Your Guide to Medicinal Flowers
|By Petra Trudell, Managing Editor on Thursday, September 26, 2013|
|Flowers do more than look nice in a vase. Learn about some of the flowers used as alternative therapies and how they may be able to help you.||
Flowers have been used to create medicine for centuries around the world. You can now find flower extracts in a variety of forms to help you use them properly to treat everything from a headache to the common cold.
Which Flowers to Try
These flowers have some amazing medicinal properties and are worth keeping in your medicine cabinet:
1. Hops -- Yes, this is the same flower used to make beer, but hops can do more than that. If you experience anxiety or stress that keep you up at night, hops is a great option. Taking hops can help relax you, control nervousness and allow you to wind down at the end of the day. You'll also feel less irritable throughout the day. Hops also supports a healthy appetite, digestion and urinary system health. If you suffer from depression, use of hops isn't recommended.
2. Hydrangea -- The roots and rhizome of this flower are used to create medicine that can be used to promote urinary system health. Taking hydrangea may help relieve urinary tract infections as well as bladder infections. It can also be used to treat an enlarged prostate or for kidney stones. The reason hydrangea is beneficial for these issues is because of its diuretic effect, which encourages urination to remove waste and bacteria. Hydrangea is only recommended short-term use.
3. Chamomile -- When you see the word "chamomile," you probably also think of the word "calm." And that's exactly what chamomile does. This plant has a mild sedative effect, which makes it perfect for calming stress and anxiety to promote relaxation and sleep. Chamomile can also help quiet an upset stomach as well as heartburn and nausea. Not surprisingly, this herbal remedy can make you drowsy, so start slowly.
4. Rose -- Women who battle symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) each month should consider giving rose a try to relieve those cramps as well as irritability. When used in aromatherapy, rose has a calming effect and can even help relieve respiratory symptoms, like asthma as well as headaches. Lastly, rose can benefit the immune system, helping the body fight off threats of infection to prevent illness.
5. Magnolia -- If you suffer from respiratory issues allergies or sinus problems or the common cold, magnolia is the flower for you. Magnolia helps combat the uncomfortable symptoms of these conditions, including nasal congestion and itchy or watery eyes. It may also help relieve a headache or hay fever and can be applied topically to treat a toothache. Magnolia is intended for short-term use only to relieve these symptoms.
6. Gardenia -- This flower is very versatile and has many benefits, which is why gardenia has long been a favorite in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Gardenia supports urinary system health and may help women suffering from menopause-rlated symptoms find relief. It may also help reduce irritability or anxiety and improve quality of sleep. It may lower blood pressure, so anyone using those medications should avoid it.
7. Elder -- Also known as elderflower, elder is a common remedy for the common cold or the flu. It can reduce inflammation in the sinuses and help relieve symptoms associated with these conditions as well as bronchitis such as sore throat, cough and minor pain. This flower also supports the health and proper function of the urinary system and may cause an increase in urination. It may lower blood sugar levels, so be cautious if you have diabetes or prediabetes.
Who knew flowers could do so much?
How to Use Them
All of these flowers continue to be studied for their exact benefits and actions within the body. They can be found as individual extracts or in combinations, in capsule or liquid form and even as teas. Start with the smallest recommended dosage for any of these herbal supplements to assess your tolerance.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding shouldn't take herbal supplements without first speaking with their doctor. The same goes for anyone being treated for any of the conditions mentioned in this post. As a general rule, it's best to stop taking supplements two weeks before any type of surgical procedure.
Would you try a flower extract? Check out our entire selection at eVitamins and let us know what you think!
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