It is no longer news that herbs and plants can be used to treat a wide range of conditions ranging from burns, to ulcers, flatulence, laryngitis, insomnia and psoriasis. However, it is newsworthy to know which herb is efficacious for which condition.
But experts warn to not take herbal supplements if you’re on medication without checking with your doctor first.
According to a Daily Mail report, some of the most common herbs and their medical benefits are revealed below:
Vaporised peppermint oil can help to ease wheezing, sinusitis, asthma and laryngitis
This is a very popular herbal remedy. Peppermint tea, made from an infusion of the leaves, aids indigestion, colic and wind.
It can also relieve menstrual pain. The essential oil is distilled from the entire plant.Vaporised oil can ease wheezing, sinusitis, asthma and laryngitis. It is also a mild diuretic.
This purple daisy is native to America. The root is used to make the remedies which are said to support the immune system and ward off infections.
Tincture of echinacea is used to treat shingles, ulcers, flu and tonsillitis. It can also be used as a mouthwash.
Homeopathic echinacea is used to treat blood poisoning, chills, aches and nausea.
This is a pungent bulb that belongs to the onion family. Can be eaten daily or taken as pills.
It contains the natural antiseptic, allicin, and helps to support the immune system.
Taken regularly, it may help to ward off coughs and colds. It is also effective against sinusitis and intestinal worms.
The fresh juice is a natural remedy for skin fungal infections.
It may have a role to play in preventing some kinds of cancer, including stomach cancer. Eating fresh parsley will reduce the smell.
EVENING PRIMROSE OIL
Derived from the seeds of a native American wildflower, this oil contains Gamma Linelonic Acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, which lessens joint stiffness. It is also thought to improve brainpower and concentration.
This is a tropical succulent plant that contains a gel which is squeezed from the leaves.
The gel can ease the pain of burns and grazes. It also is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and soothes eczema.
A mouthwash is good for sore gums. Whole leaf tincture can be taken to relieve constipation, although aloe vera should not be taken internally during pregnancy.
This small daisy-like flower grows throughout Europe and the flowers and leaves are used in herbalism.
Fresh leaves are eaten to alleviate the symptoms of migraine.
Feverfew can also be used to reduce the pain of arthritis and menstrual pain, but it may cause nausea and vomiting. This herb should not be taken by pregnant women.
This popular garden flower has a wide range of uses in herbal medicine but is especially helpful for skin and eye problems.
It can soothe inflamed spots and sore varicose veins. Taken as a tea, it helps to relieve menstrual pain. It can also be gargled to ease sore throats.
As a lotion, often known as calendula, is fights fungal infections. The flower petals can be eaten raw on salads or rice.
This comes from the leaves of a tree native to China.
The active ingredient is flavone glycosides, which helps to increase blood flow and improve circulation.
It may also boost memory. It has blood thinning properties and may occasionally cause nose bleeds.
The root of the plant is used to make extracts and oils.
It can also be eaten fresh. Ginger helps to prevent nausea and protects the stomach against ulcers.
It also contains active ingredients with pain relieving properties. Should not be used by people suffering from gallstones.
This is a yellow flower which grows on mountains. It is often used as a homeopathic remedy.
It can help to relieve the shock and pain after an accident. It also helps the body to start healing itself.
Arnica ointment can be applied directly to bruised area, although not to broken skin, because it could cause further inflammation.
This pungent remedy is extracted from the leaves and twigs of the tea tree, which grows in Australia.
It is a powerful antiseptic and can be used to clean wounds. It also has antiviral and antibacterial properties as well as repelling parasites.
It can be used to treat ringworm and can ease skin problems such as acne, eczema and dermatitis.
Wild yam, derived from the rhizome of the Mexican wild yam, is said to ease period pain, menopausal symptoms and vaginal dryness.A homeopathic remedy, it is used for abdominal pain and renal colic. It is said to work well on persistent or recurrent problems
Lavender has antiseptic properties so it can be dabbed straight on to bites, stings, burns and wounds. It is also very soothing.
A few drops of lavender oil on the pillow can promote deep sleep. Used in a vaporiser, it acts as natural insect repellent.
The flowers can be drunk as a herbal tea and help to reduce stress.
ST JOHN’S WORT
This is a common European wild plant, used to treat depression, anxiety and nerve pains.
Always check with your doctor before taking this herb because it can interfere with the action of other prescription drugs, including the anti-cancer drug, cyclophosphamide.
Never use it for more than a month because it can cause withdrawal symptoms.