By Christopher Hobbs
To maintain your health and combat common conditions, try herbal remedies as an alternate to pharmaceutical drugs. To protect rare herbs, check out some easy substitutions for these endangered plants. Use a handy guide for herbal alternatives for common medications and, depending on the type of herbal remedy you’re taking, follow a recommended dosage guide.
HERBAL REMEDIES FOR COMMON CONDITIONS
If you’re looking for an alternative to over-the-counter or prescription drugs for some common conditions that eventually affect everyone, try these herbal remedies to ease symptoms and maintain a healthier you:
|Symptom or Condition||Herbal Remedy|
|Allergies (hay fever)||Nettle herb, eyebright, cayenne, garlic, horseradish|
Meadowsweet, ginger, cayenne,
black cohosh, yucca, devil’s|
|Bladder infections (cystitis)||
Cranberry juice, marshmallow
root, pipsissewa, uva-ursi,|
|Burns, scrapes, rashes, bites||Calendula cream, chamomile cream, St. John’s wort oil|
Cayenne, garlic, ginger, osha,
sage, yerba mansa, elder flowers|
|Congestion, sinus||Cayenne, horseradish, eyebright, eucalyptus, ma huang|
Sage leaf, loquat leaf, licorice
root, wild cherry bark,|
American ginseng, red ginseng,
rosemary, rehmannia, licorice,|
Peppermint, chamomile, cumin
seed, caraway seed, fennel|
|Headaches||Feverfew, wood betony, willow bark, meadowsweet|
|Infections of the skin||Echinacea, tea tree oil|
|Insomnia||Valerian, California poppy, chamomile, linden flower, kava|
|Memory (poor)||Ginkgo, rosemary, gotu kola|
Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng),
valerian, California poppy,|
passion flower, hops
|Sore throat||Sage leaf, echinacea, licorice, marshmallow|
|Stomachache||Ginger, peppermint, chamomile, gentian, centaury|
Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng),
California poppy, ligustrum,|
A DOSAGE GUIDE FOR HERBAL REMEDIES
The following table gives you information on dosage recommendations for herbal remedies. This chart is to help you make informed choices and is not a substitute for expert medical advice or treatment, since each individual is unique.
|Teas||1 cup, 3 to 4 times throughout the day|
|Powdered herbs||2 to 4 capsules, 2 to 3 times daily|
|Tinctures||2 to 5 droppersful, 2 to 3 times daily|
|Standardized extracts||1 tablet, 2 to 3 times daily|
SUBSTITUTES FOR RARE AND ENDANGERED HERBS
Interest in herbal medicine has dramatically increased, and along with the destruction of habitat, encroaching development, and commercial overharvesting, some healing herbs have become endangered. You can help these rare plants survive by making some simple substitutions:
|Herb||How You Can Help|
Buy cultivated or woods-grown
roots or products instead of wild|
Substitute red clover products
if you’re using black cohosh for|
its estrogenic effects. Substitute kava or cramp bark if using this
herb for muscle spasms. Substitute meadowsweet for arthritis.
|Blue cohosh||Substitute yarrow.|
Buy products containing Echinacea
purpurea, which are|
cultivated organically, instead of wild-harvested E.
angustifolia. Both are equally effective. E.
angustifolia is increasingly available as a cultivated
Buy cultivated goldenseal or
substitute Oregon grape root,|
barberry, or the Chinese herb coptis, all of which contain the same
active ingredient, called berberine.
Use uva ursi and marshmallow
root together to soothe and help|
reduce bacteria for urinary tract infections.
Substitute marshmallow root,
which has similar soothing|
properties to slippery elm and is a cultivated herb.
Wild yam doesn’t have
progesterone-like effects, according to|
studies and historical use. Use wild yam only for bowel cramps,
spasms, colic, and nausea, or substitute chamomile flowers.
HERBAL SUBSTITUTES FOR COMMON MEDICATIONS
If you’re looking for an herbal remedy as an alternative for some common medications, take a look at this chart to see what can be substituted. See your doctor or herbalist about persistent, serious conditions.
|Pain reliever||White willow, meadowsweet|
|Daytime cold medication||Echinacea, goldenseal|
|Nighttime cold medication||Loquat syrup|
|Stomachache/gas reliever||Black walnut, chamomile|
|Sleep aid||Kava, valerian|
|Anxiety reliever||California poppy, kava|
|Anti-depressant||St. John’s wort|