JAN 19 EDITIONLife StyleTrending

Herbs: Nature’s Best Gift

By Susan Orakwe

Herbs are unarguably one of nature’s invaluable asset to man. The widespread use of herbal therapies attests to the immeasurable benefits and succor it brings to users worldwide. These plants-derived products have been part of human existence since the beginning of time. Herbs play a major role in traditional history and cultural heritage especially in the aspect of food, health, aesthetics etc.

HEALTH REMEDIES IN HERBS

Ployphenol Herbs,
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Herbs were extremely important in ancient times before the introduction of modern medicine Anthropologists believe that people began making healing ointments out of fragrant plants combined with olive oil and sesame oil as early as 7000 B.C. The true power of herbs lies in their wealth of protective polyphenols; plant compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The Neem herbs and benefits The neem plant popularly known as dogonyaro in most parts of Nigeria is a medicinal herb which has been as far back as 5000 years ago. In English, it is called Azadirachta Indica. This natural herb holds both problems and cure. It has both antibacterial and disease preventing essentials. The neem leave serve as an effective blood cleanser, it controls high blood sugar, removes toxins and decreases elevated heart rates. It equally improves eye health and effective in curing malaria.

Camphor Herbal Plant Used In India.
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Dogonyaro can equally be used as a virginal suppository to control and avoid the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). It is used in treating food poisoning associated with staphylococcus and salmonella bacteria, help prevent fatigue, aches, sore throat, pains, cough, cold, hepatitis and so on. It is important to note that children below 10 years of age are advised not to take dogonyaro tea or extracts as it can be detrimental to their health Various studies have  shown that polyphenols in herbs help combat such diseases as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and more. Polyphenols are anti’-microbial, so they can help protect us from harmful bacteria as well. One of the best Indian Herbs for healthy living is Camphor: This plant is blessed with numerous health benefits; its bark prevents bacteria and fungus and also provides relief from pain. This herb acts as an aphrodisiac and improves mental health. In addition, Camphor oil is also used to treat cough, cold, asthma, hiccups, liver disorders and toothache. Camphor can also be used to treat muscle or nerve pain and depression.

CAMPHOR HERBAL PLANT USED IN INDIA

Aloe Vera.
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Aloe Vera plant is known to have great health and medicinal benefits. The Aloe Vera is very effective in healing of wounds and burns. It also aids digestion and help remove or relieve the body of intestinal worms. It also serves as body detoxifier. South Africa is famous for its use of herbs .The buchu herb (Agathosma Betulina) is commercially cultivated in the Western Cape for its essential oils. It is a world renowned natural anti­inflammatory and antiseptic herb, used to treat high blood pressure, UTI infections, arthritis, gout and countless other ailments.

 

AESTHETIC USE OF HERBS

Perennial Herb.
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“Mitracarpusscader” known as the  perennial plant is a herb characterized with antibacterial and antifungal which are used to treat skin infections such as infected wounds, dermatoses, ringworms, toothaches, hepatic and venereal diseases. In addition, the Ringworm plant also known as Senna alata, candle bush or Christmas candle. It is used for treating skin infections, convulsions and intestinal parasites. Hair dye can be obtained solely from plants. One of the oldest of such dyes is the red henna, obtained from dried and ground leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant and the same plant has been used for centuries to decorate nails as well as the skin. Another plant useful for dying the hair is chamomile. The flower heads provide an ample solution to brighten blonde and brown hair. Saffron has the same effect.

Red Henna.
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Forex is another herb with a high value in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, natural health even as food. Forex is said to be the South Africa’s main trading spices. Its finished product includes the Aloe bitters which is said to have remained the main product exported from South Africa. Forex is known for its effectiveness in its application on the skin, eyes and membranes. Herbs can also be used to make lotion that cleans the skin, mascara, shampoo, oils and salts for the bath, soaps and talcum powders, creams, et cetera. Chinese women used to perfume their hair with plants. The Romans attended baths containing many herbs, mostly lavender. The ancient Britons used to color their skin with  a bluish dye obtained from the masticated leaves of the wood. It seems the Britons used such dye to scare their enemies in battle, but it was probably also a strong haemostatic.

Culinary Herbs and their Benefits Culinary herbs such as Parsley, Mint, Basil leaves, root bark, berry seed, Stigma and bud of a flower or plant are aromatic herbs used in specific recipes to aid food digestion in the body. These herbs are used in small quantities because of their strong taste. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect

South Africa .
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Cinnamon is a popular spice, commonly used in different recipes and baked goods. It contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for cinnamon’s medicinal properties Cinnamon’s potent antioxidant activity, helps fight inflammation and has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Ginger is also a useful herb for the treatment of inflammation, nausea, pains etc Culinary herb around the world have helped shape the best known dishes of Arabia, China, Nigeria, Egypt, Greece, India, and Persia. The way these cultures used herbs has built culinary traditions that have lasted into modern times, creating the distinct flavors upon which their cuisines are based today.

There is a popular consensus that given a choice, most people would prefer to purchase organic products for health related issues because of its natural remedies in the prevention and treatment of illnesses and its role in the general well-being of man. The benefits of Herbs is therefore increasingly gaining global acceptance because of its invaluable inherent therapies.

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