Herb Blurb

Herb Blurb

Milk thistle is a flowering herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments and, historically, was thought to have protective effects on the liver and improve its function. Today, its primary folk uses include liver disorders…
The herb peppermint, a cross between two types of mint (water mint and spearmint), grows throughout Europe and North America. Peppermint is often used to flavor foods, and the leaves can be used fresh or dried in teas. Today, peppermint oil is used as a folk or traditional remedy for…
Sixteenth-century Spanish explorers learned of passionflower in Peru. Native peoples of the Americas used passionflower for boils, wounds, earaches and liver problems. Today, passionflower is promoted as a folk or traditional remedy for anxiety, stress and sleep, as well as for heart ailments, asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, burns and hemorrhoids.…
Asian ginseng is native to China and Korea, and has been used in various systems of medicine for many centuries. Asian ginseng is one of several types of true ginseng (another is American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius). The herb called Siberian ginseng or eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is not a true ginseng.…
The leaves and fruit of the grape have been used medicinally since ancient Greece. Today, grape seed extract is used as a folk or traditional remedy for conditions related to the heart and blood vessels, such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high blood pressure, high cholesterol and poor circulation;…
There are nine known species of echinacea, all of which are native to the United States and southern Canada. The most commonly used is Echinacea purpurea. Echinacea has traditionally been used for colds, flu and other infections, based on the idea that it might stimulate the immune system to more…
Cinnamon comes from the bark of trees native to China, India and Southeast Asia. A popular cooking spice in many cultures for centuries, cinnamon also has a long history of use as a folk or traditional medicine. For example, many ancient societies used cinnamon for bronchitis. Additional folk or traditional…
  Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree and has been used medicinally for centuries by the aboriginal people of Australia. Today, tea tree oil is often used externally as a folk or traditional remedy for a number of conditions including acne, athlete’s foot, nail fungus,…
Hawthorn is a spiny, flowering shrub or small tree of the rose family. The species of hawthorn discussed here are native to northern European regions and grow throughout the world. Historically, hawthorn fruit has been used for heart disease since the first century. It has also been used for digestive…
The ginkgo tree is one of the oldest types of trees in the world. Ginkgo seeds have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and cooked seeds are occasionally eaten. Historically, ginkgo leaf extract has been used to treat a variety of ailments and conditions, including asthma,…
Noni is an evergreen shrub or small tree that grows throughout the tropical regions of the Pacific Ocean, from Southeast Asia to Australia. Noni has a history of use as a topical preparation for joint pain and skin conditions. Today, noni fruit juice has folk uses as a general health…
Saw palmetto is a fan-shaped palm that grows in the Southeastern United States. The berry of this palm is used medicinally by herbalists. Saw palmetto contains vitamin A, vitamin C and many minerals, including zinc, silicon, selenium and phosphorus. Saw palmetto is energetically warming and has volatile oils that contain…
Fenugreek was esteemed by the Greek, Roman and Egyptian societies for its culinary and medicinal uses. In India it is an important spice in curry powder. Fenugreek seed, once used by Hippocrates, is one of the oldest known herbs. Fenugreek is very nutritious and contains many constituents. This herb is…
There are two types of chamomile used for health conditions: German chamomile and Roman chamomile. While the two kinds are thought to have similar effects on the body, the German variety is more commonly used in the United States and is the focus of this article. What chamomile is used…
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