It’s commonplace to feel a cold, headache, or even anxiety come on and resort to a visit to our local pharmacy or medicine cabinet. But CVS did not always exist, and Mother Earth has been providing natural remedies for our bodies and mind since the beginning of time.

Here are three herbs whose benefits extend far beyond simply curing a symptom. They sustain a natural health that your body will thank you for.

Turmeric (anti-inflammatory, liver functioning, acne)

Next time you eat a bowl of delicious curry, know that the ingredients not only taste good — they are also great for your body. Turmeric is a leafy herb has been used for thousands of years in India and in traditional Chinese medicine. Known for lending itself to savory curry dishes, the health benefits of turmeric extend far beyond its beautiful yellow-orange color.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound which is a potent anti-flammatory. Arthritis sufferers may benefit from the curcumin in turmeric to alleviate pain and swelling. When ingested, turmeric can aid in digestion and proper liver functioning.  The anti-bacterial properties of the herb also help combat acne. Sprinkle the herb in foods including soup, or mix with ginger for as a tea.

To apply as a facial toner, mix 1 tbs of turmeric powder with rosewater. Apply to face as a toner, and rinse. When added with baking soda, turmeric can also be a great body scrub. Turmeric can be purchased in the spice aisle or at ethnic food markets.

Lavender (nerves, headache, healing)

From its sweet smell to its calming effect, this plant of Mediterranean origin is truly as versatile as it is beautiful. Lavender is excellent for the nerves, the scalp, and healing wounds. It can help alleviate anxiety and insomnia. After a long day at work, add a few drops of lavender oil on your pillowcase or in bathwater. To lessen bad headaches, add two teaspoons of the flower to the hot water and drink.

Cayenne Pepper (allergies, indigestion, cardiovascular)

Cayenne pepper may immediately evoke thoughts of sweat and heat, but this herb provides far more than an extra kick to a meal. The herb can aid in cardiovascular health and pain-reduction. As a regular sufferer of allergies and sinus congestion, cayenne pepper has continued to provide relief in opening my nasal passages when added to a cup of water. The herb also contains Vitamin A, or beta-carotene, which aids in numerous essential body functions such as vision and skin regeneration. Cayenne pepper is also often a component in colon cleansing and weight loss (the very popular Master Cleanse uses the pepper).


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One Comment

  1. Thank Kristin, for your interesting article.

    Tumeric has also been observed to have anti-cancer properties as well. This has been observed both in populations like India, that there is a lower incidence of certain types of cancer, i.e., prostate, among people who have a high dietary intake of tumeric. Also it was tested in tissue cultures of cancer cells to inhibit cell growth.

    Cayenne pepper is the main ingredient in a drug called Capsacin which prescribed for arthritis pain.

    Lavender is also available in small spray bottles, for ease of use.

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