Read these 21 Herbal Quickies Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Alternative Health tips and hundreds of other topics.
Yarrow powder can be sprinkled on a wound to help stop bleeding. The yarrow has healing effects on mucous membranes, reduces inflammation, and improves blood clotting. Make sure to rinse yarrow powder off after the bleeding stops. Yarrow is also helpful for treating inflammatory disorders, colitis and viral infections. Yarrow capsules can be purchased at health food stores.
Ginger is high on the list of most herbalists for its effectiveness in treating nausea. You can try four capsules daily (one every six hours) or you can use about a dozen drops of the fluid extract. Another quick way to get ginger into your system is to slice some ginger root (about 4 thin slices) and boil in a cup of water. Remove ginger and sip. Honey can be used for sweetening. Fresh ginger root can be wrapped in a paper towel, placed in a plastic baggie and kept for a surprising length of time in the fridge. Keep in mind, TOO much ginger can cause stomach distress.
Kava is a top anxiety-relieving herb but it is currently under investigation for causing liver damage if over-used. Recommended dosage should not exceed 300 mg of kavalactones (the name for the active principles of kava) per day. Kava should NOT be mixed with alcohol, prescription anxiety drugs, sedatives or any other drugs that depress mental function. Other helpful herbs or supplements include skullcap, hops, lemon balm, chamomile, passionflower and 5-HTP. Extra selenium (200 mcg daily) and flaxseed oil (2 to 6 tablespoons daily) can also help relieve anxiety in some people.
Eye health can be greatly improved by adding bilberry to your diet. A standard dose of bilberry is 120 to 240 mg twice a day, and make sure it contains at least 25 percent anthocyanosides, which strengthen the walls of blood vessels. Bilberry has been used to combat night blindness, cataracts & macular degeneration.
Aloe's healing properties work wonders for burns, constipation & wounds. Stabilized aloe gel can be applied to the minor burns or skin irritations 3 to 5 times a day. For constipation, a single 50 to 200 mg capsule of aloe latex can be taken daily for a maximum of 10 days. The latex form of aloe should NOT be used by anyone with Crohn's Disease or appendicitis or by children or pregnant women.
Alfalfa comes in tea, capsule & extract form and is helpful in treating arthritis; helping nursing mothers produce more milk; stimulating the body to cleanse itself of inorganic mineral deposits from the blood, & it is a blood clotting agent in counteracting internal bleeding from ulcers. It is also useful as an estrogen precursor for menopausal symptoms. It is extremely rich in carotene, vitamin K, chlorophyll & amino acids.
Although a hangover is technically caused by your body`s reaction to the invading alcohol toxin and a form of dehydration, you can prepare your body beforehand by drinking some extra water and taking some extra vitamin C. It`s important to AVOID reaching for the aspirin and instead reach for White Willow, the herbal aspirin, along with a cup a chamomile tea. This is something your already stressed digestive system will thank you for almost immediately. Green tea may also help since it is thought to stabilize blood sugar, although be advised, it contains caffeine.
Other herbs that help ease the discomfort of a hangover include Skullcap and Ginseng, which cool your overheated gastric juices, energize the nervous system and detoxify. But if you really want to take care of business, Milk Thistle is the king of liver toxifying herbs. Nausea can be treated with the homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica, which comes in drops or tablets or if you are a fan of ginger, a cup of ginger tea works wonders for the stomach. This comes in tea bags or you can make your own by slicing gingerroot (3 or 4 nickel-size slices) and boiling them with a cup of water. Let the slices steep in the water about 10 minutes, then remove them before pouring tea into your cup.
Parasite invasions and intestinal worms can cause incredible stress and wear and tear on the body. There are several herbs, however, effective for winning this intestinal war. They include wormwood, pumpkin seed, tansy, aloe vera, rue, black walnut hulls, & the ever-powerful garlic.
If you suffer from a burn, bruise, insect bite, rash or basically any skin irritation, one of the fastest way to relief discomfort is to use Aloe Vera gel as soon as possible. This wonderful soothing herb promotes rapid cell regeneration, which helps the skin heal sooner - but as a juice drink, it is effective as an antibiotic for internal infections, ulcers, as a laxative & bowel toning agent. Aloe Vera can also be used as an eyewash to help ease scleroderma & dry eyes. DO NOT USE DURING PREGNANCY OR NURSING.
Sometimes our systems need a little nudge to get things moving and there are three herbs that can help ease constipation. Senna (Cassia senna) was used in ancient Arab medicine circles as one of earliest laxatives. Psyllium (Plantago ovata and P. major) is also highly effective due to its fiber content. Its tiny seeds contain a coating of gelatinous material, which swells upon contact with moisture, thus increasing the movement within the colon to produce a bowel movement. Also highly effective, especially in cases of chronic constipation, is the herb cascara sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana), a laxative-type bark discovered by early Spanish explorers in the Pacific Northwest. Many over-the-counter laxatives include these extracts in their formulas, but you can purchase each herb in capsule form at your local health food store. Follow the dosage recommendations on the container and let nature take its course in a gentle manner.
It's tempting to try to save a few dollars when buying herbs, but make it a point to ALWAYS buy STANDARDIZED herbs, whether they are in liquid or solid form. This assures you that the product contains one or several key constituents necessary to produce the desired effects. The label should give you the percentage content of these compounds. It's definitely worth the extra money to make sure you are getting quality levels in your herbal products.
Alfalfa has been used in treating digestive problems, helping to stimulate milk in nursing mothers, and as a helping aid for those suffering from constipation. Experts recommend between 500 to 1,000 mg of the dried leaf daily or 1 to 2 ml of tincture. There have, however, been isolated reports of problems associated with allergic reaction to alfalfa. Also, ingestion of very large amounts of alfalfa (the equivalent of several servings of the seeds or sprouts) has been linked to the onset of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, an autoimmune illness characterized by inflamed joints & potential kidney damage.
American ginseng contains ginsenosides, which stimulates the immune system and fights fatigue and stress by supporting the adrenal glands and the use of oxygen by exercising muscles. Recommended intake is 1 to 2 grams per day in capsule or tablet form or 3 to 5 ml of tincture 3 times a day. Side effects can include occasional cases of insomnia or agitation, especially if mixed with caffeine-containing foods or beverages.
Vioxx and Celebrex are commonly prescribed for arthritic pain and inflammation associated with fibromyalgia. Both can have serious side effects, including gastric bleeding, so why not try their NATURAL counterpart - Holy Basil? This outstanding herb does the SAME things as these damaging drugs. Holy Basil (not the same as the common seasoning type basil) inhibits the production of the Cox-2 enzyme primarily responsible for inflammation pain. It does so WITHOUT any side effects. It's been used in India for ages, plus it's great for depression and energy levels. All it takes is just two capsules a day. One of the best brands available is New Chapter.