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Herbs for Life, Part 3

Road to Wellness

By Kate Jacobs · August 29th, 2002 · The Road to Wellness
This column is third in a series highlighting some common herbs that can assist in healing the body. These herbs, available at local grocers, can be taken with food as part of your regular diet. (If you're under a medical doctor's supervision, please consult with him or her before taking any supplement.)

Flaxseed: A great tonic for the colon and the lungs, flaxseed contains natural protein and calcium. It's a good laxative for people who tend to be cold and dry in nature. (Psyllium works better for those of a hotter nature.) It can be used for less severe constipation and for diarrhea where indicated. Flaxseed acts as an expectorant and can be used in treatment for asthma, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. For women, it's especially good for strengthening the bones and for the reproductive organs.

Women in menopause should incorporate flaxseed into their diets routinely.

Garlic: A powerful rejuvenative herb recognized in most ancient healing practices, it works on all tissue elements and acts as a stimulant, carminative, expectorant, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, disinfectant and rejuvenative. Garlic is indicated for colds, cough, asthma, heart disease, hypertension, cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, palpitation, skin diseases, parasitic infections, rheumatism, hemorrhoids, edema and impotence. A precaution: Excessive use of garlic -- with its natural tendency to heat the body -- can dull the mind, create hyperacidity and aggravate bleeding and the reproductive organs. Take it in powder, juice, medicated oil or raw. Don't cook with it to a boil which will cause it to lose its healing properties.

Ginger: Great for colds, flu, indigestion, vomiting, belching, abdominal pain, laryngitis, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches and heart disease. In Ayurvedic medicine, it's widely considered the best of all spices, "the universal medicine." Fresh ginger tea is great for digestive and respiratory ailments as well as arthritic conditions and is believed to be a tonic for the heart. It relieves gas and cramps in the abdomen and can bring relief to menstrual cramps due to cold. Used externally as a paste, it's good for pain and headaches. ©



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