Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Oregano

Oregano is a plant or herb, that comes from the mint family. It’s used in cooking and to treat health conditions for many centuries. It contains several antioxidants that contribute to its health benefits. It has been used to treat skins sores, aches and pains, indigestion, and colds.  
 
Some research suggest it may be able to help fight cancer, bacteria, regulate blood sugar, and reduce inflammation in the body. Oregano has two substances that have strong antibacterial properties. These substances are carvacrol and thymol.  
 
In a study conducted in 2019, these substance prevented bacteria from growing in meat and dairy products. This showed that oregano might be able to be used to control the growth of bacteria in foods. Researchers tested oregano to find it showed antibacterial activity against microbes. The conclusion that the research showed is that eating oregano may help prevent infections.  
 
Oregano oil is sold in health food stores and used to help reduce soreness and inflammation in muscles and uses externally. The concentrated oil is rubbed into the muscles or skin. In studies on animals, it was believed to reduce inflammation. 
 
Compounds in oregano have been linked to helping with controlling diabetes. In studies, it has been shown to improve insulin resistance, regulate the digestion of fat and carbs, and repair damaged tissue. It has been use with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.Concentrated oregano oil is believed to be a natural antibiotic, improve gut health, relieve pain, and help with weight loss.  
 
Oregano can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and indigestion in some people. Pregnant women, individuals with bleeding disorders, allergies, and those with chronic illness should check with their doctor before using. It can act as a water pill at times and does not react well with some medications. 
 
Oregano has been used in cooking for centuries. It is in sauces, on pizza and pasta, in stews, soups and salads. It is used as a seasoning in bread. Cooks use it to make flavored oil, marinades for meats, and added it to vegetable dishes for flavor. It is a versatile herb and very popular for cooking. 

Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Ginger

Ginger is a medicinal herb used by people since ancient times. It is native to Asian countries, including China, Japan, and India but now can be also found in some African countries and South America. Ginger is used in medicine for different health problems. The most common health benefits of ginger are the following: 

Improves digestion. 

It helps to improve the movement through the digestive tract by preventing constipation. Also, it reduces such symptoms as diarrhea, upset stomach, and colic caused by irritable bowel syndrome.  

Eases the flu or a cold. 

Ginger helps to relieve a sore throat and kill rhinoviruses causing a cold and the flu.  

Relieves pain

According to the study conducted by the American Pain Society in 2009, 2 grams of heated or raw ginger can reduce muscle pain by 25%. It also helps women to reduce dysmenorrhea – the pain caused by menstruation.  

Reduces inflammation 

A review of 16 clinical trials in 2017 revealed that ginger is able to combat inflammation.  

Lowers cancer risk

Ginger is a great source of antioxidants reducing different types of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes building up free radicals – substances responsible for cellular damage and development of cancer.  

Treats burns

Ginger juice is often applied to skin to treat burns. Ginger also is also effective for preventing insect bites.   

Possible risks 

Many compounds of ginger have not been investigated by researchers yet. Moreover, there is still no scientific proof that ginger has healing qualities. Doctors also warn that by interacting with other medications, ginger might cause unpredictable health complications. Moreover, ginger might also cause allergic reactions, such as skin rash, swelling of the face, lips, or throat, and difficulty breathing. Therefore, to avoid any risks, it is highly recommended to consult a physician or health provider. 

Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Garlic

Beyond its natural ability to give a lot of flavor to food and to repel vampires, garlic is also quite the little medicinal item. One record from the 12th Century reveals that garlic was administered to field laborers to stave off the effects of prolonged sun exposure. Galen of Pergomon was a prestigious Roman scholar who regarded garlic as a cure-all in rural communities. 
 
Some testing has been done regarding garlic’s anti-carcinogenic qualities. One 2013 study found that men with garlic as a staple of their diet had diminished risks of prostate cancer. Another study, done in 2014 with Korean individuals, found that garlic contribute to a reduced risk of stomach cancer. 
 
While garlic’s pungency is well-known, especially when you consider that it happens to be in the same botanical group as onions, there are some other potential hazards of consuming garlic. 

  • Consuming garlic tends to quickly transfer its sulfuric odor to the consumer’s breath and body odor. Furthermore, a nursing mother may notice that their children will drink far more slowly and develop a garlicky breath smell after she eats garlic. 
  • Allium allergy is a real condition. Some people simply cannot safely eat onions, shallots or garlic without suffering. These people may experience diarrhea, ulcerations around the mouth and throat, trouble breathing or even anaphylactic shock in the most extreme of cases. Fortunately, tests exist to verify if you have such a sensitivity and this sensitivity can also manifest with ginger and bananas. 
  • While garlic has been reputed to help with acne, it can also leave severe chemical burns on the skin. If you plan on using garlic to treat acne, begin with a small amount over a small area of skin and see how the skin reacts in small batches before continuing. Note that garlic should never be pursued as an acne cure when dealing with young children. 
  • Excessive garlic consumption is known to screw up blood thinners. 

Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Cinnamon

Much of the cinnamon in the world is grown in Sri Lanka, where it was discovered in the 1500s. It has been used for many purposes since that time, and today we understand more about the benefits of cinnamon. It not only tastes delicious, it also offers several outstanding health benefits.  
 
Cinnamon is chock-full of antioxidants like polyphenol. When compared to dozens of other spices, including garlic, a known super food, cinnamon outranks all of them for it’s antioxidant protection factor. This is a key component in protecting our bodies and cells from the damage caused by free radicals.  
 
Another important benefit of cinnamon use is it’s power as an anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation within the body can cause pain and damage tissues. Cinnamon offers the ability to keep damaging inflammation in check, thus reducing inflammation, which lowers the risk of disease over time.  
 
A powerful protective agent against heart disease, cinnamon shows promise in reducing bad cholesterol, as well as offering protection for people with hypertension. A small dose, about half to one teaspoon, per day can increase “good,” or HDL, cholesterol while it reduces the bad. By using small amounts of cinnamon everyday, a person cuts their overall risk of heart disease significantly.  
 
A protein in the brain called tau appears to be built up in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and cinnamon helps to inhibit this build up, potentially helping slow or stop a person’s progression into the disease. While mice with Parkinson’s who were given cinnamon showed improved motor functioning and their neurotransmitter levels appeared to normalize with regular consumption of cinnamon. This means that cinnamon may offer measurable protection against neuro-degenerative conditions.  
 
When all is said and done, cinnamon has shown itself to be a powerful medicinal herb. It’s also delicious, and by simply incorporating a small amount into the diet every day, a person will benefit from these incredible protective properties offered by cinnamon. Research is ongoing, but all signs point to long-term health benefits with small daily portions of cinnamon.  

Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Rosemary

Rosemary is a medicinal herb that is originally from the Mediterranean region. It belongs to the mint family, along with other herbs, including oregano, basil, thyme, and lavender. Rosemary has been used since ancient times for medical purposes and various health problems. Here are the main health benefits of rosemary.

Combats inflammation

Rosemary is the source of antioxidants helping to strengthen the immune system and improve blood circulation.  

Improves digestion

It is widely used in European countries for treating various digestive diseases and disorders. Thus, in Germany, it has been officially recognized as a herb for treating indigestion.  

Improves memory and the ability to concentrate

According to the research published in Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, rosemary’s aroma helps to improve concentration, attention, memory, mood, and performance.  

Protects the brain

Rosemary contains carnosic acid – an ingredient eliminating free radicals from the brain. Moreover, it is recommended to people experienced stroke because it improves recovery and regeneration of the brain cells.  

Prevents brain aging. 

Rosemary may be helpful in the prevention of Alzheimer’s – a type of dementia characterized by ta gradual death of the brain cells.  

Protects from macular degeneration. 

The results of a research published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science in 2012 showed that carnosic acid contained in rosemary has a positive impact on eye health.  

Lowers cancer risk.

Due to its anti-inflammatory qualities, rosemary acts as an anti-tumor agent by lowering cancer risks.  

Side effects of rosemary 

If taken in low doses, it is absolutely safe. However, large doses of rosemary might trigger serious side effects, including:  

  • Spasms 
  • Coma 
  • Fluids in the lungs (known as pulmonary edema) 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Miscarriage. Therefore it is not recommended to pregnant women.  
  • Allergic reaction.  
  • High risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders. 

Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Peppermint

Peppermint often provides a wonderful aroma throughout your home whether it’s from a plant or from oils that are heated. Aside from making your home smell good, there are a few other benefits that you can enjoy from the herb. Try to use peppermint in a variety of ways so that you’re not only relying on the aroma. Examples include essential oils that you put on your skin or oils that you gently heat on your stove.  
 
Energy 

When you smell peppermint, you likely feel a renewed sense of energy. Peppermint can stimulate your central nervous system, which can lead to being more alert during the day and enhanced performance, especially when you feel sluggish and weak.  
 
Headaches 

Instead of reaching for a bottle of medication, try rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on your temples or on your forehead to help soothe headaches. Peppermint works by stimulating blood flow in your body as well as relaxing some of the tension that you might feel in your muscles, which are reasons as to why you might experience headaches during the day.  
 
Clear Your Sinuses 

If you have trouble breathing or experience frequent sinus infections, then put a few drops of peppermint oil in a humidifier or even in your shower before turning on the hot water. The aroma from the peppermint can help to clear your nasal passages, leading to better breathing and the ability to expel mucus a bit easier.  
 
Bowel Symptoms 

There are a few different bowel conditions that peppermint can help with if you consume the herb or oil orally including adding it to tea or water. Peppermint can help with irritable bowels and upset stomachs. It can also help decrease the amount of indigestion that you might have. If you experience motion sickness while traveling or morning sickness when you’re pregnant, then consider using peppermint to help relieve some of the symptoms that you might have. 

Health Benefits of the Sea

We generally focus on herbs and herbal supplements here, but there are many topics that are adjacent to or overlap with the direction of herbal news which is increasing health and wellness. We don’t focus on exercise or meditation, but those are both healthy. We don’t focus on saunas or grass fed beef or organic eggs, but those are also healthy. While we have our strengths and our focus, it often hard to deny our next door neighbors who are also living in the same space, attending the same schools, and headed to the same place. So in this post, we are focusing on some of the wonderful and healthy things that you can get from the sea.

Himalayan Pink Salt

I suppose we are starting with a complaint about the sea today, but just a small one. If you are paying attention to herbal life, then you are no doubt familiar with Himalayan Pink Salt and it’s various health benefits. The short answer for what salt from the Himalayas has going for it that sea salt doesn’t is that it was stored long ago before we started contaminating the ocean with things like mercury. While there are only trace amount of heavy metals in salts, trace can sometimes add up. Fear not, you can get salt right out of the mountains and feel confident that you are sidestepping anything the ocean can’t. Plus, it’s super tasty.

Seaweed

We talk about this a fair amount as a supplemental herb, but seaweed (from the sea, wouldn’t you know) can also be consumed in other dry as well as wet forms. Chock full of minerals and antioxidants, seaweed is a very healthy consumable that has been around for obvious centuries and in the US for quite some time. There are just so many forms of seaweed that if you don’t happen to love the flavor, you can find the right format that fits your pallet. It is typically very salty, and if you are crafty in the kitchen, you can hold back on some salts for dishes that can contain seaweed.

Seafood in General

Here we are talking about sustainably caught, wild seafood and nothing farm raised. While there are some hazards out there with the high cholesterol levels of shrimp and we certainly all remember the dangers of eating blowfish. But there are a lot of other health benefits to eating seafoods that are high in omega 3s and good fats, not to mention lean proteins and oils. Getting more fish into your diet is a common anthem among men who are struggling with various forms of heart disease, specifically salmon and halibut and even black cod (not an actual cod) is climbing into the conversation. These sources are best sought close to wherever you are for freshness, but fear not you landlocked heroes, there are plenty of ways to compare and order seafood online these days.

That’s it for this particular segment, but depending on the feedback, we will circle back around and provide thoughts on other areas of our vast oceans.

Know Your Medicinal Herbs: Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is thought to originate within the Cayenne region of French Guiana. It comes from a small fruited pepper plant, of the capsicum annuum genus, and the orange to deep red fruit is dried and ground down for its spicy flavor. Yet it is also appreciated for the benefits of the chemical within, capsaicin. Capsaicin carries many health benefits, particularly when it comes to treatment of certain types of pain. In fact, certain groups, including Native Americans, have used cayenne for both food and medicine for thousands of years.  
 
When used as a pain relief agent, cayenne is used to create a paste or cream that is applied to areas of pain on the body, such as pulled muscles or sore joints. It is thought to reduce the pain messages sent to the brain when applied topically, thus easing the intensity of pain. The capsaicin in the cayenne pepper is often recommended for pain associated with osteoarthritis, nerve pain, such as that caused by shingles, as well as for lower back and shoulder pain.  
 
For digestive health, cayenne boosts the immunity within the stomach to protect against infections, as well as aid in the process of digestion. And while many believe that the spice can trigger stomach ulcers, studies have actually shown the opposite. Cayenne can prevent the development of ulcers.  
 
Another interesting effect of cayenne is that it can reduce the appetite. When used in food, it is shown to increase the feeling of fullness and satiety, and people tend to eat less throughout the day when their meals contain cayenne. Those taking capsaicin supplements end up consuming approximately 10% fewer calories overall. It’s believed that this is due to the capsaicin contained within the cayenne pepper.  
 
While reasonable portions of cayenne are beneficial, take care not to overindulge. Too much capsaicin can cause skin irritation, as well as heartburn when ingested in large quantities. For many people, they achieve the most benefit from consuming cayenne as a supplement, rather than through eating the pepper itself. No matter how you choose to incorporate cayenne pepper into your diet, always check with your doctor when determining the proper portion or method of delivery. 

Ayurvedic Remedies for Cholesterol

Nowadays, cholesterol has become a serious threat by claiming almost 46% of deaths around the world that too due to cholesterol and coronary heart diseases. Cholesterol is nothing but a fatty, waxy and lipid substance circulating in the body in bloodstream providing the fat required by the body. Generally, this fat travels in the body through packages known as lipoproteins. Broadly talking there are two types of lipoproteins known as High Density Lipoproteins and Low-Density Lipoproteins. High Density Lipoproteins or good cholesterol is produced in the body and act as a synthesizer. It breaks down the complex and bigger particles of cholesterol into pieces before transporting it to the liver. 
 
Whereas low density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol is harmful to the body as it increases the risk of various heart diseases. It not only affects the liver but also creates muscular malfunctioning. These days by sensing most of the company have jumped into the market in order to produce best and trusted cholesterol reduction medicines. Generally, these medicines are attached with array of side effects which are loss of hunger, indigestion and lack of energy. But in this whole lot there are still some medicines whose are more refined and provide best results. Ayurveda is one medicine which has shown its prominence in the available lot. 
 
Hyperlipidemia is one medicine which has ruled the roost for long. It is one medicine which has no side effects but only benefits. It is the combination of many herbs and shrubs which in all make this medicine. This medicine not only lowers down the cholesterol but also increases good cholesterol along with the enhancement of energy. It takes mere two months for this medicine to show its prominence. 
 
Another most widely used medicine is guggul. This medicine and its native plant are found in India and have been in vicinity for ages. Its gum resin contains a bitter taste which breaks down the cholesterol particles into pieces and transporting them to liver for further metabolism. Being the purest form ayurvedic medicine generally have no side effects and are natural in state. Being the purest form, they not only refine the body but also remove that extra cholesterol concentrated on the arteries. So if you have high cholesterol and thinking to take some medicine, then just zero yourself on Ayurveda as it can remove all your plaque and cholesterol. 

Herb Guide

Herb Condition Dosage 
Aloe Vera Gel Gastrointestinal Disturbances Take 100 mg of solid extract up to 3 times a day with meals. Drink plenty of fluids. (recommended 8 oz of water) 
Black Cohosh Menopause, PMS 60 mg daily, with meals. 
Feverfew Migraine Headaches, Joint Pain 150 mg daily. 
Garlic Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Disease Immune Enhancement 1 clove fresh garlic daily or two 300 mg capsules or tablets daily, with meals. 
Ginko Biloba Memory, Mood, Circulation 60 mg twice daily, with meals. 
Green Tea Cancer prevention 100 mg to 300 mg daily with meals. 
Hawthorn Heart disease 360 mg daily, with meals 
Horse Chestnut Varicose veins, circulatory disorders 150 mg twice daily, with meals. 
Milk Thistle Liver Problems, Detoxification 320 mg daily with meals. 
St. Johns Wort Depression 300 mg twice daily, with meals. 
Saw Palmetto Prostate Enlargement 160 mg twice daily, with meals. 
Herbs to be Taken Cyclically     
Echinacea Colds, Flu, Infections 175 mg two to four times daily as needed, with meals. Take for one months- then a two-week break before resuming. 
Ginseng Fatigue, Stress 75 mg to 300 mg with meals. Use daily for one month then take a two-week break. 
Kava Anxiety 150 mg up to 6 times daily with meals. No more than 2 in any 4-hour period. Take for a maximum of three months, followed by two to four weeks of rest.