4 Plants TO HELP YOU

Alternative Medicine - - Health News & Tips -

Maybe you’re used to for­go­ing those over-the-counter drugs when a fever, stom­ach pain, or case of the snif­fles strikes—but did you know that there are a num­ber of medic­i­nal plants that have the heal­ing prop­er­ties nec­es­sary to nurse you back to health?

Here are four of Dr. Sodhi’s fa­vorite heal­ing plants—a cou­ple of which are rec­og­niz­able by bet­ter­known names and pur­poses.

2. Gly­cyrrhiza glabra.

You might rec­og­nize this plant by its more com­mon name: licorice. It has been used for cen­turies in the tra­di­tional and folk medicines of Asia and Europe to treat ail­ments rang­ing from the com­mon cold to liver dis­ease, but most Amer­i­cans likely en­coun­tered licorice as chil­dren be­cause the sweet root of the plant is used to make candy. Licorice can cure more than a sweet tooth, though! It has been shown to have strong im­mune mod­u­la­tion prop­er­ties and is an im­por­tant in­gre­di­ent in many herbal prepa­ra­tions, es­pe­cially for bronchial con­di­tions. Be­cause of its ex­pec­to­rant prop­er­ties, pow­dered licorice has been used for cen­turies to treat coughs—mod­ern cough syrups of­ten con­tain licorice ex­tract.

3. Boswellia ser­rate.

—Viren­der Sodhi, MD, founder of the Ayurvedic and Natur­o­pathic Med­i­cal Clinic and author of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Com­pre­hen­sive Re­source for Ayurvedic Heal­ing So­lu­tions

Com­monly known as frank­in­cense, this herb has pow­er­ful anti-in­flam­ma­tory ef­fects. Sev­eral case stud­ies have demon­strated that pa­tients with ul­cer­a­tive coli­tis, Crohn's coli­tis, rheuma­toid arthri­tis, pso­ri­atic arthri­tis, and polymyal­gia rheumat­ica have en­tered re­mis­sion us­ing a Boswellia prepa­ra­tion. In brain-tu­mor pa­tients, it has re­duced cere­bral edema— ex­cess fluid ac­cu­mu­la­tion in the brain—by 75 per­cent.

1. Piper ni­grum.

This flow­er­ing vine's berries, when still un­ripe, are used to pro­duce black pep­per, but spic­ing up food isn't its only ta­lent. Piper ni­grum has anti-in­flam­ma­tory, anti-mi­cro­bial, and anti-spas­modic prop­er­ties that make it ideal for treat­ing di­ges­tive dis­or­ders. And it doesn't stop there: Drug re­sis­tance is a ma­jor con­cern in can­cer pa­tients, but Piper ni­grum can re­verse drug re­sis­tance and sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the apop­totic ef­fect of many phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal drugs.

4. Bael.

This fruit­bear­ing tree in­dige­nous to the hills and plains of cen­tral and south­ern In­dia has nu­mer­ous uses. The fruit pro­motes healthy di­ges­tion and is used medic­i­nally to treat con­di­tions like di­ar­rhea, dysen­tery, and cholera. The leaves, roots, and bark also have medic­i­nal value, such as to re­lieve acute bron­chi­tis, heart pal­pi­ta­tions, and in­ter­mit­tent fevers.

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