NATURAL  REMEDIES   [ This was produced by one of the professional societies member services division and came with 19 footnotes.  Not every herb is shown.  We have added various links to online cautions and suggestions for best use.  (The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) links seemed to be the best ones.  Tried not to link to herbal sales web sites.  Italics, 'More Health Items' and HTML search button added by ed.]   Highlight some text then click the button to research it.  

Many older Americans have heard about, looked into, considered and possibly even used natural herb remedies as alternatives to modern medicine.    It's important to know that even though natural herbal remedies have been used for centuries, the Federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved of any herb for any healing power.  [The FDA is for regulating proprietary chemical products.]

You should consult your physician about your situation for advice regarding any remedy to help you, as well as for any interactions they may have with your current medications.   The following natural herbs are believed by many to help with certain illnesses and diseases, as well as aid with other health concerns associated with aging:

• Ashwagandha - Rejuvenates and energizes the nervous system.  Increases physical endurance and improves sexual function.  Has anti inflammatory and anti aging effects.
• Astragalus - Good for colds, flu and immune-deficiency-related problems, including AIDS, cancer, tumors, as well as chronic lung weakness.
• Black Cohosh - Indicated for: blood pressure, cholesterol, mucus production, cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, arthritis, relieving hot flashes.
• Blessed Thistle - Anti inflammatory, circulatory aid, blood purifier, liver healer and heart strengthener.  Has been recommended as a brain food.
• Blue Cohosh - Indicated for memory problems, nervous disorders and muscle spasms.

• Borage - Balances glands.  Contains valuable minerals and essential fatty acids helpful to cardiovascular function and healthy skin and nails.
• Boswellia - Acts as an anti inflammatory, anti arthritic, anti fungal and antibacterial.  Lowers cholesterol and protects the liver.  Useful for arthritis, gout, low back pain, myositis and fibromyalgia.  Helps repair blood vessels damaged by inflammation.  Used as a remedy for obesity, diarrhea, dysentery and pulmonary diseases.
• Cat's Claw - Intestinal cleanser, antioxidant, anti inflammatory, enhances white blood cell action.  Indicated for intestinal problems and viral infections.  May be helpful for AIDS, arthritis, cancer tumors and ulcers.
• Cayenne - (Capsicum Annuum) Helpful for digestion, circulation, arthritis, rheumatism, colds, sinus infections and sore throats.  Stops bleeding from ulcers.  A tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach.

Chamomile - Anti inflammatory, diuretic.  Stimulates appetite, digestion and sleep.   Indicated for colitis, diverticulosis, fever, headaches and pain.  Has a long history of use for stress and anxiety, indigestion and insomnia.   
Chaparral- Free radical scavenger.  Pain reliever.  Protects against radiation and sun exposure.  Good for skin disorders.  Reduces formation of tumors and cancer cells.
Chuchuhuasi- Fights inflammation and stimulates the immune system.  Good for arthritis, rheumatism, back pain, muscle spasms, fever, skin tumors, bronchitis and diarrhea.  
Cranberry - Good for kidneys, bladder and skin.  Has anticancer properties.   Highlight some text then click the button to research it.  

Dandelion - Diuretic.  Bloodstream and liver cleanser.  Increases bile production.  Reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid.  Tonic for kidneys, pancreas, spleen and stomach.  Recommended for abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, cirrhosis of the liver, fluid retention, hepatitis, jaundice, rheumatism.  Has been said to help prevent age spots and breast cancer.
Devils claw - Relieves pain and reduces inflammation.  Acts as a diuretic, sedative and digestive stimulant.  Good for back pain, arthritis, rheumatism, diabetes, allergies, liver, gallbladder, kidney disorders, arteriosclerosis, lumbago, gout and menopausal symptoms.
Echinacea - Anti inflammatory.  Antiviral.  Stimulates certain white blood cells.  Enhances immune and lymphatic systems.  Useful for colic, colds, flu and other infectious illnesses.
Elder - Antioxidant.  Cleanses the system.  Recommended for: constipation, inflammation, fevers, poor circulation, respiratory problems.  Helpful in building up blood, immune system and perspiration.

Flaxseed - Recommended for: colon problems, female disorders and inflammation.  Good for bones, nails, teeth, healthy skin. (Grind or boil.)
Garlic - Detoxification, infection protection, immune enhancement.  Lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, lowers blood lipid levels.  Recommended for: arteriosclerosis, arthritis, asthma, cancer, circulatory problems, colds, flu, digestive problems, heart disorders, insomnia, liver disease, sinusitis, ulcers, yeast infections.
Germanium - Improves cellular oxygenation, keeps immune system functioning properly, and rids the body of toxins and poisons, improves many illnesses, including rheumatoid arthritis, food allergies, elevated cholesterol, candidiasis, chronic viral infections, cancer and AIDS.
Ginkgo - Recommended for: asthma, eczema, heart and kidney disorders, depression, headaches, memory loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).  Increases cerebral and peripheral blood flow, circulation and oxygenation, thus improving brain functioning and relieving leg cramps.

Ginseng - Recommended for: adrenal and reproductive glands, immune function, lungs, appetite stimulation, bronchitis, circulation, diabetes, infertility, lack of energy, stress, protection against the effects of radiation exposure, overall body strengthening.  Not suggested for people with hypoglycemia, high blood pressure or heart disorders.
Goldenrod - Anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties and is an excellent diuretic.  Goldenrod contains bioflavonoids, which strengthen the veins and is therefore indicated for varicose veins and fragile capillaries.  It is also a carminative (antispasmodic against cramps of the digestive tract) and will ease colic and flatulence.
Goldenseal - Antibiotic, anti inflammatory, antibacterial.  Tonic for: colon, liver, pancreas, spleen, lymphatic and respiratory systems, digestion.  Recommended for disorders affecting the bladder, prostate, stomach or vagina.
Green Tea - Reduces risk of esophageal, stomach, colon and skin cancer, delays the onset of arteriosclerosis, offsets mental fatigue.

Hawthorn - Recommended for: anemia, cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, immune system, dilating coronary blood vessels, cholesterol and heart muscle.
Horse chestnut - Protects against vascular damage, makes capillary walls less porous, shields against UV radiation damage.  Good for varicose veins, reducing excess tissue fluids and easing nighttime muscle spasms in the legs.  Used topically, reduces pain and swelling and prevents bruising.
Horsetail - Diuretic recommended for: arthritis, bone diseases such as osteoporosis and rickets, bronchitis, cardiovascular disease, edema, gallbladder disorders, inflammation, muscle cramps and prostate disorders.  Increases calcium absorption, promotes healthy skin, strengthens bone, hair, nails and teeth.  Promotes healing of broken bones and connective tissue.  Strengthens the heart and lungs.
Macela - (Achyrocline satureoides) Acts as an anti inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and anti parasitic.  Stimulates and supports the immune system.  Good for gastrointestinal and respiratory disorders.  Useful in treating cancer, Crohns disease, colds and flu, diabetes, menstrual problems and menopausal symptoms, muscle aches and spasms.

Milk Thistle - (Silybum marianum) Antioxidant (prevents free radical damage, protects the liver).  Recommended for: kidneys, adrenal disorders, inflammatory bowel disorders, weakened immune system, liver disorders (such as jaundice and hepatitis, psoriasis).  Contains potent liver-protecting substances.  Stimulates production of new liver cells and prevents formation of damaging leukotrienes.
Passionflower - Sedative.  Recommended for: anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, neuritis, stress-related disorders.
Pumpkin Seeds - Indicated for: prostate.  Influence the colon and spleen-pancreas; diuretic.  Used for motion sickness, nausea, impotence, and swollen prostate with signs of difficult or dribbling urination.
Pygeum - Reduces inflammation congestion.  Lowers levels of inflammatory compounds in the prostate.  Effective in reducing prostate enlargement.

Saw Palmetto - Diuretic.  Urinary antiseptic.  Indicated for: poor appetite, prostate disorders, sexual function and desire.
Suma (Brazilian ginseng) - Recommended for anemia, fatigue, stress, immune system, AIDS, cancer, liver disease, high blood pressure.
Valerian - Sedative.  Indicated for: anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, menstrual cramps, muscle cramps, nervousness, pain, spasms, stress, ulcers, circulation, mucus from colds.
Yucca - Blood purifier.  Indicated for: arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammation.   Highlight some text then click the button to research it.  

Many of these natural herbal remedies are combined into special formulas for specific illnesses to help optimize results.  Consult your local nutritionist for specific details or recommendations for what is ailing you.  And again, please consult your physician for introducing anything new into your body.

More Health Items:
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  •  Fruit and Veggie Chart  [pdf]