Thursday December 5, 2013
For relief of menstrual cramps, some women turn to a natural remedy known as viburnum. Also called cramp bark, this herb is rich in antioxidants (including vitamin C) and said to soothe menstruation-related pain by reducing muscle tension. But while a number of studies published in the 1960s and '70s found that compounds in viburnum may help alleviate muscle tension and suppress muscle spasms, there's currently a lack of research to support the claim that the herb can tame menstrual cramps.
If you're seeking a natural remedy to help lessen menstrual pain, try sipping tea made with raspberry leaf or ginger, increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, or getting more magnesium in your diet. Several Chinese herbs, such as vitex and dong quai also show promise for relief of menstrual pain.
Read the entire article on viburnum.
Wednesday December 4, 2013
A dietary supplement sourced from the same plant that creates the spice known as saffron, crocus sativus is gaining popularity as a natural weight-loss aid. Long used in herbal medicine, crocus sativus is thought to help promote weight loss by reducing dieters' intake of calories.
While research on crocus sativus and weight loss is fairly limited, there's some evidence that it might be beneficial for dieters. In a 2010 study of 60 healthy but overweight women, for instance, researchers found that participants given crocus sativus supplements ended up losing more weight and snacking less often than those given a placebo. The study's authors suggest that crocus sativus may help increase feelings of fullness after eating, as well as boost mood.
Several other natural remedies may help curb cravings and aid in weight loss. For example, research shows that adding cayenne pepper to meals may help suppress appetite, as well as speed up the body's calorie-burning rate.
Read the entire article on crocus sativus.
Monday November 25, 2013
To help tame stress, some proponents of herbal remedies sip tea made with catnip, a natural substance found in the mint family. Most commonly used as a natural calming agent for cats, catnip is thought to possess sedative properties that can also help promote relaxation in humans.
While catnip tea (or catnip taken in dietary supplement form) is sometimes used to treat stress-related health troubles like anxiety and insomnia, there's currently a lack of scientific support for its supposed health benefits. In fact, the scant research available on catnip suggests that the herb might even have a stimulating effect when consumed.
For an herbal infusion that might help you wind down, try opting for tea made with chamomile, passionflower, kava, and/or valerian. Studies show that each of these herbs may help calm the central nervous system and help ease your tension.
Read the entire article.
Friday November 22, 2013
In traditional Chinese medicine, a number of natural remedies are used to lift mood and protect against depression. Along with herbs such as mimosa bark, a natural substance known as bupleurum is sometimes used to treat people struggling with mood problems.
Although few scientific studies have looked at bupleurum's effects on mood, some preliminary research shows that it may help ward off depression. For example, a rat-based study published in 2012 determined that bupleurum may help fight stress-induced depression (as well as alleviate stress-related anxiety).
When managing depression, it's crucial to work closely with a mental-health professional rather than self-treating your condition. Among the other alternative approaches that show promise for depression relief are yoga, acupuncture, and meditation (all techniques thought to help regulate mood).
Read the entire article.