There's a reason natural herbs have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years by cultures around the world—they really can offer health benefits! The popularity of herbal supplements doesn't appear to be waning anytime soon: A recent survey found that nearly one in five Americans reported using a natural product, such as herbs, for health purposes.
Herbs are plants or parts of plants such as the roots or leaves, and herbal medicine uses these natural sources to heal and prevent disease.
Here are five benefits of using natural health herbs:
Benefit 1: Herbs can treat a wide breadth of medical issues.
There's an herb for just about any physical malady! St. John's Wort is used to treat depression, anxiety and sleep issues; peppermint is used to ease several gastrointestinal issues; feverfew is given to prevent migraine headaches … the list goes on! Natural herbs can be used for nearly any condition, from insomnia to high blood pressure to memory impairment.
Benefit 2: Herbs can be used in numerous forms.
Herbs come in many forms, including pills, powders, teas, extracts and oils, in addition to the plants themselves, which can often be purchased in both fresh and dried form. Want to try ginger to improve your digestion but hate swallowing pills? No problem! Just brew a tea or throw some fresh or dried ginger in a stir-fry. Most herbs can be used in several ways, allowing you to gain health benefits through a means that works for you (and might even be tasty)!
Benefit 3: Herbs are packed with antioxidants!
Many herbs are antioxidant powerhouses! They're great sources of substances that help your body fend off damage from disease-causing free radicals. For example, dandelion greens contain vitamin A, important for eye health. Some herbs, such as oregano, contain high concentrations of antioxidants, making it easy to take in large quantities of these natural healing chemicals with just a small amount of the herb—a big bonus for those who don't get enough fruits and vegetables.
Benefit 4: Herbs can be used to prevent as well as treat medical conditions
Herbs can help you be proactive about your health. For example, turmeric's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties could help stave off cancer and taking garlic to lower cholesterol could help prevent heart disease. Natural health herbs like these can help you address health problems before they arise.
Benefit 5: Natural herbs are earth-friendly.
Herbs begin in a garden or farm, not in a laboratory. By choosing herbs and herb products grown and processed without pesticides or other chemicals, you not only make a choice that's healthy for your body, but healthy for the earth as well.
The benefits of natural health herbs are numerous—it's no wonder so many people are using them to improve their health! Just remember, it's important to let your doctor know about any herbs you're using or plan to use to eliminate potentially dangerous interactions and address any possible side effects.