Milk thistle has been used for over 2000 years as a treatment for liver and gallbladder disorders. Science has confirmed that compounds in milk thistle called flavonolignans (collectively referred to as silymarin) protect liver cells from damage caused by alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, and other toxins. Protective effects of milk thistle may extend beyond the liver as researchers have found that it shields the kidney against injury from some drugs and prevents UV damage to skin.
Chamomile has been prized for centuries as a remedy for nervous tension, muscle cramps, skin conditions and even colic (digestive upset in babies). The ancient Egyptians revered chamomile for its healing properties, believing it to be a sacred gift from the sun god, Ra and using it both medicinally and cosmetically. Greek physicians prescribed chamomile for fevers, inflammation. Today, chamomile is used to treat stomach upset / colic, mouth ulcers, eczema and other skin irritation. Chamomile has proven healing and protective effects on the gastrointestinal lining, mucous membranes and skin.
Japanese persimmon has been used to treat high blood pressure and constipation. Extracts of persimmon contain flavonoids such as astragalin which seem to have blood pressure lowering and blood vessel relaxation effects. Astragalin also appears to inhibit histamine release making it helpful for allergies and skin irritation.
Chinese mallow is typically used as a laxative, a diuretic and to help treat kidney disorders. In addition, chinese mallow contains polysaccharides that are felt to boost immune function and help lower blood sugar. Chinese mallow and marshmallow are related in that they both stem from the Malvaceae family. It has a similar soothing effect on the GI and respiratory tract.
Marshmallow root and leaf are used for respiratory and gut inflammation, to soothe stomach ulcers, constipation and bladder infections. Marshmallow has also been used topically to treat skin inflammation, burns and other wounds. Marshmallow leaft contains mucilage polysaccharides that soothe and protect mucous membranes from local irritation by forming a protective layer.
Papaya is used to prevent and treat stomach disorders, parasite infections, aging skin and as a diuretic. Some studies have demonstrated evidence that consuming papaya is associated with reduced risk of developing gallbladder and colon cancer. While other studies have show that papaya can lower blood sugar in patients with diabetes. Papaya leaf contains 2% papain which helps break down proteins, sugars and fats in the gut.
Ginger is native to Asia where it has been used as a spice for over 4,400 years. Since ancient times, ginger has played a role in Arabic, Indian, and Asian herbal medicine. Ginger’s sanskrit name is vishwabhesaj which means universal medicine.” Ginger is prescribed to treat nausea, vomiting, colds / flu, headaches, and reduce inflammatory pain associated with arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Because of its antiseptic properties, ginger also can helpful in treating intestinal infections and preventing food poisoning.
Myrrh is typically used for indigestion, colds / cough, congestion and arthritic pain. Myrrh has also been used to ease intestinal cramping and heal inflammation. The active compound is myrrh resin which has been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial (kills bacterial / viruses) effects. Today, myrrh is commonly found in mouthwashes and to soothe throat infections
Also known as “Holy Thistle,” blessed thistle is used to aid in digestion, and treat colds / fevers. The active ingredient in blessed thistle, cnicin, is felt to have anti-bacterial and possible anti-cancer properties making it an effective herb for immune and general health. In addition, the herb has diuretic (water eliminating) properties which can promote healthy fluid balance and weight loss.