A to Z Guide of Popular Herbal Remedies
Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2008 11:04
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Here's an A-Z Guide to some of the more common herbal remedies and what they have traditionally been used for.
Herbal Remedies A - B
Agnus Castus (Vitex)
This traditional herbal remedy has applications for PMS, acne and fertility.
Artichoke: Cynara scolymus
Artichoke has long been eaten as a vegetable. Key uses are in cholesterol reduction, as a digestive tonic and in liver support. Other reported uses include the relief of jaundice, anemia and dyspepsia.
Astragalus: Astragalus membranaceous
An adaptogenic herb native to Northern China. Traditional Chinese medicine uses this herb for nights sweats, fatigue and loss of appetite.
Avena sativa (oats)
In folk medicine oats are used to treat nervous exhaustion and insomnia. A tincture of oats was also used to help with withdrawal from tobacco. Avena sativa is also used to reduce cholesterol.
Bilberry: Vaccimium myrtillus
Bilberry extracts are rich in a flavanoid know as anthocyanoside, which improves blood flow and delivery of oxygen to the eyes. The potent antioxidant effects of bilberry also protect the eyes from free radical damage, a factor involved in cataracts and macular degeneration. It is also a circulatory tonic with blood sugar lowering properties.
Black Cohosh: Cimicifuga Racemosa
Native Americans valued black cohosh for its benefits in many conditions ranging from gynecological problems to rattlesnake bites. Black cohosh has also been used in treating PMS and Menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, depression, joint pain, nervousness and osteoporosis.
Boswellia: Boswellia Serrata
A tree found in India, North Africa and the Middle East. Strips of bark are peeled away, yielding a gummy oleo-resin that contains oils, terpenoids and gum. The gum resin has been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of conditions form skin conditions like eczema to conditions like dysentery, but the most common Western application of Boswellia is in Arthritic conditions due to the herbs potent anti-inflammatory action.
Burdock: Arctium Lappa
Detoxifying and cleansing herb with skin benefits, especially in eczema and psoriasis.
California Poppy Eschscholzia California
California poppy is not a narcotic. In fact, rather than disorientation the user, it tends to normalise psychological function. California poppy’s gently antispasmodic, sedative, and analgesic effects make it a valuable herbal remedy for treating physical and psychological problems in children. California poppy may also prove beneficial in attempts to overcome bedwetting, difficulty in sleeping, and nervous tension and anxiety.
Cleavers Galium aparine
Cleavers is essentially a lymphatic alterative with useful diuretic and skin healing effects. Cleavers is a very valuable plant, being perhaps the best tonic to the lymphatic system available. As a lymphatic tonic with alterative and diuretic actions it may be used safely in a wide range of problems where the lymphatic system is involved. These include swollen glands (lymphadenitis) anywhere in the body, especially in tonsillitis and adenoid trouble.
Coleus activates some key enzymes at cellular level and using the body’s own mechanisms can help reduce allergic response and increase cellular fat-burning. Common uses of Coleus are in psoriasis, allergies and bronchial conditions, plus weight loss.
Cranberry Vaccinium macrocarpon
In traditional North American herbalism, Cranberry has been used to prevent kidney stones as well as to remove toxins from the blood. Cranberry is an effective cystitis remedy.