Herbal medicine is our most ancient system of healing and exists in every culture throughout the world. Even in the 21st century, the power of herbs remains and can be used to address nearly all physical and mental illnesses and symptoms. Many herbs are nourishing and act as super-foods and tonics to the body, building energy and immunity.
For conditions that aren't responding to medical drug treatments, including infections, herbal medicine is a real and effective alternative. If you have any questions about these therapies, go to my Contact page. I'll be happy to answer them.
See the directory of herbal and natural healing below:
In May 2013, the results of a large international study into non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) showed that taking high doses of them increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke or dying from cardiovascular disease by about 33%. Long-term, high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is “equally hazardous” in terms of heart attack risk as taking the painkiller, Vioxx.
Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is very similar to the same process as the increasing resistance of pests to pesticides and herbicides. These 20th century technologies have only created an accelerating and unwinnable war against every living thing on earth. Natural alternatives are becoming the only real and effective approach to controlling the over-growth of all types of organisms and to restoring the balance between us and the world we live in.
American ginseng is an adaptogenic herb and an energy tonic. Believed to improve stamina, relieve stress, stimulate the immune system, enhance mental clarity, and restore well-being, it is now being studied by medical researchers for the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.
Stress results in increased free radical damage to the tissues due to
increased lipid oxidation and a reduction in the body’s natural
anti-oxidants. Ashwagandha normalized these effects under stress in a
dose dependent manner. This means that taking more ashwagandha, works
Astragalus root supercharges the immune system. Studies at the University of Texas revealed that astragalus enables viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells to be “picked up” or detected by the immune system. Astragalus enables the body to boost its white blood cell count, produce more antibodies and natural killer cells, strengthen its antiviral immunity, and increases the production of interferon.
Modern antibiotic drugs are increasingly ineffective against many microbes. The Centers for Disease Control has stated, “nearly all significant bacterial infections in the world are becoming resistant to the most commonly prescribed antibiotic treatments.”
New research is showing that blueberry polyphenols are able to directly modulate genes that impart cells with their own protective mechanisms such as superoxide dismutase and catalase. They are also able to modulate genes associated with aging itself such as the Methuselah gene.
Six out of the ten leading causes of death in the United States involve chronic, low-level inflammation. Yet no truly safe medical solution to chronic inflammation exists. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are powerful inflammation fighters, but they have serious side effects with long-term use.
In many cases, holistic therapies and medicines already exist that can readily take the place of numerous synthetic pharmaceutical drugs. Cannabis is one such therapy. Israel is now using marijuana to treat cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and many other conditions.
Cayenne pepper boosts the metabolism. Cayenne is a natural stimulant to the cardiovascular system, mucous membranes and digestion. A stimulant is something that increases the energy output of a system or organ. Herbal stimulants have a broader energetic effect than the typical caffeine or amphetamine stimulants.
Clary sage oil is one of the best essential oils for balancing women’s hormones at all ages. It improves menstrual pain, improves PMS and regulates the menstrual cycle. At the same time, it also helps hot flashes and other menopausal disturbances. Adding it to coconut oil or olive oil and rubbing the abdomen relieves cramping and spasms.
The oldest Native American use for echinacea was as a painkiller. It has been shown by the University of British Columbia that when consumed regularly echinacea effectively reverses and alleviates various types of inflammation. The National Institute of Health reports that it can even help with uveitis, or eye inflammation. Inflammation is a well-known contributor to all types of acute and chronic pain and echinacea is recommended for all types of chronic inflammation including rheumatoid arthritis.
Elderberry is a natural anti-viral and has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis. It has been shown in many studies to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex.
Aromatherapy and other relaxing uses of essential oils are becoming more
and more popular these days. But many well known essential oils have been
proven in recent studies to kill cancer including breast, prostate and lung
cancer cell lines.
Ginger root is an ancient medicine dating back over 3000 years in India and China and in use in the early Roman Empire 2000 years ago. It is well known as a remedy for many common ailments but it is far more powerful in its healing abilities than most of us have realized.
Panax means panacea, the healer of all illness, and if anything deserves that name it is Panax ginseng. Ginseng is the most famous and valued tonic herb in the world and for good reason. It was the study of Panax ginseng that gave rise to the concept of an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a substance that restores balance, known as homeostasis, to the body.
Eating goji berries regularly has long been known to promote cheerfulness and lift the spirit. It is an important remedy for the eyes in Chinese Herbal Medicine and is a long time favorite of athletes and martial artists. It is also an important sexual tonic. Goji berries have been extensively researched for their promotion of general feelings of well-being, improvement of neurologic/psychologic conditions, helping gastrointestinal health and bowel functions, and building of stronger musculo-skeletal systems.
Goldenseal was a favorite herb with Native Americans. According to early accounts from the diary of Lewis and Clark made on their trip to Oregon, Native American doctors used the root for infections and as a wash for any kind of eye irritation or infection. This use is still common today, and the root powder simmered in water and carefully filtered is still one of the best treatments for pink-eye and other similar ailments.
Green tea has been intensively studied for its ability to promote healthy weight management. These weight-control effects have been studied in cell, animal, and human studies. A cup of green tea contains much less caffeine (24-40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100-200 mg), but the mild caffeine content works together with EGCG to boost fat burning and improve exercise performance. Studies have shown that green tea can boost the fat burning effects of exercise by up to 17%.
In 1942, the entire supply of penicillin worldwide was only 64 pounds. By 2009, over 60 million pounds of antibiotics were being used per year in the United States alone. Nearly 30 million pounds were used on livestock to promote growth and prevent disease on factory farms. These amounts are being used per year, every year. These millions of pounds of antibiotics never actually go away.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in America. Approximately 6.8 million adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. Lavender oil has been proven to be equally effective for anxiety as the pharmaceutical drug lorazepam (Ativan).
Increasing the level of brain GABA activity is the main action of prescription anti-anxiety drugs. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter that reduces over-active and excessive mental activity. The result of a rise in GABA levels is a reduction in anxiety and improved sleep. Lemon balm and the rosmarinic acid it contains, also boost brain levels of GABA by inhibiting the enzyme that normally breaks down GABA.
The mint family contains some of the best loved and most widely used herbal plants in the world. It is a long list which includes: lavender, catnip, oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, lemon balm, bee balm, hyssop, motherwort, marjoram, skullcap, holy basil, self heal, horehound, clary sage and savory along with the many varieties of mints, such as peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, chocolate mint, and pineapple mint. These plants are all used for a multitude of culinary, aromatherapy, and medicinal purposes.
In modern times, many scientific studies on medicinal mushrooms have been conducted over the past three decades, particularly in Japan, China and Korea. These studies have confirmed the traditional uses and many new applications for medicinal mushrooms are being discovered.
According to the Alternative Medicine Review, olive leaf extract has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and has the ability to directly penetrate infected cells and stop viral replication. Olive leaf extract is able to interfere with critical amino acid production that is essential for viruses. It is able to control viral infection and/or spread by inactivating viruses, or by preventing virus shedding, budding or assembly at the cell membrane.
Most people fail to consume sufficient amounts of omega-3 fats, which makes omega-3 deficiency very likely the sixth biggest killer of Americans. This deficiency can cause or contribute to many serious mental and physical health problems.
Oil of oregano contains two powerful compounds, carvacrol and thymol. These compounds have been proven in many hundreds of studies to have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Unlike broad spectrum chemical antibiotics, oregano oil does not cause the terrible side effects we all know such as causing antibiotic resistance, destroying good bacteria (probiotics), reducing vitamin absorption and damaging the digestive lining causing leaky gut.
The University of Pennsylvania conducted a study comparing the effectiveness of Zoloft to the herb rhodiola rosea for major depression. After testing 57 patients for 12 weeks with Zoloft, rhodiola or placebo, there was no statistical difference in the response between Zoloft and rhodiola. The researchers stated that the reduced side effects experienced in the rhodiola group gave it a better cost/benefit ratio than Zoloft.
Rosemary equals Goji berries in anti-oxidant strength, fighting free radicals and damaging oxidation that contribute to inflammation and aging. Carnosol is the magic free radical fighting ingredient in rosemary which is also why rosemary oil is such a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and why it fights cancer. Carnosol only takes out the cancer cells and doesn’t damage neighboring cells like chemotherapy does.
Saffron extract, containing active compounds called crocin and safranal, has been proven in placebo-controlled studies to reduce snacking behaviors (even compulsive snacking) by 55%. The study participants reported reduced hunger and a reduced need to snack between meals. Restored appetite regulation doesn’t just control snacking, it results in improved mood, increased satiety (fullness), and a decrease in between-meal food cravings.
St. John’s Wort has become deeply associated with the treatment of depression as it is one of the best mood-lifting, anti-stress, and anti-depressant herbs. There has been regular publication of research demonstrating its effectiveness for years and years. In clinical trials about 67% of patients with mild to moderate depression improved when taking this plant.
The benefits of thyme oil have been recognized for thousands of years in Mediterranean countries and in Ayurvedic medicine. Essential oils carry biologically active volatile compounds in a highly concentrated form that can provide therapeutic benefits in very small amounts. Essential oils are well absorbed into the body through the skin.
Of all the herbal medicines being researched today, none has more research than turmeric. The total is now up to over 5600 published studies on the health benefits and properties of turmeric root. At least 600 therapeutic applications for turmeric have been shown in these thousands of studies. A particularly interesting area of study are the comparisons of the effects of turmeric to various drugs in terms of effectiveness.
Ginger and turmeric are both members of the Zingiberaceae plant family and have overlapping but complementary actions. Gingerols in ginger and curcumin in turmeric are powerful anti-inflammatory compounds which are COX 1 and COX 2 inhibitors. But they also block multiple pathways of the inflammation signalling process, including the LOX enzyme and leukotrienes, which makes them more effective than common anti-inflammatory drugs.
Difficulty sleeping affects millions of people and the pharmaceutical industry has made billions developing drugs to deal with the problem. But in many cases, herbal sleep aids and tranquilizers can be as effective as the powerful prescription sedatives such as valium, ativan and other addictive drugs. Valerian has long been known for its ability to relax the central nervous system and the smooth muscle groups. It has been used as a sleeping aid for hundreds of years.