Herbal medicine has a long-standing tradition in many cultures to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions. These medicines are often safe alternatives that can result in a wide array of positive health benefits. The World Health Organization estimates that 80% of the world’s population, or approximately 4 billion people, currently uses herbal medicine for some aspect of healthcare.

Some of the most common long-term health benefits with herbal medicine include:

  • Brain Health: The use of herbs like ginkgo can boost brain health, helps mild to moderate dementia, and slow cognitive decline in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Rosemary is also rich in terpenes, phenolic acids, and flavones, which support cognition, memory, and alertness. In addition, lemon balm increases alertness and cognitive speed. These are just a few examples of herbal medicines that can optimize brain health.
  • Less Depression: Depression can range from mild to debilitating for patients that suffer from this condition. Several herbal supplements have shown a positive impact when dealing with depression and can help individuals achieve more stable moods with increased positivity. Examples of herbal remedies that can help with depression include St. John’s wort, ginseng, chamomile, saffron, and Omega-3 fatty acids-rich herbs, among others.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Inflammation is the body’s natural defense against infection. However, some conditions can induce prolonged inflammation and discomfort, such as inflammatory bowel disease and arthritis. Herbal remedies, such as turmeric, ginger, and green tea, can reduce inflammation and discomfort for many patients.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, cardiac hypertrophy, and myocardial infarction, are one of the leading causes of death annually worldwide. Herbal remedies containing pomegranate, green tea, magnesium, and potassium can reduce blood pressure, improve heart function, relieve atherosclerosis, and protect the heart.
  • Immune: We all know that the best way to avoid health problems is by staying healthy, but staying healthy requires a robust immune system that can ward off potential viruses and other health conditions. Some herbal supplements even have antibacterial properties, which means that in addition to optimizing the condition of your immune system, these herbs can actively rid of pathogens that could otherwise make you ill. Supplements, including honey, ginger, angelica root, echinacea, and astragalus root, are just a few examples of herbal remedies that can enhance your immune system.
  • Digestive Health: It’s no secret that the modern diet is littered with high-calorie foods with few nutrients, which has contributed to an increase in digestive problems across the Western world. Adding herbal medicines, such as ginger, turmeric, fennel, cinnamon, garlic, rosemary, and peppermint, can promote the beneficial bacteria growing in your intestine.
  • Less Anxiety: Anxiety disorders are the most commonly reported mental illness in the United States, with nearly one in five US adults reporting uncontrolled anxiety in the past year. Several herbal remedies can reduce feelings of anxiety and promote general feelings of increased happiness, such as kava, passionflower, valerian, chamomile, lavender, and lemon balm.
  • Better Sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is essential in maintaining health. When sleeping, our bodies heal, and our brain gets the rest it needs to improve learning, memory, decision-making, and creativity. Getting insufficient sleep can even increase the risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. But with anxiety being prevalent across much of the population, it’s no surprise that many people find it hard to get sufficient sleep. Herbal remedies can help the body naturally alert the brain when it is time to sleep and regulate hormones to ensure your sleep cycle is undisturbed. Melatonin, Valerian root, magnesium, and lavender (as well as many others) can all help one’s body get better sleep.
  • Maintaining Healthy Weight: Over 40% of US adults are obese. In addition, obesity can contribute to other health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Some herbal supplements can help you fight cravings and improve your metabolism. These changes can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight and optimizing the body’s performance. For example, fenugreek, cayenne pepper, ginger, oregano, turmeric, and ginseng promote a healthy weight through different physiological processes. And these are just a few herbal remedies that can be used to promote weight normalization.

While using a tailored herbal supplement regime can help your body achieve its peak potential, it’s important to select these supplements wisely. Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate herbal remedies, which means there are no minimum standards for safety and no regulations related to preparing and packaging these supplements. Therefore it is crucial to consult with healthcare professionals to consume herbal supplements safely and effectively.

For more information about how herbal medicine can deliver long-term health benefits, contact MK Integrative Wellness today.