Since ancient times, we've looked to nature and plants to create drugs to treat illness and disease. The first recording of medicinal plants came from the Sumerians 5000 years ago. They wrote 12 recipes on a clay slab. They mention over 250 plants, including alkaloid plants like henbane and poppies.
In the 1500s, people started using chemistry for medicine and there was a shift away from plants in the west. But today, they are back due to a decrease in the efficacy of drugs and the side effects pharmaceuticals create.
But how do you know which plants to use, you ask?
There are so many healing plants out there but to get you started, let's look at five amazing medicinal plants and how they help us stay healthy. Keep reading to see if any speak to what you need and then go out and try them.
The oil from the chamomile flower offers so much healing and medicinal help. You can drink it as tea, massage it in as an essential oil, or use the oil for aromatherapy. It's considered a cure-all and is approved in the U.S. by the FDA. In Germany, it's approved to defend against bacteria and decrease skin swelling.
Drink chamomile to help you sleep, calm nerves, and quiet an upset stomach. Drink tea or apply to skin to relax muscles; help eczema, psoriasis, and chicken pox; treat diaper rash, and heal small wounds. It also helps inflamed gums.
It's touted as a sedative, muscle relaxant, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and anti-spasmodic. Its strongest perk is as an anti-inflammatory.
This coneflower, Central-American native is a powerful immune booster that also is touted as an anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal herb. It's mostly used to relieve inflammation, flu, and colds. It also helps prevent them thanks to that immune boost. This also helps fight infection in the mouth. Your dentist will be happy!
The entire plant is used for its medicinal properties: roots, stem, flower, and leaves.
Ginger root is another cure-all when it comes to medicinal plants and their uses. Try it in tea or add it to food and enjoy the flavor as well. Ginger boosts the immune system so it's great for fighting and relieving colds and flu. It also provides relief from asthma, headaches, and PMS discomfort and cramps.
And it famously aids digestion.
Peppermint tea anyone? The aroma is fabulous, as are the calming, stimulating, and many healing properties of this hybrid plant. Enjoy it as tea or use the oil on your skin, in food for flavor, or for aromatherapy.
Interestingly, this hybrid plant, grown mostly in Europe, can both stimulate to boost memory, brain power, and focus and calm to help you relax and unwind. Peppermint helps you absorb nutrients and gives you, therefore, a digestive-system boost.
Peppermint helps stave off sinus infection and is touted as a pain reliever. It contains high amounts of methanol which is known to prevent prostate cancer. It's also great as a breath freshener and to whiten teeth!
The leaves and seeds of this evergreen are among the amazing plants used for medicine that we love. Fenugreek boosts appetite and helps you poop and keep cholesterol under control. What a great combo!
Fenugreek both cleans your blood and decreases blood pressure. Importantly, it also helps with diabetes. This wonder medicine, that's also called "Methi," relieves pain in your joints and slows hair loss.
Medicinal Plants for You
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the amazing medicinal plants you can use to stay healthy. Did any of these speak to you or have what you need? Give them a try.
And while you're on this clean and healthy living path, keep reading about top benefits of naturopathic treatments.