Herbs, also called medicinal herbs, cover a large group of plants that are used in medical practice for the prevention and treatment of diseases. In many cultures, they have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and are considered an integral part of maintaining physical and spiritual health.
- In traditional Chinese medicine, herbs are combined into specific recipes called "formulas" that are designed to treat various ailments in the body.
- In Mexican culture, aloe vera and turmeric are used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. These plants are known for being used to maintain health and beauty.
- Various herbs are also used in medicine in Europe. For example, lavender and peppermint tea are recommended for calming the nervous system. Herbal blends for various health needs can be found in most pharmacies in France and Germany.
Herbs contain many active substances that affect the human body. These substances include alkaloids with strong physiological effects, tannins with astringent properties, antioxidant flavonoids, terpenes with antibacterial properties, saponins that can stimulate the immune system, and glycosides with diverse actions.
In this article we will look at some of the most interesting herbs and useful facts about their use.
Plantain is a herb that has many health benefits, especially for the liver. It is used in various fields of medicine, cosmetics and the food industry. Here are some of the main beneficial properties of plantain:
- For various skin problems: Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, plantain can help reduce inflammation.
- Supports the liver: Plantain stimulates the formation of bile, which helps to break down fats better and improves the digestion process.
- Supports kidney health: Plantain can be used to support kidney health and improve their function.
- Antitoxic effect: As a herbal extract, it is used to remove toxins and heavy metals from the body.
Application in cosmetics: Plantain extract is used in cosmetic products for the skin and hair due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
As a dietary supplement: Plantain is available as a dietary supplement in the form of capsules or liquid extract.
2. White Yarrow
Yarrow flowers and leaves are edible and can be made into a tea. Fresh leaves are used to stop bleeding wounds, treat gastrointestinal problems, fight fever and improve circulation. They can also be chewed for toothache relief.
Scientists recognize the benefits of yarrow for almost every organ in the body. Let's look at the most popular:
- Anti-inflammatory effect: The anti-inflammatory properties of yarrow can help reduce inflammation and swelling around hemorrhoids. It can effectively relieve the itching and irritation that often accompany hemorrhoids.
- Support women's health: Yarrow tea can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle and relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Calendula is thought to have originated on the Mediterranean coast of southern Europe, but it is generally found everywhere. Thanks to its healing properties, calendula is used both in the form of tea and in cosmetics.
- The herb is well known for its beneficial effect on irritated skin. It hydrates the skin and fights acne, giving the skin a healthy and radiant look.
- Calendula in the form of tea has a soothing effect and acts favorably on the stomach.
- Strengthens the immune system: some studies show that calendula can support the immune system and help the body when fighting infections.
4. St. John's wort
Also known as the king of herbs, St. John's wort is one of the most powerful herbs that is used in various fields.
- The herb is used in tea form as it helps with stomach disorders.
- St. John's wort is present in cosmetic products that make the skin healthier, hydrated, nourished and soothed.
- St. John's wort is used for skin irritations, reducing inflammation and relieving pain.
Originally found in Europe, Asia and North Africa, nettle now grows all over the world. The plant is widely used in traditional medicine as a tea and part of natural cosmetics.
- Nettle is anti-inflammatory and can lower high blood pressure. It also has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels.
- Nettle tea contains many beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Nettle roots and leaves provide a wide variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, K and several B vitamins.
- The tea is also a natural remedy that increases blood circulation to the scalp, promoting hair growth. It helps and stimulates healthy nail growth and is recommended for people who have weak nails, hair and skin.
Also known as liquorice, it is grown mainly in Greece, Turkey and Western Asia. The plant has a high glycerin content, making it 50 times sweeter than sugar. The medicinal parts of the plant are its dried roots and branches.
In the traditional medical systems of the East, licorice is widely used to soothe the stomach. It also reduces inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Nowadays, the plant is used as:
- Capsules and liquid supplements
- Tea - licorice soothes sore throat.
- Cosmetics - extracting the beneficial properties and making gels that can be used for skin irritation such as acne and others.
7. Wild Geranium
Wild Geranium is primarily a garden plant that also has medicinal properties. It originates from South Africa and is widely used in natural cosmetics. Wild Geranium has a variety of uses:
- Diluted with water, it can be used to clean the face. Restores the balance of dry and oily skin and hair.
- In the form of tea, it lowers blood pressure. It can be prepared with both dry and fresh leaves. Geranium leaves are also useful for direct use and can be chewed for no longer than 1-2 minutes.
- Also helps with bleeding gums.
This broad-leaved shrub, whose leaves contain tannin, is widely used in natural cosmetics and in the form of tea:
- It has calming properties and is traditionally used against stress and anxiety.
- Sumac tea has a calming effect and can also help people who suffer from insomnia.
- Strengthens memory and concentration.
- Sumac is used in cosmetics in the form of essential oil or in the composition of creams and lotions that have a beneficial effect on the skin.
- The plant deals effectively with fungi and bacteria on the skin.
9. Lemon balm
Lemon balm is a perennial herb from the mint family. It has a mild citrus flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in cooking. In folk medicine it can be used:
- In the form of tea to relieve stomach upsets and gas.
- As an essential oil for relaxation and stress relief.
- An ointment,containing lemon balm, to relieve pain and muscle tension.
A fragrant perennial that grows in Europe, North America and Asia. Thyme is used both in cooking and in folk medicine:
- In medicine, thyme can be used to make extracts, tinctures, tea, etc.
- Thyme tea is drunk for bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, etc.
- However, thyme should not be used in pregnancy, kidney disease, stomach and intestinal ulcers, high stomach acidity and children under 2 years of age.
It is important to note that before using any herb for treatment or other purposes, you should consult a specialist in order to avoid a possible allergic reaction or unwanted effects.
Herbs can be powerful allies in health care, and their proper use can do wonders for our body.