Before starting any herbal supplement or topical ointment, please check with a physician, and do research on side effects. The list below is just a small list of some of the herbs I’ve had some success with.
Aloe – Aloe comes as a juice, a pill, a gel, creams,etc. Some of the ailments it is used to treat are acne, the common cold, constipation, and small cuts and burns. I have used the juice for constipation and it works great, especially if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I have also used aloe vera for sun burn. Also, I found that after drinking aloe vera juice, my skin was softer.
Capiscum — Capiscum comes from peppers. It is used for pain relief, particularly in pain of the joints and/or muscles. The most common form I’ve seen is Capsaicin, which can be bought over the counter. Peppers are also high in iron and so if you eat green peppers you might feel a little peppy. In other words if you are feeling slugglish, it might be good to eat a green pepper.
Chamomile – Chamomile comes in a tea form and in capsules. Sometimes it is found in other products.It can be used for hemorrhoids,insomnia, migraines, and stomach problems. I recommend chamomile in the tea form for when you have insomnia and/or anxiety. It also helped me when I had severe menstrual cramps.
Chickweed- Chickweed comes in many forms including oils, teas, and capsules.It can be used to treat coughs, fever, rheumatism, and itching. I’ve tried the essential oil version on severe scalp itch. I do not recommend using this on your scalp. It sort of crusted over for me.
Dandelions – Dandelion comes as a dried root, tea, dried leaf,tincture,and juice. It is used to aid in weight reduction, digestive complaints, and help kidney and liver function. The tea tastes sort of like peanut butter. It’s actually really really good!
Ginger – Ginger is usually found as a root or a tea. It is a great disinfectant for wounds. It is also great for digestive problems, nausea, and unclogging the noise.
Peppermint and spearmint– Both do the same thing and both come in tons of forms including teas and breath mints. They are used to treat abdominal or intestinal pain, congestion,headache, gas,IBS, nausea and toothaches. Personally, peppermint is a panacea. I’ve used to to aid in digestion, when my IBS flares up, and nausea. I also find that peppermint cools me down if I am too hot. This is one of the few herbs that can be used every day.
Sources: Fetrow, Charles W and Juan R. Avila. The Complete Guide to Herbal Medicines. Pocket Books. New York, New York 2000.