Alfalfa is used as a diuretic, for kidney conditions, bladder and prostate conditions, asthmaarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, indigestion, and thrombocytopenic purpura.

Alfalfa seeds contain the amino acid L-canavanine. L-canavanine ismetabolized to produce canaline and urea. Canaline seems to bind pyridoxine phosphate, a co-factor in the metabolism of amino acids, potentially decreasing amino acid enzyme activity.


Bilberry is best known for contributing to general eye health, but it does have many other benefits. Bilberry may be beneficial in diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, cataract, glaucoma, varicose veins, retinopathy, atherosclerosis, diarrhea and night blindness. There have been stories told about World War II RAF pilots taking bilberry to sharpen night vision for various missions.

3. Gingko Biloba

Don’t laugh. Gingko isn’t just for seniors. An herbal extract from the oldest tree known to man, the gingko tree, ginkgo biloba has been double-blind tested many times for its ability to increase the oxygen content to the brain and other bodily tissues.

It has been shown to promote mental clarity and concentration, increase alertness and short-term memory. For you, the athlete, that means you can focus better in the gym and perform better. Combined with another herb, ginger, it may help reduce stress as well.

4. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle’s claim to fame is being a product for liver health. It both prevents and repairs damage to the liver by toxins and chemicals. Besides helping the liver, milk thistle also has been shown to help lowercholesterol levels and reduce the growth of cancer cells in the breast and prostate.

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Herbs For Weight Loss 
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This is the most popular herbal supplement out there. It has been shown to increase energy and help increase calorie and fat metabolism. It does have more than one purpose though. Green tea may be helpful to improve cognitive performance as well as to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches. Whichever fat burner you are taking right now, chances are, it has green tea in it.

2. Hoodia Gordonii

This is a product that has taken off in the past few years. Hoodia was a product that in Southern Africa was used to treat indigestion and infections. Nowadays it is widely marketed as a natural appetite suppressant to help with a healthy weight loss program.

Dandelion has shown to be a natural diuretic and digestive system aid. Other benefits from this product include removing fatty acids and cholesterol from the bloodstream before they are stored in fat cells, restoring minerals lost when taking a diuretic, and serving as a laxative.

4. Yerba Mate

Originating from Paraguay in South America, yerba mate has been used to increase the metabolism, help regulate LDL cholesterol, and serve as an antioxidant.

(Green Tea) Is The Most Popular Herbal Supplement Out There
+ Click To Enlarge.

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Herbs For Men’s Health 
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Saw palmetto was widely believed to be a staple for the Seminole Indians. This is an herb that will help a lot of men because it is good for prostate health. Taking this product in your early 40’s and beyond will go a long way in helping prevent prostate cancer later in life. It is also believed to serve as a potential treatment for male pattern baldness.

2. Yohimbine

This one is known mainly for one reason. It has shown to help treat erectile dysfunction and also treat sexual side effects caused by some antidepressants. Any sexual health product for men on the market more than likely has yohimbine included in the ingredients.

3. Tribulus Terrestris

This is another product for men’s sexual health and to improve libido. It also has shown to increase the male body’s natural testosterone levels which leads to help men both in the bedroom and in the weight room.

4. Pygeum

Pygeum has been shown to alleviate discomfort from an enlarged prostate and it has also been shown to support the health of the testes and the seminal vesicles which produce and house the sperm.

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Herbs For Women’s Health 
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Women would take this product as a remedy for symptoms of premenstrual tension, menopause, and other gynecological issues. Native Americans used it for these purposes as well as for sore throats, kidney problems, and depression.

2. Dong Quai

Known in some circles as “female ginseng“, dong quai has been shown to help women with estrogen levels, help with menopause, and the Chinese actually used it as an aphrodisiac. Women should avoid this product if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Dong quai has shown to also help increase fertility in both sexes.

3. Raspberry Leaf

Raspberry leaf tea has been used to increase fertility for generations. Pregnant women in China, Europe, and North and South America have all used this herb as a tea for a wide range of female health concerns. When used during pregnancy, raspberry leaves help to relieve morning sickness and improve blood quality thus preventing anemia.

4. Wild Yam Root

Wild yam improves liver and kidney function and can lessen ovarian pain. It is anti-inflammatory, a diuretic, and improves liver function. Wild yam contains diosgenin, which is a precursor to progesterone and was once used to make birth control pills. Today wild yam, valued as an herb, is useful for dysmenorrhea, infertility, menopause, menstrual cramps, and threatened miscarriage.

GENERAL HEALTH

Peppermint tea

Halifax naturopath Colin Huska recommends drinking peppermint tea to relieve the symptoms of abdominal gas and bloating, and to relieve muscle spasms. It’s also good for nausea (without vomiting) and for heating up the body and making it sweat. If indigestion or heartburn are problems, however, then Dixon recommends avoiding peppermint altogether. Peppermint tea can also be made using fresh herbs from the garden—and it’s one of the easiest herbs to grow.

Ginger tea

Another great digestive aid, ginger can be used to curb nausea, vomiting or upset stomach due to motion sickness. Make fresh ginger tea by simmering a piece of ginger root on the stove for 10 to 15 minutes—add fresh lemon juice and honey when you have a cold for a powerful germ-fighting combination. Beacon also suggests making tea from powdered ginger to ward off a chill.

Chamomile tea

A gentle calming and sedative tea made from flowers, chamomile tea can be helpful for insomnia. It can also be helpful with digestion after a meal. Huska recommends chamomile in cases of cough and bronchitis, when you have a cold or fever, or as a gargle for inflammation of the mouth. Be sure to steep it well to get all the medicinal benefits.

Rooibos tea

High in vitamin C as well as other minerals, rooibos has all sorts of health benefits. An easy drinking tea, it’s largely grown in South Africa and has been touted for itsantioxidant properties—which may in turn help ward off disease and the signs of aging. It has also been shown to help with common skin concerns, such as eczema.

Lemon balm tea

An easy-to-grow plant, lemon balm is helpful for lifting the spirits. “It’s good for the winter blahs,” says Deacon, “and it can help improve concentration.” She adds that lemon balm is safe for children and may help prevent nightmares when consumed before bed. This herb also makes a refreshing iced tea, and can be flavoured with lemon or maple syrup.

Milk thistle and dandelion tea

When consumed as a tea, milk thistle or dandelion are gentle liver cleansers. “They help the liver to regenerate and function at a higher capacity,” says Huska. “They can also assist in the production of bile, which can help with our digestive process.”

Rosehip tea

Rosehips are the fruit of the rose plant and are one of the best plant sources of vitamin C, which is important for the immune system, skin and tissue health and adrenal function. Consider reaching for rosehip tea next time you need a health boost.

Sleep problems and anxiety


* Valerian. Studies have shown that valerian aids sleep, often as well as pharmaceutical sedatives and without being addictive. In a study published in the European Journal of Medical Research, investigators gave 202 insomniacs valerian or a Valium-like tranquilizer. After six weeks, both treatments were equally effective. Research strongly supports that valerian works. It takes a week or more to begin noticing benefit.

* Chamomile. It is a time-honored sedative herb which can be safely used by children and adults alike. Dose: Tea, 1 cup 2-3 x daily; Tincture, 30 drops 3 x daily.

* Lavender. It is a gentle strengthening tonic for the nervous system. A few drops of lavender oil added to a bath before bedtime are recommended for persons with sleep disorders. Additionally, the oil may be used as a compress or massage oil or simply inhaled to alleviate insomnia.

* St. John’s Wort.

Modern scientific studies show that it can help relieve chronic insomnia and mild depression when related to certain brain chemistry imbalances. Because this herb can sensitize the skin to sunlight, if you are taking a full dose, avoid direct skin exposure to bright sunlight.

 

* Wild lettuce. This plant is a mild sedative and nervine used for restlessness and insomnia.Because of its safety of use and calming effects, wild lettuce is a good children’s remedy.

High blood sugar

Herbs can help restore the regular functioning of the body by providing glands with the necessary nutritional substances. The following foods have strong uses for the pancreas and balancing blood sugar as with diabetes. They apply to either Type I or Type II because herbs as foods, not chemicals, have the “wisdom” to help the whole body and work where it needs help.

* Dandelion leaves and root


They increase the pancreas production in Type I and provide valuable nutrients for the liver and kidneys for Type II.

 

 

* Burdock root extracts.They have lowered blood sugar in animal studies. In Europe, the fresh root is used for lowering blood sugar, its inulin content making it particularly suitable for diabetes. It works by filling the intestines with fiber, which prevents the absorption of sugars. Burdock fibers also prevent the absorption of toxic compounds from food.

* Cinnamon. 

It can aid in regulating the activity of insulin, so helping in blood sugar control. The cinnamon powder sold in grocery shelves is often too old to have much if any medicinal value. On the other hand, it is not a good idea to use a therapeutic amount in your cooking and baking. Use high quality, organic cinnamon in supplements and herbal teas to reap the medicinal benefits.

* Stevia. It is a herbal sweetener that has zero calories and a licorice like taste. Stevia can be substituted for sugar in baking, herbal teas, and other drinks. Stevioside, one of the active components of stevia, was shown in studies to lower blood sugar in healthy adults and may be a possible therapeutic herb in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Choose the natural green leaves instead of the artificially processed white stevia.

Obesity

There are countless products sold in pharmacies claiming to help with weight loss. Beware that some of them, including herbal laxatives,  might have very harmful side effects. Diet tea, cascara, senna, buckthorn, aloe and rhubarb root can cause cramping, diarrhea, and if overused, could cause your bowels to no longer function without laxative stimulation.

Ephedra, also known as ma huang, in high doses can raise blood pressure, increase heart rate, and over stimulate the central nervous system. The FDA reports more than 800 reports of side effects linked with the use of ephedra, including heart palpitations, seizures, stroke, chest pain, and heart attack. This herb has caused at least two deaths.

Herbal fen-phen (whose main ingredient is ephedra) has not been shown to work in clinical trials, buy its misuse is associated with sever side effects, from heartbeat irregularities to death from heart attack and stroke.

* Cayenne.

 If you don’t detest spicy food, try sprinkling a dash of cayenne on your food. It contains an ingredient called capsaicin that stimulates saliva, stimulates digestion and accelerates your metabolism at a safer level.

 

 

Seaweed. A good source of trace minerals such as chromium and iodine, seaweed is a natural thyroid stimulant. It is usually contained in kelp capsules or tablets. If you suspect your weight problem is due to a thyroid problem, or if you currently take any thyroid medication, you should check with a doctor before taking kelp or seaweed.

Allergies

The following herbs, along with others contain natural antihistamines and anti-inflammatory chemicals that open up constricted bronchial and nasal passages and help to alleviate allergy symptoms.

Stinging nettle

Ginko Biloba

Arthritis and other inflammations
* Curcumin. The yellow pigment in this Indian spice, is an anti-inflammatory. In combination with boswellia, it treats osteoarthritis, according to investigators at India’s Central Drug Research Institute. Use turmeric or yellow curries in cooking.

* Fresh ginger. Make a strong tea with grated fresh ginger, about 1 1\2 cups of water to a tablespoon of ginger. Strain and add to bath water, with 6 drops of rosemary essential oil. Good for sore muscles, fibromyalgia, and arthritis pain.

Fatigue

* Ginseng.

 It  has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to treat a number of ailments. However, ginseng is best known for its ability to increase stamina and maintain high levels of energy, both physically and mentally. Despite being able to increase energy, ginseng also helps with stress and can lower blood pressure, according to the Chinese Herbs Organization.

* Ginger

* Cinnamon

* Anise

Some stimulant herbs can be harmful and should be used with greater precaution – kola nut, guarana, damiana, dong quai. Avoid using ephedra.

Stomach problems

Teas are the best way to take herbal gastrointestinal remedies according to Jill Stansbury, N.D. (doctor of naturopathy), chair of the botanical medicine department at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore, . The warm liquid is easy to digest and allow the remedy direct contact with the stomach and intestinal walls. Herbs in pill form can be hard to digest, and most tinctures contain alcohol, causing them to be absorbed largely in the mouth.

* Peppermint.

 The ability to calm cramping stomach and intestinal muscles makes it a superb treatment according to herbalists. It can be used in cases of heartburn, gas, stomachache and when you’ve had too much food. It also makes peppermint a popular alternative treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), an intestinal disorder that causes abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements in about 5 million Americans, most of them women.

* Marshmallow root. It offers plenty of health benefits and fighting inflammations of the digestive tract ( peptic ulcers, hiatus hernias, mouth ulcers, enteritis and colitis) is also among them.

How to use this herb to cure acid influx and heartburn:

* Ginger. It can be used to treat gas, along with its associated bloating and pain. Herbalists now know that ginger works against both nausea and vomiting, making it an excellent preventive against motion and morning sickness. And unlike its pharmaceutical counterparts, ginger doesn’t cause drowsiness.

* Chamomile. 

In Germany where where herbalism has long been considered conventional, chamomile is considered “capable of anything” but in the area of stomach problems it is a superherb. It efficiently relieves flatulence and heartburn.

Immunity

* Echinacea. It is one of the best known herbs for enhancing the immune system and it is effective against a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.  It is most effective when taken at the onset of a cold or flu.

A great recipe for a healing tea in case of colds and flu:

* Ginseng. It is an herb that affects the immune control centres of the nervous system, both directly and indirectly through the adrenocortical hormones.  It tones, increases output, and restores equilibrium.

* Myrrh.

 The extract of myrrh has been shown to improve the bacteria killing effect of white blood cells and is effective in fighting all kinds of infections, whether bacterial, viral or fungal.  It is also directly anti-microbial.

 

 

Green tea. It’s gained popularity as an immunity booster and weight loss means but you should use it with precaution as some of the substances contained in it irritate the stomach. Don’t drink it on an empty stomach.

* Rooibos tea. It contains lots of vitamins, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium which boost immunity and also help to build strong bones and teeth.

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  1. […] the original post: TOP Herbal Teas for Health « Freehelpinghands's Blog ← Raw Food; the Natural Diet | Natural Diet […]

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