Vital Medical Plants and Herbs

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Vital Medical Plants and Herbs

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  • January 9, 2022
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1. Echinacea

Purple echinacea flowers
Purple echinacea flowers

Echinacea is a genus or group of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae). The Echinacea genus has nine species, which are commonly called purple coneflowers. They are found only in eastern and central North America, where they are found growing in moist to dry prairies and open wooded areas. Four species are recognized at present; one, E. purpurea, is native to much of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains, while two others, E. Angustifolia and E. pallida, extend well beyond that range

Echinacea extracts were used for years by Native Americans as an herbal remedy before it was officially discovered by early settlers to America. Native Americans used Echinacea as a generic medication, especially for snake bites and smallpox. It was also commonly designated for use on wounds caused by burning arrows. Echinacea is traditionally consumed orally as tea or tincture (alcoholic) preparation, or occasionally as an ingredient in smoking mixtures.

It has been suggested that some preparations of echinacea might reduce the duration of colds if taken immediately when symptoms first appear; however, results of clinical studies are unclear and insufficient to form a firm conclusion. Echinacea extracts had no effect on the incidence of colds or severity of symptoms in many cold trials performed over several years with large numbers of participants; one study did demonstrate reduced illness duration and symptom severity, but only with the hot-water extract. However, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials concluded that the use of echinacea preparations may reduce the length of common colds by about four days and reduce the severity of symptoms by about half a point on average on a 0 to 3 point scale.

There is no high-quality evidence that echinacea can treat cancer or hepatitis B, although it is commonly used as a treatment for these conditions. It appears to be safe when taken by mouth in recommended doses, but there are safety concerns related to its long-term use and interactions with drugs. There is insufficient evidence that taking echinacea orally will prevent illness after exposure to the causative agent. In people with HIV/AIDS, oral use of echinacea has been linked with a decrease in CD4 T cells. In the majority of cases, allergic reactions are mild and can include rashes or itching. There is insufficient evidence to support its use for treating hay fever.

2. Ginseng

Green plants
Ginseng plants

Ginseng refers to any one of 11 species of slow-growing perennial plants with fleshy roots, belonging to the genus Panax of the family Araliaceae. Used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Asian ginseng is considered a tonic that supposedly improves physical stamina and enhances libido. In North America, it has been used as an adaptogen and general tonic, as well. Ginseng is characterized by the presence of ginsenosides and gintonin.

Ginseng root has been used in various herbal remedies for centuries to help improve overall health, especially as an anti-inflammatory treatment. It contains antioxidants, which are compounds that inhibit oxidation and reduce free radicals throughout the body that can cause disease or illness. While studies haven’t found ginseng to be effective for reducing inflammation, some research suggests it may prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and enhance cognitive function. Most studies done on ginseng have studied Asian varieties grown in China. More high-quality clinical trials are needed to confirm where exactly ginseng works best for specific illnesses.

Many people use Asian red ginseng for increasing energy and mental alertness, to reduce stress, enhance the immune system, prevent colds and flu, increase stamina, fight fatigue and age-related illness.

Red ginseng is one of the most expensive herbal remedies in the world; therefore, it may not be as effective as other cheaper alternatives. Ginseng can also interact with some types of medications, such as blood thinners like aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin). People should always consult a doctor before taking any kind of medication while taking ginseng.

3. Eucalyptus


Eucalyptus oil has long been recognized as an antiseptic that disinfects wounds, helps relieve muscle pain, lowers fevers, eliminates phlegm and promotes sweating. This oil is used to treat respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis, influenza, colds, coughs, and sore throats. It’s also said to help reduce stress, improve concentration, and enhance the immune system. But there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims or how eucalyptus oil compares with other common remedies.

Eucalyptus is generally well-tolerated in recommended doses for short periods of time (up to three months). However, it can be toxic when taken by mouth or applied directly to the skin in large amounts. That’s because this essential oil contains chemicals that are harmful to the liver if consumed in high amounts. It might also cause skin irritation, so it should be used sparingly and/or diluted with a carrier oil.

Many people use eucalyptus oil for respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis, coughs, colds and the flu, earaches, sore throats, sinus infections and tonsillitis. But there isn’t enough evidence to rate the effectiveness of this herb for these conditions. Some studies suggest that inhaling steam with eucalyptus oil improves symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but other studies don’t confirm this benefit.

Studies on using eucalyptus essential oil haven’t found any conclusive evidence that it works against Ida yeasts or viruses like colds and flu, yeast infections, or HIV.

4. Garlic


Garlic has been used as both food and medicine for more than 7,000 years. It’s part of the Allium family, which also includes onions, leeks and chives. The bulb of the plant contains compounds such as allicin, alliin and others that are responsible for its pungent odour and numerous health benefits. Preliminary research suggests these substances may help lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar in people with diabetes. They might also have antimicrobial properties to help fight off bacteria, viruses or fungi. But scientists aren’t sure how these natural chemicals work in the body to produce these effects.

Garlic is well known for its ability to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure. This herb might reduce the risk of a heart attack in people who already have high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Garlic might also prevent colon cancer when taken along with certain other substances found in vegetables such as sulforaphane.

5. Valerian

Roots and rhizomes Valerian officinalis
Roots and rhizomes Valerian officinalis

Valerian, a perennial flowering plant, has been used as an herbal remedy since the second century AD for sleep problems, anxiety, stress and tension. The root of this plant contains several compounds that may be responsible for many of its health effects, including valerenic acid and acetoxyvalerenic acid (among). Early evidence suggests these chemicals might help reduce anxiety in people with generalized anxiety disorder, but there isn’t enough research to support the use of valerian for these conditions. Valerian seems to be most effective when combined with other natural healing products. Further research is needed to determine whether valerian is an effective treatment for insomnia or depression.

Valerian might cause side effects in some people, such as headache, excitability, heart palpitations and stomach upset. It shouldn’t be taken along with prescription sedatives, like benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax). People who are intoxicated or have liver problems also should avoid this herb.

6. Chamomile

Chamomile close up.
Chamomile closes up.

Chamomile is a flowering plant that’s native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It’s a common additive to both beer and root beer, as well as a key ingredient in children’s apple juice. Chamomile is used to treat stomach pain, vomiting, bowel spasms or convulsions, sore throats, allergies, headaches, hemorrhoids, and wounds. In addition to being an effective sedative for adults with insomnia.

7. Meadowsweet

Herbal tea from meadowsweet dry on a spoon
Herbal tea from meadowsweet dry on a spoon

Meadowsweet was used by Native Americans before the pilgrims stepped ashore. It was known as a natural pain reliever that also helped with digestive issues such as ulcers and gallstones. Some studies have shown that meadowsweet contains salicylic acid, which is closely related to aspirin. Thus, this herb has been used on occasion instead of aspirin.

8. Mullein

Yellow Verbascum
Yellow Mullein

Mullein has been used for centuries throughout Europe and America to treat respiratory infections. It is a powerful expectorant and anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it extremely effective in the treatment of bronchitis and other types of pulmonary infections. Furthermore, mullein can be applied topically to help heal wounds, cleanse ulcers, sores, or rashes. A word of caution though: Mulleins are highly flammable so never use this herb near an open flame!

9. Ginger

“Ginger all”
“Ginger all”

Ginger has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for about 2000 years as means of preventing nausea caused by motion sickness or pregnancy. Today ginger is most commonly found in foods and medicines to prevent nausea and vomiting. It is also used for treating colds and fever and may be applied topically to speed wound healing.

Early trials suggest that ginger might help asthma, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, colic in babies or infants with gastroenteritis, post-operative inflammation and pain including headache. The effect of ginger on upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold has been tested in many studies but it remains unclear whether ginger helps against these infections.

Ginger comes from the root of Zingiber officinale, a herbaceous perennial plant native to tropical Asia. Ginger powder, one of the most common forms of dried ginger, is ground from the dried roots of certain Zingiber officinale plants. Ginger is also available in fresh and dried forms. However, all forms of ginger are best known for their pungent flavour and spicy smell. Ginger contains a variety of chemicals like shoals, schools, and gingerols, which may explain some of its medicinal properties. For instance, gingerols have been shown to help reduce nausea by blocking an active ingredient in seasickness that can trigger vomiting.

Other effects of taking ginger are mild heartburn, diarrhea, intestinal gas ( flatulence ), loss of appetite, mouth irritation, bad breath, changes in taste perception, dizziness and contact dermatitis. Taking large amounts of ginger may cause sweating or flushing, heart palpitations or shortness of breath.

Ginger is generally considered safe when consumed in normal food quantities. Very high doses can cause heartburn or diarrhea. It is thought ginger works by blocking the body’s ability to feel nausea, but it is not known exactly how this effect occurs. Furthermore, studies are needed to prove whether ginger really helps against upper respiratory tract infections.

10. CBD oil

Cannabs medical product, CBD oil, with hemp leaves on a black dish
Cannabs medical product, CBD oil, with hemp leaves on a black dish

Cannabidiol (CBD) has become a very popular supplement since the CNN documentary on medical marijuana was shown in 2013. CBD oil may be used for many different reasons and there are huge claims about its power. But does it work? What are the side effects? What conditions can it help with?

What CBD Oil Is, And What It Is Not?

CBD oil is an extract of cannabidiol acid, a natural component of the industrial-grade hemp plant. Hemp has been grown for millennia in Asia and the Middle East for its fibrous seeds and oils; European colonists introduced hemp to North America in the 1600s. Unlike marijuana ‘smokables,’ CBD Oil does not contain psychoactive properties.

A “full-spectrum” oil contains CBD and other chemical components of cannabis plants, such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBN (Cannabinoid) and trace amounts of CBG, CBC and other cannabinoids, but in low concentrations that do not cause psychoactivity. While CBD is derived from, it contains only very small traces of THC, the active psychotropic component in cannabis. CBD oil products are therefore completely non-psychoactive.

CBD Oil is Not Psychoactive Like Marijuana … it does not contain enough THC to cause mind-altering effects! A few independent studies, with small sample sizes, have shown that people who take pharmaceutical grades CBD feel relaxed and sleep better than those who do not use it. So far, there are no large clinical trials on safety or effectiveness for any serious diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, MS  or Alzheimer’s, so talk to your doctor before using a supplement. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) still has a ban on the sale of CBD supplements because they contain trace amounts of THC. You can, however, purchase CBD oil over the counter in some states.

It is not yet clear whether CBD oil may affect conditions like diabetes or heart disease, but there is some preliminary research that has shown that it may be useful for these kinds of diseases. A 2012 review found limited evidence that it improves anxiety in people with cancer. It was also found to reduce seizures due to epilepsy by about 50%. Some studies show significant pain reduction and better sleep quality, too.

CBD Oil Side Effects List – Human Studies Show Minimal Side Effects, But…

The most common side effects include fatigue/tiredness, diarrhea, changes in weight (more likely if taking high doses), nausea or vomiting, cramps/pain, irritability, changes in the menstrual cycle, insomnia. CBD oil may cause low blood pressure and lightheadedness. Large doses may cause a drop in blood pressure and fainting. In some cases, CBD oil has led to liver problems, especially at high doses. This needs further study.

11. Hemp seed oil

Hemp seeds and hemp oil, copy space
Hemp seeds and hemp oil, copy space

Hemp seed oil is a source of omega 3 fatty acids and several vegan groups recommend it as a replacement for fish oil. Omega 3 fatty acids help with depression, arthritis, asthma [22], cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular health. It can lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising HDL levels. Furthermore, hemp seeds are composed of 20% protein, 27% carbohydrates, 9% fibre, and 5% insoluble ash. The oil also contains a considerable amount of lecithin, which is said to help emulsify the oil.

12. Lemon Balm

Melissa or lemon balm
Melissa or lemon balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is often used in herbal medicine to reduce stress and anxiety. It has been found that lemon balm can increase MDA levels in mice by 45%, but not for longer than four hours after administration. This shows promise in the treatment of oxidative damage and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, it could be useful in fighting cancerous cells since it induces apoptosis when introduced to liver cancer cells. One study has found that lemon balm can even enhance the immune system. However, it has no effect on normal blood cells. The cytotoxic effects of lemon balm can be enhanced with salt, which lyses cancerous cells quickly and efficiently.

Lemon balm is a common herb in food and drinks such as herbal teas. It can reduce depression and anxiety by increasing GABAergic activity within the brain. As well as inhibiting MAO enzymes from working, it also increases dopamine levels, which improves mood. Furthermore, an Italian study found that there is a genetic link between depression and monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibition, which could explain why extracts of lemon balm were so effective at treating depression.

Lemon balm also has the ability to enhance memory formation, which is linked to acetylcholine levels in the brain [36]. This means that lemon balm could be useful in slowing Alzheimer’s disease since it can reduce oxidative damage within the brain and neurons, which are some of its manifestations. Furthermore, it is recommended for people with sleeping disorders because it calms you down while enhancing your overall health by lowering blood pressure [38] and stimulating digestion.

The fresh or dried leaves can be used to make tea or extracts that are added to other drinks. It should not be consumed in combination with MAO inhibitor drugs. Not enough research has been conducted on humans to conclude if there are any serious side effects.

Lemon balm leaves can be bought as a supplement in tablet form at many pharmacies and health shops, as well as online. The recommended dosage is 300mg of dried leaf extract three times daily.

13. Turmeric

Indian turmeric powder and root. Turmeric spice. Ground turmeric
Indian turmeric powder and root. Turmeric spice. Ground turmeric

Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) has been part of the Indian system of medicine for thousands of years, and it is still used today, among other traditional treatments, to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. A compound found within turmeric called curcumin inhibits NF-κB which regulates immune cells that contribute to inflammation. While not all studies show evidence for this, some have shown that turmeric reduces pain and swelling associated with osteoarthritis after only one week of treatment.

Turmeric can also be used to treat upset stomachs by helping the digestive system heal inflamed areas within the gastrointestinal tract. It may also help to prevent some types of cancer because it has antioxidant properties that eliminate free radicals that are associated with cancer formation. They have found that turmeric works more effectively in combination with black pepper, which contains a compound called piperine that enhances curcumin absorption into the bloodstream. This means applying turmeric to certain foods or taking turmeric supplements will work faster if they are taken along with black pepper.

Side effects of using turmeric include an increased risk of bleeding so it should not be taken while on blood-thinning medications. It may also lead to nausea, heartburn, diarrhea and indigestion if taken in large doses [46]. 

14. Aloe vera

Green spiky boi. Aloe Vera or what not. Download it, it looks cool.
Green spiky boi. Aloe Vera

Aloe is a genus of about 500 species of flowering succulent plants that are found naturally in dry climates throughout the world. Aloes are frequently used as ornamental plants because they have colorful flowers and attractive foliage. The leaves are typically fleshy with spiny margins that range from 0.5-2 cm depending on the plant’s variety. They contain high concentrations of aloin which has laxative properties, making them useful for treating constipation or indigestion. Aloe gel can be used on sunburns to cool the skin and relieve pain.

It is also used to speed up the healing of wounds, including burns. Aloins are useful for treating hemorrhoids and inflammation of the bowel. In addition, aloe gel is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects and stimulate the immune system. It is also used for fevers, diabetes, TB, cancer, arthritis pain and fungal infections. Furthermore; It is beneficial for psoriasis patients because it contains anthraquinones that possess antipsoriatic properties that are thought to work by clearing the body of excess skin cells.

Furthermore; Aloe also contains salicylic acid that is related to aspirin. It can reduce pain and inflammation, which is helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis.

15. Sarsaparilla

Indian Ayurvedic Sarsaparilla
Indian Ayurvedic Sarsaparilla

Sarsaparilla root has been used as a remedy for rheumatism and arthritis. In some cultures, it has been known to treat venereal disease and aid blood circulation of the lower limbs.

Sarsaparilla contains steroid saponins which decrease inflammation in the body due to their anti-inflammatory properties. They have also been shown to eliminate free radicals from the body because they are antioxidants so they may help to protect cells from damage that leads to cancer formation. The root is also believed to be a diuretic and so may reduce water retention in the body.

Sarsaparilla has been studied against several types of cancer including skin, prostate and breast cancers. Extracts from sarsaparilla have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumour cells by stopping the division of cancer cells and inducing apoptosis (cell death). Sarsaparilla prevents angiogenesis, which is the formation of a new blood supply necessary for tumour survival.

These extracts have been shown to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of leukemia cells . Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer and diuretic effects can be obtained from sarsaparilla root.

In Europe red clover was employed as a herbal remedy long before scientific evidence proved its effectiveness. It has been used since Roman times to treat conditions such as skin inflammation, urinary infections and menopausal problems .

16. Ephedra sinica

close up photo of a bowl with sesame seeds

Ephedra is used as a treatment for respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis or bronchitis. In the west, it is more commonly known as an illegal substance that was banned by the FDA in 2004 but has recently been recognized as a weight loss agent because of its stimulant properties. Ephedrine is a powerful alkaloid found in the leaves of this plant that stimulates alpha and beta receptors on adipocytes (fat cells) to release fat into the bloodstream where it is consumed. Although the FDA has recently allowed ephedra to be sold as a dietary supplement, they require all products to carry a warning that the product is poisonous and can even lead to death.

17. Red Clover

Red clover sprout
Red clover sprout

Traditionally, red clover has been used to reduce symptoms associated with the pre-menstrual syndrome as well as menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Red clover contains a compound called formononetin, which is a phytoestrogen and therefore acts like estrogen to alleviate these symptoms.


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Categories: Plants