In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of people seeking natural and cheap herbal remedies to either compliment or replace western alternatives for common ailments. However with such a vast array of alternative medicines on the market how do you know where to begin?
Recently herbs and their efficacy have come under fire, with regulations being put in place to ensure that only those that have been proven as completely safe are allowed on shop shelves. Many health professionals also warn that there are some ailments which are too severe or complicated to be treated without consulting a doctor or hospital.
So, whilst it is recommended that you consult your doctor should you want to integrate herbal remedies as part of your daily life, or use them to treat a condition, generally herbs used to help common ailments are easy to use with dosage instructions and recommended length of ingestion detailed on the label.
When you do begin to take herbs be sure to pay attention to any changes in your body. For example if you experience any negative side effects such as skin issues, headaches and tiredness etc, or if you notice zero positive side effects then it may be time to discontinue use and try an alternative.
To give you an idea of common ailments which can often be treated effectively with herbal remedies, listed below are ten of the most frequently used and the conditions they are used to treat.
1. Aloe vera: Used to treat minor burns and can be applied as a gel from the actual leaf.
2. Black cohosh: A commonly used alternative remedy to ease symptoms of the menopause. Many women find it an effective in reducing hot flashes.
3. Boswellia: Otherwise known as frankincense this herb is effective in treating arthritis pain, joint injuries and swelling.
4. Chaste tree: Used by women who haven’t yet reached the menopause for reducing premenstrual pains.
5. Chamomile: Assists digestion by calming stomach inflammation.
6. Coffee: The caffeine helps with pain relief by blocking pain perception and can also work as a decongestant for colds, flue and asthma.
7. Cranberry: Helps urinary tract infection/cystitis.
8. Evening primrose oil: Used for many purposes including lowering cholesterol, as an anti-inflammatory for rheumatoid arthritis and for bone pain that comes with osteoporosis.
9. Echinacea: Helps to support the immune system and combats colds and flue.
10. Feverfew: Used as a remedy for migraines.