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
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
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
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.