With the latest pandemic, the world quickly learned how quickly hospitals can fill up. In certain parts of the world, the fear of being denied a hospital bed was a very real one. People began to realize that lifestyle choices can have a big impact on overall health and the ability to overcome a deadly novel virus.
The good news is that Mother Nature has provided humankind with a variety of powerful herbs that we can use to our benefit. While many herbs have exceptional flavor and are valued primarily for their taste, others have strong healing properties. Here are the top five herbs to collect and use for natural healing purposes.
1. Tea Tree Oil
This oil comes from the tea tree (native to Australia) and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s commonly used to heal a variety of skin conditions, including small wounds, athlete’s foot, insect bites, and mild acne.
Studies show that tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that make it a great natural remedy for topical infections. For safety purposes and to avoid becoming sensitized to tea tree oil, it’s important to dilute it before use in some sort of carrier oil (I recommend fractionated olive oil).
Tea tree oil is poisonous if consumed orally, so never add it to your drinks, foods, etc. Long-term use of this potent oil isn’t recommended, either, as it may influence hormones over time. But for short-term healing needs, it’s a great option.
2. Grapeseed Extract
Grapeseed extract shows great promise for boosting overall health. It has high antioxidant activity and has been shown to reduce poor circulation in the veins of the legs and lower bad cholesterol. There is even some research suggesting that regular consumption of grapeseed extract could help stop cancer cell growth! Grapeseed extract contains the same types of antioxidants that are found in wine.
Grape seed extract should not be taken before surgery or in conjunction with blood pressure medications or blood thinners. It’s also important to note that it may reduce the absorption of iron in the body.
Echinacea is a pretty coneflower that many people like to add to their gardens. But its value extends far beyond its looks. This purple flower has long been used to boost immunity and shorten the duration of the common cold. It can also help relieve upper respiratory infections and bronchitis.
Though it’s generally associated with very few negative side effects, some people do experience stomach upset after taking echinacea. Allergic reactions are also possible.
Lavender has a scent that many people find soothing. For this reason, lavender essential oil is often recommended for people who experience anxiety. But in addition to its relaxing benefits, lavender also has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is commonly used to relieve the symptoms of stress, anxiety, migraines and high blood pressure.
Before using lavender topically, remember to dilute it in a carrier oil. The oil can potentially disrupt hormones if it is applied in its full strength. You may also want to test it on a very small part of your body, since some people experience skin irritation when applying lavender oil. Do not take this oil orally.
5. Aloe Vera
The aloe vera plant looks a bit like a cactus, with thick, spiked leaves that store water. The gel inside the leaves has long been used to treat skin injuries. It has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can assist with wound healing. Aloe vera juice is particularly adept at killing Streptococcus mutans bacterium and Candida albicans yeast.
Aloe vera has few side effects when used topically. But if taken internally, it can cause diarrhea and stomach cramps.
If you’ve never tried some of these herbs and natural medicinal ingredients before, give them a try today! When combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, herbs may improve your body’s ability to heal itself.