The Top 10 Herbs You Should Have in Your Medicine Cabinet

If you’re a beginner home herbalist, you’ll find it easier to make sense out of the wide world of herbal remedies by first getting to know a limited number of them up close and personal. You’ll find that a lot of these herbs can be found in your kitchen cabinet or your local grocery store. With the flu and cold season right around the corner, you will definitely want to have these herbs at hand at the first sign symptoms. Here is a top 10 list of safe and effective herbs (recommended by experts) that are easy to get, easy to keep, and easy to use:

1.  Echinacea- The number one herbal remedy for colds, flu, sore throats, and other respiratory infections. Echinacea is an immune system booster and antibiotic. Keep either a tincture or capsule of extract handy, because you’ll need to start taking it as soon as symptoms appear. 

2. Garlic- This is a multipurpose natural wonder. How many herbs can lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, boost immunity, fight infection, and flavor your spaghetti sauce? Keep plenty of natural garlic around to use as a clove-a-day cardiovascular tonic, but also stock up on capsules to take for high blood pressure, infections, and other conditions.
3. Chamomile- You probably love chamomile as a pleasure tea, but you’ll love it even more as a relaxing herbal remedy for a plethora of problems, from indigestion to insomnia to a stuffy nose.  Buy dried chamomile flowers in bulk so that you can make medicinal teas stronger and more economically than most tea bags allow. 

4. Hawthorn- With heart disease as one of America’s top health enemies, you can use a friend like hawthorn. It’s a proven helper of cardiovascular health that you can keep on hand as a tincture, or a solid extract. Use it as a tonic for your heart or medicinally when cardiovascular problems arise.
5. Aloe- Put aloe in the first-aid section of your herbal medicine chest, because it’s a first-rate cut, bite, and burn healer. The juice also helps an upset stomach. A good way to have aloe handy is to keep a small live plant so that you can break open a leaf as needed to get at the healing liquid.
6. Valerian- This is nature’s sleeping aid and anxiety alleviator, a safe sedative that you can take as a tincture or capsules.
 7.Ginkgo- Ginkgo is known as a memory enhancer, and that’s reason enough to 
include it in your medicine cabinet. But it also improves circulation, which can bring many health benefits. Keep it for the long term as a tincture or capsules.
8. Eucalyptus- Nothing beats inhaling some good herbal steam when you’re hit with a chest or head cold, cough, stuffy nose, sinusitis, and so on- and nothing beats the volatile oils from eucalyptus leaves to make their steam work. The oil can be released from the leaves themselves in water or you can buy a little vial of the essential oil.


9. Oregon Grape Root- A frequent companion to echinacea as a remedy for respiratory infections, Oregon grape root has essentially the same healing berberines as goldenseal. It’ also good to have the capsules around for intestinal problems such as diarrhea or an upset stomach. 
10. Ginger- This much-loved warming herb acts as an anti-inflammatory, so it’s a big help for arthritis

and bursitis. You can also take it for chest congestion, nausea, and even motion sickness. It’s available in lots of forms, including tinctures, syrups, and capsules, but be sure to have the cut or powdered root on hand for a deliciously healing ginger tea. 

Herbal  and integrative medicine is making a huge comeback as more conventional physicians are increasingly using them to compliment their prescriptions. As a warning, this list is not intended to treat chronic illness and as such, please consult your doctor or registered herbalist before combining and using any of the recommended herbs.
Reference: The Doctors Book of Herbal Home Remedies, Forward by Varro E. Tyler
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