People have been turning to the world of herbs and natural products to help heal their ailments for generations. The use of herbal remedies goes back as far as the Ancient Egyptians, who were among the first to recognize the extraordinary healing powers of many plants, berries and trees.
Today, herbal supplements are a multi-million dollar business with many products gracing the shelves of retail stores and the sites of online retailers. Here are the top ten sellers among herbal supplements and an explanation of what makes them nature’s best:
Gingko biloba – with millions of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, it is no surprise that this particular herb is one of the biggest sellers on the market today. Gingko is known for its ability to increase blood flow and improve nervous system function, thus boosting brain function and enhancing memory. It is also a powerful antioxidant, helping to improve immune system function by ridding the system of built-up toxins.
St. John’s Wort – this particular herbal supplement is one of the oldest remedies known to man and over $100 million in sales in the past year alone is testament to its popularity. It is primarily used to treat mild to moderate depression, a psychological and physiological disorder that affects many individuals of all age groups. St. John’s Wort is highly sought after as it is much milder than traditional medicines used to treat depression, which can have serious or even lethal side effects.
Ginseng – an Oriental herb that is most often brewed in a tea, this ancient plant can help to ease feelings of fatigue and combat weakness, which makes it particularly popular among individuals undergoing chemotherapy or suffering from ailments that tend to zap energy.
Garlic – this is one of the most common natural cures and also one of the most powerful. This simple bulb, used to enhance flavor in cooking, has a myriad of healing properties including the ability to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce pain and even work as an antibiotic to fight bacterial infection.
Echinacea – a flowering plant long used for healing by Native Americans, Echinacea has the ability to boost immune system function, making it a powerful agent against everything from the common cold to the AIDS virus.
Saw palmetto – this plant has spiked in popularity in recent years due to its use as a treatment for prostate enlargement and impotence. Saw palmetto is known to inhibit testosterone production that can in turn cause increased swelling around the prostate. As a natural alternative to prescription medications it can bring relief without causing serious side effects.
Kava kava – an herb found primarily in Polynesia, Kava kava has found its niche primarily as a treatment for anxiety. Drinking a beverage made from kava kava root is known to have a calming effect on the nervous system, perhaps the reason why the Island way of life always seems to be so stress free.
Soy - this hearty plant has long been touted among vegans and vegetarians as a healthy protein alternative. In recent years, it has also been found to have healing effects on women experiencing the troubling symptoms of menopause including hot flashes and night sweats. Research into its other healing properties is ongoing.
Valerian – this flowering root may smell bad, but it is still quite popular due to its distinct healing properties. Valerian has a sedative and hypnotic effect that can help to battle anxiety and ease sleep disorders, while it also works as an antispasmodic, easing muscle cramps, tension and pain.
Evening Primrose – the oil of the Evening Primrose plant has the ability to stimulate production of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin E1. Increased levels of prostaglandin are directly linked to relieving everything from the bloating and cramping associated with PMS to easing the joint pain of arthritis and even treating skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
There is little doubt that nature has the ability to fill in where traditional medicine may fall short and the continued popularity of herbal remedies speaks to that point. No matter what particular condition you are battling, you are sure to find relief when you tap into the best healing nature has to offer.
Most herbs can be purchased as stand alone supplements or together with other herbs in a more comprehensive supplement.
One company that meets the highest standards when it comes to the purity and strength of their herbal extracts is called Starwest Botanicals. They offer a variety of organic herbs in various potent, pure and fresh forms including teas, capsules, powders and whole pods.
So if you are looking for any of the 10 most popular herbal supplements on the market, or any of the hundreds of other therapeutic herbs that's a good place to start.
For more information on how to choose visit our Ultimate Guide to Herbal Supplements.