Some of the world’s best medicine can be grown in your backyard. In fact, you might already have some in your herb garden. Maybe you’re even using one or two of these as supplements.
There’s no denying the powerful remedies that are found in herbs.
While we have to advise seeking medical attention if necessary, these plants can provide relief from common aches, pains and illnesses without side effects.
Therefore, you can use these natural herbal remedies without worrying about what if’s, knowing that it can’t hurt to try within reason. We’re talking about topical treatments for sore muscles, cold killers, natural sleep aids and more.
We actually featured lemon balm in our roundup of natural anxiety remedies, so you can read more about its stress-busting benefits there. It’s also good for a myriad of other issues. Applying lemon balm-infused lip balm can shorten the lifespan of cold sores,
Lemon balm is also a great way to beat insomnia and get better sleep. You can also use it for miscellaneous pains, namely toothaches and cramps. Lastly, it’s being researched for mental health benefits including therapeutic treatment for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s or in people with ADHD.
Having lemon balm essential oils or tea handy is a relaxing way to wind down and get a few added mood benefits. Finally, remember not to combine this herb with other sedative-like drugs.
Peppermint tea is known to sooth sore throats and open up sinuses with its strong fragrance, so you might be familiar with its healing properties already.
Did you know that it’s also a fantastic alternative to pain relief medicine for headache pain. Together with lemon balm, the duo is known to work wonders for an upset stomach.
This herb is popular in its power to fight respiratory issues like chest colds, asthma, bronchitis and the like, so it’s a great supplement to throw into your immune-boosting routine.
The leaves of the plant are curative for helpful for healing bruises, tumors and even hemorrhoids and arthritic pain, so it’s a fabulous anti-inflammatory herb.
While most herbs do not have negative side effects, people can develop reactions to them much like any food. Mullein, in particular, has hairs that can irritate the skin, so try to remove all the hairs before use.
Otherwise, it’s also very good for congestion and respiratory illness due to its vitamin and mineral compounds including calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
Fun fact: the leaves of mullein were often dried and smoked to treat asthma, getting straight to the source of the discomfort. It can make coughs more ‘productive,’ making it especially effective for a dry cough.
Lavender is the king of herbal remedies. It pretty much does it all. First, here are all of its “anti” powers: antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-stress and antiseptic.
It has a variety of uses and can be used to remedy everything from sleep with its notoriously relaxing aroma to improving low libido, considering it’s often thought of as an aphrodisiac.
It’s one of the herbs we highly recommend using as a natural sleep aid in our 7-Day Sleep Better Challenge.
It’s simple enough to use; you can brew it in tea before bed or you can use it on your skin as a topical treatment. In that case, application can also be used to remedy dandruff and dry skin or treat acne. If you toss it in a bath, it can help ease sore muscles.
One 100 mg. capsule a 3-4 times per day can help you regulate blood sugar. This fantastic plant is often used to help diabetic patients manage blood glucose levels, but it’s also helpful to people with metabolic syndrome and individuals who want to lose weight.
For long-term use, it shows promise in helping diabetics increase the body’s ability to handle glycemic load and increase insulin secretion which helps the body keep lower blood sugar levels.
Another fun experiment to try is to crack open a capsule of the powder, put it on the tongue, and swallow after a few seconds. This herb is notorious for making sweet foods taste not-so-sweet.
Follow up with a bite of ice cream or a cookie, and you’ll see that it’s not as saccharine as always. This makes gymnema an effective craving-killer.
Be careful – gymnema cannot be used by pregnant woman, and you should consult with a doctor prior to taking it if you are already taking medication for blood sugar management.
We’ve talked a lot about ginseng – a common adaptogen that comes in a few forms and goes by a few names – on the blog. You can read about adaptogenic supplements here, which provide loads of therapeutic herbal benefits.
Ginseng is mostly known for its ability to increase the body’s resilience to stressors, and adaptogens are very well known for having little to no side effects. It’s also a fantastic immunity booster.
Ginseng is great for treating the adrenals. It can help prevent adrenal hyperplasia, which limits the adrenal glands’ ability to produce hormones. This is because it can help produce the hormone precursor to cortisol – the stress hormone. Our bodies need a balance of these hormones.
Ginseng can be a life-changing supplement for those who think they might be suffering from adrenal fatigue or people who are taking immunosuppressants.
If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, you’re in luck. This herb is incredibly good for you, and you don’t have to limit yourself to taco garnishes. Try blending it into a green smoothie for maximum benefits paired with vitamin and mineral-rich, dark, leafy greens and immune-boosting fruits.
Cilantro is known to lower “bad cholesterol,” so if you’re trying to get your numbers under control, a little supplementation can go a long way.
This herb is also known for its detoxification properties, and it’s been found to decrease lead accumulation, making it a good choice for heavy metal detox – another reason to toss a handful in your blender or juicer! It is a superstar in conjunction with other green veggies.