Herbal therapy is the use of herbs for the relief of common ailments. It is perhaps the oldest and most widely used system today. Many plants ( including their leaves, flowers, stems and roots are used for this purpose and sometimes it is safer and more beneficial to use herbs for minor health problems instead of pharmaceutical products.
Advantages of herbal therapy
There are many advantages of using herbal therapy. Some of which are disused below
- Herbal therapy have little or no side effects as compared to the traditional medicines and can be used for longer period of time or as a part of your daily routine.
- Herbal therapy is likely to be more cost effective than other medicines as most of the herbs are those which we commonly used in our kitchens.
- Herbal medicines are more effective to treat chronic illnesses such as constipation, diarrhoea and inflammation and give long term health benefits as compared to certain over the counter available medications which provide temporary relief.
Disadvantages of herbal therapy
Although quite few but herbs may have some disadvantages as well . These include
- Herbal therapy is not designed for serious illnesses and you need modern medications for them.
- Although rare, herbal contamination may occur as a result of poor quality of herbs available in the market.
- Many of the herbs interacts with medicines
- It can cause allergic reactions. So it is always beneficial to know whether you are allergic to particular herbs before starting to use it.
Commonly used herbs
peppermint is one of the most readily available herb in the market. Peppermint leaves are used in tea and in various cuisines to add flavour and fragrance to foods. Peppermint oil is used in skin creams, vapour rubs and to treat subcutaneous infections.
Peppermint is especially helpful for the treatment of flatulence, menstrual pains, nausea, depression,muscle and nerve pains, common cold, indigestion and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Aloe vera is the popular plant used for it medicinal properties since centuries. It is characterised by thick pointed leaves which contains a white gel in it. The gel is enriched with various compounds which provide following health benefits ;
- The gel is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial compounds that inhibit the growth of bacterias causing infections.
- The topical application of aloe vera gel accelerate healing process in burns , wounds and acne. It also helps to prevent wrinkles by improving skin elasticity.
Garlic is among the most common herbs use in asian cuisine. The health benefits attributed to garlic includes moderate reduction in blood pressure, decreased blood cholesterol levels, anti clotting and antibacterial properties.
Turmeric is a common spice use to give colour and flavour to foods. The curcumin , a compound present in turmeric is specially beneficial for the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and joint pains. Turmeric is commonly used for headaches , bronchitis, cold, stomach pain , ulcers and irritable bowel syndromes.
The topical application of turmeric mask to skin aids in acne and face scars because of its anti inflammatory and antioxidant components. Turmeric in warm milk at night gives relief from cold and flu symptoms, reduces arthritic pain, and act as a sedative in insomniac patients.
Ginger is loaded with nutritious and bio active compounds which provides certain health benefits and aids in various diseases. The most popular therapeutic treatment of ginger is for digestive problems specifically indigestion, nausea , motion sickness and excessive vomiting. Warm ginger tea helps to relieve chest congestion and also helps to reduce inflammation.