While few people are aware that pharmacy-sold medications are often derived from plants, such as the willow bark-based aspirin we typically use to relieve headaches, or the mighty morphine from opium poppy, even fewer people know the full extent of herbal powers.
There are so many of them that are simple to obtain and even simpler to use in order to boost our health, so learning about their application can help us at least sneak a peek into their incredible potential and start using them to improve our lives on so many levels.
Kitchen as your medicine cabinet
Nature offers many delicious and convenient ways to relieve your various aches and pains, from muscle soreness to a headaches. However, it seems to be a matter of habit and cultural norm to reach out for the pills instinctively rather than brew a few cups of peppermint tea, or the soothing lavender, both of which are very easy to come by.
In addition to these, you can infuse your diet with herbs that are perfect for boosting your immune system and protecting you from bacterial and viral infections all-year-round. One such super-herb is the potent matcha green tea powder, which is brimming with antioxidants to soothe inflammation, and vitamins and minerals to improve your resilience.
Go green with your cleaning supplies
On the other hand, you might be surprised to discover that some of these tasty plants can also double as your homemade cleaning agent, free from all the toxic chemicals typically found in the harsh store-bought detergents. For example, mixing lemon and peppermint essential oil can provide you with a brilliant window-cleaning solution that not only smells divine, but also helps you live a more Earth-friendly life.
Essential oils derived from lavender, mint and eucalyptus are wonderful sources of home-friendly cleaners that can serve to disinfect your bathroom and kitchen, while even waxing your furniture can be achieved with the help of lavender oil mixed with beeswax and olive oil.
Spice up your menu
In addition to a hot cup of herbal tea, there is a whole range of commonly underestimated spices you can introduce in your diet to improve your health, purify your complexion, and ward off illnesses. For instance, despite its unpleasant smell, garlic is a powerful cancer-fighting ingredient, especially when consumed raw. Add a pinch of cinnamon to your rice cooked in milk, and you’ll have a satiating, healthy treat perfect for winter, while cinnamon makes for a delicious tea, as well.
Add some anti-inflammatory cumin to your morning omelet and you’ll find that your breakfast not only tastes better but also protects your immune system and improves your digestion.
However, if you find it difficult to incorporate more herbs into your diet, there are many digestive health supplements that contain aloe vera, ginkgo biloba, and similar herbs, proving that medicine is, simply put, going back to its green roots.
Another industry that has also started learning from nature in the past few years is the beauty industry, turning to plant-derived ingredients that protect and nourish your skin, whether it’s already healthy, or if you’re struggling with a condition such as eczema or psoriasis. What’s more, as the sun’s harmful radiation is only growing stronger, sun protection products based on skin-friendly zinc-oxide, chamomile and other herbs are another step forward in utilizing elements directly from Mother Nature.
Calendula, for instance, is known to have soothing effects for sunburns and insect bites, and it doubles as a wonderful way to lighten your hair. You can use many dried herbs, including lavender, calendula once again, and peppermint to steam your face and cleanse your pores. Finish off with a gentle, home-made, herbal moisturizing cream, and your entire routine can be natural and infused with herbs.