How Will Herbs Help Battle Your Chronic Disease?
Fighting chronic disease takes faith and fortitude. It’s time to fight for your health like a church goin’ pterodactyl in high heels. When combating chronic illnesses like Lyme, you have to think outside the biomedical and pharmaceutical box. Instead, you can use nature’s pharmacy. There are specific herbs that contain medicinal properties to fight chronic disease.
Inflammation That Aggravates and Evokes Your Chronic Disease
Inflammation serves as a code red response to invaders (microbes). The other day, I transplanted crocuses in my garden. As I knelt on the soft soil, my trowel unearthed a shard of glass that grazed my palm.
Within seconds, blood trickled down my wrist. As soon as the glass penetrated my flesh, my body’s immune response activated. That is the expected response from your body. The bleeding and pain subsided when I applied an organic ointment and a bandage.
If your immune system gets overwhelmed, say, from illness, poor diet, stress, pharmaceuticals, inactivity, toxins, or microbes, it’s unable to switch off the inflammatory process. A study in the Ethnopharmacology Journal explains that “inflammation is basically a cellular protective response against various stimuli such as foreign pathogens, irritants or damaged cells.”
When your immune response is on overdrive, like when battling a chronic disease, it leads to chronic inflammation.
So How Does Inflammation Impact Your Chronic Disease?
Well, I am glad you asked. Lyme disease/chronic disease expert Dr. William Rawls, MD, affirms that when your immune system breaks down, it allows reactivation of chronic disease symptoms. Not what you want!
You must manage, reduce, and eventually eradicate chronic inflammation to restore your health.
Why Herbs Work to Fight Chronic Disease
Herbs fight diseases. So, you want them in your arsenal. Herbs, phytochemical superheroes, contain unique and beneficial compounds:
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Digestion and gut health
- Hormone Regulating
- Immune Boosting
- Stress-reducing and resistance
Herbs That Fight Chronic Disease (not a complete list)
Astragalus (Astragalus propinquus) improves immune function.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) improves energy, lifts brain fog, is anti-inflammatory, boosts the immune system, and reduces stress.
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentose) reduces inflammation and boosts the immune system.
Chinese Skull Cap (Scutellaria baicalensis) combats Bartonella and Mycoplasma, enhances sleep health, improves immune function, and supports liver function.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) stimulates effective fighting immune cells and boosts the immune system.
More Herbs That Fight Chronic Disease
Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum) is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits and supports the function of the immune system.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) possesses highly effective anti-inflammatory properties.
Gotu Kola (Centella Asiatica) – is adaptogenic with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties.
Hawthorne Berries decreases inflammation and improves/supports the cardiovascular system.
Houttuynia (cordata Thunb.) offers therapeutic potential from inflammation and oxidative stress.
Marshmallow Root (Althaea Officinalis) – A great source of iron, magnesium, selenium, chromium, and vitamin C. The marshmallow root improves digestive dysfunction and reduces inflammation.
Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) nourishes and supports adrenal support and recovery while combating inflammation. It builds a robust immune system, removes toxins, and promotes restorative sleep.
Stephania (Stephania epigaea) contains neuroinflammatory inhibitors.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) reduces inflammation.
Too often, bottles of unused herbal supplements occupy bathroom shelves, never to see the light of day again. Yet, you want the herbs to make their way into your body. Try the herbs in various forms rather than face supplement fatigue or overwhelm.
Ways to Use Herbs
Aromatherapy relies on the olfactory system using essential oils to enhance your health-wellness routine. In addition, it includes hydrosols, diffusing, and candles/incense. Essential oils benefit us physically and mentally.
Typically, essential oils, which are herb extractions, work well for aromatherapy or topically with a carrier oil. When you purchase essential oils, look for the purity and quality of the product. As you research essential oil companies, find out about organic certification, third-party testing, and safety guidelines. Do your research!
It’s best not to purchase essential oils from the store you buy your groceries or household items. Typically, essential oils on the shelves of grocery stores and retail chains may not be of the highest quality. They most likely contain dilutants and possibly synthetic fragrances.
Cooking with herbs offers flavor and nutrition. In your kitchen, stock fresh, dried, and powdered herbs. Add powdered herbs to smoothies, yogurt, hummus, nut butter, etc.
Teas and infusions
Teas use fresh or dried herbs. Similar to teas, infusions dried require herbs and water. However, infusions require a longer steeping process, anywhere between 4 to 10 hours.
Herbal tinctures are concentrated alcohol (typically, 20%-70%) extracts of herbs. Ideally, use fresh herbs, then immerse them in water and alcohol. However, not all herbs are readily available fresh, so use dried when needed. In addition, because alcohol serves as a preservative, tinctures have a longer shelf life (five or more years).
If your herbal therapy includes bitter-tasting herbs, tinctures are a great way to consume the dosage.
Professional herbalist Brittany Wood Nickerson suggests that “alcohol-based tinctures are also very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, making them a good choice if you want an herb to have a fast-acting effect.”
One caution, alcohol causes inflammation, so you would want to use tinctures judiciously in your herbal therapy.
More Ways to Use Herbal Therapy
Herbalist and author of Making Plant Medicine, Rich Cech, recommends making syrups and decoctions for bitter herbs when using the roots, barks, or herbs seeds.
Encapsulated herbs are the most practical way to consume supplements for most people. When combating chronic disease holistically, you will take various herbal supplements. Here’s a tip for swallowing your pills: take them with your favorite dairy-free, low-sugar smoothie.
I created a Healthy Smoothie Recipe Book if you need ideas for smoothies.
Adding Herbal Therapy to Fight Chronic Disease
Herbs offer a twofold benefit: they Keep in mind that managing chronic inflammation doesn’t have to be complicated. It takes a little detective and diagnostic work. Once you determine that chronic inflammation is an obstacle for you, then implement an herbal protocol along with:
- an anti-inflammatory eating plan
- a stress management plan
- a rest/sleep routine
- an exercise/movement practice
With the help of your holistic or integrative practitioner, design a health-wellness blueprint to fight chronic disease with herbs.
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