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Medicinal Plants: Nature’s Doctors

Want to feel better without taking medicine or going to a doctor? Well, this isn’t that kind of article- you still need to suck it up and visit a professional. But there are plenty of natural remedies you can use for smaller pains and ills, many of which you might already have in your pantry.

BLACKBERRIES

Like most berries, blackberries are chock-full of antioxidants and vitamins. But what few people realize is the medicinal properties of the roots and leaves. They can serve as a treatment against both diarrhea and dysentery. The leaves can also be munched on to treat inflammation in the mouth, thanks to the anti-inflammatory and astringent traits.

GINGER

Ginger is a fantastic pain reliever, able to fight migraines and joint pain as well as over-the-counter medicines. It can also reduce or prevent nausea, particularly in pregnant women. Studies published in Cancer Prevention Research indicate that it could even be more powerful than chemotherapy, mostly in the colon. It also pairs deliciously with…

GARLIC

If you can get past the taste and stench of raw garlic, eating a clove or two a day will keep your body in top shape. Like blackberries, it has anti-inflammatory properties, but the real selling point is how garlic can boost your boosting the immune system. It can also reduce blood pressure by improving circulation. Important to note: garlic must be crushed/chopped for the medicinal effects to occur.

CHAMOMILE

Chamomile is already well-known for its stomach- and mind-soothing taste and smell. A cup of chamomile tea can go a long way in promoting sleep or stopping digestive issues. But beyond the sedative and muscle relaxant properties, it can be used as medicine for eczema, chicken pox, gum inflammation, and even diaper rash.

MARIJUANA

While still a controversial topic, the benefits of medicinal marijuana are undeniable. Several states have legalized the plant to be used for medical reasons only. As a medicine, it can be used to fight depression, relieve pain, counter anxiety, and treat glaucoma. It’s also remarkably useful as a material (in hemp form).

LAVENDER

Again, another popular stress reliever has an untapped market as a medicine. Lavender oil is a dedicated fighter of skin and nail infections that are normally impervious to antifungal solutions. It’s also fantastic if you have a cough or bronchitis, as it can relieve respiratory issues when inhaled. Lavender has the added bonus of also keeping your hair silky smooth.

DANDELION

If you’re out mowing your lawn and run into these weeds, don’t just run them over- pick them and enjoy them in your salad! Aside from tasting great (when properly prepared), they are full of nutrients like vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and potassium. They can also assist with water retention. However, boil the greens briefly to remove the bitter, unappetizing flavor.

THYME

Another herb rich in antioxidants, thyme can be used as a quick, homemade medicine for minor sores and skin conditions. Thyme oil excels at combating hangovers as well and can be used as an insect repellent and a mouthwash. It’s easy to grow, too, so it may be worth adding to your herb garden. Although it probably already was, considering how many recipes call for it.

PEPPERMINT

No longer restricted to just candy canes, peppermint oil is an extremely versatile medical marvel. It can clear nasal congestion, act as a muscle relaxant, and is one of the most popular picks for treating IBS. And that’s just the oil! Fresh leaves are even more potent and delicious in a considerable number of dishes, like tea, fruit salads, and gazpacho.

What plants do you use as medicine? Let us know on social media or in the comments.

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