Several herbs are known for their medicinal properties. These medicinal herbs have been used since times immemorial. Even the ancient Indian text “Atharva Veda” mentions several medicinal herbs and their benefits. In modern times too, people are increasingly turning to medicinal herbs as a source of alternative therapy. One of the major benefits of medicinal herbs is that they have no major side effects. They differ from synthetically manufactured compounds in that they are composed of ingredients that work together to produce a synergistic effect. However, these ingredients are quite strong and should be taken in moderate amounts, as excessive use of these compounds can have hazardous effects on human health. Also, these compounds can interfere and interact with certain drugs, if taken at the same time. Hence, extreme caution should be employed while using herbs to cure medical ailments.
Some of the common medicinal herbs that are used in everyday life are:
Neem: Neem has been used for treating all sorts of skin problems for centuries. It contains Nimbidol and Gedunin, which have excellent fungicidal properties. The herb proves extremely effective in the treatment of skin disorders, such as warts, scabies, psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff.
Basil (Tulsi): Basil is worshipped in Indian culture as the purest and most sublime plant. It is extremely effective in treating skin disorders, as it is a blood purifier and kills bacteria. Basil tea (tea with basil leaves) provides relief to inflamed throat conditions as well.
Turmeric (Haldi): Turmeric has been used as a popular remedy for infections, injuries, boils, accident recovery etc, since ages.
Sandalwood (Chandan): Sandalwood is a unique plant that has an extraordinary fragrance. The bark of the sandalwood tree is extremely smooth and sandal paste is applied on the body to impart an extremely smooth, unblemished and lustrous look to the skin. The fragrance of sandalwood is also said to be a proven aphrodisiac.
Ginger Root: The soothing effect of ginger root has been known since ages. It is used as a treatment of choice to cure stomach ailments like nausea and vomiting.
Kava-Kava: The herb is mainly a sleep inducer and is very helpful for those seeking a good night’s sleep. The extract of this herb is marketed as medicine against anxiety, stress and insomnia. Due to its numbing effect on the throat and the tongue, the herb is also chewed by some to relieve symptoms of throat pain.
Feverfew: It is a traditional medicinal herb that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in curing arthritic and rheumatic pain. However, it can have adverse effects in certain individuals, in the form of mouth ulcers, gastrointestinal distress and even anti-platelet actions.
Violet: It is a very common household plant that can be used for treating cold symptoms related to the respiratory system.
St. Johns Wort: St. Johns Wort, also known as Tipton’s weed, is a very popular herb that is used for relieving anxiety and depression. Extracts of this herb can be found in the form of capsules, tablets and also tinctures and teabags.