Taking advantage of natural herbal remedies to improve your health is no longer considered weird. Most people now understand many natural herbal remedies, when used appropriately, can be effective and safe.To get an idea of why such herbs are gaining in popularity, consider five feel-good herbal remedies:
The herbal trifecta known as Triphala (Sanskrit for “three fruits”) has been used for centuries to alleviate digestive problems. Heartburn, indigestion, poor nutrient assimilation, constipation, and all other digestive complaints can be remedied by taking Triphala. It contains the herbs Amla, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki. A great herbal for constipation complaints—Triphala is best taken before bed to clean out the digestive tract through the night. Amla berry (Indian Gooseberry) –pictured left–is one of three herbs in Triphala. Amla berry has 20x the amount of Vitamin C of that of an orange. This natural herbal remedy is a general tonic that can only do good to all systems of the body.
Actions: gentle laxative, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant. Contraindications: those who are pregnant should first consult their doctor.
Chamomile is a standby natural herbal remedy that can come in handy for stressful days. You can take chamomile tea at any time during the day for relaxation, or before bed to calm the nerves before sleep. It is also a natural soothing herb for the gut — easing a nervous stomach.
Actions: eases gut spasms, anti-inflammatory, sedative, prevents vomiting. Contraindications: chamomile contains coumarin, a plant compound that has blood-thinning effects, which is important to know for people on medications that have a similar effect.
Improves blood flow to the brain, detoxifies the entire body, AND improves digestion! Turmeric is a super-food! Turmeric has received attention from the press in recent years for its ability to increase cognitive function and as a preventive tool for Alzheimer’s. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is a powerful anti-oxidant that may prevent Beta-amyloid plaque from building up. Turmeric also cleans the digestive tract and liver. Due to its powerful liver detoxification affects, it’s crucial to also take a mild laxative (such as Triphala) when taking large quantities of turmeric to remove any toxins cleaned from the liver.
Actions: anti-oxidant, painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor, anti-bacterial, anti-viral. Contra-indications: people with gallbladder problems, or blood clotting issues should be careful with turmeric.
Get in the chill zone! Lemon balm is a soothing herb used for anxiety, depression, and it also soothes the gut. Lemon balm is also a great cooling herb for quelling the emotion of anger. It can be taken in a capsule or in a tea form.
Actions: Sedative, anti-depressant, digestive stimulant, relaxes peripheral blood vessels, relaxing restorative for nervous system, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, carminative (reduces gas), anti-spasmodic (reduces spasms). Contra-indications here.
Increase your reading speed! Brahmi increases blood flow to the frontal lobes of the brain. Brahmi, also known as Bacopa, is useful for improving concentration, and people with attention problems may find it very helpful. Simply put, Bacopa gets you “in the zone!” You can easily grow your own brahmi at home as a potted plant (pictured left).
Actions: brain tonic, enhances memory recall, mildly sedative, anti-oxidant; Contra-indications here
Maharishi University of Management (MUM) is small liberal arts college located in the Midwest that has a student body that is passionate about natural health, and alternative and integrative medicine. The study of natural herbal remedies is a common practice among MUM students curious about natural medicine. There are many pre-med students at MUM, who plan on attending schools such as the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. Meditation practice is the cornerstone of MUM’s unique Consciousness-Based education approach, which is designed to allow each student to live in tune with natural law. Transcendental Meditation® has many benefits, and has been documented in over 600 research studies in more than 160 scientific journals in 33 countries. Check out MUM’s degree programs.
Remember to consult with your health care provider when making lifestyle changes.
By Luke G. Rogers