The Top Popular Herbs Used As Health Supplements

Updated on October 26th, 2020
Herbal Supplements

Medicinal herbs not only add flavor without calories, but they may also serve up health advantages as healing foods. Herbal medicine has been used as pantry medicine for hundreds of years, and while our body’s response to these natural ingredients has not changed, we now have more worldwide choices than ever.

There is no substitute for routine checkups and competent medical care. 

However, to live healthy and avoid disease, sensible eating and a good diet is critical. Basic knowledge of how herbs and food can help what ails you is crucial to your reasonable eating plan. Here are a few healing herbal supplements to add to your recipe rotation.

How to Choose an Herbal Supplements

There are undoubtedly reputable brands out there that carry some beneficial supplements for optimal health. You may use the data on portals such as U.S. News and World Report to help you verify herbal supplements brands you can rely on. 

Look for herbal brands certified (NSF) to ensure that what is mentioned to be in the bottle is actually ins the bottle. This certification also makes sure that the product contains no unacceptable levels of contaminants or undeclared ingredients.

Now that you know a bit about choosing a reputable brand, let’s look at some Popular Herbs Used As Health Supplements.

1. Ginger

Ginger is herbal medicine and a commonplace ingredient. You can eat it dried or fresh, though its primary medicinal forms are as a capsule or tea. Just like turmeric, ginger is a rhizome or stem that grows underground.

It contains various beneficial compounds and has long been used in folk and traditional practices to treat nausea, colds, migraines, and high blood pressure [1].

Its well-established everyday use is for relieving nausea associated with chemotherapy, pregnancy, and medical operations. Furthermore, test-tube and animal research reveal potential benefits for preventing and treating illnesses like heart disease and cancer, although the evidence is mixed.

2. Turmeric

Curcuma longa (Turmeric) is an herb that is from the ginger group. Used for thousands of years in medicine and cooking alike, it has recently garnered attention for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is the principal active substance in turmeric.

It may treat various conditions, including pain, chronic inflammation, anxiety, and metabolic syndrome [2].

In specific, several studies reveal that supplemental doses of curcumin are as useful for relieving arthritis pain as some regular anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen

3. Ginkgo

It is one of the oldest living tree species worldwide; ginkgo has been used in Chinese medicine for many years. Ginkgo can be used as a supplement in capsules, tablets, teas, and extracts.

Health Benefits of Ginkgo

The extract from ginkgo leaves is often used as an ailment for various conditions like vision, cognitive, and heart health issues. Research shows that GBE  (ginkgo biloba extract) can help those with dementia and mild cognitive impairment regarding cognitive health [3].

Research results show that there is clear evidence that MBEs, combined with medication treatment, can help improve neuropsychiatric symptoms, cognition, and daily activities. However, there is not adequate proof to show that ginkgo could prevent cognitive function issues.

4. St. John’s Wort

Scientifically called Hypericum perforatum, this flowering plant has been used for hundreds of years for ailments like wound healing, insomnia, and lung and kidney health issues.  However, one important use of St. John’s wort is to cure depression.

Health Benefits of St. John’s Wort

Studies show that SJW (St. John’s wort) is significant compared to placebo in improving symptoms in those with moderate to mild depression [4].

Other studies have corroborated such findings and have indicated that St. John’s wort may provide similar results for mild to moderate depression as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are typically prescribed for such patients.

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This supplement was viewed as safer than selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in this treatment modality. However, it is not clear if such results would be seen in those with more extreme forms of depression.

Recent studies also indicate that St. John’s Wort may show promise for treating other conditions too. A 2018 research shows that St. John’s Wort in little 250 mg (milligrams) doses daily could positively affect the short-term memory capacity.

Another 2018 research proves that St. John’s Wort, in the form of an ointment, could help minimize pain in those recovering from an episiotomy.

5. Echinacea

The coneflower or echinacea plant is a native plant of North American whose above-ground parts and roots have been used in their dried and fresh form as a traditional medicine for several years. This plant-based supplement can be present in the form of expressed juice, teas, capsules, extracts, and preparations.

Health benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea is most commonly renowned for its use in helping relieve symptoms of the common cold. Studies show that prophylactic treatment with this extract (2400 mg/day) over four months appeared beneficial for treating or preventing the common cold.

However, this herbal supplement shows promise as a helpful treatment for many other aspects of health. It is thought that some of these health benefits may originate from the soil and organic matter in which it is grown. It’s in this cultivation that may alter the bacterial community in the plant and provide or enhance its benefits.

Bottom Line

Several people worldwide rely on herbal medicines to treat health issues. Umpteen varieties exist, but some of the most popular include ginseng, ginkgo, turmeric, ginger, and chamomile. Though their applications tend to be extremely broad, most of their supposed benefits lack strong scientific proof.

Remember that, like traditional drugs, herbal remedies may interact adversely with other medications. Thus, it’s suggested that you consult your medical practitioner before adding a new supplement or herb to your routine.

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