- Aloe vera: It can be used as a topical agent for soothing burns and can be ingested to reduce post-meal glucose highs associated with diabetes and pre-diabetes.
- Black cohosh: The roots and rhizomes of this flowering plant can help treat hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause. The plant was used medicinally to treat menopause by Native Americans.
- Cranberry juice: The proanthocyanidins (antioxidants) in cranberry juice can treat and prevent urinary tract infections. The mechanism is not completely understood, but the proanthocyanidins may prevent adhesion of bacteria onto kidneys, bladder and urethra tissues.
- Echinacea: A flower in the daisy family that, in one study, was as effective as Tamiflu in fighting influenza, with fewer side effects. The best results are seen with Echinacea whole root extract.
- Fish oil: The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have been repeatedly and convincingly shown to lower triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood that at high levels may raise a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Flaxseed (also known as linseed): One of the richest sources of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, flax seed has anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve joint pain. There is some evidence it may be able to modestly reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol concentration. To improve absorption, grind flaxseed and use promptly to prevent oxidation of the beneficial oils.
- Ginger: All forms – powdered, fresh or candied – can relieve nausea and upset stomach in some people.
- Mint leaves: Mint tea is an age-old digestion aid. Some herbalists may recommend covering steeping tea to help trap volatile oils. You can also crush and eat the leaves.
- Psyllium seed husks: A soluble dietary fiber added to commercially sold laxatives, psyllium can also help control blood glucose levels. It can also bind to some medications so separate ingestion of psyllim and medications by one or two hours.
- Saw palmetto: An extract of the fruit of a fan palm, saw palmetto has been shown in human research studies to reduce prostate-specific antigen levels, meaning it can decrease symptoms of an enlarged prostate.
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