No matter what your ailment is, there’s probably a herb that herbalists or naturalists have been using for decades to treat it. While the jury is still out on a lot of herbal folk remedies, you just may be surprised by the potential benefits you can reap from your spice rack.
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Try the following five ways to improve your body and mind naturally, but be sure to speak to your doctor first before trying any kind of treatment!
1. Sage: Improve Mental Function
A study completed in 2003 by the Universities of Newcastle and Northumbria yielded some interesting results: the use of sage by participants helped improve their memories. While the study was done on young, healthy adults, some promising research involving the application of sage as a treatment for those with Alzheimer’s disease has since been completed.
Try sage as a memory and cognitive performance booster by taking one gram of sage extract by mouth daily. Talk to your doctor and read all the warnings and drug interactions for sage before starting. Sage does lower blood sugar levels and is not safe to take with medications for diabetes.
2. Tobacco: Take The Bite Out Of Bee Stings
While you might associate tobacco with a lot of bad things, it may be an effective treatment for bee stings. It’s the nicotine that does it, as it acts as a mild anesthetic when applied to the skin.
Get a cigarette or loose tobacco wet and squeeze some of the juice out. Rub the juice on the stung area for immediate relief. Don’t use mentholated tobacco, as that can burn, and don’t overdo it on the juice, as you only need a little.
3. Eucalyptus: Boost Your Lungs
Eucalyptus has long been used as a remedy for breathing issues, particularly to ease congestion and mucus. You’ll actually find it as an ingredient in many cough drops for the purposes of acting as an expectorant, something that aids your ability to bring up mucus and get it out of your body.
Actual eucalyptus oil is not safe to take by mouth, according to WebMD. Eucalyptol, an active ingredient that is removed from the oil, may be safe to take by mouth depending on your age, health condition and other medical factors. Talk to your doctor before using any eucalyptus product to determine its safety for you and the correct dosing.
4. Mint: Soothe Your Tummy
Mint is more than just a tasty and aromatic herb. The University of Maryland’s Medical Center says that it improves bile flow and can help calm the muscles in your stomach and may have a promising future as a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
Try mint for stomach issues, including nausea, gas and diarrhea. It comes in many forms for digestive use, including teas and tablets. Read all dosing directions before taking. Avoid mint if you have a gastrointestinal reflux condition or hiatal hernia, as mint can make these conditions worse by relaxing the stomach valve and letting more acid through.
5. Cinnamon: Curb Blood Sugar
Cinnamon may actually be a useful adjunct treatment for people with Type 2 diabetes. Emerging research has indicated that cinnamon appears to help lower blood sugar, possibly by increasing the action of insulin, according to the Mayo Clinic.
As cinnamon is still be researched as a medicinal herb, there are no tried and true dosing. Per Web MD, standard dosing is 0.5 or 1 teaspoon per day. Cinnamon can be toxic in high doses, so make sure you follow the directions on any cinnamon supplement or product you decide to try.