The leaves of the peppermint herb, either dried or fresh, frequently add flavor in cooking and in brewing teas. The dried flowers are used as a flavoring for foods, as is the essential oil of the plant. Peppermint may aid in digestion, ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and calm skin irritations. People use peppermint to treat headaches, nausea, and vomiting. When peppermint essential oil is used internally or on the skin, you must dilute it in a carrier oil. Peppermint does interact with many prescription and over-the-counter medicines, so consult your doctor before using this natural medicine.
Historically, people have used Salvia plants, known as sage, to treat many ailments. Recent studies have shown that sage may have a place in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Sage may improve memory and learning in patients in the early stages of this crippling condition. Other possible medical uses of sage are for improving mental performance, healing cold sores, and treating high cholesterol. There are several groups of patients who should not take sage. They include pregnant women, diabetics, and surgical patients. People with blood pressure disorders, hormone-sensitive disorders, or seizures may need to avoid this plant as well. Check with your doctor to see if sage is safe for you.
The nutrient-rich leaves of this bright green vegetable are packed with protein, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and iron. Swallowing your medicine can be as easy as consuming a tasty, leafy green bowl of this superfood. The antioxidants in spinach appear to help with diabetes management by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, eating spinach may prevent cancer, lower your blood pressure, and increase bone density. The fiber and water content promote good digestive health, and vitamin A promotes healthy skin and hair. Patients on diabetes medications and those taking blood thinners should check with their physicians, as interactions can occur.
2. Tea Tree Oil
The Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia is the source of the tea tree essential oil so popular today. This oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it attractive for treating certain topical infections. People have used tea tree oil to treat acne, athlete’s foot, and nail fungus. Additionally, tea tree oil appears to repel lice and kill their nits. Mix tea tree oil and lavender in a spray bottle of water to disinfect hats and scarves in order to prevent lice. Tea tree oil can cause skin irritation and an allergic reaction in some people. Never take this oil by mouth, as it is poisonous when swallowed.
The Mediterranean herb thyme appears to have antibacterial, antifungal, and insecticidal potential. The leaves, flowers, and essential oil have all been used as medicines. Historically, thyme was used for embalming, to prevent plague, and to prevent poisoning. Thymol, an ingredient found in thyme, is used today in antiseptic agents. Thyme may be beneficial for acne, skin problems, and yeast infections. Additionally, it may also act as a natural preservative for foods. Since thyme may slow blood clotting, those on blood thinners or with bleeding disorders should consult their physicians.Related: 6 Herbs That Help Keep The Thyroid In Tip-Top Shape