See previous article: A Herb a Day: 30 Kitchen Herbs With Medicinal Properties (Part 1 of 2)
Green tea – contains very powerful antioxidants. These destroy the free radicals in your blood stream, preventing them from prematurely aging your skin and damaging your eyes. Green tea also has powerful anti-bacterial properties, helping to control dental plaque, stimulate the immune system cells and help fight off infection. Diabetics can use green tea to regulate high blood sugar, while it can also help with high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels. A 1999 study showed Green Tea extract to increase significantly energy expenditure – meaning it actually helps you to slim down!
Jasmine – is mostly used in Ayurvedic medicine for infections with high fever, sunstroke, dermatitis, as well as cancer of the bones. Jasmine is used for mouth ulcers, and the fresh juice is applied to corns. On the skin it is used with great effect to treat dry, stressed and sensitive skins and it also helps to increase elasticity.
Lavender – is an aromatic, tonic herb with a sweet scent. It relaxes spasms, benefits digestion, stimulates peripheral circulation and the uterus and lowers fever. Lavender is used internally for indigestion, irritability, anxiety, exhaustion, tension headaches, and migraines.
Marjoram – is used internally for bronchial and chest complaints, tension headaches, anxiety, and painful menstruation.
Mint – is awesome for digestion and is a great mouth freshener (I bet you already knew this one ha ha).
Mustard – is known for stimulating the circulation and relieving muscular and skeletal pain.
Nutmeg – in small quantities, nutmeg acts on the stomach to improve appetite and digestion. It is used in perfumes and ointments and for seasoning foods. It helps prevent gas and fermentation in the intestinal tract, and it is good for controlling nausea and vomiting.
Onion – is often used for minor digestive disturbances and is also used for bronchial and gastric infections. Furthermore, it also shows good results in preventing age-related changes in blood vessels – arteriosclerosis, as well as to treat loss of appetite.
Oregano – an infusion made from the fresh plant relieves nervous headaches. The fumes of this herb boiled in water are also known to clear the nasal passages.
Parsley – the fresh herb is a rich source of vitamin C. It is said to inhibit tumour-cell growth while stimulating digestion and the uterus. The leaves have some itch relieving properties if applied externally. It helps to cleanse the blood, boosts circulation and eases muscle spasms.
Peppermint – is used to treat morning sickness, nausea, and gastritis. It is furthermore used for indigestion, cramping, stomach ulcers, spastic colon and irritable bowels.
Rosemary – is used for headaches, as well as for nervous complaints. Rosemary is used widely in Mediterranean cooking – sausages, stuffing, soups, stews and to make tea. The flowers can also be added to salads. Rosemary is an effective treatment against scurf and dandruff. It can also be used in mouth rinses and gargles.
Saffron – is used to cure coughs, stomach gas, gastrointestinal colic and insomnia. It is effective in treating fevers, melancholia, enlargement of the liver and asthma.
Sage – is used internally to treat indigestion and flatulence. It is also used to reduce excessive lactation in nursing mothers and night sweats (especially in menopause), anxiety, depression, and female sterility.
Thyme – is a warming herb that is aromatic, antiseptic, and anti-fungal. It helps to improve digestion, relax spasms and controls coughing. Thyme can be used for tonsillitis and gum diseases. It is used as a tonic for hair and to help treat dandruff and hair loss.
Valerian – is used as a sedative for insomnia or other sleeping disorders, to smooth the nervous system, and to slow the heart rate. For all these reasons the dried roots of the plant are taken to prepare teas or tinctures.
Ylang Ylang – is used to reduce fevers and to reduce the symptomatic manifestation of malaria. Externally it is mostly used in aromatherapy, but has good properties to fight skin irritations, boils and for an all-over boost of sensuality. It is useful in regulating breathing and heart beat, as well as lowering high blood pressure. It is also used to treat frigidity and impotence. Also it helps with balancing hormones, PMS and general mood swings.
Since prehistoric times, herbs have also been the basis for nearly all medicinal therapy until synthetic drugs were developed in the 19th century. Today, herbs are still found in around 40% of prescription drugs. In addition, herbs are used for many other purposes including beverages such as tea, dyeing, repellents, fragrances, cosmetics, smoking and industrial uses.
Note from EVE: This is an informal guide to using herbs therapeutically. Do look up contraindications if using in large quantities or, better yet, seek expert advice.