When we think of spring and summer, we think of the warm weather, the lush vegetation, the sunny days and the thousands of colorful flowers throughout the landscape.
But did you realize some of those same pretty flowers could also help you improve your health?
Experience true Flower Power with 4 healing flowers
Botanical medicine is gaining popularity; herbs have a multitude of medical actions and in many cases have fewer side effects than medications.
The parts typically used on plants or trees are the
- seeds or flowers.
Here are four medicinal flower remedies you may find useful in your day-to-day activities.
Echinacea, or purple coneflower, is probably one of the more commonly known herbs. The echinacea root and the aboveground plant, including the flowers, have been shown to have medicinal properties.
There are three types of echinacea that are used medically:
- Echinacea purpurea,
- Echinacea angustifolia
- and Echinacea pallida.
A number of studies have shown that echinacea is beneficial for the early treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections. Studies have also shown that the flower is effective in reducing the frequency, duration and severity of common cold symptoms.
The flowers of German chamomile have a long history of use for digestive and intestinal complaints. It has been shown to be effective in relieving stomach upset and cramping.
Chamomile tea has been found to be helpful in treating insomnia and nervous tension. And it’s been shown to help protect the inner lining of the mouth during radiation and chemotherapy.
Calendula flowers have been shown to have wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been shown to improve recovery from skin burns and it has also been shown to stop bleeding and reduce skin and inner mouth inflammation.
The above ground parts of passionflower, including the flowers, have been shown to have a profound effect on mood. Studies have shown that passionflower helps relieve anxiety and is helpful in treating adjustment disorders. Passionflower has been shown to be effective for mild insomnia.
Given its calming effect, passionflower is a good addition to a smoking cessation plan to help ease withdrawal symptoms.
You’ll find supplements and teas in your local natural foods store or online that utilize these healing summertime flowers.
Dr. Jean-Jacques Dugoua, or Dr. JJ, as he is affectionately known, is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND), the Director of the Liberty Clinic and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. He is also a researcher at Sick Kids Hospital (Toronto) and a published author.
You can read more of his work at www.askdrjj.com.
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