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Got a Little Headache? Check These Alternative Herbal Treatments

The market for herbal medicine is expanding worldwide. The global herbal medicine market is projected to reach $111 billion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of ~7.2% from 2017 to 2023. Even countries that normally rely on pharmaceutical goods to relieve minor ailments are hopping on the herbal medicine train.

A few herbs and plants have been proven to deliver therapeutic effects to users. The same herbs are part of the reason for the growth of the worldwide herbal market. Pain relief, anxiety reduction, and even seizure reduction can be achieved using the following plants:

Valerian

A flowering plant normally found in Asia and Europe, the valerian herb is a long-stalked herb that sprouts tiny pink and white flowers. Though considered an invasive species, the plant is valued and used since the time of Hippocrates as a medicinal herb. Valerian’s roots are used dried or in extractions.

Commercial use valerian root is typically sold in pills, but some opt to sell dried and ground versions of the root. Valerian extracts have yellowish-green to brownish-yellow color. A form of acid is also derived from the plant.

Valerian treatments are used as a traditional medicinal alternative for commercial sleeping aids. Derivatives from the plant, specifically its extract, may also relieve mild nervous tension. Pet lovers will also be pleased by the fact that valerian root is akin to catnip in terms of attracting cats.

Marijuana

The medicinal extract cannabidiol or CBD is an active ingredient of marijuana and is the main element of the plant that delivers pain relief for chronic pain sufferers. Pure CBD has none of the negative effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the other major active ingredient of cannabis.

CBD has been studied for its capability to provide relief to insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain sufferers. Children with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome were reported to suffer fewer seizures after receiving CBD treatment. Epidolex, an anti-epilepsy drug derived from CBD, has been approved for use.

Nearly all states where marijuana is legalized for medical use, such as Oklahoma and Colorado, will require a form of identification or a medical marijuana card before a dispensary in Tulsa and other locations can sell you buds. When buying, make sure you have the right ID or credentials.

Cat’s Claw

South and Central America have long used cat’s claw in traditional medicine. The potent herb is so-named due to the claw-like thorns on its bark. Found at rainforests, the plant grows up to 100 feet thanks to its thorns hooking vines onto tree trunks.

Uncaria tomentosa and Uncaria guianesis are the two cat’s claw species used in traditional medicine. Europe uses the U. guianesis species more while the U.S. uses U. tomentosa.

Generations of South and Central Americans have used the plant to treat inflammation and arthritis. Relief for gastrointestinal and inflammation-related illnesses have been derived from the plant.

The plant is also used to treat asthma, stomach ulcers, and viral infections. The latter property was discovered by the Incans, long before modern civilization realized the ability of cat’s claw root extract to stimulate the immune system.

The use of herbal medicine is well and good for minor aches. But even herbal supplements have the disclaimer of requiring medical help when merited. Regular medical check-ups with a doctor are still important to maintain good health.