Instead of turning to pharmaceutically manufactured drugs when you have an ache or pain, herbalist Peeka Trenkle suggests turning to Mother Nature and one of her many herbal remedies.
Dr. Oz talks with Peeka about readily available herbs that she says can cure common ailments:
- Hawthorn: This herb is a member of the apple family and helps the body adapt to stress. It also helps regulate blood flow in and out of the heart, Peeka says. If you are on high blood pressure or hypertension medication, you should let your doctor know if you are taking hawthorn because Peeka says the herb can reduce your need for medication.
- Milky Oat Seed: Milky oat seed is a small part of the oat plant that comes to flower before it turns into grain. It can be used in extract form or as a tea to help build energy and stamina over time, Peeka says.
- Peppermint: One of the longest-used herbs, peppermint can be taken in oil or in capsule form to help cure lethargy and offer a pick-me-up that isn't too stimulating or irritating to the digestive tract, Peeka says.
- Ginger: Whether eaten raw, in tea, as an extract, as a syrup or in cooking, Peeka says ginger relaxes the digestive tract and can help calm acid reflux, an irritable bowel and stomach upsets.
- Lavender: The buds of lavender flowers can be steeped into a tea and added to your bathwater as an herbal remedy to cure insomnia, Peeka says. "Lavender has an ability to sedate the nerves that is not drug-like in its effect," she says.
- Sage: This herb helps your body absorb oils better, and drinking sage tea could help people who are chronically dry, Peeka says.
If you are going to try an herbal remedy, Peeka suggests doing your own research and taking one herb at a time in the form of either a tea or oil instead of a capsule. "Using capsules makes your body need to break things down in a different way, so if you are going to use capsules try to use only the herbs that you would naturally eat," she says.
Also, Peeka says herbs are not the end-all answer for your health problems. "If you're not having a benefit from an herb used according to the directions for a period of maybe three weeks, stop it—don't take any more of it," she says.