Modern Health Benefits – Ancient Herbs with Medicinal Uses
Aloe vera, flax and garlic are ancient herbs that have medicinal uses dating back centuries. The earliest documented uses of these herbs date back over 2,000 years. Migrating populations carried their useful herbs with them. The following ancient herbs have modern health benefits. They are as popular today as they were with our ancestors.
The use of aloe vera has been documented in ancient Egypt. Although the particular species used by the Egyptians does not resemble the aloe vera plant of modern times, they are nonetheless related. The juice of the aloe veraj plant was an important component of the embalming process. Modern day uses of aloe vera range from sunburn relief to reducing the pain of insect bites. Many modern day homes contain aloe vera plants.
Aloe vera has other uses other than topical pain relief. The fresh juice of the aloe vera plant can be taken internally. Internal consumption of the fresh aloe vera juice is used to reduce fever and for digestive tract cleansing.
The most common form of commercially available aloe vera is in products such as creams and lotions. Many of these are used to treat sunburn. Fresh aloe vera is best obtained from a plant grown in the home.
Another ancient herb with modern health benefits is flax. Fragments of this plant have been dated back 9,000 years. Linen is made from the flax plant. It is mentioned in the Torah and the Christian Bible. Linen was a critical element in the ancient Egyptian mummification process. The oil of the flax seed was used in embalming.
Modern populations use flaxseed and flaxseed oil as a dietary supplement. The oil is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil is also high in antioxidants.
Flaxseed contains alpha-linolenic acid. Modern medicine recognizes the benefits of alpha-linolenic acid or ALA. The medical community agrees that ALA has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Alpha-linolenic acid has other uses. Many believe flax may be an important anti-cancer agent. Medicinally, flax is more important today that it was with the ancients.
Botanically speaking garlic is a bulb. It has uses that date back prior to biblical times. Ancient populations used garlic to increase virility. Our ancestors used garlic to cure everything from indigestion and snakebites to depression and overall poor health.
Today medical science has proven that our ancestors understood the medicinal properties of garlic very well. Garlic has proven antimicrobial properties. Arginine enables the body to manufacture nitric oxide. Garlic contains high amounts of this chemical. If a man's body is deficient in nitric acid, it compromises his ability to reproduce.
Other beneficial chemicals found in garlic are ajoene, which prevents clogging of the arteries and allicin, a chemical that has proven anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.
Today fresh garlic is used in cooking and a staggering number of garlic supplements and pills fill the shelves of health food stores and pharmacies. It is considered a modern wonder drug.
Aloe vera, flax and garlic, played critical roles in the lives of ancient populations. Ancients used them for everything from clothing to food to medicines. The modern health benefits of these three herbs cannot be disputed. Ancient wisdom is not always old wives tales, many times there is sound medicine behind the folklore.
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