Medicinal Uses of Garlic

Garlic also known by its scientific name as allium sativum is widely known for its healing properties. It increases body strength and energy. Garlic has for centuries been used as a remedy for many ailments and conditions.

Top 5 Medicinal Uses of Garlic Remedies

Ulcer

Garlic has got antibiotic qualities that relieve not only intestinal upsets but also ulcer. Eating 7-9cloves of garlic a day with milk enables the agents in garlic work as a relaxer and calms down the acids.

Skin Infections

Rub freshly mashed garlic in a piece of cotton gauze on the infected area. The infection can be acne or even athlete’s foot. This process heals after repeated procedures.

Common Cold

Garlic is an essential ingredient in healing colds. When mixed with honey it is a very effective home remedy for common colds, hoarseness and inflammation of the throat. The procedure should be repeated every hour.

Diabetes

This natural wonder is effective in curing diabetes. It contains a certain chemical compound called allicin which combines with vitamin B1 to stimulate the pancreas to release insulin.

Blood Clots

When crushed, garlic produces a compound called Aioene that is said to be an anti-clotting substance that reduces the formation of blood clots. Research has also shown that compound in garlic help blood clots dissolve quicker.

Aging

It contains antioxidants that help in destroying free radicals. These free radicals when they accumulate do cause a lot of damage at the cellular that result in premature aging.

References

  1. http://www.gourmetgarlicgardens.com/health.htm
  2. http://www.essortment.com/all/benefitsofgar_rvrz.htm
  3. http://www.ivillage.co.uk/health/comp/herb/articles/0,12709,181042_183722-2,00.html
  4. http://www.quality-nutritional-supplements.com/health-medicinal-benefits-of-garlic.html
  5. http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/health-medicinal-benefits-of-garlic.html
  6. http://www.naturalherbsguide.com/garlic.html

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How to Make Herbal Capsules

How to Make Herbal Capsules

Herbal capsules are one of many ways to take herb remedies, in addition to herbal teas, tinctures and decoctions. Capsules are designed to hold their contents until they can be released in your digestive tract. They are usually easy to swallow and digest, and offer a convenient way to take bitter, unpleasant herb remedies that are too unpalatable to be comfortably drunk as herbal tea. Herbal gel capsules are also a convenient way to carry herbs when you travel to work, school or on road trips.

DIY Herbal Capsules

You can easily purchase natural, pharmaceutical grade capsules over the counter at a health store. However, if you prefer a more hands-on approach to herbal remedies, you can make your own herbal capsules. Many specialty or health food stores and herb supply catalogs sell empty capsules as well as capsule-packing devices.  One advantage of making your own is that you can custom-fill the herbal capsules with powdered herbs or vitamins of your choice.

Things You’ll Need

  • Empty gelatin capsules
  • Dried herbs of your choice
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Capsule filling filler machine (optional)
  • Tamper-proof container
  1. Purchase pharmaceutical capsules from a specialty or health food store. These capsules are typically available in three sizes: 0, 00 and 000, with “0” being the smallest in size.
  2. Crush and powder your dried herb in a pestle-and-mortar, or in a coffee grinder. If you are using more than one herb, mix the powdered herbs in the appropriate proportions.
  3. Measure the amount of powdered herb that fits into each capsule, so that you won’t exceed the recommended dosage. On average, the 000 size capsule has a fill weight of about 1300 mg.
  4. Fill each capsule by hand or using a capsule filling machine (See Resources below). Fill it with as much powdered herb a can fit into the longer half. A capsule machine can fill several capsules at a time in minutes.

How to Make an Herbal Syrup

How to Make an Herbal Syrup

Herbal syrups are a convenient yet effective way to administer herbal remedies to children or make bitter herbal compounds more palatable. They are also an excellent form for administering home remedies for mouth, throat and bronchial conditions. Herbal syrups are quick and simple to prepare.

Things
Dried herbs of your choice.
2 cups water
Pan with lid
1 ½ cups honey (or sugar)

*Prepare an herbal tea from an herb of your choice. Chamomile, peppermint, calendula and rose hip are popular herbs for home remedies.
*Pour two cups of the herbal tea into a pan and cover it. Bring it to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
*Stir in 11/2 cups of either sugar or honey. Let it heat until all the sugar or honey dissolves.
*Pour the syrup into an air-tight jar and store it away in the fridge.

Method #2: Here is a second method for making herbal syrups.
*Measure out 2 1/2 pounds of brown sugar into a pan. Pour on 2 cups of water.
*Stir this over low heat till all the sugar dissolves. Allow the solution to come to a boil.
*Remove the pan from the heat.
*Measure out one part herbal tincture to three parts syrup and mix thoroughly.
*Pour the syrup into an airtight jar and store it away in the fridge.
*Administer the herbal syrup to kids in doses of two teaspoons at a time, three to four times a day.

How to Make an Herbal Tincture

How to Make an Herbal Tincture

An herbal tincture is a medicinal liquid extract that is obtained from fresh or dried herbs. It is a highly-concentrated solution of therapeutic compounds in an alcoholic or non-alcoholic solvent. Tincturing is a simple, effective method to extract the medicinally-active chemicals from an herb.

Benefits of Herbal Tinctures

Tinctures are among the most popular forms of herbal medication in use today. Part of their great appeal derives from their ease of use and prolonged shelf life: once tinctured, an herb can keep up to two years while retaining its medicinal potency.

Talking about potency, tinctures are also more potent than herbal tea. According to the Australasian College of Health Sciences, one teaspoon of tincture has the medicinal potency of one cup of an herbal infusion.

Another key benefit of a tincture is that, unlike an herbal infusion, the process of tincturing extracts and preserves both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble medicinal compounds from the herbs.

Fresh or Dried Herbs

An herbal tincture can made from either fresh or dried herbs. However, fresh herbs are preferred for maximum potency. If you cannot get fresh herbs, try to purchase high quality, organic herbs from a reliable supplier.

If you are using fresh herbs, clean and sort through them to discard any yellow, moldy or rotting parts. Chop up the fresh herbs, which will help to open up the cell walls to the alcohol, and also speeds up the tincturing process. Work quickly so as not to let freshly-chopped or macerated herbs sit out too long. The medicinal compounds oxidize fast, which results in a less potent tincture.

According to Rosemary Gladstar, a good ratio of herb material to alcohol is:

  • 1 part herb to 3 parts alcohol for fresh material
  • 1 part herb to 5 parts alcohol for dried herb

Avoid using powdered herbs for your tincture. The powder may be difficult to filter out at the end of the process, and will settle at the bottom of your final product.

Tincture Solvents

Alcohol, vinegar and vegetable glycerin are the most commonly used liquids for preparing tinctures. They not only serve as a solvent that extracts the active chemical constituents in herbal material, but also act as a preservative. The liquid you use for tincturing is called the menstruum.

Alcohol, such as vodka, brandy and rum, is the most popular and effective solvent for tincturing, writes the Australasian College of Health Sciences.  The recommended strength you should use is 60- to 100-proof alcohol.

Vinegar and glycerin are used when alcohol cannot be used for religious, medical reasons or moral reasons. Ideally, you should use apple cider vinegar because it has healthy properties of its own. Keep in mind that a tincture made with vinegar will need to be refrigerated.

Tincture Containers

  • When choosing a container to make bottle your tincture in, choose glass, enamel or clay – not metal.
  • If you use glass make sure that it is a dark-colored glass bottle, which will protect your tincture from sunlight.
  • A wide-mouthed bottle works well for the tincturing process, while a narrow-mouthed bottle is well-suited for storing and dispensing the tincture.
  • If you use vinegar as your tincturing medium, you should use a jar that has a plastic or glass cover because it reacts with metal. Sandwich a plastic bag between the jar and lid if you have to use a metal cap to prevent rust contamination.
  • Sterilize your bottles and droppers by washing them in hot water or steaming them.
  • How to Make Herbal Tinctures

    You can make your own high-quality tincture at home fairly inexpensively. The basic ingredients required are some fresh or dried herbs and a high-quality solvent such as vodka or grain alcohol.

    Things You Need Fresh or dried herbs of your choice 80-proof vodka, rum or brandy Glass jar with tight-fitting lid Muslin or cheesecloth, unbleached Dark-colored glass bottle Labels

    Instructions

    1. Fill two thirds of the jar with the herbs. Add the alcohol, filling the jar almost all the way to the top. Leave about one inch at top to serve as headroom.
    2. Stir the jar contents to get rid of any trapped air bubbles, which can cause spoilage, and to mix the herbs and alcohol thoroughly.
    3. Cover and seal the jar tightly. Shake the jar contents thoroughly for about one minute. Label and date it clearly.
    4. Put the jar in a warm, dark place to let the herbs soak or macerate for the next three to six weeks (the longer the better). Placing it in a paper bag can work just as well.
    5. Shake the jar vigorously once or twice a day during this period, checking to make sure that the herb material remains covered in alcohol. Add more alcohol as needed.
    6. After three to six weeks, strain out the herb material using cheesecloth, muslin or a coffee filter. You may need to strain the tincture two or three times to get all of the herb material out of the tincture. Wring or squeeze out every last drop possible from herb material.
    7. Pour the tincture into a dark glass bottle. Label and date the bottle and store it in a dark, cool place.
    8. To use your tincture, dilute one teaspoon of tincture in at least one-quarter cup of water. You can, for example, dilute it in a cup of warm tea or a glass of juice.

    An Herb at a Time

    Make your first tincture with a single herb before you try different herbal combinations. Once you have made a number of single-herb tinctures, you can then blend them two or more in different proportions. You can then prepare a tincture from a combination of fresh or dried herbs.

    References

    1. “The Herbal Home Remedy Book;” Joyce A Wardell; 1998
    2. Rosemary Gladstar: Making Tinctures
    3. The Australasian College of Health Sciences: Herbal Tinctures
    4. “A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America (Second Edition)” James A. Duke and Steven

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    Yohimbe Medicinal Benefits

    Yohimbe is extracted from the dried bark of the yohimbe tree. There are several varieties of yohimbe bark. As a natural remedy, it is extracted from any yohimbe bark and used as a tea or taken by mouth. It is available in prescription form when its active chemical, (indole alkaloid), is extracted from the bark of the pausinystalia yohimbe tree. The overwhelming benefit of yohimbe is in curing male erectile dysfunction. This is accomplished by rushing the flow of blood to the penis. Yohimbe’s ability to increase blood flow has many other healing properties.

    Top 5 Medicinal Uses of Yohimbe Herbal Remedies

    Use Yohimbe for Male Reproductive Health

    Yohimbe’s principal use is in the treatment of male erectile dysfunction and to increase libido. Yohimbe dilates the blood vessels in the pelvic region and is particularly effective as an aphrodisiac for men.

    Alleviate Dry Mouth

    Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is abnormally low secretions in the mouth. It is a very common side effect of anti-depressants and numerous other prescription medications. Dry mouth can promote tooth decay. Studies have shown that yohimbe can raise the production of saliva and alleviate dry mouth.

    Take Yohimbe to Aid Weight Loss

    Yohimbe is being used as a weight loss aid, because it contains nor-epinephrine. This substance increases energy, speeds metabolism and increases fatty acid mobilization – which inhibits the creation of fat cells.

    Promote Heart Health by Improving Blood Circulation

    Because yohimbe is a vasodilator (enlarges the blood vessels), it prevents arteries from becoming blocked. In the same manner in which it increases blood flow to pelvic area, it also increases blood flow to the heart and helps prevent heart attacks.

    Alleviate Orthostatic Hypotension

    Hypotension means low blood pressure. Yohime’s ability to increase blood flow has a special effect on persons with a condition in which they experience sudden low blood pressure when they are in an upright (orthostatic) position. Yohimbe alleviates this condition, which is characterized by dizziness and lightheadedness when persons with orthostatic hypotention stand or exert themselves.

    References

    1. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/yohimbe/
    2. http://www.revolutionhealth.com/healthy-living/vitamin-index/yohimbe-ns
    3. http://www.allstarhealth.com/lj_c/yohimbe.htm
    4. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/southfacts_yo.htm
    5. http://www.brandywinechiropractic.com/herbs/yohimbe.htm

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    Yarrow Medicinal Uses

    The scientific name of yarrow is millefolium. It has a fascinating history in the treatment of wounds by stopping bleeding and infection. In Homer’s Iliad, Achilles treats the fallen soldiers with yarrow. In England it was referred to as “knight’s milfoil,” on account of its ability to protect open wounds from blood loss and infection. Native Americans used it in the same way. All parts of the yarrow plant are used in remedies, except the roots, including the yarrow flowers, yarrow leaves, and stems.

    Top 5 Medicinal Uses of Yarrow Remedies

    Treat Wounds With Yarrow

    Modern studies have been conducted on yarrow for the treatment of lacerations, puncture wounds and abrasions. Its effectiveness in control of bleeding and in preventing infection has been supported by these studies.

    Alleviate Digestive Conditions

    Several species of yarrow are used in Europe to treat gastro-intestinal disorders. Yarrow may also be used in tea or tincture form for bleeding ulcers.

    Use Yarrow To Enhance Female Health

    Sometimes referred to as a “uterine tonic,” studies have verified that yarrow has many beneficial effects on the female reproductive organs. In can reduce abnormally heavy menstural flow, reduce the pain of cramps and treat endometriosis.

    Prevent And Alleviate Spasms

    Spasms are involuntary contractions that send pain signals to the brain, and can affect any part of the body. When spasms affect the respiratory system, they can cause severe and sustained coughing. When the nervous system is involved, spasms can result in convulsions. Yarrow is widely known for its anti-spasmodic value, which entails relaxing muscles and nerves.

    Cure Respiratory Conditions With Yarrow

    Yarrow is purported to be effective as a decongestant and expectorant. It is used to treat sinus infections and coughs. Yarrow’s astringent action is helpful in some cases of allergy, in which watery eyes and nasal secretions are triggered by pollen, dust, molds, and animal dander.

    References

    1. http://health.howstuffworks.com/yarrow-herbal-remedies.htm
    2. http://www.raysahelian.com/yarrow.html
    3. http://www.natural-herbal-remedies-advice.com/yarrow-plant.html
    4. http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-yarrow-essential-oil.html
    5. http://www.seacoastvitamins.com/topic.php?health=yarrow

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    Tea Tree Oil Medicinal Uses

    Many scientists have been conducting studied on the tea tree oil towards resolving the issue of its usefulness as remedies involving health related problems. Some of these issues may involve acne, infection, gingivitis and related gum infections.

    Medicinal Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

    Acne

    Research suggests that possibly applying the tea tree oil on acne lesions may help the acne to dissolve faster and clear up the skin quicker then remedies currently in use plus create less adverse effects such as dryness of the skin, itching, redness and stinging.

    Antifungal

    It has also been discovered that the tea tree oil could be used for treating various types of infections. Experimentation has indicated that the tea tree oil might possibly kill fungus associated with toenail issues and those relating to the skin and mouth, the dreaded athlete’s foot, vaginal infections as well as herpes.

    Other Benefits

    Tea tree oil could have some potential for combating gum inflammation as well as to reducing plaque on teeth when used in the mouthwash formulas.

    Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil Remedies

    Some allergic reactions have occurred resulting from the tea tree oil. These symptoms may include itching and red rash as well as swelling of the skin.

    When applied onto the skin many people have developed skin rash, irritation, eczema and inflammations at the corner of ones mouth.

    There have also been reports that users have developed drowsiness, muscle tremors and weakness, difficulty in walking, depression and a general loss of coordination.

    This herb is not recommended for use by pregnant women nor women who are currently breast feeding.

    Tea tree oil is a toxic product and should never be taken orally but only applied to the skin.

    TEA

    Canker Sores

    The ordinary beverage tea is another good source of tannin. Drink the tea and place the used tea bags directly on the sores. Other herbs that are rich in tannin include bearberry, raspberry, St.-John’s wort, licorice, eucalyptus, peppermint, and sage.

    Diarrhea

    The tea found in the conventional tea bags is highly astringent; hence drinking a cup of tea will help you to check your diarrhea.

    Emphysema

    Both black and green teas have six expectorant compounds. One of the compounds, which is known as theophylline, helps in expelling mucus from the lungs. The antidepressant function of caffeine will also help an emphysema patient feel better

    Natural Sweeteners: Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana)

    Stevia is a natural sweetener the comes from Stevia rebaudiana, an herb within the sunflower family. The sweet-tasting leaves of this little herb provide an herbal extract that is about 300 times sweeter then the conventional sugarcane product. Stevia is quickly gaining in popularity and is readily available as a supplement

    Stevia is native to the tropics and subtropical of Central and South America. The Guaranay Indians have known and used this impressive herb for centuries making use of its sweet-tasting leaves. It is used to create an herbal tea known as “mate“. Stevia holds the distinction of being called the sweetest plant in the world.

    Overview of Stevia

    Botanical Name: Stevia rebaudiana
    Common Names: sweet leaf, sweetleaf, sugarleaf
    Habitat: Tropics and sub-tropical Central and South America

    Part Used: Leaves
    Chief Constituents: Stevioside
    Properties: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti fungal, anti-microbial, anti-yeast, anti-viral, cardiotonic, hypoglycemic and diuretic

    Stevia is a perennial plant which is a member of the larger Asteraceae family. Similar members of this family include plants like dandelion, chicory and the sunflower. Its history and culture can be traces to Brazil and Paraguay. Originally this fine plant only grew within the regions of northern South America however due to its unique properties it spread in popularity and was cultivated worldwide.

    Physical Description

    The leaves measure 5 cm long by 2 cm wide. The plants usually grow 50 to 80 cm high in the wild, but when they are cultivated it rarely grows above 1 meter in height. One of its growing advantages is it can successfully grow in poor quality soil. These plants are usable for six years after maturing, of which five times per year it can be harvested. By leaving the roots when harvesting the plant will regenerate again. Stevia’s principal advantages are:

    • The plant is completely natural.
    • It contains ZERO Sugar as well as it has no calories.
    • Its leaves can be readily used without refinement of any sort.
    • It is so sweet that only a small amount is required.
    • It is a non-toxic plant.
    • Its leaves can be cooked.
    • There is no aftertaste with Stevia.
    • It is an ideal sweetener for children since it is non-addictive.

    Growing Stevia Herb

    Stevia can easily be propagated by the use of seeds in plug trays started within the greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within seven to eight weeks. Stevia can be cultivated any time of the year other then in the extremely cold or hot months.

    Commercially, the plants can be planted with a density of approximately 30,000 plants for one acre of land. This makes the commercial potential really great. Since it has a low nutrient requirement little if any fertilizer is required for its growth. Irrigation on the other hand is totally different. The Stevia plant likes its water and usually requires frequent irrigation.

    If you are a home gardener, the addition of this plant to your yard would certainly be a benefit to you. As for its commercial applications you can readily see the potential in commercial farming. Take some time and get to know this wonderful and useful little plant.

    Medicinal Benefits of Stevia

    The most unique property of this herb is that it can be employed as a sugar substitute. This astonishing plant is currently being used as sugar in pastry, candy, yoghurt, sorbets, soft drinks, pickles, in tobacco products, jam and chewing gum. The list of uses for its dried leaves could go on and on as this herb is quickly replacing the expensive sugar cane.

    Stevia’s principal advantages are:

    • The plant is completely natural.
    • It contains ZERO Sugar as well as it has no calories.
    • Its leaves can be readily used without refinement of any sort.
    • It is so sweet that only a small amount is required.
    • It is a non-toxic plant.
    • Its leaves can be cooked.
    • There is no aftertaste with Stevia.
    • It is an ideal sweetener for children since it is non-addictive.

    Diabetes

    Stevia an especially attractive alternative to the common sugar cane product, and serves as an effective sweetener for diabetic patients.

    Other Benefits

    In addition to its sweet taste Stevia has supplementary properties such as antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti fungal, anti-microbial, anti-yeast, anti-viral, cardiotonic, hypoglycemic and diuretic.

    Side Effects of Stevia

    A few scientific reports suggest that this herb may not be good for you. A few of the medical problems which Stevia researchers have encountered are:

    Infertility

    Stevia appears to affect the reproductive system. At least that was the results of a 2006 scientific study. It showed that when the male rat consumes high portions of stevioside the sperm production is severely hindered. This could eventually result in infertility as well as additional reproductive related problems. In a different study the scientists fed female hamster’s large quantities of a stevioside derivative called steviol. They found that the hamsters produced smaller and fewer offspring.

    Carcinogenic

    Claims have been made that in preliminary studies Stevia has been linked to cancer generation. Some researcher claimed that in the laboratory steviol can easily be converted to a cancer causing mutagenic compound.  Needless to say scientists remain divided on the cancer issue and quickly relate that further study is required in order to successfully resolve the issue.

    What the Science Says about Stevia

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    References

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    Saw Palmetto Medicinal Uses

    Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a small, palm like plant that is native to North America. The use of this herb can be traced to Native Americans such as the Mayans, and the Seminols who used it primarily for genito-urinary and reproductive problems.

    Prostate Health

    BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia) is very common in men as they reach their sixties. Phytosterols have been shown to inhibit a substance that is thought to be responsible for inflammation of the prostate. Administration of saw palmetto is more advantageous in the early stages of prostate enlargement.

    Female Reproductive Disorders

    Saw Palmetto is effective in preventing and treating of chronic pelvic pain, ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome and menstrual problems.

    Aphrodisiac

    Use saw palmetto as an aphrodisiac to boost libido. Many claim that saw palmetto acts as an aphrodisiac in both men and women. This could be due to the fact that it balances hormone levels. It is particularly effective in curing impotence and decreased sex drive.

    Urinary Tract Tonic

    Take saw palmetto as a tonic for the urinary tract. Besides its role in treating BPH, which causes frequent urination, saw palmetto is beneficial to the urinary system in general It prevents urethritis an other forms of urinary tract infection.

    Respiratory Conditions

    Fight respiratory conditions with these health supplements. Saw palmetto is used as a general inflammatory agent. It fights chronic bronchitis and asthma. It is used to treat upper respiratory tract infection an as an expectorant for coughs.

    References

    http://www.raysahelian.com/saw.html
    http://nccam.nih.gov/health/palmetto/
    http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/health-supplements/saw-palmetto.htm
    http://vitamins.ultimatefatburner.com/saw-palmetto.html
    http://www.enotalone.com/article/9390.html