By Nick Polizzi
Guest writer for Wake Up World
My wife Michelle and I are deeply involved in the care of our two small children, but like many families out there, we sometimes need answers to things we just don’t know how to solve.
Yes, it’s convenient to surf the internet to find these answers, but you can’t believe everything you read. Every day, natural medicine advice is published online by well-meaning individuals who aren’t qualified and who haven’t done the proper research. This can make it hard for us to know which options are safe and effective — and which are not.
And with herbalism emerging as a top-dog in the holistic healing space, it’s more important now than ever to separate herbal facts from fiction.
Today I want to discuss 2 very special herbs and 1 herbal extract that are making the front page in the world of natural medicine. These herbs are renowned for their powerful healing properties, but truth can sometimes get lost in myth….
We’ll look at what’s really going on with these popular herbs – Are they safe? Are these herbs good for you? And most importantly, do they work the way people claim they do?
Let’s dive in….
#1 Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a golden herb that has gotten wildly popular around the world for its incredible health benefits – particularly its anti-inflammatory action on the body. From fire cider to golden milk, turmeric is so hip that coffee shops are now selling turmeric lattes.
There are a ton of “facts” that come up when you research turmeric. Today, I’d like to focus on these two specifically: A) Turmeric is an effective antidepressant and B) Turmeric is hard for the body to absorb.
Now, what is fact? And what is fiction?
Turmeric can help relieve symptoms of depression.
My good friend and renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan, wrote an article for The Healthy Home Economist that mapped out exactly how turmeric can fight depression.
Curcumin, she states, is one of the most active healing constituents in turmeric; it’s the key player when it comes to regulating depressive symptoms. Studies have shown that curcumin fights inflammation, boosts your immune system, protects against cancer, lifts depression and neurodegenerative disorders, detoxifies the liver and stabilizes your hormone levels.
These factors work together to create a healthy environment for your mental health — particularly by teaching your adrenal system to find balance.
In fact, turmeric is such a potent and promising antidepressant that it’s currently being evaluated as a suitable, all-natural replacement for Prozac.
Turmeric is hard for the body to absorb.
Though it is true that curcumin is more difficult for the body to absorb without the presence of piperine (black pepper), that doesn’t mean the rest of the herb is hard to process.
The other healing components like volatile oils, bitter components, and flavonoids are still available to fight pain, aid in digestion and fight oxidation.
#2 Damiana (Turnera diffusa)
Damiana has gotten a lot of publicity lately as an aphrodisiac – but so do a lot of things like steak, wine and chocolate just to name a few… So what makes damiana stand out from the rest?
Damiana is an effective ‘love herb.’
Damiana has been proven to stimulate sexual desire and improve intimate experiences for both men and women.
Damiana is particularly helpful for women because it calms the nerves and heals long-term stress response. It also serves as an effective remedy for vaginal dryness by bringing oxygen down to the area.
The University of Hawaii studied damiana’s effects on women and found that after adding this super-herb to their routines, 73% of the volunteers were having better sex more frequently.
For men, damiana is a promising substitute for Viagra. The University of Buenos Aires found that damiana can heal impotence in two ways:
1) By relaxing the arterial walls of the penis, allowing more blood to pass through more quickly.
2) By relaxing the nervous system and modulating mood.
*It is important to note that damiana boosts fertility as a natural side effect of increased libido.
You can get high from drinking damiana tea.
While ingesting herbal blends that include damiana can result in a ‘body high’ due to its naturally relaxing properties, it’s not at all like the ‘mental high’ that can come with smoking THC or drinking a little too much wine. And you absolutely will not experience this if you drink a glass of damiana tea.
#3 CBD (extracted from Cannabis sativa)
This final one is a bit controversial but the pool of scientific data on its many health benefits has grown too massive for any of us to ignore.
Cannabis has over 80 active compounds, but there are two that are getting a lot of buzz right now… THC and CBD. THC is popularly known as the compound of cannabis that can make you feel intoxicated, but what about CBD?
A quick Google search on CBD will give you pages and pages on its healing effects, so what’s fact and what isn’t?
CBD gets you high.
CBD (or cannabidiol) is unlike its counterpart, THC. While THC does have the properties to give you that mental high, CBD has zero psychoactive side effects.
Studies have found that our bodies have evolved in such a way to include receptors that respond specifically to CBD. This cellular network is called the endocannabinoid system, and its main job is to keep our bodies in balance. In other words, our bodies are designed to process CBD and extract its healing properties.
Including CBD in a regular regimen can be mentally and physically therapeutic and help ease severe symptoms of pain, migraines and seizures.
Some popular ways of using CBD include using tinctures or eating gummies infused with CBD oil. Others might need topical pain relief and can turn to the many brands of creams and salves.
You can get addicted to CBD.
CBD is a safe, non-addictive and extremely effective way to treat things like anxiety, depression and insomnia. Because of its physiologically calming effects, CBD is often used to prevent cravings and is a common herbal extract used by those recovering from addiction.
It also helps prevent illnesses like Alzheimer’s and cancer while simultaneously modulating the symptoms of Parkinson’s, seizures or strokes.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg…
Herbs are nature’s most powerful medicines and should be treated as such. With proper use, these herbs can do wonders for your mental, physical and emotional health.
And now, their healing magic has been officially proven to be fact as well as tradition.
About the author:
Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of “The Sacred Science” documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.