Most of us have taken herbs for medicinal purposes at least once in our lives. Herbs are an integral aspect of many cultures since the dawn of civilization, with records of their uses by the Chinese and Egyptians dating as far back as 3,000 BC. Today,
the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to four fifths of people worldwide use herbs for their basic health needs.
We have heard a lot about garlic, turmeric and more. Let’s shine the spotlight on some other herbs that, while may not be as ‘popular’ as the aforementioned herbs, still contain a whole lot of goodness.
In addition to being a popular flavouring in pizza and pasta, basil may relieve stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts and worm infections. Some people also use basil to treat insect bites.
Basil is also used to improve blood circulation and start the flow of breast milk in mothers after they give birth. Due to is fragrance basil is sometimes used as a gargle.
For ages, people have been using the English ivy as medicine for various ailments such as breathing difficulties caused by excessive mucus in the airways. This is due to its expectorant properties ie, it helps people with mucus in their airways to cough it up.
Ivy is also used to relieve liver, spleen and gallbladder problems as well as burns, calluses, gout/ joint pain and swelling due to inflammation..
Often used as a breath freshener, mint can also make digestion easier while preventing indigestion and inflammation. It can also soothe headaches and migraines, travel-related nausea, fatigue and fever..
Some people use rosemary to relieve digestion problems like heartburn, intestinal gas, liver and gallbladder ailments and loss of appetite.
Rosemary is also used to relieve gout, cough, headache, high blood pressure and memory loss. When rosemary oil is applied to the skin, it works to prevent insect bites.
1. Institute for Traditional Medicine. Available at www.itmonline.org
2. Organic Facts. Available at www.organicfacts.net
3. University of Maryland Medical Center. Available at http://umm.edu
4. WebMD. Available at www.webmd.com
5. World Health Organization. Available at www.who.int