Herbs and plants have been used for centuries for healing purposes.
In fact, they were the first form of medicine and remain very popular in the holistic world today. But do they actually live up to the hype? Let’s take a look at the top ten healing herbs and the powerful effects they have on the body.
Turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb for over 4,000 years. It’s been most commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, which stems from India. The practice focuses on eating foods that have healing properties.
Turmeric is believed to have anti-cancer properties and can prevent DNA mutation in the body. Curcumin in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Because of this, it helps to eliminate excess free radicals that can damage cells and lead to a number of health problems. It is highly recommended to be consumed regularly to maximize your health.
It can be taken as a supplement and it’s been used topically for people with arthritis and skin problems to help relieve pain. Today, it’s most commonly used as a cooking ingredient which makes it very easy to incorporate into your diet. Next time you are cooking a dish, try adding a pinch of turmeric to spice things up.
Tumeric Healing Properties:
- Gut health.
- Aids in weight loss.
- Skin health.
- Heart health.
This is probably one of the most ancient plants in modern use. Chamomile has a history going back at least 3,000 years as a medicinal plant. It also has been traced back to ancient Egypt where it was popularly used in food and drink.
With flowers that resemble small daisies, chamomile is another medicinal plant that’s thought to have anti-anxiety properties. Sometimes called “herbal aspirin”, chamomile has been used for centuries to lower pain and reduce inflammation. It is safe for long-term consumption with no side effects. Much unlike other anxiety medications that can be addicting and hard on the body. Studies have also shown that it is effective in treating depression and insomnia.
Most people know Chamomile as a popular tea flavor but it can also be ingested through liquids, capsules, or tablets. However it is consumed, this is one powerful healing herb!
- Aids in sleep
- Manages diabetes
- Helps with anxiety
- Calming effect
Sage has beautiful flowers and super soft leaves. This is a great plant to grow at home. The entire plant can be used for medical purposes since it is rich in antioxidants. If you are experiencing mouth issues such as halitosis or infections, sage can help greatly when it’s consumed or applied directly to the affected area. It’s been shown to boost brain and memory functions since it is so rich in nutrients.
Sage can be used as a cleaning agent or pesticide against unwanted bugs. Many people also use it for spiritual sage burning or smudging. It is said that when burned, sage can help purify the air and cleanse the space of negative energies. Because of this, sage has been used for centuries by Native Americans in religious rituals.
This healing herb is available fresh, dried, or in oil form at most grocery stores. As a spice, it is easy to add to almost any savory dish when cooking. Many people use sage in Holiday meals like Christmas or Thanksgiving. This is because it gives the dish an extra layer of flavor and it super beneficial when consumed.
- Great for oral health
- Boosts brain function
- Lowers cholesterol
- It can lower cancer risk
- It can reduce depression
- Amazing antiseptic
Calendula also goes by another more recognizable name, the common Marigold. These are fragrant plants with vibrant flowers that contain high amounts of antioxidants.
With powerful anti-inflammatory properties, calendula has been used since ancient times to treat inflammatory skin conditions. Today it is often used in skincare products for irritation, rashes, and minor wounds.
These plants not only keep your skin healthy but also help keep insects away when grown in your home. Plus they are beautiful to look at. Because of this, Calendula has made the list of the Top Ten Healing Herbs!
- Amazing for the skin
- Treats skin diseases
- Reduces inflammation
Some of the earliest people to use echinacea as a medicinal herb were Native Americans and it remains very popular today. Echinacea is known for having anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties. It is also a fantastic immunity booster. The most popular use of echinacea is for lessening flu symptoms and fighting off colds.
It also has calming properties that can help with anxiety and depression.
Today, it’s a very popular herbal supplement that’s available worldwide. One of the common ways to use Echinacea is to drink it in tea.
- Fights common colds
- Boost the immune system
- Treats anxiety
Ginger is arguably one of the most healing herbs of all time. If you don’t incorporate this into your diet, it’s time to start! Ginger is another versatile herb that is really easy to use either fresh or ground into a spice.
Like turmeric, it’s also an anti-inflammatory, so it’s a powerful remedy for indigestion, nausea, and diarrhea. Additionally, it can protect against stomach ulcers, treat menstrual cramps, and relieve flu symptoms. Raw ginger is relatively high in minerals and vitamins. The raw root provides the most bio-available source of minerals. In terms of vitamins, you can get a vitamin B6 and vitamin C boost from the ginger.
Ginger can be taken in pill form or incorporated into cooking for maximum results. Many people also use ginger in their teas, juices, and smoothies for an extra boost. Its sharp, tangy flavor adds a wonderful element to any dish or drink!
- Promotes gut health
- Boosts immune system
- Reduces cancer risks
- Lowers blood sugar
- Muscle pain relief
- Fights infections
In Ancient Egypt, the thyme was used for embalming. Greeks used it as incense in temples and added it to bath water for healing. The Romans placed it on coffins during funerals as it was believed to guarantee a safe passage to the next life.
Thyme is widely used as an aromatic plant. Its flowers and leaves have so many health benefits because of their anti-fungal, anti-viral, and antiseptic properties. It has been said to have a calming effect when burned which aids in sleeping and anxiety.
It is typically available fresh or dried and both can be used in cooking. Similar to Sage, Thyme provides a fragrant element to dishes and is traditionally used in Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
- Boosts immune system
- Oral health
- Calming effects
- Aids in sleep
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is primarily known as a natural way to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s used to treat mood swings, withdrawal symptoms, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
These medicinal plants are usually consumed as a concentrated pill or applied topically as an ointment.
It’s important to note that St. John’s Wort can severely impact a number of medications, especially if you are taking an SSRI uptake inhibitor (like Zoloft or Prozac). So, with this herb, make sure to consult your doctor before consuming or applying it to your body.
- Helps relieve symptoms of depression.
- Relieves anxiety and helps manage mood.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Soothes skin irritation.
The earliest recorded use of lavender dates back to ancient Egypt. There, lavender oil played a role in the mummification process. It also became a bath additive in ancient Greece and Rome. These cultures believed that lavender helped purify the body and mind. Back in the Middle Ages, people stuffed their pillows with lavender flowers to help them fall asleep and get a better night’s rest.
Aromatherapy can help patients manage the side effects of cancer treatment. Smell receptors send messages to the brain that can affect mood. Aromatherapy may also help adults who suffer from dementia.
Today, aromatherapists use lavender to treat headaches and nervousness or restlessness. Lavender is a wonderful sleep agent; it helps to calm the restless mind and reduce anxiety. Lavender tea can be used to treat sleep disorders, restlessness, and stomach irritation.
- Relieves anxiety
- Relieves headaches
Smash a clove of garlic; the odor comes from byproducts of allicin. This is the sulfur compound believed to be responsible for most of the herb’s medicinal benefits and what gives garlic its bite. When eaten daily, garlic can help lower heart disease risk, thins the blood, and acts as an antioxidant. Because it’s strongly antibacterial and anti-fungal, garlic can help with yeast infections, sinus infections, colds, and even repel unwanted bugs.
Garlic has germanium in it. Germanium is an anti-cancer agent, and garlic has more of it than any other herb.
Garlic’s sulfur compounds also appear to ward off cancer, especially stomach and colorectal cancer. The compounds flush out carcinogens before they can damage cell DNA. They force cancer cells that do develop to self-destruct.
Garlic is easiest to consume by adding the herb to dishes. Since it is such a versatile flavor, it works well in many dishes. It is one of the most powerful healing herbs, just beware of that garlic breath.
- Boosts immune system
- Promotes weight loss
- Fights colds
- Rich in antioxidants
- Lowers blood sugar
- Helps with allergies