Herbs Can Keep You Heathy

The US Centers for Disease Control and Infection states that around 1 in 3 of the adult population has a problem with high blood pressure. This is often linked with high cholesterol and other health problems. While many patients turn to doctors for prescribed medications blood pressure can be lowered through making a few lifestyle changes. Using more herbs in our diet is one way to do this and a method that can make meal times more interesting as well.

Which Herbs?

Fresh garlic is one of the herbs that brings the greatest health benefits. It contains allicin, a powerful compound which provides antiviral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. Studies have also found it lower both cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Cayenne pepper is a spicy herb often used in chillies and barbecue sauces that is effective in lowering blood pressure. It helps open up the blood vessels and improves the flow of blood around the body. For those who enjoy the taste in any form, cayenne pepper can be mixed into tea or even warm water with lemon.

Recent studies have indicated that cinnamon may be effective in reducing blood pressure although studies have not fully identified how it manages this so far. Studies have shown positive results in patients with high blood pressure and it is also useful in reducing blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

Herbs such as turmeric, basil and rosemary have also been linked to reductions in cholesterol and blood pressure and introducing them into a diet will make food tastier and arguably save further expense on more standard medications. Preparing home-cooked meals with herbs and spices will help cut down on costly ready meals or takeaways. Diet experts consistently recommend cutting down on foods with high levels of sodium, saturated fats, trans fats and added sugars. Fast foods are loaded with these and moving towards cooking at home with fresh vegetables and herbs can have a range of health benefits.

Herbal Remedies For Cancer

Claims that herbs and herbal remedies can fight cancer remain unproven although herbal medicine has long been used as a complementary or alternative therapy by some cancer patients. Many cancer patients have tried some form of herbal remedy alongside traditional treatments with the most popular including St. John’s wort, ginger, green tea and Echinacea.

Some studies have shown that herbal remedies can help ease the symptoms of cancer or the unpleasant side effects of some treatments. There is some evidence that certain types of herbal remedies can reduce some side effects but larger clinical trials are needed before any conclusive findings can be made. Other studies into use of Chinese remedies have found that some herbal medicines can slow down the rate of a type of liver cancer, reduce the associated abdominal pain, cut down tiredness and boost appetite.

It’s probably best to remain sceptical about some claims about the medicinal benefits of herbs and herbal remedies but they are all natural products and unless taken in excessive doses they are not going to do you any harm. Herbs and associated herbal products can increase a sense of well-being at the very least.

 

Image by Oakley Originals via Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakleyoriginals/

 

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