Good nutrition, adequate rest, and plenty of fluids are the cornerstones of good health, but many individuals also use herbal remedies for minor aliments.
our survey respondents most often used home remedies from our predefined list: hot steam inhalation, lemon drink and honey as the top three remedies from that list. Additional popular home remedies included nutritional-based solutions like chamomile tea or chicken soup.
No matter the ailment, traditional herbal remedies could be just what is needed to combat a cold or ease an aching heart. With more people turning towards homemade remedies for their health care needs, traditional remedies have never been a more viable way of managing or even curing their symptoms.
Garlic has long been used as a food item, with its medicinal benefits documented by ancient texts like Giza Pyramids and Hippocrates’ works – who prescribed garlic to combat various issues including respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion and fatigue.
Researchers have recently identified one of the keys to garlic’s potency as a natural antibiotic: allicin. When crushed or cut, allicin releases its medicinal properties while producing its strong aroma associated with garlic.
As cold and flu season draws nearer, you may hear about natural remedies which claim to alleviate symptoms. One such herb is mullein leaf (Verba thapsus).
Mullein is an easily found weed throughout North America. It thrives in disturbed soils and its seeds can remain viable for decades – making eradication even harder than anticipated.
Mullein plants have many medicinal applications, from their flowers and roots to leaves and flowers – often dried to make a tea – dried leaves and flowers are used as an expectorant and to thin mucus, which makes coughing up mucus easier, clearing out your system more effectively and relieving sore throats. It even has anti-inflammatory properties which may provide comfort.
Elder (Sambucus nigra) plants have long been revered as one of the most versatile healing herbs available, believed by some to support immunity, alleviate respiratory symptoms and bring down fever levels. Their flowers, leaves and berries may offer powerful support against both.
But more research must be conducted to confirm its benefits in terms of preventing and treating colds and flu. A few studies demonstrated that those taking elderberry syrup or extract recovered more quickly and experienced less severe symptoms when taking elderberries in comparison with taking a placebo pill.
Elder plant leaves, twigs and bark may serve as diuretics; thus it should be avoided by anyone with immune problems or taking medications that suppress immunity and increase frequency of urine output, such as insulin or drugs for treating autoimmune conditions such as Lupus, MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
4. St. John’s Wort
St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a shrub with yellow flowers that bloom around June 24, the feast day associated with Saint John the Baptist. Both flowers and leaves of St John’s wort can be used medicinally; its primary active component being hypericin; however other chemicals may also help improve mood. Most often taken as a supplement but also topically applied topically on skin or added into food products or tablets/capsules/tinctures/teas are available. As its potency can vary between products it is best advised that supplement facts labels provide accurate dosage details.
Studies indicate that St John’s wort can help manage attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and social phobia. Since it may interact with certain medications (both prescription and over-the-counter), it’s wise to consult your healthcare provider prior to beginning to take St John’s wort.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is an extremely versatile spice and herbal medicine, used across Chinese, Indian and Arabian traditions to treat various ailments. The root-like structure contains powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and germ-busting antimicrobial agents to aid the body and combat infection.
Traditionnally, ginger has been used to alleviate nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and menstrual cramps. Additionally, its regular consumption can ease symptoms associated with indigestion such as abdominal pain and gas.
Ginger contains volatile and nonvolatile compounds like gingerols, shogaols, paradols and zingerone which have antioxidant activity. Furthermore, these molecules offer other biological activities which have positive benefits to human health including anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour and neuroprotective benefits; their effects are exerted via interactions between bioactive molecules or multiple pathways (Fadaki et al. 2017).