Herbs are not only a delicious way to flavor your food, but they are also a natural remedy for all kinds of ailments. They can help with everything from improving your gut microbiome to assisting you with skin issues and even infection. If that interests you, then keep reading. In this post, we are going to talk about the 10 best medicinal herbs with their health benefits.
Why Should You Use Medicinal Herbs?
There are many reasons people choose a more natural and holistic approach to medicine. It is not meant to replace Western medicine and medications you might need for various illnesses, but instead to complement it. To provide an alternative when it is available, and when it can help with minor health issues.
There are many benefits to using medicinal herbs, including:
- Saving money on medications
- Not toxic like pharmaceuticals
- Providing healing from home
- Speeding up healing
- Preventative medicine
- Saving time by not going to the doctor (for minor issues)
With that being said, here are the 10 best medicinal herbs and their health benefits.
10 Best Medicinal Herbs
Lavender is very easy to find in its various forms, including dried, essential oils, and tea leaves. It has a light, flowery scent, and its immense number of benefits are what make it one of the most popular that you can get your hands on.
Health Benefits of Lavender
This is probably one of the most common reasons people use lavender. It is great at reducing mild pain, from headaches to gastrointestinal distress.
Improve Your Sleep
Whether you have insomnia or stress-related sleep issues, lavender is calming and can help you get a good nights’ sleep.
Help Manage Blood Pressure
Lavender has been shown in many studies to help balance out blood pressure levels, often from reducing stress.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Naturally, lavender is wonderful for mental health conditions, including chronic stress and anxiety.
Next up is another extremely common herb, chamomile. Many people have had a cup of chamomile tea and understand that it can be relaxing to have before bed, but don’t realize this herb provides so many more health benefits.
Chamomile is not one type of plant, but a group of plants that all look similar to the daisy plant. There are a lot of varieties, but the most common for medicinal purposes are Roman chamomile and German chamomile. They are anti-inflammatory and provide a lot of calming and relaxing effects.
Health Benefits of Chamomile
Improve Your Digestion
Many people use chamomile for their digestion, especially drinking a cup of chamomile tea after eating something that upset their stomachs.
Help You Relax and Sleep Better
Chamomile tea and vapor such as in essential oils can help tremendously with relaxing, reducing stress and anxiety, and improving your sleep.
Treat Skin Conditions
Did you know chamomile can actually speed up healing of various skin conditions? This includes burns and other wounds like lacerations and cuts.
Natural Treatment for Stomach Conditions
In addition to helping with your digestion, chamomile can also be useful with other stomach conditions, including bowel movement problems, gastritis, and ulcerative colitis.
Use For Cold and Asthma Symptoms
When you get chamomile in a vapor form or with essential oils in a diffuser, you can relieve some of your cold symptoms.
An herb often used in cooking also has some healing benefits you might not realize. However, instead of using sage in a cup of tea or as an essential oil, it is most commonly used to burn and smoke. This makes it an interesting addition to the list.
If you have ever heard of people burning sage, this is what they are referring to. Sage is bundled up, tied together, then burned and used to cleanse a room. It can also be healing for individuals for a variety of different reasons.
Health Benefits of Sage
One of the most common reasons people use sage for burning and smoking is to help purify the body and the environment you live in. Sage has many natural healing properties, including being antibacterial and antimicrobial. It can help purify your body of various toxins.
Get Rid of Negative Energy
Smudging sage is a very popular way to get rid of negative energy, either from your person or the space in which you live or work.
Help With Other Conditions
Many people have reported using sage to help neutralize positive ions, which can lead to allergens like mold, dust, and pet dander. If you are particularly sensitive to these allergies, burning sage might help. It has also been known to help with other respiratory issues, including asthma and bronchitis.
4. Lemon Balm
If you have not heard of lemon balm before, now is a great time to learn more about it! Lemon balm sometimes referred to as balm mint, is a wonderfully healing plant. It is in the mint family and comes from many regions, including Central Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean.
Lemon balm can be found in a few different forms, including dried leaves to be used in tea, tincture liquid, and other dried forms when making your own natural care products. The primary healing ingredient in lemon balm is called rosmarinic acid, which provides antioxidant properties.
Health Benefits of Lemon Balm
Insomnia is a problem that many people struggle with, but don’t want to use harsh drugs that lead to dependence and drowsiness. Another option is to use a more natural herb, such as lemon balm, which has been shown to help with sleeping problems.
In addition to helping you sleep better, lemon balm can also be a great holistic remedy for anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions.
Lower Your Cholesterol
Did you know one of the reported health benefits of lemon balm is lowering your bad cholesterol? It doesn’t hurt to give it a try.
Get Relief From Indigestion and Heartburn
Finally, you may get some relief for heartburn, GERD, acid reflux, and indigestion.
When you were little, you might remember having a cup of ginger tea or some Ginger Ale when you had a tummy ache. Ginger is a great herb for digestive issues and nausea, but it also contains a lot of other amazing medicinal benefits.
There are a few different forms and varieties of ginger, including:
- Fresh ginger root
- Ground ginger
- Mature ginger
It has many healing properties, including being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and you will see from the below benefits.
Health Benefits of Ginger
Thanks to the anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, ginger can help with the following:
Improve Your Digestion
Need some help with your digestion? If so, having a cup of ginger tea can often reduce bloating and gas, and help you find some relief.
Reduce Acute or Chronic Pain
While less common, some people have also found benefits with ginger helping to reduce some types of pain, particularly muscle soreness from exercise.
Not only does ginger help tremendously with digestion, but also with nausea for other reasons. In fact, it is one of the most popular natural remedies people use for nausea and vomiting.
Help With Colds and Flu
People are constantly trying to find more natural remedies for illnesses like cold and flu. Ginger has been used for hundreds of years for this very purpose, thanks to the antiviral properties.
Rosemary is one of those herbs that's not only used often in cooking for its excellent flavor, but also for its various health benefits. You will find rosemary growing most often in the Mediterranean region, but you can get the plant or dried rosemary just about anywhere you find plants and herbs.
Here are some things to know about rosemary:
You can get some of the health benefits just by using it in your cooking.
The rosemary plant is a perennial, meaning it can live for multiple years.
You want to be careful with high doses of rosemary, as it can make you ill.
Health Benefits of Rosemary
With rosemary, you can get some of these amazing health benefits:
Reduce Inflammation in the Body
Herbs that contain natural anti-inflammatory properties are great for reducing inflammation, as well as helping with pain caused by inflammation and swelling in the body, such as with arthritis.
Improve Your Digestion
There are many herbs that help with digestive issues, and luckily rosemary is one of them.
Find Relief for Joint Pain
If you have joint pain in addition to inflammation, rosemary might be able to help with that as well.
Improve Your Memory
Surprisingly, the aroma of using rosemary essential oils in a diffuser and for aromatherapy can actually help improve your focus and memory function.
Another plant in the mint family is peppermint, which has so many health benefits that people aren’t even aware of. Peppermint does have a strong smell and its essential oils are very popular, but don’t forget about the herb itself and all the medicinal qualities it has!
In addition to the popular use of peppermint, which is to help ease digestive issues, bloating, and intestinal discomfort, it can also help with many other areas of healing.
Health Benefits of Peppermint
Here are some of the top health benefits of using the peppermint herb or oils:
Relieve Pain Grom Headaches
When you have headaches caused by tension or stress, peppermint is a wonderful holistic remedy to keep you from taking too many over-the-counter pain relieving drugs.
Improve Your Energy Levels Naturally
If you want more energy without stimulants like caffeine, consider a cup of peppermint tea instead.
Reduce Pain From Menstrual Cramps
Try using peppermint during your menstrual period if you suffer a lot from cramps.
Freshen Your Breath
If you have gingivitis, you can easily freshen your breath with peppermint.
Improve Your Digestion
Last, but certainly not least, it can of course help with digestive issues. It is commonly used for indigestion, gas, bloating, and nausea.
Next, we have yarrow, which is also a popular essential oil in addition to the herb itself being used often. Yarrow is actually part of the sunflower family, with the herb itself looking like clusters of daisy flowers. Here are some of the health benefits you get with this herb.
Health Benefits of Yarrow
Heal Your Wounds More Quickly
Yarrow can help speed up the healing of skin lacerations and wounds.
Inflammation in the body can lead to swelling and pain, which can be remedied with some yarrow.
Relieve Your Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are not easy to live with, and often get worse over time without treatment. If you want to complement other anxiety treatments, try a natural herb like yarrow.
Improve Your Digestion
If you have ever suffered from digestive issues, you know how valuable it is to find a natural remedy. If the other herbs are not helping, why not give yarrow a try?
This one probably won’t surprise you at all! Turmeric has been used for many years for healing, but it has become even more popular in the last few years. Whether you use the herb, capsules, or make a cup of “golden milk”, it has numerous health benefits for people who are looking for more holistic options.
Before we get into the health benefits, here are some things you might not know about turmeric:
- Turmeric is actually in the ginger family, which is why it looks so similar to ginger root.
- It was originally used in Ayurvedic medicine before it became more mainstream.
- It is commonly used in Indian and Asian cooking, especially combined with curry flavors.
You can get it in many different forms, including capsules, dried, powder, and bottled.
Health Benefits of Turmeric
Here is a list of some of the many health benefits you can get by using turmeric on a regular basis:
Inflammation and Joint Pain
The curcumin found naturally in turmeric is especially useful for reducing inflammation in the body caused by arthritis and other joint issues.
Relieve Itching and Skin Irritations
Some people have found turmeric useful in helping to reduce chronic itching and other skin problems.
Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Stress, anxiety, and depression are all mental health issues that can be improved by using turmeric regularly.
If you have heartburn from something you ate or related to GERD or acid reflux, you may find some relief with turmeric in your tea or food.
With a name like goldenseal, you might not even know this is a plant, but it contains many healing properties. The goldenseal plant has large leaves similar to what you find on palm trees, with a single flower in the center of each. These flowers are what contain all the medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Goldenseal
Don’t miss any of the fantastic ways goldenseal can improve your health more naturally.
Relief for Respiratory Conditions
A lot of respiratory conditions may be improved with goldenseal, including common cold conditions, asthma, fever, and whooping cough.
Help with Digestive and Bowel Problems
People have shown significant improvements in their bowel and digestive issue with goldenseal, including constipation, diarrhea, ulcers, and gastritis.
For people with female born anatomy, it might be helpful for menstrual cramps and PMS.
Skin Lesions and Other Skin Issues
It is not uncommon for people to use goldenseal for conditions like wounds, itching, blisters, acne, dandruff, and cold sores.
Chronic Medical Conditions
Finally, there are some other mild and serious conditions that might be helped with goldenseal. It is not a cure but can be used in conjunction with more traditional treatments, including for cancer, chronic fatigue, liver problems, gonorrhea, and pneumonia.