The top ten herbal remedies are the ones most popular with the public. They provide a more natural alternative to drugs, and are often worth trying (but if you are on medication, check first with your doctor or a medical herbalist that you can take them).
Arnica: the Arnica flower is native to the Alps but its qualities for healing bruises have been recognised for many years. It cannot be taken as a herb internally but is available as a homeopathic tablet. Arnica Gel or cream is excellent for healing bruises and also for soothing stiff joints, aching muscles and osteoarthritis.
Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum): found in the Kalahari desert the natives have traditionally used this herb for digestive complaints. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore very suitable for arthritis, rheumatism and sports injuries. Fears that the herb would become extinct have been alleviated by schemes to grow it sustainably in southern Africa.
Echinacea: taken as a tincture or tablets it boosts the immune system. The native Indians have used it for thousands of years to put on snake bites and other wounds. More often used now to help resistance to colds, flu and other infections, but has been proven in trials to be effective against respiratory infections.
Ginkgo biloba: from one of the oldest trees in the world the Ginkgo tree was one of the first prehistoric plants on the earth over 150 million years ago. Best known for enhancing circulation and thereby improving the memory it has other uses too. The leaves are used to make tinctures to improve circulation and the function of the brain as well as asthma. The seeds are used by Chinese doctors for urinary problems and wheezing. Read more in Boost Your Memory.
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus): good old conkers that so many children enjoy collecting have another use – they have excellent properties as an astringent to help to prevent and soothe varicose veins. It can be taken as a tincture or the gel can be rubbed into the legs.
St John’s Wort: has become a popular choice for depression but people have to be careful about taking it in conjunction with other medication or even with light boxes (that are used for Seasonal Affective Disorder – see Features, SAD). Also known as Hypericum which is used as a cream to heal wounds. is widely available through health food stores, chemists and at Nutricentre (see the Nutricentre ad). If you are taking medication you should always check with a registered medical herbalist or your doctor before taking herbs to ensure that they do not contraindicate.
Milk Thistle: protects the liver from toxic chemicals and is often useful around Christmas when over-indulgence is the norm. It is sometimes used when people have liver disease but can’t be used as a cure-all for heavy drinkers! It was called Milk Thistle because it was taken by nursing mums to help encourage the flow of milk.
Sage: is particularly recognised as being helpful for hot flushes. You can gather some leaves from the garden, put them in a teapot and sip them if you are going through the menopause or purchase a tincture or tablets. It is also helpful as a gargle for sore throats.
Saw Palmetto: originating in North America saw palmetto has been used by native Americans for thousands of years to help ease chronic congestion. Recent research has shown it to be effective for prostate problems in men without the side-effects of prescription drugs.
Valerian-Hops: 19th century poets and other creative types were known to use Valerian. Combined with unpollenated hops which are renowned for their calming qualities it is a useful herb for helping you sleep or for generally calming down without making you feel dopey in the day.
Source: A. Vogel
|Aesculus Gel||A. Vogel Bioforce||100g||£9.15|
|Ginkgo biloba||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Aesculus Horse Chestnut Tincture||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Echinaforce Echinacea tincture||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Devils Claw Tincture||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Milk Thistle Compound Tincture with Dandelion & Artichoke||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Atrogel Arnica Gel||A. Vogel Bioforce||100g||£9.15|
|Saw Palmetto||Viridian Nutrition||30 veg caps||£8.70|
|Valerian Hops Complex (Dormeasan)||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|St John’s Wort Organic Tincture||Viridian||50ml||£7.70|
|Saw Palmetto||A Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Milk Thistle & Dandelion Root (Organic)||Kiwiherbs||50ml||£10.27|
|Menosan Sage tincture||A. Vogel Bioforce||50ml||£9.20|
|Echinacea Throat Spray||A. Vogel Bioforce||30ml||£8.65|
|To order these products go to www.superfooduk.com. and put in the promotion code: HSoul1 for a 5% discount.|