Saturday, March 14, 2009

Herbal Remedies That Show Promise in Scientific Testing

Here are a few Herbal remedies that have shown great promise in studies. Why not try something natural before turning to a prescription?

Aloe Vera: Studies have shown it can help heal burns and abrasions.

Chamomile: Early studies find benefits when used topically for mouth ulcers and certain skin conditions. Chamomile is being researched for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Chasteberry: Research finds benefits for easing premenstrual syndrome and breast pain. Perhaps also as treating some kinds of infertility.

Cranberry: Small studies suggest cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections. It's currently being tested for prevention of dental plaque.

Elderberry: Small studies indicate it relieves flu symptoms. Studies also show that given with antibiotics can help treat sinus infections.

Evening Primrose Oil: Small studies suggest benefits for eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and breast pain.

Fenugreek: In some studies it helps lower blood sugar in patients with diabetes

Feverfew: Several studies suggest it can help prevent migraines.

Flaxseed: Studies suggest it can lower cholesterol. New research is investigating its potential for preventing heart disease and osteoporosis.

Garlic: Studies show it lowers cholesterol levels, and may slow atherosclerosis.

Ginger: Studies show it can ease pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.

Ginkgo: Some studies suggest it lowers the incidence of dementia and Alzheimer's disease and improves memory in the elderly. It's being studied for asthma, multiple sclerosis and sexual dysfunction due to antidepressants.

Ginseng: Research suggests it may lower blood glucose and benefit immune function.

Milk Thistle: Research outside the U.S. finds it improves liver function. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is funding research on its use for Chronic Hepatitis C and other liver disease.

Peppermint Oil: Studies suggest it may improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome . If used with caraway oil it can ease indigestion.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis): Has been shown to relieve anxiety in clinical trials. Standardized Valerian extracts with a minimum of 0.8% valerenic acid, the active constituent, work best. Valerian extract works rapidly, often in less than an hour, when taken in doses of a few hundred milligrams, and can be taken up to three or four times per day.

5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan): Shown by clinical research to treat depression effectively. 5-HTP, an amino acid, allows your body to increase levels of serotonin, a mood-related neurotransmitter in the brain. Low serotonin levels have been linked to depression, and many prescription antidepressants work by increasing serotonin activity. For most people, taking 50-300mg of 5-HTP per day helps improve mood in just a few weeks without causing side effects that antidepressants can.

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