Long before drug stores popped up on every corner with their vast arrays of over-the-counter and prescription medications, people were using plants as medicine. While science and medicine have made many advances, for some ailments it is nice to get back to nature and use simple ingredients. There are many plants widely available today known to benefit your health. Some of them may currently be growing right in your own garden. Check out this list of medicinal plants that you can use to improve your health. Keep in mind that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safe.” As with any substance that has medicinal properties, side effects and drug interactions are possible.
Your feline friend isn’t the only one who can benefit from the medicinal properties of this herb. Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is a member of the mint family and is often included in teas because of its soothing, calming effect on humans. Try blending your own herbal brew at home and sip it to relieve stress. Catnip may also relieve coughs, aid in digestion, and treat skin conditions. Check with your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, as catnip can be dangerous with these conditions. Pregnant women should not use catnip.
Chamomile is a daisy-like member of the Asteraceae family. The flowers of this plant can be dried and brewed into tea. A soothing cup of chamomile tea may be the perfect way to relax at bedtime. Other possible benefits of chamomile tea may be improved digestion, better blood sugar control, improved heart health, and increased immunity. Brew up a calming mug of chamomile tea with chamomile flowers, boiling water, and a dash of honey. Individuals with a ragweed allergy may be allergic to chamomile.