4 Plants TO HELP YOU
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.
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.