10 Healing Plants and Their Uses

Long before traditional medicines, plants and herbs were used for healing and personal empowerment. Many of these medicinal plants and herbs can be grown in your garden, and they make for a beautiful garden.

Here are ten healing plants that you may consider for natural healing:

  1. Peppermint – Peppermint is available as leaves, capsules and oils. The therapeutic effects of peppermint leaves and oils have been known and used for centuries, dating back to ancient Egypt. Peppermint supports digestion and peppermint oil capsules have been shown to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome such as abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Topical applications of peppermint oil provides pain relief, hair and skin health and fresh breath, while aromatherapy relieves stress and headaches and reduces asthma and cold and flu respiratory symptoms.
  1. Lavender – Lavender flowers and oils have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender oil has been used to treat minor cuts and burns as it increases cell growth helping the wound to heal faster. Oil application may also decreases the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Lavender aromatherapy is useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression and restlessness.
  1. Ginger – Ginger root contains gingerol which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ginger is well known for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties. Health benefits include treatment of nausea, loss of appetite, motion sickness and pain. Ginger root can be consumed fresh, powdered, dried and used as a spice, in oil form, or as a potent juice.
  2. Chamomile – Chamomile refers to a family of daisy-like plants whose healing properties come from their daisy-like flowers. Since the Middle Ages, people have used chamomile and chamomile teas as a remedy for medical complaints including asthma, colic, fever, inflammation, nausea, restlessness and skin diseases. It is best known for its calming effect and is useful as a sleep aid. Chamomile tea may also be beneficial in the treatment of diarrhea, stomach ulcers, nausea and gas and bloating.
  1. Rosemary – This aromatic herb is known for both culinary and medicinal properties. Rosemary oil may be applied to the skin to preventing and treating baldness, improve circulation, relieve toothache pain, treat the skin condition eczema, and reduce joint or muscle pain including myalgia, sciatica, and intercostal (chest and rib) nerve pain. The most common medicinal use for rosemary is memory improvement. Rosemary and especially the flower tops, contains antibacterial and antioxidant rosmarinic acid. When pressed or crushed, rosemary also contains several essential oils including cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, and α-pinene, known to possess anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.
  1. Ginseng – Ginseng has been used for many centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac and to treat sexual dysfunction, but ginseng root has many additional health benefits. Both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax Ginseng) have been shown to increase energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress and promote relaxation. Ginseng is found in shampoos and conditioners as it stimulates the scalp and is believed to encourage hair growth.
  2. Dandelion – Dandelion is both an excellent food and medicine. Dandelion leaves provide leafy greens and fiber when eaten fresh while also helping prevent osteoporosis, calming the nervous system, improving digestion and the digestive tract, reducing sugar cravings and promoting clear skin. Dandelion is also high in Vitamin C which supports tissue healing. Dandelion tea helps detox the liver and kidneys and improves your skin and gut (stomach) health.
  3. Alfalfa – The alfalfa plant is an herbaceous perennial plant that has been cultivated for centuries, primarily as a grazing crop for livestock. Alfalfa and alfalfa sprouts are very low in calories but rich in vitamins, minerals, isoflavones and other phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds that mimic human estrogen. Vitamin K and phytoestrogens found in alfalfa can help reduce symptoms related to menopause and menstruation while building bones and preventing and treating osteoporosis. Alfalfa and alfalfa sprouts are known to be high-antioxidant foods, which help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  4. Thyme – Thyme is another culinary herb with a variety of medicinal uses. Thyme has been used throughout ancient history for embalming and protection from plague due to its antibacterial, insecticidal, and antifungal properties. Thyme oil obtained from its leaves is used as a natural cough remedy and to relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis. The flowers, leaves and oil of thyme are beneficial in the treatment of bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, whooping cough, flatulence and as a diuretic to promote and increase urination.
  5. Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne peppers contain capsaicin, an irritant that makes peppers hot, but which has metabolism-boosting and analgesic properties. When used topically, capsaicin also aids in controlling peripheral nerve pain or neuralgia. Cayenne pepper also contains vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and flavonoids. Cayenne dilates (opens up) blood vessels and helps increase blood flow to all parts of the body including your brain, more blood flow means more oxygen and nutrient supply. Dilated blood vessels also decrease resistance to blood flow and decreases blood pressure. The metabolism boosting properties of cayenne may also help burn body fat and aid in weight loss.

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