Health benefits of herbs.

Health benefits of herbs

Health benefits of herbs

Fennel 

Fennel is well known herb known to each and every individual. People like to relish it after completion of meals for its digestive properties especially in Indian cuisine. 

Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. It is a perennial herb with feathery leaves and yellow flowers. Fennel is distributed widely in different parts of the globe, especially on dry soils usually near sea coast.

The chemical constituents present in fennel include fennel oil which contains anethole. However, other constituents present are alpha and beta pinene, camphene, bitter fenchone, limonene, safrole and p-cymene. Phytochemical studies reveal the presence of volatile oils, flavonoids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids and amino acids.

Literature survey further reveals that it has been used for multiple range of ailments such as issues related to digestive reproductive, respiratory and endocrine system. The wide therapeutic application of this herb does not stop here only, it has been employed as a galactagogue agent for lactating mothers. Surprisingly, it has been in sue as a medicinal plant for more than 40 different disorders.

The data so available regarding the beneficial properties of this herb indicate its efficacy antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antipyretic, antispasmodic, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic and many more. Fennel provides a noteworthy basis in pharmaceutical industry for the formulation of new drugs and future clinical and medicinal applications.

Fennel, botanical name Foeniculum Vulgare, is official herb in Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia. Extracts of this herb have been isolated and evaluated for different pharmacologic activities such as antipyretic, mucoprotective, hepatoprotective, GA lactogenic, hypoglycemic etc. Different formulations of this herb have been prepared for the treatment of diseases and disorders.

The wonders of this herb have been used in the treatment of various bacterial disorders which inhibited the growth of Enterococcus faecalis, staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, klebsiella pneumonia, pseudomonas aeruginosa, salmonella typhi, shigella flexneri.

Extracts of fennel have been prepared in methanol also which exhibited ant inflammatory activities as revealed by animal studies. The studies that were carried out to asses such activities reveal that it has the capability to inhibit cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways. Animal studies conducted on rats further reveal the hepatoprotective activities of fennel. Also, Ethnomedicine reveals the antidepressant activities of fennel.

The whole plant extract 50,100 and 200mg/kg of F.vulgare exhibited memory enhancing effect . oral administration of fennel extract has the capability to decrease the advanced levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels.

Fennel is quite safe when taken by mouth in small amounts after meals. Fennel creams are also available to be applied on the skin. However, allergic reactions have been reported amongst t some people which cause intestinal and stomach upset.

Turmeric

The botanical name of turmeric is Curcuma longa. In fact, curcuma botanical group is part of the ginger family of herbs. Who doesn’t know about turmeric, a very common kitchen spices and above all well known for its medicinal uses? It is the roots of turmeric which are used in cooking. The main active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It has anti-inflammatory and strong antioxidant effects.

Research believes that any agent that can handle chronic inflammation can be a great boon in fighting or preventing the occurrence of any disease like heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer and other degenerative conditions.

So, curcumin has the ability to fight chronic inflammation which is often seen in these disorders. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory effect and blocks NF-kB molecule. It is this very small molecule that has the ability to turn on genes related to inflammation. This very molecule is reported to have an important role in many chronic diseases.

Turmeric has the ability to act as antioxidant as well. It gets rid of free radicals which lead to damage to genetic material. So much so antioxidant enzymes also get boosted by turmeric. Moreover, turmeric has the ability to brain function and lower the incidence of brain derived neurotrophic factor.

Brain derived neurotrophic factor has the ability to act as growth hormone. Many brain disorders have been linked to deficiency of this hormone.so turmeric can boost this hormone to improve brain function.

It is reported that arthritis patients respond well to turmeric. A number of studies have shown this fact to be true.

Turmeric can fight cancer, cell can die and reduce angiogenesis, growth of new blood vessels in tumors and metastasis, spread of cancer. Research studies also reveal the benefits of turmeric during heart ailments also. The function of endothelium gets improved. This is a confirmed that damage to endothelium is the basic cause of heart ailments.

The health benefits of turmeric do not stop here only, controlled studies show that it proves beneficial to patients suffering from depression. Again, depression is linked to reduced levels of brain derived eutrophic factor, shrinking hippocampus which a role to play in learning and also memory.

Literature scanning also reveals that taking turmeric orally for ten weeks can relieve an individual from itching. Moreover, turmeric can get rid of triglycerides also. However, there is no convincing scientific evidence regarding turmeric lowering cholesterol levels.

So it is advisable to keep our kitchens well equipped with turmeric.

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