Nowadays, it always seems like everywhere you turn there is someone trying to sell some herbal concoction. From feature-length TV commercials to hyped websites and persuasive email campaigns – herbal supplements form the basis of a highly competitive business environment.
Most of the herbal remedies advertised are often made by combining different exotic herbs that promise to treat everything from a simple cold to things like cancer and diabetes. The herbs will normally originate from some tropical region like Asia or South America and come with hefty price tags.
For the most part, herbal remedies can be effective for a good number of diseases and ailments. However, for many of them, a trip to the tropical jungles of Brazil or India isn’t usually necessary. A good number of these herbs can be found locally and often at a fraction of the price. Check out some of them below.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of skin conditions. Egyptians used it over 6,000 years ago as a remedy for sunburn and to help maintain smooth, younger-looking skin. The leaves of the plant can be used to treat wounds, burns, and skin allergies. The plant’s juice is effective against constipation, digestive problems, ulcerative colitis, asthma, diabetes, and other diseases.
Best of all, you can grow aloe vera in your yard as long as the plant gets some sun and moist soil.
Ginseng is a medicinal herb native to North America and parts of Asia. Chinese healers have used ginseng as part of Chinese traditional medicine for centuries, which makes it an important medicinal herb. Ginseng roots are often used to boost immunity, improve blood pressure, increase metabolism, and prevent against some nervous disorders.
Both American and Asian ginseng seeds can be bought on eBay for most of the year. Most of the seedlings will even come with planting instructions for backyard farmers.
3. Common Sage
Sage is a popular herb whose species are used for a wide variety of purposes. For instance, white sage is popular with Native Americans in the US, who use it in traditional ceremonies. Red sage and common sage are mostly used as medicinal herbs, though the common sage is also used for cooking and for ornamental purposes.
Common sage is widely available around the world, including in the US.
Where would the world be without good old weed? The cannabis plant has been at our disposal for centuries until many countries around the world made it illegal in the 1930s. In recent years, however, many countries have made it legal to grow and use for medical purposes. In many states around the US, medical marijuana can be found in marijuana dispensaries across the country. There are even a good number of apps and tools that smokers can use to locate dispensaries, compare prices and strains – all from the comfort of their homes.
Peppermint is a standard component in many consumable products – from toothpaste, insect repellent, and peppermint oil to chewing gum, mint chocolate, and candy. Peppermint is also a powerful medicinal herb with a long history of use in aromatherapy, folk medicine, and recently as a probable treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.
The plant grows quickly and spreads like wildfire in most ecosystems, so there is nothing that stops you from growing your own supply in your backyard.
6. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle has been used for centuries to treat problems affecting the liver and the gallbladder. Like many other herbs on this list, milk thistle was originally native to Europe and Asia before becoming popular globally. Milk thistle is popularly used to treat some cancers and liver diseases. It is a potent antioxidant and can be used when conducting a detox from alcohol or drugs.
Marshmallow is perhaps more popularly known for the confection marshmallow (made from the roots of the marsh mallow plant) than it is as an herbal remedy. As a medicinal herb, marshmallow is normally very effective at treating ulcers and sore throats. It can also be grown in a wide variety of environments, including your yard – as long as it gets some sun and moisture.
Most medicinal herbs, like every other regular plant, will grow in any environment that satisfies their nutrient and sunlight needs. So before you go backpacking through Asia or Europe looking for ancient herbs, always check to see if what you need is available locally or if it can be grown in your yard.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com
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