6 Benefits of Herbal Medicines
What do you think when you hear about a herbal medicine? Do you trust herbal products? Everyone of us have encountered herbal plants in some point of our life. In our home, our elders like grandparents always advice us to go for a natural therapy before going for an Allopathy. Isn’t it?
How many times have you trusted these herbal remedies and how many times you have just ignored it? In this post, I am going to list 10 benefits of herbal medicines with their scientific evidences.
Herbal plants, as the name suggests are the plants (mainly herbs) that have some medicinal properties and are listed under herbal medicines and herbal remedies. There are hundreds and thousands of herbal remedies that use herbal plants to make medicines till date.
There is a branch of science that is especially dedicated to traditional knowledge of using plants and herbs in medicinal and other remedial purposes. This scientific study is known as Ethnobotany.
This knowledge is termed traditional because the use of herbs in medicine, religion and remedies are with us since mankind. It has now become a part of our tradition.
According to Fokunang CN, Ndikum V, Tabi OY, et al., NCBI, “Traditional medicine refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being.“
Without going into further details of herbal medicines and traditional medicine lets focus on the benefits of these herbal plants.
6 Benefits of Herbal Medicines
Nature has blessed us with numerous plants that have enormous therapeutic benefits. Holy Basil, fennel, turmeric, ginger, garlic, tea tree, etc are to name a few. Their benefits are well known. The popularity of herbal plants can be estimated by the high usage or demand of herbal products in the market.
Herbal remedies can be in the form of tea, concoctions, tinctures, oils, powders, tablets, etc. Now a days herbal products are also mixed in beauty products to make shampoos, soaps, conditioners, oil, toothpastes, etc.
The benefits of herbal plants cannot be ignored because their demands are high and people love using them. Ayurveda, an ancient or rather oldest medical system has listed many herbal plants for the holistic development and cure of human illness. Ayurvedic medicines are still considered powerful in treating human diseases. Ayurveda strongly suggests the therapeutic benefits of herbal plants. Here are 6 benefits of these herbal plants.
- Herbal medicines are safe to use
- Herbal medicines enhance human health
- Herbal medicines prevent illness
- Herbal plants are easy to grow
- Herbal remedies are affordable
- Herbal remedies or plants can be used as dietary supplements
Lets understand these benefits one by one in detail.
Herbal Medicines/Plants Are Safe To Use
Many medicines that we use today have plant derivatives or plant products in them. 11% of the 252 drugs, considered essential by WHO are of plant origin. Herbal remedies or plants are considered safe to use in treating common health issues such as cough, cold, headache, acne, skin rashes, indigestion, etc.
For example, herbal tea made up of Holy Basil or Tulsi is effective in treating cough and it is very safe for internal consumption. Ginger is also strongly recommended for treating common cold and cough.
Long term and short term uses of herbal remedies are considered safe. Many of the herbal plants are widely used in our kitchen in the form of tea, tonic, spices, and other food forms.
Having said that, there are always some exceptions. If you are allergic to some medication or some chemical constituents or if you don’t feel good after using any herbal remedy, the usage must be stopped immediately.
Herbal Medicines Enhance Human Health
Herbal plants have numerous compounds known as phytochemicals that are considered good for human health. This is why green teas or herbal teas, and essential oils are so popular these days. Herbal plants act as tonic for human body. Herbs enhance the physical and mental health.
Human health is related with the diet and the environment. If the diet is more plant based and clean, there are less chances of contracting any disease. Medicinal plants are considered important in sustainable human health.
Herbal Medicines Prevent Illness
Herbal plants and herbal remedies are known for their medicinal role since centuries. Today, scientific evidences also available that strongly prove the association of prevention of disease in humans and the herbal plants.
Have you ever tried a herbal remedy to cure a disease? I have used Hing (Asafoetida) in treating constipation. Ajwain (Carom seeds) are also used to treat problems related to digestive system. Plants derived components are considered anti-viral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, etc.
Herbal Plants are Easy to Grow
Herbal plants are easy to grow in the kitchen garden or in lawn. They need little space and less maintenance. Yo can have your own herbal corner in your kitchen to plant these herbs for personal use. Some of the herbs that can be easily cultivated at home are: Holy Basil, coriander (cilantro), mint, fennel, parsley, thyme, lavender, etc.
Herbal Remedies are Affordable
Herbal medicines are more affordable that the modern medicines. These are cost effective and easier to obtain.
Herbal Remedies can be Used as Dietary Supplements
Herbal plants can be easily used in our diets and consumed. These can also be used as dietary supplements. For example, many of you might have heard about Stevia (a plant) used as a sweetener in tea or other sweet dishes. Stevia is a dietary supplement for common household refined sugar.
Things To Keep In Mind
There are few things that should always be considered before using a herbal medication.
- Consult a Doctor: Before using a herbal medicine it is advisable to consult your general physician for the benefits and side effects.
- Do not mix 2 Medications: Do not mix and match medicines. If you are using allopathy medicines, do not start using herbal medicines.
- Purchase Herbal Medicines from a Reputed Supplier: It is always recommended to purchase herbal medicines from a trusted and reputed supplier only. Do not trust any online or offline herbal medicine suppliers.
- Stop Using Medication If Noticing any Ill Effects: The herbal medication should be stopped immediately if the user experiences any side effects.
Herbal medicines generally take weeks and even months to show some results. So it is advisable to be patient and wait for the results and not to discontinue the medicines in the middle of the treatment.
Herbal plants are gaining popularity day by day. People are always looking for some natural and holistic approach to treat any disease especially if the diseases are minor such as headache, skin rash, cough, etc. Due to insignificant side effects, herbal plants are considered safe and natural.
What is your thought on the use of herbal medicines? Do you use any form of herbal products now or used recently? Please let me know in the comment section.
Read More: I have already published several posts on my blog regarding benefits of some herbal plants. You can read about them in the links provided below.