In this series we will go over a few plants and herbs that have been traditionally used medicinally throughout history.
First of it is important to note that this a blog for informational purposes only and is not meant to be used as medical advice. It is always best to do proper research before deciding on any medicinal herbs or plants to use. If you are taking any prescription medication we recommend talking to your physician about interaction or any potential side effects before starting any herbal remedies.
Turmeric root (pictured above) contains a yellow colored chemical called curcumin. Curcumin is unique in that it is used as a dye for coloring foods and cosmetics. Tumeric is a herbal supplement commonly used as an anti-inflammatory agent to reduce swelling and pain, but it has also been known to be used for a variety of other medical issues. Those issues ranging from the mundane; such as high cholestrol and itching to more complex problems such as depression, hay fever, and even certain types of liver disease. It is important to NOT confuse traditional turmeric root with Japanese turmeric root(curcuma zedoaria).
Ginger (pictured below) contains a special bioactive compound gingerol that has been found to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Ginger hs been know to be used to treat many forms of nausea including but not limited to morning sickness, however it has also shown to be effective at reducing muscle pain and soreness including exercise related muscle soreness.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in reducing pain suffered from arthritic problems. Studies have found that ginger when used in combination with other natural curatives can reduce pain and stiffness when applied topically.
Ginger has been known to ease bowel movements, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and other related gastric issues. It can help fight infections and the extract may be used to inhibit the growth of many different types of bacteria. One such example is that ginger has shown to be effective against oral bacteria in the gums like gingivitis and periodontitis.
Cinnamon (pictured below) is an amazing multi-purpose spice. There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia.
we all know that cinnamon is great on toast, rolls, and other deserts; but cinnamon has a variety of health benefits as well. This spice has been used since ancient times to treat medical conditions like respiratory illness, gynecological issues, and digestive problems.
Studies have shown that cinnamon may help influence blood glucose levels and lower cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.
Some studies have shown that cinnamon has properties that help to hasten overall weight loss along with healthy living and exercise, while others have shown that cinnamon helps to improve a wide variety of medical conditions.
Black pepper is a spice made by grinding the dried berries of the vine Piper Nigrum (pictured above). these dried berries (commonly referred to as peppercorn) have been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine due to its high concentration of potent, beneficial plant compounds. Black Pepper is rich in antioxidants that may help to prevent or delay the damaging effects of free radicals. Studies have been done to test the anti-inflamatory properties of black pepper and it was found to contain a compound that has been shown to decrease inflammation in mice. The study in question has not made it clear as to the beneficial effects for humans.
Black Pepper may just be a boost for cognitive functioning. Rodent studies have shown that piperine extract seems to decrease the formation of amyloid plaques, which are clumps of damaging protein fragments in the brain that have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Studies on rodents also suggest that the piperine in black pepper may be a natural pain reliever.
Black pepper may also lower cholesterol levels. In rodent testing, results have shown that it can boost the absorption of potential cholesterol-lowing supplements. Test also show that it could have cancer-fighting properties, boost absorption of nutrients, promote gut health and offer pain relief.
Deborah Wilson July 2020