Herb Blurb

Herb Blurb

European elder is a tree native to Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, and it also grows in the United States. There are several different types of elder, such as American elder, but European elder is the type most often used as a supplement. Parts of the elder tree…
All types of tea (green, black and oolong) are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods. Fresh leaves from the plant are steamed to produce green tea. Green tea and green tea extracts, such as its component EGCG, have traditionally been used to prevent and treat a variety…
Garlic is the edible bulb from a plant in the lily family. It has been used as both a medicine and a spice for thousands of years. Garlic’s most common folk or traditional uses as a dietary supplement are for high cholesterol, heart disease and high blood pressure. Other folk…
Soy, a plant in the pea family, has been common in Asian diets for thousands of years. It is found in modern American diets as a food or food additive. Soybeans, the high-protein seeds of the soy plant, contain isoflavones — compounds similar to the female hormone estrogen. Traditional or…
Cranberries are the fruit of a native plant of North America. These red berries are used in foods and in herbal products. Historically, cranberry fruits and leaves were used for a variety of problems, such as wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments and liver problems. More recently, cranberry has…
Goldenseal, also called yellow root, is a plant that grows wild in parts of the United States but has become endangered by overharvesting. With natural supplies dwindling, goldenseal is now grown commercially across the United States, especially in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Historically, Native Americans have used goldenseal for various…
The first recorded use of fenugreek is described on an ancient Egyptian papyrus dated to 1500 B.C. Fenugreek seed is commonly used in cooking. Historically, fenugreek was used for a variety of health conditions, including menopausal symptoms and digestive problems. It was also used for inducing childbirth. Today, fenugreek is…
Rhodiola — also known as golden root, roseroot or queen’s crown — grows in cold regions of Europe and Asia, as well as in Alaska. Historically, people in northern regions have used rhodiola for anxiety, fatigue, anemia, impotence, infections, headache, and depression related to stress. People also have used it…
Bromelain, or pineapple extract, is a mixture of enzymes found in the pineapple plant. Pineapple is native to the Americas but is now grown throughout the world in tropical and subtropical regions. Historically, natives of Central and South America used pineapple for a variety of ailments, such as digestive disorders.…
Saw palmetto, also known as American dwarf palm tree or cabbage palm, is a small palm tree native to the eastern United States. Its fruit was used medicinally by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Saw palmetto is used as a traditional or folk remedy for urinary symptoms associated with an…
Valerian is a plant native to Europe and Asia; it is also found in North America. Valerian has been used as a medicinal herb since at least the time of ancient Greece and Rome. Its therapeutic uses were described by Hippocrates, and in the 2nd century, Galen prescribed valerian for…
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.…
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