Quantcast

Natural Remedies: 8 Plants That Promote Wellness

Pexels

It may seem like natural remedies are having a moment, but the trend is nothing new. Herbalism—the use of plants for their medicinal properties—has been around long before modern-day pharmacies, and certain sprigs and leaves are still touted for their healing powers. Whether you're planning your next natural shopping trip or want to try growing some helpful herbs at home, this overview can help you get started.


Capsicum

Many know capsicum as chili peppers, but it's actually considered a medicinal herb, too. The active ingredient is capsaicin—that's the component that brings the heat when you eat a pepper, and it is said to soothe aches and pains when applied topically.

Feverfew

Part of the daisy family, feverfew has been dubbed "medieval aspirin" for its longtime reputation as a headache reliever. It's most often taken in capsule form rather than tea because of its bitter taste. Some take feverfew pills to help prevent migraines and reduce their frequency, plus lessen the severity of headache side effects including pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light.

Valerian

Troubled sleepers, take note: Researchers agree valerian can speed up the time it takes insomniacs to fall asleep and decrease the frequency with which they wake during the night, though the jury's out on how exactly the herb works. Some suspect it increases levels of a chemical referred to as GABA, one that helps your body stay calm. Keep in mind, it's considered a sedative, so you might experience grogginess the next morning.

Thyme

Thyme is particularly useful during flu and cold season. Why? First, it's antispasmodic. A cough is an involuntary spasm, and the oils in thyme can calm your body's reflexes. But on a deeper level, thymol, the antiseptic found in thyme, can attack infections directly.

Peppermint

Before Pepto-Bismol and Tums were on pharmacy shelves, people turned to peppermint to soothe an upset stomach. Nowadays, it's common to steep the herb in tea: Drinking a cup can relax stomach muscles, helping indigestion and gas pass quickly. Those with belly issues triggered by acid reflux should pass on peppermint, but studies have proven it an effective antidote to bloating and cramps brought on by irritable bowel syndrome.

Astragalus

This root is considered an adaptogenic herb (something that protects the body from stress and disease), and its use dates back to ancient Chinese times. Astragalus is typically found in capsule form, and it can be taken to alleviate seasonal allergies. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm aggravated noses and eyes.

Parsley

Ladies: During that time of the month, adding extra parsley to your diet could be beneficial. The green herb contains apiol, a naturally occurring substance that can lessen the pain associated with menstrual cramps. And, since it acts as a mild diuretic, parsley can help reduce bloating. The herb is also believed to improve hormone balance, which can help PMS symptoms.

Sage

Doctors don't consider sage a cure for depression or anxiety, but many herbalists say it can be used to temporarily boost your mood. Some studies validate the thought, citing improvements in participants' alertness, calmness, and contentedness. The easiest way to take the herb is in pill form. Many also burn sage in their home to get rid of negative energy—a route to calm in its own right?

Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

In tea, food, or just on your windowsill, embrace the fragrance and fantastic healing potential of herbs.

Read More Show Less

By Ana Santos Rutschman

The world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug Administration. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned and will step down in early April. His temporary replacement is Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
MartinPrescott / iStock / Getty Images

On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as "high priority" for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA's record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated.

Read More Show Less
Strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of U.S. produce most contaminated with pesticides. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

Read More Show Less
A drilling rig in a Wyoming natural gas field. William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images

A U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal leases in Wyoming Tuesday, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when auctioning off the land, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Mizina / iStock / Getty Images

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Oats are widely regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat, as they're packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Read More Show Less
JPMorgan Chase building in New York City. Ben Sutherland / CC BY 2.0

By Sharon Kelly

A report published Wednesday names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.

Read More Show Less
Sriram Madhusoodanan of Corporate Accountability speaking on conflict of interest demand of the People's Demands at a defining action launching the Demands at COP24. Corporate Accountability

By Patti Lynn

2018 was a groundbreaking year in the public conversation about climate change. Last February, The New York Times reported that a record percentage of Americans now believe that climate change is caused by humans, and there was a 20 percentage point rise in "the number of Americans who say they worry 'a great deal' about climate change."

Read More Show Less