Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Herbal Healing Properties

Herbs from plants and plant extracts have been known for their healing properties since ancient times. Herbs are most commonly used to flavor meals. They can, however, also be used as medicine with profound healing properties. Herbs can be taken as medicine through food, capsules, oil extract, massage oil, tea infusions and steam wraps. Basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme are examples of common household herbs whose healing properties are often overlooked.


Basil is a green leafy plant that originates in Asia. Basil is a source of nutrients like magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, iron and calcium. According to The Natural Pharmacy, basil's essential oil has demonstrated "antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties." It has also been used to relieve gas, nausea, motion sickness, respiratory problems and indigestion. The high fiber content of basil leaves has been reported by The Natural Pharmacy to help alleviate some cases of diabetes. The seeds have also been discovered to ease constipation.


The Natural Pharmacy states that oregano oil can fight against E. coli, pneumonia, Salmonella and more. Oregano oil also has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. When commonly eaten as a seasoning on food, oregano has been used to treat infection, indigestion and ringworm. When oregano is applied on the skin, it can treat acne and athlete's foot.


Rosemary oil has strong antibacterial effects. It also has antioxidant properties. According to the Natural Pharmacy, "rosemary has been used in connection with atherosclerosis, indigestion and infection." The Natural Pharmacy also states that rosemary can be applied to the skin to treat rheumatoid arthritis pain. "It is even said to stimulate hair growth, boost mental activity and relieve respiratory problems."


Thyme helps stop excessive muscle spasms. More commonly, this herb has been used to treat the common cough. Thyme has additionally been used in the treatment of halitosis, indigestion, bronchitis, infection and whooping cough.


Herbs can be prepared as medicinal applications through capsules, oil extracts (to consume in small amounts or apply to the skin) and tea infusions. Herbs can also be applied on the skin as massage oil. Herbal steam wraps are often used in spas. The most common use of herbs as medicine, however, is in their traditional dry or fresh form as flavoring for food. There are many other herbs with specific healing properties. Consult with a professional for any herbal treatments you are interested in using.

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