Vitamin C, an essential antioxidant, is often sold with plant-based substances called flavonoids in a single product. While each supplement can be purchased individually, there are several reasons to consider a product that combines the two.
For one, flavonoids–the catchall term for some 4,000 antioxidant compounds responsible for the color and numerous health benefits of fruits, vegetables, and herbs–enhance the body’s absorption of vitamin C. Key flavonoids include quercetin, rutin, genistein, grape seed extract, and naringen.
Tagged with: bronchitis
, cancer prevention
, canker sores
, cold sores
, gum disease
, varicose veins
A roadside weed native to Asia and Europe and now common in North America, mullein flower (Verbascum thapsus and other Verbascum varieties) has long been used by folk healers to soothe irritated skin and treat respiratory problems. In fact, Native Americans, once introduced to the herb by settlers, quickly adopted the practice of smoking the plant’s dried roots and flowers to relieve asthma and bronchitis. At one point, mullein flower was even considered a remedy for tuberculosis.
Recognized around the globe for its fresh and heady fragrance, the lavender plant (Lavendula angustifolia), a flowering evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region, also boasts a long history in herbal healing.
Romans scented their baths with it (in fact lavare means to wash in Latin), and the Tibetans still make an edible lavender butter to use as part of a traditional treatment for nervous disorders. Today, the essential oil of lavender is widely used across Europe–both topically and internally–for a host of ills, from anxiety to sunburn.
Along with its well-earned reputation for discouraging friends and repelling potential lovers, this powerful herb has a storied culinary and medical history. Egyptian pyramid builders took it for strength and endurance. Medieval healers recommended it as protection against supernatural forces–vampires in particular. The French scientist Louis Pasteur investigated its antibacterial properties, and doctors in the two World Wars treated battle wounds with garlic juice when other drugs were unavailable. Most recently, garlic has been touted for heart health as well.
From cough cure to tension-reliever, the woody scented oil and leathery leaves of the stately eucalyptus tree have found myriad uses over the centuries. Australian aborigines relied on this native evergreen for soothing painful joints and healing skin lesions. And settlers to the continent dubbed eucalyptus the “fever tree” in recognition of its disease-fighting powers. While these early users ascribed its potency to the tree’s brisk aroma, it is now known that the thirsty roots were responsible: They kept the surrounding ground relatively dry and thus free of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
One of the most popular herbal remedies in the world, echinacea contains active ingredients thought to fight colds, flu, and other infections. There are nine species of this herb, commonly called the purple coneflower, but just three (Echinacea angustifolia, E. pallida, and E. purpurea) are used medicinally. Various parts of the plant (flowers, leaves, stems, or roots) from a variety of species appear in literally hundreds of commercial preparations. Depending on the species and plant part used, the herb will stimulate the immune system and combat bacteria, viruses, and other disease-causing microbes.
Tagged with: bronchitis
, chronic fatigue syndrome
, cold sores
, cuts and scrapes
, sore throat
, urinary tract infections
, vaginal yeast infection