Natural Support for Immunity, Mood, Vitality, and Digestion
Naturopathy is perhaps the most holistic of all the modalities –as it embraces most of them, but its key is to treat the individual person, not the symptoms.
This article is all about natural supplements that are used specifically to boost immunity, enhance mood, increase vitality, and support digestion.
Many of these remedies have been used for centuries and all are now supported by science.
Read on for more about quick and natural support for a few of the top health complaints from nature's own pharmacy.
Natural Support for Immunity
- Cat’s Claw: A vine that grows high into the canopy roof of the Amazonian rainforest and gets its name from the claw like thorns, which protrude from its woody stems. Cat's claw is also found in tropical regions of Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, and other parts of South America,
Peruvian tribes are known to have used it for at least 2000 years, yet Cat's claw was virtually unheard of in the rest of the world until the 1970s. At that time stories began appearing in the press about its use as a cancer medicine and knowledge of this traditional remedy spread worldwide almost overnight.
Traditionally the plant has been used as an anti-inflammatory, for wound healing and as a treatment for rheumatism, ulcers, and dysentery. In addition, early research into its cancer-fighting properties has shown promise.
- Cranberry: Ever since Native Americans discovered the health-giving benefits of cranberries, they have become a favorite medicinal fruit of traditional herbalists and naturopaths.
In recent years, science has unraveled some of the mysteries of this extraordinary plant and confirmed its traditional value.
In 1984, Dr. Anthony Sobota published research demonstrating that cranberries contain a component that prevents bacteria from attaching to the walls of the bladder and kidneys where they would normally live and multiply. He found that a glass of cranberry juice a day was ten times as effective at killing urinary bacteria as conventional antibiotics.
- Echinacea: Echinacea is an effective natural herb for preventing illness. The herb has been shown to increase the body’s white blood cell count, boosting the immune system. You can find this flowering plant at most stores in liquid or pill form.
Native Americans traditionally used it on cuts, burns, and other injuries to prevent infection. Both the Sioux and Comanche tribes revered the plant for its healing properties. Historically it has been used for a wide range of condition is including allergies and asthma, but most modern research has studied its value as a natural and safe immune booster.
- Turmeric: A member of the ginger family, turmeric is native to India and China and is available in both fresh and dried forms. This essential ingredient of Curry powder is also wide in Southern Asian cooking.
The most valuable of the plant's chemicals are its volatile oils, particularly curcumin, which is extracted and sold as a specific medicinal substance. Traditionally, turmeric was used in the treatment of bad eyesight, rheumatism, arthritis and liver problems.
As well as confirming the traditional activities of turmeric, scientists are now fascinated by its powerful antioxidant and protective properties. And it has one huge advantage. There are no side effects.
Natural Support for Mood
- Black Cohosh: Yet another Native American medicine, natives used it to great effect in the relief of rheumatic pain, joint disorders, as well as problems of the menstrual cycle. The traditional use of black cohosh is for the relief of the physical and psychological symptoms of the menstrual cycle and later, menopause. It's particularly effective in the relief of hot flashes and general malaise of menopause and helps lift the low mood that can be associated with menopausal symptoms.
- Feverfew: A member of the chrysanthemum family, feverfew is originally native to Southern Europe.
It appears to have powerful anti-inflammatory action, which would explain its historical use.
Although fever few has been used as an effective treatment for migraine and headaches for more than 300 years, it wasn't until the 1970s that any serious clinical evaluation was undertaken. The results confirmed the wisdom of 17th century herbalists and showed that around 70% of migraine suffers could benefit from this simple, safe and herbal remedy.
- Valerian: A perennial with pretty pink flower, valerian has been in use since the Middle Ages for medicinal purposes. The ancient Greeks and Romans understood the herb's value as a gentle sedative and in the middle of the 18th century, it became widely accepted in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. In small doses, valerian is calming without causing drowsiness. Larger doses become mildly sedative and can help to restore sleep patterns for anyone suffering from insomnia.
- Kava Kava: This large climbing shrub is found all over the Pacific islands and its root is made into a non-alcoholic drink by the Pacific Islanders for use as an herbal remedy for mood enhancement. It is also used as an aphrodisiac. This valuable member of the pepper family contains a unique resin made up of kava lactones as well as the alkaloid pipermethysticine. In modest doses, kava kava relieves stress and anxiety. It can also help relieve muscle tension.
Natural Support for Vitality
- Bio-Strath Elixir: a proprietary mixture made by feeding a complex mixture of many medicinal herbs to a very special and nutritious variety of yeast. During the process, the yeast cells digest and absorb all the beneficial contents of the herbs. A fermentation process follows that ruptures the cell walls of the yeast, releasing the contents, which now include beneficial enzymes from the yeast. Organic honey and orange juice are added, resulting in an easily absorbed and amazingly versatile natural food supplement. This booster has been a favorite of top athletes and celebrities who need to be “on” and have unflagging vitality.
- Guarana: A medicinal plant from the Brazilian rainforest and used for many thousands of years as a tonic, stimulant and aid to vitality.
With none of the side effects of caffeine, guarana is of enormous help in the treatment of chronic fatigue and “tired all the time” syndrome on a day-to-day basis. It provides the vitality to cope with long hours of work, sports endurance, and even a night on the town.
Guarana can be taken as capsules, liquid extracts, as a chewing gum, or a tea.
- Ginseng: Although introduced to Europe around 800 CE, it wasn’t until the 1700s that the west came to understand ginseng’s energy-boosting properties.
There is good evidence that this supplement strengthens the body’s natural immune system, increasing resistance to infection. It also helps fight against stress and is a great short-term aid during extremely stressful periods such as divorce, bereavement, moving to a new city, etc.
Note: Recommended to only use for 2-3 week period and Ginseng not advised for use by people with high blood pressure or during pregnancy/breast-feeding.
Best taken as capsules or in a liquid tonic.
Natural Support for Digestion
- Fennel: Fennel has a history dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is invaluable in the treatment of constipation, IBS, colic, and indigestion. Seeds also help with liver function and fat digestion and are commonly chewed after meals in India & West Asia.
- Peppermint: The use of this plant dates back to ancient Egypt and the Greeks & Romans used it as well. Peppermint is one of the most effective remedies for indigestion and to relieve gastric discomfort.
- Ginger: Used in China since 1000 BCE and by European herbalists since the Middle Ages, ginger is one of the most potent digestive remedies. Useful for preventing morning sickness, travel sickness, and to prevent nausea after anesthetics and radiation.
- Fenugreek: An aromatic spice native to Mediterranean and Northern Africa, fenugreek is a great remedy for reducing inflammation in the stomach lining, treating gastric ulcers, and relieving constipation.
- CBD: Did you know CBD is shown to help with digestion? Because CBD interacts with the Endocannabinoid system, it can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, alleviate bloating and abdominal discomfort, and help reduce stress caused by dealing with digestive issues.
All-in-One Natural Support: CBD
CBD activates your body’s very own healing system supporting your body to reduce inflammation; improve sleep quality & boost immune function.
Studies indicate that CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. It has also shown promise in lowering pain and inflammation due to arthritis.
Many consumers are successfully using CBD to replace high-risk prescription pain meds.
More and more people are incorporating CBD into their everyday wellness practices as a means of promoting rest and relaxation, achieving a sense of calm, and improving their overall wellbeing. The fact that CBD is plant-based, doesn’t alter our consciousness, and may not have the same side effects as prescription and over-the-counter drugs is a big draw.
How CBD Works
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How CBD Helps You Chill
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