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7 Effective and Readily-Available Herbal Remedies for Modern Ailments

7 Effective and Readily-Available Herbal Remedies for Modern Ailments

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[1] 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[2] 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[3] 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.

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    Best of all, you can grow aloe vera in your yard as long as the plant gets some sun and moist soil.

    2. Ginseng

    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[4] 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.

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        Common sage is widely available around the world, including in the US.

        4. Cannabis

        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.[5] 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.

          5. Peppermint

          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[6] with a long history of use in aromatherapy, folk medicine, and recently as a probable treatment for irritable bowel syndrome.

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            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[7] 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.

              7. Marshmallow

              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[8] 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.

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                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.

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                Image Credits:

                Aloe Vera, Ginseng, Common Sage, Cannabis, Peppermint, Milk Thistle Via Pixabay, Marsh Mallow Via Maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

                Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

                Reference

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                Last Updated on June 20, 2019

                Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

                Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

                There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

                More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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                Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

                You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

                During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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                Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

                Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

                The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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                This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

                Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

                The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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                This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

                This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

                Conclusion

                While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

                More About Music Playing

                Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

                Reference

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