Health Alert 251
Regardless of the ailment you may be suffering, chances are that somewhere in the world there’s a plant with the medicinal properties to bring relief and healing.
Fortunately, in the U.S. you still have access to most of these remedies at your local health food store. At least for now. Today I want to share with you some interesting new studies that underscore the success of herbal remedies at fighting disease.
Three new studies confirm that herbal remedies help fight a range of illnesses. Not just minor illnesses like colds and flu, but even serious diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Let’s begin with diabetes. Patients with diabetes overproduce insulin until it is no longer effective to cope with rapid rises in blood sugar, so it’s important to slow the rate that glucose enters the blood stream. Researchers recently found that extracts from a curry leaf significantly slowed the release of glucose so that it trickled into the blood stream.
A second study found that star anise from China helps your body defeat lung cancer cells and climbing dayflower, found in Ghana, helps wounds heal faster while preventing infection.1
I’ve seen the healing power of herbal remedies in my own patients. I’ve mentioned some of my favorite herbs before in Health Alert 149.2 Here are more ways I’ve seen herbs successfully treat ailments from minor scrapes to deadly diseases:
- Astragalus: lowers high blood pressure
- Black Cohosh: for PMS, menstrual cramps and menopausal symptoms
- Chamomile: helps relieve stress and anxiety
- Cinnamon: lowers blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol3
- Cranberry: prevents urinary tract infections
- Garlic: works like an antibiotic, helps prevent heart disease & reduces cholesterol
- Ginger: prevents motion sickness, morning sickness
- Lavender: improves sleep and digestion, effective in relaxation
- Milk Thistle: promotes liver health
- Peppermint: settles upset stomachs, helps IBS sufferer
- Saw Palmetto: relieves symptoms of an enlarged prostate
- Tea Tree: works like an antiseptic, kills bacteria, fungi
- Tumeric: eases arthritis symptoms
- Valerian: induces sleep, relaxation
- White Willow: herbal aspirin
People have been using herbs for centuries to strengthen the body and treat disease. However, herbs can contain substances that may trigger side effects or interact with other herbs, supplements, and medications. I recommend you use herbal remedies under the supervision of a doctor who is knowledgeable in the field of botanical medicine.
You may also want to consider consulting The Botanical Safety Handbook, available on Amazon.com. It’s an excellent reference I sometimes use myself. The BSH lists specific information on the safe use of herbs, including labeling recommendations, dose limits, and possible reactions for a wide range of herbs, medications and other products.4
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears MD
1. Traditional Herbal Remedies Fight Disease; www.foodnavigator.com
2. Sears, A. Dr.; Are Your Supplements Dangerous?; Health Alert 149
3. Sears, A. Dr.; The Doctor’s Heart Cure, Dragon Door Publications: Minnesota, 2004
4. American Herbal Products Association, http://www.ahpa.org/bookstore.htm#botanicalsafetyhandbook