the adverse effects of white willow bark are minimal. This is especially true when directly comparing the side effects of white willow bark to the side effects of NSAIDS. The area for the most concern may lie in the likelihood of allergy or sensitivities to the white willow bark.

Low Back Pain

Treating unspecified lower back pain can be hard to physicians and patients as well. Learning new and alternative treatments for lower back pain can help provide new options when patients do not want to take stronger medications.

White willow bark has been clinically tested against medications like Vioxx (NSAID) and against a placebo. The study was published on the National Library of Medicine and showed that white willow bark was more effective than placebo and it was as effective as Vioxx.

Considering that white willow bark has fewer complications than NSAIDS, this can be good news for patients who have been on long-term NSAID therapy.

Talk with your physician about switching to white willow bark if you are currently taking a NSAID like Vioxx or Aspirin. You do not want to make a switch without talking to your doctor in case there are other reasons that they have you on a NSAID.

Availability

While white willow bark is available in teas and powdered forms, the extract is typically, what is used to get a therapeutic dose of white willow bark. Web M.D. recommends that white willow bark is taken in either a 120 mg or 240 mg dosage. If you are looking to relieve lower back pain, then the higher dose of 240 mg will likely provide you with more pain relief.

Side Effects

White willow bark should not be used in pregnant or breastfeeding women. Also, children should not be given white willow bark because there is a risk of developing Reye’s syndrome. If you have a bleeding disorder white willow bark may increase the risk of bleeding. Those with kidney disease or with sensitivity to Aspirin should also avoid using white willow bark.

Because of the effects that white willow bark can have on bleeding and blood clotting, you should stop using this herb at least 2 weeks before surgery. Let your doctor know if you have been taking white willow bark so that they can be aware of the possible complications during any medical procedures.

Now you have all of the information you need to make an informed decision about whether or not you should consider using white willow bark to handle your inflammatory condition or lower back pain.

This herbal remedy has been clinically shown to be effective and may be a good alternative to NSAIDS. For those concerned with the risks associated with taking white willow bark make sure to discuss any interactions or side effects with your physician.

Basil Contains Disease-Preventing Antioxidants and More

As part of the mint family of herbs (which also includes rosemary and oregano), Basil is one of the most beneficial in promoting health. It also adds the most incredible flavor to many recipes and is easy to grow, making it a desirable and popular addition to any herb garden.

Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Basil is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps fight cancer, viruses and infections. It is a very versatile herb which can also help combat stress and anxiety and promote cardiovascular health.

Powerful Antioxidant Properties

Scientific research has proven that Basil contains powerful antioxidants which help to fight cancer, prevent diabetes and is helpful in reducing pain and fever. It also supports liver function, protects blood vessels and boosts your immune system.

Helps Reduce Blood Glucose and Cholesterol Levels

Other reported findings of Basil’s effects as a health booster are that it reduces blood glucose levels, lowers triglyceride and cholesterol and reduces inflammation which has been linked to the onset of diabetes.

Assists Brain Function

Other benefits of Basil include the power to lessen the effects of mental or mood-related problems such as anxiety and depression. Basil helps brain function and stimulates the brain’s neurotransmitters which regulate hormones.

Basil’s Essential Oils

There are many varieties of Basil, one of which is Holy Basil which is mostly used for its power to heal. Because of this it is also the most researched type of Basil. Every part of the Holy Basil plant (roots, leaves, stem and seeds) produces a different and valuable essential oil.

Basil’s antioxidant-abundant essential oils provide a unique taste and smell and are also the catalyst for Basil’s healing benefits. These unique oils prevent the plants from being consumed by predators such as bugs, soil fungus and various rodents.

Basil Provides Health Benefits Around the World

The most commonly used variety of Basil used for most recipes is Italian Basil, which contains high levels of magnesium, vitamins and all-important antioxidants. Some perfumes and household cleaners use Basil extract and dental care professionals use it as a healing agent to fight bacteria and germs.

Basil is considered a sacred herb in Southeast Asia and India, where it is cherished for its healing powers. It has been used for thousands of years in teas, tinctures, tonics and ointments. You will see the Basil plant depicted as a healing symbol in many Hindu traditions and is translated in Sanskrit as “the incomparable one.”

The country of Italy has long revered Basil as a symbol of love and it is believed to increase libido as well as blood flow. Ayurveda and Hinduism have named Holy Basil “the elixir of life” and use it extensively as a mood and sex function booster.

Basil plants grow throughout the warm summer months and are sold all year round at farmers’ markets. Supermarkets also carry basil as a mainstay of their herb offerings.

As Basil is easily accessible and provides so many health benefits, it makes sense to add this aromatic and tasty herb to your meals whenever possible.

Chives Add Health Benefits and Taste to Your Diet

Chives have been touted for centuries as a tasty addition to a multitude of recipes, but you may not know about the health benefits they offer. Our ancestors used chives in many folk remedies for different ailments. They have been used extensively to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu.

The taste of chives is relatively mild compared to others in their family, but they have a pleasant impact on the flavor of many dishes. Some of the medicinal advantages of chives are similar to that of garlic, but chives don’t have the same potent impact in taste as garlic.

Chives Contain Many Vitamins and Minerals

Nutrients abound in the slender green leaves of the chive plant including iron, calcium, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamins A and C.

Vitamin K for Bone Health

Another of the vitamins found in chives is Vitamin K – a valuable resource for bone health. Vitamin K helps produce osteocalcin, a protein which is vitally important in maintaining bone density.

There is increasing awareness that in the absence of essential trace elements such as vitamin K, the macro minerals calcium and magnesium do not perform their bone-building functions properly.

Chives for Heart Health – Helps Reduce Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Chives give garlic a run for their money when it comes to reducing blood pressure and also contain valuable antioxidants which fight the free radicals which can trigger the onset of cancer.

Allicin is an ingredient found in chives which has been shown to help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol. When Allicin combines with potassium (also found in chives), they work together to produce a formidable impact on reducing the chance of a heart attack and other circulatory problems.

Quercetin is another beneficial element in chives which helps lower the risk of plaque accumulation in arteries and lowering cholesterol levels. This prevents the onset of atherosclerosis and greatly reduces the chance of a stroke or a heart attack.

Assists in The Production of New Cells and Improves Your Immunity

One of the main benefits of adding chives to your diet plan is the boost it provides the immune system. Chives stimulate white blood cell production and also help in the production of collagen, which is necessary to create new cells, tissues, muscles and blood vessels.

Aids Digestion

Research on the health benefits of chives has shown its efficiency in calming an upset stomach, aiding in digestion and helping prevent iron deficiency disorders such as anemia.

Fights Against Certain Cancers

Chives also contain carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin – all instrumental in helping to prevent certain cancers such as lung and oral cancer.

Although chives are bulbous plants, the stems are the most commonly eaten portion of the plant, although many people eat the whole plant. The long, green stems are hollow and can be easily sliced and added to many dishes, for both health and taste.

Chives are probably most often used today as a flavorful addition to baked potatoes, but can also be sprinkled on seafood and soups to add zest and flavor.

So, eat chives for its culinary appeal, however, don’t dismiss its powerful healing properties. It is a powerhouse of nutrients and easy to grow in containers or herb gardens. Harvesting is a simple snip with scissors and preparation is minimal.