Long before individuals went to doctors and pharmacies for the medication needed to keep them feeling well, they turned to healthy herbs. These herbal remedies helped to strengthen the immune system and relieve pain. They were often dried so they could be preserved for use when out of season; however, this does cause some loss of the healthy benefits the plants have to offer.
Even though these remedies have been used for centuries and are natural, they can also cause undesirable side effects. Before combining herbs with any other medication, talk with a pharmacist or your doctor about any possible interactions. Nursing mothers as well as pregnant women should talk with their doctor about any problems the herb could cause for their baby.
Echinacea is an herb used in improving immune system function. Discovered by Native Americans, the plant helps the body to produce lymphocytes to destroy pathogens. However, according to some clinical evidence, individuals with autoimmune diseases should avoid this herb. It can help to reduce the time the body needs to recover from a cold when used as a tea or taken in capsule form.
St. John’s Wort is used for depression. This herbal remedy is used as an alternative to Prozac. It helps with the production of serotonin in one’s body. It does have side effects and should not be used with prescription anti-depressants, contraceptive pills, heart drugs or HIV medication. Most people take this plant in gelatin capsules.
Chamomile is a relaxing herb. It is a good option for a caffeine free tea. Users find relief from insomnia, eczema, mouth ulcers anxiety and gum disease. It can improve the function of the digestive and nervous system and is thought to offer antimicrobial properties to the user. A tincture offers an option that can be added to a drink if one does not enjoy the tea.
Ginseng can help to boost one’s energy. This ancient Chinese medicine has been used for thousands of years. It may also help to stimulate intellectual performance. Individuals who suffer chronic fatigue syndrome may find ginseng useful. However it can also cause insomnia and water retention. Individuals suffering from hypertension should not use ginseng. Ginseng is used as a tea, tincture or in the capsule form.
Ginkgo is a memory booster that has been used by the Chinese for over 5,000 years. It helps to ease depression and with memory loss. The antioxidant properties of the plant can boost the action of nerves as well as circulation. Some users experience upset stomach or mild headaches. It is a blood thinner so it should not be used with aspirin or before surgery. While the root is often consumed as a tea, drops of its extract can be added to any drink for faster preparation.
Healthy herbs offer many positive benefits for the human body. However, certain medical conditions make the side effects undesirable. When used correctly, you may feel better, and your body better prepared to fight against disease.
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