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You are here : home > Health > General Health > Herbal medicines for common health problems

Herbal medicines for common health problems

More and more people are turning to herbal remedies nowadays. Here is a guide to the medicinal applications of some common herbs. Learn these simple tips to avoid your frequent doctor visits to treat common health concerns.

In the olden days, when a person fell ill, he would not run to the doctor immediately. Instead, he would use a local herbal remedy. More often than not, he would be cured in no time. Today, the tendency is to pop pills the moment one feels even slightly unwell. However, frequent usage of such medicines is not a good thing. These are chemically prepared compounds so your liver has to work harder to break them down in your body.

Herbal medicines are natural in origin so your body can recognise them easily. They function on the principle of treating the ailment without causing any major disturbance to the rest ofyour body. Here are some herbs that can be used to cure minor aches and pains.


It is derived from the flowers of the Arnica plant and is available in the form of oil, ointment, or tincture. A tincture is an alcohol-based derivative of the herb. When applied locally, the herb decreases the redness associated with skin irritations. In addition, it lessens pain related to acne, bruises, and haemorrhoids. A word of caution though. Arnica is toxic in nature and should never be ingested orally or applied directly to an open wound.

Aloe Vera

The aloe vera plant is relatively small and can be grown in your own garden. Aloe vera is used primarily as a gel or in the form of a lotion. If you are obtaining it directly from the plant, you can simply cut off a few leaves and remove their outer covering to collect the gel.

Aloe vera is famed for its soothing properties. When applied over the skin, aloe vera gives great relief from sunburns, chemical burns, and skin inflammations. In lotion form, aloe vera is a constituent of most moisturisers. However, for commercial preparations, ensure that aloe vera is one of the major constituents otherwise it will not be very effective as a skin care option.


Like arnica, calendula too is obtained from the flowers of the calendula plant. It is available in cream, oil, tincture, and ointment form and is meant for topical use only. Topical medicines are those that are applied to the skin, mainly to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Calendula is famous for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to cure diaper rash, eczema, skin irritations, shaving cuts, and other minor abrasions. An effective calendula preparation is one that contains at least ten percent of the herb in it.


Chamomile is known primarily as a stress reliever. Chamomile tea is a great way to relax both the mind and the body when confronted by stressful situations. It may also be ingested as a tincture. To relieve stress, chamomile prevents the spasms that occur in the digestive system. Chamomile is also available as an essential oil. When applied topically, it gives relief to skin inflammations.


Eucalyptus is a common tree whose leaves possess healing properties. Eucalyptus oil containing hundred percent eucalyptus is available in most chemist stores and has been approved for medicinal use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Eucalyptus oil is usually applied over the chest region, when an individual is suffering from a cold or cough. It relieves chest congestion.

Tea Tree Oil

The leaves of the tea tree are removed and undergo an extraction and distillation process to obtain oil. Tea tree oil is an extremely potent anti-fungal agent and can be used in the treatment of yeast infections like athlete's foot. It also has anti-bacterial properties and can be used to combat acne. A third use of this marvellous oil is that it can be applied to insect bites and sunburnt skin to minimise the pain and inflammation. The oil may be used in its pure form or it may be diluted with water, depending on the severity of the problem and the sensitivity of your skin. As with arnica and calendula, this oil is not to be ingested.

Herbal medicine has made remarkable strides and is gaining acceptance among mainstream doctors. The only precaution is to use herbs only as indicated. If in doubt, contact a professionally qualified herbal practitioner and seek clarification.

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