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What are Botanical Remedies?

Botanical remedies, also sometimes referred to as herbal medicine, comprises of plants or plant extracts that may be eaten or applied to the skin in order to treat or prevent disease.

Botanical remedies, while similar to herbal medicine, use parts of plants that are not strictly herbs, such as bark, seeds, roots and stems.

Botanical and herbal medicine have both been used by many cultures, since ancient times, to treat illness and assist bodily functions naturally.

In the modern world, botanical remedies are classified as supplements rather than drugs or pharmaceuticals and thus don’t require a prescription. It is, however, sensible to do some research or seek advice from a trained physician before using them, as they can cause adverse reactions and carry some risks.

 

Popular Botanical Remedies

Cranberry – This remedy is often used for urinary tract infections. Cranberry extract contains a naturally occurring sugar called D-Mannose, which in essence coats bacteria that has set up residence in the bladder, thereby preventing the bacteria from clinging to the bladder walls and causing havoc. The coated bacteria is then safely flushed from your system when you urinate, bringing much-needed relief.

There is also accumulating evidence that cranberry, due to its antioxidants, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing blood pressure and reducing inflammation in the circulatory vessels among other things.

Saw palmetto – This botanical remedy treats the reproductive system and assists with problems such as menopause and the prevention of prostate enlargement.

Ginger – Treats and can prevent a variety of gastrointestinal issues from nausea to constipation.

Soy – Many plants contain chemicals called phytoestrogens that have effects similar to human oestrogen. Studies have concluded that isoflavones in soy appear to have a small, but positive effect for menopausal women.

Valerian Root – Has a calming and mild sedative effect on the body and assists with insomnia and helps to reduce anxiety. It can also be used as a natural pain reliever or analgesic. It has been known to help with relaxation of the leg muscles in people with restless leg syndrome (RLS), allowing them to get more restful sleep.

Echinacea – This is an immune-active botanical remedy that strengthens and tones immune functions. Many people use this to both prevent and treat colds, flu and respiratory infections. By strengthening the body’s immune functions, it is better prepared to fight bacteria and viruses.

St. John's Wort – This alleviates common psychological symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety and mild depression. Combined with black cohosh, it has been found to relieve mood swings and hot flashes associated with menopause.

Gingko Biloba – Clinical investigation has found this botanical remedy to be effective in improving memory and cognitive functions in elderly people suffering from impaired cerebral circulation.

Milk Thistle – Most commonly used to protect and support the liver, it contains powerful antioxidants called flavonolignans.

Dr Alain Sanua is a qualified doctor with additional qualifications in Naturopathy and is passionate about finding natural solutions to good health. Talk to him today about available botanical remedies that could positively affect your wellness.

 

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